Merry Christmas

I honestly have been far from jolly this holiday season. Today was my last day of work until Jan. 4 and I am really looking forward to the time off. I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and I hope you have a very safe holiday. We are getting snow on Christmas Eve which I hope doesn't completely disrupt our travel plans and day. I'll let you know what Santa brings my way next week.

I think the Elf me dance is pretty cute. I didn't get the heads situated just right. Who knew I could dance that good. Actually Kai is the only one of us who could actually do those moves and he's too cool now to dance he says.


Done Dropping

This shot is from the farm with a sign my Dad made. I thought it was funny and appropriate for this post. I'm sad to say that I'm done with Entrecard dropping. The network administrator has informed me that there has been suspicious activity from my computer which is causing problems with the network. He told me the times that it had happened and they all corresponded to my lunch hour or after work when I would do my EC drops.

I've been growing disgruntled with EC for awhile but had continued to participate albeit much less often than in the past. But clearly the system is so corrupt and buggy that I can't risk my home computer either. I'm going to leave the button up for the time being since I don't think it's hurting anything and if it brings a little traffic in that's fine too.

I will now have to really think about how I want to keep this little blog going. I will be following the blogs that I regularly dropped on and using Google Friend Connect to do my blog hopping from now on. Hopefully I can find other less risky ways to connect with bloggers. Perhaps this might be just the thing I need to get me out of my blogging rut I've been in.



I'm seriously missing Fall right now. These are a few shots I took on the farm last month. It has been below freezing here for the past 2 weeks. We had snow on Monday and freezing rain on Wednesday but neither one was enough to earn a snow day.

I am really paranoid about walking in the snow this year after my major fall in January. Everyone keeps telling me to be careful which I am but I really wish that I could just stay inside, which unfortunately isn't an option. I can't hide from my fears for the whole Winter whenever there is any bad weather. The worst part is when I have to walk through the snow in my driveway. Getting out to scrap gives me a panic attack every time since that is when I fell last year and had to crawl through the snow with my fractures to get to my cell phone.

When the snow clears I am going to insist on getting the garage door replaced. I tried to convince Mike to do it this Spring when we were having the other work done on the house but he didn't want to spend the money then. This time I'm not going to take no for an answer since I don't think I can take the anxiety for the next 3 months of scraping.

I'm having a hard time getting excited about Christmas too. We will only be seeing the girls for around 24 hours which takes most of the fun out of it. I'm really looking forward to the week and a half off of work which I desperately need this year. I don't have much of anything planned which should be a nice chance to regroup.


A year in FB posts

Just a quick post with a cool app on Facebook that randomly puts together a sample of your status posts for the year. It's interesting to see what was going on in my head although possibly not so much to an outsider. If you want to make one for yourself you can go here if you are on FB. It would be cool if there was a way to do that for your blog.


Cleaning Green

I'm sure that everyone has probably heard of Drugstore.com. But did you know what an amazing array of all natural products they have. This is totally not a paid aid, I just really love the convenience of shopping from them especially with free shipping when you spend a certain amount. You can get 10% off your entire order by going through this link for the next few days.

They have so many more environmentally friendly products including a much fuller selection of Seventh Generation products than our local supermarkets. They have the softest recycled toilet paper we've found and also other feminine products which you can feel better about using. I also started using their concentrated laundry liquid recently and it works really well. I've always been scared to try other products besides good old fashioned Era since my skin is so sensitive and that is what I've used since birth, but the Free and Clear really does work and isn't irritating at all.

I have debated in my mind about whether it is worse for the environment to have the products shipped to my house in a box, sometimes with plastic wrap inside or to just buy the normal products at the local store. I realize that I'm probably over thinking things here and that these are concerns that many people in the world would love to have time to worry about. But I do feel better using products that have the least impact as possible and if it takes a little bit more energy to get them to me so be it.


Random Wednesday

I finally decided on a private studio in Chelsea with a garden terrace for less than the B & B in Chelsea. I found it on Craigslist but after many e-mails I feel comfortable with the arrangement. He has feedback on this site and pictures of the room which made me feel a lot better. He offered to have our friend who lives in Brooklyn come by and see the place before we paid the deposit which seemed like a lot to ask, but it was reassuring that he offered. The other place I contacted from Craigslist replied back immediately asking for 50% to be wired to him Western Union to hold the room. Talk about running the other way.

I spent the entire day Sunday making my Dad a coffee table book called Scenes from Lenox Farms. I had it made by A & I Books and if I had paid full price it would have been over $100. I had a Groupon so I got a deal but I still ended up paying way more than I usually do for photobooks on Snapfish so I hope the quality is worth it.

The shot of Jess running down the hill is one of Dad's favorites. I shot it with my old point and shoot but with some tweaking in photoshop I think it looks pretty cool now. I used the technique I learned in my class to convert to black and white and then bring part of the picture back to color in these two shots. I spent so much time editing every picture but I think my Dad will appreciate it.

I think that I have all of my holiday shopping done. Hopefully everything will arrive on time. There has been a box on the door everyday this week. It's fun opening them up and seeing what I bought even if they aren't for me. Hanukkah snuck up on me this year so the nieces and nephew in New York will be getting their gifts late but I don't think they'll mind having something to open after the festivities have died down for them.


New York State of Mind.

I'm starting to plan our trip to New York in early June. It's our niece's Bat Mitzvah and they live in upstate. I've never been to the city before so I've convinced Mike to stay a few nights in Manhattan before we come home. I'm really confused by all the choices of places to stay in the city. I really want to stay in a neighborhood and not in a chain hotel with millions of tourists.

All that I really know about New York is from the movies of course. I really like the looks of this Guest House in Chelsea called Dupay's Landing. It says that it is "Located on a quiet, tree-lined, residential street in busy Manhattan, this is the historic New York experience that you have always wanted, but thought was an impossible dream." There are 3 rooms in a cute little brownstone and the room I'm looking at even overlooks the private garden. It's $160 which includes all the taxes per night. This is more than we generally spend but it sounds pretty reasonable for Manhattan.

There are other "b&b's" that are basically in someones apartment that are cheaper but Mike really doesn't like the idea of that. There are tons of them listed on Airbnb. It could be awkward to basically be invading someones apartment but if they are used to hosting guests I'm sure it would be fine. Mike isn't the most social traveler though.

I really need to get this thing booked before everything good gets booked up. If anyone has any suggestions about cool places to stay in New York or neighborhoods you would recommend looking into I would really appreciate it.


The Many Faces of Kate

I would have to say that my niece Kate is the most expressive and unique kid I've ever been lucky enough to know. These shots were all taking over the Thanksgiving break. Not only is she incredibly intelligent but she also has an immense imagination. Her family calls it Kate's world. Her older sister pointed out that Kate sometimes says something to you forgetting that you aren't involved in the conversation going on in her head.

I sometimes think my sister is in over her head with trying to raise Kate but she really does try to understand her and help her to develop as best she can. Because Kate is exploring music and taking piano lessons this year Angie has asked everyone in the family to make or buy a CD of music that best represents us or that we enjoy for Kate. I thought that this was a great idea and can't wait to share some of my favorites with her.I've been doing a lot of shopping on-line this week and I found a great Toy Store called Hearth Song. Their tagline is "toys you'll feel good about giving." I would totally agree with that statement. They have very creative and interesting toys many of them with a crafty emphasis. They have a well articulated environmental policy and a story that I can really support. They are currently running a $4.99 shipping deal and a $10 reward card if you spend $50 on their site.

I bought my niece Jess a Design your Own Lamp as she has been getting into decorating lately. I got my nephew a kid sized metal detector as he is very into geocaching with his Mom and loves to explore the outdoors. They had kid sized bamboo knitting needles on sale for 69 cents. I'm going to give them to all the girls and see if anything of them choose to take me up on my offer to teach them to knit.
I got Kate a Physics kit from Mike that they can play with together. The two of them have always had such a special bond. I think it's because she recognizes a kindred spirit and considers him her intellectual equal. I took 10 shots of her sitting on his lap and each one of them was totally different. The two of them were hamming it up like crazy in most of them but there was something about this one that I really liked.

I am of course still buying handmade for some gifts this year but I have found that you have to supplement the handmade with other gifts that will help them to explore their own creativity. Kate is also into drawing and cartooning right now so I have bought her a bunch of supplies and how to books on Amazon including a Beginners' Sketching/Drawing Artist Kit. I do so love shopping and shopping for my nieces is the most fun of all.


Last day to Enter!

Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter my Bag It Up Giveaway. You could win one of three prizes. Each has a gently used handmade bag with a matching wire wristcuff made by me. See the details here. I haven't been doing a lot of promotion, or really any, so there are only 31 entries as of today. So your chances of winning one of them is really good.

(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD