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Showing posts from December, 2008

As Pretty as Possible for Destiny

I'm typically known for my pretty steady hand, especially in the make-up department. I used to line my lips with the best of them and learned a lot from having a sister six-years my elder. But this whole liquid eyeliner thing has really challenged my skills. For a while, I thought the trend was going to go away and I could go back to the smoldering eyeliner look (which is still ok) but I envy that beautiful, clean look of the liquid eye, and that fun little flip you can add to the end on special occasions (gives you that pinup look of Marilyn Monroe or Angeline Jolie).

So, I've tried all different kinds - mostly the cheap ones cause I just couldn't commit, but now I'm truly walking the line per the recommendation from my sister-in-law of Lancome'sArtliner. It has a tiny little foam tip that just rolls across my eyes and gives me what I've been looking for!!! It's not cheap ($28) but it's gonna last me a long time (and I got a Sephora gift card for Christ…

This Will Be My Year...

2008 has been tough for a lot of us. For me, I've dealt with a lot of big things this year, but I've also grown more this year than probably any other year in my adult life. 2009 is going to be my year - my year to take care of me, get healthier, achieve greater happiness and deeper faith. For some reason, this old song from the 90s popped into my head this morning and I've already added to my iTunes faves. This will be my theme song of 2009, feel free to make it yours as well...

Semisonic: This Will Be My Year
Thursday's crush is a Friday night rush
And a Monday morning cry
It's the tail that you keep chasing
And it gets away every time
New Years Eve and it's hard to believe
Another Zodiac's gone around
While you drank yourself high on hoping
And watched the ceiling spin from the ground
Counting down from ten it's time
To make your annual prayer
Secret Santa in the sky
When will I get my share
Then you tell yourself
What you want to hear
Cause you have to believe
This …

New Addition to the Family...

Meet the newest member of our extended family, Sporky. Sporky arrived Christmas day and was the one and ONLY thing my 12-year-old nephew wanted for Christmas. I've never held a hedgehog before now and it's not a pleasant experience when they point their spikes out at you, but Sporky started to overcome his shyness as the holidays passed and he's starting to get used to all of the attention. He really is a cutie.


I took this picture right after we drove up the drive from our fourth and final holiday outing of Christmas day. All in all, I guess you could say Christmas was a success - I still had a smiling little guy after all of the back and forth of the day and he had his hands full of brand new toys!

Some of my favorite quotes from the beginning and end of the day:

My little guy, first seeing all that Santa left, with wide eyes
and a huge smile on his face, "Mommie, santa gave me a Super Lot of toys!"

Going to bed, Christmas night, in the middle of silence, "I like all of my toys...Mommie, I love Lightning McQueen and you. "

So Much to Say, So Much to Say...

I spent most of the holidays in my small hometown with my mom and was unable to even get my Sprint card to pick up a signal, so I decided to take a blog break. As most of you know, it was a tough Christmas for my family, so things were a little weird this year and I've not been as over-the-top into Christmas as I usually am. Decided to do things low-key, low-maintenance and low-stress as much as possible.

An update on the whole parents being separated thing, since some of you may be wondering how Christmas went for my family. Let's just say my sister and I let out some big-time emotions in a screaming match the middle of Christmas day and things were much better. You could cut the tension with a knife in our house, and everyone was on pins and needles waiting for someone to lose it. My mom cried a lot and I called my sister (who's been through the same thing) and said, "What do I do?" Of course, there's not much you can do.

Hubby missed the big blow-up between …

I Don't Even Like Pumpkin Pie...

...but I saw Christina Ferrare make this on Oprah last week and had to try it. It is so much lighter than the average pumpkin pie and I didn't add as much of the allspice and ginger, and it is really good! We had it for dinner tonight as a tester before I make it for Christmas eve, and I just got the official word from Mr. Southern that it passed the test!

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs , separated, yolks beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream , whipped
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust Topping:
2 pints heavy cream , whipped
Shaved dark chocolate
Combine gelatin, 1/2 cup of sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg in a saucepan. Stir in milk, egg yolks and pumpkin. Cook over medium heat until thick. Chill saucepan in refrigerator until partially set—about 1 hour. In a bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.…

Free Christmas Music!

Oprah's Christmas gift special aired again yesterday, and I was watching my DVR last night around midnight after putting together teacher presents and homemade peppermint bark bags for co-workers.

I didn't watch it the first time around, so thought I'd check it out and she gave away 8 free Christmas songs on her site, complete with printable CD graphics and inset for the CD - but it was only available for free for 48 hours after the broadcast.
Well, I thought since they played it again and didn't take that part out, I'd try my luck and she is offering it again! Go here for some beautiful, free Christmas music- it would make a cute gift as well - all for just the price of the blank CD! I'm definitly adding these songs to my iTunes!

Hat Boxes, Paper, Glue and Glitter...

...and what do you get? This fun Christmas centerpiece! I finally finished last night, just in time for the holidays. I saw this idea in one of those Christmas decorating magazines and started working on it while at the beach for Thanksgiving. I had no idea it was going to be as tedious and time-consuming as it turned out to be, but I think it'stotally worth it!

I took cardboard hatboxes from the craft store, covered them in wrapping paper, then I hand-drew letters on colored holiday paper, cut them out and glued them onto a contrasting backing. You could probably find stencils too, but I loved the style of the letters in the magazine sample, so I copied it exactly. Then you cut out the green border pieces, cover in glitter and add the letters and a cute topper.
I'm going to take this to my mom's house for Christmas to enjoy! It makes me smile!

I Love My Job

It's great when you work for a company that happens to sponsor your Alma-mater and you just happen to be the one handling the sponsorship and just happen to get to be the one to represent your company at said Alma-mater's events if an executive is unavailable to attend.

Last week I was able to have lunch with other sponsors on the floor of the Dean Dome/Smith Center, with a talk from Roy Williams. I was in the front row, it was great. We also got to visit the brand new Carolina Basketball Museum, which is really great too.

I love being in Chapel Hill - everything is Carolina blue - even the trash bags were blue! And check out the fun dessert we had!

To the Other Woman

I hope you enjoy your Christmas this year because this will be the first time in 33 years my dad will not be with his kids on Christmas morning. I suppose he'll be spending it with you and your family, instead of sitting comfortably in his recliner, in his home, wrapped in his robe, quietly observing the Christmas chaos around him.

He won't be there to find the Phillips screwdriver to open the toys or run downstairs to search for the right size batteries. He won't be there to sneak in the refrigerator to grab a candy strawberry from the bowl or eat all the sausage balls right from the baking sheet. Instead we will fit in some time to visit him at his new house, conduct the gift exchange and try not to notice the awkwardness in the room.

But you know what, that's OK, because we certainly got the best part of the deal - my mother. She is the most kind, patient, loving Christian woman anyone could ever know, and she's going to have a fabulous Christmas this year, even w…

Peace, Joy and Candy Canes

Christmas cards are officially OUT!!! I finally dropped them off at the post office after standing in line for about 30 minutes to get stamps!!

A little about the history of Christmas cards, in case you didn't know...I used to work for a British company, so this was explained to me because every year we would spend hours perfecting our company Christmas card as to not offend anyone and include everyone.
Christmas cards originated in England over 150 years ago. They were mostly sent by the elite and wealthy. I was told that Christmas cards are a BIG DEAL in England and if you didn't receive one from a friend or business associate then some people would get extremely offended. I think we mostly do it here as an extra something special.

This year I've received severalSmileBox greetings from friends trying to do something good for the environment, save money or simply ran out of time! They are really cute, but this is about the ONLY time of the year I run to the mailbox to see w…

My Little Girl is One Today!

Dear Lucy,

My how the past year has flown by. It was only 11 months ago we picked you out from a litter of pups because you were the biggest and the softest little girl in the group.

At first you were just a big fluffy ball of excitement, but as you've grown older you've calmed down a little bit, I think. My brand new berber carpet has been peed and pooped on so many times I can't count and you've tried using just about everything in the house as a chew toy. Your daddy thinks you are Marly from the book Marly and Me and that you're the craziest dog he's ever met. You love to chew socks, pine cones and paper towels and you will do anything for a treat.

You're not a fan of Reese the cat and attempt to attack him at least three times a day, but he is not scared and never gives in so we typically have to seperate the two of you. Your big brother is still getting used to you, but on those special times when you let him cuddle you, it makes mommie and daddy so happy

Peppermint Bark Revisited

I took my own advice this year and made peppermint bark this weekend for the neighbors. It turned out so yummy and was so, so easy! Little man had fun hammering the peppermint, but that lasted about one minute, so I had to finish it up.

Here are some pics and ideas for presentation for peppermint bark, candy, cookies or any kind of Christmas goodies! I placed the bark in a green chinese take-out box from Michael's and tied on some ribbon and a little tag from the Martha Stewart Collection. Toped it off with a needle-felted dove ornament I picked up at Crate and Barrel on the cheap. I think they turned out pretty cute!

Santa is a Tar Heel

...well, I already knew this, but here's my confirmation! Against my mother-in-law's wishes, I think I'm going to have to take the little guy to this! Happy Friday everyone! Santa Photos with Ramses!
Monday, December 15. 3-7 p.m.
Chapel Hill, NC
University Mall

Meet George

I've been sleeping with a monkey since I was two years old. His name is George and he has been through everything with me. He is covered in snot and tears and I can still pick out the stitches my pre-school babysitter used to sew him up when I was five. My grandmother restuffed him so he could sit on the front pew of my wedding. He shared the bed with my husband and me until my son was born. But I've recently had to retire him to the shelf. He's so very tender and sensitive, it doesn't take much to hurt him these days.

Santa shopped on eBay for my son's first Christmas and was able to find an exact same George as the one I received when I was two. He was purchased from an old estate sale in up-state New York and was found in the attic of an old woman's home. He probably belonged to one of her children at one time. He is in pristine condition and he now hangs out with the original George in my son's room.
Just another fun thing you can do on eBay. Do you have …

Finally, I Present...LOVE

I know you guys have been anxiosly awaiting my own rendering of the LOVE wall art I referenced in my Sex and the City post a while back (anyone???..well a girl can hope...) If you don't remember and chances are you don't, I said I was going to take a stab at creating my own verson of this wall hanging. I finally finished it up this weekend and here it is!
Here's the original, my inspiration, my muse...

Here's my version...I hung it in my bathroom - loving it! EDIT: Here's what I used:
The base/foundation is a 11 x 17 black plastic frame with a glass top
I bought scrapbook paper in the blue and put it under the glass top
Blew up the letters from the original Love and traced them onto scrapbook paper and glued on top of the glass
Used scrapbook paper around the edges
The rest are rub-ons and scrapbook embellishments!

Christmas Cookies

Sugar sprinkles everywhere. Sticky hands, sticky floor.
Red and green yumminess. Full tummies, sugar high. Laughing all the way.

There's No Place Like Home

What little girl hasn't dreamed of owning their very own pair of ruby slippers? I remember watchingThe Wizard of Oz when it used to come on just one time a year. I'd sit patiently to get the first glimpse of those beautiful ruby slippers on the witch under the house, then cringe as her little feet shriveld up when the good witch removed the slippers.

These days, little girls can buy cute red glitter shoes at Nordstrom and now we have a little taste of magic via the folks at Hong Kong shoe boutique On Pedder. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, they have recruited 17 iconic desingers to recreate the famous ruby slipper, The Kansas Project, and auctioned them off to benefit the Hong Kong Cancer Fund. I have always had a thing for red shoes, maybe it's because of this movie. Drool with me ladies...

Christian Louboutin Bruno Frisoni Azzedine Alaia
Stella McCartney
Replica pair of the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the film

Give Peace This Christmas

Maybe it's those Barney's Christmas windowsthat have made it popular this holiday, but the peace symbol has become the unofficial symbol of this holiday season(according to our local paper).

The peace design was the creation of a British textile designer named Gerald Holtom. Holtom created the image by melding the semaphore signals for the letters "N" (both arms down stretched at 45 degree angles) and "D" (arms parallel, left arm down, right arm up) to represent the words "nuclear disarmament." It made its public debut at a ban-the-bomb march in London's Trafalgar Square on April 4, 1958. Ten days later, Life magazine ran a photo from that march, which was its first appearance in the U.S.

Here are a couple of fun peace-inspired items from Barney's, Neiman's and that would be fun to get or give this season! Justsearch for Peace on their sites and you'll find these goodies...

So Long Twisty Wire

I typically do a lot of Christmas shopping on (at least Santa's shopping) because it's just so easy and they have every toy you could ever want. I loved the fact that this year they have Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging! Let me tell you, nothing is more frustrating than having a 3-year old screaming and trying to get at their new toy while you are sitting there untwisting 50 little wire ties, finding a screw-driver (those are the worst) and cutting tiny strings you can hardly see.

I guess since they don't have to worry about shop-lifting, they are able to offer this packaging with several of the toy vendors (Fisher Price being one) that eliminate all of those plastic twisty things and cut down on the amount of waste produced by product packaging! I'm sure we'll start to see more of this fabulous idea in the future. Click on the pic below for more details.

No Sir. Not In My House.

Finally got the last of the Christmas decorations up last night, so the halls are officially decked. My favorite Christmas decoration was given to me by my neighbor Mary Beth across the street when we moved in three years ago. It says "Merry Christmas Y'all" and she thought it was so perfect because I do have such a southern drawl (it's not just the name of my blog y'all) and she is from Michigan. Northerners either find it annoying or cute.

I hung it up above the door in the hall and the following conversation proceeded to occur:

Little man: Mommie, what does that say?
Me: It says Merry Christmas y'all
Little man: Merry Christmas you all?
Me: No, Merry Christmas y'all.
Little man: you all?
Me: No, we don't say you all in this house. It's y'all. Who told you to say you all?
Little man: Teacher.
Me: Well, mommie is just going to have to have a little chat with teacher...

Walking With Daddy

Beaufort, North Carolina, day after Thanksgiving. Cold, rainy. Bright yellow rain coat, Christmas decorations. Beautiful big boats and salt air. I just love this pic.

The Best Part is the Peppermint Dust...

Peppermint bark makes a great gift for office workers, service people in your lives and teachers. It is so easy to make, but the final product looks so impressive, people will think you slaved for hours! I'm planning to make peppermint bark for my co-workers and hubby's co-workers and put in cute little containers. Little man is even going to get in on the action by helping to crush the candy. We like to save the leftover peppermint dust and sprinkle on top of ice cream or hot chocolate. Yummie!

Here's the super easy recipe:

1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Premier White Morsels (or you can use dark chocolate or both and layer like the picture at right)
24 hard peppermint candies

LINE baking sheet with waxed paper.
MICROWAVE morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
PLACE peppermint candies in heavy-duty plastic bag. Crush candies using…

What To Do With A $2.50 Wreath

Sorry I've been missing from blogland. We had a great time at the beach and by the time I sat down each night, I opted to curl up in front of the fire and read a book.

I finally got to see my MIL's new house at the beach - love it! Everything was so beautiful and perfect. We got into the Christmas spirit Friday with a trip to Michael's and Pier One. My sister-in-law wanted me to create a Christmas wreath for her and it turned out so good, my MIL and I took another trip out to buy goodies for another.
Here's how to create your own wreath:
- Green wreath from Michaels, with 5 additional greenery picks added in for fullness (with pine cones) - Ribbon tucked in and around the wreath and secured with a glue gun - Gold ball garland (Michaels) draped and glued around wreath - Large balls and stocking ornaments from Pier One (all on sale right now!) - Gold curly picks (around bow) from Pier One - Small red balls (Pier One) glued around wreath - Create bow and tie onto wreath