is up and running!

•December 10, 2008 • Leave a Comment

My blog has moved!

Pete set me up with my own domain (what a sweetie!) so the new space for the blog is:

I’m not paying the $10 to redirect traffic, so you all will have to come to the new site.

This will be my last official post on

Tracy 🙂


Not the gumdrop buttons!

•December 8, 2008 • Leave a Comment

gingerbread_man1My family has a tradition of making a massive amount of cookies for Christmas each year… because all the other desserts and the huge dinner and everything else isn’t enough calories right?!  We do the same thing at weddings… crazy Western PA traditions.  Well this year my mom said she didn’t want to make a lot, which is fine by me since my diet has been out the door since Thanksgiving, well Halloween actually – but who’s counting?  Diets are for New Year’s resolutions!!  ANYWAY, Me thinking that I’m freaking Martha Stewart, I decided to make a few batches to send off to a few people (names omitted to protect the innocent).  I was going to go all out with the cookie cutters and frosting and candy buttons, etc etc.. but then I realized that’s when I usually screw everything up.. so I kept it simple.  I thought I’d post the recipes for all (the 3 whole people who actually read my blog) to enjoy!


Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies


Makes approx. 2 ½ dozen
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2/3 cup butter (softened)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cup oats
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 6oz. package sweetened dry cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

* Beat butter and sugar together.
* Add egg.
* Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.
* Add dry ingredients to wet mixture.
* Stir in cranberries and chocolate.
* Drop 1 teaspoon of cookie mixture onto ungreased baking sheets.
* Bake for 10-12 minutes or until brown.


Cinnamon Peanut Butter Chocolate Nut Cookies


Makes approx. 4 dozen
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

¼ cup butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips (melted)

* Beat butter, sugar and egg together.
* Add milk and vanilla.
* Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.
* Add dry ingredients to wet mixture.
* Stir in nuts.
* Drop 1 teaspoon of cookie mixture onto greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
* Bake for 8 minutes or until brown.
* Let cool then drizzle chocolate on top.

Thumbprint Cookies (Bird’s Nests)


Makes approx. 3 dozen
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

½ cup butter (softened)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 egg – separated
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped nuts
1 cup jam of choice

* Beat butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla.
* Sift dry ingredients together in separate bowl.
* Add dry ingredients to wet mixture.
* Roll dough into 1 inch balls and dip in egg whites and roll into nuts.
* Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.
* Bake for 5 mins.
* Remove from oven and press thumb into each cookie.
* Bake for 5-8 minutes longer.
* Cool and add jam into thumbprint.

Triple-Chocolate Cookies


Makes approx. 4 dozen
Preheat over to 375 degrees.

½ cup shortening
½ cup butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup semisweet (plain) chopped chocolate (melted and cooled)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
1 1/3 cup semisweet (plain) chocolate or white chocolate chips

* Beat shortening and butter on high for 30 seconds.
* Add sugar, brown sugar and baking soda.
* Beat in eggs, vanilla and melted chocolate.
* Beat in the cocoa powder and flour.
* Stir in the chocolate chips.
* Drop teaspoon of dough 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet
* Bake for 8-10 minutes or until tops look dry.
* Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute then let cool on rack.

Four Christmases… a lol movie!

•December 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

four_christmases-movie_poster1We went to see Four Christmases last night.  Pete wasn’t really gagging to see it, but I was in the christmasy mood so I dragged him out.  We were both pleasantly surprised.  There were some good laugh out loud parts.

It wasn’t something that you walked away with a great holiday message, just a funny movie with no strings.  The visiting all the relatives in one day thing I can totally relate to and with both sets of parents being divorced, each has their own unique, quirky take on Christmas with Reese and Vince dying to get away from each as soon as possible.

It’s not going to go down in fame with the classics that I just have to watch every year (A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation and Elf), but it was worth seeing for a good night out.  Oh and Tim McGraw as one of the brother’s was a nice surprise too… he’s like JT the way he just pops into things from time to time, I like that.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

•December 5, 2008 • 1 Comment

Finally finished all my decorating.  I tend to go overboard with Christmas decorating, and this year is no different.  Pretty much every where you look in our house there’s some reminder that Christmas is just around the bend.

Starting with our Christmas tree in the living room.


Most of my ornaments are Merck Family’s Old World Christmas which are European mouth-blown fine glass ornaments, you can find a dealer here.  My sister and mom also collect them and we search for them year round.  I haven’t counted how many I have, but each year my collection grows.  It’s an awesome feeling to think that I’ll have something nice to pass down to my kids and them to theirs.

Here’s a few of my favs:



The best part about Christmas are traditions, whether they be new or old.  Things passed down from your parents or grandparents, things you may do for the holidays (one for us is always having polish pierogi and borscht on Christmas Eve) or items that you can always remember being around.  My mom gave me a few of her Christmas decorations when she was cleaning stuff out before we moved.  These are items I can remember being around at Christmas time when I was a kid and I cherish them with all my heart.


The best thing I did this year was my Winter Scene.  When we were kids, my mom had some little houses made of paper that she used to put under the tree.  They were old, from the 40’s and 50’s.  She actually hated them, they were her mother’s and when she was a kid she used to lay under the tree and poke all the cellophane windows out (lol), but I always liked them and when I heard she threw them away I set out on a misson to find some vintage ones at flea markets and antique shops.  I always looked, but never found any.  One day I stumbled upon a little shop in the downtown Apex area.  They had some reproductions and I snagged them up!  My mom also got me two last year for Christmas so I came up with an idea in my head to create this scene on our dining room buffet cabinet and I have to admit, it came out even better than I had imagined.  I intended to make pin ornaments for the tree, but only finished 3 so that will have to be a next year project.  I did however make the little penguin you see in the scene.  🙂


I take great pride in my decorating.  There aren’t many things I can do well, but this is really one of them that I can sit back and be pleased at what I did.  It’s nice to see familar things around even if you might not always see familar faces.  Christmas to me is all about family.  Whether you spend it with them or not, as long as you can remember the good times you’ve had together, they will always be in your hearts sharing the same thoughts.

Merry Christmas!



•November 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment


We went to see Twilight last night.  Twilight is the much anticipated movie based on the book of the same name by Stephanie Meyer.  I didn’t finish the book yet, only read the first chapter so far and that might have been my saving grace on seeing the movie.

I really liked it, minus a few let downs on the whole vampire front.  I also could have done without the 100 noisy teenage girls in the movie theater laughing at lame parts, giving a running commentary throughout the whole movie and just being, well, teenage girls.  But that was our own fault for going on opening weekend.  Let me just run through the good and the bad.


  • Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen.  Loved him.  He was very dark and mysterious and looked like a teenage vampire should.
  • The whole vampire family aspect of it.  And they were a proper family trying to not be noticed as vampires, living as what they call vampire vegetarians (no humans), even playing baseball.
  • The love story.  It was a touching one and it reeled you in from the moment they first met with him trying to push her away because of his fear of what he was feeling.  He has a need to take care of her, and he does.
  • Left it open ended for more movies, which could turn into the next Harry Potter phenomenon.

The Bad:

  • No fangs!  Seriously?!  The vamps in the movie didn’t have fangs, even when they were in full on vamp mode.  Major let down.
  • Out in daylight.  I realize she’d have to make them go out in daylight so that he can attend school, otherwise they’d never meet.  But the whole “I turn into a sparkle gemstone in the sunlight” was a bit much, I would have rather him burn in the sunlight.
  • Needed more vamp action scenes with a bigger budget.  You felt slightly let down by the action scenes.  These are vampires here, powerful creatures that don’t just throw a few punches for heaven sakes.

At the end of the day, it is a love story so I guess if you just focus on that and let some of the rest of the crazy stuff that happens in the movie go, you can enjoy it as I did.

It will be interested to watch the rest of the movies play out, but next one, I’m going on the 2nd or 3rd week of opening to avoid all the “Cullen Crew” t-shirts I seen last night.

Quantum of Solace – Like or dislike? I dunno.. I’m torn!

•November 17, 2008 • Leave a Comment


Over the weekend, hubby and I went to see Quantum of Solace, the latest film in the James Bond series.  I can’t decide if I liked it or not.  It was pretty much a follow-up to Casino Royale, which I did like.  There were plenty of action scenes, but they all felt like they were incredibly close up and hard to make out exactly what was going on in them.  Also, I do think that Daniel Craig makes a good James, but I don’t think that James Bond should appear so dirty and nitty gritty all the time.

James should be debonair, ya know the whole “I just killed 18 baddies, but I’ve changed into my tux and I have no blood on me and I’m sitting at the bar now with my Bond Girl on my arm drinking a martini!”  Maybe that’s how us girls want to see the movies, and the guys are actually enjoying a dirtier version.  The story line wasn’t all that either, they have better spy plots in “Chuck” for heaven sake!  Like I said, I’m torn on it… it was worth seeing to get the closure on the last movie, but wasn’t what I would call the best movie ever.

Maybe next time we can have the sexy, cleaner, debonair Bond who doesn’t look like he bought his clothes at the local Walmart and maybe a well defined Bond Girl to boot!  Just a thought…

I will have to say, I’m digging the song though!

Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series – Charlaine Harris

•November 17, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Sookie Stackhouse Box Set

From Dead to Worse - Latest Sookie Stackhouse novel

From Dead to Worse - Latest Sookie Stackhouse novel

Sookie Stackhouse Box Set

I just finished the entire 8 book series of the Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris.  If you haven’t read my other post on the subject, this is the series that True Blood on HBO is based on.  I tried to read it as the show was going and not get too ahead of myself, but I couldn’t stop once I started and I became so wrapped up in the bizarre world of Sookie.

Vampires, Werewolves, Shapeshifters, Fairies and other supernatural creatures surrounding a smalltown girl with a telepathic talent.  Loved it!  I’m only sad that there aren’t more left to read.  Though reading the authors’ posts, I don’t think she is finished with the series yet – so we can only hope to see more in the future.

I will say that watching True Blood was what had got me to start reading the books, but the show is only losely based on the characters and isn’t exactly the same.  Books are much better imo.  Some of the characters in the show aren’t exactly the characters in the books and vice versa.  But now that I’ve read the entire series, it’ll be interesting to see where the show goes.. but I can’t help but feel a little let down by how some of the show is written.  I’m hoping I can try to keep them separate and not feel too duped by the differences.

The same author has written some short stories in collaboration with other authors, so might have to check those out since I seemed to have found a new genre that is making a huge impact on my reading preferences.  Some of the short stories also have the same characters as the series and dives further into some of their pasts.  She also has written other series but right now I don’t know if I can move past Sookie.  However, I do need new reading material because right now it’s up there as my favorite pasttime – and let’s be honest, it’s not like I have anything else to do right now!  😀