Thursday, December 30

Matt and Chelle's Rockin New Years Eve

Matt and I are headed off to Tampa, FL to ring in the New Year.  We have no concrete plans for the night, but I am sure with our friends the Morelli's and the Boudro's we will find plenty of stuff to get into.  I am excited doubly for this trip because it is the first time we have done something really cool for NYE and the first time we have gone a trip with other couples our on age.  This time of year in infamous for making plans that we rarely keep, or otherwise known as New Year's Resolutions.  Well, this year I decided to close out 2010 with some New Year's Eve Resolutions.

Chelle's New Year's Eve Resloutions
I promise I will:
1.  Not get arrested
2.  Not loose my shoes
3.  Not get into a fight
4.  Not miss the opportunity to kiss Matt at midnight.
5.  Have a cocktail for you!
6.  Wear a gaudy dress made of sequins.
7.  Have the best time

After celebrating on Friday night we are going to go to the Outback Bowl to watch Penn State and Florida duke it out in the oh so warm 77 degree Florida sunshine.  Since we don't really have a loyal bone in our body for either team, we arbitrarily decided to be Nitany Lions for the day.  Go Penn State!

I hope that you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend.  See ya in 2011!

Saturday, December 25

A Very Merry "Cake"mas

Merry Christmas!
I have a Christmas present for each and everyone of you. I am going to share my super secret family recipe for Hazelnut Cake.  Fine.  It isn't a super secret or even a secret, heck I found the recipe last week in a magazine and haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.  But I did officially decide tonight (while eating the cake) that I am going to make this cake every year at Christmas time, isn't that special? Yes M'am.

So without further ado I present to you your gift:

Chelle's Hazelnut Cake

I know it isn't the prettiest, most evenly frosted, or level cake, but I did put my sweat (not literally) and tears (yes real tears) into it.  I made it from scratch, and not from a box scratch.  Everyone seemed to be really really pleased with it and kept telling me how good it was.  Let's hope they weren't lying for the sake of Christmas and they really liked it.

Chelle's Hazelnut Cake
1 c. butter softened
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnut*
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
 Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 3 cake rounds.  In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy.  Add vanilla, beat to combine.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each.  In the food processor, combine 1/4 c. flour and hazelnut, process until finely ground.  In medium bowl, combine remaining 1 3/4 c flour, ground hazelnut mixture, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with sour cream.  Be sure to begin and end with flour mixture.  Spoon batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 18-20 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pans for 10 min.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Spread Frosting between layers, garnish with nuts.
*  Hazelnuts were hard to find and I had to buy them, crack them, and toast them.  Then I had to remove the skins from them and they didn't want to cooperate.  This is where the tears came in.

Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting
2 (8oz) cream cheese softened
3/4c chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella)
8 cups confectioner's sugar

In a large bowl beat cream cheese and chocolate spread at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually beat in confectioner's sugar until smooth.


I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Christmas Saturday full of fun, family, and fellowship.  Not only is today a day for fun, presents, and good food, but most importantly it is the day our Savior, Jesus Christ was born and never has there been a more important gift than that.  So today, in the midst of all the Christmasy things  take a moment to think about what the day is and don't get bogged down in what is has become.

Friday, December 24

A Christmas Tattoo

While wrapping presents tonight Matt and I had an idea...a tattoo would make a great Christmas Eve tradition.  Okay, maybe we won't make it a tradition.  Wrapping presents on Christmas Eve is one of those things that everyone tries to avoid, however it doesn't matter how much prep you have done, you always end up with those few presents that pop up out of nowhere.  Matt was generous enough to keep me company and while we were sitting there with our dog staring at us, Matt looked at the sharpie in my hand and inspiration struck.  A Christmas Tattoo was born.  And what better to have a tattoo of than our super cool dog, Duece. 

I don't know about you, but I think I did a bang up job at recreating our fur child with a sharpie maker.  I actually did such a good job that I am thinking about taking back all of Matt's gifts because I don't think they will be able to compare to the masterpiece I created on his arm.

I will now admit that Matt didn't exactly "ok" the Duecy's Dad part, I threw that in there before he could stop me, but who can really argue with an artist?
What crazy things do you get into on Christmas Eve while up late finishing up your last minute Christmas details?

Merry Christmas Eve Bloglandia!

Tuesday, December 21

Dr. Lou...More like Dr. Lou-ser

Okay.  I can't stand Lou Holtz.  It isn't a Notre Dame thing or anything like that.  I just find him to be the single most annoying person in. the. world.

It is just my luck that tonight, he is one of the commentators on the Beef O' Brady's bowl game.  My alma mater, University of Southern Mississippi is playing so of course I am watching, but I almost ran to the kitchen for the ice pick when I heard his voice.  No!!!!!!!  

Really just looking at him gives me the creeps and hearing his voice is like running a cheese grater on my LAST nerve.  I have actually be muting the channel when he feels like he needs to talk.  You can barely, barely decipher what he is saying, and when you can it sounds like an mix between and emu being kicked in the balls and an old lady whose tongue was cut out.  And the spitting...don't even get me started on the spitting.  

I find that he has an uncanny resemblance to granny from Beverly Hillbillies
What do you think?
Apparently I am not the only one because when I searched google images for said picture of granny, this side by side pulled up!  Hilarity.

There are so many of these videos online that document the ridiculousness of what I am trying to explain here.

  Seriously ESPN, you can find someone else that can actually talk without their dentures falling out to be a contributor to your sports channel.  And for those of you that say, "Chelle you don't even watch ESPN".  Back you know my husband?  I DO watch ESPN. ALL. THE. TIME.  Thank you very much.

Are there any other Lou-ser haters out there?

A group of Betty Crocker's

In the spirit of Christmas baking that you saw yesterday with my Melted Snowman Cookies, I decided to share the fun night of making Christmas goodies with my mom and dear friend Mrs. Diane.  Mrs. Diane is an incredible cook and caterer and had a long list of things to have ready for some clients in time for Christmas, so my mom and I decided to go lend our services.   We had a really fun night slaving away helping in the kitchen.  

Chopping walnuts for the Cranberry Cream CheeseBall

Mixing that cheeseball with Mrs. Diane's Kitchen Aide Mixer.  Using this mixer just confirmed my suspicion that I NEED a mixer.  

The whip cracker herself!

Corn Flake Candy

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

I finally got them to smile for the camera.

Peanut Butter Balls.  I love these, it was a mistake to put me in charge of dipping them.  There were a lot that accidentally didn't look pretty enough, so I had to dispose of the evidence.

Martha Washington Balls

Chex Snack Mix

Spicy Cracker Mix

There were a few more things that I didn't get pictures of, Chess Squares, Pineapple Cheese Balls, and Puppy Chow.  Even looking back at the pictures now is making me hungry for all of those sweet and salty treats!

Monday, December 20

Frosty the Snowman is melting...

A few days ago when scanning the list of blogs that I follow, I came across a really great tutorial for a unique Christmas cookie.   Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots had one of the most ingenious ideas for a cookie I have ever seen.  Ever since I saw this melted snowman cookie I have been sold and have even told several people about this really cool, totally awesome cookie I wanted to make.

Now, you can not honestly tell me that this cookie doesn't make you want to say, "Well, oh my goodness, I couldn't have imagined a cuter cookie."

Matt and I are back in MS for the Christmas holdiays.  I was at my mom and dad's today piddling around in the kitchen and all of the ingredients were there, so I threw caution to the wind and made my own little melted snowman army.  So many time I "shoulda, coulda, woulda" things I see and want to recreate but they always seem to fall off my radar before I can get to them.

Frosty wanted to know, "Did someone turn the heat on in here?"

This was a really simple recipe, and something that if you were to take to a cookie exchange, I am willing to bet you that everyone would leave talking about what a creative amazing baker you were.  Trust me.   Not only will your friends think you are a crafy cookie maker, but your kids (if you have them) will definetly give you the best mom award. 

If you are interested in the homeade recipe or if you are just an overachiever, then you can find the full sugar recipe at Maggie's blog in the link above.  If you are a lover of shortcuts and all things easy, you can do like I did and break out a bag of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix, just make sure you follow the roll out cookie instructions. 

