Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Light" snow?!

The forecast this morning was for "light" snow...does this look light to you?

It is nice and fluffy, maybe that's what they meant! Oh well, at least we'll have a white Christmas! :-) I did have some errands to do today, like I mentioned I did venture out. I tell you, I just love having snow tires. Driving was a breeze. ☃

I read Valerie's blog for the first time yesterday, Pumpkin Patch Quilter. Take a gander, it's really great! Anyway Valerie had mentioned some darling Martha Stewart sewing-themed ornaments she had gotten at Kmart. AND, since Kmart is right next to Honey-Baked Ham, I had to run in. Lookie lookie!

They were 50% off, bonus! Thanks so much Valerie!

So I got the ham and I couldn't resist getting a side of cinnamon apples too....mmmm! They were giving out free samples of that, plus turkey, baked beans, cheesy potatoes, and cheesecake. I love that place!

All righty folks, time to get going. Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

♥ Jen

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

Hello everyone! How are we doing? Very busy, are we? Oh I am sure! Me too! I hope everyone is feeling...

I went and picked up our Christmas morning kielbasa today. Growing up partially-Polish, we always had fresh and smoked kielbasa as part of our Christmas breakfast. In recent years, when it's just been the four of us, I've bought kielbasa at Wegman's and it's good. But THIS year, 1/2-Polish Pops is coming so I thought I'd go on the hunt for authentic kielbasa.

Luckily nearby, there's a store called "European Specialties" that advertises kielbasy (love the spelling!), peirogy, etc. I bought a 1/2 lb. of smoked from them last week, and a 1/2 lb. from the deli at Wegman's and we had a blind taste test this weekend. They were both yummy but I think the authentic one was better. So today I got a big link of smoked and one of fresh. I can't wait! We'll be tasting them all day! :-)

Another Polish tradition we have is poppy-seed cake. I love making it...the dough is so fun to knead! Here it is fresh from the oven...

Mmmm! I still have to make a glaze, I'll do that later when it's all cool. I baked a bunch of cookies too...chocolate chip, sugar cookie, gingerbread...and I made the prerequisite Chex mix as well. Dave is the real cookie baker of our family....he made orange-almond biscotti, strawberry shortbread, and chocolate crinkles. Yum.

Oh and I also make these for a certain special little guy's Christmas party at school today...

Oops! Woke someone up!

Such a cute kitty. She got up and followed me into the kitchen and is now sitting in my lap.

I finished my wool project...which I will show next week...for now I'm thinking of what to make with cozy flannels like this one...

Tomorrow I'm picking up the ham, wine, and last-minute doo-dads. Just a few days to go, I can't believe it!! This is looking good right about now...

Have a wonderful, peaceful Christmas all. All the best from my family and me...

♥ Jen

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I've been a good girl!

Dear Santa,

Hello! It's me, Jennifer! I haven't written to you in years...I helped my daughter Annabelle write and mail hers last week, maybe you got it? And Mason sent his from school? Anyway, I was thinking, since you're going to be at my house *anyway,* maybe you could add me to your "nice" list? You see, I know there are some fabric lovers at the North Pole...because my children received blankets a few years ago from you that are their very favorites. We are positive that Mrs. Claus sewed them. And since she has such fine taste in fabric, I'm sure she is familiar with The Fat Quarter Shop and this beauty...

Sigh! Isn't this Quilt kit soooo beautiful? I have been swooning over it for weeks! And if that's too much, perhaps one of these instead?

I promise I've been a very good girl this year! I willl leave you an extra piece of fudge! Thanks Santa!

(If anyone's wondering why I'm writing this letter, this will explain all!)

♥ Jen

This and That

Hi everyone! Oooh, it's a cold and snowy day...

We're supposed to get 2-4 inches throughout the it's very cold and blowy. But this will be pretty much it before Christmas, they're saying. Good for travel, not so good for a white Christmas! Anyway the kids were happy to shovel the driveway while waiting for the school bus...

Annabelle didn't want her picture taken but I did anyway...

The snow was so light we had the whole driveway cleared in no time. Our plow guy comes if it's 3 inches or more...he's only been here once so far this season! Very strange for Syracuse!

It's getting happily crowded under the tree. I love that packages are being delivered nearly every day!

And I  got another Mary Englebreit ornament...this time only 79 cents!

The kitties looove to sleep under the tree...especially when the sun's coming in the patio door!

These were taken pre-presents. See the tripod behind them? That's to block the tree skirt opening. They like to drink the water. Does it work in deterring them? Not really!

Here are a few of my favorite little snowmen guys..they're so glittery and cute!

And I got these big glass containers at Target yesterday. I make oatmeal a lot so it's nice to have the fixins out on the counter at all times.

So today I'm doing indoor stuff...wrapping more presents, cleaning, laundry, etc. Before I forget, my son's been reading this blog and says that I'm using "LOL" too much...I think this has been an LOL-free post...Mason, am I right?

I hope you all enjoy your day and keep nice and warm!

♥ Jen

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Good things

Crafting and coffee...

It's a good day!

♥ Jen

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sweet Treats

Happy Wednesday! It's a wintry one here, like in a lot of the U.S....we had about 3 inches or so of snow overnight, which changed over to sleet just in time for the morning commute. Lovely! But Dave got to work safely, and the kids got off on the bus fine. Here in Syracuse, it takes a *lot* of snow or ice for school to be cancelled. The plows and salt trucks really do a great job.

So since the roads were ok, I packed up two big boxes of gifts and sent them off at the Post Office. One or two more to go! Now it's time for...

I had two sad looking bananas sitting in my fruit bowl, so I decided to try a new recipe for Oatmeal Banana  Nut Bread from Left out the nuts in the hopes that the kids try it, at least. Nuts would really deter them.

Mashed bananas, what a pretty picture, huh? LOL

Love the lemon-y yellow color of the sugar and eggs...

And here it is, ready to go in the oven...

There! Now we get to wait for 50 minutes. Hmmm, what to do until then? I know! I'll show you a few of my favorite ornaments on the tree. As I've said a lot, I'm a big fan of Gooseberry Patch. They used to come out with ornaments every year, but they haven't in a few. But I did get these about 2 Christmases ago...

Aren't they adorable? So when I was in Michael's yesterday, I saw Mary Englebreit ornaments that have the same sort of vibe, and they are 50% off...I got this one for $1!

DING! Banana bread's ready...

Mmmm, smells good. Gonna go make some coffee to go with it. Have a great day everyone!
♥ Jen

Monday, December 7, 2009


Hello friends! How are you all on this lovely December day? Did you have a good weekend? Saturday was Dave's birthday...he's joined me in the big FOUR-OH! Yaay, I have company! We started the day with presents, then went to a bounce house, then to Denny's for lunch (including a free birthday Grand Slam). I made chicken parmesan for dinner and Hershey's chocolate cake for dessert. Have you ever made this cake? Oh. Em. Gee. It is soooo good. And the best thing is, all the ingredients are usually in my cupboards, and it's easy! You must make it with the frosting recipe they include. Must.

Yesterday morning, I brought up the tree stand and ornaments from the basement, and it was off to the garden center to get our Christmas tree. We've been going to a place for the past couple of years that grows their own...and the prices are very reasonable. It was freezing so we picked out a nice one rather quickly. I brought my camera there but of course forgot to take any pictures. Here are some from when we decorated it later on yesterday...

Doesn't Annabelle look thrilled in a few of those? She is too much.

Later on, we worked on Annabelle's school project...she has to create a collage showing and describing her ethinicity, cultural traditions, etc. We decided to focus on Chanukah since she's the only one in her class who celebrates it. She wanted a family photo for it, and we didn't have a recent one so I set up the camera on a tripod and used the self-timer.

I just thought it was so funny that we were all standing there smiling, waiting for the timer to go off. I guess you had to be there but it just seemed so comical to me. I had a hard time not laughing during the pic.

So this afternoon I am going to hunt around for some big boxes to package up those gifts I wrapped. Then one day this week I hope to get them shipped off. Christmas cards are in the mail as of this morning!

Have a wonderful day!

♥ Jen

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wrapping things up

Whew! I'm done (for now)! This morning, I got out my wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbons, etc. and did this:

I love wrapping gifts, always have. I remember growing up, my sisters and I would take great care in picking out just the right papers and tags at the Hallmark store every Christmas. Now, I gather all the presents for family members who live far away, put on some carols, brew some coffee, and have some fun!

It took me almost four hours, believe it or not. That included organizing, packaging, wrapping, tags, cleanup, etc. Now I have to find some boxes and packing material. Plus the Christmas cards I ordered from Shutterfly came in the other day, so I need to address those. And I'm the room mother in charge of Mason's holiday party at to get that organized. Plus cookies, more wrapping, a party or's definitely looking a lot like Christmas.

In the guest room above, I made a little ornament display that just matches it so well...I tried to take a picture but the flash reflected really badly...anyway here it is...

Well, it doesn't look so great in the photo, does it? It does look nice in real life, I swear! ☀

Tonight the kids are getting their second H1N1 vaccine at the school. I'm bribing them with McDonald's after. LOL Hey it works!

Have a good one peoples!

♥  Jen