Mom’s Sugar Cookies

Feb 23, 2015

Ingredients 1/2 Cup Butter, Softened 3/4 Cup Sugar 1 Egg 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour 1/4 Teaspoon Salt 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder 2-3 Tablespoon Milk Directions Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Cream butter and sugar in mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until blended. Mix in vanilla. Add sifted mixture of flour, salt and baking powder alternately with milk; mix well. Chill dough until firm 15-30 min. Roll to a 1/4-inch thickness on floured surface. Cut with 4 to 5-inch cookie cutter. Arrange on greased cookie sheet or one that is lined with parchment paper. I prefer parchment paper. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Mom’s oven is 5 min. mine is 7 min. Cool cookies on cooling racks completely then add icing. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 Dozen Cookies....

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Weekend of Family Fun

Dec 23, 2014

This past weekend, my sister and her family came up for the weekend. Her Christmas gift to Brittain was a ticket to see the Cowboys play the Colts, Sunday. It wasn’t the game Brittain was hoping for but it was a fun time spent with his mom. Since he isn’t able to go to Beaumont for Christmas I decided to have a family Christmas party for him at our house. Saturday morning, Madelyn and Bellie made snowmen out of donuts for breakfast. These were a big hit with the girls. All you need are powdered donuts, orange jelly beans for the nose and mini chocolate morsels for the mouth and eyes. A cup of hot chocolate is a great drink to go with the snowman donuts too. Saturday evening, we had our family party....

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Fun Getting To Know You Christmas Questions

Dec 19, 2014

Here are some fun getting to know you Christmas questions you can share with friends and family at a family gathering or party. I always find it interesting in how others celebrate the holiday season. If you don’t celebrate Christmas you can easily change the questions to fit your holiday celebration. My sister and her family arrive late tonight and I cannot wait to have some fun with everyone. You know I’m on “best weekend ever” notice for Madelyn and Isabella. I LOVE being their aunt. I have a weekend of fun all planned out that includes lots of hot chocolate, s’mores, cookie baking, holiday light looking and presents. It’s going to be a fabulous weekend. 1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? This year it’s all about Gift Bags.  2. Real tree or artificial? We...

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I believe…

Dec 17, 2014

Originally Posted December 12, 2011 and to this day it’s still one of my favorites. Just recently my 8 year old niece was asking if Santa was real. My mom asked Madelyn what she thought to which she replied, I think he is real. Mom left it at that and Madelyn went on her merry way. I remember when I found out about Santa and for a moment I was sad but then discovered since I had younger siblings I was in a special secret club… I got to be a secret elf and help with wrapping and shopping which I just loved. I found this part just as rewarding if not more on Christmas morning. Watching my brother and sister run down the stairs, through the hallway and into the living room staring in amazement...

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Weekend of Holiday Decorating

Dec 8, 2014

The Christmas tree is the first item to go up in our house during the holiday season. Ansley designed this “Peppermint” tree a few years ago and we’ve kept it since. It’s a fun tree that is easy to put up and take down and lets face it during the holidays easy is the key word. Once the tree is all set Ansley and I start to plan how we want to decorate the house. This year it is all about lights. In the den, we decided to hang three wreaths with white lights and some garland with red and white lights in the bay window. We added white lights on the fireplace mantel and I accented it with some of my favorite vintage mercury glass ornaments, garland and green depression glass. I say “I” accented...

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Teeny Tiny Needle Felted Terrarium

Oct 20, 2014

I’ve been in Beaumont helping mom and dad with a few of their aches and pains these past few weeks so while I’m sitting in the evenings I’ve been doing some needle felting. Over the weekend, I decided to give it a go at making a teeny tiny terrarium. The jar for this terrarium is only 2″ x 2″. Which means the mushrooms and gnome house are really tiny. The tallest mushroom measures 1″ and the gnome house is only .75″ and I LOVE the teeny tiny acorn cap used as the roof. Mom and dad have some super tiny acorns on their oak tree that are perfect for these little houses. It’s a battle between me and the squirrel on who gets them first. I plan on making several more of these teeny tiny needle felted terrariums because...

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Needle Felted Doll

Oct 14, 2014

I’m in Beaumont for a bit getting mom and dad taken care of, they are nicknamed Gimp 1 and Gimp 2, at the moment. Dad has a nerve in his leg bothering him and mom has a knee that wont straighten. Between the two of them they are quite the pair. When I arrived last week my youngest niece, Isabella came down with a 24 hour tummy bug so while watching her for a few hours I made her a needle felted doll. She picked the wool colors and instructed me on how she wanted her doll to look. Collaborating with kids on a project is really fun. She loves her doll and I was ever so happy to make it for her. The tummy bug hit my niece Madelyn, last night. I’m really hoping...

