Sunday, December 28, 2008

good tidings we bring

We are at the beach enjoying our last few hours of Christmas vacation. Back to work tomorrow. ugh. Short week though, as I am off Thursday and Friday. We have had a great time this past week, tackling a big project at home and spending so much time with our families. We realize how lucky we are to live close to both of our families and are able to spend Christmas with all of them.
As much as I love this time of year, I am looking forward to going home, finishing our kitchen, and enjoying our spiffed up little house. Let me tell you, it is not fun having cabinet door strewn all across the floor. Kind of interfered with the whole Christmas motif I had going on.

I hope you all had a great Christmas week!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

christmas vacation

My employer graciously gave the company paid time off this week. Peter asked for the week off. Our original plan was to spend a couple days at Disneyland. We were not on the same page regarding this trip, as his plan was to only spend one day there and as I thought that would be a waste. Disneyland, at Chritsmas, in one day? It cannot be done. So that plan died.

Our backup?


This is what we have been doing for the past four days. Cleaned, sanded, primed, sanded, painted. Repeat. It has been a long, tedious project. Not hard necessarily, just time consuming. We are still waiting for the doors to fully dry before we hang them. This wet weather we have been having has not helped in the process. I also need to put away the rest of my dishes.

We have had minimal showers, drank a lot of caffeine, inhaled a ton of paint fumes, and probably ingested some poison from the old varnish dust. But we are happy and proud of ourselves. And think it looks pretty great.

We cant wait to hang the doors, add the new molding, and put on the hardware. This was a project I had in my mind since the first time we looked at this house. I am so happy we decided to tackle it.

Final before and after pics coming soon.... (hopefully!)

good things come in cute packages

For me, the simpler the better when it comes to wrapping paper. I am not sure where I inherited this simple taste, because at my mom's house it looks like Roy G. Biv himself exploded under the tree. Now this could be in part to my 16 year old sister being in charge of wrapping gifts...purple wrapping, green bow...perfection! Now dont get me wrong, a colorful assortment of gifts are beautiful, and totally reminiscent of every Christmas growing up. But for under my own tree, I kept it simple.

Last year I used brown mailing paper and red ribbon. This year I decided to change it up (I am so crazy, I know) and used white craft paper and, wait for it, wait for it....TWO ribbon colors! No, really, I think it looks pretty darn cute.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

plate lust

I LOVE these plates. The small, appetizer ones. I first spotted them last year in a boutique downtown and have been lusting over them ever since. There wasnt any room for them in our apartment, which always stopped me from buying them (that and the price tag). But now, I have room and think they would look totally cute gracing my home next Christmas. Fortunately, I just found the designers website. So I can order them year around! Now about that price tag....

sweet treat

This year I decided to make macaroons for my coworkers. My plan was to actually make those and homemade marshmallows and chocolate peppermint cookies, but time, getting sick, and an upcoming house project got the best of me. And honestly, that probably would have been overkill. But I still wanted to do something for the people I love to work with.

I first made these for Allie's bridal shower. They were easy and oh so tasty. Since then, I have made them a few times with different variations. For this occasion I made some with orange zest and some with milk chocolate drizzled on top. If you like coconut, you will love these!

coconut macaroons

1 pkg shredded, sweetened coconut
2/3 cup flour
1/4 t. salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
(this also works with 2 t. vanilla, if you dont have almond)

-In a large bowl, stir together coconut, flour, and salt
-In a separate bowl, mix condensed milk and flavorings
-Add to coconut and stir well
-Use a cookie scoop to drop on foil covered cookie sheet (I usually grease this as well)
-Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until tops are beginning to brown

Monday, December 8, 2008

I won!

Well, not me exactly, but my team won. Way to go Nick and Star! I picked you the very first episode, and you came through! You granted me bragging rights for at least one night.

Every season of the Amazing Race, Peter and I each pick a team to win. I am never successful. Once, my team got kicked off the very first episode (thanks alot Vipul and Arti). Peter has picked the top team twice (surprise, surprise). But this season I was victorious. Whoo hoo! I am the winner!

I would like to take this time to thank CBS for such a great show, Phil for being a fabulous host, and of course, Nick and Star for winning the race, and giving me the opportunity to jump and dance around the living room and gloat in Peter's face. I dont often have that opportunity :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

deck the halls

Our Friday night plans included finding the perfect tree, buying lights for the outside our our house (still working on that one), and scoring some yummy Chinese food. After scratching the first and third off our list we proceeded home to decorate the tree, listen to Christmas music, and drink hot chocolate. You know, be all cute and cozy and Christmasy. Of course, things didnt go exactly as planned.

First the tree would not fit in the holder. The trunk was too fat. I refused to believe this when Peter told me, so I just kept pulling out the ornaments. Please just make it work. I mean, how can we be cute and cozy and Christmasy without a tree? So after whittling the tree down with his carving tools (what? Peter doesnt seem like the type of guy who likes to carve animal figurines out of logs?? Yeah, you're right. He had a saw)it fit into the stand. Check.

So then my sister came over to help decorate the tree. Perfect! A little sister bonding time while decking the halls. Definitely meets my Christmasy goal. Well, the hope of some great Christmas music was slashed by Delilah. I couldnt find my cd's. No worry, I thought, 101.5 is playing Christmas music 24/7. Well, no, they aren't. When Delilah is on all you hear are annoying callers taking way too long to tell their holiday stories. They were either depressing or super cheesy. And after the story Delilah proceeds to play the chorus of a great carol, only to cut it off short and come back on the air with her husky, monotone voice. Great.

Sans-music, we put the decorations up. They look great. Its pretty late by now, sister has gone home, I am sleepy, but a part of my original plan was being cute and cozy. So by golly, we were going to be cute and cozy. So I heated up a kettle of water (no milk in our hot chocolates) and we sat down to watch something fun on tv. Nothing fun was on. NOTHING. During this time of searching, the kettle was done. Too done apparently. The hot chocolate was scalding. So we ended the night watching Prison Lock-up on MSNBC (a show profiling prisons and prison violence in CA)and barely being able to sip our boiling drinks. I mean, if that isnt cute, cozy, and Christmasy I dont know what is.

a shot of our front room, complete with a big window to show off our tree--something I have always wanted

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Things I am looking forward to in December...

Finally becoming adjusted to leaving work when it is dark
Driving to work with my man
Christmas decorating
Putting up outside lights for the first time
Holiday-scented candles
Wrapping gifts
Girl's Christmas party
Family Christmas celebrations
Church choir program
Week off of work
Disneyland trip
Christmas cookies (making and eating)
Christmas songs on the radio
Celebrating our Savior's birth
My mom's stocking stuffers
Downtown Christmas lights
Wreaths on cars
Eating. Lots of eating