Friday, November 30, 2012

December 2012 To Do List

1.  Celebrate Brendan’s 6th birthday and my, um, oh, 29th!
2.  Put up the tree and decorate it.
3.  Document each day (i.e., December Daily and Journal Your Christmas) I will be combining the two and using Scrapscription’s December Daily 2012 Kit.
4.  Bake cookies.
5.  Make Cinnamon Applesauce ornaments.
6.  Sing Christmas Songs.
7.  Wrap presents.
8.  Spend an evening driving around to look at Christmas lights.
9.  Write letters to Santa.
10.   Watch holiday movies.
11.   Read holiday books.
12.   Hang Candy Canes.
13.   Host an Ornament Exchange party.
14.   Send Christmas Cards.
15.   Hang Stockings.
16.   Celebrate the Winter Solstice.
17.   Make potpourri for gifts (kudos to Dandee for this (and more) fabulous idea(s)) 
18.   Bake red wine cake. Last year I used homemade wine given to me by a friend and gave this cake as gifts. It is DELICIOUS!!!! I will be making it again this year in a cute 6-bundt pan I found at Michael's.  That's right - 6 cakes baked at once = six done gifts!  You find this yummy recipe here.
19.   Make a list of New Years Resolutions 
20.   Keep Calm and Be Merry!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Counting Down Christmas

I was thinking how to count down to Christmas this year.  One year, when Kayla lived here, we used a Reindeer Chalkboard for our countdown.  We’ve used the oversized Advent calendars with the pieces of candy behind each window.  We’ve read a book each evening.  This year, I thought maybe a present a day, or singing a song a day or sending a letter a day.  Now that the kiddies are all settled in their own homes, I’m thinking of watching a Christmas themed movie a day.  Well, evening, since I work during the day.  I’m thinking of some of my very favorites (though not all may be considered by some as Christmas themed, but for me, they evoke a feeling of Christmas and that’s my favorite time to watch them).
1.                  Jack Frost (1998)
2.                It’s A Wonderful Life (I LOVE this film!!!! and will watch it more than once)
3.                Christmas with the Kranks
4.                The Family Stone
5.                 Christmas in Connecticut
6.                Frosty the Snowman
7.                 The Santa Clause
8.                The Family Man
9.                Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
10.            Little Women (1994)
11.              Christmas in Connecticut
12.            Holiday Inn
13.            White Christmas
14.            The Polar Express
15.             Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
16.            Love Actually
17.             Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
18.            This Christmas
19.            The Bishop’s Wife
20.          Surviving Christmas
21.            National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
22.           Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas
23.           A Christmas Story
24.           A Charlie Brown Christmas
25.           Disney’s A Christmas Carol
          How will you count down to Christmas?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Here's What's Cooking

Saturday, armed with coupons (Mom’s), food perk discounts (Mom’s), BOGO frees, and shopping lists (um, neither, I left those at home), Mom and I purchased two complete Thanksgiving dinners. Except I forgot the French Fried Onions for the Green Bean Casserole. This dish is a favorite of my children. It must be on the table.  It cannot be substituted by green beans and almonds, which I tried one year, because I like them, but the children did not.  I do that once in a while. Change something up. It does not always work. R-A-R-E-L-Y does it work.  Anyway, it is Wednesday, the day before the BIG day and I still have no French Fried Onions. Sooooooo, I am going to make my own. Yeah, I know, they won’t be super dried out nor super crunchy, BUT they will be fresh, and hopefully a bit more nutritional.  Will they be a hit?  Time will tell.

French Fried Onions

3 small onions. Peel and slice onions into rings (thinness or thickness as you desire).
Into mixing bowl, beat 1 egg.
Stir in ¼ cup milk.
Add ½ tsp. baking powder, ¼ tsp. salt and ½ cup flour. Mix.

In large skillet or deep fryer, heat ¼ cup cooking oil, get it hot.

Dip onion rings into batter and fry, in batches, until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.

Season with salt and pepper. Store in airtight container.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I have a four (4) day weekend coming up, thanks to Thanksgiving!!! My mom, daughter and daughter-in-law will come over, my granddaughter will sleep over and we will begin the holiday baking, craft making, invitation writing and general prep and finalization of our upcoming ornament exchange and Christmas Eve luncheon.  During quiet time (what’s that?!), we may settle down to a Thanksgiving themed film.  A few favorites are Home for the Holidays and Planes, Trains and Automobiles (perfect reminder of how not to make snap judgments of your fellow man), and let’s not forget an all-time favorite and beloved classic, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

I am so looking forward to this mini vacation.  While I may have tons to do, i.e., baking pies, peeling potatoes, stuffing a turkey, cleaning and entertaining, I will be reminding myself of all I do have, and I will be thankful.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This Week...

... I will continue shopping!
... I will purchase the Thanksgiving turkey and the rest of the dinner items needed.
... I will update my Christmas Card list.
... I will begin baking and freezing baked goods.
... I will schedule a VA pick-up and begin gathering donations.
... I will continue working on scarf and hat.
... I will take K to light-up night, dinner at Six Penn and later in the weekend, join other family members for a movie at the theater.
... I will give the house a good cleaning.

Monday, November 5, 2012

This Week . . .

. . . I will finalize my gift shopping list and begin ordering from catalogs.
. . . I will mail out my Thanksgiving invites and cards.
. . . I will finalize my plans for Thanksgiving entertaining.
. . . When grocery shopping, I will begin picking up extra items for holiday dinners and gifts, such as bottles of wine.
. . . I will decorate the house for Thanksgiving.
. . . I will mark all special dates and events in my planner, such as Brendan's birthday, Joey's, Michael's, mine, our Ornament Exchange party, etc. For Pittsburgh area holiday events, check out, i.e., 52nd Light Up Night, parades, etc.
. . . I will begin crocheting a hat and scarf for my son.
. . . I will burn fall scented candles.
. . . I will see a movie with my children.
. . . The children and I will collect bowls of acorns for decorations.
. . . I will reflect, keep calm, enjoy.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Crafting Christmas

I absolutely loved this idea of The Frugal Homemaker's.  She is a participant of The Nester's 31 Dayers 2012.  Now, I admire all of these women and their ability to do something each day for 31 days.  I am happy to do one thing for one day in 31 days.  But the inspiration! There is so much.  So while I KNOW I am not going to make 30 (talking November here) inspirational somethings that I've pinned, I am going to try. Especially any of the peppermint pinnings.  I have a deadline of December 9 - the date of our Ornament Exchange Party.  I am definitely doing this for Thanksgiving (remember, it comes before Christmas):  

Though my bottles are clear, I still love this idea and will be using it on my buffet for Thanksgiving.  You can find the directions at Plaid.
I am slowly making my way through the other contributors' 31 Days. So much talent, so much inspiration, so many wonderful people!!!  So much procrastinating . . . ah, that's me.  Beginning projects this evening.

Hey! Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 2012 To Do List

This month, the kiddies and I will be making pinecone bird feeders
and covered memo tablets for gifts.
My craft list will include a cross-stitched apron, crocheting that sweater AND crocheted dishcloths.
A weekend crop – out of town!
We will begin baking freezer cookies and quick breads.
We will celebrate Ben’s 8th birthday, Michael’s 27th/28th? and Joey’s 36th
We will decorate the house for fall.
I will be gathering all my supplies in anticipation of Ali Edwards’ December Daily and Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas – this year, I will combine the two.
I WILL clean that basement and donate to the VA.
I will begin making the favors for our Annual Ornament Exchange Party
and firm up my menus for all Holiday gatherings.
I will be reading “Little Women” like I do every year.
I will host Thanksgiving Dinner
(served at noon to free up the families to go visiting)
We will attend the 52nd Light-Up Night in downtown Pittsburgh
and we will have FUN!