Tag Archives: christmas 2010

Sad to see it go…

It’s definitely no longer Christmas, but my tree still shines in the living room reminding me that it just was. I have a strict policy of only keeping Christmas decorations up from the day after Thanksgiving until the day after New Years, but I couldn’t bring myself to follow my own “rules” this year.

I think it’s mainly because I failed to get my decorations up in that first week of December so I didn’t get to enjoy them as long as I would have liked. I’m just not ready to say goodbye to them yet. So I’ve decided to let them live for one more week. Hopefully by next weekend I will be ready to part ways with Christmas again until next year.

My tree isn’t the only thing I’m sad to say bye too though, my mini holiday breaks are also going to be missed terribly. I won’t have off for more than 2 days again until the end of April. This seems so incredibly far away. I didn’t even do anything of actual value during my breaks, but that’s what made them so great. Doing whatever I wanted to do. I rarely have that kind of time on my hands. Over the past week I read 4 books and started into the 5th last night and I even got some writing towards my WIP accomplished. I can’t remember the last time I had such a nice stretch of time to be used like that.

How about I just say, “See you later” instead of “Goodbye” to Christmas/New Years and all that’s associated with it? Would that be easier? I don’t know, but right now I don’t want to even think about the reality of it actually being over. I’ll wait until 6am tomorrow morning when I’m getting ready to return to work to let the actuality of it all sink in. Right now, I will read and pretend like there’s still all the time in the world to enjoy my favorite time of year.

Peace – Sarah


Christmas Loot (Aka: Books Galore)!

When you ask for around 40 books for Christmas, it’s a given that they will be the bulk of your gifts this year, but actually having almost that many new books in my possession at the same time is blowing my mind! How will I ever pick which one to read first?!

In case you can’t see the titles of all of those books they are: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa, The Vampire Diaries (The Awakening & The Struggle) by L.J. Smith, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz, Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, The Fallen 1 (The Fallen & The Leviathan) by Thomas E. Sniegoski, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston, Ruined by Paula Morris, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan, Life as we knew it (Book 1 of The Last Survivors Series) by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter Book 2 – Hardback) by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter Book 3 – Hardback) by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Beastly by Alex Flinn, Indigo Blues by Danielle Joseph, Other by Karen Kincy, Sleepless by Cyn Balog, Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, Percy Jackson & The Olympians Boxset (The Lightening Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian) by Rick Riordan, The Wicked Lovely Series (Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, Radiant Shadows) by Melissa Marr, The Magician (Book 2 of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series) by Michael Scott, and The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty.

In addition to all of these fun reads, I got the Webster’s Vocabulary Builder to help with my writing as well!

And of those books I also received one duplicate. I’m sending that book back and in exchange getting three in its place. Those books are: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, Daughters of the Moon: Volume One by Lynne Ewing, and Fallen by Lauren Kate (because I’ve already read it, but don’t own a copy myself).

Aside from books though, I did receive some other awesome gifts as well, such as:

Other gifts included: An exercise ball, motions lights for my Christmas tree next year, a bookmark, a funny notepad, a Barnes & Nobles gift card (as if I need more books – lol, oh, wait, I always need more books!), a decorative scarf, a thick scarf-gloves-hat set, a cupcake scented car freshener (so me!), a Vera Wang change purse, a CD, Love Actually, LOST Season 6, TRUE BLOOD Season 2, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 6 Aeropostale tank tops (my favorite), fuzzy socks, a Troll bead pen, Troll beads, and handmade earrings. And see that framed photo? Those are MY characters (Brynn, Bryce, & Teagan)! My fabulous friend and critique partner edgyauthor made this for me for Christmas! Isn’t it just awesome? Seeing my characters like this makes me SQUEE! (Note: Both of my critique partners spoiled me with amazing gifts this year. Their friendship alone was a gift enough so everything they sent me was a total bonus!)

I won this awesome Troll bead pen as the “Pickle Gift” this year. The Pickle gift is something my sister and I have competed in for years. Every Christmas morning (though it wasn’t the case this year because Rachel could only be there on Christmas Eve) my dad hides a pickle ornament somewhere on his 16’ packed to the brim tree and whoever finds it first gets an extra gift. Rachel wins almost every year, but this year I found it before her! And I’m especially excited about this years gift because it’s a sweet pen (since I actually hand write some of my book) and it’s loaded with Troll beads that I can remove and interchange with my Troll bead bracelet. And speaking of Troll beads, I also got several new Troll beads as well! *Also, you can’t see them that well, but the earrings hanging off of that box were handmade by a friend at work – don’t they rock?*

As mentioned in the previous post, Dad gave Rachel and I 15 of his old world blown glass ornaments, some of which have been in the family for many, many years and one additional new blown glass ornament to begin on our own collections so one day our tree’s can look like his. Below is my starter box and my newest ornament (in honor of Tay).

And lastly, also as mentioned in the previous post, my Maw Maw’s handmade goodies. YUM!

I feel so tremendously blessed right now. I know Christmas isn’t about gifts, but there’s no pretending they don’t make people happy. I am one of those people 😉

How did you guys all make out for Christmas? Did you get what you wanted? Share your Christmas Loot!

Peace – Sarah


My Christmas

Christmas seemed to arrive far faster this year than any year before it, but it was wonderful nonetheless. Unfortunately, Heath was sick for Christmas so he wasn’t able to attend any of the festivities with me, but he’s getting better now and I brought Christmas back to him in the form of food, gifts, and pictures of what he missed.

Christmas Eve went something like this:

My dad’s side of the family came over for dinner at my parent’s house. We had two different kinds of lasagna’s (one regular completely made from scratch, the other seafood), two different kinds of salad, and fresh yummy bread. There were an assortment of appetizers as well, but I arrived after they were served. I missed out on a seafood chowder, smoked salmon, and crab dip.

After dinner we all opened gifts, but since all of the kids are no longer “kids” gift swapping is a pretty short event these days. It was full of laughs though because my dad got all of his brothers and parents “puzzle” like gifts that had everyone scratching their brains and received some interesting items himself like: chocolate covered bacon (I know, sounds gross, but is actually surprisingly yummy) and a DVD with a fire playing so you can pretend to have a fire roaring (which is a bit strange for my dad since my parents actually have a fireplace). My sister and I got 15 of our dad’s old world blown glass ornaments and one additional new one so we can start our own tree like his, which was exciting (for me at least because I am in love with his tree). Since Rachel wouldn’t be there on Christmas Day, Dad had us search for the pickle gift on Christmas Eve which felt odd, but I won! Maybe the fact that it was a different day threw Rachel off since she wins almost every Christmas. (There will be more about the pickle gift tradition in my next post where I showcase my gifts.)

After gifts we had dessert and several of them to choose from: Cheesecake, Holiday Spice Cake (aka Prune Cake), and Plum Pudding (which was supposed to be lit on fire after dousing it in Brandy, but it didn’t exactly work out that way). With an officially fat belly, I headed home to get some sleep and get ready for an even longer day on Christmas.

Christmas Day began at 8am:

I got to my parents and we shared presents. Dad got an Xbox 360, with 4 games, Xbox live, Xbox points, and a headset. He was, as always, a large child. Mom got a Nook and was super excited, along with some other cool items like UGGS and perfume. My big gift was… BOOKS! Mom & Dad got me 17 books alone and that wasn’t all of the books I received this Christmas (I will tell you more about that in my next post!).

After exchanging gifts we headed over to my grandmothers (Mom’s side of the family) for breakfast. This breakfast is something we almost demand every Christmas. It is by far, hands down, the best breakfast in the world. I look forward to it all year. My grandparents are from the south and they cook breakfast the way it’s meant to be cooked: fattening and delicious. Our plates were full with biscuits and gravy, eggs, fresh made cinnamon apples, hash browns, bacon, and sausage. It was phenomenal! It’s the kind of breakfast you get mad at your stomach for being full over because you always want seconds, but there’s never any room.

We traded gifts there as well, but for the most part everyone basically traded money with each other – lol. Maw Maw & Paw Paw did make homemade candies for us as well as chocolate covered pretzels, fudge, and peanut butter pinwheels (these being my favorite!). I’m knee deep in sugar right now :)

By the time I got home I needed a nap, but it was short lived because Heath was feeling better enough to run to his parents for a little bit since they live semi far away in comparison to my parents and there was all this talk of snow (which still hasn’t amounted to much a day later). We didn’t stay long because as the night wore on Heath felt less and less “okay,” but everyone loved their gifts and it was good to see all the family actually on Christmas.

I spent the remainder of my night last night staring at my awesome gifts and taking pictures of them for my next post entitled, “Christmas Loot” which is really just short for “Check out my books and drool with me!”

I hope everyone had as amazing of a Christmas as I did and I’d love to see pictures of your festivities so please post if you’ve got them! Even if you don’t have pictures though, stories about your holiday would be wonderful too :)

I wish Christmas wasn’t over, I miss it already.

Peace – Sarah


To see the complete Christmas Eve Album click HERE

To see the complete Christmas Day Album click HERE


2010 Target Christmas Commercials

So this year Target featured several really great Christmas themed songs to promote shopping at Target for the holiday season and they also offered all 14 of those songs for free download HERE. Of those songs and commercials though these two were my favorite!

Blackalicious – “Toy Jackpot”

Download/listen to the full song HERE!

Crystal Antlers – “10,000 Watts”

Download/listen to the full song HERE!

Download the album, maybe you’ll find some new favorite Christmas tunes! 😉

Peace – Sarah


Weekend Recap

This month has been packed to the brim with “stuff to do” and this past weekend was no exception.

My Dad turned 50 yesterday and being the big kid that he is a party was a must! My mom wanted to surprise him though, because he would appreciate that far more than anything else. What he thought would be lunch with his parents at my Uncle’s restaurant Little Havana turned out to be a surprise party with 40 of his closest/oldest friends and family and his happiness was undeniable! He said he felt like a King :)

Happy Birthday To ME!

More pictures from Dad’s Birthday party can be seen HERE!

After Dad’s party, Heath and I headed over to his grandmothers for a surprise visit and then once the sun went down over to 34th Street to see the lights. 34th Street in Baltimore has been featured on several Christmas TV shows and the news for years. Every one who lives on that block participates in Christmas in an extreme way (I think it’s part of the deal if you move there). Every night the owners of these homes allow people onto their property to check out their elaborate displays, some even let you inside their houses.

There are a ton more pictures of this street HERE and I really suggest checking them out. The designs these people come up with are amazing and I have a picture of each house!

Overall it was a GREAT weekend even with it’s busy nature. Sadly though, I still have so much to do before Christmas like actually getting my cards in the mail and finishing my Christmas Short Story… oh and wrapping those few presents left. Sigh. Christmas came too fast this year :(

Peace – Sarah


My Home (at Christmas Time)

I don’t have the nicest of decorations (certainly no where near my parents which I envy), but my house is “Christmasfied” and I LOVE it!

Just the smell (Bath & Body Works Wallflowers – Vanilla Bean Noel) and the ambiance alone (low lights and Christmas music) make me super happy and totally in the Christmas mood. Every time I walk into my living room (especially) I stop and pause and remember – It’s Christmas!

Now my office (where I spend most of my time) is also decorated for Christmas…. See:

*Fit with Tay’s cardboard box house (which I wrapped for the season) because she likes the weirdest things*

But my living room looks so much more festive as a whole… See:

How do you decorate for the holidays? Do you follow a certain theme or just run with whatever you have? Do you put up multiple trees? Post pictures because I’d love to see Christmas at your home!

Peace – Sarah


Christmas Cookie Madness

Most people that know me know that I don’t cook. There are a few things I can cook, like a mean pot roast (in the crock pot) and killer macaroni & cheese (even with the barest ingredients), but generally cooking is not my forte. Baking, however, at Christmas is. During Christmas Heath calls our kitchen a Keebler Elf Cookie Factory, me being the elf of course. :)

My recipe is my mothers, something she got from someone else when we were kids, but has baked every Christmas and my cookies turn out just as good as hers which means I must have paid attention at some point all those years ago when I helped her bake them at Christmas. I give out cookies as gifts and usually the receivers of those cookies enjoy them greatly, but giving cookies as gifts requires making an obscene amount of cookies (thus the Keebler Elf Cookie Factory title).

This year I baked my cookies in two batches (because it takes hours and this Christmas season has been crazy busy). The first batch yielded 140 cookies – 68 chocolate chips and 72 chocolate chips with walnuts.

Most of these were sent out to friends in the mail and given to neighbors. The second batch yielded 120 cookies – 55 chocolate chips and 65 chocolate chips with walnuts – all of which were divvied up for my work friends and family.

Luckily, there were very few left over in the end so that I’m not left with a ton of something I find so absolutely yummy. I do always enjoy at least one warm one just to make sure they’re turning out alright, but I prefer to have none lingering around in the end and this year I planned it just right!

Do any of you bake for Christmas and if so, what do you bake?

Peace – Sarah


Christmas Movie Collections

Every Christmas I typically treat myself to a Christmas movie to add to my growing Christmas collection. For some reason Christmas movies are never cheap and I always feel bad about splurging on myself during the holiday season when I should be spending all of my money on my friends and family so I limit myself to one a year. Because of this though, my collection is still semi-shabby. I own my absolute favorites though and then a few I’ve grown to love over the years.

I’m going to try to put them in order starting with my most favorite, but whatever waits at the end of this list is by no means my least favorite. With Christmas movies, it’s just hard not to love them all.

1. A Christmas Story
2. White Christmas
3. It’s a Wonderful Life
4. Miracle on 34th Street (The original)
5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
6. The Grinch who stole Christmas (Both the Cartoon & Jim Carrey Version)
7. Home Alone
8. Elf
9. The Santa Clause (All 3)
10. The Polar Express
11. This Christmas
12. Christmas with the Kranks

Movies that would definitely make this list, but I have still yet to purchase would be A Charlie Brown Christmas & A Christmas Carol (The Original). Maybe one of those will be my treat to myself this year. :)

Since I don’t have enough movies to watch one each day leading up to Christmas, I try to spread them out evenly across the month. And even though I listed them starting with my favorite, I typically watch this list in reverse. Watching A Christmas Story is a must on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (and TBS usually makes it impossible to miss even if I didn’t own the DVD).

So, LJ friends, what are your favorite Christmas movies and/or what’s in your personal collection?

Peace – Sarah