12.24.2015

Christmas Vacation

Christmas Vacation has begun. 
Dec 24- Jan 4,2016




The Blog is also on vacation... 

See you in the New Year, stay safe and enjoy your family! 



12.23.2015

Cheerful Traditions

Christmas Cheer

Christmas Eve is one of my favourite days of the year, even more then Christmas… we usually travel to be with my family or with my hubby’s family, traditions at my inlays house are different then my parents house but that makes it special. 
My inlaws house: Christmas Eve includes a big party, there is all kinds of food and drinks, dessert and chocolates, friends and family gather around, we sit in the family room around the tree, we all take turns singing a part to the “12 days of Christmas”, and we all have to say our parts, I am not a singer but it still makes it fun, after we all sing our parts we laugh at ourselves and with each other, then we start with the food, we all have full bellies and head of to bed happy and full bellies and hearts. 

Christmas eve at my parents house is a flurry of activity as well start to prep the meal, friends come and go, I a trying to make it a more relaxed time something like we do at my inlaws house, i love the Christmas spirit , we will usually go for a drive and look at all the pretty lights, maybe have pizza or some kind of quick food, I think this year my brother wants to light up the bbq and grill steaks. That will be a new tradition.

I would one day like to travel for Christmas, I would love to take my daughter to Florida to disney world, I would also personally love to visit the San Fransisco Fairmont hotel and this beautiful ginger bread house display, take a look at this:and this beautiful ginger bread house display, take a look at this:



the hotel lobby is filled with people coming to see this huge ginger bread display, that to me would be like a dream, I love gingerbread anything and everything, so when I saw these pictures I felt like a kid in a candy store, ya know it isn't about the presents under the tree at all, it is about the birth of a baby and being with family and friends, some day I am taking my family to SF and we can all go visit this beautiful place. 



One week until Christmas Day, around right now all gifts will be open, kids will be happily playing, the women will be fixing dinner, the men are probably in front of the tv with a sports show on or having a cat nap ( atlas in my house), as we sit around the dinner table, we all hold hands and ask God’s blessing over our family and friends. 

Christmas is such a cheerful time, this year make your Christmas happy, invite someone to come visit you, someone who other wise would be sitting at home alone and sad, be that friend and make them smile 


12.22.2015

Dana- Holiday Traditions



We have a guest posting about Holiday Traditions today, Sit back and enjoy 

The winter holiday season brings such warmth to so many hearts. Some are excited to shop and give to others, some are happy to bake their favorite goodies, and others love to decorate and belt out their favourite Christmas music in the car.

Our family is no different, we have a few favourite traditions like decorating our
Christmas tree and listening to Bing Crosby crooning the classics.
Our tree is made up of many family memories and heirlooms.

We've got some vintage glass ornaments from my great grandmother, some hand-painted peanuts gang ones from my grandmother, ornaments we acquired on trips and the ever-present school handmade ornaments that have stood the test of time.

I love our tree, it's very sentimental and my second favourite part of the celebration.

Another funny tradition has sprung up because of our road we live on. We are on the 4th year in our current home and our road has a very steep hill. 
In the winter, my guys have been known to have to push my car up the hill a few times.... 

However, my most favorite of all is the giving. Sometimes we visit the Salvation Army bell ringers and bring them a hot cocoa on a windy snowy day. We adopt families for Christmas and provide much needed items. We make cookie mixes in jars for the mailman and school bus drivers. 
Scripture says in Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Also, in 1 Peter 3:8- “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”

During this season of hustle and bustle and focusing on what we personally love about traditions, we need to be reminded of what sympathy towards others, brotherly love, selflessly giving and being humble looks like. Behaving like Jesus did is what we are called to do and to celebrate this season. 


12.20.2015

Lemon Chocolate Sugar cookies - Guest Post


Today my dear friend Lisa took time to guest post for me. I love going to Lisa's blog, i have tried so many of her recipes, sit back and pretend you are in her kitchen 

 Traditional Christmas sugar cookies are given a decadent twist with these lemon chocolate sugar cookies. They're just as buttery and crunchy as simple sugar cookies but they also satisfy your chocolate cravings with the addition of decadent chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1) In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugars in a stand mixer (or large bowl) with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. 
2) Add the egg, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest, and mix again until combined.
3) Add the remaining ingredients (including the chocolate chips) and mix again until combined. The batter should be somewhat sticky yet clump together easily.
4) Roll half of the batter at a time into a large ball. Place on a large cutting board (lined with parchment paper or sprinkled with flour) then flatten out the batter using a rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters of choice to cut out shapes. 
5) Continue reusing the leftover batter by repeating the entire process until all the batter has been used up.
6) Transfer the cookies to a large baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove immediately from the oven and set aside to cool.
7) Store in an air-tight container for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.





Lisa Codina is a working mom, recipe developer, yoga and TRX addict, and an avid foodie. She is the author of Baby Bites: 50 Healthy Recipes for Baby and the Family and the founder of the Blog Bites for Babies, where she shares adult-inspired, palate-pleasing recipes for baby and the entire family and blogs about daily life with her Italian husband, two mini-foodies, and summer vacations in Italy. She prides herself on providing her family with nutritious, interesting recipes that nurture adventurous palates and encourage a healthy lifestyle. You can also find Lisa as Bitesforbabies on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and Pinterest


Weekend recap



Friday: 
I went to Starbucks and hung out for the day as I had a ex work dinner to attend at 1 pm, so I had to go in early as we live outside of town and I had no other way in. 
We went to the delta hotel ( where i used to work, actually I was in the office location), we went there for the pasta buffet, oh my it was so good, they have a really good chef there, We took a one last final group picture, chances are we may never all work together again ( well I'm no longer there now) 



This tree is huge, it is a real one at that. 

it was a beautiful time with some special friends. 
I did some shopping after that, my husband is the hardest person to buy for, he has everything he wants and then some, I can't say what i bought for him because he does read here. Brooke went to a youth night sleep over, hubby and I went to a friends house for dinner and a gift exchange, it was nice time together. 

Saturday:
Didn't sleep in to much because I wanted to clean the house, do laundry and get the suitcases packed, I did have some errands to run and when we got to town it was so busy, I wanted to just go home, but I had to get things done because we leave tomorrow. 
I also picked up the last prescription for a medication that I have been on for 4 years, it felt good to know I am done with it and hope I never need it again, it has a lot of side effects and I cannot wait until they are all done. I felt like I was walking on a cloud and was just so full of happiness... 

Came home, took a quick nap, my antibiotics are making me so sleepy, face timed with  my family, then I made dinner and finished chores around the house and then I packed, realized I needed to pay the extra amount for the extra suitcase, i went over board buying for my sister's kiddies, I cannot help myself. 

Sunday:
Morning service and set up, after morning service we left to drive to my aunts house, she is much closer to the airport we are staying the night with her and then tomorrow we drive to the airport, we fly really early Tuesday morning. 

Merry Christmas to you all 

12.18.2015

Confessional Friday- Christmas Edition


Time to tell ya all about my Confession's Christmas theme

1) I am headed home in 2 sleeps, we are leaving here on Sunday but we fly out early Tuesday Morning, I cannot wait to get home to my sister and her babies, my brother and his lady, and of course my parents. It is also the first Christmas to be home without my grandpa :( 

2) Very excited to go see Star Wars with my hubby,my sister, her hubby, my bro and his girlfriend, maybe the older two kids, we shall see


3) Excited for two weeks of rest and relaxation, spending time with family and friends. 



4) I have a christmas dinner with my past co workers today, it will be nice to see them all 



5) Christmas is one week!! 


12.17.2015

Word of the Year for 2016

Some years I have done New Years Resolution but you know what, I never keep them.. I never loose that 20 lbs I said I would do, I never did this or that.. It left me frustrated and wondering why I even bother.  Then I came across someone doing a word of the Year, it just made so much more sense then a resolution. 

My Word of the Year is Thrive..


thrive
  1. (of a child, animal, or plant) grow or develop well or vigorously.
    "the new baby thrived"
    • prosper; flourish.


We were put on this earth to do more then just survive, to do more then just go thru the motions, we need to Thrive. 

What is your word of the year? 






12.16.2015

Favourite Christmas Movies


Some of my favourite Christmas Movies 

Elf



Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer

The Nativity story

Muppets Christmas Carol 

White Christmas 


12.15.2015

Guest Post- Traci- A Baking Story

A Cookie By Any Other Name - A Holiday Baking Story
The first time I had an official holiday cooking day, I went to my friend Esther’s. Newly married and living in a town without family.

