Christmas #5 tonight

We are going to the last Christmas of 2008 tonight at my grandma's house. Sis and her hub are back from Cali so we can celebrate the season with the 60 degree weather they brought with them.

Tomorrow is NYE. I'll be at work all day if you need me.


Christmas Present #1

Probably one of the best presents I received was this painting my uncle painted for me. He likes to paint a lot of country-settings and landscapes, so I showed him a photo I took of my favorite place to lay out on my lunch break when I worked at the college. He thought it would be a cool photo for inspiration and asked me to send it to him. Little did I know he was scheming to make it my Christmas present. If only I had a new house to hang my new original artwork in...

This is the original photo I took.

(If you want to buy one of his paintings, you can visit him here.)


Happy Birthday General!

My little baby is 4 years old today!! We didn't pick him up from the breeder until mid-February, 2005 but they told us he was a Christmas-Eve-pup.

Last night his grandma gave him 2 new toys and I let him eat a pita chip today, which he seemed to thoroughly enjoy.

Christmases Galore

Due to the fact that my recently-married sister is going to Cali with her new fam for Christmas, and leaving today, we had Family Festivus last night with just the 6 of us (mom, dad, me, hubby, sis, bro-in-law). I thought it was a good time for the most part, except seeing hubby's eyeballs swell up and turn pink from the cats sort of put a damper on my good time.

Here's dad and hubby showing off the matching Stan Musial autographed baseballs I got them.

We all opened our gifts and last night on the way home we tried out hubby's new toy - a TomTom GPS for the car. It was pretty accurate, except it DID NOT want us to take 127 south. At every street in Nashville, it kept telling us to turn around and go back. Then it wanted us to go over to 51 through DuQuoin. So finally hubby turned it off because it would not stop yelling at us. We are going to try it again tomorrow on the way to my aunt's house because I seem to get confused every time I go through St. Paul, MO. If you've never done it, you should really try it sometime.

Today is Christmas Eve, which means we'll spend the evening with hubby's family. Then tomorrow morning, we will wake up, do Christmas with my sister-in-law, her fiance and our niece. After that we'll be driving to St. Paul, Mo., to my aunt's house for another Christmas. It's a full day of driving and Christmases.


How Cute!!!

My friend Charity sent me these cute little pug salt and pepper shakers for Christmas! I think they are absolutely adorable. Their little noses have magnets in them to make them stick together.


I love it when you walk into a multiple-stalled-bathroom at work and you get in to your stall, sit down, and then hear someone talking. You think - are they talking to me?!? Surely not. I don't even know who they are. They are still talking though... Then you realize that they are on their cell phone while they do their business in the bathroom.

It's called multi-tasking folks.


Bullets for today

  • I'm almost finished wrapping presents.
  • I'm having sharp shoulder pains, which may or may not be a direct result of wrapping presents. Could also be from the awkward way I used the blow-dryer this morning with my head upside down.
  • The bosses cooked us breakfast this morning. I'd already eaten my new fav breakfast sammy, so I ate two breakfasts...
  • We also have a HUGE container of harry and david chocolates, including those amazing malt balls in our office.
  • I've probably gained 4 lbs in the last 3 days.
  • I'm starting WW again, for reals this time - I promise, in January.
  • Poor General is going to miss out on our family Christmas (and by "our" I mean me, hubby and dog) because my aunt will not allow him in her house and it's just too much of a hassle to drive all over the place just to drop him off on Christmas day, so we're forced to leave him with his grandparents. When we have kids, I will not be doing all this driving back and forth for the holidays. You heard it here first. Be prepared to come to our house if you want to see our cute little offspring in a couple of years.


Wrapping Green

I decided to be a little more "green" with my present wrapping this year and use leftover comic strips from the newspaper. I have since run out of comic strips, so now I'm just using plain ole newspaper. Don't be offended if your present say something like "Blago arrested" or for some reason you get the obits as wrapping paper. Who really cares what the wrapping looks like anyways. We all just throw it away, or at best recycle it, at the end of the day.


