Friday, November 20, 2009

Healthy Crafting With Kids

Necco Wafers All Natural Turkey
Kids will love this quick and totally edible (and healthy) project made with Necco Wafers All Natural.

Make great holiday projects using Necco Wafers All Natural - try your hand at a turkey, a Christmas tree or a candy can even learn how to make an edible glue by grinding up the Neccos.

Hearst Castle Christmas

It all started with me finding a listing in a local weekly freebie newspaper about Hearst Castle being decorated for Christmas. I thought I'd put it out to my Newcomers Club to see who would like to go. Well, it's turned into what may be a once in a lifetime opportunity. One of my Newcomer friends is a docent and they hold a special party for them and she happened to have three extra tickets!!! So, guess who's going to the party and gets to see Hearst Castle all decorated? Love it!!! Now, I have about 10 other members who want to go, so looks like I will be going with them at a later date since I organized the function. You can never get too much of Hearst Castle!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Three Cheers to Albertsons and Nestles!

I LOVE it when Corporate America embraces the craft industry. Check out the postcard I received from Albertsons, my local grocery store. One side was a coupon, the other told about the free scrapbooking accents inside Nestle Hot Cocoa and if you couldn't wait till your next grocery trip you could cut out the festive accents there on the postcard to use on your pages. Great idea!!! OK, who's going to be the next biggie to share creative experiences with their customers???

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sedona, Arizona - My Kind of Town!


I live in Paradise, so when I knew it was time for a much-needed get away from everything, where would I pick??? I went from the ocean to the desert - Sedona, Arizona. I'd been there maybe fifteen years ago and loved it, so I packed my bags and headed to the airport with no agenda except to get there and get home on certain days. My trip was so fantastic!!!
Bell Rock

I wouldn't have guessed that the water in Oak Creek would be red.
A friend suggested a terrific place to have lunch along Oak Creek - L'Auberge de Sedona - absolutely amazing!!! After a healthy lunch, I splurged on what I call an Adult Smore - freshly made marshmallow with lots of other nummy things.
I had to work off that Smore, so it was off to shop at internationally renowned Tlaquepaque (pronounced Tla-keh-pah-keh), Sedona Arizona's Arts & Crafts Village. Nestled beneath the shade of the sycamores on the banks of beautiful Oak Creek in Sedona, Tlaquepaque is the most distinctive shopping experience to be found in the Southwest. Authentically fashioned after a traditional Mexican village, Tlaquepaque, meaning the "best of everything," has been a Sedona landmark since the 1970's. Its vine covered stucco walls, cobble-stoned walkways and magnificent arched entryways give you the feeling that Tlaquepaque has been here for centuries. Tasteful galleries and unique shops live in harmony with its lush natural environment where giant sycamore trees stand in testimony to the care taken in preserving the timeless beauty of the Tlaquepaque grounds. It would be hard to find more beautiful surroundings anywhere to create a shopping experience like no other.
I loved the way they displayed this painting with all of the props.

Fall was definitely in the air with this tastefully decorated shop entry.

My friend had specifically told me about the red snail - when I got home, she asked when it would arrive at her house...she's so funny!

This was such a cute setting.

The wonderful fountain was decorated ready for shopper to enjoy.
The Enchantment Resort
I am so glad I returned to The Enchantment Resort for a VERY long lunch. It is way out of town away from the hustle and bustle of Sedona - it was absolutely wonderful!!! The backdrop to lunch was the amazing red rocks. The grounds are incredible and the best part, they let you roam around or sit and relax forever! Yes, the pool called me!!! Loved my afternoon there!

Some of the rooms at The Enchantment Resort...think I'll save me nickels, dimes and hundred dollar bills to stay there sometime.

They have an outdoor 'room' with firepits and lounge chairs...Yes, I lounged!

Hot Air Balloon Ride
I did another first! A hot air balloon ride! I have tried two other times where I used to live, but the winds came up and the flights were cancelled. My day started by getting up at 5 and being at the front desk at 6 where my pilot Doug picked me up. We met up with the four others I'd fly with - they were wonderful companions from Canada. At the end of the flight, the crew served up champagne and breakfast - all from the hood of a pick-up! (they did spread a tablecloth on the hood!)

A shot looking up into the balloon.

There were two other balloons in our party.
Verde Canyon Railroad

Another first...I took the four hour ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad - absolutely amazing!!! I thought after the balloon ride, this would be a bit of a let-down, but it was so wonderful. We went 12 miles an hour in beautifully restored old Pullman cars to places not accessible to the public. I must have taken a hundred pictures. The colors were spectacular.

We had a 'viewing car' next to our 'sitting car' - we saw a couple of eagles!!! It was a bargain to me - $79 for first class and you got an amazingly cushy chair to sit in, wide windows, a champagne greeting, a ton of food and four hours of relaxation!

Inside of our 'sitting car'

A look-out near the airport.

A friend had been in Sedona a couple weeks earlier and told me be sure to go to the lookout near the airport (I happened to be staying right there) and she also told me to be sure as soon as the sky turns pink at sunset to have my camera at the ready because it will be gone in seconds. This particular night, I took so many pictures over the course of 1/2 an hour, I finally gave up when the sky was still beautiful.

Here I am at the top of a hill looking down on the sprawl of Sedona.

The view from the balcony of my hotel - thank you ORBITZ!!!
I did have one more first on my last day - I had to drive in the snow between Sedona and the airport in Flagstaff. Scary stuff!!! There were cars spun-out along the road and emergency vehicles coming toward me but I couldn't pull over for fear of spinning out myself. A little snow still hangs on at the airport.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

San Luis Obispo Airport

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Necco's Go All-Natural

I have loved Necco's since I was a kid - the licorice ones were never my favorite so I'd stand in front of a box of Necco's in a store and look at each roll to see which one had the least licorice ones in the package...oh, but all of the other flavors...

Well, my much-loved Necco's are changing and I can't wait to try the new version - they are going all-natural. Think beets, purple cabbage, even turmeric!