Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas- Part II

This Christmas we went to Bill's parents house and met up with his entire family- 4 other siblings, two other significant others and two dogs. I'm from a small family so holidays were never any different size-wise than any other day of the week. But here there is a certain energy that comes with the holidays- the energy of that comes with reunion.

Not to lose that energy for Christmas, we ended up engaging in the Christmas festivities on Christmas Eve so that his oldest sister, who was splitting her time up between her old family and new in-law family, could be part of the family Christmas gathering.

This year, to keep things in budget, we did a Secret Santa gift exchange instead of having everyone overspend for the entire family. Each person got a gift or gifts under $50, so everyone got a single something special. Bill and I, however, did give each person their own copy of a hand-drawn sketch of the family home (done by yours truly). Each one didn't cost more than the $5 Ikea frame so we didn't stretch too far over budget. :-)

(The annual family photo- reading from left to right: Liss, Sean, Mike, Deb, Sam, Jon, Mary, Bill, me and young Bill

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas- Part I

Friday night, Bill and I had our own little Christmas at home before we headed to his family's for the long holiday break. We started the night with our 11th Date of Christmas- meeting at Macy's for their Christmas light show. Well, actually, Bill made it to the light show and I made it about a mile away from the light show. I decided to walk the two miles to Macy's which meant I was about 15 minutes late. 15 minutes past the start of the 15 minute show. Oh well. I still got to enjoy the Macy's holiday decorations and got to at least see the giant light tree.

After heading home, we made a delicious steak dinner and started watching the George C. Scott version (aka the best version other than the Muppets) of The Christmas Carol. 

Bill and I also shared our gifts with one another- kind of a pre-Christmas Eve Christmas Eve. Bill got a backpack, a binder for his piano music, and some fun ice sphere makers from Japan. I got a beautiful eye shadow palette from Sephora and a dressing emulsifier. 

(That's Mr. Handsome Pants for those not in the-know) 

More to come soon! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the Tenth Date of Christmas...

My true love took me on a mini-date after getting the bad news that I didn't get the job I've been waiting a month to hear about. Total bummer to say the least. So we went up to the local coffee spot, Mugshots, for their weekly open mic. It was nothing special, but it was nice to get out of the house and enjoy something different on a Tuesday night.

Here's my handsome date...

And here's the hot chocolate we split (i.e. I drank all of)...

None of the acts were mind blowing but the first band was a classic rock and blues band a la Jimmy Hendrix comprised of a bunch of old black men who obviously had been playing together for a really long time. The drummer and bassist stuck around to play backup for the next act- a completely nuts white biker-type from Florida who, while talented, got a little over-zealous with the Lynyrd Skynryd act. The drummer was hella talented though as he was able to keep pace with the crazy Southern rocker when he had no idea what he was going to play.

We stuck around for one more set, two songs by two white-bread youngsters with a guitar. They had a good set of vocal chords between them but we believe their folky music could be categorized as "Christian Rock" so it was slightly uninspired and over-done.

We jumped out before any spoken word-ers took the mic but, all-in-all, it was a nice change of pace for a Tuesday night.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On the Eight (and Ninth) Date of Christmas...

We spent too much money. Yeah, we went out to dinner with Bill's piano teacher and his girlfriend. They are from out of town so we let them pick the restaurant. Their pick was Osteria, one of the best reviewed restaurants in the city from one of the top three chefs in Philly. Oddly enough, Bill and I, foodies we are, had never been to a Vetri restaurant (the chef), despite all of his accolades. So we thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally try ourselves some high-class Italian food.

And might I say it was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! Sadly, through, we didn't take any pictures. So here's some stolen ones...

The Lombardi pizza, which Bill got. Picture courtesy of Food Enthusiast.


Bill originally was supposed to run a 24 hour Tough Mudder run on Saturday, but after working so many late hours and not having enough time to train, he backed out. His two friends, one of which finished training to be an Army Ranger, did go. The idea of the course is to do as many laps as possible. Its not timed, you just have to do as many laps as possible in a 24 hour period. We found out earlier that the laps included water obstacles, which seemed ridiculous as it was already a hard, and cold, race. So early on Saturday, Bill heard from his friends, who told him that they weren't even able to finish one lap. An Army Ranger, who is one of the toughest people we know, couldn't even finish one lap due to all the ridiculous water obstacles. He even told Bill that he was smart for not going. Pretty amazing. 

That ridiculously-long paragraph said, Bill was available Saturday so we went out to a friend's holiday party. AND, of course, as the terrible blogger that I am, we didn't take any pictures of that either. But here's a few pics of our hostess's fun holiday decor. 

Both courtesy of Meet Me In Philadelphia, Ashley's blog. For those of you who weren't in the know a few months ago, I did a piece on her for the City Paper. You can check it out here


In other news, our present pile is growing. We're going to need a bigger apartment...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

On the Seventh Date of Christmas...

We went to see It's A Wonderful Life in an old theater! It was held at Phoenixville's Colonial Theater, the spot where Bill took me to see Casablanca on our first Valentine's Day. 

Phoenixville is a cute little town about twenty minutes west of Bill's work. 
Here's their decked out main street. 

This was the first time Bill had seen Its a Wonderful Life, or at least the first time he remembered it. I told him that I was sticking by my guns that its a timeless movie with a story line and situations that hold true even today. Believe it or not, he agreed with me! He liked it! He really liked it! 

See he's smiling cause he likes it! I'm smiling cause I have butter-covered popcorn. 

In fact, we even struck up a conversation on how George Bailey is a well-intentioned socialist and Mr. Potter, other than his stealing $8,000 and being a general grouch, is the poster boy of capitalism. 

Seeing the movie also gave me the opportunity to explain some of the things I do and say, like when I sing "Buffalo Gals" out of nowhere and when I say "Excuse me! Excuse me! I burped." Its probably no more endearing now, but at least now he knows. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Love

A few things I've been crushing on for the holidays...

Monogrammed gift wrap via Martha Stewart 

Super simplistic wrappings via Creature Comforts 


This fantastic jumper from Disco Pony. I couldn't pull it off - I'm too short- but I'm still swooning over that glittery low-back

Love this creative straw wreath from Women's Day!

Anything with citrus! (Also from Women's Day)

Boxwood decor via Snippet and Ink 

Tiffany and Co's enchanted advertising. Who cares about the jewelry! Give me that coat and some snow!

Lonny Mag's December issue- the home is the perfect mix of modern apartment with holiday elegance.

Fancy cocktails....

And more comfy drinks...

Like Design*Sponge's Rum-Spiked Egg Nog