Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon Rising

Tonight I'm welcoming 2010 with a bubble bath, Forrest Gump and some yummy guacamole and chips from Moe's.  Sounds exciting, huh??  It is, to me.  I have never been a party person.  I would much rather stay home where it's safe and bring in the new year in my jammies. I always, always watch the ball drop at Times Square. I've done that since my childhood and I don't see that ever changing.  

I guess the most exciting thing about tonight other than we're beginning a new decade (a decade that I KNOW will bring some pretty exciting changes to my life!), is we're having a blue moon tonight!  The second full month in a month is called a blue moon but it's rare that the moon is actually blue.  They don't occur very often, hence the saying "once in a blue moon".  I always wondered where that saying came from!  The next New Year's Eve blue moon will be in about 20 years or so.  I'll step outside as the clock strikes twelve tonight to see this phenomenon and wave goodbye to 2009.

Here's to 2010 and another chance for us to get this right.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Followed Your Scent (Edward Cullen, Twilight)

Can you be in love with a fragrance?  'Cause I think I am. If Oprah would let me anywhere near her couch, I'd jump up and down on it, Tom Cruise style.

I got lots of Twilight Woods stuff for Christmas.  It's a new line at Bath and Body Works and I'd tried it at the store in November, loved it and added it to my Christmas list.  Ami and Mama hooked me up!

Of course, the name is not lost on me.  I know B&BW was trying to get all of us Twihards to buy it.  They ain't foolin' nobody.  Not no 42-year-old Twihard anyway. They sure got their wish because they can't keep it on the shelves!  It smells really, really good, though, Twilight connection aside.  It's woodsy, dusky, with touches of berry, mimosa and apricot.  And I swear I smell a little patchouli in there.  Ooooo, and the Triple Moisture Body Cream is like buttah.  It leaves your skin so soft and smooth. Twilight Woods is warm, cozy and sooooooo romantic, like a walk in the woods.

A walk in the woods with a sparkly vampire.  Yum.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Packing Up Christmas

I took down my Christmas tree today and all my decorations and lovingly packed them all away for another year.  It was sadder than usual for reasons I'm not sure I understand but I am glad it's done.

We had a wonderful Christmas in spite of a few little bumps and bruises.  It was the first Christmas in my life that I didn't see my brother but I guess I'll live.  It didn't kill him so I'm not going to let it kill me.  I enjoyed the day with Mama and Daddy and Ami and Brian.  We were blessed to have Uncle Jiggs with us again and the kids came so it was a good day.  We also got to see Maw and spend some time with her and that was great.  I'm so thankful to still have my Maw.

I got some awesome gifts, too!!  Ami gave me some cute bamboo socks with little peace signs on them, silver earrings, a silver change purse and some Twilight Woods bath stuff from Bath and Body Works.  That stuff smells soooooooo good!!  Mama and Daddy gave me some, too! And a pair of Ugg-like boots in chocolate brown.  LOVE them.  They are so comfy!!  They also gave me a set of Wonder Hangers.  I cannot wait to try them out in my closet!!  I have waaaaaay too many clothes and one little bitty closet.  I hope they work!!  I got lots of stuff in my stocking, too.  I really, really, really wanted a set of Paula Deen's cookware and Larry got me that. Another thing he got me was a set of Legos from the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright's line.  COOL!!  I really racked up.  I am so blessed to have a family and husband who love me so much!

But now the tree is down and all of the ornaments and Santas and snowmen and Christmas towels and wrapping paper are packed away and back in the attic to wait out another year.  

I'm really looking forward to 2010.  I'm always excited at the prospect of another year.  A fresh start.  A second chance.  I don't really make resolutions, though.  I just try to do better than I did the year before. Love more, laugh more and worry less.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Hottest Toy This Christmas? I Has It.

A Zhu Zhu hamster!  The yellow one named Pipsqueak but I renamed him 'Nana Puddin'. One of the moms came to the office and brought Lisa and me some that she miraculously found at Wal-Mart this morning. These things are impossible to find!  Or so I've heard.  I didn't even know what they were until two days ago.  Lisa's grandkids call her "Nana" so 'Nana Puddin' it was.

