December 30, 2011

Christmas Recap & Random Musings Friday

While reading Misty's recap she put it as well as any one could... if I don't do this now it will never get posted. I've been running non-stop it seems since I returned from my honeymoon at the end of October. Before I knew it the calendar was saying it was Turkey Time! We traveled then too so now that we're only two days from the New Year I figured there was no time like the present to give a little Christmas recap. Get it.. Present?

The biggest question I got all weekend long was "How was your first Christmas as a married couple?" I was not really sure how to react to this question. It was amazing! What else would it have been? But I don't feel like it out shined any other Christmas Mike and I have spent together in the past 7 years. We have lived together since before our first anniversary of dating, and we already have our own couple oriented traditions. We open one gift before we head to his family's house for Christmas Eve, which is always fun and special. This year his was a Griswold's Family Christmas Tshirt, and mine was Forrest Gump on BluRay. [one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time!] And we then celebrate with a big meal with his family, open gifts together and then come home and relax for a while before turning in. The next morning we wake-up and open gifts. I think I slept until 8:00 am this Christmas which was nice. We did stay up until about 2 AM the night before. We finished the holiday off by spending the afternoon again with his family eating steaks and talking about all the great gifts Santa brought us. It was perfect. Having my father there would have made it even more perfect but since he's due to retire in mere weeks, he had to finish his jobs and then he will come visit me right after the new year!

I had a really hard time formulating a wish list this year. It was hard to think of anything I wanted, or needed. After having our wedding and receiving a ton of great gifts there was really nothing left to TRULY want that didn't seem a bit silly. I am married to the man I always wanted to be married to, I have a wonderful extended family now and it just seemed silly to start asking for anything after being given so much.

In true "only child syndrome" fashion I forged ahead and made a list for Mike's mom including practical things such as a new comforter set, and cookbooks. I added video games and shoes for Michael and called it a day. His mom out did herself this year, not only did she purchase items on our list but she got us fun extras. [3D Video Game Glasses, Cute Charms for Necklaces, a fab resin tortoise watch!!]

I have to say the most special gift I received of course was from Mike. For a few years now I've been coveting a necklace and charms from Waxing Poetic. My lust for these things started upon meeting one of Mike's younger brother's girlfriends. She had one of these necklaces and it was awesome. The perfect combo of every day necklace with flare and both gold and silver represented. It had been years since I had basic everyday necklace that I never took off and I was dying to have one of these. I think I've been asking for this gift for about 2 years now. I'm am however thankful he waited until this year. It's more significant now. The charms I wanted reflect initials for my name. If he had purchased them last year, or the year before I would have a K and a W. Now that I'm married, my new lastname begins with a H. Knowing this, and hoping I'd get the charm this year, would mean so much more since it was a gift from my new husband.

Mike pulled out all the stops! It was the final gift I opened that morning and I was OVER THE MOON excited! Paired with a great flat cable chain it made me smile from ear to ear! I put it on immediately and haven't taken it off since!

The K charm is very small - and I love it. It compliments the larger H charm perfectly and I love the old fashioned look that both of these have.

While these two paired with a chain were my ultimate favorite gifts my husband out did himself spoiling me with a few other fab items too.

via uo
I first discovered this little gem when Misty blogged about wanting and getting one for herself and I thought what a great thing to keep myself accountable for not just writing one line a day but getting my creative mind working. I also think this will be a neat thing to tuck away when I'm older and let my grandchildren discover it.

Two items I've been wanting for a lonnnnng time are the two following books. I'm obsessed with the Pioneer Woman and nothing has replaced my love for Domino magazine since it stopped being printed.

I have almost read this book cover to cover already - I love that Ree is SO genuine and sweet. I would love to visit her ranch/lodge one day! PW have your people call ... well ... ME!

Makes me want to own a home right NOW! I can't wait to use the vital decorating knowledge in this awesome book!

Last but never least it's not like me to wish for practical things usually. But I couldn't get my mind off these slippers. I hate my old slippers and even more I hate walking into the kitchen in socks, only to step in a huge puddle of water that the dog has left behind after emptying her water bowl. It must have been a very husbandly thing to do this year to purchase slippers for the women of the H Family because not only did I get slippers but so did my MIL and my new SIL as well. Well done boys! P.S. Mine are still the most awesome!
SO COZY!!! Roxy Snowflake Slippers via
I tried my best to spoil my husband as well, and I really can't pin point my favorite gift I got him. He had a very Pearl Jam Christmas, as well as a very VANS Christmas. 2 of his favorite things!!! And now he finally owns Lonesome Dove on BluRay thanks to his kick ass wife! All in all as I said I was spoiled this year. I received some great frames for our wedding portraits, as well as lots of other fun items! Lots of K-Kups for my new coffee maker which I'm obsessed with and other fun tidbits. It's nice to be spoiled but as I stated before... I already had all I needed, the rest is just icing on the cake!

What was your favorite gift received or given this season? 

I can't let the last Friday of the year go by without linking up for Shana's ....

So here goes, my week of Random Thoughts!!!

  • For the life of me I can't figure out how two people can make SO many dirty dishes. I bet Mike and I put away and reload the dishwasher no less than 2-3 times a week. It's insane. I know that when I cook I tend to dirty at least 3 bowls at a time. I really need to get a larger cutting board to which I can place all the cut up items out of my way and continue to chop. This would help with the overuse of clean bowls. I also tend to dirty up a lot of pots. I've tried to start mastering many one pot meals. My resolution is to cut down on the amount of dirty dishes we create, and hopefully the amount of water we waste when washing all of these.
  • I love steam in the bag veggies. This cuts down on the use of said pots, and pans and dishes.
  • My hands are so dry and my nails are a wreck. I've started taking my vitamins again, and hopefully through the use of lotion and oil my nails will get back on track. Any suggestions in wonder treatments you ladies have found is greatly appreciated. 
  • We have no plans for New Years Eve yet. Usually this would drive me crazy but this year I'm almost content to stay in, make an amazing meal, sip some wine or rum and relax watching movies. I've either become and adult or figured it would be better than fighting the crowds at the bars.
  • I am SO SO SICK of fast food, junk food and anything that isn't whole food. I'm trying to use this sickness as a way to motivate myself to start eating well again. So far it's not working, Mike is sending me to McDonald's to pick-up our lunch. I can win a tiny battle here if I choose a salad over say a cheeseburger thought, right?
  • We have a pile of gift cards that we have yet to use from our wedding. I might be the only person on earth that tends to hold on to them forever for fear of purchasing something and not having the gift card anymore. It's like money you'll never get back. It's a strange hang up I have... I keep telling Mike I want to survey our gifts [which most are still in boxes] and make a list before stepping out to the store and mindlessly purchasing items we may not truly need. Responsible, yes... fun, not in the least.
  • I need to make a list of resolutions, or goals for 2012. We all know what the biggest one will be... get in shape. As if I had to say that again. But I want to go deeper than that.
  • If we do go out for New Years Eve I have an outfit in mind, but no shoes to go with it. #firstworldproblems
I hope you all have a happy and safe New Years Eve and that the New Year brings nothing but happiness, joy and prosperity to all of you! Tah-Tah for now! See you in 2012!!!!

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December 28, 2011


As we count down the days left in 2011 I got thinking about all I've done this year, and thought I might document what I'm doing/liking/thinking currently. After all I don't have to figure out my resolutions until 11:59 pm on Saturday right?

current book: Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential [amazing!]

current playlist: I don't have a list but currently Pearl Jam is in high rotation

current color: I'm obsessed with mustard yellow right now and gray.

current drink: water, but I'm coveting each of my new k-cup flavors I use in my Keurig. Mike and I are also newly obsessed with Gin and Tonics.

current food: junk food - today started operation 'Clean Up Your Diet'. I had a huge salad and I feel awesome!

current favorite show: Without a doubt, Parks n' Rec and COMMUNITY [however I am loving Up All Night, Hart of Dixie and a few other choice shows - does anyone watch American Pickers?]

Ron F-ing Swanson is my Hero! via pinterest
Community via google • Is it wrong I want to own 2 cats and name them after these two?
current needs: I have all I could need, seriously I know it sounds cheesy but I only have wants, not needs right now. It's a great feeling. OK maybe I feel I need a new juicer and a vacation would be awesome.

current triumph(s): getting married, is that a triumph? And eating salad instead of fast food today.

current bane(s) of my existence: crappy food and it's availability and cheap price tag.

current celebrity crush: I've been amused by Jason Sudeikis as of late.

jason via pinterest

current #1 blessing:  loved ones/family, my health, my home, my job.

current indulgence: ugh... junk food. Let's make that OVER indulgence.

current outfit: jeans, black boots and a hoodie proclaiming my father-in-law's business.

