Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years!

Let's see, I usually do a weekend update, but that will have to wait till tomorrow. So I figured I would go over past New Years Eves...what better time right?

2006

Let's see, I only have so many pictures on my computer, so let's start with the first one I have...the year is 2006 and Curtis and I decided to go to VEGAS for New Years Eve, yep, we just wanted to say that we did it once. Since my brother lived there at the time, we figured it would be a good excuse to go visit him.

We started the night before and just kept on drinking, this is December 30th.


New Years Eve we continued drinking then around 10pm headed to the strip, it was seriously CRAZY! We walked through a hotel, I think the Excalibur to get to the strip...this was the "line" to get out there...

video

We made it!
 


Curtis does NOT know how to fake smile...this is his best attempt (yep I'm really that much shorter than my husband)

The only bad thing, Mr. decided that he didn't want to hit ANY traffic, so after a whole night of drinking and going to bed around 3am, he decided to wake us all up at 6am to get on the road...worst trip home EVER! But at least we were home by 10am and could go back to sleep...all in all, it was a great trip and we can check it off our bucket list, never have to do that again, although my brother still lives in Vegas...

2007

Decided to keep it low key and go to my Aunt and Uncle's house for New Years

We had good food

Lots to drink


And some drunken debauchary to end the evening...

Yep that's Mr. and my Aunt putting palm frawns in an abandoned boat in front of her house...she got tired of looking at it sitting there for months, so they decided to decorate it
2008

Not sure what happened in 2008, no documentation, so it must not have happened.

2009

Anyways, onto 2009, first New Years in our house...we're in the sub burbs now, so we go to basically the only place really open on New Years worth giving a try, Dualing Piano Bar...heck ya! The best part, it was themed, roaring 20's...double heck ya!



Note: That dress I'm wearing is from my mom when she was my age! No she's not that old! She said it was the in thing to have when she was my age...crazy, and it fit PERFECT!

2010

Now we have a kid and Baby Fox was exactly 1 week old...

He was trying to make it till midnight, but konked out at 10:30. Here he is dance partying to the music

At midnight, notice how Baby Fox is alseep?

 

2011

Yep we stayed in again...I guess after 2009 our New Years got a little more relaxed. We stayed in again, went on a bike ride, and just had a great family day. Just before putting Baby Fox to bed

 
Baby Fox at midnight, totally knocked out.
 

2012

This year we're pretty much doing the same thing as last year, staying in and  being warm and not waking up with a hang over tomorrow and watching the parade with Baby Fox. Although our New Years has drastically changed over the past few years, I wouldn't change them for the world! Baby Fox is the best kid a mom could ask for. Now I'm starting the new year right and I'm off to the gym, since I haven't gone in 10 days, the longest break I've taken since having Baby Fox. So what are you doing tonight?

See you all next year, have a safe, fun New Years Eve!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Spiced Nuts

I'm back! Sorry for the little break without notice, I was just feeling lazy and wanted to enjoy some time off with the baby. Next week I'll be back full swing...I hope. I have another week off of work, so we'll see.

I don't normally post on Sunday, but I thought this would be a quick easy thing to make for all of you who are going to be celebrating New Years  with a bang! Or perhaps doing something more exciting then staying at home and watching tv.

So here is it, the easiest best spiced nut recipe and you can thank Aubry at Beauty and Truth for this gem

Ingredients:

2 egg whites
2 tbs water
5 cups raw whole almonds
4 tbs white sugar
6 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs ground cinnamon
1 tbs ground nutmeg (I bought this at Sprouts - they have a herb and spices section where you take as much or as little as you want of the spices that you want, so I bought exactly what I needed, much cheaper route to go. Don't be fooled, they are no located with the other bulk items, looks to one of the outside walls, ours is near the juice)
1 tbs ground cloves
1 tsp salt
What to Do:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 250 degrees, and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.



Step 2: In a small bowl, lightly beat egg whites and water until frothy bubbles appear


Step 3: In another small bowl, mix dry ingredients, minus the almonds


Step 4: In a large bowl place the raw almonds



Step 5: Combine almonds and egg mixture in a large bowl, ensure that all almonds have been covered



Step 6: Add the spice mixture to the almonds and eggs. Makes sure the spice distribute (this seems like such an enginnering word to use) evenly.




Step 7: Spread almonds evenly onto your cookie sheet from step 1. I used two cookie sheets.


Step 8: Bake almonds for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so to keep from burning, even roasting is the ultimate goal. I think mine ended up taking more like an hour and 20 minutes. Once done let them cool for about 15 minutes. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


I ended up doing about a recipe and a half, so this is what it looked like with both cookie sheets combined to one.


Note: Don't eat hot, they don't taste as good as they have not had time to harden and make that crunchy aspect that makes spiced nuts so yummy. ( I cannot eat almonds, but was told this by Mr.)

Now go out and find your local Sprouts, buy what you need, and go at it! I found this recipe and make it the next day, so you can too, it's definitely a crowd pleaser and everyone enjoyed it.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Birthday Christmas

Hi all! Writing from my parents family room today. I forgot my computer so I don't have any new pictures, but I hope you all are having a very Merry Christmas and are enjoying spending time with your family. I know we are.  Baby Fox is being spoiled rotten by his grandparents and was definitely spoiled by his parents too. At one moment Mr. and I forgot what was in the HUGE box that we had wrapped a few weeks ago...not good. LOL.

Most importantly, Happy Birthday Baby Fox! He is the best little boy in the whole world and I could not have asked for a better, more caring, loving little boy. I can't believe he's 2 years old!  I feel like just yesterday he was this squishy little thing



and now he's 24 pounds of little boy.


Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Baby Fox! See you in a couple of days when we get back from my parents.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Spritz Yourself

With cookies of course! Remember all those cookies I made last weekend? Well I'm making more this weekend and I'm sharing the recipe this time . Remember this recipe? Where I explained America's Test Kitchen? Well that's where this recipe is from, so if you want the full explaination, go there, see the "*" note.

Okay onto the recipe.

Spritz Cookies

Ingredients:

1 Large Egg Yolk
1 Tablespoon Heavy Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Unsalted Butter (2 sticks), softened (about 70°)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt (but if you salted butter, omit this)
2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Cookie Press
Various cookie press shapes

What you do with it:

sidenote: The recipe below has been doubled from above. I find that it's not worth my time to just make 1 batch at a time, as one batch only yields 2 cookie sheets worth or cookies. If you've ever had these cookies you eat at least 5 at a time...so they go pretty quickly.

Step 1: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375°.

Step 2: In a small bowl, beat yolk, cream and vanilla with a fork until combined, set aside.


Step 3: In standing mixer put butter and sugar


Mix until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula (I did't add that tidbit the reciepe did).

Of course Baby Fox had to get in on the action, as soon as he heard the mixer turn on he runs up to me and says "doing?"



Step 4: With mixer running at medium speed, add yolk/cream mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl.

Step 4: With mixer running at low speed gradually beat in flour until combined. Scrape down bowl and give final stir with rubber spatula to enure that there are no flour pockets.



sidenote: If you don't have these bowls you need to get them stat! They look like a bowl, but then you can fold them for easy dumping into your standing mixer



See the pinching action? Totally easy way to get your flour in the bowl without spilling everywhere, you're welcome!

Step 5: Using cookie press to form cookies, follow manufacturers instructions to fill. If you don't have cookie press you can use a pastry bag with a large tip on the end to form cookies.




Step 6: Press or pipe cookies onto ungreased baking sheet


Yet another side note. My cookie press is electric, which you can find here, or here. I have not tried either one of these, so use at your own risk. Mine is older than me and was passed down from my Grandma.

Step 7: No cookie is complete without some sprinkles right? Pour them on! I was being stingy because I didn't want to go to the store to get more sprinkles, but after I took this picture my Dad went and got some more, so later cookies have way more sprinkles.


Step 8: I do two cookie sheets at a time, and rotate the cookie sheets (top goes to the bottom rack, and vice versa), makes baking go a lot quicker and I'm not in the kitchen for so long. So yes I own a lot of cookie sheets for this reason.

Silly me didn't take any pictures of them cooling, so you'll have to settle for the picture that I already showed you. I'm making some more this weekend, so I'll take a picture then and maybe update this post. Here is what 595 cookies look like all bagged up.


And there you have it. So go out and make some cookies for your friends and family! Hope you all have a great weekend and get all your last minute shopping done, I know I have some stuff to still find, hoping I get it today, so all I have to do is, wrap, wrap wrap!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

17 Days!

I am having I'm going on a 17 day break f-it's at work today. Yep that's right, my work shuts down for the week between Christmas and New Years and since New Years days in on a Monday and we happen to have Friday, Jan 4th off, I just have to take 2 days of vacation and I get 17 consecutive days off!

side note: I work a 9/80, meaning I work 80 hours in 9 days, so I get every other Friday off.

Tomorrow is one of our off Fridays, good thing, if the end of the world does happen, at least I'll be at home with Baby Fox.

On a totally differen work related thing. They recently moved our office, I work at this rather large campus and we have a TON of buildings. We were in this really swanky building, newest cube stuff and all, very fancy. Not even a year after we moved in, some other group with more clout came in and stole it from us! So they moved us to a building off in BFE and when people ask what building we're in, they would say, there is no building with that number. Anyway, this building is AWFUL, when I saw awful I mean we are the ONLY people on our side of the building. There are two lobbies and the stuff in-between don't connect. So literaly we're off in the west wing of this building to ourselves. The worse part, you walk in and have to walk down a 200ft hallway to even get to our offices. It's like you're walking the "green mile" every single day. And of course the bathrooms, kitchen area, fridge, everything is near the lobby, so you have to take a really long walk to wash your hands, go to the restroom, get your food.... You probably say, it can't be that bad Sarah...oh how wrong you are. This is the hallway of doom:


This picture is taken looking for our offices towards the lobby. You see that brown door at the very end? That's the kitchen area, then if you take a left, and a right, you'll be at the bathrooms and the lobby. So the door to your left is where the managers sit, the door  right across from it is locked and no one uses, and the second door on the left, is a gigantic room that has boilers and other ginormous looking equipment and they let us store our extra stuff in there. Then there are a few other door that are always locked and I've never seen anyone walk in or out of them. But mostly it's just plain white walls. And you see how it's sort of dark in the hallway? We don't even get the pleasure of all the lights being turned on, yep, only every other.

So there you go, where I work. I'm so happy to get a 17 day break from this sterile feeling walk. Although I have to admit sometimes when I walking in the hallway alone, I feel like I could be an Olympic gymnast and pull a Gabby Douglas and just go running down the hallway performing flips and cartwheels in perfect fashion.

Okay this post got way to long for something that was about work. Let's hope the world doesn't end tomorrow and we'll get another day to blog to each other.

Much love!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blue Elmo


Thanks You Shanna for sharing the silence and support and I believe after searching around Neely is the one who thought this up with some friends help, goes to show what a great blogging community there is and how fast something can spread if we really want to.

  • Baby Fox thinks Cookie Monster's name is Blue Elmo - Funniest thing ever! Yes Baby Fox you are correct that is a Blue Elmo, good work on your shape and color recognition. Something is sinking in, those flash cards are working! Why did my almost 2 year see this and I never did?
Via
Via
  • Happy 42nd Anniversary to my parents!  Once when I was a small chap, I went and separately asked my mom a set of questions and then asked my dad, all of their answers were EXACTLY the same. I don't remember the questions, but I do remember being blown away that they had the same exact answers. I only hope that when Baby Fox asks Mr. and me questions we answer the same exact way.

  • Transitioning from no window treatments to window treatments is weird. For example I leave for work at an abnormally early time, Mr. is almost always still sleeping, therefore I tip-toe to the bathroom close the door and then turn on the lights. Then when I leave I turn off the lights and try to tip-toe to the door, which is halfway across the room. Now this didn't used to be a problem because enough moonlight would come in through the windows and allow me to see the door. This morning however, I ran into the wall, literally walked right into it. In my defense it's a small wall that jets out (like 18 inches or so), so when the door is completely open you can't even see the wall. I think I need to channel my inner toddler and get a night light.
  • After watching Gossip Girl through the good times and bad times I stayed up way too late on Monday to discover who GG was on the night of,  I knew if I didn't I would just read about it and then the surprise would be ruined. Despite what everyone is saying, I liked who it was (I won't spoil the fun, just incase you haven't watched it yet, or didn't read the tabloids). I thought the episode was good, but I'm a sucker for happy endings, but when the reveal finally happened, I almost missed it. Mr. was talking to me and I said, wait, I think I just missed the reveal! I don't care about inconsistencies, seriously people just enjoy the show for what it is and move on with your life.
  • I can't believe I'm going to have a 2 year old in 6 days! Where does the time go?!

He's about a week and a half old in these pictures

And now, he's swimming and jumping into the pool...



I think Mr. and Baby Fox should join the circus, what an act!


Linking up with Shanna at Because Shanna Said So for Random Wednesday


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silence




We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services. Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to:
"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.

ANY DONATIONS MADE TO NEWTOWN YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES WILL BE DONATED DIRECTLY TO THOSE EFFECTED BY THE SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOOTING.



My thoughts and prayers go to out to the families and friends of the Sandy Hook Elementary school.
May God grant them strength and serenity during this difficult time.








Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Recap

Unfortunately this weekend actually started on a Friday, so we'll start there.

A little background, my mom was an interior decorator before she retired just before Baby Fox was born (priorities were to spend as much time with him as possible, work was going to get in her way). We ordered new drapes/shades in September! They finally arrived at the store so we had the drape man come and install.

 
Please ignore the bed spread, that is not what it looks like, just an extra quilt for these So Cal people. And that pile of clothes on the dresser is a donate pile



Then this happened:

 Yep they made them too long, we got a pair, and they made one side 92" long and the other 94", arg, so they had to return them to the store so they can send them back to get shortened...we'll hopefully get them back by Friday. But we got the shades for the other side of the room...woo hoo! So excited to have window covers after 3 LONG years!


After the drape man left, we decided to go to this house. It was seriously amazing, he had a whole light show, fresh hot apple cider and hot donuts to pass out to everyone that came. Plus they gave tours of their house to anyone that wanted to come!


 Yep you see that correctly they even had some help in the kitchen to help with the hot apple cider and fresh donuts coming...oh to be so wealthy and then share their joy of Christmas. Amazing!

Saturday I spent in the kitchen making these (am making more next weekend too)


While I was baking Grandpa, Dadday and Baby Fox spent some time in the spa playing


Daddy wanted to fill up the fountains, Baby Fox wanted to help fill them


 Baby Fox wanted to keep playing outside, so Daddy put his shirt on him so he wouldn't get cold.


Saturday night Grandpa watched Baby Fox while Mr. and I went to a Christmas party. I couldn't eat the food, but I hear it was amazing!

They just remodeled or should I say, tore their house down and built a new one. This was the first time seeing it, more picture to come later. It was amazing!


Since I couldn't eat the food, I was hungry when we left, so we stopped at In and Out...yep I ate french fries at 11pm!




Sunday Baby Fox wanted to play outside, it was cold. Notice how Mr. is wearing his ski jacket with shorts and flip flops, only in California right?

 

Mr. and I wrapped some of Baby Fox's Christmas presents. He's so spoiled!


Then we decided to do a painting project, but Baby Fox wasn't done painting when the project was done so we kept painting for another 40 minutes.


Towards the end, things got messy


And then Baby Fox decided he wanted to eat the paint, he said "Yum" after he started to eat it, weirdo.

This is his "Cheese" face, he looks scared, but is actually having a great time


And that my friends is our weekend. Only 4 more days of work, then I get 17 days off for the price of 2 vacation days, can't beat that!

Linking up with these fab people

Sami at Sami's Shenanigan's
and Leeann at Join the Gossip
for "Weekend Update"

also:

Sarah at The Not quite Military Wife
and Megan at The Mrs.
for "Mommy Moments Blog Hop"