Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Wish List

Christmas seems to keep coming earlier and earlier. I, however, refuse to acknowledge that the Christmas season begins any early than the day after Thanksgiving.The only problem is, frequently at ThanksgivingDinner, everyone wants to know what you want for Christmas. So this year I havebeen putting a little bit of thought into what I would like/need for Christmas. I like to think I'm now armed for whatever price range someone is shopping in.A monogrammed wine stopper. I love them, and they love the wine I drink. $9.99/Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Elements to go with my Fontanini Nativity scene. We received the Holy family, a set of sheep and an angel as wedding gifts, and I also have a donkey now, too. One day, I hope to have a full set, but these things aren't cheap. At least $20/character. I'd like to have Jeremiah (pictured), Melchior, Balthasar, and Caspar as well as a camel.
Shiatsu Neck Massager. My neck is constantly killing me. I hate those stupid vibrating "massagers," but this one I think would make much more of a difference.HoMedics Neck and Shoulder Shiatsu Massager $24.99 at Target.



An Electric Tart Warmer. I know I've seen these in stores, but I can't find a durn picture online. At any rate, it would be nice to have one and not have to worry about lighting a candle underneath it.

Yankee Candle Wax Tarts. I'm fickle about my scents so this works better for me than a large Jar Candle. And I love most scents.

Fuzzy, Comfy Socks. I would live in these if I could. I don't care what color, but I love these chenille socks. The ones pictured are $5 at Old Navy.

Victoria's Secret Sleepover Flannel Pajamas in Red Stars. I hate spending this much money on PJs, but these are worth it. They come in a long length, which makes me happy and they are super comfy. Besides, I only get a pair every 3 years or so.

A Nice Travel Coffee Mug. This one is nice from Starbucks for $16.95, but really anything that is well insulated will do.

Bath and Body Works Foaming Antibacterial Hand Wash. I love this stuff...makes my hands feel yummy and doesn't leave residue in the sink. $5, but usually on sale at B&BW.
LLBean Ultra Absorbent Monogrammed Towel. I have one of these, and would love to complete the set. $18.95 in cadet blue.

I have an unhealthy Wizard of Oz obsession...and I'm not quite sure what I would do with these pez dispensers, but I desperately want them. $17.99/Target or $19.99/World Market or $15.99/KMart


Cuisinart Gourmet Griddler...the hubs and I have drooled over this for years. You can make paninis, hamburgers, open it up and use it as a griddle....I'm pretty sure it'll even clean your house for you. And it's back on sale at Costco for $89.99.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So much to be Thankful for...

'Tis the season to be thankful. And on this Thanksgiving Day, I'd like to take a moment to discuss some of the things I'm thankful for.

1. My husband. He drives me crazy from time to time, but seriously, what human doesn't. He loves and respects me, despite all my quirks, and truly enriches my life. It's been a long year for him, but he's on the cusp of something new and exciting, and I truly admire all the work he's doing.

2. My family. I have wonderfully supportive and caring parents, an honest and humorous sister, and a loving extended family. We have had dealt with our share of health issues as family, and as we continue to deal with them, it's good to know we have each other to lean on.

3. My friends. Thankfully, I have friends that are just as cynical and sarcastic as I am. In that cynicism and sarcasm ,though, they've been strong and supportive to me. And without them, I'd never make it through this world.

4. My job. As much as it drives me crazy, I'm lucky to have a job, particularly one in my rather limited area of interest and expertise. And I feel like I'm finally starting to get some of the respect I deserve.

5. My house. I love my house, as "Brady Buch" as it may be. It's beautiful, it's fun, and it keeps the elements away from me.

6. My Pets. Nothing compares to the unconditional love of a dog, except for maybe the random moments your cat decides she really does love you and wants to cuddle. I am fortunate enough to have both.

7. Coffee. And everyone who encounters me first thing in the morning is thankful for this, too.

8. Wine. What a yummy treat.

9. Chocolate. See above.

10. Beautiful Fall Days. There is nothing like the beautiful colors and crisp weather of a fall day. It truly reminds you there is beauty every where.

What are you thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winking Owl Chardonnay


Wine: Winking Owl Chardonnay

Price: $2.99

Store: Aldi









"Pineapple and citrus fruit with hints of vanilla and oak. Pair with salad, grilled fish and lighter meals. " ~ www.aldi.com

I was quite pleasantly surprised by this wine. I expected it to be quite acidic and dry. The fruit tones of this are quite pleasing. This is a dry wine for being so fruity in nature, but very easy drinking. It would probably be more enjoyable in the summer, but I am certainly enjoying this tonight.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Follow Up

So last week I challenged myself to get certain things done before Thanksgiving Break begins

Fix the track of the guest bedroom closet
Fix Laundry Closet Door
File Paperwork
Clean up Guest Bedroom closet
Clean wine stain off the ceiling (don't ask)
Put up a towel rack in master bathroom- unfortunately, it's not a "normal" attachment. It's majorly messed up, so I'm having to get a little creative with it.
Clean up yard

Also add to the list:
Clean House
Finish Nephew's Stocking

Doesn't seem like a whole lot, but it's been a really crazy week. We're getting ready for a show right after Thanksgiving, and I've been subbing for people in addition to my typical responsibilities. Needless to say, I have not been home much at all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just a week and a half...

I have so much to do around my house, and the first big break of the year coming up-Thanksgiving. The best part is I work this week, have the weekend off, then work two days and have five days off. So if I can just make it through this week, I'll be good to go. Of course, no time off is complete with out a list of things to do. I can guarantee I won't get it all finished, but hopefully with a list, I'll stay focused.

Fix the track of the guest bedroom closet
Fix Laundry Closet Door
File Paperwork
Clean up Guest Bedroom closet
Clean wine stain off the ceiling (don't ask)
Put up a towel rack in master bathroom
Clean up yard

So here we go...in the course of a week and a half, how much of this can I get accomplished?

Allbero 2008 Bobal Rose

Wine: Albero 2008 Bobal Rose
Store:Trader Joe's
Price: $5.99??

"Albero Spanish Bobal variety Rose is produced by Spain's Oldest Estate Bottled Winery. Spain's Finest- proudly made with hand-selected certified Organically Grown Grapes. This Aalbero Bobal Rose is perfect when enjoying with friends or in giving the git of wine. "~back of the bottle

I love the idea of organically grown grapes, but this wine is not for me. It has very little taste to it, but has quite an acidic after taste. It definitely carries much more of a red wine taste rather than the fruitiness of most roses. This is not a wine that I plan to enjoy again.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

James River Cellars Chardonel


Wine:James River Cellars Chardonel
Store: Neptune Wine Festival, website also says it is available at VA ABC stores; ordering is also available on their website.
Price: $14.00

"The quintessential picnic wine. 'Chardonel' grape resulted from the crossing of Seyval and Chardonnay in 1953 at Cornell University. The wine offers an interesting combination of flavors from each parent grape variety. Every vintage year can hold surprises in how those flavors and aromas develop. This vintage is fruity and off-dry, with a provocative spicy banana aroma. Try it with pizza or Asian cuisine."~www.jamesrivercellars.com

This wine is more than I usually spend on wines, but it's quite unusual, and very yummy. I think it's the perfect mix of sweet and dry, which just a hint of spice to it. Definitely light enough to be a picnic wine, as described above, but I sit here drinking it in November, and it doesn't feel too light. I'm really enjoying this tonight, and I might help myself to another glass.

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Party

Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays. Usually, though, I have to work, or we have something going on. This year, though, was a bit different. The hubs and I had a morning commitment, but then the rest of the day was free! Woohoo! A major Halloween Party was in the works.


We started with some invitations…I found these at Michael’s for $1 per 8 invitations. I loved them, even though the red and black are not the most traditional Halloween colors. My first thought was that I would find a cool vampire picture to put on the front, playing off the idea of blood with the red. No such luck, but I did find some awesome witch, pumpkin, and cat stickers at Hallmark. I created the inside on through Word, printed them out, plopped some stickers on there, and voila! a lovely invitation.



Next was food. The hubs and I both like to cook…and eat. I wanted our food for the evening, though, to be fun and festive as well as being yummy. Here’s our menu for the evening:

Bat Wings aka Chicken Wings

Monster Toes aka Pigs in a Blanket

Mini Caramel Apples
Eyeballs- Mozzarella Balls with olives

Ghost and Witch Hat Sugar Cookies

Haystacks

Deviled Ham Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Spiderweb and Tombstone Cupcakes

Pumpkin Bread

Chips

Chex Party Mix















































Drinks Included
Hot Apple
Cider (with rum right next to it for spiking purposes)
Assorted Beer
(including pumpkin)

Assorted Wine (with fun, alternative labels)

Assorted Sodas


In addition to all this, I had intended for all guests to leave with a mini favor bag with some Halloween pretzels and assorted traditional candies, but we had had substantially more trick or treaters this year


Finally, we moved on to d├ęcor. My outside decorations can be seen here. Inside, my primary focus was the table. I found this lovely spider web fabric at JoAnn’s, which I placed on top of a white table cloth for our food table. I used some plastic spiders and mice to dress things up a bit. My center piece included two tape candles I found on clearance at Yankee Candle that appear to drip blood. They looked cool at first but then they just got goopy. I also picked up some red roses at Trader Joe's which I intended to spray paint black for an eerie, dead effect, but they looked pretty cool staying red.


We added a lot more spider webs and a cloaked figure to our front porch. We used a cheap strobe light and had a CD playing of creepy sounds. I got a lot of compliments from trick or treaters on how "cool" our yard looked...although a few little ones I greeted at the end of the driveway. They were too afraid to come up!



Overall, it was a great night and we cannot wait to do it

next year!