Monday, December 29, 2008

A Weekend of Surprises

It just shows....you never know what things could be like and the simplest things could go wrong. So, as the Boyscouts say....be prepared!!

We were heading up to Maine on Saturday, for my friend Lexi's surprise baby shower. (I've written about her before, she's a near-and-dear friend from our days at Salve, and she's having her first child next month!) Will was comfy in the backseat, watching "Cars" and we were a hundred miles into the trip, with about eighty to go. We had also made hotel reservations in the area so we didn't have to make a return trip in the same day. Well...imagine OUR surprise when my car started to buck and vibrate!! We immediatley slowed down and it got a little less buck-y, and we were able to get to the next exit. Luckily we knew the area a bit since we had vacationed there a couple of years ago. I made some calls and found a Ford dealership, but it was eighteen miles away. (To anyone that says...why so many miles? This is Maine, people. There isn't a dealership on every corner like in MA!) So we drove slooooowwwllllyyy up Route One to the dealership, whom we had called ahead. They said that they were working with a skeleton crew that day, but were open til 4PM and would do what they could for us.

The dealer was amazing! Not only were they the nicest dealership I have ever encountered, they offered us sandwiches and use of their play area. They diagnosed the problem quickly (a misfiring cylinder) and had us out of there in a little less than two hours. They really made a rotten situation a little better! Had we been near home, all of the dealers would have been snarky about their Saturday hours and said that we would've had to wait until Monday.

Anyway, we ended up missing the shower. But we got to spend some one-on-one time with Lexi and her husband, which I think is even better!! Lexi loved her gifts from us, including the "Porn for New Moms" book that I found in North Carolina over the summer. (hilarious, any new moms should read for a laugh) Will certainly enjoyed playing with his racecars and Lexi's husband, Perry. Then it was a quick trip to our hotel room where we fell asleep fairly early in recovery from our "adventure." Next time I see Lexi she'll be a Mama!!

One of the best parts of this "adventure" is that Brian has decided that he can no longer make fun of me for knowing someone everywhere we go. I made two phone calls to friends in Maine and had the names and locations of a couple of dealerships, and if it came down to it, a place to stay the night!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Craftiness

Now that the big day has come and gone...I can share my handmade Christmas presents!!


A knitted scarf for Tracy! Actually, I haven't given it to her yet, but she knows about it. I actually combined two different knitted stitches to create stripes. (and I'm already working on another one!)

Blue earrings and necklace set for my aunt Nancy.


And I made three bracelets for Kim (green, red and pink) and two necklaces for my mom. Of course, I managed to DELETE those pics before I could post them! Better luck next time.






Friday, December 26, 2008

Favorite Christmas Things

(Meme stolen from one of my favorite blogs, Confessions of a CF Husband....)

These Are a Few of My Favorite Christmas Things

Movie - Christmas Vacation (y'know, the one with Chevy Chase having the whole family over for the holidays and well...things go awry!) I also enjoy A Christmas Story and White Christmas.

Sweet - Rollo cookies!!! Also kahlua fudge, though I didn't make any this year.

Song -O Holy Night for seriousness, The Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping" for silliness

Tradition - Opening one gift on Christmas Eve

Gift Received - Brian coming home from naval deployment the first year we were dating.

Gift Given - That's a tough one. I love it when I give a gift to someone and it's a surprise and the person is pretty excited about it. (Thinking about it, who DOESN'T love that!!) My dad really liked his fishing vest this year, and Brian loved his new Alton Brown book.

Meal - Roast beef

Happy Christmas

It's the day after Christmas, and we're winding down from such a great day. Good food, lovely family, fun presents....this year's holiday has all the makings of a great time!
First, we got up late to open presents and peek in stockings. (I DO realize that this is probably the last time Will is going to let us sleep in on Christmas morning!!) Santa was very good to Will this year, with "Cars" books, a Backyardigans bath boat, Mr. Potato Head and other goodies, not to mention his very first camera!! That is the favorite toy from Santa this year, he loves to walk around with it like he is a little photographer. And best of all, it takes real pictures!!

We had a houseful of guests yesterday, and a wonderful meal followed by more presents and then dessert. It was a magical day!

These are the pictures I had on my camera, I'm sure "Aunt Razzi" will send some very soon!




















Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All Dug Out....and Excited!!

The aforementioned snowstorm lasted...three days! All told, it left us with about a foot-and-a-half of snow and plenty of ice, as well as negative temperatures on Monday. We didn't venture out for most of the weekend, other than me going to the grocery store Saturday night. That wasn't a lot of fun, pushing a fully loaded grocery cart through the snowy, half-plowed lot!! By Sunday we were all a little stir-crazy from being home. But there is something to be said for being home three days, I got all of our wrapping done (including Will's presents from us and from Santa!) and I baked cookies. I am glad that our holiday shopping was done.

Once today is over, I'm off from work until next Monday, and I'm so excited! I can't believe Christmas Eve is tomorrow....and I'm not the only one that is excited!! Will and I read a book every night before bed called "Ho Ho Ho Tucker!" He always asks for Tucker, to take the book to bed with him. Last night, every time we saw Santa in the book he would yell "SANTA!!!" and kiss the book! Someone also taught him how to say "Merry Christmas" this week! It's really cute. Last week, he also learned "Happy Birthday" and kept pestering me on my birthday about the whereabouts of my party hat!

I probably won't post again until the weekend, so I want to wish all of my Blogland friends a Merry Christmas!!! Hope it's a great one!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cabin Fever

It's been snowing for over 24 hours now, and the stir-crazy boredom is starting to settle in. I'm glad that I finished all of my Christmas shopping yesterday morning. Today has been about wrapping presents and baking another batch of coconut macaroons. (Brian's favorite.) I wanted to go grocery-shopping but that'll wait till later.

I hope that my family can make it tomorrow to celebrate my birthday and watch the game!! It's not looking good, though. Another storm is brewing right on top of this one, starting tomorrow afternoon last I heard. Welcome, Old Man Winter! (Now get the hell out!) :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!!

Happy Birthday dear Ginny........Happy Birthday to me!

It's 8am on Friday, December 19th and I've already had oodles of birthday wishes. Thanks!

I am (gasp!!) 32 years old today! Hard to believe. I used to wake up sad on my birthday that I was getting older, but why would I do that???? Life isn't perfect but I have a lot to be thankful for!!! Let's see....

1. First and foremost, my family. My husband rocks and my little man is the best!! I'm so lucky to have them in my life. And my parents and my brother and his fiancee....they're all awesome as well. I'm blessed to have such people in my life.

2. My friends. I have a great group of friends! Some are old friends that go all the way back to childhood and some I've made as recently as this month. Some are close aquaintances, and some are close enough that they'd hide a body for me. (not that I've ever needed this!!) Thanks for your friendship.

3. I have a snuggly dog that loves me unconditionally, even when some days all I do is yell for him to get off the couch/pick his food off the floor/stop being so jealous of Will.

4. I've got a roof over my head. And after last week's storm, this is no small feat!! We're thankful for not having lost power or had tremendous damage in last week's ice storm. But we know plenty of people who were affected, and some that STILL don't have power!!

5. I have a job that I love, and I have a job, period!

So I have a lot to be happy about!!! And in the past year I've learned to take a deep breath and make some time for me. Something I plan on still doing over the next new year. I've learned new crafting skills and discovered blogging. And to celebrate ME today, before the snowstorm hits, I'm going to treat myself to a massage and an eggnog latte at Starbucks. And since it looks like we'll be snowed in all night and not be able to go out to eat as planned, I'm going to bake a cake!

Thanks for all of your birthday wishes. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday: Show and Tell!!

I know that it's Wednesday, but the pictures this week cannot be explained wordlessly. I finished my ornament for my knitting group's ornament swap, and well, I want to brag about it!
The rule was that the ornament had to be handmade, but it didn't have to be from yarn. So I cross-stitched a snowman and turned him into a little ornament to add some cheer to a lucky recipient's Christmas tree. :) Also, I finally used my sewing machine...

Thanks, Mom, for showing me how to do it right!




Cross-stitching the snowman holding some Christmas lights

Finished Cross-Stitch Design



Sewing the fabric back and the cross-stitch front



Turning it right-side out



Hand-finishing the bottom. (My sewing by hand needs some work!)





Voila! The snowman does a practice run adorning my tree.








Monday, December 15, 2008

Starstruck!


Last night, Brian and I went to see the loooonnngggg-anticipated Terry Fator show at the new Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. I say "loonnnngggg" because we bought the tickets back in June, and the date circled on the calendar had been teasing us for some time. Who is Terry Fator, you ask? Well, he's season two's winner of "America's Got Talent." What's "America's Got Talent??" It's a talent competition that NBC has in the summer. Terry Fator is a ventriloquist/impersonator, and he's VERY good at his job! I haven't laughed so hard or so much in one night in a while! Seriously, he puts on a fantastic show. This is just a regular guy that was trying to make it in his career, and he beat out many hopefuls for the million bucks on the show. He also just recently signed a ten-year, HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR deal with The Mirage Casino in Las Vegas!

When someone gets a deal like that, you wonder if fame will go to their head. Judging by last night's show, I would say in this case, definitely not!! He had them turn on the house lights and asked anyone who is or had served in the military to stand up and be thanked and honored by him. And if that's not gracious enough, he wrote a song for St. Jude's Children's charity called "Horses in Heaven" that he will donate all proceeds to the charity. Still not enough? Instead of putting the copyright in his name, he puts it in the name of St. Jude's, so even if someone else sings the song, they still get the royalties as donations. Wow! What a great guy.

Now I can get to the "starstruck" part. He was in the lobby, doing a meet-and-greet. Brian and I waited in line for an hour to say hello and get his autograph. Also, he allowed photos during the show, which isn't the norm. Had I known that was going to happen, I would've brought a camera better than the crappy one on my phone. (At times like this, it would've been great to be traveling with "Auntie Paparazzi," who goes nowhere without one!! Maybe she's onto something.....) Anyway, when I got to the front of the line, his DJ took our picture with my phone, and despite my rehearsed greeting in my head, all I could get out was "Thanks for a great show and all the good things you do" in a tiny voice, while shaking his hand. Ah well. I did better when I met Wayne Brady!!!

Anyway, if you ever get a chance to see Terry perform, you should!!! He puts on one hell of a show!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Project Complete...


I've finally managed to finish a knitting project...this is my first scarf! This beauty is for me to keep!!!

As soon as it was finished, I already missed the yarn flying between my fingers and onto the needles. So I started another one as a gift to my friend Tracy.











Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Indecisive Much?

I wonder if Mother Nature will make up her mind soon about the weather. I realize that this is New England and all.....but it was freezing cold yesterday, it's going to be almost 60 degrees tomorrow, and by Friday we might have a few inches of snow! Short sleeves, long sleeves, gloves and hat......this week we'll see it all!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What a Guy!!

There's a well-known "secret" in my family. My husband has a tough time holding onto birthday presents until my actual birthday. Sometimes he just gets excited about what he got me and just can't wait to give it to me! Our anniversary is the first week of October and one year I got a beautiful ring......in mid-September. Not that I mind, mind you! However, I do find it amusing.

Sometimes he ends up gift-giving early because it's something we could really use in the moment. Like last year, when he had gotten me silicone cookie mats and we were about to bake a mess of cookies. Or this year.

It's cookie making weekend in our house.......anyone who knows us well knows that the first weekend of December we knock ourselves out baking. We make tons of cookies and give them away, ship them in packages and of course....indulge in some of them ourselves. :) Last night we were making the "short list" of what we wanted to bake and ranking them. (Yes, I'm aware that makes us big dorks, but hey, that's allright, cookies are awesome!) I was disappointed that we had to cut out one recipe because it needed a food processor. And anyone who's read this post knows that you can't use a blender in place of a food processor!

Suddenly, Brian opened the basement door to "listen for the washing machine "to see if it was done." He went downstairs to put towels in the dryer, and I went out to the computer. He comes upstairs and presents me with a box wrapped in Christmas paper and blue painter's tape, "Happy Birthday, Dear!!!" Oh boy, my very own food processor!!!

Now we can make "Pecan-Caramel Surprises" with the rest of our cookie menu. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Favorites...

...for today, my Christmas favorite is hot chocolate from Starbucks. I may make fun and call it FOURBUCKS, since you can't get out of there for less than four bucks. But I really love their drinks. I don't go very often, but I'm much more apt to go in there for a white chocolate latte or gingerbread cookie during the holidays! And if you're going to get the hot chocolate, take the splurge and get the whipped cream. It's worth it!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Few Christmas Questions

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? A bit of both. It depends on what I'm wrapping

2. Real tree or Artificial? I love real trees! But I hate the mess, and the last one we had totally dried out before Christmas and was a disappointment. So I got a great deal last year on a pre-lit one.

3. When do you put up the tree? If we're traveling for Thanksgiving, right after we get back. We're putting it up today!

4. Do you like eggnog? I really like eggnog. But I'm the only one in the house, and I only like it once in a while, so I usually end up throwing some out.

5. Favorite gift received as a child? My Little Ponies, Cabbage Patch Kids. And the year we got our tent beds, that was pretty cool!

7. Hardest person to buy for? My Dad

8. Easiest person to buy for? Will, followed by my Mom

9. Do you have a nativity scene? I actually have a few of them, mostly received as gifts.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hmm......perfume. I like to pick my own, and this scent was atrocious.

11. Favorite Chirstmas Movie? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!!!

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? If I see something that strikes me as a great Christmas gift, I buy it anytime during the year and put it away. But I start in mid-November for the most part.

13 Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I have and would again...if I thought the recipient would like it or have a use for it more than I did.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas cookies, and cocoa!

