Saturday, December 24, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2016


From my house to yours I am wishing you a very safe and Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

CHRISTMAS CRAZINESS

Well, I hope your all doing well this holiday season!  I can definitely say it has been an interesting one. As you are reading this I am currently sitting in Panera Bread in the plaza next to my work.  Why may you ask? That's easy because our family is down to one car right now and my truck is not fixable. Well, that's not exactly true it can be fixed just not for the money I am willing to pay for it to be fixed. Seriously I can get a used car at this point.  My beast has served me well and I honestly miss driving my suburban but at times you have to make decisions and my decision is to do what's best for my family.

But on the upside, my first book "Ghost Stories For The Chicken At Heart Volume 1" is fully running on Nook Press and was just submitted for Kindle Publishing as of ten minutes ago. So all in all a very productive day if I do say so myself.  I myself and extremely excited about all the changes going on and will be going on in the next year.

Did you finish your Christmas shopping yet?  I will admit I am almost finished but not 100% done just yet.  I know I have usually finished already but what can I do with my surgery and stuff I got a bit behind.  I do have a few thoughts on the whole Christmas shopping thing, though.  It bothers me when I am helping parents with these insane Christmas lists from their kids and a lot of it is a very big ticket items.  I mean I had one mom that had on one list that four of the items listed were well over a grand.  I was like wow which one are you getting him?  Her reply was like oh I bought all four for him.....  W.T.F.  Now don't get me wrong I am all up for spoiling my kids but a grand on four gifts.  I don't spend a grand over the course of the year shopping for my entire family most of the time, To me, Christmas is about a little more then what's under the tree.

But anyway I lost my train of thought a little bit. As I sit here in Panera I like to eavesdrop a bit, I know its wrong but give me grief later.  I am hearing parents who are figuring out the gifts they bought and still need to buy.  I Hear parents realizing the bought too much.  Then I hear Grandparents wondering what to get the Grand-babies since this is the only time of year they see or hear from the Grand-kids.  That is just wrong.  My Grandmother always wanted to know her Grandchildren better but unfortunately was unable to.  During the holidays she was saddened that she couldn't send gifts to all her Grandkids to which I always told her to send to the kids that you actually talk to and contacted you.  It is the Grandchild who is older responsibility to have contact with the Grandparent when they get older just as it is the Grandparents responsibility to keep contact when they are younger.  I know people might get upset with that but it's true.

So as the stores are crowded with holiday shoppers and people are driving crazy on the road remember that the holidays are an insane time of year.  Be the person who says Merry Christmas and smiles at people.  Take a moment to listen to someone.  Bake an extra batch of cookies and hand them out.  But most of all remember what Christmas is really about!!

I am sure I will be seeing you all again before Christmas Day but until then be safe and have a blessed week!

-Angie

Sunday, December 4, 2016

ZILLOW STALKS SANTA!

I was doing my normal and checking my email when I got a email from Zillow about what Santa's house actually looks like.  Check out the link here for Zillows preview of what Santa's property actually looks like here.

COOKIES 2016!!!

It's that magical time of year when even the most scared bakers in the world take to their kitchens to start their holiday baking.  Some people have power lists of what they bake every year and some make brand new lists off of Pinterest's to make some new spectacular kinds of cookies.  I admit fall in the middle and do a bit of both. But I am a baker who tries to make new and different things all year round.  Since I have a family full of taste testers who don't mind trying my baked goods I am all set because they will always be very blunt and honest with me.

But seriously I learned long ago a very important lesson from my Grams about this time of year.  This time of year brings out the good and bad in people.  So always have a treat in the house to share! By doing this you could solidify the good day they are having and make it great or a sweet treat and a concerned listening ear can make someone's horrible day a better one.

 For the people who say baking is so time-consuming or expensive your right it can be.  However, for me, I always have baking items in my home and I always try to put a few pennies away during the year so I can do this by the first week in December.  I work retail and my kids and husband have events in December so having it done now means saving time later!  Shall we begin!!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 egg
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Mix  till incorporated. Scoop out on a pan (if your pans are older like mine use parchment paper or spray some cooking spray so they don't stick).  Now you can be fancy or not. I will usually use a fork. You just press the fork line across the top and bam pretty fancy cookies.  Cook 10-13 minutes depending on how your oven runs.
Peanut Butter Cookies

PB&J Cookies

The next type you can do is PB&J Cookies.  To make these use the peanut butter cookie recipe above!!  When you scoop on the pan use your clean finger. (BTW this is a great job for the kiddies to do) and poke a small hole in the top.  Fill with your favorite jelly or jam.  Be aware when these come out the jelly is super hot so contain yourself just for a few extra minutes.

