Thursday, December 31, 2009

Old Fashioned Butterscotch Cookies

1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 egg
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

Melt butter and add brown sugar; dissolve well. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add
milk, flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix and drop by teaspoons-full onto a greased
cookie sheet one inch apart. Bake 8 minutes or until light brown at 375F.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Espresso Cheesecake Bars

1½  cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
¼cup butter, melted
1(8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
¼cup sugar
½teaspoon vanilla
1.Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon of the espresso coffee powder and melted butter; mix well. Reserve 1/4 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom of ungreased 8-inch square pan.
2.Beat cream cheese in medium bowl at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon espresso coffee powder, vanilla and egg; blend well. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
3.Bake at 350°F. for 15 to 20 minutes or just until center is set. Cool 30 minutes or until completely cooled. Cover loosely; refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until firm. With hot, wet knife, cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft):  Bake at 350°F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until center is set.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I love a good snowstorm, my dreams to inspire,
A nice wintry day to sit by the fire
And visit my book friends who so long I've neglected
Or write that letter someone has expected.

It's a find day to embroider, to mend, or to sew
And watch Mother Nature knit a blanket of snow.
Each flake is a stitch very dainty and light,
Transforming the earth with a blanket of white.

I don't know how many she knits or purls;
Sometimes the flakes come down in great swirls,
Covering the branches of each lovely tree,
Knitting a cover of lace filigree.

Each tiny flake of glistening white
Dances and sways like an elfin sprite.
A spectacle of beauty is each fencerow and ditch,
The blanket is perfect, though she dropped every stitch.

Gladys Manes Kidwell

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Inn Keeper's Lament

They told me afterward there was a light
That shone night long above my khan's low roof,
Centering above the stable, radiant, white'
They tell me now it was a heavenly proof
That the Christ whom we had waited for so long
Was there... that I had turned Him from my door.
They say above the fields there was a song
Such as mankind had never heard before.
How could I know-how could I haer or see
Other than the clamor of the crowd,
The bleating sheep, the bartering cries, the qeer
And sharp demands upon me that were loud?
If they had only told me! If they had,
I would have turned the other guests away.
I believe that everyone would have been glad
For the stable's shelter and a bed of hay
To give the Christ Child room...Oh, surely I
Shall not be known forever as the one
Who shut his ears to a woman's needy cry,
Who closed his door upon God's holy Son.

Grace Noll Crowell

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Inn Keeper

Yes, they came to my inn at Bethlehem, and how well I remember the couple; it seems but yesterday.
He was a manly sort of man, the kind that would cause you to look again if you saw him once.
Kindly and dignified, with long beard, a strong man with quiet manners. There was something that charmed me about the woman who was with him, and - well, I just can't tell you- 

Anyway, one could see that she might soon become a mother.It rather worried me that I didn't have a place for them, but so many had come for the registration, you know. Sanballat, rich merchant, had come down from Damascus; Thaddeus, one of my old customers, had come up from Gaza. A party from Hebron came just at nightfall, and since I knew them all I could not turn them away. Joseph told me that he was from Nazareth, up in the hill country of Galilee. He thought of course, he could have a place to stay, and as he asked me he looked toward Mary, and knew that I would understand.

I did understand, and I tried to think which of the men I should ask to move and make place for the couple. But how could I ask these customers of mine to inconvenience themselves? After all, I did not know Joseph and Mary. I said to myself, O well, somebody will look after them; I must not disturb the others, and it is a beautiful star-lit night. Here I have it, finally I said to myself, we can make room for them in the manger, and someway they will get along. I have wondered a lot about them since they have gone. He was a manly sort of man, with his long beard, and dignified look, and quiet manners. And the woman, she was like a princess. 

I wish now that I had said to the men in my inn, we must make a place for this man and this woman from Galilee! But I didn't, and I am sorry. They might, after all, have been people of consequence.

Oliver M. Keve

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Remembered

Smelling Christmas cookies baking,
Licking spoons from candy making,
Helping tie a package bow
With finger placed upon it so,
Greeting friends at wreath-trimmed door,
These and many, many more
Are things that we remember.

