Thursday, September 15, 2011

100 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a big announcement in my household!!!

Can you tell I'm excited?!?! Yes, today, September 15th always marks 100 days until Christmas. AKA-the most wonderful time of the year!!!! I started this countdown years ago and somehow it just stuck. People know I do this and will now ask me how many days until Christmas so now I just feel a sense of responsibility!( And hey, it's just fun and exciting!!) My sister even made me a Christmas countdown for the entire year, not just 100 days!!

 I love Christmas. And I mean CHRISTmas never Xmas! Because Christ IS the foremost reason it's the most wonderful time of the year; that's when our Saviour, who died to save us from our sins, was born!! That is why we give gifts! Because Christ gave Himself for us, so we could be in heaven with Him, when we die. The best gift of all time!!

And after that, well who doesn't love ribbon, Christmas music!, wrapping paper, candy, cookies, shopping, yummy food, giving gifts, family time, snow(hopefully!), Christmas trees, the movie ELF, parties, decorations, sparkling lights and glittery stars, the nativity scene, the smell of balsam fir trees, candles, .....need I continue!? I'll spare you...for now!

So start your shopping folks!!! As always, I have a million ideas, recipes and crafts I want to do but we'll see what I can accomplish this year! Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birthday / Fall Wreath

My sister's birthday just passed a couple weeks ago and she wanted a "Lori Special"--not to be confused with the "Leslie Special" car from the movie the Great Race!!--wreath. 

I love crafting! Although sometimes it can be frustrating. When I started this wreath, of course, the night before her birthday, I basically stared at the wreath for almost an hour trying to get inspiration!!! I tried one thing, hated it and undid it all and stared again! Finally, I figured out what I wanted to do and then-wooosh!!- it all came together after that! Thankfully because I was starting to burn the midnight oil!

I used wooden beads in various sizes and I found these wonderful rolls of tulle about 5" wide at the fabric store. I cut strips and sewed three colors together to create the rosette. I didn't want the traditional bow, so I went with a rosette. Which I rather like and plan to do again on my own wreath! And  I also bought a spray of the orange "berries" and cut each sprig off and placed around randomly.
I also made her birthday cake! I love decorating cakes but don't get to very often anymore. I used my family as guinea pigs to try a new yellow cake recipe and make an Italian fruit cake with fresh strawberries, peaches and fresh whipped cream. The test cake wasn't bad, but it was still more of a "lighter" pound cake, was the verdict. I'm still searching for a from scratch yellow cake recipe that's not too heavy!! If anyone knows of one please let me know! Here's the wreath and cake!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Anniversary Get Away: Block Island, RI

For our second anniversary we decided to relax and make the ferry ride over to Block Island. The sand and water is so clean and clear there, it is really a great place to visit! We got a 3 day package so lodging wasn't too expensive, but once you add in meals and other activities it can get very pricey!! A day trip is also just as fun! You can even pack a cooler for lunch and not even spent a whole lot.

That is what I did. I packed some yogurts, apples, cheese and protein bars for snacking and/or breakfasts. It really worked out nicely.  We rented bikes and rode to the lighthouse and bluffs, hung out at the beach exploring tide pools, walked along the shops and had some very yummy fish and chips!! It was a very nice trip all in all with my dear hubby and best friend!!

                                                         Sunset at North Lighthouse

                                                                     Beach combing...


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lesson in Leftovers

The dreaded word... "What's for dinner mom??"  Her reply, "Leftovers!" Dun, dun,duuuun....
Growing up, my mother never, ever wasted food. Even if it had green fuzz on it. Surely there was something we could still do with it! No, I'm just kidding!!!! (We never ate anything with green fuzz!!!!)

But rest assured, if you didn't scrape that bowl of batter until it was sparkling clean again or get every micro crumb of cookie dough onto that last scoop of cookie you'd hear about it! And rightly so. She was trying to teach and train us not to be wasteful. And for that I am extremely grateful.

See my mom went to a very special school, it was called "Mommy School." That is where she learned alllll these incredible, highly secretive techniques and information about...everything in life! Hahaha!! Well, that is just a joke me and my mom have. Because when I was little, every time she'd do something incredible or clever after I had tried hopelessly to do it, I asked her... "Where'd you learn how to do that??... Mommy School or  something??" And her reply would always be, yes! What can I say folks, God gave me the most awesomest (Yes, that's a word for right now!) mom in the world!!

But back to leftovers. In my VBS lesson with my (late) friend Porgie and the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand, a verse stood out to me.. about leftovers! I've read and heard this verse many a time I'm sure of it, but I guess now was when the Lord really wanted me to see it!  That verse is John 6:12 "...Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost."  I don't really need to elaborate but Jesus is telling us not to be wasteful and eat your leftovers!! I am going to use this with my kids if they ever whine about not wanting leftovers!

I know a lot of people are not keen about leftovers. I personally don't mind leftovers. Except for maybe leftover pasta with sauce. It just never tastes right. Pasta should fresh and hot right out of the pot to plate within seconds!  But anyways...

You just have to be creative!! I've made many an interesting dinner from leftovers. Maybe not all great, but hey, it took Thomas Edison a 1,000 ways of trying before he invented the light bulb!
You can use up leftovers in several new and fun ways.

Here's a few ideas I've tried that you can create with any variety of leftover meats and vegetables or whatever other fragments you have in your fridge!
  • Fried Rice
  • Quesadillas
  • Burritos
  • Pizzas
  • "Antipasto" Salads
  • Quiches or Fritatas
  • Soups
  • Calzones
  • Pot Pies
  • Baked Pasta Dishes
Leftovers are your "oyster"! Happy Leftover-ing to you and yours!!
Let me know how you use your leftovers in a new or fun way!