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Pumpkins, Fog Bubbles & Glitter, oh my!

1 Oct


Oh my gourd! We’re in October already! I love the month of October. I enjoy fall decorating and seeing all my family, friends, and neighbors’ decorations as well. Last year I wrote a series of scary stories and articles leading up to Halloween. Many of you really enjoyed that. So I plan to do the same this year. However, I wanted to begin the month by sharing some elegant, whimsical, scary, and fun fall decorating ideas. Hopefully this will inspire you to decorate your home or at least the entrance to your house. Some of you are planning to throw a fall or Halloween party. I’m going to share some fun ideas that will help you with that also. Enjoy!

There are so many awesome decorations we can make using pumpkins.


The Budget Decorator shows us 13 Easy and Inexpensive Fall Decorating Ideas

I love this simple yet elegant idea. 


Denim Pumpkin! This is so cute! At Between Naps on the Porch you can learn how to decorate a pumpkin like this.



At Sidetracked Sarah you can find many creative ways to decorate with pumpkins from Jack-O-Lanterns to elegant centerpieces.



You’ll find some cool pumpkin decorating ideas at The Boo and the Boy 

Love this! ⇓ Looks like a lot of work, but I think it could be worth it. Especially if you’re having a party or get together.


I  glitter! What is it about these sparkly, colorful little particles that make me turn all girlie? Get in touch with your girlie side. Kirsten from 6th Street Design will show you how you can make your own glittery leave garland.




You can create this adorable pumpkin family. Just visit AllYou for easy to follow instructions.

Fall_decorations_vashti Quiroz-Vega_blog

Are you throwing a Halloween party? These are some fantastic ideas! Your family and friends will be amused.

You can project spooky animations on your windows or garage door with DVDs from Hallowindow!

Target has a new Bubble Fogger Machine. It blows bubbles and when they burst they release fog. How creepy is that?

How about Drink Labels? You can label your wine, liquor or even your water bottles with  Zombie Virus, Witches Poison, Wicked Remedy, Swamp Water . . . you get the picture. You can buy some here or make your own. Download FREE labels from here.


bubble fogger

Labels - grandin road_halloween_party


I love these HGTV lighted witches’ brooms for the front walk.

Lighted Brooms 1

Great Halloween decoration ideas from


hutch_black birds_halloween_decorations


Painted acorns! How pretty is this? Learn how to do it with Beth from Home Stories A to Z


Fabric wrapped pumpkins. What a great idea for your tablescapes or mantels. Get them here.


What are your plans for this month? Do you celebrate Halloween? Are you throwing a party?


A Sad Father’s Day?

11 Jun

FATHER-AND-SON-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog



As some of you know, my father is very sick. People tell me to enjoy him while I still have him, but I can’t help thinking of what it will be like when he’s no longer around. He isn’t the man he was a few years ago so I feel like I’m already losing him. We used to watch the history and Discovery channels together and spend hours discussing what we had seen. We can’t do that anymore. We both read Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown at the same time, and we had a great time talking about what we’d read on a daily basis. Those days are gone. Now, Father’s Day is around the corner and we won’t be able to have a picnic on the beach or go to the theater, but you know what? I’m not going to be sad on Father’s Day because we’re going to have a great time together. I’m done wallowing in negativity. I’m going to enjoy the time we have together. He may not be the same man he once was, but he is still my father, and I still love him very much.


I wrote this poem about a year ago, but I would like to share it with all of you again.




by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the facade of a brave man as his baby boy entered the world.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What are my duties? There are no guidelines. Where do I start?

The babe in his arms felt so natural, yet so alien. A fire blazed in his chest.

“You are a father now.” The words were jolting, yet pleasing to his heart.

Father_and_Baby-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a calm man as his son toddled, taking his first steps.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What if he falls? What if he hurts himself? Then I would have failed as a father.

The toddler tottered to him and embraced his dad with dulcet giggles.

As he held his son, it did not feel alien. His heart gave way for love to conquer.


His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a cool man as his son introduced him to his first girl.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What if he falls in love? What if she breaks his heart?

He embraced his son and slipped extra cash in his pocket.

As he held his son, it felt like love, and he rested assured his son was smart.


His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a brave man as his son grew and had sons of his own.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

Did I raise him right? Did I teach him to be a good husband and father?

He embraced his son, and they were swathed by the love they both felt.

As he held his son, his questions were answered, and he grew calmer.

Son father and grandfather-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

His son’s brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched his father wear the façade of a spent man as he lay on a hospital bed.

His son’s mind and body were consumed by overwhelming fears.

Am I doing the right thing? Who am I to decide when his time has come?

His face dampened with sorrow as he embraced his father.

As he held his father’s weary body and gazed into his dimming eyes, his questions were answered, and he grew calmer.

man-crying-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's blog

His brown eyes deepen into polished onyx, and upon them comes a mist of tears.

He watches with the façade of a pitiful man as his son reaches for that plug.

He is ready to leave this world and grateful his son has let go of his fears.

As his son holds his ruined body, and he feels the lifeblood drain from his eyes, he knows he has raised him right.

His mind and body are consumed with overwhelming love.

His son has given him the gift of peace, and his happy spirit travels toward the light.

cemiterio-s-joao-batista-vashti quiroz-vega

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

*Dealing with a very sick parent or the death of a parent is difficult, painful and sad. It may feel as if the loss of your dad or mom has taken away the person you are inside, has removed a piece of yourself that was integral to making you the person you are. Here are some links to start working through your pain and sadness.

Helping yourself As You Cope With The Loss Of A Parent

A Daughter Losing Her Father: Six Months Later

Father’s Day Without A Father

Dad-father's day-vashti quiroz-vega

How are you celebrating Father’s Day? 




19 Apr

Jesus Christ-devil-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-blogging




Easter, the Christian Holiday that celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection is held the first Sunday after the Blood Moon this year (which was actually on Palm Sunday). I find this fascinating for some reason. Easter is celebrated after a 40 day period called Lent in which observers practice fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. During Lent Christians are supposed to emulate the actions of Jesus Christ and reflect on his life, death and resurrection.

easter-sunday-vashti q

So where do the cute little chicks and bunnies come in? Why do kids hunt for eggs? Like in almost every Christian religious holiday there’s a commercial aspect that stems from pagan religions– in this case, the celebration of Spring. You can read about this association here.



easter-Vashti Q-bunny-holiday




Here are some touching quotes about Easter:  (WARNING: Some of these will make you cry)




A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-Easter



Easter is very important to me, it’s a second chance.” ~ Reba McEntire





Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day were just three days apart!” ~ Susan Coolidge

Susan Coolidge-Easter-Vashti Q-Vega

If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.” ~ A. W. Tozer

Easter-quotes-goodreads-Vashti Q

I wish everyone a happy, safe and fun weekend! Happy Easter!

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Happy Valentine’s day!

14 Feb
Sisterly Love

Sisterly Love

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and friendship. Although, love and friendship should be revered every day of the year. Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder to let the people we care about know that we love them. Even if your family and friends know that you love them you should still tell them from time to time.


When was the last time you hugged your dad and told him that you loved him? When did you last buy flowers for your sister and told her how special she’s made your life? When was the last time you told your mom that her smile brightens your day?  We could all use some reassurance once in a while. When was the last time you called your favorite aunt and told her that you loved her? We’re all busy people, but lets set our priorities straight. Let Valentine’s Day be a day to prompt us to reassure our loved ones of how much we really love them.

Family love

Family love

ISPWP Photography





Source: Xaxor

Happy Valentine’s Day!


The Mysterious Origins Of Valentine’s Day

7 Feb
The Mysterious Origins Of Valentine's Day

Check out (or click on picture) to learn how to make these.


Valentines’ Day

Thanks to the Discovery and History Channels, I’m pretty much obsessed with finding out the origin and history of things. So I thought, Why not write a post about the origins of St. Valentine’s Day? It turns out that the history of Valentine’s Day is abstruse and is made more confusing by the various legends surrounding its origins.

Some authors claim that the holiday’s roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility commemoration celebrated annually on February 15. The pagan festival of Lupercalia is one of the oldest holidays, and perhaps that is why some of the details of its rituals have been lost. It is said a goat was sacrificed and the hide of the animal was cut into strips, which were later used as whips. Young men would strip naked or wear elaborate masks (made from  goats’ heads) and run around whipping young women.


The ritual was to ensure fertility. Striking the women may have represented penetration. The symbolic penetration, broken skin, made by a piece of a fertility symbol (the goat), was apparently thought to be effective.  Each man would also draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year. Pope Gelasius I re-formed this pagan festival as a Christian feast day circa 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.


There were three St. Valentines mentioned by the martyrologies of the Roman Catholic Church, and it’s not clear which one the day is honoring.


According to legend, one of the Valentine martyrs was beheaded on February 14th for secretly performing illegal Christian marriages for soldiers. Supposedly, the Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade this in order to expand his army, believing that married men did not make good soldiers.


St. Valentine theoretically wore a purple amethyst ring, which was customary for Christian bishops, with an image of Cupid engraved in it, a recognizable symbol associated with love that was legal under the Roman Empire. Roman soldiers would recognize the ring and ask him to perform the marriage ceremony for them. Possibly because of the connection with St. Valentine, amethyst has become the birthstone of February, and it is thought to attract love.


Legend states that St. Valentine cut hearts from parchments and gave them to the soldiers to remind them of their vows and God’s love, a possible source of the common use of hearts on St. Valentine’s Day.


Also according to legend, St. Valentine miraculously cured his jailer’s  daughter, Julia, of blindness. On the evening before Valentine was beheaded, he wrote Julia the very first ‘Valentine’ card himself, signing it ‘your Valentine’. Hence, modern Valentine letters later adopted the expression ‘From your Valentine’. I don’t know about you, but I feel there’s a passionate romance story in there somewhere. Anyway, that’s what I’ve pieced together as the history/legend of Valentine’s Day.


Here are some interesting facts regarding Valentine’s Day:


* A recent poll found that 1 in 10 young adults admitted to feeling lonely, insecure, depressed, or unwanted on Valentine’s Day.


* 40% of people have negative feelings toward Valentine’s Day.


* Penicillin, a popular treatment for venereal diseases such as syphilis, was introduced to the world on February 14, 1929.


* The phrase ‘sweets for the sweet’ is a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Do you have negative feelings about Valentine’s Day? How do you feel about the Holiday?















Dyane Forde’s Christmas Challenge

20 Dec
Author Dyane Forde

Author Dyane Forde

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to introduce today my friend and a very talented author: Dyane Forde


Dyane recently released her fabulous book The Purple Morrow. The Purple Morrow is a (light) Fantasy aimed at an adult audience. At the end of this post you will see the book cover, read a blurb from the book and there will also be information on how you can get your own copy.


Dyane Forde’s love of writing began with an early interest in reading and of words in general. She was always amazed at how linking words together in different ways had unexpected and pleasing results on others. People enjoyed what she created! This sparked a life-long desire to write all types of things, from short stories, novels, flash fiction, poetry…she enjoys trying genres and forms of writing which are different from what she’s used to; every story or book represents new joys and challenges. Dyane views writing as an amazing and intimate communication tool, meaning that it becomes a means through which she seeks to connect with others on a level deeper than intellect.


Knowing what a creative writer Dyane is and wanting to give you a taste of her brilliance I decided to give her a Christmas challenge for this post. I asked her to write a short holiday story using Santa Claus, Christmas tree, magic, and clairvoyant child as prompts (I know. I wasn’t easy on her), but I knew she was up for the challenge and she did not disappoint. So without further ado here is Dyane Forde’s Christmas story.


Oh! There’s a WARNING attached to this story: If you are overly sensitive, offend easily or are a hardcore Santa Claus fan who cannot stand the thought of viewing him in a negative light, DO NOT read this story.



Just Desserts

by Dyane Forde


He’s here.

The clattering on the rooftop followed by the clomping of heavy boots confirms it. After a flurry of grunting and neighing and the stamping of cloven hooves, the commotion on the roof falls silent. I must give the man credit. Sweet-faced and dolled up in red, white and black, the apple-cheeked hypocrite has trained them well. The team of massive, horned beasts cower at his every whim.

I narrow my eyes. He claimed he’d chosen me on a whim all those years ago. But it was righteous rage which had drawn me to him this holiday eve. That, and the voiceless cry of a child awakened in the dead of night by the shattering terror of a nightmare.

Huddling wide-eyed in the shadows cast by the multicoloured lights, that same boy, Ryan, watches me from across the room. Pine scents the air, and white-powdered garlands twist around banisters and snake along the edges of the door frames. In the far corner hulks the tree, gorgeously decked from the bottom up with all manner of holiday cheer, right to the garish star on top. It’s Christmas Eve and the fact fills me with more dread than joy.

Feeling for the child, I glide across the floor. Streaks of ice linger on the wood slats behind me. “Are you ready?”

The boy nods, dark hair flipping over a dark-brown eye. Even now, I’m amazed me he can see me. Very few can and, even then, doing so requires the help of a special ‘gift’. Ryan can’t speak, but he can see.

The clattering on the roof starts up again. The boy reaches for me but I back away. Ice crusts my slippered feet, spreading into glistening circles on the floor. “No, you can’t.” When he cocks his head to the side, I reach for the window and press my fingers against the glass. Frost blossoms from the tips, spreading outward in an etched, white coat. Ryan’s eyes widen with excitement and glee, but the trickle of ash suddenly dusting down from the chimney snares his attention, erasing the smile from his face.

“You remember the plan?” I ask him. “Don’t accept anything from him. Nothing at all, you understand?”

Ryan nods before dashing off to his spot.

Everything is ready. The plate of cookies and the tall glass of milk by the fireplace, the fire itself nothing but softly glowing embers in the grate. Christmas music plays softly over the radio. And snowflakes, fat as cotton balls, flutter past the windows outside.

He lands on the grate in a burst of soot and ash, cursing the closeness of the shaft. Squatting, he eases his rotund body out of the chimney and into the room. Oblivious to my child-sized spectre standing nearby, he brushes the soot off his coat and then stops to stretch the knots from his back.

He must smell the candy, for his beady black eyes flick towards the little table. Spying the milk and cookies, old St. Nick smacks his lips, readjusts his floppy red hat and hurries over only to slip and fall on the carefully concealed ice patches on the floor.

“Hello, Nick,” I coo, cutting off the string of curses spewing from his mouth. “Such bad language from someone who claims to adore children. One would think it’s bad for your image.” I kneel beside him, letting my hand hover over his rotund belly. Then heeding temptation’s call, I lay a finger on his coat.

“You!” He spits the word at me. Looking down, he grimaces and shrinks from my touch where a melting ice patch darkens the red velvet. “I thought I’d taken care of you ages ago!”

“Oh, no. One’s mistakes just don’t ‘disappear’.  They hang around, waiting for the chance to come back and bite you in the ass!”

“You’re not a mistake! You’re a menace!”

“If that’s what I am, then you made it so! I never asked for it!”

“Oh, but you did, you little devil. The moment you accepted my gift, you were mine.” He points with a finger. “Just like Ryan over by the tree. Children never refuse my presents.” Shifting, he pulls a beautifully wrapped package from behind his back. “Come here, son. Old St. Nick has something for you.”

Ryan looks at me and then at the gift. I shake my head vigorously.

Seeing he had the boy’s attention, Nick sits up and jiggles the box so it rattles. “Come now, boy. Don’t you want something from dear old Santa Claus? Aren’t you curious about what’s inside?”

We’d gone over the plan a few times but I should have known the lure of a gift from the man in red would be too much. Eyes fixed on the shiny wrapping paper, Ryan steps into the glow of the flickering lights and, arms outstretched like a sleepwalker, advances.

“You never could stop them from coming to me,” Nick says. “Children are all the same: easy as hell to trick.”

“How many have you swapped? How many parents have found gifts under the tree in place of their children?”

“Everyone likes my gifts.”

“No gift can replace a child!”

Nick laughs, a great booming trill. “How many? Lots! And like you, the stupid sprites run amok, filling the world with blankets of snow, bathing it in white!”

Ryan’s now only a few feet away. Nick yanks the box out of reach, replacing it with the open mouth of his great, big sack. Grabbing Ryan by the arm, he starts jamming him inside.

Ryan’s thoughts call to me. “Ja—!“

“Frost!” Nick screams. He drops the boy and the sack to grab his midsection. “How dare you!”

He charges, coming on like a red and black battering ram but I easily dodge his attack. Dancing around him like an imp, I poke him with a finger, laughing at the white patches forming on his coat, then poking some more, egged on by his irritated grunts. Finally, breathing hard, Nick quits lumbering around.

“You think saving one boy will make a damned bit of difference? I’ve been swapping for generations! If not this one, then the next–!”

“Not if I can help it, fat man!”

Nick gasps and goes pale. He looks at his chest, sees the flowers of blood forming on the white fur trim and pooling on the floor. I withdraw the ice knives, the red-coated icicles extending from my fingers gleaming in the fire and flickering lights. From the wounds, frost crackles across Nick’s body, freezing him solid.

I punch his face. He shatters. Santa-sicles slide across the hardwood floor.

At a slight touch from me, Ryan snaps out of the trance. Seeing the Santa pieces strewn about his feet, he smiles.

“You’re safe now, kid. How about you go on off to bed?” Waving a hand over him, I add, “And while you’re at it, forget about everything you’ve seen tonight.”

Ryan blinks. He stares as though seeing me for the first time until his eyelids droop and fatigue pulls at his face. Yawning, he heads for the stairs.

I walk over to the cookies, kicking aside the red, white and black chunks in the way. In three long gulps, I down the glass of milk.

And grinning, I bite into the thick layer of sugar frosting, savouring the sweet, sweet taste of revenge.

Evil Santa

Dyane Forde’s book:


BLURB: (A short description of the book)


The Rovers had been sent to decimate the Southernlands. Instead, they awoke its savior.

Ten years have passed since the Rover army tore through the Southernlands, leaving behind a trail of devastation and death. Most believed the attacks were random acts of brutality. The wise, however, knew the truth: the Rovers sought to destroy the one thing powerful enough to thwart their conquest. They were searching for the Papilion.

A new commander, bent on completing the mission left unfinished by his predecessors, leads the Rovers back into the Southernlands. Fierce and determined, he comes armed with a precious artifact and a secret purpose.

While the Southernlands reel under the new terror, the Purple Morrow, a harbinger of hope, appears to Jeru, an unsuspecting and solitary clan hunter. Finding himself enmeshed in a series of incredible events beyond his control, Jeru is compelled to take the first steps towards discovering his ultimate destiny.
dyane forde_writer
You can purchase Dyane Forde’s book, The Purple Morrow on You can also buy it HERE and HERE.
Also check out Dyane Forde’s fascinating Blog: Dropped Pebbles
Gift a book for Christmas!

Gift a book for Christmas!

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoyed Dyane’s holiday story. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Happy Holidays!