Friday, December 31, 2010

Lessons of 2010

I stared at this blank screen for a long time trying to think of some grand words to end the year with, but nothing was coming to mind. I’m ready to write “the end” on the book of 2010 and start the New Year with a fresh, clean slate. But I need to say something to end 2010 so I’m going to give you some of the lessons that I learned this year:

I have the most incredible people in my life. My family and my friends are truly the absolute best.

There is no need for lack of common courtesy and manners.

You are never too old for a nap. Bonus points if you have a fabulous blankie (or a snuggie) and a cat to cuddle with you.

If you have people in your life that treat you like an after thought, stop treating them like a priority.

Listen as much as you talk.

You are never too old to learn something new.

Stop being scared to take risks.

If it makes you happy, do it. Don’t live life with “would’ve/could’ve/should’ve” dictating how you feel.

You don’t have to have one best friend; you can have as many as your heart desires.

Each of us is amazing in our own right, we just need to believe it (and believe in yourself).

My Top 5 Faves for 2010

Movies

1. The Town

2. The Fighter

3. Tangled

4. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, pt 1

5. Toy Story 3

(And the worst movies of the year, in my opinion, are "Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)" and "Marmaduke".)

It was hard to pick those five movies. I knew that the top two were "The Town" and "The Fighter", but I saw so many good movies! There is a lot of great cinema viewing to be had in 2011, I can't wait!

TV

1. The Big Bang Theory

2. Hawaii 5-0

3. Mike & Molly

4. Blue Bloods

5. Reruns of Friends...always going to be a fave!

Songs

1. "Not afraid" by Eminem

2. "Raise your glass" by Pink

3. "Love the way you lie" by Eminem feat Rihanna

4. "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy feat Bruno Mars

5. "Need you now" by Lady Antebellum / "I like it" by Enrique feat Pitbull

Snow? In Phoenix?

Yup! We did get a dusting of snow yesterday. The meteorologist calls it "graupel", which is snow pellets or soft hail, whichever you prefer.

I was coming back from lunch and sadly didn't get a picture of it. *pouts*
But did go grab one off of azfamily.com so you could see our "blizzard".



That is about all the snow I can handle. :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Boo!!



I seem to have caught the bug...This is not how I envisioned the last few days of the year going.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Was yesterday really Christmas?

Oh my goodness, how fast it flew by and now the 26th is almost over as well. Great big rush to get to Christmas and then it is over in a flash.

Hope Santa treated you all well? I got some fabulous gifts and it was a really nice day spent with family, plus chatting with two of my favorite people, Rose and Jazz. Jazz exhausted me with the tales of all the houses they were visiting. I was quite happy to stay home.

I went to see "Black Swan" this afternoon with my friend, Paula. The movie is very dark and just as depressing. I think that Natalie Portman was heart wrenching as the ballerina driven crazy in the pursuit of perfection and fame in her drive to be the Swan Queen in the ballet company's performance. It was one of those movies when it ended you just sat there for a moment, not quite sure what you should think. After a moment Paula and I looked at each other and were just "well..." It does drive home a point, however, in how sad it is that we are so desperate to be seen as perfect by others that sometimes we lose sight of ourselves and just lose control.

Tomorrow is my holiday off from work so I plan to sleep in, might go to a movie in the morning, do a little shopping, and have a quiet day at home. This coming week is year end at work and as we are closed on the 31st it is going to be an insanity induced three day work week. Tomorrow and Friday are going to be welcome days off.

For now, I'm going to spend the rest of my night watching some "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King".

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!



Merry Christmas!!

I hope that the magic of the season has blessed you this year.
When you open those presents under your tree, I hope that you find your greatest wish has come true.

And I hope that you remember to tell those in your life how much you love and treasure them.

Ho-ho-ho!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

PS from Tyson!



So humiliated at the girly collar that she put on me.
Would you behave if you were subjected to pictures like that?

Crunch Time!

This is it!

Tomorrow Santa Claus is coming to town and it is do or die time to get firmly planted on the “Nice” list.



What list are you going to be on?

Tyson is so far down on the naughty list he is going to be lucky if he gets more than a thump on the head. (Not that I am going to thump him, but I think about it every single freakin’ day when he yowls like a banshee. Okay, okay…I do threaten him with bodily harm…he just is smart enough to stay out of my reach when he is being bad.)



Are you ready?
Stockings hung?
Presents wrapped?
Cookies for Saint Nick?

Plans to watch “A Christmas Story” on TNT?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Let's hear it for Boston!

It must be a day for all things Boston.

"The Town" came out on DVD technically yesterday. If you did not see this movie, you definitely need to see it on DVD. It is in my Top 5 movies of the year. Ben Affleck not only did an amazing job directing this movie, but his character is so convincing. Jeremy Renner steals the movie, though, and is so good.



I also got my tickets in the mail for the New Kid on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert for June. YAY!!!



I couldn't decide if I was going to see "Tron: Legacy" or "The Fighter" today, but decided since "The Fighter" is in limited release it was the choice for me.



The true story of Lowell, MA boxing brothers, Dicky Ecklund and Micky Ward. Dick Ecklund (Christian Bale), once the pride of Lowell, is a crack addict has-been trying to launch a comeback. Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is his half-brother who has lived in his brother's shadow his entire life.

What works:

Mark Wahlberg brings the heart to the role and believable as the fighter trying to make his own name.

Amy Adams is tough-as-nails girlfriend, Charlene. She loves and she fights for Micky against his crazed family.

Melissa Leo is Alice Ecklund, the mother to Micky & Dicky, also asserting herself as Micky's manager. She is managing Micky but the favoritism for Dicky rings clear. Leo brings so much emotion as the mother having to deal with her son's crack addiction.

Christian Bale. He deserves all the accolades he is getting. He is quirky and narcissistic. He plays broken perfectly. He brings one hell of a performance and he will be remembered come Oscar time if they are smart.

The fighting sequences were well done. The movie was supposed to be in the early 90's and they make it feel authentic with the TV footage.

What didn't work:

Honestly? This movie was solid all the way through.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Secret Santa for bookstore gift card!!

Author Josie Brown is hosting a Secret Santa contest on her blog.

Take a little trip on over to the blog and follow the easy rules to get your name in on a few chances to win a $50 gift card to your favorite book store. (Regardless if you win, check out Josie's new book "Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives", the excerpt will have you wanting to read more!)You have until midnight on December 25th to enter.

Good luck to you, good luck to me!! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nine shopping days until Christmas!!



Are you ready? I have two more boxes to mail off – one to Florida, one to Arkansas. They will be out by this weekend and I will be done! YAY!!

Not only is it only 10 days until Christmas, but 16 days until it is time to give a farewell toast to 2010 and move on to 2011. Sheesh, this year has gone by fast. I’m not ready for it to end, I have too much that I still want to get done this year.

What are some of your Christmas traditions?
I personally start Christmas Eve off with a viewing of "A Christmas Story". I usually sleep with the TV on at night anyway (on a timer for 90 minutes) but on Christmas Eve it stays on all night. I am a restless sleeper and am up and down a couple times a night anyway (needing a drink, to go to the bathroom, to retrieve or get rid of a blanket, you get the picture) so I usually end up watching bits of the movie during night as well. Have done this for many years.

I always go to the Mormon Temple to see the lights as well, just haven't made it yet this year. It is on the schedule, though. :)

No other words necessary



Them LOL Cats speak volumes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Tourist



I am a huge fan of Johnny Depp. I could watch him read a phone book and find it entertaining. I am also a fan of Angelina Jolie so when I heard she was doing a movie with Johnny Depp I was excited and couldn’t wait to go see “The Tourist”.

