Christmas Stars for the entire family. . .

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us it's time to get serious about Christmas gifts.
This year along with their #1 gift, everyone in the family will be getting a Christmas Star ornament  for their trees.

I simply cut a paper star stencil that I found on the internet.  
Had some scrap muslim and batting in the craft box, cut out the stars, then sewed them all together.  Used pinking sheers to cut around them, put on a little red DMC string (to dangle) then used a black marker for the lettering.  Then a bit of raffia for a bow, hot glued it on. 
 Sew simple!

The simple letter looked a bit necked so I chose to add some color with fabric paint.  A Holly leaf with berries... wanted the stars to be country.. If I was thinking I should have dipped the fabric in tea for the old look,, oh well, next time.

  I even made a few for my friends two daughters.  
Lets not forget Cheryl and her better half, next door  (my go-to neighbor)  She always puts up a large fresh Christmas tree.

"J" is for my sweet "Joell"
I know he will inspect his star with a million questions.

My little Christmas Tree is set up on the coffee table and it was perfect to show off my stars but they will be going out in the mail in Christmas cards next week then I put up my floor tree.
It's "Black Friday" and no I did not venture out to shop.  Today I made some really good Oatmeal Cookies with a spoonful of Guava Jam in the center.  Go's wonderful with a hot cup of tea on this chilly day while I sit here thinking of all those people battling for a parking spot at the mall.  
(with a big smile mind you)

I just love using PicMonkey for editing the photos.. as you can see I had a bit of fun with this one.

"Happy Shopping"

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Remember November 24th is Shop Small day....

This week kicks off the unofficial holiday shopping season and marks one of the busiest weeks for small businesses.
According to the Small Business Consumer Insights Survey, released Nov. 19 by the National Federation of Independent Business, among consumers that are familiar with Small Business Saturday, 67 percent are planning to “shop small” on Nov. 24.
Shopping small generally refers to buying goods and services locally. It is part of the national Small Business Saturday campaign.
Please stay away from the large retailers on this day!

 The top five places that consumers plan to shop on Small Business Saturday are restaurants (52 percent), bakeries (35 percent), clothing stores (34 percent), gift shops (31 percent) and bookstores (29 percent).

"Remember, "Shop Small" Saturday, November 24th"

"Support your local business and all our Bloggie friends with shops on line" 

Let the shopping begin!


A Thanksgiving memory.....

 Thanksgiving has come once again and for the past 26 years it's been a time of sadness and thankfulness for me and my family.  
My big brother Tom passed away on Thanksgiving Day, 1986 and it left such a hole in my heart He was much too young and had so much more living to do.

 Of all the photos of my brother I think the above is the one that brings back the most memories.  Tom was always in the Fourth of July parade back in Champaign, Illinois and walked the parade route collecting for the Jaycees.  Although at the time I lived in Jersey, the kids and I always came for the parade.  You can see my Mom and my then  two young children sitting on the side line, looking on.

A tear comes to my eyes when I think of how my children have missed a lifetime of fun and love from this great guy.    They spent so much time together and were always wandering through the woods on weekends and just spending good time together.
Now all I can do is be so very thankfull to have had Tom in my life for as long as I did, but the sadness will never go away.

Sending love and a promise into the heavens to my brother "Tommy"
I'll be with you once again and  
  we can continue.
 Oh, how we all miss you!  
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

I can smile when I think of all I have to be thankful for this year.  My 101 yr old mother-in-law, bless her heart.  My children and grandchildren who are the lights of my life.  For Mr. N who has been there for me through it all.  For all my friends and family who have kept me going and given me love.  For my Sister who has been there since  birth.  For the people of my future who will come to meI'm excited to meet you.
And lets not forget Dr. Walsh, the one who has kept my heart beating.
"I love you all" 

"Sending wishes to all  of you out there in Blogland"

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An experiment, my own verson.... Coconut, Pineapple, Banana Bread... yummm!

 I found a recipe for a cake in one of the monthly magazines and decided to give it a try.  But knowing me I had to make a few changes.
I used Coconut Supreme cake mix and Instant Lemon pudding instead of what was called for in the magazine recipe.  I also used Coconut Oil in place of the vegetable shortening called for.

 Mixed the ingredients together and put into half size loaf pans, baked as directed and I'll tell you, "This cake turned out more than wonderful"... Mr. N and I stood at the counter and ate one of the little cakes before ever taking it out of the baking pan.  I also took a few slices to my neighbors asking for their opinion... the one 'man' asked me to bake him one and the next neighbor, a woman asked for the recipe. 

My recipe...    
1 package Coconut Supreme cake mix
                       1  3.4 oz package Instant Lemon Pudding mix
                        4 eggs
                        1/4 cut Coconut Oil
                         1 tsp ground Cinnamon
                         1 can crushed Pineapple, juice and all
                         2 mashed Banana's 
                         Chopped mixed nuts... as much as you like, 
                          I added a half cup

 I put all ingredients except the pineapple and nuts into the mixer and turned it on medium for about 3 minutes then folded in the pineapple and nuts.

 Pour batter into 4, half size loaf pans and bake about 40 minutes at 350'

I wanted to show you the Coconut Oil I used. 
 (I also use this on my hair, it's wonderful)

This is my new Christmas bread for my friends and neighbors this year.  I was also thinking I might add chopped Maraschino Cherries to the next batch.
One more thing, I added a simple sugar drizzle for looks. It sure does not need any sweet added.

You must give it a try,,, you know, this cake might just be a nice treat for your "Thanksgiving Breakfast" with coffee or milk.


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