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Showing posts from December, 2013

ATM prank

When I first fell in funny love with "What does the Fox say?" I introduced it to my family at Charlie's birthday.  Charlie loves and is very knowledgeable about animal sounds.  So I went through a bunch of animals he knows and then said, "Charlie, what does the fox say?" Obviously, he said nothing.  Then my family pauses and says, "What does the fox say?"

One of my co-workers lived in Norway for awhile, where the creators have a talk show.  We started talking about them while waiting in the hotel lobby and one thing led to another before we were watching youtube video after video of their pranks.  Hilarious.

Christmas Cards

I love cards.  Possibly more than a person should.

So what do you do with the Christmas cards you receive after you are done enjoying them for the season?

This year I saw an excellent idea on A Beautiful Mess.  To put them in the back of a scrapbook using protective sheets.  

I remember when I started a scrapbook earlier in the year, & I wondered why I was starting one.  Now, I have a full binder with photos and memories from 2013 and I'm so happy I made it.  And what way to have a perfect ending to the scrapbook than the Christmas cards I received!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

We are spending the day at my grandma's to celebrate with my family!
I miss these stockings every year.  They were a casualty in the fire we had in 1999 and now, we have nice ones, but I still love those little bears.

This evening Karen & I are heading to her place because I have a very early flight tomorrow...not to Chicago.  To Europe!  (Full disclosure:  my connecting flight is in Chicago, so sort-of Chicago.)  I'm going on a single-ladies getaway.  Judging by the rate my friends are getting in serious relationships (and the number of them that already are), this will not be a possibility for much longer.  
Take advantage of life and time when it happens.

Real vs Fake ... trees

I do not like fake trees.  Maybe it’s because I grew up with real ones and I am spoiled.  I still enjoy my parents’ real tree every year, but I think I’m going to have to get my own because I look at my fake trees and love them, but there’s a small pang of blah.

I walk by the nearby Christmas tree lot and take big breaths in through my nose.  Or, this year, I took deep breaths through my nose when passing the corner tree places in NYC.

Moral of the story:  my tree was enough for my short time at home this year, but I'm happy to be at my parents' enjoying the real tree we picked out at the tree farm.

30 Under 30

Oh I'm so happy to see Brandon Stanton on this list!!!
I heart HONY
I'm only a tiny bit embarrassed to admit I kept my eyes open for him when I was in NYC.  I didn't see him.

Oh how I wish I thought of this project and it was mine...  I love it all

Today 7 years ago

Today, 7 years ago, my grandpa died.
Today, 7 years ago, Mom, Jeff, Karen & I rushed back from NYC.

This may be one of the many reasons I was so unhappy in NYC this month.  

Mom, Jeff, Karen, & I had a holiday trip planned for NYC in 2006 when my grandpa went back to the hospital.  We were debating canceling the trip when he seemed to make a turn for the better so we headed off to New York.  Just as we were finishing up the trip, we found out Grandpa made a turn for the worse, instead of better.

We changed our flights to get back quicker.  I remember so clearly sitting in the lobby of our hotel uncontrollably crying.
I walked by the hotel last week and had to quickly look away to keep it together.

We got back and headed straight to ICU, which at this point we were pretty familiar with, and all briefly said our goodbyes.  I will always remember how strong my grandma was that night & through the whole thing.
Then last week I had to train on floor after floor of ICUs and I did not w…

DIY Christmas Tree skirt

This year it was time to make my own Christmas tree skirt.  I literally have a bag of fabrics from my grandma and wanted to use a variety and then I set out on my search for inspiration via the internet.  

I settled on this idea.

I only had a day to make the whole thing so I simplified it a bit, but here's what I did.

I decided I wanted 10 blocks so I made my pattern for 35º.

After cutting out all the fabric I laid it together to do some adjusting with the fabrics until I liked the arrangement.

I had some nice red fabric from my grandma for the backing.

While I was there over Thanksgiving I picked up some quilt batting from her closet.  (The middle part of the quilt, which gives it some fluff.)  I stuffed it in the middle and got to quilting.  I've only ever quilted by hand so quilting on my sewing machine was a new experience for me.  Especially since you are supposed to use a walking foot... apparently I do not have one and as I mentioned, I had one day to complete this project so…

Craft Night: Ornaments

A couple years ago while I was working at the planetarium, one afternoon in December, Rubina and I took a moment to make some ornaments.  Our cube was quite decorated so we added the ornaments to the draped lights.
This year, I decided to have a craft night last Friday to make ornaments.
I supplied the ornaments and some ideas through the invite.   Ideally, I wanted to invite each person by handing them or mailing them the above photo with the details handwritten on the back.  But life sometimes gets in the way of ideas.  So I emailed everyone the photo and a bunch of details.
I let everyone know I would have glass round ornaments to be decorated in any way.  I sent along several ideas for people to think about, but highlighted the idea to put pictures in the ornament.  I think the group split in half with putting photos in or going with the painting route. I love that all my ornaments have meaning to me.  My tree is no where near full, but every single one has meaning and a story.  Not on…

Christmas movies

Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?
After sadly realizing I will not be around my place to enjoy my Christmas movies this year, I packed up my bag with the DVDs and set out to watch them on the plane.  Solution.

I was happily settled in with Love Actually when the flight attendant offered me a glass of wine.  I guess they poured it when they didn’t need it or something.  Yes, please.  'Now I am ready for NYC.  And a crazy work week.’ (Yes, my flight was delayed.  It wasn’t too bad.)
Pretzels + Free Wine + No one in the middle seat next to me (sadly, I think I’m becoming a flying snob) = Happy Me
And I brought Love Actually & It's a Wonderful Life.  My go tos.  I do think I will try to squeeze Home Alone in this year too...
If Love Actually doesn't bring tears to your eyes in the opening or closing scenes, I just don't know.  Or maybe I'm just emotional, every time I watch it.

p.s. I watched The Christmas Shoes over the weekend and think I cried through 3/4 of it. …


On Saturday we had some snow...pretty much all day.

I had lots of Christmas errands to run considering how far behind I am on Christmas things!  The decision was conquering the snow Saturday or waiting for very cold temps Sunday.  Cue:

Riding through the snow/slush/ice on a bike with two wheels
On the streets I go, braking all the way
Slush covering me and soaked socks
All to get some Christmas gifts before the temperature drops.

Now snow can be frustrating:

Then (circa 1990):

Niceness of Strangers & Simple Things

#1 This week I am thankful for two girls that I don’t know their name, I will never see them again, I learned very little about them, but we shared a cab to LaGuardia.  
I was heading to the airport later than I anticipated because my boss is insensitive.  
I searched for a cab for an hour in the cold.  (Sadly, this is not an exaggeration.)  I walked around.  Chatted with other cab seekers.  Had a few people step in front of me to grab “my” cab or run over to the one I had my eye on.  Cab hunting is pretty cut throat. Especially, when there are so few to grab.
These two girls came over to me on the sidewalk and asked if I happened to be heading to LaGuardia.   Yes. Let’s team up to find a cab.
That is exactly what we did.  And it still took 15 more minutes before we got one.
They were also there for work, but had both lived in NYC previously.  They work in something with models.  They went to Nicaragua for work once.  They live in Toronto.  And that is all I know about them, besides they fle…


Chestnuts roasting on a NYC street vendor's cart.

Chestnuts are such a traditional Christmas thing.  Have you ever eaten one?  Or even seen one?

I hadn't.

Last week I saw them roasting on the carts around NYC.  So I decided I would have to give them a try the following week.  I'm all for trying new foods.

I won't lie.  The night I bought them, I ate a few, but didn't love them.  Then the next day and following day I had some each night and I liked them then.  Does this mean I don't like them fresh?  

I'm glad I tried them, but I don't think I need them all the time. :)

NYC Work Week 2

Another work week in NYC done.  I did a tiny bit of sight seeing after our work days this week.  I would provide you with a little description, but instead I will provide a post of pictures (with a few words because I cannot resist):

Rockefeller Center
Grand Central Station
Macy's on 34th Street
FAO Schwartz
Central Park
Times Square
When my flight landed in Chicago and I looked out the window and saw all the snow I thought, "Oh hello snow."  full disclosure:  Those may not have been weren't my exact thoughts.

Oh, how I dislike winter, yes, I am fully aware it's not even winter yet.  This is the main reason I ask myself how much longer I can stay in Chicago.  

But as I came back into the city from NYC, NYC is fun and stuff, but Chicago is home...for now.

Day in NYC

I mentioned I was heading to NYC for the week for work and that is indeed what happened.  My entire team, plus some, came into town for this implementation.  I'm going to list everyone's names so I can refer to them by name:  Dave, Hilary, Hayden, Sandra, Ann-Marie, Travis, Marty, and Lulu.  Many of them I hadn't met in person before so it was nice to get to know everyone a bit better.

We stayed in Queens so we drove into Manhattan every morning and drove back every evening.  (It was a little silly, in my opinion, but I did get to experience the tunnels under the East River.)  I went out to eat twice in Queens with a few others.  I'll probably never eat in Queens/Austoria again so whatever.  So we didn't experience much of Manhattan, except for some lunches in Union Square.  The rest of the time we were in hospitals.  Fun, right?

After working so hard all week, we finished early and had Friday free.  I tried to change my flight to head back to Chicago Thursday nigh…