Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snow Day in Asheville!!

We took a day trip with the In-Loves to The Grove Park Inn, in Asheville North Carolina to see the National Gingerbread Houses from the Gingerbread Competition. It was a beautiful day, no rain or ugly clouds like the day before so that was nice. When we got into Asheville the temps. starting dropping right away. It went from 50 something to low 40's almost in the 30's. I was not prepared for that type of coldness. As we drove in the Inn / Resort area it's self we noticed may cars and houses covered in snow. We looked closer and notice little snow flurries coming down from the sky. It was very light but still so neat to see. I hadn't see snow in forever so it was much like a "awh WOW" moment. I managed to get a few pictures before we left the resort to head home but I was to caught up in looking at how beautiful the area was and the snow coming down that I completely forgot to get my camera out. 
Headed in to the Resort we made our way around looking at all the different Gingerbread houses. 
My Nene Loves Nut Crackers and we always get her one for Christmas each year. She has quite the collection. So when I saw this guy standing in the hall, I had to get a picture for her. 
Enjoy the view outside, which didn't last to long because it was so cold. I really could have gone for a nice cup of hot chocolate right about then. 

Not only was the inside of the resort beautiful but the outside was amazing. I am def. coming back in the spring time so we can spend more time here. 
Below are the Gingerbread house Finalist. They were beautiful and so detailed. All the way down to the expressions on their faces and the details on each and every piece. 

 Baby its Snowing outside!!!! 
Sometimes I say I wanna live some were, where it snows in the winter but then other times I don't think I would like having to deal with it. It's fun to play in but I'm sure it can be a pain in the butt. 
Burrr, Baby IT'S COLD OUTSIDE!!!!! We walked back down to the bottom of the resort, about a half mile walk or so (not long at all) but it was FREEZING. My face and hands were so cold and red, of course I forgot my gloves and hat at home. 
We had a great little trip, stopped at PF Changs on the way home for dinner and had lots of quality time together :) on the way there and back. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day!!

It's so hard to believe that its already Christmas Day, seems like just a few weeks ago it was summer. The morning started off with breakfast in the oven. I love meals that you prep the night before only to pop in the oven the next morning. Then of course the traditional picture in front of our Christmas tree. I love that the In-Loves were able to be here for Christmas to celebrate with us. We always have so much fun when we are all together.  
One last picture of our beautiful tree Christmas morning!!! We've added the gate around the bottom, it has been in the hubbs family for over 30 years. The hubby's parents mailed it to us last week. They have another one that has been in the family for 75 years. We are going to switch this one out for the older one because the hubbs likes that one more. I was kinda hesitant about it at first but I really really like it. It completes the tree and makes it look really neat. 
Hubby played Santa and passed every ones gifts out to them before we opened them. They we went in a circle and opened one at a time, one after another. I like doing it this way, this allows everyone to see and enjoy in the excitement of what you are opening. (plus it last's longer)
Just a few of the goodies the hubs got for Christmas this year. 
Checking out his Stocking Stuffers, Shooting Shock Timer, Handle Grip for his rifle and Ammo Reloading Dies. 
All on his wish list!!! What a lucky boy!!!
 This girl got her very first KitchenAid for Christmas. I never had any desire to have one until about two weeks or so ago when the hubbs started asking me about one. It was then I started doing a little research on them and COLORS. I was totally sold once I found this fabulous Raspberry Ice color KitchenAid. I HAD to have it. I researched every possible website to find the best deal,  I sent him the link were I found it on aafe's with a coupon discount code. Really what more do you need. :) I love it, its beautiful and I seriously don't know how I went this long with out one. 
fssGgG  The hubbs is wanted to start reloading Ammo for shooting. I was hesitant on him doing it only because its really time consuming but its something he really wants to do. I don't know what I didn't think about it before, but it hit me like 5 days before Christmas. GET HIM A RELOADER for Christmas, hello talk about the perfect gift. I waited till after we had breakfast, cleaned up the living room and set up my KitchenAid before I gave it to him. I had it hid up in my closet, it was a pretty good surprise because he wasn't expecting it at all. Wife of the year award here please :). 
Just a few of the gifts I got from the hubbs and Spouse. I never take my house keys with me when I go some were with the hubbs. Why? Because he always has his so why do I need mine. Well he always gets so annoyed with it, for whatever reason is beyond me. lol So he bought me a key chain so I'll take them with me. Its a really pretty one from Coach, ok so I "might" start taking my keys with me......we will see. lol. My current MacBook Pro is / was on its last leg so he got me a new one. My Spouse also sent me the cutest two picture frames. One with a heart cut out and inside was a map of Dallas, which included the area were we got married. The other one said "Home is Where Your Story begins" with a map of the island of Hawaii. I absolutely LOVED them both. 
Pictures from the Spouse, MAHALO Spouse I love them!!!!!
A few more of the goodies I got from the hubbs and the In-Loves. More Fiestaware, cooking spices, picture frame, K-cup holder (to replace our current one, in order to set up the kitchenaid) hand help blender mixer thingy and matching pink eye and ear pro for when we go shooting. 
I always have to borrow eye and ear pro from the range when we go because I don't have my own like the hubbs. Since he's been trying to teach me to be a better shooter and have home self defense training when it comes to shooting I was excited about these. The ear pro band has really good cushion so I wont get head aches, like before. I love that he got pink to, he's so good to me. 
Oh yes it didn't take long to break out the KitchenAid and put it to use. Making the filling for Keefel cookies, I'm love my new toy :) Grown up toys are so fun!!!! 
We spent the afternoon making cookies and then preparing for our Christmas dinner we were having. We were also having over two of our friends for dinner (the ones we went to visit last night (Christmas eve)), so there was lots to do. They'd never been to our house before so of course I had to make sure everything was in its place and perfect. I'm kinda OCD when it comes to our home. 
My kitchen was a MESS after making these but I had so much fun!!!!

Raspberry Ice KitchenAid + Keefles = a Happy Couple!!!! added bonus = a perfect Christmas!!!!
Christmas Dinner ready to serve!!!! Honey Baked Ham & Turkey, Stuffing, Rolls, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potatoes, Bacon Cheesy Mash Potatoes and Gravy. Yummy in my Tummy!!! Everyone seemed to enjoy dinner, the best part is we still have some left overs. 
I just love this time of year, we had a great Christmas celebration. Many Memories Made!!!! 
I really can't believe it's come and gone either though and now its another 365 days till we get to do it all over again. Until them Merry Christmas / Mele Kalikimaka from our Family / Ohana to yours!!!! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve!!

How we spent our Christmas Eve :) 
I woke up and started on breakfast while the guys went to the appliance store. (sad note: our washer pump broke 45 minutes before we left on Saturday to go to the airport to pick up his parents) (good note: my father in love owns his own appliance repair business back in PHX) 
On the menu for today's breakfast was Bread Pudding, I've never been a fan of bread pudding before the hubbs and I tried this recipe a while back. My mother in love made sure to capture every moment of me making the glaze for the pudding since it was the first time I was using my new pans. Breakfast turned out great, everyone enjoyed it. Our washer was fixed in less than 5 minutes for free. Something that would have cost us $100.00+ for someone to come out and do it. 
I decided to go ahead and get my Christmas Dinner Desserts out of the way this morning as well. Hubby didn't help just gave his two since when he felt the need, got to love him!!!
First up was a Peppermint Cheese Cake. I absolutely LOVE any and all things peppermint. This Cheesecake is no exception. My mom used to make it all the time back home, even though she hates cheesecake, crazy lady, who doesn't like Cheesecake. This is simply  fabulous, yummy in my tummy!
Up next was Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies. These things are amazing, I found the recipe in one of my books while living in Hawaii. The dessert dish seems to find it's self at a lot of our Holiday get togethers. Its extremely rich and creamy and taste fabulous!!!
After our desserts were made the hubbs and his dad headed out to do a little shopping and his mom and I did the same. I showed her some of our local stores & boutiques that I've found here in the area. We picked up a few goodies for ourselves and maybe a gift or two as well. Just as we were heading back home the rain set in and the skies turned UGLY!!!! We met up at a local pizza place called The Pizza Joint for lunch and showed them how the New Yorkers make pizza. It's pretty good, but I still like my pizza place in New York that I go to better. 

Back home I started on a homemade stove top Potpourri, that made our house smell like Christmas. The smell quickly filled the house and had us all enjoying it. It almost had a apple cider scent to it. Not to mention it was pretty to look at to. 
Each year we normally do a Gingerbread house but this year we opted not to. I'd mentioned to the hubbs that I wanted to make / bake / decorate ginger bread people.  I'd been searching the dairy section at the commissary for ginger bread people cookie dough but never had any luck. When we were at Target the night before he found a ginger bread cookie mix that came with a cookie cutter. We decided we'd give it a try, we didn't have much to loose it was only $5 bucks. 
He insisted he did all the work, since I'd been in the kitchen baking and what not off and on all day. He did however leave the mess for me to clean up. How thought full of him. I turned around after doing something to see that he'd walked out and left the counter in a giant mess. Gosh I love that man, I really do. 
His Family Tradition growing up was to have Sandwiches for dinner on Christmas Eve. So we've carried that tradition out over the past 6 years now. Of course tonight was no different just even better because his parents were here. We went fancy and got deli ham, turkey and salami, sliced up some fresh veggies and even made our own bread. But the bread went south really quick. The hubbs is the bread maker out of the two of us, normally he does a really really good job but for some reason or another tonight he didn't have his game face on. Thankfully for us and HIM Walmart was still open so his mom and I rushed up there to grab a loaf of bread. Man the things we do for the men in our life. 
After dinner we did a little clean up,  prepared for tomorrow's big day. 
One of the Drill's that the hubbs works with invited us over for round two of dessert (with him and his wife) so we decided we'd go have a bite and do a little visiting. We got home super late and I was so tired, we had a good time but it had been a long long day. I can't believe that tomorrow really is Christmas Day, really were has the time gone. This will be our 2nd Christmas in the South. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Adding to My Collection

A week or so ago the hubbs & I were out shopping and we stumbled upon this fabulous Fiestaware pot / skillet set. I'd never seen it before and I was overly excited, like a fat kid in a candy store excited!!! They had a few items that were sold individually that were different colors but not enough to make a full set. We priced it out and buying just four items would be right at $200.00 that's the whole cost of the 11 piece set. $200.00. I really wanted it but I knew the hubbs had already spent a pretty penny on my Christmas gift. I told him we would wait, because I knew I'd be getting a "cash" gift from my parents at school the very next day. (Monday) It's just what they do, they take up a collection and its divided out between the other two teachers and myself. 
Then I'd still be getting it, just not spending "our" money. It made perfect sense, and so that is what we did. Monday rolled around, sure enough I received $200.00 cash from my parents at school as my Christmas gift. Thursday the hubbs went over to Dillard's and picked up my fabulous new Pot / Skillet set. We decided it made more since to get the full 11 piece set vs. buying it all individually just to get different colors and paying way more. The set was $200.00 exactly so we only had to pay the taxes, not to shabby if I do say so myself. I'm loving my new set and the color to, I can't wait to use them the weekend!!!!!!! 
(please excuse my ugly gas stove, I hate it!!!)
I've managed to build quite the collection of Fiestaware over the past couple years. I absolutely love how colorful it is and how it brightens up our kitchen. Everything is a different color even down to the salt and pepper shakers and the utensil set. I think I'll have to do a post, show casing our collection here soon!!!!! I've still got quite the list of items I want, Can't wait to add more to our collection.

Do you have a particular dishware / 
cookware brand you are partial to over another???

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Sweet's & Treat's

Christmas vacay has finally graced its presents here in the South!! This past Wednesday was my last day of work till after the new year. What dose that mean you ask?!?!?! Lots of time just the hubby and I because he's off for the same time frame as I am. Shopping for the holidays and ourselves of course, lots of dates, in-loves coming to town, and lots more fun stuff. Which includes finally catching up on this here ol blog of mine that I've neglected over the past couple weeks. I've got plenty to share so I'll start with the loads of sweet treats I've made and also received at work over the last two weeks. I love to bake and cook but the holidays seem to always bring it out in me that much more!!!!

~Cinnamon Sugar Pecans~
(made by yours truly!)
~Thick & Chewy M&M Cookie Bar~
(made by yours truly!)
Christmas Cards ~ Sealed, Stamped & Ready for Delivery.
 One of my favorite parts about the Holidays is sending out Christmas Cards!!!!
Next up are the slew of gifts I received from parents & co-workers from school. 
Chick-Fil-A Gift Card & Calendar, Personalized Notepad & a Bracelet. 
Monogrammed Lunch Pail, Bath set with Lotions, Body Wash and a luffa, Christmas Koozie!! 

Another Lotion and Body Spray with a Bracelet. A Super Cute Apron from one of my sweetest parents now friend / running partner. I walked out to my car one day after work and there was this package sitting next to my car. I new it was from her, even though it was marked "From Secret Santa".  I texted her and told her I was going to wait and open it on Christmas day and she said I had to open it before so I could use it on Christmas Eve & Day. I absolutely love it, its my first Apron!! Shocker right!! 

A little Sweet treat stop for myself and the hubbs while I was out picking up a gift card for a friend and spending one on myself as well. We aren't crazy about "Sweet" Cupcakes but they have some pretty yummy Hot Cocoa. 
Of course My Holiday Shopping and Gift giving adventures aren't complete with out some yummy Starbucks. Since I don't drink coffee my choice of drink in the winter time is Hot Chocolate. I recently discovered a love for Peppermint Hot Chocolate, I love anything and everything that involved peppermint. 

Don't you just love the Holidays &
everything that comes along with it?!?!?!? 
WE DO!!!!!