Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to my boy!

Today is Jim's birthday!

Yup...New Year's Eve. So there's always a party going on. Last year he turned 30 though, so I wanted to put together a surprise party for him. It was kind of tough since I pretty much HAD to do it before his birthday, and I had to find a way to get him to the house where the party was at without anything seeming suspicious. I pulled it off. I basically just told him we were going to a friend's house to watch the Red Wings game and that's all she wrote.

So Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband! Now let's go have some fun!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thumbs down on New Year's resolutions

I hate New Year's resolutions. I never make them because I know I'll never stick to them. I don't know very many people that have stuck to their resolutions either. Like earlier this year I didn't tell anyone that I wanted to quit smoking but I just did it...for about 6 months. I know, why did I start up again?? Who knows. But I didn't want to make some big deal about it being my resolution because if I failed (and I did) I didn't want people all up in my face about it being my resolution and shame on me for not sticking to it. So no resolutions for me, but I am going to set a few goals that I'd like to reach.

1. Quit smoking...again. I'm going to party it up NYE, but then I'm going to try and be a good girl again. I know I can do it. I've done it in the past. There's just certain things that make me want to smoke. Like being with certain people, or hanging out at the bar. It's such a STUPID habit too!

2. Exercise more. Once again, at the beginning of this year I was pretty good about exercising at least 2-3 times a week. I'd like to do that again. With quitting smoking and exercising I realized how much more energy I had and how much better I was sleeping.

3. Try running again. Jim and I both started the C25K program back in September, but then I screwed up my ankle. He continued on for a few more weeks, but then he stopped too.

4. Get up earlier for work. See, right now I work 8-5:30. But sometimes I don't get in until almost 9 so I have to stay until almost 6:30 some nights. Then if I want to work out after work, that means I'm not getting home until like 8:30-ish. So if I start working out and quit smoking, then I'll be sleeping better and hopefully will be able to get my ass out of bed earlier. Then I can go in around 7:00 a.m. and work until 4:30 p.m. which lets me work out earlier and get home earlier. See, I have a plan :o)

5. Help out more around the house. I realize this sounds kind of stupid, since I'm the woman and that's my job (HA!) but Jim really does almost all of the cleaning and laundry. He doesn't complain (he actually likes cleaning), but I know I should be doing more. I don't think I show him enough how much I appreciate him and everything he does. I was thinking about maybe having a cleaning schedule or something. More for me to follow than

6. Save money. Jim told me recently that we need to buy new tires for our truck, and I'm still waiting to get my new camera, but after that it's going to be save, save, save!

7. Experiment with different recipes. I already have a food blog, and I'm not the greatest cook in the world, but I'd like to start branching out and trying new things. I'd really like to try some gluten-free baking since a friend of mine found out this year that she has Celiac Disease. And just a note...Jim used to do most of the cooking too, so I've gotten better with at least helping out there.

Well that's about all I can think of for now. I'll just make another post if I feel like adding to it.

You know you want it - IX

I know it's been awhile since I've posted any of these and I have some serious catching up to do on my magazine reading. So here's a few of the things that caught my eye in some of my Real Simple magazines.

Rubbermaid Produce Saver
Keeps fruits and vegetables fresh and crisp up to 33% longer
Fresh Vent™ allows produce to breathe
Crisp Tray™ separates produce from moisture

After all the cookies I made this Holiday season, this probably would have come in handy.
Bakers Sto 'N Go

Microwavable Booties...need I say anymore??
Anti-Stress Microwaveable Comfort Booties

One-Day Financial Makeover

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The girls together again

My good friend Michelle was visiting from Delaware for Christmas so we got to spend some time together today. I love this girl! We went to college together (both chemistry majors) and man did we have some fun in lab! We'd make up stupid songs, stupid dances...anything to get us through the hours upon hours of school work! She works for DuPont now, but I wish she was still in Michigan. Love you girl!

From left to right: Rachel, Brittani, Michelle, Caleb, Rachel, me and Melanie

It was a good Christmas

When I was little, we used to have a big family Christmas get-together on Christmas Eve. It just so happened to be my Grandma's birthday as well, so it worked out great. Well Grandma passed away, people moved away and the family just sort of drifted apart.

