Friday, December 31, 2010

Testing out my new Star Wars cookie cutter.

Ok, so I am a huge Star Wars fangirl!   One of the items that was my Christmas list was the Star Wars cookie cutters from Williams-Sonoma.   My husband being so AWESOME! got them for me. 

Today, we tested them out.

I really love them!   They have a stamp action that makes it easy to imprint and move the cookies to the tray.  I was a little skeptical about the stamping part.   A lot of times dough will get stuck and you have to clean them out.   I floured the interior of the cutter and they worked great.  The kids have had a lot of  fun making sugar cookies with me today.    If you have a Star Wars fan in your life, you might want to consider these for birthdays, anniversary, or even next Christmas.

I was talking with my husband and I really want to try using these on corn tortillas.  I would like to try to make my own Star Wars corn chips.   So there may be some experimenting in the next few days.

5 Question Friday

1. How long does your Christmas tree stay up?

Our Christmas Tree stays up until New Year's Day.   By then, I am done with it.  I usually put it up a few days before Thanksgiving.  

2. Do you have plans for New Year's Eve?

We go over to a friend's house.   We eat, the children play and the adults usually bust out Rock Band.   I don't really care for New Years, so we keep it kind of low key.

3. Do you have any New Year's resolutions?

Not really, I am not really good at following through with them.   I just prefer to take baby steps to make change. 

4. How did you spend New Year's Eve when you were younger?

We never really did anything that exciting that I can remember.   We usually would go out to dinner and watch the ball.   

5. What was the best way you've ever spent New Year's Eve?

New Years, 2005.  I had gotten the ok from my OB/GYN that everything was good after the birth of our son.   You get the idea.  

Making Paper Snowflakes

While we were on Christmas vacation from school, I wanted to give my children the opportunity to practice cutting.  Scissor skills are so important for young children.  It helps them strengthen hand muscles and coordination for later skills such as writing.     I thought that it would fun if we made paper snowflakes.  
This activity was fairly easy for my son who is in Kindergarten, but my daughter who is pre-school aged needed more assistance.   Of course, mom also made snowflakes too.

We ended up making so many snowflakes that we decided to make it snow in our dinning room.  The pictures are not the best but you can see what we did.    We tied white thread to the snowflakes then taped the string to the ceiling.  

It honestly had been a long time since I had done this, so I had to look up some instructions.   It was a great family activity.   

These instructions can be found at Kinderart.

What You Need:

  • Paper (make sure it is square).
  • Scissors (and some adult help for the littles).

What You Do:

  1. Get a square piece of paper or trim a piece of paper so that it is square.
  2. Fold your square in half diagonally (have a look at the picture).
  3. Fold your triangle in half - again diagonally (look at the picture above).
  4. Fold paper in thirds ... one side to the front, the other to the back.
  5. Trim the extra piece of paper off the end of your small triangle.
  6. Around the outside of your triangle, cut some fun designs -- circles, squares, triangles, squiggles ... anything goes.
  7. Unfold your paper and look at your masterpiece.
  8. Voila! A snowflake to hang in your window.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My favorite things from the month of December!

Ring In 2011 Blog Hop

Looking back on this month, it was crazy busy!    These are a few of my favorite things that happened this month.

First of all, our son celebrated his 6th birthday with a bowling party! As a family, we have found that we really enjoy bowling.  I am hoping that we will be able to do more this coming year.

Secondly, I won a family 4 pack of tickets to see the touring company for the Broadway musical CATS!  Ok, my husband wasn't terribly thrilled about this outing.   He isn't really a musical fan, but I am.   To get the kids ready for the performance, I read them poems for T.S. Elliots, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.   These are the poems that inspired the musical.   We also watched youtube clips of the musical.     The Old Gumbie Cat was their favorite.  

We were in the local Christmas Parade.   My work sponsored a float for the first time this year!   I think I was more excited about participating in the event then the kids were.   Of course, the day of the parade turned out to be one of the coldest days of  the month.    We were bundled up something to close to the kid in A Christmas Story.   Yep, that's kind of what we looked like, especially my little girl.

I was really hoping to get some great pictures of the parade from inside the parade, but that didn't happen.

We had a new Trader Joe's open in our community!  Which was exciting to me, but I was really excited when I found these giant gingerbread men there.

I knew the kids would love to decorate these.   I hope they have these every year!   We had so much fun decorating and eating the gingerbread men. 

Christmas was wonderful for our family this year, but along with all the presents and wonderful, something made Christmas extra special this year.  SNOW!   Living in the South, we never have snow for Christmas.   Where we live, the last White Christmas was in 1963. 

Coupons and Freebies!

  Here are a few coupons and free offers for this weekend

1.  free Pollo Asado Taco from Del TacoGet the printable coupon off their Facebook page. 


2. Having a New Years Party? download a $1.00 off coupon to use towards the purchase of any one (1) Heluva Good!® Sour Cream Dip. this coupon is only available until tomorrow (12/31/2010), 


 3. Dollar General has a $5 off $25 printable coupon good for this Saturday. 


4. Free Earth Fare Truffles with $5 purchase printable coupon


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Do you eat black eyed peas and collard greens for New Years?

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Do you eat black eyed peas and collard greens for New Years?  Living in the South, this is a must have for NewYears.   My parents swear by this practice.   The peas mean good luck for the year to come and the greens symbolize prosperity.   I certainly could use some good luck and prosperity, who couldn't?  There is only one problem.  I can't stand either! I have never been a fan of collard greens and black eyed peas just taste like dirt. 

So what do you do for an alternative?    I like to substitute spinach for collards.  Not being a huge fan of cooked spinach,   this recipe for Spinach Salad from Alton Brown  is a nice fresh alternative and works great in place of the collard greens.   I have posed the question to my mom, does it count if you eat the spinach salad while listening to the Black Eyed Peas?   If it does, I am golden! 

  • 8 ounces young spinach
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced


Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Place the eggs into an electric kettle and cover with cold water by at least 1-inch. Turn the kettle on. Once the water comes to a boil, the kettle will turn itself off. Leave the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. Remove and peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 8 pieces and set aside.
While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.
Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them
The second recipe is pretty good, and it takes care of the black eyed peas.  This one can be found at CDkitchen.   
I like this recipe because with the green chilies and jalapenos, it hides the taste of the peas for me. 
Black Eyed Pea Mexican Dip

15 ounces Can black-eyed peas drained
15 ounces Can whole kernel corn
10 ounces Can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
4 ounces Jar chopped pimientos, drained
8 ounces Bottle zesty Italian dressing
1/2 cup chopped jalapeno peppers

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with corn chip or your choice.  

If you decide to honor this long held food tradition (traditionally or non-traditionally)  I hope that you and your family have a wonderful New Year. 

Thai Noodle Salad

I absolutely love Thai food !    I found this great recipe on the back of Annie Chun's Thai Peanut Sauce and made for the first time over the holidays.   Usually for Christmas Eve, we will do a light meal sandwiches, salad, finger foods etc.     so I thought it would be a great time to test it out on a crowd.


8 oz rice stick noodles or maifun noodles
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 large carrot, shredded
1cup red bell pepper, cut into stripes
1 cup sliced cucumbers
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup Thai peanut sauce
2 tbsp chopped cilantro  (garnish)

Cook noodles as directed, rinse with cold water and drain.   Toss noodles with sesame oil to keep from sticking together.   Add remaining ingredients to noodles and toss well.   Garnish with cilantro.   Serve at room temperature or chilled.   

I did change the recipe a little bit.   Instead of bell peppers, I used scallions.  No one in my family is really a bell pepper fan.   I personally like the combination of the onion with the carrots and cucumbers.
It really seemed to be a big hit with everyone.    I am thinking that this will be a go to salad for this summer and even for tailgating.

New Years Goals

I am keeping this list short and sweet.   I am sure that I will add more goals to me list, but for right now, I am happy with these.   

1.   Self Improvement
        This goal encompasses a lot of areas, so I am taking baby steps in this department : weight loss, organization, and learning something new.  
I would like to lose about 30 pounds.  I already have a plan for this and a lot of support.   My main goal is to stay positive and not take set backs so hard.

Organizational habits are always going to be a work in progress.

Learning something new, well, I still haven't figured out exactly what I want to do in this area, but I am sure inspiration will hit me. 

2.  Continue Blogging
Since starting back to work full time, I found that my blog has suffered.   My goal is to blog something at least 4 times a week with a focus on quality content and continue to grow my followers. 

3.  Redecorate
We already started this project.  It has been slow, but I would like to finish up a couple of projects and then tackle the last major project we have. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Slump!

Today for some reason, it has hit me.   I am having that holiday slump.   You know the feeling, we come down from the Christmas high only to rock bottom.   For some reason today, I have just wanted to stay huddled in the house, rolling around in my pjs and would just like to pull the covers over my head.     

I have been thinking about my new year goals, but in all honesty, I am not really looking forward to the new year.    Sorry for the blah mood and lack of posts today.  Hopefully, soon I will snap out of it. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Little Caesars Pizza BOGO coupon valid (12/27-12/28)



Little Caesars Pizza has a BOGO coupon good for today and tomorrow (12/27-12/28)! get two pizzas for $5

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chic-Fil-A introducing new Spicy Chicken Biscuit, try it for free!!

 I love Chic-Fil-A's spicy chicken sandwich!   I have been hoping they would add a spicy chicken biscuit to their menu.   Well now they are and you can try it for free!!  Make your reservation for an EXCLUSIVE premiere tasting of the  Spicy Chicken Biscuit.
From January 3 – 8, 2011, participating Chick-fil-A® Restaurants are giving a limited number of FREE Spicy Chicken Biscuits to customers who make a reservation. To make your reservation, visit this website ( beginning Monday, December 27, 2010 and choose your preferred Chick-fil-A Restaurant location and time. 
The Spicy Chicken Biscuit will be added to the menu on January 10, 2011.

Sunday Scavenger Hunt

 This my Sunday Scavenger Hunt entries for this week.   If you want to join in on the fun, visit Ashley at Ramblings and Photos.

family:   This is my family trying to get ready to take a picture with Santa.    It was like a comedy of errors attempting to get a good picture. My little girl did not want to participate, but we did finally get a great picture.

motion blur:   I didn't have one for this.

pretty packages:



Orange Creamcicle Fudge

This is one of my husband's favorite holiday treats.  My mother in law shared this recipe with me a few years ago.    We are actually making some today!  Pictures to follow




  • 6 oz (1.5 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package (12 oz) white chocolate chips
  • 1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow cream (or fluff)
  • 1 tablespoon orange extract ( I like to use  True Orange  instead of orange extract. One packet is enough.)
  • orange (or a combination of red and yellow) food coloring


1. Prepare a 13x9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cream, and butter over medium heat. Continually stir the mixture until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Brush down the sides with a wet pastry brush.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil, and once it starts boiling, stir continuously for four minutes.
4. After four minutes of boiling, remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the marshmallow cream and white chocolate chips. Stir until the white chocolate has melted and the fudge is completely smooth.
5. Working quickly, pour about a third of the white fudge into a bowl and set aside. To the remaining fudge, add the orange extract and orange food coloring, stirring until it is a smooth, even color. It is important to perform these steps quickly, because the fudge will start to set if you take too long, and the end result will not be smooth.
6. Pour the orange fudge into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Drop the white fudge over the top by the spoonful, then drag a table knife or toothpick through the fudge to create orange-white swirls. You can spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray and gently press them into the top to smooth out the swirls, if desired.
7. Allow the fudge to set at room temperature for 2 hours, or in the refrigerator for 1 hour. To cut, pull the fudge out of the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp knife to cut the fudge into small 1-inch squares. Store Orange Creamsicle Fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, and bring it to room temperature to serve.

White Christmas

Living in the South, yesterday was a historic Christmas Day.    It started snowing!!   and is actually still snowing a little bit as I type this.   Where we live, the last time there was snow on Christmas was 1963.  
Although, some places like Atlanta had not had snow in over 100 years on Christmas.   I think that my children were more excited with the snow, then opening presents.  

Of course, my husband is never impressed with the snow. He grew up in MN and is just doesn't care about snow.

Whenever there is a chance of snow, we always practice some old wives tales to encourage snowfall.     Do you do any of these with your family?  

1. Flush ice cubes down the toilet.  There is also a practice of throwing them out a window.  We mainly stick to just flushing.
2. Place spoons under your bed.    Apparently, this practice dates to the Pilgrims.  Not sure how much truth is to that.  I have heard that it is better to do this with a wooden spoon and just for extra measure, lick the spoon.
3. Put white crayons in the windows.   Some people say that this works better if you freeze the crayons first.    We have never done that, but we might have to give it a try next time. 
4.  Wear your pjs  inside out and backwards.   Some people do one or the other.  We do both just to be sure.

If you have another one that I didn't list, please share it.  I love to collect information like this.  According to the weather, we actually still have a chance of snow until later tonight.    

Playing catch up today

This month has been very hard for me to find time to blog.    With everything holiday related, visiting family, and a few wicked rounds of stomach viruses, I have gotten terribly behind.    So I am going to post a few holiday related posts and a couple of recipes later today.   

Please bear with me, it has been a crazy month. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hasbro Super Charge your Giftcard

Did your children get gift cards?   You can stretch those dollars a little farther.   From December 25th until January 31st, Hasbro is rewarding consumers who spend $20 more in gift cards or cash on select Hasbro toys and games with one of more than twenty FREE Hasbro toys and games valued at $10 or more.

There is a long list of toys and some restrictions do apply.  Check out Super Charge Giftcard for more information!  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.   I am going to be enjoying the holiday with my family and friends.     I hope that everyone has a lovely Christmas holiday with their family and friends. 

My Secret Santa

My secret Santa was Cassie from Almost Crazy Coupon Lady

This was my first Secret Santa Blog Gift Exchange.   Cassie sent me a gift card for Chili's, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, or Maggiano's .   

I can't wait to use it.  I think my husband and I are going to make a date night after the holidays.     I do have to apologize to Cassie though.   I was late getting her gift in the mail, so it will arrive after Christmas.   A nasty stomach bug hit our family very hard this month, so everything has been last minute.    

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meet Me on Monday

1. What will your Christmas dinner consist of?
We change it up each year.  Sometimes, we do turkey and the usual side dishes.   Other years, we will do a theme dinner, Chinese or Mexican.   Sometimes, we grill filet mignon  with blue cheese, twice baked potatoes and grilled veggies.   This year is a beef tenderloin, roasted potatoes, grilled veggies and some sort of salad. 

2. Do you watch commercials or flip through the channels?

It really depends on what I am watching.  Sometimes I flip sometimes I don't. 

3.  How long will you leave your Christmas decorations up?
My decorations inside the house have been up since just before Thanksgiving.   The outside lights have been up since the first of December.   Everything comes down New Years. 

4.  What movie makes you cry every time you watch it?

I dont really watch movies that make me cry.  

5. Do you have a Facebook?
 I live on Facebook! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mrs. Butterworth Limited Holiday Edition Bottles

Our family tradition is to always have a Christmas morning pancake Santa breakfast.   Bacon, scrambled eggs, and fluffy warm pancakes!   Nothing could be better!  Of course, you can not have pancakes without syrup!    This year,   Mrs. Butterworth is sporting a festive new look for the holiday season!  

There are three limited holiday bottles that are a part of the 2010 decorative series.  Whether you like to sing carols all season long, act as Santa’s little helper or be the joyful gift giver, there is a Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle- perfect for everyone!

These 24 oz. bottle only around for a limited time.   Be on the look for all 3 designs and more limited edition designs to come in 2011.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Win Tickets to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl from Wholly Guacamole

Bowl season isn't too far away.   Wholly Guacamole is hosting a New Era Pinstripe Bowl Sweepstakes!   Winners will  get 2 tickets to the inaugural bowl game at Yankee Stadium on December 30th!  Simply go to to enter and you could be one of the 25 lucky winners to see Syracuse Orange take on the Kansas State Wildcats in Yankee Stadium.    The contest ends December 15th so enter soon!!

Sign up to get a Free cup of Yoplait yogurt

You can get a free cup of yogurt from Yoplait.   Visit their website to get a free cup and share it with a friend. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fruit Cake: Lost art form? or was it ever an art form at all?

Fruit Cakes are always the butt of all holiday jokes. Which will survive longer a cock roach or a fruit cake?

The history of the fruitcake is rather interesting. The first recorded reference to fruit cakes dates to Roman times. The recipe included pomegranate seeds. Pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. Honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added during the Middle Ages. Crusaders and hunters were reported to have carried this type of cake to sustain themselves over long periods of time away from home.

See they really have been around forever!   The Victorians took them one step further.  
Between 1837 and 1901, fruitcake was extremely popular. A Victorian "Tea" would not have been complete without the addition of the fruitcake to the sweet and savory spread. Queen Victoria is said to have waited a year to eat a fruitcake she received for her birthday because she felt it showed restraint, moderation and good taste. It was the custom in England for unmarried wedding guests to put a slice of the cake, traditionally a dark fruitcake, under their pillow at night so they will dream of the person they will marry.

Could you imagine your wedding cake as a fruitcake?   

Does anyone still make homemade fruitcakes?  Are they still given as a gift? or now in modern times, are they the boobie prize of the gift exchange?   How did a cake that was loved and adored by generations fall so far down the food ladder?   Is baking a fruitcake truly an art form that has been lost to the ages?   Does anyone under the age of 60 appreciate fruitcake? 

I personally have never been a fan of fruit cake ever! But this year, I kind of miss my aunt's fruit cake cookies. She passed away several years ago. But growing up, I remember she would spend days getting ingredients together and spend hours baking this cookies.  She would bake them to resemble mini fruit cakes in those little mini muffin wrappers.  I remember most years, they were green with red stripes and holly leaves.   I don't know how she found the same wrappers every year.   There were the odd years, that she would pick up the silver foil wrappers.    She tried her best to dress them up.    These were the cookies, that when you ate one and it seemed that 2 more grew in it's place. I guess you could call them the Hydra of the cookie platter.  For me, the most unpleasant part of fruitcake is the tortured candied fruit.  Cherries and pineapples are not ment to come in those colors.   Still, I fondly think back to her baking cookies for everyone. My aunt was an excellent cook!  She always made at least 4 different kinds of cookies by the dozens.   This is the recipe that she always used and I am sharing it in memory of her. 


1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
3 cups flour, divided
1/2 lb candied cherries, finely chopped
1/2 lb candied pineapples, finely chopped
1/2 lb golden raisins
1 quart shelled pecans, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in hot water

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar; beat in egg yolks.

Sprinkle the rum over the fruits. Chopping the fruits and nuts is made easier with a food processor, or simply mound them together and sprinkle with a little of the flour to make chopping easier.

Stir the remaining flour together with the spices and salt to mix evenly. Then add remaining ingredients (except for the egg whites).

Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet brushed with Crisco or vegetable oil.

Bake at 350°F for 10-15 m

Maybe a modern movement to save the fruitcake can be launched ( if you interested in launching fruit cakes check out what the folks in Manitou Springs, Co do).  Is it possible to save the fruitcake from its own bad reputation?  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday Review

I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie!   I am not very familiar with the American Girl stories, my daughter just is not old enough yet.   But, my whole family really enjoyed Samantha.">name="allowFullScreen" value="true">"; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344">

Synopsis:   Samantha: An American Girl Holiday brings history boldly to life as it takes girls on a journey back to New York in 1904.   Samantha's prim and proper Grandmary is raising her to be a young lady, but her life starts changing the day as she meets Nellie O'Malley, the servant girl next door.   Though they come from different worlds, the become fast friends, facing happiness and sorrow, adventure and danger together.   But nothing can prepare them for the life-altering surprises that await them this holiday season.

Release Date:  November 30th

You can find other great family films at KidsWB

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper

 I used to love watching Yogi Bear when I was a child.  I am really thrilled to introduce my children to Yogi Bear with Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas DVD.  

Synopsis: Yogi Bear and his pal Boo Boo live in Jellystone Park, where they constantly sneak behind the back of Ranger Smith to steal picnic baskets from unsuspecting vacationers. Yogi made his debut in 1958, as part of "The Huckleberry Hound Show." The character proved so popular, he was given his own show in 1960, also sponsored by Kellogg's Cereals. In addition to Yogi, the show featured separate cartoons with the new characters Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. Through 1962, 70 Yogi Bear cartoons were produced, all of them featuring Daws Butler as the voice of Yogi, and Don Messick as Boo Boo. In this Christmas Special, Yogi escapes from Jellystone and hides out in a department store - posing as the Store's Santa. Along the way, he helps a little girl to rediscover her faith in Christmas.

Available on DVD: December 7th   
Price: $9.95

Looking for other classic cartoons, visit  Kids WB

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Young girl was bullied because she is a Star Wars fan.

I just read this story today on CNN.      The story is about a young girl who took a Star Wars water bottle to school, until one day she came home and said she wanted a pink water bottle.     Her mother got more out of her daughter and found that some of the boys in her class were teasing her because she is a Star Wars fan.    

In her mother's blog post, she wrote,"  Is this how it starts?"    
"Do kids find someone who does something differently and start to beat it out of her, first with words and sneers? Must my daughter conform to be accepted?"

Is teasing like this the roots of bullying?   When one person dares to be different, what happens?  There is always someone who has a comment or a disapproving look.   In a show of support for Katie, thousands have gathered on Facebook to create a Geek Pride Day!  
On that Friday,  December 10th,  wear a Star Wars tee shirt or any other piece of paraphernalia to show that you support Katie, Star Wars, anti-bullying, or at the very least, cool water bottles. If you don't have any, be creative.

 As a long time female Star Wars fan, it is my privilege and honor to show my support for this little girl.    And as the mother of a little girl (who is also a Star Wars fan), I personally never want my daughter to conform to anyone's ideals.   I want her to march to her own drum and be proud of who she is!  I think that is one of the most important lessons I can teach my daughter.   

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December Photo Hunt Challenge

 This month I am participating in the December Photo Hunt Challenge.   If you would like to join in on the fun, please visit Photo Hunt Challenge and sign up. 

1. Holiday Lights
2. Holiday Spirit
3. A Holiday Treat
4. An Ornament
5. A Gift-Wrapped Package
6. A Window Display
7. A Winter/Holiday Icon
8. A Tree
9. A Tradition
10.Something that says Noel
11. Something Precious
12. Something Peaceful
13. Something Hot
14. Something Cold
15. Something Red
16. Something Green
17. Motion blur
18. Black & White Photo (with selective coloring)
19. Any photo using an Infrared Photography Technique (in-camera OR post-process)
20. A Macro Shot

Day 13 Christmas Challenge: Favorite Holiday Cookie

I found this Christmas Challenge late in the game, but I really wanted to share this recipe.   This is one of my favorite Holiday cookies.   They are super simple to make, (only 3 ingredients) and the recipe will make enough for you to have for your family and some to give away.   You can use any Oreo cookie that you like.   The original and mint are delicious used in this cookie. 

1 package Oreo cookies
12 ounces cream cheese -- softened
20 ounces almond bark -- melted

Crush 1 pkg. (1 lb. 4 oz.) Oreo cookies in food processor. Mix with 12 oz. softened cream cheese. Roll into balls; chill. Dip in 18-20 oz. melted almond bark to coat. Made 75.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Annie Chun's "Taste a Little Adventure Asian Dinner Party” winner

I am so excited about this opportunity!   I entered the Annie Chun's contest and was among the 250 people selected to host an Asian dinner party. 

I love Asian food and culture, so this right up my alley.    While visiting their Facebook page, I learned something interesting about the creation of the chopsticks.    It is believed that chopsticks were created to
 symbolizea person's affinity for learning and peace.

           "Although its true origins are unknown, a Chinese legend notes that the philosopher Confucius, living in China around 500 B.C., influenced the development of chopsticks through his non-violent teachings. The widely-accepted belief was that because knives were associated with war and death, Confucius urged his followers not to use them at the dinner table, which supposedly led to the invention of chopsticks as a substitute."  
You can read more of the article at Asian Nation.

This week has been a good week!

For the last month, it just seemed like nothing was going right.   But this week, it seems that it has been raining blessings and unexpected surprises.     I won 3 contest this week!  The most exciting prize was 4 tickets to see the Broadway musical CATS.     

My mom has always wanted to see CATS.  So, she will be coming to see it with us.   I think it a nice pre-Christmas surprise for her.    The other two items will help add to our Christmas celebration.  
I am truly grateful for all of these little rays of sunshine in my life.  

5 Question Friday!

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?!
 This is a hard question for me.   I guess it would be the same thing that I ask for every year.  I take so many pictures during the year, I always need photo processing, photo albums, or scrapbooking supplies.

2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?
 When I was about 3 years old, I got a 12 inch Princess Leia doll.   I have always loved Star Wars and I still have her.

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?
I would be a Disney animator when or/if I ever grow up. 

4. When do you put up your tree?
 It is already up.   I usually put it up around November 20th.   I like to have it up for my daughter's birthday. 

5. What is your favorite Holiday?
I don't know that I really have one.  About 2 years ago, I probably would have said Christmas.   The last couple of years have made me cynical. We always seem to have some sort of family crisis or tragedy.   It has made me leery of Christmas.    

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ugly Christmas Lights

Tis the season, for 10 million imported Italian twinkle lights.   I really love driving around looking at houses decorated, most of them are tastefully decorated.    But there are those residences that take Christmas lights in the wrong direction.   

There is a great site called Ugly Christmas Lights.    If you have never seen this site before, check it out.  It will make you laugh.