Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gimme a Break

At 12:20 today I am officially on vacation.  Is it weird that I cannot wait to get home and clean the house?  We have not had a spare moment to ourselves to get anything done around the house and with Christmas fast approaching, there is so much stuff scattered around.  I had the brilliant idea this year to give out more homemade gifts, which includes some pretty bad ass apple butter if I do say so myself!  There is stuff everywhere!  And by everywhere, I mean I'm moving stuff around just to have a place to rest my feet on the coffee table.  When we got furniture we went for the giant square coffee table so that you could use it from both couches.  It looks awesome, and is very functional, especially for wrapping presents.  It is in the perfect location where I can watch tv, wrap presents, and give my back a break all at the same time.  Problem is, all the supplies are scattered all over the table.  Last weekend I had some time to myself and I found myself with two choices.  1 - I could work on cleaning the living room, or 2 - I could wrap presents.  After much debating I chose #2...my logic?  Why clean the living room just to drag out all the wrapping paper in a couple of days anyway?  Great plan...if I had put everything away when I was done.  Problem was, I was exhausted after wrapping all those presents!  So after I was done wrapping presents Saturday night I curled up with a blanket and watched the rest of The Holiday while admiring our Christmas tree glowing with pretty presents underneath.  Two thoughts...Why does Jude Law have to be so darn sexy?  Even while doing Mr. Napkinhead for cryin' out loud!...and...man British kids have the cutest accents! 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas To All

Most of you will be getting this in the mail but I just wanted to brag on my bff Lori, who is an amazing lifesaver when it comes to anything photography related!  Check out our first Christmas card...

If you get a chance, check out her website http://www.loricrockett.com/ 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Get In My Belly!

I know, the last thing you wanted on your Wednesday was a mental picture of Mike Myers with his giant turkey leg and grease everywhere...sorry.  I wanted to give you the inside scoop on some of my absolute favorite holiday recipes.  In our family, Christmas Eve is a pretty big deal.  There is the most amazing spread of finger foods.  Yes I know it isn't healthy, but what about the holidays is healthy?? That's what New Years resolutions are for!  So bust out those sweatpants (the ones with the drawstring...don't let sizes put a damper on your celebration!) and start stuffing that pretty little face of yours. 

Jalapeno Popper Dip
1 packages softened cream cheese

1 cup mayo
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles (drained)
1 (4 oz) can diced jalapenos (drained)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese

Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a bowl until smooth. (I use a hand mixer) Stir in the green chiles and jalapeno peppers. Stir in parmesan cheese or you can save some for topping. Place in a small baking dish. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

This can be served with tortilla chips but I prefer to serve it with toasted slices of French bread

Carla's Famous Cheese Ball
My mom made this for Christmas Eve growing up and now my husband and his friends even request it. It is soooooo simple. Only a few ingredients and some messy hands will have you on your way to a delicious cheeseball. I made this for work the other day and they were like animals!

2 packages softened cream cheese
2 packages of beef deli meat (I use Carl Buddig Beef. I'm also pretty sure that my mom only uses one package, but I like a cheese ball with more substance!...Love you mom!!)
1 bunch of green onions

Chop meat and green onions and add to cream cheese. Mix with hands and form into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until ready to eat. Serve wth Ritz Crackers.  If you have a very sharp knife it is easy to chop the meat and onions. In a pinch I have been known to use kitchen shears, which makes things super easy. I also spray my bowl and my hands with just a little bit of cooking spray so more of it ends up in the ball and not on your hands!

Cocktail Meatballs
1 pk frozen frozen meatballs
1 jar chili sauce
1 jar grape jelly

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker...sooooooo easy and so yummy.  Sounds weird, but perfection is sometimes weird!

These are just a few of the recipes I have in my arsenal... :)  Most of you know that I absolutely love to cook...so if you get a chance, visit my collabo-blog with my bff Lori yum-in-my-tum.blogspot.com for more ideas!  Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

"I'm Busy" is the understatement of the year

This week is crazy...here's how it goes:
  • Today - make food for work snacks, grade papers all day at work, find time to address and send out all the thank you notes from our wedding that have been done for a month but have not been sent out because of basketball (sorry people, hope you understand), practice after school, scout/videotape in Moberly, come home to my already sleeping husband
  • Tuesday - Tutor in the morning, grade papers/make the final all day, basketball game at home, come home to my already sleeping husband
  • Wednesday - Tutor in the morning, grade papers/make the final all day, cancel practice because I need to or I'll hurt somebody, staff Christmas party at Emmet's, take Christmas card picture because we will both be dressed up for the first time since Thanksgiving, order Christmas cards, actually see my husband and go to bed at the same time!
  • Thursday - Grade papers/make the final all day, make labels for Christmas cards, basketball practice after school, pick up Christmas cards, appointment in Columbia, finish Christmas shopping (may do this Friday instead), stuff Christmas cards and send those suckers out!
  • Friday - Give finals, no practice, actually see my husband!!!
Whew!! I'm exhausted just reading this back, but I just have to get through this week and I will be home free.  I don't even drink soda and a diet coke is sounding lovely right now...

