Yes! As of 5:30 today, I am on vacation. DH and I have a par-tay to attend this evening for a friend who just finished MBA exams. (Congrats K!) To start the festivities I made Glogg with the super-secret family recipe: One bottle Glogg + one bottle cheap merlot + (this is the secret family part) a heaping glass of Captain Morgan. Let me tell you, the house smells AH-MAH-ZING and I'm on my way to being quite tipsy. Woo!
Next I'd like to show off my old Christmas tree. Back when I was single, I lived in group houses, a closet in a rented house (yes, seriously, a closet. Like, they couldn't fit a twin bed in it), and a small condo. I therefore never got a big Christmas tree. I lived with my little silver tree that reminded me of A Charlie Brown Christmas, it was so bare and unfortunate looking.
Being a fun girl, I decided that decorations should primarily be pink, with some red and purple thrown in. One year I picked up some red and pink twinkle lights during Valentine's and my little tree has become quite the belle of the condo. :)
This is my favorite ornament, EVER. We call him Elton, though I think Liberace would have been better. :)
Piggy! I love the striped hat and scarf. I would totally wear it if it came in people-sizes.
Woo hoo...Christmas is here m'dears! Merry merry, y'all!
So I'm finally done with Christmas shopping. Yippee! DH and I have a $100 limit on spending for each other. Wanna see what I got him?
DH, don't look.
Fo' serious my shizzal. No looky.
I will seriously be disappointed in you if you look, DH.
Ok, here we go. Thanks to the shops practically giving away clothes, I was able to pick up several items for DH's closet and stay in our $100 budget. Christmas being the only time I'm allowed to buy clothes for him. Preppy clothes. Hee.
Eddie Bauer. Hard to tell but but the navy sweater on the left is a zip-neck. DH wears a lot of zip neck sweaters since he uses them instead of a coat. I guess it looks sportier? J.Crew. DH has very, very particular shirt requirements. They cannot be buttondown. They have to have decent arm length. (DH has really really long arms and a HUGE chest. He's my own little ape-man. Hee!) He also hates colored shirts with white collars. Oh, and he doesn't really do plaid, solid colors (except plain blue), or thick stripes. Anywho...I picked up three shirts (2 work and 1 going out), a deliciously soft green wool zip neck, and a pair of socks. And the socks had bullies in santa hats. AIYEE!! <-- sound of Elliott's squeal of joy. For his stocking (which I count outside of our $100) I picked up Trivial Pursuit, a logic game, the newest Radiohead cd, liquor filled chocolates, and a ski weekend at Big Bear.
I'm already fretting. DH is an aaaahmazing gift giver. He said that one of my presents was something I wanted last year but have apparently forgotten about. See how fabulous he is? Hopefully he'll like his pressies. Merry Christmas!
Lately my pants have caught up to my holiday noshing and are a wee bit too tight. *chagrin* So I've decided to get a jump on my New Year's resolution and have been hitting the gym for a few weeks and eating smaller portions. A few thoughts on what I'm working on:
Following some advice I saw in Self, I've been doing 10 pushups every day. Boy pushups. And let me tell you, I can tell I've improved in two weeks. It takes one minute and my arms no longer shake on the last one. Thumbs up! However, if you take a break (like getting sick), it feels like back to square one. Thumbs down.
I also take the stairs instead of the elevator. Living on the 9th floor makes for a quick, five minute cardio pick-me-up. However, I'm still out of breath by the 7th floor. Hopefully my cardio will get better. Thumbs down.
Our building's gym has tons of fabulous, top-of-the-line weight machines. I, however, prefer free weights. 3x a week I've been doing 30 minutes of lunges, squats, and various lifts. I see definition in my arms. Teeny, tiny definition but it's there! Thumbs up!
I've been working on the Couch to 5k program. I've done it before and while I hate running, I admit the program is quick and easy to get someone into jogging. It also trims down my thighs like *no other*. (Being of big Swedish stock and having ridden horses until I was 20 has left me with ginormous thighs. My waist and butt always stay the same but my thighs? Mamma mia!) Thumbs up!
Of course, I needed to stock up on some running essentials:
Gap high impact sports bras. Second to none, IMHO. As a 36DD, I need help keeping the bubbies where they should be.
Goody stay-put headbands and hair ties. They actually, shockingly, stay put in my extremely fine hair. and lots and lots of plain, white towels (because gym towels are icky).
I do, however, need to work on my workout music. Lately I've been listening to Jane's Addiction, The Bravery, and Spoon. Anybody have suggestions for songs that are really upbeat and pop-y but NOT pop?
I know, bad blogger. DH and I were sick a/o recovering most of the weekend. Thank you Mr. Killer Virus. And special big thanks to Berocca, to which I attribute our ability to get up out of bed.
Last night DH and I went to House of Blues to see Bloc Party. OMG. OMG. OMG! *AAAAAHHHH!!!!!* <---Sound inside Elliott's head, exploding in excitement. I cannot begin to tell you how AH-MAH-ZING Bloc Party is live. HOB was a great venue, the crowd was *exceptionally* receptive (lots of dancing/crowd surfing/no bullies), and the band was excited to be finishing their US tour. The highlight of the evening (for me) was the crowd jumping and clapping in rhythm to Helicopter:
Other thoughts on the evening: *BP are just fabulous, fabulous performers. I haven't enjoyed a show like that since I last saw BRMC at 9:30 in DC. *Kele Okereke (shout out to a Scouser!) can SING. I mean, a lot of rock stars shout/sing but Kele has a great voice. *I want to steal all of Kele's guitars. Especially the Gretsch. *The 4' woman behind me has caused permanent hearing damage with her high-pitched squealing. I'm excited too, honey. Tone it down. *Should anyone go to HOB - the venue is on 4th, the restaurant is on 5th. Also, buy your drinks upstairs. The bar is better stocked and cheaper, too.
I think that's all for now. I'm watching a Muppet Christmas and a muppet shrimp just started singing a song from Pagliacci. I think I must turn my attention there. :)
DH and I went to an ugly Christmas sweater party on Saturday. Hosted by the ever-gracious K, it was INSANE fun. Lots of fun people and the sweaters were hysterical!
We also had a $10 white elephant swap at the end. DH won a Nerf shotgun (by "won" I mean "black market swapping under the table") and I received a bar kit.
Here are a couple photos of us goofing off in our faaahbulous Christmas sweaters. You wouldn't believe how crazy hard it was to find a tacky sweater. We went to Goodwill which was too high-class to have what we wanted. Walmart was also a dead-end. DH said that no one would have sweaters like those I had in mind. Oh ho - here comes JC Penney to our rescue! If I do say so, they were uuuugly.
This is our "Sears portrait"
DH proposing. Again.
Do you have a little Captain in you?
My pants are from J.Crew. People didn't believe me when I said that I actually wear them as a "real" pair. Seriously, with a white button down and a black v-neck? Totally cute. :) How can anyone not like plaid??
So DH and I have been complaining that it doesn't feel Thanksgiving-y or Christmas-y. I think the Southern California weather has something to do with that. (70 on Turkey Day??) Anywho, we decided to start decorating and came up with this for all our mini palms:
Cute but kinda sad, no? (BTW - That's the best picture of me and my two best friends EVER. Except that you can see straight down my dress. Whatever...)
Anywho, determined to get this house into Christmas-y shape, I went down to Lowes and purchased this, in all its 7', pre-lit glory:
And let me tell you, it was FREAKING heavy. Probably around 100lbs but I got it 1) out of the store, 2) into my car and 3) out of the car and all the way up to our condo. Go me!
I popped in my favorite Christmas mix which includes such great songs as:
Donde Esta Santa Claus? by Guster
Oi to the World by No Doubt
Christmas in America by Melissa Etheridge (I loooove this song - it makes me teary!)
Winter Wonderland by Liz Phair
and as a shout out to DH, Purple Snowflakes by Marvin Gaye (A total DH secret - he admits that he hears Marvin Gaye in his head when he's walking around. I love my groovy husband. Hee!)
Music in place, I got to unwrapping our monster tree. (See DH? Our tree did not come out looking pretty. I spent FOUR HOURS putting it up and decorating.)Ok, so section A slots into the base... Cut the red wire and you get this. Hmm. Not so pretty. Better fluff but those branches (all 3000 of them!). 40 minutes later, 1000 little cuts on my hands, and one trashed manicure we have a semi-decent tree base! Woo, go me! Section "B" went up a heck of a lot easier. I had my fluffing technique down pat. My hands were getting pretty scratched, though. I went to wash my hands after a loo break and almost cried when the soap got into my poor hands. Approximately 3 1/2 hours later, I had the tree up and decorated. If I do say so, it doesn't look half bad! I did, however, grossly underestimate how much garland would be needed. Looks like I'll be heading back to the mall today!
DH was quite pleased when he came home. He was also very impressed with the massive amount of heat kicked off by the tree. Seriously, it's like our own personal fireplace. :)
We're heading to Christmas at the Prado soon. I've heard it's awesome but no one has actually told me what it is or what happens. It's a mystery...