Monday, December 31, 2012

Not A Good Year For Me

It is New Year's Eve and I am sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I have loss one of my heart of hearts - my nephew Eric.

He died in a car accident early Sunday morning.  I am in so much pain right now. I don't know what to do.

Christmas was not the same without my grandmother being here.  And now this.

I have never experienced so many losses in one year.

Although you are gone - Eric, Uncle John and grandma - you will never, never, ever be forgotten.  I love and miss you so much. My heart is literally hurting.



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dealing With A Loss

Since my last post there has been a loss.  My grandmother became very sick and was rushed to the hospital several weeks ago. Then things started to look like they were on their way to being better as she was able to move from the hospital to a rehab facility.  Unfortunately it was not to be.  My lovely grandma left us on November 13, 2012.  She was finally laid to rest this past Tuesday.

I am in so much pain. I just can't imagine not seeing her anymore.  She was such a loving, caring woman. Would do anything for anyone if she could. Never said anything negative about anyone.

Today is Thanksgiving and though I have a lot to be thankful for, including having her in my life, I feel an emptiness that just cannot be filled.  I know that she was in a lot of pain and she was tired and there was nothing I could do to make her feel better.  Now she is at eternal rest. No more pain. No more suffering.

I Love You Grandma. Rest In Heavenly Peace!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Black Friday

Black Friday is November 22nd.  Anyone planning to go out this year?  I love Black Friday.  My favorite place to shop for sale items is Walmart. A super walmart just opened a few blocks up the road from me.  Yipee.

I've been getting email alerts of various stores' Black Friday sales.  Check it out.

Decisions, Decisions

I know I already decided on the menu for this year's Christmas Eve family dinner, but in the last month I have been seeing some really great recipes I want to do.  (Thank you Pinterest - LOL).  Now I think I may be changing a few items.

Christmas Cards

I love giving and receiving Christmas cards.  It's such a special treat for me to open my mailbox and find a pretty Christmas card from friends and family.  I use to have a spiral tree that I displayed all of my cards on but it finally fell apart after years of use.  I was thinking of getting another one but then came across a great idea on Pinterest.  Decorating a door with ribbon and attaching my Christmas cards to it. Since I have nice new doors throughout, I figure, why not.

Clever way to display Christmas cards. I may do this.

This year I made some personalized Christmas cards for my closest, dearest friends. Inside each card will be a picture of us all taken in Ocean City Maryland during my birthday weekend.  I can't wait for them to receive them in the mail.  Last year I sent them all calendars with photos of all our wild times together throughout the year which was a great hit.

Still thinking of what type of cards I want to send to family though.  I was thinking photo cards, but I've done that before. Maybe for those who've never received one -- but for the rest I'm undecided.

Playing Catch-Up

I've been so busy with other things that I have neglected my duties in getting ready for the holidays.  Today and yesterday state government offices have been closed because of Hurricane Sandy.  Since I had two days off and could not go outdoors, I decided to take the opportunity to evaluate my progress.  Let me tell you, it's not looking good.

I have all of my lists completed but have not done much from them.  I still need to 
  • Purchase more baking supplies
  • Finish printing Christmas cards
  • Shop for Christmas gifts and start wrapping them as they come in
  • Finish purchasing non perishable goods for holiday meals
  • Purchase craft supplies and get started on homemade gifts
  • Set up gift closet
  • Inventory decorations
  • Purchase Christmas stamps
  • Inventory holiday music and movies
  • buy a new pre-lit Christmas tree and ornaments
One thing that I was able to scratched off my list is Thanksgiving dinner.  There's been a change for Thanksgiving.  I originally planned to host a small dinner with just me, my boyfriend, my parents and my brother and his family.  A few weeks ago my aunt called and asked us all to come to her home for Thanksgiving.  So that's where we'll be going.  It's fine with me since I'm so behind with everything.

Well that's my sad story.  It's back to work tomorrow.

Will try to get started again on my to-do list.  Christmas will be here before I know it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Getting Ready For the Holidays

Well that's the thought I have in my head. LOL

It's a little busy here. I've been spending a lot of time getting ready for FALL, my favorite season.  You can check out my blog here.

Now I need to get caught up with the two plans I'm following over at Organized Christmas and Magical Holiday Home.  Today is the last day of week 3 for House & Holidays and week 4 for Holiday Grand Plan.

House & Holidays is Me & Mine week where the focus is all about "me".  Plus I tackled the master bedroom, including the closet.  Wasn't much to do, thank goodness.  I just added some fall decorations and fall scented candles.  Put out my pretty comforter and hung up some heavier window curtains.  The nights here have been wonderfully cool.  For the holiday prep part. Yesterday was a quiet day at work so I went over and updated my Christmas card list, designed some pretty address labels and scheduled in my holiday planner some "me" time.  I still need to get my gift closet/area set up.  Actually I need to start gift shopping.  I did take advantage of Walmart's pre-layaway weekend last week.  So I will need to have my closet ready before I start bring gifts home.

Holiday Grand Plan is Master Bedroom week, but I'm only following the holiday preparations part.  I made a batch of peanut butter cookie dough and placed in the freezer. I also made an extra meal for the freezer ( Lasagna).  Already in the freezer are sugar cookie dough and another freezer meal (meatloaf). The last week in November and all of December will be really hectic for me so having  meals already prepared will work great. Just throw in the oven and go.

I'm going to a family cookout in a few hours but when I come back I want to work on my Christmas cards. If I'm not too tired or other things. LOL

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Holiday Grand Plan

Good day all. It's been raining all day here in Maryland.  A nice day to stay indoors and maybe get some things done around the house.

Today starts the eighteen week long Holiday Grand Plan over at Magical Holiday Home and Organized Christmas.  The the plan is divided into two parts: cleaning and holiday preparation.  Week One is cleaning off the front porch and list week.  I, myself, am only following the holiday prep part of this plan.

Here's my list:

  • Create a master gift list:  I listed the names of all my relatives, friends, neighbors and coworkers whom I will be giving gifts to.  I also wrote down how much I plan to spend for each person and what gifts I will give.
  • Update address list:  Made sure home addresses of friends and family that I send Christmas cards to are up to date.
  • Thanksgiving menu:  What I plan to serve and wrote my grocery shopping list
  • Christmas menu:  same thing I did for Thanksgiving
  • Goodies for sharing:   I'm making 10 different types of cookies and two cakes. I made a list of the ingredients I need to buy and will get started picking up what I need this week.  I want to start making up the batches earlier than usual.  I love to share homemade goodies with my coworkers and leave a little basket of goodies at the door of my neighbors house.  It's a nice surprise when they open their door.
  • Plan and prepare freezer meals:  As the holidays drawer nearer I will be too busy to cook so I made of list of dinners I will make and freeze so that they will be at the ready whenever I get hungry.
  • Create a master shopping list:  This list consists of gifts I need to purchase, supplies for craft projects, decorations, party supplies, etc.
I'm so excited to get started. This Christmas is going to be wonderful.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Christmas Tree Idea

During my major decluttering I got rid of my pre-lit Christmas tree.  The tree was in great shape but the lights no longer worked. So I gave it to one of the contractors working in my apartment who said he could use it during hunting season. LOL.

Anyway I now have to buy a new Christmas tree.  I want another 7 ft, pre-lit tree but I want it to be a little narrow. I was looking at trees last year and I really like the ones that have those thick branches. They cost a little more than regular trees but they make less of a mess - as far as shedding goes.

Today while looking on the internet I saw this picture where they decorated around the base of the Christmas tree with poinsettias.

I really like it and may be using this idea.


A few weeks ago I joined Pinterest.  Check out my Christmas board.

The Latest With Me

Good day all.  Been trying to survive this wicked heat we've been having.  Summer is coming to an end and I for one am glad.

My little palace has been remodeled from top to bottom.  All new kitchen and bath. All new carpet throughout.  Freshly painted walls.  Even updated light fixtures throughout. Some of the work took longer than what I was told which had me a little stressed.  Now that all the contractors are gone (thank goodness) I can focus on putting my place back together. I can't wait to start decorating for the autumn and Christmas seasons. The old decorations will  look fresh and new. So excited.

In the meantime I am going over plans for my family's Christmas Eve dinner. I've got my menu selected and grocery list printed and at the ready:


  • spinach & artichoke dip
  • baked crab rangoon
  • fruit platter


  • Lasagna
  • Spare Ribs 
  • Wingette platter 


  • Collard greens
  • Amish macaroni salad
  • Garden salad
  • deviled eggs
  • fresh baked dinner rolls

  • Red velvet cupcakes
  • pound cake
  • a variety of cookies
  • holiday punch, sodas,wine, egg nog, 

I'm sure I will be adding another kind of entree.  I always do when I go out to do my holiday grocery shopping.

With the new, easy layout from dining room to kitchen, I know exactly how I want to put everything.   Instead of having the food set up on the dining table as in past Christmases, I can put everything on the buffet I bought this summer. With the added counter space in the kitchen I can set up the dessert station.  And the kitchen island  I bought for the kitchen will serve as a beverage station.  People will actually be able to sit at the dining table and enjoy their meal.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Madness in Full Effect

Not too happy today.  The people came and installed the new carpet yesterday while I was at work.  They did an excellent job putting down the carpet but they did some major damages to my furniture in the process.

They damaged one of my tall dresser chests.  The drawers will not sit in properly as one of the bars is broken and another one is completely missing.

So my drawers are stacked on the floor in my bedroom.

Then this morning when I got up I decided to rearrange my livingroom.  Another disaster.  They broke one of the legs on my armoire completely off.

Thank goodness I had not started putting my electronics back into the cabinet or else it all could have fallen over, and on me!  What's makes me so mad is that they put the armoire back up like nothing was wrong and... they didn't even let the rental office know what they did.

I showed the pictures to the rental manager this morning and she is going to contact the company.  Someone is going to have to fix my furniture.  I've only had the chests and armoire a few years. The armoire was bought by my mom as a Christmas gift.

Other than these mishaps, my little palace really is looking better and better.  I asked management if I could get my walls painted and she set me up for a day next week (I should have asked about that before the carpet was replaced. Oh well).  This holiday is really going to be wonderful.  I can see it...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Shaking My Head

Has it really been over a year since my last post?

Tomorrow is March Rudy Day.  I don't know exactly what I will do (other than watch a Christmas movie).

I am going through a makeover at my home.  Just got a new kitchen and a few other things, so I have been busy with that.  But come the holidays I know my new space is going to look so cool...

Tune in tomorrow and I'll share what I did to celebrate the day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Madness

It's not really mad.  Well maybe a little.

The new carpet is being installed tomorrow. So glad of that.

Before the contractors come I had to move items that could easily break. They are currently being stored in the kitchen.  I tried storing some things on the shelf in the guest bedroom closet Friday, when all of a sudden, the pole gave way from the wall and everything came crashing down on me.  LOL.

(It was worse then this. I cleaned it up a little before I took this picture.)

Needless to say, I had to find somewhere else to put things.  Maintenance will come fix the pole hopefully later this week.

While getting the place ready for carpeting, I managed to do more decluttering.  I gave away two small tables, a small book case, a curio, my microwave, and a few other things to the Salvation Army.  Unfortunately, one of the small tables somehow got damaged during transport, so I don't think they will be re-purposing it.  I threw out some old picture frames that broke during the closet fiasco. I also threw out some Christmas wrapping paper that I didn't like anymore. Out went an old folding table and a plant stand that had seen better days.

My little palace is looking quite empty. Almost like it did when I first moved in.  lol

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A New Year

So much has been going on since I last posted. All good for the most part.

January was the month to reflect on the holidays. What worked? What didn't? What new traditions were created? Things like that.  January was also the month to clean out my holiday notebook.

In February I did a lot of decluttering with my friends over at Magical Holiday Home.  It started out small but then turned into a major overhaul for me.  The reason? My little palace is going through a face-lift.

Yup, I recently had my kitchen completely gutted out and replaced with new everything: cabinets, appliances and flooring.  I am so happy with the results.  I can't wait to be in there baking and cooking away during the holidays.

Here's a few photos of before and after.




Now this is a kitchen I can cook in. I have more counter space to work on. Also having another wall of cabinets gives me more storage for my cookware that was previously being stored in the coat closet. You may have noticed a large opening between the floor cabinets.  That's where the dishwasher will be installed in a few days.

And let me tell you, they didn't skimp on the appliances either.  Top of the line (Whirlpool) fridge,  stove and built-in microwave.  I am really going to enjoy using this oven.  It's self cleaning, has a buit-in timer and can act as a warmer.  I was truly impressed.

I bought this island from Ikea.  It's great for storing larger items that can't fit into the cabinets and keeping extra dish cloths, towels, etc. close at hand.  This island also serves as extra work space as well as a serving area during parties. (Like a girls night which is in the very near future)

A new, larger light fixture replaces the old, small one making the kitchen brighter since I don't have a window.

Not only did I get a new light fixture in the kitchen, but in the dining room as well.  The finish matches the large mirror on the wall perfectly.

They also replaced the flooring in the foyer.  It's the same flooring used in the kitchen.

The kitchen is just the start. I'm also getting new carpet throughout, new flooring in the bathroom and all  the closet doors will be replaced.  So you know what that means...more decluttering.

I'll keep you posted.