The Last Day

FIRST LET ME ANNOUNCE! I get to talk to Marie Osmond on the QVC channel at 10:40PM on New Years Day. How cool is that?
I'll be calling in by phone so you will not see me but can hear me. ha.
So, if you want to tune in, go to the QVC channel at 10:40pm on January 1st and see what I say.
I don't even know yet. Ive only been told what NOT to say. I am so nervous. I'm not good at this sort of stuff and libel to say something stupid or sound stuttered. My stomach is in knots. I'm not a good speaker and its one of my biggest fears, but I have to tell myself  "I can do this" and gain some confidence. I may need some liquid courage before hand. Haha. Wish me luck.


Well, It's the last day of the year and my last post of the year. I cant wait for the new year to begin and start making new plans for the future. I don't make resolutions but I do make a list of things to accomplish each year. Just for the fun of it I look back and see what I made possible.

So, lets see....
Here is my list from last years New Years Day post. I accomplished everything in red.
  1.  Continue good health 
  2.  Maintain my weight loss 
  3.  Participate in a small marathon.
  4.  Clean closets out (again).✓
  5.  Blog more ✓
  6.  Stay off Facebook
  7.  Redo my Kitchen 
  8.  Worry less and pray more
  9.  Get to work on time
  10.  Renew my Phlebotomy certificate 
  11.  And better myself all together. 
I accomplished over half of them and tried at the other half. 
For this new year, I'm not gonna make a list. Ill just keep working on last years goals. I really want to do a 5k or 10k run.

2016 was pretty good for me. No tragedies or major sicknesses. I did loose a tooth though. 
I won a couple fun contest throughout the year. I even got to fly for the first time. In fact I did a lot of "First" this past year. 

Something I never mentioned.... I wrote my first commissioned article just last month. True! This was a big deal for me since I consider myself a poor writer with terrible spelling and lots of typos. I was asked to write a 3k word (6 page) article for a diet website. They sorta helped me out by giving me a few guidelines. It took me a week. I sent it in and they loved it. I was amazed at myself and had some extra cash that helped me complete Christmas. I think I'll go on a shopping trip for some new clothes soon too!

I just want to thank all of you that read and comment on my blog. You have no idea how much it means to me. I enjoy blogging. Its a way I get out my frustrations, show my talents, and let others know whats going on in my part of the world. I have made many blogger friends and hope to continue making more. 

Here is the 2016 year review of my blog post.

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NOTE: I have decided to do my New Years Dinner. The collards have been cooked (outside of course) shewwweeee. I have lots more to do for preparation.
Ill be busy today and tomorrow.


Gifts and Traditions

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I did! I got to enjoy a lot of family time on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I also ate entirely too many sweets! But hey, I've done good all year, so why not. Im glad to say, I have only gained 3 lbs from it. Im sure I'll have it back off by New Years Day. 

Every year, I get a feeling that Christmas cheer is going away. I want to hang on to traditions but it keeps getting harder to do so. The kids grow up, the wrapping paper is no longer flying through the room with excitement. Its gift cards and money. A smile, a thank you and everyone goes home. 

However, in my living room on Christmas morning, my 25 year old is back to a 9 year old as she tears into her gifts from Santa. She got alot! Me and Nick no longer buy gifts for each other because we have already have everything we need or want. We just get a joy out of haveing our daughter at the house, baking, cooking and dinner with family. 

However, our daughter will purchase a couple gifts for us. We let her enjoy the spirit of giving. I want to show off a few things she got me for Christmas.

This very soft blanket I can snuggle with as I watch TV while curled up in my recliner.


This cool ring!


A Mud Pie brand Coffee Scoop 


And last but not least, this small cake stand from Pioneer Woman. 
I've already put some cookies in it to show it off.


I love it all. And Nick likes his socks and shirts. Ha.

Now Christmas is over. My decorations are taken down the next day and its back to work. 

For years I always do an annual New Years Dinner but I may skip it this year. It gets harder to get family together. Most of them will not even answer my invite therefore leaving me to guess if they are coming and resulting in lots of leftovers and a lot of empty place settings. It gets under my skin! It stresses me out and I say evey year that Im not doing it again, but I still do. I love doing New Years dinner mainly for my Mom and Dad. 

