Monday, December 31, 2012



Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Sunday!

 Joining Unknown Mami today

Happy Sunday!
The last Sunday in 2012!!
We've had a wonderful relaxing holiday this year!
Lots of snow 
Lots of slugging on the couch
Lots of reading & movie watching
Lots of family time
Lots of eating
Lots to enjoy
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and your family the 
Merriest of Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas eve eve eve eve

It's Friday and the eve of the eve of the eve of the eve of Christmas Eve! 
Wow it's finally here the last hurrah before Santa comes! 
Are you ready?
I am......well kinda
I'm still waiting for a few gifts to come via mail 
I hope they come today! 
We also need to bake some more cookies!
Oh and shop for Christmas dinner!
What's for dinner at your house?
Traditional meal?
It's just the three of us, kinda nice we can do whatever!
It's gonna be steak, mash potatoes, asparagus, sweet potato pie and yummy rolls!

It' suppose to start snowing today at 4pm and another storm tomorrow 
they say it will be very cold and the snow will stick around for Christmas!
I really hope.....there is something special about a white Christmas! 

I do want to say with four days until Christmas my neighbors down the street need to take their pumpkins and corn stalks down...seriously it's officially winter TODAY! And to the several other houses in town with pumpkins and thats not okay! 

Happy Friday!!
Stop by Mrs. 4444's 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joining Joyce @

1. How will you spend 'the night before Christmas'? 

We will probably eat Mexican food and watch a Christmas movie and attend Mass.

2.  What is one thing you are not?

A  supporter of guns!

3.  Fudge-are you a fan?  Your favorite flavor?

Yes but only once a year....I like vanilla 

4. Did you attend any craft/vendor fairs in the month of December?  Do you prefer homemade goodies or the more professional stalls? Are you giving any homemade gifts this year? 

No I didn't attend any. I like both homemade and professional...I miss the craft fairs in Utah...the talent there is amazing. If putting candy in a jar is considered homemade than yes! 

5. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? 

Casual and anything involving food, laughter and good cheer! 

6.  We're approaching a new year...what's going to be different in 2013? 

I hope to be employed and working on losing weight and being healthier.

7. Share a favorite scripture, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to peace.
John Lennon- Imagine

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I'm still so sad and consumed with the tragic loss of life in Newtown, CT. My heart like many will ache for a long time. I'm conflicted because this violence disgust me ,but my other random thought is how bummed I am that my two favorite shows ended this week...Dexter and Homeland! Probably  two of the most violent shows out there...I really believe that violence on TV and video games etc...are a contributor to todays violence amongst many other factors of coarse...we could debate this forever so in the meantime...I'm praying for peace and strength for Newtown, CT! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

So many tributes this weekend honoring the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary
My heart like everyone else is broken
The senseless tragedy is unfathomable 
SNL opened with a tribute of Silent Night
sung by the Manhattan Children's Choir

God Bless the 26 victims and their families

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Christmas vignettes

I love this time of year and I'm really enjoying my home this time of year as well. Every where I look I feel the warmth of the it doesn't hurt having my family all under on roof too! Every year I say I'm going to put out less and less and believe it or not I did....except every inch of my house has something Christmasy!

How about you did you over decorate or put up less and less this year?

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joining Joyce @
1.  So, when did you last take a walk in the woods? A stroll along the beach? A drive going nowhere in particular in the car? 

It's certainly been awhile....probably last did a fall foliage drive. 

2.  Are you sending Christmas cards this year?  About how many do you send?  Photo card or something more traditional?  How do you display the cards you receive?

Yes I sent a card this year, about 75. I do a photo card on I just have to pick the style, add the picture and they do the rest. I always order extra for the people I don't have addresses for and to send local. I tape the cards I receive on to my back door into my garage, this way I see them as I come and go. 

3. What's a word you've heard too much of in the past week?

Fiscal Cliff

4. December 13th is National Cocoa Day-are you a fan?  Plain or flavored?  Marshmallows or no marshmallows?

Yes I'm a fan...our local Tim Horton's has a sea salt caramel hot cocoa once you've had that nothing else compares! 

5. What is something you do to help alleviate the hectic pace of the Christmas season?

Online shopping....but I have to say I was at the mall last night and it was dead. 

6. Besides jewelry, what's a favorite sparkly-glittery item in your home or closet?

I have some new glittery  snowflake ornaments on my stairway garland that I'm really enjoying this season.

7. Share a favorite line or two from any Christmas carol.

Deck the Halls..........Fa la la la, la la la

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Our favorite Mexican food restaurant caught on fire yesterday. I'm really sad, we finally found a place that has real authentic Mexican food like in the West. I'm not sure if it will reopen or if it's gone for good. I do feel really bad for their employees nicest hard working people ever.
I'm going to miss my swimming pool size margarita's! Boo hoo! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shoelaces for Christmas winner

The winner for my giveaway is Vicki from Life in my empty nest
Stop by and congratulate her and see her amazing Christmas decor! 

