Monday, December 24, 2012

Taste of the Holidays

Mine is a family full of Foodies... and good old fashioned "Eaters".  During the holidays, we are blessed that the food is plentiful, family is all around, and our dining traditions are firmly in place.

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite holiday "Foodie" memories...

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Potato Latkes
Home made Chex Mix
Red Jello Salad
Brisket with Onions and Carrots
Angel Food Cake with Cool Whip piled on top
Honey Baked Ham
Oven-baked French Toast
Triple Chocolate Cookies dipped in Hot Chocolate with Marshmellows
Made-to-order Omlets
Hot Crab Dip
Green Beans with Almonds - the soggy frozen kind
Mom's Famous Hockey Pucks - also knows as burnt dinner rolls
Bacon from the 4-H Auction
Matzo Ball Soup
Leftover Ham Sandwiches with Miracle Whip on White Bread
Cheesy Potatoes

Whatever holiday you celebrate, may your bellies be full, your spirits high, and your loved ones near.  

Happy holidays!  xo jj
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © Ruth Black -

Monday, December 17, 2012

Win, Win, Win

It's all good news today, ladies and gentlemen-- In fact, my news is so good that I swear angels are singing.  As 2012-- the year that kicked me to the curb repeatedly, winds to a close, you won't hear me moaning about burglars or large mice or the seeming endless drama of late.  Nope, today it's all good news.  Everybody wins!

For starters, the lovely Lilly of Lily's Life is the winner of my Christmas ornament giveaway courtesy of Attila the Mom and Highland Roses Design Studio.  Please check out both blogs and the ornament shopping site-- These ladies truly are awesome longtime bloggers with great writing and a strong sense of community in Blogland.

Second, I'm sitting up a little straighter in my chair today with a big goofy grin on my face.  Out of the blue, I received a very nice surprise from the Huffington Post.  No, I'm not finally showing my face in the photo below, but my little blog was one of seven blogs they like for post 50 women!  I'm ignoring the fact that HuffPost/50 solidifies my age as clearly not 40-something anymore but this recognition kinda makes being almost 55 okay. 

What I especially like about the HuffPost/50 mention is that the sidebar next to my blog screenshot (not shown in the above photo) says "Joanna Jenkins muses about life, friends and family, and also offers a nice list of other awesome blogs." That means many, many of you, my dear blog friends, are also included in this recognition and that makes me very happy.

I have absolutely no idea why or how my blog was selected but I'm pretty sure it's because of word of mouth from YOU and for that I am deeply grateful.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The other thing I like about this HuffPost/50's list of blogs is that they ask for comments with YOUR suggestions for other blogs.  So please--  CLICK HERE for the full feature, and if applicable, add YOUR blog to the list so the Huffington Posts knows about you.  Tell them Joanna sent you.

And while you're there, pretty please click the LIKE button for my blog and/or leave a commet.  (Hold your curser over my screenshot for the sidebar box and the LIKE button appears.  Or scroll all the way down to get to the comment section.)   Thanks a million!

How many blog do you usually read/follow?
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © Fotowerk - and Huffington Post

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lights Please

Lately, my "to-do" list seems never ending with each new day bringing one more "to-do" to the party.

It all started in late October when a burglar (or two) spent time in our home turning the place upside down in search of, what I'm assuming they thought-- based on the ransacked mess, was buried treasure.  Every stitch of clothing and personal items in our bedroom were thrown about in such a mess that I'm STILL sorting, cleaning and washing trying to get their disgusting sweaty palms off our stuff.

Along the way I've learned a lot, and I've become a little too freaked out about the whole thing...

-Take photos of ALL your possessions and your entire home, room by room, closet by closet-- Literally, use your fancy cell phone camera and start taking pictures.  Gawd forbid you ever need them, but if you do, you'll be glad you did.

-Then make time to take "good" photos of your most cherished items (like jewelry?).  Place them on a solid colored surface so they show up well and take photos at different angles and with a ruler in the shot so the size is noted.

-Make a note of the serial numbers for anything that has them-- like your computer, and keep copies in few different places not just on your computer.

-And, turn on the outside lights, at least at your front door, at night.  The police said to turn the radio on when I leave the house during the day too.  The more you do the greater the chance burglars will go elsewhere.

I'm all about lights these days.  All.  About.  LIGHTS!

Yes, I now have 6 sets of exterior floodlight-- 2 lights per set-- 120 watts per bulb.  They automatically turn on from dusk til dawn with a 50 watt light.  Not huge but enough to "glow".  But, if a leaf falls, a hummingbird passes by or a car drives down the street, the yard is lit up like a maximum security prison.  I love it!

At night when we watch TV, we can see three sets of the lights though the windows-- front yard and two on the side yard.  All night long it's as if a child were flicking the light switches on and off, on and off, on and off, every three minutes.  I've never gotten such a workout because every time the light comes on I'm up and checking out the windows.  I can only imagine what our electric bill will be and, um, how long the senor lights last before husband unscrews the bulbs.

In other news..

The "mouse" and by "mouse" I mean it's much larger and significantly uglier "cousin" who took up residence in our master bathroom days before a big dinner party is now history.  He was as unwelcome as the burglars and cost me...

-4 trips to the hardware store, each time getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger traps to catch him
-1 trip to the grocery for more apples-- which seemed to be our "guests" food of choic
-1 trip to garage for a shovel to scoop up the "guest" (trap attached) 24 hours before dinner party
-20 minutes to get the nerve to actually go near the deceased "guest" with shovel
-5 hours of scrubbing the "mouse motel" from top to bottom.

The fund-raiser dinner party was certainly the highlight of the last several weeks and thank gawd the "mouse" was gone well before any guests arrived.  Husband and I agreed that this was probably the nicest gathering of people we've ever had at out home.   (No offense to family and friends.) Of course we didn't know a single person but by the end of the evening, we'd made many new friends.  It was really a treat.

And the best news of all-- You can still enter my giveaway for one of these beautiful ornaments.  Just leave a comment below and you're entered!  Easy peasy.  For more chances to enter CLICK HERE!  Giveaway ends at midnight PT, December 15th. 

Is your house "lit up" for the holidays?
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins  
Photo Credit: © VRD -

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Signs of the Times

Between shopping, schlepping, wrapping and way too much eating, a few holiday reminders crossed my path and made me smile this week.

Happy Hanukkah!

These guys were painted by various artists and positioned around our local mall....

And whatever you do...

Happy Holidays!
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins
Leave a comment below to enter my Christmas Giveaway for one of these gorgeous ornaments.  And for more chances to enter (like blogging about it too!) CLICK HERE.   Giveaway courtesy of Highland Roses Design Collaborative Craft Studio

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Big Joy

That big sigh of relief you heard yesterday was from me-- Because ALL of my Christmas shopping was finished-- Ahead of schedule--  With my sanity intact! 

But my Christmas spirit got lost somewhere between the salesperson at Macy's telling me that she "didn't get paid to show me" where the coffee markers were located, and the customer service Grinch at Bloomingdale's calling a shopper a bitch because the lady asked too many questions!  Ahh, Christmas.  Bah humbug.

Every year I vow to make a shorter gift list and to shop more online.  And I thought I had too, but with the mountain of shopping bags filled with stuff I can't even remember anymore, clearly I missed that boat.  My feet hurt, my back ached and my wallet was a bit lighter despite my best efforts to play the department store coupons and discounts-before-1pm game at the mall. (I yiyi, what a waste of time that was!)

In short, yesterday when the deed was finished-- I.  Was.  Tired.  And I still had a holiday party to go to last night!  A party that I had been looking forward to with friends that gather each holiday.  I should have known better than you shop and try to party all in the same day but, oh well, tired or not, I was committed to go.  So I pulled it together, put on some lipstick, and dragged my exhausted self, in crazy Los Angeles rush hour traffic, to my friend's house with the promise of Christmas cheer and lots of joy. 

And I'm so happy I did.  As soon as I pulled up to the front of my friends' beautifully decorated home, I could see the joy-- BIG JOY-- shining through my dazed and worn out haze.  It made me happy-- Happy for my friends and their kids, happy to enjoy a lovely dinner, happy to laugh til we cried, and happy to "just be".

I must have looked more tired than usual when I arrived to the party because one of the kids went to work on a beautiful picture to remind me that "Cristmas" was the best holiday ever.  And by the end of the evening, there was no doubt in my mind, Christmas is pretty great, despite the occasional bah humbug feelings.

How are the holidays going for you?
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins

It's not to late--  Leave a comment below to enter my Christmas Giveaway.
And for more chances to enter (like blogging about it too!) CLICK HERE.  
Giveaway courtesy of Highland Roses Design Collaborative Craft Studio, a privately-funded project that provides individuals who live with disabilities and/or mental illnesses as well as their family caregivers an opportunity to step towards independence through the sale of our own arts and crafts creations. They accept no grants or government funding, and are working to become self-sustaining through our own endeavors. 
Every step of this undertaking is a collaborative effort---from design to creation. Each distinctive ornament is produced by several sets of hands---all working together to create something special!  For more info or to place an order CLICK HERE.