making the rounds.

christmas has always been a big deal in my family. my childhood is filled with memories of christmas crafts and helping my mums pull down the boxes filled with ornaments and other goodies. i was always super excited to get started, but like most children, my attention span only lasted about 7.4 minutes. luckily my mums had enough motivation to single-handedly complete the days long task of decorating. the collection of goodies has grown through the years...these days christmas takes over the entire house, inside and out. every nook and cranny houses a snowman, santa, or christmas tree. there are festive towels, napkins, and dishes. and the pièce de résistance is the christmas village, which sits atop the rock wall between the living room and kitchen. all of this probably sounds a bit gaudy, but i assure you it is not. it is a sight to behold.
mums is the only person patient enough to properly adorn the tree with lights.
other than my two years in the peace corps, i have spent all of my christmas' at my parent's house. i guess knowing that i will be in the midst of my mums' festive house explains why i have not taken to decorating my own house. plus there is the minor conundrum that i have no place to store my decorations the rest of the year. but this year i decided that at the very least we should have a wreath on our door. i had only two requirements...it had to be perfect and inexpensive. oh and if i had to make it myself it had to be relatively easy, because i am supposed to be working on a thousand other projects. no problem, right? ummm...sure. except other than knowing i wanted something fun and modern, i was not exactly sure what i considered the perfect wreath. 
some lovely wreaths. clockwise from top left: contemporary wool felt wreath by pinno, warmest greetings wreath by anthropolgie,  peppermint red berry christmas wreath by stylish stems, glitter berry wreath by pier 1, modern wreath by itsnick, and sweet fabric wreath by jane joss.
and then out of the blue a fellow blogtress, mrs. nipper knapp, posted a picture of some adorable flowers she had made. how lucky for me that when i asked for flower instructions, despite my not mentioning i wanted to make a wreath, she directed me to this felt wreath tutorial!! soooooo perfect. i jumped in my car, raced off to michaels, procured the necessary supplies, and came home to make my wreath. i even got the mister involved making little balls of yarn, so that i would be able to wrap my wreath. the finished product was more perfect than even i could have imagined.
the flowers all cozy together.
of course i forgot to buy ribbon to hang the wreath (oops). i tried to use fishing line, but the felt flowers are surprisingly heavy and the thing was hanging kind of wonky. i switched tactics and made a braid with some of the leftover yarn. naturally our door is metal, so simple things like a thumbtack in the top of the door were not an option. i had to dismantle one of the mister's hangers to make an over-the-door hook. but in the end, the whole thing worked out and if i do say so myself it is perfect-O!!



well things did not turn out exactly as planned. the mister was working from four to midnight, so we planned our big dinner for friday. our menu was roast chicken, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, my mom's pineapple cheese gelatin salad, cranberry sauce, biscuits, and pecan pie. yummmmmy!! and then i got sick. the grocery shopping did not happen and neither did the cooking.  i ended up eating macaroni & cheese from a box, but happily i woke up today feeling loads better. i shopped the black friday sales from the sanctity of our bed, but by 3pm i could no longer contain myself. i wanted to browse around target (of course) and go to winn dixie to buy a pecan pie, just for a taste of thanksgiving.
the makings of our thanksgiving feast.
our pecan pie trip turned into a full-fledged "let's make a mini-thanksgiving meal." not exactly the meal i had originally planned, but it was not completely awful. we had fried chicken, mashed potatoes from a box, with gravy from a can, pre-packaged dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, potato salad and hawaiian delight from the deli, a store-made pecan pie, a can of whipped cream, and for some reason a watermelon. i am quite certain this was only one step up from having our thanksgiving dinner catered by burger king. but at least the plate of food satisfied my burning desire to participate in the feasts of thanksgiving.
certainly not the worst meal i have ever eaten.
despite not being able to enjoy the actual day of thanksgiving, i am still thankful for all the wonderful things in my life. most importantly, i am thankful for the mister, who this week won the award for world's greatest husband. i am thankful that we are happy and healthy (except for the little blips of colds and flu). and i am thankful for my family and friends, who love me through thick and thin.

i hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving!!!


wednesday windows #1.

i saw this idea on keri's blog and i cannot help but jump on the same ship. but, lest you think i am purloining the idea, please note that keri specifically invited people to join in the festivities. i am typically not a joiner, but this adventure is too cool to let it pass me by.
picture from the claw.
the original wednesday windows idea and instructions come from sherri at "the claw".

Post two pictures on your blog. The first, is literally a picture taken from a window (from your home, car, wherever your window view may be at the time). The second - a little peek into your world (a window into it if ya will - and I know you will), with a bit of an explantation. You can use the second image as a stepping off point for sharing something with your blog readers (and me - please link back to the claw in a comment if you play along), that they may not know about you or your life. It can be anything. It need not be particularly revealing, or profound, just describe what is going on in the picture. Perhaps, we can learn a bit more about each other.
now for my first two pictures...
the view from the doctor's office.
i sort of loathe the idea that i live in miami, but then i think about the perks and it does not seem so bad. a) it is the end of november and a balmy 80 degrees. b) i go to mundane places like the doctor's office and have to face this view. not the easiest place to live, but is also not the easiest place to leave.
the entrance is enough to make me swoon.
the mister and i live in a blah condo. don't get me wrong...when i hang out at the pool on our little bay, it feels like we are living at a resort. but it is in the middle of urban sprawl and i secretly dream of living in a little bungalow like this...preferably in a small village in europe.

and that's it. my first wednesday windows. if you are digging this idea, then you should join the bandwagon...just be sure to link back to sherri at the claw.


nasal irrigation?

went to sleep at 9:30 last night. little early for this night owl. but then i woke up in the middle of the night congested and sneezing, which instantly explained the early bedtime. i then spent a miserable day at work as my congestion increased and a fever took hold. this got me thinking about neti pots, which lately seem to be appearing in my reading material with increasing frequency. more than one celebrity has stepped out to say that they swear by these little gems. what is a neti pot you ask? why, it is a nasal irrigation device of course. sounds disgusting? it is.
cute little bugger, eh?
it is kind of like giving your sinuses a bath. strange concept, but when you are congested, it sounds like a dream. so i stopped by the local drugstore and picked up my very own neti pot. i have to admit that i was a bit wary the first time around. but i read the directions and with a little encouragement from the mister i filled up the pot and set it to action. not necessarily disgusting, but definitely weird. weird. weird. and then instant relief. holy crap, this thing might be the greatest cold remedy ever! it made my poor head feel so much better that i could not wait to use it again. we will see how i feel tomorrow, but for the moment, i have to give the pickel stamp of approval to this genius invention. don't knock it until you try it. just do me a favor...whatever you do, do NOT go to google images and look up "neti pot." yikes.
pickel stamp of approval.



i never run out of things that i need to sew. the current list includes two quilts, a gym bag, some yet to be determined christmas gifts, and all sorts of goodies for my nephew. oh and i have an etsy shop that has not been getting its deserved attention. right. naturally that means it is time to wander the internet to find a gazillion other projects to add to the list. there are so many amazing blogs and so little time.

so with "nothing" to do today, i decided it was imperative that my nephew have the most perfect handmade advent calendar in the world. right. he is 11 months, so i am sure he would agree this is a necessity. i used this adorable design as inspiration (a little pocket for each day...too cute!!) and spent the last two days "whipping" it together. clearly, i am shamelessly bucking for the auntie of the year award. 
the cutest advent calendar in the world.
i figure if i want that coveted title, i better end this year with a bang. last week i was thinking chickens. but i just discovered these owl pillows, which i think are the bees knees.
well i guess that would be the owls knees. me thinks that perhaps for christmas the nephew is getting some owls instead of a chicken. thoughts? or perhaps you have a better idea...do tell!!! meanwhile, i am off to go work on one of the quilts.


i love chickens.

for some reason i love chickens. not exactly in a culinary sense. i mean, i do occasionally eat them, but this is not what makes me love chickens. there is just something about these critters that makes me giggle. they walk funny, they squawk funny, and they might be the stupidest animals i have ever encountered. what's not to like?
at some point in my teens, i started drawing this chicken with ears (likely i copied it from someone else, as teens are prone to do). true story. in fact it was practically a part of my signature. a few months ago, i even made a love chicken, which if i do say so myself, was too cute for words.
not surprisingly, when it was time decorate the label i sewed for my nephew's quilt, i could not resist adding my chicken.
which makes it all the more perfect that in my quest to find a stuffed animal pattern to make the little guy's christmas present, i found this positively adorable chicken at sew mama sew. i am super duper excited!! but don't tell him...it is supposed to be a surprise!


the glories of youth.

i am a total kid. i act like a kid and i think like a kid. at least once a week i do something that leaves the people around me jokingly asking "how old ARE you?" i figure if they have to ask, they might as well get the real answer...five. i also spend 35 hours a week surrounded by five year olds, and apparently they are rubbing off on me.  
a couple weeks ago i found it imperative to buy bubblicious bubble gum. a necessity. when i was little i had an obsession with gum. my mom had to ration it, because if left to my own devices, i would have chewed my teeth right out of my head. thanks to all of my snapping and popping, my mom definitely spent a couple of afternoons cleaning gum out of my hair. as i write this, i am blowing bubbles. i am sure that before i finish this post, i will be cleaning shreds of bubble gum off of my face.

which reminds me of my family's annual christmas picture. the picture was always just my brother and i, and it was a fight every year. we argued over the clothing, location, etc. the worst part was my mom had this affinity for a "kiss" picture. cute and wonderful when we were toddlers. probably not the best idea when we were a bit older and fighting like cats and dogs. i was about ten, when my brother and i decided enough was enough. we refused the "kiss" picture, but agreed to blow bubbles with our gum and let the bubbles kiss. sounds strange, but it was kind of cute.

but back to the present. last week a colleague gave me a party favor bag from her daughter's ninth birthday party, which i happily accepted. i spent yesterday evening lying on the couch chomping my way through nine pieces of banana bubble gum. also inside the bag was a stick-on barbie tattoo. most adults would simply ditch this with the gum wrappers, but not i. oh no. this kid stuck the thing on my shoulder. it's still there and i kind of love it.

sometimes i have to admit that my childish ways can lead to some embarrassing moments, like the time some students caught me racing down the hallway trying to beat another teacher to the door. oops. but most of the time i am rather content in my neverending childhood.