Tag Archives: Holidays

My New Year Resolutions ๐Ÿฅ‚

Hello, everyone. It’s almost time! New Year’s Eve is upon us. I’ve been working on this post for a few days, deciding what my 2023 goals will be, and now I want to share it with you. I hope everyone has a very Happy 2023, and a fun celebration tonight! Or as relaxing and cozy as you might prefer. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I have created a page which appears on my menu that I will use to track and remind myself of my goals throughout the year. You can see that page here.

๐ŸŽˆGet A Job ๐ŸŽˆ

As was my plan for a while, starting in January/February I will resume my job search. Ideally I would like to find a part-time job, but if a full-time comes along, I’ll take it regardless. I do not plan to keep a full-time job long term, but a part-time is very likely. No matter what, a regular salary needs to be a mainstay of 2023 for me, so I can pay off debts and raise some necessary funds.

๐ŸŽˆ Set Aside FOMO ๐ŸŽˆ

After this Christmas in particular, I’m starting to make peace with the fact that I can never buy or be gifted enough things to lose that “fear of missing out”. There will always be more wonderful toys. I will never have the space for them all. What I WILL eventually run out of, is my life. I’ll have spent it working to acquire toys and books and games that I never play with, read or enjoy, because by the time I get them, I am pursuing the next thing. Then I’ll die, having enjoyed nothing.

I know I live in a society purposefully engineered to make me always desire something. From friends’ accounts on Instagram, to carefully tailored ads, to new seasonal products assaulting me literally everywhere I go, it’s natural that it’s hard for my brain to ignore things made to appeal to me. People pay other people a lot of money to break our will and make us spend our money over and over. Only I can break that cycle.

I thought a lot about what concrete steps such a resolution would entail. Because it’s hard, actually. I know what I should do, but if I write it down and then fuck up, it’ll be REALLY embarrassing. Ultimately though: I have more books than I can read in a year. I have more video games than I can play in a year. I have more scrapbooking supplies and more traditional art supplies than I can use in a year. More puzzles than I can put together, more board games than I could play. More cute clothes than I can wear. More LEGO sets than I can build. So to make it more clear, my resolution is this:


That is my biggest resolution because it is by far the hardest. It will not count stuff that I am given as gifts for special occasions (birthdays, etc) or clothes such as socks or underwear that are actual necessities. And on days my family goes garage saling or to a flea market and Christopher gives me some spending money, I will allow myself that much if it is offered to me. But that will be my limit.

My biggest concern in this is the 35th anniversary Samantha doll on eBay. It is constantly on my mind, I know it gets more expensive with every passing day (currently sitting at $230 at the cheapest). So this is just a note to remind myself: if I buy this, thereย willย inevitably be something else with that FOMO feeling soon after. The feeling will not go away. And the Samantha doll willย mostย likely still be there for me to ask for on a special ocassion this year (birthday or such).

My next biggest hurdle will be back to school shopping, because I always see a lot of temptations around that time. So I know I should avoid Walmart and Target around July and August, or at least, those sections. Especially because by then, Iโ€™ll feel like I deprived myself a lot during the year.

This year my goal will be to enjoy my many blessings rather than to try to look for more items to fill a nonexistent void.

๐ŸŽˆ Love My Toys Better ๐ŸŽˆ

This is something I especially want to do when some new toy is tempting me. I have a lot of things I can do with my current toy friends, things I’ve put off, like making sure they all have name necklaces, and that they all have pages on my blog. Those two things will be the concrete aspects of this resolution. By the end of ’23, I don’t want any of my toys to be nameless, and I want them all to have little profile “pages” on my site.

๐ŸŽˆ Lose 20 Pounds ๐ŸŽˆ

In 2022, I slowly lost my joy for walking. I’m not sure why this happened, but I was unable to regain it. I’m sure it will come back (this goes back and forth, like my joy for bike riding or scooting) but in the meantime, I need another activity. So my goal as part of getting fit again will involve an hour on my exercise bike every day –with the encouragement of another factor mentioned in the next resolution.

