Deck the Halls With Hand Sewn Balls…

Deck the Halls With Hand Sewn Balls...

The kittens decided that our little Christmas Tree was the best thing since sliced bread. It lasted in our living room for all of 6 hours before Chris woke in the middle of the night to a number of suspicious sounds and found all 12 pounds of Dexter precariously perched in the top branches.  Now the traditional tree is in our bedroom and I never see it. To compensate for my sad Christmas Tree-less living room I decided to fashion a faux tree on the wall with lights and then hang all off the felt ornaments that I made this year on it. I realize that the whole thing is beyond tacky but at least I have some semblance of a tree to look at, and thankfully the kittens don’t bother it at all.

Deck the Halls With Hand Sewn Balls...

Dude It’s Dexter: The Glare

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Dude It's Dexter: The Glare

Wouldn’t you say that Dexter’s expression pretty much says it all? It appears that Dexter, like the rest of us, would really rather just stay in bed on this cold winter morning too. Happy Tuesday everyone! Grumble…grumble…

Christmas SOS

Watson and the Holiday Cards

I’m trying. I really am, but I simply cannot find the Christmas spirit this year. Somehow I managed to get my cards out last week (with a little assistance from Watson) but other than that I’m completely behind. My shopping isn’t done. I haven’t purchased pretty wrapping paper. I’ve yet to bake a single cookie and my tree isn’t even decorated. My to-do list seems overwhelmingly out of control. I’m attempting to give myself permission to not care that all of these holiday chores aren’t done (because that’s exactly how they feel at this point) but it’s seriously weighing on my mind. So here’s my evil Christmas “to do” list in all its glory:

  • Decorate tree while stringing a million popcorn and cranberries
  • Decorate house in cat-friendly manner
  • Make cookies for work holiday party on Thursday
  • Finish annoying felt ornaments
  • Bake and prep for pre-Christmas with Family in Maine
  • Plan and shop for actual Christmas dinner with CK
  • Finish Christmas shopping
  • Find cute wrapping paper and matching accessories, then wrap all the still-to-be purchased gifts
  • Watch holiday movies
  • Figure out something holiday appropriate to cook and post on Erin Cooks

See what I mean? Even a viewing of Love Actually seems like a big pain in the ass at this point. It’s really going to be a very long month if I don’t snap out of this anti-holiday sentiment soon. I mean…come on…I’m the Christmas Queen usually?! What gives?

My 2009 Christmas Wish List

My 2009 Christmas Wish List

I’m keeping it real this year and have decided that my motto for the gift giving (and receiving) season is “be practical.” That means if you’re expecting a present from me it will be something that you can actually use, wear, or should it come to it “re-gift” without shame. To that end I’ve made my own wish list a compilation of items that will serve me well throughout the entire year.

1. I tried to make homemade strawberry jam this summer for the first time and ended up with a very large batch of strawberry sauce. Unfortunately my jam never solidified but it’s great on ice cream. I blame operator error and the fact that I didn’t really have the right equipment to get the job done. This kit appears to be the key to my becoming a canning and preserving Queen.

2. The obligatory Apple product this year is the new Magic Mouse. I inadvertently picked out a really bad mouse when I started my new job and I really dislike it. So if Santa puts one of these under the tree for me my aching right hand will thank you and I’ll also be able to scroll from left to right again.

3. I love Julie Powell. She was my “I hate being an assistant and there’s hope for me yet” inspiration for many years. Now that I’m no longer working in an administrative capacity I thoroughly look forward to reading her latest memoir, Cleaving, about butchering, adultery, and quite probably lots of drinking.

4. Make cheese at home. Need I say more?

5. During the holidays I always curse the fact that I don’t own an extra bowl for my KitchenAid. When I’m in the midst of a baking marathon it is such a pain to constantly re-wash my one bowl. If I had another I could definitely be more efficient. This means more cookies for you!

6. I’m trying to branch out a bit and lately and I’ve been doing a little crafting. I’m not sure how long this interest will last, but frankly I’m sort of modified that I’m almost 30 years old and I can barely sew a straight line. If the zombie apocalypse happens tomorrow how will I sew clothing for my family in hiding? We’re all going to have to flee from high-rise to high-rise in tattered rags!

7. I adore Ellie. I also desperately need to start incorporating more light and healthy meals into our dinner repertoire. You know…dishes that aren’t slathered in butter and sour cream…

8. Ad Hoc at Home sounds like an incredible cookbook. Thomas Keller doing comfort food — how could you possible go wrong?!

