Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I shared with you all last year, that the scary side of Halloween doesn't interest me at all.  I like cute, fun, and pretty!  So hop on my broom behind me and lets go for a ride around my Halloween tablescape!


I found the black plates this summer at a discount store...very cheap! I always seem to find a great deal on dishes at Mardens in Maine.  


My place card holders are made from old door knobs.  See how I did it HERE.


This poor little witch was driving her broom a bit too fast!  But hey, if you are going to crash, that's a pretty "sweet" place to do it!  ;)


Don't you love my new spider pumpkin holder?  Gwyneth and I met for lunch at Masstown Market in September and they had three different sizes of these cuties.  There was a small one that would have fit the little white jack be little pumpkin in front as well!  



The cute little battery operated mini lights are turned on here, but it's hard to tell.  They were so pretty later that night!


Wishing everyone a fun, safe Halloween!

Photos courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dancing Queen...

I took the opportunity, one evening this summer, to attend the live Mamma Mia musical. 
If you are familiar with the group ABBA, you know that this musical features their music.
It's BeBoppin music. I love it.
Although there isn't anything in the storyline of Mamma Mia that a person couldn't also find in a storyline within the pages of scripture - this isn't a biblical musical. 
Which is why I was taken off guard when I found Him there, all throughout that 2 hour show.
Let me explain...

I was on vacation. And was beginning to feel rested. I was out of my normal routine and far away from my daily responsibilities. 
You know how this feels. 
Psalm 23:1-3
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

I was with a great friend. A sisterfriend. We've known each other for years, are completely comfortable with one another, and have many commonalities. She is a gift.

I hope you have a sisterfriend.

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 

The talent of the actors amazed me. First of all, they posses the ability to get on stage, throw caution to the wind, and becoming someone other than who they are. I can't make myself be someone other than myself to save. my. soul. Acting is something I just. can't. do.

The costumes and the set were so eye catching. While I am neither a carpenter/builder nor a fashionista it certainly is terrific that others are all that and more.

Are you ever thankful for the gifting/talents of someone else?

Psalm 139: 13-16
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Good music. Every time a different ABBA song was performed I sooooo wanted to sing along. (you would've, too) However, I behaved myself and sat quiet throughout the entire show... until the encore. When the cast came back on stage and began singing, I immediately got my groove on. Singing to the top of my lungs, I was...  Dancing Queen, Young and free, Only seventeen...

Music. It just takes us places. 

Have you ever been surprised by what song YOU could sing and worship God with? I have.

Psalm 104:33
I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
It was a great night. I had a blast. And would go again in an instant.
Thank you, Father
for vacation
for sisterfriends
for uniqueness and creativity
for music.
and for bringing them all together in the span of two, fun-filled hours. 

PS: You can dance, You can jive, Having the time of your life...
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Storing up and putting away..."

Now that the weather is beginning to get colder in our northern climate and the leaves are quickly falling to the ground, my mind starts thinking about storing up certain things and putting away others for the winter. Some of this activity had to be done a month ago as we cleared the back yard in preparation for our deck rebuild - such as storing the patio furniture in the basement, putting all my lawn ornaments in the garage, draining all the hoses and hanging them up inside, throwing out stuff that had been chucked out-of-sight under the deck, and transplanting some perennials I wanted to save at the base of the deck. But there’s still much to do.

This weekend I really must sort through our clothes closet and store away our summer clothes and exchange them with warmer ones. The summer jackets in the front closet need to be transferred to the laundry room closet and replaced with winter ones – same goes for shoes and boots, hats and gloves, scarves and mittens. Summer bedding needs to be washed and packed away in the linen closet and substituted with warmer flannelette sheets and down comforters.
Leaves frozen in the bird bath

Outdoors, my abundant hostas have succumbed to the frosty nights and now lie yellowed and limp. They need to be cut back and the leaves stored in clear plastic bags until the next compost pick-up day. Ditto for the leaves which are quickly piling up on the lawn and begging to be raked, piled, and bagged. Once our deck is finished, there will be some last minute clean up before it gets too cold.

Then there are winter tires to install on the cars, snow shovels and ice scrapers to put in the trunk, winter windshield wipers to exchange summer ones, anti-freeze radiator and windshield washer fluids to pour in, and bags of road salt to dig out for the driveway. The snow blower needs to be cleaned and prepped although I hope we don’t have to use it too often! And, once the carpenters are all done and the garage is free of lumber and tools, we will need to sweep up and put things back in place.

In a couple more weeks it will be time to think about unpacking Christmas decorations,  putting up the outdoor lights, doing a little Christmas baking to put in the freezer, and hiding away gifts and stocking stuffers (providing I get my shopping done sooner than usual).

A squirrel's storehouse
I’m always impressed by the instinct of the squirrels and birds that stay around for the winter as they industriously gather nuts, seeds, and nesting materials to help them survive the colder months. It’s amazing to me that they have the God-given sense to do this long before we humans make time for it. 

In the Bible, God gives us some instructions on what we should or should not store up.

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge in God.” Proverbs 2:1-5

Wise men store up knowledge…” Proverbs 10:14

“He (the Lord) will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge: the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:6

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” Matthew 6:19-20a

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” II Timothy 4:8

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart...” Luke 6:45

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven...” Colossians 1:3-5

God’s commands, wisdom, understanding, insight, fear of the Lord, salvation, heavenly treasures, a crown of righteousness, goodness, hope…these are the things we are to make a priority to store up in our lives. Really puts things into proper perspective, doesn’t it? The most important activity we can ever be involved in is cleaning out what doesn’t belong in our lives, letting those things go, and making room for God to have first place in our heart.

Until next Sunday,

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Almond Flour Muffins

A perfect start to a brand new day.  Brew a cup of your favorite coffee, 
and enjoy one of these delicious muffins.
- Gwyneth

God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!"
Lamentations 3:22 The Message

2 cups almond flour (or meal)
¼ cup of ground flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
dash salt
pinch cinnamon if desired
1 banana
2 eggs
½  cup agave nectar
½ coconut milk
¼ cup coconut oil (or butter)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips or blueberries

Mix dry ingredients in bowl.  Mix wet ingredients in blender and add to dry
Put in muffin papers in muffin tin or grease muffin tin.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20 mins or until done.

Foodie Friday
Pink Saturday

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If the Broom Fits...Ride it!

But don't fall off and land head first!! ;)

I saw a cupcake like this recently, by Better Homes & Gardens.  Such a cute idea.  I picked up these cupcake wrappers and black and white straws on clearance this summer at TJ Maxx...before I had even seen the cupcake idea.  Yippee... I was prepared.  I just needed my daughter to free hand a little witch shoe so I had a template.  

I cut the little shoes out of black card stock.  (All the money I spent on scrapbooking supplies years ago is still coming in handy!)  I heated up the glue gun and dabbed a bit on the end of each straw.  Stick on the shoe and voila!!

Watch for my these yummy cupcakes on my Halloween tablescape!

Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits
Seasonal Sunday
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Real Women: Real Life ~ Depression #6

Take Six would like to thank our dear friend, "Real 4 Him".  She obeyed God's prompting and opened her life's journal on depression to share with us.  This is her final entry and we know that it not only encouraged women today, but will continue to do so as it is pondered over time.  


My heart is thankful and content as I share with you once again.  This experience of sharing my journey with depression with you has only been rich and positive for me, not in the least overwhelming like I anticipated, thank you, Jesus!  I’m a little sad that it’s my last one, but have a feeling that God may provide me with more opportunities to share in the future.  I’ve had a lot more good days than bad days this fall – I’m sure a lot of it has to do with fall being my absolute favourite time of year. Those of you who enjoy structure and routine along with incredibly vibrant fall colours, rich scents, crunchy leaves and old-fashioned cooking and baking know exactly what I’m talking about - plus October is the season of Thanksgiving and every year I feel my heart swelling more with gratitude to God with a longer list of things that I’m thankful for.  Looking back I’m thankful for each bout of depression I’ve had during this past year.   As painful as those times were, I’ve grown deeper in my walk with the Lord, which is so worth it!  I am learning the art of living simply, thankfully, contentedly and reaching out to others who are in need of God’s love.

