Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bunco and Billiards!!!!

Central NY
December 29 2017-December 30th 2017

Work week went quickly, I only was in the office three days. Still don't know where the time went.

I took Friday off and enjoyed the time crafting and relaxing. Friday evening was my Bunco Holiday party. What an Insane BUnch!!!

Some of the women were trying the Jelly Belly game. Stephanie got rotten fish or something as closely disgusting. Ewe!!!!

 Mixed drinks and shots were soon being passed out.

 This was where I should have stopped before I started. There was also a ton of food......Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I really didn't eat much. Most of my consumption was in the spirits.
 I tried to get pictures of everyone's BUNCO face!



 Annette hiding

 Dina and Tina
 Stephanie and Renee

Susan, Annette and Renee

 Dina and her daughters


A few more antics.....

 After two rounds of Bunco. (I did not win...BTW) We held a Holiday gift exchange.

I'm not sure of the name of the game, but we had to roll three die to see what we would get. I know one was keep, one was pass to the left/right one was steal. At any rate it was CRAZY fun.

My roll ended me with all steal. I took a dinner set, a candle holder and an unopened Crystal Christmas tree. Kristen had obtained this soft Owl blanket and pillow set. She graciously traded with me for my dinner set. How nice of her. 
 I spent most of Saturday recuperating from Friday's antics. Reminding myself that a bottle of wine and a few NOT recommended.....EVER AGAIN.
Somehow I was well enough by Saturday evening to get myself out of the house and connect with some more friends.

Mary's husband Brian and a friend of theirs had purchased and remodeled a Pool Hall in North Syracuse. The Brick House

I posted the link. Mary reported that word of mouth and facebook are the only means of advertisement. The place was pretty packed for a snowy Saturday evening. We all had fun. Food was good, company was better.

I didn't play pool, but Mark and Ben did. (I forgot to tell you Ben got in Friday night) Yeah! 

 Instead of pool playing I visited with these ladies. Feels like forever since I saw Mary and Mindy. A few burgers, (No alcohol was ingested by me.) some catch up time and the evening was complete. We all agreed we need to spend more time together. All of our kids are nearly grown up.

In between bites of food, we caught up on how everyone is doing.

All four of us have boys about the same age and when they were little played together, Now they don't even talk to one another. WOW.
Carol son(Tyler) is at John Fisher College. He's a freshmen there and plays football. Her son (Stephen) is a freshmen at a local high school and active in wrestling.
Mindy's son (Luke) is a year older then Gavin and is in the 10th grade. (He is into sports as well.)
Mindy also has a daughter (Maddie) in 3d grade she has the youngest child of all of us.
Mary has two boys (Will and Alex) Will is working at grocery store and Alex is in 9th grade.
My younger two are the same ages as these boys. Ben (home from Florida) where he attends Florida Institute of Technology and Gavin 9th grade.
I'd say we still look pretty "hot" for pushing 50.
What a wonderful way to spend one of my last days of 2017. Plan to see each other more often in 2018!!!

Happy New Year!!!! TTFN

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Blessed with Celebrations of the season and STRETCHY pants!!!

Central NY
12/15-12/25 2017

I have been so very blessed by the number of celebrations I have been able to attend over the last several days. So many celebrations...I am feeling quite tired as the festivities come to an end. (this post has several pictures of people you might not know...sorry.)

Thursday afternoon at work, I was busy with the work events committee cookie platters. As a member of the committee. I had made over four dozen cookies to distribute for platters what we arranged and sold at work for $7- per plate.

 Where did all the cookies go????

 It was a lot of work and boy was I tired, but the cookies came out so yummy. I had to get a platter for my weekend Holiday events so it worked out very well.
After cookie plates. I did some shopping with Aimee. I am so over shopping. I do not enjoy finding gifts at a large mall and feeling under the gun. My family really needs to start having lists. I did get  most of my gifts completed however and had a meal at the Popeye. Reminder to self....skip the Popeye's. It was dry, there was little dipping sauce and no butter for the dry biscuit. Anyways.....just a few more gifts to get and my holiday gift getting is done!

Friday was our Company Annual Holiday Party. There was SOOOOO much food. I have officially decided that weight watchers is not a consideration until after the Holidays. Yeah....Not wise, but I cannot resist.
I gave the girls some fun stocking stuffers.

Of course UGLY sweaters were encouraged so everyone had to get in on it.

 As part of the events committee, I got to help the set up...I just loved these little gems on the tables.

 A job well done!
 Now for the meal!!!!! A what a meal it was!

 Here we are all eating!!!!

 After work....I flew home to prepare for yet another event. My annual Close to My Heart Holiday party. First a little crafting....

 Then it was time for dinner.
 and of course a little DRINK....(lots of drink)

and some LOVELY tags!!!!

 Chris (our hostess poses with Moose.)
 Then it was time for the gift exchange....

 We open gifts then they can be taken by someone.They must also be hand made.  It can make opening gifts so FUN and COMPETITIVE. I lost every gift I REALLY WANTED....(I wanted these lavender pillow cases made by Christine.)


 Christine trying to secure the gift I bought by rubbing herself on it. Yes,,,,we are CRAZY too.

 I did get this LOVELY holiday picture and homemade candy made by Kristen (a new friend.). I do think it will look lovely in my RV during future HOLIDAY travels.

 Did I mention there was drink and silliness? Below with Sandy is Michelle, also a new friend.
 After a few more cocktails and TOO many chocolate Kuala shots....We were off to bed.

Alcohol induced selfies....

 Breakfast that Saturday morning was bacon, sausage, fruit and my egg bake.

YUM!!!! (And I actually did not wake with a need for rehab.)

BUT....the fun has not stoppped!!!!(Nor has the food)

For Lunch on Saturday I met up with some of my High School friends at the Bull and Bear restaurant.
After all that food... I still managed to take a big bite into this dish of poutine.

 Love these ladies.  I have known them all since High School. It has been years since I saw Marri, she lives in Australia, Brenda lives local but I never seem to see her....Carol of course I see often BUT always has my heart. We were hoping for one more of our old friends Susan, who ended up having problems with her car...bummer. What FUN to catch up!!!
Brenda, Marri Me and Carol
 Did someone offer dessert too?

Just enough for FOUR!!!!!

So one would think the FOOD would STOP by now.....BUT NO it just keeps on Keeping ON!!!!
After about three hours from my third bite of this amazing peanut butter pie. I was off to my mother in laws for Hanukkah dinner.....WOW can I actually stuff in a latka and brisket?

We enjoyed a nice meal, and shared gifts for the celebration. She spoiled us all.

WOW...I am food out...BUT we still had more food to come. Sunday Mark and I had a free BRUNCH at Del Lago Resort and casino at the INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS portico by FABIO VIVIANI.

If I never eat again this place has got to be my last meal....this food was INCREDIBLE!!!! I have NEVER tasted food like this and this was a Buffet STYLE brunch....

 I'm not a seafood person, but if I was I am sure this would be the most YUMMY. I did eat some lobster tail and that was pretty good...It must be AMAZING to a seafood lover.
 Mamosata and Bloody Mary's...omelets, bacon, sausage, fruit....YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!!!


 This had to be my favorite.....Waffles were INSANE!!!! Hindsight....I would have made this be my breakfast and the desserts my LUNCH.
 There was an ENTIRE ROOM FULL OF DESSERTS!!!!!! WOW! I was so impressed I took pictures....

 Before I took my own selection. I had a bite of EVERYTHING,
 Just look at this coffee flavored chocolate served in a tiny chocolate coffee cup. I felt like I was visiting Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory. 
 I had to get a picture of the glass WINE cellar. (Well not really a cellar.)
 I am told a brunch of this magnitude is roughly $50- per person. (add the cocktail and I am sure it only goes up up up.) Dinner's are even higher. The perk of being married to a gambler continues. After filling up with food. We picked up PIES. (park of the members rewards.) I did not earn enough points to be part of this elite group of players. I did grab my mother in laws pie for her though.
 Have you ever heard of a CANNOLI PIE??? Oh MY Goodness!!! Mother in law got the Romber Berry Pie.
 The casino was celebrating someones Birthday. I had to take a picture of these GREAT balloons,

 and every time I use this Makenzie Childs ladies room I just fall in love.
 WOW!!!! Stuffed and feeling full of gratitude. We made our way home. Did some last bit of shopping...wrapped gifts...and I OPENED mine. (I ordered myself the Samantha Brown luggage set and told Mark he had gotten me my present,) I was planning on wrapping it and opening it on Christmas day, but after wrapping all the gifts in the afternoon. I was not about to expend the energy wrapping my own here it is.
 LOVE IT!!!!!

Back to life on Monday....Tuesday....and by Wednesday there were more celebrations.I had my team Holiday party at work.

I think everyone LOVES their Barb blankets.

