Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What Are YOU Eating on New Year's Eve?

Back in 2012 when I was looking for new dishes to serve for New Year's Eve, I
came across an excellent article on what to eat and what not to eat on the Eve.  I served only what was on the "to eat" list and ate plenty of it.  I must say (and this may be coincidental), I’ve had better years (financially), NO, I did not get rich nor was I ever hit with a huge windfall, but I didn’t feel overly strapped for cash each week.  I may change up a few dishes this year, but I will be including plenty of green food!  Here is the original post:

What are you eating this New Year that may bring you good luck throughout [2015]?  When I sat down to plan my New Year’s menu and typed in “foods for New Year’s”, I was led to this, an excellent little article on traditions and what are believed to be lucky foods.  There are six major categories: grapes, greens, fish, pork, legumes, and cakes.  I also found it interesting that the amount of greens that are eaten may predict one’s fortune.  That could explain why I am so poor.  Our tradition was to eat a spoonful of sauerkraut at midnight.  This year I am eating tons of sauerkraut.  I’ll also be serving pork (it signifies wealth and prosperity) and I’m thinking of trying my hand at baking a dessert from Holland: the ollie bollen, a puffy, donut-like pastries filled with apples, raisins, and currants.

There is also a list of What Not to Eat.  “Lobster is a bad idea because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks. Chicken is also discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.”


I'm thinking of following with the German custom (or superstition) of leaving a little bit of each food on your plate past midnight to guarantee a stocked pantry in the New Year.  Nothing wrong with cleaning up in the morning.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas, it’s here (almost)!  The day we’ve been waiting for, the day we’ve been counting down to.  When I first began counting down the weeks, I was determined that this year, I was going to enjoy every minute of the Season.  And I have! With the planning and following, and checking in each week, this year has been the most stress-free year I’ve had in a long time.  It has been wonderful!  I hope your planning and counting down has been as joyous and that you and yours are enjoying a warm and wonderful day anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus. 


Cheers to a very Merry Christmas!

Peace and Giving!
Trish

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Final Countdown for Christmas, Week 8

1.  Review your menus and supplies once more. Any last minutes shopping needed?
2.  Keep a list of each gift as it is opened for writing those thank you notes later.
3.  Be sure to leave a snack for Santa and his reindeer.
4.  Stuff the stockings.
5.  Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Countdown to Christmas, Week 7

This is it. The final week (with a few days just before) to get it all together.  Will you be ready???  Will I be?!
1.  Make your lists and check them twice! Are all catalog and on-line orders received? 
2.  Buy (or create) thank-you notes.  As gifts are received, or parties attended, you can begin writing out and addressing the cards to be sent on the 26th.
3.  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus finalized? Non-perishables purchased? 
4.  Cookies baked? Food gifts assembled? Presents wrapped?
5.  Purchase any supplies needed, such as batteries (in abundance!).
6.  Charge the camera(s).
7.  Tree up and decorated? Cards sent?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy Birthday . . . to Me!

What a wonderfully busy week.  Our Annual Ornament Exchange party was Sunday.  The menu included two firsts, Shepard's Pie (I used Rachel Ray's recipe, only I doubled everything).
The other new to me dish was Grape Salad.  Oh man, this was GOOD!
Add some crusty bread, good butter, and shortbread cookies (made by Janet, thanks Janet!!) and what a treat!

As you may have guessed, the menu theme was loosely based on traditional English menus.  I ordered Traditional Christmas Crackers from Barnes and Noble for the goodie bags we sent home with each guest.

I think, at least I hope, that fun was had by all.  I know I really enjoy seeing everyone, for a few, this is the only time we get to see each other.

Other happenings this past week:
Chloe Lynn arrived on December 7th.  She's a beauty!! Congrats Mike and Jolene!
My Aunt Peggy (my Dad's sister) passed away, God rest her soul.  She was a sweetheart and we always looked forward to her too few visits (she lived in New York and more recently, Florida).

Elliot, in trying out his pitcher's arm, threw a Thomas Train that hit Kayla in the forehead.  It did leave a bump and a bruise above her eye (though hard to see here).  I know it hurt and she cried, but she is my biggest Drama Queen.
Ahhh, it's a good life!

