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Showing posts from December, 2009

Free Until Midnight Tonight!!!

Party planning from start to finish!!! If you sign up for MyPunchbowl before 11:59pm PST tonight (December 31, 2009) you will receive a FREE MyPunchbowl Premium account upgrade, valued at $29.95 (1 year subscription). To sign up, click here:

Our Crazy Christmas

I hope everyone had a blessed, wonderful Christmas! As always, it flew by! We stay on the go Christmas Eve and Christmas day, going back to my hometown of Roxboro to stay at my mom's house, then Christmas with my dad on Christmas Eve, Oyster stew for Christmas Eve dinner with my mom, sis, nephew and grandparents, then we get up Christmas mornin to see what Santa brought... ...then off to Oxford, NC to visit with my in-laws that come from the beach at my sister-in-law's house. This year we met two brand new members of the family - Max and Miles - that my sister-in-law got a week before Christmas! They are soooo adorable!!! ...then, back to Roxboro for Christmas with my mom, sister and her's a silly pic of us in the car while Mike was driving in the horrible rain! Then we were supposed to come back to Durham to have Christmas dinner with Mike's cousin's, but the little guy was so exhausted, just Mike came back and we stayed in Roxboro for the

Last Minute Card Options!!!

If you haven't yet gotten your Christmas cards out, well, you may want to start considering other options...and, I've got a great one for you: Paperless Post - Custom Online Stationery that you can send online!

Are You Ready?

Christmas week is finally here! If you're like my four-year-old, you haven't been able to contain yourself for about a week now! He seriously has been running around like a crazy person for the last several days and we've had to call Santa more than once to get him under control. (I can't even keep him still enough for a picture!!!) He was up at 6:00 am this morning to run downstairs and move the advent calendar one day closer to Christmas. Christmas Eve will be quite an experience trying to get his little head to stay on the pillow! BUT, If you're like me, the excitement is just starting to take hold! We had our annual Christmas visit to Crabtree in Raleigh yesterday, not because I really needed anything, but I have to visit Crate and Barrel every year at Christmas and pour over their adorable ornaments. Mike and I had a deal that if I let him do what he wanted Saturday, he'd brave the crowds with me Sunday. He couldn't complain or moan one single ti

Go a Little Nuts This Christmas

Everyone at the office is getting a yummy box of these for Christmas this year. My little guy and I had a blast making them and they are super easy! You can even do it without using a mixer. But just be ready, because by the end of the night, we were covered in powered sugar!! (But that just makes it all the more fun, right???!!!) NUTTY FINGERS 1 stick butter 5 tbsp. powdered sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1 c. plain flour 1 c. chopped nuts Cream butter. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Work flour in gradually. Add nuts. Make into roll cookies. Cook 375 degrees 8-10 minutes


Sunday afternoon it was finally cold enough to build our first fire of the season. Mike and I both love a real fire and the fireplace is one of the reasons we bought our house four years ago. Being the Girl Scout I am, I always want to go out in the yard, gather up twigs and sticks, build up the fire gradually and then throw on the logs when it's hot enough. Mike always wants to run to the grocery store and buy a fake log. Sunday, I was convinced we could get a fire going without "cheating", so the little guy and I went out in the yard, collected sticks, balled up newspaper, piled everything in the fireplace and lit it up. It was a beautiful fire for about two minutes, then it died. I tried this for about an hour, convinced I could prove Mike that we didn't need the fake log. After an hour, he took over and tried, still saying we should just go buy a log, but I wouldn't let him...I was gonna prove him wrong. Another hour later, and about five false starts,

So THIS is Christmas

When I was in my twenties I remember thinking that being a grown up at Christmas was probably pretty depressing. Santa doesn't come anymore, you have to do all the cooking, present wrapping and cleaning, the presents get smaller and everyone focuses on the kids. Now that I have my own child, Christmas has really turned into more fun that when I was a kid and I realize that Christmas isn't about presents and how much Santa is going to bring - it's about the memories and the traditions that you establish. (And yes, I know it's about the celebration of the birth of Christ as well, and that story and meaning of Christmas is always part of our traditions as well) I've tried to bake cookies with my son Walker every year, along with visiting Santa, going to Christmas events around our town and enjoying the Christmas music and decorations at church. I am a stickler for tradition - just ask my mom. Every year growing up - and now still - we have oyster stew for Christm

Southern Women

I snapped this picture at the Carolina Inn last weekend. It's my mother-in-law (on the right), her best friend (in the middle) and her first-cousin, basically her sister. When I snapped the picture, they made me promise I wouldn't put it on Facebook, but I told them I would put it on my blog because to me, they are the epitome of southern women: strong, beautiful, sassy and classy. "The biggest myth about Southern women is that we are frail types--fainting on our sofas...nobody where I grew up every acted like that. We were about as fragile as coal trucks." --Lee Smith

A SnowScape Cloche

I tend to get a little craftier around the holidays. Last year I saw some beautiful glass snowscapes in a local gift shop and I loved them - but they were quite expensive - especially when I knew I could probably make one just as cute myself. So, this year I did and I thought I'd share with you guys! All of the items are from Wal-mart and Michaels and cost about $18 total. What you need: - Scenery items (I used two bottle-brush trees and a church ornament all from Wal-Mart) - Wooden base (Michaels, then painted it white) - Decorations for trees (not required) - Wide-mouth glass vase - Tinsel glitter (I just wanted an excuse to use Martha Stewart's new line of tinsel glitter) - Spray adhesive - Glue gun - Ribbon Step 1: Paint the wooden base with white paint, spray with glue adhesive and sprinkle with tinsel glitter and allow to dry. Step 2: Spray bottle-brush trees and church with adhesive glue and sprinkle tons of tinsel gl

How to Rebel Series: You Wanna Be a Rebel????

I got a great response from post about posting Rebel tips, so let's jump right into it! This post is going to be about the basics, at least, the basics I tried to focus on when I first got my Rebel. I'm going to walk you through them, show you some examples from my photos and ask you to go out and do it and come back with your results! Then we'll all vote on our favorites! I talked to several different people about the basics when I got my Rebel, so I can't remember who told me what, but these are the key things I learned fist: 1. If you shake the camera when taking a picture, it's going to be blurry. This may sound like an easy one, but even the action of pushing the button on the camera makes it move, so you really need to be conscious of that. If you want clear, clean pictures, you gotta stabilize that camera as much as you can. If you have shaky hands, you're gonna have fuzzy pics. So, stabilize it on a table, on a little tripod, put your elbows on someth

Snowland at the Great Wolfe Lodge

This weekend, I was invited to the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC to participate in the kickoff of Snowland , their new holiday tradition that includes indoor snow, special events and Santa!!! To be sure my little guy had someone to enjoy it with, we also took my 6-year-old nephew, and between the two of them, I could barely keep up! The boys had a blast, and it certainly got us into the Christmas spirit! For kids that have never seen snow, it's pretty magical in the main lobby when real snow starts the fall from the ceiling. Santa will be there every night during the month of December to take photos with the kids! I personally loved all of the white lights and cozy fire in the lobby! And of course, we hit up the water park, the game room and ran up and down the stairs completing quests for MagicQuest!! If you're looking for something different for the family this year, check it out! Thanks to the Great Wolfe Lodge for hosting us! We had a blast! Full disclosure:

My Southern Accent

So, Make Mine a Mojito's most recent post reminded me that while in Los Angeles last month, several of my co-workers said every time they hear this commercial, they think of me. I only deal with a lot of them on the phone, so they get to hear me quite often. I hadn't yet seen it, but I have now. Personally, I don't think my accent is this bad - I mean, I don't sound like Britany or anything...I don't I???? Now y'all know where I got my blog name from. I wasn't kidding. And I'm getting a Flip camera for Christmas, so maybe I'll really let y'all hear what I sound like in 2010 so you can get a chuckle.

So You Bought a Rebel...

If you're like me, you love to capture life moments in pictures, and after seeing how great others pics were turning out with the new SLR cameras, you wanted one too. They are what the professionals use - and now we can all get great pictures too, right? Well, photography, as I've learned over the past year with my Rebel, is definitely a learned art. It's trial and error, good subjects, great backdrops, ever better angles and a little editing as well. Although I'd love to take a class in digital photography, I just haven't been able to devote the time, so I've managed to teach myself some tricks through online research, tips from fellow photographers and some of the great magazines that are out there dedicated to SLR photography. At the request of several other new Rebel owners, who shall remain nameless until they decide to come forward, I volunteered to put together some of the things I've learned over the past year, with follow-up photo contests for