Our Christmas Trees 2012

Posted by John on December 9th, 2012

So our busy schedule as of late should start to slow down some soon.  I’m really looking forward to having the next several weeks off (from class)!  Going to get a ton of stuff done around here including a WordPress Theme upgrade!  We’re going to try to DIY it, so stay tuned.  More importantly, we found some time to do some holiday decorating.  Our Christmas trees are up!

This is the second or third year in a row that we’ve had an artificial tree as our main Christmas tree.  It’s a nice quality pre-lit tree, which makes decorating it and taking it down loads easier.  We stick with the artificial tree because of little paws and little hands.  We had a real tree for the first couple years we were married.  The first year we had the real tree AND Finegan, he tried to drink the tree water every chance he got.  SO, add a baby to that equation and we’re going to be rocking the artificial tree for the foreseeable future.  Lisa and I both grew up with real trees.  You can’t beat a real tree.  Love the smell and the whole picking one out experience.  Looking forward to the days when we can do that again.

So, I mentioned trees, as in plural.  We keep a small narrow tree in our living room so it’s visible from the road.

christmas tree

We have a couple personalized ornaments we’ve gotten over the years on this smaller tree.

personalized snowman ornament

personalized christmas ornament

Our main Christmas tree, which will be the one we keep our presents under and sit around on Christmas morning is in our family room.

pre-lit christmas tree

If you look close, you may notice that only half of the tree has ornaments!  There’s a good reason for that…

toddler safe tree

Yep, that’s right.  We have a toddler that likes loves to rip the ornaments right off the branches.  Lisa was smart about her ornament choices though and went with shatter proof plastic globes.  That way there’s no possibility any glass ends up in pieces on the floor.

We have our mantel started, but not quite ready for prime time.  More Christmas decor posts coming your way soon!

So if you celebrate Christmas, do you go for the real tree experience or do you opt for the fake?? 

Posted in Holiday,Home Decor. Tagged in ,, , ,

Our Dog in a Christmas Sweater

Posted by John on December 5th, 2012

Things are a bit busy at the moment.  Work is hectic, which is typical before the holidays and I’ve got about a week left in my grad class.  I’m really enjoying the course, but it does eat into my free time like a son of a gun.  Looking forward to the Christmas break.  I’ll have something like six weeks until classes resume.  Two more classes after this current course and I’ll have degree in hand.

As a consequence of our recent schedule, we’ve been somewhat lax in our Christmas decor.  We’re looking forward to posting on all the holiday cheer we’ll have in our home shortly.  We DO have our tree up.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some holiday photos of our beloved schnauzer/wolverine Finnie.  Finnie isn’t big on wearing shirts or sweaters.  They make him a bit nervous.  That’s a shame, because we have a bunch of dog sweaters.  (He’s actually really chill when he’s got one on and he doesn’t mind getting them on that much.)

Here’s Finnie back when he was still a puppy…

christmas dog sweater

This was his first taste of Christmas cheer ala dog sweater.  He was somewhat ambivalent on the whole issue, but Lisa and I were big fans because a.) he looked good b.) he stopped chewing on our cabinets when we was donning his gay apparel.

After the success of that first year, we naturally diversified his holiday wardrobe somewhat..

dog looks like chewbacca

This maybe my favorite one yet.  He looks like Chewbacca wearing a Japanese kimono.

deck the halls dog sweater

There it is.  It’s a “deck the halls” sweater.  Look at him.  He loves it.  I think.  Honestly, I’m not sure where his face is in this pic.

But wait, there’s more…

candy cane dog sweater

That’s a candy cane and snow flake sweater in case you were curious.  It’s times like these that I wish he was a real person, just so I could whip these photos out to show his first girlfriend.

So do any of your holiday traditions involve your pets? 

Posted in Holiday,Life. Tagged in ,, , , ,

Happy Mother’s Day

Posted by Lisa on May 14th, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day to all!  We had a wonderful Mother’s Day!  I loved celebrating the day with my amazing mom and most precious daughter. I am so very thankful for all of the wonderful things my mom does for me and for my family every day. She is a wonderful mother and an amazing role model!

Here is just one of the gifts I received from the hubby… I guess he likes giving himself some outdoor work to do!


It’s a Hybrid Dahlia. Unfortunately I’m not sure what that means since my green thumb is more like a sick yellow color, but I’m working on it.  I’m hoping to nurture the little guy inside for a while before giving him a new home outside.  Maybe I will put him near the garage so I can see it when I pull up.

I also was treated to a delicious brunch by my father after mass and I ate dessert first! The ballroom where we ate was gorgeous!  There was plenty of wainscoting and raised paneling that our dining room project came up more than once during conversation.

After we returned home I spent some quality time with my mom and the baby at the house. We took the baby outside to play in the yard since the weather was so nice! I also spent some q-time with my fur-baby, Finnie.


I love that little guy – he even got me a card!

At the end of the evening before bedtime, John treated me to a delicious ice cream cone, my favorite! It was vanilla and chocolate twist with rainbow sprinkles!


The weekend flew by since we had so much going on! I loved every minute of Mother’s Day and I can’t wait for next year already! I hope you had a great day, too!  What did you do yesterday?

Posted in Life. Tagged in ,,

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted by Lisa on February 14th, 2012

Hey kids! Happy Valentine’s day from our blog to you.  We are keeping things simple this year… staying in and cooking!  I will be spending the day with my little love bug while we cook John a delicious (we hope) V-day dinner.  I also have a sweet surprise for dessert – homemade chocolate covered strawberries!

I didn’t decorate much for Valentine’s this year since we had the b-day party a week ago.. I have kept most of the decorations up around the house to enjoy.

I lucked out that the party theme was pink cupcakes! Worked well for Valentine’s Day decorations around the house.  I noticed a lot of stores had stuff with cupcakes on them like dish towels, table runners, and cards – this helped when I was buying supplies for the party.

So we will be staying in to enjoy Valentine’s dinner – what are your plans?  Do you prefer going out or staying in!? My vote is staying in!

Posted in Holiday,Home Decor. Tagged in ,,

We Temporarily Interrupt This Program…

Posted by Lisa on November 10th, 2011

We I temporarily interrupt the greatness that is the garage progress with something a little more domestic – Christmas time!!

It all started because i was a good wife and picked up some drop clothes at the dollar store.


Then I got to looking at the Christmas stuff.

Then I went to a few more stores and I came home with:
1. One white 4′ pre-lit Christmas tree
2. One 6′ slim Christmas tree
3. 36 shatterproof balls in pink, silver, and red.
4. 48 shatterproof balls in blue and silver.
5. 3 large silver bows for big gifts (like a car!!) (SUPER side note: I always wanted a car for Christmas and I always likes the Lexus commercials when families receive cars on Christmas day – it’s a little unrealistic though).
6. Pink beaded garland
7. 3 packs of battery operated lights

Not too much, but I already have a lot of Christmas decorations.

I told myself I wouldn’t get into the Christmas spirit until AFTER Thanksgiving but I couldn’t resist! It feels like Christmas started even earlier this year (like before Halloween). Anyone else agree?

While I was unpacking the bags I turned on my most favorite Christmas album – Neil Diamond!! In my personal opinion it isn’t Christmas until Neil Diamond sings ‘Joy to the World’.


This CD has two thumbs up in my book, but I needed the other thumb to take the picture.

So there you have it! Christmas has officially begun thanks to Neil Diamond!

… And back to our home projects – the garage walls are still being painted, and the ceiling can begin thanks to my drop cloths!


Anyone else love Neil Diamond? Or already start decorating for Christmas? How do you incorporate your Christmas tree with a turkey and pumpkins??

Posted in Garage and Tools,Holiday,Winter Stuff. Tagged in ,, ,

Columbus Day Lasagna

Posted by Lisa on October 10th, 2011

Happy Columbus Day! Why am I so excited for Columbus day you ask!? Because Columbus was a great Italian explorer!

I am very proud of being Italian and love to celebrate Columbus Day much like the Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (only with much better food and wine!!)

In honor of Chris himself I am making homemade lasagna.

The recipe is from Joy Behar of The View. The recipe can be found here

I did make a few modifications (like always).
First, I used my homemade sauce.
Also I used dried parsley flakes instead of fresh – 1 tablespoon of dried is equivalent to 1/4 cup fresh. Also I skipped the meat.


The filling ingredients are ready to go.


Layer one – cover the bottom of a 9x12x2 dish with sauce.


Layer two – uncooked lasagna sheets. This was the first time I didn’t cook the pasta before using it in lasagna. I’ll tell you my thoughts about it later on…


Layer three – yummy filling


And don’t be skimpy with the filling. Make sure it reaches all sides so each bite is delicious.


Layer four – mozzarella cheese. This was also the first time I did not mix the mozzarella into the filling.


Layer five – lasagna noodles.


Layer six – more filling!!


Then the lasagna gets topped with sauce and a sprinkling of cheese – I used mozzarella.


Into a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes…


This is the delicious result. I couldn’t resist and had to have a piece immediately.


This has to be one of my favorite lasagnas I have ever had! I think not cooking the noodles was a big part of it. When the noodles are cooked, the lasagna has a much heavier and looser feel. Uncooked noodles helped the lasagna keep it’s shape and gives the dish a whole new dimension. This recipe (along with substitutions) is going in my recipe box for sure.

Hope you enjoy your Columbus Day! I know I will thanks to my lasagna!

Posted in Cooking. Tagged in ,,

Popular Post