Saturday, December 27, 2008

Next Year, Baby

New Years. Ugh. Generally I'm not a huge fan of this holiday. As I've gotten on in years, I'd rather stay in than go out. Too many drunk people, too much public making out, and too much nostalgia. And don't get me started on resolutions. I'm all for making good goals, but don't wait until New Years! New Years just brings out my anxiety all around..... so I like to stay in, wear pajamas, make my own drinks and eat tapas style - all appetizers. Like this right here..... nice, huh???

Instead of getting super sappy and sentimental on you, I threw together a wonderful (or at least I think it is!) collection of my favorite New Years songs. Now I don't like to brag, but I have to say you'll be hard pressed to find a better playlist than this one right here. I scoured the net for new years type songs and most of them were really lame a$$. Mine are not. Some of my choices are obvious and others aren't until you listen to them. Here we go!!

Auld Lang Syne - Barenaked Ladies. Simple reason - best version of the song out there! This is THE poster song for New Years.

Let's Start The New Year Right - Frank Sinatra (or just Frank is really all you have to say). I love me some Frank!!! Very obvious song choice, but couldn't leave it out!

This Will Be My Year - Semisonic. This is one of my favorite bands from the 90s. I believe they only put out the one album in 98 or 99, but I still listen to the crap out of it. The whole thing is great, but this is a wonderful song that is full of optimism and hope for the new year.

Next Year - Foo Fighters. Such a beautiful, chill song... say goodbye to the old year!!

Tonight, tonight - Smashing Pumpkins. Not an obvious choice, but here is why I picked it: I feel like the whole song is about making the most of right now. Not waiting until tomorrow! Tonight, tonight!!!!

Long December - Counting Crows. This song is a pretty big downer, but I love it's sincerity. We've all had years so bad we were ready for them to be over just so we could try again.

Better Days - Goo Goo Dolls. I love this band. They are soooooo bubble-gum pop, but I can't help it. This was a difficult year for a lot of people in our nation. Our country has fallen on pretty hard times and we could all use little hope right now.

New Years Day - U2. Favorite. Band. EVER. Nuf said!!!

New Year - Death Cab For Cutie. Love this one for its simple truth - New Years can be quite a letdown for some people.

Brand New Day - Joshua Radin. Love this guy! Talks about putting the past behind you and feeling optimistic about the future.

The Resolution - Jack's Mannequin. The title is obvious, but there's a lot behind the meaning of this one - knowing you don't have all the answers and being totally okay with that.

Love and Memories - OAR. "Drown in love and memories." It's hard not to get wrapped up in all the memories of the year, esp on New Years.

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - Harry Connick Jr. I LOVE Harry. A nice version of an old classic.

Put It Behind You - Keane. Time goes by too fast to hold on to the bad stuff. All the things you would have done differently, all the stuff you screwed up. Put it behind you because it's too much!!! I love Keane!

Time Won't Let Me Go - The Bravery. Time doesn't allow us to go back and fix things. Hindsight is 20/20 and these lyrics sing it right - you can't keep wanting/wishing for things that will never be.

It's The End Of The World - REM. Another classic - technically speaking, it is the end of the world as we know it for so many reasons! 2008 is over, 2009 has begun. We have a new president and things can only go up from here in my opinion. Maybe that's a naive way to look at things, but I'm a glass half full kind of girl. Most of the time. Anyways, the world as we know it in 2008 is over!

Next Year, Baby - Jamie Cullum. How could I not end this with Jamie??? This is my favorite song about New Years. The whole thing is a resolution he's making about all the things he promises to do in the coming year. Even though he knows resolutions are crap!!! I do like that part about only drinking the finest wine!!!

So while New Year's Eve might not be my most favorite holiday, I am looking forward to it. This year as the clock strikes midnight, I will find myself filled with hope for a better tomorrow. I hope you've enjoyed my New Years playlist AND my final blog EVER...... for 2008!!! Thank you to all who read this odd little blog and look forward to my many ramblings. I leave you with an old, Irish toast to ring in the new year....


"In this New Year, may your hands always be stretched out in friendship, never in want. Slainte. "

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Wonderland

I just love watching my kids play in the snow! We sure have had a lot of it so far. Considering it's not technically even "winter" yet, I'd say we're off to a good start. We had a rough end to this week with sick kids, but things were looking up this afternoon so I thought some fresh air was in order. Here are some of the cute pictures from our snow adventures outside!!!

In the snow!!!


Kevin's facial expression says it all

Yes, Kevin's coat is from the early 90s

Ethan doing some quality snow fort construction


Little ladies

Abby Dooby


Lulu Beans




We're expecting more snow tonight!!!!! Happy winter solstice!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Toddy Tuesday!!! Holiday Sangria

There aren't too many things that I love more than a glass of sangria on a summer day. Oh, how I miss my summer sangria!! Imagine my happiness when I found a recipe for a delicious, spiced holiday sangria! It is out of this world good on a cold winters eve.



1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup triple sec (orange flavored liquer)
1/4 cup sugar
4 whole cloves
3 blood oranges, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 lemons, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
1 bartlett pear, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 (750 ml) bottle fruity red wine (does not have to be $$$)

Combine all ingredients into a large pitcher and stir until sugar dissolves. Cover and refridgerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving.

So, my love for good sangria can last all year long!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

To Do List

I am trying not to think of all of the things I have to get done before Christmas, but it's hard! I still have a little bit of shopping to do. Not much, but a little. Kevin and I are going to have a date tomorrow night and finish up. Yay! I still want to bake some Christmas cookies and do some fun crafts with the kids, but that requires a trip to the grocery store for ingredients and a trip to Hobby Lobby for crafting supplies. We're done with school until Jan 5th, so there's time to go out and get everything. It's just with the weather this cold it's hard to find the courage to bundle everyone up and go out. Someday soon I will! I found a lot of great kid crafts in one of my Usborne books.


We have had a lot of fun decorating this year!! I had to make some minor adjustments as far as what I put where. Last year, a snow globe cracked and leaked out into one of our rubbermaid totes containing a good majority of my decorations. By the time winter came and it was time to decorate, I opened the tote to find most everything covered in a horrific black mold. Needless to say, none of it was salvagable so we had to throw it all out. It was sad because we'd had most of those since we had first gotten married. I haven't really bought too much to replace what was lost yet. I figure I can deal with some of the bareness and shop some of the post holiday sales this year!!! But here are some pictures of our holiday decor for now...










We also have a lot of projects to finish up on around the house here, but won't be taking those on until after the holidays. We have two more rooms of the Novalis flooring to lay (our bedroom and Liv's) and all the quarter round to put on. I'm also sad to say that I have to sand and refinish the stair treads. I made a little boo boo on those! I used a oil based stain and a water based varnish, so whooops. Evidently that whole saying about oil and water not mixing is true. They look horrible, so that will be a fun winter project for me. NOT.

And paint. There are so many things that need paint it makes my head spin thinking about it! The kitchen cabinets look like poop. You'll remember that I painted them when we first moved in four years ago. They need to be redone, so that will be yet another winter project for me! And some of the trim needs touching up and also the wine rack Kevin made over the fridge and also the bookcase Kevin made in the upstairs hallway. Do you think a 5 gallon bucket will cover all that??? I suck at estimating for things like that.....

Then...... if I can figure out a way to ask Kevin about making some cool looking columns for the fireplace.... I would like to tackle that sometime too. The fireplace is always my biggest decorating dilema. It's HUGE and off center and just plain odd. So I thought that it'd look cool to add some columns......

Here's my fireplace now:

And here is an inspiration photo, but ours would be bigger:

So as much as I hate winter and being stuck inside, I definately have a lot to keep myself busy! I often wonder what it will be like once everything is actually finished. We just celebrated the anniversary of our fourth year in this house!!! Crazy how time flies! In closing, I am posting a little slideshow of some pictures of the house with before shots and after shots. It's not the best slideshow and not all of the photos are recent, but you'll get the idea of where we started with this place and how far we've come. Even if the neighborhood isn't quite the greatest, I feel so blessed to be able to raise my family here and call this house my home. What started out as a great big blank canvas really became a way for me to explore my love for paint and decor. Happy 4 year anniversary, house!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Music Monday - More Holiday faves

With all of the great holiday music out there to blog about, I just couldn't leave out Brian Setzer. He has two amazing Christmas albums - 'Boogie Woogie Christmas' and 'Dig That Crazy Christmas.' Both are fabulous!! But even more fabulous than the albums is the live concert dvd 'Brian Setzer Orchestra Live Christmas Extravaganza.'


Most of you 80s fans will remember him from way back for his rockabilly pop band 'Stray Cats.' Remember that song "Stray Cat Strut"? Love it. But Brian is best known for his lead role in the comeback of swing music in the mid-90s. It was then that he formed the impressive 17-piece ensemble 'The Brian Setzer Orchestra.' Swing wouldn't be swing without their song "Jump, Jive and Wail."


While the holiday albums are amazing, I really suggest getting the dvd as well! It's so much fun to watch! No matter how many times I see it, I am always blown away by how incredibly talented these musicians are. Here are a few great songs/performances from the dvd which is sure to become and favorite holiday classic at your house!!!

'Dig That Crazy Santa Claus'

'Jingle Bells'

'Run Run Rudolph'

'Stray Cat Strut/Mr. Grinch'

'Sleigh Ride'

'Winter Wonderland'

'Nutcracker Suite' - AWESOME!!!!!!

I cannot believe that next Monday will be the last time I can post about holiday music! I knew the Christmas season would go by quickly, but yikes! I hope you've enjoyed the holiday version of New Music Monday. While I will be sad about not being able to blog about Christmas music, I do look forward to getting back to regular tunes!!! Maybe it'll keep January from sucking so bad! I can only hope!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Toddy Tuesday - Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini

I can eat a whole box of those Cello chocolate covered cherries in one sitting. No joke! They are my favorite! Kevin always gets me a box for Christmas and my grama always has them waiting in the kitchen for me to sneak before dinner. So, this week I started my search for the perfect Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini. This is pretty darn close to perfect!!! I adapted it from two different recipes, so it is sort of my own creation but not really......


Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini

1 shot of Godiva Chocolate liquor
1 shot of Cherry Vodka
1 shot of Creme de Cacao
dash of cherry syrup (Grenadine)
3 marashino cherries
5 or so ice cubes

Put the cherries in the bottom of a martini glass and drizzle a little syrup/grenadine over them. Put all three shots of liquor in a martini shaker with the ice and shake it up nice. Pour liquor into the glass over the cherries. Be warned that you can only drink one of these!!!! They're super yum, but in the words of Dave Chappell doing his impression of Samuel L. Jackson, "it'll get ya drunk!!"

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Music Monday - 5th Holiday Edition

This week I am happily posting about Enya's new holiday album 'And Winter Came.'


Who doesn't like Enya?? Mean people. Seriously, her music is so calming and beautiful AND she's Irish. WHat's not to like? She's also one of the most successful female artists of all time. One of the cool things about this album is that is does have a couple of traditional Christmas hymns, but most are original tracks written by Enya - I like that. The album was inspired by winter itself and the beautiful changing landscape of the season. Sometimes her songs tend to sound the same, but come on she's Enya. She's doing her thang! The harmonies on this album are absolutely enchanting and I am still blown away by the fact that the main instrument used is Enya's own voice.... layered and layered over itself to create that unique sound. There is no one else like her!!!

'Trains and Winter Rains'

'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel'

'Oiche Chiuin'

'Last Time By Moonlight'

'And Winter Came' - lovely instrumental

'Stars and Midnight Blue'

'The Spirit of Christmas Past'

'One Toy Soldier'

'My! My! Time Flies'

As usual, there are a few other songs from this album that I wasn't able to add because I couldn't find them on youtube. If you're an old fan of Enya, you'll definately want to get this one. I guess one of the reasons I enjoy this album so much is for it's wonderful relaxing and spiritual qualities. While the harmonies are truly beautiful, the lyrics gently remind us of 'the reason for the season.' It's so easy to get overwhelmed and stressed when we focus on the commercial feeling of the holidays. Freaking out over what to get people, spending money no one really has right now..... this is one of the most soothing albums you could ever own! So pop it in, brew yourself a cup of hot tea, relax and enjoy the holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas in a Glass - Holiday Toddy Tuesdays!

As my little brother would say, "let's black out." No, seriously. I love a lot of things about the holidays, one of which is all the yummy drinks you can make! I thought it would be super fabulous (in addition to my regular New Music Monday) if I started a Holiday Toddy Tuesday!!! What fun!!! Oh, and just for clarification.... the word 'toddy' is an old favorite of mine. Some people (who aren't alcoholics like myself, j/k) looked at me like "wuh?" when I haved used the word toddy. Most toddys are served hot and people believe the term originated in the late 18th century. I guess it was to make the scotch more palatable to women?? Who really knows. What I do know, is that toddy is super fun to say and my late father-in-law used the term as often as he could. Cheers, Andy!!!!

Most of these drinks I post will be made with easy-to-find ingredients. I get mad when things call for obscure stuff. So the first cocktail on the list is the very delish Peppermint Pomegranate Martini. Yum!


1.5 oz Rose's Pomegranate Mix (they have this at Target and Dominicks)
1.5 oz Vanilla flavored Vodka
dash of peppermint Schnapps
mini candy canes

1. Crush candy canes in a plastic bag with a rolling pin
2. Wet rim of martini glass with Roses mix and dip into the candy canes
3. Pour mix, vodka and schnapps into cocktail shaker - add ice
4. Shake it like a polaroid picture and strain into glasses
5. Garnish with mini candy cane

I got this recipe off the Rose's website. You know it's a good one when you can't feel your face after a couple of sips. Don't be overwhelmed by the martini - you don't have to pay a lot for glasses and a shaker - hit your local Target or Pier 1!! I think my glasses were like $2 a piece???? Martini's are so fun for a girl's night in or after a long day of holiday shopping or anyways, I think Holiday Toddy Tuesday will be a lot of fun for all!! Until next Tuesday, I leave you with this important quote.....

"The martini; the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet." - H.L. Mencken

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Music Monday - Holiday Edition Ladies Style!

So this one's for the ladies. I just bought this album from Amazon, so Merry Christmas to me. I am a HUGE fan of just about every artist on this beautiful holiday album...all of whom just happen to be female!


'The Hotel Cafe Presents......Winter Songs' is a great Christmas album. I mean, with strong singers like Brandi Carlile, Fiona Apple, KT Tunstall and Colbie Caillat (just to name a few), how could you go wrong???? The very first song is a lovely duet between Sara Bareilles (who is famous for her song "Love Song") and Ingrid Michaelson (known for "The Way I Am") to 'Winter Song.' One of my faves. Take a listen!!!

Lenka also did a cute little ditty called 'All My Bells Are Ringing.' You may remember hearing her song 'The Show' on tv or somewhere else. This song is super cute!!

One of my absolute favorites is KT Tunstall's take on the classic song 'Sleigh Ride.' I think I heard it playing in Old Navy the other day!!! It's super funky and cute! Makes me want to go outside and play in the snow!!!

And did you ever think you'd hear Fiona Apple singing 'Frosty the Snowman'? Me neither, but for some odd reason it really worked for her! It's very simple and her voice is so old school. She so creepy it's cool.

Another honorable mention is Colbie Caillat's song 'Mistletoe.' I found it on youtube as a nice dedication to our troops overseas. It's a beautiful tribute to those making such a huge sacrifice, esp during the holidays. For the soldiers, for those missing loved ones who are deployed, for those stationed far away from family... it's hard for the rest of us to imagine.

Another stand out is 'The Heartache Can Wait' from Brandi Carlile. This is a live version, but hopefully you'll get an idea of how lovely it is! The song is just talking about putting your troubles aside and being grateful for Christmas and what it all means.

There are so many more great tracks on this album!! I am loving the girl power of this particular holiday cd and I'm sure it'll be strong in my rotation for many years to come. Now that we're officially into December (oh, MY GOD!!!), I'm sure you've all busted out your Christmas music. I would love for you to share some of your personal favorites with me!!! You can leave them in the comment section or just email me!! Hope you enjoyed this Monday's girly holiday music! Peace!

About Blogging Molly

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I am a mom to three great kids - Ethan is 12, Abby is 9 and Lulu (Olivia) is 5. I've been married to my highschool sweetheart for almost fourteen years. I love to paint, renovate and live for anything DIY. I love music and I love to bake. I also teach dance at a local studio. Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!

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