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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gobble, Gobble

My homemade Pecan & Apple Pie along with a not-so-homemade Pumpkin Pie.


And Gobble Gobble is what we did! We had another wonderful family Thanksgiving. I was so grateful to be able to spend it with my family, both of my grandmothers, my Aunt, my cousin Angel and Roxanne (and Crystal & Megan). I cooked half the meal and the desserts along with my father who did the other half. It was YUM as usual. I love spending time with my family and I love this FOUR DAY weekend. Being a full-time working Momma is NOT easy my friends. And being able to spend time with my family, and spend every minute with Carter, and do as I please is absolutely priceless.

Love this face Carter makes. Mischievous face.

Our spread (some of it!)


Our gorgeous dining table set-up.

Carter is seriously becoming his own little person and I'm loving every second of it. He is actually super funny and has a quirky little sense of humor. It's sad because I'm feeling like I no longer have a little baby; my baby is a toddler and I don't know when that happened. He makes raspberries when he puts something in his mouth he doesn't like, and he insists on being independent and feeding himself with his own spoon, among other things. He's only 14 month's old! I think he wants a sibling, it's time. :) Uh oh.

Carter's dinner!


And now it's officially CHRISTMAS-time. I ordered our Holiday Cards last night. The air is fresh, there are dozen's of Christmas movies on TV (not to mention Falalala Lifetime, which I'm watching now!), lights are getting put up, money is being spent. I love this time of year, it is my absolute favorite time. I literally count down the days to Christmas all year, and I'm treasuring every moment.

This year, I'm Thankful for the following:

My lovely absolutely adorable husband who loves me unconditionally no matter how crazy I get.

My beautifully sweet baby boy Carter. You are the reason I am on this earth and I know for certain I was destined to be your mother and you my baby.

My parents and siblings. You are the essence of who I am and thank you for always being there for me. I love that we are so close, and couldn't have asked for a better back-bone.

My friends. Especially my wonderful close group of girlfriends who I adore and look-up to.

I have to give a special thanks to Roxanne for being such a big part of my son's life.

My job, my home, my health, and my extended family. I am so thankful for everything that I have.

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

With love and gratitude,

Michelle





Another face of Carter's I'm lovin.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Christmas Tree Lighting at the Promenade



We had an amazing time at the Promenade's Christmas Tree lighting. I was so elated that I won, and everyone at the Promenade and Caruso Management was so kind to us and made it a very memorable evening. I brought Roxanne and my sister along with Andy, Carter and I to our free dinner at Marmalade Cafe. We could spend up to $150, but we only spent $120. It was a wonderful holiday dinner even though they were incredibly busy. I had Chicken Meatloaf which sounds totally odd, but it was actually really tasty.








After dinner, Roxanne and Nichole left and my mom and Grandmother from Massachusetts met us and we got our 4 VIP Wrist Bands for our seats. There was this stage set-up and room for kids to sit down, and then maybe 5 or so rows of seats. They had our seats right in front, blocked off with my name on it as reserved. I felt pretty special! There were gates around the event and most people weren't allowed in and watched from the outside. My Grandmother thought we were going to this ordinary tree lighting, she didn't know it was a big to-do. They had a little play with music from different centuries and then Santa came out at the end. Carter was super tired but he fought to watch every minute of it. At the end, they did a countdown and the tree was lit, and then fireworks went off. The whole show was pretty amazing and we'll be making it a family tradition for years to come. I'm glad I got to take my mom and Grandma as I know it'll be a memory for us for years to come!










Tonight we're heading to my parents for a big Sunday night dinner that I am preparing for my nannies and family. I'm looking forward to a short lovely week, and then a nice 4 day weekend with my extended family. I'm feeling the love all!!

Happy Weekend, and Happy Week!

Xoxo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Being Crazy Pays Off!

So I posted the other day that I was on a contest entering binge, and was *hoping* that I would win at least one - AND I DID! Our local shopping plaza called The Promenade was holding a contest to win 4 VIP Tickets to their annual Christmas Tree Lighting and a complimentary dinner before hand. They announced on their Facebook today that I WAS THE WINNER!

