Monday Mug Shot


Today’s mug is in honor of my home state.  It’s heavy on my heart today due to the devastating fires that are going on there.  The “Camp Fire” in Northern California is being called “The most destructive fire in state history” according to CBS News.  The evacuation of 250,000 people from Malibu in Southern California was a horrifying thing to see as I watched some footage from it on T.V. last night.  My heart hurts for my fellow Californians and my prayers are going up for my friends, family, and all of those who have lost so much in these terrible fires!

I acquired this mug during our most recent visit to our hometown of Concord this past May.  There is a brand new shopping area where a Chevron office building stood when we left in 2006.  In that shopping area is a Peet’s coffee.  It was close to our hotel, so this was where I got most of my morning coffee.  We don’t have Peet’s coffee here in Central Texas, or at least not that I’ve been able to find, so this mug really needed to come home with me.  😉

This is the exact store we visited.  Normally, this mug puts me in a California dreamin’ state of mind; sunshine, cool breezes, no humidity, and reminds me of my roots.  Today it reminds me to pray; for rain, for safety, for comfort, for ways to help and for the recovery of my beautiful home state once the devastation passes.  This isn’t our first season of wildfires and it won’t be our last, but it is proving itself to be one of the most devastating.  Please pray and help if you can.

Blessings!  🙏🏻💕

Monday Mug Shot


Today’s mug is an interesting one from an interesting place.  It’s fairly new to the collection.  As I think I’ve mentioned before, our youngest son is attending college in Canyon, Texas. This past summer was his first summer away from home.  In the past, he has come home for summer break, but this year he’s doing the whole grown-up thing.  Working, paying rent, etc.  So, in August we went to visit him right before he started his junior year.

Canyon is called “Canyon” because it’s home to Palo Duro Canyon.  We have been there many times in the past three years and never once actually visited the canyon . . . until this summer.  We did a little research before visiting and found out some amazing things.  For one, Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States.  Second only to . . . you guessed it, the Grand Canyon!  Right here in Texas!  Who knew?!  We sure didn’t.  It’s a beautiful place and chock full of history, but I won’t ruin that for you by telling you all about it.  😉

Inside the canyon is a cool little place called Palo Duro Trading Post. You can eat, grab some snacks for the trail, or do what we did and shop.  There’s no shortage of souvenirs there.  You can see the rest of my mug’s family there on the bottom shelf in the pic on the right.  As you can see, there are plenty of mugs to choose from.

I chose this one because of the design on the inside of the mug.  I’d never seen one like it before.  I’ve seen plenty of mugs with a picture on the inside bottom, like a prize for when you reach the end of your cuppa.  Or even a little ceramic figure sitting in the cup, drowning until you rescue it by drinking all your coffee.  But never have I seen the entire inside of a mug decorated in such a way and it really appealed to the hippy in me.  The creative free-spirit that almost never appears was all over this mug.  All the other mugs disappeared when she saw this one!


No, I’m not a multiple personality, just multiple moods.  These are moods I’m talking about.  Ok, now that we’ve cleared that up – Oh!  I also love the contrast!  I love contrast anyway and somehow the black and white inside just really works with the blue outside for me.  I also find this mug intriguing because I can’t totally make out the design on the front.  In fact, without my glasses, I can’t even read where it says “Palo Duro Canyon, Texas”.  The design looks like maybe a canyon formation and some Native American art???  If you can make it out better than I can, I would love a translation.

This little mug makes me feel grateful that we finally visited the canyon and brings back a happy memory.  It also inspires the artist in me with its unique interior.  I’m calling this one my “happy artist” mug.  ☕️🎨😃💕


Monday Mug Shot

The mug I’m sharing with you today is only a few years old.  How many years?  I’m not exactly sure, but it was purchased here in Texas upon the occasion of a visit from my bestie, Angel.  We met in California where we raised our kids and grew in Christ together for almost ten years.  Strangely enough, the Lord moved both our families out of California within months of each other, they went to Arkansas and we went to Texas.

That was over twelve years ago and we have managed to visit about once a year. Mostly, she and her husband come here.  We have a silly habit of getting each other gifts when we visit.  On this occasion, I got us matching coffee cups so we could think of each other when we used them.  I found them at World Market, I believe.

At first, I used mine on Fridays to celebrate the end of the work week and remember our last visit.  I’m not sure why Friday except that it’s my favorite day of the week and it just seemed appropriate.

I continued the tradition the following year (that one will come up eventually).  After that, I didn’t think it would be as special if we had cupboards full of “bestie” mugs and Angel eventually stopped drinking coffee anyway.  She does tea now, so maybe I’ll switch to pretty little tea cups for her.  🤔  Angel says she has three mugs from me.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember the third one.  Maybe she’ll read this and refresh my memory.  😉

A little side note:  I saw this mug on a T.V. show one night!  I thought that was pretty cool.  Also, as you can see, it’s been well loved as evidenced by the little chips in the rim.


This mug reminds me of my bestie and how thankful I am that even though we’re farther apart in distance, we’re as close as ever.  😊💕

Monday Mug Shot


Today’s mug comes to you from the Disney store inside the Sunvalley Mall in Concord, CA.  YEARS ago, when my grown boys were still little guys a Disney store came to our local mall.  It was a new phenomenon back then, being able to buy Disney paraphernalia without going to Disneyland, and we were excited!  I can’t count the number of times we visited that store.  We had little kids, so it was the place.

Winnie The Pooh was big in our house!  We had several Winnie The Pooh Playtime VHS tapes that the boys would watch over and over again; Cowboy Pooh, Detective Tigger, Rabbit Marks the Spot, just to name a few.  Tigger has always been my favorite.  My personality is more like Eeyore, but I want to be like Tigger;
“bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!”  518F082E-C49C-48BF-A182-DF57CC8CEFEE

If I remember correctly, this mug was one of the first things I bought from that new Disney store.  Since then birthdays, Christmases, and grandkids have taken me back to the Disney store, but most recently to the one in the Round Rock Outlets now that we live in Texas.

This mug makes me happy.  It takes me back to a happy, child-filled time and makes my heart feel bouncy.  For just a little while, as long as the coffee lasts, Eeyore turns into Tigger.


Monday Mug Shot

Today’s mug shot is another gift from my son, Matt.  He was on the bowling team in high school, in fact he won the Texas state high school singles championship when he was a sophomore.  He is a very gifted bowler.  Anyway, there is a youth bowling tournament every year called “Junior Gold”.  Matt’s senior year the tournament was in Buffalo, N.Y. and Matt went.  While there, he visited Niagra Falls.  He made sure to find a Starbucks (he’s not a coffee drinker) and bring me back this mug.


I thought it was the sweetest gesture.  I think he had some help from one of the moms who went on the trip, if I remember correctly.  Still, for him to go through the effort of tracking this down for me, really touched my heart.  One of my love languages is gifts.  There’s not much that makes me feel more loved than to have someone go to the trouble of finding something they know I would like.  It makes me feel known, considered, and loved.  I believe Matt loves me.  ☺️💕

This mug invokes fond memories of my sweet son and inspires the travel bug in me.  I’ve never been to Niagra Falls and would love to see it in person some time.  Maybe even step over to the Canadian side for a visit.  I’ve been to Canada briefly on the way to an Alaskan cruise and have always wanted to return for a more lengthy visit.

It’s funny how, like a certain smell, my mugs can transport me back in time to a certain memory or place I’ve been, or in this case inspire me to go somewhere I’ve never been.




Monday Mug Shot

Twelve years ago last month my husband, our two boys, and I moved from the San Francisco East Bay Area to Central Texas.  My husband had lived in Northern California most of his life after being born and living in McAllen, Texas for three months.  His parents are from Austin, so we were returning to his roots in a sense, although we both refer to California as “home”.

For the first time since moving, we took a trip “home” this past May, just my husband and I.  We visited a bunch of our favorite places; Carmel, MT. Diablo, Muir Woods, Stinson Beach, and Lake Tahoe.  We would have hit Yosemite also, but we ran out of time.  While in Tahoe, I picked up this mug:


Funny thing is, I already had a Lake Tahoe mug.  I’ll give you the story on that one later.  The thing is, while I’ve always loved the first mug, it’s small.  More for a cup of tea or a small cup of coffee.  It also got chipped.  😢  I’m a big fan of lattes and therefore, a big fan of bigger cups – like this one.

Rich and I were having lunch at a little place called “Driftwood Cafe” in Tahoe.  After lunch we wandered into the gift shop next door where I spotted this mug.  I loved the color, the font, and the fact that it looked big enough to hold a latte’.  So, home with me it came.  I’m transported back to Tahoe and that beautiful day spent there with my sweetie every time I use it.  It puts me in a Cali. state of mind.


Monday Mug Shot

Today’s mug holds a special place in my heart.  I have a son named Matthew.  He is now 21-years old and attending college 7 hours away from home.  This son is the apple of my right eye (his brother is the apple of my left).  He is also the baby of the family at 6-foot something and over 200 pounds.  He is adorable!  Handsome, funny, talented, and huge-hearted.  Okay, if you insist.  Here’s a picture of my Matty-Man.


Cute, right?!  I think so anyway.  That’s his lovely girlfriend, Megan, and I adore her too.  I made that hat for her, btw.  😁.

Matthew blesses my heart in so many ways, I could gush for pages.  I will spare you, however, and just show you the mug in question.


I love fall and all its colors.  Matt knows that as well as he knows that I love mugs, so this was his Christmas gift to me one year when he was still in high school.  I actually have several mugs that were gifted to me from Matt, as you will see.  He is just such a sweetheart!  This mug warms my heart every time I use it.  It puts me in the mood for fall and gives me a warm coffee hug from Matty.  (😂😂😂 I couldn’t resist!  )


2 Easy Kitchen DIYs

I have two really simple things you can make yourself and have on hand in the kitchen.  The first is a remedy I use every winter to combat colds, flu, and chronic bronchitis – lemon and ginger infused honey.


Ginger is a well-known traditional remedy for coughs, cold, and flu.  It’s anti-inflammatory and may help boost your immune system.  Honey soothes a sore throat, has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and local honey can help with allergies.  In general, the darker the honey, the stronger its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The lemon, of course, provides vitamin C, aids in digestion, and also improves skin quality, just to name a few of its many health benefits.

sliced lemon

Photo by on

This infusion is super easy to make and use.  Here’s the recipe:


1 medium lemon.                         1 piece of ginger root, similar in size to the lemon
Lots of honey                                1 quart mason jar with lid, or similar glass container


  1. Chop lemon and ginger into similar sized pieces (this helps everything diffuse evenly) and place in your jar.
  2. Cover completely with honey.  Pieces will float to the top, but as long as you initially covered everything with the honey, it’s okay.
  3. Leave the jar on a countertop all day, shaking or rotating occasionally.  By rotating, I mean turn the jar upside down for awhile then turn back right side up for awhile.  Make sure your lid is tight.
  4. Store in the refrigerator overnight and by morning, it’s ready to use.

Simply measure 2-3 tablespoons of honey into a cup and add 6-8 ounces of hot water.  Stir and enjoy!  If you want to amp up the flavor a bit, add a chunk or two of the lemon and/or ginger from the jar.  I recommend at least three cups of this tea a day.  More if you already have a cold or flu.

My second DIY is homemade vanilla.  Again, so super easy that a recipe isn’t really even necessary.  If you’re big on holiday cooking, you might want to start this in August or earlier.  It takes 8-12 weeks before it’s ready to use.  So, here’s what you need: 5 whole vanilla beans, 1 cup of your favorite vodka, rum, or bourbon and at least a half-quart jar.


My alcohol of choice is Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodka.  It’s not real expensive and it tastes yummy!  This Rose & Ivy bottle used to contain vanilla extract that my sister brought me several years ago and I’ve reused the bottle over and over for making my own vanilla.  So, all you do is cut a slit in each vanilla bean and drop it in your container of choice (I also cut mine in half to fit the bottle better).  Pour 1 cup of vodka over the beans, seal, and store in a cool, dark place for 8-12 weeks.  Give it an occasional shake and there ya’ go!  In 8 weeks you’ll have a fantastic homemade vanilla to use in your homemade goodies.  The longer it sits, the stronger it gets, so 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks – depends on your taste.  If you want to make a larger batch, the ratio is 1 cup of booze for every 5 vanilla beans.


I started this bottle three days ago and you can already see the vanilla “caviar” swimming in the vodka when I shake the bottle.  So exciting!  I love making my own ingredients for the kitchen.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these two ideas and that you get plenty of use out of them.


Monday Mug Shot

For a long time, I’ve had this idea of making a scrapbook of my personal items and the stories behind them.  I was going to call it “The Story of My Stuff”. Clever, eh?  😂  The idea behind the idea was so that when I’m gone, my kids will know where all this stuff came from and what it meant to me.  I don’t know if that’s really important to them, but I know that I had a lot of questions about the things my mom left behind.  I thought it would be really nice to know their value to her.

To most coffee and tea drinkers, an important part of the experience is the mug or cup.  You have to “feel” the mug you’re drinking out of.  I know that sounds silly, but it’s true.  Some days we feel practical, other days whimsical – moods are ever changing.  This has been my experience, anyway, and as a result I have a cup for almost every mood.  Sigh!  The frivolity of humanity sometimes.  I’m as guilty as the next girl.  What can I say?  I love my mugs.

So . . . I’ve decided to share them with the world and leave their stories behind at the same time.  Thus, “Monday Mug Shot”!  Every Monday I will profile a cup/mug from my collection for posterity and your amusement (or boredom, in which case know that there will be no hard feelings if you just delete my email). I am fully aware that this is just silliness to some people and that’s okay.  Now, on to my silliness!

The cup that I am profiling today is this one:


It came from a charming nursery in Smithville, Texas called “Grandma’s House”.  Smithville is on the way to my sister’s house and on the occasion of a visit a couple of years ago, my sister met me at this nursery and we did some shopping.  We were accompanied by my granddaughter, Leah and my sister’s neighbor’s daughter, Aubrey.

I have always loved gardening.  Unfortunately, a little less so in the Texas summers.  This was spring time, however, and my gardening hopes were sprouting anew with no thought of the impending summer heat.  I bought a couple of tomato plants, a raspberry stick (I was feeling ambitious), and this mug.  The tomato plants are long since gone and the raspberries never materialized at all, but this little mug keeps chugging along.

This cup appeals to the earth mother within who thinks she’s more of a gardener than she really is.  After all, a true gardener would suffer the Texas summer heat for the sake of their garden, right?  I’m afraid I fall short there and prefer fall and winter gardens.  Summer is my hibernation time – me in my air conditioned cave with the t.v. remote and my latest crochet project.   But . . . that’s a different mug shot for a different Monday.