Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Greetings

Christmas is here! Its really here!!!

Do you remember when you were a kid and you couldn't wait? It was the best thing in the world. Now as adults, do we look forward to it just as much?

There's been alot of talk about simplifying and downsizing Christmas. Avoiding the consumerism that is rampant out there. I, for one, have tried to simplify for years. Finally, this year we made two decisions that have greatly lessened my stress level. We have chosen not to drive to be with extended family. Even tho we are closer this year since moving to SW WA, we are still 4-6 hours away depending on who we see. And more importantly, we are also at the stage in life where Joe doesn't do well away from his own home overnight. We also decided to not exchange gifts anymore with Michael's side of the family. It had become habit rather than a real joy. That cut my shopping in half, which is loverly!

Other ways in which we have simplified are probably scandalous to some, but work for us. We haven't sent out Christmas cards in years. Tho I enjoy recieving them, during our lean years we just couldn't afford the extra expense. During the same time period, we chose not to have a tree. I do miss having a tree sometimes, but enjoy others trees. Our house is still festive tho, since I still put up lots of decorations around the house. I toned down our baking and cooking as well. This year I've done a bit more baking but not to the same extent as I did years ago. Finding a balance is truly liberating. Finding ways to celebrate without making yourself crazy is life-changing.

Some advocate making gifts instead of buying and if this works for you, that's wonderful. For us, this adds more stress to our lives, so we continue to shop. But our gift budget is not over-the-top.

I'm looking forward to cooking a scrumptious Christmas dinner for the three of us. I'm excited about spending the time with my boys. I love Christmas and I love our family. There is no one else I'd rather be with at this time of year.

So how 'bout you? Have you simplified? What have you found works for you and your family?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Mama's Kitchen

Mama's Kitchen
This looks like a fun little meme. I stole it from a new blog I found called Life with Boys

1. Do you have magnets on your fridge? Yes! But less than I used to.

2. Do you have a calendar in your kitchen, if so, what’s the theme of it? Yes, a puppy dog calendar that hangs on the wall, Joe's school lunch calendar on the fridge and my desk calendar on the counter where I write all my appts, errands, and phone numbers.

3. What is your favorite kitchen gadget? probably my pizza cutter. Its not just for pizza, folks!

4. Are you lucky enough to have a pantry of some kind? Not in this house. I've had pantries in some other houses we've lived in tho and they are great.

5.What is your favorite appliance? Its either my breadmaker or my crockpot. I use both alot!

6. Do you have an eat in kitchen (table in it)? Our dining room is part of the kitchen so yes or no, depending on how you look at it! LOL

7. Do you have a bread box? No. I did when we first got married and we never used it.

8. Do you have a picture of your kids on the fridge? Not at the moment. Tho I have tons of pics of Joe all over the house.

9. Do you ever cook breakfast in your PJs? a better question would be, do i ever cook b'fast! rarely!! but when i do i often cook in my pj's.

10. Do you have a favorite cookbook that you use? Yes! 365 Ways to Cook Chicken & The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook.

11. Are you lucky enough to have recipes that were passed down from your mom or grandma? Not really.

12. What’s your favorite food? I really, really love prime rib. Have it on my b-day every year. I also love mexican food, chocolate, pastries, lasagne and lots of other foods. It shows!

13. What’s your favorite thing to cook? Depends on my mood. But I love to bake and I also love to make really fancy meals. Not so much the day to day stuff.

14. Is your coffee pot electric or stove top? Hubby has a coffee maker and I have an espresso machine.

15. Do you ever make your own bread? You betcha! Best thing next to heaven is fresh bread, warm and slathered with honey butter!

16. Name one thing that you have hanging on your wall in your kitchen: My pizza peel

17. Is there a clock in your kitchen? On the stove and on the coffee maker.

18. Do you have a bowl of fruit sitting on your table or counter? Its actually sitting on top of a cabinet that we have in our eating area. Does that count?

19. What type of canisters do you have? Glass ones.

20. Does your kitchen have a theme? Not really. I do have hot pads with fat italian cooks on them.

21. What’s for supper tonight? tacos! yum

22. Do you have enough cabinet space? Pretty much, tho I wish there were some cabinets that were taller, the shelves seem pretty closely spaced.

23. Does your family use paper plates? Not often.

24. Do you have a good set of china? No, never did and probably never will.

25. Do you wear an apron to work in your kitchen? No

26. Name one thing, if anything, that you would like to change about your kitchen. Oh I'd change alot, but this is just a rental so wont' go into it all. My fav kitchen would have lots of counterspace and cupboards, one of those super big fridges and an extra freezer and lots of good lighting, both natural and artificial. I've learned after moving around alot that you can make do with most any kitchen as long as it has the bare minimum requirements.