Simple advice for a better life.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Roasted turkey ready to servePumpkin-RollOrange-Apple-Cranberry sauce 2

It is time again to give thanks for all our blessings, and to spend time together with family and friends.

Thanksgiving holiday this year will be low key at my house, since all my children and their families, will be spending it with their in-laws.

I am counting my blessings, because we will be all together for Christmas!

Today I will not be posting any new recipes, but will provide links to my previous posts, for your convenience.

Roasted turkey ready to serve

Here is my favorite turkey roasting recipe.

stuffing ready to serve 2

Stuffing with Italian Sausage and herbs.

Orange-Apple-Cranberry sauce 2

Homemade Apple Orange Cranberry Sauce recipe.

Sweet Potatoes casserole - ready to serve

Sweet Potato Casserole.

I did not post a recipe, since it was a very simple process of cooking sweet potatoes, mashing them with a seasoning of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Then, placing the mashed potatoes in a greased casserole dish, covering them with a layer of miniature marshmallows, and placing them under broiler just long enough to form a golden crust.

Need to watch them carefully, since the marshmallows can burn VERY quickly!!


Since I am not a big fan of Pumpkin Pie, I bake Pumpkin Roll as one of my Thanksgiving desserts.


Diaper Cake - right side view 2I was very excited about an upcoming baby shower for someone at work, and decided that it would be fun to make another diaper cake.

The first ever diaper cake I made, was for my daughter’s baby shower, almost 7 years ago.  If you are interested in my cake assembly instructions, you may click on the link above.

A couple years later I made a diaper cake for a baby shower for my daughter-in-law, so this time I was excited to make my third creation.

Since it has been said that pictures “speak a thousand words”, I will share my cake pictures from several different angles.

The diapers and the accessories for this cake were part of the baby registry, so it was very easy for me to put it all together.   I also crochet a blanket for the baby, plus a tiny one for the puppy placed at the top of the cake.

Hopefully you will find these pictures enjoyable, and will be encouraged to create one of your own, for someone special.


Diaper Cake - right side view 3

Diaper Cake - left side view







Diaper Cake - first layerDiaper Cake - front viewDiaper Cake - top layer

Diaper Cake - back side - Blanket

The baby blanket was draped over the back of the diaper cake, as in the above picture.

If any of you made diaper cakes before, and would like to share your pictures with me via email, I would love to post them on my blog.

Thank you!

My Sister’s Flower Garden

yellow flowersMy sister and I share a passion for gardening, which we inherited from our mother.

Even though we both are separated by the ocean, we plant similar flowers, and gardening is one of our hobbies.

We exchange flower and vegetable seeds via snail mail, as share pictures of the fruits of our labor.

Today I will share some pictures my sister sent to me of her flower patches.

Beauty of Mother Nature

multicolor ivy (Morning Glory)







There is a small water garden between the bunch of flowers and the front of the house.  Also, to the left of this picture is a wood carving, my brother-in-law created  out of a tree stump.

The Morning Glory really is thriving in this spot of the garden, climbing freely over the split rail fence in the back of their property.

yellow flowers

These flowers bring childhood memories, as our mother had them in her garden, and many of our neighbors did as well.

They need a special spot to thrive in, since they can easily reach 6 feet in height.


Potted plants





My sister uses every possible available spot, to plant some flowering plants all over her property, and even in window boxes.

Roses and Morning Glory

Pink flowers





Here is another view of the Morning Glory climbing on a mash fence closer to the house, and a closer view of the flowers in front of the house.

This is only a small percentage of the flowers my sister plants.   She has a myriad of varieties of flowering plants in other spots of her spacious property.

She also grows several different fruit trees, Raspberry bushes, Red Currents bushes, Strawberry patch, and a bunch of vegetables.

pickling cucumbers

She told me that this year her cucumbers were “multiplying like rabbits”.

She pickled many of them, and gave lots of them to friends, and they still kept on producing.  That’s how it is with gardening…it’s feast or famine…:-)

I hope you enjoyed these pictures.

Today is my sister’s Birthday, hence I am dedicating this post to her.


Birthday InvitationAnother birthday rolled by, and this one was for a three-year old boy, who loves watching football with dad at his side.

He is very proud to yell out their favorite team name, which you will figure out from these pictures.

Not a  surprise to his parents, that he wanted a football theme for his birthday party.

Boys are very active at this age….or at any age for that matter…so his mom decided to have less structured party, and let them enjoy lots of free playtime outdoors.  It worked out great!

Today I will share some pictures from this party, in case you are searching for football theme ideas for your little football player’s birthday party.

The invitations were creatively constructed, to resemble a ticket to a football game.  Love that idea!


Football decor 2NY Giants Flag





NY Giant's decor

New York Giants is the favorite team for this little boy and his dad…what else would anyone expect from someone who grew up in New York  State..:-)

Football Helmet watermellon carving - close up view Party Food





How about this fresh fruit arrangement, topped off with a football helmet carved out of a watermelon.  Nicely done!

Football party food 3Pretzels and Strawberries with Nutella Dip







Football Field - Taco Dip

This little boy loves food….so his mom had lots of goodies all over the party area, to pick from.

The above replica of a football field is spread over the top of a Taco Dip.

Red-White-and Blue punch

customized NY Giants bottled water

There was a tri-color punch, as well as spring water, in an appropriately labeled bottles (brainstorm of the parents of the birthday boy).

Football is ready to run with

NYYankees and NYGiants -  sand box play







Football Field tablecloth - coloring station

Little boys might love football, however, playing with trucks in the sand box, was favored over the football helmet coloring station, set up as an additional activity.

Birthday Cake - Yankees and Giants well represented

Interesting moment at cake time…not only Giant fan was present, but the New York Yankees had their young supporter as well.

It would be wonderful if at least one of those team players would stumble upon this post, just to find out how much support they had with this bunch of fans…:-)

Football Party Favors

After all the snacking, and fun in the sun, the little football players were ready to go home for a long nap, taking along a nice leather football, as a  party favor.


Drummer Boy cupcakesThe Brithday Drum Cake








My little grandson absolutely loves music.  He dances to any tunes, and is quickly advancing his dance “moves”.

His First Birthday Party theme was all about music, of course, so today I will share a series of pictures from his fun day.

His parents were very busy planning fun decorations, and even a “beach size” sandbox was constructed for the special occasion.

The party room was decorated with music notes suspended from the ceiling, as well as hand constructed “singles records” representing each month of the past year, with an appropriate picture matching each song title.

Best Seller Singles - NewbornBest Seller Singles - One Month Old

Newborn – “Born in the USA” .               One Month Old – “Raise the Roof”.

Best Seller Singles - Two Months Old

Best Seller Singles - Three Months Old

Two Months Old – “Dear Momma”.     Three Months Old – “Pass the Popcorn”.

Best Seller Singles - Four Months Old

Best Seller Singles - Five Months Old

Four Months Old – “Turkey for me, Turkey for You” .     Five Months Old – “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”.

Best Seller Singles - Six Months OldBest Seller Singles - Seven Months Old

Six Months Old – “Sittin by the Dock of the Bay”.     Seven Months Old – “Father of Mine”.

Best Seller Singles - Eight Months Old

Best Seller Singles - Nine Months Old

Eight Months Old – “99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall”.   Nine Months Old – “Crawling Back to You”.

Best Seller Singles - Ten Months Old

Best Seller Singles - Eleven Months Old

Ten Months Old – “Peek-a-boo, I can see You”.  Even Months Old – “These Boots are Made for Walking”.

Best Seller Singles - Twelve Months Old

Twelve Months Old – “Go Shorty, It’s Ya Birthday”.

Best Seller Singles

Birthday Cake Display

This view displays the wall decor, and some of the music notes dangling from the ceiling, and the beautifully handcrafted banner at the cake display corner.

Birthday Thank You favors

Party Favors displayed here consist of a individual bags filled with age appropriate goodies, plus a homemade CD.

The Brithday Drum Cake

The proud and talented mom of the Birthday Boy, improvised the decor of the Birthday Cake, transforming it into a drum.

She used small pretzel sticks to form the sides of the drum, plus two Huge Campfire Marshmallows pierced by large pretzel sticks, turning them into drum sticks.

She also baked cupcakes, and decorated them with little drum sticks made out of small pretzel sticks and mini marshmallows.  Pretty cleaver; wouldn’t you agree?

Backyard Beach - Oversized Sand Box

The handy daddy of the Birthday Boy, constructed this over-sized sandbox.  Someone actually referred to it as the  ”backyard beach”, which was filled with happy kids, during the outdoor activity time.

Make your own tambourine

The other craft the children enjoyed, was making their personal tambourines.

Make your own tambourine - finished product 4Make your own tambourine - finished product 3


Make your own tambourine - finished product 2Make your own tambourine - finished product 1

This craft required two paper plates stapled together to form a pocket, then filled with some dry beans, stapled some more to close up the pocket.  Then decorated with googly eyes, ribbons, and finally colored with paints or markers.   The age of these “artists” ranged from 1 – 6 years old….soooo cute.

Safari Baby Pool

Mommy, Daddy and Baby Pool

Lunch and cake were served outdoors, to accommodate the kids and parents to an easy access to the sand box, playground, and the baby pool.

After the numerous fun  activities, everyone was ready to cool off in the pool.

The tired out parents enthusiastically welcomed the idea, and enjoyed it even more than the little ones.

It was a great party, and the weather was very cooperative as well.




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