Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wine and Design

We've all heard of wine and cheese....but how about Wine and Design?  Wine and Design is a new spot in Richmond (and in North Carolina/South Carolina) for people interested in painting a masterpiece....while having a little wine.  O.k. you may not paint a masterpiece but you will probably come away with a pretty painting and great experience. 

A couple months back some friends and I bought vouchers off of Living Social for this studio.  We finally were able to give it a whirl this last weekend.  The idea is that you pick a night to go, take a bottle of wine and enjoy a couple hours of painting while sipping your wine.  A few things you should know....#1 You can choose the painting you want to paint.  Go to their web site.  Check out the calendar and look at what is being painted.  Don't like it?  Pick another day/night.  #2 You can buy wine, beer and choose from a menu of food there at the studio.  I like that the studio we went to had Virginia Wine.  My kinda place!  #3 Even non-painters, such as myself, can do this.  I have NO artistic ability.  NONE, I tell you!  But the class instructor will direct you through it.  Step by step you follow the instructor and it turns into your very own one of a kind masterpiece :)

They did the sketching before we got there.  That helped a lot

Invasion of the corkcicle

Before hitting this place up we had dinner at a local BBQ place.  That was good but next time I know I can get a bite to eat there at the studio.  This is the perfect place for 'girl's night', bachelorette parties, a couple that are looking for a new date night idea, or just because you are feeling like having some wine and working on something artistic.  I've already scoped out what I want to paint next!!!  I feel another girl's night coming on :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Last of November

I didn't intend to put up my Christmas decorations this last weekend.  It just sorta happened.  Mark was in the attic and offered to get down all the Christmas boxes...and I wasn't about to turn down that offer.  And I couldn't just leave the boxes sitting around for a week.  It's far too much stuff to just leave down.  So I put up away my Thanksgiving goodies.  But before I totally put them away I got some pictures and wanted to share.

As much as I love Christmas and my Christmas decorations I actually hated to see the Thanksgiving stuff get put away.  Ho hum...I'll be working on some pictures of the Christmas things I've put up.  I went with a color theme this year for some of my decorations.  Can you guess what favorite color of mine is springing up on my tree???

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Love

Thanksgiving with the family was a hit.  It was at my sister's house so all I had to do was make a few casseroles and get myself and the family to dinner on time.  We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while wearing our pajamas, I worked in the kitchen while listening to Pandora and then we trucked it on over to Tessa's....wonderful time had by all.  And now.....sadly, Thanksgiving has gone....and it's back to work.  Back to my Monday Love.

I won't was hard going back to work today.  But with the fresh memories of turkey and dressing still on my mind I pushed through. 

After eating until we couldn't hold anymore...we got busy.  Some Black Friday shopping, some Christmas decorating and some cookie baking.  I went to a Wine and Design class, Mark and I picked out and picked up a new kitchen table (now everyone has their OWN spot), and we are looking at plans for our annual open house.  I'm still determined to not get stressed over the holidays :-)  Let you know how THAT works out. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 21

Thanksgiving is so close now I can almost smell the turkey!  I can't wait!  I'm not sure what I like so much about holidays...the food, the family or the fact that the holidays hold so many traditions for us.  I don't know why traditions are so important but they at least remind me of my childhood...watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, of Mom cooking so much food there wasn't room left on the table for a single thing and  of spending time with family that are no longer with us today.  I'm always looking to recreate those memories in hopes that my kids will feel full of the same joy I had on those special days.

I know one very lucky little girl that gets her fill of joy on a daily basis.  Ms. Emma.  She gets to spend days playing with Grandma and Grandpa and with Granny and Pa. 

Granny and Pa, A.K.A. Barbara and Skip, are Mark's parents.  And they are what I'm thankful for today...Day 21 of An Attitude of Gratitude.  It is so hard having a baby and then knowing you have to leave that baby in the care of others when you go to work.  But I have been lucky enough from day 1  Granny and Pa have kept our baby.  I'm not sure who got more joy out of the arrangement.  Especially when Emma was just a tiny baby.  At least then they didn't have to chase her down!  It wasn't until just very recently my parents were able to start keeping her a few days a Granny has really been the primary Emma Watcher :) and it's such a blessing to us.  And she doesn't even have a computer to know how much I want to brag on her!  I hope that one day Emma can look back at all the love her Ganny and Pa have showered down on her and realize what a lucky little girl she is!  Thanks Granny and Pa!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitufe Day 20

For anyone that knows me personally they know that I share a bond like no other with one person in this word.  I am in love with Mark....but it's not him, I would go to the ends of the earth for my kids...but it's not them.  There is one person in this world that can almost read my mind and with just a flick of one eyebrow she can tell you if it's a stay and have tea type day or a grab a shovel, there is a body to bury type situation.  That one person is my sister.  Tessa.

I believe I had Mexican for lunch this day
Just keeping it real

We are 18 months apart in age but growing up mistaken for twins all the time.  We  spent the first 18 or 19 years of life arguing and fighting.  After that I was out of the house and mom and dad realized what an angel I was....haha.  Sorry, sis I couldn't resist.  After I was married she would come stay with me when I was scared to be home alone (do not judge me! a fear of the dark and being alone is totally normal).  Then once I had kids she was Aunt Tessa....still taking a hands off approach to anything that squirmed and smelled bad....she hung in there and helped me out when we really needed it.  After I divorced she really showed her true colors....I think more than once I had to remind her that what she was contemplating doing to my ex was illegal and I didn't have THAT much bail....but it was nice to know she would do anything for me.  She has put up with me calling and crying and she has been there for a million laughs (most of which she caused).  We have fought worse than cats and dogs but I know she always has my back.  She has been through her own fair share of crazy in this lifetime and still hasn't given up hope that life is what you make of it.  So today, day 20 of An Attitude of Gratitude, I'm thankful for my little sister....Tess. 

You rock girl!  Love ya.

Monday, November 19, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 19 am I beat.  It's a short work week but I really am glad that this Monday is drawing to a close.  Today, Day 19 of my Attitude of Gratitude, I am most thankful for....take out! 

Had a nice pork tenderloin laid out to toss in the crock pot this morning.  But 5:30 a.m. got here mighty early and I was in such a rush to get out the door I totally forgot it.  Then I forgot I agreed to stay 2 hours later at work :(  So no pre-cooked dinner and no real time to throw anything Dragon Express saved the day.  Thank YOU!  It's nice to share dinner with the family...even if I didn't cook it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 18

Today I am Thankful!

I am thankful everyday but today I am especially thankful for the fact that Mark and I have jobs to get up to in the mornings.  And yes there are days that I have to leave a family dinner to go to work...and man was it a good dinner!  But good jobs in this economy are few and far when you have a good one and they want you to work...then by all means I'm going to work!  I may moan and groan about the craziness that work brings with it but I am so glad that I can say we have a steady income.  Every meal we have and every time I think about the roof over our heads I thank my lucky stars that we have to get up in the dark and sometimes come home in the dark.  Because that means we have a home to come home to.  And you can bet that when I complain about work...I shut my mouth come payday!

Hope you had a great weekend and that you remembered to count your blessings today too.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 17

Ohhhh I almost made it!  I had a goal of posting every day until Thanksgiving but the Busy Bryants got really busy and I couldn't do much more than crawl in bed at the end of yesterday.  But I AM back today to get on with counting my blessings. 

Day 17 of An Attitude of Gratitude reminds me to be thankful for my health.  Not only my health but the health of my family.  I have been blessed with three healthy kids and every day I thank my lucky stars for it.  There have been a few minor bumps in the road (cough cough-son of mine-if you break another bone I will start sending you outside dressed in bubble wrap) but for the most part we are all doing well. 

Today my sister, her hubby, a girlfriend and I ran in a 5K to benefit a group that does research on and supports families of children with cancer.  What better cause can a mother of three healthy kids support?  And to make the race even more worth the effort.....was the fact that at each water stop you could eat Dunkin' Donuts' donut holes.  And we all know "America Runs on Dunkin' Donuts" 

Ready for the 2nd Annual
Dunkin' Donuts Munchkin 5K

They told us that there were about 5,000 donut holes there to be consumed.  I had to do my duty people and eat as many as possible.  But running and eating ANYTHING at the same time does not mix.  I only had 5 and figured some teenager would be able to eat the rest of my share.  And part of the goodies bag was a voucher to get a dozen donut holes at a local Dunkin' Donuts in the next couple months.  Hello!  Awesome!  Plus after the race there were a ton of door prizes!  Over all a good morning....little chilly at the start but nothing a few donut holes couldn't fix.

BTW the name of the charity that benefited from the run is can find out more about them here

Thursday, November 15, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 15

Some days the K.I.S. (keep is simple) line of thinking is really all I can handle.  And today was one of those days.  Day 15 of An Attitude of Gratitude....just plain jars, some twine and tea light grace my table.  They flicker, they soften the space in our home and they make me happy.  Simple but sweet.  I'm grateful that even an old jar can be made pretty. 

The month is half way done....yikes!  Time is flying.  Hope Thursday treated you well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 14

I remember working at a local hospital that had one floor totally renovated.  There had been a fire in the hospital and because of that EVERYTHING on the floor got replaced.  New floors, new walls, a new doctor lounge....and a new Christmas Tree.  But wasn't Christmas.  The tree was decorated for Memorial Day, if memory serves right.  I asked about the tree and was told that it was a Seasonal Tree and the unit had plans to decorate the tree for various holidays.  I was in LOVE.  I couldn't run out right then and buy things for my own seasonal tree (not many ornaments out in May) and my family might think I had lost my mind!

Fast forward several years.  I was living in a new apartment and going through a lot of personal changes.  My spirits were down and I was in desperate need of a pick-me-up.  As Christmas came to a close I was faced with taking down the Christmas Tree, one of the few things that brighten the space I now called home.  I dreaded the idea.  Then it occurred to me.  It's my place...I can have what I want in here...and I can have a Seasonal Tree!  That day I went and bought over a dozen boxes of Christmas ornaments. 

Today there are more ornaments than I can shake a stick at. Why would anyone shake a stick at things anyway....answer me that.  Anyway, I decorate a tree for most major holidays and I still have plans for at least one I want to try next year.  In those days when happiness seemed hard to come by I did find comfort in coming home to an apartment in the middle of summer with a 4th of July Tree.  It was MINE and not many people had anything like it.  I could sit on the couch and enjoy the glow of the lights year round.  It became a fun project to make ornaments with the kids for the tree.  Today I have more happiness than ever before.  You know the proverbial "my cup runneth over"?  Well mine is running over the edge of the cup, all over the table and onto the floor.  My tree still gets decorated now not because I'm trying to find something to smile about, but because I have so much to celebrate!  So on Day 14 of An Attitude of Gratitude I am thankful for the many celebrations in my life and for my Seasonal Tree. 

The Thanksgiving Tree

I'm enjoying the feeling of "The Holidays" all year long.  Happy as a clam...I am.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 13

Sometimes it's just the little things.....

On day 13 of An Attitude of Gratitude, I'm grateful for all the little things that add up to make life so great.  Finding a forgotten umbrella in the car exactly as it starts raining, finding a dime when all you have is 90 cent and need $1 to get a diet Mt. Dew, or a warm cup of tea as the day winds down to help warm the soul.  Remember if you look for the good you will find it.  Maybe you just have to read the tea leaves :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 12

This month is flying by!!!  At the end of this week we celebrate Thanksgiving with Mark's family and then just next week we celebrate Thanksgiving Day with my family.  Crazy fast this month is.  I'm channeling Obi Wan Kenobi today if anyone wants to know :) But back to the blog.  Today....Day 12 of An Attitude of Gratitude I'm feeling very blessed to live in a state with such beautiful sights like Virginia has.

Natural Tunnel

The Humpback Rocks of the Blue Ridge Parkway

The beaches of Westmoreland State Park

The Rappahanock River

The Plains

High Bridge State Park

Point of Rocks Park

Our newest find...Bear Creek Lake

A wonderful weekend we did have.  Home we are glad to be back at :)  Hope your week is off to a great start!  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 11

It's true what they say.....there is NO place like home.  After a nice weekend packed with family, food and adventure I am ever so happy to be back in our humble abode.  And today, Day 11 of An Attitude of Gratitude, I'm very thankful for my little home that could.  It's not big by any means and there are times we feel like we're walking on top of each other just trying to get around.  But I wouldn't change it for the world.  Well actually I would change a few things and I have changed a lot since I moved in....but I wouldn't give up our home right now for anything.  It's my little cottage in the ghetto...haha. 

In the spring it's full of blooms

In autumn we get a new carpet of watercolors

And this year we added the fence and some
extra charm to the yard

We've decorated it a time or twenty

It's been messy at least....daily :-/

And through all of that (plus a ton more) our house is simply....our HOME.  So many wonderful things go on under our roof.  We laugh, cry, shout, argue, laugh some more and take comfort in the fact that if we need someone all we have to do is turn around....cause no doubt there isn't enough room to get out of the way!  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude Day 10

As we're off busy hiking and biking our way through the forests and roasting our marshmallows by the fire I thought I would let you enjoy visions of An Attitude of Gratitude Day 10. 

As you ALL should know by now...the adult Bryants have a deep love and passion for Virginia Wine!  And I do emphasize Virginia Wine.  #1 is supports local businesses and we're all about that around here.  #2 it tastes great!  Now sometimes you have to search for that one wine that suits you best but that is the case with all wine...Virginia or other.  #3 well really there is no other reason except I like to visit places and wineries are usually beautiful and Virginia is full of them. 

I think people that are passionate about their wine have a special connection.  Some of my best memories this last year were made while connecting with those friends that have the same love for wine.  Talking about the wineries we've visited and making plans to visit new ones, the wine festivals we've been to or what foods pair well with what wine.    I already can't wait for warmer weather so that we can enjoy nights out on the deck with those friends....maybe we'll have to just move out to the fire pit and sip our wine during the winter :)