Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Day, Delicious Turkey Day!

I came into the Thanksgiving holiday with plans to keep it simple and low stress, give myself some much needed time to relax. So we decided not to invite a bunch of people over and I decided to keep the meal simple and to the point - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and of course pumpkin pie. It turned out to be one of our best Thanksgivings ever!

Despite my plans to keep it simple, I had invited my brother and his family over for the meal, with the "simple" disclaimer. They decided to come over and they brought some delicious depth to our meal! Sweet potato apple pecan casserole, Paula Dean brussel sprouts (includes butter and bacon of course!), chocolate pecan pie. Wow!

However, the big deal is always the turkey, right? Well, let me tell you. My husband can cook a mean turkey! He can smoke a mean turkey, to be more specific.

Let me take you back 14 Novembers, to our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife, our first Thanksgiving thousands of miles from our families, our first Thanksgiving in the much cooler Pacific NW. We love smoked food, and we had a small vertical column style smoker that had served us well back in TX and in the early fall in WA. On Thanksgiving day, a typical 40 degree day for these parts, our relatively small turkey was in that smoker forever, just not getting hot enough. By about 8 pm we gave up with the smoking and finished it in the oven. It was pretty much inedible! (Oh, and naturally since it was my first turkey, we found the blue plastic bag of giblets in the turkey as we cut it up! Oops.)

Fast forward to 2010, we have this awesome new southern barrel smoker with the smoke box on the side and lava rocks in the barrel. We also have snow on the ground, and its been below freezing for the last 3 days. We cautiously ventured again to smoke the big bird, fully ready to finish it in the oven before it got smoked beyond being edible. But not this husband aced the turkey smoking this time. It was ready on time and absolutely beautiful. Our kitchen smelled like a TX bbq was melt in your mouth yummy, juicy and tender. Take a look!

My what a difference 14 years can make!

And bonus? My mother-in-law, whom I love, showed up about 11 am to surprise us with a visit. How cool! She lives in TX and we didn't expect to see her until next spring. Boy were the kids excited to see Grandma! And she rocks...always helping with the kid stuff, the kitchen stuff, the laundry, whatever needs to be done.

And double bonus? The Aggies beat tu. Awesome.

Truly plenty to be thankful for in our house. How was your Thanksgiving?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away is raining AGAIN! Summer was about two weeks long (not even 14 consecutive days!) and it has been cloudy and rainy all the other time. Rain all through Memorial Day weekend, rain on the 4th of July (well, that's what I hear...we were in MI), pouring buckets of cold rain on my boys' 4th birthday, rain on Labor Day....and so it continues. Yesterday was a surprising sunny day. Today...raining, raining, raining again.

Credits: Bella Gypsy - Two by two, Kreations by Kami - Basic Needs, MC-Designs - Vintage Touch, Jeanne Marie Scraps - Daredevil (recolored), Page Maps sketch July 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Over at one of my favorite scrapbooking spots, A Cherry on Top, there was a challenge this past month to create with a digital kit. I had picked this kit back at the beginning of August during their on-line crop as an item that I want to buy, not knowing at the time there would be a challenge associated with the choice! The objective was to use the kit for hybrid work if you are a paper scrapper and/or digi layouts if that is your thing. So here are the three cards and layouts I came up with. If I had a little more time, I would have done more hybrid work, but I didn't find out about the challenge until 4-5 days before the deadline. Anyway...I just love the Monsters in Space kit by Crisdam Designs! What do you think about it?

Digital Card:

Digital 12x12 layout:

Hybrid card:
Credits: In addition to Monsters in Space I used pp by My Memories Exactly and a stamp by Close to My Heart.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We had two birthdays!

My twin boys celebrated their 4th birthday a couple weeks ago. It was a cold, rainy day and we of course had a big outdoor backyard party planned. Oh well! We made due since we are used to this here in Pacific NW.

The theme was Hot Wheels since the boys are really into them these days. We had rented a NASCAR bouncy house...luckily it had a roof. The rain still got inside which made it slippery, but we just kept wiping it off with towels. The kids loved it.

My favorite part is how fun the cakes turned out. I made them myself - I always make each twin their own cake. It's not their fault they were born the same day! In this house we live by the motto that everyone should be special on their birthday. Anyway, one boy asked me to make a cake "like at the airport", which meant the spiral ramps in the parking garage. And I did! It took a while but went together just how I imagined. Phew!

I got these wonderful reactions "[Brother], come look at the awesome cakes mom made us!" and "Mom, you make the best cakes in the whole world!"

Definitely worth all the work for happiness like that. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thank You

Here it is! My first craft post. These cards are for my daughter's Daisy Girl Scout troop leaders and the second one works perfectly for the EBTKS #17 sketch right now! I kept these cards clean and simple since 6 and 7 year old girls are going to be signing them. Plus, my card making mojo seems to be missing! (Although I do love the first one!)

It's a daisy...get it? The flower/pot/stem are all from a CTMH set. The sentiment alphas are by Wordsworth.

This flower is similar to the patches the Daisy scouts earn for their uniforms. The sentiment on this one is CTMH alpha and the nice big flower stamp is by Stampendous.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I did it!

Well, I finally started myself a blog. Nearly everyone has got one, and I need one too! I was having trouble picking a name, and my DH asked me what my blog would be about. I was undecided...definitely I will use it to post my cards/crafts that I make, but I also need a blog to post things for contest entries that may or may not be about papercrafts. Maybe I'll host a contest or two myself. And then there is my couponing addiction and of course my adorable growing trio of kids which I'm sure will garner a post here and there. So, it's been a few weeks since I started thinking about it, and finally this morning I came up with a versatile name I like.

Another Big Mess may refer to the daily activities of my kids in any given room in our house. Or maybe Another Big Mess refers to my latest scrapbooking endeavor. Or maybe its all the coupons strewn all over the kitchen table. Maybe its the kitchen counters or piles of mail.'s a catch all name. Welcome to my blog! I'll try and keep it tidy. :)