Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday


Hello and Happy Monday!


I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!! We had a lot of wonderful family time. Lots of games, laughs, good food and even some rest time in between. Of course hockey has still been going strong in between too, and my son even has a tourney this week! My daughter has several days of hockey too - so right back to the grind. I will also be doing more caregiving this week, celebrating a 20th anniversary with my hubby, and making goodies for a fun New Year's Eve party! Still busy days and fun ahead, so popping in for this post....but then planning to take the rest of this week off while my kiddos are still on break. 



THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS:

It's really been feeling like our normal winter lately. Much chillier temps and a couple of days ago we got quite a few more inches of snow. So now we're truly back to the northwoods I know this time of year - a cold world of white. Today it's about 20* F out, but with windchill they say it's more like 8*.  Bbrrrr. I'll share some photos of our pretty snow at the end of the post.  It's gray and cloudy today and they say another system is moving in tonight and we may get another 4 inches or so of snow. 


ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE THIS MORNING:

Buttered toast and vanilla coffee with sweet cream.



  AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW:

I see beautiful snow covered trees and blankets of the white stuff all around. So pretty.



RIGHT NOW I AM:

Trying to keep the schedule of my day straight and just spoke to my hubby about the plans. I need to pick up my MIL in awhile, take my daughter to my hubby for her hockey, then take my MIL out to lunch with family friends of hers (I know them well too) to visit and catch up with them...or at least as much as my MIL is able. I will primarily be handling the conversation for her, which is so sad. Then grab my son and take him up to his hockey. Get back and pick up my daughter from her hockey and then get my MIL home. Whew!! I guess you could just call me a chauffeur service. Lol!


AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE:

Not too bad and pretty tidy, as we just celebrated a belated Christmas with my Dad and step Mom yesterday. We hosted 22 people here Christmas day, so we did have a little aftermath to clean up, but all and all in pretty good shape. Of course the usual laundry, and I still have a few dishes to load.



ON TODAY'S TO DO LIST:

The above mentioned running around, and then I need to get my son to a haircut appointment tonight.  Buckle up because it's going to be a busy day! Lol



CURRENTLY READING:

Been too busy (or tired) at night to have done any reading very recently.

 


ON THE TV TODAY:

I still have my Call the Midwife Christmas special taped that I haven't watched. We have a few movies taped too. Yesterday we watched the Packers have a HORRENDOUS game against Arizona. My hubby loved that of course. And then the Vikings had a great game - and of course my hubby loved that EVEN MORE. Ggrrr!! He's such a stinker.



ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:

MONDAY: leftover homemade pizza from when we had belated Xmas with my Dad yesterday

TUESDAY: unsure, but it's our 20th wedding anniversary, so maybe a special dinner

WEDNESDAY: thinking I may make meatloaf dinner (so for the in-law's too)

THURSDAY: New Year's Eve party at my bro & sis-in-law's house - making some kind of appetizer, hot chocolate cookies, and maybe caramel cashew bars. They'll be having pizza for everyone there too.

FRIDAY:No plan yet (still really need to make grocery list for this week)



WHAT I AM CREATING AT THE MOMENT:

Memories with my kiddos while they're home on break. ;)


NEW RECIPE I WANT TO TRY THIS WEEK:

New Year's appetizer may be new - and the hot cocoa cookies (they look really good!)



TIP OF THE WEEK:

Was even thinking of making fruit skewers for New Year's - I have found that if you put just about anything on a stick, kiddos will think it's fun and try it!


FROM THE CAMERA:


My Aunt and Uncle hamming it up with Annie and me.






Annie wanted to take this penguin home and put him on her bed with her stuffed animals. Lol


We love going to the beautiful holiday light show, near where we live, every year before Christmas.






I love our sleigh bed, but especially at Christmas time.



Love this sweet little "Believe" nativity on my dresser.




Our house on Christmas Eve night, right after opening gifts. We were getting the tables all set for Christmas guests the next day  and the ham dinner.



Another table getting all set.




One of the desserts I made for Christmas - pineapple upside down cake...MMmmm!



The day after our first real "snow storm" a few days ago. So bright and pretty in a frosty world of white. 





PRAYER, INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE OR DEVOTIONAL:

Happy New Year blessings to you All! 

I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Monday and Christmas week to All!


