Monday, December 20, 2010

Finished Project :)

Amazing things happen when you on Christmas break & in between semesters. I have been living an extremely hectic lifestyle the past two months, along with my family. As we are all taking some time to ourselves to have our 'alone time' or 'down time', I tend to clean, do mini projects/crafts, or SLEEP! Well I'm taking full advantage of getting things done while I can. I just finished making a Christmas card wreath that I saw in a magazine & on a friend's blog. I decided to try it for myself.... & I must say I'm impressed.

Please pardon the wallpaper. We are renting & will be moving soon... thank heavens! :) I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays & time off school/work!

Tis' the Season!

                         Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays everyone!

       I saw this idea in a magazine & decided to make them as gifts for some of our good friends. We have a huge family (Smith side), that it gets hard buying for 25+ people. So I decided to make it easier on myself! I made Peppermint Hot Chocolate jars. I put hot cocoa powder on the bottom 1/2 & then filled the top with yummy goodness. I topped off the jar with a layer of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, crushed peppermints or candy cane, another layer of milk chocolate chips & mini marshmallows! They turned out wonderful & absolutely perfect for the season.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Taken for Granted

On December 5. 2010 my world changed forever. My dad was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (brain cancer) on October 29, 2010. Right after dad was diagnosed we quickly reacted, even though our hopes diminished quickly. We acted fast & got dad into the Oncologist & Neuro-surgeon. Thereafter, it was a whirl wind. Dad's health & memory declined drastically. Dad received a brain biopsy on November 5, 2010 & we were told he had the most aggressive cancer possible. The physicians sat us down in a conference & layed everything about on the table. Dad was to receive radiation & chemotherapy immediately, the prognosis was if we see positive results after 6 weeks of treatments, they predicted 6 to 9 months. Little did we know, a few days later he would be rushed to St Lukes Hospital, where he under went several test showing that the brain had began to swell & bleed slightly. The cancer was moving from the right side over to the left. He also began to have tremor & seizures episodes that lasted up to 8 hours. After a week or so, dad was moved to Hospice (they were true angels!) where they would transport him to treatments everyday and help him with his every day activities. Every day when I would visit dad, he was declining rapidly (always worse than the day before). After about 3 weeks of constant struggles & the horrible mental images of watching your hero, your first love... your daddy slowly shut down. He remained unconscious for several days; however, we all continued to visit, sleep over & spend days on end by his side. His ability to speak, remember, eat & drink, use the restroom, & simply turn over in bed faded... his humor was strong as ever. He was completely paralyzed and our conversations turned to silence. After all of dad's organs shut down, the only thing that kept him going was his heart (imagine that!). Seeing my dad in that state was the most horrific thing I have ever seen. If I could've taken the pain away, I wouldn't have thought twice. On December 5, 2010 at 11:07am my brothers & I received the dreaded text we knew was one day coming. Dad held on until my brothers and I weren't there until he passed away while my mom held & comforted him.

For the past week, I have never realized how many things I have taken for granted. The simple things like his incredible hugs (when he would just hold me), our conversations that we had every night while I left school. I never knew how much I enjoyed him snore until I couldn't hear him anymore. Having him constantly worry about my car & my safety. I have never missed someone so much in my entire life. I would do anything for just one more hug, conversation, one more lunch date, one more holiday or just to have a few seconds with him. I need to remind myself it is selfish for me to want him here a little longer, when while he was here, he suffered. He has suffered enough & is now at rest. I will never forget the memories we have & wouldn't trade them for the world. He is the most amazing man I know. My dad was strong & even stronger in his weakest days.

Don't take you days for granted. Hug & treat them like it's yours or their last. I know it is better said than done, especially in our hectic lifestyles, but trust me I would do anything to just have that 'one last' time with him. It tears me to pieces knowing that I am now coming to the realization that I don't have him anymore. That I will have to learn how to cope & try to move the negative memories of him being sick out. I loved him then, now & forever. Just like the day you first held me... I will always be your little girl. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sweet Treats!

Tis' the season for sweet treats & easy ones at that! I made this Peppermint Bark for a company Christmas party and it was amazing. I have attached the recipe for those of you who want to make this for a holiday gathering!

6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 ounces white chocolate
1/3 - 1/2 cup crushed candy canes
How to make:

Melt the semi sweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and tilt the pan so the chocolate makes an even layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
Then, melt the white chocolate and remaining 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate and tilt the pan so the chocolate is in an even layer. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes evenly over the white chocolate. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
Remove the Peppermint Bark from the pan by lifting the edges of the aluminum foil. Peel back the foil and break the bark into small irregular pieces.

Enjoy :)