Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Luke 2:1-20
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Twas the Night Before Christmas {Part II}

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas {Part I}

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Still Inbetween

I still haven't made my goal of 7 lbs under my pre-preggers weight. As of today it's 5 more lbs to go, but I'm not too surprised or disappointed as my running and workout schedule has been slightly interrupted due to work travels...and well, life.

So I'm still pulling out a combination of my "fat" clothes and my "skinny" clothes to see what I can fit into. It sure would be nice to be able to fit into all my skinny clothes soon!

Gap cordouroys, Express sweater, Wet Seal boots

Target dress {PS this is a nursing/maternity dress!}, Forever21 belt & bib necklace, Boutique boots

Target sweater dress, Brooks Brothers boots
Forever21 dress, Banana Republic jacket, Western boots

Gifted scarf {thanks Betty!}, Banana Republic jeans, Nine West heels

I'm not usually big into New Year's Resolutions, but my goodness I am setting Mason's 1st Birthday as my weight loss goal's end-date. It's about time!

Monday, December 14, 2009

When to Go Private

Does anyone else struggle with whether or not to go "Private" with their blog(s)?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Party Help!

Mason turns 10 months this Friday...which means TWO MONTHS until his big 1-year birthday!

I need ideas, help, suggestions, advice for throwing a party for a baby. I feel pretty good about hosting Showers, Dinner Parties, Open Houses, etc. but haven't a clue when it comes to my little one... I've tried to bookmark when I come across some really cool ideas, but I just realized I've not done anything to plan for it yet and February is just around the corner!
I want to have a really cool blow-out party with a few babies and children invited, but mostly adults {since he's too young for a play party with games and activities}. I've decided to host it inside our house since it'll be cold outside and having a party at another venue would probably be too complicated for a 1st birthday anyway. I'd also like to incorporate mostly homemade decorations because it's cost effective and more meaningful {plus it's fun}. I've already chosen my invitation artiste and cake decorator. But I suppose I need to choose a theme, write out the guest list, prepare a menu, make decorations, create party favors/momentos, etc.

First order, I need to decide on a theme:
  • Bugs {"Bug" is one of his many nicknames}
  • Monkeys {yet another nickname...silly Monkey}
  • Zoo Animals; Farm Animals or maybe even Safari
  • Vintage Cowboy
  • Circus {my 2nd birthday had a clown- yeah, I'd definitely go clownLESS...scary!}
  • Blues & Brown {just a color-theme}
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Big Man Party {with fun accessories like neckties, watches & moustache decor}


Friday, December 4, 2009

Take Backs

I take it back--- rather than inheriting Carrie Bradshaw's closet, I'd be much more content to start off with one beautifully organized closet like this:

I think the classic neutrals and lines would be a great base wardrobe. And of course you only add to a wardrobe so shopping for many more colors would be necessary {hehe}.

Having classic pieces help build a timeless look. That was also my thinking in choosing some new specs. I haven't had fresh eyeglasses in 9 years...they're way past due {I wear contacts}. Can't wait for them to come in!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

10 T-E-N

Monday night I took off to the gym since I need to burn the 5 lbs gained from Turkey Day. And I have incredible news to report:
  1. Baby M was in the gym daycare for almost 2 hours and did a fantastic job with strangers {this is a big deal because he's not used to daycare}
  2. And...I ran 10 yes T-E-N MILES. That's my furthest distance yet! The next closest was 9 miles in late July last year (@ 10 wks preggers). It was a slower 8:40 min pace, but not too shabby for the distance.
Dadder says I'd definitely be ready to run the Mercedes Half-Marathon on Valentine's 2010. I may have to play that one by ear...
I fully expect my weight to slightly fluctuate during this Holiday season, but as of Monday night thru today, there's just 7 more lbs to go until I'm at my "happy weight". Yay!

Blog Round Up - Fashionistas

Too bad we don't all have the luxury of having her closet:
I've really been in a fashion rut this week. With the fickle Alabama weather, my clothing choices also haven't even been climate-appropriate. For instance, one day I decided to wear a tunic top and my slim-fit jeans. In my head, I planned on balancing out the flowy blouse with tighter bottoms. But instead I ended up cold, threw on a sweatshirt, and plopped my cozy GAP slippers {love these} on my freezing toes.

So thankfully there are talented fashionistas and style gurus out there who share their love of fashion, personal styles, and clothing tips to help give me ideas. Blog Round Up!

A Californian fashionista, Cupcakes and Cashmere was the first style blog I began to follow. She wears more cutting-edge fashions with a West Coast vibe. She also makes her own jewelry and even has DIY fashion.

This is a recent find. What I Wore is definitely a fave! Of course clothes tend to look great on a tall and slender model, but she does put together some beautiful outfits and journals her daily outfits.

While Habitually Chic is mostly geared towards interior decorating, she is a particularly classic New York fashionista with clean lines and great taste. Here's one of my favorite posts on her preparations for a trip to Paris.

*EDIT 12/3: headers should now click to links =)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks

Yeah, I'd definitely like to renege my Grinchy attitude earlier in the week. What a blessing Thanksgiving Day turned out to be!

We went out of town to Pink Pimpette & Brother's for the rest of the week. Their driveway looked like a car lot indeed (9 total). There were 2 other cars not pictured too!

Pink Pimpette had a beautiful Thanksgiving table set.

It was great to have family all together in one place...FINALLY!

Ash & Me
BeeBee & Twin
PP's brother & his girlfriend

My task was to make the green bean casserole. It was my tiny contribution to the overwhelming feast. Sad thing is I forgot to bring the ingredients...thanks Mom!
Someone's in the Kitchen... Well we missed BeeBee, but here are the other Smith Girls {and Baby Sophie in PP's belly}. Oh and if you're feeling a little deja vu coming on, Pink Pimpette & I both wore the same dresses this year as we did last- only she's preggers this year and I'm not!

All in preparation for the feast!
We have much to be thankful for! This little one was great all during dinner...

Because he was out like a light!

I love Thanksgiving!

Thank God for His blessings ...despite my reluctance to fully accept them sometimes. What was I thinking?!?

I think it's interesting how our nation takes a single day out of the year to celebrate being thankful- with whatever belief system you have. The last Thursday of November, everyone feels compelled to stop and count their blessings, show their gratitude, and take time to call/visit/text message/write on Facebook about what a great day it is. While it's a wonderful excuse to spend time with loved ones and take the day off {!}, I know one of my Thanksgiving Resolutions {can I make those?} is to make sure to show my thanks throughout the year. And to take action with my gratitude.

First order of business: get rid of the Grinch!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Jewel To Set in the Hearts of Men

So while my previous post is out of character AND obviously out of the Holiday spirit {and we all know bitterness doesn't look so pretty in whatever package you wrap it up in}, I want to share a little pre-Thanksgiving happiness.

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude." ~E.P. Powell
In my opinion, Thanksgiving shouldn't just be a day set aside, or even just a "holiday season" to give should be an ongoing action. And the day itself?...Well, it's a culmination of celebrating all we've been blessed with and the gratitude expressed through giving to others.

As we have been blessed, let us be blessings to others.

A sweet friend of mine writes a weekly devotional blog and here's an excerpt that I found uplifting and a spiritual challenge that I believe God is calling me to do right now:

"As you count your blessings this week, ponder how He may be guiding you to be a blessing to someone else. Recognize, seize, and be obedient to follow through with the opportunities God drops in your lap. Pray, plan, and participate in what you feel led to do. There's no question He wants to use you.....that's why we are here."

Check out SusieMc's Weekly Verse and Message HERE

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Doorbells and Sleigh Bells and Schnitzel with Noodles

These are a few of my favorite things: {LOOOONG Overdue!}

1. Annechovie Prints: Anne Harwell is a brilliant artist splashed across almost every designer blog. I'm purchasing a card collection {to be framed} from her Etsy store for my mostly-white sunroom redo...yay!

2. Learning from my Mistakes: This is key. I seem to have a knack for making the same mistakes over and over again...particularly in the romantic relationship realm. But of course a huge key in learning from your mistakes is actually admitting you've made a mistake in the first place. How do you learn from it then? Well, you make a conscious effort to not repeat that same mistake. Do something different. Realize that if you continue in the pattern of making the same mistakes, then you'll inevitably result in the same outcome. Duh!

3. Getting Ready for First Dates: Speaking of the "romantic relationship realm"...even when there's no real spark, I have always enjoyed the preparation and anticipation of a first date. Admittedly, I've only had a small handful of great first dates and about 2 or 3 exceptional first dates BUT that doesn't take away from the fun and excitement of preparing for the possibility of something great.

4. Baby Gap: Yep, I'm loving the cool-weather clothes for baby boys right now. The Aspen lodge looks, the layered clothes, the fun hats and toboggans...

5. Keep Calm and Carry On: I think I've mentioned this poster before... I have an inspired art project in mind, also for my sunroom. These are British WWI PR posters. Like the Annechovie prints, this has made its rounds in the design some points I think it's been overplayed but then again some people say that about coral / shabby chic / sunburst mirrors. I say just use what you love.Here are some poster spoofs of the original design. The messages are great-hmmmm, maybe I need these more!

6. Philosophy's Falling in Love scent: Yep, this lives up to its name in my book. A romantic, feminine, delicate scent.

7. Holiday Dresses: I perhaps saved the best for last. I adore Christmas parties...and especially dressing up for them. Here are some beautiful classic dresses in black and/or black and white.
{via Anthropologie}
{via Shabby Apple}
{via Shabby Apple}
{via Shabby Apple}