December 31, 2009

end of a decade.

It's hard to believe it's already been 10 years since Y2K. It's even harder to believe how much has happened. I will have to try to do a recap of my last decade later but for now I wanted to leave you with some funny eye candy.

Partying and Ringing in 2000
New  Years Eve 1999 - Hollywood, Florida

After the ball dropped 2000 - Hollywood Florida

Partying and Ringing in 2005
 Ringing in our First NYE Together - Me and M 2004-2005
I'm so happy to have this moment with him and many more like it.

Always just one of the guys NYE 2004 into 2005 - Florence, AL

Partying and Ringing in 2006
2006 After the Ball Dropped - Me and Mike - Madison, AL
At the bar where we first met in person.

I've tried to capture our NYE kisses over the past 5 years and these two above were by far the best that I ever captured. In the end I'm always there for him and he's there for me, the picture is just icing on the cake.

Partying and Ringing in 2009
New Years Eve 2008 - Some of my Best Friends from Maryland & M
After the ball dropped - CHEERS!

Yeah... I haven't changed much in the "goofy" department
The 2 K's, "totally" crazy as ever!

Times have changed but one thing stays the same I love my friends and I'm still in contact with all of these people thanks to facebook and the phone. If you hold one thing dear this New Years Eve make sure it's your friends and loved ones.

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December 30, 2009

yay for milestones.

I've reached 100 Followers - how awesome is that? I never thought I'd have this many followers. Thank you all for taking time to stop by, leave me great comments and making me laugh. You make this worth it and a lot of fun for me!

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positive thoughts.

I wanted to share this because not only did it touch me and move me but I want to help in any way I can. I too believe that positive thoughts and prayers do move mountains for those that believe. Every little bit helps. Please read and do the same if you so wish. I recently stumbled upon Brandy's blog while commenting on a new favorite blog of mine, cap cod a-team. This message was posted and I wanted to share it with all of you. I hope you will read this and pass it on as Brandy has wished.
My name is brandy. And I have a blog.
And a plea.
I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He’s a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He’s the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He’s the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He’s a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He’s made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He’s listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He’s recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He’s the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I’m overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren’t sure what’s happening. He’ll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what’s going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as ‘brandy’s hot awesome dude’). If you don’t pray, please keep him in your heart. This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven’t seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I’m throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn’t a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It’s just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven’t already? Please tell someone you love them today.
I did.

I can't imagine all Brandy must be feeling but as someone that has lost a very important person in my life to cancer I know how hard the struggle can be. My thoughts, prayers and best wishes go out to you Brandy and Mr. Brandy's Hot Awesome Dude. oxox

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December 28, 2009

Christmas recap.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and are gearing up for an exciting New Year! New Years Eve is my favorite holiday of all time!

My holiday was awesome. I'm still a bit tired from the whole thing but in the end I had a blast with M and his family. We all got together on Christmas Eve to have dinner and exchange gifts. M's dad seemed so tickled when M and I gave him an Alabama University Santa hat. His dad usually dishes out all the gifts and was so excited to wear his hat! We got his mother the huge slow cooker she'd been wanting for years and we also got his father a nice Alabama sweater (yes it was a trend). He will surely be decked out to the 9's in Alabama gear for the Championship game next Thursday! (He also received a really awesome visor from M's brother J.T. as well).

I can't believe how much M's parents spoiled me for Christmas, it was overwhelming. His mother asked me to make a list and for M to make a list of all the stuff we wanted for Christmas. If you know me, you know how much I hate doing this. I always feel like I ask for way too much. It doesn't matter if it's a $10 shirt, I still feel like I'm asking for too much. I can make wish lists all day long - it's making a realistic list, and one that is economy friendly these days that gets me. Bottom line is I don't NEED anything. I simply made a list of a few key things I've been dreaming about getting for myself for ages but have never bothered to try to get. In the end his mother went hog wild and got me all the items that I was wanting the most off my list. Are you ready for this? She got me not one, but all the different items from Rachel Ray's Bubbling Brown Collection! I WAS FLOORED! Can you say casserole heaven?!?! And all in deep blue - my favorite!

I will be making lots of fun dip in these and possibly mac n' cheese as well!

The baby bubbling browns! Great for soups or for serving dip!
And last but not least... THE MONSTER!!!

This is the huge lasagna bubbling brown!
I used it on Saturday to make my 7 Layer Dip and it was AMAZING!

His mom hit the nail on the head with EVERYTHING she got us. From pot holders to Microsoft points M and I had a great family Christmas. Add to that cookbooks and some amazingly warm sleeping bags for camping come spring we were done for!  Honestly though through all the receiving - M and I were more thrilled by all the smiles and thank yous from the family when they opened their gifts. That is what makes my day is seeing the smiles on their faces when they know we thought of them, and ONLY them for their gifts.

M got me so many great things as well. He and I also made lists but didn't stick too close to them. I love to surprise him but was sure to get his 2 most desired video games on his list.

I was most excited about two main gifts he got me...

Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary BluRay Collection!!!
This seriously blew me away when we watched it Friday night.
The color and detail is beyond your imagination!
And yes... I cried watching it like I always do! It came with a cute watch and tons of collectible items as well - SUPER EXCITED!

I'm extremely excited about getting a Davis Sedaris book in my stocking as well! I just love him and his sister Amy!

A Holga. I'm not sure about her name yet, but she's adorable & she needs film.

He also grabbed me the flash to use with the Holga which was a great surprise. She's currently rooming with my old 35mm, that I haven't touched since college but I am determined to get back into using this year. (Resolution #1).

Between great new movies and Alabama t-shirts and tons of fun stuff that we got each other I can say we had an amazing Christmas. My father spoiled me as well. Between the plane trip home and a great weekend full of quality time with him - and the money he gave me for the holidays I can say that I'm blessed beyond words.

At the end of a long weekend spent with M's family we had a party on Saturday night inviting friends and his brothers and their girlfriends/wives to come enjoy some drinks and dip and relax with each other. It was a great time. The kicker was all the compliments M and I got on our home. Everyone remarked how cutely it was decorated, how warm and cozy it felt and how they enjoyed being there. That was a great, great gift in itself. (Especially after cleaning the house all. day. long!).

It's hard to believe 2009 is almost behind us. I'm looking forward to 2010 and whatever it will bring. I am ready to take better care of myself and to nurture and take better care of all the relationships in my life with those who are most important to me.

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays! And have a blessed and happy New Year! ox

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December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays & All That Jazz!

I wanted to take time before my holiday kicked off to wish you all Happy Holidays, I hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas (or whatever you may celebrate) and a blessed and happy New Year!!!

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December 17, 2009

I'll be home for (early) Christmas.

I'm heading home to Maryland for the weekend. YAY! The land of blue crabs, Natty Boh, my father, best friends and loved ones... and apparently the possibility of 6-12" of snow! WOW! I was wanting to see snow but I think that might be a bit much. *Fingers crossed it's more like 3" of white fluffy fun*

Dear Mother Nature,
Please see if you can find it in your heart to wait to dump the huge amount of snow until AFTER I get my night out on the town with my girls that I miss so much! Please don't dump on my Saturday night parade.  I can deal with missing out on Christmas shopping on Sunday. Drop that mess then. At least I know the roads will be cleared by Monday so I can shop 'til I drop!

Love, Kelly

I hope you all have a great weekend - I will be incommunicado until next Tuesday!

M, if you're reading this, I miss you already and I'll be home soon to you, June and Mr. Angus. oxox

P.S. Tell Angus no skank kitty friends can come to the party!
(inside joke)

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texts from last night.

Oh how I wish I came up with this concept. I've been reading this site for a while now, and it always tickles me. I should have saved this for a tickle me tuesday but honestly, I'm having way too much fun reading this. (Warning: May contain language or words you won't find enjoyable).

Enjoy some of my faves from texts from last night.

(713):on the last problem of the exam i just drew a picture of a cat and left

(201): kicked my backpack and turned on my vibrator in the middle of class. success.

(843): I had my own version of the Hangover last night. I woke up to a disassembled Christmas tree, shit on the futon, and a hamster in the bathroom with a necklace on that said"Feed Me Bitch." I don't own a hamster. I don't know what I drank last night, but I want to do it again.

(330): just had dinner with my dad's new gf and her daughter.. had to drink a beer to get through it.. she's 19 she has on a disney watch and snowflake earrings

(719):Found a barbie with nipples. Life is complete.

(609): So im using the back of a keystone box as notecard for my presentation

And lastly... in the spirit of the holidays I give you...(832): I just found out how hard it is to put together a fake Christmas tree with a hangover.

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2010 Handbook.

I just received this via email from my cousin and I thought it was great so I wanted to share it with all of you. These are some resolutions I can stand by 100%.

2010 Handbook

Health :

  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
  3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
  4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
  5. Make time to pray.
  6. Play more games
  7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
  8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
  9. Sleep for 7 hours.
  10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
Personality :
  1. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  2. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  3. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
  4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
  6. Dream more while you are awake
  7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
  8. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
  9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
  11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  13. Smile and laugh more.
  14. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...
Society :
  1. Call your family often.
  2. Each day give something good to others.
  3. Forgive everyone for everything.
  4. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
  5. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  6. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  7. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
Life :
  1. Do the right thing!
  2. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  3. GOD heals everything.
  4. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
  5. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  6. The best is yet to come..
  7. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
  8. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.
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December 14, 2009

for the love of football.

M and I had a blast at the Division II NCAA National Championship on Saturday! It was freezing cold but our seats were awesome! 10 Rows from the field and right on the 50 yard line. I'm happy to say my team of choice, the Bearcats were victorious! Although it was hard for me to cheer for them because when we arrived in our seats we were on the home team side. Grand Valley scored the home field advantage and I was in a sea of blue and black rooting for the Grand Valley Lakers. I cheered to myself for the Bearcats - I wasn't trying to get beat up (Seriously one of the old men rooting for the Lakers had a huge stick with him - I hope it was for walking and not for whacking). We stayed through half time but it was way too cold - I saw a flurry or two. We instead headed to our favorite bar in town to get some warm drinks. M got a beer I chose some coffee with a shot of Bailey's. It was great - we warmed ourselves and watched the remaining half of the game from the comfort of the bar.

M kept saying how much fun he had - and I myself enjoyed it too. I haven't been to an actual college game ever, so this was extremely exciting. We were close to all the action and the ESPN2 cameras as well. M recorded the game on our DVR at home and we hoped to see if we made it on TV that afternoon. We were able to see ourselves in the stands, but not clearly but it was still cool to know that the small town where we live was televised and talked about not just on ESPN2 but on the regular ESPN as well.

I'm realizing more and more how much I truly love the game of football. I will be the first to admit that up until I started dating M, I really only knew a few things about the sport. I knew when to cheer, I knew what was good and what was bad in a play - but not always the technical side of why it was good or bad. What all the penalties were about etc. Since moving here five years ago I've had plenty of practice in getting up on my football knowledge. Between watching college ball every Saturday and NFL every Sunday or Monday and sometimes Wednesdays or Saturdays - I've learned so much more about the game (as well as all the differences between Pro Football and College Football). I'm also thankful that when I ask M a question about a certain play he doesn't treat me like a "stupid girl" like some douche bag boyfriends would, and he never shhh's me. Truth be told he got into football more because I enjoyed watching Pro Ball. We both started watching Alabama play together in the past two years we've become glued to the tv. Most of it for me was watching them go from a team with a legacy to a team recreating the legacy - it's magic!!! Helloooo Mark Ingram - first Alabama University player to win a Heisman! WOOP! Don't get me started on their amazing season!

This past Saturday it was nice to watch football and truly enjoy the spirit of the game. The great plays, the technical calls, all without having a mild heart attack over who might win or lose. I get pretty passionate about my teams when they are playing and after the heartbreak of the Steelers loss to the Browns last week, my heart couldn't take it anymore - I needed to step away (seriously - I need therapy). I was angry, I still am. I know the are better than that but you win some and you lose some. I have to remind myself of that - I'm just bitter to go from Super Bowl Champions to not even getting a race to the wild card for this years Bowl. I'm sure they are more angry with themselves than I am.

Getting to watch these two college teams that were both 13-1 in their season records was awesome. They were pushing for the love of the game. That's another reason why I love college ball so much - the passion that these kids have. I know most of them are dying to make pro but they play for the love of the game, more so than the huge paycheck they may get if they were in the NFL.

It just felt good to watch a game, cheer for the under dog, have them be victorious and not have any pride to lose in the end. And to share it all with M made it a great afternoon. After enjoying this great college game we've decided we need to get some tickets to an Alabama game next year. We have a few friends that live there, one is an alumni, the other works for the University. As well as all of M's family members that love the team and would want to go with us. So let's hope we can make that happen!!!

