Holiday Gift Guide

It’s time again for my annual Holiday Gift Guide! In an effort to minimize confusion for anyone buying me gifts, here’s just a few hints of what I’d love to receive under my Christmas tree this year.

These are a few of my favorite things for 2011…


1. Ceramic Pig Speaker from West Elm ($49), 2. Orysia shoe in Natural Fabric from Nine West ($89), 3. Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney from Amazon ($23.10), 4.  Small Square Farmer’s Market Basket from Anthropologie ($14), 5. Vintage Station Wagon and Christmas Tree Flour Sack Tea Towel from Etsy ($8), 6. Blu Bijoux Silver Pyramid Stud Earrings from Max&Chloe ($28), 7. Women’s SmartWool Frilly Knee Highs from Sahalie ($23.95)

Noses are Deceiving

Now that [almost] all of the boxes are unpacked and I’m slowly able to start accessorizing rooms, I’m feeling more settled. Adam’s old “grandma chic” bachelor pad apartment is starting to feel like the home in which we’ll start our life together.

Every day this week I’ve made a concerted effort to make a visible dent in a random room as far as organization goes. I’ve stored books and papers from my old cubicle in my old dresser we refinished, hung pictures, replaced lamp shades, put away our china, and pulled out my Scentsy.

Y’all have one of these, right? I’m obsessed with mine. I love letting the scents permeate my apartment and now that I’m working from home all day you better believe I have it on all day every day.

Back in September, on a rare trip to Wal-Mart, I bought some wax cubes by Better Homes & Garden. I wanted to have seasonal fragrances like Apple Strudel, Pumpkin Pie, Blueberry Muffin, and Gingerbread. Tuesday, was my first day to use my Scentsy warmer since moving and I chose to put in a Gingerbread cube. I put it in mid-morning and had forgotten about it until Adam came home from work that evening.

He walks straight to the kitchen looking for a freshly baked batch of cookies. I felt horrible that the Scentsy led him astray so that night, we worked late cleaning the counters and putting away the remaining wedding gifts and serving pieces I already owned. Essentially, we made the kitchen usable.

And yesterday? Because I wanted an excuse to use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Adam got his cookies. Dark Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip.

This time, the scent he smelled as he walked through the door is edible! Given the fact that he ate almost an entire dozen by himself in one hour, I’d say he thought they were scrumptious!

Dark Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/4  cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla until all ingredients are blended.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating well as you go.
  6. Stir in chocolate.
  7. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  8. Bake for approximately 12 minutes.

Yield: 5 dozen

Honey, I’m home…

With moving and marriage also came a bit of a change to my work environment. I switched from corporate cube monkey to secluded homebased associate. I’m not complaining, I got to keep my job and I can work in my PJs whenever I want. 🙂

Here’s the thing, though, I’m not exactly the homebody type. I like to be social during work. I like knowing there’s someone I can yell pointless facts to over the cube wall. At home, that person for the better part of 8 hours everyday doesn’t exist. Unless you count the voices in my head.

Friday, in an effort to entertain myself and have a productive lunch break from work, I unpacked boxes. Progress feels good. Really good. Plus, I needed to know what we don’t have – decor wise – so that we could have a successful flea market/vintage shopping trip last weekend.

Then, as I was walking back to my desk to respond to emails and get back in the work groove I had an idea:

That’s right. A floor to ceiling “wall” of boxes built by me to greet Adam when he arrives home from work. I placed it strategically in the front door so he can open the door without actually knocking down the boxes.

I’m a genius.

And the funniest person I know.

Transitioned and Thankful

It’s been a month since I got married. A single, whirlwind month full of traveling, packing, Hog calling, unwrapping, unpacking, organizing, working, and more unpacking.

Needless to say, I’ve neglected my blog, but I’m in a groove now – or so I think – and blogging will return to normal soon.

In the meantime, my favorite holiday is upon us and the practice of giving thanks is something that also seems to be neglected in my day to day life. But, you see, I am thankful – I’m thankful for a lot of things.

I’m thankful that my husband supports and encourages me. That he tells me he loves me frequently.

I’m thankful for my health.

I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head, food in my kitchen and lots of warm scarves in my closet.

I’m thankful that everyday I can smile at a perfect stranger and get a smile in return.

I’m thankful that even in a new city, which I was hesitant to move to because it was smack-dab in the middle of Longhorn country, I already feel at home.

I’m thankful for my family, for the laughs we share and the memories we continue to make every time we’re together.

I’m thankful for my friends and their loyalty, even if I am almost a Texan now.

I’m thankful that the first place I learned to drive by myself to in Austin was Nordstrom Rack.

I’m thankful that I haven’t gotten lost yet – especially since I hear everyone gets lost when they first move here.

I’m thankful for an almost unpacked apartment and look forward to decorating it with flea market finds.

I’m thankful for inspiration found on Pinterest.

I’m thankful for the window next to my desk. It’s amazing what blue skies and sunlight do for my mood.

Most of all, I’m just thankful, for everything in my life.

I couldn’t imagine a life any better than what I have right now.

Halloween Honeymoon Horror

Yep, I’m officially a married woman – the wedding and honeymoon were absolutely perfect, and I plan to share a series of posts about them in the near future. Literally, I’ll be writing a series of posts, because I never want to forget certain moments or details from my wedding weekend.

Adam and I returned from a picture perfect honeymoon exploring Napa Valley, CA to a weekend of packing up my apartment in preparation for my move to Austin, TX.

Yeah, you read right – I’m becoming a Texan and moving to Longhorn Country. Last I checked, the world is still spinning.

Sunday, Adam headed back to Texas to clean and make room for my stuff to be moved in this weekend. When he arrived back at his apartment he called and told me that he was “perplexed” because his kitchen was in disarray. His blinds had been ripped to shreds, his desk area was disheveled and there were black spots everywhere.

Growing up in an old house, my immediate thought is a bird somehow got in while he was gone for the wedding and honeymoon. He’ll just need to find it and throw it away. Unfortunately, according to his stellar shit observation skills, he determines these droppings are not the kind most commonly associated with birds.

Ok, then. What is the culprit?

A mouse. He tells me he has had a mouse destroy his kitchen.

I’m immediately all, “I’m not moving to TEXAS to work FROM HOME with MICE!!!!” Seriously, little mice co-workers running beneath my feet throughout the day? No thank you. The move to Texas? Is off. For reals.

He tries to console me in a somewhat stressed voice, “Don’t worry my sweets, I’m headed to Wal-Mart to buy extermination supplies and will have this solved before moving you in Saturday. I promise, there will not be mice in my apartment by the time you arrive.”

Adam goes to Wal-Mart to buy supplies in Texas while I’m back on my couch in Arkansas procrastinating packing, reading blog posts about unwelcome guests and putting myself in her shoes. It’s not a good image in my head – I can assure you of that.

He calls when he gets back home to tell me he’s identified the “Bait”. His cycling energy bars that were left unopened on the kitchen counter. This is good, right? Never leave energy bars on the countertop. Lesson learned. Now let’s trap this mouse. Pronto!

He hangs up and spends the next 30 minutes cleaning and disposing of all food and other ruined items in his kitchen and desk area. Then calls with an update.

“Megan. It’s not a mouse.”

“It’s not?”

“No. I’m a little freaked right now”

“Why?”

“There’s a squirrel in one of the wedding gift bags.”

My first response is “WHAT?! Which bag? Are the gifts* okay?”

My second response is “YAY!!! NO MICE!!!”

My third response is “Is it dead?”

Adam responds, “I’m not sure. I’m gonna kick the bag.”

I wait…

“Ok, the squirrel didn’t move but I’m still afraid I might get attacked by it. What else should I do?”

This is when I suggest he take a broom and push the bag across the floor. He does so, deems the squirrel “dead as a doornail”, uses a garbage bag to pick the squirrel up and places it on his balcony as evidence for the apartment manager Monday.

Here’s the crazy part: No one has entered Adam’s apartment in 10 days. All of the doors and windows were shut and locked and the dryer vent appears to be properly connected.

In other words, there is no sign of forced squirrel entry.

But hey, at least I’ll have a really clean new kitchen to use once I get moved to Austin.

*No wedding gifts were harmed in this story