Monday, December 22, 2008

Over and out

After repeatedly checking the weather report we decided that if we were going to miss the big snowstorm a-rollin in we'd have to leave for Utah on Sunday morning. We wrapped all our shiny, beautiful presents in big black bags, tucked them carefully in the back of the ear doctor's pick up and headed out.

About 2 hours into the trip the ear doctor said, "wow, we're really a family aren't we?"

I glanced back into the small back seat and saw our little dog passed out on in utter doggie joy...curly rawhide stuck under one paw and looked at my husband. We were making our first trip over the river and through the woods to get to my grandma's house and I replied, "yes, yes we are."

So now we're here.

Sleeping in the same bed where I dreamt of sugarplum fairies and awaited the jingle of Santa's bells. I ate about a half a dozen cookies because at grandma's they have no calories. And the packages are carefully tucked under the Christmas tree.

Have a great Christmas.

I hope you get whatever was on your list...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Better than Magnum...

Every year the ear doctor and I got on one special Christmas date. We block out one night during the hectic season where we decline the kind offers of friends and shrug off our obligatory attendance of work holiday parties. We spend the time together, just us.

In past years we've seen White Christmas, or the Rockets, or just taken a drive through festive neighborhoods and award someone the "Griswold" award. It's my favorite night of the season.

Last night was our Christmas date. We bundled up in a million layers, bought ourselves some hot chocolate and went down the to the zoo for zoolights. They've covered the entire Denver zoo in a million little twinkle lights. It was awesome.

The air was thick with the festive spirit and the delighted screams of little kids. I don't know if they were more excited to see Santa or Dolly the elephant. Of course, we went and saw the baby giraffe who is getting bigger and bigger all the time.

And I couldn't pass up the chance to pet my favorite quadrapeds:

Do you have any idea how dumb you feel as a 27 year old person crouching, taking a million pictures trying to time the animatronic zebra to capture this image?

Really dumb.

Anyway, it was a great night and a great surprise for me from the ear doctor. See how excited I am.

(please ignore the ear doctor's CRAZY eyes...that's his signature "blue steel" look)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Watchout Ichabod Crane

I LOVE getting Christmas cards. LOVE it. I know a lot of other people get annoyed when they read a 2 page letter about what a genius your little Johnny is, but I don't. Go ahead, tell me how smart baby Suzy is for potty training in 1 day...I don't mind! In fact, I love reading about how happy and great your family is.

However, I'm horrible at writing them. And I know that in order to keep getting cards I have to up the effort level and send some of my own out. I promise, next year, I'll get to it.

It doesn't help that my adorable sister sends out this awesome Christmas card of her beautiful little family:

Although, I have to admit that when I pulled it out the envelope, my thumb was right between Maggie and her husband's faces, covering the bottom of the baby's dress, making it look like this:

A disembodied Christmas baby head.

Creepy, but still, somehow adorable.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Did you ever see the movie Stranger than Fiction? Of course you did.

Well, I loved it. While the story was really great, the part I loved even more was the idea that someone who was Harvard/lawyer bound found her passion in baking. Because, well, let's face it, I'd love to quit this job and bake for people all day.

For me, there is just something magic in making someone a perfect treat. In providing a break in someone's day, a place for them to get away and indulge in a warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookie. To witness a grown, serious adult melt into the 10 year old version of them self over a super chunk brownie just really gets to me.

My mom thinks this idea sounds fun for about a day but after that it would get old. But I really don't think so. Not for me anyway.

For the last couple years this idea of starting a bakery has lingered around dormant in the back of my mind. There are so many things standing in my way, most of which have the face of Benjamin Franklin stamped squarely over the center.

However, when I see photos like this I'm totally overwhelmed by the desire to bury my hands deep in a sack of premium flour and whip out my baking scale:

These photos are of the newest Baked Bakery in Charleston, SC that I saw this morning on Design Sponge.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

They never get dirty

Yesterday I called my mom. She was a bit surprised to hear from me and said that I must be busy because I hadn't called in a while.

