We just got back from a week long vacation with my family to San Antonio, TX. My sister lives in Texas, but we decided to rent a house (thanks Shell!!) and spend the week some place fun and that most of us have never been. Although my Dad, Brother and Sister and law couldn't make it, we all still had a blast exploring and spending Christmas there together.
We stayed in this adorable 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom Spanish style cottage close to downtown and all the shopping destinations. Highlights from our trip were the River Walk, shopping, eating and hanging out.
I'll leave you with a few photos and will post more next week. This was taken on River Walk with all the lights surrounding the river.
My sissy and me.
Everyone (minus David) waiting to eat at Casa Rio on Riverwalk. It got super cold that night, but every other day it was in the 60's.
Everyone (minus James). We are glad to have the weekend to take down Christmas decor, clean the house and hang out with Davids family (since we didn't get to spend Christmas with them). Cheers to a great 2010 and hoping for an even better 2011!
I've been pretty exicted to post about our after Christmas decorations that we found! On Christmas night I made our game plan that had the stores numbered in order of visiting, addressess, and hours. We started out with JC Pennys at 7am. We bribed the boys to come with breakfast out. We didn't find much there so we hurried over to Target where we found a lot of stuff!
Here is our cart. Keep in mind this is both my sister and my stuff. She went with a champagne color theme and I wanted lime green and red.
This is my favorite picture. Michelle was pretending to run through the store, we are actually on our way to check out.
Here is our car loaded up. We had no luck at all at Home Depot/Lowes (everything was gone). Garden ridge was a last minute addition and it was a great choice (good call Shell). I found some stockings and Michelle got light up trees for her door and stockings. Sams club was good for gifts and a few decor things. They didn't have the ornaments I wanted (they had absolutely no ornaments left) so I was and still am bummed. It was like a mad rush of people in there, crazy.
Here we are with our items. We stopped for starbucks at target and went from 6:30am-11:30am. We had such a fun time, the boys thought we were nuts. James did find some things he needed along the way so he got into it too. Big shout out to David for standing in line for 45 mins at Garden Ridge because there was ONE cashier working for 50 people in line and to James for transporting us to Sams so we could get there when it opened and going back for David.
Here are some highlights: We got a set of 6 fun notepads (for gifts) for a toal of $4.91 (originally $15-20).
I have the hardest time finding a tree skirt that I liked so I decided I was going to try to make my own. I got this fabric on sale for $2 a yard at JoAnn's. It is going to go with my new color scheme. I love it.
Here are my new stockings! They were originally only $8 so they were half off for $4 each!
I got this fun tree decor from Sams for around $10.
These are med/large ornaments from target on sale for $2.50.
These are all the fun things my sister got for half off. I'd say it was a big success! What did you guys pick up?
Now that christmas is over, I can share with you the homemade gift I made for my Mom and Sister. It is homemade recipe books. I looked on etsy for books and things to hold full page recipes and came across fabric books and the prices were over $30-$40 so I decided to make them myself. David came up with the design of how to construct it and I sewed it all (David taught me).
Here is the finished product. My mom got the gray with the flamingo and My sister got the pink with the M.
This is what they look like open. You start with a 3 ring binder and we added padding under the fabric. I put sheet protectors in there and printed out my favorite recipes for them.
The very last thing I did was iron on the embroidered elements. I got an M for my sister and by accident ironed it on the wrong side and its now a W, but if you flip it the right way its an M again.You can't see it since its on the back, but I was bummed when it happened.
They really enjoyed getting the recipe books and it was fun making them. I think we may even do them for Davids family next year (so if you're reading, forget about it until next year and pick your pattern).
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I hope Santa was good to you.
It's now time to re-focus and get ready for the after Christmas sales!!
This is my favorite time to shop for sales. I love to decorate for Christmas and hate the prices leading up to Christmas. You can get some REALLY great deals if you head out the day after. Most places will have 50% off, if you wait till later in the week or the week after they will go to 70-90%, but the selection will be very limited. I am super excited this year and we have a game plan. I want to change the theme of my tree to lime green and red so I need ornaments. Sams club has a huge set of 115 ornaments for $30 that I want for half off. I just hope they'll have some left! I will also be hitting up Kmart (I know what you are thinking, but no one goes there so they always have a huge selection left the day after), JC Penny (has great gift sets), Target, Home Depot/Lowes, Joanns/Hobby Lobby and wherever else I can think of.
Some other great things to buy are wrapping paper (make sure to get things you can use all year round such as silver paper or things that don't scream Christmas), wreaths, stockings, tree skirts, ribbons, bows, stocking holders, artificial trees, inside/outside lights, yard decorations and any gifts (think ahead).
Merry Christmas blog readers! We'll be spending time with family and friends so I'll be taking a few days off from blogging. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas! I'm looking forward to our traditions of our Christmas craft, cookie making, Christmas eve lasagna, after Christmas sale shopping and being with our family. We wish we could be with both of our families, but we will miss those who we can't celebrate with. Love and miss you all!
This weekend David also got up on our roof to repair some of the damage we had from the tornado/wind storm. We had some of our siding loose (not pictured) that was at the WAY top of the side of the house. I was a nervous wreck and couldn't watch David fix that one. I kept saying, I think its time for you to call your buddy David.
He tied himself like he was going rock climbing (he also pretended he was repelling down the roof). He had it anchored to his truck in the driveway and I don't exactly know how he did it, but he ensured me it was safe (riiight).
I am just glad it is fixed now, I'm so lucky to have such a handy husband!!
On Friday we had our Christmas Luncheon at work. We had so much good food so I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
Pigs and a blanket appetizers
All the yummy food. We are a company of mostly women and the men that we do have can really cook! Our IT guy made Roast Beef and Pork tenderloin and our Warehouse Manager made a ton of Salmon. I tried Salmon for the first time and I LOVED it!
The company bought most of the sides so it was nice to just help set up and not have to worry about bringing anything else since I made a bunch for Thanksgiving.
Here are the work gals (Leah, Lacey and me). My hair is really getting long!
Everyone is enjoying their meal and Kevin (IT guy) is getting ready to set up a video. The only big enough space for us all to gather is the warehouse and luckily this day was in the 50's outside so it wasn't so cold.
Our pretty centerpieces.
If your chair or the underneath side of your plate had a Christmas tree on it then you won a prize! Mine unfortunately did not have any.
Our CEO couldn't make it to our Luncheon and she always does a Twas the night before Christmas poem and changes the words to incorporate everyone from our company so she recorded it so we could all enjoy.
David and I celebrated our Christmas this weekend for a few reasons. The biggest reason was because David couldn't wait to open his gift since he picked it out and ordered it for himself.
We also wrapped Mollys and she wasted no time sniffing out hers and opening it.
She really tore into it and had it open in no time. We got her this big set of tough toys from Sams club.
I was a little nervous about the durability as Molly doesn't really play all she does is chew her toys. Turns out this one was the same way, as you can see in the picture. She already chewed it in to pieces. They are good for about 5-10 mins of play. The tail end of it is still good though. The only toys we are allowed to give her from now on are Kongs and Nyla bones.
David did THE BEST job picking out my gift this year. We gave each other a $50 limit. He found this gigantic pot with the rack inside to hold 6 cans (for boiling the lids on tight) for $15! You can also make low country boils and sorts in there. Every since canning with my Grandma I have been wanting to build my own supplies. I want to make this a yearly tradition. He also got the canning kit that comes with everything you need to move your cans and open them after the fact (which I found to be nearly impossible). He also had money leftover to buy me this great Georgia Southern necklace that matches my bracelet and earrings I bought the last time we were there. Sorry I look rough, we were crafting all afternoon.
David I got David this wireless bluetooth s9 hd headset from Motorola. You can play music and podcasts directly to your wireless headset so you don't have to have your wires in the way. It's great for working out and really does block the noise.
Since he already knew what he was getting, I wrapped anything I could find so it would be a surprise. My friend Brooke's husband works in construction and they came over for dinner last week and David was saying how cold it has been so Trent sent this home for me to give David. It is super warm and he hadn't seen it so he loved it!
I also got him things that he needed like warm socks, aftershave and cologne. He was glad to get these and I was just glad it was a little bit something he didn't know was coming. We had a great time hanging out. I can't wait to post on our homemade gift that we did for my sister and mom. They turned out great and David taught me how to sew (yep, you read that right)! I really loved it and can't wait to keep practicing. David was the mastermind behind how to do it, but he let me sew and craft the whole thing.
Last week I got a big salsa from Sams Club which I love, but sometimes it gets wasted because its so big. I decided to look up recipes that contained salsa. I got this Thai Chicken Pasta recipe from Recipe Shoebox.
12 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles (I used ronzoni garden harvest that is multi-colored)
2 cups salsa
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbs. honey
4 tsp. soy sauce
4 cups chicken breast, cubed and cooked
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile in large sauce pot, combine the salsa, peanut butter, orange juice, honey, and soy sauce.
Heat until sauce thickens and add chicken
Heat through. Drain pasta. Serve with chicken mixture. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro (none of which I photographed it with). I understand that the plate of pasta above is gigantic and yes, I did eat the whole thing. Enjoy and have a great weekend!
I got home yesterday just as the freezing rain was starting in our area. I went to our neighbor Megan's house to eat pizza, wrap gifts and hang out with her adorable little kiddos and knew nothing of the weather outside. As I was coming home I almost fell up the driveway, it was a solid sheet of ice! Luckily I had grippy shoes on and I was able to ice skate my way up and into the house.
Here is the only pic I took this morning of the ice. It is our lovely, beat up grill cover that was all icy. I know I'm from NY and ice and a little snow are nothing, but its still exciting. The ice stayed with us this morning until our temperatures rised and the rain melted the ice. I am glad I have such an understanding boss and work so I was able to take my time coming in.
I also sent all my packages to their destinations today! I was so glad to get it all done, Christmas is sneaking up on my this year! So much to get done. I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and they were having frames at 50% off so I thought it was the perfect time to get my Grandmas frame. I took a picture from when she taught me to can tomatoes this fall and put it in a nice frame. I ended up going with my Grandmas on the right and I am keeping the one on the left for me.
My last idea is popcorn. I love Carmel popcorn and this candy popcorn looks so festive! My mom also wanted to add her fruit cakes which are easy and you can wrap it up with colored saran wrap and a cute bow. Her camera phone wasn't working last night so no picture. Any other suggestions I haven't thought about?