Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Fun

I think Peanut Butter had a bit of an Elf on the Shelf moment (which is unusual, since we don't know any kids who have an elf on the shelf, and we never did, and I've never even read the book...)

Making hot chocolate with Bailey's...

...and diving face-first into the M&Ms!

I may or may not be teaching him bad habits.

It's not like we're snowed in. (The southeast part of Virginia has something like a little bubble around it right now... it's snowing in almost every part of the state except Hampton Roads.) So he can't even claim that he's going stir crazy!

I just better keep him away from the champagne we got for New Year's...

Christmas Ornaments

I have an exclusively snowflake-decorated tree for Christmas (and a small table-top tree for the other, non-snowflake ornaments that are still important) and every year, I get myself at least one ornament, and Fiance gets me at least one ornament. I'm particularly fond of Target's ornaments, and I pointed out some that I liked when Fiance and I were there. He got me two:

And I got myself one from Michaels:

And Peanut Butter had a grand time showing them off for the camera!

Christmas Presents

Now that everybody has opened their presents, I can show you what Peanut Butter and I were working on!

I bought three salt bowls for my stepdad.
Not pictured: I engraved circular plastic pieces to label each type of salt
and also serve as covers (to keep out dust, moisture, etc).

Two of the salts my stepdad got. On the left is Belize salt (using spices
Fiance's mom picked up in Belize) and the right is potato salt
(a recipe from a friend who uses it on roasted potatoes).

Sriracha salt! Recipe is from here.
This was the third salt for my stepdad, but mostly
it was for my uncle, who loves spicy things.

The jar of sriracha salt for my uncle.
Peanut Butter tasted it and said it's great!
(I don't much care for sriracha, so I had to trust him.)
We did a great deal more crafting, but I kept forgetting to stop and take photos. I did take some while we were wrapping, though:

This is the flavored salts, salt bowls, and covers/labels for my stepdad.

And this is what happens when I don't keep an eye on the ribbon!

Merry belated Christmas to everybody!

(PS - I know I took a photo of PB and his own present, but I can't find it, so I'll have to take new ones... forthcoming!)

Monday, December 24, 2012


Yes, I know Hanukkah ended earlier this month. But we aren't exactly practicing Jews. Or any kind, for that matter. Fiance's dad's mom was Jewish, so we have Hanukkah dinner. It's the best meal of the entire year (okay, it's tied with our New Year's fondue) so we don't really care how accurate we are, as long as we get our brisket and latkes.

Peanut Butter helps Fiance mix the latkes (without getting messy!)

Brisket! And vegetables! (And prunes.)

Prosecco, yum. (The thing on the right is a hand-blown oil and vinegar
bottle Fiance's mom picked up in Germany.)

Homemade challah!!!

Leftover latke for breakfast this morning, YUM.
More photos coming up soon, because tonight (Christmas Eve) is our celebration with my family, and tomorrow morning, I have stockings at my dad's house, lunch with Fiance's family, and presents with Fiance (and the kitten, who has his own stocking).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Neighbor Gifts

I made a bunch of these for some friends, and I had some extras, so I'm giving them to my new neighbors. (One of the neighbors left a bag of candy with a card on our doorknob, so I'm just following suit, really.)

It's a little plastic paint can from Target with some packets of hot chocolate, marshmallows, and mini candy canes. Plus a card, of course. For my friends, I added tiny bottles of Bailey's or Kahlua, but I don't have any more of those, so the neighbors get the family-friendly version.

Christmas Decorating!!!

Finally, I get to do my Christmas decorating! I think this is the latest I've ever gotten it done (with ten days to go!) I'll be leaving it up through New Year's, though, so my friends can see it.

This was my grandma's. She had a HUGE collection of these little houses,
and it was divvied up when she passed. I, of course, got the library.

This one was bought especially for me. I don't plan on having a collection,
but I like having a library and a book shop.

Peanut Butter took a break in Gimli's stocking.
(Yes, our cat has a stocking.)
I made it for him last year, along with mine & Birk's (mine is on the right.)

Tangled in the lights!

Tangled in the garland!

Sitting atop the little tree

I thought we had brought the big tree over already, but it was only the little one. I plan on picking up the big tree tonight (it's not that big... probably 6' tall?) and decorating it, and trying to build my book tree (which might not get done until Birk brings more boxes of books to the apartment).

Bonus photo: I hung a poster in our to-be-Aperture-Labs-themed bathroom, too:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Ooooooh what a great movie. We went to the midnight premier in IMAX 3D. Earlier in the year, we had considered dressing up and going all-out, but with moving plus working plus everything else going on, we just went as ourselves.

Peanut Butter with my ticket
They gave out free poster sets, and I think ours will be the decor over the bed in our new bedroom. But that could change. I have to find frames first, and they're a weird size.

Bilbo poster. The other three are Gandalf, Gollum, and Thorin.
 If you want to know more about what I thought of the movie, I wrote about it on my Quoi de neuf blog.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Countdown Craft

For the stocking swap, I sewed twelve little drawstring bags and filled them with treats. I provided clips for my partner to hang them wherever she wants (on the tree, on a garland, wherever). I didn't provide numbers so they can choose which one to open on which day.

And of course, Peanut Butter helped!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bonus: Crafting Photos

Now that I've sent out my wall art for the Multi-Partner Wall Art Swap, I can show you my photo of Peanut Butter helping me with bunny1kenobi's piece:

It's a tree. It's just... sideways. And naked.

He managed to not get any fabric glue on him (which is good, since I imagine that would be like Krazy Glue for someone who is made of fabric).

Monday, December 3, 2012

Decorating... At Work

I can't put up my holiday decorations yet because if I did, I'd have to turn right around and take them down to move them, so I was very happy that we decorated at the library this weekend.

Peanut Butter is on the tree; do you see him?

And after work yesterday, I went to an all you can eat sushi place with my friend Amy!

Peanut Butter and Amy got along famously

Fun weekend! The coming week will be hectic and stressful with all the packing, and wait until you hear about the weekend...

Sunday, December 2, 2012


No, Peanut Butter isn't packing up to move back home yet... We are packing to move into a new apartment! We should be getting the keys on Saturday (though I work all morning and we're going to Fairfax in the afternoon) so this week is packing like crazy!

Peanut Butter is trying to help, but he's a bit wee for most of the stuff we have to pack.

We went out to buy more bins yesterday
(two are designated for crafting supplies!)

Fiance packed dishes while I was at work one day

I spy with my little eye... Peanut Butter! (And Halloween decorations,
and the box to the TV, and a shoe box of crafting stuff,
and plastic boxes of rubber stamps, and a mess on the floor...)

Moving is HARD WORK. And we aren't even doing any heavy lifting yet.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lynnhaven House

We also went to the Lynnhaven House during my time off for Thanksgiving. There are a lot of historic sites in and near Virginia Beach, including a handful of historic houses. Lynnhaven House was built in the late 1700s by a former ship builder from Norfolk who wanted to live on a plantation.

We couldn't take many photos, but the house is really beautiful. The man who built it had a great eye for aesthetics, and including lots of unnecessary - but pretty - elements that were purely ornamental.

Here is Peanut Butter outside the front door:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More Christmas Crafting

We got some more Christmas crafting done during my time off for Thanksgiving. I can't show off some of the pictures because they contain swap items, but I can show this one:

On the sewing machine! Too cute. (He had to keep his scarf on because it is chilly in the room where my sewing machine currently resides.)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Crafting

I forgot to take photos with the food yesterday, but happy Thanksgiving to everyone nonetheless!

Today, we started some Christmas crafting...

Being helpful...

...and making a mess!

We had to stop in the middle of that project because I have had a migraine since yesterday morning, and I had to bend over a lot to line things up, and on top of that, there is something complicated that I expected to be easy. So I'll try again tomorrow, after we go on an exciting adventure to a secret destination (or two)!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cold Weather

Winter can never decide when it's ready around here. I mean, I know the first official day of winter isn't until December 21st. But in Hampton Roads (and many other places; I know we aren't that unique) you get a handful of days of summer and a handful of days of winter all throughout the fall. Fall isn't so much its own unique season as it is a melange of summer and winter elements that refuse to mix properly.

That said, Peanut Butter needed a scarf to ward off the chillies on the wintry days.

I just started learning how to crochet, so he will get a little crocheted scarf soon, but in the meantime, this one is just braided. Cute!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Today on the way out to go to work, I noticed that - due to the increase in wind overnight - the driveway was littered with giant leaves! Photo op!

I also noticed a lot of really pretty leaves around today, but by lunchtime, it was raining and cold out, so no more photos for today.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reading and Writing

It's NaNoWriMo, so Peanut Butter has been watching me type... a lot. Here he is with my USB drive!

And I'm re-reading The Night Circus to review it for my book review blog next Friday, so he's been helping me out with that, too!

We've also been crafting, but the only photos I have of him doing that are with things I haven't sent out for swaps yet, so I can't post yet!

Not the most exciting stuff, but I promise there are some interesting things coming up!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Elephant

We voted! Peanut Butter did go with me to vote, but I didn't want to take photos at the polling place in case it made some people uncomfortable. (I worry about things like this.) But afterward, I got my cherished sticker. (I've been very proud to wear my "I Voted" stickers ever since I was in first grade and got my "Kids Vote" sticker!)

The sticker was almost as tall as Peanut Butter himself! I'll be working until 7pm, which is when polls close here, so I'm thinking the results will be in before we get home, which is okay.

We had only a couple referendums so voting went fairly quickly, even though the line was crazy-long. It wasn't anything like the early voting lines that were five and six hours long, thank goodness.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Hooray for Halloween!

I didn't get home from work until 7:30 so we didn't get to witness any trick-or-treating (though we live pretty far back off the road, so we don't get trick-or-treaters anyway) but I still made a little costume for PB:

He has a little brain slug, from Futurama! Super cute.

(I considered making him a costume of the scariest thing we could think of: Mitt Romney. But I refrained.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy - Play in the Rain

Now, Hurricane Sandy is doing her thing, and for us, that just means some steady rain. It isn't even windy right now. This, of course, means that Fiance and I had to go outside and play!

It's in the 50s so it was pretty chilly, and obviously wet. The dock is underwater still, but Fiance wanted to walk out onto it in his waterproof pants. I asked him to take Peanut Butter out with him:

Peanut Butter is teeny tiny because he's so far away, but you can still make him out. (I told Fiance he couldn't walk any further out or I wouldn't be able to see PB!)

By the way, this is taken from almost exactly the same spot as the photo from the last post. The poles that line the dock are almost entirely underwater now, 24 hours later!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy - Observe

I completely skipped the real first step, which is obviously to buy all the bottled water in Target, if our trip the other night was any indication. Also, batteries and non-perishable foods and all sorts of other things. So we'll call that Step Zero and move on.

Step two, after you went shopping and read (or got a NOAA radio or some other way to stay informed) is to observe. This way, you can tell if winds are getting stronger, if flood waters are getting higher, etc.

So of course, we took a walk in the backyard. First stop: the dock, which is underwater.

As you can see, Fiance and his dad properly secured the boat to prevent damage. Our neighbors, however, didn't have a chance (I believe they're out of town). Fiance and his dad took a spare rope over to try to secure it better, but it was still doing this:

(That's the first video I've ever uploaded to Blogger! Exciting. Too bad it turns out you can't actually see the boat tossing on the waves.)

We are still waiting to hear if our school will close today, but my money says no. (The powers that be tend to forget that the library is open on Sundays, because it's only from 1-5pm and there are no classes on Sundays.)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy - Be Informed

I hesitate to put this out there for the world to see, in case I'm way wrong, but we aren't expecting a lot of damage from Hurricane Sandy here in VB. But as good former Scouts, we will Be Prepared.

Step one is to be informed and keep abreast of the latest news on the impending storm:

(Sorry for the flash on the computer screen... I took about five photos before I decided this was acceptable because it wasn't going to get any better.)

You can sort of see us on the edge of the flash. Most of the maps have had Norfolk labeled on them, but this one didn't. Still, we're right above "Cape" in "Cape Hatteras" on this map. We're just barely inside the area for ACTION! We've been in and out of the "freak out and buy ALL THE WATER" area all day, so it's hard to know what to expect.

CNU (Newport News) and ODU (Norfolk) and NSU (also Norfolk) have all cancelled classes for Monday. In fact, I know NSU is closed tomorrow, too. As in, complete campus lockdown. (Norfolk floods really badly so they tend to make the closing decision earlier than anything in VB.)

TCC (where I work) has campuses in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and another smaller one in downtown Portsmouth. We tend to make closing decisions pretty late, so I don't know when I'll find out whether I'm working on Monday...

Step two of storm preparation comes tomorrow!

Friday, October 26, 2012

VLA Conference and CNU visit

Today was an exciting day! I went to my first professional conference. It was the Virginia Library Association's annual conference, in Williamsburg. (That means we had to get up at 5 am to be sure to get there on time.) I didn't take photos there, but here is Peanut Butter with my conference badge:

He would fit inside!!! The green ribbon at the bottom says I'm a first-time attendee. I went to sessions and learned things, saw coworkers and the only two librarians I know outside my institution, and got some free swag from the vendors. (Best swag? It's a tie between the USB drive from Encyclopedia Virginia and the advance copy of a book that won't be published until next May. That may change, depending on how good the book turns out to be.)

We had lots of options of fun things to do in Williamsburg before we came home, but I was so exhausted after a long day of conferencing, we decided against going to Busch Gardens (we'll go for Christmas Town instead!) or doing a haunted walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg, but our alma mater, Christopher Newport University, was on the way home. So we stopped there and got dinner at our favorite on-campus place for old time's sake, and took some photos around campus.

This one is outside the Freeman Center, which is mostly gym and fitness center, but there is a theater in there now, and a juice/smoothie/sandwich place.

Me and Peanut Butter in front of "the fountain." The fountain has also been a planter (the powers that be got sick of students soaping it up and clogging the drains). But it's back to being a fountain, for now. The building in the background is the Trible Library.

We stop by campus whenever we can, because the place has been constantly under construction since I started there in 2004, so it's constantly changing and you never know what building will come down or go up before you get back there. On the bright side, it's a really beautiful campus now.

Bonus photo of the PB in front of the library: