decorating with dodi

Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Just the Best!

Wow! What a simply fabulous few days we have had! It was FULL of family and fun...just the way a holiday should be. We were missing daughter #2 and her family as they were in Kentucky visiting my son-in-law"s family. I know we must learn to share but we still missed them a lot!

We all headed to my brothers for Thanksgiving and what a group we had-both sides of the family there to give thanks for all of our many blessings and then to celebrate my brother on another year of life.

Poor mustache pinata-it sure didn't take long for the kids to demolish this!

As I have said, the theme was "mustaches" because my brother has sported a mustache for as many years as I can remember. It was fun to see everyone getting into the fun. We enjoyed our feast and then stayed and chatted outside until quite late.

The next day saw us up pretty early and we met my son-in-law and Hud at Lowes for the picking of the tree 2015. It is so much easier with helping hands. We managed to find a beauty in short time and with Elton's truck, getting it home was a breeze. Then, a quick cut with the chain saw and it was standing majestically in its stand before I knew it.

Once that was accomplished, we were on to the outside lights. My husband and I do this every year but getting the lights up to the peak is proving harder and harder as I literally stand on the top of the ladder and still have a pretty good reach. Thank goodness for strong, young bodies. Before I knew it, my daughter, grand daughter and her boyfriend had them all up and lit. 

Once we were done here, we headed to daughter #3's for a truly lovely afternoon of visiting and eating (yes, eating again) ...where we were joined by lots of neighborhood kids and even a neighbor for a wonderful dinner and lots of laughs. This proved to be another late night but was so much fun.

Today I got the lights on the tree and am now heading out to watch a Christmas movie before the Gator game this evening. I suspect tomorrow will see me beginning the red and green invasion. Tree is up and lit, lights are on outside...this is the earliest I have ever been this far along but since we will be off to St. Pete for another week soon, December will go quickly. Can't wait to share. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Getting Our Hungry On!

 Just about ready to head off for our Thanksgiving feast and birthday party at my brother's home. Yesterday we were invited to spend the day with daughter #3 and her family at their was to be pie baking day so I put on my "baker's hat" and off we went. I probably should have known that she hasn't done much pie baking when I started getting text messages to bring a rolling pin, then Crisco, then pie plates-and she didn't know what size! This is my gourmet chef kind of daughter...never realized that she really doesn't enjoy baking.

When we arrived at her house, we were met with lovely cheeses and crackers, hot crab dip and butternut squash bruschetta-see, goumet foods. They were all delicious. A nice glass of wine and we were ready to start-or were we?

The kids were chomping at the bit to help make pies so while Jen was reading the recipe, I kept the kids busy by making the ice cream cone cornucopias that are all over Pinterest.

With the help of a glass of warm water and a microwave, these were pretty easy to accomplish.

After looking at the Pinterest pin, you can only imagine the kids' dismay when our cornucopias went from this: this:

They were sure theirs would also be loaded with M & Ms, but their mom had other ideas. It was a fun project and kept them busy for awhile until the pie baking was finally ready to begin!

I'm not sure exactly what the total plan had been, but after a totally fun, laugh (and wine ) filled day, we had ONE pie to show for all of our efforts. Wish I had a picture of the finished product because it is a beauty but I was having so much fun, that this is the only picture I remembered to snap!

I finally got all of the chocolate pops made and bagged and ready to travel.

Then I found the perfect sign to say just what we want to say...

I found this free download on "ARMOMMY". They have lots of others too. I am always so happy when I can find just the perfect free download because I couldn't design my own if my life depended on it!

So, we are off. I will have more to share soon I am sure-big plans for the next few days...with lots of happy "helpers". Hope everyone has a family-filled Thanksgiving and before we know it, we will be seeing red and green! Stay tuned.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Just For a Minute...

...everyone has a mustache.

My brother is celebrating his birthday on Thanksgiving this year! It is his favorite holiday so my sister-in-law decided that with everyone there, it would be the perfect time to party. And, since my brother has sported a mustache for as long as I can remember, she thought that would make a good theme.

She has planned lots of "mustache" activities-including a mustache pinata- and I offered to add a few things of my own.

Yesterday, I got the props done. I think it will be fun to have them available during the day so anyone can pop on a "stache" for a photo op.

She just had to try one on for size!

Now I'm making the chocolate mustache lollipops to give as favors. I have the dark chocolate ones finished and am in the middle of the milk chocolate. They will be cute when they're bagged and tied. Think I may look for some kind of a cute tag to finish them off.

We have a busy week with doctor and hair appointments and then we are getting together with daughter #3 and her kids to do some pie making before the big day...should be fun. We are also going to try our hand at making the sugar cone cornucopias that are all over Pinterest these days...we shall see. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Getting Our Turkey On

While Jen, hubby and their two boys headed to the Florida game, Presley came to spend the day with Nana and Papa. As I posted earlier, I don't have anywhere near as many Thanksgiving tricks up my sleeve as I do other holidays but I wanted to make sure we had some "turkey" fun while she was here.

This was such an easy and inexpensive craft. I actually had everything needed to put him together and he turned out really cute!

I used to do this with the older girls so I thought it was time to let Presley get in on the fun. She made hand print turkey pot holders as gifts for her mom, Nana and aunts for Thanksgiving.

"Turkey" sandwich with veggie feathers,

"Turkey" caramel dip with apple feathers.

This Indian corn is made like Rice Krispie treats except that you use Reeses peanut butter and chocolate cereal and mix in M & Ms and Reeses Pieces. They get molded to look like corn cobs and then we added some raffia husks. They are a bit tricky to mold at first but oh so yummy in the end.

We had a really fun day and despite a bit of a nail biter, the Gators were victorious once again, so a good day all around. Should be a fun week. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I Love a Project...or Two...

...or ten!! I am once again prepping for some crafts with kids...this time it is Thanksgiving and it will be only Presley. Things will be different in a few ways...usually, I am crafting with many more kids and, Thanksgiving is one of the holidays that doesn't get much crafting "love" around here. Things are usually in flux between Halloween and Christmas with so much going on that it is one holiday for which I don't obsess about finding just the perfect craft. In years past, I have had the occasional "aha" moment and had the kids make a gift for everyone gathering but usually not.

So, imagine my delight when daughter #3 asked if Presley could spend Saturday with us while they took the boys to the Florida game. That was a no-brainer and was soon followed with me running to Pinterest to find lots of ideas I have filed away for just such an occasion!

We are doing an "obligatory" handprint turkey craft as well as a few other things I have just been waiting to try. And, you can bet there will be lots of "turkeys" on the menu.

I am also doing a few projects for my brother's birthday bash. My sister-in-law chose "mustaches" as the theme so I volunteered to make cardstock mustache photo props and chocolate mustache lollipop favors. Lucky for me I finally found everything I need to do so!

And, with Thanksgiving in the VERY near future, I begin thinking of Christmas crafts. We are trying to cut back on adult giving this year so many of us are making our gifts. I have a few ideas that I am chomping at the bit to begin but can't share yet because then they wouldn't be a surprise. But, I did find something I had been looking for last year and couldn't find so I grabbed up a few and will probably head back for more if I like the result. It all starts with this Dollar Tree ornament-which was sold out everywhere last year once this idea hit Pinterest. It starts here:

And it ends up here-hopefully:

I think these are cute and will make adorable package tie-ons that can then go on the tree! I found this idea on Fox Hollow Cottage blog-site.

We are off to help Hudson celebrate his 8th birthday tonight-lots of 8 year old boys after seeing the new "Peanuts" movie and before dinner, cake and ice cream and a sleepover-good times-haha. I am sure I will have lots of photos to share next time. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Fun Stuff"

I love it when my life is full of "fun stuff". O.K., I know, my life is almost always fun stuff...guess I mean the little, unexpected fun things that come my way via grand children.

Daughter #3 asked me to help Presley with a school project when she would be here with us this weekend...Nana is the one with any craft supply you could ever want just sitting in her closet(s), so this kind of project often comes my way. You see, Presley had to "disguise" her turkey so no one would find him and he would be safe from someones Thanksgiving table. It was the cutest project ever-definitely one I would be doing if I were still teaching. After the turkeys are returned to school, they will be "hidden" all around the classroom and then a writing assignment will follow.

In any case, what we thought would be a leisurely project turned into a bit of a rush when we saw it was due today and the kids had to be at church for youth group in about an hour. Thank goodness the instructions read "feel free to make this a family project"! Presley made all of the decisions and did all of the actual work but Jen and I did a bit of expediting.

Here is what Tom looked like when he arrived:

And here he is in his disguise finery:

With all of the Santas already out and about, I'm thinking he should be pretty safe in this disguise-haha!

I love crafting with this child. She enjoys it so much and, just like her mom when she was young, she knows what she wants and doesn't want-definitely has a mind of her own! This turkey turned out JUST as she wanted and she is so proud of him! God speed Mr. Turkey! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Results Are In!

I love to make soup this time if fact, I love to make soup any time of year because once it is made, we can live off of it for a long time! That being said, most of my favorite recipes take some "babysitting" as the recipe progresses...add this, 30 minutes later, add this, etc. I have had a super busy week with me being out of the house most of the days. What could be better than a crock-pot recipe? And, since I had treated myself to a new pot (finally bid farewell to the old avocado original) last year when Williams-Sonoma was just throwing rebates at me (haha), I decided it was time to pull it out.

I had just enough time between bringing home the supplies and leaving for an appointment to get everything chopped and into the pot...set it on high for four hours and headed out the door.

When I returned, the house smelled so good! Gotta love that kind of cooking! A few more fresh veggies got added towards the end and we were ready to eat!

This was a crock pot minestrone soup recipe that I found on Pinterest. You can find it in my Pinterest Crockpot Recipe folder. Look for the recipe from "". It was very good but had a few things I will tweak if I make it again. There are many, many other veggie crockpot recipes so I think I may keep going until I find one that is PERFECT just as it is. But, a big, old bowl of this veggie and bean goodness with a hunk of roasted Tuscan garlic bread warm from the bakery and spread with butter wasn't half bad! And, I don't have to think about cooking again for a few will take the two of us awhile to finish this pot! Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Look What I Found!

Well, look what I remembered would actually be more correct! I was looking at another blog and the writer had this exact picture in her kitchen. I remembered making one many, many years ago and I actually knew just where I had stuck stored it. I used to do needlework all the time. I really loved counted cross stitch but if I found a kit I liked, I would do that as well. This was just such a kit. Sadly, many of the others that I did-as well as one or two my husband did-have long since been given as donations. I used to do that in the old days...give things away to make room for new. Nowadays, I keep it all and just squeeze the new stuff in as well-lol.

And, since this was perfect for Thanksgiving, I brought it in to the dining room. And, since there is a sheaf of wheat on the dining room table, could it be any more perfect?  I think not.

Everything old is new again. I love it! Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Changes Are in the Air!

Literally! It may not be much but as we face a week of 0-5% chance of rain a day, we also face a week of slightly lower temperatures and with the lower humidity, it will feel wonderful! This has been a LONG, HOT, WET summer (and into autumn) and any relief feels wonderful! Please remind me not to complain even once when the temps drop yet again and I am actually chilly!! I will take it like a (wo)man!!

In any case, as I once again wait for the cable guy, I thought we could head into the family room.

I have had this guy for sooo many years. He is kind of like a cat in that he has nine lives. He has literally been on the way to the garbage several times. Once, when I unpacked him and found him broken in half. But, I just couldn't do it so if you look closely, you can see the glue lines. And then, once again when his "country blue" bow and beaten and battered leaves just didn't "do it" for me any more. But, once again, I couldn't so he got yet another reprieve. I am NOT a floral designer but even I could glue on a few new leaves and acorns and add a seasonal bow. Voila! I don't know-there is just something simple about him that I like and speaks of the season to me.

This is where I "insert" a bit of harvest as well-not just from the banner (a gift lovingly hand made for us by my cousin) but by the addition of the pumpkins and gourds. If we were actually hosting the holiday at our house, I would be adding lots of fresh gourds and Indian corn but since we are not, I am OK with this.

So, lately, I have chosen not to show you these shelves in the family room as I post my different seasonal decor because they are "just" lots and lots of family pictures. I DO take pictures of them every time because they help me remember what all I put in there. But, I know I have mentioned over and over that even though I sometimes get decorating advice to cut down the number of pictures I display, I am forever seeing my family perusing these shelves and resurrecting memories of so many years ago. And, that is exactly what happened to me as I was taking these pictures.

My eyes zoomed in on two photos and I realized just how long I have been holiday obsessed!

Here is daughter #2 dressed as a pilgrim with her best friend dressed as an Indian...can't even tell you how many years ago that was. (I just noticed the brick. That is how we first built the fireplace. I got tired of it so I first white-washed it and then, several years later, slathered it over with Venetian plaster. I'm thinking I might like that brick again but I think the only way that would happen is with lots of sand, I will just move on!)

And here is daughter #3 wearing the same hat and apron but probably refusing to wear the long, black dress-lol!

Well, cable guy still isn't here. Looks like it may be a long day. I think I am going to start pulling some Christmas ideas. The adults have all agreed to go "simple" this year so I am off to see what I can find to make for everyone-should be fun?! Stay tuned.