We open with a van sitting on a street, the men inside observing the occupant of an apartment. When the occupant finally emerges, we find it is British socialite Elise Ward (Angelina Jolie) and the men watching her are an assortment of Scotland Yard and Italian Interpol. After receiving a letter from a mystery man that is the main interest of the men in the van, Elise gives them the slip and boards a train where she meets American math teacher Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp). Elise flirts it up with an awkward Frank and ends up embroiling him in the drama she is involved in. Her “boyfriend”, Alexander Pearce, has stolen millions from a mobster and is wanted by Scotland Yard, Italian Interpol, and the mobster. Naturally, Frank is mistaken for Alexander after having plastic surgery to change his looks and mishap after mishap occurs.

What worked:
Johnny Depp is so charming as the bungling Frank, out of his element and getting into trouble because of a woman.

Angelina Jolie plays the woman of mystery perfectly. She doesn’t talk much, just gives coy smiles.

Paul Bettany as the Scotland Yard investigator determined to catch Alexander Pearce was well played.

The scenery was gorgeous.

The plot twists made the story fall in place.

Rufus Sewell popping up in sporadic scenes, leaving you to wonder who he was and what his deal was.


What didn’t work:


There was lukewarm chemistry between Jolie & Depp. It almost felt as if they were holding back the whole time. (Of course, rumors ran rampant the whole time it was filming that Johnny Depp's girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis, had demanded that love scenes be cut...) These two actor's generally have amazing chemistry with everyone they act with, it was odd how off it felt.

You never really learned enough about the character of Elise Ward to really be that invested in her supposed great love affair with Alexander Pearce.

Some overdrawn scenes made the plot drag at points.

If you are a fan of Johnny Depp, you will like him in the movie. If you are a fan of Angelina Jolie, I don’t know if you will overly enjoy the movie. It is a good movie, just a little plodding at times.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2011 Chick Lit Reading Challenge

Every year I challenge myself to reading x amount of books and this challenge is just perfect for me! I hope you will all join in as well!

The 2011 Chick Lit Reading Challenge.

The challenge is to read 12 chick lit books over the course of 2011, two of those books need to be from debut authors. (What a great way to help a new author get their name out there.) To sign up just click on the link above and sign up.

Oh, and it says to link with the post on your own blog to the challenge. The rebel in me (or more truthfully I didn't read that part) just linked to my blog in general. Oops!! Sorry Samantha!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vision meet trash can



There is nothing quite like having your vision completely shredded and tossed in the garbage can.

The lovely vision that I personally had for the gingerbread cubicle that we were decorating at work was trashed. It has been replaced by someone else’s vision and it is tacky looking. It makes me so sad to see what should have been a cute little display become a huge gaudy spectacle of crumbled paper, tape bunched up everywhere, and cardboard arches that have gaps where you see nothing but electrical tape and sticks.

I can’t even share pictures as it just makes me sad. But what makes me the most annoyed of all? It was my idea, I was the one asked to do it. Suddenly someone else became obsessed with it and took over, staying until 8PM the other night just to work on it when no one else was here and could have any input. And every time someone mentions it, she jumps to her feet “yes, this was my idea…” Yes, well, I would normally be fighting for my due and demanding my credit, but seeing how it looks so pitiful, she is welcome to it. The perfectionist in me can't handle it.
(Maybe I can try to do some repair work on it...)


Dang Grinch!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Just some words...

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~ Harold Thurman Whitman

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!



Happy Birthday to my sister, Liz!!
Hope the day is fabulous!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tyson!

So cute!
He broke this tree from climbing it and knocking it over repeatedly. He was just a kitten here.

Totally Awesome Birthday!



Happy Birthday, Kristie!!! I hope the day is totally rad, awesome, tubular, and full of love and 80's!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A little holly, a lot of jolly

I love that Christmas music is playing non-stop on at least two radio stations! I flip between them all through my work day and have to refrain from busting out in song.

My favorite Christmas song changes frequently depending on the day. “Let it snow” by anyone is loved by me. Josh Groban’s “Oh Holy Night” is beautiful. Alvin and the Chipmunk’s “Chipmunk Christmas Song” makes me smile. It must be the subliminal messages that I *know* are in there, but I do have to enjoy hearing “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas” at least once a day.

The one that I can not stand and will turn the station the second I hear it – Taylor Swift’s version of “Last Christmas”, originally done by Wham. It makes my ears hurt. (I am not a fan of TSwift to start with.)

And I never realized how creepy “Baby it’s cold outside” was until someone pointed it out the other day. lyrics here...



So many houses are all decked out for the holidays already. I love it! Last year you were hard pressed to find any houses that were all lit up. (And let’s face it; it may be gawdy but who doesn’t love when you find a Clark W. Griswald house?) This year people have been on the ball! It was fun just driving around our neighborhood last night on the way home from the post office and looking at the lights.

We have not decorated at home yet. Hopefully this weekend. I will need to go out to my storage shed and bring home my boxes of Christmas d├ęcor and get it up in my room.



Because this is how I roll – my Christmas cards are addressed. Envelopes are stuffed, they are stamped. They are still sitting on my desk waiting to go to the post office.

Queen of Procrastination does not care that it is holiday time; they must sit there and taunt me for a few days. Tomorrow…as all good procrastinators cry out…I will mail them tomorrow!!!



How is your Christmas shopping coming along? I’m done, finished it on Black Friday! *happy dance* now I am just in the wrapping and shipping process. (And no, Rose, I will not be telling you what I am sending you, but you can keep trying to get it out of me.)



Can you believe it is already December 3rd? This month is going to FLY by. Before we know it 2011 will be making an entrance. I have already started to think about my word of the year for 2011 and contemplating what I am going to put on my goal list. (Never resolutions, I will break them in the first couple of days to be a rebel.) How about you? Do you do the resolution thing?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Putting my construction hat on!



The A/P department at work has decided to decorate the whole department for Christmas. The theme was supposed to be Winter Wonderland with a color theme of red and silver.

However, I was approached today about decorating the very front cubicle as a gingerbread house. Will have to do some thinking this weekend on what I am going to do and we are supposed to stay after work on Monday and Tuesday for an hour to decorate everything. This is the kind of thing I love to do! I love to be creating something and can't wait to put this gingerbread house together!

Oh you know there will be pictures!!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful Day 29



It comes with a very happy birthday wish to my friend, Nicole.



I've known Nicole since 2005, met her through a mutual friend on Live Journal and she has been one of the most incredible impacts on my life. She is one of those people that you can talk about something so completely frivolous and then in the next moment have a serious life conversation. I'm so thankful for her friendship!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful Day 28



I am thankful for Star Wars!
For George Lucas and his brilliant creativity.
For Yoda and his infinite wisdom.
For R2-D2 and his big attitude in a little tin can.
And for Han Solo, who shows that a girl can always love a scoundrel!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful Day 27





I'm thankful for sweet puppy love and the fact that these two are so amusing.

They wait at the gate when they hear you coming down the stairs so they can get some early morning love in.

And are in a constant state of entertainment.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful Day 26



I'm thankful for another successful Black Friday that had the following:
All my Christmas shopping DONE!
Amazing parking at all stores shopped at!
And did I mention I am done Christmas shopping???

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Day 25



I am thankful for the incredible feeling of love and peace that is shared today between family and friends. From the lovely heart filled texts and emails to the phone calls, it is heartwarming.

Happy Thanksgiving!!



Usually by the time Thanksgiving week has started, I have an outline of a Thanksgiving message to send out. Usually there are a couple different ones put together for different outlets of mine (email, blog, Facebook, etc). This year, however, I have found myself short on time and thought.

Time…it is constantly moving and seems to go faster and faster each year. And as time slips away, we forget the simple things that we have to be thankful for – The family and friends that are with us every day, whether physically or in our hearts. The good fortune we have, because whether we fully realize it or not, we always have love. God has blessed us and it is sometimes hard to remember that as we rush through our days.

I kept thinking “Wow, I not only have no time to write something for Thanksgiving, but I feel my mind is short on profound thought to share.” But then realization hit me – I don’t have to share anything profound or wise, I just have to say it straight from the heart.

Take the time out of your day and let those that bless your life know exactly that. Tell people that you love them and are thankful for them. I am extremely grateful for each of you and for the fact that I have you in my life. I hope that your Thanksgiving is extremely blessed and that you are filled with love and peace.

xoxox

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful Day 24



I am so utterly thankful for my family!!

Turkey Dinner Fail



So let’s hear them. We all have our epic holiday dinner fail stories.

Mine is amusing, but at the same scarred me and I have never attempted to cook a turkey again.

I was living in WA at the time with a friend. And how the mishaps of the day happened I am still unsure. The turkey was in the oven, cooking nicely. The potatoes were on the stove, cooking nicely. We were watching TV peacefully. Suddenly there is this pop and we look towards the kitchen but nothing is seen. Go back to watching TV when all the sudden smoke starts pouring out of the oven doors, smoke alarm going off. How it happened I have never figured out. The turkey…stupid bird…had exploded in the oven. Seriously, it literally exploded in the oven.

In our rush to get the turkey out of the oven as there are pieces burning in the oven, we fail to notice that the potatoes are boiling over. And then it happened – the lid blew off the potatoes shooting potatoes out of the pot.

We had to clean the whole kitchen, salvage what we could (scorched mashed potatoes, oh yummy), and do nothing but laugh because at that point what else can you do? Cry? There’s no crying in holiday cooking! However, I have seriously never cooked or attempted to cook a turkey again. I fear the bird exploding.

Come on, confess your story!


(Another confession...I use cartoony/cutesy turkeys because the real life bird gives me the creeps. Actually a lot of birds give me the creeps -- owls are up there with turkeys!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Day 23



I am not a big fan of Katy Perry, but I really like the lyrics to her song "Firework". Today I am thankful for deep words.

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind
Wanting to start again

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in

Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing

Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you're a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em fallin' down-own-own

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
So you can open one that leads you to the perfect road


Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you're a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em fallin' down-own-own

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you're a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em goin "Oh, oh, oh!"

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful Day 22






I'm a NKOTB fan girl. I admit it!
June 30, 2011. Eeep!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thankful Day 21



Today's thankful shout out goes to ELF...and the start of Christmas movies on TV. I love that Buddy the Elf!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful Day 20



Today I am thankful for Harry Potter! Yup! I sure am. I went to see the first part of cinematic offering of book 7 today. Stunning. Incredible. I love that whole series!!

Is there anything like it?



The holidays are here!! It is hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving. This is, to quote the song, the most wonderful time of the year!

There is a bit of underlying stress, of course, as you try to get everything done in time for the big ho-ho-ho on December 25th, but really from October – December I love it.

Halloween is a fun kick off to the holidays, then we slide into Thanksgiving and the warm feeling starts. And then it is there in front of us – CHRISTMAS!



I love the decorations.
I love the music.
I love the festive packages.
I love the overall love that you feel.
I just love the holidays.



I have my cards already addressed, just need to finish stuffing cards in envelopes and buy stamps. I have wrapping paper out and presents waiting to be done up with bows and put in boxes to be shipped off to my loved ones. I am eagerly awaiting the 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” to air. For all the Christmas specials to pop up. For the trip to the Temple to see the lights. For holiday goodies.

Is it possible to overdose on holly jolly??

Thankful Day 19



I'm thankful for my mom and the time we got to spend together tonight!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful Day 18

Oops! Forgot to post this last night!



Today I am thankful for Christmas music.

Yup! It is only November 18th and I jammed the holly jolly tunes at work today. Why? Because there is something about a Christmas melody that just makes me smile. It brings that warm feeling that Christmas brings about, the songs bring back memories of past holidays and hopefulness for many more memories to come.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Giveaway!



Lesli over at Daisy, Chloe, Noodles & Petuniais having a Thanksgiving giveaway for some lovely presents!

Click on this link to go check out what you need to do to get yourself up to 4 chances to win. (And while you are there, follow Lesli's blog, she is a lot of fun and she has a cute dog!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful Day 17



It was a crazed day today. From road ragers on the road on the way to work to annoyances at work to just feeling a little under the weather. So today I am thankful for the fact I am still smiling!

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