Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Past

Okay all you decorating crazy people for Christmas.....I haven't had a chance to do ANYTHING!    So...today's blog is dedicated to Christmas past.....you'll get to see all of the pics I can scrape up from the past! 


Here we go........


This is last years Christmas tree....I chunked the Angel topper and went with the sparkly new toppers....Hannah hated it...I loved it.  She wanted her Angel and that's all she seemed to be fixated on last Christmas!  This picture is dated 12/04.....boy am I behind this year...not one gift wrapped yet!

Last years dining room table.....not sure what I'll do this year!  The napkins in the coffee cups was a great find at World Market the year before.  I think I paid around $1 each for these.  The Santa mini stocking in the glasses are used to hold the silverware on Christmas Day.  The deer was an after Christmas find at Big Lots!  You know I got a great deal on that, right?!  You can barely see the overhead light fixture adorned with garland and holly leaves.

Here's the tree from last year in the kitchen....I added this tree a few years ago.   I found the Elve's on the kitchen table centerpiece at Beall's a couple of years ago....it was a huge after Christmas sale and I got them at a very discounted price....the glass votives are from the Dollar Tree...remember I glued a glass candle holder to the votive?  Filled with glass balls makes for a very colorful setting!
I'll be changing the mantle up this year with Santa's!!  I can't wait to see the end result.  This is an '07 pic!
Hannah and Christina got in the Christmas spirit and made a platter of sugar cookies.  Aren't they all just so cute!  I hope this can be a tradition and we can make more this year!
In '08...Hannah and I made this cinnamon gingerbread men ornaments!  We use these every year on a small white tree in our hallway.
Last year's mantle.......I added another Santa to the mantle and some glass balls.  Isn't the fireplace just so inviting?!  We don't have many days in South Georgia to enjoy a fire.....I have been known to have the a/c on just to have a fire in the fireplace!


I'm so excited to get things rolling this weekend.....Friday night we'll begin the decorating process of the inside of the house and by Saturday I'm hoping to be able to get my tree up.  There will be plenty of pictures to share this year!


For now....I'll leave you with this beautiful picture of our granddaughter Sophia.  I can't wait to see her Christmas!
 


Linking up to these parties!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Can We Say Leftovers??

Thank goodness I have 2 fridge's!  The holidays would not be a "good thing" with just one refrigerator.  I don't know how I did it all those years with one fridge.  Today is the last day....my brother and his family will leave tomorrow.  My brother in law and his family left on Saturday.  Tomorrow is work day.

Today my goal is to rid my fridge of leftovers!  I took a few pics so you could get the general idea of what I'm dealing with here!





It's gotta go...outta here today!  No one can leave until it's all gone!!  See that pumpkin pie?  There are more of these at my mom's house...plus banana pudding and a deviled foods cake here.  Can we say sweet overload today?!  IT MUST LEAVE MY HOUSE!

Yesterday, the girls of the family went shopping.  All. Day. Long.  It was fun....I was able to knock out a few Christmas presents.  Everything was going well until Mom almost slid out of the car....thanks to Hannah grabbing Me-Maw's hand.  I don't think I've ever moved so fast....I had to put the car in park....take the seat belt off...open the car door....and grab the door that my mom was having a problem closing...hence the slide out ordeal.  Thing is...we were at Goodwill.  Would I have ever heard the end of Me-Maw sliding out into the parking lot on a VERY STEEP HILL at Goodwill?! 

Hannah and I managed to go to Goodwill again on Friday...just because.  I found some really cute things...I'll be sharing those items next week.  Next weekend is Christmas tree and decorating the inside of the house.  HUGE JOB.  Lots of containers....hub will hate me....Hannah will be all over the place....the tree will be on Sunday.  Lots to do!!

Happy Turkey leftover day!  Well...here at my house anyway!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Post Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Day ended up being a no stress day.  I sat around twiddling my thumbs most of the morning.  All my prep work 2 days ahead of time had certainly paid off.  It felt strange and wonderful all at the same time.  There was nothing for me to do, but wait until after lunch to begin any sort of cooking.

The family came in.....the meal was on the table by 4pm.....I had lots of kisses from my grandson, Ryder....my brother and his family were here....all was well in my world.   My brother took some pictures of the buffet table before anyone got close to it with their plate.  I think the picture taking seemed like a million years to my very hungry son.  He is clearly inpatient when it comes to food! 

(Not great pictures...but deal with it....mmmmkay?)

Here's a pic of part of the table.  See that cornbread dressing?!  Compliments from my mom on some great tasting dressing and all was well.  It was delicious!  Below the bread basket is a small glass dish of beets and goat cheese.  This was a new dish added this year.  I always like to try something new every year.   I'm not a beet lover...but my husband and mother love them.  The goat cheese was scrumptious with the beets.  This was another glass dish I had found earlier at Goodwill....along with the olive dish and the butter dish.  All for $.99. 

Here's a side picture of the buffet table.  In the far right corner you'll see a small, white casserole dish that sits in a metal holder.  Goodwill my dears....$4.99.  I found this on Friday.  It matched my other white dishes on the left perfectly.

This arrangement on the sofa table in the formal living room was a perfect backdrop for the buffet table.  The plaque reads "In Everything We Give Thanks".  Remember that find at the rummage sale for $.50?

I removed the over sized centerpiece....


and used my Goodwill finds to adorn the center of our table....









There was only one complaint from the kids from the breakfast room table.....the plates were not BIG enough they said!

I don't know how we missed the dessert table...but we did.  I had a separate table for all of our desserts that everyone was to full to even attempt to eat.  I will be serving desserts for several days around here!

All in all our family had a very blessed day.  Ryder kept us all very entertained with his cuteness....

We missed having Steven, Christina and Sophia this year...but we're looking forward to Christmas with them.  Did I just say Christmas?  Oh my!  Let the fun begin!  Out with the Fall Decor and on with the Christmas Decor!!

I hope yesterday found you with all of your loved ones.  I'm so fortunate to have my parents with me at the ages of 79 & 80.  God has really blessed our family.  Tonight we enjoy time with my in laws and we are really blessed to have them still with us.  They have many health problems and keep on keeping on.  Truly an inspiration to us all.

This morning we'll have breakfast with my brother in law and his family from North Carolina.  We finally get to meet our great niece for the first time!  Tyler and Ryder plan on spending the day here and then we're off to my sister in laws for dinner tonight with the in laws.  We'll enjoy this afternoon with my brother and his family and then tomorrow the ladies plan on torturing the men with a shopping trip.  I plan on soaking up this weekend with family.......

It's Black Friday!  What to do...what to do....I really don't get involved with all that....I might flip out, so I keep myself away from the stores on that day....*smiles*

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving!

I've really been busy this morning.  This is day 2 of getting my game on for the dinner tomorrow.  My desserts are made.  Banana Pudding and Deviled Food Cake!  My mom always makes delicious pumpkin pies.  My giblet gravy is simmering.  Deviled eggs are done.  Boiled eggs are divided into baggies waiting for tomorrow.  The onions for my dressing are already chopped, along with my cheese for the mac & cheese.  This will make for an easy day of cooking tomorrow.  You'll be surprised how much time little things like that take when you are rushed!  The buffet table is set.  I have finished the kitchen table setting. The decor is FINISHED!

It's a very rainy, cloudy day today....I did my best with the pictures.  I thought I'd take you through what's been going on with some snapshots!
Dining room table ready to go.  I love these harvest pumpkin dishes.  This is the first year I've used them.


 My Goodwill olive dish!  I love using it around the holidays. Below is  the buffet table ready!  I have thought out every single dish I will be serving.   No time to do that tomorrow!!  I found this paper table cloth from Walmart.  I'll have a dessert table with the same tablecloth on it tomorrow.
 My silver turkey platter!  I actually have 3 turkey platters.  I decided to use this one this year.  It sort of breaks of the feel of the table and the turkey should be the center of attention!
 The kitchen table set and ready to go!  Remember, I used this table setting in my formal dining room prior to this weekend.  A quick swap to the kitchen.
 More pics of the buffet table. 
 Loving this candle on my kitchen table setting.  I found 2 of these metal candle holders at a sidewalk sale for $1 each!
 Dining room table.....
 More pics of the kitchen table centerpiece.  Do you remember this centerpiece Goodwill find?  I added the pumpkin and a couple of silk flowers to complete this arrangement.
 I think I have just enough room on the buffet for food only.....
 Remember this Goodwill squirrel?!  She is just perfect for this table setting.
 I'm loving my Goodwill Pottery Barn turkey dessert dishes!  I've been able to use these for a couple of years now.
 I can't wait for the food to be on this table tomorrow!
Well...there you have it.  I have very little to do tomorrow.  I'm having lots of fun using my different dishes from Goodwill.