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Home and Missing the Old Family Homestead

Sep 15, 2014

I just returned from my yearly visit to Buckhannon, WV with mom and dad. I always love driving them up to see family. We have the best time together sitting in the car for 19 plus hours and literally laugh until we cry. It’s always a wonderful adventure with these two. But once home I miss seeing them every day and miss enjoying the quietness of sitting on my aunt and uncle’s porch listening to birds as they fly by, listening to a turkey or two and watching the deer eat pears and apples from trees planted by my great great aunts and uncles many many years ago. I’m truly a nature girl stuck smack dab in the middle of the burbs. Since family history is so important to me I thought I would...

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FREE Shipping In My Etsy Shop

Aug 26, 2014

Next week, I will be on a mini road trip with mom and dad. I’ll be driving them to Evansville, ID to see the LST-325 ship which is  similar to the ship LST-557 that my grandfather Clayton Spinney, (dad’s father) was a mechanic on during WWII. Before grampa passed away and the last time I saw him, he shared with me a heartbreaking story of seeing his best friend killed on deck. That was the only time I ever saw my grampa have sadness on his face but I’m glad he shared the story. After we tour this ship we will then head over to Buckhannon, WV to see mom’s side of the family at the old homestead I love so much. I sure hope my house is still standing when I return home. Alan, Ansley...

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Being an Aunt…

May 29, 2014

Means you can surprise your nieces before bed for a surprise adventure in their jammies. Means you can load your nieces up on a Sonic Shake sugar high right before bed, take them home and let your sister deal with their sugar high. Means you will crawl out of bed bright and early to take them to school for Muffins with Mom & their Book Fair. Means the only payment you want for getting up super early to attend Muffins with Mom and the Book Fair is a sweet selfie with your nieces plus one best friend. Means you get to throw a surprise mini birthday party for a very special 7 year old when she comes home from school. Being an aunt is the next best thing to being a mom. Amanda, Brittain, Madelyn and...

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Good Junkin Spots

May 28, 2014

Last week, while heading down to mom and dad’s place I stopped at one of my favorite junkin spots near New Waverly. This place is filled with all kinds of stuff and the best part is you never know what you’ll find. Every time I’ve gone I’ve found something awesome. One of the places that is a must go to spot every single time I’m home is the Sour Lake Antique Mall. This place is filled with lots of amazing things and I look with an eagle eye in every single booth. If you’re ever in or around Sour Lake this antique mall is worth the stop to shop. I found some awesome things this past visit. This time my finds were all about vintage jewels. I found so many fabulous pieces that I cannot wait to use in my art...

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Garden of The Gods ~ Colorado Springs, Colorado

May 1, 2014

Garden of the Gods was first called Red Rock Corral. Then, in August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site. One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden.” His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods. The row of hogbacks. The Kissing Camels formation is the nearest hogback to the right of mom and dad. The camel’s heads are above a hole in the rock where the sky can be seen. It’s hard to see the hole in some of the photos. But if you look closely you can see it in the photo above. The...

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Rocky Mountain Memories ~ Estes Park, Colorado

Apr 30, 2014

All of last week I was in Estes Park, Colorado with mom and dad. We had a fabulous time exploring every inch of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. I loved being able to combine work with play especially with mom and dad. They are a blast to travel with and guarantees lot of laugh until you cry moments. Throughout the week, I will be sharing loads of photos taken during our adventure. First I have to tell you about the fun I had teaching classes at Rocky Mountain Memories April 25th & 26th. Cheryl Grigsby is living my dream. Seriously I’m not kidding, she has a scrapbook store, an adorable rental cabin and a home in Estes Park. Oh how this Texas girl wants to move to Estes Park so badly. I truly belong...

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Observations from an Alcoholic’s Sister ~ Emotions

Apr 16, 2014

There are so many different emotions family members of alcoholics feel. One emotion I definitely felt was anger. I was angry because of what I saw Richard’s alcoholism doing to him and to our family, especially mom. I felt as though Richard was being selfish and unappreciative of all that mom and dad were doing in hopes of him getting sober and it made me furious. I understand alcoholism is a brain disease but like any disease most do what they can to control or get rid of their disease, most don’t let the disease control them or end their life without some sort of fight. Alcoholism is a beast to control and I saw firsthand how strong the cravings were but I still felt Richard could have tried a little harder to gain...