And she was right. I've been so busy lately that I didn't even realize that I hadn't called her.


Between throwing the church party, organizing gifts for the family we've adopted, cooking dinner for the missionaries and putting the finishing touches on the Christmas shopping I've felt like I'm just barely keeping my head above water. Add to that the horrible lingering cough that starts every night at about midnight and my life might just be at the breaking point.

I'm pretty sure the ear doctor is feeling the pressure too. Although, he might be a bit past the breaking point...

Love those black socks....

Monday, December 15, 2008


Let's just talk about this product: THE SNUGGIE

First of all, what a dumb name. Snuggie? Clearly, they aren't marketing this product to anyone with any testosterone.

Second, I already made this product. I made a blanket with sleeves about 3 years ago for my brother-in-law for Christmas. It was made out of camo printed fleece and has two sleeves I cut off a Wal-mart sweatshirt. To think I could have been a millionaire if only I'd marketed the thing.



Thanks so much for your fantastic suggestions on how we can help this season! Seriously, the ear doctor and I were totally blown away by all of your contributions. We found a family that we will be surprising with mounds of gifts and all the makings for a great Christmas dinner. We spent all day Saturday shopping for them and Sunday was spent wrapping up their gifts.

I can't tell you how much doing this has impacted me.

It made me stop and think about those who don't have what I've always taken for granted. A lot of people don't have the amazing familial support system that I've been so lucky to have. Without parents who taught me the value of education I would probably not have the job that I do that so fully supports our family.

I whole heartedly suggest doing this to anyone who can. Make it a year long goal. Budget in a bit extra money each month to help someone else during the Christmas season.

It's made all the difference for me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How can I help?

A month ago the ear doctor and I decided to budget some of our Christmas money to help another family in our area have a better Christmas. We both felt so overwhelmingly grateful for everything that we've been blessed with this year. We wanted to give back in whatever way we could. We decided that we didn't need to give each other extravagant gifts when the economy is in the pits and other people are really struggling.

So, we went to the bishop (like a pastor or minister) of our congregation. We asked him if he knew of anyone who might like extra help this Christmas season. He referred us to the leader of our women's aide organization who usually handles this type of service.

When the ear doctor asked this kind woman (who gives more than she ever takes) if there was someone we could help she stared blankly back at him. She was a bit shocked and confused.

He explained that we'd set aside some money to anonymously help someone else in our congregation. Still a bit bewildered she replied back to him, "Well, right now everyone has a job so I don't think there's a real need."

We were both a bit dumbfounded and shocked.

Never in my life have I wanted to help someone and not had a clue who needed my help. I'm at a total loss for what to do. Should we just go to the store and use that money to buy a bunch of kid's gifts and give them to the salvation army? Or buy a bunch of food and give it to a local shelter? Thoughts?

Proud of herself

I have to brag here a little bit because I only have to find 2 more gifts for my loved ones. Check your calendar, it's only Dec 11th and I'm practically done! Not that impressive for my mom since she was pretty much done with her shopping 4 months ago, but a record for me.

Plus, I didn't set one foot into the mall and I got quite a few handmade gifts.


What's that?

You've never won something on a blog giveaway? That's a crying shame. I once got a really awesome pair of tennis shoes FOR FREE from a great blog giveaway and Your Heart Out. I love this kind of marketing that stores are doing and think there should be more of it!

Lucky for us all, Design Mom is having a RAD giveaway on Friday. Make sure to pop over there and throw your name in the hat!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Here's the deal

You all know how much I want/need snow boots. Well, turns out there's a blog giveaway for the chance to win some FOR FREE! And I get to put my name in the hat TWICE if I add a link, so I'm gonna do it.

I need all the help I get. These boots would do right by me:

I admit it

I've got one of those horrible little colds that kind of lingers with you and doesn't really make you feel bad enough to warrant calling in sick to work. The kind where you wake up in the morning and wonder who replaced your brain with a 20 lb bowling ball. The kind where you drag your sorry body to the shower in the hopes that the steam will loosen up the nasty ball of mucus that's lodged itself behind your nose, pressing with ruthless accuracy on both the head-ache inducing button and the ear clogging trigger. (eustation tubes...thanks ear doctor!)

So here I am at work and this little cold has taught me something about myself. Something my mother would be horrified to learn.

Turns out that I only cover my mouth when I cough if someone else is looking. If not, I just let those little germies fly. Gross, right?

Totally gross.

Lesson to co-workers: Bring Purell to work.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Roscoe to the rescue

When my little sister Maggie and I were little we would lay on our backs to watch TV. Our entertainment center had two cabinet doors on it's front and as we'd watch our feet would mindlessly, repeatedly open and close the doors. I'm pretty sure this drove my mother insane. Insane to the the point where she made a decree that there would be no TV in our home Monday through Thursday.

I remember being so PISSED at her for taking away TV watching privileges, but also thanking my lucky stars that at least I still had TGIF. I mean, really, what 10 year old girl could have missed step by step in 1991 and still hold her head up at elementary school the next Monday?

Along a similar vein, the ear doctor have recently decided to take up a new challenge. Lately we've felt that we need to dedicate some specific time for family. As a result, we've decided that we aren't going to watch any TV at all 2 days a week. On Sunday and Monday our usually burning hot TV will get a little rest. We won't be watching Amazing Race or Heros at their regularly scheduled times (thanks DVR), so don't come up to us and spoil the endings, alright?

Last night was our trial run. After making dinner with some friends we came back home at 8:30 and sat around looking at each other. For a minute we weren't real sure how to fill our time for the next 2 hours.

But, don't you worry, we thought of a few things to do:

Thank goodness we got a dog...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Hostess

Know someone who loves to throw parties? I do...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Blogger

We bloggers have to stick together, right? Here are some great finds that fellow bloggers are selling.

1. Nantaka Joy "I Love" Journal $12 2. Awesome gift labels from Stuck labels $6.25/sheet 3. Paper suitcase and stationary $38 4. Armelle Jewelry $50 5. Rad motivational prints $12

Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Tree hugger

1. rethink t-shirt $22 2. Hemp bag $65 3. Harvest membership to a local CSA Price ranges, but a half share at the one close to me costs $400/20 weeks 4. Sigg waterbottle $25 5. Ting Ting Bracelet $20 6. EcoDesign: The sourcebook $35

Christmas gift guide: Grandma


Three cheers for NICOLA! You will be getting a whole year's subscription for free! Watch your email this morning!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Stocking stuffers

1. AMC gift card (I LOOOOOVE getting these!) 2. She and Him CD $12 (Paste magazine voted this the best CD of 2008) 3. Oranges (these are always in the toe of our stockings) 4. Warm new socks $12 5. Cute magnets $5


Last week I got a card in the mail saying that if I renew my subscription to Domino I can send a year long subscription FOR FREE to a friend.

Well, I can't think of anyone I know who would want it who doesn't already get it. So, following in Nicole from a Little Sussy's footsteps, I'm giving it away.

Yup, leave a comment (and your email address) and a year of Domino could be yours for free!

The offer is only good until tomorrow so I need to pick and winner tomorrow morning and get their mailing info ASAP, so make sure you check back early tomorrow and watch your email.

Christmas gift guide: Brother-in-law

One of my most difficult people to shop for. Not that he's picky in the slightest....he just doesn't really like having a ton of "stuff"

1. Leatherman $80 2. Cabela's Gift Card 3. How Doctors Think (not that he has time to read anything for fun...) $ 11 4. Biking gloves $26 5. Pink Abercrombie T-shirt (wink) $25

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas gift guide: Eskimo

1. Glittens $25 2. Ugg Summit boots $250 3. Dakine beanie $25 4. Helly Hansen base layer essentials $40 (bottoms) 5. Handknit cable twist scarf $45

Christmas gift guide: New Mommy

1. Pee pee teepees $12 2. Puj baby tub $99 3. Nursing Cover $35 4. Pantemm round changing mat $30 5. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (she'll need something to read and laugh at when she's up at night) $12