A Day Of Chocolate

I can tell that the holiday stress is already affecting me. I was unable to resist the chocolate offered today. It started this morning - my company received our shipment of M&Ms. We regularly send M&Ms to clients as a thank you for their business. These are not just the off the shelf M&Ms but they have the Cypress Care logo and are in Cypress Care colors (mainly green). Over 25 21 lb boxes came today. Soon we will be annoyed by enjoying the sounds of M&M bags being sorted. The only reason that these are safe near me is that they are plain and milk chocolate. I really am grateful to not be tempted by many pounds of peanut M&Ms.

Shortly after this delivery, a co-worker received a box of chocolate (think Forrest Gump) from a vendor. This box made the M&Ms pale in comparison. I mean, check it out:

Beautiful chocolates and very unusual flavors. I had 3 - yes, I'm greedy...it was chocolate! I was able to hold myself back from ripping the box from my coworker's hands and running away. The three flavors that I tried:

Madagascar - A ganache made form 65% cacao from Madagascar.
Lavender Caramel - Caramel infused with French Lavender (c'mon it's purple!!!)
Cabernet Caramel - Caramel made with a rich Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley

They were all very interesting. I think that the Cabernet Caramel was my favorite of the 3. The Lavendar Caramel was the most unusual..and the prettiest IMO. :-)

For all the flavors, check out the website.

It could be my imagination, but it just seems like the evening will go down from here.

Diana's Dresses For A Cause

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family in Ocala, FL. Thursday brought the usual - parade watching, turkey fixin', stuffing too much into my own stomach (which was well worth it) and football watching.

Today brought something new. My mom suggested that we visit the local museum and the exhibit Diana, Princess of Wales : Dresses For A Cause. 30 of Diana's dresses (auctioned at Christie's NY just before her fatal accident) are on display - on loan from the current owners to raise money for breast cancer research. The dresses were beautiful (such an understatement) and most had an accompanying picture of Diana wearing it with a description of the location/function. I have a love of details and a love of beading, stitching, embroidery. These dresses did not disappoint. I don't think that I could possibly pick one favorite, but there was a burgundy velvet that I loved very much. One of the things that I am thankful for this year is the people who raise money for these causes. If you are in the Ocala area prior to the end of December, I highly recommend it.

Mini Shop-Hop and The Police

Saturday started very productive. My first weekend in town and healthy in many!! I cleaned up a good amount of the chaos that my condo had become in these last weeks. Not all, of course...I have to have something to do later! After the organizing, I started on my own Mini Shop-Hop of my LYS(s). I did not kid myself into thinking that I could get to all, but decided to get to the ones that I could.

First stop was Why Knot Knit in Buckhead. I, like Heather, could not find the store. I had to call Jean to get a hint of where the shop was located! Finally, after traveling a two block area in multiple circles, there it was! I had already been warned about the beautiful pattern that they were handing out. It did not disappoint. I had some control, though, and only purchased one skein of the Misti Alpaca for my scarf. Heather and I may be twins this winter - I think that we both chose the lovely teal.

Next stop was The Whole Nine Yarns. Interestingly, this shop is the furthest from me (in Woodstock) but I know how to get there much better! TWNY has been busy with rearranging their store. I enjoyed looking around, but held fast to my decision to spend as close to the $10 requirement as possible so that I could enjoy more shopping at other stores. As a result, I purchased one Size 5 Addi Turbo circular (this will come back to bite me). The shop is wonderful and friendly and they graciously let me wind yarn that I had purchased in Tallahassee during a football weekend. I believe that I still have a key punch left on my key chain, so I can see a return trip in my near future.

After leaving Woodstock, I went to Kennesaw and picked up BFF Vicki and luggage. Vicki wanted to take all (or at least a good bit) of her scrapbooking supplies to Connecticut for the week. This wasn't possible with the amount of clothes (hers and the girls) already packed. After a lot of reconfiguration, weighing, repeat, we were finally ready to go! Got back to Buckhead in time to change, freshen up, and catch Marta downtown. Vicki couldn't have been more excited than a 5 year old on Christmas morning. A muy rapido dinner at CNN Center and a few cervezas later and we were ready for The Police. I believe that Vicki only swooned twice. This is probably because Sting did not remove his shirt. He did wear a wife beater-ish tight fitting shirt that showed off his very cut arms, though. The music was great, they sounded like it was 1984. The show was very enjoyable but it was over too soon.

