Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My first attempt at a wreath

I'm getting so excited for Christmas! I've told myself that I'm going to try to take on all those little crafts that I've been putting off, seeing as this will probably be my last Christmas staying at home full time. I need to take advantage of the opportunity! (don't hold your breath though - we all know what my follow through is like lately)   :)

Anyway, I was scrounging through our (very small amount of) Christmas decorations and I came across this cheap wreath I picked up at Walmart last year for $2.

Not much too look at. So I went to Micheals last weekend during their Thanksgiving sale and picked up some little ornament thingies for half off.  I think I spent maybe $4.

I'm usually into much more traditional Christmas decor, but this year I was really drawn to all things shiny and sparkly.

I think that the final result came out decent enough for my first time.

See? Shiny and sparkly! :) I even included a little drum for my Little Drummer Boy ♥

I hope everyone else is getting the warm fuzzies for Christmas!
  Really looking forward to reading all the Christmas posts!

'til next time...

Monday, November 28, 2011

The cheesecake that almost was

See this pretty cheesecake?

I had a really cool post almost ready to go about it since it was my first attempt at ever making a cheesecake. Had neat little pics of the process and everything.

Todd and I each had one small piece. It was so freaking good - I can't even tell you. I was aiming for the Black Tie Cheesecake from Olive Garden which I was in love with back in California. I came across a recipe for it after searching for hours online and even though it was a horribly difficult cheesecake to make (hours and hours plus overnight) I took on the challenge.

Well. Set the cheesecake on the counter to soften so that I could cut pieces to photograph for a post....aaaaaaand evidently my dog is a BIG fan.

I was out of the room for maybe 15 minutes and when I came back into the kitchen I found this

and this

and after examining the snoots of Fletch and Crystal (Mobee was automatically ruled out since he's so short) we determined that Fletch was the Bad Dog since he had chocolate on his whiskers.

Todd was very, very upset with him. We waited for him to get sick but he never did - which surprised me being that the cheesecake was largely chocolate. I guess I came out ahead on that one.

I'm going to make another one very soon though. Todd wants a berry-ish one, but I'm going to try this one again. The Italian Mousse in it is mouthwatering.

So basically this whole post was to tell you that my jackass dog ate half my cheesecake last week.

But he is forgiven because he has the softest ears ever.

'til next time...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stopping by to say 'hi'

Well hello there! Been an absentee blogger of late...I know.
Wanted to drop in to say hi though.

Hope you all made it through the Black Friday maddness. 
Me, I don't mess with Black Friday much.
This year was more of a Grey-ish late afternoon Sunday....

A Sunday where I tortured my husband by trying on and threatening to buy many, many silly hats. I have the hardest time resisting all the hats that come out this time of year.

I do though in order to save my husband some face.

One thing I had to share before I sign off...

We caught this at our local Lawrenceburg Walmart this weekend.

Pretty awesome stuff.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Todd and I drove out to his parent's in Indiana, so we decided to have our Thanksgiving dinner at home this coming weekend. 
We're pretty excited about that :)

'til next time...

Friday, November 18, 2011

A year ago today...

I'm his gal. He's my guy.

All is right in our world.

November 19, 2010

I wanted to take a moment to wish my husband and my best friend a Happy Anniversary. Let me shout from my little mountain top that I love you more than anything, and quite honestly am still wondering why you put up with me. :) We've known each other since we were kids, and we'll know each other when we're old. There is no one in this world that I would rather have this adventure with.

Huntington Beach 1998

Sea World with Cousin Ronnie sometime around 1999

Fourth of July 1999

Dog Beach 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving 2009 (Me doing my best Nixon impression)

Todd had just asked me to marry him 2010 :)

After our small ceremony in front of the Justice of Peace

Last January - we were trying out how solid the frozen pond was...

This past August - getting stoopid.

As always, you are the peanut butter to my jelly.

Now where it at????

to anyone else that might happen to read this - I'd apologize for the amount of sappiness and excessive use of photos in this post....but I can't say that I'm really sorry about that at all. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

My buttermilk woes are no more

I was so excited that I found this I just had to share with you! I just know there is someone out there that is going to find this useful, I know it!

Many of my friends out there love to mess around in the kitchen. I do, and 90% of the time I'm a spur of the moment cook. Due to these usually unorganized attempts, I find that I come across the problem of missing ingredients frequently! I don't know about you, but I have a problem keeping those wacky little ingredients on hand - like fresh ginger, heavy whipping cream, lemons and buttermilk to name a few. I just don't use them enough to make them staple purchases for my cupboards. So a lot of recipes slip by because of some silly little ingredient I'm too lazy to trek into town for.

Well, I can mark one of those pesky little ingredients off my list!


I was THRILLED when Todd pointed out this container of dry buttermilk to me at the store. I'd never seen anything like it before! Once opened it will need to be refrigerated, but their website states it will stay good for years to come (which I'm assuming would be around the expiration date on the bottom of the container - mine being 5/2015). I was able to purchase a 12oz. canister of it for $3.85 at Kroger. I did look for some online after I got home and found several others, though I think this one is the better economic choice.
The product result was the same as regular buttermilk as far as we could tell. I mean, the delicious pumpkin waffles we made with it were as yummy as can be.

This was an amazing find for me though - just in time for the holidays too! Todd promised me when he gets home from work he's going to dig all my recipe books out of the storage shed - can't wait to start picking out recipes! Hope you guys won't mind too much if I go on and on about food for a bit. I lost a lot a weight over the last couple of months and I'm trying to put it back on again before it starts snowing. LOL! Need to build up my winter coat!

Anyone else have any baking finds that they've stumbled across and found indispensible in the kitchen? I'd love to hear about them!

'til next time...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ahhhh, those holiday impulse buys

Because really, who ever walks out of their house with the intention of purchasing a 5-lb. Milk Chocolate Hershey bar for $35 at Walmart?

So we're just gonna file this one under Impulse Buys. :D

What in the world would anyone even do with this thing????

I should have snapped a pictured of the 2-lb Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that my husband was drooling over...

The stores are coming up with some really fun stuff to throw your money away on this year, so be careful out there!

'til next time...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Burn Baby Burn!

We got tired of those pesky leaves.

So we turned a good night into a perfect night and burned the crap out of a bunch of them.

In addition to the leaf situation, we found ourselves with an abundance of branches. We'd been piling them up over the past month with the intention of burning them. The dogs have been thrilled about that particular pile - they love to pick a stick out and gnaw on it for awhile. So it wasn't any surprise to us when Crystal started to get a little indignant when we began burning her sticks. She kept trying to make off with them. Here's a pic of her trying to make off with one of bigger branches. She really did get a little pissy when we tried to take them back - a tugging match ensued more than once!

Soooooo burning leaves, not quuuuuite as fun as a normal bonfire. A lot of smoke and ash. But we have the majority of the yard cleared of leaves and as you can see in the picture below there aren't all that many leaves left to fall - the tree on the very right of the picture actually has quite a few, but I'm hoping they land in the neighbors yard (he has a riding mower at least).

Call me a pyro, but I love a good fire! Love the smell of it in the air - I even love the smell of it on my clothes (not so much in the hair though - that's an immediate shower). Love the warmth of it on my face, the glow it casts. Who doesn't associate campfires with a good time? They're almost irresistible to photograph for me. I mean, if you're having a fire than it's safe to say you're having a good time that needs to be documented!!!! :D

Here's a parting shot of our baby girl, Crystal. She is such an amazing dog. As unwaveringly loyal as they come. So much so, that she'll completely ignore strangers once she's established they're not a threat. Won't even look in their direction. I wish I could have snapped a better picture of this moment. She was just sitting there for the longest time leaning on her dad's leg with her head on his knee - just staring up at him adoringly.

I can't wait to get the yard completely cleared out so we can actually dig out a fire pit. So far it's just a spot in the yard where the previous tenants burned their yard waste. We'd like to to dig it out a bit, and I'd like to find some river rocks to build up around it so that the dogs aren't walking through any soot. I can see that some nice fires are to be had here!

'til next time....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Run, run, as fast as you can!

I wasn't lying to you.

I totally found Gingerbread Mallows.

Actually between Walmart and Kroger I'm finding quite the selection of marshmallows. I've seen chocolate, chocolate mint, strawberry, coconut, and pina colada. The last two are just gross. But hopefully this a something that will be catching on and new flavors will come out!

Having a freaking blast trying to figure out what to put them in. Of course there'll be the obligatory Gingerbread Rice Krispies. But I was also thinking maybe stick them in the middle of a yummy chocolate cupcake...

and even though it'll be gingerbread overload, I'm grabbing some chocolate, roasting some of these bad boys and slapping them on some of these....

That's right. I found a beat up box of gingerbread graham crackers that are left unopened from last Christmas. 

We're real classy up in this joint. :D

'til next time...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Some Serious Nerdage

About two weeks ago I posted this picture to my Facebook profile, showing how I'd spent six straight hours raking up leaves in my yard. I'd raked for so long, I had huge blisters on the palms of my hands!

The day after I took this picture the entire yard was covered in leaves again. So we're kind of in a holding pattern right now as far as yard maintenance is concerned. At this point we're waiting for the last big fall and depending on how wet everything is our options are to either bag it all or burn it. I've rambled on about this as way to incorporate a really lame apology for the state of my yard, and the 3' of leaves that my dogs are running through in these pictures.

My mutts were having so much fun running around and sounding like general jerks yesterday that I had to whip out the camera. Most of my shots are usually huge blurs where nothing is discernible. However I managed to snap a couple that closely resemble pooches!

Try not to notice the gutted Woobie laying about the yard.

Fletch and Crystal are prone to fits of pure excitement where they will grab a mouth full of leaves and carry them around.

Fletch finds that the leaves make a great place to flop around in.

Even if they make him a little itchy...

I shot a little video of the craziness I've had to endure lately. Seriously, these guys are like puppies again! They are having the time of their lives here!


Turn your volume down if you're at work before you hit play!

My dogs sound like total a@$%oles when they play - but I assure everyone it's all in fun and they love each other to death!

Mobee was particularly funny - he just kept running up onto the deck...back and forth. Then towards the end of the video when he's playing tug of war with Fletch - I swear it looks like he's doing the reverse worm. Also, if you wouldn't mind promptly forgetting my baby talk in the video, or really strange sigh at the end I'd really appreciate it. :)

My nerds, for your viewing pleasure...

'til next time...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hola November!

I hope that everyone had a very spooky and very enjoyable Halloween!

We stayed home and handed out candy to all the adorable little ones in our neighborhood. There were a lot of children out this year which made it really fun to see all the different costumes. Trick or treating is a tad bit different out here than in California. For one there are set hours for trick or treating that everyone abides by. This year was 6-8pm (last year was 4-6pm which kind of sucked because it was still broad daylight out when the kiddies were collecting their goodies). I'm rather partial to this law since back in California we're used to having the obnoxious 16 year olds start knocking on our door at 9:30pm. Another thing is that people look for obvious signs of life in a house before they go up and knock... We had our pumpkins lit, spiders dangling and house lights on...and I was still flagging parents down to let them know our house was open for trick or treating!!

Probably shouldn't have done that though, because we still managed to run out of candy (so we had to blow out the pumpkins and sit in the dark until 8:05pm). Can anyone out there tell me how they manage to hand out just one item of candy to each child? I tried so hard - but they just stand there, pressuring you with their adorable little kid eyes...and they all walked away with several pieces. There was one little boy dressed like the Hulk that walked right into our living room and proceeded to try to take off with the entire contents of my candy dish.... He shocked me so much that he almost made it - little booger.

Pretty uneventful night for the most part. Todd and I messed around in the kitchen a bit. We had some homemade pizza for dinner - came out really good! Kinda surprised myself.

As for dessert, (this one is for my girl Jenna over at SewSavoireFaire Creations) I had a tough time finding any sort of recipe that called for Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows, so I improvised. I just made some regular old Rice Krispie Treats, but I substituted the Pumpkin Spice marshmallows for regular ones and tossed in some mini chocolate chips. They were yuuuuuuuummy, and I am not at all embarrassed to admit that Todd and I ate an entire 8x8 pan all by ourselves last night! I'm totally going to pick up another bag and make some more for Thanksgiving...which is **gasp** this month!!! Holy crap! How did that happen?

I should mentioned before I go that I found a bag of Gingerbread Marshmallows at Walmart the other day! Freaking hooray for any sort of marshmallow!!! So there should be some sort of gooey concoction coming up...

Until then...