Thursday, December 23, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

This year, instead of buying presents for each other, Paul and I decided to buy toys to donate to Toys for Tots.  I was just feeling like I have everything I could need or want and I really wanted to do something special this year.  I have always been so blessed in my life to not have financial worries and I wanted to pay that forward.

Paul and I don't have kids yet and we don't even have nieces or nephews so it had been a LONG time since we'd taken a trip to the toy aisles of Target.  You should have seen us!  We spent a good hour wandering up and down those aisles marveling at all the cool new toys and feeling nostalgic for all the old ones we had as kids (I told Paul we had to get at least one Barbie because she was always my favorite when I was little).  There were so many options to choose from, it was overwhelming!  Of course, I ended up picking out the girl toys and Paul did the boys'(he told me the baby doll I picked out was stupid~such a boy!).  We had so much fun and the best part was thinking about those little kids' faces when they open their presents on Christmas morning.  Hopefully we made a few Christmases a little brighter this year :)

What were your favorite toys as a kid?  I loved Barbie, My Little Ponies and Cabage Patch Kids.  Paul loved Leggos.

P.S. check out this Christmas charity sponsored by the US Postal Service.  I think it's such a cool idea, but it's only available in certain cities and states~Colorado not being one of them :(
Read some of the letters and if you can get through them without crying, please tell me how!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

feelin' the love

Wow I can't believe Christmas is only a few days away!  We have some really fun plans and I can't wait to tell you all about them, but before I can truly celebrate, I have to get through the rest of today and tomorrow at work.  WAAAAAH! *in my best Snooki voice* 

It's been especially hard to be chained to my desk at work this week when all I want to do is wrap presents, watch Christmas movies, spend time with my family, bake cookies (you get the idea).

I whine about my job sometimes, but I actually have it pretty great and that's mostly due to the people I work for.  They are some of the sweetest people on the planet and I'm SO thankful for that.  It really is nice to work for people that appreciate you and your contributions and tell you so!

I am seriously one lucky girl because I've been showered with gifts at the office all week...

Wine and a Chocolove chocolate bar from Digger.  I haven't tried the wine yet, but I ate the chocolate in about 2 seconds flat. OH MY WORD it was delicious, maybe the best ever!  I love the combination of chocolate and sea salt so I was in heaven. (FYI, you can buy Chocolove  from Whole Foods)

A gift certificate for a pedicure at my favorite nail spa from Botsy.  I can't wait to use this puppy!  
 *pure bliss*

Homemade Kahlua from Erin.  I'm loving the little glass bottle and festive gift tag~can't wait to try it!  (I told Paul to put some in his coffee before work this morning haha)

And the grandaddy of them all~a $105 gift card to the St. Julien Spa for a full body massage from Barbara.  I about fell out of my chair when I opened this one.  Seriously, I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I am beyond grateful and excited :)

Most of all, I am just very grateful to have a job in a time when so many people do not, and they are struggling to make ends meet each day.  Please pray for those people this Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Last weekend Paul and I had the privilege of staying here:
 the brand new Ritz Carlton Club in Vail.  Oh, and did I mention we stayed for free?  Ok seriously, we are so lucky.  Our sweet friends from college, Chad and Jack, work for Vail Resorts and for the past few years they've been working on this project.  It was finally completed a few weeks ago and they invited us to come up and stay with them in a three bedroom condo (DIE!). 

Look at this place!
 (I totally forgot to take pictures of our condo, so I swiped these from the net)


This is the one picture I managed to take~the view from our balcony.

The mountains in Colorado have been getting a ton of snow already this season which is rare.Vail got 14 inches of new snow over the weekend and all of the locals were saying this was the most snow they'd ever seen in December.  We couldn't pass it up, so we decided to ski on Saturday.  It was pretty fun, but I'm NOT a great skier (I only do greens and some blues) and I'm definitely what you would call a fair-weather skier.  It was a little too cold and snowy for me and by 2:00 I was ready to hit the hot tub!  But I do have to say that my hubby was so sweet and stayed on the greens and blues with me until I was ready to quit for the day (I think he was rejoicing when I did go so he could do some double blacks haha).

On Saturday night we went to the OAR concert in the Vail Village.  Once again, Chad and Jack hooked us up and gave us VIP passes for free food and booze (sweet!) and behind-the-scenes access.

Tinsley (Chad's girlfriend) with her rum and hot cider.


It was such a fun weekend!  Thank you Jack, Chad & Tinsley~you're the best!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

shopping 'til I drop

My bestie, Sara, and I met up last weekend for some Christmas shopping and lunching.  I always love to cruise the mall when it's all decked out for the holidays; I think it's so fun! (no, this is not a pic from last weekend, this is us shopping in Italy, er, Vegas)  I saw/bought some cool stuff that I wanted to share with y'all.

"Jeggings" from Ann Taylor Loft (for those that don't know, jeggings=jeans+leggings).  First of all, let me just say that when I heard about jeggings a year ago, I was mildly horrified by them.  I think I even said to myself, "Who would wear those?!?"  But a few months ago I was looking for some skinny jeans that were even skinnier than the pair I already owned (I wanted to be able to comfortably pull my boots on over them) and I saw these.  I decided to try them on just for fun, and low and behold, I LOVED them!  They're great because they look just like jeans, but they're way more comfortable and they cost less.  Wahoo!  I seriously wear them ALL THE TIME (in fact, one of my friends made a comment about it the other day, kinda embarrassing).  And once Sara heard me confess my new found love of jeggings, she had to see for herself, so we strolled on over to Loft and scooped up a pair.  Check these out for yourself! 
*FYI, the jeggings are slightly less scary if you have the right boots and top to pair them with.  Ideally you want knee length boots and a top that's a little below hip length.  The model in this pic has it all wrong.

This nail polish from Sephora is so fun and festive!  It looks good on its own or on top of another color.  The one thing I will say though, is it's really hard to take off.  Apparently this stuff is selling like hot cakes though, because it was all gone when we were there.  One of the sales ladies told us they got a shipment in the day before and they were already sold out!

I bought this sweater from GAP for myself.  That's terrible, I know, I was supposed to be shopping for other people but they were having a sale and I couldn't resist.  All of their sweaters were 50% off which means I got this one for $25.  Mine is actually a light brown color that doesn't appear to be on the website.  I love it!

Look at this neat little contraption I bought for my Oscar pup from Marshalls (the brand is Outward Hound)  Yes, that's right, it's a camel back for dogs.  It even comes with a little collapsible water bowl.  I hate carrying water on hikes.  Now Oscar can do it for me haha!
My brother told me he liked this sweater from Rag & Bone, so I was on a mission to find a similar one for his birthday present (his birthday was Sunday).

I found this one from Express.  I thought it looked pretty close AND it was about 1/3 of the price!  I bought it in black.  He loved it (or at least that's what he told me haha). 

It was a pretty successful trip to the mall, but I still have tons more to do!  Good thing for me, I love to shop :)
Are you all done with your Christmas shopping?


Friday, December 3, 2010

Chocolate Pecan Pie

This was my one contribution to the Thanksgiving table this year-chocolate pecan pie.  This is my Aunt Carol's recipe and it is ah-mazing!  I make it every year for Thanksgiving and people always just rave about it, so I thought I would share it.  Oh and it's super easy!

  • 1 unbaked 9" pie shell (you could make your own, but I just used pilsbury because I'm lazy like that.  Plus I love that little dough boy)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick of butter-melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Step by step:
Beat eggs,

add sugar,



 and butter.

Mix until just blended.

Add pecans and chocolate chips.

Mix until combined and pour into unbaked pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees~about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving-Coach's Wife Style

As you all probably know by now, my life revolves around football-and  let me tell you, the holidays are no exception.  Every team Paul has ever been on always plays a game the day after Thanksgiving and as a result, our Thanksgiving is always planned around that game.  This year that game was in Lincoln, Nebraska, and in the hopes of eating Thanksgiving dinner with my hubby, I made plans to go too.  But as every coach's wife will tell you, the best laid plans.......wait, what's the rest of that quote???  Oh I can't remember.  All I know is my plans got screwed up. 

As it turned out, the football team stayed in Omaha instead of Lincoln which meant no turkey dinner with my sweet and although we were in the same state for 24 hours, I only saw his face but for five minutes after the game (which we lost).  What a bummer.

But it turned out ok, because the next best thing to spending Thanksgiving with my hubby, is spending it with family and that's what I did. 

Paul's relatives on his mom's side all live in Lincoln and his Aunt Pat and Uncle Bob were nice enough to invite me, my mom, dad, and brother to stay with them for the weekend.  Bob and Mary (Paul's parents) stayed there too.  We all went to Paul's Aunt Colleen and Uncle Mike's house for Thanksgiving dinner and it was so much fun!   

We ate too much, drank too much, watched football (of course), and played a really fun card game called pass the trash.  Anyone ever played it?

On Friday we went to Paul's cousin Michael's tailgate before the game.  He's a huge Cornhusker fan...can you tell? 

The tailgate was awesome!  Once again, I ate way too much.  In fact, I think I ate more at the tailgate than I did on Thanksgiving if you can even believe that.  I had never been to a game in Lincoln and I have to say that even though we lost, it was a rather pleasant experience.  Their fans are really nice. 

Of course, we were sad about the loss.  We would have loved to win the last game of the season and have a chance at a bowl game, but you know what they say about the best laid plans........oh there I go again!

So despite a few mishaps, it was a happy Thanksgiving.  And let me just say, there are so many things I am thankful for this year, but one in particular is my wonderful husband who works so hard (even on holidays) to provide a bright future for us, and who loves me so much.

I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving!