Category Archives: Finally Friday

Because Friday is finally here and I need one day to talk about whatever comes to mind.

New Year Fun

New Year Traditions ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Last week I shared about Christmas with our family. Today I’ll share about our New Year’s traditions. :) From my childhood I mostly recall watching the Tournament of Roses Parade on television with my family. Mom liked to cook a pork roast with sauerkraut on that day. And of course, Dad liked to watch all the college football games. :)

For many years after Michael and I got married, we’d go over and spend the day with Dad, Mom, and my siblings and their families but we never really did much for New Year’s Eve. Fast forward several years and we went to a church that liked to have a service on New Year’s Eve, full of fun with skits and all. My kids were little at the time and Tiffany, especially, went to bed early EVERY night, of her own accord. I mean literally, she’d come to me around 6:30 or 7:00 and tell me she was ready to go to bed. :D Thus, we didn’t go often. Then one year they didn’t have it and my parents were home, so since we lived just five minutes away we decided to go over and ring in the new year together, all of us. (Tiffany could go to bed when she was ready.) And that was the start of our New Year’s Eve family time.

Now days we get together, bring appetizers and snacks, and play games until nearly midnight. At which time we pack everything up and get ready to count down with the New York replay of the ball dropping, with sparkling grape juice in Mom’s fancy glasses. It is one of my favorite things we do.

In years past, we’d get back together the next morning and Tracie’s husband would help the kids prepare a breakfast for us all, while we watched the parade. Over the last decade that tradition has dwindled. as has going over again on New Year’s Day. I guess we’re older and enjoy sleeping in and having a pajama day full of lazing around. :)

Unfortunately this year one of my nieces was sick after Christmas with a rather high fever on those special new year days. We were still planning to go to my parents’ house but Mom and Dad had a busy day of running around and Dad was a bit tired (remember he had open heart surgery near the end of November) and needed to rest instead of ringing in the new year with a bunch of noise. ;) So we stayed home.

Of course Michael and Tiffany struggled to stay awake but we played some board games and forced ourselves to stay awake. :D Since we were not planning to be home and Dad usually buys the sparkling juice, we didn’t have any. By the way, we live way out in the country and not just merely around the corner from the store. ;) We looked around and found a Lemon Lime Zevia. Hey, it’s carbonated! :D So we split that between the four of us and went to bed. It was a good time though. It was fun playing board games with my adult kids. So much so that I told them yesterday that I’d like to institute a board game night each month. Yeah, I’d like to do it more often than that but I have to be realistic with goals around here and I know once a month is attainable. There’s nothing to say we can’t do it more than that but aiming for at least once a month is good enough for me.

Tiffany and I made the appetizers we had planned to take for our celebration for our dinner on New Year’s Eve. I found some great ways to have Taco Bites and Pigs in a Blanket. And we had our White Queso with pork rinds and baked tostitos (for those that didn’t mind the crossover of fats and carbs).

low carbTaco Bites ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Taco bite with avocado, tomato, and lettuce ~ Lifeofjoy.me
low carb pigs in a blanket ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Queso ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sean got a few board games for Christmas. Michael joined us as we played the Zelda version of Clue. :)

Zelda Clue ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Then we played a round of Carcassonne. It was fun and I look forward to playing it again. :)

Carcassonne ~ Lifeofjoy.me

He also got Citadels newer version that has new districts and characters. They really enjoyed that game as well, although I think I needed to play it more to enjoy it as much as they did. My oldest, Brian, really liked it. :) They played this one on Christmas Eve night.

Christmas Eve Gaming ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Well, I think that’s enough rambling from me. Sorry it was word intense in the beginning and all the pictures were in the end of the post, it’s just the way it worked out this time around. ;)

I hope you have a great weekend. I’m going to enjoy being at home. Unfortunately it will be raining instead of snowing all weekend. :( I’ve had a very busy week with Mom’s knee surgery on Monday and running to the hospital for a few days and then running errands too. I was very glad to be home yesterday and finally get my Christmas tree taken down and that Mom has done so well with her recovery. We’ve definitely been blessed this week and am looking forward to relaxing this weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Christmas Time 2018

It amazes me that so much can happen in such little time! After church on the 23rd, we came home, had some lunch, and Tiffany made the cookies for cookie decorating, which I talked about last week. Brian and Lauren got her early in the afternoon and we painted cookies before dinner. It was fun to see Liam join in this year. :)

Afterwards, I made San Francisco Chicken with some Dreamfields angel hair spaghetti. I modified it so we could eat it as an S meal on Trim Healthy Mama. It wasn’t that difficult to do and I’ll try to share how I do it now in a Tuesday post soon. ;)

We played some Quip Lash 2 on Jackbox.tv together. (I think it is Jackbox Party Pack 3 that we actually have on Sean’s xbox 1 but I think there are other platforms available.) That’s always fun. We like it because it supports large groups of players.

Jackbox.tv family game ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Be sure to use the “family friendly” setting. :)

Christmas Eve morning I’m the one that rouses the troups. We rise on Christmas Eve morning as if it were Christmas Day. We’ve done this since the boys were about 2 and 3. I’d gotten them some of those large Fisher Price or Little Tyke play sets and was not going to tote them to my parents’ house; so we just pretended it was Christmas on Christmas Eve so they could get up, open gifts, and play with them as much as they wanted without having to leave them to go somewhere. We’ve done it ever since. Of course that means that we get the bulk of our gifts on Christmas Eve but that is fine because Christmas Day is about Jesus, family, fellowship, and fun times.

Making Xmas Breakfast ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Xmas Breakfast '18 ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Tiff wasn’t thrilled with my Kodak moment but humored me anyway.
Brian helped too ~ Lifeofjoy.me

We put breakfast in the oven and then pray and open presents. By the time we’re done with stockings and presents, breakfast is ready. We eat and chill for a little bit before getting dressed and getting together with my little sister and her family. When the kids were little she’d come over to see what they got for Christmas from us. After she got married, they both came. After she had children and they got big enough, we started going over to their house, toting our portable gifts and pictures of anything too big or bulky. When Brian married Lauren, we simply added another to our tradition. Family is big to us! I’m looking forward to adding more to our numbers in the coming year(s) with spouses and more grandkids. :)

Xmas Eve snuggles ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Xmas eve morning ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I love to stuff the stockings. That is the place where I just buy little things I think they will like. My mother always did stockings so great. She’d go to garage sales throughout the year and pick up things she thought we’d like . . . many times we were with her but would forget about it by the time Christmas rolled around. Between garage sales and Dollar Tree :) our stockings were usually pretty full, rather inexpensively. It’s gotten harder as the kids have gotten older.

A few years ago I upped the amount I spend on the stocking stuffers, as we call them. It was great because instead of getting about 10 one dollar items, I can now get a good mix of things. I spend only between twenty and twenty-five dollars per stocking but am able to get each person at least about five things.

On Christmas morning we gather with parents and siblings with their families. Of course now it is fewer than in years past, as my middle sister and her family (kids and grandkids) lives in another state and don’t make it for Christmas. After coming in and eating some breakfast goody, we join together in the living room. Mom started reading a nativity pop-up story to the kids, when they were young. (I think it is called The Good News because it says that phrase on over page . . . over the years, we started saying that phrase every time it comes up in the story . . . kind of corny but a cherished memory now.)

Bubble Bread Xmas morning ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Nativity pop-up book ~ Lifeofjoy.me
The youngest two of our clan up close for the story. :

Then Daddy usually reads the nativity account from Luke chapter two. We are soooo glad that he is still here with us. However, since he’d had open heart surgery less than a month prior to Christmas, his voice was a bit too weak to read it this year, so I had the honor of reading it. :)

Reading the Xmas story ~ Lifeofjoy.me
My Dad is always so moved with the things of God. :)

Years and years ago, when my mom’s parents were still alive and they were with us for a Christmas, after the reading of the story and a prayer, my grandpa started singing the song Jesus, Name Above All Names. Of course, we all joined in with him. It is now a tradition that my mom starts every year. :)

After this, we all get up and hug each other and then pass out the stockings. :) Then each gift giver passes out his/her gifts in turn, so that we can all enjoy the joy on the receivers’ faces. :) We do not rush through our Christmas festivities. :D

After all of this, we clean up and check on dinner and play games. :) This year we revived an old favorite game, Dutch Blitz. :) We use regular cards and just remove the jacks, queens, and kings, leaving the 40 cards needed to play per person. It was great fun to have Tracie’s girls and my Sean and Tiffany play with Mom, Tracie and I this year. :) And we also played a bit of Quip Lash 2. It’s good because my dad can still join in by voting on his favorite answer supplied by the players even though he doesn’t prefer to supply answers himself. I think we had 8 players and 4 in the audience. :)

Well, I’ve rambled on about our Christmas. I hope yours was good too. Have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Painting Christmas Cookies ~ LIfeofjoy.me

Painting Christmas Cookies

THM Sugar Cookies ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Tiffany and I did so much baking before the weekend even arrived. :) Saturday she made the THM “sugar” cookies while I was doing something else. She was so warm it kept heating up the dough and causing them to fall apart, so she had to keep putting the dough in the refrigerator or freezer to chill back up so she could cut them out.

I don’t know how thick they make theirs but we got a bit more from the recipe than it says you should get. We like ours on the thin side, although we might change our mind. We rolled them to 1/6″ thickness. I know because i have an awesome rolling pin that has rings on it to ensure that the dough is rolled out to the correct thickness over the entire piece of dough. It is really a nice gadget. :)

Brian, Lauren, and Liam came after their morning church services on Sunday morning. After a little visiting we pulled out the cookies, whipped up some frosting, and let the painting begin.

It was fun to see Liam participating this year. :)

Liam cookie decorating ~ Lifeojfoy.me

If you saw my post last Thursday, it will not surprise you that we had some unusual cookies show up this Christmas. ;) First here are some of the more normal ones:

Star and Tree Cookies ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Tree cookie ~ Lfieofjoy.me
Snowman cookie ~ Lifeofjoy.me

We had fun . . . at least I think we did. I’ll have to check with everyone next time we are together and see if it is something we want to do again.

Painting Cookies ~ LIfeofjoy.me

Here’s Sean with his uniquely colored candy cane with Brian and Liam in the background. The little one sure does love his daddy. :)

Sean and cookie ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I believe this was the year of the Gingerbread Ninjas. Here’s Michael’s. I’m not sure what Tiffany is creating in the background here.

Michael and Tiff ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I believe this ninja is by Brian. He frequently has maimed cookies. :D Don’t know if it fell apart or if it was eaten. ;)

another ninja ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Near the end, cookies end up a bit more impressionistic than realistic where our menfolk are concerned. Here you can see one more normal cookie: Mitten and someone’s stained glass candy cane and something else. :D

Last normal one ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sean’s is a gun, he said. And mine is a blue wrapped candy.

Gun and Candy Cookie ~ LIfeofjoy.me

Lauren took one of the broken candy piece cookies and created a blue fish. :)

Fish Christmas cookie ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Sean turned a bell into a Pac Man ghost, :)

pac man ghost cookie ~ LIfeofjoy.me

while Tiffany made hers into a bumble bee.

bumble bee cookie ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Ornament gal cookie ~ LIfeofjoy.me

Well, that was our cookie painting night. Afterwards, I made dinner and we all enjoyed San Francisco Chops and Chicken with dreamfields spaghetti for noodles. I don’t even remember if we cooked anything else with it; we didn’t need anything more with all those cookies to be had.

