December 31, 2012

Menu Monday


Hi everybody…we’re baaack!

We flew in late last night to be greeted by a dead battery – yuck.  Luckily, there was a nice lady that gave us a jumpstart and we were on our way home to get some much needed shut eye.  Mike was up early since he had to work –double yuck- and I have been unpacking and doing laundry all day…the joys of traveling.


My brother-in-law built this gigantic snowman…by himself!  Almost everybody who drove by stopped and stared!  Way to go Mark!


We had a blast up north and I can’t wait to share all of our adventures with you all over the next couple of days. The weather was great (highs in the 20s – better than single digits) and the company was second to none.  Mike and I got to meet our new niece, Remy, experience our first baby shower and catch up with some of his hometown friends – and they never disappoint!

---and in case you were wondering…the snow boots were fabulous!


State Street – Madison, WI


As for this week, my mom is coming down for a few days and then it’s a bit of relaxing before I go back to work next week! Here is our menu plan for this week (hoping to try a new recipe and get back on track with our eating; travel means eating out!).

Have a great New Year’s Eve and Happy New Year!!!


M:  NYE!

T:  Savory Egg Sandwiches w/ Salad

W:  Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry w/ Fried Rice

Th:  Post Roast Baked Potatoes

F:  Southwestern Egg Rolls w/ Ranch Dip and Carrots

Sa:  Blue Cheese Burgers w/ Steak Fries

Su:  Chicken Tender Chopped Salad

December 23, 2012

Winter Wonderland


Greetings and Salutations!!!  As we head out this morning to our Christmas destination I wanted to take this time to wish each and every one of you a very merry and joyous holiday.

I don’t know how much I will be able to blog while we’re in Wisconsin, but can’t wait to tell you all about it when we return – there’s just something awe inspiring about having a white Christmas…this Florida girl is always amazed!






My first trip to Wisconsin (and first Christmas dating Mike) – I actually was only supposed to spend 3 days up there, but missed my flight home due to a blizzard and ended up staying the whole week! 


wisconsin 075

My view Christmas morning 2008.  Breathtaking.  I felt like I was in a movie!


Wisco Christmas 20102

Our second Christmastime trip was again full of snow and fun.  Skiing at Tyrol basin and visiting Lambeau Field the day after Christmas were just a few highlights.

Love that state!


Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2012

Gifts Galore–Revisited


Hi all!  I hope this re-post finds you well rested and ready for vacation…because I am in the middle of totally stressing out between work, shopping, Drs. appointments and packing for Wisconsin!  This week has been beyond busy and isn’t over yet.  Therefore, I thought I would repost last year’s gift giving guide in case you were at a loss for that last minute gift idea. 

On the bright side…only one more day of work after today and then a sigh of relief, a Christmas party and time with the fam; whew!  Have a good one!


Original Post: December 2011


When looking for gifts to give during the holiday season, I usually try to find something unique yet useful and that has a special meaning to the person of whom I am giving. 

Here are some fun one of a kind ideas that I  have found mainly on (my new addiction) and my other favorite These are great sites to browse gift ideas for others, or to find something special for yourself as well.

Other fun websites with original gift ideas are: and



Monogrammed Scarf/Pashmina  -


Monogrammed Door "Wreath"  - Pinned on, but similar one found here



LL Bean Boat and Tote Bag, always a winner –


Fun Jewelry Ideas:

State Necklace –


For the Sports lover:


Tervis Tumbler


Game Day Pillows -


Vintage Collegiate Calendar - Click here for website


For the kitchen lover:

Funky Apron -

Matryoshkas inspired Measuring Cups By Fred and Friends found here


Handmade Coffee Scoop -

State Love:

State Prints -


State Pillow -


State hooks -

For the world traveler:

Passport Cover –


Prints from favorite destinations – 



Leather Luggage Tags –


DIY Gift Ideas:

Design Your Own Mug  - Tutorial here


Framed Scrabble Letter Art:  great for messages or names – click here


Love Notes found here


Just plain cute:

 “Our First Place” Key Ornament – inspiration found here


“Where We’re From” –



Flavor Savor Mustache Clips, so funny! –


For Kids:


Vintage Shadow Puppet Poster -


Batter Finger by: Fred and Friends from here




Mrs. Food Face Plate –




Search for key words/interests of whom you are buying on shopping websites or even Google images to get ideas (usually the images will link directly to the website).

Searchable categories: 



-hometown, state

-special places (cities where people got married, graduated from college, retired, etc.)

- types of pets

- favorite sports teams

- special interests

Knowing where to look is half the battle.  If you search for something and don’t like the selection on a website of that item, but like the style, search the website a little bit more.  There are many hidden gems that I have found accidently just by exploring a website further.  Don’t be afraid to use the search button on each website you visit as well.

For the crafty gift giver, DIY gifts are also a popular choice in my eyes, since it means so much more if you took the time to make a gift, rather than purchase premade.  Time permitting of course! 

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!

December 18, 2012

Quick Fix


I always find myself wondering what I can take to a get together that is quick, easy and tasty.  Well, I have found the answer.  Rolo pretzel bites! 

These yummy little nuggets take about 10 minutes from start to finish and are a crowd pleaser every time.  If you have never tried them – do it today – you won’t be disappointed!




For these tasty treats, all you have to do is lay the pretzels on a baking sheet (I used these cute square ones, but the mini twists would work too).  Top each pretzel with an unwrapped Rolo candy.




Bake in the oven at 225 degrees for 2 1/2 minutes.  When you remove them from the oven, the Rolo will still be in the same shape as when it went in the oven. Place another pretzel on top of the Rolo and press down a bit (you could also use a pecan half on top for variation).

Place the entire baking sheet in the freezer for about 5-7 minutes to allow the Rolo to cool (you could also pop them into the refrigerator for about an hour).  Remove from freezer/fridge and enjoy!

Or place in a container to enjoy later.  These will last several days- probably more, but they’ve never lasted that long in our house!

These are so delicious!  A great sweet-salty combo and perfect as a gift accessorty or party treat.  Enjoy!



December 17, 2012

Menu Monday


What a fun weekend!  We celebrated our 3rd Annual Thankschristmakkuh gathering with all of our friends.  This is a unique celebration put on by our friends Jenny and Jeremy honoring Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah.  It is one of my favorite events of the year and this one didn’t disappoint!




Larry Latke was back and spry as ever.




This year, we all decided to add costumes into the tradition.  Mike went at Beerski, the alternate reindeer, and I concocted a pretty aswesome bow dress.  It’s amazing what a hot glue gun, a trip to Goodwill and Dollar Tree bows will get you!




We also had our share of ugly Christmas sweaters, Salvation Army bell ringers and dreidel cardigans to go around.


Thankschristmukkah 20121


The pilgrims were there to watch over the food…which was delicious!








Everything was mouth watering.  Kudos to all!




When it was time to eat, Jamie lit the menorah while we all sat Pilgrim style at one long table and jammed out to Christmas music.  It was so awesome.





Good friends, good times, and good memories.  Happy Thankschristmukkah to all!




As for this week we are SUPER BUSY getting ready for the last week of work along with our upcoming trip to Wisconsin!  I can’t wait!!!


M:  Pressed Sandwiches w/ Tomato Soup

T:  Baked Spaghetti

W:  Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Th:  Baked Potato Soup

F:  St. Charles Christmas Party!

Sa:  Palatka Christmas



Have a great week!

December 14, 2012

The It List–Part 2

Here are a few more Christmas ideas that pack a big enough punch to be considered the main gift, or small enough to fit inside of a stocking!  Remember...only 10 more shopping days left!

1.  Stella and Dot

Stella & Dot designs an irresistible line of fashion jewelry and fashion accessories that can be purchased exclusively at home jewelry parties or online. 

I love the classy yet edgy design marked with great craftsmanship.  I'm hoping to get a few pieces from Santa this year!



2.  Anthrophologie Jeweled Clutch 

I have always said that when I make it rich (ha!) I would furnish my home and shop exclusively at Anthropologie.  If there was a store that said "Lane" I think it would be that one.  I just love the whimsy, creative displays and out of the box products they offer.

These clutches are such an indulgent gift that would make any girl feel pretty on a special night.  Perfect for Christmas, anniversary or birthday - remember fellas...a little bit of sparkle goes a long way!

jeweled clutch

3.  TableTopics

A couple of years ago at my Bachelorette Brunch, my girlfriends got me the Girls Night Out version of TableTopics and I thought it was so fun.  These cute acrylic cubes are filled with tons of conversation starters for any and every occasion.

The company also offers TableTopics to-go versions as well as idea cards and party topics.  This is great for the person who has everything or as a hostess gift.  Love it!


4.  DIY Nativity Set – Goose Grease (Etsy)

Looking for a fun holiday craft to do with your kid or maybe you pride yourself in your artistic abilities and are wanting a wooden nativity set.   Look no further!  This is all you need to make your own set.


I don't have a full nativity set and went crazy when I saw this.  I love that you can create your own and think it would be a great gift to do with kids...hmmm...maybe I just figured out what to get my Goddaughter! 

This would also make a great wedding gift for the bride and groom to make together for their first Christmas.

5.   Trilogies!

With trilogies being all the rage the past couple of years, I think they always get overlooked as a great gift option for anybody, but especially those special people in your life that read all.the.time (my mom and aunts!). 

If the person you have in mind reads everything electronically, maybe an iTunes, Kindle or Nook gift card would be a great option for downloading their favorite books.

---Don't forget about magazine lovers!  Magazine subscriptions are a great gift option as well!