Merry Christmas!

Busy day here…We are cleaning and baking and getting everything ready for the family to arrive for Christmas Eve festivities, but I thought I would stop by the blog to say Merry Christmas!  I hope your pre-holiday preparations are going well and you and your family are filled with Christmas cheer.

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Happy Fourth!

Hope all of my American friends had a spectacular 4th of July! We kept it pretty low key early in the day and hung out at home with the kitties.

In the early afternoon, we went down to Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando for Fireworks At The Fountain, where it promptly started storming like crazy. Luckily, Tadd’s office has an awesome view of the lake, and they were kind enough to open for employees and their friends & family. Some friends of ours joined us too. Soon enough the storms passed, it got dark, and the fireworks went off beautifully!

Jacoby’s Halloween Doppleganger

When I got home from my trip, there was a package waiting for me from Yankee Candle.  I had seen this black cat tea light holder in the 2012 Halloween catalog and absolutely fell in love.  But it wasn’t in stock when I attended the Boney Bunch preview back at the beginning of August, and when I tried to order it online, it said it was out of stock.  A few weeks later, I checked the website again and it was available, so I snatched it up (along with a small jar candle in the Pumpkin Pie scent so I could use my $10 off $25 coupon…it’s my FAVORITE of all the pumpkiny Yankee Candle fragrances).

When I opened the candleholder, I was absolutely delighted with how much it reminded me of my Jacoby-kitty.  Don’t they look like they could be twins?

So happy with this purchase!  And even though I haven’t pulled out the rest of my Halloween & fall decor yet, this one is already on display.  I just adore it.  And so does Jacoby!

Happy 4th of July!

I have taken a little blog hiatus because we have had family in town for the week, but I will be back soon with a KILLER sangria recipe!  In the meantime, I hope all of my U.S. readers have a fantabulous Independence Day!

I know I posted this pic last year, but I am posting it again because I just love it…It’s Logan and Stella showing off their patriotism!

Have a safe, fun, and happy holiday!

 

Instagram Link Party: Cats!

It has been awhile since I talked about my furkids.  Thought I would share some pics.

Logan just turned 8.  He’s the “old man” of our family.  He knows he’s handsome, and is our most easygoing (read: too lazy to care) cat.  He is also enormous (22 lbs!).

Stella is 2, and is the scrawny runt.  She is sweet and snuggly, and is often terrorized by her brothers (poor thing!).  She enjoys sitting on Tadd’s shoulder like a parrot.  She also loves going out on the screened porch to watch birds and butterflies fly around.

Jacoby is the baby.  You might remember when we rescued him from a Publix parking lot back in July.  He is almost 11 months old now!   He is rambunctious, but sweet and happy all the time.  He also has the shiniest fur I have ever seen.  We call him “sparkle-cat”!

He has come a long way from this!:

 

 

Thoughts about my first sewing project…

So I finished my first sewing project yesterday.  A couple of simple throw pillows.  I adore the fabric I chose, but my skills thus far leave a lot to be desired.  Still, it’s my first project, so I am obviously not going to get perfection right away.  Practice makes perfect and sewing isn’t one of those things that comes naturally or intuitively to most people.  Well, not for me at least.

I have watched several of the basic sewing tutorials from this site, which I have found to be full of very helpful tips for my next project.  And I have to make a trip to JoAnn’s tonight to get some additional items that I didn’t know I would need until the past few days.  I also started a new pinboard on Pinterest for some sewing projects that I might like to attempt.

One other thing I discovered during my first sewing adventure: Trying to sew with an extremely playful kitten around is not an easy feat.  Jacoby (who is now about 7 months old) loves EVERYTHING about sewing…dangling scraps of fabric, spools of thread he can knock over, and some new furniture in the living room (my old desk and a card table for cutting/measuring) to climb on and explore.  I love him, but I can’t wait for the kitten/terror/everything-is-my-toy phase to be over!

