Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Christmas...

The tree was decorated in blue and gold.

Tucker had a new shirt to celebrate the holiday.

Our Christmas Tradition - Matching Pajamas. (Fancy has always had a thing for leopard.)

Fancy heard about Popeye's Cajun Fried Turkeys on the radio, and she said "Yes!"

Since he was cajun, we named him Tibideaux.

And, thanks to Santa, I can officially hang with the cool kids. (a.k.a. Fancy and Bailey)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry and Bright

May your day be merry and bright, and filled with endless love and laughter. Merry Christmas, from my family to yours!

My First Christmas (1984)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Surprise

Thursday night, I made the journey to Texas to celebrate Christmas with Fancy, Dad and Grandma. Bailey was to arrive on December 27th, just in time to ring in the new year with the family. But waiting at the airport, when I stepped off the elevator in baggage claim was Bailey - what a surprise! (Dad kept this secret from Fancy and I for several months, as her flight was scheduled to arrive a few minutes before mine.) Once we arrived in Lufkin, we all walked into the house where Fancy was there to greet. A few minutes had passed and the door bell rang - Fancy thought it must have been HGTV, but after convincing her to open the door, Bailey was standing on the other side. SURPRISE!!!

Fancy and Bailey with her bow.

The surprise wore out the two best friends - Tucker and Dad.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

White Chocolate Cinnamon Pretzels

Once again, I have turned to Pinterest this holiday season. Last week, we celebrated our annual Holiday Festivous Graze-A-Palooza at work. (a.k.a. Everyone brings food, you hopefully wear clothes with an elastic waistband, and you eat all day long.) With that said, I browsed through my Endless Sweets Pinterest Board, and found one recipe that was simple yet had the potential to impress.

They were ABSOLUTELY delicious!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Weekend in Review

This past weekend, my friends came to town to celebrate our 2nd annual Christmas in Nashville. I am truly blessed to have a group of friends who provide so much humor in my life and continue to love, support and encourage me each and every day.
Below is our weekend in review:

No visit to Nashville is complete without buying a pair of authentic cowboy boots.

Celebrating "Christmas Morning."

We went on a tour of the Belle Meade Mansion, and visited their new winery.

We LOVE the Yazoo Taproom.

We made Ginger Bread Houses.

And we topped off the weekend together with a trip to see Santa. God bless him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Eggnog Obsessed

Even though I should be concerned, I am not.
(That is what the new year is for, right?)

With that said, I refuse to give up my favorite
holiday treat - A Eggnog Latte from Starbucks. (I am drinking one right now.)

This gives me the opportunity to make my own at home. So thankful.

My love of eggnog has now brought me to one of my new holiday favorites - Chewy Eggnog Cookies from Trader Joe's. (I am now thinking about the box I have in my pantry.)

However, when I get to Lufkin, I may have to try some recipes
I have seen on Pinterest. Eggnog Pie anyone?

Or maybe, I will make some Eggnog Fudge

I think this would be perfect for Christmas day - Eggnog Bread Pudding.

Obviously, the eggnog possibilities are endless. 5 more days till Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Cheer and Christmas Tears

This weekend, my friends are coming to town to celebrate Christmas in Nashville. (A fairly new annual tradition.)  One of my main requests for the weekend is to get a picture of all of us with Santa. I know, some might say we are too old, some might think this is really cheesy; but, I have determined that this picture will be really fun to look back on 50 years from now. With Santa in mind, I decided to share a few pictures I found today.

Christmas Cheer

Santa and I - 1990 

Now time, for some Christmas tears...

I hope you laughed out loud as much as I did today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Cubicle Christmas - Part 2

Before I begin, I must give credit to
an additional contributor of the Cabin in the Woods,
who I failed to mention - Thank you, Melissa!

A Ski Retreat (December 2008)
Contributing Decorators: Tom and Melissa
Chair Lift Mastermind and Creator: Tom

*Please excuse the mess.*

Yes - The chair lift really worked!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Cubicle Christmas - Part 1

In all honesty, there are only two things that I miss from my previous job: First, The friends that became my first Nashville family; and second, the annual Christmas cubicle decorating contest. However, I might be partial because I won EVERY year I participated...see for yourself:

(Of course, my accomplishments would not have been successful without a few key contributors. Four years later, I am still SO grateful for their time, assistance, and creativity!)

A Cabin in the Woods (December 2007)
Contributing Decorators - Allison and Leigh Ann
Fireplace Carpenter - Tom

Yes, I drew all of the wood grain by hand. That was pure dedication to my craft.

Part 2 - Coming Soon!
Ski Retreat (December 2008)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Homemade Christmas

From this point on, I can't imagine a Christmas without Pinterest. Like many, I have been inspired to add personal touches to everything I have done this holiday season. Below are a few of my recent projects:

Be Merry.

Cards made with LOVE.

Creative Wrapping - Bows/Flowers were made 
out of craft paper, with button centers.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Funnies

The last two weeks have been exhausting; thankfully, after tomorrow, I will be done with school until January - Whew! With that said, I have spent more than 20 hours at my desk over the last 5 days, and every once in a while, when I need some laughter to keep my spirits and energy alive, I turn to Pinterest. I found laughter in all of the images below, and hope they bring joy to you as well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Homemade Vegetable Soup

1 Yellow Onion, Diced
5 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Baking Potato, Diced
2 Carrots, Diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced
4 Stalks Celery, Diced
1 Zucchini, Diced
1 Can of Whole Kernel Corn
1 Can of Cut Green Beans
2 Cans of Diced Tomatoes
6 Cups of Chicken Stock
1 1/2 Cups Uncooked Pasta.
4 Tablespoons of Zesty Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Italian Herb Croutons for Topping

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, saute Onions and Garlic for about 3 minutes. Add in Potatoes and Bell Pepper, and continue to saute and brown for another 3-4 minutes. Add in Carrots, Zucchini and Celery and cook for another 2 minutes. (Be sure and season with salt and pepper each time you add an ingredient to the pot.) Add 4 cups of Chicken Stock, Corn, Green Beans and Tomatoes to pot, DO NOT DRAIN LIQUID FROM CANS. Add 4 Tablespoons of Italian Seasoning and bring to a boil - reduce to simmer, and let the flavors blend until ready to serve. REMEMBER: The longer it simmers, the better it will taste. 20 minutes prior to serving, add remaining 2 cups of Chicken Stock and bring to boil. Add pasta, and return to simmer for approximately 15 minutes, until pasta is tender. Top with Italian Herb Croutons before serving. (Makes approximately 12-14 Servings)