A Christmas Recap in Pictures

I thought I'd give you a brief glimpse at my past two weeks via photos.  This doesn't really cover everything, but that's why I'm calling it a glimpse.  Obviously.

From top to bottom, left to right:
dueling fires on Christmas morning, gorgeous sunset driving yesterday, house lit up on Candy Cane Lane, driving over the mountains, making laundry detergent, a wood bead garland in my great aunt's bathroom, Christmas tree bokeh, walking by the water back home, and getting our Christmas tree.

Featured top to bottom, left to right:
Jackson sleeping under the tree, Maica hogging my lap, hot buttered rum, breakfast hash topped with eggs and feat, delicious mini cupcakes, pumpkin rum bread pudding with whipping cream and caramel sauce, hand whisked whipping cream, me and my cousin's adorable baby, Seahawk's MNF game.

And finally, because I said I would, here are pictures of the quilt my mom made me.  On the bed and with a slight closeup.  I can't even begin to pick my favorite fabrics on it and it helped me sleep like a baby last night.  Basically, I am in love.


What Brings You Here

I'm not one to religiously track my blog's stats. I don't want to get caught up in the comments, visitors, links, etc. That's not why I started the blog and won't be my motivation going forward.

That said, every once in a while, I like to check out search terms that bring people to my blog.  Most of them make sense on some level, but some are downright ridiculous.  I thought you might enjoy reading them as well.

Makes sense:
  • diy ombre nails
  • christmas card address book 
  • e is random 
  • pinterest nails  
  • white nails with colored dots on pinterest 
  • costco poppyseed muffins 
  • dotted nail
Downright random:
  • michelle cousin 
  • "forgot how to sneeze" 
  • wet and wild london
  • new girl the 23rd candycane lane


Awkward and Awesome: End of 2011

I've been left to my own devices out here in the middle of nowhere.  (Meaning, I can't even place a call on my cell phone.)  So it was the perfect time for a quick blog post.

I've been trying to multi-task here, which means I've been a little distracted by the internets and real life.  You probably know how that goes.

I'm headed back home to the Emerald City tomorrow.  Then class starts Tuesday.  Time is flying by!

If I don't post before Saturday, have a happy and safe New Year!!!

- The spiders that keep crawling out of my aunt's Christmas tree. I'm not a big spider person (I mean, who really is) and it always feels to me that they are trying to surround me as they move across the ceiling. Luckily these are pretty small spider.
- My outfit options. I didn't really pack well for my vacation, so I have whatever was in my laundry basket when I went home, a few things I grabbed from my closet, and the five skirts I got on Christmas day.  Skirts don't really work out here on the farm.
- The wind around here has been out of control.  But only in the mornings.
- My footwear options being entirely inappropriate for a visit to hog butchering.  Hard to believe, but Steve Madden boots are made for tromping through bloody puddles.
- This break from school was not long enough.  I'll be fine but I'm a little bitter about it.  (Also, how is it the New Year already?)

- Time to relax away from it all, especially after the crazy whirlwind of the week and a half before Christmas (or the whole of December).
- Playing with my cousin's baby.  He's pretty adorable.
- All the football and basketball options right now. I couldn't be happier.
- Getting excited for a trip to Indy in the next few weeks.
- The quilt my mom made me for Christmas out of fabric that was mostly my grandmother's.  It's so gorgeous.  I'll definitely be posting a picture soon.  (I got other good stuff, too, but that was by far my favorite.)


A Quick Hello

I'm over on the east side of the state for some time with family.  My mom and I drove over December 26th and have been busy talking, eating, and playing with my cousin's baby.

I'm enjoying my time away.  I always tend to unplug over here.  At my aunt's house you're lucky if you get enough of a signal to send a text message, let alone take a phone call.  There is wifi, though.  We're not heathens. :)

While I'm busy doing things offline here, you should go check out my guest post at Decoy Betty.  It actually went up yesterday, because she lives on the other side of the world.  That doesn't mean it's too late to read it though!

I hope you are all able to enjoy some downtime as well!  I'll be back someday. :)


Awkward and Awesome: Deadline Edition

I'm rushing to finish this post before midnight, since Thursdays the days for this dealio.  (Who's annoyed that I typed dealio?!)

- The amount of cookies/cookie dough I ate today. Luckily cookie dough is hard to quantify so I can't really admit complete failure.
- Jamaica (my parent's springer spaniel) being completely annoying at night. She can't decide where she wants to be and doesn't seem to believe in sleeping much.
- My packing for this trip back home. I literally took my laundry and threw a couple things in a duffle bag.  I have many sports bras, but actual outfit options are rather low. Good thing I stayed in my sweatpants all day today.
- I only left the house today to go down to the basement.  True story.  See note about sweatpants below.
- A craft project not turning out quite as I had imagined it. It still looks good.  I think...
- The reality of trying to knit a bunch in a few days. My back is tired. Maybe if I ever actually finish something I'll unveil the products here.  Don't hold your breath.

- Eating cookies and cookie dough. Even if it was too much.
- Hanging out at home with my parents and dogs, especially when they're cuddly and cute (mostly the dogs--clarification for my cuz' :)
- Staying in my sweatpants all day. I don't care if it's not really socially acceptable. It's vacation and I do what I want.
- Break! Which includes time for catching up with friends. Many, many friends.
- My sleep schedule has actually improved since I've been home with the padres.  Yes I've still up been up late, but not as late as it has been recently.  And I've been awake before or close to 9am the past few mornings.  This is quite an accomplishment.
- Sleeping in my comfy queen bed with memory foam.  My bed at the apartment is fine, but the one I have here at my parents is so much better.

Well, I can't think of anything else good, or halfway decent as the case may be.  Have a happy Friday!!

10 Skeins of Yarn

Yarn was to Wednesday what dessert was to Tuesday.

I set out this morning with my parents for a little Christmas errand running.  I'm woefully disorganized in my gift giving.  Usually I have everything purchased and done a few weeks before Christmas.  This year, not so much.

So today my mom made a stop by Michaels.  We're trying out a secondhand/homemade Christmas this year, which I call Thriftmas (have I mentioned it on this blog yet? I can't keep my internets straight).

I got home, saw my basket of neglected yarn, and decided to knit.  I don't do anything fancy, mostly scarves and cowls, and my fixation usually only lasts a couple weeks.  Then the yarn is left in the corner of my room for months or years on end.

And there's something about the yarn aisle that always gets me.  There are so many colors and textures.  So many possibilities (which rarely occur as I imagine).

I want to make it all.

I should mention I'm not a naturally crafty person.  Or at least craft inclined.  Mostly I just have short term obsessions.  And that's why I have a shopping bag full of yarn right now, in about 5 different shades.

Hopefully something gets accomplished.


The Day of Three Desserts

Ten on Tuesday didn't happen.  I had semi-started the post Monday night (meaning I copied the questions), but stalled and put it off for the next day.

But Tuesday got crazy on me.

My dad and I got a Christmas tree. We trimmed it and put it up.  I worked on organizing my life a little.  Ran some errands.  Met a friend for a warm beverage and the most beautiful walk by the bay and through a little section of town I love (that might have involved a gingerbread cream cheese frosting cupcake).

Then it was time to meet another friend for dessert (can you see a trend here?).  I had chocolate peanut butter cake with a local amber ale.  We decided it might be good to have real food too, and stopped by the oyster bar for some eats.  Our snack ended with dessert on the house.  Because that's what I really needed.  But man, the peppermint panna cotta with lemon honey gel was really delicious.

My dad picked me up downtown and we headed to watch a high school basketball game.  When we stopped for milk afterwards, we decided to pick up the movie The Help too.  I finished knitting a cowl while watching the movie.

