Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Wishlist: 2017

How are we all doing with the Christmas shopping?  Are you feeling good about it?  Are you done?  I have to say, I felt like I was really on the ball this year.  I started my shopping in early November, and basically finished on Black Friday.  I took a day off work last week to complete a few odds and ends and stocking stuffers, things I couldn't get on-line, and with that I was completely, totally FINISHED.  Man, it felt good.  I'm so looking forward to setting up my little elfie workshop on Saturday, putting a Christmas movie on, pouring some rum & egg nog, and getting my wrapping done!!

So, as I prepare myself to wrap on Saturday, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share my Christmas Wishlist this year!!  Confession:  I was almost, almost tempted to suggest no gifts this year.  Just buy for the kids.  I have a feeling my family would have jumped at it, but there's still that little smidge of kid left in me, and I just couldn't get my head around not having anything to open on Christmas morning.  I'm getting close, though... maybe, just maybe, I'm almost grown up??

Here's the usual disclaimer:  Gifts are not important.  What IS important is the love and time spent with family and friends during the holiday season.  I do not expect to receive everything on my list, I just put it together for fun as little "wants" cross my mind.  Once again, I'm extremely grateful that as I get older, my list is made up more and more of just simple "wants" rather than "needs".  I am fortunate and blessed.

But a girl still needs a few ribbons and bows beneath the tree, am I right?!?  So here it is, without further ado... My 2017 Wishlist:

A Mark Stone Sens T-shirt

I made my Wishlist before the Sens went into the crapper.  *sigh*  It's been a rough couple of weeks to be a Sens fan.  BUT...Mark Stone still rocks my world, and I'd proudly wear his name and number on my back!!

Gord Downie's "Secret Path" Album

It's no secret that I was deeply saddened by the loss of The Tragically Hip's frontman, Gord Downie, this past fall.  I've been a huge fan of Gord's music since my early teen years.  I have made an effort to purchase all of The Hip's work that has been produced to date, but I have yet to buy Gord's "Secret Path" project, which became his driving life force in his final months.  Despite battling terminal brain cancer, Gord Downie put his heart and soul into helping the Canadian Indigenous people who have suffered mightily, and told the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young boy who died trying to escape from a Residential School  in the 1960's.  I watched Gord's live performance of the songs, as it was televised several days after his death, and found the music and lyrics to be gut-wrenching and beautiful.  My favourite track is "Son".  I'd love to be able to sit down and immerse myself in the album at home.

SweetLegs Leggings

I don't know how it happened, but I have become a leggings girl.  I own multiple pairs and from different stores and brands, but so far, SweetLegs are by far my favourite.  I love them so much, I almost became a rep for the company this past fall.  A new pair would never go to waste in my closet!!

A long, black tunic-style sweater to wear with leggings

For a girl who owns as many leggings as I do, it's kind of a key wardrobe component that I am missing.  Here's hoping Santa can find me one that will suit my style!!

Book Club books for 2018

Our book club selections have been made for 2018, and as usual, I'm hoping to get one or two for Christmas!  This year's books that I need are:
Christine by Stephen King
They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars
The Child Finder by Rene Denfield
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

iTunes Gift Cards

I'm not a big fan of gift cards for Christmas, but since I rarely buy CD's anymore, an iTunes gift card definitely comes in handy!  I've been holding off on downloading Taylor Swift's new album, so if I got a gift card for Christmas, I know what I would put it towards!

A Nutcracker decoration

This has become the new "breadmaker" on my list.  Every year, I wish for a Nutcracker - because I swear, it's the only Christmas decoration I do not have!!  The problem is, I'd like a fairly big, substantial Nutcracker - one that can stand int he corner of the room or beside the tree - and they are pricey, usually way over our spending cap.  I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for one on sale after Christmas, though!

A Salad Spinner

Ugh.  I hate salad, you guys.  But part of the reason why I hate salad is that I hate making salad.  And washing the lettuce is such a pain in the ass job!  Would I enjoy salads more if I had a spinner that made washing the lettuce easier?  I don't know.  Maybe.

