December 25, 2010

Oh Christmas Spirit

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We love, LOVE Christmas at my house. A few days after thanksgiving we go decoration shopping. Every year the tree gets a theme. Or a color scheme actually. Last year it was silver and blue, one year it was purple and gold, we call that tree out Laker tree. This year we wanted a candy colored tree. So we looked through our inventory and bought what was missing.

I hate Wal-Mart. I don't like shopping there. Except for Christmas stuff. It's cheap but nice enough. Big Lots is also a great location. If we are gonna be decorating a tree differently every year, we cant afford to pay $2 or $3 for every single ornament. That's just some crazy stuff right there! Because at my house it does not end with the tree. Nope we got the lights, the Holly plants, the Christmas pillows on the couch, the Feliz Navidad signs, and a bunch of other stuff. Even the bathroom gets a makeover, thanks Mom!

But back to the tree for a moment.. it's an art form really. We take our time and really try to figure out how to best make it look great. Karen and I are in charge of said decorating, as we will never, ever allow Mom to decorate the tree after the disaster of 2001. This year it took about 4 hours including a quick trip to CVS because we forgot to buy ornament hangers. We though we had plenty but every year we always end up buying some. Where the heck do those buggers go?

Usually our Christmas is the 24th. We stay up till Midnight, Dad says a few word we say a little prayer of thanks and then... It's present time!!! The following day we all sleep in and later go to the movies. This year unfortunately 4 out of 5 member of the clan were viciously attacked by an intestinal virus. I am the sole survivor. So I made this little 3 min video condensing the 4 hours of tree decorating. Enjoy everybody.

I really do hope you all had a wonderful Holiday!!!!!! What are some of your family traditions?

December 20, 2010

How the family grows...

Three weeks ago a new member was  added to the family. Little Isabella was born to my cousin Doris and her hubs Clay. Oh and to big sis Savannah. This little miracle reminded me of the joys that babies bring and their undeniable cuteness that makes grown people get all sappy and smile and can't help but feel happy when they see a newborn. Plus babies smell yummy... They should bottle that scent. And now my cousin Lorena and her hubs Steve will be welcoming a new baby in about 7 months or so? Congratulations you guys!!

All this new baby talk got me started writing on some post about babies. You'll see soon. One of these stories I need permission to write about. But I'm sure it will be no problem. Let's just say I was a witness and was traumatized so I should really be allowed all rights to write about it. And the other involves this little bundle of joy below.

Here is a little something of what I'm talking about:

Can't wait to photograph your baby, Lore :)

December 16, 2010

Dear Santa

Most people are shocked when I tell them I never believed in Santa Claus. Yeah, take a moment to breath into a paper bag... since I'm 29 you can get over it quickly. Get ready for another bag though... I don't plan on letting my kids believe in it either. You OK out there?

Hear me out. Growing up I still did have that giddy, goofy look when I saw Santa at the mall but it's like when you spot a celebrity. They are just people but you cant help and get a little excited. I was brought up focusing on the "Christ" part of  Christmas. It was about the gift of Jesus. With that said my house still transformed and there were lights, holly plants and a Christmas tree, the decorating was in full bloom. But at the core in my house, it was never about that stuff. Now, not everyone may agree with that but I was happy with that. It made all the extra stuff like presents and decorations even more special because I realized what I was celebrating. It wasn't about the gifts I was going to get, it was really just a happy time. Besides when you are a kid you always get presents around this time. From relatives, neighbors, friends, church... People can't help but gift kids. Who needs Santa!

Then there was the day I ruined Santa for my whole second grade class. I guess my parents should of told me not to tell other kids there is no real Santa. There was crying and there was some angry parents but all in all they got over it. I hope. Note to self: Make sure to tell future children to not spoil Santa for other children. That's the other thing. Some kids really take it hard when they find out the truth. Now that is just mean in my opinion.

I'm sure many of you will disagree with me. Go ahead. It's OK. I'm not trying to change your mind or run some campaign against Santa. I'm just sharing. I hope to instill in my kids a love for the holiday and to teach them about giving and not receiving so much, although that's always a toughie since, well, they are kids. That it's OK to have fun with the notion of Santa Claus but to understand that he's not real just a character and he's definitely not getting the children all over the world presents for being good and coal to those that are bad. That I will be getting the presents that I can give them. I also hope to pass on the crazy decorating gene that turns me into a Christmas Nazi. Hmm Christmas and Nazi, not two word I thought of ever putting together, but there they are. I'm serious about the decorating. So much so that I am dedicating a second Christmas post on it.

