Warm Thoughts of Fall Card

PP263 Fall CAS Challenge

This Wednesday, September 23, 2015 is the first day of Fall – the Autumnal Equinox – here in Mars and the rest of us in the Northern Hemisphere, so Happy Fall Y’All!

And this week’s Paper Player’s Challenge (#PP263) is to “Create a Fall Scene.”

PP263 Fall CAS Challenge 2

I’ve been having warm thoughts of Fall as this past week has to have been the most gorgeous ever that I can recall in recent history.  Seriously amazing here in Mars!  Crisp, cool mornings and evenings, pure blue sunny, sunshiney days, and NO humidity!  The birds seem happy, Charlie is in his glory, the windows and doors are wide open, and I even got hubby to sit out on the deck with me a little bit!

I am cherishing these glorious Fall moments!

For my Paper Players Design Team Inspiration card this week, I used:

Hope my paper crafting friends will join our challenge, and those who aren’t just enjoy the warm thoughts I send with this card and post!

Cheers & Hugs,


New Orleans City Park Sculpture Garden

New Orleans City Park Sculpture Garden Bridge

Am I reflecting joy when I smile at a stranger?
Warmth when I give a hug?

Am I reflecting peace in the words I speak?
Hope in the words I write?

Am I reflecting friendship in my actions towards others?
Beauty in the cherished moments of the day?

Am I reflecting love in the way I live my life?

May I wake up each morning reflecting on the small impact I have on a great big world.

Cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,

WordPress Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge:  Grid

Chewy Honey Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

chewy honey oatmeal raisin cookies 2

It’s cookie time!

chewy honey oatmeal raisin cookies
Not that I need an excuse, but Fall is a wonderful time to bake, and this week’s cookie recipe is a yummy crispy-on-the-edge, but chewy-and-gooey-in-the-middle Honey Oatmeal and Golden Raisin Cookie.

chewy honey oatmeal raisin cookies 3

Oatmeal cookies are one of hubby’s faves, and I also wanted to take a treat into the office for a meeting where we were having a special guest who enjoys my cookies, so Oatmeal it was!

chewy honey oatmeal raisin cookies 1
Your search for the ultimate oatmeal raisin cookie ends here! These are amazing! The touch of honey gives them just the right finishing touch to add that crisp outside texture with the tender inside. These cookies are out of this world! (And not just because I made them in Mars!)

Chewy Honey Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients:chewy honey oatmeal raisin cookies 2

  • 1 lb. (4 sticks or 2 cups) Butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 cups packed Brown Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 6 cups Rolled Oats
  • 2 cups Golden Raisins


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • In an electric stand mixer, cream butter. Thoroughly blend in brown sugar.  Then add eggs, vanilla, and honey.  Beat well.
  • Add in baking soda an cinnamon and mix.
  • Gradually add the flour and mix until just incorporated.
  • Remove from mixer and manually stir in the rolled oats and raisins.
  • Drop dough by rounded tablespoonful onto baking stone (or cookie sheet).  Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies begin to brown.
  • Allow to cool on baking stone 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to complete cooling.
  • TIP:  I like to chill my dough for at least one hour before baking.

Hope you enjoy!  Bake up some love this weekend!

Cheers & Hugs,

Thursday Chuckle with Charlie

charlie autumn nap

Yippee!  Yippee!
It’s Me! It’s Me!
Your favorite guest blogger – Charlieeeee!

Mom said I could write again today, but she chose this embarrassing picture of me to share…
Of all things!!!
Of all the wonderful, adventurous, exciting things I do….
She posts THIS!!
I was just catching a few eensy weensy teeny tiny winks out in the yard in the beautiful Autumn weather and sunshine for a moment. Really!

My dad tells me she gets a kick out of doing that to him sometimes too.
He works and works and goes and goes – and then, the minute he “rests his eyes” in his recliner…
She catches the moment as if it is something funny!

Us guys do have our pride…. Right guys?! Cut us a break!

Usually I am quite busy.

There are butterflies and bees
and chipmunks and falling leaves to chase.
There are sticks to chew.
There are peppers and cucumbers and tomatoes in the garden to eat.
There are holes to dig.
And deer and turkey to watch.
There is fetch to be played.
And stuffed animals to rip the stuffing from.
When Mom cooks, there is food falling on the floor in the kitchen to clean up.
And when I’m really lucky – there are walks to take
and breakfast and dinner and the occasional treats to savor after doing a potty outside or showing that I can sit (DUH!).
There are visitors to get to know – cautiously at first – right friends?! You can never be too sure!
But when I do know you – look out! Puppy kisses and snuggles galore!
And sometimes I even get to go for car and truck rides
and even boat rides (though I am working desperately on trying not to get sick from the motion!).

So of all of this important stuff – Mom shares a picture of my [ahem] brief nap!

But sometimes…..
I just run out of steam….
(doesn’t it happen to you sometimes too?)

and all the sudden….
my eyes just can’t stay open anymore….

and before I even know it,
out comes that daggone camera – and SNAP!

Caught in the act!

Hope you are enjoying your little place in the world as much as I am mine this week!
Take some time to lay down in the soft grass and crunchy leaves and take it all in until you can’t stand it any more, and take a nap.

As my mom would say: cherish the moments!

