Holiday Appetizers


Chipped Beef Ball
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese
  • 1 pkg. chipped beef
  • Tops of scallions finely chopped
  • Horseradish to taste
Tear chipped beef into tiny pieces. Mix ingredients well; shape into a ball. Chill overnight.  Serve with crackers.  Fast and easy appetizer.

It’s A Charlie Brown Christmas

Look, it’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. The economy has affected many people and places, I think this is a perfect display of where we are in this country. This tree is displayed in Concord, CA. Because of budget restraints, they were unable to put out $23,000 for a cut tree. Instead, they decided to use a tree that was already standing. This tree was chosen because it was close to electrical outlets. They believed using this tree to show their Christmas spirit was better than nothing. I agree. 
When I first looked at it, my reaction was dang what kind of tree is this. The city of Concord said it is getting mixed reactions with the tree. Many residents feel the tree is pathetic, they have always had beautiful trees on display. Some residents look at the tree as being unique. My initial reaction was that it was pathetic too. As I read the story and thought about where we are in this country, I appreciated the tree.
What would your reaction be if this was the tree your town displayed? Before I read this story I had been thinking about the fact that Christmas has become so commercialized. At times, I believe we’ve lost the true meaning of Christmas in this country. People spend thousands of dollars purchasing gifts and for the next year they struggle to pay off the debt. I used to be one of them, but I woke up years ago and relinquished my membership in the debt club. I make as many gifts as I can, be it a scarf for the kids, gift basket or a scrapbook. My family seems to appreciate the home made gifts so much more. You can’t put a price on a gift where someone has taken time and energy to make something for you.
For me Christmas is about the birth of Christ and spending time with family and friends not so much the gifts. I love cooking, making cookies and other treats, and just relaxing. I do enjoy watching the children laugh and play, and that’s where I spend my money on the children. When I looked at the tree displayed in Concord, CA I wondered why someone didn’t donate a tree to the town. Christmas is after all about giving. The state of California has beautiful mountains and evergreens. It simply would have been a matter of cutting it down and hauling it to the specified location. Oh, that’s right someone would have to take the time to do that. Everyone is so busy these days, who has time to help someone in need.
I admire the town in their attempt to show their Christmas spirit on a budget. Most people would have been too embarrassed to admit they were struggling and just couldn’t afford it, but wanted to participate in the celebration with what they had. I believe there is a lesson to be learned with this Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It’s a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior would have been pleased.
 
I would love to know your thoughts on this Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Please leave us a comment.

Do You Give Your Child A Sugar High?

Moms you will be glad to know General Mills has agreed to reduce the sugar content in their cereal by 25%. I’m glad Sonny the Cuckoo Bird will remain the same. He’s so cute, and he’s Coocoo for Cocoa Puffs. Even though I don’t give my 2 year old grandson cold cereal at this point, I’m glad to hear that General Mills will be helping to instill healthy eating in our children.

Our country has a big problem with obesity, that includes childhood obesity. I don’t blame our children for being overweight, I blame the large corporations for promoting sweets, fast food and other junk. I also blame the schools and parents for serving it. I didn’t give my daughter many sweets when she was growing up. She was a serious dancer from the age of 5 through college. As a result, she became very disciplined with her eating habits and very weight conscious. I, however, did not follow the restrictions that I placed on her and I am now paying a price for it. Getting the excess weight off has become a struggle for me and many other Americans.

We live in the land of good and plenty. In most countries people are starving. We reward ourselves and our children with food. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Chucky E Cheese and many others gear their products toward children. They ask for it, we give it to them. Children aren’t concerned about their health and they shouldn’t be held accountable for the foods they consume. They want what tastes good and they want to have fun. They want immediate gratification. We as parents must make better choices for them and for ourselves. Obesity starts with being 5 pounds overweight and than it increases to 10, 20, 30 and before we know it we’re struggling to get 50 plus pounds off.

Because I’m struggling with my weight, I’m careful of what I serve to my grandson. I also think that many parents feed their children cold cereals because it’s quick and easy. Many mothers work outside the home and they don’t have time to turn 0n the stove before they head out. When they get home in the evening they prepare the quickest and easiest meals not necessarily the healthiest.

General Mills is coming under fire for promoting foods that contain too much sugar. A study showed that General Mills made six out of ten of the least healthiest cereals. The study also showed that the least healthiest cereals were the most advertised and were geared toward children. General Mills also makes Trix, Kix, Boo Berry, and Lucky Charms among others. I do love their healthier Honey Nut Cheerios.

Do we blame our children for being overweight or do we blame our businesses for promoting unhealthy eating? Do we blame our children for being overweight or do we blame the providers of the food? As a mother, I know the struggles of trying to get a child to eat healthy. They don’t want veggies or fruit. They want candy, ice cream, McDonald’s, and pizza. You know the routine. Our children are less active these days too. Their world revolves around the computer, texting, and video games. Rarely do you see children outside riding bikes, skating, playing hide and seek or hop scotch.

Personally, I think we need to bond as a country and work together to eliminate obesity. Starting with the companies who are making and promoting sugary and fattening foods is a good start. They next step is working at home to ensure our children understand the consequences of unhealthy eating.

I applaud General Mills for reducing the amount of sugar in their cereals. Do you instill healthy eating habits in your child? Please share a few healthy foods you promote.


Frosty Discusses Sex With Children

Frosty the Snowman 640

When I think of Frosty The Snowman, I think of a jolly little fellow who’s laughing and playing with children not promoting porn and bullwhips. CBS is behind a video that has crossed the line in more ways than one.  How can you use a character that is so loved by children and associate him with sex and violence and think it’s a joke. What is happening to our country people? They believed it was harmless fun. WTH? We’re not talking about teens who put the video together, but executives who are paid six digits plus a year who are the masterminds. I use the word mastermind loosely.

I am appalled, I am offended, I’m feeling frosty. Not only do they have Frosty The Snowman talking about going to a strip club, but he discusses breast size, how many women he’s been with, and knocking someone up. They have a child calling someone a whore. To top it off, he states that he hits girls and babies. What kind of person would create this type of ad, and who was the idiot that approved it? The ad/video is running on CBS’ website and Youtube. Thank goodness they had enough sense to not air it on TV.

Apparently, CBS believed this video was an appropriate way to promote Frosty The Snowman, which will air on their network December 18, and the show How I Met Your Mother. I’m still trying to understand the logic and how anyone could believe this was a good idea. I’ve been unsuccessful. Both the creator and approvers should be fired. Thank goodness my sweetie is too young to google.  Can you imagine your child coming across this video? I purchased a Frosty The Snowman DVD last Christmas for my grandson with the intention of making it a holiday tradition. I loved Frosty when I was growing up. Never in my wildest dreams did I see Frosty hanging out at a strip club, drooling over women’s breast or telling someone they should have engaged in sex because they couldn’t knock someone up. How can you take something so innocent and turn it into trash?

I’m not a big fan of CBS, but I do watch the network occasionally. I am now questioning this station and its management. Several reporters have tried to contact the station to question them about the video. Phone calls are not being returned. I wonder why? Could it be they are afraid they will put their foot in their mouths when they try to explain the video. While they’re trying to pull their foot out of their mouth, someone should put a foot up CBS’ ass.
Feel free to leave your opinion, we would love to hear it.

Wordless Wednesday: Two Left Shoes?

Do you see anything wrong in this picture? He has his shoes on the wrong foot, lol.  He’s Mr. Independent, he wants to do everything himself.  Most days this is the end result.

Gourmet Toppings for Popcorn

 

Winter has arrived. I’m watching the snow fall out my window. It’s a beautiful afternoon. This time of year, I love to watch holiday movies or curl up with a good book. This would be a perfect afternoon or evening for some homemade gourmet popcorn. I thought I share a few of my favorite popcorn toppings for you to enjoy too. Pop a bag of unsalted and unbuttered microwave popcorn. Use one of the following toppings:
Cinnamon Toast Topping

  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg

Melt 3 – 4 tablespoons of butter. Mix with the Cinnamon Toast Topping. Melt 3 -4 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over popcorn. Sprinkle the Cinnamon Toast Topping over the popcorn.


Spicy Italian Topping

  • 1/3 grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt

Place popcorn in a bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over popcorn. Mix with Spicy Italian mixture.


Cookies & Cream Topping

  • Grind about 10 chocolate sandwich cookies in a zip lock bag.
  • Mix in a pinch of salt.
  • Pour popcorn into a bowl and drizzle with 3 – 4 tablespoons of butter.
  • Mix with cookie crumb mixture

Leave us a comment with your favorite popcorn topping. I’m always looking for something yummy and new. Check out my list of Holiday Movies, you may enjoy them too.


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Simply faBOWlous Give Away

Looking for A Fabulicious Holiday Find? Head over to Simply FaBOWlous. They have adorable hats and headbands that will make a great holiday gift. Your little diva will love them. Their hat and headband sizes range from infant to 6 years, so you won’t have a problem finding the right size. They have a great range of colors to choose from too. We were thrilled to have an opportunity to review a hat and headband from Simply faBOWlous. I choose the white hat and headband with the daisy. I’m partial to white, it looks great with a variety of colors and so fresh in the summer and winter. Since I don’t have a little girl, the hat and headband were gifts to one of my nieces. She is a Lil Diva. If it relates to fashion, she’s into it. I knew she would be the perfect critic.

I was pleased with the quality of the hat and headband. They are packaged nicely, and the design of the items is superb. There’s a bonus, they are washable. I liked the fact that the hat would fit over different textures of hair and stay in place. If your child’s hair is thin, it will stay put. If your child’s hair is long and thick the hat will stay put, and it looks great. I didn’t feel the item would stretch out of shape once it was worn or washed.

My niece loved the hat and headband. The hat was her favorite. Because of the thickness of her hair and the length, the headband was more difficult to get on. She plans to wear the hat and headband often, so it’s a gift that won’t sit in a dresser drawer. I would suggest that you buy several, they look great with jeans or a formal dress.

Simply faBOWlous also sells tutus, ruffled leggings, and cotton hats with flowers if you’re not into crocheted hats. You can also design your own cotton hat. You must check out their selection of great gifts for the fashionista on your gift list. You won’t be disappointed and neither will your little one. Compliments are guaranteed. While you’re there, check out the Christmas Tutu. Isn’t it adorable. Your Lil Diva will photograph nicely in this tutu or she can dance til her heart is content in the comfort of home. There’s a large selection of Christmas hats in a variety of colors too.

Simply faBOWlous is giving a hat and headband away to 1 of our readers. You could be a winner, here’s how: Visit Simply faBowlous and let us know what hat and headband you would like to win. We will select a winner from the posts, so please leave us a valid email address. This give away will end January 5, 2010 at midnight. Items will be shipped directly from sponsor. Want extra credits? Do 1 or all of the following:Comment on 1 of our posts ( 5 entries)
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One Less Holiday Tradition

I took this picture before I took my tree down last year. I vowed that it would be the last year for a real tree in my house. The holidays have arrived and I’m not sure if I can follow through with my decision to purchase an artificial tree this year. The thought of not having a real tree is torturing me.

As I was decorating the tree last year I decided the pros of an artificial tree outweighed the pros of a real tree. I love the smell of a pine tree, but that was the only pro that I could come up with. I hate the mess when taking it down. Clean up is a little easier now that I have hardwood floors, but those needles stick and prick when the tree starts to dry out. I used to think that real trees looked better than the artificial trees, but they have great looking artificial trees on the market now. I have room to store an artificial tree and it would be easier pulling it out of storage than browsing tree farms in the freezing cold looking for a tree, tying it down and lugging it home only to find that a damn branch is keeping it from going into the tree stand or the trunk is too large for the stand that we have. Out the door we go with the tree to trim off the branch or the trunk while arguing like two crazy people on why we don’t buy an artificial tree.

If the pros of an artificial tree outweigh a real tree, why don’t I just switch you ask? After 30 years of having a real tree, I’m having difficulty parting with tradition. Here’s what I will be missing:

  • No more bundling up in layers so I won’t freeze to death searching for a tree.
  • No more arguing with my significant other over the size of the tree.
  • No more 5 mile per hour drives for miles so we don’t loose the tree from the trunk or it won’t go flying off the back of the truck.
  • No more arguing over tree trunks or tree stands.
  • No more watching the tree fall to the floor after its been decorated because it has shifted in the stand or someone didn’t turn the screws tight enough.
  • No more tying the tree to the wall to support it and having to fill in the holes once we take it down.
  • No more cutting off the tip because I can’t get the star on the top.
  • No more arguing over taking the tree to the dump because I missed the only day the garbage man will take it.
  • No more arguing over whose turn it is to crawl underneath the tree so it can be watered.
  • No more arguing over why I surrounded the damn tree with gifts and now nobody can get to the stand to pour water in it.
  • No more streams running down the hardwood floor or soaked tree skirts because somebody poured too much water into the stand.
  • No more pine needles in the fake snow under the tree.
  • No more holes in the tree because the branches hadn’t dropped in the cold so we could see the tree’s true shape.
  • No more turning the tree around and around to find the best side and deciding where you had it originally is where it should be.
  • No more scratched up arms or hands from the needles.
  • No more arguing over my significant other’s left or my left.
  • No more browsing 10 different lots/tree farms and than heading back to the first one for the first tree that I saw.

This has been tradition in my household with a real tree. Who in the hell am I going to argue with now? How much fun is it going to be dragging a cardboard box out of storage rather than dragging the tree across a parking lot or tree farm while praying that I don’t turn into an icicle. I feel like a kid having to give up a security blanket or their favorite toy. I had no idea it would have this kind of affect on me. I have until the week-end to embrace the fact that the tradition of having a live Christmas tree is No More. Pray for me bloggy friends!

Kate Landers Party Hat Give Away

Will you be planning a child’s birthday party soon? If so, you should check out Kate Landers Events. We found the cutest children’s party hats there, and we thought you would want to know about them. These hats are quite unique, they are made from felt and are designed to be an heirloom. They offer an adorable lion, which would be perfect for the birthday boy or birthday girl at a jungle, safari or circus themed party.  Not into the jungle, they have other birthday party ideas such as farm animal, flowers, turtles and sailboats. If none of these will do, Kate Landers Events will custom design a hat that will meet your needs.

Kate Landers Events can coordinate your hat and table accessories too. They offer fabric hats as well as paper. The tablecloth, hat and napkins can be coordinated. If you want to go all out, check out the melamine plates and cups. They have fabulicious colors, green, yellow, pink, purple and many more, that will fit any child’s party decor. If you’re into one stop shopping, they can design your invitations too.

I love the cake and hat set shown. It’s perfect for a little girl. The colors are soft and the design adorable. You won’t find these hats at your everyday party or party store. If you want original for your next party, shop at Kate Landers Events. It’s one stop shopping.

Thanks to Kate, we’re giving a party hat to one of our readers. It could be you, but you must enter to win. Visit Kate Landers Events and browse her site. Leave us a comment and let us know what felt party hat you would like to win. A winner will be selected from the posts, so please leave a valid email address. This give away is open to US Resident 18+ only. It will end December 25 at mid-night. Your party hat will be shipped to winner directly from the sponsor.

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Good Luck!

Favorite Holiday Movies

The holidays are here. I love the family feasts, decorating the house for Christmas, and watching great holiday movies. It kicks off my holiday spirit. I like to curl up on the sofa with a big bowl of popcorn and one of my favorite drinks and gear up for a good laugh or two. I’ve seen good and bad holiday movies. I just don’t watch the bad, but here’s my list of 10 Favorite Holiday Movies:

  1. A Christmas Story
  2. Deck The Halls
  3. Smokey Mountain Christmas
  4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  5. Bad Santa
  6. It’s A Wonderful Life
  7. Home Alone
  8. Miracle on 34th Street
  9. Christmas With The Kranks
  10. Four Christmases
I would say that A Christmas Story is my favorite holiday movie. I would sit for hours wrapping gifts, sipping eggnog and rum, and LMAO. Oh that Red Rdyer BB Gun will live in my memory forever. I also loved Danny Devito in Deck The Halls. Who would want so many lights on their house you could see it from space? I must admit, I did enjoy the lights and music in the movie.
I enjoyed Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone.  He was so adorable in that movie.  I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it here.  Let us know what your favorite holiday movie is and what you enjoyed about it. 
We hope that your holidays will be safe, happy and blessed.