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Christmas Craziness

Was your Christmas as crazy as mine? I’m sure it was!

We started off with Addy’s school Christmas party…


Umm.. hello twinsies.


We had Claire’s Christmas party on Friday…



And Christmas with Dad and Karen.. I swear he’s not holding me hostage.. the picture was my idea!


Dad and Karen did great.. a Princess crown medal hanger!


Dad is not a fan of toy boxes…


We had two parties Sunday, before heading to my cousins.

Here’s my Grandmother with her ’84 babies… me and my two cousins are about 6 weeks apart, all born in 1984.  20121226-193326.jpg

Christmas Eve always starts with brunch at my Granny’s and Christmas with Mom and Bill.

Here’s a look at one of our presents… Mine says Beat Auburn, everyone else has and Sarah’s says Irish for a day, Tiger for life.  20121226-193346.jpg

The girls at MeMac and Poppy’s


Love my shirt from Jo Jo and Tracie!!


Claire digs her iPad and ear phones from Nana and her pink case from MeMac!


Christmas morning here was a blast.. Addy woke the house up at 5:45 to see what Santa brought.

A WiiU was their big gift, but they also got new pajamas, Toms, a bunch of reading and writing skill books(review to come!), and a bunch of other little stuff.

Addy already put Siri to good use, by asking her to help spell words.


Christmas Tradition with Hubs… champagne and Christmas lights!


I got a bunch of my Philosophy stuff, a bike computer, an electric wine opener, a BCS Championship shirt, and Just Dance 4 for the Wii U!

Did everyone have an excellent Christmas?! What was your favorite gift?

Crafty Mama– Christmas Pillows

Every once in a while, I will get a crafty surge and I have to succumb to it. Yesterday’s was Christmas pillows. SaSa came over and I was setting up Christmas decorations and telling her how I thought I might make some Christmas pillows to match the tree skirt and she spotted my table runner and matching cloth napkins I had yet to put in their home. She told me to make that into a pillow.. I had two- I could make a pillow! I told her that if I used a different fabric for the back that I could make two! I also had the perfect cream to match the stripe. When I went to my fabric tote, I found a bunch of fabric that I could use in my pillow making. I decided to try to do and put together what I could so I could wait on going to Hobby Lobby just in case there was something else I ran across needing.


Excuse the Christmas tree box in the floor…
This was the cloth napkin!
back of it. 
This is my tree skirt. I wanted the pillows to match.
I made the back out of some red corduroy that I used for Addison’s Christmas pants last year.. I obviously bought entirely too much! The light green was left over from the iPhone pillows I made a few months ago. The dark green was felt. The red dots were felt. It would have been easier to use felt for all 
the stripes but I had that fabric, so I used it.
This was an after thought pillow.. I had left over red fabric and I thought I would make one to match the stockings.
These are our stockings..
This one was REALLY an after thought. I had left over poly fill, so I decided to use scraps of fabric to make another pillow.
Want to know what these SIX pillows cost me? $20!!! Since I had the red felt, and all the fabric all I needed was green thread, dark green felt, and poly fill. Which I did poly fill instead of pillow inserts since it was cheaper and actually easier to work with. 
I’d say that’s a Christmas deal!

Catholics, Turkey, and Sand= Thanksgiving 2010

These past couple of weeks have been nothing but craziness for us/me. Being sick hasn’t helped. I am also sick again… Sarah said I needed some pro-biotics. We shall see… I was busting my hump this weekend getting orders finished and tying up loose ends since we left on Sunday for the BEACH. Yeah.. nothing says “Thanks Pilgrims for the turkey and sweet potato pie” like a trip to the beach. Now, why the beach, you must ask? In case you were wondering, John’s dad’s family is Catholic, which means he has like 5 brothers and sisters. And you know how those Catholics are about breeding.. they just don’t stop. I’m pretty sure that MeMac knows more about Poppy’s family than he does. Everyone is scattered, so every other year, the family gets together at the beach and everyone comes down and it’s super awesome with 50-60 Catholics, bloody marys, sand, turkey and more children than you can imagine. 

Last time, I was extremely pregnant with Claire and couldn’t partake in the Bloody Mary’s- they are Poppy’s speciality- and I was super sad. But I am going to fight some aunts for them this year. I absolutely love Thanksgiving down here.. it’s a vacation! Outlet shopping, booze, turkey, and sand. Can’t really ask for much more. 
We got up early(not as early as we had planned, thanks to John not turning the alarm on) and hit the road and were down here by lunchtime on Sunday. I have been able to get a run in everyday-which has just totally made my trip. The girls have been able to get in the pool with people that brought their bathing suits-not me! 
I took Addison to get her first official mani/pedi today- it was love. Girlfriend was so stinking excited she could hardly contain herself. 
I also got to go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Yeah… I like wizards and vampires. And I blog. I don’t think I could get much nerdier. Ahh-mazing. I can’t wait until Part 2 comes out… I may or may not have already re-read the book while down here… 
Anyway, we are doing our Thanksgiving dinner with the family tomorrow night and getting up Thursday to travel back home to get ready for the Iron Bowl.. Alabama vs Auburn is Friday. This is the big game, peeps. 

Happy Turkey day!

My Nanny feels that it is important for my sister and I to at least know how to make her dressing for Thanksgiving, if not the whole meal. And let’s be honest, we are NO Martha Stewarts, but I have been known to rival Rachael Ray. Sarah, though? She is completely hopeless. Tuesday was Thanksgiving 101 from Nanny. Now, Nanny is an old school, country cook, so, THIS. IS. NOT. DIET FOOD.

And here is my attempt at a Ree Drummond-type post. God have mercy on my soul. I may lose some followers after this post, but, please, give me another chance!!

First things, first for my Nanny, is to put on your wig.
I’m not kidding.

Nanny had already boiled the fat hen until tender( approx. 3 hours for a thawed hen) She also gave us the tip of boiling celery and an onion with the hen. My sister was grateful for the tip because apparently, boiling a hen makes your house smell like a “butt”.
Nanny had already made the two pans of cornbread also.

The meat. I should probably put the disclaimer in here, that I am a slight vegetarian and DO NOT deal with raw poultry well, at all. Eggs? Sure! Ground white turkey? Bring it on! Chicken on the bone? I will vomit in my hands.

I wanted as far away from this as possible. I cannot describe to you how disgusted I was at this product. John said I would never make it on Survivor, and he is right!

You will want to save some of the meat for the giblet gravy. (Vomiting some more)

Sarah, crumbling the cornbread. Nanny also says to do some loaf bread in there and she even threw in some biscuits she made for us. Nanny had also already boiled and peels 7 eggs and you just crumble those up with the cornbread.

Finally! Something I am completely at home with! Chopping onion and celery. Me and fresh veggies are BFF. This was right before Nanny informed me that my hair “looked like a cow had sucked on it” She is sweet like that. She would never want us to be self conscious in any way.

I was able to give a tip on chopping onion, if you put in the refrigerator, then it won’t make you cry.

You boil the onion and celery together until translucent.

Oh Sarah. You crack me up! Nothing like a big sister to try to gross you out every step of the way.

Pour in the cream of chicken soup.

Then, the onions and celery.

Some sage. (Which Sarah informed me that nursing mothers need to be careful with as it has a drying effect on your milk supply. Who knew?)

Poultry Seasoning

Black pepper and salt.

Nanny had no respect for the picture tutorial and poured in the chicken stock before I could capture it. So, you just pour that in until its the right consistency.

Claire had to try it. YUM!

I think she is a fan!

Claire trying to open Nanny’s cabinet and getting into trouble.

I debated on telling you this. But I am all about full disclosure and have total blonde moments. But, if you can’t love me for me and all of my hair-brainedness, then it’s probably for the best. I totes thought( but since, I would NEVER boil a hen anyway, how was I to know?) that a hen and turkey were the same thing. Hello? It’s poultry! Anyway, I understand if you leave me.

Nanny was very adamant that you couldn’t use canned chicken or bouillon cubes.
Anyway, on with Nanny’s recipe for Turkey and Dressing:
  1. Boil fat hen until tender( approx. 3 hours.) Don’t forget the celery and onion to keep the stench away! Keep the broth!
  2. Crumble two pans of cornbread and about 1/4 of loaf bread.
  3. pick the meat off the bones and save some meat for the gravy.
  4. Boil and peel 7 eggs and crumble with bread crumbs.
  5. Chop 2 cups each of celery and onion and boil until tender or translucent. Add to mixture.
  6. Add 2 cans cream of chicken soup.
  7. Add approx. 6 tablespoons poultry seasoning and half a bottle of poultry seasoning.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Add the broth to the mixture until the right consistency.
  10. Bake in the oven at 350 for 1 hour.
*This makes A LOT. Enough for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Nanny splits it up and freezes half for Christmas.
Hope you guys have a safe Thanksgiving. I am gearing up for my first Black Friday. I will be at Old Navy at 2am to stand in line for the store opening at 3am. Wish me luck!
Rambled By Rachel

Christmas Wish List

Hey parentals! Not sure what to get your favorite daughter? Well, have no fear.. I am here to help you out with my Christmas List!

A nice Sephora gift card always works!

I also love me some Old Navy!

You know my all time favorite store is Banana Republic!
How adorable are these pants?

I think this shirt definitely deserves a spot in my closet…

I am always in need of some running gear!
Here’s the conversation with my Dad this morning:
Me:” I could always use some running shorts. I really like the Nike Tempo shorts”
Dad: “Pempo?!!?”
Me: “No! TEMPO!”
Dad: “Ohh.. Pempo! Like P as in, Paul!”
Me: “No… Tempo. T. T as in……. TALL!”
Dad: “Yeah, Pempo”
Me: “No! Tempo, T as in TREES!”
Dad: “Oh.. TEMPTO!”
Geez… here is a picture of the shorts, Dad.

Some nice, dry fit socks. No one likes sweaty feet!

I hear that the Nike Distance sports bra is a good one.

And, I could always use a nice dry fit shirt too!

Here is my number one gift on my wish list:
A little nano with the Nike + system.A pink or red one would nice. I also need a nice arm band that won’t get on my nerves, but I’m not sure which one that is…

Of course… I am always in need of some photography stuff! Here is my wish list for that!
A nice diffuser!

A white/sunlight reflector

A 1TB external hard drive

A backdrop stand

An Incident and Flash Light Meter

Or.. a lens cleaning kit could come in handy the next time one of my children spills the grape juice on my camera…

I could always use some of my Christmas China!

Or how about this cute jacket in white from The North Face?
So… who’s got an extra 2 or 3 grand lying around to spend on my Christmas?

Hello? Is this thing on??

All We Need Is Some Green Beer And Dancing Leprechauns

Happy St. Patty’s Day from The McPhillips’ Duo!

P.S. Happy Anniversary BoomPa and GiGi!! We Love You!!

Valentine’s Weekend

Our Valentine’s Day was pretty good around here. We went to a gymnastics birthday party in the morning and Addison LOVED it!! I guess I am going to have to call about getting into classes. We took a family nap when we got home, dog included. Then, BoomPa and GiGi( my dad and step-mom) came to watch the girls so we could enjoy a night out. John and I decided at the last minute to go to Huntsville to eat dinner and watch a movie. We got there about 4:30 and didn’t think getting a table would be a big deal. WRONG! The wait was already 2 1/2 hours! So, we went to watch Confessions of a Shopaholic. I had REALLY been looking forward to this movie because I love the books so much. 

It was not good. At all.
Don’t get me wrong, it had some funny parts, but they were few and far between. Anyway, after the movie, we made our way back to PF Changs and we only waited about 2 minutes. It was delicious! When we got home, GiGi told me that she thought Claire was congested. I agreed. She has been extra fussy and he cry has sounded hoarse. You can hear the wheezing when she breathes. I feel so bad for her. 
Thanks BoomPa and GiGi for a wonderful Valentine’s evening!!! 
On Sunday, we did our new tradition of breakfast at the AllSteak for french toast. Addison just loves it! I think we are going to try to make our way back to church this coming Sunday.  That afternoon, John went to go see his movie he has been talking about forever, Friday the 13th. He has been very disappointed that no one would go with him. While he out enjoying his movie, Addison threw up. All over the place. She was freaked out that she had done something wrong. He came home to me frantically cleaning the rug and Claire crying because I woke her up when I put her down to clean Addison up. Addison seemed to be okay, not running a fever and not complaining of anything. She wouldn’t eat supper though and the only thing we could get her to drink was Dr. Pepper. I was very reluctant to give her to Dr. Pepper because if she threw up again, it would be disgusting. After her bath, she was laying down on the couch with John and threw up the brown Dr. Pepper all over his lap. YUCK! She really freaked out about it, but finally told us her tummy hurt. She ended up sleeping the bed with us. I guess that king size bed really is coming in handy. 
Claire woke up about 3:30 and I could tell she was really stuffy and having a hard time breathing through her nose, so we got up and did some nasal saline and a bulb syringe and she felt better almost immediately. Here’s hoping to a better Monday!!

Christmas Day

After Santa came, we went over to Granny’s house for lunch and it was DELICIOUS!! I wish I had some of that creamed corn right now. We visited with the family and then ran by NeNac and Poppy’s house to pick up our twice-baked potatoes from MeMe. Mmmm… those were awesome too! My Dad and step-mom, Karen came up later on Christmas day for us to do Christmas with them and Sarah and Andy. We had such a good time with them! They really go all out for everyone. They were so proud to have found an age-appropriate power wheel for Addison. Dad had put most of it together and charged the battery so it would be ready to ride. Unfortunately, he left a bag at home which contained the stickers and the steering wheel! Anyway, we figured it out BEFORE Addison opened it and he brought it up this weekend, and she LOVES it! She talks about it constantly and it is a FIGHT to get her to come inside. Here are some pictures of her pink beetle! Thanks BoomPa and GiGi!!

Christmas 2008

Christmas is SUCH a busy time for us, as it is for everyone else, so I am apologizing for this extremely late post. Christmas Eve was spent going from Christmas with my Granny and cousins to my Mom’s for Christmas with my sister and nephews to church( which we made about half-way through until Addison started telling the choir “No!”) to John’s family Christmas then home to get ready for Santa! The kids had such a great time at Mom’s. The Barlow’s came this year and Addison followed Avery around like a little shadow. 

Once we got home from all the Christmas Eve festivities, we thought Addison would go right down… WRONG! John ended up falling asleep in her room, and I played Santa all by myself!  Luckily, nothing had a lot of parts to put together. John and I were in bed at a reasonable 11:30. We had to wake Addison up on Christmas morning, which is something we hardly ever have to do.  She was so excited about all of her Santa stuff, but I think she REALLY liked her bath-time themed stocking. She got all kinds of bubble bath and some tablets that change the bath water different colors. She loves telling you what color her bath was that day! I think her favorite so far is “Purkle”. 

Santa’s Village!

Friday night, Andy, Sarah, Joseph, and James and our family ventured to Santa’s Village in Huntsville. The weather wasn’t the best, it had been raining all day and pretty much all week, so the ground was muddy. Not so great with children! Anyway, we got there pretty early and got in line to see Santa. They had snow flurries every 20 minutes and all the kids go crazy! 
James had gotten some special glasses to see Santa’s Village with, and he was SO excited!! 

You get to tour Santa’s house while your waiting, and they had posted Mrs. Claus’ Christmas cookie recipe, and John made me take a picture so we would have it on file, so, I am sharing it with all of you!

Now, onto what you really want to see, the pictures with Santa!!

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