• Fashion is about what you wear. Style is about how you live your life. ~Ralph Lauren

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Decoration Dilemma

I love Christmas decorations but after Christmas is over, I struggle with when to take them down. I don't like them up after the 1st of the year.  But I like the lights for new years eve.  It's still festive. 

Well, last year I decided to try a new tradition in my home.  I decided that I would take all the ornaments off the tree and pack away all Christmas decorations around the house and put them away right before NYE.  I'd leave up the trees with the white lights.  So there could still be festive lights BUT no Christmas.  I like this tradition and think I will continue it into the future. 

Here is the de-Christmas tree. 
 I put out some white lights in the kitchen for the new years celebration.
 Added some of the plates I got this summer for the NYE celebration.
 I just love these plates and how perfect they are for new years.
 And this has nothing to do with anything but I really like the way this looks.  A lady I work with got me this candle at my birthday party.
Of course I still need to add some favors and hats for the new year but I think I've solved my decoration dilemma and created a tradition at Club Chestnut. 

What do you do with your Christmas/New Years decorations?

Thursday, December 30, 2010


One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is checking the mailbox and opening cards from friends and family.  I have always been kind of obsessed with mail.  I think it's because I spent most of my childhood writing letters and cards.  Especially when I lived in Germany in high school--it was before facebook, e-mail, texts, blogs, etc..   So there is something great about getting cards in the mail around this time of the year.  I especially enjoy the picture cards.  I always save them.  It's nice to see the family pictures.

(here are some of the pictures I have gotten this year)
Every year I think about doing a picture card but I've always thought it  might be weird because I don't have kids or a husband. That's fine but I just wonder what I'd put on a card that would be appropriate.  And then I got to thinking that I would like to do something different too.  Everyone sends out Christmas cards--which is great.  But I always feel a little torn because not all of my friends celebrate Christmas and I always seem to miss Hanukkah for some reason.  And I wanted to do something a little different.  So this year, I decided that I would send out a card for the new year.  And break the rules.  Why do I need to have babies or a husband to feel like I can share my life with my friends and family?  I don't.  I can make my own rules.  And of all years I want to really celebrate the new year.  2010 has been such an emotional year with many ups and many downs.  I want to ring in 2011 in my own way.  So here is my greeting to my friends and family for 2011--complete with my two cuddly girls. 
The card reads:
 ‎"Here's to the bright New Year, and the fond farewell to the old; here's to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold."

And that's exactly how I feel this year.  I'm ready for a new year with new ups and new downs.  And I want to do it my way.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa Loves Me

(This was a delayed post--It's been sitting unpublished for awhile)
Christmas is over for another year.   This year was  a little better than last year.  But I still find it really stressful.  I miss the days when it was magical and I couldn't wait to go home to see my family.  I still want to do that but it's just different now.  
On Christmas Eve I did a photo shoot with my cats because I found a little Santa hat in my Christmas decorations.   Much to their dismay, I must add.    Ha ha.
Gracie (the Grinch)  Doesn't she look irritated? 
Sadie Claus (or Claws) 
After the morning of torturing my cats, I headed out to pick up something at walmart and I was disgusted to find that everyone in town was also there.  And everyone was so rude.  SO RUDE.  It made me so sad to realize that for many, Christmas is about stuff.  And cheap, stupid stuff at that.  I got what I needed and headed out as quickly as possible.  As I was driving home I realized that  I want Christmas magic back.  I want to hang out with family and friends and laugh and enjoy company and not be worried about what's under the tree. 
Anyway, I went to my parents house on Christmas Eve to go to church with my Dad.  It was nice.  I needed a night away from here.  I got a decent night sleep with their dog, Gabby.  I love that dog.  No matter how long I'm away, she remembers that she loves me and wants to sleep with me at night.  I miss her.  A LOT. 
Christmas morning was nice.  I was very surprised that Santa was as kind as he was this year.  You may recall that my beloved laptop died a few months ago.  I'd been borrowing a computer from work to get by while shopping around for a new one.  Well, Santa solved that for me. 
A beautiful new laptop.  I love it and I am very grateful for this wonderful gift.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Santa!!  As I said, I know Christmas isn't about gifts but I wanted to be sure to express my thanks for this thoughtful gift.  I appreciate it very much.  We spent the day hanging out and had a nice dinner.   I headed back to my house later that night.  I wanted to stay over again but I was concerned about the snow and that my cats were alone.  I came back and fell right to sleep. 

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and found a little of your own kind of Christmas magic!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I have a list pending in honor of my birthday today (you know my tradition of doing lists for my birthday, right?), but I haven't finished it and I'm going to dinner with friends in a little bit.  BUT, I wanted to say a special THANK YOU to my parents for sending me my Kindle today.  YES!  I was so excited!  Here it is, in all of its glory...

Isn't she beautiful?
 And of course, it has a GREEN cover.  Love it!
 Thank you so much for this lovely little present!  I can't wait to spend some quality time playing with it. It was a nice surprise today!

And my friend, Tara, pre-ordered my Dave Matthews Calendar for 2011.  Nice right? 

I've had a lovely day so far.  I got to go to lunch with one of my favorite students who happens to share my birthday with me--he's a great guy so it was fun!  And tonight is dinner with the girls.  I love my friends and family! 

I'll be back with more thoughtful reflection on turning another year older later.  But until then, Happy Thursday! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cookies & Points

It's Monday & it's snowing.  For the second day in a row.  I'd like to say that I hate snow.  It's supposed to snow for a few more days this week.  It will stop for my birthday on Thursday.  Excellent. 

Anyway, since I'm without a computer at home I wasn't able to update this weekend.  Don't worry, you didn't miss much.  It was a low key kind of weekend.  Always good.  I went to Weight Watchers for the first time in about a month.  More on that in a minute.

 I fit in a hair appointment before I headed over to my friend, Angie's for her daughter, Ava's,  cookie decorating party.  Angie asked me to come over to help out.  It was cute--and a good reminder of how loud 3rd grade girls can be.  They were cute though.  We split them into two groups and half decorated cookies while the others made a holiday craft.  I was at the craft table.  It's good because there were lots of spilled sprinkles at the other station.  And a lot of frosting.  Ha.

Here is Ava showing off her ornament!
 The ladies busy making crafts.
 And I made one too.  It's a cute and easy little project.
It was fun party and I'm glad that Angie asked me to come over and help.  She's good like that.  She does these fun things for her kids.  I don't know if I'd be a good mother or if I ever want to be one but I sure do love helping out with my friend's kids and the fun event.  :)

So back to WW... 
Like I said, I haven't been there in a month.  I've been tracking and all but I think that I've been stalled out for a long time and I needed to take a break from the scale so I could get refocused.  And I was really pleased that there is a new program out now.  It's a little different from the old program so I think it'll be fun again.  Fruits and Veggies are no longer counted in points.  They are all zero.  So essentially you can eat the fruits and veggies and still have all the food you'd eat anyway.  That's a good thing for me.  I like to snack on a banana or grapes and it always took up some points.  And the now everyone has more points in a day.  The minimum you'd ever have is 29.  So that's where I am now.  I don't have to adjust it as I lose.  I like that. And the extra points went up to 49 for the week.  Great!  The point value for the foods have gone up in general but with the extra points and the fruit and veggie rule--I think it'll be fine.  It just takes some adjustment.  Of course, with a new program it means all of the old materials are outdated.  So there is new stuff to purchase, like a new calculator--which I will be carrying everywhere. 
All in all, I think this is the motivation I need to get back on track.  I think it's fine that my body wanted to rest for a bit but it's time to get it back on the train again.  I'm excited for weigh in next week!  yay!

So on that note, I need to go calculate my dinner...after I hit up the tanning bed to avoid the winter blues. 

Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


This has been a very boring week.  It rained a lot Tuesday and Wednesday.  Besides being extra thankful that it wasn't snow, I was excited to wear my new rain boots.  These are really out of character for me but I needed to get real rain boots for a long time and they sell these at the campus bookstore so I found the most festive pair. There is something to be said for practical shoe choices. 
 Things at work have been busy.  It's the end of the semester so there are lots of meetings and projects.  Blah.  I have slept on the couch for 2 consecutive nights because I fell asleep watching TV.  Tonight I will not do that, I hope.  Anyway, in between everything else, I'm trying to plan my birthday party this year.  I've never thrown myself a party and I've had very few parties in my life for my birthday.  This year calls for a party.  I need to kick off this new year with some sass.   This past year has been so up and down.  It's time to kick it off in a new direction.  So I did the invitation tonight.  Last night I bought a dress that could be a contender for the party.  It's simple but I think I can give it a little sass with cute shoes and good accessories.  The party will be on December 18th so I have a little time to figure out the final outfit. 
Oh and I have been back on track with WW.  I am drinking a lot of water and counting my points like crazy.  Next up is switching up my exercise program.  I need to join a gym again because the campus doesn't give me many options for using the gym here.  I'm not joking around anymore.  I think I want to run the 10K in October.  So it's time to do it up and stop being so bored.  :)

Happy Thursday!