Weekend recap {+ a giveway!}

Remember that one time I promised you guys a giveaway and I totally forgot about it?

Of course you do.

I do, too.

We’ll get to that.

First of all, how was everyone’s weekend? Mine was mostly crappy, but with a few sunny spots poking through here and there.

I got sent home from work sick on Friday afternoon. I barely made it through our holiday luncheon without throwing up on everyone and when I got the horrific news of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I knew I was done for the day. Nauseous, cramping and heart broken, my boss kindly asked me to leave the office in hopes I wouldn’t further contaminate everyone with my germs and nonstop sobbing.

I feel like I should make a comment about the school shootings in Connecticut because just breezing past it would do nothing but minimize the effect that it's had on, I assume, everyone. I had run home after the employee luncheon to visit with Joey and Clayton (he had the day off) when I saw the breaking news on TV. I couldn't, and I still can't, even fathom a tragedy of this magnitude. I haven't felt this raw and dismayed about our society since 9/11.

Though I only went back to the office briefly, it was long enough to feel incredibly awkward. How do we all move on with our days? How do we get work done when the most precious of lives were stolen by an alarmingly disturbed young man? How do we function as a society knowing that not even our innocent children are safe from the evil in this world?

As I pulled out of the campus parking lot once again, I watched in shocked sadness as one of our facilities workers lowered our flag to half-mast.

I know all of our comments and observations about what happened mirror one another in that our hearts are positively broken for those children, for the staff, and for their families.

Lord have mercy.

But now back to my suddenly inconsequential yammering  ...

I’m telling you, I’ve had more stomach issues in the past year than I’ve had in my entire life. I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s starting to get to the point where I’m nauseas more often than I'm not. I spent the majority of Friday and Saturday lying in bed like a loser, willing the stomach cramping to stop and fighting the urge to throw up. 

So to be honest, there isn’t much weekend to recap
I did have long-standing plans to visit my mom this weekend, but when she heard I was ill, she encouraged me to stay at home and rest. I refused to cancel our plans, so I pulled my scraggily hair in a messy bun, brushed my teeth and grabbed a Diet Coke to try to settle my stomach on the drive up to her house. 

And I’m really glad I went. Despite feeling barfy, my mom and I spent hours in her kitchen baking Christmas goodies while Ashley made herself comfortable in the living room with her scrapbooking supplies (she’s not much of a baker, but she is an expert scrapbooker and crafter). We paid homage to our beloved Nana by recreating some of her family-famous Christmas cookies which included my taking a second stab at her shortbread candy canes (you may remember that I tried my hand at these a few weeks ago at Teresa’s Cookie Boot Camp). 

My candy cane cookies turned out worlds better this time around and I think it’s because I am now officially a pro at rolling and twisting the two colors of dough together. The cookies still came out of the oven very delicate and breakable, but they were delicious nonetheless. I’m definitely a huge fan of almond extract.

In fact, my mom substituted almond extract into her Russian Tea Cakes recipe and the dough was almost too yummy to bake (almost). 

When I arrived at her house that morning, my mom was already hard at work deep-frying dough for the powdered sugar bow knots that she remembered so fondly from Nana's holiday tin. If you want to imagine what bow knots taste like, just think of tiny elephant ears twisted into bows. The taste is a bit blander than that of an elephant ear you’d find at a county fair, but these warm hunks of fried dough are designed to dunk into a mug of coffee or hot chocolate. YUM!

Anyway, on to the giveaway business!


The wonderful people at Printcopia gave me the opportunity to try one of their printing services and were kind enough to let one of my lucky readers try them, too!

Printcopia is a web-based online printing company that specializes in canvas photos, acrylic prints, panoramic photos, and more! In addition to these basic services, Printcopia and their sister sites are also the perfect place to visit for promotional materials such as car magnets, vinyl banners, yard signs and business cards.

I was approached to receive a custom 8x10 canvas photo and at an almost $60 value, I couldn’t resist.

I mean win something LIKE this, not win this actual picture.
I don't know why you'd want a photo of Clay and I in your house.
Or maybe you do? In that case, make me an offer.

I simply visited Printcopia.com and let them walk me through the step-by-step turtorial that included uploading my own photo and selecting how I wanted it positioned on the canvas. The neat thing about canvas photos is that the picture almost has a 3D effect that looks really awesome hanging on a wall or sitting on a display shelf. No frame necessary, you can choose to have your image “wrapped” around the sides or you can select a solid color for the border. I chose to have to have a black border on my image because if I chose the wrap option, Clayton’s head would be cut off (which isn't a big deal so long as it's not MY head). 

When the print arrived in the mail, I practically tore the package apart in excitement. The image quality on the canvas is impeccable (which surprised me because I basically uploaded a copy of a copy of a copy of the original picture) and despite the canvas’ naturally textured surface, the picture is smooth and clear.

I absolutely adore this canvas print and I am SO happy to be able to share one with you! 

I will be giving one lucky reader their very own 8x10 canvas print from Printcopia.

To enter: There are two ways that you can enter this giveaway which means you can have your name entered into the drawing twice. You can earn one entry by leaving a comment on this blog post (not on a Facebook link to the post. It must be below in the comments section) and telling me your favorite Christmas tradition. You can enter your name into the drawing a second time by tweeting about this giveaway and using my twitter handle (@MrsCourtneyP) and these similar words: “Enter Notably Neurotic’s giveaway and win a canvas print from Printcopia”. Then, leave me an additional comment letting me know you tweeted the contest with a link to the tweet.

Open to U.S. Residents only.

The contest will close on Friday, December 21st at 12:00 pm EST and the winner will be announced in a later post. 

Good luck!


  1. My favorite Christmas tradition is sitting with my mom on Christmas Eve watching some of our favorite "classic" Christmas movies, like White Christmas and Holiday Inn. We drink a little wine, munch on our favorite snacks, and just get a little time together before the big family dinner on Christmas Day. :)

  2. My *new* Christmas tradition is making Christmas Cookies with my sis-in-law and mother-in-law ;)

  3. My favorite Christmas tradition is our annual family Christmas dinner and game night with my siblings and nieces/nephews. We stuff ourselves with a delicious meal and then run around playing crazy Minute-to-Win-It types of games.

    Hope you're feeling better!

  4. My favorite Christmas tradition is turning on a radio in a central location to all of the bedrooms in our house (when I was a kid) and turning on Christmas music all night.

    My mom said that Santa liked to hear Christmas music when he came to deliver our presents. In reality, it was so we didn't wake up when they put our presents under the tree. BUT - this is a tradition I still do even without kids or Santa coming to my house. :)

    Also - I tweeted but can't figure out how to link you to it. :)

    Lastly - have you had your gall bladder checked? I have a friend who had the same issue with constant upset stomach and pains and ended up needing to have his removed.

  5. My favorite Christmas Tradition is Christmas Eve and all that that entails for our family. But the BEST part is the annual reading of The Littlest Angel!!!!!!!!!!

  6. We bake cookies and leave them out for "Santa" on Christmas Eve. Luke and I make sure to eat a couple just for effect. Then on Christmas day, we have a nice breakfast of pancakes, with real maple syrup, and all the other breakfast sides. Stockings are first, then the presents. Then, a nap. :D

  7. My favorite Christmas tradition is Christmas day brunch. My family would always go to Church on Christmas morning, come home and have brunch together before we opened presents. This could be exhausting as a child because all you wanted to do was rip open your gifts, as an adult I realize my parents were teaching us patience and to enjoy our family time.

  8. My favorite Christmas tradition from my growing up years until now has been with my mom's family. Before we open presents my grandpa reads the Christmas story and then we all go around the room and say something that has blessed us in the past year. It is a treasure to hear what everyone has to say from the youngest to the oldest.

    My favorite Christmas tradition now that I have my own growing family is reading a Christmas book with Addison before she goes to bed on Christmas Eve and singing Silent Night. (Which she can sing parts of this year!)

  9. My favorite Christmas tradition is Christmas Eve breakfast with my maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. They are the family that I'm closest too. All of us cousins, even now that we are grown and I'm married, sleep over at Nannie & Pop's and wake up to our parents there with yummy breakfast and gifts.

  10. I also tweeted! https://twitter.com/theCourt_ney/status/281153724607516672

  11. My girls favorite Christmas tradition would be blasting Christmas music and having a dance off. They typically do this the Eve of Christmas and are allowed to open one present (mommies choice which is always a cool new pair of PJ'S). We always finish the evening off with my all time favorite Rudolph.

  12. My FAVORITE Christmas tradition actually only occurs every other year. We travel to my grandparents home in Wisconsin and have a grand ole time. We eat too much, enjoy special drinks, and play a TON of games! It's always been my favorite way to spend Christmas - oh, and there is ALWAYS snow on Christmas!

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  14. I retweeted your tweet about the giveaway! :)

  15. I tweeted about your giveaway! Hopefully it worked!


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