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Appetizers, appetizers and more appetizers!

I have two Christmas parties to attend in the coming week. Both parties will be women only and involve an ornament exchange as well as wine and appetizers. The day of one of the parties, I have a zillion and one things going on. I'm making dinner for two people at church, I have my son's Christmas program at school, plus I have to pick up some research information at Fieldhouse, which is across town. Add on top of that Kelly's dance class, carpooling to and from school, taking care of 3 kids and I have myself a jam packed day! For that particular party, I need to choose an appetizer that I can make ahead of time, that will be OK sitting in the cold car for a bit, and that will be easy to transport. I found this Pumpkin Pie Dip recipe on Recipezaar and thought it looked tasty and that would fit all of my requirements. For the next party, I want to do a hot appetizer. I did a search in a couple of places and found another recipe on Recipezaar that looks delicious. It is for Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers. It seems like something different... something that isn't at every party in town. It also looks like something I could try out on these ladies and if it is a hit I could use it as an appetizer for our Christmas dinner party. Is this an appetizer that will be pleasing to a group of ladies or is it more of a manly appetizer? Any thoughts?   … [Continue reading]

To Be Read Challenge (TBR)

A few of the people over at 43 Things decided to join a challenge put on by Miz B of the Literary Cache Blog. This challenge is to read at least one book each month from your ever growing "To Be Read (TBR) Pile". You know... the stack of books sitting by your bed, on your night stand, on your coffee table, by your desk, etc. that keeps growing and growing because you keep finding more and more books that you want to read. You go into Barnes and Noble with every intention of just browsing, and come out with a sack full of books you just couldn't resist. Yes.... you, like me, have a compulsive book problem. Well, I'm going to finally do something about it and start making a dent in the pile. If you want to join me, go to the Literary Cache Blog and join in the fun. Come on and do it... you know you want to! I went through my TBR pile this morning and picked out the following books for the challenge. I may change the order at some point (if that isn't against the rules), but for now, here's what I've come up with: 1) The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls 2) The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult 3) The History of Love by Nicole Krauus 4) The Coal Tattoo by Silas House 5) The Ha-Ha Novel by David King 6) Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son by Peter Manseau 7) Things Unspoken by Anitra Sheen 8) Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee 9) A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies by Ellen Cooney 10) The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud 11) After This by Alice McDermott 12) How … [Continue reading]

Help me spice things up with the hubby!

My sweet husband is constantly asking me what I want for Christmas. Even though I give him a suggestion or two here and there, he never seems to remember (or write it down, for that matter). The other day I was browsing the Smitten Kitchen blog and was oooohhhing and ahhhhhing during the tour of her kitchen. When I saw the way her spices were organized, I knew that's what I wanted for Christmas! If you'll notice, she has them arranged in a very OCD type manner in little tins with easy to read labels on the outside. The way they are organized seems to me that they would be easily accessible, easy to organize, and a cinch to dip in and get the measurement you need. So, I tell my hubby "I know what I want for Christmas!". I show him the picture of the spices all neatly arranged in their little tins. I also show him the comment that would lead him directly to the website where he can purchase said tins. His response? "Those look great. Why don't you go ahead and buy them for yourself as your Christmas present from me." Whaaaat?? I decided to compromise. I decided that I would by the containers myself, but he has to provide the spices. I do want something to open on Christmas morning and he shouldn't be able to get off that easy now, should he? I do know my husband well though, and know that without things written down exactly like you want them, he'll feel lost and confused when shopping for presents. What I'm asking from you all is a list of your all time favorite … [Continue reading]

When I grow up…

The kids and I were out this afternoon at a local grocery store. We were happily going along doing our grocery shopping when Jacob all of a sudden noticed someone painting a new display on the front of the store windows. It really was fascinating to watch, but I didn't realize we'd have to drop everything to watch this artist do her magic on the windows. She was painting letters, snowmen, reindeer, etc. She made it look effortless. After about 20 minutes of watching her and Jacob inundating me with questions to ask her (What does she do if she makes a mistake? What happens if it rains on her painting? Do you think I could do it as fast as her?) we went on with the rest of our shopping. The conversation after that was this: Jacob: "Mommy, I know what I want to be when I grow up!" Me: "What's that?" Jacob: "I want to be a window painter. Well, and an Engineer. Oh... and a football player!" Me: "I think that's great. You can be whatever you want when you grow up. A window painting Engineer football player sounds like a great thing to be." Kelly: "Mommy, when I grow up I want to be a snowman! B for Snowman!" Jacob: "Kelly, you can't be a snowman because you aren't made out of snow. Girls can't be snowmen.And it's S for snowman, not B for snowman." Kelly: <angrily>"Yes I can!" Me: "Kelly, you can be whatever you want when you grow up, but snowmen don't have feet so you wouldn't be able to wear shoes." Case closed... I squelched her dreams … [Continue reading]

I Don’t Like Santa Claus… but he has nice shoes!

Our church had its annual Breakfast With Santa on Saturday morning. This is the perfect opportunity for kids in our parish to have some festive fun decorating cookies, playing reindeer games, and of course... sitting on Santa's lap to convince him you've been a good kid and that he needs to bring you all the toys that are on your Christmas wish list. Kelly, our three year old, is not a fan of Santa. You can try to explain to her that he's going to bring her presents, that he is giving out candy if you sit on his lap, that he lives with reindeer and other cute furry animals but she isn't buying it. The second she sees Santa, her day is ruined. She wants nothing to do with whatever we're involved in if Santa is involved. She would just as soon give up Christmas all together if Santa has anything to do with it. Needless to say, after waiting in line for nearly an hour, Kelly was not pleased that Santa was the end result. She cried, she wailed, she clung to her daddy's chest begging for him to to protect her from having to sit with her brother and sister on his lap. Nick finally had to go sit with Santa too, just so we could get the picture as proof that they actually saw Santa this year. Later in the day, I had this conversation with Kelly. Me - "Kelly, why don't you like Santa Claus?" Kelly - "Because I don't like the white stuff on his face, I don't like his glasses, and he wears his clothes backwards." Me - "He wears his clothes backwards?" Kelly - "His … [Continue reading]