Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Our November 2018 To Do List


1.   Keep a gratitude journal
2.   Rake Leaves
3.   Make Butternut Squash Soup – share with family & friends
4.   Crochet a scarf
5.   Bake a pie
6.   Send Happy Thanksgiving Day cards
7.   Watch Thanksgiving themed movies
8.   Make acorn art with the kiddies
9.   Celebrate November birthdays
10.   Read a book
11.   Buy Indian corn and gourds – make a centerpiece
12.   Make homemade cranberry sauce
13.   Start shopping for gifts!
14.   Go for a walk around the neighborhood
15.   Relax, Enjoy, Be Thankful!

Already celebrated a birthday this past Saturday.  Will be checking these off.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hello November!

No tricks here, it's November . . . already!

I hope you all had a fun Halloween!
The kiddies enjoyed their evening of trick or treating.
Now on to a month of Thankfulness.

Grateful for you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


This is it.  The final week of Countdown to Halloween.  By now, all of the shopping should be done, the invitations sent and the RSVP’s rolling in.  This week is basically the “finishing up” week.
Finish Up: decorating the house, making the costumes (if that applies) and putting together the treat bags.  Finish any crafts in the making.
The Housecleaning:
This week clean the bathrooms and the kitchen.  Either the day before the party or the morning of, give all areas a once-over.
The Cooking:
Besides the breads, cakes or dishes that you made and froze in advance, this week make the popcorn balls, candies and taffy apples.
Start making ice.  I fill a gallon size freezer Ziploc bag and have four trays in the waiting.
The Night Before:  
Set the table with all the pretty party stuff you purchased.  Put on the tablecloth, set with the punch bowl and cups, the napkins, the plates, forks, spoons, the candy bowl.  Don’t forget your centerpiece!  Blow up the balloons, hang the streamers, stand back and admire your hard work.  Take pictures.
Prepare the vegetable tray. Cut and wash the veggies, arrange on platter, cover with Saran Wrap, and store in refrigerator.
Finish preparing the food.  I’ll get up early and get the chili started in the slow cooker.  About twenty minutes before the guests arrive, we will begin cooking the hot dogs and Kayla will make the punch.  We will begin putting out the dips and crackers, and other treats.
The last thing we’ll do is hang the donuts from the ceiling (fun game) and fill choose a pumpkin with a large stem for tossing a ring around the pumpkin game.
Once the guests begin to arrive, join in and enjoy!!!!



Friday, October 19, 2018


It’s October! It’s Friday! It’s time for a treat and a Halloween Story!  Tonight we will be reading, Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex.  This story is toted as a "petrifying parody" of Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.  We shall see.      

 Our treat tonight is almond pound cake made by the Amazing Amelia!  

Enjoy your evening!


Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Okay, it’s that time again.  Time to get your planner, and review last week’s list.  (You can see Week 2 here).

By now your calendar should be filled with fun things to do.  Especially this time of year.  In fact, you may have already done some of the activities that you booked in your planner.  So far, we have gone to a Heritage DayFestival, and to the movies to see Goosebumps 2 Haunted Halloween.  This upcoming weekend will be our busiest as we visit Schramm Farm & Orchards to buy pumpkins, race through the corn maze and go for a hayride, in the evening we will go to Edgewood Borough’s Fall Festival, and the next morning we will attend  Zoo Boo, at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.  After that we have our own Halloween Party, and trick or treating. Whew!

Getting ready:
1.       Your party invites should be mailed by now.  Are they?? 

Shopping and Cooking
2.      With the menu finalized, finish shopping for your nonperishables.  Also, begin making and baking any food items that can be frozen ahead of time, such as chili, casseroles, sugar cookies, etc.

Think Decorations
3.             Finish buying or making any decorations and begin adorning your home.  Last year I crocheted a spider web using this Red Heart pattern.  We will be using it again.  

Think Costumes
4.       Is your costume bought (or made)?  To prevent last minute anxiety of what to dress up as, decide this week and buy/make your costume.  Elliot’s first choice of costume was Sonic the Hedgehog, but then he spied “Creeper” p.j.s at Walmart (doubles as a costume), and that’s who he is going to be.  

