Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish you all a happy new year! The craziness of the holidays is winding down, and I'm looking forward to beginning blogging regularly again on Monday. :) As we get ready to begin a new year, I just wanted to thank you for popping into my blog and reading. Wishing you and yours a joyful, peaceful, and prosperous new year!

I'm ready for Christmas!

Well, I might not be entirely ready for Christmas, but I'm definitely ready for a break from work. Beginning Thursday at 2:30, I'm looking forward to spending my Friday cleaning up the apartment, exercising, packing, and leisurely finishing up my wrapping and Christmas shopping. I'm really looking forward to having some time to just relax. And then I'm looking forward to celebrating Christmas! I'm looking forward to being with the husband on Christmas, Christmas carols, enjoying the Christmas tree and treats, and seeing family. Wishing you a merry Christmas filled with peace and joy!

*Image from Recycled Design Blog

Christmas Cookies

While I was celebrating Christmas with my family this weekend, I spied a Pillsbury roll of peppermint cookie dough in my parents' fridge. I was intrigued, so my mom sent it back with me (most likely because she knew I'd drive her crazy). On Sunday, I whipped these up. I was pleased with how they turned out, and they taste delicious! I made a few other types of cookies, and boxed them up. There aren't that many cookies per box, but I still went through 4 dozen cookies.And here is a finished box all ready to go. My sister bought me the merry Christmas ribbon last year, and I think it definitely adds a little something. The boxes are from Martha Stewart. I bought them a few years ago, and finally I'm using them. They're not Christmas themed, but that was intentional. For people who don't celebrate Christmas, I just use a plain bow.I know it's not much, but last year, all I was able to do were candy canes and cards for my co-workers.

Busy Week!

It's been a busy week, as the person I'm replacing left today. There was a lot of last minute activity as we tried to get all the training done. However, I think things are getting ready to slow down and I'm looking forward to spending the weekend with my family to celebrate our Christmas, since I'll be with the husband's parents for the actual holiday. It will be great to see my family, but I'm a little bummed, since it looks like my husband has a lot of work to do this weekend. But, the important thing is being together, even if it's not as long as we'd like. It never is, is it? What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Cooker, Baker , or Neither?

I'm probably neither if we're being completely honest; however, with the holiday season I feel I've gotten into baking a bit more. Last night, I made some chocolate chip cookies, and the husband remarked that I've started to bake more (but that's also coming from the point of not doing anything). I really like to bake, even though it's not very healthy. I think part of the reason I don't enjoy cooking as much, is that the husband lives to eat meat and I am a vegetarian. It's a battle to pick a meal that we both like, besides mac and cheese (yeah, we're classy like that). So it made me wonder, are you a cooker, baker or neither?

Some Early Christmas Gifts

When some of my friends came up for the weekend, I exchanged gifts with one friend. Since she's been into baking lately, I bought her a cookbook holder, Williams and Sonoma cookbook, cookie decorating set, and a pumpkin flavored ice cream kit for her to use with her ice cream maker (that she really loves). I think I did pretty well, all things considered. We're lucky enough that we really have everything we need.

However, she did pick me up this lovely Kate Spade scarf. While it's not something I'd pick out on my own, and I certainly wouldn't spend that much on a scarf, it's a lovely treat and I enjoy the variety it adds to my wardrobe. I'm also horrible at taking pictures by the way. She also gave us an apartment warming gift in the form of 12 mini dessert cups. I'm sad to say that I was so excited that I whipped up some no bake cheesecake for that evening's game night. I'm obsessed with mini desserts! While the gift is certainly not important, I was really touched by her thoughtfulness.

Getting Excited for Christmas: What to bring the office?

With the advent of Christmas and the holidays, also comes the dilemma of what to give your co-workers, if anything. The husband has already received a small food gift, and is now wondering if he should reciprocate to six other people. The problem with office gifts is that it can get out of control really quickly, and you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Even if we only give to the immediate people, we still have to come up with 12 gifts, and really it's probably more.

