Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resolve.

To come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine.


It's the time of year to make a deal with myself.  I don't believe in shaky resolutions made to be broken by February... I believe in making real goals for my REAL life...no crash diets here, heck, I'VE got a KID! A fruit snack chewing, 1 juice-a-day bargaining, "if you let me have a cookie, I'll be your best friend" kind of KID.  SO, I set small goals in January and celebrate a year of taking small steps to improve our life longterm. So, sorry NYE heros who THINK dropping 150 pounds by completely changing your lifestyle will happen because you watch a glittery ball drop on t.v. As for me and mine, we will have a good time NYE celebrating the lives of loved ones who are here...and remembering those who have gone on... 

SoOOOoooOOoOoOoOoo...

No, I'm not going to promise never to fall behind on laundry because, well, that is my kryptonite. sort. piles. wash. piles. fold. piles. REPEAT? no thanks... 

NO, I'm not going to promise my craft area will never look like a pile of crap wrapped in ribbons and Spraypaint. "Brian, you better NOT trash that...it's going to make a fabulous hoodamajingything that will COMPLETE my life and solve some serious house dilema that you didn't know existed!"

No, I can't say I won't fuss if the hubby eats all of munchkin's snacks because..."when I eat them, it is DIFFERENT!"

NO, I probably won't get my granite countertops... and that's ok...NOT gonna cry...CUT, *turns off spotlight and walks off stage* I need a moment... I feel a temper tantrum coming on :[ I mean, is anyone else thinking like this on New Year's?! Something feels unright about this whole granite thing...

BUT... I promise:
  • To lay in the bed an extra couple of minutes with the hubby 
  • To stop whatever I'm doing for a hug
  • To enjoy my little girl while she's still little and thinks I'm the coolest person on the planet...
  • To not let sitting still make me feel bad... no matter what my house looks like (pray on this one)


I resolve that my life is perfect in all its imperfections.  Yes, hubby can get on my LAST nerve, and yes munchface can get sassy, and YES I have a family full of crazies and my dishes pile up and my carpet has stains and I have holes that need to be patched and chicken that might be overcooked from time-to-time or hair that needs to be combed but in 2011?! Shhhooooot, in 2011, I'm going to live like I'm going to heaven! WhY?! Because I am. The things that matter aren't... well, things. So, I'll work a gazillion times harder at being a better Christian, mommy, wife, sister, daughter and friend to those I encounter. After all, I. owe. it. to. myself.

Happy New Year!!!

Cheers to setting goals and enjoying the celebration when you surpass them :)



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Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Rewind

YAY for holiday rewinds! I always get sad when Christmas ends. I just heart this season so much! I hate taking down my decorations, I hate putting presents away, and I hate the end of sweets and big dinner leftovers... Well, my MIL is coming into town for Christmas today so guess what?! Christmas isn't over! I don't have to be sad! I get another day to hear the joyous tearing of wrapping paper and I know she'll love her gift, I smell an excuse to bake something... :)

Seriously, hubs and I were discussing this year and we both felt, for the first time *like* ever, we got to ENJOY the holiday.  I was lucky enough to not have to buy for anyone - hubs took care of it all!  If you have never handed over the gift buying responsibility - DO IT! Even if it means making a shopping list and sending pictures of the items just so you can tackle something else - DO IT! I didn't have to make a list.. Hubs is big on buying people what they want so, everyone was happy.

I planned the munchkin's gifts and he (happily) bought them all... I did get some small things here-n-there (the pup got a new boat bed... which was originally $100 but I got it on sale for $8, real live bake set and a cleaning set for munch's playhouse) but, for the most part, he handled the rest. How awesome is that?! Well, anyways, with the gifts off of my list, I got to enjoy decorating the house and I planned some pretty awesome crafts for the munchkin... I still didn't mail cards but I DID get some pretty ones and think, NEXT YEAR IS THE YEAR (who am I kidding?)... So, some crafts made this holiday season (pics coming soon) were:

1. Ice Cream cone Christmas trees: Requires: ice cream cones, holiday green icing, M&Ms, sprinkles, marshmallows and a plastic knife.  Flip the cones upside down on a mini cookie sheet and cover with icing.  Use the knife to spread it out.  Decorate the "trees" with toppings... Zion made 3 trees then covered the cookie sheet with marshmallow snow...

2. Christmas Light goodie bags: requires lunch bags, 1 potato, paint ($1 paint in the craft section), black permanent marker. Cut the potato in half. Shape the half to look like a light bulb.  Dip the potato 1 color and dot each bag with that color (i.e. put red "bulbs" on each bag), rinse the potato then do the same for the other colors. Once dry, use the marker to make the base and spiraling cord... It made for the perfect goodie bag for our family desserts.

3. Reindeer Chow: In the off-season this makes a great party snack... I love BAKERELLA and she has an awesome recipe (and name) for this quick treat.  Background info: While in Goodwill, I purchased a cute little baggie that says "Reindeer Treats" and hung it on the back of our front door.  I told Zion that, because Santa gets cookies everywhere, we would give him something for his reindeer and, who knows, maybe he'll leave something extra in her stocking. Her response: "O mommy, I'd love to get some lip gloss like you have in my stocking." So, I pulled the recipe and we got to work... I love my Wilton Chocolate melter...it's like a mini crockpot for chocolate...no burning, minimal stirring...Anyways, the recipe requires: 5 cups Chex (I bought corn) cereal, 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 box powder sugar, 1 cup peanut butter.  Bakerella has much better images than I ever could've captured... Check it out here.  We put it in a baggie with a bow and Zion put it in the bag.  We have 2 trees and Gramma and Pop-Pop brought their gifts to the first tree upstairs, she opened them and then asked if Santa got her gifts too... "O, well, check the reindeer bag to see if he came and it's empty..." She peeked then yelled, "it's empty, IT'S EMPTY!" Well, of course we had to run to the other tree to find the gifts! It's the little things I tellya.

4. Sugar High Sandwich Cookies: Semi-Homemade Tabby Keese *singing like Sandra Lee's commercials*  Well, I SO wanted the Christmas tree sugar cookies that come pretty much slice-n-bake ready but I swear either they aren't made any more OR they sold out... NOT that I didn't search...in my rush shopping trips to Super Wal-Mart and Shoppers... Anyways, I bought the pack sugar cookies and when they were done, I put some icing in the middle and rolled them in sprinkles... Hubby was on a sugar high after one bite, thus the name...Might be too sweet for some people's taste but me? I likey mucho :)

5. Easy Breezy Beautiful Bark: Requires, I pack of milk chocolate bark or light coco candy melts, semi-sweet choc chips, and a party nut mix... Melt the bark or candy melts in your fancy pants Wilton Chocolate maker.  Pour melted chocolate into a wax paper-lined cookie sheet.   Sprinkle party nuts onto chocolate. I try to make sure every bite has some nuts on it.  lightly sprinkle the chocolate chips on the mixture.  I gently press the toppings down so that as the chocolate cools, the goodies set in place.  Drizzle some remaining chocolate on top. Refrigerate 30 minutes.  Lift wax paper to loosen the mold a little.  Break (or cut) the bark. Place in container for giving or saving.

We gave each of our family members a "lightbulb bag with little Mason jars (decorated with ribbon and a scrapbooking sticker) filled with the goodies... The best part was hearing Hubs describe (braggingly) how delicious everything was...  A busy but tasty holiday and all of these things were done... My amazing office Martha Stewart, Suz, bakes for like 2 weeks straight and gives fabulous tins of print-worthy delicacies... seriously, her treats should be models... they're like the Cindy Crawfords of cookies... SHE IS AMAZING and maybe I'm kissing up to remain on her DISTRO list for next year's batch :)...

I may not be fancy pants like Suz but I'm proud of my goodie jars and I made mine on my timeframe - 1 night! I'm tellin' ya, categorize and CONQUER!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Tis the Season

Christmas is here and it has completely ROCKED my world! I'm going to work with frizzy (well frizzier than usual) hair, an after thought outfit, AND... (wait for it) a COLD! I just can't get over my snotty, merry misfortune! It's like with Christmas, there's already NOT enough time in the day... Between Christmas crafts, baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping, present hiding, eating, cleaning, decorating... did mention all of this is AFTER 7PM (when I get home)?! NOW, you expect me to blow my nose every 2 seconds?? OVER IT! So, yea, you might catch me with a little "glaze" in the name of placing the last piece of tape in the right spot on a gift... But it's worth it and everyone does it... right?!

