Salted Caramel Apple Sangria


Are you looking for the perfect Sangria recipe for your Fall party?

How about mixing some crisp chopped Honeycrisp apples with some light citrusy Pinot Grigio, decadent Salted Caramel Vodka and apple cider?

Drizzle a little caramel sauce for the finishing touch…. and you have

Autumn in a glass!


Doesn’t that sound divine?

Here’s how I made it for a recent gathering I had.  It was quite the hit!  Hope you’ll give it a try.

Salted Caramel Apple Sangria



In a large punch bowl, combine chopped apples drizzled with caramel sauce, wine, vodka, and apple cider.  Stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or several hours.  Pour over glasses full of ice to serve.  Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,

A Carnival Baby Shower for Jackie & Matt


Oh what fun we had planning, preparing, and celebrating the soon-to-arrive Baby Ben with our McHendy daughter and son-in-law, Jackie & Matt.

I was designated the “official” photographer, so get ready for lots of photos.  I was so busy worrying about capturing it and so busy just enjoying it, that it is just now hitting me, after I shared the photos with Jackie (and she posted on her Facebook page), how close I am to being an “almost” grandma!

When Jackie shared the photos, she wrote:

Matt and I have always hoped we could welcome our baby boy into a community of people who will love, encourage, and support him. On Saturday, we were shown a million times over that we without a doubt have that for our baby boy, Ben. Thank you to everyone who braved the snowstorm and made it out to the shower. We are so blessed for all of you (and for all the people who couldn’t make it)! A special thanks to my mom,Jill Henderson, my mother-in-law, Carol Kallis, my future sister-in-law, Becca Cura, and my second mom, Jodi McKinney for throwing us one creative, awesome shower!!

So for the past half hour ( I am drafting this Sunday evening), I’ve been bawling happy tears and cherishing these very special moments.

I hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as we had in creating and being a part of them.

(If you click on the first – or any one of the pics – you can scroll through the photos in full size.)

Cheers & Hugs,


Brown Paper Packages tied up with String

…these are a few of my favorite things…

christmas brown paper packages tied up with string

I kept my wrapping simple this year – brown paper packages tied up with string…

and plenty of gift bags, which saved a lot of time!

I like to have lots of packages to give even if it is just something small or the traditional socks and boxers 🙂

And I would like to put the gifts under the tree, but little Mr. Mikey cannot be trusted these days – especially if I leave him alone in the house for any length of time (he already ate half of a Yankee peppermint-scented candle that was in a zippered gift pouch in a pile to be wrapped in my home office…. Seriously – a dog who likes peppermint!?!!?  And can unzipper a cloth bag to get to it!)

So the gifts are all stacked in my office, and the office door remains CLOSED!

christmas brown paper packages and bags

One year Mikey ate an entire pound of Chocolate Peanut Butter Meltaways that was in a box wrapped in cellophane and then gift wrapped and was in the middle of a pile of gifts under the tree.  No other boxes were disrupted somehow, but the entire box of candy was G-O-N-E!  And though chocolate is supposed to be “poison” to dogs, Mike had a bit of a tummy ache and slugged around for a few hours, but was no worse for wear.  Oh Mikey!

Anyway – the package is half the fun.  Right?

Well – I ran out of bags and had some special little gifts left to wrap that are odd shaped, so I found this cute little easy-to-make gift bag on Pootles Papercraft’s YouTube channel.

festival orf trees christmas gift bags

Sam does great tutorials on all kinds of little gift bags and boxes if you want to check her out.  And her accent is so fun to listen to also!  I used StampinUp’s Holiday Craft Paper (Under the Tree DSP), the Festival of Trees Stamp and Punch, and a bit of jute string to tie it closed.

Hope you are enjoying doing some of YOUR “favorite things!

“The Sound of Music” was my Mother-in-Law’s favorite movie of all. Remembering her fondly, and thankful for the best gift she ever game me – her son – my Merv. ❤

Cheers & Hugs,