Monday, November 30, 2009

Sharing... my new tea glasses!



Hey all... had to share my finds today from the DOLLAR TREE!! These glasses are adorable for everyday and especially the holidays!  I love the words on them.. Some of the wording on the glasses... Memories are made of these.. hugs, friends, laughter, family, smiles, Home... enjoy the little things!
Hope you run down and pick up a few!
Smiles..

Valarie

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Meet my dear friends Tim & Kim ~




I would like to introduce you to Tim & Kim .. please click Christmas to read their story! I wanted  each of you to have a chance to order friends and family gifts while getting something free for you!! This is my favorite place in downtown McKinney for a sweet fix! I took this photo above on Friday at the McKINNEY DICKENS ON THE SQUARE FESTIVAL! Their store was packed! Kids, families, dogs, grandparents all trying to squeeze in the store for one of the 45 speciality popcorns!  
This special offer expires Monday, Dec. 1 -- Be sure and tell them Valarie sent ya!
  
Your purchase must be equal to or greater than $5.65 to receive the Free Popcorn.
1. Go to 
http://www.momandpopcorn.com
2. Select the items that you want to purchase and add them to your cart (remember, must be equal to or greater than $5.65)
3. Select the Small Bag of Caramel Corn and add to your cart
4. Enter FACEBOOK in the Promo Code space (the small bag of caramel corn must be in your cart for promo code to work properly...and promo code must be upper case)
5. Enter your Contact Info and Payment Method
6. Select the Shipping Method or choose In-Store Pickup
7. Review your order and make sure you see the Promo Code Discount
8. Submit your order and enjoy your Free Caramel Corn
Hugs to all.. 
Valarie 


Friday, November 27, 2009

Hanging Garland....

Hung garland in my living area today. Basic lighted garland, twined in some beautiful red ribbon with some of my favorite red balls and santa ornaments.
I hope the holidays sparkle your imagination and dreams!
Valarie
(CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Wish for you.....

May your stuffing be tasty,
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump,
May your yams be delicious and pies take the prize,
MAY your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs!

I am thankful for each of you that stop by my blog - wishing only the best to you and your families!

From my house to yours!
Blessings!
Valarie

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home for the Holidays in Mckinney! See you there!



Downtown McKinneys premier festival, the 29th annual Dickens of a Christmas…Home for the Holidays is right around the corner.  An old fashioned Christmas festival with horse drawn carriages, strolling carolers, visits with Santa Claus, the Christmas tree lighting and activities for all ages.  Seasonal music, food and childrens activities provided by local organizations will take center stage during the event.

The event will be held for (3) days (November 27, 28 and 29, 2009).  This festive event will launch on Friday, November 27 with an “Earlier than the Bird” shopping extravaganza followed by festive activities throughout the day leading up to a message from our Mayor, the lighting of the tree and candlelight shopping until 8:00 p.m. Periodically, during the month of December, the shops in downtown McKinney will stay open for extended hours so that customers have a chance to finish all of that holiday shopping in one place with over 100 boutiques, art galleries, bookstores, apparel, gifts and exquisite antiques. Consumers can find the unique and special things that they won’t find anywhere else in downtownMcKinney.   This magical event is free to the public and parking and free shuttle service will be provided.

McKinney Main Street and supporting sponsors will support the local economy by providing festive and interactive activities throughout the busiest shopping weekend of the year, which will in turn promote the heritage of our wonderful city. 
   
Festival Hours
Friday, November 27: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

City of McKinney Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be at 6:15 p.m. at Mitchell Park
Saturday, November 28: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday, November 29: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Where
Historic Downtown McKinney - 111 N. Tennessee St.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Garland up in Dining Room...




Hey all.. I am on a roll over here at the blue cottage making things all festive. Decorating a bit early this year.. we are going out of town for Thanksgiving, then have lots of festivities planned for the entire month... so trying to complete the projects I can now!
This is what I did tonight. Take simple lighted garland, find you 10 yards of very cute ribbon weave in and out of the garland, then tie your favorite things on the branches. Since my tree and this garland are in my dining room, I used many pieces of silver I collect.. creamers, wine goblets, old forks, old cake server, my babies baby spoons, an old clock, etc.... What do you hang in your garland??
Hugs!
Valarie

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just a little Christmas cheer today!!

Well .. no day of rest around here! WE  LOML worked his tail off today.. started with the raking of the leaves - and more leaves.  Hung all the Christmas lights on the roof lines... then hung the garland around the front door- and then finally as the sun set we flipped the switch to light our little blue cottage!  What did you do today??  Are you in the Christmas spirit?? 
Hugs to all... Valarie   










Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Blind Side! A little Thanksgiving spirit!!




Tonight was date night! We went to the movies to see The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw! The movie is a true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, who is taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. At the same time, Oher's presence in the Touhys' lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle. It is a must see to start off your Thanksgiving with a thankful and giving heart! See it - you will be glad you did! 

Valarie 

Friday, November 20, 2009

I can't take credit for the recipe or the baking!





















Wow... the recipe for Oatmeal Crispies is heavenly... so please give credit to the recipe I found here! (you won't be surprised who it is!) I did none of the baking of these yummy cookies.. I owe it all to this 9 year old chef!! This recipe makes a BIG BATCH! We ate many many last night... and we had enough cookies for his teachers this morning AND we sent a tub full to LOML's office.  Try this recipe out - you will be glad you did!!
Hope your day is happy!
Valarie
 


Thursday, November 19, 2009

A little Mimi time!

Tonight is Mimi Night - and I am so glad.  This little guy I love and adore! I learn so much from him and his views on life. He is fearless, brave, strong willed, driven, bold, kind, loving, sassy, competitive, charming, and he loves his Mimi!! We will chat tonight I am sure about the upcoming Thanksgiving and the trip to see all the family, what he will do the entire week he is out of school, favorite movies, the Christmas wish list... and so much more. I hope you have the time to spend with grandchildren and make a difference in their world! Love and Hugs to all~ Valarie 



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicken Fajita Salad



Well, you guessed it! I am still cooking which means.... No, I have not found a job yet! LOML is really enjoying all this cooking! and cleaning!! and list making!! Tonight I made Chicken Fajita Salad.
Marinated chicken breast for 4 hours today in the below. 
All you need:
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne (amount depends on how much heat you want)
¼ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed 
Grill chicken then cut in slices. I served over leaf lettuce, tomatoes, sprinkled with cheese, a bit of your favorite hot sauce and a tortilla chips! Hope you
like love it! 

Valarie  

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Goodwill finds....



Hit my favorite Goodwill today and look what I found! 2 of the three new hurricane vases. I have been on the lookout for them to use for Christmas decor for the dining table. I was thinking  of filling them w/christmas balls, candles, fruit, candy canes, glittery pine cones, glittery words, Christmas ribbon etc......  The list is endless! So for tonight - I just had to share with you - inside the hurricane vase is a smaller crystal glass and in the larger hurricane vase is a smaller crystal hurricane candle lamp.  What else can we put inside them????
Thoughts????
PS.. THE WINNER OF THE PEACE SIGN EARRINGS...... Susan!! 
Blessings to all..
Valarie

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wishing you Peace in your Heart & Home!

Happy Peaceful Monday! IF you would love to have these adorable ADORABLE PEACE EARRINGS... LEAVE ME A COMMENT! DRAWING TOMORROW!!
Peace, Love, & Happiness, 
Valarie

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A little hospitality~ I have a winner!!

AND THE WINNER OF THE COCA COLA HOSPITALITY JUICE GLASSES is ...... BJ FROM Sweet Nothings!!  Thanks to all of you who entered the drawing... More fun drawings this week.. Come back and see me.. I hope I made a difference in your day! Hugs and love to you all!!! Valarie

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I went shopping for ya!

I bought myself these items today and bought one for you! First one to respond - I will mark sold! Ya ready???

Peace OUT!! I will throw in the peace earrings as well... $20 total includes shipping! SOLD TO Mzztyerry!! 

Crowned Glory!! This bracelet is more stunning in person... Has lots of bling and crowns!! $25 w/shipping 


The rhinestone loop earrings below - are a must have for holiday bling!! $10 w/shipping SOLD TO HALEY


The cross necklace ~ 3 strands of beads - the rhinestone cross/crown  at the bottom!  $20 include shipping! 

I hope you love the bling! I will pop back in later to see if you  filling your stocking!!

Hugs,
Valarie






Friday, November 13, 2009

A little Hospitality!!

HAPPY FRIDAY ALL~ I HOPE THAT EACH OF YOU HAVE A FABULOUS DAY!! Plans this week-end?? If you leave me a comment your name will go into a drawing for a set of four Coca-Cola juice glasses!! 
Drawing held Sunday!! 
Smiles..
                                        

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Garage Sale treasure!


Found this little junky piece at a garage sale Saturday for $30 I tried to remain calm.. I loved it and I had the perfect place for it in the blue cottage! Check out the before....




AND the after... after a paint job with Ralph Lauren black paint. This little junky find is sitting very proud in my dining area, with my favorite rooster lamp on top, few little roses that LOML gave me last week, an old clock on a cake pedestal, and the junky find holding my dishes....    Think I got a deal??
Till the next junky find... happy trails!
Valarie

Monday, November 9, 2009

Banana Banana Bread!



Good evening all,  

Tonight I made Banana Banana Bread for a little thank you gift for the teachers that teach my grandson. These women are saints.. so I thought I would make 'em a little snack for the morning break!   

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.



While the bread was cooling- I decorated these little cellophane bags- added a few teacher stickers- tied them up with my favorite ribbon and homemade tag!  Show some kindness to our educators! (A bit partial to teachers.... my baby girl teaches special ed for DISD!)  
Have a great evening!
Valarie  









Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday- a day of rest...


Just relaxed today! How did you spend your Sunday afternoon? Hugs, Valarie

Friday, November 6, 2009

I screamed "FOR ME?"


LOML KNOWS WHEN I GET STRESSED THE COOKING IS SERIOUS HERE AT THE BLUE COTTAGE!! SO... FOR A LITTLE PICKER UPPER... HE BROUGHT HOME A SURPRISE! THE PIONEER WOMAN COOKS - COOKBOOK!! RED ROSES EARLIER THIS WEEK, COOKBOOK TODAY.... (THIS COULD ALL BE WORKING OUT WELL TO MY ADVANTAGE! SPOILED ROTTEN... and i love it! RUN DOWN AND PICK UP A COPY OF REE'S BOOK! I will see you all DEC 1 AT THE SIGNING! HUGS AND LOVE TO ALL OF YOU.. and MOSTLY THANKS FOR YOUR SWEET COMMENTS! Valarie

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back in the swing of things!!

Can't keep a good girl down for long! One of the ways I deal with stress is baking! I so wish all of you were my neighbor and could enjoy the fruits of my labor!
You will need these ingredients
PUMPKIN PIE CAKE
1-15 oz can pumpkin
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup sugar
1- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 tsp cinnamon & 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 sticks margarine (melted)
Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Mix pumpkin, eggs, salt,milk, spices, and sugar. Pour into pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture, press with a spoon. Add chopped pecans. Pour melted margarine over pecans. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees. The cake will set up once it cools. *** Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream OR cool whip*** Bon App├ętit! Valarie

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On a personal note......

Hey y'all..
Sorry for the no postings.. This past Friday, I received notice that my position with AT&T has been put at risk. What does that mean?? It means I have 60 days to find another position within the company or hit the exit door on 12.29! (Merry Christmas!) There are a flood of emotions as you can imagine - I have been an employee 19 years, marketing, events, and managing the executive briefing centers across the AT&T footprint. I am optimistic of any new opportunity within the company or external. So .. if you could all give me a second to take a breath, keep me in your thoughts .. I will back to myself in a few days..
Hugs to all..
Valarie

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Blog-aversary to ME!!


Wow!! One year in the blogging world.. 290 posts, 21,802 visitors and lots of comments. I have shared junky & funky finds, my kid's, my grandson's, our crazy hectic baseball season, decorating tips, party favors, my career, MY LOML (love of my life) and random daily thoughts that I hope will touch a life or two! You have allowed me to be me and that I treasure most. The friendships have been amazing, and overwhelming! I love you all... From my house to yours... Thank you for an amazing year!
Giggles!

Valarie
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