current excitement: New Years Eve! We don't even have plans but I just love this holiday.

current mood: happy. This year was a huge highlight for me.
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December 24, 2011

vintage D2BD


A little Vintage Kelly for Holiday Cheer Circa 1978, I was two.
I hope all your holidays 
are Merry and Bright!!!!
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December 23, 2011

random musings friday

I've always done Fixation Fridays here but thought I might try to take a different route going into the new year. Every week Shana over at Fumbling Towards Normalcy does this feature and every week I'm truly entertained by her musings. I think it's a great way to reflect on your week, the good, the bad and the ugly. As well as a great way to let your reader in on what's happening in your neck of the woods. Please take time to check out Shana's musings. She works in NYC and always has some colorful story about people on her daily commute or in the city itself not to mention the girl is funny!

So here are mine... and next time I'm going to take the advice of Allyson and Shana about taking notes if I plan to make this truly worth anyone's while to read.

Check out the original at Fumbling Towards Normalcy

  • It's one day away from Christmas Eve and I'm thankful my Christmas shopping has been completed. Thank goodness! I am still going shopping tonight but it's probably just to ensure I have a comfortable shirt to wear for the Christmas feast.
  • I keep getting asked if it feels different to be married. It does but I can't describe how. The only thing I can come up with is that I feel more confident in myself and our relationship. I never truly had doubts in Mike or us as a whole and when I say I feel more confident that sounds snide and rude - I just simply mean that in my heart I feel confident and full of love because someone chose me over all people to spend the rest of his life with.
  • I felt like a jerk yesterday as all my co-worker started exchanging gifts for Christmas. This year even with a pay raise [yes I got a raise, whoot!] I still feel like I'm floundering with money for gifts. [My rule was to spend CASH ONLY, no credit cards as I'm trying to pay off debt]. I made everyone a delicious cheesecake at work but I still feel like maybe around New Years I might snag them all a little something more personal. They all seemed fine but it's just my personal hang up. I LOVE gift giving.
  • My father says I always over gift... oddly enough I always feel like what I give him is never enough. This year I will see him late, after the New Year so I haven't even shopped for him yet.
  • My Jeep is having issues which really sucks since it was just serviced when I was home for Thanksgiving. My father's best friend is our mechanic and I was given a tune up, oil change and new tires... but when I got home, after my 12 make that 16 hour ride in traffic the trouble started. Currently the door locks only work on the driver side,  for the driver door ONLY, and the drivers window will go down, but none of the other locks or windows work, at all. It's clearly an electrical issue but with Christmas this close I didn't want to go in and get it fixed for $160 or whatever they would quote me. Instead I've been dealing with it and locking the Jeep old school, by hand. This really isn't good for a woman shopping alone this time of year in a dark parking lot w/ her hands full of bags. You never realize how much you rely on technology until it's taken away from you. #firstworldproblems
  • Last minute rush print jobs on the Friday before Christmas are one thing but last minute Christmas cards, give me a break! You're late, deal with it! [I work at a printing company]. My suggestion to all that have failed to get out Christmas cards is to send out Happy New Year cards. I've done a few of these for people and I love the idea!
  • I'm finally in the Christmas spirit, but it still doesn't quite feel like Christmas here. We got a ton of rain yesterday, I really wish it could have been snow.
  • Sometimes I cry at the oddest things, but I was watching the decorating of the White House for Christmas on HGTV the other night and I kept welling up at the oddest parts. Christmas is beautiful and moving but I highly doubt that hanging natural crystals from trees in one of the main foyers of the White House constitutes getting all welled up. The tree in honor of the troops in the Blue Room of the White House however, was totally worth it. It was amazing!
  • This time of year all the tv shows go into reruns and I hate that. However I am thankful that this has happened because I wouldn't have caught a great documentary on the Foo Fighters. I've always enjoyed their music but after watching the documentary about the band I'm completely obsessed with them and even more so with Dave. This also happened after watching Pearl Jam's new documentary PJ 20 - amazing! If you think you liked the band, watch this... you'll 100% love the band!
  • I have been craving nothing but vegetables lately. This is a clear indication of what I'm not getting enough of them in my diet currently. I'm sorry belly but it's tough to eat green beans with cheesecake, cheese balls, wine and beer. Well I'm sure if I deep fried you, you might fit in but that really wouldn't do my gut any justice!
  • Due to the above my stomach is a mess! I can't wait for January - this food is all too good to resist right now but I am making a clean sweep as soon as Christmas is over.
  • I've gained 5 lbs since my wedding. Not a lot but it's hindering my forward progress. To be fair I haven't worked out since 3 weeks before my wedding. When it got down to the final weeks I was too busy to worry about Turbo Fire. I will start strong right after the holidays and try my best to document it again.
  • I blame my honeymoon for my lapse in eating well and normal portion  sizes... I pigged my little heart out in Mexico! [Yes I will write about my honeymoon, promise!]
  • Lastly - I'm so over hearing about Kim Kardashian and her fake ass marriage and divorce. Just wanted to get that out there.
So there you have it. As of right now - I think that's all that is on my mind. Minus the steak tacos I plan to have for dinner tonight at happy hour... see it never ends! I just shoved sausage breakfast casserole in my pie hole a minute ago, my stomach is turning from it and I'm still thinking about my next meal... again! Hot mess.

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December 22, 2011

she believes and I do too!

This morning I was greeted in my email by a great blog post by Kallay over at If you've never read her work you're missing out. Kallay is always real, and she is a excellent writer. I always know when I have a subscription update in my email from her blog it's going to be a great read.

Today she posted a very moving blog called "I Believe..." I wanted to forward a link to it today because it explains very elegantly how I would love to tell my family and friends who are anti-saying Happy Holidays why I say it, and why it's ok with me, as a Christian to say Happy Holidays sometimes instead of Merry Christmas. To be fair I'm not sure if that was the statement Kallay was making with her post, it's just what I took from it a long with a truly, warm and fuzzy feeling.

via google • Santa is a spry man.
We are all here together celebrating what is most important to us and I truly feel no holiday is more important over the other. Obviously I celebrate Christmas so it's truly the most important to me personally but I would never downgrade another persons celebration under mine. I also think that sometimes the message of this holiday season gets too wrapped up in the gifts, the baking and everything else that no doubt makes this holiday fun, but it isn't what it's all about.

It is better to give than receive is what they say - but I also say it's better to send and receive love most of all.

Enjoy Kallay's post - I loved it and have read it now three times, as well as forwarded it to a few friends back home. How's that for advertising Kallay? ;)

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December 21, 2011

last shopping day.

Well at least it is for me it is the last Christmas shopping day. Thank goodness! Getting out trying to run around with all the other crazies this time of year is not my cup of tea. Thankfully I will get to finish up my list today on my lunch break. And I'm even more happy that the last items are mostly just stocking stuffers and a few small gifts.

This year it was tough for me to make a "wish list" to give to Mike. We just received a ton of great things for our wedding and honestly after you marry the one you've been loving and dreaming of marrying for the past 7 years, what else is there to truly want? Yeah, I know barf, but it's the truth. Mike's family has asked me a million times what we've wanted for the holidays and I can honestly say I was sort of at a loss. There was only one gift I was truly wanting on my list, and that was a new necklace and charm with my new initial "H" from Waxing Poetic. Everything else was fun, and something I'd enjoy but I really just wanted a little something to commemorate my first Christmas as a married woman.

Last year as I said in previous posts we bought everything locally from mom and pop stores, we didn't touch the mall and we certainly only ordered like 3 things online. This year was different - I suggested to Mike that we take my new obsession with pinterest and put it to good use. I instructed him how to use the sight and we then began creating our wishlists for the season. I figured this would make it easy on both of us to order what we wanted, quickly and without searching all over to find it.

Here's mine if you are curious Birthday/Christmas Wish List

This plan worked REALLY well. For my birthday Mike snagged me the purse I really wanted [no longer listed on pinterest] from Pac Sun and he said it made his shopping experience for me super easy! I ended up ordering off the list for his Birthday, but that's OK he enjoyed his gifts. Yes we both have December birthdays and they are actually only 7 days apart.

Everything worked out great - I was able to search and destroy Mike's list as well. A minor slip up did happen. The lists were supposed to be just for the two of us and Mike accidentally linked the list to his mom to show her a gift he pinned and liked but that he was thinking about getting for his dad. He simply wanted her opinion but his mom got excited when she saw the list and started brain storming what to get him. I got really fearful, and I will admit freaked out a bit because I feared she would purchase everything on the list before I got a chance to get my money in order for purchase. Thankfully the crisis was averted and all was A-OK, but just a word of warning if Pinterest is still around next year and you plan to use it to it's full advantage for birthdays or holidays - be sure to let others know that it's your list, or that someone is already using this list, or even make 2 lists. Just so you don't get double gifts across the map.

