My Blog List

Friday, December 30, 2011

T-Shirt Dress

T-Shirt Dress

The following instructions are for both adult and child sizes. The fabric amounts will vary according to the size you choose to make. Since T-shirts come in varying lengths, you must use your own measurements.
SKIRT LENGTH: Figure the overall length of the dress you wish to make by measuring from the shoulder seam of the T-shirt to the place where you want the hem to be. Subtract the actual T-shirt length from the overall length of the dress to get the length of the skirt that you will be adding. To the length of the skirt measurement, add the hem and seam allowances which are 1/2" for the top seam and 1" for the hem. For example, if the shirt is 20" long and you want the dress to be 32" long, your skirt fabric length would be 12" plus 1 1/2" or 13 1/2".
SKIRT WIDTH: Measure the bottom opening of the T-shirt. Double that measurement for the width of the skirt. For example, if the bottom edge is 36" all the way around (front and back) you will need a piece twice that long, or 72". To make the skirt, cut TWO pieces 36" long.
SLEEVE MEASUREMENT: Measure the opening of the sleeve, all the way around. Add 1" to that measurement for the seam allowance (1/2"). Choose the depth of the sleeve or cuff, double that amount plus add 1".

SKIRT: 1. Mark the center top of the two skirt pieces. Place the two skirt pieces together with right sides facing each other. Line up the side seams so that they are even. Stitch together, using a 1/2" seam allowance.

2. Gather the top edge by sewing a zig-zag stitch over a gathering cord like crochet cotton or string. Be careful not to stitch into the cord or it will not slide smoothly when pulling up the gathers. Do not pull the gathers up yet.

3. Fold under 1/2" on the bottom hem and press with an iron. Fold under another 1/2" and iron again. Machine stitch the hem.
4. Mark the side seams, center front and center back on the T-shirt hem. It will be divided into four equal parts. You can make a chalk or pencil line or place a pin at those places to mark them.
5. Lay the right side of the skirt to the right side of the T-shirt. Arrange the side seam of the skirt to the side seam marks on the t-shirt. Line up the center front and center back of the skirt to the corresponding marks on the T-shirt. Use pins to hold the skirt and T-shirt together at the marked spots.
6. Gently pull up the gathers so that the skirt edge is the same length as the T-shirt edge. Adjust the gathers evenly, pin into place if needed. Machine stitch along the gathered edge, joining the T-shirt and skirt. Cut off the excess gathering cord.

SLEEVE CUFFS: Note: Follow this process for each cuff.

1. Fold under 1/2" along the long edge of the sleeve piece to the wrong side of the fabric and press. Repeat for the other long edge of the piece.
2. Fold the piece in half lengthwise with the right sides facing out and press the center fold, being careful not to unpress the upper edge folds.
3. Open the cuff up again, place the short edges together, right sides facing, and stitch them together using a 1/2" seam allowance.

4. Re-fold the piece along the pressed lines. 5. Insert the T-shirt sleeve into the cuff, lining up the cuff seam with the underarm seam on the T-shirt. Pin evenly into place and machine stitch the cuff onto the T-shirt sleeve about 1/8" from the edge where the two meet.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I ran out of money before I bought all of the presents that are on my list for the holidays . Some of the things that I didn't get are for my children . I don't want to disappoint them . I want to give them something  , but this has been a really  tough year for me . There just is no money left .
Embrassassed at the Holidays
Dear  Embarrassed ,
If you have an oven and good intentions , it's time for you to bake some cookies . Children love homemade items from their love ones because they show that they care.
If you have bought gifts for some  , but not all , of the children that will be together at the holidays  , don't give any of those presents . Give the purchased items at another time .

Dear Maxy,
I'm a teenager , my brother and I live with my mother , one uncle and grandparents . I love them all dearly.
My mother works , but on the weekends she does all the cleaning . The thing is , my  grandmothe is sick and sometimes she cannot do what she used to do . Then she gets mad at us for no apparent reason . We try to take care of her  , but she still gets angry . We can't talk to her about it , because we worry she will get sicker .
My grandmother often says she doesn't like living in our house . How can I get everything back to being a family again ?
Need of Peace
Dear Need Peace,
Talk to your mother about this  , and ask for her suggertions . I think your grandmother's angry has nothing to do with any of you .She is lashing out at her family because she doesn't like feeling too sick (or too old) to do the things she used to do . She wants to be valued  and appreciatedv . Ask Grandma to help you cook one of her special dishes . Or talk to her about her parents . Find out her interests  , and do your best to show her she still matters .

