Monday, November 30, 2015

Brandon Goes Black Friday Shopping

Last week was Thanksgiving (in case you forgot) and I spent it in Tulsa with my Dad's family. We watched the Macy's parade -which holds a special place in my heart because when I was 16 or 17 I had the opportunity to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade with my show choir. It was an amazing experience. It's no secret that I love am obsessed with NYC so being there during the holidays was truly magical. However, being away from my family on Thanksgiving was the pits. I vowed never to miss a holiday again...and I haven't. :-) Anyway, we watched the parade and ate all of the traditional Thanksgiving entrees. 

Earlier in the week I hosted my mother's family at the doll house. We also had the traditional meal which included my mother's homemade rolls. If I'm ever on death row, my last meal will include my mom's rolls...and probably a side dish of kung pow chicken with fried okra. I'm weird.

Every year my mom, sister and I brave the crowds and take part in the madness that is Black Friday. We are the people who wait outside Target in a line that wraps around the building to buy a $5 dvd of "Elf." Because, why not?

We laugh and carry on like a bunch of crazy ladies and I love it. We shop and shop and shop, usually taking a "half time" to fuel up in the food court before round two. Then we wake up the next day and do it again...this time hitting up the stores that weren't open the night before. Yes, we're insane but we have fun.

However, this year my mom was out of town and my sister had plans as well. So it was just me...I'm not going to lie I had a mini pitty party. I was worried that going alone might be a little sad...seeing other mother/daughter duo's having fun would only make me miss mine. I hesitantly asked my little brother to join in and to my surprise, he agreed! 

Brandon to the rescue! He was such a trooper! We had so much fun! Exclamation mark *!!* again because I am still so happy! We laughed and carried on just like a bunch of crazy people...he totally rocked Black Friday like a pro and I will be forever grateful! We waited in the Target line for a $5 dvd, we went to Ulta for their famous $10 doorbusters, we went to the mall (and ate in the food court). It was perfect. How lucky am I to have a brother that would forgo an evening of football to go shopping with his crazy sister because it would make her happy? Gosh, I'm getting teary just thinking about it. 

He is going to make the perfect husband one day. 

Oh and next year, he want's to do it again! and even agreed to wear a matching t shirt! He's the best I tell you!

On another note, we couldn't believe how polite everyone was...people would say "excuse me" after bumping into us. No one ran, no one shoved. It was nothing like the BF stereotypes I've witnessed before. So way to go polite strangers! You make the world a better place!

Anyway, the rest of the weekend was spent in OKC. I participated in #shoplocal on Saturday...visiting the adorable Holiday Pop-Up Shops

I walked through the most darling Christmas tree lot next door and thought about my childhood.

My grandfather (I call him Poppa) used to have a Christmas tree farm. People would come to the farm, pick out a tree and cut it down. I believe they made wreaths as well. He had a little red building that my grandmother painted to look like a red play house. My cousins and I would play in the house and give customers candy canes. 

One day I'd like to try a fresh tree. I love the way they smell. Also, there's something nostalgic about them...but for now I'll admire from afar and dream of red play houses and candy canes. 

Other than shopping & eating, I stayed warm by the fireplace and watched Christmas movies on Netflix. Pretty awesome holiday if I do say so myself. 

Tis the season!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Harry Potter Dinner Party 2015

When my friend Susan and I hosted our first Harry Potter party back in 2011, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into!

Susan is the party queen (see her son's amazing birthday parties here & here) and for years she has been hosting Halloween themed parties. The year we met, 2011, she chose "Harry Potter" as the theme for her annual event. Being newly friends (my first year living in Ada) and a devout HP fan, I offered to help her out. The party was a smashing success. All of our guests had a marvelous time -so much so that they begged us to do it again! 

Alas, a tradition was born.

Every year we add a new feature to our party and it continues to grow!

This year we added a Dementor...

the proclamation wall...

Which made the perfect background for my Dolores Umbridge costume!

and we added the Great Hall! (not pictured: floating candles...none of my photos turned out!)

The dinner was delicious and the company was wonderful!

So thankful to have friends that don't mind being a little goofy -yes we're total nerds but I wouldn't have it any other way!

(5 house points to the person that can name all of our costumes!)

My costume was thrown together the week before. I came across this Buzzfeed article and was sold on the very first idea! The jacket is from a thrift shop & I paired it with this dress. I found the hat at a local antique store. Not too bad if I do say so myself! 

Any other Harry Potter fans out there? I'd love to hear ideas for costumes and decorations! We're already making plans for next year -don't judge! :-)

Have a good week!