Sunday, December 25, 2011


I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Today in the town of David
a Savior has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you:
You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 

A Savior is here to be a great JOY in our hearts
today and always!
Merry Christmas dear friends and family!

photos were taken Christmas Eve 2011 at St. Matthew's in Voorheesville.
The Nativity is the beautiful artwork of Fontanini.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Make some snow of your own!

One of my students taught me how to make these pretty paper snowflakes.
We made giant ones using 8 x 8" squares.
Here's how you make them!

To make a paper star or snowflake
step 1:  Get ready.
You will need six sheets of paper, scissors, tape {stapler optional}
step 2:  Cut.
Fold paper to make a perfect square and cut off excess.
step 3:  Fold again to make a smaller triangle.
step 4:  Open triangle and make 5 - 6 cuts toward the center fold.
Do not go all the way to the fold; leave 1/4 inch uncut.
step 5:  Do the same on the other side.
{If you feel brave, you can make easier symetrical cuts by keeping the paper folded}
step 6:  Open the paper completely to reveal all the cuts.
Step 7:  Start taping.
Gather the centermost diamond and tape the points together
Step 8:  Flip the paper over and tape the next diamond together.
Step 9:  Flip again and tape the next diamond.
Step 10. Continue this until finished.
Step 11: Make 5 more...and gather all 6 parts and staple or tape them together.
Step 12: Roll a little tape {or staple} the sides together.
Here are a couple of YouTube links that will walk you through it.
They are so much fun to make!

Hang up your starry snowflakes from windows all around the house! 
Wouldn't they be great to hang in a room decorated for a winter birthday party!?!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snowy white

{photo taken this weekend while visiting Piers Flower Basket}

pretty whites for the inside

...not too much on the outside yet, just a little dusting of snow here and there.
Tomorrow night we're supposed to have 1-3 inches.
Not a lot for what the northeast can do!

I'm thinking too of white powdered sugar dusting my cakes
...maybe some light blue sparkling sprinkles for that icy snow look.

Getting ready for Christmas decorating and baking
but most of all
looking forward to lots of family time.
Christmas, my child, is love in action. ...
Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.
--Dale Evans Rogers 

Wishing you love and joy all through Advent and Christmas.

Friday, December 2, 2011

stars, hearts and flowers {bread tubes}

These bread tube pans make the cutest loaves.

Let's see...
I'll take one of each,
thank you!

 Why don't I use them more often?
Easy peasy
...they really do come out this way!

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet?

Chris and I brought up some boxes and our little tree
that is part of a Christmas village scene.

We always take our time.

...finding little treasures that we put away almost a year ago...
bringing them out a day or two at a time
slowing things
down to a sweet
pace is our
·:*¨¨*.·. wish ·:*¨¨*.·.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What greater blessings

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts
are conscious of our treasures. 
~Thornton Wilder

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.  
It will change your life mightily.  
~Gerald Good

What greater blessings to give thanks for at a family gathering
than the family and the gathering.
~Robert Brault

Counting my blessings
and treasuring it all!

Wishing you so much Joy,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Getting Ready for a Vintage Christmas

I ♥ vintage things

especially vintage linens.

This design just makes me smile.
It's so cheery and bright!


I bought the oblong one for my diningroom table.
For my little kitchen bistro table, which is nearby, I wanted a matching round one.

There were two on ebay.
One was $55 and perfect.
The other was only $12.50, but needed some help.

I decided to help :o)

It was my pleasure to add some gold sparkle fabric paint to this vintage treasure.
It's not perfect, but what fun I had!

How about this amazing aqua and red tablecloth!
It sold a few weeks ago to some lucky ebayer.

 cute, cute, cute

Vintage = smiles!

I hope you are all having a lovely week,
...making a little time here and there for yourself...
Wishing you a few quiet moments each day to quiet your mind and hear
His whispers.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fancy That! {and triple frosting for you!}

Do you keep cards you love?

