Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fabulous December

This month was chocked full of Christmas activites- with a side of wedding. Let's take a look at some of the things that made this month worth saving the best for last:

The Office:
Yeah, I jumped on this bandwagon late, but do I love this show. I just plowed through Seasons 1-4 and I will sell my mother to anyone who will loan me Season 5 on DVD. I am thinking of changing my Facebook status to In a Relationship with Jim Halpert (sorry JEGs). I think what I love about it the most is Michael Scott reminds me so much of my old boss Jack- ironically my boss when I was working for a print company (-and to any of my fellow TGI-ers, Torney was totally Jacks' Toby).

Bridesmaids dresses-

I finally chose them! We are going with Jasmine's B2078 from their B2 collection in the Caymen Blue. I have been having a relationship with this dress since I first saw it. I think it really fits the feeling I am going for- understated class with a whimsical feel.

The Holidays-
I love Christmas. I love the shopping, the family traditions, the food, giving gifts, getting gifts, the Christmas movies (Holiday Inn is by FAR my favorite) and the general feeling of joy that comes with the season. This year was especially special for me because this was the first year I got to wake up next to JEGs on Christmas morning. I promise I have a full low down of Christmas coming up- next week.

The NorthEast section of this country got BLASTED with snow the weekend before Christmas. I love snow-- it brings out my inner 8-year-old. I love the calm that comes during the snowfall and I love how pretty everything looks with a fresh blanket of snow.

Let's raise our glass of eggnog and toast not only to the passing of another month, but to the passing of another year. Here's to you, December and 2009. You were filled with ups and downs, lot of joys and a lot of life lessons- but we made it through.
See you all next year!

The First... LEON??

I have this bizzare habit that only happens around Christmastime.

My mother has these statuettes of angels and each is holding a letter to spell out the word NOEL. Ever since I was little, I have changed around the words to spell LEON

It drives my mother crazy- which makes me want to do it more. As the years pass it has become a game between my oldest brother and I to change the letters around and see how long it takes for her to notice.

Well this season, she decided to beat us at our own game. I walked into her house on Christmas Day, and what did I notice? THIS!!:

She beat us to the punch.
Mom: 1. Kids: 0.
Always & Forever,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Break

Raise your hand if you ate too much this weekend.

Yup, yup.. me too. My jeans literally do not fit me.
Wedding dress? What wedding dress. hahah

Anyway, I plan on giving you the full holiday low down- the gifts, the parties, the food- but I have recently discovered seasons 1-4 of The Office and I need to fulfill my addiction to Jim Halpert.

In the meanwhile, please accept my wishes for the remainder of the holiday season!

From my family to yours- Happy Hollydays!

Always & Forever,


Thursday, December 24, 2009

China 101

I had a couple people ask about the china used in my holiday decor post. This is Spode's Christmas collection that can be found on their website.

Every Christmas for the past 6 years "Santa" has gifted me one set of china. I have yet to use it, but I do love the vintage feel it has

The glassware is something I picked up from a yardsale for $.10 a glass.

My cousin is coming over for dinner this Saturday. Maybe I'll break it out for her
Always & Forever,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fashion: Giving Scarves a Second Chance

Scarves are all the rage right now- flip through the pages of US Weekly and you'll see all the stars roaming the streets of L.A. bundled up in that frigid 72 degree weather they have out there [heavy sarcasm there].

Anywho, I've had a bunch of scarves that I've never really known how to work into my wardrobe, so I'm taking cues from other blogs such as Ashley at (never home)maker with her cute jacket and Ugg combo.

Jacket: some no-name brand snagged at Marshalls

Banded T-shirt: Target

Scarf: gift from a friend while visiting Kazakhstan

Boots: Walmart [that's right. I'm not above $12 Wannabe-Uggs.]

The scarf is really lovely. It has a very subtle pattern woven in.

So, what do we think; keep or ditch?

Always & Forever,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow Day

I don't know if you heard, but the East Coast got an ass-whoppin' snow storm this past weekend. JEGs and I counted about a foot of snow, but my parents are looking at almost two feet!

We spent most of the day indoors- drinking coffee, doing laundry, wrapping presents, cleaning grout. We did venture out for a litte, and here are some shots we snapped on Saturday

directly across the parking lot

Our cars are starting to get covered

some kids sledding down the massive hill

Nanook of the North

He was walking backwards because the snow was stinging his face

taking refuge in the Family Dollar

picking out soup for dinner

My diva-esque Jeep, Sasha


First snow at Falconhead

I think it may be time to put these out to pasture

Falconhead with Christmas lights- and JEGs being a creeper

I think JEGs took this picture around 9pm. When we woke up the next morning we easily had a foot of snow. The weather chick reported Philadelphia got over 23 inches of snow- that's only 6 inches less then the Blizzard of '96. I know all you Philadelphians remember that Blizzard; the entire Tri-State area was shut down for like 2 weeks. I was in the 8th grade and when we finally went back to school all we did is write essays about how we spent our snowdays. You know those teachers were like "Eff this. We are so far behind. Just write an essay and I"ll pretend to read it."

I have to mention JEGs' new steering wheel for XBOX. He was chosen to test drive [ pun totally intended] this game wheel that a company is producing. It was shipped to us in about 234,389 boxes [or 3] and JEGs get to test it and write a review.

Problem: this thing does not come with a stand.
Solution: make a stand out of our breakfast bar chairs, an unused table leaf and my free weights.
Outcome: HOURS of fun. For both of us.

Here is me trying it out- before we added the bar stools
my kickass Mini Cooper
JEGs burnin' rubber with our final product
I'm not joking when I say we spent hours playing Forza 3- and I don't even like video games. But this thing makes it fun, plus we were stuck inside. What else did I have to do?

Here's hoping the snow sticks around for a white Christmas.

Always & Forevs.

Color My World: Dazzling

For the holidays I decided I needed a color on my nails that walked into the room before I did. Something that screamed, "Hey girl hey!! I'm here to paaaartaaay!" Maybe even with a side of "I mean helleeerrrrr, where's the pool?" [Applebuddy inside joke].

I turned to my copious amount to polish and grabbed my favorite holiday color- Sally Hansen's 'Dazzling'.

This color is such a fabulous ruby red. The picture does it no justice- there are flecks of gold in the shine that gives it a beautiful depth.

Basically, I'm shooting beams of holiday cheer from my fingertips. That's how I roll.

Always & Forever,

Monday, December 21, 2009

Setting the Record Straight

During the holiday season my radio dial is pretty much stuck on the 24 hour Christmas station, B101.1. I love me some holiday jams.

However, I'm having an issue with one particular Christmas song: Frosty the Snowman.

Don't get me wrong, there are other songs that drive me crazy. If I have to hear that damn "Christmas Shoes" song again, I WILL rip my radio out and throw it into oncoming traffic. No joke. But Frosty drives me crazy because I think I am hearing two different endings.

So here is my question: The last words that Frosty says before all that thumpity thump-thump madness is either

A. "I'll be back again some day"
B. "I'll be back on Christmas Day."

I want to know what day Frosty is going to be back. Because if it's Christmas Day I need to know if I should set another place at the table. If it's just any old day, well Frosty, I can't promise I'll be home. That's why I need the offical R.S.V.P.

Help me out, friends.

Always & Forever,

Saturday, December 19, 2009

twelve. nineteen. seventy-three.

See this guy:

It's his birthday today.

Happy Birthday to the guy who
chased me with swords,
shot BBs into my Barbie dolls
wondered what a gazebo was (and if he had a cyst)
trapped me in my playhouse
joined the Navy
defended my honor when stupid boys broke my heart
giggled on rollercoasters
does the best Sean Connery impersonation
married an amazing woman (3 weeks later)
gave me a handsome nephew and a beautiful neice
... and most of all happy birthday to the guy who has marched to the beat of his own drum for the past 36 years.

Have a great one, Timmy.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Deck the Halls, Err.. Great Room..

I finally finished decorating for Christmas! (Cue lots of happy dances and fist pumping.) I gave you all a little taste of what was to come here and now I'm ready to show all! As I said before, money was a little tighter this month then usual, so I needed to get creative and use things I already had laying around the house. So I present to you, my Natural/Recycled/Ruby and Gold Christmas!

To begin with I added a small basket to the front porch. Since we are on the first floor, we don't have a banister for the balcony/patio area to wrap lights around, so I needed something add a little pizazz!

Wait a second... are those... gold.. pumpkins??

Yes, they are. I had a bunch of gourds leftover from Halloween that I used in my Thanksgiving decor too. While doing a historic house tour with my mom a few weeks back we saw an arrangement of white and gold spray painted pumpkins in a backyard. My mother and I looked at each other and said "Oh, we can do that!" and thus my inspiration was born. I already had the spray paint from years ago, and the basket was sitting in the bedroom holding electrical cords. The greens were clipped from the back of our Christmas tree, and my awesome sister-in-law Bryn let me snip some holly from the bush in her front yard.

Total cost of this project: $0.

Momma G was kind enough to give us a wreath for our door. Originally it had a big red bow and four silk poinsettias- two red and two white. I pulled off the bow and red poinsettias (they are in the basket above), added some pine cones from the Thanksgiving centerpieces that I hit with a little gold spray paint, a new bow, and some smaller red ornaments
Total cost= $0

As we head inside and out of the cold, we see the table set for a small holiday dinner

I picked up this red table cloth at Family Dollar. I really like it because it has a subtle houndstooth pattern that adds a little extra texture. I played around with a lot of different centerpieces, but this is the winning look

Years ago when my mother and I were on that same historic house tour we saw candles in mason jars used to light a walkway outside of someones home. Ever since then we started collecting mason jars, mayo jars, jelly jars, anything like that with the idea of doing at my parents house. Well, we never did. This year I was DETERMINED to do it. So I collected all the jars we had, added a little sand at the bottom to add to the 'natural' theme and place in a votive candle I had laying around. I snagged this pretty ribbon on sale at Michael's and wrapped the tops of each jar. I popped in a few leftover ornaments and was quite please with the outcome.

Ribbon= $1.99
Sand= $3.00
Total= $5.00

We don't have a fireplace to hang our stockings with care, so I decided to use the shelves above our buffet as a make-shift mantle.
I added a few more of my gold-painted pumpkins
as well as more clippings from the tree, pine cones, and some spray painted acorns that were also leftover from the Thanksgiving decor. I also transplanted the dishtowel from the former centerpiece to the mantel for added color and texture

I took some extra wine glasses and vases and used them in the arrangement. The center vase is stacked with gold-coated acorns and each wine glass has a leftover ornament

I picked up these stocking holders through Freecycle

...and yes, I mix my metallics. Because I'm a rebel like that. What now?

Just below the shelf, on the buffet is the runner that usually goes on the table. I added two more of my mason jar candles and this adorable nativity set that my mom gave me as a gift

On our bookshelf I decided to go a bit more modern

I took all the leftover small ornaments and filled the bottom of the vase. I added any larger ornaments on the top. Around the base of the vase I had golden vine-tinsel that was still wound up from being in storage. I looped it around the vase, tousled it a little, added a couple more spray painted gourds and pine cones and took any gold ornaments left and scattered them around. Throw in a couple tea lights and boom, I was done.
Total= $0.

Back around Halloween, Michael's had their Christmas decor on sale for 70% off. I snagged two small wreaths for $1.50 each and used them on the end tables to jazz up two more of my mason jars

Wreaths= $3.00 (2 @ $1.50 each)
Total= $3.00

I think my favorite piece is the arrangement I placed on the coffee table

Originally this was to go on the dining room table, but I loved it so much I wanted it to be front and center.

I used the tray I had previously owned. I dried the holly Bryn allowed me to cut, and arranged it around 3 pillar candles I've had sitting around. I added in a couple more smaller ornaments and more gilded pine cones

I continued the acorn theme into this as well. I just love the natural textures with the gold accents

Total= $0

Finally, we have the tree! Flash off:

and flash on:

Instead of tinsel or beads this year, JEGs and I added strands of popcorn around the tree

We used mostly red and gold ornaments that I had purchased from Walmart years ago along with our own special touches

The star is my absolute favorite. I got this from Target a few years ago- I'm almost positive they still sell it though. It doesn't light up on it's own, JEGs took a few of the lights from the strand and popped them through the filigree in the back.

Tree= $40 (we shelled out for a real one this year)
Popcorn= $.99 for a box that held 5 packets. We used about 2, so about $.40 used.
Total= $40.40
Last but not least I added some lighted garland that I've had for a couple years. I rounded out the natural look with a couple more pine cones, and I also added a few red bows for fun

Total= $0
Total cost for all decorating= $48.40
So for just under $50 (keeping in mind that the tree was forty of that) I was able to decorate my apartment and stay on a pretty tight budget.
Now, I just need to have people over so I can show it off! Who wants to come over tomorrow night? ;)
Always & Forever,