Vacay Aftermath - Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done!  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

There is a feeling you get after a great vacation, a sense that you can conquer the world. This is especially true when you feel like you have to wear a costume to go to work, and vacation is a time when you can relax and feel like yourself. 

When vacation was over I was left with this need to make my life into what I want it to be, not accept what I am given. That's right - I felt all empowered with superhero spirit! What is the ultimate dream I have always had? To be a full time published writer, that's what! To this end I have been working on a novel off and on for years, treating it very much as a learning process. Let's be honest, I had no clue how to do this so learning had to be the first priority.

Sustaining a novel length story is a very different beast that writing a short story!

I am just finishing up a second draft of my novel, a huge accomplishment in itself, but with this feeling of invincibility infusing my actions, I decided to take things a step further. I booked a professional editor for mid March!!!! AAAAAHHHHHH!!!
*Gratuitous funny cat photo to relieve tension and anxiety*

This is putting myself out there in a way I never have before. OMG, I am scared to death. It is an expensive thing, but I decided I just had to figure out a way to pay for it. So, as if what I had done so far wasn't scary enough I STARTED AN INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN TO PAY FOR IT!!! 
The help I have gotten so far has been amazing. I am so touched by even the donations of $1 that I tear up every time. The words of support from people have been incredible. I am still so scared that I occasionally walk around saying I might barf, but I am also very thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

This is where I ask for help, the hardest part. I am not very good at this and am having to set that part of me aside right now. If you can donate anything at all, know that I am so very appreciative. Even a dollar will help make my dream a reality. If you can't manage that, then every Tweet, every blog, every Facebook share or link is such a huge help. I can't tell you how much I have wanted this all of my life and I wish I were in a situation where asking for help was not needed, but I can't let that get in my way!

Trying to hold on to that Superhero Spirit!

~ Denise

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Crazy Vacay Part Trois - Travel Log  

Monday, November 12, 2012

We have already established that our vacation helped us to settle on details of the dreams we are working towards, and we have come up with some new shop products. After our visit home to Moncton and our time spent in the Valley, there was one remaining place to go.

There she is in all of her cuteness. She is so amazing. Unfortunately, the weather sucked so we picked her up and took her to Bridgewater Mall and experienced her true awesomeness. She knows everyone in the entire town! She was like the Queen being greeted by her subjects. I swear, it was nuts, but she deserves it. Who wouldn't want to know her?

We drove around and I saw some beautiful parts of the South Shore that I have never seen before. Melina brought me to this fantastic cemetery that I want to return to when it isn't raining. Melisa sang along with Rob Zombie in the back seat and showed off the new words she's learned. She sure can say 'pumpkin'!

Finally we met up with Melina's mom to celebrate her 65th Birthday, because that needs to be celebrated. We had hidden the fact that we rented a car until the day before when Melina called her and said 'Surprise, we're driving down to take you to birthday supper!!'. She was very pleased. And Melisa got to sing 'Happy Birthday', which is one of her favourite things.

It was a great day and when we have a car we will have many more Melisa Days.

~ Denise

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Crazy Vacay Part Deux - Travel Log  

Friday, November 9, 2012

A rented car for us always means one thing - driving to the Annapolis Valley! Love it there. It is where we always dream of having our house in the country, the end goal of all of our hard work. And trips to the Valley at this time of year mean something even more important: PUMPKIN PEOPLE!!!!

You may not know that this is my very favourite, bar none, thing in the whole entire world! I mean, an entire town (Kentville) gets together and puts these amazing pumpkin people down the main street. Every year there is a theme and this year seemed to be Pixar movies. We saw Shrek, Brave, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc. and tons more. 

Come on! Are these not absolutely pure joy?? Everyone nearby should see these, and not just once. Every single year. No question. OMG I love them.

But on this day we did a little more. We also drove through the town of Canning, an absolutely beautiful place that has completely won us over. It has a great artistic community and the energy there is simply fantastic. Just past Canning is this beautiful spot.
I spoke in my previous post about how we visited Sackville, NB with the thought that we could live there someday. Here's the thing, as beautiful as everywhere else is, there is nowhere on the planet that gives us the feeling that the Valley does. There is a point on the highway on the way there that we come over a hill, and every time it is like I feel a huge exhale. It is the most amazing feeling: HOME. I have never had such an incredible sense of being exactly where I am supposed to be, and I know Melina feels the same way.

