Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
In the meantime, Brett and I had his family over for dinner last night to celebrate Christmas since we won't be with them on the actual day. Dinner was wonderful! Brett did another amazing job on the Turkey and everything I made turned out well also. My culinary accomplishment of the day was a cake in which I saw on the cover of this month's Family Circle Magazine. It is a strawberry filled coconut cake. It was made from scratch with two layers, strawberry preserves in the middle, and a delicious cream cheese frosting. I was a little nervous, as am not sure that I have ever made a cake entirely from scratch. The outcome was breathtaking (the picture doesn't do it justice)...it turned out better than I could have imagined and tasted "exquisite", as Brett put it.
After dinner, we opened presents and had a few good laughs!
Hera trying on the Santa hat!
Friday, December 19, 2008
- We are hosting Christmas dinner at our house tomorrow night since we will be out of town and won't be able to celebrate with Brett's family. I have lots of prep work to do for the great dinner we have planned and a spectacular strawberry filled coconut cake to make.
- I received one of the greatest compliments yesterday at work when I took in some Christmas cookies. One of my assistants loved the sugar cookies so much that she asked me to make 48 of them for a party she is having Sunday. I think next year I may start a small business.
- I have been trying to get to the Oakbrook mall for some last minuet Christmas goodies...let's cheer on I-Dot that they can those roads clear and get me to the mall.
- And, finally, we leave Tuesday for our road trip to PA to spend Christmas with my family. I am so exited and I have so much to pack!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Now, what do they carry - EVERYTHING! Seriously if you need something for your dog (or cat but they specialize in dogs) they have it. Toys, treats, clothes, collars, jewelry, you name it they have it. And since it is Christmas, it is an even better time to shop there due to their 12 Days of Christmas specials (everyday there is a SUPER deal on a different product). Yesterday I got BOGO bully sticks which are the best "bone" for dogs that like to chew because they actually last for a very long time. Two Bostons also carries a great line of dog toys called Tuffy Toys. Tuffies have a Tuff Scale which rate how "tuff" they really are. On Lucy and Tucker's list, the Octopus! This thing is TUFF!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
And here is the final product of everything we made ( missing is the fudge that ended up in the trash and the peanut butter cup cookies that had to be chiseled out of the pan). Starting with the red/ green/ and white sugar cookies, clockwise, Hersey Kiss cookies (again, the best I have ever had; made with Bisquick and super soft!), Chocolate Toffee Cookies, and Plantations Cookies. The plantation cookies are extra special because they are my Great Grandma Pearl's recipe. She used to make them all the time and keep them in a special tin in her kitchen. She passed away a few years ago and sometimes I really miss her. She was truly a wonderful lady! Our plantation cookies came out really well, and as good as they tasted, they just weren't hers because I didn't have the right tin.
On another Christmas note, we are still a work in progress when it comes to the Christmas card. We attempted tonight to take a picture of the dogs together by the tree and not one picture contains both dogs. One has Lucy and Tucker's nose, but that is it. Lucy wanted everyone to know it is not her fault - she was posing the whole time.
Monday, December 15, 2008
- We had an ice storm last night; it was so bad that the back door to house was frozen shut. It was 5 degrees driving to school. Poor Brett had to walk through the city in that weather! I want to be home cuddled on the couch with some hot chocolate with Brett and the puppies.
- I am having severe mouth issues. I have a wisdom tooth coming in that has decided to hurt. It has also irritated the gum around it on the top of my mouth and the inside of my cheek.
- We had a great weekend. See previous post about Friday. Saturday Brett helped me with our 1st Annual Cookie Bake A Thon. Although the first two kind we made did not turn out...it was loads of fun! On Sunday Sam and Matt came over to watch football. Good food, good friends, and a Steelers win!
- Today is our last full day of classes before finals. I get to wear jeans and sweatshirts the rest of the week and the kid go home at 1:15 everyday.
- Brett went Christmas shopping on Saturday and I CAN NOT WAIT to open my presents.
- For some reason my Mom thought we were not coming home until Dec. 26 for Christmas...uhhh, no! We will be there the 23rd. Now, she is SO happy we will be there for her birthday (12/24).
- Actually, I have so many things I am happy about. The weather and the mouth pain kind of have me down, but Christmas is probably my favorite time of year. I have so many wonderful people in my life and things to be thankful for that it certainly is a
Saturday, December 13, 2008
So, yesterday was the Menges and Molzahn Holiday party. Unfortunately spouses are not invited and it is held during the day, so I could not attend, but Brett seemed to have a great time. Everyone in the office enjoyed lunch together and exchanged Secret Santa and White Elephant gifts. Afterward they were off to the Shedd Aquarium for a lovely day of fish watching and dragon observing. Unfortunately the dolphins and beluga whales had been moved and Brett was a bit disappointed. I took the train to the city and met Liz in her office and then we met the boys at Rosebud (excellent happy hour if you're ever looking for a good place in the Loop). When we left we walked around Daley Plaza to see the tree and smell the smells of Christkindlmarkt, the Christmas market that sells yummy treats and various chatzkies from around the world. We cabbed it to La Madia, a restaurant Liz and Adam recommend that turned out to be fabulous. It is a pizza place, but nothing like Pizza Hut. The pizza is thin crust with a variety of gourmet toppings. We enjoyed triple pepperoni with truffle oil and another with stinky cheese and grapes. That's not really what ti was called but I can't remember the fancy name for the cheese or the grapes. We thought about leaving but then decided to head over to The Kerryman for one last cocktail. Adam and Brett entertained Liz and I with their not so smooth dance moves to the tunes of Christina, Brittany and the like.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Last summer, I found Carol & Company Chicago at the Wheaten French market. L.O.V.E. them! According to the bio on their website they started in TX and have spread a bit. They have no retail location but there is a list of markets, festivals, and fairs they display their baubles at and their is always the web making them accessible to all. (Side note: if you have never been to the Wheaten French Market you need to get you little rear in gear and get there as soon as the weather is nice. It runs from about May 1 to November 1). Anyway, Carol & Co. drew me in with their vintage pendants. They also have monogrammed silver jewelry, handmade jewelry, lovely photo frames all for very reasonable prices. I am in L.O.V.E with the M initial pendant and am hoping Santa has placed his order for this pendant as well as the chain to go with.
Carol & Co. has some adorable clothes for little ones, hysterical bibs ("Ultimate Tax Deductions" is so something Brett would buy), and stuff for the kids who are a little older. You seriously need to check out her page because I just can't put a picture up of all the great stuff they have. Be sure to check out the Pee-Pee-Teepees! You just have to see them.
Unfortunately, I have no little ones to buy for but if I did...are these not the greatest?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
We took the train home where a pile of presents was waiting for the birthday boy. Brett is like a little kid when it comes to presents. He loved everything - a Walter Peyton jersey from Cari, and from me and dogs, a new summer suit, a bottle of Maker's Mark, a big Hershey Kiss, a book, and a Southwest gift card with the promise to visit his good friend,Paul, very soon!
Brett reading the poem I wrote him for his trip to DC to see Paul.
Monday, December 8, 2008
We wish them and everyone a very happy holiday season.
The boys enjoying their presents...
Thursday, December 4, 2008
OK, now that that's out of the way...Old Navy was having a huge sale and I purchased some presents for the puppies. Coordinating hoodies and coordinating fleeces. Since puppies are hard to buy for I let them try on their new clothes tonight to make sure we had a good fit...
Tucker thinks the hoodie smells great!
Lucy looking confused by her new clothes. She needs time to adjust.
"Does this fleece make me look fat?" No, Lucy, you are fat.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Marissa putting up the lights. Notice Tucker decided to use the back of my legs as a chair.