Tuesday, December 30


Greetings, dear reader!

As a surprise for my birthday, and because we REALLY hate winter, hubby dear is whisking me away to the gulfcoast of Florida! WOOT! I will check in once we get there, but wanted you to know what's become of me. Faithful companion Webster will be going with us. We are excited to be taking him to dog beaches, Paw Playgrounds, and a pet friendly cottage on the beach at St. Pete. Free WIFI so I should be able to update from the beach!

Talk to you soon!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Tuesday, December 23


Greetings, dear reader!

While I've been hanging with family, running amuck with Dusty, and decking the Clouse House halls, I have run across some of the sweetest/dearest FREE holiday gift tags! Just get a load of these from Inside a Black Apple:

And these sweet tags from Lollychops:

Happy Eve of Christmas Eve!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Friday, December 19


Greetings, dear reader!

I have been snapping pictures fast and furious in order to share with you some of the highlights of the past few days...First, photos from the quaint little town of Newburgh, Indiana. As you may recall, dear friend and Franciscan sister Dusty and I went to have lunch with her spiritual director, and spend the day browsing the darling little shoppes...

And of course we had to hang around long enough to see the town "lit up":

While shopping, I came upon these delightful finds...just what I was looking for!

What could be better...sock monkies AND a cowgirl! It was just too perfect! (And NO, I do NOT think they're ugly!)

And then I was on the prowl for some vintage "made in Japan" little houses...a trip to an antique store, and I STOLE these for a song! I also found a bag of bottle brush trees, so now I can create an entire little village! WOOT!

I also found a bag of odd, kitchy, hand made ornaments...again for mere pennies!

And FINALLY, my favorite Ebay find of 2008: these "over the top" kitschy snowmen from Japan...they are standing on mushrooms! How utterly ADORABLE! (I collect snow persons, you know...and I'd LOVE to have a collection of mushrooms...well, here I found both!) I am going to get a vintage silver tree after Christmas and then next year my tree will be bedecked with these festive little fellows. I got a whole box full for 9.99! SUCH A DEAL!

Are they not just ADORABLE? What is YOUR favorite find of 2008?

And lastly (I know, I sound like a preacher..."As I continue to conclude..." ha ha)

A super easy recipe that I KNOW is going to get me into all kinds of trouble. Make it QUICK before your 2009 resolution to lose weight! It is called "The Most Dangerous Recipe in the World"


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (supposedly optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thouroughly. Pour in the milk and ooil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using...are you kidding?) and vanilla extract. Mix again. Put mug in microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate and eat!

WHY is this recipe dangerous? Because you are now a mere 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Tuesday, December 16


Greetings dear reader!

AND the decking of the halls continues...the OUTER halls this time! I took advantage of the freakishly warm weather 2 nights ago and began decking the outer halls at 10 p.m. It was 60 degrees! Can you fathom it? Now, 2 days later it's 8. ARGH! Annnnnnnnnnnyway, here are a few shots of the post-decked outer halls:

And look who showed up in a flower box...the Travel Gnome! I hope his appearing indicates an ensuing bit of travel for yours truly...someplace warm and sunny would be my personal preference!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Thursday, December 11


Greetings, dear reader!

I am crazy busy but wanted to post the latest installment of the Clouse House becoming the North Pole. Here's a little collage of the madness:

Tomorrow I am off to Newburgh, Indiana with dear friend and Franciscan sister, Dusty. We are going to eat lunch with her Spiritual Director, then shop some of the quaint, Dickensesque shops in downtown Newburgh. We will then stop in E'ville for a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Twist, and Panera for an Orange Cranberry Muffin. I shall document the day in photos, and post them here this weekend!

Peace and joy to you all!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Wednesday, December 10


...And the decking of the halls continues...

More (photos) soon!


Paula Clare

Sunday, December 7


Greetings, dear reader!

Well, I have purchased and replaced all 9 (count them) NINE strands of defunct lights with new ones...and can report that the decking of the halls has commenced. I am currently feeling quite a kinship with Buddy the Elf...I've just begun, but I wanted to let you see the progress as it happens.

Sadly, the DVD player is still dead, however NOT to be outdone (or undone), I enlisted my faithful laptop and listened to Trans Siberian Orchestra as I decorated. Does life get any better? I submit to you it DOES NOT! (unless I'd be hanging ornaments on a Palm Tree in some exotic locale). Webster was quite longsuffering, and was only moderately annoyed as I covered his spot on the loveseat with Christmas debris. I DID take him on several field trips to the garage...and excursion which he seemed to enjoy.

And so, without further adieu, a few more pics of the progress:

Hubby Dear and I got this fake fireplace right after we moved into our little cottage. It was only $50, and we have always loved the homey feel it adds to the living room. It is always "decoration central" when the holidays change.

And the TV Armoire also gets decorated:

And the corner of the living room:

And I've just started on the craft room!

More decorating (and snowmen) to come!


Paula Clare

Saturday, December 6


Well, not so much. The Yankee Christmas Eve and Christmas Wreath candles are lit...however I have YET TO FIND a working strand of lights! I have tested and tried 6...of which 6 remained unlit. How does that happen? How do ALL of the lights I've purchased over the years ALL go out at once? It's a case for unsolved mysteries, I tell ya...THEN I was going to watch a Christmas Carol DVD and A Muppet Christmas and the DVD player won't work! ACK! THIS, my friends, MUST be remedied at once. I simply cannot miss all the Christmas classics...however will I ring in the season without them?

Meanwhile, the Webmeister and I have been dragging out the Christmas yuletide decorations...here's where we've gotten thus far:

Pile-O-Christmas Goods


Door Wreath

Webster's Help (I guess he's found HIS Christmas cushion!)

Webbie feeling especially photogenic...he has an anti-photo phobia almost to the degree of my eldest son. However, Webster is small enough to hold and therefore FORCE into a picture...my eldest...is not. :-)

More as progress (hopefully) ensues!



Paula Clare

Thursday, December 4


Greetings, dear reader! Just a quick note to let you know that my Lollishops Shop is now open! I am still loading the shelves with inventory, but the shop is up, running, and ready for business! Lots of cute Christmas decorations, gifts and fun home decor kits that will add to the festive atmosphere in your home!

Here's one of the kits that would be a wonderful addition to your Christmas decor!

Gnome Sweet Gnome Home Decor Kit Includes:

1 Pair Retro mushroom salt and pepper shakers
1 Vintage Children's Book: Totten the Christmas Gnome
1 Vintage Christmas Gnome Ornament
3 Sheets 12x12 Cherry papers
1 Sheet Cherry Stickers & Alphabet
2 Yards "Netherlands" vintage fabric

I'll be adding new things to the shop this weekend ...be sure to check back!


Paula Clare