Monday, December 20, 2010

Change of Plans...

Apparently, there is a snowpocolypse in northern Europe, according to CNN.

Remember that flight we were supposed to take? The Christmas in London trip?

Well, we were canceled. Yesterday, they decided we couldn't take off because there was too much of the white stuff on the ground at Heathrow to make landing possible. We were all quite upset. They couldn't get us out until Tuesday and that was a maybe, given more snow predicted for next week. Given that all our hotels were now messed up because of the scheduling, and getting to our cousin's house in the country in the snow (while driving on the wrong side of the road) seemed dicey, there was only one option, really.

We took our money and went home. Got a refund for our plane tickets and poured everyone a drink back at the house. It was certainly a crappy topper to a crappy year of 2010. SERIOUSLY.

After a good night's sleep, we all woke up and started pondering - where else could we go? We wanted to see Europe and spend some time together on a fabulous vacation. We were getting all our money refunded from airlines and hotels, so we had the cash to spend. Where did everyone want to go?

We stumbled upon a yummy vacation timeshare that my mom had, and they had a two bedroom suite available for Christmas Eve through New Year's Eve in Malaga, Spain:

Um, hello?! We rebooked a flight via San Juan and Espana, here we come!

Feliz Navidad, everyone! See you in a much better 2011. SERIOUSLY.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Christmas in London

This was a great view on our flight to Dallas this morning.

We have another flight in front of us and we are hoping the Heathrow is open when we land.

Here's wishing you and yours a happy holiday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What I Wore Wednesday

Lindsey at the Pleated Poppy has this great link-up to focus attention on getting dressed and feeling cute about what you wear! What a great idea!

Thursday – work

WIWW Dec 9

The argyle sweater was a gift from my mom at some point in the past and is sooo comfy! This is before it got really cold around the area but it’s still cold in the office so sweaters are a nice thing to have. The brown pants are my standard work pants.

Friday – casual day at work

WIWW Dec 10

I have caught up with the fashionistas – here are my new skinny jeans! I found them at Goodwill, the same trip as the wonderful coat expedition. They were $4 and fit perfectly! I can tuck them into my tall brown boots and they look great. Yay!

Saturday - errands

WIWW Dec 11

This purple shirt is sooo comfy. It’s another Goodwill find, so it was probably about $4. The purple scarf was probably a gift from someone, so I can’t remember what that cost. I decided that since it was a bit cold, I wanted something more than just a shirt and the scarf was the perfect thing! I love this way of wearing one of those. It keeps me warm and is an accessory!


No picture because I forgot. :)

Monday – work

WIWW Dec 13

But it was 5 degrees when I woke up. FIVE DEGREES. I had to layer in serious proportions.

Tuesday – work holiday party!

WIWW Dec 14

I couldn’t find anything to wear for the annual holiday party that evening that didn’t make me feel ridiculous. So a festive purple long sleeve shirt it was.

I do need to mention that these are the new pants I found at Gordman’s on Black Friday. They are quite comfy and have POCKETS! I love pockets in pants for when I run events. I can carry my cell phone with me and not look weird carrying it. :)

Wednesday – another work event

WIWW Dec 15

So I should have worn THIS outfit for the holiday party the day before. But I didn’t find this cute sweater with a bit of sparkle in the weave until after the party when I was starting to shop my closet for the Europe trip packing list. In any case, I felt very festive for my office’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.

And yes, they felt appreciated by the end of the evening.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!


The text is a bit small, so here’s what it says:

A dream is a wish your heart makes…

Our hearts with you and your family the very best Christmas and all your wishes come true!

Love, Mike and Jessica


For those that didn’t receive one of these puppies in the mail, I wanted to send it to you now and hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, wherever that may be!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Semi-Silent Sunday

Florida Trip (123) 

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace

Numbers 6:24-26

Rest in peace, Meemaw.

You were the best grandmother-in-law a girl could ask for – and you were my favorite, too!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ode to Long Underwear

Flickr - smile4camera

On a cold Saturday evening, while I’m nice and warm inside, waiting for our view outside to turn into something like the picture above, I am left to ponder the wonderful-ness that is silk underwear.

O Long Underwear

How I love thee

You make me feel wonderfully warm and cozy

Even underneath my work pants

I don’t know how I lived in this frozen place without you

We should have met so much earlier

Walking across the frozen tundra of campus as an undergrad

You and my snow boots would have made such a pair

Even though we’ve only recently met

I know that we will become ever so close

Soon on our European vacation

O long underwear

How I adore thee

The fact that you’re silk makes it that much better

I wish I could wear you everyday


Ok, so I’m not much of a poet. But I sure do love my long underwear. They may just make an appearance every day this winter, even at work. Because I like them that much. :)

I think I’ll go put them on…


Friday, December 10, 2010

Five Question Friday

1. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Typically, we end up doing both. Some with one part of the family and the next morning with the others. And that doesn't usually count the various other Christmas-opening-events we've had with everybody else - including one side of the extended family around Thanksgiving.

2. What is your favorite Christmas cookie (or candy)?
I love a simply perfect sugar cookie with frosting and sprinkles. YUM.

3. What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever received?
Oh wow, that's kind of mean. I don't think I've ever received a bad gift - just some that I liked more than others. There's not one that I could call "worst."

4. Christmas song that you love?
"Mary Did You Know" - I cry every time we sing that at church.

5. How many trees do you put up?
We usually put up two - one main one with all our ornaments and then another smaller pink one for my Barbie ornaments that Husband refuses to let me hang on the big tree. This year, there aren't any decorations really up in the house, given that we're leaving a week from tomorrow for the big trip! Eeee!
Check out everyone else's answers at Five Crooked Halos.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I love getting things for less than retail price

Have you heard about Swagbucks? And about how you can search the internet and earn these “swagbucks” and use them to buy things?

I’ve been using the site for a few months now, with the hopes of saving up enough points to buy Christmas presents for the family or something equally exciting.

They say the best way to use Swagbucks is to redeem them every few weeks for a $5 Amazon gift card. You can then add those gift cards to your account and use them for whatever you need.

I’ve been saving up those credits and ended up with about $40 worth on Amazon. The other day when Husband and I were shopping for packing and vacation accessories, I realized we could get a better deal on these packing cubes on Amazon than in a brick and mortar store…

Ebags from Amazon

With the credit and Amazon’s free shipping, they ended up being $11 – for TWO sets! I got the green ones and Husband chose his in silver. Now we’ll be all organized for gallivanting across various hotels in Europe. Yay!

Amazon doesn’t know that I exist. Well, they do, because I buy things from them, but they didn’t endorse this review. Neither did EBags. Swagbucks, however, will give me some extra “swagbucks” if you click that little referral button on the my sidebar. But I’m the wife of a poor law student, so maybe that’s ok? :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Good and Bad of Goodwill

Ok, you know how I love Goodwill? And you know how there’s this one store in South County that I find great things?

Well, it didn’t disappoint last night!

For the London trip, I decided I needed a longer coat. The only long one I have is a black leather coat my parents bought me in high school for a DC trip. I love it but it doesn’t do well when you layer sweaters underneath it, so not the best for the Europe trip.

On a whim, I stopped by my favorite store for some browsing. And found this lovely…


She’s a knee-length red wool coat from somewhere (can’t remember the label) that is SO nice and warm and perfect for the layers of sweaters underneath it. Plus, it looks pretty awesome with my white microfleece hat, right? Yup, she’s pretty yummy.

Did I mention she was $10?

Sold. :)

But lest you think Goodwill is all roses and ponies, here is a coat that looked SO good on the hanger. It was the right length, right weight and it had a hood!


Um… no, I don’t need to look like a Jedi in Europe, thankyouverymuch.

I went with the first one.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

He loves Etsy almost as much as I do now

Etsy - funkyqualvintage

I’ve created a monster.

My husband discovered Etsy.

He found this vintage tie case from seller FunkyQuailVintage.

It’s got places for ties, cufflinks and other various things that gentlemen need in order to be appropriate dressed for a European vacation. Given that he’s also doing a study abroad program in Hong Kong in January that will need lots of professional attire, I figured it was a good thing to get him. :)

And yes, he knows he’s getting it, it’s not a Christmas present, hence me being able to post it here.

Can’t wait for it to get here so we can pack up all his ties for the trips.

This purchase got me one step closer to my 101 goal of purchasing from five new Etsy shops. Yay!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Cookie Walk Was Sold Out?!

My friend M and I took a field trip this afternoon while our husbands were studying for MBA finals coming up this week. We figured it was a good day to get out of the house.

It’s besides the point that it was 26 degrees and started out the day snowing.

It seemed like a good idea and a great time to try out my new silk long underwear before the London trip!

M had heard there was a Cookie Walk event in a little town south of St. Louis called Kimmswick. This historic town has a lot of charm and is always having various fairs and festivals – this time of year, it’s the Old Fashioned Christmas Festival. The stores are all decorated for Christmas, there’s lot of carolers and Santa and Mrs. Claus make an appearance.  They also had tours of the various historic homes as well.

