Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Since my family was out of town this holiday and I stayed back home, Mr. L and I just relaxed. It was a really nice Christmas, even without the usual Christmas traditions. But, there was one Christmas tradition we kept and that tradition folks, is Sunday Brunch Casserole! My mom has made it for every Christmas breakfast for as long as I can remember and it is absotutenlutely delicious! Mr. L can't hardly wait for it every year and with his enthusiastic encouragement for this casserole I decided to make it. It never fails, every time it is delicious!

Of course, we had to have holiday mimosas too! 

But, first things first. Before breakfast we exchanged gifts. I was terribly impressed by this little gift. Mr. L wrapped it himself. People that know him could probably deduce that he is not the most crafty person. Incredibly smart, yes...crafty, no. But, I guess being with me all these years, a little something rubbed off on him. 

 Cedella enjoyed laying inside the empty boxes. 

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sweet Treats

I really do enjoy baking, however, Mr. Lucas does not eat a bunch of sweet stuff. The problem is, since he does not eat sweets, if I baked them regularly I would eat it all myself and be morbidly obese. I have really been wanting to bake so this weekend, I just did it. I figured I could give most of it away and not feel guilty for eating a few treats. So, I got to baking!

But first things first, egg nog! 

I made chocolate chip walnut cookies from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, best recipe ever!

Some of the cookies I dipped in chocolate. 

I also made chocolate dipped pretzel sticks and coated some with chopped walnuts.

Then, to bring things to a close, I made molasses cookies. It was so much fun, I have not baked that much...ever! All while jamming out to some Christmas tunes on Pandora

My parents and Grandmother leave for Ruidoso, NM, tomorrow morning so packaged up some of the treats for them to have while they are on the road. 

I ended the evening with watching Christmas Vacation, the funniest Christmas move ever!


Friday, December 16, 2011

A Little Holiday Sussie For Me!

With all the holiday shopping I have been doing I figured what would be the harm in me purchasing a little something for myself? So, while I was Amazoning I found a great book I just had to have. The main reason I had to have it was because Heather Bailey was on the cover and I adore her. She is such an inspiration. I figured if she was on the cover this book had to be perfect for me. So, I ordered it along with my other holiday Amazon purchases. I absolutely love Amazon. Everything arrives so quickly and is priced so nicely!! I can't wait to read my new book; Signature Styles: 20 Stitchers Craft Their Look. The book gives you a peek at their craft spaces, lives, and favorite crafting projects! 


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Little Holiday Party

Mr. Lucas and I went to the most amazing holiday party ever this weekend!. He is interning at a local hospital to be a Medical Laboratory Scientist and the lab Pathologist has a party every year. He was gracious enough to include us. First of all, his home is spectacular. If we lived there I think we would need walkie talkies in order to communicate with one another, if that gives you any idea of the size of this house. I would be just fine with taking up camp outside. The 2 level Lanai has a fire place, outdoor kitchen/grill, and pool. That would be all that I need to survive. 

The party itself was lovely. Chef Jon Bonell was preparing all his wonderful appetizers and desserts in the kitchen. It was quite a treat to actually see him at work! The bottomless margaritas were also a treat too! There was live music and the house was decorated for Christmas from head to toe. It was a great way to start of the holiday season. So, in keeping with the festivities, today...I had my own happy little holiday party. My very best friends, cheese, summer sausage, and Sangiovese helped me celebrate. We watched The Holiday too.  


Sunday, November 27, 2011

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree!

Typically, the weekend of Thanksgiving like most people, I put up my tree and holiday decorations. My niece is in town visiting and she is quite the little helper. She helped me get the decorations and tree out from the garage. It was fun to see her open up the boxes and go through all the decorations.

Someday I would LOVE to have a real tree but for now my little tree is a pre-lit artificial tree. She did not quite understand this concept. Where she lives, they just go into their backyard, chop down a pine tree, and bring it inside to decorate (yes, I am very envious). So, I had to explain to her where her Auntie Lizzie lives, it doesn't quite work that way unless you go to great lengths (I think I am getting closer to convincing Mr."Ba-humbug" to go to a tree farm with me one year). 