It was a busy weekend. Way too busy for one post so I’ll share more about Christmas next week. I hope you had a good one and have plans to ring in the new year memorably.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Family Dinner and Lights Fun

As I mentioned last Friday, we went to see my oldest son-Brian, his wife-Lauren, and their son-Liam. We ate delicious wood fired rotisserie chicken at Cowboy Chicken.

Papa and Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.me

We ate up and headed over to Midwest City. It was a cold night to be out walking but we prefer to walk through the park of lights rather than drive. Last year we drove through the lights in Muscogee and it was okay but you have to go with the flow of traffic. We really enjoy being able to get out and walk together.

Midwest City had some nice spots to take pictures. There was a headless snowman, headless gingerbread, a lighted wreath, and a sleigh with two deer.

Sleigh, Gamma, and Liam ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I got Liam to sit on the deer but although they tried, the deer’s head was in the way and never did get a good picture of his face. (You can see Frosty the Snowman in the background. It was animated of him sliding.)

Gingerbread Tiff ~ LIfeofjoy.me
This one is special because Tiffany’s first book was Murder Mystery and the Gingerbread Cookies. :

It was cold and we weren’t exactly prepared for it but made the most of it. Tiffany made it special by making hot chocolate (both sugar free and regular) and cookies (THM for us and regular chocolate chip for Brian, Lauren, and Liam).

Cold night Lights ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Brian (our oldest), Michael (my hubby), and Sean (our middle child)
My Girls ~ Lifeofjoy.me
My Girls! Tiffany and Lauren

We were all trying to get warm. I dealt with this by walking with Liam. :D He likes to move; so we walked out ahead of the rest.

Liam loves minions! There was an adult-sized minion. Of course, it’s a bit overwhelming for little Liam. So, I got a picture with it. :)

Me and Minion ~ Lifeofjoy.me

On the way out, Michael took a picture with it too. :) Liam looked, said cool, hid behind me and kept walking. :)

Minion and MIchael ~ LIfeofjoy.me

There were so many different light displays. It was really nice.

House LIght ~ Lifeofjoy.me
loch ness lights ~ Lifeofjoy.me
This one had motion but I don’t remember what it did

I was trying to get a selfie of me and the cute snowmen and saw that Michael was in the background waiting to photo bomb, so I abandoned the selfie and just took a picture of him. ;)

Snowmen lights ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Emoji Light ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Love Emojis! How fun
Tiff, Lauren, Green Light Tree ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Family in Light Wreath Midwest City ~ Lifeofjoy.me

From my family to yours,

Merry Christmas!!!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Blog Difficulties and Fun Weekend Ahead

Wordpress Updated ~ Lifeofjoy.me

It’s been a tough week with the blog. WordPress updated and while I do want to use the new editor, it is making my normal blogging a bit frustrating. That wouldn’t be such a big deal if it weren’t CHRISTMAS! I mean really! Couldn’t they wait until after Christmas to do the update.

I don’t prep my posts weeks in advance. I generally prepare them the night before they go live the next morning at five a.m. central time. The first day I couldn’t even figure out how to assign my post a category. Thankfully I don’t give up easily. I hoped that I could still do it in the posts quick view and gratefully, that area was still working as before. :)

Busy and Fun Weekend Ahead

It rained incredibly yesterday. It was so sad that it wasn’t colder or we’d have had a lot of snow. We already missed out on some snow once this week. They were saying that we were supposed to get upwards of six inches Monday and then we got nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Not even any rain. It was so disappointing but what made it even worse was that Virginia, where I used to live, got THIRTEEN inches!!! I’m so envious. Then yesterday it poured down rain . . . if only it had been colder, it would have been snow. Of course it probably wouldn’t have been much snow, even with as much as it rained.

Our church has a Christmas  party tonight. It should be fun. Lia did all the prep work before talking to me about it since I my mind was occupied with my dad’s open heart surgery, from which he is doing great! Doctors are amazed how well he is healing. He just can’t wait until the four week mark when he can lift twenty pounds and thus not have to protect his chest as much, allowing him to sleep better–he has always slept on his side and is not sleeping well since he can’t right now.

