Creating a Life of Fun, Comfort and Bliss

Hey! New ideas to inspire you in your life. Crafts, Food, Music, Holiday Ideas and Decorating Tips! Check it out! Let's have some fun!


Decorating for Valentine's Day is something most of us don't take the time to do. However, it is fun and easy to put some hearts and splashes of pink and red somewhere in your space and it creates a feeling of whimsey!

Sweet Little Valentine's Pies for Two

Baked in mini mason jars, these little beauties are easy and delish!

Make Your Own Valentine's Day Shirt 


Fun game to play and you use valentine conversation hearts as markers! Free Print Out Here:

Red Velvet Brownie Truffles

What?! These moist truffles are amazing. Recipe is for you here:

Valentine's Place Setting Be creative and make a special, romantic dinner for two or a whimsical party for kiddos using festive holiday items. Michael's Craft store and Walmart have many choices for table decor.

Crate & Barrel Valentine's Tablewear $6.95 Each 

Valentines Brownies These gorgeous brownies are absolutely delectable! Recipe: 

MOVIE: VALENTINE'S DAY                                   Rent This Movie! Very fun flick, Valentine's Day, filled with celebrities and very sweet stories! 

Chocolate Dipped Valentine Pretzels
Great Valentine Recipe from Loving From the Oven. Recipe here:
Flowers, Flowers, Flowers!
So easy and oh so cute! Put small plants in baskets or bags and trim with hearts & ribbons. Great for home decor or a surprise for a friend.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
You can't go wrong with these beauties for any holiday and they are especially perfect for Valentine's Day!

Hand Print Canvas = Sweet Sign for the Home 

If you are an artist or crafty at all, this is a darling sign to make with the handprints of a special child in your life. Directions are here:



Hot Chocolate Bar
I just love this arrangement and so easy to set up for a party! Details are on the Dear Lillie Blog here

Almond & Cheese Pinecone


  • 1 1/4 cups whole almonds (I like Emerald’s)
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 6 pieces bacon, cooked, crumbled
  • 1 T Dillweed
  • 2 T chopped green onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sprigs, for garnish


  • 1

    Mix together the cream cheese and the mayonnaise. Add the bacon, salt and pepper, dill, and onion. Chill overnight.

  • 2

    On a serving platter, make 2 pine cone shapes with the cheese. Begin to press the almonds at a slight angle into the cheese, starting at the narrow end of the pine cone shape.

  • 3

    Do this in rows, continuing to overlap rows until all the cheese is covered. Garnish with fake sprigs, or real ones, or with rosemary.

  • 4

    Serve at room temperature and spread on crackers.A

Stocking Pillow Using Baby Socks

Use baby socks on the front of a pillow to jazz it up! So cute and so many color scheme possibilities. Directions at Dimples and Tangles Blog. 

Merry Christmas from Ryan Gosling           

Holiday Music Theme Mantle 

The fresh greenery tucked into a gorgeous array of antiqued finish candle holders makes this cluster of decor nostalgic and elegant. All items from Pottery Barn.

Cheesecake Mousse with Raspberry Sauce          Recipe Here:

Capture Santa in a Photo by YOUR Tree!

Brownie Ornaments

Simply bake brownie batter inside metal cookie cutters and trim with candies. 

JOY Wall Arrangement

Purchase and paint a, "J," and a, "Y," to hang beside a wreath of any kind to spell out JOY. Easy and Happy! 

Sophia Straight Leg Slacks in Color Block.                                            These will set you back $69 at

Whimsical Stairwell Decor  

Mini Tree on the stairs, faux gifts and greenery make this a lovely staged area for the holidays!

Festive Doggie

Trim a regular collar with ribbon and hot glued pom poms! So Cute 

Christmas Lanterns 

Hand paint old lanterns and fill with greenery and candles for instant indoor or outdoor decor.

Bacon Cheese Wreath with Holly

Recipe Here:  

Table Trimming!

Love This Idea! Tuck Silverware in festive stockings and stand in clear glasses! So simple and cute! 


Candy Corn Cake


1 box white cake mix                                                                                 1 box chocolate cake mix                                                                            3 containers white frosting (or three cups)                                                   1 container chocolate frosting (or 1 cup)                                            Optional: Orange extract


Bake chocolate cake in 8in round cake pan. One cake will be used, so you can wrap the other 8in round cake and place in freezer. For the white and orange layers, simple prepare white cake batter as you normally would. Divide batter in half and tint one half orange. (Add orange extract if you wish) Bake white cake batter in 8in cake pan and bake orange cake batter in 8in cake pan. For frosting, take one container of white frosting and tint it orange.

To assemble cake: Place chocolate cake on cake stand. Place thin layer of chocolate frosting. Place orange layer on top and cover in thin layer of orange frosting. Finally, place white cake on top and decorate as you wish.

Clever Use of Pumpkins Will JAZZ Up Your Buffet! 


