Friday, December 31, 2010

Who am I???

As this year closes I was going to do a post with a recap, but I think I'll save that for this weekend. Today I have a few things that have been rolling around in my head and what better place than here to let it all out. My radio is still on the station I was listening to for Christmas music, just happens to be a Christian station. They were talking about we start listening to people and the things they say about us and the things we think about ourself. The negative things that bring us down. My goal is to start the new year fresh as possible and a more positive look at myself and maybe make peace with things I won't ever be able to change.

Who I am?

* I am a little girl who's mother left when she was 5 to have her own life.
* I am a little girl who's mother wanted to hurt her father and said things about the father that were untrue and extremely damaging to how people thought of him.
* I am a little girl who moved in with her grandparents and had to become very independent and grow up a little faster than most.
* I am a little girl that felt very alone at times and turned to food for comfort. Even if that meant sneaking it.
* I am a little girl who's dad remarried and we moved once more.
* I am a young girl brought into a new family that always felt out of place.
* I am a young girl who had to share her dad when she was use to having him all to herself.
* I am a young girl who tried to fit in with sports but found herself rather uncoordinated.
* I am a young girl who tried to be the cheerleader and the drill team member that was wanted so bad for her to be, even though all she wanted to do was read a book.
* I am a young girl who did well in school and just wanted to be liked and praised.
* I am a young adult who still doesn't feel like she fits in or that bond she so wants to feel.
* I am a young adult who still doesn't fit in with her weight and her emotions with food.
* I am a adult who has loved and been hurt by that love.
* I am a adult that has found that love is not always enough, that sometimes the person your in a relationship will not always be faithful to you.
* I am a adult who has found that I can forgive but NEVER forget.
* I am a adult that thought I could not survive circumstance again and found that they can happen again to me.
* I am a adult that still feels like a little girl when hears comments about her weight or her life in general.
* I am a adult that still is looking for that approval.

Future:
* I am a adult who will try (and do my best) not to allow other's words hurt me!
(I agree who ever said sticks & stones my hurt me but words never will, LIED)
* I am a adult who is going to be happy with who I am and improve on that, not dwell on what is the past and what others have imparted on me.
Here is to a New Year with Cute toes
(Thank You Debby for the Snowman idea)
~ Next time I won't smoosh

And a SMILE on my face!
Here is to a new year with a new outlook on life and me as a person :). Thank you for listening to me, sometimes it is just one of those things you must get out.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Wrap Up!

It's over and it flew by!! I have been very blessed my amazing bosses gave me an amazing bonus on Christmas Eve. I was able to go out shopping and get great things for everything! All I have to say is Fred Meyers ROCKS. I usually never shop there with the prices are too high. BUT they had the kiddie center open, so I was able to drop them off there and do all my shopping and actually they had some GREAT deals. Mom even bought a gift for herself (I knew Rick wouldn't get me much) I got a vacuum cleaner for 60% off :). YUP mom has to take care of herself.
Christmas eve my parents did a stop by with gifts! I think I may start a NEW tradition of Christmas Eve dinner we'll see if I can get everyone on board for that :). Caden accidentally broke the plastic arm on Cole's DS so my parents got him a DS lite :)
After my parents left we hit Fantasy Lights! This is a treat we do each year! The boys love it and it is the best to drive around the park and see all the lights and hard work that went into it.
Jake got a new doggy bed from my mom, "Santa's Helper Rick" built the art set for Cole, mom made cookies for Santa and finished wrapping the gifts. Christmas was just us and we had a lot of fun together!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! (click pictures to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Craft Wednesday!

Ok so I have all our Christmas pictures and weekend pictures ready to go but of course I waited too late and now I'm tired ... lol. So I give you a taste of some of the homemade gifts I made for the family. Now I heard threw the grapevine that one person thought that a homemade gift wasn't enough for another person, which really hurt but I decided that they are who they are and will always think what is done is not enough, so here is my best :) take it or leave it.
I found this awesome gift on Ain't She Crazy

Take an ordinary ornament of any color.