  I’m also learning to let go – that’s a really, really hard thing to do because I feel the need almost constantly to be in control.  Over this past week the Lord has reminded me of how important it is to surrender.  I read about it in two different books, through a song and through spoken words so I concluded that God really desires for me to completely let go and trust Him in all things even on those dark, cloudy, crawl in a hole kind of days where I feel down about everything and everything seems so negative because I’m in a depressed state – the thing I struggle with the most.   God wants me to surrender every single thing to Him: my health, finances, family, job, along with each talent and ability He’s gifted me with.  My life is not at all what I envisioned it to be, but neither did I ever imagine I would be so deeply in love with Jesus and only craving more of Him every day – may that hunger and thirst for Him never go away.  I’m learning to surrender every day to the Lord, to wake up in the morning and say, “Lord, this day is yours, use me in it, this part-time job is yours, use me in it, these children are yours, use me in a powerful way as their mom,  these moments running errands are yours, use me to brighten someone’s day with a smile, kind word or gesture.  This ministry for young moms is yours, use me to be a positive influence in their lives.  This depression, which strangles me at times is yours, use it, for your honour and your glory rather than falling prey to the enemy.  I don’t know what you’re going through, but I do know that we all go through tough stuff in our lives.  God loves you and wants you to surrender whatever burden presses on your heart.  He’s the ultimate helper and healer.  He’s the mender of broken pieces.  He’s up to something amazing and new in your life like He is in my own.  It is when we are at our lowest low and feeling our weakest and understanding our inability to go on on our own strength that God is able to step in and fill us with Him to do whatever in life we need to do (Phil 4:13).

Once again, it has been a joy to share my heart with you and I pray that each of you will allow God to use you wherever you’re at and with whatever you’re going through.   

(Psalm 121: 1,2)
“I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from?   My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

(Isaiah 43:1-5)
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine, When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. . . Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you. . . . Do not be afraid, for I am with you. . . “

(Phil. 1:6)
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

Real 4 Him :)

If you have not already had the opportunity please read...

Entry #1- HERE
Entry #2 - HERE
Entry #3 - HERE
Entry #4 - HERE
Entry #5 - HERE

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Embracing the Moment..."

I read a quote recently that said,
“Don’t think how many moments are in your life; just think how much life there is in a moment.” – Anonymous
During the past few weeks I’ve been making a conscious effort to appreciate the moments in each day. Given my tendency to anxiety and fear, it is a skill that has to be learned and practiced. I received some wise and helpful advice a few days ago – if you focus too much on the past, it leads to discouragement and depression; if you focus too much on the future, it leads to anxiety and fear; if you focus on the present and seek to enjoy the moment to its fullest, it leads to experiencing the peace that God desires for you. It involves discovering how to reframe my thoughts so that I gain a better perspective on life issues and events.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

The BEST Sugar Cookies

I have very fond memories of making cut out sugar cookies as a child.  Before she retired, my mother was an elementary school teacher, and the day school let out for Christmas vacation was always "Cut out cookie making day"!  We also did them at Easter.  I know these special times with mom and my sisters began my love affair with cookie cutters!  

Then there is my fascination with cupcake liners...but that's another story for another day! ;)

When my children were old enough to help make sugar cookies I found this recipe on the Gooseberry Patch Message Board.  They were called, "Amy F's Valentine Butter Cookies".  They are the BEST, and ONLY sugar cookies I make.  

The BEST Sugar Cookies


2C sugar
1/4C brown sugar
2 sticks butter (1C)
2 eggs
6 tbsp milk
4C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla


Cream the butter and sugars.  Add eggs, milk, and vanilla - mix well.  In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture - beat until blended.  (I find sometimes I need a bit more milk) Chill for 1 hour.  Roll onto floured surface and cut out with your favorite cookie cutters.  Bake on greased or parchment lined pan @ 350 for 12 min.

I made these sugar cookies for our Thanksgiving Potluck with my husband's family.  I did a pumpkin for each of the little ones, and leaves for the adults. 

All cooked, and waiting for some icing.

Cookie Glaze Frosting Recipe

This is my sister, Paula's, recipe to glaze cookies before you decorate them.  (i.e. the orange icing below)

1C icing sugar
4 tsp milk
2 tsp corn syrup
1/4 Tsp vanilla
food coloring

Mix icing sugar & milk til smooth.  Mix in syrup and vanilla til glossy.  Add more syrup if too thick.  

Butter Frosting - Five Roses Flour Cookbook

This is my "go to" icing for so many things.  It is my favorite for decorating cupcakes.  

