penguins

Santa Was Very Good To Me…

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Happy Thursday everyone! Hope you’re all having a great week so far πŸ™‚

I know some of you lucky ducks get this week off. And us? Not so much. I’ve been at work this whole week except for Monday. But to be honest with you, I actually like the calmness that this week brings – there’s less traffic on the roads, grocery stores, the gym – and that sense of “rushness” is gone. It’s a nice break from the busyness of other weeks and since the hubby is working also, I might as well be doing something productive as opposed to spending my days catching up with my dvr πŸ˜‰

I’m pretty late in the game here in posting my Christmas weekend, but like they say, better late than never! I last left you off with the treats my sis and I planned to bake on Friday for our Christmas Eve party, and I have to say, they came out pretty damn good! And they were super easy to boot!

Here are our finished products…

Reindeer Cupcakes! They were a huge hit with the kiddies πŸ™‚

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies – Absolutely Delicious.

Peppermint Bark – a hit with the adults and everyone absolutely loved them – and I think they’re far more delicious than the Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark…ifIdosaysomyself πŸ˜‰

Per usual, our Christmas Eve party was an absolute blast – full of family fun, love, and holiday cheer. Especially when Santa made his grand entrance…

Our annual “Girls With Santa” pic

And just for fun, here’s one from 2008…

So cute – love love my whole family so very much and I’m so blessed we get this time together every year ❀

The Lunsford/Blumbergs family πŸ™‚

And one with my sis and her friend that I loved chatting and spending time with…especially with her adorable baby boy…

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Christmas Day was filled with more joy, love, laughter, and good times. Especially in the form of a delicious breakfast of eggs, toast, and of course, mimosas…Christmas Day isn’t complete without those! πŸ˜‰

Once we filled our bellies with a delicious breakfast and little buzz from the champy, we got to (one) of the best parts of Christmas…presents!!! No pictures were taken of the event but I did snap some of my loot once I got home…let’s just say Santa was very good to me this year and I was definitely spoiled…

Looks like I’ll be getting that iPad soon…schweeet!!

Speaking of the iPad – I’ve heard through the grapevine that a new one is coming out in March so I’ll be waiting until then to purchase it. Either I’ll be getting the new one at a higher cost, or the old one at a discounted price so we’ll since what I’ll go with once it’s released and can comparison shop πŸ™‚

And I was in serious Penguin heaven this Christmas…

Side note – not sure if some of you new readers know, but the hubby and I have a serious obsession with Penguins. It’s just one of those animals we started loving together at the beginning of our relationship…it started with Todd winning a small stuffed penguin for me at the fair and since then the rest is history and our love of Penguins grew 10-fold from there πŸ™‚

So here’s the adorable Penguin loot I acquired and will not stop at it from ever growing…

From my wonderful friend/coworker…are those not the cutest cups??!! Along with Propel packets (which the hubby is already stealing from me!) and some Hershey Kisses in the Mason Jar (with a chalkboard lid and had my name on it – love it! )
Such a very special gift and I love it so much!

Advent Calendar from Sis and Chad – salt ‘n pepper shakers from Mom & Dad

Plate and Pez from Sis and Chad

PENGUIN SOCKS!!!! ❀

From Mom & Dad – Nick & Nora Penguin Mukluks

From Sis and Chad – Penguin Socks from Bed, Bath & Beyond

And a couple extra special Biscoff goodies from Sissy!!!

And some glorious, delicious food from the in-laws…we’re set for the whole week – love it!!

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It was an absolutely perfect weekend, filled to the brim with laughter, love, and many special moments that I will remember for a lifetime. I was certainly gifted more than enough this holiday season, but more importantly, I am truly blessed and so thankful to have such amazing friends and a very loving, wonderful family…I couldn’t be any more grateful to have the life that I have ❀

Questions:
What was your favorite part of your Christmas weekend?
Any fun plans for this New Year’s Eve??!! Todd and I are old fogies and staying in for the night – but we are going out Friday night and using that gift card to Kingfish!!! Whoo hoo! πŸ™‚

P.S. Whatever your plans may be, I wish you a very safe and happy New Year and I’m so ready to get 2012 started with a bang and a fresh start…I’m sure you’ve guessed what my #1 resolution wish is for the New Year πŸ˜‰ I’ll have a post up on that next week.

P.S.S. If you have a moment, please give a huge congrats to my lovely “faboosh” friend Shanna who just gave birth to her sweet baby boy Sawyer Clark. Born yesterday at a very healthy 8 lbs. 10 oz. – I bet her hubby is proud πŸ˜‰ I’m so very happy for her and her hubby and can’t wait to meet the lil guy!!!

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Friday Lovin’

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Happy TGIF everyone!!! First off, I want to say how much I enjoyed reading your “I Give Myself Permission To…” comments – it really warmed my heart and I loved hearing all that you give yourself permission to do. (And if you haven’t yet read the comments I suggest you doΒ  – they’re a lovely read by some awesome ladies) πŸ˜‰

And I think we should especially keep that “I Give Myself Permission To…” mentality in mind when there are days that are tough and we feel especially anxious or stressed – I think it’s ok to remind yourself to say “I Give Myself Permission To…relax, do a fun exercise class, grab a treat, get a pedicure, etc. Do whatever you need to do to bring happiness back into yourself/your life so that you can enjoy everyday to the fullest πŸ™‚

I also want to say thank you so much for your feedback about my iPad conundrum on whether or not a) I should get one? and b) if they’re compatible for blogging? After reviewing your advice and especially great tips from the lovely Sarah and talking about it more with my parents, we decided that they’ll all get me gift cards to Best Buy. I think that’s the perfect option so that I can weigh my choices at the store and compare the iPad (they sell them now at Best Buy) to all the other laptops and see what will work best for me. I’ll definitely post about it once I make my purchase πŸ™‚

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Anyway, most of you follow me on twitter so I think a lot of you knew what I was up to…

So yeah, that’s pretty much the only excuse as to why you haven’t seen blog posts from me this whole week. And to be honest, I just needed a break and I’ve just had an emotional week – last weekend was an emotional one for me in regard to some personal stuff…

Although there was a bright light in that I had the most amazing day with my friend. You know those friendships where you can pick up right where you left off and like no time has passed? I think it’s been about a year since I’ve last seen her and every time I do it’s simply amazing. We actually mentioned to each other that we never feel any anxiety or nervousness upon seeing each other – I’m always so relaxed with this girl and am laughing non-stop with her. She’s got the most awesome sense of humor and personality – there was a reason why we’ve been such great friends since Kindergarten and Girl Scouts, we just have a great connection. I love her dearly and can’t wait for our next get together πŸ™‚

And I think this photo speaks for itself of just how much we can have when we’re together…

My mom is simply awesome – she got her groove thing on at our wedding πŸ˜‰

So back to the other parts of my weekend, it was an emotional one and it’s stuff I won’t discuss here, but will say that I just didn’t want to force a “happy go lucky” post when I wasn’t feeling in that mood at all this week. All I felt like doing was focusing on work and tackling my Christmas shopping – which always makes me happy – love buying gifts for my family and friends πŸ™‚ And, I’m happy to say I got every person done, yipeee! Except for Todd…still thinking about that one! Above all else – today is Friday, I woke up on the right side of the bed, I got a fun night planned for tonight, and I’m ready to make this weekend a better one.

So with that, it’s Friday and I love my Friday Lovin’ posts because it just simply gives me a chance to tell you all what I’ve been loving lately. Like more delicious holiday finds from Trader Joe’s…

Delicious is all I can say – trust me

And we got our mini Christmas trees decorated!!!

They look kinda funky, but cute, haha! We weren’t about to do real trees again this year – we did that once and it was such a mess (p.s. we have hardwood floors!). Don’t get me wrong, I do love them and our family got real trees throughout my childhood, but it’s just not for Todd and I. We have plans to buy a fake one once they go on sale after Xmas to use for next year!

More penguin decorations…

When you turn him on he changes colors from blue to green to yellow to red – too cute

Papa penguin

And these lovelies…

(source)

Here I have the shaft unfolded all the way up

It’s hard to see in the pics just how lovely these boots are – and super comfy!

I bought them last Saturday with my friend and I couldn’t pass them up. Regular price $150 and got them on sale for $112…I think that’s a pretty great deal, don’t cha think? πŸ˜‰

And I’ve updated my blog theme to “Bouquet”…I can’t stop changing the look of my blog and I think I’m really loving this one…

And my lovely coworker got me on to this great new holiday feature for your blog – in the Settings you can choose “Show falling snow on my blog until January 4th” – in the pic above you can kind of see the white dots – that’s the snow. I love it – super cute and festive

And the other day, I got a shipment of this deliciousness…

That there on the left is a magnum bottle – whoo hoo!