So, huge decision made. We have narrowed where we want to live down to an area (Canning) within the most perfect place on the planet to us (Valley).

Now the vacation time was not all play. We also spent some time coming up with a brand new product, and I think this is one that will definitely help to get us where we want to be. My idea, Melina's sewing.

* I used to be a cosmetician. I think about makeup a lot.

~ Denise

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Crazy Vacay Part One - Travel Log  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

We were very ready for vacation. Can you say burnout? It has been a nutty year of health issues, work changes, and trying to hold on to our goals. So by the time October 25th rolled around, we were psyched!

I should mention the teeny tiny itsy bitsy moment of clumsiness that I had, as it had threatened to derail our plans. For those who know me, I am generally the image of poise and grace, so try not to be too shocked. :) On Tuesday I was taking a shower and getting ready for work. You would think this to be a safe pursuit; and you would be wrong. My foot slipped, I fell flailing out of the bathtub, hitting the previously injured small of my back on the side of the tub and smashing my head against the cupboard doors under the sink. How hard did I hit my head, you may ask? Hard enough to break the doors entirely off of their hinges, is my reply. My mother used to call me 'tête de plâtre' (roughly translated as 'cement head') when I was a kid. Apparently she was right.

The doors my head broke, and that tried to break my head.

I would have included photos of my bruising, but no one needs to see the top of my butt. That would be a whole other  kind of blog.

Anyhoo, the fear was that I wouldn't be able to handle sitting in a car as much as we were planning. The first day of vacation we had made plans to drive home, to Moncton,  to see my family, returning the same day. Roughly 3 hours each way. We had so many plans for our time with a rental car and I was terrified this would ruin everything.

But it didn't! We made it home and had an amazing dinner with 3 of my sisters - Debbie, Donna and Darlene - Debbie's awesome husband, Dave, and my parents. And what an anomaly this restaurant was! A vegetarian restaurant that is s good that tons of carnivores eat there and there is a wait for a table  almost every night. Crazy! I wish it was here. Now, we were there for our own vegan benefit, though everyone enjoyed their meal. Funniest moment? When my family were having an extended convo about the best places to buy untainted and delicious meat in the city. I leaned to Melina and said, "I'll bet ours is the only table here having this discussion." Haha! I love my family a lot.
Another brief word only mentioned as it leads into the next post. On the way to Moncton we drove quickly through a town that I had wanted Melina to see. As readers of this blog, you will know that our end goal is a house in the country supporting ourselves. *sigh* A dream. Sackville has some appeal as a town as it is only 45 minutes outside of Moncton, has a small University and some Fine Arts outlets. Driving through, Melina was a smitten kitten. Gorgeous houses, lovely trees. A wonderful energy. Will we move there? More later.
Sackville, New Brunswick
We drove home from Moncton that night thrilled to have seen everyone. I want to be able to do that more often. It is one of the huge reasons that we are so excited to get a car in the new year. I love my mom and dad, and my sisters. Debbie and Dave were like a second set of parents to me when I was growing up, and I love to see them.

It was a great beginning to our vacation! And my back was doing fine. OK, maybe a little owie. ;)

~ Denise

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Got a Plan  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So, when we talk about moving to the country a big part of getting there is wheels. We can't walk everywhere when we aren't in Halifax. Even in the city, it isn't very practical. And terribly time consuming. Denise mocks me for being a sherpa but I have little choice. I need stuff so I lug it all over the place.

This is the Toyota Yaris. Fuel efficient is key.

The plan is in about 6 months, Denise and I will pool our resources and purchase a car.

OMG!OMG!OMG! I have dreamed of this day for so long. I have been going on-line and 'building' my cars for years. From Jaguars to Kias, I've built them.

And, four door sedan, for family! I like the red. No idea what Denise prefers.

At this point in the process, I'm gonna tell you what I'm - I mean we (ahem!) - are thinking of.

