Thursday Ten: Unintentional Holiday Break Edition

1. Well, hello there. Guess I took a break. I didn’t mean to. I sure have a lot to talk about – like Christmas, and how I made a cheesecake so good that it could bring a tear to your eye. I’ll do that. Soon. Just as soon as the holiday chaos settles – JUST A LITTLE.
Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

2. I told y’all last week how I was test driving the amazing Dell Inspiron One 23? Yeah. Dell provided the computer to me for review and we are basically smitten with the thing (Hello? HD screen? Amazing for photos) – and now I’m giving one away over on BD. If you’re a US resident over the age of 18, get thee on over and enter to win it.

3. I’m finding it hard to believe that 2010 is nearly over – whether that’s good or bad, I’m not really sure. I’m excited to see what the new year will bring.

4. It’s currently 38° and rainy. After the brutally cold temps of the past few weeks (brutal is my word – really, I suppose it could have been worse out there), anything over freezing feels like a heatwave.

5. I try to keep the begging to a minimum here, but since it IS the end of the year – tis the season to make last minute charitable contributions to great causes! And in case you needed one to support… I am walking in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer again this coming summer. 39.3 miles over two days. It’s an amazing experience, and if you would like to support me, and support the cause of kicking breast cancer’s ass, click and donate. (Love y’all. You look pretty today)

6. I need to go and get my hair trimmed but finding the time is so freaking hard. I am really going to be fighting the urge I always get midwinter to chop all my hair off – which is why I have to go SOON so that “hey! Cutting off four inches of hair seems like a good idea” thought doesn’t wander into my brain.

7. I am incapable of typing the word “brain” without typing the word “brian” first. Stupid fingers. And I just typed “weord” instead of “word” and oh my goodness, I think maybe I need a little more sleep.

8. I have been going through an intense perfume smell testing process that evolved from a friend sending me massive quantities of perfume samples from Sephora (I love internet people). After everything I smelled (and there were TONS), I have narrowed it down to Bliss or Philosophy’s Amazing Grace. I loved Versace’s Bright Crystal but think it might be a little TOO MUCH for me. I have such a sensitive sense of smell, I am so easily overwhelmed by fragrance. The lighter the better.

9. I finally bought a Speedlite (well, I got a gift card for Christmas, so I bought nothing). I picked it up the other day and LOVE that I can have some light in my inside pictures without the subject being totally flooded in fake flash. Why did I wait so long?

10. I finally saw Black Swan. Have you seen it? WHOA. I knew it was being billed as a “psychological thriller” but I had expected more ‘psychological’ and less ‘thriller’. I jumped so many times – frankly, it creeped me out a lot. It was one of those movies – I can’t say I enjoyed it – because that would just seem weird. Extremely well done. Extremely thought provoking. Extremely scare the bejeezus out of me.

Thursday Ten: Christmas Eve Eve Day Edition

1. Tomorrow is Christmas eve – I can’t believe how quickly it’s come – and how utterly unprepared I feel, even though I know that I’ve bought every gift I meant to buy (don’t ask me how much of it I’ve wrapped though, because…blergh. I’ll be wrapping presents all night tomorrow). Tomorrow, the girls and I will continue our yearly tradition of making monkey bread. Christmas morning, while we’re opening gifts, we’ll warm the monkey bread in the oven – and once all the gifts are open, we’ll frost and eat monkey bread for breakfast. Yes, most of my holiday traditions revolve around baking. You’re not surprised, right?

2. The awesome folks at Oceanhouse Media have given me some iTunes codes for their apps to share with y’all. Oceanhouse makes some of my favorite iPhone apps to share with my kids – WE LOVE the Dr. Seuss story apps – it allows my kids to either read the story to themselves – or it will autoplay to read the story to them. I have seven codes for seven different apps – and I’ll give ’em on a first come – first serve basis. If you want one, let me know. Some are holiday related (How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph Camera, etc) – some aren’t (Hop on Pop, One Fish Two Fish). They’re awesome though, and they’re yours. Just ask.

3. We’ve nearly made it through the first week of the kids being home on holiday break – we’re finding our groove – which is good. Monday? Was rough. So was Tuesday. Yesterday? A wee bit better. I figure by next Friday we ought to be golden… you know… just in time for them to return to school after the first of the year.

4. This morning over breakfast (everything bagel with REAL butter and a glass of cranberry juice), I allowed myself a few more pages of one of the gifts I purchased for myself for Christmas. Karen Walrond’s The Beauty of Different is beautiful and rich and the essays are meaningful and thought-provoking. I’m just enamored by this book. If I’d read it earlier in the holiday season, it would have been a gift I shared with family and friends for sure. I bet I’ll be gifting it in 2011.

5. Pumpkin has two volumes: Yelling and Sleeping. As I type, she’s sitting on the stairs, yelling at the dog about something (she gives him far too much credit – I’m sure he has no idea what the hell she’s yelling about). Yelling drives me bonkers – so lately, on a mission to curb the volume, I’ve told her that I won’t respond if she’s yelling for no good reason. Biting my tongue is awfully difficult. {“STOP YELLING! STOP YELLING! STOP YELLING! – There. I had to get that out of my system.}

6. If you came over because of my interview with @MeetingBoy this week, I hope you’ll stay and hang out awhile. Delurk, say hello, put up your feet and have a drink (don’t forget to use a coaster).

7. I have been road testing a Dell Inspiron One over at BD – and I have to say, I think I’m in love. The touch screen is pretty awesome – and I’ve had a blast exploring its features. Keep an eye out in the next week or so (don’t worry, I’ll remind you), as we’ll be giving one away on BD. Trust me, you’ll want to win one. I’m pretty amazed by it. As I’ve mentioned over there, I received it for review from Dell – and the opinions are my own and only my own (Well, the girls have an opinion too – their opinion is that I’m the best mom ever because my computer is so cool).

8. Remember when I posted my lovely pictures of holiday lights? I needed some Christmas cheer this year so we got some indoor/outdoor lights and I thought of how much they would uplift me to have these colorful bulbs framing my windows. Yeah, well. Those suckers get hot. No more lights. Also, I may need to work a little upholstery mojo on this chair.

9. Sooooo, that Skype outage yesterday… That sucked, didn’t it? (Raise your hand if it made you even a tiny bit twitchy)

10. Alright, so I’ve shared some of my traditions with you (Sugar. Sugar. More sugar). Do you have any holiday traditions? Tell me about ’em.