I used to look down on baked goods (because of my lacking culinary skills), but last year my department head gave us all delicious white fudge that I'm still thinking about a year later...that really changed my attitude!
Right now the husband is trying to cajole me into making macaroons for his office, but I'm pretty insecure with how they might turn out. I was already thinking about just doing a cookie medley for my co-workers, since that's more traditional and quite a bit easier. What do you do for your office mates? Do you have any creative ideas that are fairly inexpensive, but still thoughtful?

*Picture from a Google search. I wouldn't do Christmas colors, since not all of our co-workers celebrate the holiday.

A ThankfulThursday

It's been a pretty busy and long week for me. I tend to stress over what I haven't done/what I'm not, versus what I do and am. Anybody else ever do that?

With that said, I have so much to be thankful for today:

1. I have a dress to wear for tomorrow night that I think is appropriate. My sister bought it for me online from Banana Republic as an early Christmas present. Even with expedited shipping it was still cheaper than in the store. When I found out that I had a dress, I was seriously just so relieved. This is a super frivolous thing to be excited about, but I spent Monday and Tuesday night trying to find something after work, and it was no fun stressing about how everything is so expensive, not appropriate, and looked horrible on me.

2. Which brings me to my sister! Only she would put up with my craziness as I agonize over what to wear and all my imperfections. Sometimes I really need to talk to someone about ridiculous things without judgment, and she's always there for me.

3. The sun is shining! After two days of trudging through the rain, I'm delighted to see the sun.

4. The husband is going to be home at a decent hour tonight. He's been at the office until 2 or 3 am, so I haven't seen him this week.

5. Friends are coming up for the weekend! I'm trying to forget about the fact that our apartment isn't really company ready, and the medley of Christmas cookies that I was determined to make aren't going to happen.

6. We finally took the plunge and bought our coffee table. Now we just have to put it together before our friends arrive. Having furniture is always a good thing, right?

7. This blog! I truly appreciate every comment and reader. I never imagined I could have a legitimate blog when I first started.

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

*Photo via Pinterest, Eddie Ross

Gifts for the friend who Spends Hours at Sephora with you

One of my really good friends adores make-up and we used to spend lots of time in Sephora and Ulta. She's always the one to tell me about the latest thing (or because I'm so behind on the curve, things that have happened in the last few years). Since she's always helping me find current things, I know I could never pick out the best products for her. So, for her Christmas gift, she will be receiving a subscription to Birchbox! I think she will love the idea of getting a gift every month and enjoy trying out the products.

I also plan on getting her a giftcard to Sephora, so she can immediately stock up on her favorites. I love Sephora, since the giftcard comes with a little mirror for your purse too. What are your favorite gifts to give to those who love make-up and all things girly?

Holiday Attire Advice?

The husband's firm is having their holiday party this Friday night, and I'm really panicked over what to wear. Originally, I bought a herringbone skirt from the Loft, and I thought it'd look dressy enough with pearls and a black sweater. I also purchased the black lace skirt, but again, I don't have anything to pair it with.Now, I'm finding out that it's more "business cocktail attire"; whatever in the world that means! Anybody have any ideas? I've been trying to look for dresses, but I'm not feeling terribly good about my body lately and I can't find anything. I really think this dress would be lovely from Banana Republic, but I'm worried it won't do me any favors (err, work the miracles that I need it to). I also don't even know if I can get the dress before Friday...

What stores do you usually love to check out? Any tips for looking fabulous? As you can tell, I'm feeling very insecure, since the holiday parties I'm used to took place in the school's cafeteria.

Wishing you a Relaxing Weekend!

This week flew by, and I'm looking forward to the weekend, even though I think the husband will be working the entire time. I plan on enjoying my work's holiday party this evening, getting most of my Christmas shopping finished, and cleaning the apartment. I'm also looking forward to just curling up on the couch reading and looking at our Christmas tree. What are you looking forward to? I'm sure you weekend will be more exciting than mine!