So Much Planning

So all of last week’s 100 Days to Christmas tasks were about planning; budgeting, gift lists, and the like. Which is great, except I’ve had all that planned for months! Granted, it’s pretty simple, keeping to a budget, when all of your gifts are homemade, and your list of people to buy for is less then 15.  My budget is a pretty roomy $150 total, with (ideally) $30 for supplies for each set of gifts. Right now I’m super under budget, but I also have only bought supplies for one gift, the rings. All together, for the ring blanks, caviar beads, and embellishments I think I spent just over $15.  Probably Definitely could have gotten cheaper stuff if i’d gone to an actual store, but i like the variety I get shopping online.

I’m also supposed to get out all of my Fall/Halloween decorations and put them up, but i have none of those. And it’s much too early n the season to get a pumpkin. The heat would rot it before next week!

Today we’re supposed to make something with apples. Know what Amber doesn’t have? Fricking apples. I am appleless. I was kind of expecting something more along the lines of organizing things and cleaning, rather then all this planning, when it’s so early in the season you don’t have all the information you need to plan these things. Especially if you have any fall birthdays. Making a gift list is swell, at the right time. Not when half your family was born in fall and they end up receiving your brilliantly planned gift from someone else  for their birthday and you’re back to square one.





And So It Begins!

English: Pumpkin patch by Oaks Track SM6. Ther...

English: Apples on an apple-tree. Ukraine. Рус...

Christmas is in exactly 100 days! Doesn’t feel like it down here in AZ, with a high of 99 today though! Which means the 100daystochristmas blog is up and active! You should really check t out if you want to try for a big and grand Christmas. You get one really simple task a day that would normally be causing you crazy anxiety in a couple months, and you just wonder how it never occurred to you! Like, instead of ripping apart your desk to find the envelope of the birthday card your friend from out of town sent you for their address and it’s a week before Christmas, start gathering addresses months ahead! Today we’re supposed to set up our binder, but ‘m going paperless this year. So I’ve got a bookmark folder called Christmas, and if necessary, I’ll make a Word Document too. I’m really excited for this year just because I’ve got such a headstart already, with all the blogs, and the fact that I’ve already started making my gifts.

What I’m really excited about is trying out all these recipes I’ve got saved. I’ve got about a hundred desserts alone, and not counting the ones  usually make! I’m also excited for all the travelling, since before we’d all pile into three cars and trundle along to Winterhaven, or Apple Annie’s, and it’d be hot and quiet and uncomfortable. But now that we’ve got this huge van, everyone can go together! Usually we end up shoving a ton of apples and pumpkins into every nook and cranny of our cars, which inevitably produces squished people and fruits. It’ll also make Black Friday much easier. Shoving a trampoline into the already stuffed trunk of a Trooper is Not Fun.

Shopping With Fall In Mind

Hamburger Helper

Hamburger Helper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today was our middle-of-the-month shopping trip. Already the store is decorated with pumpkins and gourds, and Genevieve got me to put squash on the menu two weeks from now, despite the 90 degree weather and lack of autumniness! Gev snacked on a doughnut covered in orange frosting and leave shaped sprinkles as we sped past aisles of Christmas themed foods, while thinking desperately ‘can’t catch me, Christmas thoughts!’. It’s kind of insane how fast they churn out Christmas stuff after Labor Day. Let us enjoy Fall, don’t just skip an entire season! Usually the middle-of-the-month trip a pretty sparse trip, but I found a couple things I’m really excited about! First was some cheap bacon for the Bacon Pea Risotto I’m making for dinner Friday. Oh, balls, I forgot white wine. Urg… I’ll google around for some alternatives, but risotto may have to wait until next Friday… Anyways. I also got three packages of bone in chicken thighs (4 per package) for less then $2 each! Usually chicken thighs this big can be anywhere upwards of $6, so I snatched up the last of them! And I also grabbed the mandatory pound of ground beef, for Hamburger Helper (hey, just because I’m a food blog doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the ease of a boxed dinner!), or spaghetti or whatever, and a nice fat pork loin. Oven Roasted Pork Loin is the first dish I make every Fall. Something about meat cooking slowly all day smelling like nutmeg and comfiness just screams Fall to me. Frozen veggies were also pretty cheap today, which was good, since fresh veggies aren’t quite in season here. Everything else I got was just the usual suspects- cereal, milk (regular and coconut), bread, bottled water, etc. A pretty boring trip with some hidden treasures. The big hitter shopping trips are at the beginning of each month, when I can stock up on spices, specific things like stock, and flour and oil and what I call ‘carriers’- rice, pasta, and potatoes. Still not sure what to do about my white wine situation… Anyone have any ideas for me?

One Week To Go!!

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a...

Wow! Can you believe that it’s only 107 sleeps until Christmas already??? It feels like just yesterday was January and now there are three months left in the year.  This week I’m focusing on setting up my countdown blog.  I try to do one every year, but I hardly ever stick to it since I get so busy  with preparing for Christmas. Which is why this year instead of the usual 30 day countdown I’ve opted for 100 days.  I’ve got tons of crafts and recipes and tutorials saved and ready to try out this season and I can’t wait to share them with you! I know most countdown blogs stick to decorations, recipes, and gifts, but mine is a bit different, in that in addition to gifts, recipes, and decorations I will have the stuff you maybe don’t really think about until it’s the day before a party or get together, like clothes and make up, or a hostess gift. Not things you usually see in a countdown blog, but there is nothing worse than having a party sprung on you with no warning and you end up wearing something you don’t like, or fit in, or isn’t ‘fancy’ enough for a holiday party! My goal is to make sure you and I are as prepared as one can get, for any situation. So be prepared for Black Friday game plans, healthy (ish) eating, and even some safety tips. I  want you to have the best holiday season you can, and that means there will be some maybe not so festive posts, but they are for good reason!