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Observations from an Alcoholic’s Sister ~ Their Friends

Apr 9, 2014

Their Friends ~ talk about a really hard issue for alcoholics. I feel alcoholics need to sever the majority if not all of their friendships in order to remain sober. This is because most alcoholics have friends who are social drinkers, are alcoholics themselves and they may even have some who are drug abusers; I know all of this was true for Richard. In order for a recovering alcoholic to find the strength to remain sober, they cannot keep the same group of friends. If the friends an alcoholic continues to hang around drinks or uses drugs in their presence I feel those new to sobriety are on a fast track to relapse. If you really think about it, how is a recovering alcoholic just coming out of rehab going to stay sober while...

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From The Archives ~ Paper Bag Easter Basket

Apr 8, 2014

This tutorial was originally posted on my blog, April 11, 2011. Paper Bag Easter Baskets are fun to create and with Easter just around the corner I thought I would re-share it. I love the simplicity of brown paper bags and think they make the perfect Easter baskets. I remember making them in grade school and being so excited to bring them home to show mom and dad. This basket can be left plain or altered using patterned paper, stamps, inks or paint. You can carefully use any of the many Fiskars border punches to create gorgeous edges along the top of your basket or you could take a hole punch and punch a hole just below where the scallop meets, thread a ribbon through the holes and create a pretty bow by tying...

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10 Years

Mar 28, 2014

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of my brother’s death. Ten years is a long time yet it still feels like yesterday, I was enjoying a fabulous morning sunrise training my golden retriever, Sonny in the field. I went to my car to get us some water and noticed I had a bazillion missed calls on my phone. I called home asking what was up and I will never forget Alan’s words,” Its Richard.” He didn’t have to say another word, I knew he was gone. I could hear it in his voice and I felt it deep in my soul, my little brother was gone. At that moment, my life and the lives of my family changed forever. Mom and Dad lost a son, my sister and I lost a brother, my daughter’s,...

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Home For Christmas

Dec 27, 2013

This year, we seemed to celebrated Christmas a little bit at a time. We had a family get together with Terri and Laren at their loft on the 23rd then a small Christmas celebration at our house Christmas Eve.  Christmas morning, my nephew Brittain and I headed down to Beaumont to see family and celebrate Christmas with my parents. Alan and Ansley both had to work on the 26th so they couldn’t come along but when I return home they’ll have a small Christmas celebration with the gifts I bring back. We arrived at mom and dad’s house in the late afternoon and everyone was ready to exchange gifts. It’s always a flurry of excitement during Christmas at mom and dad’s. I’ve been very blessed to always have an amazing Christmas. Mom and Dad...

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Something Fun to Entertain the Kids

Dec 4, 2013

When I was a little girl around the age of 3 or 4 my mom would go to an elderly lady’s house to do her hair. This lady had an awesome album filled with greeting cards she put together for little ones to flip through. I remember sitting on the floor looking at page after page in this album. I LOVED it so I thought of a fun idea for young kids during holiday gatherings. Find some old Christmas cards and if you are like me you have lots. I found this one that works perfectly for this type of project. You will want one that you can cut the face out of (snowman, gingerbread man, Santa, Elf, Reindeer even animals will work great). Using a craft knife cut out the face on your...

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Cyber Monday Etsy Sale

Dec 2, 2013

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I have a few added pounds from mom’s awesome turkey, stuffing and desserts. After dinner everyone was stuffed and all us adults needed naps except Madelyn and Bellie, they were running around like the energizer bunny and were glued to Ansley’s hip. Madelyn and Bellie LOVE Ansley. After 50 years, mom and dad finally have a table to sit the entire family. This has been one of mom’s wishes for years and I’m so glad it finally came true. Thanksgiving dinner was a wonderful way to break it in too.  From left to right are Mom, Laren (son-in-law), Terri (daughter), Amanda (niece), Steve (Amanda’s boyfriend), Dad (Santa), Brittain (nephew), Bellie (niece), Ansley (daughter), Me and Madelyn (niece). Today, through Dec. 16th I’m...

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Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Recipe

Nov 26, 2013

This is the sugar cookie my mom has used for years and everyone in the family loves them. I thought since lots of you will be starting your holiday baking I would share the recipe. My family can devour a batch of these in minutes. They are...

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