Sunday, December 30, 2012

Out with the Old, in with the New

In reviewing my bloggy from 2012, I have discovered a travesty.
No resolutions.
I was looking through the January posts last year, and I think in a fit of  "I'm good enough just as I am" type of self esteem exercise, I decided to forgo resolutions, and instead just work on some small things bit bit bit, sans the stress of public "I pledge to" promises.
Which is fine.
But....resolutions are fun.  I've failed at them, no doubt about it (evidence of one year, when I decided to stop cursing.  At a party.  Playing drinking games.  Yep.  That one lasted 7 minutes.  Oops).
I've also succeeded with them-using them as a kick in the pants to get to racing weight, get organized, and save x amount of dollars in x amount of months.
The road goes both ways.
2012 was a decent year-definitely full of it's ups and downs, twists and turns.  But it was sort of a year of transition for me.  Pulling the bike in from 2011 and just hangin out in T2 until I can go for a run.  And that's fine.  I think we all need some down years.  But I'm ready for some action in 2013, and with that in mind, it's time to be thoughtful about my plans.
No weight loss resolutions.  No PR resolutions.  And for the love of all that is good, no swearing resolutions (c'mon, why invite failure?).
Rather than focusing on "x" on the scale, "x:xx" on the time clock, or how I can stop acting like a sailor in mixed company, I've decided to go more global with my resolutions this year.
Here's to 2013 Goals:

1.  Enjoy being active.  Whether it's racing, a long swim, or a trail run, I'm going to just enjoy the process of what my body can do this year.  If I want to do a 5k because it sounds fun, I'm going for it.  If I've done a certain race for the last 6 years and I just don't feel like it, I'm not going to force myself.  Whether I PR or not, the races I have enjoyed the most have been the ones that I just can't wait for the starting gun to fire. Time to get back to the good ole kid version of triathlon (and running) - swim with my buddies, pedal around town, and run like a little kid playing tag.  Yeah!

2.  Stop and Smell the Flowers.  I'm a busy person.  I tend to make lists, check them off, and always have to be "doing" something to feel validated.  (Okay, I'm I'm not busy.  I'm type A. I understand and accept that).  This year, I resolve to be less scheduled.  To plan things, but be okay if the field of wildflowers looks just so pretty that I have to get out of the car and just enjoy the sunshine for 10 unscheduled minutes.  I truly believe that life happens when you're busy planning something else, and the minute beauty in something that is "meaningless" is really what it's all about.  Sign me up. 
3. To Play.  All Work and no play....much like #2, I tend to
consider a day a success only if I've "done" a certain number of things.  The workout must be done (and I love it, but it's still something to do).  The house cleaned.  Errands run.  Something off the bigger checklist accomplished.  Etc, etc etc.  Even blogging can make it to the "to do list" which really defeats the purpose of a balance blog!  Well, I don't plan to stop the list making, but I do plan to consider "playtime" functional.  A nice hike.  Making snow angels.  Coffee or shopping with a friend.  Making cookies.  Playing Dance Party on the Wii.  All fun activities.  All worth it....much more so than a clean kitchen (unless we're having company.  Then, I must clean! :-P)  So, more playing.  Less " have to do's".  I believe that it all balances out in the end, and more laughter and less "accomplishment" (word used loosely) is where it's at.
 4. To spend lots of time with the ones I love.  Self Explanatory.  I see my relatives way too infrequently...same with friends.  Phones, texting and facebook are great, but they're no substitute for catching up in person and spending time together.  Why wait for a holiday or a weekend?  Let's go running on a Tuesday or get some sandwiches on a Monday-life's too short.
 5.  To Relax....and soak in life.  To stop stressing out so much.  Make time for yoga, journaling, and other reflection time in my life.  It doesn't take much, but is so helpful in hustle bustle of everyday life. 

Well, I think that should keep me happy, busy, safe and healthy for 2013.  What's on your list?

Friday, December 28, 2012


I'm starting to feel human again.  With the hubbub of a new grant at work, Thanksgiving, a few big family events, and Christmas....the last 3 months have been....alot to handle.
Mostly good stress.
But still, stress.
Don't get me wrong.  I love the holidays as much as anyone-they're fun, you get to see people you haven't in awhile, and the little kid comes out in all of us.
But they are busy.  With cooking.  and baking.  and shopping. and get togethers. and prep work.  and clean up.
Worth it?  Totally.  But after awhile, the world really seems to get to be a bit much for this introvert.
I know we've had this discussion before, but I'm a natural introvert (so is the huz-which can be great, or super scary, depending on how you look at it!).  We love being around people and doing things.  But we both derive our strength from within.  Coincidence that endurance training is hours spent alone with ones thoughts?  Nope!
The holidays were great.  Probably the best ones yet.  But on December 26th, all this little introvert wanted to do was crawl into the safety of her own home and spend some time.
Cleaning.  Running.  Organizing.  reading.  Tackling that monster to do list.
Alone, alone alone.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I've had alot of alone time in the past two days.  And alot of sleep.  And I may have even read a few books that I got for Christmas already.
It's my reset.  My rejuvenation.  Part 1.
Some of that rejuvenation included a few too many leftover Christmas cookies and yummy sauce and meatballs.
And I'm okay with that.
Time for reset part 2.  No dieting, but a break from the sugary, salty, heavy stuff.  More substance, less fluff.  So when I met a friend for lunch, I ordered sensibly- a nice sirloin and double veggies (I'm borderline anemic, so a good steak is key every so often).

It was delicious.  And so was the afternoon 8 mile run in the beautiful winter snow.  (I keep forgetting I'm running a half marathon in 3 weeks....for fun, not time, right? :-))  That's reset, part 2.  Good, healthy food.  Reconnection with some friends I haven't seen in awhile.  And goodness to my body.
And now, with my belly full, workout done, fresh groceries in the fridge, and blog post done, it's time for some reconnection with my other half.
Balance.  And reset.  A great way to enter into 2013, if you ask me.  Three more days left in the are you going to end 2012?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Merry Merry

Well, another Christmas season has come and gone.  And like all the others before it, we spent days...weeks...months preppping.....all for about 30 hours :-)  Still a good time!

How was your holiday?  I can say without a doubt that this season has been the best ever.  We had a wonderful time prepping for the holiday, making cookies, shopping, visiting, and celebrating.  Most of all...we enjoyed each other.  And of course, Santa came!

Presents for her:  A flat Iron, Ocala Registration, footie PJs! Ans new kicks!
Presents for him:  A tie, PJs, and a new kindle!
Grown Up necessities-Pots and Pans!  (more recipes in 2013!)

 A feast was provided-the star of the show: Italian Pasta sauce, homemade meatballs and braciole!  Served with salad, homemade bread, and yummy vino!

 Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
And now, after 3 days of indulgences, it's time for a reset.  More fruits and veggies, less cookies.  More running, less classical Christmas movies on the couch.  And time to prep some goals for 2013-in my opinion, it's gonna be the best year ever!

How was your holiday?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pierogi Princesses

The dough is made....pierogies filled....
Teamwork = Pierogi Princesses!
Glaser Approved.
 Now, time to finish wrapping....the big day is almost here!!
Tomorrow and Tuesday will be filled with multiple families, laughter, love, food and gifts.  A very Merry Christmas to you and your family from Greg and I!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cookie Run

It's that time of year again!  COOKIE TIME!  Traditionally, I take off the last Friday (or work day) before the holiday and spend it in my kitchen, covered in flour.  This year....was no exception.
7 kinds of cookies:
1.  Eggnog Wreaths
2.  Cranberry Biscotti
3.  Oatmeal Banana
4.  Gingerbread Men (and Women)
5.  Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints
6.  Cinnamon Swirl Cookies
7.  Almond Crescents.

21 dozen cookies.  NO batter tasting (go me!)  5 hours of Christmas Carols.  And  a nice 6 mile run while waiting for batches to cool and others to go in the oven. 

