Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I will be taking a short break from blogging to enjoy this magnificent holiday with my family. My wish for you all is a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

God Bless,

Friday, December 18, 2009

Silent Monks

I saw this one on American Papist. I had to share with you as well. This one made me smile!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Menu Wednesday #5

This is such a crazy time of year. I have simplified my menu to reflect our hectic life. Everything is easy and pretty fast to prepare.

Wednesday: Crock Pot turkey breast (held over from last week)


green beans

Thursday: Quesadillas

tossed green salad

Friday: Dinner out

Saturday: Chicken Milanese (held over from last week)

rice pilaf

Sunday: Chicken enchiladas



Monday: hamburgers

oven fries

Tuesday: Pizza bread

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Loss of a Good Man

I am so sad today! I just found out my neighbor died today from complications due to cancer. He was the most generous, kind hearted person and his loss will be greatly felt. My kids adored him and his wife. They would host movie and pizza night and have the boys over. The boys deemed them the coolest neighbors. We have lived in this home for about 8 years and it was happenstance that Bill and Terry were our neighbors. I have actually known Bill for over 20 years. He owns a fantastic store in our area called William-Glen. It is the go to store locally for wonderful home decor and gifts. Bill and I use to go to the same parish. He attended my wedding and I had seen him off and on through the years. It was such a wonderful surprise when we moved in and we found out that he was our neighbor. Bill was such a funny, compassionate and generous person. I am still in shock that he is gone. My prayers are for his wife, Terry and his kids. Bill just became a grandfather and I am so sad that his granddaughter will not know this incredible man.

The Harmonica Man

This made me smile today!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Teacher's Gifts

This year, I haven't had the time to make any gifts to give. To be honest, I was plum out of ideas. So, when I came across these cute candleholders, I knew just what to give. The glass candle holders are from IKEA and they hold both tealights and tapers. All you have to do is turn them to the side you want to use. How cute and clever! I found the scented tealights and tapers at IKEA as well. Even the santa gnome sack was from IKEA. The best part of all, these candle holders were only 49 cents!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Top Chef Ending

Drats, Michael won! I really didn't see that coming. I truly thought it was between Kevin and Bryan. Even listening to the judges comments, I didn't think Michael would win. Overall, a very exciting season and I had fun spending my Wednesday nights watching these insanely talented chefs.

Top Chef finale

I can't wait for the finale tonight. I think Top Chef is my favorite show and this season has been one of the best. I am hoping for Kevin or Bryan to win. Just anyone but Michael. He is so arrogant. He is probably a great chef, but I would want one of the other two to win. It's going to be good!

Menu Wednesday #4

I haven't been posting very much, I know. This is such a busy time of year. The kids seems to have more activities and the days seem to go by too fast.

Here is this weeks menu:

Wednesday: Honey Hoisin Chicken (I saw this recipe and had to give it a try)
cut up veggies

Thursday: homemade pizza

Friday: Slow cooker turkey breast ( I know, I know but this is so good)
winter panzanella salad

Saturday: Salmon (held over from last week)
Fish sticks for the kids
rice pilaf

Sunday: Antipasto
garlic bread

Monday: Fried rice

Tuesday: chicken Milanese
Parmesan pasta

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Menu Wednesday #3

Are you tired of Thanksgiving leftovers? I know I am. Here is our menu for the week.

Wed. Spicy stir fried chicken with fresh veggies

Thur. Fresh Dungeness Crab (Yea! it's back in season)
crusty bread
cut up veggies with ranch dip

Fri. Tacos
Spanish rice

Sat. Grilled salmon

Sun. Chicken yakitori
soba noodles

Mon. Philly cheese steaks
cut up veggies

Tues. appetizer dinner (I put out a bunch of finger food and the kids go wild)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting in the Spirit

I think I am the last person to know about Eddie Ross 's fabulous wreath. I love the simplicity of the wreath and it is very easy to craft (click on his link for the how to). The hardest part for me was positioning of the bow. I am still not satisfied with it, but I love overall how the wreath turned out. My word of warning, it took a lot of ornaments. My ornaments were smallish and it took 72 to make this wreath. I read on someones blog that they went to the dollar store to get their ornaments. Great idea!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Menu Wednesday #2

The big turkey day is fast approaching. Here is a list of our menus for the week. Hope everyone has a Blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday: Soup & Sandwiches (keeping it simple)

Thursday: Thanksgiving Dinner
Ravioli's (an Italian tradition in our family)
mashed potatoes
green beans with bacon and onion (everything tastes better with bacon!)
shrimp salad
homemade rolls
homemade cranberry sauce
homemade pumpkin pie
marionberry pie
tums! (just checking if you are paying attention)

Friday: Leftovers! (probably hot turkey sandwiches)

Saturday: The Great After Thanksgiving Enchiladas
green salad

Sunday: spaghetti with meat marinara
garlic bread

Monday: roasted salmon
rice pilaf

Tuesday: Grilled teriyaki chicken
grilled vegetables

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Keeping Busy

The kiddos have school off all this week. Do you remember as kids, we only got Thursday and Friday off. So, that means I need to find things for the boys to do. I spent this morning finishing up my Thanksgiving day shopping and doing the rest of my planning. I decided to take the boys to Sky High Sports for the afternoon with some of their friends. What fun! The boys were able to jump until they were exhausted. The huge space is filled with trampolines galore. They have one section just filled with a huge trampoline space, another space with trampolines and a foam pit and finally a trampoline dodge ball section. Guess what my boys liked? You betcha, the dodge ball! I remember playing dodge ball as a kid in school. Not always the nicest playground game sometimes. However, this was pretty tame and the boys had a blast. I think Hubby would love to play it as well. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Menu Wednesday

Recently I have been trying to be more organized with my families meals. I have started writing down a weeks work of menus at a time. My normal way would be to make a haphazard list and menu and then hope for the best. I thought it would be fun to start posting my menus online as a way of keeping track and hearing what you might have to say. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment. I am always looking for new menu ideas. So here is goes:

Wednesday: Chile Chicken with Cashews

Thursday: Chicken Vesuvio

Friday: Baked Penne
Garlic Bread

Saturday: Fried Rice
cucumber salad

Sunday: slow roasted pork
sweet & spicy roasted veggies

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Leftover Soup (turkey noodle & black bean)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blog Land

I love bloggers! I love being a click away from fantastic ideas and wonderful inspirations. I think that is why I started my own blog. It started with wanting to share ideas and having one place to put all those ideas down. I try to go through some of my favorite blogs a least every other week. I love getting that kernel of an idea and then running with it. I have discovered some new to me blog sites that I wanted to share with you. Happy Inspiration!

Snackpicks mom ran website that is all about snacks for the family

This Week for Dinner great inspiration for new menu ideas

Ravenhill Very cute blog on family and crafts

A Bushel and a Peck A mixed media artist and family life

Betz White felting, family and projects

The Magic Onions adorable felted projects

The Vintage Pearl stunning sterling silver jewelry artist

Lettres from The Blissful life and french decor

Testosterhome I love her blog, it is about raising boys

American Papist catholic blog

I hope you will enjoy these bloggers as much as I have.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Soup Update

Okay, okay, I know the picture is not the best, but don't let that deter you from trying this soup. It is very good. I posted the link in my last post. I came across the recipe in the latest Food Network Magazine. You know I love my slow cooker and when I saw this recipe I had to give it a try. The recipe calls for a smoked turkey drumstick. I don't like eating or feeding my family the whole nitrate/nitrite stuff. I was able to find an organic smoked turkey thigh at Whole Foods from Diestel Farms. My only criticism of the soup was the pickling spice I bought. I really wasn't wild about the flavor of the spices. I would absolutely make this again and I would add my own spice mix and omit the pickling spices.

