new year's eve

Happy New Year's Eve! I went straight from holiday to holiday this year; don't worry, we'll be back to real posts as life starts to settle back into place. But tonight is the night for resolutions, making a promise to yourself about the year that you don't intend to keep...okay, so that's a little bit cynical. I'm sure there are lots of people who keep each and every New Year's resolution. I just haven't met any of them!

Despite the snark and the likely failure, I still like to take a look at the year behind and then one at the year ahead and set some goals for myself. And, really, I didn't do too badly on my goals from last year. I have definitely increased the amount of fabulosity in my daily life, I've submitted a story for publication (four rejections and counting!), I do have a job in retail--I was hired for seasonal work, but I've been asked to stay on as a permanent employee which is very exciting! I did a lot of reading over the summer. I still don't have an apartment, and I haven't really made new friends. Transitioning from college life to post-college was (and is) a lot harder than I expected; it's an ongoing process.

My goals for this year are much the same, with some broader ideas to keep the whole year exciting:

  • Be more creative

  • Make friends

  • Go out more (might help with the previous!)

  • Keep challenging what you know about yourself

By this time next year, I hope to have an apartment, a job that can support me and a few indulgences, and a whole new list of goals.

Good luck on your resolutions, if you make them, and best wishes in the coming year!

ho ho ho

Merry Christmas!

(Video is obviously from A Muppet Christmas Carol, the greatest Christmas movie that ever was.)

the procrastinator's gift guide

It's that crazy time of year; Christmas is this weekend! In my house, the Christmas-feeling has been pretty slow to come about...the outside lights and decorations have been up for a while, but we just bought our tree on Friday and put it up on Sunday. To be fair, we weren't procrastinating: my sister was away at college, and we couldn't pick out a tree without her! But now that she's home, Christmas prep had to get done fast or risk not getting done at all. On the theme of procrastination, working in retail has opened my eyes to how much some people put off their Christmas shopping (and see the opposite, the people who are done by December first!) Plus, if you hadn't noticed, I have a tendency towards a bit of procrastination why not wait until a few days before Christmas to write a gift guide?

So here you are, the Procrastinator's Gift Guide: what to get when you don't have much time to get it.

Love this blinged out wreath made by Projects for Your Nest...probably too late to make one, huh?

1. Baked goods

The season of giving is also the season of eating! Homemade treats are relatively inexpensive (depending on what you choose) and can generally be completed in an afternoon. As a bonus, you might have enough left over to have some holiday treats for yourself! I just made these peanut butter balls, which were a little labor intensive with all the rolling but super tasty...I made a second batch for a holiday party and added a pretzel stick in each one. It added a touch of salt to counteract the sweetness, made them easy and fun to eat, and upped the adorability quotient by at least 40%! Last year, these peppermint bark cookies were a big hit at our cookie exchange party. Baking something is a delicious and heartfelt way to show you care at the last minute.

2. Books

Give the gift of literature! A good book is a gift that's useful, entertaining, and can be the source of many conversations between the giver and recipient. Granted, this option does require you to know your intended recipient's taste in books fairly well, but there's nothing like giving a book you loved to someone that you know will love it too.

3. Hot drinks

You'd be pretty hard pressed to find someone who doesn't enjoy any hot drink during the wintertime. So whether it's coffee, tea, cocoa, or cider, grab a few packets, arrange in a cute mug, and instant gift! Delicious is almost always a good way to go when you're in a crush for time.

4. Gift cards

Yes, gift cards get a bad rap, but there's a reason they're a classic choice for the harried (and possibly confused) gift-giver. A gift card says "I know where you like to shop, but I'm sure you know what you need more than me." Personally, I have both enjoyed and been disappointed by gift cards, and they're a last resort in my own shopping adventures. But I know that if I honestly have no idea (or no time) to get someone the perfect gift, at least I can rest safe in the knowledge that they'll be able to treat themselves to something they've really been hoping for. (This is assuming that you give them a gift card to somewhere they actually shop, which is crucial.) Get a cute tin or holder for it to jazz the card up a bit!

None of the gift ideas seems quite enough? Mix and match! A new book and a gift card to Starbucks, or some fancy hot cocoa and cookies to enjoy it with: the possibilities are nigh endless. Even though you have mere days until Christmas, you still have time! Take heart procrastinators, because in the end, it's the thought that counts...unless you're getting me a gift card for Yankee Candle or something, because that's just not cool.


My blogging Achilles' Heel? Definitely photos. I have 2-3 posts sitting in my drafts, ready to go except for the perfect photo, which never seems to get taken. I'm tired from a long day at work OR I couldn't possibly move on my day off OR where did I put that camera again? Bad blogger!

So, to jump over that speed bump, how about a photo I didn't have to take? Do you want to see some cute shoes? I want to see cute shoes.

I am in love with these shoes, and I'm not afraid to say it. I don't know their name, who makes them, where they're from, what they cost. I just know that the world would be a better place if the ankles in that photo were mine. Purple is one of my favorite wintertime colors, and I have a feeling those would look just as cute peeping through the snow as they do against the leaves. It's probably for the best that I don't know where to find these shoes; I can lust from afar without having to pretend I might actually buy them.

Do you have a mystery item that struck your fancy, leaving you pining from afar?

lady dates: going out for less money and more fun

Last night, I went to The Melting Pot with my mom for a lady date. Now, lady dates (not to be confused with actual dates involving ladies) are one of my favorite things in the world. It's great to just go out and treat yourself to something a little bit special, even when there isn't a special occasion. The problem, of course, is the price. When Mom told her coworkers she was going to the Melting Pot, they all asked "wow, what's the occasion? did you get a gift certificate?" Fondue is pricy, folks! But here's a simple (really simple, super obvious) tip for going out and spending less money: check the specials!

Almost every restaurant has a specials section on their website, and I'm always shocked at the number of people who pass it by. Yes, sometimes you need to plan your hang outs around a number of busy schedules and there's one night you can all make. But when schedules are a little more open, why not plan around the specials at whatever restaurant you want?

For example, at our local Melting Pot, Monday night is "Ladies Night Out." They offer a limited 3-course menu for $16 a person, or a 4-course for $25. This may not sound like a steal until you consider that just an order of chocolate fondue is $15. They also offer ladies night $5 drink specials; I tried a Pink Lemonade with pomegrante juice and acai vodka which was delicious! It was a really great way to have a night out at a "fancy" place without breaking the bank. Monday night has never felt quite so fabulous!

It feels kind of ridiculous to position this as a "tip" but I can't even count the number of times I've seen something totally obvious online and gone "oh! duh!" So, if you're not the type to check out special nights and offers at your local hangouts, hopefully this can be your "oh duh" moment, and you can start enjoying some fabulous nights out! (Or days! Less expensive lunch menus are also a great source of more budget-friendly outings.)

Plus, fondue! Yum! If you've only ever tried the chocolate kind (also incredible), I would totally recommend checking out the cheese. It's super tasty! We went the the 3-course instead of the four, so I haven't tried cooking meat in the fondue pot yet, but hopefully we'll have another chance soon...another ladies night :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails