Monday 14 December 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, December 14th, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

It is dark and very, very still, which makes a change, and very, very cold! I looked it up on the internet and it said we have a 30% chance of having snow for Christmas. Hmmm . . . dare I hope and dream for a White Christmas???

I am thinking...
About how sneaky Todd is. Yesterday in church he gave me a letter to give a talk in the 10th of January. He sure kept that quiet. He had to have known since his Bishopric meetings last Tuesday at least!! I was surprised! I don't mind giving talks though, so it was a pleasant surprise. My talk is supposed to be about how I received a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. It should be fun!

I am thankful for...
So much, so very much. I have so many blessings in my life that I cannot even begin to count them. I am a person that trys hard not to take anything for granted. I don't ever want to be a person that doesn't know what they have until it is gone. What a wasted life that would be.

From the kitchen...
Ohh, there's some yummy goodies. I made some special cookies yesterday afternoon and a banana bread that I will show in the next few days. I also made fudge yesterday to give as gifts to a few people! Oh, I am so naughty, making all these goodies to foist onto friends, but it's naughty in a very good way I think!!!

I am wearing...
Pink and white jammies and my robe, as it is a bit chilly in here this morning. I miss forced air heating and my old furnace in Canada here in the winter times. We have hot water radiators and the heat doesn't kick out like I wish it would!

I am creating...

I haven't done a lot but I did make some Christmas Decorations from a Martha Stewart kit I got from the QVC shopping channel. (That is a really dangerous channel to watch you know!!)They were ever so easy. I have been saving Christmas Cards to do just this with for years and never gotten around to it. This was simple. All the circles were already cut out and all I had to do was fold them and glue them together. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy! I think I will roll the edges in some glue and add some glitter though, just to make them sparkle!

I am going...

We have our works Christmas party this afternoon. It should be fun. The Mr's PA has organized it and is cooking a meal for us all. She did this last year as well. It was great fun. She lives in a Converted Oast House out in the boonies and has lots of dogs and horses and such. Beautiful surroundings, great food, special people, an afternoon off work . . . what more could you ask for!

Thursday I am going to lunch with my friend Jo, who used to be the housekeeper where I work. I am looking forward to that and then I have the usual stuff to do. Oh, and we are having the missionaries over for their tea tomorrow night so I have that to plan for as well!

I am reading...

The Handmaiden and The Carpenter by Elizabeth Berg

I thought in honor of the Christmas season and holidays that I would break out something special and seasonal to read and so I am reading this lovely book right now by Elizabeth Berg. If you have never read any of her books, you really should. She is a brilliant writer! In this wonderful novel about love, trust, hope and belief, she transports us back to Nazareth . . . re-living the events of the Classic Christmas story. I love the beautiful imagery used by Ms Berg. She brings this story to life in a special way that is moving, rich and full of emotion. I highly recommend!

I am hoping...
It might be in vain . . . and it might be really dumb . . . but I am hoping for a White Christmas. Hope does spring eternal!

I am hearing...
I am hearing nothing but the ticking of the clock, the humming of the refrigerator, the clicking of my keys and Jess's gentle snores from over in the corner. I am also hearing the foghorn snores of the King Charles spaniel from where I work. The little dogs have gone to obedience school for the holidays and I could not face her being alone in the house and so I have brought her down here to stay with us for the duration. She snores really loud! Thank heavens for ear plugs or I would not have slept!

Around the house...
I need to get things organized and ready to put up the Christmas tree and decorations. I usually wait to do that til after my employers are gone for Christmas. That's when my Christmas really starts and I can get the things done that I need to do for the holidays. I am really lucky that I get to take a bit of a breather at Christmas . . . a chance to re-charge my batteries for the coming year ahead. I work really hard most of the time and so this is a real bonus for me. I know, tis a blessing as well.

One of my favorite things...
Is getting out the Christmas Decorations, putting on some Christmas Music and getting everything all festive looking for Christmas. I better get cracking on that as I have done precious little thus far, although I did get out a couple of boxes and started to put some of the regular stuff away in preparation!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I don't even want to think about it!!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I just love this Christmas picture. I can feel the wonder in the air and the anticipation. I think it's quite beautiful!! Oh how I would love to have a house that looked like that!!!

And there you have it, my Simple Woman's Day Book for today. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!)

My friend Jen of Tatertots and Jello is having a Holly Bloggy linking party today! The idea is to share ideas for great gifts that you can give to your neighbours, family and friends. Not just any gifts though. Gifts you make yourself! This is a delicious fudge that is always warmly welcomed when I pass it along to friends during the holidays. Not only is it festive and pretty to look at, but it's delicious as well. It looks really pretty in a box all tied up with cello wrap and curling ribbon! The best part about, besides how tasty it is of course, is that it turns out perfectly every time!

*Christmas Fudge*
Makes one 8 inch square pan
Printable Recipe

This fudge is quite different than the usual chocolate or brown sugar fudges. It's creamy, delicious and very festive looking with the white, green and red!!! There are a few different versions around, but I like this one best of all because it is no fail. Trust me.

2 TBS butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 ounces white marshmallows
9 ounces white chocolate, cut into little pieces
1/2 cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts
1 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 tsp vanilla extract

Butter an 8 inch square pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving abut a 1 inch overhang all around for ease of removing it from the pan to cut. Set aside.

Put the butter, sugar, salt, evaporated milk and marshmallows into a medium sized saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly until all is melted and combined together, and the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly and keeping over medium heat so that it does not catch or burn on the bottom.

Once it is boiling, start timing. Keep stirring and allow to boil for exactly five minutes. Do not stop stirring.

Remove from the heat and add the chopped white chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has completely melted and amalgamated into the mixture. Stir in the vanilla, nuts and cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan and let cool completely.

Lift out of the pan, peel off the parchment paper and cut into small squares with a sharp knife. Store in a tightly covered container.

Variations: Try using chopped milk chocolate, walnuts and raisins instead. Add some rum flavourig instead of vanilla. You can use peanut butter chips, or butterscotch chips along with walnuts and vanilla, but I would leave out the cranberries if I was using either of those and just increase the amount of nuts instead.

If you'd like to see what delicious goodie I have hiding beneath the Gingerbread Napkin, hop on over to The English Kitchen right now! Tis sure to get your tastebuds tingling!!!


  1. Hello dear Marie! Thanks for linking up! Your fudge looks so delicious! And those ornaments are so cute. What a fun project!

    Have fun at your ward Christmas party!


  2. Husbands can be sneaky, can't they?! Sounds like something mine would do in that situation! Wish I could hear your talk!

    Oh, my! That fudge just hits the spot for me! I'd much rather have this kind than chocolate--I'm just not normal, am I?! The cranberries and pistachios look perfect and sound so scrumptious!

    I'm going to look up that book--sounds like something I'd really love!

    Thanks for more beauty to read, see and eat! Love you loads!

  3. Merry Christmas, Marie! I love the ornaments - Sophia's class made them years ago and they turned out so cute. She used cards that had Nativity scenes on them and the final product was beautiful. Sadly, we lost this ornament in our last move - it really was crushed beyond recognition! We'll have to make another one.

    Have fun decorating!

  4. It really does feel like Christmas is beginning. Tonight we had a traditional Christmas dinner at a restaurant near home. It was very nice and extremely reasonable cost wise. It is too hot here to consider cooking all that four for four so I was happy to do this.

    Enjoy the season and I hope it snows. Yesterday it started snowing in the part of Switzerland where my 16 year old is on exchange. I am missing her so, but she will have a white Christmas for real. She was so excited.

    Happy days Marie and everyone.

  5. Good morning Marie. Great blog. Wishing you a a good week. I have to finish my cookies this week.Your Cherry cherry Cokies are on my list for tomorrow.

  6. Good morning...uhh...afternoon dear. It is early for me and I often forget the time difference between us. I woke up early thinking of you. It is still dark here...the only sounds are my clock ticking and Heidi snoring on the floor beside me. However, Austin will be up any minute. He fell asleep at 6:45p.m.on the way home from Mindy's last night. We could not wake him when we got home home so John just carried him to bed. I was afraid that he would be up in the wee hours ready to play but I beat him up...I'm amazed.
    Your little ornaments look like something I would make. lol We are so much alike. I like your idea of rolling the edges in glitter...I think that would really add a nice sparkle. If I make those in the future I will definitely do that.

    The fudge looks so good. I have not really had many sweets since you got me started on "I can make you thin" CD. Every time I want a bite of a goody I hear his words in my head asking "Do I really want this?" However, I think for Christmas I am going to have to say "YES".

    Have fun at your work party. I am glad that you have that to enjoy. I send love. I look forward to talking to you tomorrow. XOXO Lura

  7. P.S. That sneaky Todd!! I can't believe that you are giving another talk already. It is a good thing that you enjoy it. We gave talks at about the same time last fall and I figure I am good for at least a year or two. I like giving the talks but not writing them. I know you will do a great job. I wish that I could be there to hear it. We will be leaving on a cruise the day you give it. If I had my choice I would rather pop in to hear your talk that day and then take the cruise the next day. Erin and Pat and Cal are cruising with us so it will be lots of fun...we hope...We will find out if little Cal likes sailing...if not we may be in for a long week. lol
    Good luck writing your talk...and...have fun decorating your house. I hope my gifts arrive there soon. I am excited to get yours too. I posted mine the day after you did so hopefully we should each get them about the same time. Have a great eve. Love, Lura

  8. So much delight here to start the week with, Marie! That fudge...oh, I'd love a piece right now with my tea... It is snowing here today, so all comfort is appreciated! ;o) I just love E. Berg's books too. Though I've not ready this one yet--it's on my list. Those ornaments are so sweet--love the colors shown. This year I've not made any decorations, but at least some handmade gifts. Gosh, another talk to prepare for. Didn't you just give one? ;o) I know you will offer up much inspiration. Hope you have a lovely time at your work party. We're cramming in much festivity here before our Christmas trip coming up this weekend--I can't wait to go "home"! Any chance of a chat this week? Hope so! LOVE YOU HEAPS, dear friend ((BIG HUGS))

  9. I love the balls that you are making...that picture..I have a book (the one on my post)with this pic in it too! Hope you get the snow..I'm waiting for it too! :D

  10. Sounds SO yummy!!! Thank you for the printable recipe!

    Merry Christmas!♥


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