Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wanted to wish everyone out there a very Happy New Year!!!  Whatever you do, where ever you may go, be safe and have fun!  I'll be out doing some shopping myself and plan on being home early, so as to avoid all the craziness I've always felt probably takes place on New Years Eve night!  I wouldn't personally know because I've always been at home for New Years! do you guys celebrate the ringing in the New Year?  Fireworks, parties, church night watch services?  We've always stayed at home (though last year and this year is a bummer..Damon has to work so we'll be apart when the ball drops at midnight) and watched the ball drop on tv.  I love to catch it on tv when they show the new year ringing in across the exciting!   I usually make some little something..the past couple years its been pizza sandwiches (YUM!)!  Just toasted bread, pizza sauce, pepperoni, cheese and anything else you might like..broiled in the oven so the cheese melts!  

See you all next year!!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fruit Salad, Anyone?

Since I've been craving fruit like crazy since becoming pregnant, I finally made some fruit salad last night!!  I swear I feel like I could sit down and eat the whole bowl..its so good!  The only thing I left out that I normally put in mine is bananas, since as y'all know, they still gross me out.  I 'thought' I was past that point when I was at the grocery store the other day, buying all my lovely fruit for this particular treat.  So I headed over to the 'banana pile'..looked at them almost to say, "Do I want to eat you, or not?"..and then I caught whiff of them.  Ripe bananas.  I quickly walked away, knowing that I definately cannot handle them still!!  I thought food aversions was suppost to go away after you get so far along in pregnancy?!?  18 weeks and still dealing with that..but no big deal. 

So the thing that crossed my mind as I was preparing it last night was this, with fruit salad in particular it seems that alot of people has something they put in theirs (or add to while dishing out a bowl) to make it unique.  With me, a sweet lady I go to church with turned me on to adding a spoonful of Tang whenever I eat it.  Oh yum!  It just 'makes' it for me!!  Damon likes his with marshmellows.  My MIL likes a bit of finely chopped celery, which I find absolutely NUTS!  My mom told me today that she believed when my grandma used to make fruit salad, she added a little corn syrup to the mixture.  Corn syrup??  So it really got my wheels turning, wondering what all YOU out there add to your fruit salad to make it 'yours'! and let me know!  I not only find this interesting, but also a good way to gather new ideas to make an old dish, new again!

Speaking of recipes, I promised to post my fabulous slushy punch recipe I made for Christmas Eve (thanks Kristin for reminding me!).  I HIGHLY recommend this recipe for a number of reasons, aside from being yummy!  It makes ALOT (great for parties, showers, etc), its easily divided in half (which is what I did), and it keeps cold for a VERY long time (so you don't have to worry about adding ice or anything, which would water it down).  A brilliant recipe I came across on the website (if you've never checked out this don't know what your missing!) was one of the highest (if not THE highest) rated punch recipes on the site!!  So I can't take complete credit..I guess I can say I found it, tried it, and am passing the word out!! 

Slushy Punch

(NOTE ~ this is half of the original makes one 'punchbowl' full)

1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 cups water
1 (3 oz) package strawberry jello mix
1 (23 oz) can pineapple juice
1/3 cup lemon juice (I used freshly squeezed!)
1/2 quart orange juice
1 liter of lemon lime of ginger ale soda (I used diet canada dry)

Boil the sugar, water, and strawberry jello in a saucepan for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Then stir in the pineapple, lemon, and orange juices.  Freeze mixture in a gallon ziplock freezer bag until solid.  When ready to serve, place the frozen contents from ziplock bag into a punch bowl and pour the soda over, mixing together.  It would probably be a good idea to let the frozen juices thaw a bit beforehand, as I had to use a knife to break it apart! 


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What I'm Lovin'!

I'm totally lovin' my new shirt I got for Christmas!  I think its pretty cool..what do you think?

I'm also lovin' the great DEALS I scored yesterday while out doing my after Christmas shopping..finally!!  A couple days late due to the weather, but I made it!!  I made out really good!  Some new Christmas dishes, Christmas fabrics (the rudolph one I'm going to make the baby a blanket with), nightlight, pretty candles, ornaments, trees and an arch for my Christmas village (that lights up!) and of course I stocked up on the basics like bows, tape, and wrapping paper!!  I also got a Christmas cactus for $2! 

And I couldn't resist buying our little one his/her first little Christmas outfit!  Isn't it cute?!

I also went in Bath and Body Works (HIGHLY recommended that you go this time of the year for the 'yellow' sale!!!!) and came out with some yummy lemon/vanilla body spray and cute lady bug car freshners!
Did anyone else score some goodies on the after-Christmas sales?  If so, please let me know what you got and where you picked it up!  Reason being (besides just plain curiosity!)..I had NO IDEA about B&BW after Christmas sale until I was talking to, of all people, a rep from our phone company, Frontier, and we somehow got on the convo of sales and she told me about it!  Weird way to find out about something like that, isn't it?  Just goes to show never know where you'll find out something new!!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

18 weeks!

Well I've made it to 18 weeks..or 4 1/2 months!!  I feel like I'm really starting to show now!  Here are a few things y'all might want to know....

Food Cravings : about the same..fruits, water, meat (steak), milk, and Milky Way candy bars!

Aversions : chocolate ice cream, bananas, meatloaf

Next dr appt. : January will be with my new I'm excited to see how things go!  Plus we'll probably find out the baby's sex then!!!  EXCITING!!

Sleep : SO much better..I can't even tell you guys how much better I sleep now than I did a couple weeks ago!

Movements : I 'think' I've started to feel some little kicks for the first time!  Sometimes I don't know if its just my stomach rumbling..but the first time it happened it felt like popcorn popping!  Looking forward to feeling those movements more seems like such a relief to finally feel 'something'!  What a blessing..on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day..I felt what I think were pretty distinct movements!!

Clothes : For my bday and Christmas, I've received alot of maternity clothes.  Jeans, sweaters, shirts, dresses, name it!  I'm SO happy to finally have some clothes that feels like I have some room in!  I can't wait to wear my new "Baby Love" shirt today!!  I'll be sure to take some pics of me in it..its adorable!  Oh and my mom and dad bought the baby a cute little onesie for Christmas!!!  The first gift for baby!  And did I mention..its pink?!  Yes..we are hoping for a little girl..though it doesn't matter either long as he/she is healthy!

Other Noteables : Even though its far from it..I've been able to tell a difference in my belly button!  Looks like its slowly but surely on its way out!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas!!

I thought I would share with everyone what all we did over the weekend on Christmas!  I do hope everyone had a wonderful time with family and friends and celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  If there is any a time to celebrate..I feel that Christmas it definately the season!  Without Christ, we would have nothing.  I'm so thankful for that hope we have in Him.  :-)

Our Christmas Eve is usually the most jam packed.  We started off the day by going to see my mother in law and giving her a present.  After spending some time there, we headed home where I got out some of the premade and homemade appetizers I had for this year!  I had bought some dips from Schwan's (buffalo chicken and spinach artichoke), as well as made a garlic parmesan peppercorn dip.  We also had some homemade slushy punch, chex mix, peanut butter balls, and a cranberry cake with butter sauce (can we say calories?)!  Quite the spread!!  I only wished I had gotten a picture of everything lined up on our beautiful bar, but I did take one later that night, after most of it was put away.  Shame on me for not remembering to take more pictures!!

You could definately say the punch was a hit!!  I'll be sharing the recipe with y'all later on in the week!   So to enjoy the appetizers and gift opening was me and Damon as well as my parents.  They stayed for a couple hours and it was so nice to have that time spent together!  We all had a very enjoyable time!! 

(Damon and my dad opening gifts)
(My mom and her new turkey dishes!..she's a collector!)

So after they left, we opened up our gifts to one another!!  I thought that Damon had more than me this year, but I still could be right on that one.  But it sure did seem like I opened more than he did!!  I came away this year (from both Damon and my parents) plenty of new maternity clothes that were much needed!  Damon came away with a variety of things.  I thought you might like these pictures...
(Damon..hamming it up for the camera!)

 And of course, our kitties both got in on the excitement as well!  Ravey got a remote controlled mouse..THRILLING and the best gift ever!!  I think she thought it was real!!

(Not to be outdone by Thomas..he's such a good little picture poser!!)

The following day, Christmas Day, we had a nice dinner at my parents house!!  It had snowed quite a bit overnight, so my dad came and got us in his truck (we don't have 4 wheel drive).  They live out to theirselves so snowy winters makes it a hard time for us to get to their place!!  We had a great dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, deviled eggs, homemade rolls, sweet potato casserole, and apple pie and a yule log for dessert!  My yule log was so pretty, but wasn't the greatest!  I think if I ever do it again, I'm gonna do my own recipe instead of following one.  The cake was WAY too dense!  But we had a nice time, nonetheless!
We came home and snapped some pictures by the tree.  I thought these turned out great!!

(Showing off my new bracelet and necklace (the necklace was my bday gift)!)

And let's not forget the star of the show, Ravey!

Hope you guys enjoyed seeing a glimpse into our little Christmas!!  Can't wait to read about everyone's this week!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Goodies!

I was busy today making my all time favorite Christmas treat..peanut butter balls!!!  Can we say YUM?!?!  Its just not Christmas around here without that holiday staple to snack on at some point or another!!  Turns out I wasn't the only one with the same mindset either.  When I went to visit my parents this afternoon, my dad was making some too!  Great minds, huh?  I had hoped to dip some of ours in white chocolate as well (Damons favorite) but for some reason..I sometimes have problems with white chocolate chips wanting to melt.  They instead want to 'clump'.  Anyone else ever deal with this..and if so how do you avoid it??  Makes me mad that I pretty much waste a good bag of white chocolate chips I could have used for something else!  Anyways, they turned out GREAT and I plan on not only eating some but sharing with my neighbors!  I plan on fixing up a little treat bag for my dear neighbor next door and giving it to her 'hopefully' tomorrow.  I know how much she loves chocolate!!  Here is a preview of what I've been up will make your mouth water!!

And you remember the peanut butter cookie recipe I shared with everyone a little while back?  Here is the finished product!  I also plan on giving away in treat bags!!

So I want to wish all my dear readers out there a very Merry Christmas!!!  I probably won't be doing anymore posts until after the weekend so I can spend time doing more baking, wrapping presents, and being with family, of course!!  Be safe everyone if you plan on traveling, and enjoy the reason for the season!! God Bless!!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Stocking Swap!

So a little while back, I joined a Christmas stocking swap over at Noelle's blog and last week I received my stocking filled with goodies in the mail!  I must say, my swap partner Judy couldn't have picked a better time to send me a nice little pick me up in the mail!  I was having such a rough week with doctors and my insurance company, getting that big box of goodies was just what the doctor ordered!!  Here are some pictures of the nice things this dear lady sent me in the mail!

I gotta say..I just LOVE the stocking Judy picked out!!  I'm actually thinking it will be our baby's stocking next Christmas!  Its adorable and matches all my Christmas decor perfectly!  I also received a cute primitive kitty, some kitties in a basket full of yarn (perfect for my sewing room), and a kitty basket that I can put little things in (like rings or something)!  I also got a box of Mike and Ike's candy (not shown..I already ate for my 'fruity' cravings I've been having! 

A close-up of the kitty "trinket" box!

And a close-up of the kitty in the basket full of yarn!

Thanks again to Judy and to Noelle, for hosting such a fun swap!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

I was 'finally' able to make it out of the house on Saturday!  My whole weeks plan of menus was thrown off course by a couple circumstances so I was desperate to get out by Saturday!  My mom and I headed out and had such a nice time! We rarely get a chance to do little things like that together so I was especially grateful for our outting.  I picked up a dark pink maternity sweater and a cute black and gray dress at Motherhood Maternity with some money I got for my birthday!  Score!!
3/4 Sleeve Empire Waist Maternity Sweater Dress

Long Sleeve Cable Knit Maternity Sweater

While out on the town Saturday, we swung by the hospital where one of our church members has been at for a couple of days.  He was recently diagnosed with cancer.  I wanted badly to see him and his wife because they are two very special people in both mine and Damons lives!  It was so good to see them..and he looked especially well.  Pray for the Harvey family if you have a prayer list.

We made it to church Sunday morning!  Though few in number, the message was good (as always) and the fellowship sweet.  I do love my church family!!!!

My weekly phone call from my BFF came last night.  We had a great chat..with little drama to report in either of our lives..which was a good thing!  I love catching up with her and we always have such a fun time chatting. 


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Randomness for the day..

Since I'm not really feeling inspired today to write about one particular thing, I figured it was a good time to do some random thoughts!

One ~ I've been watching "A Baby Story" on TLC for about the past hour.  Can we say 'awwww'?!?  A lady they showed gave birth to twin girls..adorable and they looked so heathly!  Makes me excited to hold my own baby.  :-)

Two ~ Thomas just doesn't learn.  Every day this week (despite the cold and snow) he 'thinks' he needs to go outside because I think he thinks its warm out!  He gets out there and stays for about 5 minutes..then right back to his room!  He's one silly boy!

Three ~ I'm excited to meet my new baby doctor next month (on the 7th) and hopefully find out if we're having a boy or a girl!!  I changed doctors yesterday as I felt this was the way I was suppost to go and I've felt so much more calmer now about things.  Its about time!  :-)

Four ~ Needing to wrap more presents still..and make my peanut butter cookies that I shared the recipe with everyone here recently.  I already have the dough made (its in the fridge)..just need to get crackin'!

Five ~Hoping I can get out tomorrow..if not get some shopping done!!!  I have so much to get..and yikes..haven't even started my store list yet!!  I need some motivation!

Six ~ While most everyone around me grumbles about the snow and cold weather..I'm luvin' it!!  Its so peaceful and serene...not to mention beautiful!  Of course I don't like having to travel in it (thats a whole other thing in itself)..but as long as I can stay home and enjoy it..I'm happy to camp out at home!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Getting out of a rut..

I am bound and determined to get out of this overwhelming rut I feel like I've been in lately.  It just seems sometimes like life's troubles overtakes my little world.  Case in point, I called my insurance company last month to see if they'd cover a flu shot.  They declared "YES!" I got one at my dr visit, only to receive a statement in the mail yesterday showing they aren't gonna cover nuthin'.  Why?  I called today and found out.  Its because I had already 'used up' my routine wellness amount they give me for a year.  A measley $ know how far that goes at a doctors office!  Oh well..mistake made I guess.  I just felt like I'd been lied to.  Anywho.  I got up today thinking I'm going to get things accomplished.  So I've been on the phone (as much as I hate that)..trying to get to the bottom of some of my medical bills..and figuring out whats the next plan of action I should take (instead of waiting until its too late to do something about it).  So far, I'm feeling a tiny bit better.  And although all the news I've taken in in the past hour hasn't all been what I'd hoped to hear...its progress and I know more now than I did an hour ago.  God calls us to be bold (I believe..anyways).  If we don't have boldness in our lives, how can we expect to move find whats best for us..and to see whats out there?  It goes along with alot of different aspects of life.  Would you be with your spouse if you didn't have the boldness to say 'yes' to that first date?  Would you have your job had you not bothered to go to the interview..or have that promotion if you didn't have the boldness to talk to your boss?  The likely answer would be no. 

I think this stroke of boldness calls for some homemade cookies, don't you?


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Incredibly tired from doing nothing

I don't know if its a pregnancy thing..but I haven't done much of anything today (its still monday for me folks) and I'm totally exhausted.  We had snow, snow, and more snow all day today plus freezing going out any wasn't in the cards.  I stayed in all day with Ravey and my pj's on (I'm not complaining) and just lounged.  The most I did all day was make a pot of soup for dinner!  Can we say yum to chicken tortilla soup?!  It was soo good and perfect for this snowy day!  Now tonight I'm just worn out.  Maybe its all the dreaming I've been doing every night catching up with me (you ever wonder how a person really rests when they dream every..single..night?).  I KNOW thats pregnancy related!  Crazy dreams anyways.  Any other pregnant ladies out there dealing with that?  I had a crazy dream last week that I went to work in the coalmines with Damon (told ya it was crazy!).  Then last night I dreamt he was laid off from work (ugh..I don't want to relive that nightmare!). 

But anyways, I'm going to do a total 360 here and ask for your help in some new Christmas appetizers!  I just realized tonight that this weekend is the last weekend before Christmas (whoa..where did the time go?) and that I need to be figuring out this week what I'll be serving on Christmas Eve when my parents come down.  Each year, they come to our house on Christmas Eve..and then we go to their house on Christmas Day.  I always have some assortment of appetizers each year and have pretty much done something different every year.  Its alot of fun though..I must say!  I'm not totally sure what else I'm going to have this year and was hoping you guys could pass along some ideas!  I'm up for any suggestions!  So far..I know we're having spinach and artichoke dip, buffalo chicken dip, and I'm going to make a punch recipe I found online this evening.  I thought about assorted cheeses, some type of spiced or something-another nuts, maybe chex mix (since dad likes it!), and oh yeah..a recipe for a raspberry red velvet cake I saw in one of my magazines!  Maybe I had more ideas than I thought..but..I'd still like some input on the subject!   Can't wait to hear what all you guys have to say!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Miscellanies and 4 months preggo!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

~ My Birthday Weekend ~

Yes you guys read right!  Yesterday (12/12) was my birthday!  I really enjoyed celebrating the entire weekend though!  Damon and I went out on friday and I got to eat at one of my FAV restaurants..Olive Garden!  Yum!!  I can still taste the yummy soup and breadsticks!  Then saturday we 'officially' celebrated my birthday (we 'thought' sunday was going to be too hectic and the weather too thats why we did it the day before).  My parents came down to our house and we had cake and all the yummies.  Had such a nice time!!  And I got some maternity clothes..yipee!  Just what I was needing!  Yesterday was spent going to church and lounging in the afternoon.  Damon cooked dinner and washed dishes for me (can we say bliss?). 

~ Let it Snow.. ~

Sunday afternoon, the snow finally arrived! They were predicting it all week long to hit..and hit pretty hard.  It was nice to see some of the white stuff flying, though Damon didn't much like having to go to work in it!  Can't say as I blame him.  Its definately picked up today ALOT and is suppost to keep on comin' down.  Note to self..since I'm housebound today..I need to make some homemade bird suet!  Don't forget your feathered friends!!

~ Dr. Appointment ~

So because of all the said snow we're getting, I had to call and reschedule my 16 week doctor appointment that was set for tomorrow.  They got me in for this friday morning, I just hope that what I heard the weatherman say at noon doesn't come to pass.  Snow/ice thursday night into friday morning!  Say its not so..I really wanna hear my baby's heartbeat!!!!

~ 16 Weeks! ~

And yes!!  Today I am officially 16 weeks (or 4 months) pregnant!!  My tummy seemed to really start taking off last week..and its continuing much the same this week so far.  I'm still not completely 'round'..meaning you can still see my natural waistline if I pull up my shirt..but that is quickly going away!  It makes me excited to see that I am growing now, which is odd because I thought it would just depress me.  But it means that the baby is that is good!!  I hadn't ever thought of it that way before..but then again..before you become think you'll feel one way..but once your there..its totally different (at least in my experience)!