So I’ll be the emcee for the evening and singing some carols with some of the ladies. Last night we had practice, which Michael tried to get me to opt out of because of the rain. :D I’ve got a couple of fun games to play, the children will sing some songs, and we have a few door prizes. Of course, we have desserts too. I’m taking a sugar free, gluten free, keto, low carb, thm, pecan pie. YUM!!! I also talked a great guy at church into bringing some thm, etc., brownies, and another gal to bring some simliar cookies. :) They are great people!

Then another day this weekend we are going to go see Christmas lights with Brian, Lauren, and Liam. They couldn’t come to us for viewing lights this year, so we decided to go to them. :)

We will round the weekend out visiting with the rest of my family (sans my middle sister’s kids) at my parents’ home. It’ll be good to check up on my dad in person and see how my mom and sister are holding up. I’m so glad Sondra was able to come and help Mom out. My mom is 73 and is planning to have knee replacement surgery in January, so I’m glad she has help, helping Dad. :)

Well, I’ve got lots to do, so I’m going to run for now. I hope you have a fun and memorable weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Few of My Favorite Things

I just love this towel!

Christmas Towel ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy  mom bought it for me when we had our fun day at Hobby Lobby. :)

This dishwasher magnet is another favorite thing. The strand of lights around it glow in the dark. :)

Dishwasher magnet ~ Lifeofjoy.meOne day this week, Sean and Michael were home from work and Sean decided to make some brownies. :) A double batch! So we have had brownies most every night this week. :)

Baking Brownies ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiff was working on her bujo, I believe.

Michael decided it was a good time to go through some piles he had and get rid of some things.

Michael with Oregon duck hat ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was a bit cold that day and all of us were dressed rather warmly. :)

My grandson was in his first Christmas play. :) He was a sheep and didn’t have any lines but got to get up and dance around with the bigger littles. :)

grandson dancing ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the shepherds came up to the microphone to say their lines, the sheep came up with them and gathered around. They didn’t have any lines but got to have a turn up front.

kids play ~ Lifeofjoy.meHe was having so much fun! He’d heard some of the kids say something about the star, so when there was a lull, waiting on another child to say her part, he ad libbed and said, “Star.” It was so cute.

Kids Christmas play ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m so glad that they streamed this so that I could see him, even though I live a couple hours away.

Embrassing the chaos ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt’s been a good week. Tiffany and I decided yesterday that it was time for a holiday movie day and did the few things we had to do and had a good relaxing day enjoying feel good movies. :)

I hope you have a good weekend. We are anticipating some wintry weather this weekend. I love it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Hospital Visits

My father was scheduled to have open heart surgery bright and early this past Monday morning but got postponed over the weekend to Tuesday. It made for one more day of anxiousness but we survived.

Since the hospital is 45 minutes from our home and Daddy had to be there at 5:30 in the morning, Michael and I had to get up at 3:45 to be there to see him before he had to disappear, or so we thought.

We arrived and found my youngest sister was there already. Shortly thereafter a gentleman was wheeled into the hospital by a man and another woman. The man looked at us and said, who knew you needed an entourage to come to the hospital. We chuckled and when they were out of earshot I said, He had no idea he was talking to an even bigger entourage. :D Then in came my parents and my sister. :D There were the 6 of us, traipsing through the hospital together.

They were great, allowing all of us to tag along through the different stops along the way. The nurses at Hillcrest Hospital North were absolutely wonderful.

Maglovsky Entourage ~ Lifeofjoy.meMichael and I, Daddy, and Tracie and Sondra (Mom took the picture) just prior to surgery. :)

Daddy was so much more relaxed at this point than when he arrived at the hospital. We were able stay and visit with him for the majority of the two and a half hours before surgery. During the surgery they were very good to call us and keep us informed of their progress. It was a 4-5 hour surgery. My brother-in-law and nieces came at a more reasonable hour and he’d gone into surgery.

Everything went great and we girls went over to await him in CV-ICU, where he stayed for only 2 days instead of the supposed 3 days. He had some amazing nurses and received great care! Yesterday he moved out of ICU and took an uneventful first walk . . . well, it was his second walk but the one the night before ended with a little heart sidestep but they were able to get it back in sync and he walked a good walk yesterday without incident.

Mom and Dad after surgery ~ Lifeofjoy.meLots less baggage this time around, because they removed many of the tubes already here. :) Doing better!

Daddy and I after surgery ~ Lifeofjoyme
Me and Daddy

He’s so strong! Did really good!

They have this “coughing buddy” that the heart patient is supposed to hug when coughing and moving, which helps keep him from using his arms to push himself up and stressing his chest/incision. He and Mom thought it was a joke at first, but soon realized it for the tool it really is.

Heart Patient and Bear ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’m soooo glad he’s doing so well. I stayed with them the first night because quite frankly it was a bit scary and I didn’t think Mom should go through it alone. Since they ask all visitors to leave the CV-ICU for an hour and a half each morning and evening, I decided to go back up before the sun came up to be with her while she was banished. :D

It was a good day with some good milestones and good memories. I’m so glad God helped Daddy and kept him here for us. My baby sister told him before he went into surgery that he had to make a deal with her: If he saw any bright lights he was to go the other way and come back to us. :) When he roused from anesthesia, he said he didn’t see any bright lights. :) He had a great surgeon and a Great Physician looking after him. The surgeon said the aneurysm was quite . . . well, let’s just say, it was a good thing they did the surgery when they did and now Daddy is doing good. :)

I hope you have a blessed weekend! We sure are because the surgeon says he will probably come home this weekend. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

My Thanksgiving and Days to Come

Thanksgiving ~ Lifeofjoy.meI hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did. My middle sister came into town from Missouri, whom we haven’t seen in about a year and a half. It was good to see her. She’s staying with my parents for a few weeks as my father has major surgery on Monday and will be in ICU for at least three days so that they can keep a close eye on him after the 5-7 hour surgery. Sondra will be staying with Mom and Dad to help out for a couple weeks afterwards too. It will be good for all of them.

I’m making a Minion blanket for my grandson, so I should make some good progress on it while at the hospital on Monday. :) Who knows, I may even get it completely finished in one day. ;) I’ll take some other stuff with me in case I get tired of crocheting.

Quiplash 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe played Quiplash 2 yesterday and the night before. It was a lot of fun being able to play a game with the entire family of 14 people ranging in ages from 10 to 77. And each person could play at their own comfort level. My dad preferred to just be in the audience the whole time but even audience members get to vote on their favorite response. I think there was a maximum of eight people that could answer questions. It was fun. We played a couple of other games but I didn’t like them as much.

My sister and her husband really work hard to keep the holiday as special as it has always been and my mother is ecstatic that they host it at their house and she can go through the holiday pain-free. It had gotten to be too hard on her body to get her house and food ready for the family togetherness. I’m glad she is enjoying the holidays better and without pain. I’m also thankful that my brother-in-law is such a willing host and good cook. He definitely knows his way around the kitchen. :)

I made the spelt roll dough and froze it earlier this week. Then I was able to bake them fresh at dinner time yesterday. Oh my gracious, they were delicious. They made my meal into an “S Helper” THM meal to my surprise. I’d gone into the holiday expecting to have a crossover and was pleasantly surprised that the added carbs were low enough to keep it in the low carb range of the s helper meal. :) In full disclosure, and so you don’t think I’m wonder woman or anything, I did eat about 3 bites the full sugar sweet potatoes. :D So that probably put me into crossover territory but I don’t care . . . I took a healthy dose of “vitamin P” for pleasure and ate without guilt.

I’m glad for a nice leisurely day to spend at home with family. Well, aside from making pancakes for 7 with sausage and thick cut bacon and making our huge turkey for dinner tonight because I love turkey leftovers. ;) I’m also making a fudge pecan pie, so I guess it isn’t really a leisurely day but it will be a good one. I think I may spend some time making my bujo look a bit prettier; I haven’t done it in a while, so I have a few pages to do.

I got another Christmas gift in, so I’ll be wrapping that up and getting it under the tree. I’ll let you know, but I really think staying on top of the gift wrapping is going to make this month go a lot smoother and be more enjoyable.

Well, I’m going to run. I hope you have a great day and have made some good memories.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Gift Wrapping Fun, Snow, and Holiday Preparations

One day that Sean was working at home, he, Tiffany and I began wrapping Christmas presents. Dollar Tree had some fun wrapping paper. I especially liked the Nintendo Mario themed and Minions papers.

Wrapping Paper ~ Lifeofjoy.meI got a good start on it but lots to go.

We put Christmas music on and just went with it. :D

Single Dancing ~ Lifeofjoy.meSean danced with Shiloh.

Dancing dog and man ~ Lifeofjoy.meDo you know that there is a right tape for a type of paper? If you buy foil wrapping paper, do yourself a favor and get regular tape. It is a bit shiny and will hide on the foil paper nicely. But if you have the standard paper finish, which I think is more of a matte finish, then that is when you want to use the invisible tape. However, if you try to use the invisible tape on foil paper, it will not be invisible; it will kind of be like a ghost and foggy.

On Monday this week, it snowed! It was a lovely snow! We didn’t get a whole lot of accumulation but it was really pretty. I took this picture shortly after it had begun and the flakes were really big.

Big Snow Flakes ~ Lifeofjoy.meYes, they got as big as cotton balls! It was gorgeous!

Big snow flakes in Nov ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt was beautiful and then it was gone. We got around an inch or so and then the temperature rose and it melted. That’s why I like snow here; it snows and disappears before it can turn into a dirty mess.

I’ve been working on getting all my gifts bought. I still have a  few stragglers to pick up but I’m nearly finished. :) Other than buying gifts and getting them wrapped, not a whole lot has been going on. I did make a two week menu this week so that I don’t have to shop next week. I got a couple of turkeys on sale the other week and will have that and planned-overs most of the following week.Cheap Washi Tape ~ Lifeofjoy.meDid I mention that Michael’s has some really cute washi tape for just 33¢ a roll? Yep! You get to pick the ones you want too! It’s awesome! I may have gotten a little carried away. ;) I have several different sets of washi tape on my Christmas list. I picked some I liked while I was with Tiffany. And I picked some while I was with Tracie. Washi Tape heaven. :D

Mom mentioned when we were out the other week that she’d like to see what I use the washi tape for. So Sunday I took my bullet journal and showed her. It’s funny because in the beginning there was NO washi tape. Then you could see where I’d gotten a few rolls. Then it was quite clear when I’d gotten some for my birthday.

I like to have some nice glittery rolls both with designs and just glitter and in varying widths. Then I like to have some tapes with nice seasonal designs and other designs as well. I also like foil tapes. But one mustn’t overlook the value of plain tapes.

I’m looking forward to starting a new bullet journal next year with such a wide variety of washi tapes and stickers. I was a bit hesitant to use my bullet journal for everything and felt like I needed to conserve space but I’ve learned a lot this year and am excited to set up my bujo after Christmas. I’ve already started a New Bujo Planning Page in this bujo. :)I really wanted to think it through and have an idea of what I want. I’m also wanting to add a bit of art and more creative expression in this next one.

I’ve made notes to myself on my menu about what I’m supposed to be getting done this coming week. Over this weekend I’m supposed to finish wrapping all the gifts that have arrived. Then as new ones arrive I am to wrap those right away, so that I stay finished all season and don’t let it pile up or stress me out (like it usually does :D ).

I’m supposed to get my Christmas decorations out and up by Wednesday because I like my tree up right after Thanksgiving. Michael doesn’t like to be around when we decorate because of the mess and chaos, so I cannot do it on the weekend. So I like to put it up on Wednesday. I’m not sure if I’ll do it then or Tuesday. I’m doing most of my baking on Tuesday because THM goodies are best when they sit for at least 24 hours and I cannot do EVERYTHING on Wednesday. So there’s baking and decorating to be done too.

