Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Home Safety While Traveling

Many Hatters love to travel, and with the international convention coming up this summer, we thought we would pass along these safety tips shared by RHS Ambassador, Jan Lukas, of the Divas of Ancaster Chapter (Ontario, Canada). Here is what she had to say:
Are you leaving home for any period of time? Police are reminding residents to crime-proof their homes while they are away.
Here are some tips:
  • Whether you go away for a day or week, use automatic timers that turn lights on and off to give your home the appearance of being occupied.
  • Leave your travel schedule and phone number with a trusted neighbor or relative so that you may be contacted if necessary.
  • Leave a door key and key to your alarm system (if you have one) with a neighbor.
  • Have a neighbor pick up newspapers and mail or discontinue all deliveries.
  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed or snow shoveled.
  • If you have a second car, leave it in your driveway or arrange to have a neighbor park their car in your driveway.
  • Check all windows and doors to make sure that they are locked.
  • Lock your garage
Other Hatters added some tips to this post as well.

  • Don't post on Facebook that you will be away.
  • Have that neighbor or friend with a key change the curtains to open and closed at varying intervals.
  • Don't set a 'vacation' or 'computer repair' automatic email on your email account.

Join us in San Francisco this August! 
The 2014 Golden Gate Gala is the largest gathering of Hatters that will take place this year. Join us in San Francisco for a Red Hat tribute to the city by the bay. We have a four-day agenda filled with incredible activities, including a Bling Rush Romp (a glitzy evening with Old West twist) and a Chocolate Fantasy Ball (Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate). Click here to read the full agenda. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Marvelous Mitsie's French Toast Muffins

Looking for a recipe to add to your next Sunday Brunch? Don’t miss this amazing recipe for French Toast Breakfast Muffins shared by Marvelous Mitsie from the Yarmouth Seaside Red Hatters Chapter (Nova Scotia, Canada).

 French Toast Breakfast Muffins                                                                                         
1/3 cup butter, melted 
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg (preferably room temperature) 
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
1/2 cup milk
Topping (option: cut topping in half *)
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a med-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. 
Add wet ingredients, stir just until combined, but still a bit lumpy. 
Do NOT overmix; overmixing will ruin texture of finished muffins. 
Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray (I used margarine). 
With large spoon = 10 med/large muffins
Bake 20-25 mins, or until they start to turn a bit golden at the edges.
Mini muffins take about 20 minutes.
For the topping, mix sugar & cinnamon in small bowl. 
Place melted butter in another small bowl. 
Dip warm muffins in melted butter (you can dip just the top, but it's even tastier to dip the whole muffin!), then dip/roll the muffin in cinnamon sugar. 
*May have left-over topping; the extra topping can be used for dipping, while eating the muffins. (and they're delicious doing this!!)
Mitsie also shared a Chocolate Marbled Muffins recipe and a Spicy Apple Muffins recipe in the same post on our Members-only Queens and Members discussion board.  You can access these recipes and more when you become a Supporting Member of the Red Hat Society.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

She's the Queen of the Month

Queen Tonie Neal

Never Saw It Coming Red Hatters from North Carolina

Tonie Neal was born in High Point, North Carolina and grew up in Fayetteville, NC.  She met and married her husband, James, to whom she has been married 37 years, when she returned to college to finish her education after being widowed.  James was finishing his degree after getting out of the service.  Each had one child at that time; together they added one more to their brood, and now have their first grandchild as well. Their experience with their own children was only the tip of the iceberg: over the years they fostered 74 children in partnership with their local mental health department!

Tonie's education credentials include a Master's degree in Education, a certification in Counseling and Elementary Education (K-3).    She put her training to use as a counselor at Hope Mills Middle School for 24 years.  She also worked part-time jobs in alternative sentencing plans for the local courts, greeting card company sales,  and a counseling families of handicapped children.  Along the way she also co-owned a school supply store!  She still substitute teaches a couple of times a month.

Tonie's hobbies also show a high degree of active involvements: she enjoys traveling, reading, needlework, line dancing, going to museums and attending art and music performances, as well as volunteering at her local little theater.  Add about 5 – 10 ours a week working with her church committees, and you get one busy lady!

Tonie formed her Chapter by recruiting ladies from her church who responded to the idea of taking time for themselves.  Their name says it all; they are the "Never Saw It Coming Red Hatters." While all of their gatherings have been fun, one of their favorites involved riding their city bus, as a group. (Some of them had never done it!) So they made arrangements with their local bus company and spent a day riding around.  One of their Chapterettes had a jazzy pair of new purple boots on, and – as soon as they got off the bus – they immediately went shopping, en masse, to get their own boots!  Tonie adds, "We have laughed over that trip for years."

One of her favorite RHS memories was participating in the celebration in Washington, D.C., when the first red hat was installed in the Smithsonian:  "500 of us walking down that mall was a treat…what an honor to be a part of history."