Friday, December 15, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Fifteen

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day fifteen and today's question is:


My favorite Christmas decorations

I guess I could say, just about everything that I put up every year has a special memory!

Here are some of my favorites!






Old Photo Friday: Merry Christmas,1973


WHO: Stacy, Jennifer (Mom) and Grandma Cavey (my Pop's grandma)
WHEN: Christmas Eve 1971-72
WHERE: E Street in Springfield, OR

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Don't I look happy...I just got a baby doll for Christmas!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Day of Christmas/Day Fourteen

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day fourteen and today's question is:


Favorite childhood Christmas memory

This story is pretty legendary in our house.  

One of the first years after my parent's divorce,  my Pop and I went out to get a Christmas Tree.  I wanted at least a 6 foot tall tree and when we got to the Christmas Tree lot on Main Street and I picked out a tree, Pop said no...it was too tall.  He claimed that when you put it in the Christmas Tree stand, that the stand adds another foot...foot and a half to the tree size, so he grabbed a smaller tree, loaded it into the back of the pick up and off for home we went.

The rest is history and the tree tells the tale.

Enjoy!
Stacy



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Thirteen

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day thirteen and today's question is:



What are you reading this Christmas?

This year's book reading goal was 18 and I am currently on book 20!  Setting a reading goal is something that I have been doing for about 5 years and each year I've met my goal (not too bad for someone who didn't have a library card until they were 44 years old).

Here is this year's Christmas reading selection....


The small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.


Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie's oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story might end? Jeannie's father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie's husband doesn't want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that's a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor's life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.




Introducing a series utterly perfect for cozy fans of Alan Bradley, Alexander McCall Smith, and Louise Penny. The Reverend Tom "Father" Christmas, the newest vicar of Thornford Regis, an idyllic rural town in England, turns detective when one of his parishioners turns up dead in a drum, and everyone in town seems to have something to confess. Tom Christmas came to picturesque Thornford Regis with his young daughter to escape the terrible experience of losing his wife in the city. Her murder sent him packing to the bucolic and charming town, where violent crime isn't supposed to happen and the greatest sin is supposed to be nothing a member of the clergy can't handle. Then, at the town fair, a woman is found murdered. Tom soon learnsthat everyone in Thornford Regis has a secret to hide--infidelity, theft, even past murders. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Twelve

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day twelve and today's question/topic is:



Acts of Kindness

The holidays are a time to think about those less fortunate given that my entire life, I've been more than fortunate.

Since we've been living in West Seattle, Brian and I have donated to the West Seattle Food Bank every year.  We each set a budget and make a list and bring perishable and non-perishable food to the food bank a week before Christmas. 

The first year we dropped off our food, we sat in the car park and cried.  It brought us both so much joy.

But...there are so many other small acts of kindness that you can practice, not only at Christmas, but also throughout the year.

Enjoy!
Stacy





Monday, December 11, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Eleven

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day eleven and today's question/topic is:


Winter wonderland pictures of where you live!

We don't live in a winter wonderland, unfortunately...but we did get some snow last January (the most we've had in over 8 years).

It would be great to have a white Christmas in Seattle this year.  Let's cross our fingers for some snow this holiday season.

Enjoy,
Stacy






Sunday, December 10, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Ten

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day ten and today's question is:



What is on your Christmas Day Menu?


We start the day with egg nog lattes (and sometimes leftover doughnuts from Top Pot) followed by Brian's famous Christmas Day quiches.

There is always junk lots of great holiday items on hand to munch on throughout the day!

For dinner, our menu has been pretty much the same for the last 10+ years.

Filet Mignon Roast (with lumpy gravy)
and
Orca rolls (otherwise known as Pilsbury crescent rolls)

Enjoy!
Stacy

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Nine

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day nine and today's question/topic is:


Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas this year!

One of my favorite Christmas songs is "My Favorite Things" which actually is not really a Christmas song at all, right.



So this year, my Christmas wrapping theme is brown paper packages tied up with string.



I bought $1 ornaments from the Dollar Store to embellish each package for an added Christmas touch.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Friday, December 8, 2017

Blogmas 2017 -25 Days of Christmas/Day Eight

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day eight and today's question is:



What is on your Wish List this year?


Dear Santa,

Have I been a good girl this year?

Love,
Stacy


Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats for Walking on Snow and Ice


Remember all the snow and Ice Portland got last year?  I don't ever want to be caught off guard again.  I'll keep these in my winter train travel kit so I can walk to my car in the snow and/or ice.






Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 Wireless Hi-Fi Earbud Headphones - Compatible with iPhone and other Smart Devices - Black

I think it's time to go wireless!  How easy is it going to be to travel and listen to music without having to be plugged in.





Madam Secretary: A Memoir 


After hearing her speak in San Diego in October, I am fascinated to read about more of her life and adventures.

Old Photo Friday: Merry Christmas 1993


WHO: Pop and Stacy
WHAT: Getting ready for Pop's surprise 50th birthday party!
WHERE: E-Street in Springfield, OR
WHEN: December 22, 1993

Note to younger self: go easy on the blush next time!  

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Seven

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day seven and today's question is:



What Christmas items can't you go without!


When you come home after a long day at work, don't you want to walk into your house and have your lights automatically turn on?  How about falling asleep with your Christmas lights on and not having to worry about getting out of bed to unplug them?



These microfiber sheets on sale at Target are the perfect way to accessorize your bedroom for the holidays, plus they come in different colors and patterns (why not pick up two sets).


I can never have enough flameless candles in my home during the year, but I love to add a few red candles at Christmastime.



Baileys over ice is the perfect dessert for watching Christmas movies!  You can even make your own!

Recipe of the Week: 5 minute Christmas Bark


Happy Holidays!

If you are short on time, but need to make a treat for your kid's homeroom teacher, your church pot luck or your annual neighborhood gathering, you've certainly got 5 minutes, right!?

Enjoy....and thank you very much!

Stacy



5 Minute Christmas Bark


Ingredients:

1 bag light or dark chocolate candy melts
1/4 cup Cocoa Puffs cereal
1/ 4 cup peppermint mini marshmallows
1/4 cup holiday chocolate (red and green) chips or M & Ms

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper

In a medium bowl, microwave candy melts on high for 60 to 90 seconds.  Stir until smooth and combined.

Pour melted candy melts on a cookie sheet.  Spread with the back of a spoon.

Quickly arrange cereal, marshmallows and chips over the melted candy melts and gently press in.

Place cookie sheet in the freezer for a few minutes or until it sets.  Remove from freezer and break into pieces.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Six


Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day six and today's question is:



When Do You Open Your Christmas Presents?

Growing up, Christmas Eve was the big celebration at Grandma Virginia and Grandpa Ralph's home on Hilyard Street in Eugene.  As soon as the sun set, Santa knocked on the front door and made a grand entrance (only to be swept into the kitchen for a ham sandwich and a shot of whiskey).  Presents were unwrapped over a period of several hours and then it was time for bed and the whole Christmas experience was over.

Christmas Day was a let down of epic proportions.  Oh, there was food and playing with toys and friends stopping by for cocktails...but the magic was pretty much gone.  I remember feeling bored on Christmas Day.  Strange for a kid.

When my Pop met Rosemary in the early 1980's, our traditions changed.  She introduced us to Christmas Day and waking up early in the morning and opening presents.  It was like an extension of the Christmas season.  It was only then, in movies and books that I began to realize that we really had it all wrong from the start.

We still celebrate Christmas Eve, but no presents are opened.  There are carols and cocktails and friends and family, but I wouldn't ever think of opening gifts until Santa comes down the chimney!

Enjoy!
Stacy


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Five

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day five and today's question is:



What is your Favorite Christmas Food?


Food?  Did someone say Food?  And furthermore, I have to pick just one item?

Growing up, Thanksgiving was the traditional meal and Christmas was always the wild card.  Everyone is typically tired of turkey so other options included ham and roast beef.  What about that year that Pop and I tried to cook a Christmas Goose?

Can we discuss my love of fruit cake?  Grandma Phyllis used to always make sure that some traditional and/or exotic loaf ended up in my stocking.  No one else dared touch it!

Brian and I love to drink Bailey's Irish Cream from fancy glasses with ice cubes while watching Christmas movies.  I think Bailey's counts as food, right?


What about our Christmas morning quiches?  Brian's family tradition continues on in our home on Christmas morning.

Did someone say lumpy gravy with roasted shallots and port wine?

What about fighting our way into the Metropolitan Market parking lot on Christmas Eve to pick up our filet mignon roast?

Food brings about a lot of great Christmas memories.

Enjoy!
Stacy

48/52: Time to Decorate our West Seattle Tree






And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care.....

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

All things are Merry and Bright in West Seattle.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Monday, December 4, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Four

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day four and today's question is:



What is your Favorite Christmas Song?

Wow, I've been listening to Christmas music since the day after Halloween!  It wasn't always that way.  I used to be a Christmas purist.  No evidence of Christmas until after the turkey is carved and the leftovers packaged.  

A few years ago, I began to realize that time is precious and moving at an alarmingly fast pace.  Our Christmas season is one of the shortest in the entire world and I felt like I couldn't hear all the music, see all the movies, enjoy all the decorations in only three or four weeks.  It made me anxious about Christmas.  I felt like it was gone, even before it began.  To ease into the holiday, I started playing Christmas music...not all day every day, but a few scattered songs here and there to release some of the memories.

Sometimes, in the heat of summer...I watch "Meet me in St. Louis" just so I can hear the song.

You know the song....you have your own.  It's the song of your Christmas.  The one you hear that takes you to that special place in your mind.  The place of Christmas past.

Music creates memories and music memories are stored in special places and they come out when you hear that song.  Joy, grief, loss, success and failure....they all find a place in music.

Play your song, listen to the music and let the joy in your heart find Christmas!

Enjoy!
Stacy



Sunday, December 3, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome December


I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December
a magical thing
and sweet to remember.

We are nearer to Spring
than we were in September,
I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December.
                                         - Oliver Herford

Welcome Monday!

December is here so let's embrace all that the season brings.

Enjoy!
Stacy

MONDAY: Yumm Bowl
TUESDAY: Grilled Pork Loin and Veggies
WEDNESDAY:  Let's go see Portland's Christmas Tree??  Weather permitting!
THURSDAY: Grilled Steak and 1/2 baked sweet potato with a Big Garden Salad

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Three

Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".   Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments below.


Today is day three and today's question is:


What are your favorite Christmas Movies?

I think I'll pick one traditional and one modern.

Hands down....."It's a Wonderful Life" has become a Christmas movie tradition!
Brian I spent the entire holiday season (well....most of the year really) quoting line after line from the movie.  This is my favorite scene.



In recent years, Brian and I have really enjoyed watching "The Polar Express".  Obviously with my love of trains and Brian's love of Tom Hanks, it's Christmas Movie magic!

Grab your hot hot hot, hot chocolate and enjoy!


Merry Christmas,

Stacy

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day Two


Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture (or two) and discuss something "Christmasy".  Please feel free to share your answer in the comments below.

Today is day Two and today's question is:


What's your favorite Christmas Tradition?

My favorite Christmas tradition is getting our Christmas tree in West Seattle (and today is the day).

It's typically raining cats and dogs, our fingers are cold and we've forgotten our gloves at home.  Most years, I pick out a tree that's too tall and we have to cut more of the bottom off to not only fit in the Christmas Tree Stand but so the top isn't touching the ceiling.

We get our tree at Home Depot. There is no hot chocolate or carolers or walks into the snowy woods with a hatchet in hand.  Our trees most likely come from a plot of land out of state and harvested weeks ago.  Each tree is wrapped up tight with sticky orange twine that makes it hard to see the shape of the tree.  We always forget a pocket knife so Brian uses his car keys to try and slice through the twine (which never works).

We laugh like little kids and pull trees out right a left to see which one we will take home and when we find "hims" and I approve the top of the tree (the most important part of the Christmas Tree), my heart finds Christmas.

The guys at Home Depot help us load "hims" into the car...back seat down, trunk open and the tree is hanging out the back bound to the car with bungee cords.  It's 1.5 miles home, but I am sure every year that the tree will end up in the middle of 35th and Morgan.

Putting "hims" into the stand is an art form that Brian has mastered.  I hang onto the tree with both hand while Brian tightens the bolts on the tree stand around the massive trunk.  It's takes the next 4 hours to decide if hims is leaning to the left or right before we finally give up and realize that the trunk is crooked!  

Like a fine roasted slab of meat, the tree has to rest.  We forgo the expensive tree tonic at Home Depot and Brian runs up to the smoke and shop and gets a large 7 UP.  Our tree is jonesing for some sugar and the warm heat of the house to loosen him up.

I'm antsy, but the unleashing of the Christmas Closet begins and the tree is quietly waiting its turn.  Then, as the sky darkens, the untangling of the lights begin.  I want to string the lights from the top down and Brian wants to string them from the bottom up.  I want more lights every year and most years, Brian relents to my demands (or I just sneak another strand of 100 while he's in the kitchen pouring the wine).

Nat King Cole is on the stereo and meatloaf is cooking in the kitchen and the fireplace is on and the tree is now fully decorated and my eyes well up with tears.  This is the happiness of my life, the joys of my past, the traditions I share with my partner and the love of the holiday season.

The fact that the tree goes up on the 2nd of December this year means that the entire month will be filled with Christmas. Christmas has found it's home in our home and the joys of the holiday season have begun.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Friday, December 1, 2017

Blogmas 2017 - 25 Days of Christmas/Day One


Welcome to BLOGMAS 2017 an added bonus to the weekly VLOGMAS on my YouTube channel!

These December posts are going to be all about Christmas.  I'll answer a questions, post a picture and discuss something "Christmasy".  Please feel free to share your answers in the comments below. 


Today is day one and today's question is:

What Christmas means to you?

Christmas to me means joy.  Joy in your heart for the season, traditions, lights, music, food and decorations.

It's about remembering the joys of Christmas past, preserving memories of Christmas present and creating lasting new traditions of Christmas future.  

It's about spending time and creating joy with those you love...your family near and far and those close cherished friends.

Christmas means giving joy to those less fortunate.  Brian and I give generously to the West Seattle Food Bank and the annual Toys for Tots Charity.  This brings the joys of Christmas in our hearts and minds.

Comfort and Joy!

Stacy

Old Photo Friday: Merry Christmas from Stacy, Anna and Cinner


WHO: Anna, Stacy and Cinner (Cinderella)
WHERE: E-Street, Springfield, OR
WHEN: December 1971 (I am 2 1/2)

Merry Christmas from me and my two best friends.  Not sure why I have no name on my Christmas stocking....I am 2 1/2 years old!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Recipe of the Week: White Chocolate Oreos


So this is the time of year when all the wholesalers flood my office with goodies.  Don't get me wrong, I love it...but I seriously have to pace myself to get through the last 2 months of the year without gaining some serious weight!

Three weeks ago, it began.  The first tin arrived and it was white chocolate oreos.  To....Die....For (and I am not a big white chocolate fan).

I got to thinking that if you host a cookie exchange this year or are looking for a fast and easy Christmas cookie idea, I think this is it.

Enjoy!

Stacy



White Chocolate Dipped Oreos

Ingredients:


6 ounces of white chocolate
1 package of Oreo cookies, original
1 package of candy sprinkles or crushed peppermint candies

Directions:


Melt the white chocolate in the microwave.  This time it takes to melt varies, depending on the strength of the microwave.  Heat it up in 30 second increments as to not burn the chocolate.

Dip each oreo in the white chocolate and lay on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Decorate with sprinkles or crushed candy.

Let cool for 30 minutes.