Monday, January 31, 2011

Christmas Memories

I have had this red leather photo album for several mom gave it to me and it's been sitting on a shelf. After Christmas I came across it and had the idea to make it into a Christmas memory book.

It seemed that it had plenty of pages to hold 5 or 6 pictures from every Christmas since Cindylou was born in 1995...well...I filled all of the pages and I had a bunch of pictures still left. I began to see this was a much bigger project than I initally though....but I was too far into it to back out....I had to get into ordering pictures from snapfish and dig through that big box of negatives that I have saved all these years. I didn't even know if they could still make prints from those negative strips.

Well, then I had waaaaay to many pictures after I was done ordering more I made the decision to get a bigger album. Which was KILLING me because the whole reason behind this project was to use the red album I had! But to whittle down the pictures, and then to have room for additional years made the decision for me. I found this album at Walmart. It holds 300 pictures and now I have room for several more years.

Of course the Treatgirl had to jazz it up a little bit....that opening in the front needed some bling. And no, those people in the picture aren't mine...I haven't switched it out yet.

Here's a little peek inside....Cindylou's first visit to mom came from Buffalo for the day to take her with me. And that's Chip's mum standing by our tree.

These pictures were from dad and I took Cubby on a train ride to the "North Pole" to visit Santa. This was the year we watched Polar Express 3-4 times a day and he was TO.TALLY into Thomas....see his boots?

A perk to choosing this album was the little lined area along the edge so I can do a little journaling about the pictures....I just haven't gotten to that yet...

But I did make a little title for that front window. It is so nice to have all of the kids visits to Santa and several favorite holiday pictures all together in one place....but now what to do with that red leather album I still have??! I'm happy I took the time to do it. A treat for me!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Steeler Nation Wave Your Towels!

Bloggy Friends...this is HUGE!!! Chip wrote a song for the Steelers going to the 45th Superbowl!!! I TO.TAL.LY thought he was kidding....but he WASN'T!!! He's been dabbling in songwriting for and Nashville are his passion...but he switched it up a bit and wrote this for our Steelers in just a few days..... His sister and I always dance to "All The Steeler Ladies" during the now we have to make up a little thing to HERE and check it out. You can download it for FREE...but we'd love it if you made a small donation to ovarian cancer in honor of his mum. BE SURE to pass it along to EVERYONE you know.....when you go to the link he has set up right click and save it to your desktop so you can send it to everyone....we want it to go VIRAL :)....Here we go STEELERS!!! WE want a win!!!!!

PS....if my SIL and get some practice might be lucky and see our choreographed dance to it on youtube :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Favorite Friday

I'm totally addicted to Vaseline!!!!!! Up until this point in my life, I'm not even sure I've ever even finished a whole tub of I can't get enough! Check out the new has a cool flip lid! I am working it into my hands and cuticles all day long, rubbing it on my legs after shaving in the shower and putting it on my lips to keep them from getting chapped in the bitter cold and wind we've had around here. There's even cute little trial size one... The treatgirl looooooves anything that comes in a trial size :)

It's been around forever....but has just recently found a permanent place in my heart! Try some! For $3 for a big huge tub of it, you won't be dissappointed.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Snowflakes.......

Look what I scored on at my Joannes.....the cutest little plates with snowflakes on them....39 cents each! They fit perfectly in the rack that I use for my little cupcake plates. Don't they look super cute with my adorable snowmen????

They are just right for a little blueberry muffin in the morning too.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

JOY!! what I felt when I treated myself to this A.DOR.ABLE mug after Christmas on clearance. Isn't it the cutest????! Think of me keeping cozy and warm over here sipping coffee and hot cocoa out of my cute mug...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Buffalo Chicken and Potatoes

Okay.....I'm putting it out there right away. This is NOT gourmet people. Truly, it's not....but my whole family loooooved it! I came across it on the internet...and thought I'd try it because my family loves anything "Buffalo Chicken".

The ranch dressing and cream of celery soup in it offsets the spice from the buffalo wing sauce in a satisfying meat and potatoes casserole. So here we go......


1 1/2- 2lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch strips
1/3 cup Franks Buffalo wing sauce
6 cups frozen (thawed) southern-style hash brown potaotes
1 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing....I used blue cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can (10 oz.) cream of celery soup
1 cup corn flake crumbs
3-4 Tbsp. melted butter
4-5 chopped green onions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together chicken strips and wing sauce.

3. In a large bowl, stir together potatoes, dressing, cheese and soup. Spoon into baking dish. Place chicken strips in a single layer over potatoe mixture.

4. In a small bowl, stir together the crumbs and the butter. Sprinkle over the top.

5. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; uncover and bake 20-25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and chicken is fully cooked. Sprinkle with green onions.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1:05 hr. mins.
Makes 6 servings.

I served it with a tossed salad.....Yummy!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scrappin' Away.......

I went away for a scrapbook weekend...officially called a "crop" in the scrapbooking world. I had mixed feelings about going actually...I can't believe I haven't scrapbooked in MONTHS....I thought I had almost forgotten how....and there is just so much you have to pack up and take with you. Well, at least I do....I always think I need EVERYTHING....I have to get better at this you can see from this picture.

There were 17 of us who met Friday night at a retreat center......I actually only knew the girl who organized it...which was fine...I didn't waste much time socializing. I unpacked my stuff and got busy.

I have to confess, I'm not the most organized or neat person when it comes to scrapbooking. I kinda get my stuff all over the place.....which is soooooooo not like the treatgirl. But that's the way I do it....then every now and then I clean up a bit. It works for me.

Look how happy I am!

I actually didn't get as many pages done as I had hoped for...shocker! I never do....but I did learn a lot which was really important too....

I feel much more confident about the Cricuit I got last year. I actually didn't bring mine because I knew several girls were bringing theirs. And seeing as though I only have two cartridges for it....I figured I would just borrow everyone else's. Scrappers loooooooove to share their stuff!! Now I'm seeing I am more of a "font" girl....I want to use my Cricuit more for making the titles for my pages....not so much all of the little shapes....characters etc....girls were spending HOURS making Santas and Winnie the some point I would just have to be happy getting stickers for these kinds of things. But I also realized I truly need a Xyron too...the glue stick wasnt' cutting it anymore to put my letters together I was making from the Cricuit.

A girl across from me got me into stickling too.....I can't wait to get my hands on some of that glitter stuff. I also learned this is so much easier than using stamps, a glue pad and Martha Stewarts whole glitter collection.....of course they are beautiful, but the stickling is waaaaay easier and neater!

I also busted out an edge and corner punch I got forever ago and played with the hang of that too...

But most importantly, the crop weekend got me on a roll again......a much needed jumpstart. I'm rearing to go over here.....right after I cheer the Steelers on to a big win over the Jets!!!! Let's go STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Favorite Friday

Happy Friday Peeps!!! I just had to share this fav with you all. I stopped to look at it a few times over the holiday shopping season at my Walmart. They were on an end cap for $15. But I kept telling myself I didn't really need it....but last week I was doing some shopping and I stopped to look at it yet again....and at that exact moment a lady with a scanner gun came over my shoulder and reduced it to $4!! SOLD!!!! I felt like I hit the jackpot.....there were two left and I bought both of them. I gave one to my niece who loves to bake...every girl should have a pretty cake stand. Did you notice? It even turns into a punch bowl too :)

I used it right away when I made T. his birthday cupcakes. And just this past week when I made my all-time favorite Devil Foods cake with Cookies 'n Cream buttercream frosting.....I'm sure it will be a favorite for a long time to come. Have a wonderful weekend everyone....maybe bake a cake????

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baking with Marzipan

I was so excited to bake with my dear friend Marzipanmom last week. I have been obsessing over THIS and don't trust myself to have it actually turn Marzipan was so wonderful to offer to have me come over and watch over me while I tried it myself.

We got things mixed and spinning....

Oh, and a few other sisters came along too.....Joy and Jennifer Juniper shared a cup of tea while I got my lesson.

Check this out! Marzipan has a little scale that makes sure all of the layers are the same size. This totally amazed me!!

Oh, and look how pretty it looks out the kitchen window with the snowflakes gently coming down.

We got them in the oven and they turned out beautifully. I couldn't have been happier.

Then we were off to lunch at a cute little cafe nearby while they cooled. We all had to have the truffle french fries...they were amazing and I can't wait to go back for more :)

Marzipan gave me the buttercream frosting lesson a while ago and I've become quite proficient at it....but she taught me to wrap my cakes in plastic wrap and freeze them before frosting them....this works terrific! No crumbs! And apparently everyone knows the trick of placing a few pieces of wax paper under the cake so you don't get frosting all over your cake stand.

Ta-daa!!! I'm so happy!!!!!! I served it to friends after watching the Steelers beat the the Baltimore Ravens Saturday night......and I've been eating it every day since then. YUM!! Thank you so much again Marzipan! Go Steelers!!!!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Favorite Friday

These cutie patooties are my total favorite this Friday!! My SIL got them for me for Christmas...along with the frosty, snowflake winter cupcake candle. The snowmen are actually stackable bowls. Perfect for a little bowl of ice cream. How lucky am I??? They bring a smile to my face everytime I look at them. I hope everyone is bundled up and keeping warm out there....Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow! Snow!

We've had steady snow here for most of the month of December...but just these past few days it's been really accumulating.

The kiddos had a snow day and Cub got in some snowboarding.

Whoops! I guess I forgot to bring my watering can in at the end of the season :) The treatgirl has been loving the coziness and stillness of the candles, knitting and sipping my coffee watching it come down. Have you been taking a few moments to enjoy it too??

Friday, January 7, 2011

Favorite Friday

I'm keeping the peppermint thing going over here......I know Christmas is over, the traditional season of candy canes and peppermint, but I'm allowed. I bought a box of the Andes candies on our way home from Buffalo last week and just couldn't stop loving them. Then today, when I finally broke down and went grocery shopping...look what I found!!...these cutie patootie Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips. HOW FUN!!! I'm so excited! I'm just wondering if they'll have them year-round?? Any ideas on how I should use them??????? I know they will make a very special treat. Happy Friday bloggy friends!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Snowman Tree

I've been kicking this idea around for a while now...and this year I really did it. I know hubs thinks I'm nuts and have waaaaay too many ornaments. But that's the our old house we had a 9 foot tree and I had plenty of room for all of my treasured ornaments. When we moved I had to downsize to a regular 7 1/2 ft. tree. Every year I have to be choosy about which ones I could put on...leaving so many in the box because there wasn't enough room.

Over the past few years I've assessed that I have a looooot of snowmen ornaments, and because I love them all so much I thought I would get them their very own tree. That would free up a lot of space on my main tree, so I can now get all of my ornaments out every year.

My dad and I have an annual tradition of him driving me around the morning after Christmas to hit a few sales really early. Usually he drops me at Target and goes over to Panera to get bagels for everyone for breakfast. Well after Target this year we rode around to try and find a pencil tree on clearance. I scored on one and I was sooo happy! So after I took down all of the Christmas decorations, the very next morning I put up my snowman tree. I loooooooove it!! I always miss the glow of our tree when the holidays are over, so now I will enjoy it longer. What a winter treat!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Here and gone.......

I just can't believe how fast it flew by this year....We sent out cards, made our gingerbread house, watched all of the great christmas movies, went to parties, shopped, wrapped, baked cookies, checked the advent calendar, and visited Santa. Of course we went to church on Christmas eve and as tradtion goes....spent Christmas eve with Chip's family and on Christmas day my dad came to spend the day here.

Santa brought a kindle and Uggs...

Beyblades and toys...

...and a t.v. too...

Every year he brings T. the Guiness Book of World of Records and the Ripley's Believe it or not book that Grampsy reads aallll day loooong cover to cover, and fills us on on the craziest of facts.

Another big hit of the day were the origiami books and paper. Cub folded paper for HOURS!!!!! He is addicted!!!!

Then we packed it all up and and headed to Buffalo. Cub got to try out the snowboard Grampsy got him.

Gracie watched it all from the sofa.

The boys cleared off a bit of the pond to skate, slide and get some fresh air. My sister came to spend some days on her way to Dusseldorf, Germany. We got to visit with Aunts, Uncles and was a nice visit. But all too quickly we were on our way home and taking down the tree and decorations.....As always there just wasn't enough time to relax and play a few games.....What were the highlights of your holidays???? Happy New Year to all of you.......and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2011!!