Christmas Loot 2012

Previous posts were just pictures from Christmas, which auto-posted from flickr (and I thought that was just super awesome), so I'll recap a little here before I brag about how spoiled I am. 😉

My sister had to work on Christmas Day this year unfortunately (she's a nurse), which sort of disrupted our normal Christmas Day routine. But so that we could celebrate with her family too we had breakfast in our jammies on Christmas Eve together and exchanged the gifts we had for each other. Steve (my brother-in-law) made this Krispy Kreme egg sandwich that was completely wrong and so very right at the same time. It was good times.

We parted ways and got fancied up for another break from our Christmas Eve traditions (sort of). We always have a fancy Christmas Eve dinner with my Dad's side of the family, but it's usually at my parents house and this year it was at my uncle's historic house in Baltimore City. My aunt was here from Wisconsin (it's been years since I've seen her) and my grandparents were home from Florida, too. We ate a fancy four course meal and shared lots of laughs. Overall, despite it's different location, it was one of the better Christmas Eve celebrations.

Christmas Morning Heath and I headed over to my parents early to open gifts as we normally do. When we were finished, we started getting Maw Maw & Paw Paw's country breakfast (the thing I long for all year long) ready for the rest of my Mom's side of the family to arrive. After lots of good eats and more presents we headed home to get ready to visit Heath's family. Gifts were shared and a Christmas dinner was consumed (as if I was in need of more food at all after two days worth of heavy eating) and we came home ready for jammies again.

I finally picked through my gifts the following day, completely incapable of focusing on any one thing for too long. Like sensory overload. I hadn't realized I'd gotten so much until I put it altogether for this picture. I am way too spoiled.


Baking Stuff: Cupcake carrier, rolling pin, glass pie pan, pipping bags with decorative tips, dough kneader, rolling/cutting board, The Great Cookie Recipe book, an apron, and cupcake liners.

Photography Stuff: Lighting Set, Camera bag ("SAW it, shot it" <– catchy right, my initials!), Lens hood and assorted lens cleaning stuff, and mini tripod. 

Books: ance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter, Touched by Cyn Balog, For Darkness shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn, In Honor by Jessi Kirby, Germ by Robert Liparulo, Stephen King Leatherbound Classic (Not pictured), Jules Verne Leatherbound Classic (Not pictured), and an ESV Thinline Leather Bible.

DVD's: The Hunger Games and Big Bang Theory Season 1.

Misc. Other: Samsung Galaxy Tablet with Keyboard, 17 Old World Blown Glass Ornaments and case, Not of this World Hoodie and sticker, assorted lotions and body sprays, candles, a coin purse, a notepad, Bath & Body Works wallflowers, 30" Silver Chain, Owl Charm Necklace, 2 book lights, novelty lens mug, a bookmark, Big Bang Theory 2013 Wall Calendar, a snakeskin purse (not pictured), and a variety of gift cards. 

I don't know why I am spoiled like this, but I sure am grateful. 

So, what did you guys get for Christmas? How did you celebrate it


EDIT: I also got THIS from my critique partner (), but it slipped my mind for this post because I had already made a post about it on tumblr. Cool, right? 😉


Christmas Loot (Aka: Books Galore)!

When you ask for around 40 books for Christmas, it’s a given that they will be the bulk of your gifts this year, but actually having almost that many new books in my possession at the same time is blowing my mind! How will I ever pick which one to read first?!

In case you can’t see the titles of all of those books they are: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa, The Vampire Diaries (The Awakening & The Struggle) by L.J. Smith, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz, Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, The Fallen 1 (The Fallen & The Leviathan) by Thomas E. Sniegoski, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston, Ruined by Paula Morris, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan, Life as we knew it (Book 1 of The Last Survivors Series) by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter Book 2 – Hardback) by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter Book 3 – Hardback) by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Beastly by Alex Flinn, Indigo Blues by Danielle Joseph, Other by Karen Kincy, Sleepless by Cyn Balog, Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, Percy Jackson & The Olympians Boxset (The Lightening Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian) by Rick Riordan, The Wicked Lovely Series (Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, Radiant Shadows) by Melissa Marr, The Magician (Book 2 of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series) by Michael Scott, and The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty.

In addition to all of these fun reads, I got the Webster’s Vocabulary Builder to help with my writing as well!

And of those books I also received one duplicate. I’m sending that book back and in exchange getting three in its place. Those books are: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, Daughters of the Moon: Volume One by Lynne Ewing, and Fallen by Lauren Kate (because I’ve already read it, but don’t own a copy myself).

Aside from books though, I did receive some other awesome gifts as well, such as:

Other gifts included: An exercise ball, motions lights for my Christmas tree next year, a bookmark, a funny notepad, a Barnes & Nobles gift card (as if I need more books – lol, oh, wait, I always need more books!), a decorative scarf, a thick scarf-gloves-hat set, a cupcake scented car freshener (so me!), a Vera Wang change purse, a CD, Love Actually, LOST Season 6, TRUE BLOOD Season 2, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 6 Aeropostale tank tops (my favorite), fuzzy socks, a Troll bead pen, Troll beads, and handmade earrings. And see that framed photo? Those are MY characters (Brynn, Bryce, & Teagan)! My fabulous friend and critique partner edgyauthor made this for me for Christmas! Isn’t it just awesome? Seeing my characters like this makes me SQUEE! (Note: Both of my critique partners spoiled me with amazing gifts this year. Their friendship alone was a gift enough so everything they sent me was a total bonus!)

I won this awesome Troll bead pen as the “Pickle Gift” this year. The Pickle gift is something my sister and I have competed in for years. Every Christmas morning (though it wasn’t the case this year because Rachel could only be there on Christmas Eve) my dad hides a pickle ornament somewhere on his 16’ packed to the brim tree and whoever finds it first gets an extra gift. Rachel wins almost every year, but this year I found it before her! And I’m especially excited about this years gift because it’s a sweet pen (since I actually hand write some of my book) and it’s loaded with Troll beads that I can remove and interchange with my Troll bead bracelet. And speaking of Troll beads, I also got several new Troll beads as well! *Also, you can’t see them that well, but the earrings hanging off of that box were handmade by a friend at work – don’t they rock?*

As mentioned in the previous post, Dad gave Rachel and I 15 of his old world blown glass ornaments, some of which have been in the family for many, many years and one additional new blown glass ornament to begin on our own collections so one day our tree’s can look like his. Below is my starter box and my newest ornament (in honor of Tay).

And lastly, also as mentioned in the previous post, my Maw Maw’s handmade goodies. YUM!

I feel so tremendously blessed right now. I know Christmas isn’t about gifts, but there’s no pretending they don’t make people happy. I am one of those people 😉

How did you guys all make out for Christmas? Did you get what you wanted? Share your Christmas Loot!

Peace – Sarah



My Christmas

Christmas seemed to arrive far faster this year than any year before it, but it was wonderful nonetheless. Unfortunately, Heath was sick for Christmas so he wasn’t able to attend any of the festivities with me, but he’s getting better now and I brought Christmas back to him in the form of food, gifts, and pictures of what he missed.

Christmas Eve went something like this:

My dad’s side of the family came over for dinner at my parent’s house. We had two different kinds of lasagna’s (one regular completely made from scratch, the other seafood), two different kinds of salad, and fresh yummy bread. There were an assortment of appetizers as well, but I arrived after they were served. I missed out on a seafood chowder, smoked salmon, and crab dip.

After dinner we all opened gifts, but since all of the kids are no longer “kids” gift swapping is a pretty short event these days. It was full of laughs though because my dad got all of his brothers and parents “puzzle” like gifts that had everyone scratching their brains and received some interesting items himself like: chocolate covered bacon (I know, sounds gross, but is actually surprisingly yummy) and a DVD with a fire playing so you can pretend to have a fire roaring (which is a bit strange for my dad since my parents actually have a fireplace). My sister and I got 15 of our dad’s old world blown glass ornaments and one additional new one so we can start our own tree like his, which was exciting (for me at least because I am in love with his tree). Since Rachel wouldn’t be there on Christmas Day, Dad had us search for the pickle gift on Christmas Eve which felt odd, but I won! Maybe the fact that it was a different day threw Rachel off since she wins almost every Christmas. (There will be more about the pickle gift tradition in my next post where I showcase my gifts.)

After gifts we had dessert and several of them to choose from: Cheesecake, Holiday Spice Cake (aka Prune Cake), and Plum Pudding (which was supposed to be lit on fire after dousing it in Brandy, but it didn’t exactly work out that way). With an officially fat belly, I headed home to get some sleep and get ready for an even longer day on Christmas.

Christmas Day began at 8am:

I got to my parents and we shared presents. Dad got an Xbox 360, with 4 games, Xbox live, Xbox points, and a headset. He was, as always, a large child. Mom got a Nook and was super excited, along with some other cool items like UGGS and perfume. My big gift was… BOOKS! Mom & Dad got me 17 books alone and that wasn’t all of the books I received this Christmas (I will tell you more about that in my next post!).

After exchanging gifts we headed over to my grandmothers (Mom’s side of the family) for breakfast. This breakfast is something we almost demand every Christmas. It is by far, hands down, the best breakfast in the world. I look forward to it all year. My grandparents are from the south and they cook breakfast the way it’s meant to be cooked: fattening and delicious. Our plates were full with biscuits and gravy, eggs, fresh made cinnamon apples, hash browns, bacon, and sausage. It was phenomenal! It’s the kind of breakfast you get mad at your stomach for being full over because you always want seconds, but there’s never any room.

We traded gifts there as well, but for the most part everyone basically traded money with each other – lol. Maw Maw & Paw Paw did make homemade candies for us as well as chocolate covered pretzels, fudge, and peanut butter pinwheels (these being my favorite!). I’m knee deep in sugar right now 🙂

By the time I got home I needed a nap, but it was short lived because Heath was feeling better enough to run to his parents for a little bit since they live semi far away in comparison to my parents and there was all this talk of snow (which still hasn’t amounted to much a day later). We didn’t stay long because as the night wore on Heath felt less and less “okay,” but everyone loved their gifts and it was good to see all the family actually on Christmas.

I spent the remainder of my night last night staring at my awesome gifts and taking pictures of them for my next post entitled, “Christmas Loot” which is really just short for “Check out my books and drool with me!”

I hope everyone had as amazing of a Christmas as I did and I’d love to see pictures of your festivities so please post if you’ve got them! Even if you don’t have pictures though, stories about your holiday would be wonderful too 🙂

I wish Christmas wasn’t over, I miss it already.

Peace – Sarah


To see the complete Christmas Eve Album click HERE

To see the complete Christmas Day Album click HERE



Miss Me?

Probably not, but that’s okay. I’ve been facing possibly the worst days of my career over the past week, in addition to drama in all of the important parts of my life, and by the time I get home I’m so spent I just can’t seem to find enough oomph to make it online. Today was no exception, in fact in comparison to all of the other terrible days, today was the worst. I even cried today, the stress was just too much. I have a deadline to make by tomorrow and I’m not sure I’ll be capable of it, regardless of how hard I’m trying and that just makes me feel worthless.

But enough of that boo hoo crap. In my absence some noteworthy things did happen, like:

My new books arrived! You know those ones I got to buy myself as a Christmas gift from diamante_negra without breaking my own forbidden-to-buy-books rule? I’m so excited I could squeal (Okay, I actually did)! I feel like a proud parent, they’re just so beautiful.

Also, these are the other books I’ve received since October and haven’t posted pictures of, which are still totally pet worthy:

You would think these newbie’s would satisfy my desire to buy books a little more than it is, but I’m already hoping the majority of my Christmas gifts this year are books. I hope to be overloaded with them. Oh, Christmas get here soon!

Question for the Comments: What books are you anticipating the most for Christmas?

Speaking of books, I read FALLEN last week courtesy of poseiwriting and have since started TORMENT. So far it’s an excellent series and only making me more eager to start my own angel story in 2011 (hopefully).

I got a little bit of writing accomplished this weekend, which is good since I haven’t been giving my book much thought lately. Well actually that’s not true. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, but not in a get-writing sort of way. But I finally felt compelled this weekend.

My sister had her first sonogram last week and her 7 ½ week old “nugget” (as she’s calling it right now) is perfectly healthy. She’s also settling on her first home in the first week of December so things are really looking up for her, which of course makes me happy because I love her!

And lastly, this news isn’t exactly great, but could potentially have some positive side effects. My most recent blood work came back with even worse hypothyroidism and high cholesterol than the last time. My doctor put me on Levothyroxin for the thyroid issue in hopes that it will help the cholesterol as well. So far, the medicine is making me a bit hyper, but I’m told that’s to be expected since I’m going from virtually having no metabolism to suddenly having one with the help of pills. I’m also told that will even out, but that being on medicine may help my weight loss issues and my constant exhaustion. So, I suppose if those things come out of having this issue then it’s not so bad.

I know I’m super behind on LJ and I promise I’m trying to catch up. Please forgive me if it takes a little bit.

Peace – Sarah