Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spider Cider anyone?

These cute little cups were a hit at craft shows and even your kids can help put them together.
If you need a token for your child's favorite teacher or maybe the friendly girl who works the front desk at your doctor's office, these are always well received! : )

Check your local dollar store for Halloween themed mugs. Craft stores typically carry them but you will ordinarily get a much better deal at Dollar Tree, Family Dollar or Dollar General. I got these on clearance one year right after Halloween (I paid less than $1 apiece for them!) and put them back until the following fall.

Or you can use solid color mugs, like this:

Into the cup put a packet or two of instant spiced cider mix. You can also throw in a few pieces of Halloween candy, if you like. Place each cup in the center of a square of Halloween themed fabric and bring the fabric up around the cup, tying it all together at the top with ribbon or raffia, whichever fits your fabric choice better. Then attach a plastic spider ring along with the tag you print from your computer. These are super cute! : )

This fabric was sheer black with a metallic spider web print all over. I used glow-in-the-dark plastic spider rings that were about $1 for 2 dozen.
These would also look good using orange fabric and black spiders.
A closer shot of the tag, even though it's blurry.
Again, I apologize for my photography skills.
(or lack thereof!)

The tag reads:

There once was a spider
Who loved apple cider!
She drank it each Halloween night.
She wanted to share some
With folks who would dare come
To share it with her without fright!
But lo and behold!
The idea grew old
When no one would come sit beside her.
So because she refrained,
Here’s what remained
Of her frightfully good spider cider!

©2004 Kelli Williams

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I've accomplished so little today...

Because I keep looking at old pics.

Some of them have brought back great memories.

Some have nearly brought me to tears.

I need to stop now.

Okay, not right now. But in a minute.

Or two.

First I have to show you these shots.

(Taken in '05.)

This is Perri's hair before a gymnastics competition. She was 7 years old.

Yes, I did that myself. :) I'm pretty proud of that fact. I used to fix her hair in such cute styles!

{Then she turned 10 and, wanted...okay, DEMANDED to do her hair herself.}

And this is Tucker (age 3), who didn't want to be left out of this
top-of-the-head picture-taking fun.

How CUTE is that?

An Idea for October

Hello my bloggy friends!

I've been sitting here this morning, going through some old discs on which I stored some of my writing. A few years ago, during one of my 'crafty' periods, I spent a lot of time on various boards sharing ideas with other crafty ladies. One of my favorite parts of crafting was coming up with original verses to accompany and personalize each of the items. I wrote verses for dozens of craft/gift items and I managed to keep most of them in a file that I've saved. (I did lose a few to a computer crash....a gentle reminder to BACK-UP YOUR FILES!)

As I was reading this morning, I realized how many cute Halloween crafts and verses I had accumulated. I'm not a great fan of Halloween, but I did enjoy some of the neat ideas that were shared among friends at the Voy craft board I frequented. (I've since lost that web address but I hope to stumble across it again someday.) Anyway, I thought it might be fun to share some of these ideas with you folks over the next few weeks. They're all relatively simple crafts, but when you add the verse it sure does make a cute gift!

I'll begin posting these tomorrow and I hope you'll find at least a couple that you like. Many of them can be made with things you probably already have in your craft supply stash, and a few just use things you have around the house. The important part is that print the cute poems/tags that go with them. They really complete the idea! : )

Monday, September 27, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{ I don't really mind Mondays so much, but I thought this was TOO cute! : ) }

1. Hope all of you had a terrific weekend. Mine was pretty good. After Saturday's outing, I watched Letters to Juliet (again) with my girls. Perri didn't get to see it the first time we watched it and I certainly didn't mind seeing it again. I really like this movie! I wish Hollywood would make more movies that you don't mind sitting down to watch with your kids. No bad language, no nudity; just good, clean entertaining storylines and great acting. Those kinds of movies are too few and far between.

2. I went to the high school homecoming parade on Friday and really enjoyed it!
The band is absolutely AMAZING.
While many high schools have trouble fielding even a 40 member band, we have about 150 or so members and I'm telling you, these kids are GOOD.

Their competition show this year is Disney themed and it is FANTASTIC!
I got to watch the show in its entirety on Friday night at the homecoming game.
All I can say is WOW.
I can't wait until next year when my own baby girl will be a part of this band. : )

And speaking of Disney...

3. I was cleaning out a Photobucket account yesterday and came across some photos I hadn't seen in a long, long time. They made me smile, but they also really tug at my heart.
These were taken during our Florida vacation in 2006.

This first one was taken after a long day in the Magic Kingdom.

Yes, he's in a stroller. My baby was about to turn 4 when this was taken.
Where has the time gone?

And look at those chubby little cheeks! :)
He really enjoyed the pool at our hotel.

Perri was 8 and wanted her face painted. I LOVE the way it turned out!
The braces are now gone and that face has thinned and grown more mature.

And here she is playing in the waves at Daytona.

I love the young man and the young lady they're becoming,
but I sure do miss my babies.

Don't you just love it when you stumble across old pics you aren't expecting to see?
So many good memories. : )

4. I'm becoming so forgetful. I have to head into town RIGHT NOW
so I can buy prizes for the birthday table gift bags at school. At our last PTO meeting
I volunteered to pick up what was needed and then proceeded to

I also need to pick up a few things at the store.
Since my memory loss is typically more of just a 'delayed remembering' kind of thing,
I figure by the time I get home I will also remember whatever it is
I forgot to get at the store, too.
*insert eye-roll here*

And on that note, I will head out the door.
Just one last thing before I go, and I think it sums things up quite nicely.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Saturday Outing

The Hubster and I were childless today, thanks to Brie and Josh. They took Perri, Tucker and Hayden for a fun day at a museum, to visit my Mom, and to an annual fun-day celebration held by our orthodontist's office. This left us with an entire day to do whatever we pleased.

And not a clue as to what we wanted to do.

Isn't that the way it always goes?

Anyway, I grabbed my camera on the way out the door in case we went somewhere photo-worthy. He had received a Chili's gift card on Grandparents' Day and mentioned going there while we were out, but said we could go anywhere after that.

Well, I thought about a place I had visited as a child with my sister and her family. She was married when I was 11 months old and she and her husband took me pretty much everywhere they took their own kids while we were growing up. (I'm less than 3 years older than my oldest nephew!)

I remember going on picnics from time to time on pretty weekends, and one of the places we would go was Kanawha State Forest. It isn't like it's a terribly long drive for us to get there (maybe an hour from where I live now) but it just isn't somewhere that we think to go. And today I was in the mood to be out and away from civilization. I wanted to see nothing but trees and perhaps a stream meandering through them. I wanted sunshine, blue skies, cool fall air and peaceful surroundings.

Well, obviously there were a lot of other folks with that same thought today because Kanawha State Forest was a really busy spot. Still, we had a leisurely drive through the park with windows rolled down and radio turned off. It was nice.

Since we never actually stopped the car because there was no area free of other visitors, this is the only pic I managed to take that wasn't blurry. It gives you some idea of what a beautiful day it was here in WV, but I promise to do my best to get some REALLY GOOD pics in a couple of weeks when our fall colors paint the landscape. It is the BEST time to be in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia! : )

Friday, September 24, 2010

Favorites on Friday

I spent some time yesterday morning searching through old blog posts. I was trying to find all of my posts that included recipes so I could copy them over to my new Kelli's Kitchen page. Since many of the posts that contain recipes didn't have titles that made it obvious, I had to open several of them to be certain I wasn't missing something. Reading over those older posts really brought back some memories. : ) I thought it might be fun to post links to a few of my favorites so those of you who are new here could take a peek at some of the posts that I feel are more substantial, reveal a little of who I am, and are some of my better writing.

First there is this one. We still think and speak of her often in this house. Writing this was therapeutic for me and from the response I got here and in emails, many of you who read it when it was posted enjoyed it, too.

