Monday, December 29, 2008

a wicked storm

Every year my Dad comes from Buffalo to spend Christmas with us and then leaves the next morning....and for several years he has been taking the kids home with him and then my husband and I go up a few days later.....well, Sunday morning when we were getting ready to leave my Dad called to say they were having a wicked storm and their power went out....not to we didn't ....and when we got there this is what saw.........lots and lots of candles!!!!! actually was quite nice to sit and watch the fire and have conversation....if only the snow was coming down.....I love to have that snowed in trapped feeling!....we'll be here all week and we're hoping for snow!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This may be one of my all time favorite christmas photos...the room was darkened and I blindly snapped my camera....and I luckily captured Cubby peeking out the window to see Santa walking by with his bag of toys....every year I feel like Christmas day is like my wedding just flies by...every time I look at the clock I want it to slow down.....I want it to last.......
Christmas eve after everyone is in bed I like to sit and admire the piles of presents....the weeks of wonder how all of the lists, running around....finding it on sale somewhere else....putting it up the attic...getting it out....wrapping..putting it all BACK up in the attic...getting it down in the middle of the night...amounts to the three piles of presents and three stockings hung by the chimney with care...????....I love to enjoy the tree and the mood all to wonder what present will be their favorite....usually something obscure from the dollar store... :)...I always like to take a picture to capture it all...

....and then another the next morning to catch the wreckage!!!!....the smiles, hugs, oooohs, aaahhs, squeals and thank yous make it all worth while......I just love to soak the day in...we don't go Dad always comes down from Buffalo in time to see it all....and we spend all day putting stuff together, playing games, eating and drinking......

....I always crave a white you know I LOVE a good storm....and as the week progressed and we knew it wouldn't be ....AGAIN...we at least wanted the rain to stop so Cubby could cruise the neighborhood!! Here's to another wonderful Christmas.....I hope yours was merry and bright!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

cut out cookies

Well.....I just have to say this is THE first time my cut out cookies even remotely turned out half way decent.....and I think it's because Cubby helped!!!....I was soooo tempted to try Ms. Joy's cutout cookie recipe....but I went with the standby Betty Crocker pre-made pouch.....I called my expert cookie baker niece to see if she could come help us...but she was Cub and I got busy.....the dough seemed like it was never going to become a ball.....and when I first tried to roll it out it was sticking to my rolling pin....but I floured it and it worked out.....we made two aunt called during the midst of it.....and I got a little stressed as Sissy walked through the door at the same time....I forgot about the early dismissal......this is where I tend to over bake...because I stick them in the oven and move on to other things....but I stuck with it and checked them every minute!!....I strived to get them super thin....but they didn't turn out that way....and I can see how one can become obsessed with cookie that I've had a batch turn out...I may make them more than once a year....they could become a new favorite baked treat over here!! Next time Ms. Joys recipe!! Merry Christmas!!...we hope Santa likes his cookies :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

just three weeks

I just have to make note of the fact that we only had three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year...I have worked hard and had fun...but I haven't had any free evenings to sit and enjoy my favorite movie of all time...It's a Wonderful Life".....or watch all of the Christmas classics...yesterday Cubby and I settled in to watch the Grinch and Rudolph and none of them worked!! dear cousin had them burned for us several years ago and I think they just got worn last night I ran into Best Buy...hey T. did you exchange that video game???? :) buy the limited keepsake edition of the original Christmas Classics and the Grinch so we could make our Christmas season complete!....for the past several days I couldn't figure out why I have felt so rushed....I've been done shopping and wrapping for 10 days now....but there have still been little things to middle son's birthday is 11 days after Christmas and my sister celebrates her 40th on January 4th...we'll be seeing her up in Buffalo next week, so I've gotten all of that organized as well.....being away the week of Thanksgiving didn't help either...returning December 1st put me a little behind schedule...but everything just feels rushed...and then it dawned on me ....just three weeks!! all gets's all fun.....but staying up until 1am every night makes me a smidge cranky!....but tonight I will dim the lights and cherish my favorite movie and enjoy my tree.

Friday, December 19, 2008

soul sisters first annual christmas party

The day was finally here!!! I felt like a little girl waiting for christmas morning!!....the soul sisters christmas party!!...we were greeted by our lovely hostess...who offered us quiche, amish friendship bread, cookies and fruit..mimosa were passed around as anxiously settled in for our gift exchange....last month I mentioned about us drawing names for a secret santa and the rules were we had to make our gift from things we had in our home or spend no more than $10 ......WELL!!!! WILL BE amazed at all of our talents!!

from a gourd!!!... First, our very own jennifer juniper created a chalkboard out of scrap wood, spent a dollar on chalk and an eraser and fashioned a CUTE apron from a leftover curtain and hand stamped little recipe cards for the marzipan mom!....fabulous!

I got busy knitting ms. Joy a pair of mittens in her favorite shade of green!...and look! she is wearing the identical color shirt....hmmmmmmm...was she peaking????

Our lovely Ms. M made me...the crazy snowman collector who vowed, "not one more"...THE most adorable frosty she grew it in her very own garden!!....drommeled out snowflakes and electrified it!!!!......that is sheer talent!!!! Next up was the coziest pair of jammie bottoms and WHAT??!!! another gourd??....marzipanmom grew them this year too...did I miss the memo???.....she hollowed it out and made it into a bowl, then filled it with homemade soap and baked treats....all for under TEN dollars......

Ms. Joy may have found herself a side business when she crafted this travel coffee mug for jennifer j.....she picked her favorite color fabric and embellished it with her etsy shop
name...hopestudios.....added tea and cocoa....voila!!!......a heartwarming was truly wonderful to see the excitement and talent as we ooohed, ahhhed and heard the stories behind each gift....we even had time to create a little present for ourselves a keepsake with a message to tuck in the branches of our tree...and not to forget the cookie exchange as well........something I treasure, as I do not leave with dozens of cookies was wonderful!!! was over way to soon, I felt all cozy and tucked in for the morning soaking up the sisterhood.....Thank you, thank you so much girlies...

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I can't believe I haven't contributed a post to one of the most important members of our family....PUP!!!!!......she has been with us since Cubby was born...sent as a gift from a dear friend in Harrisburg.....we didn't know she was so important until Cub was 2 years old and a few months before his 3rd birthday I got on ebay and found a replacement to give to him JUST IN CASE something happened to the original.....but she is his best friend....she goes everywhere with us.....his life revolves around her....she has birthday parties with a pup sized cake....she has clothes and toys....I make her a halloween costume every year and she has her own voice too!.....on the christmas CD we made last year for friends and family she even got interviewed!...she goes to school with Cub in his backpack...I could go on and on.......but I did want to make note of the fact that she got her ears!!!....she of course went with us on our first trip to Disney.....Cub said she needed new friends, and as you can see she picked Mickey and Minnie.....then when we saw these cute little ears...just pups size!....they have EVERYTHING in Disney.....she had to have them!!!....even pup got a treat from Disney World!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

coma caramel popcorn

'Tis the season to make coma caramel popcorn!!!....I make it occasionally throughout the year when I get a hankering for it.....but over the next few days I will make 4-5 batches!!....I cannot put into words how good it is when you give it a stir and snitch a piece while it is piping hot!!....I give it to favorite people through the holiday season and include the recipe because I know it's that good, that people will want it! :)'s a bummer for my people up in Buffalo who cannot get the Snyder's Hulless Puff'n I take it to them whenever I's the recipe...and I'll warn you now not to burn your mouth when you sample it while stirring!

Coma Caramel Popcorn:

2 bags Snyders Hulless Puff'n Corn
1 cup butter
1/2 cup dark corn syrup...I use Alaga
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Boil butter, corn syrup and brown sugar gently for 5 minutes. Add baking soda. Remove from stove to allow baking soda to dissolve ...this will make the mixture foamy...Spray a super large roasting pan with cooking spray. Pour popcorn into roaster and cover with the caramel mixture evenly. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 you try not to burn your mouth :) Enjoy!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

shake! shake! shake!

Martini anyone??? cute are these glasses????....and really super easy to make!....the perfect little gift...I just got the glasses at my local Dollar Store and beaded them up!....take some very thin silver wire....the kind that comes on a little spool...about 3 feet long.....wrap it around the bottom of the stem once and twist it into place....then just thread your beads on....I do about 6 or 7 inches and then wrap it around, then take the wire and wrap it around the beads a little bit to hold it into place....then load some more beads on and continue until you get to the top of the stem.....when you're finished wrap the wire around a few times and secure it...Voila!!!...the possibilities are glasses, serving utensils, the handles on a pretty tray.....a treat for you or a friend!......and here are a few scrumptious martini recipes to get you started......

Key Lime
2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. Malibu Rum
a splash of lime juice
and a splash of pineapple juice
....combine in a shaker with ice.

Snowman Martinis
Same amounts of Vanilla Vodka and clear Creme De Cacao. Add half and half to taste--shake! shake! shake! over ice :) sprinkle with cinnamon

2 oz.Citron Vodka
1 oz. Cointreau
3 oz. pomegrante juice
Shake with ice and enjoy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I came up the stairs...

....and this is what I two boys settled in all nice and cozy reading one of Cubby's favorite christmas books!!......I can't tell you how many times we have read that book or watched the dvd....sometimes three times in one day!! .....whoops!...I know...what a bad mommy! :(...but if it makes him happy and I have stuff to do??....oh well!...we have the ornament from Hallmark....the silver bell that Santa gives out as the first gift of Christmas.....I just wish I could freeze them....keep them believing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

more than just ornaments

I hang almost anything on my tree....and I love it!! empty mini trial size bottle of Chambord from my SIL for my birthday cause she knows I love it in champagne...and it just screamed "hang me on your tree"....a little blue box from Tiffanys that my dear friends gave me a few summers ago.....but when all of those christmas cards kept coming from year to year with adorable pictures of families and friends I'd just put them in my ornament box....then several years ago I strung them all on ribbons...each family has there own and every year I slide the new picture on.......we all love to look through them.

then there's the mittens I knit for my daughter for her first December....the kind with no thumbs and a string....

Oh.....and here are her first pair of Keds!.....I couldn't resist!!....what was I going to do put them in the Goodwill bag??? then I made sure the boys had cute little slippers when they were newborns....not just to keep their piggy wiggys warm....but you guessed it!!! hang on the tree...

I think it was the first year we were married my husband and I had a huge Christmas party and these little guys were tied around a bottle of champagne from his brother and my friend Lease....I'm sure she never would have guessed they would have ended up on my tree for the past 16 years!!!

These are actually a new addtion this year...I got the idea from the December Better Homes & Garden magazine (I missed the angel wings that inspired Jennifer Juniper!)....but a woman hung her childrens baby rattles on her could I have not thought of that???! My sister made sure she gave one to all of the, of course I dug them out...the year my tree fell over onto my hard wood floors I will NEVER forget.....some precious antique ornaments that were my Grams and several other ones were lost......but I love to sit with the tree all aglow at night when everyone else is in bed and soak in the, you never know what I may add from year to year......anything that can dangle is an ornament in my book!

Monday, December 8, 2008

gingerbread house

We've taken a break from making gingerbread houses over here....I always went in to school with the big kids and made them in the cafeteria with milk cartons and graham crackers...but it started up again when a little girl brought one into Cub's preschool for her share day....he wanted to make one too!!!....and didn't stop yammering about it until I brought a kit home.... well, yesterday was the day!.....he couldn't wait, as you can see from the condtion of the box..... we got started......things were going pretty good.....

...until it collaped :(....3x!!!....I was sooo ready to call it quits...but the little guy insisted to keep went kinda like this:
Mommy: I think we're done, it's falling apart doesn't look like the picture.
Cub:It's looking good now....
Mommy:'s looks pretty good....
Cub: No!! it's not done until ALL the candy is on!! we made some more "gardens" in the front yard.....I can't believe it bothered me that it was crooked and there was a huge hole in the roof....but to him it was beautiful.....I was ready to throw it out and I'm sooo glad we didn't.....then he couldn't wait to eat it!!..yikes!!!..his sister was picking at it a bit and he barked, "Don't touch the baby!!".....I said it was just a decoration and that it had probably been in the box on it's way from China for 2 years....but again, I was wrong......apparently it was delicious!!!......and remember the big 3/4" gap along the roof???.....well, apparently that's where you put extra treats for the inside! ....after you eat the house then you get the extra candy in there!!! added woo-hoo!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

advent calendar

I love my advent cabinet!!...this one is actually my second one that I got last mom gave me my first one the kiddos were was really big and didn't really fit anywhere in my home, so I sent it out to my sister in Vail and she is starting the tradition in her office.....this one has a much bigger compartment for the 25th to be able to put a few bigger treats, gift cards etc. for christmas grandma always gave us those cardboard calendars with chocolates hidden behind the I have always put a chocolates in mine.....but friends that have these cabinets get very creative with different treats and coupons for every day.....a little treat for every day of the christmas season!

Friday, December 5, 2008

almond crescents

These are one of my favorite cookies of all many of you know...I am not a baker.....I try and try and more often than not my stuff doesn't turn out...I have a lot of talents, but sadly baking isn't one of them.....I even buy my cookies at the bakery for cookie exchanges!!....but these little numbers are scrumptious!....I can remember eating tons of them when I was a kid and the tradition carries on! kiddos love them too.....who cares if I didn't bake them.......only thing is I have the same problem as with the pumpkin shakes I crave from McDonald's.....they are only available for a limited, I overdose on them for the Christmas season and then I'm good for another year...treat yourself to a box!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


....there are a lot of Tonys, but only one Tony Bennett!!....and he came out with his first Christmas album in 40 years.....It's called A Swingin' Christmas...featuring the Count Basie Big Band....he was on the Today show a few weeks ago featuring songs from this CD and I had to have it...I can go weeks without turning on any music while I'm driving...and I hardly ever do a home...but I do love Christmas music....and this CD is awesome!...I got one for my Mom in Florida because we were celebrating Christmas the day after Thanksgiving and we played it all's perfect to set the holiday mood!!......go ahead treat yourself :)