The best kind of day

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the holiday. We sure are. Friday was one of those days. Caitlin recently wrote about one of these days. The kind that you want to cherish forever and that makes you truly thankful for all you have. Life is good. There wasn’t anything particularly special about Friday; it was just the feeling of the day in general. Zachary woke up around 8 (obviously a fantastic start to the day) and we had coffee and played until his morning nap. Zachary is usually in a good mood in the morning so that is always fun. Then during his morning nap I got a good fiver in (per run-a-day-cember of course). When Zachary woke up we went to the Comcast light show in the Comcast building. He enjoyed people watching as much as the lights I think. Then we visited the Christmas village in Love park. It was sooooo fun and festive. We drank hot mulled wine and bought some goodies (always fun). It was just such a fun-filled lovely thankful day. The kind I will remember forever and will be especially thankful for in these times and in this holiday season. Happy holidays to everyone. Peace. Joy. And love.

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Cruisin’ (hopefully not for a bruisin’ hehe)

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Ok so we are currently on our way to NYC to board our cruise to…Bermuda!!!! (ps the pic above is me showing off the minuscule bottle of banana republic perfume I got for the trip that I thought I was getting a deal on…uh yea). Anyway, I am super excited although I’ll admit a bit apprehensive about leaving the pups. I already miss them. But I know that our good friends Ron and Joe will take amazing care of them while they stay at our home for the week…I mean I definitely bribed them enough hehe. No seriously. A little “hostess with the mostest” goes a long way.

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And Finally…the Family BBQ

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Rounding out this years’ Memorial Day BBQs (this now will bring the total to THREE!), I will briefly recap the family barbeque we held at our house Monday.  It was a GREAT time!

WHO:  Myself, Husband, MOM, DAD and Eamon

WHAT:  BBQ!

WHERE:  Our house!

WHY:  So Husband could try Chilli Garlic sauce on his hot dog Kidding!

HOW:  Lots of planning and prep!

See above- the way I prep (Sabrina would be SOOO proud) is that I make a menu and resulting Market List:

Corn on the Cob

Caesar Salad

Potato Salad

Turkey Burgers with cheese

Hot Dogs

Rolls

THEN, I lay EVERYTHING out in their respective bowls (see above).   It REALLY pays off to plan!  Then, you can just enjoy!

HOLY YUM!

Berry Salad wtih whipped cream over brownies

Chips/Salsa (appy)

Neighborhood Block Party- Memorial Day 2010

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I must start this post by saying singing, “Who are the people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, oh who are the people in your neighborhood?  They’re the people that you meet when you’re walking down the street, they’re the people that you meet each day.”

HI NEIGHBOR! (Source)

BOY do I like did I liked that show!  OK, flashback over…return to the present!

Well, guys, all I can say is…my ‘hood KNOWS how to partay!  We have the most amazing get-togethers for all of the “good weather” holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.) and we do it up!  5-B STYLE, of course…

BANDS

BABIES

BOOZE

BURGERS

BAKING

…In no particular order, of course!  There were also other goodies:

YUM

YUM

YUM

...and YUM

Let’s just say people had FUN…A LOT of FUN…maybe too much? LOL

Fun with friends…

WHAT. A. BLAST!

Pound Ridge, NY- Memorial Day Weekend 2010

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We decided to head to Pound Ridge this weekend to see Mom and Dad #2!  It was a blast like always!  We all (Oscar, Ian and myself) LOVE to escape the city to the beautiful suburbs of Westchester County, NY!

Excuse the blur and evening pic, but this is our gorgeous view when we pull up to the MIL/FIL house!

Mm MOM 2 and DAD 2 (plus LOLA-dog) live in a beautiful house in Pound Ridge, New York.  We just LOVE it there.  Our getaways there include MUCH outdoor time in their spacious and lush yard and pool area…

While the doggies LOVE the pool…

Uhhhh....OK, so maybe Lola likes the pool a bit more than Oscar... 🙂

The adults like to chill on the deck…

Being in NY definitely brings the outdoorsy-ness out in ALL of us.

We hiked in the local nature preserve and at a beautiful nearby ravine.  It was awesome.  BUT, of course I got a lil shoppy-shoppy in.  I purchased some adorable digs for our trip to Europe this summer (more on that to come) along with a VERY European hat and pair of Raybans LOL.

C'est la Vie!

Overall, a great time with the MIL and FIL.  We were fed great food- thanks Dad 2 for the amazing grilled steak-and saw a FANTASTIC movie—The Blind Side-

PS:  LOVED it!  Did you see the Blind Side?  Did you love it as much as I did?!?!?

Yesterday was AWESOME!

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So, as you read (https://upsanddownes.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/help-drowning-in-holiday-madness/) my schedule, it indicated that yesterday was quite busy…and boy it was!  BUT…SOOOOO productive and awesome!

BANGED.IT.OUT.

1.  Verizon wireless- OH HOW I LOVE THEE!  Wow, definitely NEVER thought i’d say that!  I went into the K of P store thinking it would be the usual- “it’s you not the phone” thing, but TIM at Verizon HOOKED IT UP!  My phone WAS actually messed up and they are sending me a new one!  NO need to re-read… yes, they are actually sending me a BRAND new bberry, it was NOT my fault (for once) AND the experience didn’t make me want to bang my head against the wall!  Wootwoot!

2. Onto Pier One I went!  So I quickly banged out gifts for Husband’s 3 secretaries (they are not all his but are all equally helpful ;-)) AND some REALLY cute stocking stuffers

The morning (day) after…

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So last night’s party was a blast!  It was intimate and lovely!  A wonderful time…here are some picture highlights!  

Because of the snow (and the subsequent Philadelphia Snow Emergency), our usual menu had to be altered, as Chic-Fil-A and Philadelphia Soft Pretzel were both closed.  Therefore, there were some new additions to the menu, which turned out to be delish!  

Homemade baked ziti  

Total cheesey yumyum!

  

Funfetti cake (decorated by yours truly, who doesn’t necessarily excel in cake decorating) nicely decorated 😉  

The cookies surrounding it are plain Stella Dora cookies (Husband leaves those in the package hehe) that I iced for more excitement

  

And onto more icing, iced cookies (chocolate chip AND sugar)…and for those crazy people who don’t like like their cookies iced, I left some plain.  

another yumyum...and addictvie too 🙂

  

…I know what you’re thinking.  Yes, I was icing-happy.  But i think it worked ;-).  Here are some pictures of the table and decor:  

Food, glorious food!

  

The bar…the drink was peppermint martinis by the way, which were (adorably) garnished with mini candy canes.  🙂  

  

Fire was a roarin’  (thanks Husband!)  

  

I think Oscar is getting annoyed by my constant camera usage…I wonder who else is… 😉  

  

Anyway, it was a great time.  

I am currently watching Sweet Home Alabama.  I just love that movie.  I made a spaghetti squash and am waiting for it to cook.  this time, instead of halving it and putting the halves face down on a baking sheet (sprayed, of course), I sput them in a deeper pan like this…  

  

…face down with a cup of water in the bottom (for one hour on 350.) They fit perfectly!  

  

 Anyway, I will let you know how it turns out.  I am planning to do it “Italian Style” (with tomato sauce and cheese)…yumyum!  

So, I’m feeling bad out the passing of Brittany Murphy, age 32, today.  She was in three of my favorites, 8 Mile, Clueless, and the one with Ashton Kutcher (I forget the name)…anyway, RIP.   

  

OK, until later…

Oh, Mother Nature, you are TOO funny! ;-)

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So,  I guess it’s a good thing that most of our friends live in the city because the party that was supposed to be tonight has been hindered a bit by the snow I “ordered up.”  Husband says it will be nice for the holiday party atmosphere but I’m pretty sure he is just thinking “hmmmm more nuggets for me!”  heehee Oscar LOOOVES marking the snow!

Nice Osc.

Um yea.  So while we ponder that, more on last night’s run.  I am still soooo proud of myself and of course had to take a proof pic for myself!

wootwoot!

Boy, did I look the part, huh?

HOT.

And boy did I refuel!  Yumyum alert!

So I am actually NOT that sore today. I think it is due to the fact that post-run I have been busting out some yoga moves targeted towards certain areas of my body that I feel need a lil’ TLC.  Yesterday is was a LOT of forward folds, butterfly and some pigeon 😉 Above all, even though my practice is not as regular as I would like it to be right now, yoga has taught me so much about my body and mindfulness. 

OK, moving on to “Wrapfest 2009!”  Last night after my lil’ PR, I did some serious wrappy wrap!  Husband and I have a little routine we follow each year…I wrap and place the gifts on the steps leading upstairs, and then he arranges them under the tree- he is SOOOO good at it!

So , I also wanted to show some REALLY cool stocking stuffers I got the other night on my successful shopping hunt!

Heehee this NEVER gets old...who was naughty this year?!?!?

For my in-laws (guess which is for who!)

And these for a friend who kindly invited me to a post-holiday cocktail partay!

Hmmm…who will be the owner of these dreamy-smelling babies?!?!?

OK, enough blabbing for now 😉  Time for partay prep! See you soon, bloggies!

xoxo

Well, hello hello!

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TGIF people!  wootwoot!  Working on a post for yesterday…hint, yesterday was FABU!  Look for it later today.  BUT, for now, just wanted to pass on some interesting Friday stuff.

1. Ordered up some snow for the partay to make it more festive and (drum roll please)…it’s on its way!

Speaking of snow, I actually am NOT dreaming of a white Christmas because I think it will make for a NIGHTMARE of traveling. I am SOOOO excited for Cincy and want to GET THERE!  heehee

Saturday, Dec 19
High: 35 °F RealFeel®: 16 °F
Breezy with snow of varying intensity, accumulating 2-4 inches
Saturday Night, Dec 19
Low: 23 °F RealFeel®: 12 °F
Cloudy, breezy and cold with snow tapering off, accumulating an additional 2-4 inches

2.  How redonk is Oscar’s chew toy?  Seriously?  Pretty cool no?  Dog’s life

Help! Drowning in holiday madness!

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OK, so workout will NOT be happening today especially after last night’s shenanagans, click here for more https://upsanddownes.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/bummer-run/ 

Shins are killer!  By the way, I ordered the Zensah compression sleeves for my lower legs which have NOT been faring well through my runs…

(…as well as a running skirt that was wicked cheap and wanted forever)

…and Compression Capris

www.zensah.com

OK moving on!

Some of my favorite bloggy buddies (see Lindsay at www.goodiesgalore.wordpress.com) have been posting their holiday schedules and it is contagious, so here I go…(ps:  i also find this to be very cathartic and helpful to my control-freak scheduled personality)

TODAY  12- 17—> Work, go to Verizon store to get my phone fixed YET again (it will just decide to stop getting emails now every so often) even though I was just there less than a week ago with the same problem, go to kofp mall to grab last-minute neglected gifts, Dollar Store if possible to secure some last-minute partay items and stuff for schoolkids, attend an event at school(work) at 7:15, arrive home to an un-fed Husband empty house (Husband has a weirdo movie thing he is going to-Nerd.) hopefully by 9 to resume wrapping and pass out.

FRIDAY 12-18—> Work (only the morning thought becuase I have a dr. appt.), 12:30 Dr. Appointment, long run (a 5-er but haven’t decided inside or if I am ready to brave outside again), gift wrap ALL presents for the family we sponsored this holiday through my job and any remaining to put under the tree for the BIG ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY (Saturday 12-19), make collection bin (in silver theme) for donations for said holiday party (we collect toys for children in need at our annual holiday party-year 5 by the way!), finalize said holiday party menu which so far looks like this (and shop for party groceries):

1.  Chic-fil-A nugget trays (2) with dipping sauces- they go like HOT CAKES- really think this is why most people come

2.  Philly soft pretzel nugget trays with dipping sauces

3.  Crudite BLAAAAAAH

4.  Baked Ziti-a new addition, homemade by yours truly!

5.  Chips and Dip

6.  Hummus/Veg tray

7.  DESSERT- I can’t even DISCUSS until Husband and I discuss becuase he will get MAAAAAAD!  He is SUCH a dessert guy!

8.  DRINKS-

           – SIGNATURE DRINK THIS YEAR TO GO WITH SILVER COLOR SCHEME:  peppermint-tini!

           -WINE

           -BEER

           -OTHER?

OMG how is this list making me more stressed!??!?!?

Saturday 12-19—> PARTY NIGHT!!!!!  Wootwoot!  Prepare!  This list will have to be a separate post beucase I am getting anxious as we speak- check back later…

Sunday 12-20—> RECOOP!  Long run (another 5-er hopefully), veg, FalalalaLifetime!  Slow-cooker Sunday TBD!

Monday 12-21—> Work-field trip at school :-), Dr. Appointment (weekly one), gym (strength/cross training, 45 minutes on elliptical at 7 intensity), Philadelphia Runner 1st trip (remember Husband got me that awesome gift certificate for Hanukah, click  here   https://upsanddownes.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/x-mas-came-early-in-the-form-of-hanukah-heehee-kidding/) as I am planning on logging miles while away over Christmas and want to make sure I am prepared for ANYTHING!  I also need to do the “new running shoe” thing, so check back Monday for the post about this experience!

Tuesday 12-22—> Work, Group at Renfrew (from 5-6:30), Pack for Cincinnatti (our Christmas destination- we are visiting Ian’s brother and his wife, plus Mama and Papa Downes), Get all work-related gifts together as Wednesday is the last work day and LOAD INTO CAR the night before (I am a complete and total morning-flake!), Check into our next-day flight to Cincy!

Wednesday 12-23—> Last WORK day before BREAK :-), luncheon at work, party for da kids :-), pack carry-on for trip, head to the airport at about 8:00 PM four our 10:00 PM flight, and land in Cincy sometime that evening (or maybe early the next morning depending on how much air-traffic control hates us.  Sounds like an awesome day, no?  Tired thinking about it!

Thursday 12-24—> Christmas Eve Day!  Yippeeee!  We will be in Cincy!

Friday 12-25—> Christmas Day!  PS:  I WILL be blogging about out adventures in the “mid-west” while there, so check back for updates!

Saturday 12-26—> We leave Cincy at about noon and will return to Philly in the afternoon, at which time I will spend a MINIMUM of an hour cuddling my baby-boy 🙂

Sunday 12-27-Monday 1-4 ARE ALLLLL MIIIIINE!  heehee Winter break, here I come, baby!  🙂

Toodles! 

PS:  soooo stressed now! hahahah