Saturday, December 26, 2009

Well Christmas is over and I'm so exhausted. It's been raining so much all day that our kitchen ceiling is leaking! It was pretty quiet around here today. We went to see It's Complicated - so funny - and I did some reading and tried to deal with some computer problems. Pretty laid back after the madness of the last few days!

I spent most of the week finishing up my crafts and hoping my orders would get here. The Shutterfly books made it but some books I ordered for the kids did not. I left a lot of stuff for Christmas Eve: wrapping gifts, making stamped gift tags, cooking for Christmas day, printing my calendars and photos to go in frames that I made. But for the first time probably ever, I finished everything on my to-do list! That never happens!!!

Since my dad still isn't feeling well, my brother, his family and I joined my mom and sister for dinner with family friends. There was so much food and booze - as usual. Antipasto, home-made manicotti, pork, potatoes, asparagus, cheesecake. Good stuff. Taylor was a bit moody since she wasn't feeling well. And Bear (that's Mikey's older brother) got along really well with the kids since he gave them money. Always lots of fun and laughs when we're over there.

On Christmas morning, everyone came over to our house for breakfast and presents. Mom made yummy stuffed French toast and Mike made the eggs as usual. Mom and Randi surprised me with a Wii along with Beatles Rock Band (which was on back order). I also got some sweaters, calendars, body wash, socks, Beatles Trivial Pursuit, and a new pair of gloves. Penny got lots of treats. Taylor got a gold locket that she just loved, along with some clothes, games and toys - as did Kylie, who also was happy to get a Spider-Man car. Everyone loved the scrapbooks and calendars, too.

After the Christmas morning chaos, I took a nice little nap. Betty, Fernando and Lucia came to visit. And after that, Mom and I went up to Mike's house for dinner. Mom had to help Taylor put the stickers on her new Barbie boat and we got to see some of the other toys the kids got. We had originally planned to go down to my Aunt Eileen's but the nasty weather and the long drive didn't appeal to us. I had made chicken enchilada casserole and baked zit alfredo to take with us - but we got to have it for dinner instead. After all that, I went to bed pretty early. I was so beat - and still am!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, too!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Glue and flour

I was covered in all that stuff this weekend along with some paint, ink, sugar, eggs. We got snowed in and it was a great time for it! I need to get to work on my Christmas crafts and baking and got most of it done. Penny was a good helper - she ate everything that fell off the floor. I ordered some stuff online to finish up my shopping and now I just hope it gets here on time.

Here's what I made: I printed my cards and decorated the envies with stamps; decorated a canister for Penny's treats; put together some hybrid ornament and pillow boxes; and covered frames and heart shapes in paper - I still need to embellish those.

As for baking, I made chocolate chips, chocolate covered cherries, oatmeal apricot almonds, lace cookies (which don't look very lacy but still taste good), and a few peanut butter cookies (had some dough left in the fridge).

So today, I'm beat and I don't feel like doing anything! I still need to finish up the projects, but I'm not motivated. Instead I've been going through photos, so I'll share some of my adventures from the last week. The photos of decorations and cookies are still on the camera.

Here I am at the high school get together with my friends Monica and Betty.

Here's the cake mom made for Kylie's Birthday. And this is the Spider-Man toy I got her. My sister-in-law tells me Kylie just loves it. Spidey even won a little talent show - the girls held one with their toys! Hee!

And here are some pics from NYC ...

That Red Nose ale was good!

This elf was sining Paul McCartney!

And some nice windows!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas to me!

The bad thing about Christmas shopping is I end up buying more stuff for myself than for other people! So far I've gotten..
- A pair of Mary Janes (and another pair of shoes that I returned)
- 4 new tops (and a few others I returned)
- A new scarf and gloves
- Several Christmas ornaments
- A bunch of DVDs (I blame Black Friday sales)
- Charlaine Harris books - Grave Secret and A Touch of the Dead (super excited about this one - it's Sookie Stackhouse short stories)
- Star Wars Muppets figurines (that's my Christmas present from Penny and yes I know how old I am)
- Crafty stuff
- New cookie trays
- A bunch of digi kits

And that's all I can think of - I'm sure there's more. D'oh!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Busy as an elf

I was on a blogging roll and then I go and disappear for a week! Well, in case you missed me, I’ve been pretty busy. I downloaded the Glee soundtracks and that’s really lifted my spirits! Here’s what’s been going on … Will share some photos soon!

Lucia’s Birthday: Betty invited me to a little party at Lucia’s daycare. She just turned 3! The kids had a lot of fun watching a magic act – I especially love Lucia’s little fake sounding laugh. She got to help the magician turn a picture of a rabbit into the real thing and did I ever feel sorry for that bunny! Poor thing had all the crazy little kids poking at its eyes. After that, there were cupcakes and ice cream. Lots o’ fun.

