Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Great Puppy Search of ’08-’09, Pt. 2 ~ A Decision

After much research, I’ve made a decision on the breed of pup I would like to get in May ~ a Papillon! It’s the breed I’d been leaning towards based on its looks and the little information I had discovered about it, but after reading this great book I bought from, I decided that it definitely is what we’re looking for (well, what I’m looking for ~ Dear Boyfriend wants a Lab mix and thinks I’m incredibly silly for wanting a toy dog). They love being around humans, are said to be great companions, and are best as indoor dogs, but also enjoy the outdoors and are hardy enough to go on hikes (something we really enjoy doing). And they are oh so cute. Next step: finding a breeder in our area. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! And a Finished Project!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! The snow has still be coming down here, and it's looking like we'll have a white Christmas!

I finally finished the pink baby blanket I’ve been working on for Dear Boyfriend’s cousin (she’s delivered a beautiful little girl last week) and I can’t wait to see the expectant mama’s face when she sees it and wraps her little one in it for the first time. I used my favorite baby afghan pattern, a size H hook, and Bernat Softee Baby yarn. I love the pattern ~ it is so easy and works up so quickly; I’ve made so many blankets using it that I’m sure I could do it in my sleep. I would definitely recommend it to any new crocheters out there who want to work on their tension and practice increases and decreases. And it’s versatile ~ you can greatly vary the look of the pattern by changing colors to create stripes or using your favorite variegated yarn.

Comments welcome! :o)


Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Winter Getaway Pictures

Just wanted to share some of the pictures Dear Boyfriend took on our little vacation. Enjoy!

freezing our buns off at Stanley Park

beautiful but snowy tree

we both thought these benches looked really cool

very colorful reef at the aquarium

sea turtle

we watched the jellyfish swim for quite awhile ~ the way they move through the water is so pretty

the dolphin show was fun but it was freezing outside!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Stir Crazy...

We made it home from Vancouver safe and sound, but have been trapped in the house all day today because of the snow. It started snowing last night around 7 and hasn't stopped since. We're a little stir crazy despite varied attempts to keep ourselves entertained ~ we've watched multiple movies and TV shows on On Demand and played Tetris on Super Nintendo until my eyes were all fuzzy, and I've read half of Marley and Me, updated my website, finished some garters, done 4 loads of laundry, and worked on the black ribbed scarf I started knitting for Dear Boyfriend months ago. Usually I love having a lazy day at home to work on various projects and waste a few hours watching a movie, but there's something about being stuck here because of the weather that makes it not as much fun... Snow, it's time for you to go away!

Friday, December 19, 2008

2008 Winter Getaway, Day 3 and an Addition to my Christmas Wishlist

Day 3 of our mini~vacation has been quiet and relaxing. We did a little window shopping this morning and had yummy chicken teriyaki for lunch at the mall, followed by another two~hour nap in our room. I gotta say ~ naps are the BEST! We're getting ready for an evening of dinner and dancing with a friend of Nate's who lives here ~ crazy story: he's a non-U.S. citizen who came up for a day trip years ago and hasn't been allowed back in the States since. He's hired lawyers and even gotten married in an attempt to gain admission back into the U.S. with no luck. It sounds like he's a cool guy and I can't even imagine how heart-breaking it would be to be kept away from your family and home.

So I know it's a little late in the game to be adding to my Christmas Wishlist (and this is an absolutely ridiculous addition because I know they are sold out) but I really want a Wii. With MarioKart and We Cheer. I read about We Cheer in Women's Health a few days ago, and I've decided that I definitely need it. It's supposed to be a pretty good workout ~ you use the controllers as pom poms ~ although they do have special Wii pom poms available for purchase ~ and can get your whole body into it depending on which cheers you choreograph. Plus you get to be the captain of your own squad and you can design your own uniforms. I cheered for wrestling in high school and I L-O-V-E loved it so I'm sure I would love the game too! Dear Boyfriend thinks I'm a little silly (which is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black because he wants a Playstation 3) but I was never allowed to have video games as a child and I think it's high time I did! The Wii Fit sounds like fun too ~ who doesn't want their own computerized personal trainer? Fingers crossed that Santa comes through for me! :o)

Wishing our vacation wasn't so near to its close,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2008 Winter Getaway, Day 2

We woke up fairly early this morning and after a quick breakfast at the Starbucks across from our hotel (my chocolate croissant was oh so yummy), walked down by the water to get to the Vancouver Aquarium at Stanley Park. We were accompanied by an elderly gentleman for about half of the walk ~ he jabbered on to us in heavily accented English that we barely understood (although I did catch the part about his thoughts that women should have nothing to do with their husbands for the first two and a half years of their children's lives ~ I refrained from letting him know that I strongly disagree). He seemed very lonely, and I hope our conversation (one~sided as it was) helped to brighten his day.

