December Joy


December Joy!

December just might be
my favorite month
of the entire year.

December is
and hospitality.

December is
glowing lights
and homespun ornaments.

December is
warm, crackling fires
and glowing candles.

December is
fleece blankets and hoodies
and flannel sheets and shirts.

December is
hope and dreams
and sweet and indulgent.

December is
traditions and family
and magic and memories.

December is
carols and hymns
and elves and angels.

December is
my favorite month.
December is JOY!

Cheers & Hugs,

My Favorite Color


My Favorite Color…

My favorite color is yellow
for sunshiney summer days
and chirpy gold finches
and the tartness of lemons.

My favorite color is blue
for the beauty of the sky and the ocean
and robin eggs
and star-shaped bachelor buttons.

My favorite color is red
for hearts
and raspberries and strawberries
and dark, dry wine.

My favorite color is pink
for lipstick
and nail polish
and my granddaughter’s cheeks.

My favorite color is green
for springtime grass
and soft, feathery hemlock trees
and arugula.

My favorite color is black
for yoga pants
and nighttime skies
and patent leather peep toe pumps.

My favorite color is brown
for the smell of the earth
and rich, creamy gravy
and the color of my morning coffee with cream.

My favorite color is purple
for sweet smelling lilacs
and intricate irises
and Barney the dinosaur.

My favorite color is white
for the first blanket of snow
and the stars that twinkle in a midnight sky
and marshmallow fluff.

How does anyone choose one favorite color
when there are so many reasons
to love every color?

Cheers & Hugs,

PS  It was so challenging for me to choose only 20 colors to fill my new watercolor palette from the 55 colors I have in my stock.  But oh how fun it is to start fresh with a new clean palette and all the possibilities it can create.

Do you have a favorite color?  However do you choose?



Cinnamon Creme Crumb Cake

cinnamon creme crumb cake 3

Do you love a good crumb cake or coffee cake or pound cake as much as I do?

I made this recipe the day before I went away for vacation, so there would be something sweet for the guys while I was gone, and so I wouldn’t eat too much of it myself!

cinnamon creme crumb cake 1

And oh is it GOOD!

When searching for a recipe to try, I found one through Pinterest that lead me to BarbaraBakes’ blog.  I’m totally a new fan of Barbara now!

I tweaked up her recipe slightly, and had to do a little “subbing” on ingredients…again.

cinnamon creme crumb cake 4

I only had 1 cup of sour cream in the refrigerator, and the recipe called for 2 cups.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way, so I immediately “Googled” sour cream substitutes.

Some say yogurt.  I had one container of blackberry-on-the-bottom Chobani Greek yogurt, so in that went with the sour cream (sans the blackberries, which I ate), but that was only 5 additional ounces.  So I looked for another substitute and found mixing milk with lemon juice and soft butter.  Mixed enough of that up to make 2 full cups of “sour cream,” and off I went to town mixing and baking.

cinnamon creme crumb cake 2

I love how it turned out!  This is a heck of a cake that is great for decadent breakfast or brunch or a snack with coffee or served as dessert.  It is a rich, golden cake with a layer of cinnamon right in the middle and crumbly cinnamon streusel and powdered sugar on top that is good to the last crumb!

empty crumb cake plate

Here’s the recipe.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Creme Crumb Cake

  • Servings: approximately 12
  • Print

Topping & Filling Ingredients:cinnamon creme crumb cake 4

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 sticks cold salted butter, cut into small chunks
Cake Ingredients:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups sour cream


  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.
  • Topping:
    • Combine first five topping ingredients in a large bowl, add chunks of cold butter and blend with a pastry blender to form crumbly mixture.
  • Cake:
    • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium size bowl, and set aside.
    • With electric mixer, cream butter, shortening, and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and almond extracts.   Add the dry cake ingredients alternating with the sour cream.
    • Spoon half of the cake batter into the prepared pan.
    • Sprinkle half of the crumbly topping mixture over the batter.
    • Layer the remaining cake batter carefully on top of that so as not to disrupt the filling layer.
    • Then top with remaining crumbly topping.
    • Press the final topping layer into the cake layer very gently to make sure it sticks.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan for 30 minutes.
  • Loosen sides of cake with knife and invert onto a wire rack. Then immediately invert again onto a serving plate.
  • Sprinkle with powder sugar to finish.


