Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Hot Chocolate and Some 'Elf'

Sorry for the delay in posts!  We were having too much fun with my little brother in town!

Friday night particularly stands out, because we enjoyed homemade hot chocolate, a little Sequence, and our premier viewing (this season) of 'Elf'.  
Always a good laugh!

**I would omit the vanilla extract next time . . . definitely add whipped cream and a candy cane for extra goodness!**

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pooker's in Town!

Sunday night, my little brother came into town for a week's stay.  Initially, it was going to be a surprise for Steven's birthday, but Steven started feeling neglected by my brother (they have a sort of bromance) due to the fact that he will be gone for two years; (deserves its own post) and so we ended up telling him a week after the tickets were booked.  Needless to say, Steven was excited!

Monday and Tuesday night were spent:
 -making cinnamon rolls --something about Christopher and Steven together calls for cinnamon rolls.  Tradition maybe?
-I started reading the book, "Christmas Jars" by Jason F. Wright . . . so far, very sweet
-My brother and I attempted to watch "I'll Be Home for Christmas" . . .terrible/awful but full of holiday cheer, I suppose!
-Hanging out and spending some good quality time together

We love having him here!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Treat Bags, Photos & Our Christmas Cards

We started to get our act together around here Sunday afternoon . . .

I made this Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow as gifts for the women that I visit teach.  They were a warm up for the big holiday baking day that I have planned for next week!  You better believe that I'm going to have an evening dedicated to Christmas treats!

We also took some pictures for our Christmas card.  Isn't this pup a gem? The red bow just kills me!  

I'm a little excited to get my printed cards back.  This year I ordered from Invitation Box . . . I snagged a good deal on Groupon and am anticipating their arrival!  I'm hoping to send them out SOON!

BTW . . . I LOVE this time of year due to all of the Christmas cards received.  I've enjoyed every single one . . keep them coming!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Can Finally Breathe

At last, I can say that the Ward Christmas Party is over and that I am now able to focus on the holidays for our own family.  It took up A LOT of time.  I think my neighbor/committee's coordinator/friend Michelle can say the same!  I heard it went well, unfortunately I have been taking a technology course on Saturday mornings and because it was a breakfast ('A Cozy Christmas Morning' - to be exact) . . . I missed out.

Friday night:  I did, in fact, focus on holiday cheer by finishing up last minute breakfast dish RSVPs and finished cutting and tying yarn on Christmas ornaments for the kids.  Dang! I really wish that I had seen how everything turned out!

Saturday:  Steven and I composed our Christmas list for family and friends.  Thank goodness for Target and Amazon.  My family's gifts will be shipped directly to my parents' house and then I get the task of wrapping presents Christmas Eve . . . sure beats extra luggage!


Last night, Steven, Megan, Austin, and I headed down to Metro Pizza  close to UNLV's campus.  It's pizza heaven.  Best I've had in this town. . . hands down!

Pizza Joy!

I needed to end the night by doing something festive and because Austin's house is a yard full of holiday wonder . . . we had to check out the Christmas collection!

As you can see, it did not disappoint!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

West Coast Christmas

I had visions of non-stop creativity and holiday bliss.  In a sense it's true, but not exactly what I had envisioned. 
Maybe it's still too early?  Maybe ward Christmas parties take up a lot of time (I mean it in a good way!)?  Perhaps real life gets in the way (ie. work, weekend class, errands, laundry, dishes)?  Or perhaps the holiday cheer will kick into high gear once my little brother gets here this weekend, school gets out, and we head off to Illinois?  We're excited for the later!

Life has been busy but it's also been good to us.

As promised, I am staying true to my countdown to Christmas . . .

I love Brooke White.  I loved her years ago on American Idol . . .I thought she was like sunshine . . . so cheerful and nice and carefree.  Her song "California Christmas" is FREE on iTunes  right now!  Living in Las Vegas, I can relate to this song --minus the sand and the beach.

It's catchy and I've been listening to it over and over again, today.

Go download it!

A Birthday and a Treat

December 5th's festivities focused on Steven's birthday rather than the holidays.  I'm a little sad that his birthday falls in December . . .

1.  Boys are hard to shop for.
2.  Gifts and surprises need to be split up throughout the year.

Mr. D finally caught up to me age-wise!  And he made it know that it was a great birthday indeed, so I'm pretty happy with that. 

Originally, I did not know how I would feel about this ice cream.  I like peppermint in small doses, usually with lots and lots of chocolate.  However, I went with the seasonal option.  I'm glad I did!  It's so creamy and it's only 100 calories per 1/2 cup . . . very little guilt there!  BUT I really wanted this to be even better . . .a brownie possibly?  So, in lieu of Steven's birthday, his mom made brownies and I took one home to eat with my Peppermint Ice Cream.  Just what I've been craving and oh so perfect!

A VERY Happy 29th Birthday to my sweet huz!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Card Keepsakes

This evening, I was in the mood to wrap, trim, and tie ribbons because tomorrow is Steven's birthday!  He's finally catching up to me.  Don't worry, he's made these last two months well-known that I'm older!

Tonight's project came from an idea I found a while back on Pinterest (of course!).  I can't part with Christmas card photos, because I love to see how much our friends and family have changed over the years.  I needed something to keep the cards organized and out for viewing.

And this is what came to be!
Materials needed:

1" Book Rings
Hole Punch
Various pieces of ribbon of different sizes and textures (depending on what you like)

Perfect for a coffee table or for keeping under the tree!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Shopping

I made a good little jump start to my Christmas shopping!  The Vegas outlets are fabulous and with the great prices PLUS coupons, they can't be beat.  So yay for some progress in the Christmas shopping department!

I also wanted to share that our Christmas decor is up and running! Besides the fact that we need a normal size tree . . . we'll wait until the good ones go on clearance; things are pretty merry around here!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

On Replay

And so it is the time of year where we fall asleep to "The Holiday".  That's exactly what we did Sunday night.  It's a favorite of ours . . . Cameron Diaz is a bit obnoxious but I absolutely adore Jude Law! Such a doll.

I think a lot of it is the cottage in England.  Simply charming to the point that I wish that, I too, was there.

Speaking of other media on replay . . .

I love LOVE this song from Cider Sky

Saturday, December 1, 2012

25 Days Until Christmas

I've decided to do something fun in order to gear up for the Christmas holidays.  My blog has been slacking and because I loved doing "30 Days of Gratitude" (it made me feel more festive) I am doing "Capturing December" via Instagram AS WELL AS my own "25 Days Until Christmas" via the blog.

What does this entail?  Well, everyday until Christmas, I am going to do a little something to celebrate the season.  It may be a holiday movie, a craft, holiday baking, choosing festive flavors at restaurants/cafes, or doing something out in the community.  An 'interactive advent calendar' per say.  Excited to participate and excited to share . . . I have some fun ideas!

This weekend we have our good friends Matt and Loral visiting us from Vancouver, Washington.  We haven't seen them since the day we moved from UT -- over two years ago.  It's just like where we left off.  We miss them immensely, but are grateful to have them here for the weekend!  I'll share what we have been up to later this week.

Matt and Loral are foodies . . . aka my kind of people.  So they wanted to be able to enjoy the variety of chains that are good but not on every corner . . .  ie. Cafe Rio, Yogurtland, and some other places that are unique to this city.

We had a late night craving for frozen yogurt and so we took them to Yogurtland (my favorite!) where I enjoyed December 1st's day of being festive.

I ordered . . . White Chocolate Macadamia, Peppermint Hot Chocolate sprinkled with Andes Mints, and Andes Peppermint Crunch!