I was making this tortellini soup earlier today to have for dinner tonight. Instead of frozen vegetables, I added onion, garlic, carrots and spinach. Oh and I added beef...because I am shamefully lost in this world without meat.
I used a squeeze of tomato paste and immediately grabbed a sharpie to write the date that I opened it on it...which I do with pretty much every condiment in our fridge. I should do it with more items in our pantry too.
I don't know if everyone does this too or no one does, but I'll admit it has been an incredibly handy reference when cleaning out the fridge. Because even though the italian dressing might not expire for a couple more weeks, it helps to know it's been cracked open for three months or something.
Get it? Cheerleading + end of an era = che-era.
Good thing that's not super cheesy.
This was one of the last weekends that had lots of cheer team related stuff. The team hosted a mini cheer camp fundraiser and we hosted a showcase.
I can't wait until it's done and I never want it to end. I have loved it and not really loved it and have absolutely loved it. No matter what, after four years, I cannot begin to imagine our life without it.
This weekend I also happily grabbed those sparkly cheerleader charms for key chains I decided had to be made (for no reason other than cuteness) to hold the extra copies of the key for the storage container on campus. This means I gravitated towards an item with rhinestones.
I think my transition to liking sparkly stuff might be complete...four years later I'm a really a cheer mom.
I first made a set of group work sticks for the fall 2014 semester. I have used them in almost every single class since. My students all know, walk into class and grab a stick.
I decided last year to make a set of forty that continuously got students into groups of five, instead of different sized groups like the first set. Now that I am teaching at the local high schools (through a program at the community college I work for) I have smaller class sizes.
I can always pull sticks out, and it's easy to quickly remove a couple colors worth. However, its a pain to shuffle through the pile trying to find a bunch of smiley face sticks or something because I was going to use symbols as a grouping mechanism that day.
So I made a set of thirty...which meant fresh new colors...and lots of painting and stamping.
I would have never guessed that popsicle sticks could be a key tool in teaching at the college level, but they have been for me.
It's a little too easy to hoard even the teensy tiniest of crafting supplies like little scraps of fabric and paper because maybe you can tie them together into something cute.
In continuing with the letter of recommendation thank you gifting, one of my Women's Studies professors wrote letters for me and to thank her I got a couple of drawstring bags to hold her knitting projects (I picked this one and this one).
If I were to make a list right now of all the stuff I want to make right now it would include...a fresh stack of cards, a canvas idea I have for our bedroom wall, scrapbook pages (for the first time in almost forever) and more planner pages.
This was my first blog banner...waaaaay back when. Patterned paper was just really becoming a thing in scrapbooking and I was obsessed with all the colors and patterns. This photo was a new pile I had just excitedly bought.
Eleven years ago today, I started this whole thing. I reminisced on the 10th year and in the past I have shared old blog banners (2013 & 2014), but this morning I went back to the beginning. Thank goodness I have always kept the files on my external hard drive compulsively organized.
I used to make blog banners out of craft supplies and scan them in.
Then I started figuring out all this digital stuff.
And then, six years into blogging, I finally came up with a name that wasn't just my initials.
I wonder, now that I am officially into a second decade of blogging, will I reach twenty years? Will I do this for the rest of my life? It's been a wonderful hobby, a place to share the tiniest, random detail to the biggest stuff in our lives. And that's something I don't really ever want to see end...
I have written five letters of recommendation in the last month for students, so I know it can take a fair amount of time and effort. That is why I wanted to make sure I bought thank you gifts for the people who wrote them for me with all this job application business.
This was for one of my department chairs. I don't drink beer, but I really love to read descriptions and make a custom six-pack. Sean is the usual recipient of my beer choices (once it was my brother-in-law), so it was fun to put together a combination for someone new.
Then I had to decorate the box, right? Beer isn't as good unless there's patterned paper and stamps involved.
"But you can't open them"
How's that for a Valentine's gift?
Sean and I have a tradition of making each other a gift so this year I planned six dates for us and made little cards for each. I gave him the little stack of envelopes and told him he could use them whenever he wanted.
I started each idea with "let's" so that's what I included on the tag to tie it all together. It's just a few things that one or the other of us has mentioned, but we never actually go do. Then I put together another couple simple ideas we could do instead of just watching Netflix...although we both actually love to do that too.
Oh and Sean made me a cute little blackboard. He wrote a sweet note on the back that included that he thinks of me every morning when he wakes up. When I said there is no chance he thinks of me in the morning (most of the time he's all happy getting up to go for a run) he totally proved me wrong.
He said every morning when he wakes up he thinks, "Don't wake Nora up".
Now that's true love.
Rosemary and lemon from our backyard...last week I simmered them together.
Mac is in Vegas with his dad's family for a four-day weekend, Sean has enough time to work on a couple little house projects during his three-day weekend. I have a holiday from one school on Monday, but not the other. So I guess I have a 2.5-day weekend. It's the first weekend in awhile though that I haven't had piles of work, so it feels like a million day weekend.
Sean owns more pairs of shoes than I do. And his motto usually is, the more color, the better. My mom had gotten him a really cute pair of Vans for Christmas and passed along a coupon towards a next purchase. So Sean had little too much fun designing a custom shoe and then put that coupon to good use. You can't waste it, right?
A few weeks later, these show up on our doorstep and he was thrilled. He wore them to work the next day with a pastel plaid shirt that totally matched. Because so many things would match with neon rainbow shoes.
This was my desk at 8:18am. I was grading the the first stack of journal assignments from my Sociology of the Family class (just over 200 pages of work) and entering comments with every grade. I had "Meet the Press" on my iPad to listen to. And I had my phone nearby since I was tracking Sean who was running the Huntington Beach Half Marathon this morning.
As of this morning, I am back to regularly scheduled life. About a month ago now (where does time go?) I mentioned I wouldn't be around as much since I would be working on the stuff I was annoyingly vague about at the start of the year.
What I have been working on this whole time was job applications for a few full-time positions that are opening up locally. Two are actually at the community college I teach for (and graduated from). Over the last few weeks I have been writing and re-writing my curriculum vitae, covers letters and all the other bits & pieces.....pretty sure each one ended up with a dozen drafts.
I was hesitant to mention all of this since I didn't want to continuously share sad news if it doesn't work. However, by now I have managed to tell just about everyone I know...and it actually feels a lot better to hear them kindly say they are keeping their fingers crossed for me.
Now I am waiting to see if I get called for interviews and can break out my lucky skirt.
My love of croutons developed early on in my childhood. In fact there was one restaurant where my brother, sister and I would simply ask for a bowl of croutons and a side of ranch.
I pretty much could do the same thing as a full-grown adult.
Several years ago, when I learned how to make panzanella salad, it involved making your own croutons. It is so easy and so good and helps your house be scented like a buttery garlic toast factory.
Sourdough Garlic Butter Croutons
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut bread into half inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan on the stove. Let cool slightly. Add sugar, onion powder, garlic powder and salt into the melted butter and mix well. Stir the olive oil to the butter mixture. Toss the bread cubes with the butter/oil mixture, coating each one well. Lay the bread cubes out in one even layer on a baking sheet. Cook the coated bread cubes for 8-10 minutes, remove from oven to stir and return to the oven for 3-5 more minutes, watching them closely to make sure they do not over bake.
Remove from oven and allow them to cool completely on the pan. Keep in mind if they are not completely dried and crunchy when they come out of the oven that they will continue to crisp up as they cool. I store the croutons in the fridge due to the butter and they keep up to a week.
This weekend I started filling in my weekly calendar for February and decided I need to spend a little time on something cuter than writing down a whole bunch of meetings for school.
I cut an 8.75" x 2.5" piece of cardstock, dug into my patterned paper scraps and stuck a bunch on.
I think I have found yet another planner detail to craft up each month.
I think I wrapped this the first week of November or something...Mac had been invited to one of the cheerleader's sweet sixteen. I didn't have much time, but wanted to make her gift look cute, so I skimmed my saved gift wrapping ideas and combined a few details together.
Actually my Timehop app reminded me this morning that I joined Pinterest five years ago today. I've saved over three thousand ideas on there...and used it as a resource probably three times as much. Pretty much all meals, parties and house projects have come from a brainstorming there and I can't begin to imagine what I would ever do without it at this point.
I managed to catch a cold during the first week of the spring semester and that meant some extra rest in bed this weekend...which gave me too much time to analyze the current state of our bedroom.
So these two photos pretty much explain where we at. Please don't all rush at once to pin these...we wouldn't want to break Pinterest or anything with this truly astounding interior design work.
Despite the general not-so-awesome, there are a few good things in here...the much bigger bed is wonderful to have, the office drawer nightstands hold plenty, and it only took me forever (or five months) to find a comforter. I like the bench (but still wish it was about a foot shorter) and the dressers Sean painted worked with a wire bookcase in between. I'm also happy with the switch to a white slipcover on the chair, but wow that's fun to keep clean.
Oh and I love the little white shelves on the wall by the bed...not that you would know that considering that one, lone plant has been pretty much the only thing on them since they were hung. Well, the plant and recently some gigantic book about the Lakers that Sean has been reading.
The still-have-to-figure-it-out list starts with the television. I would love to mount it to the wall and build a gallery of frames around it. However, there is some horizontal stud in the wall issue that makes a nice, clean installation seemingly impossible (so says my electrician Sean). Speaking of walls...I am still kind of at a loss for the one behind our bed.
And speaking of walls one more time, the green wall is going. I actually picked a color a couple of weeks ago that I kept finding myself drawn to even though it's probably a little crazy. Granted only one wall is getting painted, since the rest are approximately a hundred feet tall and would take scaffolding to work on.
Also on the list is a table for next to the chair, the possibility of curtains and those super classy folk art collage frames from Walmart circa 1997 that are still hanging in the doorway.
Beyond a can of paint, I am at a bit a loss. For ten months now...making this by far the record holder for longest house project ever around here.
So, look for the official reveal sometime in 2018 or so.
Since I'll be catching up on the first three weeks of 2016 sometime this weekend and after going on and on a couple of weeks ago about how you have to do Project Life with me, I thought I'd share some of the things that have worked for me over the last year.
First I have saved my pennies...literally. Loose change got saved to take to a Coin Star machine and traded in for an iTunes gift card (since you do not get charged a service fee when you select credit towards something like iTunes or Starbucks). I then used it to purchase in-app kits of journaling cards.
Oh and the extra layout sets...those came in super handy too. (Above are some of my favorites.)
My plan last year was to make one page per week and then make an extra with a special event whenever I had enough pictures from it. I am sticking with that again this year. I did switch from having my weeks last year as Sunday through Saturday to Monday through Sunday this year.
I often used the Rhonna Designs app to add words to my photos. Since I mostly used the Project Life app on my iPad, those times that I had a few minutes and just my phone I would spend time editing photos with the Pic-Tap-Go app and then adding words. That way they were all ready when I went to put together a page.
I also would just save a photo or two as an entire 8x8 page. I only did this a couple of times this past year, but I loved it and will hopefully do it more this time around.
Oh and I don't think I ever shared the two photos of Mac cheering. He fell in love with cheer when I was a high school instructional aide and we would go to the football games. His senior year was the first time in four years that we went back to the stadium for the high school I had worked at, so I made him walk back up into the stands on the opposing side to duplicate the photo now that he has been living his dream.
Hope you maybe decided to join in the Project Life app documenting this year...if you have any questions I'd be happy to try to help.
Over holiday break the only house "project" I got done was switching the cabinet the leftover containers & lids were stored in. It took 18 or so minutes total.
This weekend was part two in this intense project...lid organization. We have spent the better part of a decade digging around in a haphazard mess of lids, but now that they reside in a much more convenient spot (you no longer have to practically be hanging upside down to dig them out of a dark cabinet next to the ground) keeping like lids together is entirely possible.
Is this a photo worthy project? No.
Is sharing this blog worthy? Not really.
Does it make me unreasonably happy and slightly satisfy my insatiable need to reorganized the most random stuff when I should be writing a syllabus?
In case you were wondering, I did not find it easy to photograph pieces of hot dogs that simmered forever (or like an hour and a half) in a tomato-ey sweet and savory bourbon sauce. This is the best I got before Sean and I sat down to devour a bunch while watching college football bowl games (we had spinach artichoke dip too) a few weeks ago.
This recipe came from my aunt back when I was a teenager on Christmas Eve eating these one after another. I rarely make them since it means buying a bottle of Jim Beam, that we don't use for anything else, but Sean loves them too, so it was worth it.
I like using chunks of hot dogs for this, but I have seen many more recipes that use small cocktail smoked sausages.
Mix together all ingredients and cook on very low heat on the stove for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring every five to ten minutes. Or, if you have more time, cook in a crock-pot on low 5-7 hours.
Last Wednesday night I used the cardstock calendar I printed (there's a PDF here) to get all crafty with our schedule this month. It was so much fun to get all "organized". I used quotations since the next day me and my crafty calendar already forgot something that I had scheduled.
I am awesome like that.
Speaking of schedules, around here I usually share something Monday through Friday, but over the next few weeks it'll be three times a week or so. I have a lot more planner pages to share, a couple of recipes and a few other little crafty projects I've forgotten to share over the last couple of months. I'll be a little extra busy working on those "annoyingly vague" goals I mentioned in my twenty-sixteen post and promise not be as annoying about it soon.
It rained and rained between Tuesday and Wednesday. As I looked out the window to the backyard there was this one rose that hung down dripping with raindrops. When it was still there on Thursday morning I grabbed my camera and headed out to soppy grass to take a picture of it...and a bunch of other stuff.
The sky was clear and filled with big white clouds and the cold-ish air (50 degrees or so) almost felt like it was sparkling. Super cheesy, right? But when you live in what's pretty much a dessert surrounded by three million or so people and endless cars...the two-day drenched, chilled air felt extra amazing.
I finished up my little book for the year last week with a bunch more pages. I scanned in coloring pages, hid some journaling, folded our three part Christmas to-do list into a page protector, tucked in the gift tags Sean and I always write clues on and included lots of photos of family.
I needed two different versions of a 2016 calendar for my planner, right? I printed months horizontally on thick cardstock to have at the beginning of weekly pages since I only store one month's worth of weekly pages at a time. I figured I could decorate it will all the cute planner supplies I continually cannot resist.
Then I updated a vertical version I had made before, printed it on my usual paper, so I can keep the entire thing in my planner for the year.
On Friday morning I finished the very last page and ordered a final batch of sixteen pages from the last month. In the last year I have fallen completely in love with using the Project Life app and gathering together memories big and small.
I have saved screen shots of text messages...dinners on the table...errands...all four naps Sean took during 2015. I have pulled over to the side of the road to get a photo of Mac being funny in the car...I have written down his quotes...and well documented every single one of the football games he cheered at his senior year.
I have captured more details than paper and glue scrapbooking could ever allow. There are 791 photos (yes, I'm a nerd and counted)...98 pages total. Pages that I worked on while watching tv, while waiting to pick up Mac at school, at Mac's tumbling class in between his back tuck attempts. Heck, I even scrapbooked during the weeks I only had one hand.
You have to do this too. Not that I want to be telling you what to do, but if you were an avid scrapbooker at any point and have been a little tight on time as of late, this is such a great way to go. It'll never be quite as fun as making a mess with patterned paper and stamps, but I still completely enjoyed every minute of it.
