Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Gift

My mom & sister came for Thanksgiving this past week and left Friday. They live in New York, I live in PA. The states are only a few hours away but we don't see each other too often for some reason (we really need to fix this!).

We exchanged Christmas gifts while they were staying at my house. I got a ton of loot! This year we put a cap on our spending which was hard for me. Honestly I went a bit over, even with using the internet and the great deals that ebay had to offer.

I can go on & on about the items I received but one of my very favorites was a Vera Bradley purse from my mom.

The only purse I own (though I do own 8 of them!) is the Vera Bradley "on the go". It has a ton of organization & space which is great for me. I am ALWAYS losing my eye glasses and they fit in one of the outside pockets perfectly. I have purchased each pre-owned from ebay.

My mom got me a brand new one from a boutique. My first new Vera bag. Thanks Mom! Here is what it looks like in the print she bought me.

Isn't it "fab"???

I am happy to say that ALL my Christmas cards are in the mail and I am done shopping for Christmas. It is kind of sad though since I love to shop for other people. Ha!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Photos

Today my mom, sister, husband, father-in-law and I celebrated our Thanksgiving. I realize it is a day early but the hubby & I have to be back at work tomorrow and we wanted to make our last day at home as stress-free as possible.

We had WAY too much food (of course) and had a great time. It ended with my mom, sister & I trying to line dance in my kitchen.

We had a 12lb turkey, a 10lb ham, homemade mashed potatoes, cooked yams, stuffing (also called dressing in some parts of the country), 16 rolls, 12 corn bread muffins, corn, salad and sugar cookies for dessert.

Here is the stuffing my mom made with green apples, sausage, onion, celery and dried cranberries. I tasted it and it was YUM!

The turkey & ham BOTH fit in our stove. Thank goodness!

Here is the finished turkey:

And the stuffing again with the yams, both uncooked in this photo:

Our table was two tables put together since our usual table only sits 4:

Our "thankful leaves" next to the plate settings. We wrote what we were thankful for on them and hung them on our "thankful tree". We do this every year. It is a great tradition!

The next few are my mom & sister making (and tasting!) the food:

My husband & his 85-year old father:

My gorgeous sister and me:

I hope everyone has an absolutely WONDERFUL Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Virtual Makeovers

My mom and sister are staying at our house for a week and I am thrilled to have them. Last night my sister & I were playing with a website that is AWESOME! The website is: It gives you a virtual make-over and it is very accurate. You simply take a photo of you without make-up and your hair pulled back.

Here is the photo I used about a year ago on the website. Thankfully I saved it so I didn't need a new one last night.

Here are a few looks I came up with. The first is the Tori Spelling hair cut.

The next is a thick band. I have always wondered what I looked like with bangs.

The last is Dolly Parton's haircut. I kind of look like Paula Deen - ha!

Here is what Paula Deen looks like, for those of you that don't know.

An "up do":

Shiny hair!

With a blonde shag cut, very white teeth and BLUE eyes!

And the last an avatar!

It is extremely fun & addicting...and free!

Monday, November 21, 2011

And the winner is....

And the winner of THIS giveaway is.... The Chatty Mommy! I will be contacting you so you can choose your four colors!


Sunday, November 20, 2011


I have two things to be exited about today. The first is that my mom & sister are coming from New York to my home in Pennsylvania today. They leave at 10am and will be here around 5pm - just in time for supper. They are staying until Friday and we will celebrate Thanksgiving together and exchange Christmas gifts. I hadn't been able to sleep a few nights because of my excitement. Last night I slept 10 hours. The lack of sleep must have caught up with me!

The second thing is that I won a blog giveaway. Click HERE to see the cards I won! I always keep a box of cards at both our home & apartment so this will help stock those boxes.

I'm not sure I will get time to post in the following days but I will be letting choose a winner for MY GIVEAWAY. Click HERE to enter - I pick a winner tomorrow. I have a set of these and they are awesome.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

When do you mail your Christmas cards?

This morning I was up at 4am. My mom & sister are coming from New York tomorrow and I am pretty excited. Too excited to sleep!

After laying there for a while, I decided to finish up our Christmas cards. They were purchased last year on sale and have been sitting around waiting for me all year. This year we will send over 150 cards. I am looking forward to the day where everyone sends a Christmas email - MUCH easier!

Every year we send them the day before Thanksgiving so they get to mailboxes the day after Thanksgiving. This year they will be a few days late since my hubby didn't print the inserts yet.

When do you mail your Christmas cards? Do you even send them anymore?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Reminder: Mineral Eyeshadow Giveaway

Just a reminder that I will choose a winner (using on Monday for THIS giveaway.

Click HERE to see it!

Also a Friday Follow:

Monday, November 14, 2011

I won a blog award!

One of my favorite bloggers, It's the Little Things, gave me an award! It is my first and I love the name of it.

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning 'dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.' I took a semester of German in college (I also tried Spanish in high school & Greek in college but that is neither here nor there) and so it has an extra special meaning for me.

To keep this award going (by passing along to other new deserving blogs), the recipient must now recognize five other bloggers with less than 200 followers that have really stood out in the crowd.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

1. Thank the person who gave the award and link back to their blog.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know!
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog post.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

Here are my five top choices:

1. Together We Save
2. Redhead Memories
3. Accidentally Angela
4. Penny for Penny
5. Happy Home And Heart

Functioning on little sleep

I am one of those people who cannot function without a proper night's sleep. I need atleast 8 hours but my body is happiest when I sleep 9-10 hours a night. This is mostly because my iron and B12 are usually super low.

While at work, it is hard to get this much sleep. I am lucky if I get 7-8 hours and it makes me cranky. Of course I cannot get cranky with our residents so it is usually just my insides that are cranky.

Last night was a terrible night for someone who wants to sleep. We had two security alarms go off at the retirement community. This happens when a door or window is opened after we set the alarm at 9pm. It happens often. Too often.

The residents simply forget about the alarm. When you are 80-100 years old, things like this slip your mind. Actually, when you are any age things like this slip your mind. My husband has forgotten twice already and has set off the alarm just after 9.

Last night we had an alarm at 11:30 and another at 3:30. Both were false alarms thankfully and no one was trying to break in.

But my sleep pattern went something like this: Sleep for 1.5 hours, wake up and check the doors. Sleep for 3 hours, wake up and check the door (the second time I woke up I said "seriously?!?" out loud without even realizing it). Sleep for 1.5 hours, wake up for the morning. That is a total of 6 hours but because it was broken sleep it feels like much less.

I am a bit foggy and I am sure it will be hard to make it throughout the day without a bit of caffine.

The first thing I did today was print out signs for the outside doors that have a little stop sign. In a super large font are the words "Stop, this door is alarmed after 9pm." I am hoping it works so I can get a good night's sleep tonight.

For all of you parents, I cannot even imagine waking up with a baby night after night. I think I would be the crankiest person alive if I had to do this every night. You truly deserve a huge reward. Maybe something like: If your baby makes it to the age of 2, you get $100,000. That probably wouldn't be enough but you get the idea.

My brain is too tired to think about it anymore.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Finding the perfect couch

My hubby & I added a large master bedroom last year. We have it decorated in grays, silver, blues and white. We needed a couch to put in front of our TV but didn't want to spend a lot of money since we put a lot into the addition.

We wound up with a $40 couch from someone at the retirement community. It isn't great but it is working. It is a blue sofa with a pull-out bed (not sure we'd ever need that) with a low back. The low back has been a problem since the hubby is 6'6" and has no where to rest his head.

We have been looking on & off for couches and still haven't come up with any we love.

Our ideal couch would be white or gray with modern lines. It would have two recliners on the end and be long enough for one of us to lay down. I would probably prefer fabric but it could be leather. would need to fit through our tiny door frame or come apart some way.

We have been to numerous homes that had an ad on Craigslist. We have been to a bunch of furniture stores. But we are still sitting on the old blue couch.

Here are a few I love but are either too expensive or don't fit in with the theme of our home.

A velvet Chesterfield patchwork couch - my dream!

Another patchwork, this time in black & white.

This is super close but it is expensive and it doesn't recline.

A Scandinavian beauty.

Love this one too - a pixel sofa.

And last, a bright pop of color!

Somewhere a couch is out there calling our name. If only we knew where else to look!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Craft Idea: A Thankful Tree

For the last few years, my family has created what we call a "Thankful Tree" for Thanksgiving. It is simply a few branches put in a vase or jar and put on a mantle or table.

On every place setting we put a leaf. The leaves are created by tracing a cookie cutter on scrapbooking paper. We date the leaves and everyone writes what they are thankful for. We read the leaves over dessert.

It is a fun and easy tradition. Whomever hosts Thanksgiving gets the branches and my mom, sister and I put together the leaves.

This year it will only be five of us for Thanksgiving at my house here in Pennsylvania. My theme for the day is teal, royal blue & white.

Here is what the tree looked like a few years back with the leaves on it:

Here is what this year's tree will look like:

And an up-close look:

It is fun to look over past years and see what everyone is thankful for and how the children now have better handwriting. Ha!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Decorating for Christmas

Today I put up a Christmas tree. It was 70 degrees out and I have a Christmas tree. It is making me chuckle. Anyway...

The tree is my father-in-law's but we are keeping it at our home until after Thanksgiving. My mom and sister are coming for Thanksgiving and we are exchanging gifts with them then. I wanted to make it festive.

I love the vintage-ness of the silver tree. It has fiber optic lights throughout it. Our home is decorated in blues and sands and I wanted to carry the theme to the decorations.

I used Martha Stewart glitter to turn the ordinary & old white Christmas balls into sparkly ornaments. I picked up the glitter at TJ Maxx yesterday for $1.99. It is amazing what you can buy there!

Here is how I did it:

Start out with ordinary ornaments:

I used left over glitter paint but you can use any kind of acrylic paint or even glue:

Paint the ornament with the glue or paint:

Roll the ornament in the glitter:

End result - pretty ornaments:

Here is the tree:

Sparkly ornaments!

Every year we pick a color theme to wrap our gifts. This year it was brown and gold. We picked the color combination before we realized we would have Thanksgiving at our home. Brown and gold totally doesn't match the colors of the tree but it wasn't as bad as I thought.

And a glass bowl that is usually filled with seashells is filled with ornaments. The glass bowl is turquoise but it looks green in this photo.

Here is a wreath that my mom made and gave to me last year:

I was so thrilled with the ornaments that the Holy family got a bit of a make-over:

I love sparkly Jesus!