Bee Thankful ~ 30 Days of Giving, Day 29

Donate — anything and everything that doesn’t have a place in your home anymore. Typically we tend to do spring cleaning but perhaps this chilly weather will have you motivated long before Spring to purge your old things. Donationtown.org is full of information for local charities that will happily take your stuff. Remember, one persons trash is another persons treasure :)

Oh What Fun — Inspiring Projects

OK — once again, I am blog crazy. Perhaps obsessed even? So many fun ideas and so little time! However, I am going to share a few with you. Happy Holiday Season my crafty friends. I hope your season is off to a great start.

I really love the look of Subway Art. It is a unique way to show off some holiday words. I just printed my copy. Get your own copy at eighteen25. So cute!

I am also in love with this great advent calendar made over at Modge Podge Rocks! I might have to recreate this one for myself.

How about this cute DIY Holiday Wreath over at Jones Design Company?

These cute and super easy glittered cookie cutter ornaments are on my holiday to do list this year. Check them out over at Centsational Girl.

Oh how I love these super cute little flowers! Wouldn’t this be so cute on a jacket or as a hair clip?? Check out this one and more at 320 Sycamore.

Sisters Stuff has this cute idea for personalized hand sanitizer gifts. What a great idea for the cold and flu season.

So there are just a few of the fun and fabulous crafty ideas I found around the cyber world. Are you feeling crafty this time of year? I’d love to hear about your creative ideas!

What Just Happened?

Happy Belated Thanksgiving friends. I hope the kick off to the holiday season was good to all of you. Mine was great however … I was so busy being Thankful that I barely got to blogging. I know, great excuse uh? I am now reflecting on my week. Well I really started reflecting last night. This is actually another word for feeling sad that it is all over. Wow, that was a mouthful eh?I had a great time being lazy, cooking, eating, coloring {yes, we did a lot of coloring last week}, eating some more, being with family and movie watching.The photo below is of me and my sisters and sister in law. We were all somehow color coordinated which was very fun {and very unplanned}. I however feel like the odd sister out with that mess of blond hair. :)

It really was a wonderful week. My sister was in town from Long Beach. She stayed with us all week. That was a treat! The boys got lots of time with their Auntie Carly. She spoiled them as always. Mostly trips to Target and going out to eat. I also was lucky enough to have a lot of one on one time with my brother and his darling wife. Michael and I spent a lot of time working on this here blog :) It’s “our project”. Sydney {my cute sis in law} just got an amazing new camera {yes, I had major camera envy!}. Isn’t it pretty?

Anyway, she wants to become a photographer so I became a test subject model for her. It was actually a lot of fun and a little bit awkward. I am so used to being in photos with people! I could not figure out where to put my hands as I am typically hugging someone when I am in a photo. I can’t wait to see what kind of shots she got of me. I am hoping to post some on this blog ~ so ya’ll can see me in all of my silliness!

That evening continued on with a movie date with said siblings. Also a rare treat. My hubby took the kids to Napa to visit his parents which pretty much left me with a whole day of me time. Yeah me time!

So this is my little good-bye Fall and hello Christmas post — I feel like this season just goes by so quickly and I always feel like I have so many more things I wanted to do. Thankfully my Christmas shopping is about done. Yahoo!

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?

Bee Thankful ~ 30 Days of Giving, Day 28

Adopt a pet — yes, it is a major commitment but animals can bring so much joy to our lives and they are known for helping us both mentally and physically. A few places to look for a sweet animal that needs a forever home:

Agee Memorial Wildlife Fund: Adoptapet.com

Sierra Independent Animal Rescuers: siarescuers.com

This site will give you endless options broken down by area as well as bread, size, etc: puppyloverescue.com

Can you provide a loving home for a homeless animal?

Bee Thankful ~ 30 Days of Giving, Day 27

Help spay or neuter feral cats. Please click here for the information to help stop the population of wild kitties right here in El Dorado Hills. Fat Kitty City is part of the Agee Memorial Wildlife Fund.