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tsp milk
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp almond extract

Tuesday, December 14

Now I said my A,B,C's

I spent the weekend working on some projects.  Every year I think about how much fun it would be to do ONLY homemade gifts for Christmas.  The thought is usually fleeting because I love giving gifts, shopping for gifts, and making gifts.  I shouldn't have to rob myself of any of those things.  So my compromise is that I make a few things and shop for a few things.  I had been wanting to tackle this project for a long time, finally this weekend I sat down and got to it.    

I can't wait to give these out at Christmas to some special kiddos.

It was the perfect length for a project, I was able to finish it quickly and didn't get tired of working on it, which happens to often.  I have a whole closet full of good crafting intentions.  I didn't make the entire alphabet just a couple of names.  Aren't these a fun and cute way to help kids learn to spell their names?   I am tempted to have a kid, just so I can make them bean bag letters...okay, maybe not.  

If you are interested in a set of letters for yourself your kid let me know!

Monday, December 13

Have you ever heard a cow laugh?

Me neither, thus my hesitancy to try Laughing Cow cheese.  I have bought it before for Matt and I have seen countless others eating it, but something about it just did not make me want to eat it.  I am a weird picky eater.  I love cheese, but not all cheese.  I like cream cheese but only if it is used in a way that I can not actually "see" that there is cream cheese.  I guess the same would go for the Laughing Cow, it didn't "look" good to me. At. All.  

After meandering through the store picking up some healthy (as healthy as snack food can be) I came across the cheese display case.  I love the cheese display case, it looks so pretty, and I always say to myself, "Chelle, I wish you liked more than just overly processed cheeses such as velveeta."  I think there is something exotic about sitting around and eating cheese (velveeta not included).  As I rounded the case I saw the Laughing Cow and they had a new to me flavor...French Onion. 
 I LOVE French Onion dip, so it stands to reason I might like French Onion cheese.  I bought it.  I brought it home and warned Matt that the french onion was MY Laughing Cow cheese and that he didn't need to eat it.  There it has sat for 4 days....

Finally, this afternoon in my 3 o'clock search for something to snack on I bit the bullet.  I loved it!  Who's laughing now?  
I admit it...I ate two wedges.  I love the packaging too, so those marketing people over at LC must be doing a darn good job.  Congrats on coming up with a way to make little individually wrapped easy opening spreadable cheese packages.

I find that usually when I try something food wise that I had been adverse to in the past I find that I am pleasantly surprised.  

On another note, I got into the Christmas spirit.  I tackled one of my favorite Christmas projects, WRAPPING!  I love wrapping presents and making bows.  

Happy Monday Bloglandia!

Saturday, December 11

Proud to announce the newest addition to the Langford family

Nope, not a baby.  Sorry Billy and Brenda and Randy and Melanie.

Meet Barbara.  Barbara Bianchi Langford.

She weighs in at about 21 lbs and approximately 57 cm.  There was a long awaited arrival, but after some intense calculations she made her appearance this morning at 10:00 eastern time.  Barbara came home with her proud father who was beaming ear to ear.  Her brother Duece still has some reservations and as for me, I can't wait to see what kind of relationship her and her father develop as they begin to bond with one another.  

(Can you see the family resemblance?)

Friday, December 10

What kind of Christmas Tree are you?

I was looking at my friend Courtney's Blog
and she had a great post about the ornaments her family has on their tree and what they mean to her and her family.  I thought it was such a great post.  Ornaments are just a fun way to cherish and preserve memories for your family for years to come.  Every year the tree goes up and the ornaments come out and you place those keepsakes on a tree, each one tied to a different story.

I won't lie, I didn't always have such a traditional view of ornaments and Christmas trees.  If you wanted a miss-mash of ornaments for your family that was fine, but I tended to lean towards cookie cutter trees with specific themes and color motifs.  Don't get me wrong, I am still all for a perfect magazine worthy tree.  Recently I saw a tree that I died for, but as I have aged (yes, I have aged) I find myself dreaming of a different kind of tree.  The kind I alluded to above.

