Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's!

Please be safe and have a great New Year's Eve!  I look forward to talking with you in 2009!!

Video Wednesday...Special New Year's Edition

In the spirit of New Year, I thought I would make my own list of Top 5 Videos of 2008. I put a lot of thought into this list over the past week and it certainly was not easy to narrow them down and even more difficult to list them in order. In fact, every hour I change my mind...but enough is enough.

I didn't choose videos on the mere fact of whether or not I like the song. The video had to have something artistic or catchy or profound about it...or it just had to make me laugh. Whatever the reason, I hope you like my list. Tell me, what is yours?

VH1 TV Shows Music Videos Celebrity Photos News & Gossip
#5 - Leona Lewis - Better in Time: I love how the video goes back and forth between the black and white film and the colored film with black and white. The vividness of color in short blasts seems to match the intensity of the lyrics. I think it is a beautiful video and made me like the song.

VH1 TV Shows Music Videos Celebrity Photos News & Gossip

#4 - Gnarls Barkley - Who's Gonna Save My Soul?: I get so grossed out every time I see this video, but I can not help but watch it every time it is on. It is so disturbing but at the same time, so truthful when it comes to breaking up. I am sure each of us have felt this way at least once in our life time. I think this video is definitely unique.

VH1 TV Shows Music Videos Celebrity Photos News & Gossip

#3- Radiohead- All I Need: When I saw this video, I was left speechless and made me cry for a moment. I happened to see it for the first time on Christmas night, after Parker opened so many presents (too many, to be truthful) and I instantly felt guilty. The thought of any child having their innocence taken from them, no matter the circumstances, just breaks my heart.

#2- The Ting Tings- Shut Up and Let Me Go- not only is this a catchy song from one of my favorite new bands, but the video is so cool and unique. I absolutely love how the scene changes from the little heart-shaped window they make with their hands. I also love the martial arts scene. I think it is awesome that they are fighting each other and Kate totally kicks Jules' butt in his little red jeans.

#1- Katy Perry - Hot & Cold - I had posted this video all ready for Video Wednesday, but I had to post it again as my number one choice for the year.  I don't like Katy and this video is in no way thought provoking or original, but it totally cracks me up!  The song is too catchy to not turn up the volume and dance along.  And come on, the Bridezillas are classic on their little bicycles with smeared mascara.  That is video making at it's best!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I Have Been Up To This Past Month...part 2

Over our Thanksgiving holiday break, my little family flew down to Sacramento, California to spend the holiday with Phillip's parents, Ray and Theresa. They live in a little town outside of Sacramento called Placerville. The weather was beautiful (as it always is in California) and it was great to spend some time with family and old friends. Of course, the main event was not the actual holiday, but rather the Grandparents spending time with Parker. This was their second time visiting with him since he has been born. Needless to say, I hardly got any time with him for a whole week. Parker ate up all of the attention though and absolutely loved it.

(Grandpa Ray and Parker. Grandma Theresa and Parker.)

I have never been one to get too excited about Thanksgiving. I feel like the day is wasted because it is all about one meal...big whoop. However, I do have one long time tradition...the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. I watch it every year (I just love the parade banter) with a platter of Pillsbury Orange Rolls and coffee. One year I actually got to see the parade in person while I was visiting Kelly in New York. I remember that it was very cold (this was before I lived in Minnesota, so I didn't know what cold could really mean.) and wet. It didn't really hit me that I was watching the parade until I saw the Big Bird float go by my face. At that time, I looked up at Kelly and he and I both had such silly grins on our faces. That Thanksgiving was my favorite by far.

(Parker and I watching the parade together. Parker fell asleep.)
Even though the week flew by pretty quickly, we managed to drive down to Sacramento to meet some of our old friends from the Bay area. One of the couples just had a sweet little baby girl a few months ago, so Phillip and I were very eager to meet the new addition, Sophie.
(The old gang out to dinner. Our waiter rocked! He was so patient with us and the kids. Of course, we left him a good tip.)

(Parker meeting Sophie for the first time with Nick. Shannon, Parker, Sophie and Nick.)
I think I might have to plan on an arranged marriage for Parker and Sophie. She was definitely a cutie!
We had a great time and miss all of you guys!

17 Random Things About Brandie

A girlfriend of mine tagged me with this list on Facebook. I thought her list was hysterical and wanted to share with you all my own list of 17 random things about me. If you haven't tagged me with your list on Facebook, why don't you email me or leave your 17 random things in the "comments" section. I would love to learn more about each and every one of you!

The Rules: Once you've been tagged you're supposed to write 17 random things about yourself. Then tag 17 people. Tag the person who sent this to you b/c I want to know more about you!

1. I used to eat cat food when I was a little girl.
2. I can't force myself to burp.
3. New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" is STILL my favorite song to dance to.
4. I insist that Taco Bell's Pepsi is the best soda drink around.
5. I have had red, blonde, and black hair...and I still like being a brunette the most.
6. I prefer eye-glasses over contacts.
7. I am currently obsessed with the Twilight book series.
8. My celebrity crush is Ewan McGregor...I especially love it when he sports the New Wave look with eye-liner .
9. I think the sexiest thing a man can wear is a pair of Converse sneakers.
10. I hate going out in public without my lipstick/gloss.
11. I took off my second pair of braces with a pair of plyers and a bottle of vodka.
12. I had 3 sets of braces before my teeth were finally perfect.
13. I am training for a marathon.
14. I thank God every day that I was blessed w/ my son, Parker.
15. Parker was named after my favorite indie actress Parker Posey. Love, Luv, LUV her!
16. No matter how hard I try, I can't get out of Target w/out spending at least $50.
17. I like being stressed out and get more done that way, but I still complain about it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What I Have Been Up To This Past Month...part 1

In the middle of December, Phillip and I hosted our Annual Christmas Dinner. I can't be certain, but I think this was our 5th or 6th dinner. It has become my favorite holiday tradition. Phillip and I invite 12 or so people over for dinner. This is nice for us since we are usually by ourselves for the actual Christmas Holiday since we do not have any family nearby. It seems silly for Phillip and I to make a big holiday dinner for just the two of us. I had a lot more decorations than what I am posting, but unfortunately, I did not realize that I only took half of the pictures. I must have gotten distracted at the last minute doing some sort of hostess duty.

I love this Santa Claus picture that I got from Pottery Barn. I knew that it was big, but I did not realize that it would be quite as big as it was. I had to move my big mirror and artwork around just to find a wall he would fit on.

One of my favorite decorations was this little display I made with a Bambi cake topper and a little white tree in the apothecary jar. I love using the apothecary jars for various seasonal displays...especially little cutie "still life" displays. I had this in the entryway next to my little Christmas Cd's Phillip and I make every year. I like to give them to our guests as party favors.

The pictures of the table don't really give the table dressing justice. The colors were aqua, mint and silver...they really did sparkle nicely. I can't wait for next then Phillip will have the family room completed and it will look so much more appealing.

Above is my YUMMY chocolate trifle dessert. I must say that I am quite proud of this. Not only did it look gorgeous, but it tasted delicious! I highly recommend this dessert if you want to make a big impact for a small effort. By the way, you don't need the trifle bowl. However, I think the proper bowl really does show off the dessert. I mean, just look at all of those yummy layers! I found the bowl at Crate and Barrel. It was much more difficult than I thought to find a proper trifle bowl.
I am sure you are all wondering about the pictures of my tree. Well, I am embarrassed to say that this year we did not get a tree. It was not my intention, but every time Phillip and I tried to go, either there was a snow storm going on or Parker was sick. Before we knew it, it was Christmas Eve. So I did something I never thought I would do...I bought an artificial Christmas Tree at the after Christmas sales. It is a gorgeous 8 foot Noble (the only real type of Christmas tree in my opinion). The needles really feel real at first touch. Never again will I be without a Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Video Wednesday - Iron & Wine, Boy with a Coin

As I promised, I will make up for missing out on so many Video Wednesday's this month. I mentioned earlier Iron & Wine, so I thought I would choose another one of their video's. I absolutely LOVE the flamenco dancing in this! It goes beautifully with the song which is interesting since flamenco dancing usually goes with much more "choppy" sounding Spanish guitar. What I love most about flamenco dancing is the fact that most of the time, the accomplished dancers and mature, full-figured women. You rarely see skinny ballerina or hip-hop types in their early 20's. Flamenco dancing is all about showing off the woman's curves and sensuality. If you have never seen flamenco dancing in person, I strongly recommend it. Years back, when I lived in Santa Fe, a friend of mine studied flamenco and she would give my friends and I private shows. She was amazing! You can not be a timid women and be great at have to have power and guts to show the passion that flamenco requires. I think that is why I love it so much. Maybe one day, I will be lucky enough to learn it myself...after my long list of other things I want to learn. (Sigh)

Video Wednesday - Iron & Wine; Flightless Bird, American Mouth

Some of you might not be too familiar with Iron & Wine. A few years back, I went through a MAJOR "coffee-house" music was all I listened to. Iron & Wine was one of my favorites and I listened to them all the time at work. I listened to them so much that I got sick of them and haven't listened to them again until just this week. I rediscovered them when I went to see the movie Twilight. At the final scene, this song played while Edward and Bella were dancing. It is one of those songs I instantly picked up on and obsess over - and the movie scene certainly helped the song to be more memorable. Unfortunately, I could not find a video for the song, so the video clip I have her is not too exciting. But regardless, I wanted to share this song with you. I think it is just so pretty, especially the CD version.

Happy Holidays! I have missed you all!

Hello everyone! I have missed you all! I am so sad that I missed blogging during this whole, very important, season. After our trip to California over Thanksgiving, our whole little family caught the nastiest cold and took FOREVER to get over it. In fact, Parker and I still have a bit of a cough that haunts us. Between that and trying to schedule the holiday season, I completely lost my footing. I had so many posts and ideas I wanted to share with you all. I suppose I will save them for you all next year. At least I will have plenty of time to work on them so I won't have any excuses for not posting.

What have we been up to (besides being sick)? Phillip and I threw our annual Christmas dinner. I will share photos soon with you. It went well and I was pleased that it came out decently even though we were all sick. We also went to Phillip's holiday work party. It is nice that his boss always tries to do something special for the R&D Team. All of the other holiday activities I had planned on I had to cancel. I was so disappointed, but I was just too sick. It was a struggle to just get the gifts purchased (I still have a ton of wrapping to do). I didn't even get my Christmas Cd's in the mail this year...the first time in 6 years! For all of you that are wondering what happened to them, I apologize. I did make them, I just didn't get to mailing them out. I will have to remember to send them out with next year's Cd's.

On a positive note, I was happily surprised that I heard most of you were wondering what happened to my posts. I didn't think anyone really checked this blog much. It was also nice to hear what specifically you all missed...I got a lot of requests for Video Wednesday to come back soon. Since I missed out on a whole month's worth, I will make it up to you this next month.

I will try to do better staying in touch. In the mean time, Happy Holidays to all of you! I wish I could share a yummy hot-chocolate and the season festivities with you all! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!