It. Was. Cold. Not just "I'm glad I have gloves on to keep me warm" cold, but "Wow, I think I may freeze my tushie off" cold. But we managed to make it to the aquarium without losing any major extremities to frost bite and Dear Boyfriend got some beautiful pictures of the snow along the way. We had a good time at the aquarium ~ I hadn't been there since a choir trip we took my senior year of high school ~ and I think we both really enjoyed watching the short dolphin show and viewing some of the different fish and other animals they have there. Dear Boyfriend (a.k.a. Nathan ~ he's not crazy about being called "Dear Boyfriend," although he really is) took some really cool pictures with his new camera ~ he really has a great eye for photography; I hope to get some posted when we get home.

We had another relaxing afternoon ~ I think we both took a two hour nap ~ and headed back to Red Robin for dinner. There are a ton of different restaurants in the area, but based on the reviews we read online, it seems to be hit or miss if they actually serve decent food, so we decided to stick with something we knew we would like. I discovered their delicious poppy seed honey mustard dressing there yesterday, so I had another salad with it on it today. We may have to find a recipe for it online so we can make it ourselves...

Made a quick stop at the ESPRIT store on our way back to the hotel (ESPRIT was one of my favorite clothing lines back in the '90's and I'm not sure you can even get their stuff in the states anymore) and we both found jeans for $19.99 Canadian. Quite the deal considering they were originally $89. Took another dip in the hot tub after that, and now we're getting ready to watch "Eagle Eye" on Pay Per View.

Looking forward to another relaxing night,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2008 Winter Getaway, Day 1

Dear Boyfriend and I embarked on our winter getaway at 8:00 this morning, despite the multiple inches of new snow on the ground and the disapproval of both of our mothers. After stops at the local Safeway to pick up my road trip staple ~ Hostess's Chocolate Frosted Donettes ~ and two Starbuck's Peppermint Mocha Twists (a tall non-fat w/o whipped cream from me and a grande w/fat for Dear Boyfriend) and at Schuck's for snow chains, we were on our way. We had originally planned on spending our mini-vacation on the Olympic Peninsula, but decided to head up to Vancouver, B.C. instead. We found a great rate on a hotel through Travelocity and figured that if the weather was horrible, we could just leave the car in the parking garage and hoof it.

The drive was less than pleasant. It snowed non-stop ~ at some points, nearing white-out conditions ~ and passing an overturned semi that had flipped halfway off the freeway, taking out multiple sections of the guard rail, minutes before we drove by (the police and ambulance hadn't even arrived) was somewhat terrifying. But we eventually made it safely to our hotel, and had a relaxing afternoon after lunching at Red Robin and doing some window-shopping on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver. We just got back to our suite after soaking in the hot tub, and are awaiting the delivery of room service (a first for me ~ I've never had it before!).

Looking forward to quiet evening in and a fun day of sight-seeing tomorrow,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Garters on Etsy, a Kitty Slumber Party, and an Antique Store Treasure

I worked like mad yesterday to finish a ton of garters that had been sitting in a basket for at least a week waiting to be embellished, and they are now available in my etsy shop. Please check them out and let me know what you think ~ I am always happy to hear praise and criticism!

I spent the night at my parents' last night so we could get up early and hit the antique stores in Snohomish, and it was so nice to have some snuggle time with my kitty, Jazzy. Not so nice ~ being pounced on in the middle of the night ~ I guess she thought I wanted to play. I now am the proud owner of a lovely kitty scratch right above my lip. It was worth it though ~ there's nothing like snuggling up with a soft, purring kitty. And her sister was entertaining as always ~ I heard an odd sound in the bathroom as I was getting ready for bed, and went in to find Lily sitting on the toilet with the shower curtain wrapped around her body, unrolling all the toilet paper from the roll. At 2 1/2, I would have thought she'd have outgrown such behavior, but I guess she'll always been a kitten at heart.

The antique stores were absolutely freezing today ~ we're having record lows in our area right now ~ so the shopping wasn't as pleasant as usual, but I did find this treasure ~ a Franciscan Tulip Time creamer. My family is a big fan of Franciscan dishware ~ my parents still use the Franciscan Madeira dishes they got as wedding gifts, and I was gifted with my grandma's Franciscan Pebble Beach collection a few years ago. I had never seen this pattern before and I absolutely love it ~ I may have to start collecting it too!

Trying to stay warm,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Our area was hit with three or four inches of snow yesterday, which isn’t a lot, but is definitely enough to have an impact on our ability to get around considering we rarely get snow and most of us are pretty crummy at driving in it. But it was my almost-sister-in-law’s (Dear Boyfriend’s little brother’s girlfriend) 21st birthday, so out we went to celebrate. Dear Boyfriend’s parents were our designated drivers so we didn’t have to worry about driving ourselves, but when it came time for them to get us home, we ran into some difficulty… We live near some hills, and the little Kia we were in just wasn’t going to make it. So Dear Boyfriend’s dad had to drop us off about ten blocks from home and we had to trek the rest of the way. Did I mention I was wearing heels? Oh, and they’re open-toed. My feet were completely numb about fifteen seconds into our walk. Fun times, fun times. But we did make it home safe and I did regain feeling in all ten toes. Eventually. :o)

We’ve been having a lazy day today (I’m not sure we could even make it out of our neighborhood), but Dear Boyfriend’s older brother made it over this afternoon and all three boys have been outside for the past two and a half hours playing in the snow. And by that I mean they were building an igloo. They had a blast, and here are some pictures of the final product. Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Maybe There is Something to the Whole Starbucks Phenomenon…

I am not a coffee fan. I don’t like the smell of it, I don’t like the taste of it, and I particularly hate kissing someone who’s been drinking it. While studying at a Starbucks in college, my BF at the time got me a hot chocolate with a shot of coffee in it to “help keep me awake” (he thought I wouldn’t notice) and I was so disgusted that I almost threw it at him – a perfectly good cup of hot chocolate soiled by nasty coffee! So it follows that I’m not the hugest fan of Starbucks ~ obviously I don’t like any of their coffee-flavored drinks, and their pastries have a tendency to be a little too sweet for my taste and always give me a tummy ache if I end up eating one. (I do have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for Starbucks’ Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino, but that diminished somewhat when I discovered the nutritional content of the drink.) To add insult to injury, Starbucks gift cards seem to be the reward of choice at my company (which makes sense considering we have a Starbucks right across the street from our building) and I always inwardly groan when given one because it means I will have another card that will go unused taking up space in my purse.

So of course when Dear Boyfriend asked if I wanted something to drink when we were at Starbucks yesterday meeting a client and his fiancé to discuss the music for their event ~ we have a
disc jockey company ~ I turned up my nose at him. But I did have a gift card he could use! I dug around in my purse until I found one and breathed a sigh of relief at the thought that I would now have one less card kickin’ around in my too-full purse. He returned to our table a few minutes later with a Peppermint Mocha Twist, and after using the cup to warm up my cold hands, I slyly took a small sip. I was thirsty and cold, and it was there and it was warm. And oh my goodness, IT WAS DELICIOUS!!! I’ve been missing out on this yumminess for years?!? I quickly drank more than half of it with little regard to its calorie and fat content ~ I am a calorie counter and try to limit the number of beverages I’ll consume that contain calories ~ but who cares when you’re drinking something this good? YUM YUM YUM!!! When can we go back so I can have another? Please tell me that these aren’t just available during the Christmas season!

Hoping we can get back to Starbucks soon,


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Great Puppy Search of ’08-’09, Pt. 1

I am a cat lover. I always have been and I always will be. I love all cats ~ small cats and big cats ~ their beautiful coats, their pointed ears, their scent, their meows and growls ~ everything about them. I get as excited as a four year old on Christmas morning every Thursday afternoon before we head to my parents’ for dinner because I simply can’t wait to see my two girls, Jazzy and Lily, and I can’t watch the video of Christian the lion reuniting with his one-time owners without crying (something that Dear Boyfriend finds truly hilarious). It came as a shock to everyone (especially my mom, a fellow cat devote) when I started talking about wanting a puppy. While I love the company our felines provide when (and if) they’re in the mood, I want a pet that will be more of a constant and devoted companion ~ a pet who will greet me at the door with a happy bark when I come home from a long day at work, and one I can take with me when I run to the store or on the hikes Dear Boyfriend and I so enjoy. So a puppy it is, preferably one of the toy-sized variety.

As we can’t have pets at our current residence, I will have to wait until our lease is up at the end of April to really start seriously looking for the perfect pup for me. Until then, I will have to be content with bi-weekly visits to the local pet store, where they always seem to have at least three or four adorable puppies that I would take home in a heartbeat. On one of our last visits, I fell in love with not one, but FIVE, different puppies ~ a Papillon, two short-haired Chihuahuas, a long-haired Chihuahua, and an adorable Papi-poo (a Papillon-Poodle mix) who kept licking the glass of his cage trying to get to us. How to decide, how to decide?!? They are all so precious! I have committed to doing a ton of puppy research on personality traits and characteristics from now until April when the time for the big decision is finally here. As of this moment, I’m leaning towards a
Papillon ~ I love their big ears and they have the most adorable faces, plus they are known for their agility and intelligence. The Yorkie-Havanese mix we saw last night was pretty cute too ~ thank goodness I have lots of time to make a decision!

Off to do some more puppy research,

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Garter and Vacation Anticipation

We had my work Christmas party Saturday night, and I wore one of my garters for the first time (I would have posted sooner, but it took a few days to get the pictures off the camera!). I couldn’t resist the urge to pull up my dress a bit and show it off to a few of my close co-workers, and I’m pleased to report that it was met with much praise. Overall, the evening was a hit ~ I had been asked to teach a line dance during the band’s break and everyone had a great time with that, and Dear Boyfriend and I had fun dancing and playing at the casino tables (I got three Black Jack’s in a row!).

Three more days of work, and then I have a much-needed nine days off in a row. We don’t have anything big planned ~ DBF couldn’t get the whole week off from work, but we are going to escape to the Olympic Peninsula for a few days. We’re both really looking forward to it ~ I haven’t been over there in 15+ years, and DBF is excited to get some great pictures with his new camera. I’m also planning on spending a few days working on some new garters, and have a day of antique shop browsing planned with my parents. Hopefully I will be able to get my Christmas shopping all done too!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Hour, Trimming the Tree, and More…

Every week, Dear Boyfriend’s close-knit, Italian family gets together for Friday Night Happy Hour. Usually, it’s at his grandpa’s house, and all the family comes to snack on hors d’oeuvres and catch up on the happenings of the week. I think it’s something we all look forward to, and it’s a great way to wind down from a long week at work and gear up for the weekend. I always bring a project to work on as I’m not one to sit idly (DBF says I have a mild case of ADD because of my inability to sit still without working on something), and last night, I made some white and pink bows to adorn some of the garters I’m just finishing up. I’ll have the garters posted on etsy soon!

We’re decorating for Christmas this weekend, and I’m so excited to celebrate our first Christmas together. Christmas is a favorite holiday for me and Dear Boyfriend, which makes it extra special. We did have a bit of a conflict when it came to the tree though ~ I wanted to use the pretty, pre-lighted (but fake) tree I bought two Christmases ago, and DBF (and his younger brother who we live with) had his heart set on a real tree because of how yummy they smell. We finally compromised by deciding to do both ~ we’ll set up my tree today, and get a small, real tree in a few weeks that we can put on a table. Hopefully by waiting to get the tree until closer to Christmas, it will still be alive and kickin’ for our New Year’s Eve party.

I always love bringing out the Christmas decorations ~ it’s like reuniting with old friends you didn’t know you missed until you see them again. My favorites are a simple Nativity scene ornament that has been on my parents’ tree for as long as I can remember and was gifted to me when I finally left the nest, and a dancing Santa who never fails to make me smile as he shakes his hips to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, December 5, 2008

New camera for Dear Boyfriend

Dear Boyfriend got the camera of his dreams – a Nikon D300 - this week, and I’m not sure who is more excited ~ him or me. I am a lot of things, but “photographer” is not one of them, and I’m thrilled to have someone available at my beck and call to take pictures of my latest creations. My sweet dad has been taking all my pictures for me thus far, but we only visit about once a week and it’s been frustrating to have to wait to post garters I’m really pleased with until after our visits. Plus it will be great to take pictures without the help of all the kitties at my parents’ house! I love them to death (I rescued two of them at 4 weeks from underneath a friend’s house ~ it was a sad day when I moved to a house with a mean ol’ landlord who doesn’t allow pets and had to leave them with my parents) but they sure do get in the way! They just can’t seem to stay away from all the pretty ribbons and bows.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Ribbon!

Several packages containing spools and spools of pretty ribbon arrived in the mail yesterday, and I’m anxious to get started on some new garters. Most of the ribbon I need to get started on the University of Washington Husky and Washington State University Cougar colored garters I've been wanting to make was there, along with multiple spools of polka dot organza ribbon. I was a little disappointed that the red with white polka dot organza I ordered (I’d been planning to use it for special Valentine’s Day garters) was out of stock, but I’m sure I have plenty of other colors on hand to keep me busy until it’s available again. It was so hard to come to work today when I would much rather be at home being crafty and creative. I’m sure I’m not the only crafter who feels this way!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Welcome to Sugarplum Garters! After enjoying reading multiple other crafting blogs, I have finally decided to start my own! I started my own business making wedding garters back in October and this seems like a perfect way to share my latest garter designs and other craft projects.

I will post pictures of garters-in-progress in the next few days ~ I can’t wait to share what I’m working on!