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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dreaming of my next two contests

While all the rest of you are dreaming of a white Christmas, sugar plums or what presents your family and friends are going to give you, I am dreaming up my next two contests.  I want to have one contest where there are 5 winners and the prize will be your choice of a flavored lip gloss.  Everyone seemed to enjoy that contest so much.  I am not creative by nature so for me it takes a little work and trying to find the right mood.

I am also thinking that I would like to post a Valentine's day story in (can't decide) later January or early February.  The other month the prize would be a custom perfume either solid or roll on.  Hopefully when you all get done with all of the holiday stuff, you will be visiting my blog again and leave me a comment and help me decide which to do when.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE.  I am thinking about putting the blog on vacation for a week or so.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas 2012 Images Share

It is only one week now until Christmas day, is everyone ready?  Here are some Christmas images that might warm your heart and even give you a giggle or two.

Hopefully you have been getting some goodies in your mail box

I wonder how much time and creativity went into this gingerbread house.

These don't look like the usual sled dogs.

Did a squirrel steal some of your goodies or put some in there? LOL

What a beautiful scene of winter

I wonder how big this gingerbread house really is

Twas the night before Christmas and (you know the rest, right?)

too adorable to keep to myself

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas feasting ideas

Now I am getting to my favorite subject, feasting.  When I visited Williamsburg, VA in September 2000 I told them that they should have a feast that mimics the ones of that time period.  I have only heard stories, but they are incredible.  Putting on a feast was the equivalent of our dinner parties, but there was always a huge variety of foods, this was a way to show off how prosperous you were.

In the story by Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" the main part of the feast at Christmas time was a Goose, some people eat duck and some eat turkey or ham and some even eat a crown roast (usually pork).  I haven eaten all of those except the Goose, but turkey seems to remain my favorite.  Especially when it is served with cranberry sauce, corn bread stuffing and lots of melted butter oh and let's not forget yeast rolls.
For desert I love pie (peach, blueberry or apple crumb).

I believe this one is part of a crown roast

I remember when I was young the cookies we would make.  But alas that is a fairly traditional meal.  There are those that go above and beyond with their feasting.  You can add such delicacies (if you can afford them either time wise and/or money wise) as crusted beef tenderloin (with any type of nuts or even pepper), any type of tart you can think of, recipes that include prosciutto (an Italian ham delicacy), smoked salmon, a pomegranate wine sauce, and let's not forget about more ordinary party fair like crab and cheese puffs.  I have also tried English clotted cream with fresh fruit which is absolutely wonderful and very expensive, a real treat.  Oh and that reminds me that I forgot about Christmas bread pudding with hard sauce (includes some brandy) if it's made properly it is very yummy and fattening too I am sure.

I have no idea what this is, but it looks gorgeous

I know that there are some traditional English feasts dishes that sound horrible to me and probably many other Americans.  Dishes like blood pudding and I can't remember any other ones right now.  You can find instructions and recipes for all types of British puddings if you would like to make that a family tradition.  Here is one site about British foods.

Maybe you can create an adventure for your Christmas day meal of trying one exotic or unusual dish.  Believe it or not there are even some lettuces which have wonderful flavors, where as iceberg has virtually no flavor at all.  Living in a conservative city it doesn't seem to sell very well around here, but in bigger cities I am sure you can find all types of lettuces.  Actually I love to mix them because they can give you an incredible variety of tastes (with a home made dressing of course).

Reminds me of Queen of Sheba cake

So leave a comment and share with all of us what Christmas food traditions you have or would like to start.
Only 10 days now and Christmas will arrive.  Happy Holidays to all of my readers.  To those of you who Christmas is a difficult time for, my sympathies to you. I still miss my son who was killed in a car crash in 2004, but I try to focus on my grand son who shares the same first name.  We all need to look forward to something, don't we?

Images shared from the Food Network page entitled the best Christmas recipes.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Legend of Santa Claus

You might know him as St. Nick or Santa, but he has also been known as Father Christmas and of course the full name of Santa Claus. Here in the US he has been portrayed as a portly (nice word for fat) white bearded man who has a wife named Mrs. Santa Claus.  Of course we are all familiar with his traditional dress consisting of a red coat with a white collar and cuffs, plus the red trousers and big black belt.

There is also pretty much a consensus (in the US and Canada) that he lives in the North pole with a bunch of magical elves (who makes the gifts) and 9 flying reindeer. The myth that Santa Claus travels around the world in one night delivering toy and other presents to children who have been well behaved has had a long history.  Part of the myth which is spoken of very often is that if a child has been naughty then Santa will leave a lump of coal in that child's stocking.

But I will bet that many of you don't know that the modern day Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas.  Sinterklaas was based on a gift giver called Saint Nicolas.  A nearly identical story has been attributed toGreek Orthodox and Byzantine Christian folklore.

The tradition of Santa Claus can be traced back to the 1820.

So now you know a bit more about the origin of Santa Claus.  Next I will try to find some information about how Christmas stockings became a custom.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas time photo share

I hope she/he doesn't mind that I am sharing some of their FB photos (photos from Giggle Palooza)

Sort of funny and sort of not

this one had to be large so you could read it, can you say Santa ahhh

Have to admit I am not sure what you are remembering here, is this not on any more?

My blog followers, customers and fans melt my heart

This is what I wish for everyone

Monday, December 10, 2012

A count down to Christmas Collection

Wining Lip gloss flavors and guess who?

First off I am going to announce the winner of the $20 gift certificate to botanicalsforbeauty but first I am going to announce which flavors I will be carrying.

Here are the list of the flavors with the number of votes they received.

coconut milk and peach 10 votes (Aroma Haven)
mango peach 8 votes (Aroma Haven)
pineapple tangerine 8 votes (Aroma Haven)
lemon drops 7 votes (Aroma Haven)
cappuccino 7 votes (Aroma Haven)
french vanilla 7 votes (Aroma Haven)
blackberry pomengrante 7 votes (The Sage)
pink lemonade - 6 votes (Aroma Haven)
strawberry swirl 6 votes (The Sage)
I choose pina colada to be the tenth flavor. (The Sage)

I am hoping to add a few more surprises to the line up.  I will announce availability on this blog.

A special thank you to those who posted my contest on there FB pages as a big chunk of my views were from FB referrals and a special thanks to ETSYGIVEAWAYS as they accounted for a big chunk of the visits as well.

There were several that had 5 and 4 votes.  So I had to make a choice of the 10th flavor.

The WINNER IS Shari D. who will be contacted by email today.  PLEASE WHEN ENTERING USE YOUR ACTUAL NAME, I may be wrong because almost anything is possible but I seriously doubt that someone's real name is Awesome.

Tomorrow I will be publishing my usual Tuesday funnies.

Thanks to everyone who voted and entered my contest.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rudoph the Reindeer

How the story of Rudolph the reindeer got started is really sad.  It started with a family called the Mays.  The mother was terminally ill and it was Christmas time.  The four year old daughter (Barbara) was on her father's lap (Robert) and asked him why her mommy was different from all of the other mommies.  This sparked a bit of creativity in the father and on the spot he made up a Christmas story, the one about Rudolph the red nosed reindeer because Rudolph was also different than all the others.  The father was also different as a child.  He was a very sickly child and therefore couldn't play the games the other children played.  That is the legend.  However, towards the end of his life, he admitted that it was only a legend and not really true.

Actually the story came about because Robert May was given an assignment from his employer (Montgomery Wards).  Montgomery Wards did Christmas promotions using stories and coloring book giveaways.  The story about Rudolph was printed for Christmas in 1939 and millions of copies were distributed.  May did manage to get ownership for the story from Montgomery Wards and produced a commercial edition plus a short 9 minute cartoon in 1947.  But it wasn't until May's brother in law wrote the song about Rudolph and had Gene Autry record it in 1949 that Rudolph the reindeer became a Christmas time super star.

The story we now hear about Rudolph the reindeer is not the original story by Robert May.  Of course the story got added to and embellished as that is what Hollywood and entertainers have always liked to do.  So now you know a bit about the origins of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Origins of a few Christmas Traditions

Did you know that Christmas tree decorating and using the clippings of evergreen shrubs as decorations for Christmas has been a controversial practice at times in Western history? For instance, when the Roman Church decided in the fourth century that Christmas should be celebrated on December 25, some of the pagan celebrations of the Roman Saturnalia (celebrated at the same time of year) were carried over, such as feasting and exchanging gifts. But others were too controversial to carry over....

Using the clippings of evergreen shrubs from the landscape to decorate houses, a common practice during the December celebrations of Saturnalia, was strictly forbidden by the Church. The associations between decorating with evergreen shrubs and paganism were just too strong. Already in the early third century Tertullian had warned his fellow Christians against falling into the Saturnalian rut by using laurel wreaths as Christmas decorations (Tertullian, "On Idolatry," XV).

But the controversy over Christmas tree decorating and using clippings of evergreen shrubs as Christmas decorations is not relegated to that remote piece of history. In the sixteenth century John Calvin objected to observing the Christian calendar -- which includes Christmas and Easter -- because he felt such celebrations promoted irreligious frivolity. It was in this same century that Germany, by contrast, was establishing Christmas tree decorating as we know it today, launching the modern history of the Christmas tree.

 But in England the Puritans, influenced by Calvin, forbade the observance of Christmas. And it wasn't until Queen Victoria's reign that Christmas tree decorating "arrived" to stay as a Christmas tradition in England, thanks to the influence of Prince Albert (see The Christian Calendar: A Complete Guide to the Seasons of the Christian Year, Cowie and Gummer, p.11). Not coincidentally, Prince Albert had been born in Germany.

Given its roots in English history, America was predictably late in adopting such signs of frivolity as Christmas tree decorating. The Massachusetts Puritans, in particular, frowned upon such pagan backsliding. But the influx of Catholic immigrants in the 19th century was bound to dilute these anti-Christmas tree decorating sentiments.

There you go, so know you know that frivolity versus being dead serious has been an issue through out time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Alternate contest winner and funnies too

Because I have not yet received a response form the winner that was picked for last month's contest, I had to pick an alternate winner.  The alternate winner is Katherine Davis of Texas.  She was very happy to get the email as she is going through somewhat of a rough time right now.  I am so glad that my group was able to lift someone's spirits.

Here are the funnies for today.

who knows what that is all about?

I have never seen a dog sit like that before

They really don't look happy, what we do to make our poor animals cute.

See every one truly does love sock monkey

Do you think that reindeer do that?

Wonder if that is photo shop?  Otherwise what we do to our poor children to make them look cute.

Opps only 21 days left to shop for Christmas presents.  Please consider visiting one of these shops for some great gifts. (bath and beauty) (custom stockings, jewelry, fine art) (hand crafted jewelry)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

All about mistletoe

this is what most of us think of as mistletoe

Mistletoe has been associated with peace and love for eons. Even two hundred years before the birth of Christ, mistletoe was used by Druids in the celebration of the winter season. They believed that  mistletoewas magical.   It was thought to have healing powers, which could cure everything, ranging from female infertility to poison ingestion. Even enemies would stop fighting and declare a temporary ceasefire whenever they came upon some mistletoe.

More facts about mistletoe:

Mistletoe History
The history and origin of the Christmas mistletoe can be traced back to the ancient Scandinavian custom and a Norse myth. The Scandinavian people also believed mistletoe to be a plant of peace, even if enemies happened to pass beneath any mistletoe, they had to lay down their arms and call truce until at least until the next day.

Kissing Under the Mistletoe
The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is said to be associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia.  Mistletoe was used in primitive marriage rites, and believed to have the power to confer fertility. Another belief was that mistletoe possessed 'life-giving' powers.

Mistletoe Plant
Mistletoe is a hemi parasite (partial parasite). It grows either on the branches or on the trunk of a tree. Being a parasite, it penetrates its roots into the host tree and consumes all its nutrients. However, mistletoe can also grow individually and produce its own food with the help of photosynthesis. But, it is usually found growing on trees as a parasitic plant. There are basically the following two types of mistletoe:

American Mistletoe
The American mistletoe, scientifically known as Phoradendron flavescens, is native to North America. It is found growing on trees from New Jersey to Florida and is the mistletoe species that is mainly associated with the kissing tradition of Christmas.

European Mistletoe
The European mistletoe, Viscum album, is a green shrub with small, yellow flowers and white, sticky berries. It is frequently seen growing on apple trees and rarely on oak.

The custom of using mistletoe to decorate houses at Christmas time dates back to the time of the Druids. The concept of kissing under the mistletoe is said to be a variation of the kissing ball tradition of the 18th century.

I hope no one feels offended by knowing that many Christmas traditions are for fun and have nothing to do with the birth of Christ.

I found this information at

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lip gloss flavors contest

I want to start offering flavored lip glosses in January. Most of my items are all natural from some type of plant. These flavors will be synthesized and highly popular flavors. My problem is there must be at least hundreds of them and with a limited budget I can't afford all of them, so I would like to pick out the top 10 flavors according to my visitors.

Here are the flavor oils that I am considering: cherry berry, cinnamon supreme, French vanilla, coconut milk and peaches, grand marnier and apricot, cappuccino, blackberry pomengrante, black cherry, butterscotch, champagne, chocolate cream, coconut, Island delight (very popular), margarita, vanilla orchid, peppermnt, pina colda, raspberries and cream, root beer, strawberry swirl, vanilla banilla, chai tea, blueberry, brown sugar, creme de menthe, green apple, hazelnut, dill pickle, pink lemonade, pistachio ice cream, pizza, red velvet cake, sangria, watermelon, white chocolate, wild red cherry, zucchini bread, peanut butter, mango peach, pineapple and tangerine, nutmeg and caramel, ginger snap, lemon cheesecake, lemon pound cake, lemon drops, malted milk balls, mango lassi, mint truffle, caramel and orange sorbet.

CONTEST AND VOTING ENDS SUNDAY December 9th.  Winner to be declared the following morning.

Don't worry the list is on a poll so all you have to do is place a check mark next to your choices.

LIP GLOSS CONTEST POLL This is the link to the poll, no need to leave a comment with your choices.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Post Thanksgiving funnies for 2012

A few funnies in honor of the upcoming Christmas Holiday.  I just can't help that I love the animal pics that are so cute so I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and some of them are pretty funny too.

That's so heart warming

How often do you see ducks?
It's not only dogs that think each other are pillows
Do you agree?
Ever thought about that one?
Wouldn't that be a wonderful gift?
It would depend though on how quickly it grows money and in what denominations.  LOL

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November's blog contest winner

The winner has now been declared (selected randomly at and is Alinga Buttadauro who has been contacted by email.  Congratulations Alinga!!

All prizes will be mailed invidually by the artisan who donated that particular prize.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bead making and working with glass

Today I have a guest post from my friend Sonja.  She is sharing a bit about how she works with glass to create various types of beads.

This is my story of why  I make beads and how I make them too.  lol.

I actually started out as a jewelry designer (and still am) and one of my goals was to learn to make as many of the parts of my jewelry as possible, in an effort to make as much of my jewelry handmade as possible. I finally took a beginning lampwork glass class and was hooked in less than five minutes lol.

The basics of lampworking are pretty simple although actually making a round isn't as easy as you would think. I currently use a dual fuel torch, that mixes oxygen and propane as it comes out of the tip of the torch. The beads are made on a mandrel, which is a rod of stainless steal. I cut mine to a length between 9-11 inches. The size of the hole in the bead is determined by the size of the mandrel. The tip of the mandrel is coated in bead release ( a clay type mixture) to keep the glass from sticking the mandrel. Without bead release, the bead will never come off the mandrel. The glass comes in rods about the diameter of the pencil or a bit larger and about 12-18 inches long. The rod of glass is put into the flame and wrapped around the mandrel. How much glass you put on determines how big the bead is. Once you have your base bead you can start to decorate! This is the fun part lol! Dots, squiggles, lines, and lots of color! Once you are satisfied with your bead, it gets popped into the kiln to anneal. This takes about 7-9 hours. This is one of the most important parts, because annealing the beads takes some of the stress out of the glass that was created by manipulating it in the flame. This makes the beads less prone to cracking and shattering. Once the beads have cooled all the way, you have to take them off the mandrel, and clean the bead release out of the holes. Voila! The beads are finished!

Beads in a kiln

I find lampworking to be very relaxing, there is a high level of concentration involved and it tends to push everything else into the background. It has the added benefit of creating beautiful things!

Think pink

blue ribbon beads

red and white daisies
You can communicate and/or learn more about Sonja by visiting any of these links:
Silverriverjewelry blog
Silverriver pin boards
Facebook for fans

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A home daycare Christmas story

This story is brought to you by Judy Giffith of Juniquegoods on

A few years ago one of the children from my day care was watching the Christmas Parade  in our town.  When Santa came by he saw him and yelled, “I will see you at Ms. Judy’s”.  Others around him were asking “do you really know Santa”?  Puffed up with pride, he got over his speechlessness, and said “Of course, don’t you”? 

Each year at Christmas we have Santa come, talk to the children, give them each a gift of something they like (we furnish the little gifts of course) and have lots of photo ops. That year when Santa came in he looked straight at the child and said, “I told you I would be at Ms. Judy’s”.  One of the others piped up and said “I told all of you the real Santa came to Ms Judy’s”. 

What wonderful things happen to children all the time and this is one the children still talk about because he still comes and still rides in the Christmas parade.  Some of the older graduates come on the day he comes and always get tickled because Santa is always the same.

3 of the children Judy takes care of

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving tribute from mother nature

I wish you all a happy thanksgiving and moments of family and love.  Please enjoy some of these images from mother nature.

Peanuts covers every occasion

gorgeous pink bird

beautiful rainbow

shore lines

Fall leaves

water falls

A loving moment

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pumpkin butter and some new items

A friend asked me if I had anything that was good for dandruff, well technically I can't say that anything is good for dandruff because believe it or not the FDA considers dandruff to be a medical issue.  So I replied that I would do some research and get back to her with something that was effective for dry and itchy skin and good for the hair as well.

It turned out that both pumpkin butter and camellia seed oil are great ingredients for hair care products, and a bonus too is that camellia seed oil is also great for hardening the nails, can be used as a makeup remover plus it is reputed to refine mature skin, nourish the complexion and is easily absorbed as well so there will not be a greasy feel.  It revitalizes and rejuvenates both the hair and the skin,  Pumpkin butter is great as an all day lasting moisturizer which also softens the skin for an incredible feel.  It is also soft and very spreadable so a very little goes a long way.  I have also read claims about how great it is when making pomades or hair conditioners.

My Facebook group has inspired me in more than one way to do research for new and interesting products.  Beyond the hair care I am looking into lip glosses with flavors, pot pourri, possibly sachets and/or bath teas.  Plus they asked if I had any roll on perfumes that had a spicy rather than floral scent.  So we came up with the name of Exotic Spice for a roll on perfume that contains the essential oils of cinnamon, ginger and cardamom.

There are so many flavors out there that it would cost me a fortune to purchase one ounce of each and every one of them, so I will be doing a poll soon and I hope I see enough votes that I can whittle the list down a bit.  I only visited two sites that had flavors for lip gloss and I picked out 60 flavors that I thought might be interesting, so that means there were many more than 60 choices.

botanicalsforbeauty - all natural and all vegan bath and beauty products at reasonable prices - high quality and satisfaction guaranteed.

Here are some examples of flavors that I thought people might like:

black cherry
butter scotch
bubble gum
island delight
vanilla orchid
chai tea
root beer
dill pickle
nutmeg and caramel
mango peach
lemon drop
pizza (they do just about everything)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A German Christmas Legend

I thought that it would be great to start sharing some Christmas stories since Christmas is will be here in one month plus 10 days.  So here is the legend behind the Christmas Spider.

A long time ago in Germany a mother was busily cleaning for Christmas.  The spiders fled up stairs to the attic to escape the broom.  When the house became quiet the spiders slowly crept downstairs for a peek.  Oh what a beautiful tree !  In their excitement they scurried up the trunk and out along each branch.  They were filled with happiness as they climbed amongst the glittering beauty.  But alas by the time they were through climbing the tree, it was completely shrouded in their dusty grey spider webs.

When Santa Claus came with the gifts for the children and saw the tree covered with spider webs, he smiled as he saw how happy the spiders were.  But he knew how heart broken the mother would be if she saw the tree covered in dusty webs.  So he turned the webs into silver and gold,  The tree sparkled and shimmered and was even more beautiful than before.

That is why we have tinsel on our trees and why every tree should have a Christmas spider in its branches.

The famous Christmas tree spider

Please thank Judy at juniquegoods and you can even purchase your own spider for only $8.00.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tigger says it all with Tuesday funnies

It's that time of the week again, Tuesday.  Time to share some images that might give you a giggle or even a warm heart.

What a fun mission

For those of us who don't like to clean

He has a mean look, doesn't he?
I can't resist pics of dogs laying flat

Awww, what else can you say?