Category Archives: Traditions

Idyllwild California – Craft and Gab Trip 2017 (aka: Stitch and Bitch)

I am back from my weekend getaway to the Creekstone Inn in Idyllwild California.  This is the 9th year for this Craft and Gab retreat.  My Mom and I have gone for the past 5 years.  At first we had more crafters, now more gabbers, but great ladies and great fun always!  

We are a group of around 12-15 ladies and rent out the entire bed and breakfast.  Each room comes with its own bathroom and has a different theme.  My Mom and I have been staying in the Fall Theme room which is beautiful.  There is a full kitchen and we share in the meal prep and clean up.

We usually hang out in the common area where there are multiple couches and a fire place.  This year the weather was warm and we never needed the fire place.  Here are some photos of us crafting, gabbing, reading or just hanging out.

Here is a selfie of Mom and I!

I worked on my Little Box of Crochet.  It was the perfect craft to take as everythong you need is included in the box.  I put the mug cozy to the test right away. Isn’t it lovely?

This weekend was also my Birthday. My Mom treated me to a fabulous lunch and the retreat ladies sang Happy Birthday and presented me a very large chocolate cake. (Thank you Joe’d for the cake – so sorry you couldn’t make it.  You were missed!) Being the tricky bunch that they are, the candles kept relighting themselves.  This old girl was running out of breath and finally just snuffed them out with my fingers – ha ha! I also received the best smelling soap I think I have ever smelled from 2 very special ladies. (Thank you Teddi and Ashley)

It was a wonderful getaway! We are all looking forward to next year!!!!

Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time –


Happy Valentine’s Day From my Haus

My Valentine’s tradition for the past few years is to make pizza for dinner with heart shaped pepperoni.  It is cute, a bit festive, and makes everyone feel special.

I used Trader Joes pizza dough and some of our favorite marinara sauce.  Sprinkle on some Mozarella cheese and add the pepperoni.  I used my kitchen shears to cut the pepperoni into heart shapes. (I am gluten free so I made mine with a gluten free crust and used the pepperoni scraps leftover from heart cutting for my pizza).  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

I also made a salad and served sparkling pomegranate juice. 

Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!!!!


Weekly Menu For The Week of November 28 – December 2

Greetings all!  I did not post a menu last week as it was Thanksgiving week and we were away for most of it.  This week I have decided to not post a menu but instead share with you how I will be using up my leftovers.

My family enjoys leftovers much more when they are presented as a new meal instead of feeling like they are eating the same thing over and over.  I hate to be wasteful so instead I have become creative.  If you have a family with the same sentiments then these next few posts will be for you.

Gobble Good Turkey Casserole 

1 can condensed cream of celery soup

1 can condensed cream of mushroom  soup

I package onion soup mix

1 cup rice (cooked)

1 1/2 cups milk

2-3 cups leftover turkey cut or torn into bite size pieces

Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Put into a large Casserole dish and bake covered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Gluten Free Version:

Use 2 packets of GF condensed cream of chicken soup and add a small can of mushroom stems and pieces a half cup of precooked celery.  If you can not find GF onion soup mix then just add a variety of spices such as onion salt, garlic, poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning etc.  

History of this recipe: When my son was in second  grade his teacher gave each student a brown bag she shaped into a turkey.  The bag was filled with the uncooked rice that is needed in this recipe and attached the recipe card.  That was 9 years ago and we still use this recipe every year.  

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

As promised, I am sharing my hubby’s recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds.  The two hardest things about this recipe are: weeding through the pumpkin goop to separate the seeds and waiting for them to be finished roasting.

After we are done carving our pumpkins, we work our way through the pumpkin mess to separate out as many seeds as we can  We place them in a large collander and then rinse them very well to remove any remaining pumpkin.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the rinsed seeds on a baking sheet.  I use the stonewear one from the pampered chef so I don’t need to grease mine.  If you are using a standard sheet, I would give it a generous spraying with non-stick cooking spray.  If your sheet has an edge that would be prefered so your seeds do not slide off.

Once the seeds are distributed into an even layer  give them a drizzle of olive oil. 

Mix them up well to make sure they are all coated with the oil.  Sprinkle generously with Lawry’s season salt.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Give the seeds a stir about halfway through to ensure even roasting.  Enjoy!


Raw pumpkin seeds (we had 3 pumpkins and had about 2 cups of seeds)

1-2 tsps Olive Oil 

1/2 tsp Lawry’s season salt (any season salt would do)

cooking spray for your baking sheet

First Day Of Kindergarten August 15 2016

My granddaughter started school yesterday!  She was so excited. She came home and said I love my teacher!  A good sign for sure.

In Germany children are given a Schultuete to celebrate this milestone.  The schultuete is a cone that is filled with school supplies and goodies.  These are readily available for purchase in Germany but not so much in California.  I had to put my creative “Oma” (Grandma) juices to work.  Here are some photos of the end result and her reaction to the loot she received.  

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!

How did you spend your day?  Ours started out with heart shaped pancakes, bacon, and cranberry apple juice in fancy glasses.

015For dinner we had Pepperoni Pizza, antipasta salad and pink frozen lemonades.  I cut the pepperoni’s with my kitchen scissors and made them into heart shapes.  Here is a photo before the Pizza went into the oven.

016Here is my son’s slice.

017Here is a photo of our festive table.

018We had a nice relaxing dinner and are now enjoying our chocolate cake for dessert.  I hope you all had a wonderful day surrounded by those you love! I hope I brought you some ideas for next year.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours.