Hey, hi! It's time for my annual End-of-the-Year Meme! I've been doing this meme for a dozen years or so, and I think it's kinda fun. Enjoy!
What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
Yoga. Specifically a ballet yoga hybrid which was really fun!
Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I actually did a pretty good job of keeping up with my Resolutions this year - my health and fitness is better than this time last year, I did some stamping, but also got rid of lots of stamps I wasn't using, and I got rid of TONS of make-up, and have done a really good job of not buying more. I'll probably make more resolutions next year, just because it's a habit!
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank God!
What countries did you visit?
None this year.
What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 4th when I got to hang out with a couple friends, and October 15th when I saw the amazing Chris de Burgh in concert!
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think I made it though the year without being terribly sick. Maybe one cold? I think.
What was your biggest failure?
Not doing more Yoga once the class I was taking ended.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing more than usual. I was diagnosed (finally!) with degenerative arthritis, for which I have been receiving treatment this year. The treatment is working really well, and while I'll never be 100% healthy ever again, I'm better than I was a year ago, and now that I've accepted that I can move forward.
What was the best thing you bought?
A TempurFlex mattress with an adjustable base.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
My cousin Jess and her husband, who took in a couple foster children. I think they're nuts, because OMG the CHAOS!!, but God bless them for being so giving and selfless!
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No one specific, just the usual a-hole politicians and fame-starved reality "celebrities" being obnoxious.
Where did most of your money go?
Clothes and shoes.
What did you get really, really, really excited about
Chris de Burgh concert in Cupertino - SO awesome!
What song will always remind you of 2015?
I have to say Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" because it was the song that played during our ab workout in Ballet Yoga, and I don't think I have ever crunched that hard!
Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder
a little happier.
b) thinner or fatter?
a little thinner.
c) richer or poorer?
a little richer.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Stamping, going to the beach, travelling.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
How did you spend Christmas?
Relaxing with my family.
Did you fall in love in 2015?
What was your favorite TV program?
I loved Empire, Z Nation, Dark Matter, and Poldark.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
What was the best book you read?
The Life-Changing Magic of Tyding Up by Marie Kondo. Seriously, this book changed my life!
What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Warning, a trio of awesome little rockers!
What did you want and get?
I've wanted for years to see Chris de Burgh in concert, and finally, this year, I did! Best. Night. EVER!
What did you want and not get?
I wanted to be physically back to where I was in 2013, but that's never going to happen. I'm just thrilled to be able to be as active as I am.
What was your favorite film of this year?
Jurassic World was awesome!
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I don't remember what I did on my birthday, so I probably just stayed home and relaxed!
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I would loved to have been able to do a 5k, but, alas, it was not to be. I hope to do at least one next year!
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
I'm going to go with trendy, because I bought a few trendy pieces at the beginning of each season, and usually got rid of them by the beginning of the next when I bought "the next big thing". It wasn't that I was obsessed with having the latest style or trend, it was just fun, and if I could afford it, I bought it!
What kept you sane?
Getting a good night's sleep!
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
That Aiden Turner in the new Poldark series was quite hunky and a joy to look at! (But, Robin Ellis will always be MY Poldark!)
What political issue stirred you the most?
I've learned to keep my political (and religious, and social) views to myself.
Who did you miss?
My Weetacon friends, and my BFFs Jewel, DeeDee and Pammie Sue.
Who was the best new person you met?
We got a new girl at work this year who just jumped in with both feet, caught on quickly, and has been an amazing asset to our little group!
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Don't ever take your health or physical abilities for granted because one day they may be gone (or at least extremely limited!).
Do you fill out the same meme each year? Or just a Yearly Recap? Let me know in the comments, cause I'd love to read it! Cheers!
So, I recently signed up for a quarterly beauty box subscription from Beauty Con BFF. (WARNING: Before you head off to that website, let me tell you there are a couple annoying pop-ups on this page, one of which I could NEVER X out of, and prevented me from navigating the page. so I had to quit the page entirely and reopen it for information. Just FYI!!!) Four times a year they send out a box containing name brand cosmetics, fashion or jewelry items, and other fun little things. Each box seems to have a theme or celebrity attached to it. For example, the Winter Box was Bethany Mota, and previous boxes were Lolocat and Teala Dunn. (I don't know who any of the people are, which makes me think this might not be the beauty box for me!) It sounded fun, so I thought I'd try it out. There's an annual fee of $99.00, which is a lot of money, but you do get a lot in the box.
Super fun doodles on the outside of the box.
I love that they give you instructions for filming your unboxing and give you the necessary hashtags to share on social media!
There's the list of all the items in the box. There's a LOT of stuff! And, a lot of them are full-sized products!
The first is this Revlon Matte Lip colour. It's not really too matte, though, as there was still a shine to it after a few minutes after I swatched it on my hand. Also, this is not really a colour I think I would ever use, but it is pretty!
I really loved getting this Essie nail polish in Marshmallow because my previous white nail polish went bad, and I hadn't replaced it, yet! I tried to swatch it on one of my colour wheels, but you can't really tell since it's already white!
I'm not 100% sure what this is, but my guess is a highlighter for your cheekbone. It's shiny and glittery. I'm not really into all the contouring, highlighting, baking, or strobing that's going on in the make-up world right now, but I might try this to highlight my brow bone. Maybe it'll help make me look more awake!
Next up were some full-size products I can definitely use: mousse, hand lotion, and mascara!
There were a couple Disney Minnie Mouse items including the cute mouse ear headband above and the temporary tattoos below. I'm not sure I'd ever wear or use either of these products, so I might take them to work to leave on the back table. Some folks have teenaged girls who might like these.
This travel-sized Murad toner, however, I could definitely use!
This box had two gift cards in it - one for Aeropostale and the other for Nike Woman. I sincerely doubt I would find anything I could wear at Aeropostale, but maybe they've got some fun accessories. (Edited to add: I just went to the Aeropostale website, and they actually have plus sizes up to XXL in tops and 18 in bottoms!) The Nike one I'm very excited about! It's only $20.00, but I need some new exercise gear and that will help cut the cost a bit!
Finally, there was this blank notebook, which I can always use!
Merry Christmas and welcome to a very festive Friday Five!
1. My mom and I usually watch It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, but this year, we didn't. Neither of us was in the mood for it, I guess. We did watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, however, which I hadn't seen in a long, long time, and it was wonderful!
2. Because the busses are running a shortened schedule due to it being Christmas Eve, I had to drive yesterday. Which I hate. However, because it was so slow, our boss very kindly allowed us to leave a half hour early, so I was home well before all the traffic and chaos!
3. My mom and I don't exchange gifts on Christmas. Mostly because it's too stressful to go out and try to buy a gift for someone* (even someone you know really well!), plus, we can just go out and buy whatever we want. And, besides, we're trying to get rid of stuff anyway! This year, however, I did end up pre-orderingSpark Joy, the new book my Marie Kondo for my mom, and she bought me the memory quilt I shared earlier. So, 2015 was the year of gifting in our house!
4. Those of you who received Christmas cards from me this year realized there was no Christmas letter. No, you were not forgotten! I didn't write one. Since I hadn't done anything fun or interesting (except go the Chris de Burgh concert in Cupertino, which was AWESOME!!), there was really nothing to write about, so I skipped it this year. Hopefully next year it'll be a 2 pager!
5. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and if you don't celebrate, Happy Friday (TGIF!!)! Cheers!
* That said, I do LOVE buying the Toys for Tots gift every year. There's really no pressure with that, and it's going to a good cause!
So, last Friday was our annual Toys for Tots party at work. We have a fun time with this yearly charity toy drive by doing a Secret Santa gift exchange, with a twist. We still draw names and keep quiet about who we're buying for, but the twist is each participant is randomly assigned a different age (usually between 3 and 15 or 16 years old). Then, instead of buying a gift for that person that they would use and enjoy now, we buy a toy or gift that we think that person may have played with or used at the age they've been assigned, then the toy is donated to Toys for Tots! For example, the woman whose name I drew was given the age 13. Now, I have worked with this woman for many years, and know that she loves to have her nails done. Every couple weeks or so she'll have different coloured glitter tips or a design on her fingernails. So, a gift box with different coloured nail polishes, glitters, and stencils was the PERFECT gift for her, and I'm sure some lucky little teenage girl will enjoy it as well!
In the end, we had about 40 presents to donate to Toys for Tots. Not a bad haul, though we have done better in the past. Hopefully these gifts will make a child's Christmas just a little merrier this year! Do any of you do charity giving at Christmas? If so, is it at the office, or on your own? Do you have fun with it, or just buy a toy to donate? Let me know in the comments! Cheers!
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
•Grab your current read.
•Open to a random page.
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. (I tend to go over this limit a LOT!)
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This week I'm reading Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, subtitled The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children. I read the first book so long ago, I don't really remember the story very well, but that's not taking away from my enjoyment of this second book at all. Here are my teasers from page 194 on my nook:
So it had come to this: everything depended on a pigeon. Whether we would end the night in the womblike safety of an ymbryne's care or half chewed in the churning black of a hollow's guts; whether Miss Peregrine would be saved or we'd wander lost through this hellscape until her clock ran out; whether I would live to see my home or my parents again - it all depended on one scrawny, peculiar pigeon.
Last week I received two awesome presents in the mail: a custom quilt and pillow from Campus Quilt Company! You see, for decades now I have been lugging around all the t-shirts and sweatshirts from my high school and college years - a total of 10 shirts. They were taking up a lot of space, and I couldn't wear them anymore because I was very tiny then, and am really fat now, but I didn't want to just get rid of them because of the memories attached to them. I knew I should do something with them like make pillows or a quilt, but I'm not really so inclined to make pillows or quilts, so the shirts just sat there in a bin under the bed for a very, very long time.
Then my mom saw a segment on TV for Campus Quilt Company where they will take your old t-shirts and sweatshirts (or really any kind of shirt or clothing item), and make them into a beautiful keepsake quilt. She told me aobut it when I got home, and insisted I send my shirts into this company because God knows I was never going to get around to doing anything with these shirts myself, they are just taking up space, and I really can't enjoy them when they're sitting in a bin, now can I? So, after checking out the company's website as well as some reviews online, I decided it was an awesome idea, and sent out my college residence hall sweatshirts, other college shirts, t-shirts from my high school years and hometown area, as well as one sweatshirt I bought in Scotland to be transformed into something useful and amazing!
There are several different sizes of quilts depending on the number of shirts you have, as well as different options for the backing, sashing, even custom embroidery! I chose the 9-square lap quilt, and since I had an extra sweatshirt, opted for a pillow as well. After putting in my order, I was sent a small packet of instructions and samples of coloured swatches for the back and sashing. I got my shirts all together, numbered them in the order I wanted, filled out the order form with the colours I wanted, packed everything in a box, and mailed it out.
Within a month, this box arrived (just FYI, everything was originally wrapped up beautifully, safely, and securely in heavy-duty plastic bags, but I couldn't wait to take pictures and opened them right away!):
And inside was an adorable pillow made from the sweatshirt I bought in Edinbrugh, Scotland in 1987:
And, this amazingly beautiful quilt made from my high school and college shirts:
I cannot even begin to tell you how very VERY happy, thrilled, and pleased I am with this quilt! It's gorgeous, it's hanging over my bed right now (I opted to have a wall-hanging sleeve for this exact purpose), and I smile every time I walk in my bedroom! Now I have all these great memories all in one place where I can enjoy it whenever I like! So, if you have some old shirts (college, high school, rock concerts, anything, really!), and you'd like to have a gorgeous quilt and pillow just like these, go straight to Campus Quilt Company's website and get started NOW!!!