Recipe Swap

One swap done… two more to go. I think there are 40 participants in this swap. It’s a rose theme so I found a really cool recipe for crystallized rose petals. I think my page turned out well. Now I need to get working on the charm and fat book swaps I signed up for.

It’s funny… I have hoarded a ton of art stuff but I’m hesitant to use it. Anyone else have this problem? What do I have it for if I’m not going to make something with it? Well, I guess that’s part of the hoarding problem I have. I need to work on that I think.

Here’s my finished recipe page (it’ll be bound on the top):

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TV Favs

What are your favorite TV shows? In no particular order, here is what I love to watch…

Brothers and Sisters – Actually, this is my very favorite show. The cast is outstanding and the story lines are very well written. My favorite is Rob Lowe – my god the man is still hot! If you haven’t watched this show, I highly recommend it.

House – Who would guess that such a sour character could be so likable? Besides interesting characters, there is a fair amount of humor and interesting episodes. Not your usual hospital show.

Hells Kitchen – This is a very different reality show. I think being a chef mandates a bit of arrogance because each of the contestants has such an ego, they just cannot believe anyone else could beat them.

Deal or No Deal – I want to try my hand at this reality show. It has a gambling feel that makes me want to jump up and down, hug Howie , and act like a fool for a chance at a million dollars!

ER – Dang this show for always hooking me in. John Stamos is still as yummy as ever. The show has always been good and each episode is entertaining. I love Abby, Pratt, and Tony the best.

The Biggest Loser – Another show I want to go on. I guess I should just bite the bullet and make the video tape application. I heard they were having a casting call in some cities but I must’ve missed it.

The Office – At first I didn’t like this show but how can you resist Steve Carell? Obviously, for anyone who’s worked in an office, this show hits close to home.

Dr. Phil – I really like this show. Dr. Phil tells it like it is. He is fair and I really wish I would have taken Amber on his show when she was 15.

The Bachelor – Yes, I’m an admitted reality TV junkie. I cannot believe how catty some of the women on this show can be. But it always amazes me that these women even want to go on this show. I guess 15 minutes of fame is enticing for those perfect model-types.

Law and Order SVU – Again, the cast and story lines of this show are so great that the show is believable. I especially like when they take current headlines and incorporate them into the show.

My Name is Earl – This show provides much needed humor. It is so dumb at times that it’s just plain funny. Of course, I have a couple family members (no names, please) who resemble the characters on the show.

Two and a Half Men – This is another well written show. Charlie Sheen and John Crier work together so well. Who out there dated a Charlie? An Allan? The supporting actors are great too. This show never disappoints.

HGTV – I love too many shows on HGTV to list them individually. I really love Devine Design, Designers’ Challenge, Landscapers’ Challenge, and of course, Design Star.

American Idol – Cannot wait to watch the new season. I love the auditions best… doesn’t everyone?!

Looks like I watch waaaaay too much TV!

Merry Christmas

Well, last night was the big Christmas Eve event… I think I forgot to mention that my nephew (the same one who has been causing issues about my daughter) insisted that we hold it at my parents’ so we didn’t have it here. Well, everyone was a little upset that he was still creating family stress up until about 6:00 PM last night. Not sure what changed his mind but they ended up making an appearance. My daughter was on her best behavior; she acted appropriately, was dressed conservatively, and acted maturely. There was minimal drama (thank God) and the kids had a great time unwrapping their gifts. We had lots of special goodies. I opened a jar of Harry & David pepper jelly and dumped it over cream cheese for spreading on crackers. Steve made a great cream of chicken soup. My sister brought her famous cookies.

I think everyone ate way too much. All in all, it was a nice evening. Today we are going back to my mom & dad’s for an extended family dinner of prime rib, baked potatoes, and all the accompanying dishes that go along with such a special meal. This is the day all my cousins and aunts and uncles on my dad’s side of the family get together. A couple of my mom’s family members usually make an appearance as well but that side of the family is so huge (there were 21 kids!) that we don’t share holidays together.

Gotta run… it’s time to get ready to leave for the big family dinner.  I just looked outside and it’s snowing!  A very rare occurrence for us here in the Portland area.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas full of warmth and love.

Christmas Tree

Here is a picture of my Christmas tree. It looks much better in real life.

Note: After it got dark, I realized there is a whole string of lights not working… which explains why the picture looks like there’s a large bald area across the middle. Dang… I’m not sure how to fix that.

Christmas Survey

Before Christmas
1. Does your family send out Christmas cards?: not this year
2. How soon do you start shopping?: November
3. Who do you shop for?: Steve, Amber, the dogs, and my family

Decorations
4. Do you put up a Christmas tree?: yes
5. If so, is it fake or real?: fake
6. Do you like tinsel?: no, I don’t think it’s dog-safe
7. Do you use homeade or storebought ornaments?: both
8. Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?: no
9. Do you put lights on the tree?: yes
10. How about popcorn and cranberries?: no… it’s hard enough to keep the nosey dogs away from the tree… if there was actually FOOD on it, it’d be impossible!
11. Is there a wreath hanging on your doo?: no

Christmas Eve
12. Do you celebrate it?: yes, it’s the best part
13. Do you hang up your stocking?: yes
14. Does your family read “Twas the night before Christmas?”: no

Favorite
15. Christmas Movie: Elf
16. Character from any Christmas Movie: Buddy
17. Christmas Song: Carol of the Bells
18. Christmas Memory: midnight mass when I was growing up

This or That
19. Give or Receive?: give
20. Eggnog or Cider?: cider
21. Red or Green?: red
22. Ham or Turkey?: prime rib
23. Star or Angel?: star
24. White Lights or Colored Lights?: white
25. Blinking Lights or Still Lights:
26. Were you Naughty or Nice this year?: nice, of course 😉

Presents
27. What do you want for Christmas this year?: a new vacuum cleaner, sad but true
28. When do you open your gifts?: Christmas Eve – love sleeping in on Christmas morning
29. What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?: Steve got me LuLu perfume last year – made me feel 20 again
30. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever gotten?: ummm… a denim poncho with red peppers painted on it
31. Who gives you the most gifts?: Steve spoils me all year long
32. Have you ever had a secret Santa?: no
33. Do you like wrapping gifts?: yes

Random
34. Do you put change in those red buckets?: no, I donate to other causes
35. Do you burn a yule log?: no, we have a gas fireplace
36. Can you name all the reindeer?: yes: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, and of course, Rudolph
37. Do you bake cookies?: no, I can’t compete with my sister’s masterpieces
38. Have you ever seen your mommy kissing Santa Claus?: no
39. Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe?: no
40. Do you go caroling?: no
41. Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights?: yes
42. Have you ever left Santa cookies?: yes
43. Have you ever sat on Santa’s lap?: yes
44. Who do you celebrate Christmas with?: my family
45. Where do you celebrate Christmas?: this year at my parents’ home, last year we were in Tucson
46. Have you ever had a white Christmas?: yes, but thankfully, it’s rare these days
47. What part of Christmas do you look most foward to?: the kids’ excitement
48. Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa?: the only picture I have of me with Santa is at age 19
49. Does your family always take a picture at Christmas?: no, but we should
50. Have you ever heard the song “Thank God For Kids” by The Oakridge Boys?: um, no… not a big country music fan

Where’s the Christmas spirit?

I’m deeply disturbed by a family issue that broke wide open tonight. My nephew and his wife decided that they do not wish to expose their children to my daughter, Amber’s influence and if she’s going to show up at Christmas, he and his family will not be attending. I am flabbergasted. I cannot believe this is happening. My parents are upset, I’m upset, my daughter is really upset.

Christmas List

I think I’m about done with my Christmas shopping.  We drew names but I wanted to get everyone something so I bought for the whole family.  That includes my parents, my sister and her family of five, my brother and his family of four, my newphew and his family of four, my niece, my daughter, and Steve.  Oh, and Steve’s mom & step-dad (who always give the oddest gifts!).  My daughter is definitely the easiest to buy for and it’s easy to get carried away.  Steve is also pretty easy but his tastes are a little high-end so he’s only getting a couple things this year.  My dad is the hardest to buy for.  He used to be easy before he became diabetic.  The treats we used to get for him are off-limits. 

I have a couple last-minute things to do and I’ll be ready to relax.  I usually make the cards I send out but have been a little slow getting that started.  I bought a box of cards at Barnes & Noble this afternoon so I may resort to sending those out if I run out of time.  Also, would like to get the dogs some treats and toys.  Chloe especially loves peppermint and cinnamon flavored treats.  The other dogs will eat just about anything if you call it a cookie.

I don’t do much baking.  I can’t compete with my sister anyway.  Her cookie trays are works of art.  I’ll have to take a picture if I can snap one before the beauty is disturbed by all the hungry grubbers.

Tonight I’m heading over to my brother & sister-in-law’s to babysit.  Hope I can keep up with the kids.  My niece is five,  my nephew just turned one, and I’m trying to recover from an awful bout of the flu.

How is everyone else doing about getting your holiday shopping done? 

Who’s the hardest person on your list? 

Who’s the easiest?

Store-bought or home-made?

Any secrets for creating more hours in the day?!