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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Almond Artichoke Cheese Dip

Almond Artichoke Cheese Dip - This came from Rennly Williams

1 lg. can artichoke hearts chopped

1- 7oz. can diced green chilies

8 oz. cream cheese (soft)

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1-1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese (fresh)

1 cup sliced almonds

Mix together and bake at 325 for 30 minutes.  Serve with cubed bread or crackers. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanks for Giving

FYI This year's "Thankful Door" project turned out to be an amazing work of art. In fact, our door is so crowded that the sticky notes full of our blessings fly off the door. It's a new tradition for sure.

  It has been so fun to watch the kids run to the door each day to put their blessing sticky note up. They also have been reading each others notes to make sure they aren't duplicating any. So maybe this experiment really is making an impact.

Now that Christmas is right around the corner, we wanted to create some new memories, and carry on our family tradition of an annual service project. I've created "Good Neighbors Night," a new spin on an old neighborhood tradition of coming together to help others, and get to know each other better. This is one day during the holiday season that we gather (in my driveway) and share stories, treats, hot chocolate and bring donations for local charities. We are getting to know our "good neighbors" as well as "being a good neighbor" by sharing and donating, but most of all creating new memories. It's a full-on family affair- literally the entire neighborhood is invited. Each person is asked to bring a treat to share, and a donation of a winter clothing item and/or new hygiene items. We are donating them to a few places including the Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the winter homeless shelter, the food bank and possibly a few other places if we get enough donations.

We've had a lot of awesome new people move into the area, and I am not very good at getting out there and getting to know people. So here's my chance, and for those of you who live close, your chance, to widen your circle and hang out with great people.

I think neighbor gifts are super fun, but can be super stressful and expensive too. This event is an opportunity for those who chose to fore-go the neighbor gifts, and make a very helpful donation instead. It also creates the opportunity for us to really have a minute or two to chat around a warm fire (in a totally safe pit to keep the kids out of the ER), and get to know each other, rather than dropping a gift off on the porch and having no contact, besides the gift tag, to share our appreciation for each other.

Blizzards withstanding, this will be a fun night of casually gathering to share a thought, make an impact, and create a memory or two. I am really hoping my kids realize these Christmas memories can't be bought, and really are more important than anything that could be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thanksgiving Collection No. 1

Wouldn't it be awesome to have one place to go for great Thanksgiving recipes each year? Well here you go! I am scouring cookbooks, websites, tv and more to find some great ideas to help keep your holiday meal prep easy, fast and efficient, and most importantly...delish!

Sweet Potatoes 
from All Free Slow Cooker Recipes

Cheesy Cauliflower
from All Free Slow Cooker Recipes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
from Six Sisters Stuff

Slow Cooker Turkey
from Six Sisters Stuff

Individual 7 Layered Salad
from Time Over Things

Strawberry Jell-O Pie
from Our Best Bites

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
from Our Best Bites

Enjoy Making New Memories this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Simple Gratitude

This time of year is so busy, it's easy to get lost in the day to day "To-Do" list. Like every family, we are in the middle of lots of activities and sometimes I feel like there's too much to do to even think about slowing down. It's such a fun time of year too! I don't want to lose the joy and excitement of the season to the "To-Do" list this year.

I had this simple idea to help keep us grounded during the holidays, so as the season's activities keep us going, we will (hopefully) remember what's important. Enjoy!

Our Thankful Door
Everyone uses this door daily. Hopefully it will act as a simple reminder of what's really important.

Each day we are encouraged to write one blessing/thing/experience down that we are thankful for and stick it to the door. We are all thankful for clothing, food, shelter and each other, so I encouraged my family to think outside the box. So far we have the Internet, electricity, indoor plumbing and SpongeBob, but it's only the second here's hoping.

I love this project because each time we leave the house we see our blessings, and it reminds us to think about a new blessing for that day to add to the door. Hopefully, by the end of the month our door will be full, and we will be more cognizant of what is really important. Maybe that will keep us grounded for a bit longer.

Making Memories one sticky note at a time.....