Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Two New Year's Resolutions postcardsImage via Wikipedia
Happy New Year to all my Retirement Journey friends!  I am looking forward to 2011.  2010 had many ups and downs for me but I am planning for 2011 to be progressively uphill.

Do you make New Year's resolutions?  I don't usually but decided to try it again this year.  What can it hurt?!!  Sooo, my New Year's resolutions are:

  1. Organize my craft room (it is scary right now!).
  2. Get up at 5:00 every morning except Sunday.  Trust me, I need the extra hour:)
  3. Exercise a minimum of five days a week.  I have a treadmill, weight set with bench and Wii Fit Plus--no excuses.
  4. Lose 30 pounds.
  5. Read at least one non-fiction book per month.  That should be easy because I love self-help books.
  6. Make all the cards I give this year, including Christmas cards!
  7. Become reacquainted with great website to help you get organized and keep your house clean!  Should have kept up my friendship with the Flylady!
  8. Remember to take more pictures.
  9. Paint, paper and tile my kitchen.
  10. Set goals for each of my resolutions.
Hope you are able to keep your resolutions!  I am going to blog about my resolutions one day per week so you can keep up with my progress...or not!  No, really, I am determined!

Have a wonderful New Year's Day and be looking forward to the best New Year ever!!!  Kat
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Art of Manliness

My husband has been akin to the Grinch Who Stole Christmas for at least 30 years.  This year he was playing Christmas music, wanting to watch Christmas movies, wanting to put up Christmas decorations, wanting to entertain during the holiday season.  I must admit, I was getting very suspicious!  What happened to my husband?!  Was he abducted by aliens and a substitute put in his place?!!!  Finally he told me he had been reading about celebrating Christmas on the website The Art of Manliness.  He showed me the website and I found it interesting the vast variety of subjects that are discussed on The Art of Manliness website.  

If your husband needs some encouragement to have a Christmas Spirit during the holidays, encourage him to read The Art of Manliness.

What a Great Christmas!

Wii FitImage via Wikipedia
Christmas day was spent at Church and with friends.  It was a great day!  A high Sabbath!

I left to visit my darling daughter and granddaughter on Boxing Day (December 26)!  The weather for traveling was perfect and the trip was uneventful! My granddaughter thought celebrating Boxing Day was fun, especially when she found out it was like another Christmas--presents, goodies to eat, family!

I got everything I wanted for Christmas and then some--of course, my Keen Bern Baby Bern Boots plus Wii Fit Plus, Big Shot die cutting machine, the "doctor's" bag for the Big Shot, a Scotch Advanced Tape Glider and an iPhone App magazine.  What more could I ask for?!!!

My favorite part of Christmas was delivering our Christmas Jar.  I am so anxious to start our jar for 2011.  We only saved for one month this year so starting to save in January should yield much more.  Did you deliver a Christmas Jar this year?  If so, you know what I felt like.

I will be traveling home tomorrow to get prepared for our Church New Year's Party.  This is such a busy time of year and I am ready for the busyness to be over.  I told my husband I was going to sleep the whole month of January:)  Do you think I will get away with that?!!!

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and that your New Year will be the best ever.  Kat you wanted to know about Boxing Day but were afraid to ask! for information about the Big Shot and "Doctor's" Bag for information about the Wii Fit

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Brad's Deals

Do you love a bargain?  I am a bargain shopper!  I love to thrift store shop because I love getting gently used, name brand items for next to nothing.  The only thing more enjoyable in the shopping realm than thrift store shopping is getting NEW for next to nothing!!!  A few years ago I discovered a website that told me the "deals" that were available today...this minute!  It was It is a great website, no doubt about it.  However, a friend shared one I like even better,!  If you have time to check both of them, they do have some different items.  Brad's Deals comes right to my inbox once a day.  I can quickly scan to see if there is anything I need or want.  This past year I got a pair of Croc flip flops for $10 (free shipping); Disney Princess flip flops for my granddaughter 2 pr for $10 (free shipping); a 600 thread count duvet with shams for $39 (free shipping); magazine subscriptions for $4 (Taste of Home, Family Fun, Rachel Ray, MacLife--just to mention a few), an atomic watch for my husband for $10 (he loves it because it sets itself when the time changes); memory card readers for $5 each.  Hmmm...I know I purchased more, just can't remember what!  Anyway, you get the idea!  Some of my favorite "deals" to watch for are from  When was the last time you purchased a pair of Dexter, Skechers or Rockport shoes for under $30?  

Purchases are made through the company making the offer, not Brad's Deals.  Brad's Deals also has in-store and online coupons and promo codes.

Check out and let me know what great "deals" you find.  Don't forget who gave you the tip!  Thanks, Tonia for telling me about Brad's Deals!  Kat (so many brands, so little time:)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Yummy Holiday Recipe

PopcornImage via Wikipedia
Christmas is sneaking up on me!  How can that happen when it is the same day every year?!!!  There is still so much to do and then there are the hiccups--unexpected events--that throw everything off kilter.  I am having more than my share of hiccups this year so feel like I am running in reverse:(  Today I made 14 Christmas cards, two gift card holders (turned out really cute), a quadruple batch of Russian Teacakes, wrote two blog posts and am now going to make Carmel Corn!  Tomorrow night is our church caroling night; Wednesday evening we have a group of kids/young adults coming for snacks, games and to spend the night; group skiing on Thursday...

I decided that since I didn't do much blogging last week, I would share two recipes this week.  This one is for the best Carmel Corn I have ever tasted.  If you don't like molasses, then don't even try it because that is the secret ingredient in this exceptional recipe.  I have been making Carmel Corn from this recipe for the last 25 years and it never ceases to bring rave reviews from friends, family, coworkers, etc.

Carmel Corn

10-12 cups popped corn

1 cup margarine
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup white syrup (I stopped using corn syrup this year so am making my white syrup by mixing 1 cup cane sugar with 1/4 cup water--don't know why I didn't think of this years ago)
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla

Combine margarine, brown sugar, white syrup, molasses, and salt in a large sauce pan.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add soda and vanilla. Pour over popped corn.  Stir in--coat popped corn evenly.  Spread on cookie sheets and bake for one hour in 250 degree oven stirring every 15 minutes.

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Our Favorite Holiday Cookie

Pfefferneuse holiday cookies.Image via Wikipedia
Are you up to your chin in flour, sugar and butter?!  Well, I am!  This recipe is the most asked for cookie for the holidays, from family and friends!  My husband can't seem to get enough of them.  Our friends hide them from their families. I have been threatened with bodily harm if I ever QUIT giving them!  And, of the holiday goodies I make, they are probably the easiest:)  Shhh! Don't tell anyone!  I hope you are able to make some of these nummy cookies for your family and friends this week.  I quadruple this recipe and then sometimes still have to make another batch before Christmas!

Russian Teacakes
Also called Mexican Wedding Cakes

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix thoroughly butter, sugar and vanilla.  Work in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds together.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until set but not brown.  While warm, roll in confectioners' sugar.  Cool.  Roll in confectioners' sugar again.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies (according to the recipe but I make mine a little bigger so only get two dozen per recipe)

Recipe from Better Homes & Garden's cookbook, page 147 (molded cookies)--I received this cookbook from my mom in 1972.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Breast Cancer Site

pink ribbonImage via Wikipedia
Nearly four years ago someone sent me an e-mail asking me to visit The Breast Cancer Site and click on a "pink" button to provide free mammograms for women who could not afford them.  My thought was, "Why not? What do I have to lose?" I knew women with breast cancer and some who lost their battle with breast cancer so actually became passionate about clicking on The Breast Cancer Site.  I signed up to have them send me a daily email reminding me to "click". And now, nearly four years later, it's just something I do--nearly every day!