Well this is it! The countdown is on to the big day. Do you have everything all set?? I have been one busy elf getting things finished up and ready. We finished our final shopping this weekend and wrapping of gifts. We also had my hubby's Christmas work party which was a lot of fun! And of course we had a bit of hockey this weekend too. I know I'm overdue to come around and visit you my friends, but tomorrow I should finally have some time to catch up. I won't be posting the rest of the week, though. However, I plan to be back for next week's HHM too.



THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS:

We  really hit quite a chilly patch of weather recently where there were very low temps in the teens. It's warming up a bit into the 20's more recently. May even hit close to 30 today or in the days ahead. Just a bit cloudy - but looking ahead looks like sunshine and 30's for Christmas ...weird and a bit warm for us. 


ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE THIS MORNING:

Cinnamon raisin toast with butter and some raspberries with vanilla coffee with white chocolate raspberry creamer


  AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW:

Gray skies. The yard is still covered in white, but the trees aren't covered anymore.  Looks calm and peaceful, not too windy.



RIGHT NOW I AM:

Sitting with my MIL and chatting as we watch the news.  My daughter has a friend over already and they're playing. My son had a friend sleepover and they're still snoozing. Teenagers ya know.  Lol


AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE:

Need to do some laundry. We wrapped up all the gifts and bagged up the ones for my in-law's house. We go to their house early Christmas morning and open gifts in our pj's. There are many huge bags full of gifts and we'll bring them to the in- law's tonight when we bring them dinner.  It's a lot of presents, however it's a big group as my brother & sister-in-law have 5 kids alone, beside our 2!



ON TODAY'S TO DO LIST:

I'll make lunch for all of the crew here today. Then my MIL and my daughter will run and help me get groceries. I need to finish my list and double check it. I'll have about 18 people to host at our house Christmas day, so lots of menu planning. What I'll be cooking and baking ahead and my plans for getting the house all cleaned up...and the hubby and the kiddos will have their chores within in that too. Don't worry - it's not all on me folks!! 



CURRENTLY READING:

I've started reading The Mistletoe Promise based on a recommendation by my friend Carrie Ann from the blog Anniehow.  She just read The Mistletoe Inn and said it was great. But the promise book was the first book in that group from the author Richard Paul Evans, so I'm starting there.  Also still browsing holiday magazines for fun.

 


ON THE TV TODAY:

I always save at least one episode of The Chew - as my MIL likes that show. It seems to keep her interest compared to some others...so it's something fun we can watch together. I have some cooking show's taped and some holiday movies. I see that a Call the Midwife Christmas special will be on Christmas day - need to make sure that gets taped!



ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:

MONDAY: pampered chef chicken and broccoli braid, salad & dessert to bring in-law's

TUESDAY: going out to dinner with relatives after going to Xmas lights event

WEDNESDAY: something easy (sandwiches, soup or breakfast) - busier night

THURSDAY: something easy after we get back from Christmas Eve mass

FRIDAY: glazed ham, cheesy potatoes, broccoli salad, calico beans, fruit salad, sweet potatoes, corn, dinner rolls, pecan pie & ice cream,  carrot cake,  and  pineapple upside down cake.



WHAT I AM CREATING AT THE MOMENT:

Still working on Christmas projects


NEW RECIPE I WANT TO TRY THIS WEEK:

Nothing really new this week, but if I remember I'll get photos of the chicken broccoli braid I make tonight. It's easy, but looks a bit fancier and is really tasty.



TIP OF THE WEEK:

 

Last year I made this terrarium/faux snow globe kind of thing and you can find it in this post. It's an easy way to make a fun decoration with an apothecary jar.  Fill with whatever fun wintery scene you'd like. Fun easy way to add a decoration that can last all winter long.



FROM THE CAMERA:
A card from Christmas past - but has always been a favorite.


My Mom's pretty tree. I always call it a botanical tree. It has soft pastel lights, and a dark kind of teal blue leaf garland, teal bulbs, and bunches of teal hydrangea attached on the branches and a topper of dark white and teal poinsettia flowers. So soft and pretty.




The cover of the album - I embellished it a bit and now they can add their photo in the cover.








Some peeks at the scrapbook album I made for my Mom to give as a gift to a relative for her baby shower gift recently.  It has about 20 pages. So fun to work on secret projects!





Some photos form a Christmas lunch I hosted last year. Ready to party again soon this year! 









PRAYER, INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE OR DEVOTIONAL:


Wishing you a very blessed and Merry Christmas!!


I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.



Friday, December 18, 2015

Five on Friday:Holiday Fun

Happy Friday Friends!  


We still have a bit of a world of white and I'm doing final shopping, wrapping of gifts,  and my Mom and I did a lot of our baking...so I am full force feeling the Christmas spirit! Hope you are able to enjoy wherever you are with things as well!! I am hoping to be back for Happy Homemaker Monday's the next couple weeks, but other than that I am taking a break from blogging through Christmas and the first part of the New Year to enjoy quality family time while my kiddos will be home on school break. So today I'm sharing some fun and easy holiday recipes and crafts. Since I won't have many posts over the next 2 weeks, I've got lots of pictures so grab some cocoa  & get ready to sit a spell...


ONE




Recipe: Sugared Pecans

These are one of my favorite things to make for the holidays! They are so popular with others that I also give a lot of these out as gifts. Just package them up in a pretty and festive tin, and you literally have a sweet gift to share. You can find the recipe for them in this post from the past. 


Also, I thought I'd share this fun decorating idea:

I found these old neat metal letters in an antique store several years ago. With the letters I found I knew I wanted to spell out a holiday word - as they were already painted a nice red. So I thought of the word "noel" as I could find most of the letters...however alas there was no "o". So I bought them anyway and thought I'd figure out something. Well, I had this little red berry wreath that was the same size as the letters and voila - there was my "o"!  I think neat vintage letters like these can be a neat way to make a fun decorating statement. Be creative!




TWO


Recipe: Reindeer Cookies

These are such a fun and easy way to have decorated sugar cookies. Simply take a log of sugar cookie dough. Squeeze one end - all the way through the tube - to make a kind of triangle shape. Cut out slices and bake. Use the pointier bottom as the reindeer nose an place an m&m candy. Use chocolate chips for eyes and pretzels for antlers.  


The other day I was caregiving for my MIL and we often color in adult coloring books. Well I decided to be creative and used my water color pencils to create some of my own "art work". 








They are really fun to doodle with - as once you make some "doodle's", you can soften them with water and make more of a water color picture. I had fun creating a winter sunset scene. But there are creative things that can be done with this kind of art work - maybe making homemade ornaments, or something to frame, or even use in some scrapbooking. So fun!




THREE



Recipe: faux turtles

These are so tasty - all the flavors of a turtle candy - but so much easier to make. Simply take mini pretzels and place a rolo candy on top. Bake in a 350* oven for about 3 minutes. When you take them out of the oven place a pecan halve into the chocolate while it's still hot. Let them cool and set. So yummy! Another one to package and give away too. 


Here's another fun thing I did while doodling with my water color pencils.
















After doodling and playing with color on some white card stock, I used some soft Christmas pins that I had and pinned them to the front to make some festive cards. Such a fun way to decorate a card to send someone - and then they can take off the pin and keep it as a gift! 




FOUR



Recipe: Christmas Almond Bark

Another festive - but easy recipe that is great for gift giving. Simply take white chocolate almond bark. Melt it in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals on 50% power, stirring in between each time. Once bark is fully melted stir in about 1/2  cup or so of shelled pistachios and dried cranberry or cherries. Pour into the size pan of your choice on some parchment paper. Red and green and so yummy! Place in fridge for about 30 minutes and then break into pieces and place in pretty cellophane bags for gift giving. 


I love this frame my daughter made for me.

This is a great way to recycle old frames that don't have their glass anymore. Take frame and paint in your choice of color. Then glue on embellishments of your choice. I think several of these would be pretty in a grouping on the wall. Or in this case I used this one as a back drop for my snowman decoration.




FIVE

For my final part of this post - I just thought I'd show some fun holiday moments from my past week.


Some woodland "nature" Santa's (fit my northwoods home well)



Temps have dropped - so we're still holding on to our white Christmas so far.


Annie's religious education class put on a pageant concert. My Angel! ;) 


Ruby LOVES to do the school runs with me! She gets excited by every squirrel in a yard or dog being walked.


Looking through old scrapbooks and finding some fun treasures! Haha! Love this one from when my kiddos were such wee ones. ::sigh:: How the time does fly - especially at Christmas!!  

Have a wonderful weekend and I'm planning to pop in again before Christmas, so I won't give my final Christmas wishes to all yet. I'm linking with Amy of Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.