December 2011 | My WAHM Plan

Archive for December 2011

Life's Pieces

Friday, December 30, 2011


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately as this year comes to a close and a new one nips at my heels. I do some of my best thinking when my hands are busy and my brain is free to wander and creep into corners I don’t visit in my busy times.
So as the stress of the Holidays was bearing down, I pulled out this jigsaw puzzle and got to work.



 I had this analogy forming about how my life was like this puzzle and how each piece is necessary. I was going to run with that (and I think it would have been a fitting end of the year post); but then I watched the news last night and learned of a tragedy here in our little world and my whole mood and tone has changed.
You see, a little 10 year old girl died yesterday in a freak car accident. She attended my daughter’s elementary school. Her younger sister is in my daughter’s class. While we don’t know this family personally, it has ripped at my heart all day. I am finding it difficult to type this, just thinking about the steps all involved are having to take instead of blissfully ringing in the new year. 
I can’t forget to mention that the man driving the other car; the one that slammed into the girls died too.
 What must his family feel right now? Not only did they lose him, but they must reconcile that he accidently took a child’s life when his ended.
Sometimes life’s pieces are tragic and sad and unimaginable. I for one know I would lose a part of my soul if something like this were to happen to my family.
I’m sure each and every one of us wouldn’t have to look too far to find a family hurting and in need.  Maybe we should look around more. Reach out more. Care about our fellow man more.
I will do whatever I can to help these neighbors in need and then I will do my absolute best to remember how lucky I’ve got it and how you never know what tomorrow might bring. I will do my best to live like I’m supposed to be anyway, leading with kindness, friendliness and faith and stop taking my life for granted.  
Life’s pieces are sometimes thinly veiled wake up calls.
I sincerely hope you and yours have a Happy and Safe New Year! Please do me a favor.  Make sure every single person you care about knows you do. Please don’t assume they know. Tell them today.

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Winter and Happiness

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Our Pond Winter 2010
 
  
 
Tomorrow is the official 1st day of Winter and I couldn't be happier! Not because I love snowy, blustery days. Not because tomorrow is the shortest day of the year and I can start counting the days until spring arrives. Not solely because of the joy and happiness the Holidays bring.

No, finding my  happy with this season most all of us dread, required some thinking.
Just reading the definition of winter puts me squarely on team anti-winter. Look at those Synonyms and you'll see what I mean. 


win·ter/ˈwintər/  



Noun:
The coldest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from December to February and in the southern hemisphere from June to August.
Adjective:
(of fruit and vegetables) Ripening late in the growing season and suitable for storage over the winter.
Verb:(esp. of a bird) Spend the winter in a particular place: "birds wintering in the south".

Synonyms:
noun

adjective
verb. hibernate
. wintry - hibernal - winterly - brumal
. cold

 

While slathering on extra strength hand lotion last night to ease my drying hands ( that only get worse each day of this season), I decided to make a list of all the reasons I have to be happy and thankful this winter. If you are on team anti-winter, maybe a list is in your future too!
 

My List:


 
1. The girls are on Winter break from 12/21/11 until 1/5/12. Just having them home all day makes me smile! I enjoy their company immensely.

2. Getting end of year business tasks done feels good! Don't dread the shred is my motto as I clean out my filing cabinet and start a new storing and organizing method.

3. Dry skin gives me a good excuse to try new lotions! Maybe I'll write a review or two.

4. Christmas at home. Just the four of us. The girls in their new jammies all day. Traditions. Love. Harmony. Peace. Jesus. Food. Smiles. Laughs. Santa.

5. New Year. New Beginning. New Ideas. New directions. Wiping the slate clean is a good thing on so many fronts.

6. My youngest daughters birthday.

7. New cabinet jobs for my hubby. He's at his happiest when he's making sawdust.

8. New friendships. I've been invited to join some local groups and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to broaden my circle.

9. Free time. I have more of it in this season. I get crafty, I read more novels, I log on much less, I daydream about spring and how to design my flower beds, I laugh and sing and play with my kids more. I stay up late and watch sci-fi movies or talk and laugh with my hubby more. I connect more.

10. I have a really good feeling about 2012. Deep in my bones optimisim. The last few years have been hard and stressful for so many of us. Most of us truth be told, but I am a firm believer in the power of a Positive Attitude.

I am happy Winter is here because it forces me to slow down, think, be more present and in the moment.
Sure the weather outside may be frightful, but I'll welcome spring well rested and refreshed.
 
Happy Winter, Merry Christmas and Happy, Happy Holidays one and all!
I am so very thankful for all of you who read, comment and visit my blog.

Please let me know what you are thankful and happy for this season!
 
 
 

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Torani Syrups Review & Giveaway

Monday, December 12, 2011



Since I’d never tried Torani syrups before, I was happy to learn I’d been selected to review their products via SheSpeaks.

 

About Torani


Torani flavored syrups are part of San Francisco’s heritage. With handwritten recipes from their Italian hometown, Rinaldo and Ezilda Torre introduced Torani syrups to San Francisco in 1925. In the back of their grocery store, they pressed fruits, nuts and spices, blended extracts with cane sugar and water in redwood vats and then fine-tuned the flavor.  A true labor of love that has paid off for Torani, now the # 1 brand of flavored syrups in America, offering over 100 flavors.
I got to try to wonderful flavors: sugar free Vanilla and Pumpkin Pie.

 

The Review


I tried the sugar free Vanilla in my coffee first, adding 1 oz. to my coffee as instructed on the bottle. The aroma was inviting and I couldn’t wait to try my morning cup, but yikes, was it ever sweet! Perhaps an ounce is for a venti. I’m slowly learning to use the vanilla syrup properly, it is delicious, and my daughters love it full strength in their café au lait.
However, I like the Pumpkin Pie flavoring full strength in my coffee. For my daughters, I made Pumpkin Pie floats with:
·        1 oz. Torani Pumpkin Pie flavored syrup
·        1 scoop vanilla ice cream
·        6 fl. oz. of ginger ale
Makes 1 float.

I highly recommend Torani syrups and will be purchasing them again, especially since I‘ve got my eye on their Blackberry syrup!

How would you like to try one of Torani’s amazing syrups? Well, just enter my give away below for two coupons for two free bottles of Torani Syrup! (maximum value $8.00 each).

Since there can only be one winner, I’d like to offer you a chance to save using  coupon code “shespeaks” to save 10% at www.torani.com!








a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What my daughters really want for Christmas
 Since we only like dogs, rather than love them we know they aren't a good match for our family, so I don't think this will ever happen... but never say never right?

Maybe another kitty is in order.

Are you giving a pet as a gift this year?

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Drop Cookie Dough the kids can eat!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011



cookies
  Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies



Baking season is in full swing at our house and as December elbowed out November, I pulled out this tried and true drop cookie recipe. I clipped this from the local Williamson County Parent magazine in 2005.
You are going to love these simple, yummy cookies! Our plate didn't look like that for long.
The very best part is this is a no egg recipe so your kiddies~ and you can eat the dough!
Stir up a batch of fun and happy memories today with your family. Enjoy!


The Basic Chocolate Chip Drop Cookie


Yield: 3 to 5 dozen, depending on cookie size
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 9 to 11 minutes (longer with larger cookies)

Ingredients:

·         2 cups (1 12-ounce bag) chocolate chips
·         2 sticks butter, margarine or shortening, softened
·         1 ½  cups sugar (or brown sugar or both blended)
·         3 tablespoons water
·         3 tablespoons oil
·         2 teaspoons vanilla
·         2 ¼ cups flour
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1.       Preheat oven to 375°.
2.       In large mixer bowl, beat margarine and sugar until creamy.
3.       Beat in water, oil, and vanilla.
4.       Stir together dry ingredients, gradually add to sugar mixture.
5.        Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6.       Bake at 375° for 9 to 11 minutes, until golden.
7.       Leave on cookie sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Store in an airtight container.


I've also baked up a few dozen Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies which turned out really well I think in large part because I used dark brown sugar.

What is your favorite cookie recipe? Please share!

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