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Archive for November, 2012

November 30, 2012

Holiday Cheer is Cheering Me Up

Good afternoon, friends! Today’s post is coming a lot later than normal because this morning was a little rough.

I have tried to ignore the feeling of being sick for a few days now and today I have finally given in to admitting it has me.  You win, severe cold.  I realized it when I woke up around 7:30 a.m. as usual, got some work done, then went back to sleep for another few hours.  My body can not seem to get enough rest and it is like I have a form narcolepsy lately!

Finally, I got out of bed again around surrounded myself with things I knew would cheer me up…

cali for christmas

A lit up Christmas tree and breakfast for lunch!

Christmas Tree

Although it was late in the morning, my body wanted egg whites sprinkled in Cheddar cheese, two slices of Jennie-O turkey bacon, and a whole wheat English muffin smothered in Smart Balance butter and grape jam.  Oh, and how could I forget to mention my ginormous cup of Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut coffee?  My choice of cup size was out of control, as usual.

breakfast for lunch

At the coffee table I sat eating brunch while watching TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress. (<- yes, I still watch wedding shows. It might be a problem, but it’s fine.) After an episode, I forced myself up and determined to stay productive today.  I started planning the day and weekend, and realized I have yet to share our holiday decorations with you!

Listening to my Holiday Favorites Playlist, typing and sharing our holiday cheer is starting to cheer me up.  Hopefully it will put you in the holiday spirit as well.

Holiday Decorations 2012

I finally convinced Scott it was time to decorate for Christmas last Saturday.  It has been a tradition of mine to decorate the day or weekend after Thanksgiving, so I wanted to stay true to it up here.

While decorating our tree, I realized that we misplaced an entire box of ornaments somewhere during the move.  It contained most of my dancer ornaments, so I am beginning to think Scott might just know it’s whereabouts and isn’t telling me.  Hmmm.

What I did find were some new additions to the tree this year!

Every New Years Day, Scott and I celebrate our dativersary and exchange ornaments we found on sale (after Christmas) as presents.  Here is one “h” letter out of the “hbsh” set I gave to Scott.

letter ornament from kirklands

I picked them all up at Kirkland’s last year for $3 each.

Sitting on the table is a set of ornaments Scott got me from Pier 1 Imports, also on sale.  I picked up a bag of holiday scented pine cones from Whole Foods just before Thanksgiving, and they are still going and smelling strong!

pier 1 christmas ornaments

The next little guy might just be my new favorite.  It’s HOOPER, our very own Detroit Pistons mascot!

nba pistons mascot ornamnet hooper

In case you are wondering, our home is slowly filling up with NBA memorabilia again, but I am okay with it.

I absolutely adore the new holiday hand towels I got from Crate & Barrel!  If I could afford everything in that entire store, I would buy it.  One hundred percent.

Crate & Barrel holiday handtowels

Onto the Old

There are a few things making an appearance in our home for the third year in a row.  First up are these mini Christmas trees we found at Urban Outfitters.  While in the store last week, I noticed they still sell them as well as miniature ornament sets.  The miniature lights are from Michaels.

MIni Christmas Tress from Urban Outfitters

We got everything having to do with our stockings a few years ago from Target.  My favorite part about them is the HB & SH initials, which are really crystal lettered broach pins:

christmas stockings

Being a sucker for sales, I picked up a few of these holiday candles after Christmas from Home Depot last year.

christmas candle

Between that and the cinnamon broom, our downstairs bathroom is smelling quite festive!

holiday bathroom decoration

I love the smell of cinnamon brooms, and get at least one a year from a local grocery store.

With that, faithful Housewife Glamour readers, our holiday decorations are now shared.  I am planning to spend the rest of the day running errands, picking up ingredients to make some kind of warm soup or stew, and possibly going to a barre class tonight.  Sometimes sweating out the sickness does the trick.

Thank you for your helpful tips for driving in the snow you left on yesterday’s post.  I am sure I will put them to good use very shortly!

Questions of the Day

• Have you decorated for the holidays yet? Do you find yourself getting in the holiday spirit with everything around?

• Any fun plans for the weekend?

Since both Scott and I are feeling under the weather, we plan to hang low, rest, and get some things done around the house.  I am hoping to be able to share what the rest of our new home looks like very soon… but there is still so much to do.  Here’s to a great weekend full of projects and rest! <– Am I officially a grandma? ;)

November 29, 2012

Roadie’s First Snow

Good Morning! To all of you Southerners out there… I really hope you are enjoying the warmer weather.  It is pretty darn chilly already up here.  I am talking an average temperature in the 30s.

To my Orlando folks specifically, you have a high today of 73°F.  Yes, I still have your weather on my phone, and yes, I am truly envious.

I may not have cardigan weather around me, but today I found something else pretty exciting to keep me warm.  A “real eggs” veggie and chicken scramble!

By quoting “real eggs” I am basically making fun of myself because I almost never use eggs straight from the carton.  In fact, I rarely even buy them.

I prefer to buy liquid eggbeaters or egg whites from the carton, to cut the cholesterol and time separating egg yolk from egg white.  Not today!

veggie scramble

I had a considerable amount of eggs left over from making all of our Thanksgiving Day desserts, so today I used them up by making Scott and I a killer scramble.  I always stick to my scrambling eggs technique when loading them with a good amount of ingredients.  After cracking six eggs, I added a handful of spinach, red peppers, deli chicken, shredded Monterrey Jack and Cheddar cheese, and a little bit of cracked pepper.

Scott asked for even more cheese, so I added some to the top after plating up, which melted in after a minute or so.

healthy vegetable scramble

Real eggs… you are not so bad!

Roadie’s First Snow

Some of you have been asking me how Roadie is dealing with the colder weather, and now snow up here.  Well… that is an interesting question.

If I had to guess, I would say that Roadie looks at snow the same way I look at driving in it: questionable.

We had our first official snow fall up here last Saturday night!  When I woke up Sunday morning I was not sure I was ready for what I saw outside the front door…

first snow

SNOW!

To be honest, I was pretty flipping excited about it.  I have been in snow a handful of times, but have never be able to wake up to it right outside my house.

Roadie, on the other hand, had is very first experience that morning.  He really had no idea what all of the “white stuff “was.  Every little foot print or track was up for investigation…

Roadie questioning snow

I thought it was pretty cute to see little dog foot prints up and down our streets, but he just could not figure out why they were there.

Dog in the snow

I guess we are really not in Florida anymore, Roadie.

Roadie in the Snow

After a few minutes of sniffing, I finally convinced him to go potty.  Whenever I saw a patch of green poke through, we covered it.  This snow was only a couple inches, and I know it is just the beginning of what is to come.

I am probably one of the only people around who actually gets excited to see snow on the weather forecast.  That was before I had to attempt to drive in it…

snow covered car

Now that is another story.

To make it short, I am in desperate need of new tires and it was awful!

My breaks seemed to disappear, I was slipping and sliding all over the place, and I ended up turning around right outside of our neighborhood to have Scott drive me.  I am hoping and praying when I get my new winter tires put on tomorrow that my next experience driving in the snow will not be a scary one.  Fingers crossed!

Questions of the Day

• Do your winters have snow? If you have a dog, how does he/she react to it?

• Any driving in the snow tips for this Southerner?

Scott grew up in the snow and has taught me to pump the breaks, slowly turn from right to left and drive extra slow.  Apparently, skidding is normal and it is something I “just have to get used to.” I would be lying if I said I felt comfortable braving it again on my own! Any suggestions?

November 28, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Salad

This week I had dried cranberries, sliced almonds and feta cheese already on deck from last week’s edamame salad.  I also had a red pepper in the refrigerator and thought that would be the perfect excuse to add everything together and make a salad.

My step-mother-in-law was visiting us for Thanksgiving and had a few pointers to show me on how to make the flavor of ingredients pop.  I have enjoyed eating roasted red peppers before, but had never made them on my own.  As it turns out, it is a pretty easy thing to do!

We topped it off with toasting the almonds and made a homemade balsamic dressing.  After the roasting and toasting, it only took about ten minutes to combine everything together and plate it up.  Scott raved about it, so it might just make another appearance on the dinner table this week.

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Salad Cover

 Ingredients

Salad:

equal parts romaine lettuce

equal parts fresh spinach

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 cup feta cheese

1 roasted red pepper

Dressing:

1 tsp. mayonnaise

1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

small amount of feta cheese crumbles

salt and pepper to taste

*makes enough for a light drizzle.

prep time: 40 mins. (30 is roasting pepper)

servings: 4

Directions

1. Roast the red pepper.  (Directions below.)

2. Toast the sliced almonds. (Directions below.)

3. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

4. Combine salad mix, chopped roasted red peppers, and toasted almonds in large bowl.

6. Sprinkle feta cheese over salad.

5. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat thoroughly.

6. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Breakdown

(Roasting Peppers)

If you have a gas range, turn the burners on high and place the peppers direction onto the grates.  If not, you can use a conventional oven at 450°F.

Using tongs, turn the peppers so they get evenly charred by turning every 15 minutes. Peppers can be cooked on the grill the same way.

As soon as the pepper is blackened, place it in a bowl and cover the bowl with a plate or with plastic wrap.  As the steam from the pepper condenses, the skin becomes easier to peel off.

Once the pepper has cooled, carefully peel off the blackened skin and discard.  You can do this with your fingers or a sharp paring knife.  Pull or cut off the top of the pepper and squeeze gently to remove the seeds.

See additional tips and details, via the Food Network.

Roasted Red Peppers

(Toasting Nuts)

Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking pan – preferably one with walls -  for toasting in the oven. Cook at 400°F for 7 to 10 minutes or until the nuts start to turn golden. Shake the pan halfway through toasting.

(Dressing)

Whisk balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise together.  Drizzle in oil while whisking.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Whisk in a small amount of feta cheese crumbles.

Homemade balsamic vinegar dressing

Combine salad mix, chopped roasted red peppers, and toasted almonds in large bowl.

Red pepper feta and cranberry salad

Sprinkle feta cheese over salad.

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat thoroughly.

Toss salad in dressing

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Side salad

Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper and Feat Salad with cranberries and toasted nuts

November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend 2012

I got a little bit of a late start this morning.  I woke up, got some work done, and went back to bed for “15 more minutes.” Well, fifteen minutes turned into almost two hours.  Apparently my body needed rest!

This weekend flew by at warp speed, and the week looks like it is going to go by even faster.  I have been given a few awesome opportunities lately, and am excited to share them with you soon.  Until then, all I can say is I have been spending less and less time at home.

It is probably a little odd that I am just now getting to recap our Thanksgiving, but I took so many photos that I had no choice but to split it up into a few posts! So, here we are… get ready for a whole ‘lotta unconventional holiday food and a few stories.

I hope none of you get offended by the following photo.  Scott’s parents brought home the apron Scott is wearing from Italy, and it resembles the statue of David (<- use your imagination).  Scott later brought me a similar one home from France.  We tried to cover what would be deemed inappropriate to post, but instead it turned worse.  Enter the pumpkins. ;)

funny family photo with pumpkins

Happpppppy Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving Day

We started our holiday extra early this year, to head out to America’s Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Detroit.  We had a great time and you can read all about the parade in yesterday’s post.

After a quick (and small) bite to eat, Scott, his father, step-mother and I headed home to start cooking.  Before they got here, we already decided that we were not going to do the traditional turkey, stuffing, dressing, etc.

They had a big Thanksgiving celebration at their house the weekend before, and Scott really wanted to make one of his specialties, so I agreed to go completely off the norm too.

The only thing I required was that we have pumpkin pie.  That is a tradition I will never break, and this year I finally made my very own!

Pumpkin Pie with Libbys

I was so proud of myself! The the recipe was a cinch, and I got it directly off of the back of a Libby’s pumpkin can label.  It was very easy to understand and I now know I can handle bringing it to future Thanksgiving gatherings.

my first pumpkin pie

Since the main dish takes about five hours or so to cook, we decided to go against the Thanksgiving grain once again and make homemade guacamole and salsa dips as appetizers.

homemade salsa and guacamole

I have not posted the recipe for Scott’s famous homemade salsa yet, but I will someday with his permission.  He is very proud of it.

While waiting for the main course, Scott’s step-mother, Kay, had me assist in making homemade pumpkin cheesecake.  It needed to sit overnight in the refrigerator, and that was probably a good thing with all of the food we were about to dig into!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Scott’s Spicy Brisket Chili, here we come!

homemade spicy briskey chili

This batch was even spicier than normal, especially paired with his step-mom’s homemade jalapeno cornbread.

thanksgiving chili with cornbread

It was definitely a spicy afternoon and evening. Whew!

In true Thanksgiving fashion, we were all completely stuffed and decided to go outside with Roadie to walk it off.  We ended up walking three miles!

It was just long enough to make room for a slice of pumpkin pie.

pumpkin pie and whip cream

Mmmmmm!

Black Friday

This year, Scott and I did not take advantage of any Black Friday deals.  There was not anything jumping out at us that we really need, and our purchase priorities for the winter are new tires for the snow, winter coats, and things to set up our new home.

We planned to spend the day together and started it by stopping into a cider mill.  You might remember my first trip to a cider mill with my family the week I moved up here.  This time, I wanted to explore another and suggested we visit Rochester Cider Mill.

rochester cider mill inside

It was very cute inside, decorated with fresh produce and fall decorations.

Rochester Cider Mill

It was a great place to pick up fresh cider, but nothing like the mill I went to before.  This one had more of a shop feel, where Yates took us behind the scenes with how everything was made.  Both, however, produced really really good cider.

Meadow Brook Hall

After the cider mill, we did not have any plans for the rest of the afternoon.  While driving around our neighborhood, Scott wanted to stop by Meadow Brook Hall and show his father and step-mother the historic mansion built by Matilda Dodge Wilson.  As in Dodge, the automotive company.

meadowbrook hall

Meadow Brook Hall exists by the good fortune of Matilda’s first husband, automotive pioneer John F. Dodge, co-founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company.  The majority of you already know that Detroit is known for the automotive industry and acquired the nick names Motown and Motor City.  There are so many dealerships and corporate headquarters right around us!

visiting meadow brook hall

(Don’t mind us… just pretending we live here).

This fortune not only built the estate, but also supports numerous Detroit charities and organizations.  The rest was put towards the founding of Oakland University.

meadow brook hall

We thought about taking a tour of the home, but found out we stopped by on the most expensive weekend of the year.  I guess pictures of the inside will have to wait until next time, friends!

Even the details in the design of the outside are incredible.  There over seventy-seven fireplaces and each one has a different, intricate design.

fancy fireplace

No big deal.

We spent a good twenty minutes walking the property and want to come back on another day to see the rest.

meadow brook hall property

The rest of the day included driving around and we even braved the Somerset Collection mall for a few hours.  I was pretty proud of myself for only purchasing a few items, and they were all things we needed from Crate & Barrel for our home.  Black Friday success!

We finished the day by going to a Detroit Pistons game and Scott’s parents had a great time!  We were excited to have them here for our first holiday in our new home and look forward to when we can go visit them next.

parents at meadowbrook hall

Questions of the Day

• Have you ever had a non-traditional Thanksgiving?

• What was your favorite part of this year’s celebration?

I thought the parade was pretty neat.  I also enjoyed making my first pumpkin pie and having help with my first pumpkin cheesecake!  I am very thankful Scott’s parents were here to celebrate with us and am looking forward to when my mother is coming up to visit in late December.

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I'm Heather, a 28-year-old blogger, writer and NBA dancer who recently moved up north from down south. Housewife Glamour is a spirited blog that follows my love for health, food, fitness, beauty, and finding the every day "glamour" in life. ♥
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