Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Real Confession....

I'm going to take a cue from my good friend Shari and actually post something on my blog a bit more personal. I guess I'd like to find a fine balance of joy from posting Happy Holiday stuff and Happy Life stuff!
I'll be honest, I'm taking a Facebook break and since I can't be heard that way, I'm sure this is my way of getting around the system and being heard somewhere. It also comes from a lot of pondering before and after the election. Please, please don't run away just yet. It might touch on some touchy topics, but hang in there..I do have a point.

My conflict today...surrounding yourself with others that are like minded. Most are taught that surrounding yourself with like minded individuals and those with the same moral values has an obvious outcome. Mostly positive, if you are following the straight and narrow path and negative if you are going off the beaten path. Some live Black and White lives this way, I've always been a bit of a grey I would say. I've always taught my daughter to not limit herself to like minded individuals, but to be cautious. She's now 17 and I've been lucky enough to see how she has blossomed into someone that almost anybody can talk to and I'd like to think I've had something to do with that. A lot of people ask us, how can we be LDS, love gay people, but still not believe in gay marriage? But if we are here to do Gods work and to preach the gospel unto the world, then how can we do that without loving others? Do I believe personally in gay marriage..NO. Do I believe in loving gay people the same as others...Absolutely. If my gay best friend came to me tomorrow and said, I'm getting married, would I support him..Yes. Does that pull me away from my faith in any way...Absolutely not. His relationship with god and my relationship with our own personal relationship. God is our judge, not the people in the church or out of the church. So much hatred comes from both sides of the spectrum on this, it just makes me confused at why others don't think like me. To's a given, but people on the left think we should accept everything and people on the right think we should accept nothing.Or at least, that's what we're made to believe as a society.

Some must learn from doing, from participating, from seeing the best and the worst. Why did I let my daughter go to a rave several years ago? To see the worst. Why do I let my daughter go to some concerts that might not be considered appropriate by some? Why did I not loose it when I found out she's had one sip of alcohol in her life or has been around others with drugs? My daughter just happens to be one of those people who needs to experience life lessons head on! I didn't know that in the beginning, but it didn't take me long to figure it out.  I've been lucky, very lucky, but was it the right choice? I say, she's an example to others as well. Did she set an example by falling down, picking herself back up and walking away? Did she make a difference in a young mans life, when all else had given up on him? The outcome of that is still yet to be determined, but something along the way told me I was doing an okay thing by letting her be his friend still. She wears her emotions on her sleeve, has an evil sense of humor and shares her faith openly.

Now this is what I'm fighting with internally. I've always thought of myself as an "open-minded" person. I try not to judge others and I try to have open topics of discussion, but I find as I get older and find myself more passionate about some issues, that I'm getting less tolerant. The emotions that come with it are confusing to me. Ultimately my love for our heavenly father is first and the love of my country comes a close second. After the election, I'm walked away with a deep feeling of division. I don't see myself as some radical, I just see myself as a passionate American. Do I run away and put myself in a bubble with others who only think like me or dig my heels in and speak up? Will I offend others, like I've been offended? I've always preached that things aren't so Black and White..because I've always lived my life with a belief that their is always an exception that makes life GREY!   Where is the balance of having a passionate view, without crossing the line? How much action is to much action? Does it cause more hatred or does it make a real difference? But right now, I don't know.....and it sucks feeling this way!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2012 Christmas Postage Stamps

I've been working on my Christmas card list this past week and looking up potential Christmas card ideas. Today, I realized I hadn't looked at the new Christmas stamps for 2012. So, what do I think?? Overall, I really like both of them. The Holy Family is the first religious, Christmas stamp I've liked in a long time. It's simple and beautiful. The Santa and Sleigh stamps are fun! Much more festive then the Holly Leaves or single Christmas Tree Balls they've had the last few years. I'm not sure which I'll choose, but right now I'm leaning in a half and half direction. Both will be available on October 13th.

The Holy Family stamp celebrates Christmas with a scene from the Nativity story that reminds us of the joys of the season: family, togetherness, and the birth of the baby Jesus. It continues the U.S. Postal Service’s tradition of issuing beautiful and timeless Christmas stamps and will be a treasured addition to cards and letters sent during this season of goodwill and sharing.
Working together, art director William J. Gicker, designer Greg Breeding, and artist Nancy Stahl created an evocative new image of the Holy Family. The stamp illustration shows Joseph leading a donkey that carries Mary and Jesus, guided by a star shining in the twilight of a desert sky.

These Santa and Sleigh stamps portray Santa Claus flying through the air in his sleigh. With a cargo of toys and gifts produced in his workshop by elves, he lands on the rooftop of house after house and slides down the chimney to leave presents for girls and boys of all ages. That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.
Santa’s annual journey is joyfully captured in this block of four holiday stamps, with two rows of two stamps each presenting a “classic” image of Santa and his reindeer circling around snow-covered rooftops.
Though his roots go much further back, the modern Santa Claus, the giver of gifts, captured the American imagination in the Revolutionary War era. At that time, understandably critical of English traditions, people looked to the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas for cultural cues and seasonal inspiration. Since then, Santa has become more popular, and is today beloved by millions of children who write him letters, track his progress on the Internet, and leave him milk and cookies as tokens of their esteem.
To their cards and letters and yours, these stamps will add a dash of holiday merriment. Double-check your mailing list so you don’t forget anyone nice!
Artist Paul Rogers worked with art director Howard Paine to create this block of four holiday stamps. These computer-generated images were originally drawn in pencil on paper.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Christmas in July.... 2012

Wow...everytime I get on here, I say I've been MIA and will do better. I realize I need to stop those promises and just go with it. So here I am, celebrating Christmas in July with all of you. It's not the 1st or the 2nd or even the 4th, but today is July 6th and the 6th sounds just as good as any other day to start celebrating!

This perfect post came to mind, when my dear Aunt Sandy sent me a facebook message about a CIJ Ice Cream flavor she'd seen at the grocery store. We were all taking guesses, at what the flavor would be. Would it be Pepperment? No, that's to predictable. Would it be Devinity and Walnuts? Nooooooo

So I did a Google search and found that Blue Bell has done even better and combined SEVERAL of your favorite cookie flavors. Chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and sugar cookies combined with a tasty sugar cookie ice cream with festive red sprinkles and green icing swirls. Doesn't that sound like a heavenly on a hot summer night, after a swim in the pool?

Like many, Ice Cream is a weakness of mine. If I had to choose between cake and ice cream...Ice Cream would win hands down, every time. Sadly I don't own an ice cream maker. it's been on my wish list for some time, but always seems to be one of those items that just gets tossed aside when I'm looking for ideas or have a little extra money. But for the sake of this post, lets PRETEND I do have an ice cream maker. Here are some recipes for Christmas "Themed" flavors you might all enjoy.

Jean at Delightful Repast has posted a heavenly looking recipe for EGGNOG ICE CREAM. I love eggnog ice cream, but knowing this is "scoopable" and "custard like" puts it at the top of my must make list. Be sure to check out her site for detailed instructions and some tips on using raw eggs.

Epicurious has a recipe for Mincemeat Ice Cream that looks interesting. Mincemeat is one of those pies you either love or hate. So if you are a mincemeat fan, here is the recipe for you.

Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
10 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar

2 Golden Delicious apples (about 1 1/3 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

For ice cream:
Mix cream and milk in heavy large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer; remove from heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes. Strain custard into bowl. Cover; chill until cold, about 4 hours.

For mincemeat:
Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Transfer mixture to bowl; refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Process custard in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to bowl. Fold in 3 cups cold mincemeat. Cover and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.)

I just asked my daughter if she could convert any special Christmas treat, into an ice cream, what would it be? Her choice...Date Balls.

After looking around, it seems that Brown Eyed Baker has a recipe that might be very similar in taste. Date, Rum & Pecan Ice Cream. Date balls don't have rum in them, but rum in any treat is yummy. If you don't cook with alcohol, don't hesitate to try the recipe with rum extracts.

