Sunday, November 28, 2010

how lovely are thy branches

Our latest adventure.

We headed up the road to the Tonry Tree Farm in Hampton Falls, NH in search of the perfect Christmas tree -- it was so much fun scouting, sawing, and then loading up our own. This city girl had never had the pleasure of doing so before.

The tree we chose ended up being about four feet too tall for our ceilings, so Ty had to do some arbor surgery on the big guy out on the driveway before we could bring it into the house.

All in all, it was a super duper day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

colors of christmas

Strings of street lights,
Even stop lights,
Blink a bright red and green,
As the shoppers rush
home with their treasures....
When I was a kid, I used to love those big, fat, multi-colored C6 Christmas lights. You know, the ones that could burn down the Christmas tree if they touched the needles for too long.

Sadly, those bright babies seem to be going the way of the incandescent light bulb -- in the annals of history when the world was much less "green." Today, if you want to buy new strings of fat Christmas lights, you have to spring for the LED variety. While not nearly as fun as the hot, smooth old timers, they'll do in a pinch.

Which is what this year turned out to be. Aidan wanted "colored lights," and we've always been a white light family. But being in a new house and a new area perfectly lent itself to new Christmas light decor. So off to Home Depot we went on our Christmas light trek.

The result was fun, and definitely colorful. But dang if they're not nearly as great as the traditional ones.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

corn husked

My 18th-ranked Fightin' Texas Aggies notched their fifth straight win with a 9-6 victory over No. 9 Nebraska last night in front of a record-breaking crowd of 90,079 fans at Kyle Field.

Maroon momentum is surging, just in time for the annual Thanksgiving Day tradition -- Texas A&M vs. the University of Texas.

Gig'em Ags. Beat the hell outta t.u.!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a handmade thanksgiving

As much as I love a good "girly girl" trinket or purchase, there's a certain female gene that I'm apparently missing -- the desire to spend hours on end shopping.

I'm not a fan of crowds, malls, or schlepping myself all over God's green Earth in search of a bargain. I'd much rather pass the hours with family or friends, sipping a cocktail, nibbling on some good cheese, and admiring a purchase made via a much easier fashion -- online shopping -- my preferred and usual method of bargain-hunting.


Every occasion or holiday is a new reason to search for one-of-a-kind goodies, and Thanksgiving is the latest opportunity.

Some of my favorite Etsy finds this turkey season ....

wrap bracelet from RowdyWear ; bloomers from Bella Claire Baby ;
edible sugar leaves from Andie's Specialty Sweets ; scarf from ZuZu's World ; knit hat from BeaCreative

Monday, November 08, 2010

oven inspiration

I love the way super cute sugar cookies can instantly invoke holiday cheer ... but I hate to make them. The whole rolling and chilling of the dough, getting the proper icing consistency, etc. It always seems to be much more effort (and trouble) than it's ever worth.

So I'm thinking about making a major attitude shift and conquering the sugar cookie monkey that's been on my back. In my quest for ideas and inspiration, I found a shop in Michigan (Knead a Cookie?) that makes absolutely adorable sugar cookies. Not only are the cuts original and precise, but the icing colors are amazingly vibrant.

So sweet!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

honoring the warriors

You'd be hard-pressed to find this die-hard Texas Aggie ever saying anything positive about the Texas Tech football team ... until now (and only temporarily for this weekend).

THE coolest thing to watch in the world of college football today is the three teams that will be sporting custom-made camouflage uniforms and cleats created by Under Armour, honoring the true heroes of our country.
The University of Utah Utes, Texas Tech University Red Raiders, and University of Maryland Terrapins will be outfitted in head-to-toe custom digi-camouflage Under Armour uniforms and cleats for their game day match-ups versus the Texas Christian University and the University of Missouri respectively on November 6, 2010. The University of Maryland Terrapins will feature their uniforms on November 20, 2010 against Florida State.

The uniforms were designed in an effort to recognize the sacrifices made by those who have served and those that continue to serve in our nation’s Armed Forces. Each team will replace their last names on their jerseys with a core value embellishment – Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Country, or Service. Texas Tech is the official Under Armour Freedom game, and each Red Raider will have “Freedom” on the back of their jersey as a tribute the brave men and women that the initiative supports.
I can't think of a better cause.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization near and dear to my heart, is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

Aunt Virginia and Uncle Greg, if you're reading this, you must make a purchase from this page. I'm so jealous ... I'd love to have some of that apparel (with Texas A&M on it, of course).

Friday, November 05, 2010

it's [almost] the most wonderful time of the year ...

If it was socially permissible (not counting trailer parks or New Orleans) to leave my Christmas decorations out all year, I would. And I'd never get sick of it. I'd just keep adding to the magnificence, as needed.

So my heart and soul was full yesterday when I found a dreamy Christmas store nearby in Barrington, New Hampshire -- The Christmas Dove.

This is no ordinary Christmas store. It claims to be New England's largest (two stories full of goodies), and features over 30 "intricately themed rooms," boasting just about anything and everything your holly-adorned heart might desire.

The experience was even better in that my similarly-minded, Christmas-junkie sister was here visiting and able to road trip with me to the holiday wonderland, making it that much more special. And of course the four-year-old little dude who joined us was in seventh Heaven.

I can't wait to return. Again and again. It's open all year, after all -- making frequent visits completely and totally socially permissible. ;)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

significant turn of events

A stunning statement.

Blue states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire have flipped. President Obama's former Senate seat was filled by a Republican. A grassroots movement organized itself, rallied, and made a difference.

Last January, Ohio representative and House Minority Leader John Boehner said the following:
"Many people believe that teams are judged by how many games they win," Boehner said. "I would suggest that the best way to judge a team is to look at how they handle losing."
Yesterday, the Republican Party orchestrated the biggest pick-up of House seats, by any party, since 1948. A rather staggering feat, considering this country is only two years removed from a supposed revolution of "hope and change," speculated by many to be a permanent alteration in this nation's government and ideology.


The citizens of the United States have spoken ... loudly: STOP spending. Listen to the people. We've come to take our country back. This nation was built by independent, hard-working people, not by a big protosocialist government and Washington takeovers. Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, you represent us, not your own interests.

Oh, and by the way ... we're paying attention.

Monday, November 01, 2010

summer to fall ... tree style

Watching the big ol' maple in the backyard ... so fun. And a much more colorful calendar than any one I could ever hang on a wall.