Well, as you can see, I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me and some shopping to finish! I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Lots of Shopping and Fun

fall for you sign ~ lifeofjoy.me
Sign I saw while shopping with Tracie.

I have had a very busy week this past week. I went Christmas shopping in stores with my little sister last Friday. We had fun! By the time we were finished around 8pm, I was pretty tired. I don’t cram shop (you know that’s like cramming for a test when you were in school only with shopping ;) ) as well as I used to. Tracie and I used to be able to leave the house around 9am and stay out until after midnight. We’d save Walmart for the end because they didn’t close. :D

Of course, our guys didn’t like us out so late but we really wanted to get as much done in one day as possible. I don’t prefer to go out to begin with, so going as few times as possible is my aim.

Then I had the pleasure of spending several hours out and about with my mom earlier this week. She treated me to lunch at our happy eatery, Pizza Hut, and then we hit up the Dollar Tree before going to a favorite store of mine, Hobby Lobby. We spent about three hours in that store.

Snowman Jar ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Lighted Snowman decoration I saw while shopping with my mom

We oohed and ahhhed over the holiday decorations. Then we got back to my favorites spot right now, stickers and washi tape. And guess what! They had 50% off of one major brand! Michael had given me some money to get something I’d enjoy. I was in washi tape heaven. I ended up with way too much, considering I have quite a bit on my Christmas wish list but it was FUN!!!

I was a bad influence on Mom though. She found she needed some stickers (probably not as many as she ended up buying–but hey! they were 50% off! :D ) and then some other things. There was only one item that she got that wasn’t 50% off and we were able to use a 40% off coupon on it. :) Yep! HAPPY PLACE!!!!

Washi Tape ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Washi tape and stickers I got on sale at Hobby Lobby!

I had this brilliant idea about how to re-organize my spice cabinet. I bought 2 packages of 3 bins and a rack. I figure surely, I could fit all my spices in those 6 bins. Sean tried to accomplish the task for me and found that I have way too many spices for that! Ugh, back to the round spinny rack where the spices keep falling off or getting knocked off by pot handles. Oh well, I’ll figure something out eventually–even if it is just to get rid of some of the spices I don’t really use.

Since Mom and I had our day out the day before errand day, Tiffany and I figured we’d just postpone errand day by one day. Well then Michael let me in on the weather prediction for that day: cold and rainy. Cold I can do but the combination of cold and rainy I’d rather skip. So I got my act together, made the menu, and grocery list and went out as usual. Of course we had a later start than usual and we needed to do a bit more Christmas shopping, so we were out longer than usual as well.

Tiffany and I went to another of my favorite stores, TJMaxx. We spent quite a while in there and didn’t even look at everything. We headed straight back for the housewares section where the canisters and such are located and proceeded to be snails. :D I finally notified Tiffany that I didn’t need to look over the entire store and we headed to the check-out. Then I remembered that I needed to get Liam, my grandson, some more gifts for Christmas and decided to check out their toys. I found a darling broom and dustpan; he loves to play with mine so I thought it’d be a good idea.

Talking Broom ~ Lifeofjoy.meThen just before we hit the cashiers, we came across an entire case of board books!!! I love books and his mom does too. Tiffany and I each got two books. I got him one that is a lift-a-flap book but it is a board book, so he shouldn’t be able to tear it. :) Then I found a cute opposites book which I got him as well. Tiffany of course, could not leave Biscuit behind.

Lift a flap board book ~ Lifeofjoy.me
It looks good and sturdy!

Unfortunately these are the only pictures I remembered to take on my excursions. :D I wish I had thought to get pictures of me and my shopping companions but alas, it didn’t happen this time. Maybe I’ll remember next time.

Well, once again, I’ve rambled on. I’ll run now. Hope you have a great weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº