Friday, December 22, 2017

It's almost time...

The baking is finished, the presents are wrapped, {most}of the movies and specials have been watched...  We're still three days away, but man, I am SO READY!!!!

Today will be a half-day, and I'm not only supremely excited about that, I'm also a little relieved... the Curling Christmas Party last night was fun, and I had about two beers too many, so the head is a wee bit fuzzy this morning.  At noon, we'll likely gather in the shop for a few drinks and a little MVT jam session, then it will be home for a nap.  Tonight, I'll be heading to Lindsay & Ryan's for our annual Christmas movie night, and that's always one of my favourite holiday traditions, especially now that Sam's so into movies!!

Tomorrow I have to make a quick trip to Shawville to get stuff to make the saran wrap ball game for Christmas Eve, and we're also going to watch Caden's hockey game.  Then we'll be off to Kayla and Ben's for the Eve of Christmas Eve at the Duquettes.  Super fun!!  I can't wait!!

Sunday is Christmas Eve, but we don't have a morning church service, so it will likely actually be a pretty relaxing day.  I'll have lots of time to pack up my stuff, get food and drinks ready, and get up to my mom's.  I'll have no trouble squeezing in my annual Christmas Eve viewing of Miracle on 34th Street, of that I'm almost positive.  After supper, we'll be off to church, another tradition that is an absolute must!!

I'm so excited about it all.  Honestly, the only slight problem I have is that I've been having weird heart palpitation problems.  They've been ongoing for months, but they have become much more frequent over the past week, which not only makes me nervous but also is SO annoying.  I have been to see my doctor about it, and I have tests and appointments coming up in the new year to try and get to the bottom of it, but in the meantime, since they aren't being accompanied by any of the serious symptoms (chest pain, dizziness, fainting), I just have to live with them.  And they are driving me BANANAS.  My doc has reassured me I'm healthy and he thinks it's more stress-related than anything, but they literally make me want to pull my hair out when they happen.  So frustrating, and I don't want them to ruin my holidays!!!

OK... I got that little vent out.  (Anyone who has been around me for more than 2 minutes lately has heard enough about the heart palps, trust me).  And now, I hope I can move on and just have a HOLLY, JOLLY CHRISTMAS!!!

Wishing you & yours all the best this holiday season.  Enjoy the food, the drinks, the presents, the fun, and most of all, the time spent with loved ones.  It really is more about the "presence"  than the "presents"!!!


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!!!