Friday, November 29, 2019

Life: Friday Ramblings

I had a blast at... daughter's Thanksgiving party at school.
I opted for Thanksgiving themed BINGO and was shocked at how much the kiddies loved it.
Several children screamed out that this was their favorite game ever.
Brownie points for this mama for getting  s o m e t h i n g  finally right!
I printed out BINGO boards and calling cards from the computer.
Next I covered them in page protectors and used crazy glue to secure them in place.
The page protectors worked out great for the kiddies to use dry erase markers to mark and erase their boards.
If you're looking for a fun class party idea with first graders, this was a definite win!

I'm really, REALLY proud of... baby girl, Mushy Face for winning the Manner's Matter award for the first grade.
In a world full of bullies and negativity, my daughter's a shining star for remaining polite!
...and, yes, she absolutely does take after me...

We are completely loving...
...our Disney+ subscription!  The kids haven't turned it off yet.
We're loving the classics, movies we didn't know were Disney, Marvel flicks, and much more.
While I don't plan on watching The Mandalorian, I'm pumped for other shows that are in the works.
This subscription has led to many family movie nights, which is one of our favorite activities!

I'm super annoyed with... dishwasher for breaking and causing a flood in my kitchen.
Good thing that my husband is not only handsome, but really handy.
After troubleshooting for about an hour, he determined the problem was with the appliance.
He ran out, bought an inexpensive replacement, and installed it himself.
I was grateful for his quick fix because Thanksgiving is not the time to start hand washing dishes.

My heart is full because...
...I helped my cousin set up a surprise visit from NC to spend the holiday with us.
I'm really excited to spend the week with them and have some one on one girl talk!!
You know, the talk with large glasses of wine and lots of laughs while making zero sense..

I'm giggling as I type because...
...I'm listening to Winnie the Pooh in the background.
Christopher Robin left a note ending in "I'll be back soon."
Owl then concocts a story that an evil creature called Backson captured their friend.
What's a Backson known for?  Ripping all of the pages out of library books!

My heart smiles everytime... son calls me "mommy" in his squeaky, baby voice.
His vocabulary has grown greatly, but his first word was still Mama, just saying!
...then Thor.  See, the boy's already got his priorities straight...

What are your Friday Ramblings?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Life: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all of you!

In honor of the holiday, here's my little Mushy Face reciting her favorite Thanksgiving poem.
May your day be filled with family, celebration, love, fun, and lots of delicious foods.
...and if you're a turkey, I hope you run as fast as you can, before you're roasted in a pan...

How will you be celebrating Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 25, 2019

List: Ten things I'm thankful for.

This upcoming Thursday is my favorite holiday of the year.
It's also my holiday to host which makes it something I look forward to even more!
I love that this holiday is filled with family, traditions, and delicious f o o d.
I love that the pressure of presents and expensive gifts aren't associated with the holiday.
I love the smell of the turkey baking in the oven and the look of my fine china on the table.
I love watching the parade and seeing the smile on my babies' faces when Santa ends it.
I love the prep work and spending time with my family in the kitchen getting each dish prepared.
I also love that it's the precursor to the holiday season.
Alright, so I love everything about it.  Whatever.

I know it's a bit early, but I'm feeling festive.
In honor of the season of thanks, here are ten things that I'm most thankful for.

Ten things that I'm most thankful for.

1.  I'm thankful for my family.
This includes my handsome hubby, sassy little girl, and chubby baby boy.
This also includes my extended family, in laws, and best friends.
It may be cliche, but it's oh so true - You all fulfill me and give my life real meaning!

2.  I'm thankful for Thor.
While our little chiweenie likes to eat Mushy's panties and sometimes tinkle on the floor, he's a good dog.
I trust him fully, even with my son when he was the tiniest of a newborn.
Thank you for being the kindest, most mild mannered puppy in our family!
Did you all think that I was referring to the superhero?  It is who he's named for.  Just sayin...

3.  I'm thankful for moving into this home and neighborhood.
When we sold our home and moved to a new neighborhood, we were hesitant.
We couldn't have gotten any luckier with our fabulous house in a just as fabulous area!
I'm thankful for the good schools, friendly neighbors, safe streets, and small town feel of our neighborhood.

4.  I'm thankful for our health.
We are beyond fortunate to say that we are all healthy and thriving.
I pray for my family's health and safety every night and am most thankful for this blessing.

5.  I'm thankful for my talented doctor.
This time last year I was in a very depressed state despite all of my blessings.
A mix of postpartum, the stress of selling my house, and a severe case of diastis recti had me real low.
I'm thankful to my highly referred doctor for fixing the diastis recti and a successful recovery.
I'm also thankful to my husband that made little complaint about the money spent on the procedure.

