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 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 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!!

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''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 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 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!


I had a little fun on Wednesday night making my first necklace solo. And, as I promised'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. :)