Friday, December 27, 2013

The PenIs mightier than the sword...?

I don't think I've ever mentioned it here before, but I just adore Ellen.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Oh, Holy Night...

Merry Christmas, Bloggy Buddies!!!

I'm wishing you all a very blessed holiday.

(click on the manger for an added treat. :D )

Friday, December 20, 2013

It seems Christmas came a little early this year =)

I brought a little box of goodies to work today to share with the sweet people I've been working with the past couple weeks.  It was all such a big hit, I just may bring another box tomorrow.

For a little over a year now, I've been a member of the National Consumer Panel.  (I'll try to come back and do a post about it later, and explain what it actually is.)  Several weeks ago, I received an email telling me I won a prize of my choice from a list of about 10 items.  I chose a Kindle Fire HD.  That was quite a while ago, and I never heard anything else about it.  I actually had to call their customer service number a few days ago for something else, and while I had someone on the phone anyway, I asked about it.  I could no longer find the original email letting me know I won, and I wanted to know how much longer until it would arrive.  The woman who was helping me said she saw no record of any such prize being awarded.  Needless to say, I was really bummed.

I've been toying with idea of getting an iPad for about 6 months now.  I actually was saving the reward points from my credit card to get one.  When I got that email about the Kindle, I was really excited because I figured now I wouldn't need to get the iPad.  When the woman from NCP said she had no record of it, I was really unhappy.

Imagine my surprise when I got home from work tonight and found a couple packages on the table.  One was my coffee order from Green Mountain Coffee (YAY!) and the other was....

Not only was the Kindle in the box, there was also a leather case!  SWEET!!!

So now, I should get off this computer, and open my new toy!!  Although, I've gotta tell ya, the Mommy in me is thinking maybe I shouldn't open it at all, and maybe give it to Stud for Christmas.  His father and I bought him a computer on Cyber Monday (it was a great deal!), but I could probably return it, and give him this instead.  (That money could definitely be put toward a bill or two)  Then again, there's a part of me that thinks, "Hey, YOU did all the work to win this, and YOU deserve it!"  I'm a little torn.  Maybe I'll hold off opening it until I sleep on it.

On that note....Good night!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's been a LONG day...

...and I'm exhausted.  I know I disappeared again.  I'm sorry.  I have no excuse for the beginning of the month, but for the past couple of weeks, I've actually been working.  Ok, ok, don't get too excited.  My sister was able to get me some seasonal work with her company.  You may remember I worked with her a while back as a Perfume Ninja.  I actually worked another day with her last month at the Bloomingdale's on Michigan Avenue.  Now, she was able to get me a few weeks worth of work for Christmas.  Believe me, I'm very grateful.  But, I'm just not used to being on my feet that long anymore.  Plus, the store I've been working at is not that close to my house (Bolingbrook, for my local friends) so it's making for long days.

Today was probably the last day I'll be off until after Christmas, so I used it to do some baking and treat making.  I had intended to start yesterday, but just as I was getting started, I got the call I wish for every day.  Monkey Day!!!  How can you resist this face?!?!
Today, I met my Monkey, her daddy and my mother for breakfast, but then I stood firm and didn't let my brother suck me into wasting the day.  He tried really hard to get me to go to Costco with him, but I was strong!  Instead, I went straight home and got to work.  Here's a little peek...

I made about 36 dozen cookies.  No, I'm NOT exaggerating.  This is just a small sample of what I made:

Then I made a couple batches of peanut butter fudge:
A couple batches each of chocolate fudge, both with AND without nuts:
A couple batches of chocolate mint fudge (and, yes, it's as incredible as it sounds, if I do say so myself!):
A couple batches of toffee bars, one with nuts and one without:
And three batches of peanut brittle:
I really wanted to make more, but I think I'm done for the night.  I've actually been Skyping with Brian, Stud's friend from Hong Kong who stayed with us senior year, while I've been trying to post this.  It's been a tad frustrating, as Brian's internet connection keeps screwing up.  We had to give up on video chatting, and now we're just IMing.  I started this post more than an hour and a half ago.  It's WAY past my bedtime.

I will share one more thing, though.  Stud has been working like a dog over at the Golden Arches.  That's a post for another day, so I'll complain later.  But, today, he was supposed to work until 4pm.  After he clocked out for the day, he was sitting in the break room, eating the lunch he never got to eat during his 8-hour shift, when his manager came and asked him if he'd be willing to clock back in, and do them a favor.  Look!
He was SANTA!!!  And, a mighty adorable one, at that!  (And, yes, there's a pillow stuffed under there.  hahaha!)  There was some sort of mix-up, and a different manager forgot to arrange for a Santa for an event they had planned for tonight.  I know he loved every second of it, as he adores little kids.  He actually brought home a letter some little girl gave him.  It was so sweet, it brought a tear to my eye.  Clearly, Stud was moved by it, too, as he saved it and brought it home.  It said something about how Christmas is about family, not about presents.  It was much more touching than that, but you get the idea.  He said most of the kids tried to give him letters, but he told them to hang on to them, and to leave them out on Christmas Eve, alongside the cookies and milk.  He's too cute!

Ok, I just signed off with Brian, and I must sign off from here, too.  Long day tomorrow.  If any of my local Bloggy Buddies are near The Promenade of Bolingbrook tomorrow, stop in at Macy's and say hi!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Simple Sunday

Today was a wonderful day.  I was able to enjoy some very simple pleasures.  The day started with church, as always.  I really enjoy the fellowship we have with the other members of the church.  I truly love our pastor, as well, and always get so much out of his sermons.

After church, I got my jiggly behind back to the gym, after a long hiatus (shame on me!).  I had a really great workout, and caught a couple of interesting shows on TV during my 65 minutes on the elliptical machine.

From there, I went home, took a quick shower, and headed off to meet a good friend for dinner.  She called me last night, before I headed out for the movie with my other friend, and asked if I wanted to join her for dinner tonight, her treat.  She said she had a Groupon, and wanted to use it to take me out.  Isn't she sweet?  We went to this neat little place called Wok 'N Fire.  We had dinner there once before, about a month or so ago, which was my first time there.  Apparently, she goes there often, as her kids love it.

We had a very leisurely (and delicious!!) meal, spending way more time talking than eating.  Truthfully, I think our server was a bit annoyed with us, since we were probably there almost an hour before we even ordered our entrees.  (We ordered an appetizer about 30 minutes after sitting down, just because we felt bad that she kept coming over to our table, and we hadn't even looked at our menus.  Although, to be fair, I DID tell her when we sat down that we were going to be doing quite a bit of talking, and that she shouldn't hurry back, since were going to need some time to order.)

After we finally decided we sat there long enough, we walked across the street to Starbucks for some coffee.  My friend wouldn't even let me leave the tip at the restaurant, so I had to convince her to let me treat us to coffee.  She only relented because she had a half-priced 'thingy' for Starbucks that expired today, and said I had to use it. 

I got to try something new there, a drink she had mentioned to me before.  She told me a while back that she is completely hooked on Starbuck's chocolate chai tea latte, which I had never heard of before.  She was right, it's good! 

I passed on my usual Pumpkin Spice Latte (basically the only thing I've ever ordered at Starbuck's) and tried a gingerbread latte.  (I picked it off the short list of special drinks for World Aids Day today.  A donation is made for every drink purchased off the list.)  It was delicious. 

Sadly, I remembered one of the reasons I don't care for Starbuck's.  Even with the half-priced deal, I still paid over $7 for two medium coffees.  Oy!!  But, it was worth every penny when I focus on the hour and half we sat at Starbuck's talking, and enjoying each other's company.

Now, I'm home, in my jammies, sitting in bed, checking in with my Bloggy Buddies, while the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie is playing in the background.  (Is anyone else watching this?!  It's a bit of a tear-jerker.)  A day filled with the simplest.  What could be better?