I think I knew deep down I was destined to win, it was weird. I kept refreshing my Facebook this morning waiting for the winner to be announced and as I was doing this, they posted MY NAME as the winner. I squealed with delight and literally skipped into the office letting every know what I had won. The event is tomorrow night and I am so.excited.I.just.can't.take.it.I.want.to.scream. Ok, phew.

I want to arrive early and get some pretty pictures of my lil family in front of the tree while its still semi-light out so we can use it in our Christmas card if it turns out well. They haven't given me the details on the dinner yet, but from what I know it's for 4 people (not including Car) and they do fireworks, music, Santa, the whole she-bang.

I loove winning. I WIN I WIN I WIN I WIN. I really need to get this out of my system. It's a wonderful feeling. I hear from time to time that I am just a lucky person. I don't believe luck has anything to do with it. 1. You have to enter / buy the ticket before you can win, and 2. You have to BELIEVE it. Like really believe it will happen and don't second guess. If you truly believe it can happen, it will. That's my secret ya'll.

I love the holidays as much as I love winning. I love that my extended family is here and even though work is absolutely fecking insane, I am surrounding myself with my family, cozy dinners, and holiday cheer and I am smiling from ear to ear. You will not bring me down world!!

AND to top off a great day, I wrote two good accounts and got a free vacation to Hawaii!! Andy's parent's have never been to Hawaii before and they are coming out to visit Jan 18-Feb 1 and were adamant about going to Hawaii while they are here. We told them we can't afford the tickets right now, and they bought our tickets!!!!!! So we're going to Hawaii for 6 days in January with Andy's parents, Andy & Cart. I was just there in August. It's an inexpensive flight (compared to others) and we always stay on the North Shore. I can't wait to go again.

Yay for good days and winning and family and the Holidays. I would post a picture but I'm using my Aunt's laptop and I don't have any to share here. Andy and I are busy prepping for a garage sale this weekend so we can make some moolah to do some xmas shopping on black Friday.

Ok, I gotta get my little one to bed. I'm blogging at my parent's and have lots to do at home.

Night all!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday






I guess I'll jump on the blogger bandwagon and do Wordless Wednesday, and instead of Picture Thursday do a "Glimpse Into the Life Thursday" where I document an average night in our household. I don't think I'll be able to do it every week. Tomorrow I'm taking a CSI work-out class (Cardio, Strength, Interval) and I have both my grandma's in town from Massachusetts as well as my mom's sister (Auntie Susan) and my cousin's son Angel. So I've got a busy two weeks ahead of me. I'm so looking forward to Thanksgiving. My dad and I are splitting cooking duties. Can't wait! Ok, so this isn't a very Wordless Wednesday so I'll stop now.


Xoxo.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Contests, Contests, CONTESTS! I win.

Soo, I've been going a little contest crazy lately (and having so much doing it). I'm bound to win at some point, right? The other day I googled contests and entered at least 20. I'm waiting for a random phone call or email telling me I've won something cool. Someone has got to win, and that someone can be me. Don't judge. I'm sure that someone who wins was probably told at some point that they probably won't win because of the odds. Ok? Anyways, I'm a big optimist. I play the lottery just for the the few hours I can walk around and fantasize about what I would do if I win.


Anywho, just found a fun contest to win a sleek sexy Lenovo laptop, HD quality. Love it!!! On the Dear Crissy blog which is another blog I have to start reading regularly because I love it. And she seems to give away free stuff, double love it.

I entered Crissy’s Can’t Wait til Christmas Lenovo Laptop Giveaway and hope to win a $799.00 IdeaPad!

Awesomeness. She's had over 5,000 enteries! Wowza. But what a great Christmas Present for myself.

Xoxoxo,

Not to whore out my baby or anything, but..

PLEASE VOTE FOR CARTER


HEY EVERYONE, or the 2 people that read this. Please vote for my baby boy on the American Baby Cover Contest. We're going for Reader's Choice, voting end's 11/21/10. Also, "like" the picture.

American Baby Cover Contest - Carter

Thanks Everyone!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie Goodness



I made one of our all time favorite dinners on Friday night - yummy chicken pot pie. My mom gave me the recipe a few years ago and since then it has been tweaked and played with until it was just right. I still alter it every time I make it because I don't follow the exact recipe. And I alter it based on the ingredients we have in the house. If you're interested, here goes:

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Start by chopping up two yellow onions and saute in two tablespoons of butter to get them nice and caramelized.


Chop up 6 stalks of celery around the same size as the onions and add to the pan. Make sure to salt the onion and celery mixture. It helps them soften as well as add's flavor. I always cook with kosher salt.

I also had one fresh carrot left from the farmers market last weekend so I chopped that up and threw it in along with some fennel we had on hand that I chopped up and added.



While this is cooking, rinse and pat dry chicken breast tenders (or you can use chicken breasts, etc). I seasoned mine with salt, pepper and a zesty seasoning blend I had on hand, but you can use your favorite seasonings and cook on medium heat in a little oil until golden brown on the outside. Don't worry about cooking it all the way through because it'll cook more in the oven later on.


Chop a few sprigs of fresh thyme (or use dried thyme) and add it to your veggie mixture. The add 2 can's of cream of potato soup and 1 can of cream of chicken soup along with 1.5 cups of chicken broth. Feel free to add more chicken broth if the mixture is too thick for you. Mix well and let simmer.


When chicken is done cooking, chop up in little chunks and then add to the pie mixture. Mix well, and season your mixture with a little salt, pepper, and Lawry's season salt to taste. I also added the juice of half a lemon to really bring out the flavors.



The add 0ne medium-sized bag of frozen pea's and carrots. Cheap and easy. Mix everything well and then transfer to your pot pie dish. The mixture will be enough for two pot pies. I didn't have two pot pie dishes handy so I put it in casserole dish. It all works the same.


Cover the mixture with your pre-made pie crusts. I always use Pillsbury, the other brands don't taste as good.


I then cut small slits into the pie crust to vent and brushed an egg wash over the crust.

Pop into the oven and bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes or until a perfect golden brown (or until you are so hungry you can't wait another minute like we did).

(It was a lazy paper plate night, k?)

Pair this with a good movie (Grown-Ups) and an even better dessert (Peach Cranberry Cobbler) and you've got yourself an amazing Friday night. Does it get any better than this??






Hope you're having a good weekend!! Tonight I'm making Pot Roast for the family (even thought I don't eat meat, I'm gonna give it a whirl). I think I'm going to try this Food Network Recipe from Ina Garten: Company Pot Roast and pair it with these: Sweet Onion Potatoes Au Gratin from Rachel Ray. I always like to start with someone else's recipe and make it my own. I'll let you know how they turn out! Off to the Sunday Farmer's Market with the little one to get our fruits and veggies for the week. (And maybe some delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies that we never can resist). :) Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day at the Farm

We had a wonderful day today at the Farm with my little family (Andy, Carter and Roxanne). Roxanne has been living here since April when she got out of a long-term relationship. I've known her since I was 11 or 12 years old; she is already family to me and we love having her around all the time. Carter walks around the house looking for "Ra, Ra." He climbs up the stairs and barges into her room going through each and every item she has. He loves make-up and beauty products. LOVES THEM. If you give him a make-up bag full of make-up he squeals with excitement and takes the time to investigate and touch each item. Roxanne has a few baskets full of beauty products and he knows exactly where they are. Her door is kept closed most of the time, but when by chance he finds it open, or he weasels his way in, he goes straight for those darn baskets. It's definitely cute but a problem. He is also obsessed with wallets. If my purse is open and low enough for him to reach, he'll pull out my wallet and then dismantle it by taking each credit card, store card, business card, you name it, he'll remove it. The other morning I walked downstairs on my way out to the office and found my wallet completely empty with the contents strewn about our house. Not one single item was still in it. Sigh. But that's my life now and I wouldn't have it any other way. :)


K, off topic now. About the farm....We went to a local farm where you can pick your own fruits and veggies and pet animals, ride a mini train and a tractor, and spend a nice quiet day with your family. Carter and I had been once before with my parents, but today I brought Andy and Roxanne. It was a beautiful day out and we got some beautiful pictures. I thought we might be able to get a pretty picture for our Holiday Card but I think we'll wait and come back when it's nicely decorated for Christmas. We still have time. After, we went to my parent's where I cooked up some crispy chicken with a cream cheese chive sauce, steak, rice, and green beans. It was a nice little family dinner to top off our nice little family day.

As always, here are the pretty pictures to close my blog with. Enjoy! Happy Saturday Night all!














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