December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

Well my resolve to pay more attention to my blog this week than last has been priddy futile. Sorry. From Christmas Eve to New Year's Day it is a non. stop. party. around here. We have family staying with us (hi C&C!) which means we open up the secret passageway between our houses here at the ol' duplex and what ensues is an everlasting swarm of people, treats, comings and goings, and this year - NBA Jam on the PS3. It was my birthday yesterday (give me a 2 - give me an 8!!) and I had an awesome day! It started with a lot of family and fun and ended with a lot of family and fun and watching This Is It, which by the way, still breaks my Michael-forever-lovin'-heart. I was out the entire day and when I got home there was 9 voicemails and over 30 facebook messages. Aw, thanks for making a gal feel special.

So being the last day of 2010 (and being home alone with a sick baby while family and friends congregate elsewhere - it's not as sad as it sounds, really.) I thought I would quickly wrap up my 2010 for those of you in bloggerland.

1. We bought a sweet new ride and I have loved it even more than I thought I would. I ride in comfort with plenty of room for my chilluns and all their paraphernalia. We take the seats out to make use of it's roomy back for all our haulin'-stuff-around needs. It's got some wicked features like the back-up assist, traction control, it's own air compressor and I haven't even mentioned the DVD player yet. Thanks February 2010.

2. In March I gave birth to this little bundle. 

I thought my heart was already full but he has taken it to overflowing. My little Rigby has brought me more joy in almost-10 months than I can even believe. He is a happy and sweet boy, full of smiles and little nose wrinkles. He has long dark eyelashes and the most sparkly eyes you can imagine. We call him Rigatree and he has completed our home. For now.

3. We lived in and fell in love with Edmonton this summer. Part of it's charm was spending so much time with this family.

We don't get to see them often and living in the same city for 5 months was amazing. We spent Sunday dinners and evenings together and made many wonderful memories and lasting relationships. That was a real highlight.

4. My hubby was given a promotion at work. He was asked to take over his office and will (co)manage the team this coming summer. I am so proud of him and how hard he works but also the integrity he has while doing it. He is someone people respect and know that he is honest and straightforward. He excels at being a leader and bringing out the best in people as he helps them reach their potential. I am impressed by his work ethic, his motivation and ambition and his drive to become something. He is never satisfied with mediocrity and his desire to constantly learn and improve himself is something I have really seen grow in him over this past year.

5. Two weeks ago I completed the Make Up Artistry course at The Training Inc here in town.

Being properly trained and certified is something I've wanted to do for oh, um, 10+ years. I'm so thrilled to have completed this course and look forward to the doors it opens for me. I will be doing makeup for photos, weddings, grads, etc. I love make up and how it can make you feel - every woman is beautiful and sadly some haven't seen it before, I love being able to share that with them. (So hire me - how's that for a shameless plug?!)

I hope everyone has had a memorable 2010 and that it's been memorable for good things!

Happy New Year! 

December 24, 2010

kissy treats

We have been making pans and pans and pans of these. The milk chocolate Kisses make a yummy version as well. Easy and good for little fingers who want to help!

December 23, 2010

4 Things Christmas Edition

My momma commented to me today that I hadn't blogged in forever. With 3 birthdays, Christmas and New Years in the month of December I thought I was doing pretty good just brushing my teeth every day. Sorry to those that have missed my blog (mom, that's probably just you!) So to show that I'm still here I thought I'd share this little survey I came across on my friend Heather's blog a few weeks ago BUT since it's Christmas in TWO SLEEPS I'm going to try and make the whole thing all about CHRISTMAS!


 4 Christmas shows I watch:
1. Prep and Landing (it's Porter's favorite)
2. White Christmas - my mom and I watched it every year together, aww.
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
4. The Muppet's Christmas Carol - we're trying to make Porter fall in love with it

4 Christmas things I am passionate about:
1. Being with family
3. Driving around to look at lights
4. Primarily, the celebration of the birth of my Savior, it's CHRISTmas!

4 Christmas phrases I say a lot:
1. Merry Christmas!
2. Are you a baby elf? (To which Porter replies - "No, I have a pension!")
3. I hate this song! (I'm sorry, Christmas music isn't my favorite.)
4. I have a surprise for you!

4 things I have learned from the past Christmases:
1. Neil is a way better gift giver than I am.
2. It's so fun to start family traditions of your own!
3. I always start too late - next year, next year.
4. I always feel like I should have done more.

4 places I'd like to go: for Christmas
1. I'd love to spend a Christmas with my side of the family - we'll make it work soon!
2. Some people we know are on a cruise right now, sounds like a great Christmas to me!
3. I would love to have Christmas in a secluded snowy cabin somewhere, it just sounds cozy.
4. At the risk of being cheesy - anywhere Neil and my boys are. It's Christmas anywhere as long as you're with those you love the most.

4 Christmas things I did yesterday:
1. Finished sewing Porter's blanket - it's got all kinds of sports balls on it, he's going to love it. 
2. Made chocolate/pretzel treats with Neil and Porter
3. Watched Elf
4. Oooooooh! Dug into my nuts and bolts from my SIL Mandy!! :)

4 Christmas things I am looking forward to:
1. Telling Porter that, YES it IS Christmas morning! (He's been asking every morning for about 2 weeks!)
2. Watching Neil open all his gifts, I think I have a few surprises this year.
3. Watching Porter open his gifts, I don't think he's really going to pay attention to what it is, just as long as it's a present to open!  
4. Spending the day loving my family -I love how Christmas day feels.

4 things on my Christmas wish list:
1. New key fobs for the van - no point having a remote starter that you can't remotely start.
2. Slippers that will LAST - I wear them CONSTANTLY and go through pairs like wild fire.
3. Dior makeup, or a gift certificate for some. It's beautiful stuff.
4. Toms shoes.

Well MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! I hope you are spending it with those you love! I'll try not to be so absent next week!

December 16, 2010

My dresser

Oh happy day! 
I've been featured! 

December 13, 2010

Share A Meal Monday

This is a family favorite recipe. The story behind it is kinda funny actually - apparently long ago my parents went to some friend's house for dinner. The friends made this meal and did not like it at all. My mom and dad loved it and have been making it for special occasions ever since. I think I'll be requesting it for my birthday this year (which is coming up on the 30th, friends.......) It is a family favorite although my dear husband bashfully informed me a year or two ago that he doesn't particularly love it. I was aghast! How could he? So keep in mind, it's not something for everyone but the Todd's love it! Give it a try, I'd like to know what you think.

Orange Tarragon Chicken

2 Tbsp oil or margarine
chicken parts (or cut up breasts)
1 onion chopped
1/2 can frozen orange juice
1 chicken oxo cube
1 Tbsp dried tarragon
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup hot water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup sour cream

Brown chicken in oil or margarine. Remove and cook onion. Dissolve chicken cube in hot water. Stir OJ, chicken stock and tarragon with cooked onion. Bring to a boil and add chicken. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish, cover and bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally in orange sauce. Remove chicken from sauce and place in serving dish. Skim off fat from sauce. Blend cornstarch and sugar with 2 Tbsp water and add to orange sauce. Bring to boil and cook for 2-3 minutes until thick. Cool slightly and add sour cream. Stir and pour over chicken. Serve with roast potatoes.

December 9, 2010

my iPhone

We all know people that are super opinionated when it comes to their technological preferences right? The types that make your ears bleed with all their MAC talk or the ones that have sworn off all Apple products for some moral reason or another. I'm not either, I suppose I'm technologically apathetic. I have been very happy with our HP and I also adore my iPhone 4 - which is actually what this post is really about - hence, uh, the title I gave it.

I got an iPhone 4 in November and have loved everything about it until last week when suddenly (and I have a few ideas why) it started acting up. It began to do a number of crazy things, my favorite being calling people all by itself at all hours of the night. Awesome feature. When Neil had to go to Calgary today I sent my iPhone with him to take to the Apple store to see what could be done about the poor dear. I was totally preparing myself for serious disappointment. Even though it comes with a one year warranty I was sure it would be like every other cell phone experience I've ever had with some story about how that's not covered, or there's some reason they can't help me or even if they can help me it's going to cost me an unwarranted amount of money. Neil's appointment was at 9:30 and at 9:40 he called and said everything had been taken care of. He walked into Apple and told the guy standing there that he had an appointment, the guy said "are you Neil?!" and he took it from there. He asked what was going on, took a look at a few things and said he would just replace it with a new phone. No questions, no hassle, no charge, just a new phone. I don't care what others say about Apple's nauseating quest for world domination, that is some serious customer service and I. am. happy. He activated it right there and handed it back confirming the one year warranty was still valid just as if nothing had ever happened.

Again, I don't profess to love one above others but in this experience I couldn't be more pleased.
Thanks there Apple.

December 7, 2010

Thanks Wendy!

I'm picky. I like to call it particular because it's saying the same thing but sounds nicer. I also like to think that it's simply just knowing what I like and not bothering with the rest. This leads me into the recently-ended saga of my not being able to find a winter coat I like. When we first got married Neil set out on what he now realizes is an impossible mission, making me like winter. We went and picked out a winter coat with all the bells and whistles. Yes it was warm, yes it was dusty blue and grey and yes it made me feel like a boy. It was warm but I barely wore it because it was bulky and boyish. Since then I've not had a proper coat and have worn my wool pea coat instead. It's fairly warm but doesn't have a hood and doesn't break the wind (wind? what wind? this is Lethbridge!)

Last winter I was pregnant so when Neil and I had our annual discussion about purchasing me a proper winter coat I used that as an excuse to put it off for another year, oh wait, that was after I purchased and returned 3 of them. This year it was really just time to get out there and find one, assuming they make one I like. While out shopping I actually found TWO that I thought would do. The first was a white coat, cut long and slender, had a deep hood and had cute details which I like.

The only problem with this coat was that it was more of a shell than a thick coat- not the warmest of it's friends. I said I didn't really care because I always layer in the winter and I knew I'd wear it because it was cute.

The next coat was a black coat with some great heating technology called omni heat (think - making yourself a baked potato - same idea) and it was super warm and had those little hand-thumb-hole-thingys that I've always wanted!

I hummed and hawed about which one to get. Do I go warm since I'm buying a winter coat or do I go cute cause I know I'll wear it. The price of the white one was $199.00 on sale for $99.00 and the black one was $149.00 with no sale. I contemplated getting both and wearing them together sometimes as really that would make the perfect combination but decided I really didn't want to spend that much - that's $250!! All along the kind sales lady Wendy was helping us and throwing in her two cents. At the end I decided to go with the white coat and felt good about my decision.

All of a sudden Wendy told us to hold and and took both the coats away. She came back and said, "What would you say if I told you you could get them both for $150.00!!" My first response was, "What do we have to do?!" and she then said that we had really made her day (not sure how unless it's her favorite thing to watch an indecisive shopper) and that she wanted to let us take both the coats on her employee discount. It would be like buying the black one and getting the white one for free, or buying the white one and getting the black one for $100.00 off or... whatever, it's a great deal! DONE.

We went to the till, rang them up, gave Wendy a hug, and I walked away with not only one but two cute and warm coats. I can wear them separate or together and I'm happy with both. Honestly, I didn't think it was possible. Whew.

Thanks Wendy!

December 6, 2010

Share A Meal Monday

I can't believe I haven't posted since last Monday! We were away for a good part of the week so I guess that makes sense. I love shopping in the States, I think I'm going to name my next baby Target, or tattoo the word to my forehead or something. Anywaywho.

I love this recipe, but love it even MORE after I got smart. I used to try and cook the meatballs in my frying pan, carefully turning each one over while trying to keep it held together only to have all but like 3 of them completely fall apart and be left with meat-fallen-aparts instead of meatballs. Oh. My. Gosh. I was dumb.

Moving on.

Porcupine Meatballs
1 lb hamburger
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup minute rice (it has to be minute rice if you are going to cook the meatballs in the oven.)
1 can tomato soup
1/2 can water
1 egg
salt and pepper

Mix hamburger, onion, egg and rice in bowl. Form into balls, place on a cookie sheet covered in tinfoil and bake in the oven (that's where I got smart!) When the meatballs are cooked put them in a frying pan and pour on the soup mixture (I usually add more tomato soup so there's a lot of sauce.) until the rice is cooked and they have simmered in the flavor! I serve this with mashed potatoes and always pour the extra sauce over them. Salt and pepper to taste.

Thanks for linking up, we've been enjoying many of your recipes and remember I've added a SAMM link on the sidebar ------->  for easy referral. Have a great week!