Saturday, December 24, 2011

What's a party without music?

When there's a party, I need upbeat, festive music. I like classics, but I like fun new songs too. Here's a little list of what will be playing in my apartamente all day today:

I know, I know. But I heard this EVERY year growing up.
It's a bit nostalgic hearing it now.

This is fun to watch. Seriously. Stop scrolling and look.
Lookit! Lookit! LOOKIT!

And this is just pretty.

What are your faves this time of year?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Finger Food

When it comes to holiday food, I lean toward that which can be elegantly eaten with the phalanges. Unless it's an actual sit-down formal dinner, I like to have pieces guests can grab and walk around with. Mingle. You can't exactly do that with a slab of ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Am I right?

So, here is a list of my absolute favorites, from the heavenly deviled egg to those fluffy cream puffs.

Did I mention that these are simple too? If I can grab a can of crescent rolls and a pound of deli ham, I will. I. So. Will.

On with the list.

Mini sandwiches - Rhodes frozen rolls, Swiss cheese slices, butter, and a few pounds of deli turkey or ham. (See previous statement about simple.) You can serve them cold or pop them in the oven for a few minutes. Cut the sandwiches in half and stick festive toothpicks through the top. See? Easy.

Veggie tray - I just had to fix that. The first time I wrote it, it said vaggie tray. Mhmm. Yeah. Classy.
Anyway, throwing veggies on a tray is kind of boring. This idea makes it easier to keep your carrots from rolling off the plate, and if you're finicky, the ranch doesn't touch anything else.

Deviled Eggs - My mother makes these with just a few ingredients, but they are always amazing. And they're usually the first thing to go.

6 hard-boiled eggs (can be doubled, depends on how big your crowd is)
1 large spoonful of mayonnaise
1 tiny squirt of mustard
A few shakes of salt
A few more shakes of pepper

Scoop out the yolks and mash them with the mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper. Scoop them back into the whites and sprinkle with paprika.

This is literally my mother's recipe. She doesn't write it down or measure anything. She just adds what she feels like that day. And of course, she shakes a bit of paprika on the top to make them pretty.

Loaded baked potato soup - This can be made in a crock pot and thrown in cups at the last minute. Yummy, warm, and with a few chives and bacon pieces on top, it looks festive too!

Tangy Bean Dip - There's just something about a party that chips and dip have to be involved. This is a tangy twist on the same ol' dip we've loved forever. Add some corn chips or even pita chips and this party is on.

Cowboy Sushi - She. Is. A. Genius. I LOVE dill pickles, and her use for them here is just... Tasty. Observe. Pickle, Buddig ham, and cream cheese. You may be slightly ill from reading that last sentence, but my mouth is watering.
Click here for info.
And now, for the sweets!

Sweet strawberries - I'm not sure who did this first because we've always done it. Either way, it's lovely.
Cut the stem off the berries. From the bottom, cut twice, making a sort of x. Open them slightly and pipe some frosting (your choice) inside. Try to save some for the party. For me, that is the hardest part.

Fruit dip - This is amazing with almost any fruit, and there are two ingredients.
1 jar of marshmallow creme
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
Fold together. Eat. It's that simple. And it's sooooo addicting. You may never eat grapes plain again. Sorry.

Cream puffs - RasaMalaysia has one of the best recipes for the custard-y filling. The best cream puff recipe I've found is at They turn out just right, and the filling is finger-lick-in-public worthy. Can I get an amen?
I like to melt a little chocolate and dip them in it. It adds to my waistline the beauty of Le Puff.

Chocolate Crinkle cookies - These are my favorite cookies. Ever. I love these anytime, anywhere. I love the deep chocolate taste surrounded by the light powdered sweetness. To me, they are perfection.

Cake bites - Using your favorite cake mix cake recipe, bake a large sheet cake. Using a small cookie cutter (any shape will do) cut them out and set each piece in a cupcake paper. Pour on some warm sweetened condensed milk, throw on a dollop of whipped cream, and shake on some sprinkles. (Or broken Skor or Heath bars if you've the time.) Delish, cute, and ... Oh, I already said delish.

And that, my friends, is my perfect menu for my dream holiday party.
What would you like on your menu?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Party

You are cordially invited to

The (non)Working Girl's
Holiday Party.

Starting now as a week-long event,
I'll be posting my favorite food recipes,
guests I'd LOVE to have at my home,
and the decor I'd use if, you know, I were a millionaire.

Bring a friend.
And a plate of cookies...

While the invitation is extremely fancy *snort* this will be just a fun get together. We will not be eating anything that I cannot pronounce myself, and while I will be wearing an LBD every day, dress is casually formal. Or formally casual. Whatevs.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Secret Santa can Suck It - My Gift

My drawee is creative knitter, Janice, over at the Prodigal Sock.

The first part of my gift to her would be annual, two-way plane tickets. Each year she'll be able to choose any destination. I'm giving her two tickets in case she'd like to travel with a friend. Or she can travel herself twice a year. Your choice, Janice.

The second part of my gift is a Life Membership to WorldCon. Every year, no matter where it is, she's got a pass. These are not just tickets in, but all-access passes for anyone and anything.
That means if she wants to have dinner with Neil Gaiman dressed up as Cthulu, she can. 
If she'd like to have a quiet brunch whilst wearing the original C-3PO costume, they'll ask, "How would you like your eggs?" 
If she wants Cory Doctorow to read to her while she takes a bubble bath and eats Bon Bons... Well, you get the picture.

And the last part of my gift, which is probably the least exciting, a lifetime supply of yarn and knitting needles. Hand-spun by an 87 year-old woman on the Alps or the stuff from WalMart, it's her choice.
That said, I sincerely hope your holidays are enjoyable.
Merry Christmas, Lady!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Alright, I've been slacking on the posts. I know. It's just who I am.
However, here are some more of my favorite giveaways that are going on now and ending soon:

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway
1 or 2 prizes every day!

Mommies with Cents
Celebrate Christmas with Hershey's
You don't have to enter this. You know. If you don't want to...

Frugal Mommie of 2

Crayola Innovative Holiday Prize Pack Giveaway

Tons of great Crayola stuff!

Taste of Home
Like their Facebook and you can enter to win a KitchenAid Mixer!

Just Married with Coupons
Enter to win one of 2 $50 gift cards to Target
You can also enter to win a $50 card from GiGi's Petals if you sign up for their daily e-mail!

And for the geek in me...

Geek Chic Daily
Win the Best Stuff from their 2011 Holiday Guide.
You're going to have to just go over and look at all of it.

Which giveaways are you anticipating? Any others you're stoked about?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wait a Minute Mr. Postman

Since I have discovered sites like Hip2Save and Freebies2Deal I get a TON of freebies and stuff in the mail. At least once a week I have a package. And while the mailman doesn't have to bring it to my door, he does. Every time he does ring the doorbell, it never fails that my kids and I are knee-deep in a project. Whether it's cleaning up a mess or a dirty diaper, it takes me a minute to get to the door. He's nice and patient and waits for me though. Which I appreciate very much.
Ever since I saw PostSecret's post about what he left for his mailwoman, I wanted to have a mailbox so that I could do that for someone. This year, I'm doin' it.

I hope he likes caramel popcorn, because that's what we made. But let me tell you, I'm cheap and easy. I found this receipe and lazied simplified it.

Here it is:

Caramel Corn

1 C brown sugar (I didn't pack it too tight, just gently pressed.)
1/2 C butter
1/4 C corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 regular bags of microwave popped popcorn

Pop your bags of popcorn. Remove the kernels and put the popcorn in a LARGE bowl. Set aside. Melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and corn syrup and stir well. Microwave for 2 minutes without stopping. Take out of the microwave and stir again. It should be grainy at all. If it still is, throw it back in at 30 second increments.
Add the vanilla and baking soda. She said hers bubbled and stuff. Mine didn't. So there.
Pour over popcorn and toss and stir until it's pretty evenly coated. I don't like mine crunchy, so voila! I was done. I have to find a some cute bags so we can give it as gifts. If we don't eat it all first...

To make it festive, you could add red and green M&Ms or sprinkles or whatever.
If you like it crunchy, bake in a preheated oven at 275°F for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

I didn't eat it with the fork. 
I stirred it. Into my mouth...

My 5 year-old stealing some of the good stuff.
Okay, fine. This picture was staged.

Do you make homemade gifts for friends and neighbors?
If not, how do you find that perfect something at the store?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

FREE Secret Santa Gift Swap... Kind of....

Head over to the Shadow Manor blog to check out this virtual fake gift swap. There are more details, such as dates and things, over in her post. You can e-mail her or leave a comment to enter. Then, a few days before Christmas, you post your gift and a story of why you got it for your person. It's fun because you can go as extravagant as you'd like, and since you probably won't know the person, you can make up whatever you want.
Ask me if I'm excited...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Cards

So, these are just a preview of the Christmas cards we'll be sending.
I may be the worst mom ever, but I find this hilarious.
I'm glad my kids (and husband) are such good sports.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Today has been a long day. Not a bad day necessarily. Just long. And exhausting.
I don't know if you've seen the news or anything, but the wind started up last night. 80-100 mph gusts from about 3-10 this morning. The power has been out since three and they don't see it coming back on for another 48 hours. Let me tell you, this wind is cold. Bone-chilling, cut-through-the-puffy-coat, spine-tingling cold. Brrrrr!

As of right now, my nice father-in-law is paying for our motel stay. I was excited because these beds are super soft, there are blankets upon blankets, and a WORKING HEATER. Which is nice to have in weather like this.

The scariest part about today was driving around and looking at the damage. There were large branches in roads and yards, huge pine trees uprooted that had fallen on homes. I broke down and cried when a semi almost tipped over on the freeway in front of us. Scary, scary stuff.

Here are just two of the many trees:

There used to be a car there. We think it's under the tree! It hit the house to the right and damaged some of the roof.

This tree didn't fall on any homes, thank goodness.

I heard California had that bad wind too, and that the Nevada desert got some snow!

Any crazy weather where you are?