Sunday, June 26, 2011

Candy Canes

Natasha from has got me hooked on It's a website  for cataloging images you love...eye candy! It gives me good ideas and inspiration. You can type in anything to search for and you'll be very surprised at what you find!  I have found many things to do with candy canes...candy canes, who would have thought there were so many ideas out there for this peppermint candy!

You can decorate packages,

make a beautiful candy cane urn,

a lovely wreath,

Source: via Dorothy on Pinterest

a vase wrapped with candy canes,

Source: via Dorothy on Pinterest

an ornament,

Source: via Dorothy on Pinterest

a really cute candle holder,

and trees,

Now, onto the goodies,

Candy Cane macaroons,


Brownies, cookies and truffles,

 Ice cream,  yummy.....unless you're lactose intolerant!!

or a nice cup of hot chocolate, mmmmmm....

and one last cake that looks like a big bowl of m&m candies!

Very creative! I never would have imagined so many things to do with a pretty candy cane!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Handmade Christmas Card Inspiration

Who doesn't like to receive a homemade Christmas card? I love them. I used to make them a couple of years ago, but got away from it, not enough time, but they are so beautiful to receive! Recently I ordered a card making magazine to see if I could get some inspiration to try my hand at it again. I guess the thing to do would be to start early in the race! Here are a few ideas to inspire those who love to make them. Ideas  from

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gift Ideas For $25 and under

Hard to believe that half of the year is almost gone! Time seems to fly by these days. Next month will be "Christmas in July." Some people like to start Christmas shopping early and with the economy certainly not what it used to be, lots of people have a Christmas budget amount for shopping. Here are a few ideas for gifts $25 and under....but this does not count the shipping and handling. Lots of times when I shop online, before checking out I will open another tab and search for coupon codes for whatever it is that I'm puchasing. Lots of times I will have great luck with this and sometimes not! Here are a few ideas. Gift baskets are always a great idea. These ones you can find at Gourmet Gift Baskets.

· Banana Chips by - 4 oz. - These chips are the crunchy, dried versions of the world’s perfect food.
· Gourmet Twisted Honey Wheat Dipping Pretzels by East Shore Specialty Foods - 5 oz. - Honey? Wheat? What could be more healthy?
· White Birch Pinkhams Nosh Trail Mix - 4 oz. - This all-natural trail mix is the perfect food for the trail, golf course, office, home, ...pretty much anywhere!
· Original Almondina Biscuits - .7 oz. - Almondina biscuits are light and sweet and peppered with almond wedges.
· Metropolitan Trail Mix by - 4 oz. - Our “Metropolitan” trail mix is a nutritious snack that is as appropriate in the big city as on the trail!

· Triple Chocolate Bliss Cookies by Brent & Sams - 7 oz. - Overstuffed with white and milk chocolate chips, these award-winning cookies are made with all-natural ingredients and packed with ultra-chocolaty flavor.
· Milk Chocolate Signature Bar by Lake Champlain - 3 oz. - Lake Champlain is one of the top chocolate makers in the gourmet industry, and this rich, creamy milk chocolate bar is a prime example of their best work.
· Blum's Gourmet Milk Chocolate Dipped Pretzels by Supreme Chocolatier - 1.5 oz. - One of the favorite ingredients in our chocolate gift baskets, these oversized gourmet pretzels are covered in rich, creamy Blum’s gourmet milk chocolate.
· English Toffee Caramels by Marich - 2.1 oz. - Anyone who says the English are not known for their cuisine has never tried these smooth, rich English toffee caramels by Marich. These caramels are sure to dispel food misconceptions one sweet bite at a time!

These are just two samples of ten mini baskets you can find here.

Of course you can always make your own. Dollar stores are a great place to shop. You would be surprised at the things you can find there. Also, if you are that gifted person who bakes your own goodies...cookies, breads, candies, make your own jellies, jams, etc. , these make the best gifts!!

For those of you who know someone who likes to have a drink or two,  here are some ideas from Kir DeVries.

Rocking Whiskey Glasses, set of 6.

Ice Melts Whiskey Stones (or you could use these for any drink of your choice.) Each stone holds and chills your drink without diluting it like ice would. 9 Whiskey stones.

Wine Tote Sling.

  • Fully insulated
  • Full zip open back to easily insert or retrieve wines
  • Extra zip pocket on front
  • Adjustable strap              
QVC is a great place to shop. Closer to Christmas, they always have shows featuring gifts for $25 and under. July 23rd.  at midnight is their Christmas in July show. It will be all day Sat. and Sun.  I watch this every year. I try to be good and not order to much! Something I always do wherever I shop is to check out the reviews if available before I make a decision in purchasing a product.

