My New Ride!

I have waited quite some time for a "mom-mobile".

Well, I am proud to introduce you to my new ride. A 2012 Dodge Journey.
I love it!

I left the car lot and it had 50 miles on it. Craziness. I never thought I would ever have brand new car!

My husband rocks my socks! :o)

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Christmas 2012—Photo Recap

Christmas Eve:

Christmas Morning: 

 Nick's Family:

 My Family:

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From Our Family

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Christmas Cookies

Thursday and Friday we headed over to grandma's to make Christmas butter cookies. (Talk about cutting it close time-wise!)

This was the first year that Colson actually knew what to do so it was a lot of fun to watch him do everything all on his own. 

Both kiddos had a great time! :o)

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Christmas Appetizers

Here are the recipes to the appetizers I made for my mom's family Christmas.

Enjoy! :o)
(Click on each appetizer name to go to the source recipe.)

Mini Monte Cristos:

  • 8 slices soft white bread, crusts removed
  • 4 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 8 very thin slices, fully cooked ham
  • 8 very thin slices, fully cooked turkey
  • 8 very thin slices, Swiss cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (12 fl. oz.) canPET® Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup Hungry Jack® Complete Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix (Just Add Water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
  • Spicy prepared mustard (optional)
  • OR Smucker's® Seedless Red Raspberry Jam, melted
  1. FLATTEN bread slices with rolling pin. Spread 1/2 teaspoon mustard on top of each slice. Top each with 1 slice ham, 1 slice turkey and 1 slice cheese. Roll up each bread slice to form a log. Wrap separately in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
  2. HEAT 1 1/2 inches oil in deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 375°F. Whisk eggs and milk in medium bowl. Add pancake mix, salt and cinnamon; whisk until smooth. Unwrap each roll. Cut each with serrated knife into 4 equal pieces; secure with wooden toothpick.
  3. DIP each piece in batter, soaking about 15 seconds. Cook a few pieces at a time in hot oil 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until deep golden brown, turning frequently.
  4. DRAIN on paper towels. Serve immediately or keep warm in 175°F oven. Serve with spicy mustard, if desired.

Posh Piggies:

    • 1 Lbs. - Sweet Italian Sausage Links (Johnsonville)
    • 1 - Sheet Puff Pastry (thawed)
    • 1 - Egg
    • 2 Tbs. - Mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbs. - Dijjonaise

    1. Cut the sausage links into 36 half- inch slices; brown the meat on both sides in a frying pan over medium high heat. No need to fully cook at this time, all you want is to get both sides a little crispy. Set aside on a plate to cool while you get the pastry ready.
    2. Lay the pastry out on your work surface then break the egg into a small dish and brush the entire surface of the pastry. Using a mini cookie cutter (I used a star) cut out 36 shapes from the pastry. 
    3. Place the meat onto a baking sheet and cover each one with a piece of pastry and secure in place with a tooth pick. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. 

    BBQ Chicken in Cornbread Cups:


      • 2 (7-ounce) packages sweet yellow cornbread mix
      • 1 cup whole milk
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
      • 1/3 cup barbeque sauce
      • Chopped sweet pickles, for garnish

      1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly spray a 24-cup miniature muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
      2. In a medium bowl, combine the cornbread mix, milk, and eggs, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut out the centers of the cornbread muffins to make a cup, leaving a 1/4-inch thick shell. Discard cornbread centers.
      3. In a small bowl, combine the chicken and barbeque sauce. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cornbread cups. 

      Meatloaf Cupcakes:



          • 1 teaspoon olive oil
          • 1 cup finely chopped onion
          • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
          • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
          • 2 garlic cloves, minced
          • 1 cup ketchup, divided
          • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
          • 1 cup bread crumbs
          • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
          • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
          • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
          • 2 large eggs
          • Cooking spray
          Mashed Potatoes
          • 4 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 2 pounds)
          • 1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
          • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
          • 3 tablespoons butter
          • 1/2 teaspoon salt
          • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
          • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
          • 4 pieces of bacon cooked and them chopped

            1. Preheat oven to 350°.
            2. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.
            3. Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.
            4. Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.
            5. While the meatloaf is cooking, make the mashed potatoes.  Place potato in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. Put potatoes into a ricer for best results.  Return potato to pan. Add milk and remaining ingredients; stir with a spoon to desired consistency.  If they are not creamy enough for you, add up to 1/4 cup more milk – although they need to be stiff enough to pipe on top.
            6. Put the potatoes into a pastry bag with a wide star tip and pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf.  Sprinkle with bacon crumbles and chopped chives.

