Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Brad and I are headed out to a comedy show later with our niece Kirsten and nephew, Nick. Should be fun!

"I love to laugh, laughing's my favorite!"  Elf movie. He uses "smile" and I replace that smile with a laugh and a snort.

I forgot to mention that the Brad made homemade red apple sangria for Christmas! It was a hit, to say the least.
Yes, I drank " a few!"

Our cozy Christmas-y house. I'm sure tree and lights will come down soon. Or will they? I could just be one of those people who leaves it up til March, aggravating the neighbors. Probably not.

Sign I saw at my favorite new restaurant. Again, outside the biffy!  Great design pieces near the restrooms = FUN, people!

I had toyed with the idea of wearing a dress tonight, but have decided it's just too damned cold!

Oy Vey!

Happy New Year, everyone!



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Wrap Up.

These candles at my new fave and local restaurant Stone Lounge just make me happy. They have them all over the restaurant and even HERE in the bathroom! I think that oftentimes I am perceived as odd for the photos I take. I see beauty or happiness and I GRAB it!

My nieces Madison and Kirsten on Christmas Day.  It was a fun day. Lots of thoughtful presents. Kirsten made me and Brad a beautiful "Inspire" painting that she did with crayons and melted crayon art. It's beautiful. She's going to be an elementary school teacher when she's done with school this spring. I would want her to be my child's teacher if I had one right now. She's just good. So is Madison on the left here. People always say how only children are spoiled and selfish, she is the exact opposite. Very sweet and loving and giving. Everytime she sees Emerson her cousin, she gives him something while quietly saying "Put this away and don't let my mom or dad see you, but this is for you." It's generally a toy or stuffed animal or something. She's also a great gymmast! She makes backflips and handsprings look like they're easy and we should all be able to do them!

Part of Madison's christmas gift. She likes homemade things and is really into notes and organizing so I made her a magnetic chalkboard from a vintage frame. She also got a giftcard to the Icing store (apparently a sister store to Claire's) and it was in a stylish wallet. Brad picked it all out. Cute and hilarious. The best part? She was just happy to get the zebra wallet and said "Oh! Thanks!" and then she realized she had a giftcard too. So sweet. They're all so appreciative that it makes gift giving fun.  I believe my Merry Christmas note was from the Shanty2Chic free printables!

Madison, Andrew, Amanda and Kirsten. We are missing Ava and Emerson this Christmas day which was a bummer. Emerson was with his dad's side of the family in Pennsylvania and Ava was with her mom.  Andrew  received a bunch of magic trick stuff from us. He's really into it and watches YouTube videos and has shown me some cool stuff.

Amanda excited about her Justin Bieber perfume! Brad bought the girls gifts. He knew what they wanted and seemed to know where to find everything! He's a much better shopper than me! I think my brother asked "When did Bieber get into the perfume biz?" and I told him "he's got smart management! Long after his singing career is over, the Bieb will be rolling in money from all over! No Diff'rent Strokes stress for this child star!"

Amanda, Kirsten, Nick and my sister Dawn. Kirsten was opening Dawn's gifts and she got a bunch of cute stuff..signs for her desk at school and kids books for her future classroom. She's very prepared!

This pic is just me making fun of my mad camera skillz! I meant to get a pic of Amanda but sans Kirsten's foot instead! Note to Self: WEAR glasses more often!

Madison and Andrew going through his box of magic tricks.

This next montage of photos and the one above shows me trying to get all of the kids in front of the tree for a pic. Only Madison was helping out. They all kept moving AWAY from the tree...but I love random shots, so here they are!

It makes me laugh to see the progression or lack thereof...and I love it!!

Me and Brad. This was take seven...apparently (and shockingly, ha!!) my eyes were closed in all pics. So in order to look present and awake in photos, it has come to this- unless we don't need flash! Ugh. Not my fave pic. I also loved this shirt on me that day, but in pics I have said aloud "Note to self..maybe horizontal stripes are NOT your friend."  Unlike Deb from Dexter who wore horizontal stripes ALL last season, I am not 95 pounds!

Wrapping it up below...saw my BFF Kim the day after Christmas and we hit Pier One for 50% off of holiday decor! I haven't bought any holiday ornaments or anything in years. I spent $20 and got a ton of cute Roly Poly Santa below:

And this pretty star was around $1!

Little stars for 50 cents...everywhere a star!

And new chevron pillow covers from Etsy! I LOVE them!!

Find them here and many other things as well as curtains, etc...on Etsy:

Hope everyone had a great holiday! I'm off to finish up some Pinterest crafts! My chevron frame is almost done. I will say: Just use the right tools to begin with. I lazily used masking tape in lieu of painters tape and..DUMB!! Paint bleeding through, touching up..etc...just do it right the first time! <---message to self!

Have a great weekend!



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Things I've Actually Finished.

You read that right..I have actually FINISHED some projects!