Will I do it again? Well see. Its only four days away and collards are hard to find around here. I normally cook up 8lbs! Along with 10 lbs of meat, 10 lbs of potatos, black eye peas and cobblers. I could cut that in half and save a lot of money if some of them would just say they are not comming instead of leaving me wondering. I would hate not to have enough. 
Im still leaning toward having just a quiet day off with my husband.

Missing Meemaws and Papaws

Its almost Christmas. But I'm missing my Grandparents right now. Growing up, I was young, they were old. I remember them though like it was yesterday but I was too young then to realize that I needed to spend more time with them for one day they would be gone.

I was in my teens and twenties when they all passed. One by one they left this Earth to be with Jesus. I didn't think about the pain my parents must have felt to loose them. I just remember the pain of loosing my grandparents. I never knew the real pain would hit in my 40's. There is so much I'd like to show them and talk to them about. I wished I would have sat down with my papaws and listened to more stories. I would love to have learned more about their life growing up.

Christmas time is here and I miss them so much at times like this. I remember my maternal grandparents used to have the biggest Christmas tree! It was filled with old ornaments and icicles. You could look at the tree all day and still find an ornament on there you didn't see before. My sisters and brothers and I would spend a lot of evenings there while my parents did their Christmas shopping. I remember spending several hours folding reader digest books so that Meemaw could later turn them into Mrs. and Mr. Santa Claus.

Christmas day all the cousins and Aunts and Uncles would meet at meemaws for Dinner. I can still hear my papaw calling me "his hound dog", and I can still smell the fried chicken coming from the kitchen as the family table was filled with food. Meemaw made the best and most moist cakes you could ever have. The ones I remember most is the strawberry cake and goulash cake made with fermented fruit.

Meemaw used to always have a gun drop tree we all would pick off of.


I never liked the spice gumdrops but it was fun taking them off the tree and eating them anyway. Then we would all rush into the living room for a wrapping paper frenzy as we tore into the presents that were awaiting for us under the tree.

Christmas eve is when we would spend time with my Paternal grandparents. There was always sweets on the table as cousins and aunts and uncles would all meet to share Christmas cheer. She also had a gumdrop tree we were not allowed to touch. I remember papaw would give us all a dollar for Christmas. This was a big deal as a dollar would by a toy at Kmart. He called me "Lether". He never could say "Lisa". He remember his cackling giggle when he would tell jokes. He couldn't hear well and we called him Mr. Magoo. That's who he reminded us of and he looked like him too.
Every time I'm around my daddy, I can see my Papaw in him. He is just like him in so many ways.
I sure do miss them all and wish they could be here. I guess we all feel like we should've spent more time with our grandparents.

Both of my parents work hard to keep up the family traditions of everyone getting together. It's cherished moments that can so easily slip by.


Every Christmas I like to bake some kind of goodies to pass out to my neighbors. It usually always consist of Boscotti. I enjoy making this Italian cookie. There are so many differnt flavors you can do. 

Biscotti is an Italian cookie- meanining "twice baked". 
Twice baked is exactly what it is. 

I use a basic recipe and add something different each time. So far my favorite is still the basic biscotti with Anise and vanilla flavoring. Then I add in some peacans, almonds or walnuts. I go nuts over nuts. I like them thrown into everything. 


This year besides the basic Pecan Biscotti, I made a batch of peppermint vanilla Biscotti. They turned out beautiful. Almost perfect I must say. After they cooled, I drizzeled them with white chocolate and crushed peppermint candy. My daughter said these will be perfect dipped in hot chocolate. I think shes right.


Speaking of chocolate, I also made a batch of chocolate Biscotti. I was dissapointed in the way these turned out. They came out too thick and crumbly with a slight gooey texture in the center. I knew I shouldn't have added the extra chocolate chips to them. Needless to say, they turned out ugly. I was ready to toss them in an old cookie jar and not share them. Then I drizzled them white chocolte I had left over from the mint ones. 
Hmmmm , ok so they dont look THAT bad. I went ahead and boxed them with the rest to give away. After all, the other ones were so pretty, the chocolate ones will just proove that they cant always be perfect. Not always. 


I will take a walk around the block and gives these away tonight as I wish them all a Merry Christmas. 

Vanilla Peppermint Biscotti

6 Tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
Dash of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
2 cups all all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease one large cookie sheet.

Beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, mint, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Mix the flour in (on low speed) and mix until smooth.
Place dough onto the prepared baking sheet and shape into one large or two small logs.
The dough is sticky so use a spatchla to shape and smooth the dough.

Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Reduce the heat to 325F.
Let the dough cool some and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
Separate the biscotti slices and lay them on their side.
Bake for 15 minutes. Flip them over and bake another 15 minutes.
Place on a rack to cool and store in an airtight container.

Christmas on Main-Memories

I always get giddy when my husband decides takes the route down Main Street on the way home. Ive always liked the look of the old buildings and fancy street lights. A lot has changed through the years. Some of the buildings have been torn down and replaced by parks or pavilions.

Christmas time down Main Street always brings back memories of the 70's. We lived in Belmont. Thanksgiving night was the night the town of Gastonia turned on the Christmas lights. Gastonia was about ten miles away. It was such a big deal. We piled up in dads Oldsmobile Station Wagon and headed up to Main Street. Its a small town with barely a quarter mile stretch, but as kid, it was ten miles long. The lights were strung across one side to the other. With the radio playing Christmas songs, cars would drive slow bumper to bumper. It was a big deal riding through the tunnel of lights. The cars would be full of kids with their heads hanging out of every window with smiles and wondering eyes. 

The town still decorates for Christmas but its not the same. Its sort of sad how the simple joys just dissapear as the world changes. I found a photo of the town at Christmas from the 50's. I was not there but it looked the same in the 70's except for the old cars of course. I had to pull out my cell phone and snap a photo from the same corner as the vintage photo was taken. 

Looks like they kept the tradition for quite a while. By the 80's, its all started trickling away. It takes a lot more now days to impress a child. Oh how I miss those simple days. 

THEN (daytime).

NOW (daytime)

Cold walk and Mistletoe

I slept in this morning. I didnt get up until 8:00. Im usually wide awake at 6:30 and will lay around until my fitbit alerts me to get up at 7:00 to go to work. Saturdays I try to sleep in but it usually never happens. My body seems to have its own clock..

When I got up this morning it was 31 degrees outside. I dont like to go outside if the temperature is below my age. I popped some english muffins in the toaster, poured a cup of coffee and snuggled up to my iPad for some reading and writing. 

After breakfast I did some laundry and walked a mile on the treadmill that we ended up pulling out of storage last week. Boring!!! 

I sat back down to another cup of coffee when I suddenly got an idea. I asked Nick if he would like to bundle up and take a walk up the road. "I know where some mistletoe is on a tree along side of the road". Ive had my eye on it all week as I drive by it each morning on the way to work. Im sure its within reach and would love to have some. 

He never turns down a walk so we bundled up and headed up the road. 

The tree was just two blocks away but before we stopped for the mistletoe, I suggested we go ahead and gets some miles in since I was warmed up a little. We ended up walking three miles. On the way home, we stopped at the tree. "Right there. You see it? Mistletoe!


It was a little far from reach but Nick was able to pull the limb down just enough for me to jump up, hang on and grab it off.


It was a nice bundle but no berries. There are no berries because its not been cold enough. Its also odd to find it growing low. 


It now hangs in the doorway of the living room. 
And for the record, Ive aready tried it out and it works.


Make Your Own Tortilla Chips

I always have flour tortillas in the house because I we have a tendency to make cheese quesadillas like they were grilled cheese sandwiches. 
They came in handy the other day when I needed chips for a dip I purchased and didn't want to head back to the store. 

I wasn't sure how to make my own but I had an idea, and it worked.

  • I grabbed a stack of about six or eight four tortillas
  • cut them in triangles
  • placed them in a single layer on a cookie sheet
  • sprayed them with olive oil spray
  • sprinkled a little salt on them
  • heated the oven to 350 degrees
  • and baked them for 15 minutes.
Wahlah! Just like that. I have the perfect chips to use in my spinach artichoke dip.

We had them all eat in no time and I had to make another batch.
They had a taste equivalent to a pita chip or cracker but the way they disappeared, you would think I made chocolate chip cookies.

You can enjoy them with dip or for a sweeter side, while they are still warm, roll in a cinnamon/ sugar mixture and drizzle with honey to make a Mexican dessert known as Sopapillas.

Personally, I think I will continue doing chips like this. They are a lot cheaper and healthier...Ok, maybe they are not any healthier but I can keep thinking that.

I Thought Wrong

I have several little vintage kitchen gadgets in my drawers. Many I still use today. I've used them for years, but I think I been doing it wrong.

After searching around on the internet yesterday, I realized I have been using some of these gadgets for the wrong reasons. I mean, they worked!

I have been using this nut chopper forever! It chops nuts to the perfect consistency for my homemade desserts and breads.  Well, I thought it was a nut chopper.

Its actually a biscuit cutter. Really? I mean, just how tough was dough back then? This gadget is extremely sharp! It also works to cut ravioli dough, dumplings and cookies.
I'm keeping it as a nut chopper.

This is a great gadget for Oranges. Mom taught this to me. I cut a hole right in the center of my orange and pull out the middle so I can squeeze and drink the orange right out of the rinds.

Its actually an apple corer and peeler. I always wondered what that slit was down the side. For now on, this might be the tool I need when I want to core my apples for baking. I usually use a knife and core a hole in the middle, fill with brown sugar and butter and microwave until soft and sweet. Then I will eat the apple right out of the skin. This gadget will be helpful after all.

I'm always using this nifty little sandwich cutter. It will cut any sandwich with no pressure at all. I also use it to cut pizza. Its better than the roller cutter.

It's actually a dough cutter. what? No way. Oh wait, pizza is dough. Right? OK maybe I got this one right.

Does anyone have any idea why there is a slicer/peeler in the center of it?

Ginger Bread Camper

I'm more excited than a seagull with a french fry about this Ginger Bread kit.

Its a Ginger Bread Camper!

I seen these online last month. After visiting every Walmart in town, I failed to find one. I saw plenty of gingerbread houses, trains and even ninja men. However, the campers were always sold out.

While doing a little grocery shopping the other night at Walmart, I lost my husband in the store. This is not unusual as we both end up going separate ways when we see something we want to look at. After a few minutes, he came around the corner hold nothing more than the gingerbread camper. He knew he found me a piece of gold as he was grinning from ear to ear. I was so excited.
OK I know, It doesn't take much to excite me.

I would normally wait on my daughter to come home to put together a project but I knew this one was a really small task that just one person could handle within a minute or two. 
Pfffhh, It took me an hour!


I have to say, tonight I learned I could never be a cake decorater. Decorating this thing was the hardest thing Ive done in a while. The icing would dry faster than I could spread it. It fell apart about three times beacause I don't follow instructions well, and the fact that I have the patience of a three year old. However, I had fun. 

I will let it sit out through Christmas.

What ya think? Cute huh?

I sent my daughter a photo and her response.....
" hahaha, Its pitiful but cute".

Do people really eat these things? Not me. I do not like the taste of ginger bread. Had it been a chocolate chip camper? It would only last long enough to take a photo.

Have you ever made a gingerbread house? 

I Won!

I don't believe in luck, but I've been pretty lucky blessed this year. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket. I've always said my luck is so bad "I can't even win anything out of a gumball machine". But I can't say that any more after this past year has been in my favor with a few surprises. My latest? I won a prize in a recent blog giveaway.

I have been following this cute little blog called "Summer Daisy Cottage".

Recently she did a post series called "Island Mystery".
Now you know I was all into that as she shared many cool features of a paradise island she was living on.
Each post of interesting facts would give clues to where she was living. At the the end of the series, readers took the hints she had shared to guess where it was. The ones that guessed correctly were put in a drawing to win a prize.

I guessed right! She lives on an Island in Jamaica. I'm jealous of her right now. How wonderful it would be to wake up to the smell and feel of the the islands hitting you in the face each day.

Anyhow, I'm now the winner and owner of this cute little butter dish by The Pioneer Woman.


Thanks Summer! It will hold a special little place in my heart and on my table. I love all of the dishes and kitchen essentials by The Pioneer Woman so this was the perfect gift for me. I didn't, until now, have a covered dish for my butter. With the poinsettia pattern it will look great adorning my table during Christmas meal times and my annual New Years feast I host for my entire family.

I encourage you all to hop over and check out her blog "Summer Daisy Cottage". She has started another series of post called "Coconut Diaries". She will share her island life, activities and foods from the Island.

Her post are fun to follow as they are often short and sweet and will put a little smile in your day.

Butterscotch Poppy Seed Cake

This past weekend Mom hosted the annual family Christmas dinner. It is sort of like a family reunion I guess you can say. Mom and her brothers and sister take turns each year hosting this get together. I get to see aunts, uncles, and cousins that I don't get to see throughout the year. The grownups don't realize that all of us cousins are Facebook friends. Ha. However, I do have a cousin my age that is the closet to me. We see each other several times during the summer as her family and mine vacation at the same campground. They are just as obsessed with the beach as we are. We have a lot to talk about when we see each other.

Anyway, back to the dinner. Everyone brings a dish or two to share. We cover three six foot tables with food! Its hard on me while maintaining my weight loss. I try to take it easy.
Just kidding, I had three desserts. I couldn't help myself. It was all so good.

I was in a pinch for time in making a dish for the occasion . I ended up making a broccoli salad and a butterscotch poppy seed cake. 
I used my all time favorite bunt pan. It's old and worn. It works better than any of my newer pans.


This cake is so easy to make and perfect for a last minute decision. I have made it several times for luncheons and church gatherings. 
The butterscotch poppy seed cake is always a hit and goes fast. There is no need to ice it. Its good right out of the oven.

It turned out almost perfect dontcha think?  

I like it warm with a glass of milk or cup of coffee. 


Here is the recipe. Enjoy.

Butterscotch Poppy Seed Cake.

1 Box yellow cake mix.
1 Cup water.
3/4 Cup veggie oil.
2 packages INSTANT butterscotch pudding.
2 teaspoons poppy seeds.

Grease bunt pan.
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix everything together for 2 minutes (until well mixed). Add in poppy seeds.
Bake 45 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.  

 Now I'm back to eating healthy, at least until Christmas.

Blogging Day


Its one of those days. The weather is drab. It's cold and its raining. Now I'm not going to complain about the rain. We went 50 days without any tears from heaven. Finally, we got some rain.

Its a good blogging day. But have this wondering look in my eyes as I'm trying to come up with something to blog about. My husband is talking but im in a different land at the moment. Thinking. I have nothing.
Well, I made a cake this past weekend, I suppose I could write about that. I went shopping too, not much to blog about there except for the cute little coffee mug I just had to purchase. You can see it in the photo above. Isn't it the cutest thing ever? I needed another mug like I need a hole in my head. (says the husband).

So here I am snuggled up in my pjs with my coffee and iPad. I sip and read my morning blog reads. We no longer get a subscription to the daily news paper. I don't care to read all the bad news that they choose to make news. I have resorted to reading blog post. Its comforting to see what others are up to and reading about happy moments. I have blog friends from all over. Some are as close as the next town over to as far as Pakistan.

Some of my blogger friends share stories of their daily life while others post about a new recipe or how they decorated their home or plow their gardens. My mind can be set in Florida or San Francisco.

Speaking of bloggers. My friends daughter has started a blog. Butlerlifeblog  I encourage you to pop over and show her blog some love. All you bloggers out there know its easier and more fun to blog when you know people are reading. I'm interested to see where she goes with it.

Well that's enough about blogging with nothing to blog about. Come back later. I have a cake recipe to share soon.

