Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap-Up

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy the long holiday weekend while taking time to reflect on the many blessings in your life.

I enjoyed having Thanksgiving dinner with my brother, Andy, and his girlfriend, Amber. I prepared a turkey breast as well as some other tasty side dishes including stuffing, cranberry-apple relish, green beans and dinner rolls. Andy and Amber also cooked some delicious sides - candied yams and mashed potatoes. It was a delicious and filling meal, but fortunately we weren't too stuffed for dessert! I'm not a big fan of pumpkin pie, so this year I chose classic apple pie. And while I do love to bake, I've never actually tried my hand at creating a pie crust from scratch, and I didn't think experimenting for Thanksgiving was a great idea. The pie came from Beckmann's Old World Bakery. Beckmann's is actually located in Santa Cruz, California, however they sell their items at the local Farmer's Market near my apartment each week. Their pies are delicious, as are the other goodies that they bake. Our dinner rolls also came from Beckmann's. I am very thankful that we were able to enjoy a delicious meal and spend time together.

The highlight of my day on Friday was watching "The Muppets." I am a huge fan of the Muppets and I have fond memories of watching "The Muppet Show" on television when I was a child. Do you have a favorite Muppet? I would have to go with Kermit as being my favorite, but Animal comes in as a close second. To be honest though, it really is hard to choose a favorite - I like them all! I have to admit, I have been singing "Mahna Mahna" since I left the movie theater! It's the perfect song if you want to put a smile on your face!

In lieu of joining the "Black Friday" madness on Friday, I decided to go shopping on Saturday and while I did visit some of the "Big Box" stores, I made an effort to support the small businesses in my community in honor of Small Business Saturday. It just happened to turn out that I needed to buy some new yarn for some knitting projects that I want to complete, so I decided to visit Nine Rubies knitting store in San Mateo in honor of Small Business Saturday. I ended up finding some gorgeous yarn to add to my stash and I am looking forward to "casting on" some stitches very soon.

I will be enjoying my autumn decor throughout this week and I plan to put up a few Christmas decorations next weekend, when the calendar actually changes to December! I like Christmas, but it sure feels like Thanksgiving is rushed along more and more with each passing year. With that being said, I will admit that I did spend some time in my stamping studio over the weekend getting "crafty" for Christmas. My holiday greeting card is designed - now I just have to get to work on making multiples! And I also have big plans for getting my blog into the holiday spirit, beginning on December 1, so you'll have to check back then to see what I have up my sleeve!

Sending you wishes for a lovely holiday season and hoping that you find plenty of time to savor all of the magical moments during this most wonderful time of year!

"Keep your Christmas-heart open all the year round."
-Jessica Archmint

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honoring Our Troops on Veterans Day and Throughout the Year

Today is Veterans Day in the United States. I was fortunate to have the day off from work, and while that was a nice treat I thought it was important to take a moment to reflect about the meaning of this particular day.

Veterans Day offers an opportunity to celebrate and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

I spent part of the day thinking about what I might be able to do to say "thank you" to the men and women serving in the military, fully realizing that I wouldn't be able to personally thank each and every one of them! There are many ways to reach out to both veterans and those who are currently on tours of duty around the world, ranging from sending a care package or simply writing a letter to a soldier.

As I was browsing the internet this afternoon - something that I often do - I came across the following website: Operation Write Home. I was immediately intrigued when I discovered that this organization gathers blank handmade/hand-stamped greeting cards and sends them to troops so that they have cards to mail to their family and friends. What a perfect way for me to say "thank you" to our troops! It's a "win-win" situation for everyone: I get to make some cards (a favorite hobby of mine) and the troops end up with cards to send to their loved ones back home.

In honor of making my first batch of cards for this organization and the fact that it's Veterans Day, I decided to go with a patriotic theme. I am very happy with the final results. There is no minimum number of cards that need to be sent - you can send one or a hundred (quality is more important than quantity). I'm starting out by sending five cards this month and my plan is to send at least five cards each month, and if I have time I will send more. Hop on over to the Operation Write Home website for specific information about making cards.

Below is a photo of the inside sentiment on the "Happy Birthday" card. It works perfectly with the star theme.

As always, I'll wrap up this post with a quote that I recently came across:

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
-William James

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.