We had a very nice Christmas with the Gabels last week. On Christmas Eve we went to church in the evening, and then came home for the traditional homemade pizza dinner. After opening presents and having egg nog French toast on Christmas morning, we headed up to Flagstaff for a couple days to relax and Chris, Brad and Alison went skiing.
Chris & Tammy on Christmas Eve
Brad, Rita, Alison, Tammy & Chris on Christmas Eve
Scoop loved her first Christmas, especially the "lollipop" in her stocking
Chris and I had long planned to spend Christmas in Phoenix this year (our first holiday with the Gabels since we moved to Reno!) but since my sister was going to be in Southern California, and I hadn't seen my Dad's family since July, I decided to make a quick stop there on my way to Arizona. It was a short visit (less than two days) but so great to see everyone. When Mena and Miguel got in, the three of us stopped by to visit our Great Aunt Ruth, and later had dinner with Dad and Deb. The next day we hung out with Jen and Juliette, and then all the family went out to dinner.
For the holidays, Erin had the idea of having a girls night of baking. I thought watching Julie & Julia would be a good addition to the evening. So, I brought over the DVD and a bunch of aprons, and after a dinner of salad, pizza and good conversation, we got to work in the kitchen.
Tammy & Julie
All of us
We had a fun time making Rich and Creamy Squares and Cranberry Bread and watching the movie. Scoop was excited she got to play with Warren and Sierra, too (and the ornaments on that tree). It was a great way to spend an evening with friends for the holidays!
So on Saturday I hosted a Green Giftwrap class at EcoReno. The bummer was that it snowed and snowed most of Friday and Saturday, which kept some people away. But four people showed up and that seemed like a good size class for the amount of space I had. In preparation, I wrapped up some "gifts" using upcycled materials ...
(1) sewing patterns as giftwrap; (2) newspaper end roll stamped; (3) brown paper bag; (4) sheet of Sierra Nevada bottle labels found at recycling center; (5) sewing patterns as tissue paper; (6) box lid wrapped with scrapbooking paper; (7) Starbucks sleeves as gift tags; (8) map; (9) newspaper; (10) scarf.
Here's a closer look at the box wrapped with a sewing pattern ... I made the top decoration just before the class - it was a little bigger than I wanted but I thought it turned out cute. I'll be making more of those.
Gift tags made with Na's tag punch and cards we received last year for Christmas.
More gift tags from cards, these ones I just cut out.
For the class, I talked about the different materials I used for giftwrap. Then we made embellishments (which could also be used as ornaments) using chipboard from cereal boxes, glitter and glue. Finally, we made bows out of magazine pages. Na is showing off her first bow above. I think the class went well, so hopefully I can do it again next year on a weekend when the weather is a little nicer!
P.S. Someone used the same pattern from How About Orange to make the bows from felt. Cute!
It started snowing yesterday afternoon. And then it kept snowing. And snowing. And snowing. Scoop didn't seem to mind it, she even was having a little bit of fun sniffing something new, and eating the snow ...
And then overnight, it kept on snowing. We went out this morning, and it was deeper ... and there were icicles!
Scoop wanted nothing to do with it. She took about three steps, turned around, and started pawing at me to pick her up. (The snow is almost as deep as she is tall).
These are the trees outside our patio ...
And this is our street. The schools are all closed, and so is city hall. I may have to cancel all errands today ...
Last night I was talking to Michelle and the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake she had for her birthday cake came up. It got me thinking about my Dad, and how even though we only got to spend every other Christmas with him, he always went out of his way to make the holiday special for us. One year, when we were in college, he FedExed us my favorite Cheesecake Factory cheesecake - White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle - on dry ice. There are no Cheesecake Factories anywhere near my Mom's, and it was amazing. It wasn't just Christmas, though. He always made sure we knew he was thinking about us if we weren't with him, sending little cards and treats for every holiday - Halloween, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day. A lot of things about our parents living in different parts of the state was no fun for us growing up, but we always had the excitement of finding treats in the mail and going fun places with Dad when we'd go to LA or when he'd come pick us up and take us to Reno for the weekend.
This year, I am especially thankful that I've made plans to make a quick trip to meet my sister at my Dad's before I move on to Phoenix for the holidays. We found out this week that my Dad has Myeloma. Tomorrow he will have a test to find out how extensive it is. I nearly didn't write this blog, because it's been a tough week for our family and it's hard to actually put it in writing. But I believe in the power of prayer, and I ask you to remember my Dad in your prayers.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, I will be presenting a green giftwrapping class at EcoReno. We will be talking about how to upcycle materials you already have at home to make giftwrap, and everyone will make a bow out of a magazine page (as seen on How About Orange) ...
(Perhaps I shouldn't have posted the link ... now you know how to do it. But - I've already done half the work for you - and isn't it more fun to do together?)
We'll also turn a cereal box (or Kleenex box, or cracker box, or ....) into a giftwrap embellishment. You could also use it as an ornament!
I really blew it on the Thanksgiving pictures. These four pictures are the only four I took. My excuse is that I was in charge of the bird, so I really should have put someone else in charge of the camera.
Our friends Erin and Sandor left for Atlanta for the holiday, and since Na was watching their dogs we commandeered their house for Thanksgiving dinner, seeing how they have a bigger dining room table and double ovens. (When I say commandeered, I'm actually pretty sure it was Erin's idea in the first place ... she even set the dining room table for us! It was very nice of her.)
So, we invited a few others over - Chris and I, Na, friends John, Julie and Dionne from work, and Will from my cohort at school. Here's Na, making the mashed potatoes ...
In addition to turkey and stuffing, I made a couple things that are starting to become a Thanksgiving tradition for us - my Nannie's cranberry loaf cake ...
And, some mulled wine ...
Julie made an apple crisp, Dionne brought a sweet potato pie (I'd never had one before and OMG it was delicious!), Na made a pumpkin pie and Will brought green beans. Everything was so yummy and it was nice to have such good company! We ate early, about 1:30 in the afternoon, so everyone who had to work could get there on time. Scoop and I spent the rest of the afternoon napping and trying to catch up on some Project Runway. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!