Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas! or I Need A Happy Pill

Two posts in one week! Merry Christmas, everyone! Haha.
It's been awesome meeting so many people through the Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest and I still haven't finished going through them all! It's part of my Sunday plan.

I'm writing today for two reasons:

1. It's Christmas and I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of love, magic, and surprises.

2. My father.

Today is the third anniversary of my dad's death. I've kind of been a nervous wreck all day today and I thought it would help me feel a little better if I wrote it down.

Without sharing all of the dirty details, I'll just say that the loss of my father has made me see the entire world differently. By the end of his life, we weren't close and I was lucky to see him on Christmas Eve each year. I was so hurt by the path he chose for himself, I wished for nothing but his unhappiness. I never wanted to see him again and I'm ashamed to admit that I once said I wouldn't be bothered if he died.

And then he did.

My whole world turned upside down when I got the phone call. I guess we're all one phone call from our knees, right? (Yes, I stole that. :)

For years, I knew I had wanted to write a story that centered on my father's life. I had something to say and I was going to say it. I've been trying to come up with the perfect plot ever since.
My story for NaNo was the first time I had really delved into any sort of decent plotline and now that it's over, I have a million ideas to make it even better.

I may not be over his death yet, but losing my father has certainly helped me find a part of myself. His choices have made me stronger and have pushed me to realize my dream.
He is my inspiration and for that, I am grateful. I look forward to a new year of writing and discovering myself and what I am capable of. Hopefully you'll all be able to read his story very soon.

Sorry for the somber tone of what was originally going to be an upbeat post! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Jolly By Golly!!

It's time for the Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest and I'm THRILLED because it's been so long since I've had the chance to partake in any sort of blogfest. And what's better than one so Christmasy??

Check out Jen's page to see all entries. So many people have signed up which means NO WORK will be done on Monday!

The only real tradition my family shares each and every year is cookies. My mom makes hundreds of cookies and since I've been on my own, I try to do the same even though I'm nowhere near her assortment and I usually make pretty much the same things she does...
We always put up our trees the weekend before Thanksgiving just to get in the spirit a little sooner.
My own tradition? I shop too late, wrap too late(and so so very badly)and rush too much. But it makes me happy, so what the hey, right?

I don't have a special drink I make, so I scoured the internet to find something fairly simple to do and came up with this:

Noel Spritzer
Found on the Betty Crocker website and super simple. And it involves my BFF, wine. :)

2 cups dry white wine(I used Chardonnay)
1 cup Cranberry-Apple juice
1 cup sparkling water(I had to skip this...see picture below)

Mix and add apple slices or fresh mint sprigs.

A simple spritzer and SO good!

But...if you want to chill the sparkling water in a hurry, make sure not to forget it in the freezer!!

My favorite cookie to bake? Okay, friends, I need you all to lean in and pinkie swear you can keep this a secret. I make the BEST chocolate chip cookies. It's been discussed amongst everyone I know and voted on.
Here's the secret:
Buy Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Follow the directions.
Add a box of instant vanilla Jello pudding to the flour mixture and when you mix everything together, make sure it's as smooth as a baby's bottom. No joke. If you don't mix it almost TOO much, the cookies turn out hard, even if you underbake them.
Next....underbake them! Just when the edges start to brown(more of a golden color)take them out.
I know plenty of people do the pudding, but if you don't do it right, it just isn't as good.

As for my decorations, I'm still not where I want to be. I'm in a small one bedroom apartment so I have to make-do.
Presenting my favorites:

My teeny tree and my Christmas pillow which is so cute.

Part of my collection of Christmas trees

Some more stuff.

Little buddy. :)

And for some fun for you, check out this website where I get a million cookie ideas!

And now, I'm going to relax with a glass of wine before bed. Happy tradition-making!

Friday, December 10, 2010

In Which I Gush

A couple things today.
First and most important is this blog.
I'm getting veeeeerrrrry near one hundred followers which is beyond exciting to me and I think I should do some kind of contest, but while I ponder that, it crossed my mind that I'm such an infrequent blogger and who wants to follow someone so unreliable?

So. With my schedule, I know it would be silly to try to post something everyday or even have a Monday, Wednesday, Friday post like so many of you out there. But I AM determined to do it once a week. At least. To start off with.
Starting with this entry, I am going to post every Friday. The content of these posts? Well, that will just be a surprise! I'm full of random, it's just me, so you should all just be familiar with that! :)
Check in with me every Friday and I *promise* to have something for you!
And I'll see what I can do about a contest, which I've NEVER HAD BEFORE. Yay!!

In other news, I just finished reading Anna and the French Kiss by the amazing Stephanie Perkins. It's her debut novel and I can't even begin to tell you how much I adored this book! The second I finished I wanted to start over again.



Even if you aren't a gushy romantic like I am, this book is fantastic. It's about independence and love and moving on and forgiveness and friendship...the themes are abundant and it's such a great read.
As if I didn't want to visit Paris enough as it is, this made me want to pack my bags and have my own little romantic adventure in the beautiful city.(Perhaps I should get myself a passport, eh?)
Not to mention(and this is kind of embarrassing)the fact that Anna's relationship with St. Clair echoes my own with someone very dear to me and I felt as though my own life were being played out before my eyes. My poor friend(who knows the situation)was bombarded by text messages with excerpts from the book that were me to a T. Except that I'm 29 and not 17...which is awkward...

Every once in a while, I find a story that inspires me to keep going with my own writing. I knew I wanted to improve my NaNo novel and since finishing Anna, my own ideas have been shooting out of the creative corners of my mind.
I can't wait to get to work!





And enjoy. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Things I Learned From NaNo and Other Exciting News!

I won! Yay!!

So. NaNo is over and tonight I cleaned my apartment for the first time in a month. Let me just say...ew.
NaNo was one of the hardest things I've ever done because so much that could go wrong (besides my plot) went wrong.
BUT. I learned some stuff along the way.

1. YES. I can.

2. Consumption of beer is good for creativity.

3. Consumption of excessive amounts of wine is BAD for creativity. Well, it's REEEEAAALLLY good for it but not the next day when you open up your document and think to yourself, 'WTF is this crap? Who broke into my Word and typed up this nonsense???'

4. No one ever took this as seriously as I did so I was struggling to find writing time because I was too nice to turn down shopping/drinking/wedding offers. Because I didn't know how to express just HOW IMPORTANT this was to me.
Live and learn, I suppose.

5. I write best at the kitchen table with a cup of tea and complete silence all around me.

6. I am able to stay up until 5 AM and still make it through work the next day. Yay me. I might have fallen asleep on the floor in someone else's office but....(yes. This happened.)

A lot went wrong during the month of November but I can't wait until next year!

In other news:

I am SO EXCITED to participate in the second annual No Kiss Blogfest on January 2, 2011!! Last year's was a blast and I can't wait to do it again.

Head over to Frankie's page to sign up! Or if you don't want to sign up, be sure to bookmark her page so that you can read everyone else's posts!

And now that November is over...I can't wait to start reading again! :)