Happy Thanksgiving, Penns Valley!


(Nostalgically remembering the Very Veggie Turkey Tray Ryan and I made together last year…)

Our Thanksgiving wish for you: May your day be full of goodness in every way. May you see someone you care about and have time to talk face-to-face, listening and sharing from your heart. May you be warm and well-fed. May you sit long and look back on the day with gratitude and contentment.

Thank you, readers, for joining us and helping us to grow this space in 2014. What’d we do with you?

Oh, and one more thing: just click here for a Thanksgiving radio program and a short film to keep the kids occupied while you scurry about fixing the meal: HERE! :)

 Enjoy your home,

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What NOT to do on Black Friday!

On Black Friday, have your fun shopping in State College, Altoona, and online, but don’t… blow your budget! 

After all, you’ll want to have some cash once we begin our annual “12 Days of Christmas: Penns Valley Gift Guide” on December 1st.

For two weeks we’ll highlight local businesses that may have just-the-thing for everyone on your list. So you can bip around town, finding treasures and supporting your neighbors at the same time.

AND, we’ll celebrate the whole thing with a giveaway from The IngleBean, The Penns Valley Pharmacy, E & L Supplies, and more!

How awesome is that?

Buying local is important. And fun! Check it out:

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 Enjoy your home,

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What a Jolly Way to Win Some Cash and Save the Millheim Pool!

Need some extra cash for holiday shopping? You may win it here!
Enjoy your home,

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5 Secrets of Successful Penns Valley Business Women


Dear Anna Fisher,

Businesswomen like you inspire me.

The Valley is full of hardworking, smart women who are offering their best to the world. I’m watching. I’ve been trying to figure out how to invest my strength and love right here into my home, while offering my abilities to benefit the neighborhood and build a good quality business, too.

So far, I’ve learned three things: it’s hard work and it’s slow work, but it’s meaningful work.

You planned such a wonderful evening: you said, let’s gather at Old Gregg Community Building, bake two kinds of cookies, learn new cooking techniques and tools, play games, and socialize with friends, old and new alike. (Your helpful friend, Debbie, was an angel to put her muscle behind your dream, too.) 

Your passion to gather people together reminds me of Joan Karp of Blueberry Hill Academy Fitness, with her Z*mba classes, coaching, and over-the-moon inspiration to countless Penns Valley families. 


Your hair pulled back, your classy apron, and your pink decorations looked so pretty in that big old gymnasium.

Your ability to add a touch of beauty reminds me of Brenda of Steiger’s Early Americana, who – season after season – keeps creating a beautiful space right there on Pennsylvania Avenue in Centre Hall. (Does she know her store is like a haven?)


You loaded a big, white van with – what was it, 15 enormous boxes full of inventory? – and unloaded it at Old Gregg, organized all of the bamboo over here, all of the aluminum steel over there, the spices just so, and table cloths smoothed out.

Your industry reminds me of Kim Bierly of Main Street Yarn in Rebersburg, faithfully building a store full of gorgeous yarns and useful supplies, promoting handmade industry through her knitting circles and beneficial facebook posts. 


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Your fun ideas to play Pampered Chef Memory, the Family Game, and that dice game (you know the one where doubles wins a person the pen to begin writing “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8…” so fast – all the way to 100 – until someone else rolls doubles and steals that pen away) were right on: what a blast!

Your fun side reminds me of Martha Hoffman of The IngleBean in Millheim, inviting people to sit by the fire, sip hot beverages, and play games on a winter’s evening. 

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You created this great event, advertised all over town, updated your Pampered Chef webpage, and even recently added Young Living Essential Oils to your business, hoping your guests would enjoy sampling some of these ancient wonders. (I think that this is a smart move: lots of women are interested in essential oils and would benefit from learning how you’ve discovered so much success and health from using them yourself.)

Your strategic, brainstorming, give-it-a-try spirit reminds me of Julie Smith from E & L Supplies who says she lays awake in the middle of the night just thinking up great business ideas.


You handed me your card with a smile on your face, hopeful for a growing business.

That’s when you reminded me of me, Laura Booz of PennsValleyFamily.com, just starting out, working in the midst of limitations, feeling the immense challenge of getting a business off the ground.

I handed you my card, too. (I have boxes and boxes of them at home: must improve at handing them out!) 

What you and I can learn from the Penns Valley businesswomen who wake up every morning offering their best to home and community, is that it’s possible to earn the community’s respect and support, as well as a paycheck. I bet they’d all say, “Don’t you dare give up!” In fact, they do say it through their day-in, day-out dedication.

DSC_0211As far as I can tell, you’ve got all of the makings of a great businesswoman: a heart for people, an eye for beauty, incredible industry, a sense of fun, and a mind for strategy.

Anna Fisher, I bet this is just the beginning.

Thank you for the inspiration, the example, and the plate of cookies.

 Enjoy your home,

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Win Feed for Your Pet: E & L Supplies Pet Photo Contest


This just in! I’m thinking we might head out to the barn for a photo shoot with the chickens. Some bags of feed would come in handy this winter…

 Enjoy your home,

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Not to Miss: Our FREE Community Thanksgiving!


The Penns Valley Youth Center and Penns Valley Community Church are inviting you and me to a FREE Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday, November 26th. How great is that?

Call (814) 422-5360 for tickets today!

You going?

 Enjoy your home,

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Bake Some Cookies with Pampered Chef: Friday


This is a very special post because Anna is the first Amish person who has reached out to use PennsValleyFamily.com. One of our hopes in creating this website is to give our Amish neighbors a way to connect with the Valley online.

Anna is also a local businessperson who invites you to an evening out:

Cookie Baking Game Night: Pampered Chef

November 21 @ 6:00 p.m.9:00 p.m. at the Old Gregg School Community Building in Spring Mills. For more information,  call 570/412-3412 or go to www.pamperedchef.com/bizilovepc2.

Will you help me support Anna? Come on down to Old Gregg on Friday night!

(What else is happening this weekend? Find out on our Community Calendar!)


Enjoy your home,

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Some Healthy Competition…


(My first glimpse of the Patriotic Piano through the window of The IngleBean in Millheim. Apparently, this beauty was created by the building owner. It’s so cool. So worth a visit just to check out the mosaic. I think it’s very “Roadside Penns Valley”…)

Guess who won the first and best game of Othello at The IngleBean’s cozy game night on Friday?


Hint: NOT this guy.

Answer: I did!


Check it out.

(Must’ve been due to the amazing grilled cheese on sourdough that I ordered for dinner…)

We won’t mention how his chicken salad *might* have helped him to win Game #2 because everyone knows that Game #2 NEVER counts.

Stay tuned right here for The IngleBean’s next game night!

Enjoy your home,

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When NOT to leave town…


In case you haven’t picked up on it, there’s a big – I mean SUPER BIG – weekend coming up in the Valley.

Merry Millheim has inspired all kinds of businesses to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season: Santa will be all over town (sometimes in more than one place at a time, that tricky trickster), discounts will abound, and festivities will begin! Good food, good music, good friends, and good shopping… all right here.

You won’t want to miss it.

So, get a Sharpie marker and write “STAY IN TOWN” on December 5 and 6th. Then, message your non-Valley friends and let them know that this is a great opportunity to spend the weekend right here, in our cozy little neighborhood.

We’re busy compiling all of the sales and details to make sure you are ready for a very merry weekend in the Valley!

Stay tuned…

 Enjoy your home,

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For your December radar… E & L Supplies Plans a “Purrific” Saturday!


 Enjoy your home,

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