Thursday, December 15, 2011

Friday's Top Ten: Things I Need to Do Before Christmas

I've been going along just fine until last night.  BAM.  Its like Christmas just slapped me.  Actually its wasn't just last night, but all of yesterday.  I took most of the day off of work because I had so much Christmas stuff to do and I guess I just thought one day of solid work would be enough to get me caught up.  WRONG.  So here are ten things I need to do before Christmas:

1. Fix the salsa I made last night.  You know how some jalapenos are spicier than others?  I think I got the hottest one at the store.  When I almost choked on a small bite, I doubled the amount of everything but the pepper.  Still a little hot.  We'll see how it is today.  Might have to add more!

2.  Finish all the Christmas presents I decided to make.  Next year I will make and/or buy all of my gifts before October.  Yeah right.  (This is the bracelet I made for my sister on a mission.  Since I know she doesn't read my blog I'm safe posting it here!)

3. Deliver my sister's Christmas gift.  Because my sister is on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she has to follow mission rules that state she can't visit with family members even though we live in the same city!  So I can drop of her Christmas gift today free of charge or mail it two miles away.  I guess I shouldn't complain, its nice to have that option.  :)

4. Teach school for six more days. On the radio this morning they said, "This is the last full work week before Christmas!"  And I almost called them to lodge a complaint!  Then I remembered how retailers, and grocery stores and doctors and police will all be working Christmas Eve and even Christmas day and I should just be happy I have a job.

5. Finish wrapping presents.  I found some super cute free printable gift tags thanks to this post!  Love them.

6. Make this fudge for my work party on Dec 23rd.  This just in: Having a party at work on Dec 23rd doesn't make me excited to be at work on Dec 23rd.

7. Buy Mr. Krueger's Christmas for a friend.  Have you seen this movie with Jimmy Stewart?  Its a Mormon made movie, but the most Mormon thing about it is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Other than that it is a really sweet story of a man and his relationship with Christ.  Watch it, it will bring the Christmas spirit faster than any other movie.  You can purchase the movie here for less than five dollars! 

8. Attend parties!  I have two this weekend and two next week during school.  "They'll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting. . . "  (Wait, has anyone ever toasted marshmallows for Christmas?  I never got this line of the song)

9. Field Trips with my students.  Tuesday we're going to IKEA with my Interior Design class and Thursday we're going to the Gateway Mall with my Fashion class. 

10.  Pause for a moment to appreciate that this is my first Christmas with my baby!  She's the best gift I've ever gotten and its so much fun to see everything brand new through her eyes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Three Hoilday Recipes That Will Save You

How many holiday parties do you have this year?  I just counted six on my schedule and for four of those I need to bring something to share.  So here are the three holiday recipes I came up with that I will be using.  I love them because they are simple and classy and they all scream Christmas.

For potluck lunch/dinner parties: Cranberry Salsa

1-12 oz pkg fresh cranberries
1/2 c sugar (or less)
1 medium jalapeno
1 green onion
1-2 T fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin
Put all ingredients into a food processor.  Process until mixture is coarsly chopped.  Store in fridge over night to blend.  Serve with cracker and cream cheese if desired.

I don't even like serving it with cream cheese (crazy because I love cream cheese!) because its just so fresh on its own.  Thanks to my aunt Linda for giving me this recipe.  What I love about it is the tangy flavor, it feels healthy and fresh (don't you just crave healthy and fresh after eggnog and like five brownies?) and its red and green.  Hello?  Christmas.

For times when you are in charge of dessert: Mint Fudge

Generally I'm that annoying person that tries to bring healthy but yummy food to parties, but this year I'm taking a different take.  I can make healthy food for my family all the time.  But I can't make dessert for my family with out taking the risk of eating it all myself.  So I'm excited to bring this to my work potluck  on Dec 23rd.  Seriously, who works on Dec 23rd?  It should be illegal.

For friends and neighbor gifts: Cranberry and Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

I love how pretty these are with the red and green ingredients.  When I made mine though, I couldn't find any pistachios (not that I looked very hard. . . ) and so I used almonds instead.  Its the red from the cranberries that really makes them Christmas though.  If you aren't into cranberries there are SO MANY other ideas for mix ins.  One year I blended a couple herbal tea bags in my food processor (cut open the bag, blend the contents, not the whole mesh bag)  and mixed those in.  YUM.  You can also replace the vanilla with almond flavor to change it up even more!

What are your favorite holiday recipes?

(To get the recipes for the fudge and cookies, click on the link of the website under the picture.  Not Kimberly and not Pinterest, the first link.  Yep, there you go.  Good job)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

There was this one time when I was wrong. . .

Yesterday I made a mistake.  I was in the wrong.  And the lady in the car behind me made sure I knew it with a loud and long honk.

Pause here for a moment to think about your personal reaction to a long and loud honk.  Directed at you.

What happened was this: We were all waiting at a stop light to get on the freeway.  It was one of those stop lights that lets one car on at time and those tend to move at annoying slow pace, especially if you drive stick shift.  Which I do.  And so I guess I had my car in neutral and my foot not as firmly placed on the break as I should have and I was rolling back and the lady behind me honked to let me know.
Cue my bad reaction.

Things I wanted to:
  • Flip her off
  • Stop completely and not move so she would have to drive around me
  • Honk back at her (even though the person in front of me would have thought it was for them)

So those are all obviously bad ideas.  Especially when I realized I was wrong.  And so for the remainder of the drive I pondered why I would react so badly to someone pointing out my mistake.

She did it really rudely.  I mean sure, I was about to hit her car, but not very hard and I probably wasn't as close as she thought.  Did she have to lay on the horn SO LONG?  Yes, she did.  I had Queen blasting and even with the long horn it took me a second (Me?  You're honking at ME?)  Honestly, what other choice did she have?  Still not making me feel better. . .

I don't like my mistakes pointed out to me.  Who does?  But there are other times people have pointed out my mistakes when I didn't take it so badly. 

I honk at people for making driving mistakes.  I honk at them because, in my mind, the people making them are being idiots.  They are irresponsible high schoolers.  They are moms with bleach blonde hair texting their cheerleader daughters about getting their nails done.  They are smoking and eating and talking on the phone all at the same time.  I don't honk at cute moms who have babies in the back seat and are jamming out to Queen.  So that's it I guess.  I don't want to put myself in the category of people who deserve to get honked at.  But today I deserved it.  So perhaps I need to change that category.

Happy Tuesday!  Only 11 more shopping days until Christmas!  (unless you're reading this at night, then its 10)  (don't want you basing your shopping schedule on this blog post)

Friday, December 9, 2011

The 10 Best Christmas Movies

Last night I watched a Christmas Lifetime Original Movie.  Oh dear.  It wasn't bad, it just wasn't very good either.  So predictable.  Pair that with the fact that most of my favorite shows have shown their Christmas episodes (I'm talking to you The Middle, Modern Family and Up All Night) and I'm thinking they wont be back until the new year.  So I compiled this little list of 10 movies that I just have to watch before Christmas (and since I have a queen size quilt to bind, I think I can kill two birds with one stone!)

10.  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
This is on the list because my husband is going make me watch it anyway.  Sometimes marriage is about compromise.  Its not that I don't like it, but I didn't grow up watching it and its just a newer tradition for me. 

9. Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
When ever I watch Rudolf I get the songs stuck in my head for days!  I love it though, its short and sweet and perfect to watch while you decorate your tree.

8. The Town Santa Forgot
Have you seen this movie?  Most people haven't, it seems.  Its a family favorite in my house.  We call it Jeremy Creek, though.  Its a great movie to remind you of the spirit of Christmas.

7. White Christmas
Because I want to fall asleep counting my blessings every night.

6. Elf
Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?

5. Miracle on 34th Street
As a child, I used this movie as proof that Santa was real.

4. Christmas Story
This face says it all. 

3. Its a Wonderful Life
Try to watch this movie with out crying.  I DARE YOU.

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
I can't wait until Olivia is old enough to love this cartoon as much as I do.

1. Charlie Brown Christmas
 That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.

What movies are a tradition in your house?

Linking up with E Tells Tales

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Potluck

I got my assignment for the high school Christmas Potluck today.  Now think for a minute, if you were inviting four home ec teachers to your party what would you have them bring?  Please decide before reading the remainder of this post.  Okay, do you have it in your mind?  Good.

 I asked my students this same question.  They said:
  • Pie
  • Cupcakes
  • Potatoes
  • You know, yummy food (like my sausage and cream cheese stuffed mushrooms)

So my assignment: Rolls.  Are you SERIOUS.  Any idiot can buy Rhodes bake and serve rolls (but it seems that not just any idiot can spell idiot.  I won't tell you how I just spelled it, just know that spelling is not my strong point.  Yummy food is my strong point), which let's be honest can trump almost any rolls that you spent hours laboring over. 

I think I'll bring a pie anyway.  Because no one is going to turn down pie. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

To the Boy on the Train Tonight

My family decided to take the train downtown Saturday night to see Christmas lights.  It was crowded and the only one of us who could get a seat was my sister Hannah so I gave her the job of holding Baby O.  I stood next to her and my baby and we smiled and played as we rode to our destination.  Occasionally the boy next to Hannah would look over at O and smile.  I could tell he was very shy.  At the next stop the boy next to Hannah stood as if to get off the train.  "Here," he said, "you can sit next to your baby."  I thanked him and sat down.  When he took my spot standing and reached up for the hand hold, I realized he wasn't getting off the train but that he was offering his seat to me.  Suddenly my thanks was not enough, but he was a shy boy and I didn't want to embarrass him. 

So to the boy on the train tonight, let me say it again.  Thank you.  Thank you for your small gesture of kindness that means the world to me.  Thank you for showing me that human kindness still exists.  That you are aware of others around you, and conscientious of their needs and caring enough to inconvenience yourself for another.  So often I see someone I could help, but for fear of rejection or embarrassment (of me or them) or just fear of leaving my comfort zone, I stay put.  This boy didn't and he was such an example to me.  Its such a small thing, but even now, four days later, I just can't help but smile when I think of the kind gesture.

I hope Olivia marries a boy like the boy on the train.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Probably Crazy

I was explaining to my students why we needed to leave just a couple minutes early.  "I have to go to the doctor.  My husband thinks I'm mentally unstable," I joked.  A student chimed in, "You'd be surprised how many people are mentally unstable.  I am!"  And just in case we didn't believe her, she went on and on about it.  But maybe she's right.  Maybe there are a lot of crazy people.  And if that's the case its probably true.  I'm probably crazy.