If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to Gretchen, In-Between decorations | Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Dec 6, 2011 in Dear Diary | 30 comments

Deck the Halls

O Christmas Tree

Ho, ho, ho!


It’s officially Christmas season in this house!

Dress the Tree

The soreness from finishing the Hot Chocolate 15K is finally starting to subside, the tree is up, and the lights are, er, lit. After surviving an incredibly overwhelming trip to Michaels, I think I can safely say that the merriment has arrived!

Holiday Madness
Michaels = Serious Christmas madness. And a single rack of Hanukkah stuff.

There’s a reason why this is my favorite holiday. And it’s not because of such brilliant holiday fare as this:

Yes, I watched it. Yes, it was awful. I don’t want to talk about it.

No, this is my favorite holiday because in spite of the inevitable family drama (last year I made a tearful proclamation to my brother that he ruined Christmas — true story), the retail madness (thanks to increasingly expensive Christmas lists), and the bipolar weather (seriously? 64 degrees today?), it’s just a happy time. Coworkers are friendlier, strangers are kinder, and people are just… jollier!

Christmas Schnauzer
You tell ’em, Daxter.

Whether you celebrate an actual holiday around this time of year or not, there really is just something in the air. They don’t say it’s the most wonderful time of the year for no reason!

Ornamental Ornamental 2

Plus, if nothing else, it’s just a great excuse to pretty up your house, hehe.

Holiday Bow
Light Purty

It’s hard to pick just one part of the holiday season as my favorite. I love everything from the decorating to the baking of cookies to the wrapping of presents — and, of course, the unwrapping of presents (all skills that I’ve slowly been perfecting over the years, hahaha.)

I’m the best at Christmas!

It can be stressful, the weather truly can be frightful, and goodness knows I can barely even afford Christmas this year, but… I just love it. In fact, if you’re a holiday hater, you may want to push pause on this blog for a hot second. I plan on singing a lot of carols and watching a lot of Christmas movies (actually, really just anything that will to block out “Christmas Cupid” from my memory) over the next few weeks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season?

Read More

Posted on Dec 24, 2010 in Dear Diary | 2 comments

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, friends! We’re about to engage in opening the traditional single Christmas Eve present so this won’t be along post, but I just wanted to wish you guys a happy, jolly, merry Christmas (and/or whatever other holiday(s) you may be celebrating this season! Festivus, anyone? :)) I also wanted to finally post our Christmas decoration pics that I promised like, 3 weeks ago. Hahahaha, blame Ben.

Also, I wanted to show off my sweet Christmas PJs:

And my Christmas miracle is that both top and bottom are size L! I think I’ve almost kicked the XL for good… in regular clothes, at least. Jenny and I went swimsuit shopping for the cruise yesterday, and I had to bite the XL bullet for one of the suits I bought (but only one of them!) If I’m brave, I’ll post pics of those later. Or, at the very least, I’m sure you’ll see them when I’m bragging all about my frickin’ sweet vacation later. 😛

So, going back to holiday traditions, in my family we always get to open one present Christmas Eve, and then we open the rest on Christmas morning. The rule in our household is that we’re not allowed to wake our parents up until 8 (blasphemous, isn’t it?! I’ve tried to egg them out around 7:30 before, but no dice…) but my siblings and I are allowed to open our stockings before they get up. We’re not allowed to open any wrapped presents that may be inside, though! And then once everyone is up and has their coffee (that’s a more recent addition to the tradition, hehe) we each go one-by-one and open our presents! I like to draw out the morning as long as possible, so the one-person-at-a-time part is especially crucial!!

What are your Christmas or holiday traditions? Anybody do anything similar to my family? Or are we the only Christmas-tradition nutjobs out there? 😛 My family’s also pretty big on the decorations as a means of getting into the holiday spirit:


Whatever your traditions and whatever you may be celebrating: Happy Holidays!

Read More

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 in Dear Diary, Food | 0 comments

Thankful (Part 2)

Okay, okay, yes, I know. This post is long overdue. An entire weekend overdue, in fact. But hey! It’s been a holiday, which roughly translates into vacation most of the time, right? So, I vacated this blog for a few days. But I’m back! And here’s all the glorious stuff you’ve missed out on. 😉

First things first: Thanksgiving Dinner!!

