About Me

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I was motivated to start a blog by reading all the wonderful talented individual's who have blogs out there. So, I want to make this blog about everyone who reads it. My family and God always comes first in my life. I want to share my experiences and in turn, hope to get feedback and ideas from you. I love unique things, I adore anything that sparkles (not over the top though) I love decorating, cooking, gardening, photography and shopping. My number one passion is photography! To me it becomes more than a picture, it can become a piece of art, or a beautiful memory. Decorating, though I am not a professional, and don't claim to be, has been a part of my life since I was very young, and just love searching and shopping for new ideas and incorporate the old, such as Mid-Century Modern and Hollywood Regency with contemporary. Living close to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, and being of Hispanic heritage, I love cooking Mexican food, and love to share my authentic recipes. Though I live in Florida, my heart is in the desert southwest, and hope that my family and I will return there very soon…keep your fingers crossed that my prayers are answered SOON!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vintage 1950's Christmas...look how far we've come...

Christmas...what does this one beautiful word me to you?  For me, the first word that comes to mind is "love".  The love of what the holiday is truly all about, first and foremost.  Along with that comes the love of being with family and friends.  Why do most of us spend hours upon hours to decorate our homes for just a short few weeks?  The reason I spend so much time decorating, preparing the perfect menus, making my home warm and inviting for all who come to visit is knowing deep in my mind, that each moment I spend making things special will be a legacy, for  my daughter, that she will carry on for the day she has her own family.  But, most of all it's to make my family have beautiful, warm  and happy memories of each and every Christmas we have together, and what a wonderful celebration it really is.  I read many blogs and during this time of the year it is so wonderful to see how everyone decorates their own special way, each so beautiful and unique just to them.  It is no secret to anyone who knows me, I love anything mid-century modern and Hollywood Regency, I think I've mentioned it more than once!  Though my home is in Florida, the builder was from Southern California so it's not your typical Florida home, but no matter how much I love those mid-century desert modern homes, it's not that either...nor is my decor, maybe someday, but there is still that obsession I have for them.  My Christmas decorations are very contemporary but with some traditional mixed in.  As I was looking through some decorating ideas this season...I came across some really sweet vintage (1950's) Christmas decorations, party ideas, and gifts.  Now, I was just a little baby during the end of the 50's, but I remember my wonderful Grandparents home and how beautifully it was decorated and those  "silver trees" and the color wheel for them.  I think these pictures will take those of you back that was born in the 50's and 60's...hope you enjoy going down memory lane....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Season...

The holidays are here....what a wonderful feeling this time of years brings, the beautiful memories of years gone by, and the news ones we are creating today.  My husband and I went to a park here locally today, one for which we haven't been in almost 27 years, it is right on the water, and it is so peaceful and beautiful.  Upon driving into the park, we came across this beautiful tree of red berries, don't have a clue as to what they are, so if anyone knows, please tell me.  They reminded me so much of the berries on holly, I just had to get some pictures.   When I came home and downloaded the pictures, I noticed this particular picture, with the white Bokeh in the background, reminded me of snow.  Now, being I live in Central Florida on the Gulf Coast, and it was 74 degrees out today, it obviously isn't snow.  But, though I am already totally in the Christmas spirit, just a little simple picture such as this, just brought so many memories back of those cold winters when we lived in Ohio and then in Utah.  Now that all, well most of my Christmas decorating is done (took me over 4 days),  I am so ready to get out there and start shopping and enjoying all the wonderful sights and sounds, and oh yeah, those beautiful fragrances of hot cocoa, pine, and all the others that are so symbolic of this magical time of year.  As I drive around town, I am so surprised at how many people have really gotten into the spirit this year and have decorations up...hope it that way where you live too.  Enjoy every minute of these beautiful days leading up to the holidays, and happy shopping...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Old Fashioned Thanksgiving...

                 Happy Thanksgiving

I believe all of us have some wonderful fond memories of Thanksgivings long ago or maybe not so long ago that just stand out in our minds, and will forever be with us.  Each Thanksgiving with my family is a precious memory being made.  I am so blessed for my wonderful husband of 34 years and my sweet loving daughter.  But in times of reflection, it is those Thanksgivings of long ago, when my wonderful Grandparents were still with us, and each Thanksgiving the whole family would gather at their warm beautiful home, some traveling from around the country to be together on that special day.  There was so many of us, the whole basement was full of people, laughter and love.  A warm wood burning fireplace, kept us all so warm on those cold Ohio winter days.  There were two ovens downstairs and one upstairs, with turkeys cooking, pies baking, and the laughter of children, games being played and everything else that made our Thanksgiving so special.   The scents and sounds of those Thanksgivings are forever etched in not only my mind, but of all of who were there.  Though that was so many years ago, and many of my wonderful family members have since left us, they are always in our hearts and on this special day, their memories are more vivid than ever. 
I can say I have truly been blessed in my life to have such a wonderful huge family, though I lost a brother 4 years ago, and another just several months ago, both only at the age of 49, and I am so lucky to have them as my brothers, each so special in their own way.  So, instead of me getting sad of all those that are no longer here with me, this Thanksgiving, I am thanking God that I once had them, and  that kind of love lives forever!!!
My wish for everyone who reads this is that they have a wonderful happy, loving and memorable Thanksgiving.

Norman Rockwell - 1943  "Freedom from Want"

Doris Lee -  1935  "Thanksgiving"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The History of Luminarias.
Many people associate "luminarias" with the holiday lighting of candles placed in small, brown, sand-filled bags, luminarias first appear historically around the 16th century, as a Spanish tradition of lighting bonfires along the roads and churchyards to guide people to Midnight Mass on the final night of the celebration of Las Posadas.  The night of Las Posadas, which is Spanish  for lodging or inn, it is a traditional, festive celebration that first introduced to the native people of Mexico by European missionaries, and is the reenactment of the story of Mary and Joseph's search for lodging in Bethlehem. The tradition continues into modern times. The decoration of rooftops, walls, sidewalks and driveways of individual homes with luminarias is used as a way of guiding travelers to their destination.

The candlelit brown paper bags are also called "farolitos," the Spanish word for little lanterns. In the early 19th century, U.S. settlers on the Santa Fe trail brought Chinese paper lanterns to hang from their portals and light their entrance ways. They were beautiful but expensive, and eventually, the paper bag version became the tradition.

Today, luminarias and farolitos have become an American holiday tradition and a southwestern tradition of welcome. As well as the traditional paper bags with candles, modern day versions also include the electric luminarias or farolitos.

Some people in the Southwest call the paper bag lanterns luminarias, while others insist the correct term is farolitos since "luminarias" were the bonfires lining the roads. Whatever you choose to call them, honor the history of luminarias by setting some out this Christmas and adding a new tradition to your holidays regardless of where you live.

History of Luminarias (farolitos) from Squidoo

Luminaria made in ice...to warm in Florida for this, but it's beautiful

Photo's from Bing and/or Flickr

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tumbleweed Christmas Tree....

What a beautiful unique southwestern tradition in Chandler, Arizona.  Chandler is the only city with a holiday tree made out of tumbleweeds, and this has been a tradition for over 50 years. Once the tumbling tumbleweeds are collected, somewhere between 1,500-2,000, they are used to adorn a 35-foot tall wire frame. Then, the tumbleweeds are sprayed with 25 gallons of white paint, 20 gallons of flame retardant and dusted with 65 pounds of glitter. The tree is later adorned with approximately 1,200 holiday lights that give it a spectacular look, day or night.  What a beautiful way to use a "natural resource".  Now for the western lovin' girl, this is just an ideal Christmas tree for a western town.  It conjures up all those wonderful times of living and traveling the west, seeing those tumbleweed just independently going where the wind carried them. 

Photo's by Joe Orman

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beautiful Christmas Bokeh...

I have only had my Digital SLR camera for less than two years, so I am very much a novice, but I have a passion for taking photographs, and try at least 4-5 times a week to go some place new and take pictures.  Always reading about new information, trying new techniques, buying new attachments, lenses, etc., and looking for those unique shots.  Living in Florida has given me a great backdrop for some spectacular photographs.  One of my favorite are those with  Bokeh in them, such as nature shots with the sunlight coming through palms trees, tropicals or around the beaches can produces some beautiful Bokeh in various colors.  Well, now that the holidays are upon us, it is the time to take photos of all the great Christmas lights, and decoration out and try to capture some wonderful Bokeh in each photo.  I just think it adds that special warmth and sparkle to our holiday photographs.  Below are some that I thought were really nice that I got from Flickr.  I just can't wait to get my tree and all the rest of my decorations up this weekend, so I can begin taking photos and see what I can capture this year. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chocolate, Chocolate and more Chocolate...

What a better time than the holidays to get creative with chocolate!  There is a large variety of chocolate molds you can chose from and let your imagine go wild.  For years I've used Merckens chocolate wafers for chocolate covered strawberries, pretzels, dried fruit, and so much more.  The flavor is wonderful and so easy to use.  But the last several Christmas' I've been using it with a variety of molds.  One of my favorite is the small fluted bowl shape molds, as in the first picture group.  I will fill it full of chocolate mousse or fresh fruit and drizzle the melted chocolate over the top, to a variety of rich fillings.  Not only is it beautiful, but is so delicious.  I have several different molds and the "wild shapes" (as in the last group of pictures) are really fun to put atop homemade cupcakes, adds that unique flair.  The Merckens comes in a variety of colors, I personally use the milk, white and dark.   With the left over melted chocolate, my daughter and I will take parchment paper and spray it very lightly with non-stick spray, pour approximately a 1/4  cup (or a little more, depending on the size we want) of chocolate on the paper, place a lollipop stick again, sprayed lightly with the non-stick spray, as it cools down somewhat, start at one end, begin to roll the chocolate around the stick loosely, after it has cooled and harden almost completely, remove the stick and you will have a "chocolate straw", very similar to the picture of the "chocolate kiss martini" below, and use it as a swizzle stick, or in your choice of desserts.  Another fun idea is to make the liquor chocolate cups, place them in gold foiled servers and fill with your favorite liquor.  A great combination is equal parts Bailey's, cream  and Amarula, so yummy.  Trust me, your guest will love them.  It makes a nice little after dinner treat also, if you don't want a heavy dessert.

A great site to go to learn about how to mold chocolate and other information.

Double left click to enlarge pictures