Tuesday, November 30, 2010

from thankfulness to joy!

Remember this from a couple of posts back?  

Well I got a little attached to this guy over Thanksgiving, and decided that it needed to stay a while longer---or maybe permanently.

Of course, what a better way to make use of it during the month of December, than to make it part of our Christmas decor!

 In past years, my constant predicament during this season, is where to display all the lovely, thoughtful Christmas cards we receive.  Christmas cards are so pretty, require some time & effort to send out and each is unique.  Plus they are a wonderful reminder of how blessed we are with the friends and family that we have!  

So I am sure you can guess where this post is going.  I have found the perfect display for our Christmas cards this year.   A little changing up of the wording, adding some snow flakes and......


many thanks to the lovely couple & their dog who provided the perfect Christmas card example for this photo shoot :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

a carter-norville thanksgiving

Ben & I had a wonderful time hosting Thanksgiving for our families this year.  We were also able to invite some of his classmates to join us for the festivities (I'm not sure if they knew what they were signing up for when they joined our two crazy families, but they seemed to fit right in with the chaos!)

You will have to excuse these photos, they were taken from my mom's iPhone.  I was so busy with all the cooking and prep that I never stopped to take any pictures!  

Here is a sampling of our schmorgusborg of food.  

Our Menu:
Southern Living Turkey (turned out super moist)
Rosemary Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes 
Fresh Green Beans with Shallots
Mama Rhonda's Dressing
Mama Rhonda's Cranberry Salad
Orange Buttermilk Rolls
& of course plenty of pies!

 Here's a pic of the ridiculously large 23 lb turkey that took FOREVER to cook.

whisking the gravy

friends & classmates

fara mama! so pretty :)

more friends & family---and ben's signature face. so handsome.

brother & sister :)

It was quite a memorable Thanksgiving.  Lots of sweet mouths to feed, good food, good company, lots of catch phrase & Wii games, a good ol' fightin' Texas Aggie win, boys vs. girls games around the fire pit (which of course, the girls won), a trip to see Harry Potter, and the breaking down of Thanksgiving decorations to make way for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This year we are having Thanksgiving at our house & as such I wanted to find a way for everyone to express what they are thankful for this season. 

I got the idea for this "thankful" board from this website, and gave it my own style.

I am really pleased with how it turned out & hopefully it will be a good tool to get people to think about all the things they have to be thankful for!


Monday, November 22, 2010

I {heart} sweet potatoes :: part ii

This is seriously one of my favorite recipes, combining two of my favorite things: sweet potato & curry! Hope you enjoy!

Sweet Potato Curry with Chicken

1 lb. chicken breast, cooked, shredded
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground tumeric
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup vertically sliced onion
1 1/2 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14  oz) less sodium chicken/veggie broth
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (no salt added)
2 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes
3/4 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

-Combine curry powder, coriander, turmeric, salt, black pepper, red pepper & bay leaf in a small bowl.  Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add chicken, and saute for 5 minutes or until slightly browned.  Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add curry powder mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add broth & tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat & simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in potato & chickpeas.  Cook uncovered for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.  Discard bay leaf.  Servings: 7

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I {heart} sweet potatoes

I have been on a sweet potato kick for quite a while now.  I love them.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. They are soooo nutrient packed ~ vitamins A&C especially AND they have a good amount of fiber in them.
2.  They can be flavored & seasoned so many different ways---think outside the marshmallow & brown sugar box.

3. They are Scrumdittily all by themselves.

4. They are super budget friendly {a major plus in my book}.

Here's a quick little recipe we tried last night:  
Spicy Pasta with Sweet Potatoes

1         Large sweet potato, peeled & cut into cubes
1/2      tsp each of sugar, chili powder, and cinnamon
8         oz. dried rigatoni
1/4      cup peanut butter
1         3-oz. pkg. reduced-fat cream cheese, cut up
2         tsp. Asian chili sauce (if you don't have this, I would just use red pepper flakes---healthier too)
1         TBSP reduced-sodium soy sauce
6         green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450* Oil a rimmed baking pan and set aside. Place sweet potato cubes in a bowl, toss w/ one TBSP olive oil, the sugar, chili powder & cinnamon.  Spread in pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Cook pasta according to pkg. directions.  Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.  

In saucepan combine peanut butter, cream cheese, chili sauce & soy sauce; whisk in 3/4 cup of the hot pasta water.  Stir over medium heat until heated through.  If too thick, stir in additional water.  Stir in most of the green onions.  Serve sauce over pasta with sweet potatoes & remaining onion.  Serves 4.  

Very yummy, filling & light on the pocket book!

Hope you enjoy----maybe next time I will share my favorite sweet potato recipe:  Sweet Potato Chicken Curry....soooo good :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

trunk or treat

Thought you might enjoy a little taste of our night at our church's Trunk or Treat event.

We were the "bouncers" for the jump house ---if you could read our nametags from the picture, you would get it ;).  We monitored the little kiddos getting in & out of the jump house & kicked the overage kids out-- in true bouncer fashion.  

I was so proud of Ben for dressing up, he was a great sport.  We took it easy and didn't go too wild & crazy on the costumes, bouncers aren't usually the flamboyant type.

p.s.  don't forget about createforhaiti
check it out ;) lots of great things for Christmas & other occasions!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Create For Haiti

Create For Haiti is a week long initiative started by myself & two other creative friends who desire to use their gifts & talents for  Kingdom causes.

Check out the website: http://createforhaiti.blogspot.com

This week, when you shop with any of the 4 shops listed on the website, 15% of the profit will go to Heartline Ministries in Haiti to help women in need!

Spread the word & Check out Heartline to learn about more ways you can help!