Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Countdown is On!

I had a wonderful Christmas, surrounded by family & friends.  I'm hoping your Holiday was everything you wished it to be, too!

Now, the countdown to the new year begins.  I have lots of cleanup & putting away to do.  I also have to decide how we will spend New Year's Eve.  I'm leaning toward a quiet family night of snacks & games.  How about you?

This will be my final post for the year.  I'll see you all in 2012! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,"  which is translated, “God with us.”   
Matthew 1:23 NKJV

Dear Friends,

This Christmas, may you experience Hope, Peace & Love;
all of the joys that God's greatest gift to us represents!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh! What fun it is to...par-tay! :)

This past Wednesday was our RazzMaTazz (Tupperware) Sales Organization's Year-end Luncheon.  I love a good party, and this was the BEST I've attended in a long time!  Twelve (yes, 12!) hours of celebration & recognition!  Every minute from 11 am to 11 pm was packed with so much fun, I am still smiling about it!

My dear friend and Director, Stephanie, had a jam-packed day planned for us!  This woman is a fabulous leader, generous beyond belief, and she loves each of us unconditionally!  Steff opened her home to us and she knows how to entertain!  How could we NOT have a wonderful day?

The day was planned  like this:

First, Leadership Luncheon for 26 of us!  We brought the appetizers, Steff and her husband provided a Prime Rib lunch.  Yum!

Here's my contribution to the appetizers.  Individual shrimp cocktails in TW Midgets.  These are so easy and great for a mix & mingle party.

Here are a couple of photos of  Steff's living room set up for lunch.

Next, we had individual recognition.  I recieved  one of three "Partier of the Year" awards.  It was a sparkly pin, which I'll show in a later photo.  We also had a gift exchange and an auction.  Steff awards "Miss Moneybags"  cash to us throughout the year for our achievements.  Then, at the year end party we get to spend it on items she collects for us. 

The next two photos are of the auction tables.

I bid on & won the wine chiller and a gift basket of bath products.  I still have auction bucks to start out the new year, too!

Next on the agenda, for 12 of us, was a Shopapalooza!  We won the opportunity to shop (with Steff's money) as a reward for sales and recruiting during August.  We met at a local outdoor shopping galleria, split into 2 teams, of six each.  I was captain of one team, chosen by random drawing.  Each team was given $150 dollars to spend on 6 gifts, in two hours.  We had to shop for things that represented the word "DREAMS", and make up a skit to go with them.  The team who spent the closest to $150 without going over "won".  My team did it!  We spent $149.52, the other team spent $149.23...close, eh?  Let me tell you, it is NOT easy to get 6 women to agree on 6 gifts.  It is a lot of fun, though!

At the end of the 2 hours, we met at a restaurant in the galleria for appetizers and drinks, AND to have Steff draw names for the gifts we had just purchased.  I told you she was generous!  After each team did their little skit to show what they had purchased, tickets were pulled and when your name was called, you got to choose from any of the 12 gifts.  No photos, sorry.  My camera decided to run out of juice, and I didn't think of my phone. :(

Finally, Steff handed us all movie tickets to see "New Years Eve" at the theater around the corner!  We all piled into the cars rushed to make the next show.  What a great movie!  The story was wonderful.  As it unfolded, more stars kept showing up! 

I had the most fabulous day!  And I certainly had a bunch of stuff to haul home!

Here are my goodies.  I am so thankful to be part of a business and sales team that treats me so well!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We interrupt this blog for a short commercial...

Happy Tuesday!  Today, I am writing as your Tupperware consultant. 

When Tupperware releases a sale that is too good NOT to share, I share! :)  There's a chance to win too!  Read to the end.

We're talking about the most expensive food product most of us have in our kitchens.  Do you know what that product is?  It is the Spices & Dried Herbs you have on your shelf.  Depending on where you live, and the type, these can cost $8 to $10 an ounce. 

They also last about 6 months, with normal storage.  You take the top off a jar of spices, remove the airtight, tamper-proof seal, and the replace the top.  The container is no longer air-tight.  The biggest enemies of your spices & herbs are, light, heat & air!  (Never store your spices above or next to the stove.) You can add bugs in there, too!  They are especially fond of paprika and chili powder products.

If you have had to replace or purchase new spices as you began your seasonal baking and cooking, you know how costly it can be.   

Enter the Tupperware Spice Shakers & Carousel.

