12.23.2009

The Sickies and a Beautiful Baby Girl

I have been MIA...and not just from the blog...but from life.

I started feeling sick last Tuesday...and I finally went to the Dr. yesterday. In my defense...I figured I just had the flu...and would eventually get better. Turns out...I more than likely had the flu...and chased that with tonsillitis and an ear infection....which I am currently battling. The good news is....The antibiotics and I are finally winning. I was actually able to get up and "do stuff" today! Yay.

I did attempt to get out on Monday. My sister had her baby Monday afternoon. They named her Teagan...and from the little glimpse I got of her from the corner of the room....she was absolutely precious.
I have decided that being sick over the Holidays (and having not finished Christmas shopping) is really no fun...but being sick the day your niece is born....is really really unfortunate.
I can't wait to kick these sickies....and get some Aunt/Niece bonding time in!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

12.14.2009

Christmas Tour 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

It's Christmas Tour Time!!

I love Christmas time. I love the Christmas story, I love hanging out with family, I love chilly weather, I love gifts...and I LOVE Christmas decorating.

However, I don't have that many decorations...or that much space to decorate for that matter. But...I did try to add a little festive touch here and there.

Welcome...Our tree... and some Santa-love. I love all the glittery word ornaments.
I told the hubs we couldn't have a Cowboys ornament on the tree until we got into the playoffs again....or when we get a new quarterback. I figured it would more than likely happen the same year.

Looks like the hubs was a little sneaky...this is in the back of the tree. Ha!
The tree all lit up at night. I LOVE creating, surfing the web, designing by the light of the tree.

The mirror in the dining room, with the letters I made a few years ago. I need to hang the rest of my cards up.
Christmas in the bathroom. This was a gift from my Grandmother last year....
Speaking of my Grandmother...let me just interrupt my tour to show you her house at Christmas time:
Okay...back to mi casa:

So, before my husband met me...he was a bit of a Grinch...He never really got into the Holiday spirit. Thus...his contribution to our decor. In his defense....he is pretty festive these days. Well, as festive as he can be!

I just have one more thing to share....

I got this cute little aluminum tree after Christmas last year. I really wanted to find some tiny vintage ornaments to decorate it with.
I decided to hang these hippie chick ornaments on it instead. They were a stocking stuffer from my very own hippie chick last Christmas (on the right).
This picture was taken Christmas Eve last year, about 3 weeks before my Aunt was diagnosed with cancer. This is the last time I saw her "healthy". She passed away in August...and not a day has gone by that I don't think of her. She was the life of the party... and every day was a party in her life.

While I really do love the decorating, opening gifts, wrapping paper, and Christmas treats...This year I am treasuring every single second with my loved ones.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

12.10.2009

Christmas Treats

I'm not much of a Thanksgiving/Christmas "food" person. I don't like ham at all. And, I'm WAY picky about turkey. I don't like dressing or many of the casseroles that are cooked.

You'd think I would starve over the Holidays.

(un) Fortunately....I like pretty much any dessert I see.

I posted this recipe a few days ago...a fun and easy cookie...and pretty yummie.


These are super delicious. You can also use almond bark (or white chocolate) with food coloring to make them festive!

Okay...but my favorite FAVORITE treats at Christmas are:



Magic Cookie Bars & Fudge.
Not necessarily together...though, that might not be bad.

Magic Cookie Bars
(recipe from Eagle Brand's website)

Ingredients

  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
Instructions
  • HEAT oven to 350°F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  • COMBINE graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with fork.
  • BAKE 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds.
  • For perfectly cut cookie bars, line entire pan with foil, extending foil over edge of pan. Coat lightly with no-stick cooking spray. After bars have baked and cooled, lift up with edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into individual bars.
  • VARIATIONS
  • SUBSTITUTE chocolate chips or nuts with candy coated pieces, dried cranberries, raisins, mini-marshmallows or butterscotch chips.
SOOOO GOOD!!

Paula Deen's Old Time Fudge Recipe
(from FoodNetwork)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus extra for buttering dish
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions

Mix sugar and cocoa; add syrup and milk. Cook in saucepan over medium heat until a small drop forms a soft ball in cold water (234 to 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat. Add butter, pecans, and vanilla. Beat with mixer or by hand. Pour into a slightly buttered oblong glass dish and cut into squares. Work fast, as mixture thickens quickly.

What are your favorite cookie/desserts during the Holidays?

12.08.2009

The Case of the Missing Christmas Decorations....

Candles, but NO cute snowman couple.
Stockings, but no stocking hangers.
Wreath holder....NO WREATH.
Am I going crazy??? Or is someone messing with me??

Or could it be that maybe, just maybe....I have a box of Christmas stuff that got mixed in with all the other boxes...I HAVE YET TO UNPACK? I mean, I've only been here a year. :)

So, for now...my stockings are laying on the island, and the wreath hook is on the front door without a wreath. And the candles...well...they actually stayed up all year. But...we are celebrating...even if we are missing some accessories.

In other news....I just finished a big item on my to-do list...and it's 2am on Tuesday morning. I have decided that I am most creative when I am creating under the Christmas tree lights. Just another reason I feel the tree should stay up all year. Well, that and it might disappear.

12.03.2009

O Christmas Tree...

We bought our Christmas Tree about 4 years ago. Before we were married, before we were even engaged. We had gone to visit my Grandparents right after Christmas and went into town to do some "bargain" shopping. I saw my my tree in a box all by itself...and thought that one day C might actually propose...and we would probably need a Christmas tree. So, I did what any self-respecting (having dated for nearly 4 years) girl would do. I begged.

I consider myself a "shop it into existence" girl. I bought home decor before I had my own place - I've been known to buy an outfit that that's too small (on sale, of course) for the day that I'm finally skinny enough to wear it - I have seriously considered buying a couple of really cute baby girl outfits...for well, you know - and I bought a Christmas tree before I had a place to put it. It worked....not quickly, mind you. But 3 years after I bought it...it finally came out of the box.

I'm still working on this year's decor, but here is the tree last year: It's 6 1/2 feet, pre-lit. After MUCH thought, I just decided to go with lime green, dark red and pearl white ornaments. It was like Sophie's choice on the ornament aisle at Hobby Lobby. I came up with just about every color combination possible...but in the end I liked this one the best. I am thinking about shopping the after Christmas sale's this year for some of those other possibilities....let's just say I'm shopping a house with more room into existence!! (let's pray that doesn't take 3 years!)

I didn't buy that many "extra" ornaments...so the tree looked a little bare. I did get a few silver charm ornaments and some sparkly words and stuff, which you can kind of see below.
Dalton came over to check out the tree right after we put it up. Love that kiddo. Look how small he looks.
Growing up, my Grandparent's always gave us a Hallmark ornament every year. This past year, C and I got our first one together. It says "new home". Cute!!
She also got us this one. Not technically our first Christmas together....but our first one as husband and wife.
I have a thing for pattern...so I nearly go crazy with the wrapping paper aisle at Hobby Lobby. I try to do matchy matchy...and I absolutely LOVE wrapping gifts.
This is my Mom and Stepdad's tree last year. I didn't add any ribbon or anything to my tree last year...but I like the look of it...I think I might need to do that this year. Any suggestions?

When I was looking for these pics in my December photo file...I found these. Every year on Christmas Eve, my Dad's family gets together for a little party. My Dad, brother and sister alway pose for family shots. I have so many of these....but here are last years.
How cute are my siblings? I mean, really!
Sisters and Dad. Can you tell we are related?

Let's Talk About Cookies!!

So excited about this little blog hop at Jessi's ...as I am quite the cookie monster. I have the pant size to prove it! :)

Anyway, these are my new favorite treats...and they are DELICIOUS!! They are also easy to make...which makes them all the better!!

First, you will need:
Ritz Crackers, your favorite peanut butter and some milk chocolate chips*

You just spread the peanut butter between two crackers (this is a great way to get the kids to help...they will love this!)

You also need to melt your milk chocolate. I just do that in the microwave...I suppose if your super fancy you could do the whole double boiler thing. I'm all about easy though :)

Then...you just dip your cracker sandwiches into the chocolate. This may take some trial and error...but I have found it easiest to use a bigger spoon and drop the ritz cracker into the chocolate. THIS IS A MESSY STEP!! (again...the kiddos will LOVE it)

Just let them cool on a cooling rack or wax paper until the chocolate hardens. ENJOY!!
* This can also be done with almond bark (or white chocolate). My grandmother used almond bark and some food coloring to tint it, then you could have red and green cookies! Or pink and blue....or well...you get the idea.