Archive for ‘Holidays’

January 4, 2013

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate for Christmas

This year, Christmas was hard. I already told you that part. I wasn’t in the spirit at all and we were short funds because of the house. But we still managed to give everyone something…something I thought was pretty dern awesome. And we made it ourselves.

cocoa1

We made salted caramel hot chocolate! Jim made the caramel sauce and I made the hot chocolate mix and we wrapped them up together. I even stamped the little cards myself. It was a lot of fun, working with Jim and creating something special to give to all of our friends and family. And honestly, so much less stress than your usual shopping forever, wrapping late into the night and then stressing some more than people won’t like their gifts…or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, I thought this hot chocolate was to die for. The caramel sauce was smooth and rich and the hot chocolate was creamy and with the addition of a little something extra, it was more than your average packet of Swiss Miss.

Hot Chocolate Mix

1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups powdered milk

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Before dividing the mix up into whatever containers you’re using (if you’re giving this as a gift), make some up and taste it. Before I got mine right, I tasted it a few times and added more cocoa powder because I like my stuff less sweet than most people, I think. Also, you can add more or even omit the cinnamon. Try other things, too. Pumpkin pie spice would make this a more spicy cocoa. I think it might be delicious to grind up some orange zest to add in. Or maybe some ground up chocolate chips to make it more chocolatey. You can also add more things as garnish.

For the salted caramel sauce, I used Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe. I’m going to just send you right over to her page because she does such an amazing job of instructing you on the process, complete with photos. I chose her recipe because she doesn’t use corn syrup. Since I had that issue with corn last year, I’ve tried to stay away from the stuff as best I can. We’ve made this recipe twice now and it has come out magnificently both times. And it’s delicious to boot! I also consulted her recipe (among others) for the hot cocoa mix when I was researching how to make it. Check that out too. That girl is amazing in the kitchen! You can always trust her recipes to come out (which cannot always be said, by the way) and be as delicious as they look in her photos.

Anyway, back to our gifts. We added cinnamon sticks and mini marshmallows as toppers, but as I said before, you can add pretty much anything that strikes your fancy. The hot chocolate powder (minus the cinnamon) would go with tons of different options: peppermint, orange, I might even try pumpkin because I love pumpkin that much.

cocoa2

A little late posting, but that was our gift to people this Christmas. I think we’ll do something similar next year…making something, I mean. It was fun and I think people enjoyed it.

Does anyone else do this for Christmas? Make something for each family and/or friend?

December 30, 2012

End of one chapter, Beginning of another

I’ve written before about how anti-Resolution I am when it comes to the new year. And I maintain that position because of how particularly useless traditional resolutions are. That does not, however, mean that I am completely oblivious to the convenience a new year provides for making goals and starting fresh.

And this year, in light of having a new house and a new pooch, I’m feeling a fresh start with an acute ping. How could I not? My entire life has been flipped upside down. Where I once was a newlywed living in a 900 square foot apartment, now I’m a full-fledged wife with a 1500 square foot house, an adorable black lab mix and a million new opportunities that I didn’t have a month ago.

I don’t necessarily mean that all of a sudden huge doors have opened. I don’t suddenly have contacts in high career places or anything like that. But I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s the small things that matter most. Like inviting friends over for dinner and dog sitting for my mom while she’s out of town (for better or for worse…..). I have enough space in my living room to bust out my 30 Day Shred DVD without having to rearrange the furniture to do it.

These little things can be as life changing as huge things. And I’ll keep you posted as I make this journey to finding my new self in my new circumstances. But since it’s a new year, I decided to do something I’ve thought about but never actually done until now: make a vision board. And I invited my friend, Reanna, over to make one with me (something I wouldn’t have done at the apartment).

The stack of magazines we were working with. It took HOURS to go through them all!

The stack of magazines we were working with. It took HOURS to go through them all!

I’ve seen multiple people do them. And people all seem to have their own philosophy and strategy when it comes to content, layout, purpose. I know people who look at the vision board as a request to the universe for the things that they want. Some are almost superstitious, being careful not to use words or images that might be taken too literally. I look at it as more of a reminder of the things I wish to accomplish in the year to come, an organization of thoughts and goals in a place where I can see them on a daily basis. I don’t expect them to come true simply because I put them on the board. But they’re there. Sort of like a paper Pinterest for the new year (anyone else see the irony of a “paper Pinterest?”).

Getting there

Getting there

While I don’t believe that the universe is taking note of my desires, nor do I believe that by putting my wishes/goals on a board that they will come true, I did notice that certain patterns emerged. I do believe in the psychology of our choices, the subconscious repetitions based on things we don’t necessarily notice at first sight. Like my friend Reanna. She got all of her photos and phrases on her board and realized that her overall theme was more of self-improvement than it had been in previous years. She also had far more wording than she was used to. She left our house with a lot to think about.

Since I haven’t done a board before, I didn’t have anything to compare to, but I did notice patterns. Like I cut out more than one phrase about “fear.” Likewise with “happiness.” I had many photos and phrases about travel and a handful about food and several about photography. While some people feel that using words on a dream board is a bad idea, I feel like my board without words wouldn’t be MY board. Words are such an important part of my life, it would just seem wrong not to have them present. I like my board. I think it feels very “me.”

The finished product

The finished product

I’m really excited for 2013. The past twelve months have been challenging to say the least, but I am really optimistic about the coming year. I think there is a lot of growth, a lot of fun, a lot of excitement and a lot of change on the horizon. For the first time in my life I feel like I might just be where I’m supposed to be. I feel like I might be getting a clear picture of who I am and who I want to be. And I can’t wait to see how the next year unfolds.

Happy New Year, everyone! Do you have any goals for 2013? Do you make a vision board every year?

December 27, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year

Christmas is over. Gone. Past. Done. Most years I could regale you with how much I enjoyed the season. Baking cookies with my mom. Driving around and looking at houses adorned with millions of tiny colored lights. Making a trek to Nevada City for Victorian Christmas. Picking out the perfect tree and then decorating it whilst sipping cocoa and idly tuning in to a Christmas movie in the background. I could tell you about how my DVR is 92% full with every Christmas movie and special that aired. I’d tell you about shopping trips and adventures in wrapping. And picking a handful of names from the Angel Tree.

Katie "helped" with the little wrapping I did do

Katie “helped” with the little wrapping I did do

But this year I got nothin.

I guess that’s not entirely true. Mom and I did our baking. Granted, it was a seriously condensed version of what we usually bake. Only ten different types of cookies plus fudge. You’re probably laughing because yes, that is a lot of cookies, but we usually do about twice that. I did, however, try several new recipes. I’ll share my favorite with you later. I may have to make another batch because I think they all got eaten before I had the chance to take photos.

We also did get a tree and decorate it and I did make hot cocoa. But we got our tree from Home Depot because it was the week before Christmas and they were the only ones with trees left that didn’t belong at Charlie Brown’s Christmas pageant and we just didn’t have a day free to go pick out and cut down one like we wanted to.

I also did some shopping. Two days before Christmas. And that was all. We bought gifts for nieces and nephews and our parents and the rest got homemade salted caramel hot chocolate…which, by the way, was fabulous in itself. I’ll share that with you soon as well. I actually DID get photos of those. For now, here’s Jim making salted caramel sauce.

caramel sauce1

And one of me in the cutesy Christmas apron my grandmother gave me. Jim pretty much made the sauce by himself. I just wanted to pose with my apron.

caramel sauce2

We didn’t even hang out stockings this year. We got new ones. Pretty Pottery Barn ones (granted, mine showed up all messed up from the embroidery machine, but it still works. They did give me a refund in case you were wondering), but we also got a new mantle, which was still too tacky after being painted to put anything heavy on. So it held our cards (and Jim’s birthday cards) and stockings lived on the floor.

You'll have to excuse the phone photos. They're all I've got at the moment.

You’ll have to excuse the phone photos. They’re all I’ve got at the moment.

I bet you’re wondering why Christmas was no big thing this year. I mean it was our first Christmas in our first house and it should have been special right? Well, I think that’s part of the reason. We still haven’t really finished unpacking and the house has pretty much taken all of our energy and attention (minus what Katie requires). Christmas more or less sneaked up on us. We have just been too busy. Not to mention I’ve had a nasty bug of some sort for the entire month of December, so I haven’t felt like doing anything. Not even putting our house together. On Saturday, we had our first of four days off and the plan was to work on getting the rest of the stuff in the garage put away, clean the inside, get it all nice looking again. We sat on the couch and watch the first two Lord of the Rings movies instead. And you know what? It felt darn good.

Now that the holidays are essentially over and my cough is finally chilling out, life can start to find its way to normal. I’m excited for the new year, to get settled into our new home, our new life with our new pooch. I have a feeling 2013 is going to be amazing.

