Saturday, December 31, 2011


*Image by me, map via The Graphics Fairy

Nothing like a little REM to ring in the New Year, especially for all of those people who really think the apocalypse will visit us on December 21st, the apparent end of the Mayan calendar.  I'm going to eat a delicious dinner surrounded by friends and then ring in the stroke of twelve with a champagne cocktail.  I can't believe I have to be back to work so soon, I also cannot believe that another year has passed.  This makes it seem like it really hasn't been that long since my move across the country, and even closer to my move back home.  As I prepare for that I'm going to try two things this year: to run more often, and to attempt to eat fish (which I really don't care for at all, but which is good for me).  These are not resolutions, just goals.  I want to improve, I want to try to make small changes.  How will your piece of the world change this year?

Friday, December 30, 2011


*Image & print by cardamompress

I know that it seems like a typical thing to do, reflecting on the year come it's end.  That and the lamentation of how quickly things passed.  Now that I'm in my 30s I feel so young still and so comfortable in my budding life.  I can't believe that my time in Texas is ticking down and that more and more friends are welcoming babies into their families.  Am I really that much of an adult?  As much as I deny my age, I'm totally an adult.  2012 marks the beginning of my husband's last year of residency.  Woah.  Nuts.  Instead of looking back, I'm going to look ahead.  I have so much to do to make this year amazing.  I'm not resolving, but setting some goals to make this next year great.  Are you looking ahead? To what?

Thursday, December 29, 2011


*Image & postcard by creativity cards

Tonight I'm going to my first ever college football game.  My husband and I got lucky and bought tickets to the Alamo Bowl right when they went on sale.  Our alma mater, the Washington Huskies are playing Baylor tonight and we couldn't be more excited to don our purple and cheer them on.  I'm lamenting the fact that my husband will have to go to work in the morning, especially if the Huskies win!  Hopefully he'll get done early to rest up for the rest of the weekend ahead of us.  What are your plans to celebrate this weekend?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


*Image & thermos via Kate Spade

My mother knows me so well.  I have two thermoses that I've been using to bring hot tea to work for the past couple of years.  One was beautifully striped, and I broke the mechanism that keeps the thermos sealed so that the hot contents don't spill out at random.  The other was a plain, utilitarian silver and I dropped it or something to cause the lip to bend slightly which results in tea that starts out hot but cools at the normal speed of tea cooling.  I am not one to complain about cold tea during 5th period, I kept that to myself.  I can make do and even though I drooled over this lovely Kate Spade version, I couldn't justify buying a new thermos. The ones I had worked, even with their slight defects - they carried my tea to work and kept it relatively warm.  I never uttered, out loud, how pretty and awesome this thermos is - but my mom knew.  I was grinning from ear to ear when my husband pulled it out of our Christmas care package.  She knows me so well.  Did you get any pleasant surprises this Christmas?

Saturday, December 24, 2011


*Ornaments by Ona Norvilienė images via
This is my third Christmas away from home.  In my family, Christmas Eve is the special night to eat a traditional dinner and celebrate with family.  I truly can't wait to spend this holiday home once again.  My tree is up, the house is mostly clean (still have laundry to finish folding) and while my small family is cozied up napping on the couch I'm still missing everyone I don't get to see this winter.  Three years feels short, yet long at the same time.  If you're in the snow enjoy it a little more for me, if you're with your family hug and kiss them once from me.  Linksmų Sv. Kalėdų, Merry Christmas. 

Friday, December 23, 2011


*Image by my husband

What you can't see in the picture is how close the top of the tree is to the ceiling.  When we saw it on the tree lot I was skeptical that it could actually fit in our house, but after we trimmed it a bit the pointy top no longer bent in contact with the ceiling, and now the star fits much better.  I can't believe that Christmas is only a few days away.  It feels like it crept up on me this year.  Today will be full of baking for me and a few errands to make sure we have everything we need before we settle in.  Are you ready for the holiday?  

