Thursday, December 17, 2009

I love..

this time of year. It's simply fantastic. I love making delish treats for my family and friends and I love my family and friends!

I feel blessed to have so many people in my life that care so much.

Here's the last of the holiday baking. Everything is packaged up except the party mix- which is in the oven currently. The brownies were MUCH easier to cut after being chilled over night. They sure do smell great, too! (all peppermint patty like).

Last photo op/post until probably Monday! I may have to work on Monday as well so, we'll see how the next round of baking turns out. I think I may make a few slight changes to the menu for easier packing and ease of preparing. The chocolate covered pretzels are just time consuming but the peppermint bark is a winner. It's my favorite new creation this year!

Anyhoodle- pictures! Now!

I can't get enough of these cute treats.

My 1/2 price finds from Hobby Lobby! A package of 20 of the little snowmen tags were only $1.25 and the take-out boxes were $2.50 for a pack of six!

They sparkle :)

L to R: Chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint brownies and peppermint bark.

Give thanks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Goodies!

What an evening it has been!! This morning was the first morning that I have had off in... a really long time. I intended on sleeping in, but my body just wouldn't go for it, so I got up, turned on Christmas tunes and ran on the treadmill for a bit. Really, the day didn't get exciting until Emily came back this evening. She is staying with us while she is in town for a friend's wedding tomorrow. Since she is incredibly awesome, she agreed to help me with some of my holiday goodie making tonight.

Ecstatic me at six o'clock this evening!

York Peppermint Brownie ingredients.


I have missed her! She is currently attending graduate school in Oregon. She is all kinds of awesome.

The outline for the Peppermint Bark.

My favorite treat this year! They turned out fabulous (and delectable)!

Bailey getting in on some baking action.


Finished product.

For tonight, we're finished. Tomorrow I have a few more goodies to prepare. I'm wiped out! We started at 6:00pm and ended around 10:30pm. Now it's time to curl up in my pajamas by the fire. I will take a photo when I'm completely finished packaging up the goods.

Preview for tomorrow:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wild Blue Yonder

One of my close friends moved away today to Mississippi. Her hubs has been in Mississippi (Air Force) and she is finally going to be with him! She and I met our freshman year in the RMB almost five years ago and have been friends ever since. We equal 2/3 of the "Magic 3."

 To celebrate her new move and life, we had some girls over for a fondue party/girl's night. It was so relaxing after a long week of finals to just be with friends. I love you girls.

Mindy, I'm going to miss you tons but I cannot wait to visit in Mississippi!


Rachel came to see Mindy.

      Mindy stirring the cheese!

Yummy spread!

Everybody minus Steph!

My sweater didn't agree with the fondue.. I dropped cheese/chocolate on there on more than one occasion..


Lying by the fire watching 'Nightmare Before Christmas!'

Love you!

Miss Suki being cute!

Mm Mm Good!

For family Christmas gifts this year, we opted for a more personal gift. The gift of baked goods! They're delicious, and embody the sense of giving of yourself and you time. I am very excited about baking! Here's a list of what I'm baking/cooking/preparing. In between, I'm making dinner tonight and tomorrow, but that is easy with the help of E-Mealz!!! :)

* Chex Mix (or Trash as my Mamaw called it)
* Chocolate covered pretzels (again)
* Peppermint Bark
* York Peppermint Brownies
* Sugar cookies with the kids' names on them
* Super easy fudge

I also made another batch of Puppy Chow last night for small snack bags.

Tonight we're having something called "Company Chicken" and it sounds delicious! On a really really cool note, Chase got an unexpected bonus this month at work, and we are saving most of it for our snowball, but Chase surprised me with a few really, really sweet gifts.

First was the Harry Potter DVD which we watched last night.. love it! Second was a new yoga mat, because I am really into yoga these days (so is Bailey lol). The next one was a seriously cool temperature gauge that tells the outdoor temperature, indoor temperature, weather forecast, time and date. I usually always ask Chase what the weather is like in the morning. :) Last was my favorite because I have wanted one for quite some time!
*drum roll*

a Crock Pot!!!!

Here's a picture of my loot. Hubs really went above and beyond. What a surprise it was to come home from a long day to this.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Progressive Dinner and the aftermath:

On Wednesday, (dead day),we the ladies of SAI had our traditional Progressive Dinner. If you don't know what a progressive dinner is, it is where a group starts at one location with drinks/appetizers, moves to another location for soup/salad, another for main course and then lastly another location for dessert. Well, dessert was at my house this year and I had so much fun baking and preparing for my lovely sisters! So blessed to have such a wonderful group of ladies to share times like this with.

With the majority of my stress gone, I got to finally spend a nice morning in my kitchen all by myself making yummy, delicious, diabetic coma inducing, treats.

First up were white almond bark covered pretzels:

Second was the 'Puppy Chow'

The last two desserts I made were my Mamaw's homeade chocolate merengue pie and spiced apples! Things got a little hectic at the end, so I missed the photo op. I did; however, get a few cute pictures of Bailey Anne and a few sisters.

(she who ended up with her nose in the last half of my chocolate pie which resulted in a panicked mom calling the veterinarian)

We're ready for Christmas! (gotta love our little tree this year)

Helena and Chrissy!

Our little after party later that evening!

Time to go shower for work! I am so ready for an evening at home relaxing with my pup! Chase has been playing in the Rat Pack at the WAC and Patrick Hession is playing lead trumpet. Chase was a little rattled on Tuesday evening when he first found out, but he's been playing really well since then! So proud of my hubs!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

E-mealz = E-goodness!

Somehow I stumbled upon the greatest website known to man.. er woman. Also known as e-mealz. I was perusing Dave Ramsey's site and somehow stumbled upon this wonderful website! The goal of the e-mealz program is to eliminate excess groceries, present well balanced meals, and overall help budget your budget! I LOVE it.

Tomorrow I'm going to print off my pre-made grocery spreadsheet with room for me to add my own personal items in and see how much I can save through well planned meals/shopping. (don't forget my coupons, too!!!)

If you're at all into planning well balanced meals, and are a little OCD about organization, this site is awesome. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let there be HEAT!

I don't know what happened, but the heater turned on finally this morning. It was only like 50 degrees in the house.. and I was only wearing three layers of clothing... so it's not like it was cold or anything.

Chase and I spent like an hour last night fidgeting with the indoor heater console thingy (since the manual for the heater conveniently leaves out any mention of the indoor thermostat). Electric thermostats are cool and all, but they are seriously confusing! Hopefully this means no more chilly mornings with icy fingers! You know it's seriously too cold when all of your animals are pressed up against you trying to stay warm in the morning.

Here's a photo for your enjoyment (and my humility). Hubs thinks it's amusing(and secretly very shexy) when I run on the treadmill, so he tries to sneak up on me to take pictures. This morning I almost died via surprise on treadmill.

Incentive to keep going!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What's Happening:

So during the midsts of the below mentioned activites, Chase and I have been pretty busy with things here at home! Chase bought a metal lathe and has been working hard trying to learn all about making neat things like... stuff. I got a treadmill and am loving it (recently too cold to run outside) and we have been staying busy with various extra musical performances and holiday plans!

Chase's Lathe.. that he makes stuff with :)

He's so cute..

My treadmill- that I run on!

Yummy turkey sausage, bell pepper, and onion for my rigatoni.


Tonight's dinner. Rigatoni and salad!

I cook and he cleans... sometimes. :-D

Love my hubs.

Every Christmas we have been together we have made an ornament. This makes our third ornament!

I'll try to get pictures of all of the past ones we have made. They're pretty cute. The first one Chase made as a gift to me. It's the Empire State Building + 2007 made out of the little melty beads. Last year I made a Santa hat wit our initials and the date 2008 and this year is Mr. Gingerbread man.

That's all folks! I'll keep my extreme list updated! Stay tuned.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Most Wonderful Time.... do get stuff done!

I am the queen of lists. Well... basically, anyway.

Right now I can't really concentrate on much except what I have left to do before next Wedneday. Here's what's left so far.

* take transcripts, shot records, scores to NWACC
* ship back my VS stuff that I'm returning
* Paper and Resume for Adv. Comp (lame, I know)
* Study for us history test and quiz
* Turn in last two recital programs
Rehearsal and performance for dessert theater at church
* Hanging of the Green at church on Sunday

After Wednesday I just have this:
* Progressive Dinner Wednesday
* Philharmonic rehearsal Thursday
* Philharmonic performance Saturday
* Rat Pack with family on Sunday afternoon to watch Chase!
* Sunday Evening Dinner/ Baking with Mindy and friends
* US History final Tuesday 15th
* Play on Amy's jury Tuesday 15th
* Bake lots of goodies!

Then.. I will be FINISHED with classes FOREVER!

Sorry for putting you through that. This is really for my sanity.