December 26, 2011

Best of 2011 Mix

One of my favorite holiday traditions that Cory and I started a few years ago was going to Reston, VA for a day or two to visit our dear friends, Rich and Beth. You know them from our wedding, from their wedding, and from our annual Auburn University road trips, too. 

Since we're all teachers, the holidays usually push our budget a little tight, so we started a tradition where instead of exchanging gifts, we would make a playlist of the best songs of the year. This is the 3rd year in a row we've done this challenge and so far, I think it will be the best. Last year was really rough for me, because I never really found any songs that hit home for me. So, when it came to making our mix, Cory completed an excellent mix, and I decided to go with what drove me crazy all year long: the worst songs. The end result was "The Worst Songs of 2010" which included a lot of Katy Perry and Ke$ha. This year I'm trying a little harder and I think they'll like it! I have pretty strange music taste, so I'm sure you'll think to yourself, "these songs don't belong in the same room as one another." Which is fine. I get it. However, it's a mix of the entire year, so there's no compartmentalizing!

I would like to challenge you to the same task. Come up with a mix of 10-15 songs that you think are the BEST of 2011. Share them in the comments so I can be sure to check them out!

And, of course, here is my mix. The best songs that were new (either to me, or to music in general) in 2011! I hope you enjoy it!

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to You!


Wishing you the warmest of holidays!

(+Cory, Ralphie, and Flip)

December 23, 2011

Candy Day

Every year the women on my maternal side get together for a few hours to make a steadfast tradition: hard candy. Last year we made nearly 50 pounds of candy, and since we knew what a task it was, we decided to scale it back and only make 25 pounds this year. 

Want to make your own hard candy? Here's the tutorial I posted last year. Just want to stare in awe? Here are a few quick shots from our candy making day!

What baking or candy making have you accomplished this month? I didn't get nearly as much finished as I wanted. For instance, I have all the ingredients for Chex mix and muddy buddies on my counter... but that's as far as they've gotten! lol

Wishing for Snow


It's the last few days of 2011 and I can hardly believe it. It has been unusually warm in Maryland--ranging with highs from 53-65 nearly every day. We're usually in the low 40s this time of year with a chance of snow, but no such luck. You don't realize how much you love the crispness of a winter day or the threat of snow until it's not around. I would honestly trade a nice blanket of snow for all my Christmas gifts this year--seriously. To me, snow is so peaceful and calming. Our irregular October snow provided me a little peace of mind; I want more!

Today is our first official day of Winter Break, which has come at the most appropriate of times. I have been feeling fairly listless and in need of recharging my batteries and I think a few days off will do just the trick.

Cory and I had a really busy week--between student dance recitals and other holiday commitments, we rarely made it home before 10 every night, let alone getting to sleep at a decent hour. I have been running on fumes the last week from the lack of sleep and a horrible on-the-run diet.

In other news, I was able to start and finish a pretty huge crochet task: 21 scarves in 3 days. After work on Monday I decided that I wanted to gift a scarf to each of my students in Yearbook. They are near and dear to my heart and make my life considerably easier, which was pretty good motivation to get me through those long nights of stitching. Here are a few late-night cell phone shots of my project:

When it was all said and done (around 1:30 am on Thursday morning), I had crocheted 15 classic cowls for my female students, 2 striped scarves for my male students, and 4 button cowls for my amazing secretaries. I made sure that I picked out very specific colors for each person--either to match their wardrobe/style or what I thought would compliment their features the best! Hopefully they will keep everyone warm during this (not so) cold winter! :)

Now that it's winter break, I'm hoping to do A LOT more blogging. In fact, one of my resolutions for 2012 has something to do with blogging, but more on that later ;)

Happy Friday, everyone!