Christmas is over.
We're nestled into our abode- a strict dress code of "loungewear" (aka Pj's)and socks.
New toys being played with. Leftover holiday food & sweets being casually consumed.
In the process of removing all of the Christmas decor- lovingy being tucked away for another year. And, of course, as with every year...
Thoughts of organization, fitness & creative aspirations are mulled over. I won't make a Resolution List. I'm much more successful when I keep these goals to myself.
Our weather has been blustery the last few days. Cold and windy with heavy rainfall. All the snow and ice is but a memory now! I admit, I've had my fill of white Winter days. Rain and wind is just dandy!
Much planning in progress... I have Sunday school lessons to plan, final preparations for the Creation Conference we're holding at church in a few weeks, VBS for Summer. Reviewing lesson plans for next week so I'm ready to roll with school again. Re-organizing and evaluating my inventory in order to reopen my ETSY and EBay stores. Preparing for taxes (ick). Putting the final touches on decorating a little nook at church (long overdue- it's quite ridiculous). Making lists of necessities required in closets and cupboards & such. Doctor appointments. The list goes on and on.
I could be overwhelmed and stressed- but I prefer to tackle it a bit at a time.I've always been a sucker for TO DO lists. It's SO satisfying to cross things off once accomplished! I know I've talked about this more than once- so I'll let it go at that.
Here are a few bits & bobs of fun & lovliness. Can't have a post without pics...it just isn't right!
I'd *love* a mixture of tortoise & white pearl handled silverware.
from a few seasons ago, Diesel. Love the retro glamour. Red lips and feathers top it off!
also from a few seasons ago, Ses Petit Mains. PURE lovliness for the littles.
I *heart* this Macy's ad!! The colors. The collage of product. SO fun to look at!
lastly...these stockings. Aren't they beautiful?!?
Can't remember where I found this image...I want to say a book. Handknit Christmas or something??? sorry...
Our tracks from play earlier are already filled and covered.
We are plied with cocoa,coffee, snacks galore and movies.
The boys are watching "boy" movies (Scorpion King,etc), Josie's playing and I'm nestled in our room wrapping gifts, folding clothes, playing around on Facebook & such AND watching this movie. How did I not hear about this before?? LOVED it. Partly because I was shocked to discover that I could understand much of it without reading the subtitles (it's German)-and because it's a sweet story of a child prodigy.
It can cause crazy things to happen.
I've always wondered what I'd look like with dark hair.
NOW I know!
Don't know if I'll keep it, but it's fun for now.
It's been a mess around here lately. Frozen rain and snow the last few days...
I love recalling family memories. Looking at years past and how my family has grown. Thinking of my children and the precious holidays we've already shared together. Wondering what THEIR memories of it all will be. My recollections of my childhood seem to start around when I was 5 or 6..so it's fascinating to think we're forming memories to be looked back on for my kidlets. It makes me want to create a warm, fun environment at home and within our family unit in general, that they will cherish for years to come. I don't want to try so hard creating that atmosphere that it seems forced or stressful OR makes me too busy to enjoy the moments together. But I do want to share some traditions of my childhood and make new ones... it's all those little gestures and efforts that get stored away in our minds, gently made fuzzy with time but hopefully never forgotten.
Yesterday the kids and I had a quiet day together. I was enjoying it, but it increased when each kidlet came to me seperately at some point during the day and told me of their excitement over Christmas. About how much fun they had this week doing this and that. And that they loved days like this. YESSSSSSS!
Yesterday I let them sleep in a bit. It gave me some quiet time to be on my own and just *BE*. I'd had a rough night with little sleep the night before, however I couldn't stay in bed. So I got up, showered & dressed. I sat on the couch for a little while, sipping on coffee and listening to Christmas music. Then I thought of how yummy it would be to have the kids wake up to the smell of something baking. Something straight from the oven into their little tummies. I made some Pumpkin bread loaves and muffins. And perfectly on cue, they came stumbling out of their room, rubbing sleep from their eyes and hair adorably disheveled, into the kitchen & peering into the oven window to find out what the yummy smell was! Cocoa, pumpkin bread, Christmas music...it was delish.
And here's the recipe! Best served fresh from the oven with a light skimming of butter! ;)
yields (3) 7x3 Loaf Pans
1 (15oz)can Pumpkin Puree
1 c. vegetable oil
2/3 c. water
3 c. sugar
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
**Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Grease/flour 3 loaf pans. In large bowl mix pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and sugar, until well blended. In seperate large bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt and seasonings. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into prepped pans. Bake about 50 minutes. Loaves are done when toothpick in center comes out clean.
~Makes great muffins and freezes fantastically!~
Icebox Butter Cookies
recipe & photo courtesy of Martha Stewart
3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 cup (2 sticks)cold, Unsalted Butter, cut in pieces
1/2 tsp Salt
4 large Egg yolks
1 tsp. Vanilla
Egg Wash (one egg white with 2 tsp.water,beaten)
Decorating Sugar, Sprinkles
Combine flour,sugar,butter & salt in food processor until they resemble coarse crumbs. In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla together. With processor running, gradually add yolk mixture to crumbs just until a dough forms.
Divide dough in half, making two, 2" square logs, about 5 1/2" long.Wrap logs in waxed paper and refrigerate about 2 hours (until firm). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice logs crosswise in thin segments (MS says 3/16" thin... I say, just eyeball the thinness). If you're decorating the cookies, cover with coating of egg wash then add your sugars and or sprinkles. Bake about 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges are firm (NOT brown). Remove and let sit on cookie sheet one to two minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.
Store what's left after your family smells them baking & comes in to devour most all, in an airtight container. They'll be good for two weeks, but rest assured- they'll NEVER sit around that long.
Makes about 72 cookies.
Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration
Combine all ingredients, mix well.
Refrigerate dough until chilled.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven.
Once baked, roll while still hot in confectioners' sugar until coated. Let cool. Lightly dust with more confectioners' sugar.
What's a cookie you're asked to make every year??
There are SO many books to list... I know if I tried to recall a list by memory I'd forget more than a few, so I'll just list what we have in our current stacks! These images were pulled from AMAZON and no, I didn't mess with links for any of them. I couldn't find images for a couple treasures we have...like SNOWBOUND WITH BETSY by Carolyn Haywood (an all time favorite from my childhood!) and Becky's Christmas by Tasha Tudor. And, I've mentioned before that Matthew is a talented reader but lacks the initiative or excitement over reading...that's slowly changing! Which makes the heart of this book-lovin' Mama SO overjoyed!!!
ESSENTIAL Christmas Movies for the Holiday Season!
Went to KMart today and got a few things. Many items were out of stock but I managed to take advantage of some excellent bargains.
Here's what I came away with...
* (1) box of Kellogg's Cereal Straws, Normally $3.79, On Sale 4/$10, Used $1 coupon which KMart doubled, resulting in Final Price of 50 cents!
* (3) boxes of Kellogg's Cereal, Normally $3.79-3.99 each, On Sale 4/$10, Used $1 coupon on each box, which KMart doubled, resulting in Final Price of 50 cents per box!
* (2) Glade Air Freshener Sprays, Normally 96 cents each, Used $1 off 2 coupon, which KMart doubled resulting in Final Price of 19 cents each!
* (1) roll Scotch Packing Tape, Normally $2.99, Used $1 off coupon, which KMart doubled resulting in Final Price of 99 cents!
* (1) Revlon Cream Eyeshadow set, Normally $5.79, Used $2 coupon, which KMart doubled resulting in Final Price of $1.79!
* (3) packs of Tic Tac Paradise Mints, Normally $1.49 each, Used $1 coupon, which KMart doubled up to full price, resulting in Final Price of FREE for all 3!
Full Price Total: $25.17
Grand Total Paid: $5.70
I was pretty happy to get ALL of those items for UNDER the price of the eyeshadow alone...
Bargains give me such a thrill!