i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

the simple christmas that lasted most of december

Last December I was home on medical leave all month. It was a very rough time, but it was also nice to deal with December without having to worry about getting to work and fitting everything into small spaces of free time. This year was way more hectic and our moods weren’t much better than last year. There has been way too much sadness in 2014 and by the time Christmas season rolled around, neither of us had much energy or Christmas spirit. I did, of course, change up the blog theme and decorate at home, but this year the home decorations were minimal and I was ok with that.

We got our tree on the last day of November, because it was a Sunday and I would be away for the first weekend in December. We put lights on it, but didn’t start decorating it because we wanted some of the branches to fall first. It was looking a little crooked, but without the branches full out, we couldn’t get it right. By the middle of the week, I decided I sort of liked it with just the white lights. So we left it that way. We did add the star, our clear glitter ball ornaments, and the severed head of Potter. Everything else stayed in the boxes in the basement. Shawn asked me if I was feeling ok when I said I wanted a minimalist tree. That’s very out of character for me. This year I just wasn’t feeling the cluttery decor.

Even the rest of the house was minimalist in terms of decorations. I took out our stockings (sad to only have one dog one this year. :() and of course we had to have the marshmallow baby Jesus out, but that was most of it. I got Shawn a LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar this year and it was cute. Not sure if we’ll do it again next year though.

We did put lights up in the front window, and I love my glittery snowflake garland (from the Dollar Store years ago!).  I did a lot of my shopping for Shawn online and I did it early. So by that last day of November, I had almost everything for him wrapped and ready to put under the tree (as seen in the first photo). There were a couple of items I was waiting on, but I was so on top of that this year.

What I wasn’t on top of was Christmas cards. I hardly got any made, still need to finish Shawn’s card, and didn’t send any out this year. Alas.

The first full weekend in December I took the train to visit Monkey and her husband. This seems to have become a traditional yearly visit and I look forward to it. We are very low-key when I visit, which I appreciate. This year we wore our comfy jammies and watched The Sound of Music – until the intermission when it was past my bed time and we turned it off. Rock stars. Obviously.

When I came home from that trip, I saw that Santa had come!

And apparently Santa brought me a DOOR! At least that’s how big that package was under the tree. (SPOILER: It wasn’t a door.) I had been bouncing all week, wanting to give Shawn his presents, so when Shawn suggested we do Christmas that evening, well… I agreed! I was so excited about what I had gotten him! Plus, we were likely not going to be home for Christmas… but more on that later!

The large door-like gift was actually a very nice wood writing/crafting desk. Once we clear out one of the unused guest rooms (right now it’s a junk room with a single bed in it), it will go in there and I will be able to craft and perhaps sew. (You know, on the off chance I am getting a sewing machine for Christmas. I don’t know about that. Nope. I don’t. It wasn’t in our Costco cart at one point. Nope. All I saw was toilet paper and fabric softener…) I got Shawn a PS4 (which he is playing right now), games for said PS4 and some other techy stuff.

He got me awesomeness:

Dude. A Jem and the Holograms CHRISTMAS SWEATER! I love him.

New case for my phone: Jinx, Annie, and Sophie. *melts*

Jem workout pants! WHEEE!

So, yeah. We did Christmas on December 7th. But we had a good reason!

Because on December 18th we drove 10 hours to Windsor, Ontario.

Then on December 19th we crossed the Ambassador Bridge into Michigan.

And drove. And drove.

And saw an epic sunset in Kentucky.

And drove, and drove some more. Until we stopped in Nashville, TN, where the stars aligned and I actually got to meet Yoj IN FREAKING PERSON!

Dude. We even had the SAME bag – in Christmas colours! What the heck! It’s like we were meant to be friends!

Only 10.5 years of knowing her online, through blogging, but we got to meet. And have dinner together! And go to Target together! (What? Don’t all epic meetings involve a trip to Target?) And go shopping in the Cracker Barrel gift shop and laugh at items there! And I got to meet her insanely tall 13-year old son – whom I have watched grow up through photos sine he was 2. I wish we had more time together, but our evening was short.

Why? Well, because on December 20th we drove, and drove some more to just outside of Memphis, TN.

And here’s why:

Say hi to Yoshi (Sugarok Year of the Dragon)! He’s Sophie’s new brother. She’s not quite sure what to make of him yet, but I see many similarities already. 😉 We have adopted all of our Lappies from Linda at Sugarok, and she has become a good friend as well. We had been wanting a puppy, but the timing didn’t work out and Linda offered us the opportunity to adopt Yoshi from her. Since we had sort of planned on traveling down there over Christmas had the puppy thing worked out, we thought – why not? This was an epically long road trip, which got cut short because they were forecasting a major storm during the time we were to drive home, so we ended up leaving Linda’s early (and all it ended up being was rain. Rain and mild. Ugh.)

Yoshi is going to be 3 on January 1st. He’s an AKC Grand Champion show dog and can be shown here in Canada – if I find the courage to try and show him. Scary! He’s a very chill, sweet boy, who has been adapting very well to his major life change. He wants to play with Sophie, and Sophie is constantly insulted by this. But in the 3 day drive home, both dogs travelled very well together.


While visiting Linda, Sophie got to play with her litter-sister Kira.

Can you see the difference? I can’t see the difference.

Oh! There’s the difference! Kira has EARS! Although her mannerisms were so similar to Sophie’s it was amazing to watch them together. Sophie was actually happy to see her. She wasn’t so sure about all of the other dogs living there though. She and her birth mother had a few Family Christmas Stress moments. 😉 But those are the holidays, right? What are the holidays without some sort of stressful family reunion!

Family photo! Kira (sister); Didi (LappyMummy); Sophie; and, grandma Linda (human =P).

Didi was a sweetheart and if we could have snuck her home with us, we would have. But one extra dog was more than enough. We are a pack of 4 again in this house.

He’s touching my Snow Mountain, Mummy! WHY!?!?

Even if Sophie is constantly offended that Yoshi keeps following her around, and trying to play with her. The nerve!

We came home on Christmas Eve (two days early) and have spent the last two days recovering from all the travel. We did spend a night at my parents’ place in Kingston before continuing home. It was a long day. They will be here tomorrow for lunch, Sunday I get to celebrate Jillmas, when Jill comes for her annual Christmas visit, and then New Year’s Day we will see Shawn’s parents and introduce them to Yoshi. I have the full week off, but Shawn has to work three days.

It’s been an odd December and a very non-traditional Christmas season for us. Any other year this would have bothered me immensely, but this year it just felt right. We were meant to have an odd Christmas this year.  Because it’s turned out pretty alright.

Merry Christmas to you all, Internet! Thanks for sticking with me through all the ups and downs!

hourly christmas – part 2

I ended the first post at 2pm Christmas day as we were on our way to my in-laws’ for dinner once our own festive shenanigans were done! So here’s the second half of my Hourly Christmas in photos!

It was extremely cold outside and of course we realized we needed gas in the car before we left. I got to remain bundled up in the car with the dogs as Shawn braved the freezing temperatures and got us enough gas to get to his parents’ place. Heh. Nothing says Christmas like, “Car Selfie with Dog in Background”.

We arrived and Jinx was very happy to see everyone (he looooooves is Pawpaw and Maw) and sniff all of the bags around the tree. We also had a surprise gift that was cleverly disguised so we didn’t know what it was.

This is probably the best hat anyone has ever given me. It’s from my father-in-law. I proceeded to wear it the entire night. (Although I did take it off during dinner because I didn’t want the tassels to fall into my gravy! Mmm gravy.) I think this was a secret tactic to keep me from trying to steal one of his hats as I am prone to do every Christmas. I can’t help it if he buys himself a new (and nice) winter hat almost every year. I like his hats! And they look good on me. 😉

My plan had been to take a photo of our dinner, but I forgot because I was starving and it was delicious! So I was going to take a photo of the ice cream Yule log dessert. Obviously that didn’t go as planned either.

By 7pm we were all lounging around the living room while Shawn helped his dad with his laptop and chatting away. Bellies full (but not TOO full in my case!) and I was happily wrapped up in my new fuzzy blanket and warming myself by the digital fireplace. (Please note that my in-laws’ actually have a wood stove in their basement but it was too hot down there because of that! ;))

Since my husband had dressed up so nicely I had wanted a photo of the two of us before we went home. It’s hard to take photos of us with just the cellphone because all I can get is our heads. So I had my father-in-law use his fancy camera and then showed him how to use my phone. Family portrait!

