Friday, November 30, 2012

Work Christmas Tree

I am not one to decorate my house for Christmas because I am way to lazy to take it down at the end of December.  Last year, my flamingo Christmas tree stayed up until February when I moved. That is sad.  I know so people go all out replacing bedspreads, pictures, shower curtains, etc throughout their house.  That's way to much work for me and no one ever comes over to my house anyway.

At work though I love to decorate for Christmas!  I love it when companies go all out making the lobby beautiful and each area filled with holiday cheer.  In addition to our two doors on our floor (See our Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Door and our Frosty the Snowman Door) we decorated a Christmas tree and our palm tree.

Here is the palm tree right in front of my desk that I decorated with multi-colored lights.  Everyone seems to love it when they walk by and comment on it. 

This is our main Christmas tree on our floor (the main floor has a separate one). I was able to purchase new ornaments for the tree because last years ornaments were horrible!  Seriously.  I opened the box in the supply room and it literally was filled with feathers, doves, and butterflies. Aren't butterflies cocooning or something in the winter time?  They don't belong on a Christmas tree.  I also found glass ornaments with dollar and cent signs puff glitter painted on them and also enlarged dollar bills that had hooks on them like ornaments.  I immediately threw them in the trash.  No bueno on Stephanie's tree.  I know we are in the Accounting Department but that is just horrible. 

There is lights on the tree, but I didn't like them when they were lite up on the tree. I bought LED lights but I bought the larger ones and they look funny so I didn't turn them on. 

When I decorate a tree I always start with the ribbon and go from there.  I like the ribbon to wrap around the tree, no vertical like some people like.  Just my preference.  I choose this maroon ribbon and went with maroon and gold ornaments to complete the tree.  My old work had those colors on their tree and I didn't like them at first, but I have grown to love the two colors together.  It's Christmasy but not overwhelming.

These are some of the ornaments that we bought for the tree.

                                               I love these bulbs and also the frosted berries.

                            More ornaments!  I love all of the different ornaments that we picked.

Of course you have to wrap presents for under the tree!  The tree needed more gold so I bought gold wrapping paper and mixed different ribbon on each box.

What does your Christmas tree look like? 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It could happen

For grins I am going to tell you what I would do if I won the lottery tonight.  No one needs to tell me that the odds of winning are Gazillion to One because I really don’t care.  Let me live in a fantasy world for a few hours with my millions. :)  I did buy a $2 for the estimated $500 Million jackpot which is estimated to be $375 million with the cash option.  It might be a waste of $2, but let’s face it, I spend that money on useless things anyway so why not spend it on something that makes me smile for a few hours?  It’s fun to dream what you would do with it.  Even if I did win, my luck would be that I would have to split it with 10 people, which would be ok because I think it would be hard to spend that much money in your lifetime (especially with the Mayan calendar deadline coming up. Hahahahahaha).

So what would I do with it?  This is what I would do (in no particular order):
-Give 10% to my church (New Hope in Pearland) even though I am not sure how they would feel about getting gambling money.  If I win I will ask them first before giving them millions. :)
-Give money to Driving Jacks so they could continue to operate
-Put 40% in savings for taxes-I honestly have no idea what my tax rate would be so 40% sounds right
-Buy a house-I am not sure what part of Houston I would live in though.  Would it be close to my family, close to work, or in a cool part of town?  I would want someplace with land so I can add a running trail to it around the property and a big pool for everyone to swim at.  I don’t need a super big house, just an average size with three or four bedrooms-No million $$ plus home for me.
-Remodel said house to my specifications .
-Buy a flamingo yard ornament :)
-Hire a maid because if you know me, you know that I am the least domestic person out there.  They wouldn’t be a live in made though because that’s weird!
-Hire a personal trainer
-Pay off my student loans
-Travel and work on completing my Bucket List
-Set up a trust for my nephews
-Buy a leather couch-I am thinking of buying this soon anyway because my couch attracts Jabba’s hair like it wants to grow it’s own.  New couch!
-Buy a vacation home-Not sure where I would buy it though.  My aunt has a house in Honduras so I wouldn’t buy one there since I can go whenever.  I liked Costa Rica but I want to see different places.   Suggestions on my gazillion in one chance winning lotto ticket vacation home would be appreciated.  Leave it in the comment section. ;)

I think the problem would arise though that people would be coming out of the woodworks asking for money.  I think it would be super hard for a single person to meet someone that loves them, not their money.  That would be hard.  Hopefully you can claim your prize anonymously and not tell anyone so that you could live in peace.  If you aren’t extravagant in your spending you might be able to hide it from people.  I heard that in some states you can claim it anonymously, but I am not sure if Texas is one of those states or if the Powerball falls into that category.

It’s fun to dream!  What would you spend it on?

How far I have come

I was reading my race recaps recently and I noticed that I am so different from a year ago in terms of my races (and also life in general but that is another post for another day). These days I just get out there and RUN! 

Here are a few things that I noticed I do differently now:
-In the Lake Houston 5K race recap I said that I pick someone in the race to beat, but now I don't do that.  I run for ME.  I am not trying to beat anyone's time but my own.  I do admit that sometimes when I am running with someone that I know I look for them on the course to see how they are doing, but I always shake my head and remember that I need to race my own race, not someone else's.

-In the Toughest 10K Kemah 2011 race I was scared about doing 6 miles.  6 miles?  I do that at least 3 or 4 times a week and then some.

-Clothes choices-I am looking back and THE most important thing I do is pick out what I am going to wear.  Did I get a new shirt for this race?  Does it have a theme that matches the race theme?  Who cares?!  I am planning my outfit for my first marathon, but otherwise I am not worried about it at all.  I just pull out any old tech t-shirt and run.

-Breakfast-These days it's sort of a touch and go kind of breakfast.  I don't plan it out anymore.  I don't have a pre-race ritual.

-Goodybags-I used to care what I got as race swag, but now I hardly ever even open the bag they give me unless it's to pull out my bib number and tech t-shirt.  I really care about the bling.

-Every twist and turn-I used to tell you how I felt at every stride, but now I just say I felt good or I was having an off day or something.

-Half Marathon-A half marathon was a big freakin' deal to me a year ago and a very scary distance.  Now, I have done two of them and I have to more plus an 18 miler scheduled in December.  I actually have a half marathon this weekend right after I move and it's no big deal, it's just another run.  I am kinda nonchalant about them and its weird.  I think that your first race at each distance gives you butterflies in your stomach, but you know once you have done it once your head gives your body the OK to do it again and again without much problem.

-Starting position-At the Toughest 10K Kemah 2012 my uncle asked me if I needed to get in a certain place in line.  I said no, I will find my pace naturally and adjust to where I need to be.  They were starting in the back and so did I.  I used to think I had to be in the 'right' corral or line placement, but now I know that it doesn't really matter unless you are super speedy.

I think all of these things are because I know I can do it.  I believe in myself and my abilities now. 

Have your races changed since you have been running?  Do you still get butterflies? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tragedy in the North Pole

As you know from this post, my work hosts a holiday door decorating contests each year in each department. Our door is a reindeer theme this year (see it here) and I love it!  I was talking about the other doors over Thanksgiving dinner with my family and I  mentioned my favorite so far (besides ours) was the Human Resources door.

The Human Resources door is Santa Clause in a hot tub and bits of Frosty the Snowman are floating in the water (carrot nose, pipe, hat, etc).  The sign says 'Who's bright idea was it to invite Frosty?'  Then Santa says, 'HR, they wanted to include everyone.'  So cute!  So as I was talking about the doors over Thanksgiving when my uncle said it would be cute to have Frosty's Wife and Kids standing on the street corner with a 'missing' poster looking for him all sad.  I suggested it at work today and everyone loved it.  Off to Hobby Lobby I go!

First, I added dark blue paper to the door and penciled a silhouette of Ms. Frosty and the kids grouped together.  I cut it out and taped it to the door.

Then I added the letters to the top of the door that said "Help Find Frosty!"

Here is a closeup of the letters that we used.  The red are snowflakes and blue are little snowmen.

Then I added accessories like a purse, carrot noses, hats, buttons, arms, a bow, eyes, and the 'missing' sign.

Here is a picture of her Coach Purse that she carries.  Mrs. Frosty is sooooo stylish. :)

Frosty's daughter has a talk bubble right by her head that says 'Please help find my Daddy'.

Here is a closeup of the "Missing" Sign that I made.  I wanted to add a phone number to call, but I wasn't sure what to put.  800-555-SNOW?  haha.
Then I added these snowflakes to the blue paper in the background.  They look cute, but they are a pain in the rear trying to get them off the page.  I ripped so many of them because I just didn't have the patience to lift every single branch of the snowflakes.  It was annoying.  I think they are scrap-booking snowflakes that I was supposed to have used tweezers with, but that didn't happen.

Finished door!  Not bad for coming up with it in one day.

My work has a company intranet so we also added this news bulletin to the front page so everyone will know the HORROR that is going on in the North Pole. :)  I am also planning on passing out flyers and putting them up in the kitchen tomorrow! LOL.

Headline:  Shocking News from the North Pole

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN has gone missing from the North Pole.  His wife and children were seen today on the side of the road holding a missing persons sign. 
FROSTY was last seen by his wife when he left for the annual North Pole Christmas Party put on by the Human Resources Department.  Fox News questioned several characters that attended the party including SANTA and RUDOLPH but none will discuss what happened at the Human Resources Holiday After Party.  Apparently what happens in the North Pole, stays in the North Pole.
Police say that all puddles will be thoroughly investigated and if you come across one please notify them immediately.
The Accounting and IT Departments have posted the missing persons sign for all to see.  Please go to the 12th floor to take a flyer.
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, please contact his wife at their home.
Fox News will keep you updated on any developments relating to this tragedy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Three gifts

Lately, since it's holiday frenzy time, I have been seeing lots of posts of Facebook about my friends stressing out that they can't find this gift for this person, or that they are worried if this person has enough gifts, etc.  It drives me insane that people are taking Christ out of Christmas and replacing it with X-Box, Legos, and Barbie's. 

Let me remind you that Jesus got THREE gifts, Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Just three gifts and he is JESUS, the King of Kings!  I am sorry to be the one to tell you this, but your child is not better than Jesus and does not deserve anything better than him.

