Friday Favorites


Today in honor of the upcoming fall season I'll be doing my favorite
tv series.

You may find my two all time favorite shows odd because
they couldn't be more opposite.

19 Kids and Counting
which has to be the sweetest family ever
I love everything about this show.

I'm a little embarrased to say but my other all time favorite is
The Walking Dead
Yes, I am that wife/mother/grandmother who really loves this show.
Just don't tell anyone.

Some of my other favorites are:

  Hell on Wheels

the lead character is in the picture below

enough said

the two below are my favorite comedies right now
and so glad the fall season is about to start

Of course I love my Downtown Abbey (who doesn't)  which will not begin until January.

And Game of Thrones
which I never even heard of until a few months ago and 
once I began watching, we watched straight through all of the previous seasons
in one month.

The next season does not begin until Spring of 2015.  
I can't wait.  If you live under a rock (like I apparently do)
and you've never watched this series before, do yourself a favor
and catch up before next spring.  

My favorite drink of the season is
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frap light

 Mocha Frap lights are my favorite splurge treat.
Believe it or not I never tried the Pumpkin Spice before.
I know,  where have I been.

There was a special last night and I decided to give it a try and it was delicious.

and as far as I can tell, you can't tell the difference between the regular and the light

all you miss are the extra calories


definitely NOT on my Friday Favorite list

This is what Mike found on our hedges surrounding our pool deck

Now I know its a black snake and it's "friendly" but
I am so glad I wasn't the one who walked up on him.
It's looks like a him to me anyway.

I don't think you can tell by the picture but it was at least six feet long.
The joys of living in Florida.

Well I'm off to Michaels and Target for a quick stop and then off to pick up dinner.

Have a blessed day.


first dyi project of the "season"

Around here "my house specifically" the beginning of September
marks the start of the holiday "season" for me.
I put up my fall decorations trying to will the autumn weather in
here in sunny, hot Orlando.  
Our family is blessed with many birthdays, activities and celebrations
during this time of year and it goes so fast that I want to squeeze  
every minute I can out of it.


I decorate, craft, plan parties, family dinners and menu's, schedule trips,
organize anniversary vacation, go to grandkids games, exercise more,
spend  days or evenings at the parks (Epcot, Disney, Sea World),
begin my Christmas shopping.  Yeah, I said it.
Christmas shopping!!!

I've been spending the last few weeks visiting the blog world and pinterest to see
what new and different ideas are out there.  Fun!

I've made my first craft that I plan to use from now all the way through
the season.

my gray wreath

I love, love, love wreaths.  
I  use them in lots of different areas in our home.

This past January I made a Anthropologie knock off (because who can actually pay
$200.00 dollars for a wreath) white snowball wreath.
In honor of my grandmothers, both named Grace, I call it Grace's snowball wreath.
It reminds me of my grandmother's "snowball" bush (white hydrangea) that she had on her farm.

I love this one so much I keep it up year round.   I will decorate with a different
bow or add a few ornaments to it for a specific holiday or party.

I made a red and white one for our Happy Birthday America party using the same type
of yarn.  Instructions on how I make them are here.  I will say I'm not liking the multi-color 
as much as the solid so I may turn this into  "all red" for next year.

Since I have a small mercury glass collection that I like to display
and have recently added a silver mercury glass pumpkin to it,  I knew I wanted a gray
wreath for the autumn and Christmas season.  
 I used a different yarn on this wreath.  The previous ones were made of
thick single strand cobblestone yarn giving a more structured snowball effect in the 
individual pom poms.  For this wreath I wanted it more fluid but I still really like
the thicker yarns.  I found a perfect gray three strand wound yarn that would 
still have the thickness I wanted but less structured.

I love the way it turned out and can't wait to begin decorating.  Which I'm about to do now.

I really enjoy making these wreaths, albeit very time comsuming.

I'm even thinking about opening an Esty shop and possibly selling them.  
I'm still at the thinking stage though.

Okay, I'll be signing off now because there are summer decorations to put away because
autumn is calling my name.

See you soon.


Today I'm linking with Kara from Creations by Kara


Back to School Celebrations

Today I'm linking up with

Grandma's Briefs on life's second act


    One of the great blessings as a grandparent is having the time and energy to
    plan little celebrations for special occasions that I simply didn't have when my kids
    grew up.  One of my biggest regrets......
    I'm so impressed with Mom's now.

    "Back to School" is one of those reasons to have a little fun.

    Monster University 

    Last year my theme was Monster University 

    Back to School Monster University Party

    This was the year Dylan began Pre-K

    and since he's a Little Monster I thought having a monster university party
    on our "Nana Time" would be fun.  
    Idea came from Dixie Delights blog.
    She is one of my absolute favorites.  Go to the link and see the spectacular
    party she put on for her littles.

    To make our treat I just bought a box of rice crispy treats,
    molded it into a circle, dipped it in melting chocolate in the 
    colors we wanted and put the candy on the top.
    Easy and delicious.

    Dr. Suess

    ... think and wonder
    wonder and think...
                                              Dr. Suess

    This year I choose Dr. Suess.
     I thought that was a great theme for a
    little guy beginning Kindergarten.

    You have brains in your head
    You have feet in your shoes
    You can steer yourself in any direction you choose
                                                                   Dr. Suess

    All four of my grandbabies who will be beginning a new school year.
    We will have  Pre-K, Kindergarten, Second Grade and Senior Year students this year.  

    I already had all the tableware on hand.

    Our menu was simple and inexpensive.
    A homemade "ABC" pizza
    and bakery cupcakes with a few turquoise candy coated chocolates thrown on top

    Big sister stopped by to join in the the dinner celebration.  Thanks Tay.
    You made Dylan very happy.  We had a little swim to let some of our "energy" out.  

    then in our pj's for a "Dr. Suess" movie, of course
    after the movie it was story time with our new kindergarten books

    Breakfast was a quick ABC pancake breakfast.

    And of course we always end with a lazer gun war with Poppy.

    It's really a lot of fun planning our little celebrations.  My hope is to make
    some memories and for my grandkids to know they are loved and special to me.

    As you can see it doesn't take much to put these little parties together.

    Don't let a small budget stop you.  I had most everything on hand.

    Here's a breakdown.

    Red dessert plates:   I got on clearance at Walmart for 50 cents a while back.

    Red and white paper straws: I had on hand but were purchased on clearance at Target 
    a while back for less than a dollar.

     White melamine plates and aqua mason jars:   I already owned but were originally
    purchased from Target.

    Dr. Suess pictures and banner:  I purchased two folders at Target for $1.00 each and 
    cut to fit in frames I already had.  The banner was made out of a Dr. Suess flash
    card set that I purchased at Target Dollar spot for $1.00.

    Balloons I had on hand but you can usually buy a bag at Target for $1.50.

    (random thought but I think I might go to Target alot...)

    Chalkboard I had on hand but it was originally purchased at Michael's for $1.00.
    I just painted the wood red with paint I already had.

    I purchased the two books at Barnes and Nobles.  Both books totalled less than $7.00.

    Pizza dough, sauce, cheese and lemonade I already had on hand.
    Cupcakes and pepperoni were  $6.50.
    The  pancakes were actually pre-made frozen pancakes that I alway have and used
    abc/123 cookie cutters to make shapes.

    So as you can see I was able to put this little celebration together for less than 
    $20.00.  I call that a deal.  

    So what, you ask, do you do if your grandkids are older or don't live in your area
    (which is a very sad situation for a grandmother to find herself in ..... but I digress)
    I made up little back to school fun boxes and shipped to my Illinois grands
    and for my sweet Taylor who will be a senior, a back to school shopping trip was in order.

    It doesn't have to be extravagant to let them know how special they are to you.

    The more that you read,
    The more things you will know.

    The more that you learn,
    The more places you will go.

                      Dr. Suess


    SUYL Breakfast Recipes

    This week Kelly's SUYL is breakfast recipes, especially quick ones.
    While I wouldn't exactly call this quick, quick, it is one that you prepare the
    night before and just bake in the morning.  So I hope this qualifies.

     Stop by and check out all the delicious breakfast recipes.

     I'm showing the breakfast I made for Fourth of July.  It's actually a fruit/cream cheese french toast casserole that you can adjust to your tastes.  It's so yummy.

