Friday, December 23, 2011

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

I have really been struggling with the idea of home versus home recently.  I have lived in Texas six and a half years. I have a house and a family here. Yet, I still can't accept this place as my home.  To quote a little  country music here, "My home's in Alabama."  I guess it's the Southerner in me.  I will always be an Alabamian at heart no matter how long I live away from the state and I will always be a native Mobilian.  That is where my roots are and I want to make sure my son knows where he came from.

We aren't going to Alabama for any part of the holidays this year. It's killing me.  Last year we went the weekend before Christmas for a long weekend so we could still be in our house Christmas morning.  But the whole crew from Alabama is coming here this year to celebrate with us since Jenny is 8 months pregnant.  I'm excited about not having to travel with a 5 month old but still sad about not going home.  I haven't been for a visit since April and I won't be back until this April.  I miss my home.  I miss my family.

The first time I heard "I'll Be Home for Christmas" on the radio this year I cried a little.  It just makes me sad.  Sadder even that I have such a little amount of family near by so it isn't like the old days when we used to make the rounds of visiting everyone on Christmas. That tradition died out over the years as we all got older but I still miss it.  This year I will be home by myself with the boys most of the day since Chris has to work.  So, all in all, it's going to be a quiet Christmas. Not really what I had hoped for but it will do.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Obsession

A few weeks ago, there was a post on Style Lush about makeup worth repurchasing which got me thinking about the makeup I love and the fact that I have a mild obsession with makeup.  For someone who really doesn't wear a lot of makeup, that is an odd obsession to have.  But I have always loved to shop for makeup and it is nothing for me to drop obscene amounts of money in Sephora, Ulta, or at the department store makeup counter of my choice.  I will buy new skincare and face products, use them for a few weeks, and toss them aside but not get rid of them because I might use them one day.  What I found in most instances was that I kept going back to the same products.  That should tell me something so I made a deal with Chris.  It was time for me to clean out the makeup collection and get back to the basics of the products I love and only purchase items to replace what needs to be replaced.

So tonight I went about the near impossible task of sorting out the excess makeup and bagging it up to be tossed.  That was the hard part because I couldn't bring myself to toss the bag of perfectly good makeup that I just didn't use.  There was a lot of money in that bag!  So I made Chris do it.  And he didn't just toss it, he took it to the big can in the garage so I wouldn't be tempted to try to salvage anything.  It was painful to watch him walk out the house with that bag but I knew it was a good thing for us.  Now I just have to resist the call of the cosmetics section, avoid the lure of the makeup counter, and keep myself out of the makeup stores.  This is going to be tough for me to do but it is a must.

So now instead of shopping for new beauty products, I will just satisfy my craving with my monthly Birch Box. This way I get to have the fun of trying new products without spending a lot of money.  Ten dollars a month I can handle.  Plus I'm not upset if I don't like something since it is just a sample.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stuff I have made from Pinterest

Thanks to Jackson waking up early this morning, I actually have a little time to blog.  (He's currently rolling around on the floor...yes, he's rolling!)  So I decided to post a couple of the dishes I have found on Pinterest recently.  (If you are not on Pinterest yet, get thee to Pinterest!)  I have a ton of recipes pinned (and lots of other things as well) but I have only made 4 so far.  Two we loved and two we were meh about so here are the two we loved:

Crockpot Potato Soup
Y'all, I loved this so much the first time that I have already made it a second time.  When I was sick two weeks ago, this is what I wanted.  The soup is quite tasty but not too heavy.  It is also a great base to be played with.  Add cheese, bacon bit, sour cream, whatever you want!  Chris and I have already discussed ways we can expand this soup to make it more interesting.  Plus, it's easy!  Dump everything in your slow cooker for 6 hours.  Add in the cream cheese for the last hour and you are done.  After all, that's the point of the slow cooker, right?!?

Pizza Casserole
I have two boys in my house that love pizza so trying this casserole was a no brainer for us.  It makes a lot.  We ate off of it for 2 days and still had leftovers.  I was fighting a nasty stomach bug when Chris fixed this so I only tried a little bit but what I ate was fantastic.  Sean especially loved it since I think he would eat pizza everyday if we let him.  We will definitely make this again.  Since it fills up a 9x13 pan, I would recommend this if you are cooking for a crowd to.  I think you could easily feed 8 off of this especially if you add a salad or something else green to go along side this dish.

I don't even have the links to the other two recipes we tried because I was so disappointed I knew I wouldn't try them again.  One was a slow cooker pull pork recipe.  I thought BBQ sauce and a can of soda (Dr. Pepper of course) and you couldn't possibly go wrong.  Well, it did.  The pork wasn't tender and it didn't absorb the sauce at all which left the meat just tasting weird.  I don't know if I purchased the wrong cut of meat or didn't let it cook long enough but it just didn't turn out at all like I expected.  The second was called chicken alfredo bubble up (or something like that).  It called for jarred alfredo sauce, chicken, and can biscuits...all things we had on hand at the time I found the recipe.  And it was just bland.  Too much biscuit, not enough chicken and alfredo.  We ate it but didn't save the leftovers.  Not really bad but not really our cup of tea either.

I have many more that I plan on trying in the near future.  I just have to add them to my menu plan.  So, what about you?  What have you tried?  What have you liked? Not liked?  Interested readers (OK, me) want to know!