1) Slather the kid's hand with white paint.

2) Make a hand print on the ball, fingers pointing towards the top (where the hook is). This may be obvious, but I have to mention that it is important that they do not move their fingers once they are on the ornament. If they do, you will be on your own as to how to make those smudges into cute little snowmen keepsakes.

3) When the paint dries, begin adding details to turn the fingers into snowmen. There will be 5, in case you were wondering.

4) Make eyes, buttons, and scarves...whatever you like.

5) I added little asterisks snowflakes for kicks.

Had to make Jake a Stocking :)
Homemade gifts for the family!
Happy Wednesday everyone sorry a short and sweet post today :).

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Traditions (Ham Glaze, Broccoli Casserole & Sweet Potatoes)

Even though we were left to our little family for Christmas I still wanted to do a little something special. It drives Rick nuts but I just can't help myself I have to do something different each time :).

I was watching Hallmark Channel (of course for my Christmas Movies) and then came on Mad Hungry she was making a ham glaze with oranges & sherry. I of course didn't have sherry on hand but I did have some brandy left over from a previous party so I did a search for Oranges & Brandy and came across this amazing glaze it was awesome!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Recipetips.com
Ingredients:
-1/4 cup raisins
-1/4 cup brandy (not flavoring)
-1/4 cup apple jelly
-1/4 cup orange juice
-1 tablespoon corn starch
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1 tablespoon prepared mustard
Directions:
  • Combine apple jelly, orange juice, raisins, and brandy in a small sauce pan. Cook over low heat until smooth and well combined.
  • In a separate bowl mix mustard, brown sugar and corn starch. Add mixture to sauce pan and combine. Cook until thickened.
  • Remove from heat. Spread glaze on ham during the last 30 minutes of baking. Reapply during the last 15 minutes, if desired.
  • ALEXIS NOTES: I had Clementine's on hand so I took 3 of those and squeezed them for the orange juice, I had apple butter not jelly, I used spicy mustard and I used golden raisins.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Since I always have to make green bean casserole for Rick (you know the fried onion ones) and I just couldn't eat that again, so I turned to mine and the boys favorite veggie broccoli and something I remembered my mom would make when I was younger. This was fab and GREAT with left overs too!!

    Ingredients

    • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen choppedbroccoli, cooked and drained
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
    • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2 cups crushed crackers
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

    ALEXIS NOTES: I used fresh broccoli (Next time I will steam the broccoli) and light mayo.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I'm always on the look for a new Sweet Potato Recipe and found one I love. The boys didn't really care for it but I loved it!

    by AllRecipes.com

    Ingredients

    • 5 sweet potatoes
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    2. Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften. Cool slightly, peel, and mash.
    3. In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and heavy cream. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
    4. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
    5. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.
    ALEXIS NOTES: I used 2 LARGE yams, sugar substitute, whole wheat flour and I only had walnuts on hand.
    Happy Tuesday hope you find something you like. These are great meals you can do for family dinner!


    Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays
    Lovely Yellow Ribbons

    Manic Monday Meals ~ Cornbread Taco Bake (Bake Off)

    HOLY moly it's Monday and I'm so behind I have some great recipes I made over the weekend but I can't get to the camera yet so I going to post 2 I tried last week. Both are great and went over well with the family, except Rick who is not a big fan of bread in his dish :). I tried two different cornbread recipes one was a hit the other not so much (Sorry Paula Dean but your's was the loser). Next time I make the 2nd Taco Bake I'll use this cornbread it will make it so much better!
    Cornbread Winner!
    Food Network

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse grained salt
    • 1 cup skim milk
    • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg or 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

    Directions

    Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

    Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

    In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together milk, oil and egg or egg whites. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and, using a fork, stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into squares or triangles and serve immediately.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ain't She Crazy Blog

