1/31/13

emmy rossum's new album sentimental journey


So if youve been reading for a while, you know that while Im not personally musically talented whatsoever, music is still a major part of my life. I love lots of types of music, mostly country, but I love to hear new music. As a couple, hubs and I go to lots of concerts, and there always seems to be music playing in the background when we hang out with family and friends. So when I got the opportunity to review Emmy Rossum's new album Sentimental Journey I was waaay excited. 

You may know Emmy (yes were on a first name basis ;) lol ) as the gorgeous actress who currently stars in the Showtime series Shameless with William H. Macy. She also stars alongside Emma Thompson and Viola Davis in the upcoming feature film Beautiful Creatures (you know the book I talked about reading), which hits theaters on February 13th. You also might recognize her from The Day After Tomorrow, Phantom of the Opera, or Mystic River. Needless to say, shes a great actor. Ill admit, Im always a little skeptical when celebrities try to crossover to different industries. If theyre good at one thing they should stick with it, because I rarely see one that can be awesome at both. Emmy Rossum? she goes in the exception group.
She has an absolutely beautiful voice. One that you can hear for yourself with her new album Sentimental Journey which released only a few days ago. An album where she most definitely brings her stellar voice to songs popularized by some of the most beloved artists of the last century. Heres a quick look at the track list:
  1. “Sentimental Journey” (Les Brown, Ben Homer, Arthur Green)
  2. “The Object Of My Affection” (Pinky Tomlin)
  3. “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover “(Mort Dixon, Harry M. Woods)
  4. “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” (Eric Maschwitz, Jack Strachey)
  5. “(I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time” (Albert Von Tilzer, Neville Fleeson)
  6. “Summer Wind” (Heinz Meier, Johnny Mercer)
  7. “Many Tears Ago” (Winfield Scott)
  8. “All I Do Is Dream Of You” (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed)
  9. “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” (Jimmy Cox)
  10. “Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma, Jacques PrĂ©vert)
  11. “Things” (Bobby Darin)
  12. “Pretty Paper” (Willie Nelson)

Whats even cooler you ask? According to Emmy, "Each song needed to either lyrically or emotionally reflect the corresponding month." "Some songs were obvious fits, like Summer Wind for June, and Pretty Paper for December. Others songs were less literal fits." She chose Nobody Knows You (When You're Down and Out) for September because, to her, the plaintive melody and lyric emotionally reflect the cold weather creeping in and the sense of melancholy we can get in the fall months.


Now, Ive always been honest when I review products, or music in this case, and Im not changing now. So here is my brutal opinion. The girl is gorgeous. Is an awesome actress. Has a gorgeous voice. And uses some classic songs to help establish her her name in the music industry. The album is beautiful, but personally not my choice for the everyday music i would turn on. To me, first it reminded me of music I would probably have playing during the holidays. Not like christmas music, but music that could be played as background music. And then I thought about it, and that is exactly what I would use it for. I could literaly imagine myself sitting on my back patio, enjoying the summer breeze (yes thinking ahead) with a few friends and a couple of glasses of wine.

If I had to pick my two favorite tracks though, I would probably go with Many Tears Ago and Things. They both seem to be the most upbeat to me. Not that all of them need to be upbeat, but they seem more fun to listen to. If you want to listen to the album head on over to either iTunes or Amazon where you can now buy it. You can also catch Emmy on her upcoming TV appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson this Tuesday, February 6th.

 




I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.

1/30/13

wednesday weigh-in: week 3

So not sure if everyone saw that I updated last weeks weigh-in on Saturday, but I ended up gaining slightly. It was only a small amount so Im not going to kill myself over it, but it still does get me down a little. I told myself a few thing after I got on that scale 1) at least you didnt gain more and 2) that just means I have to work harder this coming week. Which I wish I could say I did, but I have a feeling I didnt. It isnt anything in particular, but to start with it was a shorter week between weigh-ins (Sat - tonight).

One thing I am so very proud of myself for this week is that I started to explore more with healthier recipes, both cooking and baking. And yes there is a major difference, I can bake basically anything, cooking on the other hand I tend to completely and udderly destroy not do so well with. But thanks to one of my lovely readers (thanks samantha!) i found a couple of awesome sources for healthy recipes. This week alone I made Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins (perfect for portion control), an Apple Cinnamon Tart, and a Slow Cooker Apple Bacon BBQ Chicken. (notice I have a thing for apples? lol) I made sure to have the hubs try each one, and even made some for my sis and bro-in-law to try as well to get there opinions. Mostly good reviews, a few minor tweaks needed for others.

I also realized that although I have blatantly stated that Im following the Weight Watchers program, I havent really talked in depth about how it works. Not that Im a professional when it comes to it, but I figured for those of you wondering exactly how it works I could maybe give you a  little insight.
  1. First you get a personalized daily PointPlus Target.
    • Its based on you height, weight, age and gender
    • You must eat your daily target points, but if you go over you have a weekly points allowance you can borrow from (but no rollovers lol)
  2. Every food has a PointsPlus value
    • Its calculated based on the foods content of protein, fiber, fat, and carbs
    • They even have a calculator and barcode scanner in the app that makes it super easy for you
  3. Fresh Fruit and most veggies are 0 PointsPlus value
    • So STOCK up!!!
    • And try to eat at least 1 fruit or veggie with each meal or snack (this has helped me ALOT!)
  4. You can even earn MORE points each day for activity
    • These points swap one-for-one with food points, but you can also choose not to swap them, its up to you
    • You can figure out how many activity points youve earned a few ways
      1. The pocket guide you receive during your first meeting gives a a great chart that calculates using your weight, duration of activity, and level of exertion
      2. If you have eTools there is a whole database of activities that you can just plug in
      3. Or if you are an ActiveLink subscriber you can wear the little device and it monitors your daily activity and automatically syncs with your eTools
I also found this great comparison chart on the difference between Weight Watchers and all the other quick fad diets and thought it was a great reference. I know Ive personally been one to fall for quick fix diets and they never work for me in the long run. As Ive mentioned before, weight watchers is a lifestyle change!

 I hope this helped answer any of your questions. If you want to know more about any particular topic just comment below and Ill try to answer the best I can.

On to this weeks summary


lbs shed this week: -2.8

lbs shed in total: -7.6 

lbs still need to shed: 42.4 

first goal: 10lbs
  •     reward: maybe a trip to the hair salon?
second goal: 25lbs
  •     reward: new outfit?
final goal:  50lbs
success: exploring different healthier recipes

set-backs: i admit, i stepped on my home scale multiple times this week. I know i shouldnt, but i guess since im doubting my progress this week i wanted to see if i was doing better, but it only made me feel guilty for every little thing i put in my mouth.

exercise: none this week, but I think its about time to start incorporating it into my routine. im thinking walking, rollerblading, or maybe even bike riding (i saw a cute little seat that matthew can sit in while i ride!)


matthew: 3 months update

So these updates have been sitting as drafts for way too long now. So Im going to try and bust them all out over the next couple of weeks because honestly 1) i forget all the specific details (ironic b/c thats why i wanted to do these in the first place) and 2) i want to talk about whats been going on in our lives today. meaning you know hes already almost 8 months. yes Im very behind.

So quickly........

Matthew turned 3 months on September 4, 2012

~*Baby Stats*~
 
weight: 14lbs 15oz
height: 25 in
diapers: size 2
clothing: 3 month


~*Sleep*~
We officially moved you into your nursery. I think mommy took it harder than you did. I wanted to transition you to your own room before I went back to work. So we decided to start a week before my maternity leave was up. Coincidentally, it was also during a tropical storm. I think that added to me freaking out a little. Not only were you no longer right next to me, but I chose to do this during a tropical storm? But you were awesome. We're still swaddling you because if we dont you tend to wake yourself up and not be able to put yourself back to sleep. But with you being swaddled, you really do sleep well. Only waking up usually once during the night to eat.


~*Feeding*~
You're still doing a little bit of both breastfeeding and bottle. More so on the bottle. When you do drink bottles we've been giving you about 6 oz. Yes, you are already my chubby little man. I was trying to pump more to build up a stash of breastmilk for when I went back to work, but I think since we introduced the bottle early on, my supply isnt as good as it should be. I really enjoy the time we spend together when im breastfeeding you, but it has been cut back drastically. I only feed you this way when you wake up in the middle of the night now. I dont know if its more of a comfort thing, for both of us, or if its a convenience thing for me (who wants to have to make a bottle in the middle of the night?)
 
 
~*First*~
We took you in the pool for the first time. Aunt D's pool to be exact. Mommy had been wanting to take you in for a few weeks now, but every time she got a chance to, daddy wasnt able to be there. So we made sure to wait until daddy could watch mommy take you in for the first time. We decided to just go in the little hot tub part of the pool (dont worry the heater was off). We knew you would love it. You already love your baths and in this case it was literally just a big bath tub. I already cant wait until summer comes next year and we can really have some fun in the pool or at the beach! hhhm sand, i wonder what youll think of that?!?!
 
 
 
First professional family pictures. As per usual I found a great deal on groupon for a sears photo package and decided to try it out. Ill admit, the lady taking the pictures was really weird, but we got a lot of great pictures out of it.
 
 
 
 And yes I truly believe its our duty as parents to teach our kids young who their teams are ;)
 
 

~*Other Details*~
You've been a strong lil boy since the day you were born, trying to hold your head up from the beginning. But this month you are completely holding your head up by yourself. We've been doing tummy time so I think that helps you develop those muscles even more. Speaking of muscles, your lil chubby legs have started kicking away! We actually bought a carseat toy bar and we adjust it so its down by your feet. And let me tell you, you just kick away at it. Good thing too because you dont really have the hand eye coordination yet to play with it any other way. You've also started to suck your thumb every now and then. Its the most adorable thing in the world, but we dont want you to become a "thumbsucker" so I make sure to pull it out when I see you doing this. They always say "You can throw away a pacifier, you CANT throw away a thumb!" Another big thing this month, youve really started trying to giggle. I cant wait until I hear you giggle. Like full on belly laugh. For now these little tiny giggles will have to do.
You still very much enjoy taking baths. And your daddy still very much enjoys giving them to you. We kind of make it a whole family effort because we know that you enjoy this time so much. Dad loves pouring the warm water over you but always makes mommy do the washing duties. For now we use your baby bathtub right on top of the kitchen counter top. You dont seem to mind ;)
 
 
matthew~
I cant believe you are already 3 months old. It feels like just yesterday I found out I was pregnant. Everyday you amaze me with the things you do. You have the sweetest smile I have ever seen. You love your daddy so much and I can tell by the way you already look at him. I cant believe Im not going to be spending every waking second with you when I go back to work in just a few days. I cherish these past three months that we got to spend the days as just you and me. Waiting for daddy to get home from work. Now it will be you waiting for mommy and daddy to come pick you up from aunt d's. I know she will take good care of you, but I still just cant imagine not being with you all day. I love you so much!
<3 always
mommy


ok so maybe that wasnt so quickly, but its hard to stop writing when I get started! ;)

1/23/13

wednesday weigh-in: week 2

I wish I could say I feel as confident this week as I did last week. Technically speaking i dont know how my progress has gone this week. Im in New York right now for work, and I was going to try and venture to one of the WW meetings up here, but umm have you turned on the tv? its like way to effing cold here.

so this south floridian will not be venturing out into the freezing temperatures to try and find that meeting. Instead, ill wait until I get back home and probably go to the Saturday morning weigh-in. But I still wanted to give a quick update on how I feel I did this week.

We again had another birthday to celebrate over this past 3day weekend. Hubs best friends bday was on Monday and we took him out to dinner at champps americana. I did look up all the entrees before we left the house to try and pick the healthiest lowest in points option. However, that didnt last very long when everyone decided to order the sampler appetizer. And I even told myself that the bread that came with my salad I was NOT going to eat. But I was weak. And I admit, I ate all 4 pieces. But as usual I made sure to track every single bite.

