Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas dinner...#1

We had an awesome family Christmas dinner on Saturday with J's family. 

I baked the cookies, brownies and lemon bars on Thursday. That was a tiresome task and I wish I had planned it better but with JOE being sick and both J and I being run down, there was just no time to do them prior. 

Dinner with the family was a success.

We started with appetizers. Bacon wrapped shrimp with raspberry mustard vinaigrette dressing, pepperdew peppers & mozzarella, and cheese crisps. All very yummy!

Here is our table setting. I used Christmas crackers for our seating arrangement. We also popped the crackers before dinner. It was a fun activity. We used to have these as kids so it was nice to be able to do this with our family. 
We also had a menu of the evenings delights :-). 

Then it was time for dinner. I made the green beans, pork roast and roasted chicken while J's mom made the asian cole slaw and her very yummy mac & cheese.

Then it was time for desserts. I made a pineapple upside down cake the day of and we had it with the cookies, brownies and lemon bars.

Then it was time to open up our presents. JOE scored BIG TIME!!! That girl is very much loved!

She got a Disney car from her uncle, lots of clothes and books and some ornaments from her grammy and g-dad and toys from us. She isn't even done opening her birthday presents yet so now she has more stuff to play with. She was VERY happy!

We had unseasonably warm weather on Saturday and JOE absolutely REFUSED to be changed into her Christmas dinner dress so I let her wear what she already had on which was apparently comfortable.

J did great with my presents! He got me my first pair of Ugg boots! I wanted them in Sangria since I have other colored boots. I LOVE LOVE them! I also got an Idiomatic expressions books (ha ha ha J!). I guess I never get them right so he got me a dictionary so I know how to say them. Whatever! Like I always tell him, "communication is the act of saying something to someone and being understood. It doesn't matter if it isn't said right as long as you catch my drift!" 
He also got me a 16GB eye-fi card (it is by far THE COOLEST thing for a camera!). I don't have to hook up my camera when I am out and about. It automatically sends my pictures to my mobile device via wi-fi. SCORE!!!
J included some google gift cards for my smartphone and a mobile phone charger so I can charge my phone on the go without having to find an outlet and my favorite flavored coffees ( is my needed elixir for a busy mom!) AND a lightweight Samsonite backpack for traveling. I guess I have been nice this year ;-).

J's brother gave us a dinner and movie gift card and and his parents gave us a gift card to use for any household item. I am undecided between getting much needed cooking pots and an ottoman for our family room (we had to get rid of the glass top table we had due to JOE being a little too excited with the sound of the remote on the glass). Decisions...decisions.

J also made out well. He got some Timberland boots, a couple of ties, a dress shirt, a pair of boxers (his gag gift...I always find a pair that says something with meaning), his favorite gummy bears, a Redskins calendar for his office wall, a new Phillips alarm clock that also allows him to charge his ipod (he's REALLY been needing a new one!), a car charger, a bluetooth device and some Omaha steaks (my hubby loves good food!). I think he loves his presents.

Yesterday, we attended a holiday party at another one of our neighbor's. We had a great time but had to leave early because JOE just would not stay still! She was all over the place and we spent the time trying to stop her from running into someone. Who said a walking baby was fun? Gosh! I am burning calories chasing her around!

It was a very fun weekend and I am ready for round 2 of Christmas festivities with my family. 

Have a safe and fun Christmas. Wherever you are and whatever you do, remember that JESUS is the reason for the season!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Foolery: Things that make me go hmmm...

Can't make this stuff up. I mean, really? In a time when race issues can get people really riled up, is this a statement that is helpful? What gets me is that she didn't stop at the Santa comment, she went on to include Jesus Christ. Talk about putting your foot in your mouth! Some things are better left unsaid.
I am not one to argue about the true color of Santa (a fictional character...yes I said it!) and Jesus Christ (a real person who lived). The focus of this time of the year is to bring cheer to those around you and perform selfless acts of kindness (we should all do that all year round not just at Christmas) not to start a debate about race! Anyways...I guess she's gotten her 10-minutes of fame. Moving on...

This one truly left me speechless. What the heck is "affluenza"? Is this ish for real? My heart is breaking for the families who are impacted by such a selfish act. The thing is he has NO remorse. Just sad. Who is to blame here? The parents who fostered this behavior or the teenager who grew up without a conscience?