Peace and giving,
Trish

Monday, December 8, 2014

Countdown to Christmas, Week 6 Holiday To-Do List

Short list this week.  
1. Christmas menu finalized.  Begin purchasing everything needed except fresh produce.
2. Trim the tree.  Hang lights around window. Decorate.
3. Check list of gifts ordered.  Everything received?
4. Continue gift wrapping.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN CHECK-IN, WEEK 5

Week 4 of Christmas Countdown was:
1) Christmas parties are coming up. What will you wear? Do clothes need dry-cleaned, pressed, repaired. Or will you be buying something new? What accessories will you wear? Shoes –heels or flats?  Think about it.  This is the perfect time to buy YOU a new gift;
2)  Schedule time for a hair appointment and/or manicure.  Salons get very busy at this time of year, so get your appointment booked.
3) Finish addressing Christmas cards. Mail the cards.
4) It’s time to finish up with on-line and catalog shopping so that the ordered items arrive in plenty of time to be wrapped and put under the tree.
5) Plan the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus. Order fresh turkeys, hams or goose now.
6. Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water. RELAX and ENJOY!

1 Office Christmas party on the 12th (READ: NEW DRESS!)
2. I had a touch up on December 1, will probably need another right before Christmas.  Kayla loves doing nails, so I am in good hands.
3. Christmas Cards mailed.
4. The major gifts have been bought.  Now it’s time for the cute little stocking stuffers, gift cards and attorney gifts.
5. Since I will be working Christmas Eve, I plan to make tilapia, a favorite of both myself and Kayla’s, with a green salad, crusty bread and butter.  Christmas ham and all the trimmings for the BIG DAY.
6. Drank water, drank water, drank water!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Album 2014

The decorating is underway!  The house is taking on a festive feel.  Elliot has no idea what's going on but the excitement is contagious!  He is happy and silly and full of joy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Our 2014 Christmas Manifesto

As I mentioned before, I will be combining Ali Edwards' December Daily with Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas and I am using Becky Higgins' Project Life App.  During this month, I plan to print, embellish and add it all to an album.  Surely this year I will have a completed project...(fingers crossed).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December Daily 2014

It's December! Bring on the Holidays!
This year, Elliot will be 20 mos. at Christmastime.  He is at such a playful, inquisitive time in his little life.  We will be incorporating new traditions with old traditions.  Having Elliot and Kayla here makes the Holiday Season joyful.

Here is Day 1 journaling:

This past weekend we bought a 4 foot tree and set it up in a corner of the living room.  We did not put it up on a table but on the floor.  We did not decorate the tree with our usual array of baubles treasured and saved through the years.  Instead, we went to the Dollar Tree and purchased two strings of lights and plastic ornaments in a silver/red theme.  Last year, Elliot was 8 mos. and crawling.  This year he is walking and reaching.  We want Christmas to be a HAPPY time, not filled with "no's."

December To Do List

1.   Celebrate Brendan’s 7th 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).
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 small gifts for stuffing stockings
18.  Bake red wine cake (as gifts) (recipe here
19.  Make a list of New Years Resolutions 
20.  Keep Calm and Be Merry!

Monday, December 1, 2014

What to do in December

Make or purchase Christmas cards. Send them out.
Make an advent calendar.
Make snow ice cream.
Sing Christmas Carols.
Bake Christmas cookies.
Build a snowman.
Host a cookie exchange.
Put together a jigsaw puzzle.
Make a snowflake mobile.
Visit a museum.
Make snow angels.
Drink hot chocolate.
Go ice skating.
Watch Christmas movies.
Decorate the tree.
Decorate the house.
Spend an evening driving the neighborhood to look at lights.
Take the kiddies sled riding.
Write a letter to Santa.




There is SO MUCH TO DO in December. Eat, Drink, Be Merry! ENJOY!

Celebrating the Season

This December 2014, we will celebrate the season, we will be kind, we will be joyful, we will be thankful, we will be giving.
I will be documenting this Holiday Season (a little December Daily ala Ali Edwards and a little Journal Your Christmas ala Shimelle.  I will do the initial documenting here on my blog each day and then incorporate the photos and words into an album at the end of the month.  
And so today begins.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Countdown to Christmas, Week Five

Week 5 has officially begun. You can see Week 4’s Countdown here.
To-Do this week:
1) Christmas parties are coming up. What will you wear? Do clothes need dry-cleaned, pressed, repaired. Or will you be buying something new? What accessories will you wear? Shoes?  Think about it.  This is the perfect time to buy YOU a new gift;
2)  Schedule time for a hair appointment and/or manicure.  Salons get very busy at this time of year, so get your appointment booked.
3) Mail Christmas cards.
4) It’s time to finish up with on-line and catalog shopping so that the ordered items arrive in plenty of time to be wrapped and put under the tree.
5) Plan the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus. Order fresh turkeys, hams or goose now.
6. Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water. RELAX and ENJOY!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN CHECK-IN, WEEK 4

Week 4 of Christmas Countdown was:
1. Send Thanksgiving Day cards.
2. Be thankful for all you have, and all that you've accomplished to this point.
3. Enjoy your Thanksgiving! You deserve it.
4. Send out invitations for the Christmas Ornament Exchange.
5. Pick up Advent candles.  Advent begins Sunday.
6. Begin addressing Christmas cards.
7. Choose a decorating theme for Christmas.
8. Are you having any parties during the month of December? Begin planning the menus and guest lists.

1. The cards were sent Tuesday morning.
2. I wrote a Thankful post for Thanksgiving day. 
3. Thanksgiving was a joy! Peaceful, serene, happy.
4. The invites for the Christmas Ornament Exchange were sent Monday.
5. The Advent candles will be bought today.
6. The labels for the Christmas cards have been printed.
7. Olde English Christmas is our theme.  We even purchased Christmas Crackers through Barnes & Noble for our party guests.

8. The guest list and menu has been decided on for the Ornament Exchange.  Since I will be working on Christmas Eve, I am planning an Open House for either the day after Christmas, or Saturday the 27th.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Day After (Thanksgiving)

It’s Turkey Casserole Day!  While others are out standing in lines to buy merchandise at ridiculously low (and MAHVELOUS) prices, I am preparing the turkey casserole that will get eaten by the inhabitants of this home and anyone and everyone who visits.  I can’t remember how I happened upon this recipe, but I have made it every year since.  In fact, if truth be told, I look forward to this more than I do the actual Thanksgiving Day dinner.  HOWEVER, I do not bake the casserole in the oven, instead I throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker that way it stays warm throughout the day, ready for guests.


If you are braving the weather and crowds in the pursuit of that toy, electronic or perfect gift, stay safe, have fun!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for God’s grace, my children, my parents, my grandchildren and my great grandchild.  For extended family members.  For friends and coworkers.  For our church family.  For good health. For peace.  For my big old drafty house and all its nooks and crannies.  For knowledge and patience and understanding.  For bus drivers. For books and the talented people who write them.  For my favorite tv shows. For the food we eat. The clothes we wear. For the Mister and our time spent together.  For trips to New York City.  For Christmas Carols, pretty presents, sparkling trees.  For leaves to rake. For sunshine and rain.  For beaches. For trains. For freedom.  For my 16 year old car.  For nights curling up on the couch with the kiddies and watching animated movies.  For my colorist and hair stylist, thank you Katie and Joe! For my job.  For my doctor.  For my life on this earth. For love. For all this and so much more.


Have a wonderful, lovely and turkey and pumpkin pie filled day.

Peace and giving,
Trish

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
~ W.T. Purkiser

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

When I got home from the office (they let us leave early!), I donned my apron (actually, one of my treasured aprons that belonged to my Nana), handed K an apron, set Elliot up with a few pots and pans and a big wooden spoon and proceeded to begin the prep work of tomorrow’s meal.  Thanksgiving is just a few hours away! This holiday and Christmas are my faves.  Kayla helped tear the loaves of bread for stuffing.  I pared the potatoes and set them in a pot of water in the fridge.  We pulled at the Cuisinart (pretty much used only once a year), and chopped, diced and sliced.  We got the pie into the oven and soon the kitchen was smelling amazing!  All the while we soaked dishes, washed dishes, dirtied more dishes.  After the prep work was complete, and the kitchen was put back in place, each of us showered, bathed the little guy, climbed into our pajamas and settled down to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  We will start early tomorrow with the actual stuffing, cooking, mashing, eating. 

Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving Eve.

Current Conditions




It was 65 degrees here on Saturday. Today we have snow.  BUT the weekend weather is looking might FINE!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sending Thanksgiving Greetings!

This year I am sending Thanksgiving Day greetings.  My Mom is so good about sending traditional greeting cards through the mail.  I want to get into that habit, plus the little ones love getting mail.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Menu/The Grocery List

On my Countdown To-Do List this week was finalizing our Thanksgiving Dinner.  Not only did I finalize it, I also typed up the Grocery List and a menu plan for the whole week.  This way I can concentrate on the laundry and the cleaning and playing with baby.

The Menu/Grocery List
Thanksgiving Dinner
Mashed potatoes                                          potatoes, milk, butter
Buttered corn                                                 frozen corn
Turkey                                                             turkey
Cranberry sauce                                           cranberry sauce
Stuffing                                                            bread, mushrooms, onions, butter, milk
Cole Slaw                                                       cabbage, carrots, mayo
Crescent rolls                                                  rolls
Pumpkin pie                                                   store bought, this year
Gravy                                                              gravy


(Sunday)
Pulled Pork Barbecue                                    Pork Roast  (Make extra)
Cole Slaw
Buns (Buy extra)

(Monday)
White Chicken Chili                                       Chicken tenders, McCormick’s spice,
                                                                        White Beans
                                                                        lettuce, cheese, sour cream

(Tuesday)
Barbecue Pork Tacos                                                Taco Shells, Cheese

(Wednesday)
Spaghetti and Meatballs                             Pasta, ground meat, seasonings, cheese,
                                                                         Sauce  Make extra meatballs

(Friday)
Turkey Casserole

(Saturday)
Meatball Sandwiches

(Saturday)
Easy Chicken Casserole                                Chicken Tenders, cream of chicken soup
                                                                        Sour cream, butter round
                                                                        crackers, onions.

Butter
Eggs
Milk
Sugar
Swiss cheese
foil
Chocolate chips

Now to Shop!
Peace and giving,
Trish

"For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends."-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Countdown to Christmas, Week Four

I've been staying up with my Countdown.   You can see Week 3’s Countdown here  This is my Countdown for the Fourth Week of November:
1. Send Thanksgiving Day cards.
2. Be thankful for all you have, and all that you've accomplished to this point.
3. Enjoy your Thanksgiving! You deserve it.
4. Send out invitations for the Christmas Ornament Exchange.
5. Pick up Advent candles.  Advent begins Sunday.
6. Begin addressing Christmas cards.
7. Choose a decorating theme for Christmas.
8. Are you having any parties during the month of December? Begin planning the menus and guest lists.

Peace and giving,
Trish
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Saturday, November 22, 2014

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS - CHECKING IN

Week 3 of Christmas Countdown was
1.         Continue shopping for gifts;
2.         Update Christmas card list;
3.         Purchase or order Christmas cards.
4.         Make and freeze a batch of baked goods;
5.         Start collecting boxes/gift bags to use for gift wrapping, or make our own. 
6.         Start wrapping gifts as they are bought. 
7.         Finalize Thanksgiving dinner menu and entertainment plans.
*********************************************************************************
1.       Ordered three Visual Land Prestige Tablets for B and J and J. Checking off that list!
2.       Updated the Christmas card list.
3.       We did neither this year as I have SO many (it is a weakness when it comes to buying Christmas cards, I love ‘em!).  We shopped the collection.
4.       Baked a batch of cut-out sugar cookies and stored them in the freezer.

5.       We are going to do a little of each. We bought a few rolls of paper at the Dollar Store and we will have E paint some brown shipping paper to use for smaller gifts.  I know I mentioned making envelopes using templates from Mirkwood Designs but forgot to put in the link for which I apologize.  It is here.
6.       We got off to a late start, but we’ve made up for it.
7.       The Thanksgiving Dinner menu has been finalized and the grocery list written out.  We plan to just relax and enjoy!

Peace and Giving!
Trish