21 December 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

well except for the fact that it was 60 degrees at 6pm today, but none the less, Christmas is almost here.
I am one of those people that doesn't start anything Christmas related until the first of December. The first major signal to me that the holiday season is upon us is the arrival of Band Fruit. We've order fruit from the SHHS band for as long as I can remember. Me and my older sisters sold it when we were in high school and I continue to purchase from friend's band nerds kids. It is seriously some of the best fruit ever. It is always delivered the first weekend of December and I get very excited about it's arrival. The navel oranges are my favorite.
My Christmas tree also went up the first weekend of December. A real one of course, because well nothing smells quite like a fresh-ish tree in the house.
I bake like a crazy person at the holidays. I can't help it. I just do. The holidays=baking in my opinion. In the past 2 weeks I have made 2 batches of peanut butter fudge, 1batch chocolate fudge, 1batch Dreamsicle fudge (and yes it is as amazing as it sounds), 5 batches of Oreo truffles, 3 batches of sugar cookies, 1 batch Chex mix, 1 batch gingerbread cookies, and 1 batch cloud cookies. I've used 2 bags of sugar, 3 pounds of butter (the real deal), and a bag of flour. (Erika I have aspirations of someday being known for my Christmas cookie/treat platters like your mom use to make!)
I officially purchased my last Christmas present today and am waiting for one more to arrive via mail so that I can declare myself done with Christmas shopping. I am not usually a last minute shopper, but this year I've had a little bit of a hard time getting in the Christmas mode, so I waited a lot later that I like to. In the past week I have braved Kroger (twice), Walmart, Target (twice), TJ Maxx, and The Mall (three times). It really hasn't been that bad. I am glad to be done though.

Let's see, what else have I been up to....

  • I went to Richmond to visit my friend Alicia and her family in what is becoming an annual early December trip. It was a great weekend of relaxing, catching up, and lovin' on her sweet little boys. We also checked out some pretty awesome Tacky Christmas Lights. 
  • I made another wreath off Pinterest using a wire hanger and ornaments from the Dollar Tree. Total cost $8 
  • The hospital decided to decorate the outdoor space outside of the ICUs with mannequins that look like a whole lot like the ones from the Old Navy ads. It was a slow day at work and well.......this may have happened.

06 December 2011

My Favorite Fellow Bloggers

Today my friend Erika mentioned me on her blog Always better together as one of her favorite blogs and I feel very honored. So I'm passing on the blog love and naming my own top 5.

1. You may think I'm bias, but Erika's  is one of my favorite blogs to read. We grew up down the street from each other and share a birthday. I enjoy keeping up with her life even though we are miles apart. I especially look forward to the "Overheard in Our House" posts. I can't tell you the number of times I have laughed out loud reading what she writes.
2. Kelly at The Burrow Knits. Kelly is a single mom of 4 boys and I admire her strength and raw honesty about life. Stories of adventures with the boys make me laugh and her thoughts on deep matters and self discovery often bring tears to my eyes or make me really stop and think.
3. Piper at A Matter of Life and Breath. Piper has cystic fibrosis. She is a major advocate for CF research and knowledge in the community. She has also shared her journey of her double lung transplant. She is a beautiful writer and one strong chick. I discovered her blog kind of randomly. My friend Nathan passed away from CF a couple of years ago and I have continued to remain involved with the CFF.
4. Carrie at Carrie's Busy Nothings. Carrie is a childhood friend that I home schooled with and I have enjoyed connecting with her again in our adult lives. She writes about a little bit of everything. She shares my love for bargains, fall, and pumpkins! :)
5. Gina at Skinny Taste. Gina posts delicious, healthy recipes and includes the Weight Watchers points. Everything I have tried is delicious. Her pumpkin recipes are some of my favorites (I'm sure you're shocked.) I like that her recipes don't use a lot of artificial crap.

If you want to keep the blog love going, here are the rules:

1.  Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2.  Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3.  Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4.  Hope that the people you've sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!

03 December 2011

The Best Things in Life are Free

I am, as most of you know, a major bargain hunter. My philosophy is why pay full price if you don't have to? On occasion, I am drawn to certain expensive items and have to get creative in order to get what I like without shelling out the full amount. Sometimes that means a lot of online hunting to find a deal. Sometimes it means asking for the item or money towards the item for a birthday or Christmas. Sometimes it means getting it slightly used on eBay. This time in meant cashing in some of my stashed up credit card bonus points. I hadn't made any major withdraws from my points in a while, and since I pay for practically everything with my credit card (which I pay off in full every month), I rack up points pretty quickly. The item I really wanted was not available in the rewards center, but fortunately Citicard has a "my reward wish" request center where you submit what you want and they let you know how many points it will take to get your special order item. Pretty great if you ask me. So are you curious as to what I got? The wait is almost over :)
When I arrived home today after a somewhat frustrating afternoon at the hospital, I found this on my front porch
And inside was this

And inside that beautiful box were these babies:) 
My new glorious purple Hunter boots!!!!!!!!!
I have wanted a pair of Hunter rain boots for some time now, but just could not justify paying $125 for them. I have looked and looked for a deal, but did not have any luck finding one. Or if I did, it wasn't the color I wanted or they were out of my size. I had kind of given up on getting a pair. 
A few weeks ago I thought I had finally found them on 6pm.com (Zappos sister site with some really awesome deals and free shipping on all orders) for $69, but they did not have my size. I was very disappointed and that was when I got the bright idea to check in to using my reward points to acquire these lovely boots. I couldn't be happier with my new boots. I'm even wishing for rain/snow so I have an excuse to wear them!