Tag Archives: Holidays

Crafty Kenlie

I’ve been quiet here over the last few weeks, but I’ve been blogging in other places. I wrote a post about Old Navy on the PlusInc blog, and I wrote an article about my love for Richard Simmons on DietsinReview.com. Last week the Today Show talked about Richard, and a friend sent me this photo from the segment. I had never seen it, but I remember that day. It made me smile, and I want to wish Richard every happiness. I’m praying for his healing too.

Richard Simmons Today Show and Kenlie

The month started with a bit of stress, but most of it has subsided. Now I’m in holiday mode, and I cannot wait to finish decorating for Christmas. I’ve been baking cookies, which is something that I do at this time of year. (I’ll share some photos soon.)

I’ve also been making wreaths. I sold a few last week, which is great because it means that I get to make more wreaths. I’ve been knitting too, which is also good because it keeps my hands busy.

Crafting has always been a pretty big part of my life, but lately I’ve been reminded of how much I love it! Cookie art aside, crafting keeps me from mindlessly snacking, which is a double-win.

Christmas Deco Mesh Wreath

red and silver deco mesh wreath

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Thanksgiving is almost here. The end of the semester will be here before I know it, and that means that I have to manage my time well so that I’m not stressing over exams and papers two weeks from now.

Happy (almost) holidays!

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Share Your Favorite Holiday Recipe

It’s finals week at school, but if we’re friends on social media, you might know that I’ve made some time to bake some Christmas goodies.  I baked for a little party that I had over the weekend, and I also made other sweet treats to mail to friends along with their Christmas cards today.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

In addition to cookies, I made some candied pecans and pecan pralines because they’re tasty and easy to mail.

Kenlie New Orleans Pralines

 

This week I want to do something different.  Instead of asking lots of questions, I’d love to exchange tasty holiday recipes.  If you’re not savvy in the kitchen, share something (or a few things) that you’d want to eat.

friend makin mondays

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Share Your Favorite Holiday Recipe

Wilton Roll-Out Sugar Cookies

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsn. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar then add egg and mix. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours (I prefer four or more hours.)

Roll out the dough about 1/8 in. thick on lightly floured surface, dip cutters in flour before each use. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden. Place on cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from sheet then cool completely. Makes 24-30 cookies. Ice as desired.

Note:  I usually lay out foil all over the counter so when I’m done with the flour and stuff, all I have to do it carefully roll up the foil so I don’t have a huge mess.  I also usually double this recipe when I’m making it.  I don’t do that with many recipes, but it’s fine for this one.

Shiny Royal Icing

1/4 c warm water

1 tbsp light corn syrup

3 c powdered sugar (more, if needed)

Stir warm water, corn syrup, and almond extract together in a small bowl until corn syrup and extract have dissolved. Place confectioners’ sugar into a separate bowl and add liquid ingredients. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until royal icing is smooth.

Note:  If you want to outline the cookies (which I highly recommend even though I didn’t do it with these) just add powdered sugar until it’s thick enough to firm up nicely.  I usually just eyeball that.  Let it dry a little before flooding (filling in) the cookie.

Kenlie Christmas Cookies

 

 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s question!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday! 🙂

Friend Makin’ Mondays: The Holidays and More: Part 2

It’s Monday again, and I’m still in holiday mode. (Is anyone surprised by this?)  I’m currently writing this post as I look at Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, and there’s snow on the ground.  Add a hot cup of java, and it’s everything I need to feel ready for the holidays.  I know we talked about the holidays last week, but most of you seemed to enjoy it so I’ll throw a few holiday questions in this week too.

friend makin mondays

 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 

 The Holidays and More: Part 2

1.  What state/country do you live in?  New Orleans, LA in the USA

2.  Where were you born?  Were you raised there?  I was actually born about an hour and a half away from where I live now, but I didn’t grow up here.  I lived in Texas, Oklahoma, New York and a few other states in between.

3.  How do you feel about stores like Wal-mart opening on Thanksgiving Day for pre-Black Friday sales?  Will you participate?  I think it’s horrible.  As a capitalist, I believe in the free market, but as individuals, I think we should collectively refrain from Thanksgiving Day shopping so that employees can enjoy the holiday with their loved ones.  That said, consumerism is alive.  I just won’t be a part of it…until Friday.

4.  Have you ever participated in a Turkey Trot?  Will you do one this year?  I’ve never been part of an official one, but I’ve walked a 5k or more on Thanksgiving every year for the last few years.  I plan to do one this year too.

5.  What was your favorite toy as a child?  I loved my Cabbage Patch kid whose name was Jimmy Swaggart.  (No, I’m not kidding…sadly. Ha.) I also loved to play Barbies with my sister.  As a teen, I loved my roller skates.

6.  Will you count points/calories on Thanksgiving Day?  I’m always aware of how much I eat (even when it’s too much.)  I won’t eat everything that I see on Thanksgiving, but I won’t count the points too closely either.  (I should.  I know I should…I’m just being honest about it.)

7.  Will you watch football Thursday?  I’m sure I’ll catch a little since it will, no doubt, be on, but I’ll probably watch Christmas movies with Mom while we decorate the tree.

8.  Do you decorate inside/outside of your home for the holidays?  I decorate a little inside, but I live in a historic high-rise.  I’m guessing that since I can’t have direct TV, I probably can’t having lights. 😉  I’d also have to scale the building to do it so I’m thinking it’s just a bad idea all-around.

9.  Do you have allergies that prevent you from eating traditional holiday meals? Nope…It might not be a bad idea for me to be allergic to pecan pie, but I’m not.  I’ll just have to pace myself, as one small slice is nearly 400 calories.

10.  Is it snowing where you live?  No way.  I am currently in Colorado as I mentioned earlier in this post.  It’s snowing here, but it’s definitely not snowing in New Orleans.  It’s supposed to be chilly this week though.

 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions.  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments.  We had some new FMM-ers last week so let’s be sure to make them feel welcome this week!  Happy Monday, friends!

 

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays and An Apology

Friend Makin’ Mondays didn’t happen last week so I used that as an excuse to take a little blogging break.  Now I’m back, and I hope you’ll join me for FMM this week!  I don’t plan to miss it again for a long time.   If you were counting on it, I’m sorry.  Please forgive me and join me for some fun now.

friend makin mondays

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 

Holidays

1.  What are you plans for Thanksgiving this year?  I’m going to Colorado later this week to meet my newest niece and to celebrate Thanksgiving early with my family.  My friends and I are also having a Thanksgiving pot luck party during our weekly game night this week.  On Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be with Mom at her house, and some friends from church are joining us for the day.  We’ll eat lunch with relatives  and decorate the Christmas tree (because Mom and I don’t waste any time celebrating Christmas.)

2.  At what point do you being celebrating the Christmas season?  I’m already watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, but all of my decorations will be up the weekend after Thanksgiving (at the latest.)  I’ll decorate my tree on December 1st because I want it to last until Christmas.  It’s going to smell so good in my apartment!  I can’t wait!

3.  Do you celebrate Christmas, or do you celebrate another holiday? I think we all know that the answer is yes!

4.  If you could have one present (you know, a material good, not love or world peace) what would you want?  Hmmm,  I’ve wanted a certain Louis Vuitton bag, The Neverfull GM, for years so I’d totally choose that.

Louis-Vuitton-Neverfull-PM

5.  Share an idea or two that you can plan to do for someone who may need to feel loved throughout the holiday season.  I like to make others feel loved and important all year, but I’ll do even more throughout the holiday season.  I’ll spend time with those who might be lonely or struggling with the holidays, and I’ll give cupcakes and cookies to as many people as possible.

6.  Would you rather spend the holiday season on the beach or in the snow?  I like cold weather, and New Orleans has been amazing lately.  It’s cool enough to wear sweaters and blazers and such, but it’s not so cold that the air bites you when you’re outside.

Lane Bryant Sweater and Blazer

7. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?  I love pecan pie even though I’m still pissed that one tiny slice contains 390 calories.  Dessert counts as food, right?  I also like ham more than turkey.

8.  Will you participate in Black Friday shopping?  Yep.  Mom and I love to wake up early to head out, but it’s not nearly as crazy in her town as it is in other bigger cities.

