Saturday, November 28, 2009

What 8 Year Olds Are Thankful For

Hilarious. I love that 'internet connection' topped 'food' and 'shelter.'


Can't help it, I love lists.

  • New fundraising idea from Fiance - mega yard sale. This is a great one for a lot of reasons - namely, my family is made up of packrats who are sitting on a goldmine of toys, gadgets, DVDs, etc. that they wouldn't even notice missing. Not to mention the fact that my mother has politely requested that after living elsewhere for over 3 years, I finally get my shit together and clean out my old bedroom. Sad, I know. Obviously I have tons of books and stuff down there. Does anyone still buy CDs? What if they are 50 cents to a dollar? :)

  • Fiance left 2 days ago to return to his parents abroad for a month. Yes, it sucks big time, but I'm happy for him... somewhere inside... I'm sure I am...

  • Mother and EFS took Sisters away to "the country" for the weekend and I stayed behind to hang out with Sister, whom I haven't seen much in the month that I've been back. She works 2 jobs and goes to college. She barely sleeps, and obviously doesn't have much time/energy to socialize. She's been making me watch a bunch of dumb comedy movies but I don't mind, it's just nice to be with her.

  • I have a couple of close people in my life who just had babies and I want to give them a nice 'Baby's 1st Christmas' gift. Websites like Zazzle let you put photos on ornaments and stuff but it seems... I don't know, plain vanilla and overpriced? I keep thinking I could make a much jazzier photo ornament with some color in it. Looking for ideas online. So far, this is the cutest one I've found.

  • I have always been a holiday-loving person. The last few years have been weird, what with all the tragedy putting a damper on festivities, but I would rather go through the holiday season with a few down moments than not at all. There's just something about it that excites me and makes me feel warm inside. We have plenty of traditions in my family - opening presents at midnight on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning, fancy dinners that Mom cooks, playing Christmas music in the house, baking cookies. I am trying to start some new traditions myself (ooh! it's a list within a list!)

    - Last year I created a Holiday playlist at and it kicked ass. I've got all the classics on it - Stevie Wonder, Band Aid, Paul McCartney - and a new album I'm in love with, Songs for Christmas by Sufjan Stevens. Listen to some of them on or YouTube or wherever. So good.

    - I would like to get into some Christmas crafts with Kid & Baby Sisters. There are tons of ideas online but it takes time to wade through them all. Kids love arts & crafts, especially *my* kids, and it's fun to do that kind of stuff together.

    - On that same note, Kid Sisters and I have been making handmade gifts together. For example, while Kid Sister #1 was home from school with strep throat last week, we got out the origami kit and made a couple of picture frames, then put their school photos in it and wrapped it for Mom. Kid Sister #1, who can knit at 8 years old, also made Mom a coaster. She's making one for me now. She's bummed because it can't be a surprise - she needs my help when she drops stitches. Cute.

    - Visiting a ton of family. I always saw one set of my grandparents for the holidays, but that was usually it. Now that my father has passed away, however, I am really starting to reevalute the meaning of family in my life and call up aunts, uncles, cousins, and such. It has been really rewarding so far. For example, a bunch of us cousins grew up together, playing together every weekend, and then for some reason, we fell out of touch as teenagers. A couple of us are now married, babies on the way, and reconnecting with them has been fantastic. It's great when I'm in town and can actually get together, rather than just calling from Texas to catch up.

    - I am tempted as all hell to put on a Charlie Brown Christmas play with the kids. I know, I am being psycho ambitious but I have never been home for this long before!! I always get 2 weeks with my family, but this year I have over 2 months.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Catching Up

I bet you don't believe me but I *so* miss blogging here. I don't even have a good reason for not, except a general lack of excitement about my everyday life. Since I haven't written in weeks, let me try to scrounge something up:
  • Home (as in my family's home) for a month now and wrangled another month out of my job back in TX. Blessing and a curse as I'm sure those of you with your own residences who visit 'home' know quite well. Love spending time with all the Sisters, but too much time with kids is hard, as is everyday life around Evil Faux Stepfather. I haven't written much about him or his relationship with Mother since I don't feel right airing my family's dirty laundry so to speak, but suffice it to say that Sister and I cannot stand him and with good reason.

  • Fiance and I have been spending a lot of time looking at wedding venues. It is really exciting but also exhausting. He is going abroad again tomorrow to spend another month with his parents, and while he is gone The Traveler is going to venue-shop with me. She is the PERFECT person to do it!!

  • I also DIY gifts at this time of year. In the past it has been hats and/or scarves for Mother and Sisters, but this year I am trying to branch out. That means balaclava for Baby Sister (done), mittens for Kid Sisters (almost done) and Jay and Silent Bob fingerless gloves for Sister (in progress). Don't ask me how I am doing the last one - it was a vision I had involving knit gloves and felt and it is actually coming out REALLY well. I am planning to finish up quick and give them to her now so she can actually use them before Christmas. I'll post pictures, I promise.

  • Trying to think of ways to save some dough for the wedding. Nothing earth-shattering has come up yet but let me bounce these off you:

    - Freelance writing/editing/blogging jobs

    - Saving pocket change in a jar (don't knock it till you've tried it, I've racked up plenty of spare $20s this way after a trip to a Coinstar machine)

    - Selling books and other things from my old bedroom, which Mother is threatening to empty out anyway

    - Putting in time to the Time Bank to receive not money, but services, in return (note: this is possibly the best idea I've ever heard of). I could get a graphic designer to do our invitations for free, for example.

    - Mooching my books to rack up points for Christmas gifts for Sisters

    - Eating out less and finding creative ways to go out with friends for less (haven't been successful at this yet, but cut me a break, it's New York City)

    Any other suggestions?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Another post to piggyback the last one since I STILL CAN'T SLEEP. I've gargled with warm salt water, taken Nyquil, taken Halls and consumed a hot beverage - nothing. I'm hoping the Nyquil will kick in soon. Mother got me 'Less Drowsy' which would be good under normal circumstances but now I'm wishing it was More Drowsy. (I didn't even know they made Less Drowsy.)

Wedding planning is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Part of me is like, Yay, this is so much fun! and the other part is like, Geez, I only get one of these and I want it to be just so and how can I ever make these decisions? The internet is both a blessing and a bane. It has so many fantastic ideas but I wind up bookmarking them all and that's just more overwhelming. Here are my favorite blog feeds of late:

Offbeat Bride
DIY Bride
My DIY Wedding Day
Budget Savvy Bride

Random thought: I could go for a trip to the library.

My throat is very, very sore and I can't sleep. Darn it!!

Today I had lunch with Fiance, the Traveler and the Traveler's Mate, Bro, Best Friend and Childhood Friend. We ate at a Thai restaurant in Brooklyn. I was able to give them their gifts from abroad and Bro gave me some souvenirs from Boston that he picked up for me. It was a lot of fun :) I had really missed them while I was away.

Monday, November 02, 2009

101 Things to Do in 1001 Days

I thought I would return to my list since I am over a year in and have been tracking my progress personally, if not publicly. I've also added some things, such as 'Do 5 New Things with Sisters' and 'Learn How to Embroider.'

Beginning: April 30, 2008
Current: November 2, 2009
Ending: January 26, 2011

Good Will

Put change in someone's expired meter
Donate blood
Participate in a charity walk
Volunteer to serve food to the hungry
Knit an item for charity
Make five donations to five different charities (4/5)
Volunteer with children 20 times


Switch over to my own shopping bags
Walk to the library rather than drive (4/10)
Start recycling
Bring washcloths to work and stop using paper towels

Being a Global Citizen

Visit another country
Visit another place in Texas besides Austin
Learn Hindi
Take a road trip
Re-establish my habit of reading the newspaper daily (in progress)
Significantly improve my Italian (in progress)
Make more Italian penpals (in progress)
Visit an American city I've never been to before


Make regular exercise a habit
Go to the dentist
Meditate once a week for a month
Find a therapist I like
Check my blood sugar
Check my cholesterol
Lose 'X' lbs

Professional, Financial &
General Things Smart People Do

Take the GRE
Start investing in a 401k
Create a budget (in progress)
Get into the habit of writing 300 words a day
Write a novel (in progress)
Clean up flash drive
Clean up files on work computer
Clean up files on laptop
Back up Google Documents
Back up this blog
Create a new 101 list to work on after this one
Earn my market value (in progress)
Scan/archive family photos (in progress)
Organize my writing portfolio
Organize my writing scrapbook
Become more of a decision-maker (in progress)
Become more car-savvy (in progress)
Wash my kitchen floor
Write 15 short stories
Update my resume
Create a cover letter template
Relearn Spanish (in progress)


Take a romantic trip with Boyfriend
Write letters to friends (1/15)
Buy myself flowers
Make a surprise candlelit dinner for Boyfriend for no reason
Do 5 new things with Sisters (2/5)


See a play in the park
Go to a play at a theatre
Go to the opera
Watch a movie in the park
Read 20 classics that I have never read before (9/20)
Attend 10 different religious services (1/10)


Get a massage
Go on a hike
Fill an entire scrapbook (in progress)
Reread To Kill A Mockingbird
Get a facial
Learn to knit a hat
Visit the Farmer's Market
Cook 101 new dishes and compile them into a personal cookbook with where I got the recipes and changes made (10/101)
Read every nonfiction book by C.S. Lewis that I haven't read yet
Participate at
Lie down in the grass and look at the clouds
Exchange five postcards with friends abroad
Knit a prayer shawl
Knit a pair of socks
Reread every J.D. Salinger work
Send a secret to
Make calzones with Mom's recipe
Reread The Red Tent
Bake a cheesecake
Bake cookies with a friend
Finish reading the Harry Potter series
Complete 50 knitting projects (25/50)
Go dancing
Reread the LOTR series
Go to a concert
Buy myself some fun jewelry I like
Rent and watch 25 movies I have always wanted to see (11/25)
Knit 2-3 coasters for my desk at work
Knit a pair of mittens (in progress)
Learn how to embroider