Watching – W, despite your political stance, you cannot dispute the fact that Josh Brolin did an amazing job portraying our last CINC. Joe and I used to love laying in bed on a lazy weekend morning or evening watching movie after movie. Now that Baby Bear is here it takes us close to 4 hours to watch one movie. That’s ok though, because there is a lot of pausing and ogling at the new facial expressions our little Buster is surprising us with these days.
Listening To – Ray LaMontagne – I downloaded both if his CDs and love them equally. He is perfect afternoon nap music for Baby Bear and me.
Reading – Since I am currently obsessed with PaperBack Swap and BookMooch I have received a small stack of new books to read. Currently in my pile are Strong Mothers Strong Sons and Too Busy Not To Pray. I’m also devouring my book club selection, People of the Book.
Participating In – Kelli’s CAOK – Calculated Acts of Kindness for 2009. Once again Kelli is leading us on a journey of doing nice things for people for the Lenten season, although Miss Kelli is pretty good at doing this year round. Join us here!
Creating – Not much these days as Baby Bear doesn’t take many predictable naps and when he does nap, not attached to my body via a baby sling, I am either showering or doing dishes. I know that as he gets a bit older and starts playing more independently I will have a few spare moments here and there to turn my sewing machine on. In the past 3 months the only thing I have managed to sew was a diaper changing pad. I’m also still knitting that scarf I started over a month ago and it’s far from scarf weather here in Spain, I’ll have to sock it away for next year when I finally finish it.
I won 4th place in the Thanksgiving Luncheon Pie Contest on Monday afternoon with this recipe. I also made this one and this one, both of which were popular but not winners.
Half of the pies entered
The other half of the pies.
The Black Bottomed Peanut Butter Mousse Pie has to be one of my new favorite pie recipes. Even though it was about 3 steps too many for me, I will be making this again. But please, I implore you, when you make this bring a gallon of milk, you will need it to wash down the richness of this pie.
My goofy Hubby and 2 of his equally goofy friends also entered a pie into the contest, half in jest. They actually won first place, surprisingly enough. 3 of the 5 judges were men who were so excited to see Pizza Rolls used this way. I think the guys are going to send their recipe into Totino’s to be marketed on the back of the packaging. Hilarious!
Joe and his friends, Brady and Joey – the brains behind “Lord of the Pies” a pie made entirely out of frozen Pizza Rolls.
“Lord of the Pies” – complete with a pepperoni and bacon smiley face. Too funny!
Finishing almost all the things on my “to-make” list before the baby comes. I need to make a few more dozen bagels because they came out sooo good and attempt to make some homemade pasta while I still have my friend’s stand mixer. I cannot bring myself to give this thing back. It’s a good thing she doesn’t need it for anything these days. I think I’ll make her some homemade bagels to thank her for lending it to me.
The best pumpkin bread recipe ever. Thanks Amy! Seriously 4 days after making it, it’s still moist. I didn’t have quite a full can of pumpkin so I also used some pureed apple from my juicer and added chocolate chips. The recipe made 6 mini loaves for me. I’ve given 3 loaves away, we ate one and I have 2 loaves left that I have to give away or I WILL eat it.
My finally finished Christmas mantel. I am very happy with how it came out this year. The glass balls in the tall vases and the Christmas quote advent garland (tutorial to come) are my favorite parts. Well, I am a little partial to the red curled paper Christmas tree as well. Ok, and the cute-as-a-button “My First Christmas” Stocking I found the other day for Tripp.
And finally – drumroll please! The best pizza dough recipe I have found so far. I’m not too sure about the proper tossing method, I had some trouble with that so I ended up just rolling these out. The recipe says it makes six 6-oz. crusts but I divided mine into 4 8/9-oz. crusts. I made 12 of these and froze them in individual balls to have on hand. We had some for dinner last night – I made mine with red onion, green olives and steak and Joe (my carnivore hubby) had turkey bacon, steak and ham on his.
A new-momma-to-be hairdo. I wanted something short and sweet that didn’t take 20 min. to blow-dry. I love it and it’s dry in 5 minutes – woohoo!
A new-to-us car. Some friends were leaving Spain right as our car broke down so we got a “new” car just in time to bring our baby home soon. Sorry no pics, the car is gone all day when Joe takes it to work.
Crockpot Granola – yes you read that right! This granola came out so yummy! I dried frozen blueberries for this granola and added coconut, some leftover cranberry trail mix, walnuts, and some sugar free maple syrup in addition to the honey and butter.
Nesting this week has included baking 7 dozen of these, 4 dozen of these and 6 dozen of these.
My new favorite creamer – just when I start to complain that my little Commissary supermarket on the Navy Base 1.5 hours away doesn’t have anything good for the holidays I stumble upon something so good I can’t believe my eyes. Starbucks’ Peppermint Mocha is my favorite holiday drink and this creamer means I can have one everyday without all the hassle (well similar enough for the morning cup ‘o’ joe).
