Monday, December 26, 2011

".......Very Very Merry Merry Christmas......!"

I got to spend Christmas with my family and my love this year.  It was such a wonderful Christmas morning.

This is me just before we started opening our presents....

This is me getting the most wonderful Christmas Surprise in front of my family......

Listening to what he is saying :)

This is me trying to keep from breaking out into the "ugly cry" LOL.......

I couldn't stop the tears !

This is after I SAID YES !!!!!!!

Now he is doing the "ugly cry" :)

This is the most beautiful ring, that Mr. Mixologist selected all by himself ......

What a blessing to have such beautiful Christmas memory. I am so happy and we are so excited !!!!!!!!!

My sister was taking the photos, my BIL was doing the video. He knew what was happening, but she did not so I am surprised that she got these shots, because all you can hear on the video is her screaming over and over, "Oh my God ! Oh my God !"  She managed to calm down and get some pretty great pics. LOL

It was a very emotional day for the both of us, my parents were in tears, when we called his parents, his Mom, she cried too and of course you can see us both blubbering, LOL.  We slept so hard last night after all of the adrenaline !

I will post some other Christmas pics later this week, but I just wanted to get this up to share with my blog friends !

Be Blessed !

Beautifully Complex 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa's Secret Revealed

My package from my Secret Santa arrived this afternoon. I was super excited to open it to see what I got.  I was very pleased because my Secret Santa did a great job selecting things that I can use and enjoy.........

First up is "The Wine Bible"  a 900 page book on ALL.THINGS.WINE! This is a very thoughtful gift that really put a smile on my face. I can't wait to start reading it and expand my knowledge of my vino addiction.

The "Good Book" for the Wineaux

Next, I got a personalized Wine Stopper with my initial inside.  This will be put to use pronto. I would start tonight but I gotta pack for a road trip tomorrow & I must rise early  and functional ! LOL

I love personalized items.

Santa really knows my musical taste because I got a CD that I do not have in my collection, but it will definitely be a welcome edition. Will Downing's "Christmas, Love and You"  is a wonderful gift. I love Christmas music. I have already placed this in the player tonight while doing things around the house & it will definitely get played out on the trip tomorrow. I am a huge Will fan & so is my Beau. I can't wait to make some wonderful Christmas memories with him to this music !

The makings of a very Merry Christmas !

Thanks for the thoughtful, useful gifts Secret Santa.

I could not find a card or a hint in the box. I found some Foodtown bags used as stuffing inside the package & googled it to find that its a store that operates in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. That's how I knew it was a Blogger from the Northeast which is how I narrowed it down to either Inner Diva or 1969. Since the zip code was from Brooklyn (I know that's cheating, LOL) my Secret Santa must be....Inner Diva !

Thanks so much for the gifts Inner Diva! They are very much appreciated. I actually started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago as a result of the Secret Santa gift exchange, and look forward to getting to know you better. So thanks again Pserendipity for allowing me to discover a new Blogger.

Merry Christmas Blogland ! Enjoy this season.

Peace & Blessings

Beautifully Complex 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thoughtful Tuesday

After years of living so far away from my family, going through a divorce and living single for a long time, I used to wonder how long it would take for someone to discover that something tragic had happened to me. I speak to my Mother by phone once or twice a week, my sister once or twice a week. My friends.... some weekly.....some every month or so.....some not for several months at a time.  However, my best friend and I do speak daily and have for some time now. She lives locally and is listed as my local emergency contact. I am so thankful for these relationships. I am sure that it would not be too long before my mother & sister would get on a flight to Texas. But what if I didn't have them ? What if I didn't have a "best" friend ? Nobody would ever want to believe that this could happen to them, but this story was very intriguing.

This article here is so very thought provoking. I would read the article before you watch the trailer below.

Dreams of a Life Trailer from Dogwoof Documentary on Vimeo.

Thoughts ?  Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just Me........Randomly........It's Christmas Time

It has been a whirlwind since last Wednesday. I took off Thursday & Friday but today I am really feeling the results of running the streets non stop....................

