Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Gift Dilemmas

I am very lucky when it comes to Christmas, my parents (including Santa ;), my husband and my husband’s family and my friends are all very generous and I receive many wonderful gifts.  That being said, I have two gift dilemmas.  Any advice is appreciated.

Dilemma #1

Some of the women at my office did a Secret Santa gift exchange this year and I was excited to take part.  I got our Controller’s name and I don’t know her very well, we don’t work together much, but I do know that she has very good taste.  Our limit was $20 plus tax and I wanted to make sure I got her something she would at least like much less love.  I know that she drinks a diet coke every morning and loves wine. I gave her a Starbucks insulated cold cup and a bottle of Ruby Blues Wine and I think it went over ok.  This isn’t my dilemma though, I am just explaining that I get that it’s stressful to buy for people you don’t know.
So when it came time for me to open my gift, I found out that it was from another woman I don’t know well but she is so nice and sweet and cute and from what I do know is that whole ‘good things come in small packages’ quote wrapped up in an adorable bow.  And I know she had the best of intentions.  She bought me a purse which itself is quite nice, black and very simple.  It just isn’t my taste at all.  It’s something I envision a career woman in her 60’s using.  And just typing that I feel horrible.  I also really hope that I didn't show my feelings after I opened it!!
My Secret Santa gift

So what do I do? Do I use it a couple times and make sure she sees me using it (which will be hard because we work in opposite ends of the building and have different schedules), or do I just cut my losses and re-gift it or something, hoping it never comes up?  What would you do in this situation? 

Dilemma #2

My second gift dilemma is completely my fault.  I asked my husband and my stepdad for the same thing, headphones, and they both got them for me.  The ones my husband gave me are cuter (as cute as big headphones can be) and plus I already opened them.  My stepdad keeps asking me how his headphones are working and the cold with sore ears excuse isn’t going to last forever.  In my defense, I didn’t think either of them was going to give them to me.  I really wanted this bracelet from my husband and I really wanted a Birchbox membership from my stepdad, but I thought I should also add a couple other things to fill out the list.  Oops.  I got my bracelet (thanks babes!!) but I was told that there was no way my stepdad was touching anything to do with makeup.

I know I just have to come clean, I just really feel bad, guilty even because I put myself in this position.  I don’t want to hurt him.  And I know he will be.  I need to take up wood carving or something so I have a hobby he can support.
I hope you all have a wonderful (safe) Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Christmas 2014 Recap

I feel like Christmas comes and goes so fast now!  I really hope that when we have kids we will be forced to slow down and take it all in and the build-up will last a bit longer.  I think for my husband and I, we focus so much on work and getting things wrapped up that all of a sudden Christmas is three days away and we scramble to pack everything into a couple days.  We are also very much homebodies so we don’t take advantage of all the things happening around town but I can just imagine watching the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes and I know we will do things differently.
With all that being said we did have a wonderful Christmas.  We saw tons of amazing Christmas light displays, ate too much, drank too much, were spoiled by our families and spent time catching up with everyone.  Not so shockingly I didn’t take any photos after enjoying our own little celebration Christmas morning… but below are a few for you to enjoy.
On Christmas Eve we always bundle up (including Milo in his Christmas sweater) and head out with hot (Baileys) coffee to drive around and look at the lights.   
This house is amazing every year and we always leave a donation
In front of my brother-in-law's tree for his business
Checking out the fireman's lights at one of the park's by our house

A horrible pose but I wanted to get the hanging lights up in the tree... so pretty!
One day I will have deer like this on our lawn.

These trees were my favourite...

... I stood right underneath for sooo long.
Christmas morning mimosas!