6.  I'm thankful for coffee.
I'm thankful for my coffee pot, coffee cups, coffee scoop, and Folgers.
Without all of these things, every day would become groggy, nonproductive, and gloomy.

7.  I'm thankful for our steady income.
There are days that I dislike my job and days that I completely despise my husband's.
His new job has me waking up at 4 am everyday to drop off both kids.  I loathe entirely!
Even with all this, I'm thankful for our income that allows us to live a comfortable life.
Without the freedom of my job, I wouldn't be able to be so active in my children's lives.
Without the increase in pay with my hubby's new job, we'd be struggling month to month.

8.  I'm thankful for being born in the US.
After meeting my mother in law and learning of life in communism, I appreciate the US even more.
I'm thankful for the freedoms and opportunities we are given in the United States.
The saddest part was learning how they are brainwashed to believe complete falsities!

9.  I'm thankful for my nail salon.
My nails are thin, weak, and resemble a sheet of paper.
I'm thankful for my nail salon and Bella, my go to person, for helping me look fabulous!
I not only walk out looking great, but they magically make it last for weeks and weeks.

10.  I'm thankful for getting back to R&W.
Without R&W, my life was missing a creative outlet.  I enjoy writing, sharing, and interacting with all of you.
Every comment puts a smile on my face and every post has me feeling accomplished.
There are even a few of you that I'm fortunate enough to consider friends.
Thank you to R&W for allowing my creative juices to flow and thank you to all of you for the friendship!
Just a FYI - I talk about all of you to family and friends like I know you IRL.  It's not creepy...

What are you thankful for this year?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Life: Friday Ramblings

Image result for happy friday

I've been left drained and exhausted from...
...the amount of travel that I've been required to do this month at work.
I've spent several nights away from home in far away hotels and hated every single one.
When I'm not away for the night, I wake up at 3AM for the day trip in and out of state.
Either way, I'm left exhausted.  I'll take the one that let's me snuggle with my babies at night.

I'm weighing the pros and cons for...
...a new job opportunity.  My old manager has offered me a position under him.
I absolutely loved working for him, but this job would be a big demotion in title and freedom.
While I'm OK with demoting myself in title, I'm not sure if I could ever go back to an 8 to 5.
My schedule requires lots of travel, but I make my schedule mostly which allows me to be present for my kids.

I find myself nostalgic and little anxious thinking about... quick everything in our life is passing us by!
My babies are growing up, my grandparents are aging, and the holidays are here.
I want to be excited for the holidays, not have them come and go.  Father Time, slow down!

I'm slightly humored yet annoyed at...
...Madre's comment to me the other day regarding Jared Padalecki's arrest.
She called to tell me of the arrest and that she realized I'm attracted to psychopaths.
My first love was Aaron Carter, an apparent psychopath.
Then I was crushing on Aaron Hernandez, a convicted psychopath.
Next up was my longtime boyfriend that got me blogging, LLS, a self proclaimed psychopath.
Lastly is Jared Padalecki, who my mother has now claimed a psychopath.

I'm still laughing at... exchange amongst my coworkers and I the other day.
"Jax, there are butt warmers on the back seat if you want to put them on."
A few minutes past after I turned the butt warmer on, and I felt the need to make a comment.
"Wow, it's really hot in here!"
"Then turn off the butt warmers..."
"I want my butt to be hot, but the rest of my body to be cold."
"Jax, you just summed up the life of every married man in one sentence."
...I still think I had a reasonable request...

I'm really excited to...
...start the true Thanksgiving prep this weekend!
It's time to start the shopping, cooking, cleaning, baking, and prepping.
Here's to a holiday filled with family, love, and the time to slow down and enjoy it.

What are your Friday Ramblings?

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Idea: Checklist and tips for hosting Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday.
It's also my turn to host and I enjoy every minute of it.
I love the idea of counting our blessings, the aroma, and the cooking prep with my family.
I love the food, the company, and especially the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
If you don't squeal with joy at Santa's grande entrance during the parade, are you even real?!

I've watched and helped my mother host Thanksgiving since I was born.
Once she was unable to host anymore, I took over the holiday with a family of my own.
I take great pride in continuing her traditions and adding a few of my own.
Madre may not say it out loud, but I can see that she is just as proud!
With all of this experience behind me, I'm happy to share some of my tips and tricks.

thanksgiving hostess tips and ideas; thanksgiving dinner checklist; thanksgiving ideas

Ideas:  Tips for Hosting the Perfect Thanksgiving

Three weeks before

_Create a menu.  This should include beverages, appetizers, main course, and dessert.
_Create a to do list for all prep work.  
Don't be afraid to add as you go.  I know I do!
_Gather recipes where necessary.  Store them in your recipe book for next year too.
_Create a full shopping list.  Separate by store and try to add prices where possible.
_Set a firm budget.  You should use your shopping list as a guide.
_Spring clean your home to prep for the big day.
I love a deep cleaning before the holiday season!  Clean the pollen off the windows and scrub the oven.
_Send out informal invitations to your guest list with a designated time.
_Start purchasing nonperishable items weekly to lessen the burden of the full shopping.
_Double check that you have enough table space and chairs for your guests.
Tip- You'll need to purchase or ask to borrow extra chairs and tables now if needed.
_Start to make room in the fridge and freezer for your Thanksgiving food and leftovers.
_Request the day before Thanksgiving off of work for prep work.

Two weeks before

_Purchase the Turkey before the right size, brand, and price is gone.
I'll never forget the year my mother waited and had to flirt her way to her ideal bird!
_Ensure that all last minute decorating of your home is done.
_Pick out your family's outfits and your apron for the big day.
_If you have an extra refrigerator or freezer, plug it in to store the turkey.
_Pull out your fine china, silver wear, and table clothes for a quick cleaning.
_Purchase the wine and other beverages you budgeted for.


_Finish all of your grocery shopping.
For me, this includes Target, the local grocery store, Costco, and Trader Joes.
_If you're having overnight guests, set up the guest room and bathroom.
_Get the furry family members washed and groomed.
We want to smell the Turkey, not a wet dog!
_Make the sauce for the stuffed shells.
Tip- I make meatballs and extra sauce to freeze.  Sauce without meat isn't the same!


_Put the turkey in the fridge to start the slow defrost.
_Make the fresh cranberry sauce.
_Make the chocolate pudding pie and/or jello.


_Clean, dry, and set aside all dishes, cups, and utensils that have been sitting in storage.
_Get fresh flowers and arrange them nicely for the table.
My personal favorite is a sunflower arrangement with deep green leaves and eucalyptus.
_If needed, gather all extra tables and chairs.
_Remove and store the glass protecting your dining room table in a safe place.
_Add the leaf to your dining room table for extra space.
_Iron the table clothes.
_Put away any everyday decor that you won't be using in a safe place.
_Recruit any last minute help to prepare the meal.  I always call nanny to help clean the turkey!
_Bake the homemade pumpkin pie.
_Bake the homemade apple pie.
_Go to bed early and prepare the most hectic day of the year!
At least it is for me.  I like to make as much as I can the day before so it's fresh.


_Wake up before the sun comes up and send the kids out of the house.
_Tell Alexa to play your favorite play list.
Tip- Cook all pre-made dishes in aluminum half trays or oven safe serving trays for easy warm up.
_Prepare the stuffed shells with your homemade cheese stuffing and sauce.
_Make the homemade stuffed mushrooms.
_Make the sweet potato casserole. I make mine extra sweet with a crumb topping.  Yum!
_Make the brussel sprouts.
_Make the butternut squash.
_Prepare the stuffing for the turkey.
_Make the mashed potatoes.
_Prepare the guava and white cheese.
_Make the corn bread.  I make them as muffins for easy serving.
_Make the pumpkin bread.
_Make the flan.
_Wash the turkey and prepare it for the big day tomorrow.
_Set up all seating arrangements and folding tables.
_Set the table in the special holiday way.
Tip- Get your kids involved.  Ask them to be creative with a centerpiece or place cards.
_Finish all last minute cleaning and dusting.
_Charge the camcorder.
_Set your alarm clock and coffee pot with enough time to cook the turkey.


_Season, dress, and stuff the turkey.
Tip- Set multiple timers for basting and to check the temperature.
_Turn on the Thanksgiving parade and relax for a moment with your cup of coffee.
_Pick up fresh Italian bread from the bakery.
_Pick up the struffoli from the bakery.
_Stop and watch Santa Claus end the parade.  
Don't forget to watch the dog show because you're too busy to change the channel!
_Bread and fry the artichoke hearts.
_Prepare the antipasto.  I use cold meats, sliced cheeses, pesto, nuts, and dried fruits.
Tip- I plate mine on the biggest cutting board I have to save serving trays for the main course.
_Once the turkey is cooked, cover in tin foil and plate the stuffing.
_Make the gravy.
_Make the salad.
_Slice, cover, and plate the bread.
_Prepare for an easy clean up after dinner.  Wash the dishes, clean the stove, and take out the trash.
_Hang some extra dish towels in an easily accessible place for the helpful guests.
_Preheat the oven to a low setting to warm up all your dishes.
_Fill the ice bucket.
_Put out beverages and don't forget to fill the water pitcher.
_Put on some calming dinner music.
_Warm up your dinner, serve, say a prayer of thanks, and feast!!
Tip-  Don't forget to put the wishbone aside so it has time to dry!
_After dinner is cleared, make the coffee and espresso.
_Heat up any desserts that should be served warm.
_Break the wishbone.
_Go around the table to say what you're thankful for.
_Be prepared with a light hearted, fun game to play with your guests.
Tip- Be aware of alcohol consumption.  You may want to order an uber or make another pot of coffee!
_Make to go plates if your leftovers are real excessive.
_Don't forget to take lots of pictures to remember this day.
_After your guests are gone, take a moment to relax and count your blessings after a successful day.
_Dust off your Elf on a Shelf to greet your kids Friday morning!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

Monday, November 18, 2019

Link Up: Ten life lessons learned from a rhyming cat.

Almost a decade ago, I was introduced to my first favorite rhyming cat.
If you haven't had the pleasure already, head over to Pat Hatt Time to say hello!
Pat is a talented author of both children's books and adult fiction novels.
Orlin is the true star of the show with his sarcastic and funny views of the world - in rhyme.
While he rhymes, Cassie Cat rules the roost and observes the crazy escapades of her little family.
These three have kept me laughing and blabbing since the start of R&W, through my breaks, and to this day.

Throughout the years, Pat and his cats were able to teach me some valuable life lessons.
It's not uncommon for me to ask myself "What would the rhyming cat do?"
...and then I do the complete and total opposite...

Ten life lessons learned from a rhyming cat.

1.  The meaning of life is to live.
Leave it to the cat to find the simplicity in life's biggest mysteries!
For the record, there has be to more life.  Right?  Right?!!

2.  Always pamper and groom your feet.
If you neglect your pedicures, you may end up with zombie feet.
Zombie feet is a very serious condition that no home remedy or nail technician can fix!
The cat reminds us to trim those nails, buff those heels, and moisturize those toes regularly.

3.  Aliens don't have reproductive organs attached to their body. least this holds true for the alien named Hank that lives with Pat and the cats...
I learned all about aliens thanks to Orlin hosting his very own Q&A session with his #1 extraterrestrial.

4.  Canadian bacon is not Canadian.
I'll never forget the look on Pat's face when his order of Canadian bacon was placed in front of him.
Apparently, regular bacon is the same bacon that the Canadians eat in their homeland.
According to the cat, we've all been tricked into eating ham by some ingenious marketing technique!

5.  Taking a break from something for more than a year makes you a slacker.
He likes to tease me at my ability for taking ridiculously long breaks.
While he's probably right with his definition of break, I always return better than ever!

6.  Lists are better off in your head.
He has tried to pound this one into my brain throughout the years, but he has yet to win!
That evil little cat wants me to risk disorganization just to save some time and trees.
Is this a life lesson worth learning, or an attempt to ruin me and all I stand for?!

7.  Only one thing can be the worst of all worst worthy things.
The cat likes to tell me that not everything can be the worst of the worst.
Bees, fleas on knees, deer, geese, and stink bugs are all the absolute worst to me.  I just can't help it!

8.  When it comes to age, you always round up.
At the age of 27, all I wanted to do was enjoy my mid twenties and youth!
Our favorite rhyming cat burst that bubble and told me that I was ALMOST 30.
At the time it was a punch to the gut... but now that I'm 31, I wish that I was only almost 30...

9.  Zebra thongs are all the fashion and a must have.
If you ever wondered what to wear for the casual date night or even an upscale holiday party, just ask Orlin.
He'll tell you to walk around with the oh so stylish, neighing zebra thong!
You can wear it solo or you can use it as an accessory to bring an extra pop to your outfit.

10.  The word dink is an actual word.
In my 31 years of existence, I've never in my life heard of the word dink.
The first few times he said it, I thought he was just making up a word so it would be easy to rhyme.
Then I told my mom about it, and she said he replaced the "c" with a "n" to be nice.
After a month or so of research, I learned that the rhyming cat himself added a real word to my vocabulary!
Tip-  Don't call people a dink for no reason other than to see if they know what it is.  They won't react well.

Have you or will you learned anything from a rhyming cat?

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