November 2013

Here Comes….Stella

Stella is our elf on the shelf. This is only the second year she has come to visit, and she truly does do some very interesting things, well frankly because Christmas is bar none my favorite holiday and if I’m going to have this silly elf hanging around my house all day, well…I’m going to have some fun with it.

We had her arrive on Thanksgiving night, which is when I and Jen turn into those crazy people who go shopping all night long…lol. So I tried to make her arrival a little simply for my husband who would be doing all the setting up, while Jen and I were off doing our yearly tradition.

So I thought it would be funny if Stella decided to do some Black Friday shopping.

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She was looking over some flyers, and left a little note for Daniella. The shopping bag had a pair of PJs and The Elf Story dvd. Today she is recuperating with her cup of coffee and wearing the new skirt Daniella gave her. Tomorrow however is a really fun one, so you will have to stay tuned to see the other antics she will get into.

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Happy hump day everyone! Today is the day that most of you go to work, pretend to do work, and get out right after or shortly after lunch. Me on the other hand, I took today off to get some things done for Thanks-give-a-kah.

See Dan’s dad’s side of the family is Jewish, so we will be celebrating Chanukah tomorrow with that part of the family…Im hoping there will also be a men-urkey…because that would be epic…just saying…

Anyways…today I am spending most of my day preparing the gift baskets…posts to come…for the family and making some pumpkin dessert…I heard somewhere that if you have pumpkin at the Chanukah table, it means it has been a prosperous year…and you know it may not have been to easiest, but we’ve made it through this year…thats good enough for me.

Personally I’d rather bring this apple cider sangria to Thanks-give-a-kah, but Im not sure if it would go over very well. So I will be sipping on the last of my batch from this past weekend while I put these baskets together. But I wanted to share this recipe with you all, and hope you share it with your family and friends over the holiday season.



2 Bottles of red wine

1 cup brandy

1/2 cup triple sec

1 cup cranberry juice cocktail (100% juice)

1 cup apple cider or apple juice (I suggest go with the cider)

Juice of 1/2 orange (large)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup simple syrup infused with cinnamon and cloves (recipe below)

2 cinnamon sticks

1-2 slices of orange studded with 5 cloves along the rind

1/2 apple, cored and cut into 1/4 thick slices


In a large pitcher add the red wine, brandy, triple sec, cranberry juice, apple cider, orange juice, lemon juice and simple syrup.

Stir well, then add the orange and apple slices along with cinnamon sticks.

Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

3 cinnamon sticks

6-8 cloves

Combine all ingredients into pan. Heat on low. Simmer for at least 10 mins and allow to cool completely before using. The remainder can be stored in the fridge.

Once Thanks-give-a-kah is all said and done, Jodes and I will be preparing for our other favorite unofficial holiday…black Friday. We will be out come midnight, sipping on coffee…lots and lots of coffee…and enjoying the madness that is black Friday. So today I have named the quiet before the storm…because there will be little sleep the next 48 hours… 🙂

Cheers, happy Thanks-give-a-kah to you and your family. I will talk to you all on Friday…at some point…depending on how much coffee and little sleep I have…

I think I have finally beaten the plague…*happy dance*…and just in time for the holidays…you know thanksgiving, Chanukah and black Friday. I wanted to thank Dan for taking care of me, so I pulled out my handy dandy stand mixer and got to work…

Over the summer we were doing the whole clean eating thing and just because its winter doesn’t mean we can’t try to be a little bit healthy…even though I want to make comfort food really bad with this cold weather that just rolled in.

So I decided to take my normal chocolate chip cookie recipe and have some fun. I just started tweaking here and there and these cookies were I swear were half a pound each when they came out of the oven…and Dan had no idea they were semi healthy…and for any woman…that’s a double win!



3/8 cup sugar

3/8 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 bag chocolate chips

1/2 of a nip bottle of Kahlua


1) Combine sugars and apple sauce.

2) Add vanilla and flour.

3) Add chocolate chips.

4) Add Kahlua.

5) Bake for 8 mins at 350 degrees.

6) Eat straight out of the oven…with ice cream…or milk.

Happy Monday everyone! Talk to you all on Wednesday…the calm before the storm.

Neat and Easy Quilt Square

Well good morning everyone, between my daughter getting up at 5am and my dear husbands snoring, here I am doing a blog post when I should be sleeping.  I’ve been meaning to do this one for a few days though, so here goes.  As usual, I have started another project before finishing others….oh well.  This quilt is actually a gift, so there is a time restriction on it and I figure I can use the leftovers for my husband’s stocking, so it has other benefits.  These squares will actually be a baby quilt when all is said and done, for a close friend who has a baby boy on the way.

I actually saw this tutorial on Missouri Star Quilt Company’s youtube channel.  I was looking for something different and easy because with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I wasn’t sure how much time I would really have to devote to this.

This is actually meant to be made with a jelly roll but, since I had a particular theme in mind I just got yardage and cut them into 2.5″ strips.  You sew the strips together in groups of four.


And then you cut them into squares.


You will then chose two different squares and lay them right sides together with the stripes going in opposite directions.


Next you will sew a 1/4″ seam all the way around the square.



Then you are going to want to cut the square on the diagonals.


So you end up with 4 triangles.


Then open them up and voila…a pretty neat square that took no time at all to make.


Hopefully once I get all the squares done and put together I’ll remember to share again because these squares really look even better when they are all put together.

Happy Friday everyone!! We’ve made it. I don’t know about you but this week seemed to drag, practically because of being sick and practically because its the long week before the short week of thanksgiving…and black Friday (yes Im one of those people)… I think my co-blogger (no not Jodes) but meow meow the cat is just as excited as I am…she’s watching me type trying to paw at the screen…


Im going to end the week with a recipe that always reminds me of my grandmother. When I was a kid, she had certain staples she made…American chop suey, corn chowder and tuna casserole (to name just a few). I didn’t get this as an option at home, my mom didn’t much care for it. Therefore it was a treat when she made this for me. Oddly enough this is also the first meal I ever made Dan.

Over the years I’ve made this recipe my own and even attempted to make a version without condensed cream of mushroom soup…yes it was healthier…but the taste just wasn’t like Gram used to make it…so I went back…nothing ventured nothing gained.

Tuna Casserole

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can tuna (I prefer the kind in water)

1 bag egg noodles

1 sleeve of ritz crackers

1 stick of butter (but if you want you can use as much or as little you want)

1 bag croutons

1 cup of milk

1 bag frozen peas

1) Cook egg noodles, drain and place into greased  baking dish.

2) Combine noodles, cream of mushroom, drained tuna, peas and 1 cup of milk into baking dish

3) Crush ritz crackers and croutons.

4) Melt butter and combine with crackers and croutons and put on top of noodle mixture.

5) Bake at 350 for 25 mins.


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