Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All Things Kitchen!

Oh Santa how I love you!
This year Santa brought me really fun gifts for my kitchen (see I told you I had been extra good this year!)
I have been wanting a Jack LaLanne juicer every since I heard a certain superstar say it is her favorite thing and she can't live without it. I will have to say ... I ADORE IT too! It's super fast and the juice is delicious~

I am a late night baker - cookies, cakes, pies - you name it ... and now I have a big red KitchenAid mixer to mix it up late at night. Thank you Santa!

If you want to know "what the pros know" about baking, get this book. There is more information in this book about baking than any one person could absorb. The ART & SOUL of BAKING.

My favorite kitchen store - you name it, they have it - including fun cooking lessons! Check it out~

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry (White) Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night ....

Good news - Santa came last night after all - I was a real good girl this year, but the jury was still out on James :) (just kidding honey!) You are wonderful and perfect in every way!

You must know - I prayed for a white Christmas and it snowed in Dallas yesterday - yes, we had a white Christmas, we have only had five in 111 years - seriously! Answered prayer! 
Check it out ...
... Santa made it after all ...

The Weaver tradition starts Christmas Eve - attending Christmas Eve Service followed by a mexican food fiesta - including pork tamales from the Dallas Tortilla Factory. Then, we open our stockings followed by just one gift, well ... maybe two, and then... we have to stop - or there will be no gifts for Christmas morning.
And here's Scooter Bear Weaver, who loves bags as you can see .. and who made out like a bandit with tons of rubber balls in his stocking. 
Up at the crack of dawn this morning James has been extremely busy eating and opening gifts (in repetition) - which has finally led to this ... sleeping like a baby during the Titans/Chargers game.

A full report of what Santa delivered soon.
Tonight I wish I could give you all a Christmas hug personally - but since I can't - I hope you can feel the love I'm sending you this special night. 
Blessings to you and your family.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Year Around Deliciousness!

I keep Apple Taffy in my refrigerator year around for a delicious snack. And ... I serve it when friends drop by, and ... I serve it as a side dish at Christmas dinner. Apple Taffy Salad is deeeeelisch all year around.

Apple Taffy
1 Tbls. Flour
1 Egg
1/2 C. Sugar
2 Tbls. Apple Cider Vinegar
8 Oz. Crushed Pineapple - drained and reserve juice
4 Cups Red Delicious Apples - unpeeled and chopped into very small chunks
1 C. Peanuts
8 Ounces Whip Cream (you can use Cool Whip)

  • In a small pan on low heat combine flour and sugar - mix well. Beat egg and add to four/sugar. Add vinegar and reserved pineapple juice. Stir and cook until thick. Cool. 
  • Pour cooled dressing over apples, pineapple, and peanuts. 
  • Mix in whip cream. 
  • Sprinkle additional peanuts over the top to garnish.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Crystal Charity Ball - Dallas, Texas

For Your Eyes Only!

Where do I start with updates? How about 2009 Crystal Charity Ball. 
Here we go!
The ball theme was James Bond 007: "Licensed to Thrill."
When the big doors to the Anatole's Chantilly Ballroom opened, we saw super go-go dancers dancing on platforms in a Hollywood Squares-style set. There was a full orchastra in the background and Sheena Easton appeared and sang her James Bond hit - For Your Eyes Only.

The best part was: The Crystal Charity Ball raised $4,040,320. The money will support seven Dallas Children's organizations. 

If a picture is worth a million words - here's several million ...
The most beautiful man in the world - my husband!

See below, James and our friend Ben - after Univ. of Texas won that night.
JHW tracked it on his iphone ESPN game tracker during the entire dinner at the ball, and when he announced UT finally won the place erupted in cheers!
Last time I checked, ESPN game tracker at the dinner table is bad manners - but when it comes to UT football his manners are uncontrollably put on hold.

Hook em' Horns!

A quick pause for a pose...

By the way, we had the most fun table at the ball - right up front and center!
Thank you Amy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Big White Elephant ...

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time! 
I felt like I had eaten an elephant after our year-end Bible Study Christmas party today - delicious food ... beyond. Who made the little toffee brownies with chocolate chips? I should have lined my pockets with foil and stuffed them full!
After the buffet soiree - it was onto the "white elephant" gift exchange. Uh - warning ~ Danger Zone! Especially when you have 25 women who bring good stuff like fabulous Christmas ornaments, double wrap cozy comforters, home-made candy, and (drum-roll please!) a coveted long red "Cookin' Claus" apron ... that I actually had in my hot little hands until Irene decided she needed it. I ended up with the plug-in "Scentsy Warmer" (huh?) with "holiday kiss" cinnamon scent. Will let you know if it really works - if so, the "Scentsy Warmer" could be the next "go-to" gift that everyone on my list receives - :)
Okay, a big shout-out to Mona for opening her beautiful home to our loud group of "sistas" as Leona would say.

Me with my take home gift ~ the infamous ... Scentsy Warmer~

Merry Christmas to all, ... and to Irene - I hope you are enjoying your new long red "Cookin' Claus" apron. It sure looked cute on you~

Friday, December 4, 2009

BMW - Not the Car!

Mannerly Parents Raise Mannerly Children To Be Mannerly Adults!
As most of you know I do not teach children's etiquette classes - I teach parent's manners classes. Kids are lacking manners because parents have not taught their kids how to behave. One of two reasons - parents either don't know what to teach their kids, or they set the standard but do not set the example. Either way, parents and children should be set up for success even if it is just the basics. 
Here's the table set up - remember BMW (Bread on the left, Meal in the middle, Water on the right)

If you teach your children just this one thing - at least they will ALWAYS know which glass and bread plate is theirs. (I wish someone would have taught me instead of learning through the school of hard-knocks!)
Okay - while you are at it - why not teach them three more things:
1.) Scoot-up one hand width from the table 
2.) Always place your napkin in your lap first thing. 
3.) Do not pick up a utensil to start eating until everyone has been served. (unless it is a buffet - when two are back to the table begin eating)
See - it's easy! Parents should be patient and persistent with their kids - they will follow your lead.
Proverb:  22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Why you need to know - The Resting Position

If we want to be polished and refined we must know a few basics ...
Here's just one!
Once you start eating, your utensil should never touch the table again - that means don't prop up a used knife or fork half on the table and half on the plate. It should rest completely on the plate.

We are all like diamonds, we all have a basic value, but it is not until we are polished that our true worth is recognized!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why send a written thank-you note?

A Written Thank-You Note!

It speaks volumes about you when a written thank-you note reaches your host/hostess. If you ate Thanksgiving at someone else's home you should write your host/hostess a note of appreciation. (immediately!) They will love you forever~

Send a note of gratitude! Always start with the words Thank-you. It only has to be a few sincere sentences. And remember: Never write on the back of the card. Plan your words in advance accord to the space on your card.

In addition, I hope you took a host/hostess gift (which is a thank-you gift) and attached a card. 
Remember, The host/hostess does not need to send you a thank-you note for the gift you gave to them - because it was a thank-you gift. (no need to send a thank-you for a thank-you)

Include your return address if it is not printed on your envelope and if case you have lost track - stamps are now .44 cents.

Dear (Host/Hostess Name)
Thank you for inviting me to your home for Thanksgiving dinner. It was absolutely delicious - every bite! I must get the pumpkin roll recipe from you soon. Have a wonderful Christmas season and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Blind Side

Sandra Bullock and Team Score a Major Touchdown!
This movie is 2 hours, 6 minutes short. A super fantastic must-see movie for everyone.
What if everyone reached out and made a difference like this family? In short, the world would be a much, much better place to live.  I felt ashamed and yet inspired by the right decisions the Touhy family made. I pray you too will have a changed heart after seeing this wonderful movie. 
I will forever follow the career of this young football player - May God continue to bless you Michael Oher!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving My Friend~
When I counted my blessings today - I counted you twice!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Donny Osmond -Dancing with the Stars Winner and me!

Congratulations to the Winner!

The value of my Donny Osmond photos just went up! Oh how I love Donny O (since I was a little girl) and what a bonus he sang "Puppy Love".  What a fun DWTS season!
PHOTO Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson compete in

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yellow House Red Door

Yellow House Red Door!
This is the name of our Colorado home, until I come up with another name. (of course, everything must have a name)

We arrived last Wednesday and each day has been more beautiful than the one before. Then ... last night it snowed! We woke up and everything was covered in white - but the slopes do not open until Thursday~

James and I are both Texas borned and raised, but we love Colorado. God must have had a really fun time when HE made this place. The mountain, trees, the snow, - amazingly beautiful!

Okay - I must show you the perfect color of red - Ralph Lauren's Chimaya Red. You must paint at least one room this color - it will make you and your home warm inside.

And if you are looking for green ... check out ryegrass green on the den wall - love, love it.

Happy Thanksgiving from two very thankful Texans who will have a white Thanksgiving thanks to the good Lord and the Rocky Mountains! xoJoy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Miss America

Miss America 2009 - Katy Stam
and Me ... Misscellaneous
We have one thing in common - we both have the same clothing sponsor - Joseph Ribkoff. (The best clothes in the world!) I met Katy at the Joseph Ribkoff showroom as people flooded in to meet her. She is beautiful, humble and funny! (what a perfect combination) She is a small town girl from Seymour, Indiana with a voice that matches her beauty.

The most precious story is of how her sister won the local hometown fair beauty pageant, which basically made her parents royalty in their hometown, more so than when she was crown Miss America. Anyone from a small town can relate.

We love you Katy Stam - you are a role-model for all women - young and old(er).
And Joseph Ribkoff - we love you too - you make all women look beautiful - young and old(er).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Joy's Holiday Pumpkin Roll

As promised to you in my last blog - without further delay, I present:
The Best Pumpkin Dessert - EVER!

Years ago my "more than Martha Stewart" friend Jana gave me this recipe, but I have since taken it on as my own. (oops - sorry Jana!)
I'm not so crazy about the taste of pumpkin, but it would be a sad Thanksgiving & Christmas season if the taste of this pumpkin roll never reached my taste buds. I know you will feel the same way ... try it and see!
Joy's Holiday Pumpkin Roll
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. pumpkin
3/4 c. pioneer baking mix
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 c. chopped nuts

(Heat oven to 375) Prepare jelly roll pan by lining with wax paper, oil and flour.
Mix eggs, sugar, and pumpkin - beat until fluffy, then mix in all dry ingredients.
Pour batter into pan & sprinkle with pecans - Bake 15 minutes.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on a dish cloth. Transfer cooked loaf into towel (remove wax paper)- slowly roll it up. VERY IMPORTANT: Let it cool completely!

Filling (mix)
1 c. powered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
6 tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Gently unroll the loaf & spread filling inside - Re-roll & it is ready ~ Enjoy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Neighbor Rosie ... The Great!

Several of Rosie's Fall Creations!

How can I explain Rosie? Okay - here's a start ... besides funny, charming, and a smile that lights up her face. She is an accomplished interior designer by trade, a gourmet cook, and an engaging storyteller. She is always ahead of the game - in fact, she has already served Thanksgiving Dinner at her place this year (Oct 24th) and we were invited!
Because some of her family members were going to be out of the country on Real Thanksgiving Day, Rosie decided to celebrate a month early. There were 10 of us who made the "A" list, and as her best friend Phyllis says, "When Rosie cooks, just drop all other plans and be there, because whatever she cooks is better than any restaurant." James and I agree!

The roast that was not meant to be!
On the heels of Rosie's fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. I decided to invited Rosie, Phyllis, her son Gregory and their adorable friend Christi who was in town from Colorado to reciprocate dinner on Monday. I put my roast on early and slow cooked it for 9 hours - it still was not done by 7pm! (may I remind you - roast is my speciality) I wanted to put my best foot forward for my neighbors especially the gourmet cook - you know who ... Rosie!

Never let them see you sweat!
My guest were arriving and my roast was still not ready! That's when I grabbed my handbag, jumped in the car and and raced to EATZIS! Thank the Lord for EATZIS! We ended up having delicious pork tenderloin with the vegetables that were to be eaten with "the roast that was not meant to be!" Oh yes, and perhaps the best part of dinner (favorite part) was the dessert. Pumpkin Roll. Will post the recipe soon.

By the way - I cooked "the roast" for another nine hours - no luck - still not done! I think I bought a rubber roast:)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Miracle Potion!

Save My Feet
Blister Elixir
I DO NOT understand how this miracle potion works - but I only know it does!
This is the best invention since iphone. Fabulous shoes no longer hurt. Just rub a dime size amount onto each foot and you are ready for action! ~ A brilliant woman with aching feet must have invented this amazing Elixir!

I always use before standing to make long presentations or before leaving for a long day of travel. (and especially when I wear new shoes) It lasts for every bit of eight hours. Save My Feet is greaseless and stainless. You can find it at random boutiques and drugstores or go to www.peachesandbooboo.com

The world is a better place because of SAVE MY FEET BLISTER ELIXIR!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The State Fair of Texas

Howdy! I'm BIG TEX!

If you've ever been to the State Fair of Texas - you know Howdy - I'm Big Tex! is his key phrase and always has been!
Today was the perfect State Fair day. Not too hot, not too cold ... but just right. My husband only agrees to attend because of the Fletcher's corndogs and the fresh squeezed lemonade. I'm not a corndog fan, but I did have a funnel cake & carmel apple. Oh yes, and a bratwurst & uh, well ... I brought home a bag of cotton candy. Must have cotton candy! Come to think of it - my tummy hurts!
I've been going to the State Fair of Texas since I was a little girl growing up in West Texas. It was always a treat and now even if we only stay long enough to spend all our coupons eating junk food - we always make time to ride the world's largest ferris-wheel.
Get Ready! This weekend is the Red River Shoot-out - UT vs. OU. More later on how Texas is gonna take 'em again this year.
In the meantime - here's more proof on why my tummy hurts ...

