December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!


I'm off from work until after the New Year so we know what that means. It means I will be totally living in 1989.  I was a Junior in high school that year (89-90) and I was still using a pay phone to let my dad know we were back from our field hockey game. Those were the days I could recite the phone numbers of all of my friends. Now I have a smart phone that is literally smarter than me.

But yay for technology because if it weren't for my smart phone, my scattered mom brain would have me in trouble - or lost - all the time.

Whether you are traveling or staying close to home, I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Be safe. 
Be courteous.
Drink responsibly. 
Love the elderly people in your life.
Love your kids!


December 20, 2013

Wrapping It Up

Today is my last day of work until January 2nd.  I'm ecstatic to be able to enjoy so much time off from work.  Life can be stressful around the holidays. But this year I'm just not feeling the stress because I have a good 4 days to prepare before the big day gets here! My shopping is mostly done and everything waiting at home has been wrapped. I will likely be spending the majority of the weekend in the kitchen baking.

My boys are growing up fast and I'm feeling that this holiday season more than ever before. I suppose it's because this is the first Christmas that no one believes in Santa. It makes me a little sad. I now there is a lot of debate over this topic, mostly by people who over over the top and must be politically correct about every. little. thing.  Heaven forbid we let our children be children and believe in a little holiday magic. 

Bud had been questioning Santa's existence for about 2 years and he would ask a ton of questions. I always found a way to pose the question back to him. For example, "How do you think Santa can visit everyone's house in just one night?"  And then he would launch in to some wild story which was reason enough alone to let him believe in Santa. I wish I had thought to videotape the explanations he would come up with.  When his questions got more specific, I knew it was only a matter of time before he figured it out (damn school and the critical thinking and writing exercises!) But when he said point-blank, "Mom, I know you and Daddy are Santa Claus" it was hard to keep the secret going. He wasn't mad or upset. He was thrilled he figured out the big secret! Now he enjoys playing along, for the sake of his younger cousins who still believe.

The whole world could use a little more Santa Claus in their lives. I know I miss him.

December 18, 2013

Teacher Gifts

I have to be honest. I'm thrilled the years of purchasing teacher gifts are coming to an end. Bud is off to Middle School next year so that will only leave Boo's teacher to worry about.  I realize this isn't an obligation and that I put the stress on myself worrying about it. Sure a note would suffice, but everyone likes to receive a little gift!

Through the years I've done a variety of things and gift cards while practical seem impersonal to me. So this year I came up with this:


Each bowl has a package of Pepperidge Farm Peppermint Milano cookies, 2 specialty packs of hot chocolate, a little bag of marshmallows and some candy canes. I also added a small snowflake frame as a gift topper.  I used a business card and a blank holiday label as a gift tag and the boys addressed them to their teachers and bus driver. Cute, right?

Cute and done. That's what I'm calling it!


December 17, 2013

Overheard in My Kitchen

It's time for a shower.

But I don't want to take a shower.

Well, I don't care. You didn't take a shower last night.

So?

Do you want to be the smelly kid in school?

I really don't care. It's not like I have a girlfriend.

Maybe if you showered more you would have a girlfriend!

-----

Mom for the win?

6th grade boys baffle me.

At least he's finally brushing his teeth in the morning.

One day soon he'll care and thank me, right?!?


December 16, 2013

Pounds Will Be Gained

It's Food Fest week at work this week. It's an annual tradition which I love to hate. Instead of the free-for-all it usually is, we decided to have themed days. Today is Breakfast Day, Wednesday is Dip Day, and Friday is Mini Mania Day.

There are always TONS of leftovers so this is why we went with an every other day scheme as well.  So maybe I'll only gain 10 pounds instead of 20!

In honor of Breakfast day, I made this coffee cake. It just may be THE BEST coffee cake, just as the recipe claims! It's absolutely delicious!


I followed the recipe exactly except I did not add the pecans and I used 2% milk.  It also didn't specify whether to use dark or light brown sugar (I used dark.) It's a little heavy on the butter but seriously, who cares. It's THAT good.

Enjoy!




December 12, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Christmas Baking 2013 has commenced and when I was in Target recently I grabbed  this bag of "winter" morsels.  I use the term recently as in, "could have been an hour ago" because I'm at that damn store way too much!

While I was snowed in on Sunday, I used my time wisely and mixed up a batch of these cookies and plain chocolate chip cookies. I baked a baking sheet worth of both mixes and put the rest of the dough in the freezer to be baked closer to Christmas. Drop cookie dough mixes freeze just fine and thaw very quickly so it can be a huge time saver. If you've never done it, try it.  You'll think you've discovered gold!

