Thursday, December 31, 2009
This year I plan to experience a lot of new beginnings. It will be the start of a new and improved me as well as a new start for our family. I want to continue working on the things I mentioned in last years resolutions as well as add to them.
I would like to become a happier and better person. I want to become more confident in who I am and what I do. I will try to be more appreciative and thankful for what I do have in my life. I will focus on the positive and try to make sure I change what's negative.
I will find something to do that I enjoy and am proud to do. I will be more proactive and less reactive. My patience will strengthen and my easy to frustrate self will be eliminated. I will learn to take things a little less seriously and a little less personal when it's necessary.
I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and good luck on your own resolutions. I'd also like to thank everyone for continuing to read this little blog of mine. It has definitely benefited my life in many ways and I hope it provides some for of entertainment and enjoyment for you all as well. I consider it my own personal therapy.
Posted at 8:21 AM
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
These 3 pictured above were the only ones left out of 32 oz worth of mushrooms I cooked for brunch Christmas morning. They are absolutely tasty and easy! They can be served either as appetizers or as part of a brunch so they are pretty versatile.
3 Italian hot sausages, casings removed (I use mild)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces) (Seriously, buy the block of it....so much better!)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
24 large (about 2-inch diameter) mushrooms, stemmed
1/3 cup dry white wine
Saute sausage and oregano in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is cooked through and brown, breaking into small pieces with back of fork, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage mixture to a large bowl and cool. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder, then cream cheese. Season filling with salt and pepper; mix in egg yolk.
Brush 15x10x2 inch glass baking dish with olive oil to coat. Brush cavity of each mushroom cap with white wine; fill with scant 1 tablespoon filling and sprinkle with some of remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange mushrooms, filling side up, in prepared dish (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered until mushrooms are tender and filling is brown on top, about 25 minutes.
Posted at 4:16 PM
- "In 2009 I would like to find a more healthy balance between extended family time and me and Michael time." - This is both a check and fail. Due to some family issues I have spent less time with certain parts of it this year which freed up an enormous amount of me and Michael time. On the other hand, these last few months we've been living with dad (fail).
- "I'd like to put less miles on my car and enjoy relaxing at home on the weekends a little more." - This one was easy since work consumed the first half of the year and we moved back the last half of the year!
- "I want to enjoy more pajama days and realize that some things can be put off just a little while longer. I need to make sure I make time for just me during the day and not feel so bad if I just need to be by myself for a little while." - A husband working nights for the first part of the year and me quitting my job during the last half makes this a check. I'd even say I have a little too much alone time and too many pajama days! Who knew you could have too much of that?
- "I will try to find happiness in everything that I do even if it requires me to make some changes." - The change ended up being me unemployed. The happiness is amazing!
- "I will try to "go with the flow" a little bit better and realize some things don't always go as planned. I won't beat myself up when things don't turn out perfect." - I think I have successfully de-stressed now. Being unemployed and realizing you have pretty much lost all control of everything in your life eventually makes you come to this conclusion. It's been a good thing for me....it really has. It was a lesson I desperately needed to learn.
- "I will learn to let go." - This was my theme for this year and I think my readers have seen me go through with this. It's been a tough process and I'm still learning, but it's been for the best.
The irony of this is that a lot of not so good things happened this year, but the lessons I have learned have improved my life immensely. I guess you should always be careful what you wish for huh? I wonder what next year will bring!
Posted at 7:10 AM
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Posted at 12:18 AM
Sunday, December 27, 2009
We had a lovely Christmas and I hope you all did as well. Christmas was a little different this year for us. We had less family to see, less presents to give, and no traveling to do. With that being said, we had more time to see the family that was present and we were even able to squeeze in some friends.
We got some wonderful gifts (and hopefully gave some). Michael's parents gave him a much needed toolbox....
...and I got some very luxurious sheets!
Christmas at my dad's was a little different this year. Instead of the traditional purchased gifts, we received things he picked out for us from my grandparents house. After my grandmother passed away this past April all of the kids went over and divided up their stuff and decided they would pass down some of that to the grand kids as well.
I was extremely excited to receive this Victorian chair, along with a buffet table and my grandmothers silver tea set that she received for her 25th wedding anniversary. Now I just need a home to put it in!
My sister received one of my Grandmother's china sets....
...along with some more intriguing things that are a little bit more like her own eclectic style like these leather boots that were my granddaddy's when he was a small child.
Posted at 6:26 PM
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Posted at 10:51 AM
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Posted at 3:32 PM
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Yield: 4 dozen
Posted at 10:42 PM
Friday, December 18, 2009
All photos's were engagement photo's (just because).
Posted at 11:27 AM
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Baking makes it feel like Christmas. It gives me something to do. It gives me something to be proud of. Even if no one else eats it. That's okay.
Something else that's a little bittersweet is this particular song below. It will always remind me of Christmas and my mom. She would play The Carpenter's Christmas CD every year...I really need to get a copy.
Posted at 1:22 PM
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Once again I have to thank the Barefoot Contessa for another masterpiece. Without further ado...
Posted at 4:22 PM
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I really wanted to go all out for her birthday with a homemade cake and party hats but my husband thought I was crazy. So I settled on a gift of two toys and 3 purchased "homemade" treats.
These treats seriously smelled good enough to eat. This particular one is a puppy poptart. It smelled like cinnamon goodness to me. I was tempted to try a little piece...but I didn't.
We had a little trouble trying to get her to open her present. She wasn't too sure about the bag. She got one toy out and ran off afraid that we would take it away from her. It took a few minutes to get her back in the room to get the other toy out of the bag. She had a blast! There's nothing she loves more than to be the center of attention and today she definitely was!
Posted at 10:34 PM
Monday, December 14, 2009
We also celebrated Michael's sister's birthday a little early. Jennifer and Lola actually share the same birthday which is tomorrow! My little Lola will be turning one, I can't believe it! We went out to eat at the Bell Buckle Cafe where I had the most awesome smoked pork chop with turnip greens, green beans, vinegar slaw, and a lemonade. Yes, that's a lot of food and I ate every bite! We then came home to a funfetti cake and ice cream. Michael's mom even (accidentally) gave Lola a scoop.
(You can see the big white blob in her mouth) We think she liked it, but we could tell that her mouth felt funny from the cold! Thankfully we got it out before she ate most of it. I really didn't want any nasty surprises later! Yuck!
After that we headed out on the farm to try out the new camera we got each other for Christmas. I think I'm finally figuring out the settings, but I still need some practice on getting it to do exactly what I want.
My photos were mostly of cows considering everything looks pretty dead around here since winter is officially here. They turned out fairly well though I think. We had a lot of fun just walking around the farm even though we were walking in mud past our ankles! Even Lola had a great time. She made sure to step in every puddle and even eat a little cow poo along the way.
She actually got two baths that day. She hated every minute of the baths, but I think she thought it was worth it......and so did I.
Posted at 11:30 AM
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Posted at 11:37 AM
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Since we are about to buy another home I've been focusing in on our budget and one of the things that eats most of our money aways is, well, us and the food we buy. Sometimes I'm completely shocked how much a trip to the grocery store is and I always look at the receipt and try to figure out where it went. We don't eat out much because I've always believed it to be cheaper (and healthier) to eat in, but these grocery receipts are really starting to make me wonder if I might be wrong.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
It's officially Christmastime! I'm having a little trouble getting into it this year. I believe it's because I'm out of my element. I do have most of my gifts bought thankfully as well as the wrapping paper and Christmas cards. I just need to do something with it all. I even bought Lola a little Christmas jacket. I love it...she hates it. Wrapping, baking and card writing are all overdue at this point. My mission this week.....GET ON IT!
My dad and I went to Home Depot and got him a fake tree that I absolutely love. I'm a real tree girl through and through. It's just not Christmas without the real tree smell, but if I ever need a second one, I believe this one would do just fine.
Isn't it lovely? It came complete with lights, pine cones, berries, and chenille tips. How about that for fancy? Anyways, it's a big upgrade for dad. He hasn't had a tree in his house since the Cedar Tree disaster. And by disaster I mean spiders hatching all over the house. From then on we went treeless at his house or settled on decorating his over sized peace lilly plant. So a big upgrade it is. Now if only I can keep my dog from destroying it.
We finally got our house on the market, which is a huge relief. The realtor sounded like it should sell pretty fast. I hope she's right. I went through the entire house making pictures of everything. I'm terrible at remembering things and wish I had done this with other places I have lived. Here is a picture of the master bedroom, which happens to be my favorite room of the house.
We did end up getting a bit of snow while we were in Knoxville and Lola couldn't wait to get out in it. It reminded me of last year when we first got her and it snowed for what seemed like an eternity. Nothing like taking a puppy the size of your hand out to pee every hour in snow taller than her. She never seemed to mind though. Apparently she is a snow dog at heart. This year she ran around like crazy making doggie angels and rooting around in it.
She came back in soaking wet with snow clumped to her fur. We ended up not having to give her the bath we had desperately needed to give her though so it worked in every one's benefit. (Notice the snow clumps on her front legs)
Posted at 12:13 PM
Thursday, December 3, 2009
It's strange being back here. A lot of mixed emotions. This is the first and probably last house I have ever bought completely dependent on my own resources. I was very proud of that fact. This is the house that my husband and I first experienced the joys and dramas of home improvements together. It was my pet project and it's both with excitement and sadness that I can now say that it is completed.
It felt weird walking through my front door last night. I guess when I say "my" I'm really using that term loosely. It already doesn't feel like "mine" anymore. It was depersonalized a few weeks back and I honestly feel like I'm living in more of a magazine photo than a home.
It is nice to be surrounded by my own furnishings and have my own space for a few days. I'm thankful for our parents letting us live with them during this transition but I cannot express how much I miss having a space of my very own! A place where we can be ourselves. Shew. It's coming though. Slowly, but surely. And letting go of this house is one of the first big steps.
My hopes are that it sells quickly. It will be for the best. I can then start looking at potential new homes and finally feel as though we are moving forward instead of stalling out. I can't wait! In the mean time...I'll be busy making sure everything looks picture perfect here!
Posted at 12:25 PM
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I probably have over more than half of my Christmas shopping done for the season. I bought my wrapping paper and ribbon which all ended up matching my Christmas cards I bought before Halloween. I didn't do any "real" Black Friday shopping (by real I mean the 4AM kind), although I did end up getting some good deals. One of the best deals I got was actually on me and Michael's present to ourselves this year. We are upgrading our crappy camera to the Canon Rebel T1i. I can't be more excited. I actually had to order it from the store, but it will be on my doorstep via free shipping by Wednesday. The only problem is....I have no idea how to work it!
I've also been thinking about what all I have to be thankful for this year. First and foremost, I am thankful for my husband who loves me and works hard to provide for us. I'm thankful that we haven't had to make any major sacrifices even though I have been out of work for this last part of the year.
We are blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who give us wonderful advice and provide great company. I'm also thankful that we get to move closer to a majority of those great folks as well.
We are thankful for and forever indebted to our parents who have so eagerly provided us with a place to stay while we are trying to move even though I know it has turned their "normal" as upside down as it has turned ours.
Posted at 1:52 AM
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The next day we rented a Dodge Charger and started our venture to Muir Woods. We crossed the Golden Gate bridge to take some pictures and then headed out to Sausalito for breakfast at Fred's Coffee Shop (also amazing). Finally we arrived at the woods after conquering some very curvy roads!
All images are property of Laura Sager unless otherwise noted.