These little guys are so realistic, it's like having a real hamster without the mess.  I think that was the whole idea!  They chatter and scatter and scoot all over the place.  They have a little sensor on their nose, a bump guard, and when they bump into stuff, they make the funniest noises and whirl around and change directions. They are absolutely hilarious to watch!!
Me and Puddin' played a little bit today in the kitchen. 
This is him saying, "'S'up, y'all?"

This is him going behind my refrigerator.

And this is him getting stuck coming out!  

See ya!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ooooo, Ooooo, I Want These!!

Edible peppermint shot glasses!! I hope I'm not the last person on earth to have heard of these. Can you just imagine drinking some yummy eggnog from those?? They are SO cool!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Advent Calendar

I'm just gonna go ahead on and tell you.  I have the sweetest husband there ever was.  He made me this Advent calendar to help me count down the days to Christmas.  There are 25 little doors and behind the doors, there are 25 sweet little love notes.  I think I'll keep those to myself but I wanted to show off the calendar!  I love it and I can't wait to wake up and open up one of those little doors every morning!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Minute Green Gift Ideas

I tried to get my family what they wanted this year but I threw in something green and homemade, too, for each of them.  And no, y'all, it's not soap I made!

Here are some ideas for last minute presents that are also gentle on the earth.

* A live plant or gift certificate to a garden center.  Go "naked" on the wrapping and tuck the certificate into a pair of gardening gloves.  Cute!

* Give the gift of food!  Cookies, brownies, breads, muffins and candy are always welcome. 'Specially at my house!

* Family Movie Night!  How about a Blockbuster gift card tucked into a basket with some microwave popcorn and a big box of Milk Duds?  Or what about gift cards to your local theater?  Those would also be very welcome at my house!  

* LED nightlights!  I LOVE mine.  They are cool to the touch and only use about 25 cents a year in electricity. You can find them anywhere, Wal-Mart, Lowe's, even the grocery store.  I got mine at IKEA. 

* Wind-up radios and flashlights!  Larry got me a wind-up radio a few years ago and it is great for emergencies.  I used it during some bad weather once when my electricity went out.  Things weren't so scary with it closeby.

* Soy candles!  My favorite brand is Old Virginia, sold at Cracker Barrel.  Soy candles burn cleaner, they produce a lot less soot and are eco-friendly because they don't contain petroleum. And they smell better, too!

* Or how about just your time?  Just spending some time with the ones you love.  Chances are that gift that you spent so much time planning and searching for and then buying will be at the back of their closet by the end of January and thus, beginning its eventual trek to a landfill.  The time you spend with someone will stay with them forever.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Randy!

Randy Owen is 60 today.  How in the world can that even be possible???

Having A Blast!

A Holiday Mint Blast from Sonic, that is!  They are sooooo yummy. Peppermint ice cream with little bits of Andes peppermint crunch and a ton of whipped topping. Really Christmasy!!

I stopped by Sonic tonight and got one after I'd seen Disney's A Christmas Carol.  I was more than a little skeptical about the movie because it's just been done to death but as usual, Disney did not disappoint.  The animation is unbelievable!  Old Ebenezer looks JUST LIKE Jim Carrey. I watched the 1938 version last night because I wanted to compare the two.  I'd never seen the original. The 2009 version stays pretty true to the classic and once you put on those 3D glasses (that, by the way, have come a lonnnnnnng way since Jaws was in 3D!), you are literally right there, a bystander on the street. Overall, I thought the movie was pretty good.  The story is still great and Jim Carrey was awesome as Scrooge. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Only 15 Shopping Days Left!

I am completely, 100% finished with my Christmas shopping.  I am done, done, done and everything is wrapped and under the tree.  

I hate shopping this time of year.  I don't even like buying groceries in December.  It is just too crazy.  Traffic is a nightmare and the stores are so packed with people. They get on my nerves so bad walking soooooo slowly and then just stopping right in front of me.  I just wanna crash into them with my buggy!  Now how's that for Christmas spirit??  I know when I need to stay home. Ha! I start my shopping sometime around September and I'm usually done by Thanksgiving, except for little things here and there.