As part of this resolution, I will restart my effort to drink 64 ounces of water daily, log some fitness data daily, and limit my snacking by only having coffee for breakfast, eating two meals a day (a light lunch and a normal dinner) and for an afternoon snack, having only mate.

๐ŸŽˆ Finish 10 Video Games From My Backlog ๐ŸŽˆ

My backlog of video games is far greater than ten games… but gaming is something I can easily do while on my exercise bike. So all exercise time will also be gaming time. Since I hope to do one hour a day, hopefully this will be an easy goal to reach, and even surpass.

๐ŸŽˆ Build All The LEGO Sets In My Backlog ๐ŸŽˆ

My backlog isn’t as large as Christopher’s, but I am a far slower builder. I imagine I have enough sets to last me the year, so I will not buy any new ones. I’d like to reach 2024 with all my current sets built. I don’t think this one will be too hard.

๐ŸŽˆ Complete 10 Puzzles ๐ŸŽˆ

I love puzzles, but I’ve spent more time buying new ones than building my current backlog. This will be a challenging one, even if the puzzles are easy ones. I’d like to complete ten by the end of ’23.

๐ŸŽˆ Read 24 Books ๐ŸŽˆ

What once was my favorite activity has become severely neglected, though I definitely did better in ’22 than in years past. This year, I want to read even more.

๐ŸŽˆ Create 24 New Scrapbook Pages ๐ŸŽˆ

I have collected piles of wonderful scrapbooking supplies that have now gone unused for years. I thought I’d have done lots of pages in 2022, but I barely made time for two. That’s something else I want to fix this year, and get to the end of ’23 with a respectable amount of new pages on my scrapbook.

๐ŸŽˆ Color 12 Coloring Pages ๐ŸŽˆ

This may seem like a very modest goal, but the reality is that I’ve only managed to color TWO coloring pages in 2022. I want to fix that in ’23.

๐ŸŽˆ Write 500 Words A Day (Or 3,500 / Week) ๐ŸŽˆ

I want to forget about writing good stuff or working on X book project as a goal. As long as I am writing an average of 500 words of any of my fiction projects per day, I will consider it a huge success. I can’t imagine doing this and not having my books have considerable progress by the end of ’23.

๐ŸŽˆ Limit YouTube ๐ŸŽˆ

As I blocked more and more of the Internet, YouTube became a sort of crutch as a way to absorb all of that clickbaity junk food type of media as I work on art. I am going to start blocking YouTube as well, though I’m not sure to what capacity. Cold turkey seems a bit extreme. YouTube does not distract me from my work, but I feel like it rots my brain with its lack of substance and overall repetitiveness. And yet it may be the only way. For now, my plan will be to only allow myself to watch YouTube on the weekends.

I want to work away from my computer more in ’23, perhaps watching TV downstairs, or at my other desk, listening to music or podcasts. I want to turn my computer off more during the day. And as my queue thins out and I feel less urgency to rush things, I think I’ll start doing my sketches traditionally again, too.

Christmas โ€™22 ๐ŸŽ„โœจย ย [Advent Day 24 + Christmas Weekend]

Hello, my dear friends, and Merry Christmas! Though it is the 26th now, this post will encompass the last three days, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Below you can see Buddy, Sarah and Seรฑor Elf as I found them the morning of Christmas Eve –all together and getting along!

I hope with all my heart that Seรฑor Elf belongs to our household now. Guess we won’t know that until next Christmas. If he goes back to Christopher’s job, I’ll worry about him all month long. ๐Ÿ˜ž

The final surprise in the Jurassic World Advent Calendar was this MASSIVELY cool Jurassic Park gate:

Here are some pictures of the gate attached to the final setup:

Of course, the last reward of the LEGO City Advent Calendar was the man of the hour himself: Santa!

He came with a carrot to feed his pony:

Here is a final look at everything, elves and all:

The Advent Calendars were a great joy all through the month. It was so much fun! I hope I can have one again next year.

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Eve Morning ๐ŸŽ„

In the morning, I worked on Christmas cards and had mate while Celeste kept me company:

I wrapped my White Elephant present to take to the family Christmas the next day, and placed a couple of surprises on our partner’s side of the bed for him to find at the end of the day:

The rest of the day was a busy flurry of chores, of packing for the trip, of making sure everything around the house was just right. Having stayed up cooking on Friday night with our partner until around 2:00am, at least I didn’t have to worry about that on this day.

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Eve ๐ŸŽ„

Not long after my mom arrived, we got dinner on the table, and then we started with presents (around 8:00pm). We couldn’t wait til very late, because we were leaving early the next morning.

Before my mom got there, I had spent about an hour moving all the presents into the movie room, were we had the projector going with a merry scene and Christmas music, and sorted everything into piles for each family member, as well as hid a few very special presents for last.

One was a special record I managed to find for our partner. Another was a stuffed bunny from my mom to Christopher that he utterly loved, it was one of the highlights of his night:

Her name is Ribbon. We will be getting her a nice, soft black ribbon for her neck.

Yet another was the LEGO DeLorean that he wanted most of all (from his mom) and finally, the crowning glory of his evening, his famed LEGO “White Whale”, the LEGO 10194 Creator Emerald Night.

Naturally I couldn’t discuss this anywhere, but I got it around August, kept it hidden and have been paying it off since then (it’s a retired set of astronomically inflated price that will not go down, ever). All my excitement that you saw me have this year in regards to Christmas was tied to giving this present to him, which had its intended effect upon my beloved recipient. ๐Ÿ˜Š Very worth it, though definitely the sort of thing I can only manage once a great many years.

This was the entirety of Christopher’s LEGO haul. Everyone got him LEGO this year, he’s a lucky boy:

It was very cold, so we got unusually cozy. I was wearing my deer kigu.

More photos taken throughout the evening…

๐ŸŽ„ My Haul ๐ŸŽ„

Note --I took multiple photos since I couldn't fit my presents into just one, and spread them randomly through this section. They aren't necessarily placed to match any accompanying text (for the most part) and rather to generally illustrate this section.

Both in magical experiences throughout the entire season and in material gifts, this has been by far the most excessive Christmas of our lives. To such a degree, that I hesitated to share any of my presents. But, I AM so happy and I do want to express that happiness and gratitude on my personal space, at least. Ultimately, I figure that few people look at my blog, and it isn’t likely to upset anyone of the few people who do read it, so I will only talk about it here. I do want to acknowledge the people who showered me with wonderful things, somewhere.

In years past, when I got really nice things for Christmas I kinda told myself “think of how little you had as a kid” and then I felt less bad about having many nice things as an adult. But year after year, and especially this year, I feel like I’ve gotten spoiled to incomprehensible levels, to the point where all of these wonderful things fill me with guilt. Not just during Christmas, I mean in general. Whatever “balance” I was trying to adjust of feeling like I missed out as a child, has been firmly unbalanced in the opposite direction, and I think I need to Calm The Heck Downโ„ข.

At some point I need to start enjoying what I have in front of me. And right now I have a lot… I have years worth of incredible stuff to enjoy, books to read, games to play. Like, I was overwhelmed taking the photos. If I never received another Christmas present ever again, it would STILL be a lot.

From our partner I got the Medieval Blacksmith LEGO set and the beautiful Spanish doll I wanted so much –I’ve named her Kalinka:

I also got the Sesame Street figure set from him, and a Bluey smartwatch.

From Christopher, Santa, Buddy and Sarah I got my LEGO Holy Grail, the Lions Knight’s Castle, which brought me to tears even though I was pretty sure it was coming. And also from Christopher, I got two Rowdy Roars (Beta and Dilophosaurus) Mandalorian curtains for my studio, two Snap Squad dinos (velociraptor and triceratops) a Hammond Collection Parasaurolophus, a Camp Cretaceous Allosaurus, a Grogu puzzle, a Velociraptor click tracker, a Scribble Scrubbie Crayola dinosaur set, a Jurassic World Create-A-Scene book, a Highlights Hidden Pictures magazine (dinosaur themed) and two Crayola Art Edge coloring page packs –Jurassic World Dominion and Mandalorian.

