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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Help

On Saturday I started my seasonal gig of being Santa's helper.  I somehow got asked to do it by the city committee this year and I was flattered that someone thought I'd be good with all the kids as they wait to see the big guy.  I was a little nervous about it because the former Mrs. Claus was so magical and wonderful.  She's out of the state this year so they needed someone to help.  But I think it went pretty well. 

I've spent the last few weeks trying to find an appropriate costume to wear.  Google Santa's helper dresses and whoa--not many of those would be tasteful or warm enough for standing outside for hours in the upstate NY cold.  I did find one and I think it was perfect.  But no matter what I wear it won't be warm enough because it was freakin COLD.  I'm gonna need some fleece tights. 

The whole thing kicked off with a parade down Main Street.  I got to ride with Santa and his elves in a horse drawn situation.  It was so cute!  My friend snapped this picture as we rode by. 

After the parade Santa and I made our way to the Cottage to see all the kids lined up waiting to see him.  My job was to meet and greet and introduce the kids to Santa.  Our town has this cute little cottage for him to sit in so every family could go in and take pictures and have one on one attention from him.  The line was LONG and we didn't see the last family until 3 pm. Everyone was in good spirits and so patient.  It was such a heart warming day.  I'm really happy that I could be a part of it. 

Next up is the town tree lighting next week and then some Fridays and Saturdays.   It's been a long time since I felt any magic from the holidays and this is an excellent way to get me in the spirit.  Especially being able to see how excited the kids are to be there!   Love it!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Free Time

It sure has been a busy week!!    And I'm happy to report that I feel better than I have in weeks...maybe months.  I'm not sure why because nothing significant has happened but I think I'm finally sick of feeling so down.  As I told a friend of mine, I'm pretty fantastic--I should start acting like it!  (I mean that in the good self esteem way, not the cocky way)

Feeling better and more in control of life, I have felt more motivated to do some little projects in my "free" time.  (Note: two jobs doesn't give one much free time)  The other day I woke up at 5:45 with the intention of going for a run.  But then I rationalized that I was attending Yoga Sculpt that night so I could probably forgo the run and instead make an ironing board cover that coordinates with my craft/office room.  (excuses, excuses...)  It's been bugging me for weeks that the cover didn't coordinate with the room.  (hello, freak status)
You can't really tell but it's orange/white polka dot fabric.  The early morning lighting doesn't lend itself to good photography but it's super cute in person.  And it coordinates with my orange stuff, thank you very much.  :)

Last night I came home to discover a package at my house.  I had forgotten that I had won a blog giveaway from Ms. Attitude.  It's so cute!!  A Starbucks gift card and an ORANGE mug!  She totally gets me.  I'd like to believe she chose that based on my obsession with all things orange.  :)  I've been reading her blog for years now and I feel like she's my most faithful reader here.  Thanks, Ms. Attitude!  You made my day!
I'd close with TGIF--except that I have a busy weekend ahead.  I'm playing Santa's helper in town and the parade is tomorrow.  Yikes...I'm a little nervous.  I hope I can be as magical as they expect me to be and I hope my Santa costume comes together and I don't look like a fool.  Fingers crossed!  Wait, I'm supposed to be acting like I'm fantastic, aren't I?  Dang, so quick to forget...
Have a great weekend!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Half Full

This weekend was BUSY!  I was just talking to my co-worker about I didn't stop until Sunday night at 11 pm.  Whew.  I'm thankful for keeping myself busy.  It's helping me heal to some extent.  It was one of those weekends that makes me feel optimistic again.  I need to hold on to that feeling...especially today.
Saturday morning consisted of spending a few hours at my friend's fabric shop making crafts.  I love when she hosts these events and we can all go and make things.  This time it was a burlap stocking and a hanging card holder.  I went with red and white chevron.  (not a big surprise there). 
I love spending time with these lovely ladies.  I got to spend some QT with Sabrina and Eliza.  We walked around downtown and had lunch.  It was great and the weather was good.
I worked the rest of Saturday and came home and did a million things to get ready for Sunday.  I was exhausted by 10 pm.  I miss the days of going out...I need to have a fun night out on the town soon. Forget this grounding myself stuff.  I'm fantastic and I need to be out and about.  No more avoiding people.  So there.

Sunday morning was busy.  I got up early so I could finish a project, clean the storage room, and get out all the things I need for the week.  I've got a lot going on the next few weeks and I needed some time to organize.  To be honest I could have spent the whole day in my sweats doing that BUT I had lots of plans for the day. 

Some friends hosted a Holiday Open House so I went over there.  It was so lovely.  They had their craft creations out for purchase.  I picked up some cute stuff from my talented, crafty friends. 
After I left there I headed over to Isabel's house to watch the Jets-Bills game. 
I got to spend some time with little Mr. Tyler.  And Isabel asked if I'd be one of his godmothers.  I felt honored to be asked.  In Finland, it's traditional to have two sets of godparents.  So cute.  I don't have any experience with godparents so I'm not really sure what it means but it's definitely an honor.  I'll spoil him extra now.  :)
After the excitement of seeing little man, I headed to work at BBW to do our big meeting before Black Friday.  We did a cookie exchange after the meeting so that was nice.  For the record I brought the cookies to work today so I would not have any temptation to eat them at home.  I've got two more cookie exchanges to get through next month so I can't be having any temptation.  I've got to get to my 20 lb mark folks!

