Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year's Eve, folks!  It was pretty much a lazy day (that definitely was the theme this holiday season).  I basically parked myself on the couch to watch an NCIS marathon until Julie came over to help me prep for the New Year's Eve get-together.  Well, technically, I bought the stuff on Friday and Julie cut up all the cheese and veggies.  While she was in the kitchen, I used the bottle of hair dye that I bought yesterday to fix my greying hair situation.  I got the top part ok, but my sides of my head could have used some more dye.  Oh well, I'll learn for next time.  Overall, not too bad for a non-salon job and for a first time dying my own hair.  Robyn and Beth came over later for pizza, Men in Black 3, and the ball drop.  Onward to, that sounds futuristic!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Birthday Card

Spin class: I almost didn't go to the gym for spin class this morning, but I'm glad that I did because a) I wanted to give Janice her bag of peppermint bark to show my appreciation for her doing awesome classes all year.  She seemed really touched and in turn, that made me feel good and b) I caught up with a gym friend and a coworker.  I also learned that there was going to be a 2-hour spin class held on New Year's Day.  I hope I can make it to some of it!

Coupons: I was so happy that I went to my parents' house yesterday to rummage through their weekend inserts and clip some coupons.  I saved $12 just on coupons alone on my today's trip to CVS.  One thing that I got was some hair dye.  The grey hairs are really standing out against my black hair, and it's making me a little self conscious, so we'll see how it turns out tomorrow.  I can pass for someone 10 years younger...well, until you look at my hair.  Time to fix that!

Card: Here's my card for today (I'm starting to get my mojo back, I think).  I was rummaging through some of the crafty goodies that I bought during last Christmas's clearance sale and found some cardbases, so that's where I started.  I picked a stamp that I hadn't used in a while.  You can't tell, but it didn't stamp cleanly in this middle, so I covered it up.  Hee hee.  The orange and brown patterned papers were already sitting next to my paper trimmer.  Easy peasy!

Card Specs: 
Card base: Recollections
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Deep Lagoon. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo.
Stamp: Stampin' Up- Party Hardy (present), Studio G (sentiment, floral background)
Paper: American Crafts- Abode, Die Cuts with a View- Nana's Kitchen
Floral sticker: Basic Grey Bloomers- Pyrus collection
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen

I have the day off tomorrow, so I'm planning to see what other after Christmas sales I can score before I have some people over at the house for pizza, movie, and NYE ball drop. :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Nails

New nails: I tried out a new bottle of nail polish yesterday.  It's called Cherry Cherry Bang Bang by Sally Hansen (2 coats).

Post-Christmas Blah: After roaming around the mall today, I went over to my parents' house and stayed for dinner.  Julie and I also took down the Christmas tree and lights.  It's kinda a downer because they look so pretty up, but they gotta come down sometime to prepare for the New Year.

Useful Christmas Presents: I tried out the new vacuum cleaner that my parents bought me for Christmas.  I love it!  My old one is still hanging in there, but you can tell that there's a difference between the two in terms of power.  I kinda like seeing the lines in the carpet left behind by the new vac.  I must get this obsession with cleaning from my mom.  Heh.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Christmas Shenanigans

"At the office": Today's feature film in the conference room was Casino Royale (I brought it in, tee hee).  Gotta have me some Daniel Craig.  I still can't decide if I enjoy this movie more than Skyfall; they are both so good!

After Christmas Sales: I would have gone looking for post-Christmas sales on Wednesday, but with the wintery weather that came though, that would not have been a good idea.  I did hit up the mall after work today and found Christmas candy 30% off at Target (I got several packages of white chocolate peppermint M&Ms) and a top from New York and Company at 70% off.  I was going to get some lotion from Bath and Body Works, but the line was longer than I was wanting to wait in.  Julie informed me that curry rice was on the menu for dinner at the house, so of course, I did not want to be late!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fall-To Layout #221

"At the office": I woke up this morning to sleet falling on the windowsill.  To be safe, I decided to telework.  Wow, I'm sure glad that I did because after the sleet came huge flakes of snow and then freezing rain to give everything a nice icy glaze.  I got more done at home anyway.  Everyone that was at the office, maybe all 5 of them, watched Wedding Crashers in the conference room at lunch.

Card: Here's my contribution to Fall-To Layout #221.  I guess since Christmas is over, it's onward to Valentine's Day.  I started out with the pink patterned paper and red metallic paper because they were sitting near my paper trimmer.  I wanted something to counter the pink, but not have it too dark that you wouldn't be able to see the birds.  After I adhered everything and stamped the sentiment, I thought it needed some dimension so I found some stickers in a pack that I bought from Marshalls recently.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird.  Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China
Stamp: The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment)
Paper: Chatterbox, American Crafts- Hello Sunshine
Die: QuicKutz- Birds, Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
Stickers: Martha Stewart- Damask Embossed Bird Stickers
Other: Liquid Pearl in White Opal, Black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hooray, Merry Christmas, everyone!  Today started with baking some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to bring to my parents' house for dessert.  Julie came over later to make brownies, and we got a cake from my cousin so we definitely got desserts covered tonight.  Dad went to get Chinese food take out so that Mom wouldn't have to slave away in the kitchen.  After we ate dinner, it was time to open gifts.  It's sad that we wait all year for this day.   The tree looks so pretty with all the presents under it, and then in a few hours, it's all over and we have to wait another year for the build-up.  I guess if Christmas happened more often, the feeling wouldn't be that special, so it's better this way.  Here are some pictures from earlier tonight.
Time to work off all that Chinese food and dessert
Booze for the adults

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

Normally, our family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve, but since my cousin from California is flying in tomorrow (Christmas Day), we decided to postpone the celebration.  RJ and I hung out today and enjoyed the snowfall outside (you can't really see the snow falling in the picture, but I promise that it was!).  I made a pot of lentils and camped out on the couch to enjoy an NCIS marathon on TV.

Yesterday, I went to lunch with my family and some of my cousins from my dad's side of the family.  There were lots of little kids there.  It was funny to see them sing "Call Me Maybe" and do the Gangham Style dance.  Someone's been watching some YouTube, huh? 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Preparing for Christmas

My friend Steph and her family came over to visit my place this afternoon.  It's been about 2 years since I've seen her in person, so it was really nice to catch up.  This was their first time at my place too.  It also gave me an excuse to scrub my place down from top to bottom.  I can't show off the house with cat hair everywhere, right?  She got me a cute bag and an Etsy gift card.  I haven't use a Etsy gift card yet, so it'll be interesting.  Maybe I'll buy some artwork for my bedroom or some cute earrings. :)

After my guests left, I went over to my parents' house.  Julie texted that she was back from school.  We had dinner and then we took on the task of putting up the Christmas tree.  I used my iPhone to see how long it'd take us to set up the tree, ornaments, tinsel, and lights.  We clocked in at less then 20 minutes.  We've used this tree ever since I was young, so we've got the setting up and wrapping back up to a T.  We watched Lilo and Stitch after the really tough work, and of course, we laughed at the same jokes over and over.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Make Your Own Envelopes

Hello, ignored Blogosphere.  It's been a weird week.  Monday was the only day that I was in the office this week.  Tuesday, I decided to work from home because I was feeling off.  Wednesday, I was feeling even worse- earache, headache, sore throat.  Seriously, I was a hot mess.  I was a little nervous that I had an ear infection in my right ear because it was hurting and my hearing in that ear was off.  I thought only little babies got ear infections?!  WTH.  Fortunately, my pharmacy student friend reassured me that it'll probably go away in a few days and to drink lots of fluids.  Thursday and today were already blocked off as vacation days, so I decided to keep them anyway and spend lots of time immobile and on the couch with RJ. 

I'm feeling lots better much better that I even went to spin class this morning and my parents' house, and ran some errands.  Tonight, I worked on making some envelopes for some gift card holders by utilizing my Martha Stewart scoring board.  This site helped me with the patterned paper measurements and where to score.

RJ is unamused by all of this.  As usual.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Office Cookie Exchange

I organized a cookie exchange at the office today.  Actually what that really means is that I sent out a calendar invite and booked a conference room and hoped that people would bring baked goodies to share.  Unlike the bake-off a few weeks ago, there was a lot of participation.  The whole conference room counter was filled with all types of treats.  My contribution were Rolo cookies (with a CVS sale and coupon, I got 2 bags for $2, what a steal!).  To be honest, I didn't try a lot of the goodies because I was already too sugared up from doing "quality assurance" on my own cookies, but I did try some toffee and a peanut butter cookie.  I had to take a picture of someone's "plate" so I could show off the variety.  Even this person didn't get everything on the counter.

On Facebook, someone took a similar picture and I commented, "I hear we have a healthy food policy, but I have no idea what that means."  The Executive Director commented back, "Tina, you will have to go through the healthy food policy re-orientation, once I come down from my sugar high!"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shrek the Halls

Today, I went down to the National Harbor with Robyn, Jules, and Patrick (Jules's fiance).  Robyn wanted to get some Christmas shopping done, so I walked around with her.  Then we met up with Jules and Patrick at a sports bar so they could watch some of the football games going on.  And around 4 PM, we went to see Shrek the Halls.  The event organizers had popped a huge tent where there were ice sculptures of the Shrek characters and lots of lights.  The ventue was set at 12 degrees or something like that, so I'm glad they gave us parkas to keep us warm.  Midway through the exhibit they had ice slides, so of course, we all had to take a turn going down them.  Wheee!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Needed: Peace on Earth

It's been a really difficult day, watching the news coverage on the Connecticut elementary school shooting tragedy.  I first heard about it when I was at lunch with my boss (who was in town yesterday and today) and my officemate.  It didn't really sink in until I got back to my computer and started watching the information come in.  What would make someone do that?!  It's just another instance of when we should take a step back and really take the time to appreciate who and what we have because it could easily be taken away, without reason or compassion.

RJ was up to his silly antics tonight while I was watching Dateline.  I wondered what was so interesting in my Wendy's bag.  I thought the only thing in there was a receipt, but actually, there was a lone French fry.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Festive Nails

I guess doing my nails has become somewhat of a WED night thing recently.  I was going to do green with white Christmas trees, but somehow the Konad stamper wasn't picking up the image on the plate.  It'd always be half a Christmas tree instead.  Maybe it has something to do with the Konad special White Pearl polish?  I haven't figured that out yet, but that didn't stop me from going with plan B- green with a silver leaf pattern.  Base coat: China Glaze in Starboard (2 coats). Silver: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Silver Sweep. Bundle Monster plate #205.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Shopping: New York and Company sent me an email this morning to alert me to their holiday sale: 50% off everything!  I also got a coupon in the mail: spend $100 and get $40 off.  It was too good of a sale to pass up.  I ended up being there for about an hour, making sure that I didn't miss anything.  At the end of my visit, I walked out of there with a new pea coat, a dress, and 4 tops.  I felt very lucky today!

Lunch and Movie: After New York and Company, I met up with Beth for lunch at Noodles and Co. and then hung out at her place with Lilly and watched The Five-Year Engagement on RedBox.  I enjoyed the beginning and the end, but there were parts in the middle that I thought were unnecessary and awkward (or maybe unnecessarily awkward?).  My favorite scene was the Elmo/Cookie Monster conversation at the end of the movie.  I'm glad it was in there; it pretty much saved the movie for me.  Overall, it was an entertaining movie, but nothing I'd see again.

ZooLights: It wouldn't be the holiday season without ZooLights for me.  I went last year and the year before that.  I guess you could consider it a tradition by now.  I met up with Meg and Robyn for dinner at the Woodley Cafe and then walked off our dinner at the Zoo...along with the gazillion people that were there with us.  That must have been because of the nice weather and the fact that it was Saturday.  The new carousel was a nice addition.  We sat and watched it for two rounds, trying to make out what animals they chose to feature.  The clam and cuttlefish got no takers both times, sadly.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Life of Pi

Life of Pi: Taking yesterday and today off from work has worked out really nicely.  I took my parents' to go see Life of Pi at the movie theater.  The director is Taiwanese, so of course, they were interested.  The fact that it was mentioned in Time Magazine's 10 best movies of 2012 didn't hurt either.  While I thought the cinematography was amazing, the movie was too deep for me.  You know, like parents dying, feelings of isolation and abandonment, hanging out in the middle of the ocean with a tiger that probably hates your guts...yikes.  The moral of the story being how there's always something in life that you might not like, but you have to deal with anyway is a good lesson though. 

Banana Bread: I had 5 bananas that looked like they were at the end of their life span.  Fortunately, it was the exact amount that I needed to make some banana bread. I followed this recipe, and added chocolate chips because everything is better with chocolate, in my opinion.  Like the pumpkin chocolate chip pound cake that I've baked before, this banana bread is quite dense, but quite yummy.  I'm glad that I'll be seeing some friends tomorrow so that I can share this loaf with them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Nail Polish

At the office: Conversation at work...(I was working in the main building, rather than at my desk which is located in the building across the street).

Policy Director (walks by and backtracks): "Weren't you here yesterday?  (Yes...)  Have you been displaced?"
Me: "No, I just like being over here."
Policy Director: "Oh, ok." (continues walking...)

Shopping: I had a good shopping day at Marshalls today.  I got a whole bunch of Martha Stewart stickers for $1.50/set and then right after I checked out, a whole selection of nail polish caught my eye.  Ooo, that was trouble.  I picked out a few and tried the grey color tonight.  This is my first Orly color...the specific brand is Color Blast.  I really think they should have called it "cement" rather than "reflection."

New Nails: Base coat: Orly in Reflection (2 coats). Red: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Racy Rouge. Bundle Monster plate #203.

I thought this rendition of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" is so cute!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Custom Order Update

So...yesterday, I told you about the custom order that I received and finished.  Amazingly, today, I was able to meet up with the buyer and do the exchange. I think that promptness is important and appreciated in the buyer and shop owner relationship.  And while I don't expect it to be within 24 hours, I appreciate that she was available after work to pay me for the cards that I made.

I made a tray of brownies on Monday night...and right now, there are like 3 pieces left.  Thank goodness there are people around that will take them off my hands!  Of course, I had to eat some of them for quality assurance purposes.

Speaking of baking, I sent out a cookie exchange email across the organization this afternoon.  Many people accepted the calendar invite, so that was encouraging.  Hopefully that translates to people actually bringing stuff in 2 weeks from now.

Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 Craft Show #3 and a Good Etsy Day

Craft show: On Saturday, I did my 3rd and last craft show of the season.  I had been looking forward to it all season because I think it's my third time doing it (they didn't do one last year due to construction, but I'm glad they made a come back!).  The table fee is low, and the people that run it are always super nice.  I got a few people that said, "Oh, I bought cards from you last time.  I'm so glad that you came back!"  I was irked that there were some people that were selling things that came out of plastic bags.  I was suspicious that they were not handmade, but after further inspection, the crafts are handmade in another country (places in South America and Vietnam) and sold at the show.  Yes, that's handmade, but not handmade by the vendor.  Not the same...

Good Etsy Day: I woke up to a sale today.  The extra Stampin' Up sets that I got by accident at some crafty yard sales sold, so I made a little profit there and someone else can enjoy them.  Then I sold an elephant happy birthday card. AND THEN, I got a custom order for 10 origami dress cards from someone that I met at the 2nd craft show that I did season.  Whoo hoo.  The order's done, so now all we need to do is arrange for pick-up and payment.  Extra money in my pocket, woot!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Was amazing!  I had wanted to see it when it first came out, but when I found out that some of my friends (Robyn, Meg, Maria) wanted to see it, I thought it'd be better to wait until after Thanksgiving when everyone else could make it and tonight worked out for everyone.  The first theater that we went to, there was something wrong with the time that was published online and in the theater, so we got there 15 minutes late and the chances of getting good seats would have been slim.  We decided on another theater that was showing it about an hour later, and I'm glad that we stuck with the plan to go see the movie because I really liked it.  I can't decide if I liked it more than Casino Royale, but it's close!