Such a great book… The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig

Matt Haig is an amazing writer. Over the holidays I found the audio version of The Truth Pixie from the Library. He wrote it in verse and he narrates. Such a fabulous story. It’s about a pixie who must always tell the truth, no matter what she is asked. Of course, many people get angry with her when she speaks so honestly. She feels lonely. Then comes the day that telling the truth saves the day. This story is about her journey of acceptance and loving herself.

The rhyming is so lovely, the story so powerful. I truly think you will fall in love with the book too. The audio is the best. This story puts you in a good mood. GREAT if you need a gift.

Enjoy!

Happy New Year! What’s in store for 2022?

As we finish 2021 and start 2022, our life is like a sliding puzzle. Remember playing those games when we were kids? There are many unknowns as the days / months unfold. We have goals, but we’re not clear in which order they will be fulfilled.

We might think the answer to WHAT (in our lives) comes FIRST; however, maybe WHO comes FIRST and then we slide WHAT to the bottom to make room for WHERE.

Our puzzle will continue throughout the year with WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW sliding around until all questions in our life are finally answered and goals fulfilled.

May your puzzle of LIFE unfold the way you would like it to!

Wishing YOU a healthy, loving, adventurous and prosperous New Year!

Merry Christmas! Angel blueberry scones…

I decided to surprise my daughters with some blueberry scones. I made them into Angels. They were very good; however, I should have taken them out a little sooner. I haven’t baked in a while, so I was a little rusty on the timing. STILL the Angels were a big hit.

My daughter made protein waffles. Interesting ingredients: vital wheat gluten, oat flour, fat free cottage cheese, egg whites, some water. Before you shake your head, they were good. I would not have known they weren’t made from a waffle mix. They were delicious, very filling.

It’s fun to do some baking, home cooking for the holidays.

Wishing you ALL a very Merry Christmas Eve / Day!

Christmas Present: Who still plays Monopoly?

Look at this, a deluxe wooden version of Monopoly. It was so heavy I could barely pick it up. Right next to it, they had a HUGE wooden Scrabble game. I admit, they look beautiful. These are old games I used to play as a child. I forgot to look at the price.

I enjoyed playing Monopoly until we got to the buying houses. Then all the bartering, etc. got be bored and I would quit. One of my siblings was ALWAYS happy to combine my winnings with theirs and off I would go. As I walked away I could hear them arguing, “That’s NOT FAIR, etc.”

Ah — Good old Monopoly!

Scrabble, we didn’t play this much. Not sure why, but I know some people who were die hard fans of this game. We played a lot of Canasta. Remember that card game and UNO.

So — if you need a LAST MINUTE GIFT… I just gave you a new idea!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

A Christmas Tree for TWINS!

Life is amusing. I was at the Home Depot for a lightbulb. I enjoy seeing their Holiday decorations. I don’t have a Christmas tree this year. FEELING LAZY, but I do miss it. So, I decided to see what “small” trees they had. I like these quirky looking ones.

I looked at their TOP branch, to see which tree had the TALLEST and STRAIGHTEST branch. Some had crooked top branches. That was an immediate – NO GO! On further inspection, I noticed two tall branches next to each other. WHAT?? Were my eyes deceiving me? Was there an actual tree with two tall branches?

By golly there was!! I immediately thought of my TWIN brother. THIS was a PERFECT tree for TWINS. I looked to see if there were any shiny gold or silver stars around. No, but one tree had these red bulbs on it. So, for fun, I put the two red bulbs on MY TWIN TREE. To make my twin brother smile, I put his bulb a little higher than mine. AT FIRST, I admit, I had the bulbs side by side, which is how it SHOULD BE. Somehow though, from a design perspective, it looked goofy. So, I lowered one of the bulbs.

Laughing — NOW, if you look at the bulbs, they look like EYES. This is a TREE MONSTER coming after me. I sent the photo to my twin, he liked it!

As I kept looking around, I saw these fantastic colored cactus. Wow, I’m not a cactus person, but I do love the bright colors. They are amazing. I should have read how long they bloom.

How about a Cactus built into an ornament. Had not seen that before!

Oh, an older lady asked me what I was doing when I was taking photos. I showed her. She said she lives alone, no children, doesn’t care about Christmas anymore.

HOWEVER, a BIG HOWEVER, when I showed her the pictures I had taken, how I was moving trees/plants around to get my photos — THIS made her SMILE.

Suddenly, she was HAPPY! She said I opened her eyes, she had not SEEN the things I had seen as she walked by. She was going to take pictures to send to her nephews/nieces.

So — I feel like I was someone’s ANGEL!

It’s a good feeling! We CAN spread JOY this holiday!

Perfect story for the holidays – THE YANKEE CANDLE

I’m always on the hunt for a good smelling candle. They are especially helpful if you’ve cooked fish, cabbage or broccoli for dinner. Light up your candle, it’s even better than opening the windows. Somehow the candles work really well.

I recently read an article in ADWEEK, “Yankee Candle Began as a Christmas Gift of Melted Crayons,” by Robert Klara. Right there, the title sold me on Yankee Candles. Melted crayons turned into a candle to make a mother happy?! We all remember having crayons as a kid. What a clever idea!

Long story, so click on the link. I think you’ll enjoy the article. They have 600 fragrances. It’s Christmas, they say their most popular candle is Balsam and Cedar, I’ll have to give it a try.

This is a special story that pulls at the heart strings! GIFT OF THE MAGI – that was quite a story too!

Happy Thanksgiving – OR – Merry Christmas?

Today is Thanksgiving, but I have to be honest, it doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving to me. COVID has changed things. Did you notice that people started putting up their Christmas trees at the beginning of November this year? They said they wanted to enjoy the spirit of Christmas for as long as possible.

I think we all feel this way in some way or another. This year, we had three family members pass within four months. This brings a cloud over the family. Funerals make us slow down, reflect on life, and think about the past, present and future.

As the year comes to an end, we want — Love, Peace, Joy, Hope — during these challenging times.

Yesterday, I thought. It’s time for me to change my mood, bring out MY CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!

A few years ago, my daughter gave me this cute little mouse. My other daughter named her Elloise. I know today is supposed to be Thanksgiving, but I’m in the mood for Christmas too. So, I went to the closet, threw things here and there and FOUND Elloise. I fluffed her up, straitened her scarf and skirt. Volia! I SMILED AGAIN. Time to bring some joy to my house.

Wishing you a special day today!

TA-DA –> The Kodiak breakfast!

Well, it’s Sunday, I decided to make waffles. I wrote about the Kodiak Cake brand mix the other day. Today I used the buttermilk and chocolate mix. Why not be adventurous. I topped my waffles with blueberries and raspberries that I picked in Michigan this summer and froze for winter. By the way, frozen raspberries are quite the treat. They change color and become darker once frozen, but the flavor is still there. I added some maple syrup. It’s the PERFECT breakfast!

My friend is in France…. she’s probably eating a wonderful croissant right now!

Wondering what YOU are having!

Chocolate cakes – trying a HEALTHY version!

I’ve been trying to embrace this health craze. Less fat, more protein — pancakes, waffles, cakes – NOTHING is the same anymore. Lately, the talk of the town is the Kodiak Cakes brand. Different people I spoke to were raving about their high protein pancakes. Delicious and kept them full until 1 pm. Of course, I asked, “What are you talking about?”

I like to eat pancakes / waffles occasionally, so was not up to speed on this Kodiak Cakes brand. Turns out, Kodiak Cakes, has been around since 1995. The company was started by Joel Clark based on his mother’s buttermilk flapjack mix. They are located in Utah. Due to funding the company was slow to take off, but now it has and it’s the latest craze.

It’s an interesting story, you should read about it. Joel Clark was even on Shark Tank in 2014; however, he did not accept a deal with any of the Shark Tankers. That show though introduced his product, people were interested and sales took off at Target. 14 grams of protein per serving does sound good, right!

I bought a box of Kodiak Cakes and made pancakes. I have to say, they had a great chocolate taste. This chocolate mix though, I felt was heavy and the texture was more like a cake than a fluffy pancake. I found a recipe for using the Kodiak mix to make little muffins. I decided to make mini cakes instead. They are cute looking, but the recipe I used was not good. The texture of the cakes were so dense. I went by the reviews and they were saying how “fantastic” their muffins were.

Imagine a cake with these ingredients (too much protein): 1 cup Kodiak mix, 4 eggs, 1 cup unsweetened applesauce or 4 smashed medium bananas. Mix, cook at 350 until done.

Baking is about experimenting. We win some, we lose some, but we don’t give up.

I’m on a quest to make these little cakes healthy and delicious. I just need to fine-tune the recipe.

If you haven’t heard of Kodiak Cakes give them a try. They have all kinds of flavored mixes. You can’t go wrong! High protein, just add some fruit, light syrup – you’ll be in breakfast heaven!

When a Moose means a lot!

Moose memories. For over 30 years, every September my father went moose hunting in Canada. He’d be gone three weeks in the wilderness with either my brothers or friends. That was a highlight of his year. Two months before he left, he’d go shopping for groceries to bring on the trip. He’s start pulling out his hunting gear, etc. It was a big ordeal, all of us helping to pack up the truck.

We then would eat moose meat ALL year. The moose burgers were good, but if we heard my Dad yell to my mother, “Pull out a moose roast for tonight,” we ran to visit our friends. Moose roasts were so dry and gamey tasting, just AWFUL! My Dad wised up to this tactic of ours and would say, “EVERYONE will be home for dinner tonight!”

My Dad liked to play pranks on his buddies. Since we had a lot of moose meat, he would give some to his friends. One year he had the hoof of the moose, wrapped it in the white paper that the butcher shop uses and wrote “TENDERLOIN” on it! Gave it to his friend and waited. It took a few months, but you can imagine when his friend called. He sure was mad, his poor wife was unwrapping the “tenderloin” package and found the hoof. She was NOT amused and did not want anymore moose meat from my Dad.

When we were kids we’d have our friends over for dinner. They were excited about having hamburger and french fries. We would stare at them as they ate their burger and keep asking, “So, what do you think? Do you like the burger?”

They would say, “YES, it’s really good!”

When they were finished eating we would tell them they had just eaten a moose burger. At first they looked at us and said, “WE WHAT???” You just had a moose burger. Wasn’t it good! They had to agree, moose burgers were good.

Now my Dad is in his 80s, going moose hunting is too strenuous for him. So, of course, there is sadness to this. I know my Dad misses going. A surprise happened at the store. LOOK, what I found — A MOOSE PLATE!!

I smiled. My Dad would look great at the head of the table for Thanksgiving with his very own MOOSE PLATE!

So, he will have a BIG SURPRISE this year. I hope he likes it as much as I do.

He’s got to smile… RIGHT!!