And I told myself that New York was not going to jeopardize my good streak. But again, life happens, and when your boss invites you and your coworkers out for lunch at an italian restaurant, you just cant say no ;) So I had my pizza. And now Im feeling guilty. And Im sure to tomorrow is going to be just as difficult since we will be meeting at a nearby hotel for our kickoff meeting where breakfast and lunch will be served. Wish me luck.


lbs shed this week: +.6

lbs shed in total: -4.8

lbs still need to shed: 45.2

first goal: 10lbs
  • reward: maybe a trip to the hair salon?
second goal: 25lbs
  •     reward: new outfit?
final goal:  50lbs
success: not letting the little setbacks ruin my end goal. there are going to be days I dont do as well as I had hoped, but im not going to let that lead into a downward spiral. im going to start new the very next day, back on plan. oh and make sure to track every bite even if I do have setbacks.

set-backs: another birthday celebration, new york......

exercise: does walking new york city blocks in the freezing cold weather count for anything?


1/18/13

fridays letters


dear hubby, thank you so much for trying to calm me this morning after a rough night with matthew. you praising words about how good of a job im doing really did help put me in a better mood, even if neither of us got to sleep last night and you were late to work

dear matthew, you must be teething again. im not sure whether its your two teeth you already have that are just pushing through more or if new teeth are trying to come out. either way i hope this time passes soon, as I was starting to get used to you sleeping through the night. this waking up 4-5 times has got to go!

dear weight watchers, after an awesome week of getting rid of 5.4lbs dare I say this is easy simple? Im a little nervous about this upcoming week though, since I will be out of town on my normal weigh-in day due to work. maybe you have a NYC meeting thats close to the office? Ill have to check it out.

dear bloggy friends, thank you so much for you kind words and awesome comments about my ww journey. Im so happy that there are so many of us going through the same thing (not happy about us all being unhealthy, but at least happy we all have each other to share ideas and talk about our challenges)

dear tallie, you were such a wonderful dog. I remember the day we got you. mom, dad, and I drove to Tallahassee (thats where you got your name from) to pick you up from Denise. You were the cutest little white ball of fur I had ever seen! i remember you sleeping by my bed in a little box i had made with a blanket. you spend 13 long years with us and you are going to be so very missed. but as i told my neice, you are now in doggy heaven, where you get to play with tennis balls, jump in the pool, and run in the grass.

dear hubby, tomorrow we for real need to take down the christmas lights, i mean come on its already Jan 18th! lol

dear matthew, i went to michaels today and splurged on the cutest things to make some diy props for a valentines day photoshoot i want to do with you. Please cooperate during the shoot it would be greatly appreciate

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I totally just realized i have off on Monday and that just made my night a hell off alot better. Well.... That and the wine ;)

1/17/13

currently

Loving: My lil boy, whos becoming not so little anymore. Hes now rocking on all fours. I swear i feel he could crawl any minute. But weird thing, he still doesnt situp by himself yet. Like I cant just place him sitting on the floor. I have to give him some support, whether it be my hand or a pillow. Is that normal at 7 months?

Reading: Blogs. Lots of blogs. Tend to lean towards new mommy, dyi and photography blogs, but if you know any you think I might be interested in, leave the link in the comments section. However, I do really want to start reading a new book. The last series I read was The Hunger Games. Im thinking maybe starting the 50 Shades of Grey series? Or I saw a preview for a new movie called Beautiful Creatures and that it was based on a book, so I was thinking maybe that. I always love reading books that turn into movies. The book is always better, but I love seeing the story and characters come to life.

Watching: Revenge, Whitney, Once Upon a Time, Nashville lol i feel like im in high school. Cant wait till Spartacus comes back on Jan 25th! And omg, just finished catching up on Homeland. Can hardly stand waiting for the next season!

Listening to: Luke Bryan station on Pandora or his CD in my car. Did i really just say CD? lol I feel like that makes me sound old. Still havent uploaded all my music onto my new iphone 5.

Thinking about: How cold its going to be this week in NYC. Just planned an quick business trip for some huge company announcement. Wish this south florida girl some luck in weathering the north in January. #onlyseensnowonce

Looking forward to: The Tortuga Music Festival this April. Bought tickets for us for hubbys birthday present. Cant wait to spend 2 days on the beach, enjoying good music, good friends, and good drinks! Oh yeah and helping raise awareness about marine conservation and issues affecting the world’s oceans. ;)

Making me happy: My mother-in-law is officially moving back to south florida! Her original plan was to move back to Texas from Ohio. Find a job, work a little, make some money, and sell her house there. Then move back here. And just the other day, she called and told us she had decided it wasnt worth moving back to texas and that she can sell her house no mater where she is actually living. She would rather be close to us. So in just 2.5 weeks she'll be back near us. I cant wait for Matthew to get to know his grandma on his dads side a little bit more!


1/16/13

wednesday weigh-in: week 1

So first of all, let me just say that it was absolutely wonderful walking back into my meeting last Wednesday night. It felt like I was supposed to be there. And it was an extra plus that even though I had been gone 2+ years, everyone remembered me (at least the people who work there). Im actually friends with my meeting leader and the ladies who do the "weigh-in" part on facebook, so they get to stay somewhat in touch/up-to-date with my life. So the "Oh my gosh! Good to see you!" and the "Your lil one is sooooo adorable!" and "Where's your mom?" (she did it with us last time, but we havent quite convinced her to sign up again this time) were all such welcoming words to hear!

Regarding the actual program itself, it hasnt changed much. Still the basic principles. The points are now called PointsPlus. To me, there were only 2 major differences. 1) we now count carbs (before they werent part of the equation to calculate points) and 2) Fruits are now 0 points. Which means that a few of my favorite low points staples are now about 1-2 points higher than before. However, the amount of points you get in a day are also higher. That one actually shocked me. I was used to having like 26-27 points, and when they calculated my points this time I was allowed 36 points. Now I know I technically way more this time, so that accounts for some extra points, but man, i just feel like 36 is a whole lot!

OK, sorry, back to the actual progress report. I knew there would be somewhat of a challenge for me starting the program, last week in particular. For one, we would be celebrating hubs, my moms, and my bro-in-laws bday on Sunday and we were going out with our friends Sat night for hubs bday dinner. Needless to say, I was faced with many choices.

And, to tell you the truth, I think thats all this really is, its all about making choices, the right choices, the healthy choices. Now Ill be honest here, since the program allows us 49 weekly allowance points, I didnt completely make the best choices at dinner Sat night. Like I totally had 3 pieces of the garlic cheesy bread :( but, i did track it. All of it. Even the pizza.

However, I did hit up the local fresh market on Saturday morning and scored a bunch of fruits & veggies. Which means, dinners and snacks have consisted of lots of healthy food. Even hubs said dinner the other night, which consisted of a baked pork chop, broccoli, and a large loaded with veggies salad, was "Good." And for those that know me, I dont cook, so a "Good" is very good in my book! Plus, after the fresh market I stopped by a friends house who was having a garage sale and picked up a basically brand new Weight Watchers Cookbook (points plus and all) for $1. My first recipe I made out of it? French Apple Tart. It was yummy! I can share the recipe for ya if anyones interested.

Oh and just something I wanted to mention here (Again maybe just to hold my self accountable). Ths time around, Im going to do things differently. I remember last time I did this I would basically not eat on weigh-in days. I would make sure to wear the lightest dress possible (you know so I dont have those extra lbs from my clothes? lol). And I would stress over getting on the scale. This time Im NOT doing that. Ive been eating healthy all day. Like a normal person. Im not changing my outfit before I leave. And Im not going to hop on the scale all week long. Im going to try and only do it on weigh-in days.  But, I will probably pee before I get on the scale because you know thats gonna help me drop 5lbs right? ;)


lbs shed this week: -5.4

lbs shed in total: -5.4

lbs still need to shed: 44.6

first goal: 10lbs
  • reward: maybe a trip to the hair salon?
    (my niece informed me that my hair is light brown, "except at the top where its closer to black")
second goal: 25lbs
  •     reward: new outfit?
final goal:  50lbs
success: made sure to track every little thing! It helps make you accountable for it later. And always remember:
set-backs: birthday celebrations = italian food aka - cheesey garlic bread, pizza, & cannolis

exercise: zilch, eventually Ill get there, i just want to focus on getting back on the plan first.

So hows your journey to a healthier you going? Any progress? Set-backs? Tasty recipes? Please share!

1/12/13

the big two-nine

 Today is about more
than celebrating
your birthday,
it's about celebrating you
and all that you are...
as a man,
as a friend,
as a father,
and as my husband. 

Every year,
I feel a little luckier.
Every year,
I love you a little more.  

I hope you know
just how much 
you mean to me
and to matthew.

without you
our family
would not be
complete.

happy birthday babe!

1/11/13

fridays letters

dont forget to link up your fridays letters with the sweet season

dear hubby, tomorrow is your birthday, im going to let you sleep in till whenever you like,  i would suggest taking advantage of this gracious act of kindness, as you wont be getting this chance very often ;)

dear matthew, i cant believe how big your getting. I love watching you grow, but in all honesty, i would love it if you said my baby forever ;)

dear weight watchers, so far i love all the changes you've made to the program since I was last on it. barcode scanner app? umm hello where was that 2 years ago? and fruits are now zero points? SCORE!

dear scale, i see you staring at me everytime i walk by. i refuse to get on you before my next weigh-in. And please when the time does come, try to be nice

dear self, you can do this. youve dont it before. it is not a DIET, it is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. you do not have restrictions. you can eat whatever youd like, just in moderation. stock up on fruits and veggies, they are zero points!

dear green market, im excited to venture off and explore you tomorrow. im hoping that ill be able to stock up on lots of fresh fruits and veggies so I can make more homemade baby food. now im counting on you to come through because I skipped over that section in publix yesterday with the hopes that you will be cheaper and healthier. DONT let me down.


dear deal sites, please stop having such good deals. you know i have a problem. and my bank account is dwindling by the day.

dear christmas lights, cant you take yourself down and wrap yourself all up in a neat little ball? or do you think we should be rednecks this year and just let them stay up till next christmas? kidding (maybe)

dear hubs, think of the aforementioned gracious act of kindness as your birthday present, because as Ive said before, you are the hardest person to get gifts for, and since you havent given me any sort of clue as to what you want, you get nothing. :P

dear matthew, i know mommy is normally the one to give you your last feeding for the day and then put you down for the night, but now that mommy is back to doing weight watchers, that means daddy is going to be the one to do that with you on wednesday nights. i know this past week it threw you off a little, and daddy was a little overwhelmed, but this week please try to be a good boy for him.

and per usual, ill leave you with a pic

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


1/10/13

twas the night before christmas

Yes, we did indeed celebrate Christmas, but lets just say from November until after Valentines Days it seems like its all a blur in our house. We start off with Thanksgiving, then our anniversary, then my birthday, then christmas, then new years, then 3 birthdays back to back (BIL, hubs & mom) and then finally valentines day. So please excuse me for the delay in a recap of all the wonderful holiday cheer that happened this past month.

We started off with Christmas Eve going to our childrens service at church at 5:00pm. I was scrambling to finish wrapping presents all day, and nearly almost missed going to church altogether as I didnt notice the time until 4pm. Somehow I managed to squeeze in a shower, dress Matthew in an adorable elf outfit my mother-in-law bought him, convince hubs to take a quick shower, pick up my mother (who was going with us), and make it on time for the service.