Sunday morning we were up fairly early considering the late hour from the concert and train ride back. I dropped Vicki at the airport to catch the flight to Connecticut - won't Scott be surprised that she did manage to fit some scrapbooking supplies into the luggage! As soon as possible, I headed to Knitch for another stamp in the passport. I couldn't resist a beautiful Merino Ribbon yarn. I tried to find a sock yarn for the Candy Cane socks, but nothing was exactly what I wanted...so I "settled" for the purchase of the Merino Ribbon. :-) There was only one other shop open on Sunday - Nease's Needlework. All I had to do was go in and buy my 2nd Size 5 Addi Turbo circular, stamp the passport and be on my way. Well, they didn't have any Size 5 Addi Turbos in stock. Ugh. And I couldn't find a sock yarn for the Candy Cane socks either. Murphy strikes again! So, I picked up two sock patterns (yes, I don't have any others here) and turned in my passport. Problem: I still needed the Size 5 circular, so back to Knitch. Murphy, old friend, strikes again. Knith didn't have them in stock either. There must have been a recent demand for Size 5 circulars. I guess that I'll be looking for another Size 5 circular sometime this week to take with me for Thanksgiving!

My Hero!

Let me start off by stating that this was not rigged. Many of you know that Milo Ventimiglia is one of my favorite actors. Favorite in the sense that he looks great without a shirt. :-)

Heather took this quiz a few weeks ago and I marked it to come back to later. So, now it is later and "The Hero that I am" is....

Peter Petrelli
You scored 50 Idealism, 58 Nonconformity, 29 Nerdiness

Do you ever... get the feeling that you were meant to do something extraordinary?

Congratulations, you're Peter Petrelli! You are a compassionate, idealistic person, which is great. You're searching for your identity and purpose in life, and you have a strong desire to be special, and do something great for the world. You're a bit on the emo side, but you have the best of intentions. Your best quality: Empathy Your worst quality: EMO

EMO? Really? If you say so...

Click here if you want to take the test and find out which Hero you are!

Two Minute Drill

So here it is...the two minute drill to get up to date...

First, the follow up to A Stitcher's Gathering. The first class was with Eileen Bennett (of Sampler House) and called Little Green Acorns. The project is a lot of blackwork/back stitching, but it is beautiful and I can't wait to be able to work on it! The color palette is fabulous. I always enjoy seeing the colors that different designers put together. No pictures at this time...but maybe someday soon.

Saturday morning we started with Rae (of Moss Creek Designs) and her Ye Shall Prosper stitching accessories. Rae is not used to having us Saturday morning - she is usually our last class (Saturday afternoon) and we were quite shaken by this change. It was probably the quietest that we have been in Rae's class - because most of us (namely roommate Heather and I) were still asleep. Rae's project was also fabulous and, interestingly, involved squirrels and acorns. This was a banner year for Heather - you can read about it on her blog. I did manage to capture a few pics of the pieces.

Saturday afternoon classes finished with Barbara Rakosnik (of Periwinkle Promises). Her project "Stitching is the Berries Sewing Tin" was also lovely, although not acorn or squirrel themed. :-) It was, however, covered with strawberries and queen stitches. We should all be pros at the queen stitch when these projects are finished.

Saturday evening was the costume contest...but we chose to dress like each other instead.

I loved, loved, loved all of the teachers and all of the projects and managed to "acquire" a few more additions to my stash. Wouldn't it be lovely if I had a picture of them? Well, I don't - so here is a plain old list of them - Queens Plums (drool), Viola Celebration, Just Peachy Celebration, Seasons of Flowers Sampler.

T-minus 1:30 - on to Patricia Sprinkle.
We had a lovely private dinner and book review with Patricia "Patty" Sprinkle. I have read several of her books throughout the years and enjoyed them. This was a wonderful treat by DF Andy who prepared a fabulous meal for us to enjoy while visiting with Patty. My favorite series is the MacLaren Yarbrough (A Thoroughly Southern Mystery) one.

T-minus 1:00 - Halloween

I had a fabulous time (albeit hectic) trick or treating with Dorothy (aka Riley) and Glenda the Good Witch (aka Melia). I even cheated on the lifestyle change with some Reese's - the best candy in the world!

And we had some adults trying to steal the show. Well, calling them adults may be a stretch...

Big, Juicy Burger!

And this was a personal favorite in the costume category:

Love the weiner!!

T-minus :30 Almost at the end

My 'Noles came away with a big victory this weekend vs #2 Boston College. 27-17. All week I was slapping myself whenever I had thoughts like "maybe it won't be so bad" or "our defense is pretty good". I just couldn't set myself up for disappointment. When 8:00 came Saturday night, I couldn't stay away from the tv. And I was a doubting thomas up til the last 30 seconds. Actually, I think that there were 28 seconds on the clock when I called Teresa and told her the good news. Even then, I was afraid that the refs would somehow take it away.