Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas In My House

We are wading deep in the waters of Cookie Party prep.  We've had decorations up for a few weeks now, and certain parts of the house look great, party ready for sure.


The kitchen on the other hand is a constant jumble of sugar, flour, eggs, recipes, and mess.


In our house Christmas isn't Christmas without a messy kitchen.


Merry Christmas!

Twitterature December 2014

I've been in a reading slump, a situation I'm sure stems from a gigantic project at work that takes up all my brain cells. When that's done, I'm looking forward to jumping back in my library holds list. In the mean time I'm visiting with some old friends.

Old Friends:


For me, it isn't Christmas without a reading of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. This novel does start a bit slow, but if you stick with it it's the type of book that will have you sobbing in public places. It's a coming of age period piece that hits all of my sweet spots.



In times of stress I turn to Harry Potter. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix isn't my favorite what with all of the teenage angst, and stuff, but even a bad Harry Potter is good when you're having a bad day.



I liked living vicariously through Wendy McClure's Little House adventures in The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. It's inspired me to plan a trip to De Smet for my own family.

New Acquaintances:



I listened to Glitter and Glue all at once during a marathon candy making session last week, and loved the small details in this early 90's post college travel memoir that ended up being about mothers and daughters. "Raising people is air traffic control."



I got Ina Garten's new cookbook,Make It Ahead, out of the library, kept it out as long as possible, made the ginger shortbread, drooled over the vegetarian lasagna, and quickly put it on my Christmas list.

Visit The Modern Mrs. Darcy's monthly reading link up to see what this is all about.  If you want to see all of the books I've read this year (113 so far!) check out my Pinterest page.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My December Rules

I'll admit it. Last Christmas was kind of a stressful disaster. This year I'm doing everything in my power to make things better. I've done a lot of thinking about ways to make things work. The end result of my thinking was these 10 ground rules.

My December Ground Rules:

1) No more than 1 drink/4 hours of event

2) Pick out clothes (including underwear) at least two days ahead of any event. (Because a six year old nursing bra with an evening dress is not a cute look.)

3) Each event requires a different purse. Check each time you leave the house for your wallet and keys to your house and car.

4) Even though you are tired at night wash and moisturize your face. You need it now more than ever.

5) Now is not the time to cheap out on reasonable splurges like dry cleaning, moderate amounts of carry out, or purchasing gift cards in place of THE PERFECT GIFT.

6) Always shop with a list. Remember your Christmas shopping is done. Don't buy any more.

7) Do not substitute Starbucks lattes for breakfast or sleep.

8) Enjoy special events. Don't stress about the next thing.

9) Keep gym and hiking bags packed. Make it easy to do the healthy thing.

10)  No new projects!

Do you set ground rules?

Monday, December 1, 2014

This Week's Menu & Goals

Well, December 1, here we go!  If you're in the depths of holiday planning may I suggest this recent episode of Naptime Radio, which has an excellent checklist?

We had an excellent Thanksgiving staycation. We ate with friends, crafted, hiked, visited museums, and enjoyed our first bit of snow this year (would love to share pics but have misplaced my camera.) Now the crunch is on!

Mon -- Garden vegetable soup, salad
Tue -- BBQ chicken, noodles, veggies
Wed -- Beef & bean taco salad
Thu -- Chicken taco soup, avocado
Fri -- Pizza, salad

Breakfasts -- yogurt, apple sauce bread, fresh juice, hard boiled eggs

Lunches -- Salad, leftovers, cheese and crackers

Linked to: Menu Plan Monday

This week's goals:

1) Get clothes ready for: scouts, DH's holiday party, ugly sweater 5k, church, my holiday party, DD's birthday party
2) Make camping pillows for kids
3) Make dough for 3 types of cookies
4) Make 8 loaves of bread for gifts (did this last week, but it came out wrong)
5) Set up Christmas tree

Have a great week!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Menu & Goals

Happy Thanksgiving! I feel a bit odd that I'm not cooking much this week, but I have enough cooking coming up that I'm kind of relishing it too.

Mon -- Nacho bar
Tue -- Chicken & rice soup
Wed -- Vegetable beef soup
Thu -- Thanksgiving with friends, I'm bringing a pecan pie
Fri -- Pizza & salad

Breakfasts -- yogurt, apple sauce bread, fresh juice, hard boiled eggs

Lunches -- Salad, leftovers, cheese and crackers

Linked to: Menu Plan Monday

Last week's goals:
1) Iron {I started!}
2) Figure out activities for daughter's birthday party
3) Clean out daughter's room for big girl bed
4) Clean out guest bedroom
5) Make 8 loaves of bread to freeze for gifts

This week's goals:
Relax a bit and finish up what I didn't do last week.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pre Holiday Cleaning

Researching my various holiday cooking requirements has given me a kick in the pants to clean out my cookbook collection again. I'm one of those people who would have a kitchen full if I could, and since I have a few new ones on my Christmas list I had to make room.

I went through yesterday and spent five minutes posting my books on For books I've had great success with paperbackswap.com, cash4books.net, and the amazon trade in program.  Four out of five had new homes within minutes!  This weekend I'll spend a half hour wrapping them, and they'll be at the post office by Monday morning.

I've also been cleaning out my closet. thredUP is kind of like an online consignment store -- you can go on there now and buy what you want.  But, to get the most bang for your buck, I suggest you first send them some of your kids' outgrown clothes.  They'll price them and give you credit right away.  There's no waiting for stuff to sell like at a traditional consignment shop.  You can either use the credits right there in the store, or have it applied to your PayPal account.

****Note: They're quite picky, so follow the rules they send with the bag.  Don't get upset with them, you'll get the same great quality back when you shop.

Moxie Jean is similar to thredUP, but I've found they are a little more flexible with taking clothes out of season.  Unfortunately they aren't taking new items right now, but you can sign up to be on their waiting list.  I first found them through a daily deal site, so keep your eyes out for that.

Are you cleaning out ahead of the holidays?

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