Monday, October 18, 2021

Holiday Prep ~ Are You Making a List?

Hello everyone!

The holidays are coming quickly. For us, they begin the third weekend of October with the Maple Leaf Festival. Next up is my husband's birthday the third week of November. We still celebrate the night started going together November 23, 1981. We were high school sweethearts. 

Thanksgiving is next, then the whirlwind of December with Advent, church activities, Christmas, and New Year's Eve.

Have you started making a list yet?
Maybe I should say lists.

Are you hosting a Thanksgiving celebration this year?

Have you made your menu?
Have you gathered your recipes?
Have you started your grocery lists?
Have you planned a cooking timeline?

Are you hosting a Christmas celebration?
The same quesitons apply, and many more.

Pour yourself a cup of eggnog, tea, coffee, or grab a Pepsi from the fridge. Sit down and start making your lists. All the planning you do now will help reduce the stress later and help you enjoy instead of endure.

God bless you!
Happy Thanks Living!

Happy at Home
May I suggest?

Sunday, October 17, 2021



 Happy Fall Dear Reader! 

  It's beginning to look and feel like fall around here. Finally! We've had a few very chilly nights. A few of the maples are showing their first blush of red at the tops.

  If you've been around for a bit, you know that I'm running quite  late with sharing my Fall Bucket List. I had surgery a couple of weeks ago. I'm healing now and ready to make my plans!

 I've actually already done a few of these things. I still added them to the list, because y'all might want to do some of them. I'll put items I've completed in bold print. Then I'll come back and update regularly so that you can see my progress. 

 I'd love to hear what is on your bucket list for fall. Please share a list or a link to your list in the comments below. Is there anything I've forgotten that you consider a must do? Let's talk and be friends. 

Here's my bucket list for 2021.

  • Make my fall bucket list
  • Make my fall reading list
  • Decorate for fall
  • Get updated addresses for my Christmas card list
  • Enjoy candy pumpkins
  • Knit wool socks for undisclosed recipients.
  • Roast marshmallows around the fire 
  • Enjoy the fire pit my adult sons built for us
  • Curl up with a terrific book 
  • Read a wonderful Christmas book 
  • Take a drive to look at fall foliage 
  • Try a new pumpkin recipe ~ low carb, sugar free pumpkin muffins. Too crumbly
  • Try a new pumpkin drink recipe
  • Sip hot apple cider
  • Quilt Emily's quilt by hand
  • Drink eggnog
  • Worship God under the stars
  • Eat homemade chili
  • Maple Leaf Festival
  • Try a new soup  
  • Invite neighbors for a pie 
  • Invite a friend for tea
  • Collect pinecones, leaves and seed pods to decorate
  • Take a walk and enjoy the maple leaves
  • Make homemade cocoa
  • Bake pumpkin bread
  • Bake cookies
  • Make a pecan pie
  • Make Christmas gifts
  • Watch Christmas movies
  • Read Christmas books 
  • Listen to Christmas music
  • Burn cinnamony, pumpkiny, spicy fall candles
  • Read by candlelight and lamplight
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving with family at home
  • Decorate our Christmas tree on the Sunday evening after Thanksgiving

Alright, now you know some of the things I hope to do over the next month and a half of fall. 

What's on your list? I'd really like to know.

Be blessed!

Focusing on the Lord through it all

Friday, October 15, 2021

Thinking Ahead to The Holidays


Good day or evening to you dear reader!

 I just put in my Walmart grocery order for the week. Just before hitting checkout, I added the items needed to make my family's favorite green bean casserole recipe for Thanksgiving. Early? Yes. But. 

 There are two reasons that I ordered the items now. First, I don't have money saved up for Thanksgiving dinner at this point. This year, I plan to order a few items I need each week in order to spread out the cost of a very expensive meal. Second, with all the uncertainty in the availability of items this season, I want to do my best to prepare early not only for Thanksgiving, but after that, the Christmas season as well.

 Last week, I visited a small thrift shop in my town and found a set of cooling racks new in the package for just $3. I snatched them up. They will make a nice Christmas gift. Over the years, I have done much of my shopping second hand. I've found some nice sweaters, shirts, and a brand new wool coat ($2) among other things.  My family knows it, and they still enjoy the items I purchase for them.Thrifty is not just an idea for me. It is a way of life. Over the last year or so, with four surgeries and covid, I've become a bit lax; but, I sense a season coming when my thrifty ways will not just be helpful but necessary.

 I don't have a well stocked pantry. I am beginning now by buying just a few extra items at a time. I know from experience that God always provides, but I need to do my part. 

 I am also busy making birthday and Christmas gifts. I am knitting items using yarn that was given to me supplemented by a few skeins that I've purchased. I also have some sewing to do. It's time to start making my lists and getting busy with my kringling! I suggest you do the same. 

 Well, enough for now. I'm making a thrown together quiche for supper tonight with the items I have on hand.

 What are your thoughts about the coming season? Are you feeling a need to prepare what you can early?


Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Doing what I can with what I've got on a shoestring budget

May I suggest?

Christmas Gifts for Children... Precedents, Disappointment, and Gratefulness

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Friday, October 8, 2021

Take Time Now to Prep for the Busy Holiday Season!

These cool days of  early fall are the perfect time to prepare for the busy holiday season coming in November and December. 

Prepare double batches of soups and casseroles.  I like to do this on normal evenings as I'm preparing dinner.  It's easy to put the extra in the freezer for a busy day meal.  Just be sure to label it.  I've had a few surprises over the years.  Oh my, did I say that aloud?  ~smile~ in fact, right now, I have a container of something red in my freezer. I think it's sauce for meatloaf. I think. ~smile~

You'll find some delicious soups and stews on this list from my blog:  
An Autumn Mix: Warming Up with Soups and Stews... A List of Favorites .

Begin now to prepare cookies for your family often. Bake a dozen for the family to enjoy now and freeze the rest for busy November and December days.  I often go ahead and shape the dough into balls for easy thawing and baking right on the cookie sheet.  This is a huge help when unexpected guests pop in during the holidays or you find that you need a treat to take to a gathering. This year, I plan to try some sugar free low carb cookies, too. Try some of my favorite cookies here.

Now's the time to gather ideas and make your lists.  Look at all the ideas you've come up with over the last few months.  Start making lists. Think about what you'd like the next few months to look like and start breaking it all down.

If  you're planning on making gifts, it's time to get started!

Start thrift shopping. I went for my first shopping trip this week. I found a set of Wilton's cooling racks for cookies or cakes for just $3. They are brand new in the package. With four young adults, they will be a gift for someone. You can often find new or like new items at great prices.

Well, I've given you something to think about.  Go, think, scribble a few thoughts down, and try some of my soups and cookies.  Let's take the coming months in a steady pace and enjoy it without stress. Have a terrific week!

Happy at Home
Happy to Be Alive and Cancer Free

May I suggest?

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Christmas in the Alps by Melody Carlson 5 Stars

This post includes affiliate links.


To sum the book up in two words:  LOVED IT!
Truth be told, I knew I'd love it before I even received it. I've loved all of Melody Carlson's Christmas books that I've read. Of course, like in many Christmas novellas, we put aside many of the things that might limit the scope of the story. For instance, money. All Simone needs is provided through the sale of her grandmama's house at the perfect time. I wish life were that easy. BUT this is is a Christmas story! It's all about getting to that happy ending. 

Mrs. Carlson spun an unusual tale for us of family love, of family grumpiness, of friendship, of secrets, of kindness, and of a mysterious treasure hunt. It's a story of the blending of the old ways and the new ways. We have an antagonist that puts just a bit of pressure and uncertainty into the tale as well as a wrench in the clockworks. ~smile~

This is a story that will help you relax and enjoy a bit of the beauty of Paris and France at Christmas time. It will let you enjoy dreams of learning French and going on a beautiful snowy adventure to find your treasure!

It's completely clean. No worries about this one at all. It is a pleasure to read.


Get ready for a magical mountain holiday

After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that Simone is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, she boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who's on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone's family's clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

Read an Excerpt

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I use the Goodreads star system.
★               Did not like it
★★            It was okay
★★★         Liked it
★★★★      Really liked it
★★★★★   It was amazing


The Christmas Swap ~ My Review
A Christmas by the Sea ~ My Review 
The Christmas Joy Ride ~ My Review 
The Christmas Angel Project ~ My Review 
The Christmas Blessing ~ My Review 
The Christmas Dog ~ My Review 
The Christmas Shoppe 
The Gift of Christmas Present
Christmas at Harringtons 
Christmas in Winter Hill