Thursday, December 26, 2013

Losing A Friend

Today I found out a lifelong friend of mine passed away yesterday, on Christmas day.  I am so bummed to hear this.  I have known Candice since kindergarten.  She was a kind and strong woman who fought Stage 4 Breast Cancer for the last two years.

When Candice was 28 she found out she had Stage IIB breast cancer.  She went through treatment including a double mastectomy, but her cancer spread to her lymph nodes and into her bones. That is when her status was updated to Stage 4.  She fought until the day she died, and yesterday she joined God and is no longer in pain. 

I have been following her blog and facebook to see her progress.  Read her story here.  She was inspiring and a fighter.  I feel blessed to have called her my friend.
RIP Candice Chilton
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our Christmas Card

I know I am slacking on this post, but I wanted to share our Christmas card we sent out this year.  This is our first official Christmas card, and I wanted it to be special.  One day in late October we set out to take family photos, but surprise surprise, Walter was not having it.  He wanted to play, explore and do his own thing.  Basically the photos didn't come out like we hoped, so we scrapped those and chose one from our engagement session.  It was taken in March, but we just love this photo.  We almost used a wedding photo, but decided not to when my in-laws wanted to use a wedding photo as their Christmas card.

We used mpix for our cards and I was really happy with them.  The only thing I would change is the size of the card, but it is still very cute.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Christmas Eve

Can you believe it?  IT'S CHRISTMAS EVE!  Where did the time go?  The year is almost over and I am still feeling like we got married last week (we got married in August).

We celebrated a mini Christmas last night with my in-laws.  My mother-in-law made delicious bolognese for dinner.  She simmered it for over 5 hours.  Now that is love.  We watched the Niners game and opened gifts throughout the game.  Can I say that I am thinking the best way to watch a football game is with wine, good food, presents and amazing company? 

We were spoiled and I think we spoiled them too.  Plus the Niners won and clinched a playoff spot.  I can finally bring my blood pressure back down for two weeks until we have our first playoff game.  All I want for Christmas is for the Niners to win the Superbowl!  Is that too much to ask?

Today we are working, but hopefully only part of the day.  Can the kind work gods please let us go home early?  It is really dead here.  I guess only the diehards or people who don't have much leave left are here.

Tonight we are spending Christmas Eve with my family and our family friends.  Our family friends have an annual Christmas Eve party that I just love.  There is entirely too much food, homemade alcoholic eggnog, spiced wine, friends, family and love.  One of my favorite traditions.

Tomorrow morning will be spent with my favorite person in the husband and our favorite pup, Walter.  We will cuddle by the fire, watch A Christmas Story ALL DAY long, open presents and remember how blessed we are.  Then we will spend the evening with my in-laws family in Truckee where we will eat entirely too much again and cherish the new memories we will make as a new family. 

I have been looking forward to our first Christmas as a married couple my whole life.  I have so many blessings this year and I look forward to the many more to come.  How will you spend your Christmas?
Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hunger Games

Last night I finally convinced my husband to see Hunger Games with me.  He liked the first one after I dragged him to that one, so I hoped he would like this one.  He tried to convince me to go see American Hustle, but I have waited this long for Hunger Games that I wasn't going to wait any longer.
 So how was it?  I loved it.  It followed the book more closely than the first one and I loved all of their character choices.  It made me really excited for the next movie.  Also, I just found out that the third book was made into two movies.  What?  I have to wait til November 2014 and November 2015 to finish the series through the movies?!  That is too disappointing. 

What did you think of the movie?  The book series?

Today will be full of wrapping Christmas gifts and getting ready to head to Tahoe for Daniel Tosh.  I can barely contain myself.  What's on your Saturday agenda?
Friday, December 20, 2013

A Little Football and Comedy

It is that time again...Fan Friday.  I missed last weeks because I was in my favorite city, New York.  That is where I would like to be again right now, but I am not.  I am stuck at work.  Yes I am blogging at work, just a quick post.

I am super excited for football and Daniel Tosh this weekend.  Yes I am finally seeing Daniel Tosh.  I have been obsessed with his comedy for years now, but I have only seen his show (Tosh.O) and his comedy specials.  Tosh has been to Tahoe the last couple of years, but he always sells out so fast.  Well this year, I got tickets (and they cost a pretty penny) and we are heading to Tahoe with my sister and her boyfriend.  I can't wait to laugh and be totally offended.
I lost in fantasy football last week by two points to my father in law.  Boo, so he gets to play my husband in the championship playoffs.  At least I made it to the playoffs in the champions bracket.  Now I get to play the loser of my husbands last week match.  Too bad Adrian Peterson was out last week and back this week.  Where were you last week AP?  You let me down.

And Monday is the last football game in The Stick (Candlestick Park).  Very sad day, but so excited for the new stadium.  I can't wait to go there next year.  My last visit to The Stick the Niners lost to the Panthers and it was a sad day in both aspects, but I intend to watch every last second of Monday nights game.  Goodbye Candlestick.

So the Niners really need a win Monday.  Shouldn't be too hard right?  I hope not.  They are playing the Falcons at home, it's the last game at The Stick and the Falcons are 4-10.  The Niners need a win and the Cardinals need a loss, but I want them to win because I hate the Seahawks.  Sorry Dad and other Seahawks fans, but you guys are our NFC West rival and it is too hard to root for you.  But I also don't want the Cardinals stealing the wildcard spot.  Plus the Niners play the Cardinals (in AZ) the last week of the season and I can't bare a nail biter game.  So football gods, please let the Niners win this weekend, the Cardinals win this weekend and then the Niners smash the Cardinals in the final game of the season.  That is all I want for Christmas (ok I want more, but I want this bad).  And I think I have been pretty good this year.

Is your team on the cusp of a wildcard playoff spot, are they totally out or are they the lucky ones who are already in?
Venus Trapped in Mars

Christmas Challenge

While reading my daily blogs, I found a Christmas Challenge on The Marvelous Flight of Cara, and I figured I would take part in it.  The original challenge was to answer one question per day, but I don't have the patience for that.  So I will put it into two posts.

Can you believe Christmas is only 5 days away?

01: What is one movie you have to watch every year at Christmas? The Christmas Story. I have loved this movie since I was a child and must watch it every year over and over.

02: Do you believe in Santa Claus? If not, when and why did you stop? Of course not. I really can't remember exactly when I believing in him or why, but I was a good sister and didn't spoil it for my younger sister (she is 5 1/2 years younger than I am).

03: What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received? Hmm that is a hard one.  As a small child, I would have to say my pink big girls bike.  I was so pumped to ride a bike without training wheels.  As an adult, I would jewelry from my husband.

04: Describe your typical Christmas morning. I wake up later than my husband because he is a freak and wakes up between 6 and 7 am on weekends.  He already has a fire going, coffee brewing (hopefully a latte this year) and stockings stuffed.  Walter and I casually wake up and lounge until we know it is warm enough in the living room.  Then we venture out to be together as a family.  We listen to Christmas music, take turns opening gifts, play ball with Walter and enjoy the day.  Then we enjoy coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls (my moms recipe).  One of my favorite traditions.

05: What is your favorite thing to eat at Christmastime? My great grandmother's (moms side of the family) sugar cookies.  She passed away many years ago, but my grandma has taken over tradition to bake them.  Also, my grandmother's (dads side of the family) twister cookies.

06: Have you ever experienced a white Christmas? I grew up and live in Nevada near Lake Tahoe, so we often have white Christmases.  There is nothing like it.

07: What is your favorite Christmas song? I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

08: Do you do anything special on Christmas Eve? We go over to my family friends house for their annual Christmas Eve party.  Lots of family, friends and good eats and drinks.

09: Has your favorite thing about Christmas changed as you’ve gotten older? It has absolutely changed.  As a child I loved opening presents and giving presents.  As an adult, I really love spending the time with my family, in-laws and all the love that surrounds us.  I have always loved driving around looking at Christmas light displays and the sweet treats of Christmas.

10: Does your family have any unique Christmas traditions? If so, what are they? Baking my grandmother's twister cookies.

11: Do you prefer giving or receiving Christmas presents? I love giving gifts.  I love wrapping them up and watching the faces of my loved ones opening them.  It is more satisfying than receiving, but I do love new things.

12: Can you think of a Christmas that was more special than any other? I think all of our Christmases have been special.

13: Do you prefer real Christmas trees or artificial Christmas trees? I love real Christmas trees.  Every year after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) we go cut down a Christmas tree with our loved ones and family friends.  One of my favorite traditions.

14: What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever given? I am a very good Christmas gift giver since I spent two months searching and eyeing gifts for others, but I can't put my finger on any particular gift that stands out.

15: Whose gift do you always have a hard time buying? My dad is pretty hard to shop for since he buys everything that he wants or needs.

Be sure to link up with Cara.
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Nails

It is that time again...for Christmas nails.  Yes I got my nails done AGAIN (I get them done every two to three weeks) and this time we went for a Christmas theme.  I am super happy with how they turned out.  Lauren is simply amazing and you must go see her if you live/work/visit the Reno/Tahoe area.
I am obsessed with the gradient glitter she used on my thumb and middle finger.  I can see myself using variations of it ALL THE TIME.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

First Offical Christmas Ornaments

As promised, I took pictures of our new First Christmas ornaments as newlyweds.  The first one is from my mom and dad.  Every year, my mom buys/makes me a Christmas ornament.  She has never missed a Christmas and it is really special to me to see all the ornaments on the tree every year from my past.
This years ornament is perfect.  Lots of glitter, love birds and snow.  What do you think?

When I was in New York, I found out from Blaine that there were little markets all around the city selling Christmas things and even personalized ornaments.  I HAD to have one.  I must have walked the shop three times and stood at the engaged/newlywed/anniversary section for 20 minutes straight picking the perfect one for Rory and I.  I think it is perfect for us (how many times am I going to say perfect today?).
What do you think?  Did you get a first year Christmas ornament?  I just realized I also made an ornament out of our wedding invitation that I posted here.  So I guess we get three "Our First Christmas" ornaments.  Too much?  Nah.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wish List

So today I was going to show you all the cute Christmas ornament I bought Rory and myself for our first Christmas together as a married couple, but I forgot to take a picture of it.  I was just too pumped to get it on the Christmas tree.  Yesterday my Dad dropped off some packages I had sent to their house (presents for Rory) and gave me another first year Christmas ornament from my parents.  I did take photos of that one (so cute), but I want to put them in the same post.  Hopefully, I can remember to take a picture tonight, to show you all tomorrow.

Anyways, back to Christmas.  Are you ready for it?  I can't believe Christmas will be here a week from tomorrow.  This month has gone by too fast.  Plus the one week less we had between Thanksgiving and Christmas really threw me off.  I love Christmas time and want to savor every bit of it, and it is almost over.

What is on your Christmas list?

I had a really hard time making a list this year as I have most of the things I want or need, so I had to dig for stuff I want, but haven't bought for myself.  Mostly due to cost.  You know you can't buy it all when planning a wedding.  But if you are looking to get me a gift (I know you are dying to), here are a few things I wouldn't mind.

 Danielle's Wish List

Are you ready for Christmas?
Monday, December 16, 2013

My Christmasy Week in NYC

Last week I was in New York City.  NYC is one of my most favorite cities in the US.  I always look forward to it.  Plus it is Christmas time there (oh the Macy's windows were spectacular) and I got to see my sister-in-law and my dear friend Blaine.  Total win.  The failure part...the travel part to NYC.

I got up Monday (the 9th) morning at 4:15 a.m. to catch my 6 am flight.  Guess what...United failed again and the flight was cancelled because the plane wouldn't start.  Now I know I have complained about United many times before, but when it is with work, you take the cheaper flights.  United was cheaper than Southwest.  Weird, right?  Basically, other flights were cancelled due to weather all over the US, so we didn't get into NYC until 1 am when we were supposed to arrive at 5 pm.  I lost an evening in New York.  Total bummer.

But Tuesday, we worked a bunch (and boy was it cold) and then explored.  Tuesday night I met with Blaine.  I have known Blaine since he was a baby and now he is grown up working in New York as a Broadway casting person (technical name lost).  I didn't take any photos of us hanging out, but know that it was really amazing catching up with him.
Typical panorama of Times Square
The countdown has begun...View from my hotel

Over the course of my trip, we took full advantage of the subway.  I know many hate it, but if it keeps you out of the cold (it was pretty cold last week), I had no problem with it.  I used this subway station the most.

After having dinner Blaine, I went back to my hotel to find about ten fire trucks in front of my hotel.  Apparently a fire started on the 8th floor in the wall.  Good news was I got to see about 100 hot (ssh don't tell my husband I thought they were hot) firefighters in and around my hotel.  The fire was put out fast and the drama dissipated in about ten minutes.

Wednesday we headed out to Long Island (which I have never been to) for work.  When we were driving around there and Long Beach, it was amazing to see how much destruction Hurricane Sandy caused.  Long Beach had a lot of devastation there.  Really sad to see in person.  But we did eat at this amazing pizza shop for lunch.  Warning: share a personal pizza here.  It was enough for two (or one hungry husband).
 Personal Pizza from Sorrento's
Amazing dessert case.  I wanted it all!

Don't worry, I worked out a lot while I was in New York because the Marriott Marquis Times Square has the best gym.  I love that it overlooks Times Square and it is huge.  So many machines, free weights and amenities to it.  Plus you walk more than you could ever imagine in New York.

Wednesday evening we went Christmas sightseeing and I had pizza again (what can I say, there is nothing like a New York slice).  I have been to New York once during Christmas time before and it was spectacular.  This time didn't disappoint either.

Thursday was spent in a lot of courthouses in New York which was good because it was really cold.  They called it the arctic cold front.  Before I left to NYC, I bought fleece leggings from Express that saved my life (thanks to the commenters on Venus Trapped In Mars).

If you know your way around NYC, then you know that Ground Zero and the Freedom Tower is in the area.  While walking to our subway station, we happened upon the Freedom Tower.  Very beautiful building.  Plus they turned Ground Zero into a memorial with two pools featuring all of the victims names.  Very emotional place.

Thursday evening was my last night in my beloved New York, so I knew I had to go get my ultimate favorite food in the world...macarons.  And since I was in New York, I had to go to Laudree.  I have been dreaming about this place since reading Wedding Bee (Mrs. Camel).  Mrs. Camel went to Laudree in Versailles, but I settled for the Madison Avenue store.
Laduree aka Heaven
I bought six macarons (they are expensive, $2.80 per macaron) in the cute green traveler box.  I did eat one back at my hotel and then saved the rest to share with my husband.  Such a kind wife I am.  Believe me, I could have ate all six and more that day alone.  It took more than control not to.

After my Laduree trip, I met my lovely sister-in-law at The Meatball Shop.  Do yourself a favor and go.  My sister-in-law has been wanting to try this place, but her boyfriend is allergic to eggs, so she hasn't been able to go.  Fear not, I love meatballs, so I was total game.  We tried three different kinds of meatballs (classic beef with parm cream sauce, spicy pork with spicy meat sauce and chicken with mushroom gravy).  Too Die For!  We also had their risotto of the day (fennel) and daily greens (collard greens with golden raisins, onions and herbs) along with some tasty cocktails.  
Chicken meatballs with mushroom gravy
We sat and talked for hours at the restaurant.  I didn't get back to my hotel until almost midnight in order to wake up at 4:30 am (eastern time) to catch a 8 am flight home.

Good news was my flight from JFK to San Francisco wasn't that full and I had a row to myself.  Score.  I was able to lay out the entire flight home, watch a movie (I slept most of the way home) and not have annoying people next to me.

Plus this was a new United flight, so everyone had tvs, USB ports and regular plug-ins to charge your phone/ipad/etc.  It was an amazing trip, though very busy and fast.  I was happy to get home to my husband and pup who both missed me as much as I missed them.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wedding Album

I was really on top of it for awhile regarding post wedding crafting and decorating, but have since failed a bit.  We were given a wedding album as a bridal shower gift.  Once we got our photos back, I put as many as I could in that album (in order of the day).  Then I started searching for photo albums online.  I didn't care if they matched or not because I liked the two different looks.

This weekend I finally bit the bullet and purchased one.  I am very happy with it.  My husband thinks it is a bit girly, but he didn't help me pick one out, so this is what he gets.  Plus he said I could pick what I wanted.  I still have about 130ish photos left that I need to put in an album, so that posed a bit of a problem, but this listing I found on etsy makes large photo albums.

Here is the photo album I ordered, but I had it customized to our wedding colors and feel.
image via CoutureLife on Etsy
It is simple, yet elegant.  Our other album is sterling silver with an 8x10 photo.  I think they will match nicely.  Here is how I customized it: instead of the lavender ribbon, we chose navy blue ribbon.  Then we changed the flower to an ivory hydrangea (just color change).  We kept the gray bow and changed the name tag to our names.  It is a soft cover and goes with our romantic theme (just no lace).

What do you think?  Did you order an album?  Did you even put your photos up or in something?
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Decades Birthday Party and a Niners Win

This weekend has been pretty amazing and full of lots of friend time.  The Niners won, the decades birthday party was a success and we had a great time at a Christmas party.  The bad....I lost to my husband in fantasy football this week.  But the good news is (always looking for the silver lining) is I am still in second place in my league (I believe) going into the playoffs, so there still is hope.  And I believe I will be playing my father in law.

Friday was pretty stressful trying to find a costume for the decades party.  I had several ideas, but the weather forecast said lots of snow.  I didn't want to wear the skimpy dress I wanted from Francesca's.  But Junkie Clothing Exchange saved the day.  I was able to pick up a long cigarette, long black satin gloves and a pearl necklace (no I didn't have one because the dumb ass who burglarized our home two years ago stole mine) to complete my Audrey Hepburn outfit.  I have way too many layers in my hair to put it up like Audrey Hepburn did in Breakfast At Tiffany's, so I went with a low bun.  I would say it turned out pretty well.
 Newest to oldest decade minus my husband photo bombing us (today, 90s, 56s/60s, 20s)
 My husband was a Wall Street business man from the 80s (notice the white powder sugar on his label, yep a fake of what you would think)
Classy ladies

We had several photo sessions and they were all pretty epic.  We partook in flip cup which I have only played maybe twice in my life.  We had yummy jello shots I made from a recipe I got off That's So Michelle (peach and vanilla champagne jello shots), and I didn't drink much at all, so there was no hangovers.  Win!

During our flip cup fun, a friend made a gross sandwich.  It is chicken wings, pizza rolls and potato chips sandwiched in between two red velvet cookies.
Here is one last photo from the night...awkward family stern photo much?!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ron Burgundy and Peyton Manning

This morning I watched Ron Burgundy interview Peyton Manning.  I laughed so hard.  I love Peyton Manning and I love Anchorman, so please do yourself a favor and check this out.   Ron Burgundy Interview
image via ESPN
 Here is one of my favorite parts...courtesy of ESPN magazine.

Manning: Barney Miller? Well, first off, Ron, some of the guys you named were never quarterbacks. And I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. Actually, Eli tried to grow one a while back without much success, I'd have to say.
Burgundy: Oh, I saw that. It did not look good. It looked like his upper lip was caked in a mixture of liquid dog crap and cocaine.
Manning: Easy, Ron, that is my brother. I do agree, though. It wasn't very well groomed.

There are many more funnies.  Watch the video, and then read the full article because there was some stuff left out.  Like the who would win a fight between Cujo (the dog) and Jaws.  Hilarious.
Friday, December 6, 2013

Football Fridays

It could be a painful football weekend for me, but let's hope it isn't.  First off, I am playing my husband in Fantasy Football.  This means I must dominate him.  I need to win and go into the playoffs next week strong.  So please cheer on my fantasy league, so we can show the guys that girls can play and play even better.  By the way, I am in second place with a two game lead on my husband.

Second, the Niners play the Seahawks.  My dad is a Seahawks fan, so it gets pretty intense during OUR family rival weekend.  I expect my dad to call me a million times to heckle me, but I am hoping and praying Kap can run his butt off, Crabtree can have a touchdown or two and the defense annihilates the Seahawks.  FYI I have Russell Wilson on my fantasy team, so let's let him get some points (so I can win), but have the Niners take him down after.  Deal?

I will be watching the game biting my nails, cursing like a sailor (I'm sure) and hopefully eating my woes/nerves away.
Which game are you excited for this weekend?

And I will be right here come Monday!
I can't wait to experience Christmas in New York City again.  Too bad I am only there for a week.  But good news is, next weekend is the Heisman trophy ceremony and most of the former winners and the current candidates stay at the same hotel as I am.  Last time I met Doug Flutie.  Who will I meet this time?  Johnny Football.

Venus Trapped in Mars
Be sure to link up with Sarah from Venus Trapped in Mars.

Wine Bottles

I have been meaning to write this post for awhile now, but never got around to it.  My dad gave us some amazing gifts for our wedding.  He etched our champagne glasses and two bottles of wine for us.  These are so special to me.  Now we have personalized champagne glasses (2 of each design, 4 in total) to drink from every anniversary.

We also got two bottles of wine.  We drank one of them within a week of our wedding and have the other saved for our one year anniversary to eat with our cake (no we didn't freeze our top tier, GROSS) our baker is remaking us.
 Rory and Danielle (monogrammed B) August 17, 2013
Nevada Wolf Pack with our names in hearts and our wedding date

I really love these wine bottles.  I just wish I could get better pictures of them because the camera didn't do them any justice.

Since we loved our gifts so much, I asked my dad if he could make our friend's Stacey and Matt one for their wedding and our cousin's (my new in-law cousins) one for their wedding.  I only have pictures of the practice session, but you will get the picture.
Cousin's wine bottle
Friend's wine bottle

We were told by both that these were amazing gifts and so special to them as well.  My dad is a rockstar when it comes to glass etching.  And now for our beautiful champagne glasses.
Left: The Butler's and our wedding date. Right: Our names in a heart with our wedding date
The man behind the work, my dad.  Plus we are using the champagne glasses for the toast.

Now I want to make ask my dad to make so many other things.  I have one in the works as a Christmas gift to my husband.  After Christmas I will post what we are making.

This weekend I am going to make use of more wine bottles (that are empty) and make some cute santas and snowmen.  Miss Stacey made some this last weekend and I am dying to make some for my house!