Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Favorite thing #21...Stocking Stuffers.

I seem to always forget to get the stocking stuffers and most of the time the stocking stuffers are what end up costing me the most. Dang it! This year it was fun to actually put some thought into what I would put in Oliver's stocking. I just had another thought....Luke always seems to spoil me when it comes to these miniature gifts and he usually ends up receiving an orange and a toothbrush while I get jewelry, movies, body butter, and other little luxuries. Looks like I have a little more thinking to do.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Favorite things #20...Working Retail

Call me crazy, but I think working in retail during the Holidays is pretty fun. Everyone is in such a giving mood and people are excited that the holidays are finally here. I love helping people find that perfect gift and seeing how excited they are to give to others. Of course the cherry on top is when I get to gift wrap and present them with a beautifully wrapped gift. Having a great discount to such a fun store doesn't hurt either when I'm also looking for the perfect gifts...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Favorite thing #19...snow!

Snow this time of year is my favorite. I say let it snow all December long, but the moment the month is over, NO MORE please. I love the soft look of snow falling. The quiet chaos of a snow storm. I love how the snow glitters once it has settled. I love the sound of my shoes crunching on top of it. I love how bright white it is in the sun. I haven't gone out to play in the snow just yet. I better make time before December is over and my love for snow quickly turns into loathing.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Favorite thing #18...Luke

Sadly, this is the last picture that was taken back in October is the last picture Luke and I have taken together. Favorite thing #18 is that Luke has winter break and gets to spend a lot of time with me and Oliver. How sweet the days will be when he no longer has to go to school.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Favrotie thing #17...Crafting with Friends.

Karina and I have always loved crafting together. From back in the days of scrap booking until the wee hours of the morning to attempting to make seasonal home decor. This craft went very well for her....not so much for me. I said this a long time ago, but ever since I got preggers with Oliver, I have lost my craft touch. Instead, I distracted her and of course, had a little fun with the camera.

Our (and by ours I really mean my) wreath turned out to be a cylinder of matted yarn and no accents that never got hung up. I have plans for another wreath that may be more fool proof...I hope.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Favorite thing #16...Baker Christmas Party.

I counted 37 people all packed in my parents living that night fot the party. It was our biggest turn out yet and it was awesome! We ate, opened White Elephant gifts and finished with a little Karaoke {courtesy of Mario and Dora}.

It was fun to see what the kids came up with for their White Elephant gift and it was entertaining to see the adults battle it our for the "good stuff".

And of course the karaoke. Who doesn't like a little off key/high pitched/mono toned/terrible singing with your family? As always, Mario does an awesome job getting the rest of us to get into it.
Next year, we may have to get a bigger venue to hold the growing number of this favorite traditional Christmas party.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Favorite thing #15...Family pictures!

I thought I had things under control this year with getting my house decorated early, getting all my shopping done before the week of, and planning the eve of and the day of activities...NOPE! I totally forgot about our Christmas cards. Oops. So on one of my sick days, I forced myself to get out of bed, showered and got ready as best as I could along with make-up and clean clothes, to snap a quick family picture for our Christmas cards.
P.S. Yours should be on it's way and that's not the picture we used just in case your wondering.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not a favorite thing...Being sick

Ever felt like this? It sucks!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Favorite Thing #13...Wrapping Presents!

This year I found the perfect wrapping paper to go along with my tree and holiday decor. Maybe that was my motivation to get all my shopping done early this year. And last night I was able to wrap and get gifts ready for the big day. I didn't like the big mess that I ended up making, but the end result was great! Happy wrapping everyone.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Favorite thing #12....Hot Chocolate.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love hot chocolate. Stephens hot cocoa with marshmallows made with milk and not water is simply the best holiday treat. Last month at book club we had a hot cocoa bar and I was in heaven. Ever since, I've been thinking about it and have been trying to come up with an excuse/party so that I can do one myself. Yum!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Favorite Thing #11...Helpers

Tonight I played the role of Santa and I have the cutest little elves to help me in my workshop. I had to assemble around 30 little treat bags and I had the best help from Oakley, Paige, Morgan and Oliver....well sort of Oliver. He just {again} wanted to eat all the treats. It probably took me twice as long to put all these bags together than it would if I were doing it on my own, but I'm so happy I had help from some of my absolute favorite kids. I think they were pretty happy about helping too.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Favorite things #10...Work Christmas Dinners

I really enjoy a good Christmas dinner. I also really enjoy the prizes given away at these said parties...especially when it's packaged in this and means that we get to go do a little shopping. Thank you work parties!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Favorite thing #9...Gingerbread houses!

I haven't made a gingerbread house in years, but after last night, I think I will every year...at least for Oliver. The kids did such a good job decorating their designated tree or gingerbread man and then decorated the house together. Oliver just wanted to eat all the treats, but who can blame him? The best thing about this house was that it was pre assembled so all we had to do was decorate it and that's always the best part.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Favorite thing #8...Christmas Music.

I love Christmas music. I especially love all the memories tied to many of the songs that frequent the radio stations and the unique songs that have accidentally found me. Some songs are tied to important people that have been a huge influence on my life. Others that remind me of old friendships and past romances. A few more that remind me of my family and growing up.

One of my favorites is the one that reminds me of Luke. It's Jingle Bells by Frank Sinatra. When we were newer newly weds, Luke and I were waiting in line to be checked out at Costco(and you know how those lines at Costco go). Well, we were just kind of standing there looking around waiting and suddenly Luke breaks out in song-rather loudly I might add-singing this...

"I love those J-I-N-G-L-E BELLS! Those holiday J-I-N-G-L-E BELLS! I love those J-I-N-G-L-E-B-E double L-S I love those J-I-N-G-L-E BELLS!"

I also should note that as he was singing this, he made sure that the Bells part was extra loud. Sad, yet funny thing about this is that he didn't really realize how loud he was singing or maybe that he was even singing at all.

As it registered that my husband was the loud singer, I did the slow wide eyed turn of the head towards him and gave him the what-are-you-doing-and-why-are-you-singing look. That is the moment when he came to and we just laughed hoping that I was the only one that heard it even though we both knew that really wasn't the case.

I love it every time I hear that song because it reminds me of Luke and the way we are together....in many aspects of our relationship now that I think about it.
A few other songs and lyrics that I love are Oh Holy Night by Celtic Women. That one is amazing! A fun one is 12 days by Straight No Chaser (but that may be because the song "Africa" is one of my all time faves). And I don't know why I'm so struck by the lyrics to "The Little Drummer Boy".
What are some of your favorite holiday songs and why? I'd love to know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Favorite Thing #7...Bag Balm

That's right,Bag Balm! Every winter my hands get so dry and they literally start to crack and bleed. Bag Balm has saved me precious lerpy hands....

Even if it means that I have to go to bed at night with a thick coating of this lovely sticky stuff and socks over my hands to lock in the moisture. Luke thinks I'm crazy, but I've gotta do what I've gotta do, right?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Favorite thing #6...Pictures w/ Santa!

(I don't have a scanner so I had to take a picture of a picture...lame, eh?)

Tonight I took Oliver out to Colonial Square where they had some Christmas festivities. We enjoyed some hot cider, hot chocolate and then we waited in line so Oliver could take a picture with Santa. I was pretty worried that he would have a fit as soon as I put him on Santa's lap, but I some how managed to coax him into it. I think the trick was showing him how all the kids got treats from Santa. He was pretty happy about that and I was pretty happy about the picture. Next year we'll work on getting him to smile.

Favorite thing #5...Holiday scents!

I love walking into my house or into the grocery store during the holidays and smelling those familiar Christmas scents. Currently it smells like Pinetrees with a dash of cany cane in my home...It's the only time that I can really say that my old house smells nice. I also just ordered some more holiday scents and can't wait to try them out.

Favorite thing #4...Shopping!

I love giving gifts. At times it stresses me out trying to find that perfect gift for certain people...like parents and all in-laws, but when I finally do, I get so excited and can't hardly wait until Christmas when I can see the looks on their faces. That is why shopping through all the chaos during the holidays makes it all worth it...to see their reactions and to let your loved ones know you were thinking about them.

I'm happy to report that I only have 1 more gift to buy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Favorite thing #3...My Tree

I Look forward to setting up my tree every year for Christmas. There are rules however, that must be enforced...

Rule #1: The house has to be 100% clean

Rule #2: I'm the only one that gets to fluff the tree ( I hate that part, but I really am the best at it ;D)

Rule #3: We can't turn on the tree lights until the decorating is complete.

And Rule #4: It is a must to listen to Christmas music while doing this.
Our tree honestly may not be much to look at and really it's pretty wimpy and sort of awkward, but I love it anyway.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful for Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving this year was AWESOME! I mean it too. Luke and I were excited to venture on up to Wyoming for the Allred family Thanksgiving. So at 2:30 we hopped in the car and headed out. Next stop- Grandma Wiggles house....

Or so we thought. Our next stop was actually a rest stop in Weber Canyon where Luke had to change our flat tire in the snow and cold. Shortly after we found ourselves at the Hinds station where the guys told us that our tire was no good and we needed a new one. Bummer. Looks like we weren't going up to Wiggles house anymore.

Our baby getting looked at...poor thing.

After many many phone calls to family and dealerships, we were finally able to find a perfect fit for the Subee in Odgen. Even though it looks like I'm not so happy in this picture, Luke and I were sort of laughing at this whole misfortune.

We decided to try to go up to Grandmas tonight after all. We didn't want to miss Thanksgiving even if it took us all night to get there...which it did. After 5 long, slow and boring hours we made it.
Did I mention it was freezing? The closer and closer we got to Grandmas, the colder and colder it got.

The next morning we were ready for the day. Trent and Amy organized a 5K Thanksgiving morning...shirts included and we were all excited to participate.
Did we mention that it was cold? -16 to be exact when we started running that morning.
Needless to say we were freezing!

How awesome are my in-laws...seriously!

Holly was the support crew back home where she watched all 9 kids.
She really is an amazing Grandma!

Sadly, I don't have anymore pictures of Thanksgiving. We had a really good dinner with many of the Allreds and then finished off the day with some Dodge ball and lightning before we ventured home.
I'm happy to report that we didn't have a single problem driving back.
The rest of the weekend was full of shopping, spending time with my little family and enjoying the long weekend.

Favorite thing #2...Parties!

Day 2 of my Fave things about Christmas has got to be Parties. We had a cookie/White Elephant gift exchange and it was pretty awesome. Although I have no idea what I'm going to do with all these cookies...prob eat them all by myself like I did last year...

After gathering our plates, trays and even bins of cookies, we settled around in a circle, drew numbers and picked/stole gifts.

As you can see, I got 2nd...which is crappy, but I was happy when the tables turned and I got to pick second to last in the final round. I ended up with 2 pink flamingos. Please don't steal them off my lawn when you see them out there this spring.

And here is what everyone else got. I have to say that I was a little sad that I didn't get the KY Jelly and Handcuffs...Just kidding...sort of.

And here is the best picture of the night. Thanks ladies for such a fun night and a special thanks to our host for letting us all party in her house.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My favorite things!

I love this time of year. I especially love Christmas and Christmas Spirit that most people have. I love to decorate my home. I love hearing Christmas music on the radio. I love all the Christmas parties and get togethers with family and friends. I love buying gifts for my family and friends. I love wrapping those gift anticipating the looks on said family and friends faces. The food...cookies...snow...hot cocoa...movies....I can go on and on. So this Month I will dedicate a post each day to my favorite things about the holidays.

Today's post will be on Christmas Cards. I can't wait to start getting them in the mail and filling up my little holiday rack with cute photos of everyone. I also can't wait to send out our own. This year, I found out about a little promotion going on with http://www.shutterfly.com/ If you make a post about their holiday cards and all the fun gifts and products they have to offer, they send you a coupon for 50 free cards! How awesome are they?
Hopefully in a few weeks, you may be seeing your Christmas card from us in the mail...It may look like this...
Like this...

Or even like this...

The best thing about getting your cards though www.Shutterfly.com, is that they have tons and tons of different cards to choose from so you're not just limited to a few styles. They have from simple cards to elegant and fancy and many in between. Click here to check them out.

I'm also one to forget to get the Christmas party invites out until the very last minute. So here is a reminder to get it done. Look how cute these are...

With Cards like these, You're sure to get a good turn out, right?

One of my very most favorite things that Shutterfly has to offer are these books. Who wouldn't love a book like this for Christmas? I'm thinking Grandparents, school teachers and friends...eh?

Well, that about does it. I think I'll go sip some hot chocolate out of something like this...

While possibly putting something like this together...

But I better hurry before I run out of time and need to order a new one of these....