Friday, January 17, 2014

2014: The year of nuts & hookin'!

Where have I been? Right here... in the same place just doing so much more. I really have missed blogging and Im not sure how a few weeks turned into a 6month hiatus. Regardless, I'm baaaack!

Since my last blog entry I have traveled to Italy and Switzerland. Of course we took a family trip back to the states for Thanksgiving. Ah the joys of endless shopping, discounts, Chuck E Cheese, and food! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves even though I somehow found 10 lbs of fat on the side of the road and attached it to my waistline. I just couldnt help myself. Everyone else was doing it! :)

I havent made any huge new year resolutions or outlandish promises to myself. I do believe those who make these types of decisions have every flippin' right to do so. Of course many other bloggers and Facebook philosophers would disagree and even criticize. I'm sure I saw my share of memes about resolutions. By the way, how is that pronounced? Me-mes? Meems? I have no clue.

My new year goal is to travel to a new city or country each month. So far? So good! Hehehe. I purchased a ticket on a tour bus to Switzerland and couldnt have had a better time. My husband stayed at home with all three babies. Keep in mind, they are all under 3 years old still. Actually, I never once worried about them. He can handle them and probably 2 more without going completely nuts. Is he super dad? No, but he is pretty super to us. Ask me about the pile of dishes, dirty floors and death trail of toys I returned to and I will be singing a new tune! I met an incredibly funny and sweet lady on the trip. We laughed and shopped and ate together like we had known each other our whole lives. We shared pictures on our smartphones, giggled about silly jokes and took on the city of Lucerne with our arms linked (literally at one point) and our smiles broad. Dont worry, we swapped information and plan on traveling again in the future.

The year of nuts & hookin'? Let's finally address this title. My sister is an absolutely amazing person. She has this gift of selecting perfect presents for people. They are always thoughtful and amazing. This year I watched as each of my children opened these exciting and awesome Christmas presents. It was like she just knew what they'd like. Even weeks later they are still playing with them. Other gifts have been forgotten or dismissed, but not hers. Even my husband absolutely loved his presents. I couldnt contain my excitement. It was my turn to open my gifts. She had them shipped to us here in Germany and my husband had to wrap everything. My family knows I live for gifts and unwrapping them. It doesnt matter if they are from the $1 store. I need it wrapped. Individually wrapped. I busted open this unassuming box to reveal a set of mason jars. Ok... ok... what's in this other box? Almonds and cheese cloth. I looked at my husband who looked at me for the explanation and I just stared blankly back. HA! I had no clue what this was. A puzzle? Someone else's Amazon order? Is it missing the main part that would complete the circle? Later she explained it was to make my own almond milk since Im such a health nut according to her. I immediately made plans for all of the pieces to this puzzle, but I was intrigued. Almond milk? My son has to drink almond or soy milk due to a milk protein allergy. Could I make my own? I read I could use the strained almond meal in other recipes!

I did eventually make the almond milk, but it was sour because my water wasnt high enough to cover the almonds and my kitchen was too warm. I did enjoy the process and I really want to try again to perfect the process. So... maybe she DOES pick the best gifts. :)

And quickly- hookin'? I'm back to crocheting. It spawned from needing a giant beanie to cover my colossal head and huge hair. My first beanie was way too large, but Im keeping it as a yarn tote. My second beanie is beautiful and I absolutely love it. Ignore the bad lighting and my evil look. I'm going to start some other projects soon and I will share more than you can probably handle :)

Lastly, I'll be working on reorganizing and revamping the page. After I had to search through pages to find some old recipes I decided it's time to get organized. Until then I'll leave you with this quick pie I made the other day. The crust is peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough baked and cooled. Then add this mixture: vanilla pudding, milk, cool whip, caramel sauce & walnuts. Freeze and enjoy : ) You can play around with the crust options and additions to the pudding whip filling.

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