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Look Forward To...

Here are the things I am looking forward to the most this Christmas:
  1. Hanging with the fam.  This is the first year that I am officially part of 2 families, which can get really crazy but it's so worth it. 
  2. Seeing my besties.  Kristin and Lori will be in town!  Lori and I need "face time"...we get ear time often but sometimes that's just not good enough.  I can't wait to see Kris and have a drink with her.  It's been a long time!
  3. Snuggling with my honey.  Baby it's cold outside!  (side note - this is my all time favorite Christmas song.  All. Time.) I really enjoy snuggling with him on the couch and looking around at all the blessings we have.  All while enjoying some seriously terrible tv.
  4. One word...FOOD!  I absolutely love me some holiday food.  Christmas Eve is my favorite...all the snack food and wine you can handle.  Christmas Day, more traditional but still good.  I have a major lack of self-control over those two days (+ New Year's Eve) but that's nothing January 1st can't fix. 
  5. Getting Christmas cards.  This will be our first year getting Christmas cards sent to Mr. & Mrs.! 
  6. The massive amounts of "1st Christmas Together" ornaments we will receive (I already know of 4. Yes 4.)  2009 has been an amazing year for us.
  7. Christmas break.  Thank the Lord that I will finally have some time to catch up around the house, with no school work to do!
  8. Giving all the great gifts away!!!  That's the best feeling.
  9. The after-Christmas sales.  Although I may have to contain myself this year...trying to save money sucks!
  10.  Hectic relaxation...there is nothing like it in the world.  Two weeks of pure bliss, a whirlwind of seeing family and friends, cooking, wrapping, giving, celebrating, drinking, talking, laughing, loving, cleaning, and sleeping.  I am really looking forward to some serious sleep. 
Sometimes I get caught up in what I want or think I need.  Then I look at this list and realize that I really do have it all!  God has really blessed us, and I love my life!  Bring on the holidays!

I Did It!!

It took me the better part of one day (my kids were taking a test...sue me) but I made my own banner!  It was pretty hard I have to say.  I know nothing.  I repeat...nothing about photoshop (never even had it) so I tried our school's version of photoshop and whew! that was rough.  But I survived and I have a pretty new header to show for it.  And to top it all off, a new Christmas background.  Wooo Hooo, Christmas is right around the corner.  I'm so close to Christmas break I can feel it in my bones...or maybe that's the sub-zero temps, but whatever.  Maybe I'll wrap some presents tonight...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Favorite Time Of Year

No, not for the weather.  You see, if I could have Christmas in July I would be super happy.  But that's wasn't quite in God's plan now was it?  This is my favorite time of the year because I absolutely love to give gifts.  I could seriously have Christmas and not get a single gift and still love it because I get to give to others.  Although I have been accused of going overboard...I try to be reasonable with my purchases, but I have a bad habit of forgetting how many things I have gotten for one person or how much money I have spent so far.  This is the part that Timothy doesn't like.  This is the one time of the year that I get a little carried away.  Any other month, I would be the penny pincher that everyone knows.  I am obsessed with saving money (although I don't have much to show for that) and I get buyer's remorse right after any purchase...except for in December.  I wish I was better about buying things before December, like throughout the year, so that I had it all and just had to wrap it, but who does that??? Seriously?!?!? 

One of my favorite things is wrapping presents.  Sarah came over last saturday and we wrapped presents for about 5 hours.  It never got old...I just got tired.  I love the look of a well-wrapped present and I am slightly OCD about having it wrapped perfectly.  I also love different bows and trimmings.  I haven't tried this yet but I would really like to make some of my own bows in the future...check out this website: http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2009/10/make-gift-bow-from-magazine-page.html  This is Christmas tip #1 from me (I'll try to do 10 before Christmas, who knows if that will happen ;)

Also...I am in the process of trying to do a better job of taking pictures with my camera.  I have an awesome camera, but I don't use it enough.  I'm really bad about that because it is always charged and in my purse, I just don't take a lot of pictures.  Hopefully will have some up here on the blog soon. 

Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Leggo my Preggo!

I love living in a small town.  I love the fact that I can walk around town by myself without getting anxious.  I love that I can go to the neighbor's house for sugar if I need to (well, I could go to Cana's house...nobody else), I love that I know a lot of people...but I don't love that people think they know your business.  Last night someone congratulated Timothy in the grocery store...it went a little somethin' like this:

Random Person:  I hear congratulations are in order (in that sing-songy voice)
Timothy: For what?...
Random Person: That you and Jessica are expecting.
Timothy: WHAT?!?!...ummmmmm no.
Random Person: Well I heard it from 2 different people.
Timothy: ummmmm no.  I can nip that one in the bud for you right now...we are definitely not pregnant.
Random Person: Well...I'll have to tell those people that they were wrong...

Darn right you will!  Timothy took it better than I did.  He said, "well at least the rumor is that you and I are pregnant, not that you're pregnant by someone else, or someone else is pregnant by me!"  Touche...  But still...I have to admit I was semi-flattered until I got to thinking...do I look big enough to be pregnant?!?!?  Emergency 2010 Diet begins January 2nd people!