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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas: The Stages of Presents

Christmas Eve.

I went to work that morning. They were only open until 2pm. I was manning the phone. And Tito was manning the walk up sales. It was pretty slow. But it was nice. I got to get away from the holiday decorating and gift wrapping at our house. Plus I had been sick the previous week so I had not been to work for a whole week.

Chad and Amber and the kids were at our house when I got home. They had just barely gotten there. Shortly after that Eric and Carly arrived. They came over for our Christmas Eve dinner. We had the Higgins traditional spread of yummy goodness. Chicken Cordon Bleu. Cheesy Broccoli, Potatoes, and Cauliflower. Jello, we had it with whipped cream this year. Shrimp and cocktail sauce. We had both the cold normal kind and hot, popcorn shrimp kind. I like popcorn shrimp. And sparkling apple cider to drink. For dessert this year we had chocolate cake with fudge frosting and strawberries. That was really yummy.

We opened our Christmas Eve presents after doing the dishes. We of course got matching pajamas. I think I’ll only wear the bottoms. The top, also same as the bottoms, is way too big for me. I just wore a white t-shirt that I had in my pj drawer instead, which is probably what I will do from now on. The bottoms are super comfy. Mom buys men's pjs.

The whole Higgins clan. Each family had their own matching pjs.

Steven, Myself, and Brian
One of our Christmas Eve traditions also includes opening a new movie that we watch. We watched ‘Despicable Me 2’. It was cute but I think I still like the first movie better.

Christmas day was fun this year.

Everyone came into my room and woke me up. It was 9:30am and I was the only one still sleeping. I was sort of waking at that point so it was okay. We went upstairs and ate breakfast. We had cinnamon rolls and an egg casserole. After we did the dishes a bit we opened our “stocking” presents and the other presents from Mom and Dad (and Santa).

I got a pretty fashion scarf, a cream colored sweater, and some jeans. I also opened my gift to myself. I bought a 1000-piece puzzle of the TARDIS exploding that Van Gogh paints in Doctor Who. I really like it. I bought a while ago. Our stocking bags had the normal stuff like candy, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other goodies. We got granola bars, popcorn, gum balls (that have a maze), fruit snacks, and of course socks. My socks are a pack of six. They are bright colors. I really like the lime green ones. lol. We also got a lint roller, and tiny Goo Gone bottles, Burt’s Bees lip balm, tiny Bag Balm containers, tiny Gold Bond lotions, and a thermos mug cup container. (I traded my red one with Steven’s green one.) I also got some tiny lip gloss, four O.P.I. nail polish colors, and some nail art glitter stuff. And I got some headphones. They look like nice ones. They are in-ear headphones that actually go in your ear. My headphones are made for women so they are the smaller versions. Also they are a cool purple and white color.

Jeans, Sweater, and Scarf
My Doctor Who 1000-piece puzzle
Junk food goodies
Other "stocking" stuff
New headphones
O.P.I. nail polish

Steven and Brian and Dad got these 3D paper puzzle planes. They look really fun and were interesting to put together. I wanted one. Maybe not a plane, but a dinosaur or one of the other kinds they had. Mom actually went to that store they got them from and got me two dinosaurs. (She was there exchanging some things.) They are so cute.

The two dinos Mom bought for me
The whole dino collection

We had a few more presents to open from Mom and Dad and siblings. Chad and family came over about 3pm. Eric and Carly didn’t get there until about 4pm. We opened more presents and it was fun. Cayden was quite excited about every present and wanted to open them all. He had a hard time waiting and watching other people open their gifts. lol. I got a few more things. Mom (and Dad) gave me a $30 Barnes and Noble gift card. We all got some sort of fleece blanket. Mine is pretty. It’s striped with bright colors. Carly, Amber, and I got leggings. They were in the same box and we got to choose which ones we got. Each of us got solid black ones and a pattern one. The pattern ones were all different. Mom got the two that we didn’t pick.

Fleece blanket
I gave gifts to Brian this year. I got him The Piano Guys’ CDs (both one and two) and a giant jawbreaker. I found out that he already has the first CD so I’ll keep that one and I bought him an Owl City CD that he wanted instead. (In that same order Brian bought another CD. He paid me for that one. I also bought a DVD on the same order. All from Barnes and Noble. I love that place so much.) I wrapped his presents in Spongebob Christmas wrapping paper that I found at the dollar store. It was awesome.

Chad and Amber were giving to me this year. They gave me Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I have the first three books and I needed the last, fourth book. They also gave me an Imagine Dragons CD that I wanted. It’s called ‘Night Visions’ and it’s really good. Chad also gave me a Mountain Dew. Its old school designed bottle is nifty.

When I was ordering Brian's re-gift I ordered Doctor Who season 7 on DVD. I used that Barnes and Noble gift card from Mom and Dad. I had to pay a couple of dollars because the gift card wasn’t enough to buy all of it. And I still need to purchase the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. But it airs after season 7 so I’m not worrying about right now. I’ll keep an eye on it and buy it later.

And that was my Christmas Eve and Day. It was a lot of fun. Let's do it again next year. :)

Overflowing Scarves

Today I went to Target and got my 2014 planner. It is lime green! I love it. While I was there I got a couple of white tension rods. I have wanted to organize my scarves for a while now. And since I got a scarf for Christmas it reminded me of this project. I used tension rods in the side of my closet and now I can hang all of my scarves. I have two rods. One I use for the thicker knit scarves that I use a lot during fall/winter. The other rod I placed in front and a tiny bit lower than the other. I use it for my fashion scarves. I wear those all the time. I hung up all of my scarves and they look so lovely. I think I’ll keep my scarves a lot more organized now.

Before and After
Tension rods without any scarves.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Starburst Quilt

I found a quilt that I like from Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations. It's a giant starburst quilt. I love the simplicity of the design.

via Canoe Ridge Creations. (HERE)

Instead of doing the points in the four different colors I wanted each of them to be different. So I got eight different greens. I think it'll be cool.

So more like this ...

I love the colors and think they will look really good together. I already ordered my fabric from Pink Chalk Fabrics. I wanted an array of greens from Kona fabrics. I'm using Peridot, Lime, Sprout, Chartreuse, Kiwi, Leprechaun, Pear, and Fern for my eight greens. And my base white is Kona Snow.

I still have to choose the backing and binding fabrics.

This is going to be my first real quilt and my first quilt-along. I'm looking forward to it.

P.S. I have made quilts with my Mom so I am not a complete novice to quilting. :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pom Pom Christmas

I saw this idea on Pinterest and I thought it would be fun to do for Christmas. So this past week I went to the dollar store and got several little packages of red, green, and white fuzzy pom poms. Today I strung them on some red thread. There isn't a pattern. Just no same colors in a row and I tried to make the three sizes somewhat random. There aren't a lot of the big poms in the bag and I like them. I think I'll have to go back and get some more bags so that my garland is really long. I haven't measured it. I just keep adding pom poms to the strand. I like it. It makes me happy. I want to do another garland with all the bright colors someday.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween 2013

Tonight we had a costume party and pumpkin carving at the church.

I went as a modern Medusa. Meaning, I just wore jeans and a t-shirt. And the snakes in my hair were fun bright colors. Some of the snakes were glow in the dark. I bought dollar store snakes and bobby pins and hot glued them together. Then I stuck my hair up and started pinning the snakes in. Halfway through I stopped until Mom got home. And she helped fill in the holes with the rest of the snakes. ... I got lots of comments on my hair. It was fun. And worth the five dollars I spent on it. lol.

We also carved pumpkins. I went for a slight-traditional jack-o-lantern look. I also carved the word "boo".

Steven carved his pumpkin of a League of Legends character, Spirit Guard Uydr. He finished it when we got home.

The inspiration. Uydr in Phoenix mode.

And that was what we did this evening. It's always fun carving pumpkins with the ward.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Josh Groban. In The Round tour. Salt Lake City. October 11, 2013.

So this is a little after the fact. But here is my concert review. Keep in mind that most of the body of the post was written two days after the concert. And it a long post. So ... Enjoy.

* * * * *

Josh Groban was amazing on Friday night.

We decided to not take TRAX to and from the concert. Last time we went to a Groban concert we had to hurry over to the train because it was the last one. This time around I called UTA to ask them if they were running any extra trains after the concert. I was told that they were not and that the last train really was at 10:48pm. And if the concert ended at 10:30pm like I was estimating then we would never make it. So we made other transportation plans. Mom and I drove up to the University and parked at Eric and Carly’s apartment. Then Eric drove us, Carly, Mom, and I, downtown to the Energy Solutions Arena.

Once we were at ESA we needed to go to will call to pick up the tickets. It was really nice having them there. We didn’t have to stand in the giant line outside of all the people that already had their tickets in hand. I remember that last time. I was so excited and the line was going frustratingly slow. But this concert I was able to go directly to the will call window, hand my ID, and ten seconds I had my tickets. It was so easy.

Once we were upstairs on the main level we took a bathroom break, went to concessions, and then headed over to buy some Josh Groban merchandise. Those merchandise lines were disorganized and slow. Not the actual buying off items and the people behind the counter, but the lines. The fans in the lines. There wasn’t any set formation to the line so people were cutting in from the side and coming in from other lines. It was kind of annoying. I thought of a better way they could do the lines at the merchandise counters. They should use those line forming ropes and make it loop back and forth for two or three times. Then they have a Please Wait Here line on the floor at the end near the counter. And the attendants can help whoever is next in line. And the fans would know where the actual line is. If the line forms bigger than the ropes then that is a problem the fans have to kindly figure out. Yeah. Merchandise. Mom didn’t get anything. Carly got one of the same shirts I did. And I wanted all of the merchandise. I was so lovely. I like the merchandise that Josh Groban’s marketing team puts out. They are always so lovely. I decided on a cream colored t-shirt and an awesome keychain. I was going to get a key chain regardless of what else I got. I have on from the last major concert I went and I like the trend. And they are nice key chains. It’s kind of good that I didn’t bring my credit card and only had a set amount of cash on me. I probably would have bought more. lol.

When we finally got merchandise, we headed down to our seats. Seats on the floor. Which meant we got a wristband. I was actually really excited about that. It’s been two days and I’m still wearing my bright orange wristband. I’ll most likely wear it until it no longer makes me happy. But I smile every time I see it. We sat in section F1: row 3: seats 12-14. They weren’t the greatest seats in the world but I liked them. The stage was in the middle of the Arena floor. And then there were seats circling that. The sections were still square sections but somewhat facing the stage, of course. I felt like a lot of the concert Josh and company we facing away from us. But when he did come over to our side of the stage it was lovely. I can’t imagine sitting in one of the front row sections that are directly facing the stage. I would have died of delight. Maybe next concert.

When we were walking down to our seats the concert started. There was an opening act. Judith Hill was on tour with Josh this round. She has a really pretty voice. They ended up singing some duets together and I thought Judith’s voice complimented Josh’s very well. The concert started at 8pm and Judith’s set went for about a half hour.

After Judith the stage hands came put and moved the stage setup a bit. So we had about fifteen or twenty minutes to relax/freak out while we waited for Josh. At one point there was a “Josh, Josh, Josh” chant demand going on. That was fun. Sadly we didn’t do the wave this concert. lol. I did see Darren come out right by us. Josh’s main security guy was talking to the ESA security. I was excited because maybe Josh would be coming out right by us. That would have made my SO happy.

Josh Groban did come out around 9pm. Sadly, not by our section. The band and Josh came out opposite of us. It was cool because the band members started out up on the stairs that come down to the floor. As each one would play they got a spotlight lighted on them. It was fun. Tariqh got a big cheer. And then Josh ran out and we all went nuts. They started with ‘Brave’. That song is great and a perfect choice to start out with being that it is the single from ‘All That Echoes’. I wish that they’d play it more often on the radio though. I tried taking decent photos but it’s really hard to get good photos at a concert. I can barely manage one or two. I have a couple of overall stage shots that I like. By the way, the stage setup and lighting is actually very cool. During the songs I would geek out at the band members that I knew. Mom would ask me which one that one was of that one. I knew half of them. I knew Tariqh, Andre, and Christian. But I didn’t know the piano player. I think this is his first tour with Josh. I also did not know the trumpet player. But he was really good.

The songs Josh sang were:
  1. Brave
  2. False Alarms
  3. February Song
  4. Un Alma Mas
  5. Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)
  6. Alla Luce del Sole
  7. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
  8. Sincera
  9. Remember When It Rained – with Judith Hill
  10. Dream On – Band Interlude – Josh on drums
  11. VocĂȘ Existe Em Mim
  12. She Moved Through The Fair
  13. The Prayer – with Judith Hill
  14. I Believe (When I Fall In Love)
  15. You Raise Me Up
  16. Smile

'To Where You Are' was also sung. But for the life of me I cannot remember when it was sung. Near the beginning, I think.

I loved the concert. It was fun. Josh sang some of my favorite songs. I really liked the way they made 'Remember When It Rained' into a duet. It was interesting. And Josh still played the piano. I like when he plays the piano in that song. I also loved that he sang 'She Moved Through The Fair' and 'I Believe (When I Fall In Love)'. They are two of my favorite songs on the newest CD. Maybe off all his CDs. The band interlude was awesome. I loved that Josh came back on stage and rocked out on the drums with them. He always does that on tour so I should have been surprised. I guess I was expecting him back on stage so soon after he left. lol. There were a couple of times during the concert that Josh did a question and answer thing. He was hilarious. And I heard people talking about how they didn't know how funny he was. It makes me smile because I know how silly Josh Groban is. He is a hoot.

The concert ended around 10:45pm. We were walking out at 11pm. Eric picked us up from the Arena and we went back to their apartment to get our car. Then Mom and I drove home.

* * * * *

So pictures ... They are going to be blurry because it really hard to take good pictures during a concert.

Mom, myself, and Carly.

Judith Hill

A "Waiting for Josh" selfie. 

Myself, Carly, and Mom. In our seats.

Yay. Josh.

Andre and Tariqh.

Andre and Tariqh.

Tariqh. He is so cool. (Josh playing piano in the background.)

One of Tariqh's many awesome mini solos. We love Tariqh. He has been with Josh since the beginning. And I hear that he gives really good hugs.

I really liked the lighting they had. It was pretty.

There were giant screens that would show Josh and the band. It was cool.

Band interlude.

Josh rocking the drums. He always looks like he has fun doing that.

One of the duets with Judith.

Probably my clearest picture of Josh. If that super bright light wasn't always on him I think I could have taken a decent photo of Josh.

The stage as we were leaving. They were already taking it down so they could head off to Las Vegas that night.

And the loot. I got a key chain and a tshirt.

It goes with the other concert key chain that I have. They were on my keys after the concert for a week or so. Then I took them off again.

The wristband stayed on my wrist for a week. And then I went to a wedding and decided I should take it off.

My nails were silver with one nail sparkly. It matched my sparkly belt and sparkly clutch that I wore/took to the concert.

Here is the shirt I got. I LOVE it!
* * * * *

And that is a wrap. Bottom line ... I love Josh Groban and his concerts are so much fun.