Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Traditions!

I absolutely love the holidays. I love the family, the warm generous feeling in your heart, the music, the food, the decorating, the traditions, and so much more!

A big Christmas tradition in my family is our countdown calendar. We would always try to be the first to move the little mouse the next day closer to Christmas. Silly but so important to us!

One of my favorite things is the Christmas tree. I like having a real tree with colorful lights (some NEED to be blinking!) and lots of random meaningful ornaments. Ornaments are very important in my family. Each year my mother gets us a couple to represent ourselves and the year we have had. I can’t wait to pass this on to our children. There are also a few ornaments that have traditions within themselves! My mom has one of a turtle sleeping in its shell and it has a little tag that says do not open till Christmas. On Christmas day you better believe we hunt that thing down on the tree just to open it!

After getting married we have started quite a few new traditions and I can’t wait to share them with our kids. Although I would love to go to Christmas eve mass, we always go to my husband’s grandma’s house and celebrate. It is a lot of fun. Afterwards, we get hot chocolate and drive around aimlessly counting how many houses with lights we see and of course we need to listen to Christmas music!

Some traditions I hope to share with our kids:

  •  Ornaments & Decorating the tree together
  • Counting Christmas lights
  • Advent Calendar & Wreath
  • The Giving Tree or Toys for Tots
  • Baking cookies for Santa!
  • Breakfast on Christmas Day
  • Pistachios in your stocking toe
  • Spending Christmas Eve with family
  • Wrapping Paper Wars!
  • Elf on the shelf

I’m linking up this week with Growing Up Geeky for Toddle Along Tuesday! Come link up and share some of your favorite traditions!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty Giveaway is Back!

Remember the Terrific Twenty Giveaway? Well now it's back! Melissa & Doug are doing another round of giveaways everyday till December 19th right on their facebook page! Be sure to go check it out and try to win a Terrific Twenty Gift yourself!

Slow Cooked Beef Minestrone

I was hesitant making this because of the ingredients (My household is so picky!) but I tried it at work one day and it was fantastic! I got the recipe off the Wegmans.com website.

- About 1.6 lbs Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Pan Searing Flour
- 2 Tbsp Pure Olive Oil
- 16 oz Cleaned & Cut Minestrone Soup Vegetables (Potatoes, carrots, zucchini, etc.)
- Salt and pepper
- 32 oz Beef Culinary Stock
- 14.5 oz Italian-Style Diced Tomatoes (I did not add these)
- 24 oz Seasoned Tomato Sauce (I used homemade sauce, I'm sure jar sauce would be just as good)
- 1/2 cup dry Ditalini Soup Pasta
- 15.5 oz Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
- 5 oz Baby Spinach

Step 1) Dust beef with pan searing flour.
Step 2) Heat oil pn medium-high heat, add beef and sear for about 10 minutes until all sides are browned
Step 3) Transfer beef to slow cooker, leaving drippings in pan.
Step 4) Add vegetables into pan drippings, season with salt & pepper, cook while stirring approximately 3 minutes and then add to slow cooker.
Step 5) Add stock, tomatoes, and sauce to slow cooker, cover, and cook 4 1/2-6 hours on high or 8-10 on low.
Step 6) Add pasta and beans 30 minutes before end of cooking on high. Step 7) Add spinach and stir well to blend about 2 minutes.
We also added cheese on top! Yummm!

The Mandatory Mooch

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Walt!!

Today is a very important day. Not only in Disney terms but in my own life as well. My grandfather passed away 10 years ago today and I really miss him. It amazes me that today I had a doctors appointment and even though so much heartache has been associated with today I got to hear the little heartbeat that will bring new life to my family. Sounds silly but it was amazing to me.

Anyway, in Disney news I found out that Netflix is now able to stream Disney movies...yay! And oh, who could forget...it's Walt's Birthday!!! :]

Be sure to link up and show Walt some birthday love today!!
Focused on the Magic
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