Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Goals ~~ How Did I Do??

I looked back at my blog post at the end of 2010 for my 2011 To Do List. 

Here are the things I maintained:
-Tweaking our diet
-Switching up my workout
-New recipes
-Building our savings
-Operation: Sell This House

Here are the few things I didn't reach:
-Monthly massages
-Submitting our tees & slogans

And one area in which I want to get better:

Seems I did pretty well, if I do say so myself!  And without really referring back to my blog post! 

Now, to come up with my 2012 list!!  All of the "goals" I met in 2011 will continue into 2012.  I would like to volunteer, at least, once in the new year.  And I will try to always find ways to be creative!

Wishing everyone a magnificent and magical 2012!!

(If the Mayans are right, this could be our last, ya know?!) 

Holiday Decor 2011

We went pretty minimalist in our Christmas decorating this year...

Our liquor shelf gussied up for the holidays!  See Chris's "major award"?

One of Chris's nutcrackers (he has a small collection) and my "new" sleigh for holding our Christmas cards. 

Our front porch.  I ADORE our old sled!!!

I decorate our flower boxes with fake evergreens and ornaments.  This year, I incorporated some of the leftover real greenery.

Luna's favorite spot...(almost) Santa's lap!  Yep, she made the Nice List!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Weekend

It is the beginning of the Christmas weekend and I have made my way to our local Barnes & Noble to take advantage of the free wifi.  I could not believe the checkout line when I was walking in!  YIKES!  I do have a 25% off coupon & there is a book I was interested in, but don't think there is anything I MUST have that would make me get in that queue!!!

I am enjoying a 4-day weekend!  WooHoo!  I started my break with a kickboxing workout and a much-needed haircut!  Both refreshing!!!

It doesn't "feel" like Christmas for me.  I think because we don't do the whole gift-giving bonanza, plus we don't have any snow.  It is cool & sunny ~ perfect winter weather as far as I'm concerned.  Yet, I wouldn't mind a dusting of the white powdery stuff for Christmas morning! 

We are going to the Dunes tomorrow morning for a guided walk at 10.  Don't know what to expect, but it will be fun to be out at Lake Michgan, drinking hot cocoa while strolling in the fresh air. 

I wonder, as I watch so many people out & about, are they shopping for others, themselves, perhaps a little of both?  It's a great time to shop for oneself!  I mean, there are some awesome deals, especially when you combine sales with coupons!  Come on, who among us doesn't shop for ourselves during the holidays??? 

Myself, I made a trip to Kohl's yesterday for the sole purpose of looking at a pink tulle skirt for my big 40th birthday bash next year (it's 80's themed).  It was on sale and I had a 15% off coupon, so what better time to give it a look, right?  I had to ask a salesperson if there were any left b/c I wasn't able to locate one on my own.  She made a bee-line for where they should be and behind a couple misplaced items, there was one ~ size medium, which I thought would work.  Just to save myself a trip, tho, I headed to the fitting room to give it a whirl.  And it fit!!!!  So, I now have one item toward my birthday outfit!  It feels good to know now how I want to look!  (My party is May 19th, leaving me plenty of time...but you know how you just know something is right, this skirt fits that bill!) 

For the most part, however, we have avoided the shopping meccas.  We don't desire to be in the hullabaloo of the traffic, parking, money-wasting madness!  If I hadn't needed to be out this way for my haircut, I would be at home ~~ away from the traffic nightmare that the day before the day before Christmas is today.  

So, the checkout line doesn't seem to have ended ... and that includes the one at the Cafe.  Barnes & Noble might have a record-setting sales day b/c it seems like many have waited to spend their hard-earned dollars at the almost last minute.  I wonder:  did many wait until today b/c it is a payday for them??  Christmas on a Sunday is probably good for retail ~~ leaves Saturday, a weekend day when many are off anyway, for Christmas Eve...the ultimate last minute shopping day!

I leave with a photo of our boy, who we miss everyday and who loved when the Christmas decorations were out so he had new places to explore! 

Caesar, Christmas 2008 ~~ He loved "hiding" in those trees; hanging with Frosty!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Merry Christmas to the Mojicas!

We are attending our first ever UFC live event!!!  On January 28, 2012, at the United Center in Chicago, we get to see Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping .... AND EDDIE WINELAND!  Eddie is the real reason behind going to this particular event.  We know him from our gym, LA Boxing Merrillville, and look forward to cheering for him in person.  It is going to be an incredible experience!!!

I cannot wait!!! 

And the owners of Fight Chix, Elisabeth & Jacob Nuesser, will be there, too.  Hoping to meet one or both of them!  I will, of course, be wearing one of my (three!!) Fight Chix tees! 
Along with my pink brass knuckles necklace!
Yep ~ that's me.  Modeling a FC tee, so I could get a free one!!

Got us Lower Level, Section 111, Row 18, Seats 7 & 8!!  That is the level just behind the floor seats!  WooHoo!  Not nose-bleed section, like when we went to see the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Unfortunate update:  Eddie Wineland has dropped out of his fight!  Ankle injury.  I am disappointed, to say the least, but we intend to have a great time!  Looking forward to meeting the Fight Chix owners and attending the first UFC fight on FOX!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

The Wet Potatoes Gang enjoyed our First Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party this past Friday nite.  Our friends, Beth & Paul, were the gracious hosts.  WOW!  Impressive!!  Beth did a whole tasting theme for the food! 

Ironically, the couples seemed to be coordinated in their choices of attire:

The Shoafs: Beth & Paul

The Ogles: Marcy & Chad

The Mojicas ~ Chris selected ours

We also enjoyed shots of Pink Sock Punch ~~ crazy inside joke that you do NOT want to know!!

Then we got to the eats!!  Scrumptious!  Perfect little portion sizes:  Wings with ranch & celery, bruschetta, srimp with mango salsa, hummus with pita chips, caprese salad, 2-chunk chicken skewers, chips & salsa, deviled eggs, cheese & crackers.  And that was just dinner!!!

Desserts included: cheesecake, peach & blueberry cobbler, chocolate mousse, chocolate-covered pretzels, fruit salad and a cherry-amaretto pudding.

There was SOOO much food!  We barely made a dent!

We took a small break to refresh our drinks and to vote on the Ugliest Sweater.  The first round, it was a tie between Jason and Chris!  (I voted for Jill!)  So, we had to go to a second round to decide the tiebreaker!  And the winner of the WPG First Annual Wet Potatoes Gang Ugly Christmas Sweater Party:

Chris took home the trophy, a Christmas Mr. Potato Head (b/c our name is the Wet Potato Gang) and a can of Spotted Dick!  The Mr. Potato Head will be a traveling trophy and must go to next year's winner.  The Spotted Dick, however, is Chris's to keep (or regift as he sees fit!!!).  Apparently, Beth & Paul are known for giving Spotted Dick!  Jill has a can, too!  HeeHee!  

The party continued with gifts.  We brought gift certificates to a local bakery, Designer Desserts, for the ladies and a small box of chocolates for the guys.  We also gave a small hostess gift to Beth (Parisian-themed notecards in a decorative box wrapped with a fleur-de-lis).  As a group, we did the White Elephant ~or as we dubbed it, The Pink Sock~ gift exchange!!!  We drew numbers (1-9).  Number One had to pick a wrapped gift, Number Two could take Number One's gift or an unwrapped one...and so on.  Would you believe Chris's luck?  Not only did he win for ugliest sweater, but he drew Number 9 ~~ meaning he got to be the last to pick and could steal any of the already opened gifts or take the last remaining wrapped one.

Our gifts for the game were The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book  and a remote-control helicopter.  (Can you guess which one of us picked out which gift?!)  My gift was picked by Jason, who had Number Two, and Chris's by Chad, who had Number Three. 

Chris's plan was to steal back the helicopter b/c he has been wanting one forever (tries to tell me that it would be so much fun for Luna...).  However, his plan was foiled when Chad stated that he couldn't wait to enjoy the helicopter with their daughter, Shae. 

There were only a couple steals:  Paul took Caroline's $15 gift card to Lover's Lane (she said there was no way she could go in the store.  THAT surprises the hell out of me!) and Chris took Jill's skull & crossbones flask with 3 mini drink bottles. 

I was Number Seven and thought of stealing Marcy's champagne drink mixers, a book about the word f*ck and a moustache ring that doubled as a can opener.  Instead, I took an unwrapped gift and got a classy Christmas CD with songs sung by Ella Fitzerald, Peggy Lee, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and the like.

And as a going-away (eventually) gift from the Shoafs, Chris & I received this...

...the most awesome caricature of Beth & Paul.  Don't ya think???  Again, this is another "gift" that they pass around!!!  We were the lucky recipients for this particular celebration!  I lovingly held it for what seemed like hours!!! 

