Christmas Highlights

I painted Abbey's door because I thought it would be fun and cool. Her response when she saw the pics was "its out of proportion but okay." oh and in case you didn't notice it. It says 221B which is Sherlock's apartment number. Her thought on that was its crooked.

I took my Christmas tree down on Christmas Eve, We had already opened our gifts so I didn't see any reason to leave it up. It had become a play structure for the cats. Sadly the lights (its a pre-lit) got tangled between two of the pieces. I was tempted to cut them loose, but then the thought of stringing lights was enough to make me shove the tree in a box still stuck together and hope it untangles by next Christmas.

I painted my kitchen I LOVE the color but I was so tired after spending two days taking ugly border down (I had to buy a steamer to actually steam it off the wall) that the paint job is kinda lazy. Meaning I got spots on the ceiling and on the trim. So now painting the trim and ceiling have to be added to the to-do list. I'll show you pictures of my kitchen once I get everything put back into place.

I listened to a podcast while I worked. If you like true crime, and podcasts. I suggest Serial Podcast. Its awesome!!! I have been drying to talk to someone about it, but no one I know has ever heard it. So please someone listen to it and then talk to be about it.

My dryer died. I am pretty sure its the belt, but I have no idea who to call to fix it. It came with the house, so I'm guessing it isn't under warranty. I keep telling myself that I'm going to fix it myself. I even went so far as to take a pic of the model number of my dryer. Somehow though my phone uploaded that pic to Instagram. Not only did it do it once, it did it twice. So my phone must think its REALLY instagram worthy that you know what make and model my dryer is. In case you aren't in my Instagram and keep missing my dryer details here it is.
So how was your Holiday?


How I finished Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving

love giving presents. I put a lot of thought into what I give. I usually start thinking about gifts in May or June. Christmas shopping is a multi step process. 

Step 1: make a list if everyone I usually shop for. I think about their likes, dislikes, and things they may have mentioned they want.

Step 2: I plug this list into my Christmas list ap. I bought this ap last year and LOVE it. I don't receive anything for telling you about it, I just REALLY love it. I had downloaded some free ones but they really weren't as good. 

Step 3: I start listing what I'd like to get them. You can Change and delete as you go along so it makes it really easy. In case you look at the ap and see that it still say I need to purchase some...I don't I just forgot to go in and click purchased. 

The ap keeps track of your budget, what you still need to purchase, and how many shopping days you have left. 

You can also pass lock it which is great if you have kids or spouses that are snoops.  When you are finished shopping you can enjoy this Christmas drinking game. I totally stole this from Facebook. 
Hope you have a wonderful holiday. I will probably be MIA until Monday. I have one more Christmas celebration and then it's painting my kitchen and hopefully my new hutch. Too bad I didn't ask for a lowes gift card for Christmas 

Christmas Party take 1

I had a great weekend. I hosted gift exchange for my parents and sister. My parents are divorced so that was fun. Imagine two adults completely ignoring each other. We all just go along with it. While my sister was up we ventured into my attic for the first time. I was excited to see it wasn't super scary and that it had tons of room to store boxes. I may be able to put off getting a storage building. While upstairs we found a mirror. My sister pointed out that in horror movies when you find an old mirror it usually brings ghosts. When I came down from the attic with the mirror, Emmy said she bet it was cursed. I'll keep you posted if I suddenly have an infestation of ghosts.

After opening presents we finally got family pictures taken. We had a blast. 

Then we went to a park and walked around looking at the lights (then shopped) It was the perfect weekend.

Worst. Present. Ever

I once got a shirt for Christmas. It was off the shoulder and the oddest shade of orange, almost a persimmon color. I loved that shirt. But. it took me forever to be able to wear it because for some reason I felt like my socks had to match my shirts. Anyway....

The shirt came with a pair of pants. I am not exaggerating the pants were jungle print MC Hammer parachute pants. This was at a time when even MC Hammer wouldn't be caught dead in parachute pants. I wish I had a picture of what they looked like. It was something like this.
 I try desperately to pick presents that people will love, but sometimes you make mistakes. I still cringe at a present I once gave someone. This may be up for debate but the present that I think is the worst I ever gave someone was to my moms husband the year they got married. I should preface this by saying that I didn't really like him then. Now that they have been married 14 years, my feelings haven't changed. But the year I had no idea what to get him. I waited until just a few minutes hours before our gift exchange and ran into a store to grab something. I ended up buying him a bathroom soap dispenser.
So whats the worst present you've ever received or given?

Tour around Blogland

Thanks Jen, for adding me to the tour around blogland.Welcome to anyone new.

What are you working on now?

At work I am getting ready for my yearly evaluation, finishing up any projects and jut trying to catch up on things so I can take time off without worrying if someone may need me while I'm gone. 

Some things on my to-do list for my blog this month is:

  I bought a domain name, I did that last year too, but could never get it to work right even after talking to a live person for help. This year I am hoping to get it to work. I also would like to get a new background.

Some things on my to-do list outside of the blog:

  •   Paint my kitchen, I really just can't stand that dark red much longer. I don't want to get rid of red completely though. I'm thinking that will be the color of my hutch I got for Christmas. 

