Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

2010 has been a wonderful year, and I always enjoy reflecting on the year on New Year's Eve. This year I have seen so many blessings (in no particular order):

  • selling our house and buying a new one successfully
  • graduating from law school
  • passing the bar exam
  • securing employment
While all of these are important, I can't help but reflect that in the grand scheme of things, they are less important than the continuing friendship of other people. To me, friendship encompasses the love of family, the caring relationships with my friends, and my marriage. When I think about my life so far, I think about all of the people whose friendship I enjoyed. I think about how each and every person taught me something about life and shaped the person that I am today. My high school friends loved me despite the face that I walked around with hand-painted Beatles shirts all the time. My college friends got past the five crates of books I bought to the dorms and continue to be a shoulder I can lean on at any time, any day. My law school friends inspired me with their intelligence and ambition. Even you all, my blogging readers and friends, have taught me more open-mindedness. Truly, friends are the greatest gift.

That is why, on New Year's Eve, when I hear the song "Auld Lang Syne", I stop and think about my friends. It makes me ever so grateful:

"Auld Lang Syne" by Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine;
we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne

Happy New Year's to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration this year. It is always so much fun to see friends and family over the holidays.

On Wednesday evening we traveled to St. Louis where we spent the night at David's parents' house. On Thursday morning we woke up and went ice skating at Steinberg in Forest Park with my cousins and David's parents:

After that we met reader RoRo's family for lunch at Amighetti's, a delicious Italian lunch eatery on the Hill. I enjoyed a sandwich and a salad. Considering all of the food I was sure to eat in the next few days, I decided to forgo my favorite dish-- ravioli. After that was over, I met some good college friends for supper and we went to David's aunt's house where we enjoyed hanging out with her family.

On Christmas Eve, we woke up and met another good friend for breakfast and then met up with David's family for more celebrating!
That evening we went to my parents' house and enjoyed hot chocolate and presents with my family. On Christmas day we went to mass and then to my grandma's house where we ate too much food again! It was so much fun visiting my family on Christmas. Christmas is always extra special because it is my grandmother's birthday. Happy Birthday, Grandma!
On Christmas day evening we drove home and enjoyed relaxing the next day. I did not even allow myself to go to yoga class or to clean the house! It was nice to take a break before returning to work on Monday.

We had such a fun holiday weekend. I hope yours was fun as well!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Garfield and Friends Christmas Special

This past weekend David and I watched our favorite childhood Christmas specials---Charlie Brown, Frosty the Snowman, and Garfield and Friends. My absolute favorite was Garfield. I remember watching this when I was little and love the storyline.

What are your favorite TV Christmas specials?

Monday, December 27, 2010


If anybody would be willing to give me $450, I could buy these:

Buy them here. I'm in love.

Christmas 2010: by Paco

Christmas this year left me really exhausted. I had a good time seeing a lot of people and had fun eating a lot of good food dropped on the floor.

First, I greeted my friend Allie. She is almost as short as I am, and I like her a lot because she always gives me hugs:
Then, these guys started to play Christmas music on the trombone. Everybody sang. It sounded okay, but sometimes things were a little flat. I don't know why humans do what they do sometimes:
Did I mention that I had my Christmas sweater on?
Allie, my brother Jose, and I enjoyed a long discussion about Christmases in the past:

For some reason, humans act very goofy sometimes:We came home and had a very relaxing evening and Sunday. Whew! How exhausting!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of my readers. I hope you are having a happy and wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ski Trip!

Yesterday we got back from our annual ski trip to Colorado. We had a great time, as usual. It was so weird being there before Christmas (we usually go over New Year's) but this past weekend worked best for us.

We went to Breckenridge, which was beautiful. How is this to put you into the Christmas spirit?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas cookie time!

I love decorating Christmas cookies so a few weeks ago we dreamed up another way to con invite our nieces and nephews to our house.

Hey, Christmas cookies full of sugar!!! You can try more than just one!
We had a blast and needless to say, used lots of flour. I used to decorate Christmas cookies with my grandma and have lots of fun memories of time spent in the kitchen. Hopefully the kids will remember our fun times as well!

The end result. I consumed an extreme amount (what? A cookie is not complete without a crazy amount of sprinkles):

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Party

A few weeks ago, we had a Christmas party at our house. It was our first party since the housewarming party, so it was fun to plan and fun to have some new and old friends over for Christmas cheer!

We served a buffet of appetizers and had lots of fun drinks. I have to share my very favorite new holiday drink that I created from some recipes I tried.
Christmas cookie martini

- one part Bailey's
- one part vanilla vodka
- one part Butterscotch Schnapps

Shake together in a martini shaker and serve cold. Rim your class with sugar and serve!
Please excuse my tacky serving dishes. My beautiful Christmas china was being used for the food!

We also served a Candy Cane Martini (if you look closely in the picture above, you will see that our sugars and signs were mismatched). The candy cane martini was a recipe from a cooking class I attended but was too strong for my taste.

I love to entertain people at my house so the party was a great way to get into the Christmas spirit!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Green Monster: part 2

I just made a green monster with water instead of soy milk and I like it a lot better than the one I consumed yesterday. I think that the milk flavor turned me off to the shake yesterday. If you don't like milk, sub water!


It. is. cold.

FREEZING cold here. Brrrrr. We got our first real snow on Saturday evening and the temperature seemed to drop lower and lower throughout the weekend. The snow is not too bad, but when it is coupled with the freezing temperatures it seems like a winter wonderland!

We had a wonderful weekend complete with a visit from my parents, a cooking class, my Bikram yoga holiday party, shopping with my sister-in-law for a fancy dress, and the end of our bowling league. For now, I need to go recover before staring a crazy work week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Green Monster

Today I decided to try the Green Monster shake. I tried the first recipe on the website with the banana, spinach, soy milk, flax, and ice. Verdict: okay. It is so weird to be eating something and cold at the same time.

David's take: "It is not terrible."

Have you ever tried this monster shake?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fun Thing Friday: Christmas nails


I love painting my nails and my toenails, and this Zoya polish with glitter really makes me drool. I would not normally wear glitter polish, but I have heard that this brand is actually good (not flaky) and it looks so festive. Imagine a black dress with cute accessories and this polish. Every year at Christmastime, I like to paint my nails a bright color.

Since I got a job, I have been painting my fingernails in pretty neutral colors, so this may have to wait until the actual holiday!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tree Trimming Party

A few days before Thanksgiving we had a little tree trimming party. Usually I do not assemble our tree until the Saturday after Thanksgiving (it is a little tradition we have to assemble the tree and watch Love Actually). However, this year, I had some good friends over the weekend after Thanksgiving and wanted the house to look like Christmas for them.

We essentially had one evening in which to decorate the tree, so we invited David's mother, sister, and her kids to help. For supper, we decided to set up a small buffet of meats, crackers, cheese, and other small appetizers.

I bought this decoration a year or so ago and love it! It is the snowman from Rudolph.

The kids loved "helping" sort the branches and looking at our decorations! Every year we laugh at our ornament boxes our moms gave us. Since I was the first grandchild in one family and the first born in my family, mine is a huge box full of beautiful ornaments for each year of my childhood. Since David is number three out of four children, he has a small box. However, his are cute because they are little handcrafted ornaments from his childhood. We are happy to have all of our ornaments!

Have you put up a tree yet if that is your tradition?

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Nutcracker

I have loved The Nutcracker ballet for a very long time. I remember going to the Fox Theater in St. Louis with my parents to see it before Christmas. We always dressed up in our finest attire, of course! The music and the dancing were always so beautiful.

Here is a wonderful synopsis of the Nutcracker. Do you have any fun holiday memories at the theater?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Christmas List: Practical

David and I are limiting our Christmas expenditures for each other this year. However, we each decided to get the other person one item. Hopefully, David will not get me a totally practical Christmas gift, but these are some practical items on my list.
Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner: We have stairs in our new house and have you ever tried cleaning steps with a regular vacuum cleaner? Let's just say that it is very difficult.

Rice cooker: I went to a cooking class a few weeks ago and the teacher used a rice cooker. They look amazing and can apparently make perfect rice every time. Source
Urban Decay Naked palette: okay, okay. This isn't very practical. But I wear makeup every day, so it kind of counts, right? This palette is sold out everywhere, though, and I definitely do not expect David (Santa) to stand in any lines waiting to find this.

What is on your practical holiday list?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Christmas List

I just love the Christmas holiday and have a lot of items to complete in the next month. Of course, all of these activities are lots of fun and not really work at all.

  • Make Christmas cookies. LOTS of Christmas cookies, including toffee cookies, possibly those delicious jelly cookies, and decorated sugar cookies
  • Make Christmas candy. I want to try my hand at peppermint bark again this year.
  • Watch lots of Christmas movies, including Holiday Inn, Christmas Vacation, Love Actually, and It's A Wonderful Life
  • Decorate the house (already completed)
  • Buy presents
  • Go to Hobby Lobby to get some cool wrapping paper and wrap the presents
  • Christmas cards!
  • Try some new Christmas recipes
What is on your Christmas to-do list?