30 December 2011

The life cycle of a Snowmen Christmas Card

Every year I like to do a handmade Christmas card (2010 & 2009) this year I decided on cross stitch snowman. I knew they would take time, but they took a bit more time than I expected...

First the top hats, heads and bodies

Next the scarves

Outlines and buttons

Cut out and fray edges

Clean up the backside

Clean up ALL the backsides

Attach ribbon with three additional cross stitches

Sew to card

Finish with flare

29 December 2011

Ha(d) (my)self a Merry Little Christmas

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I had a quick, busy, and fun time back in Missouri, it involved:

Making santa hat brownies

 Helping my sister Beth decorate for her party

Making felt ornaments (speaking of which I think I may of left mine back home, mom?)

 Our traditional cedar Christmas tree (& gifts!)

Babysitting my niece (she ate the entire banana!)

Family photos disrupted by a dog and made lively by a baby

 And festive holiday tables decorated with cute jar bread

And much more!

25 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 25}

Merry Christmas from Missouri!

We always cut down a cedar tree from our farm, nice pick dad!

24 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 24}

Happy Christmas Eve! Last night the ladies of the family gathered at one of my sister's houses to enjoy mini Christmas treats (tiny ham and cheese quiche, sweet potato cups, stuffing balls, cranberry sauce on crackers, shortbread with dolce de leche, and santa hat brownies), Christmas punch, Christmas Craft, and Christmas conversation.

Tonight we have another round of fun and food!

My Mom and Niece at my sister's Christmas Cocktail party

23 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 23}

This year's tree is from California, it is something like 118 years old! That made me sad at first, but there are probably lots of trees its age, where it came from. The tree was decorated by Californians, which included Lakers jerseys and a rubber chicken (not sure how that is related). The tree was gorgeous and tall and worth the mile walk to and fro.

The Capitol Christmas Tree 
The tree loved getting its picture taken

21 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 21}

The National Botanical Gardens are decorated inside and out, but you have to arrive before 5 to see the inside. I peaked in a window and saw part of the train display.

National Botanical Gardens

20 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 20}

A much shorter version of the Empire state building lights, but here we have it twice!

One Franklin Square in Red & Green

17 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 17}

Hotel Monaco Washington
One lesson I've learned:  Street lights make night photography challenging.

16 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 16}

I've noticed the lobbies of most of the office buildings have a Christmas Tree, mine is no different. Makes me smile every time. 

I've got a sneaking suspicion that those packages are empty

15 December 2011

Magic bars & Supermarket meltdowns

My sister posted her favorite cookie recipe on her blog the other day and since I had my first holiday party at my new job (old job party = renting out an entire restaurant, unlimited food, unlimited drinks, DJ, and dancing. new job party = lunch in conference room, a few decorations and everyone brought in pop and desserts) and I knew I had to bring in a stellar dessert so I decided to try making them myself.

But my lifelong (read going on 5 year) problem of city living grocery shopping reared its ugly head again. The recipe called for butterscotch chips, but Whole Foods, Safeway*, and last ditch effort CVS only had chocolate chips, lots and lots of different types of chocolate chips. Luckily Kristen suggested substituting caramel. Only she didn't say how and when I called she didn't answer (I think it was during the Chiefs game). So I bought some caramels and improvised. 

Caramels ready to melt

Pounding graham crackers is therapeutic 
Chopping nuts also very therapeutic

I really need an 8 x 13 pan,
They were a success! There were a lot of desserts and mine were gone first (or maybe second or third, who is counting?). 

*Side story-
While I was in Safeway looking for butterscotch chips a lady came over to the baking section, freaking out about there being no 1 lb bags of wheat flour. Now correct me if I am wrong, but flour generally comes in 5 lb bags. She was complaining to a guy working at the store and seemed to be getting so upset I had to chip in...

Me: Well it stays good for awhile at least.

Freakout flour lady: But thing is it DOESN'T

Safeway man: Well looks like we have self rising flour in the 1 lb.

