Monday, December 31, 2012

Fruit Included

I love shopping the after holiday sales - any after holiday sale.
I am a sucker for a good clearance. One of my 2013 goals is to stop spending so much money on things I don't really need.
Prior to Christmas I had seen these jars at Sam's Club for $55.
WAY too much money! Not worth it. I did really want them though. And both my mom and Matt offered to get me them. I declined.
Good thing I waited - I got them on Saturday for $27 - fruit included.
Saturday we went to Target and bought a few Christmas clearance items at 50% off. Ended up being a waste of time and money since the very next morning I saw online Target Christmas clearance was now 70% off. Meaning we went shopping yesterday afternoon for some new Christmas items. Spent way more then I should have, but did get some good stuff for now and next year.
Wyatt got some new clothes.
Santa dog:
I don't think he really liked having his picture taken.
Seemed a bit bored.
Very cute! I bet he is warm too.

I love his new tie!
Makes him look smart - needs some glasses now.
We joke Wyatt works at the Hyatt.... Now he's all ready for work!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Santa Tree - The Painting

We painted another picture!

This one matches my tree. :)
My Santa tree.
What do you think?
Mine is on the right and my mom's in on the left.
 My mom's:
 My mom's:
 My mom's:
I am happy with it, but feel it could have been better.
We had a guy as an instructor who wasn’t very good at teaching and another guy who was suppose to be walking around helping us disappear.
Which meant the guy teaching also had to walk around and help. We were in the back this time and it seemed he hardly ever made it to us. So this painting was a bit self guided. I am glad I had a copy of the painting on my ipod for us to refer to.
Oh well - it was worth spending the evening with my mom.
This painting will look nice displayed next year among my Christmas decorations.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Three Christmases

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!!!
I know we did!
I would hate to think you didn't. :(
Tell me you did. :)
Prior to Christmas I had been a little worried about how our first Christmas as a married couple would be since we had decided to spend the holiday with both of our families during the few days we were home in Tennessee.
In years past we have celebrated the holiday separately and then got together.
Thankfully both of our families live in the same town so we didn't have to pick between the two of them.
Quick run-down of events:
Christmas Eve we mostly spent with my family.
We went to church and had a delicious Christmas dinner with them.
MMMMMMmmmmm........ ham, homemade mac and cheese, green bean casserole and loaded twice baked potatoes.
Later that night we went back to Matt's mom's house where we opened presents aka Round 1.
Hard to get a good picture since she had to hide the tree due to space constraints.
Christmas morning we went to my mom's house for Round 2 of opening presents.
Matt and I then left to go to church with his family and then had another yummy Christmas dinner with them.
More good food!
Smoked turkey, sweet potato casserole, baked potatoes and green bean casserole. 
Have I mentioned green bean casserole is my favorite???
Christmas night we came home - we both had to work the next day.
Once home, Matt and I ate leftovers our moms had sent us home with and had Round 3 of opening presents.
We are very fortunate to have such wonderful families who spoil us! 

I got some really awesome gifts this year!

I MUST share one particular gift Matt got me:
It's a mug - one side has a picture of Wyatt and the other side shows a picture of Jake.
After such a busy weekend we both need this weekend to relax!
Ha ha ha!
We have big plans to watch our new DVDs and rent a few.
Maybe we will even treat ourselves to seeing a movie at the theater.
Good thing I took vacation time on Monday to make my weekend 4 days!
I'm leaving you with a picture of my Mr. Grumpy pants:
"What you looking at?"

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!