I was sickened just reading this. 15-years is NOT enough for this monster! As a parent, I cannot even process this. How on earth can ANYONE do this to a child they brought into this world and nurtured and watched grow into a man? I just don't understand this.

Reading these tasteless and heart breaking articles truly made me sad BUT it also made me thankful for God in my life and for the people he has placed in my life.

Have an awesomely blessed and safe weekend all!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Challenge update

The last couple of days have been rather busy with life! I am sure a lot of people are going through the same thing especially this time of year. 

I am trying to catch up on my Christmas shopping and also mailing gifts to relatives. Oh gift cards and orders will have to suffice. 

In the midst of all of this, I completed my 30-day arms and abs challenge. I took a week off in the last week because I just wasn't feeling motivated but then got back into it and finished it up because I was so close to completing it. 

To do this challenge, I actually brought a towel to work so I could do the floor exercises as well as arm weights. It was challenging some days but I tried to do most of it in the mornings and that really helped because if I didn't finish it at work, I only had a couple to do after work. 

Will I do it again? Not sure. I do know that I will do the exercises on and off but not necessarily following the same schedule. I feel like I truly fatigued my muscles when all was said and done because I was using the same ones over and over again. 
I did see a small difference in the way my clothes fit. Not much on the scale but I didn't really change my eating habits. Now, I am focusing on eating better and in the last week, I have noticed more of a change. Will keep you posted on that. 

So remember the Santa Dresses I made for my nieces? Well, I have another niece and I decided to make one for her as well. I had a lot of leftover materials and with the exception of the ribbon which cost $2.99, I didn't have to make any new purchases. There'll be 3 oh so beautiful gals in my family wearing the same dress on Christmas day. My other niece is 5 though so her dress had a couple of slight variations. Her buckle is silver instead of gold and her neck ribbon is narrower than the one for the girls. 

Then there was this dress. I guess it'll be another one that looked much better in my head than it actually turned out in person. 

I completed it and I think it'll be another "house dress". I sent these pictures to my sister and she vetoed the idea of me wearing it around family on Christmas day! Even my always supportive husband had "no comment" when I asked him what he thought. OUCH! 

I guess I am not at the point of making adult dresses yet. Oh well...I'll keep working on it and experimenting with different fabrics.

Front view

Side view
I just had to take a picture of this Christmas gift from our VERY awesome Nanny. Its a box of Belgium chocolate. I love every single piece in that box and have had to pace myself to one a day! Trust me, it is really hard!!! She is so nice and each day, we feel very blessed to have her watch JOE.

Happy Hump day! Just a week to Christmas. Yippee!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend in pictures

It was a pretty busy but fun weekend. 

On Friday evening, we dropped JOE off and J & I headed to J's holiday party. We had a great time and it was nice to be able to get out for a couple of hours. I was bone tired but I enjoyed hanging out with J without thinking about what JOE would eat or trying to stop her from playing with everything in sight. I did miss my baby girl though :-).

On Saturday morning, JOE slept in quite late! And when she got up, she was in a happy mood. I quickly gave her a bath and she didn't even scream when I took her out. Oftentimes, she wants to stay in the water until her fingers are pruned! Anyways, we got ready and headed off to go have breakfast with Santa!

Here she is in her wrapping paper dress that I made. I am glad she is still young enough to not complain about wearing a home-made dress :-).

Another one of her. She wouldn't stay still so J had to hold her for a bit :-).

Sadly, breakfast with Santa was NOT a success. She was TERRIFIED!!! I was only able to get one picture because she was holding on to her dad for her dear life and there were other kids waiting to take pictures with Santa.
We are going to try to go get another one taken today at the mall. Praying she cooperates. If not, its cool. Santa will still bring her something for Christmas :-).
Yup...that's my kid!

I guess after the whole ordeal, she did NOT want her picture taken in the car. Oy!
In the evening,we joined our neighbors for a fun holiday dinner. We have awesome neighbors and definitely lucked out in that department.

On Sunday, we went to Church. After the service, we walked around and they had a Live nativity scene at the front of the church. How cool is that?