From my mom I got a beautiful red mate gourd (a happy coincidence, as I am working towards replacing my coffee intake with mate) the Amnesia: Memories fan disc (Amnesia: Later x Crowd) as well as Paradigm Paradox for the Switch, a box of alfajores, chocolate eggs and chocolate strawberries, a luxurious dinosaur coloring book with thick pages and the most beautiful, intricate pen-and-ink artwork, and an E.T. Tervis cup.

Regarding the coloring book, I actually don’t want to color it. I wanted it as an art book, just to look at. It is just so beautiful.

From my sis-in-law I got one of the most coveted items on my list and one of those that made me cry from happiness, the Monchhichi girl I wanted so very badly. I’ve decided to call her Ponzu.

From my mom-in-law I got an amazing 3-in-one LEGO Castle. Together with the Lion Knight’s Castle and the Medieval Blacksmith, it will all make an incredible setup. I also got two smaller LEGO City sets from her, and Amnesia: Memories for the Switch. One of the most charming things I got was a little snail ceramic figure that my mom in law herself painted for me. It’s so adorable and silly!

I also ended up with two White Elephant presents. This bird feeder that my sis in law didn’t want (and I’ll definitely enjoy):

It’s prettier than I expected, and even lights up. I’m looking forward to hanging it.

And this little waterproof speaker, which I’ll bring along when we go kayaking:

I also got these very cute dinosaur lollies from my mom in law’s roommate:

I also got gift cards from my mom in law, Grandma, and my mom in law’s roommate. One Starbucks card, and few Amazon ones. So I now have a bunch of dolls and books coming, too. These were all high on my list, to the point that I only have like two dolls left I ever really want —someday. Someday in the FAR FUTURE.

The dollies I ordered are all high quality, made-in-Spain dolls. They will take a long time to arrive, but I hope to have lots of fun taking photos of my new friends. They are of different sizes, and a couple I should be able to take places with me as I do my bears. Below you can see their stock photos, along with the names I have picked for them (their original names were Bella, Lidia, Martina and Chloe):

Once I receive them, I’ll make posts about them. I am especially thrilled to have been able to get Martina/Natasha, since she was discontinued and already terribly hard to find. So now I’ll have dolls by Gotz, American Girl, Asรญ, Llorens, Antonio Juan, Paola Reina and JC Toys. It’s a pretty well-rounded collection.

If THAT wasn’t enough, I also have these books on the way. I haven’t been able to read Corazรณn since I was in elementary school.

There was one more BIG present I got, but I’ll talk about that one in a bit.

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Day ๐ŸŽ„

Christmas morning we got the car loaded and headed to Grandma’s. I was a bit grouchy. During a lot of the holiday I’d had mild headaches and the cold was making my skin shrivel like a raisin. But I got a peppermint mocha and my crayons and coloring pages, my wearable blankie, and Raggedy Andy for company. I spent the car ride relaxing and feeling small and cozy.

Christmas with family was okay. We were all very eager to head to my mom in law’s to play games, relax and have some actual fun, because the Christmas meal with extended family is always stressful. But here came the big low of the holiday: my poor mom-in-law got COVID. So it was a rush of tests, of quarantining, heading back home before we could even unpack, sis in law changing her flight, basically a hard stop to all celebrations.

My mom in law’s face as we were leaving her house barely an hour after getting there was heartbreaking, her eyes were filled with tears. She almost never gets to see my sis in law these days, so it was a terrible turn of events for her who does so much and sacrifices everything for others; all she ever wants is to spend time with her children.

Honestly I would have rather risked COVID than leaving her alone. I felt so awful. I know Christopher and our partner would have stayed, too (Christopher is on vacation at home anyway, I work from home and our partner doesn’t interact with people at his job, plus we are all vaccinated and boosted, and we have all had COVID already). It would have been risky and stupid anyway, I’m well aware, but leaving her behind felt worse than that risk.

But even if we don’t care if we get sick, my sis in law has an upcoming surgery, works with immunocompromised people and has a big event coming up, all situations where COVID is taken very seriously so she simply cannot get sick. And we had to take her back with us so she could catch a plane back. So that is how Christmas Day ended.

๐ŸŽ„ Monday ๐ŸŽ„

We made the best of things and enjoyed one last day with sis in law. She masked, and stayed some distance from us. We had hot dogs for dinner and just enjoyed each other’s company and watched silly YouTube videos.

Oh, I said I would mention: the last big gift was something my old boss sent me, the double doll bunk bed I had on my wishlist. I was really shocked that anyone bought it for me, it’s so big and silly, but I love it. Christopher was nice enough to put it together for me when we were relaxing early in the afternoon:

It is really beautiful, even more than I’d expected. I think my dolls are going to fight as to who gets to sleep on it…

In the evening our partner made Mexican hot chocolate for everyone. But, it had cayenne pepper in it or something. It was very delicious but also painful to drink. Lol. Christopher could barely touch his, and I had most of mine, but couldn’t finish it.

In spite of the ups and downs all of this has been… well, a LOT. The amazing trips, the once-in-a-lifetime MOUNTAIN of incredible presents, it’s been a lot of happiness but it also feels a bit as if I just ate three giant cakes in a row. I feel bloated and guilty, both physically and emotionally.

I feel like I want to go on a diet of EVERYTHING: toys, outings, food. I want to quietly and calmly work for a few months, heck, a few years, and just enjoy what I have without buying or asking/trading for any more things.

I have so many toys to love, games to play, books to read, and things to do. I really need a break from all this excess, and to do just that. But above all, I am craving the rest and respite that I can only get from hard work.

So, I’m going to put the mountain of toys away, put the house back to normal, and hunker down to do art. I hope everyone’s Christmas was happy. I’m as excited to return to normal as I was about the holidays!

Christmas โ€™22 ๐ŸŽ„โœจย ย [Advent Day 23]

This morning Buddy and Sarah were playing with the little DDR machine. I wondered where Seรฑor Elf might be, because he’d moved away from where I placed him, but I couldn’t find him right away.

Eventually I found him in a cabinet overlooking the counter where Buddy and Sarah were playing. I hope they didn’t lock him in there. I don’t want Seรฑor Elf to be scared in our home!

Today’s Jurassic World Advent Calendar surprise was Parasaurolophus!

On the LEGO City Advent Calendar there was a small sleigh for the little white pony to pull:

Tomorrow is the last Advent Day, and Christmas Eve! I’m buzzing with excitement, how about you?

Seรฑor Elf

Today, Christopher brought Seรฑor Elf from his job. You see, Seรฑor Elf belonged to a now-gone employee who wasn’t very nice and actually created a lot of discord in the company. When they left, Seรฑor Elf was left behind.

Years ago he didn’t have a name, but another employee kidnapped him, and left creepy black and white printouts of him in precarious situations around the office. At one point Seรฑor Elf even shacked up with a Barbie doll for a while. Anyway, eventually he came back with a Sharpie mustache and the dubious, somewhat un-PC moniquer “Seรฑor Elf” given by some of the employees. And he kind of got lost or disappeared between Christmases.

But Christopher found him again. By this time, his original owner was gone. And I desperately wanted Seรฑor Elf to have a nice home to visit every year. Finally Christopher brought him home, and I made him cozy and gave him cinnamon so he could move again.

I’m still not sure if he will move, or if he can stay with us. I hope next Christmas he will show up in our home and not at Christopher’s job. Let’s see if by tomorrow morning he’s recovered enough to move!

Christmas โ€™22 ๐ŸŽ„โœจย ย [Advent Day 22]

Well, it seems Buddy has officially given up.

Sarah is still trying, sort of, by camouflaging among the rulers.