I hope you all had a great weekend as well! xo
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baking like it's 1808.

Ok, so the year I picked is a bit extreme. I have an oven and I have lots of modern gadgets. Which is all well and good - except yesterday in the middle of making a batch of cookies, my hand mixer crapped out on me. This does not make me happy. I've only completed two different types of cookies, (chocolate chip and snickerdoos) and it broke in the middle of making M's favorite peanut butter cookies that he was begging for. After a few choice curse words, I started stirring the dough by hand - crisis averted, for now. At least I'll get a good upper body work out in the process of this. I think I'm going to wait on the rest of the cookies until I return from my trip home for a weekend. Maybe my father will give me some money or gift cards for Christmas and I can buy a new hand mixer. Truth be told I would love a stand alone mixer but I have a hard time justifying the price for a nice one. My rule this time of year is that I'm not allowed to buy anything for myself this close to the holidays so I'll stick with that for now.

Maybe I can make my own butter while I'm at this old school baking. Not likely.

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December 11, 2009

many thanks.

It always feels good when your hard work is recognized and complimented. I am a graphic designer and at times you can be highly complimented, and in the next breath get your knees cut out from under you. With this up and down feeling at times it's always a great thing when someone take the time to say thank you and praise you for a job well done.

One of our salesmen did just that the other day. I've been working really hard on an account we want to land here locally and I put my best foot and creative brain forward in designing a new brochure booklet for this client.  After seeing the proof I put together he emailed this message to me:

Many Thanks!
I just wanted to let you know how excited I am to take this proof to our customer tomorrow.  I think that this is a great piece and I know we will definitely impress.  Talented folks like you make selling printing very easy.  I’ll let you know feedback as soon as I hear any.  Thanks again for all that you have done so far.    - AW

It warms my heart. Add to this my raise I've been hoping for and it's been a great week. (Minus the Steelers loss which I will NOT discuss any further, my heart and blood pressure can't take it). *wink*

• • • • • •
In other fun news - M scored us two tickets to watch the NCAA Division II National Championship Game through his work. The game is being held tomorrow at The University of North Alabama's Stadium (truth be told it's actually the local High School's stadium, they just let UNA use it as well as a few of the other local schools - as I've said before football is serious business here in the South! So even when you're a Pee-Wee you get a big ole' stadium to play in). I believe the Division II Football Championships have been hosted here twice now and the town is signed up through 2012. I wish the University of North Alabama could have made it into the Championships - they almost made it - we'll get them next year!

Braly Municipal Stadium • Alabama

I'm excited! I don't know a lot about the two teams playing - Northwest Missouri State & Grand Valley State but I'm trilled to get a chance to attend a college football game. In all the years that I attended college I never once went to a game. Truth be told my college team wasn't really that good but I could have supported them none the less. I think I'm going to root for Northwest Missouri State, why? They are the Bearcats and I like that not to mention their team color is green and I like that even more. Yes, I'm a girl so I'm going to choose like a girl, deal with it. Honestly both teams are 13-1 for their records so I hope it will be an exciting game. M informed me that I should be rooting for Grand Valley State because they are the team that knocked UNA out of the running for a Championship Game. I get his reasoning, if they win it makes our region look better and thus props up all our teams in our division, but honestly I'm sort of upset at them for that (girl response). I'm going to freeze my butt off without a doubt (they are calling for freezing rain tomorrow as well) - but in the end I've got a voucher for a sandwich, drink and chips and tickets none of which cost me a single dime!  If my fingers haven't frozen off I may tell you all about it. This game will be the tip of the iceburg - next year I'm bound and determined to get my hands on some tickets to an Alabama game and maybe if I'm savvy enough I might be able to score some tickets to a Steelers game. We shall see. In the meantime I'll deal with this lucky hand I've been dealt and enjoy a weekend of football with no stress over which team wins in the end it will be for the love of the game for me. Even if I want to already say GO BEARCATS!!!

I hope you all have a great weekend planned - I'm heading forward with more birthday parties and holiday baking, it's only Friday afternoon and I'm already slammed for the weekend! Wish me luck!

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December 09, 2009

questions of christmas.

I got this little survey from the always funny, Lora over at Fever. I absolutely love her comical and edgy blog, it tickles me to no end. Please go check out her survey you'll laugh your butt off! Thank you Lora and may you have a very Merry Egg Nog filled Christmas!!!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper. I hate gift bags for Christmas (at least under our tree). M is a huge snooper, if he has any chance to figure out what he's getting - he'll take it without blinking!

2. Real tree or Artificial? 
I love real tress, but not the mess that comes with them. Our tree is artificial, and has been since our second Christmas together (going on year 4 with the artificial tree). Oddly enough one of M's favorite scents is pine needles being sucked up on the vacuum cleaner - odd right? That being said we both say other than the typical evergreen and cinnamon scents - the smell of Scotch tape makes us think of Christmas. (Sorry if I've noted that before, but it's true).

3. When do you put up the tree?
I used to always wait until after M's birthday (Dec. 8th) to put up the tree. I always figured M and I would have our bday then we'd celebrate Jesus' birthday the rest of the month. This year we tossed the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving and I must say it's really made my spirits brighter having it up already.

4. When do you take the tree down?
New Years Day, sometimes a little later than that.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Way too much. Although I've noticed this year that my stomach isn't loving the nog like it used to. Maybe it's too rich? I never thought I'd say that... but it tears me up so I've limited my intake this year.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Wow, it's hard to pick just one but the first that comes to mind is the Connect Four game I got one year. Mostly because my dad and I played all morning long while mom made breakfast. He always helped me put my toys together in the morning but this was the first time we had some actual fun, and bonded over a game. (Note: My dad and I didn't become really close until my parent's divorced years ago, he was busy being the bread winner of the family).

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
I do - we inherited the collection from my mother when she passed away and I love it. It always reminds me of Christmas, however I did not set it up this year. There are a lot of pieces to it and most have chips taken out of them. Baby Jesus has one hand missing and no feet, it's rather sad.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My dad - what do you get the man who has everything?

9. Easiest person to buy for?
M - hands down. Not only does he give you a huge list of things he wants but he also enjoys all the surprise stuff I get him as well.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received?
Honestly, and engagement ring. I was 17 years old and my boyfriend of 5 years proposed to me on Christmas. That being said I think that an engagement ring is a great gift, even at Christmas I just wasn't ready for all that at age 17... I said yes anyway... and made it a super long engagement that turned into nothing - THANK GODNESS!

Honorable Mention: A few not so pretty sweaters from my grandmother. Bless her heart, we didn't see each other a lot so I usually got items that were nothing like what I might wear.

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas card?
Real mail always! I do enjoy a fun e-card as well from friends but I'm all for the old fashioned greetings of Christmas. I don't want to see traditions like this die.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Christmas Story. I can say that without blinking, it's a classic and I adore it.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
When ever the mood truly strikes me. I've bought stuff in July before. My main issue with starting early is that I over buy. If I grab something that I think someone will like - I have a hard time later saying no to another great item they might like. In the end I spend WAY more than budgeted. I work better under pressure. I won't think twice about heading out on Christmas Eve to get last minute shopping done. I'd rather not, but I handled it just fine if needed.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I have not - however for years and years I've used some of my birthday money towards buying others Christmas gifts. Which really stinks. I always try to write myself and IOU for January to go shopping but it never happens.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Cookies!!! And Egg Nog Milkshakes. McD's no longer has them but I've noticed that Krystal's does. I really need to grab just one before the season is over.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
White lights! I can appreciate colorful lights, but I prefer white lights on my tree and my house. I would go for blue lights or red (as long as it's all one color). Maybe when I have kids I'll change my mind or get a second tree for colorful lights to make them happy but for now it's white lights all the way!

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I'll Be Home For Christmas - it makes me cry every time I hear it!
Second: Little Drummer Boy and White Christmas.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Since I moved I have to travel. I am going home early this Christmas to see my dad and friends and will return to AL to hang with M's family for the holidays.

19. Can you name Santa's reindeer?
Yes, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph.

20. Do you have an Angel on top or a star?
We have a star - I want a snowflake but I haven't found one that I like. I am uncomfortable with shoving the tree up an angels booty or Santa's booty.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? 
 M and I open one on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning. We always open the pet's stockings first so we can watch them get all excited. We also do the opening of this family's gifts with his parents and family on Christmas Eve - it's mass chaos!!!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Parking, and the kids that are screaming and crying because they want a toy and don't get that Santa might be bringing it to them. What annoys me even more is the parents that do NOTHING about this behavior!!! I don't have children for a reason right now - because I don't want that hassle, further more I really don't want to have to listen to your child pitch a royal fit because you won't buy her the Hannah Montana Special Edition Barbie. The phrase "Santa Claus is watching you!" has lost all meaning!

23. Ugliest Christmas Decoration ever invented?
The Santa that shakes his ass. I can't stand those things!!! 

25. Which looks best theme trees or homey trees?
I love both. Theme trees are awesome but homey trees really bring the spirit of the holiday to life when you have all your memories hanging on them. It's holiday food for the soul.

26. Gingerbread or sugar cookies?
Sugar cookies!

27. Do you like Fruitcake?
No thank you. Gift cards are much better when you don't know what to get someone. No one wants a block of hard fruit bread.

Just a few more to share from the sweet Angie over at Just Shy of a "Y"!

What is your least favorite thing about the holidays?
Giving gifts and making other people smile hands down. I just love the over all feeling of goodwill that comes with this time of year. If only everyone got that!

What is your favorite holiday smell?
Evergreen and fresh baked cookies. As well as the smell of "snow" - the way the air smells before a good snow always makes my day.

Who is your favorite reindeer?
I've always liked the name Vixen.

What is your Christmas Eve ritual?
When I lived with my parents it was always opening one gift on Christmas Eve. And we would have our festivities the next day (opening gifts, unwrapping presents etc). Now that I live here in Alabama M's family always gets together on Christmas Eve and we sit around the living room and exchange gifts one person at a time can open so everyone can watch - it gets a bit chaotic at times, there are so many children, but it's always so much fun!

Are you a Friday after Thanksgiving shopper?
Not if I can help it - I'd rather sleep in and sleep off the turkey from the day before.

What is your favorite holiday food?
Turkey, Cookies and Egg Nog.

How did you find out that Santa wasn't real?
I honestly can't remember...isn't that terrible <~ I have the same answer as Angie. I have no clue.

Have you bought all your presents yet?
NO and I'm freaking out!

Do you still make snowmen and snow angels?
I wish I haven't been around enough snow in ages to be able to to do this.

Do you still have snow ball fights?
See the answer above.

What's your favorite Christmas movie?
Christmas Story Vs. Christmas Vacation - for my other favorites see this post.

What do you plan to do for New Year's Eve?
As long as I'm with M I don't care what we do - but I do believe we're heading to a friend's house for a party this year!

What's the most expensive thing you've ever gotten for Christmas?
My dad always gets me jewelry so I'd have to say that - or maybe it was the engraved Ipod M got me for our 2nd Christmas together.

How early do you wake up on Christmas morning?
M always wakes up first - he will sometimes let me sleep in but I don't think he's ever lasted past 8 AM!

What do you usually get in your stocking?
Small things - candy and sometimes my stocking stuffers don't fit in the stocking and M wraps them and puts them under the tree.

What is your favorite religious Christmas carol?
Oh Come Let Us Adore Him (Is that the correct title?)

What is your favorite non-religious Christmas song?
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree is up there high, but I love I'll Be Home for Christmas

How long do you leave up your Christmas decorations?
We usually take them down the day after New Years Day.


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December 08, 2009

rosy cheeks.

The cold weather always brings on some of the best drinks of the year for me. There's nothing quite like rich and creamy hot chocolate with marshmellows and maybe a little splash of Bailey's. I also enjoy all the different cozy coffee flavors that arrive during the holidays as well. I've always been a fan of warm apple cider but until this past weekend never realized this little drinks full potential.

My friend Case came over to help celebrate my birthday and M's birthday and he had a sack of goodies when he entered the door. He asked M and I if we'd like to have a Spider. M is deathly afraid of spiders and quickly said "NO!" Case explained to us what a Spider was and we figured what the hell - let's try it. In one word - DELICIOUS! Not only was it tasty but it kept me warm on the front porch where we were all hanging out. (My friends all smoke, minus M and I, I have never smoked, and he quit smoking before I moved down here - after seeing how ill my mother was with lung cancer he figured it wouldn't be right to smoke around me or in front of me. I'm so proud of him for dropping the deadly habit).

I wanted to share this fun recipe with you and hope it brings you rosy cheeks and warm bellies all season long!

  • 1 coffee mug of water
  • 1 packet of Alpine Instant Apple Cider (note: you can also use fresh apple cider if desired - this instant Apple Cider also comes in Sugar Free as well)
  • 1 shot Spiced Rum (like Sailor Jerry or Captain Morgan)
  • 1 splash of Coconut Rum (such as Malibu)
Microwave until warm to your desired temperature and enjoy! These are so tasty you're going to love them!

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December 07, 2009

deck the halls.

I wanted to update this to be able to add my post to the Christmas Tour of Homes that one of my favorite blog writers, The Nester, is hosting! HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!! ox

The key to decking the halls this year for us was using what we already owned. I've been dying to try to buy more things to decorate with but with our tight Christmas budget this wasn't happening. Instead we used the hand me downs I inherited from my mother as well as items we've collected in our five years of living together. I must say that it's come together nicely (please excuse some of the poorly taken pictures - I still haven't mastered this camera in regular light, or low light for that matter).

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Our Tree
Again sorry for the poor image, the one with the flash barely shows off the lights.

Stockings Hung With Care M's, June's Angus' and Mine
(P.S. pay no attention to that annoying string of dangling lights... ugh)

Our kitchen
We decorated the bathroom too, but I haven't gotten pictures of that.

Our Dining Room
Usually it has a beach them - now it's beach mixed with traditional Christmas.

The front of our home - we hope to get some more lights but for now
I think it's adorable! M worked hard putting it all together.

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cheesecake. new york style.

This evening I broke my cheesecake baking virginity - I finally braved making a cheesecake from scratch. I must say, it was easier than expected. I can't wait to cut into this mountain of cheese tomorrow for M's birthday. For the past three years I've said that I would make him one but never had the guts to try. We always had the discussion of how he loves the crust part the best - if he had his way there would be less than an inch of cheesecake and more than three inches of crust, true story! I switched up the New York Cheesecake recipe I found on and made the crust a bit fuller than stated (I used 25 graham crackers vs. 15). All I can say is thank goodness for my mini chopper/food processor. You can't fit much in it, maybe about 5 full graham crackers tops (broken up), or some veggies for a quick salsa - but it got the job done. It was much easier than trying to break a ton of graham crackers in bags with a rolling pin or flat bottom pan - or hauling out my normal sized food processor. With the lack of storage in our kitchen I keep it up high in the pantry and it tends to be a hassle to pull it out, clean it and put it away. The little mini chopper is a dream. Best part - I could just flip it over into my bowl of crumbs instead of taking it off the stand etc. like I would have to do with my traditional processor.  I did noticed I had to use a bit of extra butter for the crust - the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of melted butter per 15 crackers - I added an extra tablespoon, I wasn't trying to have it all crumble on me.

I can't wait to cut into this beast it baked up HUGE! I'm excited, I thought for sure it might cave in or droop or something, but it seems like it's going to be similar to the thick, huge slices you get at your favorite place to dine. I went ahead and bought some caramel topping to drizzle over the slices tomorrow. He doesn't like fruit, I love it, but it's his birthday. I hope that his family will enjoy the cake.

The down fall to all this - if the cheesecake is delicious - I'm in trouble. Now I know how to make cheesecake... I've sworn off learning this because it's my weakness - I hate to see how much I'm going to want to make this on a regular basis! (This is exactly why I haven't learned to make fried foods well - I will want to eat them all the time).

So fingers crossed that it tastes as good as it looks. All I can say is Happy Birthday M, I love you! ox

Seriously.. I could dive in there right now and eat my way out!

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winter day dreaming.

If there is one thing I miss the most about the East Coast (besides the most important things - family/friends/etc), it's a true winter with lots of snow. I started thinking about this the other day and realized it's been over 5 years since I went snowboarding. This realization made me extremely sad. There aren't any ski resorts that are close to where I live right now. If I wanted to have a snowboard adventure I'd have to travel and stay the night - both things cost $$$. And spare $$$ is something I don't have a lot of right now - If I did I'd be hijacking the plane to T&C to see my lovely friend Lauren get married in a few months).

I thought that since I can't go snowboarding right now... I'd take some time to window shop all the fabulous snowboarding gear and clothing online. This made me even more sad - I found SO many great things that I'm dying to buy... if only there was snowboarding in my future. In the meantime I can dream and watch one of my favorite (snowboarding) movies over and over again... Out Cold. If you've never seen this movie see it now - it's so funny and full of stars before they hit the "BIG TIME" - and the Soundtrack is great.

For now I'll keep winter day dreaming and wishing for snow and all these items...

burton feather board

gnu board • I love the owls on this but
hate that my bindings would cover most of them.

 love this jacket - although white may not be my best color
I'm extremely messy and fall down sometimes.

I adore this sweater - it looks so cozy. And how cute is her hair? *jealous*

This is the perfect cozy - wear over everything sweater! NEED!

I would start posting hats and scarves but I'd be here ALL. NITE. LONG!
I have to get in the kitchen and try to attempt to make my first cheesecake ever for M's b-day tomorrow!
Wish me luck! ox

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December 05, 2009

Alabama Tide vs. the Florida Gators

Today is the big day! Alabama meets the Florida Gators in Atlanta for the game of all games this season. I will be making my favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip for the game. May the best team win! ROLL TIDE ROLL!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 2-3 chicken breasts (fresh, uncooked or you can use rotisserie chicken as well)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot®) OR 3/4 cup of your favorite Buffalo Wing Sauce, I often use Moore's Wing Sauce for this recipe, it's not as hot but just as tasty.
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (you can also mix in mozzarella as well)
  • DIPPERS: Tortilla Chips, Celery Sticks, Carrot Sticks (or ones cut into "chip" shapes), and the best thing I've discovered recently Chicken Biscuit Crackers! ZOMG! SO good! I can't believe I had never discovered these sooner but I'm glad I didn't. I ate a whole box almost by myself the last time I purchased them! EEP!

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put whole chicken breasts in a heavy pot and fill pot with water (just enough to cover the chicken breasts). I usually add some Weber's Kickin' Chicken spice to this, I'm obsessed with this stuff and use it on just about everything that I make with chicken. You can also add hot sauce to the pot if needed.
  3. Bring pot of water to a boil and let breasts cook for approximately 20 minutes. You will want to test them to be sure they are cooked through by cutting small slice in the breast. If it's still pink, boil for a little longer. (SKIP ALL THIS IF YOU ARE USING AN ALREADY COOKED BIRD).
  4. Pull breasts from pot once cooked and allow them to rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes.
  5. In mixing bowl combine softened cream cheese, your hot sauce/buffalo sauce and ranch dressing until creamy and well blended. Mix in half of your cheese mixture as well
  6. Once chicken has cooled take 2 forks and tear the meat up into small pieces. This will give you pulled chicken and make it easier to incorporated the meat into the dip, as well as give more meat per scoop for each guest.
  7. Mix the meat and the cheese mixture together and spread into an oven safe casserole dish
  8. Cover mixture with the remaining shredded cheese.
  9. Bake mixture until warm and bubbly - the top of the cheese will become a little brown, approximately 20 minutes.
  10. Serve straight out of the baking dish with the above mentioned dippers and enjoy.
Note: This recipe is great the next day if you have left overs - it warms  up perfectly in the microwave.


(I'll be happy when football season and the holidays are over, maybe my size 12 jeans will actually fit me again once I've rid myself of all this delicious food temptation - stay tuned for the "life changes vs. new years resolutions" post!!!)

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December 02, 2009

christmas cheer.

It's the season for Christmas Cheer - and what better way to show that then a top 5 list of my all time favorite Christmas movies. I could watch these movies over and over a million time and never get sick of them, ever!

#1 A Christmas Story 
Yes I could watch this over and over and over and over and over again and I do every year!

#2 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Seriously - Christmas is not the same without this movie - LOVE!

#3 Die Hard
Yes, seriously!!! It's set during Christmas time and he saves the day!
"Ho, Ho, Ho... Now I have a machine gun."

#4 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
It's a classic and one that reminds me of being a kid.

And last but certainly not least...

#5 Miracle on 34th Street (Classic)
You can't deny the magic of this movie!

Home Alone (Love it!)
Elf (So adorable)
It's a Wonderful Life
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A White Christmas
A Christmas Carol
Fred Claus - But mostly just for Vince Vaughn *wink*

I could go on and on - what are you favorite holiday movies?

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