December

Somehow, for having a full two weeks off this month, I did not really get a chance to relax at all! In the beginning of the month I had my weekly volunteer thing, plus 1-2 holiday band concerts each week, and seriously two weeks of holiday parties at work – every different group I’m part of had their own celebration, luncheon, white elephant, etc. Then I borrowed a child for a night and a day, which was fun but also crazy. That four year-old wiped me out!

My time off started with car trouble that kept me grounded for two days and really cut into my last minute Christmas prep plans! Luckily, the repair was covered under my warranty, and seems to have been a quick fix. Then I was able to finish up my shopping for gifts and Christmas dinner!

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day with GG’s family – it was nice not to have to fit two Christmasses in one day! Then, due to scheduling issues, we hosted my family the following day. All celebrations were nice :o) The day after that, we made our traditional trip into Philly to do “all the most Christmassy things.” Usually we do this before the holiday, but actually it was nice to go after: fewer crowds, good deals from vendors who were closing up shop, and everything was still open (we went to Comcast, Macy’s [Dickens Village], Love Park, and Dilworth Park. Plus a snack from DiBruno Bros. and lunch at El Vez before catching our train home.

GG and I started watching Netflix! So far I watched my imaginary boyfriend‘s latest stand-up special, and the entire series of “Master of None,” which was cute. We need to watch “Black Mirror” next!

And now we are spending a relaxing NYE on the couch – my favorite place to celebrate!

PS: Yes of course I watched “Jill and Jessa: Counting On [a Paycheck from TLC],” and if you want to know what I thought of it, you should really follow me on Twitter!

Magical Weekend!

I just had the type of weekend that a couple years ago I would have been like, “I can’t wait to sit down and blog about this!” but now with Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, writing a whole blog post seems like so much hassle, haha!

On Thursday night, I made dinner and GG and I were going to try to go see Krampus, but at the last minute I was like, “Hey, we don’t have to go tonight, maybe we could squeeze it in this weekend, so we ended up staying home and watching The Imitation Game instead.

This weekend was our third annual holiday party, so I took Friday off work so I could have a full day to clean and prep food and stuff, without having to rush or stress. It was really an all day event, but I got a lot done around the house, did some last minute food shopping and errands, etc. Our party is a dip contest, so I prepped one of the two dips I was making (I was worried not a lot of people would be coming, so figured I’d better do two).

Saturday was the day of the party and I kind of timed things out so everything would be totally ready by party time, and I have to say my timing was excellent. GG and I even had time to go out for lunch – there’s a new grilled cheese place in our town, and it is great!

There were not a ton of guests coming, but they all arrived right on time, and everything was going well – photo booth pictures were being taken, drinks imbibed, dips sampled… Then the surprise entertainment arrived! I got a magician! I’d been trying to find an entertainer for this year and nothing was really working out, so I just put out an ad on Craigslist and actually got a ton of responses! Even then, things just weren’t working out. So I ended up getting a hold of this magician, and we talked about how I wanted him to show up and surprise everyone, and he was totally cool with it, so we went ahead and confirmed. So he arrived in the middle of the party and because I ended up having to go outside and help him with a couple set up things, everyone knew something was up. He did a full half hour show in my living room, and it was amazing! There was a little bit of everything: fire (yes, in the house), juggling, card tricks, sight gags, razor swallowing… Anyway, he was really cool and when he was done I was like, “Hey, want to stay and hang out?” and he did. So we’re besties now. (Also, he did more magic! Like, if you hand him three of anything, he will juggle them.) Everyone agreed this was the best party entertainment yet. Oh and the results of the dip contest: despite splitting my talent between two entries, they came in first and second place. I took myself out of the running for my own contest, though, and there were only 3 other entries, so they were first, second, and third place ;o)

On Sunday I went to this freezer cooking workshop that I’d invited myself to! I saw on Facebook that a friend of mine was going, and I just commented that it sounded cool, and got myself invited :o) The hostess is a Pampered Chef consultant and it was at her home, which was overrun with her four rambunctious children. It got a lot calmer once they all headed out with her husband for a birthday party! We made seven meals total, using Pampered Chef spice blends that we had ordered in advance, and our own groceries that we brought with us. They all look amazing, so I’m super excited to get cooking! You end up with seven meals, but I think we’ll only be able to get through 1-2 a week, because they each make 6-8 servings, so we’ll have leftovers coming out our ears! They should be good leftovers though! I think the workshop was a really neat idea, so I’d like to host one myself sometime maybe in the new year. I already have a lot of people who are interested in coming!

And then… We finally saw Krampus! It was pretty good and funnier than I expected (I thought it might be a more serious horror … which it also was … but it’s hard to be too horrified when it’s cookies and toys attacking people). The ending seemed like it was going to be disappointing, but it had a nice twist!