                   I don't know if you can tell, but my intention was to make the casserole look like a flag. :)

                    Fourth of July French Toast Casserole

    *1 loaf of Egg Bread (Challah), you can substitute any bread but I think this one does well.
    *8 ounces of cream cheese  (sometimes I use 12 ounces, 
    depending on how much cream cheese you like)
    *1 small jar of blueberry preserves
    *1 small jar of strawberry preserves
    *8 large eggs
    *1 1/2 cups of milk (I usually add a little more milk)
    *1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    *5 to 6 tablespoons of melted butter
    *Cinnamon (about 1/2 teaspoon but you can add as little or as much as you like)

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 casserole dish with non stick cooking spray.  Layer half of bread (roughly cube the bread) in baking dish.  In a separate bowls mix the cream cheese and 2/3 of the jar of preserves.  I usually only put one fruit flavor in my casserole but since I was trying to make it into a flag, I used 1/3 of the cream cheese with the blueberry preserves and 2/3 of cream cheese with strawberry preserves.  Drop teaspoonfuls of the cream cheese/preserve mixture over the first layer of bread.  Cover with remaining bread.  Drop a few spoonfuls of the plain preserves over the top layer of bread.

    Mix together eggs, milk, vanilla extract, melted butter and cinnamon until well blended.  Pour over bread and lightly press with spatual to help the bread get completely soaked with the mixture.  Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.   Serves up to 10 people.

    This recipe is very adaptable.  You can use most any flavor of fruit preserves or you can even substitute fruit instead of the preserves.  If you choose to substitute with fruit, make sure you add about 1/3 cup of sugar to the cream cheese and use about 2 cups of fresh or frozen fruit.   When I originally found this recipe, it was suggested that you top with maple syrup.  I personally find that way to sweet but some members of my family liked it that way.

    Check out Kelly's Korner SUYL Breakfast  for other delicious morning recipes. 


    Summer's End, Part 3 Makenzie's birthday!

    Makenzie turned 7 in July.  I know.  Crazy, right.

    I didn't get to be there for the party this year.  :-(

    Here are just a few pictures.

    She had a Elsa Party at a movie theater where they showed the movie, Frozen 
    and then they went to a party room for cake.  Even though I wasn't 
    able to make it this year I made a birthday banner for her to enjoy at her party.


    Makenzie at 7 is .....

    a talented dancer
    a fashionista
    bow wearer
    loves books about horses
    an "American Girl" girl
    an artist
    plays soccer
    plays baseball (that's right baseball, not softball)
    a great big sister
    loves to be busy every day
    lots of friends
    good girl for mom and dad
    sweet granddaughter
    likes the color purple
    loves her new teacher
    favorite store is Justice
    loves to wear tutus
    likes to bake cupcakes

    I'm so proud of you Makenzie Belle
    Happy 7th Birthday

    She also had been doing a lot of dance competitions this year and does really well
    in solos, duets and team competitions.

    Their last competition this summer was in Chicago.

    They did such an awesome job and afterwards were rewarded with fun activities.

    They got to ride their first big city train.

    They went to American Girl Chicago

    Now she's been to St. Louis American Girl and Chicago.  And happy news everyone.
    They are opening American Girl Orlando very soon.
    She got the doll of the year, Isabelle.

    They had a very special luncheon there.

    Then shopping at a super big mall.  Fun.  
    Not to mention staying in a big hotel, swimming in their pool and 
     having dessert at Cheesecake Factory.  What a special trip
    that these girls will remember forever.
    Kelly does such a great job doing fun things when they go to competitions.


    While I'm on the subject of Makenzie and Kelly, I'd be remiss
    if I didn't add in what a fun vacation their little family went on this summer.

    Dominican Republic

    At the airport in St. Louis they have a mock airport playground inside the terminal.

    Matt's parents are so sweet to treat their kids and grandkids on a summer vacation each year.

    They've been to Jamaica, Mexico and now the Dominican Republic.
    What a special gift of becoming international travelers at such a young age.

    Well, that about wraps up the summer.  Now that school is in full swing and fall is just
    around the corner we are entering the season of family get-togethers, fun crafts, soccer,
    football, yummy food and cooler weather (hopefully) I'll be seeing you soon.

    Thanks for joining.