Thursday was the Birthday of my best friend Kim. We took off work & spent and epic 12 hours together.  We started off at the Breakfast Klub for some Chicken & Waffles and  Katfish & Grits. We then headed over to the Urban Oasis Spa for massages & facials. We shopped in Rice Village, had lunch and went to the Galleria. I got to meet her boyfriend's daughters for the first time when I took her home. His daughters & her daughters bought a cake & gifts awaiting her.

Getting ready for some pampering !

Friday night I hosted a Happy Hour for her and we had a wonderful time at Peli Peli in Vintage Park.

The Birthday Girl

Me and my love

After the "Party" her guy wanted to have an "AFTER Party" so about ten of us ventured to Midtown to go to Bar 5015. We had a blast. My girlfriend's new man partied like it was his birthday & was paying for it the next day. LOL

Getting it in ! LOL

Saturday me and Mr. Mixologist had to do some more Christmas shopping. For some reason, he changed our initial plans to stay put, so now we are heading to my sister's home at the end of the week and will be joined by my parents. When I made the calls in the car, they were soooo happy. I missed last Christmas as we were with his family.

Saturday night we had two confirmed parties to attend. And though I was exhausted ......the party don't stop. First stop, Tarsha who blogs at THREE FOOD WORDS has been celebrating her Birthday this month. The DJ she had was out.of.control ! I didn't get to spank anybody in Taboo like I planned LOL. We had to leave early to get to our next event, but not before taking some shots with the Birthday Girl and Tiffany in Houston. As usual I was given some cupcakes for the road. Tarsha is the Hostess with the Mostest. I tasted them today... the Lemon flavored ones....pure goodness !

Bottoms Up !

The last stop was a Housewarming Christmas Party at the home of another girlfriend. She made a wonderful Gumbo and the decorations were lovely. We didn't stay too long because I wasn't feeling well. Just my body's response to DOING.TOO.DAMN.MUCH !  LOL

Celebrating Christmastime

Sunday, I slept in late. I still wasn't feeling well at all. But I had to pull myself together to do some Holiday Baking and help Mr. Mixologist wrap the gifts for his niece and nephew so that he can get them shipped first thing Monday. He is such a sweetheart. He nursed me back to health. He cooked breakfast, made me some hot tea, got my meds and even went to the grocery store to get all the ingredients for the Gooey Butter Coffee Cake that his family raved about last year. I was able to get them made & I can tell he was very appreciative since we won't be with his family this year.

I am still not feeling 100% but I gotta pull myself together this week to get all these last minute things done & get ready to travel at the end of the week.

Are you enjoying the Holiday Season ?

Have you attended or hosted and events ?

Have you finished your Christmas shopping ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dear Santa......

It is Christmas in Blogland once again. I so appreciate Pserendipity for hosting this gift exchange again this year and I love traditions.  Santa, since you might be lurking around my blog here, I want you to know that I have been a very good young lady this year ! I am pretty much the good girl most of the time and last year I got this. You may be trying to figure out what I like and I think I am a pretty simple girl. But here, are some ideas of some things that I might like just in case you were wondering......

  • I am known by all those who really know me as a bona fide Wineaux. LOL Since you may not be able to legally transport liquor through the mail on your sled, any related accessories or paraphernalia is appreciated !  Something like this Monogrammed Wine Stopper, of course Santa you already know my government initial is " J"

  • I love putting up photos of loved ones all over my home & I can always find space for a new picture, so you can never go wrong with a lovely frame for something like this......
Me & my Nephew

  • I love great music and there are a couple of CD's that I have really been wanting but have not yet picked up. You know how love Foreign Exchange and especially group member Phonte who has a new CD out called Charity Starts at Home that I would love to be jammin' to on Christmas day.

  • I have a Nook Color, so Barnes & Noble gift cards are always welcome so that I can use my e-reader whenever I am not busy blogging !

