Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Anxiety

Do any of you live with anxiety?

I do. Remember how I wrote about it earlier this year? (Read about it here and here) Well I haven't talked about it in a bit but that doesn't mean I am still not living with it. Mostly I have been managing my anxiety and preventing panic attacks. Some days it feels like that is all I am doing, just managing. But it is better than the alternative, drowning in it. It is hard to talk about anxiety because it feels like there is a defect in me. I have even had people look at me weird and ask, "why can't you just control it?" For this reason, having anxiety is not something I really talk about a whole lot anymore but I am still here living with it every single day.

The holidays are bringing up lots of resentment and anxiety for me. I will leave it simply with it is one of the toughest Christmas's we have had to deal with in a very long time. I can feel myself wanting to get hard and bitter. I can feel myself wanting to lash out. I can feel myself wanting to scream or cry or let the panic take me under. But I have learned a LOT over the last year of dealing with this crazy anxiety and panic attacks, the biggest lesson has been, it won't do any good to let it take me under or to lash out at the people around me. Every day I work on taking deep breaths and not letting that feeling of drowning take over. I am a little shocked by how well I am coping actually. Especially since I struggled with it so much just a year ago and couldn't seem to get it under control. It would appear I am getting wiser and calmer in my 30's.

So what am I doing to keep the panic attacks at bay during these stressful holidays? Well I will share a few tricks of mine right now. I know sometimes it feels like the little things won't help but they really do.

1. I get caught up in a hobby. Some people drink beer after a hard day, I knit. Why? Simply because it takes all my concentration. I always have yarn stashed away in my office and right now I am working on a ginger bread ornament. The pattern is not that complicated but since I took a year off of knitting, it is helping me get my techniques back. I just keep my needles and project by the couch. Whenever we turn on a movie or if I am relaxing while the husband cooks, I pick up my needles and work on my project. It is seriously very relaxing. I have also been known to start art projects and paint things (like stocking boards and card holders). Also each night I read. If I am having an especially bad day I will stay in bed all day reading or crawl into bed after work to read with the dachshund. Reading has always been my escape and I have been devouring books lately.

2. I enjoy the small holiday traditions. The husband and I decorated the house in a simple but lovely way. I have been known to turn on all the Christmas lights, turn off the main lights, turn on a Christmas movie, snuggle under a blanket and remind myself what I truly love about Christmas. For me it isn't about the presents it is about the feeling I get and the traditions. I have sent out most of my Christmas cards, I have decorated, I am watching my favorite Christmas movies and I am hanging up Christmas cards as they come in. All of those things are my favorite Christmas traditions.

3. I hum and sing Christmas songs nearly constantly. I am not kidding. I also turn Pandora to the Christmas channel whenever I get a chance. At work I usually have Christmas playing lightly in the background. It might sound annoying and trust me at times the husband wants to scream, but it helps me feel cheery. Nothing can turn my mood around faster than Christmas music.

4. I stick to my routine before bed. I don't know about you but for me my anxiety peaks when I finally lay down at night. Thinking about things can send me right into full blown panic attack mode and if you have ever had a panic attack you know how important it is to avoid those. It is easy to throw ourselves into bed over the holidays exhausted but I have created a relaxing bed time routine that I stick to religiously. I take a shower. I snuggle under the covers, including a blanket crocheted for me with love and I ban the husband from cussing at his football game he likes to play on his Nook in bed. I have deemed the bedroom a stress free zone. My favorite part is when the dachshund snuggles up with me and gives me lots of bed time kisses. I will read for a bit as well. In the end I still need to fight a few anxious thoughts before bed but they don't overtake me.

5. Last but not least, I keep reminding myself of my blessings. That seems like such an overdone statement and it is, but it is true. When you concentrate on what you have and sort of give up some of the control on what you don't have right now, it eases the pressure of feeling like I need to FIX EVERYTHING that is going on RIGHT NOW. Which is sort of my mind state. I am a control freak who wants everything fixed right away but right now I know time will need to work this one out because I can not. So instead of dwelling on it and driving myself batty, I just keep counting the blessings and releasing the things I can't control. It isn't a perfect process, I still have panic moments when I let it all overwhelm me but I just keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time. I remind myself to enjoy what I have and the good people in my life that are making me smile right now. Each day holds something good in it if you look hard enough.

Holidays can be so stressful, especially for those of us fighting anxiety issues. There is just so much pressure and it is easy to be overwhelmed by that pressure. As I have gotten older the holidays have gotten a little tougher for me to capture the magic I used to see in Christmas but I am hoping one day I will find it again. I know I will.

So this holiday season remember to breath. Remember to take care of yourself. Remember what is truly important. Remember that nothing is worth panicking over. Breath. Let go. Relax. Enjoy.

How do you deal with the stress/anxiety during the holidays?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Alternatives to Handing Out Holiday Sugary Treats

Tis the season for treats. It seems like every day for the last couple of weeks I have walked in to a new sugary treat on my desk. Chocolate covered pretzels. Caramel goodies. Chocolate Santa's. Belly flops. Mint and chocolate bark. Candy canes. The list literally goes on and on and on and on. When I am busy and working away, I usually grab what is convenient. Before this it was my wheat thins and black olives. BUT I noticed that for the last couple of days I have been getting headaches and lacking energy and sick to my stomach for what seemed no reason. Well, I thought for no reason, until I realized I had been mindless snacking on all the sugar and completely ignoring the healthier food in my lunch. DUH DUH DUH.

So my solution, I am bringing it home to my husband and he can eat it all. I am completely sugared out and a little tired of feeling crappy. I am going to need to drink a few gallons of water and exercise a whole bunch to work this sugar high out of my system.

What really gets me though is why other people think it is okay to load everyone up on junk food? I get it, it is a sweet gesture (see what I did there?!) but honestly with diabetes, obesity, sugar addictions and health conditions like PCOS (insulin resistance issues), wouldn't it be better to find other cheap gifts to give out? I would sure appreciate it. 

So as someone who doesn't really want to also encourage massive sugar consumption, I came up with a few gift ideas that are cheap and easy to hand out instead. Some of these I am actually using for my own coworkers at work. 

1. Candy Cane Body Scrub: 


I don't know if I have ever told you guys this, but I have went to school to be a massage therapist before I became a paralegal. My favorite class was the spa class and I learned lots of fun things. One of my favorite classes was how to make scrubs and bath salts. Cheap and easy. This recipe calls for sugar but not the kind you will eat, this involves the kind you will scrub on your body to get rid of that winter skin. Great gift for female coworkers. All you need is a great recipe like this one over at Modern Mom and some cute jars with a little bit of festive ribbon.

2. Homemade Peppermint Body Butter:

Over at My Frugal Adventures there is a great recipe for a peppermint body butter. It could even be paired with the above scrub to do a fun duo thing for the women you work with or even the menfolk. After all, everyone wants softer skin in the winter right? It would be super easy to whip up a big batch and put into a bunch of small jars. Add in some creative labels and a little ribbon, viola, present that looks fancy, smells fancy and seems store bought.

3. DIY soap bars:

Making soap bars is a little more complicated from what I have heard (I have never actually tried before) but it looks like a ton of fun. Honestly you could do this for males and females. Some recipes call for shredding up cheap soap and using that. There are beginner kits you can buy that come with molds. I personally like DIY Natural's tutorial on it because they really break it down for you. But imagine the possibilities, oatmeal, peppermint, lavender, mmmmmm.

4. Candles:

This one is on the top of my list to try out. I love candles and go through a lot of them. So imagine how neat it would be to make your own or melt all the wax that gets wasted with other candles. Think of how awesome it would be to give those candles as gifts. Everyone loves a good candle. Okay maybe not everyone but most people, men and women. I have my eye on a neat kit from Amazon and I have heard rumors that Michael's or Joanne's sells a kit as well. 

5. Bath Bombs:

These are super easy to make and simple to throw together. Plus add in a special smell of peppermint and they are a perfect gift. Over at the Making Lemonade Blog there is a great tutorial on how to make simple bath bombs. I even have a few cheap star ice trays I got from Ikea that would make the cutest star bath bombs.

6. Knitted Ornaments or Felt Ornaments:


I love to knit and I love working with felt. Both of which I don't have nearly enough time to do. Currently I am working on knitting a gingerbread man (who is much bigger than I thought he would be) that I am hoping will be good enough for an ornament for the tree this year. That got me thinking, if you are a knitter or someone who felts, wouldn't it be great to make a bunch of cute ornaments to attach to some Christmas cards or stash away in a basket with some candles? You can even add in some spruce or crushed up cinnamon to make them smell pretty. I think it would be. If I had thought of it sooner I would have started a few months ago but alas there is always next year! Some of my favorite ornaments on my tree are one's that friends or my niece and nephew made me.

Last but not least.. For bigger gifts, make a gift basket of everything combined. You could do a spa day gift package for the special women or even the men you want to pamper. Just make them a little bit of everything. If you have a sewing machine throw in a few homemade eye masks or a heating pad. Or just keep it simple if you have a lot of little presents you want to hand out and do the scrub or make some great bath salts. You don't have to be super creative, most of the gifts are simple and can be made in huge batches. Or you can go really easy and just hand out some Christmas cards.

I am big on DIY Christmas presents. To me it feels special. When I make someone a gift it is saying, here is a piece of my time and energy that I spent making you something special. I truly cherish the gifts that have been made for me, I have kept most of what my niece and nephew have made me and I still sleep under a blanket my Aunt crocheted for me. Not to mention last year my supervisor handed out a ton of homemade scrub that was amazing to use. It is why I knit gifts for family members and close friends.

So I beg of you all, stop handing out the sugar like it is going out of style this season and let's do some creative little goodies instead!!! 

So any ideas for your own non edible gifts for Christmas?? Do tell in the comments below, I am ALWAYS looking for new ideas!!! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Uglier Parts of PCOS

When I first started writing about PCOS it was really hard on me. I would write the word PCOS or infertility and delete it immediately. Those were two words I was successfully avoiding in my life. Two words that seemed too personal. Was I really supposed to talk about how I struggled with chin hair, wonky hormones, crazy periods and infertility. What if people saw?? So instead I made my blog about weight loss but the more I talked about weight loss the more PCOS started to leak into my posts. Suddenly, I realized, it was important for me to write about PCOS because it was linked to almost every aspect of my life. Besides, wasn't that the point? To reach out to others struggling with PCOS (or weight loss) and also have a place to share my woes that I had been hiding away for far too long?? Yes it was.

I am not flawless in how I handle PCOS. I would like to think I am because well I am 30 and I have been dealing with it since I was 13 years old. But I am not. I still struggle. I still get angry. I still have moments that make me want to pull my hair out. With all that though I do know one thing, I am also nowhere close to the teenage girl who was hiding a 6 month heavy period from my Mom or the 22 year old newlywed trying to get pregnant without a normal period or the 25 year old anemic mess first trying to exercise at 335 pounds.

This morning I was ripping hairs out of my chin instead of getting ready for work. One of the things I still can't get used to is how the PCOS hormones make me grow chin hair. Not nearly as much as my husband has but more than your average female. I had ran out of my hair removal cream last week and of course I still haven't made it to the store. So here I am, chin hairs and all. I noticed that my cover up made the hairs stand out and I freaked. When the husband came to check on me I was half make-upped (word?) with the tweezers frantically pulling hair out of my chin and wiping cover up off. I must of looked like a crazy person. He made the mistake of asking me a question and I of course proceeded to tell him that if he allowed me to forget to buy hair removal cream one more time I was going to pluck his chin hair with tweezers. He hadn't asked a question about my chin hair, I am pretty sure he was asking me something about what shoes I wanted him to pull out for me. Is it funny now? Yes. Was it funny this morning? No. But if I didn't laugh I would have ended up falling on the floor crying. Can I call in sick for chin hairs? No. So here I am, chin hairs, trying not to be self conscious and furiously reminding myself to buy hair removal cream on the way home. These are the ugly parts of PCOS.

I was part of a chat forum once with other women struggling with PCOS. I was so excited because it was my first time ever talking to someone else with the same illness as me. I loved it up until the point I posted my first question about the hair on the chin or something along those lines. I will never forget what one lady wrote to me:

"We have to make sure our husbands know we are ladies because we have this icky male hormones running through us. That means whatever we do we have to never let them see a chin hair or let them know of what is going on with us. We keep it all behind locked doors and away from them. We must pluck, fight the acne and make sure there is no flaws for them to see. Otherwise our husband's will fall out of love with us."

That is the kind of advice we are giving young wife's struggling with PCOS?? Oh no. I will tell you this, as a newlywed, I was mortified. It got me thinking, did my husband hate me because I spent the night before plucking chin hairs on the couch while we watched T.V. (yes I used to pluck, never again, well except when frantic)?? After that, I was so self conscious. I started hiding it from everyone, because a lady never tells.

Let me tell you a secret. Come closer.

You are going to need all the support you can get and why would you want to marry someone who isn't supportive of you? My husband has a few flaws,a few that absolutely drive me nuts, but one of his flaws has never been that he has made me feel embarrassed or asked me to hide my PCOS from him. Never. He doesn't care if I walk out of the bathroom with my hair removal cream caked all over my chin and neck, even if it smells bad (and it does). He listens when I am telling him about my bad PCOS day. He smiles at me when I snap at him about buying hair removal cream. He picks up my medication. He talks to me about when my doctor suggests to increase my medication. He can tell when I am overdone and need some down time (exhaustion is another one of those lovely PCOS traits). He sends texts rescheduling our plans when he knows I am having one of those PCOS days. He goes to the store for tampons when I run out and can't stand the idea of leaving the house. He tells me I am beautiful even when I have hormonal acne and my energy is low. He works out with me. He eats low carb with me. He supports me in a way that no one else can or could. Mostly because he is living in this house with me everyday. I can't hide it from him and I wouldn't want to. He married all of me.

I will never forget when a very dumb doctor decided taking progesterone would help me out. It didn't. It sent me through the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. The waves of pain left me breathless and crying. I was in constant pain that didn't go away for a month. Needless to say I stopped taking the progesterone within two weeks. But in the mean time it took my body a month to get back to normal again and the pain was downright intense. I ended up quitting my job because the pain was too intense to function at work. I couldn't leave the house. I cancelled all my plans much to the frustration of the people around me. Most days I would lie at the bottom of my shower crying with the hot water pouring over me. I would do this 3-5 times a day. I never slept anymore because the pain was too intense. But I am a stubborn girl and I refused to go to a doctor or hospital. In the end it was my husband who found the right combination of Ibuprofen to give to me and then would rub my abdomen while talking to me softly till the pain subsided. It was the only way he could get me to sleep. Each time I woke up in the night, he would get me the Ibuprofen, rub my abdomen and talk softly to me till I fell asleep. He never complained about a lack of sleep or being the only one working or about having to nurse me through this. He just did it.

Does that mean he never see's the beautiful side of me? No. I do take care of myself. I pride myself on looking put together most days. I do my hair. I wear nice make-up. I pick my clothes with care. I wear nice jewelry. I do my nails. I shave my legs. I wear face cream. I use face masks to ease the acne. It isn't like all he sees is a constant hot mess, I work hard to take care of myself as well, for me as much as him.

So if I can tell you one thing about PCOS it is this, find the people who will support you and want to be there for you during this tough journey. You aren't going to be flawless about it. PCOS is a messy health condition. It will knock you to your knees and make you stay there if you let it. Find people you can talk to, find people who will hold your hand, find people who will allow you to rant and curse the world. Find the people that will catch you frantically plucking chin hairs and will make you laugh instead of cry. There were many times the people that I loved seemed to get exasperated with my health condition, they didn't want to hear about it, they didn't want to talk about it, and they definitely didn't want to hear the word infertility uttered. It makes people uncomfortable, especially those of them that are already parents. But what they forget is, I am uncomfortable as well and often times I feel very alone.

I turned 30 recently and it was a very hard birthday for me. I am still fighting obesity due to PCOS, I am childless still, I am still struggling with PCOS symptoms. I thought for some reason I would have it ALL figured out by 30 and I don't. I am okay with it now but a few months ago I was really upset about all of it. Not to mention I was dealing with a few other stressful things. It was just a hard time all around. The problem was, I expected certain people in my life to understand this and make it a special day for me. Instead I found that I was shocked by who actually did make it a great birthday and who else just sort of shrugged their shoulders about it or didn't even bother to acknowledge it. It made me so very angry. The holidays are hard for those of us that are infertile. Turning 30 was hard. Dealing with PCOS is hard. But then I remembered something, struggles make other people feel guilty and uncomfortable. That isn't my fault. Don't take it personal, just move on. So I did. I moved on and I have been dealing with it in my own way without any apologies. I have been making plans and working out solutions. I feel like I am finally headed in the right direction and suddenly I don't feel so crappy about turning 30 anymore.

Even if you don't have PCOS, I am sure you can relate. Whenever we make big changes or try to improve ourselves or have a tough life moment, there are those that aren't that supportive and it shocks us. The thing is, maybe they don't know how to be supportive, so forgive them and move on. It is just part of the uglier side of PCOS. There is good and bad that comes with having an illness. You just have to find the balance between the two and don't let anger overrule everything else.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Eshakti Review

(Disclaimer: I received a product free of charge in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. This is an open and honest review.)

So I have something very exciting to share with you guys on this lovely Friday. You all know I LOVE fashion. I really really love it. I carefully pick out my outfits and will spend good money on certain clothes but really I prefer to find great deals. So I am very excited to share a review with you readers today.

Recently I got the chance to pick an eshakti item to give a try and write a review about. So of course I accepted. Who wouldn't?

One of the first things I noticed when going to the website was that there were so many great pieces for every body type and they have a wide range of sizes (0-36) to choose from. As a plus size girl who has a bit of a funny shape (thanks PCOS), it was really nice to see that Eshakti had sizes for every body type. Not to mention they customize everything. Also delivery was super fast and the customer service was amazing. Those things are very important to me as well as getting a great product.

I ended up choosing the Tiered Cotton Voile tunic because I love my leggings in the winter but don't have nearly enough tunics to wear with them. I was after something comfortable but also could be dolled up a bit for work.

Tiered cotton voile tunic

Of course I chose to customize it because well that is the best part about Eshakti. Ultimately I decided on 3/4 sleeves and for the shirt to end at my hip. I saw that the model on the website was wearing it longer and looser but I prefer to have a longer undershirt that peaks out and a tighter fit to the tunic. I am not a fan of anything that drapes on me simply because it makes me look bigger.

I was so excited when the tunic arrived and I wasn't disappointed at all. This tunic is truly beautiful. My favorite part is the little flare at the bottom. It gave the appearance of cute little hips and took a lot of focus away from my stomach (my trouble area). Not to mention it gave the tunic a fun flare to it.

The material is cotton and semi sheer. So I paired it with a dark undershirt and it worked perfectly. 

It is the perfect tunic to pair with some leggings and a great pair of boots. I have even dolled it up a bit for work. Honestly my pictures don't do it justice. If my husband could have managed to take a few nice full body shots you might have seen it a little bit better but all in all, it is a great shirt that looks fabulous. I just throw it on with my black leggings, grey fuzzy boots and off I go. Comfortable and super cute.

So head on over to eShakti to customize something of your own. They have plenty of dresses, super cute tunics and shirts on sale right now. They also have some amazing Christmas dresses right now because you know you will need something special for that holiday party. Not to mention if you are a new customer, you can get a $30 coupon, hello, why haven't you clicked over there yet??

You can also connect with them at Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Show Us Your Books

Life According to Steph

Okay, so I love to read. I read a lot. Actually you can add me on Good Reads if you would like and I will add you back since I love new suggestions for books. Anyways, I thought it would be fun to link up with Jana Says and Life According to Steph to talk about what we read in November. So here goes my list for November... 

1. The Husband's Secret by Liane Mariarty- I had heard amazing things about this book, amazing, so I was really excited when the long waiting list at the library finally called my number. I was especially excited because I loved the book, What Alice Forgot by the same author. But I was so disappointed. The beginning started off great and then it got predictable. Over and over again I saw what was going to happen before it happened. The dialogue was great but it also dragged on for days. It could have ended well before it actually did. 

2. Sanctum by Madeleine Roux- This is the second book in the asylum series (the first one being Asylum of course) and I enjoyed this second book far more than the first one (though the first one was great as well). It kept me guessing till the end. It had just enough dark in it to give me goosebumps when reading but also enough knowledge in it to keep me thinking. The only complaints I had was sometimes I had to go back a few paragraphs because suddenly there would be a turn that was hard to keep up with because it would seem so random. Also some parts were pretty horrifying, the author is not afraid to really shake things up and get dark. I really loved this series though especially since I was looking for something similar to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Shadow and Bone series, both of which I loved.

3. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella- I really like this author's Shopaholic series, so I was excited to read this book. It was definitely chick literature but I really like an easy going book at times. It was fun to read. Typical fluff material. Fun. Light. A few laughs. A little too long but easy enough to read.

4. Fly Away by Kristin Hannah- I got this book after seeing it on the NY Times Bestseller list and didn't realize it was book 2 of a series called Firefly Lane. Whoops. But the author did a great job at explaining things so I never felt lost or like I really needed to read the first book to be honest. It was an intense book from beginning to end and I cried several times. It was very dark, each character was struggling with something huge and deep. Some parts were dragged out and some parts were too short. It is not a book that leaves you feeling fluffy or happy at the end. It is intense from beginning to end.

5. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella- Typical Chick literature again because I needed a happy book after Fly Away but I was so sadly disappointed by this book. Shallow. Dumb. Predictable. Slow. Boring. Horrifying. All of the above. But it had a happy ending.

6. Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast- Famous New Yorker cartoonist created a book about dealing her aging parents. Very funny and at times heartbreaking. Easy to relate to and just a fun quick read that I got through in one night. I had a lot of fun with it though and had to read a few passages out loud to my husband often since they were so funny.

So what did you read this month? Any book suggestions?

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Very Crafty Christmas and The Perfect Weekend

Oh, hello Monday, I am not ready for you. I was happy in my weekend bubble. For two whole days I didn't have to deal with deadlines or non stop craziness or documents stacking up. I had a to do list because well I always have a to do list, but I was casual about it, if it happened great, if I didn't get to everything, whatever. It was just one of those easy going and fun weekends.

On Friday night I just needed to sleep, so I stuck myself in bed and woke up mostly refreshed on Saturday morning. Which meant I made a great brunch for the hubs and I both Saturday and Sunday. I even set out the good china. Breakfast burritos on Saturday and waffles galore on Sunday. Not the healthiest of foods but I was really okay with not worrying about it this weekend.

Life is too short to NOT use to good china whenever possible. Even if it just means having a nice quiet homemade brunch with your hubs, while watching the dogs play in the backyard and reading the paper. Plus we never use the table, most days we eat in front of the T.V., so it was nice to have an excuse to chat and eat together.

I also crafted my heart out this weekend..

The husband took a bedside table out of the spare room and set it up in front of the T.V. for me. Normally I craft in my office but we haven't set up the T.V. in there and I like to have noise in the background while I work away. It was a genius idea really. When it wasn't in use we tucked it behind the chair but when I needed it, we just pulled it out and I had a flat surface to work on. I got to enjoy the romantic glow of all the lights and my classic Christmas movies like Little Women, Sleepless in Seattle (can you believe the husband had never seen it??) and Christmas in Handcuffs.

I don't have a Martha Stewart tree.. Our tree is filled with handmade ornaments from my niece, nephew and friends. Plus the last 10 years of a tradition of buying an ornament for each other every Christmas with my husband. Each ornament makes me smile with a memory and the year it came from. So I am okay with not having matching ornaments or fancy birds everywhere.Though right now the lights are bugging the heck out of me. I was exhausted and rushed when I put them on the tree. It is on my to do list to fix them.

Remember my Christmas craft list that I posted a couple weeks ago? Well, I was able to mark off a Christmas card holder and a stocking holder this weekend. It was actually a lot of fun and both were pretty simple. I actually found some fun stuff in my Christmas box I never got around to crafting last year, like the green board that was a kit with little wooden letters that I meant to paint last year. All I needed was some mini clothes pins, some hooks and a board for the stocking holder. I could practically live in Hobby Lobby and I found everything I needed for really cheap, plus they always have a coupon. The best find was the mini clothes pins for 99 cents because they were on sale. Woot woot! All together the crafts only cost me maybe $10 each.

I painted the base coats on both boards and let them dry completely. I really liked how the grain showed through the red to be honest or else I would have painted a thicker bottom coat.

Then the husband  painted the letters for the Merry and Bright board and I decorated the stockings board. After that the husband added the hooks all staggered at different heights for fun and I hot glued some ribbons on. A few Christmas stickers and ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa....

(A place to hang the Christmas Cards)

(A place for the stockings till I move into a house with a fireplace mantle, one day)

Both turned out amazing. They add some much needed cheer to the house.

I also attempted to knit an ornament but unfortunately I took some time off of knitting for awhile this year and a few of my techniques got rusty. In the short of it, I twisted some stitches and had to unravel my project to start again sometime this week. Oh well. Practice makes perfect.

On Sunday the husband gave me permission to sit on my rear and do the Christmas cards instead of asking me to help him do the shoveling, sweeping, dishes, perimeter ant spraying and front porch clean up that desperately needed doing before the next big storm hits on Thursday. I really love sending out Christmas cards and I always do it in the beginning of December. I have a whole science to it, I buy a box of one's that are just Happy Holiday cards for the people who don't celebrate Christmas necessarily and I buy a box of Santa one's for the other people who do. I make a list of everyone who is getting a card, making sure to mark the names I still need updated addresses for and marking down the correct names of spouses etc (especially now that most of my cousins are married). I add a personal message to each one, usually something nice about the holidays and the New Year coming up. I like people to know I took the time to write a nice message by hand and I like the personal touches. Then I normally add a fun sticker to the back. Takes awhile to be honest but to me it is worth it. Two boxes and 18 names later my hand was cramping and I still need to run to the store for another box because I am 9 short. Luckily I saved the one's I don't have addresses for yet for the second batch.

After that I squeezed in some nail fun.

I had to redo the snowman several times before I settled on just doing his face. Next week I am contemplating doing a strand of lights.

So that was it. Really lovely weekend actually full of the things I like doing for Christmas and basically checking things slowly off my list. It was nice. It was peaceful. I really needed it. But I am sad to see it go and to welcome a new crazy week.

How was your weekend?