Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Wreath is Missing and Iwanna New One!

I'm someone who becomes very attached to inanimate objects. I keep using the same fake Christmas Tree year after year because my friend Stacie gave it to me the first year I lived out on my own and didn't even have a couch, let alone a Christmas Tree. Every year I think to myself that I want a fresh tree this year but I feel like I'm going to hurt the fake trees feelings.

I keep using the same ornaments year after year even though some years I would love to have a Theme tree, maybe one that has all red balls and white lights and gingham bows? Or blue balls with while lights and silver bows...but no...I can't have a Theme tree because I have ornaments I've had for years and years and they bring me joy and I only get to see them once a year; so how can I not display them?

Yes...I'm a traditionalist, an obsessive, compulsive traditionalist that can't change how she decorates for Christmas because I'm attached...to inanimate objects.

But....say one year I can't find a certain Christmas Item? Well then I would have to replace it, I would have no choice right? Right!

So last year I lost my Christmas Wreath. Search as I might I couldn't find it. It's gone, it's lost. So Iwanna new one this year.

The first one I found was this one. This is a Leucadendron Wreath with Pine Cones. The beauty of this one is that it's fresh...it's going to dry, so I don't have to keep it, year after year. I can just enjoy it this year and start fresh again next year!

This next one is one I've always lusted after. My sister has one like this and Eddie Ross showed us how to make one on his Blog. I just love the colors and the shininess of this one.

This next one is just like the one Eddie Ross made, only a more traditional looking one.

Several years ago my mom, who has always been very crafty, created a beautiful wreath out of plastic trash bags. I remember she bought red trash bags (where she found red ones I don't know) and we used that wreath for a couple of Christmas'. This next one is made out of regular old sandwich bags and you can go here to see the How-to's.

But I saved the best for last....this is the one Iwanna. This is a Thomas Kinkade Nativity Village wreath, click on it to enlarge and see it in detail. Isn't this one gorgeous? The only problem is this is another one that I can see myself becoming attached to. I don't think I would ever want another one if I had this one.

How about you? Do you change it up every Christmas? Do you stick with tried and true? What Christmas decoration means the most to you? Happy Iwanna Wednesday and may all your Iwanna wishes come true!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Great Monday with Apolo Ohno

As Monday's go today was pretty special. This morning on the news I heard that Olympic Speedskater Apolo Ohno was going to be in Bakersfield for a book signing! I love Apolo! I love the Winter Olympics! I loved Apolo in the Winter Olympics! So I knew I had to see him.

Luckily the book signing was from noon to 1pm which is my lunch hour so I dashed over there and almost didn't stop because of the line. But then I thought, "You know what? When are you ever going to get this opportunity again? This is an Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal winner and he's HERE...in Bakersfield! You park this car Missy and get in that line!" I can be pretty demanding of myself at times!!

So I did it. I got in line and then noticed that everyone already had the book, so I asked the lady in front of me and she said you had to buy the book first. So I walked up to the front of the store just as Apolo got off his bus.

I saw the top of his cute little head and there was thunderous applause and then *poof* he was gone into the store to get set up to sign books. So I went in and I bought my book and went back outside to a line that was even longer now, but before my self could give my self another talk...I got into line!

The girls in front of me started telling me that he had stayed at the hotel that they work for, The Marriott and they had found out this morning that he was eating breakfast in the hotel restaurant and they went there to see him and were sure they had made fools of themselves just standing there gawking at him.

The line moved fast and someone came out and told us not to worry, that Apolo had said he would stay until every last person in line got their book signed and also that unfortunately he would not be personalizing them as there were too many people and he had another book signing in Fresno at 4pm. The line did move fast and before you knew it I was right there...gazing into those beautiful caramel colored eyes!

He just didn't stop smiling at everyone although the two people on either side of him were rushing everyone through. I just got a moment to look at him when he handed me my book back and I said, "Thank you Apolo" and he smiled and said "You're Welcome"...and I swear I swooned!

The girls that were ahead of me in line were still standing there taking pictures and I swear when they saw me and I saw them we squealed and jumped up and down like teenage girls! Ok...well, yeah...they were teenage'ish girls, but hey! it was Apolo...I was allowed to act like a teenage girl. It's called "Joie de Vivre" and I'm glad that even on a Monday...I still have it!

So I have the book and I can't wait to read it. It's filled with great pictures! And I have his signature and that makes it even more special.

Yep...this was a pretty great Monday!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mosaic Monday - Puppy Love

It was one year ago at Thanksgiving that I fell in love with a little bundle of fur named Chorizo. I first blogged about Chorizo in a Mosaic Monday post so I figured how better to celebrate the One Year Anniversary of having this beautiful puppy be a part of our lives than to do a post of all the Mosaic's I've done through the year with Chorizo as the main character and Star!