My (future) children will only get three gifts from me and my (future) husband.  No one will say they are deprived because they will absolutely not be just because they don't get every single thing on their wish list.  Besides that, they will get a mountain of other toys from your other family members.  Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents, etc are all going to get little Suzy and Timmy something.  Don't stress, it's not what the holidays are about.

My friend said that she knows a woman that gets her children three gifts one educational, one spiritual, and one fun gift.  I love that idea!  Maybe I will adopt that idea too.

So, this year remember the reason for the season is JESUS.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Victoria's Secret

Friday morning about 3:30 am I had a weight loss moment for the record books.  Since I am known for the over-share on my blog, here it goes!

Almost three years ago I had a breast reduction.  I had always had to buy my bras at Lane Bryant or at a specialty store, and I had never been able to go to Victoria's Secret to shop.  While Black Friday shopping I went into Victoria's Secret with my sister.  She was looking for her friend and I was checking out the sports clothes section when an employee came up to me to ask if I needed help finding anything.  I said no, I can't fit into any of these bras since my boobs were to still to big.  She asked if I had been measured recently and I said no, not recently.  They brought me into the fitting room and measured me.  Well, let me tell you, I COULD FIT INTO THEIR BRAS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

They measured me with one size and I tried to them on.  The cup size was two sizes to big and I finally got the right size for me.  Once we got the right size tried on about 5 different styles in the bras to see which one I liked the best.  They have you try everything on in the black demo ones that they have in the back, then you go in the front to get the color that you want in whichever style you choose.   They also give you a card with your size and style marked on it that you like best so you can know which one the next time you come in.  Easy.

My cup size after the reduction had never been the problem, it was the band size.  The most they go up to in a store is 38DDD, and online is 40DDD.  Well, I won't tell you my size but I will say that since I have lost so much weight, I can now fit into their bras.  I cannot even begin to tell you how freakin' excited that makes me, you have no idea!

I have never had a bra and panty set that matched before, because you really can't get them in larger sizes.  I have always had big boobs, but my panties were waaaaaay smaller in size and they didn't have my size.  If the bra fit then the smallest panty set was four sizes to big.  No bueno.  Well, now I can find matching bra and panties right in the store!!!

Also, at VS they have so many cute bra and panty colors that usually weren't available in my old sizes.  They have any color I would want.  They have lace or rhinestones if I want them too!!!!

I ended up buying two bras, the demi bra and the dream angel pushup bra that were buy one get one half off.  I also got a free pink sequins bag with some beauty products in them that they were giving away free with any $75 or more purchase for Black Friday.  The bag also had some coupons in it.

I know this might be a silly blog post to some of you, but for me this is great.  You have no idea the curse that big boobs are.  Sigh.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The crazies are let loose-Black Friday Shopping

My sister and I went out on Thursday night to go Black Friday shopping and had so much fun!  We left her house at 7 pm and headed to Toys-R-Us.  My sister originally had planned to stand in line at Target to get a t.v. while I stood in line at Toys-R-Us for some sort of toy goodie bag, but they already bought a t.v. online so she didn't need to stand in line there.  Earlier this year my sisters house was struck by lightening and it fried all of their t.v.'s so they needed a replacement.  They had already gotten one for another room, but this one was for the living room.

We went to the Woodlands to go shopping and stood in line at Toys-R-Us.  This shopping center had five major stores in the strip, Toys-R-Us, Academy, Marshall's, Golf Galaxy, and Target (in that order).  The line for Toys-R-Us started at the front door and ended down by Target.  That is a LONG way but luckily we were right past the end of Toys-R-Us.  The first 200 people in line got a free goodie bag of random toys and candy.  There was a lady about 4 people back that was only in line for the goodie bag (she had her daughter with her) so she went up to the front of the line to count how many people were ahead of us.  Laura and I ended up being the 205th to 210th person in line so we didn't think we would get a goodie bag.  It didn't matter though because she wanted some cups for the boys and she heard that Toys-R-Us was price matching for Black Friday other competitors ads.  Apparently they weren't though because we when we waited in line and got to the front the checkout girl said that they weren't price matching so we just left the store.  We got our free goodie bag though!

After Toys-R-Us we headed to Target a few store down and got in line.  Target was already open but the line was still long and we had to wait for a few minutes in line to get in.  Target was packed, but it wasn't crazy like Wal-Mart was.  I think the certified crazies all go to Wal-Mart.  I got about 5 $4 movies at Target but I couldn't find the $1 movies that were advertised.  I asked several times but they said that they couldn't find them and apparently they weren't shipped any $1 DVD's.  While I was shopping my sister stood in line so we wouldn't be there all night.  She followed the directions of one of the Target employees but ended up being in a line to no where, then she found another line and sent me a text of a flamingo lawn ornament that lights up.  When I got her text I thought she might be in another wrong line and I was right.  When I found her she was in the electronics line and had been standing there for awhile. haha.  Poor thing.  I wasn't sure when I got her text that she was in the wrong spot so I didn't say anything but I should have.   We finally got in line at the correct line and checked out.  At Target I got some chapstick (needed some!), 5 DVD's, a Madden 13 game for Hunter, and 5 chocolate Candy Land games for this party I am going to in December (I might take those back though).

After Target we went to Kohl's for the bulk of our shopping.  The Kohl's line started at the far set of doors, wrapped around to the side of Kohl's, and back up to the front in a snake like pattern.  We were about halfway down the side of the store waiting in line.  We got hungry while in line and Laura went to get us What-A-Burger. I really wanted Starbucks but there weren't any that were open that late (it was midnight)  There were several things that we needed from the store and we got in rather quickly once they started to let people go inside. We headed straight to the home goods section and got some blankets that were $8 each.  We stood in line for literally an hour and a half.  Yes, you heard me correctly...the wait to checkout was an hour and a half long.  Crazy! I wanted to look at the boots and a few more things, but I didn't get a chance too.  At Kohl's I got a heated blanket (gift), a throw (work gift), and a set of steak knives (gift).  I also ended up getting $15 in Kohl's cash!  Whoo hoo!  Laura got several blankets and maybe something else, I don't remember what though.

We stopped at McDonald's to get me a Latte (yuck btw!) since Starbucks was close and then headed to the mall to go to Macy's.  We didn't find anything at Macy's so we did go out in the mall to the other smaller stores.  None of the other big stores were open in the mall but stores like Hollister, Abercrombie, Claire's, etc were open.  Apparently the Sears in the Woodlands Mall is closing so they weren't open at midnight like their ad said they would be.  We went to Victoria's Secret and I got a few things while in there. <---That deserves it's own post!  Maybe tomorrow :)

The last stop we made (at 5 am) was Home Depot for a Christmas tree.  Oh my goodness, I have such a respect for Home Depot and how they treat their customers.  When we got in line all of the staff were smiling and talking with us.  I didn't see any sour attitudes, unlike many of the other stores we went to for the day.  While we were waiting in line they were handing out free donuts and drinks to us.  I didn't end up having a donut (#MarathonTraining), but I did have some orange juice.  The line for Home Depot was non existent, and we were in and out in 10 minutes.  Thank you Home Depot for making our shopping experience great!  You can tell how well a company treats their employees by how the employees treats their customers.  Wal-Mart could learn a thing or two from Home Depot.

We had a blast this Black Friday!  I can't wait to do it again next year!!!!!!  I didn't see any fights break out this year, maybe one day I will see one. :)

How was your Black Friday?  Did you see any fights break out?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Being Thankful

Yesterday I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in Spring this year.  I woke up around 7 am to get ready for the day and run some marathon training mileage. Yep, even on Thanksgiving marathon training does not stop.  I ran 7.5-8 miles in the morning then showered and headed to my parents house.  On the way I called my Dad and Pie to wish them Happy Thanksgiving since they were headed to Austin and I wouldn't see them.  I got to my parents house about 10:30 with a growling stomach!  I had eaten a protein shake about an hour and a half before, but apparently it did not fill my stomach up enough.  I ate some hummus plus crackers and a piece of stuff celery while waiting on everyone to get there (hurry up!). 

Everyone started arriving around 11:15-11:30 am, and we ate at 12 ish.  I brought the Sweet Potato Casserole (I heard it turned out really well) and everyone else each brought a dish also.  There was ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, broccoli rice casserole, stuffing, deviled eggs, rolls, salmon patties, stuff celery, cranberry sauce, pasta salad, mac and cheese, and more!  I piled my plate high and dug in.  I ate so many calories, I am going to have to run double time to burn them all off. There were a ton of desserts to try, but I only had some of the pretzel things that I made.

I actually watched football on Thanksgiving Sunday!  If the Texans weren't playing though I probably wouldn't have watched at all.  It was fun!  The Texans were playing the Detroit Lions this year on Thanksgiving and boy was it a nail biter.  I thought last Sunday's game was nerve wracking, but this game was worse!  Let me tell you, the Lions play dirty! I don't understand why they can't just be grownups and not play fair.  My favorite part of the game was when Texans player Forsett was down on the play, but still got a touchdown (watch this video) because the coach from the Lions threw a penalty flag that didn't need to be thrown.  I am a Texans fan, but that was a bit ridiculous, they shouldn't have gotten that touchdown.  The game went into overtime again like last week but they pulled it out and won the game with a field goal.

While some of us were watching the football game, everyone else was outside swimming in the pool.  Usually, if my parents host Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter at their house they heat the pool so everyone can swim.  The kids always get so excited since it's been months since they were able to swim.  I didn't bring my bathing suit so I didn't want to swim, plus I was really into the game.

After the Texans won we played three games of the dice game LCR.  LCR is a dice game where each player brings $3 and you each roll the dice until there is a winner.  Go here to find out more (you can buy it at Wal-Mart or Target for around $7, it is awesome to play with groups of people.  We played three games and I won a game, my sister Laura won a game, and my grandmother won a game.  We each only brought $3 so we just put the money back in the game to play again.  I won the last set and let everyone keep their money, no 'gambling' on Thanksgiving!  haha.  I don't really think it's a gambling game, but my Grandmother thought it was (we were sending her to the dark side) so we all took our money back at the end of the game.

After everyone left  I took a nap upstairs at my parents house before leaving around 7 pm to go shopping with my sister for Black Friday.  Post on that coming tomorrow!

p.s.  Just under 50 days until I will be running in the Chevron Houston Marathon!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole

Last year, at Thanksgiving, I was told that I needed to bring something to the Thanksgiving dinner.   In the 28 years before that my Mom would always bring something and I wouldn't have to worry about it, but since I have been living on my own for so  many years now, they decided that I should start bring something.  Even though I cannot cook very well, it didn't matter to them.  I am a 'grown up' now and I needed to start bringing something. BOO!

My grandma suggested I bring the sweet potato casserole since it was easy.  Hmm, OK.  So I reached out to my friends on Facebook and Mr. Google to find a recipe that would work.  My friend Krista saved the day and sent me a recipe from for a wonderful sweet potato casserole.   I made it the day before Thanksgiving and crossed my fingers hoping it would turn out OK.  Well, let me tell you...everyone was RAVING about it.  There wasn't any leftover at all and my grandma talks about it all the time.  It does have a lot of sugar in it (a lot!), but it is pretty tasty.

This year, I am hoping to have a repeat success with the recipe.  Wish me luck! :)  I AM NOT a good cook so I am not sure how it will turn out this year, but the actual recipe is great!  I did some things that might now make it such a success this year, so I am a bit worried.

See recipe and measurements below.  Last year my neighbor Carol helped me make it, but this year I am living on the opposite side of town and she is not here to help so I am on my own. :(  I didn't remember if I boiled, baked, or microwaved the sweet potatoes last year so this year I started to bake them (then that didn't work out so I boiled them-skip the baking and just boil them!). 

First, I removed all the skins and chopping them up into chunks.  They were taking FOREVER to bake so after awhile I boiled them (hopefully they weren't overcooked after doing both).  After I boiled them I mixed all the ingredients in the bowl and started to mix them together.

After I proceeded to get the mixture everywhere, including the paper towels, stove, fridge, and me I put the mixture in the casserole dish and added the topping.  I only showed one casserole dish, but I sort of doubled the recipe and put 3/4 of the recipe with pecans and 1/4 of the recipe in a separate dish with marshmallows.  Tomorrow when I get to my parents house I will bake them both for the 30 minutes.

Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
Servings: 8
5 sweet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2. Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften. Cool slightly, peel, and mash.
3. In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and heavy cream. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
4. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
5. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

 Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!  

My favorite Thanksgiving items are black olives and deviled eggs.  What are yours?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Door Decorating Contest

Edit:  We made another door this year to compliment another departments door.  It's really funny, See it here.

Each year my work has a door decorating contest at Christmas time.  Each department gets on 'official' door to decorate and mid December we have a contest to see who is the winner out of three categories 1.  Most Creative  2.  Most Christmas Spirit 3.  The People's Choice.  There are 8 teams participating this year so we have a decent shot at winning!!

I looked at the pictures from the past few years and then googled' Christmas door decorating' for ideas.  I knew I wanted something fun, but it didn't necessarily have to be oil and gas related.  I found three different ideas and narrowed it down from there.

I decided to go with a reindeer themed door where the reindeer got caught up in the Christmas lights and is dangling from the ceiling (I got the idea from Pinterest).

First, I had to figure out how to draw a reindeer.  When I was younger I used to be a really good drawer, but then I broke my arm twice and couldn't draw anymore (plus, now I have bad handwriting also).  Luckily, I work with the IT Department (and Accounting) so they helped me get a projector set up so I could trace a reindeer the size that I needed.  I had gone to the teacher supply store to get big sheets of butcher paper and Hobby Lobby to get a few other random supplies. 

After I added the plain white to the door (at the end it needed more color so I would suggest another color background) and cut out the traced reindeer I taped the reindeer to the door.  The lights needed to hang from the top of the door so we ran them on the inside of the office with a extension cord.  We taped the body of the reindeer but left the legs, arms, and head not taped until we could string the lights around them, then taped it.

Next, we added all of the accessories to the reindeer like his hoofs, antlers, nose (red glitter scrapbook paper), eyes (squiggly eyes that move), collar, white on tail and chest, and the inside of the ears.  While at Hobby Lobby I also found some scrapbook stickers that looked like Christmas tree ornaments and stuck them on the antlers.

Then I added Oh Deer and Merry Christmas to the top and bottom.    My company is a private company that says ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of Happy Holidays. :)  You gotta keep 'Christ' in Christmas!

Here is a close up of the letters.  I chose three different scrapbook papers from Hobby Lobby and the red letters actually say Merry Christmas in small font.  Love them!  After I got the paper I went to the teacher supply store to cut out the letters with their die-cut machine.  It was a lot simplier instead of tracing out the letters and cutting them by hand.  Between the butcher paper and letters I only spent $7 at the teacher supply store (the actual scrapbook paper was more at Hobby Lobby though).

When I was done I decided it needed more color so I added the red glitter trim around the sides.  I found it in the supply closet from last year I guess.

So, what do you think?!  Hopefully we win!!  I have seen a few other doors that are finished and HR's so far is the cutest.  It is Santa in a hot tub with a melted Frosty the Snowman floating in it.  It says "who's bright idea was it to invite Frosty to the party? " Then is says "HR wanted to include everyone." haha.  I think that might win!  But then I was telling some of my friends and family about it and they said why don't you put a new door up that has a woman snowman and two child snowman with a sign that says "Husband died in a workplace accident, please help". I think I might do that! haha.

Edit:  We made another door this year to compliment another departments door.  It's really funny, See it here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Texans 9-1

I had made plans with my friend from high school, Sarah, to meet up at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the Texans game beat the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The game started at noon, but we decided to get their early to get a table before there was a big wait.  Luckily though, there was not a wait and we were seated immediately.  We ordered food and drinks, talked about our busy lives, and watched the game.  We decided we were going to go to the Dilliard's clearance center in the West Oaks Mall, but then Sarah got a call from her friend saying that she had two tickets to the Texans game if we wanted them.  Sarah's fiance didn't want to go with her so she asked me if I wanted too go.  Heck yes!

We got the tickets and headed to the Reliant to see the game.  We made it to Reliant right at the beginning of the third quarter.  We sat right behind the field goal at first, but then I remembered my parents had also gone to the game and texted my mom to see where they were sitting.  We headed over to their section and stayed the rest of the game over there.

My parents and their friends left the game early because they had to take my Aunt Tracy to the airport, but we stayed sitting in that section.  The game was a nail bitter that ended up being tied 34-34 at the end of the fourth quarter.  What we thought was the end of the quarter was actually 1:30 left on the clock.  Apparently one clock wasn't working and two other ones were so they used the clock with 1:30 left on it.  After that additional time they were still tied so they went into an overtime quarter of 15 minutes.

Texans won the coin toss and the Texans got a three point lead within 5(ish) minutes.  The ball kept going back and forth between both teams.  Interceptions and touchdowns were the name of the game. Nail biter!  Finally in the last 2 minutes of the game, Andre Johnson scored the final touchdown of the game defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 43-37.  The stadium ERUPTED in a huge wall of sound.  SOOOOO loud.

Both teams rushed the field exchaning handshakes and the media was there to capture interviews with the players before they went in the lockeroom.

Even though my eardrums were ringing and my voice is hoarse from all the yelling, I had a BLAST at this game.  Thank you Sarah for inviting me!!! :)

I am proud to say I am from Houston, and I am proud to call myself a Houston Texans fan.

9-1 Baby!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Breaking Dawn

I wasn't going to be one of 'those' people who saw Breaking Dawn on the first weekend it was out.  Honestly, I didn't want to fight the teenagers crowds to see a movie that the previous ones weren't great (good, not great).  I went to the mall today and stopped at the theater to see how busy the theater was and I was surprised to find that there weren't a million kids running around.  I went to the window and she said that so far only 10 people had bought a ticket for that showing (4 pm) and it probably wouldn't sell out. 

I was going to buy a water at the concession stand, but the icee's were calling my name and the small bottles of water were $5!  $5 for a small bottle of water?  Ridiculous!  

Everyone said that the movie was wonderful and the best out of all of them, but I just thought it was ok.  The ending did surprise me a bit but other than that I knew what was coming.  Breaking Dawn was my favorite book out of the series so I knew what would happen, except I did forget who J. Jenkins was and the role he played in the story. The movie seemed to go on forever.  Everyone kept saying that it didn't seem like two hours, but it absolutely did feel that way to me. 

After the movie I went to get my hair cut and went home to pack up my apartment for the big move on the first. I dislike moving and packing very much.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Client Appreciation Night

Last night I attended a client appreciation night event at the Downtown Aquarium that was sponsored by the company that takes care of all of our licenses and business registrations.

My friend Tonya from work also was going so we carpooled together.  The party was on the 3rd floor of the aquarium in a private party area.  The room next to us was the Delta Zeta formal event, all the college age kids were dressed in formals when we were dressed in business attire. Oh well.  Some people at our event were more dressed up though, I was just wearing my new black pants and a work polo.

We checked in at the front table and got our name tags and a raffle ticket.  Once we got inside we noticed that they were serving free drinks at the open bar.  Tonya got wine and I got an orange juice, grenadine, and vodka cocktail (so yummy!).

After we got our drinks and found a table we made our way to the food.  There were five table stations set up, roast beef, fish, make your own pasta, cheese/crackers/fruit, and dessert.  I got fish, pasta, cheese, and dessert.  The shrimp in the pasta was not cooked all the way it seemed, so I didn't eat all of it.    The desserts were amazing!  I had several different options to choose from but I got a mini canoli thing and a puff pastry that I split with Tonya.

They started calling out the winners of the raffle tickets and a guy at our table won a Kindle.  I overheard him say that he would give it away as a gift or sell it on eBay.  Later in the night they called my  number and I won a $50 Visa Giftcard!!  When I got back to the table I asked the guy if he wanted to trade.  I already have a Nook but I had decided earlier that if I won something I would give it to the Driving Jacks 5K that is coming up again soon so they can raffle it off.  I told the guy what I was going to do with it if I won and he traded with me!  Yay!!  I texted my friend Matt to make sure they would want it as a doorprize item and he said of course they would.  So, if you are going to attend the 2013 Driving Jacks 5K, you will get a chance to win a free Kindle!  We stayed a little longer in hopes that Tonya would win a doorprize, but she didn't. :/

When we were walking out they were handing out blue satin bags with chocolate in them.  (Sorry, I couldn't get the picture to rotate!)

