Thursday, December 30, 2010

Breaded Pork Chops

Pork chops are a standby at my house at least once per week. I get a good deal at them at Costco, come home, package those 1 1/2-2" thick boneless chops 2/bag, and freeze. After much complaining from the bf, I started cutting them in half so we would get 4 3/4-1" thick chops. I'm constantly trying new recipes to find what we like. This one fell a little short, but was still worth a post! Once again, I took a recipe and changed it to what I thought would make it better :)

The original recipe:


  • 3 cups crushed saltine crackers
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian-style seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 6 pork chops


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the crushed saltines, Parmesan cheese, Italian-style seasoning and garlic powder and mix together well.
  3. Dip the chops in the melted butter and then dredge each chop in the cracker mixture, coating all sides thoroughly. Place the chops in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until internal pork temperature reaches 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). 

**I cut the recipe by 1/2, but had 4 pork chops. After coating the chops, I pan-fried the chops 3 minutes per side to brown coating. I cut cooking time down to 25 minutes.**

My review: Pan-frying added the crunch I was looking for, but the flavor was still a little dry. The original recipe called for too much cracker. I served pork chops with mixed veggies and garlic toast (not pictured).

Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gourmet Sloppy Joes - No Can Included!

Growing up my mom wasn't much of a cook. Her version of chicken soup came from a can. Meatloaf at our house included half of a bottle of ketchup. Hamburgers were considered gourmet if we used onion buns. Needless to say, Sloppy Joe's in my childhood were a weekly staple made from a can of Manwhich and hamburger buns. When I came across Johnnie's recipe of homemade sloppy joes, I was skeptical. It seemed easy and flavorful and simple. Of course I changed alot of the recipe to adapt to my kitchen, but it was still delicious!

The original recipe:
3 lbs ground beef or ground turkey 
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup packed dark brown suger
3 tbsp yellow mustard (I used Dijon)
3 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used canned fire-roasted red peppers)
2 teaspoons chili powder (I used the full amount)

Instructions: Combine beef, onion and garlic in large pan and cook until meat browned and onion tender. In crockpot, combine remaining ingredients, stir together, add browned meat/onion/garlic to crockpot, stir until mixed. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. Serve atop toasted hamburger buns. 

I was short on time. After combining the ingredients, I simmered over low heat for 1.5 hours. It gave the flavor time to develop and meld through the dish.
**I cut the recipe by 3 and was still able to get 6 full size Joe's with leftovers** 

My observations: This dish gave a sweet and smokey flavor to the sandwich. Toasting the bun allowed the meat mixture to set atop the bun without becoming mushy (a common problem I remember from childhood). Also, toasting the bun gave a crunch to the otherwise soft texture of the dish. To complete this meal, I served with my homemade fries and it matched the tone  perfectly. Sloppy Joe's are once again allowed in my house!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goals for 2011!

I've decided to post my goals for the upcoming year, and with 3 days to spare!! These goals aren't just a new year tradition, but a way to improve my quality of life :) Sound good?
  • Blog purposefully - I want to limit my posts to specific subjects. Mostly baking and cooking, it's nice to blog about my life, but not the main reason I started the blog. I want to connect with other bloggers that share the same interests I do.
  • Learn to say "No" - I am a people-pleaser and need to learn to tell people No, instead of burning all of energy making everyone else happy. Going to every party or doing favors for everyone else is nice, but won't help me feel better about myself.
  • Create balance between work & school - Working part-time and school part-time is manageable for me, but over-extending myself at either will make the other suffer.
  • Create one cake a month (and post it!) - 1 cake per month, birthday, wedding, anniversary, anything. Keep my skills up to date and developing.
  • Get my body "baby ready" - Monitor my sugar more closely, aim for <6 A1C, get my medications straightened out, get more rest, religiously take my daily vitamin and hit the gym 2x weekly (at least!)
  • Take a real vacation 
Am I taking on alot? I think this is a realistic list of goals. What are your resolutions or life improvements for the upcoming year?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Mercedes Trip to see Santa

Here's the picture from PetSmart, where Mercedes got to see Santa. Cookie on the other hand knew he was an imposter and wouldn't get close to Santa.
Sorry it's a little blurry. My phone camera isn't that great.