If you need a little giggle, there are the Tucker stories. This one, this one and this one are my favorites. That child! He sure keeps life interesting. ; )

And finally, this post probably garnered more attention than any other I've ever posted. Not only did I receive comments on the blog itself, but through email, FB and even on the phone and in person. This one really touched a lot of people and that is every writer's dream. : )

I think that's enough of reliving the past for today. ; ) Time to get busy around here! Hope all of you have a terrific, sunshine-filled day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kelli's Kitchen is now OPEN! : )

It's official. It's also starting out small, but I'm sure it will grow with time. Just click on the link in the top right corner...right over there. ----->

I've carried over some recipe posts from here, but I did not delete them from this blog. So if you've bookmarked a recipe here on my blog, no worries. It's still there. :)

Since I don't yet know how (or if it's even possible) to do 'printable' posts, I would suggest that you copy and paste into a Word document any recipes you want to keep. Then you can easily print them for your recipe binder or file.

I am really looking forward to sharing some of my favorite foods with you! :) My biggest issue is remembering to take the step-by-step pictures as I'm cooking, so you'll have to bear with me on that. Lots of times I get busy or in such a hurry that I forget.

Well, here's to many delicious dishes! :) Hope you'll find lots of favorites to add to your recipe stash!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DANGER! Construction Zone!

Please excuse the mess.
Well, perhaps it isn't exactly a mess, but there is some construction taking place around here.

I am in the process of adding a couple of pages to my blog
and I hope you'll bear with me during the process.

You see, I am pretty much a computer doofus.

However, I am slowly but surely figuring it out
and I am
to do this!

So hang in there, please.

Here's the plan:

I'm gonna open
Soon you'll be able to drop in for a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea
and I'll share some of my favorite recipes and kitchen tips.

I hope to move all of my previous food-related posts to that page as well,
so it'll be a sort of
'one stop shopping' destination for you
when it comes to recipes, meal plans and any other kitchen-related ideas.

I'm not a professionally trained chef or dietitian.
As a matter of fact, even though I strive to be like one of these:


I sometimes feel like this:


But I guess we all have our moments.

Anyway, I hope to see you in
Kelli's Kitchen

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are you missing anything?

It could be that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed today because I have two kids participating in two different sports activities on opposite sides of town at the same time and I can't clone myself so that I can attend both.

It could also be that I'm draggin' a little due to the fact that lately I can't seem to fall asleep and stay there all night long. Insomnia is not my friend.

It could just be that I'm such a sentimental fool that I not only tear-up over highly emotional happenings in my own life, but I've even been known to cry over sappy Hallmark commercials, like these. And this Folger's commercial gets me every single time. Since 1986 I have been thrilled to tears that Peter made it home for Christmas! ;)

Whatever the cause, right now I really feel for my cousin Amanda over at Carolina Girl Be sure to drop in and read her latest post, and maybe offer her a little encouragement or a few prayers. That girl is HOMESICK, I tell ya! And I hate that for her. She is such a sweetheart and has the most adorable, lovable little family.

I've had much on my mind lately anyway and her post got me to thinking about things that I miss. Except the things I miss aren't really 'things' at all. Mostly what I miss are people. Some of them moved on in different directions than that which I chose and others have passed on to their reward, but all of them are missed in one way or another.

But there are things I miss that aren't living, breathing beings....though they made me feel alive. Things that are hard to pinpoint and even more difficult to put into words. I suppose the best way to describe what I mean is to say that there are feelings that I miss.

*The feeling of a good book in one hand, a cup of hot tea in the other and a quiet, cozy nook in which to enjoy them both.

*The peaceful silence of a frosty cold morning when my world wears a crisp, white blanket of snow.

*The feeling found only during a ramble through the woods while bright autumn leaves rustle in the cool breeze, and the warmth of a ray of sunshine that manages to penetrate the canopy of trees.

*That giddy hopefulness that comes to me each year at Christmas; the confidence in humanity that comes about when the holiday spirit pierces through even the toughest of exteriors and brings out the best they have to offer.

*That nagging, irritating impatience to get my hands on:

(a.) a notebook and a pen
(b.) my laptop
because there is a story in me just itching to get out, to be given a life of its own, to be released from the bondage of my too tiny brain and given the freedom to exist in black and white.

Please come back, my aggravating friend. I miss my writing, my outlet, my expression of all that's in there wanting to come out.

Writer's block stinks.

But I think most of this is telling me to slow down and enjoy things a little more. Pay more attention and take a moment to breathe when a moment presents itself. Stop rushing through.

These little reminders pop into my life from time to time. I think I'll listen to them for once. ; )

So tell me...

What is it that you're missing? What is it that you wish you could bring back? What had such a profound effect on your life that you would like to revisit that place in time?

Share with me. Give me food for thought.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Rare Find

I made a most amazing discovery this weekend.
It is a find so rare that it is, to me, worth its weight in

You see, I LOVE movies. Comedies, love stories/chick flicks, mysteries, or simply slice-of-life...
Even more, I adore a good movie that I can sit down and watch with my kids.
Aside from most Disney animated features, it's often difficult to find a good movie
that I don't mind my kids seeing, too.
Whether the issue is language,

too much skin

or mature storylines


All that being said, I did not expect this particular movie to be quite what it turned out to be. And any way you look at it, I certainly didn't expect my eight year old to like it.

However, I was pleasantly surprised!

After a friend posted on Facebook that she had watched

and expressed her amazement at the fact that there was no language in the film, I went right out and rented it. I had been wanting to see it ever since it came out in theaters but hadn't had the opportunity. Movie watching time for me is somewhat limited. Too many things to do and too many little people around to be able to see the ones I want to see. But I had a free Redbox rental coming and decided to use it on something I wanted to see.

What a TERRIFIC movie! The scenery was breathtaking, the story was captivating and beautifully told, and the cast was magnificent. Amanda Seyfried is absolutely perfect. Pretty in a girl-next-door kind of way, you immediately fall in love with her character and want better for her than she is getting from her fiance. And Vanessa Redgrave gives a beautiful performance as well. But personally, it is my opinion that the less you know about a movie, the more you will enjoy discovering the magic of the story as it unfolds before you. So please, if you haven't yet seen Letters to Juliet, don't read all of the reviews and the synopses. Just rent it.
Find yourself a cozy seat and be prepared to be taken away to the beauty of Italy
and the giddiness that comes with true love.

This is one of those movies that I will own. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Fantasy

Today is dreary, damp and gray.

I have laundry and other housework to do.

I have errands to run.

There are various odds and ends I need to handle, too.
And I will.
I'm a
git 'er done
kinda gal.

But really now...

So I think I'll just give in to fantasy for a few minutes.

Everyone fantasizes from time to time.
Somewhere you'd like to be, something you'd like to do or someone you'd like to's all good fantasy fodder.
So here are my fantasies for today.
I am sharing them with you.
Feel free to gaze longingly at these photos and create your own fantasies as well.
I'm generous like that. ; )

And the ultimate fantasy...

How about you? Tell me all about your secret little fantasies! ; )

*BTW, I am proudly participating in Kristin's Pick of the Patch for this week. Stop by her place and check out all the participants! Click here to see my entry for the week. : )
Windy Poplars

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yoo-hoo! Mother Nature! Where are you???

Dear Mother Nature,

This is Kelli. I need to have word with you, please. I'll pour you a cup of coffee and serve you one of these:

(Yes, I made them. They're cinnamon raisin biscuits with glaze. Yes, they are yummy.)

Now, let's get down to business. We need to discuss your work. I'm afraid that you've gotten just a little carried away this year. Suffering from a bit of the ol' 'over-achiever syndrome', perhaps?

Well, lay off.

Too much pollen far too soon this year does not a happy camper make.

And I'm not the only one suffering. Many of my friends, my kids, and my kids' friends are all feeling the effects and have been since early August.

My allergy testing yesterday showed that I am allergic to most of the natural world. Trees, weeds, name it. But most of all, these little guys:

They give me REAL grief. (In case you haven't met....Bloggy friends, this is Mr. Dust Mite.
Mr. Dust Mite, these are my Bloggy friends. LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!)

And then of course, there is also the fact that I'm allergic to this pretty girl:

I had no idea I was allergic to cats. Thankfully Bob is an outdoor cat. I've never had indoor pets because of my kids' allergies.

Gee. I wonder where they got those?

Anyway, Mother Nature, you're now forcing me to take pills and nose sprays, eye drops and possibly shots a little further down the road. If it makes me feel less lousy and better able to function, I'll be happy once again.

If not, I think I'll hunt you down.

So please back off. Lighten up. Don't work so hard. Give us all a break.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.