Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh hot cocoa and winter vacation....

How I love thee.....

Joshua put Ghirardelli hot cocoa in my stocking. It is absolutely fantastic. As I sip my hot cocoa, I thought I'd write a quick blog.

I'm on vacation. I know for some that this would mean flying far away to some exotic destination. For me, vacation....real vacation....is being home and not having to work. Being that I travel so much for work, there is nothing better than being home. I have been catching up on all of the chores that I had put off over the Christmas season. My spare room/office had been abandoned as a dumping ground for all sorts of odds and ends. My bead table was a terrible mess from making last minute gifts left and right. We got a new shelving unit for our dining area which made more room in our kitchen cupboards. So, lots of reorganizing....It is wonderful. Does this sound like the most boring vacation ever? Absolutely not. It is everything I was hoping for!

I have gotten out of the house a little. Josh & I picked up Miss Jamie and headed over to Kristen's house on Sunday. Kristen was the gracious hostess that she always is and her family was just as adorable as they always are!

On Monday, I met up with Jamie & her mom to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". I really enjoyed this movie but do warn you, it is very long. So, plan a good 3 hours for viewing. I felt like it was a mix of "Big Fish" & "Forest Gump". It definitely kept my attention. It definitely made me cry. See it...I won't say any more.

All in all, I'm looking forward to the new year. I hope to be organized, rejuvenated and ready to jump in head first! Talk to you soon.....

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Santa was very good to me.

We had a lovely Christmas....ate too much, opened lots of presents, drank hot cocoa, apple cider and tea (yes, us Arizonans drink hot drinks too), spent time with family, watch movies....you know, your typical all American Christmas. Joshua spoiled me rotten. He gave me a pair of beautiful earrings from Tiffany & Co. as well as a "diamond" edition scrabble board. I have thus far been playing my favorite game of scrabble on a travel scrabble board. I'm very happy to have the full size now AND it rotates! My Mom sent us on an IKEA buying spree. We finally got a cabinet for our dining area with glass doors. Which is perfect because Josh's mom gave me some of Josh's Grammy's china tea cups. All in all, I was very blessed with many thoughtful gifts this Christmas and thankful to be surrounded by such loving and giving people.

Yesterday, I got to go to see the Nutcracker by Ballet Arizona in the Phoenix Symphony Hall. It was beautiful. There is no other word to describe it! Mike & Erin had extra tickets so they took Loretta and I. We just loved it!!!

I have so much to say, but we are running out the door to pick up Jamie to go to Kristen's house for a little post holiday celebrating. Although Jamie & Kristen have been working together for well over a year off and on...and although I know and love both of them well...they have not gotten to meet each other face to face. So, we thought it was necessary to get together while Jamie is visiting with her family.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Josh & I saw the movie "Frost/Nixon" this weekend. If you enjoy history or politics, this movie is for you.

Starring Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Matthew Macfadyen, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, and Sam Rockwell

For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans. Likewise, Frost's team harbored doubts about their boss' ability to hold his own. But as cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted. Would Nixon evade questions of his role in one of the nation's greatest disgraces? Or would Frost confound critics and bravely demand accountability from the man who'd built a career out of stonewalling? Over the course of their encounter, each man would reveal his own insecurities, ego and reserves of dignity--ultimately setting aside posturing in a stunning display of unvarnished truth.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Giant Ginger Cookies

These are my favorite holiday tradition.

"Chewy and delicious, these cookies are giants in both size and snappy ginger flavor."

Prep: 20 min.
Bake: 11 min. per batch
Oven: 350 degrees
Makes: about 24 cookies

4 1/2 c. flour (I use wheat flour)
4 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. molasses
3/4 c. sugar in the raw

Mix together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves & salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat shortening with a mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds; add the sugar and beat until combined; add eggs & molasses and beat until combined. Using mixer, add half of the flour mix. Add the remaining flour mix and knead with your hands until all ingredients are combined. This can be messy...I always seem to get cookie dough all over the place between the mixer and the kneading. Wear and apron!

Pour the sugar in the raw on a plate. Roll 2 in. balls of dough in your hand and then roll in the suar in the raw until the ball is coated. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and gently push flat.

Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring. They are very soft when they come out of the oven and fall apart easily. So definitely let them sit for a few.

