Monday, December 31, 2012

deal of the day...elf on the shelf

Elf on the Shelf

I don't have little kids, but I've been wanting an Elf on the Shelf! I couldn't justify paying $30 for something I wouldn't actually be using, but when I saw a link on The Frugal Free Gal's blog for a great Elf deal, I ordered one! The cost is only $18.93 shipped! So next Christmas, this little Elf will be finding a spot on my mantel until......{I can pass it along to my grandkids!!!} :O)

Here's the link:
Elf on the Shelf Deal

Saturday, December 29, 2012

candy cane kiss brownie bites


1-brownie mix (13x9 size)
18-Candy Cane Hershey Kisses
1/2 cup semi-sweet morsels
2 T. heavy cream
3-candy canes, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and scoop into a muffin tin that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray. Press kisses into center of brownie batter, do not push all the way to bottom, some of the tip should stick out the top (otherwise they will stick to bottom of pan). Bake for about 18 minutes or until brownies are cooked through. Let cool completely.
2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave 30 second intervals until smooth and melted. Stir in cream until silky smooth. You can place back in microwave for 10 seconds to smooth more if needed. Dip tops of brownies into melted chocolate, then sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
recipe and photo credit: Picky Palate


christmas 2012 (post 3)

Christmas Day: We slept in!!! Peter and I got up around 8:30, and Nathan finally rolled out of bed after 9. Definitely another advantage of having older kids!
Nathan opened all of his gifts from Santa, and loved everything, but the surprise gift we got him was his absolute favorite....
Nathan takes after his Dad when it comes to being hard to surprise, but we managed to sneak this gift in without him knowing about it and he hasn't taken them off since!
 
 
We had a simple breakfast of muffins and coffee. Mom and Dad normally come over early for breakfast, but I think everyone was just too worn out this year to even do breakfast.
Our niece Addison stopped by mid-day with her mom, Shelli & family, and Peter's Mom, and my Mom and Dad came over later too.
 
 
Nathan went with Kayla to visit her family, then joined everyone for dinner at Peter's brother's house at 5. After dinner, we made a quick stop to see what Santa had brought Lacee, then called it a night and headed home.
Logan and Lindsey spent the holidays with her family- still on cloud nine from their engagement! :O) Logan had to leave for work at 2 a.m. to catch his flight to Tampa. He was not anxious to go back to work, but at least he was able to be home for Christmas this year.
at Ocean City Festival of Lights
December 26: Julie and Derek arrived today. The weather was horrible, a windy & rainy day, but once they got settled in, we exchanged gifts, got caught up and enjoyed spending some time together.
 
 
Derek made this for Peter who is a Rudolph fan...awesome job!
I believe Mom was demonstrating how to make a snow angel...LOL
 
We headed back to Peter's brother's house for dinner, but this time, we were in for a TEXAS SIZE FEAST! Shelli's boyfriend Peter cooked an amazing dinner on the grill for 18 of us! Best.Steak.Ever!!!
I had left my camera home because it was pouring, but I hated that I didn't get any pictures!
 
We are so blessed!!  I am very grateful for my family and the time we got to spend together over the holiday season. This was definitely a different year, a Senior Trip to Disney for Nathan and his classmates a week before Christmas, and Logan and Lindsey's engagement. This Christmas will be hard to top......but looking forward to seeing what 2013 holds for our family!

Friday, December 28, 2012

christmas 2012 (post 2)

Christmas Eve: I performed a miracle today- I still had cooking, baking, wrapping, laundry, cleaning and more to do.....there was no way I could possibly get everything done in such a short amount of time....... but somehow, I did {but not without a little help from some elves!!!}
Dad fried the oysters for dinner, Mom made a couple of dishes {mac & cheese..mmmmmm} and help set up the buffet, and Peter was on vacuum duty......
Peter, Nathan, Mom, Dad, Liz, Mitch, and I enjoyed dinner together before exchanging gifts and hanging out for awhile.
Nathan got new shoes, seasons of One Tree Hill, some gift cards and lots of Bears stuff. He especially loved his new Brandon Marshall jersey!
We all went to the Candlelight Service later that evening, then Peter & I stopped by Gina's for a quick visit before calling it a night. Kayla and Nathan came home for awhile, then went out for a few more hours.
I finished up some last minute wrapping and took a long, hot bubble bath......I could finally relax and enjoy Christmas! Somehow, I had pulled it off!

Ho...Ho...Ho

christmas 2012 (post 1)

Looking back over the month of December, I can't help but wonder how I got through it- but amazingly, I did! Along with the usual hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation, I spent 5 days in Florida for Nathan's Senior Trip from 12/12-16, got home on Sunday night and quickly prepared for Logan and Lindsey's visit Mon-Tues 12/17-18, went away for the weekend Sat-Sun 12/22-23, getting back home just in time for the Church Choir Cantata and Christmas Program that night.
the beautful tree
they did an amazing job singing, I especially loved 'O Holy Night,
which is my favorite Christmas hymn

Nathan and Kayla did great job in the play, along with the other cast

cuties Lacee and Addison singing "Away in a Manger"
 
Very touching program! Everyone was blessed! It was the first Christmas festivity I had been able to get to, since I was away for the breakfast and church party. I was so glad I was able to see this.

Nathan and Kayla finally decorated the gingerbread house that night. With 2 days until Christmas, we were finally getting into the holiday spirit!!

monkey muffins

Monkey Muffins..........a delicious, quick, & easy muffin recipe from Pioneer Woman that I made on Christmas morning. I can definitely see them showing up again next year.....

In a muffin tin, layer 1 pat butter, 1 tsp. sugar, dash cinnamon....I also added a few chopped pecans.
Add 3 small balls dough (I used frozen dinner rolls-thawed) to each cup.
Top with another layer of butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Bake @ 375 degrees until golden brown.
Top with glaze of powdered sugar and heavy cream, or you can top with sweetened condensed milk {Pioneer Woman's topping of choice}.
Perfect way to start Christmas Day!
Peter and I got a new Keurig, which we are enjoying, but I needed to find a way to store all those little cups. Here's what I came up with:



Monday, December 24, 2012

.......put a ring on it


It's official!!!!! Logan & Lindsey are engaged!!! We look forward to having Lindsey as our daughter-in-law,  Logan has found such a beautiful, sweet girl, both inside and out!

Friday, December 21, 2012

deck the halls.....

I kept my decorating simple this year, but I love how it turned out!
Here's a peek.............
my holiday chalkboard
shutter turned card holder is brimming with cards!
the house all lit up
simple wreath on back door
pretty bright ornaments for the kitchen table
snowman snack plates & mugs ready.....now I just need to get those cookies baked!!
 
 
 
 
 


Christmas Mantel

 
 
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

I kept my mantel simple, yet meaningful this year. Logan started my Willow Tree Nativity collection last year, and added the Three Wise Men this year. I added a metal star and grapevine wreath I already had, and found the printable on Pinterest.
I filled a glass hurricane with a white pillar candle, some live greenery, and wrapped it in burlap ribbon.