Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I was sitting here thinking about the New Year and all of the possibilities when I came acrossed this very fitting post by Kathi over at Tales From The Homefront

It was written by Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.


She says it is the most requested column she'd ever written and it was rerun in honor of her 90th Birthday. I'd say she's got a lot of wisdom to impart.


45 Lessons Life Taught Me

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.


2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.


3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.


4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.


5. Pay off your credit cards every month.


6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.


8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.


9. Save for retirement early starting with your first paycheck.


10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.


11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.


12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.


13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.


14. If a relationship has to be secret, you shouldn't be in it.


15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.


16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.


17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.


18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.


19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.


20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.


21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.


22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.


23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.


24. The most important sex organ is the brain.


25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.


26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, "In five years, will this matter?"


27. Always choose life.


28. Forgive everyone everything.


29. What other people think of you is none of your business.


30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.


31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.


32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.


33. Believe in miracles.


34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.


35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.


36. Growing old beats the alternative.


37. Your children only get one childhood. Make it memorable.


38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.


39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.


40. If we threw all our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.


41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.


42. The best is yet to come.


43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.


44. Yield.


45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

In case I don't get back to you....have a safe and wonderful New Year!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Supper



Taco Soup

Ingredients
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced onions
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
Corn chips, for serving
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Directions
Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

Another hit in our home...courtesy of my BFF Paula Deen!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Twas Two Days After Christmas...


Gosh, how times gets away from you this time of year. Sorry, I had meant to get back on here and post before Christmas to send you all my warmest wishes to you and yours.

But with last minute shopping, wrapping, cleaning and cooking (and every else on the infamous list!!) time just got away from me.

So, in saying all of that, I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Christmas!! I know we certainly did. All bellies were full with good food. Fun time was spent with loved ones. And most importantly, all of our hearts were filled with love. The BEST gift, if you ask me.

It is really hard for me to believe that this year is almost over though. So much has happened to our family this past year. Both bad and good. We have not only lost loved ones near and dear to our hearts. We have also overcome certain obstacles.

Over the past few days, I have really been looking back, reflecting over the last year. And I can't help having both feelings of joy and heartache.

I can only hope that 2009 will be a year of peace, health and happiness!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

He's She's Making A List...He's She's Checking It Twice!!


Making a list...checking it twice!! Ok, I admit it, I am a self proclaimed list maker. Just ask the hubby. It drives him CRAZY at times!! But being a working Mother of two teens, you have to try anything and everything to stay organized. And notice the emphasis on try!!

So it is only natural that I have a been making my own list and that I have been checking them twice. But I think I can cross most of the items off...or at least I hope!!

DECORATE HOUSE FOR CHRISTMAS

MAIL CHRISTMAS CARDS Yeah, don't ask!!

CALL THE IN-LAWS AND TELL THEM WHAT TIME WE WILL BE EATING ON CHRISTMAS DAY

SHOP FOR PRESENTS

WRAP PRESENTS

CLEAN HOUSE

CATCH UP LAUNDRY

MAKE MENU AND GROCERY LIST FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER

GROCERY SHOP FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER

MAKE A TRIP TO SAMS CLUB FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER

BAKE COOKIES AND PIES

COOK CHRISTMAS DINNER

CLEAN UP HOUSE AFTER CHRISTMAS DAY / DINNER

TRY TO GO BACK TO WORK ON FRIDAY WITHOUT FALLING ALSEEP

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Ham Anyone!?!?!?



This is how you make a Christmas ham right?!?!? LOL!! Seriously, this Christmas will be the first year we will be having ham for Christmas in our home. Normally, my husband is not as fond of ham as the rest of us are so when he come home from visiting his Dad one evening and asked me to make a ham for Christmas, I knew something was up.

You see, this year is the first year since my husband's Mom passed away and we are trying to make Christmas a little extra special for my Father-in-law. So when the hubby asked his Dad if there was anything special he would like to have for Christmas dinner, he asked for ham. So, if ham is what the man asked for then it will be ham the man gets!! Which is perfectly fine with me because unlike the hubby I LOVE ham!! LOL!!

Sorry Mr. Turkey, our menu will be changing quite a bit this year...so there will be no turkey, mashed potatoes or dressing for us. This year we will having the following on our table...

APPETIZERS

**Sweet and Sour Meatballs**
**Veggie Tray**
**Fruit Tray**
**Spirals**
**Fiesta Dip with Tortilla Chips**

MAIN COURSE

**Ham**
**Broccoli Rice Casserole**
**Hashbrown Casserole**
**White Corn**
**Green Bean Casserole**
**Deviled Eggs**
**Pasta House Salad**
**Rolls**

DESSERTS

**Cookies**
**Pumpkin Pie**
**Apple Pie**
**Brownies**
**Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip with Graham Cracker Dippers**

I hope this is OK. Sounds weird but I am a little nervous changing up the menu. (Hi, my name is Carrie and I am a little bit of a control freak!!) But I thought these sides went better with ham. So I ask you all this what will be on your Christmas tables this year?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shop Til We Dropped!!


This is what the hubby and I did today! Ok, Ok...I guess that is what I get for totally procrastinating and not going before today. But in my defense after working all day and trying to keep things up and running around the homestead, I am just to gosh darn tired lazy to go out at night.

And anyway, technically I hadn't totally procrastinate. I think I had 3 presents bought before today but honestly whenever you have to get as much as I did today, really what's the difference between 3 and 0!?!?!?

So this morning my husband and I decided to get up early and head out to the stores before all of the other shoppers procrastinators got out there. OH.MY.GOSH!!!! Were we ever so wrong!! Honestly, it wasn't too bad up until about 8:00 or 9:00am, then all heck broke loose!!

By the time we got to Kohl's the lines were halfway around the store. I know probably nothing for all of you brave ones that fight "Black Friday" every year. But this girl is NOT one of those girls. Usually, because I don't rank the seniority at my job (Even though I have been there nearly 11 years. Seriously, don't some people know when to reitire!?!?!?) to get that day off but mainly because with age I have lost the abilty to shop til I drop!!

Even though back in the day, I could out shop the best of them. I even had the classic 80's "Shop Til I Drop" sweatshirt to prove it! Don't laugh, you all know you had the too. LOL!!

But seriously, it wasn't that bad. And I think we got a lot accomplished, even if we tried to do a major power shopping trip and do it all in one day. I think all we have left to do is get my Mom and my Father-in-law's gifts. And maybe a few filler things for the kids. And all of the grocerys for Christmas dinner that we are hosting for the in law's. And clean house. And....And....And....

Ok, maybe I am NOT close to being finished!!! UGGHHH!!! Calgon take me away!!!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm a little bit country...I'm a little bit rock n' roll...

Ok, admit it you all have images of Donnie and Marie in your heads...don't you?!?!? LOL!! I know, me too!! Which reminds me, one of my favorite Christmas presents was a Marie Osmond Barbie doll (ok, I guess technically it would be a Barbie...but you know what I mean.)

Anyway...considering I am the least musically inclined person I know, you all have to know I am not talking about music. And certainally not any brother/sister duets from the 70's!

But I am talking about decorating...

Do any of you ever feel like you are confused to what type of decorator you are? I find myself feeling like I am in a decoratoring limbo all of the time. You see, I LOVE me some country/primitive decor like you would find here...



But then I can't help leaning towards some of this eye candy too...



UGGHHH!!! The pressure!! Do any of you feel this way too? And if so, how do you handle it? Do you just decorate your homes with what you like? Or do you try to stick to a certain style?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thanks Mr. Mailman!!!!

I am so excited!! I came home a few days ago and this is what I found in my mailbox....


I don't know if you all remember but a week or so ago, I actually won my first giveaway!! I know, I know...a HUGE blogging milestone!!

Look at all the goodies I won from Nichole over at The Pumpkin Seed . She even included a bag of these


Y-U-M-M-O!!!!!!! Thanks Again Nichole!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas House Tour 2008

Are you ready to PAARRRTAAYYY!?!?!?!? If so, come join all the fun!! Thrifty Decor Chick , A Soft Place To Land and BooMama are all having Christmas House Tours


.