Little Ginger people waiting to be baked....
 Biscotti (recipe soon!), Banana Oat cookies
 Wreaths, Cinnamon Swirls, Peanut Butters waiting for Jelly....

 Almond Crescents waiting for their sugar bath (Uncle Alan's cookies!)

Frosted and Drying :-)
I know, I know, why spend 5 hours in a kitchen making hundreds of cookies?  Well, it's fun.  And relaxing.  And holiday spirit inducing.  And really, when it comes down to it, there's no better homemade gift than a plate of yummy, festive cookies.

Have you baked this year?  What's your favorite cookie?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Last Supper

Well, the good news is, I'm on vacation until January 2.  And Christmas is 5 days away!
The bad news?  It doesn't matter much.
Why not?
Well, didn't you hear?  The world is ending tomorrow! Unless you live....well, you'd even know this if you lived under a rock...according to the Mayan calendar, the world is ending tomorrow.  Now does tomorrow mean at 12:01a.m?  Or 11:59 p.m?  I'm not certain.  But hey, if there's less than 27 hours left for humanity, it's time for some serious action.
Maybe you want to empty your bank account?  Eat your weight in chocolate?  Tell the biggest pain in the a$$ in your lief to f&^%ck off?  All possibilities.
But even though we all know (well, okay, are 99.9% sure) that the Mayans are full of horse hockey, it doesn't hurt to think about what you would do if you had one day left.  Or 3 hours.  Or somewhere in the middle.
What would you do?  See?  Hug?  Experience?  Eat? 
Interesting questions.
I don't know for sure, but because on can never tell for sure when its the day before D day....I did a few of those things.
I went for a long swim. 
I did some yoga.
I hugged and smooched my honey.
I talked to my best friend. (well, one of them!)
I snuggled with my cat.
I called some family members.
I took a nice long soak with Dr. Teal (oh BEHAVE)
I ate Chinese food (terriyaki chicken and edamame....yum yum yum)
I watched the Grinch.
I painted my toes Christmassy red.

And now I'm going to have some ice cream.  And read a real live book (cause the kindle is great....but books are better) while toasting in front of the fire.

It's all simple.  But much appreciated.  And that's what life is-all about the small, important stuff.  So hug someone today.  Call a friend you haven't talked to in awhile.  Because it's almost Christmas.  And it's a wonderful time of year.  And who the hell knows how intelligent those Mayans really were.  Why take a chance? :-)  So what are you doing tonight? hat would you do if you KNEW it was your last day on earth?

(Tongue in cheek, people.  I know the world will not end tomorrow-but sometimes we live as if we have forever.  And we don't)

See you tomorrow....maybe :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Correct Ratio

As I was driving into work on this rainy Tuesday, I noted a few things...
1.  Rain sucks.  Where's the snow?
2.  People are even bigger idiot drivers when it's matter what kind.  I shudder for January.
3.  If I have to be stuck in 10 mile an hour traffic on the freeway, at least the radio is entertaining.

I vacillate in my morning radio choice-sometimes it's oldies, sometimes alternative, sometimes pop.  One of the morning shows, Elvis Durand, does a hilarious talk show every morning.  Its raunchy, wrong, and completely ridiculous, but it makes me laugh.
Anyways.  This morning, they were discussing onomatopoeia, or when words are spelled the way they sound (thwack and such).  And one of the hosts started talking about the word moist.  Which, of course, is not an onomatopoeia, but is a word that evokes a strong reaction to...well, apparently not just me.  See, I hate the word moist.  It sounds gross.  It sounds....squishy.  Yuck.  Well, apparently I'm not alone, as they devoted 20 minutes to the debate over the word "moist", and how it should be applied in the real world. 
My opposition to this word is pretty well documented.  But what can you use instead of "moist"?  Well, one of my friends came up with the long winded, but sufficient answer.  It is "the satisfactory ratio of wet to dry".  Yeah, I'll take an extra 10 seconds to spit that out. 
And so, 45 minutes later, I was at my desk, eating breakfast - my baking creation from last night (still using leftover cranberries).  They were divine.  And...the perfect ratio, I must say!
Cranberry  Breakfast Muffins
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
.5 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp orange zest

In a large bowl, mix sugar, egg, applesauce, and oats.  Sift in flour, baking power, salt.  Fold in orange zest and cranberries.  In a mini muffin pan (makes 30) or a large muffin pan (makes 12) add batter until 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes (minis) or 28-30 minutes (full sized) or until golden brown.  Allow to cool and store for a weeks worth of yummy on the go breakfasts.

