Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Baking Christmas

I blame Pinterest.  Or maybe that damn Martha Stewart for making me think I could be super woman this year and give everyone wonderful, handmade with love gifts, make memories with my children, see Santa, put up Christmas decorations, host Christmas Day dinner, visit all our family and actually enjoy the holiday season.  As if!  Next year I really need to prioritize.  One thing I will not do is make EVERYONE baked goods.  Or make such a variety of them.  My 3 1/2 year old's teacher asked her what her mother did and she stated that "My mommy makes candy".  Hmmmm.....I think I may need to take a step away from the kitchen in the New Year.

I did learn that I really like to make bread and another tip - Be the daycare mother who brings the classmate gifts a couple of days BEFORE they have their holiday party.  That way your candy gift won't just be tossed to the bottom of a bag along with all the store bought candy canes that the children won't be allowed to eat since they are hopped up on sugar from all the cupcakes and treats from school.

Crockpot Apple Butter - My MIL's favorite!

My new Christmas obsession - Candy Cane Hershey Kisses!  Why did I not know these existed until now!!!  These are kisses in sugar cookies rolled in sugar.  I made them in white, green and red.  Very festive!

Another Hershey candy cane Kiss creation.  Sandwiched between 2 pretzels.  So easy that Emily helped.  You put one pretzel on a baking sheet, unwrap the Kiss & place it on the pretzel (Emily's job).  Heat in a 350 oven for 2-3 minutes and then place the other pretzel on top to make a sandwich.  Yummy!!

Same principle as above but regular Hershey Kiss melted and then press a holiday colored M&M on top.

Co-worker gifts.  Goodies above and also haystacks, raisin cookies, and peppermint fudge (which I forgot to take pics of).

Rice Krispie treat ornaments

Emily's classmate gifts.  Its hard to see because of the glare but there is a red Cherry Sour in the bag of whoppers. 

The way I finished off many a night of Christmas baking.......

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Christmas Card

I am becoming quite fond of staging "photo shoots". My husband is becoming increasingly less fond of this pastime as he is always in charge of getting Lindsay or the dog to stay and look at the camera. (Is it bad that my 1-year-old responds to the same commands as the dog?) This wasn't exactly how I envisioned the Christmas pictures but they didn't turn out that bad and I didn't use any editing software for the photos. Have I mentioned how badly I want Microsoft Photoshop!!!

Christmas Stripe Ribbons Christmas
Customize your Christmas cards this holiday at
View the entire collection of cards.

Here is another of my staged Christmas photo shoots. I did use Picnik for editing.  How bad is Lindsay going to hate me when she gets older and sees all these naked pictures?! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

North Pole Breakfast

Emily is 3 1/2 so this is the first year that she really "gets" Christmas.  I have been counting down the months until I could start talking to her about Christmas....and also for using "Santa is watching".  Elf on the Shelf is all over Pinterest and the web these days and I have to agree that it is awesome.  I can't wait until next year when I can do fun things like stage a snowball fight with Emily's toys and the elf or have the elf turn the milk green.  This year I thought just a simple introduction to the elf and his "magic" would be enough to absorb.  So this year we started a new family tradition of North Pole breakfast with a visit from our family elf.  Wonderful timing as NBC had a new Elf on the Shelf cartoon on the night before!


Our special breakfast consisted of orange glazed rolls and hot cocoa with chocolate mint marshmallows.  And coffee for mommy and daddy of course. 

The rolls were a big hit with both Lindsay and Emily.  Lindsay may have no clue whats going on but she likes the new additions to her diet!
The holidays are about memories and traditions.  I want my kids to look back at their childhood and think, "Wow, we had a lot of special moments.  Remember when...."  And, if they inherit their memory from their mother (I have a fabulous short-term memory but don't remember the street address of my first home or whether or not my childhood house had a chimney) then they can rest assure that mommy-dearest has every tradition and milestone documented.  Behold, Emily's first sip of cocoa.....

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Belated Gobble Gobble

Are you still considered a blogger if you think of tons of ideas for blog posts, take tons of pictures but never actually get them to the blog?!  I've been so busy doing fun things to put on the blog, that I haven't had time to post anything.  Lindsay's first birthday party took the most time as I have definitely learned the value of punches.  I was trying to be cheap and didn't buy the hole punch  I think I now have arthritis in both thumbs.  The Thursday after Lindsay's party was Thanksgiving.  2011 has been a very hard year for our family but we have so much to be thankful for.  This was our first holiday without Dan, Matt's father.  Everybody did their best but it just seemed like something was missing or a little off.

