31 December 2014

New Year's Eve


Dear Friends/Readers,

I hope you've enjoyed your Christmas season. I decided to take a week off of posting. We were traveling, shopping, and recuperating. We had a wonderful time with family, and am so grateful for the time we had with them, especially with Nana. The travel home should have only taken 6.5 hours and took 8.5. So we did absolutely nothing the next day. 

I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for coming here and reading, commenting, and encouragement. I cherish you all! This little corner has been my little spot of the internet for the last 2 years and I'm excited to spend the next year with y'all.

Happy New Year friends! I hope this year is full of joy for each of you.

xx,
Farrah

P.S. If you're a homemaker or take care of a home in some fashion, go to Brocante Home TODAY! Allison has a pay what you want for her downloadable goods. She is a single mum in England paying for her and her son's livlihoods with her blog sales. 

25 December 2014

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas from my family to yours. Thank you for being faithful readers. 
Michaela is in the previous post. 😉

Luke 2



22 December 2014

19?!

 God did not bless me with a daughter, biologically, but He did bless me with a daughter. I met Michaela when her father (my now husband, obv.) brought her to Dillard's where I worked. We weren't dating yet, but we worked together and they were on a daddy/daughter date. She was 15 months old and so cute. My pictures of her as a baby are on my other computer, but trust me, she was adorable. According to her biological mother, Michaela was an easy birth. She has always been pretty easy going. Her bluntness has always be present, but otherwise, she's easy going. When Michaela would visit us during the summers she was a little jealous of me with her dad, which is typical of a stepmother coming in, but that ended when she was around 13, and for that I am grateful. I loved shopping for her since I only shopped for Bry at the time. We would play American Girl dolls and she would decorate the cookies I made (she's always been artistic). She had a rough patch around 14-16, but thankfully she made it through sans arrest, pregnancy, or rehab, so I call that a win!
Four years ago M moved in with us permanently. It feels as if she's always lived with us. I'm thankful that she wanted to live with us and have that stability. I'm thankful that God gave her to us. I'm thankful she was born 19 years ago today.

A few facts about M.:

  • She's tall (6'1)
  • Khloe Kardashian is her celebrity spirit animal
  • She's tenderhearted
  • Her joking sometimes sounds mean but it's just her dry humor
  • She starts school soon to be a make-up artist
  • She loves animals more than babies so I'll probably have dog grandbabies more than human
  • M is a hard worker
  • She cannot cook at all
  • Likes to read but doesn't often
  • Obsessed with movies rather than television shows
  • John Green is her favorite author
  • She listens to Independent music and watches Independent films
  • Someday she will be in Hollywood and I'll be sad, but proud
Happy Birthday my sweet girl. 

21 December 2014

Have a tissue handy

Y'all, every single holiday whether it be Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, Publix has the most heartfelt commercials. They're right there with the Folgers commercial where the son comes home from like Africa or somewhere and wakes the parents up with coffee aromas. Publix hits to the Southern core-family. If you need a reason to cry or hug your family member watch these:








19 December 2014

Last Minute Gifts



Christmas Eve is in 5 days...5! December has been flying by. I had my gifts purchased except for a final few that I finished today. You know how it is when you were just certain you had everything until what you had was wrapped and you realized that you were short a few things. So, here is a few last minute gifts that I have used or am using this year:

Trader Joe's has a lot of good food gifts. Their peppermint bark is nearly as good as Williams-Sonoma's and is half the price. They also had flavored bath salts and gourmet mustard packs amongst other gift sets. One year I went to Trader Joe's and bought 4 bottles of $2 wine and a baguette for Bry's teachers. I've never had so many compliments for teacher gifts in my life! It was inexpensive and loved.

iTunes gift cards can be purchased nearly everywhere. Costco has $15 off $100 packs. These are good for pre-teens and teens especially. Costco also has movie theater passes for a boss or co-worker. I purchased Starbucks gift cards there for my girlfriends. 

The $1 section at Target is a lifesaver. Quite a few of my stocking stuffers came from there. They have travel refillable bottles, candy, toys, wrapping paper, Mad Libs, gloves, etc. At Target I bought my husband a travel pillow for his West Coast travels and noise cancelling headphones.

This year I purchased several inexpensive frames and printed out pictures for family members. In the digital age I do not have prints made like with my 35mm camera. My FIL does not have Instagram (my parents do though) so he appreciated my prints. My aunt is forever telling me that she does not have pictures of Bry. I printed out a few for her and framed them.

Now I haven't done this but I think making personalized mugs are a great idea. If you use hot pink or gold sharpies and write neat sayings on white mugs and bake them. Dads, for your baby Mama's you can take their handprint (in non toxic paint!) and put it on a mug and she will love you for it. You can add their favorite candy, or better yet, a Starbucks gift card in the middle.This post has other DIY present ideas, but they take more time than the mugs. Lauren Conrad's sight is cute. 

Amazon Prime is SO worth the price. I am about to utilize it as I bought the wrong headphones (I didn't realize they have a cord-WAH!) for Bry at Best Buy and I'd rather not deal with going there tomorrow. I'm going to order a pair through Amazon and I know they will be delivered in 48 hours. Also, you can watch movies and tv shows year round. (I adore the BBC selections...Wives and Daughters, anyone?)

Last, Walmart has ship to store option. I despise Walmart with a passion for a multitude of reasons. That being said, their ship to store makes it worth the parking nightmare so that it is one stop shopping and you don't have to worry about delivery. 

As you can tell, I'm anti-mall this time of year. Yes, I have 3 large malls within 10 miles of my house but during this time of year I avoid them like the plague. :) Maybe it's because I worked retail for several years and was scarred by the experience of finding a parking spot at Lenox Mall and literally chasing customers that tried to steal while I was working at Laura Ashley and 13 hour days at The Limited that when I would answer the phone at home would say, "happy holidays from The Limited, this is Farrah, how may I help you".

If you have a specific person that you are struggling to find a last minute present for someone, leave a comment and I'll see what ideas that I can come up with.  

I love this time of year! #shoppingaddict

16 December 2014

Happy Chaunukah


With Chanukah (Hanukkah) beginning today, I wanted to wish Vintage WASP readers a Happy Hanukkah! I hope it brings much joy for you all. 

Two of my favorite people are struggling today with the loss of their mother earlier this year and this is their first Hanukkah without her. I know they are struggling. Teddi & Perri, I'm thinking of you both! This is for y'all.
Enjoy your next 8 days!

15 December 2014

A Few Pictures of our Decorations

If you follow me on Insta, these are not new to you. I wanted to share them here so those that do not will see some of the decorating I've done. In addition to these pictures, I have the balcony decorated but have not got around to taking a picture, just a video. They deserve their own post, anyhow. My husband got back into town late last night so our Christmas tree should be up in the next few days. He's on PST (we are on EST) and slept today until 2pm! So, today is out, but it will be soon. This is actually the latest we have ever gone without having it up. The kids and I were not about to try to drag it out of our tiny coat closet that has everything but coats stored in front of it! Anyway, it should be out soon and I'll share a picture. Here's a little secret: I really hope that the strand that was out last year is still out and we cannot put in another so we have to buy a new one. My husband loves that it requires 0 decorating, but I miss putting up ornaments. It has holly berries and pinecones smattered throughout. I string a fake cranberries and snowflake garland, but that is all. I miss putting out the family ornaments! However, I get where he's coming from..."no fuss, no muss".

So, here are my other decorations:
This little vignette has a picture that I received from Father of Muzzie (she passed in late May). The frame was a present from my girl scout troop. The Willow Tree figurine is the Grandmother and Granddaughter and was a birthday gift from my sister. I took miniature ball ornaments and placed them in a antique crystal bowl, which was from Muzzie.

I used larger versions of the same ornaments and placed them in a hurricane vase, which was a gift from Papaw (whom died in January). I think since we live in the South, and rarely see snow, I have a snowflak/man obsession. :)

Last but not least, our stockings are hung by the...bar? Ha! New this year is the PEACE stocking holder from Target. I used to use JOY, which was for our 3 children, leaving my husband and I out. But, with Muzzie passing, I found an antique lace stocking that she gave me when I was in middle school, about 20 odd years ago. 

It will be strange not to have Muzzie or Papaw here on Earth for Christmas. I miss them so. Any way that I could have them here, I wanted to do, so by using the things they have given me, makes me feel closer to them. 

