Saturday, December 31, 2022

Those Grandkids!

There's something about--after Christmas and January coming up that motivates me to really clean out. I've been working hard all week. I have a huge list of everything I want to accomplish and have gotten quite a lot of it completed this week. Of course, the freezer biting the dust added more work. 

All the things I've done look like this:
1. Cleaned out the freezer.
2. Cleaned out the refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen. Actually that happened before Christmas as the giant, restaurant size spinach that Justin got me (since our store was sold out), leaked all over--every shelf, nook and cranny. Butch helped as we removed everything. That's when it was almost full--so quite a big job--in the middle of cooking and baking for the holidays!
3. Cleaned out my box of wrapping paper, ribbons, tags, bows, and bags in preparation for next year. Note to self, buy more wrapping paper. It's on the list.
4. Took down and put away all the Christmas decorations. I did it over 3 days rather than killing myself to do it all at one time like I used to. Spreading it out wasn't so bad.
5. Spent a few hours putting scrapbook pages into albums. I hate this part--I shouldn't wait so long.
6. Did my round-robin layout with a custom cut title. Loving my new, easy-to-operate Cricut.
7. Moved all of the old garland and wreaths from one side of the attic to the other (that's what this post is really about---but just hang on a bit).
8. Got the laundry caught up and put away all the Christmas linens.
9. Sorted through and put aside dozens of Christmas decorations for the family to go through.
10. Sorted a hundred pictures for a Christmas album.
11. Made the list of physical labor I needed "the boys" to help us with (also what this post is really about).
12. Made a list of all my needlepoint and who's getting what. 
13. Cleaned out the cabinets in the library that are full of boxes. They still are, but I organized it a bit better. I have a box problem.
14. Cleaned out the pantry:

Kind of a jumbled mess from the holidays. 


I have a lot of paper products. I took all the Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff out and put that in the Christmas closet. It was all just too stuffed and messy looking. 
Considering we rarely use water bottles (on that upper shelf), Butch wouldn't get rid of a single one! He has some of his own hoarding problems. You should see our coolers!

Okay, now on to what this post is really about---those grandkids!!
So, I had a list of things we needed help with. Heavy stuff. I enlisted the boys--Olly and Robbie. I had intended to get Mitchell involved, but they got here first and just got right to it--almost eagerly!:
1. The nutcracker on the front porch weighs over 100 lbs. For years, Butch and I carried it around from the garage. I can't do it anymore and it's not good for him either. Those boys acted like it was nothing--of course, they properly flexed their muscles for me first! Boys! Never having boys, I guess this is just what they do. They are so cute!

2. With the arrival of our new furniture in January, I wanted to switch out the mattresses. Yes, Butch and I could have done it, but I'm not doing anything that can be a falling hazard. Our mattress is the best, so I wanted that upstairs in the guest bedroom. They put the mattress from that bed on ours. 

All in all, it took those boys about 15 minutes to do both heavy jobs! And so quick. And with NO complaints!
They just got to it!! They are sweethearts and I'm lucky to have them. It makes me so happy that I can ask them to give us a hand now and then! And without complaint! That's key!! They don't make me feel guilty. They just do it!

On the other hand, there's this:
3. Remember I mentioned that I moved all of the old garland and wreaths from one side of the attic to the other? It was no big deal. I simply wanted the girls to carry all of it down to the garage to be discarded. OMGosh! Could they have been more prissy! The complaining! "Oooh, it's so gross and dusty!" Uh, yeah, it's the attic! "It got stuff all over my clothes!" Uh yeah, but it's funny that I moved all of it without complaining--nor really realizing there was a problem. Steph was the worst, "You should have told us how bad this would be. We would have brought work gloves. The garland was a tangled mess and all pokey!" Uh yeah, it's been a jumbled pile for years. Somehow, I didn't think it was that big of a deal when I moved it.

I'm afraid the girls are "wusses!" (Oh look there, I spelled it correctly. I don't think I've ever written that word before, but spell-check accepted it!) Yeah, I have to admit, I've raised a bunch of big babies. I'm a hard worker and always have been. Or maybe, I never made them do enough hard work! Well look out girls, it's coming down the pike!!
And guess what? I didn't even ask them to vacuum the attic. I did it myself yesterday. Talk about backbreaking! There was an area that the vacuum wouldn't reach. I'm going to have to sweep that part. I'll get to it sometime this week.

All I can say is thank goodness for the boys!! I appreciate that they seem eager to help!

I hope you have something fun planned for New Year's Eve! As for me, I'm going to stitch, and watch a movie with my bottle of champagne! Butch will be watching sports. He'll come down to watch the ball drop shortly before 11. It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since we were in New York for that! 

Friday, December 30, 2022

Friday Funnies

Mindy texted this yesterday:
Look at this weather being all springy and cute
like it didn't just try to kill us last week!

Ain't that the truth! Wow, what a difference a week makes. Last Friday, it was 4 degrees below zero. Today is 63--sweater weather--or maybe raincoat weather. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Five Things Thursday

As it turns out, you are never too old to learn new things. 

Here are five things I learned about our below-zero, frigid temperatures last week:
1. I learned about--"rolling outages." The electric company forewarned us via the news that they would be randomly turning off the electricity now and then. It was two days and only 15 minutes at a time. I have no idea how many times during the night it happened, but it happened 5 times over the course of 2 days during the day---really about 36 hours. Not sure how that helped, but it kept screwing up our clocks. And, our house got so cold immediately!! Remember, we have 4 sets of French doors across the front of the house and the entire back is just about all glass. EVERY threshold was iced over--not frost, ice! I already shared that picture. 

2. I learned that when the electricity is off, my nice, warm, heat floor throughout the master bath gets icy cold very quickly! When you are used to a heated floor, you tend to take it for granted---until---a single toe meets icy cold in the dead of night. It shocked me fully awake! There was no getting back to sleep after that! Once the electricity comes back, it takes a really long time to heat up again. I'm used to going in there during the winter months to warm my feet when they get cold. I know, 1st world problems. 

3. I learned that even though I keep my butter on the counter so that it's soft when I need it, it's as hard as a rock when it's that cold. Same with cream cheese--trying to leave it out to soften for a recipe didn't work. It never got soft. So then starts what I like to call the microwave dance--put it in, take it out, put it in, take it out...
not great at the time of year when I am doing so much cooking and baking.

4. I learned that when my closet door is open, there is a terrible draft. My closet is not heated--don't know why--maybe the builder forgot to run the heat in there. It's on two outside walls that are probably not insulated all that well either. While brushing my teeth, that draft is bone-chilling. I cannot just shut the door with my foot--like I tried. At nearly 71, the balance is just not there--even though I still feel like I'm 20. Luckily I grabbed onto the sink to keep myself from actually falling. That was an important lesson!

5. And finally, I learned that I need lots more wood for the fireplace!! I had it going just about non-stop--sometimes with only the gas flames! Whatever lets me get my heat on!

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

What I Didn't Buy Wednesday.. Christmas gifts. 

I guess I was a really good girl this year because I got a lot of really nice things! A lot!
They all know me so well! 
I love Kate Spade (new shoes and earrings), musical theater (I got 3 DVDs for my scrapbook room), the queen, traveling (hence the four plates), massage, and anything Apple (air tags). There's a really soft nightgown and a jacket perfect for traveling. Mindy gave me a tube of her favorite cuticle cream. I agree with her, it's amazing! And the fact that it's called Londontown seems like a sign, because everyone knows I love London too!
I love Russell Stover chocolates, learning new things (scarf folds), and new dishtowels. I asked for the mini light for my stitching and the new crockpot because I needed a family-sized one! I'll be using it on New Year's Day for Morgan's family party that she is hosting and cooking for.

But the biggest surprise of the evening was the playbill signed by--one of my Broadway crushes! Stephanie and Mindy waited outside the stage door to get this autograph for me. It says: "To Barb, Adam Pascal." Love it too! When I saw Pretty Woman with my friends, it was too late to wait. I'm so happy the girls did it for me! I saw Adam for the first time in Aida and then in Rent, Memphis, Something Rotten, and Pretty Woman. He's so good and I'm thrilled to have his autograph. Now I can't decide if I want to hang it or scrapbook it.

We had a great Christmas, but it went by too fast as always.

Luckily we still have a couple family things. Tonight everyone is coming here for dinner. Our last time all of us will be together as Jordan leaves on Thursday. The girls are coming early so we can discuss the book we read--The Nurse's Secret. I have a little work planned for everybody: 1. I have a lot of old Christmas garlands and wreaths that I want to be hauled down from the attic. 2. The "boys" need to carry "nutty" back around to the garage--that guy weighs over 100 lbs.. 3. I need the "boys" to switch out two mattresses in preparation for our new bedroom set--coming in January. All of it together won't take 15 minutes. 