I'm really excited for Christmas this year, it's taken me until now to get into the true spirit. Some help from Shana's post this morning definitely put me in the mood. Go check it out!

Every year Mike and I have a different budget, we stick to that budget and we always do right by each other. I will say my favorite gift of all gifts was our first Christmas together - he had lost his job due to layoffs and cutting at his office and was working part time at a gas station to pay his bills until something better came along. He felt bruised, beaten down and just hopeless. He felt horrible that our first holiday as a couple wouldn't be so glamorous - I reminded him that Christmas wasn't about expensive gifts, it was about the love in your heart and the thought behind the gifts. I told him we should make each other gifts. I made him a photo album consisting of all the pictures taken of us up until that point during a few visits we had together. He in turn drew portraits of me from photos, his favorite photos. I have to say they are amazing and my favorite gifts to date. I later purchased frames and mattes to display them.

Just remember this time of year, it's not all in what you get, it's what you feel. I love gift giving and if I was rich I'd give my friends, family and those in need the world. But the simple fact is, I'm not rich. I do what I can. I spoiled my husband this year, or at least I hope he sees it that way, and I've given to charity. I haven't sent out my cards yet [I will today] and I haven't had time to make cookies but that's ok. The world won't end, Christmas will still come and the love, yeah, it will still be there! That my friends is the most important thing!

Happy  Holidays to you and yours!!!!

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December 19, 2011

seasons greetings one and all.

I figured I'd share the two cards Mike and I are sending out this year. I say sending because they are sitting in my purse waiting for my lazy butt to get to the post office or even the grocery store to snag some stamps. So if you are on my mailing list rest assured you'll get yours, it's just going to be late. Story of my life!

We did two options this year, mostly because some family members and friends didn't make it to the wedding and because well, I wanted to get the most out of our engagement and wedding photos.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

[p.s. yes, I made these, I took some inspiration from online stores that I couldn't afford or had time to order from and made my own. And no, my new last name isn't "No Stalking", although that would be pretty sweet].

Did you send Holiday cards this year?

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December 16, 2011

where has the year gone?

I swear only yesterday I was getting married, and now it's a week from Christmas. Where did this year go? Yes I still plan on telling you about my wedding and my honeymoon, and all that goes with that. I've just been waiting patiently to get my pictures back from our photographer. She sent them out yesterday and I'm so excited. I've seen proofs, they're amazing and I am really pleased with how they turned out. So all in do time my lovelies.

Does anyone else feel like this year has been a blur? It still doesn't feel like Christmas to me yet, no matter how many movies I watch [read: Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, Bad Santa, Die Hard, and on and on], or how many times I put Christmas music on the radio.

Maybe it's because this year didn't have the standard flow of events. Our wedding was right before Halloween, my favorite holiday. We missed Halloween festivities since we were on our honeymoon, which is a great filler trust me but sometimes I just need Halloween. After that we switched up plans to spend Thanksgiving in Maryland with my father. We usually spend it here with Mike's family. Point being not a single fall-winter holiday has been as it usually is and I think I'm going to blame that for my lack of Christmas cheer... although I'm rather cheerful just not feeling like it's Christmas yet.

Shopping will be completed this weekend, thank goodness. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. This year Mike and I did most of our shopping online. We used Pinterest [so addicting] to create WISH LISTS for each other. This in theory helped out a ton because we were able to give each other links to all our desires and purchase them for each other in one click. It all went smoothly until Mike gave his mom the link to his wish list, to show her an idea he had for his dad, that he also thought he might like to receive for Christmas... and then I panicked fearing she'd buy everything on there, and leave me with nothing. Crisis averted, thank goodness! We worked it all out. But it was touch and go there for a moment. Could you imagine... first Christmas as a married couple and all that was left for me to get him would be socks and underwear? Sooo romantic.

Last year we did a lot of local shopping for everyone on our list and it felt amazing to help our community AND to get out locally and not hit up the mall for gifts. I think I am going to do this again next year. The gifts were more meaningful, the shopping was less stressful and I actually felt good and like it was Christmas for the entire season.

I hope you have all your shopping and baking finished. I myself haven't touched the baking yet... and not sure if I will. However I do have to bake a cheesecake for Christmas dinner. I hope I don't get frazzled before then.

So, are you ready for Christmas?

P.S. I promise to update more often, now that things are slowing down. Tis the Season!

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