    11/2 lb lean ground beef
    1 pkg taco seasoning mix
    1/2 C. water
    1 can whole corn, drained
    1/2 C. chopped green pepper
    (I skipped this because I would never, in a million year put green pepper on a taco!)
    1 8oz can of tomato sauce
    1 pkg corn muffin mix (like Jiffy)
    1 can french fried onions.
    (I bought the only size I found and it was about twice what we needed. They must make smaller cans.)
    1/2 C shredded Cheddar cheese

    Brown the ground beef and drain the grease. I added some chopped onion to the ground beef as it cooked. Stir in the seasoning, water, corn, peppers and tomato sauce. Pour into a baking dish (I used a 9x13" pan, though she suggests something smaller like a 2 qt. casserole.) Prepare muffin mix as directed, except add in 1/2 the can of french fried onions. Spoon the mixture around the edges of the casserole. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Top with cheese and the rest of the onions and bake a few more minutes until it's all melted.
    ALEXIS NOTES: I again out of taco seasoning used a chili packet, this one I used a different corn bread (that was my mistake it wasn't the best flavor, if I used the above one it would have been a tie), Next time I'd use the small can of onions also and I didn't have green pepper so I used a small can of green chilies.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Corn Bread Taco Bake Winner (Just by a SMALL margin)
    Debbi Does Dinner ... Healthy & Low Calorie

    Taco Corn Bread Casserole

    1 package (8 1/2 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
    1 egg
    1/3 cup milk
    3 cups cooked taco seasoned meat
    1 can black beans
    1 cup (8 oz) sour cream, light
    1 cup colby jack, cheddar or mexican cheese, shredded and divided
    1/2 cup onion, chopped
    1 medium tomato, chopped
    1 cup shredded lettuce
    1 can sliced olives (optional, I didn't use)

    In a large bowl, combine the corn bread, egg and milk until blended. Spread into an 8 x 8 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Combine taco meat and beans, spread over corn bread. Combine sour cream, 3/4 cup cheese and onion. Spread over meat mixture. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with tomato, lettuce and remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

    Total calories = 3252 calories

    ALEXIS NOTES: I made the corn bread mix (use the one on top the best), I used about low fat ground beef, didn't have taco seasoning so used chili :), skipped the onion, next time I'll add the corn!
    Hope you all have a wonderful Monday and may enjoy one of these fine recipes :).

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    iCaughtSanta.com Photo (5 Winners)

    Do you realize that tomorrow is Christmas Eve?? I know it is throwing me into a tailspin right now. Guess who comes to visit on Christmas Eve? You know it Santa does! All the stockings are hung and ready to be filled by a special visitor! Need a little proof for the little ones? I have just the right thing for you!

    I have had the BEST time finding the perfect Santa photo for the boys. It was so easy I took a picture of the place "where" Santa will visit. Like in front of the stockings or in front of the tree? Santa always fills the stockings at our house and leaves one unwrapped gift for the kids. Since the kids were up I picked the empty stockings to take my shot (yes I even remembered to turn off the tv to get the whole effect.

    I then uploaded my photo to iCaughtSanta.com and got to work. The only hard part was picking the pose for Santa and the boarder I wanted! They have 20 (YES I said 20 different poses) of Santa to choose from. From bending down, to saluting, reading a book, feet to be coming out of the chimney and even one of him sleeping :).

    For $9.99 you have a memory that will last a lifetime along with making the little ones day when they wake up to find that photo out. I can't wait for the boys to see it I know they will be so excited. And get this they even make a video with your shot in the background and Santa moving around the still background. Yup you got it, it's like you set a camera up to catch him in the act! For an additional $4.99 you can purchase the video, you know I'm so getting that also!

    Now you picked your Santa pose, your boarder and you've paid. Next is to print it out, you don't have a printer at home? No problem they actually have a button that will send it to your local Walgreens (1 hr photo)! Yup how could we make it any easier ....

    WELL ... FIVE of my lucky readers will win a code for one free print ($9.99 value). And just because we want everyone to have this for Christmas morning I have a coupon code also!!! At Check out enter the Code: MOM for 25% off your order!

    And for you who like other holidays with a photo they have Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy & Cupid!!! Oh WAIT for you Lady Gaga fans they have a special Lady Gaga & Santa :).

    BUY IT: Pick up your own for $9.99 (get 3 more characters at anytime for $10). USE Code MOM for 25% off your order!
    WIN IT: The FIRST 5 (FIVE) people to comment with "I Want to Win" will win a free photo!
    Disclosure – The product featured in this review was provided to me free of charge, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Must Watch ... More Christmas Movies!!!

    As you know my love of Christmas Lights this movie was right up my alley. Two arch rival high school now grown up find them living across from each other. And let the battle of who has the best lights begin. You just have to laugh at this one.

    Bob Wallace makes sure to go all out every year on Christmas decorations so that he can have the brightest and most festive house in his neighborhood. This year, he notices that his new neighbor has put up an even brighter and more lavish display. The fight is on when they declare war for the best Christmas decoration display in the neighborhood.



    I love that the new Christmas movies are taking the common Ghost haunting to new levels. This is perfect for the times we're in. Boyfriends of past come to haunt along with a celebrity that chocked on an olive and ended up becoming a ghost. A great love story.

    Christina Milian stars as high powered Hollywood publicist, Sloane, who finds herself haunted by the ghost of her recently departed infamous client Caitlin, played by Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars). With just days away from Christmas, Caitlin takes Sloane on a journey to meet the ghosts of her ex-boyfriends from the past,present and future to try and guide her to true love, in a modern day take on Charles Dickens' holiday classic story of A Christmas Carol. (Live Action)


    This movie is so cute I love this take on bringing the past and the future self to current self to show you what you wanted and what you have become if you keep on that path. Plus a guardian angel that goes to that length is all right in my book.

    Liz is a successful, thirty-something doctor who doesn't fully realize she is settling for less than ideal with the man she is about to marry. Her guardian angel travels through time and enlists the help of Liz as both a late teenager and an older woman to steer her clear from making this mistake.


    Every once in a while I think we need to do this put us in someone else's body. We can really take a hard look at ourself, maybe get some thoughts about us as a person and take a big look at the picture.

    In “The Santa Suit,” Sorbo plays greedy elitist and Hunter Toys CEO Drake Hunter who looks down on the whole of humanity until he is suddenly transformed from Fortune 500 phenom to Santa Claus to learn that when people are stripped of worldly splendor, and have nothing except their humanity to define them, they tend to make more heartfelt and purposeful choices.


    Ok you just have to laugh and love this one Santa slay is shot down thinking it is a UFO ... lol. Greg Germann plays the FBI agent you live to hate in all the movies. Listen to the kids they always know the true Santa :).

    Santa is marooned in a small town when his sleigh is mistaken for a UFO. He is rescued by two children and tries to prepare for Christmas while stranded far from the North Pole. To make sure Christmas isn't ruined this year, Santa must find a way to take flight by Christmas Eve.


    After watching the show on the people that put so much into their lights I had to get a chuckle out of this one that had a town and then a street competing to win with Christmas Lights. You see Greed that finally comes back to what Christmas is all about.

    When the huge local department store orders too many Christmas lights, one of the workers comes up with an idea for a contest to sell of the extras. The townspeople and the greedy female owner nearly come to blows as but they all learn a lesson in the meaning of Christmas.


    What a great movie about forgiveness and making right what was wronged years ago. Good movie to put you in the Holiday Spirit.



    A marriage and family who rediscovers the meaning of Christmas when pediatrician by day, single mom by night, Sarah invites her estranged pilot husband, Pete, back to their suburban home for the holidays on one condition--he must reconcile with their daughters before she agrees to finalize their trial separation with divorce.


    Oh boy we've been there mom & dad asking when are you going to get married ... ok maybe not all of us. Well not all of us would go to the length that she went to but of course you have to laugh and fall in love with them.

    Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez star in ABC Family's amusing holiday tale of Holiday in Handcuffs, a story about a modern young woman who has a breakdown at Christmas and desperately kidnaps a handsome guy to take home to her parents. Can she keep her misdeed a secret from her family and convince them that they are a happy couple or will their Christmas be ruined?


    So many can feel where this poor lady comes from she ends up homeless due to a divorce (others these days sadly from job loss). You just have to love her ability to keep going and fighting!

    Julia Bedford is a dedicated homemaker whose world is rocked when in her divorce; she is left with next to nothing. When Julia finally hits rock bottom and finds herself living in her car, she decides to begin her comeback and ultimately discovers what is really valuable in life.


    The story has been done and done before and to tell you the truth I can't take another version of Scrooge. Thankfully this one had a nice twist about the ghost visiting the wrong house (but was it?). The ghost are your typical ghost in these types of movies either .... I mean come on Verne Troyer plays The Ghost of Future! You'll laugh and Tom Everett Scott is always a favorite!

    Just before Christmas, idealistic greeting-card writer Allen Karroll (Tom Everett Scott) cooks up a "special moment" wherein he will propose to his sweetheart Carrie (Deanna Milligan) in a public place before thousands of oohing and aahing spectators. Alas, Carrie turns him down flat, so thoroughly humiliating Allen that he ends up hating the Yuletide season. Not long afterward, Allen is visited by four disreputable-looking ghosts, including a very hip Jacob Marley (or is it Bob Marley?) Can it be that our hero has morphed into a latter-day incarnation of Ebenezer Scrooge? Not quite: All of the ghosts have come to the wrong address. Turns out that the real Scrooge of the piece is Alex's nasty next-door neighbor Zeb Rosecog (Wallace Shawn), who'd once been CEO for the company which employs Alex. His curiosity aroused, Allen overcomes his intense dislike for Zeb to investigate the source of the man's misanthropy--and in so doing learns a lot about himself. A clever spin on an all-too-familiar fable, Karroll's Christmas was produced for cable, and was originally telecast December 14, 2004 by the A&E network. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


    Another Hallmark movie that makes you smile and cheer for the underdog who at the time was the son who wanted to venture out on his own. Anne Heche another one I usually don't enjoy and at times didn't really enjoy her but the rest of the cast made me love the movie.

    Every December, widower Christopher Byrne (Tate Donovan) travels to New York City with his son and daughter from the family's Christmas tree farm in Nova Scotia to sell their trees on a street corner in Chelsea. On that same street live Catherine O'Meara (Anne Heche), a lonely soul who lost her beloved husband three years earlier. But one December, 16 year old, Danny runs away to pursue his passion for photography. His father is heartbroken. Eventually, though, the distraught father, estranged son, and lonely widow come together and have every reason to truly celebrate the season.


    Usually not a big George Lopez fan but in this movie I actually like him. It was a great make you feel good Christmas movie. With a message that we all need to step back and look at!

    This made-for-cable "dramedy" represents a change of pace for comedian George Lopez), here cast as a nasty, vituperative Chicago radio "shock jock" sportscaster named Henry Ramiro. Although his show is Number One in the ratings, Henry has managed to alienate everyone around him with his relentless verbal assaults--and when we say "everyone", we also mean his long-suffering wife Diana (Lisa Vidal) and his insecure daughter Olivia (Bianca Collins). This is the status quo until 15-year-old Grant Michael (James Kirk), whose life-threatening illness has not dampened his zest for living and his relentless good cheer, shames Henry into being a nice guy for one whole day. Not surprisingly, Henry's ratings immediately tank--but he manages to learn a valuable lesson (with a few detours along the way) just in time for Christmas. Naughty or Nice was produced by the Hallmark corporation and telecast by the ABC network on December 11, 2004. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
    Merry Christmas everyone hope you find a few you would like to watch. I love this time of year and my DVR is always set to catch all the holiday movies.

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