Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

As previously stated: I love Christmas.

My cards are done (just need to mail them...), and now that it's after Thanksgiving and socially acceptable to have public displays of Christmas-ness, it's time to decorate!

Last year I made a....flock?...of snowmen.  What is the appropriate term for a large number of snowmen, anyway?  In any case, here they are in all their glory:

Snowman attack!  They're about 2" tall, I'd guess.

Close-up of a few.  Some have presents, scarves, hats, signs, etc...
A few new additions this year include some greenery.  I bought each individual piece separate, and pieced them together to make a few small arrangements:

There's a couple small, silver presents and a toy drum in the center.  This is now under the TV.

Xyla posing with a bunch of pine cones, berries and branches.
I have about a million other decorations (mostly penguins...) and wall-hangings, so it's nice to see Christmas finally starting to come together!  Tree will come next weekend, likely.

As a side note, who knew that Christmas lights contain lead?  On the wires?  Apparently they do, and at pretty high levels.  Needless to say, I'm terrified of about half of my decorations (things that touch the lights, the lights themselves, etc).  Thank goodness for a wonderful husband that tries to reason with me and assure me that it'll all be ok.  I'm still kinda freaked out and can't deal with that yet, but we'll see.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas Cards

I finally broke free of my sewing-related projects (sewing-related meaning: cross-stitch, felt and regular hand-sewing) and started some serious work on our Christmas cards!

(First off: in case it hasn't been made painfully clear already, I love Christmas.  Best time of the year!  Maybe I'll have to write about it sometime-- but I love everything about it.  I mean, it's a holiday where people are happy.  What's not to love?!)

Now, I've actually been working on ideas for a design since, oh, June or July probably.  And I finalized the general design around August.  But, now I finally got to the real nitty gritty and started really getting into "production" mode.  Bought supplies, colored it in and worked out all the scanning and printing settings I need.  All-in-all, a very "paper" project.  It's nice to be using a different medium!  Can't wait to fully assemble them.

Here's a preview!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm back!

Well, gee!  I've certainly been MIA for a while.  But, I've still been trying to broaden my horizons!

I've taken up, well, weight-lifting.  Allen may scoff at my workouts (he doesn't really, but I feel pretty inadequate, compared to his P90X and big muscles!), but I've been following The New Rules of Lifting for Women.  I've been an avid cardio freak for the past 7+ years, and it's taken over a year to convince myself to do weights + minimal cardio on weights days (although I still have one full cardio day a week full of the stairmaster, elliptical AND stationary bike-- and love every sweaty, miserable second on it).  On the other hand, my extremely flabby arms have, gasp, muscles!  They're just starting to show, but they're really there!  As someone who went from overweight to underweight, and now in the middle of the "healthy" range, my poor arms are a extra flabby-on-flabby.  So, this is exciting!  On the other hand, I've also gained a few pounds (and my pants are noticeably tighter, so don't go starting that "you're gaining muscle!" business), but I'm pushing through.  New experiences!  Branching out!  Time to re-shape my workout and my body!

Allen and I have both been playing around with our new DSLR camera.  Xyla has been our main focus for experimenting, but the view from our apartment also makes for some fantastic photos!  Here's a couple:

Happy Halloween!
Love her face!
DOUBLE RAINBOW!  It actually was the entire arch, too.  Beautiful!
Love the contrasting colors.  On a side note, that kid that went missing from the car in Bellevue?  That apartment is where the mom lives.  It's just down the street from us!
Taking a walk on the trail
Ohhhh, I miss riding my bike!  (The trail is on the right)  Way too cold, though.  I'm not that hardcore.
I also had a Halloween party with entirely too much food!  Which is always a good thing.  Also, awesome costumes by all!  The menu included (all homemade, I might add!):
  • Mini pumpkin pies (made in little 1" tart molds)
  • Chex mix (featuring as much orange as possible-- cheez its, cheetos, doritos...etc)
  • Baby mummies (ie: 'lil smokies, wrappen in pillsbury dough, with a slit cut in it to show two little mustard eyes peeking out!)
  • Chocolate cupcakes (mini and regular-sized) with orange buttercream frosting
  • Pretzels (lessons learned: read through the recipe thoroughly, and multiple times, so that you aren't surprised when you realize you do not, in fact, own a dutch oven.  Still turned out wonderfully, though!)
  • Pumpkin chocolate bars
  • Rosemary flatbread and spinach artichoke dip
Whew!  Needless to say, my kitchen was a MESS!  But, well worth it.  Also, one more concoction:

Let it be known that jello added to any fizzy drink is pretty awesome.  Not only does it look cool, but it makes your drink kind of...squishy!  Just a fun way to change things up.

Let's see, what else?  Saving up and planning to (FINGERS CROSSED!) buy a house sometime next summer/fall.  So, we've been researching.

I have my Christmas cards all planned out.  I just need to make the final cards!  That's my goal this weekend-- have them done (or at least have all the supplies together and set up so I can start, and finish during the week next week)!  Then I can focus on everything else I want to do.

Sorry guys, but that's one thing I won't be branching away from.  I love, love, love Christmas!  And that's not going to change.  Sadly, there's only so much our small apartment can handle, so I'll have to pick and choose when it comes to Christmas crafts-- but now is the time to get them all started!  I'm so excited to have my own place for the whole season.  I moved into the apartment last December, so I was jointly unpacking and decorating for Christmas!  This year, the focus is 100% Christmas.  WOOHOO!  It's not called "the most wonderful time of the year" for no reason!

Anyway, there's that update.  I'll be better in the future, I promise!