Like all holidays, Thanksgiving was busy.  I love holidays and look forward to them but sometimes I wonder is it worth the rushing around and hassle.  That sounds very grinchy.  Maybe I need to go drink some cocoa and take a hot bath :).  I started off the holiday in a relaxing frame of mind with mulled wine cider and sweet potato biscuits.  My mom has the most delicate tea cups!

I was in charge of the of the Thanksgiving turkey for lunch on my mom's side of the family.  I've had this honor about three times since I've been married.  I don't mind doing a turkey.  Everyone is always so scared of a turkey and I agree its a big piece of meat to cook but its usually pretty simple.  That being said, the very first time that I ever cooked for Matt's mom and dad was Thanksgiving of 2002 and I made a turkey.  Dan carved the turkey and it was raw.  How embarrassing!  Well, I never made that mistake again!  This year was my first year trying a brine and it was fantastic!  I usually do a different recipe each year but this recipe from the Food Network may be a keeper.  I did use powdered ginger instead of candied and everything turned out great.  Pretty bird.

Pretty girls :).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Princess & the Pea

I want to do everything.  I realize I have a problem.  I love learning and think I can do anything (even though a lot of times my wonderful projects/ideas fail miserably).  Two of my New Year resolutions will be to learn to sew and to work on my photography skills.  Why wait until January you may ask?  Why I have just too much going on to try and learn a skill!  Work has been crazy and Lindsay's birthday party has developed a life of its own.  Lindsay's cheese stroller costume was supposed to be sewn but was hot glued instead.  Sewing is alot more difficult than it looks.  I really thought you just put a roll of thread (didn't even realize they were called a spool or a bobbin!) into the machine, put some fabric under the needle and magically you would be able to sew.  Ummmm....yeah.   

Photography definitely comes more naturally for me. I have always loved taking pictures.  My father always had a camera with him, even before it was cheap and cool.  I can't imagine taking pictures without the help of digital edit or the crispness of my multiple pixel Canon.  Granted I'm not that young and I do remember impatiently waiting for rolls of film to be developed at Wal-Mart and then only getting one or two good shots in the whole bunch.  That was way before I had kids though and I think my picture taking has quadrupled since then!  I want to really learn how to frame a picture though and how to use Photoshop.  First I need to purchase Photoshop (Christmas HINT honey!).  One random Saturday though I got a wild hair up my derriere and decided to conduct a photo shoot in my backyard.  Imagine my husbands surprise when he came home to this in the backyard :).  He was a trooper though and helped with holding my subjects since I quickly learned that placing a 10-month-old on top of a bunch of wobbly mattresses and blankets is not exactly something you should do.  Hello mother-of-the-year award!  Oh well, the last shot is my favorite.  My little princess!      

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween - Part 2

I love Halloween.  I get so excited about decorating.  I guess that's because we go the whole summer and most of spring without a decorating holiday.  Sure, I could decorate for 4th of the July but I'm not big on a house full of the red, white color scheme.  I also love the fact that you can be anything you want to be for Halloween.  Don't we all sometimes want to be someone we aren't?  I sometimes wish when I'm covered in baby food and doing dishes to be a famous actress walking the red carpet, getting tons of free stuff and who has someone to clean up after them.  Or sometimes I just want to be that neighbor down the street who totally seems to have it together and her kids are always well behaved and groomed while I'm lucky to get a brush through Emily's hair. I might get some weird looks if I dressed up like my neighbor to go trick-or-treating!

We had a great Halloween even though it was an icky Monday night and it poured rain for the actual event.  Emily went trunk or treating at church on Saturday night so she had already met her candy quota for the holiday.  She is so my child and she is so going to be a hoarder one day.  She's not bad about sneaking candy.  She just wants it near her.  She will take her candy out of her bucket just to look at it and count it.  I used to do the same thing as a kid.  Is hoarding genetic?!  Emily was a cat (I made her tutu but every other part of the costume was store bought) and Lindsay was a mouse in a block of cheese.  And what a cute mouse she was!!!  I was pretty proud of the way the block of cheese turned out.  I also learned that a hot glue gun is alot easier than trying to learn how to sew at the same time you are trying to make a Halloween costume.

The trick-or-treating crew

We made ghost pizza on the Sunday before Halloween.  It looked really cool before it was baked, but when it came out of the oven, it just looked like regular pizza.  Maybe next year I will add the ghosts on top after it has baked.

Of course I had to do Halloween gifts for all of Emily's classmates.  I can't remember where I saw this idea.  Probably :).  Her classmates got the sucker with a note from Emily and the teachers got the same but with an extra bag of candy. When I picked her up from school that day, Ms. Debra said she was destined to be a hostess (again, she is definitely my child!).  Emily would jump up from whatever she was doing and run to the closet that held her treats and present one to each child as they were leaving.  She was very concerned that Ms. Debra would take over her duties with the three children that were still there!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Decorations - Part 1

Little late but better than never!  Here are some of my Halloween decorations from this year.  Wonder when I will find time to take these down and put up Thanksgiving?!? 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spooktacular Wildtree Tasting Party

Food and nutrition is very important to me.  I tried to be very conscious with Emily of what I was eating when I was pregnant and that it had as little preservatives and additives as possible (I was more lax with Lindsay and maybe that's why I gained 40 pounds!).  Since I work in the chiropractic field, I see the importance and hear lectures on nutrition all the time.  When my neighbor became a rep for Wildtree Herbs, I knew I would be hosting a party!  Usually I avoid parties like the plague.  I always feel obligated to buy something and then feel obligated to go to other peoples parties when they come to mine and its just a vicious cycle.  Wildtree is different though.  I felt good to make them obligated to buy as I hope that maybe instead of stopping in the McDonald's drive-thru, they will head back home and make a Wildtree product.  All items are natural and additives and preservative free.  Since Halloween is right around the corner, I decided to do a Spooktacular Tasting Party! 

Below is one of those party ideas that I had seen on Pinterest and was dying to try.  Gummy worms frozen into ice cubes.  I added these to a picture of water for a little Halloween "flair".  I think these would be a great addition to Koolaid or individual water glasses but the ice cubes melted way too quickly in the pitcher and then we were left with a gummy worms sticking to the bottom and giving the water a weird taste. 

Super easy Halloween wine glasses made with Duck tape. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Drive-In Movie Night

I have to go away this weekend for a work conference.  I don't really mind the work even though I am exhausted come Monday, but I hate being away from my family.  Don't get me wrong, since Emily has been waking up about three times a night (Why?!?!), I am looking forward to an uninterrupted night's sleep!  I try to do something special whenever I leave so tonight was movie night.  To spice things up I decided to tell Emily about drive-in movies.  Even though she had no clue what I was talking about, she did love the idea of watching a new movie in her "car".  We even had popcorn.  How cute are my babies?!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Think Pink & Save the Ta-Tas

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the cooler weather.  I love the colors.  I love the start of holiday season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas).  I also love my ta-tas and October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Retail chains of restaurants and department stores always have cute pink items where a portion of the sales goes to a breast cancer organization like Susan G. Komen.  I absolutely LOVE Panera Bread's Pink Ribbon Bagel.

Like so many others, breast cancer has touched my life.  My paternal grandmother had breast cancer in the late stages of her life.  My neighbor tested positive for the breast cancer gene and had a double mastectomy.  My mother-in-law is currently battling a very aggressive form of breast cancer.  She was diagnosed in the spring of this year, had the lump removed and has now undergone chemotherapy and radiation.  I am happy to say though she is WINNING the battle!!  In honor of her and so many other women across the country, I wanted to do something for Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I'm not real thrilled with the way the wreath turned out but it gets the point (and color) across.  Cake pops were a big hit!    

Monday, October 10, 2011

No Kids Surprise!

My husband, Matt, turned 30 at the end of last month.  I had always planned to do some big party for him when he turned 30.  We were dating when he turned 21 and I can't remember everything but I vaguely recall getting mad at him for some stupid college nonsense and ruining his birthday.  Therefore I definitely wanted his next big birthday to be special.  Well of course with my luck, his birthday would fall on a Monday and I had a work thing in Canada the weekend before AND we are broke!

It's amazing how my priorities have changed since our college days.  Back then, all you needed for a great birthday was a keg, maybe a band or at least a drunk guy with a guitar and a bunch of people.  Since Matt had the girls all weekend the weekend before, I figured a perfect party for him would be NO kids.  Kids are a package deal with some moms so I decided to just do a guy's night.  I decided to keep it a surprise and conspired with his friend to ask a bunch of his guys friends over for a night of football (ECU vs. UNC), bourbon, beer, and bar food.  Since I was trying to keep everything under wraps I wasn't able to make as much of the cool decorations that I normally do.  Also, we are talking about guys here and I figured if I went too overboard on the cute napkins or straws, they may think I was a little crazy, or worse, not NOTICE!  So I focused my little time on sweets and his beloved UNC.

Everything went off without a hitch and Matt was very surprised.  He had a great night and I am so thankful for those who came out and left their families at home to show him some 30 love.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...