Monday, November 30, 2009

i want to know

how was your thanksgiving?

i hope everyone had a blessed thanksgiving.
our holiday was wonderful and full of blessings; getting to visit all of our family is always such a joy.
i got to cook lots and eat good food. it was lovely.
my visit was cut short to my family as i unfortunately had to work, but i did get to spend several hours with them. on Sunday, we had a beautiful Evergreen Service at church introducing the Christmas season.
i left so full of the Lord and excited to get out my decorations.
i hope your holiday was perfect.

one more tiny thing; i have made more changes to this blog in the past six months than ever. i have had this blog for going on three years and until recent, only blogged for family and close friends. i have been searching for the perfect name and style - and have played around with several ideas. so, i apologize for the random changes. hang with me; i'll get it perfect.

how was your thanksgiving?

friend making monday: survey

i enjoy friend makin' mondays.
 to participate, please visit this site to join in.

1. Favorite website?
It's impossible to narrow down to one favorite. I visit Facebook, Fox News, Craigslist, Blogger, YouTube, Amazon; frequently.

2. Favorite color?
My favorite color's are shades of turquoise, brown, yellow & gray.

3. Facebook?
If you would like to connect, send me a message.

4. Favorite Christmas Song?
I love them all and enjoy listening to different versions - such as country, classic, R & B, rock, musical. So many people bring their own special touch to beautiful classic songs.

5. Christmas tree: real of fake?
I love real Christmas trees. In fact, our goal this year is to visit a local tree farm and cut our own.

6. Hottest celebrity?
Matthew McConaughey will always be my top answer. There is just isn't one answer for this question but too keep brief, I'll go with my current crush Bradley Cooper and you can see him here, here, here & here.

7. Favorite Restaurant?
StirFry Cafe and (sorry) O'Charley's. 

8. Favorite Magazine?
I will go with Glamor Magazine (pssst, over here: AND PEOPLE MAGAZINE)

9. Favorite thing to drink around the holidays?
As always, anything Starbucks.

10. Favorite Christmas movie?
Good grief, I like them all. Seriously, them all - both old and new.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

crafty in the kitchen, well kind of

every holiday-eve, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, i spend hours with my mother in law, helping her prepare for their big day. their family is larger than mine and over the years, my help evolved into a requirement since i have a passion for cooking. i love these days spent cooking with such a wonderful person i adore. we have so much fun. and prepare so much food.

i make the desserts. & this year i made a beautiful lattice crust apple pie. now, i had never made a lattice crust before, so this may not be as exciting to most, but to me...a beautiful accomplishment. i also got to use yummy canned apples from their apple orchard this past summer. can't wait to enjoy!

1. Thaw Pie Crust. 2. Roll out, smoothing any wrinkles. 3. Slice one crust in strips. 4. Mix cinnamon, nutmeg & sugar, to taste - to fresh, canned or apple filling. 5. Smooth second crust in pie pan, rounding edges. 6. Add butter to apples. 7. Add first layer of crust strips. 8. Weave second layer in an alternating "over/under" pattern. 9. Pretty. 10. Bake in oven, 375 until crust starts to turn brown then remove & brush with egg whites on top of crust, replace back in over for additional 10 minutes until golden. 11. Love it!

my craft is a secret no more

this was going to be a secret. but i decided that since it's my first attempt at craftiness in a very long time, support from precious bloggers would be fantastic.

on may 22 of last year, my parents lost their house to a fire. we recovered only a few pictures. in the house was a quilt i had made in 1994 while in a home economics class my freshmen year of high school. it was a child size quilt. absolutely beautiful. my mom loved it and it was something so special to me, as lots of time was put into the making of the quilt. i was so proud to give it to my parents.

so, i am making them a new quilt. my goal, to have it completed - the week of Christmas.

here are some snapshots of where i am so far.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

finally, perfection.

after months of contemplation, the new name is perfect and holds so much special meaning to myself and the husband. im working on putting its beautiful explanation in words. it's also what we've been seeking and is in anticipation for several lovely future endeavors.

enjoy the new look.

be sure to g-i-v-e some of you

continuing my busting-at-the-seams giddiness for the Christmas season, I wanted to share this wonderful event that we have locally. i am from Roane County, Tennessee, Kingston to be exact. a small, quaint town - set among Watts Bar Lake. small and beautiful; i love the place i call home. each Christmas, the town hosts a wonderful event for the less fortunate, called Operation R.E.A.C.H; (Roane Enriches Another Child's Holiday). leading up to December, road blocks and fundraisers are held throughout the county, to raise money for this event. needy children at schools throughout the county are signed up to participate. the first weekend in December, the local Wal-Mart opens their door to this event. Bus loads of children are shuttled in. they are paired with a volunteer, someone like me, and for 2 hours, shop for the things on their list, with an alloted $200 per child. we shop for things on their list, in which they have listed their "wish list" for immediate family members.  these children pick socks and shoes over toys, even lotions and soap over socks. they buy candles or a screwdriver for their parents, which is what "they have always wanted". this is such a humbling experience. after shopping, we all shuttle back to a local school gym, where we get to help wrap all the items purchased, followed by lunch. not only have you helped someone make a special Christmas, it's often the case that you have given them their first real Christmas. and most touching, you make new, little friends. you bond with these special little Children. the first year I went, I got a little girl, age 6. the second year, randomly, I got matched with her sister, age 9.

it always puts life in perspective that it can change, at any time. some of the precious children, had families who had just lost a job or lost their house to a fire. if your county does something like this, or similar - please don't pass up this opportunity. if not, participate in an Angel Tree. these are the greatest holiday blessings.

Monday, November 23, 2009

friend making monday: thanksgiving

i am glad to be able to participate in this weeks friend makin' monday. please visit this site to join in.

1. Turkey or Ham?
I have to have both, or it just isn't a holiday dinner. Both of my grandparents, my parents and most recent (well since 2001), my in-laws, have always had turkey and ham. yummy.

2. Favorite side dish.
Probably mashed potatoes with slaw on top. Greenbeans are always a must have as well. O, deviled eggs :)

3. Favorite dessert.
Pumpkin pie. *im getting so hungry.

4. Black Friday: Are you going or not?
I have in years past and I may this year. The husband is off so we may.

5. If so, what's on the top of your list?
Check out my recent blog to see my Christmas list; here and here.

6. Going out of town or staying close to home?
My family lives about an hour away. My in-laws live ten minutes away. We always swap, so whoever gets us longer for Thanksgiving will get us shorter for Christmas, and vise-versa.

7. Hosting or helping?
I always help and I love it. I actually blogged about this today. Check it out here.

8. Name one family tradition at Thanksgiving.
We always go to our grandparents. It just isn't a holiday without getting everyone together and going to our grandparent's house and then going back to our parents afterwards.

9. What do you do after dinner?
nap, football, play with the kids and enjoy the company of my family.

10. What are you most thankful for this year?
my health. my family. and although not the happiest with my schedule or current position, my job. were blessed in so many ways, even with non-physical things. our thanks we owe all to God.

o, one more thing

in dropping hints to santa in yesterday's post, i totally forgot to add this cookbook to my list. so mom, er, i mean santa's little helper, perhaps you could click and see what else i would love to have. i have defiantly noticed that as we get older, our Christmas list does get shorter but more expensive. i wanted chocolate diamonds also, but ill put those off for next year's list.

this week is going to be so different for me. i have always worked monday - friday, 8-5. i have always had holidays off. i have always had the days before and after the holiday, off. not this year. this year i work the day before and am on call the day of the upcoming holiday. this really just isn't acceptable to me. i am the main food preparer for the in-laws holiday feast and am a huge helper in my family's get together's. i feel my absence on the preparation activities the day before will cause a major holiday catastrophe. especially at the in-laws. for the past 9 years, I spend at least nine-hours the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, chopping, cutting, mixing, baking, creating, decorating, preparing; I do it all. I can't help but stress over this. i am hoping that out of a workplace of hundreds of people, one person will find the goodness in their heart to switch a shift with me. that would be a wonderful gift of giving, dont'cha think?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

loving these lovely things

last night, we had a spur of the moment dinner party. while frantically searching for what i wanted to cook, i had a craving for a unique appetizer, maybe crackers and dip. but, there was nothing. all i could find was dips for chips and humus, but i am not a humus fan. i was about to just settle for a desert when sweet hubbs mentioned the Lipton seasonings used for soups. perfect! so, we found that. on the back, of course a dip for a french onion dip, just add sour cream. eh, why not. its for chips but at least i can make it. looking on the box, there was a note in the corner of the recipe, "for a twist, add a 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa". i was unsure. i like salsa and sour cream on a taco salad, but for a cracker dip? skeptical, i picked out a medium heat picante salsa (we don't like chunky style salsa) and sour cream. once home, i whipped the ingredients together, stuck in the fridge. and oh my gosh; this was one of the best dips i had ever had - delicious! i served with regular wheat thins and wheat thins garden vegetable. the dip was a huge hit. we actually made some more today to enjoy while watching football!

1 pack Lipton Soup Mix - Onion
1 16 oz. tub of Sour Cream
1/2 cup Picante Salsa (the non-chunky style i think is the best to stick with)

Mix. Chill. Serve - enjoy!

so yesterday, day - we went to the mall. i have not been to the mall in forever! i have to admit that i was kind of giddy because of all the Christmas music and decorations. i know i posted yesterday about people not rushing into it and decorating, now - but the malls are different; we have to shop and be prepared. we kind of did the whole "this would be an awesome gift from santa", thing. of course, what tops my list is 1: KitchenAid Stand Mixer (red), 2. Nikon D90 and 3. Cricut. It's always fun to see and play with the toys you want but don't yet have. side note: hopefully santa saw that they were all on sale.

Well, I had a camera, a nice one - prob an equal to the D90; however; (long story short):
went on business trip. stayed at hilton. went out for dinner. came back to hotel room broken into. camera amongst other things, were stolen. company replaced camera with an upgraded version of what i had. i didn't understand it. sold it on ebay. downsized to a sony cybershot. but in trying to now make logic of what a stupid, stupid decision it was to sell that camera, i justify by knowing that my passion for photography wasn't there, as it is now. so, here is to hoping that santa will see i have been a sweet girl this year. i think, er, i hope.

Friday, November 20, 2009

life is good

life has been good. pretty much really simple, as of late. kind of just full of work and time with family and friends. i was in the grocery store a few weeks back and couldn't believe that Christmas music already filled the aisles. where in the world did this year go? on my way home this afternoon, random houses along the way, already have their Christmas lights up. although beautiful to see, i prefer that everyone wait until the day after Thanksgiving to do all that. it just seems silly and rushed. several months ago, i was at a favorite thrift store and got a huge box full of lots and lots of super cute Christmas ornaments; for $2. major score! this i am excited about and cannot wait to decorate; but i'll give thanks first.

i went to see New Moon last night at midnight, which was the day it premiered. i loved this movie. i loved twilight but i really, really loved this movie. im not a crazed-fanatic, but this love story is beautiful. it was fun to go with a long-time friend. is was fun to stay out late.

one of about 75 we saw in the lot. too funny.

Thanksgiving is this week, and I love it. We live about an hour away from my family and we alternate holidays, meaning if we do Thanksgiving there, we will do Christmas with his family. We still visit everyone on the holidays - buy only short visits if it isn't their year. And although we spent Thanksgiving with my family last year and ideally it should be the in-laws turn this year - i am kind of cheating and doing turkey day with my family, again this year. my work schedule as been cray'zee and i really just want some much needed time home. i should get three days.

last weekend we had a bonfire...probably the last of the season. the beautiful colors have come and gone and much cooler weather is now in place. now, im anxiously awaiting snow.

cold nights. warm fire.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

morning of smiles

we had our fall pictures made earlier today. i couldn't have asked for more perfect weather.
i got off work a little early last night to frantically find something to wear for our shoot.
three hours at the mall, i left flustered and empty handed.
last minute, i ended up at my favorite store, in which i should've started at to begin with.
old navy - i heart that store way too much.
as for today, i had a perfect hair day.
my outfit was perfect.
my husband looked great.
and he even had my weekend scruffies (read here).
it was so much fun. our photographer was awesome.
it was just a wonderfully-perfect-awesomeful morning.
the last set of professional pics we had made were our wedding pictures, which were in 2001.
it was back in the time when all pictures were so posed, you looked like statues and the poster child for the definition of uncomfortable.
eh, i suppose i am a decade late coming in with the "cool" pictures.
just give me about twelve more days and i can finally share.
this will be a happy day.

hope your having beautiful, fall weather today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the sun will come out, tomorrow

thanks to another rainy day here in East Tennessee, i have enjoyed much couch time.
and with all these rainy days,
i am feeling so crafty.
thanks goes to the many lovely blogs, which have inspired me.
i have decided on my super crafty project.
i went to our local craft store and purchased what i need to begin, last night.
however; for now - its top-secret though, as it's for someone super special, for Christmas.
i am taking pictures of every step. and cannot wait to share with you.

today, is veteran's day.
so many local events to support our veterans.
this makes me happy and warms my heart.
im thankful for our freedom. & all done to ensure our continued freedom.
& special prayers today, for families with loved ones that are currently overseas.
take a moment today to show your appreciation.

one more little silly thing....
i got a lovely anonymous comment about my grammar.
everything about this blog is random, including my punctuation and capitalization.
enjoy the reads, pictures, etc.
thats what its here for.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

while i was away

do you watch Ellen?
i love her.
she is beautiful. i love her style.
and she makes me laugh, like "milk out the nose" kind of laugh.
in case she come's across this, thanks Ellen.

being with out my laptop for several, several weeks - made me realize that -
i can not live w/o it.
that is true. ok, maybe that is kind of sad, actually.
but - i am so happy to have it back and am spending time
catching up with everyone.

as i write, we are only 2 weeks shy of Thanksgiving. I cannot wrap my mind around this.
where did this year go? it just doesn't seem possible.
i shall pull out the 'ole new years resolutions list (here and here), && hurry up with what i haven't yet done. am i really the only one who hold's true to these silly resolutions?

i now leave you with a special presentation from my peeps to you.
- here's to getting you in the holiday spirit.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

i see the light at the end of the tunnel

my laptop will be back in a few days.
yes i have been lost without it. and yes i have seriously missed all my wonderful reads.
i look forward to seeing what everyone has been up too since ive been away and how the SITScation went. yes, its been that long since i had my dear computer.

leaving with happy thoughts;
i got to spend four days with my parents.
we're getting professional fall photo's outdoors this saturday.
i have dinner with a lovely friend friday night.
i got to see a lovely friend yesterday.
& after today, im off for three more days.

as for a silly random thought,
do you smile when you try on sunglasses?
i caught myself doing this on Tuesday.
and realized i think i always do it.