For Auld Lang Syne

Less than seven hours and we will officially be in 2013! Are you excited?! Probably not, since 2013 means falling over the inevitable fiscal cliff, and another Kardashian baby to flood the airwaves.

 

But alas, as I look back at 2012, I can’t help but look forward to 2013. I’m not really the type to make resolutions—mostly because when I say: “I made a New Year’s Resolution” I’ve already ruined it by January 15th. I’ve gotten more in the habit of making goals.

 

Here are my goals for 2013:

 

1. Stress less.

Those of you that know me personally are probably laughing so hard, you may need to change your pants. But yes, I am going to try and not “sweat the small stuff” so much. It definitely adds to my anxiety and I long to be one of those people that are calm.

 

2. Eat even healthier.

I eat pretty healthy, but I know I could do better. One of my goals is to try more fresh fruits and veggies; stuff I’ve never given a chance before. For example, I’ve never had a beet in my life! Dwight would be most upset.

 

3. Spend more time with the people I love.

I’m lucky in the sense that I live close to (most) of my family and many of my friends. But, I really don’t get to see them that much. I always think I’m “too busy”, but in actuality, I’m just lazy. (Hear that, friends? When I say “I can’t” badger me until I cave!)

 

4. Travel.

I LOVE TO TRAVEL! Huff the Hubs and I have gone on a few trips this past year, but I’d like to go to Europe. (We did go get his passport application this morning!)

 

5. Write more.

I’ve officially finished my second book (yippee!) so I know I can accomplish another in a year’s time!

 

6. Study God’s Word.

I’ve been in church my entire life. I can tell you who Noah is, what Adam and Eve ate in the garden, and who the twelve disciples were. But Bible history? Not so much. Huff the Hubs is a Bible whiz, so I’ve already got myself a tutor!

 

7. Finally finish my classic book list.

I have a list of 35 classics I wanted to read in 2012. I only got through 18. I’m determined to finish this list!

 

8. Enjoy life more.

There are so many days that I don’t even leave the apartment. I want to make myself go outside and marvel at the clouds, drink in the Oklahoma air, and bask in what a gift life is. (Watching Planet Earth on blue ray can only get you so far).

 

I hope you have a very happy New Year! Please be safe and drink responsibly!

Fan Girl Friday — Happy WHO-lidays!

Happy Friday, peeps!

It’s that time of year again: freakish accidents happening over the London sky, aliens visiting and dressing like Santa, and a blue box parked precariously in a darkened alley. That’s right. I’m talking about The Doctor Who Christmas Special! And, after much anticipation, I finally got to watch it yesterday!

"Use your inner eye to see the future!"

“Use your inner eye to see the future!”

And, as happy as I thought it would make me–seeing as how I haven’t seen DW in a few months and wanted to know how the Doctor was fairing– it actually left me with more questions than answers.

For example:

1. Why did The Doctor have a sontaran with him? 

The Doctor mentioned something like, “He saved a friend of mine.” Which friend? Where? Did I miss something? I have a horrible memory and I can’t remember some of the episodes (yet another reason why I need Doctor Who on DVD…). If anyone knows the answer to this, please tell me!

2. Why give the TARDIS the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition  treatment?

I understood why the TARDIS got a face lift when Matt Smith took over for David Tennant. It was a new doctor, they needed a new look and a new companion. At first, I didn’t like the new TARDIS, but it grew on me. This one looks like a mash-up of the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise and the lobby of a casino. No me gusta.

3. Why must Moffat continue to terrify me with Christmas-y things I love?

First it was robot Santas trying to kill Rose with gun-tubas, now its snowmen that look like jack-o-lanterns ready to devour the planet. Thanks, Moffat, for ruining childhood memories and inducing nightmares.

4. Is Clara/Oswin a time-lord or a zombie?

When I first saw that Jenna-Louise Coleman was going to be on the Christmas Special/be the new companion, I wasn’t surprised. The writers over at DW like to use actors more than once in different roles. (“Amy” {aka, Karen Gillan} was actually in an episode of DW with David Tennant: The Fires of Pompeii. She played a witch!) I assumed that they were using Jenna-Louise as a new character. But when she said: “I like making souffles” I knew she was Oswin! So, the question remains: what is Clara? Think she’s got some sort of “Captain Jack regeneration juice” or something?

5. Why did The Doctor not tell Clara he was married? 

Honestly, when I saw the kiss between The Doctor and Clara, I wasn’t too surprised. The Doctor’s basically kissed every companion since Rose. BUT, this is the first time that the Doctor’s been married and kissed a companion. I can’t help but think that River is going to come back and raise some Cain.

Even though I have many unresolved queries about the show (why exactly couldn’t The Doctor go back and get Rory so they could all live happily ever after?) I cannot wait for the season to start up again and see what kind of inter-galactic shenanigans The Doctor and his new companion get into next!

Christmas Hangover

Hello everyone! Miss me?

I hope you had a wonderful and very merry Christmas! Things have been crazy busy at the Huffman Homestead the past week!

Last Tuesday, my sister (Bridget) and I went to visit my other sister (Samantha) and her family in Maryland. Huff the Hubs couldn’t go; he didn’t have enough leave time.

The flights weren’t that bad (sans the rude blonde flight attendant that basically bum-rushed Bridget) and there wasn’t any inclement weather when we touched down in Baltimore (which, I was worried about).

I was so happy that I FINALLY got to meet my new nephew, Jacob Lee! He was born in October and this is the first time I’ve got to hold him!

(insert pic)

After a few days of building Legos®, watching Arthur Christmas, opening presents, and generally having fun, it was time to head back to Oklahoma.

Then the whirlwind started:

~Christmas Eve morning at the in-laws.

~Christmas lunch at Bridget’s.

~Candlelight Service/Christmas Eve at my parents’.

~Christmas morning at my parents.

~Christmas lunch at my aunt’s.

~Christmas dinner at Huff the Hub’s aunt’s.

Yesterday morning, we woke up at 4:00 a.m. to do our annual Christmas tradition of shopping the sales. We hit up Wal-Mart and Target. (I have to say, I was a little disappointed in Target… They normally do better than that.) And, I have all of my nieces and nephew’s presents for Christmas and their birthdays purchased. (I do that every year. It just saves time and money. The only drawback–which is minuscule– is that you have to store the gifts. I have a “present closet”…Don’t tell anyone!)

After the shopping, I cleaned the house (it seriously looked like Santa’s workshop exploded) and went to see Les Miserables with the family (IT. WAS. AWESOME.)

Today I will be trying to get back on track with everything: work, cleaning, eating right, and going to the gym. Wish me luck!

I hope your Christmas was full of loud meals with the family, kids ripping into presents and freaking out because they got what they wanted, and turkey-induced naps. But, most of all,I hope your Chirstmas was full of what the season is all about: Christ’s love and birth.

Try It Tues…er, Monday!

I know, I know. Its Monday, not Tuesday. But, tomorrow I will be on a plane, on my way to see my new nephew (and his siblings and parents!) in Maryland!

I. CANNOT. WAIT.

He was born in October and I’m JUST NOW getting to see him. I anticipate a lot of cuddling and spoiling, so I won’t have a lot of time to blog.

I cannot believe that Christmas is only a week away! I feel pretty prepared, but I just don’t really feel like its Christmastime. I guess because the weather in Oklahoma has been unseasonably warm. If you don’t feel prepared (i.e., you still have a ton of gifts to buy) I’ve got something quick and easy for you to put together!

My mom actually did this for my oldest sister when she graduated from high school, but I have seen it on Pinterest.

Here’s the original pin:

"Its some cash in a box!"

“Its some cash in a box!”

All you need is:

An empty tissue box

Wrapping paper (or, you can paint the box)

Tape

Scissors

Ca$h

Bow

I knew I was going to make this gift for my friend’s son, so when I hit the stores the day after Halloween, I found a greasy deal on Halloween tissues. (That’s why there are skulls on it).

Anyway, I gathered up my supplies and wrapped the box:

box supplies

Honestly, it didn’t look too pretty. I’m sure there’s a better way to do it, but I was in a hurry.

After that, I got my cash out. The bills were a little wrinkly, so I sprayed them with water, wrapped them in a towel and placed them under a really heavy book. That flattened them out.

Then, I taped all the bills, end to end and rolled them up.

rolled money

I taped the bow to the bills and stuffed it in the box.

money in box

After I strategically placed the bow to cover up my horrendous wrapping job, I was done!

box done

Fan Girl Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks to the retailers on the interwebs, I’ve rounded up some awesome finds just in time for Christmas!

 

Check out these awesome Bluetooth handset gloves from ThinkGeek! It actually syncs up to your cell phone! You can literally extend your pinky and thumb and talk! How crazy is that?

Call me maybe?

Call me maybe?

 

 

 

 

Baby its cold outside! Stay indoors and warm up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate! It’s SO easy with these hot chocolates on a stick from Fred Flare! All you have to do is heat up milk and swirl the cocoa sticks around! Yummy!

Hot chocolate, county fair style.

Hot chocolate, county fair style.

 

 

 

Perpetual Kid is going to help make your snack time Jurassic! Be the coolest mom/aunt/child-at-heart adult on the block! These cookie cutters come in four shapes: Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus and T-Rex!

