Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Never Underestimate the Power of...

Craigslist!!!

Before I go on, please excuse my bare looking blog.  I'm working on a Christmas background and don't know what I want yet.

Yesterday, I put a tree on Craigslist.  For free.  My Mom has been telling me to do this for a long time and I never did it because I thought I'd wait weeks to hear anything.  Well, I was definitely mistaken.  An hour after I posted my ad, I had 2 emails and 1 phone call regarding the tree.  By noon, I had 15 inquiries.  Wow right?  Maybe not?  I know that these trees are pretty expensive but they have gone down in value greatly since the economy took a you know what.

Free tree for whoever wanted to come and dig it up.  I requested a gardener, tree remover, or professional landscaper of some kind but I was willing to take the first person that sounded like they knew what they were doing.  One person told me that to take this tree out of the ground you needed a bobcat.  Really?  A bobcat?  They had me going at first but after speaking with Leo, I realized that they were full of you know what.

Leo came today with his brother.  He told me that I was nice enough to give the tree away and I didn't need someone to come in and leave me with a big fat mess or a busted up porch.  I like Leo.  Leo is coming back one day soon to take the palm trees from the side of the house out, he likes palms.  Me, I like them, but not in a walkway, and not to cover up the front of my house.  I've wanted these babies out since we saw the house for the first time. 

It took them a good 2 hours to dig up our Sago palm.  I took a few pictures sneaky style as they were working through the blinds.  One had Leo's crack in them and I figured that one should be kept off the blog.  One because nobody wants to see Leo's crack, and two, I didn't get his consent.

This is what it looked like before...


Yuck!


You can open your eyes now, trust me it gets better.

I didn't feel comfortable snooping like I said before, but someone was okay with it, and she did it half naked.  She had clothes on, I promise, but she's in a stage where she changes her outfits 3 times a day, or more.  It's great for my laundry situation.


I'd like to introduce you to my friend Leo, minus the crack...


Now, drumroll please....

Ta Da!!!

Now I can even see out my front window!


                                                                          From the street...


As you are pulling up to the house.


And the best part is you ask?  You can see my Christmas tree through the window now!

 Now I have to figure out what to plant here.  I'm thinking it would be nice if my Mom bought me a celebratory tree going away rose bush or two.  We'll see.  I have to get it done this weekend though, our first official Bunco is at my house on the 7th!

Hopefully tomorrow I'll take some pictures of my Christmas decor to post.

So what do you think?  You likey?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Day 2010


And what a great day it was!

Small family get together, lots of yummy cooking, a few different pies, really well behaved children, and the best sausage stuffing I've ever had, finished off with a Christmas movie.

Does it get any better?

On to the pictures!

A few of the family first.

The hostess with the mostest and me...

The gravy maker...

Our broccoli and cheese chef...

The turkey carver...

And his bird...

The puzzle worker and her assistant...

And let's not forget the official taste testers we're there to just make sure it's good for everyone to eat.  We don't want anyone getting sick now.  Next holiday, keep in mind that we do make house calls...

My Mom set a gorgeous table, she always puts so much effort into everything and it turns out fabulous!



Last but definitely not least, a little bit of the feast.  Did I mention to you that we cooked with a lot of butter?

Don't believe me?  Please see our butter soup mashed potatoes.

At the end of the evening, the men had a scotch taste testing, which could be an entirely different post but I don't want to bore you with all of that, maybe just a few pictures.

Between the 12, 15, and 18.  I wonder which one was better.  My bet is on the 18.  Yes, I too tasted but I could have told you that from the beginning.

Oops, quick break for a picture of myself and the mister.

Let the tasting begin!






 The boys choose their favorites and ended the evening with an 18 year old scotch on the rocks.

I think my Dad licked these babies dry..

It really was a great day.  I love our Thanksgivings.  I'm sure you all had amazing times with your families and friends!

Until next post, I leave you with a sneak "peek" into my decked house.

It's officially the holidays!  I won't even tell you that there are only 27 shopping days left!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.
 -Edward Sanford Martin

I've had this quote up in my kitchen all of November.  I love it, thought I'd share...

My heart is full of thanks.

I'm thankful for my health, my family, my friends, my neighbors. 

I'm thankful that I have a roof over my head and food on the table. 

I'm thankful that God has given me so much and will be forever thankful that I have God in my heart. 

I'm thankful for these 2 beautiful faces...

I'm thankful for gravy. 


 I'm thankful for the piles of laundry that I said 2 weeks ago I was going to catch up on. 

I'm thankful that I live in a free country.  I'm thankful for our troops that have fought for us, are fighting for us, and will fight for us, even on days like Thanksgiving. 
                                                                               
I'm thankful that I have such an amazing husband that just turned around to go get my camera from my Mom's so that I could post pictures with this.

I'm thankful for gravy.

