Thursday, March 5, 2015

Christmas Eve Dinner 2014

I'm a little late to the Christmas party, but here it goes anyway.

I made an amazing dinner for us this year and we had more guests than usual. I posted the menu a post or two ago if you would like to take a look.

Ladies and children sat at the dinner table. It's one of the few times I break out the fine china.

The girls love their Nene.

My daddy and his girlfriend, Donna.

We always allow the ladies to open one gift on Christmas Eve. Normally it's a pair of new jammies. Well this year Momma couldn't find Addison's and three months later, they still haven't been

We had to go with an emergency back up plan and they were given their puppy and kitten surprises. They loved the gift and they will never know that momma had screwed up that night.

I love having family celebrations at my home. I'm a sucker for meal planning and making things memorable. This Christmas Eve was definitely memorable for one reason and another.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Where a kid can be a kid...

The ladies have become very popular here lately and last night they had plans to spend the night with their new cousin, Lilly.

Plans were changed last minute and I felt horrible for them. When they both woke up yesterday morning they immediately got dressed and packed their bag so I decided since I was tired of sitting at home that we would go on a little adventure.

We surprised them with a visit to Chuck E Cheese.

As you can see, daddy wasn't exactly thrilled with this adventure out.
We did the typical pizza and salad bar but the girls were to excited to even think about eating.

Don't let the excitement on her face fool you, she ate about two bites.

Our adventure was so spur of the moment that momma didn't even take a shower and her hair was pulled back in a pony tail that looked horrible. I was kind enough to slap on some mascara
We played lots and lots of games and finished up with almost 900 tickets which meant the ladies got to pick a few pieces of treasure and when I say treasure all you parents out there know what I mean,

Daddy rocking out after Cadence gave up.

Chuck E Cheese wasn't on my list of things to do during Christmas break and Daniel wasn't thrilled but we went early and with it being right before Christmas they weren't busy at all. The only thing that mattered to me is that my baby girls enjoyed themselves and they sure did.

I love doing these kinds of things with my ladies and we are extremely blessed to be able to do so.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Home Tour

Christmas is my favorite time of year to decorate and I've gotten to the point where I have more decorations than I do the space to display them. I guess if that's the worst of my holiday problems than we're good to go.

Daniel, like Halloween, loves decorating for Christmas. He's in charge of the outside while I'm in charge of the inside.

Welcome to our Holiday Homestead...

First up, just a few of the decorations we have inside.

The mesh wreath that I made last year. It graces our front porch.

Our new stockings. I've been fighting with that garland for weeks to look right.

My favorite Santa and one of my favorite Scentsy warmers.

Our family tree.

The ladies tree in their bedroom.

Now, it's time for our Clark Griswold (a.k.a. Daniel) production. The outside of our home.

The front of the house.

The side of the house. This was the first year that Daniel put lights on the big tree out back.

My favorite decorations. Daniel used tomato cages and wrapped them with lights and garland.

We've had this wreath for years but this year a nice red bow was added and it makes it look even better.

Our blow up Christmas trees along the garage.

Santa must have slipped on the roof during an earlier visit.

Our new to us reindeer.

We do in fact have lots of cookies and milk.

Mr. Halloween just had to add a touch of his all time favorite holiday to his second favorite decorating holiday.
A new addition this year. I couldn't resist buying him.

Our vintage Santa. We have two this year which is weird, but I just go with the flow.

We bought two similar snowmen this year from people for dirt cheap. This one is in much better shape than the other who is missing an arm and is bandaged up in spots.
Thank you for joining me on a quick tour of our Holiday Home tour. I could add so many more indoor pictures but I'll spare everyone the

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Photos and a visit with the Big Guy

Every year I always take advantage of Portrait Innovations $19.99 portrait special for Christmas. Usually it's our one and only family photo of the year but since we had family pictures done this past fall I decided I was only going to torture the girls.

I loved how well their pictures came out. So much so that I had to buy a bigger package so I could get more than just one pose.

My two beautiful babies that look nothing alike.

After our portrait session we headed to the local mall and decided to get our annual family picture with Santa and then stuff ourselves with soft pretzels.

I'm not sure why Cadence has to have the deer in headlights look in so many pictures, but it was a good picture none the less. Even if it was off center and will aggravate me for the rest of my days.

After our visit with the Big Guy we sought after our beloved soft pretzel bites. It's not uncommon for the ladies and I to make random stops to the food court for a girls date with pretzel bites and they ask for them every time we go to the mall. You can imagine the horror when we were told that they were out of soft pretzels. Soft pretzels were a part of our outing that day and I still haven't figured out how a soft pretzel place could be OUT of soft pretzels but I was in so much shock I didn't ask. The ladies were distraught but settled for the crappy broccoli and chicken from the Chinese place.

After we all finished our lunch the girls and daddy rode the train that is set up in the mall for the Christmas season and then we headed to Macy's where we wrote our letters to Santa and mailed them for the Make A Wish campaign.

The girls have been extremely naughty for the past week or so. I really don't understand why it takes my children so many times of being told not to do something before they actually stop doing it. Cadence must have been worried about her status on Santa's list because she mailed that poor letter off before I could even snap a picture.

Hopefully he receives their letters in time or there could be some unhappy faces on Christmas morning.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Eve Menu 2014

Growing up I always spent Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family. Since we've all grown up and gone separate ways because of marriage and other family gatherings I found myself sitting at home on Christmas Eve with just Daniel a few years back.

It's my personal opinion that people should not spend the holidays alone. I don't care if it's Easter or Halloween. The holidays are meant to be with family and friends and after that first year of not being with family on Christmas Eve, I took matters into my own hands. I started hosting Christmas Eve dinner for Daniel and his close family.

It's the one time of year that I play hostess with the mostess. I break out the fine china and plan as elaborate of a menu as my families taste buds will allow.

Last year I made my family spaghetti sauce and homemade meatballs and it was a hit, as usual.

Last year's Christmas Eve feast.

This year, I'm trying to be a tad more fancy. Here is what I have planned with the links to the actual recipes.

Christmas Eve Menu 2014

Roast Beef with Garlic Smashed Gravy

Roasted Potato Salad

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Pearl Onions, Peas and Bacon

Fresh Bakery Bread- From the store

Dessert will be brought by my guests. After all, with a menu like that I deserve a break on throwing together a dessert.

What are some of your favorite Christmas Eve recipes?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Look out Honey Boo Boo...

I got a brilliant idea the other week after picking up a brochure at our local mall that I would enter both of my ladies into a beauty pageant.

Now before you go crazy and start getting visions of TLC's Toddlers and Tiara's and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo this is a laid back pageant and we did it mostly for fun and the experience.

The ladies were each in their own age division and they didn't need to wear make-up or have some crazy talent which was right up our alley.

I bought them the prettiest Christmas dresses and my mother-in-law sprung for them to have their hair professionally done at my hair salon.

The pageant was this past Friday and we started the process at 3 o'clock at the salon.

First we started off with a shampoo...

 Then we moved on to cuts...

Next up blow dries...

Then the curls and styling begun...

The styling part is where things got tricky with Cadence. She was in nap mode and kept falling asleep. She had the head bob down pat and was making things very challenging for her stylist.

She had everyone in the salon cracking up. It's hard work being a little beauty pageant contestant bless her little heart.

The finished products...

I just loved how their hair turned out and I think they really enjoyed being pampered for an hour.

After our hair appointment it was time to run home and begin the process of getting dressed. I chose navy and silver dresses for them to wear in hopes that it would bring out the blue in their eyes. We also ran through our pageant mini dance once more.

The pageant was held at our local mall and it was very small. Each of the ladies had two other girls in their division.

Cadence got to go up first and because she is only three, I got to go on the stage with her. First, all of the girls go up and stand for a few minutes and then they come off only to go back up once again but one at a time for further judging.

Next was the 4-6 age division which is where Addison fell in. She had to go up all by herself and she was so brave.

After all of the girls went up on stage they tallied the scores and started the award ceremony.

First up was Cadence...

She won prettiest eyes, prettiest smile, and most photogenic.

And then...she was crowned Queen. She won her division!!!!
The next group up was Addison's....

She won prettiest smile, prettiest hair, and best personality.

And then...she won Queen, just like her sister.


I still can't believe both of my ladies won their divisions. We did this just for fun but because they placed they have their fees paid for if we were to choose to take them to state.

They have had the best time wearing their tiara and medals and toting around their trophies.

We're still debating on whether we'll take them to state but at least they had fun and got to experience the process and I must admit, it was so cool to have both of my daughters crown as Queen.