November 29, 2010

Holiday Overflow

Another shopping trip another massive amount of Holiday Cheer! On top of the previous items that I bought I went shopping with my girlfriend Alycia and picked up a bunch of new stuff along with another shopping trip on my lunch break one day!!! I think I may have everything I need now as far as Holiday Decorating goes!!

Check out our dining room table after my shopping sprees!!

I found some awesome items though. And I was so excited cause Alycia does not have a Wreath for their home and I just LOVE to create beautiful Christmas wreaths!! So I picked up all the items I needed to get started on that!!

Check out this awesome platter. It's deep enough and big enough to carry a massive amount of cookies, which trust me I will need it after my TWO baking days!! Oh yes thats right TWO Baking Days!! I have my first one this coming weekend at my Mom's with her and my Sister, then on December 12th I have a baking day with Alycia!

And check out these adorable kitchen towels. I found them at Kohls and just had to buy them for my Grammy!! Even better my Mom got to give them to her for me when they came down!! Unfortunately I was at work so I couldn't give them to her but I know my Grammy loved them!!

Another cookie platter! This one will be used to bring cookies into work!

 A few items to decorate and also the Wreath and the items to decorate it!!

Check out this awesome little dress I bought for Roxy to wear :) She is going to HATE it but I thought it was too cute. I was bummed because they had an awesome Holiday Sweater that I would have loved to gotten for Buster but they didn't have his I am still on the hunt for a holiday sweater for him!

This of course is not holiday but it was 70% off how could I resist?? Because my scrapbook room is filled to the brim with holiday items I haven't been able to hang it but I am hoping to clear that room out soon!

And in order to get these items all the way upstairs I had to load up our biggest laundry basket!! Thank goodness for that so that I didn't have to do a million trips! Although looking back it might have been good to get in some household excercising with all the holiday goodies I will be consuming shortly!!

And last but definitely not least!!! I picked up two new pairs of shoes!! Payless had their awesome Bogo going on and I needed a new pair of tennis shoes and some cute colorful flats  to go with a black dress I had bought!! And boy did I find some great shoes!!

The tennis shoes are AMAZING!! They are so comfy and apparently they look similar to a new style of tennis shoes that are becoming popular! And the flats were a success!! They were the perfect accent to go with my dress for the party!!

Anyone else been doing any massive amounts of Holiday Shopping?? I'm sure with Black Friday having been last week some of you shopped til you dropped!! :-)

November 28, 2010

Peanut Buttery Greatness!

Boy has it really been a week since my last blog post? I definitely dropped the ball!! Well hang on tight folks because I've got a bunch of new posts coming your way this week!! And be prepared to drool because 90% of them are food related WOO HOO!!

Let's start with some Choco Peanut Butter Bars!! I made these a week or so ago to take with me to my girlfriend Alycia's house as we were picking out cookies for our Baking Day that will be happening December 12th!!

These were SO EASY!!! I got them out of one of those little books you find at the checkout line at the grocery store!! These are super simple to, you just need: Baking soda, Flour, Brown sugar, butter, quick cooking oats, salt, egg, peanut butter, vanilla, and some chocolate chips!!

First things first lets melt the chocolate!! I just popped these into my microwave and melted away,

Next combine the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter in a mixing bowl!

Add in a little vanilla and the egg.

Once you've mixed together the vanilla and egg you will want to set that aside and pull out another mixing bowl. Combine your baking soda, salt, and flour.

Then mix both together!

Once those are mixed together add in the quick cooking oats!

Now this is where I screwed up! You are supposed to only put 3/4 of the batter in the bottom of your 13 x 9 inch pan and set aside the other 1/4. Unfortunately I totally blew it and put the whole thing in the pan. I also didn't catch this mistake until after the next step...

Take your melted chocolate and spread over the bottom layer. Now after I spread the chocolate and got to the next step I realized my mistake! So I had to remove part of the chocolate and remove some batter. Did I remove the whole 1/4?? No no no, it would have been such a mess so I just took a few round balls of dough and then....

Dropped them throughout the mixture!!

Pop this baby into the oven and wait for the amazing smell of peanut butter to fill your home!! Sometimes I wish we owned a big house instead of our condo but the minute I bake something and you can smell it throughout the enitre place I am so thankful!!

Next let cool, then cut into squares. The only paper plates I had on hand were our halloween plates but I loaded it up anyways!!

I love the chocolate swirled throughout the top and the middle!!

These are amazing and I highly recommend them!! If you love peanut butter and chocolate get to baking!!
Now I couldn't find the recipe from Jif Peanut Butter but I did find it on this website!!

November 19, 2010

Could It Be Any Better?

