Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas in the HEART


Christmas in your HEART

How do you spend your Christmas. Is it a time for gifts & special cooking or baking? It's often a time spent with your family. You bring out the decorations & the lights get strung. A lot of people plan to travel back home, wherever that may be. If you have kids, it's filled with party's & concerts and ways to make their holidays filled with sweet memories.
Then for some Christmas can be a sad time of year. While the excitement goes on around you if you don't have extra money it can be stressful to buy presents for your children or family. Or if you are unable to travel to be with family perhaps you feel lonely. Some of us don't have children so we don't experience seeing the excitement when they open presents or get to make Christmas cookies with them. And some have lost love ones & no many how many years pass, there is an aching in your heart that somehow hurts a little more at this time of year.
Well this year I've experienced some of the sad but have been coming to realize that Christmas really is in your HEART. Because you can have lots of money but nothing you buy will dull the ache of not having a little boy or girl to cuddle up to while watching Christmas movies. As much as you wish you can only bring back your loved one who has passed in memory. There are lots of things we can't change. But living in this cold northern town of Fort McMurray this Christmas and reading & experiencing the kindness of others has reminded me that Christmas is not under the tree but in your HEART.

I know it's not unheard of to donate during the Christmas season. I've done it. The Salvation Army Christmas kettle & the Food Bank. But I've been reading about people going the extra mile not only here but everywhere. Facebook is a fantastic way to share your experiences & to therefore take someone who is sad & to remind you what is really important. 

Here are some of the little bursts of Christmas spirit that I've experienced or read about.

                                     ~Random Acts of Kindness~

There are many people who are buying coffee or paying for orders for the people behind them & asking for it to be payed forward. A simple way to spread joy. 

There are people & families who are sponsoring families with gifts & food who would otherwise not have it. 

There is a lady with 2 children who have Mickie & Minnie costumes who are delivering letters & donated gifts to children throughout the city in freezing temps. 

I saw a lady send a post that her husband will make calls to children as Santa if they gave their name & phone numbers. 

My sister asked for anyone who had a small tree to give to a friend in the hospital who wouldn't be home for Christmas. 

My friend invited me over to spend Christmas dinner with her & her family as I'll be alone because my husband has to work. 

I know that there are many people who go above & beyond to share the spirit of the season. I am now challenged to do something more. To give really is a great feeling. To witness someone give is also a feeling that's hard to describe. I get a feeling in my belly when I put $20 in that kettle at the mall. And to see another do the same really does touch me. 

I read how a lady who can't go home for Christmas & who wasn't in the Christmas spirit witnessed her neighbours as Minnie, Mickey & their Mom left the home after one of their visits. The little boy in the window with his Mother were jumping & clapping because they experienced something so amazing. All in the spirit of the holiday. She has experienced a Christmas miracle. Thank you everyone who has gone the extra mile & made someones day, someones Christmas a little brighter. You are spreading love & joy at a time that may be sad & lonely for some. You are what true meaning of Christmas represents.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

From then till now.

Its really been 2 years since I've updated this blog!  I'm not going to promise that there will be weekly check-ins but that's the goal!  In 2 years not a whole lot has changed.  I still enjoy the things I've always enjoyed, perhaps have learned to balance it a little better.  For the past 3 months my focus has even on my health.  Ive learned a lot about healthy eating, exercise & pushing myself further than Ive ever gone before. I'm sure I'll go into that more in the future but for now I'm looking forward to updating my blog with new healthy recipes, healthy living tips & tricks that I find online & learn from those around me as well as my hobbies of paper crafts, photography & travel!  Here is a pic because what's a post without picture right?!

Apple Walnut Oatmeal Bake

4 cups steel cut oatmeal
4 apples diced small
1/4 cup dry cranberry
2 eggs
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/2 a cup of maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
4 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts or any not you wish
3 cups of almond milk, unsweetened or regular milk
Mix wet ingredients in bowl and dry ingredients inseparable blend that you bake in 350° oven for 30 mins. I baked mine in a muffin tin but you can use a pie plate or baking dish. I doubled the batch but if you wish just cut all ingredients in half.

TIP: if using a non stick pan, avoid using muffin liners as the bottoms will be slightly moist. It didn't affect the taste but is rather a drier bottom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwich

I found this recipe in one of my favorite magazines, Canadian Living, and made it a few weeks ago!!  It was so yummy, tender & juicy that I am making it again today for dinner.  It is simple with very little prep, and it sits in the slow cooker all day just absorbing all of the saucy goodness!  Here it is for you to try...your sure to make apart of your family favorites.

Saucy Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

3 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder blade roast
3/4 tsp each salt & pepper
2 tbsp veg oil
2 onions diced
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground coriander
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce
2 tbsp each packed brown sugar & cider vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 green onion, sliced

Sprinkle pork with salt & pepper.  In a dutch oven, heat oil over med heat: brown pork all over.  Transfer to slow cooker.
Drain all but 1 tbsp fat from pan, cook onions, garlic, chili powder, coriander & bay leaves over med heat, stirring occasionally until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add tomato paste: cook, stirring until darkened, about 2 minutes. 
Add tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar, & the W sauce; bring it to a boil scraping up the brown bits. Scrape into the slow cooker & cook on low until pork is tender. 8 - 10 hours. 
Transfer pork unto cutting board; cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.  With 2 forks, shred or "pull" pork. 
Meanwhile, pour liquid from slow cooker into large saucepan: skim off fat.  Bring to boil over high heat; boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 15 minutes.  Discard bay leaves.  Add pork.  Reduce heat and simmer until hot, about 4 minutes.  Sprinkle with green onions.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Call me peep!

Well I have been making lot of Christmas cards lately but took a break to use this cute stamp from!  I have had it for a few months but forgot about it as it got thrown into a box with other stamps.  I thought it would be cute for an "I'm thinking of you" type of card! 

I made this card into the easel style fold.  So I matted the sentiment and popped it up to allow the card to sit opened!  I also added a flower punch with a small button brad.
 Thanks for looking....oh yeah, I love comments!! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Festive Snowmen

I LOVE Snowmen!!!  And I know that I am not the only one!  I love decorating my home around the holidays with Snowmen of all sorts!  And when buying stamps, I fall for the ones with snowmen!  So here is another card with some Festive Snowmen!  The stamp is from Tara Reed Designs, Stamps Happen Inc

Card Recipe:

Red CS 6 x 12 & folded at 6
I used some of my paper scraps for the various panels
Stamp and color the image
I also used red ric rac, a mini paper clip, twine, a snowflake brad
I also cut a scallop circle with my Big Shot and Scallop circle #2 die 
which I then used a large circle punch to give me a sort of boarder! 

CPS Challenge - Sketch #243
Simon Says Stamp - (Photo inspiration) Poppy Field

Thanks for looking!  I love comments so if you leave one I promise to swing by your blog to have a peek & do the same!

A Snow Family

Here is my latest Christmas card to add to my collection!  I am slowly getting a pile ready to mail out across the Country for family & friends :) 

Card Recipe:
Whisper white cs base is cut with my Big Shot and the large scallop circle, I made a fold in the card before I ran it through, leaving a small portion at the top so that both pieces are still attached.  Then I cut another large scallop and taped it to the base so that it shows the whole scallop!  (Hope this makes sense!)
The blue circle is cut with the Big Shot and large clear circle die
The red scallop circle is cut with the Big Shot and the scallop circles #2
Then I stamped the SU Flaky Friends image on WW CS and used a large circle punch. 
I used markers and stickles.  I added bakers twine and pop dots to add dimension.

WINTER WONDERLAND - Make it sparkle
TOP TIP TUESDAY - Anything Christmas
STAMPS $ FUN - Winter

THANKS for looking!!!  I LOVE comments, if you follow me or leave a comment, I promise I will do the same :)


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