Hopefully, I'll remember to take some pics before we eat all the food tomorrow!  With just a little pre-planning, I plan on having a relaxing morning on Thanksgiving.  I'll be serving dinner around 4ish tomorrow and I'm hoping for some empty tummies!

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families....

ummm what's next?!

CHRISTMAS!  (oh the containers that have to be emptied of Christmas stuff)  *blinks*

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Liebster Award

Go me!  Toni over at Blue Mountain Rise gave me the Liebster Award.  Toni always comes by and leaves the sweetest comments on my blog.  I'm finding out that comments are hard to come by for newbies.  I appreciate so much Toni thinking about me for this award.



This award is to showcase up and coming blogs with less then 200 followers.

The rules are to post and copy the award to your blog, thank and link back to the person who gave you the award and pick 5 more blogs and leave them a comment.
Here are my picks:

Gayle Page-Robak @ A Tasteful Touch
The Scrappy Housewife @ Accidental Housewife
Mary @ The Decorative Dreamer

More Monkeys.....

If you have followed my blog at all....you know that I have sort of an "animal" theme going on in my family room.  It wasn't planned that way....those monkeys were just to darn cute to pass up!  Plus, they keep turning up and I can't pass them buy.


I ventured out to Goodwill on Sunday, just because I'm an addict lover of Goodwill finds.  I had no plans to spend one dime....*giggles*.......but I just knew something would jump into my cart.  Guess what it was?



Is he not the cutest thing ever?  Seriously.  For $1.99.....had to have him.  

Today is prep day number one for my Thanksgiving dinner.  My head is spinning and I really just need to take more medication calm down.  If I could stop eating the pumpkin bars I made yesterday, I might would have more energy.  Just saying.   I may have to go to Goodwill to get calmed down.  *ahem*

Happy 2 days before Thanksgiving!!!

Linking to these parties!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Table # 1

I took everything off my dining room table and dressed it up with my Thanksgiving dishes.  I'm very pleased with how well it all looks!  

I love the pumpkin theme.  It matches my placemats and my runner perfectly.  I added a golden tablecloth to the table and I think it all just goes perfectly!

I even broke out the crystal glasses.
The cream and sugar dishes are all ready to go.....


The dinnerware that I had originally used on this table for decoration will all be moved to the kitchen breakfast room.  That table will have to wait until Wednesday night.

Tomorrow and Wednesday are big prep/cooking days here!  I actually made the Paula Deen Pumpkin Bars today and I have to tell you...it is SCRUMPTIOUS!  You can find the recipe at this link here.




Pumpkin Bars


Linking up to these parties!





Saturday, November 19, 2011

Did Someone Say Pumpkin??

I was watching the Food Network channel the other day and came across another "pumpkin" recipe.  Paula Deen is one of my favorites and she makes everything look so easy.

Do these look just scrumptious or what?

I know, right?!  Here's the link to the recipe. Pumpkin Bars

I bought the ingredients last night.  I really don't need these for my Thanksgiving menu, but I'm making 'em!  I think we should begin celebrating "pumpkin" days before Thanksgiving!  We have family coming in on Monday night and I think these might turn a head or two.  Seriously?  Who could resist these??

I finished shopping for my Thanksgiving menu last night.  I'm happy to have everything in my house and hopefully I will not have to enter a grocery store until after Thanksgiving.

We'll be going to visit my grandson, Ryder today.  He's sick with bronchitis.  I think Nana and Papa need to take him a few things to keep him busy while he's recovering.  I feel stickers coming his way.  Here's a picture of him last night at his Daddy's.  He came in at 6pm asleep and woke up several hours later ready to play!
He is laying on top of the coffee table!  I think Santa needs to bring him a table for his cars!

Have a wonderful weekend and the one's that are hosting Thanksgiving, try not to stress out and the one's that are not....I remember when!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Organizing Tips for Thanksgiving



I finally put down on paper next weeks schedule and I slept better last night.  Isn't it amazing how just writing (or typing in my case) something down can relieve your mind!  I thought I would share with you how I make it through Thanksgiving week and work at the same time.  I always take the Friday after Thanksgiving off, to recover!  Not really....my brother and his family always come home for Thanksgiving and this is the only time during the holidays I can spend time with them.  I am able to enjoy them by having a well planned week.

This year will be the first year in a very long time that I will be having a late afternoon Thanksgiving dinner.  The last few years have required me to have my dinner at noon.  I can tell you that just by having a late afternoon meal, it makes for a sort of leisure morning instead of a rat race. 

I shared with you our Thanksgiving menu.  Here it is again.  I need to list the items so I can share with you how I break down the cooking process prior to Thursday's Thanksgiving feast!

Turkey
Cornbread Dressing
Giblet Gravy
Creamed Corn
English Peas
White Acre Peas
Macaroni & Cheese
Chicken and Dumplings
Potato Souffle
Relish Tray
Cranberry Sauce
Deviled Eggs
Rolls/Biscuits

Desserts:
2 pumpkin pies
chocolate cake
banana pudding

I take each item and make a grocery list several weeks prior to Thanksgiving.  I break the list down by each week prior to the week of Thanksgiving  and this seems to really help with the expense.  This weekend I will be purchasing the last few items I need for this dinner.

My mom always cooks the turkey and she will be making the potato souffle and insists that she bring the white acre peas this year.  I have really limited her this year in what she brings. 

There a few things on the menu that do not require any prep work.
~English Peas
~Creamed Corn
~Rolls/Biscuits

The items that require some prep work are:
~Macaroni & Cheese
~Chicken and Dumplings
~Relish Tray
~Cranberry Sauce
~Deviled Eggs
~Cornbread Dressing
~Giblet Gravy
~Cake
~Banana Pudding

This year I am using Tuesday and Wednesday as my prep days. 

TUESDAY
Make Cornbread
Take Corn out of freezer
Cut up Cheese for Mac & Chse
Cut up Onions
    -Dressing

Remind Mom about Card Table for desserts

WEDNESDAY
Make Banana Pudding
Make Cake
Boil Eggs
    -Dressing   X9
    -Giblet Gravy    X3
    -Chikn Dumplings  X3
    -Deviled Eggs - 12
Get Ice
Set up Card Table (Desserts)
Set up Buffet Table w/dishes


THURSDAY MORNING
Set both Tables
Make Tea
Make Deviled Eggs
Slice Cranberry Sauce
Olive Tray
3-4 pieces of toast for dressing

THURSDAY AFTER LUNCH
Prepare dinner

I plan to have dinner served around 4pm. 

It's so much easier having everything sliced and diced before I need them.  It makes the process so much faster.  I store all those items in disposable bags.  I also make certain my fridge is completely cleaned out of any leftovers.  I will need all the room I can use!   I will continue to use my cozi.com cleaning schedule that I have to keep me on task about the house being cleaned.  Our biggie on the list is Sunday.  We will clean the carpet.  I also will be picking up some Fall dinnerware that was a gift to my son and his wife last year.  I can't wait to use it at Thanksgiving.  I'll be sharing some pics with you in a later post.  I always have 2 tables to set, but the table in the dining room will be showing off this dinnerware set!  I use a card table to display all the desserts and I have a long table that I use for all the food.  This gives us so much more room on the tables.  I remove my centerpiece in the formal dining room.  I like to be able to see the person sitting on the opposite side of me for conversation.  It's just to hard to talk with a huge arrangement blocking your view!  The kitchen table centerpiece will remain.  The height of it is just perfect for conversations.  The dining room arrangement will have to go, but I'll leave my candles and white turkeys for some decor on the table. 

Our family plans are to relax on Friday and dine out that night.  The ladies will be shopping on Saturday, while the men watch the football game and we'll have a pizza night at my house on Saturday night.  On Sunday, we have the Thanksgiving leftovers at my house. 

This is just MY side of the family.  Since I host Thanksgiving for our family, we try to spend as much time with my inlaws as allowed.  My bro in law and his entire family will be arriving on Monday night through Friday!  Now...to map those plans out!!