My dad: He’s been in the hospital since last week. He’s had a blood infection and can’t leave until it clears up. They’re also doing tests to figure out some other problems. His uncle was also in the hospital and just passed away today, so I think my dad feels worse about that than his own health. My uncle, who was 87, was a prisoner in Cuba under Castro, and I was always afraid of him as a kid because he was so tall! He was my grandmother’s brother and it’s sad that most of my relatives of that generation are gone and haven’t been able to return to their homeland.

Work: Still making me nuts but I had two days off this week! Last of my vacation, but next year I’m bumped up to 4 weeks!

Karaoke: I sang so many songs on Thursday! I think I’m over my stage fright. There was no one singing, so my friends and I just hogged the mic. I think I sang some Madonna, Pretenders, Beatles, Lisa Loeb and some other stuff. I even had the guts to sing at a reunion on Saturday in front of a huge crowd. (More about that later!)

High school reunion: On Saturday, one of my friends organized a little high school reunion at Sparky’s. Got to see some people I haven’t seen in awhile and met a few people I didn’t know in school. Betty brought along two of her visitors from Spain and they were the life of the party. The bar was so packed. And we had some great karaoke action, too.

Kylie’s Birthday: We celebrated Kylie’s 4th birthday on Sunday with a Spider-Man themed party. My gift – a singing Spidey – was a HUGE hit! She wouldn’t let anyone else see it! She also got some other Spider-Man Toys, Pet Shop and Ariel stuff and clothes (which she called bad!). The kids cracked me up playing Wii boxing and cheating at pin the tail on the donkey. Mom made a Spider-Man cake that came out pretty cool. Kylie’s little pal Noah was so such a cutie. He helped her open gifts and was following her around like a puppy dog. (His dad was a football player in high school who all my friends crushed on!)

New York: On Monday, Randi and I made our annual trip to the tree at Rockefeller Center. We also picked up some great gifts and ornaments. The weather was just right. We stopped at Heartland Brewery for lunch and filled up on appetizers, beer (for me) and homemade soda. Good stuff! I really should make the trip earlier because it really puts me in the Christmas spirit.

Mikey’s Birthday: Another crazy dinner at our friends’ home on Monday night. It involved lots of cursing and knife fighting – but all in good fun, I swear! We had some yummy homemade manicotti and mom made ice cream cake. I can’t believe our little Mikey is 18!

Christmas stuff: I have been catching up with shopping and crafty/scrappy stuff. The Shutterfly books are orderd. My cards are designed after a few complete overhauls and now I need to hustle to print and send those. I’ve got all my gifts purchased – just need a gift for Kylie and books for the girls.
We finally got our tree up! I got most of the decorations up Sunday night and mom’s been slowly filling out the top with the fra-gee-lay stuff that I’m afraid to break.
My to-do list is still pretty long. I need to wrap gifts, pick up some gifts, decorate ornaments and frames, bake cookies and cook for Christmas day. I’m leaving most of that for the weekend.

And I forgot to mention, I also got to see the Princess and the Frog, which was just fabulous. So sweet, touching and funny with lots of throwbacks to old-school Disney films.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Getting crafty

Well, after my pity party yesterday, I decided to cheer myself up a little by making a little Christmas craft. I got this foam art kit in Target for $1 and I think they are pretty cute!

Then last night I started painting my ornaments while I was catching up on Tivo. I was also very creeped out by SyFy's Alice.

This morning I tortured Penny in her new sweater trying to get a photo for my Christmas cards. I took 125 photos and I don't think I love anything! There are some cute ones so I'll have to figure something out. Here are a few.

Now I'm going to play with my Fishville tank and relax a bit before work!

Monday, December 07, 2009

I have been blogging a lot lately as a way to overcome my Christmas blues. I hope that writing will just get it out of my system. It seems to just get worse every year.

I was just thinking about how this would have been a good weekend to get the house decorated since we didn't do much. But it didn't even really occur to me until now. I can't go down in the basement without getting an asthma attack and mom can't get down there with her arthritis lately. I don't know if I even care if we put the tree up. I do love it once it's all done, but the process of getting it up is such a pain every year.

I went to AC Moore and picked up some stuff to make Christmas crafts. I want to make some frames and ornaments as gifts. I need to add those to the list along with cookies, the scrapbooks and calendars. I have some time off next week so I'll be scrambling to get stuff done. I also have a little high school reunion, Kylie's party, Mikey's birthday dinner and our annual trip to see the tree in the city crammed in that long weekend.

I am waiting for the cable repair guy to get here. I kind of want to go back to bed, but maybe I should start working on something.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Ack! Snow!!!

I just cleaned off and moved my car! It was covered in snow. It's been nasty all day - after a pretty nice day yesterday. Mom and I have stayed home watching DVDs - White Christmas and Star Trek - and reading. We ordered dinner from Sal's. I did a little online shopping - a birthday present for Kylie, shoes for me - laundry, and some bill paying. I really love staying home and doing nothing - so you'd think I'd like winter more!

Penny is cracking me up. She's over on the other couch in a little ball and making weird noises. I had to drag her out earlier and will have to do so again since she hates the cold and wet weather. We're saying she's being moody. See what I mean...

I'm supposed to go to my friend Jerry's birthday celebration tonight - I will have to bundle up and call a cab. I'm not looking forward to going out again in the cold, but I will if there's a party!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday funk

Today we got even more bad news at work. The company is closing down our press room and cutting 166 people who work there. They're going to print the newspaper in New Jersey. They're also looking to sell the building and possibly relocate, which is probably a good idea since our third and fourth floors are pretty much empty. So sad. Plus I had one of those nights where all kinds of things went wrong and I got stuck working an extra hour. Hate that! I'm in such a cranky mood. But at least I'm home now with my puppy and that makes things a lot better!

I sang a new song at karaoke last night - Lisa Loeb's Stay - and I rocked it! I have had that song in my head all day. I haven't sung in a few weeks, so it was fun to get back into it. The whole night was just crazy.

I think I'm going to watch something funny tonight to put me in a better mood! I just got a bunch of cheap DVDs from Amazon's black friday sale, including Step Brothers and the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Christmas special.

My friend Kait sent me this link today - great for cleaning your computer screen and a good laugh!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Yay for Tania ... and some new pages

I think I must have used up most of my scrapping mojo in the beginning of the year! I have about 25 images posted at DST in January and 11 for November. Well, here are some I haven't shared here yet.

I'm super excited for my friend Tania Shaw. Not only is she rocking over at Funky Playground, but she's also the guest designer this month at Digi Chick. I did this page using Tania's Krafty Christmas and templates that she as TDC. I remember when Tania was so excited to be on the elements team at Digi Chick, and even though it's gone through a few owners since then, it's pretty cool that she's back there this month!

Here's one I did using a template by a new studio girl, Crystal Livesay. This isn't my usual scrapping style, so it was fun to play. I think I would like this better if I made the photo and clusters a little bigger. I can hardly see Penny! LOL!

And I'm trying to get some pages done for my Christmas albums this year. I had scrapped a version of this page for my hybrid Easter album. (Total of three pages done!) So it was easy to add some paper and elements to make finish a digi version.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Penny Claus

I was going through last year's Christmas photos to scrap a page that I'll share later this week when I came across this. It cracks me up.

I woke up this morning to the sounds of a delivery man madly ringing my doorbell. Which was followed by the annoying sounds of pug whining. They are the sounds of the seaon!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I'm not ready for December!

Why is that December always comes and goes so quickly? The holidays just creep up on you and before you know it, it’s all over. Today I finished the last piece of Aunt Eileen’s apple and crasin pie, but skipped the turkey. Our fridge is still stuffed with Thanksgiving leftovers. I’ve been trying to get creative with them. I made some quiche with leftover bread and broccoli and a sort of shepherd’s pie with turkey. Next year, the relatives need to take more food home with them!

I’m not the kind of person who is ready for Christmas as soon as Thanksgiving is over, but there’s no escaping it. The commercials. The songs on the radio. The Hallmark and Lifetime movies my mom is always watching. (A Dog Named Christmas on CBS the other night was a big old sap fest!) One of my neighbors was up on his roof putting up a blow-up Santa. I don’t mean to be Grinchy, but it just seems that Christmas gets more overwhelming every year. We usually don’t put up the tree until the middle of the month. I did get myself a cute little hedgehog ornament at Target the other day and I watched Elf so that’s me getting in the spirit of things. I have so many things I don’t even what to start thinking about – the gifts, the cards, finishing up scrapbook projects, baking. I think I’ll wait until the weekend to make my to-do list.

And well, I got some news today that kind of puts a damper on things. Corporate announced another round of furloughs for the first quarter of next year. We probably won’t get raises again, too. I really don’t mind the time off, but I do worry about money. It means I’m going to need to be a little thrifty with the gifts and I might not be getting myself a new camera or Wii like I had hoped. I am trying really hard not to feel down about it.

But on a positive note, I realized today that I’ve got 30 more days left in Project 365. I took a photo of my new pink scarf. I had a little scare the other day thinking that I lost my camera! (I seem to lose my camera or phone at least once a day.) And my biggest worry was losing my photos from the week. I’m glad that I’ve stuck to this project all year. I’ve learned so much about taking photos and it’s really made me appreciate the little things.

I’ve been scrapping a monthly page featuring my 365 photos, but I’m not happy with how some of them are displayed. I’m thinking of doing something else with them, but I haven’t figured that out yet. Because I really need another project!