Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I FINALLY got a copy of my friend Pattie's book - Cookbooking. It is so awesome!!! I was acknowledged 'for her marvelous ideas'. I contributed some recipes, some party ideas and there are several pictures of Pattie, me and our friend, Lauren Johnston. It's great to see the Aleene's gals together again, even if it's only on the pages of a book. Love it!!! Get your copy at and type in Cookbooking.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Last Week's Activities

Potato Shooter, Brandon's Birthday, Academy Awards, Gourmet Dinner Group, Oscar Party, Lunch with Lauren, Newcomers Club, Hot Stone Massage

Last week was a wonderful mixture of family, friends, pampering and a potato shooter!!! Yes, I do lead an interesting life...
Last week was the newcomers club monthly meeting at a nearby golf course and our speaker was Sue McGinty, a mystery writer. I was asked to talk about the changes to the newsletter (they loved the changes I made! I can't do anything half way!!!) and the president and I even put out a 'teaser' about an upcoming contest we came up with. Me, being the organizer person that I am, recruited four ladies at my table to join my Tuesday / Thursday exercise class.

Thursday was a day of Me Time - Exercise class and a walk with my friend on the beach - she'd been gone for a week, so it was nice to catch up on her activities. The relaxation from a hot stone massage sent me to bed early that night.
Friday was the Gourmet Group dinner - yummy!!! My friend's beautiful home has a great view of the ocean and bay and was the perfect setting for what she called the family "Sunday Dinner" - tri-tip, beans, bread, salad. Gulp! Now, I'm up next month for hosting dinner. Being the creative type, dinner HAS to involve creativity, so I'm planning some fun activities for my guests while I prepare dinner - they don't know yet, but it's going to be Creativity Night - no experience necessary. The picture is of the 'beadable' spreaders, pickle forks and wine stoppers I got from Oriental Trading Company. The balls screw off, so they will thread on beads while I fix dinner. There was mention of us starting a cookbook with the recipes from our get togethers, so my mind was swirling thinking about having them transform a binder into a cookbook to hold our treasured recipes. Well, see how that unfolds.

Saturday morning, my sister, nephew and I went to my hometown of Lemoore for my nephew's birthday party - he's seven now and I can't imagine how that happened. I went over to their house early to help Nicki, my sister-in-law, with preparations. She's working as a full-time sub right now while a teacher is out on maternity leave, so life is hectic for the family. Great party!!! The highlight was when one of my brother's friends brought out The Potato Shooter - it was a science project for his son's seventh grade class. Oh my gosh!!! It's made from PVC pipe (not your little stuff!), has an ignitor inside the tube and then they found the best propellant was hair spray. So, the Potato Shooter was loaded with 10 seconds of hair spray and a full-on russet potato - that thing shot the potato out like it was a cannon! As the party progressed and it got dark, my brother, in his 10 year old wisdom (he's really 40) got egged on by his friend to put on his motorcycle helmet and be 'hunted'. Needless to say, my brother now has a welt on his beeeeee-hind from where the potato hit him...Might I say, I don't encourage this and it was done under safe was hilarious!!!

Last night was Oscar Party Night! Loved it! The party was my suggestion to the head of our Chick Flicks group - it's fun to come up with the ideas and then have someone execute them. Shary was dressed to the hilt with a beautiful blouse and long skirt. The food was excellent and I took popcorn since it was all about movies! I got the popcorn boxes from Michaels - it made a quick, inexpensive, yet impactful snack. I loved the format of the show and found it interesting that there wasn't a lot of 'bling' so far as diamonds and necklaces and the colors of the dresses were very muted.
I had lunch with Lauren Johnston, from the old Aleene's days, at a restaurant I'd never heard of - evos - feel great fast food. We even had some airbaked fries and topped it off with some Karma Ketchup. It was great to get together with her - there's never enough time to get totally caught up!
This week is in full swing already with dinners out, a COPE meeting on Friday and I have two sets of friends that I get to see on Saturday - I can't wait! One I haven't seen in four years. I was asked last night to be a sub for a Bunco party on Wednesday - I HAVE TO GET WORK DONE somewhere in there too. Yikes!
A friend and I just took a walk on the beach - the weather has been so gray and rainy, we took advantage of some sunshine and I'm thankful to get some oxygen to my brain, so I can get some writing done.
Make it a tremendous week!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Home Before

Someone asked about before pictures, so here they are - they aren't pretty...gotta love the 1960's features.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Home

It's been over six months since I moved and I keep meaning to share my small living creative ideas.

In my small home, everything has to have a function - the coffee table has one of those lift-up tops so I can craft while I'm sitting on the couch.

The wicker basket holds the craft project I'm working on at the moment. The red round box holds wine glasses (now, if I can remember that they're there when I need them!) The metal art work is going to become my 'to do' board - this weekend I took all of my projects I need to work on and wrote out my goals for each one on a separate piece of paper. Since the artwork is metal, I'm going to use magnets to keep my to do lists visible and when someone comes over, I can easily take them down and stash 'my secrets'.

This antique buffet was given to me a zillion years ago by my Aunt. It was made the year I was born (it's stamped inside one drawer). The buffet holds my treasures and in the cabinets below are my DVD's, photo albums and stuff I want to keep out of sight.

I don't have a true closet (I know, it's so hard!!!), so I attached hangers inside my clothes 'cabinet' to hang all my necklaces. My earrings go on the fabric covered styrofoam wreath.

My bedroom. I'm still looking for ideas for nightstands - I love the columns but I need more storage.

The printer drawer holds all my tiny treasures.

My bathroom - tiny, but functional. My theme (no surprise!) is butterflies!!! I keep all of my costmetics in a clear glass antique vase.

My office is in my kitchen and I put it there because I HAD to have a view as I worked, since this is where I spend the majority of my time. I got this fabulous desk that fits perfect in my small area - it folds into itself and everything is at my fingertips.

This 'credenza' is perfect to back my computer desk - I found it for $25 at a furniture store - I had no idea where I was going to use it at the time, but it's perfect!

I had this great 'goodie' server that I just couldn't leave in storage, so I now have it on top of my file cabinet and it holds little things that are dear to me - if you look really close, you can see an ancient bottle of Aleene's Glitter that sold for 69 cents.

Here's the pride and joy of my home - the kitchen - I LOVE IT!!!

I got the table from Target for $99 - my UPS guy doesn't really like me anymore...especially after delivery the table and huge vertical blinds.

My baby stove - it's original to the house that was built in the early 60's and works great!

I needed more space to hold things in the kitchen, so I bought two of the crates from Michaels, painted them, found a dish rack at Ross and I now have plenty of storage.

I made the curtains from fabric from a fantastic local fabric store - The Cotton Ball. I love leaves, so I added leaves hanging from each point - they're made from shells (appropriate since I leave at the ocean).

That's it for now!!! More to come.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crystal Heart Candles

Crystal Heart Candles
Heart Day is just hours away and if you need a quick, inexpensive gift idea, your hunt is over.
All you need is an inexpensive candle from the dollar store and then zap on some Tulip Glam-It Up! Iron-On Crystals in the shape of a heart and you're ready to celebrate!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Quick Heart Earrings for Valentine's Day or Any Day

With all the colors of wire available, you can make a pair of these fast and easy charmers to complement everything in your wardrobe!

What You'll Need

Artistic Wire 22 gauge silver plated copper wire (desired color)
Wire Cutters
Round Nose Pliers

How to Make Them

1. For each pair of earrings, cut six 3/4" and two 2" lengths from wire, using wire cutters.

2. For each heart, grasp center of one 3/4" length of wire, using round nose pliers. Bend both ends together to form a V, using fingers.

3. Grasp near one end of V, using round nose pliers. Twist slightly inward to form hook shape. Repeat procedure with other end of wire to form a heart.

4. Repeat step 2 and 3, making two more hearts and inserting one heart into another before making last twist to form a 3-heart dangle. Repeat procedure for second earring.

5. For each earring wire, grasp one 2" length of wire 3/4" from end. Twist to make a loop, using photo as a guide.

6. Wrap short end of wire around long end, ending at back, using photo as a guide. Trim excess.

7. Bend long end. Trim excess. Open heart at top of dangle. Slip into loop on earring wire. Close heart.

Weight Watchers Banana Muffins with Tart Lemon Icing

A friend recently started Weight Watchers, so I'm making her these muffins. They're only 3 points!

POINTS® Value: 3 Servings: 18 Preparation Time: 15 min Cooking Time: 30 min Level of Difficulty: Easy

If you like muffins, then you must try these. They're like mini-frosted banana cakes with a surprising burst of lemon.

1/2 cup(s) sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg(s)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
4 large banana(s), ripe, mashedIcing
1 cup(s) powdered sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest, strips, or more to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 18 muffin holes with paper liners.
Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; cream with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until thoroughly mixed.
In another large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture; beat well with mixer. Add milk and remaining flour mixture; beat until batter is combined and then fold in mashed bananas.
Spoon batter into muffin liners about 3/4 full. Bake until muffins start to brown and a tester inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 2 minutes; remove to a wire rack and cool completely before icing.
Meanwhile, combine icing ingredients in a medium bowl; beat with an electric mixer until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Ice cooled muffins; cover and refrigerate any uneaten muffins. Yields 1 muffin per serving.
If the mouth-puckering lemon icing isn't enough flavor for you, try adding 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to the flour mixture.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

With a click of the mouse...

I just committed to a BIG endeavour that I'm super excited about! I am heading up PR/Media for the Center for Obesity Prevention and Education (COPE) Symposium later this year. I look forward to meeting new people, spreading the word and learning all that I can learn!!!

The website will be up next week so I can share what the center is all about.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

My past and present seem to be colliding at a very rapid speed!!!

I received an email from a friend in Texas and she'll be in the next town over this weekend. I can't wait. I remember when she called to confide in me that she was considering moving. She invited me to dinner and I thought it was just going to be a nice girl chat, but then she dropped the bomb that she was considering moving to Texas - she wanted to hear my take on it. I was honored that she wanted my opinion - there was a bit of pressure - what if I told her the wrong thing??? It will be so great to see her. I hardly got to see her when she moved with all the parties and packing she was doing.

This weekend I'm also getting together with my high school classmate who was the quarterback on the football team. I haven't seen him since high school. I told him I'd dust off our yearbooks and we could go down Memory Lane.

Last night I went to see the movie Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson - I had a hard time letting go of "Rainman" during the movie and his character reminded me of a friend, so I was kind of distracted. We went to dinner after the movie and there was Anne McDermott from the Center for Obesity Prevention and Education. It was great to finally meet her husband and put a face to the man I've been hearing about for a couple of months now.

Makes me wonder who from my past will pop in next...

The weather is so fabulous!!! My friend and I walked again today and yes, I watched my 25 mph and there was my new friend, the police sergeant, parked in the parking lot when I got there.

My friend, Valerie, wants to learn to make stained glass and I just happen to have all the equipment (I'll have to make sure it all works), so stay tuned for that.

Enjoy the moment!

Monday, February 02, 2009

It's just after noon and it's been a day of lectures...

I had a follow-up doctor's appointment this morning - the lovely 'well-woman check-up' she called it. I got results of my blood tests and got the lecture about cholesterol - it's time to rethink some stuff.

Later, I was meeting my friend for a walk and just as I was about there, a policeman comes out from a parking lot with lights flashing. I never understood why most of the streets here in town are 25 - yes, 25 mph. Just kills me. The Sargent pulled me over, introduced himself, asked me where I was going in such a hurry and took my license. Then, I got Lecture #2 for today. But, no ticket!!! I'll take a lecture any ol' day over a ticket!

I'm driving to the movies tonight - man, that means eating and driving together - yikes!!!

How about that Super Bowl??? A friend and I went to a golf course / country club about 15 minutes from here. We were sitting outside waiting for the game to start and a guy comes walking by wearing a Lemoore High School T-shirt (where I went to high school about 2 hours from here) and we started talking. It's one of those small world things - he actually graduated the same year I did, but from the rival high school in Hanford, he knows the quarterback from my high school that I just happen to be getting together with this weekend. He now lives in Lemoore and his son goes to Lemoore High, he dated my best friend in elementary school who I just saw a couple of weeks ago. Yup, small world...