He's Back!....and he brought a friend!

Many of you remember Edgar from last year. He is back again ... and this time he brought a friend. Meet Ms. Elaine. Elaine is a little on the quiet side, but is very firm on how things should be done. I am in hopes she will be a calming influence on Edgar. He was a handful last year. 

They watched quietly last night while I did a little decorating. I was thrilled to use my new Pyrex snowflake patterns I have accumulated this year. My friend made the towel. I think this is going to be my favorite Christmas display this year. I only did a little decorating before bedtime so I was in hopes that Edgar didn't get into too much mischief last night. 

I thought things might be better since I got up this morning and found him quietly having a cup of hot chocolate with his new friends Chilly and Rudy. I could hear him telling them about all his antics last year. Oh, I hope he is not going to be a bad influence. 

He visited some old friends, Ginger and Mr. Frost. Unfortunately, Ginger remembers how many times he tried to get her in trouble last year. It doesn't appear she was too eager to welcome him home.

EDGAR! We had this same problem last year. STAY AWAY FROM MY PYREX! Even hubby is afraid to touch certain pieces. I get a little freaky about my Pryex.

It appears things may not be as calm as I hoped this year. He never could resist the glittery sparkly decor.

But he did try to help by starting to fluff some of the tree branches. I'm pretty sure that the minute my back was turned he probably was swinging from them. Who knows with Edgar. 

And where was Ms. Elaine while he was getting into mischief? Snuggled up in her bed fast asleep. I will have to have a talk with her. I'm not sure how much help she is going to be. 

Join me daily for the adventures of Edgar and Elaine. They may not be here everyday and they may not be talked about each day, but they could show up here and there in pictures. Every day you see a picture of one of them, please leave a comment and you will be registered for a drawing the day after Christmas. You can earn one entry each time you leave a comment. Only one comment per day please. The prize will be announced later. It will be something from our NEW Thirty-One spring catalog which premiers December 7th. Stay tuned to see what the prize will be for one lucky winner. Leave your first comment today and be one of the first to enter the drawing to be held on December 26th.


Black Friday

I am out enjoying the thrill of Black Friday shopping. I won't let the retailers who started a day early upset me. There are still bargains to be found and I am armed with my list and ready to go. 

I plan to be at my first stop by 5:00 a.m. and will travel my normal Black Friday route. I plan to meet up with my daughter-in-law for lunch about mid-day. Not sure where we will go. Last year, we went to O' Charlies and it was delicious. 

I would love to share all the wonderful bargains I am looking for, but some of my family reads my blog so I better keep my secrets till Christmas. 

For those of you who are hitting the stores today, be safe and have a great day.


Happy Thanksgiving

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. - Psalm 100:4


A little surprise

For the past few days, our local weatherman has been telling us snow was heading our way on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. 

But we generally don't get snow before Thanksgiving around here. I thought it would be festive to be able to look out the window and see a little flurry of activity.

But I didn't really expect it this early. Although I did see the "signs" when I stopped at the store Tuesday morning.

I was delighted when I woke up this morning and saw my back deck. 

It's not much but when you don't usually have any before Thanksgiving, this was exciting to see.

The world outside my backdoor is a contrast of seasons. I still have some beautiful fall leaves on the trees and Santa's van next door had a light dusting of snow. (yes, I live beside Santa Clause)

Even my apple tree out front had a little on the branches.

I fixed my favorite ... a cup of hot chocolate, marshmallows and peppermint candy cane and settled down to work on my Christmas list for Black Friday. 

Now just to try to stay warm today.


Some recent finds

There is a closeout outlet in our area called Ollie's. Sometimes you can find a good bargain there. We went there over this past weekend and I decided to look at the cookbooks. I got this Hershey's cookbook for just $3.89. I love anything made with Hershey's. While this has some recipes using Hershey chocolate baking chips, the majority of them use Hershey's powdered cocoa which is what I prefer to bake with. Can't wait to try some of the recipe cards. 

In the back of the book, there are tear out recipe cards for everything in the book. I was thinking that would make a nice gift for someone. Bake the goodie and gift wrap it with the recipe so they can make it themselves any time they want. 

Hubby and I have been debating getting a real tree this year. We haven't had one since the late '90's. Some of the local tree lots are already putting them out so I have been comparing prices. I just need a 5 1/2' - 6' one. I found some for as low as $18.00.