2010 Tree Lighting Events — El Dorado Hills and beyond

Looking for a tree lighting ceremony to kick off the season? Well here you go ~ I have listed some of the upcoming events in and around the Sacramento area. Wishing you peace & joy this holiday season as you make memories and enjoy moments.

The annual El Dorado Hills tree lighting ceremony will take place at the Town Center Theater Plaza on Saturday, Nov. 27, from 4 to 8 p.m. Hot cider and cookies will be served at the California Welcome Center. From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., the Rat Pack holiday cover band will entertain. At 6:30 Santa will arrive and the lighting of the tree will occur. At 6:40 there will be a community Christmas carol sing-along. For more information please call 916-933-1335.

Placerville’s Festival of Lights starts a 5:00PM – 8PM on Historic Main Street in Placerville. The old-fashioned festivities will close Historic Main Street and begin around 5:30PM at various locations up and down Main Street with music, entertainment, Santa, stagecoach rides, children’s games, hot beverages, and the tree-lighting at 6PM at the Courthouse. Sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association. For info call (530) 672-3436.

If you’d like to enjoy the festivities in Downtown Sacramento, the Old Sacramento Tree Lighting will take place on November 24 at Front and K streets. The ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m. and feature live performances by the Salvation Army Band, a visit from Father Christmas and much more. Visitors can join the fun and watch as Mayor Kevin Johnson flips the switch to light the tree and kick off the Theatre of Lights at 6:30 p.m.

Folsom’s Historic Sutter Street will have the city’s Official 2010 Christmas Tree lighting as well as Christmas carolers, wagon rides, and other fun activities for the kids. Lighting of the tree and luminary lighting will be from 5pm – 10pm on Friday, December 3rd.

Newcastle businesses will be hosting a Holiday Celebration on Main Street, in old Newcastle, CA on December 8th, 2010 from 4-8 PM

The Roseville Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be 5:30 – 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4, on Vernon Street across from the Civic Center. Mayor Gina Garbolino will flip the switch to light the city’s official holiday tree at approximately 6:30 p.m. Santa will be making a special visit.


Bee Thankful ~ 30 Days of Giving, Day 26

This year, your holiday gift will help to make No Kid Hungry in America a reality.

Your donation this holiday season will help Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign ensure that no child in the United States goes hungry. Just $1 can help connect a child to 10 healthy meals.

Make your holiday donation today. Click here to make a donation.

Bee Thankful ~ 30 Days of Giving, Day 25

Shop GAP (Product) RED and a portion will be donated back to the Global Fund and help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Other participants include Apple, Dell, Starbucks and more.

{click here for information on how you can help!}

Bee Thankful ~ 30 Days of Giving, Day 24

Make a donation to thelunchboxfund.org and help provide healthy lunches for kids in South Africa. Click here for more details or to donate now.

Sausage & Herb Stuffing

In years gone past, stuffing was not overly appealing to me. Probably because it was called “stuffing” and well — that means it was literally “stuffed” somewhere. I think we all know the rest of that story ;) So last year when I hosted my first Thanksgiving, I came across this recipe. It was yummy and although it is called stuffing, you do not stuff it anywhere except in a baking dish and then into an oven. Perfect! What is it with The Barefoot Contessa? I just love her recipes and I love it even more that she has recipes that are simple and tasty. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Sausage and Apple Stuffing — The Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients:

  • 16 cups 1-inch bread cubes, white or sourdough (1 1/2 pound loaf)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 onions)
  • 1 cup medium-diced celery (2 stalks)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and large-diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the bread cubes to a very large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the onions, celery, apples, parsley, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add to the bread cubes.

In the same saute pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through, breaking up the sausage with a fork while cooking. Add to the bread cubes and vegetables.

Add the chicken stock and cranberries to the mixture, mix well, and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until browned on top and hot in the middle. Serve warm.