Christmas is Over!! Presents!!!!

I'm happy, does that make me a bad person? I don't care :p We rushed and drove all over to see everyone. I'm glad we did, but this girl is tired! There wasn't anything I had to have and nothing that I really told people to get me. They did a great job of guessing what to get me.

The Loot:
  • Various bakeware. Muffin pans, bundt pans, cookie sheets, cake dome, covered casserole dish, Ikea deep sized cupcake pan I've never seen before!
  • New Alarm clock!!! (I still don't know how to use the old one, 1.5 years later)
  • Gift Cards :) 
  • $$
  • Snowflake bracelet (picture soon)
  • Taste of Home Cookbook
  • Kitchenaid hand mixer (with accessories)
  •  Custom made Granite Cutting boards (long story)
  • Deep Fryer
  • Clothes
  • Tickets to events over the next 3 months :)
I'm sure there was more, but those were the major ones. Did you get what you wanted?
I strongly believe that Christmas is for the kids. So here's my cutie niece opening her presents. Obviously, she got beyond spoiled, but I enjoyed myself.
We started with trying to occupy her with decorating cookies...
Then we decided one present wouldn't hurt.
It turned into a hurricane in the living room.
Present from her daddy :) (it says Daddy's Princess)
My Aunt had these made for us. I love them and am going to keep them out all winter long :) (Where the white is, was our names)
I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe holiday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It was a busy holiday season; I did too much traveling, but overall had a great visit with family. I got wonderful presents and ate tons of food. Back to work tomorrow (booo!!!), but back to blogging (yay!!!!) :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas is almost here! Peppermint Whoopie Pies Recipe

I can't believe it's almost Christmas. With so much going on and preparing, I didn't realize that this is it! I'm glad to have my shopping done. I have a Peppermint Cheesecake to make and that's about it! My schedule for the holidays gets complicated because we have so many people to visit. My parents are divorced, as well as Mr. P's. Of course, each part of the family holds their own "traditional party". I can't wait to have kids and use them as my reason to stay home!

Thursday: We will celebrate with my niece, my mom and my grandpa. She will get to open the gifts from us and we'll have dinner and dessert. Of course, Mr. P and I will be late because of his job, but we'll get there and I don't work the next day! Mercedes will go with us, but Cookie will have to stay home.

Friday (Christmas Eve):  Mr. P works until 5pm :( I will hang out with the dogs, catch up on the DVR and bake my cheesecake because I wait until the last minute. We will head to my aunt and uncle's by 6 and get home by 9.

Saturday (Christmas): No work! We will sleep in until 10. Have our coffee, exchange gifts. Let the dogs open theirs :) Then head to Mr. P's dad's (still in pjs) with both dogs! Exchange gifts with him, BIL and SIL. Then go home and get ready for family party. Head to Mr. P's Grandma's by noon, no dogs allowed. Open presents and head home for movie day! There is an additional Christmas dinner we are skipping this year. I'm almost positive Mr. P will weasel his way into trying to go, but I'm going home.

Sunday: Mr. P works extra for extended after Christmas Sale. I will probably go to my dad's alone, with Mercedes to give my little brother and sister gifts. Be home in time for dinner and head to work Monday.

We already held the adult gift exchange for Mr. P's family where only 1 kid showed up. It was a horrible turn out and I hope they cancel it next year. It's really pointless for a $20 gift. I got the best one (IMO), but all the guys exchanged gift cards to home depot and lowe's. I will still have random dinners to attend and I'm not sure when us girls are getting together to exchange gifts. I'm thankful mine and Mr. P's family have separate traditions and we're able to spend both days together.

Here's the Recipe I promised! They are simple, I promise :)

Peppermint Whoopie Pies

  1. Preheat oven to 375 ºF. Grease cookie sheet.
  2. Combine brownie mix, egg, water and oil in large bowl. Stir until well blended and soft dough forms. Drop by level measuring tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 375 ºF. for 7 to 8 minutes or until cookies are set in center. Do not over bake. Cool for 1 minute before removing to cooling rack. Cool completely before assembling.
  4. Spread frosting on half the cookies. Top each frosted cookie with another cookie. Gently press together.
    5. Roll edges of cookies in crushed peppermint so it sticks to cookies.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thank you!

