Friday, January 29, 2016

"Quiet" ~ Five Minute Friday 1/29/16






  Hushed.
 Swirls of dancing snow.
Frigid air,  charcoal grey sky......
twinkling, glittering,  aglow with winter.
Heaving wind, eerily soundless.
A cotton - softness is silence...... enveloping .... wrapping......
shushing....comforting in its own uniqueness...
It is its own transparent self, this Quiet that comes with the chill, with the wintertide.
So different is it  from the world's usual chaos.
So distinct, so separate is the quiet, so disarming.
It begs to be noticed, greeted...
 And to remain unbroken.
And now?
Gone is the softness......
replaced by the swoosh of traffic, the disturbance of engines, 
even the honking of stray geese, awry in the now - blue heavens, 
bright with sun and awash with our comforting daily clamor.
In our loud world, the soft, soothing balm to our souls is quiet.



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I'm SO happy to join Kate's FMF party....
please click over and enjoy... xoxoxo

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

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You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,


~Chris





Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Snow Day Guide to Games, Books, Movies, TV and Comfort Food { Pepperoni Cheese Rolls & Pizza Dip}


Well. many of us in the eastern US received quite the 
visit from Jack Frost over the weekend!
In our corner of the northeast, we didn't get quite as much as other folks who
aren't used to or equipped for such heavy snowfall  and all the hazards it brings.....
Luckily for my family, no one had to be anywhere necessary and so we thoroughly

 enjoyed "forced" togetherness, hunkering down, settling in and sort of forgetting about the
to=do lists while Old Man Winter wreaked havoc outside.

     

We could have dismantled the tree.....
 yes, the tree as well as stockings and manger are still
up and it looks as though they're not going anywhere...
at least not while Mother Nature is providing a wintry backdrop,
giving us a reason to keep Christmas, even this late in January.
So what did we do while snowbound?
 Spent a good amount of time consumed by print......
  I'm knee deep into
this engrossing author's
 latest and  my 13 yo is enjoying 
 #1  in this YA series.
While my oldest found 
this book a page turner
as a reprieve here and there from studying for midterms.) 
We caught a  few movies......
  Second Hand Lions and  Mrs Doubtfire during the snowed-in weekend 
and took special delight in  a semi binge-watch of season 1 of 
everyone's favorite girl next door 
whocanturntheworldonwithhersmile...Mary Tyler Moore.
Hey, it seems always to be snowing in Minneapolis; so why not?
And how great is it no to watch ep  after ep of a show that we had to wait a
 whoooooooole week to see decades ago,  back
when we'd count our age on your hands and have fingers left over?
Ah, technology!

......And what else.........we also played one solid round of a  favorite
Santa gift...... fellow Whovians, you will love this!
As  well as enjoying some wordplay with this classic.And what would a snowstorm be without time spent in the kitchen baking ....... 
 yummy...and necessary after all that shoveling ( ! )  
 rich, warm, gooey  brownies  .....as well as good old winter comfort food 
I'm eager to share with you all a couple of easy and delicious snack/appetizers!

Pictured below is our version of a recipe I bookmarked quite some time ago
from one of my favorite cooking blogs.
The uncooked pic~~

For Crystal's creation, a bundt cake pan is used and since at one time
in the not too distance past,  I did have a bundt pan, but Lord knows where it is now,
 out of necessity, my spin on the goodies is a bit different.

And here's the finished product of the yummy treats
 we call Pepperoni Cheese Rolls ~~

You'll need:
Pizza dough
pepperoni slices
cubes of mozzarella cheese
olive oil
grated parmigiana cheese
garlic and other spices to your liking

The how- to
Pull off  portions of dough and place cheese, pepperoni 
and spices in each, pinching dough together  to "close."
Place all dough "rolls" pinched side down in an olive oil coated pan.
Sprinkle more olive oil and some  parmigiana cheese on rolls.
Bake at 350 degrees for approx 20 minutes or until "done."

Enjoy dipped in your fave sauce OR with the following..............pizza dip! 

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and here you go.....some awesome dip for you~~

My son enrolled in  a cooking class last week at our library and  enjoyed an hour of ingredient-talk and other foodie delights with a wonderful local teacher, Chef Rob.....
all the kids love him and feel he should have his own cooking show!
One of the appetizers rated for just such a snowy day...and for Super Bowl parties:
Pizza Dip!

Here's a shot of the dip, uncooked:

And here it is, right out of the oven~~


A close-up:

The how to, distributed by Chef Rob after the class:




Looks easy enough, right?
Let me tell you....it was amazing!!! 

I hope, friends, where ever you are, 
that you're enjoying and staying safe in winter's beauty!

Please click over and see the awesome posts Kyle and her friends are sharing!

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 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:
  
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,


~Chris

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Easy, Frugal, Candy - Decorated 13th Birthday Cake!


In my last post, a scrapbook of our holiday season,
I received a couple of questions about the featured birthday cake 
Soooooo, I thought I'd put together a quick post to share how easy --- 
and fun---it is to make! 
I'm no superstar in the kitchen, but I do love to bake cakes for 
my favorite people. So here goes!

Pictured here, the super simple steps are below:





Simply bake your favorite cake recipe in two 8 inch round pans and then find
the number stencil for your birthday girl or boy's age.



My son asked for a chocolate on chocolate cake; so that's what we went with!
Then, carefully cut around the paper.........



...to reveal the age-in-cake ( ! ) 

The birthday boy awoke way before I finished and 
wanted a hand in decorating his own cake .....

Once cut, frost and decorate with the preferred candy of the birthday boy ( girl) .
My son loves him some skittles.
Frankly, I'm an m and m person.......!
 But, either way, it looked quite festive and colorful!


By the way, here's last year's candy shop cake a-n-d-
if you are indeed on a search for the perfect birthday cake, no need to go to pinterest.
Just check out my friend Tracy's blog for all her cake favorites.
You know a blog titled a Slice of Smith Life will feature remarkable desserts
for all occasions, don't you?!!

Thanks for topping by friends...
I'll be back shortly with the full scoop on our Avatar the Last Airbender
 birthday party  held a few weeks ago for my new teen.
though if you're party searching and want to stop over! 

I'm delighted to share this post at the 
Please click over and peruse some wonderfully creative and
inexpensive lifestyle and faith links!



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 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:
  
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,

~Chris


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Holidays 2015 ~ QT Scrapbook


Well, I guess the holidays are officially over now that we're approaching mid January!
We still have our tree, and all decorations, up......
it still looks like we're in the thick of the  celebrations!
So here's  a Quick Takes peek  into the season, here at our home,
from Thanksgiving through the greeting of 2016~~
Thanks for stopping by to share a look.........




My son is pretty creative with a carving knife!

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....he's also a newly minted teen!


And here our 13 year old's birthday tree.
As you can see, I have trouble sticking with the original plan 
of choosing one photo per year!
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One of our festive desserts for Christmas Day.
Thank goodness for Duncan Hines!
I'm loving the velvet cake mixes...picked this one up for Valentine's Day, too! 


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Upon his visit,  Santa is sure to flip the tag from the  "IS COMING"
side to let us know he indeed "WAS HERE !"


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The last rose of the year!
What a wild, mild December. Blooming flowers! Wow.

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The boys new ornaments for Christmas 2015!
While Santa, of course,  keeps things hush -  hush, 
I've heard tell that that my older track enthusiast son's Keep Calm ornament
can be purchased through amazon.
As for the other,  Santa may have sent an elf to Michael's
 for my younger soccer player's ornament.

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Greeting the New Year with sparkle!




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 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:
  
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,

~Chris


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Just a Gorgeous January Sunrise~~ WW


.................had to share the beauty outside my window this morn!
So pretty, no?
Those clouds. That sky. These possibilities.
And a balmy 25 degrees! Not bad for the dead of winter.....
I'll take it!


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 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:
  
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,

~Chris

Monday, January 4, 2016

"And Every Task You Undertake Becomes a Piece of Cake!" ~ 5 Resources for a Calm, Organized, Peaceful You #5faves


I'm sorry...
I just couldn't resist throwing in a  reference to one 
Love love love!!!  
She's no nonsense. She's organized. She's fun. 
She's whimsical, yet dependable.
I could watch Julie Andrew paint a room or take out the garbage and be enthralled.
Plus, throw in classic music and dance, a couple of cute kids,
an adorable story and the heartbreakingly beautiful city of London.
What's not to like?!

So, here it is, early January. Happy New Year!
Seems while many are not in favor of the standard resolutions, 
choosing as a focus  one word.
A general overhaul, declutter of mind, body, spirit  
appears in order as we turn the page
 on all things brand new, no?
I'm all for a hard re-set and refresh  and I've found a few "helps" that 
I. Am. Loving.
These are must-shares, friends......

But no pressure on obtaining and reading all the way through.
We're going easy on ourselves this year, lightening the load!
So, peruse, highlight and post - it the tips, tricks and 
pieces of encouragement that speak to you and move on.
The goal is to streamline, not wight you down!
Enjoy!




I'm in the midst of this page turner, penned by Catholic priest,  Fr Jacques Philippe,
which seems destined to become a classic.
So far? discerning God's will and how to pray "better."
His style is moving and definitely inspiring.

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If you've never read Gretchen before, you're in for a treat!
You'll feel as if you're having tea with a friend.
Get ready to be refreshed and refocus habits in a new way!
This is a definite must-read for the year!


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Keep only those objects that bring you joy?
Thank your belongings before parting with them?
Yeah, sounds a bit , well...........strange, 
but Marie Kondo's unorthodox style is what spoke to me.
Ms Kondo is an organizational consultant who helps clients declutter their homes...and essentially, their lives.
I'm still reading this one, marking passages that reveal, to me,
 necessary insight on 'stuff" we own, stashing it and discarding it.
Another winner in the you-need-this category!


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Title speaks for itself!
It's a new take on the  time management/ time makeover
theme that we all crave.
The author's website is here,  and I think  you'll 
 be captivated by her simple, yet unique tips.

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Looking for more declutter and tidying up advice?

You must know Flylady?
She's your personal CHAOS coach, friends!
My fave  Flylady title is Sink Reflections, 
but browse her site to see what speaks to you!




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I'm thankful to  Bonnie and DeBalino for hosting FF
and happy to join in! 


 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!

Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just enter your email address here
so we can be in touch regularly!

Enter your email address:
  
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Until next time,

~Chris