Thursday, December 03, 2009
Welp...WHAT a NIGHT!...We all had SO MUCH fun! and....the winner is..guess what...we had SO much fun I forgot to take a picture!!! In fact if DH hadn't remembered to bring the camera upstairs..neary a pic would have made it to my page. anddd....I hadn't even had a glass of wine yet! This is what happens when 15 wild women get together and everyone starts munching, brainstorming, and sippin' on the ole' vino! Did I mention sippin' on the ole' vino!
Did I also mention that it was a FULL MOON last night to top all! DH couldn't resist this pic...so I posted it just for proof of why we probably even MORE wacky and wild then usual!
Anyhow the night was SO MUCH fun..I wish I could have teleported each of you here to join us...NOW THAT would be a PARTY HARTY!!
This was one of the EASIEST Christmas Craft's that I've had in a long time! I asked that everyone bring a hors'de ouvre along with the cookies that we all brought for our cookie exchange. It made my life SO much easier to just make a few simple hor's de ouvres instead of doing the whole darn thing! Not to mention a whole lot less expensive. I always spring for all of the supplies for the craft and most of the time the girls leave a little something to offset the costs so this year I was especially grateful for their chip ins! The work situation here in Florida is STILL atrocious .. so I do my best to watch our spending right now. I no longer spend like there's no tommorrow...that's just ridiculous isn't it? Some in our group haven't caught the 911 on that yet...oh boy...rolls eyes!
So I just kept my contribution to the hors' de ouvres simple...nice veggie selection, and some smokies in BBQ sauce...other gals brought bacon wrapped scallops ( I did have 1 of them!), there was coconut shrimp with an orange dipping sauce, some meat and veggie roll ups, some Swedish Meatballs, some yummy little minature brie, nut, cranberry pastry delectables and oh sooooo much more that I didn't even want to LOOK at...last night for some reason I was more tempted than I've been the whole 2 months prior...is there something about crafting that makes you want to munch..or is it the whole crowd scene of seeing everyone else munching away...or most likely it's the sugar in the wine that sets off the alarm.
All in all, I did extremely well...but now I have 3 dozen delectable homemade cookies sitting on the counter from the cookie exchange...I'm going to have to give those away PRONTO!
Well DH will certainly enjoy a few! I made my RAW donut holes...and I can't say I'm extremely impressed with them. They really taste TOO sweet to me which is a rarity. Probably because they are full of chopped dates, dried pineapple, and coconut. I wish I would have tried a batch before I made them for the cookie exchange...not the best introduction for the girls on how I've raved about RAW food for the last 2 months. Oh well...live and learn!
We hand painted wine glasses, or hand etched them. Why oh why didn't I remember to take a few pics of the actual project...duh! It was hard to get the girls to quiet down long enough to give instuctions! In fact the cats, who are normally VERY SOCIAL came up the stairs and took one look through the bannisters and decided it wasn't safe to venture forward...down the stairs they ran and went into the den to hide with DH! You've got to love that guy for retreating to the farthest end of the house and putting on his music! He said he was going to watch t.v. but couldn't get the volume turned up loud enough...oppps!
Hummmm, a couple more cute pics down stairs by the Christmas tree...but the annoying 'file to large to save' keeps coming on...maybe you can only put so many pics in any one blog...I've never thought of that before..but it does make good sense doesn't it. I'm sure SP doesn't want one posting their entire LIFE HISTORY in each blog...hee hee..never counted on chatty people such as myself as members eh?
Any who...the night was splendid GOOD fun...and today I only have a little mess to deal with as the girls brought all 15 chairs back downstairs and helped me clean up most of the mess...ahhhhh friends...are just the best!
Today I and my friend Michelle are going to a RAW food cafe down in Naples...I've been wanting to try that place forever...it's called 'Food for thought'...isn't that a Kewl name!
Next on my agenda is looking forward to meeting my sweet Sparkie friend Ms.Eleni on Saturday...yay...another pleasant event to look forward to! I'm on my way to a wonderful holiday season!
You can still have lots of fun, you can socialize, you can enjoy eating..you only need a little concentration to stay on track..and just keep thinking about how fabulous you will look, and how much healthier you feel...it's a beautiful Christmas gift to give yourself all year long...the gift of self love!
You KNOW you deserve it...now be your own best friend in your food and exercise choices today...your good friend Bobbi requests it...as a special gift to her...okay...okay then!
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Yay...I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Christmas!
And...one of my most FAVORITE things is my girlfriends! We have been having our annual "Girl's Christmas Craft Night' for some 20 years...who can believe it?
It's when we all congregate at my house and I come up with some outrageous Christmas craft to make. We have prizes for the best, worst, and best effort at making that year's project.
Over the years we've made Christmas plant enhancers...a cork on a bamboo skewer with jiggly eyes, and small twigs for antlers, Fireplace or plant shelf sitters...little blocks of wood with funny hair, a painted face, and little block legs that hang over...Angels made out of raffia, squiggly hair, a painted face and embellished crown, a shell wreath, cinnamon candles, spa night with homemade bath salts and bubble bath...a Christmas homemade soap night..wowsa..that was a mess! A long piece of twine with little scraps of Christmas fabrics hand tied to create a garland...that was the cleanest project we've ever done...but wow did I spend a lot of time cutting the little strips of fabrics out with pinking sheers...so many more..and believe it or not I still have most of them...what fun, what memories, what a great Christmas tradition.
This year we have 15 wild wacky women coming...so I've got to get my cookies RAW of course made up!
I'll take pics and post them later...or tommorrow morning..hee hee depending on just how much wine I drink...what are Christmas Crafts without wine...IMPOSSIBLE..that's what I'm talking about!!! I'll limit myself to no more than 3 glasses...it depends on how much of a handful those women turn out to be...they are are an UNRULY bunch...but hey..that's what makes me LOVE love em...it surely does!
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Happy Tuesday my Sparkling Sparkies! Here's one of my fav mom/son pics from happier Christmas pasts. This was taken years back when DH, Josh, and I were visiting his mom and sis for Christmas back in Iowa. This particular pic came from a friends house that we visited in Nebraska. We always made a point of taking a little side trip to visit those dear friends. DH had been a room mate and college buddy of the husband and he and his wife had been dating at the same time Don and I were. We used to have some of the BEST times together...especially on Sunday's when we were all off work and would choose a group recipe, then go shopping together, and all cook together.
As I decorated the house yesterday for Christmas I felt my Josh all around me. He knows the holidays are particularly hard for his dad and I. Of course every day without the one you love 'more than yourself' is hard...but holidays bring the void up close and unavoidable.
We love our friends but seeing their families all congregate with the grandkids and the hopes and dreams of their futures is really really rough! We've had 3 Christmas' to adjust and we just try to put on a stiff upper lip and get through it...but if you know of someone who has lost a dear close one...do a little extra to be extra sensitive and caring for them this holiday. Just one extra hug and a "I know this is hard for you, but we love and understand" will be one of the greatest holiday gifts you can give them! Trust me I know!
Wouldn't it be the greatest thing if we could walk a mile in another's shoes before we judge or push our own little agendas! I'm going to remember that this Christmas and I bet I have an even happier one!
We aren't going to do the massive Christmas brunch we have been doing for the last 20 years...it is just TOO MUCH work and I'm not even eating the stuff that I always used to fix..we will do a nice sit down dinner for the group on December 19th. Still be able to carry on our entertainment tradition and then we'll volunteer to feed the homeless on Christmas Day. Honestly I'd rather spend my time doing something for people in need...our group is full of wonderful friends...but sometimes their self indulgence is a little off putting...especially when other people are hurting so deeply!
I was terrific with my food yesterday...too busy to even think about eating..hee hee!
I had a wonderful fruit smoothie for breakfast, a bunch of water, a salad for lunch, and then...yes I admit it...a pretty wacky dinner choice a few handfuls of my DH's homemade 'fireman style...from scratch...popcorn'....it was delish and I went to bed happily satisfied..although my nutrition tracker was a little baffled!
I'm shopping today for last minute items for tommorrow's Craft Night...I'll get the rest of the decorating done today...I'm tackling the upstairs studio, will get the tables set up and the crafty crafters will be in business!
Tommorrow I'll bake my RAW cookies which will be my contribution to our cookie exchange...everyone is bringing 3 dozen cookies to exchange with each other so that we have a big variety on hand for the Christmas season...what oh what will I do with 3 dozen cookies...take them to the market on Saturday and share them with our market buddies..I'll share a few with neighbors and if they stay fresh (hummmm, how long do cookies last?) I'll take them with us on Christmas Day for the homeless...what a treat for them!
I think I'm going to make these!
RAW Donut holes by Annie Phyo
Who can go wrong with donut holes...especially HEALTHY ones...?!! Makes 24 servings..I'm going to triple this recipe!
