Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Fabulous Read...


Looking for a fabulous book to read? I highly recommend "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. My family bought me books one and two of this series for Christmas and I haven't been able to put it down. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it! (As much as I like Twilight!)

"In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love." -
Scholastic Website

If you are thinking that this sounds too gruesome or barbaric, think of what you thought of Twilight at first when you heard it was a "Vampire Book", and give it a chance. It is tastefully and cleverly written and I don't think you will be at all disappointed. It catches your attention from the very beginning...I seriously just could not put it down and had the first book read within a day! Let me know what you think! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Happiness Project 2010... JOIN ME!!!

I have been working on my Happiness Project for 2010, (see this Woman's Day article, "C'mon, Get Happy" by Gretchen Rubin for an overview), and have come up with my 12 categories to work on that will make myself a happier person. The idea is to have one area per month to concentrate on, but you continue concentrating on each one so by the end of the year you are working on all 12! (There is also a really cool blog that you can check in on to give you ideas and keep you focused... http://www.happiness-project.com/.)

Here is what I decided my happiness project will look like:

January: Fitness
February: Love
March: Saving
April: Spirituality
May: Parenting
June: Cleanliness
July: Writing
August: Friendship
September: Home Improvement
October: Music
November: Thankfulness
December: Service

So Each month I will be setting goals and focusing on these categories. January I will be working on exercising, eating right and health in general. Wanna join me? Develop your own Happiness Project and post about it, then let me know in the comments so I can come read about it. I would love to have a group of us working on this together! If there are enough people interested, we could start a Monday Blog Hop or something where we all post about our Happiness Project accomplishments and Goals! :) We can all use a little more happiness in our lives!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I enjoyed my Christmas immensely. We spent the morning at our house, (the first year ever in our OWN home), opening presents, cooking and laughing together, then we went to my Mum & Dad's for Christmas Dinner and some extended family fun. I can't imagine Christmas without family. It just wouldn't be the same. (Though my heart does still pang for my brother and sister in England and their families as well as Mike's Mom & his brother and his family. I miss them all a lot.)

This year we had an amazing spread that started with DeAnna's homemade mini-quiche, cream cheese covered in raspberry chipotle sauce with shrimp, artichoke dip, crackers and cheese.

My Mum puts out the most incredible feasts for any dinner, but she really outdoes herself for the holidays. The main course brought roast beef, ham & turkey with ALL the trimmings. Roast potatoes, parsnips, horseradish carrots, green bean casserole, funeral potatoes, stuffing with cranberries & pecans, sweet potatoes with brown sugar, pink salad, broccoli salad, cranberry jello mold, bread sauce (traditionally made and simmered over a three hour period by my pops), gravy and rolls.

For dessert there were mincemeat pies, jam tarts, all types of cookies/bars and we even had a traditional English Trifle with real Birdseye custard on top. Oh, just thinking about it all makes me hungry for it again! In fact, I swear I can smell it all right now!

We had a fun day playing, chatting and watching a movie together. We also had a family talent show where each of the families had to do something together. Our family did "The 12 weeks of Football" where we changed all the words and acted out some amusing entertainment. It wasn't your typical 12 days of Christmas... I'll just say that, and give thanks that no-one got it on video. LOL.

I hope each of you had a very Merry Christmas and that you too enjoyed your time with your family. God bless you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do You Feel What I Feel?

Today I woke up different. I don't know what directly caused it... maybe it was because I knew I was almost done with Christmas preparations... maybe it was because we spent a fabulous night with Mum, Dad, The Hansen's and The Santizo's at Temple Square last night looking at the Christmas lights and Nativity together... maybe it was because it started to snow... I really don't know, but I am glad it has happened. I can feel it... the true Spirit of Christmas. It is kind of hard to explain, but my heart feels full of gratitude and peace. Today I feel a bounce in my step and a glow in my face. I can't help but smile at everyone I pass. I literally feel like... like my heart has grown three sizes overnight!

If you don't feel the true Christmas Spirit yet, take 1 minute & 50 seconds and listen to Linus explain what Christmas is all about.

Do you feel it yet? If not, you need the big guns... watch this one, and go share your Christmas Spirit with everyone you know! Merry Christmas Friends. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Candle for Bryson...


My heart was sadly touched when I read about little Angel Bryson on a blogging friend's site. Click HERE for more information and if you feel so inclined, post a candle and say a little prayer for the Ross family.

Family Fight Night?

I don't remember EVER having a more peaceful Family Home Evening than we did this week. We usually refer to FHE as Family Fight Night because there is always some kind of trouble. However, I was literally shocked that this one went so well... so much so that I haven't been able to stop analyzing what we did because I want it to always be like that! (Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath!)

We ate dinner around the table together, went to Gardner Village to see the Elves and then had a 1/2 hour lesson/discussion patterned around 'The Happiness Project' post I did last week. There were no arguments, we had a ton of fun and even got to eat yummy chocolate at the Fudge Shoppe at Gardner Village. I definitely could do more Family Home Evenings like this one. :)




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Julie & Julia


Oh my goodness. I absolutely LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this movie.

I took Miss Dee to the Dr this morning and she has strep. :( When I grabbed her prescription I saw the redbox machine and thought I would grab a movie for her to watch since she wouldn't be doing much of anything else. Well Dee LOVES cooking and we had talked about this movie when it first came out and how cute it looked because it was based on two true stories... the story of Julia Childs and the story of Julie Powell, an office worker who wants to be a writer. Julie who feels overwhelmed with the mundane-ness of her life, decides to cook through every recipe in Julia Childs cookbook (524 recipes) in one year and blog about it.

Well, about 4pm I started puking and wasn't feeling too good all afternoon/evening so I did something I don't often do... I actually sat down and watched the movie with Miss Dee while Hubby and Mike were out. It was so dang cute. I found it inspiring and heartwarming. I don't know if it was because I felt like I identified so closely with Julie Powell, or because I fell in love with Julia Childs and her bubbly personality, or because I found the relationship between Julia Childs and her husband so romantic. But the combination of all these things and more made it climb up to the top of my chick flick list. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Happiness Project...

I subscribe to Woman's Day Magazine. (I know, it's an old lady mag, but I am pretty much addicted... I love it and I got three years for $10, what can I say... plus, it is awesome bathroom reading!) This month there was a fab article entitled "C'mon, Get Happy", (click on it to read it), by Gretchen Rubin that has made me really think for the past few days. Basically it has you think about what is stopping you from being happy and has you create your own "Happiness Project". Gretchen suggests coming up with 12 resolutions... things to work on that make you happier... and then working on one for January, then adding the next in February, etc. Some of her goals include making time for friends, remembering love, pursuing a passion and paying attention. At the end she gives you a list of questions you can ask yourself to kick-start your happiness.

Reading the article definitely made me want to set up my own "Happiness Project" for 2010, so I have to figure out what my goals are gonna be for the year. The first question Gretchen recommends asking yourself is "What makes you feel good?" I'm still working on it, but so far my list includes:
  • Cuddling with Hubby
  • Spending time with the fam
  • A night out with good friend(s)
  • Playing the piano
  • Listening to loud music and dancing all around when no-one is home
  • Chocolate, mmmmmmmmm, especially Cadbury's
  • Saving money
  • Hugs
  • Helping someone do something they can't do themselves
  • Eating well and exercising (I don't do this, obviously)
  • Reading a great book
  • Writing stories
  • Sitting in a hot, bubbly jet tub
  • Having manicured nails
  • A clean house!
  • Days off work
  • Seven hours sleep

So I am curious... What makes you feel good???

Monday, December 7, 2009

I never thought I would see THIS...

Take a close look at Santa... heeheehee...

That is my cute Hubby entertaining the kids.

If that isn't the sweetest thing ever,
I don't know what is... :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deck The Halls...

Last year I managed to put off putting up the decorations in the house until around the 13th of December. That was when my daughter decided to try and shame me in to doing it on her blog, (see here).

Well she hasn't blogged in a LONG time, so I thought I might get away with putting it off again this year, but NOOOOOOOOOOOO! DeAnna decided we were going to put up the trees for Family Home Evening this past Monday, (Not even December... November 30th people!!!!), whether we wanted to or not and drug all the decorations up from the basement after school. She even "paid" her brother and some friends to help her by making them brownies. Seriously??? It's not like you can ignore a room full of boxes for a week!

So I got to spend my entire Monday afternoon/evening decorating my house for Christmas. Thanks a lot guys! ;)