Friday, December 10, 2010

tis the season.

'Tis the season for lots of list making. (Fa-la-la-la-la La-la-la-la.)

To say I have a lot on my plate would be the understatement of the century. For the last month or two, my life has been consumed with planning and/or preparing for several events:
a bachelorette party (the day after Thanksgiving), a wedding - in which I am a bridesmaid (the weekend before Christmas), coordinating Christmas in Chicago for 10 out-of-town family members and 5 locals (this is the first time we've ever done Christmas outside of Ohio), and having two of my visiting cousins stay at my apartment (which still has a little bit of that just-moved-in/storage-closet feel to it).

I have grocery lists, Christmas shopping lists, house cleaning lists, packing lists, wedding lists, party planning lists, activity lists, phone number lists, task lists, lists of my lists (okay, that one was an exaggeration...)

Last night I knocked out a number of things around the house, but this weekend is bound to be a doosey. Especially because I ruined my cookie dough and have to start all over instead of just having to cut/bake/decorate. I used a new recipe this year... serves me right for cheating on Paula Deen. I mean, what was I thinking? Ms. Deen starts pretty much every recipe with two sticks of butter. How could any other recipe be better than that? (You could be making steaks and I'm pretty sure she would start off with "Okay, take y'er two sticks of butter and grease the gri'll with 'em...") I love you Paula Deen.

Paula Deen's Monogrammed Sugar Cookies
(pssst! I use two teaspoons of vanilla and NO almond extract. And I add an extra egg.)

But I digress. With all of the hullabaloo that has surrounded this holiday season, I have really had a heckuva time getting in the spirit. I have my tree up, I strung garland, the stockings are hung on the bookshelf with care... I'm hoping this weekend will be extremely productive (Todd is out of town, so I won't be distracted by him and the kittens laying around the house), and that by Monday I will be overcome with excitement for the weekend nuptuals and our first family holiday-on-the-road!

P.S. I've just made the determination that all of the pressure that I have been putting on myself lately is going to flood out of me in tears at Kate and David's wedding. I am going to be so happy/emotional/relieved that I'm going to become a puddle of salt water. (Note to self: Add waterproof mascara to Packing List.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

bluster busters.

I have a super-top-secret-insider-scoop for you. This season marks my seventh winter here in the Windiest of Cities. That makes me seven times smarter about cold weather than I was when I moved here from Columbus (via Pittsburgh). Over the past seven winters (which usually last from Nov/Dec all the way through Mar/Apr), I have tried out many different underlayers, overlayers, inderlayers, everylayers, in order to beat the heat frigid cold that bites as soon as you step outside. Last year, a miracle happened. I found the magic combo. You better believe it.

Patagonia Capilene Bottoms (Level 2 - Lightweight) and Smartwool Socks (Crew height or higher). The Level 2 bottoms are thin enough to wear everyday, even under my skinny jeans, but that Capilene hocus pocus keeps you warm all day without making you sweat like a maniac when you go indoors. (FYI - They make tops too, which I will often don for snow-play and exceptionally wintery days.) And oh, Smartwool, how I love thee. I have both the Margaritas (left - wearing them now, btw) and the Popcorn Cables (right). I love that they give me options for weight/cushioning depending on my choice of footwear.

So there you go. The solution for all your cold-weather woes. If you're still confused, here are some simple instructions:
Layer 1: underpants.*
Layer 2: Patagonia Capilenes.
Layer 3: Smartwools. (Note: Layer 2 should be tucked in to Layer 3. This is of vital importance.)

And now you know what I'm wearing under every single outfit from November through March. Over-share? Nah. Best winter advice ever? Yup.

*Underpants can be of your own individual choosing. I go for boy-shorts usually. Now there's your over-share.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the one hundrdeth.

No, this post is not about one of my FRIENDS giving birth to her brother's triplets. (I'm totally Monica, btw.)

This is the ONE HUNDRETH post, here at comeback special!

And what a feat. I am but still a humble little blogger, and having 100 posts under my belt is definitely a huge milestone. Hopefully this little blog o' mine (I'm gonna let it shine...) and I will keep growing towards bigger and better things. Thanks to whoever keeps reading this little guy! (WHOMever...)

And yes, my pop culture references begin and end with '90s sitcoms.

(P.S. I heart MS Paint.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

dear santa... p.s.

I know I already told you what I wanted for Christmas, but just in case you needed a couple more ideas...

These Bean Boots will keep my toes nice and toasty in the Chicago snow.

And this heather green Pendleton wool camp blanket that I spied at REI last night is very practical for winter drives in my Jeep.

Snow blindness is a very serious disease, but luckily it is fully preventable with these sensible eye savers from the good people at Ray-Ban.

You know... just in case you needed a few more ideas...

Thanks Santa! You're the best.