Friday, December 9, 2016

BLOGMAS 2016 - Day 9 { How do you decorate? }

Good evening my friends, and once again this post is up late.  Look, I'm just gonna say it, I have a lot going on during the day and it's no use pretending I'm going to be good and get all the posts up early morning, or even in the afternoon.....not gonna happen LOL

So, with that said, I'm just going to make sure I post my blogmas every day, but some days it will be early, some will be afternoon and some will be late like today.  It's all good right?

Anyway, today's post is supposed to be about how I decorate for Christmas, but the problem is that I just today bought more decorations (at the thrift store, doing a haul on that tomorrow), and I haven't finished decorating.  I want to take pictures of everything for you guys, so I'm not going to do today's post, but I also didn't want to say why or just not post at all.....I hope you understand.

This means though that tomorrow you get 2 posts for 1.  YAY!!!  Plus, a grocery haul and a thrift store haul.  So a day full of posts here on the blog, awesome right????

Well I better go finish up my grocery list and menu plan because I need to get groceries first thing in the morning.  Have a wonderful night everyone and please do stay warm out there :)







BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS


Day 1 - The Christmas Tag
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

BLOGMAS 2016 - Day 8 {

Hello friends, I'm so sorry this post is going up so late today, but it's been one of *THOSE* days.

I'm so glad it's the end of the day and bedtime is but 3 hours away for me, I'm so ready to be done with this day.  It's nothing specific, but it's so cold here, I'm not feeling too good and the puppy is driving me absolutely insane.  Love him, but good grief!!!

Anyway, let's get going with our prompt for today which is all about our favorite family recipes. 

I don't think there is one single recipe that is a favorite or that needs to be made, it's more a combination of certain things that we always had for Christmas Eve.  I'm going to show you them below, and these really are the things you will see on our table at Christmas.

Pasteis de Nata - Custard Tarts


Rissois de Camarao - Prawn Cakes


Salted Cod Fritters


Roasted Chestnuts


Bolo Rei - King's Cake


Aletria


Tronco de Natal - Yule Log Cake


Bacalhau Cozido - Boiled Cod, Carrots, Potatoes, Kale and Egg drizzled with olive oil

There are so many other small little things we have on the table, but these are usually the most common that you'll see on a typical Portuguese Christmas table.






BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS


Day 1 - The Christmas Tag
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

BLOGMAS 2016 - Day 7 { Cookies to be Baked }

I can't believe it's already the 7th of December. This time needs to slow way down, or I may just not be ready for the holidays at all.

Today's post is all about Christmas cookies, the recipes you make every year, the ones you want to try and so on and so forth.

I have a few I always make but I'm also on the constant look out for new ones to try, so I have a few I want to bake this year.

I'm going to share them all with you below I'll include pics and links just to wet your appetite :)

Eggnog Cookies


Cherry Pie Cookies
 
Cherry Pie Cookies

Walnut Crescent Cookies

Walnut Crescent Cookies


Peppermint Meltaway Cookies


 Chocolate Crinkle Cookies


Shortbread Bites


Lemon Snowball Cookies

 



BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS


Day 1 - The Christmas Tag
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

BLOGMAS 2016 - Day 6 { Pot Simmer Recipes }

December 30

Pot Simmer Recipes.....yep that is our prompt for today.

I'm pretty certain most of you know what it is, and probably already do it in your own homes.  I myself have done this for quite a few years, and even cut off some of the branches and pine needles from our real Christmas trees, to use in these recipes.

You can literally do anything, any combination you can think of, but I do have a few that are my favorites.

December 30

Pine needles, bay leaves and a sprinkle of nutmeg.  Smells phenomenal.

Orange slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves is another of my favorite.  I often make the mixture up, keep it in a mason jar and use it up as I go along, but you certainly don't need to do that as they're so easy to throw together you can just get it all on the pot and simmering, in no time.

December 30


Another favorite of mine, is lemon slices, thyme and peppermint.  Smells soooo good.

December 30

Really the possibilities are endless.  Put whatever you want to use in a small stock pot, set it on your stove and turn the heat on very low.  Let it simmer away, the whole house will smell amazing.

Here are some ideas for you to try:

3 sprigs evergreen or handful pine needles
2 cinnamon sticks
2 TBS whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 pieces orange rind
2 pieces lemon rind

 Cinnamon sticks
Apple peels
Orange rinds
Whole cloves

 1/8 cup cloves
1/8 cup allspice
2 cinnamon sticks

 1 cup dried lavender
1 tsp anise
1 Tablespoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
1 Cinnamon stick

So tell me, do you ever use simmer recipes in your home?  Do you have some good recipes to share?


BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS


Day 1 - The Christmas Tag
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)

Monday, December 5, 2016

BLOGMAS 2016 - Day 5 { Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past }

Good afternoon fellow Blogmas participants, welcome to day 5.  How have you been enjoying Blogmas this year, so far?

I love it, and the fact that I also follow Vlogmas on Youtube gives me double the holiday fun.  :)

So, on to today's prompt which is all about Pictures and memories of Christmas past.


I have been extremely blessed to have nothing but the best memories of my childhood, and especially Christmas time.

Having grown up in a very big Portuguese family, Christmas time was one of the best times of year.  It meant a lot of family, celebrating on the 24th, a full day of cooking and baking in the kitchen with all the women, and opening presents on the 24th.

The days leading up to Christmas, as a child, were filled with excitement.  I used to love going shopping with my grandmother or stepmother, for presents.  We tended to wait until the week before and then get into the Christmas rush and go out shopping, something that would take a whole day.

I got immense pleasure out of walking into a store, walking around and selecting items for every person on the list.  There wasn't this whole pressure of getting just the right thing or wondering if it was on the person's list etc.  We bought what we thought the person would like, and for the women it seemed to center around bath products, perfumes, pretty pajama sets, clothes, cookbooks or jewelry etc.


My grandfather playing guitar, in the front from left to right, my brother Miguel, brother Paul, me and my younger brother Bruno


For the men, after shaves, fancy shirts, books, movies, games or toys for the younger ones, a multi function pocket knife or a book from a favorite author.

I think in a way, buying for people was made easier, there wasn't such a huge selection, there wasn't such a variety of electronics and the most fashionable items, or trying to keep up with the Joneses.

People took immense pleasure of opening their presents and receiving whatever it was.

On the 24th, the whole family would gather together, and while some cooked and baked in the kitchen, others took turns wrapping all the presents and placing them under the tree.

We would then eat dinner and right after, clear the dishes and start filling the table with all sorts of goodies.  From around 8pm until midnight, everyone gathered around the table, either nibbling on yummy stuff, chatting, laughing, talking about previous years or the current affairs.  Kids played or watched movies.

It was a huge countdown until midnight, and when that came around the rush to the tree was like nothing else.  We opened presents, we immediately tried things on, or played with that new toy etc.  Then it was back to the table to eat a little more and finally everyone would start heading to bed.

Before retiring for the night, my stepmom would take a huge tablecloth and drape it over all the finger foods on the table.


From left to right:  My brother Miguel, me, my brother Paul and younger brother Bruno

The next morning, as we got up, we would head on over, life up the tablecloth and grab whatever struck our fancy.  And that is how the rest of the day went.  There was no rush, there was no place to be or anything to do, just enjoying the new things we got for Christmas and eating leftovers.

I try very hard to keep those traditions going for my children because even though I'm now 42, have my own family and children, those memories of Christmases past are so deeply ingrained in me and bring me such joy, that I want to pass it on to my own children and so forth.


BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS

Day 1 - The Christmas Tag
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)

Happy Homemaker Monday - 12/05/2016

Happy Monday friends, how was your weekend?

Mine was rainy and cold and quite dreary, I guess Winter has finally arrived here in North Texas.

Well I was sitting here working on my crochet blanket for a bit and looked at the time and thought, Oh my word I haven't posted the Happy Homemaker Monday nor the Blogmas post for today.  So I set the blanket aside and am getting this done real quick before I completely forget.  My old brain is slowing down hahaha 



As I look outside my window:::

We have quite a lot of fog this morning.  I always find that foggy mornings look so gorgeous.  
 

  
Right now I am:::
In the living room, as always.  I went to get dressed for the day but it's so cold, and we're all getting sick so I threw on my Minnie Mouse pj pants and a long sleeved black top, put on some comfy warm fuzzy socks and that's my outfit of the day.  I honestly couldn't be bothered, especially since I don't have to go anywhere.  Anyway, as I was saying, I am sitting here typing this post before I have to get some housework done.

Thinking and pondering:::
About December and Christmas coming up.  It's going to be a jam packed month, I have a lot of things going on, lots of commitments, places to be, things to do and I'm just hoping that I get everything done in time.
   
On my bedside table:::
Vicks, Kleenex, TV remote and my Bible and devotionals. 

On my tv:::
General Hospital
Dr. Phil
Vlogs
I recorded Candace Cameron Bure's new holiday movie yesterday, so hoping to watch it today.

Playing on the radio:::
Nothing at the moment, it is silent in the house.  Kids are still sleeping and puppy is napping on the couch next to me.  There is nothing around, just pure silence and it feels so good.     


On the menu for this week:::
I need to work on my next menu plan, which will include Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, though we celebrate on the Eve and Christmas Day is usually leftovers of whatever we have the night before.
I'm grocery shopping on Saturday morning.  As you can see from the menu plan below, I have some days planned, and some still empty because I need to see what is in my fridge and work with that.

Monday -  Turkey Pot Pie, Salad (Didn't get a chance to make it yet)
Tuesday - Roast Pork Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes  
Wednesday - In and Out Burgers, Fries
Thursday -
Friday -
Saturday -   Homemade Pizzas (Margherita for me, Pepperoni for hubby, Cheese for the kids)
Sunday


On my to do list:::
Put away the clean laundry that is sitting on my couch (It's clean, it's folded, what more do you want from me?)  lol
Vacuum both living rooms.  Marley loves bark and sticks and he's been having a field day with our fire wood, which makes him happy but me very unhappy because the carpets are trashed.
Clean kitchen
Homeschooling


What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::

I've now moved on to Part 12 of the blanket, and oh my goodness, it is looking so beautiful.  I am so proud of this project, over my many years of crochet, and the tons of blankets and projects I've made, this is the one I'm most proud of.



My simple pleasure:::
Preparing for the holidays.  Lists, menu plans, planning what I'm making and when, gift buying, wrapping and the whole craziness that leads up to the big day.


Lesson learned the past week:::
That unfortunately some people are so caught up with their own issues and their politics that they forget that FAMILY is what matters the most.  If you feel the need to unfollow, hide, be rude or not show up to family gatherings because of an election.....there is something seriously wrong.
I don't get it, I never will and I won't even try to understand it.   
 
Looking around the house:::
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.



From the camera:::

Marley is scared of this snowman, because it plays music. It's quite funny when he forgets about it and starts trying to bite it only to set it off. hahaha




Bible verse, Devotional:::



Sunday, December 4, 2016

BLOGMAS 2016 - Day 4 { Christmas Playlist }

Hello friends, and welcome to Blogmas Day 4.

Today's prompt is all about our favorite Christmas playlists.  Those songs you love, those songs you have to listen to every season.

While I do enjoy many songs, there is one album that I listen to starting in November and all throughout December.

Smoky Mountain Christmas


Love, love, LOVE this album.

You can find it on Pandora, Spotify and even on Youtube, I'm sharing it below for you all to take a listen to.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.






BLOGMAS 2016 PROMPTS

Day 1 - The Christmas Tag
Day 2 - Christmas Movies on the Must Watch List
Day 3 - Christmas Wishlist
Day 4 - Christmas Playlist
Day 5 - Pictures and Memories of Christmas Past
Day 6 - Pot Simmer Recipes
Day 7 - Cookies to be Baked (can be a recipe you make every year, or some you want to try)
Day 8 - Favorite Family Christmas Recipe
Day 9 - How do you decorate?
Day 10 - Real Tree or Artificial Tree
Day 11 - Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Day 12 - Quiet Christmas or Family Filled Loud Party Christmas?
Day 13 - Christmas Cards (do you send them, show us your favorites this year, or tells your favorite cards to send whether vintage, or bright and colorful)
Day 14 - Advent Calendar
Day 15 - Christmas Party Food Ideas
Day 16 - Winter Tag
Day 17 - Christmas Wishes
Day 18 - Homemade or Store Bought (What are you giving this year)
Day 19 - Recap of Christmas 2015 in pictures
Day 20 -  Christmas Decorations Reveal (show us your tree, your home decor, your mantle, anything you want)
Day 21 - Holiday Family Traditions
Day 22 - Preparing for the big day (show us your wrapping skills, are you making lists, getting the house ready for guests?)
Day 23 - Post whatever you wish
Day 24 - Christmas Eve (Are you opening presents tonight, is this your big celebration, what are you doing)


Day 25 - Christmas Day