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Reflecting On The Best Posts Of 2017

As my husband and I visited over coffee this Wintery Texas morning on this past year and how 2017 seemed to us, we both concluded that it has been a rewarding year of spiritual, mental and emotional growth. Just like everyone else we have had our share of ups and downs. However all in all we both agreed that our dear Lord has blessed us with good health, love and joy. Now on New Year's Eve we have reached the final chapter of 2017 and it seems to me it is worthwhile to reflect. There are some things in our lives which we would like to change. We are both longing for more active outdoor adventures, and a continued migration to natural settings.

These reflections of 2017 also took me to my blog where I took a look at the best posts of this year, so here they are.

Thank you for reading my blog and joining me in this beautiful journey of life!



January 2017 began with a sweet little giveaway and a fun Valentine Table setting.



February of 2017 brought mild temperatures and the notion of building a Tea Cup Birdfeeder. I had fun with this project and learned that epoxy glue is sure a whole lot better than hot glue for long term use!

See you really are never too old to stop learning!



I fell in love with modge podge all over again in March of 2017 and made this Modge Podge vase.

I am working on some other modge podge projects to share with you this year too.



Even though I do not bake as often as used to.

(Working on keeping that waistline from totally getting out of control! Not easy friends.)

I do still bake, but mostly for the Holidays, so last Easter I shared this Perfect Yeast Roll recipe with you all.



Last May I visited our daughter and her sweet family in Puerto Rico and discovered that reality doesn't bite, it's a blessing!

I shared that story in Jemma's Tales.



One day in June, while I was at Hobby Lobby in the fabric section, I discovered some fabulous French fabric that I just had to have!

So what do you do when you have fabric and modge podge??? You guessed it, you put it all together on plates!



In Texas in July we all begin to take a real beating by the heat (I am going to escape this year!)

No matter how I mentally prepare for Summer here it knocks me for a loop every time. So if that old, hot Texas Summer sun hits me hard, you know it's taking a toll on the garden too. I shared some Summer gardening tips in July right here.



Last August I discovered how resilient some flowers really are. No matter the lack of rain we received or the amount of heat that blazed down from the sky these Zinnias and Sunflowers which I grew from seeds thrive!

I just had to keep sharing the beauty of those awesome blossoms with you all here and on Instagram!



Way back in July I planted eight hills of pumpkins, in anticipation of October. Those pumpkin seeds sprouted and came up so fast, they were thriving beautifully until we received some wicked rains. I have just got to tell you that those rains nearly drowned the pumpkins and I ended up with only 10 pumpkins for Halloween.

Well, I'll just have to be honest here and tell you that I became a little impatient too. I went ahead and picked some green pumpkins and gourds in September... grabbed some spray paint and well here you have the end result!



I shared a tasty Baked Butternut recipe with you and the tutorial on how to cut up butternut squash for roasting in October.



Do you remember these adorable puffs of yarn?

Well, guess what, I still have my pompom obsession and I'm about to stock my little online shop with some Valentine Goodies...



I gathered up plenty of glitter, scrapbook paper, balsa wood, wood slices and modge podge before Christmas just so I could craft with family and friends.

I shared the Tutorial in December on how to make these little vintage looking Christmas Trees.



Now, it is your turn to share your dreams for 2018.

May this new year be the best one yet and may all of your dreams come true!


Happy New Year!


Homemade Peanut Clusters

Good Morning Friends, just a quick little pop in to your homes to wish you a very Merry Christmas and share a positively wonderful, easy recipe for Homemade Peanut Clusters. This is another one of those no fail recipes that I just love to share with you!



Finding yourself short on time and need a quick hostess gift, a present for a neighbor or just to share with family and friends this recipe is for you!

My Instagram friend Elf Mom kindly shared this crockpot candy recipe with me and now I am passing it on to you! Yay!

Peanut Clusters


The ingredients are all found in the baking section of your grocery and the prep time is minimal. So grab your large crockpot and let's get to business making candy!



CROCKPOT CANDY

INGREDIENTS


  • 1 16 ounce jar salted peanuts
  • 1 16 ounce jar unsalted peanuts
  • 1 12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 12 ounce bags peanut butter chips
  • 2 lbs almond bark ( I used chocolate flavored)



DIRECTIONS

Pour everything into a LARGE crockpot in the order listed. (Break up the almond bark and just lay it on the top)

Turn crockpot on low for 1 hour.

Open crockpot and stir.

Replace lid and heat on low 30 minutes to 1 hour and stir again.

Dip into small cupcake papers or just put spoonful's on wax paper.

Just make sure all of the ingredients are melted, but do not go past the all melted stage or chocolate will seize up.

Christmas Bags Filled With Candy


I hope you have an opportunity to try this candy, you will not be disappointed, I promise!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Wishing you and yours a blessed and beautiful Christmas with love!


Buttery Croissants & Fabulous Food Blogs

Who should we thank for French Croissants?

Why Marie Antoinette of course and my daughter! Merci to both of these lovely Ladies!

Marie Antoinette brought her croissant recipe with her from Austria, but any Frenchman will tell you that it was the French who perfected the recipe.

Today I am sharing a few links to some of my favorite and fabulous food blogs plus some tips on how to make buttery Croissants.




BUTTERY CROISSANTS TIPS FROM AMANDA

Making croissants is not for the faint of heart, or the lackadaisical. In fact it is a full commitment, beginning the night before baking! It was our daughter that committed to this culinary task and also discovered this excellent croissant recipe from Jo Cooks-Homemade Croissants.

Don't be shy and use a ruler to get the precise width and length of the dough.

Reuse plastic wrap and use unsalted butter.

Parchment paper and Bread flour are a must.

You must fold the butter into the dough and chill.

You cannot rush the process.



Being the photographer for this croissant recipe gave me an entirely different perspective and appreciation for the baker. Just when I thought that Amanda was finished patting, rolling and folding the dough it was time to pop the dough back into the fridge for awhile and then begin the process all over again!

Amanda invested a lot of time in her croissants and tried several recipes before deciding upon this one. I love her perseverance! However, I think I will stick with enjoying them and concentrate on baking simpler things!



These croissants turned out perfect, they were so light, fluffy and flaky.

If you like bread you might enjoy Perfect Yeast Rolls.



I so enjoy spending time in my kitchen preparing desserts, baked goods, stews and also experimenting with new recipes. I rely upon my collection of cookbooks as well as some favorite Food Blogs too. With the Christmas season upon on us I thought you might like to see a few of my top Food Blog choices.


Jo Cooks

Joy the Baker

The Pioneer Woman

The Café Sucre Farine

Cooking Classy

My Cookie Clinic


In our home Southern Banana Pudding is always a hit and I think it looks so special served in this pretty

Trifle Bowl ( a sweet gift from a sweet daughter.)



I sure would love for you take time to share your favorite recipe, cookbook or food blog with us all today too.

Hope to see you back on Monday for some Holiday centerpieces ideas for your next party or event!


Happy Weekend to all,



Jemma

DIY Scrapbook Paper Christmas Trees & Vignette

Hi and welcome to a little DIY Christmas Tree craft and vignette!

Let's gather around our craft tables and make these super cute and easy Scrapbook paper Christmas Trees!



This DIY Christmas Tree craft leans towards "old school," as well as simple and fast!

These Christmas Trees are not perfect because this craft involves tracing and cutting, so grab some scissors, a pen and let's get going!

I am pretty certain this craft project could be done more precisely with a Sizzix Die Cut Machine.

Which by the way I have asked for as a Christmas gift...hint to Hubby.


SUPPLIES FOR DIY SCRAPBOOK PAPER CHRISTMAS TREES

Supplies For DIY Christmas Trees



  • Vintage style and sheet music print scrapbook paper.
  • Pre-cut balsa wood Christmas Trees.
  • Birch wood rounds.
  • Scissors.
  • Modge Podge.
  • Epoxy or Hot glue gun and glue sticks.
  • Glitter.
  • Paint Brushes.
  • Paper Plates.
  • Pen or Pencil.
  • Paper Towels.
  • Embellishments (optional).



TUTORIAL FOR DIY SCRAPBOOKING PAPER CHRISTMAS TREES

DIY Christmas Tree Tutorial



You can easily adjust the amount of glitter you would like to frost the Tree.



Once I finished this easy DIY Modge Podge Christmas Tree project, I added them to my Christmas Village Vignette.

For added height just place the Christmas Trees on leftover birch wood rounds.

Christmas Village


Thank you for joining me today in my DIY Christmas Tree Journey and Vintage Vignette!

Please Join Me ~


My Thrift Store Addiction


Gift Of Encouragement From Friends & Family

Hello friends and Welcome to The Perk project! Today Stacey and I are focusing on encouragement.

I believe that one of the greatest and most powerful gifts in our world is that of encouragement from friends and family. Their friendship is like a priceless pearl from the sea. So today it is with great joy that I am sharing with you some of those friends in my life and their unselfish nature, loving disposition and gifts of encouragement which they have extended to me. You know there are just some people in this world who give of themselves so naturally. I am sure you all have some of them in your life too. I guess we should call them Angels!




Today I'd like to give a big shout out to my friend Laura Peyton. No matter where or when or how long it has been since we have spent time together, when we meet up it is as if time has stood still. Whether life is flowing smoothly or the chips are down, my spirits low, my health is failing and all hope seems lost she is always there for me. Her steadfast support and encouragement means everything to me. She offers upbeat words, hope and laughter.



Friends are like a warm cup of tea, just pour yourself a cup of friendship. What you share you always get back and more! In fact I encourage you to make time for a lunch date or tea with a good friend.



Although I do not see my Angel friend Alice Huege as much as I'd like to, she is a lifetime friend who is like those delightful first buds of Spring. Consistently sharing kindness, hope, love and encouragement in her thoughtful handwritten notes and cards. Distance separates us but the love of a true friend never fades.



There are times in our lives when friends are the music of reason. They laugh with us and make us see the truths that sometimes we like to avoid, while giving us a shoulder to cry on. These dear friends also encourage us to buy those perfect shoes and handbag!



Have you ever lost your way in life and wondered what path to take? Was there a friend waiting for you at the foot of the stairway to lead the way?

Friendships are vital to life, they are our comrades. I am fortunate to have made new friends through my blog and Instagram and I thank you for sharing yourself and time with me.

A darling photo of my two old and new friends! Laura and Stacey:)



Our winners from our recent PERK project post are Carol from Art and Sand and Meegan from Meegan Makes. They each won a handmade pompom wreath and a gift card to Target.

Carol and her darling puppy Lulu are happy with their pompom wreath! Isn't this such an adorable picture!

Carol shared this viewpoint that she and her husband share on living a life of Positivity on Instagram, so I just wanted to share it with you all.



"When one of us starts on a negative tangent, the other says, "that's not in the script!" We're the authors of our lives and we have control of what's said. It's amazing how easy those little words get us back on "script," for the positive and happy life we chose."



I hope you'll share your thoughts on encouragement with us today and also visit Stacey for her sweet little giveaway!


Decorating And Celebrating An Old Fashioned Christmas

Good Morning and welcome to our little spot of simplified living in the country where we are celebrating an Old Fashioned Christmas! I am combining vintage and treasured ornaments from the past with red and gold baubles to create a timeless and traditional Christmas for our family. Our little 2 acre lot is a perfect spot to create the magic of days gone by.

When my husband and I discovered our 2 acre lot three years ago on the edge of the DFW metroplex we were ecstatic! My husband said it reminded him of Mississippi and I told him he felt like we were in Idaho! We chatted up a storm on how we were going to build our dream home, have space for a craft room, plant a garden, watch the wildlife and grow a mini flower farm. My husband and I felt as though we were returning to the way of living that we had both grown up with, a little country, a little simpler and a little Old Fashioned.



Well once I had decided the theme of an Old Fashioned Christmas I began to choose what items I would need to use to decorate for an Old Fashioned Christmas. I began first by making a traditional woodland wreath and then adding some greenery to my vintage Scandinavian sled.



Many years ago it was customary to decorate for Christmas using traditional red and green hues. I suppose there weren't a lot of choices then, but it is a warm and classic look.

I have the best memories of glowing lights in shades of red, green, blue and even orange on our Christmas Tree! So I have taken this perfectly basic tried and true theme and spun it with just a whisper of white and a dusting of fluff to soften it a bit.



I purchased this fabulous and affordable pre-lit garland from Walmart and I used two strands for our mantle. It is very full and is just what I needed for the depth and size of this rustic cedar mantle.

(Sometimes I just don't like this rustic mantle, don't tell my husband...shhh)



Before we go any further with this post I'd like to share with you my delight in being able to celebrate the Holiday season with this group of 22 creative bloggers, for the Cozy at Christmas Home Tour.

All of the links to their pretty Holiday homes can be found at the end of this post.



I have included so many things from the past in my Christmas decorating this year, including this adorable handmade BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKES sign made by my daughter, she blogs at Crafty Texas Girls



Of course all Old Fashioned Christmas décor must have a few vintage Christmas ornaments. These red glass ornaments are the real deal. I picked them up at a resale shop when my husband and I were visiting his family in Mississippi a few years ago. This precious 1978 Hallmark ornament was given to my son, by my Mom, it is still one of my favorite ornaments of all time. Don't you think surrounding yourself with these sweet tokens just makes the season so much merrier and meaningful.




In the dining room I have incorporated Owls, real and faux topiaries and white. Did I mention that I love owls!

If you like owls too check out my online shop!

We have a cute flocked Tree in the dining room, it reminds me of the snow in Idaho, where I grew up. I love snow and just maybe next Christmas I will be spending it in the snow! (A girl can dream, right...)



Of course this blog post wouldn't be complete without my pompoms (my obsession) or my daughter's angel Christmas ornament which Grandma gave her, or the very special red and white quilt that my Mother made me. So much of my Christmas décor has a story associated with it and as I vacuum and dust I hold those stories close to my heart.



I have enjoyed sharing some snippets of the Season with you today, thank you so very much for sharing your day with me. I'd love to hear how you are styling your home this season too.

Merry Christmas from Jemma's Family with love!



You might also enjoy a Snowman Christmas.






Cozy At Christmas


Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Day 5