I'm excited to see Nana for Christmas next week! Can y'all believe that Christmas is in 10 days?! So exciting! Even though some of our loved ones are gone, and it won't feel the same, they would want us to live it up. Muzzie even met my grandfather in a bar, so she really wants us to live it up. ;)
Muzzie


12 December 2014

10 Days with Teenagers


My husband left for a business trip to Las Vegas. He spends his days in a hotel's basement conference center and his nights out with associates. So, though I know he misses us (or so he says), he's definitely having fun. I'm on day 8 of 10 alone with my 18 and 16 year olds. Now don't get me wrong, I love them and they love me and we all get along well. But...I've learned quite a bit.
  • The biggest thing is that they try to run over me. My husband is much bigger than me in both physical and intensity. I don't like to yell and he doesn't mind. He's bald and built and kind of looks scary. Even though Michaela is physically bigger than he, she knows he could tear her apart if necessary. Now, don't misunderstand, he never lays a finger on them, but they know not to mess with him. Me? I'm the shortest in the family and am almost the smallest in weight (I'm coming for you Bry, whom has the metabolism of his 16 years). I have nothing other than bribing and nudging. I've gently nudged, okay, nagged more this week than in the last 6 months for the kids to do their chores. Now their chores take all of 10 minutes unless they need to clean their rooms. I nagged the 18 year old for 5 days when I calmly said that it hurts my feelings that she isn't listening to me when all I ask is her to pick up her glasses and food bags so we don't get ants. She felt bad and began crying (she's hormonal right now) and cleaned up. So, now I know I have guilt tripping on my side.
  • Funfetti cupcakes do not last long in our house with these guys. I've had 1 and half of the batch is gone. (Remember me mentioning we are eating lot's of gluten? ;)
  • Since my husband has been gone, I've had to watch every Christmas movie and special by myself. Watching Rudolph alone makes one really realize that my babies are grown.
  • M does watch Hallmark Channel movies with me and Love Actually. So at least there's that. Tonight we are watching Wes Anderson's Royal Tennenbaum's and Grand Budapest Hotel. We watched Moonrise Kingdom last week and she is obsessed.
  • Shopping for teenagers is more difficult. I'm still trying to figure out what to put in Bry's stocking. M would be happy with lotion or make up, but not Bry. I have iTunes and Reese's. Not much...any ideas?
  • Meals can easily be prepared in 20 minutes or less. Last night's broccoli cheddar soup and Sister Schubert rolls was quick and easy. 
  • Target has large red bags to hide presents in from said teenagers.
  • Heart to hearts are much easier when Dad isn't around...even with Bry. He and I are alone when M is at work.
The Mr. returns in 2 days and I am glad to see him. It has been a fun week, even with the nagging.


10 December 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today
December 10, 2014

Outside my window... the sky is dark but clear (well, as clear as can be with living in a large city). It was a bit chilly today with a high of 52, but the sun was shining so it was brisk but nice. Our bird feeder is currently spinning from the woodpecker eating the new suet brick I put out. Other than the spinning bird feeder, it is very still out back. The bare trees are not moving at all.

I am thinking... of how my life has been changing lately. But it's all good, just different. The verse of everything being a season is true. I'm realizing that my mommy-ing years are nearly over, though I know that they will still need me as they leave. (I don't think Bry will leave until a girl has talked him into marrying her.)

I am thankful... to be able to go out Christmas shopping this year. Last year I had just had stomach surgery and was not physically able. This year I've been out every day for nearly a week (and love it!).

I am wearing... black leggings and black long sleeved and baggy Ralph Lauren Polo shirt. I had on black ballet flats earlier but feet are bare. Hair is in a bun. 

I am creating... a Christmas decorated home (minus the tree so far).

I am going... no place tonight, but went to Bethlehem to the post office, visit an old and dear friend, and lunch at Chick-fil-A.

I am wondering... if I'll ever tire of listening to Christmas music. I start in August!

I am reading... Ali in Wonderland by Alexandra Wentworth.

I am hoping... to get my shopping and wrapping done before my husband comes home on Sunday so all we have to do is celebrate.

I am learning... how to be less prideful. I struggle with not wanting to be "liked" or "followed" on Facebook, Twitter, or even here.

Around the house... finish getting the decorations up.

In the kitchen... dinner listed on Monday's post and Funfetti cupcakes for dessert.

A favorite quote for today... " . . . There is an undeniable satisfaction in using our own sheer animal power and energy. We feel a deep sense of satisfaction when we alone are the engine that makes something happen."
-Alexandra Stoddard, Gracious Living in a New World

One of my favorite things... my new gold headphones and gold phone.

A few plans for this week: shopping, shopping, shopping, wrapping, wrapping, wrapping, watching Hallmark Christmas movies.

A peek into one of my days from this week... 
The Mr. with Dr. Roizen 


08 December 2014

Menu Plan Monday


As I said last night, my husband is out of town for ten days. He returns next Sunday. We have a lot more gluten when my husband is gone. He has an intolerance to it so we indulget (a little too much) when he's gone. Since he's typically only gone for the weekends it isn't a big deal to eat bread and chips, but since it's for a week and a half I have to watch it. I've lost 50 pounds and do not need to put any back on! So, using moderation, this is this week's plan:

Sunday- leftover homemade chicken pot pie and salad
Monday- chicken salad croissants
Tuesday- tacos and salad
Wednesday- turkey burgers and sweet potato fries
Thursday- broccoli cheddar soup and rolls
Friday- pizza
Saturday- BBQ, potato salad and macaroni and cheese

No links this week. My husband took the laptop and my son is using the desktop, so this is being written on my iPad and the Blogger app is pretty ridiculous and Blogsy wouldn't post my picture. So...check out my Pinterest board (link on the right column) for recipes. 

Thanksgiving Vacay

I'm currently lying down and icing my stomach and watching Hallmark and thought I would blog about our week in Kentucky and Ohio. Have y'all watched 'Debbie Macomber's "Miracle" series? I watched it the last few years. There was a new one last night and I'm catching up on it.

So, the Saturday before Thanksgiving I took Bry to get his haircut. Mr. Bill did a great job so a selfie was necessary. :)


The next day, Bryan, Bry, and I left for the week. Michaela was supposed to go with us but during a interview she was asked if she could work Black Friday she said yes, not realizing it was the day after Thanksgiving, so she stayed home. We were all disappointed! My parents had my birthday dinner of steak, salad, roasted vegetables, and Sister Schubert rolls. They made dirt cake, which is delicious.

This is my parents and I. 

We left the next morning to visit with my in-laws in the sticks of Ohio. We had so much fun there. I love getting out in the country for a few days a year. We truly only spend 6 days a year with them so when we are together it is really special. My mother-in-law passed away May 2013 and last year was rough, but this visit was such fun! My father-in-law was very relaxed. He has a routine and if left to keep it, he's happy. 
After getting groceries, we had a wonderful day with family. I was so excited to see snow on my birthday! It was dark when it got heavier, so I didn't get a picture of the ground fully covered, but it did happen.

We visited my nieces houses as they both got new houses this year:
We celebrate Christmas with my family on Thanksgiving. Here are my great-niece and great-nephew playing with the gifts we got them:
As we headed out we stopped at Starbucks to get my birthday drink. They talked me into getting a pumpkin spice in a trena! It's so huge!
We stopped back at my parent's house on the way home. Mother taught my other niece and newphew (and Bry) a new game called 3 and 13. She's making them card sharks. :)
We went home the next day. My husband left a few days later and will be gone for 10 days. I'll share the gluten filled menu plan soon! 

How was your Thanksgiving?


Edited to add: Stinkin' Hallmark Channel movies always make me cry. 

01 December 2014

Welcome December


"While snow the window-panes bedim,
The fire curls up a sunny charm,
Where, creaming o'er the pitcher's rim,
The flowering ale is set to warm;
Mirth, full of joy as summer bees,
Sits there, its pleasures to impart,
And children, 'tween their parent's knees,
Sing scraps of carols o'er by heart."  
-   John Clare, December


I was out of town last week, hence the lack of posts, and had no internet access. I enjoy my time in the country. Hopefully this week I will get a post together about our fun. I hope your Thanksgiving's were wonderful too. 

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