And then there's James!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stuck on You!

My friend Kim gave me this recommendation and I wanted to share it with you.

Kim says: My ALL TIME favorite baby gift to give is personalized labels (of course, you need to know the baby's name first!) for kids'/babies' sippy cups/bottles, etc. Check out: http://stuckonyou.biz/

I'm telling you...every person that I have ever given them to ALWAYS tells me how awesome they are. We're big users of them too...every plate/cup, etc. that goes to school or church, etc. has my kiddos' names on them. I LOVE them. xo-k

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wanna Get Swizzled?

What's a Swizzle? It looks and smells good enough to eat, but it is simply delicious to your skin in your tub. Brought to you by Fraiche
www.myfraiche.com Swizzles come in many fragrances to match your mood along with soaps too. My personal favorites are Peppermint, Honeysuckle & Lavender Fields.

If you love to escape to a hot bath like I do - contact my friends at Fraiche 800.617.5050, or visit one of their retailers near you www.myfraiche.com/retailers.php

One more thing - Swizzles individual fun packaging makes for excellent hostess gifts!

Let's get Swizzled!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In my business I am sent many products to tryout and promote to my audiences. I will have to be candid with you "All Things Refined" & "Funky Monkey" sounds like an oxymoron to me. I received all four flavors of Funky Monkey and first thought is was a kids snack, but because it is real fruit (freeze dried) I tasted every flavor. I never thought I would be blogging about a product called "Funky Monkey" but it is a tasty snack. Perfect for keeping at your desk or carrying in your handbag. I have included a link to their site for locations of purchase and the different flavors. My favorite is called Carnaval Mix. http://www.funkymonkeysnacks.com/flavors.htm  

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What Happens In Vegas

What Happens in Vegas ... does not stay in Vegas!
Here's the proof ...
Finally, after 4o something years I get to meet Donny Osmond face to face.

Laughing it up with my teen crush. And my precious husband arm wrestling Donny Osmond over me :)

Oh btw, about their very high energy show - it was fantastic! From the front row it looked to me like Donny was singing "Go Away Little Girl" straight to me! The two hour show seemed like two minutes. They are extremely gracious, funny and absolutely beautiful. 

I told Marie, "I was disappointed she did not win Dancing w/the Stars," she quickly said, " Hey, I passed out, are you telling me I didn't win?" (cute & witty - what a combo!)

I told Donny, growing up I had his poster on my wall  & kissed it everyday. He quickly said, "It was time for me to take it down!" (oh very funny!)

James & Joy with Donny & Marie

Joy's dress is Joseph Ribkoff (www.ribkoff.com)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Excellent Graduation Gift!

Are you looking for the perfect graduation gift? Look no more ...
Just Ask Joy - How to Be Socially Savvy in All Situations equips graduates for the next phase of their life. For example:
  • Who should receive a graduation invitation or announcement and what is the difference?
  • When should I write a thank-you note?
  • What tips should I know before I move into my dorm room?
  • What are job interview "must-knows"?
  • What is tech-etiquette?
  • What are the BMW's of dining?
To be comfortable and confident in all situations it is important to know the basics. Most people are never taught the correct way to handle themselves in social and business situations so, it is time we polish-up and practice at least the basics in our everyday lives. 
 Socially Savvy is easy to read tips and faux pas and is written in a bullet note format. Give the gift of confidence to your graduate! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dancing with the Stars!

 My precious friend Lindsay is the "Star" of these photos with Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Tony. Yes, The Tony who dances with Dallas' own Melissa Rycroff. We "Dallasites" are very proud and impressed with Melissa and will cheer (and vote) her on to the final dance.

Lindsay and Melissa worked together until the day Melissa left to be a Star on Dancing with the Stars. When the show came to Dallas to visit Melissa in her previous life, Lindsay was 
included in the segment. Here's the proof in the photos!

BTW, Lindsay says, "Melissa is the nicest person you'll ever meet!" I say ... good to know! I like nice people - don't you? I do know that Lindsay has a superstar smile and is cute enough to win her own reality show.

If you do not watch Dancing with the Stars, now you have a good reason to start  and .... VOTE FOR MELISSA!