Follow by Email

Search My Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LOCAL EVENTS: Christmas Music / Bach Festival Choir Winter Park Dec. 1, 2011

Looking for something to do this week / weekend?

Christmas in the Park / Tiffany Window Display is quite lovely.  We go just about every year as part of our Christmas traditions.  HERE is a post from 2009.

Christmas in the Park

Thursday, Dec. 1

6:15 pm - 8:00 p.m.

Each year, on the first Thursday of December, the Morse Museum helps launch the holiday season in Winter Park when it lights up Tiffany windows in Central Park and presents the Bach Festival Choir, Youth Choir, and Brass Ensemble in concert. This December is the 33rd annual celebration of Christmas in the Park.

More info HERE.

Then, on Friday night, Dec. 2, a free movie in the same park.  This Friday's feature:  A Christmas Story

More info HERE.

Bring a picnic, blankets and seats and enjoy the fresh air and outdoor entertainment.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Starbucks 12 Days of Sharing 2011

My friend from Coupons Make It Free did all the work, but just wanted to let you know that Starbucks begins its 12 Days of Sharing this Thursday, Dec. 1.  Here are the specials they will be having:

December 1st:
Holiday Starbucks Petites 4 pack $3.95 (regularly $5) or 2/$6 (regularly $10)

December 2nd:
Starbucks Christmas Blend 1 pound $9.95 or Starbucks Via Ready Brew Christmas Blend 12pk $7.95

December 3rd:
Holiday Themed 16 oz. Cold Cup $9.95 (regularly $12.95)

December 4th:
Holiday Mugs $4.95 (regularly $8.95)

December 5th:
Starbucks Coffee Sampler Gift Pack $9.95 (regularly $14.95)

December 6th:
Let’s Merry or Red Cup Tumbler $7.95 (regularly $10.95-$11.95)

December 7th:
50% off Cranberry Bliss Bars 6 pack $6.95 (regularly $13.95)

December 8th:
Any Starbucks VIA Ready Brew 12 pack $7.95 (regularly $9.95-$11.95)

December 9th:
Free Starbucks VIA Ready Brew 3 pack with purchase of 1 pound Christmas Blend $14.95 (regularly $17.90)

December 10th:
Tazo Tea Sampler or Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Gift Pack Sampler Pack $12.95 (regularly $16.95-$19.95)

December 11th:
Holiday Boxed Mugs $6.95 (regularly $9.95)

December 12th:
FREE Brewed Coffee During the Month of January 2012 when you buy and use the 16oz Tumbler on sale for $19.95 (over $70 value)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

LOCAL EVENT: Home for the Holidays Orlando Philharmonic FREE Concert

FREE Local Concert

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert "Home for the Holidays"

When: Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 4:00 PM
Where: Central Park in Downtown Winter Park
Cost: FREE
Contact: 407-896-6700
The City of Winter Park invites you to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season as the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops concert in Winter Park’s charming Central Park. Conductor Albert-George Schram will lead the Philharmonic in a beautiful program of holiday favorites for all ages featuring the Holiday Singers, and the Florida Youth Program Singers under the direction of Robin Jensen. This free public concert is made possible by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust. 

Audience members are encouraged to bring non-perishable, canned or dry food items to help restock the pantries at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Bring a blanket and a picnic and get ready for a concert program of holiday favorites that will be sure to put everyone in the spirit of the season.

More info at THIS LINK

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Day to You and Your Family

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Psalm 107:1 
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, 
For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Menu

Here is our menu for Thanksgiving Day.   You've probably got some or all of these on yours, too. :)


Cranberry juice / ginger ale punch

Baby corn
Roasted turkey
Oyster dressing
Homemade gravy w. giblets
Twice baked potatoes**
Green bean casserole
Fresh green beans
Whole cranberry sauce

Almond Toffy**
Chocolate Trifle** 
Coffee / Hot Tea

**We have friends coming to join us and they are bringing these two items. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Recipe: Homemade Oyster Dressing for Thanksgiving Christmas Holidays

Almost everyone has stuffing / dressing for Thanksgiving and often for Christmas or New Year's as well.  Here is my recipe for Oyster Dressing (my husband's favorite) which always gets devoured to the last little bit...


  • Stove Top Stuffing, 1 -2 boxes (or Pepperidge Farm)
  • Bread of any type
  • Water chestnuts
  • Pecans or walnuts
  • Whole cranberry sauce
  •  Smoked oysters, 2 small tins
  • Butter, 1 stick, melted
  • Chicken broth (canned or homemade) to moisten

I start with one box of Stove Top stuffing because it is seasoned so well.  Then I grind up bread to crumbs in my little food processor.  You can use 2 boxes of stuffing or just one and have more natural bread if you prefer.  That's what I usually do.  You just need about 4-5 cups of bread something with seasonings in it.


Next, I process  a can of water chestnuts...and other nuts (pecans or walnuts taste great in this).

Then add an entire can of whole cranberry sauce...

Then the oysters.  It doesn't look very tasty at this point but the oyster flavor is spread throughout the dressing when you process it in to a paste like this.

Then pour on the butter.  For this quantity I added 1 cup of broth, either homemade or canned.  Add enough to moisten the dressing.

Mix it all together ... I use my hands to make sure it's all moist.  It will be quite dense, and put it into a large covered casserole dish.  I'll bake it on Thanksgiving Day for about an hour at 300 degrees, just before we sit down to dinner.  It really is delicious.

I'll add the final photo after it is cooked tomorrow.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Animated Card

HERE is a cute animated pumpkin pie card  an old friend sent me. Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week / Giving Thanks

HERE is a link to previous posts about Thanksgiving.   Enjoy!

To hear a beautiful song about thankfulness sung by Josh Groban, click HERE.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekend Fun: Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios Osborne Lights

I went with two girlfriends this weekend to Disney's Hollywood Studios and we were able to see the Osborne Light Spectacular.  The only other time I'd seen it was for about 10 minutes and it was shut down due to an electrical storm  while we were there. This was so much fun!


 More photos can be seen at THIS LINK.

Video of one of the light shows is HERE.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Starbucks Buy One, Get One FREE Holiday Drink Event

I'm sure everyone has seen this via email, RSS feeds or Facebook, but if you haven't heard, Starbucks is again offering a buy one, get one free HOLIDAY DRINK, from November 17 (today) through November 20, 2011  from 2-5 p.m.    Last year they ran a 12 Days of Christmas event which included BOGO bags of coffee so I'll be watching for that as well to let you know.

Holiday beverages include:

  • Gingerbread Latté
  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Caramel Brulée Latté

If you're not prone to sweet flavored beverages, always ask if they will double whatever else you are ordering of a similar price.  I have done this many times and the Starbucks near us allows it.

For full details and to see the clever animated ad, go to THIS LINK.

For other ways to maximize your savings at Starbucks, go to THIS LINK which is a post by a friend whose savings blog is titled Orlando's Best Deals.  Lots of great offers there.

Friday, November 11, 2011

LOCAL EVENTS: Happy Veterans Day

My last year's Veterans Day post is HERE

Our National Anthem:  An excellent performance by combined military academies  HERE

I am sure that there are many Veterans Day parades around our country.  In our city, it will be held on Saturday morning, 11:00 a.m. in downtown Orlando.  I missed it last year but it was televised on Channel 13 over that weekend.

The City's Veterans Day Parade offers a unique and patriotic opportunity for the Central Florida community to honor our men and women in the armed forces. Prior to the start of the parade we will pay tribute to those who fought for our country and defend our freedom in a ceremony with Mayor Buddy Dyer and local veterans.

The parade will consist of a variety of participants including: men and women from over 150 Central Florida veterans' organization, active duty military, high school marching bands and JROTCs, City of Orlando firefighters and police officers and floats that were featured in the Gasparilla parade in Tampa.

Parade Route

For more info, go to THIS LINK.

RECIPE: Ham & Potato Soup

Since it turned colder last night,I was wondering what to make with a ham steak in the freezer and some potatoes in my basket.  I also had leftover garlic mashed potatoes.    Found this ham and potato soup recipe at  The two meat-eating men in our house LOVED it and both got second helpings.   It was quite filling.  Served with a fresh green salad, French bread and strawberries, it was a full meal with some left over for lunch the next day.

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
I used 3 potatoes + about 2 cups of leftover garlic mashed potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
I used one ham steak from Sam's Club
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules

or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

1.Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.

2.In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

3.Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

This soup looks a little bland but tastes great, so dress up the plate with some color. Remember my red lipstick rule.  :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

FREE LOCAL EVENT: Festival of the Masters Downtown Disney November 11-13, 2011

If you're looking for something fun and FREE to do this weekend, check out Disney's Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney this Friday-Sunday (Nov. 11-13, 2011).  Excellent artwork by many artists that also show their work at the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.

Grab  a cup of coffee or snack and spend the afternoon or stay for dinner.  Should be lovely weather this weekend.  This would make a fun date outing.

For more info, go to THIS LINK.


Proverbs 5:18 
Let your fountain be blessed, 
And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas Music Video: Hallelujah Chorus

I love Handel's musical masterpiece Messiah.  The final song in the Christmas portion is the Hallelujah Chorus.  Click on the link below to see and hear this creative video using this classical piece of music.  Thanks, Judy, for sending this to me.

Go to THIS LINK to see and hear.

This is so simple yet it is a very special message from the Yupiq Eskimo Village in Alaska... it started as a school computer project to reach other villages in the area.
Much to the villagers' shock, over a million people have now viewed this fun project.

FREE Veterans Day Meals on November 11, 2011

Our family is respectful of  the military and honor them as we can.  We often thank them for their service to us and our country when seeing them in uniform out in public, at airports, etc.  This Friday, Veterans Day, is a day to remember those who have been lost and to thank those who are still with us.  I am glad to see so many companies are honoring veterans that day.

If you are or were in the military make your plans for some special meals with friends this week.  Some restaurants in our area that are participating in special discounts to our veterans and active-duty military:
  • Tijuana Flats, Maitland -- 1/2 off entrees
  • Applebee's--free meal
  • Chili's -- free meal
  • Denny's- free Grand Slam breakfast
  • Golden Corral -- free meal--Golden Corral Military Appreciation dinner-- Monday 14.
  • Hooter's--Free meal
  • Krispy Kreme--free doughnut
  • Outback Steakhouse -- free Bloomin' Onion and Coca-Cola product, Nov. 7-Nov. 11
  • Subway -- free 6-inch sub
  • Olive Garden -- free entree
  • Texas Roadhouse -- free lunch
  • TGI Friday's -- Buy one, get one free
Be sure to call ahead to confirm the discounts and take some form of military ID with you. 

Lots of other restaurants are participating as well as theme parks and stores. 

Go to THIS LINK for more details.

More deals at THIS LINK.

Romans 13:7 
Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; 
custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; 
honor to whom honor. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Warning: Eye Lash Curlers and Refills

I remember the first time I used an eyelash curler.  I was probably in junior high and attempting to be beautiful by wearing makeup.   I pinched my eyelid with the metal gadget.  Ouch!  Occasionally I do that even now but as a makeup essential (at least for someone with fairly straight eyelashes) it is an eye opener, literally.  Many women use these as I do in their regular makeup / beauty routine.  Using one early in the morning in getting ready for work, it's amazing there aren't more emergency room visits of women putting their eye out.

