Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We have opened our gifts and are now relaxing with coffee and breakfast snacks.  Things will be low key today as the entire family are suffering from chest and head colds.  Enjoy your time with family.

God bless,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Frugal Simple Christmas

We are having a frugal, simple Christmas this year.  We have gone easy on gift buying with most of the purchases being for the children in the family.  Our family will gather together on Christmas Eve afternoon at my brother-in-laws house for a few hours, leaving time for church or relaxing around the house in the evening.

Our outside lights are all LED this year to help save on electricity use and bills.  It is also nice because you can hook many more strings together, rather than the three string limit on traditional lights.  We like to decorate the outside of our house as a way to share Christmas with our neighbors.

Inside our decorations are at a minimum.  We probably only put out a fourth of our decorations.  Our live tree from Lowes is smaller this year, so we only used our most special decorations on it.  Then a few table top items were placed throughout the house.  As we age and DD leaves home I envision us moving to a table top tree.

I also like to use bowls and vases that I already have filled with pine cones or ornaments as decorations on tables.  If the bowl is large, fill the bottom with a crumpled up plastic bag, then place the cones or decorations over the top.  Take a clear glass vase and fill it with a string of white LED lights, which are available in battery powered.

For the first time in twenty years I did not send out Christmas cards.  I will probably do it again next year, but I was not looking forward to it and I was feeling pressured.  I may break it up by sending out cards a few at a time for other occasions during next year.

Strangely enough no one in the family has expressed disappointment at our pared down preparations.  I think that it has been a relief for all of us to have less expectations or demands made on us.  Christmas is supposed to be about our faith and family, not about a perfectly decorated home or meeting the expectations of others.

God bless,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

More Free Books For Christmas

Rather than keep listing books one by one I'll share my method for getting free books from Amazon.  In the Amazon search box type in "free kindle books"  this will bring up a list of over four hundred free books.  Everything from classics to not very good books or the wonderful books that authors offer for free to get their readers interested in a series.

If you want to narrow your search down try searching for "free kindle books romance" or "free kindle books mystery".  You get the idea.

Take the time this holiday season to relax with a book that didn't strain your budget.  Hey, if it's lousy you can always delete it without a care.

God bless,

P.S. Oh, and don't forget the library.  Ours not only offers traditional books and dvds, but has an increasing amount of ebooks available.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Free Books For Christmas

I have become a great fan of Kindle books, but not the books that cost as much as a paperback.  Being frugal I look for the books that cost less than $3 and I prefer to look for free books.  Some authors of series will offer the first book in their series for free as a tool to interest readers in the full series.

One of my favorite free offers has been the book Blood Ties by JD Nixon.  It is the first book in a police procedural/romance series based in Queensland, Australia.  The main character is a woman police officer working in a small town department.

For my more conservative readers, there is some physical violence and, not graphic, sex mentioned.  There is also a great deal of humor, which is a requirement for me at this time of year.  If you are a conservative Christian I suggest that you skip this book.

Please enjoy.

God bless,

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Coffee

I love making this coffee during the holidays.  It is a real treat and my reward after a day of Christmas shopping, baking or decorating.

The best coffee ever is made with a pour over.  Basically it is a very slow version of drip coffee.  It can be made by the cup or using a pour over pot.

Chemex Coffee Maker

 Your basic tools for a one cup pour over are:  nice big cup,  top of cup drip coffee maker, strong ground coffee, electric kettle, #2 filters, eggnog and sweetened whipped topping.  I prefer the Horizon lowfat eggnog for this.

 Gather your tools and let's get started.  I love my electric kettle, but any method of boiling water will do.

Add a generous amount of ground coffee to the filter.  It has to be strong coffee because you are now going to fill the cup 1/3 full of eggnog.

Slowly drizzle boiling water into the coffee being sure to get all of the coffee on the sides wet.  Go slow, if you add too much water it will drip through quickly and result in weak coffee.

You Should See Foam (Crema) Form On Top

Once the cup is full add a dollop of whipped topping to float on the top of the coffee.

Enjoy this coffee with my favorite Australian cookie, the Tim Tam.  They are made in the United States by Pepperidge Farm only at Christmas time and are available at Target in the holiday food section.  Stock up, they are good.

God bless,