First Pinterest inspired foam core boards for Holiday Card Holdin'.  I was supposed to use foam core but just decided to use a box I had on hand. Cut it up, added some silver wrapping paper and stapled on my Martha Stewart purple-ribbon-as-bows and voila!

Note to Anyone: Shiny wrapping paper and creases in boxes do not mix. Before we had enough cards you could see the crease of the box through the silver paper. Live and learn. OR think it through. Either ends up looking fine once it's adorned with cards from loved ones. I dig it. We have two up in the dining room and they hold all of our holiday items so the whole house doesn't look like a sale!

Finished this today after buying great fabrics yesterday. I LOVE it! It's for sale in my etsy shop, but I may just keep it because I love it so much. LOVE the fabric and the frame. Don't love the fabric store on December 22nd. NIGHTMARE. Never again, but I needed fabric for a custom order.
Swoon! I hung it on our living room gallery wall of frames. I'm not sure Brad was as excited as me. Que sera sera!

Finally finished holiday decorating around the house yesterday. I know, I know. Ridiculous. Or "didiculous" as my niece Kirsten used to say when she was three! I've had some things up since late November, but added more. Martha Stewart ribbon! Love!

Meanwhile, Curtis stares for Brandy/Bridget on a daily basis. Their love has waned a bit due to an invisible fencing system in place. She was running all over the neighborhood and I was worried that she was going to get hit by a car. Apparently, someone else verbally abused Brandy/Bridget's owner one day while she was outside with her daycare kids. Classy. So now girly dog is confined to her yard. Curtis still dreams...

AND Curtis and Daisy now have a new toy thanks to the Ikea kids section! Daisy is too big to fit, but Curtis will run after balls and go in and out of this. It's quite darling.

How cute is that little bum?!

How cute is this? This is the only Dept. 56 item we kept from Brad's mom. When they moved from Michigan to Arizona, we got the whole collection. We didn't want it as it took up half of our basement AND we had to rent a Uhaul to bring it all home. We ended up giving some away and selling a bunch on Ebay. What was NOT awesome: When I told Brad's mom "Thank you so much but we'll probably never display these..but thank you." thinking it was over. The next day she said "Just do what you want with them." and I then realized we were strong armed into taking them! They are super cute and have great detail. I just didn't need 600 pieces.

I'm done shopping, most of our gifts are wrapped, we've made red apple sangria AND I bought a whole pumpkin pie today and told Brad "I just don't feel like I'm going to get enough pie at Steve and Lori's so here it is!" We go to my brother and sister-in-law's on Christmas day and I never feel like I can get four pieces of pie like I want. ;-)

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays to All!!



Friday, December 21, 2012

4th Grade Holiday Party!

Brad and I were lucky enough to be invited to Emerson's 4th grade Holiday Party earlier today. It was originally supposed to be Aunt and Uncle Appreciation Day, but after the events in Connecticut last week, his school decided it's "Anyone You Love Day" which I thought was wonderful.

Emerson on left and his friends Ben and Dylan. After I took this, I told him "You'll be happy to have this photo in 20 years. Trust me."  They all looked at me like I was a bit odd. Opinions vary, kids!!

Shoebox races! That's his mom Dawn on the left. The kids had to run with shoeboxes on, ring bells on chairs and get to the finish line first. The prize? Tootsie Rolls AND candy cane erasers! I was given a few Tootsies and one candy eraser from Em. He's good at sharing. He was also told "No diving at the finish line!" which he thought was hilarious. Later in the game, the boys put on mittens so as to make the game more difficult. It was really cute to watch. Most of the kids were jacked up on sugar by this point. And I mean, AMPED up!!

Uncle Brad and Emerson in his classroom.

Emerson's desk. Actually quite neat inside. I love elementary. Everything is so vibrant and colorful and happy. His whole 4th grade room has a great vibe. I also got to meet his teacher, Mr. Samsky who is extremely nice. He's the teacher everyone wants to get in 4th grade. When he needs their attention, he turns the lights down in the room and says "Okay..Little Scholars please pay attention.." I loved it. Later on he also told them "Now walk up to some of the people and volunteers and say thank you. Don't just say the words, look the person in the eye." I wanted him to be MY teacher! Is that weird?

Nice book selection right IN the classroom!! Do you see Judy Blume's "Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing" up there? LOVE!!

Me and Emerson: One of my favorite peeps in the whole world. He's funny, witty and has a very kind heart. Love. This. Kid.

We went out for lunch after and I had too much food. He chose mac and cheese with veggies and mandarin oranges "because it's healthy" and refused dessert due to health reasons. LOL. He's very concerned for a 9 1/2 year old. I had to twist his arm to get him to try my creme brulee. He did end up liking it but told me "I may just order more carrots." So cute. He also made Brad a homemade birthday card (his bday was yesterday) and bought him an E.T. shirt. His affinity for vintage items from our era always makes me giggle.

I'm off to relax! Have a beautiful evening and a lovely weekend!



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Have Cardstock Or Printer Paper= Get To Work!

Yee HAW!!

Brad just wrapped all of our gifts and as per usual, I cannot find our gift tags. I buy them every year. I place them or store them in areas that would seem to "make sense", and lo and behold, every year I cannot find them!

Pinterest, blogland and free printables to the rescue! Need some? I did. Click on this link which will take you to Nest of Posies!

And more chalkboard tag FREE printables from overthebigmoon!

Brad and I started and nearly finished all of our christmas shopping yesterday. It was quite fun. We had lunch after and I had a YUGE red apple sangria! SOLD! It was delightful. It's also much easier to shop on a Tuesday in midafternoon.  Just sayin'. Large crowds filled with anxiety ridden shoppers always bums me out, so I try and stay away from those days.  I'm also not a very good shopper. I can shop vintage stores and home decor items, but take me to a clothing store and I start sighing and saying " I don't want to do this!"

Finally...more tags from Shanty-2-Chic!

Have a fabulous Wednesday, All!!



Saturday, December 15, 2012


Image via Pinterest:

Like  everyone else, I am feeling overwhelmed and saddened by everything that happened yesterday in Connecticut. I have cried and prayed and turned off the TV and shut down my phone and computer after being overwhelmed with sadness. I have no children right now, but I will someday. I do have many nieces and nephews and was just at Emerson's school on Wednesday to pick him up.  The horror that the families, children and loved ones are enduring right now is beyond comprehension.  On my worst days on this planet and the longer I live on it, I just find that I don't "get" a lot of what humans do. Senseless violence. Needless suffering. The more I know, the less I know.  I never had to worry about being safe at elementary school when I was a kid. My biggest stress was being moved from the Mickey Mouse Reading Club to the middle Donald Duck Club. Mickey's was advanced and it was stressing me out in first grade. Beyond that, it was beautiful. I loved school, my teachers and everything about it.

Hoping for Healing and Calm.



Thursday, December 13, 2012

How Do YOU Feel About Meggings?

You leggings? I recall seeing the fabulous Monsieur O'Brien sporting these awhile back. Laugh OUT LOUD!! But seriously...NO. I'm just saying for the record..NO.

Image via


Image via

Eye Candy for all of you today!

You're Welcome & Much Love!!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Shovel Snow. A lot Of It.

I have been shoveling for two days.

At first it's pretty "Oh! A winter wonderland!"

And then it turns into "Seriously? I've cleared the driveway two times now! And it looks like I'll be able to go for a third! Where's the salt?"

Then it turns into "Why can't the damn guy who plows the sidewalk sprinkle a little salt or sand on it?"

Then "My arms and back are killing me. This is why old people have heart attacks!"

I'd like to point out that we got around 16".  We woke up to our kind neighbors shoveling us out. Midday I headed out to clear the driveway myself. They came over AGAIN to help while I said "Seriously guys..thank you so much but you don't have to keep doing this."  They generously said "That's what neighbors are for.." and I felt grateful. Later that night, another neighbor came over with his new snowblower and plowed us out. The next day  I headed out to shovel again. As I was shoveling our mailboxes out, I thought of putting a note on the door of the least helpful neighbor saying "If you want your mail this season, maybe ONCE or twice you could help by clearing out the mailbox area too." My lower self? Perhaps.  Did I write the note? No. Will I? If pushed, maybe. Gotcha! It's just interesting to see in a block radius who is helpful, who isn't and who never helps with anything. It's also irritating. I can't be objective when I'm irritated...another story entirely.

The dogs are SUPER cute in the snow. Curtis is super short and low to the ground so he hops around like a rabbit. They both look soo happy, it's kind of heartwarming. Curtis caught a mouse in 16" of snow IN THE DARK last night after dinner. WTF?  How is that possible? I've said it war times I believe that puppy could feed all of us!  His hunting instinct is amazing. Do I ever want to eat mouse? NO. Have I ever been starving? No. I've had lean times where I ate a lot of Lucky Charms in my 20's..but I've never really gone without food. If I had to, I believe Curtis could be my savior.

I'm picking up Emerson from school tomorrow and am seriously considering buying a sled on the way. As I was walking the dogs tonight I saw a hill and envisioned myself sledding down it. I haven't gone sledding since...2002 in Flagstaff, Arizona?! I think it's been that long! Unrelated: They yellow door looks a bit garish up close in December weather and light. What was pretty in October looks kind of gross at 1pm in December. Different light, different view altogether!

In other latest vintage find! This pretty necklace that I scored for very little money!

And some holiday greenery in my bathroom! I decided to spread christmas all around the house this year!

I'm off to have a glass of wine and watch Dexter with Brad. Has anyone noticed that it's gotten better with each season? We are now on Season Six and although he's a serial killer, I want Dexter to find love! Lumen has just left as her "dark passenger" had left her...and Rita's gone..Harrison turned one and Dexter is alone. Also..John Lithgow is really creepy! I had a nightmare about him the other night. Ugh.

Have a beautiful evening!