Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Travel

Well 2015 is getting off to a great start!  
I got the best birthday present from Rob…a plane ticket to L.A. to see my nephew, and I can hardly wait until departure day, February 19th! My birthday isn't until March, but Rob knows how much I've been dying to get out there, so the planning has started. My nephew moved out to L.A. and I haven't seen him in over a year. To say I'm excited for this trip is a big understatement. Excited to see him, to see the west coast (I've never been), all the crazy/fun sites of Hollywood, city tour, the beach, warm temps, fun with Trevor, my first In-N-Out Burger, and maybe a celebrity sighting or two would also be fun! After all the OSCARS are in town that same week. No, it wasn't planned that way, but it's a fun bonus.  Yes, I'm that cheesy. :) Sadly Rob won't be with me, but I think it will be great to get that one-on-one time with just my nephew. Be warned for a photo overload when I return. Seriously, I'm not joking.

So if you have ever been to L.A., please share what I must do. My nephew is right in the city and close to lots of action. I know I'll hit up Rodeo Drive, so let me know if I can pick you up anything…perhaps a new Louis V?

Cali, here I come! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

Wow!  

I can't believe Christmas is over!



What an amazing holiday with the family!

Now it's time to recap all the fun with millions of photos!  

Well as you know, Rob and I hosted Christmas here in Baltimore. As I've said before, this was my first time waking up in my own house in the last 7 years. Rob and I are always with his family or my family at their homes. What a fun change to have everyone here, and it was definitely a lot of work. Fun work and all worth it, but hosting is definitely exhausting! I'm now sipping wine, relaxing with some music and enjoying the lights from my last tree.  All others have been taken down, along with the rest of the decorations. This is early for me, but for some reason I just kicked it in high gear today and started taking down decorations. The big tree will stay up for another week or two.  

So how was your holiday? Was it full of family, amazing gifts, more food than your body has ever consumed, and not enough alcohol?  That about sums up mine!  I speak for everyone in saying that we truly did have a blast. The only thing missing to make it even more perfect, was my nephew. Living in Los Angeles, he wasn't able to make it home, and we missed him terribly! The weather was fabulous, and honestly a bit warm for the end of December. At times it didn't even feel like Christmas when we were outside walking around in just a light jacket. 

Ok, so where shall we begin? I'll try not to let this drag on for too long, but I did take lots of random photos. Get me in the room with family, and that seems to be what happens.  Christmas Eve everyone arrived and we had a relaxed dinner at home…frozen lasagna.  Yep, I make my guests feel special right from the start. Nothing too fancy for my peeps! :)  After dinner we hopped in the car and enjoyed the lights on 34th Street here in Baltimore. Any fellow B'more gals out there, I'm sure you've been, and I'm sure you enjoy them just as much. They truly get you in the holiday spirit.  This was our first time visiting on Christmas Eve.  Its' just one block, and it's magical.  

 I need this large red crab for the front of my house. 

And here I thought I put so much work into my house decorations. Can you imagine how much time goes into this, especially having the energy to take it all down. This is always a must trip at Christmas!

The evening was topped off with milk and cookies as we all headed to bed waiting for Santa!
Christmas morning we enjoyed my not so famous Monkey Bread…why doesn't mine ever turn out like my MIL's? It's not that hard, but yet I seem to mess it up each time. My brother and SIL then cooked us all breakfast, and Rob started pouring the champagne for Mimosas.  


Our chefs for the morning! 
We took our time this year opening gifts and just enjoying breakfast. I don't think we finished opening up gifts until a little before 2:00. It was nice to spread it out and soak up all the fun. Rob was snapping photos while we opened gifts, and I love the photos he took of my SIL opening her diamond earrings from my brother. Yep, it's always a great Christmas when someone gets some bling!  

It's so fun shopping for my Dad, he's always getting the fun gadgets each year. Of course he also got a fresh bottle of Maker's Mark. It's always a gift that gets a smile! 
We all are so blessed and fortunate to have received such wonderful gifts, and now I can't wait for our recycling to come…I have a ton of empty boxes sitting in my living room. 

Christmas Day continued with family and even more food. Seriously, I have gained 25 lbs and that's not an exaggeration. 
However, I'm not worrying about it until 2015, and then it's going to suck getting back into the groove of running, gym, etc.  Until that point…cheers! 

We napped, watched The Christmas Story continuously, and just relaxed for the afternoon. Can you believe my SIL has never seen The Christmas Story? That's incredible, and shocking! Rob captured this photo of us chilling watching the movie, and Dad napping.  :) 
And don't even ask me what face I'm making, and my brother is apparently shocked by something! 

Later in the day we had some more family stop over, which was such fun. We don't see them as often as we'd like, and sadly my cousin lives 3 blocks from me and we never see each other. Nathan, let's make this change in 2015. 

After we hung out with my cousin and family, we all sat down for Christmas dinner. 

I cooked my first turkey! 

And not that bad if I must say so myself.  

Don't laugh, but these were the individual salad bowls I used for everyone. Not a bowl, but close to it, and I thought it would be cute and different. My Target $1.00 bin purchase that I dressed up with monograms and ribbons. Rob is always thrilled when he gets anything personalized. His Momma raised him right. Ha!


Everyone was planning on leaving on Saturday and beating the holiday traffic back home, so on Friday we enjoyed the last day walking around the harbor, after a quick breakfast spot in the neighborhood. 


We also did a first, and went to the top of Baltimore's World Trade Center. What an incredible view. Rob and I want to go back one evening at sunset.
Now that's a view!

I also love that it recognized the 9/11 victims, including the names sketched in glass. 

We ended the weekend with a casual dinner down the street, and then sadly everyone headed home the next morning. Why do holidays go by so fast? I loved every minute of it. 



Merry Christmas! 

I truly hope your Christmas was just as fabulous! 

And if this photo filled blog post wasn't enough, I'm closing with this exciting, and possibly scary family selfie as everyone was leaving. Another wonderful family celebration in the books! 
Happy New Year from this crazy fun family!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas cookies and family

Christmas is 4 days away…what the heck? How is this possible? I think I need more time! I've been running around like crazy to get everything done, and I know the day and the weekend I get with my family will go by so fast. In the meantime I've been enjoying all the Christmas movies on TV…I seriously can't get enough of all these cheesy holiday movies. I'm watching Home Alone right now as I'm typing up this post.

Two weekends ago, I enjoyed another annual cookie exchange with my best friends at Sally's. We each brought over a recipe or two and started baking. I can't begin to tell you the amount of cookies I went home with. Most of which have been happily consumed. While I didn't get many photos of us showing off our mad baking skills, I did snap a photo or two of Sally's decorations. Just when you think your house is decorated and looking fabulous, you walk into her home and then quickly realize your house is looking more like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Oh yes, these are fully decorated trees all throughout her house, and I actually think I forgot to snap a photo of one or two. She started well before Thanksgiving and for some reason didn't feel the need to stop over to my place and help me out! :)



I mean have you ever seen a house with more fabulous trees? I love them all and need them in my house! There wasn't an empty corner. Decorations everywhere and it all looked incredible.
 And just so you know, we really did bake cookies.  

Definitely another successful cookie party, and I have the added pounds to prove it. Thanks girls!

The holiday schedule continued this past weekend with a trip to NC to see Rob's Grandfather. It was just a weekend trip for us, with a quick stop off in Chapel Hill.
The weather was gorgeous and as always, I love the moments with his Grandfather. Such a sweet, sweet man that I have established a very special relationship with. He's so dang cute and I love our time together. He's my drinking partner as well…every day at 4:30.  Cheers!
While in NC I came across two amazing new stores. Both dangerous…one to my ever growing figure and one to my wallet. The first was this biscuit/donut shop I found when Googling places to have breakfast in the Chapel Hill/Durham area. Oh goodness it was incredible. Rob and I left very happy, and with plenty to sample. 2015 you are screaming diet!

 No, we didn't try the one with bacon, but I'll admit I was pretty tempted. This girl loves bacon!
The second was an incredible store in the small town where Rob's Grandfather lives. They've been there for 5 years, but yet I'm just now finding out about this place. Another find thanks to my random Google searches. This store was covered with cuteness, and I went Friday and Saturday.
My model posing with the large ornament I purchased, which will soon be personalized.
Fun new finds in the Carolinas! 

Hope y'all had a great weekend. Two more days of work and then I'll have a glass of wine in my hand for the next 5 days straight!