Sunday, November 30, 2008

the giving tree

as i was putting away the fall decorations yesterday, i stumbled when i came to our giving tree. this is the first year we have done one. it created a wonderful visual for us throughout the Thanksgiving season.

this is definitely a tradition we will carry on. although, it might become a more permanent addition to our decor!

Friday, November 28, 2008

spt - holiday feng shui

did you enjoy your Thanksgiving? did you get enough dessert? have you washed the dishes? walked off those extra calories?

yes?? good. now take a deep breath, because... here. comes. Christmas!

something about Thanksgiving falling late this year has me feeling very Christmas-y much earlier than i normally do. i have my cards already. i created my Snapfish book of holiday memories. i've been listening to holiday music since September (well, okay, there was a reason for that!) the sewing machine has been humming and the craft paint is drying.

i have two parades coming up. and three vocal performances. and Advent wreath making. and two company parties. and Little Christmas Eve to prepare for. so, what i'm saying is, no matter that i feel like i have a little bit of a head start: i have no doubt that december will bring it's own chaos!

you, too?

i don't want spt to add to the chaos. quite the opposite - i hope to continue to enjoy it throughout the holidays. to be able to find those moments throughout the season where i choose to be still. the challenge for us this month will hopefully give us an excuse to remember to care for ourselves while we are busy creating amazing holiday memories for all.

take deep breaths. channel your chi. don't sacrifice the small, still moments. enjoy them! and photograph them!

tuesday, december 2 love
tuesday, december 9 joy
tuesday, december 16 comfort
tuesday, december 23 joy
tuesday, december 30 hope

enjoy the season!

birthday good mail!

look at some of the goodness that came my way!!

natasha sent me perhaps the most thoughtful gift ever! she read my 100 list, and the gifts she selected were 100% me!! it gave me some serious warm fuzzy feelings!!

my highly-caffeinated friend, carlo, sent me this fantastic *scrabble tile* necklace with my word of the year on it!! again... i'm amazed at how well you women have gotten to know me through blogging. (isn't the wrapping paper adorable? a map of her "hometown.")

michelle sent me some of her wonderful tags, and jill gave me some of her self-designed note cards (jill, i LOVE the font. it's very *me!*)

i'm going to wrap up my birthday gift post with a shameless plug for joining facebook. if you are already using this social networking site, then you are familiar with how amazing it can be to reconnect with friends and family in an *almost* real-time venue. i received countless birthday wishes from cousins, school friends, camp friends and bloggers throughout the day. it was sort of like the gift that kept giving. check it out!

thank you, friends, for thinking of me on my birthday!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thankful outside of the box

this year, our extended family members are all out of town. which leaves us behind in southport. to feed all of their pets...

this happens every few years. when you are the oldest of four girls who are all now married, there are times that your sisters go to spend a holiday with their *other* families. and i sort of enjoy the quiet holidays from time to time.

i started the day here, which is a really nice way to start Thanksgiving Day, especially when you don't have to go home and prepare a feast!

we had leftover turkey breast, and we struck upon the idea of skipping the feast altogether, and going right to the leftovers. (did you see that the Food Network did an entire show on leftovers?!?)

of course, we didn't have leftover "anything else." just the turkey. so i set about making some Thanksgiving dishes so that we would have the "leftovers."

(does that seem a little twisted to you? jack thought so. but, anyway...)

cranberry smoothies!

"turkey and green bean casserole" pot pies! (i didn't have puff pastry in the house. so... i made my own. i know!)

fried stuffing with cranberry pesto! (what is better than bread dredged in bread crumbs and fried to perfection?!? nothing, i tell you!)

all in all, a lovely, if not-so-traditional, day.

i am giving thanks for all of my wonderful blog friends today. thank YOU all for GIVING so much!


i'm really glad i got up and ran the Turkey Trot. even though it was really cold. even though they ran out of t-shirts. even though my time was worse than last years...

i'm really glad i got up and ran the Turkey Trot.

Monday, November 24, 2008

post season

we wrapped up our first soccer season with a round robin "tournament" on saturday. i finally got my sweater weather!! (and then some...)

both of my parents braved the cold to see their future-soccer-scholarship-winning grandson. he did not disappoint! (i think he scored eight goals between the different games that day.)

the kids got little trophies, and jack was over the moon! he came right home and put it on the mantle piece. then he took a step back and i think he was waiting for me to ask him to move it (i'm very protective of my mantle piece decor, i guess!) i told him it looked great there!!

this was such a great experience for jack. he was on a team with friends from his old school and his new school, so it definitely helped with transition. his coach had great comments for him, and even whispered to him that he was the high scorer for the team (we don't keep track of score at the U8 level.) (well, *some* people don't.) just look at the peace and confidence on that face!

way to go, jack! looking forward to next season!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


ooh... i got tagged by a new blogging friend!! this list of questions is the perfect diversion for my lunch break (who needs to finish the annual budget, anyway?!?)

Were you named after anyone? eleanor from a great-great-(maybe great) aunt on my father's side. anne is my mother's and my grandmother's name. lelly is a nickname my husband uses.

Do you still have your tonsils? yes.

Would you bungee jump? i don't think i'd ever be able to step off the little platform.

What is your favorite cereal? i love to mix cheerios and rice krispies, or cheerios and raisin bran. (this was a little trick we learned growing up to make cereal more *exciting.* no sugar cereals for us.) (how, then, did i develop a little love affair with lucky charms? i blame the Ithaca College dining hall...)

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? nope

What is your favorite ice cream? mint chocolate chip

What is the first thing you notice about other people? i notice how they speak (or, if i'm blogging, how they "read.") i notice accents, phrasing, sentence structure, vocabulary. is that weird??

Least favorite thing about yourself? my body image

What is the last thing you ate? whole wheat toast. i'm currently waiting for my BLT. what is taking my co-worker so long?!?

What are you listening to right now? The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs (thanks for the suggestion, kelly!)

What is the last movie you watched? Chocolate. what was that, like three weeks ago?

What did you dream about last night? my friend michelle was delivering her sweet baby boy, and i had numerous dreams about that. had i known that he was actually born at 11 pm, i might have slept more soundly. but i didn't find out until 5 this morning.

Summer or winter? winter!!

Do you have any special talents? i am quite musical, i enjoy acting, i craft & sew. i am especially good at trolling the blogosphere for inspiration.

Coke or Pepsi? caffeine free diet coke.

Word you would hate to describe you? shallow.

What TV shows are on your DVR? Top Chef, The Office, Wizards of Waverly Place, Good Eats

it's back to work for me! i tag carlo, natasha and ann. (girls, you are supposed to add one question of your own to the bottom of the list.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


*i'm not sure what happened to the links from this morning, but never fear! Mr. Linky is looking into it!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

still filling up the blogosphere with useless junk

for some reason, this little tool is very pleasing to me.

on the day i was born (almost 39 years ago...)it was 41 degrees. i'd have to check, but i'm pretty sure that little piece of information wasn't recorded in my baby book.

it was 58 on my sweet 16.

and 70 the day i turned 21.

what fun dates will you look up?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

how do you like them apples?

jack won this round, hands down...

(thankfully, this was just a game. we are not currently experiencing this or this.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

photoless phriday

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? xbox
3. Your hair? shorter
4. Your mother? musical
5. Your father? charismatic
6. Your favorite thing? internet
7. Your dream last night? unremarkable
9. Your goal? balance
10. The room you're in? chaos
12. Your fear? unfulfillment
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? athletic
14. Where were you last night? scouts
15. What you're not? obnoxious
16. Muffins? pumpkin
17. One of your wish list items? iPod
18. Where you grew up? NY
19. The last thing you did? application
20. What are you wearing? pjayzees
21. Your TV? off
22. Your pet? decrepit
23. Your computer? slow
24. Your life? busy
25. Your mood? hopeful
26. Missing someone? mom
27. Your car? white
28. Something you're not wearing? teehee
29. Your summer? HOT
30. Love someone? family
31. Your favorite color? blue
32. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
33. Last time you cried? october

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

filling up the blogosphere with more useless junk...

You are the Sense of Sight

You are a very observant, detail oriented person.

You are able to take in a lot of information at once.

You often see things that other people never notice.

You have a good eye for design and aesthetics.

You love to be surrounded by beauty - natural or not.

When you imagine how something should look, you see it clearly in your mind.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

camp out

cub scout camp outs are great. i mean, really great! especially for the one mom in attendance. it's like... like a little trip back into time before civilization began!

there will be lots of strange smells.
there may, or may not be, enough sleeping bags packed.
there will be things thrown onto the cooking fire. all sorts of things.
there will be messes, despite your best efforts.
the bacon will be smoked. definitely smoked.
there will not be *facilities.*
there will be bee bee guns, before 8 a.m.

but there will also be a kind father who fetches coffee for everyone.
and a husband who offers to "keep an eye out." you know, when you're using the *facilities.*
and no rain.
and seasonal temperatures.
and a family of three that thrives with only two sleeping bags.
and seven scouts who learn their skit, and track deer and play with abandon the way only young boys can play in the great outdoors.

and sticky marshmallow smiles... the morning after.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

food network challenge

we love the food network challenge at our house.

last night, jack inspired a little food network challenge of our own. only, our cakes were made out of pop-up books. (have you looked at a pop-up book lately?!? they are veritable works of art!!)

jack was working with Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy (by Matthew Reinhart.)

i had The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-Up: Based on the Books by C.S. Lewis (Sabuda, Armstrong & Reinhart)

in each round, we had to choose a page as our "cake." after moving it to the table, we had to explain our inspiration, our sugar work, how we used our modeling chocolate... matty played keegan gerhard, and had the ominous job of judging our work. after seven rounds (whew!) we declared jack the winner, after he described how he used "glitter chocolate" to make C3PO.

we decided my style is very bronwyn weber, while jack is definitely duff goldman.

if you are a fan of beautiful pop-up books (the holidays are coming!), check out matthew reinhart's work here.

if you're a fan of the food network challenge, tune in at 7 pm eastern.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

so easy lelly could do it {?}

i mentioned in an earlier post that i sort of got overwhelmed by halloween crafty-ness this year. i was literally falling to sleep every night with visions of craft-projects-yet-to-be-completed twirling through my dreams.

not enough hours in the day, my friends. not enough hours.

joy, i tried my best!

despite the fact that our *mummy* looks like he's coming apart at the seams, this was a tasty treat, and the perfect filler-upper after an appetizer of sugar-with-a-side-of-sugar. i feel certain this will become an all hallow's eve staple in my house!

the witching hour

it is 8:25 pm, and i am alone.

i don't know if 8:25 pm qualifies as the *witching hour.* it should be midnight or something. but all is quiet, and i'm enjoying every minute of it!

truth be known, i've been alone all day. what a rarity!! matty works on sundays, so he was long gone by the time i awoke at 7:30. jack and i had to catch up on a few episodes of Top Design. just before the second episode ended, a friend called and offered to take jack for the day!! matty had to go straight from work to Dracula, then picked up jack on the way home. i had beef stew in the crockpot, and they arrived home just as my vocal group was leaving. and they were both asleep by 8 pm!


i really don't mean to blog the night away (i have had the film "Chocolat" from Netflix for over three months!! it is calling my name tonight.) but before i go and cuddle up on the sofa, a few images of our halloween.

jack insisted on a "buyable" costume this year. and i was finally willing to oblige. he wore his costume to his cousin's birthday party in atlanta last weekend, and to our town's trunk-or-treat on halloween. and i don't have a single photo of him with the mask on. eh.

matty was a crazy chef (not really a stretch for him!)

you cannot see them in this pic, but i wore my very subtle *horns.* we make a lovely couple, don't we?

somehow, trunk-or-treat always sneaks up on us. we didn't do anything elaborate. we draped the back of the car with black sheets, and set out this lovely table of goodies. the "drink me" and "eat me" props were just for show, but they were a fantastic conversation piece. matty had to leave early for Dracula, so jack and i held down the fort.

i never thought i would be a trunk-or-treat fan. growing up, we walked our neighborhood with our dad, while our mom stayed home to hand out treats. then one of them would drive us around to the homes that were to far to reach by foot. so the thought of parading around a parking lot (or park, in our case), seemed a bit off to me. however, i have grown to really enjoy it. jack doesn't seem to be a huge fan of trick-or-treating, so he makes a pass to the different cars, and then parks himself at ours to help hand out candy. it is over promptly at 7:30, at which point we head home, under a dark porch light, and enjoy the rest of our evening quietly.


i was in the middle of packing up my halloween stuff when i realized that i had not posted an spt challenge for november. isn't that how things happen this time of year? it is no surprise that on the day of halloween (not the day after mind you, but the day of), Christmas decorations had surreptitiously replaced the value-sized packages of orange-and-black clad candies.

and so we begin the procession of days, the countdown to the *perfect* holiday season. does anyone else wake up on november first, and feel like they're already behind the eight ball?

i can not think of a better way to embrace the path to the winter holidays, than to find ways to simplify. and so, we shall start here. the challenge for november is to simplify your self-portraits. each tuesday, take a self-portrait. and post it on your blog.

this month, our portraits will speak for themselves. at the end of four weeks, you will have four self-portraits that capture you in the moment. no doubt, you will be able to look back at your four self-portraits and notice subtle changes. you will remember little things about that day, just from the color of your cheeks, the play of light in the background, the gleam in your eye. what stories can you tell when you can't use words?

simple enough?