There is still time to order this wonderful book 
available at
Amazon site shows it sold out but Craig assures me they have copies, so go ahead and order. 
It's a great holiday gift.

Happy Tuesday
and Congrats Vicki!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Peppermint Kisses

 Have you tried the Candy Cane Kisses?
They are to die for!

I pinned this recipe on Pinterest from The Recipe Critic 
She has every recipe known to man on there.
If you're on the hunt for something new go there!
Katelyn and I made these..which means
Katelyn made them and I helped!

These are SO delicious!

1 1/2 cups powdered Sugar
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1 tsp peppermint extract (opt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped candy cane flavored Hershey's kisses (I used candy cane bits still yummy) 
Granulated sugar (For rolling cookie balls in)
About 30 unwrapped Candy Cane Kisses

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
3. In large mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar, butter, extracts, and egg.  Beat at medium speed scraping sides of bowl until creamy.  Add the flour mixture mixing until blended.  The mixture will be a bit crumbly.  Stir in chopped kisses.
3. Shape the dough into 3/4 inch balls and roll them in the sugar.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.
4.  As soon as out of the oven press a candy cane kiss in the center.  Put immediately in the fridge or freezer so that they keep their kiss shape.  
I found that you can do this two ways.  1- You can just press the kiss into the cookie and it will melt in the center.  It will still look really cute with the stripes but lose the kiss shape.  I LOVED the way they tasted when I bit into the soft cookie with melted chocolate.  or 2- You can either put them in the fridge or freezer to keep the kiss shape.  or I let my cookies cool for about 5 minutes and pressed the kiss down into it and put it in the fridge.  it hardly melted at all.  Both ways are awesome, I always warmed mine up anyway before eating so the chocolate was soft and gooey.... YUM these are so good!
5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week.  If they last that long!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pinning Party

Do you pin?
Are you a Pinterest stalker?
I love Pinterest and have actually made many things I've pinned!
Katelyn and I got crafty over Thanksgiving break.
I bought two tall trees
 The bronze feather one on clearance from Hobby Lobby
And the red tinsel one from a store in Pittsburgh called Garden Ridge.
I knew I wanted to make more and have a little collection.
I bought four foam trees, a bag of buttons, white tinsel ribbon, 
white pom poms, foil discs and lots of pins!
With hot glue gun in hand and lots of pinning
I few burns and pricks later!


I just need to find a few star toppers! 

Linking up with DEBBIEDOO's

Don't forget my giveaway is still going on all weekend! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shoelaces for Christmas

James Miller is a typical teenage boy with an attitude. With Christmas just around the corner, James has a new car sitting on the top of his list. An entitled young man from a privileged family, James lives in his own perfect self-centered world until he receives news that shatters his young existence. Grief-stricken, he strikes out and eventually comes to realize that there is more to life than his own drama. This rich story reminds us that Christmas is a time for healing, and miracles do still happen.

I'm doing this giveaway today because I know Craig, he is a friend and past co worker. I read this book before it was released and loved it. It made me laugh and cry, reminded me what the season is all about. I knew right away It's a book you want others to read, a Christmas classic. The message of the book is a great reminder of how we should live our lives daily. I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I have.

Here is a little bit of info on the author via Goodreads
Available at Eagle One Publishing
Also available at Amazon

Giveaway open until Monday. Leave a comment to enter in drawing.
Repost on FaceBook or twitter and receive extra drawing.

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Random thoughts on this Thursday!

Yesterday my email was hacked....sorry if you received an email from me with link. Some how it was not my contact list but my sent file or who knows what. I've since changed my password. This seems to happen every year at this time. I do a lot of online shopping during Christmas could this be it? But seriously I hate hackers!

Katelyn is done with her first semester today.....she will be home tonight! I can't wait to see her, she is sick and certainly needs her Mom to take care of her. Even though I sent her with all the medicine in the world to relieve any ailment...I swear other than cough drops she hasn't had the time to take anything...ummmm!

On Sunday we went to the Our Lady of Victory Basilica for the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus performance of Handel Messiah. It was a beautiful performance in such an amazing setting, the Basilica alter is a replication of St. Peters Basilica in Rome. It's a sight to see.

Tonight I'm going to see Irving Berlin's White Christmas the musical with my theater group. It's received mixed reviews so I hope it is good!

So I have to say it's been quite a culture week and kick off to the holidays!

Tomorrow I'm doing my first giveaway on my blog. My friend recently release a book called Shoelaces for Christmas. It's a beautiful story one that makes you laugh and cry. I loved it so much I bought an extra to give away. So come back will be a nice classic to add to your other Christmas favorites.

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Linking up with Joyce @ 

1.  Share your traditions surrounding the Christmas stocking. 
Growing up my parents always put a orange in our stocking, I always get the Terry's Chocolate them! 

2.  How many hours of sleep do you average at night?  Is it enough?
At least 7 it enough? Probably could use one more! 

3.  If you had to give up one thing for the remainder of this year what would it be? 
Maybe anything Pistachios! Or maybe beer! Or both! 

4.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (or Wills and Kate as I like to call them) have announced they're expecting a baby. Do you follow news of the Royals? 
I follow the news of  Yahoo and CNN and it was big news! I'm excited for them and love hearing about the Royals. 

5.  For me,  the sound of childhood is__________________.
Laughter, screams and bouncing basketballs. 

6.  Fruit cake-yay or boo? What's your favorite dessert made with fruit?
Yuck no fruit cake here...favorite dessert with fruit is Apple pie.

7. What is one thing you want to accomplish before 2012 comes to an end?
Finding a job.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
My girl is finishing her first semester, it's finals week and I couldn't be more proud of her. She has survived, thrived and done well, she is happy and adjusted and where she needs to be. As a Mom you can't ask for more....just seeing that smile says it all. 

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Mantels

Today I'm linking up with The Lettered Cottage-Holiday Home link party! 
Christmas Mantels

I have five fireplaces in my house and decorate three of them.
I have several "collections"
One mantel is all my Santa's 

Another is my Snowman collection

And the last is just simple greenery, candles and few odds and ends

Check out the other mantels or link up!

Happy Tuesday! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December

❄❅Happy December❅❄
Have a wonderful weekend!

Photo source-Pinterest

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Early gift...

When my sweet daughter was home for Thanksgiving break she gave me an early Christmas present.
She is thoughtful like that. I was kinda of surprised by the gift. Why? Because Katelyn thinks I have a problem with collecting and her gift added to my collection! I love it of coarse!

Isn't she pretty
It's a Sophie ornament!

Katelyn thinks I have a Sophie shrine....I only have a shelf with several figurines (3) and pictures of Sophie, and well then in my room is another picture or two and another figurine. And some where is a stuff animal look alike.....problem no.....collector yes! 

Love my new addition......Thanks Katelyn xo

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joining Joyce @

1.  With that being said I think I need to dive right in to some Christmas related questions, don't you? Which do you prefer-pretty gift wrap with a bow or a pretty gift bag with/without a bow?  What percentage of your holiday gifts are currently (as in right this very minute) wrapped in some form or fashion? 
Pretty wrapped gift with bow...but somethings just make sense to wrap in bag. I have zero presents wrapped!

2.  What is one item on your Christmas list this year?
Perfume...I always seem to run out either at my Birthday or Christmas and again at Mother's Day! 

3.  What makes a home?
A place you instantly feel comfortable in...inviting space. 

4.  Motown founder Berry Gordy celebrates his birthday on Hodgepodge Day-November 28th. Are you a fan of the Motown sound?  If so, who's your favorite Motown artist and/or song? Here's a list in case you're stuck. 
Yes I'm a fan Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5 who's my favorite I'd say Jackson 5- I'll be there.

5.  Red or green-which one is more prevalent in your closet?

 6.  True or false-bacon makes it better? If you answered true, what's your favorite dish made with bacon? 
I love bacon but only have it when in a restaurant for breakfast. I love a BLT! 

7.  Share a favorite holiday memory.
My favorite part of the holiday is decorating as a family. Craig flocks our lovely fake tree, Katelyn is the main tree decorator but usually loses momentum half way through...and Craig steps in. I usually decorate the rest of house with all sorts of opinions flying. It's all done with Christmas music blasting and all of us together. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Like Joyce I grew up with the sitting on the stairs picture on Christmas morning, patiently waiting to see what Santa brought us. We've done the same thing for Katelyn when we can...most years we've lived in ranch style homes with stairs only leading to the basement. 
Here's last years shot! 
It's snowing...I was heading out to do some returns and shopping but...
These kind of days are best enjoyed in the comfort of a warm cozy house! 
Another day! 

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What I loved about Thanksgiving break....

Having this girl home....
My two babies cuddling on the couch....
I loved cooking for her, shopping with her, decorating for Christmas with her....
Pretty much anything that included her...
We had a wonderful break...
Craig was off all week and actually relaxed!
Lots of family time!
Lots of honey do's checked off! 
We are ready for the holidays..yay! 
 Favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner
Sweet Potato Pie!!
My sister Beth would always make this for me for my Birthday and Thanksgiving.
It's been four years since I've had one.
Living across the US now, it was time to make my own! 
I finally ask for the recipe and gave it a whirl!
Everyone loved it especially Katelyn! 

Katelyn's dorm room all decked out for the holidays! 
She has less than two weeks left of her first semester and home for Christmas break!
Home for six weeks! 

Happy Tuesday! 

Today around the world

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

 Gobble until you wobble....
Be thankful 
We are truly blessed! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joining Joyce @

1. Turkey-love it or leave it?  White meat or dark?  What's your favorite thing to make using leftover turkey?
Love turkey especially the white meat. With the leftovers a cold turkey sandwich is probably my favorite part. 
2. Gotta burn off all those carbs the day after a holiday feast so which would you rather do-run a 10K or climb a mountain? 
How about a mad dash from store to store ....doesn't count I'd pick a 5 K walk/run!
3.  Do you feel like social networking has made your relationships better or worse?  Explain.
I say better I'm more in contact with people. Between twitter, FB and texting, email and blogging I know what my daughter, sisters and family is doing on a daily basis and vise versa. I love it. And believe it or not I still call and have actual conversations with people too! 
4. How do you find and express gratitude for the hard things in your life? 
Thats a hard one to answer and I'm working at that. 
5.  In the US, the day after Thanksgiving has been dubbed 'Black Friday'.  Is most of your holiday shopping done live and in person, or is it done more through the magic of the Internet? How do you feel about stores opening at midnight Thanksgiving night? Will you be out amongst the masses on Friday? 
I've done a lot of my share of Black Friday shopping and will miss going with my sisters this year. I have done a lot of online shopping the deals have been hard to pass up. Katelyn informed me she wants to go Black Friday shopping but not early....some how I don't think she will feel like it come Friday! 
6.  Speaking of the color black-which black item in your wardrobe would you say is your favorite?
I just bought for my Birthday a new black puffy vest, I love it! It's tailored and flattering. 
7.  What do you appreciate about your life today? 
My family
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We picked up Katelyn happy to have her home. We left early and drove into Pittsburgh to go to Ikea. Katelyn had classes so we ran to a few Pittsburgh shopping hot spots. By the time we got to Ikea I told my hubby I'll just run in and get what I want. I know exactly what it is.....first of all it's been years since I've been to Ikea! There is no running in quick. I felt like a rat in the maze looking for the cheese. I got so lost and finally ask a worker for help....just follow the arrow...I just wanted to secret short cut! But I was glad I got lost and found a few treasures along the way. After I was done I felt like a ran a 10k! I love Ikea! 

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to my man....

Happy Birthday Craig
You are the best husband, dad and friend a girl could ask for...
I love you with all my heart!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reminiscing today...

Today I've been reminiscing some....I think the holidays do that! It's hard to believe how fast time has flown by in life.

Four years ago this month I started my blog....828 posts ago! I looked by at my early post clearly my spell check didn't exist and editing what's that! Also did I really not know how to make my pictures bigger! I started my blog when we moved to Germany, a way to document our experiences and a place our family and friends could see what we were up too. Though it's changed moving back to USA and especially since we didn't move home but to another foreign place, Western NY. Some days it's hard to write a post, life is less exciting and adventurous now.
 One of my favorite shots from Germany
Our country walk
 Our ride....boy did I miss having a car
Sophie loved bike she fit was beyond me! 

Twenty seven years ago this month I went on my first day with Craig....I remember it like it was yesterday! I remember what I was wearing, what he was wearing, every detail. It was the day before Thanksgiving. My family and I went to friends for Thanksgiving, I remember all I wanted to do was leave and get home. Craig said he'd call me and this was obvious pre cell phone probably pre answering machine and even call waiting days! I was so excited when he called and invited me on a second date.....skiing! The rest is history...been together ever since! 
Gotta love the hat and omg I do believe I have makeup on! lol! 

I'm really excited for Thanksgiving this year ....Katelyn will be home. It's been almost seven weeks since we've seen her. After break she has two weeks left of the semester and she is home for Christmas break for SIX WEEKS! She doesn't have to be back until the 20th of January!! 

This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving shots, I think she was a year and half in this picture. She is with her cousin Allie who is also a Freshman at college and coming home for the first time since August. I'm not sure why I dressed her in a comfy casual Simba turtleneck, jeans and keds....maybe thats how we rolled back than....from two years old on she was all about the dresses! I remember this Thanksgiving it was so warm I think we ate outside. Keep in mind this was in Salt Lake City, Utah where they received 25 inches of snow last week! I think I was reminiscing about these two because I miss my family and Utah and the days when these two were inseparable. 

Happy Sunday!