 

And we shall call these cookies: These Cookies!

And we shall call these cookies: These Cookies!

 

 

 

Is your office Christmas party having Dirty Santa and you still don’t know what to bring? I’ve got you covered! Here’s a manual all of your coworkers can benefit from!

 

We’ve all been there.

We’ve all been there.

 

 

(*I’d also like to say that my prayers and thoughts are with the families in Connecticut. I pray that the God that holds the world wraps His arms of love and comfort around you.)

Big Announcement!

HUGE NEWS, PEOPLE!

 

I am officially finished writing my book!

 

I. AM. SO. HAPPY.

 

Now, all that’s left to do is send it to my editor friend and spruce it up a bit! Then, I’ll send it to some literary agents and see what happens! Fingers crossed and prayers going up people!

 

In the meantime, I’ll be doing a lot of this:

fresh prince gif

 

And this:

blues brothers gif

Christmas Cards

Ho, ho, ho! Its exactly two weeks until Christmas! Have you sent out your Christmas Cards yet? Yeah, neither have I.

Last year we took super-cute pictures and I made those photo cards, a la Shutterfly. This year, however, we’ve been so busy that I didn’t even think to have photos taken. Plus, we’re living on a budget so I felt like dropping $30 on cards (not to mention stamps and the photographer) was a no-go.

Even though I’m not sending out cards, I do know what looks good and what doesn’t  After all, I did take Introduction to Photography. (Full disclosure: I made a C). Nevertheless, I’ve got some tips on how to make your holiday cards stand out above the rest:

1. Be sure to include the entire family.

"Don't want me in the picture? Guess who's eyebrows are getting shaved off tonight..."

“Don’t want me in the picture? Guess who’s eyebrows are getting shaved off tonight…”

2. Let your photo reflect who you are as a family:

"All I want for Christmas is a pack of Reds..."

“All I want for Christmas is a pack of Reds…”

3. Before you say “cheese”, be sure to trim the tree. Literally.

"Feed me, Seymour!"

“Feed me, Seymour!”

4. Keep the kids smiling. No one likes a sourpuss.

"Santa is so mainstream."

“Santa is so mainstream.”

5.  Put your differences aside, its the holidays!

"You use up all the glue...ON PURPOSE!"

“You use up all the glue…ON PURPOSE!”

6. If all else fails, never underestimate the power of cuddly animals:

cat and man

“His name’s Zazzles. He’s Zazzy!”

Try It Tuesday

Guys! Guess what?

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!

I debated on whether or not to post anything today, but, I’m going to be out of town next week, seeing my adorable niece and nephews so I figured I should post something.

Last week, I saw this on Pinterest:

PO-TA-TO! Cook 'em, boil 'em, throw 'em in a stew?!

PO-TA-TO! Cook ’em, boil ’em, throw ’em in a stew?!

Evidently, its supposed to be yummier and healthier than French fries because they are not in fact, fried. I was skeptical (I loves my FFs!) but I wanted to give it a go. So, I got my potato, cleaned it (I know you’re just going to peel it, but I feel better if I rinse it first), and then peeled it.

Then I sliced it almost to the very bottom. I put it on a cookie sheet and drizzled it with extra virgin olive oil. Then I sprinkled some sea salt and pepper on it, as well as some spray butter.

Taters, precious.

Taters, precious.

I put it in the oven and 40 minutes later, here it was:

Please ignore the dirty skillet in the background.

Please ignore the dirty skillet in the background.

It was pretty tasty! Although, I was a little disappointed because as the pieces got bigger (toward the middle) they weren’t as crispy as the ones one the outside. My advice? Make sure that the EVOO gets in between ALL the pieces; that’ll help it taste more like French fries.

So, my mom is awesome, y’all. She makes the cutest owl hats (and other things):

Who, who is cute? YOU.

Who, who is cute?
YOU.

She’s a pro crocheter and I’ve always wanted to be good at that kind of stuff too. This past weekend, I let her try to teach me how to crochet. It wasn’t too difficult. I did do an awesome chain! However, after I mastered that, she tried to teach me how to link the crochets together. Yeeeahhh….

Here’s what its supposed to look like:

Pretty!

Pretty!

And here’s what mine looked like:

Umm...

Umm…

When I showed my sister, she said, “Cool! You made a pickle!” Ha ha! God bless her…

(Also, I wasn’t going to toss this in the disposal. Its just that the light’s better in the kitchen and the bulb is RIGHT over the sink. Darn our dark apartment.)

I’m going to keep trying to get better and I’ll update you on my progress!

Game Night!

