Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Cards!

Now that the Hubs and I are married, I've been thinking that it's about time that we send out some kind of Christmas card to all our loved ones. While I love stationary of all kinds, I especially love receiving photo Christmas cards from people.

I've been doing a lot lately with our professional wedding photos (hanging them up in frames, making Christmas gifts, etc..) and figured I might as well use one or two of them in a Christmas card. After all, when else will we have professional photos of us for our disposal?

I decided to check out Shutterfly to see what card designs they had to offer.

Here are some of my favorites:  
Red Revamped. I just love the fonts on this one!
Cranberry Joy. This simplicity with the bit of Christmasy red is beautiful!

All Wrapped Up

No Mistletoe Necessary. I would use the picture of Hubs and I kissing at the wedding in this one!

There are over 800 Christmas card designs to choose from on the Shutterfly website so I had a hard time choosing (and still am!) but I was able to narrow it down by the message on the card and limiting it to one picture. There are designs where you can use more than one photo but since our little family is just Hubs and me at this point, it just seemed a little egotistical to fill a card with a lot of photos of ourselves. 

How cute would these cards be for a family with kids?
Count your Blessings

Top Ten Moments. I love that this one is a photo card and Christmas Letter all in one!

Whichever one I choose though I know it will come out amazing. I've used Shutterfly before to design a photo book of our pictures from our trip to Japan. I've also used them to order prints of photos and thank you cards before as well and am always happy with the quality. 

These calendars would make a great gift for a parent or grandparent to document what went on during the past year. I love that you can personalize it too! Imagine seeing my pretty face on the March 19th block!?

So which design should I choose?!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I love Thanksgiving. I like that it is a fairly stress-free holiday where you just eat and eat and spend time with loved ones. It also helps that I usually get a few days off of work/school. 

As a kid, I would wake up Thanksgiving morning and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on T.V. with my parents as they were preparing something for dinner later that day. I LOVED seeing all the huge floats go by and watching musical numbers straight off of Broadway being performed. It was always exciting too when Santa showed up at the end! That meant that it was officially the Christmas season which was exciting in itself. 
I always dreamed of being a Rockette in the parade...
After spending the morning watching the parade, we would spend the day with our extended family. We would spend the morning with my dad's side of the family and have dinner with my mom's. I am blessed with a big extended family and always looked forward spending these holidays with all my cousins.

Once high school rolled around things changed. I could no longer spend my Thanksgiving mornings watching the Macy's Parade. Throughout my four years of high school, my Thanksgiving mornings were spent at the high school football game performing in the marching band. Instead of snuggled up at home watching the parade with my parents, I was marching around a freezing cold football field with 150 other band geeks (who am I kidding? I loved it at the time.) Unfortunately, I can't find any pictures of me in my marching band get-up so I'll spare you (as well as any of my high school friends who may be in any said pictures with me.) 

Even though I now roll my eyes at high school me, I really did enjoy those mornings with the band. I was able to spend the beginning of the holiday with some of my best friends and look forward to a delicious meal with family later in the day. Back then, I always thought I would be one of those people who would continue to go to the high school football game every Thanksgiving to catch up with old acquaintances and cheer on the home team. Seven years later however, I have been to exactly zero. I guess the Macy's Parade on my couch is just more appealing than cold, awkward encounters at a football game I don't really care about.

When college came along, Thanksgiving weekend was a time to reunite with old friends and family. Most of us were home on a quick break from school. At this time, my group of girlfriends and I began a tradition we called "Take-Out Thanksgiving." At take out Thanksgiving, we got together the night before Thanksgiving and ordered take out from all of our favorite take out places around town that we had been missing while away at school. It was always a great time to catch up on what is going on in all of our separate lives and to stuff our faces (like we needed that with a big meal the next night!)
the group of us at TOTG '06

...I guess we made pilgrim and Native American hats that year...

a few friends at TOTG '07...look at all that grease...
Around this time, there was a shift in my family Thanksgiving as well. After years of my Mimi hosting Thanksgiving, my aunt decided to give her a break and start having it at her house. It didn't really matter to anyone where Thanksgiving dinner would be held. After all, all that matters is that the whole family is together. However, it is a bit humorous where at my aunt's house Thanksgiving dinner is now held. 

I know you probably can't tell from this picture but this was taken in a garage. Yes, Thanksgiving dinner is now held in a garage. My aunt and uncle converted their garage into a party space and since our family is too big to fit in anyone room in the house, the garage it is! Even though it is a bit unconventional, it works out great. We are now able to all sit at one big table as a family for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Now that I am married, Thanksgiving has changed once again. Hubs and I have decided to alternate years with each other's families. This year we are going to Vermont to spend Thanksgiving with his family. It is my first Thanksgiving away from my family but I am looking forward to it. I love spending time with all of them and I look forward to making new traditions and memories with my new family branch! 

Even though I am generally quite a creature of habit, Thanksgiving has taught me that, it doesn't matter whether or not the same traditions are practiced every year. I have learned that no matter what I am doing, being with the people I love and who love me back is all that matters to me. I truly have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A lot Like...

ok ok, I won't say Christmas...not quite yet. But it is beginning to look a lot like the holiday season. Thanksgiving plans are underway and it will be here in less than 2 weeks! 

1. Veteran's Day

For those of you here in the United States, (as if I have a large, international following...) yesterday was Veteran's Day. Hubs is a veteran so of course, we celebrated! I had professional development for work in the morning and I brought him home a very special "veteran's day" donut from my training. For dinner, a local restaurant, The Horseshoe Grille had a Veteran's Day special where veterans could get a free entree! Hubs, his friend T (who is also a veteran) and I all went and we just had to pay for my meal! Hubs went all out and ordered one of the most expensive things on the menu, a full rack of ribs!

2. Sleep Talking Man

Awhile back I found a hilarious blog called Sleep Talking Man. This blog is written by a women whose husband says truly absurd things in his sleep just about every night. I think the reason I find this blog so funny is because, I too, have a Sleep Talking Man on my hands. Yes, Hubs is a sleep talker. Big time. While he doesn't say such vulgar things as the STM from the blog, I have heard some gems:

Me: [I wake up to the sound of Hubs rummaging through the closet] What are you doing? [at this point I think he is awake and just looking for something in the closet.]
Hubs: WHAT?!?!?!
Me: [realizing that he is rummaging through my side of the closet so he must be asleep.] What are you looking for?
Hubs: WHAT?!
Me: come back to bed.
Hubs: NO! (he gets kind of angry when he is confused and asleep.)
Me: What are you looking for?
Hubs: THE BRIDGE! (duh!)
Me: What?!
Hubs: THE BRIDGE!!!!
Me: Come back to bed.
Hubs: ughhh [begrudgingly heads back to bed] BUT HOW AM I GOING TO BUILD THE BRIDGE!?!?

Another night I wake up to Hubs crawling all around the bed
Me: What are you doing?
Hubs: I'm setting up the map.

Another night I awake frightened to Hubs yelling "I'M A BEAST!!!" In his defense, he says he had a dream that he was playing video games with his brothers and that is apparently something they yell when to do well.

3. Wedding Pictures

Our wedding was July 10 and we received our professional pictures about a month later. I am just finally doing something with them now. I ordered prints of them all a few days ago and for the past few weeks have been working on parent albums (sorry parents! they're coming!) 

I wondered to myself why, after being so on top of all the wedding planning details, was I slacking in these post wedding projects? I genuinely loved working on all the projects and details that were involved in planning the wedding but these post wedding projects have taken me forever to complete and sometimes seem more like a hassle than a fun project. I've realized it is because I am just enjoying being married. For 10 months of planning we were excited to be doing things for our "big special day." Now, the wedding has come and gone and we are finally married. and we are so glad. I love coming home every day to Hubs and knowing that we'll always be there for each other. We love spending time together no matter what we are doing and planning our future together. 

So it's not that I don't appreciate all of our wedding photos. I love looking at all of them and reminiscing about our wedding day. It just seems like, ok, now the wedding is over, let's work on marriage. and I like that :) 

4. CPR

Tomorrow, from 9-5:30 I will be in training for CPR and First Aid for work. I am not looking  forward to this but I am letting you know that after 5:30 tomorrow, I can legally save your life.

5. Cake Wrecks

I honestly can't think of anything to write about so I thought I'd share another funny blog that I like looking at from time to time: Cake Wrecks.

Happy Friday!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pre-Thanksgiving Thoughts

Sorry there was no Friday Five yesterday. I know a few of my loyal followers were looking forward to it. I didn't get out of work until late and then was feeling under the weather so I went to bed early. 