Before we make a decision, I decided to check prices on tree stands. If I was going to have to pay more for a tree stand than I will a tree, I won't get one. So I looked at Ollie's Outlet for the tree stand and they had one like I wanted.

When I saw the price of $3.29 I decided that yes, we will have a real tree this year. We already have some lights I bought on clearance one year. 

I checked the mail yesterday and found one of my Pyrex trades had arrived. I have been so excited to get it. It is the Town and Country casserole. I can't wait to use it. 

The sweet lady who traded me also made a cozi to go around it. That was so nice of her. I love it. 

All in all, it has been a great week so far. 


An early Christmas gathering...

Due to all the busy schedules with my Thirty-One sisters, we decided to have our annual Christmas party yesterday. We had lots of great food. 

The ham and cheese sliders with spicy mustard was delicious. I could have sat and eaten the all night. 

I also loved a cheese dip that had bacon in it. I am going to get the recipe and I will share it with you when I do. 

The desserts were so decorative and delicious that I couldn't stop sampling them.

The banana pudding was out of this world.

This cake batter dip with Scooby snacks was really delicious.

My favorite was the brownies decorated like little Christmas trees. 

And the cupcakes decorated with a turkey.

There were lots of dips to try and some mini pigs in a blanket with some awesome sausage balls. 

We had an awesome time. 


COMING SOON....Thanksgiving!

Is it just me or has November flown by? I can't believe this week is Thanksgiving. It's time to start cleaning the house for the family to visit. 

Old Tom is starting to defrost in the fridge.

A nice Kentucky Legend Ham is waiting to be covered in pineapples and brown sugar. I don't eat turkey, but I do love my ham.

The traditional jellied cranberry sauce is ready to be opened. 

Lot of preparation to do for the dressing, pineapple upside down cake and the various side dishes to go with the feast.

Couple of pies setting in the freezer ready to be prepared along with our standard of corn for just about every meal we have.

We did most of the shopping earlier this week on hubby's day off. I will finish up the few stragglers sometime today or Monday.

The Pyrex collection is ready to be used for all the mixin' and fixin' that will be going on next week as I make cakes and hubby fixes his potato salad and macaroni salad.

Sunday afternoon is my first Christmas gathering for my Thirty-One sisters. With Christmas being so hectic over the holidays, we opted to do our potluck dinner/gift exchange this Sunday. I'm starting to collect items for my gift to take. I had my friend over at Stevie Marie's make me this as part of the gift. I'll accumulate the rest of it today. I hope whoever ends up with it likes it. 

I'm working a couple of hours this morning to get ahead on some projects for next week so I can enjoy my four day weekend next weekend. Then I'm heading to East Knoxville to start a little Christmas shopping. Have a great day!


Blue about Black Friday

I am so blue about Black Friday. I started 9 years ago getting up early and being at Walmart at 5:00 to catch the early bird deals. I wish they would invoke a Federal Blue Law for Thanksgiving.

Why put myself through such a mad house? There was just something special about roaming around in the crowd, finding the perfect bargain and then waiting in the long lines to check out. I met some pretty neat people from all over the country while standing in check out lines. There is just something fun about seeing people smiling that time of the morning.

It was always a great kick-off to the Christmas season for me. I just couldn't wait to see the ads on Thanksgiving Day. I would sit down in the afternoon and glance through them before the kids come over for Thanksgiving dinner.

Then that night after everyone returns home, I grab a big old slab of graham cracker pie, a glass of milk, my ads and a pen and paper. I go through the ads of the places I plan to shop and make a list of what to look for.

Do I buy everything I go after? No, I don't. These are just my "starting point" on Christmas ideas. I do manage to get some good bargains. There is just something fun about being out in the mix of things the day after Thanksgiving. Then they had to go and ruin it. First, they started several years ago by "leaking" the ads early online. By the time I would get my Thanksgiving paper, I had already seen most of the ads so many times on line that I was sick of looking at them.

Then they started having the Black Friday sales starting on Thanksgiving evening. Now many stores are opening at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving day. What part of the word FRIDAY do they not understand? Isn't Black FRIDAY called that because it starts on FRIDAY! Last year Walmart had items that were available at 8:00 on Thursday night, different items went on sale at 5:00 Friday morning, and yet again even more different items went on sale Friday morning at 8:00 a.m.

They have turned Black Friday into just another shopping day. But I will still make my lists. I will still go. And I will still enjoy it because it is officially my first shopping day of the Christmas season. I am just looking at it as the day I start really looking for bargains and getting my shopping started.