Monday, December 29

The Cat Life: Stockings

I snapped a few photos of Lloyd and Sylvester when we let them 'open' their stocking gifts. The photos are definitely not the best quality, as most of them were blurry, but it was fun to watch and I thought some of you would appreciate them. We got them a few catnip toys (that's what made them super crazy all morning!) along with some tennis balls. They ran around for a good hour or so and then spent the rest of the day passed out under the tree or on the couch with us. It was very entertaining to watch!

Sunday, December 28

Week in Photos: Week 52

It's the last week of 2014!! When did this happen? How did we get here? And how have I actually managed to post a weekly wrap-up of photos for 52 weeks straight?!

Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree...

I finally finished sewing our Christmas stockings... at 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Growing up, my mom would hang all the Christmas cards on a ribbon or two; I always loved the way it looked and did the same this year! We actually got a lot of cards this year!

I asked for ornaments this year, and I got lots of 'em! Including those last two from lovely reader Jennifer, who after reading this post, sent us the bear from her very own tree! Also, apparently our love for squirrels is well known.

We had Christmas Eve dinner with our friends Dave and Briggette; spiral ham, mashed potatoes, brussels and bacon, and a friend's grandmother's recipe for pineapple bake!

Shawn and Dave got each other the exact same bottle of (rare) whiskey for Christmas.

Well, it didn't snow on Christmas, but it was the most beautiful day we have had in a while.

The aftermath of the cats getting their gifts. (Catnip toys... lots and lots of catnip toys.)

Shawn got us a record player! We finally got to play some of the records we've had for over five years. First on deck was Wish You Were Here. We only have a dozen or so records though, so we're planning a record shopping date!

Instagram cuddles.

Realtime morning cuddles.

Since my parents were in town and my family celebrated Christmas last Sunday, Shawn and I decided to stay home this year for the actual holiday. This was the first year ever that we didn't travel or spend the day with various family members... it was glorious. Shawn told his family we would see them sometime in January when we have more time to travel. We have both been working our asses off these past few weeks and we really just wanted a day to decompress together. We spent the majority of the day in our pajamas on the couch with the cats, watching movies of the comedic variety. At some point in the evening we did venture outside for a walk around town in the unseasonably warm weather; the streets were the quietest we've ever seen them, and it felt as though we were the only two people in town. This year was probably a fluke, as we'll most likely have to spend next year's holiday with other family members, so we drank in every moment of our first Christmas to ourselves.

Each year that we've lived together I've tried to implement a Christmas tradition or two; whether it's a tradition from one of our families, or just something completely new, it has been interesting making the holiday our own. Perhaps a 'no travel' quiet Christmas Day should become a tradition...

I hope you all had an amazing holiday and enjoy the rest of the year!

Tuesday, December 23

A Gift Guide for Fanatics

Shawn is a big fan of football. I have never really been into it, but over the last six years I've watched so many games and heard so many player's names mentioned that I can somewhat carry a conversation about the sport. This was the first year I played on a fantasy football league too; Shawn was one player short and he had been asking me to join for years, so I finally agreed. I ended up in 8th place out of 10 - not too bad! I still don't really understand the game though!

I know that the audience on this blog probably isn't much into football, but since Shawn is, I can only imagine some of you also have football fans in your life and I decided to go ahead and make up a gift guide! I know it's a little late for Christmas at this point... but playoffs are coming up! I picked a few things from centered around their Odell Beckham Jr jersey, because Shawn roots for the Giants and he has been a big fan of Odell this year.

Ugly sweaters are all the rage right now (did I seriously just use that phrase? I did.) That one in particular is for youths, but I'd buy it in a heartbeat if they made it in adult sizes!
Shawn is rarely without a beanie, and he's a big fan of the Giant's Throwback gear, so this beanie was an obvious choice.
Of course he'll need a vintage scarf to go with the hat...
My favorite on this whole list is the belt because it's the most subtle and practical way to show you're a fan!
Whiskey is Shawn's spirit of choice, and I can't believe he doesn't have steel cubes yet!
We collect garden gnomes, and how perfect is it that they make NFL garden gnomes?!

Go check out the NFL jerseys and team gear Fanatics has to offer for the football fan in your life!
(They carry things for every team - not just the Giants!)

Monday, December 22

Week in Photos: Week 51

I love wrapping gifts!

My daily/weekly to-do lists last week at work… it was a busy week!

Peppermint chocolate ganache swirls.

On top of brownie bites!

I get so giddy over Christmas-themed things!

Lloyd was pretending to be dirty laundry.

Tried to take a photo of the tree lights at work, ended up with a cool sky photo instead.

This is what happens when I ask Shawn to make dinner.

These salted caramels were a team effort at work. (Wrapping all of them is time-consuming!)

Shawn is such a cat whore.

I made homemade muesli for my dad for Christmas!

My sister’s boyfriend made a birch tree out of cardboard!


Champagne, anyone?

I’m not usually a fan of mushrooms, but I had four or five of these…


Sylvester adds a nice contrast to our bedsheets.

Last week was another heavy work-load week. I'm getting some overtime in, that's for sure! Just one more day to go and then I have two days off, then I go back in on Friday, and then I have two more days off! I spent Saturday running around town and then spent the afternoon baking five different types of cookies. Did I happen to take a single photo of any of them? ...NO. Because I suck. And they're all gone now; they've been distributed to friends, family, and strangers. Then Sunday I drove out to New Jersey and my family got together for an early Christmas celebration since my parents were in town. The five of us getting together doesn't happen more than once, maybe twice a year now. I guess that's just what happens when you get older... it gets harder to coordinate getting everyone together. It's always really nice when it does happen though. We always say we're going to take a family photo, and then we all start drinking and forget all about it. I guess that's just how it goes!

I wanted to get this post up because it's the second to last Week in Photos post of the year, and I've been so good about doing them that I didn't want to mess up now! But I'm coming off of a 12-hour work day and only 4 hours of sleep, so now it's time for me to wish you all a good night. (Or a good morning/afternoon/whatever time it is where you are!) I get pretty delirious and silly when I don't get enough sleep.

I hope you had an awesome week!!

Tuesday, December 16

The Cats and the Christmas Tree

One of our primary concerns when we got last year's tree was how Lloyd would react to it... and we felt the same way this year with Sylvester. Lucky for us, neither of these guys are tree climbers! They're both content just laying underneath it all day. We've had a handful of ornaments fall off the bottom branches, but we think it's from them brushing up against the tree rather than trying to play with them. All in all, our little guys have great tree manners!

Looks like Santa left us a... cow?

Last year I bought two monogram ornaments for Shawn and I, as well as one for Lloyd. I felt bad that Sylvester didn't have one too, so I bought one for him this year! (I think it's this year's version of Lloyd's from last year...) I also found a cute fox ornament, and since we call Sylvester Sly because he looks a bit fox-ish, I thought it appropriate to buy. Funny thing is, when it arrived, one of it's ears were broken! Just like Sylvester's!

Now I just need to find a bear ornament for Lloyd, because he's my little bear... let me know if you've seen any cute ones!

Monday, December 15

Week in Photos: Week 50

The best blackberry thumbprints ever!

Apparently none of you want any cookies this year... well, you're missing out! Between those thumbprints and these turtle cookies... I'm excited about the cookie assortment I have planned!

I can't decide if Sylvester was trying to hug Shawn, or choke him. This is every morning for Shawn.

Decided to add a little prehistoric flair to some of my presents this year.

Anyone getting a gift from me should expect a few stray cat hairs in the packaging.

These petit fours made me excited about making petit fours again!

Maybe I have a dirty mind... but the snowflake cutter looks like a bunch of penises to me.

They're much less dong-like once baked though! (PS. Alton Brown's rolled sugar cookie recipe is THE BEST.)

I made chocolate covered cheesecakes for our special holiday tea menu.

And salted caramels. Which I actually have the recipe for here, holy shit!

We celebrated our anniversary at Rosa Blanca (SO GOOD!) with my parents and my brother. And we channeled our inner Jack Sparrows and had a lot of rum. Only four of those glasses were for water....

We can't take anything but silly (or blurry) photos of ourselves.

My parents are the best. Yep!

It's week 50! Only two (and a half) more weeks of 2014 to go! Can you believe it? I don't even want to think about that right now. It can wait until after Christmas!

This week was great! (I feel like I've used a lot of exclamation points in this post! So I'm just going to keep doing it! Ok, enough of that.) I had a heavier workload than usual because even though the restaurant is usually closed on Sundays, we're running special holiday menus on Sundays for the whole month of December. So that means extra scones and pastries and assorted savory things on my end. Which is nice, because I actually prefer a busy work week over a slow one. But it means I've been spending my evenings and weekends in relax-mode. Which is also nice! Just not very productive. Good thing I have pretty much all my Christmas shopping done! I'm gearing up for a few days off for the holidays... all the hard work pays off just thinking about it :)

Our anniversary was exceptional too! My parents and my brother came to visit (maybe strange to some, but since we eloped and they missed out, it was nice to have some family around this year) and we had an amazing meal at one of Jose Garces' restaurants. Rosa Blanca is a very unassuming place from the outside, but the food and rum menus are fantastic. I would have taken more photos and made a post about it, but you know what? Sometimes it's nice to just enjoy the moment. And enjoy we did!
Pictures & Paragraphs © . Design by FCD.