Yesterday my mom and I made a gingerbread house. Oh My Lanta, Georgia…. These things are harder to make than they look! It was our first time to EVER make one. We starting thinking back to the last time we had a gingerbread house; it was in 1978! 30 years ago my mom’s high school BFF sent us a gingerbread house for Christmas. I just informed my 29 year old brother that this is his first gingerbread house. He thanked me but I'm sure he really doesn't care. :)

Here's our gingerbread house.
This is a very hard project for 2 perfectionst.

We dyed our coconut pink and added it to the roof.
My favorite part!

Jenn and I were so proud of our gingerbread house in '78.
I'm on the left.


I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We had a great, snowless day.
Off to the recession sales we go!


Christmas Cuties

I’m so excited! I mailed Gracie and Olivia (the cuties from the foster home I visited in China) a Christmas gift. I really didn’t think they would get the package in time for Christmas. I mailed a package to China 2 years ago and it took 2 months to arrive. Not this time; they got it in time! The foster home is unbelievable. They took photos of the girls opening their presents and emailed them to me on Christmas Eve. Gracie and Olivia are sooo cute; I really miss them. I wish I could give them a big hug!

Miss Girly Girl, Olivia.
I sent Olivia some art supplies, candy, a purse, and some little Hello Kitty toys.
Olivia has a pacemaker. She is the sweetest little girl. I wish I could adopt her.

Little Gracie
I sent Gracie a couple outfits. My mom and sister heard I was buying Gracie a Christmas gift and they each bought some things for her. I sent her the pink and black outfit she's wearing in the photo on the right. The thing on her head is a bow. I guess they put it on backwards and this bow really wasn't supposed to go with this outfit. He he. Gracie has a repaired heart. She's the happiest baby I've ever met. I wish I could adopt Gracie too!


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
I've been SOOO sick the last few days. I'm still a little sick but I'm feeling much better. Thanks for all your sweet comments. I arrived in San Antonio last night and my dad took the family out for our annual Christmas dinner. Every year he takes us to a nice restaurant a couple of days before Christmas. Tonight we are going to the Christmas Eve service at church and back home for appetizers and old family movies. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!
P.S. Oh my lanta... I had desserts for breakfast. So bad.


Friday night we had our annual “Girl’s Christmas Party.” It was fun, as always! Click here to see photos from last year. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for over a year. We started the night with dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Houston, D'Amico's. Then we opened gifts at my apartment. I always have fun with these girls.

I think I'm getting sick. I'm so sad. With the exception of a stomach virus this year (which wasn't bad b/c I lost weight), I haven't been sick since September 2007. I just took some Dayquil that expired in 2002. Is that bad? It's all I have and I don't feel like getting out. :(


How cute is this Christmas tree? I think it's in Hong Kong. I love it! I'm off to get a mani and pedi and get ready for a Christmas Girl's Night Out! Yay.... Y'all have a happy weekend!


My friend, Lindsay, and I have this really weird thing we do. It started at a graduation party a couple of years ago. Lindsay asked me if I would go on a date with Yao M*ng, the Houston R*ckets player from China. She doesn’t know Yao; it was a hypothetical question. My answer was “NO,” nothing wrong with Yao just not my type. Then Lindsay asked me if I would go on a date with Yao for $1000. Well, of course I would! Then she asked if I would accept an expensive gift from Yao. My answer, “No.” Would you accept a gift from Yao for $10,000? You get the picture.

The Yao questions started a “thing” we do. Would you do _____ for $1000, $10,000, $100,000 or $1,000,000? The “would you” questions have gotten really interesting over the years. The best “would you” questions are probably asked at the Young Republicans Club, when we should be listening to the speeches.

Yesterday I got an email from Lindsay with a You Tube video attachment. She wrote, “Would you do this at your wedding in front of everyone at our church, including the preacher?” I watched the video and couldn't stop laughing. If you’re CofC, you’ll know why this would be so funny at my wedding. For the record, I don’t think I could even do this; I’m not very coordinated. BUT, if I did do this at my wedding Lindsay and John would have to be the couple that joins us. AND For the record, I don’t want a wedding; I want to elope. My mom knows about this plan and is okay with it. :)

My question to you is... Would you do this at your wedding?


I’ve been tagged by Amanda to list six random Christmas traditions or facts. I'm tagging anyone who wants to play along!

1. After Thanksgiving, the members of my hometown church would collect non-perishable food items. During our Christmas break from school the teenagers would put together food baskets and deliver them to the needy in our community. For a teenager, it was an eye opening experience.

2. My dad used to have an old-fashioned video camera, the kind without sound…think The Wonder Years. On Christmas Eve my dad sets up the video projector. He has a box of the old film….just like everything my dad does, they’re labeled and organized perfectly. My sister, brother, and I each pick 3-4 movies for the family to watch.

3. I love our family stockings. My mom handmade them when we were babies. I love it that they’re so old fashion!

4. We attend a Christmas Eve service at my parent’s church in San Antonio every year. The service is completely moving and reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas.

5. Six or seven years ago, the girls I work with started an annual Christmas party and gift exchange. I’m the only one still working for the company but we still get together for the Girl’s Christmas Party! My mom does this too with her old co-workers. I can’t imagine not having girlfriends in my life.

Amy always get football items

6. When I was a kid my mom would bake sugar cookies and let us decorate them. Now days I usually bake the cookies at my house without my mom, sister, or brother but it’s a great memory. Plus, I don’t think my brother is interested in decorating cookies anymore.


This afternoon I saw Four Christmases… loved it and highly recommend it. Reese is so cute; I just love her!! As I was looking through Google images for a movie photo (don’t like to post without photos), I came across some photos of Reese with brown hair. My vote for Reese is blonde. What yours???


Weekend Update

Saturday night Dr. M and I went to the Lights in the Heights Festival. The Heights is one of Houston’s eclectic neighborhoods. The homes are decorated with luminaries, lights, and wreaths. Many of the home owners feature a live band or musical performance on their front porch. Dr. M’s co-worker lives in The Heights and invited us to his party. When we arrived they had a band. All the band members are doctors so they named their band “Ultra Sound.” Very clever! I'm sad~ my pictures didn't turn out great.

I finished wrapping my Christmas presents this weekend. I love wrapping presents.

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Coats and Cribs for Kids

I love having a new blog design for each season. My friend, Danielle, designs my blog! I always love what she creates for me. Right now Danielle is donating $6 from each blog makeover order to benefit Love Without Boundaries Coats and Cribs for Kids. $12 purchases a warm coat for a child to wear this winter. For every two orders that Danielle receives, that is another child that will have a warm coat this season.

Danielle is also holding a raffle for a basic blog makeover. Tickets are $6 for 1 or $12 for 3. 100% of the funds donated will go to Love Without Boundaries Coats 'N Cribs for Kids. So head over to Blogs By Danielle and order a fabulous blog makeover or enter the raffle! I'm already dreaming up ideas for my "after winter" blog makeover.



I have been tagged by two super sweet blog friends. Beth tagged me on the "Honest Scrap." The rules are simple.

1. Show the icon on your blog
2. Tag seven people to partake in the fun time

3. List 10 random things about yourself.

I was also tagged by Kara. Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you

2. Post the rules on your blog

3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself

4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs

5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Here it goes....

1. I would love to have dinner with Angel*na J*lie. I wasn’t a fan of AJ in her early days but since she’s adopted I think she’s fascinating.

2. I’m obsessed with Marriott points and my Marriott elite status. Hmm.. is that kinda depressing?

3. I have a hard time falling asleep at night.

4. I’m a list maker~ without a list nothing gets done.

5. My poor cuticles crack and bleed~ it hurts

6. My "must have" cosmetic is Lancôme mascara. (Blonde Eyelashes).

7. I have 123 blog subscriptions in my Google reader

8. I live in an old building that was built in the 1930's. It has lots of charm but NO insulation. In the summer my electric bill is out-of-control and in the winter it's really cold. These are the original door knobs in my apt. I LOVE them.

9. I'm scared I might lose my job 1st or 2nd quarter next year. :( I'm a corporate sales and technical trainer; know anyone who needs a corp. trainer??

10. I keep the Emily Post Etiquette book on my nightstand.

I'm tagging anyone who wants to play along!

Holiday Cookie Swap

I participated in the Holiday Cookie Swap hosted by Monogram Chick. I mailed my cookies a few days ago and forgot to include the recipe in the box. Oooppps! I was really worried about packing the cookies tight enough so they wouldn't arrive broken. Sorry if they’re broken girls. I made decorated sugar cookies and I used my mom’s recipe. She’s had this recipe for years and has tweaked it over the years to make it deliciously, perfect. You really should try this recipe. My mom was a Home Economics major… she’s good!

It's hard to tell in this picture but my mom has made her own notes all over the page.

Aunt Lady’s Sugar Cookies

1 ½ sticks butter
¾ cup shortening (I use Crisco Butter flavor)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 cups regular flour
2 cups self-rising flour

Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Slowly add flour. Chill for at least one hour. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface about 1/4” thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake cookies at 350 for about 10 minutes (maybe a little less time for smaller cookies).

I used to get so frustrated rolling out cookie dough, until someone recommended a rolling pin cover and a pastry cloth. I'll never again roll out dough without it.

After the cookies come out of the oven and they’re completely cool. Spread lightly with cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing Recipe
1 8oz package cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar or a whole small box
½ stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Next place your iced cookies in a air tight container overnight. If you think your cookies are hard, don't throw them away. The cream cheese icing soaks into the cookie~ making it really delicious! You can add food coloring to the cream cheese icing and add sprinkles before you place them in the air tight container and you're done. I used to add my food coloring to the cream cheese icing but then I learned a new trick.

After the cookies have been sitting in the air tight container overnight, we add a second layer of icing. I got this icing idea from Lori. Use the recipe for "Royal Icing" from the Wilton Meringue Powder can. Use less meringue power than the recipe calls for, add a small amount of vanilla, and a touch of soft butter. I add vanilla and butter until it taste right, not sure exactly how much.

Add food coloring to the royal icing and spread on top of the cream cheese icing. Then decorate. There is a purpose for having two types of icing. The cream cheese icing softens the cookies and adds great flavor. The royal icing goes on smooth and makes a pretty, more professional looking cookie.

The final product.
This is a really long process but it's so worth it. The cookies are really good!

I think decorating cookies is much harder than it looks. It takes a lot of practice. These are all my mess-ups and broken cookies~ or the cookies my dad and brother were allowed to eat. Luckily, the guys don't really care how the cookies look.


Christmas Tree Finally Up

Tonight I finally decorated my Christmas tree. Since my tree is only 4 feet tall, decorating it is not a big project. I was hoping it would be nice and chilly outside while I was decorating the tree. Today was kinda hot but cool front decided to blow through right when I started decorating. Yay! I opened the windows to make my apartment really cold. Is that weird? It just doesn’t feel like Christmas when it’s hot outside. I should be used to it; I grew up in the Houston area. One year it was so hot on Christmas morning my entire family wore shorts.
Update: Thanks for the compliments on the diet coke ornament. My friend, Lindsay, gave it to me about a month ago. I think she purchased it at Berings Hardware in Houston. Isn't it too cute??? My mom just called me and ask me if I put a diet coke can on the tree. Wow~ I must have a serious problem for her to think that. Maybe next I'll make diet coke garland for the mantel. :)

Yay... cold air blowing in!!!

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Dr. Mark

I have a dear friend, Dr. Mark. I think I mentioned him a year ago on my blog. I don’t write about him often. I’ve thought everyone would think he’s my boyfriend and when I say he’s not my boyfriend people would wonder why. So here it goes…

Baseball Game~ not really my idea of fun but I wore a dress

Mark and I on New Year's Eve last year~ He's really cute!

~We call him Dr. Mark because he an Anesthesiologist. There are SO many Marks; I must have a way to distinguish them. He doesn’t really like it that I call him Dr. Mark but oh well….I have 5 Marks in my blackberry!

~Mark and I are not dating and we never will. He’s not straight.

~Dr. Mark is super sweet and he’s extremely smart. If you meet him he’ll never let you know how smart he is; he’s very humble.

~I met Mark 3 years ago at a birthday party. I feel like I’ve know him forever. We grew up in very similar households and we have a lot in common.

~Dr. Mark and I are like an old couple. Many Saturday afternoons we take a 3 mile walk in the park. Afterwards, we have an afternoon cocktail at Smith & Wollensky.

Last Saturday afternoon during our walk, Mark asked me if I want to go to his work Christmas party that night. I really didn’t want to go but I told him “Maybe.” Then Mark told me he saw our favorite girl, Blair Waldorf, on Gossip Girl wearing a green dress and ever since he’s wanted to buy it for me. So sweet but my response was “Oh no, no. You can’t do that.” Mark told me that if I would go to his Christmas party he would buy me a dress. Ohhh… he knows me so well! I did tell him over and over that he didn't have to buy me a dress but he insisted. So, my “Maybe” changed to an “Okay, I'll go to the party!”

A Christmas Party last year

After Smith & Wollensky, Dr. M took me to very expensive store in Houston with designer dresses. He told me my budget was $500. Y’all, I didn’t find anything I liked! Can you believe that? I’m just not into expensive clothes. I like what I like, no matter what the price tag says or name on the inside label~which can be bad at times.

Next we go to my favorite store in the whole world, Anthro. I’ve shopped in London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, China, and NYC. I always come back to Anthro! I found a dress and I came in $300 under budget. I always knew I was low maintenance. :) We didn’t take any full length photos at the party but I found the dress on Polyvore.com. It was SOOOO sweet of Dr. M. I had a huge smile on my face all day.

Being Stupid

pink dress by peeptoepumps


Snow Cottage Directions

A couple of people ask me how to make the snow cottages from this post. I can’t take credit for this great idea. I saw the snow cottages last year on Mrs. Lori’s blog~ I loved them. I emailed Lori and she shared how she made them with me. I’ve ask her if I could pass along the directions on my blog. It’s been about 11 months since Lori sent me the directions. I’m writing this from memory so my direcs may not be exactly like Lori’s. Enjoy~


Paper Mache Houses~ I got mine at H*bby Lobby. They're very cheap. I think the largest house was $4.49. The Paper Mache happened to be 50% off the day I was there.
Paint~ I used craft paint. The paint is also really cheap… about .50-$1.49 per bottle. I loved Lori’s cream colored houses. As I recall, she used left over home décor paint. Anything will work.

Quilt Batting
Spray Adhesive

Paint your houses and let dry. If you’re planning on adding the quilt batting to the roof, there’s no need to paint the roof. Lori warned me the hardest part was keeping the paint from dripping. That was definitely true!

Next cut your quilt batting to completely cover the roof. I think mine is a little too short. Maybe because I don’t see many snow covered roofs in Houston. :)

Spray the roof with the adhesive and added the quilt batting.

Spray the quilt batting with the adhesive and sprinkled glitter on top. You could also add glitter to the house.

I added a wreath and little Christmas trees with hot glue. I got them from H*bby Lobby in the doll house section.