Weekend Coffee Share; Dec. 27, 2020

As I sit here coloring my adult coloring book I am reminiscing about Christmas as I relax and enjoy this gift. I have to tell you that my artsy crafty side of my brain is completely addicted to this coloring book! This isn’t my first one, I am not sure where my other coloring book is but this one has cool sayings and quotes. I am enjoying it immensely! I’ll share a page and you can color too! Haha, you will find it very addicting. I am coloring away thinking I really wanted to share coffee with you today and share the happenings of my Christmas weekend. So I will set it aside for now, and I’ll share what I’ve colored so far.

My daughter is on her way home up North and we had a great time together with my son and my hubby. We video chatted with my family in Arizona as we opened gifts that we sent each other. We did a secret Santa (website) so that it would pick names so that we could buy each other gifts to make Christmas a little easier. We use this website where we can share our wish lists, which sure comes in handy and makes shopping so much easier. It was great fun opening up gifts together (video chat) and catching up and seeing those beautiful grand kids!

I told my daughter I wanted to try and have a Swedish dinner for Christmas. It wasn’t exactly authentic as we made everything vegan. We made Swedish meatballs using frozen vegan meatballs which heated up super fast. I found the recipe for the IKEA Swedish meatball sauce, and I may have made more sauce to meatball ratio, which is okay in my book and YUMMY! My daughter made homemade Swedish Cardamom bread, and even though we may have over-proofed it (I think that was our mistake?) It turned out delicious! We made a Swedish Potato casserole and a Swedish beet and apple salad. Dessert was pumpkin cheesecake bars. It was so fun cooking with my daughter! ❤ We started baking/cooking at 3:30pm and didn’t stop until we sat to eat at 7:30pm Christmas day. Cooking from scratch takes a lot of time! BUT WORTH IT! Now I need to find the energy to make soup for dinner tonight! Haha 😀

The cardamom bread was so delicious. It is a little sweet and I just LOVE the taste of cardamom. We were struggling with timing everything as I only have the one oven and since we didn’t meal plan or plan out the timing of everything, unfortunately we think the bread sat too long before we could get it into the oven to bake. Being a yeast bread, that can make a huge difference. It was still very soft and tasted wonderful but was slightly dense in the middle and that bigger loaf a little under done in the center, but just barely. It sure smelled good while baking! All the food tasted wonderful and how can it not when it is made with Love! ❤

We decided to go out for a hike as my daughter is always inspiring me trying to fit in exercise where we can. We had a bit of winter weather which brought rain which clears the air and the next day was beautiful! My daughter wanted to hike to Pumpkin Rock which is a huge boulder at the top of this hill in our town. The locals here keep pumpkin rock painted, as it will get a bit of graffiti and/or fade over time. I just googled it and it is there as Pumpkin Rock Trail Loop which is 1.7 miles long. Sounds just about right! Here are some photos from our hike.

We had a blast on our hike up and down on Pumpkin Rock Trails. As we were leaving the rock and started back down we were laughing at our shadows. We just had to take photos and I thought it would be fun to share. I didn’t take my phone so I didn’t have my camera and my son did a great job with all the photos I am sharing with you. We could not have picked a better day to hike, only 65F such a beautiful, gorgeous day. I will say that as I am sharing with you this last weekend of reminiscing, I am realizing that we didn’t take any photos of present opening. I usually always take photos of at least one gift each person opens, oh well, it was a fun day even though I didn’t digitally record it and it goes with this rather strange year.

Thanks for having coffee with me today. I forgot to ask you for a refill but I just get going on and on about things so I apologize for my lack of hospitality. I do enjoy our visits and hope you enjoyed your holiday however you were able to celebrate!

Happy Christmas Weekend!

Love, Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Weekend Coffee share is a time for us to take a break out of our busy lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Please grab a cup of coffee or tea and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? any weekend plans?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for those of you that celebrate this holiday season differently. No matter how you celebrate whether its for the birth of Jesus or other traditions it is celebrated all over the world one way or another and for me it means family time. I long for these days with my family so I am so excited about the next 2 weeks!!

Can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I am drinking a decaf coffee as I need to head to bed as soon as I am done sharing this post. I worked last night and work tonight so I need to get my Z’s in and REALLY wanted to share one last coffee share before Christmas. I will be busy and so here I am wishing you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY! I hope your wishes are granted and your dreams come true! Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Or sappy, I think it sounds wonderful, but some of my wishes are harder to grant ~ suffice it to say I wish for world peace and happiness. My hippie mind at work! ❤ ❤ ❤

My endeavors this weekend before Christmas. I baked 6 different kinds of sweets to give away as gifts! Pictured are 4, next are the other 2.
Homemade from scratch brownies! A cup of chocolate chips added to make them extra chocolaty!
A great recipe I found for Chocolate Chip Pecan cookies. Scrumptious!

I have been busy baking which I just love. I had lofty goals and met most of them. Pictured are Magic cookie bars (aka 7 layer bars), Sandies, White Chocolate cherry shortbread cookies, ginger molasses cookies, homemade brownies and chocolate chip pecans. I was going to make coconut lime shortbread cookies but ran out of time. I may make them one day next week as I bought limes and have all the ingredients. I have never made them before and am always wanting to try new recipes. 😀 😀 😀

The white chocolate cherry shortbread cookies are a first for me. They have almond extract so they have an almond cherry buttery taste, pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself!! It is really fun to give and super fun to bake! What do you do during the holidays? I use to bake much earlier and then mail to all my sister’s/brother but our family’s have grown and time just slips by so I continue to bake but just give to my employees, coworkers and friends. Maybe I will plan better and once again mail to my family, we will see!

Enjoying the trails in between baking! Haha, I can’t ignore my ponies. And yes, these are new photos. I just can’t help myself – I take a lot of photos!
Chloe, Zack and I out on the trails. I am ponying Zack and he is such a good boy!

You know I just have to share more photos of my weekend as I was able to fit in a few rides. I hope you enjoyed your coffee or tea with me as I totally enjoyed our visit! I have to get this finished. I hope you all have a great holiday. Most everyone I know are in a good place right now in their lives and so cheers to all! And for those of you who struggle through the holidays, stay strong, keep smiling, try and find the good during these weeks. I know sometimes its hard, especially if you miss a loved one or two. (I’m smiling up at my parents today.) LOVE TO ALL! ❤

Happy Christmas Crazy Grandma,

~Diana

Christmas Adventures!

I am enjoying my Christmas adventures this year as I started out by baking cookies and goodies for a few friends and coworkers. I had fun baking and wish I had more time to bake more fun things. I was limited by time though, with work and everything I needed to get done it gave me little time to squeeze in baking, but I did get it done and I tried to make a few different goodies! 😀

Super easy all in one bowl brownie being mixed.
Fresh from the oven!

I ended up making everything from scratch, brownies with some extra chocolate adding a cup of chocolate chip cookies, butterscotch blonde brownies, oatmeal cookies with craisin’s, white and dark chocolate chips, and ginger cookies. The butterscotch brownies were really good and do not taste like butterscotch really since they melt into the brownie and it is delicious!

I forgot I took this photo of my extra added chocolate. This recipe is from Hershey using 
Hershey’s cocoa powder. It’s called Hershey’s Best Brownies, just google to find recipe!

I have read that a blog or writings should stick to one theme and I have a rather large encompassing theme called my life and so my writings might start out as one thing or on one topic and I do try to tie everything together and wrap up my thoughts and feelings in a way so that I think I make sense as I really find my writings rather therapeutic and to be honest it really is all an adventure no matter what we do right?

As I sit here writing this it is Christmas night and I can’t sleep. You see we will be leaving in the morning to go back home to California, so as I toss and turn I know my heart will ache to say goodbye to my family here in Arizona. I am so fortunate as my whole family, all three of my children with spouses in tow all came to Arizona where my son now lives so we all could celebrate Christmas together. We had a great day, enjoying the gift giving and wonderful food and even more special, time together.

My heart goes out to my daughter-in-law as on our first day here we went out to a mall to do some last minute shopping and with all of us together my little granddaughter looked like she was walking up to her auntie but then turned like she might walk into the street so her Mom rushed to grab her and slipped and fell and twisted her ankle and also got a hairline fracture near the end of her tibia. She has been in a lot of pain and bless her heart as we invade her house, well not invade, as she and my son have always made their house feel like our home too….. But I have to just say, prayers for a fast recovery and for the pain to subside soon. ❤ ❤ ❤

So peaceful Christmas morning as I sit waiting for everyone to join me!
She is an only child and an only grandchild so I don’t think it’s too many gifts! 😀
She is ADORABLE, they all are at this age!

We had so much fun watching this cutie pie open all her presents. She is 3 years old and she is really speaking well so this is a really fun Christmas as she knows what is going on. It is so fun to see Christmas through a child’s eye, this is just a really fun age. It will only get better the older she gets, and I know I could share a ton of photos but these suffice and I just LOVE her so very much. She just melts my heart! ❤

I am trying very hard not to be stressed out about our move to Arizona. But of course it is natural to feel this way as it is a big move not only for house and home but for my two very large creatures, my horses. I absolutely love where I currently board and we have done some searching here for horse property but it is turning out to be pretty expensive and I am not opposed to boarding in Arizona as it will help with new friendships and possible riding friends. I would also have connections at a boarding facility for farriers and veterinarians. I know I can find these things if I kept the horses on my property, but we are thinking it may be a stretch for us to afford horse property in the area we want to live. We are not done looking and we should really reach out to a realtor who knows the area. I see many trips to Arizona in the coming months to pin down everything and make these crucial decisions!!

Arizona sunsets I am told are a daily thing!
Same photo as above only I zoomed in which isn’t too bad from my phone camera!
Absolutely surreal, I just can’t believe these Arizona sunsets! LOVE them! ❤

I have so many wonderful photos, I am thinking I will have to write again soon or maybe it isn’t too bad having a lot of photos on one blog? You are certainly welcome if you’d like to comment as I love sharing my photos and I know I have been told to keep them coming.

This particular blog has a lot since I am compacting two weeks into one blog post. But I will definitely write again soon and I have one last photo I want to share as it just puts a huge giant smile on my face. I have to say it’s my family that makes my brain work on overdrive trying to not freak out about everything and to just take one day at a time and I know everything will work itself out one way or another. And I don’t mean my family freaks me out it is my motivation for my family that makes me want to get to my final destination, they are all so important to me and I know I tell them all the time!!

This is what puts a huge giant smile on my face, my daughter and granddaughter. I just want to squeeze them and hug them all day long. I’m crazy like that!

Thank you for reading this rather crazy put together blog. I wanted to write last weekend about my love of baking and I don’t want to miss the holiday season so I will just make this a little longer than my normal blogs. I so enjoy writing and interacting with who ever would like to comment. I also know that even though I can’t control everything in this life there is a lot that we can and even though there are decisions that are difficult, they will happen and all in good time. Bless you all and I hope this holiday season has treated each and everyone of you well. ❤

Lovingly,

Diana