Tag Archives: holiday

It’s the Spiciest Time of the Year

Y’all…

It’s that time again.

The time when every pumpkin fears for its life.

It’s the dawning of the age of Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I won’t lie. I enjoy a PSL once in a while. In fact, there was a time I was all excited to see Coffeemate bring out their Pumpkin Spice flavor so I could have a fix of The Spice at home. But I am more into The Spice than I am into The Pumpkin. Unless it’s pie. Then I am all about that with a huge dollop of homemade whipped cream. But in a drink, it’s not as appealing to me. That said, I have lots of friends IRL and on the Interwebs that do love PSL. Love it so much they set aside time for Starbucks on the first day they serve it. For me, the attraction is in the Spice. I’m all Paul Atreides on that. But I found an additional way to enjoy Pumpkin Spice without the Latte.

That’s right. A chocolate shake with Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice. Bailey’s used to have the recipe up on their site, but alas, they took it down. Lucky for y’all, I found it again.

  • 4 oz. Baileys Pumpkin Spice Irish Cream
  • 2 cups Chocolate Ice Cream
  • 2 oz. Whole Milk
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 tsp. of Pumpkin Spice Blend (Allspice)

Put everything in a blender and go to town (not literally). You can substitute vanilla ice cream for the chocolate (why you would want to do that is beyond my comprehension), the whole milk for reduced fat or skim, and make sure you get plain pumpkin puree, not pie filling. Otherwise the sweetness will be off the charts. Personally, I would cut back a little on the brown sugar, and that’s saying something. Either way, I believe this is a far better way to enjoy Pumpkin Spice than in a latte. Chocolate, spice, AND booze.

Now excuse me. I must go control The Spice 😉

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The Year in Review, Sorta

Well, another year is coming to a close. I have been remiss in blogging due to the holiday and family commitments, none of which involved a mental institution. Well, none so far. After all, the holiday isn’t over yet.

Every year around this time I find myself sighing deeply. It’s not a contented “I ate all the chocolate and feel NO SHAME” sigh, nor is it the “I wish they could stay home longer” sigh. It’s the “What happened ?” sigh. For a while, it seemed this year just dragged on and on, and suddenly–BAM!!!–it’s December 31st and I have no idea how that happened. School band, having a split household, dealing with kids away for the first time, family happenings, all take their toll and can be serious time sucks. And let’s not forget social media. That alone can make the days seem like minutes, especially when a soap opera is unfolding on the social-site-with-faces.

By the way, I started writing this post two days ago.

As usual, with the end of the year come the reflections and the resolutions. Upon reflecting on my year, I found a few truths to be rather self-evident: I am quite lax at writing, technology still escapes me, I don’t laugh at myself as much as I should. I am loathe to write of resolutions because they are lofty goals usually mired in dreams and cotton candy. So this year I resolve not to make any resolutions save one: to be happy with my lot in life, and grateful for all my blessings.

I guess that’s TWO resolutions. But they will be easy to keep.

Hope y’all have a safe and wonderful New Year’s Day, and blessings to y’all in the coming year 😀


Nerd Christmas

As y’all are aware by now, I am a nerd. Established 1974, when I first watched Star Trek episodes in Spanish. That intensified when Star Wars came out, and cemented for all time when Ricardo Montalban resurrected his role of Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Don’t be fooled. I hate Ewoks.

Anyway, I wanted to get a black pre-lit Christmas tree for the longest time. No, not to match my soul but so I could display my space-themed ornaments, thinking the black would be outer space and the lights would be the stars. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?? But the topper….well, that was a quandary. I really wanted to get something like an exploding Alderran or the Pillars of Creation, but the ones I found were too pricey, so I made my own Death Star topper out of a styrofoam ball, felt, and pipe cleaners. It’s not to scale, but it will do until I take the time to make one with LEDs in it.

WIN_20151215_105352 Continue reading


Aggie’s Christmas Gift Guide, 2015 Edition

Don’t worry. As much as I ❤ my Soma™ PJs, they are not on the list this year. Why? Because they should be on EVERYONE’S list every year. And not for special occasions, either. Soma PJs should be a staple in every gal’s wardrobe. Trust me on this.

This year, being cognizant of a distinct holiday fatigue, mostly due to the season being kickstarted in August, I complied a few items to help with the eventual stress that most of us who wait to shop for the perfect gift at the last minute will suffer.

lavender gift set

Who doesn’t love the calming quality of lavender? L’Occitane™ offers a wonderful gift set that will render anyone mute with appreciation. Or make them SQUEEEE!!! Either way, it’s sure to be a keeper.

If your beloved is more of a techie and/or sports type, consider gifting a set of headphones. Just not any headphones.

bose headphones

Behold the Bose™ NFL Edition headphones. Yes, they are pricey, but we are not just talking quality and sports fanaticism here. I love mine because they block out everything, including the smoke alarm. Which could be a bad thing, but that’s what I have kids for.

Last but not least, what is the holiday without some bit of indulgence? Or a lot of indulgence. I won’t judge.

moscow-mule-gift-set-o

Williams-Sonoma™ offers many food-themed gift sets, but my pick is obviously the one to which I can add vodka. The Moscow Mule gift set comes with everything you need except the booze, but I’m sure most of us already have that in our stocks, right?? And bonus: you can use the mugs for hot chocolate, too, which you can get at the site.

I hope you have enjoyed Aggie’s Christmas Picks for 2015. I also hope one or two find their way under my Christmas tree this year. I’m not picky, but just FYI, I already own the headphones 😉


Oh, Look! Aggie Decided to Write a Post!!

Finally. Ok, to recap the last couple of weeks:

Halloween was fun. I dressed as a Crazy Cat Lady and managed to impress three Darth Vaders, 12 Capts. America, four Iron Men, four Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (only the Blue and the Black were MIA), and five Wonder Women.

I lost count on the Elsas and the fairy princesses and the ninjas.

The best costume went to toddler boys dressed as ketchup and mustard bottles. ADORBS!! Next year I will have to step up my game, though. Competition for original costumes is tough and I aim high.

As y’all may recall, I had a very long list of stuff I was going to redo, refinish, upcycle, whatever term is in fashion now. So far in the past three weeks I have managed to finish the frames and the pumpkin topiaries on that list. In case you think I have been slacking off, I added more stuff to my list and have managed to finish chalk painting a side table, Homecoming mum and garter to match, more book art, Christmas gifts (no, I won’t post photos or descriptions because I know who reads my blog), and painted a mirror, stool and little vanity table for my sister. In between thrift store skulking, I also have the privilege of being a band parent. And wouldn’t you know it? The team made the play-offs.

Yay, me….

So that’s the round-up. I hope to get back to writing fluff soon. It’s a bit difficult when you have table wax stuck under your fingernails, paint on your face, and glue in your hair. Honestly, I don’t know how that happened. It’s a risk I take in the pursuit of crafting 🙂


On This Independence Day

So much to say, and not nearly eloquent enough to put into words. So I will just ramble along as I am wont to do. It seems to work most of the time.

God bless America

As I have traveled over the world, I have been pleasantly surprised by the respect people have for our holiday. Sure, Germans all thought we had cowboy boots and Stetsons and lived like Dallas, (didn’t help that Hubby did have a Stetson and cowboy boots, either), but they understood how important, and how vital our Revolution was. In Crete, a lady at a local shop sold beautiful handmade rugs, of which several were done in an American motif (not exactly a flag, but rather the colors and the stars). She told me her dream was to visit the US, and I do hope she was able to do so. In Poland, Americans are welcome as long-lost brethren! We were told stories how once The Wall came down, the people began to basically overdose on our Western culture. There is not a single pottery maker who does not fashion his or her own American design, either. You walk into a bar identifying yourself as an American, and the vodka flows. And in Luxembourg… the men and women still thank you for what we did for them, and for what we stand for. As beautiful and as solemn as Normandy in places.

Every year, I am grateful that I have been so blessed as to be born an American citizen. Scores of people all over the world, some of them close friends, are still waiting patiently for the process towards citizenship to begin. I pray every day that the wheels turn a bit faster for them, because they know already what it means to be an American, and are willing to sacrifice for the chance at becoming one.

May y’all have a wonderful Independence Day and please, take some time to appreciate the sacrifices so many made for our country.


Obligatory Best and Worst Presents of Christmas 2014

Hubby kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas. I’m at the age where I don’t need anything, but he is at the age where skipping on giving me a gift is downright dangerous. It never fails. I write a Santa’s List™ and you would think it’s written in Sanskrit from the way my family reacts. Again, what is so difficult about giving me PJs or knives or wineglasses?? In his defense he wanted to give me something I could use, and also something that I didn’t already own.

Behold the Precious!!!!

pink hoodie footie

He gave me the Hoodie Footie, not the gal. I have to say, I love that piece of cotton candy wannabe fluff. I had one a few years back but gave it to my German friend, who needed it waaaaay more than I did because, GERMANY. I admit there have been days when I wore it all day during the holidays. I am not ashamed. I love it with the burning of a thousand suns, though I am glad it’s not hot like a thousand suns because I want to keep snuggling in it and even call it Georgette.

That was the Best of this year. Normally I stop there, because I firmly believe there’s no such thing as a bad present. But this year tested the limit.

mini masher

That’s a mini masher. Not exactly a Worst gift. But it’s hard to appreciate it when it bent on first use, while using it to mash avocados. I wish I could say it was my indomitable strength, but I am trying to save y’all from spewing all over your keyboards. Still, better to be thought of than be passed over, right?

And what were your best and worst gifts this Christmas? 😀


Back From a Break, and Feeling Groovy

It has been a few weeks since I last posted. I just decided to take a break from blogging for a while. Nothing big or disastrous happened, just the usual end-of-year burnout. That and food comas.

We had a wonderful but short visit with Eldest in which she sometimes let loose the legendary sailor’s vocabulary. That was…. interesting. Still, it was the best present I received for Christmas! The visit, not the vocabulary. She is adapting well to her new life, and is third in her class so far. Of course, she is now pining for her vehicle so that she can get to the mall or something. I made it through four years of college walking everywhere, and she can make it through these few months, too.

Aside her visit, we pretty much stayed put here. Winter is finally making an appearance, and that usually means I bundle myself up and stay near a heating element. I’m still in a flower-making kick and now have to figure out what to do with all of them. Until I do, I’ll just keep sewing and gluing fabric and ribbon. It keeps my mind occupied and my fingers bleeding, but there’s band-aids for that.

Now that Christmas holidays are coming to an end, I can get back into the mindless blogosphere again, not just writing but also commenting at my favorite blogs. I have neglected to keep up with my internet friends and I must rectify that as soon as possible. No telling what mayhem has been going on.

After all, I have to live vicariously through others 😉


And So It Begins at the Post Office

Today I decided it was cold enough to go to the post office to get holiday stamps (Mother and Child, if you are curious), packing tape (because I can never find the spool that will invariably turn up after the holidays), and mail out a package to Eldest. I was excited to send off the package because I can finally send her something, you know? Ironically, I sent her Navy stuff she owned. I still have to wait to find out what she is allowed to have in her quarters. The last thing she needs is to be articled over a bag of Twizzlers™ and a hair straightening iron.

As an aside, forgive my absence from the blogs. My Linux laptop is having connectivity issues, and after crying and sobbing attempting to connect for a week, I figure it’s time to take it in to be checked. I am now using my mini, which is IE, and which is a PITA. So, because it is difficult to use, I will be blogging and commenting a bit less than usual.

Ok, back to the topic. Anyway, I was at the post office, and as I stood in the rather short line, I noticed the patrons all had packages, and all were going overseas. The lady in front of me asked if I was sending to an MPO, because she wasn’t sure she had written the address correctly and was worried the package wouldn’t get there on time. Oddly, the gentleman behind me had the same question. So, I helped them with the addresses, making sure to repeat the addresses on the side of the boxes just in case. After my business is finished, I am walking out of the office and witness a young woman dropping her packages all over the parking lot, so I go help her out, and after setting the packages on the table, I notice another lady with a box wrapped in masking tape, which is not code. So, I give her the spool I had just bought and told her to seal the box as well as she could. And wouldn’t you know it, an older lady pipes up and says, “Looks like we have one of Santa’s elves helping out.” And I replied, “I’m just doing the jobs trolls won’t do.”

Yes, they all laughed. Thank goodness they all had a sense of humor 😉


And on This Day, We Celebrate

Let’s remember what our forefathers were fighting, against and for.

god bless america

It seems that lately we are forgetting to bless what we have. We have forgotten why we fought for independence. We have forgotten to be not just a beacon but also an example to others who are struggling to be free. Instead we find ourselves wondering what the government will do for us now, and how it will take care of us.

We need to remember that WE are the stewards, not the government. WE THE PEOPLE. We need to begin taking care of ourselves again. Remember: that which gives you everything, can also take it away.

The Tree of Liberty seems to be wilting, and it may be time to water it again.