Esther had a Mexican heritage. She often called me Chica. One of those people who’s spent their life immersed in two cultures. She includes Spanish words in her English sentences with ease.

What a fun day laboring in the kitchen! I brought the ingredients for some of my recipes and Esther shared hers with me.

We made Mexican Wedding Cakes. A new cookie to me. A dense mixture of sugar, flour and pecans rolled in powdered sugar. If you eat one of these fresh out of the oven... well, you won’t eat just one. And you’ll cry for coffee. Milk. Something to wash down the rich goodness.

A few years later, we’d moved to a new town. Es had moved to a new country. Halfway around the world. This particular year, I met up with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her mother-in-law (follow all that?) to do cookies. 

I shared with them how excited I was to make this ethnic treat with them. Mexican Wedding Cookies. I told them all the ingredients. And my mother-in-law said,
“Oh, those are Russian Tea Cakes.”
  
She showed me her recipe card and sure enough, with the exception of a few variations in measurement, we made the same cookie. Different name.

It’s become a running joke in our family during the holidays. This year, will we make Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes? Such a hard decision!

This year, I decided to look up the history of this cookie. On wikipedia. Internet master of information. Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cakes, Italian wedding cookies, butterballs, snowball cookies. All one and the same.

Wikipedia offers a brief history on the cookie:
A reason for the common name "Russian Tea Cake" or any connection to Russian cuisine is unknown.Some have speculated the recipes either derived from other Eastern European shortbread cookies, may have migrated to Mexico with European nuns... By the 20th century, they were a part of wedding and Christmas traditions in the U.S., known by their popular "Russian tea cake" or "Mexican wedding cake" name.

So, there you go. No matter what you call them, they are delicious and will leave you calling for a drink! 

And according to “Joy of Cooking,” cookbook master of recipes, here’s how you make them:



12.14.2015

My heartfelt thoughts on Christmas




When I think of Christmas.. 
In my mind I see a beautiful tree in the corner, I see a a christmas village bustling with people going near and far, I see a jolly red santa with kids on his knee telling them what they want for Christmas, I see people running through the mall loaded down with packages, I see stress all over their faces as they swipe their visa one more time, then I see the packages being tossed in a bin for the homeless people, the families that have next to nothing for Christmas and this is what happens in my heart.
My heart flutters when I see things being given to the homeless, the less fortunate, knowing that people are not to busy to share with those people. 
\\
Christmas is not about all of the above, but we do make it a commercial holiday, they try toby more then the neighbour etc but we need to think that is what Jesus came for.. he came as that baby in a manager, he came to seek and save those who are lost, this Christmas take time to think about the real meaning of Christmas, thank that baby in a manager, tell someone the Christmas Story and how he is the reigning King. 



12.13.2015

Weekend Recap



Friday: 
Met a friend for lunch, we went to Swiss Chalet, it is one of my favourite restaurants. After that I went to the mall, I am looking for a gift for my best friend and I have not found it yet, won’t get to see her before i head home for Christmas. 
I am looking for the right item but I am not sure what that is yet, I did find one thing but she reads here so I best not say ;) (Hi Cristie)
We had taco night when we got home, it has been a long time since we had taco’s, it was so good. 
Brooke and I watched Cinderella as a mommy/daughter night, it was fun. 

Saturday: 
Slept in a bit, hubby made brunch, after we ate I got so sick, I am not sure what came over me, even now it is still hurting, i laid on the bathroom floor and I couldn’t move for the longest time. I had to go in town to run errands, Walmart was madness, I am so glad I went to the pharmacy and left again. 
I went to a concert with the lady I assist at the radio station, I am so glad I went, I saw a couple of friends there, it was so fun. 
We went for pizza after the concert…I’m not so sure I should have eaten it with my belly the way it is… 
Had a final 2015 FaceTime date with my sister when I got home, she heads to Canada tomorrow, I head there next sunday, this week had best move quickly. 

Sunday: Morning service was great, after service I went to visit my best friend and we exchange presents, she got me such adorable things,


 I also exchanged presents with another close friend.


I love this picture from my friend Carol Ann
I got this with a gorgeous card from Pastor and the church, it was so nice 


Sun Pm was our Christmas program, it was a great night, I was part of the sign team, Brooke did a solo on her clarinet and she did so well, so proud of everyone


Next Sunday I will be travelling so I am not sure if I can do a weekend recap but I will try, we head home early Monday Morning. 

Have a great week Friends 


12.11.2015

Confessional Friday


Confessional Friday: 

1) It is almost Christmas time and I cannot wait to get on that flight home



2) So proud of my baby girl- she was working on a heritage product and last week they had to present to the teacher and her classmates, and that was the first time, she got picked to present in front of the whole school, so she did that and she came in 1st place, now she has to see if she made it to the regionals, So proud of her

3) I had fun this week picking a present for my planner exchange buddy, got her a bunch of cute things. 


4) I made a gluten free spaghetti because Andrew has to go GF for some health issues, I will never eatGF spaghetti ever again, yuck. 


What is on your mind? 

12.10.2015

Christmas Date Night Idea 14



Here is some Christmas Date Ideas:





1) Go Shopping
or
Window shop

For some strange reason men like to window shop more then actual go to the mall and shop. With it being Christmas, I am sure some of us still have gifts to find or We love to window shop down town in our city, hold hands, chat and find nifty things. 

Have you ever tried it?

2) Go look at the pretty Christmas lights while driving and holding hands and sip some hot chocolate
3) Plan a couples ugly christmas sweater party - then several people can have a date night :) 

This will be the last date night idea for this year. It will be back in Jan'16

12.09.2015

Christmas List for Kids



Thanks to Google for this list: 


No screen is necessary for this computer turned teddy bear. It’s powerful enough to keep your child edutained for hours, and at the same time will grow with them so it really will become their best friend and not just a gimmick.



Here’s a toy that’s sure to be a hit anyone that saw the Minions movie last summer. It features an oversized version of Dave that can talk and drop lines from the movie.

With the latest installment of Star Wars set to come out and December you can be sure that a new wave of interest in Star Wars it’s just around the corner. One perennial favorite is R2-D2, and this interactive droid will be a lot of fun for any fan.

In case you didn’t go see the new live action Cinderella movie you might not know that they made a short sequel to frozen called Frozen Fever. This doll features the new-look Elsa from the short and will definitely be a hit.

What are you getting your kids this year?

12.08.2015

Christmas Gift Idea's for that Man



This retro-futuristic watch is for the guy who's got more style than he'll readily let on. Komono watches are made in Belgium and feature clean designs in a variety of materials and colors.
$89.95 at Amazon.com


Here's Amazon's answer to the Chromecast. The Fire Stick streams any given media to your TV with four times the storage and twice the memory of Google's device, not to mention the superior wi-fi reliability. Cheers to letting him spend the holidays indulging in his favorite pastimes.
$39.00 at Amazon.com




On average, men hold on to the same pair of underwear for 7 years (eek) — you need to help him! MeUndies are the World’s Most Comfortable Underwear.  Made from modal fabric and twice as soft as cotton, he's guaranteed to look and feel amazing from the undies out. Not only do they provide top-of-the-line quality, but their online-only service means you only pay for theundies (no middlemen, no markups). Plus, you'll receive 20% off and free shipping on your first order.
$20 (or $16 when you subscribe) at MeUndies.com


Pocket bulk isn't fun in the least — not only does it feel uncomfortable, but it doesn't flatter the figure either. This slim wallet is made from premium leather, which means it'll get nicer with age, and features just the right amount of room for all his cards and bills. Before you know it, he'll go from a Costanza to a Kramer just like that.
$79.95 at Amazon.com

Having good music everywhere you go isn't only about having a stacked playlist — it's also about full, rich sound. The award-winning Pocket Kick from Soundfreaq delivers just that thanks to its passive bass radiator and built-in stereo drivers. It has over 10 hours of battery life, is super portable and works with any bluetooth-enabled device. Use code ASKMEN to get 30% off + free shipping.
$69.00 at Soundfreaq.com

This isn't just the new game of the year, this is the game of a lifetime. This can also go on my list, I am so excited for Star Wars. A decade after the last instalment, Star Wars Battlefront is getting a much needed reboot just in time for December’s The Force Awakens film. Players can take control of either a Rebel Alliance soldier or an Imperial Stormtrooper, and wage war across many of the film's planets in cooperative missions that can be played offline, or with up to 40 players online.
$59.88 at Amazon.com

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