Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Is Coming: Better Prepare Yourselves!

"Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus Lane..."

Can you hear the Christmas music? Can you feel the spirit of the season coming on? No? Well, get on board, Peeps, because Christmas is coming...and with that comes my favorite holiday of the year!

(Basically, you should read the passage above as follows: Prepare yourselves, because Christmastime is going to take over this blog for a little while!)

I love this holiday for the obvious reasons - there is a magical air about the world where meanness goes down and happiness and love go up. I love that I get to see family that I don't see all the time. I love the food that we are blessed enough to have together. I love watching my loved ones opening up the presents that they didn't know about (surprises are the best!). I love soaking in the memories, because our family members won't be around forever, and you have to be present as discussed in the post just before this one. I love the Christmas music!!!! I love hoping for snow, and getting snow! I love that we celebrate Jesus, and He is truly the reason for the season! His sacrifices allow us to enjoy all we have in life, and for that, you must be thankful!

One other thing that I absolutely LOVE about Christmas is the decorations! My goal is to make it look like Christmas exploded inside my house! :) I am currently in the stages of decorating now, so stay tuned to see Casa de Chicken Wing all Christmas-fied!

With decorations comes Christmas ornaments, and decorating the tree (another reason why I love Christmas!). This past weekend after Thanksgiving, we decorated Grandma and Papa Chicken Wing's tree, and Momma Chicken Wing's tree. I will be sure to post some pictures of those in my tree post (along with our tree).

I know that my family has a tradition of giving Christmas ornaments to each other, and I love it! When I left the "nest," I already had a great start to my own tree, which was great because I had some old and was then able to purchase some on my own! It's a tradition I hope to pass on when I have little Chicks!

So, I decided to share some with you that I found to be completely awesome this year! I hope you find one you like, or at least become inspired! It's time to get excited for Christmas!!!

This could be the most perfect option for 1) the resident golfer in your life or 2) the person who loves the movie "Caddyshack." I know that it was one of my Daddy's favorite movies, and I'm sure that anyone would love to hang this adorable "Teed-Off Gopher" on their tree!!!

"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas....only a hippopotamus will do...." I know you've heard this familiar Christmas classic, and if you're like me, it gets COMPLETELY stuck in your head for hours after first hearing it. I actually have a coworker who loves this song, and he was gifted with this ornament last year. He still gets so excited and happy every time he presses the button (yes, it's musical!)!

This is an ornament that I really want to add to my collection! As a child, Disney movies were my film existence for the most part, and I always loved "The Little Mermaid." I also was given multiple gifts of "Precious Moments," which this ornament also embodies.

"You'll shoot your eye out!" This ornament, appropriately titled "Ralphie's Pink Nightmare," immediately put a smile upon my face. It really makes you remember Ralphie's embarassment during the holidays, and while it's not my personal favorite Christmas movie, I'm sure it is for others! Who knows? Maybe someone in your family loves this film, and would love a little Ralphie to adorn their tree!

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is my FAVORITE Christmas movie of all time, and that is why I had to show you this ornament! I have several Rudolph ornaments that are from the movie but none that included Santa himself! When I saw this ornament, my first reaction was "Eat, Papa, eat!" LOL! If you've seen the movie, this was likely your first reaction, too!

So, these are the ornaments that have inspired me this season, and I hope that each and every one of my Peeps is getting in the holiday spirit! Stay tuned for more Christmas-themed posts, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

Until next time,
Miss Chicken Wing

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009: So Much To Be Thankful For!

In case I've never said it before, this time of year is my favorite. Why, you ask? Because Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays. They always offer the most fun for me. With Thanksgiving comes sitting down with family to eat a huge meal (one that we are so blessed to be able to have), toss the football around, watch the parade in the morning, take turkey naps, eat the leftovers (and boy, are there leftovers?!?!), then take another turkey nap. I mean, really, could there be a more perfect day?

Then, you have the opportunity to go shopping on Black Friday (which is a holiday that gets piggybacked onto Thanksgiving, for me) and score some great deals for Christmas gifts if you dare to go out in the madness. This year, Grandma Chicken Wing, Little Sister Chicken Wing, and I did brave the masses, and we made out like bandits for the most part. For Little Sister Chicken Wing, it was too much madness. For Grandma Chicken Wing and I, it was like a sport. We operated like a well-oiled machine. We knew what we wanted, we'd already priced it to know where to get it, and we went in, picked out our stuff, paid for it (most of the time with coupons!!! EXTRA SAVINGS.....YESSSS!!!), and went on to the next store.

Grandma Chicken Wing literally almost got all of her Christmas shopping done in a matter of a few hours! Go us! Toss in lunch at Sbarro and dinner at Cracker Barrel, and you've got yourself an awesome day!

Super slice of cheese pizza and a country ham dinner plate with mac & cheese and string beans, anyone?

I'm sorry for the drooling that probably just occurred all over your keyboard.

Either way, Thanksgiving this year was just as awesome for me as it always is. I have so much to be thankful for, and for some reason, if you slap a title on a day and call it Thanksgiving, it really resonates with me. I'm instantly grateful for all that I have in my life, and I genuinely thank God for all He has blessed me with. I know that there are many out in the world who would kill to be in my shoes, and I take some time out of my day to pray for them - I wish nothing but good things for them, and I ask God to look out for them even more.

I think the one thing that's different for me this year is that I really wanted to be present. What I mean is that sometimes you get so busy around the holidays (as previously mentioned in the post directly before this one) that you forget to be present and that is incredibly important. You can't go through the holidays in a'll miss out on some of the best memories. So, I decided that no matter how busy I get, I am going to make a huge effort to stay present in all that's going on around me. I want to pay attention to my family, my friends, and the memories we are making. I think that's a fair goal.

In closing, I wanted to share a few pictures from Thanksgiving, Chicken Wing style.

As evidenced by her face in the pic above, Grandma Chicken Wing had NO idea I was taking this. She was not too happy when she realized I was taking pictures of her putting food away. I believe her exact words were, "Why are you taking pictures of this messy kitchen? Stop that!" Haha!

Another gratuitous food shot. We are most definitely blessed - 1) for the food and 2) for Grandma Chicken Wing who makes the food.

Then the turkey naps set in. Oh, you sneaky carbs, always win. (You know it's bad when your dogs see a photo opportunity and you are completely oblivious until you see mysterious photos on your camera...)

Here we have Mr. Chicken Wing and Little Brother Chicken Wing being taken over by the turkey.

Final Score:

Turkey-3, Chicken Wing Family-0

So, there's my Thanksgiving 2009 recap! I hope you enjoyed it! I also hope your Thanksgiving holiday was as fabulous as mine was! Here's to many more!

Who's ready for Christmas???

CiCi, obviously.

Until next time,
Miss Chicken Wing

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Website To Be Thankful For!

Wow, Peeps....can we say "fifteen-day-blogging-break?" I am so sorry for that...I've been so busy that I haven't had the energy to write. This time of year rolls around, and it seems that everyone is so busy - working before being off for the holidays, decorating the house, deciding what to get everyone for Christmas, strategizing the plan of attack for Black Friday shopping expeditions, planning and preparing food for Thanksgiving, etc., etc., etc. Honestly, the list goes on and on, and I know that every one of you goes through some of that "Holiday Busy-ness" just like I do.

I wanted to take a 5-Minute Mental Health break and dedicate it to the men and women of our armed forces...the ones who might not get to spend the holidays with their families because they're protecting all of ours. I know that I whole-heartedly appreciate all that they do and all that they sacrifice for the rest of us. Sometimes, it's easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the season, and when that happens, we lose sight of all that we have to be thankful for.

