Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 17 Christmas Tree Reveal


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First, I want to apologize for this going up so late today.  I am not feeling very well this morning and have been kind of out of it, so I put off taking the photos of the tree until about 30 minutes ago.

I finally have them and now I'm ready for the Christmas Tree Reveal.  I'm sure some of you will be doing your Christmas in your home country posts today because of the confusion yesterday, but that is fine, I'm looking forward to reading them nonetheless :)

I snapped this one from upstairs, looking down.....

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The star on top is driving me completely bonkers, I keep setting it straight and it keeps leaning, I've given up.

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You can tell that I am not into perfectionist trees or themed trees.  My tree is a mismatch of all the ornaments my children have made for us over the years, or chosen every year.  My husband and I usually put the lights on but the kids decorate on their own, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Some ornaments hold a very dear place in my heart.

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Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

I truly believe that a Christmas tree should reflect who we are and our families, and I think mine does that.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 16 Christmas in my home country

EDIT:  I don't know how it happened but there was a big of a mix up with today and tomorrow's prompt.  LOL  I am so sorry, I don't know how that happened, or it may have been that I messed up and got the days mixed up.  Either way, don't worry about it, just post whatever you intended to post today whether it's the tree reveal or the traditions from your home country :)



Good morning everyone :)  I do hope you've all been enjoying Blogmas, I have been loving it and it's helped me get through December and the craziness without having to worry about what I should post on the blog or try to come up with an interesting post.

I feel like I have gotten to know you all so much more and I'm looking forward to continuing to follow your blogs after Blogmas is over.  I hope you'll continue to enjoy mine too :)

Right, so today's prompt is about Christmas in our home countries.  For some of us we are still living in the country we were born, but for many others, we have moved overseas.

I want to hear all about Christmas in your home country OR in your heritage.  Wherever you're from, or your family is from, I would love to know :)

So I'm Portuguese and some of my fondest memories of Christmas are from Portugal, so I figured that is what I would share with you today. 


Welcome to Christmas in Lisbon, Portugal.


Pai Natal (Father Christmas) brings the presents on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.  The presents are usually left under the tree, or in shoes by the fireplace.

The main meal is on Christmas Eve and it's called the Consoada, it usually consists of the Cod Fish boiled, with potatoes and some sort of greens.  After dinner, a lot of people will then go to church for the Missa do Galo (Mass of the Rooster).  Usually during the mass, a statue of baby Jesus is brought out and people will line up to kiss it.  Then it is placed in the Presepio (Nativity Scene).   It's quite a lovely service.


The traditional Christmas decoration in Portugal is the Nativity Scene, a lot of stores will put up elaborate and stunning Nativity scenes on their windows.  We used to enjoy going to town just to go look at all of them.

Remember how I said we always have a table with tons of goodies on there?  That is what most Portuguese houses will have.  Traditional food, cakes, appetizers, nuts and all sorts of things.

One thing we always had and I can never find here in the States are the Christmas crackers.  You know what those are right?   They would contain some candy and a Christmas hat that we would all put on our heads.  In the one photo I shared of us as little kids at Christmas, you can see those hats on our heads.    I know I can buy them online but I don't really ever see them in the stores.



The traditional cake for Christmas is the Bolo Rei (King's Cake).  It will usually sit right in the middle of the table and inside there is a broad bean (fava) and a little gift.  Usually these tiny little trinkets hidden in the cake.  If you find the trinket you can keep it, but if you find the bean then you have to buy the cake the following year.


Christmas in Portugal is a big family gathering, a time to sit together and eat good food, catch up and bond.  I love the fact that I'm Portuguese and that I can pass these traditions onto my children and hopefully one day when they have children of their own, they will be able to share these with them too. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 15 Christmas Decorations


Oooh time to see the decorations going on in everyone's home. I can't believe that I haven't had time to take any photos, so this morning I was quite glad that it was still dark and I couldn't get this post up until later, because it gave me time to actually snap some photos to share.

I have been all over the place lately, and as much as I'm looking forward to Christmas I can tell you, that I'm looking forward to it being done as well LOL I know, how scrooge of me?!?!?

Right let's get going with the decorations. I don't have any of the outside of the house, but I'll take one tonight when all the pretty lights are on and come update this post. :)

Do you have a cup of tea or coffee?  There are a LOT of photos, so sit back and enjoy.

Going up the stairs, I have a few Christmas plushies....I never quite know where to put them so the stairs is the perfect place.

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I am quite obsessed with Snowmen and most of my decorations reflect that.  These are my favorite Christmas decorations.

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Love this guy too...

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Here's part of my Christmas Village....

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Santa in the wagon, how adorable is that?

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I just love the Christmas Villages, so cute.  I used to sit and think that I would love to be able to live in one, how cool would that be?

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My Nativity set, breakable so I'm always freaking out whenever anyone goes near it.

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I just absolutely LOVE my Christmas area.  The tree, the fireplace, the stockings, it makes me think warm and cozy.  My kids say it looks like the movies LOL

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As you can see the presents have started appearing under the tree.  I know a lot of you wait until the 24th to place them under, but since I was a little girl, the presents would start appearing throughout the month and it was always one of my favorite things ever.....to see them, to watch the pile grow, to see who they are for and then anxiously await the big night.

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Another Snowman themed item.  This is a basket and I usually keep Poutporri in.

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And just because I love them so much....they bring me so much joy I can't help but smile when I walk by.

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And last but certainly not least, here are my Christmas aprons.  Love, love, love :)

Christmas 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - 12/15/2014

Is it really Monday?  I can say that I didn't get any time off this weekend, it was so busy, as always.  You know I was thinking the other day that one of the most used words for me on this blog, is busy.  Hahahah

Oh well, such is life right?

I want to apologize for not coming around to see the past two Blogmas participants, but I wasn't home all day Saturday and then for the most of Sunday too.  But I will try to catch up sometime today :)   Oh and I haven't put up today's blogmas yet because I want to take some photos of the decorations and it's still really dark outside, so I'll wait until it gets a bit brighter out there.  It will be up, just a little later than usual.



The weather outside is::::
Cold with a capital C.  Past two mornings everything has been frosty and white and really cold in the house.  26 degrees at the moment and a high of 43.  Yep, nice and nippy.  

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Right now, just a cup of coffee with Peppermint Mocha Creamer.  I had someone ask about the creamers and what they're like, since they can't get them in England.  It is just a flavored cream that you put into your coffee, tons of different flavors and around the holidays they have special flavors like the Peppermint Mocha for Christmas and the Pumpkin Pie Latte around Fall.
So yeah, I'm drinking one right now, and I don't know about breakfast, I'm not feeling very well this morning, got a bit of a headache brewing and my stomach doesn't feel right, so we'll see. 

As I look outside my window:::
Frost everywhere, but blue skies.  It looks really pretty actually, but then Winter time for me is one of the most beautiful times of the year. 

Right now I am::::
In the living room, typing up this post and chatting to my husband who is playing a game on his computer.  He has finals this week, and then he's done with this semester.  Today is his Physics Final and he is not looking forward to that LOL  So sending up prayers for him.


As I look around the house::::
Needs some cleaning, for sure.  It's very dark at the moment, save for the twinkling Christmas lights.  My son left all his Xbox controllers and game boxes on the coffee table and it drives me insane.  I need to get things back to normal because it bothers me seeing things out of place.  

On today's to do list::::
Laundry....Lots and lots of laundry to do, I missed two days over the weekend and now it's overflowing.  Blech!
Cleaning....In the kitchen, Unload the dishwasher and reload with breakfast dishes, tidy up the counter, work on the chalkboard, sweep and mop.
In the living room....I've given up on the rug, I'm so tired of vacuuming the thing and these pugs don't seem to be stopping with the shedding anytime soon.  Frustrating!  I also need to take two hug boxes out to the garage, my husband works for Nestle and they sent him 2 of those motorized cars for little ones, he had to assemble them and take them to work for a giveaway.  I have the boxes in the middle of the living room at the moment, and you KNOW my eye is twitching.  LOL 
In the bedrooms....change the bed linens, vacuum, dust.  Open blinds and windows. 
In the bathrooms....Toilets, sinks and mirrors.  Sweep and mop.
Homeschooling....look through today's lessons, come up with a plan to help these girls get caught up, at this point they WILL be working through their Christmas break.   
Cooking.....I'm thinking of doing some Quesadillas for lunch.  I do need to go grocery shopping, but I'll do that tomorrow.  For dinner I'll be making a Butternut Squash Soup and some Grilled Cheese and Onion Sandwiches. 


Currently reading::::
White Christmas Pie by Wanda E. Brunstetter.   