            **I went the easy route and just used instant mash potatoes! :o)

            Bacon Wrapped Potato Bites:


            • 1 pound small or medium red potatoes
            • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
            • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
            • 1 tablespoon olive oil
            • Freshly ground pepper
            • 12 ounces to 1 pound thick-cut bacon
            • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
            • 1-3 teaspoons hot sauce
            • Salt and pepper


                1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
                2. Wash and dry the potatoes. Chop them into 1-inch pieces, keeping the chunks roughly the same size even if they aren't the exact same shape. Put the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Season the water with 2 teaspoons of salt. Once the water begins to boil, cook the potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, until you can stick a fork into them without too much resistance. You want the potatoes to be almost, but not fully, cooked through so they won't fall apart during the next steps.
                3. Drain the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add the rosemary, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.
                4. Cut the strips of bacon into thirds. Wrap each potato bite in a piece of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil spaced an inch or two apart. You may need to cook the potatoes in two batches.
                5. Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, then flip each piece. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and as crisp as you like it. Mix the sour cream and hot sauce in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pile the potato bites on a plate and serve alongside the dip.

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                Christmas Tag

                I was tagged by a fellow blogger, Johannah over at The Sirois Family, to do a Christmas tag post. I love Christmas so I will happily do this! :o)

                So here it is.

                1.) What makes Christmas such a special holiday for you and your family?

                Christmas is the time of year for traditions. Every year we would go to the Christmas tree farm and cut down a tree. We would listen to Christmas music while decorating it. Me and my sister would sit on the counters and help my mom make butter cookies. We would have a Christmas Eve picnic in the living room and watch Christmas movies...all while wearing our Christmas jammies.

                We still try to do a lot of those things even though we have moved away and I love that I get to keep these traditions for my kids as well. We cut down our Christmas tree. We're going to grandmas tomorrow to all make butter cookies. And we plan on stopping by on Christmas eve to partake in the picnic...matching Christmas jammies and all! :o)

                2. Were you told the truth about Santa Clause by your parents, or did you find out another way? Do you plan on telling your kids about Santa (if you have them or plan to have them)?

                I don't think I was told the truth about Santa...I just kind of figured it out. Although I am a firm believer that Santa lives in all of us...we all act as Santa.

                I am sure Hannah will figure it out. She is smart when it comes to things like that. But for right now, the big jolly old man comes down our chimney and leaves presents. And when she does figure it out, I will explain to her that while there is not one man that is actually Santa, we all act as Santa. We try to bring joy to people when we can.

                3.) Real tree or fake tree?

                I had always had a real tree when I was when Hannah was born we started the tradition of going out to cut down a tree, as well. It's something she loves and gets excited about and I just love that! :o)

                4. Do you open presents on Christmas morning, Christmas Eve, or both?

                Christmas Morning.

                5. What is your favorite Christmas movie to watch, and favorite Christmas song to sing or listen to?

                As far as movies, you gotta love The Charlie Brown Christmas and The Grinch. I always watch The Christmas Story at least once.

                For Christmas music, my all time favorite is the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers Christmas CD. I would dance around the living room with my sister to that cd! Every time I hear any other their songs I still get all happy and excited! :o)
                I am also a huge fan of James Taylor- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

                Okay, I'm tagging...

                A McFall Minute
                Two Boys and A Little Lady
                Our Cozy Casa
                You Are My Color

                I hope you guys will play along! :o)

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                Family Christmas–Mom's Side

                Yet again, Christmas has snuck up on me. 

                Maybe it's because I am older? 
                Maybe it's because we have had such unseasonably warmer weather? 
                Maybe it's because I have my hands full with two kiddos? 

                Didn't I just throw Hannah's 4th Birthday party? 
                Wasn't it just Halloween?

                Either way, I'm not ready for it to be Christmas. BUT it is Christmas...well in a week...but the parties have begun!

                This past weekend was our family christmas for my mom's side.

                There was no snow which was a bummer. Actually, it was almost 50 degrees out so we didn't even wear coats. (That right there just made it not feel like Christmas.)

                But we dressed up in some nice christmas-y clothes, enjoyed the company of family, ate some appetizers, listened to Christmas music, and exchanged and opened presents.

                I will do a separate post about the appetizers I made, but here are some photos.

                I was unsuccessful at getting a photo of the two kids together. It's either one wants a photo and the other does not or they both do not want their photo taken. So frustrating.

                 Colson could not wait to open presents!

                 The gifts were a hit! Colson loved his trains and Hannah loved her My Little Ponies.

                Colson also helped himself to a dessert...which he also loved. He just walked up to the counter, grabbed a treat, and came into the living room and sat down. We were all cracking up and he didn't even seem to notice! :oP He was in his own chocolate world!
                And we couldn't end the night without taking the self couple portrait. :o)

                Family Christmas Party #2 is this coming Saturday with my dad's family. Maybe we'll have snow??? We have a chance for some...

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