In lieu of a Friday Five, here are a few tidbits of what's been going on:

  • This morning has been spent making the pie that will make you cry from PW. My friends from college and I are all getting together tonight for our annual pre-Thanksgiving feast and I'm making a pecan pie for the occasion. Hopefully it is as delicious as it seems!

  • As promised, here are some pictures of Hubs and I on Halloween as well as my Halloween cookies.

Bill and Sookie..I know, I look great as a blonde

Here are the decorated sugar cookies. They were more of a pain to decorate than they should have been. I don't know if I'll be making these again.

  • Thursday night, Hubs came home from work saying that Friday was somebody's birthday at his work and it was his turn to bring in a cake. I baked my old stand-by of deliciousness, red velvet cake. I use that recipe from Bakerella and it never fails! I guess it was a hit at his work and a few of the ladies he works with even asked for the recipe!
That's all for now! Happy Weekend!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Spooky Friday

1. Halloween Cookies

My project for tonight is to make these cookies:

They are for a Halloween party we are going to tomorrow night. I might make some different variations depending on what cookie cutters I have. Hopefully they will come out as cute. Maybe I'll update later in the week with pictures of my cookies. For more adorable cookies to make for any occasion check out Bridget's blog over at Bake at 350 . 

2. McDonald's Coffee

I know I'm a Boston girl and I'm supposed to just love LOVE Dunkin Donuts Coffee. Well guess what. I don't. Actually, I more or less hate it. I think it tastes like sewage. or bathwater. or something equally disgusting. When I'm out and about and need a cuppa' joe I head to Mickey D's!

Now, I know McDonald's usually gets kind of a bad rep for most of their products but they do their coffee RIGHT. McDonald's serves Newman's Own organic coffee and it is delicious. This is usually the kind of coffee I buy for my home coffee machine. It is so much better than Dunks or Starbucks (in my opinion) AND you can get any size for just $1!

3. True Blood

For the Halloween party we're going to tomorrow night, Hubs and I are going as Sookie and Bill from one of our favorite shows True Blood.
While I like this costume idea because it is a cute couple costume and it is based on two of our favorite characters, Hubs likes it because it requires minimal dressing up on his part.

4. Our Landlord

Our landlord is a little kooky woman who is probably in her late 60s. I give her credit because she does all the mowing and yard work around the townhouses all on her own. The past few days she's been raking and mowing every afternoon. The other day I saw her and it looked to me like she was mowing the driveway. The paved driveway. I soon realized that she was actually just using the mower to suck up the leaves in the driveway. Ok. Fine. Today though...today I come home from work to find her walking up and down the street, mowing the WHOLE street. Not people's yards on the street. The actual street. She doesn't own the whole street, just the two townhouse buildings but she apparently felt the need to suck up all the leaves in the city. She cracks me up.

5. Nail Polish

I found a new nail polish I love. In the fall and winter, I'm always drawn to dark shades of nail polish. Usually I stick to OPI it is high quality and it leaves a good, even coating. One day I decided to paint my nails but could not find any of my nail polish (I think it all got lost or thrown out in the move a few months ago.) I was in Target and just decided to settle on something cheaper and not as professional as OPI. I finally decided on this:

Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in "Pat on the Black. It promised a salon manicure finish but I was doubtful. I got home and tried it out. The color I got is a dark, dark shade of purple, almost black. After just one coat, it was dark and covered enough to be done! I threw on a second coat for good measure and my nails were beautiful! Sally, you have proved me wrong! For a fraction of the price of OPI, I got results that were just as good. Also, I had this on my nails for a good week and a half before I saw any chipping! I think I may have found a new go-to nail polish.

Happy Halloween! What are your plans?
Hubs just came up and told me he ate TWO of the FULL SIZED candy bars we got for trick-or-treaters. In one sitting!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pie Meets Cake

I have a few autumn holiday parties coming up throughout the next few weeks. In my search to find something to bake for these events I came across this:
It's called the Pumpple Cake. The Pumpple Cake is found at The Flying Monkey Bakery in Philadelphia. Basically, this cake is for those of us who just cannot decide on what dessert we want after indulging in our Thanksgiving feasts.

This cake is a pumpkin pie baked into a chocolate cake and an apple pie baked into a vanilla cake. The two cakes are then stacked and covered buttercream. Apparently when all is said and done, the cake weighs about 15 pounds. 

As much as I love desserts, this one just seems a bit too much for me. To my family and friends-- I'm sorry to say, you will not be seeing this on the dessert table this holiday season.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Chilly Friday

1. A Broken Key

I have to be at work at 8:30 every day but usually have about a half hour of prep time before meeting with students. However, this morning, I was meeting with a student AT 8:30. So, it was more important than ever that I be on time....

...and of course I was running late. I kissed Hubs goodbye and ran out the door. Just as I pass the oh so convenient gas station down the street from our house and get on the highway, my gas light comes on. 

I pull off the next exit and find a gas station, thinking to myself that the poor little girl who just can't grasp the concept of tally marks is going to just have to wait a few more minutes. I pull up to the gas station and begin pumping. When I finished, I get out my keys to start my car and see something that looks like this:
not my key, but close enough
My car key had broken off in my ignition! How does that happen?! I immediately panic and call Hubs. He doesn't answer. So I try to use the key stump to start my car. After a few tries, I guess I finally got it lined up with the broken part and the car starts! Hooray! I drive to work (arrive just on time) and hope that I'll be able to do it again when I leave.

I'm able to start the car again when I leave work and I get home. I call a locksmith to come and remove it. I don't know how it works but it seems easy enough right? I just need the piece of the key to come out of the ignition. You'd think they just take a super strong magnet or something to suck it out or a pair of tweezers to gently take it out.

Locksmith Man was at the house working on getting the key piece out for THREE hours before I tell him that I have to go to work (job #2.) He says I can drive the car and he'll come to my work and finish it there. (Keep in mind that the key piece was still stuck in the ignition at this point....what has he been doing other than pulling pieces off of my car?!) Ok fine. Just get it done.

I get out of work hours later, get in my car and NOTHING had been done. I call him and he says he wasn't able to get there and he'll meet me at my house to finish it. 15-20 minutes of work left MAX. He meets me at the house and works for another hour or so. Then he tells me that he's going to have to come back tomorrow.

Seriously though, how does this happen?

2. Sam's Popcorn

Up in Vermont where Hubs comes from there is a place called Sam's. Sam's is a sporting goods store and we've driven by it plenty of times but I never really gave it a second thought.


Well, a few weeks ago we were hanging out with our friends A&D. D is from Hubs' hometown as well. They were talking about how every time they go to Vermont to visit his parents, they stop by Sam's to get free popcorn. "WHAT?!" I say to Hubs. "You've never taken me to get free popcorn!!"

Hubs argued that it wasn't even that good and that he has taken me plenty of other places that are much better. True, but...I like popcorn. and I LOVE free.

So this past weekend, while we were in VT, Hubs finally took me to Sam's.

and it didn't disappoint! Of course, it was no fancy restaurant or anything but it was a nice little snack and another Vermont experience that I guess you just have to do!

3. Babies

Hubs and I found this documentary on Netflix on Demand called Babies. It follows the lives of four babies around the world from San Fransisco, Tokyo, Mongolia, and Namibia. You know I love babies so I couldn't resist watching it.

Along with the obvious cuteness factor, it was so interesting to see the different lives that each of these babies live. The parenting styles in each of these cultures were SO different because of the culture and climate of where they live. It was also interesting to see the huge contrast between the modern, technology driven cultures of the U.S. and Japan versus the rural, poor settings of Mongolia and Namibia. Even though the babies all live in such different atmospheres, you can still see that the parents of all these children still have the same ultimate goals for their babies (more or less.)

I definitely recommend that you check out this movie!

4. Slippers

With the recent cold weather come slipper season! I love love LOVE slippers and have officially pulled mine out for the winter. 

These are my favorite slippers. I love them because they are furry and don't just keep my feet warm but my ankles too! What are your favorite slippers?

5. Kindergartners

I know last week I said I like fifth graders but this week with my new job as well as my other job I've been working more and more with kindergartners. I've always been a little afraid of kindergartners. While they're cute, they just seemed a little too hard to handle. Now that I'm getting used to them, I'm liking them more and more!

A few funny kindergarten quotes:

  • "Mrs. D, are you Mr. D's wife?" (Mr. D is the 60 year old gym teacher)

  • after telling them a story where I mentioned my mom: "You have a mom?!"

  • "Excuse me Mrs. D, do you know how to tie shoes?"

  • "Do you know if there are any $1 books at the book fair? Sometimes I find dollar bills laying around my house."

  • and this last one is kind of a cheat because it was actually a third grader but I just had to include it: "Mrs. D, how do you spell 'psycho deranged killer?" (ok, that one might be a little creepy...)
Have a wonderful weekend!