Dear Maxy ,
I've been with my boyfriend for three years . When we first met , he was working on his GED . That was fine because I knew he has a disability . But he is now 23 and making little progress toward his GED .
I don't want to push him because that only frustrates him , and besides , anything I say goes in my ear  and out the other . He has a janitorial job two nights a week , and with his GED , he could do so much better.
I want him to get this done  so we can properly start our life together . How do I cnvince him ?
Dear Selma ,
Your boyfriend has to want this for himself and be prepared to do the necssary hard work . Right now he isn't willing . The best you can do is ask about his feeling  on the subject and see where he stands. Being a janitor is a perfectly respectable job . Decide whether this is good enough for you , because it may be what you get.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Prince Phillip : Released From Hosiptal After Heart Surgery

Prince Phillip was released from the hosiptal today after undergoing emergency heart surgery for a blocked artery on Friday .

The 90-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth was sent home from  Papworth Hosiptal in Cambridge , England , on Tuesday morning .

The Duke of Edenburgh  was been celebrating the Christmas festivities with the royal family at their home in Sandringham when he fell ill .

Prince William and Prince Harry spent part of Christmas day visiting their grandfather in the hosiptal.

The royal family waved to bystanders as he was driven back to Sandringham .

Jeff Dunham and Peanut - Not New but Still Funny

Country-wide Outbreak of Christmas Kindness

Have you heard? Retailers reported an outbreak! More than one! Yup! You heard right! It started when a mystery woman walked up to the layaway desk (at a Kmart in Michigan) and asked the clerk if she could pay off some layaway accounts that included children’s toys. The mystery woman said “she had been blessed and wanted to bless others” “she wanted to help people in need”. After her generous and Christmas inspired act of good will  was widely reported, retailers across the country reported people walking into their stores and paying off from $500 to $5000 worth of merchandise … for total strangers”. Can you imagine the look on the families' faces when they heard their entire layaway bill (all their Christmas gifts) had been paid by a total stranger! That’s what I call the true spirit of giving!

It seems that if you do a good deed others will follow your example and others will follow their examples. There is food for thought, don't you think??

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays

Wishing you a very 'Merry Christmas'
A 'Happy and Prosperous New Year'

The blog will re-open on Dec 27th

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

True Holiday Miracle of Life : Melinda Star Guido

Melinda Star Guido wes supposed to be born  today , instead she came into world  16 weeks early , one of the smallest babies ever to beat overwhaelming odds and survive . The tiny fighter , only a little a little more than half a pound at birth , now weighs 4 pounds . Doctors gave her no more than a 2 percent c hance of surival , but she is thriving and could go home on New Year's Day.

"This is truly a miracle baby," Dr.Rangasamy Ramanathan , neonatologist at the L.A. County /University of Southern California Medical Centre  said of Melinda , believed to be the thrid smallest baby to surived in the world . "Nobody thought this baby was going to survive."

Ibarra had high blood pressure during her pregnancy and had previously suffered a still birth . Ibarra and her husband , Yovani Guido , knew the baby was extremely vulnerable but pleaded with doctors to do everything they can so Melinda can live. "They don't have any other child ," added Ramanathan . So they said ,"Please try whatever you can, so that's how we started from day one."

After Melinda's delivery by C-section , she began her life in an incubator at the neonatal intensive care unit at USC Medical Centre , reciving food through a tube  and breathing with the aid of  machine . Ibarra visiting almost daily , would grip her fingers through the portholes and sleep by her bedside.I've got to give everything to the doctors , to the team , especially the nurses , because they were the most thee," said Guido at a news conference .

Melinda's parents know her now . "she's a really happy person ," says  Ibarra . She says the ordeal has been testing , and required  "faith , hope . a lot of effort ... but it's all worth it."

It's not over yet , said Dr. Sessions Cole , a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in St.Louis and director of  the Division of Newborn Medicine , said there is a long road ahead  for babies born extremely prematurely. "For babies like Melinda , the fact she siirived and is likely to go home is a temendous accomplishment for the doctors and nurses  who cared for Melinda and her family," he said . Stoll , Cole added , problems can show up for several years after the preemies leave the hosiptal .

"The good news is that for babies who surive  one-quarter to one-third will emerge at 3 to 5 years of age as doing well," Cole said .

Melinda parents hoped to have her home for Christmas , but she's not ready yet ; She still has to get stronger and learn to bottle feed . If all goes well , Melinda could join three babies born around the world this year weighing less than a pound who made it out the hosiptal to start growing up whit their families .

"They help us to define the boundaries of hope ," said Cole . "Every baby deserves a 100%% chance to surive ."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Puppy Tries To Play With Baby : Ain't That Precious


                  Yorki  And The Cute Baby

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Vegetable Trays & Fruit Salad Molds Part # 2

             Traditional Vegetables  Trays
A traditional tray is always a hit with guests . Typically traditional veggie trays include  vegetables like broccoli , carrots , cauliflowers , celery and cucumbers slices . The veggie are usually accomplished by some sort of dip ... such as french onion or ranch dressing.
   Sparkling Gelation Salad Molds
These sparkling gelation salads is embedded with lucious bits of pineapple , cherries , grapes  and pears , takes only minutes to prepare .
Use vegetables and fruits that are in season or easily available .
You can use  canned fruit cocktail well drain and use the liquid as part of the liquid in the fruit salad .  You can also use canned cherries if you are using fruit cocktail. 
TIP : You can use  a large bowl , oblong cake pan or bundt cake pan as molds ... refrigerate ...before serving ... set mold in warm water for  about 5 minutes and turn out on  serving platter .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My son is bringing his girlfriend home with him for the holidays . We are excited to meet her  and will include her in all our family activities . I have one question ; Should we inform all our family members that she will be coming and suggest they buy gifts for her ? Our family is big on buying gifts and we wouldn't want  her to feel excluded.
Holiday Spirit
Dear Holiday Spirit ,
It's wonderful that you want to make sure your son's girlfriend feel at home . Letting the family know that she will be coming is a fine idea . I don't think you need to encourage them to buy her gifts , though.
The greater gift you can give her is a warm welcome . If some family members choose to give her gifts , that's fine. But they shouldn't be push.

Dear Maxy,
What do we when granny is too old to keep driving , but won't stop ?  Any mention of her not getting behind the wheel is met with screaming rage .
Road Worrier
Dear Worrier ,
Suggust that grandma enroll in the AARP DRIVER SAFETY COURSE  (  as a way to brush up on her driving skills .Also check into alternative means of transportation , including local senior transportation , willing family members , etc . If she still won't give up her license and you believe she is  a danger on the road , enlist the help of her doctor , the DMV and if necessary , the police .

Dear Maxy ,
Why is it  that the same family members who send out  announcements for weddings , births and graduations never bother to send birtday wishes to the same people from whom they expects gifts ? Many of our family members are on Fac ebook and will drop a quick little "Happy Birthday" message on that person's special day . Yet some of my husband's nieces and nephews don't have time to bother . We have remembered their birthdays and other special occasions year after year . Now that they are all adults  , does it not make sense that they would reciprocate ? To make matters more hurtful , there have been times when we haven't even received a thank-you note for gifts sent . This makes us feel that we'd rather not bother anymore.
We Have Feelings , Too
Dear  FFeeling ,
This is partly poor manners , but it's also an age-gap  issue . Many young adults expect to receive birthday wishes from aunts and uncles  who have known them their entie lives , but they do not realize they should reciprocate .  Instead of assuming this is deliberate hurtfulness , try a wake-up call . Tell them ,"It's my birthday tomorrow ," and let them offer their good wishes . If you send a gift and they don't reply  , ask whether they received it . Give them the chance to develop the manners that apparently didn't sink in when they was younger .

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Dinner or Buffet ... Part 1

Baked Ham With Peppery Bourbon-Brown Glaze
                        Prep time : 1 hour  ... Cooking time about 2 1/2 hours
8 1/2        pounds fully cooked , bone-in shank portion smoked ham
1/2          1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2             tablespoons bourbon or beef stock
1 1/4       teaspoons black pepper 

1)  Preheat oven to 325*F . Remove skin , if any from ham and trim fat  to thickeness of 1/4 inch .
2)  Place ham , cut side  down , on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat therometer in center of ham making sure it does not touch the bone  (or test later with an instant-read therometer)
3)   Bake ham uncovered , until therometer registers 130*F to 135*F --- about 2 to 2 1/2 hours . If ham browns too fast , cover loosely with foil . Meanwhile , combine sugar , bourbon , and pepper in a small bowl .
4)   Remove ham from the oven and increase oven temperature to 375*F . Using a sharp paring knife , score fat of ham in a diamond pattern . Brush sugar mixture over ham .
5)    Retun ham to oven  and bake uncov ered  until therometer registers 140*F --- 15 to 20 minutes . Let stand  at least 15 minutes before carving . Makes 16 serving .
           Shrimp & Crab With Cocktail Salsa 
      Chipotle Chilies Are the Key To This Sassy Cocktail Sauce
2      cups purchased medium salsa
2      cups bottle chili sauce
2      tablespoons prepared white horse radish
1      tablespoons (or more) chopped canned chipotle chilies
4      pounds cooked devined large shrimp
4      pounds snow crabs claws
        chopped fresh cilantro to taste (optional)
Mix first 3 ingredients in medium bowl . Mix in 1 tablespoon chilies , taste , adding more chilies if a spicier flavor is desided .(can be made 2 days ahead , cover , chill).
Fill large bowls with ice , arrange atop ice (to kep cold) . Sprinkle cilantro over sala . Serve shellfish with salsa.
          Green Bean Casserole
         Prep time : 10 minutes       Bake time : 30 minutes    
1      can (10 3/4 ounces)  Cambell Condensed  Cream of Mushroom Soup (regular , 98% Fat Free or Heart Healthy)
1/2    cup milk
1       teaspoon soy sauce
         dash  ground black pepper
4      cups cooked cut greens  beans ( optional .. canned green beans , drained)
1 1/3 cups French's French Fried onions
Stir the soup , milk , soy sauce , black pepper  and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2 - quart casserole .
Bake at 350*F for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling .
Stir the bean mixture . Sprinkle with the remaining onions .
Bake for 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.


Monday, December 12, 2011

True Christmas Stories

Funny Christmas storyThe Saga of the Christmas Loser

Late home after a night out, a youngster attempted to climb into his home down the chimney. He did not to want to wake other residents in the Judson Center social services agency; also he had broken his curfew and wanted no trouble.
In best Santa Claus mode he climbed onto the roof and let himself down the chimney; unfortunately he was too large, and he became stuck. The 17 year old began moaning and was heard and rescued. Fire fighters and police officers from the City of Royal Oak, Michigan, USA, had to pull him out. The youth suffered from minor scrapes and bruises.

Christmas Funny Stories and JokesHow They Forecast a Cold Winter

One day in early September the chief of a Native American tribe was asked by his tribal elders if the winter of 2011/12 was going to be cold or mild. The chief asked his medicine man, but he too had lost touch with the reading signs from the natural world around the Great Lakes. In truth, neither of them had idea about how to predict the coming winter.

  However, the chief decided to take a modern approach, and the chief rang the National Weather Service in Gaylord Michigan.'Yes, it is going to be a cold winter,' the meteorological officer told the chief. Consequently, he went back to his tribe and told the men to collect plenty of firewood. 

Two weeks later the chief called the Weather Service and asked for an update. 'Are you still forecasting a cold winter?' he asked. 'Yes, very cold', the weather officer told him. As a result of this brief conversation the chief went back to the tribe and told his people to collect every bit of wood they could find. 

A month later the chief called the National Weather Service once more and asked about the coming winter. 'Yes,' he was told, 'it is going to be one of the coldest winters ever.' How can you be so sure?' the chief asked. The weatherman replied: 'Because the Native Americans of the Great Lakes are collecting wood like crazy.'

The Worry Tree

The Carpenter I hired to help me restore and old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.
On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.  'Oh, that's my trouble tree,' he replied. 'I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.'
'Funny thing is,' he smiled, 'when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.'

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Eggnog Panna Cotta

Preparation Time
15 minutes
Cooking Time
15 minutes

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) cold water
  • 20g (2 sachets) powdered gelatine
  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) cream
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) store-bought ready-made custard
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • Peach and cherry compote

  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • 1 cup (220g) sugar
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 yellow peaches, cut into wedges
  • 2 white peaches, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, extra
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen thawed cherries
  1. Place water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine over the water and set aside for 5 minutes or until gelatine has set and is spongy.
  2. Place the cream, custard, brandy, mixed spice and icing sugar mixture in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved and mixture is well combined. Whisk if any lumps form.
  3. Once the custard mixture is hot (but not boiling), slowly add the gelatine mixture. Stir for 2-3 minutes or until the gelatine has fully dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour into a greased rectangular (5-cup capacity) tin. Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours or until set.
  4. To make syrup: Place the water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and add the peaches. Simmer for 1-2 minutes then remove the peaches with a slotted spoon. Set aside to cool slightly, then peel away the skin (reserve skin).
  5. Sprinkle peaches with extra lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Meanwhile, return the syrup to the heat, add the peach skins and increase heat to high. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the syrup has reduced and thickened slightly. Cover and chill completely.
  7. To serve, turn the chilled panna cotta on to a large serving platter. Top with the peaches and cherries and drizzle with a little syrup.

  • The panna cotta can be made up to 2 days ahead. The peaches and syrup can be made a few hours ahead (chill both in the refrigerator until ready to serve).

Traditional Italian Holiday Dessert - Struffoli

(Serves 8)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup honey
Multicolored candy sprinkles

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
Add the eggs and zest. Stir until well blended.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes.
Add a little more flour if dough seems sticky.
Shape the dough into a ball, cover with an overturned bowl.
Let rest for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1/2-inch thick ropes then cut into 1/2-inch nuggets.
Heat about 2 inches of oil to 370 degrees F. in a wide saucepan or deep fryer.
Begin adding struffoli in batches into the oil to fit without crowding.
Cook, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until crisp and brown, about 1 minute.
Remove the struffoli with the slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain.
When all the struffoli are fried, gently heat the honey just to a simmer in a wide saucepan.
Remove the honey from the heat, add the struffoli and coat well.
Pile the struffoli into a mound on a large platter. Dust with the multicolored sprinkles.

Best served the day they are made.

Queen Elizabeth : Wigs Out In Court "OMG"

Queen Elizabeth couldn't keep her usual stoic composure and cracked a rare smile upon meeting some wigged out judges in London on Wednesday .

Hanging out with the  Queen is really not a drag after all .

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I have a 35-year-old daughter with two children (ages 13 and 2) , and they all are living with us ,"micki" moved in after leaving her  common-law husband  a few months ago . He was the third man in her life . Since Micki has been home , she has been going out everyweekend . I am "old  school" and I believe she should come home and take care of my grandchildren  . But if I open my mouth my wife will toss me out . It has already happen once before .
This situation is slowing killing me . My wife tells me Micki is still young . I say so what ? That doesn't mean she can go to bed with every Tom , Dick or Harry . I don't know what to do next .
One Step From Leaving
Dear  One Step ,
Micki is not as young as your wife thinks . At 35 , she is closer to middle-aged . Unless your wife wishes to  remain irresponsible , the two of you need to set some ground rules regarding Micki's behavior  . A social night out once a week is fine . A weekend sleeping around is not .
Encourage your wife to put her grandchildren's welfare  first and see if you can come to an agreement regarding Micki's responsibilities at home .

Dear Maxy ,
My family is dealing with a sad and disturbing situation . My mother died a few years ago , and a mentally ill sibling is still living with dad . "Joyce" is financially and emotionally exploiting him and is isolating dad from the rest of  the family . The house is full of garbage  and is overrun with mice and bugs  , and yet my father says if it was for Joyce , he would be in a nursing home . I don't understand how he can abandon his children to live in this filth , especially when my mother kept that house spotles . Please tell us what out options are ?
Dear  Desperate.
Your father hasn't abandon you . He is frightened and has become dependent on Joyce . Would you are another sibling be willing to take your dad in , at least temporarily, until you can straighten this out ? If you want to wean him away from Joyce's care , you will need to be more directly involved .
Call the  Eldercare  Locator  ( at 1-800-677-1116 . Explain the situation  and see what services are available .

Dear Maxy ,
My best friend and her husband will travel for business next month . They are leaving thier 15-year-old son behind  and would like me to look after him . It's really hard for me to say no to my friend  of 17 years , but I'm a little skeptical about letting this kid into my home . My daughter who goes to school with him , says he is nothing but trouble . What should I do ?
Worried Mom
Dear Worried Mom ,
Why haven't you spoken to your best friend about her son before  now ? I understand not wanting to get into people's business , but this is your best friend .
Now's the time . Tell your friend you have some reservations that probably should have brought to her before . Describe your concerns . Ask if she has ever had issues with him  and how she recommends you take care of him . You two need to talk this out before you make your decision .