These babies are delicious! Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008


I attended an early morning college graduation for my good friend Marietta today. By early morning, I mean 8am. I simply am not a morning person. But I dragged myself out of bed and got there with plenty of time to see the speeches and Marietta graduate. I was impressed by both speeches this morning. It was not that the subject matter was any different than most graduation speeches (which I have seen plenty). What was different is the emotion behind the speech. I could tell that they both were really invested in their speech and boy oh boy does that make a difference in the long and sometimes boring process of graduation. I was so happy to be there and share Marietta's special moment. She has been there for so many special moments in my life - bad days & good days, special days and non-special days. She is an all around good friend and more importantly a good person. Congratulations Marietta!

As a graduation gift, I grabbed a book that I thought was just the ticket...

The TravelerThe Traveler by Daren Simkin

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
A quick read. Much like "The Little Prince", it is a short story about not losing track of too much time in life looking for something that doesn't exist and missing out on all the great things and wonderful people that are right in front of you. Cease the day!

View all my reviews.

My family is getting together this weekend for some pre-Christmas fun at my uncle's house this weekend. I'm excited to see my cousins and spend some time getting caught up with my nearest and dearest in AZ. I'm hard at work on a few jewelry designs but I can't show you until I give them out. I don't want one of my recipients to stumble upon their gift too soon. I already had Joshua stumble upon his gift in our amazon.com account. OOOOops! I am the worst at secrets...really, I am.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Cheer

I love our Christmas tree. I think that we got the best tree on the lot. It is big, beautiful and full. We chose gem colored ornaments and the perfect star topper. Being that I have had a real, live Christmas tree in well over 10 years, I'm so very excited. Thankfully, I'm a MacGyver of sorts! Josh and I had no idea that Christmas ornaments come with out hooks. So, I had to hand make each hook using my fancy dancy Soft Flex pro tools & 18g Artistic W

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I love the holidays!

I'm so excited. When I go home this weekend, Josh and I are going to pick out our Christmas tree and decorate. I got started early. I found the cute stocking shown above at the Cracker Barrel. They were only $3/ea!!! And I love them...Josh already had a stocking that was knitted specifically for him, but Honey and I have both been needing our very own stockings. YAY! I'm just so excited for Christmas cards and a Christmas tree, hot cocoa and candy canes, baking and making gifts. I love the holidays.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Life is good!

This past weekend, I spent lots of quality time with my love Joshua and his wonderful family. We drove to Tucson and met up for a barbecue (mmmm beer & hotdogs) at his brother's house before heading out to the ASU vs. UofA football game. There was a sea of bright red (UofA) and smattering of gold (ASU) as we wandered into the stadium. For the life of me, I will never understand how worked up some people can get over a game. Obviously, being in the same state, ASU & UofA are quite competitive. But, is it really necessary to yell at each other? I don't know. I just don't think that I'll ever be so into something that I will stand on the corner and yell insults at the top of my lungs at people that I don't know or even at people that I do know. Such a strange tradition. I'm sure that alcohol has something to do with it as well. All in all, the game was very enjoyable. It was mostly nice to spend time with family! I'm not really a sporty girl. I am more into sparkly things....like beads. :)

Yesterday I went to "It's a Wonderful Life" by AZ Theatre Company. It was very cute and will be an annual show in Phoenix that you can catch again next year. It only runs for one week. I highly suggest that you check it out next year. It is a twist on the original story. The actors and actresses are playing radio actors and actresses reading the parts of "It's a Wonderful Life". It's a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

This is a busy week. I'm flying out to attend a few business meetings and then plan to stop in Oklahoma City for a few days to visit my Dad and his family. I can't wait to see my grandmother. I'm not sure if I will have internet access or not. But, I'll do my best to post when I can.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back from vacation

I had such a nice vacation. You may have noticed, I even took a break from blogging. I just needed to shut off the computer and enjoy the real world for a few days...and boy did I enjoy myself:
  • I walked 60 miles in the San Diego Breast Cancer 3day!
  • I enjoyed San Diego for 5 days.
  • I am on book 4 of the Twilight series (Breaking Dawn) - So, I read book 2 (New Moon) & book 3 (Eclipse). These books are real page turners!
  • And speaking of, Erin & I went to the Twilight movie as well!
  • I taught a class at the Gypsy Trader for WigJig ornaments. We made cute angels.
  • I watched countless episodes of Battlestar Galactica with my boyfriend.
  • I slept.
  • I played scrabble.
  • I spent lots of time with Joshua.
  • I cooked and ate Thanksgiving dinner.
  • We hung outdoor Christmas lights.
It was just wonderful. I hope that everyone else got a nice restful break too.


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