Friday, December 31, 2010

10 Things I Loved About 2010

On the last day of 2010 it only makes sense to reflect on the last year.
Here are 10 things I loved about 2010 in no particular order, because no matter the year I really love lists.

Less stuff, more experiences. 
We stuck with our motto for 2010. We downsized our home. We downsized our expenses. And upped the anti on our adventures. And I think we did pretty well.

No DVR in our house.
Random. I know. But we are such different people when we are only focused on our TV. We talk more, go on more adventures, and do more of the things we want to do.

I know I might be a little late to the game when it comes to Netflix, but in an attempt to me getting over us not having a DVR - my husband decided we should try Netflix. I love every second of it.

Camping in June Lake.
I love love love camping. And this trip was one of my favorite camping trips. Even with one complete night of absolutely NO sleep, because of a raccoon and a bear.

Lynchburg/Washington DC Trip.
Jonathan's parents live in Lynchburg, VA and while visiting them we were sure to take a little two day trip up to Washington DC, because although I do not have any desire to be in politics I would LOVE to live in Washington DC one day.

Summer Camp.
I know that Summer Camp is technically work - is A LOT of work - but I love it so much and I look forward to it every year.  I was too busy at Summer Camp to take any pictures so you will just have to use your imagination. It is just a week long reminder that not only do I love my job and LOVE the people I work with, but God has called me to do ministry.

Solo Seattle Trip.
At the beginning of 2010 three of my very best friends moved out of state. Two of them moved to Seattle for two totally separate reasons. By October I was needing to see them. Not just because I missed my friends, but because my soul was desperate for some of that one-on-one time that you just can't achieve over the phone. So much to my surprise my husband said "Yes. You can buy a plane ticket" and I flew to Seattle for six glorious days. It was amazing and just what I needed. And Seattle was really cool too!

Reading more.
I know this is the third post in a row about me reading more, but have you ever wanted to be something and then become that? I wanted to be a reader - and I think I can safely say that I am.

My husband working from home.
In January my husband quit his job to work from home for himself. It was a little scary and a little risky. But, of course, God is good and we had a great year where we have been taken care of beyond. I can not explain how wonderful it is to have my husband working from home. He is always home when I come home from work. Since I have such crazy days off he is always able to swing it and spend some time with me on a random Monday afternoon. And for the first time ever...he was able to come on quite a few work trips with me.

All the little things.
There are a hundred more little moments that happened this year that I will always remember. But something I feel like I have truly learned this year is the little things are just as important as the big things. Yes it is important to take trips and reach goals, but it is also important to laugh and do spontaneous things in the moment.

2010 you were great to me - I can't wait to see what 2011 holds!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Book Goal for 2011

Since I almost met my book goal in 2010. I decided I would make another one for 2011 (and actually make it before the year started) I thought I would change it up a bit and make a list of the books I wanted to read this year that also included some nonfiction books. I have a whole bookcase of books at work (because I just REALLY love books) and I have probably read about ten of them - that is being generous to myself. So I pulled out all the books that I would like to read this year to move them to their own shelf.
Let me save you some time - there are 29 books in that pile. 1 shy of what my goal was last year.
So...I am not sure if I am setting myself up to fail or not. Because the truth is I will try to get through all of those books in that photo, but I have a whole list of books that are about fantasy, love, mystery, and drama that aren't pictured above. Not to mention all the books that haven't come out yet or have come out, but I haven't discovered yet.
Maybe I should find a job where I get paid to read all day - then my goal can be closer to 100.
Oh well...still excited about the possibility.
Happy reading!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

30...or 20

In February I decided I was going to read thirty books this year.
I don't know why I picked that number, but that is just what popped into my head.
Sadly...I didn't quite make, but I came really close.

1. One Fifth Avenue Candace Bushnell
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J.K. Rowling
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix J.K. Rowling
4. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince J.K. Rowling
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J.K. Rowling
6. Unlikely Disciple Kevin Roose
7. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years Donald Miller
8. Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
9. Catching Fire Suzanne Collins
10. Mockingjay Suzanne Collins
11. I Love You, Beth Cooper Larry Doyle
12. Vision in White Nora Roberts
13. Bed of Roses Nora Roberts
14. Savor the Moment Nora Roberts
15. Happy Ever After Nora Roberts
16. Under the Dome Stephen King
17. A Tale of Two Youth Workers Eric Venable
18. Never Eat Alone Keith Ferrazzi
19. The Carrie Diaries Candace Bushnell
20. Public Secrets Nora Roberts

In my attempt to read thirty books exactly what I wanted to happen...happened.
I fell in love with reading again.
I am ready for recommendations. What are your favorites? What are must reads? What would you recommend?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday

I don't know about you but at Witt Manor we love carbs, especially those that come in the form of bread.