Complete Spice Shaker Set with Carousel

These containers are on sale for at a 40% discount!  They have features that will help you store spices in an organized manner AND keep them fresh up to 10X longer! 
  • Virtually liquid & air-tight
  • Frosted sides help diffuse light
  • Clear front panel for easy ID of contents
  • Seal has a shaker side & a pour/scoop side
  • Stackable
  • Set contains 8 1-cup & 8 1/2-cup shakers
  • Carousel fits in most standard cabinets.
The complete set is $47 (save $32).  You can also purchase the shakers without the carousel, in sets of 4.  The 1-cup shakers are $11 (save $8) and the 1/2-cup shakers are $9 (save $6).

****Now for the fun part!**** 
Order a:
  • Complete Spice Shaker Set,
  • any sets of shakers,
  • or ANY product
from this link: http://bit.ly/spiceshakerparty (an online party) before Friday Dec. 30, 2011 @ 12 noon PST, and I'll place your name in a drawing to be Host of this party.  You'll receive the host Thank You Gift, Host Credits to spend and any 1/2 price items earned by the party sales. Sorry, this drawing is available for US residents only.

Merry Christmas to You!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Photo at Night

Alrighty, then!  I read the book, er...the on-camera help, to learn how to shoot a "night scene".  

Living Room Mirror

First thing you'll notice is that I can't hold the camera still.  My camera is so old, I guess it doesn't have that auto-focus feature?  Second I didn't pay too much attention to the composition.  See the electrical cord by the plant stand?  I should have tucked it away. 

All in all, this is the first time I have been even THIS successful.  I am determined to learn!  Maybe a new camera is in order.  'Tis the season, you know...

Maybe, I'll try to capture a daytime shot so you can really see this vignette. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Busy Week!

It all started with our RazzMaTazz Tupperware Holiday Cooking School on Monday night.  About three times a year, our sales organization presents a cooking school as a thank you to our hosts, customers & the public. 

We have idea tables (gift ideas, new recipes, etc.) and tasting stations before the program begins.  Then, after everyone has arrived & is registered, we proceed with demos for several recipes.

I prepared most of the food for tasting and did the main cooking demo.  I've added a few photos of the evening.  I don't have a photo of my demo, but it was recorded and will turn up on YouTube, eventually.  I'll let you know when it does, if you care to see it. :) 

I taught Investment Cooking, making Stuffed Bell Peppers from our Basic Beef Freezer Mix.  The idea of investment cooking is to "invest" a few extra $$ grocery shopping, and a few hours on a weekend to prepare a basic beef or chicken freezer mix, which provides 6-8 meals during the month.

Provolone-Pesto Terrine - Recipe: http://bit.ly/rEfWki

Red Velvet Trifle

Red Velvet Trifle - Side View

Yesterday, I hosted a Tea for our Women's Small Group Bible Study Leaders.  I baked and prepared for two days.  The menu: Cucumber & Egg Salad Sandwiches, Ham & Cheese Hasty Hots, Cinnamon-Pecan Scones, Fruit Salad and Fruitcake. Teas served: Darjeeling, Milk Oolong & Tropical Savannah.  (All can be purchased HERE, at my friend Amy's website.)  

Table Setting - Need to Straighten Tablecloth :(

Tea Pots Ready for Tea

Food - Consumption in Progress...

I have had a fun week, but I'm pooped!  I'm NOT cooking today, either.  The hubs can throw a steak on the BBQ...

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Few Photos

I made an attempt at taking photos of some of my Christmas decorations again.  These are better than the first one, still not great.  I'm looking into digital camera classes after Christmas!

By the way, my husband says all I need to do is "read the book".  Might try that too. :o)

Mantel Shelf

Dining Room Buffet - Still trying to find short gold candles for the angels.

My Santa Collection, So Far :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Sermon

It's a busy time of year!

Yesterday, I had a conversation about "busy-ness "with my daughter.  I was busy finishing the Christmas decorations, and she was cutting out her 5th sewing project for the season.  She had her school's staff party to attend last night, I have my Tupperware Cooking School Demo to prepare for Monday night.  My daughter, like her mother is prone to over-extending herself!

I have to admit, that neither of us was feeling the JOY.  How easy is it to get off track; to lose sight of the meaning of this season?  I, (we) should know better!

I have a little Hallmark book titled "God Always Has a Plan B".  I often turn to it for inspiration, and as part of my quiet time.  I was drawn to it this morning, and landed on the chapter "for providing rest for the weary". Imagine that?  Amazing, our God!

The page begins with a quote by Thomas à Kempis, "First, keep peace within yourself; then you can also bring peace to others". 

As I read on, I was reminded by the author, that to be at my best, to be healthy, to truly enjoy life, I must make time to rest my body, mind and spirit!  Five hours of sleep, no exercise, and a distracted 10 minutes of devotional time aren't going to do it!

