Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We are heading out of town this afternoon to spend Christmas with our families, so the blog will be pretty quiet for awhile.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a blessed 2010.
The cards were designed by the wonderful Etsy shop Sweet Pea Baby Designs.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A son.

"So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the hous and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Luke 2:4-7

Monday, December 21, 2009

Be Not Afraid.

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said unto them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good new of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
Luke 2:8-15

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Santa...

Today Jonah asked me if I wanted to know what he wrote in his letter to Santa that he made in school. Thinking that he'd ask for what he already told me (a Nintendo DS, hockey equipment, golf clubs, games) I said sure and only half listened. Imagine my surprise when he rattled this off:
"Dear Santa,
I would like a million dollars for Christmas.

I couldn't help but laugh.

Then, in true Jonah style, he said, "And if Santa does give me a million dollars I'm NOT sharing it with you."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Cinnamon Bread

This recipe is a Christmas must in our house. It's a family recipe and it sure is tasty! I have made this bread for the hubby's co-workers the last few years, as well as for teachers and it's such a big hit every time. And the best part: it's easy!

Cinnamon Bread
1/4 c margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream magarine and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add egg and salt and continue beating.
Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and add alternately with the flour. Mix until blended.
Combine the 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.
In a well greased loaf pan, pour half of the batter, then half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour the rest of the batter and add the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture to the top.
Swirl through the batter with a knife to the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Finds on Etsy: Teacher Gifts

Every year I stress about what to give the teacher's for their Christmas gifts. My boys go to a public school so I don't know if their teachers celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or what. I try to give gifts that are not blatantly Christmas, but still show the spirit of the season.

Here's a couple great ideas I found on Etsy (where else?!)
There's this great lanyard, perfect for holding the teacher ID badge around their neck. Comfortable, practical and stylish! (Made by notapotato)
Next is this adorable personalized pendant made by one of my favorite Etsians, Analiese Designs. I have quite a few of her beautiful pendants myself, and every time I wear one I get stopped and complimented.
And of course one of my own items (from my humble little shop). A perfect, eco-friendly way to personalize your coffee cup! There are loads of prints to choose from. Want to make a cute giftset? Put it around a disposeable cup and add packets of flavored coffee, hot chocolate, those fancy chocolate stir sticks, or even a giftcard to their favorite java joint and you're all set!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I am a Hockey Mom

This may come to a shock to all of you, because it certainly caught me off-guard, but apparently my quiet, tenderhearted, passive oldest son takes out his frustrations on the ice. Last night at their practice I had two moms confront me saying that Noah was too rough on their sons (mind you, these two boys are way too young and ill-prepared to have moved up to this level of hockey...the parents just ignored the coaches input and moved them up anyway). They said that both of their boys had complained about them and they witnessed it themselves and Were. Not. Happy.

Umm...did we not sign our children up for HOCKEY?!

I realize that the boys are at the Termite level (beginners for you non-hockey folks out there) and that no, contact is not allowed at this age, but's hockey. And quite frankly I'm extremely surprised that Jonah hasn't dropped his gloves and gone after someone yet!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Rosemary-Orange Chicken

Ok, so I know that I said I'd post my favorite Christmas-y recipes this month, and that this doesn't necessarily scream "Happy Holidays". But let me explain.

I grew up in South Florida, and we had orange trees in our backyard. The type of oranges we had were at their peak in the winter. I remember when I was a kid, our church would give stockings to all the children in the congregation, and we always had an orange in it along with the candy. So to me, oranges are a winter-time fruit. Crazy, huh?

Anyway, I found this recipe in my trusty Rachael Ray cookbook last week and thought I'd give it a whirl. It was so tasty!! The hubby didn't give me any suggestions on making it "different" (read: better) the next time, so I took that as him saying it was perfect. Good old R. R. didn't disappoint!

Rosemary-Orange Chicken
3 tbsp EVOO
4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
salt & pepper
1 lg yellow onion, sliced
2 lg carrots, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp flour
zest and juice of 1 orange
2.5 cups chicken stock/broth
10 pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (I omitted these)
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat broiler.

Preheat a large skillet over med-hi heat w/2 tbsp EVOO. Add the chicken, rosemary, salt & pepper. Cook and stir for 3-4 min, or until lightly browned. Then add the onions, carrots & garlic. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes.

Dust the chicken and veggies with the flour and cook for one minute more. Stir in the orange juice and chicken stock. Bring up to a simmer and cook until the liquid has been reduced by half, then add the olives.

While the liquid is reducing, combine thebread crumbs, orange zest, parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a small bowl.

Transfer the chicken and veggies into a baking dish and top with the bread crumb mixture. Place under broiler until the topping is brown and crispy (about 2-3 minutes).