Unfortunately, this year Matt and I won't be home on Christmas.  Only being home for a short two weeks in between our travels, I just didn't think that dragging out the tree, hoping the lights work, making it stand straight...yada yada yada, was a good use of our time.  I did however decorate our mantel, so I call it my Christmas Treemantle.  I strung some garland and lights and picked out some of my favorite ornaments so far and put them up.

I like the way it turned out.
Not too festive, but festive enough for us this year.

Matt's Side

My side

This is our first ornament after getting married.  On the back it has the date of our anniversary.

My friend Shannon gave us this ornament the Christmas that we got married.

This bird came from the dollar store, there really isn't anything special about it other than I just really liked it.  I think it looks unique and Christmasy, and it only cost $1 so why not? 

Matt and I are both graduates of the University of Southern Mississippi.  We are proud of the Golden Eagles, even if they can't stop a run...or a pass. 

I bought this ornament to mark our 2nd Christmas being married.

Las Vegas wasn't our first trip together, but this is the only thing we came home with because we certainly didn't have any money left.  So this ornament reminds me that we never need to go back to Las Vegas.

My soldier ornament was given to me by my mom the first time that Matt was deployed.

Those are just a few or the ornaments that we have, the ones that I decided to pull out and put on my "Treemantle" this year.  And finally it got cold enough in Georgia that we could justify having a fire.  

What kind of Christmas tree do you have?  Do you have any special ornaments?

Wednesday, December 8

Why I eat off dirty dishes

I don't REALLY eat off dirty dishes...

Why is it that:

1.  Between my husband and myself we produce more dirty dishes than a large tribe of slobs?  Seriously, I am always doing dishes.  When you run out of clean silverware and there are only 2 of you in the house you have an issue.  
2.  I always seem to forget to start the dryer?  I go back and hour later to rotate the clothes and they are still wet.  
3.  My phone rings as soon as I sit down and get comfortable?  I never have it next to me, it is always in the other room.
4.  My dog manages to always position his squeaky toy in my path, that way when I walk I step on it, causing it to squeak, triggering his need to jump up and play?  He just settled down.  Well played Duece...well played.  
5.  We have so much trash? (same as #1)
6.  I keep the extra toilet paper in the bathroom that we don't use? This is problematic.
7.  My house is so dusty?  Is your house dusty?
8.  I can't make a doctor's appointment more than 21 days out?  Seriously Tricare, I love you, but it should pay to be proactive.  And don't pretend ike you actually even have anything available within that 21 day window...we know you don't.
9. I don't have a single Christmas card worthy picture this year?
10.  My neighbors bought every single Christmas inflatable ever made, including the snow globe (you know the one) and blew them up all at the same time to put on display?  Not necessary. At. All.

What is bothering you today?

Tuesday, December 7

This rubs me the right way

Thanks to One Pretty Thing I found a really cute idea for some Christmas happy's for friends.  I have always heard the saying that "friends are the spice of life", and I believe that.  When I saw the really cute spice rub gift idea I new that it would be a simple and usable gift.  

One the website it was in a jar with a twist top, but I decided put my own spin on it.  I found little glass jars that were the perfect size and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to use some of my chalkboard paint.  I started with the glass jars and painted a little square on the front that could be used to label what was inside.
Once the rub has been used the jar can be washed and labeled to match the new contents

I wrapped them up in some festive tissue paper, stamped a little card, and tied them up with a fresh piece of chalk!

Can't wait to give these out to some friends.

Christmas Spice Rub Recipe
1/3 cup coarse salt
1/4 cup paprika
4 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried thyme leaves
2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
*will season approximately 10 lbs of meat or poultry

Sweet Treat for my Sweet Pup

What did the honeydew melon say after the watermelon proposed marriage?
Sorry but I can't elope!

Just a little melon humor to get us going.  You know that you laughed a little even though it was only on the inside.

I thought about my friend Shannon from Why Not On A Tuesday as I wrote this post.  Her and her husband just got a brand new member of their family, Beauford, and he is a real cutie!  Shan, Duece said to tell Beauford that he would love this treat!

Matt loves melon and the honeydew I bought the other day just wasn't very good, it wasn't ripe enough and we were just going to throw it away.  I decided to salvage the remainder of the honeydew and turn it into a treat for Duece.  I had made him some frozen treats in the past using I recipe I found in a Rachel Ray magazine so I just used the same principle and adjusted the recipe to the ingredients I had on hand...all two of them.  Thats right this is a simple treat for your pet that only requires 2 ingredients and 4 easy steps.

1. I started with the melon in question

2. Blended it in the blender

Don't judge it because I know that it doesn't look very appetizing.

3.  Mixed in some plain all natural yogurt, just enough to thicken it up

4.  Put it in my mini cupcake pan and put it in the freezer to harden. You could use an ice cube tray but I didn't have one.

Freezing them this way is so convenient because I can put them in a ziploc and pull out as a treat when I want to.  Any fruit you have on hand (other than grapes) would work great in this recipe.  I have used both bananas and strawberries in the past.  The fruit and yogurt are also 100% okay for your dog to eat as long as it is given in moderation with the rest of their doggy diet.  

Duece didn't complain!

Monday, December 6

You are special...just like everyone else

One of my favorite holiday pastimes (can it even be considered a past time if you have only done it twice?) is an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.  The Ugly Christmas Sweater party puts me in a bit of a conundrum, it means that you actually have to go to a store and buy a sweater.  It isn't so much the buying the sweater that gets me all sweaty, it is being seen with it in my cart.  Eeek!  God forbid someone see it in my cart and actually think that I LIKE the sweater, so I feel like I have to walk through the store finding excuses to loudly proclaim that I am going to a party that requires me to purchase this sweater.  

Last year, I just made a sweater with a plain sweatshirt and some puff paint, but after our extended vacation there really wasn't time for all of that fanciness.  I ran up to one of the local stores that I remembered having an extraordinary selection of said ugly sweaters.  It was doubly tough because I needed one for Matt and one for myself, and for some reason they don't make a large selection of Christmas sweaters for men (maybe because most men know better).    

I found a sweatshirt that would be suitable for Matt and one for myself.   Of course as I was checking out the cashier commented on what a cute sweater it was, bless her little gray head, I didn't have the heart to tell her that I wouldn't actually be caught dead in that sweater, I just smiled and said, "Gee, Thanks!"

When I got home and presented Matt with a sweater that had a sweet little snowflake on it and read "One Of A Kind" he was relieved that he didn't have to wear anything with glitter or bells.  No so fast Langford...  he was resigned when I presented the antlers and blinking red nose that I wanted us to wear. Have I told y'all before that my husband is a super good sport (I love him)? 

We were all set....until I had a flash of genius.

Since his shirt had a snowflake and said that he was "One Of A Kind" I was thinking that it would be funny if we had the same shirt because then we would be the same and actually not one of a kind like the sweater suggested.  I went back and exchanged my sweater...I kept the antlers and the noses!

You will have to take my word on the blinking red noses and reindeer antlers, they were pretty sweet, however I made promises to Matt certain people that they would not be featured in the blog, the sweatshirts were pushing it.

I am also willing to admit that these are NOT the tackiest Christmas sweaters I have ever seen, but in my opinion the irony was worth the sacrifice!

A special thanks to Rob and Kristi Humphrey for hosting and feeding us delicious chili and chocolate chip cookies!

The Blacation is over

Blacation: noun, A blog vacation.

I can honestly hear the catchy chorus of "Welcome Back Kotter" playing...
Nice Tie!

Over the past month that Matt has been home, my blog became that pile of laundry sitting in the corner.  You know the one, it stares at you and whispers your name.

But you convince yourself that there are little gremlins underneath it waiting to eat you so you just leave it be even though your favorite pair of jeans are buried in there. I woke up today though and decided it was time to get off my bootay and get back to it.  The blacation was nice, but I knew that even when Matt started asking me, "When are you going to blog again?" that it was time to quit being a weenie.

"Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome!"

See what else Monkey Loo has to share

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...