Now, I do admit, Matthews outfit was a lil over-the-top festive, but boy was it great to see all the smiles from the church members as we passed to the front to be seated. He had fallen asleep on the ride there, but as soon as he heard the childrens choir begin, he was all smiles. At one point it sounded as if he had joined in with the kids singing, to the point the pastor glanced our way with a large smile. Kinda ironic, considering my favorite part of christmas eve service is the fact that I get to sing off-key the entire time ;) Of course after the children had finished singing he went right back to being fully amused by the ever so large elf booties he was wearing. You see he thought it was a better idea to eat them opposed to wearing them.

We finished the service with my all time favorite tradition. The lights in the church were dimmed so low they were nearly off completely. A row of volunteers gathered at the front to light their candles. They walked throughout the church lighting others' who proceeded to do the same. The church was nothing but a glow of candle lights. And then softly you could hear, "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright......"  I turned to look at my husband, who was holding my son, and got the greatest sensation of overwhelming love I could ever feel. This was my family. These were the beginning of our traditions. And my face lit up even more when I saw the pure happiness my son expressed while staring at all the candles lit around him.

After the service we went back to my parents where we had a surprisingly low-key christmas eve dinner. It was just the five of us. My mom, dad, hubs, matthew and myself. We didnt spend long there, as it was past matthews bedtime. So my mother handed us a wrapped present and sent us on our way. I knew what the present was. I had been waiting for this moment for quite some time. Under that wrapping paper was Matthews very own "A Night Before Christmas" book. I remember my mother reading it to us every year, to the point where I could probably recite the entire thing without hesitation. I couldnt wait to read it to Matthew for the first time. I know he wont remember it or anything, but i surely will.

After I read it to him and tucked him into his crib for the night, hubs and I had some last minute wrapping to finish.  Stockings to hang and presents to rearrange under the tree. Plus a couple of our friends were going to stop by too. One of hubs good friends recently got married to a girl who I absolutely love. Shes from England and between her accent and continuous random sayings, she has me constantly cracking up. They seriously are so cute together and Ive never seen him so happy.

She insisted on bringing over one of her traditional holiday treats, mulled wine. It smelled absolutely delicious. Bringing me right back to christmas when I was younger and my mother would have the mulling spices set on the stove for the aroma to spread throughout the house. However, this particular treat was of the adult beverage kind. It was a mixture of wine (i think she said pinot noir), mulling spices (not the prepackages kind, more like the individual kind she had to search for), and brandy. She set it on the stove to keep warm and poured the four of us each a small glass. I took a sip of mine, gave a small smile and i told her it was "different." Different as in, i feel like im drinking a bottle of cough syrup, different.

We proceeded to move out onto the back patio where we relaxed, talked, and just enjoyed the presence of friends. I dont remember exactly where in the evening it happened (probably due to the amount of "cough syrup" i had just taken), but one of us had mentioned that we couldnt possibly drink any more of the mulled wine, maybe due to the beverage now sitting cold (trust me it doesnt taste any better cold, probably worse). Then it dawned on us, why not introduce her to one of our holiday treats. And thats when the spiked eggnog was cracked open ;) We explained to her, that considering it never really gets below 70degrees in south florida around christmas time, that we like to drink our adult beverages more on the cold side, opposed to the hot cider-ish cough syrup lol. Then, the kicker, she said she would have probably added more brandy if she had been home in England. lmao.

I think right about midnight was when I realized I had forgotten to get eggs for Christmas morning breakfast. I quick texted my best friend who was on her way over, to stop at the quicky mart down the street and buy me eggs (what? youve never done that before?) She was a life saver and showed up about 15mins later with a dozen eggs for us. We then proceeded to introduce her to the mulled wine. I dont know how she did it, but by the time she left there was not one drop of the stuff left in the pot on the stove. She even claimed the next day that she liked it. We're still a little confused.

We realized it was well best 1am by now. And considering we were hosting christmas morning, we should probably already be all nestled and snug in our beds. ;) So we wished them all a merry christmas and off they went. I snuck into Matthews room one more time to make sure he was snug too. It looked like Santa had already visited our house and I knew there would be so much excitement in the morning.



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