Stepping Stones Blog

Sunday Salon: November 30, 2014

It is cloudy, cold, and dreary this morning… seems as though the weather is giving me permission to stop, relax, and enjoy the peace of today before the official December frenzy of tomorrow.

martina cookbookReading:  Not a lot of traditional reading this week, but my husband did treat the girls of the family to a Martina McBride book signing on Friday at our local Rainy Day Books.

While none of us are country music lovers, per se, my son has worked as Martina’s videographer off-and-on over the past couple of years, and we thought this might be a way for us to connect to his work.  I also enjoy cooking, baking, and entertaining, so the book is a natural fit to my collection.

While I have not thoroughly read the book (although today’s indoor weather may lend itself to that activity), I have glanced through it.  Each chapter focuses on a different holiday gathering, and there are several recipes that I would like to try.  The Table of Contents reads:

  • Fall Supper with Friends
  • Bountiful Tuscan Feast
  • Family Pizza Night
  • Mistletoe and Martinis
  • Retro Valentine’s Day Supper Club
  • Spring Brunch Outdoors
  • Red, White, and Blue Cookout
  • Bruschetta Bash
  • Red Wine and Vinyl
  • Taco Fiesta

Each chapter not only provides tasty recipes and beautiful photographs of the singer, her family, and her food … but she also offers a Game Plan to help break down the tasks into bite-sized portions, a Sanity Saver (clever tips to help you relax and enjoy the celebration), as well as her personal Top Ten Playlist to coordinate with the party’s theme.

I think the book will not only provide several tasty new recipes, but will be entertaining to read as well.

scrapbook pageWriting:  I managed to find a bit of time to work on my Milestone Memoirs idea, although this week I focused on page layout designs rather than the written word.

My idea is to make this project uncomplicated so anyone who has an interest in preserving his/her family stories can do so without fear of not being “creative”  I developed fifteen 2-page spreads, using only four different paper colors:  teal, brown, salmon, and mauve.  This ensures a unified theme throughout the book, as well as simplifying the decorating process.

Today I hope to go through old pictures and find a few that I can use as models for the project.  This week I will work on writing the coordinating essays, with the hopes of perhaps sharing a few completed pages with you next week.

Blogging:  I was a bad blogger this week – not a single post.

Besides preparing for the Thanksgiving feast and the annual tree decorating menu, I had to ensure that all roommate assignments for the upcoming trip to Europe were finalized by 4:30pm Tuesday afternoon.  On the surface that does not sound like a big deal, but in reality, it involved hours of work.  With seventeen rooms to assign, and trying to please all travelers (an impossible task), I was stressed.  I decided to give myself permission to “let go” of blogging for the week.

While I did not post daily gratitudes, however, I did continue to give thanks for special blessings.  I thoroughly enjoyed this project and have decided to continue the practice in December… this time documenting daily Joys I experience during the Christmas Season.  I hope you will continue to join me in this exploration.

As we all prepare for the frenetic pace of the holidays, I hope you each find a few moments of peace and tranquility as well.   Stay warm, perhaps with a cup of hot cocoa, and experience a few visions of sugarplums along the way.



  1. readerbuzz

    Yes, I like how you gave yourself permission to let go of blogging for the week. Admirable. And sensible.

  2. Absolutely sensible, like Deb said, to let go of blogging for the week. You should have…I keep forgetting about your photographer blog. Just added to my Feedly so I don’t miss the posts there now.

  3. cathyensley

    Can’t wait to see more of your scrapbooking ideas.

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