1 3/4 c almonds
1/2 t sea salt
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 c dried pineapple, chopped
2 c pitted dates
1/2 c + 1/4 c shredded coconut
In food processor, place almonds, salt, and vanilla. Process into a fine powder first. Slowly add chopped pineapple and dates, mix well. Place in a large bowl, Mix in 1/3 c shredded coconut.
To serve use an ice cream scooper, (wow that sounds BIG)...I might use a melon scooper...or spoon to form donut holes. Roll holes in 1/4 c shredded coconut. Will keep for over a week in the fridge.
I'm loving this recipe because you don't have to dehydrate..which quite frankly tests my patience even on days that I have the time to do it!
I'm sorry...but I think I'll always be an instant gratification type of gal!
To make these even MORE delectable you can dip them in Berry Compote. (8 servings)
5 large blackberries or strawberries
1 c white raisins
Splash of water, as needed
Blend blackberries and raisins with just enough water as needed to make a thick berry sauce. Will keep for 2 days in fridge.
Why of why wouldn't you want to try this RAW/CLEAN lifestyle when you can feed your body what it loves and craves and lose weight at the SAME time...I'm gonna convince you to try this...it's MY big quest...yes it is!!!
Happy Tuesday...keep on Sparkin'....RAW/CLEAN! You love me...I know ya do!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Happy Monday dear Sparkling fabulous friends of mine!
I posted a pic of last year's Christmas tree...just to get myself motivated..hee hee!
I've got soooo much to do before our Girls Christmas Craft night on Wed. We are all getting together to celebrate our yearly tradition of making a Christmas craft together.
This year we have about 15 wild women congregating at my house where we hold the event in my craft studio.
We are going to hand paint or hand etch some cute little designs into wine glasses for this years project. We all LOVE our vino so this will be a useful little project we can enjoy for years to come!
Yesterday as you know...I made DH his Thanksgiving turkey. The bird was a bust!
I don't know if they have bred and rebred those little turkeys into oblivion but this bird wasn't all that tasty...in fact I'm thinking something may have been wrong with it.
We only had a little bit and it just didn't taste good at all. It was a fresh bird and I bought it at a reputable grocery store and the sale by date was November 29th. I don't know if it was because I bought it the day before Thanksgiving and it was in our refrigerator for a few days but I'd think it would be okay if it was cooked by by the sale by date???
Anyhow it was pretty horrible...all stringy and tasteless! I had even decided I was going to treat the cats to RAW by chopping up some of the gizzard and liver...when I put it down for them they both just gave me a look like "Mom...you've got to be kidding me!"
They walked off with their tails held high in indignation! Maybe they knew that bird was no good long before I did. The color looked okay and I didn't smell any thing that seemed off.
It also reminds me that a good friend from our dine out group had commented that her bird wasn't good this year either...I'll have to ask her where she got hers.
But all in all yesterday which was a day dedicated to cooking was a bust for the bird!
The stuffing was faboulous...I had about 3 bites! I used chopped apples, onions, cornmeal muffins, with a bran raisin muffin, dried cranberries , sweet Italian sausage chicken stock, butter and heavy cream...yum o yum o...I might have to have a bit more today! I'm SO HAPPY that I didn't put it in the bird, it would have been ruined too!
I also tried a new sensational sweet potatoe recipe..it has baked bananas in their skins, peeled and mashed with the sweet potatoes that have been slow roasted and skinned. It too has cream and butter..what doesn't taste good with that! I added some chopped pecans, vanilla, nutmeg, orange zest, and cinnamon. Instead of brown sugar I added RAW honey...very very tasty!
That was plenty good and filling...I'm just bummed over that silly little turkey...I HATE wasting food and I HATE being duped by getting food that isn't fresh..when it says "FRESH" on the label...another lesson learned that you just can't get pulled in by labels and advertising!
So yesterday was pretty much dedicated to cooking so I'll have to do double time today to catch up on the cleaning and decorating!
Today I'll get right back on the RAW wagon with my fruit smoothies and my BIG gigantic salad for lunch. I won't have to worry about turkey left-overs, but will have about 3 or 4 more bites of the stuffing and about 2 cups of the sweet potatoes. I wish I could ship those potatoes out to each and every one of you to try...my problem is that I always cook for an army...good thing for friends to share with...those bananas in the sweet potatoes add such a flavor dimension...you should definitely give them a try!
Welp, off to get my list made...shopping, cleaning, decorating and lunch with a girlfriend...love you all my sweet wonderful friends! Have a motivating Monday..and be good to your sweet selves!
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