Friday, December 30, 2011

2011.....Where Have You Gone???

Seriously?? I can't believe the end of the year is here. It's kind of disturbing. The faster the years go by the faster I get older. Anyway, I'm thrilled to death today is Friday. For the last two days I've really earned my paycheck. I'm basically the only person in my office. Aside from crazy busy, it's also crazy boring. I like to have people to talk to. I plan to slip out early today.

So I was just looking back at my blog post from this time last year. I was calling my resolutions a to do list. That worked out well for me. I read a lot more than last year, 106 books so far & counting, I lost 25 lbs. (I was really hoping to get those last 5 off before the end of the year but well, Christmas happened), I started exercising & I cut way way back on the Dr Pepper. I had a very successful year. This year I plan to get my house organized. That was on my to do list last year but I can't really say that it got done. I think all the exercise got in the way but I'm in a routine & ready to tackle the organization. I have a couple of projects I'd like to do around the house too.

What's on everyone's 2012 to do list??


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

After Christmas Shopping

It's not often that I'm off the day after Christmas. Pretty much the only time I am is if Christmas falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. So I got to go shopping yesterday! It was a really yucky day. It rained pretty much all day. I didn't let that stop me. Dean came with me & we left before 7:00. I found a lot of good deals. Macy's had stuff 60 & 75% off. I got these salad plates. I doubt I use them for salad but I'll use them for appetizers or something. They're bigger than the average salad plate. Macy's also had coupons in the paper. $10 off a $25 purchase so everything was even cheaper.
I got this Santa too. He matches my Christmas decor. He was 75% off at Penney's. He was $12.50!
This angel also came from Penney's. 75% off. She was $10. I had $10 off $25 coupons there too so she was less than $10 & Santa was less than $12.50.
This angel is from Macy's. She matches too. I don't know how these pics got out of order.
Santa & his sleigh is from Penney's too. I made several purchases at Penney's so I was able to use several coupons.
I've been wanting one of these watches for awhile. It has the strap that you wear for the heart rate monitor. Lydia has one & she really likes it.  I was planning to buy it with my birthday money but I never got around to it so I got it Monday at Dick's.  
I needed a new makeup bag to keep in my purse. Mine has a big rip in it. I had a $3.50 off $10 purchase coupon at Ulta. My eyelash curler broke Christmas Eve so I thought I could pick one of those up too. The makeup bag was $8.00.
I also needed some makeup brushes so I got these. They were $17.
The eyelash curler was like $6. Ulta was giving out $5 gift cards to the first 100 people. I got there at 8:30 & got one & I was able to use my other coupon too. I ended up paying $16 with tax for all 3 things. Everything I bought was on sale when she rang it up. I thought that was a great deal!

I bought this Santa at Macy's.
I really like all the white. I got this nativity at Macy's too. It's smaller than the other one I have & just different. You can never have too many nativities.
This is my favorite purchase of the day!
Isn't it so pretty? I love the frame. Here's a close up.
I got it at Hobby Lobby. I saw it well before Christmas but I wasn't buying any Christmas stuff. About 2 weeks before Christmas they still had plenty of them so I was hoping I could get a good after Christmas sale. It was 66% off. I paid $34! I think the frame itself is worth more than that. It's a big picture. My plan is to hang it above my fireplace during the Christmas season. I'm sure Dean isn't excited about the fact that he's going to have to take down the picture that is currently there & put this one up but I mentioned that when I bought it & he didn't say anything. I just think it's so pretty & it will be a wonderful reminder of why we celebrate Christmas.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Christmas!

Dean & I hosted Christmas at our house. Like I said before, we had a ridiculous amount of food. This is some of it. Lydia, Dean's mom, my mom & part of my uncle. I'm sure they'll all be thrilled when they see this. Yes, we eat on paper plates. Don't judge.
Logan enjoyed his food when he wasn't too busy to eat.
The kids were very excited about opening gifts.
Yes, that's my brother, Scott, grouped in with the kids. If you know him you know just how appropriate that is. My cousin Brooke was patiently waiting with them.
This appeared to be Logan's favorite gift. A Hummer with a bass boat & trailer. He has a thing for boats. More of the chaos.
I don't know why the earlier pictures are so dark. Logan was so serious while he was opening everything.

My daddy & my cousin's hubs, Scott. Yes, we have 2 Scott's, a Lydia & a Leslie. It gets confusing at times.
Logan spent a lot of time like this. That's Dean's mom in the background.
There was something like a 80% chance of rain Sunday. Thankfully, the weather people don't know what they're doing & we didn't get any rain after about 5:00 am.  The older boys played football for awhile. This is my cousin Dylan.
And his brother Brendan.
I didn't do too well with the picture taking this year. At least I got some. For those wondering I never found Dean's gift that I lost. I'm hoping it's going to turn up when I least expect it. I did get him this.
It's a wine refrigerator & it's difficult to photograph because the door is a mirror but it doesn't look like a big regular mirror. It's very nice. Excuse my reflection. I couldn't figure out a way to take a picture of it without me in it. Anyway, I got it for Dean but he continues to point out that it's a together gift......That's what happens when you're hard to shop for. HA! For those feeling sorry for him that he didn't get his own gift, don't. I got him a very nice Saints "Sideline Shirt" & a set of Washers. It's a game that you play outside. I didn't know what it was until about 6 months ago.


Monday, December 26, 2011


We had a great Christmas! We usually always go to the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve. It starts at 4:00, which means we had to be there at 3:00 to get a seat. After Mass we had "Christmas with the Cubans". Our friend Jackie that lives down the street is the Cuban. Technically, it's her parents. Jackie was born in the US. It was so fun & the food was delish. There was a lot of traditional food like a turkey & ham but there were also lots of Cuban dishes & this....
Yep people, that's a pig. Notice the tail. That kinda ooged me out. I didn't partake in any of the pig. I stuck to the Honeybaked Ham!! Pretty much all of our neighbor crew was there.
That's Cliff with the shot, me, Dennis, Kitzia, Alexandra, Devyn, Sheri, Amelia-Ann, Jackie, Allie & Dawn. Everyone else had left. That's usually how it works with us.

We had a house full on Christmas Day. My parents, brother & SIL & Logan, Dean's parents, my Uncle, my cousin & her family. Of course there was a ridiculous amount of food. Fried fish, roast, turkey, ham, mac & cheese, cornbread dressing, rice dressing, broccoli rice casserole, green bean/corn casserole, just to name a few. Don't even get me started on the desserts. Completely ridiculous!! Delicious, but ridiculous!

I was a very lucky girl this year. I received a ton of wonderful gifts! If you're not interested that's ok but I'm putting them all on the blog because I'd like to remember who gave me what later & it's my blog!! Dean gave me a Pandora bracelet. I've been wanting one for awhile. He got 2 clips & a fleur de lis charm for it.
He also got me this
I was very surprised! I'd mentioned that I'd like to have one & Lydia kept telling me I'd love it but I didn't think he would get it for me. He thinks my tea addiction is funny. A couple of weeks ago at my office Christmas party we played the White Elephant game. I got this.
BUT, someone stole it from me. I was really bummed because I loved the glass so much. Dean tracked one down & got it for me. For those non LSU people out there, one of the LSU trademarks is the eye of the tiger. He also got me 2 Nike Dri Fit hats. He didn't realize when he bought them that they were youth sizes. Sadly, my head isn't that small so we exchanged them this morning. I got these.
I wanted them for when I run. Lydia, Scott & Logan got me a black one for Christmas which is currently on my head which is why there's no pic. Since they got me one I got a visor & a hat when we exchanged the other 2. They also gave me a Scarf & a Vera Bradley sleeve for my Nook. I love the pattern!
My parents gave me a charm for my bracelet, a big B (you know, for Blanchard), a cute fleur de lis keychain & umbrella (which isn't pictured because it's on the patio drying out because I used it this am) & a purse organizer. I've been wanting one of those organizers for a long time & I never bought one.
Dean's parents gave me some money, which I think I'll buy a Pandora charm with, a robe that will be great for the summer or December when it's 75 degrees outside. That's another thing that I always say I need when I actually need it but I never think about buying. The also got me some super soft PJ's.
My cousins, who are my Godchildren, got us a bottle of wine, some dip mixes & a really cute platter.
My uncles gave us a Walmart/Sam's gift card. Y'all know as much as I hate Walmart, I LOVE Sam's!!! Another one of our Godchildren gave us a restaurant gift card which of course we love!

Dean & I are ridiculously blessed. We have a great family & awesome friends. I try to never take that for granted. I hope everyone had a wonderful day spent with the people you love!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Yesterday was my parents 40th Anniversary. Dean & I and my brother & sis-in-law & nephew Logan took them to dinner last night. We went to Parrain's & it was delish. I had fried fish & fried oysters which were really good. Logan enjoyed the onion rings & crawfish eggrolls.
Logan enjoys food & everytime the waiter would bring something to the table Logan got a big smile on his face & would watch every move the waiter made. It was funny.

After dinner Dean & I came home & watched The Grinch. This morning I had baking to do. I made monkey bread for breakfast. My mom made it when we were kids but this was the first time I'd made it. Surprisingly, it turned out good. Here's the recipe.

3 cans of biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 stick of margarine
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
2 tsp water

Grease bundt pan & put pecans in the bottom of the pan.
Mix the cinnamon & sugar together.
Quarter the biscuits & in roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture
Layer the biscuits in the bundt pan
Melt margarine, brown sugar & water in small pot & boil for a minute.
Pour over biscuits
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes

This is what it looks like once you finish layer the biscuits.
The finished product.
I forgot to take one after putting the syrup on. It's really good!!

We're off to Mass & then to have a "Cuban Christmas" with out neighbors!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ooey Gooey Bars

I know, 2 posts in a day. What's wrong with me? When I got up from my nap this afternoon I decided to make fudge. My plan was to do all my baking Saturday because I wasn't going to have time before. I have several things I want to bake so that was very ambitious of me knowing that we'll be going to 4:00 Mass which means leaving home about 2:45 to get to Mass for 3:00 so we'll get a seat. With my unexpected time off today I figured it was a perfect time to get started. I'd gone to Walmart earlier today & got all the stuff I needed to make everything. Of course I didn't buy sugar & we didn't have enough for fudge. I refuse to go back to Walmart so I made Ooey Gooey Bars. Dean's cousin makes these & I LOVE them. They're sweet & rich & AMAZING!!! They're surprisingly easy to make too.

There are 2 parts to making them. First the crust. You'll need:
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 lb. melted butter
1 egg
1 cup crushed nuts (I use pecans)
Combine those ingredients together. I just stirred it all together because there's not a lot of liquid & that always causes problems for me if I try to use a mixer.  Once it's all mixed together it will be like a thick dough. Press it into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. This is what it will look like.
Next up is the top layer. You'll need:
1 lb. box confectioners sugar
2 eggs
1 8oz pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
Blend all of that together until smooth. Again I used a spoon to mix it together. I've been told that using a mixture on cream cheese isn't a good idea because it causes it to break down. Once it's all mixed together, pour it over the crust. It will look like this.
The spots are specks of pecans. I used the same bowl to mix everything. Bake at 350 for 30-35 mins. I only baked mine for 30 & they look pretty perfect. Here's the finished product.



The last few weeks I've been able to say  "today is my Friday.". Well, today is my Thursday. YUCK! Especially yuck because Dean gets off work at noon today & is off tomorrow & Monday. I HATE going to work when Dean's home. He works at a plant, they have a ton of holidays. I work at a newspaper, we have like 5. I've worked there 16 years so I do get 4 weeks of vacation so I can't complain too much.
I'm still not 100% & I'm pretty sure this has something to do with it.
Yes, it was 68 degrees at 6:40 AM on December 22!!! Supposedly, that's as warm as it will get today & it's going to rain. It was cold earlier in the week. It's ridiculous. Of course you'd think my sinuses would be use to it by now. I've lived in Baton Rouge for 38 years.

Side note, in the above picture, please note that the Margaritaville channel on Sirius is for Dean & Elvis is because I accidentally programmed it when I was setting the other channels & I never corrected it. I don't listen to either channel.
Update on Dean's gift. Still haven't found it. I even said prayers to St. Anthony last night after a friend suggested it. Luckily, it's not the only gift I have for him.

So, as I was typing the last sentence it was brought to my attention by a co-worker that I have 8 hours of vacation that I haven't taken. How did that happen?? I have no clue. The problem is it has to be taken by the end of the year & I can't take tomorrow or any day next week because another co-worker is off & one of us has to be there. That led to me leaving at 10:30. Tomorrow I'll go in late & leave a little early. What a mess. I'm taking full advantage of my almost all day off. I went to the mall. Normally, I would never do this 3 days before Christmas but I need boots & JC Penney's has them on sale. Off I went. I doubt anyone remembers but last year I looked everywhere for some tall black wedge heel boots that weren't Steve Madden & $135. Dean found a pair for $40 online at Old Navy. I ordered them & they were perfect! Well, apparently, only as perfect as $40 boots can be. The pleather is now peeling off. Oh well. I think I got my money's worth out of them. I found these today.
You can't tell in the picture but there's a fold over part that is lined with sweater material. They're very cute & seem to be comfy! I decided to go to Macy's too. I had a coupon. Macy's is hit or miss & mostly miss with me. Well, I scored this trip. I got this to wear with leggings & my boots. It was on sale for $17, regular $50.
This one was $50 & on sale for $25. It's long enough that it could be worn as a dress with tights or with leggings. Those things that look like spots on the screen are actually little rhinestone thingys.
The coupon I had was $15 off a $50 purchase. So I needed to find something else. I saw the slipper area so I went to check them out. I'd just thought to myself the other  night that I need some winter slippers. They had so many different kinds that were so cute! I had a hard time deciding. I ended up with these.
They're Isotoner & soooo comfy!! They were $26, on sale for $13 so basically I got them free since I had the $15 coupon. Can't beat that!

I'm going to nap now!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


So today as I was perusing blogs I came across some very interesting info. Sarah at Life Sweet Life shared something that I knew nothing about. The correct way to use a bobby pin!
 I may be the last person in the world to know this but apparently the wavy side is the side that goes up against your scalp. Who knew? Maybe everyone but me? So when I went to Yoglates today I tried putting my bobby pins in the correct way & they really do work better. They stay in place better. So there's your public service announcement for the day.

Speaking of Yoglates. Due to sickness & holiday stuff, I haven't been to class in about a week and a half. I was a little leery of going today because I still don't feel great but I thought maybe I could sweat the sickness out. HA! My goal was to not pass out. My head is stopped up so all the bending over tends to make me lightheaded, combine that with the 90 degree heat & things can get a little out of hand.  I accomplished my goal! I only felt like I was going to pass out a couple of times so all was good. I plan to go back tomorrow. There will be lots of eating this weekend & I don't want to gain weight.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Randoms

I still don't feel good & that makes me grumpy.

I still can't find Dean's gift. I give up.

I'm completely out of wrapping paper. That's a good thing. I get to go back to matching paper next year.

I plan to spend Christmas Eve baking. I don't know what's gotten into me.

The last Christmas gift I was waiting for was delivered today.

I hate cold weather.

I'm really hoping for a nice day on Christmas. No rain & mild temps. I'll have several kids here that will need to run off some energy.

I'm attempting a casserole that I've never made before for Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed.

I need new boots.

I'm dying to know what Dean got me for Christmas.

It's 8:25 & I'm about to fall asleep typing this. #thanksbenadryl


Merry Christmas!

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."

Luke 2:10-11

Wishing you all a wonderful day with family and friends!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

1 Week

Can you believe it's one week until Christmas? This year has flown by for me but November & December have passed at an amazing pace. It's wild. Friday, Dean & I were off so we ran a couple of errands & then went out to lunch & to the movies. We saw New Years Eve. I hadn't heard good reviews but for me that usually means I'll like it & I did! It was very cute. Friday night we went to a Christmas party at our neighbors. I swear there's not much better than walking next door for a party. Especially, at this time of year when traffic is horrendous.

Saturday night was another party. This time it was with Dean's extended family in Bayou Pigeon. For those that don't know, Bayou Pigeon is a place & it's where Dean grew up. We ate! There's always plenty of good food & Dean's cousin made one my favorite dessert - ooey gooey bars! Santa even made an appearance!
Dean's cousin Cody loved Santa.
His sister Emma was not a fan. You could hear her squeals of distress from the back of the house! She came out & claimed her gift once Santa was out of sight!
Dean's other cousin Sam liked him too.
Although, she loved her M&M's more! I didn't get many good pics. I'm not thrilled with my camera. It seems like if the lighting isn't perfect the pictures are crap. Oh well.

Today was a true day of rest. We got up early & went to Mass & did our grocery shopping for the week & other than that I did nothing. I'm still not completely over whatever this is that ails me so I medicated myself & laid on the sofa reading & watching TV. It's back to work tomorrow & I actually have to work all 5 days this week. Definitely not excited about that.