Monday, January 4, 2016

Weekend Recap: Welcome 2016

The Polar Express

Traditionally, every year we watch the  movie The Polar Express during Christmas. It's something we started back in 2004 when the movie first came out. We absolutely love it. I popped popcorn and made hot chocolate. Hubby and I enjoyed the Land O Lakes arctic white chocolate blend while the boys had milk chocolate. I added more milk than required to cut the richness a little. It was so good.

Popcorn and a movie.

The Polar Express box dvd set came with snow globe and 2 piece train set. 

The chocolate mix and pop corn I used.  The boys enjoyed the movie butter pop corn. 

Family Selfie.

We took the kids to one of their favorite restaurants, O'Charleys. On wednesdays here in Clarksville they offer a slice of free pie with purchase of any entrée. They had been begging to go back since the last time we went over summer break. They were happy definitely campers.

Discreetly taking pictures of myself while waiting to be served. lol

Chocolate silk pie, pecan pie, and peach pie. 

We end up taking our pies to go. It was fun! 

Dog beds (American Kennel Club).

I didn't do much shopping on New Year. I stopped by my local Home Depot to pick up a new dog bed for Samson. They were selling American Kennel XL reversible beds for $19.88. I thought that was a steal compared to the Pet Smart price of $29.99. 

Un- lit slim Christmas tree. (Home Depot).

I was so tempted to grab this artificial Christmas tree on sale for just $22 dollars. I know I don't need 2 trees though. lol. If you're in need of one now is the time to get one especially since they are trying to get rid of all Holiday merchandise.

Mini Christmas tree.

I didn't see much else in the Christmas clearance section, but I did score this cute mini tree wrapped in burlap for $1.50.

Samson enjoying his new bed.

Our New Year Dinner
Hoppin' John (Black-eyed peas).

I made Black-eyed peas with boneless and skinless baked barbecue chicken for New Year dinner. 


I baked the chicken thighs tightly covered with foil in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. I took the chicken out at the 50 minute mark and turned the broiler on high. I spread barbecue sauce on each thigh and returned it to the oven uncovered to broil for five minutes. Then I took the chicken out again and repeated the same steps. Broiling the chicken for a total of 10 minutes. 60 minutes total cook time. 

Black-eyed peas.
I was left with beautifully glazed on the outside and moist and tender on the inside chicken thighs. I garnished my peas with smoked bacon and scallions over a bed of steamed jasmine rice. Perfection!

Blue Buffalo wet dog food.

I didn't forget about the other member of our family. He enjoyed a bowl of turkey, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cranberries for New Year dinner. 

What it looks like.

I have been using the Buffalo brand since Samson was about 10 weeks old. He is normally fed the large puppy breed dry kibble, but we decided to spoil him with a can of wet food for dinner. We are very pro active when it comes to his health. Feeding him quality dog food and treats. I did a lot a research and experimenting with other brands before settling on Blue Buffalo. We are quite pleased with it thus far. Check out the excerpt below from the website about the dry kibble I use. If you have dogs or cats I would definitely give them a try.

Life Protection Formula®
Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe

For Large Breed Puppies
Formulated for the health and well-being of puppies, BLUE Life Protection Formula is made with only the finest natural ingredients and features:

Delicious, protein-rich, Deboned Chicken
  • Wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and fruit
  • NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals
  • NO corn, wheat or soy
  • NO artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
Because puppyhood is such an important stage in any dog’s life, BLUE Life Protection Formula for Puppies features ingredients that support healthy growth and development. For more information check out their website here


I picked up this cute planner from Target because I want to get better with organizing. Planners can seem very intimidating which often leads to ditching it all together. Here are a few tips to help get you started.

1. Tackle things by month.

In every planner, there's a monthly overview. In this section, you want to put the plans that won't change from birthdays and holidays to bill due dates and special all-day events like weddings and reunions. Do not try to fit your grocery list in that teeny tiny box. 

2. Tackle things by week.

While you don't have to do it every week, you should try to use this point in the planner as a check-in with yourself. Note larger goals that can be accomplished in a seven-day period or things you want to get done that don't need to be pegged to a specific day of the week. For instance, things like "catch up with so-and-so" or "send out party invitations" should be included in this section. And if there's not a section for it? Use a post-it.

3. Tackle things by day.

Look at the daily divisions as places to put anything that will make your day easier. Plan outfits, meals, workouts and the like, as well as smaller events like dates, dinners and meetings that don't need to be noted more than a few days in advance. Also include a few "to-do" items (if need be) that you can cross off.

4. Get in a routine.

Some people have a treasure trove of old half-used notebooks stashed away in a drawer somewhere -- you will end up with the planner version of this if you don't get into a routine. Pick a regular time to fill out the three sections mentioned above and stick with it until it becomes a habit like setting your alarm clock. And don't feel like you need to fill out the daily section every night before or weeks in advance -- try filling out Monday through Wednesday on Monday and Wednesday through Sunday on Wednesday, or go with a weekly strategy.

5. Don't try to include everything.

Just as it's important to get into a routine, it's also important to leave some spots blank. People get tired of using planners because they feel like they have too much to fill in. But remember, a planner is representative of your life and you should be content with having some downtime or room for unplanned activities. You will exhaust yourself if every single day is jam-packed to the point where you have no flexibility.

6. Remember it's not your phone.

Unfortunately, going with a more traditional method means that you don't have push notifications to remind you that an appointment starts in 15 minutes. That being said, embrace the fact that it is your personal space to customize in an app-free, creative way that works for your lifestyle.

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