You each get a giant hug for all your support from my last post. Around the holidays I get down, thinking about the people I wish were here that aren't able to be. I'm lucky to have met some wonderful bloggy friends and I hope you all have a happy holiday season!
On the positive side, I baked this weekend! I made the Peppermint Whoopie Pies I've been talking about for over a week now. They were sugar overload so I made Mr. P try them, but he liked them and his dad loved them after I popped them in the fridge overnight. :) I will share the actual recipe tomorrow. I know, way to make you wait. 
My weekend was super busy, finishing up last minute details and then having our first family Christmas. It didn't turn out great, but I did get an awesome present out of the gift exchange :) I'll share that tomorrow too! (I forgot to take pictures)
I've been feeling pretty tired the past few days and I see a nap in my future :) With all these parties coming up I need my rest. Have a great Monday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Random Thoughts in my life today

1.) I have a migraine this morning that started right behind my eyes. The type you know that no amount of Tylenol will cure :( I know, I need new contacts/glasses and want to schedule that appointment before the end of the year, but that requires time and money and planning. Next.
2.) Everyone and their sister is pregnant right now in my life and it's making me sad. As I've shared, I was one of those lucky pregnant girls at one point in my life. God had other plans and took my son away from me at 21 weeks old :( I should have a 4.5 year old son to celebrate Christmas with and I just don't. I spoil my niece, other people's kids and my dogs, but it's not the same. I know that my time will come, but I'm getting impatient and I want to make things happen yesterday. Had a convo with Mr. P about it, he wants to do it the "right" way, which so do I, but make it happen already.
3.) I'm still having ovary pain and there is no end in sight. In order for me to work on #2, I need to get this all figured out. It's upsetting me, my doctor isn't doing more about it and their answer is to wait things out. I'm noticing I have no patience.
4.) I need to make an effort to make it to the gym. I'm paying $30/month for a membership I never use :/ I really should go, but I'm lacking energy almost every day :( I keep up with the dogs, but even that is difficult at the moment.
5.) I made a delicious dinner last night and wanted to post about it and share pictures, but I didn't take any pictures. I'm planning on making my bake sale cookies tonight and french onion soup for tomorrow. I have nothing planned for dinner tonight though.

Blog Hops :) Leave a comment so I know you stopped by and I can follow you back!!

Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blonde Moment - Baking Fail :(

Just so everyone knows, my natural hair color is dirty blonde, so I can make all the blonde jokes I want :P Last night, I was in a productive mood and decided to make my pecan snowballs. It's a simple recipe and they are perfect snack size to throw in a treat bag, tie with a pretty ribbon and use as an office co-worker gift. Perfect, if you know how to bake correctly :(
The recipe said to line cookie sheets with parchment paper. (Keep in mind, I go to school for pastry arts) Anyways, after going through every drawer in my kitchen all I have is wax paper. For some reason, I've always gotten the two confused, but I figured they were interchangeable. I mean, they look the exact SAME! Big huge, baking FAIL! I kept smelling crayons while I was making my delicious corned beef Rubens and the wax ended up melting onto the bottom of the cookies and the cookies hardened to the paper :( There were maybe 10 cookies I was able to salvage :( Oh well. I will have to try again after I go shopping.
I'm feeling blah again and have no idea why. The doctor switched my medication, but going to the store right now isn't on my priority list. I've had zero energy, but been trying to do little things around the house to make my life easier. Yesterday I wrapped presents for an hour, tried baking extra cookies. I need to bake bake sale cookies and a peppermint cheesecake for Mr. P's family Christmas this weekend. I won't be home until 7 tonight, so another long day at the office :( Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thank you all for the support from my post yesterday :) I'm feeling better and more calm today, so hopefully that gives me better energy throughout the day.
I'm planning on baking snowballs for my guys at work. I figure 3-4 in a bag, tied with a pretty ribbon will be their "treat" from me this year. I also need to finish wrapping the last of my gifts, clean up the kitchen and prep my dinner for tomorrow. Tonight we are having corned beef ruebens from the crockpot.Tomorrow will be Cheeseburger Meatloaf with Bacon Gravy, how can you go wrong? I'm going to make it in the crockpot and let it sit until tomorrow night :) We never have gravy at our house (seriously, the calories are horrible) so this will be such a treat for Mr. P. I am also needing to make Peppermint Whoopie Pies for the bake sale this weekend. Oh it just turned into a very busy night, but fun!
Here's the recipe for our dinner tomorrow.

Cheeseburger Meatloaf


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup uncooked regular oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. minced onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked, and crumbled
  • 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir just until blended.
  3. Shape mixture into a loaf and place in an ungreased 8×4-inch loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 mins until meat is no longer pink in the center.
  5. Let stand for 10 minutes.  Drain grease, cut and serve.

Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Gravy

Mashed Potatoes


  • 2.5-3-lbs baking potatoes (such as russet or Yukon gold), peeled, if desired, and quartered
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2-3 Tbls. butter or margarine
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk


  1. In a large pot cook potatoes, covered, in enough boiling water to cover and the 1 teaspoon salt for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain.
  2. Mash with potato masher, fork or beat with an electric mixer on low speed.
  3. Add butter, the 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  4. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  5. Gradually beat in enough milk to make mixture light and fluffy.
Bacon Gravy


  • 3-4 pieces of bacon
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pork broth or water (I make my own pork bone broth)


  1. Cook bacon until crispy.  Remove crumble and return to pan.
  2. Stir in flour and about 1.5 cups of broth or water.
  3. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
  4. Add cream whisk until fully combined.
  5. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Both recipes by Domestic Dame

My mouth is watering typing this :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

I always knew my mom was different

I'm feeling nothing short of overwhelmed. This is why I secretly HATE December. I have zero me time. When I carve out 10 minutes to myself, I start feeling guilty. If I tell anyone I sat down and watched an hour of tv, they tell me what they did in that hour and make me feel like gum on their shoe for trying to keep myself sane.
Of all the people in the world, your mother is supposed to support you and tell you that you are doing your very best. Yesterday I shopped, Saturday I shopped, Friday night, I shopped. All I'm missing is gift cards and I am finished with my Christmas presents! 
I always knew my mom was different.
My mom called me at work (a day she gets to stay home because of the roads) and tell me how selfish I am for shopping all weekend (and helping her by picking up some presents she needs) and not wrapping all her presents. For not baking her Christmas cookies so she can pass them off as her own. For going out of my way to pick up her granddaughter and driving her back and forth on these icy snow covered roads so my mother doesn't have to step outside at any point today (which I will be doing in 6 hours).
I've known since I was young, my mom was different than other moms. She didn't cook, or clean, or bake cookies, or tell me she loved me. She left lists on the kitchen table of "chores" for us to finish each day after school. She never helped me pass a test or study for a quiz. She told my brother he was from outer space and adopted and she laughed. She once told me I was going to hell for eating a pepperoni on Good Friday. I was in third grade and was left crying in the bathroom for 3 hours until my dad got home from work.
My mom never told me I was pretty or smart. She had her share of problems that she has passed on to me. I used to imagine I would get kidnapped and that my life would be so much better than what it was. Now that I'm older and grown it's gotten worse. I don't feel I can continue my relationship with her. She says mean things and throws tantrums when she doesn't get her way. She criticizes my life choices and tells me I'm wasting my life. I'm not sure how much more of her I can take before I completely cut her from my life.
I always knew my mom was different....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Note to Guys I work with...

To Work Guy #1: If you do not want advice on Christmas presents for your wife, do ask me directly (while shoving chocolate covered peanuts in your mouth) "What should I get for my wife?" And then tell me No, she doesn't want that.

Work Guy #2: I don't care about you're wife being pregnant, AGAIN and how perfect her pregnancy has been. I remember you crying the first time you found out your wife was pregnant and now with a second one on the way, I can't stand you. You don't raise your daughter now as it is and shuffle her back and forth between your in-laws and your parents. Why would you bring another baby into the picture? Because you wanted a boy, IS NOT a valid reason!

To MR. P: Beware! I may be pms'ing :( Bring home chocolate!

Neighbor Gift Ideas and My honey's gift

Mr P and I are lucky to have the most amazing neighbors ever. They are a bit older than us with 2 boys around 12 and 13 :) They love the dogs and play sports like it's no one's business. (Currently, an ice rink is being installed jointly in our two backyards which they do every year). Anyhow, the father is semi-retired and lets the dogs out for us while we're at work, cuts our grass, shovels snow, rakes leaves etc. Basically, the best neighbor in the world. From time to time, we I take the boys to hockey games or have them over to play with the dogs, use the computer, eat a snack. Anyways, what should I get this family for Christmas? I'm thinking we can spend around $50 and it should be a family present (something they can all use or enjoy). Any ideas? The boys play sports, the Dad likes to go to the casino, the mom works, the parents smoke cigars. They have been amazing to us and I'd like to do something nice for them. I've thought a nice gift basket, but trying to personalize it a little bit for them.

And then, I came up with an idea for Mr. P's "big" Christmas presents. We are on a budget for this holiday season and aren't doing anything extravagant. I usually go overboard, but this year I think I'm keeping my spending in check. Anyways, he has two leather coats, black and brown, that have gotten their wear. His brown is still in pretty good condition but he has mentioned how much he has been wanting a peacoat. I found him a reasonably priced on at JC Penny that I think he will love. I have a $10 off coupon which brings it to the $60 mark. In addition to that, I purchased various tools on Black Friday and a couple little things he needs for the house. I kept it under $200 and I have his birthday present purchased and waiting in my email. I'm glad he was so simple this year :)
Blog Hops for Thursday!!! Leave a comment so I can follow you back :)

Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Insurance Rant

Schedule dentist appt. CHECK
Schedule counseling, Nope she won't call me back
Get script filled, Nope since I'm not seeing counselor they will not give me meds.
Hmmmm, no offense to all you doctors out there, but OMG. Every time I call ANY doctor I have to schedule 2-3 appointments to get any issue resolved. They won't do anything the first appointment (and they charge you more for that appointment because you are new). Today I'll see my dentist who will no doubt, find a cavity. He will clean my teeth and make my gums hurt and then schedule another appointment to fill the cavity. Why can't they do it today? They'll tell me some bs lie, but really it's so they can charge my insurance for another appointment. 
Last year, I specifically said, my insurance runs out April 30, they schedule me April 28. I told them on the phone, I need everything done that day. They do a cleaning and tell me to schedule another appointment to get my cavity filled. When I inform them I only have to April 30, they let me know they accept cash. Wow! How nice of them! So that cavity will no doubt, require a second appointment.
Just like my doctors will only give me a 3 month script so they can see me and "review" how I'm doing. I understand this for certain meds with scary side effects, but birth control? Really? If it's that dangerous why prescribe it? 
I go to the doctor no less than once per month. I have various doctors for different things. My general doctor I have absolutely no use for. When I see her, she just refers me to a specialist, but she has to collect her office visit money too. Without her referral, I can't see the doctor I actually need to see. So to see the second doctor, I will pay double (2 co-pays).
I pay all this money for insurance each month, then have to pay co-pays to talk to the doctor or co-pays for medication. How about co-pays for labs? Yep, pay those too. I know there are people worse off than I am. I'm not terminally ill, just chronic medical problems that need constant attention.
I hate feeling taken advantage of, but I do!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review: Between Friends by Kristy Kiernan

Ali and Cora have been best friends since childhood. Now in their forties, the two women lead very different lives: single Cora is a professor who studies wind trends, while Ali is a wife and mother. When Ali was unable to get pregnant, Cora donated her own eggs so that Ali could have her miracle child, Letty, now 14 and in full-fledged teenage rebellion. Cora has returned to Florida with a terrible secret: she’s suffering from a hereditary kidney disease that she fears she’s passed on to Letty. While Cora works up the courage to tell Ali what her family may be facing, Ali is contemplating the possibility of having another child even as her marriage is showing signs of strain, and Letty is sneaking out to see her troubled boyfriend. (Courtesy of

My take: This book tugged at my heart strings. I always thought, if I found out later that I can't have children, some of my friends would step in and have the babies for me. I never worried about diseases they could pass on or if I wanted more than one, would asking that same friend to donate more eggs be too much? Then when you think you know how the book is going to go, a twist is thrown in and made me want to reach into the book and hug each of them. I would recommend this book to read, it's not chick lit as I originally thought. It provokes questions that I still don't have the answer to.

I am beeehind! And the Dentist

I finished a book I want to review. My house looks like a tornado of papers and toys and Christmas presents, Oh My! I promised Mr. P I would clean tonight, but that was before little Mercedes woke me up every 15 minutes last night. I also need to send out Christmas cards, I am behind!
I have the recipe for Peppermint Whoopie Cookies I will share later this week. I have new found respect for working moms. I only have two dogs and I'm exhausted and it's only Tuesday!
Next year I'd like to boycott Christmas, it's too much work. I only do most of it for my niece. I hope everyone has a less hectic Tuesday then I do!
The positive this week is my dentist was able to squeeze me in tomorrow. Of course he'll spend two minutes peeking around in my mouth before telling me I have one cavity that he will fill next time and his next opening will be Jan 3, after my insurance money restarts for the year :( I did this last year about a week before my insurance was set to stop and that's what happen, so it's probably the cavity I never got filled because he milks my insurance company.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Such a crazy weekend, Cookie Pictures

I honestly, can not wait for the holidays to be over :( I didn't get two seconds to sit down the entire weekend and my brain is still going. I woke up 4 times last night from anxiety attacks while I slept. I need to slow down!
I was able to get my niece to see Santa and make a few Christmas crafts on Saturday morning. We took her out to lunch. By the time I got home I needed a nap. I woke up and it was dark outside.
I did some shopping for the cookie party Sunday and Walmart kept one of my bags! The cashier was a sweetheart so it was a total accident, but still. Sunday morning I had to wake up early on my way to my friend's to "claim" my bag. They couldn't find it, so they sent me through the store to gather my things again. Glad I didn't have to re-buy the same items, but there went more time. I spent 5 hours baking and googling over my god son. Got home, went to dinner, did some Christmas shopping, went home watched a movie and passed out.
I'm at 95% of my holiday shopping done. I have about 60% of my desserts cooked for the season. It's safe to say, I am stressed out!!! Work is somehow busier than ever as well. I hope everyone else had a better weekend. Any tips on how to get everything done? Tonight is my niece's Christmas pictures. Another crazy day that won't end until 10pm tonight :( 

Here are the only pictures I took @ the Bake day yesterday. And of course, didn't take a picture of my peppermint bark. I will take one after work today :)

Blog Hops for the day

Mingle 240

Friday, December 3, 2010

Blog Awards!

Flatter beyond words, but of course they make you work type for them! Anyways, my new bloggy friend Mika from Mika's Pantry has given me these. I started this blog just to vent and share. There are days I wonder if anyone reads this thing and other days I can't keep up with the comments, emails and support. You guys are all wonderful and I'm glad to have each and every one of you following me. Even if you don't comment, as long as you get something out of it I'm happy :) Now onto the award!
Now there are rules that go along with accepting these awards and they follow:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded this to you.
2. Share 8 things about yourself.
3. Pay it forward to 15 recently discovered great blogs.
4. Contact those bloggers and let them know about their award.

Thank you Mika for these lovely award. Flattered beyond words :) Check out her blog, she has the most delish recipes and inspires me!

1. I consider my dogs my children. So much so, I threw our oldest "child" her 2nd birthday. See the post about it here.
2. I love to read! I constantly have my nose in a book. Recently we bought a king bed and I got the nightstand on my side because my bf doesn't want to deal with the lamp :)
3. It has taken me 6 years to get my associate's degree, but I did it! I am currently working on a second associate's degree in Pastry Arts.
4. I got married at a young age and then God decided he had other plans for my husband and I was widowed by 20 :(
5. Our baby is in heaven keeping my husband company.
6. My boyfriend is wonderful and supportive and has allowed me to open up my heart and know I have a future ahead of me.
7. Sleeping in to me, is sleeping past 9am. I think I've turned into an adult based solely on that fact.
8. I am a type 1 insulin-dependent diabetic (and have been for 7 years). I inject myself 4 times per day and STILL hate needles.