My motto today is better late then never - at least in reference to blogging about our painting experiences and my birthday.
We painted this one about a month ago:
Beautiful isn't it?
The title of this painting is Romance.
This painting had 9 colors to start with (the most we have ever used) and then we mixed every color you see here. 
This painting was also all about layering. And lots of it. Glad we learned the technique.
We started off with a lovely light purple I was a bit sad to cover.
After the purple we splatted on green for the bushes then layered on four different colors of leaves. The branches were added afterwards then a little more leaves were added on top to help the effect.
My mom's: 
Here they are together completely finished.
We had to have the instrutor add our people in the picture. Didn't want to mess them up.
(Mine is on the right.)
This painting was part of me and my mom celebrating my birthday.
Now to recap the rest of my birthday since I haven't blogged in about a month.
The day before Thanksgiving we acknowledged it with family (which you already saw) and then the following week I celebrated it everywhere else.
At work:
Every month at work we always have a monthly potluck for the current month's birthdays. Normally we have breakfast or lunch.
Never both. I mean never.
For my birthday potluck we had both.
Made me feel special.
Got to try Derby pie for the first time. Wouldn’t be such a big deal if I didn't live near the derby.
Thursday my friend, Linda, brought into work mousse cake.
Yum! She knows how much I like the cake from Maggiano's and this is her version of it.
Then that evening I came home to a new Pandora charm from Matt (the ship), a card, Papa Murphy's in the fridge and ice cream cake in the freezer!
I married a good man!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Santa Christmas Tree

If you don’t know already you might as well find out now.
From me.
I, Jessica Abcdefg, am addicted to looking on Pinterest.
Yep, addicted.
Somehow I get all completely engrossed into looking at all the pictures and pinning everything I hope to make. Sometimes I go through and actually look at the links, but that is as far as I ever get with making the items. In my defense, it is so easy to scroll through the pictures on my ipod while lying in bed.
However, now I have actually made something I pinned.
First time ever!!!

What do you think of it?
I am in LOVE with it!
Looks even better in person!

I found the Pinterest inspiration from HERE.
Hers is lovely - mine is better!

Of course, I am partial to mine since I made it.

He he he!

For the base of the tree I used a cardboard box. In order to get the size I wanted, I had to cut and then re-tape back together two separate boxes which explains why it is not 100% perfect. I wanted to use a big Rubbermaid Tupperware but it wasn't wide enough for my tree base to fit inside.
Once I had my box formed I wrapped it in red wrapping paper. I used black felt for the belt and wrapped a piece of cardboard with tin foil to make the belt buckle. For the white area I used big ribbon that we had used for my wedding.
Luckily I had all these items in my house - $0 spent.

Throughout my tree I used red tinsel and red beads to help carry the color red for Santa's body, but I kept most my ornaments with my candy theme.
I finished the look by topping the tree with a Santa hat.
I do have a red wood sign showing 'HoHoHo' that I decided against using.

Final outcome: I think he is wonderful! And unique! Not many people can say they have a tree like mine.

If I had a bigger area in my house to put my tree you would see how I have wrapped my presents with a candy theme to match my ornaments. Instead, I might have wrapped them with Santa wrapping paper to match my Santa tree. You know, to keep with that theme.
For Christmas trees, I am all about themes - 100%!
Just by seeing the picture of my tree, one of my friends plan on making this with her kids this weekend. :)
Guess I motivated her to do something different.
I told her to take a picture of it.
I hope she does.
I'm going to leave you with some of my favorite ornaments:

Did you notice my Santa ball???
Matches my tree! Makes me smile! 
Is your tree up yet???

Monday, November 26, 2012

Got Turkey Leftovers?

We do.
Last night we decided to make a dish with some of our leftover turkey meat.
We decided on a turkey pot pie. I Googled the recipe online.

An let me tell you - it was YUMMY!

Ours had sliced carrots, celery, potatoes, peas and onions. I used 3 cups of our homemade chicken stock and one cup of our homemade gravy. Topped it off with a pie crust and baked for 30 minutes.

How good you ask?
Good enough for us to eat almost the entire thing in one sitting. Yep, one sitting.

I barely had enough to bring in for lunch today.

Luckily I made enough 'filling' for us to have 2 pot pies!
Meaning we ate one yesterday for dinner and the other one tonight.

Is it bad that I want to make another for dinner tomorrow???
I wonder if I can talk Matt into it???

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Birthday Presents

With my birthday so close to Thanksgiving we tend to celebrate my birthday over the Thanksgiving holiday.
This Thanksgiving holiday was no different.

I got a BUNCH of presents this year!
Bunches of good ones.
THANK YOU! I love them all!!!

Matt already gave me my present - the cruise back in October. I feel it was a wonderful gift even though he got the exact same 'present'. LOL! Whatever works to get me a cruise. :)
I am hoping I can get the same gift from him next year.
Fingers crossed.
I feel I need two vacations a year. Try to convince Matt for me please.

My mom and Greg got me this adorable metal (?) giraffe. I have like 30 stuffed giraffes among a few other different giraffes so this cutie will make a great addition. I just need to figure out where he will live. I am thinking my bedroom. He will look cute by my bathroom door. Maybe. Not sure yet.
They also bought me two charms for my Pandora bracelet - the camera and hope/love/faith.
I need some colored beads now to combine with my metal ones. Hint, hint, hint...
And a big metal 'C' for a wreath or for my wall or something.
I might already have a plan in mind for it.
And got me a movie snack kit with the movie Four Christmases.

My grandparents got me the Barbie blushing bride ornament.
Matt's mom got me The Big Bang Theory on DVD.
Meaning Matt and I have ate a lot of candy and watched a lot of TV today.
Not to mention all the other food we have consumed.
I'm feeling stuffed. Again.
I need to eat less tomorrow.


Happy Thanksgiving - 2 Days Late!

I hosted this year.

If you have never cooked a Thanksgiving meal you really need to be thankful to the person(s) who does all the hard work in order for you to enjoy that lovely meal. I had no idea how much work actually went into the event. It was a little stressful, but well worth it. I am glad I have this experience under my belt. :)
Thank you mom and grandma for all the past Thanksgiving meals I have enjoyed throughout the years!

Cooking for me started on Tuesday evening when I made two batches of pepperoni rolls, potato soup, a cheese ball and Watergate salad.
My brother was here so it was nice to have someone to talk to while I cooked. We even found time to watch the newest episode of Dexter.
Wednesday along with my brother, my parents and grandparents were here and we ate the potato soup and chicken tortellini soup I made when I got home from work. With salad.
It was nice sitting down to a meal before the main attraction. It isn't very often we are all together so I am glad we got to do this.
Matt's sister got here later in the evening while I was prepping this giant 23 pound turkey.
That big boy was heavy!
Thursday morning I woke early to put the big boy in the oven and make breakfast for me, Matt and our siblings since my parents and grandparents spent the night at a hotel where they received free breakfast. Evidently it wasn't very good - it was the worker's first day doing it alone.
Matt's mom got here shortly before our Thanksgiving meal.
While everything was cooking we all watched Four Christmases and Fred Clause on DVD.
You should have heard my grandpa laughing! I think everyone liked those movies!
I will admit towards the end of my cooking I was starting to get stressed and I may have been a bit snippy to my family. I do apologize.
In the end, everything turned out great and was all ready right on time.
I had said I would serve lunch at 1 and somehow it all worked out - we were all seated at 1.
I was ecstatic!
Couldn't have turned out better!
Here are a few of the items I served for Thanksgiving:
 We had already started carving it when I remembered I wanted to take a picture.

Green Bean Casserole
Homemade gravy
I forgot to take a picture of the canned cranberry sauce (LOL! My grandpa only wanted this kind), the stuffing, rolls and my grandma's homemade sweet potato casserole. 

For desert my mom made fudge (not pictured), cheesecake (not pictured) and a pumpkin pie. Matt's mom made an apple pie and pumpkin pecan pie.
Talk about addicting!
And we have all the leftovers!!!
Matt and I both have had WAY more then we should!
All of it is so yummy and we are having a hard time controlling ourselves!
However this is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving - all the leftovers!
Here's my table all set:
Yes, I used paper plates on top of my chargers.
I had to - we only have a set of 8 dishes and there was 9 of us. No one minded. In fact, I think my grandma told me that was smart. And yes, that is some fancy serving dishes you see. Next time I host a meal I will make sure I have a few more 'fancy' serving dishes.

While everything was cooking my mom and brother made this cute gingerbread house:
My mom said this house is 2 or 3 years old. This is why you don't see green frosting on here.
Ha ha ha!
Sounds like me! I buy them and take just as long to make them. (You will see this sometime in December.)

After everyone stuffed themselves with all the yummy food we took some pictures outside.
I know I drive everyone nuts with all my picture taking...
I just want to make sure these moments are forever captured so we always have something to look at to remember these times. Aside from our memories of course.

I'll leave you with pictures of our cuties:

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!