And in keeping with the assertion that you just have to, I would love to buy the app for five of you. Please leave a "Pick me" sometime before Wednesday. I will email the five random winners and gift you the app through iTunes later this week.
A rare Sunday early afternoon post as we wrap up out holiday break today. Lucky duck Mac still gets an extra week of vacation, but Sean will be back at school in the morning. And while I'll be at home for fifteen more days, the spring semester prep list will require pretty much full work days from here on out.
But I am not writing that list until later today.
I spent the last few days of vacation gathering together several blog posts, making lots of stuff for my planner, crafting up Christmas thank you notes, eating three pieces of bacon every morning for breakfast and realizing "How I Met Your Mother" is a really cute show. I am trying not to succumb to immense melancholy that the quiet and cozy general sense of laziness is over.
So instead I will think of three things to be happy about...
It's forecasted to rain all week, so a steaming cup of tea out on the front porch sound like a good idea. I get to start making my class planner for the spring, and Sean will be home at 3pm this week since coaching doesn't start back until next week.
I'll be just fine.
I started last year around here mentioning that next year would be a big one.
Not to be overly dramatic or anything, but this is the year I have thought of for twenty years.
"When I'm forty, Mac will be twenty."
It was out there in the far, far future. Until now.
With Mac's high school graduation this year, everyone is all about the future. What's his plan? What will he be doing? What does he want to do? And in this moment we (Mac and his three parents) have no clue about a plan...but thankfully there are things he wants to do.
There are other possible changes and goals that I will be annoyingly vague about for now. I cannot remember a time that I have been so anxious about an impending year as this one, but hopefully those nerves will channel into the energy and motivation I'll need to tackle the big changes ahead.
Happy New Year!
Looking back on 2015 and realizing we were pretty darn lucky to have such a great 365 days. Here are some of the favorite bits and pieces...
Favorite Gift I Gave A mini planner for my mom.
Favorite Garden Project A little herb garden
Favorite School Idea Markers to initial a participation tracking sheet I developed
Favorite Cheer Team Detail Picnic Box Homecoming Dinner
Favorite Blog Post Our new minivan
Favorite Teacher Gift First day of school snacks
Favorite Organizational Project Stamp pads color drawers in my card catalog
Favorite Mantle For Thanksgiving
Favorite Moment with Sean A summer concert picnic
Favorite Moment with Mac A rainy few minutes after school
Favorite Blog Moment It turned ten
For hostess gifts this year I used an idea I had seen before, but decided to add my own twist by including a little pot as part of the gift. That way all it needed was water for it to be ready to go and then the pot could be reused for other little simmering concoctions in the future.
I filled each pot about halfway with slices of orange peel, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and sprigs of rosemary. Then I used a cellophane bag to slip over the pot and tied a big plaid bow. I used the leftovers to simmer in our house and oh my goodness did it smell delicious.
A few Christmas details...wrapped gifts finally piled until the tree. An ornament crafted up during this year's merry making activities. My nephew and nieces were super sweet on Christmas morning including the gifts they made for their parents. Speaking of my nephew and nieces, my mom knitted the cutest hats for them and after I commented on the colorful pom-poms a bunch of times she made a couple extra for my gift.
And then speaking of gift wrapping, we love that Mac always spends a little time making our gifts cute. And he picked out our favorite things...candles for Anthropologie for me and he designed custom Vans for Sean. He wrapped a photo since we did't realize it takes six weeks to be done and Mac and I ordered them in early December.
Now I have been fully embracing the post-holiday tasks of wearing fuzzy socks, eating Ruffles for breakfast, catching up on this season of Good Wife and drinking one too many jars of iced coffee. We may have discussed a possible idea with a can of paint but, other than that, I am keeping on track with a solid Christmas week schedule.
There's sleeping-in and making breakfast. There is Christmas music and pine scented candles burning all day. There is reading and crafting. And even a nap.
I have thought at least a dozen times in the last few days that we are awfully lucky to have this time together.
My mom moved from Chicago in 1978 (I think that's right) with one daughter, one on the way and two Norfolk Island Pines. They were houseplants until we moved into the house we grew up in and my mom planted them in the front yard. Santa Ana winds eventually knocked one down, but the other has been growing for almost 40 years.
For the last couple of years, though, my mom has talked about taking it down, since it was affecting her next door neighbor's roof. She mentioned taking it down at Christmas so one of us could use the top as a Christmas tree. She even hired a tree trimmer, specifically asking them to save the top. We also asked to save parts of the trunk for all four of us to keep. I joked that we probably were one of the most sentimental customers they have had.
The tree trimmer drove the top over to my house and it just took a few minutes to get it set up in the tree stand in front of the house. We put lights on it and, although it probably seemed random to my neighbors, it looked super cute.
Then some heavy breezes came and knocked it down. We moved it under the porch (it barely fit) and then some heavy breezes came and knocked it down there too. I hadn't gotten the picture I really wanted of it lit up at night in front of the house. That's how Sean ended up out there right before the progressive dinner party last weekend trying to get it to stand.
Except it wouldn't.
Sean dealt with my persistence (a.k.a. whining) about the tree saying his very last option would be nailing the stand into the tree. I told him as long as I got a picture then it could be laying on the ground at the front door as the neighbors arrived for all I cared. I just really wanted a darn picture.
He got it to stand for the photo...and it stood all night...and it remained standing right there all last week, even with more heavy breezes. We have joked it's a Christmas miracle.
And then this weekend a millimeter of rain fell and the tree fell over...and fell over again, so it was time. Sean started cutting it apart, but saved the final three feet and got it arranged into a planter box we had. So it is sitting in the corner of the front porch still barely hanging on for Christmas.
Oh maybe it really will be a Christmas miracle and start growing again.
A majority of photos of Mac lately have been cheer related, so it became the theme of our card. Heck, even at the official team photos down at the beach earlier this fall when the photographer was taking "buddy" photos for the girls we ordered one and went dashing into Mac's photo before he could realize what we were doing. I joked that it was for the Christmas card...and it turns out it was. The top photo was a total favorite from homecoming.
I actually used the exact same font I used on the cheer banquet invitations last April. And we included a little note about our pun on the back. I designed the cards in Photoshop Elements and sent the 5x7 file to be printed at Costco, printed the back on super thick cardstock at home, adhered the two together and rounded the corners.
I used a gold sharpie and my weird handwriting to address the envelopes. Then there were the address labels, that I loved, but ended up not matching the card even slightly. They are tied with our neighbors orange-ish wall, that I totally should have changed in the Homecoming photo, as the two little mistakes that totally bug me. Unless there's a typo or something that I missed.
I suppose the shade of the orange-wall and the address labels sort of match each other though.
I dug into the cabinet where I have been stuffing away gifts and got all of them wrapped. My mom set up her village for the first time in years...the ice-skaters on the the mirror pond were always my very favorite. And a blurry photo from last night when we went out late to see our favorite Christmas light neighborhood.
It's been a good week so far...
This is barely a recipe, but is an idea I have been obsessed about since we had them on our tiny trip to LA for Mac's birthday this past summer. Sean and I assembled a bunch of them (two full platters) to bring to the appetizer house of our neighborhood holiday progressive dinner (maybe to counteract all the trifle eating later that night). I may or may not have eater about a dozen just as we were making them too.
Cucumber, Tomato, Olive & Feta Bites
This amount of ingredients made about seventy-five bites, so you can adjust amounts to make more or less.
Cut the cucumber into 1/2 inch cubes. Slice the olives in half lengthwise. Cut the grape tomatoes in half. Make sure the feta is very cold before carefully cutting into cubes. After cutting the cubes put them back into the fridge for another 10 or so minutes for them to remain cold.
