Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010 in Pictures

Most of my Christmas activities included baking goodies for everyone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

{Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme}

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama (link to: and GameStop (link to: are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
That we are all happy and healthy for many more years to come.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
Watching the kids attack their stockings.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
An all-expenses paid month long trip to Spain.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
I have the kids bake sweets with me and make gingerbread houses.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
Monopoly. I love that game.

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
We always used to be allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve and the kids continue that tradition.

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
Skiing in Vermont -- at an Inn like in White Christmas.

8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?

Wii NASCAR game

Special edition DS

To enter, link to your Mama’s Holiday Wish List post using the Mister Linky box below.

BUT WAIT. Did you think we were done? Oh, you must not know us at all.

We have another stockpile of gifts from GameStop that you can enter to win with our extra entry options.

Runner Up #1 will receive a XBox 360 250 GB with Kinect and a $250 GameStop gift card.
Runner Up #2 will receive a Nintendo Red DSi XL Bundle and a $250 GameStop gift card.
Runner Up #3 will receive a Nintendo Red Wii Bundle and a $250 GameStop gift card.
Extra Entry Options include:

“Like” Gamestop on Facebook
Follow @gamestop on Twitter
Head back to the tippy-top of this post and hit that “Retweet” button.

The deadline to post your meme and comment is Friday, December 10th (same deadline applies for extra entry methods).

* For an example of a Mama’s Holiday Wish List entry post CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All I want for Christmas.....

Did you ever going rifling through your parents closets when you were a kid hoping to find your Christmas presents? Come on -- you know you did! Well, I did. And I got caught red-handed one year.

I can still remember that purple purse that I begged and begged my parents for months leading up to Christmas.

One day my parents left the house to go shopping, so me being the sneaky gal that I am, pulled up a chair to my parents closet and ransacked it trying to find that purse. I was so into the search that I didn't even hear my mom coming back in the house. Not until she walked in the room and saw me hugging, I mean admiring that beautiful purple purse.

She was so disappointed in me -- but deep down she knew I was going to do it or else she wouldn't have set me up like that. And I fell for it hook, line and sinker. And that beautiful purple purse, returned to the store never to be seen again.

At least that's how I remember the story. But in reality they may have given me a red purse and my sister the beautiful purple purse. Just imagine where my life would be now if I had that purple purse. I'd probably be living in Paris as a fashion designer with my own label -- Just Denise!

And the moral of the story kids -- if you're going to go snooping, make certain the parents leave the house, turn the corner and are gone for at least 5 minutes before proceeding.

** Note: I am positive that beautiful purple purse looked nothing like the one pictured but that's the only stylish purple purse I could find online.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Childhood memories

Do you have a smell that takes you back to your childhood? Some of mine are Anise, Kool-a-Ped (don't ask) and hamburgers. Not just any hamburgers mind you....but Wesley's hamburgers.

Back in the day, or as some might call it -- Middle School, we were allowed to go off-campus for lunch. We would probably walk around six blocks to Wesley's Grocery Store and head to the back of the store to where Wesley was butchering meat and put in our order for one of his burgers. You would sometimes even find a line of kids waiting for burgers. He would put them in his little toaster (microwave) and then hand it to you still in its plastic wrapper. Then you would open it up and that smell would hit you. Yum!!

Over the years I've thought about those burgers but never thought I'd find it again. Well....

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

Yes!! I've found Wesley's burgers disguised as, of all things, Weight Watchers Mini Cheeseburgers.

The smell, the taste, the size -- it's all the same. Who knew all those years ago I was on a Weight Watchers plan?

Ok so now back to that walking six blocks to get lunch. Seriously? What were our parents and the school board thinking? There are psychos out there. Not to mention bad drivers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: aka HP7

I abhor being like everyone else and will fight to not get sucked into going with the popular trends. Rushing to see a movie on the first day of release? No thank you....unless it's Toy Story 3. But not wanting to be like everyone else usually comes to bite me in the you-know-where because I am like everyone else and end up loving what is popular. Maybe there is a reason it is popular. Hmmm that's a different post to consider.