He did it!!  After 3 years he finally did it!!  (I cried)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Recipe: Egg Basket Breakfast

There are many different variations for an Egg Basket Breakfast and after some perusing on Pinterest, starting with this pin) I came up with new go-to.  This was super quick to put together and then while they were baking I had time to cook hashbrowns and cut up some fruit.  Very little effort for a delicious breakfast... or brunch by the time I eat ;)
(makes 3 larger baskets - 1 for me and 2 for my hubby)
- 3 ciabatta buns
- 3 eggs
- 9 thin slices of ham (I used rosemary but whatever meat you want would work)
- 1/4 cup of shredded cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
1. Hollow out bun to use as the 'basket'... I tossed the excess bread but these could be used to make croutons, breadcrumbs, etc...
2. Put a little bit of salt and pepper at the bottom of the hollowed out bun.
3. Fold/drape 3 slices of ham into bun to create a little basket.
4. Divide the 1/4 cup of grated cheese between the three bun baskets.
5. Crack an egg into each 'basket' and top with more salt and pepper.
6. Bake at 350 for 15* minutes.
*We like runny eggs so this is the length of time that works for us, if you prefer your yoke cooked more then adjust time appropriately.
I have served these Egg Baskets alone and they were delicious but I got a little fancier this weekend because I woke up on Sunday without a hangover.  #smallmiracle
Next time I am also going to make hollandaise sauce to pour on top which will just be amazing!
Best served with a mimosa and Baileys coffee to wash down the yumminess!

Eat Drink & Be Mary

Monday, 22 December 2014

Weekend Recap: Monday Morning

I was all excited for this morning because even though I have to be at work, I had time to share and planned to do a weekend recap via Instagram.  I have been all over insta the last few days and how better to document what I have been up to?  (Sorry in advance to all my instagram friends!)
But I woke up this morning with a killer sore throat and feeling achy and well, just blah.  Everything I do is in slow motion so I am already 15 steps behind.  And it's Monday on Christmas week so how can I be behind??  I have managed it friends.
So far today...
  1. I went to mail my step-mother-in-law's birthday card (her birthday is tomorrow so it's already late) and I realized I don't have her address in my phone.  Luckily my father-in-law was working so I left work and dropped it off with him.  At least she will get it on time now but that ad that's due today is now in jeopardy. #familyfirst
  2. I kind of blew our work Secret Santa when I told my person I got her.  Isn't the 'secret' over at you give the gift??  Apparently not here...
  3. I went to pick up my Xmas pjs that I put on hold Saturday night because the only store that had my size is out by my work... except they didn't have them. I just tracked them down at another store that is only slightly (20 minutes) out of my way on the drive home.  If there isn't traffic.  Please let there not be traffic.  #murphyslaw
Ok all in all it's not a really bad day but it's not even half over.  I am spending this afternoon down at our barge to film some training videos... just hoping it doesn't rain!
Anyway, my insta weekend will have to wait.  Maybe for Xmas Eve.
But because every post needs a photo - here is my gift from my Secret Santa:
Is anyone else stuck working today??

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

120 Christmas Cookies

At least... we lost count!  And by we I mean my SIL who had a need to count all the cookies we had just decorated while I stuffed my face with popcorn and twizzlers (healthy dinner for the win) and watched the long awaited season 4 premiere of Hart of Dixie.  We had to wait for the icing to dry before we could package them up, duh.
On Sunday we baked said sugar cookies and then we got together last night after work to decorate them and if I do say so myself they turned out to be the prettiest Christmas cookies I have ever made.  The purple icing was definitely a key ingredient and props to my SIL for buying the real deal dye from a fancy store and everything, it was the perfect colour and it only took about 1/8 tsp.  Go for the real dye friends, it makes a huge difference. 
I don't actually have the recipe but need to get my hands on it, will work on that because both the cookie and icing recipes are so easy and pretty sure these are the best sugar cookies I've tasted.
The angels are my favourite followed closely by the snowflakes and then doves.  Now to decide who gets all these delicious treats...
Full disclosure: all designs were K's idea, she made a 'prototype' and I copied the design.  She's the perfect Christmas Cookie partner!
Also, we did try another cookie on Sunday but it was an epic failure... only in the looks department though, they were delicious!!
What is your favourite Christmas baking recipe?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Currently {December Edition}

I’m a little bit late the monthly ‘Currently’ game but it just feels so dang right that how can it be wrong?
EATING DRINKING: Currently I am double-fisting chocolate Carnation instant breakfast and coffee.  I much prefer to drink my morning calories.
LISTENING: My hubby surprised me with Glee’s Christmas Albums #1 and #2 and I am obsessed.  Fun fact: I use my car’s cd player so rarely that they are always loaded… and we may or may not have listened to them in August on a road trip because that was all we had.
READING: I need to pick up our next book club read, Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and get reading… has anyone else read it?  A couple of the girls are finished and said it’s great!  Any other reviews out there?
LOVING: Our outside Christmas lights, they look better every year!  I really want to learn how to photograph them with my DSLR and might actually try this weekend.
WATCHING: All the cheesy Lifetime Christmas movies I can, I love them.  And Vanderpump Rules. 
DESIRING: A hangover free weekend – this might actually happen!  Not that there won’t be wine or spiked eggnog, just smarter decisions while drinking it ;)
WRAPPING: Nothing yet, I usually wrap the weekend before Christmas while watching Love Actually and drinking wine.  It’s funny and also pretty cool how something so mundane becomes a tradition I look forward to every year.
MAKING: Christmas treats!  Well I will be this weekend… Sunday is cookie baking day plus I have some other treats I am trying out.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Friday 5 to see what is on the menu.
ANTICIPATING: A visit with my nephews… my sister and the boys are in town for a couple days to do everything Christmas and I am excited to spend some time with them.
#tbt to my nephews at our wedding xxo


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

What Weekend?!

Oh hello Tuesday, how did you get here?  Monday was a second-day-hangover-just-trying-to-make-it-through-the-workday-day?  That sucks.  Maybe you shouldn’t overindulge quite so much… maybe?  We’ll think about it?  Ok.

Friday night was awesome: we did a quick grocery shop, picked up dinner and then headed home to get Christmassy!  After being tortured with Instagram and blog posts of Christmas amazingness all week I was beyond excited to get our own house in the festive spirit.

First we decorated the tree… and just as we were about to put the star on top it fell and broke so we used Milo’s santa hat instead.  I didn’t love the star and am always looking for a new one so now I have an actual excuse to buy one.  And in the meantime a bigger santa hat – the current one is way too small. 
The other thing that is way too small is our living room.  Our tree gets scrunched in a corner and our ‘mantle’ is our entertainment stand with all of my husband’s speaker crap on it.  Yes he only uses it maybe 3-4 times a year but no of course it can’t be set up inside the unit and the doors opened when he wants to crank the tunes…. Did I mention that only happens at most 4 times a year?
He needs a man-cave.

And one day we will have a bigger house but for now I really need to just be happy that we a) have our own house, b) we have a roof over our heads, and c) we do actually have a decent front yard for Xmas lights and a big backyard that I love in the summer. 

Back to Christmas decorating (sorry for the rambling)…

I did the best I could with our ‘mantle’ and I think it looks ok.  The rest of our decorations may just end up on my desk at work so I can think Christmas all day long.

Saturday we woke up to pouring rain but we braved the downpour to put up all our outside Christmas lights… photos to come because what happened Saturday night meant that I was not taking any photos of the lights at all on Sunday or even yesterday.

This pretty much sums up my Sunday:

After getting soaked and thawing in a hot bath I headed out to get my hair cut for the first time in I actually can’t remember how long.  It may have been early summer but I feel like it was last winter.  #longhairproblems

Saturday night I got together with two lovely ladies for a couple hours to enjoy wine and appies, and then I went to our friends’ annual party.  This is where it all went downhill.  Beergaritas were made and consumed too quickly in large quantities and then it was time for Sarah to go home.  And when Sarah woke up Sunday morning begging her husband for headache pills and juice (thankfully he obliged) she cursed beergaritas for the rest of the day.  And all day Monday. 

I guess the good thing is that I had no plans on Sunday so I could recuperate but now our weekends are packed with holiday plans.  So no more craziness allowed, I will stick to wine next weekend – lesson learned.

I hope your weekend was more functional than mine!
Linking up with these lovely ladies:

Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday Five: My Christmas Wish List

I finally sat down last night and thought about what I actually need want for Christmas... and now that I know what I want the true test will be to see if I am patient enough to wait 3 weeks for presents!
Ear buds hurt my ears so I want some of those over the ear ones that have a cushion and look comfy. And maybe they even keep in the sound a bit better? Or cancel out outside noise? Whatever all I want is for my ears not to hurt.  And these are purple.

I don't actually need THESE headphones (I don't use them that much and can think of better things to spend $200 on) but I just want something comfy for when I do.
Electric blanket
Snuggled up in bed is one of my favourite places to be and the only thing that could make it better is a cozy heated blanket. And this one has snowflakes, adorable.

 Birch Box

I used to get the Loose Button subscription but with only 4 boxes a year and not every one being all that awesome, I want to try something different.  I hear awesome things about Birchbox and even though there is a Canadian version now the shipping is expensive. Lucky for me we live close to the US border and I have an awesome stepdad who heads down there a couple times a month allowing us to take advantage of US shipping! 

Melon baller
Not sure what I will do with a melon baller but I want one anyway. And this one has sizes!



Infinity Bracelet

I have literally been asking for this bracelet for 3 years. My husband has something against buying jewelry but no issue gifting electronics, sports gear (our first Christmas together he gave me a fishing rod and tackle box) or clothes... As long as I picked them out. He really does great when I want electronics or some other fitness type thing but when I want jewelry it's a no go. But I have faith I will wear him down one day so I keep asking.


 Linking up with all these lovely ladies:
The Grits Blog - Little Friday Linkup


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Book Review: Paper Towns

Our latest pick for wine book club was Paper Towns by John Green. When I read the summary on the back cover of my SIL's copy I'm pretty sure I made a 'this sounds lame and I have no desire to read it' scowl but fair is fair and we all get to take turns choosing. And she really wanted to read it. Plus she lent me her copy so I didn't have to buy it... and I really must remember to return it her...

I powered through this sucker while we were on vacation last month and I have to say that after the first few pages I was hooked. It was nothing like I had imagined and I couldn't get enough. And then I got halfway through the book... and it just kind of stopped. It's hard to explain without giving away the book but after such an exciting first half that kept me wanting more, the book seemed to stall. There was no headway and it got to the point where I was reading it just to finish it but nothing was really happening. And then right towards the end it got good again (spoiler alert: it involves a road trip) but then the actual ending felt pretty anticlimactic to me.

All in all I am glad I read it but I wouldn't read it again.  If I had to grade it I would give it a B-.

As some of you may have already realized John Green is also the author of Fault in Our Stars, a book that I purchased a couple months ago and am now wondering if I will ever read it. I did see 3/4 of the movie but we landed with 20 minutes left to go and I let the rental expire before I finished it. I will watch the end but I don't think I'll ever read the book - anyone want to buy a brand-new never cracked book?  Seriously the spine is totally intact!

My pick is next and I chose Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. I really hope it doesn't suck...

What is the best book you have ever read?


Monday, 1 December 2014

Weekend Recap: A Weekend in Instagram

Happy Christmas month!!  How can I be sad that it's Monday when this Monday is the first day of December and our 25 nights of Christmas movies starts tonight?  Maybe we’ll even get the tree up tonight… I really wanted to get our inside decorations done yesterday but I had some chores to finish first.
1. 6 loads of laundry.  Maybe I should start doing a couple loads during the week so it isn’t so crazy on Sundays… but then it’s the perfect excuse to not leave the house on Sundays so maybe I’ll leave that one alone.
2. Organize (meaning put away all my crap) the corner the tree goes in.
3. Clear out (I have too much crap) the alcove at the top of the stairs so we can access the crawl space where all the Christmas stuff is stored.
Number 3 didn’t happen until about 8pm last night so there was no decorating to be had.  We watched Vanderpump Rules instead.
It may happen tonight, depending on what time I get home and if my suggestion to my hubby to get all the stuff out of the crawl space while I’m at work (this is when I resent his seasonal job because he has lots of spare time in the winter) was heard at all.  At least he agreed to prep dinner tonight.
So we essentially had an uneventful weekend and I only have a few photos to prove it:
Grocery shopping was on the agenda Friday night and so was a road pop:
Then I dragged my husband in to see if I could get a Black Friday on a new iPhone 6.  I did and then so did he!  Here he is looking so impressed that we got to spend 1.5 hours at the mall...

Then this happened Friday night.  It snowed.  And it's still so frigging cold that the snow is still here.  I am not used to this... but the forecast calls for rain on Thursday so we'll see if we get any more.  Is there a chance for a White Christmas?? 

Saturday night ended in a hot bath with wine...

Sunday calls for naps and our whole family got in on the action... Milo was not too pleased to be woken up.

After naptime we celebrated the 2014 Grey Cup with our first rum and eggnogs of the season.  Yes there is approximately one teaspoon of cinnamon on top.  Yes the same thing happened last year.  He won't learn if he doesn't practice right?  I sipped carefully.

After giving some thought to whether I should take a blogging a hiatus or keep chugging along, I have decided to decrease the pressure on myself and commit to 3 posts a week.  I have taken on a lot in the past couple months and I am not giving my all to this space anymore.  But I do enjoy coming here and I don't want to quit.  So hopefully less will be more.  I hope you stick around :)

Ok December, let the festivities begin!

Friday, 21 November 2014

While Hubby's Away...

I travel a lot more than my husband.  I used to travel a lot more for work and still have a couple overnighters throughout the year plus I go away with friends/family a couple of times.  My husband rarely travels without me but he has done one weekend trip a year for the last 3-4 years.  One.  Why is this important?  Because it’s the only time I get the house to myself for an extended period of time.  I get so excited because as much I love my husband, a couple of days to myself is heaven on earth. 

I do feel slightly guilty because I don’t hide my excitement and he knows I am looking forward to the time alone but who doesn’t?  If he traveled a lot it would be a different story – I miss him tons when I am away – but he doesn’t so I am going to thoroughly enjoy and take advantage of my alone time.

What do I have planned for this weekend?  Not a whole lot actually because I don’t really want to leave the house – I save that for weekends we're both home ;)

1. Wine. This is a given and has a presence every weekend but I have been looking forward to it all week… plus one of my hubby’s clients gave him a bottle of wine and he suggested I drink it tonight this weekend.  Done!

2. Pitch Perfect.  On repeat.  And the songs on three, four or five ‘peat with me singing along. And Bridesmaids… and all the cheesy girly shows I have saved up on the DVR.

P.S. - can’t wait for May!!

3. Naps.  Not that I don’t occasionally nap on the weekends but I feel way less guilty about it if no one knows when and how often.

4. Decorating for Christmas.  We agreed to decorate for the weekend of December 6-7th but we didn’t specify if that was inside, outside or both.  So I’m going with outside and plan to start getting festive inside (how could I not with all the instagramming and blog posts throwing it in my face) right after I spend my lunch break at Target.  I already have a couple things hiding in my car from yesterday’s break #sorrynotsorry.

5. DIY project.  I got this mini bench seat at a garage sale a couple months ago and want to paint it, recover the seat - basically give it a lot of TLC - and find a basket that fits underneath.  I'll probably also visit my stepdad to give it a structural upgrade.  Its home is beside our front door and we currently have a bunch of shoes piled on the bottom shelf… definitely need a basket.  Our living room colours are mainly greens and dark brown so am trying to figure out what colour will work best (a dark gray?) and then I will raid my mom’s fabric collection for a coordinating piece to cover the top with.  Fingers crossed my vision translates to real life!

DIY project

What else should I get up to this weekend?

Linking up  with Karli and Amy, and Leslie from A Blonde Ambition, plus the original 5 on Friday ladies: Darci, Christina, Natasha and Liz.