9.  Will you travel for the holidays or stay at home?  If you’re traveling, are you flying or driving or making alternate plans?  I’m traveling for the holidays.  I’m flying to Denver and driving to Mom’s house.

10.  List at least 5 things for which you are currently thankful.

  1.  My apartment, my cool neighbors, the view from my apartment and the fact that the construction is over.
  2. God’s love for me.  Seriously, I’m thankful for the work that He’s done in my life over the last several months.  I’m thankful for the peace that comes in feeling His presence and  knowing that He is GOD.  I’m also thankful for NOLA Church and for my pastor who’s my friend and teacher.
  3. My family and friends…the people who love me no matter what, who see all of my flaws and choose to be in my corner anyway.
  4. My brain and my opportunity to go to such an awesome university.
  5. My talents.  They allow me to reach out to people, and sometimes they even allow me to help others…

 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments, and take a moment to share it on Facebook and twitter too!  Why not spread the friend makin’ love?! 🙂  Happy Monday, friends!

 

 

Simple Things

The day after Christmas is never as much fun as Christmas Day, but I’m still with my family so I’m happy.

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We had a white Christmas complete with freezing temperatures, and good times. After opening presents and eating an incredible lunch, we all went to the movies together. It continued to snow so we spent the evening inside.

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Hannah and I snuggled for a while before going to her room to play and read books. I love being with her, and I wish I had as much energy as she does every day. I plan to work on that in the coming year.

My holiday was simple, but I was surrounded by my family and snowflakes. I am thankful for my life and the people I love.  We have a lot planned over the next few days, and I’m looking forward to all of it.

How was your holiday?

More on the Gym and Some Other Stuff

I was preoccupied with some stressful things today and did not make time to go the gym to discuss the contents of my last post, but my plan is to do it tomorrow morning after a solid night of sleep.  I dread going in to resign from my membership, and I have given a lot of thought to the advice and opinions you shared yesterday.

I’ll decide what to do when I speak to someone there, but it’s important to note that it’s not the only gym in New Orleans.  It’s expensive, and I want to be a member of a gym that provides a healthy enviroment for its members.  I don’t need anyone to pat me on the back, but I won’t pay $80 a month to be bullied either.  My plan is to go in and respectfully explain that and see how the people at the gym react.

It’s still finals week too, and I have two finals tomorrow as well.  I had one Monday and one today, and I’m ready for a break.  I have a long list of things to do that don’t include school, and I’m looking forward to getting started on those tasks.

In the midst of preparing for finals I’ve also managed to have some fun with friends.  Matt, Shannon and I finished out two-day gingerbread home yesterday, and while it looks like kids did it we love it.  We made it from scratch and had a great time together doing it.

I baked cookies for one of my classes tomorrow as well, and I managed to avoid eating many of them.  I had one and a half, and I feel good about my food choices today.  My goal for tomorrow is to eat more vegetables and to drink more water.

What’s your goal for Thursday?

Holiday Temptations, Or Why I’m Not Waiting Until the New Year…

I know it’s silly to be excited about two stellar days of eating, but I’m really happy about it.  I resisted cravings again yesterday, and the scale has already shown a noticeable drop as a result.  I even resisted snacking on all of the treats my friends and I had while constructing our gingerbread home.

We won’t complete it until tonight so I’ll have another  opportunity to resist temptation today.  Of course, it’s the season of temptation, and I’d like to come out healthier and lighter than I was going into it.

Sunday I posted pictures of everything I ate on Facebook   I realize it’s obnoxious, but it’s not the only pointless thing I see posted on Facebook. 🙂  My goal today is to eat like I did Sunday and yesterday, and my favorite part of it all is the new McCormick seasoning I’ve been using this week.

I seasoned my chicken breast with Cuban seasoning from their gourmet collection  and it is amazing! I bought it on sale a few weeks ago, and I had no idea I’d love it as much as I do.  It transformed my salad of mixed greens, sugar snap peas and English cucumbers.

I’m also having a love affair with hummus again, and I’m looking forward to dipping veggies in it again today.  I like the peas, but I’m also a big fan of raw bell peppers.  I found minis at the supermarket last night, and they’re going to be outstanding.

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember simple facts that make my life easier, but I’m trying!  I know that when I eat healthy things my body feels good.  I also know that when I make wise choices I feel good about myself.

I realize that a few good days can’t erase my careless indulgences, but I also know that those days have come and gone.  I know that with every breath I take comes an opportunity to make a choice that will make me healthier and happier.  I know that it’s my responsibility and that no one else can do it for me.

I know I’ve wasted time, and I know that the holidays are tough.  I also know that there’s no better time than now to make mindful changes.

It’s obviously a struggle, but I’m more honest and aware of what I want now than I have been in years.  As I said in a post recently I’ve accomplished some things this year that have held me back for a long, long time.  Making solid food choices and exercising are an important part of my personal puzzle, and I like the way it makes me feel so I’m going to do it again today.

What are you doing that makes you feel good today?

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Christmas Questions

At this time last week I was enjoying my last day with Lance. I can’t believe he has only been gone for a week!  It feels like it has been so much longer.  At the same time the few weeks I have to wait to see him again feel like an eternity.   I miss him, and I missed FMM too!  Did anyone miss it as much as I did?

I have a final today, and I’m ready to be done with it.  I’ve enjoyed the class, but I’m ready for a break.  I have three finals left after this one, but I’ll be done with all of them by Thursday.  I’m looking forward to that!  I’m also looking forward to making a homemade gingerbread mansion with friends after today’s final.

In addition to finals and FMM it’s also weigh-in day, and it won’t be pretty.  I’ve been exhibiting some terrible habits over the last couple of weeks, and the scale is not happy about it.  I’d like to say that I have it under control now, but I won’t go that far.  Instead I’m happy to say that Sunday was a healthy day. I didn’t give into cravings, and I loaded up on fruits and veggies.  Today will be a healthy day too.

Now let’s talk about the holidays.  If you spend much time here you know I love Christmas, and you shouldn’t be too surprised that it’s this week’s topic too.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 Christmas Questions

1. How will you celebrate the holidays this year?  I’ll be at my sister’s house with my family, and I can’t wait to watch my niece open her presents!  She’s three now, and I know she’s going to love it!

2. What’s the weather currently like where you live? It’s not cold…at all.  That’s certainly a drawback of living in New Orleans.

3. Do you decorate your home for the holidays? If so, share a picture please!  Of course I do!  I’ve been selective about photos in an attempt to keep my location semi-private, but I’ll share a couple of wreaths I made.

I made this one out of burlap.  Doesn’t it look like it belongs on a door somewhere in the country? Ha..

I made this one out of old bulbs that Mom already had in the attic and a wire hanger.  It was so easy, and I kind of love it.

4. What is your favorite Christmas movie?  I have multiple favorites, but Elf is at the top of the list!  I watched it over the weekend with friends, and I’m already ready to watch it again.

5. What is your favorite Christmas songs?  Gosh..I love so many!  I suppose my favorite is Baby, It’s Cold Outside.  I also love Oh Holy Night, I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Sleigh Ride…and Joy To the World.  The list could go on and on…

6. Do you have an advent calendar?  I made one a few years ago when I lived in NY, but it stayed there when I left. I didn’t think about making one this year because I was busy moving and adjusting.   I’d love to make a new one for next year though!

7. Do you prefer color lights or white lights?  I think white is so elegant, but the colorful ones are my favorite.  Must. Have. Colored. Lights.

8. What is your favorite food to eat over the holidays?  Oh jeez…I think we all know I love lots of holiday treats!  I’d say my favorites are my sugar cookies and peanut butter fudge.  I also love Mom’s carrot cake, but she doesn’t make it every year.

9. Do you display a live tree, or do you prefer fake trees?  I chose a live tree because they’re so beautiful and smell so good.  I’ll plant a new one in the spring…

10. What would you need to make your holiday perfect this year?  I’ll be surrounded by my family.  If I get to see Lance again during the holidays I’ll have everything I want this year.

 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday!!!!!

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Thanksgiving Edition

I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving!  I love this time of year, and this year we’re doing things differently in my family.  We are going out rather than cooking a big meal at home.

We’ll celebrate Christmas at my sister’s house, but this year (for the first time ever) we’ll be totally low key on Thanksgiving Day.  It feels weird, but it also means that it should be easier to lose weight.

Today is weigh-in day, and I feel pretty confident that I’ll show some kind of loss, and I deserve it.  I watched my intake this week, and I exercised several times.  I joined a new gym that has locations close to school and close to home so I have no excuse not to sweat regularly.

I’m excited about the holiday season so let’s move on to this week’s topic!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Thanksgiving Edition

 

1. Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions?  If so, please share them.  Hmmmm, we don’t have any specific traditions, but I’m happy to be spending time with my family again this year.

2. List at least three dishes that are on your family’s table every year. Corn bread dressing, pecan pie and Watergate salad.  Yum…This year we’re going out to eat soooooo……….(Can you tell I’m not totally comfortable with that? Ha!)

3. Do you prefer pumpkin pie or pecan pie?  Um, really?  I love both, but it is imperative that pumpkin pie is topped with cool whip!

4. Will you watch football on Thanksgiving Day? I’m sure I’ll watch it at least for a while.  Maybe I’ll nap on the sofa during the Cowboys game.

5. Do you plan to exercise Thursday?  I’m doing a 5k turkey trot with my friends virtually.  Do you want to join me?  If so, get in touch with me, or leave a message in the comments.  I’m sure I’ll talk about it more this week!

6. Do you prefer ham or turkey?  I totally prefer ham! 🙂

7. Will you shop on Black Friday?  If so, where will you go first?  I’ll go to Wal-mart first because it’s the closest store to Mom’s house, and I’ll be there.  After a little morning shopping I will take a nap, then I’ll head to Houston to see Dad and family!

8. Do you take a nap on Thanksgiving? I don’t always do it, but I will try to this year so I’m rested for shopping Friday morning. 🙂

9. Share one dish that probably won’t be on anyone else’s table.  Hmmmm, I’ll be out, and I’m not sure what’s on the menu so I don’t have an interesting answer for this question.

10. What are you thankful for today?  I’m so thankful that I’ll get to see Mom and Dad this week.  I’m also thankful that I’ll see the rest of my family in December.  I’m thankful that Lance will be here in less than a week, and I’m thankful for my awesome friends.  I’m also thankful that I didn’t lock my keys in my car yesterday at the gym.

 

Now it’s your turn to post the questions on your blog!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday, and happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Didn’t Eat Today and Some Other Random Thoughts

We all know that I love cupcakes…baking them and eating them.  And if you’ve been around for a while you might also know that I like to decorate cookies too.  I’m hardly a pro, but I enjoy it.  And I can honestly say that when it comes to sugar cookies, I like decorating them more than eating them. Whew!

I’m attending three parties over the next several days, and the first is tomorrow so I baked cupcakes and cookies.

I avoided eating them by baking a flavor that I don't like.

I also did some test baking for my niece’s third birthday in Colorado next week so please excuse the random placement of giraffes among the Easter cookies.  I wish I would have taken better pictures!

Giraffes celebrate Easter too...at least in my house.

It's supposed to be an Easter egg.

And I did a test run for the zoo party cupcakes recently, and this is what they look like.  Keep in mind, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.  I just think it’s fun to try.

Pretend you can tell their zoo animals.

My niece’s party will be at a mountain zoo next week, and if anyone has decorating ideas I’d love to hear them.  My entire family loves the zoo, and it will be nice to make some new memories with them.

I love giraffes. Just saying.

I got through the day without eating much of the junk I made, and I’m pleased.  And now I’m beat and need to rest before relatives arrive.  My Friday plans include spending time with the family, hitting the gym and reading.

And speaking of the gym, I hope that the well-meaning guy who now offers unsolicited and unwanted advice works out before or after me tomorrow.  Earlier this week he told me that I should be drinking 230 oz of water a day after first telling me that I should multiply my body weight times eight and drink that much per day. Um…that would be over 15 gallons per day.   My response “Not going to happen, bro.  I drink a gallon a day, and most days that’s enough.  Thanks. ”

I had just wiped my face, but check out my chest. I like to sweat.

Have you ever run into that guy at the gym?  You know…the one who keeps talking and talking and talking while you’re just trying to do your workout?  If so, how do you handle it?

And do you have plans for the holiday weekend?  What will you do to celebrate?