Jennifer Rizzo 2012 Virtual Holiday House Walk!

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 Please Note: I'm just including a couple of photos from last year so that this post isn't all "words".

Okay, I'll admit it...

I drive past other people's homes after dark when the lights are on, so that I can see how they decorate.

My Grandmother's Butterscotch Pie Recipe

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Do you have a recipe box?

Is it neat and tidy with all of the recipes filed in the proper sections behind carefully labeled tabs?

If you needed your recipe for...oh....Butterscotch Pie, for example, would you simply flip the box open, go to the tab labeled PIE or DESERTS and sort through your carefully alphabetized cards until you came to "B" where you'd find it waiting, exactly where you left it?

If you have that type of recipe filing system, would you come to my home for an intervention?

Visions of Sugar Plums - Holiday Decorating

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As I've been hauling out the 35 boxes and bins of Christmas decorations that I've somehow managed to amass, I've been thinking about the story, The Night Before Christmas. You heard it as a child, didn't you? The one by Clement Moore? It's a favorite of mine...

mainly because I'd like to know how they managed it...
                                                                               pretty much  all of it.

Cookie Cutter Wreath and Mason Jar Candles

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Happy Sunday after Thanksgiving! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. I know that I did.

Do you feel like you spent a bunch of time in the kitchen over the last week? I do. First it was  cooking and baking in preparation for hosting family for the holiday.

Then, since Thursday,  I've also spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen mainly eating leftovers...for every meal.   Mainly leftover pie.

So much so that I've decided to go on a diet.

It's a new kind of diet. I invented it this morning.

Yes, I know, those of you who have been reading my status updates on the Serendipity Refined Facebook Fan Page   can stop laughing now.

I know, you're probably thinking to yourself  

                                         Yeah, right. She's going on a diet AFTER she ate pie for lunch.

Actually, it wasn't the pie for lunch yesterday that did me in. It was the pie for breakfast this morning that got me thinking...

about Christmas cookies...and how they're right around the corner.

I was considering the fact that I bake batches and batches of cookies in the weeks before the holiday

                                                                                                ...and how most of them never last 24 hours.

Having young men and their friends in the house virtually guarantees that a batch of cookies can be finished (along with the gallon of milk that was supposed to last for three days) in under ten minutes.

Trust me. I've timed it.

So, I decided this morning, (while I was all hopped up on the sugar rush following eating a piece of butterscotch pie for breakfast followed up by a cup of really strong coffee),

that I should probably resist the urge to bake Christmas cookies, at least for a few weeks....
                                                                                         you know, until closer to the actual holiday.

After careful consideration...while my heart rate returned to normal after the caffeine and sugar wore off. I decided that it's kind of like doing everyone a favor.

...At least everyone who lives at my house and would like to wear pants with a zipper in them to family gatherings or to mass over the holidays.

I'm going to save everyone a few pounds...I'm using the cookie cutters for a the kitchen!

Don't worry, I didn't ruin them.  They're just tied on with waxed twine.  They can be carefully removed, when the time comes, to bake batches of all of our favorites.

 In the mean time, however, they're safely above the stove...on a wreath.

Above the stove, hanging in a place that would take me, standing on  a ladder to reach..

A ladder that I'd have to go outside, into the cold garage to get. 

 Above the stove, on a shelf with these adorable jars that I filled with "snow", tied with twine, added some berries and a piece of fir to.  Glass jars...that I'd have to move while standing on the ladder.

So for now, the cookie cutters are safe. 

Safe from me...and any chance of spontaneous cookie baking.

Safe from anything but a well thought out effort to go to the garage, get the ladder, take down the wreath, untie the cookie cutters, wash them and then  bake cookies.

It'll be a couple of weeks but it'll happen....because me and the gingerbread man have a date...

and I'm pretty sure we'll be joined by a gallon of milk.


I'm sharing this post at:
 Between Naps on the Porch
Embracing Change
Jennifer Rizzo
Stilettos in the Mud
Thoughts From Alice

Thanksgiving Table Decor - Recycling Outdoor Plants

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It's been said that "clothes make the man". If that's the case, then I believe that accessories make the woman.  Think about it.

Way back in second grade, when I was playing Barbie's with my sister, it was always about the accessories!

Twig Ornaments - Free Crafts from Mother Nature

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Sometimes, after a storm, I find some of the coolest stuff in the yard. don't believe me?!

Look at this...  I found these stars in my neighbor's yard after a windy night last week.

Well...okay...not exactly these stars...and not exactly  their yard...

Pumpkin Pecan Bars: Celebrating a Departure

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I had a little celebration at my home yesterday afternoon.

It was a going away party....of sorts.

Holiday Decorating and Friends: A Look Back

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Did you ever watch "Friends"?  Please tell me that you did...

and that you had a secret crush on Chandler.

Tell me that you used to wish that you were Rachel...just a little bit.

Planning for Unexpected Thanksgiving Guests

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Have you ever had a surprise guest for Thanksgiving?  Well, maybe not entirely a surprise...let's just say that it wasn't someone that you had planned on hosting for Thanksgiving... someone that you figured wouldn't probably show up until...well... closer to Christmas.

Socks for Sandy - Share the Warmth

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I've got a long standing and well documented "thing" for socks.

I'm fairly certain that it began in high school and anyone who knows me well can attest to the fact that they're one of my favorite gifts to receive, and to give.

Ever since my sons were little boys, I've shared my love of socks with them as well.  For me, keeping those that I care about warm is the very most basic of necessities. Having socks, hats, and mittens as winter approaches is something that I've often taken for granted.

That is, until last week... when hurricane Sandy paid an unwelcome visit to many of my friends along the eastern seaboard.   As the days following the storm unfolded, I worked to contact my friends who live in New York and New Jersey to see if they needed anything. One by one, I was able to reach them. As of tonight (Sunday), there are still two without power but everyone is safe and damage, for most of them, was minimal.

Among those affected is Laura Kuhlmann, a friend, fellow blogger,and fellow member of Hometalk. Laura lives in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey.  Laura's neighborhood was spared the brunt of the storm but just a few minutes down the road, entire areas were wiped out including Mystic Island, Osborne Island, and Tuckerton Beach. Long beach Island which is just across the bay, also suffered extraordinary damage as did virtually every barrier island and shore town up and down New Jersey's renowned coastline

Early one morning last week, after having gone to a local hurricane shelter and seeing people walking around barefoot who just wanted a pair of warm socks, Laura posted a message asking for help to provide socks and mittens to those who need them.  Of course, my immediate response was, "I'm in."  Needless to say, that was also the response of many of our fellow Hometalk bloggers, several of whom live in New Jersey and were affected by Hurricane Sandy. . 

So here we are. Our mission is simple and the turn around time is fast.

We want to provide socks, to warm feet; gloves, to warm  hands; and winter hats, to warm  heads in the hope that this small gesture will help to let those affected to feel the warmth and caring of all of us and that it will warm their hearts and souls to know that we're here for them.

The address to mail new, unused, socks, hats and mittens is:
Socks for Sandy
PO Box 520
Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087

Since the need is urgent, we're asking that packages be postmarked not later than this Friday, November 9, 2012.

If you'd rather help in another way, donating directly to the Red Cross is still the fastest way to get your money into the hands of those who need it the most.

Laura will receive all packages and immediately take them to the local hurricane shelter. Any excess will be given to the other hurricane shelters up and down New Jersey's coastline.

What started as an idea has grown into a mission to share the warmth and it's simple to get involved. 

In this season of Thanksgiving, join us, won't you? Share the warmth. Spread the love. Socks for Sandy.


Aid for Victims of Sandy

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If you haven't already done so, please consider a donation.My blogger friends and I are working on another aid project that I hope to have details on soon. Stay tuned.