Then it was Wednesday.  Ack!

I have more errands and catching up with friends to do tomorrow.  And I still haven't hung any of my ornaments on the tree yet either.  And I have presents to make.  Oh well, there's plenty of time.  Right?

P.S. Happy Hanukkah to everyone who started their celebrations this week!


Candy Cane Lane

This evening, after having dinner with friends, I suggested a visit to Candy Cane Lane.  It's a place I've visited throughout my life and I pretty much equate it with the Christmas season.

(Note to my readers, if you don't like Christmas, Christmas lights, or the Christmas spirit. you should probably just stop reading.)

There was a huge line up to enter Candy Cane Lane.  After waiting in the car for a block (which probably took 15 minutes), we decided to park and walk.  The weather was unseasonably warm (46 degrees!) and we had an unobstructed view!

Here's what we enjoyed:

 Headed into Candy Cane Lane
 This house was so adorable. But we wondered, can you buy strands of alternating red and white lights or did they sort them by hand?
 Each yard had the word peace in different languages, including Serbian, Tagalong, Chinese, and more.
 It's hard to see but this yard is a polar wonderland, complete with polar bears, penguins, and ice.
 Really pretty all-white decorations.
 A view back down the street.
 A blurry but beautiful tree.
This awesoeme structure actually was suspended from the power polls and circles the hedge in the middle.  Pretty intense.

Are there any neighborhoods where you live known for their decorations?


Awkward and Awesome: Freedom

Guys, I'm still alive.  I'm free.  I'm happy.  I'm glue to the TV.  For more information, just read the following...

- My attempt at freehand drawing snowflakes. Let's just say it didn't turn out well and leave it at that.  They'd be fine, if I were 5.
- A fan deciding to throw his beer across 20+ rows of chairs in the upper deck when it's literally freezing out.
- My electric bill still hasn't come.  It's on a 60 day billing cycle (which I didn't choose and find weird), but I was last billed for service more than two months ago.  I've been obsessively checking my account balance but nothing is happening. I even called and the automated service couldn't give me more information.  I'm still concerned.
- The hours of TV I've watched today.  Let's just say I've put in a full day's work.  And it takes commitment to accomplish that.

- Attending my first NFL game, on MNF, and it was a win for my team!  Also, I got a cute, warm hat.  And had delicious happy hour beforehand with friends.
- School's out for...two weeks.  But still.  I've finished one quarter of grad school.  It's exciting!
- I am completely and totally addicted to Just Dance.  My roommate got it on Black Friday and I've been a dancing fool.  (The awkward part of the story is that want to use the moves anytime one of the songs comes on.)  It's pretty much like aerobics and I'm learning some sweet moves.
- National Cupcake Day. I celebrated. That's all I'm going to say.
- My plans for the weekend: happy hour, cohort party, brunch, brunch.  I'm sure more will come up with more as I go.  I love winter break!
- Soup weather. I love soup and we've had some good stuff recently: african peanut soup, cauliflower soup, potato and ham soup, thai curry soup.  Yum!

Ten on Tuesday: FINALS, take 1

I'm typing this Monday night, after a successful venture downtown for my first MNF and live NFL experience.  We won and I had a blast with the roomie.  Plus, we got lots of walking in, so we felt justified in partaking in some deliciously fattening stadium food.

Although I couldn't really look at my BBQ meat nachos the same after reading this story in the Huffington Post earlier today.  I managed to choke them down anyways though.  I'm a champ like that.

I'm in the final stretch of school for the quarter.  As in, I'll be done in about 24-ish hours.  A presentation and a project and I'm free!!

To fill this rather large gap in posting, I thought I'd rejoin in on Ten on Tuesday for the first time in a few weeks.  Feel free to join in on the fun.

Also, if you want a Christmas card and haven't had a chance yet, go fill out my contact form.  Don't worry, I'm the only person who will see your info.

Now, on to the main event.

1. How do you eat your eggs? 
I like mine scrambled with lots of yummies mixed in (onion, pepper, potatoes, cheese, and salsa to name a few).  I also like them in eggs benedict.

2. Do you volunteer? 
The past couple years I've worked with an awesome 5k fundraiser doing some social media work.  I'd like to get more involved down here, but haven't had the time in my schedule to make it happen yet.

3. What’s your favorite brand of jeans? 
I wear Gap fairly frequently, because I know what fits and it's not ridiculously expensive.

4. What was your child’s first word? Or what was your first word? 
I don't have a child and I don't remember.

5. Can you french braid? 
Mostly my own hair, because that's how I learned.  I just can't get other people's hair as tight.

6. Do you prefer wide rule, college rule, or blank paper? 
College rule, I think.

7. Is there a specific treat do you always make during the holidays? 
Cookies, oh, and homemade hot buttered rum.  Love that stuff.

8. Do you have a KitchenAid mixer? Do you want one? 
Best invention ever.  I love my bright red mixer.

9. What kind of computer do you use? 
Mac, all the way.

10. Favorite Christmas movie?
I love Elf.  So funny.  That said, I'm not a huge Christmas movie person.  I don't know what it is.


Running Behind

You've probably noticed my absence here.  It's likely to continue intermittently until next Wednesday when I am freed from the confines of the end of the quarter.

While I'm waiting for that day (but not too antsy because I have quite a bit to get done), I thought I'd share this little post, that my roommate (CC) did just yesterday.  I liked it!

watching: A few shows from earlier this week.  I got partially caught up with New Girl, Glee, Modern Family, Bones, and The Big Bang Thory.

eating: I made delicious Thai curry tonight.  I actually ended up eating mine like a soup.

drinking: I'm drinkless at this moment, but still addicted to egg nog lattes.

wearing: New ponte knit stretch pants from banana republic.  I could live in these babies.

avoiding: Any school work today.  My mom came down for a visit, so I was busy cleaning.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

feeling: A little stressed and tired, excited for the break and plans with friends.

missing: Cuddling with my parents' dogs.  See ya soon Maica and Jackson.  Also, I haven't seen my cousin's baby yet and it's killing me.

thankful: a father who baked bread for my sister and I, and sent down taco seasoning with my mom.

weather: Chilly.  I love brisk winter weather.

praying: Motivation, creativity, and energy.
needing: A cup of something warm.  Winter evenings just call for it.

thinking: About future employment (as in next quarter).

loving: Quality time with my mom and roommates.  It's been lovely to be in one place for a few weeks.


Finals (Something I thought I was done with 3.5 years ago)

I've been doing quite a bit of writing recently.  Not here, obviously, but for school.  And while I've had to write some all quarter, this was the first "big" assignment.  And in terms of grad school it's really not that  big.  In fact, I won't even tell you the number of pages required.

But it's been a bit of a struggle, to take a subject I've written a couple pages here or there and turn it into a paper.  But I have citations and almost enough pages.  And I really should be working on other things.  Because one paper does not the end of the quarter make.  (That totally didn't make sense at all. I know.)

Instead, I'm making pizza dough, writing a post for this poor neglected blog, and trying to figure out how I'm going to get my sleep cycle back on track.  It was 11am this morning when my eyes opened.

It's okay if you hate me.

Also, I really should type a few videos, because bills at the end of the month won't pay themselves.  Also, have I mentioned I don't officially have a job for next quarter.

On the plus side, my roommate is making me a dirty chai right now.  I'm helping her prepare for her return to Starbucks employment.  The sacrafices I'm willing to make....

Now excuse me while I go create a website.  It should be fun.


Christmas Cards and my Address Book

A few of my favorite bloggers have given their readers a chance to receive a Christmas card. It seemed like fun and will actually motivate me to get something done. I'm ordering a limited number because I don't have billions of spare dollars, or even hundreds, so turn your info quick!