When I was younger, my friend, Beth, would always exclaim, “Happpppppppp-y New Year!!”, and not a New Years celebration has unfolded since without me uttering that proclamation in a Beth-like way.  Cheers to 2012, ya’ll, and welcome to my new blog!

Are you ready?  I feel like the ball is dropping in Times Square all over again!  Let the countdown begin: “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”  And, we’re off!


I think the theme for this week’s quotations should be “New Year”…that’s apt, isn’t it?

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.  

Benjamin Franklin

I hope that this year, I am a better woman than I was last year.  A better wife, mama, friend, daughter, employee….better at responding to emails, better at exercising, better at cooking, better at LIVING.  This isn’t to say that I was BAD at these things last year, or the year before, since I’m trying not to be TOO hard on myself in hindsight, and trying not to set unrealistic expectations for the future.  Instead, I just strive to be an EVEN BETTER me (if “even” just a teeny, tiny, ounce of a smidge better) this year.


First book of 2012 is (and drumroll please….):

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You

By Nancy Tillman

The Mister and I got this book for Wee One for Christmas, among many others, which I’m sure we’ll share at later dates.  LOVED the book “On the Night You Were Born” by the same author (Nancy Tillman), which Wee One received from her Grammy last Christmas, before she even entered this world.


Raise your glasses, and sing:

Auld Lang Syne

Sung by James Taylor

To purchase and download Auld Lang Syne, sung by James Taylor, click below:

Auld Lang Syne


Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

To download the piano solo sheet music version of Auld Lang Syne by Mannheim Steamroller, click here.

Predictable, I know.  (And I hate to be predictable.)  HOWEVER:  Whenever I hear this, visions of “It’s a Wonderful Life” flash through my head, and I’m immediately taken back to my early years, cuddling on the couch with my mama, watching good ol’ George Bailey and friends….and it makes me happy.  Thus, I just needed to have this be the song of the day.  Forgive me?

I have often wondered about the meaning of “Auld Lang Syne”.  According to the forever popular, hopefully-accurate, Internet source, the infamous Wikipedia, “for auld lang syne” is loosely translated as “for the sake of old times.”  Eh.  Not totally inspiring lyrics, but a beautiful melody, and symbolic of New Year nonetheless.  (To read more about Auld Lange Syne from Wikipedia, click here.)

And, of course, Mr. Taylor is truly, TRULY one of THE BEST there is.  Kudos to you, Mr. James Taylor.  Kudos to you.  (And, while we’re at it, a very merry New Year to you and yours as well.)


My mom-in-law is one of THE BEST cooks I know.  I seriously gain 20 pounds every time I visit, and it doesn’t bother me a bit, because her food is SO GOOD.  Since it’s after midnight, she’s asleep, so I don’t haver her exact recipe, but she mentioned making “hamburger buns” tomorrow, and this makes me so happy.  Ever heard of these?  I hadn’t until I met my husband, but they are absolutely D-licious.  Secret-recipe bread dough + hamburger + sauerkraut = delectable go-to lunch/dinner/snack.  You can fill these little buns with anything (although the mixture above is what she generally does).  I’ve had these as homemade pizza pockets, stuffed with cheese, pepperoni, and sauce, and I imagine the possibilities are really endless.

I searched for a recipe, and found the following…I’m guessing it’s not identical to what she makes, but it will have to do for today.  🙂  If she gives up her recipe, I’ll be sure to post later!

Taste of Home’s Sauerkraut Beef Buns

Taste of Home: Sauerkraut Beef Buns Recipe

Originally published as Sauerkraut Beef Buns in Taste of Home Ground Beef Cookbook , p76

I’d love to post the whole recipe here, but as I haven’t tried it, and can’t add my own “spin” to it, I’m not quite sure of the legality of re-publishing….so, to be on the safe side, I’m simply linking to the recipe.


January 1: New Years

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January 1, 2012 is…

New Years Day

Bonza Bottler Day

We all know that January 1st is New Years Day.  But did you know the following?

New Years Day is the closest thing to being a truly global public holiday.

People in certain countries celebrate New Years Day by gathering on beaches and running into bodies of water (Polar Plunge for any of you dear, and crazily adventurous, readers out there?)

And what about this “Bonza Bottler Day”?  Well, apparently, every month contains a Bonza Bottler Day.  It is celebrated on the day the order of the month and the day’s date contain the same numeral.  So, since January is the first month of the year, January 1 (1/1) is Bonza Bottler Day, as is February 2, March 3, and so on.  Weird name, but maybe a fun day to celebrate with the kiddos.

The month of January includes the following celebrations:

National Oatmeal Month

Hot Tea Month

National Book Blitz Month

So, I was shocked (well, okay, not THAT shocked, but still, somewhat amused) to learn that each month has a plethora of lesser-than-widely-known celebrations and observations.  Many are quite obscure (Bonza Bottler Day, anyone?), and the above are fairly unique, but I included them for the following reasons:

1.  I love Oatmeal, Oatmeal toppings, Oatmeal sweet treats—and, any excuse to surf the net for Oatmeal recipes was a-okay by me.

2.  I used to get gifts of tea all of the time.  Included in every celebration, birthday gift, random cards from my mama—ALL of the time.  Funny thing was, I didn’t really drink much tea.  I didn’t do caffeine either, and didn’t like the taste of coffee, so I’m guessing that people just assumed I liked tea.  Not so much.  But, as the years passed, it grew on me.  Started with Chai, then Peppermint, then Raspberry Leaf when I was trying anything and everything to induce labor….and now, I love it.  Happy to try any-n-all types, and excited to celebrate this month.  Pinkies up!

3.  Books.  Love ’em.  See prior post.  Need I say more?


I want to do more things, more daily, super-exciting things, with Wee One this year.  And, since she’s moving from the eat-sleep-poo-all-day-every-day stage to the I’m-awake-and-smiley-with-drool-constantly-dripping-from-my-face-but-I’m-so-dang-adorable-you-think-it’s-the-cutest-thing-you’ve-ever-seen-even-if-I’m-slimy-and-I-laugh-and-like-to-play-more-and-more-so-entertain-me-please stage, here’s the first to-do of the year:

Throughout the day, demonstrate the difference between LOUD and quiet.

Wee One seems to learn a thousand new things a day, and I just get so excited to see her new developments. She has gotten startled by loud noises in the past couple of weeks…it’s so sad to see her cry when she hears a loud noise she doesn’t expect, but I am excited at the way she is beginning to become more and more aware of the world around her!


I’m woefully uninformed about current political info, and, with the infamous Iowa Caucuses fast approaching, I was a bit aghast when I came across the following from “The Hill”:

Gingrich sees Sarah Palin as Vice President, Cabinet Secretary by Justin Sink


“Gingrich, speaking Wednesday during a conference call with conservative voters hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, was asked by one of the attendees whether he would consider Palin as a running mate.

‘She is certainly one of the people you would look at. I am a great admirer of hers and she was a remarkable reform governor of Alaska, she’s somebody who I think brings a great deal to the possibility of helping in government and that would be one of the possibilities,’ Gingrich said, according to Right Wing Watch.

‘There are also some very important Cabinet positions that she could fill very, very well,’ Gingrich said. ‘I can’t imagine anybody who would do a better job of driving us to an energy solution than Gov. Palin, for example. Tell her that she would certainly be on the list of one of the people we would consider.’


Resolutions.  My reaction to them?  “EH.”  But, regarding more frequent exercise, I’m gonna try this year…not as a “resolution”, necessarily, ’cause I suppose that’s just little ol’ me setting myself up for disappointment.  But, instead, as a goal or something….”A rose by any other name” and all of that…right?

Intermediate: Core Circles

(From Fitnessmagazine.com)

Targets: Abs, lower back

1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, abs engaged.

2. Place palms on thighs, fingers pointed toward each other. Circle torso in clockwise direction — push rib cage toward left hip, then do a half circle to right; continue the circle back to start.

3. Do 15 reps. Switch directions and repeat. Do 3 sets.



Oh how I love myself a good blog.  And there are so many out there, how can I pick just one?  Luckily for me, I won’t have to, since I’m listing one blog/website a day.  That makes me happy!  Without further adieu, today’s blog is:

Simply Recipes

I found this site when I was newly pregnant, and in a “I need to bake everything I can find and give it away to my loved ones” stage.  In my extensive internet search for sweet treat recipes, I came across Elsie’s recipe for “Giant Ginger Cookies”.  I made them, devoured a few, and passed the rest along to family and friends.  I have never, ever, ever received so many compliments and requests for a recipe than I have for these gingerlicious delights.

Giant Ginger Cookies from Simply Recipes


If, by some magical spell, you were forced to keep one of your resolutions every day for the rest of your life, what resolution do you think you would make?

Email me, and I’ll post the responses: rallyandmeelsblog@gmail.com

Welcome, 2012, and welcome, dear reader, to this new blog!