Just got finished making this years Christmas Wreath. Didn't use as much hot glue as I thought I would! I started with an old pine wreath {plastic} and old ornaments and from that created a new wreath. You know my motto by now: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It's fun to take old parts and turn them  into something entirely new isn't it? You'll have to let me know what you think. I like it. Time to go hang it on my front door.


Spiced Chai Concentrate 

This delicious recipe was borrowed from the pages of A Wooden Nest


I've had this recipe for homemade spiced chai concentrate bookmarked since January, 
but I finally got around to making up a batch this morning. The verdict? Delicious. 
It's easy to make and smells delicious, too. I only made a couple of changes to the recipe, 
 reducing the amount of sugar and ginger to suit my tastes.

Spiced Chai Concentrate
4 1/2 cups water
1 stick cinnamon
1 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
7 whole cardamom pods
2 whole star anise pods
10 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
10 bags of black tea
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vanilla

Prepare the spices and the tea, and set aside. Bring the water to a boil, and remove from heat. 
Add the spices and the tea bags, and allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes.

Homemade Chai Concentrate

Strain the mixture into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or large bowl, discarding the spices. 
Add the sugar, honey and the vanilla, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the 
mixture into a jar and store in the refrigerator.

To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk. Heat for a warm beverage, or pour over 
ice to enjoy cold.




beautiful failure

Aren't they simply beautiful? I found them Here with instructions, 
so here I go! I am making some art space in my day just for myself, then, 
I'm making a delicious smoothie-not sure what kind yet though...
I have to go to another Christmas party tonight, so I must get ready,
I think that Saturday morning I will simply lose myself at the art museum-
it is so wonderful to just wander and take in all the beauty...then, in the 
afternoon I will put on my comfy slippers, find my Christmas book and read it. 
Then, I need to organize my tea collection and make a list of some I need 
to get for these cold days ahead. I was thinking of trying Zumba to add a 
little more fun to my exercise routine, I am also practicing Yoga almost daily-
I love it! Then, I'm going to my neighbors coffee bar to listen to some live music. 
They really get all kinds there to listen to. And, paint my toenails a beautiful red 
{I'm thinking OPI Affair in Red Square} Just for fun, I'm going to have my palm 
read again-I did it once before-twenty-five years ago. 
Then lastly, make some more flavored water. 
I really think I like just cutting up limes for my water and letting 
it settle in the fridge overnight-so delicious...

Tell me, what are you fabulous plans for the weekend?



Many families have Christmas traditions. My family has lots of them. But, there is great comfort in those traditions both for myself and my family members. We carry on those traditions today where those who have gone before us  have left off and today's tradition I am sharing with you is the making of the Christmas Bread.

This is such a nice and delicious tradition. My family members know which one of us made it just by taste alone! You will find a way to add your own personal twist to make it uniquely your own... and continue it each year...

This recipe is very close to my own...

  via;The Crafting Chicks found HERE


Just one word...

So, I found this list, it's a list to help you pick your special word for the new year. A few tips to help you choose your word...

1. Let your word pick you. All you need to do is search a little bit to discover your word. Be open to the magic as as the word begins to appear in your thoughts, and maybe even your dreams. Chances are, that your word will sound a little strange to you at first, you may wonder why it keeps showing up in your life and on your mind. Pay very close attention. Give this word the attention it deserves, and explore what it is trying to teach you.

2. This is not a "what I shoulda, woulda, coulda done word, it's how you desire to be. Simply invite this word each day into your life. Remember, your special word is designed to help you to live each day as the person that you want to be.

3. This is not your friends word. It's your word. Don't let anyone influence you. This is your special word, uniquely yours. It should resonate with you in a way that no one else can understand. It contains a very personal meaning just for you, even if it takes you a while to realize what that meaning may be. So, if there is a word swirling around in your head, honor it... no matter what anyone else thinks.

I am not sure what my word will be yet. It takes me a while. That is why I am looking at this now. One's word is something to nourish, to challenge, to wrestle with and to grow into. Often, I will set aside a few hours, of uninterrupted time, to be still and silent, to journal and to reflect upon the year past, and to write about my hopes and desires for the year ahead. I try to notice whether a word, image or phrase appears in my thoughts. Sometimes walking or hiking helps. Nature herself can sometimes have a word for me. I will remember and listen to my dreams, and consider whether the images hold a word for me. Also, I'll pay attention to my day to day experiences to see if there are any repeating images or words.

Some good advice;
"If you hear a word calling, sit with it for a couple of days. ... Eventually there will be a tugging inside you, where you feel yourself drawn again and again to this word. ...  Allow yourself to be in a space of unknowing. ...  This is a journey of transformation and the word may not make immediate sense to you, but trust that over time more of its meaning will be revealed."

If this practice appeals to you as a way to greet the New Year, why not encourage others to find there own special word? And, drop me a note... 
let me know where your word takes you.... and I'll do the same. I have a while yet until the New Year comes, but as soon as my word appears - 
I'll be sure to share it with you...


The last few days were so needed -a bit of time for me to get away-again.
I brought a friend with me. We had a lot of fun with quiet tucked in as well.

  :: desserts were ordered.
:: red wine was sipped.
:: and walks in the cold
 crisp air were taken.

I bought a simple journal and some chalks on the drive up.
it felt really good to draw and create again art slows me down.
it brings me back to a good place in life

  I am close to finishing "pride and prejudice"

{what a beautiful book}
I am turning the pages slowly...never wanting it to end

Tonight will be more crocheting in front of a roaring fire.
Perhaps a movie too...
The night is so very cold - it's dangerously cold tonight
here in the upper Midwest

The days now are full... and filled with life.
being back to work feels good.
A dream or two sneaks it's way into my
daily life and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Kale and apples....

I’ve been a little unsure about fall this year. One minute, I’m moaning about wool scarves and rain and then, the next minute,  
I’m chirping giddily about my beautiful kale and picking apples and buying new soft flannel sheets. It must be hard to keep up 
with me, and I’m sorry about that. If it’s any consolation, just know that I too have a hard time keeping up with me, and I’m 
the one doing the moaning and chirping! Simply put, fall just makes my head spin.

Here are some pictures I captured ... enjoy...