And this year, there was a cookie walk. You paid $10, got a cookbook and at various merchants got a free cookie when you shopped during the festival!

Well, that is, if you were able to get a ticket. Apparently it was VERY popular this year (first time they’d ever done it) and so when we went this afternoon, they were sold out.

But that didn’t stop M and I from wandering around the town and doing some shopping! :)

Here are some pictures…

 Kimmswick Festivus (10)

There were so many neat Christmas decorations, but I fell in love with these trees to tell the street number of this little shop!

Kimmswick Festivus (11)

Almost of all the stores look like this – adorable names, great Christmas decor and gift ideas. I could have spent SO much more money, but I behaved myself.

Kimmswick Festivus (2)

Hehe. :)

Kimmswick Festivus (3)

And then there was this shop. Oh sure, it looks most innocent from the outside! And then you go inside. Not everything was like this, but I had to take a picture of a mug that I’m SURE my husband would want me to buy…

Kimmswick Festivus (1)

Needless to say, this mug did not come home with me. But I had to take a picture. When I showed Husband the picture, he said he was going to drive back to Kimmswick and find it. ;)

Kimmswick Festivus (8)

A few hours into shopping, M and I got a bit hungry and she said no trip to Kimmswick is complete without eating at the Blue Owl Restaurant. Well, since it’s the only restaurant in town, I figured we might as well.

I am SO glad we did. Everything in this place is homemade – and tastes amazing. I had roast beef, mashed potatoes and creamy corn hash and it was INCREDIBLE. Just when I thought I couldn’t eat anymore, our wonderfully perky waitress K asked if we wanted dessert.

M gave me a look that said, we HAVE to have some pie. You don’t have to tell me twice! Here’s what we ordered…

Kimmswick Festivus (4)

Yes. That’s M’s apple pie and my French silk pie.

This is a Blue Owl staple – Levee High Apple pie. I wish I had got a picture of it, but I didn’t have my camera with me in the bakery. They claim this apple pie contains 18 full granny smith apples to make up that amazing desserts.

All I can say is wow. We definitely took home some pie in doggie bags.

Kimmswick Festivus (9)  

We saw this sign at the last place we stopped. It just says it all. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Little Shopping Does a Lady Good

To prepare for this crazy European trip (that starts two weeks from TODAY. Um. YIKES.), Husband and I did some shopping last night.

If it’s going to be around freezing and snowing in London and Paris, I needed some serious help in staying warm. Someone suggested long underwear, so off to REI we went.

After trying on the yummy Patagonia smartwool black undies, I decided I didn’t need to spend $60 on something no one would see, and so got the cheaper REI-brand version. Hopefully it will keep me just as warm for cheaper. It’s silk, so it can’t be all bad!

We ended up at the Container Store and Husband got some organizer-type things. I found this neat bag and thought it would be a good thing to have for the trip’s toiletries, to combine everything in to one bag that actually could hang on the back of the bathroom door – but Husband issued a challenge.


He said that I could buy the bag – if that was the ONLY toiletry bag I took along on the two-week trip.

Um, say what?!

Kids, it’s only 10" x 3-3/4" x 6-3/4" h according to the Container Store’s website. There are three little sections and two of them are not flat openings, you can actually put bottles in there and not squish them when you fold everything up.

So yes, it’s possible. But he said EVERYTHING. That means my morning routine, shower things, hair stuff and make up…

This might not be possible.

He then relented in allowing me to exclude the trial hair dryer from the packing requirement. But that’s still a LOT of things to get in a relatively small bag.

But I won’t need make up in Europe, right? Maybe that travel flat iron would fit instead of three brushes. That’s why it’s called economizing, right?

Someone tell me I’m not crazy. Can I make that work?

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Few Lists for a Friday Afternoon

Mrs Doctor at Life of a Doctor’s Wife posted a few lists today that seemed to be a wonderful way to recap a Friday. I told her that I’d probably borrow it and post my own answers to her lists, so here I am, doing just that.

5 Things I Want to Do But Cannot Do No Matter How Hard I Try

  1. Manage to dress myself every morning without over-thinking things
  2. Eat scallops
  3. Wear jeans tucked into boots without looking like a farmer
  4. Argue with/confront someone without crying – blatantly stolen from Mrs. Doctor because it’s so true for me too!
  5. Not hate my hair the minute after I’ve styled it for the day

5 Things I Want to Do But Not Quite Enough to Expend the Effort to Do Them

  1. Exercise a few times a week
  2. Cook a real meal for myself and Husband every night
  3. Read all those books from high school that I didn’t really enjoy back then
  4. Stop drinking caffeine
  5. Keep my house as organized as I really would like

5 Things I Want to Do and WILL Do

  1. Start my own wedding planning business.
  2. Travel somewhere in the world with my husband where we’ve both never been (this has never been the case)
  3. Have a child (God willing)
  4. Decorate our dream house after we buy it
  5. Learn to say a few words in French – and know what I’m saying!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

  1. Raises. Because I got one today. :) 3% across the board for cost of living and then another $1000 just for me being awesome. This is pretty amazing because I haven’t received one of these in the three years I have worked at my non-profit. That, combined with the praise from my boss, made for an awesome day.
  2. Beer. Not because I particularly like it, but because it allows me to get together with other SLU alums and have fellowship. Pretty awesome, actually.
  3. London. Because I leave in two weeks on Saturday. Not sure how I’ll get everything done that needs to be done, but soon we’ll be in snowy London (praying for the airports to reopen) and it will all be ok. And I’ll be thinking about Dad the whole time.
  4. Hidden Mickeys. :) I found this at Walgreens the other day and had to buy it. Makes me smile every time I pull up to the townhouse.

Hidden Mickey

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving in Kansas City Recap in Pictures


  2010 Thanksgiving Weekend (2)

The drive to Kansas City from St. Louis wasn’t very fun. There was lots of rain and fog and grossness. It wasn’t light for very much of the drive, which didn’t help either.

2010 Thanksgiving Weekend (3)

Candy helps the trip go by a bit easier.

    2010 Thanksgiving Weekend (7)

In Kansas City, we saw our first Christmas lights! :)


2010 Thanksgiving (23)

My mom’s best friend had sent my brother and I these pictures of my Dad, framed and ready to join us at Thanksgiving. Isn’t that sweet?

We really needed to have Dad there at dinner with us. Even if he didn’t have a place setting, he was there. We did have a sort of sad moment (well, there were lots, but still)… we ate dinner at my aunt’s assisted living facility in a private dining room for just our family. We walked in and there were ten places set for just the nine of us. I said I thought the waiters couldn’t count and then Mom realized that she had counted Dad in the number she had given to the chef. That wasn’t exactly fun and I felt awful for dwelling on the mistake.

We went around the table in Dad’s family tradition and said what we were thankful for this year. And then I gave a toast and we remembered Dad. Lots of tears, but we got through it!

 2010 Thanksgiving (27)

Mom picked up these cute napkin rings at Kohl’s to go with the provided napkins. It added some nice color to the table!

2010 Thanksgiving (28)

Brother and Husband.

2010 Thanksgiving (30)

I only have one cousin on my mother’s side and that’s him with his new wife! :)

 2010 Thanksgiving (31)

Grandma (mom’s mom) and her husband. Aren’t they adorable!

2010 Thanksgiving (35)

My view of the table. :)


  2010 Thanksgiving Weekend (11) 

We didn’t get up before dawn… we were at the stores by 7:30 am and missed a bunch of the sales. :( But we weren’t looking for presents for other people but stuff for us, so not a big deal!

2010 Thanksgiving Weekend (14)

Wait, doesn’t everyone open Christmas presents at Thanksgiving? Well, our family does! We want to exchange presents while everyone is in town, and see the either elated or confused looks when they realize what their present is.

2010 Thanksgiving (38)

Apparently Husband had the camera at this point. Don’t look at the hair. It was an early morning without a style due to Black Friday shopping!

 2010 Thanksgiving (39)

See: confused look about the present.

2010 Thanksgiving (42)

My cousin and his mom, my mom’s sister.

2010 Thanksgiving (45)

Husband got some neat old sports books from my aunt that she had found in a thrift store. She does such a great job finding gems like that!

2010 Thanksgiving (1)

Me and Grandma. :) That’s her new scarf that I gave her for Christmas.

2010 Thanksgiving (2)

I have no idea what Mom is doing here. But I really like her shirt!

2010 Thanksgiving (5) 

Oh boys, I was so jealous when I saw the suit she got from her sister! I want one of those! So cute. :)


2010 Thanksgiving (11)

2010 Border War, baby!

 2010 Thanksgiving (12)

Missouri vs Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium – it’s a tradition three years in the making.

2010 Thanksgiving (15) 2010 Thanksgiving (16) 2010 Thanksgiving (17)

I love the bands performances! They are just amazing.

2010 Thanksgiving (21)

Cousins. :) This picture reminds me of another one we took, about a year ago…

2009 Border Wars

Same shirt even. I didn’t realize that until I was at the game. Dad must have been smiling in his Mizzou cap to see the Tigers win.

I flew home on Sunday and did laundry. All in all, a good holiday weekend.