Tuesday, December 30, 2008

{The busiest time of the year...}

...is apparently now.

I've been a very bad blogger the past week or so {more!}. I've had a lot going on and have a friend on her way to visit right now! I thought I should at least check in and visit everyone's blogs before the New Year.

I had a great Christmas, and hope you all did too! Our family dinner was Christmas Eve at my sister's home. Here's a few photos of our little gathering...it was so much fun.

A champagne toast to start the festivities, of course!

The holiday dining table - filled with wine, cheese, and holiday crackers.
Our crackers were filled with crowns, toys, magic tricks and jokes.

Our dinner of ginger pork tenderloin, sesame snap peas, & tiramisu.

Now, off to host my out-of-town guest, Cassie!
Not to mention decorate for the NYE extravaganza at my friend Shelley's house -
look for pics & a fun recap New Year's Day!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

{Merry Christmas!}

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your family & friends! I'm off to Iowa to see my family, so take care!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

{Christmas Preparations...}

...are in full effect!
Snowy white flowers.
Yesterday my mom & I finished up some last-minute shopping
which included a trip to Whole Foods.

Cheese, wine, truffles...mmm.
We now have everything we need for Christmas Eve dinner at my sister Lauren's loft & Christmas morning brunch at my abode.
I'm so excited, everything is going to be absolutely beautiful.
We're decorating with lots of paper snowflakes
(you now know what I'll be doing all night tonight), sparkles, & candlelight.
Now, it wouldn't be Christmas brunch in our family without some champagne. Plus, I thought it might help L & A relax before their international flight at 2pm to London.
Mine will be deliciously accented by pomegranate Izze & fresh pomegranate seeds.
I truly believe that the fruit addition makes it a health drink, ha!

Tiramisu cake.
I hope you're all having a great time getting ready for Christmas -
here's a little sneak peek of tomorrow night's dinner.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

{Recipe: Crabbies}

These are seriously THE BEST party appetizer. You can make as many as you like in advance and keep them in the freezer until you need them! (think - unexpected, last-minute guests)
Plus, everyone loves them. Trust me.

Pre-baked Crabbies

8 ounces of butter
1 6-ounce jar of Old English cheese
1 1/2 Tbls. mayonnaise
1 teas. garlic salt
1 6-ounce can/package of crab meat (pretty sure you can use imitation, too)
1 package of English muffins

Blend first 5 ingredients at room temperature.
Spread on muffin halves (I also sprinkle paprika on top), then freeze on cookie sheets.
Cut each half into quarters and store in freezer.
To serve: bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
ps...i almost always double my recipe!

Friday, December 19, 2008

{6 days until Christmas!}

I hope you all have a great weekend-before-Christmas {yikes}!
It's certainly looking a lot like Christmas here in Omaha...
I mean, look at this hilarious thing found in front of my apt. today.

I've got a few fun things going on that I'll be sure to post about....

A Crabbie making session with my friend Shelley.
{Plus the recipe which you will all make this holiday season!
I demand it!}

Christmas Eve dinner planning with my sister.

A Holiday party for two of my favorite bars on Sunday night.
Think - extended family Christmas party.
PS...the Crabbies will be making an appearance as well.

I leave you with this lovely photo looking out my frozen car window.
This is after 25 minutes of scraping. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

{Warm & Cozy!}

My house is toasty &
the aroma of party mix is in the air...

I accomplished many things today...

1} finished signing up for spring classes
2} sent out Christmas gifts & blog giveaway prizes
3} picked up a memory card for my new Sony Cybershot

4} helped Conor pick out new glasses
5} made party mix & peppermint fudge

All of this during a snowstorm!
Yay me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

{Christmas Brunch}

So, it is a horrifically cold day (we're talking, below-zero-when-I-woke-up-high-of-7-degrees-Jack-Nicholson-frozen-in-a-maze-cold).

So, this got me thinking warm, cozy thoughts. Thoughts about things such as Christmas brunch. We already have some plans for the holiday, but since my sister is leaving the country on Christmas day, I thought that a 'pre-airplane flight halfway around the world brunch' would be nice.

PS, she's going to London & Africa for the holidays with her boyfriend. Sigh.

Anyways, while avoiding the outdoors today I've come up with a tentative menu. It's looking good, folks.

Photos via Taste of Home & YumSugar
First off, the ever-popular Christmas/Cinnamon Roll Tree. My G-ma always made one of these for Xmas morning present unwrapping. She passed away this year and I think someone needs to carry on this tradish. Plus it's good. Alright, next up - main dish - Bacon Cups w/Scrambled Eggs. Umm, awesome.

Finally, you've gotta have a cocktail. This one I found on Martha Stewart. It's called Sparkling Shiraz Punch and sounds super tasty. I love the idea of a punch bowl with a festive looking drink, and this fits the bill. Pretty, no?

So, just a few ideas for some tasty treats this Christmas morning. I'll definitely show you what I choose to do in the end. Hopefully that doesn't include burning down the apt.
(I've heard the bacon cups provide a healthy amount of smoke, yikes!)

What are your Christmas morning plans? Any traditions? I'd love to hear...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

{A blustery Sunday afternoon...}

...and Muffy Martini's Look of the Day reminded me of a few things I'm currently lusting over at Urban Outfitters.
I've posted this hat before and just love it.
The muffler reminds me of one I had when I was younger. I was thrilled to see that it has resurfaced in the fashion world. What a fabulous combination, right? I'd be a fluffy, furry, snow bunny! This idea is exciting to me.

Okay, I had to post this one because I think it is HILARIOUS. It looks like an animal is draped across her ever so casually. And I think her expression is the best part. Please don't purchase or and wear this article in public, folks.

Stay warm!

Friday, December 12, 2008

{And the winner is...}

A champagne bucket works, right?
Miss Amber of Daisy Chain!
Amber said, "oooh, this gorgeous Clinique set would pretty me right up for all the Holiday parties next week! pick me! (and I promise to send you a photo with the make up on)."
Congrats Amber, and thanks for reading my blog. Send me an email with your info so I can send out your Clinique set just in time for the holidays!

AS for the rest of you little ladies, don't fret...I have future plans in the making for more lovely giveaways, so stay tuned!

And a special note to Julie @ Wearing Mascara - I have a special Clinique treat for you all well! A thank you for mentioning me on your blog - I think you sent a lot of traffic my way! Send me your info and I'll ship out your goodies!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

{Pomegranates & Cookies}

...are both in season.

Not that cookies are ever not in season.

Tomorrow in the cosmetics dept. we are having a cookie exchange. Clinique-Maggie is thrilled.
My contribution is the ever yummy Caramel Toffee Bar. Look at the toffee...mmm, toffee.

Le bars are still cooling as I type (note the 11pm post time - someone put this off until the last minute), so no picture of the individual bars. Besides, they aren't too pretty, but are DELISH. Seriously, they are the most delicious, sinful thing ever. Message me if you want the recipe.

On to the Pommies. I saw the elusive fruit (fruit, right?) at the store today. While a major pain in the rump to get at, the seeds are possibly the juiciest, tastiest things ever. We had ours in a salad with Roquefort & arugula.

So yums.

Sorry about the random post. While I'm at it I might as well tell you that I signed up for the rest of my spring classes today and decided to enroll in the challenging class of Yoga. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

{My 1st Giveaway!}

Clinique-themed, of course! I was going to wait until a milestone - Christmas, my 100th post, something. BUT, I wanted the winner to receive their present by the holidays, so voila! It is...


In honor of the holidays and my employment as a Clinique Consultant (Accredited, if you want to get down to specifics, ha ha. That was a sarcastic ha, by the way.) I am giving away our holiday "Instant Pretty" set.

Includes: 6 eye shadows
(these are really more purple and green than the pic indicates),
mascara, lipstick (nude plum shade), a full-sized eye cream, and a makeup remover.

To enter my lovely giveaway,
just leave me a comment by Friday afternoon when I'll "draw" a winner!

Look, it's just waiting for the lucky winner under my tree.
Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Monday, December 8, 2008

{17 Days 'til Christmas!}

Only. Can you believe it?

I finally got a tree - I had to come up with a new idea since my new place is quite a bit smaller than my old loft. BUT, today at Target I found a wonderful little table-top tree. Yay! I wanted the pink one, but Conor put his foot down.

Isn't it perfect? The decor is a little sparse yet, as my larger ornaments did not fit on his tiny little branches. I love Christmas decorations.

During the shopping trip, my mom called and asked me and Con to join her for sushi at Sakura Bana. Mmm, it was lovely. They got Bentos and I got rolls.

Very delish if you haven't ever tried it - I suggest getting a tea room if you go.

All in all a great day!

Friday, December 5, 2008

{On this day...}

...the 5th of December. Please remember those who lost their lives at Von Maur one year ago.
If you're in Omaha, there is a memorial today at 1:30pm. You can join me and my Clinique girls on the south steps for a brief ceremony led by Jim Von Maur. You can also watch it Here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

{Redbox & Facial Peels}

Both are red. (Or, at least my skin is red...) Both were on my agenda for tonight.

First up - Redbox, the most amazing invention (at least, currently my favorite). Movie rentals for $1?! And no more wandering around a movie store for an hour in order to pick something that you probably knew you wanted prior to wasting time that you'll never get back.
I love it. Thank you Cassie for introducing me to this wonderful vending machine. You can find yours here (along with your $1 movie rental, $1!!!): Redbox!

My other experiment of the night - Clinique's new Turnaround Radiance Peel. It's our new, 8-week glycolic peel. We just got ours in store today and each took home a little vial to try out. Let me tell you something....my skin feels FANTASTIC.

It's smooth and silky.

Only slight burning and redness has occurred. It is acid, after all. You apply one vial per week for eight weeks. For only $55, it's a pretty good deal.

So, my night is pretty great.

Conor is writing a paper, so it's just me, my peeling skin (ha, not really!), and a couple of movies ($1 movies, did I mention that?).


Monday, December 1, 2008

{Wonderful Chairs}

A few of you had asked about my beautiful (my words, ha!) chairs in my apartment pictures a while back...
Not too long ago my mom approached me about a few chairs she had aquired. She was offering them to me - we could redo them however I wanted so I would have dining room chairs that were individually mine (and only mine!).

{Note the amazing Swedish Christmas Windmill a la Griswold family from Christmas Vacation?!}
Said chairs currently reside in my living room.
Our new apartment doesn't really have room for 4 chairs around the dining table, but they are small enough that they fit perfectly into our cozy living room.
That way they are a focal point, as well they should be.

We used an Alexander Henry fabric called "Viceroy" that I love. My lovely mother stripped and painted the chairs, then off to the upholsterer they went.

My one of a kind chairs.