Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fun, Fun, Fun!

To my way of thinking, the day after Thanksgiving is almost as fun as the day of! Not only is there Black Friday shopping to enjoy, but there is also the annual Holiday Lights Show. This show has been recognized as one of the greatest Holiday Celebrations in America! We have the world's tallest living Christmas tree (which will apparently be featured on a Discovery Channel special for it!) and thousands upon thousands of lights, which require ten miles of power cords to power. :) Tonight was the kick off when the town was lit up for the holidays. It starts with a parade, which I did not get to go to, and fireworks, which I did enjoy. Here is a video of some of the fireworks. My camera battery said it was low, so I figured I would use up what was left capturing video of the fireworks. I know it ends abruptly...that is when my memory card filled up. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just gotta say.....HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!

Today was a busy day of cooking and hanging out with my I don't have a more elaborate post ready. Sorry. I did take lots of pictures today, because I just know you all are dying to see them. :) But for now, I must get to bed. Black Friday sales beckon me and I am planning to wake up around 6am. Sleep, I need you.... :)

In the words of Clement Moore (paraphrased by me)....
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Josh Groban Piano Medley

I just stumbled upon this amazing pianist on YouTube, quite by accident. But I am in love with his arrangements. Here is a Josh Groban medley he put together. A-mazing. He has other arrangements (mostly medleys) on his Y0uTube channel...check it out! :)

50 Free Cards From Shutterfly!!

When I saw on another blog that Shutterfly is giving away 50 photo Christmas cards to bloggers, I thought it must be some scam. But when I found out the offer was legitimate and I really could get free photo cards from Shutterfly, I was quite excited!

I love Shutterfly! This past year my mom made a photo book from a family reunion in 2009. The book came out great, the quality was awesome and the price was totally reasonable.  Can’t beat that!

Looking through their Christmas card collections, it is hard to pick a favorite! It is important to me that the card say Merry Christmas, and not Happy Holidays, or anything like that. So that limits my choices a bit. I am also partial to snowmen. Here’s three that I particularly liked…although my mom and I will have to sit down and sort through all of the options to figure out exactly which one we want to use for our family Christmas cards…there’s just so many options! And do we want family pictures? Individual pictures? Pictures of our furry friends? I’m thinking we’ll do a combination of all of those!

Shutterfly has lots of great products that would make great gifts for the special people on your list. I really love their calendars. I would love to someday make my photography into a calendar! Of course, there is also the photo Christmas cards, and if you are planning a party this holiday season, they have some adorable invitations. I really like this one:

I encourage you to visit Shutterfly for your Christmas cards and calendars this year!

Merry Christmas!

P.S. If you are a blogger that is interested in this promotion, click here!

DWTS, Frigid Temps & Thanksgiving

I spent the evening watching the Dancing With the Stars finale and chatting with a good friend on Yahoo Messenger. It was a good evening. I am not going to go into my thoughts about the results of Dancing With the Stars. I already know that most people disagree with my thoughts on who should've won, and why, so I am not going to go into it anymore, but I did enjoy watching the show this season and stand by my opinions. . . :) And I wouldn't complain if Derek Hough or Mark Ballas (or both!) came to town and gave me personal dance lessons. :)

But in the most important piece of information...I just checked our thermometer, and it is -2 degrees outside. Baby, it's really, really, really cold outside! We should re-write the song to say something like that. I wonder how that would go over on the radio? "I simply can't stay" "But baby it's really, really, really cold outside" - or something like that. I think it could work. It will be the Northwestern version of that song. :) But I digress....

Anyway, it is time for bed. Today began Thanksgiving prep. I mixed up the Make Ahead Butterhorns and tomorrow I plan to make cranberry sauce. On Thursday is when the fun really happens! We are trying a new recipe for turkey this year, compliments of America's Test Kitchen, and I am eager to try it! We just have to figure out if we have a container large enough for brining our turkey, or if we should simply skip that step...any thoughts, cooks out there?

Good night!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Note...

Lately I haven't had music on my blog. I do this because I know not everyone listens to or likes the same kind of music as I do, and frankly, sometimes music on websites gets annoying. But....I am making an exception and through the Christmas season, visit my blog for Christmas music. Right now, in honor of our weather, you can enjoy a mix of 11 versions of Let it Snow when you visit my blog. It shuffles them, so you might hear a different version each time! :) I will let you know the updated playlists as we go through the Christmas season! :)


Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

As if our temperatures weren't supposed to make this week enough of a Weather Extremes week....we are currently under a blizzard watch! Yep, from 7pm tonight until about 10am tomorrow, there is a high chance of blizzards and lots of snow. This winter just keeps getting more and more exciting, doesn't it?! The thermometer is currently reading 9-degrees, and it keeps dropping. Stay tuned to find out how cold it gets overnight. Although...tonight is warm compared to tomorrow's predictions, folks...but regardless, shorts & flip flops weather is over...bring on the scarves, snow hats and winter coats!

I'm off to turn on my space heater in my bedroom to make things toasty warm before I climb under the covers for the night! Good night, folks!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

...and it's just getting colder! Our weather forecast looks something like this for the next few days. Make special note of Tuesday night's low temperature. And the windchill.

Rest Of Tonight
Lo: 16° 
POP: 80%
Light snow. Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Lows 13 to 18. North wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.
Blowing SnowBlowing Snow
Hi: 21°
POP: 90%
Light snow. Areas of blowing snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs 19 to 22. Northeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 90 percent. Wind chill readings 12 below to 3 above zero.
Monday Night
Blowing SnowBlowing Snow
Lo: 1° 
POP: 90%
Bitterly cold. Light snow. Areas of blowing snow. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 4 to 6 inches. Lows zero to 2 above. North wind 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 90 percent. Wind chill readings 1 below to 16 below zero.
Hi: 12°
POP: 80%
Very cold. Light snow in the morning. Highs 11 to 13. North wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 80 percent. Wind chill readings 1 below to 16 below zero in the morning.
Tuesday Night
Lo: -12° 
Bitterly cold. Partly cloudy in the evening...Then clearing. Scattered flurries in the evening. Record lows of 8 below to 15 below zero. North wind 5 to 10 mph in the evening...Becoming light overnight. Wind chill readings 1 below to 16 below zero.
Hi: 7°
Sunny. Highs 6 to 8.

Are you cold yet?

I am. And at the moment it is almost 22 outside. That is warm compared to what the beginning of this week has in store for us. I think we're going to have a white Thanksgiving. And I won't be surprised if it holds on until Christmas.

Stay tuned. This is a cold week ahead. And keep everyone on the roads in your prayers. There were a lot of accidents today (everyone is adjusting to driving in winter conditions again) and probably will be lots tomorrow with everyone's commute. The roads are going to be slick.

Good night!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I missed another day of posting. I have a good excuse. . .I am sick. And yesterday, I had the worst headache I can ever remember having. Actually, I had the worst cold I can ever remember having. I didn't sleep too well last night, either, so I see some hot tea and a nap in my future for today. Anyway, wanted to let you all know that I am still alive, I just missed a day and am back now. :)

As we lead up to Thanksgiving, I just wanted to share some things I am thankful for:

- Sunshine
- Chocolate
- Family
- Friends
- Books
- Pain medicine when I have a bad headache
- Grapefruit that makes me feel so much better!

....stay tuned for more!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

11-15-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 15

It's official. . .my room has the ability to be toasty-warm when it is cold outside. This is a new experience for me because the one little vent in my large bedroom does not pump out much heat. So my room often resembles a walk-in freezer. Thanks to my new space heater, my room is now a toasty temperatures. I love it.


In other news, I cannot wait for the next few days to be over. Let's just say this has already been a crazy week and it is only Monday. On the bright side, tomorrow is Western theme night at Awana and I am quite looking forward to that. We are only having a couple theme nights this year and this is our first one. It should be lots of fun. I am planning to take Charlie (my camera) and so hopefully I will have some pictures to share with you soon. :)


We are half-way through November. Where on earth has the time gone?!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

11-14-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 14

I am sharing this video with you today because it is pretty creative. Remember Lite Brites? Yeah, I always wanted one. I had a blast playing with one that my friend had. Making little pictures out of colored pins that, when lit up and placed in a dark room, were super cool. Yeah....they were neat. Anyway, here is a music video featuring Lite Brite! Enjoy......

Saturday, November 13, 2010

11-13-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 13

Just a quick post to say this: Only 41 days until Christmas!!!!!!!!!

(cue excited squealing and Mannheim Steamroller music) :)

Also, I went to a friend's house to watch The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe last night on their big screen (as in, 10' big screen home theater). Pretty awesome, I must say. Even though the movie isn't really my type of movie. I hope we can watch the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy on the same big screen because that would be epic.

In other news, my room is now the warmest it has ever been in the winter - I bought a space heater today. It is marvelous. I have a rather large bedroom, but it only has one small heater vent that only puts out a small amount of heat. Needless to say, my room is often about the temperature of an ice box. Not anymore!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

12 in 12 Challenge: Recipe 9 - Orange Glazed Chicken

Orange Glazed Chicken
From Everybody Cooks magazine, put out by Dierbergs Grocery Stores in St. Louis

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used a mixture of vegetable/olive oil)
1 package (16 oz) frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I would use less next time because I do not like spicy foods)
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In medium bowl, combine chicken, 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce; let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Heat wok or large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and chicken; stir-fry until chicken is no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes.

3. Add vegetables, stir-fry for 1 minute.

4. In medium bowl, dissolve remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch in orange juice. Stir in orange peel, broth, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir into chicken mixture.

5. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring frequently until thickened.

6. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Serves 4 (although I served 3 and we have lots of leftovers).

Yum, yum, yum! If you try this, let me know how you like it! We loved it and will be making it again!

11-11-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 11

I went downtown as part of my errands today. I have been meaning to go take pictures down there for awhile. I didn't have a lot of time or I would've walked around more but here are some pictures that I did get:

One reason I wanted to go downtown was to see if there was any evidence of fall left. I did find this:

But mostly I noticed that it is beginning to look a lot like. . . .



All of the decorations, lights, etc. are being set up in anticipation of the Holiday Lights Show kickoff in just two weeks (that's right. . .Thanksgiving is in just two weeks, folks!).

I enjoyed watching it for a short time. I should try to get back downtown to document the progress soon!

I think this picture is awesome because it captures the leaves of fall and the Christmas lights wrapped around the tree trunk for the winter season:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

11-10-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 10

It was bound to happen....I forgot to post yesterday. I thought about it. I had good intentions. But I did not actually get the post written and posted. Oh well, dear readers....I will try my best to not miss any more days!

I thought today I would share 10 things I love about fall (in no particular order):

1. Pumpkin Pie
2. Cinnamon Apple Car Air Fresheners
3. Crisp Air
4. Clear Skies that allow me to see the stars in all their splendor
5. Fall Foliage
6. Christmas Music!
7. Apples
8. Thanskgiving
9. Holiday Lights Show kickoff downtown
10. Leaf Piles to jump in! :)

What do you love about fall?

Monday, November 8, 2010

11-08-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 8

Today I am sharing with you the first 10 minutes of an episode of Quigley's Village. Now, this may seem completely random, and it is. But, you see, I was looking on YouTube to see if I could find some of the movies I used to watch as a kid and I came across this portion of an episode. I really wish I could find the rest of the episode. I loved this one. :)

In other news, I know I have shared a lot of "fluff" lately, but I hope you enjoy it. But onto something more interesting. . .our weather is quite cold and there is a good chance we will at least get a snow flurry in the next few days. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

11-07-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 7

I love YouTube videos. So, you will probably see several YouTube videos featured on my blog during this month. Here is one that makes me laugh every time. If you have not seen this one before you have got to watch it.

The Evolution of Dance:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

11-06-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 6

Here's something a little bit different. . .

If you watch any amount of TV or any shows on Hulu you probably have seen some of the absolutely hilarious Geico ads. But just in case you haven't, here are some of my current favorites:

Did the Little Piggy Cry "Wheeee" All The Way Home?

Do Woodchucks Chuck Wood?

Does a 10lb Bag of Flour Make a Really Big Biscuit?

Is a Bird in the Hand Worth Two in the Bush?

Was Abe Lincoln Honest?

Does a Former Drill Sargent Make a Terrible Therapist?

Now THAT is great marketing. . .
(stay tuned, there are more good ones that I will try to remember to share another day)

Friday, November 5, 2010

More Pics of Amie!

More pictures from Amie's senior session. . .as you can see, I am editing my favorites in batches based on location. These were all taken in the same vicinity as where I attended college.

Photo taken by my friend Michelle, who accompanied us for the latter part of this photoshoot

Another photo by Michelle (but my idea to have her pull petals out of the flower *grin*)

11-05-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 5

For today's post I thought I would share with you some more pictures from Amie's senior photos session. I am still working on editing them (I just finished the basic editing and now am playing in Photoshop with some of them), and here's what I worked on today:

Photo taken by my friend Michelle

Photo taken by my friend Michelle

Photo taken by my friend Michelle

Photo taken by my friend Michelle

Photo taken by my friend Michelle

Thursday, November 4, 2010

11-04-10: NaBloPoMo, Day 4

I had the opportunity to play with some super-adorable kittens tonight. Here is a picture that I took of one of them. They were so cute and I wanted to bring one or both of them home. Someday I am going to get a cat, I have decided. :)

It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens.  
~Cynthia E. Varnado

Kittens are angels with whiskers.  
~Author Unknown

Quotes taken from the Quote Garden.