How to Decorate a Fake Christmas Tree

A lot of people are anti-fake trees.  I’m all for them!  There are 3 instances that I remember having a real Christmas tree. The first one was my first Christmas ever.  We went up to the Sierra Nevada’s and picked out a tree.  We cut it down and brought it back home.  After I was put down for bed my mom and dad started to decorate it and hornets came flying out!!!  My dad opened the sliding glass door and tossed the tree out, ornaments and all!  The second time I remember having a Christmas tree was when we lived in Pennsylvania (I think).  I don’t think anything really happened with that one, but it just died.  The last time I remember having a tree was the Christmas after I graduated from college. I was living at home again and mom and dad took me to get a real life Christmas tree.  I even got to pick it out.  Afterwards, we went and got pizza before I went to work. 

For the most part, I grew up with a massive fake Christmas tree.  You get to keep it from year to year.  You don’t have to water it and it doesn’t die!  You arrange the branches to your liking and put the ornaments on with lights and garland.  They turn out beautiful and you can keep it up as long as you want.

I think that maybe some people are intimidated by fake trees.  You have to put it together and then you have to spread out the branches.  It can take some time, but the outcome is great!  Below, I have outlined how to decorate a fake Christmas tree.

~ Picking the right tree for you ~
As with a real tree, you have to take into consideration what size tree will be best.  I have a 400 sqft studio apartment.  I knew where I wanted my tree and just had to find the right one.  I found mine at Target - a 6ft Fraser Fir tree. It was only $20!

~ Putting it together ~
The next step, of course, is to take it out of the box and put it together.  This can be the most annoying part, because the branches are prickly. You want to start spreading the branches from the bottom up. 
Ta Da!

~ Basic Decorating ~
Next, of course, is putting on the lights.  I prefer white lights.  For my 6ft tree I used 4 strands of 13ft lights.
For the lights, you want to start at the top.  Make sure that the end with no prongs is at the top.  I made this mistake on Sunday and ended up having to completely redo my lights, because I started with the prong on the top!

The next step is the garland.  I'm a big fan of the red garland, but they make it in all kinds of different colors.  The even make tinsel trees now! Start again at the top!  I used 3 strands of garland.

~ Adding Accents...aka...Ornaments ~
Ever since I was little, my mom and dad bought us a new ornament every year.  That way, when we grew up and moved out, we would have ornaments for our Christmas tree.  I have all my "growing up" ornaments and I definitely have some new ones ~

Happy Decorating Everyone!!!!

Until next time ~ *erica*

A Tuesday 5 for 5

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sorry to have missed Monday and that this is up a little late.  I went home for the Thanksgiving Holiday and when I got home I became distracted by my Christmas tree and starting my new job.  My 5 for 5 is a little late, but here’s how I did.

Last Week’s Goals – Not too shabby!
Exercise 4 days this week. Okay, I only worked out 1 day this week and that was on Thanksgiving Day.  I did the Drumstick Dash with my mom and dad; a 5K benefiting the Rescue Mission.
Clean my makeup brushes. It’s amazing how much makeup builds up and how soft the brushes are after you clean them!
Hang up picture frame.  Yay…this was the first task that I completed.  I hung it over my nightstand and it looks great!
Get my car’s oil changed. My dad assisted me with this.  He took my car to Firestone while I slept in on Friday. Thanks dad!
Change Banks!!!!! I have opened a new account at a new bank!  I did this on Wednesday before heading home for the holiday.  I will be able to close my old one after my next paycheck! Good bye Wells Fargo!

This Week’s Goals
Exercise 4 days this week.  I’m really going to try to do this.  I’m getting used to my new schedule bit by bit.  My goal is to work out Thursday-Sunday.
Start reading my new Book Club book, Little Women.  I’m in a wonderful book club, Literary Lushes, and our next book is Little Women.  It’s not a small book.  I need to get started!
Keeping track of what I eat in my Food Journal.  I’m usually really bad about this.  I started keeping track again today.  I hadn’t kept track in exactly 2 weeks!  My goal is to write in it every day.
Go to bed by 9:30pm for the rest of the work week and Sunday. I did really well and went to bed early this past Sunday night.  Last night, however, not so well!  I went to bed around 11:30pm and it was tough getting up this morning.  I need to get a new routine established and it needs to start with a bed time!
Limit my Hulu intake to 1 show per day…no more! I watch too much TV!  I cancelled my Hulu Plus subscription so I could watch less and focus on other things; like reading, the gym; bed time.  That was my problem last night.  So, I will now try to keep the Hulu to a minimum.  We’ll see how this works.

I'm linking up with Jessica over at Fantastically Average and Jenn from Party of One.for my 5 for 5 post.

High 5 for Black Friday

Happy High 5 for Friday!

What a week I've had!  How was your week?

1. Tuesday was my last night at Donovan House hotel.  It was kind of bitter sweet!  After work a few of my colleagues took me out for drinks.  My concierge bought be a farewell package ~ packs of nacho cheese Doritos, an 8 pack of Diet Coke, and two very large packs of Twizzlers!  My crew knows me too well!

2. I came home to Roanoke on Wednesday and that night my dad lit up the fire pit and my mom made hot buttered rum!  We roasted marshmallows too!!!  Tonight, we are going to sit out by the fire pit again and mom is going to make Hot Toddies!

3. Thursday morning we all got up early and headed downtown to walk the Drumstick Dash.  The race started at 9am and we got there around 8:30am.  The Drumstick Dash benefits the Rescue Mission and all of their programs.  There were over 15,000 people there!  
Me, Mom, and her friend Debbie in the car on the way to the Drumstick Dash

Me, Mom, & Dad getting ready to walk the Dash!

             Me & The Turkey Man!                                                         A frothy hot chocolate @ Starbucks!

4.  After we got home from the race we started working on dinner.  We drank mimosas and scoured the ads for Black Friday!  I made my sweet potatoes and they turned out sooo much better the second time around! They were golden and beautiful!
Mimosas with mom & dad

My beautiful sweet potatoes!!!!

5. After dinner (and a nap) we ladies headed out to the stores at 7:30pm.  Target opened at 9pm and we waited in line for 90 minutes...shopped for about 45 minutes...and then waited in line to check out for another 45 minutes! Haha!  But I got 7 new movies and a new book!
Me, Debbie, and Mom in line for Target

After Target, we headed to the mall.  Macy's opened at 12midnight, so we waited at the bar at Buffalo Wild Wings and had a drink! B-Dubs opened at 3pm on Thanksgiving and was staying open all night until close on Friday! CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!  I was quite successful at Express and Limited. 

Mom and I are heading back out into the wild today, but not going to be quite as crazy as last night!

Until next time ~ *erica*

I'm linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk for today's post!

Happy Thanksgiving!

*Happy Thanksgiving*

When the Halloween pumpkins are gone,
And the leaves have all fallen to the ground,
When the air has turned windy and cold,
Then Thanksgiving will soon be around.

Thoughts of loved ones all feasting together,
Pleasant pictures from past times appear
To dwell in each heart and each mind--
Then Thanksgiving is finally here!

The kitchen has scrumptious aromas,
The dining room looks oh, so fine,
Decorations with pilgrims and turkeys,
And now we are ready to dine!

First the napkins are placed on our laps;
Now the prayer for the meal to be blessed,
Then we stuff the good food in our tummies,
And we hope for it all to digest!
By Joanna Fuchs

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Until next time ~ *erica*

Road Trip Home

I love being back on the East Coast, because that means I get to go home more often.  Being away from Roanoke for five years really made me appreciate it more.  It’s so green and beautiful. My mom and dad are there.

Blue Ridge pretty!

I’m headed home for the Thanksgiving weekend.  Boy, what a weekend I have ahead of me.  I have a four hour drive south to start.  On Thursday we are getting up early for the Drumstick Dash.  It’s a 5K that supports the Rescue Mission.  After the Dash we will head to Starbucks for our morning coffee and then mom wants to hit up BoJangles for some biscuits!

We will then head back to the house to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (which we DVR’d) and start preparing dinner.  The parade, for me, is what really marks the Holiday season.  I love seeing the Broadway performances in the beginning and then Santa Claus bring it all in!  Last year Macy’s had a great looking Santa! 

I usually like to watch my first Christmas movie of the season right after the parade.  It’s usually It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street.

Dinner will be around 4pm.  This year I’m making the sweet potato recipe that I posted about a few weeks ago.  I’m going to make the pieces a bit bigger this time.  After dinner we’ll probably go see a movie.  My mom really wants to see the new holiday animated movie Rise of the Guardians.  It looks really good!!!  Then….

***************PREPARATION FOR BLACK FRIDAY***************

I’ve got goals and I’ve got a list (in my head).  Movies (I’m not on the Blue-Ray bus just yet) and clothes for my new job.

I wish everyone a Happy Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Until next time ~ *erica* 

My last day at DoHo

Today is my last day as an Assistant Front Office Manager at the Donovan House Hotel. 
Oh what a journey it’s been!

In December of 2010 my grandfather got really sick and died a few days later of hypothermia.  It was a very sad situation.  My momma wasn’t able to get to him before he passed and she had to say goodbye to him on the phone.  When this happened I realized just how far away I was, in Los Angeles, from my family.  At that point I was trying to find any way to get back to the east coast.  I was applying for jobs in my home town, thinking about grad school in my home town, anything to get out of Los Angeles.

In April of 2011, a co-worker of mine at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel mentioned that our sister hotel in Washington D.C. was hiring.  That night, when I got home, I looked up the Donovan House.  I called them the next day to see if the position was still available and it was!  My transfer went through over the next 3 days.

I left Los Angeles on April 14, 2011 and headed back to the east coast.  My dad flew out to help me drive back.  We packed up my car, shipped a bunch of my stuff, and hit the road.  It was a road trip that I’ll never forget!

I started at Donovan House on April 25, 2011.  I was new to the city and had no idea where I was going.  There were rumors circulating about me faster than I could blink. Because I was coming from L.A., someone assumed I was a porn star! HAHA…SOOO NOT TRUE!!!!!!!! Thanks Clay!

A year went by and the company went through a massive transition.  DoHo was a Thompson Hotel when I started here (as is HRH…that’s how I transferred) and in April 2012 it became a Kimpton Hotel.  That was a rough period.  We’re talking 15 hour days of training and then going straight to a regular work shift.  Things definitely improved once it calmed down.  I could see that becoming a Kimpton was going to be a good change that Donovan House needed very badly.  They have tons of hotels all over the country and 9 in D.C. alone. 

I have met some awesome and not so awesome people.  You learn a little bit from everyone and everyone comes into your life for a reason.  I firmly believe that.  But, let’s focus on the awesome ones; you know who you are! ;-)  Tonight, two of those awesome people are hitting the town with me for a Last Night Soiree.  I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know it will be a night I’ll never forget!

Until next time ~ *erica*

I'm linking up with Carly, Kristen, Niki and Rachel for Loving Lately!

YOLO Monday...and post #2 for me today :-)

YOLO Baby, Yeah!

~ I'm linking up with Carly and Molly for today's YOLO Link Up ~

Who knew better that You Only Live Once? Marilyn Monroe!  So, today I thought I would put of some Marilyn Monroe quotes.  She’s so fabulous! 


Until next time ~ *erica*

Weekend Wrap Up & 5 for 5!

Happy Monday Everybody!

Sorry for being MIA and not-so-great about posting this past week.  Work has been very busy and by the time I get home I’m exhausted.  Two nights this past week I was at work until 12:30am.  We were sold out 4 nights in a row (some of those nights we were overbooked…I hate that!).  I have also been dealing with fraud charges at my bank.  This is the 2nd time in 3 months! Needless to say I am changing banks tomorrow.

I had Friday & Saturday off, which was lovely.  Friday I went and saw Twightlight: Breaking Dawn Part 2. It was AWESOME!!!!  I didn’t get into the Twighlight movies until a couple of summers ago.  An old roommate of mine, in Los Angeles, and I were both sick at the same time.  We had the AC pumping and were holed up in our apartment.  I went to the library to get some DVDs and picked up the first two Twighlight movies.  We went to see Eclipse shortly after!

Saturday night I went over to Jacq’s for a girls’ night.  We had dinner and caught each other up on our lives and then watched some Sex and the City.  Jacq also asked me to be Frisco’s Godmother.  So sweet!

I’m trying out a new Link Up today called 5 for 5.  You set 5 goals for your week and report back the next Monday to see how you did. Here we go…

Exercise 4 days this week. I have finally straightened out my membership with Gold’s Gym and have no excuses! I’ll be at home for Thanksgiving, so I know my mom will work my butt out!
Clean my makeup brushes. I don’t remember the last time I did this!  I’m going to do this while I’m at home in Roanoke.  No need for makeup on Black Friday.
Hang up picture frame.  For Christmas last year my mom and dad bought me a great frame for multiple pictures.  I have finally put pictures in it, now I just need to hang it up!
Get my car’s oil changed. This is a must!  My goal is to do it on Tuesday when I get paid.  Need to get it done before I head home to Roanoke.
Change Banks!!!!! I’m loathing my current bank.  The bank manager at the branch location was so rude and had no compassion for the situation I was in.  I’m fed up and moving on!


Until next time ~ *erica*

90's TV is Back Baby!

I found this article, courtesy of HuffPost TV...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Children of the '90s rejoiced over news the Disney Channel is in the early stages of developing a squel to "Boy Meets World." New details released about the "Girl Meets World" cast, whose lead character is Cory and Topanga's teenage daughter, Riley, reveal some exciting (and surprising) spoilers about the spinoff.

Disney reportedly sent out the first casting break down for "Girl Meets World," which describes the characters of Riley Matthews and her best friend, Maya, according to Entertainment Weekly. (Note: A rep for Disney told HuffPost TV that they didn't have that information, but that it was likely pulled from casting websites.)

Riley is the daughter of Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence. She is a 13-year-old, juggling all of life's obstacles, "some of those being her father who is also her seventh grade history teacher, her mother who is Topanga, and her brother, Elliot, who is one grade older," according to EW. Riley's best friend, Maya, is a bit edgier and darker, but is "absolutely magnetic" and "fiercely loyal."

Entertainment Weekly and Grantland, a blog and quarterly magazine run by Bill Simmons, both note that there may be some inconsistencies in the "Boy Meets World" -turned- "Girl Meets World" timeline. 

Cory, Shawn and Topanga graduated in the Class of 1998, and the "Boy Meets World" series ended in 2000. Rumors that Topanga could be pregnant did surface in the last season of the show, but another episode showed the cast in the year 2006, shortly after Cory and Topanga had a baby girl, according to Grantland. They named her Beverly Glen (but this was a dream sequence).

But on TV, anything can happen! 

Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, who originally played Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence, respectively, have both been coy as to whether they will join the "Girl Meets World." Lily Nicksay, who played Cory's little sister Morgan on the first two season of "Boy Meets World," is definitely on board for joining her former family in the spinoff, but she hasn't been approached by Disney just yet.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed casting for "Girl Meets World"  is underway.

Loving Lately ~ Skyfall

I mean, come on!  How can you not love Daniel Craig!

On Saturday night I ventured out into the crowded theaters and saw the new James Bond film, Skyfall. It was AWESOME!!!! So much better than the last Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.

***possible spoilers***

The first chase scene in any Bond movie is fantastic.  As a previous professor of mine said, "Even if the movie sucked, the first 20 minutes of a Bond movie are worth the ticket price."  This whole movie was worth the ticket price.
We start off, as we always do, with Bond chasing a bad guy.  They are running through crowded streets, chasing each other in speedy cars, and evenutally on top of a train!  There is also the pretty lady side kick.  We can't forget the Bond Girls.

The basic plot of Skyfall is that someone is after the MI6 Headquarters and M herself.  Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her.  Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem both costar in this installment.  Javier Bardem is a really great bad guy and is also a bit of comic relief.

There is enough action and drama for both the ladies and gentleman to enjoy it. I give Skyfall a 4 star rating.  It's definitely a movie to see on the big screen!

I'm linking up with Carly, Kristen, Niki, and Rachel for Loving Lately this week.

Until next time ~ *erica*

I'm linking up with Carly, Kristen, Niki and Rachel for Loving Lately this week


A New Career

Sorry for the late post.  Better late than never, right?

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  On Friday I mentioned in my *H54F* post that I was expecting some good news from it is!

Please join me in congratulating Erica Musyt on her new role as Catering and Conference Services Manager for the Rouge!
Erica joins us from the Donovan House Hotel where she is the Assistant Front Office Manager.  We welcome Erica into Sales and look forward to her continued success!  Her first day in sales will be Monday, November 26th.

After working in the front office sector in the hospitality industry for almost 5 years, I have been aching to try something new. 

PS ~ I'm linking up for Coast to Coast with Whispering Sweet Nothings.  It's a really cool idea..check it out!
And until next time ~ *erica*


*Happy Friday Everyone*

I'm so glad it's Friday.  I am very much looking forward to the next two days off. I hope everyone had a good week, I know I did!
I’m linking up with Lauren over at From My GreyDesk for today's post.

1.  Hello November!  We are 9 days into November and I think the cooler weather is finally coming in.  I love this weather...sweaters, stylish boots, and snuggling up with hot chocolate.  Soon I will be watching Christmas movies and decorating my Christmas tree! 13 days until I go home for Thanksgiving!!!!

2. I had a wonderful ladies night out this past Friday with my wonderful friends Lindsay and Marcy.  Lindsay took Marcy and me out to the Melting Pot to celebrate our friendship.  I had never been to the Melting Pot before, but heard about it all through college.  Guys would take their girlfriends there for Valentine's day or anniversaries.  I was very honored to be there with Linds and Marcy for the first time.  We did the cheese, salad, and dessert courses.  We ordered cheddar cheese and dipped granny smith apples, bread, and veggies!  Yum-O!  We each got salads and then came dessert!  We ordered the chocolate smores sauce with graham cracker crumbs. Our dippers consisted of rice krispy treats (I dominated those), strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, cheesecake.  Soooooo good!  We had foodgasms with every bite!

3. The Election is FINALLY over!!!!!  Now we can all move on with our lives!

4.  I should be getting some good new soon about work...more on that later!

5. The new James Bond movie is out and I'm going to go see it me some Daniel Craig.  I will do a movie review for you on Sunday, so be sure to check back!

Until next time ~ *erica*