Witches Curtain: Lay a heavy-duty black garbage bag flat on a work surface, open end toward you. With scissors, cut 1 1/2-inch vertical strips from the bottom, stopping a few inches from the top. Cut open one side seam, then unfold bag. Use masking tape or tacks to hang. Then, with hands a few inches apart, grasp each strand and pull; stretch strands for a decrepit effect.

Easy Autumn Snack Mix for Home or Gifts

All the ingredients are store-bought. Easy, peasy! Grab a big bowl and dumped in cheese crackers, salted peanuts, and pretzel squares.  Then add the sweet stuff: Reese's pieces, candy corn, honey nut cheerios, and cocoa puffs. Put mix into jars with festive ribbon and there you go!

Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate

This white hot chocolate has all the flavors of gooey cinnamon buns: warm brown sugar, fragrant vanilla, toasted pecans, and of course a generous helping of cinnamon. Click Here for recipe:

Very Easy Sweet Treats for Tots!

Smores to go, cotton candy spider webs, crepe paper wrapped mummy candy bars with googley eyes and faces on clementines for the kiddos! Easy & CUTE!

Glitzy Halloween Buffet in Purple & Green

This fabulous layout by Hostess with the Mostess website including the recipe for these awesome cupcakes! 

Ghoulish Smoldering Punch for the Party

Eyeball candy on licorice rocks creates a striking, edible party tableau under the cider punch. The fog drifting off the drink comes from the dry ice placed in a heavy metal cup set down in the punch. Dry ice is extremely cold; handle it with tongs. From Midwest Living


Red, White & Blue Sangria


2 bottles dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is good) 1 cup triple sec 1/2 cup berry-flavored vodka 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup simple syrup (see tips below) 1 cup blueberries 1 1/2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries 1 cup raspberries 1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks


Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl or pitcher and stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve well-chilled with a good scoop of fruit floating in each drink, or serve over ice.


*To make 1/2 cup simple syrup, boil 1/2 cup water and add 1/2 cup granulated white sugar. Turn heat to simmer and stir until dissolved. Turn off the heat and let cool. Now it's simple syrup! *Use fresh fruit for this recipe. Frozen just won't be great. *To make star-shaped pineapple pieces, cut long & wide pieces of pineapple off the side of the fresh fruit. Use a star cutter to cut shapes.

Bandana Napkins 

Tuck red & blue bandanas into mason jars with utensils.

Dazzling Ensemble for the Fourth

Adorable 2 Piece Set at Fantasia wear! Only $37 Find it here: 

Fly Your Flags 

Easy decor for outdoor areas: Tuck flags into large plants or ferns for festive flair! 

 Patriotic Oreo & Pretzel Cookie Bark

Cover your cookie sheet with parchment paper. Just crush up about a dozen Oreo cookies and several hand fulls of pretzels. I used vanilla melts from the bulk food section of my grocery store or you can buy the Wilton Melts at the craft store (about l lbs worth.)

Melt the chocolate in the microwave and then pour over the top of the broken cookies and pretzels. Sprinkle with M&M’s and then with red, white and blue sprinkles. 

Let the chocolate harden and then break into pieces, place in a pretty container and enjoy.

Party Favors

Wrap red licorice with patriotic strips of scrapbook paper!

Red Velvet July 4th Trifle


   1 box red velvet cake mix, about 18 ounces 

   1 (16-ounce) tub whipped topping

   2 pints blueberries

   1 pint strawberries, tops removed


Bake the red velvet cake mix according to package directions and allow to cool. Using a serrated knife cut the red velvet cake into 1 inch square pieces and line the bottom of the trifle bowl with half of the cake squares. Using a spatula, spread about a 2-inch layer of whipped topping on top of the cake squares. Layer about 1 1/2 pints of the blueberries on top of whipped topping. Layer the remaining cake pieces on top of the blueberries forming a second layer of cake. Using a spatula, spread remaining whipped topping over the cakes pieces. Decorate the perimeter with the strawberries; placing the strawberries cut side down. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top of the trifle inside the strawberry perimeter.

 Party Favors

Place sparklers, a mini flag, & treats in a patriotic cup!

Berry Festive Strawberries

Dip strawberries in melted white chocolate & roll in stars or drizzle with red stripes.

Blackboard Yard Sign

Using a blackboard for outdoor signage is fun and you can use red & blue chalk.

Layered Parfaits

Layer vanilla yogurt, blueberries, & strawberries in parfait glasses for a special afternoon treat!

Let Freedom Ring Pops!

Blueberry Pie

Use a cookie cutter to cut out stars for the crust    of your Blueberry Pie!


Springtime Floral Satin Chemise, $25 

CRAFT: Rainbow Tulle Cake Skirt 

Gather up multi colored tulle and staple the edges together. Place on cake stand and cover with a clear glass plate to weight it down. WHIMSICAL and CUTE for any party! 

Refreshing Spritzer

Mix 1 bottle of white wine with 3 cans of Fresca and add fresh cut Fruit. Delish! 

