Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tree in the house. And a dog.

Hey there friends! Happy 8-days-till-Christmas!!!
You know my friend, Flower Jane? The one who has hosted Flowers in the House? Well, this month she's mixing it up and making it easy on us busy ones by calling for photos of Christmas Trees in the House.

And bonus points {or extra brandy in our eggnog...} if the photo includes a pet. I figured this would be an easy task since the cat is always near the tree, but he was not agreeable for photo posing. Lucky the dog, on the other hand? He's a sucker for a tree treat.
Linking up with Flower Jane {Small but Charming} for "Christmas in da House"

Monday, December 15, 2014

A weekend full of Christmas

It's Monday morning, Christmas is nine days away, and my head is spinning.
I keep reminding myself that this is not a stressful time. It's a deliciously busy time of year and as long as I just keep plugging along everything that I want to accomplish will be done. Oh my gosh, it was a busy weekend around these parts!

Friday night's yoga teacher training was awesome. We were divided into four groups and each group taught a 40-minute sequence. It was so cool to witness the transformation of all of us. Classmates who, in the beginning, were unsure and timid about teaching yoga, there in front of our peers leading the class like seasoned yoga teachers. I felt so proud of all of us!!! My segment was an 8-minute piece that I had practiced over and over in my head for the past couple of weeks. I was a little nervous, but surprisingly at ease when the time came to teach. I did well and was so happy to have that behind me.

As part of my graduation package, I need to teach four one-hour classes of my own, so Saturday morning a group of four friends came to my house to help me out. I loved having my friends here - it was so sweet of them to take time out of their busy schedules to help me out and to be subjected to my early-teaching-follies. I learned so much! For one thing, I need to talk way less - know that some silence is good. I felt good about the physical adjustments I was able to make for my students, and they were all very gracious with their comments on the class survey afterwards. I have the best friends on the planet. For real.

Carrie's plans for Saturday afternoon fell through, and I was so happy that she was able to come with us to pick out a Christmas tree.

What a beautiful day for Christmas tree shopping!

I have been so busy and I'll admit to not feeling very jolly about Christmas this year. Yet. But getting our tree, the smell of pine, the ensuing routine of chasing the cat away from the tree, and the sight of these ornaments sent me soaring into Christmas. I am officially jingly all over! :o)

On Sunday, I baked. Pumpkin bread, dark chocolate coconut macaroons, chocolate chip cookies, and lemon blueberry muffins. And in between baking on Sunday I worked on decorating the tree...

...while Doug strung Christmas lights outside. I asked for an extra strand across the patio this year and my sweet personal Santa accommodated my request. It's true, I've been a very good girl this year.

Pretty, huh?

The sun setting outside, the lights, the tree, sweets from the oven...yummy, yummy Christmas time.

This morning: sugar hangover
Tonight: packing boxes to be mailed tomorrow
Tomorrow day: post office
Tomorrow night: preparing for Wednesday night's dinner
Wednesday night: my brother will be in town! :o) He's coming over for dinner
Thursday night: yoga teacher training
Friday day: work Christmas party
Friday night: yoga teacher training
Saturday day: final day of yoga teacher training / graduation :o)!!!
Sunday day: graduation party for yoga teacher training group at our house
Monday: rest, the beginning of two weeks off work, and Christmas to enjoy.

Be jolly. Be merry. Be mindful. And breathe.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Just a Quote for Friday

"The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A quilt for baby Carter

Today I'm sharing a few photos of the quilt I made recently for my nephew and his wife. They're expecting a baby boy after the first of the year - my first official great-nephew (I'm already a great-aunt on Doug's side of the family) and also my mom's first great-grandchild. Oh my gosh, she would be beyond excited for the birth of this little one!!!

Don't you just love these colors? The baby's room is painted gray and is decorated with animals in this color scheme. I was so excited when I found this fabric!

I used a strip of washi tape as a marker so I could sew a straight line from corner to corner.

I can't wait to hold that little man next year, hopefully with this blanket wrapped snuggly around him.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A weekend recap on Tuesday

Good morning, blog friends!
Oh what a wonderful, whirlwind weekend we had!
Three days packed with driving and celebrating with family.
My sister surprised her hubby (our brother-in-law Brad) with a 50th birthday party, and Doug and I wavered back and forth a bit on whether or not to make the trip. Even though we are a bit worn out this morning, we are both so happy that we did it. This morning I have some random photos from the weekend to share with you, then I'm off to tackle a busy week ahead. Yay!
My sister chose "The Godfather" theme for Brad's party and all of the details were so much fun. I was assigned as the photo girl for the night, but in our rush to leave our hotel and get to the party, I left my camera lens and external flash behind. Nice. So we ended up with a bunch of grainy photos from my phone. ~sigh~

Fantastic party, the guest of honor was super surprised, and a great time was had by all! :o) Sunday morning we met at my sister's house for a big breakfast and a day of relaxing with family. I loved spending time with my nieces and nephews, and even got to give this little peach her first Christmas present.
Sweet baby Olivia. She's growing so fast! She let out a sad little cry when the paper was torn back to reveal a little dolly underneath. The baby in the box scared her just a little. Aw!
If you had told me two years ago that either my sister or I would be dog owners I would have laughed. And if you had told me how much we would love our pups, I probably would have said you were crazy. But it's true! We have Lucky, and my sister has Walker: 

Have I mentioned before how much I love being an aunt? This photo of Presley, Stone, and me makes my heart want to explode. Gosh I love these kiddos!
And now it's game on. The rest of this week is jam-packed with places to go, people to see, yoga to practice and teach(!!!), and Christmas to prepare for.
Taking deep breaths and trusting that everything will fall right into place...
Enjoy the rest of your week, my friends!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Just a Quote for Friday

"The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world."
~ Ann Voskamp

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lemon Sugar Cookies for Grandma

My grandma has a sweet tooth and loves all things lemon.
Oh my gosh she makes the best lemon tea bread on the planet!
Every year I try a new lemon recipe and include it with her package that I mail a week or so before Christmas. This year's recipe of choice is a lemon sugar cookie that turned out to be a real treat. This is definitely going in my book of recipes to repeat. It was easy and the cookies are SO yummy!

Since I have to mail these cookies I wanted to test them for texture and freeze-ability. The good news is they froze really well, and even after several days the cookies are still nice and soft. I'll pull the cookies out of the freezer just before I box them up, and by the time they arrive on Grandma's doorstep a few days later, she'll be able to enjoy some with her afternoon tea.

I actually followed the recipe without changing anything up this time, so I'll just share a link to the original and save myself the typing. :o) You can find this recipe by clicking here.
Grandma is going to love these!
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