Christmas Nails

Welcome to Fashionista Friday!

One of the things I most love about being a girl are the chances to do girly-girl things like facials, shopping, and mani-pedis. Not that I’ve necessarily got the time or patience for them, mind you, but I can admire them, too, can’t I?

Case in point? These.

20141219_122642Aren’t they pretty? I love, love, LOVE the detail! And the artistry that went into them. Makes me wish I could sit down long enough to have my own nails done! Ah, well…I can live vicariously through others, can’t I? 😉

Do you take the time for a great manicure? What was your fave design?

Happy Friday,


Santa Baby! (Take 2)

Merry Christmas!

Welcome to Take Me Back Thursday. Today’s post comes courtesy of Mr. Alexander and the wonderful surprise he gave me a couple of years ago.

If you want to read the original blog post (because I couldn’t figure out how to re-post the danged thing!), please click here.

And have a wonderful Christmas!


Little Touches

Welcome to Food and Wine Wednesday!

I love the fact that life at The Male Observation Lab includes some fun downtime at the end of the year. To me, it’s the little touches that make this party so special.

Our party favors at this year’s celebration was a pair of mini cupcakes. Dusted with gold. Seriously. 24-carat edible gold flown in from New York!

I’m kinda thinking topping this one’s gonna be kind of hard next year. Then again, there have been all sorts of wonderful surprises through the years. Like the magician. But that’s another story…. 😀

What wonderful touches have you seen at holiday celebrations?

Happy holiday eating,


Christmas Visits

Welcome to Travel Bug Tuesday!

One of the bestest parts of the holidays is visiting with friends and family. 20141223_091522Especially when you actually like them! So it was when I trekked over hill and dale and through mud and sleet in bare feet…Well, okay…So I really packed a bag and shoved it into the car trunk before heading up the freeway, but still…

Anyhoo, I got to spend some wonderful quality time with my lovely writer pal Fiola Faelan! We talked writerly stuff and life stuff, and I was reminded yet again how incredibly lucky I am to have amazing people in my life. And that includes you all!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for leaving a message or two. As I continue on this publishing journey, your presence here means more to me than I could ever express!

Happy travels,

Underneath the Tree

Welcome to Mash-Up Monday!

Because life is so hectic for me these days (and I’m too darned tired to think of anything clever), I’m gonna let you all decide what this pic is about. 🙂

20141221_193503Have a wonderful week!



Christmas in The Philippines

I’m fortunate to have extended family within driving distance. And while I don’t get to visit as often as I like, it’s a real treat when I do make the two-hour trek to see them. Recently (just last night, in fact), my nephew practiced a speech he was to give to his class. 20141216_202241

The topic was Christmas and some of the cultural differences between his Philippine heritage as compared to that in the United States. It was adorable (because he is, after all, seven!), and it reminded me so much the traditions I’d grown up with. For instance, the typical Barong (which he was kind enough to model for me – isn’t he cute?) is worn by males during special occasions. There are also different games played, and definitely different food that graces a traditional Filipino table during the holidays (a roasted pig, for instance, complete with an apple in its mouth). Yum!

There were even visual aids used, like the FILIPINO FRIENDS book he brought with him (displayed here by his sister). And the part I’m most proud about? This little guy was thoroughly comfortable standing in front of a room full of people and giving his speech! How many adults can say that?

Even as a seven-year-old, he reminded me about the wide range of experiences (a.k.a. back story) that we all carry with us as we travel on this road called “life.” It’s these same experiences that guide us as we make choices and deal with what comes our way. It’s through testing our experiences that we grow. At least, I think so!

And as I plot my next book, remembering his speech helped emphasize the importance of my characters’ back stories. Apple, anyone?

Happy Travel Bug Tuesday,

One Man’s Ugly

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it. I can definitely be a fashion snob – when it comes to what I wear. You ought to hear some of the conversations I have with myself.

“Really, Melia, those wedge heels sooo do not go with that dress.” Or, “Bare tummy when not in bikini? Just how old do you think you are? Three?” Or, my absolute fave, “Panty lines. You have panty lines showing. Change the bottom or lose the panty.” Only once did I go commando. But that’s a different story….

When it comes to other people and their clothing choices, I give them the a lot of leeway. After all, taste is very personal, isn’t it? So if you wanna show up at the grocery store in your PJ’s, have at ‘er. My attitude on this doesn’t change. Much. Even when I walked past this number on my way out of a shopping center one night.

20141209_172831The Ugly Christmas Sweater Kit. Kit, as in, you get to design your own piece of sweater magic. (Wasn’t some budding entrepreneur on the edge of brilliant when this was created?) And not all of it turns out to be a masterpiece. Which made me wonder if a Create an Ugly Christmas Sweater party – complete with prizes for the top three uglies –  would be a fun idea. What do you think? Would you go to such a party?

Happy Fashionista Friday,

Kitty in a Bag

One of the things I lurrvv about the holidays is the newness of it all. Sure, there’s a tree and candy and gift wrap and Poinsettias and loads of cookies. There’s also Christmas music and parties and seeing friends and family. But each year, it’s somehow different. I know, I know. The same, but different.

Right about now my writer friends are snickering at what we often hear that editors and agents are looking for in our stories – the same, but different. But I digress….

This Take Me Back Thursday pic was from last year, shortly after Daniel Alexander came into our lives.

P1150982For him, everything was new, everything was exciting, and everything had to be explored. (Yay!) He climbed over packages under the tree, he batted at dangling ornaments on the tree, and if there was a bag sitting around, watch out! Nothing was sacred to this little guy. (Half chewed-on wrapped gift, anyone?)

And so it is again this year. But that’s a story yet to be written…. 🙂



Le Bake Off

One of the most fun traditions we have at The Male Observation Lab this time of year is the Christmas Bake Off. It’s a chance for the dudes to show off their culinary baking skills with something that doesn’t involve skinning or gutting an animal. Yep. We get a lot of entries from them….NOT.

Fortunately, we dudettes step in. 🙂 And so I present this year’s top three entries:

And, yeah, nothing Paleo eaters would want to nibble on, but they sure looked good!

Do you have fun holiday traditions were you work?

Happy eating,