Send. (50 Christmas Cards from Shutterfly)

My family did Christmas card erratically growing up, probably because I usually remember one of the three of us girls in tears before, during or after the “photo shoot.”

I do however love getting cards during the holidays. It is one of the few times a year I hope for something more that a bill in the mailbox. Last year I hung each card with a small ornament on the garland running up our stair case banister. I have also started bundling, then keeping cards by year incase I ever get a free moment to go back and take a look at who sent what over the years.

I finally convinced J do get on board with producing our own Christmas card last year (in our 5th year of marriage). He came up with a creative picture plan, which was actually his idea. I think largely due to the compliment he received on his creativity and wit, I got him on board again for a 2010 Christmas card. Which is a great thing because of what Shutterfly is offering to bloggers this year.

I do most of my photo storage, picture printing and photobooks from Shutterfly, I also recently ordered s few personalized Thank You cards with my name at the top (very trendy designs I might add). I have always been impressed by the quality and clarity of pics, projects, and price. So when the offered up 50 free cards to bloggers I jumped into looking at these formats (803 to be exact) for our 2010 card. I’m not sure what we will choose this year, but I am a big fan of some of these formats.

Vintage Village

I could go on but seriously I’m running out of room here. I also think there are several here that could sent well into the New Year if you just can’t fit it in before Dec. 25th.

P.S. SP there is also a Letter Card on Shutterfly that lets you combine a short update with a photo card.

P.S.S If you are interested in taking advantage of the 50 cards check out the notice the Shutterfly posted here and get started.



We still have several pounds of turkey left over from Thursday, but after last night's dinner the fridge is a bit lighter. I made turkey paninis, quick and easy.

Two slices of bread (anything would probably due, just make sure it can with stand panini pressing)
Cream cheese, though I may use white cheddar next time
Rubbed sage
Turkey leftovers
Cranberry sauce leftovers

Butter one side of the bread and spread cream cheese or cheese slices over the other side. Place buttered side down in grill pan lightly sprayed with olive oil. Spoon cranberry sauce on top of cheese then add turkey slices. Lightly spread second slice of bread with cheese and then top the sandwich.

Since I was not using a panini press, I placed a heavy pan weighted with cans to smush (yes, technicaly term) the sandwiches. As they began to make grill marks on the bottom and melt the cheese I flipped the sandwich for a few minutes to toast the second side.

Thats it!



This was the theme of the weeks as I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time atour house. All went well and all together it was really not as stressful as some make it out to be. Here are a few things that I think made it easy.
1)Shop gradually. I generally knew what out menu would be and what I would need. It meant that I could take advantage of sale items (think turkey for $.39 per lb) when I saw them and shop at a variety of places for what I needed (BJ's, Trader Joe's, HT) just on regular errands during the month.
2) Stash the non perishable Turkey Day goods out of your kitchen as you stock up. My mom always did this and I never really understood why, but it makes it easy to see what you have and what you are missing and ensures that nothing gets used between the time its purchased and the big day.
3)Prep as much as you can as early as you can. I am not advocating cooking/freezing things weeks ahead and using the microwave, but consider what can be completed or partially prepped a day or two before. By the time I hit the sack Wednesday night the table was set, mydesserts were complete, cranberry chutney in the fridge, and sweet potatoes ready for marshmellows then the oven. Before my family arrived, well before our meal time the rest of my veggies were ready for the oven and potatoes diced and waiting on water.
4)I was a tad worried about everything being ready at the same time, something I am not great at the other 364 days out of the year, especially with a 22lb turkey taking up most of the oven. This is what worked for me. All of our side dishes were ready for the oven when the turkey came out to rest. By the time the bird was ready for carving the dishes were also ready for the table. Hopefully it works that well next time:)
I promise I am not a confused as I look. Now what to do with the 15 or so lbs of turkey left in my fridge.



Humm, its been a while, but I do have an excuse.

So shortly after we returned from this...

(An amazing 7 days in the San Fran/Sonoma Wine County area).

We found out we needed to start reading this...

So the last several months, you see, have been dedicated to sleep (while I can), and strollers searching (not to mention car seats, bottles).



Need a good beach read?

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand.

Or maybe something a little more thought provoking (and a little creepy)?

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger



California, at least we will towards the end of the summer.

We have a trip planned later this summer to spend some time in San Francisco and Sonoma County and after much stalking of plane tickets and emailing of lodging rentals, I am happy to report that we have booked a late afternoon flight west followed by a night in the city, 4 nights is a cute cottage near Sonoma and a one night stay in a B&B a little farther north all before heading back to reality a week later.

As the designated trip planner I am feverishly gathering all I can about the must see places (read wineries) to visit (read drink) and a few things to keep us busy in San Francisco as well. Suggestions welcome.
We are again planning to travel with companions, my sister is one of them, though I am sad to say not the ones we started thinking about this trip with:(You know who you are and we will totally miss you).



Homemade peach ice cream.
JC swipped my parents old icecream maker when we were home for Father's Day and promptly put it to use.
It took a little trial and error to get it churing, but I no time at all we were enjoying the fruits of his labor. And I each time he fiddled around with the machine to keep it moving couldn't help being transported back to about age 8, sitting on our back deck with my dad doing the same thing.

We spent the rest of last night trying to figure out more flavor combos for next time.