How was your Christmas? Do you have big plans for the new year?

November 27, 2012

Finding Happiness

To say that I’ve been busy lately would be an understatement. To say that my life is chaotic at the moment would be one too. And to say that I’m completely and utterly happy would be a third.

In August, when I put together my list of thirty things to do before I turn 30, I added “Learn to be happy in Roseville.” It seemed like such a daunting task. There are so many things about this town that I just despise: the lack of character, the cookie-cutterness of it. The fact that most of the restaurants and stores are national chains and the neighborhoods are a sea of suburban track housing. How could I ever be happy in such blah surroundings?

I’ve always believed that old saying that wherever you go, there you’ll be. Problems and all. That’s probably why I never moved to Boston or London or any of the other crazy locations that I was sure would make life so much better. Don’t get me wrong. I still think I’d rather live in either one of those places, but I was always aware that simply being there wouldn’t change me. I do, however, think I’ve remedied a couple of the major problems that made me feel so strongly about my current locale.

First things first. I am NOT a beige person. I believe our previous housing situation is to blame for my unhappiness in two three four ways. The first is beige. Our apartment, the hallway to our apartment, the exterior of our building was BEIGE. Is there an uglier, less happy color? Secondly, It was roughly the size of a shoebox which meant we had to rent a separate home for all of our pretty wedding gifts, our camping equipment and our childhood mementos in the form of a storage unit. Not to mention, it ALWAYS  looked and felt cluttered and that causes me some serious cognitive dissonance (I’m not a messy person, but there’s nowhere to put it all!). I can not handle clutter (insert involuntary shudder here). Thirdly, it was dark. When you have to turn on a light to see in the kitchen regardless of the hour, there’s no way you’ve got enough natural light. Lastly, I believe that not having a place that was really home was getting to me. I mean sure, we had a place where our stuff lived and where we slept at night and had our nosh and Scooby Doo or Nancy Drew video game marathons on Sunday afternoons, but it wasn’t ours. It was…standard. And it wasn’t enough.

In walks our new house (no, not literally…we actually walked into it, but that’s not the point). Which, by the way, we love. And we OWN. And while it WAS beige when we moved in, now it’s a pretty shade of grey with a touch of blue and more than enough sunlight to satisfy my vitamin D requirements. We’ve put holes in the walls with no regard for a security deposit. As I mentioned before, we painted….the WHOLE HOUSE. We even painted one wall a dark blue and one room a beautiful teal green color. We have a garage for our camping stuff, a big enough kitchen for all of our shiny new wedding gifts and even an entire room just for my books!

I know, I know. “We want to see pictures!” Well, you’re going to have to wait. Because while I’m uuber excited to have enough space for all of our stuff, we are still living in clutter, the clutter of the still-needs-to-be-put-away. So when I get it all together, I’ll write a whole post full of photos of our new house. Deal?

For now, I’ll post this one for you: Our new pooch, Katie.

We rescued her from the SPCA in Sacramento. She’s the sweetest dog, about a year old. She loves to be around people and hates the back yard! Which is too bad for her because she’s going to be spending some time there, especially while we’re still getting stuff put away. Her previous owners brought her to the shelter because they didn’t have enough time for her. She comes to work with me every day, so we don’t have a problem there (and don’t feel so sorry for her for having to spend time in the back yard. She is by no means neglected)! She’s part black lab and part…..we don’t really know. The vet speculates terrier, but she also looks a little like a basenji. We won’t ever know for sure, but we don’t care anyway. We love her regardless of her pedigree.

Katie’s been with us for about two weeks, which means she got to meet the families at Thanksgiving. They all loved her. And we had such a great time seeing all of them. Although there was one person missing at the dinner table this Thanksgiving: Jim’s uncle Ken, who passed away at the end of July. There was a moment toward the end of dinner when I realized that the last time I’d sat at the formal dining table at Jim’s parents’ house had been…I don’t even remember the occasion… but Jim was working late and didn’t make it to dinner. Uncle Ken was being his obnoxious self and terrorizing Jim’s sister, Tricia. It wasn’t a particularly eventful evening or memorable in any way except that he had been sitting across the table from me during that dinner, and now he won’t ever again. Uncle Ken would have loved Katie.

Two Christmases ago, Uncle Ken and his wife, Elaine, spent the holiday in Mexico with my family. Uncle Ken is in black next to me. The guy above him is the bartender at the hotel where they stayed. He’d become part of the family by the end of our trip. And the head in the background to the right of the bartender is my youngest brother, Dan. I can barely remember Uncle Ken without that giant smile on his face. For as much of a pain in the butt as he could be at times, he sure did love life. I’m so glad we got to spend this time with him.

But enough of hanging out on the verge of tears. Life is good. And there’s so much to love about it. Uncle Ken would have been so pissed if he knew we were sitting around crying over him. He’d want us to feel the joy in our lives. And between owning our own home, having a new pooch in our little family, being closer to Jim’s family, and the numerous little things that make life amazing, I think I may just be able to stay happily in Roseville. …for a while anyway.

September 25, 2012

End of Summer Stuffed Squash

I didn’t have a garden this year. Our 983 square foot apartment’s tiny little deck had room for little more than a few tomato plants, which we gathered precisely ZERO tomatoes from. I think it was because there wasn’t enough sun on that side of the building. I grew the crap out of some tomatoes on the deck of my old apartment…which happened to face the opposite direction. Anywhoo, just because I didn’t have a garden of my own doesn’t mean I didn’t have plenty of fresh homegrown vegetables from the garden’s of various other people in my life. And as of last night I had 3 different kinds of squash, a couple of sweet peppers, a small tomato, an onion and several garlic bulbs left. Not wanting any of it to go to waste, I decided to throw it all together in one delicious meal.

Please excuse the crap photo. I just didn’t have the energy to get the camera out last night. But you get the gist anyway.

End of Summer Stuffed Squash

Serves 2

1 largish squash (it doesn’t really matter what kind. I’m not even sure what kind mine was. It just came in a lovely bag from one of our employees)

1 small onion, chopped small

1 small tomato, chopped small

1-2 other small squashes, chopped small (I had two other small squashes. That’s why I added them. You can adjust based on what you’ve got)

1 small sweet pepper, you guessed it, chopped small

1 clove of garlic, chopped small

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup quinoa (cooked in two cups water, per the instructions on the box)

1 heaping spoon of greek yogurt (or sour cream if you wish)

1 handfulish parmesan or asiago cheese (or a mix, like I used), shredded

1 slice of bread (I used gluten free bread), broken up into pieces

1 sliver of butter

Seasonings to taste

Cooking Spray

Spray a cookie sheet with your cooking spray and set it aside. While you’re cooking your quinoa, broil your bread chunks until they start to darken and become “toasty.” Put bread chunks into your food processor (or your Ninja blender, if you weren’t so lucky as to get your food processor from your wedding registry) and make bread crumbs out of them (feel free to just use bread crumbs if you want. I like this way better because they’re a little coarser..and you know, all around tastier).

Cut your large zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the innards. Chop the innards a bit and add them to your other chopped squashes and your chopped peppers and garlic.

Put your olive oil in your frying pan and when it gets warm, add your onions. When they start to soften, add the other veggies (DO NOT add the tomatoes till the end of they’ll be gross and mushy) and whatever spices you’re going to use (I used Jim’s step dad’s magic spice mix, which I’m not exactly sure of all the contents, but I know salt, garlic, rosemary, parsley, I think?? That’s all I got for ya. Sorry. You can wing it). When your veggies start looking opaquish, add the cooked quinoa and let it fry away for a few mins. Meanwhile, melt the butter and mix it up with your bread crumbs. Add the tomatoes to the frying pan at the last minute, just to warm them up a bit.

Mix in the cheese. Then mix in the Greek yogurt. Place your squash halves onto your prepared cookie sheet and fill them as full as you can with the quinoa/veggie/cheese/yogurt mix. Top them with your buttered breadcrumbs and bake for about 20 minutes at 400ish. Your crumbs will be browned and your squash will be softish (try stabbing it with a fork).

Sooooo good.

I used the veggies I had in my fridge, and since I don’t eat meat, I didn’t add any. I’d imagine sausage would be good in this if you’re into that kind of thing. I also might try carrots, Jim suggested mashed potato instead of quinoa. You can probably stuff pretty much anything into a squash. Use your imagination…and whatever you’ve got on hand.

Speaking of the end of summer, is anyone else beyond excited for fall? I’m SOOO ready to bust out my sweaters and scarves and boots and drink steamy drinks and eat pumpkin everything. We even already put up our cute little fall door sign.

Isn’t he cute and welcoming?

What is your favorite part of fall? Are you as excited as I am for it’s true arrival?

July 5, 2012

4th of July at the beach

We had no big plans for 4th of July this year, which is strange because it’s always been such a big holiday for my family. At the last minute, we decided to join my brother’s family…as well as some family friends, some of which I haven’t seen in years…at Dillon Beach for 4th of July. I’m not going to write much, just post some photo highlights from the 24 hours or so we were there.

Sunrise at the dock

Tucker and Ila, our friend Alison’s little girl. Aren’t they the cutest?!

She’s gonna be a great wife someday! LOL

Funny lil face!

Lil Man playing in the sand.

I love his little hood.

It was such a beautiful day at the beach. Most of the summer it’s foggy and cold down there. My family used to spend every weekend, every summer down there in a 5th wheel trailer in horseshoe formation with Alison’s family and the families of a few other friends. I hadn’t been there since before I graduated college, and it was nice to be back, to see everyone again (We’ve seen each other more recently than I’ve been to the beach, though!).

I spent the day with Michaela and Tucker and “the girls” while Jim went fishing with my brother. Jim had to work today, so we headed home when they got back. It was a nice, relaxing day, and a nice quiet evening. We stood in our parking lot and watched the various fireworks shows in the area. It was kind of neat to be able to see so any of them, even though they were smaller for us than if we’d been close by. But we were feeling low key, so it was perfect.

How was your 4th?

December 22, 2011

Feeling more like myself again

I don’t know whether it’s excitement for the holidays, maybe I’m sleeping better, or the “crack” energy drink my mom has been feeding me lately, but I’m feeling more myself the past week or so.

Really, there’s far too much good stuff in the world to not feel excitement, even if it is because you don’t have the energy to.

Like these clouds from my drive home the other night:

I’m not proud of this, but I almost ran off the road trying to take this photo. But it was worth it!

 It really is the little things that make life wonderful. Like how excited I am to go home and be with my husband who I still miss every single day when I’m away from him, even after being together for three years.

And my super-cute little nephew, Tucker.

I mean how can I not enjoy life when this little guy is in it?

Even smaller things, tiny things you wouldn’t even think of can give you joy.

Like this salad my mom made us for lunch. It had mixed greens, avocado, pears, blueberries and gorgonzola cheese on it. Talk about happy in the tummy!

I know it’s probably not going to last forever. I’m sure my energy is going to dip again, but as long as I’ve got it, I plan to love every minute of it!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day and has plenty of lovely little things in life to make it worth breathing for.

 

December 22, 2011

Three more days!!!

Is anyone besides me entirely unprepared for the arrival of Christmas?

I JUST started my shopping yesterday. No, that’s a lie. I started  my shopped over a month ago. But none of the items I ordered stood alone, so what I really started yesterday was my supplemental shopping, so to speak.

But I’ve hit an obnoxious snag: my husband, I’ve decided, is expensive. I have been flooded with ideas for his gift….but all of them are well beyond my price range this year.

From tickets to games of his favorite teams to parts for his car, I just don’t have the funds to give him the perfect gift. And it’s discouraging me. Sure, I have a few small things. But this is our first married Christmas, and I want to give him a gift that says “wow, she really knows me. I know I married her for a reason!”

So does that mean just sucking it up and shelling out the extra money for one of the perfect gift ideas I have?

Or do I just suck it up and accept that I can’t get him exactly what I want?

Seems like a lose/lose situation to me. Either way, I have to suck something up.

Despite the frustration and anxiety about gifts, I am definitely excited for Christmas. We are spending Christmas Eve in Santa Cruz with Jim’s grandparents house with his parents and some other family on his mom’s side. Then we’re doing dinner at my mom’s house after with my brother’s family and a couple of close friends. It should be a really good Christmas.

Is anyone else having crazy problems finding the perfect gift? What are your plans for the weekend?

 

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December 17, 2011

Holiday parties and half-asleep days

I just checked my last post. It was ten days ago.

And in those last ten days, I thought about posting, even opened up a new post and stared at the screen for sometimes hours (between other things of course), but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write.

For starters, I had no idea where to start, what to write about. I stared at the screen and nothing came to mind.

The other, probably more prominent reason, is that I’ve been walking through life only half awake. I feel like all I want to do is sleep all the time. Everything feels hard. Cooking dinner feels hard. Putting up our Christmas tree felt hard. And writing a post just seemed too hard. Every time I went to write, I stared at this screen and almost cried. If I can’t even come up with the energy to do the thing I love most, how am I going to get through…life?

So I did what any normal person would do: I called my doctor. A prick in the arm and vial full of blood later and I’ve got myself low T3 thyroid hormone uptake. Another visit to the doc’s office and I’ve got a possible referral to a specialist, potentially more pricks in the arm (I hate those!!) and still no answers as to why I’ve been so tired.

That being said, life goes on and there’s still fun to be had in the world, so while it took me ten days to find the energy to write on my own, when there are other people involved, there aren’t many other options besides sucking it up and putting on a pretty face.

Fortunately, I was able to find a small amount of extra energy at the end of the week and even managed to bake three different types of cupcakes for our annual holiday party at work.

Gingerbread with eggnog frosting, Maple walnut, and Peppermint hot chocolate. They were quite the hit!

And the whole evening was a lot of fun. Despite a beyond-crazy day wrapping 40 prizes for our casino-themed party as well as a gift for every employee, rebaking chocolate cupcakes (I tried a new recipe and it turned out SOOOO dry!), frosting all the cupcakes, decorating the room where the party was held, and squeezing in six sporadic hours of work, I had an amazing time and didn’t once count down the hours until my bed and I met again.

We also decided this year that we would invite more than just our employees to the party. We invited everyone who was important to us, to our family, and we ended up with a room full of people we love and care about. I don’t think it could have been a better evening.

My brother, Matt, teaching my little nephew to play poker.

Our employee’s daughter playing with her winnings.

 Christie married Jim and I. Her husband, Nic, is to her left and our employee, Mark is to her right.

My sister-in-law’s camera had all the photos of me and Jim on it. Obviously, I can’t take photos of myself so well. I’ll have to post a few of those when I get them from her.

But the party really was the perfect holiday celelbration. Filled with good food, amazing friends and family and all the laughter you could ask for! I hope everyone’s holiday season is exactly that!

December 5, 2011

We have our Christmas tree!!!

This weekend was kind of a blur.

Friday night was slumber party night at the vineyard, although my mom got sick and wasn’t able to make it. The three of us had a ton of fun anyway. We worked on my cherry zinfandel fudge recipe…which didn’t quite work the way I wanted it to, although it tasted AMAZING. We worked on decorating and had a delicious dinner and watched Christmas in Boston (has anyone seen that? It’s soooo good!). It was a long night, but full of much needed fun and relaxation!

The next morning we began working on putting lights and decorations up at the shop. Lack of sleep + people not showing up who promised to made me kind of cranky early on, but as everything started going up and becoming festive, my mood changed (putting on Christmas music helped too!).

In the afternoon, my mom and I went to a Christmas tea that my friend, Liz, from college and her mom and sisters host every year. Liz moved away to go to grad school, so it was nice to see her and catch up. It’s something my mom and I look forward to every year. Just sitting there, sharing tea memories and steaming cups of the delicious drink and so much food we never leave hungry. It’s a delightful break from all the madness!

That evening I went home, changed for the third time that day and Jim and I met his boss and a client of theirs for dinner at Scott’s Seafood in Sacramento. We ate and drank and sat and talked for hours. I had never met the client before and he and his girlfriend were lovely people. She and I were sitting at one end of the table, so we talked about food, cooking, kids, crappy mattresses and how different it is to live with men than alone!

All in all, it was a pretty great day. I fell into bed and was asleep almost immediately.

Sunday we got up late, I made gingerbread french toast that didn’t quite taste enough like gingerbread but was still delicious and we went out and got our Christmas tree!

We went with Jim’s mom and step dad and his little niece, Mya.  She had so much fun, especially because there were free cookies and hot cocoa…..

With PINK marshmallows!!!

They were peppermint flavored. So yummy!

Mya and her pink marshmallow hot cocoa

We went out to lunch at Max’s where Jim’s step dad is the general manager and I am a server (although technically I haven’t worked a shift in 5 months. eep!), and then went home to decorate!

Since our apartment is rather small, we tried to find a tree that about matched its size. When we got the thing in, I was worried that it wasn’t going to fit in the corner we had our tree last year (and the only corner that would actually fit a tree at all!), but even with the angel on top, it fit in perfectly!

Jim fighting with the net around the tree

 

One of our favorite ornaments my mom got us in Alaska last year

Despite being totally exhausted, it was a really fun evening. We ate our usual Sunday “nosh” (maybe I’ll post about that next week!), watched a Christmas movie (which I fell asleep in the middle of), and fell into bed without an ounce of trouble falling asleep.

How was your weekend? Do you have your Christmas tree up yet?