Sunday, December 17, 2006

secret pal swag!

so, on my trip to my super nice post office early last week, i was presented with a few boxes, one of which contained my second secret pal 9 package! i wasn't even at chicago ave. yet before the box was torn open, to peek inside:

of course, i couldn't *open* all the pretty lovely presents, i had to wait until i got home that evening...and i couldn't even *belive* all the super lovely stuff i received!

super lovely gift #1:

*fabulous* knitting needle holder. with a zippered pocket inside and all! and speaking of the inside, take a look at this!

it's pink! geez, secret pal...i coudln't have made a nicer one myself! :)

super lovely gift #2:

an *absolutely gorgeous* drop stitch scarf. it's a beautiful light blue hue, with a shimmery yarn carried throughout. i was *so jealous* of this scarf that i had to start one for myself! (details following!)

super lovely gifts #3:

yarn. candy. candle. = awesome! and did i mention that i probably ate like half of the caramels before i even got to north ave.?

and take a look at this super lovely card she sent me:

isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen?

so *thank you thank you thank you* super secret pal! once again, you're the *bestest*!

yesterday (saturday), i spent running errands. it really *isn't* a good sign when you're barely out your door, and you see those bright lime-green vest clad traffic management authority people out, directing traffic. but i did manage to get my errands done, and started swatching out my sorta copycat secret pal 9 scarf:

i started actually with an orange, which i definitely did not like (too retro-looking), and then so, since i couldn't find a suitable yarn while i was out on saturday, i decided that i'd go stash diving, and ended up liking the 3rd yarn the best. in order from left to right (if you can even see it in this completely blurry photo): first was a moss green blue sky alpacas yarn, from a previous secret pal round (too blah), the second was a pink worsted weight alpaca (too bright), and the third (and my favorite) was a kettle dyed merino in a very different pinky/mauvy color (just right. like the three bears.).

this is a totally overexposed photo, but here's a little detail of my scarf:

it'll be absolutely *fabulous* when it's done. i've already knitted one of the mohair/glimmery balls up, so, i'll probably start the 2nd while i'm waiting at the dentist's tomorrow.

i've also learned one very important lesson today:

never never never never ever buy knives that are on display

my sister and i were at bloomingdale's home store this evening, and, because they didn't have the particular knife set that i wanted in a box, the associate offered the display model. so we took it. we dragged it halfway across the city (okay, total exaggeration), and, as i was removing all of the price tags on EACH INDIVIDUAL PIECE, i found that:

a.) the block was broken.
b.) the tip of the chef's knife was bent.
c.) the tip on one of the steak knives was damaged.

and, as a final kick-in-the-butt, i decided to look up to see if my knife set was even complete. a quick visit to proved otherwise. *not only* was i missing my 8" carving knife, it was replaced with a 3" parer! *you've got to be kidding me!*

so yes, i learned my lesson. i will never buy open-box, display knives again. (not that i'll ever buy another set of knives, period.) i'm going to have to go to old orchard tomorrow to see if i can even exchange these for a set in a box. and, well, if not, i'll have a set of very nice, very sharp, knives in my hand. (just kidding on that last part.)

ah well. it's 1:37 in the morning, and i will be going to bed very soon. i've got a long day ahead of me tomorrow!

until next time!

Monday, December 11, 2006

my cats *have* to have this:

okay, fine. *i* have to have this. i don't think you understand.

in a wee bit of insomnia this evening, i somehow ended up on the ikea website, and came across this super cute cat bed. nevermind the fact that it's $60.00, and, despite the fact that my cats already have several very cool, very trendy cat beds, i just have to have it. it's the coolest thing i've ever seen. (that, and griffin will look just so adorable sitting in it. it'd be his twin!) hopefully, it's a relatively large bed. it's definitely on my list of 'things to check out' next time i'm at ikea. i'm lucky in that i actually have two ikeas that are relatively close by - in fact, they're probably equidistant. however, i've not set foot in an ikea store in probably in excess of two years. this'll soon change, my friends! :)

(did i mention that i was going to stop shopping?)

anyways, i spent my weekend cleaning my living room and setting up/decorating my christmas tree. (photos forthcoming.) last year, i had a 7' tree which i felt was too short, so, this year, i opted for my 8' tree that i bought for 75% off at target after christmas last year. it's pre-lit, so i don't have 1500+ lights (or whatever national lampoonish quantity i had on it last year, which took me a week to do), so it was pretty easy. and definitely not as blinding as last year's tree. ooh, and the ups man dropped off my restoration hardware tree skirt on friday, and, oh my gosh, it is so, so, so, so, so, so very me. i'm afraid to use it, though, because my cats have a tendency to sleep under the tree during this time of year, and i'd really hate for it to get destroyed. so, i was thinking of making a treeskirt to cover my treeskirt...ooh! or maybe i'll just get some of that vinyl stuff that people use to cover their furniture. idea! hey, it'll be tacky as hell totally protected though, right? we'll see, though. i do have an absolutely *gorgeous* treeskirt that i bought a few years ago that i *love*, so, i don't know if i'll just use that. ugh! so indecisive! i need to make up my mind!

so it was a pretty productive weekend. i cleaned my living room, put the bows on my wreaths outside (since it was relatively warm today), put up my christmas tree, and geez. i'm exhausted. photos to follow next time! until then!

Monday, December 04, 2006

shame, humbug and slack-o-rama

so it's been a few weeks since i last posted...oops! so much has happened during those two weeks, also!

first off: i'm *so* disappointed that mario lost. what a crock!

secondly: i took my first ballroom dance lesson with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. although it was a lot of fun, i think i'm going to have to trade in my ballroom shoes for a pair of steel-toed boots. (and to think...the *first* pair of shoes that i purchased were open-toed...i can't even imagine if i wouldn't have traded them for a pair of closed-toe shoes!)

third: i was off for a week before/after thanksgiving. i swore i'd clean my house. kinda didn't happen...

fourth: i swore i would clean my house this past weekend. instead, i get called up at 8 o'clock in the morning by my sister, asking if i had wanted to go up to the outlet mall in pleasant prairie, wisconsin. after debating about it for a really long time, i decided that i'd just go up there. what the heck, right? it ended up being a two-day long shopping spree, no joke. i ended up just staying at my parents' house up north saturday night! (gotta love the automatic cat feeder/waterer!)

speaking of the automatic cat waterer... two fridays ago, after coming back from an exhausting day of black friday holiday shopping (more on that later), i came home to this awful, awful screeching sound...their cat waterer had run dry, (oops!) so i refilled it (this was friday night.). anyways, i had gone out someplace on saturday, and, by the time i came home, i noticed that my carpet was wet. i figured it was probably just the little bit that had splashed out when i had refilled it (despite the fact that i had cleaned that up the night before), but, thought it was weird, so, i looked at the cat waterer. the *entire* reservoir was empty. all two freaking gallons of it. i went through nearly a dozen bath towels before going to home depot, and picking up a shop vac. apparently, they don't work all that well on carpet, but, i was able to extract a little more water from it. so i just set it on the blower function, in another futile attempt to dry my carpet. and i swear, it's a week later and my carpet is still damp. maybe not, or maybe i'm just crazy, but, i swear it is. i'm setting the space heater on it before i go to work. (just in case it is still damp. or just to settle my craziness.)

black friday was a total joke. i couldn't believe it. after perusing the ads on thursday (and receiving a list of things that i needed to purchase for my mother), i set out for kmart at 5:30 am. i figured i'd go out to the suburbs, since i could hit all the stores i had wanted to go to in one shot. so, i get to kmart at like 5:58, and there is a line of people in front of the door, at least 200 people deep! (i had no idea kmart was going to be such a hot commodity on black friday.) anyways, people were literally running into the store, and anyways, i had made it to the back of the store to pick up these tool bags that were on sale (perfect for my cordless drill & screwdriver), and this man was running around the section, and saw me holding my ad (mind you, from my thursday paper), and was like, "could i see your paper?" and i was like, "i'm sorry, i've got to run and get a few more items!" bah humbug. hey. they had a fat stack of ads in the front of the store, and if he didn't bother to grab one because he was too busy running to the tool section, well...

so then, after kmart, i headed to menard's. uuugggggghhhhh. just thinking about it makes me shiver. people were literally buying *carts full* of crap...hundreds and hundreds of items. i just had to buy my popcorn (from the list) and fake ott lamp and knife set and scram. good thing i grabbed some magazines to read from off of the shelf; i was in line for 45 minutes. unbelievable!

then came orland square mall, which was a complete, total unbelievable nuthouse. it was awful. but i got everything i wanted, except for the only chihuahua ornament that they had at field's. oops. macy's. when the lady was putting it into a box, she had dropped it, and its back feet and tail came off. great. but i have to say, they *did* ship me one from another location (go figure, state street) without any shipping charge. and, i have to say that i love getting my christmas shopping without having to leave the house. how convenient!

that was it, until i went to oakbrook later that evening, to have dinner with my boyfriend and his family...

but i won't bore you with that.

after stitches midwest, i swore i would never buy any more yarn. rrrriiiiigggghhhhttt. here's just a sample of one of my extremely shameful purchases that i've made as of late:

(this is only *part* of the package.)

i'd better not buy any more yarn anymore. my trip to my lys on tuesday had better been my last for a while. i only went there because i wanted to knit up a long, grey scarf like cristina on grey's anatomy was wearing the other week (when she went running). i *have* to have one.

and the reason i really *have* to have one is this:

you should've seen it on friday! (okay, it really isn't as bad as what they got in the suburbs. but still!) *awful, awful, awful* snow. and it's so cold that the stuff just thaws and freezes. thaws and freezes. my back stairs are a *joke*. they are deceptively fresh snow-covered ice chunks! *awful!* (but don't you just love my wreath-covered fence? i was supposed to put out ribbons and bows also, but, it *snowed*! good thing i put them out on wednesday evening, despite almost freezing solid!)

and, before i leave you for this time, i just wanted to show you my (one of my) *most most most favorite* purchase of this weekend's shopping spree:

*gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous* silver sage/brown towels for my guest bathroom. (the design really isn't me, but, the colors are, so, i just couldn't resist!)

my *most most most* favorite purchase photo is forthcoming...a christmas tree skirt from restoration hardware...i should have it by the end of the week, though!

that's it for now, folks! stay warm! (i'm trying to!)

p.s. i received an e-mail from our sp9 hostess, stating that my pal's e-mails are having a hard time coming through... i've not seen anything come through lately (or get stuck in my spamblocker), so, secret pal, if you're reading this and trying to contact me, please do so again and i will make sure to add you to my "allowed" list (although i thought i did before!)! anyways...we'll figure it out! yay! :)