As busy as it has been, some of the girls and I got out and had a "reckless" night of ice skating. It has been years since I put on some skates. My own skates seemed so tight. I actually had to rent a pair while I was there.

 I think we spent more time getting the skates adjusted and put on then actually skating. It seemed incredibly difficult. (And I was a HOCKEY player once.) Natural ice is WAY TO SOFT.

 Aimee stayed by the boards the whole time. Stefanie seemed to be the only one who was off and moving.

 I made it around a few times, but never felt 100% confidant in my abilities. I am not sure if it is me, the ice, the skates or what. I explained to my two (Younger) friends "I used to be able to snow plow stop...on a dime.....I swear!!!! " I could barely stand up anymore. This getting old thing sucks.....I am beginning to think that as I have spent so many years on these feet holding this much feet have been forced to flatten like a pancake to support the extra bulk....Now my feet simply do not fit in things that require tight laces and narrow length.

We still had a great time. It was enjoyable just to be in downtown Syracuse (Clinton Square) under all of the Holiday lights.

After ice skating. Stefanie was off to get more of the those LouLarroe items, while Aimee and I hit the Downtown area for a bite to eat. (Shall I remind you Aimee is my weight watcher partner.) We both are being AMAZING supports for one another. 

After looking at some of the local fare. Very expensive steaks, 100% veggie places, a few closed place...a dive bar...and SMACK in the middle was a place called Niko's. 
There were about three people in the place, and one person running it. BUT......It was burgers, pizza and wings. Just the right kind of food for eating after ice skating. Thank You...I will SKIP the Beets burger next door, even if there does seem to be a bigger crowd of people. 
 At any rate...I have to say....THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST BURGERS EVER!!!! YUMMMMMMM!!!! I do think of myself as a Burger expert and this one was on the TOPS list. Fries were pretty good too. I even thought of Hubby and brought him home some crispy wings.

Friday night...I planned an evening of LAZINESS. It had snowed pretty bad outside...I made my last run of the day to Walmart for a client. (DO NOT GO TO WALMART days before Christmas...) INSANITY!!! and the traffic in my area was OUT OF CONTROL. I still had groceries to get before Christmas and decided then and there I would be going EARLY in the morning on Saturday. (It was still pretty crazy even at 8am.)
I digress......There I was home, snuggled in a Barb blanket watching meaningless tv, when Alexis asked if I would watch Jeremy's kids. SO....I did the psudo-grandma thing and spent the evening with these lovely little guys.

 We had some fun watching, (of all things..) Electric Company. (It is not the same show as when I was a kid.) Yep! I was a little disappointed. I was so ready to Yell "Hey You GUYS!!!!!"  It was well received by the boys and then we watched The Minion movie (I showed off my mini collection from when Gavin and I were collecting.)   Gifts ended the evening and I was so ready for bed.

I was up early Saturday....groceries were need for the next few days of meal. My Christmas brunch and I got some meals planned for that evening as well as Christmas Eve. I am so happy...Mark was expected to work Christmas Day.... He was not scheduled so I am THRILLED. (He had hoped for the hours and the time and 1/2) He does have to go in that afternoon for his overnight, but we have him for the day festivities. Hooray!!!! Yes I know he was/is Jewish, but we have always celebrated the Christmas Holiday, so I am happy.

Sunday was prep for the big day. Clean the house and put together things for Christmas brunch. Then finally it was Christmas.

 There was a ton of food for the brunch ready to go!
 As the kids get older time for celebrating gets later. Our 10:30 brunch didn't start until closer to 11. I was blessed with my Parents, my daughter Alexis and her new little family.

 I was grateful that Mark was here for the day. Originally he thought he may be going in to work. My youngest, Gavin actually smiled for most of the day. (This never happens)

and my oldest son Nick.  Missing Ben but he will be here on Friday from Florida.

Mark took a good picture too.

After filling our bellies it was time for presents....This took up the rest of the morning and  into the early afternoon.

 Not much to say......just happy faces.

 Most of Mark's gifts were going towards the RV. How about a sewage pipe.

I got some AMAZING gifts and so blessed by the company I had that day.
As the day went on, Mark left for work, my parents returned home and my kids were gone off to do what kids do.
Just as soon as it came upon us.....the day was over! Poof! My house was empty and I was left with all of the empty boxes and wrapping.
Satisfied with the many blessings of the season and grateful for my stretchy pants I enjoyed an evening of 24 hours of a true Christmas movie favorites on tv.

Hope you have a Wonderful Holiday and very Merry Christmas! TTFN