Just before 10 we were home and I was tired and my Christmas was done. From Finnegan and I – Merry Christmas!

I am becoming quite the expert in digital fireplaces. Since everyone was amused by how amused I am by the one on Netflix, we turned on the one that comes with their cable station. It plays actual commercial Christmas music. We kept it on the entire evening. hee!

Once I got my new hat, my Santa hat came right off (since I generally wear a Santa hat all day Christmas day!) and Shawn took it. Here’s our Festive Hat Selfie!

Since my parents moved away, I have not received Birthday Toilet paper in a couple of years so my in-laws’ thought they’d help me out. ha! This was completely wrapped, too. Nothing says “Best Present Ever!” like toilet paper!

And that, internet, was my Christmas. And now on to a new year…

hourly christmas – part 1

It’s been a rough year but we still managed to find the joy in Christmas morning. Sure our Christmas Eve was spent eating Kraft Dinner on the couch while (re)watching the first two episodes of the 5th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer but really, what else was there to do? This evening we’ll head over to my in-laws’ for Christmas dinner and more gifts, but so far we’ve had a pretty relaxing and happy Christmas morning here.

I thought I’d do a photo an hour today and have been posting them on Instagram. I have taken many other photos, too and even took the passcode lock off my phone to allow easier access to my camera without having to log in each time and miss the photo op. heh

I haven’t been sleeping (again) and so I managed to catch a couple of hours between 6 and 9 am. I left Shawn sleeping and put on my Christmas jammies to come down and let the dogs out. I need new Christmas pj bottoms because these are a) falling off and b) pretty much worn through in the thighs. Alas. I loved these Snoopy Christmas pants.

We were through with presents by about 10:30. We had our lovely Netflix streaming fireplace (with Christmas music!) playing in the background as we exchanged gifts. We learned that Sophie is scared of all things Christmas. She might be curious about a lot, but I guess she’s just a Grinchy when it comes to Christmas anything. Jinx was VERY curious and especially excited about his stocking.

Once again Shawn surprised me with some awesome fun t-shirts. I don’t think many of my In Person friends will get the references to two of them, but internet-savvy friends probably will. Gotta love the doge meme and Krieger from Archer. The purple shirt, well, that’s just self-explanatory and rather autobiographical.

I’d be remiss if I made cards for everyone else and left out my darling husband. Much glitter was used in this card making process because… GLITTER!

He got me a Finnish Lapphund card! Thanks Finnish Lapphund Club of Victoria for making such cute cards!

Super duper exciting – I am going to see the Nutcracker on Sunday!!

I have never seen this ballet live. I remember watching it on PBS when I was a kid. I think Baryshnikov was in it or something? We’re going to the last performance on December 29. I can’t wait to dress pretty and watch people be all magical on stage!

Also exciting – I got my Ever After High book. Yay! I’m still having way too much fun for a person in their late 30s to have on their website. But LOOK HOW PRETTY THIS BOOK IS!!!

Stickers (yay, doge! And Alice in Wonderland!) and a new agenda (better photo further down this post) and some exciting new shirts. I am a happy camper!

I also got a FitBit Force – which I am currently wearing. I am looking forward to tracking my LACK OF sleep. And steps. Although since I had it charged and started wearing it, I have gone about 70 steps. Mostly I have been on the couch. *cough*

Jinx and Sophie are pretty tuckered out and we haven’t even left for my in-laws’ yet. Sophie spent a lot of this morning trying to hide from Christmas things and Jinx spent much of the morning trying to see what all of the Christmas things WERE.

I like this new stocking, Daddy. Can I play with it?

Wookie Stocking! This will be Shawn’s new stocking from now on but this year it was a surprise. I filled it with goodies and then wrapped it up and put it in a bag.

Stocking goodies! Doctor Who sticky notes (I might steal some Dalek ones…) and a Mjölnir bottle opener! Possibly only Thor will be worthy enough to open beer in our house from now on.

It’s very heavy. Surprisingly heavy. Good thing I don’t drink beer.

And lastly, my shiny new agenda!

I even made a little ribbon bookmark for it. (Thank you double-sided tape!) I have also added in all of the appointments and birthday coming up. I’m a little bit nervous switching to a calendar year agenda since I have been so used to Academic year ones, but something about this one just spoke to me so LOUDLY when I was in the store shopping for Shawn. I thought about it for three days and went BACK to the store to look at it again. That’s when I told Shawn I think I needed it for Christmas. I had been dreaming of it since then so I was super excited to open it up today. Time to add all my stickers and birthday notes to it. But I spent about 40 minutes adding to it this afternoon.

And now I’m at 3pm and I haven’t taken a photo yet, but I’m going to go get dressed and ready to go to my in-laws’ for Christmas Part 2! I get to see my parents in 3 days and I’m looking forward to that!

I hope you’re having a lovely Christmas, too! A lot of people needed something good to happen this year and I wish you all the best day ever with loved ones.

glitter makes everything better

Hey internet! So, I’m sort of home on medical leave dealing with some unresolved PTSD crap from my trauma back at the end of March and well, I wouldn’t be lying if I told you that it sucks. It sucks a lot actually. Everything is difficult and overwhelming and crappy right now. But on the bright side, I happen to be home and healing throughout the month of December and what better time to be home than a time when you get to play in snowstorm snowfalls without worrying about having to go anywhere AND you get to spend all of your time enjoying super, sparkly Christmas decorations and realize you have time to MAKE THINGS even more sparkly and you get to use ALL OF THE GLITTER!

Little known fact. Glitter is part of the healing processes. No, really!

The first weekend in December I took a short trip to visit Monkey. This was planned and booked before I had my meltdown and saw my doctor. To be honest, I was worried about the visit, but I didn’t want to cancel it for many reasons, but being around people was hard for me. However Monkey is an awesome best friend and she gets me and my visit was super healing because she made sure that we wouldn’t be out in crowded, people-y places or do anything too stressful. In fact, we had an entire weekend of Christmas crafting and musical watching and it was fantastic. I felt more or less normal the entire weekend and I didn’t burst into tears ONCE! (Which at the time was a huge accomplishment for me.)

We really did use ALL of the glitter.

In fact, the one outing we did do (that wasn’t a nature trail walk) was a special trip to the craft store s we could buy MORE glitter. We were missing colours. You can’t Christmas Craft without white and silver and hot pink glitter!

Monkey lined the kitchen table with a ton of newspaper. We didn’t want to get  glitter everywhere. And we also wanted to limit the amount of glitter rage her husband was about to have as we opened up about 10 bottles of the stuff. Heh. I like her husband, he’s a great guy. I didn’t want him kicking me out of the house. 😉

We had an army of little creatures to glitter as well – all ready to be Christmas tree ornaments!

There were hippos.

Very, very cute hippos. (I might have a lot of hippopotamuses among my Christmas stuff. And yes, I really love the I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas song.)

We also had dinosaurs!

A little army of dinos and hippos just waiting to get their glitter on!

With the help of little hook thing that Monkey stuck into all of the critters, paint brushes and Mod Podge, we spent the afternoon sparkling up our army!

But wait! They weren’t completely done yet! Even though they could have been hung on the tree this way, they were missing something.

Pretty little bows! Doesn’t this photo just scream CHRISTMAS? I think it does. Now they were ready to pack in a ziplock bag and take back home on the train to hang on my tree!

I think my Christmas tree is even better this year than any other year, thanks to my glitter hippos and dinosaur!

We also did some crafts that were glitter-free (we’d have done more but to be honest, glittering critters was exhausting and we both wanted a nap by the time we were done!). We made Star Wars snowflakes while watching Pitch Perfect!

My house is extra sparkly and comforting this December thanks to some quality crafting time with one of my favourite people. Glitter aside, being creative and surrounding yourself with loved ones during hard times really is an excellent way to help yourself heal. All natural. No medication. Laughter, love and some sparkly crafting fun is a pretty easy recipe to follow.

Virtual Advent Tour 2013 – Christmas Crafting!



Check out the rest of the tour here! I have some co-bloggers for December 15th! You should stop by and visit Margot @ Joyfully Retired, and Melissa @ Book Nut.

Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping by!

In case you were curious, here are the links to my past Virtual Advent posts!

2013 – Christmas Crafting
2012 –  Christmas Whimsy!
2011 – Grandparents & Christmas
2010 – What Christmas Means to Me (on Beyond Books)
2009 – Ornament Collecting (on Beyond Books)