Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Frustration

It’s just what I’ve been feeling lately. Frustration with life. Frustration with “friends.” Frustration with my son.

I don’t know if it’s because of the long weekend together or what, but my son has really been giving me a hard time lately. I’ve been so very blessed so far with my son. He was such an easy baby and the last 3+ years have been easy (not counting the club feet issue) but lately he has just been giving my husband and I hell. Not listening. Having a smart mouth. Being disrespectful. UGH…I even had to put him in time out 3 different times on Sunday for sticking his tongue out. I don’t know if it’s a phase or what, but I’m just about at the end of my rope. What ever happened to my sweet, caring little boy? I’m sure it’s just a phase…but please God give me the patience to get through this!

As for friends, I really have had such a hard time making friends as an adult. It’s just not as easy as it was when I was younger. When we are younger all that matters is whether or not someone likes to play with the same toys as you and whether or not that person is good with sharing. Now, as adults, there are so many more things that go into it. Working Moms vs. SAHMs. Do our kids get along? Do our husbands get along? Do our politics match? Do our religious choices match? It is just sooo much harder. Then when you do find someone that you think you could get close with you have to find the time to get together, and with everyone’s busy lives that is very hard to do.  Lately I have been putting more effort into this avenue of my life. But it is trying...I feel too much, I hurt too easily and I think that I have just gotten too used to being a homebody.

It’s Tuesday after a long weekend. A weekend that was packed full of stuff and I think that I am just tapped out. And maybe I just need a nap. And possibly a full bottle of wine.

 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Meet Me On Monday

So I am trying something different today! I came across a post on another blog that is a weekly blog hop called "Meet Me on Monday." It's just a little fun activity to answer questions about myself. So here I go!

This week's questions:

1.  What is your favorite way to eat chicken?
2.  Have you decorated for Christmas yet?
3.  What is your favorite article of clothing?
4.  Do you pay your bills online or write checks the old way?
5.  Do you make Christmas cookies?


1) What is your favorite way to eat chicken?

My favorite way to each chicken is fried. I LOVE good, homemade fried chicken. Now, I don't have it very often because it is so very bad for you...but it is so very yummy!


2) Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

Yep! But I am still in the process of getting everything up. The tree is up, the nativity scene is up and some other things inside, but I still find myself doing a little more everyday. My hubby has gotten the lights up that go on the house, but he is still working on the other lights that go outside.


3) What is your favorite article of clothing?

Definitely my lounge around the house yoga pants. They are holy and way too big...but they are so wonderfully comfy! And while I may never (or actually SHOULD never) wear them out of the house they are by far my most favorite item of clothing!

4) Do you pay your bills online or write checks the old way?

I always pay bills online! It is so much quicker and easier than having to write out a check, put a stamp on it and then drive to the post office.

5) Do you make Christmas cookies? 

Heck yes! I love to bake and the holiday season is just another reason to hit the kitchen and bake up a storm. I also always make baskets of Christmas cookies for my neighbors as gifts during this time of year and I can't wait to try out some new recipes that I have been collecting! Looking for a recipe to try out for Christmas? Check out my eggnog cookies...they are delish and absolutely perfect for Christmas!!

 



Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Son's New Best Friend

So my son has a new best friend...it's our Christmas tree. From the way that he acts around the tree you would think that the tree was alive. He talks to it. He protects it from our cats and our dog. He rearranges the ornaments constantly.

It's super cute, but I'm getting really tired of hearing myself say all day long, "Caleb leave the tree alone," or "Caleb don't touch, you'll break something," or as it has morphed into, "Caleb...you know that Santa can see you and he knows when you do bad things."

Yep, after only three days of "Christmas time" I have already resorted to the old mom standby of using Santa as a threatening device. And so far it has worked...Let's see how long this lasts!

Decorating the tree
Add more "pretties" to the tree
Daddy trying to get Caleb to take a photo break
Caleb & Daddy working together to pick the "right" one

Proud decorator, next to his new "best friend"
Caleb & daddy
Caleb's favorite new photo pose
Caleb & mommy in the new favorite pose

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

One of my husband's favorite treats are cinnamon rolls. I though, do not trust my expertise with anything that uses yeast. I always seem to not let things rise enough, or my yeast somehow does not activate. I'm never sure what goes wrong, but something always seems to be off whenever I do any recipe that involves yeast.

But knowing that my husband LOVES cinnamon rolls, I decided to try my hand at making them for him last week. And know that I hate cinnamon rolls. I actually dislike anything that has cinnamon in it. I don't know why, but the taste and smell of cinnamon gives me to heebee-jeebees...seriously it just is like nails on a chalkboard for me. But lucky for him, my love for my husband prevailed over my hatred of cinnamon.

And my luck when it comes to yeast has finally turned around. The rolls, while time consuming, were easy and turned out beautifully...And according to hubby this recipe is a winner! He loved the rolls and couldn't stop eating them. So, if you are looking for a great recipe to treat your family with for breakfast this holiday season, you should try this!

Cinnamon Rolls

For the Rolls
  • 1 cup Warm Milk (110 Degrees)
  • 2 whole Eggs Room Temperature
  • ⅓ cups Butter Or Margarine Melted
  • 4-½ cups Bread Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • 2-½ teaspoons Yeast
For the Filling
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2-½ Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ⅓ cups Butter, Softened
For the Frosting
  • 3 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • ¼ cups Butter, Softened
  • 1-½ cup Powdered Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
Directions
1) Dissolve yeast in warm milk.
2) Mix in sugar, eggs, salt and butter.
3) Add flour; mix well.
4) Knead dough into a large ball dusted lightly in flour.
5) Place in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
6) Once dough is ready roll out the dough slightly on a floured surface and then let it rest for 10 minutes.
6) In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling
7) Roll the dough into a 16×21″ rectangle.
8) Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture.
9) Roll up dough, and cut into 12 rolls.
10) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
11) Place rolls in a lightly greased 13×9″ baking dish or two 9″ pie plates. Cover and let rise for an additional 30 minutes. *
12) Bake rolls in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
13) While rolls are baking, beat together the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt.
14) Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.


*Note that unbaked rolls can be frozen. Just take them out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator the night before, and in the morning they’ll be ready for the oven. You can also make these ahead of time (like the night before). Just put them unbaked, in the fridge. In the morning, set them out for about 30 minutes before baking.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Here's to a amazing holiday season!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy "Thanks Giving" Day

Today is not just the Thanksgiving holiday, but it is a day of "Thanks Giving." A day that we give thanks for all that we have...not just the tangible items, but the things that we can feel and not see.

I am so very lucky to live such a blessed life. A life that is filled with great family and friends. A life that has given me a child that is the perfect mixture of all that is good between my husband and I. A life that has given me the chance to live in a beautiful house that is filled with love and comfort. A life in which I can work at a job that I love. A life that is just full....full of amazingly wonderfulness, so much of which I don't even know how to put it into words.

Happy "Thanks Giving" Day to everyone. May you take the time not just today, but everyday to give thanks for what life has afforded you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What is Playing Wednesdays

Alright, this week's choice is a homage to my preteen years. A look back into who we were in the late '80s, back when I thought that it was really cool to have big bangs and wear my penny loafers with pants pegged. Yep...I was super dorky cool.

Since they were on the AMA awards this week, I have decided to spotlight New Kids on the Block. And, no...not their newer stuff. The old stuff. The awesome stuff. And yes, I am doing the dances from these videos in my living room while this is playing and teaching them to my son. 'Cause darn it...he will be super cool, just like I was.

ps. Don't worry, my musical tastes have improved since this. Well kindof...it all depends on the day. And the mood. And what cd's I have in the car.





So here's to "Hanging Tough" through the Thanksgiving weekend!!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meet My Holiday Nemisis

Ahhh, yes. I noticed you at the grocery store last week. Staring at me behind those glass doors. I passed you by and left you there. But I know that you will still be there next time and hopefully I will have my willpower, because I know that you are strong and will force your way into my shopping cart.

I loathe you and yet I love you.

Until the next time we meet. Or the next time that you are in my bowl. Whichever it is.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Randomness. Lots of it.

Every now and then a good friend and fellow blogger Melissa posts little bits about herself on her blog. I always love getting these insights into her life and who she is and I mean to write one myself. She did another one yesterday and inspired me to do the same...

soooo....here are 10 random things about me!

1) I am addicted to just about anything that Joss Whedon does. Buffy, Firefly, Angel, Dr. Horrible...all of it. He rocks.

2) I am a nerd. And I don't care who thinks that about me. I am who I am and I'm damn proud of it.

3) I love, love, love to bake. And cook. I just love being in the kitchen and creating yummy things to eat. It's also why I'm chubby.

4) I drive a VW. It's the third one my husband and I have owned together. Yet another addiction of mine. I can't imagine not driving one.

5) I love orange juice and orange flavored things, but I hate to eat oranges. They are gross and the texture of them makes me want to vomit.

6) I think that I am the only person that lives in the desert that hates the rain. I think that it smells like wet dog when it rains. Ewwww.

7) I am very opinionated when it comes to politics, but I hate to talk to people about politics. It just makes me angry, so I keep my thoughts to myself. But know that I am screaming at you on the inside while I am smiling and nodding.

8) I love to read. While I usually read heavier, meatier books I do enjoy a good romance novel every now and then and I have a secret stash of Nora Roberts novels.

9) I put makeup on everyday...even if I don't plan on leaving the house. I feel naked without it.

10) I take long showers everyday. Ones that last at least 15 minutes. It's my quiet time and I love it.

There you have it! Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving...What to do?

I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this week! It seems just like yesterday that it was summer and that the holidays were months away...but here we are getting ready to start the holiday season. My husband works in retail and as usual, he has to work on Thanksgiving. I never really know what to do on Thanksgiving each year. I want to cook a big meal, but usually it is just the two of us and I never know when my husband will be home so I just do something small or get one of the meals from the grocery store. 

Now though my little one is three and I think that it is time to start setting some family traditions of our own...but the question is what to do? Cook the meal all by myself on Thanksgiving or do it the next day that my husband has the day off so that we can do the whole shebang together? Uggghhh....I am so perplexed! What should I do?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taco Soup

Last week I was feeling in the mood for some home made soup. Not because it was "soup weather" outside, 'cause down here in Arizona it is not even close to "soup" weather yet...it was 77 degrees out today, but because I just really wanted to "feel" like fall even though the weather wasn't cooperating with my fall feeling.

So I hit to the ol' facebook and proposed the question to all my fellow online friends, "I really want to make some soup...does anyone have a fabulous recipe that they would like to share with me?" And my facebook friends came through for me with lots of new recipes for me to try out...from butternut squash to a recipe for a guinness-based stew. Two different people posted recipe's for taco soups and while I didn't have all of the ingredients for either of them, it gave me an idea for a soup that I could throw together with ingredients that I already had at home. So throw something together is what I did...and it turned out wonderfully! Rich, hearty and full of flavor!

{Souper} Easy Taco Soup

  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 1 15 oz. can of corn
  • 1 15 oz. can of chili beans (a mixture of pinto beans, tomato sauce, chili peppers, garlic & onions)
  • 1 can of Rotel (mild or spicy...your choice)
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 16 oz jar of salsa (I used a medium flavored one)
  • 1 1b Ground Turkey browned with Taco Seasoning

Directions: 
1) Open all cans and DO NOT DRAIN LIQUID
2) Place all ingredients (liquid and all) into a large pot and bring to a boil
3) Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer it sits on the stove the more intense the flavors will be.
4) Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese and tortilla chips if desired

My husband loved this soup and I hope that you do too! And a great big thank you to my FB friends...I will be trying out all of the recipes that you provided!


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What is Playing Wednesdays

So this week's What is Playing Wednesdays is dedicated not to any particular artist, but just to my great mood and the music that fits it! I find that when I am feeling very happy and carefree that I turn to pop music because it fits the mood so very much! I like fun, happy, music that just makes me smile and makes me want to dance. Pop is what my little one and I listen to whenever we have one of our dance parties and what I turn to in my car when I just want to let my hair down, have a great time and just sing along at the top of my lungs.

So today I created a playlist of some of my current favorite pop songs...they are those songs that just make me smile when they come on the radio! I hope you enjoy and that they can help to set your mood to "happy" today also!



Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

BOGO Starbucks + 12 Days of Sharing!

I just love being able to get good deals on stuff and I ESPECIALLY love great Starbucks deals!

November 18th through 21st  you can score FREE holidays drinks at Starbucks! From 2-5 pm daily if you buy one holiday drink you get one free! How awesome is that?!?


Also make sure to text 12DAYS to 29943 to join in for Starbucks 12 Days of Sharing. They will text you a special offer each day for 12 days beginning December 1st!

So go out and get yourself (and your hubby or friend) a great holiday drink. As already know, I love eggnog, so I'm making a date with my Hubby on Friday for a couple of Eggnog Latte's!

Happy Tuesday!




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Saturday, November 13, 2010

I've started my Christmas Shopping

Lately the weekends around here have been so very busy with soccer, birthday parties, and doing things with family and friends. I feel like I don't even have time to breathe, let alone cook and clean my house....and now that the holidays are fast approaching, I hope that we can get a break pretty soon! (But, I don't think that will be happening!)

And now it is time to start our Christmas shopping. I always tell myself each year that I will start my shopping early, and this year I have almost done just that. It is the middle of November and I just bought my first presents today...and for me that is SUPER early! (Yay me!) I was at Target and shopping for a birthday party and I while looking I walked through the board game isle and I found two great toddler games for only $5 each! (They were 50% off! Do I get a 2nd "Yay Me?"!)



I picked up Candyland and Hi Ho Cherry-O for my little one. I am especially happy to be able to share two games that I remember playing at a kid with my own kiddo...I can't wait until we get to play them together!



ps. Thank you to the mom's for hosting the parties at indoor bounce houses because all of the jumping ensures that my little one gets a really good, long nights sleep!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Frosted White Chocolate Eggnog Cookies

For those of you that know my family personally, you know that the two men of the household have a serious addiction to a certain holiday drink. That drink is eggnog. They just can't get enough of it and if I didn't put my foot down, they would drink it by the gallon on a daily basis. My husband keeps a lookout for it and picks it up at the first opportunity he gets and then he becomes my son's favorite for the next few weeks!

So when I came across a recipe for frosted eggnog cookies over on Picky Palate, I just knew that I had to make them! I dressed them up a little with some white chocolate chips and I became my son's favorite for finding a way to put eggnog into a cookie!


Frosted White Chocolate Eggnog Cookies
Adapted from Picky Palate

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • White Chocolate Chips
1) Preheat oven to 300F.
2) In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3) In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined.
4) Roll dough into balls and place 1″ apart on cookie sheet.
5) Bake for 23-25 minutes or until bottoms turn light brown.
6) Transfer to cool, flat surface immediately with spatula.
7) Once cool frost with Eggnog Icing and sprinkle with nutmeg

Eggnog Icing
  • 3 C. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 C. softened butter or margarine
  • 1/3 C. commercial eggnog + 2 tablespoons (or however much you need for desired consistency)
In small mixer bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar and butter or margarine until well blended. Gradually beat in eggnog until icing is smooth. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

If you are an eggnog lover, then you definitely have to give these wonderful holiday treats a taste! They are so amazing and will help you to get into the mood of the upcoming holiday season!

Enjoy!



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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What is Playing Wednesday

My newest music purchase was the new Kings of Leon album, Come Around Sundown, and I really enjoy it! While it's not has rockin' as some of their previous albums, this is still really great stuff and it doesn't hurt that the lead singer's name is Caleb either and boy, do I love to hear him sing...I just love his gravelly, deep, sexy voice!

Check it out!



Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why we work

After 10 years of marriage some people wonder why and how my husband and I manage to stay together and are so happy. Well, this past weekend I was reminded once again of why we are a perfect match for each other!

Over the past two weeks they have been resurfacing all of the streets in my part of the valley and when they do that, they also cover up all of the lane markings and you just have a large wonderfully spacious black surface to drive on. My husband and I were in the car together this weekend and when we came upon one of these roads (it was supposed to be a three-lane road) and since no one was around he began swerving and we looked at each other and said at the same time “Look at this. Wide lanes…this is sooo luxurious!”




Yep, we are both Seinfeld lovers and we can recite amazing quotes that fit our situations perfectly. And it is one of the many reasons that I love my husband... 'Cause a man that can quote amazingly perfectly timed pop culture references definitely has my heart!




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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pudding Cookies

My husband and I love a good, soft, thick cookie and when I came across this recipe from my good friend Chelsea's sister's blog, Double Dipped Life, I knew that I had to try them. It had some of my favorite things in it...chocolate pudding and chocolate chips.

You can really use any kind of pudding. We have substituted cheesecake flavor and vanilla, but my favorite is definitely the chocolate since it gives the cookie such a great rich flavor. But be prepared this recipe make A LOT of cookies!

Chocolate Pudding Cookies
  • 4 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 cups Butter, Softened
  • 1 1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cups White Sugar
  • 2 packages (3.4 Oz. Package) Small Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3 cups Your Favorite Chocolate Chips (I used a mixture of Semi-Sweet Chocolate and Butterscotch)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or a convection oven to 325 degrees.
2) In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3) In a very large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended.
4) Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in chocolate chips. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
5) Bake for 10-12 minutes. If you are using a convection oven, bake for 10 minutes.
6) Leave cookies on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, and then transfer to cool on wire racks.

These cookies are very rich and this recipe makes quite a lot of cookies, so it would be great for a cookie exchange this Christmas! I also think that it would be great with the holiday dark chocolate & mint chocolate chips that are available this time of year.

Enjoy!



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