Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I listened and gave myself some star treatment tonight...

After reading Karenika's Start Treatment blog post this evening, I decided it was time to step away from all the Christmas preparations I have been busy doing and give my self a little star treatment.

Since I am taking Christy Tomlinson's SHE Art 2 class that started in November, I have been working a little here and there on finishing up some faces from Week 1, but lately there just has been no progress. I am happy to finally finish up the girls tonight.

Let me just say the faces where not as easy as Christy makes them out to be.  They definitely require some practice.  I decided to leave my girls faces as they are, and not change them.  I figure their face expressions reflect the mood I was in on the days they were created.

I think next time I will do the hair before the faces.  I struggled with the hair styles fitting around the faces.

What do you think?

It felt good to take a little time off from the Christmas preparations. Give yourself a little Star Treatment today and have fun!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What's cooking this week....

Between finishing up baking my cookies and putting the finishing touch on some decorating, this weeks meals where picked due to there ease of preparation.

My Goal to be in and out of the kitchen in at least 2 hours with 4 meals in the refrigerator ready for our week.

So if you are short on time and don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen this week give some of these a try.

Monday - Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas by The Girl who are everything.  I used a whole rotisserie chicken already prepared to speed up the preparations.

Tuesday - Baked Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Parmesan cheese.  This is a repeat from a previous week.  Recipe Kalynskitchen

Wednesday - Fish Tacos.  Repeat from Cooking Light Magazine.  See previous weeks post.

Thursday - Orange Glazed Pork Chops.  I cheated on this one this week.  I had some left over marinade from a previous week in the freeze.  Repeat recipe from Pamper Chefs 29 minute meals.

Friday - Hosting a Christmas party at our home for my Hubs work.  It's being catered so I can relax and enjoy the night.

Here is a helpful hint to help reduce some preparation time for weeks like this.  Try and make double batches of some of the marinades, or even sauces to freeze for weekends when you just don't have the time to prepare your weeks meals.

Bon Appetit,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Picture the Holidays

Still trying to keep up with the Picture the Holidays group I joined on Facebook. 
 I am enjoying the daily prompts but it has been a little difficult getting the photo taken each day and uploading them. 

Here is the last couple of days that I have captured.

Day 2 - Reframing the Season
This picture was take in Time Square. 
 We framed ourselves just under the two
as if we are leaning on it the bottom of the 2.

Day 3 - All You Need is Love
Today was all about looking for a heart in your day. 
I heart cookies and thought that the mixer looked like a heart.

Day 4 - You hold the key
The key to my heart is my daughter and the joy
that she gives me everytime I watch her dance. 
Day 5 - The view from here
My view from Time Square

Day 6 - Every little thing
The littlest thing like having the room number of our hotel room be the date of my daughters birthday when we away celebrating that very day.

Day 7 - Express Yourself
My self Portrait of myself, as I relax at the computer after
 a long day on my feet in the kitchen.

Day 8 - Reflecting on the season
Loved how this shot captured me inside the ornament taking the picture.

Day 9 - It's a sign
I believe in the Magic of the Holiday season.

Day 10 - Twinkle Twinkle
The twinkle of little feet happy as the Christmas parade goes by.

What's your picture of the holidays look like?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What's happening in your kitchen?

In my kitchen there has been lots of activity over the past week.  Between weekly meal preparations and holiday baking the oven has been non-stop.

It is getting harder to prepare my weekly meals on Sunday, when I have been in the kitchen busy baking most the weekend. Over the holiday I usually make any where between 400 to 500 cookies to share with friends and family and the occasional mouse (that's my kids who sneak cookies and dough when I'm not looking).

So far I have made 6 batches of dough for my traditional Christmas cutout cookies waiting to be baked, 2 batches of Mounds and Almond joy cookies, 7 batches of Peanut Brittle, 2 batches of Cinnanom Role cookies and 2 batches of Butter Pecan Fudge.  I am testing the Cinnanom role cookies and Butter Pecan fudge this year to change it up a bit.  If they turn out good, there will be more batches to make.

Here is a sneak peek at some cookies in the making....

Still have to dip the Mounds and Almond Joy into Chocolate.

Since we can't live on cookies alone, not like I would get any complaints, I did manage to get meals pre-made for the week ready to pop in the oven in the morning as I head off to work. 

Can't tell you how wonderful it feels to come home after a long day and dinner is waiting for you.   I highly recommend Menu pre-planning for all you that work all day and want to provide healthy meals for your families.

Here's what on our menu this week....

Monday - Salsa Verde Chicken Bake by Simple Recipes.

Tuesday - White Bean and Sausage by Simple Recipes and a Green Salad by Simple Recipes

Wednesday - Chicken Parm

Thursday - Grilled Steak with Mushroom Piquant by Publix

Friday - Pizza night

Bon Appetit,

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Weekend in New York

Back from a wonderful weekend in New York celebrating my daughters Sweet 16th Birthday.  She and I have always wanted to see New York during the Holidays so what better excuse to go then for her Birthday.   The weather was spectacular, except she was praying for SNOW!!!!

The weekend was all about her and what she wanted to do in the city.  Well we did it all and my feet are feeling it.  I never walked so much and by 11pm the last night I was crawling to the Hotel to kick off my boots and wished I could just slip into my sandals.

1st stop - New York Pizza

2nd stop - Shopping at her Favorite stores
Can you guess what store's we visited?
3rd stop - Rockefeller Center 
What a surprise, guess who we ran into while taking pictures of the Tree!

4th stop - Window displays
I thought that the best windows were at Lord and Taylors.

5th stop - Carmine's for Dinner
Met up with my sister and her friend Cindy, my cousin Tricia and her son Christopher and daughter in Law.

Day 2
1st stop - Skating at Rockefeller center Rink

2nd Stop Serendipity Cafe
We watched the movie before we left and had to visit the famous spot.
Wanted to try the Hot Cocoa, but there was a 2 1/2 hour wait and we had a show to catch.  Maybe next time.
3rd Stop - Rockettes show

4th stop - China town and Little Italy for some designer shopping
She made out with a few items that Daddy bought her.

5th stop - Back to Time Square for some more shopping
I spy us just under the # 2.   See us?

And the best part...
 What's the chances of our room number randomly ending up being my daugther's birth date?

Well we did it all and my feet are feeling it. I never walked so much and by 11pm the last night I was crawling to the Hotel to kick off my boots and wished I could just slip into my bare feet.

Happy to be home where the sun is shining, no jacket, gloves and boots!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 1 Picture the Holidays

Joined the Paper Coterie "Picture the Holidays" group on Facebook this year to give me the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the holidays as well as capture some of the special moments of this wonderful time of the year. 

Today was day 1 and our prompt was "Holding onto Gratitude".  When I thought about what I was grateful for today it was easy.  Today is my 21st wedding anniversary and when I returned home from work, this little pink package was waiting for me.

So today, I am grateful for the 21 beautiful years my husband and I have shared together and look forward to many more years of happiness.

You will have to wait for another post of me wearing my present. 

Hint:  It's something that will come in very handy on my Trip to New York this weekend.