Fall Colors

We awoke this morning to a beautiful cold clear day here in Northern California. These are the days I hope for all year long. I love how clear and blue the sky is and how crisp and cold the air is. My lantana's are sprouting gorgeous colors right now. I have a beautiful black bean soup in my slow cooker and we are off to a day of soccer games. Just another lovely fall day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Oh my goodness were these good. I found the recipe at Little Birdie Secrets. It is a version of the crescent rolls. I made a trial run last night for Thanksgiving dinner with the rolls. They are soooo good. The kiddo's and I couldn't get enough of these yummies. They were easy to make and they made quite a bit of rolls. Just a word of warning. This is a really sticky dough. Don't panic when you see how sticky the dough is. I read the warning at Little Birdie Secrets and I tried not to panic as I made them. They go though two rises and once you turn the dough out onto a board dusted with flour, they roll out just fine. I will definitely be making these on T-Day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Harvest Festival Fun

Our school puts on a harvest festival each year. Each classroom makes an item to sell at the country store to earn money for that classroom. It is a way for the class to earn extra money and with the state of the economy, it has become essential way for the teachers earn money for their class for just basic items like paper and pencils. For the last four years I have helped organize the country store for our harvest festival. I love seeing all the inventive crafts that the classes come up with. One of the crafts that a class did was from a book I had checked out at the library. It was called EcoCrafts by Susan Wasinger. I loved the coffee bag tote! I was excited to see this craft and loved the environmental aspect of recycling tied into our harvest festival. There was shrinky dink jewelry, cookie mix in jars, lavender mint tinctures, calendars, hot packs and fairy cradles. Very fun and crafty!

Our local Whole Foods saved their coffee bags and donated them to our school.

One of my sons class worked on felted heart pins and fairy cradles.

I loved how the fairy cradles turned out. We had a parent cut walnut shells and then the kids put in the wool roving.

Another parent came up with this cute poem for fairies.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy All Saints Day!

Today is the feast day for All Saints. It is also my sweet little boys birthday. He would have been 13 today. You can read about him here. I hope everyone has a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Old fashioned barn dance

Our school had an old fashioned barn dance and Halloween party this past week. The boys were excited to try out their costumes. My oldest went as a rocker with tattoos, my middle son went as a zombie and my youngest was a ghoul. I hate buying Halloween costumes. My theory has always been to make your own. I don't particular like Halloween anyway and I hate spending money on a costume that they wear a few times. So this year once again, we encouraged the boys to make their own costumes and even offered the boys five dollars if they made their own costumes. My oldest really wanted a cool costume, so we did end of buying the tattoo shirt. My youngest really wanted a long black cape and mask for his ghoul costume. My middle son the only one that really made this own costume and one to take us up on the offer.

Pumpkin bowling

The donut on the string was really funny!

Spooky story telling time.

My ghoul with cotton candy.

A rocker and a ghoul.

A zombie with a skateboard.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our trip to Apple HIll

We made our annual trek to apple hill yesterday. It was nice to get out of Sacramento for awhile. The day was beautiful, especially after all the wind and rain we recently had. Our first stop is always Rainbow Orchards. They have the best apple cider donuts and the boys, big and little look forward to them.

The famous apple cider donuts. They make them to order and are always hot and decadent. Are you drooling yet?

This is Grandpa Cellars orchard. We always stop her for their preserves. They are selling their property and retiring. Hubby was contemplating what it would be like to own an apple farm.

Overall, a fun day with the family. The boys love coming up to apple hill and the drive is so beautiful.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bead show continued

I returned to the bead show today and found more beautiful beads. I decided to pick up some sterling, even though the price was high. I did some research around town and online and found that the prices were better than what else I could get. The sterling will last me a little while. I love the charm and pendants I found. The dog tag Sacred Heart and crown are two of my favorites. I was able to also find some beautiful crucifix's and centers. I picked up a few more bead strands as well.

This rosary has an old world feel to me. The beads are some of the beads I purchased this weekend. They are heat treated glass. I love how intense the color is. The picture does not do it justice. The beads have a look of rubies. The sterling crucifix and center was also purchased at the bead fair.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bead show score

There is a bead and gem show in town this weekend. I went on Friday to see what they had. As you can see, I picked up some nice bead strands. I am going to go back tomorrow and pick up some more beads. I was hoping to buy some silver, but the prices were so high. I am looking forward to making some nice rosaries and jewelry with my new finds.
This is my latest rosary. I love how light and airy it is. The beads are Czech glass cathedral beads and the Pater Noster beads are African Opals. I made this rosary for my dear, dear friend Charmaine.
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