Divine with a cup of Earl Grey this morning.  Chewy, tart, sweet, and....moist.

Fine.  I said it.  There is no other word :-)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Highs and Lows

Another weekend gone, another work week to start tomorrow (yeah, I'm a lucky girl...I had some time left in my vacation bank, so I took off the last few Monday's of the year!)  3 days more work for 2012.  Yay!  With that was one roller coaster of a weekend.  I've managed to get myself sick (which I am HOPING will pass within the next few days!) so what was on deck to be a 
 weekend of fun.  Don't get me was still fun!  Just modified fun, along with a total couch day!  I had my camera for the Friday night cookie making....
 The chefs.
 Gettin crazy with the cheez whiz cookie cutters
Finished products!

I claim lame blogger status as for photos of the rest of the weekend-Saturday night we had a fabulous dinner at the country club courtesy of Greg's company, and Sunday was dinner with Dad G. and Lois.  Awesome time both days, and a nice bit of family catch up!
Sunday night we finished up our Christmas shopping (bless the stores on a Sunday night!) and today.....well, this has been the highlight of my day:
 Pretty sad, huh?  I'm a weirdo when I get sick...I can't tolerate oats, but eggs are good?  Weird.  It's been a day of jammies, Price is Right, Soaps, and herbal tea.  I'm a wild one.

How was your weekend?  Ready for the big week ahead?  (Do I mean Christmas?  Armageddon? Who knows :-P)  Have a wonderful night!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Paging Betty Crocker

Well, today is the day.
D Day.
Nah, that's not right.
It's C day!  C is for cookie, it's good enough for me....yeah, you know the song.  Today is the kick off of Holiday Baking Season 2012!  Usually I'll make about 6 or 7 different kinds of cookies (Almond Crescents, Sugar Cookies, Gingerbread people, pizelles...and a couple of new ones!).  This year I think I'll probably scale back and do maybe 4 different kinds-still enough to make some pretty Christmas presents and party gifts, but not so many that we will be eating them until next March!
Savvy?  Savvy.
ON deck for today:  Sugar Cookies!!  These are really my favorites to make-they are tasty, you can make all different kinds of shapes and sizes, plus they're fun to decorate.
We used to make these all the time when I was a kid-my decorating skills have not improved much, but it's still a good time!

 So what are your weekend plans?  Obviously, we are cookie making tonight (and hopefully not having a dinner of raw dough!).  Tomorrow is Greg's company's Christmas party, which is at the super swanky Irondequoit Country Club (incidentally, which is in Fairport=no sense).  We'll get dressed up and have a fine dinner, dessert and drinks via the company.  Not too shabby of an evening.
On Sunday, we're going to meet up with Greg's Dad and Lois, his main squeeze for dinner (to celebrate an important birthday!) and get some Christmas shopping done. 
Whew, full weekend!  I'm excited to get started, but also looking forward to getting some rest in there somewhere, too!

What does your weekend look like?  Are you making cookies?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mister Grinch

You're a mean one....MISTER GRINCH!  Well, I could go on and on, but I won't bore you to death :-) -(Incidentally and ridiculously, I know all the words to that damn kids movie.  I'm a live wire, I know!

So how's your week going?  It's been a good one here-yesterday we had our company Christmas party!  It's not a snazzy doing (what do you expect from a non profit with 500 people) but it works-every year, we do a full buffet breakfast at the Hyatt and have a company recognition meeting-it's a nice little 2 hour to do-some time to see familiar faces, catch up, and hear what the agency has on tap for 2013.
Since we're non profit, there aren't really such a thing as "Christmas Bonuses", but we did have a holiday spirit contest!
Enter my spirit(less?) getup:
Hey, I never said I was serious at work, just serious about what I do there :-)
PJ pants and slippers for a meeting?  I can do that!
Needless to say, I felt like an idiot, but won a  gift card, so hey, I'll take it.  Who says you have to be a grown up at Christmas?  (Or ever?)  Oh yeah, and the outfit may or may not have included me dancing onstage in front of the entire agency singing part of the Grinch song....
No shame, so not sorry.
Moving on.
Humming along in the shopping department....I finished up most of my shopping (just stocking stuffers left!) so I settled in to do a little wrapping last night!  The presents are all settled under the tree, just waiting to be unwrapped!  So festive.  If there's anything that is prettier than a package of brightly wrapped gifts under a decorated tree, I don't know about it :-)  (Well, you know what I mean!)
How is your shopping going?  Almost there?

And in completely non holiday related news, I got an awesome email to kick start my day.  Turns out I qualified for Nationals next Summer for Olympic Triathlon by winning my age group in a race this year!  Sweet!  Nationals is in Wisconsin on August 10th-not sure if I'm doing it yet, but it's cool to qualify :-)

And with that, I'm out for the night.  How was your day?  And your holiday prep?  Tomorrow = cookie making!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Moving Up in the World (sorta)

Well, its the start of another week (yep, a bit late on that).  4 days left till the weekend, 7 days of work till I'm off for Christmas (not that I'm counting).  It's going to be another firecracker, with a bunch of stuff to tie up before the end of the year, a new person to train, new project start up stuff, and...oh yeah....unpacking boxes!  I told you about it a bit last week, but our department moved offices on Friday, which has been oh so much fun in the transition of jobs, programs, new staff, and the holidays.  Hey, evolve or quit, right?
 While it was a bit sad to move out of my old office (hey, after 6 years, you get used to living somewhere 9-5!)'s exciting to have a new place to call home.  Shot of my old office:
It's a bad picture-you can see my office in the background, but it's mostly my lame -o 2011 Halloween costume (I was a smarty pants...get it??).  Anyhow, that was my 40 hour a week home from February 2007 until....Friday.  And with the move we got some good....better climate control, access to finance, my boss's boss, IT, and HR....a huge window for me!.....
But there was also some sad.  our old office were cosier.  More laid back.  We lost half of the people that we sat next to (they moved to the 1st floor and we moved to the 3rd floor).  And it sucks, because those were the guys I hung out with!  Oh well, I suppose I can work a little more at work.  I had the best office was on the corner, everyone passed by, and everyone stopped to say hello.
My new office?  It's prettier.  I have a nice meeting table.  My window is just screaming for a window cushion so I can curl up and read...ahem, REPORTS....and I don't even need a light, the window lets in so much natural light.  Which is awesome.  Check it out!

But it's kinda lonely.  And further from the gym.  And parking.  And the elevator sucks.
But hey, it's work.  If it was play, they wouldn't pay me to do it, right?
You got it.  Just will take some getting used to, and if you can't roll with the're kinda screwed in this world, right?
Tell me about your office-do you have your own?  (I realize how fortunate I am to have my own-I share with my boss, but he's only here 2 days a month!)  Have you gotten comfortable where you "live" your 40 hours a week?  Could you handle a change?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Not a quitter

Well, the tickets are bought, trip booked, and it's official.  We're going to Daytona Beach in January!  We'll be gone for 5 days, soaking in the rays, playing in a little football championship (Greg), and running a little race (me).
Yup, Santa brought me an early Christmas gift this year-I had my sights set on a winter race- and was between Ocala and Myrtle Beach.  I settled in Ocala for a few reasons...
1.  The football game is in Daytona Beach, Fl. on January 19th.  The race is in Ocala....40 miles away.  The next day.
2.  It's a small race-500 people for the half, 200 for the full, and 200 for the 5k.
3.  It was cheap!
4.  Weather in Ocala in January - upper 60s to 70.  Perfect.