So, with everything that's going on, how do I manage the requirements of my normal life with my holiday life?  DRUM ROLL PLEASE... I create a holiday block schedule...  Nothing feels better than checking things off of my list so I categorize a checklist and then dedicate 1 day (or week or month depending on the project) to tackle a category.  Last night I got the last gift for my dear and sweet hub-bug = Christmas shopping DONE. The night before was my warm-n-fuzzy day filled with the sites and smells of Christmas... Hubby ordered pizza and put together this awesome-fantastic playhouse in the basement (munchkin will LOVE it) while the ladies of La Casa De Keese baked gingerbread family cookies(complete with grandparents and uncles and aunts).  Munchface was SO into the decorating and the part of decorating where she gets to boss me around that it took forever to do 3 cookies!  Finally, 1 hour after bedtime, I decided the sugar rush was OVER!  We have to finish the others at another time... O no, did I totally just add another THING to my holiday block schedule? MY LIFE! Maybe Christmas Eve?

With the munchkin in bed, I spent the midnight hour cleaning the mess of gingerbread guts off the counters (and floors...and dog - don't ask) and then took my Mommy15.  The Mommy15 is 15 minutes I take for myself everyday... *inhales adoringly* EVERY day... Sometimes, I make a craft, sometimes, I sneak a cookie or make a cup of hot chocolate...or shower by candlelight...or do a facial with that over-priced and fabulous facial wash I bought from Sephora... or paint my nails or... SOMETIMES, I just lay on the bed with the lights off and. do. nothing. Ahhhh... just talking about it calms me down.  That's where Fabulous Island came from... my daydreams during the Mommy15... EVERYONE should have a mommy15... well, I digress...SO, on this particular night, I filled my apothecary jars with Christmas items - yes, no where near doing nothing BUT making things pretty is relaxing so it counts! My jar filler included 1 of these pretty little Christmas bulbs:


I'm using this as a gift topper for grandparents (I think they'll love it) and it makes a perfect edition to the Christmas decor! I found the bulbs at (one of those few-things-actually-cost-$1) Dollar Stores in Alexandria.  A pack of 4/$1.49!!! Can you say SCORE?! I happy dance at the thought pretty much everytime I look at them... I purchased them thinking I'd put her picture and let her dump glitter but Shelly's ornament idea was perfect! Anyhoo, tonight is my gift wrapping and house prepping... I'm also making a simple comfort food casserole that is sure to bring warm fuzzies to the family :) I'll post the recipe tomorrow (if I get decent pics)!

Well, I'm off to buy my small paint brushes for some annoying little touch-ups around the house today... Maybe I can completely renovate my powder room in time for Christmas? Maybe that's a bit much BUT I shall be doing something before the mom-in-law comes!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stranded... The Inaugural Post.

I'm stuck on an island with glitter sand, Shirley Temple seas, sparkly tropical trees with amazing little purses as their fruits, and I don't plan to go anywhere.  I'm not a selfish person so I'm willing to share Fabulous Island with everyone... Every single one of my imaginary friends! I KNOW and you're welcome.

Seriously, this blog is living documentation of the adventures, crafts, home projects, recipes, random moments, trips, falls, tackles and bounce backs that are ME.  With this online island, I'll now have 4 sanctuaries which include the bathroom (potty breaks), the kitchen (what?! when something hot is on the stove, the little one HAS to stay away...so, I kinda admit to finding peace while smelling a pot of *insert dinner of the night*), or when I'm getting my eyebrows, lip and chin waxed... My life revolves around my family and if that means mommy compromises and runs around with my hair in a crusty bun so my family can have a house that looks, smells and feels like a home, then I must re-define FABULOUS to fit my needs.  Fabulous no longer means having the latest purse or shoe to match my outfit then rushing home to a place that looks like a dorm room.  FABULOUS means improving my quality of life by taking time to invest in my surroundings.  Home is where the heart is and I care enough about my heart to make it a place I enjoy.  So, expect tutorials, pictures, reality checks, recipes, fun stuff for kids and pretty much basically anything I can find to pull out of my crazy bushy hair.

A little about me? I obsess over the vacuum streaks in my carpet (always have), I am a singer-out-louder, I enjoy dancing... with my 4 year old when the latest KidzBop is released and my husband when no music is playing... For me, happiness comes in the form of pretty rooms, impeccably executed events, amazing thrift store finds, SALES racks, making something that looks amazing, and hunting for the perfect accessory.  Whether you're stranded on Fabulous Island or just visiting for a few minutes... it sure is an awesome place to be!

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