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rudolf the Recycled Light Bulb

Rudolf the Recycled Light Bulb

Here's a recycled light bulb craft to add to your Christmas collection. If you like this craft, you may also like to try..........


    Rudolf the Lightbulb

*old light bulb
*brown acrylic craft paint or model car paint or spray paint
*plastic wiggle eyes, or small amounts of black and white paint
*approximately five brown chenille stems
*small red pompom
* glitter glue...craft glue
* rubbing alcohol
1. Clean the light bulb carefully but thoroughly with rubbing alcohol and let dry.
2. Paint the light bulb entirely in two or three coats of brown paint, letting the paint dry between layers.
3. Glue on plastic wiggle eyes or paint on eyes.
4. Glue the small red pompom just beneath the center of the eyes.
5. Cut a length of chenille stem and form it into a smiley mouth shape. Glue in place beneath the nose.
6. If desired, add a little glitter glue around the nose to give the effect of a nose that lights up.
7. Wrap as many chenille stems as required to completely cover the metal threads on the light bulb. Secure with glue.
8. Cut two chenille stems in half. Use one half as the stem of an antler. Twist the other half around it, near the top, to form two more antler horns sticking out from the stem. Make another antler in the same way. Apply a little glue to the bottom of each stem, and insert both antlers into the chenille stems at the top of the lightbulb, as shown.

You can also try this cute penguin

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Spice Rubs Gives Christmas Turkeys A Globel Flavor

Spice rubs inspired by the south of France , the Southwest and fragrant Indian cooking offer a vibrant , international way to flavor the Christmas turkey beyond salt and pepper . The rubs can be used with any non-brined turkey recipes .

South of France Rub
4      teaspoons dried thyme
4      teaspoons  mild paprika
2      teaspoons sea salt  (or regular salt)
2      teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2      teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2   teaspoon cayenne pepper
Southwestern Rub
2     tablespoons  chili power
2     tablespoons ground cumin
2     teaspoons dried oregano
1     tablespoon ground coriander
1     teaspoon cayenne pepper
1     teaspoon garlic power
1     teaspoon sea salt (or regular table salt)
1     teaspoon freshly ground  black pepper
 Indian Rub
1    tablespoon garam masala
2    tablespoons ground cinnamon
1    tablespoon ground cumin
2    teaspoons kosher salt
1     teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon ground allspice
2      teaspoons garlic powder
Directions For Rubs .
Mix the ingredients well in a bowl . Massage the bird inside and out with olive oil  or room temperature unsalted butter. Massage the rub gently across the exterior and interior  of the turkey . Roast turkey according to your recipe .
**** Makes about  1/2 cup of rub ... can be double to taste.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
My sister is in her early  30s and is getting  married for the first time . Due to budget restraints , they are having a small wedding  and reception. Only the immediate family will be there .
As the matron-of-honor , I would like to give her a proper shower . However I am uneasy that many of  my sisters friends and acquaintances are not invited to the wedding . Is it proper to ask them to attend a shower ?
Sister of the Bride
Dear Sister ,
It is inappropriate to invite people to the shower  if they are not invited to the wedding . However , if the wedding is only immediate family , it is okay to invite a few close friends to the shower , provided you inform them in advance that the wedding itself  is family only  . Of course , the best solution is for the bridal couple to have an inexpensive , informal party a few weeks later so that those not invited to the actual wedding still  can feel included .

Dear Maxy.
I hooked up with a guy with whom I am friends , he is very attractive and smart and nice , and I like him . But I don't know if it will turn into something more . How can I ensure that he thinks of me in a romantic way and not just as a hookup partner ?
Dear Lillian,
If only you could go back to just before you hooked up with this guy , life could be simpler , I know . But here you are . It can be extremely difficult to navigate a friendship afterward .
You can sit back and watch to see what clues he offers about what's next, but that will likely feel extremely uncomfortable . Instead , speak to him directly . Tell him that while you enjoyed your hookup ,  you hope he knows that you truly care for him  and would like to pursue a real relationship . Could that scare him ? Sure , but you'll never know if you don't say something .

Dear Maxy,
"Showerless in  Yuma" said her retired military husband refused to shower or get a haircut . You suggested he might be depressed.
My husband is a psychologist with the Veterans Administration . V.A. services are available in most states for mental health issues  or changes in health status . Please pass this along .
V.A. Supporter
Dear Supporter,
Thank you for reminding those readers who have served in the military that the V.A. ( can provide psychological as well as medical counsel .