Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I can't believe I haven't posted since before Halloween!! My life gets in the way and sometimes I have my priorities screwed up. But we have been busy. Went to visit the kiddo's in VA and had a wonderful time. I WILL post about our trip this weekend for sure.

So yesterday was a fun filled day. I went to Jenn's and we went bridal dress shopping. We had Dan's mom Linda, his sister Lauren, Jenn's maid of honor Jess White (we have always called her that with her last name included), and one of her bridesmaids Amanda. It was great! And best of all, Jenn found her dress!

Jess White, Amanda, Linda, Lauren and me!
But today is all about the turkey, family and being so ever thankful for all the people I have in my life and how my life has turned out. I truly am blessed! So when I got home yesterday afternoon, Paul and I got to work on pre-Thanksgiving baking. First we got Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake done. Years ago I was watching Rachael Ray, and Paula Deen was on there making this. Ever since, that's what we have instead of pumpkin pie...

Put a dollop of Cool Whip on your piece and it's a little bit of Heaven!
Next we made the Pecan Pie, which Ree Drummond calls "The Pie That Will Make You Cry". I finally found the perfect pecan pie recipe. Since it's always been Jenn's favorite, she gets 2 of these on her birthday in February.

I'm a little bummed I didn't use the Pet Ritz pie crust and I opted for the Pillsbury Ready Crusts, but I noted it on my recipe for next worries.

And finally I made the Cranberry Jello salad. It's also filled with goodies like whole cranberries, crushed pineapple, cream cheese and powdered sugar!

This morning after Paul's run and my workout, we got the 20lb turkey in the oven. Another recipe I found is a spice rub we put under and over the skin...WOW! You wouldn't believe how amazing this tastes!!

Wait til you see the turkey done!! I could have sworn I took pics last year but do you think I could find them? I looked under the date and then under Holidays and Celebrations and still couldn't find any. So, I will post pics later tonight or tomorrow of the turkey and some of the desserts. Yummm.

I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving and if you feel half as blessed as I do, you're gonna have a wonderful day!!

As always...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween and Congratulations!!

Today is a special day. Not only do we have our annual Halloween party but our good friends and hosts who we co-host with of said party Joe & Diane...GOT MARRIED!! It's their favorite holiday and when they told us they got engaged, everyone said "you gotta get married on Halloween". I got the privilege of taking Diane to get her hair and makeup done...

Diane looked GORGEOUS!

Di's brother Scotty walking her down the isle.

Joe looking fabulous as well. 

The cake was made by our friend and baker Brandy De Leon who owns the Bakery Dulces-Y-Suenos

A few weeks ago, Diane asked me if I would make them a wedding card box. I can't tell you how much FUN I had making this. I would have been stressed if I didn't have a few weeks to make it. I love how it turned out!

I'll tell you how I did it. First I went to Michaels and bought a set of paper mache boxes. It came with 5 or six. I was going to make it 3 tier and then decided since there was going to be less that 100 people, 2 tier would work beautifully. I then spray painted the bottom box AND lid orange, and spray painted the top box cream.
I had Paul do the cutting with an exacto knife, the slot for the cards and the lid.

I landed up covering the slot with black cardstock because the paper mache cuts are so jagged looking as you can see by the picture inside the lid below. 
I bought some trim and applied it around the slot with my hot glue gun. I also used the glue gun to attach the box to lid. As you can see, I put the hole towards the back. That's because I wanted space to put the skull.

After I made the bow, I glued a strip of the ribbon I used for the bow around the box and lid. I then attached the bow. I used the tiny ribbon that was holding the bow together and put two small holes through the wide ribbon and box. I then fed the tiny ribbon through and tied it. I didn't want to try the glue gun on the bow...just didn't.

I then added Martha Steward felt spider webs and some spiders I found at Michaels.

I have to go get ready for our big party!  I'll post pics in a day or so. As always...

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Some call today throwback Thursday, but every once in a while I get an extreme feeling of bliss. Or maybe I should call it blessedness.

Whatever it's called, I'm so thankful for so many people and so many things that that make me happy.

What I'm thankful for,

My kids, although I do wish they'd call more often. I can't complain though because they are the best and they LOVE me!

My friends. Over the last couple of years I've made some very special friendships and even renewed a friendship that I am so very thankful for. These friends include Bev, my co-worker; Debra, my neighbor; and Anne whom I met at the assisted living where I volunteer. I must remember to get a picture "with" each of these remarkable ladies for my PL.

My future son in law. Yay! Dan proposed on Friday and they're both elated. Paul and I are so happy for them and we love Dan, he's just who we want for our baby girl.

My new car. Yea, I know it's materialistic but I'm a materialistic girl :)

    Mazda CX-5

My new iPhone...

    I have to get used to the mega size of it. 
My scrapbook room. How lucky am I? 

I know it's a mess but that's because now when I create something or I'm working on my scrapbooks, I no longer have to put anything away. I can come back when I have time and pick up where I left off. Blessed? You bet!

So tell me, what's making you happy this Thursday?
As always...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Wales Part 2

A heads up, this is the last post of our trip and this one is VERY long.

Now, on to my father's side of the family for a bit. His parents, whom my siblings, cousins and I would call Nannie and Papa, owned several inns over the years.

Nannie & Papa in the 60's

One in particular I would hear stories of, The Fairy Glen, like the time Papa complained about Nannie's mashed potatoes and she threw a spoonful of them at him, missed and they stuck to the wall which they later painted over! Oh my. So Sunday morning, Paul and I drove to Penaenmawr to The Fairy Glen. I had an email from my Uncle Ian (my dad's younger brother), explaining some tid-bits of the Inn from his childhood. As we meandered through the hillside with houses on either side of the narrow streets, I saw The Fairy Glen in the distance. Paul pulled over so I could take a pic and collect myself as this was another "moment" LOL!

Straight ahead in the distance is the Fairy Glen.
Excuse the raindrops and dirty windshield.

It's about 9:30 am and the door was open. We walked inside and sitting by the fireplace was a gentleman having a cig and coffee. I approached him and said hello, introduced myself and said we're from America. His answer, "I can tell that". So, I explained that my grandparents owned The Fairy Glen in 1949 and could I have a few minutes of his time to chat? "Well, I'm just having my morning coffee then I have to get to work so you can have a few minutes" he said. Not the friendliest person by far! He said he was the current owner and has been for the last 20 years. I showed him some pictures of The Fairy Glen back when Nannie & Papa owned it and even told him a story of the mantel. I asked him a few questions and took some pictures...

Fairy Glen then. I believe that's my father standing to the left of the door. Can't be sure though.
Fairy Glen now. 

L-R, my Uncle Ray, his girlfriend, my mum and dad.

Same spot as above. My only regret, not having the owner take our picture here. The phone booth is still there, although an updated version.

The bar then.
The bar now.
Now there's a story about the fireplace. My grandfather strongly felt that the beams above the fireplaces should be exposed and he did that in every Inn he owned.
Papa, Nannie and his mum, Ellen. On the wall to the right is a picture of my dad in the British Navy using a sextant.
Not only did he expose the beam but I think he did some brickwork also. The owner told us that there used to be an inlaid picture that the previous owner had managed to chisel out and sell for a couple of quid. And here it is, how cool is that??

Notice to the left above the beam the little pictures of the Fairy Glen. I mentioned those to the owner and he said he has to keep an eye on them, as people steal them. Wow! I would have loved to get my hands on one...maybe he could sense that LOL.

Some pics of Nannie & Papa outside the Fairy Glen in 1949...

Roy and Jean Phillips

My Uncle Ian would serve ice cream to the guests. 

In the email my uncle Ian sent me he spoke of the brook behind the inn and how he used to fish in it with his hands. Paul and I took a stroll round back.

Heading back up from the stream.

Some scenery on the way there...

And on the way back...

We drove along the coast on the way back. 
Those are some MASSIVE wind turbines in the distance.
I have to laugh at the Welsh and their "language". Good thing every sign has written below in English what they're saying. Good grief!
Interesting fact, the mileage in Great Britain is yards and miles vs meters and kilometers. Hmmm.

I don't think these peeps want visitors hehe. 

When we got back from The Fairy Glen, Philip, Leslie and family took us to the Chirk Castle.

Castle keeper? Leslie, me, Philip, Marcus, (I think Harper is the little one's name) Holly and Paul.

Books and doors, I'm a bit obsessed with. Could be a lot worse don't you think?

Narrow stone stairway to the dungeon. Since it was 27 feet down to the bottom, we passed!

In the courtyard...

I'm smiling because I made it in but I wasn't sure I'd make it out! 

We toured the beautiful grounds and Holly's 3 other children joined us.
They were delightful! I think this photo bomb was Holly's little girl Skye. 

Paul, Philip and Marcus.
Skye, Harper, Holly, Bayley, Harley, Philip, Leslie and Marcus (I think I got the kids right).

Original gates to Chirk Castle. No longer in use. 

Notice the red hand?
There are many legends regarding the red hand. One is, the lord to the castle was to give one of his sons the castle depending on which son crossed a lake first. The son that was losing, had his hand cut off and thrown onto the shore so he could win. Another was a race inside the castle. Probably a few others floating around too. 

The hotel that Howard recommended and knows the owner of, is The Hand and that's where we stayed. Very old. Loved the desk and fireplace. 

Check in desk on left.

Pretty quaint I'd say. 

After a wonderful day at the Fairy Glen, then Chirk Castle, Uncle Howard and Michael took us to dinner at the golf club. We all had a plate of delicious roast beef and yorkshire pudding. 
It was "melt in your mouth" goodness! I have never thought to make my yorkshire pudding in a muffin tin. That's the way I'm making them from now on!

Some more randomness...

Sheep, sheep and more sheep.

Michaels beautiful backyard.
Leslie's beautiful backyard.
We noticed we have quite a few of the same flowers and trees, like the Buckeye tree in an earlier post. 

Well, that's our wonderful trip. One I'll never forget and will cherish the memories forever. I can't wait to get started in my new scrapbook I picked up. You can see it here: England Scrapbook.

As always...