Sunday, December 29, 2013


I am loving vacation. Although I haven't gotten to as much exercise as I would have liked, I'm getting a ton done around the house and getting some serious R+R for myself, too. It's been a long 6 months at work, and I needed this break for my sanity! Tomorrow, I'm getting up early and doing yoga, then meeting EmcP for a little lunch date. I'm excited to make a yummy steak dinner for me and tt for NYE {recipe will of course be posted, I'm going to try to find a WW one} and we will finish this year together, as we get ready for what 2014 has in store for us!

Lots to look forward to in the coming months, and of course, in the coming year! January will include a full spa day at the Norwich Spa and our annual work conference, in Orlando again. We're staying for the weekend, of course, and it will be a fun time with my girls. It is still TBD, but February will hopefully bring some traveling as well. ;o) After that, everything will be a blur through the holidays! 

Fun fun fun! Def check out tonight's recipe... toasted penne might just be my new fave! 

Recipe of the day

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Antipasto, Darius Rucker, and an animal print blanket

The holidays have made such wonderful memories. I just love spending time with my family and friends, and all of the love and joy that come with this season. Unlike Thanksgiving when tt and I had to split up, for Christmas we were able to spend time with both families which was wonderful. We headed to the castle for Christmas Eve, and got to spend time with my parents, grandparents, and sister. My sister's bf Dan was traveling to his family for Christmas so we didn't get to see him, so that stunk, but we did send him a video of me opening my present from him {which I loved btw...}

{the video won't work, but you can see my excitement}

SF and I typically just exchange on xmas eve, but since we weren't sure about timing in the morning, tt and I did all of our present opening at night, and we gave my parents and grandparents our gifts as well. Santa was very good to everyone!! My favorite present to give was the princesses' gift for the king and queen. We did a 3-part gift and the lead up to it was perfect. A gift card to a very random local restaurant first, which my dad opened. A Darius Rucker CD which my mother opened. And then the big present, tix to his concert!! The restaurant is right near where the concert is, so they can grab a quick bite first. We were super excited because we are not smooth at all, and totally pulled it all off, despite the tickets being shipped to my parents house and everything. Christmas miracle!! :o)

My family does apps galore which is probably one of my favorite parts of the Christmas Eve/Christmas celebration. We just eat {and drink} all night. We made a Sparkling Christmas Punch that consisted of Vodka, Cranberry juice, Concentrates of OJ, Lemonade and Grapefruit juice, Ginger Ale and tonic. Very sweet but very yum. Apps were quite the assortment: teenie weenies, SF's "MIL" recipe for cranberry chutney {which I will get and post at some point in the very near future}, French onion soup, homemade pepperoni and spinach calzones, and tt and I brought Antipasto Skewers. These were made with Pepperocinis, Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Red Peppers, Mozz cheese, Green and Kalamata olives, and rolls of Italian meats and cheese {pepperoni, capicola, soppressata, and provolone} - They didn't look quite as fancy as the ones on Pinterest, but were delightful. With a Friendly's Spumoni roll for dessert, we were stuffed to the brim. Christmas Jammies were a must, and we sat around chatting all night.

We spent the night, had Christmas morning with my family and did stockings, and had breakfast complete with the king's omelets and traditional cinnamon buns, and then hit the road to head to his parents' house. We had Christmas dinner with tt's parents and his dad's cousin who he hasn't seen in 10+ years. Had a nice turkey dinner complete with all the fixin's and the MIL even made beets for me since I don't do the whole turnip thing. She also made tt's famous Hazelnut Pumpkin Cheesecake pie which is like, to die for. We did presents and then stopped into his Grandmother's house to say Merry Christmas and give her her gift as well. It was great to spend so much time with family and to see smiling faces on everyone. 

On our way out, we stopped at Frisbee Circle to see the Christmas lights {Visit this link and see how absolutely incredible this neighborhood is!} and then we went home and tt let me watch Bridesmaids! He had never seen it and as much of a "chick flick" as it is, he definitely was laughing through the entire movie.

So bummed that he has to work since I am now on vacation for the rest of the year, but it gives me time to get my blog updated {yay for you!} and I will spend some serious time cleaning and organizing the house. Not today, mind you, but by the time my vaca is over. :oP

How were your holidays?! Big plans for New Years? Resolutions? My biggest resolution is to spend the next 2 weeks detoxing since I am going to Orlando in 2 weeks... eek!

Recipe of the day

{Free instructions on how to make cake ball truffles included}

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. Keeping all the families of the fallen angels of Sandy Hook Elementary School in my thoughts and prayers today. 12/14/12

So, I have been struggling lately with the Christmas spirit. Everyone is mad at me because I'm not getting a tree, I haven't decorated and I have barely bought a gift. Actually, I haven't even bought any gifts... my sister took care of my parents for us, and my favorite little intern took care of my sister's gift for me. I just can't seem to get myself going. I couldn't even bring myself to shop for wrapping paper, which, if you know anything about me and my family, is one of my FAVORITE parts of this holiday season. {don't worry, I forced my way through it yesterday} But, usually I'm decorated, shopped, wrapped et al by the time Christmas is 2 weeks away. 

My sisterfriend has been done and wrapped for a while and if I'm going to beat her, I have to up my game this year. She's got peanuts, sparkley silver things, and all sorts of fanciness. But...... I might just win. 

I might only have one present to wrap, but darn it, it is wrapped beautifully! I pulled out my little white tree from the basement, set it all up, put my beautiful Tiffany ornament on it, and voila ~ automatic Christmas Spirit. And now, with the beautiful snow outside, cozied up inside for the day/night, I am..

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

recipe of the day