FYI: Cup was purchased at Francesca's in Charlotte N.C.

Crochet House Slippers

I love to wear my bedroom slippers around the house. However, I sometimes run outside to get something out of the car, pet the dog next door, or retrieve the mail. I will throw my flip flops on not to mess up my soft fluffy slippers that are often curled up in the chair with me. I want to keep those clean.
I had been eyeballing some cute little house slipper patterns on Pinterest. They are crocheted to the bottom of a pair of dollar store flip flops. This saves time on crocheting a sole and makes great slip-ons to run outside. Besides that, they are actually cute, dontcha think? This was my first attempt.

I could not understand most of the patterns I read and tried to follow. (I'm a lefty so I have to read all the patterns backwards). After several attempts, I got rather aggravated and closed the computer lid. Though I used ideas from other patterns, I combined some together and made up a pattern that worked for me. I am not a pattern writer so I hope you can understand my instructions. I'm not selling it, I'm sharing it for anyone who would like to attempt the task.

Size don't matter and I didn't stitch count.

Ok,so they are not perfect,
I actually messed up on these by starting in too far on the sole as seen on the left foot. This made the left slipper slightly smaller and it made a difference.

If your an experienced crocheter, You can change the pattern up to your preference.

Here goes...

*Grab a Pair flip flops- Cut off the straps and pop out the hole plugs.


*Use a sharp needle or object to poke holes about 1/4 inches apart all the way around going in from the top and out half way to the outside edge. (This loom knit needle worked perfect).


*Using your smallest crochet hook (I used a C2), Starting at the center back of the heel, insert your hook and pull a loop of yarn through (from the top) and slip stitch all the way around. Join into the beginning hole. Chain 1.


Use larger hook for remaining crochet. (I used a G hook)

Rnd 1-4: sc around, join, ch 1 (do not turn). Now you have 4 rounds of single crochet. 

Find the center point of the toe end. count back 20 stitches down the side your working on, and place a stitch marker.

Rnd 5: Ch 2, dc in each stitch to the stitch marker, dc2tog 20 times, 1 dc in each st around to the beginning ch 2, sl st in top of beginning ch 2.
Rnd 6: Ch 2, dc in each stitch to the stitch marker, dc2tog 10 times, 1 dc in each st around to the beginning ch 2, sl st in top of beginning ch 2. 
Rnd 7: Ch 1, sc in each stitch to the stitch marker, sc2tog 6 times, 1 sc in each st around to the beginning ch 1, sl st in top of beginning ch 1. 
Rnd 8: sc around tie off.

Now that I have accomplished this pair, I think I will make a pair with a color I like better. I'm not a fan of purple but this was just a cheap yarn I found laying around. It worked up great but I'd rather use the "I love this Yarn" brand. Its a little softer and easier to work with.

You can sell what you make with this pattern but please do not sell the pattern. ITS MINE.
If you make a pair of slippers using my pattern, I would love to know how it turned out for ya. Comment below or email me a photo. Thanks!!

Cheese Ball

You can't have a party without a cheese ball can ya? I love any kind of cheese!  Bring on the crackers!

I love to make these cheese balls. Its a recipe I inherited from my late Mother in law. For my husbands sake, I try to keep the memories of some of her recipes going. I know they will never turn out as good as she did them, but I try. I've yet to attempt making her chex mix snacks. We do not need all that salt.

This cheese ball is easy to make but hard on the wallet. This recipe makes one large cheese ball, but by doubling it, you can make three slightly smaller cheese balls. So I guess its not all that bad as long as you can find pecans on sale. 


Here is how you do it:

2- 8oz block cream cheese
3 1/2 cups- shredded sharp cheese
dab- Worcestershire sauce
1 small jar of dried beef ( finely chopped)
1 pack of Ranch dressing mix

Mix all together until smooth textured, form into a ball and roll in nuts to coat.

Refrigerate till ready to use or can be frozen and taken out the morning or night before you need it. 


They make great gifts for friends or neighbors. Just wrap in wax paper or in a pastry bag like I did and put a bow on it! Enjoy!