Today I attempted to 5S my office. Raise your hand if you know what that means.

I organized my files by color-coding and labeling and I put away everything I'm not using on a daily basis. Good times.


Shopping trip=Great Success

I'm almost finished shopping for the year. Now I need to start wrapping. The only things I have left to purchase are something for my niece, my aunt on dad's side, and my sister-in-law. I should be completely finished shopping by the end of the week. If anyone has any present ideas for my SIL, send them my way because I have nothing...

In other news, I'm really missing my old job tonight because of all the bad weather headed our way. I used to have the possibility of a snow day when I worked in education, but I doubt the hospital will have a snow day, ever. I also don't get two weeks off for Christmas break (and they actually called it Christmas break and not Holiday break, which a completely other topic). In fact, I don't get any holidays. I have to take ETO for all of them.



Last year on the shopping trip, we tried to go to Harry's for dinner because that's the tradition. It turned out to be closed for a private event and we ended up at Maggiano's, which was completely okay with me. Tomorrow we are going to attempt to go to Harry's again. If it does not work out, I'll take my hubby to a nice Italian family-style face-stuffing.


Shop time!

This weekend is the annual shopping trip for all the ladies in hubby's family. I joined them for the first time last year and had a great time bonding with them AND getting almost all my shopping done in one day.

They all have this process down to a science. They know exactly where to park, how to get a locker to continually pack bags full of gifts in throughout the day so you don't have to carry them around. They choose excellent places to eat to continually refuel (shopping like this will take it out of you!)

Maybe this is poor planning -we'll find out soon - but I have done very little shopping so far this holiday season. The only people I'm completely finished with are my dad and my hubby.

This year, the trip is coming to me instead of me driving up with them. We are planning on going out to eat with B and A Friday night and meeting up with everyone else at the Galleria on Saturday. Even my mom is going to shop for a while! I'm not sure what hubby will do all day Saturday while I'm shopping. I wish he'd shop with me but I doubt that will happen.


I just wanted to give a big "shout out" to my two roomies, aka Mom and Dad, who love me enough to let me park my car in the garage every night. It's so great to not waste time scraping ice off a car at 0700.


Oreo Balls

Today at work, we had a holiday party for all marketing/pr employees in the hospital system, not just for my happy hospital. I had a great time planning for this event even though I joked because they somehow mistook me for someone who knows something about baking. I was co-chair of the bake-off. I didn't know until I really got into the nitty-gritty of this task that it was taken SO SERIOUSLY.

So when I arrived at 2:50, when the bake-off judging did not officially begin until 4 pm, and everyone was freaking out because no one was there to tell them where to place their baked good, and there were no signs available to label their goods!!! The absurdity of that!!!

It ended up calming down when my co-chair arrived with the signs and labels, and the judging went great. Because I was not a judge, I decided to enter the Celeste Special, aka Oreo Balls. If you have not had an oreo ball in your mouth yet, you are seriously missing out in life. (that's what she said.)

Well it turns out, I can make a mean Oreo Ball because I ended up winning!! I did not win "best in show" but I did win the "no-bake" category. Boo-Yah! I can't cook, but I can no-bake!



You know how you are driving somewhere and you see something hilarious and you think "I should really blog about that because EVERYONE will think it's SO funny!!" and then you forget about it until later and then you go to blog about it and realize that in fact, it's not funny anymore...


Sweet 100

I thought this might be appropriate, based on the title of my blog... and as you will see, I did not italicize anything, because I will try anything, once.

How the Sweet 100 Works:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Italicize any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Red Velvet Cake
2. Princess Torte
3. Whoopie Pie
4. Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar - no, but i'd try it!
5. Beignet
6. Baklava
7. Black and White Cookie
8. Seven Layer Bar (also known as the Magic Bar or Hello Dolly bars)
9. Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies)
10. Kringle
11. Just-fried (still hot) doughnut
12. Scone with clotted cream
13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy
14. Halvah
15. Macaroons
16. Banana Pudding with nilla wafers
17. Bubble tea (with tapioca “pearls”) - love it!
18. Dixie Cup
19. Rice Krispie treats
20. Alfajores
21. Blondies
22. Croquembouche
23. Girl Scout cookies
24. Moon cake
25. Candy Apple
26. Baked Alaska
27. Brooklyn Egg Cream
28. Nanaimo bar
29. Baba au rhum
30. King Cake
31. Sachertorte
32. Pavolva
33. Tres Leches Cake
34. Trifle
35. Shoofly Pie
36. Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)
37. Panna Cotta
38. New York Cheesecake
39. Napoleon/mille-fueille
40. Russian Tea Cake/Mexican Wedding Cake
41. Anzac Biscuits
42. Pizzelle
43. Kolache
44. Buckeyes
45. Malasadas
46. Moon Pie
47. Dutch Baby
48. Boston Cream Pie
49. Homemade chocolate chip cookies
50. Pralines
51. Gooey butter cake
52. Rusks
53. Daifuku
54. Green tea cake or cookies
55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop
56. Creme Brulee
57. Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake) - snickers from the DuQuoin fair!
58. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
59. Jelly Roll
60. Pop Tarts
61. Charlotte Russe
62. An “upside down” dessert (Pineapple upside down cake or Tarte Tatin)
63. Hummingbird Cake
64. Jell-O from a mold
65. Black forest cake
66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)
67. Kulfi
68. Linzer torte
69. Churro
70. Stollen
71. Angel Food Cake
72. Mincemeat pie
73. Concha
74. Opera Cake
75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail
76. Pain au chocolat
77. A piece of Gingerbread House
78. Cassata
79. Cannoli
80. Rainbow cookies
81. Religieuse
82. Petits fours
83. Chocolate Souffle
84. Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
85. Rugelach
86. Hamenstashen
87. Homemade marshmallows - from RUSTY!
88. Rigo Janci
89. Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)
90. Divinity -meh didn't really like it
91. Coke or Cola cake
92. Gateau Basque
93. S’mores
94. Figgy Pudding
95. Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
96. Joe Froggers
97. Sables
98. Millionaire’s Shortbread
99. Animal crackers
100. Basbousa


General attacking the bed (and my feet)

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In total, I climbed 20 flights of stairs today at work. I went back down all 20 flights too. I did 13 up and down in one trip on my lunch break. I'd like to note that these "flights" are not your average flight of stairs going up to the second floor in your two-story house. These are actually double that. My goal is to climb the stairs of the hospital every day in December, but I've already missed yesterday, but I did climb 17 (in one trip) on Dec. 1.


Merry Christmas to us.

This year, both sides of my family have gone from everyone exchange presents to drawing names with a dollar limit for presents. Hubby's family has decided to not exchange presents for Christmas, and everyone is supposed to buy for the great-grandkids.

Because we will be spending less on our families' presents, we decided to splurge a little bit on ourselves. We are young enough and have very little invested in the stock market, so we aren't really feeling all this mumbo-jumbo about a recession.

In an effort to lose a little bit of weight and improve our health, we bought a nice big treadmill for our house. I think that when you are looking at these monstrosities in the store, their size is misleading due to the high ceilings and concrete flooring of the sports megastore. When you bring them home though, hubby's idea that he "can just fold it up and roll it into the bedroom" was severely off kilter. Instead, this 300-lb monster is hanging out in my living room, and I can barely budge it with all my force.*

So much for my tough guy hubby being able to "roll it into the bedroom..."

*EDIT NOTE: Just to clarify, my husband is probably one of the most physically-strong people you will meet, should you meet him. I'll bet you $50 he can beat you at arm-wrestle and bench press your body weight, maybe even 2x your body weight if your name is JLB soon to be JLF.


Yesterday, we spent the afternoon

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon with our niece. I asked her what she wanted from Santa for Christmas. Her response: a wagon.