  • Keep marathon watching Gilmore Girls 

How does your blog differ from others in its genre?

  I really don't think it does. Unless it differs by being a lame version of others.

Why do you write/create what you do?

I write because I want a record of my life. I know I could just have a diary but I like the interaction with others. I enjoy reading other blogs and commenting.

How does your writing/creative process work?

  Basically a topic will pop into my  head, usually in the shower and I will write it down on a piece of paper or in the notes section on my phone. Sometimes I then forget its there, but sometimes I will remember I wrote the topic down and will actually finish the post.


Bad Santa

Isn't it funny how things can trigger a blog post. I had no idea what to write about today then I heard Johnboy an billy  do a skit on the ways you can tell you have a bad mall Santa. That's when I realized I had a story about a bad Santa.

My mom worked for a company that loved families. They had kids holiday parties for everything. One year when I was about 13 I went to the company's Christmas party for the kids of the staff. Santa was there and we all had to sit on Santa's lap and have our picture taken.

So I sat and they took the picture. After the party I collected my picture of me and Santa and that's when I noticed....Santa was really happy to see me. He had a bulge in his suit and became boner-clause. I would show you the pic but it was an old Polaroid and hasn't held up well over time.

But I told my mom and she was horrified. Santa was a coworker o f hers. Needless to say he was never Santa again, or the Easter Bunny. I also never got  near him again.


Christmas Traditions Simplified

Last week I mentioned that this year my girls and I decided to simplify Christmas by only doing things we want to. No more feeling obligated to do anything. It may make some family members mad but at one point everyone has to make there own memories and traditions. Here are a few of things that we are doing and not doing.

Decorating the House: We (and by we, I mean my sister) decorated my mantle for us. We put our tree up and the Christmas Village, and wreaths on the doors. 

Cookies: We haven't done this yet, but its on the to do list. I am a terrible cook so fingers crossed that I don't burn the house down. I think the girls just want to decorate them so maybe I can pass off store bought sugar cookies.

Charity: We made and donated boxes for Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child. The girls wanted to do a box for each age group so we did 3. You can read about it here. We also adopted an angel off of the angel tree. We chose a 14 year old girl. Because older kids often get forgotten about. Plus its easier for us to shop for teenage girls.

Presents: We shopped for people, but stopped at those we care about. We felt it better to give to charity than random people we never see. In the past we have made our own bows and gift tags. This year if we have time and do it, then great. If we don't get to it, then we won't stress about it.

Traveling: We aren't doing it. Its the same as it was for Thanksgiving. We want to celebrate at home.

Cards: Nope not doing them. We will possibly take pics and maybe do a digital card but I won't be ordering and addressing cards. We also aren't doing a yearly newsletter. Sorry but If they haven't kept up with us throughout the year then the chance that they even care enough to read the letter is slim. Besides they can always come here and read what we've been up to.

Food: We haven't really talked about this much. Growing up we would have dinner at my moms parents and open presents. As I got older the dinner turned into finger foods. I really hated that. Then I got married and my ex and I would alternate years with out families. His family would do Christmas Eve service at their church then go to their grandmas house and eat roast and open presents and the next morning they'd have a big Christmas Day breakfast.  We may do a combination of this. It will probably only be me, the girls and my dad and sister so a big meal would go to waste.

Entertainment: We do have plans to drive around and look at lights. This is one of our favorite things. We also have to attend the Christmas programs that they are in. But, we are skipping the Christmas parade. We hate the cold and standing. So standing in the cold to watch the parade is too much like torture.  We went shopping last weekend and enjoyed the piano player in  the mall. He was playing Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera and I totally geeked out. My high school band played Andrew LLoyd Weber so much I can still play that song if someone handed me a Clarinet.

November Chose Your Own Adventure November Recap

I've been participating in Chose your own Adventure with Stephanie, Steph, and Ashley. November's theme was organize. I didn't get every troubled spot organized, but I did accomplish a lot.

I added a series of baskets in my kitchen/entry way, its an old house, and this area is hard to explain. Technically its in the Kitchen, but could be considered an entry/hallway. Any, whatever..... I wanted something that I could store hats, scarves, gloves and lunch boxes in. I bought plastic coated wire bins from the kitchen storage section. I used walmart but seriously any store would have them. I spray painted it with my new favorite color spray, oil rubbed bronze. I also did this for the laundry room.
I also added a lid organizer (from the same department) and organized my pans and baking dishes.  I have what I think is the most narrow cabinet known to man. The lid organizer barely fit in this cabinet. but now I don't have to dodge the falling backing pans. They are all lined up waiting for me to make my choice.

Then I added this shelf to my bedroom and hung my bags from. Now I can see what I have at a glance.

I dodn't get a picture of it but I rearranged some things in my bathroom too. I had two towel bars on different walls. For some reason it really drove me crazy. So I moved one and stacked them. The wall behind the door is now for hanging up towels. Where the towel bar use to be is now an organizer for hair accessories. I seperated them, elastic ties in one, headbands in another, and misc hair things, like the gadgets to make buns, or clips are in another. It really has made finding things easier. 

December is  Simplify. We (the girls and I) have decided to only do the Christmas things that make us happy and bring joy to our lives. No caving in to "you have to, because its Christmas" nope we don't. I will talk more about our Christmas traditions in another post. We are finished with most of our after school activities. Emmy still has Drama and Choir, other than that, we have been coming home, fixing supper, and then literally falling into my bed to watch tv under the electric blanket. You can't get much more simplified than that. I'm really hoping that we can continue this trend all winter. Its been so nice hibernating. 

Not Entirely Perfect

Wednesday Confessions

Wednesday is probably my favorite blogging day, because I can turn a bunch of random sentences into a post.

  • I am probably way too happy about GhostBev being back. The whole saga back during the summer, helped me get through the home buying process, I definitely needed the laugh it provided. 
  • I remembered I had downloaded, to my kindle, the Sophia Kinsella book "shop a holic to the stars" Its like Christmas came early for me. 
  • The dreary rainy weather is depressing me. I need sun and warmth. 
  • I finally started watching Gilmore Girls. My girls and I have spent every evening this week curled up under the electric blanket watching it. We laugh at how similar it is to our lives. Even some of the lines are things that we have said to each other. 
  • I've been peer pressuring my coworker to start a blog. She has a lot of great stories to tell. I hope she actually does.  
Confession Wednesday Button

Have I mentioned that I'm the tooth fairy

Yesterday I mentioned that I never told my children that there was a Santa. That also went for the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, and my parents creation the Birthday Bear. A bear that delivered birthday presents. I swear my parents really must have enjoyed making up fictional creatures to bring gifts.

When my daughter was in Kindergarten she lost her first tooth. The kids in her class told her all about the tooth fairy and how that night she would put the tooth under her pillow and the next morning money would appear. As soon as she got home, she told me all about the tooth fairy.

I explained the tooth fairy is like Santa Clause. He isn't real and that I am the tooth fairy for you. I said I would put money under her pillow. The next day she goes off to school, excited to tell everyone that her mom was the tooth fairy.

When I went to school to pick her up the next day, the kids were so excited and asking me a million questions how do I know when they lost their teeth? How did I get into their house and back out? How did I make it to every ones (who have lost teeth) house in a night? What did I do with the teeth?

I had no clue what to say. So I just laughed and said it was magic. I don't know how long these kids believed that I was the tooth fairy, but I did get several phone calls from parents wanting to know why their kids are insistent that I was the tooth fairy.


What do you mean there is no Santa Clause?

I mentioned last week that I got into an argument, about whether or not you should tell  kids there is a Santa. I don't care what people do concerning Santa, but I really didn't like being told I was wrong because I went the no Santa route. See, I was raised believing in Santa. My sister (obviously) was raised believing in Santa. But neither one of us are big fans of Santa. When I got married and had Abbey we talked about Santa. I wanted what I remembered most about Santa, The pictures. I loved my pictures with Santa, and I wanted that for my kids. Other than that, I really didn't care. My ex came from a household where they didn't tell their children about Santa and he didn't want to tell ours about it either. We compromised. I could have the pictures and the kids would know Santa wasn't real.

Later the whole pictures with Santa seemed crazy since the kids didn't believe, and that was ok by me. After years of living with no Santa, I realized its actually a good thing. Here's my reasons for being Anti Santa.

1. We could be somewhere other than our house and not have to worry about how Santa was dropping the presents off. We could either open them before we traveled or when we got back and the girls didn't worry about if they were being delivered.

2. Call me selfish but I didn't want some fat white haired guy getting the glory for buying that perfect present.

3. I didn't have to worry about NOT finding that perfect present, I could just explain that the store was sold out and we can get it after Christmas. (Yes, I had to do that once.)

4. We used not believing in Santa as a teaching tool. We should be Santa for those less fortunate. We've rang bells for the Salvation Army (dressed as Reindeer) and we've adopted Angels off the Angel tree. This year we did the Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child.

5. Not getting a pile of presents didn't mean they were bad

6. I didn't have to rely on a fat white haired man (or an Elf)  to help me keep my kids behavior in line. I still think the "he sees you when your sleeping, He knows when your awake" is creepy.

7. I didn't have to worry that someone was going to let it slip that Santa wasn't real. 
On a different topic. I was getting ready to leave my house yesterday and heard water dripping in the closet. I opened the door to find my water heater gushing water out of the pressure valve.
 I screamed, I ranted, I frantically texted my sister who posed the question to FB that I had water gushing from my water heater and did anyone know how to fix it. I got several responses from guys saying that I needed to replace my water heater. I googled the problem and realized that by turning my temp up (I like HOTT showers) I created steam in the tank and it built up pressure and resulted in the pressure valve releasing the pressure in the form of dumping scalding hot water all over my floor. I turned all the gas off to my tank. Then I held the valve up (Releasing pressure) until it was no longer leaking water when the valve was down. Then waited a few minutes and reset it all. Voila no more leaking water heater. Then of course I commented to the guys and told them how I fixed it and thanked them for their advice.
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