Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015 In Review

Since my last post my laptop died.  I have a desktop but I hate being stuck in one room so I had not been posting anything until today.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas.  I watched a lot of Christmas movies and played lots and lots of Christmas music. Everything was going great. I put up all of my decorations over Thanksgiving weekend. Even decorated my office.  But then a monkey wrench was thrown into the program and for a while I wasn't sure if I was going to get back to enjoying the holiday. However by the weekend before Christmas I was in awesome spirits again.

Besides laptop issues, I loss the use of my brakes while driving on a busy road a week before Christmas.  Thank goodness I didn't cause any accidents. Needless to say, the money spent to have the repairs done cut big time into my holiday budget.  Let me tell you, I was feeling the pressure.  I still had to buy food for my Christmas Eve family dinner and gifts for family members.  I had no clue how I was going to get through this holiday.  That's what I get for putting things off.  The first time, I've ever done this, and will NOT be repeating.

So I had a decision to make and in the end everything turned out great.  I just explained that not everyone was going to have their gifts until after Christmas and my family was truly understanding.  That's why I love them so.

The week leading up to Christmas was the most busiest and fun week of all and when I began to relax and enjoy the holiday again.  Over the weekend I baked cookies - 10 different kinds - and took in a large tray as well as a tin for my coworkers. Those cookies were gone before lunchtime.

I tried a new cookie recipe this year.  Cheesecake thumbprint cookies.  They are the little white ones in the center of the tray.  I must admit I was not to sure anyone would like them.  The dough has a shortbread taste and I guess I was hoping for it to be a little sweeter, but my coworkers truly enjoyed them.  I also gave my favorite neighbor and her son a basket of cookies and the rest, well my family took care of that.

On Monday I went to an Ugly Sweater party with a girlfriend and we had so much fun.  There were games, good food and awesome drinks.  We even did some painting.  Here's what I painted...

I found an easy image on the internet to copy as I am not Picaso by a long shot - lol.  I forgot to paint the holly on his hat and the mustash is a little funny on one side but I had a blast doing this.

Here's me and my girlfriend in our ugly sweaters:

They're not ugly really. Not to me - lol.

Tuesday I rested and Wednesday I got started on prepping the meal. On Christmas Eve family and close friends gathered at my house. I love seeing everyone and catching up with those who I don't get to see as much because of everyday life.  I had a problem with my phone so I was unable to take pictures.  Needless to say I added purchasing a new digital camera to my master shopping list for next year.

Because I had to work on Christmas Eve - the first time in 15 years - I created an easy menu which included purchasing a few premade dishes.  That which I cooked myself I prepared the night before.  I wasn't sure how I was going to have everything ready before guests arrived but as luck would have it, my boss allowed me to leave a couple hours early.  Big help!  The menu consisted of...

-Fried chicken (that I ordered from one of my favorite restaurants)
-Minced BBQ (I let that cook in the crock pot while I was at work)
-Lasagna (I put it together the night before so all it needed was to go into the oven)
-Mac & Cheese (same as the lasagna)
-Spinach & Artichoke dip
-potato salad I purchased from Walmart.  I love their Amish potato salad.
-deviled eggs made the night before
-green beans also cooked in a crock pot
-garden salad
-Hawaiian ham & cheese sliders; and for dessert
-Vanilla bean icecream & eggnog in a punch bowl

At the end of the night there was not one drop of food left which made for an easy and quick cleanup for me.  The down side to that was I woke up a little hungry the next morning and realized there were no goodies left - lol.

Christmas day I usually am too tired to do anything and just lay around the house recouperating.  But this year I went to a girlfriend's house.  She hosted a crafting/sip&paint party.  We had a ball. We made jewelry, sand art of course painting.  Everyone agreed that we must do this more often.  I made a bracelet and painted this...

Notice one shoe is bigger than the other.  A little too much sipping - lol.  As I said earlier, I'm not Picaso.

Well that's my story.  Looking forward to next year.

Happy Holiday!  

Saturday, October 3, 2015

So Much To Do

I tried to keep going with the year round holiday prep but family and friends kept me very busy this year.  Besides work, I have done a lot of traveling and been to so many different celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, family reunions) that try as I might, I just didn't have the time to do anything Christmassy. Although it was on my mind constantly.

But my favorite time of year has arrived - Autumn - and it is just what I need to get focused. I love this time of year.

It's been a rainy weekend so far here in Maryland.  It's also quite chilly. Thank goodness that storm that was supposed to hit decided to stay out in the Atlantic.  I love rainy days, but not that much, LOL.

Since I decided to stay in this weekend, I pulled out my trusty holiday planner notebook and got started.  I usually follow one of the plans over at Magical Holiday Home but they are already into week five.  No worries. I will just jump in and get the ball rolling.

To start I printed a few blank calendar pages from online and began noting upcoming events for the remainder of the year.  It's looking a little bare right now but I know it will start filling up real fast. I also got started on my master gift list.  While spending a little time online window shopping I found some great gift ideas. I hope to actually started holiday shopping by the end of next week. What's next?  Oh yeah!  I need to update my excel spreadsheet.  I like to keep track of gifts I've given in previous years so that I don't duplicate them.  I must say that I am starting to run out of ideas, LOL.

Tomorrow I will continue with my lists.  One major list I need to get done early is the menu for the annual Christmas Eve family dinner. For many it's probably easy but not for me.  I like to do something different each year. There may be one or two favorites that are a must but I like to switch it up.

It's nearly 6 so I think after I update my spreadsheet I'm going to take a break for the rest of the evening, grab some snacks, plop on the sofa under a blanket and watch some movies.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

May 2015 turn all of your dreams into reality and all of your goals into great achievements.

A new year, a new beginning.  Enjoy it!