Come to me, all you who are
weary and burdened,
and I  will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Mantel

I am posting a (lousy) photo of my mantel shelf.  There are just a few minutes during the day, when the light is just right, where you can see the candle glow & the the other stuff on the shelf.  I was in a hurry...

I have had my digital camera for years, and still don't know how to use it. :(   Obviously.  I thought I was taking a photo, but I was actually using the video feature.  Duh!  My daughter was able to capture a shot from the video, and that is what you see here.  Tomorrow, I will post again, with a better photo & the decor on the chest below it.  I should have the rest of the decor done by then too.

I wanted to thank you all for the opinions you gave me!  In the end, I added the greenery, etc. below the shelf & that helped a lot.  As you can see, I did leave the squirrel & the deer.  We live in the country, and these critters are our real life visitors every day.  Also, the patterns on the red transferware are country scenes. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Are you hooked on Pinterest yet?  I love to visit and "pin" there, although, I am trying to limit the time doing so.  I could literally get caught up for hours!

Today, I am sharing afew Christmas pins that I think are pretty special.  Enjoy!

Too cute:

I am working on a version of this one:

Source: bhg.com via Christine on Pinterest

Red & White = Love:

Source: bhg.com via Christine on Pinterest

Marshmallow Wreath:

I NEED this gate:

Source: bhg.com via Christine on Pinterest

Christmas Bread Wreath:

Plaid Christmas Cookies:

Christmas Mantel:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Opinions, please?

Is that a dangerous request? :)

I need help with a couple of things.  First, below are a couple of photos of some things I purchased recently.  The bird plates came from Tuesday Morning, and cost only $3.99 each!  Score!  I have a place for them, just need to get them put up. 

Here's a close up of the cute little bottles.  I purchased them from Nell Hill's a while back.  Not exactly sure where I'll be using them, but I do want them in this year's Christmas decor.

The one with the bow came with a sheet music scroll in side.  I'm wondering if I should fill the others with something?  If so, what would that be?  It would have to be small, since the openings are small.  I was thinking pearls or crystals.  Maybe tiny evergreens or berries would work? 

What do you think?  Yes, I really want to know.

Now for dilemma #2.  I am working on my mantel shelf (no fireplace).  I am not done yet, but I keep looking at it and something is wonky.  It might be the swag.  Is it not big enough?  I love the purple-reddish bow, but it might be too dark?  I have a more greenery, lights, a fabric banner (which I am still Sewing) to add to the bottom.  Just can't get past this point. 

Again, I want to know what you think.  I know all you creative gals are going to have some great ideas. Bring 'em on! Please...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Sermon

Our church women's ministry held its annual Christmas dinner on Friday night.  We had a wonderful time of fellowship & fun.  The theme of the evening was "Christmas Presence". 

The skit was a reminder that the true present of Christmas is God's Presence, given to us as a baby born in a stable; Emmanuel, "God with us"!

Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Napkin Folding, Christmas Style

Disclaimer:  The color of the napkins used here, should be reversed.  The red napkin which should be the flower (Poinsettia) was not sturdy enough to hold it's shape.  Of course, I had no spray starch, which helps immensely!  So, just use your imagination and pretend, ok? :)

These are two very easy napkin folds, combined.  The leaves are a Pinwheel fold.  Instructions HERE.  The flower is the Lotus or Rose fold, which I pulled up to form deeper petals.  Instructions HERE.  Add a lighted votive and...

Here is the result. Came up with this for a Tupperware training last night.  Now I'm going to use it myself! :)

What do you do with TWO napkins?  One for dinner; one for dessert!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Now, MY Project

I originally scheduled last weekend's trip to Angel Quilters in order to get some advice from the very creative & knowledgeable women who work there.  As you know from my last post, we accomplished some shopping for my daughter too!  I was able to spend a few minutes with the gals, and got my questions answered.

Yesterday, I began my project.  It started with old fabric samples that I used in my redecorating business.  I have about 20 books and rings of these swatches, all color coordinated.  Doesn't this look like a project just waiting to happen?

I spent most f the afternoon, laying and re-laying the swatches into a design that I thought was just right.  The future recipient of this soon-to-be "throw" decorates with lots of green, so I mostly used those swatches, adding in rosy-pinks & some blues. 

I am telling you, this was definitely the hardest part!  First, I am a very novice quilter.  I have made clothing for myself, sewed slipcovers & drapes, pillows, etc.  Laying out a "crazy quilt" is another thing entirely!  I'll have to add several rows & columns as I get the swatches cut to remove the metal ring and stiff paper at each end.  Then, there will be more editing of the colors/layout.

When I finally quit working on it after supper, it looked like this. 

Guess how I am spending my day? :)  I am actually having fun with this, and who knows what I might think of to use the rest of the swatches!

Any ideas?