General chatter ensued and then we passed around a book from the game What The F*ck and asked questions of each other.  Pretty funny!!!  

Eventually, we found ourselves back around the food tables.  But we left so much ~~ it was sad!  Definitely would have gone for more of it both Saturday & Sunday!  

Our biggest thanx to Beth & Paul!  We LOVE spending time with this crazy group of friends!  It is THE way to kick off our holiday season! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Weekend Bluuuurrrr

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  So hard to believe it is almost the end of another year.  Where did 2011 go? 

We spent the holiday at my aunt's, as usual.  I made a tried-&-true recipe, as well as a new one.  Eating Well's Cranberry Cherry Walnut Marmalade, which I made two years ago, is a crowd pleaser!  I love having the leftovers for home, too!!  I tried my hand at some pumpkin crescent rolls.  Rather delish!!!  These remind me of a family recipe (my Aunt Joan's rolls), but with a little twist.  I believe they will become MY famous rolls!  

Friday, Chris & I celebrated 19 years of wedded bliss!  Well, not always bliss, of course ... but our personal version of married happily ever after!  

We were blessed with the most mild of weather: sunny, mid 50's to low 60's.  Perfect for our planned trip to Chicago.  We took the train from East Chicago.  First stop, Shedd Aquarium (we are members) ~~ which was packed!  The nice thing about being members ... we don't have to wait in any long lines to get in!  And the line was way down the steps outside the front of the building!  CRAZY!! 

We walked over to the theatre district to grab a bite to eat at Corner Bakery (our usual dining spot when in The City).  From there, we strolled the Kristkindl market at Daley Plaza (it is a German-style open-air market).  It was teeming with people, making it rather difficult to get close to any of the booths to ogle the crafts.  We also checked out the windows at Macy's (not that impressed with this year's theme).  

Before heading north to Lincoln Park Zoo, we waited in line at Garrett Popcorn to get our Chicago Mix!  A large cheese & caramel popcorn mix for each of us!  Yep ~~ we each had our very own bag!

We grabbed a cab to get us to the zoo (it is many, many blocks north of Randolph/Michigan Avenue/Lake Shore Drive).  Yet another crazy, busy scene!  Opening nite for the zoo's ZooLights, plus the gorgeous day, brought everyone out!  The traffic was crazy, but our cab driver a bit crazier!!!  He got us there in almost record time!

We enjoyed our time at the zoo while munching on our Garrett popcorn!  Had lots of people making comments, even asking us where we got it!  Awesome snack for any outing!!!

We decided to walk all the way back to the train station.  Not much to look at during most of the walk, but we did hit part of Old Town.

We still had about an hour to kill before the next train back to Indiana.  We were both rather drained at this point and decided it would be best to head into the underground terminal, grab a pop to share and just rest our weary selves.  

Chris hung garland and lights on our front porch railings and awning on Wednesday, but we still needed to fill our flower boxes with Christmas-y decor.  Early Saturday, we got outside to complete our holiday transformation.  (I need to snap a photo!!)

The rest of Saturday entailed a quick run to Target, an hour at Panera to get online and then home to watch a movie ("Limitless").  

Sunday found us cleaning the house, finishing laundry and putting up (almost) all of the window plastic.  I also addressed some Christmas cards, while Chris worked on a book project.  

Looking forward to our first annual Wet Potatoes Gang Ugly Christmas Sweater Party this Friday.  It's gonna be a hoot!     

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Stress-Free Holiday

We got a call Saturday afternoon from the realtor who brought the buyer thru on Friday that she wanted to come for a second look on Sunday between 3:30 & 4:30 (with her uncle who works in construction).  Chris had the idea to play a movie in our downstairs theatre!!!  We selected "Spiderman" b/c we were told the buyer has 2 teenage sons (don't know if they were coming with her or not, but thought it was a good choice). 

We decided to head to a local Starbucks to take advantage of the last day of "buy one holiday drink get one free" (mmmmmm...gingerbread latte!).  We were going to just pop in for our drinks and run to Costco to grab a few items.  Plans changed, tho, when we were able to meet up with our friends for a much overdue chat!  We thought we were meeting with Kim & one or both of her boys ... much to our surprise it was both boys AND her hubby, Paul!  Paul drives a truck and we rarely get to see him.  We spent a delightful almost 2 hours talking. 

Unfortunately, while the buyer loved our house the best, she has decided to look for something bigger.

No big deal!  We will enjoy our holiday season without the stresses of counter-offers, closings, packing and finding a rental.  It will happen at just the right time!  We can feel it!!!

Chris is off work today thru Friday, while I am off Thursday & Friday.  He is at home hanging our outdoor Christmas decorations; taking advantage of the mild weather. 

Our 19th anniversary is Friday & we plan to celebrate low-key.  Our New Orleans trip was sort of our gift to one another.  We will head into Chicago to see the holiday lights & decorations, stop in Shedd Aquarium (we are members) and take in the ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo for the first time. 

This weekend will also find us putting up our indoor Christmas decorations ... or, at least, getting started.  Plus, we need to hang our window plastic ~~ to help insulate a bit from the winter winds!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  May you be grateful for the simple pleasures in life!  May your cup overflow!  Wishing you abundance in all that you seek! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Takin' a Peek

Today was the first showing of Harvest Moon House! 

Fingers crossed!

I got a call Tuesday afternoon from another realtor in the Ginter office asking if it would be okay for her to show our house on Friday, around 12:30/1:00.

I was taken aback!  Of course it is okay!!!

We aren't getting overly excited b/c you just never know how long the process can take.  We only hope that we have set the stage and the prospective buyers simply fall in love and cannot wait to submit an offer! 

An offer that we are willing to accept, that is!  :)

I haven't heard anything (from our realtor or the buyers') ... hope we get some feedback, at least.

Please send us some well wishes for this new endeavor!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

For Sale, For Real!!

Our home officially went on the market last Thursday, November 3rd!  Came home after work & the gym to find the realty sign in our front yard!  WooHoo!

Every Tuesday, the realtors of Ginter Realty meet at their office and then tour every home they have for sale.  Yep, EVERY one...EVERY Tuesday!  Today was the first tour of Harvest Moon House!!  It was the time to shine! 

We cleaned, put up a couple plug-in air fresheners and left all the lights on (per our realtor, Carrie). 

Received a text this afternoon that everyone LOVED our place! 

Go Team Ginter!  Get our house sold!!! 


Friday, November 4, 2011


I tapped into my creative juices this Halloween season and made a new sign as part of our outdoor decorations:

My honey already had the wood pieces from an earlier project he abandoned.  He did the light paint job and drew in the spider & web (so I could just trace it).

What a team!!! 

I am at my most creative for Halloween-oriented projects, while Chris is ALWAYS doing something artistic (sculpture, drawing, writing, painting, you name it!)!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Costume Contest WINNER!

I have won my first ever costume contest!!!  WooHoo!!!  I entered a drawing by Rowdy Maui on Facebook by submitting a past Halloween photo of me & Chris.  AND it won!!!  I get a $50 gift certificate to use on Rowdy Maui goods!!  I love their tees ~~ such fun!!

Negligence & Malpractice!!

This was the Winning Photo!!

This one I display at Halloween!

We almost NEVER wear couple's costumes.  In 2006, Chris wasn't feeling very "inspired", so I put these looks together for us.  Complete with real toe tags from our county morgue!!!  Chris "bloodied" up his bone saw and my hypodermic needle!!  It is actually one of MY favorite Halloween costumes (for me) and I wore it again in 2009 (the first year we had 2 costume parties to attend so I got to wear 2 different costumes!).

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Architectural Eye-Candy

New Orleans satisfied so many of my senses!  The food, the music, the architecture....

The doors and windows alone could fill up an entire photo album. 

Take a peek:

And then there are the hidden jewels, like secret courtyards, and the attention to detail that can be easily missed.

Can you read the signs??

I am a fan of signs and New Orleans gave me an eye full!  Here are some fun ones I wanted to share:

Monday, October 24, 2011

1-year Blog-iversary!!!

I just realized that last week Wednesday, October 19, 2011, was the one-year anniversary for joy & nostalgia!!  WOW!!  Really?!  Where did a whole year go?  Well...I hope my posts have improved in that time.  And I promise to continue to raise the bar! 

Thanx for tagging along!!

Let the FUN begin!!

Halloween 2011
Aviatrixx ~ a small nod to steampunk

My husband ... the female pilot!

Princess Eugenia, Prince Harry & Princess Beatrice

Cyndi Lauper & Mr. T

LeatherFace & Midnite Priestess

Dia de Los Muertos
Sanderson Sisters ~ Witches from Hocus Pocus!!

We have fabulous friends who really know how to rock it out!

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