15. Lights on the tree? Lots of lights, color or white. Doesn't matter to me.

16. Favorite Christmas song? I like most of them, but the silly kids' ones are the best.

17 . Travel at Christmas or stay home? Since Will was born we stay home on Christmas Day. Travel to Philly the week after if possible.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. (Yes, I had to sing the song in order to remember!!)

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I like both. Right now we have an angel

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Always one on Christmas Eve!

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Grumpy shoppers. They're the biggest reason why I'll never work retail again!

22. Do you have an ornament theme or color? Not really.

23 . Favorite for Christmas dinner? I love roast beef for Christmas Dinner. To this day, I still miss my grandfather's famous Roast Beef!

24. . What do you want for Christmas this year? tangible: A new iPod, craft supplies. Intangible: experiencing Christmas through Will's eyes!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

Brian came home last week and told me about this a capella group that he heard on the radio. This is footage from when these guys were in college in the late nineties. It was so popular last year that the guys reunited and cut a Christmas album. This really got me more in the holiday spirit, enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Puddle Duck

It rained all day today. Most of the day, it was the kind of rain that you don't even want to go out to your car. But, since I still had to go to work, after breakfast I bundled Will and I in our raincoats and headed out. While I was putting down our stuff in the car (Why does it feel like everywhere we go we have enough stuff to move in??) Will ran around the car. Then, I realized what he had been doing--jumping in the puddles! He was soaked to the waist, shoes, jeans, socks....oh no! He was so happy and proud of himself that I couldn't stay mad for long. We ducked quickly into the house to get more clothes and another pair of shoes, and I stripped him and put him in dry clothes when we got to the daycare. He threw a fit over his socks, he wanted to keep the wet white ones instead of the navy blue ones. And guess what--the shoes I grabbed didn't fit! So Will spent the day in dry warm socks while his shoes dried. What a day! And when I got there to take him home....you guessed it. My puddle duck wanted to play in the puddles again!

We're celebrating another milestone this weekend....Will's going into a toddler bed!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Evening of Giving

Tonight I'm doing something that's become a little tradition for me. I'm going to the Evening of Giving at the local mall.

What's that, you say? Well, the Mall stays open past normal closing hours on a Sunday, and you buy tickets to shop then and receive special discounts. There are some holiday treats and entertainment as well. It's always the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and I usually take care of a big chunk of shopping. Plus, it gives me some time out with one of my girlfriends, to do girl things!

I used to buy the tickets from the shelter where we got our dog, Joey. I emailed them a couple of weeks though, to see if they were selling tickets and I got a response that they hadn't been invited to participate this year! I was so bummed...I liked the fact that I could shop and donate to the shelter at the same time. So instead, I will collect some supplies from their Wishlist and donate them.

Happy Beginning of the Holidays, Everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Classics Book Challenge: "Angela's Ashes"

My fifth choice for the New Classics Book Challenge was Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.

What a sad story!! I could not believe the things that Mr. McCourt has lived through. An alcoholic father, extreme poverty, three siblings dying from hunger and disease...it was very sad. I rooted for him when he took the ship to America at nineteen. I saw that there was a sequel called 'Tis, I might read it later on to see how life panned out in America and if his family followed him there later on.

This took me a while to read, I had to renew it twice at the library and that's not like me! I have one book left to complete The Challenge by January 31st, I haven't yet picked one out. I've checked to see if my library has a couple of them, but they don't!! So stay tuned.

Two Birds, One Stone

I've mentioned that I want to learn to sew, FINALLY. I've had a machine for like 5 years and I don't even know how to thread the thing. (though I'm told by a fellow Crafty Mama that there's a diagram on the machine to thread it.....shows how observant I am!!) Well, I've picked my first project. I am participating in an ornament swap with my knitting group. Since I'm still a very green knitter, I'm cross-stitching a snowman ornament for the swap. And I'm going to finish it myself by making it into a mini-pillow! The stitching is almost done, so I have to get some Christmas-y fabric over the weekend for the backside of the ornament and some fiberfill.

That's a pretty small project though, and probably won't take too long. I was at a meeting on Tuesday night for an association of churches that we presented our WomenAid group to. (This association was pretty neat, it's all of the area churches working together in one group to support one another, run a food pantry, and a slew of other things. It's great to see different faiths working together like that, and they were very welcoming!!) During a break, we were talking to a woman who runs a local chapter of ConKerr Cancer. They make pillowcases for kids with cancer to brighten their days in the hospital. What a great idea! I brought home a brochure to check it out. I figure, pillowcases can't be all that hard to make. They're all straight seams, and except for the corners it looks fairly simple. So after the holidays, I'm going to get some fun, bright fabric and give it a whirl! Check out their website if you get a chance: ConKerr Cancer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blog Survey...Thanks Karen!