After that I had an appointment with a friend to take my holiday card photo.  I think it's going to turn out pretty well...Here's a sneak preview...weird I know, but it'll make sense later, I promise. 
After I got home and cleaned up from all these activities I was exhausted.  And for the first time in a long time, I saw the glass of water on my nightstand before I fell asleep and I thought to myself...wow, it's half full.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


It's funny how you can hear things throughout your life and never make meaning of them until it's time for it to MEAN something to you. 
I had that moment last night. 
I was watching Alice in Wonderland (the Johnny Depp version) because I realized that I had NEVER seen any version of it in my childhood (what?!?).  To be fair, with my name being Allison, I got A LOT of "Allison in Wonderland" references in my youth--it was annoying.   But I never had any interest in reading it or watching it.  I always assumed it was just a silly story of a girl that fell in a rabbit hole and saw a lot of nonsense things.  When my office decided to dress up as the characters for Halloween, I sheepishly admitted that I had no idea what the story was or who the characters were so one of my colleagues loaned me the DVD so I could have an idea.  I didn't even bother watching it before Halloween.  But last night I decided I should watch it (so I could return it to her)
Let's just say that I couldn't have watched it at a perfect time in my life.  
Metaphorically speaking I've fallen into the rabbit hole in the last few years.  I've lost my muchness.  Or I never had it to begin with.  That's not being negative--it's introspection.   There have been a lot of characters that have come and gone in my life.  There have been a lot of changes.  I often think about life 4 years ago and I felt like I was muchier back then.  But was I?   I'm not sure...but whatever muchness is...I want to be muchier.  Maybe again.  Maybe finally.

And just like Alice, I'm trying to figure out which road to take.  But where do I want to go?  What do I want?  What are my goals?  And just like her...I don't know.  So it really doesn't matter which road I take until I know where I want to go.  So simple.  So cliche.  So true.

And the one quote that stuck with me the most is this one.  Maybe this journey of life is supposed to make us all a little mad so that we can do the things we need to do--the vision to live the life we want and not the one that we think we're "supposed" to have.  
Maybe this "madness" is the road I need to be on to help me find my "muchness".
Or maybe I've read entirely too much into a story...and I've gone bonkers.  But then again...all the best people are.   ha ha!
Happy Thursday!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Baby Love

Some days feel like my heart will burst from sad things.  Yesterday I felt like that.  I cried.  I sought comfort from a very wise friend, but it made me cry still.  I wonder when the cosmic tides will change for me.  Everything feels very heavy.  I know I have to keep hope in my heart.  I try but some days, like yesterday, it's really hard. 

On days like that, you need something to fill your heart with something...anything....joyful.  And what brings more joy to a heart than a brand new little life in the world?!  My friend, Isabel had her little boy yesterday.  So I hopped over to the hospital to meet him.  Gah!!! 

Could he be any cuter and sweeter?  Being the overly cheesy person I am, I brought a cupcake and a zero candle for him.  We snapped a quick picture and then his momma wanted to eat the cupcake.  She deserved it!  Little boy (no name yet) joins two big sisters.  Those girls can melt my heart when they run up to me screaming "Auntie Allison" can I have some gum?  I am blessed to have met Isabel and that she's allowed me to be an auntie to them.  I adore those girls and I can only imagine how much I will adore this little man too...

We're off to a good start.  He slept the whole time I was there and I just held him and talked to him about watching basketball games together.  Gotta make him an Orange fan! 

I just love baby toes.  Look at those piggies.  And  his fat little legs.  I can't even...too cute.
I walked out of the hospital and I found myself smiling and feeling a little lighter for the first time all day.   

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wish List

It's almost that time of the year...
My birthday and Christmas.  In the same month.
I don't really expect much from these two days.  Mostly, I just get disappointed that they aren't as magical as I'd like them to be.  I'm not sure what I expect but I'd like some magic.  Something wonderful that has nothing to do with material possessions.  Eh, not likely this year.  So I'll talk about material stuff. 
I've often considered registering for gifts.  I haven't gotten married yet.  I don't have babies yet.  So I've never been able to register.  It's kind of a bummer that life works that way.  You have to wait until you have some big life stuff before you can put together a list of stuff you want and send it to your friends and family to buy it for you  and then your friends and family throw a party in your honor to watch you open gifts.   Oh well.  I'll just share my "single girl registry" here.  For fun.  :) 
My super fun 2013 Wish List (complete with links ;)
1.  A Kate Spade  day planner.  I'd like to go back to using  a paper planner again.  I'll still be using my outlook calendar for everything but I'd like this too.
2.  Michael Kors Parker Chronograph Orange Leather Band Womens Watch 

3.  Syracuse knee socks
4.  Alex and Ani Syracuse charm bracelet.  In silver.
5.  A clothes steamer
6.  Syracuse headrest covers.  The VW needs these.  
I'll consider myself registered.  Happy Shopping!  haha.  :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Craft City

In an effort to continue to organize my life and make sense of things, I decided I needed to make my craft/office room a place that I wanted to spend more time.  A little background on this space...it started out as the "weird room" because it was well...weird.  There is no door.  It's just an open space near where the spare room and guest bathroom is.  I suppose at one point it might have been a dining room.  I'm not sure.  All I know is that it was just kind of a room that existed to store my desk and other random stuff that didn't fit into the decor of the other rooms.  You know how that goes.  It housed some of my craft stuff too.  The other half of my craft stuff was stored in the guest room closet.  And my sewing machine was in there too.  It finally hit me that I would probably spend more time in there if all the craft stuff was in ONE place.  So this weekend I finally got my act together and did it.  Granted, it is NOT the prettiest room.  It may even look junky and random but it's functional and filled with things that I like.  I still have some work to do in it but for now, it's in relative order. 
This is the view from the entrance.  I have a big table to work on and my sewing machine is out and ready to use.  I've still got to paint the sewing desk and have a few little projects to make it prettier but for now it's fine.

Because I was inspired by the organization, I spent some time last night working on a project that I wanted to get done for November.   I have a million old BBW candles so I used the jars and mod podged letters on them and filled them with popcorn kernels and small candles. 

And put them on the mantle in my bedroom.  I think they turned out pretty well. 
I imagine that I'll be spending more time being creative now.  Perhaps I'll even think about starting my side business finally. 

Monday, November 4, 2013


It's Monday. 
After the time change. 
And it's cold here in O-town.

I can't believe it's that time of the year already.  Crazy!   I had a very low key kind of weekend.  I hung out with friends, did errands, went to a football game, worked, and amazingly enough--I cooked!  Ha.

I generally don't cook a lot for myself.  Following the WW plan, I eat more like a 12 year old so I don't spend a lot of time making meals that I have no idea how many points are attached.  Hey, it works for me.  But I did find a recipe on pinterest that I couldn't stop thinking about so I decided that the weekend is a perfect time to be a little naughty and try it out.  I only pin recipes that I'll try--it's a personal pet peeve of mine that people pin EVERYTHING they see and I would put money on the fact that they never actually try the things they pin out...but whatever.    So before I headed out to spend Saturday afternoon in the cold watching football, I threw chicken in the crock pot to make this Buffalo Chicken Pasta
4-6 Chicken Breast filets
1 Can of  Cream of Chicken Soup
¾ cup Frank’s Hot Wing Sauce
16 oz Sour Cream
½ cup Ranch Dressing
2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
16 oz Penne Pasta
Cut chicken into small  pieces and place in a crock pot.
Mix the cream of chicken soup and wing sauce. Pour over chicken, making sure all are coated.
Set on high for 4-5 hours and then go do something fun somewhere.  :)
Cook & drain pasta when chicken is done. 
Add pasta, sour cream, ranch dressing, and mozzarella cheese to chicken mixture.  Mix it all together and cover and let bake for another 3 minutes on high.
It was delicious!  And I made Apple Crisp too.   Whoa! How I'm not wifed up yet is beyond me!  HA!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween '13

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday.  I have always loved it. 

I like dressing up. 

I like pumpkins.

I like black cats.

I like the variety of activities you can participate in.

I like that there is no pressure to it--no gifts to buy, no great love to account for.    It's just fun!

I didn't end up planning my Halloween party (next year it is).  I didn't end up going out in the costume I had been planning--a referee (next year, man.  next year)  But I had a lovely little Halloween week. 

The college that I work at has a carnival and then trick-or-treating in the residence halls the day before Halloween.   Thankfully, I have some kids in my life that I can tag along with.  And I have to say that kids in costumes are the freakin cutest things ever.  My heart explodes at the cuteness. 

Case in point:  Eliza and baby Lach.  Love!!   I'd like to say that it's always Halloween that brings out my baby fever.  I could totally do this whole Mom thing (right?!?)  I would love it.  Anyway,  this picture makes my heart smile.  Not much makes my heart smile lately but these kids--whoa. 

Angie and I posed in the photo booth that was set up at the event on Wednesday.  Angie's students did the carnival so it was fun to go support that. 

Yesterday, on the real Halloween my office gets dressed up (all together in theme) and trick-or-treat around the building to other offices.  While we were in another office these cookies were out.  They are so gross...but so fun.  I want to make these next year. 

My office dressed up as Alice in Wonderland characters.  I was Tweedle Dee.  Everyone did a great job with their costume.  What a fun office tradition. 

Here's my costume partner.  She did a great job getting our outfits together. 

I had to work at BBW last night so I couldn't attend the parade in town or do anything fun.  I decided that I'd dress up for work.  I had to try to make it fun!  I was a BBW bunny.  :)

It was a nice day and I'm always a little sad when it's over.  But today marks the beginning of basketball season so my costumes for the next few months will be ORANGE!