First the original mosaics; the first pictures I ever took of that sweet little puppy that stole my heart and turned me into an animal lover. Chorizo belongs to my daughter April and she surprised me by bringing her to Thanksgiving Day Dinner. That night she left Chorizo with me since she was going to Black Friday and the puppy and I bonded.

After those first pictures followed Christmas with Chorizo and her first Christmas Tree. She's always been such a good puppy; she never even tried to play with the Ornaments and various displays in my home.

Chorizo is such a well-behaved, sweet natured little puppy that loved to travel with us, so we took her to the beach and seal as well as whale watching.

Chorizo was also fun to dress up, check out her itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie little bikini! Through out the year she also had a Santa Claus suit and for Halloween she was a Sundae...a Chorizo Sundae.

She made it so much fun for me to create Mosaics!! She doesn't love the camera, which makes it hard to get good photos of her, but the camera definitely loves her!

She's the most photogenic member of our family! That's why she had her own puppy photo shoot!

I really look forward to another year of sharing my life with this little piece of Heaven on Earth and to doing many more mosaics.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to go visit Mary at Little Red House...the host of Mosaic Monday!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Want to solve a Puzzle?

My sister, brothers and I grew up living out in the country on various ranches my dad worked for. We always lived at least 8 miles away from the closest town. We didn't have cable, computers, Ipods, Twitter, Facebook, Wii, X-Box, cell phones, kindles, nooks or even DVD or VCR players. To keep us from getting bored, my mom had to be very, very good at keeping us entertained.

We played lots of games, went fishing, refinished furniture and did lots of jigsaw puzzles. It seems like there was always a big piece of plywood on our dining table with a puzzle going. We were welcome to sit at any time and work a little bit of it at a time. So I've always loved doing jigsaw puzzles. However it's been a long time since I've done one.

But now I've found this wonderful website, thanks to StumbleUpon.com, that allows me to work jigsaw puzzles online and even create my own puzzles!!! The site is called Jigidi.com. I've solved quite a few puzzles at the site, but today I created my own puzzle using that sweet little puppy, Chorizo. I've embedded the puzzle below. This is the first time I've done one so I think if you click on it you will be taken to Jigidi.com. I made it kind of big, 208 pieces cause I love a challenge. If you solve it, let me know. I'll try to make a smaller one next time. Happy Puzzling!

Note: I deleted the larger version of the puzzle as it was really slowing down my blog for some reason. I'm going to leave the smaller 39 piece version and hope that I don't have a problem with it. You can still go to Jigidi.com to find the larger version.

*******I had to re-make this puzzle as an easier version. The following is only 30 pieces*******

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


"A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life."  ~ Isadora James

Please allow me a moment to put into words my feelings about sisters and their relationships. Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows that I have a younger sister named Lisa that is my very dearest and best friend.

But this morning I witnessed the love of two other sisters, my mother Tomasa and her sister Casimira. My mom is Tia Casi's baby sister, just as Lisa is my baby sister.
My mom has been having car troubles and this morning she had to come into Bakersfield to have blood work done. She told me she would drive the 25 miles into Bakersfield with me since I commute every day to work anyway. She said her sister Casi would pick her up from the lab and they would spend the day together and I could pick my mom up after I got off work at 5.

When I got to the lab I was worried about just leaving my mom because it was pretty cold this morning and I didn't want her waiting outside in the cold...alone. Luckily the lab had opened at 7am so she could wait inside. I asked mom what time her sister was coming for her and she said around 9:30 or 10am. I hesitated to leave my mom because that's a long time for her to be alone...but as my mom walked towards the building I saw from the corner of my eye a woman that could have been my mothers twin. The same short, gray, curly hair, the same long lean frame, the same purposeful walk and the same strong, beautiful hands my mom has clutching a purse....it was my Tia Casi (tia is spanish for aunt).

I rolled down my window to call out to my mom so she could turn to see her sister and I saw my mom's eyes light up to see her sister and to know that she wasn't alone. My Tia came up to my car window to say "Good Morning" and I thanked her for coming to sit with my mom and make sure she wasn't alone.

And I went to work with a happy heart knowing my mom wasn't alone. Just as I drove out of the parking lot...my very own sweet sister calls me as she does every morning and I told her about what our Tia had done. There is nothing like a sister's love.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Better Late than Never - Sweet and Salty! Yum!

I am so behind in EVERY THING this holiday season. I'm barely getting around to roasting the pumpkin seeds that we saved the day we carved our Halloween Pumpkins. But I did want to share them because I'd never roasted them before and the are so delicious!

(By the way, I carved the normal looking one on the left. My daughter April carved the pumpkinavore that's eating the baby pumpkin)

I made one batch using a recipe that my daughter found at the Crepes of Wrath site. The recipe calls for EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), brown sugar, cinnamon and kosher sale. They came out great but I still had a lot of pumpkin seeds left so I took the rest and just did all the same ingredients without the cinnamon. Those are the ones pictured in the mosaic. I love sweet and salty together. These were delicious!

I tried to get pics of the ones with cinnamon but the battery in my camera decided not to cooperate!

They were a bit of work because once you carve your pumpkins you have to rescue the wet, slippery seeds. And then you have to dry them. Mine dried for about a week on a cookie sheet and I kept turning them over and over so they dried evenly, then I placed them in a plastic bag and put them in the veggie crisper of my refrigerator.

It was fun to make them and I'm going to try again next year with different flavors. Sydney from Crepes of Wrath places them in little cellophane bags and gives them as gifts. I think that would be a great idea.

Here's the recipe I used:

Sweet n' Salty Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (about the amount I got from 2 sugar pumpkins, adjust as needed)
1 teaspoon olive oil (plus another teaspoon or so, if needed)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or fleur de sel (I just like the flakiness of fleur de sel)

1. You can buy pumpkin seeds at the store, or you can use the ones you get from your Halloween pumpkins! If you're using fresh ones from pumpkins, rinse them thoroughly in a colander and remove as much of the pumpkin flesh that you can (if you can't get every little piece, it's not a big deal - it's edible). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and spread the seeds out on it. Let it sit out for at least 5-6 hours or, preferably, overnight. They should be bone dry, or nearly bone dry, when you bake them.

2. When the seeds are dry, mix them together with the olive oil (just enough to coat, I used about a teaspoon), 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or fleur de sel (I highly recommend fleur de sel for its flakiness - you can obviously use more salt, if you like). Bake at 300 degrees F for 8 minutes or so, until the brown sugar is just beginning to set into the seeds. They won't change color that much (see above), so don't worry if they seem the same as when you put them in the oven. You can always pop them back in the oven if you need to, but once they're burned, there's nothing you can do! Just be mindful of how long they are in there.

3. Allow to cool completely (this should only take a few minutes) and enjoy! I wrapped mine up in cute cellophane baggies and tied them for a pretty holiday present! 

Linking up to Mosaic Monday with Mary at Little Red House.


Friday, November 19, 2010

April the Dog Mom and her Puppy Chorizo

Before I was a Dog Mom

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I made and ate hot meals unmolested. I had unstained, unfurred clothes.
I had quiet conversations on the phone, even if the doorbell rang.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I slept as late as I wanted
And never worried about how late I got to bed or if I could get into my bed.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I cleaned my house every day.
I never tripped over toys, stuffies, and chewies or invited the neighbor's dog over to play.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I didn't worry if my plants, cleansers, plastic bags, toilet paper, soap or deodorant
were poisonous or dangerous.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never been peed on Pooped on Drooled on Chewed on
or pinched by puppy teeth.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had complete control of my thoughts, My body and mind.
I slept all night without sharing the covers or pillow.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I never looked into big, soulful eyes and cried.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop a hurt.
I never knew something so furry and four-legged could affect my heart so deeply.

Before I was a Dog Mom

I had never held a sleeping puppy just because I couldn't put it down.
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was well.
I didn't know how warm it feels inside to feed a hungry puppy.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being
A Dog Mom.

Carol Wat

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Iwanna Wednesday - Keeping It Hot...or Cold

I'm kind of on a  "warm things" kick. The last few weeks I've done Iwanna posts on Shawls, Pashminas, Scarves, Wraps and Leg Warmers...anything to stay warm. It took a while for Winter to get here, but it's here now and I'm really struggling to stay warm.

I know many of you are struggling with really bad weather; rain, hail and snow...so I feel kinda like a wimp complaining about how cold I am when it was 71 degrees today, but c'mon, I'm an Arizona/California child.

One thing I really love when it starts getting colder is a warm beverage. I wish I could drink hot chocolate all day long, but unfortunately...it's too rich and fattening.

But coffee is just as good. I used to stop and pick up a cup of Starbucks coffee every single morning...back in the days before a mortgage. Now I make coffee at home every morning and fill up my little travel mug and off to work I go.

I usually finish the coffee in my travel mug within 45 minutes of getting to work...and trust me, Iwanna more.

