You Are Strong

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You are strong.

However, strength does not mean every day will be easy. It does not mean that, at some point, life will not feel pointless, overwhelming, or just plain hard. Because it will. As strong as you are life will, at times, whip you around and batter you in an assault that begins to look relentless.

Still, you are strong.

Strength does not mean you will cease to feel the pains of life. Instead, it means you will be able to continue on, even when the winds beat mercilessly. Strength means you will keep an even head and continue to act wisely. You will still do what is right. You will still make smart decisions. Because you are strong.

Eventually the whirlwind will stop. You will look back at the life you built during the storm and you will see that, now, you are stronger than you ever were before.


Sophisticated Sugar: Apple Pie



Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Nothing screams Thanksgiving like Apple Pie and this one is extra delicious with a sweet crumb on top.

Apple Pie Crisp

Crust: (makes enough for two pies)

4 cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup butter
1/2 – 3/4 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp vinegar

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Cut in the butter. In a separate bowl mix water, egg, and vinegar. Pour liquids into dry ingredients and CAREFULLY mix by hand just until there are no dry crumbs left. You can chill the dough at this point until you are ready to roll it out and use it. Also, remember, the colder your dough is when it goes into the oven the flakier the crust will be!

Dust your work surface with flour and roll out dough until about 1/4 inch thick. Move to pie dish either by folding into fourths and then gently lifting into the dish or by rolling up and over the top of your rolling pin and using that to lift the dough into your dish. Do not stretch the dough out at this point to make it fit. Instead, allow the dough to gently fall into the corners of the dish and lightly folding it up the sides. Holding crust with one hand, cut to hang one inch over the edge of the pie dish, then fold the end under so that the edging is thicker than the rest of the crust. Crimp edging and set the crust in the refrigerator.

Apple Filling: (also enough for 2 pies)

1 & 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c flour
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
12-16 tart, granny smith apples, pared, cored and sliced

In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Stir into apples until well distributed.

Pour apples mixture into prepared (uncooked) pie crust. Then get started on the crumb!

Crumb: (yes, this is perfect for 2 pies)

1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter

Mix flour and sugar together and then cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the pies.

Bake pies at 400 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until done. If the edges of the pies brown too quickly, cover them with foil.

One the house starts filling with the cinnamon apples smell, you’ll be glad you made two! (Of course, if you don’t want two apples pies, you could always fill the second pie crust with anything! For a pudding  pie, bake the crust – poking the bottom with a fork first – and once cooled fill it with your favorite pudding.)


Season To Sparkle: Day 5

Our fun here is almost over. *tear* But we have saved some of the best for last!


Bring on the glittery glam! I don’t care what’s in these party glasses, I want to drink it! And . . . can I keep the glass, too?


I am an absolute sucker for anything reindeer! They are so elegant and beautiful. These napkins are perfect for bring a touch of that elegance into your party.


Then when the evening is over, the chocolate is gone, and the laughter has calmed to a soft sigh in the night there is nothing better than a sweet, sparkling favor to hand to each of your guests. And Kojo-Design has you covered! Check it out.

Happy Holidays and make sure you take time for a little Sparkle this Season!

Season To Sparkle: Day 4

Hello friends, here’s some more totally creative, holiday sparkle for you!


Just in case you love balloons . . . and I know you do! . . . check out this so fun balloon fringe.


Cupcakes just went from backstage to limelight with these show stopper cupcake toppers! Don’t miss it!


And, finally, the garland I promised. Isn’t this amazing! Seriously, I wish I was so creative. *Sigh* I know my friends would all die if my table were trimmed with this during my next party.

Season to Sparkle: Day 3

Welcome back! I’m thrilled you’re here because in addition to the Caramel Turtles (here) I’ve got two totally amazing DIY’s to share with you!


Aren’t these Drink Stirs fantastic! I love how the little touch of black makes the whole party oh so very sophisticated! Check it out here.


What party is completely without party hats? And these bring the glam! Don’t miss this totally fun post.

See you again tomorrow when we take a look at some more awesome DIY party ideas including some of the best Holiday Garland I’ve ever seen!