Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Renee Michelle's Bedroom Stylings

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The style guru talks about the little touches she has added to her bedroom to give it a little pizzazz.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Results Are In...

...and the party was a success. Everyone came dressed up. We had more than enough food. We hit that ever-important critical density, in which the room is crowded enough that you have to wade through the people. By the Renee Michelle standard, that's how you know the party is working.

I've posted a lot of photos. First, the cookies: I made ginger cookies (the favorite according to my informal poll), miniature chocolate chip cookies (so buttery, but only acceptable to those in the crispy chocolate chip cookie camp), chocolate dipped pretzel sticks, biscotti (beloved by those who know to dunk, otherwise - obviously- very dry and hard), and brown butter cookies (which were carmelly and delicate, but such a pain to make that I will never bake them again). You'll also see pumpkin bread and chocolate cupcakes that people brought.

The decorations took a whole day to make and hang up, but were sufficiently cheap to make it worthwhile. We hung pine rope garland with lights and little white balls, and then I cut out snowflakes and hung them from the ceiling. All in all, including the red table cloth I bought from Goodwill ($1) , the candles and ribbon ($2), and roses($8) for the centerpieces, I think the decoration budget came in just under $25.

The dress was $7 at a thrift shop, which in my book is pretty pricey, but I had enough fun with that dress to make it worth while. I was going for the late 50's/early 60's look - I hope that comes through.

In other news, check out the hair video below. I swear, having this blog is like having my own little fan club. Who else has a friend who will spend a weekend making a video devoted to the evolution of your hairdo? If I thought anyone was actually reading this stuff, I might start to have an inflated opinion of myself.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Renee Michelle's Hair History

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Renee Michelle describes the evolution of her hair- the styles, the lengths, the colors!  This is also the web-debut of her latest hairstyle.  As the wise style guru says, "It's only hair!"


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Preparing for a Party

Thanks for the menu suggestions, everyone. Once my current work craziness has subsided, I'll take a look at at the recipes and let you know what I decide. Oh, and I should probably consult with the people who'll be paying for the groceries, as well.

I'm in the midst of busyness on both personal and professional fronts. By next week I need to have written two talks, on two separate research projects I'm involved in. Powerpoint, which I have never used before, has luckily proven to be as idiot-proof as promised. Still, I only have eight slides for a thirty-minute talk, so there's a bit more to do.

At home, I'm almost ready for the Christmas party I'm throwing on Friday. (And if anyone reading this is in the area, you're invited.) I've baked four types of cookies. We spent all weekend decorating the house, and last night I bought a dress. I think this is the first time I've actually done this much prep work before a party, and it feels good. I hated baking a batch of cookies every night after I came home exhausted from work, but I think I will achieve my goal of looking calm and serene as the guests roll in.

I've asked my camera woman to snap pictures at the party, so I'll post afterwards. It's a dress-up affair, so it should make for some fun pictures. If I remember, I'll also post a review on the cookies - I tried four new types, so it could be interesting.

Friday, December 01, 2006

To the sound of carols

I have a coworker, who, due to scheduling conflicts, had an early Christmas celebration. On Thanksgiving Thursday, they partook of turkey. On Friday they put up the tree, and on Saturday they had Christmas dinner and opened all their gifts. Now, that's efficiency. Just think, your entire Christmas season would be stress free. Just sit back, listen to the carols, and drink eggnog (or many hot toddys, in my case.)

My Christmas won't go quite that smoothly. This year Andrew and I are driving to Ohio to celebrate early with my family, then flying to England, arriving Christmas Eve morning, to spend a few weeks with his parents. This means that I have twice as much Christmas shopping to do, and all that early celebrating means everything needs to get done a bit earlier.

Still, I really love Christmas. As long as I remind myself that this is all fun, not stuff just to be checked off the list, I enjoy shopping (well, when it's online). I love sitting in the living room and soaking in the lights of the tree while I wrap gifts. And this weekend I'm decorating my house and baking several dozen cookies for the Christmas party I'm throwing next week.

Thinking ahead, I'm trying to figure out what to make for my family's Christmas dinner. Any suggestions? In the past we've had roast goose, miniature beef wellingtons (yum), and stewed rabbit (too many bones). I like to do something fancy, preferably with a type of meat or a preparation technique that you don't have every day. I was thinking of seafood, but I can't think of any impressive ways to do seafood. I appeal for help to you, my great foodie audience.