PB&J Cookies
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Last but not least for the cooked peanut butter cookies are the traditional peanut butter with a Hershey kiss in middle.  Again just use the recipe above and use a Hershey kiss.  Beware my kids eat all the kisses before they make it to my cookies so a great trick is just to stick 4 regular chocolate chips in the middle after you flatten them a bit.  My sister in law Pam loved these and when she moved away from home but came back to visit she always used my oven to make these with the kids. I make them now once a month in honor of her.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
A great no bake cookies/candy recipe is peanut butter cereal ba11s.  I love this recipe because there is no cooking involved.

Peanut Butter Cereal Balls

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup nut butter of your choice
(If you use crunchy use a few tsp of creamy so it mixes well)
1 1/2 Cups cereal of your choice (crushed up a bit)
1 cup chocolate chips

In a mixer blend peanut butter and powdered sugar.  After blending add cereal and chocolate chips.
Make into balls by scooping out some and rolling in your hand.
You can go one step further by covering in chocolate after making the balls or drizzling them with chocolate.  I like them just plain. Store in an airtight container.

Peanut Butter Balls
I love sugar cookies and this is the most basic as you can come!  Best thing is sugar cookies can be decorated easily with just colored sprinkles.  I myself love just plopping my uncooked dough into plain white sugar and baking you can't beat that and they look so pretty on a plate for presentation.

Basic Sugar Cookies

1 egg
1 tsp Baking Powder
3 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter

Now preheat your oven to 350 degrees I scoop up the dough and roll in sprinkles, sugar or mini crushed candies.  Bake at 350 until golden brown 10-12 minutes.  These are meant to be a soft cookie.

Basic Sugar Cookie

Next are a sweet treat called thumbprint cookies.  These are a great cookie filled in the center with a little dab of jelly.

Thumb Print Cookies

2 egg
2 tsp Baking Powder
4 Cups Flour
2 Cup Sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
assorted jellies

Blend together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and butter.  Add in all dry ingredients.
Scoop into 1 inch balls and place on pan.  Take your finger and poke a hole in the middle. Fill with the jelly of your choice. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven.

Thumb Print Cookies

Then everyone's favorite our traditional chocolate chip Cookies.Who does not like warm chocolate chip cookies?

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 bag chocolate chips
6 tbsp of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter

Blend together egg, sugar, vanilla, and butter.  Once the wet ingredients are blended add the dry.  Cook for 13 minutes at 350 degrees.  I also do this with fudge chips, mint chips etc.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The next cookie is a favorite of mine and my daughter Megan.


Peppermint Crunch Cookies

3 egg
4 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 of sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered cocoa
1/2 cup of crushed candy canes

Blend all wet ingredients together, then add all dry. Scoop onto a pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 min depending on your stove.  If you want super peppermint you can add 1 tsp of peppermint extract.

Peppermint Crunch Cookies

Then last but certainly not least is Oatmeal Cookies!!  These were my sister in laws favorite cookies.  I had to make them for her all the time. In my cookbook, they were renamed Pams.

Pams Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 2/3  cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup quick oats

Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.  Once combined mix in all dry ingredients in as well. Scoop and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes depending on your stove.

Pam's Oatmeal Cookies

So guys and gals these are my Christmas 2016 cookie list!!  Baking is a joy to me a way to relax and forget about my problems.  I hope everyone has an amazing holiday.  Remember the holiday time is not what you can get but what you can give.





Sunday, November 20, 2016

BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE!

Well as i am here laying in bed waking up for the third time today i noticed how cold it is outside the blankets.  Yes, we have heaters for the house i just forgot to get them out of the shed because you know I am still recovering from surgery.  However, I am such a lucky mom my kids did help me cover my plants with sheets to hopefully save them through this cold spell. Then I wondered why it felt so cold and holy cold snap its 36 degrees.  By golly I forget we get this cold this is Florida.  But no seriously I prepped earlier today, my kids prefer blankets to heaters and I got out thier coats for school.  I just hope hubby remembered to take his coat out of his trunk. Well everyone stay warm where ever you are tonight.  Also, I dont care if I sound like a public safety announcement please heat your home safely.

                              

Thursday, November 17, 2016

TURKEY DAY 2016!!

When I was a kid I would have to say Thanksgiving was such memorable occasion.  It didn't matter whose house it was at but for me we were all together as a family.  My Grandmother whom I was extremely close to even said she would have done anything to have those days back again once all of us kids had gotten older.  If we got to my families house early the first thing us kids would have done was watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  My Poppy normally would join us kids for this while sneaking us kids little candies. Then after the parade we would go to my cousins playroom and hangout, then once the ladies of the house had to finish prepping everything the adults would put us in our warmest coats and send us outside, When we were at my aunt and uncles house that would include our uncle taking us on turns through the woods in tubes or in the cart behind his three-wheeler.

Then there was the dinner!! We had the adult tables and the kids table, us kids used to joke we couldn't wait to get to the adult table. Finally when we were finally old enough they combined the tables and made it one,  I guess the joke was on us.

I miss those days still but family grew apart for whatever reason and we got older. However one of the things I always remember is the food.  God there was always a huge amount of food and people wonder were I get it from when it comes to my dinners.

Some of these foods I still do till this day!  Why not they are still a family and friend favorite and to me they are still traditional as can be.  Here are lists of the food we used to and some new things we have added over the years.

First would be the appetizers:
Mozzarella Sticks
Celery with Cream Cheese and Cranberry Sauce
Pigs in a Blanket 
Vegetable Trays
Chips and Dip
Deviled Eggs
Corn Fritters
Pickles
Olives
Meatballs
Crab Cakes
Cheese and Crackers

Then there was the dinner:
Besides the Turkey(s) there was also Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Corn
Peas with the little Pearl Onions in them
Green Bean Casserole
Broccoli and Cheese
Fried Cauliflower
Cranberry Dressing
Sauteed Mushrooms
Gravy
Biscuits
Corn Bread

Then Deserts:
Cheesecake
Cookies- Assorted and all homemade
Apple Pie
Cherry Pie
Chocolate Cream Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Cake

God I know I am forgetting a lot but remembering the food came in second to remembering the family that we had the time with.  As a adult I can honestly say I miss my family being together like we used to when we were little,  It didn't matter who you were when we were together we were family all the differences were put aside for that one day.  I think the biggest part of it is my Grandparents being gone now.  How I would have loved to have had one more big family Thanksgiving with them. Oh how I would have loved to have had my poppy meet my little boy they would have gotten along so well if he was still with us. I could see the look of joy on my Grandmothers face seeing my oldest married and happy. Or how she would have been joyful on how my other three teens had gotten so big and beautiful,  Nothing made Grams more happy then knowing her Grand kids.

Don't get me wrong I am very blessed and thankful for everything I have this Thanksgiving.  But I am also Thankful for the past that I had with my extended family.  Although we don't get a chance to see each other or talk to each other I love them just the same,  Maybe one year we will all come together again and remember all of those who went before us.

Hold those you love near and dear and have a Wonderful and Blessed Thanksgiving.
If you can think of any goodies that I forgot please leave me a comment below!

--Angie


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

2016 HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING ON THE CHEAP!!!

Hello from the recovery room!! As many who follow me on my Facebook page and The Blog's Facebook Page knows that I had out patient surgery yesterday.  Well; I am home and recovering and as hard as it is for me to say relaxing.  As someone who is always on the go I am not used to sitting and doing nothing, my Crazy has been put on a slow warm right now.  But it has given me some awesome time to run through Pininterest and find some amazing things to share with you for some quick, easy and cheap things to do this holiday season!!  Remember first and foremost homemade gifts are the best!!  I am always getting hints for homemade!  These amazing pinner's have some fabulous ideas so check out their blogs and pages!! So lets start...

Seriously how great smelling would these be!! Especially if you have a friend that just got a new place and are needing some Christmas decor with this clay your imagination is the limit!
NO COOK CINNAMON ORNAMENT CLAY- takes 1 minute to make & smells AMAZING!:

Do you have a steady hand with a paint brush.  Have a friend or family member who could use a great reminder of the season. Most dollar trees carry heavy duty poster board which I have personally used as canvas before.  Who wouldn't love a homemade picture!
May Your Days Be Merry & Bright - Print #Christmas #Food #Gifts
I know all my friends like candles.  So here is a great idea to use with your old mason jars, pasta sauce, or any old food jars with.  Be creative and its a great way to recycle!!
DIY Stenciled Mason Jar Candle Holder Christmas Lights Instruction - DIY Christmas Mason Jar Lighting #Craft Ideas:

Who doesn't like little keepsakes that can be reused each year!! Especially when its made with the kids help!!!
DIY No-Sew Sock Snowman Craft for Kids and Grownups. Such a fun DIY Gift Idea:

Here is one for that nature lover in your life!!!  Especially here in the south where birds don't leave.
A festive craft the kids will enjoy making and the the birds will love! A homemade birdseed Christmas ornament is inexpensive and exactly what your naked, winter tree needs.:

Now what about for you bakers!  Who wouldn't love to receive some amazing baked goods.
Easy Christmas Tree Brownies #BelongAtBCC:

These were just a few simple ideas that could help you along this Holiday Season!!  Presents do not have to be a expensive this holiday season if you do it from the heart.  Remember its not the price of the gift but the thought that counts!  If you have any idea's please post it below I would love to see them.

Holiday Cheer Everyone!
Angie


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

HOW A LITTLE TYPO MADE FOR A AMAZING CHRISTMAS TRADITION!

How The NORAD Santa Tracker Got Its Start

Okay guys and girls first for those who really know me they know that I am a compulsive obsessive person when it comes to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  I am also in love with a good story as much as the next person. So last year when I stumbled upon this story about how NORAD started tracking Santa I had a good chuckle.  Then to my surprise I was looking at pins on Pinterest tonight and behold the story of the Santa Tracker reappeared in my thread so I figured it was fate I had to share the story with the world. 

 The whole NORAD tracking Santa started because of a typo in the paper. Here is a picture of the ad that Sears Roebuck and Co. posted over 60 years ago.  They didn't realize it but that phone number was not to the Santa they had in place but to the Continental Air Defense Center (Now NORAD).


How would you have felt as someone who works at a military installation  getting a call on the red phone hearing a tiny little voice asking if they could talk to Santa.   However our military men who were working that night proved they were even bigger hero's by just going with it.  But what really warms my heart is that NORAD did not stop at a one time thing, This has become a tradition that has spanned the generations since 1955.  It has become such a tradition that NORAD employees plus others volunteer their time on Christmas Eve to make children happy. But seriously looking at these pictures in the CNN ARTICLE I think the volunteers are just as excited as the kids.

I mean seriously when NORAD releases this statement you know they have the spirit of the Christmas Holiday!

"Our constellation of defense satellites "uses infrared tracking to keep pinpoint accuracy on the heat signature from Rudolph's nose," NORAD says in its promotional materials. "Ground based radar tracking sites relay global positioning updates to our elite fighter pilots, who often escort Santa's sleigh through rough weather." 

On Christmas Eve I always run the Santa Tracker Application on my cell phone... And before you say anything yes I have it on my phone it goes live December first and then does a countdown till when Santa Takes off on December 24th, It however has a NORAD link and that is A+ in my book so the kids and we adults can learn about whats going on in our Military.  Plus don't judge me I have a Christmas Countdown as well!  Below is a shot of what the Tracker looks like in Goggle Play!

Or if you want you can check out the physical website HERE.  This website also goes live with Santa's take off countdown on December 1st as well.

As someone whose family has had a rough year with loss please remember what the holidays are really about. To some there are religious aspects but the underlying theme has been that these holidays are about family and friends.  Keep that door open to everyone who is in your heart and keep a extra plate at your table.  May you be blessed beyond measure this holiday season.

Angie

P.S. let me know what you think comment below!!




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

WE WANT THE COOLER WEATHER!

I get chills every time the weather man mentions the words cold front.  Actually the weatherman or woman and I have a very love hate relationship.  I am a native Floridian I love the warm weather, however there is nothing better than the cooler weather.  You know what I mean...Windows open, stew cooking, cuddling under a blanket reading a good book. Or fire pits and having friends over toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate.  No?  I know there are these amazing people that escape the white stuff and cold weather called snowbirds but I love the cooler temps.  Sorry to a lot of my customer base but if it could snow down here I would love it.  People joke with me saying I like the fall weather because I am such a Christmas freak and it means we are closer to Christmas.  I love Halloween, I love Thanksgiving.  So today the weather man said we are supposed to get a cold front that should stall over Florida and start our weather dropping. Oh I hope so.  If not there will be some creative words being yelled at the weather man on TV.  Well thats enough for now I have a business to run and work to do.

Blessings to you all,
Angie


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A LITTLE FALL REMEMBERANCE

I will admit things have been a little more than crazy for us this past year.  An even now I am in a transition phase in my current full time job.  I am just happy I do have a full time job still but I am going through a transition from manager to just a regular employee again.  Why you may ask? Well its not a difficult thing my position was done away with.  Funny thing is I am not even mad or upset in the slightest. You would think I should be but I'm not. I think its because we had a feeling it was coming so I started free lancing and opening up my resale business again. (shameless plug here) But that is neither here nor there.

When I was growing up one of the things that made living in New Jersey bearable was my Grandparents. I still get choked up because my Grandfather taught be how to play pool, gamble, fish and he also gave me my first shot.... He was a amazing man.  When my mom got into one of her moods he would take me to the water.  He knew that I couldn't be far from the water he would let me just sit there and stare out over the blue lost in my thoughts.  My Grandmother raised nine children.  Even during the sixties and seventies that was still a amazing feat.  I couldn't even count the nights spent at her house.  How she taught me to appreciate the little things.  How she started my lessons on cooking and crafting.  A lot of people don't know how truly blessed we are for having Grandparents who went above and beyond when they were let.  In my Grandmothers later years I had mentioned how I truly missed how our family used to be.  How we used to come together and God I remember one Christmas were we all went to their tiny little apartment on Bay Dr for Christmas Eve.  God I don't know how that building stood there had to have been at least 40 adults and children there. I miss times like that.  She told me that people change but family is family and I knew she missed it too!

One thing Grandma taught me was to was to appreciate the fall holidays.  She loved Halloween I swear when my kids were smaller one of our first stops would always be stopping at her home. She took such delight in seeing the kids in their costumes.  An then there was Thanksgiving god did she like to cook for her family.  My Grandma used to make these meatballs that I have no been able to replicate yet.  At least I have had some tasty attempts.

There is nothing like cuddling up with the family watching movies when the temperature drops, or having a groups of people get together sitting outside around a fire roasting marshmallows.  Or drives along the water with blankets and hoodies watching the fall sky.

People usually say fall is the start of the year ending but to me its a change not a ending but a crisp weather beginning.  May you all be as blessed. An shall fall be a magical time with cooler weather and Halloween surprises.





Tuesday, August 30, 2016

PET PEEVE TIME

I will admit I have a few pet peeves.  However one that gets me is when people do not move over for emergency vehicles.  Normally if your not blaring your radio you will hear the fire trucks or ambulance before you see them.  Then once you know you need to get over and stop let the people in the other lane in. Don't be a douche.  This one car would not let me over so the car in front of him thankfully noticed slowed down so I could speed up and get over. Especially today I discovered they went to the local highschool. So rant over thank you all for the ear.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

STAY HEALTHY FOLKS

HA HA just kidding.....well not really!  Anyway, How are you all doing and I apologize for the lack of writing but after our trip to see and say goodbye to my sister-in-law I have been struck with this cold/flu bug.  Plus on top of that its been making its way through the house.  BAH.  For me though it triggered one of my monthly migraines and lets just say my hubby is a superstar because it was not a pretty sight.  The reason for this post though is because I think we need a reminder of some basic how not to get people sick basics.....honestly you would not think that people need to be reminded of this but nope they do....


  1. Wash your hands...with soap and warm or hot water!!!! 
  2. Also carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you. If you hate the nasty smelling regular one go to Bath and Bodyworks and pick up a scented type.  If you can't wash your hands at least attempt to not be patient zero and attempt to stop the sickness.
  3. Now i know its not easy to take off of work.  Hey I work two jobs and won't take off of work unless I feel like a freshly risen zombie.  But if you are nasty coughing and just blah do the world a favor call out.
  4. Don't share drinks healthy or not. Lets try to be a little cautious.
  5. Same goes for food people don't share because you can be incubating something.
Please also do not do what this picture makes fun of because seriously I know so many people who do this and No just NO.

I have heard so many people say well on this site or that site it says I am fine.  You are not a doctor, the website you went to is not a doctor, GO TO A DOCTOR.

I know most people who are reading this are like ha ha. But seriously people for the few of us who get sick and then get other issues to go along with it do the world a favor do the right thing.  Because I caught someone else's cold I now have my migraines and dehydration triggered.  If I can make it without having to go to the hospital for a IV i will be very happy.

Stay warm, eat soup and have a great day!!!
Blessings and Love
Angie

Thursday, January 28, 2016

LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS

I know some ladies might get a little upset at me however it has to be said.  Seriously ladies leggings stretch and I do not think the world wants to see your g-string up your butt crack when it stretches is not sexy or alluring,  Its really just gross and disgusting. Lets see this chart i found on Pinterests.
Also besides leggings a few other leg coverings that should not be worn without something covering your buttocks.  Stocking or tights....I know that people are like but I wear them with dresses.  That's fine as long as your leggings or tights are covering to your mid-thigh.  Spandex that shows your underwear or if you are like the few people who go commando under the spandex we don't want to see things that's are....NO.  Again there is nothing sexy or alluring about seeing stuff that should be kept under wraps.  

Now I bet you are wondering why I mentioned this.  As you know I have a page going Kansas or bust 2016.  Well we are visiting my sister-in-law and on the trip here from Florida you would not believe all the tight, legging and spandex clad people that we saw at the stops.... NO WAY!!! Nope and when i said to my daughter if i ever see that i will beat you all I got the dirtiest look from one lady. Well that's enough from my rant right now.

Peace out everyone!!
Angie