Anyway, I was not a Harry Potter fan for the longest time and it wasn't until my niece Sydni wanted a HP theme for her 10th birthday party this year that I even paid attention to this HP phenomenon. I had to do some research for the party, of course, or how else are you going to snazz it up. That didn't get me though. It was actually seeing the first movie on the big screen at the party that I was sucked in. And that led to a HP marathon the following weekend and the rest is history.

My favorite character, besides Harry, Hermione and Ron of course, is the most adorable house elf Dobby. How can you not fall in love with that little goblin. Especially the way he says Harry Potter.

I was so psyched for this latest movie and almost took the whole day off to go see the movie but that would just be, well, weird....unless it's Toy Story 3.

So I took off half a day, rested and went with the kids to go see the late movie. We were all so excited and when the movie FINALLY started Sydni even sat forward in her chair with her hands on her knees in anticipation.

The movie did not disappoint. It was so good and had people laughing (Bill don't look at me I'm hideous). People were running, literally running, to the bathroom so they wouldn't miss anything. Now I didn't go that far but I did power walk to the potty and had to body check a couple of people trying to clean up. There were some gasps (huge and I mean a HUGE snake makes an appearance) and some hands thrown up in front of my, I mean some peoples faces. There was also some fashion mixed in -- I'd like to request a beaded bag like Hermione has in the movie. Homegirl knows how to pack a purse.

And there were tears watching the movie. Lots of tears. I won't give it away but I will say that one of my favorite "little" characters is taken out by an evil witch. I was so glad my nephew Jacob was there by me because he hugged and petted me the whole time I cried. Such a sweet boy. (and thanks sis for telling him to do it because it did help.)

There was anger. How are you going to have me pay $3.50 for a box of M&Ms and give me less than I would if I bought a bag at the corner store? You're just asking me to sneak in candy so I accept.

And there was intrigue. At the conclusion people were saying "You've got to be kidding me!!!" You have to see the movie to learn what happens. And if you want someone to go with you, call me. I'll even take off work to go. I can't wait to see Part Deux.

What else am I missing by not following these popular trends? I might even read these books. Then maybe the Twilight series. Who knows, I might even break down and buy an Atari some day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Royal Wedding

Prince William and his long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton are getting hitched. I'm not ashamed to admit I am looking forward to this wedding.

The day Prince William's mom, Princess Diana, got married is a day I will always have in my mind. As a youngen I got up so early just to sit there and watch the nuptials. I am looking forward to waking my 10 year-old niece to watch this one with me.

And who can ever forget that dress?

Being young and impressionable I wanted a dress, and especially a train just like that.

Hopefully Wills and Kate's marriage will fair better than his parents. That royal family needs some marital happiness. It works out in all my historical romance novels so why not in real life?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Chicago Blackhawks -- 2010 Stanley Cup Champions get their rings!!!

One Goal achieved.

I'll just let you soak in the beauty of that picture for a minute.
Isn't that a spectacular sight?!! It has 8 carats and 404 diamonds and the guys received them this past Wednesday. Boy am I ever glad I picked the Blackhawks as "my team".

On October 15, 2008, I went to my first professional hockey game at the United Center in Chicago. It was the Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Phoenix Coyotes. I was in town for my work and decided to go see a hockey game since I was there on my own and had nothing to do that night. As soon as the game started I knew I had picked the right team to see for my first game. I absolutely fell in love with the sport and the team. The atmosphere in the arena was thrilling and I couldn't help but get swept up into the excitement of the whole arena. It also didn't hurt that my eyes about bugged out when they showed Patrick Sharp on the big screen and played ZZ Top's "Every Girls Crazy 'Bout a Sharp Dressed Man" when he was shown.

