Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankfulness Never Ends... But Christmas MUST Begin!

Merry Christmas! Ha.. I'm kidding! Well kind of.. Now that Thanksgiving is officially over I feel like I like everyone else can now embrace the quick approaching Christmas holiday! Before I start to chat about Christmas though I have to tell you that it our days like this that I am so thankful for wonderful friends, I had a wonderful surprise when I headed to the mail today..

I got a wonderful card from the lovely Tanya over at Prairie Girl in the Big, Scary World! Tanya is so thoughtful and I am always so grateful for her thoughtfulness and kind words! I am so thankful that from the other side of the world she still thinks of me and manages to put a smile on my face!! Thank you Tanya for always thinking of me, your card made my day!!

As well as the card from Tanya there was a package from Mel and I knew EXACTLY what it was and was super excited. If you remember THIS POST from back in October, you are aware that Mel was a contributor to a new book called Live Your Why, refer back to the previous post where she tells you all about it, I can tell you I was SUPER excited to get mine and plan to get started reading it ASAP! I will definitely give you my opinion! Having said that I may not have read the book yet but I know Mel, and if she as a person is any indication of what you will take from this book I encourage you to buy it! Buy a copy for yourself, buy a copy to give a friend or family for Christmas! If you are interested please let me know and I will put you in touch with Mel!

(For some reason it will not let me rotate this picture, it shows the right way but every time I upload it, it flips around! I am sorry but I have just screwed with it for 20 minutes! - HERE IS MEL THOUGH!!!!)

Not only was her new book in the package as if that wasn't exciting enough, she was so kind to send Jason and I a beautiful Christmas ornament! As you probably know Jason is from Maine, along with Mel and her husband Jason so my Jason was BEYOND thrilled with this beautiful and very thoughtful gift!

Thank you Mel for being so thoughtful, this beautiful ornament has already found a place on our newly decorated Christmas tree!

Today was low key for us, I slept in and wrapped some more Christmas presents and then we prepared for our Christmas decorating extravaganza! We were super excited to decorate for Christmas this year as it is our first Christmas in our new home and the options for decorations were endless! We have been looking and buying things for weeks now and as soon as Thanksgiving had passed we knew we would jump on the chance to decorate! I will let the pictures tell the story of our day!

Having not spent Christmas at home in many years Jason and I have spent years creating our own traditions when it comes to holidays. We spent our afternoon assembling the tree while listening to Christmas music and drinking hot chocolate!

We had the hardest time finding the perfect tree topper, it seems that all the light up ones are so tacky!! We came across this one at bed bath and beyond and we are super happy with it!

We decided to bring a snowy look to the south!

We are super excited to have the tree up as Jason and I both love Christmas!! When we finished decorating Jason thought he would make good use of the left over turkey from Thanksgiving and make his famous Turkey pot pie.. soo good! 

Jason is now upstairs wrapping and I've finished cleaning up! I am going to answer some emails and then we are planning on a quiet movie night. I know, I know we are so old and boring but we had a busy couple of days with quite a bit of alcohol and we just don't recover the same way we use to. Haha Jason will never admit that but I have personally have no problem with it! 

I have some good things planned for this week so I hope you will all be around! I don't know if I will make it here tomorrow, we don't have a lot planned but it is Football Sunday! I am hoping to get more online shopping done this weekend, I actually managed to complete shopping for a few people and I feel pretty great about that! 

I hope you have all had a great weekend and that carries through until Monday! 


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Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I had the best of intentions to have a post ready for yesterday and our company came on Wednesday and well, plain and simple I got drunk and way FAR TOO HUNG OVER yesterday to do really anything. Honestly that rarely if ever happens to me, I know my limits and I know when to stop to prevent a hang over. Truly I did not drink that much, but I stupidly mixed red and white wine which I have never done before and I swear it was toxic. I have never felt worse in my life and seriously did not think I was going to make it through the day. I was so extremely dehydrated my lips were chap it was disgusting, I drank water in mass quantities, tried to eat greasy food and couldn't even stomach coffee... a shining moment of mine if I do say so myself.

Anyways I pulled it together to make dinner which was the important thing, and let me tell you everything went off without a hitch! This was our first holiday in the house (ya ya I am being sentimental, it happens.. humor me) and we were so fortunate to spend it with WONDERFUL friends! We spent the day cooking and preparing and I could not have been happier with the results! Check it out for yourself...

The Big Easy cooker was impressive, check out this bird! The guys did an awesome job!

