Monday, November 30, 2009

Hey Reno, mark your calendars ...

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!

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


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!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ornament Exchange (Giving)

We started this blog as a way to keep our friends and family faraway updated on what's going on here with Team Gabel, but one of the surprise benefits that I've found is the greater blogging community that I have come to also think of as friends in a way. One of my favorite blogs is Just Something I Made because she always has such great craft ideas and creates many graphics that she shares for free with her readers (like the "e-mail me" button I added to our site). I also discovered on her blog a Bloggers Ornament Exchange (you may have also noticed that button over on the right there), hosted by Pampering Beki. More than 200 bloggers signed up! I thought it sounded like fun (like having a pen pal in elementary school!) and I decided to sign up. I was paired with Linda of LindaOma's Olde Baggs n Stuft Shirts. It wasn't required to make the ornament, but I thought that would be more fun than buying one and I had a couple things I'd been wanting to try.

Soon after I signed up for the exchange I spotted a bunch of tiny pinecones outside the Journalism building at school so I gathered some up thinking they could be used somehow. I bought some clear glass ornaments at Target and, after breaking the stems on a few pinecones, finally managed to get this bunch in in one piece. I used craftwire to hold it in place, and added some red ribbon.

For the next ornament, I used some spray adhesive that I had from a past project and sprayed the inside of the ornament, and then poured in some gold glitter. The first one ended up in the garbage because there was basically a clump of glitter on the bottom, but the second time it seemed to coat the inside better. After pouring in the glitter (using a funnel fashioned from a magazine page) I twirled the ornament around to coat the inside, and then poured out the excess glitter.

I finished it by tying a bow with some ribbon I already had - the color match was perfect. (The bow seems to overwhelm the ornament in the picture, but I don't think it looks that way in person.)

I packaged them each in a white box, which I decorated using scraps of scrapbook paper and images off of a Starbucks cup. (Upcycled! Reusable!)

I hope Linda enjoys the ornaments - I sure had fun making them!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving nears, I thought it would be appropriate to give thanks for some of my blessings ...

For a wonderful, supportive husband, who makes me laugh and keeps me grounded ...

For our little Scoop, who keeps us on our toes ...

For my sisters, who are also my friends ...
For my friends, who are also my sisters ...
For three sets of awesome parents ...
For our amazing extended families ...
For our health ...
For the opportunity to be in grad school ...
For so many more blessings than I could ever put in words ...
We are thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Terri, Kelli, Kristin, Me, Melynda, Holly and Leia

The day after the reunion, we went to a barbecue at Daniel and Holly's beautiful new house. It was great to have a little extra time with everyone, especially since they weren't all at the reunion. The girls chatted and the boys watched football and the kiddos all played together.

I got to meet the famous baby Thomas (pictured here with his Tia Leia)

The older kids played dress-up ... note Gabriel's shoes

Abby, Addisen and McKenna

Abby giving Chris a manicure

Coincidentally, today is Abby's 3rd birthday ...
Happy Birthday Abby!

Exhibit E

After the reunion, we went over to Ernesto's parents' house to hang out a while longer. Ernesto made some sort of comment about not becoming a character like his dad. To this I said, "Are you saying you don't think you're already a character?" To which Ernesto replied, "Are you saying that I am a character?" To which I responded, "Yes, I believe that is what I'm saying." And to back up that statement, I offer this ...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Party like it's 1999

This is Chris, above, in his senior yearbook. How young does he look!? This weekend we made a really quick trip to Phoenix for the Marcos De Niza class of 1999's 10-year reunion. It was a small turnout for a class of more than 400, but it was really fun for us to get to see our friends we don't get to see often enough, and visit with the Gabels, too.

The reunion cake had the class picture on it

You can see the turnout was quite a bit smaller than the class ... but can you find Chris, Kyle, Ernesto, Melynda and Kelli?

Me, Melynda and Kelli

Team Gabel

Checking out their class picture

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

They're Taking the Plunge ...

Back in August, our friends Erin and Sandor got engaged and I had intended the next day to take a picture and post it here with some congratulatory words. But since I'd waited so long, I figured it was best to wait for their Save the Date to arrive - and it did yesterday! Out of respect for their privacy, I won't post the finished save the date here, but this is the photo they used and it says "We're Taking the Plunge!" across the top - isn't that such a great idea!? Especially fitting since they were engaged at Lake Tahoe and will be getting married there as well. Congratulations, you two! We're so happy for you!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Hey y'all, here's a little video I made for a school project ...

Friday, November 6, 2009

What's the Scoop?

So, we're keeping the puppy (like anyone thought otherwise!) and we've named her Scoop. Here are a few pictures from her first week with us ...
Relaxing with Chris

Scoop got to play with her friends Warren and Sierra twice last week. Poor Warren wasn't himself.

Napping with Chris

Saying hello after I got home from Fantasies in Chocolate

She's becoming more comfortable here, which is a good thing and trouble all at the same time. This week, she likes to "dig" in her bed, drag it all around (which takes quite an effort, she's not yet 4 pounds) and flip it over. She had her first shots last night and took it like a trooper. We're excited that our friend Ashlie, who just moved to Reno from Quincy with her adorable two kids, went to my mom's this week and brought home one of Scoop's sisters and named her Charlie. We can't wait for Scoop and Charlie to have a play date!

Monday, November 2, 2009


We had a nice Halloween Weekend, which put me a little behind on homework, so I will keep this brief. Friday was a holiday (Nevada Day) so I didn't have class and enjoyed a nice afternoon with Erin and Na - we worked on our costumes* a little and had a nice lunch at a new (to us) place called Rubicon Deli. Then I came home and got ready for Fantasies in Chocolate, an annual fundraiser for the RGJ foundation that I've never been to so decided to volunteer for so I could check it out. Being the night before Halloween, they had a theme of Vampires Ball, so some people dressed formal and others dressed in costume. There was lots of wine and chocolate, and even some savory food. It was pretty fun event.

Fantasies in Chocolate with co-workers Laura and Pam

On Halloween night, we went out for a few hours with some friends. Na, Erin and I were flapper girls. *Our costumes are handmade by Na, Erin and Erin's mom, and they came out great. I can say I probably did maybe 2 percent of my dress. Thanks so much girls!
Chris went as Sandor. (Click here for reference).
Sandor went as a marathon runner.
Tyler as Nevada football coach Chris Ault.

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloweekend! See more of our pictures here.