1. What is your funniest childhood story?
Let's see. What about the time that my friend Nicole and I painted our fingernails with permanent marker? Or when I sat in my desk drawer and catapulted the black and white TV on top? I know! My brother and I got caught stealing the neighbor's Christmas lights. That's a pretty funny story....now!!

2. What would your dream dress look like if you could design it?
Hmmmm. I loved my commencement ball dress from nine years ago. It was gold and cream and a ballgown, that reminded me of Belle in "Beauty and The Beast." I'll never get rid of that dress, even if I don't fit in it!


3. What weird habit does your hubby have?
He always sneezes two or three times right before he falls asleep. Always!

4. How many cookbooks are in your kitchen?
I keep all of my cookbooks in the family room. I have a whole lot, and I'm currently trying to go through some of them to see if I want to make anything in them. And if I don't....it's time for it to go!

5. Granny panties or loyal Victoria Secret girl?
I'm somewhere in the middle. Not quite granny....but not really cool Victoria's Secret ALL the time!

6. My favorite memory from 2008 so far is...
our family vacation in North Carolina. Seeing my parents play with Will and watching Will really experience the beach.

7. I secretly...
enjoy cheesy sitcoms, the cheesier the better.

8. I could really go for...
someone else to make dinner....I just don't feel like it tonight!

9. We are going to have a big snow storm and you will find me...
hopefully snowed in with the world stopped for just a little while.

10. I knew he was the one...
.....when he came home from a long deployment and I loved him even more! I got that feeling again when our son was born, and watched him become a totally hands-on dad.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Madness Takes It's Toll.....

.....Please Have Exact Change!

Some parts of today were so frustrating, I get tight in the shoulders just thinking about it! First, I thought I was being SO smart, going to the library during the day today to return Will's Thomas DVD. Thomas the Tank Engine is his current favorite, and my current nemesis. We only watch Thomas on Sprout on Demand, and they have the same five episodes over and over. It's gotten to the point that I once told him that Thomas was broken and we had to watch something else. (You may judge me if you like, but I'll bet other parents have done that!) Anyway, Thomas was due back over the weekend but the weather was really crappy and I had a cranky toddler on my hands, so I didn't go to return it. I get to the library, only to have the librarian discover that the DVD isn't in the case. Guess where it is? You are correct....in the DVD player at home. All I could do was laugh! Because if I didn't laugh really hard in the library right then, I might cry! The librarian was nice enough to renew the DVD so I wouldn't incur any more charges until next week, but at this point I owe $1.50 on the dang thing when I bring it back.

Tonight I had a meeting to go to in a small town about 15 miles away. I had never been to this area of town before, so I needed my GPS system. Well, the GPS wouldn't suction to the windshield properly because Winter has reared its ugly head a bit early this year. So I ended up having to pull over quickly when the computer became a PROJECTILE! Luckily it didn't hit me, it wound up under my seat and I could hear Nina telling me to take a U-Turn. (Yes, my GPS is named Nina, more on that particular madness another time!) I was then on my merry way, to the meeting. Well, my programmed brain veered for the highway, which I didn't need to use this evening. I was already running late, and didn't even notice I had taken the turn to the Pike until I saw the tollbooth coming up!! Luckily, there's a park n ride. I was still the last person to get to the meeting, which was a bit embarrassing!

Now I am home safe and sound, in my warm PJ's and ready for some TV and slumber. Tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bits and Pieces

It's been a wildly busy weekend in our world. There was no room to sleep in even a little bit on Saturday OR Sunday!

On Saturday, I hosted a playgroup at our house for five Moms and Kids, including my monkey-man. He had a lovely time playing with all of his little friends and munching on snacks. The biggest hit of the playdate was a remote control car that all of the kiddos liked to chase into the kitchen. We sure had a lot of fun! Brian spent the afternoon helping lay a new Pergo floor at my parent's cottage. I also finally made it out to get some new 24-month clothes for Will, as we were getting a little sparse in the shirt dept. I even got in a little Christmas shopping, and came home feeling quite accomplished. Oh, and Joey, instead of being locked in the bedroom during the playdate, got a trip to the Doggie Spa. (aka Petsmart) He was miffed that he didn't get to hang out with the kids, but he sure smells good!

Today the alarm went off at 7:30, and after cursing at it once I grumbled out of bed. Today was Bridesmaid Day! I met up with my brother's fiancee (aka Auntie Paparazzi) and her sister and Mom, and we were really successful! It was the best shopping for a bridesmaid dress that I have ever done, because I didn't try on a blessed thing! All of the sample sizes were way too small, so her sister graciously tried them on because she was closer to the sample sizes. And I ordered mine. Here's what we decided to go with:


Kim (aka Auntie Razzi) also showed me how to purl!! My scarf is almost finished, and well, it's pretty wonky-looking. But I'm pretty proud of it! I plan on starting a new one shortly thereafter to try my new stitch skills.