With Hanukah this weekend, Christmas only two weeks away, and New Year’s right around the corner, there will be a lot of family get-togethers going down over the next few weeks. And, if you’d rather not be like my family:

 

ecard

 

Then I would suggest doing something to bring everyone together, rather than leaving the family to go to their separate corners, gnawing on turkey, waiting for their customary hour of family time before bouncing out.

 

And how do I suggest bringing the family together? No, not booze (although that might help)…GAMES! Playing board games is one of my family’s favorite pastimes. It really helps bring people out of their shells and engages everyone.

 

Board games have come a long way since Monopoly, folks. I’ve rounded up the best ones to fit every type of family, and I think you’ll like what I’ve got!

 

Apples to Apples

apples to apples

No confusing rules, no pawns. Just cards and an imagination.

All you have to do is match a noun card with an adjective or vice versa! Sometimes the most logical wins…others it’s the most imaginative ones. Either way, it’s a lot of fun!

 

Trivial Pursuit: 80’s Edition

trivial pursuit 80s

Are you constantly lamenting the end of the women’s power suit/Reebok combo? Do you long for the days of Debbie Harry, Run DMC, and Alf? Don’t cry, I’ve got a game for you! Trivial Pursuit, 80’s edition! (Seriously, T.P. has a version for EVERYONE) The pawns are even “80’s inspired”: Zac Morris-esque cell phone, a cassette, a Commodore 64, and a Care Bear!

 

Cranium

cranium

This game is basically a “catch all” game. It combines trivia, drawing, and imagination. I’ve played this game a few times before and LOVED it (even though I didn’t win). They also have “kid versions” too!

 

Scene It Movie Edition

scene it movie

If you’ve got a band of movie buffs on your hands, you MUST play this game. I fancy myself to know a lot about movies, so I’d love to play this! (Comes in Disney, Nickelodeon, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who versions as well!)

 

Game of Things

game of things

I’ve never actually played this game. However, during lunch at my office, I always hear raucous laughter coming from the conference room. Are they talking about this year’s budget cuts? No. They are playing this game. Judging by the octave level alone coming from the room, I’d venture a guess that this game is well worth it.

 

Spontuneous

spontuneous

This game is on my Christmas list and I’m really hoping I get it (hint, hint…). How you play is, everyone writes down “trigger words” on his or her list. Then, the first “Tunemaster” shouts out a trigger word from their list. The next person has to sing at least 5 words from a song with the trigger word in it! If they get it, they move on, if not, the next player has a chance to steal! Being obsessed with music has its advantages!

 

Scattergories

scattergoriesThis is another one of my favorite games. Mostly because every time I play, I win. And I like games that I can win. The game is pretty simple: everyone gets a list of nouns. The first player rolls the lettered die. They set the timer and everyone has to write words related to the items on their list that start with the letter rolled. If someone writes down something questionable, the group gets to vote. That’s when the real fun begins!

Fan Girl Friday — Gifting for Geeks

Christmas is on its way y’all! And if you’re like most of the people I know, you haven’t bought a single gift. Maybe you don’t know what to buy or feel like shopping is too stressful. Well, whatever your excuse is, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t that difficult! Especially if you’re buying for a geek!

 

I’ve scoured the interwebs and found the most amazing, nerdy, and superbly sci-fi-riffic presents that any Fan Girl or Fan Boy would love to see under there Christmas tree.

 

Got a Tolkien-ite on your list? Think Geek will let you give them the one ring to rule them all! Just be sure to bite off their finger if they start mumbling “My precious” over Christmas brunch. (For the ladies that want to rule Middle Earth without having to keep track of a ring, they have earrings too!)

I think the inscription says: "He went to Jared."

I think the inscription says: “He went to Jared.”

 

Firebox has some AH-mazing stuff for the vintage arcade game lover in your family. Look at these awesome Tetris lights!

Spend hours rearranging them!

Spend hours rearranging them!

 

 

Not sure what to get that annoying friend that’s always showing you pictures of FAILs or pranks on YouTube? Give them a taste of their own medicine (quite literally) with these pickle flavored candy canes!

“Uh, yeah, they’re spearmint…”

“Uh, yeah, they’re spearmint…”

 

 

You might be saying, “But Jess, what about my single neighbor friend that celebrates a holiday that lasts eight nights?” To you I say, “Calm down, bubalah. I’ve got you covered.”

These guys are all “Bubby approved” AND eye candy.

These guys are all “Bubby approved” AND eye candy.

 

 

And finally, for those of us wishing we could take a fun, holiday vacation but can’t seem to find the funds, I say bring the Bellagio to you! You can have your very own light show (complete with music) in your own home!

Blue Man Group not included.

Blue Man Group not included.