Kayla, Amelia and I are going to be the three Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus.  

K has yet to fail us in the costume making arena.  She has handsewn a red tutu for her Snow White costume, and painstakingly hand-sewed pom poms on a tee shirt and dressed as a gumball machine.  She will be making our costumes this year.  I’ve seen mine and she has done a great job converting a prom/bridesmaid dress into the Winnie’s skirt.

Think Favors
4.                Are you making or buying favors (or a little of both)?  Put together your little goodie bags and hide from the kiddies.  (But don’t forget where you’ve hid them…). 

Don’t Forget the Table
5.   With your theme in mind, purchase the paper plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, plastic ware.  The Dollar Store is a great place to start.  But don’t wait too long as they tend to sell out fast of the seasonal goodies.

The Housecleaning
6.  This week, begin cleaning (and decorating) the dining room and living/family rooms.  Give the foyer/entry areas a once-over.  

Last night, as I cleaned off areas, Kayla decorated.  This is our dining room slowly being transformed.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Keeping Our Children Safe – Online

We have two little ones with their own electronic devices, loaded with ABC Mouse, YouTube Kids and a few preschool games, and even though we use parental controls, we still have had to report videos, one in particular, we felt were not suitable to the age groups they were being played to.  It appears that YouTube Kids listened and we have not seen the offending videos.   Had they not removed the videos, our next step would be to report them to the Federal Trade Commission's FTC Complaint Assistant.

Do your young ones (and older children) play videos games, watch videos, chat with their friends on line?  If so, do you have the tools needed to keep your children safe online?

Do you know about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)?  COPPA is a law created to protect the privacy of children under 13, and is managed by the FTC.  To learn about this law and how it works to protect your kiddies, go here.  

My go-to sources on keeping our kiddies safe online is a .pdf printable "Chatting With Kids About Being Online" offered by the FTC, and “A Guide to Protecting Children’s Privacy Online,” newly updated by Alex Smith.  Both Guides offer excellent tips on how to talk to your kiddies from the early years through their teens on using on-line communications, on cyberbullying, phishing scams, using public Wi-Fi securely, and more.  I consider both MUST READS.

It’s not enough that we have to keep our children safe outside the home, we have to protect them inside, too.


Friday, October 12, 2018


It’s October! It’s Friday! It’s time for a treat and a Halloween Story!  

The guys are all tucked in

Tonight we will be reading, Click Clack Boo! by Doreen Cronin and Betsey Lewin.  

Will the barnyard animals trick Farmer Brown??  or do they have a treat for Farmer Brown??

Our treat tonight is pumpkin bread. 

Have a Booootiful evening!!


Thursday, October 11, 2018


Being it's October and there is a film fest being aired on numerous channels, it’s time for a WHAT IS THE SCARIEST MOVIE YOU HAVE EVER SEEN? poll.  

I am a fan of horror/thriller flicks.  Not the gory bloody raunchy type, nor the torture type.  I am of the Chiller Theater generation.  Every Saturday night, right after the ½ hour local news there I’d be, curled up on the couch, the television all to myself, watching the classics – Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962),  Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), just to name a few.  

A truth: I would stay up and watch the scary movies by myself, but when they were over I would yell up to my sister to come down and walk me to bed.  (that's just sad)

What’s fun about taking the same poll every year (or two year, or three…) is looking back over them to see if opinions have changed.

My last poll was 2015 and I had only asked family members.  You can see the results here.  It will be interesting with all the horror/thriller films that have been released since if anyone has changed their pick.

Are you a fan of horror films?  Were you a huge fan of Chiller Theater?  Did you stay up late on Saturday nights to watch Chilly Billy? 

Not that old, huh???  Well, you still have plenty to choose from, for instance, The Conjuring and all its sequels, or Insidious and all its sequels.  How about IT (a fave of my great grandson).

Tell me, what was the scariest film you have ever watched??