So for the past few years, we've sort of started a new tradition. We still celebrate Christmas Eve at my parents house, but it's just immediate family. We do a mostly seafood dinner with mussels, shrimp, cod/perch, and this year my dad made stuffed grapeleaves and mom made a cheeseball. Then there's the plate of pickles, olives, hot peppers, etc. We play a little euchre, drink a little wine and/or beer and just hang out.

Me and my sis

The siblings

Me and my boy

Then at 11:00 p.m. we go to church (where we got married) with Jim's parents. My sister and brother joined us this year which was nice. It's a lot of singing, which I'm still not quite used to (I grew up Catholic, so there wasn't much singing involved), but it's a nice way to end the night.

Christmas Day we normally go to Jim's Grandma's house for breakfast, but this year it was at Jim's parents house. We do gifts over there, and then head back to my parents house for gifts and dinner. My parents and Jim's parents only live a street over from each other, so the driving isn't an issue.

I was just excited that I FINALLY got the food processor I've been wanting for like 2 years! Now I can make hummus and salsa and who knows what else.
Jim also got me some cleaning products for the new car. He preempted me opening the gift with a, "you're probably going to hate it, but I think it's cool" comment, so I was already a little worried about what it was going to be. But, I did say I was going to be good and take care of this car better, so I guess he's just helping me with that. Hopefully I don't end up with wax in my eye or carpet cleaner in my hair...we all know how my cleaning escapades go.

The vacuum ate my dingleberries!

I swear, I'm cleaning challenged. After my day yesterday Jim said to me that he didn't realize cleaning was a contact sport. LOL.

See, Jim is the one that does most (ok, all) of the cleaning in our house. Every now and then he'll give me a few tasks to complete, but in all reality, he actually likes it! I know, that's just sick and wrong, but I don't complain.

Well yesterday I didn't have to work and the house was a complete mess so I figured I clean everything. So I started with laundry. I did like three loads. After the third load was done in the washer, I opened it up only to find that the clothes were still sopping wet and not stuck to the side of the machine. Our washing machine has stopped spinning apparently. So I wrung out some of the water and threw them in the dryer.

Next task was vacuuming. I was using the hose part of the vacuum to clean all the nooks and crannies, fine, no big deal. Well I stand up, lift the vacuum up over my feet to move and it feel this tugging on my slipper. I look down and notice missing dingleberries on my right foot. Jim bought me new slippers for Christmas and thought the cats would have fun with the dingleberries...apparently he was wrong and the vacuum had a go at them before the cats did.

See the one slipper sans dingleberries??
Fantastic. And they got all wrapped up in the vacuum so they're all black and greasy now.

So then I moved upstairs to the bathroom and did some more vacuuming. Once again, using the hose attachment, I was doing my thing, when all of a sudden, the attachment popped off and I bashed myself in the lip with the hose. Yeah that felt real good. I'm surprised I didn't get a bloody lip...that sonofabitch hurt pretty bad.

So that was my day. The cleaning got finished, but not without a few casualties along the way. I think I'll leave the cleaning to Jim :o)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We've been elfed!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

I seriously love these elf dances. They make me laugh anytime I watch one. And it's especially funny with animals! This disco one is my favorite

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Season Finally in Swing

I don't know what it is, but I just feel so behind in all the Christmas stuff this year. We FINALLY got our tree up last Sunday. We got a real tree...a Fraser Fir. It's so purty...

And I still have to do some Christmas shopping. I have to get something for my niece, for my friends' son, more stuff for Jim and a few other things for some other family members. And I'm not even too sure what I'm getting everyone

Last Saturday I made about 15 dozen cookies. I made Snickerdoodles, Spritz cookies, Chocolate Chip, Gingerbread and these Cranberry Orange cookies which didn't turn out at all. I don't know if the leavening agents were bad or what, but they weren't fluffy and delicious like the picture shows...they were flat and gross looking. They still tasted good though! I just didn't take any into my coworkers to share with

Yesterday we had our work Christmas party which is always a good time. Drinks, friends, fun...and the First Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Contest. Like it?