I had lots of fun and I am so glad I won a doorprize!  I love winning doorprizes.  Thank you CT Corporation for inviting us to your event!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

America Recycles Day

Today is America Recycles Day and I thought I would tell you a few different ways I have been recycling or going ‘green’ lately!  I don’t have recycling at my house so I can’t send stuff off like I would like (does anyone know a place to recycle in my area?)
1.        Shred Box-At work we have a shred box or the trash-I choose the shred box because everything in it gets recycled! 
2.       Grocery bags-I have been using those fabric grocery bags that you can buy from just about anywhere for about a dollar.  If they get dirty, just wash them!
3.       Turn off the lights-Every time I walk in the kitchen or supply room at work the light seems to be on.  Turn it off when you leave (except if someone is in there, because that’s just rude.
4.       Water bottles-I have been using a lot of water bottles lately for running-Instead of buying individual water bottles lately, I just use my fuel belt and refill the containers as needed.
5.       Cup-At work I try to refill a plastic cup that is washable instead of using the Styrofoam cups that are provided.  Styrofoam is the easy to recycle but does not bio-degrade.  Don’t use them!
6.       Towels-When I get done with the shower I towel off and hang it back up to reuse the towel for about a week, then I wash it.  You just took a shower so you are clean, there is no reason to wash a towel every time you use it.  That may be gross to some people, but I don’t really care.  I actually know several people who do this so I can’t be the only crazy person out there. 
7.       Cat food rings-My cousin makes jewelry out of the tabs on sodas (which I don’t drink) and I always send her the tabs off of Jabba’s cat food tins.  I haven’t seen a necklace out of them yet, but I know she uses them.

What do you do to recycle and ‘go green’?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why I will not be joining the Spirit Airlines fan club

This past weekend I was supposed to travel via airplane to Dallas on Spirit Airlines out of the Houston Intercontinental Airport.  Yeah, so that didn't happen.

My plane was scheduled to leave at 7:50 pm on Friday so I got to the airport in plenty of time to check in and get through security.  I parked my car and rode the shuttle over to the terminal to get checked in at about 6 pm.  As I was standing in line a Spirit Airlines employee came over to the line and asked us where we were headed.  We all said Dallas (some had connecting flights) and he then said that our flight had been delayed until at least 11:45 pm, at that time they would re-evaulate to see what they would do after that. 

At this point I was thinking of just waiting around in the terminal because I honestly did not want to drive (luckily it's only about 4 hours).  The woman behind me wanted to talk to a manager so the rest of us in line followed her over to that line.  We all decided that if we speak as a group to the manager it might help us more. 

A manager named Sean came to the counter and asked how he could help.  We just wanted to know what was going to happen at 11:45 pm and where was our plane.  He didn't know what happened to the plane and he said that the plane from Chicago was set to be arriving at 11:45 pm (earlier they said we were leaving at 11:45 pm), so we would be leaving around 12:30 or 1 pm.  He couldn't for sure say what would happen at 11:45, but as of right then the 'plan' was to leave around 12:30.  I asked what would happen at 11:45 if the plane wasn't ready or the flight crew couldn't fly, he said they would cancel it then.  He also said that they do not give meal vouchers, they don't book at other airlines, and they don't pay for hotels.  Everyone in line got P.O.'ed at this point and started speaking at once. 

Sean, the customer service manager then said "I have a lot of paperwork to do, and you are all taking this way to personal.  Is there anything else?"  Really? He really could have cared less about our cancelled flight and apparently we were taking up way to much of his time. 

Sean gave us a few more minutes of his precious time and said we have four options (I don't remember what the fourth one was, so you only get three). 1.  Wait until 12:45 am and see what happens.  2.  Get a refund.  3.  Get a credit 4.  (I don't remember the fourth!).  Spirit Airlines does not offer any other option and basically you are screwed over.  Some people checked online for the flight status before they left home (I didn't) and it had said everything still fine so they went ahead and came to the airport.  Obviously Spirit Airlines does not update their flight status on their website very often.

I didn't want to wait until midnight to see what was going to happen with my plane, if I left then and drove to Dallas I could be there by midnight.  I checked other flights and they were all $180 plus fees (I got my Spirit ticket for $60-same cost as gas so it would have been worth it) so I could't go that route, plus all flights to Dallas were already gone for the day at all airlines. 

Finally I just decided to stand in line and got my refund, it was about 8 pm when I got out of there (2 hours in total).  Other people in line were not so lucky.  There was a guy in line behind me that was in Houston for a job interview, but lived in Phoenix, that was stuck in Houston until the next night at 11 pm.  Spirit Airlines does not pay for hotels so this guy was stuck paying out of pocket for the hotel costs.  He hadn't paid for his ticket (his potential job did) so he couldn't get a refund for the ticket.  The people in front of me were on their way to Phoenix via a connecting flight in Dallas but had to cancel their trip because of their flight.  They had already paid for their hotel and rental car in Phoenix and could not get a refund (Spirit Airlines did not care-Sean said "sorry, we don't have a policy to pay for that").  They did get a refund on their credit card for a portion, but since it was booked through Spirit Travel they would have to call and speak with another group of people (who don't speak English very well) and try and get a refund.

All in all I came out even with gas and stuff when I drove my own car. I WILL NOT fly Spirit Airlines again and I learned the age old lesson of "You get what you pay for".  Spirit Airlines might have cheap flights, but if you don't get to actually go on those cheap flights, it won't matter and you will be stuck with the headache of making alternate plans.  Thank goodness that Dallas was close enough for me to drive, I wouldn't have wanted to miss the wedidng because a major corporation doesn't have their act together.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

2 months

Two months from today, on January 13th, 2013 I will be running my first marathon, the Chevron Houston Marathon.  I can’t believe it is almost here!  It feels like yesterday when I got picked for the marathon and here it is, months later, that I am almost done training for it.

Any suggestions or training tips?!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wedding Weekend

This weekend I traveled to Dallas to my friends Chelsea and Matt's wedding.  Honestly, this was the fanciest wedding I have ever attended.  I loved it!  So much fun also!!!

Like I said in the last post, I had gotten off work early to get to the airport for my flight to Dallas.  I got there around 6 pm (I stopped to go shopping) and found out my flight had been delayed until at least midnight (long story, I will post what happened later...but DON'T attempt to fly Spirit Airlines out of Houston) and I decided to get a refund and drive.  I stopped to get something to eat before the flight and went to my parents house to charge my phone but then I decided to just stay the night there and leave in the morning.  I didn't want to drive home because it was 45 minutes away and my friend Aly was staying over to babysit catsit Jabba.

I got up the next morning with the intent to run my 16 miles...but that didn't happen!  When do my plans ever turn out the way I planned them?  I hung out with my sister and nephew Cole for a bit, then I got dressed and drove to Dallas.  It was supposed to take 4 hours, but it only took 3 so I went to Central Market and got some food for breakfast on Sunday and also a wedding card to give to the bride and groom.

At the church when Chelsea was walking down the aisle I got choked up, she was just a beautiful bride!  I cry at weddings even if I don't know the person very well, but it really was a honest cry this time! LOL.  After the ceremony we went to a country club for the reception.  We got there was wine and beer, plus cheese, crackers, and fruit while we waited for the bride and groom.  It was a sit down dinner so we had assigned seats, I was at table 19 with the other 'fun and young' people (Chelsea's words, not mine!).

I found my place card and set my stuff down.  BTW, the bacon thing in the picture below was AMAZING! (I had three of them).    After we sat down for dinner we watched the bridal party be introduced, then the parents, then the bride and groom.   Chelsea and Matt did a choreographed dance, then a father/daughter, mother/son dance, and then the dance floor was open to all of us.
Let me tell you a story about me and one of the guests who we shall call Super Cute Guy.  Back in the fall of 2004 I was a brand new SFA Lumberjack, and that semester I had my first hospitality class (Intro to Hospitality, Dr. Herman).  On my first day of class, in walks this super cute guy and I thought to myself "Wow, he's really cute."  Later that semester we were assigned to a group project together.  The project was something about starting a hotel and marketing it, I don't remember all the details but we had shirts made!  Anyway, during the course of that project I had the biggest crush on that super cute guy (who will remain nameless on my blog).  The semester ended and I haven't seen him since.  Well, technically we are Facebook friends but we don't talk or anything.  So, to my surprise, who after 8 years walked into the wedding?  Super cute guy!!!  And let me tell you, he is still a very super cute guy. ;)  Chelsea and Clarissa both new who he was and that I had a crush on him years ago, so they went up to him and told him to ask me to dance.  I did not know what they were doing at the time, I found out later, and was super embarrassed (what is this, middle school?! haha).  He was going to ask me to dance, but then the girl who he came with had to leave so he went with her, so we never danced or even talked.  Maybe in another 8 years we will reconnect, though I don't think we have any other mutual friends.  I honestly don't think he remembered or recognized me though since I have changed so much and lost weight.  I was super awkward back in 2004.  
 It was sweet for Chelsea and Clarissa to try and hook me up with him though. :)

Photo booth time!!  I soooooo want one of these at my future wedding.  Whoever is my future husband:  take note and add it to the wedding budget.

Chelsea and Matt cut the cake but managed not to shove it in each others faces. Too bad, I love cake fights! :)

Me and the beautiful bride!  I never got a picture with the both of them.

One of  my best friends Clarissa was a bridesmaid.  I stayed at Clarissa's house this weekend.  Thank you Clarissa!

By the end of the night we were all worn out from the busy day, but I am sure none of us ran around like Chelsea did.  Right before they left she just plopped down on the floor and took her shoes off!

I had a fantastic time at the wedding, I made some new friends and saw some old ones.  It was a very fun night!  Congrats to Chelsea and Matt.  You guys sure do know how to party! I look forward to hearing about all the success you two have as a couple for many, many years to come! :)