I like to spend my Decembers quiet and peaceful and still.  That's what I'm going to do the next two weeks. Drink egg nog and watch Christmas movies, ride around and look at Christmas lights in my pajamas and just be thankful for the gift of a sweet little baby boy born in a stable one night.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Roast Steaks With Blue Cheese Crust And Red Wine Sauce

Larry found this recipe in a magazine and we thought it looked amazing.  Blue cheese CRUST? Shut up. I had to try it!!  I made it tonight for supper (I used two rib-eye steaks that I cut into four pieces) with some cheddar mashed potatoes and buttered carrots. It is slap-yo'-mama good.  Here's how you can make it!

1 beef tenderloin or rib-eye roast (about 21/2 lb)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz blue cheese at room temperature
4 Tbsp butter (2 Tbsp softened, 2 Tbsp ice-cold)
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage 
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
1 large shallot, sliced
2 cups dry red wine 
Worcestershire sauce

Makes 6 or more servings

1 Cut the roast crosswise into six thick mini roasts. If you're using tenderloin, you can tie a piece of string around each piece (like a belt) to help it keep its shape. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and pepper to taste.

 Mash together the blue cheese and softened butter with a fork. Fold in the bread crumbs, herbs, and cayenne.

 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Smear a roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy skillet on medium-high heat. When it's hot, sear three of the steaks briefly on both sides. Transfer them to the roasting pan and repeat with the remaining steaks. Next, top each steak with some of the blue cheese mixture, pressing down to form a crust. Roast for about 7 minutes for medium rare. The crusts should be bubbling and lightly browned. When the steaks are done, remove them to a serving platter.

 While the steaks cook and rest, add a little more oil to the skillet if it looks dry, and place it over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until softened. Swirl the wine around in the roasting pan and add it to the skillet. Adjust the heat so the sauce bubbles vigorously. In a couple of minutes, it will start to thicken a bit; add the Worcester shire sauce and cold butter, stirring constantly. Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve.

This is what they look like with the red wine sauce on top.  Most nomish.

RIP John

October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980

I was 13 years old and in the 8th grade when John Lennon was murdered that December.  I remember being in Home Ec and my teacher, Mrs. Abram, telling us all about it.  I am sad to say that until that day, I didn't even know who John Lennon was.  My folks were not Beatles fans and I was just too young to have been a part of that era.  I know who he is now, though, and what he stood for.  John dreamed of world peace and was not afraid to get out there and make his voice heard.  His legacy of peace and love is still as profound as it was all those years ago.

War is over, if you want it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Who Wants To See Somethin' Pretty?

It's my Christmas cactus bustin' out with a big beautiful bloom!! It has lots of little baby buds and I hope they all bloom like that.

Thanks, Mama, for giving it to me!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Blind Side

If you haven't seen this already, stop what you're doing right now and go see it.  It's incredible.  

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Partyin'

I went to my first Christmas party of the season tonight! Our office Christmas party held at the home of one of the nurses I work with. It was so much fun!! We had a ridiculously delicious dinner of turkey, ham, veggies, casseroles and desserts plus a table full of snacks, we played Christmas trivia games and played Dirty Santa. I won a trivia door prize - a Books-A-Million gift card!  It was tucked inside this BEAUTIFUL angel Christmas card.  I loved the card so much that I had to post a picture of it here.  Of course, my camera did not do it justice.  It's just absolutely breathtaking to me.

This is the gift I chose and nobody stole it from me! A cute little snowman frame! Actually nobody stole a gift from anybody so I guess we played Clean Santa. Ha!

OH!  And I heard an insane rumor that we may have a flurry or two in the morning.  Naaaaah.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes In December!

One more reason to love living in the south!

I made these for supper tonight. Daddy got them for me for Thanksgiving but in the craziness that is Thanksgiving, they were forgotten. Now that all the leftovers are eaten or composted, I thought I'd cook my 'maters tonight.

The first time I ever had them was many years ago with Mama at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Juliette. We both LOVE the movie and just had to go to Juliette and be a part of where it was filmed. We had lunch, tomatoes and barbecue sandwiches ("Secret's in the sauce!"), and I was hooked for life!