Freakout flour lady: That's not the same thing, ugh, I want to make cookies, I only want to make one batch of cookies, you don't want me getting fat do you??

Me: You could make bread or pizza dough 

Safeway man: Well I'm sorry mam I'll ask about adding 1 lb bags to our stock.

Freakout flour lady: Yes you should, your customers live in the city and carry their groceries and doesn't have a big family and can't handle a 5 lb bag of flour.

Safeway man: Sorry mam (and walks away)

Freakout flour lady picks up the flour, puts it down, huffs and puffs and walks in circles

25 Photos of Christmas {December 15}

Frosty the Paperballman

13 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 13}

This seemingly normal flooring store had these awesome retro looking trees made out of carpet in the front window.

Carpet trees covered in carpet snow

12 December 2011


Sunday night I attended my second blogger meetup. This one was also organized by {av} of Long Distance Loving as part of her blog tour blogger blitz. She originally emailed me about blogger blitz NYC so I surprised her by signing up for the DC round. These blogger meetups are like a online date, you've already checked out their profile (blog), seen a picture of them, and know that they like sequins, but unlike with dating you are guaranteed to have a good time.

I had a great time and met some great ladies, even one who lives less than a block from me. The two hours flew by and as I was signing my check some guys at the bar asked me what was going on.

guy: so what are you ladies

me: bloggers

guy: what do you blog about

me: all sorts of things, lifestyle, fashion, food, you know

guy: do you do video blogs?

(I haven't been asked this before)

me: uh, I don't, I guess some of them might

bartender: where are you from?

me: Missouri

bartender: what part?

me: south of Kansas City

bartender: I was born at Whiteman

me: no way! thats awesome! I'm from south of Warrensburg!

(I always get way too excited about Missourians (unless they are from St. Louis then I'm regular excited))

guy: the waitresses said the bloggers aren't drinking, why don't bloggers drink?

me: um I had some wine... I don't know, some have a long way to drive home

Anyway we got lovely name tags (see below) and lovely blog directories.

I knew there would be fancy blogger cameras there so I didn't dare take my point and shoot camera or pull out my palm to take pictures.  Head over to my new blog friends' blogs to see some pictures of the gathering.

and Kelly from Washington Prep (no pictures but a great eggnogg cake)

25 Photos of Christmas {December 12}

I love my neighborhood. I mean I already knew I liked it. A Whole Foods around the corner, a convenient CVS, some shops and cute restaurants, and an easy walk to work. But after discovering a few of the nightlife options over the weekend (very hip and cool and just my style) and strolling up 14th street (tons of neat/independent/decorated for the holiday shops) to catch the green train on my way to get my DC driver's license (DC still lets you smile!) I realized that there is a lot more my neighborhood has to offer (and i like it!).

Hang low the mistletoe

10 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 10}

Apparently the National Christmas Tree was knocked down by some strong winds earlier in the year so the tree is new this year and not very big (26 ft I believe). However it is still enjoyable (and nowhere as crowded as the Rockefeller Center tree). The coolest part is the model trains and villages they have set up and running around the tree. You can also visit Santa in his satellite workshop.

The tree, the train, and the monument

Train village under the tree

08 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 8}

I walked down to the Eclipse to check out the National Christmas tree. Surrounding the National Christmas tree are 55 or so smaller trees representing each state and territory of the US (bonus points if you can name the 5 or so), decorated by someone from that state. I checked out all the trees paying extra attention to the places i have lived.

The Missouri tree was nice with simple yet attractive ornaments from Joplin.

03 December 2011

25 Photos of Christmas {December 3}

Today I went to the Swedish Embassy for a Christmas Bazaar with a blogger friend Leanna and her friend. There were baked goods to eat (I had a delicious gooey brownie type thing with whipped cream), Swedish goods to buy, and a St. Lucia procession with real candles and beautiful voices. 

Big Swedish tree

Little Swedish tree

St. Lucia procession