I don't want that to happen to me. I don't want it to happen to anyone this year. Let's make a resolution to remain thankful, no matter what kind of stressful situations come about. Let's also make sure that we slow down and actually thank God for all that we are thankful for. This year, I am making more of an effort to include the military in my prayers and messages of thanks. And luckily for me, for you, and for everyone, there is a website that makes it 1,000 times easier to thank the men and women who need it the most!


You heard right. Click --> here. Pick out your design, customize your message, and hit submit.

That's it. Three simple steps, and someone in service gets a holiday card thanking him or her for their service. Could it be any easier?

I want as many Peeps as we can get to go to this website and send our troops a message! Let's thank them for allowing us to be thankful for so many things - they've given us our freedom, and that's the best present we could receive!

Thanks for reading this post, and I will be better in the coming days about posting even more! I apreciate each and every one of you...thank you for following this blog. Thank you for your love and support! It truly means the world to me, and this blog is as much for each of you as it is for me. I hope that I can bring a smile to your face every now and again. I hope that I can alert you to something you've never run across before. I hope I can offer each and every one of you something - that is my goal.


With all my love and devotion,
Miss Chicken Wing

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's All Good

Well, Peeps, I hadn't acknowledged this on the blog yet, but it's officially November. You heard me. NOVEMBER. I know, I can't believe it either. It's hard to believe but Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas is juuuuuust around the corner! The shops and stores are out in full force, trying to get you to pull your wallet out for them - they've got just what you need! You're trying to round up everyone that you want to buy for and get them to at least hint to you what would bring them joy around the holidays. Then you want to price check, make the purchase, come home and wrap it up, and you're set!

I have to admit that Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays! I love all holidays, but these two take the cake for me. It's the family, friends, love, FOOD, and good times that make these most important to me. They give us reason to get together, and the memories I have of these two holidays are among the best of my life.

The other reason why I love this time of year is because something especially moves me - moves me to want to do good for others. I've come to realize that it doesn't matter how much or how little you do for others - what matters is that you're doing for others. That's what counts, especially during what's supposed to be such a joyous time of year. And this year, I'm trying to incorporate some smaller ways to help others out.

For example, did you know that for $1.30, you can feed a family of four at a soup kitchen? I didn't literally until tonight. I have been wanting to stop using plastic bags for my groceries for a long time now. I, in all honesty, have two LARGE gatherings of plastic bags - one for Walmart and one for Kroger. I know that I can recycle them, but for some reason, I can never remember to take them with me! :( Tonight, I decided that I needed to make myself take the first step, and I decided to start off small. That's why I purchased two of these for $1.99 apiece:

When I purchased these at $1.99 apiece, Kroger donated $1.30 of each bag's purchase to a local soup kitchen, and now two families can be fed there! :) That's something good for two families I may never meet and something good for me and the planet! (No plastic bags!)

I'm definitely not as green as I need to be, but I'm a work in progress. And, in case you want to go green, here are some really cool reusable bags! You honestly don't have to sacrifice style when saving our world!

Even though these may be a little pricey to me for what they are, I still may end up investing in a set of these Baggu bags. You can choose pretty much any color, and you can buy a set of 5. They seem to be really sturdy, and they're machine washable - can't beat that!


They're really cool, and if you do a quick and easy Google search, you can find some awesome reusable bags that suit your personal style. The experts say to buy several and keep them in your car so you don't ever forget them at home. So, multiple cars = multiple sets of bags. But, all in all, I think it's worth it. Tonight's groceries would have been packed into five plastic bags, but I fit them into my two bags with room to spare! That's a pretty considerable difference!

So, as I stated before, it doesn't matter how much good you set out to do, just that you do it. Whether it's contributing to the planet, animals, or people in need makes absolutely no difference. There was never a better time to do something better than you've ever done it before - it's not too late. With the holidays fast approaching, embrace the reason for the season and just make a change...make a difference in some small way. You'll be amazed at how it makes you feel!

Until next time,
A Semi-Green Chicken Wing

I Want To Be a Wino, Too!

As I've said on multiple occasions, there are many things that I aspire to do in life (traveling has been thrown in there more times than I'd like to count!). One of the things I haven't ever talked about is food.

I'm not sure why this is, to be honest, but I think it just didn't cross my mind. Food has always been a funny little monster to me. It all started when I was a child - I was the pickiest eater! Some would say that I "ate like a bird." Some would actually believe that I was underfed (I've always had the blessing and curse of high metabolism, which is a kinder way of saying that I've always been skinny). Trust me, skinny folks get picked on plenty, too. It's a tough road if you don't have the absolute perfect body, it seems!

One of my attitudes about food and drinks and other things was that "I just didn't like them." This would be a fine statement to make, but the truth is that I had never tried many of the things I didn't like. I'd never allowed myself to be exposed to them!

Prime Example: Seriously, who can say that they'd never had Chinese food until they were 19? Pumpkin pie? Sweet potatoes? Stuffing at Thanksgiving? (Yes, all of those things were tried after the age of 19.)

Many of the things I tried have been brought about by Mr. Chicken Wing. He loves food, and I would consider him to be a "foodie." He loves to cook, and is definitely not afraid to experiment in the kitchen. He's also much more open to trying things than I am, but I am working on it! :)

Now, one thing that has been brought about more by my friends than by Mr. Chicken Wing is wine. I always thought that I didn't like wine. I'd tried red wine before, and it gave me that painful feeling behind my jawline - you know what I'm talking about! (It hurts!) I've also had wines that I determined were much too bitter for my enjoyment. I recall thinking to myself, "I can't believe people actually enjoy this stuff!" It seemed there would be no hope for me to become a wino! :(

Since then, I've discovered two types of wine that I really, really, really enjoy! I was so excited! I'm not big for drinking excessively, but I like to enjoy a glass with dinner (especially when I'm at a restaurant). So, I have to give a HUGE THANK YOU to my favorite chain restuarant:


It was sitting at that table each time that I was introduced to the first wines I've ever really enjoyed! The first came when the nice waitress had just brought out our salad (filled to the max with freshly grated cheese, which everyone knows is the ONLY way to eat an OG salad)! I was just excited about the salad and could hardly wait to dive into the bowl when she asked if we'd like to sample their wine of the day, which she explained was a sparkling wine. We said, "Okay." That was it. I was done. I was in love for the first time with a wine.

Meet Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante:

He's a looker, ehh? Source

It was again at Olive Garden that we were met with the following dialogue from our waitress. "Would you like to try our brand new wine? We haven't even added it to the menu yet, and we're in the testing phases to see if people like it. So far, it's been a huge hit!" Again, we said we would give it a shot, and I couldn't believe it. It's either tied with or beating the Asti from before! What? I now have TWO wines that I enjoy and can now look for on restaurant menus?!?!

Meet my other love, Castello del Poggio Moscato d'Asti:

Ahh, she's a beauty! Soooo good! Source

So, what has this little journey told me about myself? I like Asti, obviously! Asti is the common link! And what is that, you ask?

"Asti or Asti Spumante is a white sparkling wine produced in an area to the south of the town of Asti in Piedmont, Italy. Made from the Moscato Bianco grape, it is sweet and low in alcohol, and often drunk with dessert. It retains its sweetness through a complex filtration process. Another wine called Moscato d'Asti is made in the same region from the same grape, but produced by another technique which differentiates it from Asti." Source

So, there you have it, Peeps! If you like wine or want to like wine, get out there and try these two! I believe it will be worth it! If you're like me, you'll never know until you try. I already knew that I loved Italy, and this is just another thing from that area that I really enjoy. I hope with all my heart that I will be able to afford to travel there someday and look around!

Until next time,
Miss Chicken Wing

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chicken Wing Quote of the Day

Once again, REAL SIMPLE magazine pulls through with a great quote to start this Friday. As my mental health break this morning, I decided that I'd love to share it with you.

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” - Thomas Edison

This quote applies to me especially because I am what is known as a planner. Most of the time, I'm at my absolute happiest when I have a plan of action - an itinerary for trips/outings, for example. I don't like going on a trip and then idly sitting around. I like to do things - I live for the experience! (I will admit to being an anomaly, though...sometimes, I do like to be spontaneous. A great instance of this is window shopping - I LOVE window shopping, which never has an itinerary or schedule. That is one of my times to wander along aimlessly, just enjoying the views.)

Sometimes, though, my plans just don't work out - it's that simple. It's then that one has to improvise and adapt, and I think that is the essence of what Mr. Edison is saying. Just because you didn't get your way doesn't mean that all is lost. And that is a lesson that we can all put to use in our everyday lives.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Until next time,
Miss Chicken Wing

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chicken Wing Movie Review: This Is It


This Chicken Wing Movie Review is one that touches my heart, as you all know that I am a HUGE Michael Jackson fan, and have been all my life. I wasn't sure what to expect out of this film as we pre-ordered our tickets to see the behind-the-scenes footage of the King of Pop's last show. In his words, it was a "curtain call," and as he told all of his fans, "This is it."

I don't think he could have ever realized how true those words would be when he uttered them, and to watch the movie, Momma Chicken Wing and I both agreed that it made us sad. Not sad because it was disappointing (it most certainly was not), but sad because the overwhelming feeling of "it wasn't his time" came over you.

After watching the film, I had no new revelations. I already knew how hard Michael Jackson worked to perfect his art - he was the pinnacle of entertainment. I already knew how passionate he was about his songs and his moves. I already knew how he championed many causes, the top two being protection and advocation of children, and preservation and sustenance of the planet we all call home.

What touched me was watching the "chosen ones," the dancers hand-picked from thousands to be extensions of the man himself while on stage, talk about what it meant to them to work with the King of Pop. Their love and admiration of this man was completely evident, and they were different ages, from different countries, and different ethnicities. They were a good picture of our world - a world that was touched by a gifted individual. The director, choreographer, vocal leader, music director, backup singers, and band members all discussed what an honor and a privilege it was to work with a man so "kind, generous, and dedicated."

I also loved the fact that Michael was taking this show to the next level - yes, it was going to feature songs that he made into record gold in years past, but he had added things to make them current and even better! To be frank, I would have probably considered giving my first born child to go to that show! (Just kidding, future first born child!) Bottom line: It would have been one of the highlights of my life - to see someone of that level of genius in his element for the last time.

Months ago, I took advantage of an opportunity to become a part of this movie by submitting my photo to the Michael Jackson: This Is It Fan Mosaic. Basically, they wanted to recreate the movie poster, and they wanted to make it out of the pictures of Michael Jackson's fans. I thought it was a really cool way to show your support of the artist, and I really was hoping that my photo would be selected. I wrote myself a note of the date in which to check the website.

Here is what the finished mosaic looks like (zoomed out, of course):


Imagine my surprise and happiness when a search of the mosaic produced this:


I was completely overjoyed that my photo had made it! I did some editing of the photo above so you could see just where my picture was placed (see the red arrow). All you had to do was search by name, country, or favorite Michael Jackson song (and believe me, that was a TOUGH one!). And, when you zoom in, you can see the thousands of pictures that they used to make this portrait of the man himself. It was a really cool experience that I am privileged to have had.

Basically, I will be buying the DVD of this show, and I hope that people who didn't understand MJ will watch it. There were many people whose only goal was to bring him down when he was alive. That is unfortunate, but there is nothing we can do about that now. He didn't let it beat him down. His priorities were his children, his family, his fans, his causes, his world. I think that he is a shining example of perseverence.

(I also think it's pretty cool that a 50 year old man can still dance better than twenty-somethings that idolize him!)

So, that's my biased wrap-up. :) I love the King of Pop, and I loved this movie. It gave me the chance to "see" him in concert. So, if you are a fan, or are just curious, take a look at it. You might just find yourself enjoying. You'll most likely find yourself singing along!

Until next time,

Miss Chicken Wing
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