Category Archives: Christmas

What’s Happening In Your World?

I really enjoyed and appreciated reading the wonderful responses to my last post, and it made me reminisce about the days in which I hosted ‘Friend Makin’ Mondays.” I also like “Thoughtful Thursdays,” and I decided that it was okay to write in a similar style today.

I’d love to see your responses to these questions in the comments or on your own blog. If you decide to answer please let me know, so I can head over and read your responses.

Here’s what’s happening in my world:

  1. What’s the title of the last book you read? I just finished “The Great Gatsby,” and now I’m back to reading “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer and “LoveSmart” by Dr. Phil. (Uh, judge me if you will. I probably would, but one of my lovely and well-respected friends suggested it. I’m also reading through The Bible in its entirety this year. I’m about 76% through it so far, which feels awesome for a number of reasons.
  2. What is the last thing you cooked at home?Β I baked an acorn squash, but technically speaking, the last thing I cooked was the divinity fudge that I made last night. It was my first attempt since moving to New Orleans, and while it wasn’t pretty, it came out very well!

    Thankfully, I'm not really tempted to eat this stuff. There's too much sugar in it (even for me.)

    Thankfully, I’m not really tempted to eat this stuff. There’s too much sugar in it (even for me.)

  3. What is your favorite thing about Fall? I love all. things. pumpkin!!!!! There, I said it. #SorryNotSorry
  4. Share one thing that challenged you at some point over the last week. I applied for a job that would be an incredible fit, and writing the cover letter was a challenge. It’s always challenging for me to eloquently say, “Hey, I’m awesome! Pick me! Pick me!”
  5. List three hobbies that you actively pursue or want to pursue. I knit, sing and read often. I enjoy a lot of other things as well.
  6. Did you watch the Democratic debate on CNN last week? Yep. It was fun to see Bernie in action across from Hillary. Even though I’m not a part of his camp (because we have differing views on some major issues) I still think he’s awesome because he was so respectful and searched for common ground in our conversation.
  7. Which company do you use for car insurance? I switched to Geico earlier this year, and I’d love to know who you all use and whether or not you’re satisfied with your choice.
  8. Have you started Christmas shopping yet? Yes. I found matching sugar/gingerbread cookie pajamas for my nieces, and I’m also knitting a new items that I plan to give as gifts as well. Last night I watched my first Christmas movie of the season.
  9. Share three things about the last person you spoke to today. 1) His name is Chris 2) We met in 2007 when we both lived in New York, and now we both live in other states. 3) He made homemadeΒ gummy candies recently, which was adorable. Now I’m totally going to make them too!
  10. Do you remember your dreams? I do sometimes. I’ve had some vivid ones lately!

Holiday In Pictures: Christmas In New York

I loved my second Christmas in New York so I couldn’t wait to post a few of my favorite pictures from the holiday season. So when Amber chose this topic for FMM, I put this post back on the front page. The holidays are such a great time, and this year was one of my favorite Christmases so far.
Having Dad here made me feel at home, and I got to enjoy some pretty cool things with him. Boyfriend got to enjoy some one-on-one time with him too when he took Dad to the Giants game. And we spent a lot of time with his family during the week as well.

I love being a tourist in my own city, and this year I had a great excuse because Dad was here for Christmas. We saw the tree at Rockefeller Center and many other cool sights. Isn’t this tree huge?!
It doesn’t look quite so big when you stand on the other side of the plaza, but it’s still beautiful. Christmas music plays as people ice skate which really sums up Christmas in NY, at least in my opinion.

We also brought Dad to the Rockettes perform at Radio City, and it was just as awesome as it was last year.

Now about presents:

I got a lot of awesome prezzies, and I can’t decide which one is my favorite. But these Ugg gloves are definitely near the top of the list. They are so warm! I also got a pair of lovely Ugg slippers that I wanted too. And I got the Pandora bracelet I wanted with charms from my bf and my dad and a gift to enhance my workouts which hasn’t arrived yet, a new Bible that I requested from Mom and a Scrabble calendar which I hope to use to improve my already stellar game. πŸ˜‰ I also received a pair of Coach gloves to match my new coat and a beautiful Coach bag. Boyfriend knew I wanted pearl earrings because I mentioned it once in passing…He is so good! Can we say Merry Christmas to me?? πŸ˜‰

See my ear?

My boyfriend gave me the bracelet and the tree, and Dad gave me the heart. I treated myself to the clock last night because I want it to represent the time and patience I must have in order to continue losing weight. Plus, I just like to buy pretty things.

Sadie liked her prezzie too. She has not stopped playing with her ball since she got it. I kept interrupting her for pics, and I think she was a little annoyed by it. πŸ˜‰

As you can see I racked up on the gifts, but I also received tons of love and fun and got to share some too. It was a lovely holiday, and I am looking forward to what the new year will bring. What did you do the celebrate? Did you get any awesome gifts? If so, will you tell me about them?
For more holiday pics of my beautiful friends and me, chick here.

Santa Baby

My beautiful sister sent me this picture of my beautiful, loving and adorable niece this morning. And it warms my heart. I miss her so much, but I’m so thankful that I’ll get to see her soon. And I’m thankful to have Dad here to spend Christmas with my boyfriend, his family and me.

It has already been a good day….and it’s just getting started! I wish you all — my friends, a very happy holiday!

Friend Making Mondays: Christmas

It’s the last Monday before Christmas, and I’m excited that this week’s topic is about Christmas. If you want to join the fun, head over to Amber’s blog for details. πŸ™‚

I can’t really think of anything in particular that I must have for Christmas. I’ve already been given so much this year. I received my Christmas gifts from my boyfriend early because I wanted time to use them before Winter set in. He bought me a beautiful Raleigh bicycle that I had planned to buy around Christmas, but I’ve been able to ride it for a couple of months which has been so much fun! I’ve also had some great weight losses since riding it.

He also gave me a pair of Ugg slippers that I tried buying for myself, and I’ve been wearing them because the wood floors are already freezing. I’m so happy to have a boyfriend who loves me even though I lack patience in some areas. πŸ˜‰

But who am I kidding? I ALWAYS want things. πŸ™‚ And I am reminded of my favorite quotes:

“The best things in life are free…the second best are expensive.”

Even though I’m not big on talking about Jesus or going to church, I want a new Bible – a Thomspon Chain NIV Reference Bible to be exact. And I’m pretty sure that it’s under my tree from my mom. πŸ˜‰ And I’d also love a Pandora bracelet. to fill with charms that mean something special to me. I wish I had known about them sooner because I would have asked for it for Christmas. I’ll just have to find an excuse to get one soon. πŸ˜‰

I’m most excited about Dad coming for Christmas though. I can’t wait to see him and do fun things with him like taking him to see the Rockettes at Radio City, the tree at Rockefeller Center and a lot of other awesome things, but I’m looking forward to just hanging out with him most of all.

What makes you happy during this season? What do you want for Christmas?!

Let It Snow…?

As a child, I would always dream of falling snow during the Christmas season. And while snow is beautiful, I was pretty nervous because it was starting only hours before my Christmas party. I was worried that friends would cancel after hearing that we were supposed to get over a foot of snow during the party, but most of them braved the weather — and we had a fantastic time.

Here are some photos of friends who won’t mind appearing on my blog. I wasn’t sure if the others would mind so I’m just posting a few of my favorite people. My amazingly wonderful and totally helpful peeps, Char and E, helped so much, making sure that the food was hot and plentiful and arranged beautifully.

What would a party be without funny and pointless pics? We are a fun group. πŸ˜‰
These girls are just awesome…and I’m so happy to have them as friends…Seriously..:) “See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil.” We are all very innocent..
Do you know how hard it is to hold a guy who is 6 and a half feet tall? It takes team work. πŸ˜‰

The festivities ended with breakfast this morning…:) I woke up to the smell of bacon, as E prepared a meal of homemade french toast, bacon, fresh bagels and custom omelets.

I’m so thankful for good friends who have already made this a great holiday season for me. And I’m looking forward to Dad’s arrival this week which will make the holidays even sweeter. Have I ever mentioned how lucky I am?
Did you attend holiday parties over the weekend? I hope you all enjoy the holiday season as much as I have so far!

Weighing In

I lost another pound this week. And while I had hoped to hit 70 pounds last night, I’m pretty thrilled about hitting 69.8, especially considering the lack of cardio I’ve done in the last few weeks. But my bronchitis finally seems to be subsiding, and I’m in full planning gear for my Christmas party tomorrow.

We are expecting about 40 people tomorrow evening, and I’m so thankful to have so many friends who look forward to spending the evening with us. It’s no surprise that many of them have loved my boyfriend for years. He’s a native New Yorker, and he makes the lives of people around him better. But I’m still fairly new to New York. I’ve lived here for just over two years, and I feel so fortunate to have met so many awesome friends on my own too.

Life is good…Weight loss is good…and my hair will be good in a few hours after my salon appointment. πŸ˜‰

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

My Way

Last night, I went out to pick up a few groceries, mostly ingredients for the homemade fudge, cookies and candy that I enjoy making during the holiday season. And a woman in the super market (who has noticed my weight loss before) said that if she were in my shoes, she would continue trying to lose weight after the holidays. Thankfully, she is not in my shoes…just saying.
I also post status updates on Facebook almost religiously. (Yes…I am that person. hehe) And over the the last week or so, I’ve posted messages about standing over the stove preparing this stuff, and I’ve heard the same question from several people, including the woman at the market:
“How do you make that stuff and still lose weight?”
My answer is pretty simple…I don’t eat much of it. I have a piece here and there, but I plan for it first. When I make any dish (dessert, dinner, hot chocolate) I use the recipe builder on WW e-tools to figure out point values of each piece. And believe me, when a tiny piece of peanut butter fudge is valued at 3 points, it’s much easier to say no. I also store the goodies in air tight containers rather than leaving them on platters because it takes more effort to nibble. πŸ˜‰
When I get the urge, I remind myself that I already know how it tastes. I picture it then I picture how I’ll feel when I step of the scale showing a loss, and that seals it for me. I would rather lose weight than eat junk — even if it is quality junk food. πŸ˜‰
This thought process has worked well so far, and taking it one day at a time, I think I can continue down this path because I love the holidays! I love Christmas lights, the smell of trees, the music, the Rockettes, spending time with friends and family, hosting parties and watching my favorite Christmas movies over and over and over…
There is so much more to the holidays that rich foods and decadent treats. And while it’s absolutely okay to indulge in a bit of that, I choose to indulge in the fun and excitement that surrounds this holiday. It worked at Thanksgiving, and it will work again.
What works for you? How do you cope with the holiday foods that seem to be available for an entire month?

Good Friends. Good Times.

Tonight was opening for Hansel and Gretel at the Metropolitan Opera, and I went with some of my lovely friends. We had a fantastic evening, and I know next time will be even better (because I’ll go when I don’t cough so much that I fear I’ll go into convulsions.) Note to self: do not go to the opera when you can’t stop coughing for more than 45 seconds.

I went out during the second act to have a cup of hot tea so I was able to make it through the third act without much trouble. Char offered to sit out with me (because she’s awesome like that,) but it worked out nicely. And I didn’t have to miss very much.
Nights like tonight are the reason I moved to New York. An evening with friends in the greatest city on earth still makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world, sick or not…
And I’m thrilled to say that I was comfortable in the small seats. I am positive that I would have been extremely self conscious/uncomfortable prior to my weight loss. And I’m looking forward to the future when I can sit in those chairs while they feel roomy. πŸ˜‰
I am blessed. I am happy. I am going to the doctor again tomorrow morning. I need to feel fantastic by no later than Friday because we’re hosting our second annual Christmas party then preparing for a Christmas visit from my dad. πŸ™‚ Yay!
I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks. What are you looking forward to most in the coming days?

Friend Makin’ Monday: Holiday Home Tour

It’s Friend Makin’ Monday again, and this week Amber wants to see our Christmas decorations. So as soon as I saw this post, I went around snapping pics of my limited decor. Over the years, I am sure I will accumulate a lot of decorations, but I’m just starting so I’ll share what I have…Of you want to join the fun, just head to Amber’s blog for details.

(It’s hard to take a nice pic of my tree with my iPhone, but you get the idea…right?)

(The stockings are hung with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas will fill mine with awesome prezzies!)

(I’m going to add some bulbs to the railing though I’m not sure which ones yet.)

(Every oven needs some kind of Christmas bling, right? I like my snowflake towels.)

(My rustic looking kitchen Christmas tree…)
(I have not created a centerpiece for my table yet, but I’ll try to do that today or tomorrow. It was just too cold and icy to go out yesterday.)

(And, of course, I cannot forget to mention my ‘Countdown To Christmas’ Calendar — again. It was so much fun to make, and each day brings an opportunity to eat a Heavenly Pretzel.)

(And here’s the dinosaur santa that Mom bought me when she visited New York last year.)

(And one of the cypress knees painted by my ‘neighbor.’ She’s really my mom’s neighbor, but she’s the most crafty person I know.)

Do you decorate for the holidays? If so, do you keep it low key or do you get crazy decking the halls?