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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Serving Our Country

This month has been a whirlwind of non-stop activity...phew!  I was barely able to keep up, and left me with little time to blog or take pictures.

 Yesterday I shared with you about being a member of the CDA (Catholic Daughters of the Americas), and becoming our Court's Program Coordinator.

For the month of November, each member received a toy soldier to take home in honor of Veteran's Day.  The soldier came with a little tag that read, 
"Place a SOLDIER somewhere that will remind you to PRAY for Our Men & Women Serving our Country".


The other activity I included for us to participate in was Empty Bowls.  
We usually have refreshments right after our meeting and visit.  I thought that instead of having refreshements, it would be a good idea for us to give it up and increase our awareness of world hunger.  So in lieu of refreshments, we collected non-perishable food items and donated to Valley View Community Food Bank.  
I was very happy and touched by our group's generosity to help others.
We are truly GRATEFUL & THANKFUL!

KINDNESS is a wonderful way
to let another
struggling soul know that there is still 
LOVE in this world.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Scripture Cookies

I most certainly hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend, and you're now in the spirit of Christmas!

A year ago I joined the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. Our local chapter is called Court Madonna and I am really happy I did.  We are a group of women from three different parishes who are deeply spiritual, and we share our faith and the love of God.

I was asked if I could be their Program Coordinator for the 2016-17 year, and I happily agreed.  Our goal for this year is to bring more spirituality to our monthly meetings.  So that in mind, I planned a monthly activity where we would take home a little something to remind us to stay focus on our goal.
For the month of October, each lady received a favor called Scripture Cookies.   The activity involves in looking up the scriptures given to find the missing ingredients to make this recipe.

The ladies were so surprised to find the favor on their seat as they came into the Hall.  They were very appreciative and really loved the gift and the activity!

I used Pumpkin Seed Crafts' idea!

Thankful
Grateful
Blessed

Friday, November 25, 2016

I'm another year older,
wiser, and more
grateful!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

China Hutch Fall Decor

It was time to finally change the china hutch decor to blend in with the fall season, and get it ready for our Thanksgiving dinner.

I decided to showcase a collage of different dishes, platters, china and pictures with an autumn theme, 

along with some old family loved heirlooms.

It costs $0.00 to be
GRATEFUL
for what you HAVE.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Snail Mail Thank You Cards

Don't you just love real snail mail thank you cards?
I do!  It makes me feel so special that someone took the time to write a personal note to me!

One very important part of participating in Stephanie's Tea Cup Exchange Swap is to write a thank you note to your swap partners...which should be done without saying in my opinion.

I received this very pretty monogrammed thank you card (and letter included inside card) from Barbara.  It was a great pleasure reading Barbara's letter and telling me more about herself, and how much she enjoyed her package.  It also reminded me how much fun I had putting her package together.

This is the thank you card I made and sent to Libby.  Libby sent me a beautiful tea package, and I have been enjoying reading her blog Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth.

Stamping Supplies all by Stampin' Up!:
-Framelits Deco Labels (130102)
-Botanical Builder Framelits Dies (140625)
-Flower Dies
-Circle Framelit Dies
-SU! cardstock & designer paper

Snail Mail at its best!

All I have 
Is all
I need.
-Mary Davis

Monday, November 14, 2016

Daily Light House Cleaning

This is my "other" favorite toy!!!
It's a Hoover LiNX Cordless Vacuum and I ๐Ÿ’— it!!!!

It's so light and easy to use, and cleans really really well.  It's super awesome in helping you stay ahead of the daily debris that falls onto your clean floors...especially when you have a white tile floor in the kitchen like we do.
We have four pets, plus us two and we live in the desert where it's dry and very dusty, and it's incredible how much debris (crumbs, hair, fur, fine dust, ...) we drag from outdoors into our home or comes in through open windows...and we make sure we wipe our feet before coming into the house, and not wear outside shoes indoors.
This vacuum's suction picks up every tiny little speck visible to my eye.

It takes me about less than 10 minutes or less to quickly vacuum up all of our floors and empty the canister...bam!!!
So much better than using a broom, which usually just scatters all the stuff all over the place...especially hair and fur.