Now the 15 lovely blog winners of this award are, in no particular order:

Crafts, Cooking and whatever else I get into - She just had a birthday so go over and wish her Happy Birthday!

(Fill in the blank) blonde- I love reading about her college life. And she makes yummy looking overnight oats
A Glimpse Inside - I love her crafting and cooking ideas! They are always inspirational

a toast - She's a sweet girl and has a giveaway going on right now :) Head over there and enter. I know I did.

Andrea's Thoughts - She's still new to blogging, but you would not have any idea. She reviews different beauty items that makes me want to blow my check :) Check her out!

Awkward Sex and the City - She is hilarious! Her latest post was about her top 5 bitchiest sex moves. You will be laughing, I promise.

This Life of Ours - She hosts a What's Cookin' Good Lookin' blog hop each Wednesday where a bunch of recipes are shared. I always link up at least one each week :)

The Luckiest in Love - She has the cutest hubby and puppy that = Adorable Christmas cards :) 

The Fashionable Wife - Love her cookie ideas for the holidays. And another dog momma

The Cape on the Corner - She's multi-talented with crafting and decorating and even cooking. She got the genes I want!

Mandalyn and the Stinky Cheese - She's a WAHM that shares her tips and strategies to holding down the fort!

Living Well, Spending Less - Shares all of her couponing and sale finding strategies. Who can resist a good deal? And I love her blog makeover

Living Our Love Song - love her dog, decorating style and recipes! She had a peanut butter pie recipe this week I can't wait to try!

life, love & puppy prints - A doggies mama, she's crafty and determined. She has inspired me to get motivated. I promise, when January starts I will have monthly to do lists. She's getting married and I can't wait for her plans to take shape!

Life of Meg - She's the host of Mingle Monday that everyone should join! It's a great way to meet other bloggers and everyone is super nice. Meg is a sweetie and I look forward to her posts :)

If you did not receive the award, I'm sorry. It was difficult to choose. I follow many many blogs (over 200 at least) and if you want to be one of my new BFF bloggy friends, leave me a comment or email me or something so I know who you are and let's get to know each other. I love people :)
So if you are so awarded, please feel free to pass the fun along to other lovlies deserving of this award :)

Cute Gift Tags for Gifts - Free printables

I found these gift tags at They were too cute to pass up and within my price range, FREE! One of the benefits of working at an office, usage of office equipment to abuse at my heart's content! (Also, a enormous supply of stick pens that run out of ink way too fast, we'll visit this another time). So feel free to pass these along. As I said, free is the best price and you can tell people you "made" them. These tags will accompany all of my holiday treats this year :)

Go here  to print:)
Here's another set, but mostly for kitchen goods.
Go here for the original.

My Christmas Planner & TGIF!

Last night, I made time to create my Christmas planner, finally! I definitely require some form of organization around this time of year and this is my solution. Last week I shared my list of printables (go here). 
Gathered my supplies (while trying to keep the pups from eating them).
(1/2" white view binder, set of 8 tabs, 1 pc cardstock, various stickers/embellishments, printed lists)
I then cut a 12x12 pc of paper down to 8-1/2 x 11. Decorated with embellishments and slid into front cover of binder.
Now write out tabs and insert in binder. I used cards, master list, gifts, budget and recipes. I have extra in case I find something else later.
Add printed lists behind appropriate tabs.
And this completes my Christmas Planner experience. I couldn't resist a quick pic of my Mercedes :)

And since I'm the only one in the office today, please excuse me if I happen to post a couple extra entries today :/ I have some lovely gift tags that I would love to share as well as find a recipe for bake sale cookies :) Feel free to comment all day to entertain me or email. I will gladly return the favor :) Only 5 and a half more hours to go!
Also, I did receive a couple rewards (I'm flattered!) and will probably post those today as well. Who doesn't love awards? It's like saying you have an awesome blog and we should totally be friends and our friends can be friends and our friends friends can be friends. You get the idea ;) I'll be posting that shortly.

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