Friday, November 30, 2012

Flash Back Friday

Flashback Friday
Just for s's and g's...

Love: How tiny she was...how squishy

Hate: How sick she was...how pale...how she had to fight

Love: The way she would look at me with such appreciation when I fed her, her bottle
Hate: That those days are over

Love: How she was such a daddy's girl...and still is
Hate: that time goes by so fast

and now...she is just 
Miss Thing :)
My little boss...as much as she often sucks the life out of me, I wouldn't trade it for the world
I love her to pieces...my Silly

Insta Friday (November 30, 2012)

life rearranged

A snapshot of my week...

The beginning of decorating and a lifetime argument of real vs. fake ;)

Putting Ally's Celtics hat on...so focused

Time for a "smoothly" at Village Bean ;)

A drive-by at Searles Castle in our town

and here are some of the places where we found "Relf", our Elf on the Shelf this week...he is SO mischievous...Diana is getting a real kick out of him

Grammy surprised us with a turkey pie this week so I didn't have to cook one night- for the win!

Hope you all had a great week!  Linking up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weekly Gratitude

Weekly Gratitude

I am so thankful that we were able to host our family for Thanksgiving- it was so nice to spend quality time with everyone

I am also thankful for a great long weekend in which we got some Christmas shopping done AND all of our decorating done!

I am thankful for roots

I am thankful for the habits I picked up from my mom

I am thankful for a drive around town with my stepson...dropping off gifts...looking at Christmas lights...knowing this is home

I am thankful for great working relationships

I am thankful to be able to give back...donating food...adopting a family...clothing a child...

I am thankful for Lifetime cheesy holiday movies...LMN...ABC Family Christmas movies...and of course, the Hallmark Channel

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Decorating 2012

I have been waiting all my life to decorate my dream home...

I have ideas stored in my head for years...

AND Pinterest really helps to create even more new and innovative decorating ideas :)

So we took this long weekend, to decorate our new home for the holidays!

First things first, our big trip to Lowe's for the tree*, pointsettias, garland and supplies
*so he doesn't look thrilled because he thought when he suggested an artificial tree last year, I said sure but that was not forever.  That was only until we moved into our current home where we could have both real and artificial ;)

This is my homemade centerpiece for the dining room table (inspired by ideas I saw on Pinterest)

Pointesettias with white lights is an idea my mom and I got from her friend Cathy years ago...I chose the kitchen for this piece of sparkle this year

Our manger- a gift that Rob surprised me with years ago...I love it...it now has the perfect spot in our dining room

For the front bannister, I wrapped live garland and red tulle along with a set of white lights (it was my first time waiting in line to buy fabric at the fabric store)

On the foyer console, I am displaying two sparkly Target finds- a tree and a large silvery jar filled with holiday bulbs

Another piece in the kitchen is the Yankee Candle of the season- Christmas Cookie (thought it is not my favorite holiday scent, I felt it was perfect in the kitchen- my favorite is Christmas Eve which I am hogging in my office/tv room right now)

and my Seven Fishes book is proudly displayed this year!

In my office, we used the artificial tree.  I went with a blue and green theme to match the decor in the room (I included starfish and other ocean-inspired ornaments because I have always wanted to do that)

Outside, I decorated the mailbox by wrapping live garland and white lights on the post and adding a red bow for some color

In the doorway, we replaced our fall pumpkins in the planters with mini Christmas trees!
*For both the mailbox and the planters, we bought battery-operated lights from Target- for the win!

For the front door, we bought a wreath at Lowe's that we can use all year.  I tied a red bow on it for the Christmas season

Ronnie brought me a beautiful rosemary tree for Thanksgiving; I am displaying on the kitchen table because I think it looks festive- can't wait to use it!

Auntie Peggy brought me some beautiful fall flowers- red roses, green berries and other seasonal blooms-a beautiful addition in the dining room

To take a break from decorating and to "re-fuel"...the girls hit the Village Bean- our favorite coffee shop in town- the power had gone out because of the wind and I also wanted to support small business Saturday.  Diana had been begging me to go for a "strawberry smoothly" hysterical ;)

When we got back, we had Thanksgiving leftovers with the kiddos and then decorated the big, real tree in the family room

and last but not least, we cannot forget Diana's tree in her room...so adorable and girlie!

and because we got all of our decorating done, "Relf" the Elf, returned last night
We found him in Diana's bedroom, hanging from the curtain rod ;)

Tis' the Season...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

It truly was my most favorite Thanksgiving EVER!

First things first- "Tom" goes in the oven at 6:30am :)

We then started with a homemade breakfast of Pumpkin Monkey Bread and Bacon Egg and Cheese Cups with the kiddos (Aaron joined us and Kayla's friend and roommate Kayla joined us- great morning)

Aaron made us a homemade apple pie- so sweet

Then we all headed out to complete our 6tth/7th (we lost count) Windham Turkey Trot!

When we were done, we came back to the house and I got into my drill sargeant mode....everyone rushed to change so we could take our family Christmas Card pictures- a favorite family past time ;)
(We won't be showing the final product here of course)

and the older kiddos headed out to have dinner with their mom and her fam
I rushed around but honestly, I felt I did a great job preparing and for the most part things went smoothly (outside of the toilet breaking at the last minute and Rob and Papa having to rush to get it fixed)

We had a wonderful time hosting Auntie Peggy (my dad's sister), Uncle Bill, Cousing Meaghan, Uncle Larry (my mom's brother), his fiance Ronnie and cousin Kevin, my parents, Rob's parents, Uncle Matt and us

We started with Caramel Apple Cider Martinis and Wine along with my mom's famous stuffed mushrooms, my hot crab dip (didn't like it at all- it was a Paula Deen recipe- WAY too salty), dates, figs and cranberry goat cheese and crackers and an arugula and pomegranate salad

and then for a main event, it was a group effort which made it so doable...everyone made wonderful sides and we all truly endulged

I was very proud of my turkey :)

Our sides included:
Traditional Bread Stuffing and Cornbread and Caramelized Onion Stuffing- both by me
Mashed Potatoes and French Pork Stuffing- by Papa Bob (Papa also cooked another turkey for me which was a god send- we cut it up and served it so we give my turkey to everyone for leftovers!)
Ruth Chris's Sweet Potato Bake and Onions in Cream Sauce by Mimi
Nana's Noodles and Homemade Skillet Cornbread by Ronnie
Green Bean Casserole and Corn Custard by Auntie Peggy
Green Beans with Shallots and Bacon, Butternut Squash Souffle and Fried Corn by me
Plain Cranberry Sauce and Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce with Mandarin Oranges and Cinnamon and rolls- also by me
Gravy by Raymond Turkey Farm

For dessert (though no one really ate it outside of a slice of pie or two):

Mimi's homemade Cheddar Apple Maple Pie and Pumpkin Pie along with her Applesauce Jumbles and Thanksgiving Cutout Cookies (Diana helped with those and did a great job!)

My Pumpkin Bars

Auntie Peggy's Trademark Raspberry Jam Squares and delicious chocolate sandwich cookies

Pumpkin Fudge, Chocolate Caramel Fudge and chocolates...everywhere...so dangerous!

After dinner, the guys enjoyed the football game in the family room and the ladies chatted in the kitchen

It was perfect...

Later on, I dragged Rob out to wait in line for two hours to get into Target!  It truly made this year complete...

Look at him...he was barely tolerating me ;) ha ha!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We sure did :)
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