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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

"Oh come let us adore him, Christ the Lord."

Nativity
Photo by midiman

Today we celebrate our Savior.

You do not ever have to feel not good enough. You aren't perfect and neither am I. God loves us exactly as we are.

Jesus came to earth to be perfect, to pay the ultimate sacrifice so we can spend eternity in Heaven. If that isn't love, I don't know what is. God loves you. Rejoice!

Merry Christmas!

I'll be off next week, but please join me bright and early on January 3, 2010 to kick off our new year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve's Eve

One last one-minute vacation before the holiday. Today, let's picture our 100% fantasy Christmas. I do have rules for this fantasy: 1. It must be utterly selfish and 2. It must be authentic to you.

Oh! the Christmas tree <3
Photo by hussainshafei

Here's mine:

This year's fantasy Christmas keeps me home, in my own house. I wake up whenever the kids decide it's time (hint: this means opening presents time). However, before bits of wrapping paper tornado through the living room, a full pot of scrumptious coffee will be brewed and a cup will be in my hand.

Wow, I'm loving this already!

Cinnamon buns, preferably ones that taste exactly like Cinnabon's, will magically appear on the coffee table before me. My husband and children will love their gifts so much, tears will well in their eyes. I will receive a lifetime supply of Godiva chocolates--bless you, Mr. Kemerer--and a new pair of fluffy slippers.

Cinnabon Sliders
Photo by nyc_xmas

We will lounge in our pajamas ALL DAY.

This is important.

ALL DAY.

Meals will appear, but I won't cook them. Dirty dishes will become clean, but how, you ask? I'm not really sure, but I know that I'm not cleaning them, and I'm not asking any more questions about it and neither should you.

About three o'clock, after the sixth full viewing of "A Christmas Story," I will peek out the window and smile at the fluffy snow. Then I'll turn away and recline on the couch and enjoy a guilt-free afternoon of reading, but my children will rush out for an afternoon of sledding. And you know what, I think I'm up for a bit of sledding myself, so I will join them.

Playing in the snow
Photo by meddygarnet

As dusk falls, we sip hot chocolate and reflect on what a relaxing, magnificent Christmas it was, and we'll thank the Lord for sending us His Son.

You didn't think I'd forget the reason for the best day ever, did you? :)

Wishing you all a very BLESSED CHRISTMAS!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not Trying to Scare You, But...

Today is December 21. You do realize there are only four days left until Christmas? Yeah. Four.

Deep breaths...

If that didn't make you ready for your one-minute vacation, I don't know what will!

CHRISTMAS TIME!!!
Photo by luchilu

When I come across a soothing site or blog, I bookmark it in my "Favorites" under a folder I created named "Inspiration." Today, I'm sharing a few favorites with you.

Over at last.fm, an online radio station,you can type in a song or artist and the site will come up with a radio station of similar music. It's fabulous! Try Stan Getz and see if your tension fades.

Quiet night on Henry Street.
Photo by editor_tupp

I like the idea of crafting; I love the idea of knitting, and I think homemade presents rock. There's a little problem: crafting, knitting, and making homemade presents take time. So, I enjoy sneaking a peak at the blog Blackberry Rambles. Scroll through these cozy ornaments. Puts a smile on my face!

Maybe you don't need music or crafts--you need a little encouragement about writing today. Check out Quotes for Writers and get renewed. Christmas may only be a few days away, and the new year will bring a fresh start.

Hope you have a jolly Monday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mouthwatering Yum-Yums

How about a one-minute vacation from the calories spreading out of the Christmas treats? My sweet tooth is on overload, so I would love to have a vacay from the guilt of indulging.

We're having virtual candy, cupcakes, and cookies today, and there will be no diabetic explosion, no breaking of the scale, and no bursting of the pant zippers. Go ahead, drool over these, my treat!

(By the way, my friend Kat came up with the saying "mouthwatering yum-yums" and I've giggled over it enough, I figured it was time to use it!)

Cupcakes with ooey-gooey frosting, candy canes, and do I see Snickers bars? This tray should be outlawed!

Michelle's cupcakes
Photo by freakapotimus

Hmm...sugar drizzled over dipped sugar. Is there any other way to describe these marshmallow concoctions? If only all shish-kabobs were this delectable!

Marshmellow Desserts
Photo by ajagendorf25

Look, this one's healthy! There's calcium in that pudding, and hello? Strawberries!

Special Dessert
Photo by sanctumsolitude

I'm not even sure what these are, but I'd bite their heads off in a heartbeat.

Papai noel (versão colorida) - trufas - chocolate + fondant
Photo by ana_fuji

Godiva. 'Nuff said.

a bit of godiva happiness
Photo by geishabot

It's the LAST weekend before Christmas! I want to wish you all a very safe, relaxing weekend. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Favorite Mugs

I'm a creature of habit. I wake up at the same time each weekday, and the first hour I'm awake, I robot my way through a prescription of tasks. Coffee is always the highlight. As is the healthy serving of flavored cream I dump into my cup. Taking my first sip of the day never fails to thrill me. Not any old mug will do. I choose my mug with care according to my mood.



This mug says it all, and it makes me happy. I smile because it gets me.


I choose this mug when I feel down. My girlfriend Chrissy gave it to me way back when I was eighteen and having some rough times. Whenever I drink out of this Prescious Moments gem, it's as if I'm getting a hug.


My parents got me this mug a long time ago when they had to travel somewhere. It used to have the most adorable lid, but hey, I move a lot, and it's gone! This is also my mom's favorite when she comes to see me. I tend to drink out of it when I feel on top of the world, like I can slay any dragon, you know?

Another gift from my parents. I choose this when I feel kittenish. I LOVE cats!

My darling niece Ashley gave this to me for Christmas a few years ago. It's quickly become my most-used mug. Oversized with pink polka-dots--what's not to love? I like to drink tea out of it in the afternoon.

When I want to have a proper cup of tea, I use the all white cup and saucer. Elegant--plus there's a spot to cradle a cookie or two. Mmm...


I always use this mug for my "writing" coffee. My husband gave it to me. I love the color, the script, the fact my husband gave it to me, and that it holds about two cups of coffee. This one might be singlehandedly responsible for getting my books finished.




Do you make a production out of a morning ritual? Is it coffee or tea? Do you pick out a special mug?

Thanks for spending a few minutes of your Wednesday with me!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dull, gray winter? Not today!

We're smack dab in the middle of December. It's looking mighty gray where I live, and I must confess that I don't do gray. I like color. Gobs of it.

So, our one-minute vacation takes us away from the gray and into colorful flowers.
This delicate beauty made me smile and sigh. I love how the photographer captured it against a black background.

schlumbergera - fleur d'école / school flower
Photo by olibac

These lavender jewels stirred my senses. I'm positive I can hear bees buzzing and birds chirping. There's a gentle breeze fluttering through my hair, and the sun's warmth caresses my bare arms. Oh, summer, I miss you!

Purple Flower Field
Photo by chaos123115

Miles and miles of red, yellow, and orange. How I'm enjoying this view!

Ranunculus fields in Carlsbad, CA
Photo by superfem

Anyone else hit with the urge to bend and inhale these pink blossoms?

field of flowers
Photo by kimberlymlawsom

This arrangement took my breath away. The centers of the roses fascinate me, and the violet against white really pops. Gorgeous!

The bouquet

Photo by the_pink_princess


Thank you for running away from the gray Monday with me.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Celebrate the Small Things

It's Friday! Wahoo!

Has the holiday season caught up with you? Are you beginning to get panicky about the lack of presents purchased, the boxes of Christmas cards unopened in the closet, or the non-existent cookies needed for the exchange?

Eh. Don't sweat it.

Why not celebrate the small things? And forget, for a minute, the big ones?

Do you have a favorite ornament? Is it on display? Congratulations--you've taken a step at bringing joy to your holidays.

Christmas presents under the tree
Photo by alancleaver

Have you received a Christmas card? Sent any? Look at the postmarks on this one. It's been all over the world! I wonder if the sender ever realized it would be so well traveled. Let's celebrate this card today. It made a few detours, but it found its way home.

The Card Well Travelled
Photo by phelyan

How do you feel about the Salvation Army kettles? The incessant dinging of the bell can wear thin on my nerves, but I'm impressed with any organization so willing to collect funds to help others. I'm not endorsing this charity, but I am holding it up as a terrific example of sharing the joy of the season by giving to those less fortunate.

Lunchtime_0040
Photo by beglen

This card jumped out at me. It's so easy to get wrapped up in my own concerns that I forget all of the people who help me through daily problems. Sometimes it's a friendly store clerk at the grocery store who will make all the difference in my mood. I'm celebrating all of the people who smile at strangers, who let other cars ahead of them even in heavy traffic, and who bring a ray of sunshine everywhere they go.

Celebrate...
Photo by way2go

What small thing will you celebrate today?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

If I could have anything today...

Do you ever finish a task and stop and wonder if you could have any random things today, what would they be? Since this is one-minute vacation month, there are rules.
1. The random things must be utterly selfish. Sure, we all want health for our loved ones and world peace; we don't have to spell those out. Today, it's all about you!
2. They can be as unrealistic as you want. Mine are all ridiculous. That may be why I love them.

What would you want? An object, an experience, or even a feeling?

Here are the things I want--and, no, I'm not going to have them today, but thinking of them puts such a huge smile on my face that it hardly matters.

First, I'd magically appear in Paris, where my husband and I would sit at a small table and speak in French. I'm not sure what we'd talk about, but I know it would be really interesting. Does it matter that I attempted to learn French a few years ago and gave up midway through the first CD? Of course not! No need to rain on my fantasy parade.