Bronner's has a very big selection of Christmas ornaments at reasonable prices. I love collecting ornaments. My friend and I decided to get each other a new one each year. Now I'm sure there are so many other places that you can find nice ornaments from, but I'm just giving some ideas here.

Amazon has a huge assortment of books. Most times if you purchase $25 you will get free shipping! You can find just about anything there.

There are 95 pages of gifts under $25 at
Sun Safety Kit

So, depending on the person you are buying for, there really are a lot of gifts for $25 and under out there. You just need to search and think and keep your budget in mind. And can always put money in a card or a gift puzzle box...this makes it into a game to try and get it out... I don't know about you, but I could always use some extra cash!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Christmas Cross Stitch

One thing that I like to do to keep Christmas in my thoughts is to do some cross stitch.  I have a few projects on the go, but it's a great thing to do on a rainy afternoon.  Before you know it, a couple of hours have passed by and you have a great memento for the holidays.  Some things are quick, like an ornament, or a bookmark.  Others take a large amount of time, sometimes years to finish.  A few years back I purchased a tree skirt which I haven't had the time nor the patience to finish.  It seems a bit daunting, but I'll start it soon.

There are even some programs out there for the adventurous stitcher.  One of the most popular is PCstitch.  You can scan any picture you like and it converts it to a cross stitch pattern. So, find you most favourite Christmas picture, scan and stitch it!  You can even choose how many colors you can use.  From the simple 20-30 colors, to hundreds, if the picture is very colorful.

So, if you want to spend a lazy rainy afternoon to keep Christmas alive throughout the year, just pick up some thread and start stitching.  If you can make an "X", you can stitch.  Pretty soon you'll have your own handmade Christmas art to cherish all year long.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Christmas Cartoon

We're almost done with the kitchen reno, but I came across this video from 1939:  "Peace on Earth." 

Enjoy and keep it merry and bright.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Christmas Rose

Christmas Rose or Helleborous Niger is an English plant that blooms in the winter in the mountains of Central Europe. It produces flowers from late fall to early spring. By tradition, the Christmas Rose should be planted by the door in order that it might welcome Jesus Christ into the home.

Isn't it wonderful to know there is a flower that blooms in the dead of winter!

Plant Care

The Legend of the Christmas Rose speaks of a young girl named Madelon who wanted to come worship the Christ Child. Seeing the gold, frankincense and myrrh brought by others who were drawn to the humble birthplace, she despaired that she had no gift to bring, for Madelon was poor indeed.


In vain she searched the countryside for a flower that she might bring, but the winter had been cold and harsh – and there were no Christmas flowers to be found. Saddened, the girl began to weep. An angel passing over her stopped to provide comfort and smote the ground that was wet from her tears. There did spring a beautiful bush that bloomed of white roses.


"Nor myrrh, nor frankincense, nor gold," said the angel, "is an offering more fit for the Christ Child than these pure Christmas Roses." And thus young Madelon went her way and worshipped the Prince of Peace, bearing the gift of her heart and tears.

Image above from White Flower Farm


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Who Knows Where The Time Goes....

....So says the old Sandy Denny song. It's been over a month since my last post....where does it go? Anyway, I have been pretty caught up playing a couple of Facebook games, Warstorm and War Metal Tyrant. Both collectible card games, Warstorm is fantasy themed and Tyrant is warfare, tanks, planes etc. Unfortunately they are both pretty addictive and I spend much too much time playing them (you can say that again, says Tina).

You can spend actual cash on these games but I don't. You can progress by winning battles and gaining experience and gold (or silver in Warstorm's case) to purchase more cards. There are several missions or campaigns that you can undertake and when you achieve certain goals you are rewarded with gold/silver or new cards.

So on the boardgame front not a lot has been happening, I am tracking Ank Morporkh  and The Road to Canterbury on BGG, as they look interesting, but not a lot of news at the moment.

I did find an interesting music app from Google called mflow which is pretty good. Apparently it doesn't work too well in Europe, but I have found that some tracks play OK and some only play once then you can only play a 30 sec clip. You can play the tracks as many times as you want in the UK though.

There are quite a lot of things happening here in St. Wolfgang and we have been to a few concerts lately. The local choirs had one a couple of weeks ago, 8 choirs from around the lake and a guest choir from Sweden, very good.

I will try to post a bit quicker next time :)