Merry Christmas From the Ivorys!

Merry Christmas friends and family, near and far! We spent the last few days with family in Plainfield, IL celebrating the holiday and getting to see my cousin who is home for a short while from the Air Force. We enjoyed eating way too much and got completely spoiled with presents. We missed being with my sister who was in Colorado, and Greg’s family. But we will continue the celebration with them next weekend.

Hoping you all had a wonderful holiday!

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So This is Christmas

Apparently I’m into naming my posts after songs lately….and I kinda like it. Might see how long I can keep it up! 🙂

Tomorrow I’m hosting some Zetas from my alumnae chapter over to put together the fundraiser I’ve been working on. We sold “finals survival kits” to the parents of the collegiate Zetas, and will put them together for delivery. I’m really excited about it because we sold way more than I expected, and are going to be able to donate a lot of money. I just hope the weather isn’t bad, as many of the ladies are traveling from Iowa City and the Quad Cities. Snow, snow, stay away!

In preparation for my guests, I finished my Christmas decorating today, and even wrapped the presents I have ready so far! I really wish I would have gotten a real tree this year, but with Thanksgiving so late, it just didn’t seem worth the hassle. Hopefully next year…regardless, I’m glad to have it done and am looking forward to enjoying the pretty decor for the next 3 to 4 weeks!

See this year’s decorations below and Merry Christmas, everyone!

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These Are a Few of my FAVORITE Things!

Oh my goodness, you guys! I am SO excited for the NBC LIVE performance of The Sound of Music. It is one of my very favorite movies, not to mention I LOVE Carrie Underwood! And a LIVE TV special?!!? I’m ALL in! So in honor of my excitement…..

…..these are a few of my favorite things……

**Dory-Dog….this little puppy has given me so much joy in the three years we’ve had her. She is snuggly and cuddly, and can put a smile on my face no matter what is going on. We got a good one with this little pup, and I can’t imagine my life without her.

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**Chopped Salad….to me, regular salad is SO hit or miss. Salad bar salad used to ALWAYS be my favorite kind. Portillo’s chopped salad was a close second. But that was really all the chopped salad I was familiar with. Since finding Dole’s chopped salad kits, I could probably eat salad every day and be completely happy. This stuff is amazing…..try it!

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**Hand-Written Notes…..There is nothing like receiving a hand written note from a friend or family member saying hello or they miss you. Call me a hoarder, but I hold on to all the sweet cards and notes I get. Christmas time is amazing because the Christmas cards start rolling in from near and far!

**Sephora BB Cream……It moisturizes, it evens out my skin, it’s got SPF 20, and lets be honest, it just all around makes me prettier. I’ve tried other BB creams before, but this one is for sure my favorite. If you haven’t tried it, get it here!

**Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows…..no special recipe, no special kind. I just think there’s nothing as comforting on a cold winter night as a big ole mug of hot chocolate filled with marshmallows.

Oh, and of course….

….raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things….

Enjoy the show everyone!!!!! I really hope it is as good as I’m expecting it to be!

My Webtastic Black Friday

In past years, I admit I have been a Christmas present procrastinator. December just always seems to sneak up on me, and between holiday parties and decorating and baking and everything else, finding the {perfect} gifts have always been left until the very. last. minute. I spend the few days before Christmas running around from store to store, stressing out and sweating, trying to find exactly what I need. Online shopping is not an option when you procrastinate. Not even close, especially when you have to travel for the holidays.

Every year I tell myself that this year will be different. Well, GUESS WHAT FRIENDS!?! This year was different! I’ve been working on my list of gifts for people for the past few weeks. And on Black Friday, I was READY. I sat on the comfy chair at my in-laws starting late Thanksgiving night, logged into my email for all my promo codes, and of course Ebates so I could save even more, and started buying and saving like a mad woman. Like my favorite blogger always says, 

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So I shopped my little heart out, and got about 85% of my Christmas shopping done. You have no idea how huge this is, seriously! This means I will not be scooping up last minute gift cards, or running from store to store on December 23rd, so I am very, very pleased. And I scored some great deals {um, I mean, everything I bought was SUPER expensive, family and friends, so you better love them, wink, wink!} I even found the perfect wedding gift for a friend getting married in February. Can you say OVER-ACHIEVER?

For the first time in I don’t know how long, I am super excited to give my loved ones their gifts this Christmas. And I even picked out a few little things for myself. Including the Verizon Ellipsis 7 tablet, which I got for FREE. You heard that right….free. And it was even overnighted to me for Saturday delivery, also for FREE. I’ve been playing with it for a few days, and I absolutely love it. It has 4G and just goes right on my Verizon Share Everything plan, so I didn’t have to set up a new account or anything like that. It’s small enough to hold easily in my hand, but large enough to see the screen about a thousand times better than my phone. Have I mentioned I loved Black Friday this year? 

Best part of my Black Friday experience….I didn’t have to go out in the crowds or the cold. Now THAT’S my kind of deal! Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing??? 

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Mission Failed – NaBloPoMo Days 22-27

I gave up on NaBloPoMo last Friday after 21 days straight of blogging. I didn’t feel like writing, and I skipped day 22. Then, after I missed 1 day, I didn’t feel bad about missing another, and another, and another. Failing feels a little something like this:

But it’s okay. I was getting kind of burnt out and bored. And if I’m bored with what I’m writing, I’m pretty certain others are too. And that’s not good for anyone.

Last weekend was sports weekend. Friday after work we went to {one of my} favorite restaurants in Iowa City Wig and Pen. Saturday we tailgated in the sub-zero freezing temps {briefly} and then went to the Iowa/Michigan game and saw a great game! But wow those things wear you out! We came home, napped, and started watching Dexter on Netflix. It’s a pretty good show….can’t wait to keep going with it.

Now we are on the road to Fort Dodge to spend Thanksgiving with the Ivorys. Saturday Greg’s cousin {who was a groomsman in our wedding!} is getting married. So we’ve got a busy, family filled weekend ahead of us. I’m sure going to miss being with my parents and sister though!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!!

I’ve Been on Facebook for Almost 10 Years – NaBloPoMo Day 21

I realized today that I’ve been “on Facebook” since 2004. For those of you who are counting….that’s ten {10} years next year. {Let that sink in} Ten. Years. Ten years of friending and defriending people, poking, posting and wasting time on a website.

I know I joined in 2004 because I remember when I first learned about Facebook pretty specifically. It was Halloween weekend, and I was visiting friends in Boulder at CU since I had just transferred to Iowa that year. In my friend’s Delta Gamma sorority house, the girls were talking about Facebook and showing me how it worked. They had JUST gotten “access” at CU, and I remember being jealous and hoping that Iowa would have access soon. For those of you who don’t remember, that was when your college or university had to be authorized to use Facebook, and you were required to use a school email address to sign up. When I first learned about it, it was called “The Facebook” and the login page looked something like this:

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The Facebook….I bet these jerks got Facebook before we did at Iowa!

And the profiles looked like this:

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Hey there Mr. Zuckerberg! Who knew you’d become a friggin’ billionaire!

It obviously didn’t take long before it really took off, and soon my friends at private colleges, and then community colleges could join, and BAM–my “friend” list just kept growing. Between transferring schools, being a sorority, and knowing a lot of people in high school, I had hundreds of “friends” in no time. I remember having to try REALLY hard to get my roommates to sign up. At first they weren’t interested…..then they gave in and we all became obsessed.  

Back in 2004/2005, the majority of what my friends posted was about bar crawls, finals, sorority rush, or part time jobs. Back then I was still using disposable cameras, so I’d have to get the CD-ROM disk add-on when I developed my camera at a drug store so I could post them on Facebook. There weren’t ads, or “suggested pages” or parents/grandparents/employers to worry about seeing your stuff. At one point I was even “married” to my best friend. For like two years. We thought we were hilarious…and even though we’re both married now {for real, to men}….the nickname “wifey” has stuck.

But Facebook evolved…..people complained when the site got it’s first “face lift.” People vowed to quit! Strike! PROTEST! But they didn’t. Then they opened the flood gates, and took away the college student requirement, and READY OR NOT HERE CAME THE REST OF THE WORLD.

Young, Old, Medium aged…..Facebook, obviously, is for everyone now. Around the country, around the world, people know Facebook. And people will post anything and everything on Facebook. These days, if I go a week without seeing wedding pictures, a proposal, or a pregnancy announcement I start to think my newsfeed is broken. And don’t even get me started on the amount of baby pictures that are posted on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong. I love babies. And I love staying caught up with my family and friends near and far. But there comes a point when the over-sharing can get to be too much.

I mean, It’s been 10 years next year. That’s for sure the longest relationship I’ve ever been in. And every once in awhile, I start to think it’s time to move on. Last week, someone at work wanted to add me to his Facebook friends. He searched my name while I nervously stood behind him, hoping my privacy settings would hold up and keep me anonymous. It worked, and he couldn’t find me. Bullet Dodged. 

I’m not cancelling my account yet {heck, maybe I never will}, but it sure crosses my mind from time to time…..

Are you sick of Facebook and over-sharing? Or am I the only one who gets tired of it?