So we booked a trip package through travelocity....flight, rental car, and 5 nights in a hotel on the ocean, for under $900.  Sweet.  Plus I got back $20 for going though Ebates!  Can't be beat for a mid winter get away.

I just have one confession to make.  I didn't sign up for the full :-(  I was ready, raring to go a few weeks ago-ready to tackle those 15-20 milers.  Then life happened.  Work got crazy, the holidays are upon us, and my last double digit run was 3 weeks ago.  Can I pull a marathon out of you know where?  Probably.  But realistically, I really would rather enjoy the holiday season and not worry about 3 hour runs on my agenda on weekends with parties....cookie making...and the holidays!  Rather, a nice 10-13 miler works well for me.  You can sneak in a 90 minute run before holiday merriment without being a mess all day, and I won't lie...20-22 milers sideline me.
Meh.  Best laid plans.
I'm not impressed with backing down, but I have enough respect for 26.2 not to half ass it.  So on January, 20 2012....I'll still be running through horse country in Ocala.  But it will be 13.1 instead of 26.2.   Maybe later on next year I will attempt 26.2-but to be honest, my body is still feeling like a little bit of extra rest rather than "ultra" mode right now.  And I'm going to respect that.

So there ya go.  5 weeks till race day.  And once again, a nice casual training plan.  2-3 runs a week, and I got this.  I adore 26.2, bu 13.1 is so much easier to fit into a sane life!

BCP updates
Burpees:  400
Crunches:  575
Pushups:  550

Chippin' away....23 days left!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Rockin' Around (the Christmas Tree)

Whew, what a week!  I've never been gladder to see Friday in my life-not because of anything exciting for the next 48 hours, but for sleep!!  It's been another slightly crazy one round our parts....moving our offices at work (long days with no breaks), a car accident (we're fine, just more phone calls and crap to get the car fixed-someone hit us on the freeway....yeah, in the brand new car!  Lame), and a few later than normal evenings....and I'm spent.  Seriously, how did I ever function in my early twenties with 3 jobs?  Stick a fork in me.  I'm done.  Must be getting old :-P
Not that I'm complaining about those late nights....especially on Wednesday.  As I said in my last post, "Santa" Uncle Alan bought us a sweet Christmas gift this year-tickets to see the Transsiberian Orchestra!  We've never been, it was supposed to be awesome, and experiences are hands down better than "stuff", so we were pretty darn excited to check it out.
And it did not disappoint.
The show was broken up into two different parts-part 1 was "The Lost Christmas"-a Christmas story narrated by a very talented speaker/singer, punctuated with music from the orchestra and dancing.  The story was pretty neat, the singers talented, but the TSO....was...PHENOMENAL.  Lights, energy, loud, amazing was transformative.  I would give the first half of the show a solid 9/10.

After about an hour and a half, the Christmas story concluded, and they broke for about 10 minutes to make introductions and talk about their show.  Then....the music REALLY started.
Smoke.  Fire.  Guitar and VIOLIN riffs.  Lights. Energy.

 Amazing.  For the next hour, I sat in awe as I watched them perform-this was the best show ever!  I don't know how 3 guitars, a violin, and drums (okay, and a backup group) can possibly make so much noise....but amazing, beautiful and catchy noise (yeah, yeah, music!)
 The visuals were entrancing, the sound phenomenal, the crowd wild.  And I didn't want it to end.  But as TSO wrapped up with their signature number, I realized why people are willing to spend 3 hours on a Wednesday night and drag their tired butts to work the next morning.  It is THAT awesome. 

So thank you, Uncle Santa, for the best Christmas gift!  We had an amazing time!
Have you ever seen TSO?  What did you think?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Tradition!  TRADITION.  While I bust out the fiddlers on the roof, settle in and let's talk about tradition.
Specifically, Christmas tradition.  With less than three weeks to go until Christmas, our little family has been busting out the holiday cheer-both with our yearly traditions, and some new fun things to boot!

What makes Christmas at casa de glaser?  Check it out!

1.  The Mouse Calendar.  I've had this calendar since I was a little kid, and this is the epitome of "It's finally that time of year!!" when the mouse came out.  We would move the mouse every day, and watch the dates inch closer and closer to the big C day.  25 years later....we still move the mouse.  Greg gets the even days, I get the odd days.  Compromise.

2.  The Big Santa - Likewise, Greg has a family tradition with "Big Santa".  A light up 4 foot tall Santa from the '50's, he's made an appearance every Christmas....first at Greg's grandparent's, now at our house.  Someday, our kids will pass him along!

3.  Pierogi Making Time! Every Christmas Eve, we do a traditional Polish meal with tilapia, coleslaw, carrots, mushroom soup, and more more more cookies!  And, of course, the best part.  Homemade pierogies.  Nom nom nom.  For the last few years, I have gone to my Cousin Karen's House (the Pierogi guru) to make them for the family.  We drink wine, chat, and make about 5 dozen pierogis out of homemade dough, fresh cheese, and spices.  It's a wonderful afternoon, fraught with laughter and jokes, and it sets the stage for the Christmas Eve party that I've loved since I was a kid.

4.  Midnight Mass- I'm not the most spiritual person, but there is something so beautiful and perfect about midnight mass.  We attend St. Stanilaus Kostka church in the city, which does mass in both Polish and English.  They have  over 40 evergreen trees, over one hundred poinsettia's, a life sized creche, and enough incense to choke a mule.  The carols are beautiful, and everyone is dressed in their Christmas best.  I also get to spend time with my uncle, who is the most amazing person that I know.  All in all, it is a wonderful way to start Christmas. 

5.  Christmas Stockings - Yes, every year Santa is good to me and brings me my "toys".  And even though I am 30, I still like ripping through wrapping paper like I am 6 years old.  But after dinner...that's when the magic happens.  The magic of the stocking.  Full of lip glosses, candy, fruit, earrings, gels, and other goodies, it is without a doubt my favorite part of the gift aspect of Christmas!

6.  Italian Sauce- Some families do turkey.  Some do ham.  Others, roast beast beef.  We do pasta and sauce.  Every year, my mom makes a yummy meat sauce full of beef and chicken, along with homemade meatballs, braciole, and Italian sausage.  I'm no carnivore, but it is delish!

These staples, along with getting the tree, The Grinch (yes, I know all the words to the cartoon and recite them every year.  No, I will not change), and cookie making....are our staples of Christmas.  This year, we've added in a few events-The Nutcracker....and tonight my uncle is taking us to see the Transiberian Orchestra (so excited!)

It's a time for family.  For being together.  And for holiday memories that come once a year.  And I love it.

What's on your holiday tradition list?  Any fun ones this year?

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Best Deal Yet

Subtitled - 'The Crazy thoughts of a super coupon geek". Yep, it's Monday again.  Formerly known as the beginning of another work week, now reborn as grocery shopping deal day!
Well.  That's not entirely true.  Monday was always my day to grocery shop.  But after 3 years of deal shopping with only 3 tiiinnnny cupboards to store all the sweet (food) deals I rocked, I've been severely crippled.  No more.  My wonderful husband head my (whiney, nagging) complaints, and decided to shop online this year not only for Christmas deals, but for some basement shelving units!  Sweet!  (I really didn't bug him that much.  Pinky swear).
Well, as always, he came through, and last week, 3 shiny new shelves were delivered to casa Glaser.  We put one together over the weekend, and I think I'm in heaven!  Check it out!

Hmmmm...well, aside from the drunk picture, you get the idea!
(Note that the stockpiling is commencing as of this bet that was less than $10 for all that food!) Sweet!  My rules:
1.  Only canned and jarred food can be basemented-soups, tomatoes, gravy, salad dressing, pasta sauce, veggies, fruit, etc.  Anything else ends up smelling like the basement.  Eww.
2.  I will limit my stockpile budget to $10 per week.  I bet in a few months I'll be ready for....well...the end of the world is in a few weeks, so this might be a bust.  But I'll give it the old college try!

Armed with excitement over my new space, I headed out to the grocery store.  After two transactions and $111 worth of product, I walked out only $41 lighter.  Sweet.  My best deal today?
 That would be for 2 bags of coffee, 2 pancake mixes, a box of cereal, bananas, pudding, and a bag of frozen fruit.
Transaction #1:  $94 down to $38, 10 coupons used, earned $.10 gas points.
Transaction #2:  $17.39 down to $3.26, 7 coupons used, earned $.10 gas points

7 grainberry products bought (2 boxes of cereal, 2 boxes of crackers, 2 pancake mixes and a box of oatmeal- all for $4.00  They also have a Mail in rebate WYB 3 products, you get one free, so Ill be sending away for 2 more free products - cost $.88 in stamps.

How can you go wrong?  Especially this month-with the gift buying and baking supplies I'll need in a few weeks, every penny counts!

Do you have any super couponing tips?  I'm getting pretty good at the grocery trips-still trying to work my magic in the drugstores!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Checkin' It Twice!

Yay!  It's finally December!  As you know, I am a huge fan of December-from Holiday music to snow (only in this month :-P), cookie making, present wrapping (and unwrapping!) and time with family.  I feel like such a kid every year, and I expect this year to be no different.
Today, the hubs and I decorated the tree, did some present wrapping, and a bit of shopping.  Tomorrow-outside lights.  And, of course, how could I was high time to send out my wish list to the bug guy :-P  What's on my "I've been good, PUH-lease?!?" list this year?  Check it out!

Christmas List 2012:

1.  Entry fee to Ocala Marathon - Yes, I know that some people would consider this a lame gift, but for us crazy runner types, it's not.  I know I want to race next month, so why not ask Santa for a wonderful (torturous?) experience?  Plus, ya get the shirt, too.  So that counts :-P
2.  Clothes:  Work pants, sweaters, under sweater shirts - I ask for these every year.  You always need a few clothes, even if your inner kid thinks it's boring.  Oh yeah, you bet I'll be glad to see some underwear, too....but only from the man I married :-P
3.  Boots - Also an every year-er.  Not a big fan of expensive boots, because I tend to beat them up, so "Santa" usually buys me the $25 black boots at Kohl's.  Hey, they last all year!!
4.  Running shoes (Asics 2170 or Brooks Ghost) - Another staple.  Goes on my list every year!  And considering the love affair that I am currently having with my Asics, if Santa can find a super sale, who am I to stop him??

5.  footie PJs - No judging.  Who wouldn't love a set of fleece footie PJs?  Who cares if they're made for toddlers?  The wise Footie pajama gods have decided t make these in adult sizes, and I want in.  Plus, Target sells them for $20.  HELLO!!
6.  pull up bar - Yeah, blame p90x.  I'm sick of having weak upper body strength.  Time to man...err....woman up!
7.  go mug - travel mug, whatever.  I'm on the road alot, and after a year or so, even the best mug has a crap coffee smell.  Need to replace it every few years, and it's time!
8.  gym bag - same deal.  When you go to the gym 5 days a week, your bag gets  Nothing fancy, a nice $20 Nike bag is all I need.

9.  Chi Flat Iron - Yes, this is completely frivolous.  But sometimes you gotta be a girl, dammit.  And my poor pony tailed thick hair wouldn't mind being fried styled once in awhile.  The fact that the good ones cost $80 blows my mind....worth it?  Or should I just get another pair of sneakers since Greg's stuck with me?  Discuss.

A bit ambitious, but I believe in giving Santa choices.  I never "expect" my list to be fulfilled, but unless you throw out some ideas....well....ugly sweater parties exits for a reason :-P  (crap, I asked for sweaters!!)

What's on your list this year?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday n weekend Humor

Screw the complaining and pondering of life....
it's just a day to laugh at the world!
Don't you agree?
Think this excuse might work??

And, not a holiday picture, but a nice swift kick in the pants, right??

Happy Friday!  Enjoy your weekend!