Growing up in Texas, hockey is not a sport that is big there. Football? Check. Baseball? Check. Hockey? You're crazy. I know my friends and family think I'm nuts because I am such a die-hard hockey fan now. I will admit I don't know any of the rules of hockey but I know enough to watch the game and enjoy it. Going to the Blackhawks Hockey 101 session helped too.

Thank goodness it is now October because I don't know how much longer I could have gone without hockey. I'm going to the Texas Stars preseason game tomorrow night to feed my addiction.

And if you need to see the ring again.....

(pics courtesy of

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Pioneer Woman's influence

I have been influenced by The Pioneer Woman so much that when I left my nephew Caleb's soccer game and saw these horses in the parking lot, I knew I had to take a picture. My nephew Jacob, who was with me, said the horses looked like they were thinking "Why are you taking my picture?". Aren't they beautiful?

I only wish I got to spend every day with beautiful creatures like this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 17, 2010

Birthday party invites and cupcakes

When I was growing up, I remember having family birthday parties and enjoyed spending every moment with my family. Our parties never had themes but nowadays everybody has a theme for their parties. I have always enjoyed putting ideas together whether it is for scrapbooks, parties, holidays or anything where I get to be creative. When my sister had her kids -- my triplet niece and nephews -- I knew early on that I would be planning their birthday parties. I don't even think I gave my sister a choice of letting her plan their first birthday party. I just said this is what I'm going to do and I'm going to pay for all the decorations or whatever it takes to put together my theme so she couldn't say no.

For past birthday parties we have had a carnival theme, Blues Clues, Princess/Spiderman/Incredible Hulk, tea party, and movie party themes (I will dig up some photos and post them soon). They have all been fun to plan. As the kids have gotten older, they've gotten to the point where they want to have their parties at arcades or someplace where they can just play games. This puts a damper on my theme party planning.

This year the kids all had separate parties and I tried to make each of their parties have a little bit of homemade touch to it by making cupcakes and their invites all match what they picked for their cakes.

Sydni had a Harry Potter themed party at the movie theatre. We watched the first movie in the series while the girls had some of Sydni's favorite foods: homemade mini-pizzas (made by Sydni herself), curly fries, chocolate covered stawberries (made by Sydni), cupcakes and cake. We also had a candy shop set up like they have in the movies complete with Bertie Botts Every Flavored Jelly Beans, chocolate covered frogs (homemade), lemon drops, licorice wands, and lots more. The girs loved being able to pick out candy to take home with them. In addition to the candy, they had Harry Potter glasses and silly bandz in their gift bags. I made the cupcake wrappers and toppers for the party - but as you can see in the pictures I forgot to use the wrappers! Way too much going on.

The cupcakes were delicious. They were vanilla and chocolate and scrumptious. For past parties I have always made a movie poster that incorporates their picture into the poster. The manager of the theater then puts the poster up outside as if it was for real. I think I get a kick out of that more than the kids do.

Jacob's party was at Chuck E. Cheese. Since they do all of the work for the party there is not really anything you can add to personalize it, but I made cupcakes to try and add a little something extra to the party. The cupcake wrappers and toppers were both used successfully for this party! I added gumballs on some of the cupcakes to resemble the ball pit. The goodie bags were the standard CEC ones so I went ahead and upgraded everyone's cup as a little treat. Jacob wanted his party here just so he could have a turn in the Ticket Blaster. He also was generous and let his brother and sister do it as well since it was also their birthday.

Caleb wanted a Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR theme at his party that he had at the Park and Pizza place. This was another party that they took care of everything for us. I wasn't able to take time off work to make cupcakes so I bought them from a cupcake delivery service. Unfortunately the cupcakes were horrid. The worst cupcakes I've ever had. Thank goodness the wrappers and toppers were cute! And to top it off, the cake melted on the drive to the party but as Caleb said, "at least we have cupcakes". Well the cake was delicious but ugly. The cupcakes were cute but awful tasting. And the gift bags each had a Dale Jr. diecast car per Caleb's request.

No matter the size, theme or mishaps of a party, kids are just thrilled that they have something that celebrates them!
handmade projects