Monday, January 25, 2010

T-R-O-U-B-L-E

When I was a little girl, my nickname was "trouble!" I'm not sure how I got that name, it was something that my uncle use to call me.

If anyone should have the nickname "trouble," it should be my youngest Alexander! I'm not sure if you remember what he did to my Christmas cookies, but you can read about that here! He's always getting into something, like the time he threw half a dozen raw eggs all over my kitchen! He always keeps me super busy and super exhausted!

Anyway, I try not to have many knickknacks sitting around, but I do have a few things that I collect. Gnomes of course and Willow Tree figurines. Willow Tree figurines are the ones that resemble carved wood and are faceless. Here is a set of sister figurines that my sister bought me. They are supposed to be holding hands, but Alex thought a tire would be more appropriate! I had to laugh. If you were to come to my house and see this figurine, she would still be holding a tire...it just makes me smile that way!
A lot of people don't like the fact that these figurines are faceless....apparently Alex does not like that either! Check out what I found one day!
This figurine was bought for me by my husband after Alexander was born! I guess one day my little Picasso got bored and decided to create his own work of art! lol Thank goodness for washable markers! Even though it'll wash off, I choose to keep it this way because this one makes me smile as well! Hope my little trouble maker put a smile on your face!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

POTD: Candy Bouquet

Here is a photo of the "Candy Bouquet" that I had made yesterday for my nephew. He's leaving for basic training tomorrow, and I wanted to make it with a patriotic theme. It was my first one, so it's not the greatest, but I think it turned out cute!

I found some really cute mints with a flag wrapper so I added them in there as well as various red, white, and blue packaged candy. And yes that is "Chewbacca" from Star Wars in the center of the basket with a gun! My nephew is a huge Star Wars fan and when I found a Chewbacca dashboard figurine for the car, I knew it would be perfect!
The basket is a totally cute find from the dollar tree. I just made a bow and hot glued it to the front. I'm making a pink basket here in the next week or so for a friend...can't wait to share that one with you too! Have a great week!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

POTD: Eyelashes

This is my first "Photo of the Day!" I love taking photographs and I just wanted to share my passion with you! I get my inspiration from a lot of different things, but especially from my friend Kristen's blog "The Goat." Be sure to check it out. She is an amazing photographer!

Today I was taking some photos of Alexander. It was a rare time that he was actually enjoying being photographed! Both my boys have the most amazing eyes and super long eyelashes. It's one of the traits that they got from me! I'm lucky enough to have super long eyelashes as well! It's one of the few things that I actually like about myself! lol

Normally long eyelashes is a great thing to have, but not when you have eye infections like pink eye! A few weeks ago this poor little guy's eyelashes were glued shut with goop! He has such long eyelashes that it took me about 10 minutes to be able to get them open!

When he gets older I think there will be a lot of girls calling our house!
Hopefully not in a very long time!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Puppy Love

This video was taken about 4 years ago when Allie was a puppy. I came across it the other day. The other dog in the video is Sam. Sam passed away two summers ago! He was just the best dog! Ever since Allie was a puppy, she always loved laying on Sam in the yard!

Many neighborhood people would comment on how cute it would be as they drove by. Wherever Sam was...Allie would be laying right on top!

In this video Sam reminds me of a gentle lion. He definitely was king of the yard! We really miss him. Ben remembers him and always asks when we're going to see him again. His latest question was: "When we die will we see Sam then?" It's just amazing at the things kids think of!

video

Thinking of you and missing you Sam!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hachiko: A Dog's Story

This post will probably make you laugh and cry! Sorry, but it will! I can't even talk about the subject without crying....my husband thinks I'm nuts! lol

If you read my blog regularly...you know that I have a Richard Gere obsession! It's probably borderline unhealthy, but that's ok! lol We all need to obsess about something. Some woman may prefer chocolate...but I prefer older men with gray hair! Now don't go hiding your grandfathers just yet....I don't like just any older gray haired guy...just Richard Gere! lol

I mean look at him....he's gorgeous! I don't know who is cuter in this photo...Richard or the puppy! lol
Anyway, I need to get to the whole reason for this post. I'm a little ticked off! Yes, I said it! I'd probably have a few other choice words, but this is G-rated blog for the most part, so I'll keep the obscenities to myself!

Back in the middle of December the movie "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" was supposed to premier in the United States. I was totally psyched up! I already had friends to go with me. But as the date neared, there were not any previews or anything. So I started investigating. This movie has a Japanese background, so it was shown over in Japan over the summer as well as a few other countries.
It did extremely well! In Russia it is listed as #6 of the top 200 movies of all time! Sony Pictures (the enemy) picked up the movie and decided to not show it in the theaters because they didn't want to put the advertising into it that close to the holidays. Whatever the reason, it wasn't shown and I was one unhappy stalker...I mean camper! lol ;)
So I kept investigating and found out that it is going straight to video! WHAT?! Absolutely ridicoulous! Marley & Me was successful and didn't get the reviews that this movie did! Let's just hope that all the websites are incorrect and that it will be in theaters this March!
I have never had a preview make me cry before, but this one did! Everytime that I watch it, I cry! I can't even talk about the movie without crying! lol So maybe it's best that it is going straight to dvd. I don't want to embarass myself in public! I'd rather cry hysterically in the privacy of my own home! lol We all know what "Nights in Rodanthe" did to me! lol I can't even talk about the horses in that movie...I'll cry! lol
But the whole basis of this movie is the bond that people have with their pets. It's a strong bond, and I know if you've ever had a dog you can relate! I have often said that I am closer to animals than people! I know that may sound harsh, but it's true! During all the rough times in my life when I have felt alone...the one person who has loved me unconditionally was my dog! As a matter of fact, my dog Allie has been by my side this whole time that I have been laying in bed sick! It's amazing how loyal they are!
Hachiko waited everyday for his master to return home from work! But heck, insert my picture beside the dog...if Richard Gere was getting off that train, I'd be waiting there loyally everyday too! lol
But here is the trailer to the Hachiko movie. Be sure to turn my music player off on the right hand side of my blog to hear the trailer. Oh, and make sure you have some tissues ready! ;)

Did you cry?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Potato Soup on a cold Winter's Day

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite recipes. This soup is so comforting on a cold Winter's day. It's thick and creamy and just plain delicious! I decided to share some photos from my soup making process. The entire recipe with be at the end of this post. Enjoy!

This is one of the many gnomes that I have. For some strange reason, I collect them. I don't know what it is about them, but they are absolutely adorable. It must be the red hat or the white beard!

This one's name is George, and he will be overseeing the soup making process! Let me start off by saying that I always double this recipe. I'm giving you the recipe, but double it. Trust me, the leftovers are unbelievable!

The main ingredients to this soups are potatoes, celery, onion, and diced ham. To make things easier I use a slice of ham steak that you can find near the whole hams at the grocery store. I love Walmart's ham steaks. They are called "Smithfield Boneless Ham Steaks." When a recipe calls for ham I always use these ham steaks from Walmart. They hold up nicely in casseroles and soups.

Here is a photo of my chopped up ingredients. It's so hearty and delicious!

While the ingredients are simmering, I always get the spices and other stuff ready so I'm not scrambling at the last minute! I know that's probably common sense for all you pros out there, but I learned to cook in the last five years and I never knew this before. So I always try to have the next step ready to make things easier.

Here George is looking over the seasonings for the soup and the flour that goes into making the roux.

To make the roux you use butter, flour, and milk. Be very patient with this part of the recipe. You don't want it to burn. So stir ALOT. And over time it will become very very thick and creamy! It can take 4-5 minutes to thicken or possibly longer if you double the recipe like I do.

After it thickens, you pour it into your soup, mix it, your done! And you'll end up with this delicious, thick and creamy soup!
Here's the recipe. Remember I always double this!
Delicious Ham & Potato Soup
3 1/2 cups peeled diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups of milk

1. Combine potatoes, celery, onions, ham, and water in stock pot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. (I cook it for ten minutes and then start making my roux while it continues to cook another 5 minutes).
Stir in chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
2. In separate saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork and cook stirring constantly until thick about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, about 4-5 minutes. Remember, be patient. It really will thicken!
3. Stir milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook until heated through. Serve immediately.
This is super delicious and tastes just as good if not better when it's leftover! It's perfect for this time of year! Enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Video: Lots and Lots of Snow

Hi everyone! Hope you are staying warm in this harsh winter weather! Today I went outside to take a video of my backyard! I wanted to show you how much snow we have so far; and it is continuing to come down like crazy! Make sure you turn the sound off on my music player if you want to hear me talk. Also, I'm really sick still so my voice is all harsh sounding! lol

As you can see the stairs on the outside of our garage are just completely covered and piled full of snow!

On another note, I finally found a pair of winter boots. I've been wearing my pink cupcake rain boots, but they are not insulated. I went to the store the other day and my feet were actually stinging and throbbing. That's when I knew in this weather I needed something warmer and made for the snow! I have Uggs that I absolutely LOVE, but they are not meant to get covered with the snow. Our snow is so deep almost to my knees! So I went shopping at Walmart last night, which was a disaster. It seemed like everyone was out there grocery shopping! There was no bread and no ground meat! the

There was however a pair of pink knee high winter boots with the faux sheepskin lining. They were only $7! I thought it would probably be better than the rain boots, so I bought them and came straight home for a comparison! lol There I was around 10 at night with one pink cupcake rain boot on one foot and a hot pink snow boot on the other. The neighbors must have thought I was crazy as I stomped through the snow. Anyway guess which boot won....the cheap $7 Walmart boot! I was very excited! Anyway, you'll see my new boots in the video! Enjoy!

video

Stay warm and have a fantastic Friday night!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Icicles and Lots of Snow!

I always pass this cliff when I'm out and about. In the winter there is always the most amazing icicles that hang off the side! Today I decided to stop and finally get a photo!
It's a rather large display of ice, so I took photos of several sections of it.
Because of all the snow we have, I didn't want to stop in the middle of the road and cause an accident. So I pulled off to the side knowing that it was somewhat of a ditch that I was pulling into. Anyway, I have no four wheel drive and when I pulled out...I was stuck! Oh, crap! However, I didn't panic. I pulled forward, I pulled backwards and forward again. I was spinning my tires and snow was flying up in the air! Finally after a few minutes....I was free! YAY!
The funny thing about this cliff is that it is not a waterfall. It looks that way but it's not. In the summer it looks like it barely drips any water. It seems to be a mystery to me. Maybe I'll have to investigate once it gets warm.
I love how in this photo the ice is thick, like a wall. It also looks like it was vibrating when it froze. Look at all the ripples in the ice. I never knew ice could be so beautiful!
Nature is so beautiful, that a lot of times we take it for granted. Make sure you take time to stop and smell the roses, or in this case icicles!

Stay warm and have a wonderful week! We're still really sick here. The boys just got over a terrible eye infection. Pink eye and infected tear ducts. They also both had ear infections. Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat and am soo achy. I'm tired of being sick! I haven't felt well since before Halloween! I'm already dreaming of Spring!