Friday, December 12, 2008

MuDvAyNe rocks my face off!

Mudvayne. Ever heard of them? More than likely, probably not. They're a pretty heavy band but I just love them! There's just something about their music that speaks to me. I've been to my fair share of hard rock / metal shows, but I just love a good Mudvayne show.

We also "won" the chance for a "meet and greet" with the band too. I was hoping to actually get some pictures WITH them, but no such luck...just pictures of them. The concert was last Friday and we had to have the confirmation email for the meet and greet, our ticket and our photo ID in order to get the wrist band for the meet and greet. We HAD to be there by 5:30 sharp according to the email, otherwise we'd be outta luck. So we JUST make it to the box office by 5:30, without our coats since we figured we'd be going in shortly, and get our wrist band. We get in line, and we wait...and wait...and wait. Now, it's 20 degrees outside so we're obviously freezing our asses off! In the mean time, another guy comes around with different wrist bands if you wanted to drink. He comes up to us and asks us where our coats are. I tell him I didn't think we'd STILL be waiting outside and I didn't know they had a coat check. So he highly recommends we go get our coats. Which to me meant that he knew we'd be standing out there for quite awhile still. So my brother goes back to the car and gets our coats. Ok, good. So we FINALLY make it inside... find out that it's basically just a line walking past a table and you can only take pictures of the band. Whatever, still cool.

I got my shirt signed :o)

Me and my bro...

And me and my boy...

So we see the two opening bands and now it's time for the main event! Jim is already gone...I figure I won't see him the rest of the night. Before that though, Jim had bought my brother, John, another beer. So my brother felt sort of obligated to drink it even though he didn't really want it. I know, who cares, but whatever. So John and I are walking down to the main floor and he tells me that when Mudvayne starts he's probably going to hand me his beer. I tell him to just throw it out since I'm not going to drink it and I don't want to hold it. Well all of a sudden, the lights go down and out comes Mudvayne. John gives me his beer and he's gone. There's this swell in the crowd as the mosh pit forms and I sort of get pinned up against a railing. I step up onto the railing as to not spill the beer, and wait for the crowd to subside. Finally there's a spot for me to stand, so I start rockin' out. All of a sudden, the 6'5" dude in front of me is thrown back and the ENTIRE cup of beer is spilled all over me. I'm talking, hair dripping wet, in my eyes and my SHIRT! With all the signatures on it! Thankfully they're safe, but the shirt kind of stinks. So I go into the bathroom to sop up the mess and head back out to the show. There was no way I was going to be angry all night about it. I found a spot in the crowd and took in the show. All in all, I'd say it was a good night.

Well I made it

Once again, I got myself all worked up for nothing. I still hate flying, but it's never as bad as I expect it to be. I actually had a good time. I flew in Monday though and was so tired! I fell asleep before 9 p.m. Vegas time. The good thing is that I got about 9 hours of sleep that night. Then Tuesday was our work meeting. We finished up kind of early, so we headed out to Red Rock Canyon. It was pretty cool!

After checking out the canyon, we headed back to our hotel to go out to dinner and head out to the strip. Of course we saw the show at the Bellagio,

And this awesomeness inside,

And they were all decorated for Christmas too,

Then we just kind of wandered around,

This was my third time there for work and the first time I actually gambled. And I now know that my bad luck is just as bad in Vegas as it is anywhere else.

So Wednesday morning my flight was scheduled to leave at 7 a.m. Tuesday night I figured, well, I have to get up at 4 a.m., so why even bother going to sleep...I can sleep on the flights. So I did it, I actually stayed up. I didn't think I had it in me! My plan of sleeping on the plane didn't work out so well though. I slept for like an hour on and off on the first flight and after that I was ready to go. Needless to say, when I got home Wednesday night I had no energy. I mean hello, I was up for like 36 hours straight! So I got home, ate something and passed out on the couch by like 7:15 p.m. So that night I got about 11 hours of sleep...pretty awesome!