Category Archives: Life..such as it is

People, places and things that inspire me to be me.

O’ Christmas Tree…Do you have a favorite ornament?


I love the Christmas Trees that all of the bloggers and businesses I follow are sharing.  I especially love the ones decorated with a monochromatic color pallet.  I love the ones that every inch of the tree is covered with decorations.  I love the whimsical trees. I love the ones covered with homemade ornaments. But I love our tree the most…

Our tree is a beautiful eclectic mix of travel ornaments, burlap ribbon, woodland animals, bird houses with a touch of glitter and crystal sparkles!  Here are a few of my favorites from Christmas’ past and our many travels...

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

DSC03561A beautiful mix of ornaments we’ve collected throughout our travels…DSC03562A touch of glass and glitter and a splash of color…DSC03565Softened by burlap garland and glittery branches…DSC03566The cutest collection of owls nestled in with the ornaments from Louisiana and Italy…DSC03567There is our ornament from San Francisco….DSC03568A special memory from my home town…Christmas Eve at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.DSC03569A collection of all things Texas

DSC03571Have you heard of the Terlingua Chili Cook Off?DSC03574 I spy an ornament from the Cayman Islands and a few handmade paper covered eggs…DSC03576Then there are the ornaments from our trips to Santa Fe and Taos, New MexicoDSC03581 DSC03582May you have Peace this Christmas SeasonDSC03585Even birds are welcome in our treeDSC03573May your Christmas be merry and bright…




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Filed under Christmas Traditions

“Splash” Christmas Decorating…


Over the years I have gone from having very little in the way of Christmas decorations to having an over abundance of Christmas decorations.  For years I felt somehow obligated to display every single decoration I had in my possession…at times our house looked like there was a Christmas explosion.  I would like to think that I was doing it for my husband and my son, but really as much as they enjoy Christmas, fewer decorations would not have dampened their Christmas spirit.

I have to say that last year I cut back a little… I didn’t put ALL of the decorations out  but there was still an overwhelming amount spread throughout the house.  So much so that a couple of months ago I realized that there were still a few pieces hanging out in plain view…well not in the main living area, but in rooms that I do go into from time to time. Namely the game room! Oops…sorry honey!

This year, I am embracing a new style of decorating. I am not quite ready to embrace a minimalist approach. However, I am embracing the idea of Splash decorating…I don’t think that’s a real style of decorating but it’s the best description I can come up with for this post.

I do love decorating for Christmas…I enjoy the sparkle and shine that the decorations bring into the house during a time of year when the local flora and fauna are made up of browns and greys. Also, we host our annual family Christmas gathering and gift exchange. This event in itself requires a festive atmosphere…

My idea for this year is to splash a little bit of Christmas in every room in the house…A simple grapevine twisted into the word Noel and accented with tiny points of light set on the buffet. A beautiful floral arrangement placed on the dining room table surrounded by a cluster of trees made from a variety of natural materials.


A collection of brightly colored mercury glass cone shaped Christmas trees arranged in the master bedroom on the dresser accented by my collection of vintage brooches, ladies gloves and handbags.


The guest room is getting a simple pillow update…the cutest silver fox pillows from Home Goods.


The kitchen gets a little splash of color with a collection of red and white Christmas tins that draw your eye up to the top of the kitchen cabinets.


The dessert buffet table is laid out with the Christmas dishes given to me by my Mom some 20 years ago when our son was little.  I have lined the window with a collection of bottle brush trees that tie in with the Christmas trees on the dishes…

DSC03515What is your Christmas decorating style?  Do you pull out all the stops and go all Griswold on Christmas? Or are you more reserved when it comes to decorating for the Christmas Holiday?

I will admit that I am not quite done with putting out the decorations. However, the rest of the decor will be focused on our outdoor entertaining area…


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Filed under Christmas Traditions, Creative Ideas, DIY

Crack…My go to no bake dessert recipe…


I have one recipe that is my all time go to dessert recipe…The ingredients always seem to be available in my pantry.  When ever I make it and take it to a party, I am asked for the recipe…and yes I can rattle it off with no problem.  The recipe is a family hand me down…but if you look it up on the internet you will find dozens of variations on the original.  It is known by a variety of names; peanut butter clusters, trash, white trash and crack.



2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
1 cup Chunky Peanut Butter
1 cup Mini Marshmallows
1 pkg Almond Bark



Combine Cheerios and mini marshmallows in a large bowl. Coarsely chop white bark, place in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1-1 1/2 minutes stirring once.  Stir in chunky peanut butter until mixture is smooth.  Pour over dry mixture and stir until cereal is completely coated.  Working quickly, use two teaspoons…scoop a rounded teaspoon of mixture, use second spoon to help drop the sticky mixture onto wax paper.  Allow clusters to dry before storing in an airtight container.

DSC03439Do you have a go to dessert recipe? Have you written a post on your blog about this dessert? Share your link in the comments section and join our virtual no bake dessert party!



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Filed under All Things Foodie, Christmas Traditions

Busy…the new four letter word!

Lately, when asked how am I doing? My response has been a four letter word…Busy!

Sometimes life just takes over…and busyness begets busyness.  I like being busy! Being busy at work makes the day go by faster. Keeping my hands busy keeps me from snacking.  Reading a good book quiets my mind and helps me to forget about what I should be busy doing. I do not enjoy being busy for the sake of being busy...However, sometimes busyness takes over and takes on a life of its own.

When given an option I would choose a quite evening spent with my best friend, my husband, in front of our outdoor fireplace.  I would choose a slower paced drive across the country over rushing through an airport to catch a flight.  I would choose relaxing in a hammock under the oak trees over a crowded street fair.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy street fairs or traveling via the friendly skies. It’s just that life is busy enough all on its own…the daily grind of being plugged in and connected 24/7 promotes busyness.  That comment alone could get me on my soap box for hours…but that would just add busyness to my day.

When I started writing I felt compelled to write every day for the sake of writing. I put unnecessary pressure on myself.  Then when I couldn’t keep up the pace I felt guilty.  My love of writing became a chore of busyness.  It lost its shiny new luster, all because of the need to be busy about the business of writing.

I have friends that are so busy running their kids from one activity to the next, arranging after school activities and summer camp programs that they need a personal assistant to keep the calendars organized. I have friends who have traded their busy work life for a busier retired life.

I wonder if being about the business of being busy is really worth the toll it takes on our health and well-being. I wonder what effect it has on our relationships.  I guess that would depend on who you ask…

At some point you come to a time and place in your life where quality becomes more important than quantity.  Can you have both? I am sure some people can and do and their life is full and complete.  I am not one of those individuals…I prefer smaller more intimate settings, dinner parties of 12 or less, lunch ordered from a menu not from a buffet line, food eaten on a real plate and my drink in a real glass, not out of a paper sack or in a foam container.

When did busy become a four letter word?


Filed under Life..such as it is


I understand the science behind the optical phenomenon of reflection and refraction of light through water droplets resulting in a rainbow.  Nevertheless, rainbows are a magical experience.

Did you know…A primary rainbow arc shows red on the outer part and violet on the inner.  On a double rainbow, the second arc has its colors reversed.  I know the second rainbow is barely visible, but I think I was lucky to see it at all.

double rainbow

According to Genesis, after Noah saved the animals from the Great Flood, a rainbow appeared. As the flood had killed all other living beings, the rainbow came to symbolize God’s promise that he would never send another flood to destroy all of the earth and that never again would all living things be killed in the waters of a flood.

As much as I believe in the existence of rainbows, I also believe the Biblical story of the great flood to be true and accurate.

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Filed under Faith, Life in Texas, Nature

Christmas in July…

With the temperatures in the 90’s I couldn’t help but think about Christmas…Sounds crazy, right?   What better way to escape the repressing heat than to daydream about crystal icicles, frosted snowflakes, shiny orbs, sparkling beads and glittery pine cones.



Filed under Holiday's

Going to the Chapel…

This is known as the Garden Chapel.  This chapel is situated on the grounds of the Big Cedar Lodge.

The ChapelBig Cedar Lodge is a very laid back vacation spot. There is a quiet, un-hurried atmosphere.  The chapel is the epitome of that feeling.

Chapel EntranceAt first glance your eye is captured by the simple oak pews and wood plank floors. The warm wood gives way to the freshly painted white walls and elegant Gothic windows.

Rich WoodThe windows offer beautiful views of the Big Cedar Lodge property.  As your eye moves past the windows and up the walls you notice the craftsman style lighting fixtures.

The ViewThe most breathtaking view is through the window at the front of the chapel.  The view looks over the rolling hills and Table Rock Lake.

Kiss the BrideHowever, the thing I like the most about this simply elegant chapel is when the bride walks down the aisle and stands at the front of the church…there will be no stained glass windows projecting prisms throughout the chapel.  There are no statues or fresco paintings to draw the attention away from the beautiful bride and her moment…

On the wedding day, all eyes should be on the bride. With all of the time and attention she spent having her hair and makeup done deserves to be observed and admired by those in attendance. Her flower bouquet was specifically designed to complement her ensemble.  She chose her jewelry very carefully.  She may have selected a family heirloom or spent days looking into jewelry cases for the perfect pair of earrings.  We can’t forget her shoes…the shoe must have the right heel, be the perfect shade of ivory and fit like a glove.   However, the piece de resistance..the dress…yes her dress…whether she has chosen for her dress to pouf out beneath her or glide down her curves the dress will be what everyone will talk about.  The bride deserves to be the center of attention!



Filed under Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots