Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I make resolutions every year, but like everyone else, I tend to be really gung ho about them (them being diet and exercise) for about a week and then they fall by the wayside.

This year my goals small.  Manageable little tid bits.  Good habits that have slipped way.

1.  Drink more green tea
2.  Drink more water... consistently
3.  Use lotion everyday, everywhere
4.  Stop hoarding the spoons from the staff lounge
5.  Take vitamins... consistently
6.  Stop being so hard on myself

So what are yours?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Crafting Supplies... A Wish List

I love crafting... I really do.  I find it increasingly difficult to find the time to craft, but the passion for crafting has not diminished.I read craft blogs and gather ideas with this crazy notion that I will have time to craft one of these days... LOL!

So, here is my drafting wish list of both projects and supplies I would LOVE to have/make:

1.  Roving, roving, and more roving like this multipack from Fancy Tiger

2.  A Futte Futte Felt Ball Shaker to speed along with ball making process

3. Brett's Stocking Pattern from Sheperd's Bush 

4.  Harry's Stocking Pattern from Sheperd's Bush

5.  I would love to make shopping bags from Plastic bags

6.  I would love to try and duplicate this felt peace sign from Garnet Hill 

That should keep my imagination busy for a while.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

French Chocolate Bark

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark is a staple of my holiday baking.  I have posted the recipe several times, but here it is again if you want to try it yourself.

Peppermint Bark

1 pound white chocolate (I buy big slabs at Trader Joes)
12 candy canes
1 tsp. peppermint oil (or 1 Tbs. Peppermint extract)

Melt white chocolate. This can be done in the microwave by cooking for 30 seconds, stirring and checking, and cooking for another30 seconds, stirring and checking, etc. until the white chocolate is melted.

Unwrap and bash up the candy canes. I do this either in a zip top bag with a rolling pin or meat mallet or in the food processor.

Mix candy cane pulp and peppermint oil into melted white chocolate.

Spread the mixture onto a parchment lined jelly roll pan and refrigerate until completely set. Break into pieces.

Store in refrigerator.

This year I was thinking that I would take my bark making one step further.  My friend Lisa gave my a huge slab of dark chocolate not too long ago and I was think that I could melt it down make a fruit and nut bark using Ina Garden's French Chocolate Bark as my inspiration.  I happen to have a dearth of almonds, dried apricots, and dried cranberries, all of which would go wonderfully with dark chocolate. 

Have You Seen These?

Snickers... with peanut butter... find them.... You will thank me later.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Greening My Lunch with the Wrap-N-Mat

Most of the time, I take my lunch to work.  I have a pretty good routine down and have pretty much "greened" my lunch bag to eliminate most of the one-time-use products.  I have a Sigg water bottle.  I use a fabric lunch bag.  I put most food items in re-usable Tupperware or glass containers.  The one thing that I was having a hard time with "greening" was sandwiches.  I don;t have any Tupperware that is the right size and shape to accommodate a sandwich, so I was wrapping it in aluminum foil.  Of course, I was recycling the foil, but still. 

Then one day I was at the supermarket and I saw these sandwich wraps hanging in the bread isle. 

They were called the Wrap-n-Mat and were I was intrigued!  I bought one to try and ended up going back for another one.  That way I can take a sandwich and pack one for Nate as well.  I have found them really easy to use.  As the name implies they are a mat that you wrap around a sandwich and then fasten with Velcro.  All you have to do is wipe the inside clean after each use.

I am sure that there are lots of mamas on Hyena Cart and Etsy that make similar products, in fact I think my mom even bought one at a craft fair, but I couldn't beat the convenience of finding them in the supermarket.       


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Etsy Treasury Lists

I have had a lot of fun recently making Treasury Lists on Etsy.  For those that don't know, a Treasury List is, essentially, a group of handpicked items.  Sometimes they have a theme, sometimes they are just things that you like.  Other Etsy users can look through your Treasuries and the Etsy staff picks through them to find the products featured on the front page.  I actually had one of my Treasury Lists featured on the front page of Etsy.  It means absolutely nothing, but I thought it was super cool nonetheless.

Here is my most recent Treasury List featuring cool stuff in black and green:

Christmas Tree

Well, things are chugging right along in my house.  My best friend came up for the weeked and I did indeed press her into service to decorate my house (THANKS, ML!) and so it feels much more Christmas-y here now.  She helped me put up the tree but I waited to decorate it until Sunday.  This is usually something I do by myself.  I LOVE decorating the tree.  Unwrapping each ornament with care, hanging it in just the right spot.... it is something I really look forward to.  Well, this year I had a helper.  Nate decided that decorating the tree seemed more fun than whatever he had been doing .  I thought this might not be a good idea, but he carefully unwrapped each ornament and handed it to me to put on the tree.  Sometimes he would save one and put it on himself, carefully selecting the branch on which to hang it.  When we were finished I asked him what he thought of our tree.  He looked at me and said, "It's beautiful mommy!"

[It would have been a complete and total Hallmark moment had he not been sitting in a laundry basket when he said it

The result... and I agree with Nate... it is beautiful.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fun Gelato Accessories...

I will fully admit that every time I get a new kitchen toy I become obsessed with it and all I do is make batch after batch of whatever it is the toy makes.  In this case, my current all consuming obsession is the new gelato maker.

So I was trolling the Internet this morning for cool gelato accessories... how fun are these?

Gelato Cook Books!

Gelato Cups and Spoons

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Favorite Christmas Movies

1.  Love Actually
2.  The Muppets Christmas Carole
3.  Emit Otters Jugband Christmas (Oh how I love that little otter!!)
4.  Scrooged

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Top 10 Christmas Songs

Although radio stations around here have been playing Christmas music since before Thanksgiving, I am finally in the mood to hear it.  So here is my Top 10

1.  Last Christmas by Wham
2.  A Christmas to Remember by Kenny (Rogers) and Dolly (Parton)
3.  Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton
4.  All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Cary
5.  Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses
6.  Christmas in the Caribbean by Jimmy Buffett
7.  Do They Know Its Christmas by Band Aid
8.  Dominic the Christmas Donkey (Becuase Nate LOVES it)
9.  Christmas Don't be Late by Alvin and the Chipmunks (Because Nate LOVES it)
10.  Any version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Ok, I will completely admit that the house is not decorated yet, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, I will be enslaving
enlisting the help of my best friend with that this weekend.

I am pleased to report that I have taken down and put away all the Channukah decorations.  I have also written/mailed all the holiday cards (complete with photos) and have even made my peppermint bark. 

Tonight's project is to make peanut butter fudge, bake a cake for my holiday lunch at work tomorrow, and ready the gifts for the mailman and the trash men.  The mailman always gets cookies/goodies and the trash men get beer (a 6 pack, unopened, for them to enjoy on off-work hours).  The trick with the beer is getting out to the curb in time without it freezing which usually means running to the curb in my PJs.   

All in all, things are moving right along and with a minimal amount of stress.  It probably also helps that my cold has abated and I actually feel human :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Today is December 10th...

which means there are 15 days until Christmas.  It also means that I am now officially feeling the holiday pressure.  You know, the pressure to do it all, decorate it all, entertain them all.... in the next 2 weeks.  Team that with, what feels like, the worlds most awful cold, a full time job, and a toddler, and lets just say I am not enthusiastic about anything at the moment.

I was thinking about what is it that I need to do for Christmas... here it is:

1.  Take down Hannukah decorations

2.  Bake cookies for the cookie exchange
3.  Do other holiday baking
4.  Put up tree
5.  Docorate the rest of the house
6.  Christmas cards
7.  Wrap gifts

There is another list that runs concurrent to this one:

1.  Clean
2.  Laundry
3.  Host friends and family at holiday themed events
4.  Return stuff to various stores
5.  Go to the bank
6.  Drop comforter off at laundrymat
7.  Drop off stuff at Goodwill

UGG!  It is all so daunting, especially when my chest hurts from coughing and hacking and all I really want to do it curl up and take a nap.

Will it all get done?  I honestly cant say. 

The cookie exchange cookies will get made tonight.  And I am pretty sure that I will be forcing my best friend (who is visiting on the 18th) to decorate the house with me (sorry ML!).  I suppose I can't, in good conscious, give unwrapped gifts, so I will wrap them as I need them.  Cards?  I am aiming for New Years...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Best Husband Ever!!!

I really do have the best husband ever.  I mentioned lusting after this gelato maker over the summer:

It is the Delonghi GM6000 Gelato Maker with Self-Refrigerating Compressor.  It certainly wans't something I would buy for myself, but the idea of not having to take up freezer space with the barrels from our traditional ice cream maker was heaven.  Plus, we eat a lot of frozen desserts in our house.

Anyway, guess what my wonderful hubby got me for my birthday?  You betcha, the above mentioned gelato maker.  YEAH!!!!  I used it last night for the first time and made a wonderfully creamy dark chocolate ice cream in 25 minutes with no forethought wahtsoever.  It... was... wonderful!!!!

Here is the first batch whiring away on the counter.

Magazine Trees

These are so much fun to make!  Just fold, fold, fold and then you have a tree.  This is oragami that I can handle.

This is the first little tree that I made from a library journal... finally, a good use for "library literature."

I have another one in-progress, which will be larger and more colorful because it is being made out of the Rachael Ray magazine. 

If you want to make you own trees, there is a great tutorial here.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

On My Mind Today

The house is decorated for Hanukkah, the pictures to go in the holiday cards are ordered, I am going to the post office today to mail my Europe-bound packages.  So what is on my mind today? 

1.  Magazine Trees!  I think they look fun, and I am always looking for a mindless activity to do while watching TV.  Folding pages seems pretty mindless to me
2.  Shower Curtains!  The contractor is booked for out big bathroom remodle in the spring and I am thinking about accessories... I think this ruffled one from Urban Outfitters is super cute, but I am not really fond of the $68 price tag.
3.  Chai Spiced Cookies!  I have been thinking about these since Steph (Adventures in Babtywearing) mentioned them last year.  Today I found this recipe and the obsession continues...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I forgot to say...

Happy Hannukah!

or as Nate would say "Happy Menorahakah!"

Damn it!