Yesterday, while I was putting away the holiday decorations, I went through a box of my old mementos and came across this poem. I believe I wrote this my freshman year of high school when I was heartbroken and scared. I felt it fit my 2022 New Year’s theme--Live in the Moment. Be kind to yourself.
Life has been remarkable and challenging along the way, but I think I need to remember just how resilient I am. I know some statements in this piece appear to show my disappointment or frustration, but in the end, when I look back, the struggles I was dealing with at the time did not crush me; they strengthened me. And as time marches on, I need to remind myself to just keep moving forward because better days are always within sight if we remain focused on positivity.
I did add and change a few words from the original poem while keeping its integrity.
Just For Today, I Will…
Just for today, I will wear a smile and see the light of the world.
Just for today, I will talk only of good and forget there’s even a bad.
Just for today, I will reach a goal and be proud that I succeeded.
Just for today, I will wear a heart and throw away my horns.
Just for today, I will be flexible and not worry about things I should have done.
Just for today, I will live life fully and forget about yesterday’s struggles.
Just for today, I will remain happy and not let my temper get away.
Just for today, I will look and feel my best and sparkle like the stars above.
Just for today, I will live for today because the yesterday’s are gone and the tomorrow’s are not here.
Just for today, I will forget the past and live a better day, for the future is already set.
Just for today, I will remember I’m me because no one else can make today seem better but me!
By Rebecca Thein ©
Hello, this is another recipe that my grandma and mom used to make. Easy and tasty. I'm sure Candice would love to have these at her sweet cafe.
This recipe is my sons favorite. He never wants a birthday cake, he always asks me to make him this pie, and I do. It is by far the best pudding pie I've ever had.
Candice from "Following Sweet Dreams Home" needs this pie in her little cafe. Just saying it would be a crowd pleaser.
This is a #recipes my grandma used to create these delicious #cookies. I love chocolate chip cookies but these certainly gave the chocolate chip cookies a run for their money.
There is just something about baking during the holiday's that warms my heart. Maybe it's the memories of my grandma and me baking together. The wonderful aromas of spices filling her home. It takes me back to my childhood full of love, and for that I am grateful.
As I have said, my grandma inspired my novel Following Sweet Dreams Home. I had to pay tribute to how she made me feel loved each and every day. A grandma's love fills the soul.
I know this year is difficult for all of us. We miss our families, our friends, and we will need to adjust and be inventive. Although I understand video chatting is not perfect at least we have that medium so we can see the smiles on our families faces.
Single Pie Crust (from my grandma Mary)
1 cup sifted enriched flour
4 to 6 Tablespoons Lard
¾ teaspoon salt
2 to 4 Tablespoons cold water
This is the recipe my grandma always used. She made the most delicious apple pies because her apples were picked from her tree and the pie was baked with love. She also used a lot of cinnamon. The extra dough she rolled out and cut into thick strips. Sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on top and bake them. They were little treats I love having.
From my home to yours, Happy Holiday’s
Happy Holidays everyone, from Shane and me.
Today I want to share one of my childhood favorite recipes. Scotch A Roos. They are super easy to make, and you’ll go home with an empty plate.
These sweet treats are one of my most requested items on my menu. I bet you can’t eat just one.
Cheers to all,
Candice and Shane
Scotch A Roo
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Corn Syrup
6 cups Rice Cereal. I use Rice Krispies.
1 package Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 package Butterscotch Chips
Large Pot, double boiler (if you have one), spoon to stir, spatula, cake pan. (I use a 9 ½” X 13 ½” pan. But you can use whatever size you prefer. I like my cereal portion thin.)
Coat the bottom of your cake pan with butter.
Bring the peanut butter, sugar, and syrup to a boil. Stir often to keep it from burning.
Once sugar is melted, turn off the heat and fold in the rice cereal. Once all cereal is coated, press into your cake pan. Set aside.
Pour both bags of chips into your double boiler. Stir until melted. If you don’t have a double boiler, a pot will do, just make sure you stir to avoid burning. Once completely melted, pour chocolate over the top of your cereal. Spread evenly. Put in the fridge to cool. When you are ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and let it get to room temperature so you can cut it into squares.
A crowd-pleaser and easy to make.
You can download recipe below.
Santa and Mrs. Claus
“Ten minutes, everyone,” the stagehand announced.
Keefe leaned over and kissed Sirenity. His beard tickling her. “See you on stage, babe.”
Sirenity tilted her head to look up into Keefe’s eyes. “This is nerve-wracking.”
“You’ll be perfect. I know it’s been a long time since you’ve stepped onto a stage, but this is important.”
Sirenity nodded. “Every little bit helps.”
“I’ll be waiting for you at the foot of the stairs.”Keefe adjusted his hat before leaving Sirenty to finish putting her wig on.
A few seconds later, Sirenity joined Keefe. They climbed the steps and stood behind the curtain, holding hands, waiting for their cue.
As the drapes rose, Keefe looked out at the audience. What beamed back at him were bright eyes of children that needed to be taken to a land of make-believe.
“Ho, Ho, Ho,” Keefe sang out as he rubbed his belly. “Mrs. Claus, I see we have guests for dinner.”
“Yes, Santa, we do,” Mrs. Claus agreed, following alongside Santa to the front of the stage.
The theater was decorated to resemble a winter wonderland. The oversized dining table sat proud center stage and had been adorned with a sparkling centerpiece made of candy.
“Santa!” an elf skidded onto the stage. “It’s time.”
“Ah, so it is.” The grandfather clock rang out twelve chimes.
Once the grandfather clocked stopped, another elf skipped onto the stage, singing a Christmas Carol. As he sang, one by one, another elf joined him, creating a choir. The song hit its final note, and the elves danced their way into the audience jingling bells. They took the hand of happy children guiding them to join Santa and Mrs. Claus at a dining table decorated with children in mind. Each seat had a stuffed toy keeping the spot warm.
Hot chocolate filled their mugs topped with Marshmallows and sugar sprinkles. The elves went around the table, holding a plate with finger food encouraging each child to take what they wanted to eat.
Santa and Mrs. Claus sat at the head of the table and enjoyed the festive meal along with the children.
Keefe stood when he saw the children finished the last of their lunch. “Santa wants to read you a story,” he announced as he made his way to a very overstuffed chair positioned next to a Christmas tree. his velvet bag sitting on his chair.
“Gather round,” Mrs. Claus encouraged.
The excitement of the tiny feet running to find the perfect spot in front of Santa warmed both Keefe and Sirenity’s hearts.
Keefe opened his favorite Christmas story. “Twas the night before Christmas…” As he read, the children went silent. Each of them so enthralled by Santa.
These children by no fault of their own had found themselves in foster care, and Keefe and Sirenity desired to give them a holiday they would tuck away in their innocent hearts. This was by far one of the most notable roles that Sirenity ever played. She was trying to be the best Mrs. Claus that she could, ensuring to bring a day of joy and love.
Santa handed the closed book to Sirenity.“Do you have my naughty and nice list?”
“Yes, dear.” Sirenity unrolled the scroll and handed it to Keefe.
Santa reviewed the list. “Ah, I see so many children on this nice list.”
“Yes, Santa. I noticed that too.”
“It looks like I have a gift for each one of you,” Santa cheerfully shared.
Santa reached in his bag of goodies and called out a child’s name. That child excitedly ran up and sat on Santa’s lap. Keefe had memorized each child's story. “I see you asked for a gift for your little sister.”
“Yes, Santa. She needs new shoes.” The child stared up into Santa’s eyes.
“Well, here’s your gift, and Mrs. Claus has your baby sisters present.”
Sirenity handed this child a small wrapped box. “Thank you,” the little boy said, smiling.
Keefe and Sirenity had worked with social services to see what gift each child wanted for Christmas. Their hearts were so warmed when they read each wish list. One child wanted a warm coat for her brother. As Keefe read down their wish list, he’d was amazed that the children always asked for something special for their sibling or parent.
After the last package was handed out, Keefe knew he’d do this again next year.
“Santa, the elves have the reindeer ready,” Mrs. Claus informed him as she approached with a plate of cookies.
“You must have your cookies and milk before your long trip.” Sirenity gracefully walked across the stage with a plate of cookies.
Keefe took a cookie and nibble on it. “Children, Santa must get going. I have a long trip ahead of me.” Keefe stood then grabbed his empty bag.
“Santa, let me take that and fill it for your trip,” a smiling elf offered.
“Merry Christmas,” Santa said as he waved good-bye, exiting the stage.
Sirenity stayed with the children giving them each a gingerbread cookie and milk. They were amped up on sugar and excitement. It may have been a small thing to do; however, they hoped that today the holiday spirit transported these children to a magical place if only for two hours.
Hi, it's Candice here, and I wanted to make sure I shared my favorite Fudge Recipe. This is great to make and bring to any holiday party. I'm swamped at the cafe so I'll just post this and catch up with you all after the holidays.
Knife to chop walnuts
4 ½ cups Sugar
1 pound (or 16 ounces) Marshmallows
½ pound (or 8 ounces) Butter
Large can Evaporated Milk
3 packages of semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
4 cups coarsely chopped Walnuts
Grease a cake pan. I use butter to grease it. Then in a large bowl add your chocolate chips, butter cut into small squares, and chopped walnuts. Set aside. Now in large pot mix sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and continuously stir for 9 minutes. Turn off the burner and stir or whip in your Marshmallows until the Marshmallows are entirely melted. The consistency should be fluffy. Pour this hot mixture over the bowl containing the chocolate chips, butter, and walnuts. Mix together until butter and chocolate chips are melted. Pour into your greased cake pan and chill in the refrigerator. Once chilled cut into bite-size squares.
Hi, it’s Shane here. Candice wanted me to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Yes, she is a few days early, but she’s so busy preparing the Thanksgiving desserts for her loyal customers and opening the doors Wednesday to the community to stop by for a pastry. Anyway, she didn’t want to forget to thank all of you for reading our story.
This year we invited our family, friends, and neighbors to join us at the café for a delicious meal Thursday. The one thing about my wife, she loves to feed everyone.
Candice also asked me to share this recipe with all of you. She can’t remember where she found it but hopes you enjoy it. So if you try it, let her know. Also, if she perfects the vegan version she will post that recipe too.
Much Love from Candice, myself, and our family.
Preheat oven to 350°
Ingredients for Bar
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Oil (I use vegetable)
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2 cups Canned Pumpkin
1 cup Walnuts
½ cup Raisins (optional)
Cream Sugar & Oil in a large bowl. Sift together Flour, Salt, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, and Baking Soda in a medium bowl. Once shifted together, add dry ingredients to the sugar and oil. Now add Pumpkin, Walnuts, and Raisins. Mix well. Grease and flour a 15” X 11” pan. Spread your pumpkin mixture in pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
Ingredients for the frosting
1 Package 8 ounces Cream Cheese
6 Tablespoons Oleo
1 Tablespoon Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 ¾ cup Powdered Sugar
Let Oleo soften, and then cream all ingredients together. Spread over cooled bars and cut into squares.
I realize I do not blog as much as I would like to. With that said, I’ve been busy behind the scenes. Working on my next novel, keeping up with marketing, and of course gearing for the holidays since I host them.
This week I worked on learning how to make trailers for my novels. I began with iMovie, which was easy, but lacking template choices. Then I learned I can use PowerPoint. I never used PowerPoint before, however, it seemed like it would be a fun challenge. I was not wrong. I had a lot of fun learning the program and what it can do. I am very happy with how my trailers are coming along. The problem I encountered was Powerpoint 2007 (which I have) does not allow you to convert and save as a movie. I am upgrading to Office 2016 so I can make movies out of my Powerpoint presentations. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
Here are the links to the two videos I created so far with iMovie. Enjoy
Blossoming Act Trailer & Rise Above the Truth Trailer
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