After we left Church, we went to a friend's daughter's 1st birthday party. It was a Winter Wonderland themed party and everything turned out great!

Our table decor.

Candy treats to go!

Gift bags and a photo station for the guests.

Cupcakes. HAPPY!!! They were quite yummy!

Birthday cupcakes. How cute is this?

A sandwich and soup station.

A hot chocolate bar. The pink things you see there in the middle are peppermint marshmallows. Why am I just discovering them? They were DELICIOUS!!! And all the condiments to go with the hot chocolate was awesome!

The drink station.

Of course I had to get a picture of me as a polar bear. This was just so cool!

Me and J. Gotta love a man who isn't' afraid to wear a pink scarf and ear muffs. LOL!

JOE and her playful self :-). Take 1.

Take 2...

Take 3. Oh forget it...she refused to stay still. She wanted to walk around and mingle :-).

Then I got this to wrap up my weekend. Let me preface this by saying I LOVE shopping on It is absolutely my go to site for a lot of things and for a busy mom with not a lot of time to go shopping, it is awesome. 
So last week, I ordered red buttons for a dress I was thinking of making. Buttons cost $5.34.

Please explain to my why I got the buttons and the price on them was $2.29!!! I tried to process a return BUT it would cost $5.22 to return them. NOT EVEN WORTH IT!!! Needless to say, I was NOT happy. I know its not a lot of money but I am a bargain shopper and like to find deals where I can. This was NOT a deal!

I hope you had an awesome weekend! Just a few more days to Christmas. I am very much looking forward to it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Foolery: Things that make me go hmmm...

I am undecided about this one. I am anti-gun. However, I figured common sense should prevail in situations like this. Thoughts?

Also undecided about this one. I think its cute that kids play but this kid has been suspended in the past for doing the same thing. Is this perhaps a bigger issue? Not sure...I do think the whole sexual harassment label for a kid his age is a little on the extreme side.

Very cute. We should all be so honest.

Are you ready for the holidays? I am nowhere close to being done with my shopping. I only have J & JOE's presents squared away. I need to get on it but I don't want to deal with crazies at the mall. 

I am looking forward to going to J's work holiday party this evening. I get to get dressed up. I am undecided on the glasses though. I just might skip it. I really don't like wearing glasses :-(. Plus J will be driving so do I really need it? 
JOE has breakfast with Santa tomorrow morning and we have a holiday party afterwards. Then a birthday party on Sunday. It is going to be a wicked busy weekend!

Be safe and remember to be kind to strangers! Tis the season!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I was happy to be able to telework yesterday due to the weather issues we had in the DMV. However, since I haven't been in the office since last Thursday, it was good to get back into the regular routine today. 

Have you noticed that when you work, you eat better? Not sure if this is the same for most but for me, it sure happens. I pack my lunch and have a pretty set meal for breakfast so I am not really tempted to get "bad" foods. However, when I am at home, I tend to subscribe to a "see food" diet. As in I see it, I eat it! Definitely NOT good for my waist-line. 

In anycase, this is just a random post of things going through my mind at the moment. 

I read this article and I think it makes A LOT of sense. Don't let the header fool you! The "engagement ring" here is not an actual engagement ring. Just read on and see. I think its a good article for any soon to be married or recently married folks out there. 

Here are some random pics. 

Oh to be care free! JOE was having a hard time staying asleep in her bed last week so we brought her in ours for part of the night. Here she is all sprawled out. 

I got new glasses yesterday. Still undecided on if I like them or not but I really have no choice. My eyes are getting worse and years of not wearing my glasses consistently means I now need a stronger prescription AND have to wear it all the time. Boo...NOTE: I was NOT driving when this picture was taken. I was waiting in the parking lot for J to return from getting his suits from the cleaners :-).

My new car. I LOVE it! She purrs!!! I loved my 11-year old Honda but it was about to see its last leg and hubby and I decided it was time for a new car that would accommodate the brood of kids we plan on having. OK. Just 3 :-). We need a car that would accommodate 2 car seats and a booster comfortably.

I love this dress for the Fall. No I am not pregnant but I think it'll look cute. I was going to try to make it but then I don't want folks thinking I am pregnant. Do you think it is workable for a non-pregnant person?

Front view of the dress...Thoughts?

Happy Hump Day!!!


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