So when I spotted Trader Joe's Baby Baguettes in the frozen section I snatched those babies up (get it?!).
And they were super easy (just pop them in the oven straight on the rack for 4 minutes) and SUPER delicious.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of them because after three or four purchases of them I couldn't/can't find them anymore at TJ's (sad face emoticon). I am not sure if they were seasonal or I was the only one buying them or they are still there and I am just not seeing them - which is very possible even in a small little TJ's.

So if you do see them - just take my word and buy them...and maybe mail me a couple of packages.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Random Picture Monday

A peek into my life every Monday based on a random sampling of pictures on my computer.
You are welcome!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wish Granted

Remember when I blogged about these beautiful books. Well someone out there really loves me and heard my request because I got one for Christmas! Now I can officially start my collection.
What did you get for Christmas?

I hope it was Merry.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end"
Luke 1:30-33

Friday, December 24, 2010

I heart Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve.
Is there anything better?
Anything more magical? More memorable? More full of traditions?
Is there anything that is a better reminder of how much God loves us?
I don't know about you, but I am having trouble sleeping. Not because a man in a big red suit is coming, but because I am in awe of how much God loves me that He sent His only son to die for my sins.
Sleep tight.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Say Cheese

What do you eat for Christmas dinner?
Do you eat a traditional meal or a what ever sounds good in the moment?
We ate something different every year. The thing I remember the most is my grandma's short ribs. Oh man my mouth is watering just thinking about them.

On Tuesday I made a Christmas lunch for my team. I put together a baked potato bar that I thought was pretty delish.
It included:
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
BBQ Sauce
Cheese Sauce

I definitely think the cheese sauce was the star of the meal.
It was quite delicious. I am pretty sure I could have taken a bath in it. So if you are planning on having baked potatoes for Christmas dinner or just need to put cheese on top of something here is the sauce I threw together.

Ryanne's Super Yummy Cheese Sauce
{This made enough for 12 people to enjoy more than enough}
1 block of Sharp Cheddar Cheese grated
1 block of Colby Monterey Jack Cheese grated
1 can of Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 1/2 cups of sour cream
1 cup of milk

Put all cheese and milk in a medium sized pot over medium/low heat and stir constantly until cheese is completely melted. Make sure you keep stirring so the cheese doesn't burn. Then add soup and sour cream and stir to well mixed. Then salt and pepper to taste (I use garlic salt, Lawry's Seasoning salt, and kosher salt...what? I like salt. I wish I had Bacon Salt, it would have been perfect for this dish). When it is seasoned to your taste turn the heat down to low stirring occasionally until you are ready to serve. If it is too thick for your liking add milk a 1/2 cup at a time.
Pour over potato, broccoli, chicken or dip veggies or bread in it and enjoy!
As Julia would say "Bon Appetite"


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I heart Gnomes

Finally saw the trailer for Gnomeo and Juliet.
I couldn't even tell you how many people have texted me from their movie seats to tell me about the movie. Looks pretty cute. I guess I have to see it...for the sake of all gnomes around the world.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday

I love this Brownie Mix. You make it with vanilla yogurt....that's it. Just mix in vanilla yogurt and put it in a pan. It is that easy and delicious. I use a muffin pan so they are all ready to go in 12 easy to eat brownies. I like to add chocolate chips or mix in some peanut butter. I am pretty sure both of those things add some of the guilt back into these brownies...but why not make a treat just a little bit butter...I mean better? my mouth is watering.

Happy Baking!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Random Picture Monday

A peek into my life every Monday based on a random sampling of pictures on my computer.
You are welcome!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rappin' Christmas Presents

That is not a type-o. I am not talking about wrapping...I am talking about rappin'. Here is a little Christmas present from me to you!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Drooling Over the Classics

If there is a secret gift giver out there who was wondering what to give me I might have an idea for you. I am TOTALLY in love with these cloth bound hardback classic books from Penguin. I drool over them every time we go to the bookstore. They would totally spiffy up our bookcase.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sleeping with the Lights On

Most nights I fall asleep with the lights in our bedroom on. I settle into my warm bed and read for a little bit, and then when I can't keep my eyes open for one second longer I put down my book turn on my side and go to sleep. I do this knowing that my husband will come in to our room turn the TV on and turn all the lights off. You may think I am being considerate to him, but really I am just being lazy. I am far too warm and cozy to reach up and turn the lamp off next to my bed.

But let's be honest...a lot of my life is dictated by laziness. All of my TV watching can be chalked up to one thing...laziness. I should be doing laundry or washing dishes or doing anything else besides watching TV. But I don't feel like it. I probably should be cleaning. Oh man I hate cleaning.

The thing is whenever I finish cleaning...I have to clean all over again.
I dust and the next day there is dust everywhere.
I Windex and the next day there are spots on the mirror.
I Swiffer and the next day there are crumbs on the ground.
It is never ending.

So I would much rather read a book or a magazine or watch a movie.
Which then makes me sleepy.
So I get in my warm, cozy bed and go to sleep...with the lights on.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


428...that's how many Christmas songs I have on my Christmas playlist on my ipod. The name of the playlist is "Winter Songs" because let's be honest there are a lot of songs about Christmas, but there are also a lot just about snow.

These happen to be my favorites this year...
Marshmallow World
Sleigh Ride
Mistletoe and Holly

"What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" is probably my favorite winter song. I prefer the Ella Fitzgerald version, but I haven't really heard a version I don't like. And if I just want to listen to great Christmas music then I put on my Christmas with the Rat Pack album.
What are your favorites?


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I did it!
I thought I would never finish it...but I finally did. 
I got through all 1074 pages.
In fact when I finished I closed the back cover and squealed "I finished!"
Here is me excited that I finished.
I have had my eye Under the Dome as soon as it came out. The captivating cover and humongo size of it had me curious from first sight. But at $30 for hardback I just couldn't bring my self to purchase it. However, on many of my bookstore dates with Jonathan I would pick it up and look through it wondering what the story was about. So then my friend Jaime told me he had purchased it, and wasn't reading it - so I insisted he bring it to me right away. That was October. I thought I was never going to make it through the book (I took a couple of much needed breaks and read two other books while reading this one). There was just so many pages and every time something excited happened I knew it wasn't going to have a lot of meaning because I was like on page 120 or something.

But I did it. And now I can move on with my life.
What shall I read next?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday

This weeks TJT is about an item that is only available during the holidays.
Vanilla Cinnamon Black Tea
 We are BIG tea drinkers. I mean we don't know a single thing about tea, but we just love it and it is definitely our hot drink of choice.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Random Picture Monday

A peek into my life every Monday based on a random sampling of pictures on my computer.
You are welcome!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Say say Cool Whip

Raise your hand if you love Cool Whip.

I know you can't see me but I am raising my hand.

Use your imagination.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I heart See Jane Work

Have you ever heard of See Jane Work? It is my favorite favorite. You know what I mean?
It combines my love of pretty things and office supplies.
I have never purchased anything from it, but often when I am feeling blue and the need to look at some pretty things I head over there.

The other day I was perusing their blog and saw that they made this:
It is a corkboard made out of a frame from Ikea (another favorite favorite) that I have had my eye on for some time now. I have had my eye on it, but I haven't purchased it because I don't know what to put in it.
Now I do. Can't wait to do this DIY project.
Could make a great Christmas present. What do you think?
13 Days until Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

DIY: Santa Beard on a Stick

Every year around Christmas my team at work heads to the Grand Californian by Disneyland for what we call the "State of HSM" it is a chance for us to reflect on the past year, and talk about what we are challenging ourselves to do in the year ahead. And we ALWAYS take a team picture in front of the giant Christmas tree at the Grand Californian. I had read about photobooth props on one of my favorite blogs, and decided I was going to make some for our picture this year.
Here is how I did it.
I used the fold in half stencil technique. After drawing several Santa Beards this is the one that won.

Then I bought...yes bought...chopsticks because when you think of an idea at 11:00pm the day before, it can be difficult to find a Pick Up Stix that is open. I jut glued one chopstick to the back of each Santa Beard and mustache.

I made one of each: Santa Beard and Mustache.

Then I tested it for size preference. Seems like a perfect fit.

{This is me saying Ho Ho Ho...obviously.}

Then I got to work making one for each person my team. Which actually didn't take me too long.

Then we posed for our picture...and I can I just say that I love it!

THEN...the security guard made us throw them out before we could go into the park. I actually anticipated that happening so I was happy that they didn't take me too long. You never know how you can assault someone with a bunch of Santa Beards on chopsticks. A few of them made it in...which made for some funny pictures at lunch.

Better get busy making yours. Christmas is only 14 days away!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I heart Wellies

I am currently obsessed with the idea of ME owning Hunter Wellies. But who isn't right? I mean obsessed with owning wellies, not with me owning them.
I want them all. Every, red, turquoise, pink, and man do I love those purple ones.

The problem is I live in Southern California. Yes, it is beautiful and it is warm all the time, and it doesn't have seasons, and it never really rains. Ok so it never rains. Which is nice a lot of the time. But sometimes a girl wants to pull on a super cute pair of Hunter Wellies and a dress and then go jump in a few rain puddles. Is that so wrong? So me owning even one pair of Wellies would just be silly.
So for now I guess I will just dream.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

All I Want For Christmas

So over the past week Jonathan and I have been purchasing and wrapping Christmas presents (well...he purchases and I wrap). This always brings up some interesting conversations about Christmas gifts and what we should get for each person. Especially those impossible to shop for.

With Jonathan's family we use a website called All I Want For Christmas. It is an easy way to make a list of the things that catch your eye, and people can go in and check off what they are buying for you...don't worry you don't see the checked off items only other people see it. I mean you could always figure out a way to sneak a peek, but who wants to do that? That is no fun.

Since everyone lives in different area it is a great way to see what kinds of things people are wishing for and what they are all ready getting. This is our third year using it, and it is really great and easy.

I really LOVE buying people gifts, especially when the gift is something they really want.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday I really LOVE Trader Joe's. I buy all of my groceries there and I feel like there are so many hidden gems there that I discover every time I am there. So I am introducing Trader Joe's Tuesday where I talk about my favorite things at my favorite store.

This week is all about a new Witt household favorite. Veggie Sticks. No not veggies sticks like cut up carrots and celery, but Veggie Sticks with a capital V and a capital S.
They might look funny, but they are so delicious. They have a slight taste of french fries...light, lower calories french fries. And they feel funny when you let them dissolove on your tongue. Delish!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Random Picture Monday

A peek into my life every Monday based on a random sampling of pictures on my computer.
You are welcome!

Sunday, December 05, 2010


My totally adorable friend Blythe is participating in her second annual Dressember. She is wearing a dress everyday of December. She invited others to join her this year, and has got quite a crowd. Doesn't just the thought of it make you feel fancy? Head over to her blog to see all her totally cute dress/tight combos.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me

This year for Thanksgiving we drove out to Las Vegas to visit Jonathan's family. I read my book for most of the ride, and usually I read as long as I can...until the very last sliver of light. Just as my eyes were starting to hurt from it getting a little too dark I looked up and saw the MOST incredible moon rising.I have NEVER seen anything like it. Even though I think this picture is pretty amazing looking it still doesn't even come close to the actual thing (click on the pictures to see the full size).

As we came over each hill the moon rose a little bit more into the sky. (Sorry this picture is a little blurry.)

Friday, December 03, 2010

I Heart Christmas Cardinals

One of my favorite parts of Christmas decorations is Christmas cardinals. I could have a whole tree of cardinals. I just think they are so bright and cheery and Christmasy. Out of all five Christmas tubs in the garage - count em...five - they are always my favorite things to unpack at Christmas time.


Thursday, December 02, 2010

A Witt Christmas Tradition

Jonathan and I have a tradition of buying each other an ornament every year that we started our first married Christmas. It was actually Jonathan's idea...which makes it even more special for me.

Here are the four years of ornaments...

Jonathan gave: The Diet Coke
Ryanne gave: The (dreaded) Music Note
I really pride myself in being a great gift giver. And yet I bought this ugly music note for my husband with the explanation "You love music". Every year it goes on the tree and every year Jonathan makes fun of me.

Jonathan gave: The Starbucks Cup
Ryanne gave: The Colts Helmet
After the 2006 fiasco I learned my lesson. Instead of looking to Target for ornaments I discovered just what I needed to redeem myself on the internet.

Jonathan gave: The Twilight Ornament
Ryanne gave: The Cheeseburger Ornament
Not only did I do better...I did awesome. I managed to buy an ornament that Jonathan loved and that I thought was beautiful and didn't mind having on the tree.

Jonathan gave: The Gnome with REAL sticks
Ryanne gave: The 2007 Fantasy Football League Champion read that right...2007. That is when he won, and like a good wife I remembered.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Christmas in the Witt House

Since it is the first day of December it would only make sense that we decorated for Christmas last night. I knew our small little house couldn't hold a giant tree so I have had my eye on small trees. There is a tree lot by our house where the trees are lined up from tallest to shortest and every time I drove by it I couldn't help but giggle at the smallest of the trees. So that is where we headed and that is what we bought. A 3 foot Christmas small that we had to put it up on a bookshelf so it wouldn't get swallowed up by our house.

It is the perfect size for one string of lights and just the ornaments that are the most special to us. Jonathan insisted that we only put the ornaments on the tree that we have purchased for each other, but I managed to sneak a couple other special ones on the tree.

Now we just need to start wrapping gifts to put under the tree...or beside it on the bookshelf.