On the TV today::::
More vlogs, starting Marco Polo on Netflix and I'm sure Star Trek tonight.


On the menu this week::::
Monday - Butternut Squash Casserole
Tuesday - Slow Cooked Beans and Ham
Wednesday - Pasta Bake
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - Smoked Sausage Hash
Saturday - Ham and Cheese Quesadillas, Yellow Rice
Sunday - Grilled Hotdogs, Homemade Hotdog Buns, Fries


The next two weeks I'm keeping the menu very simple.

What I am creating at the moment::::
A Christmas gift for my sister in law.   

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
Nothing, I am considering getting rid of this category for the moment because there is nothing I've been creating lately. 

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Storm moving in
 
Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

- Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)


PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 14 Favorite Childhood Christmas Memory

Oh my, there have been so many, and I don't think I can pinpoint one specifically.

I do remember one year, I was 6 years old and my dad's work always put on a big Christmas party for the staff and their families, they also had a Santa and would hand out gifts to all the kids according to age.

My older brothers went up and I don't remember what they got, but they were pretty happy with it.  My younger brother was about 2 at the time and I don't think he could care less or even really knew what was going on.

When I went up, they gave me this huge box and I was all chuffed with it.  I couldn't wait to get home and open it up, I didn't want to do it at the party.

So I carried the box safely all the way home, wouldn't let my brothers touch it and kept it on my lap in the car.  When we got home I decided that now I would look and see what I got, and I was so surprised............so were my brothers LOL

I had received a big slot racing car kit Hahahahahah


It looked something like that.  I thought it was the best thing ever, though my brothers weren't very impressed at why the only girl in the family got the nicest boy present LOL

So yeah, I think that would have to be one of my favorite childhood Christmas memories.  What are yours?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 13 How are you counting down to Christmas?


Good morning everyone.  I am sorry this is going up a bit later than usual, but it IS Saturday and one of the only days I get to sleep in a little. 

Now I'm up, I have my cup of coffee and my bowl of granola and I think I'm ready to get started, I have to anyway because in about 2 hours I am heading out with my hubby, brother and sister in law for some Christmas shopping.

Right, so on with it......

How am I counting down to Christmas.  Usually I have this little snowman that holds up stars with numbers and we switch it out every day to get closer to Christmas.

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That is an old picture, I completely forgot where this guy is and haven't found him yet so I haven't been using him this year.  Bummer!

Another way I count down is with an advent calendar of some sorts.  I made one a few years back that consisted of tiny little envelopes all hand stitched with the days.

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I used it up until two years ago, some of the envelopes magically disappeared and I have to make new ones and just haven't gotten around to it.  So I set this one aside and now use this Advent Calendar....


Aside from those practical items to keep me on the right track, I also have my very own countdown to Christmas, who not only tells me how many days, but how many hours, and sometimes down to the minutes.  Oh and it reminds me every day, throughout the day of how much time I have left to get everything ready for the big day.

It's quite a cute countdown too........wanna see it????

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 12 Winter Wonderland, pics of where you live


Good morning everyone, how are you all feeling today?

Can you believe we are already on day 12 of our Blogmas? I can't, it seems that time is zipping by so fast.

Right, today we're talking about the place we live, or the area we live in.  Let's introduce everyone to our neck of the woods, and I don't mean actual house pictures or street etc, though if you want to post those that is ok too but I am referring to the area or city or State etc.

As most of you know, last year we left Arizona and returned to Idaho.  I was so thrilled to be coming back to what I consider home for me, the place I first moved to when coming to the United States, the place my husband and I first made our home, the place my children were born and so on and so forth.

It's not that Arizona isn't beautiful in it's own way, but I'm more of a four seasons, mountains and lots of greenery kind of girl, as opposed to the browny desert which I lived in for almost 7 years.

So let me show you where I live now, the beautiful State of Idaho.

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I have always wanted to live in the country, matter of fact my ideal home and my dream, is to one day live in a Farmhouse surrounded by acres of land, animals, veggies and orchards.  One day.......

My view

For now though, I think I'm pretty close to it.

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Breathtaking is the word I would choose to describe Idaho.  There is still so much to see, so many places I have yet to visit and I cannot wait to do so.

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I don't know if we will have a white Christmas, but even if we don't, I know that very soon after we will be covered in snow and in for a very cold winter.

I am truly excited to go visit you all and see where you live :)