Shining eyes and candlelight,
Big new bikes with paint that's bright,
Stifling a sleepy yawn,
When tykes awake at crack of dawn,
Wrappings strewn across the floor,
These and many, many more
Are things that we remember.

Shining star that led the way
To Jesus sleeping in the hay,
Reborn hope of Jesus' birth
Bringing peace and joy on Earth.
Golden angels' wings that soar,
These and many, many more
Are things we should remember.

Janice E Hinkle

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

As A Child Like Me
Dear God, you have made this earth so fair
In radiant beauty it gleams everywhere,
Almost it seems that this world may be
Too beautiful--just for a child like me:
The fragrant flowers that bloom and grow
The dew and the rain, the frost and snow,
The trees that reach far up to the light
The rainbow bridge with colors so bright,
The brooks that wander over meadow and lea
The fish, the boats and the great busy sea,
Softly I move lest some near beauty mar
AS some lovely vision is seen from afar,
Again in Your great and boundless love
Gave Your most precious gift from above,
Leaving His throne and His kingly crown
Your beloved Son to earth came down,
As He came in the purple and velvety night
The star shone forth with glorious light,
That men might find Him and worship there
This Son of God so holy, helpless and dear
As a Prince of Peace to earth came He
A baby small- just as a child like me.
Henri Lee

We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year!

Glad tidings we bring
To you and your kin,
Glad tidings for Christmas
And a Happy New Year!

Please bring us some figgy pudding,
Please bring us some figgy pudding,
Please bring us some figgy pudding,
And bring it right here!


We won't go until we get some,
 We won't go until we get some,
We won't go until we get some,
Please bring it right here!


Traditional English Carol

Thursday, December 24, 2009

For The Coming Of A Child

Winds of Judea
Blow softly tonight;
Stars lend  your glory
Of blue-misted light;
Small birds awake
From sleep-curled wing-
The hour is at hand
For the birth of a King.

Small town of Bethlehem
Open your door,
So cruelly closed
To His coming before.
Throw wide its portals,
Let wearied men meet,
Humble as shepherds
To kneel at His feet.

Katherine Edelman

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Dreams

Little one, my little one,
With big blue eyes so bright,
What wondrous dreams will fill your mind
On this glorious Christmas night?

Will you be seeing dolls and games,
Or a rocking horse so real
That you'll ride it to the hilltops
Where fairies dance at will?

And should you stop to join them
In their merriment so true,
I have but one small favor
That I must ask of you:

You may ride your horse to hilltops,
You may dance with fairies too,
But please return to Mother,
Whose own dreams live in you

Nancy Nowiszewski

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Two Trees

We have two Christmas trees this year.
One stands shining and tall
In the living room for all to see.
The other is down the hall
In a room where the children like to play;
And this one they claimed as their own.
Just what trimmings this tree should wear
Was for them to decide, alone.

Small willing hands worked long and hard
To string ropes of popcorn just right,
With, here and there, some cranberries red
Mixed in with the snowy white.
Little red stockings for Santa to fill
Were placed on some branches, low.
Peppermint canes by their handles were hung,
And nuts wrapped in bright foil aglow.

Cutouts from colored paper too,
Some old but well-loved toys;
Yes, odd decorations but close to the hearts
Of thse dear little girls and boys.
Our big tree is trimmed with myriad lights
And a glistening star high above;
But the children's tree is prettier far,
For they trimmed it with special love.

Beulah Sutton Waite

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa's Lap

I like to visit Santa Claus
When Christmastime is near.
It's fun to climb up on his lap
And whisper in his ear.

He says, "My dear, have you been good?
Have you done what Mother said you should?
Do you brush your teeth and hair each day?
Are you kind to others when you play?"

I listen to each question
And answer every one.
Although I am ashamed to say
I must say no to some.

But Santa never scares me;
He doesn't even scold.
He just says, "Try again, my dear,
You're a fine lad, I am told."

Gee, I like to visit Santa Claus 
When Christmastime is near.
It's fun to climb up on his lap
And whisper in his ear.

Bernadette Kernen

Sunday, December 20, 2009

8 Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe this Holiday Season

While you are decorating the tree or putting the Menorah in the window, don’t forget to make your home safe for your pets this holiday season.

Pets, just like children, can inadvertently be put in harm’s way by holiday decorations or traditions gone awry.

Here are 8 tips for keeping your pets safe:

Keep holiday plants out-of-reach for the family pet. Holly and mistletoe are poisonous when eaten, and the poinsettia's sap and leaves can cause severe stomach upset.

1. Tree preservatives, sugar, or aspirin placed in the holiday tree's water can cause intestinal upset and should be kept out of pets' reach.

2. Make sure your tree is secure. If you have a tree-climbing cat or a large dog with a constantly wagging tail, anchor the top of the tree to the wall with a strong cord or rope.

3. Be sure to secure holiday light cords and keep them out of the way. Pets can easily get tangled up in them.

4. Make sure you anchor candles securely away from curious pets.

5. Watch out for open doors. With everyone coming and going, it’s easy for your pet to slip away.

6. Make sure your pet has a collar and tag on.

7. Well-meaning relatives may be pre-disposed to slip your dog a bone or two under the table. Discourage them from doing so, because a chicken or other bone can be a choking hazard.

8. When putting away garbage, make sure the mountain of papers and trash are out-of-reach of your pet. Dogs are highly motivated to get into garbage.

Compiled by Farmers’ Almanac TV staff

The Legend of the Poinsettia

In a certain village in Mexico, many years ago, it was customary on Christmas Eve to take gifts to the church and place them before the Creche. One evening there was a small boy standing outside the church door. How he wished he could enter the church and present a gift to Jesus, but he was poor. He had nothing to give.

"I can at least pray," he thought to himself. He knelt silently outside the church window and listened to the voices raised in song. When he rose to his feet again, he was amazed at what he saw in the spot where he had knelt. It was a beautiful plant with scarlet leaves and a yellow flower in the center. He had never seen anything like it. Realizing it was a miracle he carefully plucked it and took it into the church. As he placed the beautiful flower before the manger, he whispered,"This is my gift to the Christ Child, My own precious gift."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Point

"Tis the season to be jolly!"
So the story goes.
Why is it, then, that everybody
Seems to have the woes?

Could it be their hearts and minds
Just cannot seem to find
The time to stop and focus
On the Savior of mankind?

For that's what Christmas is, you know.
The blessed, holy birth
Of God, the Father's only Son,
Who came to save the earth

From all this worry, rush, and hassle
That we seem to think a must.
When all our loved ones really want
Is our friendship, love, and trust.

So share the greatest gift of all,
Wrapped as a baby boy
Who will never need replacing
Like a sweater, tie, or toy.

"Tis the season to be jolly!?"
Well, yes! But better, still,
Is the joy unspeakable in our hearts
That only Christ can fill!

Alice Allen

Friday, December 18, 2009

What Is Christmas?

Twinkling tree lights and mantlepiece stockings,
Wreaths with red berries and visitors knocking,
Ornaments sparkling like stars in teh skies;
Christmas is laughter and cheer and surprise.

Mistletoe kisses and bright fires glowing,
Carolers singing and goodies o'erflowing,
Christmas is friendship and music and glee.

Letters to Santa and warm, hearty greetings,
Jingling sleigh bells and families meeting,
The joy of the season is ours to give.
Christmas is LOVE; in your heart may it live!

Mary Agnes Seabrook

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's an Old Card Anyway?

Just look at this! It's quite a list!
I wonder, would one card be missed?
I surely can't take time to write
To all these folks! Besides, they might
Not ever think of me again-
That seems to be the way of men!
I think I'll send no more than six!
Then I'll have more time to fix
Some decorations and a tree
That's really beautiful to see.
I just can't rush around, I say,
And what's an old card anyway?

Oh, there's the mailman! Let me see!
Why, here's a card from Madge to me!
She says she often thinks of days
When we both rode in one-horse sleighs.
Ah yes, I too remember how;
But that, all that, is long gone now.

