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!

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,

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


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.