A truth: When The Omen (1976) was showing at the local theater my mom and I went. We sat in the very last row, with a wall behind us.  I can’t even tell you how many times we still turned around to make sure nothing was there. 


Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Grab your planner, review last week’s list.  If you missed Week 1, you can find it here.  

Have you filled your calendar with fun things to do?  Finalized your guest list? Made or bought invites? Decided on holiday decorations?

Getting ready:
Finalize your guest list.  With your made or store bought invitations at hand, begin addressing, stamping and stuffing those envelopes.  Since we got a late start, we will be mailing ours this week.

This year we used Halloween Postcards from Recollections
Start Shopping
Finalize your menu, gather your recipes and create a master shopping list or use this handy dandy printable.  Begin picking up listed items whenever you visit the grocery store.

Think Decorations
If making your decorations, begin this week. 

Think Costumes
Decide on your costume.  Buy or make?

Don’t Forget the Table
Make a list for setting the table.  Don’t forget paper plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, plastic ware.  Think about what your centerpiece will be – store bought, homemade?? 

The Housecleaning
This week, begin cleaning (and decorating) the foyer/entry areas.  This is the area your guests see first so you want it to be tidy.  Our entry area is forever filled with shoes, paper goods, keys, mail and laundry (the basement is off the entry area).  But when it’s cleaned, it’s beautiful.

The days are going so fast! and there’s still so much to do!!  Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Night Owl or Early Bird?

I didn't have to take Real Simple magazine's quiz to know that I am an early bird (but I did).  You can take it here

Mornings are my best time of the day.  I don't sleep in on weekends either.  It's such a waste of a day to sleep until noon, well, unless you are a night owl. 

And being able to have breakfast with two of my favorite people is a bonus. 

So which are you? Night owl or early bird? 

Til tomorrow, 

Monday, October 8, 2018

To Pin, or Not to Pin...

I am not one to jump on any bandwagon (mostly because I didn’t even know there was one).  Like blogging.  I didn’t know what a blog was until 2004 and didn’t have one until 2006.  The only reason I got a cell phone in late 2009 was because my sister was gravely ill.  I rarely watch any television series until it comes out on Netflix.  Which brings me to Pinterest.  I didn’t even know about Pinterest until 2013. 

I heart magazines and books filled with pretty pictures of room d├ęcor, and food.  I do.  I rip out, organize and save articles on party ideas, projects, pretty pictures, decorating ideas, menus, needlework, crafts for kids, and how to do anything on a shoestring.  I store all my clippings in sheets protectors and then categorized into 5” binders.  My binder for entertaining and holidays is overflowing.  I have one for recipes, one for arts and crafts and one for organizational tips. 

The only drawback?  If you do not index all those clippings, it takes A LOT of time to find one tiny little idea, craft, menu. 

And then I discovered Pinterest.  Sigh.  What a wonderful way to save all those awesome ideas found from every corner of the world.  Seriously.  Creating cute little inspiration boards without having to clean up the messes made from cutting and gluing, and then finding a place to store over-sized binders, is downright heavenly, and fun!  Though I am not a “serious” pinner, you won’t find me spending hours looking for things to pin, but when I do see something inspiring, I will pin.

What about you?  Do you pin?  If so, share your "handle" in the comments.  Mine is here.

Happy pinning!


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Questioning Preparedness

I have this poster hanging inside our bathroom medicine cupboard.  I found this printout when searching the web for information on Lyme’s Disease when my Grandson Brendan was first diagnosed with the disease.

And even though I read the information, and all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (“CDC”) articles on ticks and lyme disease, it did not prevent Elliot from being bitten by a tick.  Most likely last weekend, when he was visiting family, in an area now documented for ticks.

However, Kayla did know to pull the tick out (with tweezers), and clean the area.  Then I called the Doc, who prescribed amoxicillin, with a follow-up visit in two weeks.  
My sweet, fun and silly little man
Hopefully, our quick actions were just enough to keep this child healthy and free from Lyme’s disease.

It makes me question how prepared can we be????