Yes or No?
Photo by malias

Next up, Maine. I need a lobster, people. Doesn't this guy look yummy? I'm salivating over drawn butter, small potatoes, and a heaping helping of biscuits. I can almost feel his claw shell cracking, revealing the white, succulent flesh. Mmmm...

Maine Lobster from Eric
Photo by musicmang

After lunch, I am leaping in the air, contorting my body in dance. Have I mentioned how much I adore dancing? I love the fact every muscle in my body applauds. I love that my body can bend and twist and keep a beat. I love kicking, leaping, twirling, feeling the under-thrum of each tune. Unfortunately, one must dance often or the flexibility and core strength disappear...but...enough of that! This is my vacay, and I'm a bendy ballerina in it.

5 of 8 Girl dances at water's edge on Morro Strand State Beach
Photo by mikebaird

But now that I've indulged in some solo-dancing, I think I'll spice it up a bit. That's right, Mama needs to Tango! First of all, I love the heels this lady is wearing. Second of all, how fun would it be to tango with my husband? All dressed up fancy, strutting our way across a hardwood dance floor? Someday, I'll wear him down about the ballroom dance lessons. Someday.

Tango legs
Photo by henrik_s

Now you know what my Wednesday fantasy involves, you know I want to hear yours! Any long-forgotten dreams? Travel destinations? Tango sessions?

Thank you very much for stopping by and indulging my daydreams!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Warm Fuzzies

Our one-minute vacation today wraps us up in softness and warmth. It's December after all. Even if you live in warm climates, the season prods you to wrap up in the softest blanket you own. I do not live in warm climates, so warm, fuzzy things are essential.

Look at this little bunny. I want to pick it up and squish it in a big hug, or at the very least, stroke its plush fur. The delicate snowflakes resting on its fur add to the serenity of the photo. I think my heart rate has actually slowed down just looking at this adorable guy!

Fluffy - the great explorer
photo by foshie

What else do I need today to bring the warm fuzzies? This picture invites me in and makes me want to stay and relax. Let's see, snow-covered pine, fluffy comforter, and a journal with a pen? Have I died and gone to Heaven? I think I might have.


Photo by cutendscene

And what do we have here? A lovely, festive fireplace with candles, nutcrackers, and shelves lined with books. Our home doesn't feature a fireplace, but many area coffee shops have added them. When I need to curl up in a chair next to a warm fire, I head out.


Photo by robertmorris


What comforts you on cold days? Where would you spend a cozy afternoon?

Thanks for sharing this mini-vacation with me!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Twenty-One Days Left? Need a Break?

I promised a month of one-minute vacations, and I will not let you down. Well, I might let you down if you don't enjoy the same things I do!

So today we're headed to the beach, because when I think vacation, I think beach. White sand, warm sun, gentle breeze, slight sea fragrance, children laughing, and a deep sense of contentment. Ahh...I'm more relaxed already.

Look at the clear water. I can easily picture myself as one of these swimmers, and I can almost feel the water pouring over me as I doggy paddle my way around. Serious swimming is not my idea of vacation. We can add a few rafts and fruity drinks to the picture if you'd like.


wham:a different corner
Photo by visualpanic

Or what about this dock leading to rest? I'm positive each of those tiny huts has a king-sized bed with ultra-comfy bedding for me to snuggle into. There are no demands here, only pampering. And look, there are lots of huts, plenty for each of us.

weekend inspiration
Photo by muha

Now that I've had my nap in my own special hut, I'm ready to venture out again. But who wants to spend a vacation alone? Consider yourself part of this group hug!

If We Hold On Together
Photo by mugraha


I'm so glad you stopped by to spend your one-minute vacation with me!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December: One-Minute Vacations

When I was brainstorming possible topics for December, I thought, we all just need a vacation this month. The thought of writing about craft, business, editors--any of it--made me want to take a nap.

What we really need in December is a nice break. A daily retreat, if you will. Doesn't that sound nice?

I'm dedicating myself to finding the perfect one-minute vacation each and every post this month. That's not to say I'm taking the month off from writing. I'm not. In fact, I'm writing a first draft as we speak. But we all are dealing with extra obligations, including Christmas cards, holiday baking, additional children's activities, endless shopping, and inevitable illnesses. I vowed I would not add even the tiniest weight to your already full load.

So today's one-minute vacation takes place in Richmond, Virginia. Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens hosts an incredible Christmas light display each year. To see a few photos of this lovely tradition, go to the 2008 GardenFest of Lights Images.

We attended it a few years ago and had a lovely evening. The weather was downright balmy for December, and we smiled as our children scampered along the decorated paths. Our favorites were the indoor conservatory's Christmas cottage and the maze located in the children's garden. Steaming cups of hot cocoa completed the family fun.

This year, we're planning on attending the Toledo Zoo's Lights Before Christmas display. Should be another night to remember!

Do you have a special holiday light display you attend each year?

Join me on Friday for another short break from the season's chaos!