I cannot say enough about this NEW WEBSITE! You create bulletin boards of all your favorite things. It has helped me know myself better, solved household problems, provided new recipes & craft projects and generally improved the quality of my life. I LOVE IT!   And I am ADDICTED! You MUST check it out! Below is a project that I was motivated to do because of the ideas on Pinterest. I have always needed a way to organize my jewelry! The sign came from TJ Maxx and was $3. I painted over it with black and made my own sign. The iron bird hook came from the thrift store, was $3 and I spray painted it with black enamel. Both of the swirl hooks came from Hobby Lobby and I spray painted them with black. They were $7 total. The organizer bags came from Michaels and were $7. I love how it turned out! The artwork was done years ago by my sweet daughter, Amanda.

LADYBUG Crackers


            2 ounces cream cheese, softened

            2 tablespoons sour cream

            Black paste food coloring

            1/2 teaspoon minced chives

            1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

            1/8 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

            36 butter-flavored crackers

            18 cherry tomatoes, quartered

            18 large pitted ripe olives

            72 fresh chive pieces (about 1-1/2 inches long)


            In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Remove 1 tablespoon to a small bowl and tint black. Place tinted cream cheese mixture in a small plastic bag; set aside.

            Add the chives, garlic salt and parsley to the remaining cream cheese mixture. Spread over crackers. Arrange two tomato quarters on each for the ladybug wings.

For heads, halve the olives widthwise; place one half on each cracker. Insert two chives into olives for antennae. Use tinted cream cheese mixture to pipe spots onto wings. 

Yield: 3 dozen.


CRAFT: Custom T Shirt Design

Put wax paper right under the top layer of the shirt, so the bleach will not bleed through. Draw freehand with the bleach pen! Let the bleach sit for about 10-15 minutes on each shirt (you may need to leave the bleach gel on for longer, depending on the the fabric and dye that was used by the manufacturer, it may take much longer). Watch as the colors start changing and when you like what you see, rinse the bleach off under running water.


DIY Springtime Decor

Submerse elegant spring florals beneath water in clear glass vases. So very easy to do and it creates a super gorgeous trio of centerpieces!

CRAFT: Message Board

Paint a cookie pan with blackboard paint. Trim with a different color paint. Add a bow or embellishments and you now have a pretty cute message board that you can also use magnets on! 

Perfect Springtime Bliss in this beautiful dress! Carthage Queen White Dip Dye Dress, $49 

Ingredients You Will Want For Your Brown Sugar Scrub

  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Oil 
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E (I cut open a couple Vitamin E liquid gel caps)
  • 1/2-1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Combine and put in a glass jar!


Chickie Eggs

Instead of traditional stuffed eggs, try these cuties! Cut off the end, refill with your egg mixture. Put the, "hat," on and use olives and carrot to make a chick face! Sure to garner smiles all around! 

 LISTEN: Diana Krall, "Love Scenes." Sinatra style covers. Soothing, indeed.

CRAFT: Easter Bunny Smores Jars


1. Reduce 1 sleeve graham crackers to crumbs.

2. Layer 2/3 of the crumbs in a 1 quart jar.

3. Place 8 marshmallow bunny peeps standing up, facing out around the inside of the jar.

4. Press them up against the glass, but don't squash them.

5. Carefully spoon remaining crumbs in the center of the jar to support the bunnies, pressing down to keep it snug.

6. On top of this pour 1-1/4 cup Easter M&M's.

7. Spoon 1/3 cup brown sugar into center of M&M's, gently pressing with a spoon.

Attach a gift tag giving the following instructions:

1. Empty the jar contents into a bowl. Snip the bunnies into bits with kitchen sheers or cut up with a knife. Return the bunny bits to the mixture. Mix well.

2. Melt 1/2 cup butter; add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour this over the dry ingredients, mixing well. Pat into a greased 9" square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. (Makes 9 to 12 bars.)

CRACK Potatoes

Yes. You read it right! They are called, "Crack Potatoes!" They are very, very addictive, easy to make and always a hit!


8-10 cups of hash-browns

1 cup of cream of onion soup

1 cup of cream of chicken soup

2 cups of cheddar cheese

3 dollops of sour cream

2 tbs of butter

5-8 tbs of milk- add enough to make it creamy

S and P to taste

crispy onions or corn flakes for topping


First take out your glass pan and add your soups, butter, and sour cream. Mix together well. Now add in your hash-browns and mix together. Add in your milk to make sure the mixture is all over the Hash-browns. Now add in your cheese and mix. Last add your salt and pepper to what you like. Add your onions or corn flakes on top and bake in oven on 350 for 2 hours or until bubbly.



Summertime Tunes with Katy Perry

Create a Backyard Sanctuary

Your summer outdoor space should be a place for complete relaxation! Use andirondack chairs or rockers with bright cushions to create several informal seating areas. Add containers of plants and all you need is a cold glass of lemonaid!