And here's a card from cousin Nell!
She says they're lonely, but all is well.
I haven't written once this year-
I should have though; she's such a dear.
And look at this card that's all in gold,
Expressing the words the angels told.
Ann says she hopes I'm truly blessed
With all that makes me happiest.

And who's this card from? Well, just look!
It's Sue! I see she even took
The time to say she baked a cake
Just like my mother used to make
At Christmastime! Well, bless her heart!
I guess it's time I got a start!
Now where's my pen and all those stamps?
I'm going to turn up all the lamps,
'Cause I have quite a lengthy list
And not one person shall be missed!

Phyllis C. Michael

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Coming Christmastime

When you feel that bit of friendliness
Where before it wasn't found,
When you see a warmth within a smile
Where once there was a frown,
You know at once it's almost here,
It reflects in song and rhyme,
And love is felt throughout the world:
It's coming Christmastime.

When you're shoved and jostled in a crowd
And your patience grows quite thin,
Someone might whisper, "Pardon me,"
And you'll feel that glow again.
There's something magic happening,
No mistaking in the sign;
When folks begin to love again,
It's coming Christmastime.

You'd love to give to everyone
No matter what the cost.
You think of all the friends you've made
And regret the ones you've lost.
The wind is cold against your skin
Yet all is warm inside,
Because the world's in love again:
It's coming Christmastime.

Mary Reas

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December Song

December wind has flung its gathered chills
Beyond the swooping sleds on winter hills
And sent the red scarves whipping frosty air
Around the throats of laughter sounding there.
Now twilight tastes of snow that's coming soon,
And chimney smoke curls toward a coin of moon;
Inside, the gift of warmth, hot chocolate calls,
With plates of homemade cookies shared by all.
Candles at the windows welcome friends
Who stop to chat before the season ends;
The mailbox fills as Christmas Day appears,
With messages that bridge the miles and years;
And wonder lights the stars throughout the skies
For children holding Christmas in their eyes.
It's to December memories belong-
Whose windy usic writes a timeless song.

Virginia Covey Boswell

Monday, December 14, 2009

Comes A Feeling

Comes a feeling, may you know it
Round about this time of year,
Children's eyes a-sparkle show it
Christmas time is drawing near.
Comes a feeling, may you share it
Joyously with all you meet,
Trees and houses seem to bear it
Like a banner on each street,
Comes a feeling, may you hold it
As a jewel, set apart,
As a Holy Babe, enfold it
Gently, gently to your heart.
Doris Chalma Brock

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas At Church
The organ thunders, murmurs, is complete,
Is hallowed, melts in mysteries.
No more the troubles of the day or dusk
When music is a leaning-wall of peace.

We abide in beauty. Beneath high-vaulted glory
The Christmas message is a Medicine.
A healing lotion for offended eyes.
An ointment for the ache that freezes in.

This is our refuge and our Strengthener,
To gird us, spur us back into the flame
And steam. Our forces, faith and confidence.
Our guide, the superstructure of a Name.
Gwendolyn Brooks

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Shopping Guide 2

Only 12 to 13 Shopping Days left for Christmas. I say that because there has been a lot of debate as to if Christmas Eve is a true shopping day or not. lol Chanukkah has already begun and Kwanza is approaching quickly.

How is your shopping going? Do you have everyone crossed off your list? Did you get someone added on at the last minute or do you have a few names that your struggling to find the right gift for? Are you dreading having to make another trip to the big box store or mall for yet another mass produced gift?

How about shopping for a handmade gift? How about shopping handmade gift and not having to leave the house? How & Where you ask? Check out the following great artisans.

Each shop has so much to offer that I had a really tough time choosing an item or category to list with their link. So for those forgive me for not pointing out a great category or item to view.

28 Sides Designs   Embroidered Gift Card holders

Aunt Franni here

Butterfly Crafts Scented Satchets & Cards 

Char Spirit  Book Covers

Debbi Andersen Charms n Things

Don't Know Pub Fiber Art

JMayOriginals Fashion Accessories

Kaotic Ekkos Curiosities Art

NightMaiden Chainmaille

Retro Recycled Jewelry here

Sew Happy Designs here

Simmons Creek Spices, Music Gift Bags

Spirit Essence Art here

The Beaded Branch Jewelry

For some miscellaneous gift giving items:

Christmas Ornaments: It's Not Just For Chirstmas
Bracelets: Zibbet

Incense:  MeMe's Country Store Luna Wolf Mystical Essence

Journals, Recipe Cards, Address Books, etc.: Letters By Design
Pets: Peddlers Paws

Stuffed Animals & Outfits for them: A Zoo By U
Toys: Strawberry Central 

For more options please visit C Turtlez Oddz n Endz &

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ode to Winter

Winter has come to visit us it seems. Maybe we will have a white Christmas after all. In honor of the beautiful snow

Winter Blessing

I looked out on a wonderland this morning:
Each branch and twig precisely etched with frost.
White filigree adorned the lamps and railings;
The windowpanes with new lace were embossed.

And as the sun peeped warmly from it's covers,
Then rose to touch each icy scene it found,
Bright jewels sparkled everywhere it ventured--
On frozen bush and spilled on snowy ground.

Each season offers some unique enjoyment.
The Spring brings green, and Summer has it's glow;
While Autumn covers woods and walks with colors.
But Winter gives us diamonds in the snow.

Evelynn Merilatt Boal

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Bars

Base and Topping
2 1/4cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/4cups firmly packed brown sugar
1cup all-purpose flour
1/2teaspoon baking soda
1cup butter, softened
1(14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/4cup peanut butter
1/2teaspoon vanilla
1(6-oz.) pkg. (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
1.Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2.In large bowl, combine all base and topping ingredients; mix at low speed until crumbly. Reserve 2 cups of crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of sprayed pan to form base.
3.In small bowl, combine condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla; mix until well blended. Pour mixture evenly over base. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and peanuts. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over top; press down gently.
4.Bake at 350°F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Center will not be set. Cool 1 hour 15 minutes or until completely cooled. Cut into bars.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mother's Tea Cakes

4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream sugar and butter until light. Add eggs one at a time; beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in the butter milk. Alternately combine dry ingredients and milk. Shape dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes. On a lightly floured board, roll dough to a 1/8" thickness. Cut out cookies with floured cookie cutter and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 75 Cookies

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pumpkin-Pecan Bread

Pumpkin-Pecan Bread

1 15 oz can Pumpkin
½ cup cooking oil
2½ cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin and oil; set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice. Add dry mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until blended. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips (if desired). Spoon batter into two greased 8½ x 4½ x 2½" loaf pans. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack.

Makes 2 Loaves

Monday, December 7, 2009

Company Spot Light: Essensu

Essensu is a holistic skin care shop that I have recently discovered thanks to PLURK. Tami Abiuso is the owner/creator of the delightful products that can be found at her Artfire and Etsy locations. She is also has many highly informative articles on her blog "The Holistic Diva".

From Tami's store description about her company's products, "Our products don't contain any sodium lauryl or laureth sulfates, petroleum, petrolatum, mineral oil, harsh chemicals or synthetic dyes, and fewer to no phthalates, only gentle perservatives, in addition we use therapeutic levels of all vital nutrients." 

Upon first learning about Essensu, I wasn't sure what to make of her products.  I mean it's incredibly rare and hard to find skin care products that don't contain at least one of, if not more than one of these ingredients that she doesn't put in her products. I know that I had the internal voice saying but don't those ingredients need to be there in order for the products to work? After all surely they are necessary since I can't find many products without them? I am glad to be able to tell that internal voice to "Shut UP!" You really don't need any of that in order to have products that work. I hope that my results below will inspire you to check out Essensu product line and go natural too.

Tami recently allowed me to try out a sampling of her products. What can I say about them as AWESOME, WONDERFUL, UNIQUE, and MARVELOUS are highly inadequate. These words just don't do justice for what her products are like. Let the review begin.

My first product I sampled was Silky Body Cream in Patchouli by essensu.

According to her product description I could expect a "Silky Body Cream in Patchouli is a skin-sational formula made with sunflower oil, known for its healing properties and high vitamin E content.

Sunflower oil helps soften and regenerate even the driest skin, leaving it baby-soft. Also included, is a generous amount of moisturizing soy butter for additional skin nourishment."

What I got was a body cream that not only worked at softening my dry skin but also one that I didn't react to. Her very generous 1 oz sample gave me enough product to truly experience it and to be able to honestly decide if it was for me or not. Not something that one finds many companies doing now a days.

My great-niece has a condition called Sensory Integration Dysfunction. What this fancy term means in a nutshell is that she has trouble with processing information through her senses. She's easily overwhelmed by the bombardment of information that she gets hit with throughout her day.

One thing now that drying winter type weather is upon us that she needs is to use a body lotion. The other reason she needs to use a body lotion is because it's part of her SI program. One thing she deeply detests is using body lotion in all forms. She absolutely throws a fit at having to use most lotions that are on the market today. We have successfully found 2 that she will tolerate with lots of grumblings, tears, and hostility. And I mean that very seriously. She allows the lotions to go on long enough for the benefits of the SI treatment and then she's off to scrub them off. She's never been able to put it in words what she doesn't like about the lotion. 

So, when this child requested to try silky body cream in Patchouli by essensu we were quick to agree. Now that's a real first for her to actually request the usage of a lotion product beyond an initial sniff test. She was very tolerant and even peaceable through out the procedure. Even afterward she ddidn't rush to scrub it off like she normally does with the others we've used in the past.  This is truly a huge compliment to Tami's dedication and hard work in creating a wonderful product.

Because Tami sent two other samples in the scents of Vanilla Zen and Lilac my great-niece was able to express that she would prefer we get Vanilla Zen next time.

Now my niece has a thing for the scent of lilac. She used to carry around an old perfume container that once upon a time held a scent called lilac. She dreams of having a lilac bush or two if she ever gets her own house where she's free to put such a thing. The smell of lilacs has special meaning to her. Mainly because it represents a happier time in her life.Something that has been few  and far between. She's been on the look out over the years to find something close to either the perfume she packed with her or the real thing. She pretty much gave up hope of ever finding the right smell. That is until we cracked the seal on the sample Tami sent.

I must confess that I don't know much about this lotion sample. I do know that it smelled wonderfully. I assume it works as well as the silky body cream in patchouli and the vanilla zen do. I have to say that because my niece has laid claim to it. With tears running down her face and a huge beaming smile, she has taken it to her heart and scampered off to show everyone and has it tucked up near her bed for safe keeping.

I know of at least 8 people who may be starting to think she's come unhinged at last because she has been telling them to sniff the jar. While proclaiming loudly "That this is how lilac is supposed to smell!!!" Her dear friend joked that the sample of lilac scented lotion would now become the long lost perfume container from her childhood based on these antics. But I was quick to reassure her that it wouldn't come to that. As now we can get lilac scented items from Essensu.

I have to say that all three lotions smell wonderfully. They aren't too heavy, per-fumy, in a nauseating way nor are they so lightly scented that your wondering if it is worth the hassle to use cause it might not last. The two that I tried left my skin silky soft and best of all without any of the nasty red freshly slapped look that I am used to when using lotions. Nor did I taste it in my mouth like I normally do when using a hand or body lotion. No, I don't lick the lotions off either.

My second product sample that I will describe is her Organic Coffee Sugar Scrub by Essensu

According to this products description: "Our Organic Coffee Sugar Body Scrub will cleanse while exfoliating dry skin, removing patchy dryness, leaving your skin smooth as silk, renewed and moisturized."

This scrub has such a wonderful coffee smell to it; that upon first opening the container, I wasn't sure if I should use it or drink it. I did find that it fully lived up to its product description.

This is another product that my great-niece wanted to try. She was really excited by how it made her skin feel. She also thought it was a great scent. My great-nephew thought it was a good boy scent. I think the only one slightly disappointed in the scent was one of my clients who came to picked up his wife orders. The only reason he was disappointed is he thought it meant coffee was brewed so he could get a cup versus a skin care product that smelled like a good cup of jo.

The third product we got to sample is California Cleansing Cream made with real banana.

This is another delicious smelling sample. The size is generous enough that 3 of were able to try it out. Both my niece and great-niece have problem complexions. They tend to find cleansing products that either don't leave their face feeling clean or they leave the face feeling totally striped of everything like it's not even there any more. They also tend to wind up with very angry red skin after washing their faces. None of this occurred with this product. They both felt like their skin was thoroughly cleaned and still there.

I also felt that it cleaned my skin well. Remarkably this is another product that I didn't seem to react to. No itchy, burning, or weird taste in my mouth during or after using it. This is such a nice change from the normal experience I have when using skin care products.

One last item that I received in my sampler is a Vanilla Pumpkin body wash. I honestly can't remember the last time I showered and came out with skin that squeaked. That is one thing that the great-niece & great-nephew both commented on. There words were to the effect, "WOW!!! I didn't know you skin could do that." To me this says it better than I could ever come up with. Again the scent is just the right amount. The cleansing your body gets is superb.

What can I say about Essensu products? They are simple, work great, and smell amazing. If you have anyone on your holiday shopping list that requests Bath & Body products then I would like to suggest that you shop at Essensu. Why get something that is mass produced, given/received by thousands, and uninspiring? When you can give something that is very inspirational, unique, and beneficial to one's skin. You won't be sorry that you did.

Again one can visit Tami's shop  at her Artfire and Etsy locations. Or read one of her informative articles on her blog "The Holistic Diva"

*this review is of our own experience with Essensu products. the samples were given to us to experience her products because of the potential of a future  business arrangement. This review was a surprise for Tami. She didn't ask or require it to be written. Wanted to draw positive attention & spread the word about the fabulous products she makes*

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Stills: Pets

These are all pets that have touched our lives at one point or another. NOT all of them are ours though.

Pace Yourself

As the season's hustle and bustle begins to gather steam and you start to feel like your being pulled along in the tide race. Remember to take a moment for yourself to regain your equilibrium. The following is from Norma Vincent Peale. May you find encouragement for taking a quiet moment.

Christmas Joy
We're swept along in the merry, shining stream of glad activities that is Christmas, and we enjoy it. HOwever, we should also seek the pool of quietness where the deep and abiding peace of the season rests. Your "pool" may be a quiet corner of your home, a pew in an empty church, an outdoor stroll, a quick prayer, or the deliberate recalling of your most peaceful moments.

Rest there in tension-free stillness. You'll return to the festivities with new physical and mental vitality plus a deep, abiding sense of peace and gratitude. The most practical psychology is often the most spiritual, too, so try the pool of quietness frequently. Remember, the joy of Christmas began in the midnight stillness of a stable.

Norman Vincent Peale

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Bells

For ages the Christmas bells have rung their message of peace upon earth and goodwill to all men. For ages they ahve summoned a sleeping world to a new life, a new ideal, a new joy.
Helen Keller

Friday, December 4, 2009

Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out, On the feast of Stephen, When the snow lay round about, Deep and crisp and even. Brightly shone the moon that night, Though the frost was cruel, When a poor man came in sight, Gath'ring winter fuel.

"Hither, page, and stand by me, If thou knows't it telling, Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?" "Sire, he lives a good league hence, Underneath the mountain, Right against the forest fence, By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh, and bring me wine, Bring me pine logs hither: Thou and I will see him dine, When we bear them thither." Page and monarch, forth they went, Forth they went together; Trhough the rude wind's lament And the bitter weather.

In his master's steps he trod, Where the snow lay dinted; Heat was in the very sod Which the Saint had printed. Therefore, Christian men, be sure, Wealth or rank possessing, Ye who now will bless the poor, Shall yourselves find blessing.

Reverend John Mason Neale

Remember to take a look at the Angel Trees for either children, families or seniors. If you can be like the good King and make their world a little brighter.

Please, Take a moment to remember those who are less fortunate than you are. Maybe you can help maybe your not able to so then you can pause and give thanks. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Christmas Carol

The trees are hung with crystal lamps,
the world lies still and white
And the myriad little twinkling stars are sharp with keener light;
The moon sails up the frost-clear sky and silvers all the snow,
As she did, perchance, that Christmas night, two thousand years ago!
Good people, are you waking up?
Give us food and give us wine,
For the sake of blessed Mary and her Infant Son Divine,
Who was born the world's Redeemer-
a Saviour- yours and mine!
Christian Burke

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Gift Ideas

Is hunting for the right Christmas gift stressing you out? Want something unique for your giftee? Dread going to the mall and/or stores and dealing with the crowds, obnoxious sales staff, lack of parking? Then do I have the solution for you.

Shop from your seat NOT your feet. Grab yourself  a beverage and view these great artisans and shops. Help a work at home _(mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, family) while your at it. Each shop will have something for your viewing pleasure and gift giving needs.

28SideDesigns can be seen here.

Butterfly-Crafts can be seen here.

The Beaded Branch can be seen here.

Char Spirit can be seen here.

Amanda Day's shop Dawn Correspondence

Essensu can be seen here.

Nightmaiden can be seen here.

Sew Happy Designs can be seen here.

Simmons Creek  can be seen here.

Debbi Andersen's offerings can be seen here.

finally three more options can be found here, here, and here. &

Christmas Candles

Once again it's Christmas time and what's this time of year without candles? Be it for the season of Advent, as part of a church service, or as just to make your home decor more festive.

Christmas Candles
One by one the candles send their glow
Into the Christmas Night,
Each gleaming taper wears a bright halo,
Shedding ethereal light,
Reflected from the wondrous star
That shone above a manger bed
Where long ago the Holy Child
Pillowed His sweet baby head,
And now the candles all are lit,
Each tiny flame has pierced the gloom,
As old familiar Christmas joys
Come thronging back into the room.
Milly Walton

Candle Safety

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended!
  • Keep burning candles away from children and pets.
  • Do not place near flammable objects such as curtains, walls, etc.
  • Place on a protected, heat resistant, level surface.
  • Keep candles free of wick trimmings, matches, or other foreign matter that could be a fire hazard..
  • Avoid burning in drafts.
  • Avoid walking with lit candles.
  • Keep wicks trimmed to ¼" at all times to avoid carbon build up on the wick (mushrooming), dark smoking and soot in the air and on walls or furniture.
  • Allow candles to cool before trimming wick or relighting.

Candle Tips

  • Only burn candles 1 hour for each inch of it's diameter. This allows the flame time to melt the wax to the outer edge. Burning less time will cause the candle to core burn down the middle and shorten burn time.
  • Example: a 3" wide candle should be burned for 3 hours at a time.
  • Use toenail clippers to trim wicks in jars in which scissors won't fit.
  • Candles will fade if left in direct sunlight or spotlights for extended periods of time.
  • Before a party, light and extinguish candles. They will light more quickly and easily later 
  • For tapers or pillars refrigerate before using will cause them to burn more slowly and evenly. Wrap in foil or plastic before refrigeration to prevent wicks from absorbing moisture.
  • To extinguish a candle, use a candle snuffer, or hold fingers in front of the flame and blow. This will prevent hot wax from splattering on furniture.
For Soy Candles, Tarts, and fabulous Incense go to Luna Wolf Mystical Essence Free Shipping for all of December

For Great Bakery Candles & tarts  Creative ScentSations

For Gel Candles  MeMe's Country Store

For Grubby Candles Bubby's Grubbys

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ballad Of The Happy Christmas Wind

I am a happy Christmas wind;
I am courteous; I am kind.

I walked the way to Bethlehem town
Beside our Lady going down.

I know the inn she stood before;
I would have beaten down the door;

I thought on Mary and the Child;
I blew gently; I grew mild.

I ran ahead to find a house
To shelter Mary and her spouse.

I found a stable, loosed the door,
The cave they had been seeking for.

Because they had a place to bide
I was so glad, alone outside,

I ran across the hills for joy!
I waked a little shepherd boy,

And all the older shepherds stirred
At what they felt and what they heard

Of angel music, heavenly things!
I caught the song and gave it wings;

I ran across the midnight blue;
I ran across the ages, too;
I have it, have it here for you.

A Child is born for you again;
A Son is given,is given to men!
I am a singing wind. Amen.

Sister Mary Madeleva