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Top Five for 2016

Our Good Life had a good year in 2016.  As I reflected on the work I did and what you, the readers of this blog liked, it seems that you are as eclectic as me, and that makes me very happy.  In no particular order, I give to you the most popular posts of the year! Easter Morning Breakfast Casserole This recipe is on over 600 boards in Pinterest.  This is a solid recipe that hit at the perfect time, Easter, when people are planning their Easter breakfast meals.  Delicious, too. Ten Things to Do Before School Starts This is my area of personal expertise and one of my life's passions.  School has always been a place where I could serve the children of my community and I will continue to do so, even though I am retired.   Halloween in New Town The place where I live is so beautiful that I love to share it with the world.  I am glad you like it, too! Poke Cake Such a retro dish!  My mom made this for my family many times while I was growing up.
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Christmas is for the Dogs

Truman is set for the holidays this year.  He loves the Christmas tree and sits by it every night.  He pushes over a pillow to make a comfy spot and can lay there for hours! He never bothers the ornaments or pulls on the tree skirt. He is perfectly happy just laying there beside it.  Such a sweet boy. Wilson loves the fireplace and the bed.  He likes the tree, but he always finds a spot on the bed to take his nap.  Often he drags up an article of clothing to snuggle with! What the two do agree on is that they love the snacks from chewy.com!  This month they tried the Bone Marrow treats from Wellness.  These are small, round treats with a meaty marrow on the inside. They really loved getting this as a snack, if their dancing around the treat bowl was any indication! They are only 5 calories per treat, gluten free, and evidently very tasty.  Wilson is always watching his weight and Truman has some tummy issues, so this was a treat that I was happy to give them! Th
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Sugarfree Cranberry Juice

My daughter and I are a big fan of the Christmas cocktail called Poinsettia.  It is a simple cocktail of vodka, champagne, cranberry juice and some orange zest.  We made it for the first time a few years ago and it has been a semi tradition ever since. I had a bag of leftover cranberries and rather than waste them, I made them into juice for our cocktails.  It was super simple and I know our cocktails will taste wonderful due to the fresh taste of our juice! 1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries 4 c water Pour water into a large kettle.  Add cranberries.  Bring to a boil.  When cranberries begin to pop, continue to cook on the stovetop for 10 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes, then pour into a food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth.  Strain juice into a jar.  Store in the refrigerator. The juice is very tart, since it is sugar free.  You will want to add 2 teaspoons of sugar per cup of juice when you are ready to use the juice.  I plan to use Stevia in mine. For t
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Show Me Your Christmas Tree~St. Charles

This post is part of a series from the Missouri Women Bloggers called "Show Me Your Christmas Tree."  It is my privilege to host such wonderful bloggers from all around the state.  Enjoy your tour and Merry Christmas to all! We come from all parts of the "Show Me State" and I am so excited to get to work with women as talented as these.  Be sure to check out their beautiful trees through the links below. Each blog will be showing you their tree, some ornaments, and a decorating hint that might help you with your decorating.  The hint will be in italics and easy for you to find! My hint:  Set the mood.  Even when you love it as much as I do, the tree decorating is hard work.  Find some good music, have a snack and your favorite beverage nearby.  Take a moment to dance to your favorite tune when it pops up and rest as needed.   Nostalgia sets in as my husband and I set up our tree this year.  I miss having a little one underfoot while we try to set
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Fireball Bites #TasteCreations

If you love the taste of Fireball, these Fireball cookies will satisfy that heat and sweet craving fast! Simple to make, no bake Fireball cookies are a hit wherever you take them! For our December food, we selected sugar since we all love our holiday sweets!  Our bloggers have some tasty treats for you using real sugar.  We know that sugar isn't as healthy as other options, so be sure you are consuming it in moderation.  Sugar is my weakness.  I always have room for a sweet! I was inspired by Cathy at My Side of 50 for this recipe .  She tells a darling story about her grandmother on this post.  Go and check it out. My grandmother story is slightly different.  My great grandmother, Lula Belle Wilson, liked booze and often added it to recipes, most often her delicious eggnog.  When my momma was a little girl, Lula often told her to stay out of the eggnog.  My mom decided then that HER eggnog would never have booze in it so that everyone could enjoy it.  And as far as I kno
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A Sentence A Day~ November

When I learned about writing a sentence a day for journaling, I knew it was something I wanted to do.  I was right, because here I am today, still doing it! This is my seventh month and I don't think I will be slowing down anytime soon. It's just one sentence a day, although, trying to summarize the day's events and emotions into one sentence is challenging. For past editions of the A Sentence A Day journaling, check out these links: May ,  June ,  July ,   August ,  September  and October. November 1.  The day after a wonderful Halloween, yet I felt driven to take down all the Halloween decorations inside and out and get my Thanksgiving items up, front and center. November 2.  Working with teachers who are in it for the students, makes me feel like I am in it for them and that makes us all want to work harder! November 3.  Going to see Shakespeare with my English major husband, makes me appreciate his knowledge about the subject, especially when it is McB
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Project Beautiful's #PBColorOurWorld Brown

Say hello to Project Beautiful, a group of bloggers who are fascinated by the world around them, including things such as gardening, nature, books, cooking, children, and more! This is our monthly blog round up of posts centered around a specific color.  Last month, we featured the color orange and now this month, brown! Let's talk about brown a bit.  Brown is a composite color, meaning it is a combination of colors to make it.  There are many ways to make brown.  You can combine all the colors together, or you can use red and green in specific proportions to make brown.  Brown is the least liked color, according to some, but I love its richness and velvety smoothness.  In languages other than English, brown sounds a lot like our word for coffee. Blooming Secrets featured these lovely brown tinted flowers.  I am in love with these irises.  Gorgeous. Landscape Design by Lee has a lovely photo essay on beautiful browns in the garden. Day to Day Adventures m
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Teamwork and Thanksgiving: Our Best Tips

My mother has been organizing Thanksgiving dinners since 1958.  We were talking during her recent hospitalization about her memories of Thanksgivings through the years and I got to hear many stories which lead to these best hints for a holiday filled with Teamwork and Thanksgiving. My mom's earliest memories are with her mom's family.  Her cousins and her aunts and uncles took turns hosting the event and would come together at one of the homes. They spent the whole day with these families and playing with the cousins.  The women all brought dishes to help the hostess.  The kids sat away from the grown ups and in this family, no wine or alcohol was involved.  The best teamwork tip from this era was let people bring a dish! My grandmother started hosting her own Thanksgiving when her brothers and sisters bowed out of hosting the event.  My great grandparents and my aunts and uncles and my cousins met at the house. My grandmother cooked the turkey, rolls and pies and the
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Homemade Pumpkin Puree

As much as I like my easy cooking, there are times when some things are just worth going the extra mile for.  One of these extra mile things is pumpkin puree.  You've done it, opened a can of pumpkin and seen that orange mass and scooped it out of the can for your pie.  This is what I know of pumpkin.  Pie filling and the puree that comes from a can.  Until I met Evelyne from Nemscok Farms .  Evelyne told me the joys of roasting your own pumpkin and making your own puree.  Evelyne is no stranger to this blog.  She's my friend who sells the delicious chamomile tea that I love and recently published an eBook on knitting.  Her Nemscok Farm blog talks about all kinds of things related to homestyle living and her knitting blog, Knit's End, shared all kinds of delightful patterns and tricks about knitting.  All worth checking out! To make your own pumpkin puree, it is really quite simple and not really a recipe as much as it is steps. 1. Preheat your oven to 35
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10 Reflections on my 58th Birthday

It's my 58th birthday today, and I am thinking about my life and all the lessons I have learned that have helped me grow into the person I am today. 1.  There is no such thing as fair. Everyone gets handed things in life that aren't fair.  My brother passed away when he was three.  I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian disease in 1982, lupus in 1996, and breast cancer in 2009. This isn't a pity party.  Each of us our dealt our own hand.  It is what we do with the cards that matters. 2.  Worrying solves nothing. Worrying is such a time waster.  There are so many things you can do in the same amount of time as worrying, and in the end, you will have a painting, a knitted blanket, or a blog post.  Worrying never solved a problem, made your bank account flush, or brought your spouse home any earlier. 3.  Cats are a little bit of heaven. Yes, I have two dogs that I love dearly.  But when it comes to out-and-out love, my cats have always been the ones to
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Wine and Tea Poached Eggs #TastyParTEA

A baker's dozen bloggers have come together to share different recipes that use tea during the month of November. Whether you're a fan of sweet or savory #TastyParTEA's creations will make your mouth water. This is a creation I read about years ago in a magazine I subscribed to that was all about Tea. I loved that magazine but I believe it went out of print a few years back.  The recipe was for Wine and Tea Poached Eggs.  Doesn't that sound different??? So, while I am making the eggs, I thought I would share with you my morning ritual of having a cup of this ImmuniTea with breakfast every day.  I am a breast cancer survivor and I am always looking for ways to boost my immune system and doing it naturally.  This tea is a perfect way for me to boost my immune system and start my day off right. mug is from Charles Viancin #TastyParTEA To make the wine and tea poached eggs, I just wanted to tell you that if you already know how to poach an egg, all that is differ
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The Final Secret Recipe Blog Post~Milk Poached Eggs

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that the Secret Recipe Club is coming to a close. I met some awesome food bloggers during this time and learned so much from each of them.  I wish all the participants the best of luck and hope to work together in the future.  I must say thank you to our two wonderful bloggers who kept us organized, Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla and Sarah, from Fantastical Sharing who was the curator of Secret Recipe Club. For this final event, I was assigned Melissa from Sme lls Like Brownies .  Isn't that the cutest blog name?  Melissa is a stay-at-home mom, which we all know is a fantastic opportunity for her and her family.  She started her blog with the intention of finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Through her experiments, she learned a life lesson: variety is the spice of life!  There are many shades of perfect and she learned to appreciate many! I love this part of the adventure: snooping through the Recipe I
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