  • I love candles, soft pajamas, and nice thick socks for lounging, anything that allows me to be comfortable while relaxing next to this....

  • Now Santa, if you are feeling EXTRA generous this year, my dream car the Lexus SC430 always puts a smile on my face. I already have my personalized plate  BTFLYCMPLX ! 

  • OK........ well, maybe I technically haven't been THAT good this year ! LOL  Anyway you can blame a girl for trying! LOL 

Wishing all of Blogland a very happy holiday season, have fun shopping, spending time with loved ones, partying and just enjoying the blessings in your life !

Beautifully Complex 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Give Love on Christmas Day.....

Yesterday myself and several co-workers in our Unit hosted a little Christmas Party for some residents at an Adult Day Center. This is an annual event that we really enjoy & they really appreciate  & look  forward to it as well. I blogged about it last year but for some reason didn't post any pics. If you want the background on the event check it out here. 

I will just post some pics from this year....

Setting up the Refreshments for the Party

Lots of smiles and excitement !

Trimming the Tree !

Coworker passing out the Ornaments

Resident tops off the Tree 

The Big Finish  !

The Teams all Here ! 

As usual, I left this place humbled by the blessing of my life and with more appreciation for those less fortunate than myself.

Do you do any Holiday Community Service Type events at work ?

Have you personally spread any Christmas Joy this year ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Believe the Children are Our Future.......

Hey Blogland,

I just wanted to share something with you. My little cousin is currently living as an expat in Lagos, Nigeria due to his fathers work. He is a student at the American International School of Lagos. He has been living abroad since 2007. Prior to Nigeria, they lived for 2 years in The Netherlands. I was blessed to go & visit them there. You may recall I blogged about it here. Any way, he is a really sharp young man and we are extremely proud of him.

He is the Founder and President of this group called Citizens of the World that is trying to bring awareness to environmental issues. This is such admirable goal. I think it's great that he is socially conscious. He has always been the most respectful, polite, considerate person from a very young age. I really want to support him in his endeavors.

Please click the link to watch the video. My cousin is the guy holding up "Leadership" and has one of the main speaking parts. Feel free to share this video on your FB(Like their page) Twitter, or wherever, to help them spread awareness.

Thanks in advance !

Citizens of the World 

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Family Fun

I had a nice holiday with the family. Our grandparents are no longer with us,  so our gathering consists of my parents, my sister and her family, all of our aunts, uncles, cousins and all of their children. There were about 35  of us gathered this year at my Aunt's house.

We had....Turkey...Ham...Fried Chicken...Chitlins....Greens...Dressing....Giblet Gravy....Mac & Cheese....Green Beans....Mashed Potatoes....Candied Yams....Broccoli, Cheese & Rice Casserole....Potato Salad....Cranberry Salad.....Cole Slaw...7 Layer Salad....Corn Bread....Rolls....Sweet Potato Pie....Banana Pudding.... and Caramel Cake... WHEW !  I only ate left overs once, but it was that damn Caramel Cake that really  did me in. It was at my mama's house, so it was calling me from the kitchen table every morning for the next 4 days! LOL

We had a great time, the ladies & the kids did Karaoke in the living room, while the guys got into the Football in the den. Later on we played Taboo. Karaoke turned into a dance contest.......which turned into a Soul Train Line. At one point my dad, who uses a cane, came into the living room to see what all the laughing was about  & ended up doing his thang for a minute ! LOL It was fun.

Getting ready to sing !
Little ones want to shine too !

The cousins 

Ol School shows how its done 
Dad in the Soul Train Line

Friday night my generation went out together. Me and my Beau headed down to Bricktown to hang out with them and have some cocktails & of course Cigars at Mickey Mantles #7 Lounge. It was a really cool vibe, appetizers were pretty good, drinks were on point. They had a pretty good band and the area is pretty much the entertainment hub of the city with lots of restaurants, bars & lounges. It was a good time ! 


My sister & cousins 

Sis & BIL

Saturday we took my nieces & nephew along with all the little cousins to see the Muppet Movie. One of my cousins wives got sick, so it ended up being 3 adults & 11 kids, which was more than a notion. I know we broke some seatbelt laws getting them all to the theatre ! LOL  After that we took them to get hamburgers and ice cream at one of my favorite spots, Braums before dropping them off to all their parents. It was a little stressful keeping up with all those kids, but it's always worth it to get that family bonding time in. 

Shortest to Tallest 
Like a Daycare Fieldtrip LOL

I managed to catch the a slight cold from the weather change, or possibly a relative so I have been slow motion this week but I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as I did.

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trotting Like a Turkey

We got up early Thanksgiving morning to head downtown for the annual Turkey Trot. This was our 9th year to participate. We have been doing this as a family since 2002. The number grows each year & this year we had 10  participating. Half did the 5K (3.1miles) and the other half did the 1 Mile Fun Run.

My nieces & nephew are ready to go !

We ate bananas for breakfast. I was trying to save my appetite for later in the day. This turned out not to be such a great idea. We found this out later in the morning after the race.

Addicted to the Smartphone

I was posting a status on Facebook, or Tweeting or Texting somebody, just before we hit the ground running.

The gangs all here ! 

Fire Academy recruits

The recruits from the Fire Dept Academy ran the 5K with us. They were bringing up the rear & since I ended up straggling in this race, I really appreciated that Cadence they were chanting. It helped me to make it through ! LOL

Sea of Turkey Trotters !

We had perfect running weather. I ended up coming out of some of my layers. If I had properly trained for this race, it could have been great, but I was struggling. I can't deny it.

Family Finish ! 

This was probably my worst 5K ever ! And I have run a lot of them. Ugh! My niece hurt her ankle and I had to walk with her for a large portion towards the end, but I can't lie, I was GLAD to be walking ! LOL

He left his parents in the dust ! 

We finished the 5K just in time to watch the rest of the family do the 1 Mile Fun Run. The hilarious part was watching my 4 year old nephew (he will be 5 in a week) suddenly appear sprinting to the finish line without his parents or Mr. Mixologist who all started out the race WITH him ! LOL

Just before running out of his shoe ! LOL 

We were so excited to see him out front & by himself, we started cheering & calling his name, he heard us,  got excited & really dug in & then lost one of his shoes just before he reached the finish line. He ran back & picked it up and ran across the finish line holding it in his hand. We were laid out laughing at this point!  LOL

Me and my Beau :)
My sister, BIL, & Beau came trotting in WELL AFTER my 4 year old nephew. We all sat around & relaxed before heading to the cars. Not long after that my BIL became light headed  & was short of breath. To the point that he had to lay on the sidewalk. I saw some panic in his face & my sisters. By this time they were breaking down everything from the race, but there was still  an ambulance there about 200 yards away. You should have seen me sprint to those Paramedics !

They rushed right over and gave him some oxygen, asked him some questions, took his vitals & he was feeling better in no time ! (Praise God) This was his first year to actually participate instead of being a spectator.  It turns out, if you are 6'4" , 250 lbs, haven't done any significant cardio in a while and only eat 2 bananas before coming downtown to run a mile, that is probably not a good idea. LOL   We were all so scared for a moment & I remember thinking " Lord please don't let my BIL have a heart attack out here." I am the coordinator of this event & try to get as many family members to participate & I was feeling real stressed in those few moments.

Now I don't know how your family is, but once we got into the cars & headed to our respective homes, word was spreading through calls & text that my BIL had to have help from the Paramedics. By the time we got to my Aunt's house for Thanksgiving Dinner that afternoon, my cousins ! LMAO. I mean they cut him no slack. They were laughing & clowning him big time ! I was just glad we were able to laugh about it.  I already know it's going to be extra hard recruiting for next year !

Do you have any family traditions ?

Did you do anything different for the holiday ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Simply Thankful

We leave tomorrow heading to see my family for Thanksgiving.  Honestly today I am too exhausted to be excited yet, but my heart is full.   It is so very important to reflect.  At this moment I am simply thankful.......

to have the means to travel home without major sacrifice.
(Thank you for your provision Lord )

to have a wonderful neighbor who always looks after my home when I travel.
(Thank you for your guardian angels)

to have received a call from my cousin who had to miss the last two
Thanksgivings, asking if we can scoop him up on the way home !
(So glad to be a blessing to others)

to have nieces and nephews that love me as much as I love them and who anxiously await my arrival.
(Thank you for filling up my heart Lord)

to have lifelong friends that I am looking forward to hanging out with after spending time with our families.
(Thank you for meaningful relationships)

to have a wonderful Beau who looks forward to doing ALL the driving and letting me read, sleep, sing, talk, laugh, blog, twitter, and FB to my heart's content.
(Thank you for sending me love)

to have a mother who truly throws down in the kitchen who managed to teach me several of her tricks so that we can continue to make memories in the kitchen together, cooking, talking, laughing and reminiscing.
(I will be praying for my friends whose mothers are no longer here)

to have a daddy who will call us no less than every 2 hours to find out where we are at ? how is the traffic ? any bad weather ? how is the gas mileage ? LOL
(Thank you for protection Father)

to have standing family traditions that bring joy to my heart such as getting up early to run the Turkey Trot together no matter how many have to walk to finish, the annual Taboo Challenge where the competition is fierce ! We argue, laugh and the ladies usually win, unless the guys cheat. LOL
(Thank you for family Lord)

for being a child of God, covered in his blood, with His grace and mercy ever present in my life.
(Thank you for being everything I need and more than I could ever deserve)

Wishing all of my Blog land friends a safe, happy & blessed Thanksgiving !

Thank you for reading, commenting AND lurking LOL !

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Funny Friday Vol. 2

Of course the web is buzzing about Shaq's new Memoir "Shaq Uncut: My Story" I love the Huffington Post and their commenters go hard in the paint. The obvious hilarity of him believing there is a "respectable way" to cheat is what every body is talking about. LOL However, as I was scanning the comments, I came across a guy who referenced a past interview from Shaq's  that had me rolling! I mean I could.not.stop. laughing!

Evidently Shaq had just returned from an overseas trip to Greece.....

REPORTER: Did you get a chance to visit the Parthenon ?

SHAQ: I can't really remember the names of all the clubs that we went to.


The HuffPo commenter  was basically saying that Shaq's logic about cheating should come as no surprise since the thought the Parthenon was a club ! LOL

After laughing my A%$ off, I needed to find out of it was true, so I actually googled it & found several links to this quote from the interview. Now first let me clarify. I am a nerd. I was very bookish as a child and into adulthood. I was actually the Valedictorian of my class. So it may be presumptuous of me to think that everyone should know what the Parthenon is. But I promise you when I think of Greece it is the FIRST thing that comes to mind.

I actually like Shaq & don't really think negatively of him but, this really tickled me today.

Happy Friday ! Enjoy your weekend.

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just Me........Randomly

I have lost my blogging mojo over the last few weeks it seems. I have really had a lot on my mind lately. I read a post by the Grady Doctor that gave me some much needed perspective on things. When I say it was right on time....... I need to keep reminding myself of certain things.

The husband of one of my Sorors was diagnosed with colon cancer last week after a colonoscopy. He is only 42. The same age as me. His surgery is coming up next week. I am praying for his healing.

Work is robbing my spirit lately. I shake it off for a few days, but it just comes back. I won't bore you with the details but I just need to get my mind right. If I left this world tomorrow, somebody would come right in and do what I do, probably for less money. I need to do a better job of managing stress.

My step-daughter is pregnant. She has known for several months. She knew back when we talked in August when my former MIL passed away. I guess it just wasn't the right time to tell me. She admitted to me that she was excited AND scared. She is going to have a little girl. It is amazing to me. She is almost 24 now. When I started dating my ex-husband, she was 2 and I was 20.  I am feeling my age at the moment.

On a lighter note...............

I am sooooo ready for Thanksgiving next week. We are going to have a Karaoke Contest after dinner this year. We did the same thing before at our Mother's Day gathering so based on that alone, it should be very entertaining ! LOL Me, my sister & my cousin have been practicing our SWV songs by watching the videos on You Tube. My mom told me last week, her and my daddy are gonna sing some "Peaches & Herb" I forgot about them. LOL I am ready for some laughs.

We are continuing our family tradition of running the Turkey Trot. There are 12 of us that are committed this year. We get up early Thanksgiving Day & head downtown for the race. I have been on the treadmill in preparation, but not as much as I should have been. Man I keep losing and gaining the same 8-10 lbs ! I know I have the heart to finish the race but I know for a fact that, I will be "trotting like a turkey"....literally ! LOL

One of my closest friends has managed to fall into a serious love affair in record time. She is giving me the credit because she encountered this man at a Homecoming Event that I insisted that she attend. Low and behold she got reacquainted with a guy she dated briefly in college that she hasn't seen in over 20 years despite living in the same city. There was no bad breakup or bad blood between them, it was never exclusive or anything. He is a now a widower with children that he has raised alone for 8 years, marriage minded and in church. I am over the moon with excitement for her ! They both seem very happy about finding one another.

I am going to try to let the holidays pull me out of this little funk I am in. When we come back from visiting my family for Thanksgiving, it will be time for Mr. Mixologist to help me pick out a Christmas tree again. I had my first real tree last year & I am looking forward to it again this year.  Come on Spirit of Christmas.......I need you !

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Great Pumpkin

This past weekend, I spent some quality time with my best girlfriend's two daughters. On Friday night the girls came over while their Mom went out. We ordered Pizza & played Monopoly which I haven't played in forever. Why oh why did Mr. Mixologist beat us mercilessly ? LOL I mean it was really bad. He had property on every side of the board with Hotels on half of them. It was a whipping to remember. He talked a lot of noise while he had us all on skid row which made it worse. I was the first one to go bankrupt. The girls got a lesson on how to lose gracefully, even when its hard. LOL  He has promised to give us another opportunity to redeem ourselves.

Sunday afternoon, I went over to the their house along with another girlfriend to have our annual  Halloween Craft and Baking Day. My best friend is sooo not into crafts OR cooking so she recruited us years ago to fill in with these types of activities with the girls. Our other girlfriend always handles the pumpkin carving & I handle the pumpkin inspired baking.

Concentrating to get it just right ! 

This year I decided to let the 9 yr old make some Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting. I found the recipe on one of my favorite sites, A Taste of Home Cooking. I also located a recipe & video for a Pumpkin Cheesecake for the 13 yr old to make.

Finished Project 

I packed up the equipment from my kitchen, grabbed my laptop & hit the store & headed on over. When I arrived they were already focused on getting their pumpkins just right.

Mixing it up !

The 9 yr old got started on her cookies which were very simple & extremely tasty. The brown butter frosting was sooooo good that we were all  licking our fingers ! If you decide to  make them I promise you won't be disappointed.

Ta Da ! Ready for the Frosting

Both girls enjoy cooking and baking and I always have a good time planning cooking with them & they always appreciate it and have fun doing things in the kitchen.

Getting it just right

The 13 yr old is a pretty good baker so I picked a cheesecake since it was a bit more challenging. She made her own crust from scratch using graham crackers & ginger snaps. I just delegated, reviewed the recipe with her & pretty much just supervised.

Final touch before bedtime

Cheesecakes take a long time to bake & many hours to set, usually overnight, so I didn't get to see the finished product on Monday morning, but I heard today that it was yummy.

Pumpkin Carvers Extraordinaries ! 

Beauty & Baking Skills

The Girls & their Mom

Have you had any Fall Holiday Fun ?

Got any good recipes to share ?  If so drop the links in the comments.

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex