Galations 2:20-21

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." Galations 2:20-21

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Homemade Wood Furniture Polish

Add ImageI ran out of furniture polish, so yesterday I decided to make my own out of 2 parts olive oil and one part lemon juice (both of which I already had). I used olive pomace oil. It's only about $12.99 a gallon, but it doesn't have a very good flavor for cooking with. I used it when I made soap as well. I just put the mixture in an old washed out spray bottle and used a microfiber cloth. It worked wonderfully and smelled good too. One thing I don't like about homemade house cleaners is that the house ends up smelling like vinegar when you are done. You can buy essential oils which help a little, but they are expensive and it doesn't seem to totally mask the vinegar smell. I give this recipe for furniture polish a thumbs up for sure.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Time

Ooooh, how I love Christmas. As I write this I am listening to Relient K's Christmas Album, "Let it Snow Baby...Let it Reindeer." Love it. Thanks Adam :). We spent the Christmas holiday with my family, since we spent a two day Thanksgiving with my in-laws. I actually like splitting up the holidays that way. I don't like all the running around from one place to the next and the feeling of jipping everyone on our time with them.

We were not able to make it to the Christmas Eve service at our church because Byron had to work that day. Our church has a 4:00 and 5:30pm service, so it was hard to make it. Boo. We spent the evening at my parents' house with around 30 family and friends. We had yummy food. I made the mastacioli and my cheesecake bites. I think my 17 year old cousin said, if I remember correctly, "these are the best freakin' things I've ever tasted." We had lots of other delicious foods as well (pictures below).

We had our gift exchange Christmas morning with my sisters and parents. This year we did a Secret Santa using It worked very well and I think we'll do it again in the years to come.

Later that day my Aunt, Uncle, and three cousins came over along with one of our friends from church. It was a more intimate Christmas Day than we are used to, but I kind of liked it that way. We made homemade pizzas for dinner, played games....good times.

Here are some pictures and video clips of all the fun:

Christmas Eve

Real Italian-American Christmas Meal

Pretty soft sugar cookies I made

A Homemade wine tasting

Christmas Caroling

Jingle Bell Rock (This is Christmas)

Auntie & Baby Giana

My Hubs & Me

Christmas Day

The Girls

Homemade Pizzas!

Teething Giana eating Byron's finger...yum

The fam!

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cheesecake Bites

I only make this dessert one season out of the year. It's a little bit of work, but I love making them and they are delicious. I also like them because they are small. You can eat one or two and be satisfied without the guilt of eating a whole piece of cheesecake.

Just make your favorite cheesecake recipe with a graham cracker crust in a 8 x 8 square pan double lined with aluminum foil. I usually make the cheesecake the day before to make sure it is properly chilled.
The next day, melt a bag of your favorite chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of shortening or butter. Then cut your cheesecake in about 25-36 squares.
Now it is time to drizzle the chocolate (my favorite part).

Let the chocolate harden (about 20 min.)
Then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
I made a plane cheesecake with milk chocolate coating along with a turtle cheesecake (the ones w/ the pecans on top)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Amazon MP3 Downloads

Okay, so I have to post about this. I just downloaded an album of one of my favorite bands, All American Rejects, for only $2.99!! I have to admit, I'm a sucker for the pop rock/punk/emo bands...what can I say?They released the album today and I've been waiting impatiently for it. To my surprise, I stumbled upon MP3 downloads. Individual songs are 99 cents, but you usually get a better deal if you buy the whole album. This was an unusually low price and I'm thrilled!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yes, It's Christmas Time!

Okay, so I'm really not into the whole decorating for holidays thing. Byron, however, brought home a Christmas tree he picked up for FREE. A church has their office across the hall from my husband's office at work and they were giving away Christmas trees as an outreach. They had some extras and were giving them away to anyone who wanted one. Somehow he managed to fit the 7/8 foot tree inside of our PT Cruiser.

So, I put up a few Christmas lights in the windows and after rearranging things around the house a little, we put up the Christmas tree. My mom and sister came over and we made strings of popcorn and cranberries and then a few days later Byron, my sister, and I made Christmas ornaments out of applesauce and cinnamon (Thanks Debby & Jeanie). Here are some pictures of our Christmas Time fun...

Yay, we got the tree leveled!

Stringing popcorn with my mom and Lorielle

Notice I'm wearing my Dundee-Crown High School
sweatshirt-DC What?!

Making ornaments with Byron and Lorielle

My Byron sculpting a masterpiece

What a cutie! She's not a little girl anymore :(

Various ornaments after being painted

A "zombie" Byron made

An Easter Island ornament Byron made

Byron's Masterpiece: The Alien

This one is for all you Dark Crystal fans outhere: "The Podling," created by me.

Our first Christmas Tree!


Movie Night

Normally, my husband and I don't rent movies on a Tuesday night. There are always exceptions, of course. I happened to be at Walmart Tuesday and saw they were selling Batman: The Dark Knight. I then remembered that Walmart has a Redbox. How can you beat a new movie release for $1??? Byron and I rent movies from the Redbox often. It's a great cheap "date night." We also found this website and have even rented movies for FREE (don't worry, it's totally legitimate).

So yeah, we rented the The Dark Knight. I liked it overall, but we both agreed that it was a little long. Heath Ledger (R.I.P.) was a great Joker. I recommend it to any Batman fan.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Flax Crackers

Most of you who know me know that I am a big flax seed person. It's just so good for you. I always have flaxseed in the freezer. We freshly grind it in a coffee grinder and sprinkle it on our cereal, mix it in pizza dough, breads, and I put in it in anything else I can think of.

I found this website called
It has lots of different recipes using flax. I've made the lentil soup, which was pretty good. I have also made the flax crackers several times including yesterday. My hubby really likes them. It's really simple.

After mixing all the ingredients & chilling the dough for 10min., all you have to do it roll it out.

Cut the dough into the desired size cracker and bake!

Eat them with cheese for a delicious snack. Yuumm...


Monday, December 1, 2008

Giving Thanks

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My husband and I spent the holiday his family. His parents have a big gathering with extended family that lasts 2 or 3 days.

It was good to see out of town family and catch with them.

There was good food and good conversations.

What a Thanksgiving celebration!

Holy Ravioli!

Going with the theme of food stuffed with cheese, we (my mom, sister Michele & I) made raviolis on Wednesday. We began at 7:00am and finished at about 4:00pm after making 15 lbs of ravioli!

I started the day off right by cutting my finger pretty bad on the food processor blade, but I lived.

Here are some pictures of our day...

Mom stretching out some pasta dough

Making the 'Olis

My Duct-taped finger....yyeeeeeeahhh..

My beautiful sister, Michele! We found a good gluten-free pasta recipe for her, so she was able to make her own ravioli & tortellini. Doesn't it look like she had fun???