Woofs & Wags,

PS  If you are a new “lifeinbetweener” and would like to read more “Chuckles with Charlie,” you can click:
Here or
Here or
or just type “Charlie” in the Search bar.
Happy Chuckling!

Guest Doodlewash: Handmade Greeting Cards


Pumpkins Doodlewash Card by Jodi McKinney

These fabulous doodlewashed handmade greeting cards come to us direct from Mars! Okay, the doodlewash movement hasn’t moved from global to galactic…yet… but these do come from the lovely Jodi McKinney (follow her on Instagram!) who lives in Mars, Pennsylvania, a small town close to Pittsburgh. The doodlewashes Jodi has provided here today are originals created just for this guest doodlewash post! (editors note: Yay! Our first exclusive!)

Jodi says, “I was shocked that Charlie considered me ‘artistic’ enough to be a Guest Doodlewasher!  Shocked and SUPER humbled and flattered! I do not consider myself an artist (okay I am starting to..editor’s note: Good! you better!) . I have no formal training in art. I have no formal education in art… my last art class was in 5th grade elementary school.”

As we know, training can help, but it’s mostly just a constant drive, passion…

View original post 461 more words

A Grandparent Shower!

grandparent shower burnt almond torte cake

One of the highlights of our weekend was attending a “Grandparent Shower” for some very dear friends.

Kathleen and Jack have waited quite a long time to become grandparents, and we are so excited and happy for them.

So a small group of very close friends got together to SURPRISE them with a Grandparent Shower to celebrate how happy we are for them.

Many in attendance are already grandparents.  Once couple even great-grandparents.  But what we all had in common was our love and joy for our friends who have been through a lot and are so excited to become grandparents.

Grandmas Survival Basket Card

I put together a little Gramma’s Survival basket for Kathleen.

Grandmas Survival Basket gift

And Hubby created the cutest ever Grampa’s Infant Assistant Kit – all on his own!  One Ziploc baggie was filled with “equipment” and “instructions for Diaper Changing…

Grandpas Infant Assistance Kit for Changing Diapers

and the other was filled with Nap Time Supplies, including a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey for “medicinal spirits” for our new Irish Grandpa.

Grandpas Infant Assistance Kit for Nap Time

We also gave them a keepsake book to work on to fill with Memories for their grandchild and a couple of books to read with their grandchild that are so adorably written and illustrated on How to Babysit a Grandma and How to Babysit a Grandpa.

grandparent shower gift books

I wrapped them up and added a little watercolor card I made.

A little birdie told me watercolor card and grandparent shower gift

Our hosts had delicious beverages…

grandparent shower sangria

and treats.

grandparent shower caprese salad

And fifty pink roses were displayed all around.  Can you guess what sex the grandchild is going to be?

grandparent shower pink roses

We started with a toast.

grandparent shower toast

And so enjoyed watching them open the few little gifts we bought for them to celebrate their joy.

grandparent shower kathleen and jack

Kathleen and Jack shared reading glasses,

grandparent shower kathleen and jack 2

and it was fun to watch Kathleen explain finger puppets to Grandpa.

grandparent shower kathleen and jack 3

Supplies for bath time at grandma and grandpa’s house included more pink…

grandparent shower kathleen and jack 4

soft and fuzzy stuff!

grandparent shower jack

And hubby enjoyed one of his first showers with two awesome hostesses!  Thanks Cindy and Sally.

grandparent shower marty and hostesses cindy and sally

And all under the pretense that Jack was bringing some of his amazing homegrown heirloom tomatoes to a picnic where Gary and Cindy needed them.

heirloom tomatoes

We love you Jack and Kathleen and can’t wait to celebrate and love your bundle of joy!

Cheers & Hugs,




A Color Challenge Card for The Paper Players

PP262 Wplus9 Hello Die Cut

This week’s Paper Players Challenge (#262) is a color challenge rich with Fall colors – Tangelo Twist, Lost Lagoon, and So Saffron.

For my design team inspiration card this week, I stamped the three colors randomly onto an acrylic block, spritzed it was a light mist of water, and then placed my paper on top to transfer the abstract image.

Once dry, I added a simple wreath of twine,  a black die-cut ‘hello’ sentiment, and finished it off with a few coordinating sequins.

PP262 Wplus9 Hello Die Cut 2

I matted this with black onto white card stock to create my simple Fall color-inspired greeting card.

For those that remember the wedding card I posted last week, this is the other card I mentioned that would feature the twine wreath.

Hope my paper crafting friends will join us with your creativity for this week’s color challenge at The Paper Players!  We love seeing what you do with it.

Cheers and Hugs,


Rolo Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Rolo Chocolate Caramel Cookies 2

I am constantly looking for new twists on my traditional “almost famous” chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Rolo Chocolate Caramel Cookies

When making cookies this past week, I substituted chopped mini Rolo candies for the chocolate chips.

Rolo Chocolate Caramel Cookies 3

I can usually resist my own cookies, but I may never make these again, because I could NOT pass them up!

Rolo Chocolate Caramel Cookies


4 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
2 Pouch Bags of Mini Rolo Candies (chopped – I cut each mini Rolo in half)


With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, and mix another minute. Gradually add flour and beat until well incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Fold in chopped Mini Rolo Candies. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With your hands, form a cookie dough ball about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Place on baking stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking stone for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Warning!  These are highly addictive!  Enjoy!!

Cheers & Hugs,