Cheers & Hugs,


My Most Favorite – for 33 years!

33 anniversary card

Today, my hubby, Marty, and I celebrate 33 years of marriage.

Yep – 33 years ago today – a very young and naive 19-year old girl said “I do” for now and forever to a 23-year old boy about as different from her as Eddie and Eva on Green Acres (okay – maybe I wasn’t quite that glamorous and Marty wasn’t quite that Midwest farmer, but we were – and still are – a pretty classic example of opposites attracting.)

And you know what?

He is still my favorite!

Maybe even more so….

I tell people that are going through “stuff” in marriage, there are good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks, good months and bad months…

Heck – there are even tough years…

But, you know what?

Life isn’t perfect.

People aren’t perfect.

And marriage and monogamy with that one special someone is a pretty special thing.

And I am so fortunate in so many ways for so many things and so many years and so much love and safety and stability and genuineness and standbyidness….

Yep – Merv (that’s what I call the hubster) – you are STILL my MOST FAVORITE!  (and this is the card I made for him.)

I love ya,
Gert (that’s what he calls me)

I know – we are goofy!  🙂

Cheers & Hugs,


My Favorite Old-Fashioned Raw Apple Cake

raw apple cake 4

This Raw Apple Cake recipe I received from a neighbor friend, Denise, years ago, is one of my ABSOLUTE favorites, and I make it at least once or twice every Fall/Winter.

raw apple cake 3

My favorite way to enjoy it is with coffee for breakfast/brunch, and I love it kept cold in the fridge, though refrigeration is not at all necessary – just my preference.

raw apple cake 1I made it for our Un-Thanksgiving celebration this year, where we served it with dollops of whipped cream.

If you try it, let me know what you think.  I have never had better!

Raw Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Mix together:
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp salt

Combine dry ingredients in another bowl:
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Add to batter.

Fold in:
2 c. chopped apples
1 c. golden raisins (optional)
1 1/4 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Pour into greased and floured bundt pan. Bake 1 1/2 hours.

While cake is baking, prepare topping.

1 c. brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 c. milk
Cook in saucepan 2 1/2 minutes.

Cool cake 10-15 minutes, then gently loosen at outer edges and spoon topping all over and down edges until absorbed.

Let cool for several hours in pan while cake soaks in the topping.

raw apple cake 2Invert and serve when completely cooled.

raw apple cake 4

Every single time I make a cake in a bundt pan, I can’t help but chuckle remembering this scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” “Is a bunnnnn ttt!” “Is a kick!


Cheers & Hugs,

Most Favorite

most favorite

I have ALWAYS had trouble choosing “FAVORITES”…..

Even as a child, I  could never choose a favorite color when asked….    I like one color to wear, another to just look at, another to decorate my house with….. how do you choose which one of those is your ultimate favorite???

Favorite food????  Well – favorite for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert?????

Favorite book?  Usually every book I am currently reading is my favorite….

Favorite season?  Whichever one we are in!

Favorite holiday – well – that’s easy – CHRISTMAS!!!

Anyway – you see I have trouble choosing Favorites, but I LOVED this stamp from Neat and Tangled (the sentiment – the type font), and I figure I can send it to any one of my “favorites” – of which I am blessed to have a few 🙂

I do love black and white, and I just got this awesome SU Cherry Cobbler Sheer Linen Ribbon as a #FreebieFriday PRIZE from Linda Heller (thanks Linda!), and was dying to use it, so I created this card for The Paper Players Challenge #210. 

Here is the sketch challenge Jaydee created:pp210
I was so excited to be chosen as “A Cut Above” last week for my “Birthdays are for the Birds” card.  How fun is that?!?!?  🙂  I get to post this little badge, and you would think I won an Emmy!  (which I am watching while writing this, so excuse any typos as I switch back and forth…  another thing I love – Award shows! )

Cut Above Badge

So here is my card – may not have nailed the challenge – but I still kinda like it – – –  just couldn’t decide which photo angle was my favorite…………
from the right……
or from the left ………?
You decide!  I just can’t!

most favorite 2

Thanks for checking in.
Just having some fun – – – at Life in Between.

Cheers & Hugs,