Make Your Own Frangrant Bath Salts

  • One part Epsom salts (also known as Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate)
  • 3 parts coarse sea salt
  • Lavender essential oil or any essential oil of your choice (1ml of essential oil for each 100g of the finished product)


1. Fill the container 3/4 full with coarse sea salt and then top it up with epsom salts. You can, of course, use the weighing scales to get the ratio right. Put the salts in your mixing bowl and carefully add your oil.

2. Stir the mixture, ensuring the addition of the oil has not created lumps in the salt, and spoon the mixture into the jam jar.

3. Leave to stand (with the lid on) for 24 hours so the fragrance will permeate the salts

Relax with Victoria Magazine

Want a great read for Summer? Victoria magazine is chocked full of decor ideas, recipes, tea party ideas and crafts! Enjoy the wonderful ideas with lunch on the porch and a glass of sweet tea!


Gardenias = Summer in Paradise

Gardenias season is between April and July. Season peaks right about now in June. If you want them in August, pray for heavy rain in July:) Not recommended. Care of gardenias is simple. When you bring home fresh gardenias from the florist, blossoms are usually tight and off-white with a light touch of green in color. To speed up the bloom and release of fragrant, display your gardenias in the warmer part of the house with bright light.


Hawaiian Fruit Dip


  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 1/4 cups cold milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • Assorted fresh fruit such as; pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, grapes and peach slices.


In a medium bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk until well blended.

Blend in sour cream. Stir in pineapple and coconut.

Cover; refrigerate until chilled, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with fresh fruit.



Peanut Butter Bars


  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup minature semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • Purchased frosting
  • Assorted small candies


  1. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat peanut butter and oil with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, eggs, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in flour; then beat in the milk. Using a wooden spoon, stir in rolled oats, chocolate pieces, and peanuts. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  4. Cut into triangles, circles, and squares that are about 2-1/2 inches across (reserve end pieces for nibbling). Decorate shapes with purchased frosting and candies so they look like drums, presents, and trees. Makes about 16 bars.


Snowfall Winter Wreath

Make your own! Use a plain, store-bought wreath or a fresh pine wreath and spray with canned snow. Add embellishments and a bow of your own color choice. Less expensive than a professionally decorated wreath plus you make it to suit your own decor. Remember wreaths don't just go on the door. They look lovely hanging over the fireplace, above the bed in the master bedroom, or almost anywhere.

Boxwood Garland

Using real or silk boxwood garland adds an unexpected color theme and texture as banister decor. Trimmed with gold ornaments, pine cones, and apple colored ribbon, this decor is fresh and modern.

Festive Wreath Salad


  • 4 large fennel bulbs
  • 4 to 8 red sweet peppers
  • 2 heads Bibb or Boston lettuce, torn (10 cups)
  • 2 bunches watercress (2 cups leaves)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Discard outer layers of fennel; slice fennel crosswise into thin strips, discarding core. Halve peppers lengthwise; remove seeds. Slice sweet peppers crosswise into thin rings.
  2. To assemble salad, arrange lettuce and watercress on 12 plates or in a large salad bowl. Arrange fennel and sweet pepper on top.
  3. For dressing, combine oil, vinegar, fennel seed, salt, and pepper in a screw-top jar. Cover and shake well to mix. Drizzle dressing over salads. Makes 12 side-dish servings.
  4. Salad is photographed with Peach-Fig Relish and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash.
  5. Make-Ahead Tip: Clean and prepare vegetables, and refrigerate in separate airtight containers up to 8 hours. Refrigerate dressing up to 1 week; bring to room temperature and shake well just before using.

Josh Groban's Christmas Album

Gumdrop Pops Nestled in the Snow

Use skewers to attach various gumdrops and turn them into festive characters. Use a toothpick dipped in Karo syrup to press sprinkles and candies into the gumdrops. Salt becomes the snow, a resting place for these whimsical treats to be enjoy by all.

Decorate with Faux Gifts

Faux Gifts are a brilliant way to add to your holiday decor. Place a tiny one on top a book or stack three by the fireplace. You can wrap them country style with burlap and plaid ribbon or elegantly in gold & jewel-toned ribbon like the ones pictured above.



Pumpkin Bread Cans

Remove can labels, wash the cans well, rinse them out and dry them.  While preparing the loaf pan for the pumpkin bread, also grease the cans and fill them two-thirds full of batter.  Once the loaves are thoroughly baked and cooled, Decorate the cans with some leftover orange wrapping paper, raffia and Halloween tags.

The texture of this pumpkin bread is just wonderful.  The recipe below makes one large loaf and three 14.5 ounce cans of bread.

Pumpkin Bread

4 cups flour

2 cups brown sugar (packed)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups of canned pumpkin

1 cup milk

2/3 cup butter softened

4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease your loaf pan(s).  Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add pumpkin, milk, eggs and butter and blend well.  When everything is blended, beat on high for 2 minutes.  At this point you can add walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips, etc.  Bake for 60 to 65 minutes until the center is set.



How fun are these Halloween Topiaries? Find directions at Tator Tots and Jello:


For rustic autumn touches simply place pine cones and other found items under a cake dome or on top of a stack of books. This idea from Becca's website called Adventures in Decorating! 


Sometimes simple ideas are best. Just use a Sharpie to draw faces on orange balloons! This idea from Martha Stewart.


Whether listening to ballads, cover tunes or the soundtrack from, "When Harry Met Sally," Harry Connick, Jr. has me at, "Hello."



  • 6 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.
  3. Garnish with a sour cream dollop in the shape of a ghostly ghoul!




SPANX Makes Swimsuits Now!


The same company that makes the slimming pantyhose has now expanded to slimming swinsuits! This style is $148.00. Find them here:,search,.htm 

American Eagle Gigham Dress - $44.50

Old Navy Maxi Dress - $44.50

LISTEN - Carrie Underwood 

You gotta love Casanova Cowboy!

It's Summer...Bring Out the Fresh Strawberries!

RECIPE - Strawberry Bruschetta with Goat Cheese & Arugala 


  • 1  8-oz. baguette
  • 1  Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  4-oz. log goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1-1/2  cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2  cup arugula
  •   Olive oil
  •   Sea salt or coarse salt
  •   Freshly ground black pepper
  •   Snipped fresh herbs


1. Heat broiler. Halve baguette crosswise, then lengthwise. Place cut sides up on large baking sheet. Brush with the 1 tablespoon oil. Broil, 3 to 4 inches from heat, for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

2. Slice and divide cheese among toasts. Top with sliced berries. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese and berries soften. Remove from broiler; top with arugula. Drizzle additional oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and herbs. Makes 4 servings.


RECIPE - For Kids...Strawberry Mice!

 These mischievous mice will have your kids happily nibbling on a healthy snack in no time.


·         Fresh strawberries

·         Mini chocolate chips

·         Black decorators' icing

·         Almond slivers

·         Toothpick

·         Red lace licorice

·         Wedge of Cheese (Your choice)


1.      For each mouse, slice a small section from the side of a strawberry so it sits flat.

2.      Press a mini chocolate chip into the tip for a nose, using a small dab of icing to secure it in place, if needed.

3.      Add icing eyes and stick 2 almond slivers into the top of the berry for ears.

For a tail, use a toothpick to carve a small hole in the back of the berry and push the end of a piece of licorice lace into the hole. Serve these berry cute treats with small triangles of cheese.


RECIPE - Creme Filled Strawberries  


  • 18 large fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup cold fat free milk
  • 1 (1 ounce) package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Remove stems from strawberries; cut a deep X in the top of each berry. Spread berries apart. In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Fold in whipping topping and almond extract. Pipe or spoon about 5 teaspoons into each berry. Chill until serving.


RECIPE - Strawberry Pizza  



  • 1 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium firm bananas. sliced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. On a greased 14-in. pizza pan, press cookie dough into a 12-in. circle. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over crust. Toss bananas with lemon juice. Arrange the pineapple, strawberries, bananas, kiwi and oranges over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Combine marmalade and water; drizzle over fruit.



RECIPE - Artic Forest Smoothie



  • 1 peach, frozen

  • 10 blueberries, frozen

  • 1 cup light (reduced sugar) fat-free vanilla yogurt, frozen

  • 1/2 cups 1% milk

  • 1/2 tablespoons crushed pecan

  • 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until smoothie consistency is reached. 

RECIPE - ABC Sandwich



  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
  • 18 slices toasted whole-wheat bread
  • Leaf lettuce
  • 12 ounces crab meat, picked over well to remove any shells
  • Tomato slices
  • 12 slices slab bacon, cut in half, cooked crisp and drained
  • 2 avocados, sliced


In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, scallion and brandy, mixing well. For each sandwich, spread three pieces of bread with a portion of the mayonnaise mixture. Cover the first slice of bread with lettuce leaves, 2 ounces of crabmeat, and one or two tomato slices. Add the second slice of bread, and top with the four half-slices of bacon, a layer of avocado slices, another tomato slice or two, and more lettuce. Cover with the third slice of bread, secure the sandwich with wooden picks, if you like, and slice it in half.

LISTEN - Beyonce 

I am Sasha Fierce is the name of this album. It has the mega hit, "All My Single Ladies," on it.

ENTERTAIN - Cute Ideas for Summer

Flower Food Picks 

Your finger foods will look festive with these flower toothpicks. They cost $7.98 for 144 picks. Here's the link:

 Condiment Table

Add some fun to your spread with this adorable picnic table condiment holder. Your's for $17.95 at

Magazines - Summer Planning

Along with a classic favorite, Southern Living, The Food Network magazine is terrific! Great deals on subscriptions to these and more at Great Mother's Day idea too! 

SMILE - Puppy Bouquets

Whether you are a crafty girl and can make one of these yourself with white silk mums or you show a pic to your florist, you can't help but almost giggle when you look at these sweet creations. 

GREAT IDEA - CD Sandwich Holder

Someone truly clever thought this up! Tuck your bagel sandwich in a CD holder as a great alternative lunch carrier. 


RECIPE - White Hot Chocolate

Paula Deen's White Hot Chocolate


  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 4 cups half-and-half

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Vanilla whipped topping, for garnish

  • Mint leaves, or chocolate shavings for garnish


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine white chocolate chips and heavy cream. Stir continuously until white chocolate chips have completely melted. Stir in the half-and-half, and vanilla extract. Stir occasionally until heated through. Pour into mugs and top with a dollop of vanilla whipped topping and garnish with mint leaf.

RECIPE - Christmas Blondies


Christmas Blondies


·         2/3  cup butter, softened

·         2  cups packed brown sugar

·         2  large eggs

·         1  Tbsp. cherry brandy or cherry juice (optional)

·         1-1/2  tsp. baking powder

·         2  tsp. vanilla

·         1/4  tsp. salt

·         2-1/4  cups all-purpose flour

·         1  cup chopped walnuts, toasted*

·         3/4  cup chopped white or dark sweet chocolate

·         1/2  cup coarsely chopped candied cherries


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.

2. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium speed 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until well-combined. Beat in eggs, brandy, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Add flour; beat just until blended. Stir in nuts, chocolate, and cherries. Spread in prepared pan.

3. Bake 30 minutes or until golden. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut in bars. Makes 24 bars.

4. *Spread nuts in shallow baking pan. Toast in 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes.


LISTEN - Mariah Carey 

Great Christmas album that includes the song, "All I want for Christmas is You!" I have that song as my ringtone.

CRAFT - Thumb Print Gift Tags

Fingertip Gift Tags. You will need card stock sheets and a red and green stamp pad. You can also use glitter glue at the end if you want sparkle!

1.       Fold cardstock into quarters to make 4 equal squares, and cut along the folds. This will give you 4 squares, enough to make 4 gift tags. Each card will then be folded in half. The outside is for the design. The inside is for the message that can be written, such as "To" and "From".

2.       If you are using fancy edged scissors, use them to cut along the three free edges of the card, while it is folded, to give nice fancy edges.


3.   Now it is time for the creativity! Use your fingers to stamp various designs. Your fingertip will make smaller rounder dots, the pad of your finger will make larger ovals. Use some of these ideas and come up with some of your own. You can try holly, Christmas trees, stars, ornaments, wreaths, snowmen, candy canes, etc. Try combining a few different colors too

CRAFT - Hand Made Glass Ornaments


This snowflake ornament is a beautiful decoration for any Christmas tree. This craft is easy enough for children to do, and makes a great school Christmas craft. The clear ball is filled with imitation snow and then the outside is decorated with snowflake sequins. Clear ball ornaments can be found in craft stores and in the dollar stores around the holidays. These can be decorated in many different ways.  

This sparkling gem ornament is made by gluing flat sided acrylic gems to a clear glass ball ornament.  Each gem is then encircled with a line of glitter glue to add even more sparkle. These unique ornaments are easy to make and look very classy.  Your friends and family will be impressed you made them yourself!




Krispie Wreaths

A reminder of one you may have forgotten. Marshmellow Krispies Wreaths are cute fun to make and delicious! Here's the recipe...


  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine

  • 1 (10 ounce) package regular marshmallows

  • 1 teaspoon green food coloring

  • 6 cups Kellogg's® Rice Krispies®

  • Canned frosting or decorating gel

  • Assorted candies


1.       In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring.

2.       Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3.       Using 1/4-cup measuring cup coated with cooking spray portion cereal mixture. Using buttered hands each portion into small wreath. Decorate with frosting and/or candies. Best if served the same day.


RECIPE - Cherries in the Snow


Cherries in the Snow

  • 1 pkg Duncan Hines® Angel Food Cake Mix

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar

  • 1 (12 oz) container frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

  • 1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Prepare, bake and cool cake following package directions. Cut cake into 16 slices.

  1. Combine cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in small bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth.

  1. To assemble, spread half the whipped topping in bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Arrange 8 cake slices on whipped topping: press lightly. Spread with cream cheese mixture. Arrange remaining cake slices on cream cheese mixture; press lightly. Spread with remaining whipped topping. Spoon cherry pie filling evenly over top. (Pan will be filled to the brim.) Refrigerate for 2 hours or until ready to serve. Cut into squares.

ACTIVITY - Personalized Candy Canes


Dip these Christmas standbys in white chocolate and nonpareils for something extra-sweet. For 50 peppermint sticks, you'll need 8 ounces of white chocolate and 1 1/2 cups of white nonpareils.

Candy Sticks How-To
                                                                                                             1. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly.

2. Dip peppermint sticks in chocolate; spoon nonpareils over chocolate. Stand candy, coated end up, in a loaf pan filled with dried beans; refrigerate until set.

3. Package candy in cellophane bags. Cut rectangles out of card stock the width of the bags.

4. Fold them over the tops of the bags; staple shut. Affix labels over staples.

CRAFT - Personalized Totebag


Make your tote bag one of a kind by embellishing it with a picture of your liking. And it's really easy! Just imagine how thrilled grandma would be to receive this with her little grandangel on the front! Or a Twilight picture for a teen with some small little gifts in it since they may feel too old for a stocking. The possibilities are endless.

Tools and Materials
Photo of a child, pet, or just about anything
Computer and ink-jet printer
Iron-on transfer paper
Scissors or craft knife
Canvas tote or zippered pouch

Photo Transfer Tote Bag How-To
1. Upload or scan the photo to a computer. Print the photo onto a sheet of iron-on transfer paper and cut out with a pair of scissors or craft knife. You may choose to cut out the entire photo or just the subject's silhouette for a different effect.

2. Iron the image onto a canvas tote or zippered pouch according to the paper manufacturer's instructions.


SWEETS - Berries & Cookie Monsters!

Chocolate dipped strawberries are very easy to make and are a lovely dessert to bring to a party! Purchase semi-sweet chocolate from the baking aisle and melt as directed. Wash strawberries and line on wax paper. Spear the strawberry with a fork through the top, roll in melted chocolate and put back on the wax paper. Refridgerate for one hour or until serving.

For Cookie Monsters bake cupcakes and frost with blue icing. Dye coconut blue with food coloring and roll cupcakes in it. Carefully insert a mini chocolate chip or regular size halfway in icing. Top with white candy disks for eyes and secure one chocloate chip to each disk with icing. How fun!

LISTEN - Norah Jones

Norah hit the scene with an amazing album entitled, "Come Away With Me," in 2002. She picked up an astounding 8 grammy's with her debut album. Her new album, "The Fall," drops in November. Check out her cool website at

Luxury - Your Own Personal Spa

Your bathroom should be your own personal spa. We need a place to wind down and let the troubles of the day melt away. Make your bathroom luxurious, not just functional. Maybe its a good time for a bathroom makeover. A worthwhile investment that can be done affordably and gives you a safe haven in which to unwind!The best way to do that is have a basket of wonderful smelling products. Add candles, music, and a special beverage.

Relax -  Epson Salts and Bubbles 

A really good product that has been around forever is Epson Salts. It you have sore muscles or fatigue, put 2 cups in your bath first to dissolve it in the warm water. Then add bubble bath. Whe you soak in Epson Salts it feels miraculous because it literally pulls the soreness out and relaxes your body. Let your body completely relax and float in the tub. You will feel refreshed and renewed. Epson Salts can be bought at any grocery or Walmart for about 2 bucks. Float some aromatic gardenias and you can escape for a few glorious moments away from the stress of the world.

LISTEN - Adele

A young british songbird, Adele came on the music scene just last year when her first album, "19," debuted at number one on the UK ALbum Board. This year the 21 year old won 2 grammys highlighting her talent that is very apparent on her song called, "Chasing Payments." 

LINENS - Holiday Napkins

A really cool item to seek out at thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets are cloth napkins. A great find that thrilled me recently was a set of 8 holiday napkins for $2. They are embellished with a lovely holly leaf design and they have silk embroidery (white thread on white cloth) in the background. You can see it if you look closely. In addition to their obvious use, here are two uses for cloth napkins. To add a pretty touch use a napkin inside of a basket or dish for bread, biscuits or muffins.You can also open them up and lay flat over a table cloth to enhance your table decor. 

Below is a vintage hand towel with a whimsical dairy design purchased from a second hand shop. It is a very unique fabric similar to cheese cloth. Perfect for any kitchen or to display. 

DECOR - Heavy Metal

I am very attracted to a variety of decorating textiles. I particularly like items made with metal or trimmed in metal. It adds interest to your home atmosphere and style by mixing things like wood, metal, stonewear and fabrics. Below are three examples of cool metal objects. Heavy metal keys to hang on the wall and a unique metal urn. Cucina means, "Welcome," or, "Hospitality." I love this hanging on my wall near the kitchen. Those three items were purchased at Ross.

TEA - Tea Cups and Winter Recipe

I have collected tea cups from around the world for years. I also always have my eye open at flea markets. Each cup is different. I love to have a few friends over and let them select a tea cup to drink from. I also keep a tea and coffee cabinent stocked and organized for any spontaneous guest that pops in.

With the winter months ahead, you'll also want to make your own jar of honey lemon gel. Simply find a good jar and fill it full with thinly sliced lemon. Pour in honey and refridgerate. In a couple of weeks the lemon will have dissolved into the honey. You then spoon a glob of the gel into a cup and add hot water. Delicious and soothing during cold season or just to relax you.

BRACELETS - Helpful Holders!

Jewelry is so hard to organize in a way that you can see what you've got at a glance. I just love these velvet holders. Purchase from an array of jewelry displays at Bracelet holders similar to the ones above start at about $4 each!




The bag above is made of black denim. You can design any kind of purse you want by simply downloading a picture and printing on T-Shirt iron on paper! The purse must be made of some kind of durable cloth. You can buy iron on sheets at Walmart. Make sure if its a dark purse you get iron on sheets made for dark fabric - important. The finishing touches: hot glued rhinestone earrings and a sequin patch. I made this a good 5 years ago and it has proven to be very durable.

