Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Presents

The Husband purchased two GREAT presents for me:
  1. Lost: The Complete Collection 
  2. Lost Encyclopedia
I can't wait to read the encyclopedia and watch Lost from beginning to end (again.)

Thanks to The Husband!

What were your favorite Christmas presents?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Behold: The Christmas Eve Prime Rib

I reported in this post that we had prime rib for Christmas Eve dinner. These photos provide more details. The Brother-in-Law purchased this lovely prime rib.
He created his own seasoning consisting of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. He cooked the meat at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduced the temperature to 350 degrees. He removed the meat from the oven when the meat thermometer registered rare (130 degrees).
 The finished product.
The Husband made two different types of fresh horseradish to serve with the prime rib. Recipe #1 is here and recipe #2 is here. Both were delicious!

Princess Leia says, "Where's my piece?"
 Elvis says, "If she gets a piece, I get a piece!"
Too bad for the dogs, there was plenty for us and not enough for them!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Slightly Used Gifts

The Sister, The Brother-in-Law, The Husband and I don't buy Christmas gifts for each other. We gave it up a few years ago, in an effort to streamline the holiday and remove stress and expense from our lives. In fact, The Husband and I have the same agreement with his family and don't buy gifts for adult family members. Only the children receive gifts.

As readers of this blog know I love estate sales, flea markets and antique malls. The Husband is a good sport and frequently goes with me to these places and we occasionally see items that would be just perfect for one family member or the other.

So, if the item is just perfect and not expensive, we will purchase it and hold it for Christmas.

We found a set of four cocktail glasses for The Brother-in-Law earlier this year. We thought these were a perfect gift because the theme is two things he enjoys - cocktails and golf! Plus we only spent $4.

Front of the glass:
Text on the back of the glass:

The World's Toughest Golf Holes:
  • 13th hole, Country Club of Miami, Miami, Florida
  • 11th hole, Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland
  • 7th hole, Vale do Lobo, Algarve, Portugal
  • 6th hole, Royal Birkdale, Southport, England
  • 5th hole, Mid-Ocean Golf Club, Bermuda
  • 16th hole, Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, California
  • 1st hole, Golf Nueva Anadalucia, Costa del Sol, Spain
  • 7th hole, Club de Golf Sotogrande, Costa del Sol, Spain
Up until a week or so ago, I had not seen anything for The Sister. But I found this lovely little handpainted saucer at a recent estate sale. It was dirty and covered in candle wax, but I could see the beauty under the grime. Since my sister has Asian accents in her dining room, I knew this saucer would look great on a small easel on her table, buffet or in her china cabinet. It cost $3.
The Sister and The Brother-in-Law both liked their gifts, so I think the $7 for two gifts was money well spent.

What do you think of our gift giving approach? Do you think this is a meaningful way to find gifts for our family? Or, do you think we are just cheap?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Recap of Christmas

The Husband and I had a great time with my sister's family on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

The Sister set a lovely table for Christmas Eve dinner.

The Husband and I made a crabmeat and shrimp cocktail.
We have made this recipe before for Christmas Eve dinner. We all love it.
Other dishes on the menu were salad, prime rib with 2 types of fresh horseradish, twice baked potatoes and carrots. Yummy!

We took a few family photos.
I read The Night Before Christmas to the girls.
After they fell asleep, "Santa" came and left their presents. Then the adults went to bed because we knew Christmas morning would arrive early!

Christmas morning consisted of lots of excited ripping off of paper and happy smiles when the gifts were revealed.

After the opening of the gifts and a hearty breakfast, The Husband and I made our way back home.

It's been a great day, with a couple of naps and the watching of Mousehunt.

I hope your day was full of everything and everyone you wished for!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We Are Ready. Are You?

We are dining at my sister's house on Christmas Eve and spending the night so we will be with the nieces on Christmas morning.

Today, we delivered gifts and a few other things to my sister. We also went to the grocery store and got all the ingredients for the dishes we are making for the Christmas Eve dinner.

It's been a stress free week so far and I see no reason why Christmas Eve and Christmas Day won't be just as pleasant.

I hope you and your family enjoy spending time together over the next few days. I also hope Santa finds your house!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scenes From A Christmas Celebration

The Husband and I went to his brother's house on Sunday for an early Christmas dinner with his family.

Sweet Baby Ella was there with her cousin, Sweet Baby Katie. Here we are with them. Katie's eyes were closed, unfortunately.
Here's another photo of Sweet Baby Katie with her grandma. She's wearing a new hat and checking out a new book.
I'd show you a picture of Sweet Baby Ella opening gifts, but she kinda slept through that part of the day. She did wake up to spend some quality time with her Pappy Bill.
And here I am with my niece-in-law and my sister-in-law.
Our lovely husbands gave us matching sets of drink coasters they received FREE at the Royals vs. Yankees game they attended earlier in the year. I wrote about that trip here.

The Powell men are very funny. They think. 

What did you do on Sunday?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bristow, OK - Home of Happy Chickens

My family usually asks me to make deviled eggs for special occasions and holidays. I'm happy to oblige for two reasons.
  1. I love to eat deviled eggs.
  2. I can use my grandmother's deviled egg plate.
I made a batch on Sunday morning to take to my brother-in-law's house for an extended family Christmas dinner. I cut open the first egg and it had a double yolk.
I was happy as I believe a double yolk is good luck. I then cut open the next egg. And the next egg. And the next egg. They were all double yolks. 
Every egg in that carton was double yolked. Fisher's Farm Fresh Eggs in Bristow, OK must have really, really, really happy chickens.
It's a Christmas miracle, I say! 

This dozen was purchased at Petty's Fine Foods in Tulsa, OK. I offer this tidbit of info in case you want to go buy your own dozen to see what you get.

What causes double yolked eggs? Read all about it here.

Cindy's Deviled Eggs
Salt, pepper, garlic salt, ground mustard, sweet relish, mayo, dijon mustard
Combine egg yolks with all ingredients to taste. For this batch I did not use the dijon mustard. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. 

Return seasoned egg yolks to egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika. Eat and enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

OU Graduation Party

Our youngest adult niece in OKC and her husband both graduated from OU on Friday. We went to their home that evening for a party to celebrate the event.

Our niece and her husband opening their graduation presents:
We, of course, wanted pictures with her sisters. Our middle niece was the only one who was "ready for her close-up!"
A few snaps later their uncle, my husband, got in the act.
And then there was some comparing of The Husband's belly to our neice's current pregnant belly! I leave it to you to figure out whose is bigger.
We are proud of our graduates and love our nieces and their families. It was a great evening.

P.S. A bonus was seeing our twins:
They are growing up so fast.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Springhill Suites by Marriott - Moore, OK

The Husband and I went to Oklahoma City on Friday for a college graduation party for one of our adult nieces and her husband. We booked a room for the night at the Springhill Suites in Moore, OK. We liked it so much, I took a few pictures.

As you walk in the front door, you see coffee/refrigerator/microwave station.
Glance slightly to the left and you see this desk/room divider, with a view of the bed.
See the envelope on the table in the above photo? It contained this handwritten, personalized note. 
Glance further left and you see the living area:
Stroll into the bedroom and see The Husband checking out the bedside lights, which were very cool.
The bathroom was very interesting. It was two rooms. The first room contained this large mirror and sink, with the glass framed shower (reflected in the mirror.)
The second room contained the toilet and a second sink and mirror:
These were very small rooms, but quite efficient.

The bed was comfy, the shower spray was strong, the water was hot, the free breakfast was decent and the staff was friendly. All of this for $78 per night. What a deal!

More stories about our OKC trip to come...

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's A Busy Time of Year

This is a quick post to let you know I haven't fallen off the edge of the world.

Now that I've recovered from that pesky headcold, I've been "making my list and checking it twice" and running here and there finishing up preparation for the holidays.

How about you? Are you ready for the holidays?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"I Live!" I Say "I Live!"

Today has been an excellent day for me. I am finally recovered from the irritating head cold I've suffered from since mid-week.

This morning I hopped out of bed early. I showered. I dressed. I put on make-up. I put on jewelry. I was ALIVE!

I've tidied up. I've grocery shopped. I've wrapped presents. I've cooked. It's been wonderful.

My poor Husband got sick a day later than me and is still under the weather. I had hoped today would be his last sick day, but he seems to have had a sinking spell this evening. I've got my fingers crossed that tomorrow he'll be much better.

I've got a list of shopping to do tomorrow and more presents to wrap. Plus, I really must work on our Christmas cards.

What's on your schedule for the day?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Will It Ever End?

The Husband and I are both still under the weather.

I managed to run a few errands Friday morning and then spent the rest of the day resting from the exertion. The Husband didn't do any better.

Today we have spent all day in our pajamas. Sleeping, reading, watching bad tv.

I'm getting dressed tomorrow. I swear!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Second Day In Bed

I've spent most of the day in bed again and I am feeling better. Maybe I'm better since I have given into my overpowering urge to sleep?

Unfortunately, The Husband is now feeling poorly and is in bed.

Hopefully, we'll both get over this quickly as we have things to do.

Lunch here with The Mom and The Sister has been delayed until next week. Plus, I've got Christmas cards to address, presents to wrap and a puzzle to put together!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Day In Bed

I woke up sick with a head cold this morning and have spent all day in bed sleeping, reading and watching TV.

I had a couple of months worth of the following series on the DVR:
  • Desperate Housewives
  • Brothers & Sisters
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Private Practice
  • The Event
As a friend said to me recently, it may be time for me to break up with some of these shows. If I haven't found time to watch them by now, they must not be interesting to me any longer.

Do you watch these shows? If yes and now you don't, why did you quit watching?

I think I'll erase the DVR settings to record these shows. I can always watch them on the internet or On DEMAND if I change my mind.

I hope I feel better tomorrow. Mom wants to take The Sister and me to lunch here.

How was your day?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Third Annual Holiday Open House

The Husband and I hosted our holiday open house yesterday. We invite family, friends and neighbors to have a bite to eat, a glass of holiday spirits and an opportunity to paint ornaments for our porch tree.

The salt dough ornaments were ready to be painted and bedazzled.
I didn't get a photo of the food table, but it was loaded with goodies. :-)

The house was full of people, some more formally dressed than others.
One of our neighbors showed up in a tux, but I failed to get a photo. Notice a trend here?

We had several serious artists at work.
More artists.
Lots of catching up with friends occurred.
See the tree through the front window?
And there was a bit of silliness also. Our friend models TU and OU earrings.
Here's a close up of one of the ornaments. People take their painting very seriously around here.
And when the party ends, we have a lovely tree full of ornaments from our friends, family and neighbors.
We always have a lot of fun hosting this party. 

Does your family have a tradition of hosting a holiday party? If yes, what do you do?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Party Preparations

The Husband and I are hosting our annual open house tomorrow. We have been working hard this week to get everything ready so we won't be rushing around and stressing out on Sunday.

I've laid out all my serving dishes and have put notes on each one, so I'll know I have a dish for each dish (har de har har). For some reason, when I do this it amuses everyone who knows me. Yes, I do take organization a bit too far sometimes, but I think this makes perfect sense. Don't you?
I have collected a few of these 6 1/2" glass vases. They are the perfect size to use for flatware on a buffet. I've used them several times in this manner.
I think it is a cute way to temporarily repurpose these vases.

How do you prepare for your parties? I'm interested in any and all tricks you use to ensure you don't forget an important detail!