Friday, December 31, 2010

Have a great weekend

"I took down Christmas."
These were the first words I spoke to Danial this morning.  His response, "Oh."
Turthfully, taking down the Christmas decorations is usually a sad thing, but I was so happy to get rid of them this year.  Danial and I were not in the Christmas mood at all.  This is embarassing, but I think we only turned the lights on our tree two or three times.  Sad, I know.  I still have to go outside and take down the outdoor decorations.  Thank goodness I waited until this weekend.  It is 50 degrees today in Ohio!  I seriously can't belive it.  I don't think Fergus can either.  I took him outside this morning and he had a little extra skip in his step; he knows it won't be long until Spring settles in.
Another reason I was excited to take the Christmas decorations down is because I can start decorating for our dinner party!  We won a contest through Annie Chuns and long story short: we are throwing a dinner party.  Annie Chun sent us a HUGE box of food, sauces, and take home gifts for our guests.  Based on the dinner party and our submissions to Annie Chuns, we have the chance to win $500.  I'm just really excited to throw a party and have all our friends over for some good food and some games.
Aside from cleaning and doing laundry, I plan to hit up the thrift store and find some decorations for our party.  I am especially going to keep my eye out for some world globes and some Chinese lanterns.  I'm excited to attempt to decorate with things we already had or thrifted things.  It will be a "green" Annie Chun's dinner party.  I already have some Chinese lanterns down in the basement left over from my college dorm days.  The only things we should have to buy are some Chinese takeout boxes for leftovers.
I have been addicted to NPR lately, mostly becase I can listen to radio now at work.  Did I tell you all I got a new, less stressful position at work?  Well...I did and it has been great.  I basically just reply to email all day, which can be a bit monotonous, but it beats what I was doing.  Aside from less stress, the position has better hours as well.  Win, win!  The story of B. Virdot has been my most favorite story from Morning Edition this year.  If you have a little time, please listen.  It is an amazing story of giving and of pure kindness.   I plan to get the book "A Secret Gift" by Ted Gup by my grandmother's birthday in May.  I'm sure she would love it because it will remind her of her childhood after the Depression, but also because it is close to home.  The B. Virdot story takes place in Canton, Ohio, about 1 hour away from our home.
Aside from lots of NPR, I also am able to listen to my favorite radio station, CD101 at work.  One of my favorite songs from this year is from Mumford and Sons.  I kick myself everytime I hear their music, because we could have seen them for $5 this year.  We didn't.  We suck.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Catch Up

Things have been crazy with me lately.  Not just because of the holidays or wedding planning, but life has gotten pretty complicated in the last few months and it is just now catching up to me. 

This was the first holiday season without my parents being together.   Needless to say, its been a lot harder than I expected it to be.  I honestly didn't think I would be sad.  Truthfully, I've been really mad about it all since it happened, but sadness overwhelmed me this holiday season.  It was really hard being with one parent and realizing that the other was alone.  I'm still trying to come to grips with the concept that being alone is probably better than them being together...  *insert huge sigh here*
It is all especially hard since Danial and I are in the midst of planning a wedding.  (Truth: we haven't really made any wedding plans in months.)  I want to be excited about our wedding, but its hard to bring it up to my mom because of everything that has been going on.  Its hard to be excited about a new marriage when one is ending...

While I won't get into specifics, (because it isn't my place) there has been some pretty heavy stuff going on in Danial's family.  Its been hard.  Really hard.  I'll just say that it has been a really stressful and emotional ordeal that has rocked our world.  We are like a beach ball in a pool and a 350 lb person has just done a cannonball.  It has been a great testament to our relationship and our communication skills.  It is hard to not let family stuff affect relationship stuff.  We are doing our best.  (I know without a doubt I will be able to say "for better or worse" in our wedding vows and mean it.)

On to happier things...

Christmas was good.  Danial and I decided not to do gifts for each other.  Money has been tight (wedding plans) and aside from that, purchased gifts aren't really our style.  Last year Danial and I made gifts for each other, but this year because of everything that has been happening, it just wasn't in the cards.  We did get each other really sweet Christmas cards.  Besides, being together was all I needed.  Our families were really good to us though and we were able to take home some sweet stuff.  Some of our favorite gifts were a new light fixture for our kitchen (looks awesome with our stainless appliances), a CD player/Radio/MP3 player for the kitchen, OSU Yahtzee, and a new cooler for our canoing trips.  Fergus was also a pretty lucky guy this Christmas as he got tasty treats from the family and a new sheep and chicken toy.

Things I've been loving...
1) A Beautiful Mess
What isn't to love about Elsie's blog?!  Tattoos, vintage dresses, DIY, fashion, and wedding planning at her other blog, Le Wedding Party.  Did I mention that she is part owner of the cutest store ever?
2) Knitting hats with the Knifty Knitter Round Loom.
Super easy and no knitting or crocheting experience ever.
3) David Sedaris
When I am taking classes, it is really hard to read for pleasure.  After hearing David Sedaris on NPR I knew I needed to read this book.  Any book that make me laugh outlound while reading is worth recommending to others.  Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim was fantastic.  Before I read this book, I wasn't in to short story books, but this has totally changed my mind.  I really like that you can pick up when you have time and need a laugh.
4) Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
I combined multiple recipes I've found over the years and came up with this and they are the best cookies. 
1 cup shortening

2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup raisins
½ cup walnuts (if desired)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening, vanilla, and brown sugar.
Add eggs and milk; mix well. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, raisins, nuts, and cinnamon; add to the creamed mixture.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until done.
Once cooled spread cream cheese icing over tops.

5) Like an Onion
I've been addicted to layering this fall and winter.  At 26 I have finally found my style and it has been great to experiment and figure out what is really my style.  I've found it: LAYERS.  I really love mixing thrifted and new, expensive and super cheap. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm coming back

Dear Readers (all 12 of you),

Life has been crazy and overwhelming lately.

I'm sorry for my lack of postings.

I realized that for my sanity I need to start blogging again.  It is great to have a place to get your creative juices flowing.  Additionally, the friendships that are cultivated in blog land is something that I need in my life.

Tomorrow, posting will begin again.  For real.
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