Denise's dad knows a lot about cars, and he will be (hopefully) helping us so we don't get totally ripped off. We aren't dumb, but we've never done this before. Yikes. This is major.

When we have a car, not only will we be able to do our errands much quicker, but we can visit our families as most of them live out of town. And we can visit some far flung friends as well.

Stay tuned. We'll tell you how it goes.

-Melina  :D

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On a Special 'Mission'  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ok, I've talked about my love of the British pop music of the 1980's here before, but it's a time for another bout of 'I miss the 80's' blues.

Things have been coming together lately, and when that happens, I tend to look back at how far I've come. Being a teenager sucks, and I vividly remember that. There wasn't a lot to look forward to, no stability and very little hope of a brighter future. But, by the good lady above, I had my music. Some days that was all I had.

Geez, it sort of makes me sad to think of that sad girl alone in her room in the woods, listening to her tapes over and over again. There was no internet, no car, very few friends. There was my music and my music magazines.

The Mission UK. 

The music I liked, and still like, runs the spectrum of types and styles, but my heart belonged to goth brit pop. The Mission UK, the Cure, Bauhaus, the Cult, the Smiths, Depeche Mode and Specimen. *Sigh* Love.

I still list the Mission UK as my favourite band. Most people haven't the foggiest who they are, and that is just fine. Being as happy in my life as I am now, I can look back and smile. And dance and sing along and maybe add some bit of  black glitter glory to my day.

The Mission UK, in all their 1980's glory.

The Wayne Hussey (of the Mission UK) today.

-Melina  :D

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Guts and Glory?  

Monday, September 10, 2012

 With a title like that, all I can say is one out of two isn't as good as it could be and I'd really rather it was better.

What am I talking about, you may ask? Isn't this a blog about two besties working hard to get themselves to the country?

It is, but there are potholes in the road sometimes, and I'm dealing with a major pothole today. I have IBS, which stands for irritable bowel syndrome. Sounds fun, right? Ha!

I will not go into too much detail here (and you are very lucky, my manager at work is NOT so lucky, poor man), but suffice to say I'm glad to be within five to ten feet of the washroom.

This sucks, because I cannot leave the house. I am missing a day of pay from my job which I really need. Denise is stuck struggling through the day without the support of her bestie, making her more stressed than she needs to be.

Denise has her issues too, not just me. not only is she allergic to the sun, but she is very allergic to peanuts too, and carries an epiPen. I've spent lots of time in the emergency room with her, to the point where we do get a bit blasé about it after a while, we make jokes about Denise having her own room, and could we just check in ahead of time. Denise also likes telling people that I'm dying to use the EpiPen on her, which is true.

So, though our goal is always the same, some days it is hard to near impossible to work toward it everyday. I think the most important thing we can do is to get up the next day and try. To get that much closer to our goal.

~ Melina

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Getting to Know Us  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Melina had the thought that seeing as we are sharing our efforts to realize our dream, we should have a post telling a little bit about ourselves. What made us who we are, as it were. A good idea on the surface, but WOW describing myself is hard! So then she suggested we describe each other. Possibly easier, but how do I narrow down everything I know about her?

I'll start with the obvious. Melina grew up on the South Shore of Nova Scotia with an amazing sister, Melisa. Yes, that's right. Melina and Melisa. I really want to make fun of this, but for reasons which may later become apparent, I can't. She spent long days wandering the woods, sometimes running away and setting up 'camp' with the plan of surviving on tea berries. She always went home by dinner.

High school happened and with it came a love of 80's British music, a genre for which she still has a VOLUMINOUS amount of knowledge. If you need to know the bassist of some obscure UK band of the 80's, she is your girl. She also continued her love of art at this time, earning the name 'Morbid Melina' from her art teacher due to her habit of incorporating a severed head into every painting. Considering that her teacher like unicorns and rainbows, I am surprised she was not councillor-bound.

By now you have a certain image of her in your head. Well, throw it out. She is a mass of contradictions. When she worked at HMV, a co-worker once told her that she was the only person they knew who would buy Britney Spears and death metal at the same time. That is Melina in a nutshell. She is a Mama by nature. She likes to cook and bumble around the house and jokes that she is meant to be a house frau. She takes care of everyone. And she is super-funny, and I swear we could have a blast if we were locked in a closet together.

That's my bestie!

~ Denise

Describing oneself is one of the most trying things one can do. Ever. You don't want to be too serious, and sound like a pompous fool. But you also don't want to be flippant and sound like a flake, much better to describe your best friend, right?

Denise is the best person I know. How did she get that way? I 'blame' (kidding!!!) her family. She grew up in Moncton, a city in New Brunswick. Her family is the most normal, functional one I've ever seen. Being French Canadian and catholic, it was a big family. Her sisters, wait for it, Debbie, Donna, Darlene, Diane. Denise is the youngest.

Early in her life, Denise was on track to be a dancer, spending most spare time at the dance studio. Until her knee blewout. Twice. After the first operation, she still wanted to dance. Denise is a bit stubborn, her mothers pet name for her roughly translates into 'cement head'.

Luckily she really is a born writer. After relocating to Halifax for university she stayed awhile, poured a lot of coffee and sprayed much perfume. She learned what she wanted to write. She will ever champion the wronged and the needy, but is so not a push over. My favourite way to bug her is to tell her that one day her mouth with write a cheque her ass can't cash.

That is my bestie!

~ Melina

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Back to Basics, Baby!  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It is so easy to get off track, to lose sight of what is really important. Sometimes you can forget the reason why you are working so hard. We both work jobs that are far from our passions and it sometimes feels like the rest of our lives are spread out in front of us with no light ahead.

Why did we start Moody & Sanguine? Simple. We have a dream and we want to use our creative skills to try and make it a reality. What does this dream look like? Two best friends who live in the country and support themselves with sewing and jewelry making, as well as painting (Melina) and writing (me!).

The Annapolis Valley is our idea of Heaven for our odd little family of two besties and a herd of cats. And oh, don't think we won't have a million more animals when we have a house! And Melina wants a big garden so that she get her hands in the dirt. I am not so dirt-driven, but I want long walks without constant concrete and traffic. I want the kind of quiet that never happens in the city. And I want to be able to write and create full-time. Other people do it, why can't I?

The day we drove to the above location, Cape Blomidon, was the day that Moody & Sanguine became inevitable. We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what the future would be. That desire has never changed, though the goal has sometimes been blurred and hidden behind day to day drama. We will not lose sight again.

What is Moody & Sanguine? It the dream of two besties made real.

~ Denise

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Food, Beautiful Food  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ok, so everyone knows that Denise and I love 'ForksOverKnives', but sometimes you need time to fully get information. Maybe to internalize or process, be in the right place, need to hear the click? I don't know, but we internally processed the click in the right place the other day.

In a summer with jam packed with changes (chemical and professional), we finally connected with another change.

If you haven't seen 'ForksOverKnives', do it. Now.

The photos are of our last big 'shop' at the grocery store. After I took out all the food and placed it on the counter, it struck me that this delicious, beautiful, sexy food is alive. We are what we eat. It's not dead, not beaten, dried out, pulverized, coated in sugar and modified milk ingredients. What is that, anyway?

I'm enjoying eating food that makes me feel good. Not only that, real food tastes better, once you get rid of all that other crap. Strawberries are sooooooooo good. I have my sweets too, see, but they are real. Maple, man, maple anything. Agave is nice too. Fruit, oh, yeah.... Opps, I digress, sorry.

So, enjoy the photos, and do see it, or I'll jump off my soap box.

-Melina : D

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Sherlock Investigates  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hello, there good sir and or kind madame. I am Sherlock, the younger. My mama's insist I am a nosey young gentleman. I do not concur. This is quite an erroneous statement.

Do not presume to look at me that way. I shall take umbridge at your implications.

I look away.

You may observe my toes, as to indicate my disdain.

What are you doing?

Is that the correct way to do what you are doing?

No, no, I and not unduly inquisitive. I simply must be assured of your conduct.

