Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Finds

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Friday Finds. What great books did you find online, in the library or at the bookstore? What did you add to your TBR list? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

"Prosperous Friends" by Christine Schutt
"Memoir of the Sunday Brunch" by Julia Pandl
"Elegies for the Brokenhearted" by Christie Hodgen
"If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This" by Robin Black
"My Ideal Bookshelf" by Thessaly La Force

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Then vs. Now

I'm not sure what's going on with me, but I've been in a bit of a funk all week.
I did a little Christmas decorating, wrote a few Christmas cards, even finished shopping for everyone but my 13 year old niece. Yet, I have the holiday blues - or I'm fighting off a cold and just feel blah.
I was feeling a bit sad on Thanksgiving. I didn't see my family at all that day. My mom was sick so she and my dad stayed home. I never see my brothers on Thanksgiving. I didn't host this year so there was no stressing and cooking. We went to my in-laws for a quiet afternoon. It made me a bit melancholy.
I think the holidays do that for a lot of us. We remember past Christmases, perhaps of our youth, where everything is seen through rose-colored glasses. This time of year was always exciting for me back then. Suddenly there were decorations and lights everywhere in the house. We made a list for Santa of the new toys we wanted. Right after Thanksgiving, my brothers would set up those great Lionel trains on a designated area on the floor, and we'd play with that for hours.
Ah, youth. I do miss those days.
My mother, however, remembers it differently. She was a working mom, so she was always rushed and stressed. How to get it all done? There just wasn't enough time in the day. I'm a stay at home mom. I have a bit more time. She had 3 kids whereas I have 2. She had a sick mother living downstairs that she tended to. I don't. I can see why she would have been stressed this time of year.
I'm not sure why I'm not enjoying it more. I try to see the excitement through my boys' eyes. And it is working . . . most of the time. I suppose the rest of the time I'll put on a happy face and think of the good old days.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tree #2 - White Tree

I am on a roll. Hubs came home yesterday with a box full of white tree. Yay!!
The boys couldn't wait to put it up and start decorating. This one being my theme tree, I decided this year would be blue ornaments only (in honor of an all boy house, other than me of course). I purchased soooooo many ornaments on clearance last year, I don't have enough room on my 4 foot tree to put them all out. So I put on just enough, then added a few more, and this is the end result of Christmas Tree #2.

She's little, but she does the trick. I'll probably swap out the red tree skirt for a white one in keeping with the white holiday decor for my family room. I'll post pics of the room once it's complete, but I plan on a white wreath over the fireplace and white garland along the mantel. I just ordered the garland today. Hopefully it won't take too long to get here.
Two 4 foot trees are complete and it's not even December yet. Next up is the whopping 7 foot tree in the living room. That's definitely going to take some time. I just need to pace myself and make it as enjoyable as possible. Perhaps a little wine and some Christmas music will help me along!


Call Me Cate at Show My Face hosts Six Word Saturday. Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words.
Sneezing, Sniffling and Coughing, Oh My!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Friday 2012

I love shopping as much as the next girl. I do not, however, love going out to shop on Black Friday. I have no interest in crowds, lines, and utter exhaustion, especially after a day of stuffing my face with turkey and pumpkin pie and chatting it up with family for hours on end.
I prefer online shopping, and I do it every opportunity I can. I recently came across a site that lists coupon codes and discounts to make my online shopping experience more savvy and cost effective. Now that Black Friday is fast approaching, this site is number one on my radar. Black Friday 2012 has a comprehensive listing of all the Black Friday online deals in one, easy-to-find location. And I don't even have to leave my house.
If you're interested in tons of online sales, discounts, coupon codes, and deals, this is the site for you. You can find online coupons and deals for retail stores, big warehouse stores and even small online only stores. If you're looking for household items, clothing, or toys for yourself or someone on your holiday list, check out these Target coupons. In the market for a new electronic gadget? Click on these deals from Best Buy Black Friday.
Even after Black Friday, this site will save you money at thousands of online stores. Updated daily with the newest discount keycodes, special offers, and promotions, you'll want to bookmark this site and use it for all your online shopping needs. Day or night, the newest and hottest coupons will be there for you to use. Give the Black Friday 2012 coupons a try and spend Black Friday like me - warm and cozy wearing my sweatpants in the comfort of my own home while shopping up a storm. Happy Black Friday, everyone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tree #1 - Music Tree

I think I'm still in shock. The boys and I put up our little musical ornament Christmas tree in the basement last night. It's only a 4 foot tree, but it's still cute.
My husband plays guitar and has lots of equipment in the basement. I came up with the idea a few years ago to only put musical ornaments on this tree and keep it downstairs with all the music stuff. The boys love it, and I do too. I like a theme tree.
Tree #1 is complete. Only 2 more to go.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Christmas Tree . . . Times Three

I'm not usually one to rush the holidays. Actually, I'm one who dreads all that needs to be done for the holidays - shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating. It can get overwhelming.
For some reason, this year, I am ready to start the next holiday much earlier than usual. I was shopping for Halloween in September. Now I'm ready to put up a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. This is not like me.
I think it's because I'm a little excited about Christmas decorating this year. I want to get a white tree and only decorate it with one color each year. I already started purchasing different ornaments at the end of the season last year of varying color shades. I have them all organized in different storage containers in the attic. One container has blue ornaments. Another has purple ornaments. I get a rush just thinking about it. Now all I need is the tree.
I originally wanted a big 6 foot tree. But hubs is talking me into a smaller 4 foot tree to place on top of the end table in our family room. That might work just fine. Especially in light of the fact I have 2 other trees I need to decorate - the large living room tree and the small musical tree we keep in the basement.
No wonder I want to get an early start this year!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Finds

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Friday Finds. What great books did you find online, in the library or at the bookstore? What did you add to your TBR list? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

"Jane Austen's Guide to Modern Life's Dilemmas" by Rebecca Smith
"A Wedding in Great Neck" by Yona Zeldis McDonough
"Friendkeeping" by Julie Klam

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Living in New Jersey, I suppose you can say I was ground zero for Hurricane Sandy. Two weeks have gone by since she hit, and I am finally able to get back to some sense of normalcy.
The storm hit on Monday, October 29. She took out 3 trees surrounding my home and my heat and electricity. Fortunately, no tree hit the house.

The power was out for 6 days. It was cold in the house, but we toughed it out. Two days later, a NorĂ©aster hit New Jersey. It was more snow than wind and rain. This took our power out again. At this point, I couldn't take anymore and it was freezing. I fled, with my 2 boys and a lot of their toys, to the warmth of my parents' home about 10 minutes away. It was another 3 days before the power was restored.
I finally got back home to a heated house this past Saturday night. It felt good to be home. I realized several things. I don't do well in emergencies. I don't want to say I panic, but I do get uptight and stressed. I also am not cut out for life without heat and electricity. Maybe I can do without electricity, but I require heat.
I also realized how fortunate I am. The devastation at the Jersey Shore is heartbreaking. People's homes were washed away, some partially, some completely. Empty spaces left behind where houses used to sit.
I have my home, in tact. I have my family. I am blessed. But I am sad. The places of my youth are gone. I am no coaster officianado, but I loved the Jet Star roller coaster in Seaside Heights. I rode that coaster so many times when I was young, and loved it. It sat at the end of the pier and jutted out over the ocean. Such a thrill!
Now the Jet Star resides in the Atlantic Ocean where the pier collapsed during the storm. Something I wanted to share with my boys once they were old enough is now just a memory.
I wish all those who lost everything and so much more than I did some comfort and resolution to the life they must build ahead. I pray for those who lost loved ones in the storm. I pray for the Jersey Shore in the years ahead.