Reasons to get out of bed…

Posts tagged ‘holiday’

Happy Halloween 2013

Happy Halloween! I LOVE Halloween! It’s just a fun holiday! Plus, if it’s not “your thing,” you don’t have to participate, there’s no real pressure. My favorite part is the costumes! Home made, store-bought; funny, silly, scary, cute: whatever, I love it! 

This is our first Halloween in our new house so I don’t know how many trick-or-treaters we’ll see. In our last place, the most we saw in any one year during our 4 years was 5 kids and the least we saw was 1… ugh last year was depressing…. I hope we get a ton at our new place, but I have low hopes. There are a few 12 year olds on the street but that’s it. Also, we’re at the top of a large hill. I don’t know how many kids want to burn a lot of calories just to get chocolate…. But here’s hoping!

My office invites all of the staff’s kids to come in and trick-or-treat a few days before Halloween. They also set up a conference room as a photography studio and they take pictures of all of the kids. Since Baby Girl can’t eat candy yet (and I doubt anyone is handing out oatmeal…), I was pumped about the pictures!

Baby Girl was a dancing monkey:

Happy Monkey

But she was super hot and uncomfortable, so most of her photo shoot looked like this:

I'm probably a bad parent, but I think this picture is hilarious! (it wasn't a fun moment, but the picture is funny!)

I’m probably a bad parent, but I think this picture is hilarious! (it wasn’t a fun moment, but the picture is funny!)

Her costume lasted about a minute and a half. 😦 We took it off and the receptionist was nice enough to take a few pictures of Baby Girl in her skeleton outfit (it glows in the dark!). Yeah, always have a back up plan!

The dancing monkey costume may not have made it, but I figured I keep the tutu anyway...

The dancing monkey costume may not have made it, but I figured I’d keep the tutu anyway…

Happy Halloween!

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Shopping Locally

(I thought I posted this 2 weeks ago… oops! Sorry!)

Let me start by saying that I love online shopping. It’s so easy and convenient! My boss jokes that I should own stock in Amazon.com considering how much I love it (have you used their wishlist feature? I love it! I wish everyone I know had a public wishlist – it’s like a registry for life! If someone has a birthday coming up, I’d way rather get a gift they need/want than something random that I may love but they may hate… or already own!)

However, a local radio station played a PSA around Thanksgiving that really resonated with me and I thought I would share it. It was advocating for the idea of shopping locally and how valuable that can be for a local economy.

I think that’s a really common and basic concept, that shopping at local boutiques and shops legitimately help your neighbors. In my city, most of those local shops close before 6 pm (I get out of work at 6 pm), have no parking, and are so beyond my budget that it’s laughable. However, I don’t know that for certain… because they are inconvenient for me, I have never explored them. But I am determined to try this year. Who knows, I might find something really cool that I can actually afford!

Shop small

Something else the PSA said that I had never thought about was gifting certificates to local restaurants and pizza places. I don’t usually give gift certificates because they are no fun to unwrap… but I love locally owned places. They often are amazingly yummy with great ambiance. If you live in the New England area, I would recommend you check out the Phantom Gourmet‘s website – it can help you find new places to try or give you more information. It’s also helpful if you’re trying to find a place to meet someone in an area you don’t typically visit (ie you’re meeting a friend who lives far away at a place equidistant between you…)

difference in community

Finally, the radio station pointed out that even large chains can help your local economy. Physically shopping at the store is even helpful because that store employs the people in your neighborhood. If they have customers, they need employees, and those people are part of your local community. As opposed to buying something online, where the money goes to a warehouse who knows where… Buying online will help you employ people outside of your community…

The point the radio station was trying to make was that online shopping can be easy but you’re shipping your money into other communities instead of keeping any of it in your own community. That thought really stuck with me.

Community Finances

I’m not trying to preach to you or tell you what to do. But I’m really going to make an effort this year to not buy anything online, to actually visit stores. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to look up prices and sales online, but my wallet will be opening in front of a cashier and not my monitor.

Happy holiday shopping!

Thanksgiving Recap

After all my whining and complaining about how I don’t like Thanksgiving, it actually turned out to be not so bad. I may have also realized that I don’t hate Thanksgiving, I hate all of the stress and obligation associated with 2 Thanksgivings.

I have been blissfully in love with my wonderful boyfriend for over ten years, but we’ve only started “sharing” Thanksgiving in the last few years. We would spend (late) lunch with one family and then drive 2 hours to have dinner with the other family (total driving for the day: 5 hours). So lately, Thanksgiving feels rushed and stressful and gross.

Unfortunately for my boyfriend, he was super sick on Thanksgiving. He stayed home napping on the couch, and I only had to attend one meal this year! The one with my family where all of my favorite comfort foods would be! (His mother is a wonderful cook… but their family eats different things than mine on Thanksgiving… so it doesn’t have that cozy feeling that I associate with my mom’s cooking… and I’m sure my boyfriend feels the same way about the meal at my family’s house, and that’s ok.) It was really nice. No stress, no feeling late. I got to enjoy the whole meal. And for the first time in years, I got to enjoy a nap after the meal! Lovely!

Now I remember why people actually like this holiday!

I’m so thankful for so many things in life: my wonderful boyfriend, my family, my friends, my job, my health, and not getting pulled over when I sped past that cop on the highway on Thanksgiving! (oops!) My life is wonderful and I’m so happy with all the little blessings!

I hope you are able to feel the same with your life. Happy Thanksgiving!

This was NOT my Thanksgiving this year and I’m thankful for that!

Thanksgiving – Vegie Humor

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

This is the little centerpiece at my parents house (my father is also a vegetarian). I warn them every year: someday, I shall kidnap it… if I ever do my own Thanksgiving meal. However, whether on their table or mine, it always cheers me up!

Give thanks!

(and yes, I was super upset the year I noticed his little broken toe!)

Happy Valentine’s Day

…well… belatedly.

I hate that my phone won’t e-mail out pictures while I’m at work… for some reason it waits until I leave the building. Odd. So that’s why I’m late.

Right, on to Valentine’s Day…

Like many people, I think that Valentine’s Day is a silly Hallmark holiday. However, I do think it’s a nice day to check in with myself. A day to make myself feel happy and loved! A day to remind myself that I’m worth it!

So I wore some heels that make me feel sexy:

 

Downside: they also make me realize how far away my cube is from the bathroom (really far) and how much water I drink in a day (a lot)! But they sure are HOT and make me feel pretty… oh so pretty.

I wore a heart necklace that makes me giggle:

It’s made from Lego’s! (and it’s new)

And I wore some boyfriend pride:

It’s a scarf in his Scottish tartan: Wallace. To see him in his kilt, click here or here.

I felt pretty rocking all day! I make a pretty great valentine if I do say so myself.

I wasn’t planning on seeing the wonderful boyfriend on V. Day because I had class… and he goes to bed at the same time as is stereotypical for senior citizens… and I was completely ok with that, I knew our love would still be there on the 15th. I like to think I’m pretty good at assessing my own needs, and I knew that I didn’t need a whole hurrah (and I’ve never thought of it as a gift giving holiday). I would have been happy with a post-it note left on the table saying “Don’t forget, I love you and think you’re great.”

So of course I was surprised to come home and find this:

A bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries.

Bah, I look goofy in the back. (but I’m enjoying my treat)

He’s really wonderful and stayed up late just for me (which was the best part). I also have to say, this is a terrific by-product of dating an architect. He found a picture on Edible Arrangements, was appalled by the price for how little they give you, so he built one himself… with 2 pounds of strawberries. (I’m actually a little shocked by how much work he put into making the whole thing stand up)

He’s adorable. Plus, when we first started dating he wooed me with chocolate covered strawberries… so I guess it’s our thing.

Anyway, so that was how I spent my Valentine’s Day! How did you spend yours? Were you a good Valentine to yourself?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Shopping, Eating, Resting, Feeling Accomplished

Well, I am 100% done with shopping and all of my holiday cards will be put in the mail tomorrow morning (let’s hope they all arrive before Christmas… most of them will be close, VERY close.). I’m never this close to the deadline, but life happens and I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I’ve had a busy but wonderful week. My best friend stayed with me the last few days. We went shopping, we went out to a lovely dinner with our other best friend (we’re a group of 3), and we stayed up until after midnight every night. But it was worth it because I was so glad to see her. I have missed her since she moved half way across the country.

The three of us, 2 summers ago

Today is like my Friday too, because I have tomorrow off. Plus, my company is being wonderful this year (as they have been the last 2 years) and they are giving us the entirety of next week off, paid. I’m so excited. It’s the best vacation ever because everyone in the building is off and I know when I come back, I won’t have hundreds of e-mail like on other vacations (where I’m the only one taking time off). I’m so excited!

I’ve scheduled a date with my DVR for some of my vacation time. I’m planning to spend an entire day sitting on my couch, in my pajamas, eating my favorite snack foods (which are, admittedly, pretty lame: fruit and popcorn, there might be some chocolate though) and catching up on weeks of shows that I missed during the semester. There may also be some kitty cuddling planned for that day, we’ll see if it happens. It may sound lame to you, but it sounds awesome to me and I can’t wait. It’s been a really rough few months and I’m very much looking forward to some rest and relaxation.

Also, I heard back from my professor. For one of my classes, I ran a playmaking workshop with a community theater. We would get together on Wednesday nights and tell stories and improv some scenes, and I would take copious notes. That 27 page “paper” which I was excited about, it was actually a play. And it took me awhile to write (it’s hard to throw out people’s personal life stories). Finals were over on Saturday, grades were due on Tuesday or Wednesday… I slipped that play in on Monday!

And I just found out that my professor is awesome and graded me anyway. I had been hating on the first draft, but I thought the second draft was ok. I was thrilled when I got an e-mail today that said “I really liked this script, oh self-abusive one!” She knows that I have a “loud, negative, inner voice.” Some may view it as a flaw, but as she pointed out to me, it’s also a strength because it pushes me to always do my best. I try not to bullshit myself, I know when I’m not putting in the effort. I’m really happy that she liked it!!! Because I certainly stressed out and put in the effort on this one (although I think I learned a lot about what to do next time).

Now, I’m just going to take her advice and edit this draft. Then I have to show the 3rd draft to the community theater group that helped me craft the play. I hope they like it, too. But I won’t have to show them until January.

I am going to focus on all of the good things though. I stress myself out and beat myself up a lot. However, I also know that can get old. You have to celebrate the wins too!

So I’m psyched to:

  • Celebrate someone liking my play/hard work
  • Be done with shopping
  • Be done with cards (aka mailbox love – sending love to someone’s mailbox)

I’m going to enjoy my time off by:

  • RELAXING and not feeling like I have to do anything
  • Catch up with some friends
  • reading for pleasure
  • RUNNING AGAIN!

It’s going to be a great week and I can’t wait to enjoy it.

 

Yay for Productivity!

My weekend was totally productive and I’m very excited about it.

I managed to:

  • Clean my house like crazy (it doesn’t really look like it though because most of the hours were spent putting away rogue things like left-out Halloween decorations)
  • Finish my final paper for one of my classes. 27 pages! Woo! 
  • Started my holiday cards (although I started at 10:30 at night… so my handwriting is terrible and I’m not sure I was coherent)
  • Not my actual card, I sent out Susan G Komen cards... but now I feel bad that I didn't do silly, festive cards. I feel like I'm sending my friends a reminder of cancer...

So I’m officially done with this semester and I am psyched about it!

What motivated me?

  • My best friend coming to stay with me (she moved half way across the country) and her house is always immaculate.
  • I CANNOT fail a class!!!! (I know how much I’m spending on them and I’m not letting that kind of money go to waste)
  • Um… Christmas is this weekend… at this rate, my cards will be New Years cards…

* N.B. I totally thought I posted this on Monday, just found it in my drafts! Oops!

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