Serve immediately after removing from oven, and enjoy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Maybe I'm jinxing them?

It happened again. Just like last year, the week or so after we took Christmas card photos, one of my kids decided to injure themselves. Last year it was Jonah. This year Noah decided to damage body parts. And neither one of them chose an inconspicuous area to harm. No way. Jonah's was his face, and Noah has added another scar to his head. The boys were playing around at the hockey rink and Noah went under the bleachers to rescue a lost ball, and in the process cut open his head. He has quite the gash on the top back portion of his head. Right where his cowlick is, which made it real fun to shave the hair away. A nurse friend of ours was there and examined it and said that we probably should get stitches, but we could get away with cleaning it out really well and using steri-strips to close it up. I voted for stitches, but the hubby and Noah (duh!) vetoed. So we hit up CVS and then came home to play Triage Nurse.

(Noah wanted me to take pictures of his head, but I thought I'd spare everyone the image. Your imagination will be enough.)

The way we had to shave around his head makes it look like he's wearing a crooked yarmulke.

I guess I should look on the bright side- we already took pictures for Christmas last weekend. And Noah finally got the haircut I've been begging him to let us give him.

But considering the track record the last couple of years, maybe having Christmas pics done is jinxing them?!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Never a dull moment.

Clearly, my almost-6-year-old son didn't feel like waiting for puberty to grow facial hair. So he took matters (or in this case a pen) into his own hands and drew it on himself.

Christmas Finds on Etsy: Ornaments

I love everything about Christmas...decorations, lights, name it. Every Friday from now until Christmas I'm going to show you my favorite holiday items on Etsy. There will be a different theme each week, so make sure you check back!
First up- Ornaments!
These crochet snowflakes from Stylish Ornaments remind me of my grandma. I wish I would've learned how to do this beautiful craft.
How adorable are these snowmen by Snowman Central?? I especially love the blue & green ones...I love the simplicity and elegance of this ornament, from The Deep Six. I have to include just one from my own shop, Jen's Craft Corner. This Gingerbread Starfish is one of my favorites ever. I have one on my own tree and get lots of compliments. Check out the cousin ornament which is a best-seller for me a craft shows and in my shop- the Santa Starfish.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wish List

Just for fun, here's my Christmas list this year.

Now, I'm not expecting to get all of them, like I said it's just for fun. But since my hubby and my sister (who was lucky enough to get my name for the gift exchange) keep asking me what I want, I figured this would be the best way to show you. Enjoy!

Boots like this (found some for $25 @ Target...size 7.5 or 8!) would be PERFECT for all those chilly hours spent watching hockey!

I found this baby on eBay and instantly fell in love.

A super handy red stand mixer. I've been lusting after this puppy for years. (I'm going to fill you in on a little secret: I found a red stand mixer at the store a couple weeks ago ON SALE. I texted the hubby w/a picture, price & location and he told me to buy it. I said that it was a Christmas idea for me and he responded with "so buy it, wrap it up for yourself and sign my name." So I did. )

I'm very much into scarves this year. Here are two of my favorites!

These cookbooks. Because let's face it...I need more great recipes to share with all of you!

And of course giftcards to my favorite stores would be great too!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Easy Oreo Truffles

Hooray for the holidays! I am going to post my all-time favorite holiday recipes every week in December.

Yes, I know that it's not December until tomorrow, but I am too impatient. Plus, Mmmm Mmmm Tuesday just doesn't flow. So if you are a November purist, don't read this post until tomorrow.

First up is a recipe that I stumbled on in Walmart last year. You know, those recipe sheets that they have in little clear holders on the side of their holiday baking displays?'s one of them. I actually grabbed the sheet for the other recipe on the page, but made this one instead. And let me tell you was a HUGE hit! My hubby & my kids are always my taste testers, and I got RAVE reviews. They almost ate the entire batch before my parents, sisters and grandma could get here for Christmas and try them. They were that good.

Anyway, here you go!
Easy Oreo Truffles
1 package Oreo cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 packages (8 squares each) Baker's semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Mix 3 cups of cookie crumbes and cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 1 inch balls. I found that a regular size cookie dough scoop is perfect for these!

Dip balls into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. (We used red & green sprinkles for Christmas).

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover (haha, yeah right. Leftovers. That's funny.) in tightly covered container in fridge.

*I will be making some of these babies this week, so check back for pictures!*

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Today we got the kids dressed in their Christmas outfits and headed out to Azalea Park in Summerville so that I could take some pictures for our Christmas card. It was a little chilly, but not nearly as bad as last year, so the kids were much more cooperative. I got alot of cute shots...taking pictures of my kids is definitely one of my favorite things to do!
I'm not going to tell you which one we're using for the Christmas're just going to have to wait and see!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day that we give thanks for all of the things in our life. Why it's limited to just one day, I don't know...we should be giving thanks every single day. I am guilty of being a pessimist more often than not, but I am making a concious effort to change that.

Anyway, here is my list of things that I am so grateful for.
  • My husband. He sacrifices so much for this family, and does everything he can to give us anything we could dream of. I don't tell him enough how much I truly appreciate him. He is everything that I could've imagined when I was envisioning my soul mate and I'm so thankful that God gave him to me.
  • My kids-Noah, Jonah and Sophia. They are all so different in their personalities, and even though I get stressed with them from time to time (okay, ALOT), they each know what little things to do to make me smile. They truly are gifts from Heaven and I have such a huge responsibility to ensure that they grow up fearing God and loving others. While that sometimes seems very daunting, there is nothing I would rather be doing with my life than being a mother to my three precious children.
  • My extended family. We are so lucky to have a supportive family. We may be seperated by a few states and lots of miles, but whenever we need anything they are just a phone call away. My parents have raised me to be the person that I grew up to be and I couldn't have asked for better ones. My in-laws are as involved in my kids lives as they can be and we are truly blessed for that as well. My sisters and my husband's siblings are the best aunts and uncles around, and my kids worship the ground they walk on. Hubby and I each only have one grandparent left on earth, and even though we don't get to see them nearly as often as we'd like to, we couldn't be who we are without them.
  • My husband's job. Yes, I complain about the military alot. There are so many thins that I wish that I could change. But we are so fortunate. He has job security, which in this day and age is a blessing in and of itself. We are currently in a non-deployable slot, which means we are some of the lucky few (for the next 6 months or so) who are guaranteed to have the head of our household at every family function imaginable. And for those of you who are in the military you know that is the best gift of all. I could choose to look at the downsides, like the fact that if we don't get an assignment by next summer my hubby will be deploying for 6-9mos late next year. But instead, I am going to focus on the here and now, and soak up every minute of togetherness that we have. And how can you not be thankful for the opportunity to help other less fortunate that we are...the military is needed and I am so proud to call myself a military wife.
  • My friends. Living far away from family for so much of my married life (all of it actually), friends have become so crucial to my well being. The people who have so readily welcomed my family into their own have touched my heart and I will never be able to thank them enough. Recently, some of our non-military friends here in Charleston invited us over for Thanksgiving. We accepted but asked them if they were sure they wanted non-family members over at their house when they'd be having their own mothers and fathers and siblings and neices and nephews at the house that day. They told us that yes, they did want us to come because we were extended family and it wouldn't be the same without us. That brought tears to my eyes. I am also incredibly thankful for having friends that, even when months (sometimes even years) go by without seeing one another, as soon as we are reunited it's like we were never apart. True friends are so hard to find these days, and we are so blessed to have so many people, both military and civilian, like that in our lives.
  • Trials and hard times. I know what you're thinking- "Why in the world is she thankful for hard times?" But it's the hard times and the trials that make me reach deep down into myself and remember that everything happens for a reason. God gives us these trials to bring us closer to him, and closer to the people who mean the most to us. Sure, life would be so much easier if everything went my way. But it is when things don't go that way that I realize that I am stronger than I think I am. I will get through, I will persevere, I will survive. I have to keep reminding myself that "this too shall pass" and that God won't give me more than I can handle. Sometimes I think that maybe He forgets that I'm not Superwoman, but in the end I always get through it and I am even more aware of the good times that follow.

There are, of course, so many other things that I am thankful for (like running water, my car, my computer) but when I have all of the things I listed above, those things seem so small and almost insignificant. All I really, truly need in my life are my God, my family, my friends, and my country.

Thank you Lord for all that you have given to me. Help me to realize how blessed I am each and every day, not just on Thanksgiving. Remind me daily that I need to look for the positives in my life, instead of dwelling on the negatives, and that every day is a blessing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day-late Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Oven Ranch Chicken

Made this one for the first time last night and it was a hit with the whole family. Usually the hubby suggests that "next time" I add this spice, or that dressing, but there was no corrective criticism this time. He loved it how it was. It's super simple, and very tasty.

Oven Ranch Chicken
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1 pkg (.4 oz) ranch dressing mix *I used a 1oz package becuase that's what I had*
1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts *I used 5 becuase of five family members. The amounts of other ingredients yielded enough without having to increase*

Heat oven to 375*. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a shallow dish (or pie pan), mix bread crumbs and ranch dressing mix. Place sour cream in a seperate dish (pie pan).

Dip chicken into sour cream, turning to coat. Roll in bread crumb mixture and coat both sides evenly. Place chicken on cookie sheet. (Discard any leftover sour cream and bread crumbs)

Bake uncovered 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature is 170*.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Craft Show Debut

Tomorrow I'm going to be in a craft show! It's the first one I've done since I started my Etsy site. I'm excited and nervous and stressed and anxious all rolled into one.

So if you're in the Charleston area (or know someone who lives down here) spread the word and stop on by the Hoiday Bazaar at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, SC from 9am-3pm tomorrow (21 November).

And please wish me luck!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Today, my little "princess" reminded me that she defnitely fits in this family.

I was standing in the kitchen and she came up behind me and smacked me right on my keester. I turned around and said "Sophia, it's not nice to hit."

Without skipping a beat she grinned at me and said "I not hit you, Mommy, I high-fived your butt!"

Heaven help me, my 2.5 year old is as smartassed as the rest of them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I haven't forgotten you. Honest.

Hello? Anyone still follow this blog? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't...I've been a bad blogger.

It's been pretty crazy around here. Seems like from October through March my house is always in upheaval. Not only are we in the middle of the holiday season (can you believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK? I can't!), we are also in the middle of hockey season. Hubby coaches a squirt travel team (8-10 yr olds), assistant coaches a high school varsity team, and also helps out with the coaching of Noah & Jonah's termite house league team. In case you're wondering, the answer is yes, he is at the rink almost every day of the week.

But there are fun things going on for me right now too. I am busily preparing for a craft show on Saturday. THIS Saturday. The 21st of November. I found out about it just two weeks ago. So I've been sewing and crafting my butt off. My kitchen counter is covered with ribbon, hair clips and hot glue sticks. The dining room table holds my sewing machine and piles of fabric cut for skirts. Our bedroom, which now doubles as my craft room, has all of the finished products laying around ready to be put in the Rubbermaid for transporation Saturday morning. My hubby is counting the days until this show happens. He wants his house back.

Anyway, if any of you blog-readers are in the Charleston, SC area, come to the Holiday Bazaar at Stratford High School in Goose Creek on Saturday 21 November from 9-3. I'll be there with bells on!

Ok, not really with bells on, but maybe if you're lucky I'll have some bells's a Christmas show afterall!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Principal's List

Today my little man was awarded a medal and a certificate for making the principal's list at school.
Good job, Noah! We're so proud of you!

Check me out!

One of my onesies was featured in this blog today. Go take a peek!

Let's go shopping!

Today is the day that I start my Christmas shopping!

Well, technically not start, as I've already bought a few stocking stuffers here & there.

But today is the day that I start buying the big ticket items! Both boys want a Nintendo DS, so the plan is to get one today, and then get the second one after the next paycheck. I have three kids to buy for, plus nieces & nephews, so spreading out the expense is key.

I'm super excited for Christmas this year, too. We're going to be heading down to FL this year. December 23rd and 24th with the in-laws, and then Christmas Eve and Christmas day/weekend with my family. A few more days in Daytona with hubby's family and then it's back to Charleston to unpack, do laundry, and repack to go to a hockey tournament over New Year's weekend.

Okay, maybe I'm a little un-excited for that last part.

I am so tempted to bring along my Christmas cd's in the car today to get me in the spirit, but I will try to show restraint since my friend is coming along with me and I have already been teased about listening to Christmas music way too early. That's usually something I do when the kids are in school and the hubby's at work and no one is coming over to the house. I'm a closet "early Christmas music listener."

Hey- at least I'm not donning red sweaters with reindeer and Santa knitted into them!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

From Luigi, Mario, and the monkey.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


And for those of you who remember our squirrel issue from last year, the answer is YES, they're at it again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In the spirit...

The other day I got caught listening to a Christmas cd while I was crafting.

(In my defense, I was working on holiday items and needed inspiration via music. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

But I'm not the only one in my house getting into the Christmas spirit. Last night the kids picked a Christmas movie to watch at bedtime. Then today, Jonah came home from school with a Christmas book from the library.

So HA. It's not just me, folks.

Apparently my whole family is crazy.

Free Panties!

Thanks to Heather for sharing this!!

Just go to Victoria's Secret Pink Nation and sign up to get your free panties!! I did!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The resemblance is uncanny!

Last night while watching NCIS Los Angeles, I realized something. I'd seen the character Hetty before. Then I walked in the boys room to say goodnight and they were watching The Incredibles. Instantly I knew! Hetty is the human version of Edna Mode!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Skateboards and Birthday Cake

Like the cake? Wanna make one for yourself? Go here for some instructions.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

This morning Sophia & I went to the pumpkin patch with her playgroup. We had so much fun!

Now, I realize that this last one is an EXTREMELY unflattering picture of yours truly. But the story behind it is so funny that I couldn't delete the picture. We were feeding the cows, and the split second before this picture was snapped, the very hungry animal had wrapped it's horribly disgusting tongue completely around her arm. She was disgusted, and I was cracking up!