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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

heading back to N.C...

We're packing our bags & loading the car to head back to N.C. today after spending the last 6 wonderful days at home with family & friends.

I can't lie...we're not looking forward to the drive, but we are looking forward to getting back to our house & putting away our Christmas decorations & unpacking our Christmas gifts (more on that later).

I have to go back to work Wednesday night...booooo.

Well, off to do some more packing & then lots of driving.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

4 days...wow!

Only 4 days until Christmas...I can't believe it.

We'll be headed to GA Tuesday night after I get off work. We're so looking forward to being home with our families for a whole week!

I have 2 more presents to wrap & then a lot of packing to do...

We made chocolate chip cookie mix in mason jars yesterday to add to a few gift baskets we made. They were so easy & turned out really cute. Next time we make some, I want to try making soup mixes!

Well, time for a quick nap & then getting ready for Catherine's party...can't wait!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I have a new obsession with aprons.

I'd love to one day make my own...one day when I have a sewing machine!

Until then, I've fallen in love with these I found on Etsy (Hollie, I'm totally addicted).
Maybe I'll have to order myself one after Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2 weeks & counting...

I can't believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away!

All week long I've been doing things to "get ready" for Christmas...making & sending Christmas cards, buying & wrapping presents, baking Christmas goodies...
What does "getting ready" for Christmas mean anyway?

I know that it is far more than sending cards, buying gifts, & baking sweet treats. It's far too easy to fall into the whirlwind of these fun, but often time-consuming & stressful "tasks" and forget the reason for the Christmas season.

With Christmas only 2 weeks away & many of my Christmas "tasks" complete, I'm hoping to sit back and truly enjoy the real meaning of Christmas.

I hope you can do the same!

delicious treats

This past Monday night was our ladies' Bible Study Christmas potluck dinner.

We had quite a spread of delicious holiday snacks to enjoy.
Here are the recipes for wassail (my favorite holiday drink!) & a warm broccoli dip (I'd never made it before, but it was awesome)...
Holiday Wassail
3 sticks cinnamon (3-inch pieces)
2 tsp. ground cloves
8 cups water
1 cup of frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate
1 cup of frozen raspberry juice concentrate
1 cup of frozen apple juice concentrate
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of lemon juice
Orange slices
In a 3 ½ to 5-quart crock pot, combine all ingredients except orange slices. Cover and cook on high heat for 2-3 hours or on low heat for 5-6 hours. Float orange slices in crock pot during the last hour of cooking.
Yield: 12-15 servings

Zesty Hot Holiday Broccoli Dip

1 cup MIRACLE WHIP Light Dressing
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, well drained
1 jar (2 oz.) diced pimientos, drained
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spread into 1-qt. baking dish or 9-inch pie plate. Bake 20 to 25 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese; bake 5 min. or until cheese is melted. Serve with crackers.

Here are two shots of our dining room all decorated for the evening of fun...

After we indulged in the delicious treats, we played a white elephant gift exchange game & after having many gifts 'stolen' from me, I ended up with an adorable, cozy 3-piece pajama set. I do love pajamas!

I think everyone had a great time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our home for the holidays...

Our beautiful tree, 900 lights & all!

Our fun Christmas count-down calendar, complete with an Andes mint candy behind each door!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas festivities..

Christmas is fast approaching...only 17 days!!!

Saturday night Chris & I went to the Carolina Ballet's performace of the the Nutcracker & this afternoon we went to hear Handel's Messiah performed at the fabulous Duke Chapel (what an awesome place for a concert!). Both were great performances & we had a great time!

Tomorrow night is my 1st Christmas party. It'll be the only Christmas party I'm hosting this year, so I'm super excited. My Bible Study ladies are always such fun guests & I can't wait for all of the great food & fun we'll have. I'll have to share recipes for the delicious treats I'm making too!

We got our first Christmas card of the season (from Chris' grandmother) on Thursday, the same day I started making our Christmas cards. I'm hoping to have them all finished by Tuesday & in the mail. I love sending & receiving Christmas cards!!!

I love Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving recap & Christmas countdown

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in GA with our famililes.
We have so many things to be thankful for, not just at Thanksgiving but every single day!

On to Christmas...the inside of the house is decorated & we're hopefully going to get our outside lights up this weekend. I can't wait to set up the 2 4-foot lighted trees in urns I bought (both for $24!!!) on Black Friday. I'm going to sit one on each side of our door. My wreath should be finished this weekend too so I can't wait to see how it looks on the front door.

Can't believe it's only 22 days until Christmas...