1/2C butter
pinch of salt
5C icing sugar
8 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and salt together.  Add sugar gradually alternating with milk.  Beat until smooth.  Add more milk or icing sugar if necessary.  Stir in vanilla.  Yield approx 3C.

I see a pumpkin for Emma, Micah, Andrew, Naomi, and Eva!

This pumpkin was either for Jake, Jackson, or Joel!  :)

I must say, there were some adults who were just as excited to grab a cookie as some of the children were!!

Foodie Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
On The Menu Monday
Food Trip Friday
Creative Me
Clever Chicks Blog Hop
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Not long ago I posted a picture on the Take Six Facebook page showing this table at the very beginning stage of preparation.  Today I'm happy to show you the finished product.  This tablescape seemed to happen almost without my assistance.  It just kind of came together with no effort.  It's so fun when that happens.


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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Real Women: Real Life ~ Depression #5

Welcome to entry #5 of our dear friend's journey
 through depression.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Keeping the end in sight..."

Looking out my window this morning I see a huge unfinished project. We’re in the midst of a deck rebuild which is proving to be a much more involved process than we anticipated. I knew it could be, but eight days into the job, I peer through the windows and see a retaining wall, the first support beams, and four twelve-foot posts sticking up in thin air like wooden monoliths. Good thing it’s in the back yard or people driving by would wonder what on earth we’re building! Actually, the posts will be part of an eight-foot diameter octagonal gazebo attached to the deck. At first glance you might be tempted to think, “Why did it take eight days to get to this point?” Look a little more closely though and you would see…

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Friday, October 12, 2012

No Bake Paleo and Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookies

"There are four basic food groups:
milk chocolate, dark chocolate,
 white chocolate, and chocolate truffles." - Anonymous

I'm trying to look out for you all and keep each food group covered!  Enjoy this yummy recipe in the "Chocolate category".   - Gwyneth ;)

Prep: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen (larger cookies)


1 cup finely chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts
1 cup semisweet or milk choc chips
1/2 cup almond butter OR Peanut butter 
1/3 cup honey or agave
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup shredded coconut flakes


1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Process nuts in a food processor until very finely chopped (almost ground). Set aside.

3. Combine chocolate, almond butter, and honey over low heat in a medium saucepan 2 to 3 minutes or until it has a smooth consistency and chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, coconut and nuts. 

4. Drop by tablespoon onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until they harden. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.




Foodie Friday

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Decor 2012

My fall decor is in three areas this year.  The dining room, living room mantle, and the front entry. You already saw the dining room in my Lia Sophia post.  Today I'm sharing the front entry and the living room mantle.


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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Real Women: Real Life ~ Depression #4

Welcome to entry #4 of our dear friend's journey
 through depression.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Trashy Thanksgiving...

You know how life is - you're just as busy as I am.
So, while I don't ponder what I'm truly thankful for JUST on Thanksgiving weekend, it is a pretty natural time of year to make a concentrated effort to create a list. 

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Gwyneth's Sweet & Sour Meatballs

The calendar page has turned to October. At this time of year I find myself reaching for some comfort food as the days and evenings turn cooler.  This is a healthier version of a popular meal. Flax is a powerhouse of nutrients and benefits, but invisible in these meatballs.  (For those of us who have to hide healthy things) ;)  Read about it HERE.  I like to buy mine in seed form and store in my fridge freezer.  I grind a few cups at a time, in my coffee grinder and then return the flax meal to the freezer for storage.  Enjoy this quick and easy recipe!  


Sweet & Sour Meat Balls

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
3 eggs
1/2 cup ground flax seed

Mix meat and ingredients and put on parchment paper on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for approx 20 mins or until meatballs are cooked through.


1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Agave
2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Put into deep casserole dish and top with sauce.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins or until hot and bubbly.

On The Menu Monday

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The girls. Chocolate cake. Lia Sophia.

The girls came over recently.


We tried on beautiful jewelry.


Grabbed a cold drink.


Tried on more beautiful jewelry.


Enjoyed a snack.  Chocolate, of course!


Grab a plate.  You are welcome to have a piece. 



We had a great time!!  I love beautiful jewelry...and chocolate.


Photos courtesy of Nicole Payzant Photography

I am not being compensated in any way by Lia Sophia.  I just wanted to share our fun time with you.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Real Women: Real Life ~ Depression #3

Welcome to entry #3 of our dear friend's journey
 through depression.
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