Tag Archives: holidays

Memorial Day Weekend: Three Words Per Photo

We had a fantastic three-day weekend over here – we managed to strike just the right balance of lying around doing nothing and spending time with friends. I’m posting a few photos of what we were up to, since I’m still in ultra-lazy mode and don’t feel like writing anything longer than a paragraph.

Whiskers{Furry alarm clock.}

Herbs

{So. Many. Herbs.}

Bears

{Crazy bear lady.}

Thai Food

{Shrimp panang curry.}

Cake stands

{Making cake stands.}

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.43.39 PM

{Jump squats. Ouch.}

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.55.10 AM

{SPF 30 sucks.}

Barbecue

{Monday night dinner.}

And now it’s back to work … I hope your weekend was as relaxing as ours was!

Best Of: Valentine’s Day Decor

So, Valentine’s Day is coming up in a few weeks. I love it, but not for the typical reasons – we don’t plan some huge date night or get each other heart-shaped boxes of chocolate or anything like that. I feel like if you need a holiday as an excuse to eat chocolate and do nice things for your significant other, you probably need to evaluate your life. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, if a stupid holiday gives you so much rage about being single that you have to flood everybody’s social media feeds with anti-Valentine’s Day posts, you probably need to relax a little. Have a drink and celebrate the fact that you don’t have to shave your legs on a regular basis.

I mostly love Valentine’s Day because I can’t resist a good cheesy holiday celebration. I’m the dork who wears pink and red and bakes treats to bring to the office every February 14.  I think I get it from my mom – in her world, no holiday is too small to celebrate. Every February she would decorate our house with hearts and set out festive foil-wrapped chocolates, and on Valentine’s Day we’d wake up to little boxes of See’s candy and pink heart-shaped pancakes. I haven’t really decorated my home for Valentine’s Day as an adult, but this stuff is making me want to start:

Valentine collageOne | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven

I actually think most of this stuff could be left out year-round (except for maybe the heart-print dish towel). Do you decorate for Valentine’s day?

10 Valentine Cards That Don’t Suck

You guys, I had a breakthrough this weekend: I’ve been in the wrong business all my life.

Let me back up a bit. The scene: Dave and I were at Rite-Aid 10 minutes before a birthday party, trying to find a card that didn’t play Brick House upon opening or feature animals making poop jokes. (“Your gift is in the litter box HAR HAR!”) We finally pick the least stupid card of the bunch, get to the register, and it rings up for $7.99.

Things I’m OK paying $8 for:

– My monthly Netflix subscription
– A bottle of nail polish that will last me six months or more
– 8 songs on iTunes that will live on my iPod forever
– A pound of coffee to get me through a month of early mornings

Things I’m not OK paying $8 for:

– A greeting card that reads like the author suffered a serious head injury minutes before penning it, which will be read once and then thrown directly into the trash

Has anyone seen my shit? Because I lost it right there in the Rite Aid lobby. Clearly I missed my calling to become a greeting card author. With more than three functioning brain cells, I figure I have a leg up on the competition.

Anyway. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and if you buy your loved one a card from the drugstore there is a very good chance he or she will lose all respect for you and leave you immediately. I don’t want this to happen to you, so here are 10 non-stupid options that you can order online and present to your lover with pride this February 14:

Holidays in Photos

Frost on fence

Happy first day of 2015! Mine is off to a fabulous, albeit freezing, start. I’m trying not to complain too much because we’ve had a relatively mild winter until last week, but still: starting your work mornings off by shivering in your 55-degree living room while trying to build a fire in your bath towel is just about as pleasant as it sounds. As I was braving frostbite to take that photo up there on the way to work one morning last week, I got a text from a friend complaining about how “cold” it was in Los Angeles – 37 degrees. I told her to suck it.

Anyway. I had a lot of fun celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family and friends, and since I’m still recovering from my annual post-holiday-eating stomach ache, I’m going to take the easy way out and just post some photos from the last week or so. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, if you celebrate. I’m not one for resolutions, but I will say that I am looking forward to devoting a little more attention to this space in the coming year!

Stockings on Mantle

{Christmas Eve mantle}

Christmas Pajamas

{Matching Christmas pajamas}

Cascade Theater

{Ceiling detail inside Redding’s Cascade Theater}

Christmas Tree

{Can you spot the toddler?}

Baby cheeks

{Baby cheeks}

Happy 2015

{No NYE celebration is complete without fireworks}

P.S. – Sorry for the grainy shots – perhaps I should break my resolution boycott and vow to use my DSLR more often in 2015!

Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corns, and Syrup

Happy Tuesday! I’m over here trying to figure out where December went. I feel like I was just stuffing my word hole with mashed potatoes and turkey, and now it’s already time to start stuffing it with toffee and fudge.

And yes, my holiday excitement is 90% about food. My neighbor brought us over a tray of Christmas goodies on Saturday, and I was like, “Oh, I’ll just try one of each item and send the rest to work with Dave.” And then I bit into a Reese’s-stuffed peanut butter cookie and turned into Joey Tribbiani.

JoeyShareFood

I’m guessing I consumed about a week’s worth of sugar over the weekend, and I am not even exaggerating. You know how some bloggers are all, “I ate cookies for breakfast, tee hee” because they crumbled up a chocolate chip cookie Quest bar on top of their gluten free overnight oats? This is not that. I ate a snickerdoodle cookie with a side of fudge for breakfast today. But I followed it up with a multivitamin and fish oil pills (and the fudge had walnuts in it), so I’m pretty sure that cancels it out.

Not helping the situation is the fact that I haven’t been working out as much as I like to. I’m still getting used to my longer commute, and even though I leave the office at the end of the day all pumped for my workout, by the time I get home I’m all

Homer gif

However, when I do buck up the energy to exercise, I’ve been loving the HIIT routines on FitnessBlender. They’re pretty tough (especially if you choose level 4 or 5), but you can get a killer workout in just 30 minutes. Two of my current faves are the Active/Static Bodyweight Bootcamp and the Butt/Abs Tabata. Doing these types of workouts just three times a week has somehow kept me from growing out of my pants over the last month, which is actually pretty impressive considering the amount of candy and seasonal beer/cider that I’ve crammed down my gullet.

Etna Brewery Taphouse

Via Instagram Again, I’m not exaggerating. But in my defense, a new taphouse just opened in town and I have to do my part to support the local economy.

Anyway. Tomorrow I head down to my parents’ house, where I’ll get to see my sister and adorable nephews and have fun enjoying all of our family Christmas traditions. I’m excited, but it will also be a bit bittersweet, as this will be the last Christmas in my childhood home. My parents are moving to Hawaii early next year, and my emotions have been ranging from slightly sad to YESSS FREE PLACE TO STAY IN HAWAII. Speaking of which, now’s the time to buy stock in Hawaiian Tropics, you guys – it’s going to take truckloads of tanning lotion to keep my pasty Irish skin from blinding the good people of Honolulu.

And on that note, it’s time to wrap this up. The chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen aren’t going to eat themselves.

Bambi Got Lucky

So, I almost hit a deer yesterday morning on my way to work. FUN RURAL LIVING FACT: it’s usually better to hit the stupid deer than to swerve, so I closed my eyes (much smart! very safety!), braked as much as I could without locking up, and managed to stop mere inches from its derpy little deer face looking at me like, “What is even happening right now?”

It was not unlike this.

It was not unlike this.

As I careened toward the little guy, the only thought going through my head was, “NOOOO NOT MY PRETTY NEW CAR!” I’m sure there are a number of more appropriate thoughts I could have been having. Like maybe, “Please don’t let it come through the windshield and break my face,” or, “I really don’t want to kill a cute furry animal today.”

Whatever, I’m shallow.

I’m pretty lucky that I’ve lived in the country for seven years now and haven’t hit any large animals, although plenty of squirrels, birds, skunks, raccoons, and even a rogue hedgehog have all made the fatal mistake of running in front of my tires. One time, I was doing about 80 mph on the freeway when a bird hit my roof rack, ricocheted off at lightning speed, and cracked the windshield of the car behind me. Apparently I am a monster, because instead of feeling bad for the little dude I was like, “Hey! Real-life Angry Birds!”

In other news, I’ve managed to wrap all of my gifts except for one, which is slowly making its way over from Poland. If it doesn’t get here before the 24th as promised, I’m going to have to look up some nasty Polish words to leave on a certain Etsy shop’s comment section.

Also, if you receive a gift from me that looks like it was wrapped by Edward Scissorhands, this is why:

Are you done wrapping your gifts yet?

My Top Five Christmas Albums

Confession: I’m currently watching Love Actually for the second time this week. The thing is, viewing Christmas movies outside of the holiday season totally depresses me, so I have to get my fill of all my favorites during the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A third viewing of Christmas Vacation will probably happen this weekend, and I’m not ashamed.
tumblr_mdggyrYyNF1r2y03wo1_400
Anyway, I was watching Rick Grimes profess his secret love to Keira Knightley when I realized I totally promised a post about my favorite Christmas albums and I still haven’t written it. So here it is guys: My 5 favorite Christmas albums:

5. Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas

Sufjan Stevens Songs for Christmas

Warning: This is super hipstery. Like, you’ll probably feel like you should be listening to it on a vintage 8-track tape deck while knitting organic Alpaca hair PBR coozies for your Etsy shop. But, just like your friendly neighborhood hipster, it’s quirky and different and that can be refreshing after hearing 19 different pop versions of Jingle Bells at the grocery store.

Fave Song: Come On! Let’s Boogie to the Elf Dance!

4. Amy Grant, A Christmas Album

Amy Grant
I don’t know anybody my age who didn’t grow up with this album, and the song “Emmanuel” will forever remind me of helping my mom and grandma make my great-grandma’s sugar cookie recipe the day before Christmas Eve. And by “helping,” I mean, “writing angry poetry about the injustice of not being Taylor Hanson’s girlfriend and sneaking bites of dough while their backs were turned.”

Fave Song: Emmanuel. Duh.

3. The Carpenters, Christmas Portrait

Carpenters+Christmas+Portrait+1978
The nostalgia factor is also high with this one. One time my sister and I popped it into the CD player of her Geo Storm on our way home for Christmas break during college, and it got stuck so we had to listen to it for the entire 8-hour car ride. The fact that we did not drive off a cliff after the sixth repeat is a testament to Karen Carpenter’s soothing alto voice.

Fave Song: It’s Christmas Time

2. She & Him, A Very She & Him Christmas

She & Him

Again, HIPSTER CENTRAL, but HER VOICE.

Fave Song: Silver Bells

1. Home Alone Soundtrack

homealone

LOVE. Although whenever I listen to it, I get the sudden urge to hit somebody in the balls with a crowbar.

Fave Song: The Drifters, White Christmas

Now tell me about your favorite Christmas albums in the comments.

Pinterest’s Worst Valentine’s Day Ideas

I got bored while watching cross country skiing the other night, so I hopped on Pinterest, where I was bombarded with some really questionable ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day. First up is the “Choose Your Valentine Destiny” date:

Choose Your DestinyThis involves creating and cutting out pictures that represent possible activities/meals and making your significant other choose from them to create their own all-day date. I’m pretty sure if Dave could choose his Valentine Destiny, it would involve pants-optional hockey watching and not plucking clip art out of a hat to determine which romantic comedy he has to suffer through. Also, doesn’t this essentially force you to plan for, like, six different dates since you won’t know what he’s going to pick? This sounds like a lot of work that will most likely result in your man spending the day hoping the next picture he chooses is of him watching TV in his underwear.

Put this on“The dress you bought me doesn’t fit over my thighs, but I still feel sexy,” said no woman ever. Unless you have seen her try the exact dress on and love it, I wouldn’t risk it.

CardNothing says, “Stage 5 Clinger,” like receiving a card bearing the exact number of days she has loved you. Especially if you’re not even dating her.

ShortsLikewise, nothing says, “I have zero self esteem issues,” like buying him gym shorts with your name on them. Also, seriously? 325 pins? HAVE SOME PRIDE, PEOPLE OF PINTEREST.

Related: I posted this on Facebook a few days ago, but just in case you didn’t see it — 10 Valentine Cards That Will Get You Dumped

What to Wear on Valentine’s Day

So, confession: I kind of love Valentine’s Day. Not in the, “I’ll pout if my boyfriend doesn’t buy me a 10-lb. box of See’s and a diamond necklace” sort of way, but more of an, “I want to send valentines to all my friends and bake heart-shaped cookies and package them up in treat boxes” kind of way.

When it comes to getting dressed on Valentine’s Day, I’m totally drawn to over-the-top, super-cutesy stuff like these and these … which is acceptable when you’re 12, but harder to pull off in your late twenties. Also, Dave would mock me until the end of time if I bought those shoes.

I’ve spent the last couple of evenings looking for Valentines-wear that is festive enough to satisfy my inner 12-year-old, but subtle enough that it can be worn the other 364 days of the year as well. Here are a few of the things I found:

Collage

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine

Our Valentine’s day plans are super low-key (dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant followed by a hockey game), so I decided to go the casual route and ordered the J. Crew Factory t-shirt (# 3). I’ll probably wind up wearing it with skinny jeans, heels, and my trusty red H&M cardigan, but I also think it would be cute tucked into a pencil skirt for more casual days at work.

Do you get into Valentine’s Day, or are you one of the many people who are annoyed by dorks like me who love it?

I Wanna Quit the Gym!

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think my 2014 is off to an auspicious start – not only did our mortgage lender send us a refund check for collecting too much in our escrow account, I spent the entire first day of the year in my pajamas.

Speaking of me being the laziest person alive, I’m not big on New Years resolutions — in fact, I think last year’s half marathon goal was the first one I ever made. Since I managed to actually do it I kind of don’t ever want to make another one so I can keep my 100% track record. Speaking of which, I wish “getting in shape” wasn’t such a popular resolution for people. There aren’t very many gyms in my town, so for the next six weeks every single treadmill will look like this:

Source

Source
Actually, this is probably better than I will look tonight. I’ve run exactly three times in the last 30 days, so I’ll be lucky not to be on all fours at the end of three miles.

My coworkers make fun of me because in order to secure a treadmill after work, I lug all my gear into the office, change in the freezing bathroom, and sprint to my car as soon as the clock strikes five. It works about half of the time, and the other half I either halfheartedly lift some weights until a machine opens up or I stalk out to my car, drive home, pop in a Jillian Michaels DVD and then decide I don’t feel like doing anything and drink a beer instead. To break that cycle until the New Years crowd dies down at the gym and/or it’s light enough to run outside after work, I’m thinking of doing this Jillian Michaels challenge. I’m not sure if I want to compete for the $150 prize on account of STRANGERS SEEING ME IN MY BRA, but I may post my before and after measurements. Provided they’re not too mortifying.

And because I can’t talk about the new year without thinking of Monica and Ross’s routine, I’ll leave you with this:

Happy first workday of the new year!