The cookies are good, minty but not overly minty and the chocolate batter is delicious, baked or raw!


There is no after-baking picture. I'm sucking at this blogging thing lately but I'm sure you can imagine what they look like. The batter did not spread much at all. The cookies are plump!


December 11, 2013

Got Snow?

We do. Talk about an about face. Last Friday it was 65 degrees. By Sunday evening, we had 9 inches of snow on the ground from a storm that was only supposed to bring a coating to an inch.

Yeah. Weather forecasters are wrong too often, given all the technology they love to boast about on TV commercials about why we should tune into their station. Am I right?!

Anyway, back to Sunday ... snow! And lots of it! Gunner LOVES the snow!






December 5, 2013

The eBay Crazies

I've had an eBay account for quite some time. In fact, I'm approaching my 13th anniversary! In all that time, eBay has been a very positive experience in both buying and selling. But once in a while, you find some crazy. And last week, the crazy found me.

I only had three items for sale, two of which were items that didn't sell the first time they were listed. In all honesty, I had forgotten I had auctions ending that day so when I saw the email letting me know my item had sold, I was surprised and happy!  But right after the auction ended, this message was sent to me:

Dear XXX,

Hello. I bid on this item. I set my max bid at $5.00. It shows that I was outbid at $4.70. That is not right. Additionally, it sowed bidding ended at 8:02 PM. I was fully prepared to increase my bid if necessary. This was not a fair auction at all.
-xxx

So, umm, whaaat??

I read the message 3 times and I'm still not sure what he/she was trying to say.  I checked the bidding activity and he/she was outbid at $4.50. I've been eBaying a long time, but I do not have the ability to change people's bids! Nor did I end the auction early because, A, I had forgotten I had active auctions ending that day and B, if I had, no one would have been able to win/buy the item!

So I sent back this reply:

Dear XXX,

I'm not sure what to say? I have no control over the bidding process - that is all eBay. If I had ended the auction early, no one would have been able to win the item and I would have to re list it to sell it. The auction ended when the listing time expired, which is clocked by eBay not me.
-xxx



And almost immediately I received another reply:



Dear XXX,

Well, your satisfaction rating is going way down. It is obvious that you do not care based on your response. I have reported your unfair auction to Ebay. I will report to all users to be leary of doing business with you as your bids are not done fairly.

-xxx ie, the crazy!



So, again ... ummm, whaat??



I did send one more reply because I just couldn't bite my tongue:

Dear XXX **THE CRAZY**,

I looked at the bidding activity on the auction and you were outbid at $4.50. I have no ability to change the maximum amount that people bid on items. So do what you must and have a fabulous day!

-xxx



I should probably add that this person has a feedback score of EIGHT but has been a "member" of the eBay community for five years.  This explains it all and he/she clearly doesn't understand how eBay works!  But somehow that's my fault, I was unfair, and he/she is somehow going to harm my feedback rating!

I promptly added this person to my blocked bidders list.

I win!

December 3, 2013

The Rush is On

I enjoyed a rather long break for Thanksgiving, part unplanned and part planned. Regardless, it was nice to unplug for the long weekend. I only checked email, which thank God I did...

Retailers, I love to shop, I do, but you seriously sent WAY TOO MANY EMAILS over the Holiday weekend. An insane amount of email over and over and over! Enough!!

If I want to shop at your website, I will. And if I do, I'm smart enough to know to google for a coupon code or two before I check out. The same coupon code I received in one of the 20,000 emails you sent!

I placed two orders on Black Friday. One at Vera Bradley and one at Swags Galore.  I have been coveting the new Canterberry print and discovered the FREE bag offer through my sister while eating pumpkin pie. That's an absolute fantastic deal if you like Vera!  So I gave in and ordered the bag I wanted and got a free one too!


At Swags Galore I order new curtains for my dining room. An exciting purchase, no?  It was to me because I went to about 5 stores looking for curtains and none of them had what I was looking for. They are scheduled to arrive today. So thank you for the super fast shipping, Swags Galore!


Yesterday I spent the day shopping at actual stores. Alone! Sometimes it's the only way to shop.  Gifts for my nieces and nephews have been bought. We've scrapped the adult Pollyanna this year so I only need to buy for my young SIL, my in-laws and my mom (most of which will likely be gift cards) and then I'm done!

I seriously cannot believe December has arrived.