What joy the gospel gives me. I can approach the throne of God with confidence, not because I've done a good job at my spiritual duties, but because I'm clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. ~ C.J. Mahaney

Blue Ribbon Almond Roca Cookies


As soon as I ran across this recipe for Blue Ribbon Almond Roca Cookies, I knew it was a "must-try."  Seriously.  Butter, toffee bits, almonds, and chocolate?  Who could resist?  This recipe comes from an Emeril holiday cookie contest, and as the name implies, these took home the top prize.  It's no wonder either; they are absolutely incredible!  The cookie itself is wonderfully chewy, but the toffee bits add just the perfect amount of crunch.  If my family's initial reaction to these cookies is any indication,  they are going to be a Christmas tradition around our house.  These were flying off the cooling racks faster than I could manage to get the chocolate drizzled on the tops!

These cookies are super simple to make.  Just cream your butter and sugars with the eggs and vanilla flavoring.  Then add the dry ingredients and the toffee bits.  Shape them into little 1" balls and roll them in ground almonds.



  Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let cool and drizzle with melted milk chocolate.


Oh, and you may need an accountability partner in the kitchen with you, as it's almost impossible to stay out of the dough.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

So, are you ready for Christmas?  It's just one week from today!  Amidst the festivities, food, and family gatherings, we're trying to focus on the One whom the holiday celebrates, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Have a beautiful weekend!


Cinna-mint Chalets and Gumdrop Cottages


Making gingerbread houses is a tradition in our home.  Usually we just buy a kit because everything we  need is all in one box....the pre-cut gingerbread, the candies, and the icing.  Plus, we can get it completed, cleaned up, and displayed before everyone runs out of patience with the whole thing.

This year was different, however.  We were invited to a gingerbread house-making party and couldn't find a kit anywhere in town!  Not allowing this little inconvenience to dissuade us, we instead opted for the graham cracker knock-off version.  Frankly, the results were quite gratifying!  It was a bit more work on our part, which also forced us to be more creative.   And our patience got a work-out as well! 


Cinna-mint Chalet under construction.  The only tricky part was not munching candy canes while I worked.


See the teeny-tiny house Maggie designed?  It stands less than two inches high!  I was amazed by her perseverance on that one.


Gumdrop Cottage--I like the shingles on this one.


Another weensy little Maggie creation.  She was really into making houses from the graham cracker scraps.  Her snowy roof is liberally sprinkled with non-pariels, naturally.   I just adore her gumdrop and candy cane trees.


The whole village. 


(The short, squatty houses are actually orange juice cartons that we cut down and used as frames.)

Seriously, playing with cookies, candy, and icing is therapeutic for whatever ails you.  Highly, highly recommended if you're feeling a bit stressed!


Sewing Room Christmas Tree


Thinking my creative workspace needed a touch of Christmas cheer, I set out to find just the right tree for my sewing room. As soon as I spotted this shiny aqua blue tree I knew it was just the one.

The garland we made from batting scraps and beads. Holly and Maggie strung that together for me.


Most of the "ornaments" are tiny pieces of fabric pinned on with pastel safety pins.


I've been saving thread spools for months, planning to tie them on the tree with gingham ribbon.
A little paint and voila!...happy little spool ornaments!



Gussied up with a little scrappy tree skirt, now it's all finished!


Why yes, Bella, that's what you think it is! How could we forget you?



It's Up, By Golly!


Finally finished, "Oh, By Golly!" has its own little wall this Christmas.


Keeping it company are some friendly little bears and rocking horses.


And there in a basket are some of my books from when I was a 'widdle' girl.
Several of the motifs on this quilt were inspired by characters from the book,
The Christmas Snowman. 


I'm smiling as I remember happy, childhood memories of Christmas Past.