Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Hope your 2008 was great!  Cheers to an even better 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Getting Ready for The New Year

New Year's isn't the same in our house without the customary Japanese celebratory New Year's Day cuisine.  "O-shogatsu" (Japanese New Year celebration) has a history reaching back thousands of years.  "Osechi ryori" is what most people in Japan eat at the beginning of the new year.  It was originally a way for housewives and their families to survive the first several days of the New Year when stores throughout Japan were closed.  The foods that make up "osechi ryori" are prepared in advance and placed in compartmentalized lacquer boxes and are enjoyed for days following the New Year celebration.   Here are a few examples of what you can find in a typical "osechi ryori" meal....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Montana!

A sleigh ride, skiing and dog sledding were just a few highlights!  Mush!

Winter Wonderland in Montana

We spent a few days before Christmas in Whitefish Montana.  It's starting to look a lot like Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dog Sledding in Montana

Call us crazy, but we're headed North for a bit of snow.  We're traveling to Montana to stay at a ranch, go skiing and dog sledding!  

I'm signing off for now until after Christmas so have a happy and safe holiday!  Keep warm!

A sign of things to come?

Hope your holiday season is more peaceful and less stressful!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Starfish ornament craft

Here's the only ornament I made this Christmas.....but I'm getting good ideas for next year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Signs

My friend Lisa made these cute holiday signs...aren't they great?

A Little Christmas around the house

Here are just a few small things that help bring holiday cheer to our house!  

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas in Hawaii anyone?

Wouldn't it be fun just once?  How can you say no to this?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Guests Arrive Early!

Hello there!  Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" invites us to share something special this week and today I'm opening the door for my early Christmas guests.  Each year my daughter and I choose another guest to add to our growing Christmas collection.  The first year we invited Mother Reindeer and Father Reindeer.  The following year, they had a baby girl reindeer.  This year we've added Mr. Nutcracker Mouse and his wife.  And finally, my daughter added Mr. Penguin to the guest list.  It's a tradition we've started a few years back and each year marks the arrival of the holiday season!  Won't you say hello to our guests?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Getting ready for the Nutcracker

Today was dress rehearsal....only a couple of quick shots to share!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Apple Cake in Gingerbread mold

Here are a couple more pictures of the Apple Cake recipe below.  I only had one loaf pan and it was supposed to be for gingerbread....oh well!  My daughter preferred the dusting of powdered sugar....of course!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fresh Apple Cake

This recipe was given to me by my dear family friend Dianne.  It's so easy to make and was a huge hit with my family!  Thank you Dianne!

Fresh Apple Cake

3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cups vegetable oil
4 cups chopped apples (macintosh or granny smith)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup finely chopped nuts (your choice!)

Sift dry ingredients together and mix in other ingredients.

After combining above, add 2 eggs (slightly beaten) and 2 cups of sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees from 35-45 minutes. 


Friday, November 14, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

"Show and Tell Friday" was created by Kelli at There's No Place Like Home.  Each week she invites us to share something special.  Today I have a music box given to my daughter by my mother.

It is a beautiful carousel horse music box that plays "Somewhere In Time".  It reminds me of the good times we had together with my dad who is no longer with us.  When I hear the music I'm reminded of my daughter when she was 3 years old asking my dad to wind it up for her over and over again!  It's a sweet song and brings back sweet memories!  

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Superior Scribbler Award

Thank you to Michelle at Chocolate and Marmalade Tea for giving me a Superior Scribbler Award!  I don't know if I deserve it since all this blogging is so new (and so fun), but I appreciate every bit of encouragement!  Thank you Michelle!  Now I get to choose five more people who I think should be awarded this very special honor!  Thank you for making your blog so interesting and fun to read!

Here are the rules:

1)  Post the award on your blog.
2)  Link me for giving it to you.
3)  Link the originating post here (Life of a Southern College Girl on Blonde Duck's blogroll).
4)  Pass the award on to five more deserving people.
5)  Post the rules for your recipients.

Congrats to you all and have fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I love Hydrangeas...

What makes a hydrangea flower purple?  The soil of course!  The ph level has to be just right to produce a purple flower.  A higher ph level is perfect for blue blossoms, and a lower level ph will produce a pink flower.  So, yes, the purple is a perfect blend of both!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Autumn celebration

This is truly the time of year I wish I could live where I can see these images in person!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Moment for Autumn

Okay, I'll admit, we don't see it for very long, because here in Southern California season changes can be...oh so subtle!  Now that Halloween is in the past and Christmas is around the corner, let's take a moment to appreciate what autumn has brought us!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nature's Web of Beauty

The day after Halloween it rained and left behind this beauty!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008