Thursday, December 22, 2011


*Image via Cooks' Illustrated

Last night my husband got some sort of inspiration to bake.  He made creme brûlée in advance for our Christmas dessert and apparently it wasn't challenging enough.  After browsing recipes and asking me cryptic questions about ingredients and supplies in the kitchen he went off to make a "secret" recipe.  The secret turned out to be New York-Style crumb cake muffins.  Yes, I had cake for breakfast this morning and cannot complain.  A secret baking frenzy?  I'll take it.  Friday is my scheduled baking day because the husband will be busy working.  Today is jam day, I should have made jam before muffins, but there are still plenty left.  Do holidays get you in a baking mood?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


*Mittens by Kate Spade, Image via Nordstrom 

If it was actually cold outside where I live you can bet that I would be wearing these mittens daily.  The power of the air quote is too much to resist.  I was seriously considering getting these when I saw them in the store, but there would be almost no chance to wear them seeing as how it's been in the 60s and even almost 70s these past few weeks.  December had one hard frost that killed some of my plants, one day of scraping frost from the windshield and then these warm days. Part of me wishes it was mitten weather.  Is your winter gear whimsical, glamorous, or just plain functional?


*Image & ornament by Paloma's Nest

I think that I might just have to buy this.  I'm not really into Christmas ornaments, I'm not sentimental when it comes to my tree, I like it real and simply decorated.  I got a good chuckle out of this, especially because Paloma's Nest just opened a studio/shop in Austin this summer.  Clean, crisp and a little bit witty.  I like it.  This could be a memorable addition to our tree.  Do you have a tree decorating style?

Monday, December 19, 2011


*Image by perfectbound

Somehow my husband has this Christmas under wraps.  The other day I went to get my Christmas shopping list checked off and arrived home to stacked, beautifully wrapped gifts.  All that was missing were ribbons & a tree.  We took care of the tree yesterday and when I thought I'd be walking off of the lot with a 5 foot Douglas fir, we ended up strapping a 10 foot Noble fir to the roof of the car.  Needless to say, I still have to finish stringing lights because I ran out.  I'm starting to get that Christmas feeling.  Now I need to get some gifts wrapped to catch up.  Are you ready for Sunday?

Friday, December 16, 2011


*Image by banquet for {frolic!}

I used this template, tweaked slightly, for my special Christmas jam gift.  And oh joy, oh joy it's Friday, and that means at 3:40 p.m. I will be student free for a few glorious weeks.  Yes, I'm taking their work home to grade (ie: put in a corner for most of my time off).  My first packages came in the mail and soon I'll be ready to put up a tree in this house. Even better is that I have a massage scheduled for Saturday morning...  What does your weekend have in store?

Thursday, December 15, 2011


*Image by Marilyne K

I'm so glad that this week is almost over, but that just means I have one less day to get my Christmas gifts in order to hand out to co-workers.  I wanted to bake, but am feeling worn out and lazy.  Maybe I'll bust out some spritz cookies before Friday rolls around.  That gives me today.  I have a few of my work buddies taken care of.  Trevor made jam & I'm making labels to get a little chuckle from my teacher friends: Exemplarary Liberry* Jam.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It's an inside joke.  What do you think a Liberry tastes like?

*Translation: Exemplary Library

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


*Image by Trev Stair

My mother used to decorate the front of our home with boughs and bows.  I'm not sure where I'd go to find boughs, but I know that I can find bows.  I think that it has been decided.  Now, I just need to get home at a decent hour so that I can think about more than just eating dinner and relaxing before I start the day again.  The temperatures are supposed to dip here and I can't wait because while I dream of Christmas, we turned on the air conditioning in the house last night because it was 73 degrees inside and 70 outside.  Isn't it supposed to be December?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


*Image & wreath via The Thrifty Abode

We don't have the only unlit house on the block, but I still feel guilty that we have nothing holiday related up inside or out.  We have gotten our first cards in the mail and last year I came up with a fun velvet ribbon to display them off of the breakfast bar in the kitchen.  I think I'll do that again.  I really want to make a wreath or something festive for the door.  When I was little, my mom hung bright red ribbons from the house lights, that might be an easy festive touch to add to the house.  How do you decorate for the holidays?

Thursday, December 8, 2011


*Image & print by AnnaDelores

Now I can cross Florida off of my list of 50 states.  I've never been here before.  Now that I think of it, there are plenty of other states I have missed as well.  Have you seen all 50? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Alamo Bowl

*Image & sweatshirt via UW Bookstore

Of all the places for the University of Washington to play football, they are ending up in the Alamo city to play against Baylor.  I've never been to a collegiate football game, nor am I a huge football fan, but my husband is another story.  He's a huge fan so we got tickets.  This should be a fun night, and the bonus is that although the game falls on a Thursday I'm off from work.  Not too shabby.  Currently, I own two official pieces of UW gear.  I wear my t-shirt regularly on Fridays so that I can wear jeans to work and I have a child's sweatshirt that fits perfectly, if you're into 3/4 sleeves.  I'm considering some new gear to show my Washington pride, but I can't decide.  Are you a sports fan? How do you show your spirit?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


*Image by susanmab

Tomorrow I fly to Florida, where I just might up at Disney World.  No, that is not why I'm in Orlando, although if the work conference is anywhere near as exciting as I think Disney World could be, maybe I'll sign up for more.  When they offered me a paid trip to Florida in the middle of December a few months ago I was all for it.  Now I'm in the midst of sub plans and packing wishing I could just relax a bit more.  If I get to sleep in, I'll be happy.  If I get to see a bit of a Disney theme park for the first time in my life I surely won't complain. What should I say if I meet the mouse?

Monday, December 5, 2011


*Image & card by Vandalia Street Press

For someone who likes getting mail, I am the worst for sending cards and letters in a timely manner.  I have a stack of letters on my desk that despite their outdated contents still need to be sent.  I can't get my act together for Christmas cards, so I think maybe I'll do New Year's cards instead. That means I can send them while I'm on break and don't have to send out tons of e-mail messages asking for addresses, because I'll be able to trade card for card.  We got our first Christmas card in the mail yesterday - man some people have their acts together.  Do you do holiday cards?

Friday, December 2, 2011


*Image & calendar by SockMonkee

These monthly monsters are pretty rad.  I already have a recipient in mind for this calendar, but I wouldn't complain if it showed up on my doorstop either.  Currently, the calendar I see the most is hanging in my classroom and this would be appropriate for kids as it inspires some giggles & some gawking.  When a calendar entertains  it does more than just its job of keeping track of the passage of time.  Are you a fan of monsters?

Thursday, December 1, 2011


*Image & card by monkeymindesign

Last year I went to Seattle to celebrate my 30th birthday.  When I packed for the trip, I re-loaded my ipod with a bunch of music to entertain me as I flew, rode buses and strolled around the city.  It was great but somewhere on that trip my ipod disappeared.  I feared the worst because I had been on crowded buses and in stores and thought maybe someone picked my pocket.  It made me sad, but I moved on.  For Christmas that year my mom gave me a sweet new ipod touch (that later was stolen by one of my devious students...).  Today I was in my bedroom amidst the chaos of unpacked luggage and spied something peculiar on the floor.  It was a red mesh pouch with an ipod and headphones neatly tucked inside, the same ipod and heaphones that disappeared over a year ago.  I have no idea where they have been hiding, but I'm guessing it has something to do with a secret compartment in the luggage my husband was using, because I swear I searched everywhere.  I feel old, but I sure am happy that now that one ipod really was stolen I still have another full of good music to listen to.  Have you ever had something disappear on you, only to reappear much later?
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