Anyway, a week or so ago, my eyelash curler needed a new refill--those little rubber pieces that fit in between the metal.   The metal tool lasts forever but the rubber refills wear out.  I was in a hurry and ran into the closest Walgreens to get some.  I had a Cover Girl eye lash curler.  The refills I purchased were Maybelline. They're all the same, right?  WRONG!!  I put them in the  CG curler and used it--twice--once on each eye, and succeeded in breaking off a few eyelashes on EACH eye.    Unbelievable!
A few days later I was in a different Walgreens and bought a Maybelline curler which must be slightly different from the Cover Girl curler.  Now it works perfectly.  A quick scan of the cosmetic walls and I noticed that the CG curler is going to be a discontinued item.   I wonder if others have done the same thing...  So, be warned.  Use the refills for the specific brand of curler that you have. That is, unless you're going for the uneven eyelash look...  :)

If there are any men reading this, you're probably scratching your head and wondering why in the world anyone would use something that looks like it's an instrument of torture in the first place.  One of those Mars/Venus mysteries.   :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times

Living Large in Lean Times is Clark Howard's latest book.  I love  listening to this man.  You've probably heard him on the radio.  His information is really practical and he's fun to listen to on the radio or on podcast.  I was on a wait list at our local library and got this book about a week ago.  Unfortunately, it's a limited 2-week checkout since so many want to read it right now, so I  "crammed" over the weekend so I can return it  tomorrow (and avoid a late fee).

I was familiar with a lot of the information in this edition, but here are some tips that I had never heard before:

  • Did you know you can get FREE antibiotics (with a Rx, of course) at Publix?  More info HERE
  • Have you ever heard of the website  Volition for freebies and money-making opportunities?
  • Amazon sells lots of things but did you know they sell FRESH flowers?  He talks about buying groceries there and I found this while searching.
  • I've heard of Pandora radio, but have you heard of Grooveshark? or the app?
  • Did you know that Coke owns Dasani bottled water? or that Pepsi owns Aquafina? and that they are both actually tap water?
  • Are you aware of the dangers of wearing "toning" shoes?    I know this is true myself because I bought some several months ago, wore them for awhile and ended up with my back/hip out of joint.  I couldn't return them since they were worn, but thankfully, I sold them on Ebay for what I paid for them.
  • We disagree on the matter of home warranties.  Clark discourages them.  We have had ours with American Home Shield for 13 years and just about every year it more than pays for itself.  It covers all major appliances, our pool pump, the electrical system, ductwork, A/C and plumbing.  We have had a few expenses that covered the cost of the warranty for several years!  I highly recommend them when purchasing older homes likes ours.
  • If you are a veteran, use USAA insurance.  It does not matter how long you served.  I have family members who are eligible for this and they have alway raved about it.  On that subject, if you are a spouse of a veteran of Medicare age as my now-deceased mother-in-law was, you are eligible for the military's  Tri-Care for Life.  My MIL did not know she was eligible for this medical coverage and had been paying her Medicare gap amounts herself.  She was actually eligible for 30+ years before I found out  about it and she came to live with us.  It could have saved her thousands  of $$ over the years.
Check out this excellent book.  You won't be disappointed and/or listen to his radio program or podcast or catch his TV program.  He's also on Facebook.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Nights at the Morse Museum in Winter Park FREE

My husband and I really enjoy visiting the Morse Museum in Winter Park every now and then.  I have a teacher membership there.  I just wanted to make sure that you mark your calendars for these FREE evenings of live music and art.  The first event is not tonight, but NEXT Friday, November 11.  Lovely date nights  during the holidays.  Take someone special, your well-mannered children and/or or just go yourself and be surrounded in beautiful music and art.  We have never done this but are planning on it this year.  Come join us.

November through April, the Museum provides free admission every Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with live music on the second Friday night of the month and every Friday evening throughout the holidays: November 26 through December 31. The schedule also includes occasional art demonstrations and family tours.
The first performance:
November 11, 2011  Beautiful Music  La Belle Musique Chamber Trio (cello, flute, violin)

HERE is the link to the complete schedule.

There was an error in this gadget