I used to be really into reading Martha Stewart Living. Once, when I was in high school, I remember making a receipe from the magazine – a strawberry cake – for family friends whose dog had just died. After all, nothing says comfort like cake, right? I scooped up the issue of Martha and went to the store to pick up ingredients. $50 later and after tracking two grocery store employees to find out what creme fraiche was, I came away with a few very valuable lessons.
1. Martha is too smart for me.
2. I like cooking with ingredients that I’m familiar with and know how to pronounce.
3. No cake (or any other baking endeavor) is worth $50.
Then, I discovered Real Simple. I find that for the most part, this magazine lives up to it’s name and it’s much more my speed. But to this day, if I pick up a Martha Stewart Living, I always head to one particular part of the magazine…the “Good Things” section. I still love that section, even if I have benched Martha from participating in my kitchen adventures (after all, I already have a handicap…).
This blog post is my “good things” list. However, being of a somewhat competitive nature, I’ve entitled this post “great things”. Take that, Martha! Ahem. Moving on.
1. I love my family. Through the ups and downs of life, I know we’re there for each other and that comes even more into focus around the holiday season. Even if my Mom does forego our homemade-with-love construction paper ornaments for a hotel tree look with matching bulbs and ribbon wrapped around the girth of the tree. 🙂 Also, Mom, I think it’s time we give a less…shall we say…symetrical tree a home this year. Let’s get one that would really make Charlie Brown proud. Whaddya say?
2. My church is AWESOME. ‘Nough said.
3. I’m so blessed to work where I do. I love my job. I mean I really love it and would probably come to work even if I made a million bajillion dollars playing the lotto (Don’t worry, Mom. I’m not playing the lotto). If that were the case, though, you can bet that I’d be better dressed. And accessorized. And I’d probably be the most popular girl in the wholllle office.
4. Living where I do, it’s fun to have access to a bigger city and all the events that it offers. While American Idol tour chose not to travel through Colorado (I’m not bitter…I’m just sayin’), I did get to see Wicked and a Casting Crowns/Matt Redman concert this year. Man, I loved Wicked. And if I’ve read one blog post about Wicked I’ve read them all…and was fully prepared to love the show based on all the recommendations from friends. But it really did capture me – the story was clever, the performances were amazing, the costumes and sets were dazzling, and the music was fun with just a dash of wit. The only thing I would have changed would be to have better seats!
The Casting Crowns/Matt Redman concert was lovely, too. I mean, it did creep me out a little bit to be in such a big crowd of people right at the start of the flu season and H1N1 debacle, but I was able to mostly tune out the coughs that I heard in the auditorium and listen to Mark Hall and his group lay out what living the Christian life should really look like…in song form. Plus, the company of my roommate Liz was highly enjoyable. Now, if I would have only had a mask, I would have been able to fully enjoy everything. 🙂
5. Fantasy football season came around at the end of summer and for the first time ever in the years that I’ve been playing, I set up my own league. Let me tell you, it’s hard to keep the power of being commissioner from going to your head in the beginning…I set up the rules how I wanted them and phoned lots of friends and family (the family turned me down flat, but I’m not holding it against them too much :)) to participate. It’s been a fun season with a fair amount of winning, but it’s not over ’til it’s over. Or someone sings. Or something.
6. Easily the best American Idol season happened this year. And it’s been a wee bit of torture to wait for the season champ Kris Allen’s CD to drop. Now I have it. In my possesion. Now that’s a great thing. Don’t even get me started!
7. If last last weekend was a chapter in my life story the chapter title would be “Movie Weekend”. I took a random day off of work (I have to use or lose the vacay days, people!) last Friday and took in New Moon with my friends Katie and Stephanie. In my humble (but always true) opinion this movie was 10x better than Twilight and most of that was oweing to Taylor Lautner’s character, Jacob Black. Who knew that Kristen Stewart knew how to smile?
On Friday night, I went to see The Blind Side with my roommate Liz and Johanna and Tim. I know what you’re thinking – Sandra Bullock with blonde hair? But stick with me. I cannot even tell you how great this movie is. It’s a touching story of Michael Oher, a high school student with a bad home life and bleak looking future, and the family that took him in. The movie is so well done – not cheesy, just the right amount of emotion and plenty of laughs throughout. Other than the story in general, the best part of this movie was this kid. He was hilarious as SJ (Shawn, Jr.).
On Saturday, Liz and our friend Ashley hosted a “Jane Austen-a-thon” at our house. We watched Jane Austen movies that I’d never seen…Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion…and threw in Sense and Sensibility just for fun. It was super fun and times of laughter with friends. Plus, the snacks didn’t hurt anything.
8. Etsy.com. Apparently it’s been around for a while but this year my friend Erin introduced me to the site through her blog and I’ll never be the same. I’m not even sure how to really explain it, but I like to call it a website where Anthropologie meets Ebay. It’s great fun to browse the site and I’ve had good success with ordering from there, as well. Erin recently opened her own shop. You should check it out if you’ve a mind to get a totally unique Christmas gift for someone on your list.
9. I found it. The bedspread that I never knew I always wanted. Now, if only I could come up with $500 that I didn’t need to spend on my college loans I’d be home free. Sniff.
10. And of course, football season is a great thing, too. If there’s one thing I love it’s bone crunching action interrupted intermittenly by awesome commercials and ending with interviews from players and coaches that bascially state the obvious.
Reporter – “Hey (insert name of sports player here), why do you think your team couldn’t pull this win out?”
Coach – “We have got to go out and execute to win the game. We have got to play better than we did tonight. If not, we don’t have a chance to do anything.”
Me – Oh, really? SO glad you cleared that up for me.
And right now? I’m sitting in my blue recliner thankful that I have warm slippers for my feet and the option of hot tea right upstairs. Come to think of it, I really could use some hot tea…