Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cards

Here they are - the Christmas cards I made this year. 

I love the paper - My Mind's Eye Winter Wonderland.  So pretty!  I also bought the coordinating embellishments.  Together with some washi tape, red buttons, and generic stamps...voila!  I made 35 this year and had to send out about 10 store-bought cards.  I made the paper and embellishments last but couldn't squeeze out ten more cards. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The iPhone

Well, I caved and converted to the dark side.  I gave in to popularity.  I embraced just how much I love Apple.  I bought an iPhone.  

When I went to get my "upgrade" of a phone, the nice man behind the counter informed me that I was due for an upgrade almost four years ago.  Yep, I'd had that "dumb" phone for six years.  During those six years, I watched everyone around me get a smartphone.  I watched as non-Mac users bought iPhones.  As a faithful Mac user who absolutely hates being chained to a PC at work, I was annoyed.  How dare these PC people buy Apple products!  

I told myself that I wasn't going to get an iPhone - or pay money for a new phone - until I got a new job.  But despite my best efforts, that hasn't happened.  There's only so much of that quest  I'm actually accountable for.  The economy sucks. The job market sucks.  And I'm apparently undesirable to employers.  

I did my research on our family plan and how much it would cost to add a smartphone.  I thought it would be crazy expensive.  It wasn't.  I was shocked at how cheap it was.  So, I decided to spend the money for an iPhone.  (Let's say it was my Christmas present to myself.)  It was either that or get a different brand of smartphone, which didn't make sense (Android, ew), or get a free "dumb" phone (one designed for the older crowd, with huge numbers). 

Despite shirking the trend of the iPhone for so long, I do love it.  Apple makes a great product.  But I refuse to become addicted to it.  Ha!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Linen Stitch Scarf

Remember that UFO I mentioned a long time ago?  Years ago?  Well, it's finished.  Finally.  It only took six years.  Ha!  Oy...

First off, here are the details...

Yarn: Colinette Prism
Color: Toscana
Needles: US11
Pattern: Woven Knit by Candi Jensen

For: my mother-in-law
Began: Dec. 2006
Finished: Dec. 2012 

This scarf sat in my UFO basket for years, as you can tell.  It wasn't until last Christmas, when I took it to my in-laws on a whim, that I decided to offer it up to my mother-in-law.  She loved it just as I do!  I promised her that I would finish it in a timely manner.  That meant, in my mind, apparently, next Christmas.  And so it's done with 13 days to spare.  Yay!  


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cruises and Disney

Here's how last week went down....

Thursday night: 8:45 flight to Miami.  Arrive around midnight.  Crash at a cheap hotel by the airport.

Friday:  Wake up in Miami around 8am.  Board Majesty of the Seas at 11am.  Sail away from Miami at 6pm.

Majesty of the Seas at sea.  She's the smallest ship I've sailed.

Saturday:  Despite crazy winds, we're able to be tendered to Royal Caribbean's private island CocoCay.  It was marvelous.  Just marvelous.  I loved it!

CocoCay perfection.
Sunday:  8am the ship docks in Nassau.  We decide to stay on board, leaving only briefly to walk down the pier to look at Oasis of the Sea, the largest ship in the world.  

Oasis of the Seas.
Monday:  Disembark Majesty of the Seas in Miami at 7am.  Rent a car in downtown Miami at 8am (wait outside the door until Avis opens).  8:15 we're driving to Cape Canaveral and arrive roughly 3.5 hours later.  Take rental car shuttle to Port Canaveral and board Monarch of the Seas around 1pm.  Sail away at 6pm.

Tuesday:  It's windy again and the ship bypasses CocoCay; the tenders can't run when it's this windy.  The ship continues on to Nassau and arrives at 5pm.  We stay onboard.

Wednesday: We get off the ship and take a bus to the Sheraton at Cable Beach where we get day passes to sit on their beach and use their facilities.  Sitting under a palapa all day, looking at the sea (the water is a bit too chilly to brave), was pretty nice.

Cable Beach.
Thursday:  Our only day at sea on this trip.  We spend it reading, eating, and relaxing.

Friday:  Disembark Monarch around 8am.  Arrive back at our same Avis in Cape Canaveral and rent a car.  An hour later (and $5 in tolls later) we're in Orlando and soon Disney World.  First stop is Epcot.  Mr. Higgins makes me ride rides, something I'm not too fond of.  It's fun when I can ignore being terrified.  A brief stop at Hollywood Studios sees me going upside down - twice - on the Rockin' Roller Coaster.  Oy.  Back to Epcot to watch spectacular fireworks.  In bed at 11:30ish.  The hotel A/C is crap and makes too much noise so it's off.   Even so, I'm dead to the world.

Saturday:  Wake up at 6:45 and we're in Magic Kingdom at 9:15.  Do all of Mr.  Higgins' rides and then on to Animal Kingdom, the one park I was interested in.  I loved seeing the animals and managed to wiggle my way out of riding the Mount Everest coaster.  Mr. Higgins is not happy but then, I wasn't happy going upside down.  Back to Epcot one last time and finally on to Magic Kingdom for more fireworks at 10pm.  I'm exhausted.  In bed at midnight.

Cinderella's Castle at night.
Sunday:  Wake up at 4am to catch a 7am flight.  Home a little after 10am.  

It was quite a whirlwind but very fun!  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tree Cats 2

Since we're still out of town, I thought I'd entertain you with another tree kitteh photo.  This is Dooku, when he discovered he could go under the tree skirt.  Oh, boy!  He slept quite a bit under there and gave me quite a scare when he popped out.  

Again, here's hoping the tree is still standing and that the house is not burned down!  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recipe Reviews

Over Thanksgiving, I tried a few recipes that turned out great!  I thought I'd share!

 - For appetizers, for 17 people at Thanksgiving, I turned to many of my mother-in-law's spreads and cracker mixes.  But I also found this yummy concoction online: Texas Caviar.  I'd had something similar a few years back and this turned out to be just as good!  It's sweet and tangy and spicy, all at the same time!

Be forewarned, though.  The recipe says to boil vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper.  Yikes, this produced quite an unpleasant smell!  I was really worried but, after the veggies and beans sat in this for 24 hours, it was great.  I highly recommend this for all your appetizing needs!  Ha!

 - For breakfast on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my mom and I decided to experiment.  We found this recipe for Pumpkin Pie French Toast Bake - a take on your classic french toast casserole.   Wow!  It was so, so yummy!  We used french bread, cubed (not sliced like the recipe), and let it all sit overnight in the fridge.  Also, there's no need to put all that butter on top.  We used about a tablespoon total, dispersing little pieces on top.  

It was great without syrup.  So, save the calories if your on a diet!

Happy eating!