 My sister made this card for me.
Triple frosting with a heart on top!
It's a keeper.
Thank you, Doreen ♥

...and I'd love to catch you all up on Doreen's shop,
Fancy That!
"Accessories for the Well-Dressed Cupcake."
It is well into its third month.
I have found such pretty things there that are now in my kitchen!

"Life is sweeeet!  Eat a cupcake!

Cupcake liners that keep their colors after baking!


I love her pretty displays!

Doreen loved Barb's idea for her shop's subtitle.
{Thank You Barb!}

This is her beautiful Fancy That!  website:

Fancy That! was also featured in Artique Boutique's Blog
Stop here to read her post.

Doreen is working hard to make Fancy That! an online store.

What accessories for the well-dressed cupcake do you love?
Your feedback will help her select the perfect colors and items!

 I'll definitely keep you posted when she starts her online shop!

 My daughter, Amanda, is visiting.
We'll be watching our favorite "chick flicks" and baking,
of course!
 I hope you are all having a sweet weekend.
and a
to our Veterans!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

a little note of happiness ♥

"Once you fix it in your mind that life itself is a gift, 

you begin to find happiness in just about everything."
~ Robert Brault ~

What a gift and blessing you are!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

a first snow

We're having our first snow tonight!

Little Maria is gathering snowflakes.

My plants and flowers were brought indoors.

I potted my geraniums which still have lots of buds
and they will be on my windowsill at school until next spring.
The children will cheer in April when the buds return. the meantime...
I just told my 5th graders yesterday that we would read
"A Really Good Snowman"
when it snows and the snow sticks...
So far, it's sticking!
This book was written and illustrated by one of my former students
Daniel Mahoney.

{Oh did he love to draw and still does today!} 
Enjoy your weather in Austin, Jason.

 What's it like at your place?
 Whatever the weather, 
I wish you JOY
and a happy weekend!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Lots of Apples a Day!

baskets and bowls of apples from our yard

I'm taking three at a time to school each day.
serving up apple crisp on a routine basis.

How about this idea that I found on Pinterest?
an apple pie in an apple!

These apple cupcakes are adorable.
but no real apples needed...
just smiles that say
thank you!

I could make them with an apple cake recipe!
Gotta use up our apples!

I'm visiting my dad this weekend.
A sister's weekend with our Dad.
I'll be bringing him
a bag of apples
for sure!

Happy Weekend Everyone!
Wishing you sunshine
especially in your

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Day of Baking

What can put a smile on my face fast?

Why baking, of course!
My countertop was put on Friday afternoon.
...On Saturday...
I made
apple walnut muffins
oatmeal and raisin cookies
and smaller versions of my special
{We ate one for Sunday breakfast and five more tea rings are in the freezer}
Flour was everywhere
I loved it!

Oh Yea!
Maria's baking again!

Have a JOY-Filled week dear ♥'s
Wishing you sunshine and smiles no matter the weather.
God's sweetest graces always,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Laundry soap Grandma's way!

Recipe found the modern way!

I have been enjoying Pinterest for a few months now.
If you haven't been there, OH...
you will love it and revisit it often! 

It's a very organized way to save your bookmarked webpages 
with an accompanying photograph from the website.

I used it to find inspiration for my kitchen
and now, I'm finding more wonderful things for home and school.

This weekend, I decided to try this simple laundry soap recipe
that I repinned from Yvonne's Pinterest page.

{such simple ingredients}

After grating the Fels-Naptha soap and mixing all the rest of the ingredients
{I used a large soup pot lined with a plastic bag}
the kitchen smelled so fresh!
It looks like this when it's all mixed:
This recipe is found at

 Things are progressing with our kitchen.
I'm very slowly putting things away...
...trying to store only the things that I know I'll use and 
put the rest in the old cabinets that will be hung in the basement someday.
We hope to have the counter top and sink installed by next week.
'Til then, we are using a tiny sink that is down stairs.

The sun was spectacular this weekend and will be for another day.
I can't help but smile!

Wishing you all a lovely week!