Nowadays, my sisters (they also did not believe in Santa) and I post our Christmas list up so we (our immediate family) can see what we all want. We even force one out of Mom and Dad. They usually give us the "You don't have to get me anything" line but we just roll our eyes and ask anyway. Well, we get that line from Dad, Mom usually has no problem letting us know. It all started as a joke when my sister, Karen, put a car as her number one gift for Christmas one year. She wasn't getting it but the other smaller items on her list rolled in. Genius! She no longer places a car on her list. Only because she gave up not because she actually got one. Hahaha hehehe... Sometimes we'll put something that we know for sure we are not getting but it's more of a joke than anything else. Even though down deep inside we really want it. I know Karen still wants that car! Bottom line we don't stress about gifts, if we can, we give. If we can't, we don't. The lists are just for us 5. We don't pass them out or anything. 

When people come over they always say "Hey that's a great idea" so I thought it would be a fun post to share my x-mas list and maybe you will share yours. Or start your own list with your family or completely hate the idea and that's OK. (Can you guess what my joke item is this year even though I really want it!?!?!)

So in the spirit of children that do believe in Santa... Here is my first ever letter to Santa:

Dear Santa,

I hope you are doing well and that your elves are working hard but not too hard. Hopefully you have upgraded to some sort of assembly line and they can mass produce all the toys needed for all the kids around the world. We have an overpopulated planet so I can only imagine how stressing it is to see the list grow every year. 

I've been a really good girl this year. I swear ask my Mom and Dad. There were a few moments here and there but nothing too bad. Here is what I would like for Christmas presents:
And last but definitely not least:

    So that's it. Oh and if it wouldn't be too much trouble could you also please, if your not too busy, feed all the hungry children in the world and make sure they have some shoes too. That would be great, even if it means not getting me anything on my list.

    Merry Christmas,

    So how did I do? What's on your list for "Santa"?

    December 1, 2010

    I was ShoeDazzled!

    So I kept seeing these adds for ShoeDazzle all over the place. I don't fall for selling pitches. I'm the first one to say yeah right what's the catch???

    Having said that, I found myself seeing these pretty purple heels over and over. Oh pretty... shoes... *snap* back to reality. Hmm I like the shoes so how do I go about getting them on this here site? Click on the link of course.

    The deal with this site is you sign up, take a quiz, then you are given a selection of shoes picked out custom for you by "stylist" or "computer generated system" based on your style quiz. Every month you are sent a showroom of shoes, you choose the one you like and pay $39.99. This includes shipping. If you don't like your selection that month then you skip that month and you can quit at any time. Hmmm....

    First impression:
    It looked like a cool thing to try. It had all the right elements cute shoes, Celebrity endorsement via Kim Kardashian. She's the brainchild and face of Shoedazzle. I watched a little video read the Q&As. After said dazzlement of purple shoe... Since there it's a commitment I decided to give it a try. Going in on this I knew I would be either very happy or out $39.99 for one month. Here is my experience:

    Signing up: 
    Seriously an easy process, they don't ask for that much. You take a quiz where you are asked to choose between designers, fashionistas and styles...16 total question. Then they ask for your age range (18-46+) Shoe Size (5.5-11) and your dress size (0-12+). You put in an email address and create a password. Ta-dah! You are now a ShoeDazzle member.

    Right after this little fun quiz... please take the meaning of the word fun lightly, you are shown your very own personal style. This comes in a form of a collage of different clothing and accessories along with some celebrity pictures. It looks like something that you made from magazine cutouts in 7th grade.

    If ever came the time when I needed to define my style I now know what to say.
    Apparently my style is cosmopolitan, modern and spirited... LOL. Ok sure. Although now that I take a closer look at this thing I do like what I see. Except for the chunky gold necklace and that black jacket.

    After your collage comes your showroom with your shoe options. My purple shoes were not there. I guess they don't fall under Cosmodspir combo. After a few clicks here and there I found my shoes in the "Click here to see the shoes that almost made your show room" option. There they were. I selected, and purchased. $39.99.

    A few days later I got my Shoedazzle box. Very nicely packaged. They even give you one of those soft shoe bags in pink. I felt very girly.The shoes look exactly like they did online. You can tell they are not super great quality but for $39.99 I'm not about to complain. That is until I tried them on. One shoe was tighter than the other. Significantly.

    Woe is me.

    I wrote to customer service about my situation (they ignored my concern about the different sizing) and agreed to exchange the shoes for whatever size I wanted. Free of charge. Sounded good to me. Too bad I put them on the floor behind my bed and forgot about them until about a month later. I doubt they have the shoes anymore since there is now a new collection in my show room. A collection that I passed on. I am also going to pass on ShoeDazzle. As in I am now canceling my membership. It's a cool program but when it comes to shoes I need to try before I purchase. These shoes are not that special and you can find similar styles at stores in the mall for about the same price or even cheaper online. Overall it was kinda fun but not for me. I'm not too bummed about the shoes since I do like them and I can manage one tight shoe, can't return as I wont get my money back, you get "credits back. So can't wait to actually wear my purple studded suede shoes. Even if I wont be able to walk in them for long...

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