November Critique Program

The photography club I joined this summer is having a Critique Program for the month of November.  I haven't been able to attend meetings for the last couple of months, so I'm looking forward to attending next month.  A photographer will be there and those members that have submitted photos will be able to tell a bit about their photographs and receive feedback from a professional standpoint.  I will be glad to hear what the photographer has to say so that I can improve on my skills.  Here are the three photographs I submitted.  I wish I could have submitted one to represent my love of food photography or crafting, but I didn't have time to make new images, so I used some from the past.  You've seen them, but they haven't.

Saturday Finds

This afternoon, I decided to take a quick trip to the neighboring county because I wanted a few essential oils that I can't purchase here.  I'm getting ready to make some more hair concoctions.  I love the fall/winter, but it's hard on my hair.  I've been reading more about moisturizing your hair and sealing it with oils during these months especially, so we'll see.  We don't have mainline vitamin/herb shops here, so I was glad to find that the oils in this independent shop were on sale!  If you've ever purchased essential oils you know that they can be pricey.  I can't wait to get started!


My mom decided to go with me so that she could peruse the thrift shops in the area.  We had fun looking around and I found a few items that I couldn't stand to see remaining in those stores.  The way these stores work, if the date on the item is a certain amount of time in the past, you get an even greater discount, so all the items I purchased were at least 50% of the thrifted price.  Score!

Just look at all that handwork!  I don't know who didn't want this, but I sure do.
I found these napkins on an earlier thrift trip and now the tablecloth matches.
This apron is too darling!  As much as I love it, I may end up posting it in my shop.  
Too cute.  Gobble, Gobble.
Check out this picture frame!  It'll go perfectly in my craft space...when I finish.  :-)

Remember that gift of redecorating a room?  I have an idea of the color scheme, and I found a trashcan today that I love.  It is my inspiration piece.

Mom and I had a great afternoon out.  Now, it's back to the grind!  Hope your weekend has been wonderful.  :-)

Simple Things

Raw Unrefined Cocoa Butter:  I can't wait to give it a try.  It does smell so rich and delicious!

Thank you, Shea Essentials!

Raw Unrefined Shea Butter:  A most wonderful moisturizer.  It's time for me to make some more concoctions.

Thank you, Shea Essentials!

Pure African Black Soap:  This time I got mine scented with Egyptian Sandlewood.  I wish you could smell it.  I love this soap!

And again, thank you, Shea Essentials!  
Can you tell that I love this independent company?

Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Style Conditioning Milk:  Who knew it would make my twists do this when untwisted?

Thank you, Shea Moisture!

And a Newly Completed Cowl Neckwarmer:  Knitted!  I know I probably won't keep it, and it seems to need some matching fingerless gloves.  Don't you think?

Image sources:,

Heart for Harrell

My cousin Ivan needs a heart transplant.  Family and friends established the "Heart for Harrell" Foundation Fund to help raise funds that his insurance will not cover.

Here are ways you can help him:
  • Save your time and money and bargain shop with the FREE application,  The "Heart for Harrell" Fund receives money each time you search and click, and when you purchase online from participating vendors.  Send the above URL to your friends and organizations and have them download the free Shopping Genie on every computer in their household.  When downloading, use Ivan's ID number 75170.
  • Visit to see how to use the Shopping Genie and updates on his progress.  Tax-deductible online donations can also be made through this secure website.
I downloaded the free Shopping Genie.  This Shopping Genie is a part of Google, so you search like you normally would if you're using Google search engine. The Shopping Genie automatically appears and is searching for you to find the lowest prices.  Ivan receives funds whether you purchase the item(s) you were searching for or not.

Slow Cooker Southwestern Soup

I was in need of a quick, hearty, flavorful meal that could be cooked in a Crock Pot to save time.  I searched one of my favorite databases, and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.  So, I decided to combine a couple ideas from different recipes, add a few of my own, and here's what I have to show for it:  A Slow Cooker Southwestern Soup.

Usually I'm not too much a fan of canned goods, but I used what I had and I was in a rush.  The end result was delicious, very flavorful, and surprisingly not hot (spicy, spicy hot).  Okay so here's the very simple recipe in case you want to try it out:

Slow Cooker Southwestern Soup

In the slow cooker add:  1 chopped onion, a can of corn, a can of black beans, a can of chili beans, a can of tomato sauce made for chili recipes, 2 small cans of diced green chiles, four chicken thighs seasoned with a little salt, black pepper, and cumin.  Top with fresh cilantro leaves.  Cover and cook on the low setting for 7 hours.  Shred the chicken, stir and serve!

I served this soup with a dollop of sour cream, some fresh cilantro leaves, and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.  I also had some Tostito scoops.  Ummm, good!

* I'm actually afraid to leave my Crock Pot cooking while I'm not at home, so I prefer to cook things during the night.  In the morning, it's much easier to crawl out of bed when I smell those yummy dishes!