Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bring it on '11

So I've had a super busy, crazy day. We finally bought a new couch and comfy chair and they scheduled delivery for today. As you all might remember, we had started a bunch of work on our apartment when Not-So-Ex was laid off and then he ended up going back to work pretty quickly. Well, in my head, I was gonna be able to finish all the painting and trim work in time for the delivery of the furniture.

Let's just say that's not humanly possible. It all started Tues when my daughter and I decided to start by painting a bookshelf. Should've taken a chunk of one day. Instead it took two.

So today I just focused on giving the room a really good cleaning, now that the old furniture is out. Plus we needed to get rid of all the Christmas, renovation, and other various kinds of clutter. The kids and I woke up pretty early (for a vacation day) and got started and worked hardcore all day.

But, now it's all delivered and gorgeous and my house smells slightly bleachy. So all is right with the world! And tomorrow, we're going to relax and hit the movies!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Over already?

It's Monday so it was back to work for me today. I had a hard time getting myself up and moving this morning, guess I was just that worn out after all the fun of Christmas. Once I did get there, it was fun to get back to my regular schedule of cupcaking and visiting with all the friends that come in the bakery. That's always the best part about work.

But, now that Christmas is over, it's time for New Years. Normally I love New Years. There's something about that whole leaving the past behind and starting fresh thing that I love. But, this year, I don't want it to end.

I've had an incredible year. I don't want to leave it behind and start fresh. It's probably been the happiest year of my life. If 2011 can be nearly as good, I'll feel incredibly blessed!

Anyway, now that I'm done with work for the day, I'm pretty psyched to go couch shopping (again) after we get Not-So-Ex after work. We have GOT to get places for all of us to sit! And, then, we've got to teach the dogs to NOT sit there. LOL. I'm sure that'll be a breeze. Oh well, here's hoping!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A few Christmas suggestions

So it's Christmas morning and the awesome chaos that is the holidays when you live within 15 minutes of your entire family will commence momentarily. But, in this brief moment of calm I wanted to share some suggestions that I know I will definitely remember after this year.

1. When buying the kids an awesome new tech toy, read the computer specs required. Even if you have a decent computer that runs all your other similar tech toys without issue. Check. Seriously.

2. When buying the kids presents from Santa, diversify. For example, even though you spent a small fortune on the new tech toy, the headphones and case to go with it, and planned to spend a smaller fortune adding music and games, have other little gifts that don't relate in any way to the new gadget. Or else they end up with a stocking full of gifts from Santa that can't be used. In our case, it was a stocking full of toys that are unplayable until we can purchase a new operating system for our 2 yr old computer. And that may take a couple days.

3. When everything backfires, take it easy on yourself. The kids are always way, way easier on you than you are on yourself. Even though they can't use their toys immediately, they know they can eventually and are still thankful.

4. Have a couple of boxes of candy hanging around, just in case. Yes, maybe you meant to have them for when you went to the movies, but, in a pinch, it's better to have them there to throw in the stocking as a little consolation.

Anyway, despite the Santa drama, we're having a wonderful Christmas. I had a blast watching everyone open presents, since I had several presents that I was really psyched to give. And we received some incredibly generous gifts, one of which we will be very excited to put to use tomorrow so that we can head home with a nice, new couch!

Merry Christmas folks! Enjoy it!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Full on Christmas mode...

So tomorrow is Christmas Eve (Duh) and I feel like I'm going in a dozen different directions. There are so many things to do and I want to do them all at once.

And, of course, when I do get started on something, I then realize I don't have everything I need. I spent a couple hours rolling out and baking Christmas cookies, only to realize that I don't have any confectioners' sugar to make the frosting. *sigh*

But anyway, I keep adding to Not-So-Ex's shopping list for on his way home. Hopefully he can get it all without it being a big deal. And hopefully everything will fall into place here in a bit. And hopefully I'll be able to focus. You know it's bad when your lack of focus is so bad that you annoy yourself. LOL

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I have been soooooo busy!

So, to try and do a quick catch up, I got really worn down the end of last week/beginning of this one. I totally stopped looking forward to the holidays and was super Grinchy (at least for me).

Then we found out yesterday that Not-So-Ex, who has been working an insane amount of hours at work, will be working part of the day on Christmas Eve and then will be off till Monday. And everything got all sunshiny and full of twinkle lights.

I had a long day at work today but with it came some great treats! I made Eggnog Cupcakes, which turned out gorgeous, and a whole slew of Christmas cookies (again). Tomorrow, I'll go in and finish my cookies, which should only take a few hours, and then it will be holiday time. And, now that I'm back to my normal, festive self, I can NOT wait!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Perfectly Imperfect

Today is the kind of day I've needed for a while. It snowed like mad yesterday but, since it started well after our day got started at 4 am, I still had the car and had work. So poor Hunt got dragged to the bakery at 7:30. He really liked decorating cookies with me but, once that was done, he started getting bored. But he pulled through like a trooper.

But today, another snow day, will be just how snow days should be. And, like many good things, it started with bacon! Right now, we're just finishing up on a snow day brunch of eggs, bacon, and toast. Soon there will be movies, present wrapping, a little of the requisite cleaning up, and then some dinner prep and maybe even some baking.

There's a down side though. As we get to play around and snuggle and feast, Not-So-Ex is stuck working and driving in this snowy mess. And he also just got word that his weekend will consist of nothing but 12-16 hr shifts at work. I hate that he has to work so much but I love him for being willing to.

Well I better get back to my stressful schedule of jellying toast and watching movies!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Some thoughts on Pittsburgh...

So we just walked in the door from our little trip to Pittsburgh. Everyone was worried about the bad weather that was forecasted for this weekend but, with the exception of the cold temps, we pretty much missed it. There was a little snow in Pittsburgh this morning when we left and we ran into a little snow in WV on our way back but never had any actual trouble.

As you know, this is our second short trip to Pitt since we went almost a month ago for our first Steelers' game. I didn't write a whole lot about it here because that was right around the same time I went to LA and it was such an incredibly busy and overwhelming time. So I thought I'd write about both of them now.

1. The games
The first game was in November and I had bought tickets the second they went on sale back in July. I had no clue what to get so I just got cheap seats. The weather was perfect, the seats were less so. This time, we bought tickets off StubHub. It was nerve-wracking, since the tickets were late shipping and we were concerned we would get screwed, but they ended up not only getting us the tix in time but even upgrading them. So, this time, the weather was crappy but the seats were perfect!

2. The hotel
The first time, we stayed at the Residence Inn, which just happens to be between the Steelers' and the Pirates' stadiums. We got a two bedroom suite and it was spectacular, but expensive. The people were awesome, but the pool was small (important to my heatherns), so we decided to try the hotel next door this time, Springhill Suites. This time the room had two Queens and a couch bed. It was cheaper, but for a very good reason. In the end, we decided to just deal with the price and head back to the Residence Inn next time. The guys can walk to the game easily and Sis and I can lounge without being on top of each other.

3. The food
I'm a foodie. Not-So-Ex is a foodie. We even have smaller foodies in our kids (more so with Hunt than Sis), so food is a big part of our trips. The first trip, our big find was Pittsburgh BBQ Co. It's a tiny place but their BBQ is incredible (and their fried apples are to DIE for). It's not a restaurant per se, since there are no seats, but we had a nice little kitchen and eating area in our suite so it was absolutely perfect for us. It was so good that I was absolutely craving it this time BUT they were closed for the season! I was devastated. We also ate at Dor-Stop the next morning, which is a DDD restaurant, and, while the pancakes and french toast were awesome, Not-So-Ex wasn't really impressed with his steak and eggs. On this trip, the food was mostly meh. And sometimes just ugh. But I did have one major find. I found some truly exceptional cupcakes. Probably the only famous cupcakes I've ever tried have been Magnolia, but the ones from Vanilla Pastry Studio trumped them easily. Easily. I don't normally gush, but their chocolate peanut butter were as good as mine. Their Red Velvet was nice, although it had a lighter frosting than I use and I'm not sure that I liked it better. Their Key Lime actually had flavor to it! And I liked their decorating style. It was very clean and simple. If you're ever in the area, go. That's all there is to it.
The beauties themselves...

I guess that's pretty much it. Now that our mini-vacay is over, it's time to get back to Christmas prep. I really gotta get my butt to wrapping!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A slow day...

Today is blissfully quiet. The holidays get pretty busy between all the school stuff going on at the kiddos' school, the craziness of working in a bakery (and being the chick in charge of those seriously cute cookies), doing all the shopping since Not-So-Ex is so busy working, and, eventually, all the baking at home. But today there is nothing on my agenda.

So, of course, I have to fill the day myself. And I have plans of making Puppy Chow, doing the dishes, cleaning the floor, wrapping a few presents, and doing a bit more online shopping. For now, I'm rewatching Glee and babying my doggers for a bit.

Hope everyone else has an awesome day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Fun

So yesterday was the best day I've had in ages. Not-So-Ex had been working for two weeks straight and yesterday was his first day off. So we decided to have a family day and just hole up, eat good meals, and enjoy our time together. And that's exactly what we did.

We got up and had a huge breakfast, watched movies (both Christmas and not), decorated our Christmas Tree, and finished off the day with a huge supper and milk and cookies before bed. It was such a wonderful time.

Here is a pic of our tree, they don't do it justice, but you'll get the idea.
And, of course, there just HAD to be cupcakes on my tree.
So now I just gotta get the house in order, make some Chex mix for Not-So-Ex, and try to get myself ready for a super busy, super long day at the bakery tomorrow. I'm sure a big chuck of my day will be devoted to making more of these,
and these.

Seems Charleston just can't get enough of them!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Secrets and Snow

So it's a snowy day here at home. Since it's the first snow of the season, it's all beauty and excitement. In a few months, it will be old hat and all gray and sad, but, for now, it's all awesome. It made me want to do nothing but pile all the covers on the bed and snuggle in under them.

But, clearly, I DID get out of bed. And now I'm chilling out, planning my day, and rewatching last night's Glee. It wasn't a stellar episode as far as storylines go, but their version of Florence and the Machine's Dog Days Are Over makes me happy. It's just a really killer song.
Also, Santana covers Amy Winehouse's awesome Valerie!
Once Glee is over, there's the finale for Sons of Anarchy. This season has been a tough one since fans have had to watch their anti-heroes go from power players to pawns. But hopefully the finale will tie everything up nicely so that the next season will start fresh.

And now to the secrets part. Last night I got Rex his Christmas present, tickets to another Steelers game in a little over a week. This time, we're gonna keep it a secret from Hunt. We're gonna load up the car and head out without telling him where we're going and just enjoy it when he freaks out and realizes where we are.

And while Rex got the tickets as his gift, my gift is a sweet hotel room where we can crash that night. On our last trip, the room was one of the best parts and, while this one won't be as extravagant as the last one, it will be awesome. And have a better pool area for Sis.

For this trip, we're gonna try to plan a bit better and be more prepared. And I'm already working on something special for Sis to do while the boys go to the game. But it is definitely gonna be an awesome time!