Penny's Passion: The Day After Christmas

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Day After Christmas

Merry Christmas (one day late) everyone!  Hope you survived the holiday season.  I took last week off the blog so I could focus on some real life stuff I had going on around here.  Now I'm back with a ton of stuff to chat about!

Last weekend something wonderful happened in our family ~ my brother, Ernie, got engaged!  His now fiancee, Carina, is a wonderful lady and a pure joy to be around.  I'm so very excited for them!  They started the evening by meeting me, Eric, Ian and Kayla for dinner.  After dinner, they headed over to Tilles Park's Winter Wonderland to see the lights.

Winter Wonderland 30 Years

Their engagement story is a great one!  Christmas is Carina favorite time of year so my brother wrapped the proposal into a trip through Tilles Park's Christmas light display.  The park offers an engagement package which includes a carriage ride through their fantastic display of lights and near the end the carriage driver pulls down a private lane.  My brother had been secretly given a remote before the ride began and when he hit it, a sign saying "Will You Marry Me" lit up.  Is that not the coolest thing?!?   So excited that she said yes!!  Wish I could have been hiding in the bushes to see the whole thing go down live.

Each Christmas I try very hard to put a lot of thought into the presents I give.  I know how much I love getting presents that are heartfelt so I try to do the same for others.  Of course there are the times when I'm totally stumped and just have to settle on some random thing, but I digress...   So this year one of the gifts I gave was a hand sewn (by me) pillow for my daughter-in-law Kayla.  She's a huge Jane Austen/Pride and Prejudice fan so I found some fabric with Jane Austin quotes and thought I could whip up a pillow for her.  (Did I mention I'm not a seamstress?)  Well, after much help from my friend at work, Kay, and a lot of cursing, this is the finished project.

I have to admit, I was pretty darn proud of myself.  Kayla loved it and that made making it totally worth the time and worry.  Did you make any of your gifts this year?

Eric and I enjoyed having Ian and Kayla spend Christmas Eve with us.  I made one of our favorite entrees, Dijon Sirloin Tips.  I'll be sharing the recipe with you on Tuesday and you won't want to miss it!

Then on Christmas day we all headed to my parents.  Everyone from my immediate family was together and it was great! Anytime our family is together, the chess board comes out.  It always warms my heart to see Ian playing chess with his cousins.  My dad taught Ian to play when he was little and Ian has enjoyed passing on his skills to his cousins.

My youngest nephew, Liam, enjoyed his first Christmas and pretty much stole the show.  Isn't he the cutest!!  I can't believe he's three months old already.  

Another thing I was busy doing last week was reading Oasis:  The Last Humans, Book 1.  I received a free preview copy in exchange for writing a review.  The email asked if I was a fan of dystopian/ post-apocalyptic sci-fi novels?  I didn't think so.  Did I enjoy The Hunger Games, Divergent or Ender's Game?  Heck yes!  So I signed right up and got chosen.  My honest opinion is it's not as good as The Hunger Games or Divergent.  It was interesting and if you like those types of books you should check it out.  I'm going to give it another try now that the holidays are finished and I can enjoy reading a bit more than when I was thinking about all the holiday stuff I needed to be doing every time I sat down to read.  

Speaking of the holidays, I'm off work now until Monday, January 4.  Every year I take off and every year I have a list of things I want to get done that is longer than Santa's naughty and nice lists.  Here's some of the things I'm hoping to check off:

1.  My phone shows me I have 5,263 messages in my inboxes.  I'm not making up that number - it really says 5,263.  That's too many.  I would like to at least cut it in half, if not a fourth.  Wish me luck!

2.  I've been saving the entire season of How To Get Away with Murder to binge watch over the holidays.  It's supposed to be raining here for the next three days.  Sounds like the perfect time to stay in my jammies, veg on the couch and see just what Annalise Keating has been up to.  I feel pretty good about getting this item checked off the list.


3.  Plan out some future blog posts.  I'm determined that 2016 is going to be a great year for the blog.  When I started this little space in June of 2014 I didn't really know where I wanted it to go.  Over the last year-and-a-half I've learned so many things and have so many ideas.  Hope you join me in my journey this coming year!  If you don't want to miss anything, click Join This Site on the right side of this space. 

Okay, enough of my randomness for today!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend and are getting excited for the new year.  I have a feeling that 2016 is going to be a great one!


  1. Sounds like your Christmas was wonderful! Congrats to your brother! I'm sure 2016 will be amazing!

  2. He tree looks beautiful! And that pillow is beautiful and SO thoughtful. I love thoughtful gifts much more than opulent, over the top gifts. They mean more, you know?
    That is such a beautiful engagement story of your brother's and his now fiancée. Many congratulations and best to the happy couple.

    Really enjoyed reading about your Christmas and good luck with your to-do list. Enjoy How to get away with murder - it's such a good season!!

    Man I thought my email box was dreadful - good luck lady!!

    Enjoy your holidays Hun xo

  3. That is such an awesome engagement! Congrats to your brother and his new fiancé. I love that pillow you made too. Sounds like you all had a great Christmas. ps. How to get Away with Murder is awesome!

  4. Hope you enjoy watching the whole season of HTGAWM. I was already ready for it to come back after the last episode ended...