Thursday, December 31, 2009

Start your new year off..

with these yummy sticky buns from Ina Garten. You can find the recipe here. You won't be disappointed.

You may need to hold off on that resolution to eat healthier and/or lose weight though. But it will be worth it.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas...

to you and your family.
Best wishes for a safe & healthy 2010!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas joys...

Your children only get one childhood....
I have a friend who emails what she calls 'Christmas Joys' each day in December. She has been doing it for years and it's always fun to receive them. They are pretty much the same each year but sometimes she will add something to them. They are usually just a list of thoughts or ideas for December. As a bonus, she lists the activities going on in town for each week.

Today's "joy's" started off with "Your children only get one childhood". This is so true and can really mean many things. For any time of the year, not just Christmas. The first thing that came to my mind is that since they only have one childhood they should remember it as having a mom that was present, not running around like a crazy lady trying to make everyone else happy and essentially forgetting about the most important people - her kids & husband.

So, this time of the year when it's easy to lose sight of what matters, stop to take some time to make sure your kids will remember this time of year, as well as the other 11 months, fondly. Make sure they remember mama being 'there' for them.

A true Christmas joy....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The end of an era...

Charlie Gibson of World News Tonight signed off for the last time on Friday. I am what you might call a news junkie and I generally only watch ABC & Fox News. I watch Good Morning America almost everyday. So it was a sad day on Friday when Charlie Gibson signed off - for the last time.
I watched him on his first day of GMA, way back when, his first day on GMA, again, not quite as long ago, his first day as the anchor of World News Tonight (finally, he gets the coveted job, I thought) and on his last day on World News Tonight. I am looking forward to seeing what Diane Sawyer does as I also enjoyed her on GMA so I will be watching again on Monday @ 5:30. But I will miss Charlie - it was like your dad giving you the news when he was on - safe & comfortable.
End of an era for sure...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Little Miss had a dentist appointment yesterday. The hygienist asked her what type of cleaner (the toothpaste they use for cleaning the teeth - not sure that's the technical name) she would like and rattled off a gazillion flavors. She settled on Chocolate Mint. yum.

On the way home she said she really liked the Chocolate Mint and asked if my dentist offered that flavor (he doesn't).

She says, 'Maybe we should suggest that they sell that at a retail store.'

Alrighty then. A 'retail' store? What 7 year old would say that? Just another funny outtake from the back seat of my car...

PS. She made a card to take to the dentist today that said "I love my dentist" - bet they don't get those too often! She also put a candy cane inside the card. Just trying to keep the business going there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


If you have read my blog for anytime (thank you) you know that I am not the world's greatest photographer. So that's what makes the pictures I took last weekend in Utah especially nice. The snow pictures I took turned out really neat - if I say so myself. See what you think.
Yes, there was a lot of snow. A lot. The above photo is of my sister's back yard (looking into it from the front). I used the flash for this which I thought was neat.
The rest of the photos were taken at the Sundance Resort. Look at that snow. It was really beautiful. Even though these pictures are good I don't think they quite do the beautiful scenery justice.

Is that neat?? This is my favorite one- six trees lined up together.

The Christmas decorations were almost completely covered with snow. But the brook was still babbling!

Don't you just love the way the green skis almost look like they were painted on the photo?
We had a lovely time at Sundance and it was nice to have time to run around outside and snap some really great pictures. I hope to do something neat with these, display-wise- fun frames or something. I'll be sure to post the projects when I do them. Hopefully won't be too long...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Home Tour 2009

Here's our home decked out for Christmas.
A bit less decked out in the past but I am okay with it.
Our Family Room Tree

A little cheer for Little Misses bedroom

More bedroom cheer for Little Miss. She puts a small ornament on each day.

Nativity scene on the mantle. My sister bought the nativity in Germany a couple of years ago. It is made out of the most delicate wood. So lovely and simple.

The stockings were hung....

A little vignette in the kitchen.
Visit The Nester for more home tours. It's really fun...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Can you tell....

that Mom will be out of town this weekend? This is part of the grocery store haul today so LM and her dad will have a kitchen stocked with contraband. Got these goodies along with some Wonder bread, ham & salami. Yum!! They will be dancing a jig when I head off to the airport today. Hopefully they'll miss me some, too.

I am headed to my sister's where we will dine on salad, fruit & whole wheat. Much more to my liking, thank you. She has a Christmas lunch each year with her friends and their moms at the Sundance resort, one of my most favorite places. It is beautiful there and very peaceful. We have even run into Robert Redford there (literally, we were driving along the road and he was running towards us. We stopped in plenty of time for a 'hi' and a smile.) This is my first year at the Christmas lunch & I am quite excited.

We decided to fly instead of endure the 8+ hour drive, although we really only save a couple of hours with a 2 hr drive to the airport and arriving 2 hours early. But I'd rather let someone else do the driving (flying). Our flight appears to be oversold. Yippee. I am sure there is some logical reason why this is done but it seems to happen more & more these days. NO, I don't want to give up my seat & hang at the Las Vegas airport for 2 more hours just to get a free ticket. Even with a Starbucks at every turn. The novelty of the slot machines was gone long ago (does anyone ever win anything at the airport?) No, I just want to get on my plane and head north to the snow white covered hills and eat my salad...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gift cards...

are the new fruitcake?
I just read an article called 'Gift cards are the new fruitcake' on MSN. It basically explained the pitfalls of gift cards (fees, expiration dates, etc). So I started wondering, do a lot of you give or receive gift cards for Christmas? I am mostly wondering about the giving as I don't mind receiving them if they are for something I use (Starbucks, Victoria's Secret). I usually ask for a gift card from my mother-in-law when she asks what I want. I think it's easier for her (remember, she has 13 kids, most with spouses and lots of grand kids to buy for) and it's easier to mail (she lives out of town).
But for those gifts I need to buy for people I don't know so well (some of the 13 kids or spouses) I wonder if a gift card is the easy way out? I have always enjoyed the process of finding 'just the right gift' for someone. But maybe a gift card IS just the right gift. I have never gotten a gift card that I haven't used. Guess that's the shopper in me. But I know people who take forever to use them (I am married to one).
Since I am mostly done with my shopping I probably won't use this information this year - unless I have a last minute gift to buy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Here are my dining room decorations. Sorry for the bad lighting. I hope you can get the idea. I wanted something really simple for the table. I think this fits the bill.

I started with the square vase (World Market-on sale for about $20 and I can use it year round). The 'shatterproof' silver balls -$4 from Walmart. I didn't really want shatterproof ones (plastic) but with a dog and a 7 yr old I think it's safer. The ribbon came from Walmart - I think it was about $2.50 and I have plenty left over for gifts or more decorations. The one ball on the top is from Crate and Barrel - a splurge at $4.95 but it adds a little something extra.

This is the little tree I have sitting on the chair that houses beach towels in the summer (the chair sits by the door that leads out to the pool). My mom made the little quilt and pillows. Just a few extra silver balls and ornaments decorate the tree. It's simple but it's what I wanted.
I'll show you the 'big' tree soon, so please come back to visit...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday, Monday....

Yes, it has definitely been a Monday. First off, it rained. ALL DAY. We haven't had rain since about October so we really needed it but...

Drove about 45 miles or so today doing errands and delivering poinsettias (hockey fundraiser). My average day: 5-6 miles. Luckily, I love my car.

I can't even put into words what Staples did to our only hockey schedule poster when I asked them to laminate it. My husband is now on the hunt for an extra one.

The highlight of the day was having to go to Church @5:30 to retrieve LM's backpack that she left at CCD (my husband picked her up). Thankfully the preschool teacher was still there and I was able to get it so LM could do her homework.

I will post some Christmas pictures so you can see what else I have been up to. I hope my finger feels better when I start typing again. I have the smallest cut on the tip of my left hand pointer finger which hurts really bad when it is touched - like when I type. It may be infected but I am not sure. I don't think it is I think it just hurts because of where it is. But I'm not a doctor so that's just a guess.

Did I mention it was the stereotypical Monday here?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Moving right along...

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
Our tree is up (photos coming later - we're still decorating).
Presents purchased (for the most part, I have 3 left to get not counting our 3 secret santas for my husband's side of the family - we don't have our names yet.)
Wrapping started. Hope to finish up within the next few days or so.
Cards - addressed ready for pictures/notes to go in. They will go out on Friday. NO MATTER WHAT!
Baking will start next week. Most baking will occur after the 18th, when school is out but I'll start a bit next week so I am not doing it all in one day.
How's it going at your house?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Calendars...

I found a cute wooden sleigh at Michaels (using my 40% off coupon) to use as an advent calendar this year. The finished product is below with the original look at the very bottom. I am so excited at how it turned out. Little Miss is enjoying it too.

I used red paint I had on hand (latex) for the sleigh. The rails were painted with silver paint and then a second coat of 'glitter' paint made them look glittery. I had never seen glitter paint before and was so thrilled to come across it. I detest glitter since it always gets everywhere but this paint it wonderful.
The knobs are also painted with glitter paint. I used a stencil & a silver pen for the numbers and rub-ons for a little pizazz. I wrapped empty jewelry boxes with silver wrapping paper to put on top of the sleigh.

Each drawer holds a little goody. I used quarters, small chocolates and hair barrettes. I also put small pieces of paper in some of the drawers (later in the month, after Christmas vacation starts) saying things like: 'Let's make a gingerbread house', 'Let's make cookies (your choice)' & 'Let's go to the park today.'
What sort of advent calendar do you use?