LISTEN - Anna Nalick

Gotta check her out. I love her song, "Breathe," on her album entitled, "Wreck of the Day." She came out about two years ago. Cool California girl. She's great!


DECOR - Little Birds

I don't know why but I love little ceramic birds! I place one on a table with a candle or perch one on a book. They are just a sweet accent to any decor. The ones you see below were purchased at Michaels for less than two dollars! TIP: Always clip your 40% off coupon from Michaels and keep it with you. They have one every week. You can pick up a bird or some other sweet accent for your home decor for a great deal!

DECOR - Mini Plants as an accent.

We don't always need big, elaborate arrangements around the house. A tiny arrangement can also make a statement. I will sometimes search for small containers so I can make little greenery pots. The silk plant on the far right in the picture below was placed in a gorgeous box that the lid was broken. I got it at Hobby Lobbie for one dollar and it made a perfect little greenery pot. There is one key: Repurpose items from their obvious use to something totally different. 

DECOR - Cabinent Top Design

A lot of folks have cabinents that don't go all the way to the ceiling. You can enhance the design of your kitchen or any room by doing an arrangement of objects on top. My kitchen cabinent tops are designed with a bistro feel that includes boxes of pasta, fake vegetables, wheat bunches, fabric, etc.

Kitchen Bistro Design Cabinent Tops 

All Purpose Design Cabinent Tops 

You can coordinate any theme, any design or taste of objects to your cabinent tops. By doing so you can dramatically impact your home decor. The two pics below are random cool objects that were pulled together for a nice style with no particular theme.


Kitchen - Big Snack Jar

An item I added to my kitcen not too long ago is a large, clear jar with a lid. I fill it with four or five different snacks. Granola bars, fruit snacks. cereal bars, etc. I made it for the grand kids but EVERYONE partakes. Its always there, most of the time full, and our family enjoys it. Plus + it looks nice in the kitchen.

LISTEN - Natasha Bedingfield

Whether it's a song called, "Unwritten," or, "Pocketfull of Sunshine," Natasha has style, spirit and spunk. I love this artist from England.

DECOR - Grass Arrangements 

When thinking about where you would like to have flower arrangements in your home, don't forget arranging with, "grasses." I have created silk flower arrangements for years. Until I learned about grasses I wouldn't dream of not having silk flowers in my home. Now I have very few flowers and mostly grass arrangements. The photos below are arrangements I created for my home. The thing that makes it pretty easy is that you can buy a cool vase and just pop some grasses down in it without having professional floral design skills.

It's the same thing with greenery like ivy. Next time you hit Garden Ridge, Michael's Crafts, or Hobby Lobby check out the greenery and grasses. You may be surprised what you can do on your own. If you want help, I can do custom floral design with flowers to match your paint, wallpaper, or furniture or a grass arrangement. Just click: Contact Me on the menu and I can give you a price estimation via email or telephone!


ENJOY - Eco Aquariums 

Dwarf Frogs Make Great Entertainment! You clean the Eco-Aquarium just once a year and feed the frogs twice aweek I have two that I just love. They are mini aquariums that are 4" by 5" or 5" by 6" inches. These low maintenance water habitats come with two frogs, a snail, bamboo and everything you see in the photo at the right including a year's supply of food. ($35) Go to

LISTEN - Corinne Bailey Rae

I pretty much wore this CD out listening to it over and over when it first came out three years ago. Corinne is probably most notorious for her hit single, "Girl, Put Your Records On!" She is a 30 year old singer and guitar player from England. I just love her soulful sound. Download it at itunes.

RECIPE - Gooey Cake


Crazy Good Stuff! You'll Be the Hit of the Party!


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9x13 inch cake pan. Melt the butter or margarine. Stir melted butter or margarine along with 1 egg into the cake mix. Press into prepared pan.

In a large bowl mix cream cheese, almond extract, confectioner's sugar, and the remaining 2 eggs beat for 3 minutes with an electric mixer set on medium high speed. Spread over top of cake mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes and until browned on top. Allow cake to cool before cutting.

GLOW - How to Spot a Good Candle 

We have all spent money on candles and not always gotten our money's worth. Either they don't burn well at all or they burn unevenly. Sometimes they don't have aroma which I don't care for because I prefer a nice frangrant candle. Here's one trick to test the quality. If you turn the candle upside down and peel back just a bit of the label you will see if the candle is the same color all the way through to the center. If there is white wax in the center (you'll be able to tell) and a colored outer wax this is not good.

Basically it means you only have color on the outside and the inside has been filled with cheaper white wax. A good candle will be the same color wax all the way through. This doesn't mean they have to be expensive though. You can get high quality candles for a great price at TJ Maxx, Ross, and Walmart. If a candle is sealed in plastic, you can't check the quality. Just remember to check the bottom to have an evenly burning fire on top.


Visit this link again soon for more ideas for "Creating a Life of Comfort and Bliss!"

Make a Free Website with Yola.