It was delicious, amazing, and fabulous. As the Head Chef, I don’t think that’s bragging at all. Hehe. No, it really did turn out pretty wonderfully, and we made (mostly) healthy substitutions for everything we ate. The turkey was definitely the piece de la resistance, my pride & joy. Brining is the way to go, people! I’m never going back. Brine, brine, brine!

I was crazy busy between the 5K that morning, seeing Tangled with the fam, and then cooking up a storm so I didn’t think to take photos of everything we made, save for the Lemon Meringue Pie I made the night before:

I’ll admit, it was a pie-tastrophe. It was my first attempt! It looked great at first glance, and it tasted really good, even if it ended up more sauce than pie… oh well. Does anyone know if you’re supposed to fully bake the lemon part before you put the meringue part into the oven? Because the meringue would have been totally burnt to a crisp if I had left it in any longer, but the middle was soooo runny, it didn’t take shape at all!

On the table we’ve got the entire Thanksgiving menu that I detailed in an earlier post, and here are a couple close-ups of my plate (the salad with beets, arugula, red onion, dried cranberries, and my homemade honey mustard vinaigrette was especially scrumptious!!)

All in all, a grand success! And it was wonderful to be able to share the experience with my family, including my aunt and uncle who drove up from Roanoke, and my mom who was  able to come home from the hospital just the day before!

Other activities that occurred this weekend included festively decorating the house for the next holiday! Now that Thanksgiving is over we can finally start preparing for Christmas, my FAVORITE HOLIDAY EVER!!!!! We went tree shopping on the 26th, hehehe.

Our tree has since obtained a few more ornaments, and there are other decorations that will be going up soon, so be prepared for more photos. Consider this a mere sample of the Christmas-y joy yet to come. Also, please don’t think that I love Daxter more than Harry just because Harry doesn’t have a stocking up. Harry’s stocking is just still tucked away in my parents’ attic, so as soon as their Xmas boxes come down, his will be hung by the fire with care as well. Also, I’ll try to take better pictures once everything is all finished so that I can appropriately convey the splendiforousness to you all. (Maybe I can cajole my brother into letting me borrow his fancy-schmancy SLR camera…) 😀

Also, we had a homemade pizza night using the pizza dough you can buy from Trader Joe’s.

Mine was a whole wheat crust with half-Hawaiian toppings (ham and pineapple) and half-Mediterranean toppings (chicken sausage, mushrooms, olives, capers, and prosciutto).

Unfortunately, my crust got stuck to the tinfoil in the oven and didn’t get cooked all the way through anyway, so I ended up just scraping off all the toppings and picking at them, hehe. Ben’s, Taylor’s, and Steve’s turned out pretty good though!

Most of my, er, “pizza casserole” still in a container in the fridge though, because we snacked on hummus and pita chips so much while we were making the pizzas that I was full by the time they were done!

Okay, I guess that’s about it for now. I am definitely nervous about my weigh-in tomorrow, although I’m surprised that I’m not freaking out MORE. I just know that I’m anticipating a gain from this week. I mean, despite all my intentions to eat healthy for Thanksgiving, I still ate A LOT of food, healthy or not. And I haven’t really had any exercise since running the 5K Thursday morning, so that’s a lot of days for me to build back up on whatever calorie-deficit I might have had going for me. But whatever, it’s a special week, and the holidays are hard. Hopefully you guys won’t judge me too harshly, and hopefully this won’t have caused me to stray too far off-track.

Regardless, I am so thankful for how far I’ve come. I’m thankful for knowing I have such strong support even if tomorrow ends up going badly for me. And I’m thankful that I have the knowledge and the tools now to keep going. To persevere. To reach my goals. So, thank you.

And with that last bit of cheese, I’m out. <3

Oh wait, I forgot to mention the other thing that I spent the majority of my weekend doing: trolling Amazon.com for Black Friday lightning deals and spending an obscene amount of money on Christmas gifts. Just had to throw that in there. And tomorrow’s “Cyber Monday” so I’m sure there is more spending to be done. Don’t you just love this season?! 😀

Read More