Highlights from Christmas 2011

I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone!  Did everyone have a great weekend?  I definitely did, and feel very blessed with the family and friends (and kitties) that surround me.  I thought I would share some highlights from the last few days…

On Christmas Eve, my parents and siblings came to our house for a casual dinner of Chinese food.  My parents brought the food from one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in their town (they live about 45 minutes away from us), so we supplied drinks and dessert.  I decided to try this recipe for apple dumplings, which I first saw on a post on Thrifty Decor Chick.  This is a pic from TDC’s site, as I didn’t manage to get a pic of mine:

Let me just say, these were a huge hit (although they were a little rich for me)!  And they were very easy…  I was a little weirded out by the inclusion of a small amount of Mountain Dew, but in the end you couldn’t taste it.  You could, however, DEFINITELY taste the butter.  Probably why I could only eat a little bit.  But it was Christmas Eve after all…

We also opened up a bottle of Sam Adams Infinium beer, which is a limited edition brew for the holidays and is meant to stand as an alternative to champagne.  It was very interesting.  At first, it tasted like champagne, but the aftertaste was beer.  Very festive and fun to try after our Christmas Eve dinner.  Might pick up another bottle if we can find one before the end of the season.

Christmas Day started with just Tadd and I exchanging presents at home.  We also gave the kitties some gifts (ok, a lot of gifts…they were spoiled!).  The big hit with them was this plastic ring with a ping pong ball inside.  Jacoby especially is incredibly mesmerized by it.

Later in the morning, we packed up the car and went over to my parents’ house for our traditional family festivities.  We exchanged gifts (and got a TON of stuff from my way too generous parents), and I got…DRUMROLL PLEASE…a sewing machine!

We also had a nice dinner as a family, complete with holiday-themed wine.  We get this every year and it’s actually really good and very reasonably priced!  We got the Merlot, but there are other varieties available (Cabernet, Chardonnay, and maybe some others)  Makes a great gift for Christmas.  We get ours at Total Wine & More.

After dinner, we went out into the front yard to admire my parents’ poinsettia plant.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  So festive!  I want one now…

That was pretty much it.  It was a very low-key holiday weekend, but a wonderful one as well.  How was yours?

Instagram Link Party: Sleepy Jacoby

Another kitty-related Instagram post!  I know I talk about my cats too much, but I have no children, so for now my furkids are my kids.  And I thought it was about time I gave another update on our now 3 month old kitten Jacoby.

I can’t believe how big he has gotten!  He is about 3 times the size he once was back when I posted this picture:

He’s the most playful thing I have ever encountered.  Just about anything on this earth is a toy to him, and he wants to play about 23.5 hours per day.  The small portion of the day when he feels cuddly (as in the Instagram pic above), he purrs sooooo loudly you can hear it across the room.  He likes to terrorize the other cats, especially poor Stella, but I have also caught both Logan and Stella grooming him.  So I think despite the fact that they get annoyed with his rambunctiousness, it seems that they have accepted him as a member of the family.

Are you a blogger who uses Instagram?  If so, link up with the weekly Instagram Link parties over at A Little Dash of Ash, every Monday!

Instagram Link Party: Mr. Logan McSnuggles

This week’s entry into the weekly Instagram Link Party over at A Little Dash of Ash isn’t as exciting or exotic as last week’s entry, but it is certainly cute.  My oldest and largest kitty Logan (7 years old, 22 lbs) is probably the easiest of my three cats to photograph, because he spends a lot of time laying around.  Stella and Jacoby are both very busy kitties, and never stay still!

Just look at this handsome face!

Happy Labor Day!

Shipping up to Boston!

Finally in vacation mode!  Yay!  I’m even almost packed and everything.  Flying to Boston tomorrow morning with my parents and brother, and I can’t wait!

Stella "helping" me pack.

Although I don’t know if I would technically call this trip a vacation.  It will pretty much be packed to the gills with family & friend visits, and a side trip to Vermont for a wedding.  Not much in the way of relaxing or sightseeing.  Regardless, I am more than ready for a change of scenery, and climate!  The weather in New England looks beautiful to me right now.  I will definitely take temps in the 70sF and 80sF over what we have been experiencing here in Orlando lately (which is gross, hot, mid-90sF highs everyday & lots of thunderstorms).

Tadd is staying behind this time to take care of the house and the kitties.  I will miss him, but I know he is happy for me that I get to see people I haven’t seen in years.

So I apologize if this blog is quiet over the next few days.  I promise lots of pics and posts when I return!  In the meantime, I’m sure I will be tweeting (@sunshineteablog) and posting on Foodspotting during my trip (we have a couple of our favorite Boston area restaurants on the itinerary)!