Friday, December 30, 2011

The Bean Team MS Fundraiser at The Paint Bar

Isn't this painting adorable?  Wouldn't you love to have one that YOU painted hanging in YOUR living room?  You can!  Just sign up for the fundraiser that Jenn and I are hosting at The Paint Bar to raise money for the MS Challenge Walk (yes we really are going to walk 50 miles in 3 days for MS).  For every person that registers for this event and mentions our fundraiser we get $10 doanted back to our fundraising efforts.  That could be a total of $500!  So what are you waiting for!?  Go to this link and register now!!!!  Spread the word to all of your Mass friends.

The Bean Team MS Fundraiser at The Paint Bar
Saturday, January 21st at 6:30 PM

Refreshments will be served
Raffle prizes and 50/50 raffle 

To read about the other times I've been to The Paint bar go here and here.  I love The Paint Bar and think you will too.  It is a lot of fun and you will be impressed with the painting you are able to complete.  If you can't make it to the event but would still like to donate you can do so by going here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Through The Years {Family Photo at Christmas Time}

So there you have it. . . My Family through the years at Christmas time.  My digital photos only go back to 2004 so I would have to dig to see if I have any from prior to that. . . glad we have this tradition of taking a family photo each year.  I love seeing how we have all changed.  I love seeing Peyton at her first Christmas in 2007 at just 4 weeks old and now seeing her in 2011 at 4 years old!  I love seeing the change in hair styles and clothes.  I love seeing how really while so much has changed we really are just the same old bunch.  So lucky to have such an amazing family!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Peyton the Photographer

Today while I am in surgery having the screws removed from my feet I thought I would share with you some of Peyton's "works of art." For the 2nd Christmas in a row Peyton borrowed my camera to take some pictures and she did a pretty good job. Check out some of my favorites for yourself. . .

I think my favorite has to be the one of everyone's feet.  Haha!  I kept saying to her "make sure you can see people's faces before you take the photo."  I guess she thought getting another perspective would be good.  I deleted several photos of inanimate objects like slippers, toys, bowls, etc.  The girl likes still life I guess.  I also like the view of all the "tall" people since she is always looking up at her subject. The cutest thing she did was hold the camera up to someone and say, "ok everyone get together" and we all just laughed.  She is a funny one!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Cooking

Christmas Veggie Tree
My mom isn't even on Pinterest (but I am so follow me) but this looks like something you would find on there!  She actually went to a Whole Food food demonstration and they taught her how to make this!  Isn't it the cutest?  You basically just buy a styrofoam tree and then use toothpicks to make all the veggies stay.  She wouldn't let us eat off the tree "until everyone in the family arrived!"  Haha!   

Buffalo Chicken Ring
I did find this recipe on Pinterest and HAD to try it.  We all love the buffalo chicken dip so I thought this would be a big hit too.  It came out pretty good but my brother's tell me the next time I need to serve some blue cheese dressing on the side for dipping.  I also think it would be fun to make it in individual sizes so using a square of crescent roll w/ a spoonful of filling.  Anyways I recommend this.  You can follow the step-by-step directions here.

Chocolate Nutella and Sea Salt Fudge
As soon as I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen I knew I had to try it.  I love the chocolate and salt combo and this fudge is delicious! I made it for co-workers and about 10 people asked me for the recipe so I would say it was a hit!  It was also super easy to make with just a few ingredients - most of which I had on hand.  For step-by-step directions go here.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011 Recap

The annual entire family photo!  Yes this is my entire family (I know it is pretty small but we like it that way)!  Every Christmas we gather around the tree for a family photo.  This year was extra special because it was Laney's first Christmas and therefore her first family photo.  She was very excited.  Ha!  It is fun to look at the pictures through the years and see how we've changed.  Maybe I'll do a blog post with all the photos later this week.

Christmas this year did not disappoint.  It was filled with lots of fun, food and family!  And when I saw lots of food I mean it.  I think my mom outdid herself this year.  I'm still stuffed!  We had lots of laughs too.  The girls (me, Katelyn, Jenn and Meghan) got fans from my aunt Cathy from her trip to Barcelona.  The little girls (Peyton and Ella) really liked them.  Katelyn liked hers too and was quite the model! 

Laney seemed to have a lot of fun!  I gave her two HUGE flower headbands and she looked super cute in it (for the 2 seconds that she left it on).  Hopefully she will enjoy wearing them until she gets some more hair.  Either way she is adorable!  In addition to the fans a big hit of the day was "the box."  Why buy presents when the kids enjoy the paper the most.  Well "the box" was tried out by Peyton, Ella and Laney.  It worked as a good playpen for Laney while we did our Yankee Red Sox Swap.  And as usual Peyton is my love bug and will pose for photos with me.  Ella on the other hand not so much!  Oh and Peyton is taking after me in my love for taking pictures.  For a 2nd year in a row she took over my camera.  I'll be sure to share some of those pictures in another post.

Every year my family does a swap.  We each spend $40 on a gift and you see everything from liquor to gift certificates to scratch tickets to um. . . random items.  Ha!  Well this year out of 15 I was number 4.  Not so great.  But it really isn't about the gift it is about the fun and there was a lot of stealing fun this year!

I am exhausted and I don't know what I would have done if today was a full work day.  Christmas is exhausting and I think in the future I should take the whole week after off.  Luckily I only have to make it through one day of work and then I'm off for my (minor) feet surgery. 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  I can't believe it is over already!  More posts to come this week with some other Christmas related topics!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve Celebration

Family Photo 
(Best comment: Scott says, "I didn't dress for a photo." Yeah we can tell.  Coincidence that all three of my brothers wore black?  It is Christmas Eve people!  At least we got a picture w/ everyone looking. . . a Christmas miracle!)

Peyton loves her Bitty Baby and Auntie Jodi thought Bitty would really like new pj's, bunny slippers and a robe.  I think Bitty will be pretty cozy sleeping from now on!

 Ella didn't have a Bitty Baby so Auntie Jodi changed that!  It was pretty cute watching her open it!  Ella's Bitty has lighter hair (just like Ella) and so her and Peyton will have dolls that look a little different.  She made everyone "raise your hand" and then picked someone to hold "her baby."  What a good mother!  Haha!  I hope she loves her Bitty as much as Peyton has.  

I also brought the American Girl Doll catalog and it was too cute watching them look at it.  Ella would say, "I want that."  This was repeated several times and it seems to me she wants it all!  It reminds me of when I was little and looking through the huge Sears catalog!  I also love that they are into dolls b/c I always loved my Cabbage Patch Kids when I was little and remember getting new things for them for many years at Christmas.  

We had a lovely Christmas Eve.  I had to work the first half of the day (unfortunately) but then went straight to my brother's house for presents and Chinese and Thai food (our Christmas Eve meal tradition).  I always forget to take a picture of all of the food but just imagine one of everything on the menu and that is what the kitchen counter looks like!  As usual I ate too much and was so full afterwards that I couldn't even eat a bite of dessert!  Oh well I'm sure there will be plenty of time for that today!

Santa was good to me even though he forgot my iPad.  I got a new Vera Bradley bag and necklace from Silpada among other things. . . looking forward to using my gift cards for some shopping and spa time too!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Christmas Tree and Card

I decided to change up my tree a little bit this year.  I wanted to go with "girly" colors since I put my tree in my bedroom.  The hot pink with lime green ribbon that I used for my tree topper was my inspiration.  I pretty much only put on the ornaments that "matched" and I have a lot of red and green ones that are taking a year off.  Haha!  One set of lights wouldn't work so my tree doesn't have as many lights as I would like but I just haven't gotten around to buying more and at this point honestly don't see that happening.  So not perfect but I like it anyways and really enjoying having it in my bedroom since I spent most of my time at home there.

I made my Christmas card on Shutterfly again this year and went with the theme of "year in review."  Since I don't have a husband, child(ren) or a dog I figured I would have to use pics of myself!  Ha!  I tried to pick my favorite memories from the year to share and I love the way it came out.  {Written on the back in a caption for each pic}

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 Days of Christmas {Peyton and Ella Style}

On the first day of Christmas 
my true love gave to me
one naughty niece
On the second day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
two Santa's helpers
On the third day of Christmas 
my true love gave to me
three wonderful wishes
On the forth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
four hands a holding
On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
five golden ornaments 
On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
six stylish stockings 
On the seventh day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
seven perfect presents
On the eighth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me 
eight gingerbread cookies
On the ninth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
nine shimmery snowflakes
On the tenth day of Christmas 
my true love gave to me
ten chocolate licking fingers 
On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
eleven Christmas kisses 
On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
twelve happy holly berries

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Pru Goes Orange for MS

Tonight the Pru is orange in support for MS!  Have you seen it? After I got out o f work I went by the Pru to check it out and since I was at a mall I decided to finish up my Christmas shopping!  So if you are in Boston tonight make sure you look up and check out the orange! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Boston Bloggers Holiday Event, A Cappella Soup, and Gingerbread Women in Pants. . .

On Wednesday night I went to my first Boston Bloggers event.  It was organized by Alison and Katy and much to my surprised there were A LOT of people there!!  There were a lot of "fashion bloggers" and "food bloggers" at the event but there were also a bunch of us "regular bloggers."  Ha!  I got to meet a lot of really nice people and have many new blogs to read!  I really look forward to the next event.

Photo taken by Kiki.  Would you believe I didn't take any photos!?  Shocking I know!
Last night my mom and I went to A Cappella Soup.  It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of The Sing Off so when my mom told me about this local event I knew we had to go!  The Undertones from Northwestern University and Starving Artists from Brandeis University both performed several songs each and it was a lot of fun.  It just made me appreciate the groups on The Sing Off even more b/c I realize just how hard it must be for them to come up with a song each week.  So much practice and hard work goes into each groups' success. 

