Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Vintage Thingies Thursdays" Christmas in July (almost August)

Welcome back to Vintage Thingies Thursdays hosted by Lisa, of Confessions of an Apron Queen. Today, my vintage things are from a local estate sale I went to earlier this year. Now, I really do like most things vintage, Christmas items are no exception. I found a lovely array of holiday items at this sale, and well....purchased most all they had. Now, what am I going to do with them? That is a good question...but I loved the memories that these treasures recalled from my childhood. A time, some days, I long to return
to....even for just one day. A time, some days, I long to return to....even for just one day. Take a look.

Vintage Christmas Cards:

These are some fabulous vintage Christmas cards, in the original boxes. There is just something about the designs and graphics on vintage cards that really can bring a melancholy feeling of holidays pasts. Now, I don't know why that is the case for me, but hey, I don't question it. I just love them. I maybe will frame a few of my favorite ones and sit out on a shelf or table top at the holidays.

Vintage Gift Tags:

Oh, can you believe I found these vintage gift tags. Talk about memories. I think when I saw the bag of tags and started looking at them, my heart skipped a beat.

I swear some of these tags are the exact tags I remember being on the packages of gifts at my grandmothers house. Believe me, I would recognize them in a heartbeat. I did not spend several days before Christmas peeking at the tags over and over again, looking at my presents, and seeing who they were from for nothing. I was training my eyes for years down the road to recognise a treasure when I found one.

Will I use these tags? No, most likely not. I don't know what I will do with them, but treasure them I will....Oh, what wonderful memories they bring to mind just looking at them.

Vintage Napkins:

Are these adorable or what? The only thing I can say, is these reminded me of my mother. No, she does not like Santa Claus all that much, you see, she is a snowman person herself. But these reminded me of class parties at school, and my mom, who was the room mother. She always planned the parties, made the favors, baked the cookies, the works. Thanks mom.

Remember how excited everyone was on party day at school, well that is the same excitement I felt when I saw these adorable santa napkins. I know, I am weird. The price tag on them is .39 cents. You know they are old, I don't think you can even purchase a single napkin for .39 cents these days.

Do I think my mom would have purchased these back then, sure I do, after all, for a young child, what says Christmas more than Santa. It's funny how a single item will spawn memories of your childhood.

I really love the old vintage looking Santa. He is so cute. So I had to have them, with no purpose or design to use them. Just to have.

Vintage Serving Trays:
I found these vintage serving trays from Hallmark at the same sale. Now, I remember my mom having about 2 of these and used them at Christmas for cookies or candy, and serving her famous cheese roll with crackers on the tray.
I loved those trays and had forgot all about them until I happened upon them at this sale.

Wow, light bulb moment...I had forgot about something I so loved as a child. Silly, I know. I purchased 6 of these, 2 red birds and 4 snowmen trays. I loved the birds and the snowmen just remind me of my mom so I had to have them. The original tags and packaging was with them $3.00. I would guess these were from the late 60's or early 70's. Now, these, I will more than likely use. I think they are so cute.

Christmas in July.....most definitely.
There are always wonderful memories associated with Christmas and holidays.
Just writing this post took me back about 40 years, to my grandmother's house that always smelled of good food. To a house that had an aluminum Christmas tree in the dining room and a real tree in the living room with red decorations and silver icicles. But most of all, this post brought back wonderful memories of the families who gathered there during the holidays, who loved each other and wanted to share their lives with each other, and took the time to do so.
Precious memories that are etched in the very soul of my heart.
~ Good Stuff ~

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Wordless Wednesday"

Almost Wordless.....
Let me 21 year old daughter took this picture of herself with my camera and left it in the memory....need I say more.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

~ Margarita Punch ~

Are you having a summer barbecue or a family gathering? Well, this is the perfect punch to quench the thirst of a hot hungry guest. The best things about this recipe is the fact that it is super easy, you can make it ahead of time, it is packed with flavor, and you won't even miss the alcohol. Trust me.
I made this for a pot luck Mexican dinner at work for Cinco de Mayo. It was a huge hit. All of the punch was gone. This is a good choice to serve if you don't really care for super sweet punch. This is tart, tangy with just a hint of sweetness, and if you are fond of margaritas, well... once you try this, your are hooked. Of course, this is perfect for any fiesta large or small you are planning.

You will need these amigos: lemonade concentrate, limeade concentrate, powdered sugar, water, your favorite lemon-lime beverage drink.

First, let the concentrates thaw in your refrigerator. Once thawed, pour into a large bowl.

Next, add the powdered sugar to the mixture.

Using a wire whisk, stir slightly. Just until you see the sugar starting to mix with the punch.

Now, add the water and mix really well with your wire whisk.

Man, does this not look good! If you are serving this now, and are just adding ice to your punch, just skip down a few steps. If you are going to make ahead and serve later, continue.

Scoop all of the punch into zip lock bags. I usually double bag mine, but it is not necessary....I just get paranoid at times.

Now, store in your freezer and forget about it....if you can. The day of your event, remove bags and let set on cabinet and get soft, but still frozen.

When you are ready to serve, slice your limes in thin slices. Very carefully.

Pour punch in large punch bowl, or in my case a large glass Jar. It is ok if the punch is still a little frozen. Don't worry, it will be fine.

Slowly add the sprite and float the limes in the top. Stir well. Do not be afraid to stir, the punch itself is thick until you add the sprite, so stir, stir and stir.

If you are adding any of this, now is the time. I would use the tequila sparingly, but hey, you can decide that one, and don't worry I won't judge. Mix well with large spoon.

Man Oh Man, does this look refreshing or what?? My lips are puckering just typing this out. What a summer time simple pleasure. With the temperature here climbing to
103+ degrees this would sure hit the spot.
If you are serving for a large crowd, follow the recipe as is, just double the recipe until you have enough to serve. I always try and make more than I need, and I never have any left over.
Your guest will love this cool and refreshing me. Serve in salted rim punch cups or frosted mugs. Garnish with lime slices. Wonderful.

Margarita Punch

12 oz. Lemonade Concentrate
12 oz. Limeade Concentrate
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups water
2 ltr bottle of favorite lemon-lime beverage
2 limes - sliced thin

1. combine concentrates, powdered sugar and water.
2. pour into freezer bags and freeze for at least 2 hours if using right away, or for many days, depending how far in advance your are planning to serve this great stuff.If you would rather just add ice to the punch, you can skip this step.
3. place frozen punch in a large punch bowl. I let my punch thaw a bit and pour into a large glass jar with spout.
4. add slowly the soda and limes.
5. If you want to spike the punch with a bit of tequila, feel free. smile.
6. serve in salt rimmed punch cups or glasses.....YUM
7. This recipe will serve 20 - 25 people, small servings.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday Surprises

Yesterday started out just like every other Saturday around my house. Piles of laundry to do, dust bunnies to dust, dog toys to pick up, bathrooms to umm, clean. Just the same ole every day task, and trying to play catch up from the week past.

Steve wanted me to take a break, and was trying to rush me around as he wanted to go eat lunch. I was in the midst of getting ready, when he walked out the front door, and I heard the postman say, I have a box for "the mail lady". That is the name my postman gave me as he knows that I work for the same company that he does.

And oh my, did I have a box! Here is the package. Oh, the excitement was building.

Steve wanted to open the box, or he said "help" open the box, but I said, no way. Remember, he is starving and was in the rush out the door mode. This box was going to be a diversion to his much effort to get me out the door quickly. But, this was my surprise and I was going to savor every minute.

This is what the inside looked like. Careful packaging, and a lovely note from my aunt.

Now, my first instinct was to tear into the box, ignore the note for last, but I did not do it, I swear. I took the time to read the words that were written just for me, and then.....I tore into the box. Here is a look after I had removed the first layer of packaging.

Oh, just look what was peeking out of all the packing snow.....a adorable black bear head! Did I mention somewhere that I collect black bears???

By now, I had thrown caution to the wind, and that was the end of savoring the moment. Packing materials went flying all over my freshly cleaned kitchen floor. I had to get my eyes on this little guy and quick. I could not wait any longer. Here is the happy little fellow. How adorable is this?

Oh, I was just beside myself with joy. I could not stop looking at this little guy, trying to decide where I am going to sit him at our cabin the next trip we make there. After, about fifty "Oh, he is soooo cute comments", Steve was getting as hungry as an old bear.
So he picked him up off the counter and said "Oh, look how sweet, and look how cute he can we go eat?" This is him, trying to rush me along again. I know he thought that if he acknowledged how cute my new bear was, that would satisfy me and we could go now.

Sorry, I did not get my picture with the little guy, but papa bear wanted his lunch. There was no more time to spare.

Some people are lucky enough to have someone in their lives who is "in touch" with what they are feeling. I am glad I am one of the lucky ones. I have been so stressed out the past couple of weeks. With the uncertainty of my job, and worrying if we will have to relocate somewhere in order to keep it, needless to say, It has been a hard couple of weeks.

It is nice to have someone who knows just when you need a pick-me-up in life. I don't have to tell anyone what is going on, this person just seem to know. They never have to ask what is wrong, that is not important, they just seem to know that I need a lift. For me, that person is my beloved Aunt Joyce. Ironically enough, she has always said the same thing about me, that I always know when she is down and needs a smile.

I really don't know how it is that a person can be in touch so explicitly with someone else with no effort at all. It is not something you can strive for, or work towards, it just happens. I am thankful this morning for my little bear...but mostly thankful for the love from the person who took the time to send this little box of sunshine. ~ good stuff ~

Sunday, July 20, 2008

About Me

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your visit today. Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

My name is Suzanne, better known as The Coloradolady. We live in Texas, but my heart belongs in Colorado. I love being in the mountains and enjoy all Colorado has to offer a nature lover. We have a cabin in the mountains and love spending time there. Hopefully, someday we can retire there to our mountain retreat.

I am a married to the love of my life.....well, most times he is the love of my life.....sometimes I am not so sure......just keepin' it real here!! We have been married for 23 years and we really do have a good life together. Things are not always easy, but then again, the important things in life usually are not. I am a "working mom" to two adult children. My son is the oldest and he works in the oil field industry. My daughter just graduated from the University of North Texas and a steady social life.

My three "babies" at home are my three dachshunds, Sophie, Dora and Bailey, the joys of my life. These little dogs keep me on my toes. They are always getting into something, especially Dora and they demand my complete attention at all times. They are devoted, lovable, and I can not imagine my life without these three sweet girls.

I have a fondness for vintage things. I collect vintage linens, tablecloths and handkerchiefs from the 40's and 50's. I have a passion for vintage platters and can hardly pass one up when I find them at estate sales. I also collect vintage Christmas items. I have a particular interest in vintage glass ornaments, vintage salt & pepper shakers and 50's and 60's Christmas paper items.

I also collect black bears and have a bedroom decorated in nothing but black bear things. I love to imagine I am in the heart of Colorado when I walk in that room surrounded by cute little black bear things.

I love estate sales and enjoy bargain shopping. I love cooking and hope to share some of my favorite recipes on this blog. I like to try new dishes, but I always like the old tried and true dishes as well. I love sweet tea, lemonade and sunshine, in no particular order of preference. I love to spend time in my garden. I enjoy photography, and love treasure hunting.

Welcome to my blog I hope you enjoy your visit and look forward to getting to know each of you. You never know what you may find here.....literally, from dogs to dishes and everything in between!!

"Vintage Thingies Thursdays" vintage cookbook

I am back again this week to participate in Vintage Thingies Thursdays, Hosted by Lisa from Confessions of the Apron Queen. Thanks Lisa, this was great fun, and I know of a few people who really enjoyed taking a I am back this week.

This week is a vintage cookbook dated January 3, 1960. This is a hand written collection of beloved recipes from my maternal grandmother, Thelma Kirkland. I never got the chance to know my maternal grandmother as she left this world before I was born. However, she took the time to write down some of her favorite recipes and this is a real gem, a real connection to a family member who shared a love of cooking just like myself.
What I like about this book is the fact that every recipe is written down with the assumption that the reader has some cooking skills.

Most of the entries have just an ingredient list, some have very simple recipe instructions. None of the recipes go into depth on how to prepare the dish. So yes, in my opinion it takes some cooking skills to master most of the dishes, however it is not impossible to do. ~ The generation of young cooks today, would most likely just throw in the towel.

This past Christmas, I put together a cookbook using
Blurb for my Children with all their favorite dishes I cooked throughout their childhood. I included favorite photos and stories about each recipe and included where the recipe came from and what family member made the dish, or its history.

This is my modern day version of preserving our family history just like what my grandmother had done back in 1960. I sometimes flip through the pages of her cookbook and try and picture in my mind her recording this important part of her life. I often wonder if she could have ever imagined on that January day, that her yet to be born granddaughter would cherish this little notebook, and that it would become a family treasure.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's a Dog's Life....and a good one!!

Too many dogs.....well, never. Most people who know me personally, would probably be quick to say I have lost my mind when it comes to my two dachshunds. Have I lost my mind over these two dogs? If I have, well, I hope I never find it. Let me explain.....

My daughter, our youngest child left for college in the fall of 2005. My oldest son, was already long out of the house. How exciting you say?? This was a time that should have been exciting. I can not tell you how many times when my kids were little, I would think about the day Steve and I would have the house to ourselves, do what ever we wanted to do, eat what we wanted to eat, travel the world. Oh, it was going to be grand. WRONG.

Was I excited about my daughters new chapter in her life, of course I was. Was I proud of her taking the leap to leave home and stand on her own two feet, sure. But in reality, I simply was not ready to have the nest empty.

Alisha at the campus of UNT Fall of 2005

The first few months Alisha was gone, I can not explain that deep sadness of our home being without children, even if it was almost adult children who were not here. Now, granted she was just less than 40 miles up the road, living in the dorm with a long time friend, but in my mind she might as well have been on the other side of the globe, all alone. It was just devastating.

Reality had set in. I was trying to come to terms with the fact that "this was all I had left", no children, no schedules to juggle, no one to need me, no one to ask what is for dinner, well....I was a mess. Is this what the empty Nester years are all about, at this point I did not want anything to do with them.

I blamed poor Steve for us not having any more children, I was 43 years old, and was quite sure I was still young enough to throw my ovaries into overdrive and try again for another child. Thankfully, Steve said no, and I'm sure, he was quiet positive I had lost my mind, at least temporarily. He tried to assure me everything would be fine, well, I am here to say, for about 4 months, nothing was fine, life was over, and I blamed everyone for it.

Alisha came home for Christmas break, and all was bliss again, for the moment. I was excited she was home, there was shopping to do, cooking to do, and my life was back to where I had left it only 4 short months ago. Then, reality bit me in the butt again. It was getting time for the spring semester to start,and she would be leaving. Alisha was already getting excited about returning to school, and well, I was not. I think Steve could see what was coming and did not want to go down that road again.

So after Christmas, we went to Canton First Monday Trade Days in January and Steve bought me a little red creme dapple dachshund and that was just the thing my heart needed.

That little dog filled up all the empty holes in my heart and she made the fact that Alisha was leaving again a little less painful. Don't get me wrong, I was still sad Alisha was leaving to go back to school, but this time I had something else to focus on.

A year later, we went back to Canton and purchased Dora "the explorer". Boy has she lived up to her name.

I thought Sophie needed a playmate. And let me tell you, life as we knew it has never been the same. The chaos these two little dogs create is pure joy. It's almost like having two toddlers in the house. Each one has a different personality, both of them demanding our undivided attention, and an occasional scuffle just to keep things real. I am happy to say, I would not want it any other way.

There are days when I really want another puppy to add to my little mix. Steve says "no way". I just smile and say "we'll see"!

It is hard to explain to someone what my dogs mean to me. They are a bright spot in my day. They never complain, they never have a bad day. They don't argue with me or talk back. They are always there to listen to what I have to say...and are happy to hear it. They never judge me, it's not a problem for them if I am over weight, to them that just equates good food! These two little dogs are just a joy.

Nothing can replace your own children, I miss them. They are busy, and that is good. Sophie and Dora try to fill the empty space that was created when my kids life journeys far, they are doing a pretty good job. Steve was right, everything was fine after all. We settled into a routine and things got easier. Sophie and Dora just did their part to make sure that happened.Trust me....These two do not have to beg for anything! They just choose to do so.

If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience. ~Woodrow Wilson

Friday, July 18, 2008

Creative Recycling

I just had to share these cute images of the most creative recycling I have ever seen. The original post was on and with lots of my family members either work for the phone company or have retired from there, I thought they would enjoy this.

After looking at these pictures, I thought about how many phones, cords, etc. must be sitting in a warehouse somewhere in our country, or worse a landfill. With the new age of the cell phone, and the cordless phone prior to that, I would think warehouses are brimming over. I have not even thought about this type of communication (phones with cords) in about 20 years.

This creative recycling of the old phones and phone cords is just plain adorable. Whoever came up with this certainly had an eye for turning an ordinary out of date product into something very eye appealing and down right adorable. Be sure to check out the hooves on these adorable sheep.

I am sorry to say, I have not come up with anything as clever as this in a recycle project. Infact, the only thing that comes to mind, I am sorry to say, is the fact that I like old metal buckets, the more beat up, and rusted the better, and will give each one I find a new home.
I plant flowers in them and really love the old look of using them as I said nothing very clever. But these little buckets house beautiful flowers and they are much loved and enjoyed by me.
Steve on the other hand, groans and protest beyond belief when he sees me drag more home. Oh, and don't let me see any at the curb in someones trash....because they will go from to trash to my stash in a New York minute. The saying, "that someone else's trash is another person's treasure" is so true when I save old rusty buckets from landfills.

These are my very loved planters.

Do you have a interesting item(s) you have rescued from a landfill and recycled in a unique way? Leave a comment and share your recycling projects.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursdays.

I found Confessions of an Apron Queen's blog and loved it instantly. She host "Vintage Thingies Thursdays" on her site, and knew this was for me, you see I love vintage things, and this was just my cup of tea. I think I have mentioned that I collect vintage platters, tablecloths, and black bears. I decided to post some of my vintage black bear/bear items that are near and dear to my heart.

Wonderful Black Bear Print
This great vintage picture was a real find. My Aunt Lavoice accompanied me on a trip to Colorado to close our cabin for the winter a few years ago. We drove to Salida and walked all downtown and visited lots of family owned stores and antique shops.
My Aunt Lavoice purchased this picture for me to put at the cabin. I loved it instantly. It was an amazing vintage print, still framed in what appears to be its original frame. I ended up bringing this back to Texas to reside in my "bear room" a couple of years ago.
Do I love this picture? I most certainly do, because it is a wonderful vintage piece, and yes, because it is a magnificent black bear in the mountains, but most of all, because of the memories of that day with my aunt, shopping, browsing antique shops, "leaving something very valuable in a store and driving 120 miles round trip to retrieve it", and enjoying all Colorado has to offer on a crisp fall day with someone special.
~ Good Stuff ~

These are a couple of my "swanky swig" bear glasses. I really do not know that much about them, other than they are adorable. I would maybe date them to the 50's or 60's, but that is just a guess. I just love them.

I can't bear to leave here!
That is the caption on this favorite vintage post card of mine. I do know this is very old, it does not say anywhere on the card where it was from. I don't even remember where I got this from. I just remember falling in love with it.
I picture that little lady as myself hugging those adorable bears sitting at our cabin in Colorado. She is saying,"I can't bear to leave here!" and that sums up how I feel every time we head for home after spending time in Colorado.

That is my "vintage thingies" post for this Thursday. Check back next week for another installment. I think this is something I am really going to like posting about. Thank you Confessions of an Apron Queen for hosting this every week. Please take a moment and drop by her site and enjoy some vintage treasures. You maybe will want to share a few of your vintage collectables as well. Either way, it will be a trip down memory lane.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The best Broccoli Salad ever, and I do mean ever!

This is a super easy recipe, and it is go very good. My mom made this a few years ago at Christmas time. This soon became the most requested dish from my sister-in-law Shannon, and myself for that meal every year.

This is such a crowd pleaser. I use it every time I plan a shower that has a meal being served.....Oh, did I mention the fact that I love planning things...showers of all kinds are included in that mix.

Everyone request this recipe every time I serve it. I Hope you enjoy this little dish, it's great on a hot summer day.

Broccoli Salad

You will need:

2 bunches fresh broccoli
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound of bacon, cut in pieces and cooked
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

The how-to:

Cook the bacon until crisp, drain and crumble into small pieces. Us the whole pound of bacon, sorry if you are health conscious, this is the good stuff. Next, cut the broccoli crowns from the stalks. Mix onion, cooked bacon pieces, pecans in a serving bowl.

Mix the dressing. Mix Mayonnaise (not miracle whip, that is just nasty stuff), sugar and vinegar. Stir well. I use a whir whisk for the mixing.

Pour dressing over broccoli crowns just before serving. Serve on lettuce leaves and garnish with tomato wedges if desires.

For broccoli to remain crisp, eat within an hour of mixing dressing on broccoli. Dressing will last several days if refrigerated. This makes this easy to make ahead of time and transport to any location at a later date.

When I make this for a crowd of people, I usually triple or quadrupole this recipe. You will have to decide how much you will need and plan accordingly. But I warn you, this salad goes fast, so make sure you plan on some people accidentally taking more than a single serving on their plate!

Just in case you would like to look at some bridal shower pictures, below are from the shower I gave my niece, Samina. This was such a fun event to plan, especially planning the food part of event.

Here are the food tables:

I set up buffet style tables for the food

You will have to overlook the cloth covering the sandwiches, I forgot to remove the cloth before I took the pictures.

Yum....dessert table

Tables - a closeup

Oh,this is a great idea to have a single flower floating in a simple bar glass, you can group a cluster of these in the center of the table for a dramatic but simple effect.

Well, enough of that. Try this great salad. You won't be sorry.
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