So, that's pretty much it. Now I'm ready for dinner, putting Will to bed and hanging out with Brian and catching up on some TV before the work week comes around again.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Trading savings for quality? No.

I'm always willing to buy store-brand, generic stuff. It's usually a lot cheaper than name-brand stuff. Cereal bars taste the same, as well as milk, usually sandwich bags are OK in generic form, the generic laundry detergent cleans just as well...you get the jist. But, like most people, I have a list of things that I won't buy generic:

1. Ketchup. Heinz or none!

2. Q-tips. Q-tip brand has the most cotton. The others wear thin and quickly to the stick.

3. Soda. Well, to be more specific, cola. The fruity ones aren't so bad.

4. And my latest is taco dinner kits. The taco sauce is a weird color, and who folds these taco shells? I ended up dumping most of my taco!

Ice cream used to be on the list, until I tried Price Chopper's Central Market brand. That's actually some good stuff!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Are there no Original Ideas left??

df Pictures, Images and Photos


Hollywood's streak of re-making movies is getting a little old. The latest I've read about is that they're re-doing The Karate Kid. Seriously....somebody write some new screenplays!! Let me guess what's next--Goonies? E.T.? A Christmas Story? Re-doing a movie doesn't necessarily make it better. If anything, most of the time people liked the original version! I can't think of any movies taht I liked the second version better. If you can, let me know.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Autumn Sunshine

I can't believe how beautiful it is outside today!! The temp is going to be in the high fifties, blue skies and some clouds, and all of the leaves are off the trees. It smells wonderful, just like autumn is supposed to smell. I took a nice walk around the neighborhood after breakfast just to take it all in. I love days like today.

Now I am coloring with Will and then going to bake banana nut muffins. What a great day. Enjoy it!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Own Personal Everest

Every year at Christmas, we wrap a swatch of red and gold fabric underneath the Christmas tree, and Brian always asks, "When are you going to make that tree skirt?"

I've had this Snow Village Christmas Tree Skirt in the back of my craft closet for years. Now that I think about it, my friend Maureen and I bought cross-stitch tree skirts back in 2003. So, five years. Hers was animals, and I fell in love with the snowman village. Hers is finished, but she had someone do it for her. Mine has hung out and watched while I've made baby items, wedding records and other projects. I came across it while I was looking to make some ornaments and I just felt, Gee! It would be great to do that.

So, I pulled it out and blew the dust off. (after five years, there was a bit of dust!) It's not that the pattern is daunting or that it is a difficult fabric. It's just so dang big!!! This is not the kind of thing that I am going to finish in a month. At the rate that it takes me to finish small things, this is going to take at least a year. And I know that I don't have the attention span to just work on "this one thing." But who says it needs to be done for this Christmas, or next? And I'll never finish it if I don't start it.

So, today is the day. Wish me luck!




The finished product....with matching snow village stocking

Look at all of that floss to sort and keep neat!


The chart.....almost four pages!



Bejeweled


I had a little fun on Wednesday night making my first necklace solo. And, as I promised myself....it's mine! I wore it to work on Thursday with a purple sweater and got lots of compliments. The best part was that it took me about a half hour to make!! I saved two purple beads to make matching earrings, but I ran out of time on Wednesday night. Or should I say, my sleepiness caught up with me.


I checked out "The Impatient Beader" at the library today and have found a whole new world of trinkets to make. This is so much fun. Happiness is the multi-crafter....I now have even more projects floating around my head at all times!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Who Needs 'Em??

This is a gripe about pantyhose. Yes, Pantyhose.

I dressed up for work today because I have a bunch of skirts and really, why don't I wear them more often? What am I saving them for? Oh yeah... I don't wear them because I hate pantyhose. I stick my nails through them, I beat the hell out of them, and frankly, I just don't have the patience for it. But today, I decided to tempt fate.

Bad idea. It was a busy day, and I totally shredded the pair from the thigh down. And I had a bunch of work errands today. So that's how I ended up at CVS, frantically looking at sizing charts and buying a pair and finding somewhere to put them on! (which ended up being the daycare, thank goodness! My other choice was a McDonald's bathroom.)

Now for the other reason pantyhose are a "Tool of the Devil.": who writes these damn size charts!? The ones I bought were supposedly the right size for my weight and would fit a woman anywhere from 5 feet to 6 feet tall. Yeah, a foot's difference. After pulling for all I'm worth, I managed to barely get them all the way up and had to adjust all day. (Not a pretty picture, but you have it anyway. You're Welcome!) If a six-foot woman around my same weight tried to put them on, she'd kick her way through them!

So anyway, I'm back to pants.....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Birth Sampler


Here is a picture of a baby birth record I've been working on for the past couple of months. It's straight off the hoop so I haven't washed or ironed it yet. It's for a friend who's expecting in January, I'm just waiting to stitch on the name and birth information! I know the baby's name but I don't know if the name is a secret.I also have another project that I am working on and almost finished with, all that's left is the back-stitching. (i.e. outlining the design) I hate back-stitching!! But I'm so darn proud of this one.....and even though it's a gift I don't believe the recipient reads The Carpool Lane so you might just see a photo...


I've been kind of spotty lately about stitching, I'll put it down for weeks at a time and then I'll be obsessed with it for a couple more weeks. I've also been making a lot of gifts....but I take photos of each completed project and have an album for myself. (I know: DORK!) Hey, I put a lot of work into these. And since I give away most of what I make--at least I have proof that I did indeed make things. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Monkey Business (aka Happy Halloween!)

We had a fun Halloween in our house! First, Will did a little trick or treating at daycare today. Nana also came to visit and brought some cool pumpkin cookies. Then we came home, put on his costume and went to a couple of houses in our neighborhood. Will thought that was pretty cool, and said "O-Treat" or "Hi!" at every door. He was a little confused when we came home and started giving away candy! Lots of little kids this year, and when they saw Will sitting on the couch in his monkey outfit, watching Noggin, well a few tried to get past me and join him on the couch!

Happy Halloween, Everyone!




Mmmm....pumpkin cookie!


Mama and her Monkey


Daddy and Monkey Will


Will's first Halloween stash. He couldn't wait to dump the bag out onto the floor to see his take!




Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Book #4--The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

I'm done with my fourth book in The New Classics Book Challenge. This one was "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz.

I found the story of Oscar and his challenges and his family fascinating. Judging by the title, I expected the sad ending, but didn't realize how bad I would feel for him or his family.

This book is NOT a quick read by any means. I liked the author's style of writing, I've never read a book quite like it. He goes a lot into Dominican history in his footnotes to describe why something is the way it is with his characters. I am not sure if it is based on a true story or fiction.

I think that it really helps to have a working knowledge of the Spanish language. I speak Spanish (albeit not fluently, but enough to get by) and if you don't speak or understand the language, you are going to miss a lot in this book. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just like a Kid in a Candy Store....

I should mention that this weekend was also a very crafty weekend. Friday night I went to the "Moonlight Madness" Sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Oh my goodness, what a madhouse! They actually had to use the number system like they do at the deli counter if you wanted to get fabric cut. I was there because I had a coupon, and wanted to peruse the Lion Brand yarn. Yes.....the pink scarf that I was making? The fun fur doesn't hide as many sins as I thought, I found holes big enough to stick my hand through. Apparently I had been dropping stitches left and right and I'm not quite far along enough to figure out how to fix them. So through a recommendation, I got some new yarn and started to work on a new scarf. It's variegated yarn, all grays and blacks. I'm going to say the Crafter's Mantra here: I'm making this one for me! Anyone who does a lot of crafty things knows that they always say that, but end up giving away what they make. :) So far it's going well, I need to learn how to purl though so that I can continue. That's my next step.

I also tried something new today....making my own jewelry. I went to a class at someone's house today and made a necklace and earrings. So I got to hang out with other Mamas and make something pretty. It was SO MUCH FUN!! I will definitely do that again. No pictures this time....what I made is actually a Christmas present for someone.

The jewelry is actually the first thing I've finished in quite a while. I have a bunch of projects started that I just need to sit down and finish. I'm just discovering all of these things that I've never tried that I want to do! My creative side is bursting with energy! :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Weekend

It's Sunday night, and I'm finally sitting down long enough to post. This weekend was wildly busy in our house. Will's birthday party was on Saturday!! It was a great time, family, friends and food! Will loved all of his presents and had a wild time playing with all of his little friends. We had a great time too, so thanks to everyone that came out to party with us. Here are a few pictures:









Friday, October 24, 2008

Sally's Challenge

In reading another blog that I follow, SallyHP has challenged readers to write seven random things about themselves....so I'm here to take it on! Here goes nothing...


1. I've been known for my good memory. Most of the time it's like a steel trap, however, lately it's not as sharp as it used to be. If you want to know anything that was in People magazine in the last two years, name every job I've ever had in order, or the name of that guy in college whose dorm you sneaked in by shimmying up the drainpipe? I'm your girl. But what I was just saying five minutes ago or who the hell I loaned my Sex and the City Seasons 2 and 3 DVD's to? Not so much!



2. I really wish I had more opportunities to travel. There's so much of the US and the world that I would like to see!! I've never had a job that required a lot of travel, and now I don't want one because of my family. But I really would like to travel more. I guess I can save that for "The RV Years" when Brian and I retire and drive all over the country! (We'll see....)