-Melina :D

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Something Witchy This Way Comes  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One of the biggest reasons we are working so hard so as to eventually live in the country is that Melina and I are both Wiccan. Now, of course there are witches in the city. We're everywhere, and not just wearing pirate shirts (men) and bathed in patchouli (women). The stereotype exists, but there are lots of urban pagans who live full spiritual lives in their respective cities, and still shop at the local H&M.

I am not like that. I have never felt like I fit where I live, nor did I really fit where I grew up. I am so envious of those who can have a regular connection to nature. When I drive out of a city, there is a point of high ground where you can see a vista ahead, rolling hills and grazing cows. At that moment I always let out a breath that I hadn't known I was holding. It never fails that I feel all of my muscles relax. The idea of being able to go for a walk that is not on concrete, to fall asleep and not hear traffic and sirens, is heavenly to me.

I am reading the book 'The Discovery of Witches' right now.

Honestly, there was little chance that I would not like it. Witches, vampires and it begins at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This is like my own personal Geek trifecta. The only thing that would make it better is if it were written by Joss Whedon. Why do I bring this up? As a Wiccan I certainly don't think I have the powers of the witches in fantasy literature. If I did, there would be some nervous ex boyfriends, I'll tell you that for nothing! But the book is still making me long for the life I am working towards. The connection to the elements is what I am missing. I feel cut off. Like I am trying to draw energy from an outlet but the wires are cut.

We will get there. Melina is sewing as we speak, and I am so proud of her painting again. I am writing and trying to make the best of this short term leave from work, to the degree that I can. How do I picture us in the future? It has been suggested that we are not unlike the aunts in the movie 'Practical Magic'. Sisters, witchy, big gorgeous house ...

and midnight margaritas! Now that's what I'm talking about!

~ Denise

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Where Are We?  

Monday, July 23, 2012

What are we doing? So, both Denise and I have been off of work for what feels like a year, but it's about 3 weeks. I have pneumonia, and can't talk for coughing. I mean barf up a lung coughing. Doctor has advised another week (to make it an even 4) off of work. Denise is switching up her medication. Before that she had a sinus infection. It's been a fun house. The fact that we are still alive ( as in, not having killed each other, a miracle ), and like each other is proof that we are BFFs. With all of this introspection time, we have become even more focussed and oddly driven. I am returning to painting. My love of landscapes cannot be ignored any longer. No worries, Moody & Sanguine fans, I'll be sewing still, just adding one more plate to spin. Denise will be making her jewels and writing. We will be working towards world domination. Lol, well, personal freedom. Same thing it seems. - Melina. :D

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What Have We Been Up To?  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's been awhile since we have updated on our lives. It's weird how when you are working towards a goal, things can be fluctuate. Sometimes the vision is so clear, other times it muddy at best. We are definitely in a clear phase. Crystal. Like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and are running to get there. A lot of custom orders, especially for Melina. I invite people to bring on more. I want to see how much sewing she can do before her head explodes! She made a custom book cover, a bunch of cutlery rolls for a picnic basket, and is currently making a million pennant flags for a friend's wedding. I have come up with a few new designs and was called upon for a custom slave anklet. So lots of work which is always FUN! When it comes to actual fun, the kind that does not involve sewing machines and jump rings, we have definitely been a scoach dull. A few highlights include: 1) thanks once again to my amazing sister, Debbie, we got to see Cirque du Soleil again! It was beautiful and amazing awe inspiring. Literally took my breath away.

2) how great was The Avengers? Honestly, Joss Whedon is a god. For those who don't know, I dream of being a full-time writer, and he is one of my writing idols. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a superhero movie the highlight of which was the dialogue? GENIUS! (The following is a gratuitous photo of Chris Hemsworth, another great thing about the film. Just ... wow. Lovely.)
3)5 words - ALL YOU CAN EAT SUSHI! We have discovered the most wonderful thing in the world. Can you imagine anything better? Not only is it all you can eat, but it is really really good. We have been twice. The second time I think I ate more than I have ever eaten in one sitting. Felt so sick and it was AWESOME. :) Avocado and tempura sweet potato rolls. YUM! I guess we have squeezed in a little fun. We'll keep the updates coming on a more regular basis. And we will also be making fun a goal. ~ Denise

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Friday, April 13, 2012

There are things that cause me a lot of anxiety. Taxes are one of them. Now, no one likes doing taxes. I understand that. But I don't think most people literally get stressed to the point of wanting to vomit. ESPECIALLY when they have never actually had to pay out in taxes. Generally getting my taxes done means getting money. So that should be good, right? But tell my subconscious that! It does not seem to care. Awake or asleep, the stress is there. I have nightmares about it.

Did I mention that I am not even doing my own taxes? Melina saw my stress level and said she would do mine as well as hers. My job is sustenance for the day and comic relief. And small amounts of adding. Just need to get through the day!

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Forked Up  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Forked Up

So, we had heard much about the documentary 'ForksOverKnives'. Our buddy Melanie saw it before us and told us how good it was. Then my co-worker Rebecca saw it, and again told me how awesome it was, and that we needed to see it ASAP.

And about two and a half weeks ago we did just that. Wow. Not only was it as great and informative as everyone said. Even though we have been vegan for the last 10 years, it is really easy to slip into bad habits when your busy. You can still eat lots of processed bad for you foods that are vegan.

The research in the doc was nuts. The China Study is pretty hard to argue with. I really want everyone to see it and to make changes to the way they eat. We did. Simple right? Fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

We still will have treats when we want. It was just our birthday season, and ate lots of naughty things, but we were pumped to get back to eating properly. 

Please do yourself and your loved ones a favor, and watch this film. Even changing a bit now and maybe a bit later, it all helps.

- Melina. :D

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Fab Fabbie-ness  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It is the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the full on madness of holiday hoopla. It's the aftermath. Getting your crap together, putting new treasures away, throwing the old crap out. Time to assess, weigh, and measure.

So, where is the wonderful in all this mess? Shopping for fabric of course! I've been shopping on Etsy all day and my eyes must look like googley-eyes. Think cookie monster, but not so blue.

So, here is a selection of fabrics that I will be getting my mitts on soon.

I shopped at Fabricpaloosa

- Melina

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Holiday Wrap Up  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Solstice, with a Christian Dior sticker. She wore it most of the day.

The holidays are such BIG thing. The entire month of December is always chaotic, full of demands that are different than at any other time of the year. It's exhausting, so we respond in the best way we can think of - we take vacation time! That's right, no banking for weeks on end and gobs of time to stay at home with the puddins. HEAVEN!
We have been best friends, living together for so long now that we really are family, complete with our own holiday traditions. We celebrate the Winter Solstice, which falls a few days earlier than Christmas, but the actual ways we celebrate are pretty much the same. We put up a tree the eve of the holiday, decorated with mainly unbreakable ornaments. We aren't stupid women! We know how destructive our cats can be.

Sherlock, making sure the proceedings are appropriate.

The ornaments themselves are worthy of mention. I have an old, beat up set of beads that were on all of my parents trees until they gave them to me. There are probably more broken beads than there are whole ones, but I love them. We have little brooms because we are ever so witchy. How cute is that! We also always hang cinnamon sticks that are tied together. Why? Because there was one holiday when Melina was sad because we couldn't afford ornaments. I went to work at the coffee shop that day and tied together cinnamon sticks and brought them home for us to use. It made her really happy. We will always have cinnamon sticks on the tree.

Our holiday haul.

Next morning rolls around and we open our presents. This year, there was definitely a Sephora theme to the gifts. We each got a yummy perfume. We smell like ladies! And we ALWAYS get DVD sets of our favourite shows, setting us up for post holiday hunkers. This year I got season 1 of Angel, season 1 of Supernatural and Melina got all 4 seasons of Inspector Lewis. How amazing is that???

All four cats. Love!

We always throw all of the paper on the floor and leave it there for the day. The kids / cats play in it all day long. The puddins are the best part of the day. Sitting on the floor and playing with them and their new toys is fun and awesome. I love my life.

Banshee showing why decorations are non-breakable, and Sherlock legging it.

Big Tofurky dinner, coffee with soy nog, pumpkin pie. It was an awesome holiday.

Vanian, tired after a fun Yule.


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