A quote from The Breast Cancer Site says, " With a simple daily click of the pink button at The Breast Cancer Site, visitors help provide mammograms to those in need.  Visitors pay nothing.  Mammograms are paid for by the site's sponsors and distributed by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc."  Additional mammograms are provided through purchases that are made from The Breast Cancer Site online store. The Breast Cancer Site has provided 48,503 free mammograms since October, 2000.

Please visit The Breast Cancer Site, read some of the stories, check out the online store and click the pink button.  Maybe you, too, will become passionate about "clicking"!  Kat
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Perfect Pair of Boots!

Keen Bern Baby Bern boots purchased at
 REI in Bend.
It had been 15+ years since I purchased my last pair of boots but I had been looking for the perfect boot.  Roomy for my toes, enough room for socks, and cute--definitely had to be cute!  In September, while walking through a mall, I saw them on display in a shoe store...the perfect boot.  Do you remember how it was when you met your spouse--eyes get starry, heart goes thumpety-thump, palms get sweaty?  Well, that's how it was when I "met" my new boots.  I tried them on and they felt PERFECT! We weren't ready to buy that day and my hubby wanted me to look around a bit more to be sure these were what I really wanted--he didn't understand that THESE WERE THE ONES!  And he is waaayyy more practical than I am. But he promised to get me a new pair of boots for Christmas.

Fast forward two months and I am still dreaming about the Keen Bern Baby Bern boots in oak--that's the color.  I had looked at other boots, weighed the pros and cons and still wanted the boots!  How could I not?!!! They are gorgeous AND practical!  It would have been more practical to get the boots in black but the oak color "had me at hello"!

In searching online where to purchase my new boots (a trip to the mall in Medford was out of the question), I found that REI carried them.  We decided to go to Bend so called REI in Bend to find out if they had the Keen Bern Baby Bern boots in size 8 1/2.  They did!  I was ecstatic!!!  I asked the salesperson to put them on "hold" for me. So off we went to Bend.  When I got to the store and told the shoe salesman who I was he went to get the boots.  He opened the box and there they were.  I asked to try them on one more time so he unzipped a boot and handed it to me.  As I was putting it on he said, "Oh no, the zipper's broken!" regarding the second boot.  My heart sank:(  I asked, a bit timidly, "Do you have another pair of size 8 1/2?"  He went off to check and came back with another pair--Yay!  The salesman went to help another customer and I proceeded to try BOTH boots on.  Got them on and looked down to admire my beautiful new boots and again my heart sank--each boot was a different shade of brown...very different.  Sooo, I frantically looked in the boxes and realized I had one boot on from each box.  When I got both boots from one box on, they matched and looked perfect!  The next day I wore them as we walked around downtown Bend as it snowed big fluffy flakes!

What's on your Christmas list?  Kat

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our Trip to Bend

Last week I did a post on our trip to Bend.  Well, there is one more little shop on Wall Street that I want to tell you about!  It's called Mary Jane's.  What attracted me was SHOES in the window!!! Really cute shoes!  We decided to go in to see what else they might have and found the proprietors sitting behind the counter--JoJo knitting and Chris working on their website.  We were there on a Tuesday, lunch time was over so the store wasn't busy and we got a chance to visit with JoJo and Chris.  

JoJo and Chris took ownership of Mary Jane's in October of this year.  They moved over from the Salem area on the west side of Oregon desiring to try the drier climate of Bend. As we were visiting, large flakes of snow were fluttering outside the window.  What a beautiful scene!

Mary Jane's caters to a youngish crowd--probably mid teens to 30.  They have cute clothes, a great selection of shoes and beautiful jewelry--most locally made.  Jo Jo and Chris are determined to keep the prices reasonable and said they try to keep everything under $100.  Yes, ladies, even the super cute boots!  Unfortunately, the website doesn't begin to give you an idea of what they have but am sure Chris will be working on that.