So I started thinking that maybe there is some type of contraption that I could use to transport beverages in their hot stage to my office. Something that would keep it hot, like my travel mug does but that would hold a lot more. Hmmmm, can you think of anything?

A Thermos you say? Why what a brilliant idea! A Thermos! Why didn't I think of that? Oh wait...I did! What Iwanna today for Iwanna Wednesday is a Thermos.

I've never thought about carrying a thermos because I always remember them looking like my dad's thermos. Remember those? They looked something like this one.

But the options available now make carrying a thermos really fashionable. Get a load of these that I found.

This one is my first choice. What I love about this one is the color, seeing as Green is my favorite color. Iwanna this one because the pink flowers are so beautiful! If you look really, really closely you'll see the flowers have little faces, some of the faces have little pink and white sunglasses! Too adorable for words!

And for those days when you really need that extra little spot of brightness in your life...maybe on a Monday...how about a colorful, happy thermos like this one? This one reminds me of my high school days. Days of flower power and hippy love. But remember....I was on the tail end of the Hippy Era!

This one would make for a bright and cheerful morning too! I just love the handle on it. It's a little more old fashioned looking, but maybe that's what I like about it.

You gotta love these, they're almost as pretty as the first one that I said was my favorite. Very feminine, no one would ever mistake this one for my daddy's thermos!

And again...because I love Green, I just fell in love with these. One for my beverage and one for some hot homemade soup. Anyone wanna make Iwanna some hot homemade soup? I'm really partial to Cream of Broccoli! Maybe cause it's green also?

You just can't get anymore professional yet colorful than any one of these! Let's see, you could take the Blue one on Blue Mondays, the Yellow one for Mellow Tuesday, the Beautiful Green one for Wacky Wednesday, the White one for We've Almost Made it Thursday and the Red One for Hot Friday's!

And for those of you with small children or grandchildren...how about this lovely thermos sippy cup. I wish they had had these when my kids were little!

So what's your poison of choice in the morning? Do you brew your own? Do you stop at a coffeehouse? Do you drive-thru or do you get off and converse with people?  What Thermos would you get if given a choice?

Happy Iwanna Wednesday and I hope all your Iwanna Wishes come true!

Monday, November 15, 2010

And the Winner Is. . .

We interrupt your Monday with an important message from Alicia with Titere con Bonete!

Happy Monday Everyone! Before I announce the winner of my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY of a $65.00 gift certificate to CSN store I want to thank everyone who entered and I want to say welcome to my new followers and a big hug to the followers I had prior to the giveaway.

It was a lot of fun seeing all those comments come in and seeing my followers grow! I finally hit over 100 and I'm thrilled beyond belief!

I know, I know...get on with it.

Ok, drumroll please! And the Winner is:

Liz  from Quiltz 'n' Hoez who says:
This Thanksgiving, I plan to do a bunch of baking, have a few friends and relatives over for dinner, and then play board games or maybe go to a movie! Thanks for the giveaway!

Congratulations Liz! Please shoot me an email and I'll give you the 411 on how to claim your prize!

Thanks again everyone and I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mosaic Monday - Giveaway Treasures

Back at the end of September I entered a giveaway hosted by Paula at Sweet Pea.

Paula has a great blog on which she shares decorating ideas, recipes and her life in general. She enjoys cooking and experimenting with new recipes. She loves to garden, read, and sew. Her very favorite thing to do is to sweat, either running, biking, playing tennis, or hitting the weight room. In fact...just this weekend she ran in a 13 mile marathon! Wow! Please head over and tell her hi and enjoy her blog.

So in September she held a giveaway to say thanks to her many readers. She was giving away some cute towels, napkins and a spreader she picked up at a local shop. I entered and I won! So today I want to share photos and I put together some mosaics for you. These things are so darn cute!

Aren't they perfect for both the Halloween and Thanksgiving Season? She included a very sweet note as well. I bet she made the card too! That little wooden spreader that's shown in the top photo, isn't that pretty?

There's a red towel that my niece Clarissa said would look pretty on my kitchen table. So we put that one down and took some pictures of a necklace and earrings I won from another giveaway. You can see those pictures here. I've since changed it out and put the one that's all pumpkins on the table. The green one has a pumpkin border and I've hung that one on my kitchen stove. They make everything so much more cheerful!

I especially love the paper napkins with all the owls. Perfect colors for fall! Thank you so much Paula and congratulations of finishing that marathon!

I'm linking up to Mary from Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Please head over there and see what else everyone is sharing today.

Also!!! Remember that today is the last day to enter my First Ever Giveaway for a $65 Gift Certificate to CSN stores. A great jump start for your Holiday Shopping. Just click HERE for details on how to enter and Good Luck! Have a great week everyone!