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!