December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I'll admit that New Years' is my least favorite holiday.  Call me a party-pooper (Go for it.  I'll wait.... done?!), but being single takes a whole lot of joy out of New Years'.  Like I need a party to remind me that I'm departing one year and bringing in a new year SINGLE...while surrounded by kissing couples.

Anywho.  I do wish you all a very, very Happy New Year!  I hope that you have someone to kiss as the ball drops.

I'm not making resolutions this year.  Instead, I have a few "wishes".  For both you and I!

I wish us:
  • Joy. The ability to see the joy of the little things even on really bad days.
  • Health. I wish everyone a hospital-free year (except for those of you having babies!).
  • Love. The love of finding your other half. The love of your parents, siblings, children, friends and extended family.
  • A career/job you really enjoy! Doesn't matter if it's as a SAHM, doctor, teacher, etc.  I hope you are where your skills lie, you feel appreciated, and you can't help but smile every morning at the prospect of another day on the job.  :-)
  • Perspective.  (A weird one, I know!) I want you us to realize how lucky we truly are. We have a roof over our heads, food to eat and most of the time our biggest worries are either paying a bill a few days late or concern over sitting in traffic too long.
Now, go on out there and make this the best year yet!!!

December 28, 2011

Review & Giveaway: My Memories

I was recently contacted by Liz @ My Memories.  When she told me that she'd like me to review the newest version of their digital scrapbooking software, I was curious.  Then she let me know that she'd love to give away a copy of the software too! 

I'm a crafty person, so digital scrapbooking is right up my alley.  :-)  But, trust me, you don't need to have a crafty bone in your body to have some fun with this software.  Here's a little example that it took me just minutes to put together!  And, of course, I used my favorite little photographic subjects.  Aren't they cute?!

In addition to giving away the software to one lucky reader they are offering $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store - $20 value!

Just enter this code: STMMMS83631

How to enter:
1. Follow my blog. (mandatory)
2. Visit My Memories and tell me what your favorite layout is.
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Tweet (and put the link in a comment): "Win Digital Scrapbooking Software from @allthelilstuff and @mymemoriessuite! #giveaway "5. Follow @mymemoriessuite on Twitter.
6. "Like" My Memories on FaceBook.

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry!*

The giveaway is open until midnight EST on Wednesday, January 4th. The winner will be announced shortly thereafter. 

December 27, 2011

Thanks, Santa!

Was Santa good to everyone?!  He was really nice to me this year.  :-)

I got:

I'm in love with my Kindle Fire.  Santa also brought a pink cover. {P.S. Please tell me all the books I should be reading!!!!}

A2 by Aerosoles Prologue T-Strap Dress Heels

A2 by Aerosoles Prologue T-Strap Dress Heels (clipped to
These adorable shoes.  I just adore shoes that look like they're from the 30's - 50's. 

Gift cards a plenty!  Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, a few from Amazon and other fun places.  :-)

Some comfy pj's, an adorable sign from my cousin (more news on her coming soon!!!) and a fabulous monogrammed wine glass.

What did Santa (or your family) bring you?

Tuesdays At The Table - Turkey Chili

*It's just after noon, and I just realized that today's post didn't go up as scheduled. BAD, BAD,  BLOGGER!!*
I hope everyone had a great holiday.  Mine was filled with family, friends and food.  Great combo, right?!  Santa also got me a few really cool gifts...but I'll blog about them later in the week.  :-)


OK, so you've had your big family dinner and now you're stuck with half a turkey.  Time to get creative.  Turkey chili time!! I actually make this with chili quite frequently too.

Turkey Chili

2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Two 35 oz cans stewed tomatoes, crushed
Two 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock
2 Tbsp chili powder (or up to 4 Tbsp if you like it really hot)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt, plus more if desired to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 to 4 cups of shredded, cooked turkey meat
Sugar (if needed)

In a large (8-quart) pot, cook the onion and green pepper over medium high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for a minute or two more. Add a bit more olive oil if needed.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock. beans, oregano, salt, pepper, and cooked turkey meat. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for an hour.

Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of sugar to take the edge of the acidity of the tomatoes if desired.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

December 24, 2011

The 12 Dogs of Christmas yesterday's post was supposed to be my official "Christmas" post.  But I just couldn't resist this!

12 Dogs of Christmas


*Note: I'm not advertising for T-Mobile.  I just think they did an awesome job on their version of the song.  Oh, and turn on the snowflakes.  It makes the video EVEN better!!*

December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!!

Wishing you all a very, very Merry Christmas!  I hope it's filled with family, friends and fun.  :-)  And...that Santa got your wish list & brings you everything you asked for!!

I'll be doing a My Memories product review & giveaway right after Christmas! Then, my 500 Follower Giveaway next week too!

December 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Beckett!!!

Happy Birthday, Beck-Beck!  Technically, your birthday was on Monday...but I know you'll forgive me for celebrating today instead.  After all, you did get pup-cakes on Monday!
You did a great job of convincing everyone (or maybe that was me!) to sing "Happy Birthday" to you.

I love you, Beckett Scout!

December 19, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Irish Cream Cake in the world is it just days away from Christmas?!?! I have gotten some fabulous Christmas cards from people. Cute, funny, sweet, pup-filled. A great variety! If your card to me got returned - I'm sorry! My mailman apparently doesn't like doing his job, and has been randomly returning mail as "undeliverable". *Sigh*
This week I'm sharing my mom's (Bailey's) Irish Cream Cake. Soooo good! I don't know where she got the recipe...but if you recognize the recipe, let me know so I can give the right person credit. :-)


Bailey's Irish Cream Cake

1 cup chopped nuts
1 package yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla instant pudding
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour your pans.  Sprinkle your chopped nuts across the bottom of your pans.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and pudding mixes.Mix in eggs, water, oil and Irish cream & mix on high for 5 minutes (the batter will be nice and fluffy).  Pour batter over nuts and bake for 1 hour. 

Cool for 5-10 minutes, then invert on a serving dish.  Prick top and sides.  Spoon glaze on top and brush on sides of cake.  Allow cake to absorb moisture, then repeat until all glaze used.

Glaze - In a saucepan combine butter, water and sugar.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring contantly for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat & stir in Bailey's.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Merry Christmas!!!!

December 16, 2011

A Call For Help

You all know that I tend to keep my posts as cheery as possible.  And trust me, especially at the's my goal to make people smile. Today's post is not light and fluffy.  In fact, I need to share a horrifying story and ask for help.

I'm not a "dog blog", but I love my fur-kids with abandon.  I take great joy in reading the blogs of Puddles, Frankie, and other talented pups.

Early Friday morning, Sandra and her Pittie Pack suffered a horrible tragedy.  Sandra, lost her house to a devastating fire. If that itself wasn't bad enough...she lost five of her seven sweet, sweet pitties to the fire.  She was able to get all the humans out, and two of the pups (Bella & Brinks) out, but Coco Chanel, Guerro, Shelby, Tiger & Lucky were hiding under beds and in closets.

I've added the "Chip In" widget to the top right of my blog, and you can also donate here.

I can't imagine the depth of loss that Sandra and her family are currently experiencing.  So I ask you to please hug your pups extra tight, and consider donating a little something to Sandra to help her rebuild her life.

Much love,

December 14, 2011

Dear Santa...A Note From Meadow & Beckett

Dear Santa Paws

No matter what the momma says, we'ze been really good this year. 

Our proof:
  • We waited til momma walked away before licking her dinner plate.  We haz manners, you know!
  • We haz killed no more than birds & mices so far this year!
  • Meadow is kind enough to let momma get flip-flops and an umbrella so she can go out with her.  What?!  We all know that momma has to try and keep Meadow as dry as possible.  Otherwise, she'll melt!  Or do that hop from paw-to-paw dance cuz she doesn't like being WET.
  • Beckett is superz good at ringing the "door bell" so he can do potties at 2 AM.
  • We haz earned our keep as: bed warmers, yard patrol officers, taste-testers (if momma drops while she cooks) and we scare the hoo-hoo out of the mailman!
Now, our demands requests!

Bark Bars!  Momma makes most of our treats, but these are really yumz.

Meadow would like a new dress.  Last year's is sooo out of style.

New Lupine collars!

Beckett would like a new stuffy.  Maybe this cow?

We iz cute Santa Paws.  Pwetty peeeeas bring us goodies.  We'll behave; we pwomise!



& Meadow

"Hey Beckett, do you think Santa Paws bought that we were really good this year?" "Hahahahaha!  No, Meadow...I think we iz getting coal!"

December 12, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Jam Thumbprints

Can someone explain to me why time is going so fast?!  I love the holidays...and it's just going by too quickly this year!  I just got my cards in from Shutterfly yesterday, and hope to have them all out in the mail in the next day or so.  If you're not on my card list, but want to be - EMAIL ME!!

This week I'm sharing a cookie that I always make for Christmas.  I don't think it's one that would be considered "traditional" who knows why I started making them.  :-)


Jam Thumbprints

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup jam (my favorites are blueberry or black raspberry)

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes on high with the electric mixer). Add egg and beat until well combined. Bring mixer speed down to low and add flour. Mix until just combined.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, spacing a few inches apart (they spread a bit!).

Moisten your thumb with water and press into the center of each ball, making an good indentation. Place about a 1/2 teaspoon of jam in the center of each cookie. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Review/Giveaway Opportunity


• This event is Free to you. Open to US only.

• If you are to review and giveaway a product sponsored by Diamond Candles Company, you’ll need to include in your giveaway the sponsor’s Facebook and Twitter mentions, and a couple of keywords within your review.

• If you are to participate in this campaign, Blog about this event on your blog, linking it to my post here.

• Then, fill out this Form with information about your blog.

• Once you’re approved by the Diamond Candles Company, I’ll ask you to confirm your mailing address for mailing products to you for review and giveaway on your blog (FYI: Diamond Candles does all mailing to the winners for giveaway.)

That’s it.

The lovely Nikki Darlin' pointed me Cut Them Coupons, where she originally found the review/giveaway campaign.

December 11, 2011

Bonus Giggle...

For all my Star Wars's a little extra giggle for your Sunday.  :-)

December 10, 2011

The Christmas Quiz

Many thanks to the fabulous Kristine for letting me borrow steal this quiz!

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate, of course!  Have I not mentioned before that I have a problem with the consistency of food/drinks?!  That included eggnog.  Plus, it has raw eggs in it.  ICK!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
He wraps EVERYTHING!!  Santa's a smart guy and knows how much we all like unwrapping presents.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
I know that this isn't going to make sense to most people...  but I like both.  My tree/house will always be white light only (unless future hubby is adamant about colored lights).  I like colored lights.  Just not on my house; I'm a purist.  :-)

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope.  A. It's poisonous to dogs.  B. I have no one to kiss!!

5. When do you put your decorations up? It varies each year.  Some years I'm really into Christmas; some years I'm not.  This year, is very minimal...and the only tree is at my parent's house. *whimper*

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Hmm. Now that I think about it - I don't have a favorite.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Let me start by saying that I adore both sides of my family.  But Christmas' with my dad's family were a smidge more memorable because they were out west, and outside the "norm".  My two biggest Christmas memories: A. The year we slide backwards (in a car!) down a mountain in New Mexico.  B. The year we started the morning with a rare snowfall in TX & got to end the day with running through the sprinklers. :-)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I was 9 or 10, and I found out at school.  I was devastated! Once I found out, I became Santa's bi-otch and was put in charge of wrapping presents.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Nope!  It's never been our tradition to do it...but I envy all the families that had the Christmas Eve pj present-opening.  :-)

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
At my parents house is all the ornaments that I got as a child.  My tree is usually just red and white ornaments.  I like simple!

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
Actually...both.  I love to see it snow. However, I don't particularly like to drive in it, and don't trust other drivers in the snow.  Guess New England isn't the place to be living, huh?! :-)

12. Can you ice skate?
It's been a few years since I've tried...but I think so!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I love all the gifts that I get.  I think my favorite so far has been the industrial model of the Kitchen-Aid stand mixer!  As a child, Cabbage Patch Kids topped my list for a few years.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
It's not a single's the accumulation of ALL the things!  The cookies baking, presents wrapping, shopping, giving and getting Christmas cards, hanging with family...ALL of it!

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
The holiday desserts that are made, I still pull out and make in the perhaps I make them less special than they ought to be.  So I don't have a favorite!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I really like driving around and seeing all the Christmas lights.  Sometimes I drag others with me...sometimes I go alone.  But I need so see the displays.  It's really funny to see some of the garish things people put up mixed in with the astonishingly beautiful displays their neighbors have.  :-)

17. What tops your tree?
A star!

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
GIVING!!! I love giving gifts.

19. Candy canes: yuck or yum?
Definitely "yum".  Mint is one of my favorite flavors.

20. Favorite Christmas show?
I love watching "It's Christmas, Charlie Brown" & "Prep and Landing".  I also really enjoy seeing some of my favorite shows do Christmas episodes.  It's fun!

21. Saddest Christmas song?
The Christmas Shoes

“He said, I wanna buy these shoes, for my mama, please. It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. Can you hurry, please? Daddy says there’s not much time. You see, she’s been sick for quite a while and I know these shoes will make her smile and I want her to look beautiful, if mommy meets Jesus tonight.”

22. What’s your favorite Christmas song?
I love most of them! I love the Chipmunk Christmas song, All I Want For Christmas Is You,  I’ll Be Home for Christmas…

If you do this little quiz, let me know! 

December 09, 2011

Friday Funnies {via Pinterest}

It's been a weird week.  I could use a laugh.  You could too, right?

December 08, 2011

"It's OK" - Week 9

I'm joining Neely and Amber for "It's OK" Thursday.  It's been a while since I've partaken in the fun... :-)

Its Ok Thursdays

It's OK...

...That I totally slacked off and didn't order my Christmas cards until Sunday.  Once I get them, I think I can have them in the mail in two days or less.  (Or maybe I'm delusional!)

...To be absolutely addicted to iced peppermint white mochas right now.  Darn you, Starbucks!!

...To be just a smidge overwhelmed right now.

...That I think that blow up holiday lawn decorations are kinda hideous.  And to secretly want to see them banned.  Or destroyed.  Or maybe just go out of fashion.

...To be thrilled that the knitting in my Etsy store seems to be selling, and that custom projects are rolling in.  :-)

...To have been a little disappointed with the season finale of Covert Affairs.  It's going to be a long wait until its return!

...That I'm almost certain that I'm getting a Kindle Fire.  I'm so *excited*!

What's OK with you this week?

December 07, 2011

2011 Christmas Card

The pups and I finally got our act together.  What makes it so funny (in my opinion) is what's on the INSIDE! If you want to be on our Christmas card list this year - email me!!

Missing Cookie Christmas Card
Heartfelt: Christmas photo cards and holiday cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

December 05, 2011

Tuesdays At The Table - Saltine Sweeties

Hi, ladies!  Is everyone getting in the holiday spirit? I am!! 

In fact, I'm so in the spirit - that I'm extending the discount on my Etsy site!  I'll have a few more things up tomorrow, and you can use coupon code: SANTAPAWS2011 to get 10% off.  Right now, I'm planning to extend it to Thursday night at midnight EST.  :-)


I'm sharing this recipe with you for the second time.  I love it that much!!  The first time around, was two years ago...and most of you lovely ladies hadn't meandered onto my blog yet.

It just isn't Christmas without at least one batch of these suckers.  They are so addictive, that I only make them if I'm going to a party or can eat a few and leave them at someone else's house. :-)

Saltine Sweeties

1 sleeve (approximately) of Saltines
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 package (12 oz) chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (chopped)

Line a large (12x18) cookie sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place saltines in a single layer to cover the bottom of the pan.

Melt butter and sugar together in a saucepan & pour over saltines.

Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes (until saltines start absorbing the liquid mixture). Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crackers. Return to over for a minute or so - until chocolate chips are melted. Use a spatula to evenly spread the chocolate chips over the saltines and scatter the nuts across the top of the chocolate.

Cool in refrigerator for about an hour, remove foil from the bottom of the bars and break into chunks.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Guest Post: Mrs. Joneses Holiday Season Top 5

Last week, I promised you all a guest post today.  And here she is - the fabulous Mrs. Jones!  I just adore this woman, and I think you will too.  :-)  Today she's sharing with us her holiday season top five!


Sweet Cole is letting me kick off this work week by guest posting on her blog, and I couldn't be more excited. I'm Mrs. Jones from Keeping Up with the Joneses. I've been blogging for a few years now, and I've made some fabulous friends through it. A writer by trade, I'm grateful for a place I can just be me - my words, my thoughts, my little place in the blogosphere.

I admit to being a little scatterbrained today. My Crimson Tide is officially BCS Championship bound, and I'm still walking on air JUST a teensy bit. :-)

Today I wanted to share my holiday season top five. You know, the things you'd never skip. The things you love. The things it's not Christmas without?

1) Trimming the tree. I love Christmas, and my house isn't complete without our big tree - and my little tree. Mr. Jones, my wonderful husband, indulges me and let's me put the little one trimmed in pink in our room. It's been my tree since I was a little girl, and I love seeing it as I fall asleep.

2) An extra special day. Dec. 20 is our anniversary. This year, we'll have been married for three years. Time is flying by. It's also our little puppy's "coming-home-aversary". She came home two years ago, on our first anniversary.

3) Family time. Spring is the busiest of seasons for my family, so the slow time we get to celebrate is always extra special.

4) Down time. I'm a lucky girl, and I get around 10 days off at Christmas each year. I love making some extra special meals, hot lunches, and getting our home back in order for the new year.

5) Pulling out the china. My Lenox Holiday china is a sentimental staple. My grandmother passed away when I was in middle school, but she left me a beautiful legacy. Each Christmas, from the time I was little, she gave me a place setting of this beautiful china. While I love Christmas, and china - the love that went into putting my set together makes me smile every time we use it. I leave our little kitchen table set for two all December, because it brightens up the house - and life.

And, of course, I get to pick this Christmas song of the day, so I leave you with Celine Dion's O Holy Night... a favorite song by a favorite artist.

Merry Christmas lovelies! What is your favorite thing about the holidays?

Mrs. Jones


Blog Design by Creative Girl Media