Sorry that picture is kind of blurry, the kitchen was pretty crowded. We had home made sausage stuffing, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts with onions, bacon and dried cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy, squash and rolls! Too good!

Before dinner it was really important that we all say what we are thankful for and as always this year we all have a lot to be thankful for. It was nice to all be together under the best of circumstances and really embrace all the good we have! 

Our weekend was fantastic, we are so thankful for friends who are like family, our families, our new home and each other! Life is too short not to embrace all that you have, sometimes we forget to be thankful so its really nice to have a day to remind us! 

Here are a few pictures from our holiday!

Jason and Lady Amelia after their dance party

It started to snow and Jason and Evan jumped up and ran outside, silly northerners! 

My love getting his baby fix!

Amelia - "You lookin' at me?"

Lovin' life and milk!

Millie G and her boys! 

It got flippin' COLD this weekend in the south, this was some of the ice found on the truck Thursday morning!

Amelia's first Thanksgiving!

It was a hit, she put it too her!

This kid.. I swear! 

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving with your loved ones, a wonderful dinner and no hang over! I am never drinking again! 

It is SUPER COLD out still and the house is a little chilly, Jason and I are curled up on the couch but I foresee us heading to bed early tonight! I am excited that as Thanksgiving is now officially over we will definitely be decorating for Christmas tomorrow... crazy maybe but I bet half of you have already started! 

Have a wonderful Friday night and if you don't make it back until Monday have a fabulous weekend!


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Confession of Sorts... if You Will

Yes it true, I am my father! As people get older, women especially I find they often embrace or hate to admit they are there mother! Not to say I don't have tendencies that are a direct reflection of my Mom because I absolutely do.. but if you want to find her mini me look for my not so little anymore brother! I however am my father and as I get older our similarities seem that much more noticeable if you will.

So while up so extremely early on this very miserable day I thought I would share with you all the ways I am just like my Dad!

1. Neither of us are morning people, when we get up we don't want to be spoke to or engaged... we want to make a coffee and watch the news, once we have finished our first cup and replenished then you may speak... slowly and with few questions. Mornings without coffee do not exist.. for your safety.

2. We drive the exact same way, we could probably include my brother on this one as he too shares all these same characteristics! We sing, loudly and use the steering wheel primarily as our own one man band.. we are always the DJ. We blatantly ignore speed limits and can be thrust into fits of road rage by most anyone! That's right, a 500lb guy in a Fiat to a 80 year old woman in a Buick... we do not discriminate! A left turn does not need to be a life choice and a right turn does not require you to decide what you want to order.. GET A MOVE ON BRAKES-A-LOT!!

3. We are forgetful. Well this is probably a bit of an understatement... we could very easily take part in the never ending conversation because as the conversation progresses we most likely will have forgotten what we said earlier and repeat it. I kid you not. See at my age I still feel the need to pretend its not such an issue and live for sticky notes, notes on my phone, random napkins and pieces of paper I have written random shit down on so I can frantically look for it to remember when trying to make a point or knowing damn well I should be doing something I am not. Now Dad he writes things down, but he repeats a little more than me... no big deal... most of what he says is important enough to be said twice.

4. Pizza and beer are our favorite, not necessarily in that order. Enough Said.

5. We are fierce debaters, even when we're wrong. That's right we are those people who will fight to the death and not at all let on the moment we come to that realization mid argument that we might be wrong, and generally when all participants are tired of the conversation we say "whatever" and walk away, NEVER admitting defeat. When I was in school I absolutely should have been part of some debate team, because if I got tired without a doubt Dad would have picked up where I left off!

6. We hate grocery shopping. I remember being a kid and we would take my Mom to the grocery store and we would make our way over to the Becker's mini mart beside it and get lottery tickets and hostess cupcakes, then we would sit in the car and chat while watching for Mom to come out so we could pick her up. I hate grocery shopping still and if Jason feels the need to venture out in order for us to eat that week I could not be more grateful! I always feel like I am in everyone's way and with or without a list I am going to have to go back and forth throughout the store to get all that I need. Dad now goes grocery shopping, he pushes the cart... AKA hits people who gets in his way... this is the way to do it.

7. When we get sick we are legitimately the biggest babies on the face of the earth, we are. We whine, a lot.. I will often cry, no I always cry. I cry about feeling shitty, I cry because Dad made fun of me for being sick (haha I kid you not, that has happened many times, all in good fun), I cry because that's what I do in all adverse situations. Dad doesn't cry he is fiercely miserable.. which lets be honest is a projection of crying on the inside. We hate being sick, its a good for nothing pain in the ass that slows us down from all our damn beer drinking! Having said that Dad has a theory that when suffering from a cold you take a shot of whiskey, put on your best joggers, go to bed and sweat it out... Yes Dad, a shot of whiskey.. wink wink.

8. We are NOT patient. This may be a family trait truth be told, but patience for ignorance, stupidity, arrogance, bad drivers, slow moving people, lines, etc. is none existent. When stuck in a line we are those people bitching and cussing loudly about the stupidity of 16 lanes available and 4 open.. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER WALMART!

9. Every year no matter what we say, we are last minute Christmas shoppers. I don't believe this is intentional on our part, we discuss gifts and have the best of intentions but somehow we never find what we are looking for, or can't make it out, or can't find a parking spot and get pissed off and leave. We could obviously prevent this by getting an early start on things, like really early... I'm talking July, but come on.. where is the fun in that?

10. We're hilarious. Was there any doubt?

11. We look alike. Growing up I always looked just like my Mom and now more often then not I am told of how much I look like my Dad. Its quite funny actually my brother and I have pulled a freaky Friday of sorts... it use to be the opposite, I was more like my Mom and looked like her and my brother was identical to my Dad and carried a lot of his traits.. we got older and BAM.. switched!

12. We have thick curly hair, I truly get this from both of my parents and although all of you with thin straight hair think you are jealous.. you really aren't.. trust me.

13. We love fiercely and say it. Growing up I distinctly remember kissing both my parents before I went to bed every night and telling them I love them. Still when we are home, I do. If we talk once a day (likely more) or 500 times a day, when we hang up we always say we love each other... it warms my heart more than words that Jason is actively apart of this tradition. My life has always been extremely full of love and support and there are no words for how grateful I am for that. When you love someone tell them, life has shown that tomorrow is no guarantee!

14. We LOVE us some FOOTBALL!! We don't care about having a favorite team or who gets paid what, we care about Sunday's in front of the TV yelling plays to the players and calls to the refs... and maybe some beer!

15. We can basically read each others mind. I know, I know.. telepathy is questionable at best but we often say the exact same thing.. its creepy. I will be on the phone with my Mom and we will be talking about something and Dad will come in and ask what were talking about and literally have the exact same thing to say as I did. Or my parents will have a conversation and Mom will call me for input and 90% of the time I will side with Dad, having the exact same argument. What can I say.. great minds thing alike.

Recently I get a big kick out of the fact that its almost as though Dad forgets I grew up there, he raised me! He thinks I have always lived in the States and am basically American. He often says... "you probably don't have (said item/object, etc) there but we have them here and..." HAHA YES DAD I KNOW WHAT ORANGE CONSTRUCTION SITE FENCE IS! We laughed about this last night, I bet he'll still do it though, HAHA which makes it even funnier!

I'm a lucky girl, a Daddy's girl! I have absolutely no shame in admitting I am EXACTLY like my Dad! I miss him terribly when we are away and so look forward to our time together. I know that having great parents isn't a given right and in my adult years I have learned the hard way that not everyone grew up in a family like I did and had the wonderful things I had, it makes me sad. Don't get my wrong, my family is weird and dysfunctional and has quirks like everyone's family (its mostly the extended family, truth be told.. haha) but I definitely had it good.

Anyways with that said I am off to make another coffee and embrace the quiet before chaos ensues! The Seavey's will be arriving this morning to begin our Thanksgiving festivities and I am very excited. The weather is still extremely miserable here, the coast actually saw what they believe due to the damages was tornadoes! We are fortunate enough to just be seeing cold air and rain, a chance of flurries this afternoon!

If you are traveling for the holidays drive safe, hopefully you are not one of the unlucky souls to have horrifically delayed flights, if not cancelled all together!

Happy Day before turkey day! Eat, Drink... and well.. what more do you want?

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!

We are getting closer to the much awaited Thanksgiving holiday here in the States and in the spirit I decided to bake today! My hubby asks for one thing around this time of year and that is Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies!! This being the first year that Jason isn't working over Thanksgiving and would generally take baked goods to work we figured a good time to bake cookies would be now because I don't particularly like them and he doesn't need to eat them all, so Thanksgiving company can help!

Last night I did some more prep work for all the dishes to be made here Thursday while waiting for our new bed to arrive! You got it, we FINALLY got a new bed out of those Kirby assholes! It was actually pretty funny, Mattress Firm showed up with our new bed and then Jason called the guy and told him we got our new bed so he could come pick up the damaged mattress whenever his little heart desired. For some reason they wanted the old one which we didn't care about, we didn't need another kind size mattress laying around the house. Well the guys showed up with a minivan and some bungee cords for the gas station... it was pretty hilarious! I can imagine their half hour drive home and cant help but wonder if the mattress made it.

We also had some parcels show up last night and following Jason's lead I decided to just go ahead and wrap them so there could be no peeking on his part either. I swear nothing puts you in the Christmas spirit like wrapping! I did no listen to Christmas music like Jason did while he was wrapping because I feel like I just cant do it until after Thanksgiving, I mean COME ON, one holiday at a time!! None the less I took a picture of my moment of weakness...

I didn't sleep famously last night, the new bed needs some breaking in and my shoulder is absolutely killing me. I REALLY don't want to go to the doctors right now and we are waiting on new insurance cards anyways as we aren't international anymore which means we switch insurance plans (pain in the ass) but lately its been getting worse. I wake up in the night and literally feels like the muscles in my shoulder are splitting in two, however its not my muscles. My whole arm goes numb all the time, from my shoulder down to my finger tips, truthfully I prefer that rather than the terrible pain. I really don't know what to do, but for this morning I got up took a bunch of pain pills and got to baking. 

I am not going to lie Jason is TERRIBLY upset that I am going to share this recipe on my blog, he feels like all his favorite recipes should be kept a "family secret" but I figure, share the goodness! So against his wishes that's what I plan to do! 

The Recipe is as follows:


4 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Cups White Sugar
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 (15oz) Can Pumpkin Puree
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Milk
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Package Semisweet Chocolate Chunks

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. 
In a small bowl combine wet ingredients.
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. 
Combine wet and dry ingredients and incorporate well. 
Add chocolate chunks and stir in thoroughly. 
Drop tablespoon of batter onto cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until edges are brown. (Every oven is different).
Cool on rack completely before putting in container for storage. 

When I am baking I like to get everything I need out before starting that way I am not running around looking for ingredients I need and forgetting where I left off, because if you know me at all you know that is something I would do!

As you can tell it is rainy and miserable out here today, so the house was a little dark while I was taking these pictures. While prepping I decided to embrace the new Smart TV and set up Pandora for my listening enjoyment! I could no be more thrilled with the ability to listen to Pandora on TV!

I should have turned on the light in the living room before taking that picture, sorry! You get the idea though. 
I then got to measuring, dry ingredients first!

I make sure to give the dry ingredient a good stir before adding the wedding ingredients and combining. You want to make sure everything is thoroughly distributed!

I didn't realize when I took this picture just how close it was to the edge of the counter... good thing I didn't dump it! haha!

After everything is thoroughly mixed I add the chocolate chunks. You can use chocolate chips if you prefer, whatever works best, Jason is a lover of the chocolate chunks so I always oblige!

Combine the chocolate chips and you are ready to bake! As mentioned in the recipe about a tablespoon of the mixture per cookie, if you have one of these nifty tools it really does make it so much easier, if not feel free to do it the old fashion way with a tablespoon!

I did not grease my cookie sheets before baking, they are brand new and therefore its really unnecessary. If yours are older and well seasoned you might want to throw down a piece of parchment paper or give it a little spray first. 

I had my over preheated for 350 and popped in the first batch. If you have two cookie sheets its great to be able to have one ready so you can pop them in without having to wait for it to cool, etc. It makes the process a lot quicker to be able to pop one is as you are taking one out!

As you can see 15 minutes in they get a little brown around the edges. These cookies don't hold the same texture as most cookies, I think its because of the pumpkin! They are quite fluffy, almost a dense cake like texture. 

Although I don't like them, I always try one to make sure they are edible!

I told Jason to sit down so I could take his picture for my blog, he wasn't really a willing participant but man was he excited for the cookies! These are his absolute favorite!

So that's all there is too it! Make sure they are completely cool before putting them in the container and closing the lid! 

I hope you all enjoy the cookies, if you like pumpkin anything I am sure you will! This afternoon I plan to embrace the quiet with some tea and read some of the book I am currently reading. You can check it out on Good Reads HERE.

I'm off to clean up my mess from baking and make my way to the couch! It is extremely cold in Raleigh today and raining cats and dogs! My wonderful husband cleaned this entire house this morning so once my mess is gone I have nothing more to do! I hope all your Thanksgiving preparation is going off without a hitch, I am so looking forward to our company arriving tomorrow and the festivities beginning! 

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