Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I am still feeling SO very unwell, so for now, posting will remain scarce. I've got my confirmed due date now...August 12th! So hopefully I'm only a month or so away from feeling MUCH better! (PLEASE keep your fingers crossed for me!)

Miss my blog... :( **sigh**

"I'll be back...don't ya worry" (Quote from an old video game I used to be BIG into! Whatever happened to Oddworld games...they were my FAVE!)

Anywho...miss ya!

Friday, December 18, 2009

SURPRISE!!'s time to spill the beans. (Better late than never, right?)

So the big news IS...

We're having a BABY!

That's right...the man (Adam) and I are expecting our first child together!!! :) It was definitely an unexpected surprise, but we're happy and excited to be having our first (and LAST) baby together. If you're a regular reader, you'll remember that I currently have three sons and he has one daughter, so this will be our full house. NO MORE! LOL! you maybe understand why I've been scarce with my posting. I've been SO sick and's hard to motivate myself to do much of anything. But once I'm through this stage, I'm sure I'll be back posting full force! And you can fully expect more "parenting" focused posts, due to that consuming a lot of my mind lately!

So anyway, SURPRISE! Now you know!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

DIY Rustic Santa and Snowmen Ornaments

It's DIY day at ASPTL! Linking up...check it out!


I made these a couple years back and they are one of my favorites on our tree...which is generally a hodge podge of ornaments we've collected over the years, ornaments we've made, and ornaments from the kiddos. I used to love the idea of a classy "themed" tree, but you know...Christmas is so much about family for me...I love our tree just how it is.

Rustic Snowmen and Santa Ornaments

You need:

Sticks (or Dowels) cut into approx. 3 inch pieces
Acrylic Paint
A drill with a fine drill bit
Ornament Hangers
Paint Marker

So...I used sticks I collected from the yard, but you could just as easily use dowels. If you use sticks, use a knife or razor blade to scrape the bark off. (Also, rather than doing a clean cut, because I used sticks, I snapped them off for a rougher edge and a more "rustic" look.)

Next, drill a hole in the in one end of each stick...this will be wear you put the ornament hanger through later.

Next, get your acrylic paint...I used white on the bottoms and black on the top for the snowmen, and red with a peach "face" and white beard for the Santa. When these dried, I used the paint markers to add the details. You could easily do this with a small paint brush if you are so inclined.

Once everything is dry, add the hangers. I used the the larger end of the hooks...the end you'd normally use to go over the branch, and slide it through the hole you drilled, twist it around and finish it. Then open up the smaller hook end to use for hanging on your tree.

TADA! A little bit rustic...a little bit country...and lots of charm and fun! :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jenn's MUST HAVES...2009!

It's that time of year again! I want to share a list of some of my favorite things from the past year...maybe you'll find something you too, MUST HAVE! This year, my list is mostly simple things...items for around the house, but every single one of them is great!

Without further ado...


Palmolive Aroma Sensations lavender dish soap.
I LOVE this stuff! Don't get me wrong...I am so very anxious for my dishwasher to be installed, but in the meantime, this soap smells so wonderful and rinses clean. Plus, it's not too harsh on my hands. I'm a big fan!

Dial "White Tea" scent Foaming Handwash. This is a completely clear bottle and soap so it looks great, and the foaming action makes my boys EXCITED to wash their hands. Plus it smells delish!

Blistex Herbal Answer chapstick. Easily my fave chapstick EVER! Trust me!

I know this next item isn't new to some people, but I recently upgraded from Adobe Photoshop 7 to Adobe Photoshop CS3 and I'm in heaven. For the layout changes alone, it was worth the upgrade! I recommend it! Check out for details!

Have you heard about music available under the Creative Commons license?
You MUST check this out! It's free and legal downloads made available by artists who believe in sharing music with the masses. FANTASTIC!

REDBOX! Oooo...I love me some Redbox!!! $1 DVD rentals?? Yes, please! LOVE it!

Still to come...JENN'S MOST WANTED LIST for 2010!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Recipe Round-Up

We do so much cooking and baking...really all year round, but especially during the holidays. I want to share some of my very favorite holiday recipes with you. They might not necessarily seem "holiday themed" but they're Christmas tradition around here, so to me, they do!

Cheesy Rice Stuffing is the perfect stuffing for Cornish Game Hens, but I especially love mine as a side dish with ham at Christmas. SO yummy!

P'nut Cakes are a family Grandma makes them every Christmas, and always snuck me a couple extra to take home. They're sweet and crunchy and messy, sticky perfection!

Homemade Hot Chocolate is always a delicious treat after playing outside with the kids or shoveling the driveway. We also LOVE to make this mix every Christmas and give it as Christmas gifts to teachers, co-workers and friends.

My step-mom used to bake up a storm at Christmas and my FAVE was always her Peanut Butter Cups...salty peanut butter makes these so delicious and so much like the real deal!

In the past I've participated in programs that donate cookies to be sent to troops overseas. These Monster Cookies are PERFECT for something like that, because this recipe is HUGE! My kids LOVE these! They're always a hit!

I hope you find some recipes your family can use...have a great holiday!

Cheesy Rice Stuffing

1/2 stick butter
1/3 c. Rice
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. Chicken Broth
1 can mushrooms
1 c. shredded cheddar

1. In a sauce pan, melt butter. Add rice and onion and cook 5-10 minutes stirring frequently. Add broth and bring to a boil.
2. Cover and simmer on low until liquid is absorbed. Stir in mushrooms -- Cool.
3. Toss in cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

Grandma's P'Nut Cakes

1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 lb. Salted Spanish Peanuts - coarsely ground
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Melted Butter

1. Bake cake according to box directions. Let cool for about four hours and then cut into squares.
2. Add milk to powdered sugar until a consistency of runny frosting is reached. Add vanilla and a little melted butter.
3. Drip all sides of cake in glaze and then roll into ground peanuts. Place on waxed paper to set.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

1 - 2 lb. box/canister Nestle's Quik
1 - 8 qt. box Carnation powdered milk
1 (16 oz.) jar Coffee Mate
1 c. Powdered Sugar

1. Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl.
2. Store in airtight containers.
3. To serve, use 1/3 c. mix to 1 c. boiling water.

Peanut Butter Cups

12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips (milk chocolate, not semi-sweet)
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Cut 12 paper muffin cups in half so they are shallow and place them in a muffin tin.
2. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring regularly.
3. Spoon chocolate into the paper cups, and use the back of the spoon to spread chocolate up the sides of the liner to create the "shell". Refrigerate to harden the chocolate.
4. Microwave peanut butter slightly to soften. Mix in powdered sugar and salt.
5. When chocolate is hardened fill cups to just below the top with peanut butter mixture.
6. Spread chocolate on top to finish off the peanut butter cup.
7. Return to the fridge to set.

Monster Cookies

(If you don't want TONS of cookies, make sure to cut this recipe either in half or in fourths!)

4 c. sugar
18 c. oatmeal
4-1/2 c. brown sugar
6 c. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 lb. butter
8 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. vanilla
1 dozen eggs
2 - 16 oz. packages chocolate chips
2 - 8 oz. bags M&Ms

1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat.
2. Add the remaining ingredients.
3. Drop by spoonful onto baking sheets and bake at 325-350 for 12-15 minutes.

Stop back tomorrow for JENN'S MUST HAVES OF 2009 and JENN'S WISH LIST FOR 2010!

Oh...and I'm linking this post up at the DIY Show Off Surprise Party! They're holding a holiday recipe linky party...perfect timing for me! Stop by and check out the other yummy holiday treats!!


So sometimes, even the BEST of intentions go awry...sometimes even the MOST calculated plans stray...sometimes Mother Nature dumps over a foot of snow on you and you're forced to go with the flow. will be posted soon...but BIG SURPRISE THURSDAY, is now BIG SURPRISE NEXT WEDNESDAY. Believe me when I say I am just as stressed about the delay as you (probably more in all honesty). Due to the inclement weather, my days/appointments/life got shuffled, and now you're going to have to be patient until next Wednesday for the exciting new. I am SORRY!

BUT, in hopes of making it up to you, I plan to post every day until then...just to keep things exciting and moving along. So...let me type up the rest of my recipe post and get that up tonight. Then hopefully we will stick to the remainder of the schedule.

No worries folks...the big surprise is worth the wait! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I know...I know...

I'm the most ABSENT blogger EVER! But I have a good reason...I promise!

I've got a big surprise coming SOON! And lots of changes taking place...

Some lists to share, some homemade ornaments, recipes, projects, etc. I've been me there!

This weeks blog schedule:

WEDNESDAY: RECIPE POST...I will share some of my favorite holiday recipes...tried and true...gotta love it!


FRIDAY: JENN'S MUST HAVES 2009 Edition (Check out last year's list here!)

SATURDAY: Homemade Christmas Ornaments...DIY and How-To!

SUNDAY: Christmas Tree Reveal...and MAYBE a sneak peek at how our new bedroom is coming along!

MONDAY: Another BIG excited!

Sooo...STAY TUNED! Lots of stuff happening soon! :)

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