Today I went to "Gingerbread Women in Pants" which is an annual holiday tradition hosted by a new friend, Julie.  Julie was a fellow Fashion Plates model and I was very excited to get to know her even better today.  Ilka, another Fashion Plates model, and I went together and had a really nice time.  There was plenty of candy for eating decorating the cookies and I think my three little ladies are pretty hot!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Wish List

. . . a new car would be nice. . .

. . .an iPad would be awesome. . .

. . . oh how I would love Green Monster seats at Fenway Park. . .

. . .but since I know those are all WISHES, here are some other more realistic things I wouldn't mind either. . .

a giftcard for Lululemon
a giftcard for a facial at Elizabeth Grady
a giftcard to Bare Escentuals
an Oral B electric toothbrush (no joke I really want one)
round, silver ball earrings (life the Tiffany ones but fake/cheap is fine by me)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh December. . .

Do you ever feel like all you do is work and sleep?  Well for me lately it is not just a feeling.  It is my life.  And the work part seems to be winning out to the sleep part.  I shouldn't complain b/c I am thankful to have a full time job as well as extra work which is so very helpful this time of year.  BUT. . . working 7days a week is exhausting.  I'm already exhausted most of the time living w/ MS. . . then add working a lot and not sleeping enough and you get one tired and grumpy Jodi.  So really looking forward to time off over the holidays.  Yes I'll be having surgery which is what is leading me to take time off but at least it is time off!

Christmas is in 12 days!!!  How can that be?  I swear last time I looked at my calendar it was October!  HA!  Fortunately I got some shopping done tonight after work and only have a few more gifts to get.  I even bought some gifts for children in need for a family we our sponsoring at work.   

I bought my Christmas tree on Saturday and it has been in my stand undecorated since then!  It was crocked and it was driving me crazy but I think I fixed it tonight (not before spilling a bunch of water out of the stand)!  I plan to get the lights on it tonight and then ornaments tomorrow.  I'm changing up the way I decorate it this year so I'll be posting pics to see what y'all think!

On Sunday my parents had their annual Christmas party.  Being single and childless it is always "fun" to see all their friends and neighbors who ask me the same questions every year. . . ha!  Thankfully my adorable and silly niece always make for a great distraction.  This year they put on a show and danced to Christmas music!

My first attempt at cake pops = Ella approved!
I was not too impressed w/ my cake pops but leave it to Ella to make a girl feel good.  She loved them and as soon as she was down w/ the first asked for a 2nd!  Next time I make them I will make sure the dipping chocolate is a bit thinner and I think that will work better.

A highlight of the party was Brinkley's appearance.  Kerri and Brinkley flew in from Bermuda just hours earlier and came to the party.  You may remember that I went to Kerri's baby shower this summer.  Well after she gave birth to Brinkley she went home to Bermuda pretty quickly so I never got to meet the baby.  She was worth the wait. . . so adorable!  Both Peyton and Ella did a great job holding her and when Ella was all done she said, "I think she wants you."  Too funny!

Tomorrow night I'm going to my very first Boston Bloggers event.  It is the holiday get together and I really don't know anyone else who will be there so it should be interesting.  I'm excited to meet some new people and find some new blogs.  I'll be sure to report back on how it goes!  We are doing a Yankee Swap and I'm excited about the cute gift I'm bringing!  

I participated in a blogger ornament swap and was matched w/ Kiley from Hello Kiley and she sent me a pretty silver snowflake.  I'm really excited to hang it on my tree (when I motivate to decorate it).  I'll try to remember to take a pic.

Ok I think that is enough babbling for now.  Must go put lights on my tree.  Now! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Meeting Ne-Yo and Taylor's 15th Birthday!

We met  Ne-Yo!  On Friday night Taylor and I had the opportunity to meet Ne-Yo.  She was pretty excited.  Me not so much.  Well I was very excited for her and to watch how happy she was!  She actually cried after meeting him b/c she was so happy.  I haven't seen her this happy or w/ a smile that big in a very long time!  Kudos to Ne-Yo for starting  The Compound Foundation and donating his time to make kids so happy.

Afterwards we went to TGIFridays to celebrate Taylor turning 15.  (Her actual birthday is tomorrow but we started the celebrating a little early)!  We had a lot of fun and got just appetizers and dessert.  What is better than that!  Taylor proceeded to tell everyone that she had just met Ne-Yo and showed off the pictures.  She was on cloud 9!  "This is the best birthday EVER" is what I heard many times throughout the night along w/ "I had SO MUCH fun."  So glad she got to have this experience.

I gave her a birthday gift complete w/ plenty of new fun makeup and two cosmetic bags.  I think she will really enjoy trying out all her new stuff!

Taylor and I have not celebrated 5 of her birthdays together.  I still can't believe she is 15!  I met her when she was just a little 10 year old.  So proud of the young woman she is growing up to be and hoping she will continue to make good choices in her life.