An Instant Pot

My family is going to read this and say, "Huh?  What?  She did not have this on her list!!"  But it's a new addition.  And honestly, I'm torn on it.  I have friends who swear by them and say they are miracle machines.  And I do think there's a huge advantage to having one, in that I always forget to take stuff out of the freezer in the morning to defrost.  They tell me an Instant Pot works wonders on frozen food in a short amount of time.  But. BUT!  I'm single.  I have no one else to feed.  I never use my slow cooker.  It's yet another kitchen appliance to find a place for.  (Literally, my breadmaker is sitting on the floor in the corner.  I use it - LOTS - but I have no place to store it.)  How often would I actually make use of it?  I just don't know...


And while any old socks would do, I especially have had my eye on those ones with funny messages on the soles of them.  I think they're so cute.


Who couldn't use a new pair of jammies?

A slotted metal spoon

One of those stupid little kitchen things that you never think of until you need one...

A panda mug that changes colours when you pour hot water into it

I'm a sucker for mugs.  Do I need more mugs?  No.  I don't have room in my cupboards for the mugs I have.  But I've been in love with this one ever since I heard about it.  Please, Santa??  Please????

An electric hand mixer

I have a hand mixer, one that works quite well in fact, but my beaters are in bad shape.  They're kind of starting to rust.  Might be time to get myself a new one...

A  board game, something like Clue

I know.  I hate games.  Why would I ask for a game?  Well, it has dawned on me that I have, like, ZERO games.  And I keep thinking it might be fun to organize a game night this winter with friends, or have some at my place if the kids are ever over visiting.  I have fond memories of playing Clue as a kid, so that's the one that came to mind.  I think it would be fun to introduce to Caden and Danica over the holiday season, as I'm hoping to have them for a sleepover at some point.

Gift cards for the movie theatre

Another thing I'm hoping to do over the holidays is go to the MOVIES!!!  God, I love going to the movies.  I'd love to take the kids to see Ferdinand, and I'm also dying to see Pitch Perfect 3 or The Greatest Showman.  Gift cards to the movies are never a bad gift when it comes to me!!

Well, I think that's it.  And that's quite long enough.  I'd be thrilled if I even just got one or two things off this list.  It's all fun stuff (except for maybe the salad spinner, but hey, I know one of those 2018 resolutions will be to lose weight, and what better way to do that than with salad?  BLAH.)

What's on YOUR 2017 Wishlist??

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday Randoms: Hollying & Jollying

Oh, you guys!!  I'm just having so much fun hollying & jollying these days!   The past few weeks have been brimming with fun Christmas activities and events.  And over the past few days, it has finally SNOWED!!!  My heart is overjoyed!!

Here's some random for this snowy, festive Tuesday:

  • So, I intended today's post to be a photo dump of all the fun Christmassy things I've been up to these past few weeks, but my iCloud is not co-operating.  Every picture I save, it says, "Failed - No File".  And I'm like, "um, hello, iCloud, the file is RIGHT THERE.  Come on."  Bah.  So I do apologize for this picture-less post.  I don't know what to do about the iCloud issue.
  • I have literally been having a ball these past few weeks getting my Christmas on.  Parties with friends & family, cookie exchange, book club, Christmas House Tour, Santa Claus Parade, and so on... It's been wonderful!!  That said, things are kind of winding down a bit, and I'm really excited about that too... quieter evenings and weekends to spend sipping hot tea or rum & egg nog, making last-minute goodies in the kitchen, wrapping gifts, watching movies... I enjoy the quiet, peaceful moments of the holiday season just as much, and I'm going to embrace them.
  • This past Saturday, I had a baking day with my mom.  Every year, I demand that she make Grandma's iced sugar cookies, and every year she laments that they are a pain to make and she hates doing it.  I decided this year to ask for a lesson, so that one of these years when she absolutely refuses to make them, I'll at least have an idea of how to go about it!  We ended up having a wonderful day in her kitchen, rolling out the dough, choosing cookie cutters to use, and then icing and "sprinkling" them once they had cooled.  Mom says the job goes better with two people, and it went so smoothly she wondered if maybe Grandma was supervising us... I'd like to think she was!  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
  • I took last Thursday off to finish my Christmas shopping, and I'd say I'm literally 99% done.  I still need to do one final grocery trip for fun Christmas snacks and booze, and a few little touches to complete a couple of gifts, but otherwise... DONE!  I intend on doing the bulk of the wrapping on Saturday, but I am still waiting on a few parcels to arrive.. I'm hoping to have them by Saturday, but I'm not 100% sure I will.  Which kind of makes me panic, but I keep reminding myself there's still another whole WEEK for them to arrive.  There's time.
  • Things I've really been enjoying this Christmas season:  My David's Tea Advent Calendar that was gifted to me; my giant elf, Lyndonne, running around and getting into mischief (Lyndonne is on the Loose!!); taking time each evening to watch something Christmassy on TV (whether it be part of a movie, a TV special, anything holiday related); the pine cone Advent Calendar that was handed out at church last week with a little message to read each day; the Pentatonix Christmas album I downloaded from iTunes. Little things that are making my heart happy and full right now.
  • On Sunday, we celebrated my niece Danica's birthday, as she will be turning 9 on Friday.  It gives me a little pang to think that my wee girl is turning 9... the years just fly by so fast!  We had a great afternoon of family time, and it made me feel so good.  It would also have been my dad's birthday on Sunday, so it was nice to spend the day together, all of us.  
  • Have I mentioned that I'm happy it's snowing?  I'm SO HAPPY IT'S SNOWING!!  And we have cold temps predicted from now until Christmas, so I think the odds of having a White Christmas are pretty much in my favour... Woo Hoo!!
Well, I think that's about it today!  What's going on in your world??

Friday, December 01, 2017

Hello, December!!!

Happy Friday friends!!  And HAPPY DECEMBER!!! 

I admit, I'm feeling a little rough today.  I curled late game last night, and we seemed to have to do a pile of sweeping. LOL  My arms are like jelly, but on top of that, I'm always too wound up post-curling, and end up staying up way later than I normally would.  Last night, it was 1 AM before I finally konked out.  And I didn't even have a drink, but I feel hungover.  Just tired and achy.  Blech.  (but we won, so... worth it? I guess?)

Anyways, whatever.  No time to be tired and hungover today, because it's FRIDAY!  And it's DECEMBER 1st!!!  So much excitement going down in the coming days, I can't even contain myself!!!  Here's what up in my world right now:

  • So, I've had this idea brewing in my mind since last December, when several of my friends were posting the daily shenanigans of their Elf on the Shelf elves.  I have this giant elf that my aunt won in a silent auction and then gave to me.  Most of my friends and relatives think he's creepy AF, but I think he's quite delightful and I have learned to enjoy tormenting the general public with my giant creepy elf.  So, I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if Lyndonne got into mischief too?"  I thought it might get a few laughs if I started posting my big ol' elf getting into things during the month of December.  The idea would cross my mind every now and then throughout the year, and I would smile and think, "yeah, that'll be fun".  It wasn't until I brought Lyndonne out of storage a week ago that I suddenly realize, "Crap.  I actually have to come up with stuff for a giant elf to do!!"  The idea has blossomed, and I have a list of fun for Lyndonne to get into over the coming weeks.  I was so excited to get up this morning and post Day 1.  Lyndonne is ON THE LOOSE!!!
  • I also got to have chocolate for breakfast.  Nothing quite as exciting as opening that first little door on the el-cheapo Advent Calendar!!
  • I also have a "big girl" Advent Calendar... a David's Tea Advent Calendar that was gifted to me!!  I've been dying to crack into it, and I excitedly removed the little Day 1 tin of "Let It Snow" tea to bring to work with me today.  Can't wait to try it out.
  • I'm hoping to have time for a quick nap after work today to re-charge the batteries, then I will be off to the annual Cookie Exchange I take part in at my friend Sharon's, and I'm very much looking forward to it!
  • Tomorrow will be a day of tidying up the house and prepping, as the ladies will be arriving late afternoon for our annual Christmas get-together!  This year, we are having a Mitten Mayhem party - where you take a pair of mittens or gloves and fill them with little Christmas goodies, and then play a game to exchange the mittens.  (Which reminds me... I need to look up a game to play for the exchange!)  There will be delicious snacks, and...well...probably not a whole lot of drinks, as many of my friends are currently expecting babies, but I still expect it to be lots of fun and have lots of laughs!
  • Sunday will be church, and then another day of prepping, this time for the Christmas House Tour!!  No, I'm not actually on the tour, but as one of the main organizers, there's still plenty to be done.  Sorting out last-minute tickets sales, delivering the door prizes to the home owners who are on the Tour this year, making food for the refreshment table... I'm sure it will all keep me busy!
  • And then Monday is the Christmas House Tour!!  One of my favourite events of the holiday season!!  Our church has been hosting this Tour for years, and I've personally been involved in the organization of it for quite a while now.  I so look forward to seeing the beautifully decorated homes, and greeting everyone out that night.  Such a festive, put-me-in-the-spirit kind of night!  Can't wait!!
There's been a lot going on the past few weeks, and while I'm soaking it all up and enjoying every minute, I am also kind of looking forward to a quieter week next week once House Tour is over... Still have Christmas Book Club Potluck coming up, but then I think most of my big Christmas parties and events are over and I'll be able to settle in, hunker down, wrap and watch movies and sip some rum & egg nog... mmm.  Bliss!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday Randoms: Christmas in the air...

Hey folks!

Well, I have to admit, I'm feeling a little on the cruddy side today.  I developed a cough about a week ago, and it seems to be at its worst today.  Weirdest "illness" I think I've ever had.  No sore throat, no other cold symptoms, just a deep cough that seems to come from the very bottom of my lungs. ugh.  Last night was the first time it has kept me up at night.  I couldn't stop coughing, and Halls were doing nothing to help because it isn't coming from my throat, it's from deeper in my chest.  So I'm feeling a little rough today because of it.

But I have NO TIME to have the Black Lung right now!  I'm carrying on as if it does not exist!  As I mentioned last week, the Christmassing began on the weekend and the next few weeks are jam-packed with festivities!!  IT'S MY FAVOURITE TIME OF YEAR!!!!

So, yes, I survived the first really Christmassy weekend of the year.  Friday evening I did a quick shopping trip to the city, and as it turns out, it wasn't as crazy as I expected for Black Friday.  I swear, the Friday before was worse.  It was fast and productive.

Saturday morning, I got up early (earlier than I normally would on a Saturday) so that I could get a good start on my Christmas baking.  I opted out of going to the Pine Lodge Christmas Market so that I could give my cookies 100% of my attention.  I got about 10 dozen cookies made total, several different varieties, and felt very accomplished.  My heart is SO happy when I'm baking Christmas cookies and listening to Christmas music!  It was my kind of heaven.

I had done as much as I could with the time I had by mid-afternoon, and decided instead of starting into another batch that a nap was a better idea.  I needed to be rested, because our company Christmas party was that evening.  I got a nice snooze in, and it was much-needed.

The party was AWESOME!  I can't remember the last time I drank and danced like that.  Seriously.  The meal was delicious, the company was wonderful, and the band literally had me dancing all.night.long.  It kind of went exactly as I hoped - I had fun, I let loose, but I didn't go completely bonkers.  I drank lots of water in between the rum & cokes and the jagerbombs, so I woke up the next morning feeling not half bad.  My biggest fear was getting sick, and I avoided that, so... WIN!  Most fun I've had in a long time.

Thanks to all the water I drank, I was able to get up the next morning and at least act like a human being, which was good because I had another full day planned!  First up was a very exciting, bustling church service, as we were celebrating the first Sunday of Advent, a baptism, AND communion - and I had been asked to serve communion, so, like I said...I had to act like a human being. lol  I made it through that and breakfast, and then we were on our way to the city with the Sunday School to see the movie "The Star".  It was super-cute, and it was such a fun bunch, but Jill was slowly going downhill at that point... Danica was being a Susie Seat Kicker behind me and driving me nuts, and at one point I even almost fell asleep.  I hung in there, though, and I was so glad I went.  It was just the perfect movie to put me in the Christmas spirit!

We went back to my sister's place, and Chris had picked up pizza, so we had a quick bite to eat, but it was starting to snow so we headed for home pretty soon after.  I got home and didn't even bother watching the Grey Cup - straight up to bed, where I put a movie on and promptly fell asleep.  I don't even think it was 8 PM.  This kid is soooo not used to rebounding from a night of partying anymore, that's for sure!