Have piles of all the other ingredients ready to assemble before pulling the feta out to use. We also kept a couple small plates of the feta cubes so that half could remain in the fridge while we assembled. I found the easiest way to assemble the toothpicks was to start with the cucumber, then the olive, then carefully slide the cheese (it can crumble easily, but it worked well when I was careful) and then use the tomato half to sandwich the feta securely. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
A few years ago, when I was stuck to my desk finishing my third semester of grad school (just seeing the lit review list written on the white board makes me shutter), I decorated around my desk to bring some holiday festiveness to my schoolwork. This year I took it even further and switched out the frames and took down my favorite painting to hang an unconventional wreath. It's like having a Christmas desk instead of a tree (except I actually have a tree up in the room too).
I used some deer wrapping paper in one frame and used a "Makers Gonna Make" free print in another (I changed the color to red and added a gold star background).
The hipster Santa pillow is possible my most ridiculous Christmas purchase ever, but I love it.
I figured, if I am going to be in here, I am bringing Christmas in with me.
We discussed my love of kit themed gifts last week and this week it's my ongoing interest in make your own desserts.
Last year we hosted the dessert house for our neighborhood progressive dinner and I put together a hot chocolate bar. I usually like to mix up the houses we host from year to year (there's an appetizer, main course and dessert house), but I had another idea and I was too excited not to host dessert two years in a row.
I got piles of little trifle cups at the local dollar store. I liked that they were small so people could grab a couple and make different combinations. We baked chocolate and yellow cakes. Then we made vanilla pudding, chocolate pudding and whipped cream. The cakes were mixes and it was jello pudding, but the whip cream was freshly made from heavy cream and powdered sugar.
We made my mom's fudge sauce and got a jar of caramel sauce at the store. I smashed frozen strawberries with some sugar to make a strawberry sauce. We also cooked some chopped apple in brown sugar and butter for "caramel apples". I mixed some pulverized oreo crumbs with melted butter and froze them to make an oreo pie crust crumble (that's one of the best tricks my mom has taught me).
We had mini peanut butter cups, heath bar bits and some peppermint crunch. Finally Sean quickly sliced a little bowl of bananas right before everyone walked in the door.
Can you imagine some chocolate cake and pudding with oreos, peanut butter cups and health bar...with bananas and a generous dollop of whip cream? That's what I had and it was darn good. Sean managed to devour three different combinations...and that was after being at a party full of food all night long. Thankfully we made double of everything, so our neighbors could still get some dessert when Sean wasn't hogging it.
I came to a realization today. I am kit obsessed.
This time it's gift wrapping kits as holiday gifts for the super kind administrative assistants I work with in the departments I teach in. My list grew this year as my office mate (she gets a kit too) and I were moved to a faraway building at the state college this past semester. The Sociology office is a long, uphill walk away so the Economics department in our building has taken us under their wing with gathering mail and letting us use their scantron machine, so now I wanted to do even more gift giving.
As I shared the other day, I made a lot of tape dispensers a little cuter (I first did this for a hostess gift a few years ago). I also gathered twine, a paper cutter, mini clothespins and made a handful of gift tags. I used digital patterns from these kits...one, two, three.
I packed each of the kits (I made seven) into boxes and tied them up with some twine and a tag.
I wonder what will need to be made into a kit next?
Sean started with "Clarence" a couple of years ago now. And he's has had a pretty good time around here. Then last year I saw a bunch of sad little elves heaped in the clearance section at Target and couldn't resist bringing someone home to give Clarence some competition.
Because the only thing more ridiculous than full-grown adults having an elf on a shelf, is having two of them.
Sean knew someone would be arriving and teased me about being able to come up with good ideas.
All I said was, "Game on."
So please meet Lucretia. Lucretia Mott. She started the women's suffrage movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Seneca Falls, New York on July 19, 1848. She brought a mini copy of the Declaration of Sentiments with her.
And she showed up with a gift. A David's Tea Advent calendar.
This shouldn't be so much fun...but it kind of really is.