 Other PLUSES:
+ battery life lasts long enough to vacuum all of our house
+ it gets into spaces that my big heavy vacumm cleaner cannot
+ suction is terrific!
+ great to vacuum rugs
+ cleaning dirty canister is a breeze and so easy
+ I even use it to vacuum our garage floor and front door entrance!!!
+ CORDLESS...goes anywhere!
+ Did I mention how super light this vacuum is!?!

I highly recommend this product.  It will make your life so much easier and not a drag.  It gives me more time to play golf, craft and Girlz Time!!!
***Hubby bought the first one for our summer home at Costco.  This new one he got it through Amazon for a lot cheaper (included S&H).

~Life is Blissful~

Saturday, November 12, 2016

White Crochet Wreath Ornaments

Yes!  I'm in a Christmas ornament making roll!
I used this pattern for the red poinsettia crochet flower using Aunt Lydia's red cotton thread size 10.
You can read and find pattern for the crochet holly leaves here.  I also used Aunt Lydia's green cotton thread size 10.

I made all these especially for our Christmas tree or to add to a gift/card.

These type of crochet white wreath ornaments were a big seller at our Church's Christmas Bazaar.  I was in such a rush, that I never had a chance to take a picture of the first set I made to donate for our bazaar.  Luckily for me I still had some extra supplies to make more.

 I used these flexi-hoops which I used to make these wreath ornaments.  The first set I made, I used wooden curtain rods.

 Each wreath ornament is one of a kind.



I used a very simple shell edge crochet pattern and ...

one using crochet picot pattern that I now do by memory to cover the hoops (both patterns).  Of course there's a little crochet tweaking done to make it fit around hoop...๐Ÿ˜‰

I use bits and pieces of my craft supplies I have on hand to decorate each.
I hope you give it a try!

I will forever remain HUMBLE because
I know I could have less.
I will be GRATEFUL because 
I know I've had less.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Fall Buffet Hutch Vignette

 If autumn doesn't come to the Phoenix Valley, I will bring autumn to the Valley!!!

So a touch of autumn has fallen into our dining room buffet hutch.
I brought out some of my favorite fall collectibles like the Indiana Tiara Sandwich Amber Glass dishes, ...

the ceramic leaf votive candle holders, Thanksgiving Pilgrims, one of my favorite Charming Tails precious figurines called "Friends Are A Bushel of Fun", and left the pumpkins from Halloween to grace us with their presence for a couple of weeks more.

A little touch of fall decore to our home makes it feel just right, and cooler...even though we've had a few 90's days still!
Share Your Cup Thursday #223

I give THANKS to you O Lord my God,
with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
~Psalm 86:12

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

well...yesterday!

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government,
so let us tie the second down with the chains of the CONSTITUTION
so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.
~Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Country Crochet Star Ornaments

It's not too late to make a few simple, quick, easy and adorable Christmas tree ornaments!
I had some left over stiff yarn from a previous project to make these crochet star ornaments.  I'm glad I saved it!  I had just enough to make one or two of each color.  I used Persia Lou's free crochet pattern to make my star ornaments.

Once I was done making all of the stars, I blocked them using my super hold hair spray...that's all I had on hand...and it worked!!!  I did not want to used water down white glue, because I was afraid it might have flaked once dried.

Once dried, I sewed on a wooden button onto some coordinating ribbon to each star to give it a little country touch.

This is one small Pearl Beads Christmas ornament I made after being inspired by this pretty one on Pinterest.  Of course, I made it very super simple.
I used a small styrofoam ball, pearl beads, strong glue (not hot glue), small straight pins, and thin ribbon; and let it dry completely.

It is a little time consuming, and since some of the ladies at my Church Guild offered to help me, they will be making them.  They told me that I should simply come up with the ideas, and they will put them together.  In a way they have named me their "un-official "art & crafts" coordinator...๐Ÿ˜ฎ

These ornaments were part of my donation to our Church's Annual Christmas Bazaar which was a success!!!  Money will be going to very worthy charities.
Cooking & Crafting with J & J #73

Today I'm GRATEFUL to all the PEOPLE who are LOVING & KIND to me.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Snowflake Ornaments

  Once I returned home to AZ, I put myself to work right away and created more Christmas crafts/gifts to donate for our Church's annual Christmas Bazaar.  I wanted to make something simple, fast and cute.
 I put together Dollar Tree assorted snowflake ornaments, ...
and supplies I had on hand to make these super adorable (in my humble opinion) Christmas ornaments. 