In which I’ll be enjoying with these lovelies…

And then it’s off to here (our fav spot!) for some more shenanigans and good times πŸ™‚

I’ll give you a hint as to what we’ll be indulging in…

Yes pleaseee!!! πŸ˜‰

Hope you all have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend! I know I sure will…tomorrow I’m meeting up with this wonderful friend to bake up some delicious pecan pie cookies – never tried them before and I definitely can’t wait for our baking extravaganza πŸ™‚

Questions:
Any fun plans for tonight or this weekend?!
If you shop at Trader Joe’s, what’s your favorite holiday treat right now? Mine is the Cookie Butter!!!

Holiday Shopping – For Me?!

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Hello all! How is everyone’s Tuesday Wednesday going? For some reason all today I’ve been thinking it’s Tuesday – it’s nice when you realize it’s actually a day later than you thought – don’t you love it when that happens? πŸ˜‰

So with Christmas now less than a month away it’s time to gear up as Santa’s little elves and start holiday gift shopping for your family and friends. Though I believe the holiday’s should be a time to cherish and celebrate moments with family and friends and to remember that Christmas is a day to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, it’s also one in sharing joy with others through gift giving, and I admit that I already got holiday shopping on the brain. So much so that I’ve already started shopping for none other than…me!

Am I the only guilty one here who has high hopes of buying gifts for friends and family, only to leave the store with a gift for yourself? I think we all deserve a treat now and then and I like to believe it makes dealing with all the crazy mall crowds and traffic that much more bearable when you got a special lil something for yourself πŸ˜‰ And how can I not pass up the adorable penguin themed goodies that are especially on display during Christmastime. Like these adorable penguin mugs I found at Target that I absolutely could not pass up…

They also came with matching placemats and plates but hubby said no – good for my wallet but sad for the soul, haha

And Trader Joe’s – don’t even set foot in there if you don’t want to come out with a bag full of holiday goodies that they got going on right now. Like these gems I found there the other day…

Everything is absolutely delicious, but the Cookie Butter? Um – amazing!! Just like Biscoff Spread but a lot thicker and more dense – delish!

And random side note but speaking of Biscoff Spread, if you ever come across buying a jar and have emptied it in a week like we did, then I highly suggest you make Overnight Oats in it – purely amazing…

So back to holiday shopping, I also got my eye out for some over-the-knee boots. And with the help from Ms. Shoe Fashionista Shanna, she told me about the awesome shoe website that is Endless.com and I already got my eye on a couple beauties…

Chinese Laundry – Kingdom

Franco Sarto – Social

And I love flat boots too – especially with hardware on it…

Madden Girl – Ravia

And you may be asking, why not ask Santa for a pair of boots? (Yes we still have “Santa” in this household ;)) Well, since my laptop is kaput I’ve asked Santa for a new iPad (!!) So excited…

(source)

Speaking of iPad’s – are they blogging friendly? I know all you ladies are pretty tech savvy so please leave me any input/advice you may have on the iPad!

The holiday season is about spreading cheer and love to family and friends – but I also thinking showing your love through food, cards, or gifts is something so special and what makes this time of year so wonderful πŸ™‚

Questions:
What’s on your wish list this holiday season?!
Do you still play “Santa” with your family? For our Xmas Eve family holiday party, my dad plays Santa for the little kids and it’s the most adorable thing ever – it’s an awesome tradition that I love so much ❀

Christmas Eve 2009 – sis, mom, Santa (dad!), Todd, me (wow with short hair!)

Sisterly Love – Weekend Recap Part 1

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!! πŸ™‚

I hope everyone is having a great start to their Monday so far! Are any of you dressing up?! Todd and I are the Bah Humbug’s of Halloween this year. No pumpkins and no costumes…I know, pretty lame huh? Perhaps next year though we’ll rally and celebrate big πŸ™‚ And can you believe Todd and I in the last eight years we’ve been together we’ve never carved a pumpkin together before?! I can’t even remember when the last time I carved a pumpkin was…probably 1982? Haha just kidding, that’s when I was born, but it definitely was a long long time ago and I hope we can change that in the near future πŸ˜‰

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So anyway, back to the good stuff…my sis and I had one epic weekend. It’s probably been the best one we’ve had together in a really long time and I’m so happy we got to spend some quality time together. I’m so lucky to not only have such a wonderful, loving sister, but also the bestest friend in the whole entire world – love you sissy! ❀

Since our weekend was so amazing I’m going to split it up into two parts – part 1 being the first half of our day on Saturday – some sisterly love if you will πŸ˜‰

Our day started off at 11am with a pedicure date. We both got the bug to get French on our toes and I absolutely love the look of it…clean, fresh, and super girly…

Once we prettied our toes it was time for lunch at our favorite spot – Fresh Choice – and I started off with the standard salad beast…

And then of course, dessert round #1!

Vanilla frozen yogurt with a cone

Chocolate Mousse with homemade whipped cream

Then it was off to our new frozen yogurt shop obsession – U Love!! Sadly I forgot to take a pic of the yumminess as I was far too excited to eat it – but I did snap a pic of the aftermath…

Peanut butter and cookies ‘n’ cream fro yo with Kit Kat pieces, cheesecake bites, a Nilla Wafer (my all time fav cookie as a child, M&M’s, and chopped peanuts – it was everything we had hoped for πŸ˜‰

Then it was off to run some errands. Or should I say, Xmas came early for this girl πŸ˜‰ My sister is beyond generous and gifted me with some early Xmas treats…I needed a new soap dish since I was using the box my soap came in as my dish (pretty classy huh?), so we headed to Bed Bath & Beyond and found this adorable one…

And I couldn’t leave without this makeup brush holder…

In action…

Is that not so adorable? Love it!

Then it was off to Hillsdale Mall to grab some essentials for my sis at the MAC store. Although before that we couldn’t help but stop by the Macy’s Holiday Lane store which we were surprised to see had opened already.

Side note – Doesn’t it seem like stores are starting the holiday spirit earlier and earlier every year or is it just me?! I do love the festive holiday spirit but then it reminds me of all the shopping I gotta do, yikes!

Anyway, this store has the best selection of holiday ornaments, gifts, knick knacks, etc…and I know awhile back I’ve mentioned here before how penguin obsessed Todd and I are so my amazing sister couldn’t pass up getting these for us…

Penguin Salt and Pepper Shakers!!! Too cute πŸ™‚

Then it was the epic gift of all epic gifts…Todd and I are going to Upstate New York to visit my in-laws the week before Thanksgiving and you know what that means – cold snowy weather – which I’m actually very excited for and absolutely cannot wait to be in the snow!! I haven’t seen the snow in years and I am thrilled to not only be with my in-laws, but to be in the snow. However, you know this California girl has no cold weather gear whatsoever so my wonderfully generous sister got me the best Christmas present ever…

Weeeeeee!!! Are they not the cutest ever? Thank you sissy!!! Love ya! ❀
And I actually got these same ones for her last Christmas so now we have matching Uggs! πŸ˜‰

She’s letting me have them now so I can wear them on my trip! And I know I can’t wear these in the snow or rain, but at least I have boots to keep my tootsies warm being that the only other boots I own are leather or suede and that won’t cut it for my trip. So I’m super excited to now finally have fashionable, comfortable, warm boots to wear with my leggings and skinny jeans – yay!

And that’s where I’m ending part 1 of our epic weekend…I think it’s fitting to finish part 2 tomorrow for the second part of our day when we’re with the boys – gotta devote a whole post to sisterly love πŸ˜‰

Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween and although we won’t be celebrating with pumpkins and costumes, we at least have these to celebrate with tonight…

Cupcakes!! My coworker made these and brought them in for us to enjoy, yum!
Happy Halloween!!! πŸ™‚

P.S. Jessica Simpson finally broke the big news – yipeeeeee!! Read *here*

Questions:
How are you celebrating Halloween tonight?!
Do you own Ugg Boots? I have always loved Uggs, but the hubby absolutely despises them, until I tried them on for him yesterday and they’re starting to grow on him...he also despised the jeans/leggings tucked into boots trend but now that that’s all I wear every fall/winter season he loves it now – I’m hoping that’s how it’ll be with the Uggs! πŸ˜‰
When was the last time you visited the snow? And for those that live in it, have you witnessed your first snowfall yet?!