Entries from December 2013

The Holidays

Friday, December 20, 2013

It doesn’t much feel like the holidays around here. I don’t know what it is, if there’s something specific that I’m missing, or maybe a collections of things. All I know is that Christmas is less than a week away, less than seven days away and I have little to show for the season. I’ve been to one of the bf’s Christmas parties, and today, we had the work Christmas party. There was a Secret Santa gift exchange, we cracked open poppers, we laughed and we even had a little to drink. But still, it doesn’t feel like it’s here.
The weather has been cooler, I’ve been wearing a pleather jacked, a beanie and multiple layers frequently. I’ve been burning cinnamon and spice candles, and wearing thick socks. I’ve become best friends with my space heater at home and at work, and still, I don’t feel it. Gift baskets come into work, filled with goodies that the boss (an absolutely wonderful woman by the way) lets us gobble up. Still, no Christmas feeling.
I’ve bought presents that I took care in planning, I bought the wrapping paper that I’ve always wanted to wrap my presents in, and the bakers string. We spent a night at my dad’s house eating pizza and decorating a tree. Somehow it all feels disconnected.
I’ve realized that this year very few houses are strung with lights, I would say about 1 in 7 in my neighborhood. That feels unnatural, maybe I’m just remember the past different, but I swear more houses were decorated with lights in previous years.
There’s also no tree in my house. I think that’s part of it. Maybe if I had bought myself a little tree, set it up on a shelf so I could see it every morning, maybe then it would feel more real. Maybe if I drove to find more houses, and bought myself an atrocious sweater with cats on it, I would feel like it was here. Maybe if I made more cookies, or ate more candy canes, or… maybe if I watched the Christmas episodes of The O.C., maybe then it would feel like Christmas.
Maybe if I still worked retail, or even at Cinepolis. Maybe then it would still feel like Christmas, hectic, chaotic, and pushy. But I don’t want that Christmas anyway. Sometimes, just sometimes, when I’m in a parking lot, it feels like Christmas, but not in the way I want it to, in the “people are dummies” and “learn to drive” kind of way. I don’t want to be a Scrouge.

Christmas use to be such a magical time. I really want to know how to get that feeling back. I want to know what I have to do to remember the magic that was Christmas as a kid. Not even the gifts… but the magic behind the season. The anticipation, the excitement, the laughing and playing.

Luckily it’s not over yet. I still have 6 days to get some feeling in. Maybe if I do at least one Christmasy thing a day I’ll get it. Even just a glimpse of it.

So right now I found my Christmas songs on itunes, and I set them to play. Tomorrow I’ll be drinking some peppermint mocha creamer in my decaf coffee. I’ll be making some cookies, possible some of the sugar variety, I’ll be watching Elf with my man, snuggling and possibly wearing the aforementioned atrocious sweaters… I’ll be making some nutella hot chocolate and maybe some cinnamon whipped cream. I’ll be wrapping presents and watching the Chrismukkah episode from each season of The OC.
I’ll be trying to find fires to curl up by, or trees to smell. I’ll probably go buy some candy canes and have them all around me. I’ll be watching a movie with grandma, mom and the siblings on that side, I’ll be spending Christmas with my dad’s family and most likely Dan. I’ll be looking for a place to donate some food, maybe even just drop some into a San Diego Food Bank canister at Vons.

I’ll be doing all I can to get that feeling back. The magic of the season.

If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!


The Weekly

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Weekly is a Friday, Sunday… or maybe just about any day, round up. The Weekly is a processing and a record. It is a mix up of currently and around here with a look at the past and the future. 
Last weeks adventures were in eye exams, Christmas lights and slowly getting back into working out. The song on the ipod, Dark Horse by Ms. Katy Perry. It’s probably the main motivation for getting back to dance class.
I went and walked Christmas Lane with The Brows who have added a new baby Brows to the mix. It was really good to see them again. Then took a dance class with a friend that moved away about 6 months ago. She’s visiting and it was good to see her again.
I tried on new glasses at Costco but the boy told me the ones I have are good. I dunno though, I kinda really like these now that I’ve looked at the picture again.
Oh my gosh, and I went and ate at Slaters 50/50, I did not have a burger though, so I can’t really speak to the taste of their specialty.
Thinking about:
The new year! What my goals are going to be, what this space is going to look like, what all the different possibilities are. Endless! I’m a little hesitant to be all gung ho about it being a GREAT NEW YEAR etc etc etc because I tried that last year and mannnn, it’s been a doozy. Full of learning, but definitely not a great new year on the surface. Anyway, thinking about goals and trying to be more realistic while also pushing myself. Being realistic helps me moving forward instead of making these grand goals by the dozens and then letting them all fall to the wayside.
-Friday Night Lights. Obsessed again. About halfway into Season 3. Stoked.
-My new beanie and fake leather jacket I treated myself to. Keeps me warm (if not a little static-y… must fix that part)
– Peppermint Mochas from Starbucks with half the pumps of mocha and peppermint, so it’s not too sweet. Delicious. I did get myself some peppermint mocha creamer though, so I just need some decaf coffee and I can make myself the same thing for a small fraction of the cost. Even better.
Ditched two of the books I started reading last year and got myself a whole new stack from the library. I did finish Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist and I can’t wait to read her other books.
I’ve definitely slowed down in the cooking department. Took a break, brought some other goals to the forefront. But tonight I decided it was a night to make a chicken dish I made before. 52 dishes really did work!
I also made some chocolate banana bread, it was suppose to be a swirl and I didn’t manage that and they didn’t really come out that good. But I tried. Better luck next time. Goodness knows I’ll still eat them.
Working on:
Figuring out what I want my life to look like right now. And then making small steps to get myself there.
Celebrating/Moment of gratitude:
– Seeing old friends
– baby giggles
– entertaining children with some simple origami
– the soreness in my muscles from a dance class well done, I still have a lot of what I left with, but I have a LOT of muscle to gain back.
Lovely Links:
Something I want to make /// Nutella Swirl Waffles
My next trick to entertain a 3 year old /// Origami Christmas Tree
A book I want but probably won’t buy /// Martha Stewart’s Cooking School
And a move I want to learn /// One day I’ll talk about it more

The Weekly

Monday, December 9, 2013

a gorgeous morning view/ the man/ one sip of moonshine/ Insurgent/ cinnamon rolls/rolling out the dough/ sister’s birthday

The Weekly is a Friday, Sunday… or maybe just about any day, round up. The Weekly is a processing and a record. It is a mix up of currently and around here with a look at the past and the future. 
Delicious Saturday breakfast at Don’s Country Kitchen, I highly recommend it.
Family pictures at Kit Carson Park. Pretty sure there was a High School drug deal going on in the parking lot but the actual park was lovely. 

Thinking about:
2014. It’s December and I’ve finished my 52 in 52 early, which is quite a shock considering I didn’t do it for so long. But the baking bug bit me these past few months and I definitely caught up. It has made me think of what next year’s 52 in 52 will be. I need it to be a challenge, but not so big of a challenge that I get overwhelmed. The first year I picked books because I hadn’t been reading that much, the second year pictures because I wanted to have a better relationship with my cameras, this year I picked cooking because I don’t know how to make very many meals and at at restaurants a lot.
This coming year… I am scared to say, is probably going to be about exercise. 
There’s other stuff I’m thinking about for next year too, what my motto is going to be, possibly “lean in” which will go with the 52 in 52 perfectly… more on that closer to the new year…
What books I’m going to read for a second time next year, if I’m going to take a Spanish class, or maybe a writing one… I love fresh starts. And I know you can decide to have them any time, but the new year, and then my birthday, are my favorite ones.

The written word 
These posts. Even if they are the only posts I have all week.
Planning for the new year.
Pinterest… obsessed and using too much data scrolling through that lovely site
-Read Insurgent, book two in the Divergent series. Love this books so much. Can’t wait to read Allegiant, but I have to wait until Christmas at least because I asked for it with the Secret Santa thing at work. 
– Started to read Organize your Mind, Organize Your Life. Not sure if I am going to stick with it or not.
– Started Everything’s Perfect When You’re a Liar. Not sure if I am in the right mood to read it but I do love the author’s tweets. @KellyOxford
-Attempted overnight oatmeal twice, once with steel cut oats and the other time with quick oats but neither worked out. Not sure what to do about that.
– Also attempted churro popcorn… no success yet
– made cinnamon chips (like chocolate chips, but cinnamony sweetness) for aforementioned churro popcorn recipe 
– Cooked a delicious dinner of chicken with sweet potatoes and onions in the oven. I ate every last bit of it over a three day period. That never happens. I almost always throw away some leftovers.
– overnight cinnamon rolls. I did it, I faced a cooking fear or two (dough and perceived difficulty) and made some absolutely delicious cinnamon rolls. I am going to tweak the recipe in a few spots next time and I’ll remember to have cream cheese to actually make a frosting/glaze, but they were plenty sweet without it this time around. Very happy with how they came out.
Working on
Ideas for Christmas presents. I have decided I have to calm down and think of a good present, not the peerrrrfect one. Too much pressure. Last year I did great for my Dad and C. 
I’m envious of the people that are pretty much done with Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. 
Celebrating/Moment of gratitude
– The sunset on any given day
– Driving to work via Coast Highway and seeing waves crash into the rocks. That was a great way to start the morning, and I had cinnamon rolls to bring to my coworkers, it was a great way to start the morning.
– Quiet moments with the man, holding hands. 
Lovely Links:
Before you press snooze
I want to make a light up marquee
Two great posts from Allison Vesterfelt about feeling discouraged and quitting something
This post about a photographer’s rituals makes me itch to take my camera out more

The Weekly

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Weekly is a Friday, Sunday… or maybe just about any day, round up. The Weekly is a processing and a record. It is a mix up of currently and around here with a look at the past and the future. 
Loving: life. I get stressed out frequently by so many things, simple and not so simple, but when I take a step back and look at how far I’ve come and what’s happened in the last year, I feel better. I am changing, slowly but surely, into the person I want to be, I have an amazing guy at my side who adores me, I have a family who loves me through and through, I have a job that gives me an insane Christmas bonus after being there three weeks… I have a car that works, a roof over my head, a steady paycheck, I don’t have to work on the weekend anymore… I could go on. But basically, life is good. Even when I wonder if it’s not.
Challenged by: Gratitude and worry. Gratitude will probably always be a challenge. It’s so easy to forget to be grateful for the small things, it’s so easy to forget to be grateful when my stomach is doing weird things, or I’m irritated because I haven’t had alone time. But everything that’s been around me, and the food that has gone into my stomach (even if it isn’t digesting as I want it to) are blessings. Huge blessings. And gratitude is important. So next week I’m going to answer this with something new, but this week again… gratitude.
Learning: how to share my life. It seems like a slightly strange thing to say. But I’ve been single most of my life, and now I have this incredible person that I’m sharing my life with and it’s a learning process. Sometimes it’s so easy, and other times I have to unlearn old habits. Totally worth it, every step of the way, and definitely a learning process. If I’m getting repetitive in this too, I apologize, but gratitude and sharing are big things for me right now.
Adventures: My man met both families this weekend. Totally champ through it all. Not that my families are really hard to meet. They are both quite welcoming and loving. They are also hilarious… apple doesn’t fall far from the tree 😉 so, I think it went well for all involved. I sure had a good time.
We went to La Jolla Cove and looked at some fat, lazy seals sunbathe, walked along the cove, also killed time before our friends had their baby. We saw The Book Thief and it was a gorgeous (and definitely sad) movie… what else? I worked on my blanket some more, we got delicious bbq last night… oh, and slept a whole bunch. Lots of sleep happened this four day weekend.
Reading: Divergent and falling in love with it again. 
Cooking:  chocolate chip cookies (still trying to find a perfect recipe), cinnamon chips (like chocolate chips but cinnamon, because cinnamon chips are hard to find), brownies and marshmallows dipped in caramel and then chocolate. The last one was a bust, didn’t melt the chocolate right and the caramel dipped marshmallows stuck to the foil so it became messy real fast. Oh well… can’t win every recipe.
Oh yes, and the slow cooker oatmeal came out pretty good. 
Working on: Slowing down mentally. I had a great weekend but at times I would get stressed thinking that I should be doing something. That I had four days and what do I have to show for it. And then I would make myself sit for a second, and think of all the things that did happen during those days and how I don’t have to always be getting things done. Phew… definitely a work in progress. Going to have to make my week nights less about baking and cooking and fit more of my other projects in. No such thing as a perfect balance but I’m working on making life just a little richer. 
Celebrating/Moment of gratitude: Holding baby J today. Brand new babies are a thing of wonder. Well, humans… scratch that… everything on this earth can be a thing of wonder if we let it… but babies, it’s easy to feel their importance, it’s hard not to be floored with awe when in their presence. 
Random thought: I’m sure I had one this week… no, I’m positive I did… but I can’t remember it. So, I’m going to remember to write one down for next week.
Emotionally: tuckered out but positive 

Lovely Links:
I am honored to be listed on this reading list
I’m so glad that I’m not the only one starting to think about my plans for the new year
Bought these silicone baking mats, love them!

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