I'm thankful that my kids drive me crazy on a daily basis.

I'm thankful for the little yellow tomatoes at Sam's that I can't seem to live without.

I'm thankful for my amazing parents.  They've taught me right and wrong, they've supported me when I've failed and succeeded.  They have guided me.  They do things to the turkey on Thanksgiving so that I don't have to.

Really...they get kinda intimate...

It makes me kind of sick to my stomach, but I'm thankful that some of us like to do things like this so that I don't have to...

Really...I'm thankful that some people can get a room when asked to, even if it is just the kitchen and I can leave.

I'm thankful for my awesome in laws, I so wish that they could join us this year.  My mother in law has a heart of gold and my father in law is one heck of a guy.  They raised an amazing son that I'm thankful to be married to.

I'm thankful for gravy.

I'm thankful for the happy hour beverage I had at my Mom's that I really didn't deserve because I forgot to put orange peels in the rice pudding and almost burned it.

I'm thankful that my house is already decorated for Christmas and I won't have to spend my four day weekend with a house filled with boxes.

 I'm thankful.  So thankful.  For so much.

I hope that you all have a great Thanksgiving with your families.  Oh...

Gobble...Gobble...


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

First of Fall Festivities

Last week we had our monthly get together with the Pidgiac.  That's my Brangelina name for Donna and Sheryl...their last names are Pidgeon and Giacalone.  Or should I do Giacageon....or Pidgelone?  I'm kind of liking Pidgelone.  

I hosted this time and fall was in the air so I decorated everything very Autumn crisp. 




 My menu consisted of homemade pizzas, the dough was purchased from Trader Joe's and if you haven't gotten this dough already, you should definitely try it.  Usually I'm a Boboli pizza maker, I'm thinking not so much anymore.  

I made 3 different pizzas, all with the plain T.J. dough.  They also have an herb dough and a wheat which I have not tried yet but have the wheat that has been calling to me, I think I might do a bbq chicken, red onion and cilantro on that one tonight. 
The first pizza was topped with prosciutto, red pepper, yellow pepper, yellow tomatoes from Sam's (I blogged about those here), red onion, arugala and three different cheeses.  Goat, mozzarella, and a touch of fontina.  I felt like if I did too much fontina on that pizza the saltiness of the cheese and the saltiness of the prosciutto would be too much salty.  Only got before pictures of my pizzas, no after the oven when they are cheesy and gooey and delicious!

The second pizza was a Margarita.  Thinly sliced pearl tomatoes, a few yellow tomatoes sliced in quarters, all three cheeses (mostly goat), and topped with fresh basil when it came out of the oven.  No pictures of this one.

Third pizza was topped with Italian sausage, red pepper, yellow pepper, yellow tomatoes, red onion, arugala, and the 3 cheeses with mostly fontina cheese.  YUM!  This one was my favorite!

To prep the dough, my Mom stretched it out, then rubbed them with olive oil and seasoned with salt, freshly ground pepper, oregano, and basil.  Then we minced some garlic and spread that around as well.

I also made a spring green salad with chopped walnuts, red onion, red/yellow peppers, thinly grated blue cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. This was a really great salad to pair with the pizzas, I was very pleased.



I almost forgot to mention the Italian Cream Sodas that I made.  Some were spiked...some were not...I wanted to make something that could be virgin.

My Mom loved them...her's was spiked I think...as was mine!  Don't you just love this picture of her?

This lady liked her's too, I so wish this picture was in focus!


We finished off our get together with pumpkin spice cupcakes (I had just the right amount left over from the batch I made for Riley's preschool - funny story about that really quick. I asked the teachers if pumpkin spice would be nice for the fall feast they were having for the kids. I didn't really think the kids would like that. The teacher then told me, "The kids just eat the frosting anyway, make the pumpkin spice, the teachers will be happy!!" So pumpkin spice it was!`


We had a great visit as always.  I just love these two ladies.  We have so much fun and the conversation never lags!  Along the way a few of us got into trouble and had to sit in the corner and when someone came over to take a picture, the ham came out...


Is he not just the cutest thing?  Thank you ladies for joining me for such a lovely evening/afternoon!  Can't wait for Sheryl's house for Christmas!

And speaking of Christmas...I'm completely decorated, my halls are decked!  Tree, banister, everything.  Except for the front porch, that is still sporting fall wear, until Friday.  It feels so good to be completely done!  I'll be posting pictures of my decor soon!  Stay tuned!
 

Me

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I'm Kristi, the wife of one very lucky and handsome husband, and mother to two beautiful little girls. I'm honest and sarcastic, funny and easy going. I love to eat and love to hate that I love butter. And wine. And did I mention butter? I'm always learning new things, happy to lend a hand, and love my life. This is a blog of my family and the day to day crazy that we call Rush Hour. I hope while you are here that you enjoy yourself and come back often!

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