Thursday, April 28, 2011

Celebrating a Year of Blogging with a Give Away!

It's hard to believe it, but I'm approaching

my first year's anniversary of blogging!

I wrote my first post on

May 13, 2010!

For me, blogging is a creative outlet.

It's my "journal-ing-on-line."

When I started I had no idea

what it would involve.

The first few months I was obsessive about it

and couldn't get enough.

I've since learned to moderate a bit.

The surprise of it all is the friendships

gained through blogging.

Through it, I've come into contact with some

incredibly talented and caring women.

Keeping up with their blogs has given

me entry into a bit of their lives.

That's truly been blogging's gift to me!

To celebrate my first year,

I'm going to host my very own give-away!

I will send the winner their choice of a

from my Etsy Shop.

This bag is just big enough to hold your essentials.

It then goes into your tote, knitting bag,

briefcase, etc.and frees

you from carrying multiple bags!

The only things you need do is
"like" my Facebook Fan Page

on my sidebar and leave me

a comment that you've done so.

(If you're already a Fan,

leave me a comment, letting me know.)

I'll then draw a name

in two weeks on May 13,

and announce the winner!


Wonderful weekend to everyone.

I'm going to try and not OD on

all the wedding doings!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Time than Good Sense???

Sometimes I wonder...if I'm in my right mind?

Nanniepannie and I just returned from a road trip.

Yesterday morning we drove to Charlotte, NC
to our nearest IKEA store.
I was on a mission.

For the past two years I've had
these little mice from IKEA at our
Holiday Show.
Nothing really special about that,
except I knit tiny little sweaters for them.

I have no idea what people do with them.
But they're so darn cute,
everyone wants one, or two, or three...
And in previous years I've never had enough.
This year...I'll have 100 of them.
Where are my knitting needles???
Our plan was to spend one day in Charlotte at IKEA
and spend the next in Greenville, SC
before driving home.
We finished mid afternoon and headed to Greenville.
We had not made a hotel reservation
since we didn't know in which city we'd stay the night.
We arrived in Greenville, had a nice dinner,
then started checking the downtown hotels.
Nothing seemed to fit the bill
(all a bit pricey for a quick overnight).
Then, we got lucky!!!

We found Pettigru Place,
a bed and breakfast
in the historic district of Greenville.
What a treat!

It's owned and operated by Lori,
who is not only an excellent innkeeper,
but an outstanding gardener.
The grounds were gorgeous.

This was "our" room.

The entire house is beautifully decorated
and attention to detail was impeccable.
For example, there were homemade cookies
on the landing, just outside our room,
as well as a vintage refrigerator, stocked
with soft drinks and bottled water,
and a coffee maker all ready to be turned on
by the first guest up this morning.
There were comfy robes in the room,
chocolates by the bedside
and soaps and shampoos in the
bathroom, if needed.
This morning we were treated to
a gourmet breakfast,
individual souffles with fresh fruit
and real bacon.
(I've been using the precooked kind
for so long, I had forgotten how
good the "real" thing tastes!)
ALL this and less expensive
than any of the downtown hotels
we considered!

After leaving Pettigru Place
we explored downtown Greenville,
which is loaded with places to eat
and shops.
There's also a wonderful park,
Falls Park, with walking paths,
a beautiful waterfall and
blooming flowers galore.
This week I'm linking up with
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
All Things Inspired at All Things Heart & Home

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter Weekend!

Happiest of Easter weekends to everyone.

One of our traditions is deviled eggs,

which we'll be making later.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

White Chocolate Cake w Buttercream Frosting

My girl Kate is home for a few days for Easter

and before she starts her new job next week.

Since she wasn't home for her birthday in March

I promised to make her traditional

birthday cake when she came home.

This is my "go-to" gal when I'm going to bake a cake.

Kate's cake of choice is the "Love Cake" (p.184)

which is a White Chocolate Cake.

The book gives directions for making

a single layer, heart shaped cake,

but I made a two layer round one.

Place 1 stick of butter, cut in pieces

and 6 ozs white chocolate finely chopped,

(do not use morsels, but rather a baking bar)

in a small saucepan over low heat.

Cook, stirring, until both have melted,

3 to 4 minutes.


Place 1 pkg (18.25 ozs) plain white cake mix,

1 c. whole milk

3 large eggs

2 t. pure vanilla extract

melted butter & white chocolate mixture

into a large mixing bowl.

Blend with electric mixer on low speed for

one minute.

Scrape down sides of bowl and

beat another 2 minutes on medium speed

until all ingredients are blended.


Divide the batter between two greased

and floured 9-inch pans.

Bake until light brown

at 350 degrees, for approximately 27-30 minutes.


Cool cakes for 10 minutes, then remove

from pans onto a rack and let them

cool completely.


I use a simple

Butter Cream Frosting

on this cake, not the one given in the book.

1 stick softened butter

3 T. milk

3 c. confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 t. vanilla extract

Place the butter and milk in a mixing bowl.

Place 2 c. of the confectioners' sugar into the bowl.

Mix well with an electric mixer.

Add the remaining 1 c. confectioners' sugar,

add the vanilla, and beat with the mixer

until the frosting is fluffy.

Do you know this trick of layering wax paper on your

cake plate before frosting the cake?

Place a dollop of frosting on the first layer of cake,

and spread it out.

Place the second layer on top, with the two bottoms

of the cake together.

(Notice my cakes are not straight edged.)

Frost the cake, filling in extra frosting to make the cake's

edges straight.

Slip the wax paper out from under the cake.

You'll have a frosted cake on a clean cake plate.

Garnish with some sliced strawberries and

enjoy! We did!


This week you can find me partying at

Tasty Tuesday at 33 Shades of Green

Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

All Things Inspired at All Things Heart & Home

Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday...Crafts

Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Sunday, April 17, 2011

From My Bookshelf...

There were times when I thought I'd never be done with Stieg Larsson's

trilogy of "The Girl..." books. I've just this weekend completed the final one, THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST and I'm already feeling a few withdrawal pangs!!! Although very entertaining, these books are not my idea of light reading. There are a lot of words here...a lot of characters with Swedish names, a lot of locations...with Swedish names...some red herrings. (WHAT is that whole subplot about Erika Berger doing there???)You get my drift. However, once I decided not to let myself take them too seriously, just go with the story...I liked them a lot. I'm going to miss Mikael and that I'm finished with them. And let's face it, Larsson does strong women very, very well.

(Someone put the coffee on and we'll have a couple of hundred cups. If you've read the books, you get it.)

Do you ever start books you just can't get through? I certainly do and until recently it pained me not to finish a book. I've reached the point in my life where I now can admit it's okay, not every book is my cup of tea.

THE RED GARDEN is one of those books. Not having read it I should not say anything, but I did give it a good try. I got through the first third of the book. It's a collection of short stories which interconnect and claim themselves a novel. The part of the book I did read was mythical,symbolic, strange, what?

Not for me.

CLEOPATRA has been on the NEW YORK TIMES' best seller's list for many weeks and I've also seen it mentioned on several blogs I visit. I made it halfway through and decided I knew as much about Cleopatra as I needed/wanted. This is a well written study of a historical figure, just a little too academic for me.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fabric Shopping = Major Organization Job

I've recently been on a shopping trip to buy some new

fabrics at my favorite fabric shop, Sirs.

Of course, with the purchase of new fabrics,

the old ones first need to put into order...

...then, the new ones. Since I'm dealing with fairly large pieces of fabric, I have to move my folding process to the dining room table, where I have a little more space than in my sewing room.

I refold everything I buy so it's easier to cut once I start sewing projects. Along with all this reorganizing and refolding, new fabric also means making new swatch cards for my sales reps and updating my web page with pictures of the new fabrics. Whew! Now I'm ready to start sewing!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Lilac Bushes are Blooming!

Six years ago, when my sister Nanniepannie,

and I were looking for a house to buy and share,

it was this time of year--

and the lilacs were blooming.

We found Buttermilk Cottage and it had good bones.

However, it did have some drawbacks.

Despite the fact the kitchen needed to be

totally gutted,

...the lilacs were blooming.

Despite the fact, a full bathroom needed

to be added to the ground floor (my space)....

...the lilacs were blooming.

Despite the fact I would need to add a room

for my office/sewing room...

...the lilacs were blooming.

There happened to be a huge

lilac bush, in full bloom (and scent)

on the side of the house.

I really think that bush put a spell on us!

But, we've cherished it each year at this time,

when it's dressed to the hilt,

and we whisper a little "thank you."

(This is the view from my entry windows.)

How could you not have a lovely weekend...

...the lilacs are blooming!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Way To Go Kate!

Nine months, (two weeks and three days) ago

I put my newly graduated daughter Kate

on a plane to NYC.

You can read about it here.

Since she was a young girl, Kate has dreamed of

living in NYC.

It was the extreme opposite of her life and

growing up in a small town in Tennessee.

So, after graduating, Magna Cum Laude, no doubt,

from the University of Tennessee

with a degree in Communications,

Kate set off to create her life.

Kate has had a love of books and reading

all her life.

Now where did that come from???

(Could it be that her Dad and I started reading

to her when we sat and gave her formula?)

Kate's big dream has been to work in publishing.

So, after nine month, two weeks and three days,

numberous interships,

three moves (she's finally out of Jersey and sharing an

apartment with three others in Manhatten),

ups and downs, doubts, dramas and worries...

you're looking at NYC's newest editorial assistant!!!

Excuse my totally daughter-absorbed post today,

but it's been a bumpy ride for me too.

I'm taking a few moments to preen!

So proud of you Kate!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Something Fun to Try!

I received an email from my friend Karen earlier this week

with an interesting recipe,

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake...

just too intriguing to pass up!

Start by combining, in a large, mico safe coffee mug,

4 T. flour

4 T. sugar

2 T. cocoa

Add 1 egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in 3 T. milk

3 T. oil and mix well. Add 3T. chocolate chips (optional)

A small splash of vanilla extract.

Speaking of vanilla extract--have you ever used vanilla from Mexico???

It's worth a trip alone. Mix again.

Place mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug,

but don't be alarmed.

It's supposed to do that. Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate. This will serve 1-2 people. (I had this cake for lunch today.) It's a fun thing to try, but the cake seemed a little tough to me. Also, I did not use the chocolate chips, but I think they would have been a nice addition. One suggestion, you might want to mix it all up in a small bowl, then pour into your mug. It seemed a little difficult to mix everything in the mug. Since this cake only takes five minutes to prepare, you NEVER, ever have to be without chocolate cake!


This week I'm linking with

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

All Things Inspired at All Things Heart and Home

Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday...Crafts

Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Run, Don't Walk...This Book is That Good!

I've just finished RESCUE by Anita Shreve.


This is not a flashy story, but rather a

domestic drama.

It's the type book Anita Shreve does so well.

You may be familiar with her work from


This is the story of Webster, a medical technician who

works for an emergency rescue service.

The story begins with his "rescue" of Sheila,

after she has wrapped her car around a tree.

Webster is drawn to Sheila from the very beginning.

Webster is such a decent, down to earth guy,

I just wanted him find a happy life.

But you know in your gut, Sheila will not be good for him.

There are moments when it seems their story

is going to work out; but then, we wouldn't have a novel,

would we?

However, even with life's messiness and winding roads,

Shreve has created a book with a VERY

satisfying ending.

If you like domestic dramas, don't miss this one.

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