You should see some of these homes....can you say BE.U.T.FULL!?!?!?!

Lots of eye candy!!

Hope mine can compare...so let's begin.

Welcome to our home!! As some of you may already know, my name is Carrie and I live in my home with my wonderful husband (of 18 years) "Big Daddy" with our two beautiful children. Our 17 YO daughter "Miss Priss" and our 15 YO son "Muscles". We also share our home with our three dogs....Max, Bella and Aries. We have lived in our home for about 7 years.

So sit back, grap a mug of cocoa and your favorite cookie and enjoy...















Thursday, December 11, 2008

Easy peasy!!

With work, kids and the Holidays approaching I am finding less and less time in my day. As I am sure all of you are. So, here is a super easy recipe that we tried tonight for dinner and it was YUMMO!!!


Ingredients:


1/2 of a 1-pound package linguine
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets
2 tbsp. butter
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper



Directions:



Prepare the linguine according to the package directions in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the broccoli during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain the linguine mixture well in a colander.

Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it's well browned, stirring often.

Stir the soup, milk, cheese, black pepper and linguine mixture in the skillet. Cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling, stirring occasionally

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm Offically An Addict!!



Ok, it is offical, I am addicted to blogging!! My laptop had some funky stuff going on the past few days, so I have been having trouble getting on and blogging. It wasn't until after today when I was getting crabby, I began to realize that blogging is my crack, and I needed my fix!!

So what did my lovely hubby dealer do half of the day!?!?!? Yep, he worked on the problem and I am VERY glad to say, I am up and running again!! Better than ever I might add...THANK GOODNESS!!!!! I think it was touch and go there for a while. To thank him I gave him a HUGE kiss and jokingly told him that it was nice doing business with him!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I won...I ACTUALLY Won!!


OMGoodness!! I actually won my very first giveaway. Nichole over at The Pumpkin Seed was having her 100th post giveaway and I can't believe I won, I am SOOOO excited!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things....

While browsing over at one of my favorite blogs Thrifty Decor Chick I saw this and decided to join...




Love ♥♥♥ me some Roosters...


My BFF...



Also love ♥♥♥ me some Target...


Yummo!!...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Whole Lot of Nothin'....

Tonight for dinner we tried the Shepherd's Pie from Homemade Gourmet. I have to admit I was not that impressed but the Sausage Enchilada Dip was to die for!!

This evening is just kind of a boring night. Hubby is not feeling well (PLEEAAASSSEEE don't let me get it), so he is in bed. Son is spending the night at a friend's house (Thanksgiving break) and Daughter is at work until 7:30. So I am just sitting here by my lonesome blogging and watching this


Had a busy day at work, but it was produtive at the same time. Gotta love those kind of days!! Other than that there's just a whole lot of nothin, going on. So I will leave you with this...a little something I found at Carrie's Little World (not me another Carrie)! Sorry Carrie, I may have copied a few of your answers!

A-Attached or Single: Attached
B-Best Friend: My Husband and my kids
C-Cake or Pie: Cake-Strawberry with Strawberry icing
D-Day of Choice: Saturday
E-Essential Item: Computer
F-Favorite Color: Warm tones-reds,browns,greens
G-Greatest Accomplishment: My family
H-Hometown: Belleville
I-Indulgences: Blogging and Decorating
J-January or July: July
K-Kids: 1 girl and 1 boy
L-Life is incomplete without: My family, friends, and my pets
M-Marriage: Is a lot of work but well worth it in the end
N-Number of Siblings:Two-1 sister and 1 brother
O-Oranges or Apples: Oranges
P-Phobias or fears: TOO many to name...I know I have some serious issues!!
Q-Quotes: "Treat others like it may be the last time you may see them"
R-Reason to Smile: Life
S-Season: Fall
T-Tag Friends: Anyone that wants to be tagged
U-Unknown facts about me:I am a chocolate milk drinking, magazine looking, cooking show watching,book reading, decorator wanna a be, blogging addict that ♥'s her family!!
V-Very favorite store(s): Target, Gordmans and thanks to a few of you...Hobby Lobby!!
W-Worst habit: Stressing
X-X-ray or Ultra Sound: Ultra Sound-But this baby factory is CLOSED!!!
Y-Your favorite food: ALL foods...that's another issue!!
Z-Zodiac: Leo

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Weekend Full of Favorites...

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Ours was very nice and relaxing. For once in a long time we had NO plans. Which was perfectly fine with me because that meant I got to do a few of my favorite things...

Got to spend some ever needed QT with the ones I ♥


Started a new book


Caught up on some DVR'd episodes of


And did a little shopping here

Friday, November 21, 2008

What's For Dinner????


Every once in a while, at my work, we have different vendors of sorts set up in the lobby of our building. And yesterday, guess who was there!?!?!? Yep, Homemade Gourmet. Even though I have never tried their products before, I knew from a few of your blogs that you all had. So, I decided to give it a try...hey this Mom will take ALL of the help she can get!!

- Grandma's Sunday Roast Seasoning Mix
- Italian Mozzarella Meatloaf Mix
- Shepherd's Pie Mix
- Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Mix
- Chicken Enchilada Soup Mix

With the Chicken Enchilada Soup Mix the distrubtor included an additional recipe perfect for "Football Food" Sunday.

Sausage Enchilada Dip

1/2 pkg. Homemade Gourmet Chicken Enchilada Soup Mix (2 1/2 Tbls)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes (Undrained)
2 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 lb. mild sausage.

Cook sausage, drain and combine sausage and remaining ingredients to small crockpot. Heat throughly, stirring frequently to prevent from sticking. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Enjoy!! I know we will.....

Oh by the way, if any of you have any recipes suggestions for the mixes I purchased. Or any suggestions for future purchases. I would love if you shared!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Watch Out Campgrounds of America....

Now that the kids are getting older. And the day that our daughter will be leaving for college is approaching, my husband and I have been trying to figure out something that the two of us can do as a couple. So this weekend we bought this...



In hopes to eventually buy this...




And extra bonus in all of this, is the fact that even though our 17 year old daughter will probably not want to step one foot in the camper. We figure once she leaves for college in the Fall, this will be right up our 15 year old son's alley!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ooopps!!!!



Ooopps!! I made a blogging "boo boo"!! I tried to do a GOOD thing Monday night. I was off work today (Tuesday, Nov. 11th) in celebration of Veteran's Day. So, I figured last night while my husband was at his Monday night dart league, my daughter was at work and my son was playing his new Call of Duty video game with his buddy, I would "catch up" and type up a few new posts all at one time.

Well, come to find out what ever date you type up your new posts is the date that is listed on your posts no matter what day you actually publish them.

So, for all TWO of you that actaully read my blog and are wondering why I have FOUR FIVE posts all under yesterdays date...now you know why!!!!{{{BLUSH!!!}}}.

Oh, the joys of being a newbie blogger!!!! LOL!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Keepin' Warm!!! (or atleast tryin'!!!)




Considering it was only 27 degrees when I left to go to work this morning, I sure am glad I picked up a couple things this past weekend that I needed wanted...NO NEEDED!!!!!!

Football Food



Almost every Sunday during Football season, my husband request what we like to call "Football Food" And this is one of our favorites. I would like to introduce you to none other than THE.BEST.SPINACH.ARTICHOKE.DIP.EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

INGREDIENTS
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
1 (4 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (I defrost mine in the microwave and let it cook for about 5 mins then drain)
10 ounces shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
1 cup half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste



DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Saute onion in skillet over medium heat in oil until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in Rotel, black olives and cooked spinach mix well then add vinegar, half-and-half, salt and peeper. Let simmer for a min or so until heat through then add Colby Jack cheese, cream cheese. Spoon mixture into shallow baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven until the dip is bubbly and the top is light brown, about 35 minutes.

A little Inspiration

Here's just a little inspiration I picked up this past weekend...

Main Bathroom Tour






I figured I'd better try to finish my "Halloween/Fall" tour before the Christmas decorating bug bites me harder than it already has...