Friday, December 20, 2013

5 on Friday - Holiday Movies

Seeing as its the last linkup with April and Co. before Christmas I just had to share five of our favorite holiday movies. We are all about Christmas movies in this house - in fact the mister enjoys them just as much if not more than I do!  Here are five of our favorites that we always make sure to watch during the holiday season...


We just love Home Alone. It's a classic, plain and simple. I love Kevin's loud scream.  And the scream that Marv lets out when the tarantula is on his face - it makes me laugh every time!


I grew up on this movie - anyone else?  The Santa is so real and I love how they depict the North Pole.  It's actually on Netflix streaming right now so watch it if you have a moment!!


This is another classic for me. Mary Steenburgen plays a Scrooge of a mother but quickly finds her Christmas spirit. It's also available to stream on Netflix! 


Love Actually always makes me smile and cry. My roommates and I watched it on repeat our senior year of college so it will always evoke sweet memories. My favorite scenes are when the prime minister gets caught dancing and when Emma Thompson cries to Joni Mitchell. Fabulous casting all around!  


Technically these should be five and six but we'll  just go with it.  Nate absolutely looooves these two movies.  He'll watch any Christmas movie really, but every time I put either of these in he will undoubtably say "Oooh, I like this one!" 

Happy Holidays to all of you...I hope that you find time to sit down, relax and enjoy popcorn and one of these movies before the New Year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Deck the Halls!

We have had a very busy couple of weeks - hence the lack of blogging - filled with holidays, birthdays and houseguests.  Things haven't slowed down at all but I wanted to take a moment to share a quick tour of our home this holiday season. 
When you first arrive in our home you see a few of my favorite things.  Our front entry way houses the first of our Christmas trees that we cover each year in the lovely cards that we receive from friends and family. The tree skirt is the same skirt that sat underneath my grandparents tree in their home after my mom made it for them. On the other side of our entry stairs is a quilted runner that my mom made for us using scraps of fabric from my sweet Aunt Annabelle.  I always have this candle on the buffet but at the holidays it's filled with ornaments.  A simple yet fun touch.  Our dining room table is covered with a tablecloth that Nathan's grandmother made for us for our wedding.  On top of the dining table we have an assortment of Santa's.

My mom actually handmade a lot of the Santa's back in the 80's.  Here is a close up!
This angel is so special to me.  I can remember winding her up and watching her twirl at my Great-Grandmother Alma's house during Christmas so many years ago.  Now BG gets that same pleasure here in our home!

Our bathroom downstairs has a few simple touches that I love.  The cross-stitch hanging on the wall was down by my mom.  My last Christmas with both of my parents I asked her if she could make me a cross-stitch just like this one for the holidays.  My dad replied before she could saying "Just take this one!"  I think she would have been happy either way but I'm so glad that he is a part of us having this piece now too.  The wooden pieces on the sink are Nonnie-originals as well that fit perfectly on either side of the faucet.

Every year while he was growing up Nate received a piece for this nativity from his parents.  I always display it in our family room on top of the beautiful Christmas runner that his aunt made us for our wedding.  BG has really taken to pulling on it these days even though he has his own Little People nativity.  SIlly boy.  The Merry Christmas banner does not photograph well but it adds a little spark to our kitchen table area while we're eating.
This plate is the perfect touch in our kitchen and our new Santa cookie jar adds another little punch!
Our mantle is chock FULL of special pieces.  I know so many people that have these perfectly ornate mantles, but this is more "us" anyway.  The handmade stockings...antique Santa's... a snow globe from a former student..but most importantly, the book in the center.  My mom and dad recorded the story The Night Before Christmas before BG was born so now he can always hear my dad reading the story like I did every Christmas Eve. 

This year I asked my mom to make us a new tree skirt.  I had ordered one but it just wasn't what I was hoping for.  So off to JoAnn's we went for fabric and by the end of the week we had a new skirt that I absolutely LOVE!!!!

Here's hoping that your home is also warm and cozy and filled with the love of family this holiday season.  Merry Christmas to you and yours...

Friday, November 29, 2013

Hashbrown Casserole

Yesterday we devoured our Thanksgiving  meal at a dear friends home...we've done this for the past five years and so look forward to it. Since we're usually in charge of simple things like rolls and a dessert it frees up time for making a delicious breakfast at home. This year I made homemade cinnamon rolls (with the leftover dough from our dinner rolls) and my very favorite hashbrown casserole. My mom modified this for us to make it meat free and boy am I glad that she did because its my favorite!  I've never made a larger version than the pie dish but I'm sure you could double it easily for a crowd!

Trinky's Hashbrown Casserole

3 cups hashbrowns
1/3 cup melted butter (I only use 3T)
1 cup ham (I use frozen black bean burgers that chopped up)
1 cup cheese
1/4 bell pepper chopped
1/4 onion chopped
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Put the hashbrowns into a pie panand drizzle  with melted butter then pay into place. Bake for 25 minutes. 

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. 

Layer chopped ham, cheese, peppers and onions on top of the hashbrowns. Wisk the remaining ingredients together and pour on top.  Bake for 25 minutes. 

Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Twist on Trail Mix

I recently found a recipe in my November Southern Living that I just love. It's a simple twist on trail mix that makes for a tasty little snack. Freshly roasted nuts mixed with maple syrup and chunks of dried cranberries and crystallized ginger? Sold!

Pumpkin Pie-Spiced Trail Mix

Recipe via Southern Living November 2013

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread a single layer of the following nuts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet: 1 cup raw pecan halves, 1/2 cup raw cashews and 1/2 cup raw almonds. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from oven and place in a bowl. 

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. 

Bring the following to a rolling boil in a saucepan over medium heat: 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg and a pinch each of ground cloves and table salt. Drizzle hot mixture over nuts; tossing to coat. 

Spread nut mixture on the parchment lined baking sheet - bake for 25-30 minutes, until glaze begins to harden. 

Spread mixture onto lightly greased parchment paper and cool completely.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup each dried cranberries and 1/2 thick crystallized ginger slices. 

Friday, November 22, 2013


The weekend started out with a bang - molars are coming and poor BG is definitely feeling them. 

Thankfully he was feeling better by Sunday when we hosted some new friends for breakfast. They moved to the states from Germany and requested a traditional American breakfast. On the menu: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage links, cheesy grits and no breakfast would be complete without Nate's pancakes!  We all had a lovely time eating, talking and play play playing!!!

On Tuesday we hosted some of our favorite blogger friends for a play date. It amazes me that I've been able to connect with so many inspiring people both near and far through blogging. Thankfully, these ladies and their sweet babies are close enough that we can all play together on a regular basis!  

We had one of our last music classes for the year today. BG absolutely loves attending and he gets so excited when we arrive.  Today Miss Annette had her camera ready to capture his excitement!  Love this musical baby...

Hope your weeks are going well...stay tuned for a tasty twist on a traditional recipe!

5 on Friday

So glad to be taking part in this linkup again with these lovelies...


What a treat to wake up to this sight...said no homeowner EVER! The husbands reaction was calm and collected. Can't say the same for myself. I mean, really.  Who takes out your mailbox and doesn't even leave a note saying sorry you have to spend $$$ on a new mailbox during the holidays. Big ol' Boo. 


My girlfriend has been doing the single-mama-thing this week so we decided to meet for dinner last night. Her hubby is on a mountain trip writing a book - it's actually his second!!!  Anyway, BG and I met her and her sweet girl for dinner last night. Miss A was quite the lady sitting politely and smiling while she ate. BG?? Well he somehow turned his entire body and rode on the highchair like a horsey!  That child is a mess. And I love him. Don't worry, I did the responsible thing and videotaped him instead of correcting the behavior. Memories!


This twist on trail mix is ADDICTING!  I found the recipe in one of the many Southern Living magazines that sit on my side table untouched - unless BG gets to them of course. I used to immediately sit down and leaf through them when they I'm three months behind! Something to look forward to I guess!  I'll share the recipe soon. It's a nice addition to the normal Turkey Day fare!


I finally decided on what to make our sweet boy for his first birthday cake! A vegan strawberry cake - even though it's a cupcake recipe it transfers well into a cake. I'm thinking two small layers for our egg-free baby!


Although in this house we've decided to celebrate one holiday at a time (NO judgement to those who don't though!) I just couldn't resist purchasing this print for our fireplace mantle. Thankfully it takes a week or two to create and then ship - perfect timing for an after Turkey Day arrival!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five on Friday

Linking up with these ladies again this week...

Somebody hasn't been eating bananas like he normally does so we had quite a few ripe on the counter just begging to be made into something delicious.  I think this Old Fashioned Banana Cake is the winner - you can never go wrong with Ina!


I was browsing the Facebook page of one of my favorite local consignment shops, Mommy and Me, and saw a few great deals.  I picked up some great Melissa and Doug food for BG and snagged this door for my friend Rachel whose son looooved playing with BG's and she'd been looking for one since then.  HO HO HO
On the way home the other day I heard about a program called Klicks for Kids that was happening here in Charlotte.  You pay for the photographers sitting fee and then for individual prints.  All of the proceeds benefit the group Sacred Seed.  Can't wait to see how this turns out!

He found the stairs.  Oy vey. We're in trouble now.


This week we have been absolutely obsessed with Cookie Butter.  I actually found some tasty ways to bake with it thanks to Allie's suggestion.  I can't wait to try these and these in particular.  My family has always loved Biscoff cookies so this is right up my alley.  Yum!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Weekend Happenings

We had a pretty low key weekend - we as in BG and I - Nate had a BIG weekend!  He ran a tough mudder on Saturday which took pretty much the whole day. 

He sent this picture when he finished since we weren't able to talk at all and it was too long for BG and I to come and watch. 

BG was so excited when Nate finally got home. They were both tired so we just had a low key evening. Just how we like it these days. 

On Sunday we kept things simple again - after all Nate had just run 12 miles with crazy obstacles the day before.  Somebody spent a large part of his time standing up. Hot stuff!!!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Five on Friday

Linking up with these ladies again this week.


Our little pumpkin had a great first Halloween. We got him all gussied up as a baby duck and took a walk around the neighborhood. His hat was actually a gift from my aunt when he was born. She lives in Oregon and this hat was just perfect when our Baby Duck finally arrived and now again quite fitting for Halloween. My mom made the duck suit...I was going to try to do it myself but she knew better than to let me sew such an important garb! We stopped at a few of BG's greatest admirers homes but made it back with plenty of time for a bath before bedtime. 


We "recycled" the pumpkin that we put BG in earlier in the week by carving his hands and feet on the opposite side.  Such a fun pumpkin to light each night!


I ran to the post office this morning with a very important package. We know a special trickortreater that wasn't able to go out this year because he had a fever. Soooo we sent him all of the candy that we didn't hand out last night. I'm so excited for him to get it!!!


We met this pretty lady for lunch today. She was home for the afternoon from App State where she's a JUNIOR!  Time sure is flying...


I had a Citipass coupon for Great Harvest this past week so I picked up a loaf of wheat and a loaf of Cinnamon Chip.  We have no problem eating any of their breads BUT oh man do we loooove the cinnamon chip!  If you haven't tried it yet please do! You won't regret it!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall Decor

 I am by no means a decorator but I like to dabble in a little fall décor here and there.  Although we keep it simple I also like for the decorations to last past Halloween so only a few things are "Halloweenie" allowing them to last through Thanksgiving Day.
I loved one of my new finds this not-too-sparkly pumpkins!  I found them at Pier One after reading a review on another blog.  SO cute and festive!
I am NOT a smelly scenty kind of girl but there's something about this candle that I actually love.  We bought one last year from Target and another one this year.  I almost never light candles...but I love to light this one almost every night!
Our last touch to fall décor was sticking our little pumpkin in a pumpkin.  Cliché?  Definitely. Nate doesn't insist on much with BG but this was a must for him.  We put a towel inside of it so he wouldn't be cold and thankfully it was 78 degrees so he was quite comfy! Then we traced his hands and feet for a pumpkin on the front stoop.  Nate carved a ghost pumpkin to balance out the opposite side of the door. 
I'll post a picture tomorrow of our sweet boy in his actual Halloween costume...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A (Not So) Normal Wednesday

This morning we ventured out to our normal Wednesday activity...Musikgarten with Miss Annette.  BG looks forward to this just as much as I do.  We both love music and fact he's literally the only baby in our class that "sings" along.

After a quick nap I ended up taking him to see the doctor.  He's had a few (not so serious) issues the past few weeks and thankfully we'll have the test results back by Monday. As we were leaving the nurse gave him a little ball...he had an iron grip on it all the way to the car.  Notice his lower lip?  He loves to stick it out all the time now...especially when he's concentrating on something.

I put together some Boo-bags during his afternoon nap. We were "boo-ed" the other day by a neighbor so we had to pay it forward to two other homes.  I ran to Trader Joe's in hopes of finding some tasty fall finds...they were almost completely sold out of all things pumpkin!  I found a few things and hopefully they get a kick out of it all!






Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Weekend Happenings

We had a super eventful weekend and in classic blogging mama fashion I took almost zero pictures of the "main events."  I like to think it's because I was enjoying the moments instead of documenting them.  But the truth is, I was able to enjoy those moments because I forgot to get my camera out.

We had the first swimming lesson of the fall session on Friday.  They added a little twist to the normal routine...real pumpkins in the pool to swim with!  How cool is that?  I would never have guessed that they would float but they certainly do! 

On Saturday evening we hosted our annual pumpkin party.  (Elizabeth did a fantastic job as always designing our invitation! I highly recommend Sunshine Ink!!!)

I was literally having too much fun to take pictures...  Carvers in action...and a blurry picture of BG entertaining all of his new friends with his toys.  Love that boy.

Sunday afternoon we had a sweet little party to attend - Miss M turned one and we were able to join in on the birthday fun.  Rachel really out did herself with all of the perfect little details!  BG was thrilled when he realized lunch consisted of BBQ...little man loves him some pulled pork.  As a party favor BG received a pig has provided quite a lot of entertainment for us at home.
After BG's nap that afternoon we decided to venture out to our local pumpkin patch to grab a few pictures and hopefully find some pumpkins to take home and carve.