Tag Archives: Polar Express

Gorgeous Sky & Choo-Choos SWF + CTST Vol. 2

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Hello, Kittens and Dawgs!  Last week, I started sharing two of my regular Friday segments, Skywatch Friday and Celebrate the Small Things on Thursday as a way to make the content more enjoyable for all who stop by.

In my Skywatch Friday section today, I’m taking a look back to our December day trip to Bryson City and Dillsboro, North Carolina.  These two towns are about 30-minutes apart.  We had a lovely time strolling around Bryson City and shared some of those photos here and here.

We were in these mountain communities in the middle of the week and there were no worries of crowds or traffic.  When we got to Dillsboro, we decided to swing by to see the left-behind movie scene props from Harrison Ford’s hit flick, The Fugitive.

I photographed this last in late fall 2013.  The angle and exposure were not the best in those shots, so I was glad to have another chance for a do-over.

This time I zoomed in more for a better view and in the below picture if you click to enlarge you should be able to read Illinois Dept. of Correction on the side of the bus.

It was a splendid day for early December to be outdoors soaking up the sunshine even with the occasional wind gusts.

After we got done in Dillsboro, we stopped off to see the Balsam Mountain Inn and as the veil of night fell, we venture to Pigeon Forge on our way home to enjoy the lights.

Today, I’m Celebrating the Small Things include…

I know I’ve said it before but I’m celebrating living in a place I love and can have many do-overs on photo-ops or moments to just soak up the beautiful mountain atmosphere.  I know there are some who visit may only have that once in a lifetime experience or perhaps an annual trip to this part of the country that we call home. I count us truly blessed to live here and do not take a moment of it for granted.

What are you celebrating?

See what others are celebrating this week and if you want to join the linky, then visit Lexa for details!

Tomorrow, I invite you to join me for some social media fun and your weekly dose of laughter with Friday Sillies.

 

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Skywatch Friday Polar Express

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Last year this time while on a blog break, we took a day trip to Bryson City, North Carolina and we plan to do a repeat visit this afternoon.

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Take a peak at more of images I snapped of the Smoky Mountain Railway.

~All images captured with my big girl camera ~ Nikon D7000 & preferred lens Nikkor 18-105mm zoom, unless otherwise noted.~

Our weather forecast is calling for sunny skies and mild temperatures (low to mid 50s), so I expect it’ll be a spectacular day.

I encourage you to can join other Skywatch Friday photo enthusiasts here and now, it’s time to play along with Lexa in Celebrate the small things.

I celebrate…

  • kick starting the Christmas season with my homemade Maple Nut Fudge!
  • sharing another freebie with my readers. If you need Christmas design templates for your return shipping address, check out these 6-designs by Avery, here. I have used these in the past.
  • finding cool Christmas inspiration and freebies on Pinterest.
  • going to Dillsboro, NC tonight for their annual luminaries display. You can visit the streets of Dillsboro from our trip two Christmases ago here.
  • finally getting a chance to make home-made peppermint marshmallows for the first time in many years. This is a fun, easy, recipe that puts that extra festive mood in my cup of hot chocolate and the timing is perfect with our forecast lows this weekend dipping into the 20s. The recipe at the bottom. 😉

Life should be celebrated, even when it seems like you have no reason to celebrate. Just look around, I bet you’ll see something good! What are you celebrating?

One way to celebrate is with  Friendship Friday and Friday Features Linky Party, where you’re sure to make new friends and get lots of inspiration to boot!

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It’s only marshmallow fluff at this stage. I’ll share photos after the marshmallow dries per the instructions. It looks pretty good like this, though, doesn’t it?

Home-made Peppermint Marshmallows

Ingredients:

2 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

NOTE: The original recipe calls for pure vanilla. I substituted LorAnn Peppermint Oil in its place, but I got too much in my batch. I think next time I will add 1 teaspoon until desired pepperminty taste. UPDATE: I made second batch after making this suggestion and found that 1 teaspoon is still a bit too much. Next time, I will start with half a teaspoon and adding more, if needed.

Steps:
1. Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Let stand 30 minutes.
2. Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small heavy saucepan; place over low heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals.
3. Clip on a candy thermometer; raise heat to high. Cook syrup without stirring until it reaches 244° (firm-ball stage). Immediately remove pan from heat.
4. Use a mixer on low-speed to slowly and carefully pour syrup into the softened gelatin. Increase speed to high; beat until mixture is very thick and white and has almost tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla; beat to incorporate.
5. Generously dust an 8-by-12-inch glass baking pan with confectioners’ sugar. Pour marshmallow mixture into pan. Dust top with confectioners’ sugar; wet your hands, and pat it to smooth. Dust with confectioners’ sugar; let stand overnight, uncovered, to dry out. Turn out onto a board; cut marshmallows with a dry hot knife into 1 1/2-inch squares, and dust with more confectioners’ sugar.

 

I’ll be running late with my visits, but I will hop over at some point this weekend or early next week. I invite you to join me for Monday’s Music Moves Me for a month of rocking around the Christmas tree and a lot of fah-lah-lah. Thanks for visiting and get out there for a fototastic day!

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