I still felt a little hungover yesterday, but I pushed through the day, and even went home and made more cookies after work.  I can be a trooper when I want to be lol.  Now today I feel even worse, but it's just because of this cough and the bad night's sleep.  I'm just going to keep pretending it's not an issue, though, because there's another full weekend ahead of fun stuff... no time to be under the weather!!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Let the Christmasing BEGIN!!!

Oh you guys...  I've been trying so hard to keep a lid on it.  Trying to make out that its "just Christmas Prep Season" and that I know it's too early.  But today, it finally feels like it's allowed!!!

Remembrance Day is over.  American Thanksgiving is over.  With a couple of clicks of my mouse this morning thanks to Black Friday sales, my shopping is mostly finished.  (BIG sigh of relief, the shopping part is always the most stressful part!)

And now?  Now?  Now it's...


Last weekend might have been my first Christmassy weekend of the season, but this weekend we really kick it into high gear.  Here's what I've got on tap:

- Tonight, I"m meeting my mom in the city and we're going to do a little shopping.  I know, I just said I was almost finished, didn't I?  Well, all I'm really looking for is some Christmas treats to fill my mittens for next weekend's Mitten Mayhem Party with friends, so it should be a pretty stress-free shopping trip.  Except that I kind of forgot it was Black Friday when I planned this shopping trip... Oh well.  We will be in no rush, so hopefully I can calmly handle the shoppers who are still out this evening!  Also looking forward to supper out too!

- Tomorrow is officially START THE CHRISTMAS BAKING DAY!!!  I have all the ingredients, and a whole day to just putter in the kitchen, listening to my Christmas CDs (which I found!  woo hoo!!!), and getting my bake on.  I'm taking part in a Cookie Exchange next Friday, so I'm hoping to get the bulk of the cookies made tomorrow.

- There is also a big Christmas Market on not far from home tomorrow that I'm thinking of hitting up.  I don't need anything, and I'm pretty tapped out when it comes to the finance department (being done shopping so early is both a blessing and a curse), so it might be best if I don't go and just stick with the baking.  But I LOVE the cheerful Christmas feeling at these things, it will be hard to resist.  Maybe if I leave the purse at home and just go to enjoy the experience?  I just might do that...

- Tomorrow night is our company Christmas party, which is always what I consider to be the official "kick-off" to Christmas!  My first year working here at Mountainview (almost 14 years ago! ack!) I made a deal with some of the guys that I would not sing Christmas carols until the day of the Christmas party.  Well guess what, lads... tomorrow is the day!!!  I can't wait for the evening out.  It's been a long time since I "let my hair down", so to speak, and while I'm not intending to let Sadie out, I do intend on having a good time.  Bring it!!!

- Sunday is also going to be jam-packed with fun!! Church will be a bustling service, as we are celebrating the first Sunday of Advent and a baptism as well. Advent is my favourite, and I'm so excited for it to finally begin!!

- After church, I have a quick meeting with our Lay Supervision Team, and then we'll be off to the movie theatre, as the Sunday School is going to an afternoon showing of "The Star", and I'm tagging along.  I love going to the movies, I love this bunch of kids, and I LOVE anything that's related to Christmas. Sign. me. up!!!

I'm literally jittery with excitement over all the fun that lies ahead.  Let the hollying & jollying BEGIN!!! :)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Random Thursday Things

  • I actually started writing a completely different blog post this morning.  I was having a bit of a vent session because I felt a little bombarded yesterday - I was getting emails from all directions with a variety of requests and questions.  When things come firing at me all at once like that, I tend to get overwhelmed and stressed out.  But if I write a whole post about it, what good am I doing?  Just feeding the beast, right?  Today is a new day!  I deleted my whole "woe is me" post and decided to move on and let it go.
  • So, last night I kind of finished decorating.  I say "kind of" because there are a few little touches left to do - I want to add my orange slices to the dining room tree, but I didn't have any oranges last night to make them.  I also need to cut out snowflakes for the glass panels of my door.  And last but not  least, I need to put the garland on the banister, but I need an extra set of hands to help with that one.  Otherwise, I'm done, and it feels good!
  • You know what does NOT feel good?  I can't find my Christmas CD's anywhere.  I searched high and low.  They are always sitting in the corner of the dining room with my CD player.  ALWAYS.  And now, suddenly, they are gone. It's as if a weird thief broke in, combed every inch of my home, and took only the small stack of Christmas albums.  *sigh*  I know this does not seem like a big deal, but I am lost without my Justin Bieber, Blake Shelton, Elvis Presley, and Wayne Ronstadt Christmas CD's.  Decorating last night just felt wrong without them.
  • I'm a little ridiculously excited about going to Bulk Barn tomorrow after work.  I've come a long way from the first time I tried to buy stuff at Bulk Barn.  I still have a little anxiety over worrying that I'm buying too little or too much - I'm really not good at the "eyeballing" thing! - but the savings in buying it this way is worth that anxiety.  
  • I'm a little disappointed that the chip wagon in town closed earlier this week.  I had been planning on having one last snack this coming weekend.  Now I guess I'll just have to dream about that poutine all winter long... *sigh*
  • I'm very excited to get my bake on next week.  Now that the decorating part is done, I am excited to start checking things off the baking list!  I'm taking part in a Cookie Exchange on December 1st, so there's no time to waste.  
  • One of the things on my Christmas Bucket List is:  "Make Grandma's Iced Sugar Cookies with Mom".  My Grandma made the best iced sugar cookies in the world, and now Mom makes them to keep the tradition alive.  However, I know Mom finds them a pain in the butt to make, and only does them because she knows how much I love them.  I have never learned how to make them, so I think it's about time I learn!  I'm hoping to make a date with her for a lesson, maybe December 9-10 weekend.  I think every weekend is completely booked prior to that...
  • I'm not gonna lie, I'm starting to get very excited for Christmas get-togethers!  This year, I think I'm getting wound up about it extra-early because of this one I'm going to on Saturday night.  Usually the MVT Christmas Party is my first of the season (always the last weekend of November), but not this year!  It makes me feel like I can bust out the hollying & jollying even earlier!!  Woo Hoo!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday friends!  I'm trying to get back into blogging on a more regular basis (I've been hit-or-miss at best for the past few months) - so today I'm sharing what I'm loving this Wednesday!!

  • The Grinch mug that I picked up at the Onslow Christmas Craft Sale on Saturday!  I've been sipping coffee from it all week at work.  And the saying on it couldn't be more true... lol!
  • That my Christmas tree is up and the rest of the house is well on it's way to being fully decorated.  I truly do LOVE the cozy, Christmassy feel of my home when it's decorated for the holiday season.  Tonight I'm planning to decorate the dining room and kitchen, and then I'll be mostly finished.
  • My Christmas Bucket List!  I shared it on Instagram on the weekend, and so many of my friends commented on what a good idea it is.  (I have Kelle at Enjoying the Small Things to thank for the idea).  I can't wait to start checking things off!
  • My new dark "winter hair".  I usually tone down my blonde with some lowlights for the winter, but this is the first time in a few years that I've gone totally dark.  I had to go back to my hairdresser last night, as there was still some blonde showing through and in certain light, the blonde pieces were looking green, so she darkened it all back up.  It's a refreshing change for the winter months.
  • My Onslow hoodie & raglan tee that I picked up this weekend!  My former elementary school has been selling some new swag, and as a proud former Onslow kid, I knew I had to get some of their merch. As soon as I get home after work, the first thing I do is put on my hoodie!
  • That Christmas House Tour plans came together in the end and I'm so excited to visit the houses participating!!  It was a stressful few weeks trying to find people, but in the end, I actually ended up with a bonus house - 5 stops instead of the usual 4.  We have a nice variety of places this year, and some very creative people participating.  Woo hoo!!
  • I know it's only Wednesday, but I'm loving the prospect of another fun weekend ahead.  Friday evening, I'm planning to head to the city to visit Bulk Barn, to stock up on my Christmas baking necessities.  Then I'll come home and make my squares for the next day, because our church is hosting a Harvest Tea. We were unable to have our annual Harvest Supper this year, so we're supplementing with a tea and it will be lovely.  Then Saturday night, I have an early Christmas get-together with some friends, and I'm very much looking forward to it!
What are YOU loving this Wednesday??