These are some of the finished shower curtains turned Mini Christmas Wreath ornaments, all decorated with the crochet holly leaves I made; ...
and the all decked out Raggedy Christmas Wreath ornaments I had made a couple of weeks ago.
The raggedy jeans wreaths were a huge hit.  People were asking for more, and I only made two!!!  Who knew!!!

This was such a fun and simple craft to make that I really enjoyed making.  My next mission is to replenish my Christmas craft supply stash for next year.  So...I'll be stopping at every garage sale, estate sale, thrift store and clearance sales that I can!

Our Christmas Bazaar was this past weekend, and I'm so happy to report that all these ornaments were sold out!
The sad part is that I didn't save any for me! :-\
Crafting & Cooking with J & J #73

It is not happy people
Who are thankful;
It is THANKFUL people
Who are HAPPY!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Oliva's Latte

 Let me introduce you to my new and most favorite toy...the aerolatte!!!
My early birthday gift to myself!  I love and enjoy Starbuck's soy lattes, but I cannot afford them on a daily basis...maybe twice a month.  But since the aerolatte and I have become acquainted, I have one every morning!

It makes my morning coffee deliciously creamy and frothy.
I use my favorite coffee creamer which is the Italian Sweet Cream lactose free creamer.  Warm it up in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and then I use the electric frother for about 15-20 seconds until the cream is thick and frothy...et voila...I have my delicous frothy morning latte!
No more expensive Starbuck's soy lattes for me.
Cooking & Crafting with J&J #72

IT
isn't so much
what's
on the TABLE
that matters,
as what's
on the CHAIRS.
~W.S. Gilbert

Friday, November 4, 2016

Halloween Party

 Last Monday I attended a super fun Halloween party!!!

We were to  bring a treat to share with a "spooky" name and labeled it as well.  Just so guests knew what they were eating..that is if they dare eat it after reading its name.

 Graveyard Mix:
My version: 1 jar salted roasted peanuts, 1 can raisins, 1 bag M&M's, 1 box Cheez Its, 1 bag Chex Mix, 1 box Cheerios, 1 bag candy corn, 1 bag Caramel Bits.
Of course I doubled all ingredients to feed an army.  Toss all ingredients, and enjoy!

Here I am with my date...LOL!!!
And what's a Halloween Party if you don't dress up?!  I was Christmas Morning...all dressed up in my Christmas jammies ready to open my gifts!
Thank you Deb for the idea ;-)!

We met knew people, tasted spooky jello-shots, played a golf putting game in the dark, and had fun!
Cooking & Crafting with J&J #72
Share Your Cup Thursday #222

Begin each 
DAY
with a 
GRATEFUL heart.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

My Tea Cup from Elisabeth

Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose hosted her 9th. Tea Cup Exchange, and I was so happy to participate in it!
I received this gorgeous tea cup and saucer from Libby at Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth.  I just love the colors and design.
Libby's package came all the way from North Carolina right after this past summer's hurricane season.  It was great to know that Libby was safe!

When I opened my package, this is what I found!  It was prettily wrapped in this pretty fabric.

Libby thoughtfully filled my box with so many goodies!

A very pretty card and tag, ...
and more delicious loose tea, ...
delicious tea, ...

and this very pretty tea infuser!!!  Isn't it adorable!

A very lovely tea cup and saucer.
My favorite fall cookies; which by the way I've had such a hard time finding this year.

Libby included the pretty fabric knowing that I'm crafty and love to sew.  I can't wait to make something out of it!!!

Thank you so much Libby!  Your package was divine, and I was so touched that you had a chance to visit my blog to get to know me!  God Bless.

Stephanie you are highly appreciated by putting together this wonderful and fun party for all of us!  Thank you!!!

Anything Goes "Pink Saturday"

As we express our GRATITUDE...
We must never forget that the
Highest APPRECIATION
Is not to utter words, but to
LIVE by them.
~JF Kennedy