An Attempt At Crafting

An Attempt at Crafting
I will happily bake and cook my little heart out but I find it next to impossible to get into traditional crafts. I’m a failed knitter, embroiderer, and decoupager. But when I stumbled upon these adorable Felt Christmas Ornaments the DIY bug somehow thoroughly infected me yet again.

Felt at Play Time Crafts

After consulting the craftiest person I know on where to buy felt I took a little trip to Play Time Crafts in Arlington. The store itself was on the same mess level as Old Navy gets during a Black Friday sale but they had absolutely everything you could possibly want from stamps, to beads, oodles of ribbon, party supplies, and a rainbow array of felt. Instead of traditional Christmas colors I chose turquoise, magenta, lavender, and pink for my ornaments and then found several spools of matching ribbon.

Felt Christmas Ball

This evening I attempted to sew my first ornament. It took me a little over an hour. I ended up having to use a martini glass to trace circles onto the felt. The finished product is a bit lopsided and you can unfortunately see all of my stitches but all-in-all I’m pretty proud of myself. However, I think it looks fairly good since I’ve been known to send shirts to the dry cleaner if I need a button sewed on.

Tomorrow my friend Kristen is going to give me some pointers on how to polish the craft project. Hopefully the next one will be a tad more attractive. At this rate though it will probably take me until Christmas to finish the 12 ornaments I’m hoping to make, but I’m determined to finish every single shabby one.

Don't Quit Your Day Job

Forget About Friday the 13th

Saturday The 14thHappy Friday the 13th! CK and I will spend tonight enjoying some messy BBQ from Red Bones and perhaps finally catching up on the large number of Sons of Anarchy episodes collecting dust on the TiVo. Friday the 13th is nice and all, but growing up I was obsessed with a little ridiculous movie called Saturday the 14th. Have you heard of it? I loved this movie. I watched it over and over again along with Dirty Dancing, Once Bitten, and Annie — what can I say…I was a weird kid…

It’s essentially a horror movie spoof of some of the more popular scary films pre-1980, but that was way over my head then. I just thought it was funny when a woman got eaten by a “fur coat” and a shark fin appeared in the bathtub.  At that time in my life I was convinced that there were monsters in the lake where our camp resided and that things would eat me if I didn’t close the closet door so you can probably see why I’d find a movie like this so near and dear to my heart.

If you can dig up an old VHS copy from someone’s basement or happen upon one in a really funky video store you should absolutely gobble it up and watch it immediately. Sure, it’s bizarre and very dated at this point but seeing Jeffrey Tambor vamp it up is absolutely fantastic and totally worth it.

Dude! It’s Dexter!

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Dude! It's Dexter!

Watson receives a lot of attention. Much like any second child, poor Dexter tends to get the short end of the stick. Dex was only with us for about a month before Watson fell ill and wow did his true colors come out in a big way while Watson was in the hospital.

You see Dexter is smart. Eerily smart in fact and super crafty. This means he gets bored very easily. So without his little kitty friend to keep him occupied Dexter got himself into tons of trouble.

Dude! It's Dexter!

One of his first offenses was to shred an entire roll of toilet paper all over CK’s bathroom. That was awesome to pick up. We now have to keep the toilet paper inside the bathroom cupboard. Another one of his favorite morning tricks is to sit in the middle of the sink while you’re trying to brush your teeth. I don’t know about you, but that’s my favorite way to start the day.

Dude! It's Dexter!

But then Dexter really out did himself. The first evening that Watson was home from the hospital we decided it would be best for Dex to spend the night in the spare bedroom. Of course, since Dex can open doors we had to lock him in (with litter and food and toys mind you). Well the next morning when I went to let him out I discovered that he had pulled up the tack strip from the carpet in front of the door and started to chew it up. Someone almost had to find a new home when I found that destructive deed. The repair work is so coming out of his kitty treat allowance!

Dude! It's Dexter!

Thankfully Watson is home now and Dexter is back to his regular habits such as sleeping on his back with his paws in the air. Don’t you think his belly looks like a tick-tack-toe board?

Dude! It's Dexter!

He also likes to try to escape from the apartment. Thankfully he hasn’t figured that one out yet.

Dude! It's Dexter!

And of course, his favorite pastime, being a big soft cuddly bear. It’s impossible to stay mad at him for long since he’s just so precocious and friendly. He’s a big fat pain-in-the ass kitty, but we love him.