I hope that is a great start to this months celebration. Trust me, on my next trip to the grocery store, I'll be scoping out the freezer section!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy PROM Day!

After several months of being MIA, I'm back and trying to get my creative MOJO flowing again. To kick things off, I'm diving in head first. Tomorrow is my daughter prom and tonight I'm trying to finish a few "homemade" details. That includes an embellished pair of shoes, 1 cocktail ring and one wrist corsage. 

My daughters dress is going to be vintage pink, with creamy, white lace. Pearls are usually her number one choice for jewelry, but she decided early on, she wanted something different. Before going shopping, we dove into my jewelry box and found the perfect pink rhinestone pieces. Only thing missing...ONE RING! So after a quick trip to Joanne's, we came home with a bag of ring bases (3.99) and a 3 inch strip of pink chiffon ribbon (.41 cents). We raided Bryon's beads and I found the strip of off white chiffon ribbon, I used for her belt at Homecoming. With those 4 things and some glue, I whipped this out. 

Next are her shoes. Months ago, I found an awesome pair of Vintage Pink,  Rhinestone, Clip On Earrings. I knew immediately they needed to go on her Prom shoes. Back then she wanted heels. Today she came back down to reality and realized flats are still her SAFE choice. We found these basic glitter slip on shoes and added the earrings as an accent. I tried clipping them on and that hurt to much, I tried sewing them onto the shoe and that proved to be a bit difficult to knot off. Currently I have them attached with glue and a clamp and hope that they will dry sufficiently over night. Once they are dry, I think I'm going to go back and put a simple thread knot for back up. 

My last piece is a wrist corsage for one of Ciara's friends. She's going with a big group of friends, so they exchanged names so they could buy each other a corsage. Ciara and her friend, decided to make their own, rather then buy regular flowers. Ciara picked out a beaded bracelet, a black flower pin and a teal rhinestone pendant. We started brainstorming and once I attached the pin to the bracelet, my creative juices were flowing, so I kept going. This is what I came up with and I love the Black and Teal together.

Here dress is still a work in progress. I told her to think of it as a Project Runway competition. It might be down to the last minute, when she puts it on, but miracles will happen!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First Rudy Day of 2011...

For my first Rudy Day of 2011, I'm choosing to start my morning off with a cup of hot chocolate and listening to a few Christmas songs on YouTube. While doing so, I came across the fantastic version of Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt.

This song is a favorite to remake, year after year. Although I enjoy the Eartha Kitt version he best, there are some others worth listening too. 

Kellie Pickler: 

Other items on my agenda today: 
-Transfer some of my Christmas bookmarks to my Pinterest account. 
-Pull old items out of my Christmas notebook & note swap info and   other things into my Past Years section. 
-Print off the agenda and Calender for redoing my Christmas journal for 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Project Valentine Info and Donation Opportunities

Valentine Card making is currently in full swing at our house and many of you have heard me mention Project Valentine and wonder exactly what it is and how you can help. The deadline for this years event is coming up soon, but below are some ways you can still help. Ciara and I will have the privilege of delivering to the Thornton Cancer Center this year, so we're feeling very blessed.  My friend Carrie, was blessed to receive a bag several years ago and has been delivering to patients ever since. Here are a few pictures from last year. 


Project Valentine was founded in February of 2002 by Colleen Anderson, with the mission of making Valentine's Day a "little sweeter" for individuals in the Denver area undergoing cancer treatment.  Since that time, Project Valentine volunteers have created and donated items to assemble hundreds of gift bags.  These gift bags are hand-delivered to men, women and children undergoing cancer treatment on Valentine's Day.

Delivery Stats for 2011: Our best year yet! At 607 bags delivered, we were able to personally reach more than 244 women, 172 men, 124 children, and had 81 additional gift bags that were appropriate for adult women or men.

Ideas for bags are endless! Handmade gifts are not only appropriate; they are often the most appreciated items we distribute. Remember, we serve cancer patients from all walks of life: young and old, male and female, and those of all faiths.  Since cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are susceptibility to infection, all items must be NEW or newly made.

Need ideas? Here are some items we need for 2012:
  • Crossword, Sudoku, or Word Search books
  • Decks of cards
  • Puzzles or Travel Games (played by 1 or 2)
  • Journals
  • Note cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Unscented or slightly scented lotions*
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Water bottles
  • Gift cards ($5 & $10)
  • Candy, gum, mints - individually wrapped**
  • New CDs of comforting and inspiring music (suitable for all religious faiths)
  • Hand made or purchased knit scarves and hats
  • Fuzzy, warm socks or Stretch gloves (one size fits all)
  • Handmade jewelry or jewelry kits
  • Simple craft kits
*  We cannot accept home-made food items.
** Please package handmade items (scarf, hat, jewelry) individually in a ziplock baggie. 

If you can give one item, ten, or a hundred - we will be delighted with what you give!
           Give your donations to a Project Valentine board member or  volunteer.  Or you can deliver them to us:
·         Jan 14 (1- 4 pm) Valentine Making at Colorado Community Church, 3651 S. Colorado Blvd., Englewood
·         Jan 28 (10:00 - 4:00pm)  Inventory Day at Colorado Community Church
·         We'd love to have most items received by our Inventory Day (January 28, 2012), but will continue to   accept donations through 11:00 am on Assembly Day (February 11, 2012) at CCC.

Project Valentine is a 501-c3 non-profit organization so your donation is tax deductible.   Visit our website at for more information.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Word of the Year: Rejuvenate!

Rejuvenate: "To Bring New Life To"

For the past 3 years, rather then choose a New Year's resolution, I've chose a word of the year. Last year, my word was "Resolve". The year before that "ME". Both took some thought, but were easy compared to my decision this year. For several weeks, I've pondered and just couldn't think of the right word. Some of my friends have serious words and other online buddies chose fun words like "Rainbows" and "Bubbles". With a little explaining, what appeared to be fun on the outside, actually had some deep, rooted meaning. 

This past year has brought trials for many around me. Trials can be like a double edge sword. Some make you stronger, but some break you down piece by piece. Those small dents aren't all noticeable at once, but over time you become worn and a little neglected. That's when you need to step back, take notice and make time to REJUVENATE.

When I think of the word REJUVENATE, it goes far beyond mental and physical needs. I have relationships that need to be rejuvenated, my home needs to be rejuvenated, my career path needs to be rejuvenated, my hobbies need to be rejuvenated and most importantly my faith needs to be rejuvenated.

I've been enlightened by my word now for 24hours. The first step in taking action is to sit down and take notice. Have you done that recently? If not, I encourage you to take all the time you need to pick your "Word of the Year" and then Take Action!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year Ahead!!

As much as I hate to see December and Christmas go, I do love the new clean slate that the New Year brings. I don't know that I have an actual Resolution, but I do take the time to sit down and evaluate things in my life. Taking the time to write down my concerns, my goals, my wish list and my To-Do list are absolutely necessary. I strive to do these things all year long, however come November and December they seem to be put aside and life goes into survival mode.

I also try and pick a WORD of the year to focus on. In the past years I've chosen "ME" and "Resolve". This year, I haven't come across or been able to think of the perfect word yet. It's more like, I'm still focusing on what exactly I want my year ahead to look like. 

In the mean time, I always refer back to Benjamin Franklin and his Governing Values. In his 20's after struggling with both family, failing in business and becoming a single parent,  he sat down to write a list of values and virtues he would focus on daily. It amazes me, how this list is still so pertinent today.  Since discovering this list, I still find it very ironic how it mimics my moral and religious choices.

I do suggest you take the time to evaluate these areas in your life.  Even taking the time, to mentally note which you will work on during a weeks time, will make a difference and make you just a wee bit more aware of what's going on around you and with your choices.

Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. 

Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. 

Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. 

Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. 

Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty. 

Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation. 

Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. 

Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.

Humility: Emulate Christ and Socrates in all things.