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Pretty and Pink Champagne Salad

Today I am sharing this recipe for a delicious fruit salad. We call it Champagne Salad. For our family no Holiday celebration is complete without a dollop or two of this pretty and pink salad served in a special glass bowl.

The interesting news is that it doesn't have one ounce of champagne in it, in fact it does not have one drop of alcohol in it! I suspect the recipe name comes from this salad's appearance. So luscious and fluffy with a light blush tint, our entire family are believers in the magic and taste of this easy and pretty dessert salad and hopefully you will too if you choose to give it a try.

salad, dessert, cream cheese, cool whip
Champagne Salad With Cranberries

I first discovered this recipe way back when we lived in Spring Texas. At that time we just had the two oldest children and lived in a brand new community with towering pine trees. It was a darling neighborhood filled with lovely and sometimes interesting neighbors! I believe I was only in my twenties at the time when an "older," and polished couple moved in next door. They sort of "mothered," our family and we were invited to many get-togethers. It was Rita, the lady of the household, who shared this recipe with me. A pert, put-together woman with a sharp blonde haircut, precise movements and organization skills that would knock your socks off.

fruit, salad, pineapple, dessert
Champagne Salad

As Rita took me under her wing, she began instructing me in the art of hosting luncheons and sharing her recipes with me too. Her tutorials complemented the way my Mother had already shared her love of hosting ladies gatherings such as quilting bees and Bible Study gatherings.

roses, bouquet, berries, Thanksgiving
Roses and Berries for the table

Oh yes, it is work to do all of this but I still truly enjoy all of the anticipation, preparation, menu planning and welcoming folks into our home. However there is a certain old fashioned simple elegance that is romantic to me in sharing good food with stalwart friends and treasured family.

Now I am happy to be able to share this recipe with you.

Thanksgiving, Table, Fresh Flowers

Ingredients for Champagne Salad

  1. One medium size tub of cool whipped. (thawed in fridge)
  2. One package of cream cheese softened
  3. One can of pineapple tidbits. (drain well)
  4. One container of sweetened frozen strawberries thawed and drained well.
  5. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  6. 2-3 bananas diced
  7. 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts chopped

Directions For Champagne Salad

Combine cream cheese, sugar and cool whip in mixing bowl and blend until all are well incorporated.

Fold in drained fruit, bananas and walnuts. Chill for at least 6 hours and garnish as desired.

centerpiece, roses, berries, holiday

There is something special to me about recipes that have a story attached to them. It is a way of sharing a bit of History about who you are, where you came from and the traditions that are made around the table and kitchen too!

I truly hope you have the chance to give this recipe a try. It really is so good and so pretty too!

Happy Day to YOU!


DIY Wooden Train & Reindeer Hands

Monday morning greetings from Texas!

Thank you for joining me today as I share with you a little overview on how to make two adorable, decorative, easy and crafty Holiday projects. These two DIY Holiday projects are a great activity for all ages and the materials are few. I think we can all do a happy dance for easy crafting this busy time of the year

Snowy Train

I have been known to get a bit too eager and begin my projects without proper preparation, so from the voice of experience it is always a good idea to cover your work space before beginning. Also assemble all of your supplies and tools. I find that by doing this the project goes much more smoothly and is so much more enjoyable too!


  1. Wooden Train from Hobby Lobby
  2. Blue acrylic paint
  3. White acrylic paint
  4. Copper paint
  5. White Glitter
  6. Modge Podge
  7. Paint Brushes
  8. Paper towels & Paper Plates
  9. Paper cups

Step One: Keep it easy and peasy and just paint your train blue or the color of your choice! I love projects that you are able to customize to your liking.

Step Two: Paint wheels copper and top and sides of train white.

Step Three: To create a snowy effect on the train set coat the individual train cars/engines that have been painted white with modge podge. Before modge podge dries add a generous amount of white glitter to the modge podge. The more glitter that you add to this DIY wooden train set the better!

I love how this DIY Wooden Train Project turned out because it was fast, simple, fun and no-fail. I think it would be a great activity to do with a crafting group, Church group, Girl Scout troop or with family and friends.

Now let's just keep moving ono the next DIY, easy, simple and fun crafting project!


My youngest daughter shared this sweet little project with me just this morning. She and her daughter Molly made this before Molly went off to school. This shows us how easy and fast this project is and so perfect for little ones with a short attention span.


  1. Construction paper or craft foam
  2. Pipe Cleaners
  3. Googly eyes 
  4. Red puff ball
  5. Scissors


  1. Trace hands on paper on foam.
  2. Cut out hand shape
  3. Glue on eyes on puff ball
  4. Add "Antler," pipe cleaners
  5. Attach to gift or hand from Tree

THE PERK PROJECT will continue next week. Our friend Stacey has had some family matters to attend to. Please keep her and her sweet family in your thoughts and hearts.

Thank you for joining me today and Happy Crafting!

Sale 50 % off all Christmas Ornaments. All of the proceeds from sales will go to the Rockwall Animal Adoption Center

Happy Harvest Plus A Craft Project

Happy Harvest friends!

I couldn't let Thanksgiving go by without checking in on you all and wishing you a Blessed bounty of tender hearts, thoughtful companions, hearty laughter, genuine smiles pumpkin pie and an adorable and easy craft!

As most of us in the kitchen know it requires hours and hours to prepare the Thanksgiving meal however eating the meal takes minutes.

"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. This is not coincidence."
-Erma Bombeck

Happy Harvest

When restless hands tire of watching the parades, football, and playing games during the afternoon lull, how about making an adorable craft a PomPom Turkey.

I tend to believe that busy hands make happy people and that crafting can solve many problems in our world!

Supplies For Pom Pom Turkey

There are so many ways to have fun with this craft and one of them is the choice of yarn you decide on. In our home we are going to make a non-traditional, spunky looking Turkey,

Adorable DIY Pompom Turkey

Isn't this just the most adorable little yarn craft ever and just look it's easy and can be made in 30 minutes!!

I have included a general supply list and instructions below however for specific colors, details and a pattern which you can download just click on this link.

General Supplies

  1. Yarn
  2. Chenille Stems/pipe cleaners
  3. Feathers in assorted colors
  4. Wiggle eyes
  5. Elmer's Glue
  6. Adhesive Foam Sheets (red and yellow)
  7. Pompom maker
  8. Scissors

General instructions

Making a craft with pompoms is super fun and simple using a Pompom maker like the one I used here to make my Pompom Wreath. I shared a few of the details and a link of this project in an earlier post, you might find it helpful to read if this is your first time using a pompom maker.

  1. After making one small and large pompom tie the tails of the yarn together and trim away excess yarn ( this is your turkey)
  2. Cut out two triangle shapes out of adhesive foam sheet for the beak (pattern and detail instructions Here.) glue to head of turkey.
  3. Cut a tear shaped wattle out of red foam, glue below beak.
  4. Glue on Wiggle eyes
  5. Make legs out of chenille stems and glue onto Turkey pompom body.
  6. To make tail cut out tombstone shape from foam sheets and glue on feathers.
  7.  Remove adhesive backing from foam and attach to body of turkey-add more glue if needed.

Searching For Bears And Crafting With The Grandgirls!

After Afton, Maisy and I finished tromping through the woods yesterday afternoon (looking for bears and not finding one!) Although we did find a super cool turtle shell, we headed back up to the house, had a little bonfire, and made some pompoms for our future turkeys. I love craft projects like these because it gives you the opportunity to chat, reconnect and create not only a craft but memories too.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Crafting friends from our family to yours!

Christmas Dining Room Tour & Positivity

Good Morning friends, I am thrilled to be sharing this post, it is jam packed with positive thoughts and a little Christmas inspiration too.

Today is the kick off for our PERK focus word which is POSITIVITY. Goodness knows when I am decorating I need some extra "can do," attitude. Sometimes decorating sends me into a panic.

Seriously, I am crafter who loves decorating our home, I am not an interior designer.

Christmas Glow In Our Dining Room

Stacey and I will be sharing some thoughts on how we strive to incorporate PERK into our lives and maintain a positive outlook throughout the seasons of life.

I invite you to spend a little time with us this morning as we share Christmas d├ęcor, a warm hug and our Home Depot gift card and Pompom wreath giveaway!

All Is Well With My Soul

Let Go of Perfection and Stay Positive!

Staying positive during the pressure of the Holidays can sometimes be a challenge, so I am sharing some tools that work for me.

Rather than let myself get in a tizzy over how my Christmas decorating, cooking, gifting whatever those triggers might be. I let go of the notion of perfection and do what I LOVE! It releases me from unrealistic expectations. I am set free to simply enjoy the process, embrace the moments, express my true self and boy does that feel good!

Our White Christmas decorated with ornaments old, new and handmade.

Life is made up of seasons.

With each season there is emotional and spiritual growth. We begin to understand what we need to embrace and what we need to let go. As for me I realize rather than spend wasted time fretting about how I think things should be, I just let them be. Accepting what is helps me to stay mentally, spiritually, emotionally on track and positive.

Assorted Christmas Ornaments

My Memories help to keep me positive.

Many of the ornaments on our tree hold memories of days gone by or trips to Hobby Lobby, Walmart, The Dollar Tree or even handmade with my girls laughing over silly goodness and there might just even be a grandchild in the background fussing.

Woodsy Christmas Dining Table

Speak kindly to yourself.

I think it is really important to speak well to ourselves and push out those negative narratives. The thoughts we think and stories we tell ourselves become our reference, so it is important to keep our references positive.

Christmas Owl Table Setting

Learning to live with ourselves is a skill and I am not certain that we ever really arrive at total acceptance. However I do believe that if we know in our hearts we are doing our very best and set realistic expectations of ourselves we can live a little gentler, kinder and more positive. When we do that we can pass those positive energies onto our world.

Believe in All Things Positive

Thank you for dropping by today and sharing your ideas with our community, don't you think we are all really more alike than we are different, I know I do.

Your comments are your entry for the Pompom wreath and $15.00 Home Depot gift card giveaway.
Winner will be notified in a week by email.

For more Christmas inspiration just click on the links below and you will be directed to that blog.

Pompom and Home Depot Gift Card Giveaway

The Creative Christmas Link Party is hosted by Janet of Shabbyfufu and the the bloggers of Blogging 50. Please visit all of the talented bloggers below!

Positive Encouraging Real Kind

Good Morning dear friends and welcome to another Jemma tale, a giveaway and PERK! An exciting project which involves you for the next four weeks.

Do you ever pull yourself out of bed only to discover the coffee didn't come on and you just feel a little off, your spirits aren't quite as high as you'd like them to be and your positive vibes are running low?

You'd much rather pull the covers over your head than pull them off and the notion of being perky is low on your list? To make matters worse, our world seems all out of whack and you just wonder what on earth you can do.

Don't fret, you are not alone, we now have PERK!

Hmmm... you may ask what is PERK?

Well let me tell you!

positive, encouragement, real, kindness

PERK is an uplifting community of positive, encouraging, real people who share kindness and helpful tips on managing their lives and passing that goodness on to others.

PERK is a project similar to the mindset of "Pay It Forward" Perk is one of these movements which grow and thrive within a proactive community.

Passing on PERK is like filling your cup with more coffee and that of a friend or acquaintance.

I am super excited about working on this project with you and so is my neighbor and friend- Stacey

She and I are inviting you to join us, in fact we need you to join us, to share your thoughts, ideas, and stories because when you do, you PERK us up too!

I was "perked," yesterday at the market by the cashier! I left the store with a new friend, a smile on my face and free chocolate bar in my pocket!

Please join Stacey and I on Monday as we rally together to share, learn, hear and pass on PERK.

Let's all work together in this imperfect world to make each other lives just a little sweeter, kinder and gentler.

Oh, and there might just be some PomPoms involved in the giveaway...shhhh!

Happy Friday Friends!

PomPom Wreath Reveal

Pompom mania has taken over our home and I am enjoying every fiber of colorful yarn. Well, except those tiny pieces of yarn fiber that attach themselves to everything. Those of you who work with yarn know how those fibers end up everywhere, even in your hair!

Today I am super excited to be sharing two pom pom wreaths! (mine and my youngest daughter's)

blush, white, black, tweed pom pom wreath
Blush Pom Pom Wreath

I have always been intrigued by the color, texture and multiple uses of the pompom and if you are too you might enjoy reading the history of the pompom. I dabbled in Pom Pom wreath making a few years back when I made this DIY-Pom Pom Winter Wreath. It was the prototype for what I have made now. Live and Learn is my motto these days!

decorating, pompom, wreath, French Country, decor, Winter
Blush Wreath On Bookcase
This Winter Pompom wreath has most of the kinks worked out of it so I am happily able to share the method of making it right here with you!

blush, white and black pom pom wreath
Choose Joy

Supplies for this Pom Pom Wreath~

  1. 4 Skeins of Yarn
    • White
    • Black
    • Rosy Cheeks
    • Tweed
    • (Yarn weight for this project is medium. Contents 97 percent acrylic, 3 percent Viscose, weight 5 ounces, yardage 252 and it is washable.)
  2. Pom pom maker or make your own
  3. Ruler
  4. Epoxy glue
  5. Wreath Form measuring 11x11

pompom, wreath, Christmas, DIy, Craft
Chirstmas Pom Pom Wreath

I have received a few questions about the nuts and bolts of pompom wreath making it so here is some information that I hope will be useful to you.

Rosy Cheeks Winter Wreath
Completed rosy cheeks pompom wreath

Finished size of my blush pompom wreath is 16x16 inches.

Each skein of yarn makes approximately 22-27 pompoms

My Blush wreath has 42-47 pompoms on it. If you would like more information on how to make this wreath or pricing for me to make it for you just email me!

Love Of Home

Prelude To A Pom Pom Wreath

As a maker and crafter there are many, many steps from beginning to end of any project. Today I am happy to share with you how to make a a pom pom wreath using the pom pom maker, it is so simple and fun! Along the way we will discover the fabulous shades, texture and joys of beautiful yarns and the joy they bring to a Winter project.

pink, gray, black and blush pompom
Winter Pompoms

Not all Yarns are the same.

There are a vast variety of choices, however for this project a synthetic yarn is perfectly acceptable. All yarns are made from either natural or synthetic fibers. Many times manufactures blend fibers together. If you are knitting or crocheting wool yarn seems to be a popular choice.

Many of my crafting projects begin with some crafting magazines, a little Pinterest perusing and sketches. I always Sketch my projects using colored pencils. This is where decisions are made on colors, placement and dimension. I usually add a little music to the mix and oh a cup of coffee too! This is my happy place. Once those basic ideas are in place it is off to the craft store where I embrace the joy of the search!

blue, red, gray, yarn, Winter, Christmas
Yarn, Skates and Snowmen

As you can see I loaded up my shopping cart with a variety of colors of beautiful yarn. I have always enjoyed wreath making. For more Wreath inspiration you may enjoy taking a peek at this selection, which I made a few years ago. Fall Wreaths

pink, black, gray, winter, wreath, diy, pompoms
Pom-Poms Galore
I tend to believe that this particular pom pom craft is a great doorway into the art of knitting or crocheting. It removes the intimidation factor of handling a new textile or tool.