So, we got the tree unpacked and put together. When it was time to stand the tree up, we realized that her dear Uncle (Mr. Ba-humbug) , threw out the stand "accidentally" when he cleaned out the garage. Now, he DID clean out the garage, and for that I am grateful and could not get mad. So, I hopped in the Jeep and went on a search for a new tree.  I had to make a very strategic move to get this tree because it was the last one and people were circling like vultures! This time I picked a tree with pretty colorful lights! I am actually kinda glad "Mr. Ba-humbug" accidentally threw out the stand. This little artificial tree is much much better! 

My fabric garland looks great on my new tree if I do say so myself! 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Hello Shopping!

Historically, I work every Friday after Thanksgiving. Hospitals are 24/7 so it comes with the territory. But this year, since my sister is in town for the Holiday, I took today off and we went shopping! My biggest black Friday deal was online with Best Buy. I needed a new T.V and got a great deal. I am so excited but I think my husband is even more excited because now he can have a Super Bowl Party. 

Since we were up so late on Wednesday (I was up that late mainly because of my cheesecake mishap) we did not get up at the crack of dawn like most did. But, we did hit up the Micheal's sale after Thanksgiving dinner and scored. So, after we got back from Michael's we developed our plan of action for today. We got a ton accomplished today and in the process acted like 2 clowns, I am sure people were wondering what was wrong with us. 

The most surprising part of the day was happening upon a great little store that reminded me exactly of Oleaceae in Santa Fe. This shop was The Virgin Olive Olier. We sampled various olive oils and vinegars. The store owner, Charles, was very kind and knowledgeable. This is place that I was so surprised to happen across. They have only been opened 3 weeks! I will be back! I picked up Chipotle Olive Oil to add to my collection.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Redemption Cheesecake

Remember last year? I had never made a cheesecake before and learned so much. Trial and error, right?  This year was my redemption year. My mom even gave me the Junior's Cheesecakes Cookbook for Christmas last year to help perfect my cheesecake making. 

I had a game plan this time. I had all my ingredients ready to go by Sunday. I got off work early on Wednesday and got to baking. I remember last year I did not have enough time to let the cheesecake cool and refrigerate because I got up Thanksgiving morning to make it. This year the day before would be plenty of time!  I was throwing my ingredients together and rocking and rolling jamming to some good tunes having so much fun! 

Junior's has a spongecake crust that  you make first. I was a bit worried about this because I have never heard of it before. But, it came out perfectly!

After the crust cooled I prepared everything else and had it baking in the oven by 8:30pm. Man, I am good, that is what I was thinking. This was going to be my redemption cheesecake! It looked really good too and the batter tasted very yummy! 

Ziggy was even very intrigued with the goings on in the kitchen.

 While said redemption cheesecake was baking in the oven my sister, brother-in-law, and niece were on the road traveling to visit us for a few days. My sister called and I told her all about how great things were going with my redemption cheesecake. I read through the ingredients of the cheesecake with her and then I came to...heavy cream. I know I bought heavy cream at the store on Sunday and it was chilling nicely in my refrigerator, but...I forgot to put it in the cheesecake!! OMG!

So, needless to say I had to start all over again! My sweet husband went to the store at 10:30pm to pick up 4 more blocks of cream cheese. I dumped the first delinquent cheesecake and started baking the second one. It went a little quicker since I had just put one together a few hours before. As I tried to remain positive, I rocked and rolled through this one too, but this time I made sure not to forget the heavy cream! Around about 3:00am Thanksgiving morning the cheesecake was cooled and ready stick in the fridge to refrigerate overnight. Thank goodness! 

Fortunately the cheesecake was very yummy! Unfortunately, I still have to perfect the huge crater that is  the size of the Grand Canyon from appearing in the middle of my cheesecake next time. But, given the odds I was up against, a measly crater the size of the Grand Canyon was not that big of a deal I suppose! 

Despite the late evening we woke up early to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. My niece Violet loved it! She is such a good helper and helped me cook breakfast. She is quite the little chef! We had eggs, sausage, and english muffins.We were trying to keep things healthy since we knew what we would be in for later.

We finally arrived to my family gathering for Thanksgiving in the late afternoon and had a great spread!

My sister made many a pie.....

The tables were decorated sweetly too, just as they always are!

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday With Matthew Mead

My mom let me borrow this cute little magazine full of great holiday decoration ideas! I decided to make the cone medallion ornament for the top of my Christmas tree. For some reason, I have never had anything on the very top of my Christmas tree so I am a bit overdue. I used some festive holiday scrap booking card-stock that I have had on hand for years. I love the stuff! I think my medallion turned out rather cute.

Cheers and happy holiday crafting!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fabric Christmas Tree Garland

In keeping with my "handmade" Christmas Tree theme over the past several years I decided to make a fabric garland for my tree. I have spent the past several years hand making Christmas ornaments in hopes that one day my tree will be completely decorated by ornaments created by hand. So, I thought a fabric garland would be a great touch. I have seen them done several ways but since I don't have a bunch of extra time on my hands I needed a quick and easy garland. So, I adapted and merged a few ideas from other people to make my own quick and easy garland.

Supplies needed:

To make things extra easy I used quilting squares. These Moda squares are adorable and I absolutely love the colors! Using the quilting squares kept me from having to get out my stash of fabric, go through it all, mix and match it, iron, and then cut. Whew, that seems like a lot of trouble! 

With my pinking shears I cut the squares into strips. Then I organized the strips in the order that I wanted to sew them.

Using a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine I sewed the strips together.

But, for a little extra flare, I left a space between each piece of fabric as I sewed. 

Then, in about only 5 minutes of sewing, my garland was complete!!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

You Can Call Me Eldin

Remember the painter, Eldin, from Murphy Brown? He was great! I feel like I should have on some paint coveralls all the time just like he did. I have been a painting fool for the past 10 months. When I first started back in January my goal was to have all the rooms in my house painted and decorated by 1/2013.  Weeeeell, I am thinking I may not make this goal, however, I sure am close! 

I have only 2 rooms left in my house to paint because I painted my bathroom this weekend. You know, I was thinking to myself, "Painting the bathroom, piece of cake! It is small, I bet you could do it Friday night after you get of work!" I look back and like that I have such high expectations for myself and actually think that I can meet "said" expectations. But boy was I wrong! That bathroom may be small but it has a door (which for some reason is my painting nemesis), built in vanity with drawers, and a 2 door cabinet. Might I also add...the room is small...very small for an 8 foot ladder. Maneuvering that beast takes talent, and folks, I feel I may have won that  award. At one point I had half the ladder in the bathtub and the other half over the toilet. But, that is aside from the point. I am sure you would like for me just to move this verbiage along and show you the before and after. we go!



This one is a little dark because of the lighting,

This one is much better! The color is very true in this picture.

Note to self: Save some money next time. One does not need a gallon of paint for a tiny bathroom. :)

There is a very interesting story behind me purchasing this house. The lady I purchased it from was a bit difficult. She took a bunch of stuff from the house when she moved out...down to the panels that cover the lights and electrical sockets! I mean who does that? She also took the oven, which was to stay with the house per the contract. But, apparently it had sentimental value to her. Anyhoo, that is aside from the point I would like to make..she painted the dang walls, trim, and cabinets off white so everything looks dirty! Ugh. I cannot believe how much better the house looks with a fresh coat of ceiling paint and white trim. Ah, sterile bliss! :)

 Enough with that rant, sorry to subject everyone. 

I added a few mason jars to the bathroom. One has my cotton balls and Q-tips the other has a  tea light in it.

Mason jars are awesome. 


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