Well I've done it again! I've tried another Mexican food spinoff recipe and this one is WORTH IT! The recipe is for a Beefy Taco Skillet.

All you need is some milk, lettuce, chili (spicy or regular), Crunchy Taco Hamber Helper Mix, water, and 1lb ground beef!

First you will need to brown your beef then drain. While you are browning your beef make sure to heat up 3 cups of water! After you've got your hot water and your beef then combine those plus the sauce mix from the Helper and the chili in a skillet. Heat to a boil!

While that's heating up to a boiling point you will want to combine the topping mix from the Helper and some milk (1/3 a cup to be exact). Whisk together than set aside.

Once your meat mixture comes to a boil add in the rice from Helper. Then let simmer for 25 minutes.

Next step - plate your dish. This makes 5 servings so just guesstimate how much a serving is. You actually get quite A LOT per serving.  Throw it on a plate.

Top with some lettuce then the cheesey milk sauce, some chips from the Helper mix, and if you want some sour cream. And enjoy!

This was super EASY and so good! If I had wanted to be a little piggy I could have easily had another helping but I restrained myself and was looking forward to leftovers for lunch! You must try this recipe! It's so good and with the lettuce it tastes more refreshing than you'd think! I LOVE it!

November 17, 2010

Minty Goodness for Your Mouth!

Awhile back my Mom sent me a spectacular recipe! Brownies with a mint suprise! How couldn't you go wrong with that? Well the recipe officially calls for York Peppermint Patty Miniatures but since I haven't been able to find them I had to use a substitute!

That substitute would be the awesome See's Candy Peppermints! These things are seriously AMAZING! And we are lucky enough to have a See's store right up the street from our house! You will also need a brownie mix, an egg, and some oil. We only had a double chocolate brownie mix but I'm sure you could use any kind you want to.

A plus to using the double chocolate is the extra chocolate sauce that comes with the mix! I seriously wanted to just pour it in my greedy mouth but I thought better of it! :-) I love chocolate!

Next I cut up the Peppermints so that they were smaller. Look at that massive amount of peppermint encased by delicious milk chocolate! Double YUM!

Next step pour half the brownie mix in an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan, then top with your mints!

Pour the remaining mixture over the top! Can't even see the mints now! I guess thats where the SUPRISE is going to come into play :)

Bake according to the directions on the box!

Then cut up and enjoy! Now these were almost IMPOSSIBLE to cut up and we as usual were impatient so we essentially destroyed any possibilty of them looking presentable. But hey when it's just you eating them does it really matter what it looks like?

I have to say that these were alright. For some reason the mints didn't work very well. The sunk through the chocolate and then stuck to the bottom of the pan while baking. It was such a pain in the ass. Maybe I should have put more batter down for the base or maybe with the yorks they won't be as dense and will stay in the middle. So I was a little disappointed.

And there is a mint brownie mix out there that is way better and with those I can put them in my Perfect Brownie Pan and not worry about cutting them up. While I was disappointed with them using the See's I am going to try them again as soon as I can get my hands on the York Miniatures and I think I'll stick to a regular brownie mix!

November 15, 2010

Warms You to the Core

Last weekend Hallmark had their Open House and I went to get a new ornament for Chuck and a recordable Christmas story book but I also got a little container of Aspen Mulling Spices! Yum right? Throughout my shopping travels that day I made sure to pick up some Apple Cider because how could I not take advantage of this new score?

That Sunday I was so excited to 1. drink some spiced cider and 2. fill my house with the wonderful aroma!
As soon as Chuck got home I pounced..."Honey want some cider?" He of course said Yes!! So I determined how much spice I'd need for just enough cider for us!

Then poured some cider, added the spices, turned the heat and waited impatiently for it to warm up and for the amazing smell waft throughout my house!

Check out that steam!!!

Poured us 2 glasses of cider and enjoyed our first of many!!

Not only did we drink these two cups but we heated up the cider again later after dinner and enjoyed some more! If you can get your hands on the Aspen Mulling Spices buy them immediatly. Sure I could probably just put the spices together myself but this is easier! Thanks Hallmark for placing that right by the checkout line for me to see!!

November 14, 2010

The Funeral Crasher

Can you believe I've finished yet another book?? I can hardly believe it myself and then when I look at my 2010 book list and I see 2 books left I feel like it's all a lie. I am so excited that I've almost reached my goal and I am sure that I will :) It's one New Years Resolution I have kept YAY!!

But back to the reason for this post. This morning I finished reading The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham (A.K.A Sophie Kinsella)

This book is essentially about a money hungry biotch! Sorry for my bluntness but there is no other way for me to decide the main character Fleur! And what kind of a name is that? I'm sure it's a beautiful name to some but for me I have no idea how to pronounce it properly. It wasn't the only name that I had trouble with. How in the heck do you prounce Xanthe??? While this Xanthe character is mentioned once or twice it really bothered me. The names in this book were quite annoying to me.

Essentially this woman Fleur (main character) is a disgusting person who preys on rich man on the day of the funeral/memorial for their deceased spouse. SICK!! I mean all I could think of was Will Ferrel's character in the Wedding Crashers! Yes I know that was a joke and this kind of stuff might really happen but I am just disgusted by this person. Thank god she's not a real person I know otherwise I'd have to slap her silly and tell her to get a job and support herself and her daughter who she drags through this scam of hers!

Other than disliking the main character and of course the other villian in the book I hate to admit I enjoyed it. I have a strong suspicion I enjoyed it because after reading The Given Day I was ready for some light reading. I am a little discouraged by Madeleine Wickham's novels because they just don't live up to the writing she does as Sophie Kinsella and honestly while I enjoy those books they aren't masterful! She should stick to her Kinsella writing, but that doesn't mean another Shopaholic Book. Overall grade = B-. While I enjoyed it I don't think I would have if I hadn't just finished such a heavy book.

I am very excited for the next book that I'm going to read but I must take a break. Not because I am tired of reading but because I am taking my PHR (Professional Human Resource) exam in a couple weeks and I NEED to study!! It will be weird to not have a novel to read for the next couple weeks and honestly I'm not sure that I can NOT read, but I am going to give it my best shot and put all my reading time into Study time!! Then it will be onto "Water For Elephants" and "The Eggnog Chronicles"

November 13, 2010

More Holiday Suprises!!

Another bundle of Christmas Joy arrived at our doorstep! I have been impatiently waiting for these items....

What might be in these packages?

Why the best things ever!!! I ordered these two awesome DVDs, well I'm sure they will be awesome!! Chuck and I were supposed to be going to see the Rockettes Live in the flesh but unfortunately with his job they are a pain in the butt with taking time off and we won't be able to, so I did the next best thing. I ordered a DVD of their performances and this one I watched on TV so I know it's going to be GREAT!!

The other DVD I got was one about Christmas in New York. Never having been to the Big Apple ( I am dying to go) you might find it odd that I feel this deep connection with NYC. I just think it's the most wonderful place ever! I'm sure some New Yorkers might disagree but until I've seen the bad parts for myself I will always have a LOVE for it! So I was really excited there was a DVD about Christmas in New York. I also love any DVDs or TV Shows where they play Christmas Music with a flurry of Snowy Scenes. We don't get snow and another thing that I love with all my heart but have never lived in it.

Then the very best thing ever!! An AWESOME Holiday Sweatshirt! I was so stoked to find a BUNCH of holiday sweatshirts on that I saved probably 10 others but I couldn't wait to order this one! How freakin cute is this?

I immediatly put it on!! Ladies and Gentlemen this Holiday Nut is ready to shop!!

I am of course almost done with all my christmas shopping, but I still plan on wearing this once Dec 1st hits! Heck I may even wear it the day after Thanksgiving as we decorate our condo! All I can say is that this Christmas Lover couldn't be happier right now....unless of course it snowed and I was sitting in a super classy high rise apartment with an amazing view in New York City... :-)

November 11, 2010

Poor Puppies

It's no secret to those who know me how much I LOVE my pets! They are my kids and they are just so darn cute! There are moments that they will prove to me how much they love me. No it's not through kisses or cuddling... It's through clothes!

The other day Chuck brought hom a little A's helmet (and a Texas one for my Sister) from Baskin Robbins! What was my first reaction?? It's the perfect fit for Roxy!!!! The poor little thing was subjected to this             ------->

Doesn't that face just scream love?? Haha okay maybe not but she amused me long enough to take a couple pictures and I think she looks so CUTE!!

Not only do I put little hats on Roxy but Buster gets some extra love too! The great thing about Buster is he really does get excited when I pull out his t-shirts to put them on. No joke, this dog LOVES his shirts! Unfortunately his trusty green shirt has run its course. While I was out shopping yesterday I picked up a new collared shirt for him from Old Navy!!

Isn't my big boy cute??

A better shot of the shirt. Chuck hates the shirt, says it makes him look girly but I just love it. And this is our dog  who would play fetch until your arm literally fell off, and on this awesome shirt there is a patch that say All Star Ball Chaser!! I love it and so does Buster!

Poor Chuck wanted a "manly" dog and I've turned him into my own little dress up doll! It just figures that Buster the 50lb male dog would be the one to LOVE wearing clothes, while my little 20lb Princess Dog Roxy absolutely HATES the clothes. She always trys to take them off, especially the little sweaters I buy her for winter time!

Anyone else love "torturing" their puppies with cute outfits?

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