pom pom, maker, tool, diy, crafty, simple
DIY Pom Pom Wreath
I have been cozying up on the sofa watching my favorite shows, sipping on hot chocolate and making pom poms using this nifty little gadget, Clover Pom Pom Maker. It is such a great tool and makes making pom poms a breeze. Who ever invented this is a genius! I have included a link for you that includes a video. If I don't become distracted or fall asleep (shhhh) I can usually make about 15-20 large and small pom poms in an hour.

cozy, crafting, making, diy, Winter, project, pom poms
Pom Pom Making By The Fire
I guess for me there is something very soothing and special about the texture of yarn and working with it. Handcrafting is not only a gift to others, it is the best and cheapest therapy in the World, it rates right up there with gardening and cooking.
Looking forward to sharing one of the finished Pom Pom wreaths with you this week and also the PERK project.

Donut Grow Up Birthday Party

Good Morning Friends and welcome to a "Donut" Grown Up Birthday Party. A super fun birthday party perfect for celebrating the sweet youngsters in your life. This party can easily be customized into a Donut Grow Old Birthday Party too. Don't you think that would be a fun gathering to celebrate girlfriends.

Who could resist coffee and donuts.

Birthday, Party, Celebration
Donut Grow Old Birthday Party

It is hard to believe that we are celebrating Kennedy's first birthday. It really was just a little over a year ago that we celebrated the soon to be arrival of Kennedy with a Woodland Baby Shower. How time flies. You can see Baby shower post by clicking on the link.

Baby, Shower
Woodland Baby Shower

Seven Fabulous Reasons To Host A Donut Birthday Party

  1. Minimal set up time and clean up time.
  2. Variety of themes for Donut party. (Donut move, Donut grow old, Donut be unhappy) I am sure you can think even think of more.
  3.  Donuts can be purchased the day before to cut down on prep-time. (Tip) Keep donuts at room temperature-prevents frosting from become drippy.
  4. Colorful and fun accessories.
  5. Donuts are not messy.
  6. Great morning themed party. (Dads and Grandpas like donuts too!)
  7. Colorful and morning light for great photos.
  8. Everyone is well rested and at their best.

donuts, frosted, pink, white
Assorted Donuts For Colorful Party

The Party Table

  1. Keep your party table super colorful and interesting by layering.
  2. Begin with a sprinkles tablecloth add on a variety of shapes, colors and sizes of serving dishes. 
  3. Next up a glitter number, letter or saying to the mix.

I have a variety of letters and numbers in my shop and will custom make them too. A few wooden donuts and don't forget the paper pompom's!

donut, cake, birthday
For an added focal point include a Donut shaped Cake.

It never occurred to me that cakes can be made to look like donuts, I need to get with it!
I just love this cute little chocolate Donut shaped Birthday cake, it was Kennedy's smash cake and she had super time squishing it between her fingers.

Birthday, party, table, dount
Birthday party table and sprinkles table cloth

I hope this Donut Grow Birthday Party inspired you as much as it did me.

Up next this week-Pom Pom Wreath

Life and Linda

Roasted Butternut Squash

With it being Fall and all I have been looking forward to sharing this post with you, because let's face it I am a squash lover! Sounds strange I know, but when you grow up on a Farm eating those massive Hubbard squash you discover various ways to prepare all varieties of this colorful family of vegetables. Have you noticed how squash is in every produce aisle this time of year and did you know they can even be used for glorious centerpieces too!

roasting, butternut, squash, jemma
Home cooked butternut squash for Fall

Seems as though we have always had an assortment of squash in our garden, I tend to think of squash as a nutritionally packed go-to-vegetable that is relatively mild in flavor. Using a vegetable that is not overpowering in flavor is a pretty nifty bonus because you have the option of adding a range of spices. Choose from sweet to savory or anything in between and you'll have a winner of a side dish. Today I am exploring the colorful butternut squash and I invite you stay and experience the journey with me.

rosemary, roasted, squash
Chunks of fresh Butternut squash for roasting

As you may know Winter squash skin is quite tough. I have stayed away from peeling Winter squash because of a fear of cutting off a finger or two. (seriously!!) I normally purchase butternut already cut and ready to take home and bake from the grocery. Seems this year (when we had one cool day day-Texas weather is known for being stubbornly warm) I was in the mood to tackle roasting butternut squash from the beginning to the end, peeling and all. It was a success and I have some handy dandy tips to share with you. No cuts allowed. Be very careful!

butternut, squash, slicing
Tutorial on preparing butternut squash

Yield: 4


Preparing and cutting butternut squash for roasting.



  • Large heavy duty wooden cutting board.
  • Paring knife, serrated knife, spoon, kitchen mallet (I did not use one-but it would have helped to "pop," open the squash after making the initial cuts. You can also use a vegetable peeler in place of a paring knife.
  • Butternut squash



Dicing Butternut Squash

  1. Slice each section of butternut squash into patties, so to speak. (You can see in photo what I mean)
  2. Remove seeds from butternut squash with a spoon.
  3. Cut squash into desired size of cubes, cook immediately or wrap in plastic bag or plastic container and toss in fridge. A really cool thing is that you can keep squash up to 4 days in fridge after it's been diced.
Created using The Recipes Generator

directions, roasting, squash
Roasted butternut squash

pumkin, acorn, butternut
Fresh Winter Squash

Enjoy the bounty of the harvest with these marvelous Fall/Winter vegetables, eating our veggies is good for us.

Up next this week is a Donut Birthday Party, thanks for joining me in living with simplicity and joy.

Blue Sky At Home

The Traveling Cake

Welcome to a Jemma Tale.

Some days I just elect to step away from the news, call me a candy cane universe loving woman or a head in the sand escapist. Either way more often than not there are woven stories of crime on too many neighborhood corners and tales of discontent. So in this fragile world that teeters in a precarious balance from minute to minute I am delighted to share with you that this week I have been witness to the power of a traveling Birthday cake.

Traveling 1,200 miles with a Birthday bundt cake is an interesting journey. I really didn't think much of it at all when I picked the cake up on Saturday, took it home and put it in the freezer for my flight on Monday morning. Traditionally I deliver a Birthday bundt cake to my youngest daughter. However it was typically just a four hour drive. Now it was 1,200 mile by plane ride not including the hour drive to and from the airport on both ends.

I mean how could I ever turn down a request like that.... although honestly I did question her this year! Oh but the melting heart of a parent..if you are one and reading this you know what I am speaking about!

Oh and just look at the smiles from them all, daughter and granddaughters...

I thought that I had the logistics of carrying the Birthday cake, my computer and purse on the plane all figured out. I would carry my computer on one arm and my purse and cake together in a separate canvas bag on the other but... "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." The morning of the flight the cake wouldn't fit in the bag I had planned to use, in fact it would not fit in any bag I had, rats. The box it seemed to be too square, if that is even a possibility!

Right arm held the computer bag, left my purse and together they supported the Birthday cake across my chest. Of course I was not TSA approved, so shoes came off, computer came out of it's case, cake took a ride too in the blue plastic tub on the wobbling black conveyor belt into the x-ray machine. As if the x-ray machine wasn't enough to detect any suspicious frosting the cake had to be unpackaged and inspected too.

I know seriously right...but hold on!

By this point the traveling Birthday cake began to take on a life of it's own and the other travelers who were waiting in lines, as well as TSA began to engage myself and each another in friendly conversations. My daughter who was unknown to all of these people was wished a very Happy Birthday and best of all TSA didn't keep the cake!

It was really heartwarming to see all of these folks interacting.

It seemed as though the Birthday became a catalyst for conversation, good will, and harmony. People actually engaged one another and even looked up from their cell phones! The power of the traveling Birthday cake extended onto the plane and transcended to the pilot and flight attendants. Fellow passengers reminded me not to forget the Birthday cake-as the Flight Attendants had put the cake in a special compartment so as not to get jarred.

I am beginning to wonder if we all began flying with cakes what a wonderful world we might have.

A Happy Tale for you to begin the Holiday season!