3. When I was in first grade, I got in trouble for painting my nails with a black permanent marker with the girl next door. Do you know how long it takes for that crap to wear off????

4. A big thank you to the person that invented the brownie pan that makes every square an edge piece. There's something to put on my Christmas list!!

5. I once had aspirations to be a teacher. Now I work with the elderly and I'm thrilled. Go figure.

6. Will won't ever be allowed to watch The Wiggles or Barney. I put my foot down!!

7. I wish I hadn't had such bad stage fright when I was younger. I think I would have liked to get involved in local theatre companies. I love, love, love live theatre! Even to work behind the scenes would've been fun. I wish I had done that. Guess it's too late now.

I'm not going to tag anyone....instead I'll tag everyone! If you read and become inspired to share, go for it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bus Trip!

Today, instead of spending the gorgeous autumn day stuck in my office, we took the residents on a bus trip. What a great day! First we went shopping at Christmas Tree Shops, where I got a jump on some Christmas Shopping (yes, I did!) and then we went to Wright's Chicken Farm. The name is a bit misleading, it's a restaurant and not a farm at all. And a fantastic place, by the way. I've only ever been on a Saturday night when it's cram-jammed like sardines. Today it was just us and three other groups, so it was a nice pace and not so crowded. On the way home we stopped at a local farm stand for pumpkins and apples. I came home with cider donuts. Oh well. I LOVE cider donuts!! The trip was a huge success, except for when the handicap elevator on the bus jammed when we got home. Ughhhh......but with some patience and positive thinking everything worked out and I was home early!

This weekend is Will's birthday party! Still have some prepwork to do, so ta-ta for now!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to my "Baby"




Today is Will's second birthday! I can't believe two years have passed since he was born. I can't even believe that it's been a year already since his first birthday! Time doesn't fly, it ZOOMS!


Happy Birthday to my sweet, silly, independent little boy! I know you're no longer a baby, but you'll always be MY baby!!!


Monday, October 20, 2008

"Batteries Not Included"

Know what's cool about having an almost-two year old? He's still young enough not to realize that you are buying his birthday present while you guys are out shopping! Sure, he wants whatever it is while he's in the store, but he's still at an age when he's easily distractable. Now next year---that'll be another story!

Will has this little table and chair set that he's starting to outgrow. Well, it only has one chair because the other one broke....practically right out of the box! (Cheapies...I tell ya!) So while at BJ's last week I spotted a "Cars" themed table and chair set that I knew he'd love. It's kind of like an easel/desk style table, and it's pictured with a red chair to go with it. Brian put it together tonight so it would be a surprise in the morning. Imagine our surprise when we had a "Batteries Not Included???" moment.....there's no chair!! In tiny miniscule print on the bottom of the box......"chair not included." Humph. Oh well! It pulls up to the futon nicely, I dare say. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Party!

We made it! We got through our first week of both of us working full time during the day. It was exhausting, but doable. Which is good because it's what we're going to do for a very long time.

Saturday brought us a day of partying...we took Will to his first Halloween Party. We dressed him in his monkey costume, and he was so adorable, complete with monkey noises. The party was great, lots of cute kids in costume, good food and music. Too bad Will just wanted to play in the corner, refuse to share and taking away toys, and cry. Ah well. Every parent's been there, right? So we stayed an hour and headed home for a spell. Then it was get ready and head out to our second party of the weekend--Auntie Kim's Surprise 30th Birthday Party! We had a lot of fun, and she was truly surprised. Will helped her blow out her candles while we all sang "Happy Birthday," something he's going to get to do three times this week! He loved running around the house and saying hello to all of the guests. I'm sure glad that we remembered to bring some pajamas for him, because "Mr. Marathon" fell asleep on the way home. It was really nice just to plunk him into the crib, and then collapse on the couch myself!

With all of the fun on Saturday, Sunday has turned into a day to rest. And by rest, I mean clean the house, shop, do laundry, etc etc etc. I am sure Will's parents are going to sleep well tonight!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Progress


I'd say I have about a third of a scarf there! I really like this fun fur yarn....it hides a multitude of sins. I know that there are a ton of mistakes in there, but unless you're specifically looking, you just don't know it!

Like any other craft that I've done, my mind is already pacing to decide on my next project. Another scarf? Maybe read a little more of "Knitting for Dummies" and figure out another kind of stitch? A junkie is being created here!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palin As President Website

Got this from my friend Rochelle.....if you are not a Palin fan you will love this website! It will also be updated daily until November 4th. Enjoy!

http://palinaspresident.com

Wordless Wednesday--Portrait of the Writer