With all the cooking I've done over the weekend, I'm giving myself a break. I picked up a Honey Baked ham and turkey, 3 types of bread, 3 types of cheese, and assorted chips. For dessert, we're having warm brownies with peppermint ice cream--Jordan's favorite. 

Depending on everyone's schedules, there may or may not be games involved!! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Boxing Day

Well, we have never celebrated Boxing Day in the US---at least not the original meaning: the day after Christmas is when the wealthy honor the working class and poor with gifts. They boxed up gifts and food--at least that's my takeaway. Later it became associated with sporting events, but not necessarily boxing. I don't really get it.

When I first heard about it, not knowing the meaning, I thought it meant the day after Christmas when you start boxing up all the decorations. That's what it means for me!!

I got so much accomplished on "Boxing Day 2022." Actually, it all began after Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. My refrigerator went from this:
A completely stuffed refrigerator to this:
Nearly empty. I get that it doesn't look all that empty, but the containers are just about all gone. I must note that Butch had already gone to the grocery store to get more eggs and milk. I sent ALL the leftovers home with Stephanie since she has the girls here all week. Butch and I made ourselves a little microwave meal before we sent away all the food. It was enough.

So, after handing off all the leftovers, we pretty much sent Steph and Mindy home. Although it's nice to have help with the clean-up, sometimes it's more of a hassle than it's worth. Case in point: I never taught my girls to take their plates to the sink. Somehow, everyone does it anyway. What ends up happening, is there is stuff on every counter and an even huger mess to clean up when there's nowhere to begin. I follow my "rule of the right" and start there. If I can get that counter clear, I have a place to go with the clean things. 

It was during the clean-up that I realized the freezer had really died. So I had that mess to contend with: toss out all of the thawed (which was everything except two wrappers of meat) and then wipe it all out. I'm done with it. We are not replacing it. But, we might get another refrigerator. That's the space we really need now and then.

I then started the laundry. 

When "Boxing Day" dawned, I continued with the laundry, put away all of the dishes and containers (my least favorite part of clean-up), wiped out the refrigerator and sorted through and cleaned the freezer side, cleaned out the cabinets in the library that contain an ever-growing assortment of empty boxes (it's a sickness--I know), started putting Christmas stuff away and even had a little time to get up in my scrapbook room to sort some pictures. I planned out my round-robin layout, designed the title, and did the journaling. Tomorrow I'll finish the page.

I continued gathering the decorations. We'll finish all that tomorrow. But now I'm looking at this:
Our tree with no gifts under it. That's kind of sad. It's all over for another year--which will be here before you know it. Time is really flying by. 
We had a great time with our family--so full of fun, laughter, food, and games.

 It's not completely over. The whole gang will be here on Wednesday night for dinner--including Mitchell and Emily. Stephanie, Morgan, and Jordan will come early so we can discuss The Nurse's Secret. Connie recommended the book, so we decided to read it and discuss it when we are together. We love doing that. 

Then on Sunday, Morgan is cooking for a final family New Year's celebration---here. We're happy to have a few more fun times before everyone leaves. 

I'll share my Christmas presents tomorrow. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Me on Monday

A couple weeks ago, I had a bone density test. The last one I had was December, 2017. 

Anyway, I got the results back. There's a lot I didn't understand--numbers and stuff. My bone mineral density was 0.858 in 2017 and is 0.861 in 2022. I have no idea what that means. Good or bad, it doesn't look like it changed much.

But, I did understand this:
Estimated 10 year risk of significant bone fracture: 14%
Estimated 10 year risk of hip fracture: 1.5%

Those numbers seem pretty reassuring. It seems like I have a pretty low risk. I'll ask my doctor in February when I have my physical to clarify.

In the meantime, it was recommended that I take calcium and D3 every day. 

I quit all that about a year ago after reading and hearing podcasts about all the supplements being a bunch of bunk--and just adding  the billions of dollars that industry makes. I asked my doctor and she believes in it. Sooo, I'm going to start up again. Plus I'll add my Centrum Silver vitamin too. 

I guess it can't hurt.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas for Real This Time!

I'm just popping in for a quick post. There's been a lot going on.

 Most of the midwest and upper south have been hit with snow and frigid temperatures. We woke up on Friday morning with -4 degrees.

We had ice on every threshold in the house--that's 10 doors to the outside! And I do mean ice--not just frost!
That's pretty darn cold for us. We had just a little snow, but it was the ice that was the problem. I had to go out to pick up the caramel cake I"d ordered from Dessert Designs and tea punch from The Picnic. The roads were definitely slick! I took the long way to avoid the snow/ice covered backroads. 

That cold weather hit Morgan the day before us. She stayed in and did her baking:

We have so much food! I don't think I can fit one more thing in the refrigerator.
It's a good thing it's cold--although I'm not sure how I'll keep stuff from freezing. This is how it looked after our dinner on Friday night. 

And then, I had to use the garage steps for the overflow!
I woke up in the middle of the night thinking, "OMGosh! What if we have mice?" We've had mice in the garage before. Luckily, everything was fine!
Here we go--round four of meals in the dining room. Only 6 of us for Christmas Day--easy peasy.
I managed to make it through with the one tablecloth. 

Our "secret santa" exchange this year--organized by Stephanie--was a holiday theme--any holiday. Most everyone picked Christmas because that is what was most available. We have a $20 gift limit. This has become part of our Christmas Eve breakfast tradition. After eating, we stay in the dining room and exchange those gifts. 

I drew Butch for the 2nd time in about 6 or 7 years. Guys are too hard! So, I opted for something practical!
Who doesn't need another pair of underwear??

This was the most unusual gift. Justin drew Stephanie. Since she already had "elf of the shelf," he gave her "Snoop on the Stoop!"

Isn't that hilarious? Snoop dog!!

What isn't so hilarious? Looks like our freezer is out. So on top of cooking today and getting the house back in order, I get to clean out the freezer! No rest for the weary! Merry Christmas to me!!

Okay, Merry Christmas to you too! I better get back to it!!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas!!

I know it's only Christmas Eve, but I have to slip a post in when I can!

On Wednesday night, we had a few friends over for dinner. I was really excited because I don't do much entertaining anymore. I used to all the time. Now it just seems like so much work. But there's something about the holidays that brings out the hostess in me. Oh yeah, I know. It's the table!!

The table is my most favorite thing to do. I love pretty napkin folds too.

I kept the meal pretty simple: Sandy's Chicken (you might know it as Swiss Chicken Bake, mashed white and sweet potatoes, creamed peas, and Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits. For dessert, I tried a new recipe: "Are you kidding me?" cake. I use that saying all the time, so had to try it. Couldn't be easier. Yellow cake mix, cherry pie filling, and 3 eggs. Mix it all together and bake at 350 for 35 minutes (I only baked it for 25 minutes as my oven is hot). I served it with a scoop of Cherry Cordial ice cream on top. (Side note: another friend, Karolyn served that ice cream with warm brownies last week--so good). The cake was good, but looked a little bare, hence the ice cream.

When Mindy said that she and Justin would be coming over on Friday night and staying for the weekend, I thought, "Okay, great. We'll have the leftovers from Wednesday." 

The next day or so, she said that Stephanie and Nicky were also coming, and maybe Jordan and Robbie. Well, that certainly changed things! There was no way that I would have leftovers for 8 people. So, I decided to just make the same meal. On Wednesday night, I sent the leftovers home with my friends.

So, then I was ready for round two:

This time I used my reindeer napkin rings. These napkins do not "hold" a fancy fold. I just propped some pretty candy canes on them as the table favor. We love table favors. Luckily, my guests on Wednesday night didn't mess up the tablecloth!! 

Once dinner was done on Friday night, I had to clear everything for Mindy's Christmas Eve breakfast table. She and I got it all set up while the rest of the gang cleaned up the dishes.

Due the competitiveness of our family, we're turning this into a competition. We'll see how that goes!

Whew, I'm already tired!!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Five Things Thursday

How about a couple last minute--EASY--recipes to wow your guests?

1. Cranberry Pistachio Balls

    3 ingredients...white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and pistachios.

    Melt white chocolate in the microwave ( one minute and then 30-second intervals just til the 

    chocolate melts). Throw in a handful and a half of dried cranberries and a handful and a half 

    of pistachios.

    Scoop teaspoonfuls on wax paper and wait until they set. Keep in an airtight container. Does 

    not need refrigeration.

    There are really no specific measurements. My advice is not to use more than a regular size  

    bag of chips at a time. White chocolate sets much faster than milk or semisweet. You can  

    make them with dried cherries and coarsely chopped almonds too.

2. Spinach and Artichoke Dip

    10 oz. Frozen spinach in the crockpot.

    Add on top of spinach:

    8 oz. Block cream cheese

    1.5 cups mozzarella

    1/2 cup fresh parmesan

    2 T. Fresh garlic

    1/2 cup sour cream

    Can artichoke, chopped

    Salt, pepper and onion powder

    Mix and cook on low for a couple hours.

3. Santa's Nightcap

    1 oz. vodka

    1 oz. peppermint Schnapps

    1 1/2 oz. chocolate liqueur

    Shake with ice and serve in a martini glass rimmed in peppermint or drizzle inside of glass 

    with Hershey's chocolate. 

4. Three Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

    2 ripe bananas (mashed)

    1 cup oats

    1/4 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips

    Combine all ingredients. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

5. Easy Breakfast Casserole

    30 saltine crackers, crumbled

    2 cups shredded cheddar or jack

    6 eggs

    1/2 cup melted butter

    2 cups milk

    1/2 cup real bacon bits or 3-4 slices, crumbled (I'll bet dice ham works too)

    1 cup chopped fresh spinach or 1/2 pkg. frozen, thawed and squeezed

    Crumble crackers in bottom of sprayed 9x13 casserole dish. Mix remaining ingredients and 

    pour over crackers. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes until set. Serves 6-8


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Fashion Sense--or Lack There Of?

Last week, I was talking to my friends about wearing the same clothes a couple/few days in a row. Actually, Connie started it many years ago saying that she put the same clothes on and wore them all weekend. She still does.

I said, that I'll wear the same outfit if the people I'm going to be around are different. For example, I wore the same outfit when I played bridge last week, went to dinner with friends and then lunch with other friends. 3 occasions--same outfit. 

When Nancy walked in to the ornament exchange, I noticed that she was wearing the same thing she wore at lunch. Now that could be a "no no!" But since Connie and I were the only ones who saw her--and the current gathering was much larger--she got a "pass!" She did thank me for calling her out. Happy to be of help!

Christy was sitting next to me at the exchange and said, "I realize that I wore this same outfit when I met with you two weeks ago." To which I replied, "With those boots and hose?" 

"Yes," she said. Well, okay then. It looks like this concept of wearing the same thing more than once really depends more on the age of the people you are with! I didn't remember a single thing she had on--and those hose were killer (black window pane check). She always looks so cute and put together (she is young). Plus, wearing the same outfit around the same people two weeks apart doesn't even apply here. The bigger question is: how in the heck did she even remember that? 

Hmmm, now that I think about it, Connie might not even realize she's wearing the same thing she wore the day before. The sure way I know that I'm doing it is that I haven't hung the outfit back up or put the accessories away yet. 

Anyhooo, do you wear the same outfit multiple times in a row?

Have You Heard About...

...the new concept of "living apart but together"? They were talking about it on GMA the other day.

It's where a couple decides that they love each other and want to be together, but don't want to live together. They each want their own space. 

I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. But, it's definitely why we want a king bed! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Travel Tuesday

Oh gosh. Where to begin! 

Let's begin with this: Sandy and Greg always spoil us. 

She starts with sending the itinerary a couple weeks ahead. This family likes to know what's going on and what we're eating! It looked like this:

Here’s the holiday weekend itinerary!


Noon arrival 

Mom bringing snacks for lunch

Happy hour (winter white cosmos)

Holiday game 

Dinner (crab legs, mini oven potatoes, squash casserole, lima beans, parmesan puffs)

Holiday activity

Open presents 

Dessert (Christmas cookie ice cream)


Brunch 11:00 Mac’s Chophouse

Watch Christmas movie/football

Christmas craft

Dinner (smash burgers and blue cheese chips)

Play games 

Bailey’s and hot chocolate 

It’s sure to be fun!

And it sure was!! To begin, her house was decorated so beautifully. First, there were the FOUR trees!

This is the live tree. It makes me miss ours. But I'm good with only one tree these days.
Sandy and me.
Elizabeth and me.
Victoria and me.
This is Sandy's favorite ornament and one of mine too! This picture was taken when we went at 3 a.m. for the opening of his "Kid Rock's Honky Tonk" down on Broadway. That was such a fun experience--especially since Sandy got to be up close and personal with Kid Rock!

 I took lots of pictures of all the handmade ornaments. I'll share them one day next week.

This is Sandy's tree with all of her childhood ornaments. It makes me so happy to see it. I love that she still cherishes them. I don't have any ornaments from my childhood. I do have a few that my mom gave me as an adult--but they weren't from our childhood.
This is Elizabeth's tree. Notice her giant "elf on the shelf" or in this case on Rudolph.
And this one is the "kids" tree with all of the ornaments they made through the years at school.
Elizabeth is the star at the top! No surprise. 

And now on to the itinerary. My comments are in red!

Happy hour (winter white cosmos)--Greg's specialty---they are so good. I wish I'd taken a picture of them.

Holiday game---Sandy hosted "The Price is Right"--she went all out on the prizes. They'll be in the picture below with all of my gifts.

Dinner (crab legs, mini oven potatoes, squash casserole, lima beans, parmesan puffs)--everything was so delicious! They make us crab legs every year. It's quite a treat. Actually, they've been doing it with their own family for years. We're happy to get in on it!

Her beautiful table with my mother's sterling. I love that she enjoys using it.
There are always party favors involved. This time it was Garrett's popcorn from Chicago! And, a shortbread cookie. I thought it was pretty clever that she folded the napkin in to a pocket for the favors.

Holiday activity--I sort of interrupted this with a little game of my own. 

Open presents--

We all wear pajamas just to be comfortable. It's so laid back and relaxing. Greg has a fire going with Christmas music playing (yes, there is football on mute in the background). We open gifts one at a time so we can all see what everyone gets. We've done that since our girls were little. We all look forward to it.

Dessert (Christmas cookie ice cream)--We ended up not having this until the following night. We munched on the cookies she made and the ones that I brought. 


Brunch 11:00 Mac’s Chophouse---This was our first time at this place in Marietta. The food was fabulous. I had the French onion soup, Butch had the Caesar salad and then we shared the French dip. Sandy and Greg had the crab cake Benedict while Elizabeth had the shrimp and grits. We shared the fried pimento cheese balls as an appetizer. Victoria wasn't feeling well, so she stayed behind to rest.

Watch Christmas movie/football--Sandy and I watched "Boy Called Christmas." I brought my stitching. The movie was good--old timey--like I like them! The boys watched football.

Sometime in the afternoon, I got to let Titan open the next window on his Advent calendar. It's so cute and fun to watch him get the treat out. I had no idea that they had Advent calendars for dogs. I'm sure it's a very successful industry! People do love their dogs!

He gets so excited! It was so much fun watching him get after it.

Christmas craft--these are so darn cute--from Target:

Even the guys did one.

Dinner (smash burgers and blue cheese chips)--Sandy and Greg are such good cooks. It's always a treat, whatever they make. We ended up having the sugar cookie ice cream later in the evening.

Play games--Our time together would not be complete without games--and lots of them. 

Bailey’s and hot chocolate---We ended up not having this. Actually, we forgot about it. Still, we were all so full, I don't think I could have added one more drink!

We got on the road early on Monday to get home. We try to get through Chattanooga before rush hour. We had the added bonus of the sunrise traveling through there at dawn.

And now for my gifts:

As you can see, I made quite a haul! The purple blanket is from Victoria. Her last chance to give us something from her college--Western Carolina State. I'll be taking it to the movie theater--it's always so cold in there. 

I got a set of Kate Spade notepads, a pair of really pretty Kendra Scott filigree bracelets,  a Kate Spade pen. The candle, paper plates and Myer dish soap were game prizes. The mug and hand sanitizer is from Elizabeth---it's a stack of tea cups from the Disney ride! So darn cute. I also got a pair of Santa and Mrs. Claus earrings. There's a beautiful candle from "My Big Texas House." 
Sandy gave us both some of the Rudolph mix. I got a bottle of Bailey's with a mug, a tin of hot chocolate, and a packet of Russel Stover chocolate Santas that you add hot water to make hot chocolate. And then there's the cookbook---"Break an Egg!" A take off of "break a leg" on Broadway. There are recipes from all the different shows. It's going to be fun to make some of those recipes. 

So, now you know why we had such a good time. When we go to Sandy's, I always feel like I'm on vacation. She doesn't let me do much. It's the ultimate pampering!! We love it! 

Of course, I'll miss them this weekend when the rest of the family gets to town. But we've learned to be flexible. As our family grows, we have to be. I'm grateful that we've been able to start a new tradition with them. We look forward to it every year. I'm just happy that they are only 3.5 hours away now. It makes weekends possible.

Thanks Sandy!! I (we) love you!