Right on this very spot is where Boyd proposed to me. They have moved the statue but we come here often to remember that special day.
This place looks beautiful any day of the week but magical at Christmas time.
Now that the secret is out that I love all things fuzzywuzzy, I can proudly show off my new Christmas Pj's from Boyd :) Onesies with FEET!!!
How stinking cute is that. So for the record you can't actually sleep in them as, aside from being boiling hot, every time you move, you feel like you got strangled by a hot towel. Just a tad claustrophobic. Who needs a snuggie! You know you want some ;-)
Ever since my first visit to Utah back in 1995, Boyd has bought me a white Christmas bear with the year embroidered on it's foot. Most traditions seem to start later or you have a few missing years but this one has held true and now my bears go all the way up the stairs. I have these weird attachment to soft toys, as if they are all my personal friends. One year I actually picked up one in the store, noticed his ear was all bent, put him back, started to walk away and then thought of that poor little imperfect friend being left homeless and of course I took him home. I know I'm a lunatic!! Just ask my Mum who threatens every time I visit, to get rid of my gorilla who sits, glaring at you in the spare room. His long arms hugged me all through high school heart breaks and I wuv him vewy much.
We went to Zoo Lights. Not to be confused with the zoo that has animals for you to look at. They, of course are unaware it is Christmas and their corperate heads are trying to raise a few extra bucks and have people come at night when it is dark and they are all sleeping!! So with plenty of lights to look at and warm enough clothes we wondered about in search of the few animals not effected by daylight savings and this is what we came up with.
the first species, described in my best David Attenborough voice are indeed of the human variety. My hat did spark a little curiosity with a cougar though. The big Cats were out enjoying the weather. This Cub was about 3 foot from my face with just a chain link between us. AWESOME!!! There were 3 baby cubs and an enormous mother who was giving us her best "Gosh you people are boring" look. We saw 3 bob cats totally enthralled by a families "seeing eye dog" in training. They hunched down and stalked about like they were hunting it. The dog of course didn't bat an eyelid. Then the cougar and me had a good chat about the state of the U.S. Health care system.....oh don't go there. That was about it for me. All my peeps spent some time in the Reptile and small animal enclosure while I opted for Brickbreaker, getting a new highest score, thank you very much :) I was mostly entertained by peoples gasps and facial expressions and comments due to the stink that hits you when you open the door. Many less refrained younglins had words like potty and poopy to describe there new discovery and parents scrambled to respond in a loving, child like, way whilst thinking. "What a *&^%$# smell, *&^%@#4"
Anyway it was a fun first night out although our expectations of seeing more animals was a little high. Next time we'll know we are going to look at lights and MAYBE see an animal but the kids had fun, we had hot chocolate and a ride on the merry go round and went home smiling.
I love the holiday season because we seem to get to go to more parties in one month than we do the rest of the year combined. I don't know about you but as I hurry through the mall, shopping. My eyes are drawn to the glamorous cocktail dresses, all blinged out and shiny and I wonder, if in another life, and proposing I had the figure, I would ever have cause to wear a decorated hankie in public. I mean really, who wears these other than the stick insects posing as hosts of glamor award shows. Do you really want your husbands boss to see that much skin? So what does a thirty something, size- FEMALE wear to: the family white elephant, the church social or the hubbies company party AND how do you do Christmas festive without breaking the bank on a wear once outfit. So as a service to all my sisters in fashion and a warning to all my sisters who could use a visit from the "what NOT to wear" crew. I give you, my take on festive dressing and you need not thank me but send your Christmas reindeer sweaters for me to donate to the local charity shop. They offend me to the very core. First: Take a basic outfit you look and feel great in. For example, A Great, Dark Jean, no holes of whiskers, classic, dressy, can be skinny, straight, boot or flare. A neutral under shirt or blouse, I love the downeast T's with a strip of lace. They are long enough to not worry about showing any crack :) There I said it, crack!! surely people can feel the draft. A great, fitted cardi or jacket. This one has a ruched long/short sleeve, your best friend if your bicep fell off the top of your arm and went under it (you know what I'm talking about)Enough to cover imperfections but leave you comfortable and put together. All these items are already in my wardrobe so no cost so far.
Then start to add the festive.
I see these multi strand necklaces all over so be bold and load up. Then go for Christmas colors in accessories , red, gold, any metallic. The red bag I have used all month for my Christmas shopping, makes me happy and is big enough to hide a small child in. The silver bag was from last Christmas and I still love it and the clutch is a classic for dressing up any evening look when all you need is cash, gloss and a key. You could get brave and go sparkly on this item but I like multi use, that's why I opted for black. don't be too matchy, that is not "IN". Then finally go bold with the shoes. Don't hate me, but these shoes love me back.
Another great tip I read on "how not to dress like a mom" blog was: If you are going to a home party where heels would be unkind to there wood floors (say, mine for example) then make sure your jeans aren't overly long and pair them with a delicate, flat. The hosts will have no problem you keeping them on. I mean who wants to walk barefoot while sporting that much festive flare. and for the love of all things Holy, have nicely painted toenails, if your showing them through your gorgeous sandals.
So there you have it. This is a tried and tested look, I have worn it twice so far this December and got many complements. I got the basis of the look from people magazines dec "style watch" issue page 142 good article.
We all know the song. I have to wonder what kind of love I'd have for a man who delivered me 7 maids a milking and think he had somehow scored some awesome gift giving points. Really, where the heck did this song come from? I think maybe he wanted the maids and the ladies dancing for himself!! Like buying me a power tool or something and I am supposed to be happy about it. Anyway, I am grateful men today are more simple. On the first day of Christmas my sweetheart gave to me, something very sparse and Lacey :0 oh and she did it for 12 days straight and I was happy camper!! So with that out of the way I wonder why I got the erg to do something fun on the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Lets face it, it's the busiest most stressful time of year for a Mum, especially one who was volunteered to host the husbands company Christmas party but HEY, lets add another thing to do. So..... I came up with "the 12 days of family fun time" I made a cute advent with gloves, each one having a tag with the day number on it. Each day the kids pull a paper from the gloves which tells of the activity pegged for that day. e.g. On the first day of Christmas, my family and me... are going to Zoo lights to see the animals. Some are fun, some involve extended family and parties that were already planned. There are a couple of charitable events as well as some neighbor gift making and delivery. It's all good stuff but it allows Boyd and I to spend some quality time each day with our kids without the "Mum, when are going to do something fun" that seems to come 5 times a day when they are off school.
Credit for the glove idea goes to another blogger. http://ohamanda.com/2009/11/10/the-best-advent-calendars-ever-the-2009-edition/ Check out these cute advent ideas and share with me your family fun traditions.
The benefit of having neutral colored, white and silver, Christmas decorations, is that you can change your color scheme without much expense. That is also thanks to Walmart who never cease to amaze me on what they can do for a dollar. Oh I used to think that, one day, when I was rich, I would stop going there and shop at Target instead. Well that happened for a while ( I wasn't rich but Target was the closest big box store) and I have to say there are still many things I find myself checking out walmart for. So since I HATE clutter, this is how I can do Christmas. Matching my decor and only small accents. Ok I admit the spiky thingy's are from IKEA, I would've bought all my stuff there if it hadn't been all RED!! I mean how predictable, is Ikea leaving me for another lover? This awesome tree jar is from taipan.(store on 90th) Oh I'm sure there are busy bodies out there, wondering what part my kids had in all this... The answer....NONE!!! I begged and coaxed tried to bribe and whilst they were quick to demand the decorations go up, no one wanted to help. Sort of how everyone's starving but know one knows how to get themselves food;-) I even left a second tree undecorated in the family room, hoping they'd throw the decs on but ALAS, no love there. So judgmental readers....mind your own business and get to walmart for some super cheap decs.
I decided a quick breakfast was in order and I set too making my yummy Hot Chocolate. I throw some water in the microwave then bung a few teaspoons of sugar free hot choc in the blenda ( I know this is not how you spell blender but it is how I spell Blender when I'm in a hurry) continue.....with a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Add your hot water and.................. DON'T PRESS HIGH!!!!! Yes friends, this really does happen, people (stupid folks, like me today)turn on the blenda without the lid and now I have spent 23 minutes cleaning up, lumpy, looks like puke, smells like protein powder, grossness off my cabinets, counters, floor, microwave, local paperwork and my shirt.
I could've made a Spanish omelet with a side of chopped peach salsa and some fresh raspberries!
My Computer was poorly and needed some love, so my sweet hubby did all the.....stuff only he knows how and low and behold, it's all fine and dandy, along with all these cool new features and backgrounds. The kind of stuff where I go "ah that Christmassy shopping picture is so cute but "WHY can't I download my camera straight to adobe."
You see, over the years I have learned that technology is way beyond my comprehension and it takes me ages to figure out much beyond the on and off switch. Fortunately there are those geeky types (like my hunny) who actually get somewhat of a kick out of making it more simple for the likes of me. This is of course beneficial for him, as he avoids comments like: ME:"it just keeps going black" HIM:"have you tried moving the mouse" ME:"well yes but then it goes black again" HIM:"it's a screen saver" (silently thinking, are you freakin kidding me!!!)
BUT, I have no idea how to work all the new stuff and I have cool pics of my Christmas tree and stuff to share.
Also, my phone was acting up so I finally upgraded it and man, have they come along way. This thing can do everything but switch the laundry to the dryer which incidentally just pinged prettily :) Some geeky type, while no doubt, listening to his whining wife, changed the offensive buzzing sound, to a cute, pretty, ting. I digress. My new phone, whilst being a cool color and having awesome graphics and wifi, does not have some basic essentials to me, like, ALL MY CONTACTS!!! Duh, I erased my old phone to get a $75 rebate and whoopsie, your all gone! So unless your phone number is in my head, that would include my Mum, my Uncle Doug and Miriam Sorricelli, you no longer have contact with me. Call me or text or email or facebook or IM or Skype or one of the other cool technologies me :)
No I'm not referring to my haul of "black Friday" bargains because unlike many warped people. I enjoy a lazy morning in my pj's after eating my body weight in saturated fats. Really people! There is little outside of giving birth or a flight to London that will get me up before 5am and quite frankly, half price socks isn't going to cut it. However, don't fret I will be sure to do my bit for the economy later today, I will just do it without boxing gloves and bed head. Well maybe a little bed head.
I was actually referring to photographs of thanksgiving. I already have layouts made, ready for all the beautiful autumn toned pictures taken with extended family and more to the point ALL of my kids :) It's hard to get my older boys to anything these days what with work and school, there bulging social calendars and of course the fact that we are not cool, or fun to be around. Anyway Thanksgiving is up there with Christmas in importance in these parts of the woods and one of the few occasions along with funerals and Christmas where you can just demand there presence and some how it works. So why then is it possible that I only have a few pictures and more than two thirds of guests are not even represented? HHmm....nice camera though.
Shelly is one of Jerry's daughters. "Uncle Rick" this guy just reminds me of my dad, well his names Rick, he drives a big rig and he's super fun to be around, he has all the time in the world for you and your kids, I just love him.
Whilst I'm on the subject of Thanksgiving, I think it is possibly the best holiday. The stores even shut down and family get together and are thankful. It's like a harvest festival where food is really the center of attention and not gifts. It seems fitting that when times are hard, having food on the table is really something to be grateful for and isn't taken for granted in many homes anymore. I think its strange I had never even heard of this tradition until moving here but that also means I have no deep set traditions of my own that I need to try to keep alive. It is however that knife in the chest reminder as is every milestone, holiday or family event, that I am, in fact a million miles from my own family and loved ones and I MISS THEM. I am thankful for all my family, Mum, Matt, Julia, Zac, Dallas, Iain, Stuart, Ted, Yvonne, Nina, Lee, Doug & Bill. That's ALL folks, my entire family, uncles aunts and cousins.
By Day, as per school rules, one public servant, "Nurse Wold". One literary character, "Count Dracula" One school party complete with, amongst other things, donuts on a string. Toilet paper mummy's. Painting Pumkins. (I was pretty impressed with the joker one) Then by Night, Bob Marley, The goodlooking guy from smallville. Hermione Granger. A Death Eater And us :) Mr and Mrs Potato head :)