Today’s Jurassic World Advent Calendar surprise was Rexy!

On the LEGO City Advent Calendar there was a little white pony:

As well as this present!

I didn’t know what to give my snails for Christmas this year, so I put a sweet potato in their stocking. I’ll add a bow later.

Tomorrow mom and sis in law arrive… then the fun can begin! And Christopher’s vacation officially starts too. I’m so excited!

Christmas โ€™22 ๐ŸŽ„โœจย ย [Advent Day 21]

This morning, Buddy was getting cozy with Raggedy Ann and Andy, while Sarah stared at me from underneath the monitor all day:

Today’s Jurassic World Advent Calendar surprise was… another Gallimimus. A bit boring.

On the LEGO City Advent Calendar there was a merry little lamp post!

I’m on my period, and today I felt extraordinarily crappy, even taking this into consideration. Nausea, fever, lots of pain. My guys took really good care of me though, which helped. For lunch, our partner got me an aรงaรญ bowl which is always a big treat, though unfortunately I was too queasy to eat it all:

In the afternoon I had mate and read more of Molly’s adventures:

Christmas โ€™22 ๐ŸŽ„โœจย ย [Advent Day 20]

For the life of me I couldn’t find Buddy and Sarah all day today. Though, I could swear that in my half-asleep state this morning, I heard them getting off the shelf when I was still in bed. Can’t be sure though, and I’d never peek even if I think it’s happening. Anyway, eventually I found them staring down my neck all day from the top bunk.

Today’s Jurassic World Advent Calendar surprise was the rest of the fencing! Definitely one of the best parts of this advent calendar. I’m not doing a close-up today since it’s the same as last time, but I put it all together!

On the LEGO City Advent Calendar there was a little fire with marshmallows on sticks:

Christmas โ€™22 ๐ŸŽ„โœจย ย [Advent Day 19]

Buddy and Sarah looked adorable this morning hanging out in my work area surrounded by my many colorful things:

Today’s Jurassic World Advent Calendar surprise was Triceratops! One of my favorite dinos.

The LEGO City Advent Calendar had this guy! His name is Mr. Produce.

Christmas โ€™22 ๐ŸŽ„โœจย ย [Advent Day 18]

This morning Buddy and Sarah were creeping from one of the beds. It was a little unsettling.

Today’s Jurassic World Advent Calendar surprise was another Velociraptor. They could at least paint its eye…

The LEGO City Advent Calendar had two tiny toys for the tree! A rocket and a rocking-horse.

This evening was fun. We continued watching Christmas movies (I wore my Pikachu Christmas pajamas again) and building our Home Alone set.

I also had Marzi and Molly nearby. Marzi wore the beautiful handmade ribbon that Shelly gave me as a present!

I didn’t make as many mistakes this time, and had more fun. We take turns with the bags and pass the trays and book around.

Molly tried to help but it was a little overwhelming for her.

Side note, I’ve been reading the Molly books, and she really is a lot like me, which makes me both like her and dislike her more (lol) but mostly like her more. I also looked a lot like her when I was little. There’s probably a photo of me somewhere, pigtails, glasses, bangs and all (but I rarely wore pigtails, I just know it happened at some point).

While the guys built their bags I finally had some fun with my Bluey Christmas activity book:

Here’s some details we built this evening:

Christopher made me mac and cheese for dinner. After watching Home Alone, I’d been craving it. It’s a detail that is even included in the set!

One more sitting, I think, and the set will be done!

Christmas โ€™22 ๐ŸŽ„โœจย ย [Advent Day 17]

This morning, Buddy and Sarah were hanging from the ceiling fan! I think I had better not turn it on for today…

Today’s Jurassic World Advent Calendar surprise was Yangchuanosaurus! It’s one of the better made minis, and can actually open its mouth.

Unfortunately this is another mini that just cannot stand on its own. I pose those minis by making them bite someone else. ๐Ÿ˜

The LEGO City Advent Calendar had a little Christmas tree!

Here’s where I placed it: