Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year - Amazing

As most of you know from following my blog...this year has been pretty incredible!!!

2012 Highlights

Kenzie's First Flight - and flew alone (February)
Kenzie's first time out of the midwest (February)
The Tetmeyer Wedding - (May)
Dale's first time out of the country - He flew to Germany for work (June)
Mackenzie's first time out of the country - Our Honeymoon to China (August/September)
Honts family Vacation - Jamaica for Kelly's Wedding (November)

This year has been full of surprises!! We look forward to sharing 2013 with you!!

In February, Dale flew to Boston for work -- two days later I flew out to meet him and do some sight seeing. This was my first flight, alone at that!! I was pretty damn proud!!! AND it was my first time out of the Midwest.

In May, he put a ring on it!!!

In June, Dale left for Germany for 7 days - longest 7 days of my life!!!! I was so glad when he came home.

We went to China in late August for 2 weeks. Why did we go there ... to see Dale's brother, wife and kids :) This was the most incredible trip. The trip of a lifetime.

In November, the whole family, yeap all 21 of us!! We packed up and went to Jamaica for my cousin Kelly's wedding. The most beautiful ceremony EVER!! We truly did have an amazing time here!!

So to sum it up - Dale and I have had the most amazing year! Thank you to all that are a part of our lives!!! We love you all!

Happy New Year ALL!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas with Nutella Cookies

Is it me or is it so sad when Christmas is over? It goes by so fast with all the hustle and bustle of this Christmas and that Christmas!!!
 
 
Today has been one of the best Christmas' ever. I was able to share the day with my family, give some amazing gifts, received some wonderful things but despite that -- the family bond!
 
It seems the older I get the less the presents mean. Don't get me wrong, I love buying Christmas presents but it seems when I am asked what I would like, it gets harder and harder to mention something. The funniest gift was a box of rollers, paint brushes and the furniture covers to paint my kitchen - ya think that was a hint that my mom hates my blue kitchen LOL - there are paint samples on my wall from three years ago that I never really chose a color!!!!
 
So as this day is wrapped up I thought I would share what I did this afternoon with my brothers girlfriend...this was a fun filled afternoon!
 
 
13-ounce jar Nutella
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
1 extra large or large egg
1 1/4 cups self-rising cake flour

You’ll need four things for this recipe. A 13 ounce jar of Nutella (that’s the small jar), a large or extra large egg, a couple tablespoons of butter, and flour.
 
We’ll use most of the jar of Nutella in the dough, but save a little for the filling.
 
Just mix up the Nutella, 2 tablespoons softened butter, and a large or extra large egg.
 
 
Beat it up till it’s nice and creamy-smooth
 
And then add the flour.
Beat the flour in until you have a soft sticky dough. 
Don’t add more flour, it’s supposed to be sticky.
 
Roll into balls by the tablespoon and keep hands dough free by giving them a spritz of non-stick spray or a light dusting of flour.  They should look puffed up and set all over, but still soft in the center if you touch them. 10 minutes exactly was perfect for mine.
 
Dollop a little Nutella on the top of these bad boys and enjoy!!
 
She is concentrating sooo hard!! :)
 
 
My Annie!!
 
 
 
 Look at this yummy concoction!!

 
 
I was a little concerned when I pulled them out of the oven and the bottoms seemed pretty hard, however, the first bite in they were so soft on the inside!!

The only downside is that the recipe only makes 16-18 cookies.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Appetizers - Tomato Tarlets

If you are not typically a cook and are looking for something just to throw together quickly, this is a must!!

Ingredients:
1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1/4 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2/3 cup Mayo
Fresh Basil
2 boxes Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry

Lay out the Puff Pastry to thaw. You can mix the remaining ingredients while waiting for Puff Pastry. If you have a decorative edge cutter use that to cut squares from the pastry.



Cook the Puff Pastry only for 4 minutes on 400 degrees - or until puffy


 Lay on a cooling rack just for a few minutes to cool. Then take a spoon full of the mixture and lay in the middle. 

Place back in the oven on 350 for 18- 20 minutes.


Enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas Eve!!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

High Five for Friday

Can you really believe that Christmas is TUESDAY???? Honestly, it seems like that is all I have been hearing but it truly is true! This year past us all in a great big hurry.

So, this week is the week before Christmas and these are my top five of the week. I am sure next week will be five of the coolest presents that I get :)

1. The kids returned on Tuesday from China, I was able to be at the airport upon their return!!!
Unfortunaletly, with the time change adjustment and the blizzard conditions I have not got to see them much. We plan to spoil them rotten tonight :)


2. So, the reason I was at the airport when the kids arrived was because, Dale also returned from Germany. I absolutely HATE when he is gone. I normally go into this crazy meltdown stage...I think I have Adult Separation Anxiety...S:

I handled pretty good this time - a whole 8 days and we are reunited!! :) Love him!!


3. I ordered one of my favorite lunches in yesterday. They deliver, it gets dangerous!!!!

Avenue Subs in Muscatine - best sandwiches, hands down. Check em out!!

This is a Newell (turkey and swiss) along with their Wisconsin Cheese Soup. MMMMMMmmmmMMMMM


4. We did Christmas with my friends children. For those that know me...two of these girls are more than just a friends children. They are the next thing to my own. I love them dearly!!!!


5. BLIZZARD! This was on my drive home yesterday. There was almost 0 visibility. Which in turn sent me home from work about 2 hours early yesterday. Which in turn meant that I was able to get some things done around the house ;)


Much love!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday - Praying for Snow!!!

So living in the Midwest normally means we would have snow right now. We do not a lick of snow on the ground...however, we are expecting our first big storm tonight!!! :)

It might be a White Christmas after all.

I am secretly hoping that I will wake up in the morning and be snowed in my house and not be able to make it to work! Ah shucks.....(:

So since this week is the last week before a 10 day HON shutdown, if we make a donation to the Sandy Hook Fund, we get to wear jeans all week. 


Scarf - Banana Republic

Monday, December 17, 2012

Paper Plate Game

This past week was crazy! Planning a party, finishing Christmas shopping, 1st Christmas gathering all along side of the normal everyday life...'tis the season!!!

T-minus 8 days <3

One of the worst things is playing a bad game at a party with people you don't know. That's why a friend of mine and I tried to find the best games for our
2012 Holiday Party

On top of a few glasses of wine, this game is perfect!

Materials:
Paper plates / pens
Directions:
The host tells the players to put their paper plate on their head.
Then the host will give a series of instructions for the players to draw on their paper plates (that are on their heads) without looking.
Here are the instructions:
1. Draw a line for a floor.
2. Draw a Christmas Tree.  Add decorations if you feel so inclined.
3. Draw a star on top of your tree.
4. Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree.
5. Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel of your fireplace.
6. Draw a present below the tree.
After the six steps have been given, let everyone look at their masterpieces.
Get ready for a serious giggle fest.
Then have players count up how many points they received by following this rubric:
1. 2 points if the tree touches the floor.
2. 2 points if your stocking is touching your mantel.
3. 1 point if your star touches your tree.
4. 1 point if your star is above your tree.
5. 1 point for every Christmas ornament ball that is ON your tree, etc.
6. 1 point if your fireplace doesn’t touch the tree (it’s a fire hazard!). :-)
7. 1 point if you actually drew something decorative on your stocking (or something cute, like a tiny kitten peeking out).
8. 2 points if your present is under your tree.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

While pondering what recipes to make for our holiday party, I have always wanted to make Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. They are my favorite cookie so they have to be good in a cupcake :) Our Holiday Party was a success!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
Yield Makes 28

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Frosting

1 cup butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 tbsp. milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix on low speed, blend in butter until fluffy (about 30 seconds) Add sugar, 3 tbsp milk and vanilla extract, blend lightly. Add cinnamon and continue to mix until sugar is well incorporated. Increase speed and beat until fluffy, if the frosting is stiff, add the remaining 1 tbsp of milk. Blend well. Be sure that the cupcakes are completely cool. Pipe your cupcakes.

Garnish with cinnamon, optional

Thursday, December 13, 2012

High Five for Friday - Party Style

What are your top five things of the week?

1. I made this display for The Tetmeyers' Christmas Cards. Tutorial to follow :)


2. I am looking forward to my Holiday Party that Ally and I are hosting. Since last year was a hit, we chose to turn it into an annual. Who doesn't like to have a party on a Friday Night with good food, new friends and wine? 


3. I don't have any pictures but my brother and I had a sleep over. His girlfriend joined. We watched Ted and at 11:00 pm, we made brownies :)
12:00 am - Warm Brownies and Milk - mmmmmmmmmmmm

4. Happiness and Faith
I am so glad that I was naturally blessed with happiness and faith. Without those two things, life would be impossible.

5.  Crafting. I got a lot of crafting done this, since there will be an opportunity to buy the items at our Annual Party!!

Have a wonderful weekend!! <3

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday - Life

Today's wardrobe is about what is on the inside....

Do you ever have those days that you realize how luck you are that your feet hit the ground? 

You know when you are little and you think about the future...I want to be a mommy and a doctor, nurse, teacher, smarty pants. Not knowing what your future has in store...

Today, I would have never pictured my life the way it has turned out. The road the big man sent me down has been incredible. Life has been the best journey. The good times definitely trump the bad!!

A family friend passed away tonight and it just seems all to unreal that you don't know when you wake up if it will be your last.

While not knowing the future is quite scary, you should live everyday like it is your last. I have my parents to thank for the person I have become today.

From the inside out I want to thank everyone of you for reading! I love you all!



Sunday, December 9, 2012

DIY - Reuse a Wine Bottle

This is an easy DIY Project and it makes a great gift!!!

It doubles as Wine and an Olive Oil Dispenser. I chose to leave the wine in the bottle for a gift, however, if you have an empty one just fill it with olive oil.

Supplies:
Wine Bottle
Yarn
A liquid dispenser
Hot Glue
Scissors
Additional Embellishments (optional)

Glue the end of the strand to the bottle and wrap the bottle. As you can see in the image below, I did one thicker than the other. Once you have reached the thickness desired glue the end with some hot glue.

I bought the rosette flowers at Joann's Fabrics.


(P.S. As you can see in the background, I have been watching the NCIS marathon all day :))

Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

High Five for Friday

After a weeks long break from blogging I am trying to get back in the groove, along with getting ready for the holidays...

This weeks favorite things -

1. This beautiful view of the Ocean in Jamaica

This is what I woke up to Sunday morning


2. You saw this picture yesterday, but High Five for all these wonderful people in this picture!!!


3. My new iPhone

4. Duck Dynasty :)

Do you watch Duck Dynasty? Hey, Jack who is your favorite?

5.  Jimmy John's

The food in Jamaica was not all that impressive. We did have some great meals. Nothing like coming back and having my favorite meal - JIMMY'S

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jamaica 2012

Honts Family Vacation 2012 - Jamaica


We had wedding, wedding, wedding the first 3 days. Day 4 was BEACH day, basically we all fried in the sun :D Day 5 we took a road trip for shopping and American food (Burger King). The food in the resort was not really the greatest but we made do. 

Paradise <3


Alana, Kelly and I 


Honts Family


The most important part of this trip was the family!


Dale and I before he went Scuba Diving


Japanese Restaurant for rehearsal dinner


Our Chef :)


This was the Ms. Iberostar Night

Somehow, Andrea, Kelly and I all got called on stage to participate.

1st - Walking the Runway

2nd - Singing

3rd - Role Playing

(I didn't catch any images but Dale was part of Mr. Iberostar :))

Andrea and I with Happy Feet

The entertainment group at the resort was amazing!!


Bob Marley shots - they took like 20 minutes to make!!!

Very cool that the colors of liquor just sit on top


This is the view out of our Suite


Wedding Day


Bride and Bridesmaids


Honts Family



We visited one of the 4 Luminous Lagoons in the world

This is where the Fresh Water meets the Salt Water

At night, the lagoon sparkles and glistens when disturbed, as these microscopic organisms produce an eerie glow, reflecting the outlines of fish and other objects in the water. The Luminous Lagoon is said to be the largest and most brilliant of four in the world, a fact that continually attracts and awes visitors and scientists from around the world.


Above is not a good image but the water was pretty cool. You can google images to see it better lit. Below is what is on the bottom. When you put your feet down you sink into the silk. Needless to say, I was not in the water long after putting my feet down! :)


Who does not LOVE this picture
A Jamaican Hummingbird at 10am :) No problem Mon!


Yes, I participated in old lady water aerobics while in Jamaica. Only because it was in the ocean


Margaritaville




My entertainment buddy, Special K


Another entertainment buddy, Chin


And the man that is responsible for most of my actions after 9 pm :)
David


Floating on the Lazy River


We drove to Negril for a day. The beaches here were incredibly white and pure. I even got a massage on the beach


Also in Negril is Rick's Cafe. This is known for the Cliff Diving.

We watched the Sunset, Cliff Divers and had lobster for supper.




The girls :)


Alana and I


The next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models :)


One of my favorite photos - Aunts, Cousins, Sisters, Sister in laws



Cheers to our last night!!!!