Sunday, December 29, 2013

Recap of 2013~A Long Post!

~A Year in Reflection~
Wow it's amazing how fast a year can fly by! 2013 had some ups and downs but overall it was a good year. It was tough but towards the end it started to get better. On June 26th I started the Day Zero Project. It is a really neat website that allows you to create a list of 101 goals to complete in 1001 days. Instead of making a New Years Resolution, I'm working on completing this list of goals. I want to see how far I've come!
1. Write 100 poems- 6/100
2. Watch the IMDb top 250 films- 97/250
3. Learn 50 new things by clicking the random articles button on Wikipedia- 5/50
4. Read 100 books- 12/100 I read the book "And Thereby Hangs a Tale" one of my favourite from this year. It was full of short mystery/suspense/horror stories. Really good book!
5. Save $100 on groceries with coupons- $54.17/$100
6. Get rid of 100 things- 50/100
7. Make 25 new recipes- 7/25 I made these Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Mmm so good!
8. Read 300 books to the girls- 40/300
9. Leave an inspirational note in a book for someone to find
10. Go to a concert
11. Write a book- I am writing a book called "Desert Gold". It will be a mystery with a touch of romance.
12. Go horseback riding
13. Have dinner by candlelight
14. Go to Las Vegas
15. Learn Spanish
16. Buy something from Etsy
17. Go rockclimbing
18.Perform 5 acts of random kindness
19. Send something to a friend- I sent my really good friends Shantel and Kelly some yummy Lara Bars!
20. Make a list of 100 things I'm grateful for- I completed this and you can find my list Here
21. Write down every dream I have for a week
22. Write a love letter to my husband
23. Write my name in the sand
24. Don't watch TV for a week- Completed! We don't have cable so this was pretty easy
25. Don't eat sweets for a month
26. Go to the firing range
27. Get a new tattoo
28. Buy new lens for my camera
29. Get a pedicure
30. Go on a spiritual retreat
31. Document a day in my life with photos
32. Donate unwanted books to the library
33. Volunteer in my community
34. Refinish a piece of furniture
35. Make soap
36. Make donuts
37. Buy new shoes- Completed! I got a blinged out pair of black heels and a pair of grey peep-toe heels for $5 each at a yardsale. Deal of the year!
38. Achieve Abs
39. Complete Insanity Program
40. Take a train somewhere
41. Paint the kitchen- Completed!
42. Host a My Favorite Things Party- Completed! I'm definitely going to do it again, it was a blast.
43. Go on a romantic getaway with my hubby
44. Find 50 geocaches
45. Go to dentist
46. Change hairstyle- Completed! I got my hair trimmed, side swept bangs, and some black lowlights
47. Clear out my broken external hardrive and put on cd's- In Progress
48. Make a coffee bar in my house
49. Organize my craft supplies
50. Fill change jar and cash it out
51. Handout 5 blessing bags to the homeless
52. Contact 5 companies for giveaways or reviews- Completed! I reviewed decal stickers, a scale, a kid's DVD, a brand of green tea and a brand of kid's shoes. Click on my Product Review tab to see them
53. Fill out a long survey for my blog
54. Get my pole set up- Completed! I now have a space in my garage to practice!
55. Model in a fun photoshoot- Completed! I did a bridal shoot, lots of fun!
56. Get a new outfit- Completed!
57. Do 5 projects from my Craft board
58. Successfully sew something
59. Get husband a nice smoker grill- Completed!
60. Answer the 30 things with Hubby
61. Watch the sunrise over the ocean
62. Make a 72-hour emergency kit for family
63. Join a sports team
64. Go snowboarding
65. Buy keyboard and relearn to play it
66. Plan preschool for Haley
67. Hike 5 trails in Joshua Tree- We have done the Skull Rock Trail so far
68. Hire a housekeeper- Completed! Well not technically a housekeeper but I hired someone to shampoo and deep clean our carpets. They are so much nicer and cleaner!
69. Take a practice LSAT
70. Read the entire Bible- In progress
71. Watch the sunrise on New Years
72. Journal for 6 months- I have been journaling for the past 2 weeks
73. Drink shakes for 2 weeks- I invented this yummy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie but haven't yet started my 2 week shake diet
74. Get a bigger vehicle or trade in
75. Get an article published in a magazine or newspaper
76. Win contest or sweepstakes- Completed! I didn't win but my little Haley won a photo contest. She got $50 for looking pretty! That would be a fun job haha!
77. Run another Fun Run- Completed! We did the Color Me Rad 5K last year and this year we did the Electric Run. It was amaaaaazing! I can't wait to do it again next year!
78. Help someone complete one of their goals
79. Finish 5 paintings- 2/5
 "The Serenity Prayer"- done for my Mother-in-law. Made with melted crayons, paint and stickers.

"Starry Night"- done this Christmas. Made with paint, stickers, broken mirror and cotton.
80. Take the kids to pick a fruit
81. Take the kids camping
82. Be able to do the splits
83. Get 250 blog followers- 96/250
84. Attend a blogging conference
85. Make bread from scratch
86. Make a "My Secrets" video- Completed!
87. Visit the Winchester Mystery House
88. Complete a 1000 piece puzzle
89. Carve a pumpkin for Halloween
90. Take the girls to Build-a-Bear
91. Write the story behind "Yours, Mine and Ours" for the blog
92. Make homemade jam
93. Stay off Facebook for a week- Completed!
94. Write a letter to a friend thanking them for their friendship- Completed!
95. Join a book club, non-profit organization or something similar- Completed! I joined the Father's Rights Movement. It is a growing movement that is focused on making sure Father's are able to have a relationship with their kids. I also got involved with I am THAT Girl. It's a movement of girls meeting together to talk about changing the world, empower each other and serve the community.
96. Make a wall of accomplishments- In progress
97. Practice meditation
98. Build up my Etsy shop
99. Start a financial campaign for a legal defense fund for getting our boys
100. Get our spare room set up for guests
101. Honestly I just don't know what to put here. I will think of something by New Years though!
I have until March 2016 to complete all my goals. I think I have a good start! What kind of goal setting or resolutions are you doing for the new year?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Product Review-Copy Kids DVD

"Copy-Kids is a DVD series designed to get very young children excited about eating fruits and vegetables.

Simple.  Adorable.  It shows kids having such a good time eating fruits and veggies, that when children watch it they want to join in.

Featuring well-known pediatrician, Dr. Jay Gordon, this product is a positive approach in the quest to get children eating healthy from the start."

The dvd is broken down into chapters featuring 1 fruit or vegetable. There are bell peppers, carrots, blueberries and bananas...just to name a few. From the main menu you can pick the individual chapter you may want to play to get your child to eat that particular fruit or vegetable. Or you can play the whole dvd while they watch for fun.

I watched the dvd with my 3 and 5 year old. At first my 5 year old was like, "Why is that kid eating food?" But they both enjoyed the movie and asked for each vegetable or fruit when it came on.

Haley wanted to enjoy some blueberries...

She even ate a carrot, which she normally isn't too excited about!

Find out more about Copy Kids-HERE
You can also visit their Facebook
And their Youtube Channel

Things I'm Lovin' Thursday

Today is my first "Things I'm Lovin' Thursday"! I've seen this done similar to mine on different days, and some bloggers have like a Rant and Rave once a week or once a month.

Personally, I looove seeing what other bloggers are using, wearing, eating and doing. I find cool new stuff to try when they do posts like this.

Instead of doing a rant&rave I want to keep it positive so it will be a bunch of stuff I love. But because I am Irish and there is always something that pisses me off and that I need to get off my chest, I will have 1 and only 1 thing I'm NOT loving. Hopefully, it will help you all stay away from bad products. Or something like that lol! Feel free to comment about anything I post.

Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer

Mmmm so good! They only sell this Peppermint Mocha and the Pumpkin Spiced Latte right around the holidays. They will  be gone by beginning of January...its o so sad.

Skull Candy Ear Buds

I always have my headphones on me, so people are always asking to borrow them but I never seem to get them back, or they magically break and it gets blamed on the dog. So hubby gave me one of my presents early-skullcandy earbuds. These earbuds are the best I have ever used, even use them as earplups when I don't want to listen to sometjing. And since they are pink, I only have to fight the girls from stealing them haha!

Heat back pad

This is almost exactly like my back pad. I got it to use as I'm in physical theapy. It has a heat setting and a vibration setting. The heat setting is really nice, particularly on a cold morning, or after  hard PT session.

 Savory Chick Noodle Soup

For a few days I there I thought we might be getting winter weather. I made red chili, white chili, soups ect. I really love my recipe  for Chicken Noodle ! Check out the Food tab to see the recepe

Something I'm NOT lovin'....

Ok so this is our kids stepdad. I have nothing against him, he seems like nice guy other than clearly not wearing the pants in the relationship. What makes me mad though is all these pictures were taken from his Facebook. So what you say? I have nothing against beer  or drinking wine or beer, it's not that. There are 2 things wrong with this situation.
1. The biggest issue is that neither the ex or her husband works and the only income they have is the child support we pay her. They get food stamps, but you can't buy alcohol with food stamps. So what is paying for the alcohol? The child support money. When you use child support which is supposed to be for the kids clothes, food, toys, medical and educational expenses, to buy alcohol there is a huge, huge, huge problem with that. It's just not right.
2. The second issue is that the ex gave my hubby and I a super hard time about us occasionally having a drink. She made a big fuss over alcohol in court and wanted it written that neither of us would consume any alcohol while the kids were in our care. We both agreed to it because, ya know, not a big deal. I think its a double standard though...and I have a huge problem with double standards.

Well that's my 1 pet peeve/rant for this week, I feel a lot better. Tune in tomorrow for Fashion Faux Pas Friday!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mocha Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting


Chocolate cake mix (and ingredients it calls for on the box)
Strong brewed peppermint flavored coffee, room temperature (enough to replace the amount of water the box cake mix calls for)

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting 1 cup, 2 sticks of butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 tablespoons Peppermint Mocha Nestle Coffee-mate Creamer

1. Bake the cupcakes from the box cake, following directions except use room temperature coffee instead of water. Preferably very strong brewed to get the best taste.

2. Cool cupcakes to room temp.

3. Cream butter with hand mixer or in a stand mixer. Add in sugar, mixing well after each cup.

4. Add salt, peppermint extract and creamer, beat well.

5. Frost cupcakes when cool and enjoy! You can garnish with chopped candycane or grated chocolate which I meant to do. I used Heath baking chips because it's all I had on hand. Turned out pretty yummy anyway!

Albertson's Rewards- Rachel Ray Dinnerware

Albertson's has this rewards program where for every $10 you spend you get a stamp. You fill up this booklet with stamps and you get a free item. This past weekend I filled up a booklet and got 6 free pieces of Rachel Ray dinnerware. I'm super excited about this because 1. Rachel Ray is a very nice brand and 2. We only have plastic bowls for the kids. Now I can present my food a little prettier and more professional. Sometimes I think it's hard to take some of my recipes seriously when they are in a hot pink plastic bowl haha!

I chose 2 mugs and 4 bowls in a pretty green color. The color is actually nicer, but the overhead lighting is really bad. I'm filling up another booklet now, the program ends the end of December so I should be able to get like 3 more items. Aren't my dishes nice?

Here is my receipt. $35 of dinnerware for FREE! Yay!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trevi Italian Restaurant "Frosty the Doughman" Pizza

 With Christmas at the end of the month, TREVI Italian Restaurant, located at the heart of The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas, is sharing an easy to make delicious treat.
Chef Peter Scaturro has created the perfect pizza for the winter season and has shared his easy step-by-step instructions on how to make "Frosty the Doughman" pizza at home.

Step-by-Step Instructions
1.      Roll out three different-sized pizzas using seven ounces, four ounces and two ounces of dough, respectively
2.      Add mozzarella cheese to all and bake (do not add sauce)
3.      Combine the pizzas once out of the oven and use tomato slices for the buttons, pepperonis for the eyes, a pepper or carrot for the nose and olives for the smile
4.      Use your imagination to create more accessory options (like a hat made from sauced-dough, arms made from breadsticks, a mushroom pipe, etc.)
The ‘Frosty the Doughman’ pizza is not available to order at TREVI, but you can make this delicious holiday meal with the family at home.

Catch the Trick or Trevi pizza I reviewed a few months ago.

Want to find out more  about the posh Trevi Italian Restaurant? Check out their website. Don't forget to stop by and try them out next time you are in Vegas!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Teriyaki Salmon with Siriracha Sauce

I made a yummy, healthy dinner last night of salmon with a cream sauce, rice and roasted asparagus. Haley loves asparagus so much, she eats them like candy and will steal them off our plates if we aren't looking. I have never seen a child enjoy a vegetable that much! (I only have the final masterpiece of dinner, because when I went to photograph the process of cooking I found my battery had died. Bummer.)


1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons honey
2 salmon filets
Cream Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons Sriracha
1 1/2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; set aside.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, honey and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes; let cool to room temperature.
3. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine teriyaki marinade and salmon filets; marinate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking dish with nonstick spray.
5. Place salmon filets along with the marinade onto prepared baking dish and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes.
6. While the fish  cooks, whip up the sauce. To make the Sriracha cream sauce, whisk together mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons Sriracha and condensed milk in a small bowl.
7. Idea: Serve fish atop rice and spread a spoonful of sauce over all.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Outfit-Jeggings and Peep toe booties

Here is my fashion post for Thanksgiving I promised! I didn't get a super clear shot of my outfit because I totally forgot to take one specifically of it. We were doing family pics and got distracted.

This is the best shot of my outfit from top to bottom. I know the quality is pretty poor but it's still

I chose a mint cami and layered with a grey sweater vest. The cami pictured is $14 and the vest $35.
You know me, of course I didn't pay that much for them!
My cami-Wet Seal had a 5 camis for $20 deal which I took advantage of. This is one of them.
My sweater vest- Goodwill for $3

I'm often inspired by Miley Cyrus(above) for my fashion choices. She loves jeggings as much as I do. If you don't know what jeggings are, they are currently "in". They are a basically denim leggings. Jeans that are a soft material and skin tight like leggings.

Booties are also "in". Mine are similar to these except they are peep toe. And of course I didn't pay $65.
My Grey Peep-toe booties-bought at a yard sale for $5.

Another celebrity fashion inspiration, Gwynth Paltrow, wearing Grey peep-toe booties.

Hope you enjoyed my outfit recap and got some fashion inspiration!

Easy Button Craft

This is a super easy craft I did a while back at my friend Shantel's house. You start with a canvas board. You can find them cheap and different sizes at Walmart.

You paint the background any color you wish.

Next you line up the buttons to make a letter, number or something else your creative mind leads you to. With a hot glue gun you paste the buttons on. I put smaller buttons on top of the bigger buttons for a neat design. You can do all sorts of designs with this project, it's super quick and easy. You can also use a mix of large and small buttons like I did.

Friday, December 13, 2013

100 Things I'm Thankful For-4th 20

Almost to the end! Here is the 4th set of 20 things I'm thankful for. I know November is over, but that's no reason to stop being thankful!

61. I'm thankful for the one-on-one dates I have with Haley when Serenity is in school. Sometimes we go get ice cream or go to the library or have a playdate.

62. I'm thankful that Serenity has taken to school so well. She loves it and I love seeing her learning and her social skills are growing.

63. I'm thankful our neighbourhood decorates, I love seeing all the Christmas lights.

64. I'm thankful our house has 24hr maintenance and we don't have to pay for lawn or trash service.

65. I'm thankful that Carrie has been my friend for the past almost 6 years even though she has to hide it from her family. It's too bad her mom is such a hateful person she has to tell her daughter who she can and can't be friends with.

66. I'm thankful we have 2 working vehicles. They may not be the prettiest but at least they work...for now.

67. I'm thankful for my relationship with my husband. I have truly found a passionate yet undying love in him.

68. I'm thankful I can trust that God sees all. Even when people lie and try to hide things.

69. I'm thankful for Christmas traditions. I love sharing them with my kids and stepkids.

70. My dad taught me to budget at an early age and I've managed to keep a pretty good budget. When we are completely broke (like one time when the ex had our bank account levied and we had $5 to our name) I always manage to pull money out of thin air somehow.

71. I'm thankful for activists. They are the people that help change the world. I choose to be one of them.

72. I'm thankful for humor. I love love to laugh!

73. While they annoy me sometimes, I really am thankful for dirty little handprints and running feet through my house. Some people don't have that and I blessed to.

74. Thankful for Adoption. I myself am adopted. My husband adopted his ex sister-in-law's son and raised him. He is also in the process of adopting my daughter. Adoption is a beautiful thing.

75. Thankful for my camera. No explanation needed there.

76. I'm thankful there are some sweet little girls around that play with my girls. It's nice to know your kids have friends.

77. This is totally superficial but Baskin and Robbins has this Dark peppermint bark ice cream. I have them make it into a shake for me and I am in loooove!

78. Pandora. Like I said before, I would be so lost without music. And I definitely can't afford to buy all my fav music on ITunes.

79. I'm thankful for my friend Kelly. She is one of the very, very few people who knows what it feels like to deal with problems like mine. I love that girl!

80. I'm thankful for my friend Shantel. She is such an encouragement and so giving to everyone around her. I love her too.

In case you missed my last 3 20's. here they are...

3rd set of 20
2nd set of 20
1st set of 20

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Friday Fashion Faux Pas-Bad Bangs

For this Friday's Fashion Faux Pas we are going to be laughing at bad bangs.

Wow here are some bad, bad bangs. If you can call them that. First pic is like a mullet or something. The bangs aren't even distinguishable from the rest of the hair. The top two have a super bad dye job. Who dyes their bangs? For some reason macaroni and cheese comes to mind. The bottom girl needs her bangs trimmed. They should be side swept or short enough to be bangs. And the last chicks bangs are awful because they are cut straight across. Such a straight across cut makes her hair look like a wig.

Here we go. These are so much better. The first picture is cut straight across but there is shape to the bangs and they are not in her eyes. The top pic is a gorgeous example of side swept bangs. They are very nicely blended into the rest of her hair. And the last pic is a pretty good example of a good side swept bang. It's me of course so I'm a little critical, I think they need to be blended in just a tad bit more but otherwise perfection!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sweater Weather Tag

I got this from my friend Elle over at ElleSees I admit I AM doing this to procrastinate from homework haha! I love doing little surveys though, so here goes.

1. Favorite candle scent? Probably peppermint but I like vanilla and coffee scents too.
2. Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate? Coffee and coffee and coffee. But sometimes I'll have hot coco with my kiddos. O and there is this yummy night night tea that makes you sleepy. It's nice to drink before bed sometimes. 
3. Do you switch up your makeup routine for the season? I have to mix two colors to make my foundation a little lighter since I'm much whiter in the winter.
4. Favorite Thanksgiving food? O that's a hard one! Love sausage stuffing and green bean casserole.
5. Hats or scarves? Honestly, I never wear either, but I'm going to start wearing scarves this winter I think. It's so fashionable.
6. Most worn sweater?  I don't really have any sweaters but I have a green Marine hoodie that's my go to winter warmth.
7. Must have Fall nail polish? Dark red or green

8. Football games or jumping in a pile of leaves?  Football allday errday
9. Skinny jeans or leggings? Well jeggings actually. For those of you that don't know, they are denim but very soft and are tight like leggings.

10. Boots or Uggs? Boots. I don't get the Ugg fad at all, personally I think they are ugly.
11. What is your #1 favorite thing about Fall? Too hard to pick! Bonfires and boots are at the top.

12. Do you have a song that gets you in the Fall mood or just a song you're loving at the moment? Wellll I have to confess I love Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus. Fall song would have to be Sweater Weather. It gets stuck in my head.
13. What is the Fall weather like where you currently live? It's chilly especially at night but not too cold. Just enough to be fall-like but not so bad you don't want to go out of the house.

This is a mixed media painting I did. I personally love how it came out.
I tag YOU!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Peppermint Tree Christmas Craft

So you know how I'm like all obsessed with peppermint and stuff? Well I made up this awesome craft that is easy, cheap and smells of lovely, lovely peppermint.

You will need those Styrofoam cones they sell at the dollar tree. They might sell them at Wal-Mart too. You can actually have any shape base of Styrofoam, a ball, a square, whatever be creative!

You will also need several bags of peppermints. They are $1 a bag at Dollar Tree and 1 and about 1/2 bags fully covers one cone.

Take a low temp glue gun and put a circle of glue on the back of a peppermint. Stick it on the cone, pressing a few seconds. Follow along in a line going all the way to the top.

If you come to a place where a whole peppermint doesn't fit, you can break it in half and stick it in the bare spot.

When you are done it should look something like this....

Make several of these for a centrepiece or put them around the house to smell it up like peppermint.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

Have I ever mentioned how much I like bundt cake? It's just so round and pretty! And of course what could be better than a CHOCOLATE bundt cake? I made this cake for Thanksgiving with my family and it was yummy yummy!


1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

The Glaze

For the chocolate glaze:
1 bar Ghardelli peppermint bar, crushed or grated
 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup (or agave nectar)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10 or 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt, and water and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, just until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add half of the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended. The mixture will be thick. Add the remaining butter mixture and whisk until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until completely blended. Whisk in the sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and the vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a rack. Let cool completely before glazing. (It's important to fully cool or your glaze will be runny)

5. While the cake is cooling, make the chocolate glaze. Place the chopped peppermint and corn syrup (or agave) in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan and put over medium heat. Stir until the cream is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth.

6. Generously drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Cut into pieces and serve.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Girls's Thanksgiving Photoshoot

I did a little photoshoot with the girls for Thanksgiving. We entered it in a competition and Haley won 1st place and $50.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We had a great Thanksgiving!

 We were hoping to go up to see the boys, at least for a day or two since we didn't see them last year. It was our year, but we were still living in SC and couldn't afford the $5000s in plane tickets to see them. Even because of that, do we get a little time with the boys this year? Nope. Not only that, Hubby requested a call, day before Thanksgiving, nothing. Thanksgiving comes around...nothing. They didn't even pick up the phone. I got about 5 calls from extended family and my husband's ex sister-in-law even wished us a Happy Thanksgiving. Hubby let the ex let know he wouldn't be available day after Thanksgiving so we (the girls included) would really like to talk to the boys for the Holiday. So what does she do? She has the boys call on the day after Thanksgiving. HE WAS ON DUTY!!!! Let me break it down for the less educated...duty means you can't be on your phone, social media ect. because he has an important job dealing with sensitive government material. Either there is some complete stupidity in this situation or clear manipulation and an attempt to completely isolate our family from the kid's lives. Episodes like this scream Parental Alienation.

So anyway there was that sadness deep inside that was missing the boys, but we still had an absolute wonderful Thanksgiving. I love that my family is so close, we can do stuff together so much more. My mom has taught all 8 of us to cook so there is never a shortage of deliciousness.

Here we have green bean casserole (I made), rolls, sweet potato casserole, ham, turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing, and an apple/grape/apricot salad. And in the cups in the front there is a delicious coffee my brother makes. He has perfected the perfect cup of coffee. I know he uses a French press but other than that I can't give his secrets away hehe!

And at the drink table we had orange/lime water, tea and peach tea. My brother and sister have funny looks on the faces!

The token "kids" table at Thanksgivings.
Its cute that my oldest kid and my youngest brother are only a few months apart. They are really, really close.
I wish I had taken a pic of dessert, but I was so full I couldn't get up! We had a pumpkin pie made by my 13 yr old sister (Isn't it cool she can make stuff like that at such as a young age?) Pecan pie, a peach cobbler, a sour cream bundt cake (made by me) Ice cream and homemade whipping cream. (Yeah that yummy fluffy, light cream, way better than Redi-whip)
Sour Cream Bundt Cake
(Recipe coming soon!)
The men/boys went out and played bocci ball and threw a football around. The girls chatted and cleaned up some.
My brother set my little brother on top of a bush. So funny!!
 Look at that gorgeous background at my parents place!
(I'll do a fashion post on my outfit soon)
 And a gorgeous family too, if I do say so myself!
 I love us. Our weirdness makes us perfect for each other!
True Love!