When you are in beautiful downtown Bend, be sure to drop in to Mary Jane's at 830 NW Wall and tell JoJo and Chris that I sent you:)


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Website of the Week!

My favorite website of the week is...(drumroll, please) own Stampin' Up! website activated on November 15, 2010!!!  This decision was made to help my customers be able to order whenever they want to.  I still love it when they call or email me but if they can't sleep in the middle of the night and want to shop, they can point their browser to and shop the night away!  How fun is that?!!!

I was sooo excited the day I got the first order on my new website! Stampin' Up! notifies me when an order comes in; lets me know who made the order and what they ordered! This lady was A-1 on my list for a week!!!  Also, having a website puts me in the Demonstrator Locator Directory so if someone calls Stampin' Up! to ask for a demonstrator in my area they get ME!  And maybe a couple of other names as well but surely they'll pick me, right?!    

Stampin' Up! has some great promotions coming up.  The Filled With Love Promotion starts December 17 and runs through January 24.  The Occasions Mini Catalog starts January 4 and runs through April.  And, the annual Sale-a-bration starts January 25 and runs through the month of May.  If you want more information about these promotions or to find out how to get a catalog, email me at or visit Kat's Cool New Website.

I am having a great time with my Stampin' Up! business. The website is a new, fun way for me to do my business better.  I am looking forward to "meeting" new people through my website just as I have through my blog.  

I hope you get a chance to visit Kat's Cool New Website this week. Need to do any Christmas shopping?!!!  You can shop my new website 24/7!

Have a great day!  Kat
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Tofu Pumpkin Pie

In this day and age of food allergies, it is often necessary to look for alternatives to our old family favorites--especially when feeding guests.  If you are in need of a non-dairy pumpkin pie recipe that doesn't use eggs, look no further!  I found this recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine back in November, 1993 and have used it ever since! I have had many people eat it and not know it had tofu in it!  Shhh! Don't tell them it has tofu in it until AFTER they tell you how good it is!

Tofu Pumpkin Pie

It is best to make this pie a day in advance so the filling can firm up in the refrigerator.

16 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
3/4 lb. soft tofu, drained
1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In blender or food processor, combine all ingredients except tofu.  Pulse until well blended.  Break tofu into 1 1/2 inch chunks.  Add tofu to fulling mixture, a chunk at a time; blend after each addition.  When all tofu has been added, pour filling mixture into pie crust.  Bake one hour.  Filling will be very soft when you first remove pie from oven but will firm up as it chills.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Unusual Experience

This week hubby and I made an overnight trip to Bend, OR.  It was great--haven't been for several months and always a fun place to go!

Volt Lighting

On Tuesday, after a delicious meal at the Taj Palace on Wall Street--hubby loves Indian food and this was one of the best Indian restaurants I have been to--we were strolling down Wall Street, looking in the windows, when we came to VOLT Lighting shop.  Now, honestly, when was the last time you purposely walked into a lighting store?!  According to Brent Newman, most people decide on lights for their homes when they are strolling though Home Depot or Lowe's.  Well, after visiting VOLT, I decided those people (and me, previous to this occasion) are missing out on unusual design opportunities.  We found beautiful but unique light fixtures, led task lamps, wall mounted lamps, led tape strips that could be put virtually anywhere--indoors or out, fans--fun and conventional. Brent also showed us some fun gift ideas--a small fan that can be programmed with sayings; a swarovski crystal necklace with an led light inside the crystal and, my favorite, a table top 3-D Hologram Chamber (put an item inside and it looks like it is sitting on top!).

According to Brent's business card, "Great lighting is never an accident" and I believe it after seeing the wonderful selection in the shop.  They have a larger store, Design Lighting, at 1125 NE 2nd in Bend but for a very personal shopping experience and design suggestions I would suggest you visit with Brent at the VOLT Lighting shop at 903 NW Wall Street first.

Light up someone's life today!  Kat