This website – Top Secret Recipes. You have to buy some recipes but they are quite cheap but there are plenty of FREE recipes on this site as well!
My lovely and generous friends here in Spain who threw me a baby shower last Saturday. They went to a lot of trouble to plan a fun luncheon to help me welcome Tripp to Spain.
Doesn’t my friend, Rena make the cutest cakes?
Getting SUPER excited for Tripp’s first Christmas!
Borrowing a friend’s mixer to do some batch cooking. I would love to have one of these but it’s not in the budget right now. Instead a friend let me borrow hers to whip up 12 batches of pizza crust, 4 batches of pie crust, 2 batches of chocolate chip cookie dough and enough dough to make a few dozen bagels.
Decorating the Christmas tree – a little early but it makes me happy every time I look at it! And now there’s one less thing to do after Tripp arrives in roughly 18 days!
Amanda’s new website, Mama to Mama. This is an amazing idea from an equally amazing and talented artist and mom.
This week I am most thankful for CHANGE:
Even though we currently don’t reside in the U.S. my husband, along with many others, fight for it everyday. We had our absentee ballots in as early as possible this year and are very excited for the changes our country will experience over the next 4 years. I am so thankful that I will remember, forever, where I was when our country elected its first African American Democratic President. I was actually snuggled up in my bed since I live 6 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone but nevertheless, hubby and I awoke before the crack of dawn to find out the exciting news.
Our car broke down today – broke down as in will cost more to repair than replace. We have a baby due in less than 4 weeks and have no wheels. Yet, I am thankful! Thankful that we won’t have to pay $60+ a tank for this gas-guzzling hunk of junk any longer. Thankful that this was the final push for us to get a new car, we had been holding out as long as possible. Thankful that it happened today, when I was home from my doctor appt. and not on the way home from the hospital with our new little baby.
New recipes to try – Portuguese Sweet Bread and New York Style Bagels.
Getting ready for Christmas early.
You know you are getting ready for Christmas too early when your decorations are up before the ones at the mall. A friend of mine joked that I wasn’t giving Thanksgiving any respect by putting up my Christmas decorations early. I beg to differ. I am merely getting ready for the holiday now so I can spend ample time with little Tripp when he arrives in a few weeks. The last thing I’m going to want to do in between feeding and changing my new little man is stringing the lights on the tree.
What are you thankful for this week?
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Tastespotting, a new website that I think I want to marry!
2 friends who just had baby boys and one who just found out she is pregnant with a little boy!
Getting ready for an upcoming craft fair. I’m just making a few things for my table, hoping to sell some holiday items and take some Stampin’ Up! orders.
Curled Paper Christmas Trees
Decoupaged gift boxes – empty and ready to be sold and filled with Christmas trinkets.
A new study we started in women’s group. If you’ve never done any of Gary Smalley’s marriage studies, I highly recommend them.
A great deal on Ebay for an artificial Christmas tree. My little guy is due on Dec. 1st so my plan is to have the house decorated in all it’s holiday goodness well before Thanksgiving this year. I kind of wish this nesting thing would last well past my baby’s birth, it’s come in quite handy in satiating my inner Martha Stewart.
November is right around the corner, the firewood is stockpiled in the backyard, the rocking chair is set up next to the fireplace and there are brand new canisters of Chai tea and hot chocolate next the the stove. I’m ready!
Joe has been gone this week, he had a weather conference in Germany. It seems like when he is gone I am twice as busy so I have been running all over the place all week. I am thankful he is coming back on Saturday, I hate when he goes away, even if it’s only 1 week.
It’s rare that my two cats get along so this week I am very thankful they were cuddling so well on the bed.
I am thankful for my fall themed mantel every time I walk by. I’m not sure if it’s the apple cider candle, the warm terra cotta painted walls or the new thankful bunting and fall-themed collage I just made.
I am very grateful for these girls. Lori and Allison are two Air Force reservists who are stationed at our tiny base for a mere 2 months. Typically when reservists come to Moron Air Base they keep to themselves, eat at the dining hall, and generally don’t get too involved in the tight-knit community here. Lori and Allison, on the other hand, jumped right into life here. They immediately came to chapel, met as many people as possible, frequently venture off base with many of us and this week they hosted a dorm dinner. Dorm dinners are something our chapel tries to do every few months when new transient personnel come to the base. Basically a big, themed potluck held at the community center on base for the people who are living in the dorms and typically only enjoy the mediocre chow hall food. Lori and Allison jumped at the chance to plan this month’s Hawaiian themed dinner for people who they may not even know. These girls are A+!
Hula Boy, my friend’s one year old, never ceases to put a smile on my face. And until Dec. 1st (give or take a week) he is my favorite male baby. Scootin’ around the community center chasing balloons in his metallic blue hula skirt I couldn’t stop giggling.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes – I’ve made these about 3 times already and will be bringing a batch to chapel on Sunday. Yummy!