Monday, December 27, 2010

Not Talking the Talk

Just like taking time off from exercising and eating well, I took some time off of blogging.  Neither hiatus was really intentional, but more of a “oh I didn’t blog today, I’ll do it tomorrow” or “oh just one more cookie won’t hurt anything.”  Before you know it, you’ve been silent in the blog world for 2 weeks and you’ve gained 5 pounds.  Not cool.

My favorite professor in undergrad used to say to us public health students all the time, “if you can’t walk the walk, you shouldn’t talk the talk,” pushing us to lead healthy lives in order to set good examples for other students, clients, and patients.  I sure haven’t been a great example lately, hence me not even ATTEMPTING to “talk the talk.”  Heck, I haven’t even caught up on blog-reading since Thanksgiving, and I’m too chicken to hit the “mark all as read” button!

I’m super-excited about the new lens I got for Christmas, and I’m feeling the need to write more about health than I have my life over the past couple of months, so with the combination of both, hopefully I’ll be back to my old blogging self in no time!

For Christmas, we stayed at home and relaxed.  I did my usual baking for the neighbors, and we enjoyed some snow the day after Christmas (I still have never seen a white Christmas!).  It sure was fun to have the kittens around this year…they were in hog heaven with all the wrapping paper!

cookies for neighbors Christmas tree

Cats in presents Maddy's bone

brand spankin' new lens Leg lamp Maddy's present Murray under the tree  Sullivanmint chocolate martinis gingerbread house  carving the turkey puzzlestea amd gingerbread

Christmas 2010

Do you stay sensible during the holidays, or do you completely disregard healthy eating and exercise plans?  What was your favorite gift that you received or gave this year?  Are you light on blog-writing and –reading this time of year, too?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No Casserole Left Unturned 2010 Tour

This past weekend, Mom and I hosted our big family Christmas gathering at our family’s lakehouse.  We got there around lunchtime on Friday and started decorating.  Remember evil gnome Santa?  He greeted guests and kept watch over Mom and me while we put lights on the porch.

 DSC_2135 mantel Christmas tree

I had been making snacks all week, so I was glad to finally get them out on display.

Chex muddy buddies

I made Muddy Buddies, chocolate-dipped pretzel rods, and tree-shaped cake truffles in advance.

chocolate-dipped pretzels cake truffles

Also in advance, I made two big crockpots of chili for Friday night.

chili and cornbread

After dinner, I started on preparation for Saturday’s big meal.  I look like Jack Nicholson.  Check out my breasts.

turkey breasts

Tee-hee.  I roasted a couple of turkey breasts Friday night.  Check the time behind me…I was up until midnight making gravy.  When the turkey went in the oven, we belatedly celebrated Mam-ma’s birthday with her traditional pumpkin cheesecake[The one I made at Thanksgiving tasted like smoke due to an unfortunate spillage issue in my oven.  When we made this cheesecake, some spilled out and full-on CAUGHT ON FIRE.  However, the cheesecake tasted fine this time.  Go figure.]

Mam-ma's birthday cheesecake

After a short, restless night’s sleep (Mom and I slept side-by-side on a double bed with kittens pouncing on us all night…), we got up and made little frozen sausage biscuits for the crowd.  I like mine with mustard and grape jelly, just not at the same time…though that doesn’t sound horrible, does it?

 sausage biscuits

After breakfast and a shower, it was time to get to work!  My cousin got some shots of me dismantling the turkey.  I was almost in tears because I wanted to do it myself (i.e., I don’t need a man to do it for me) but got frustrated when I was fake picked-on by my uncle.  I’m an only child and the baby of the family…I don’t like feeling incompetent.  I did it all by myself and it came out just fine.

carving the turkeys 

We had quite a few casseroles on the menu…

 casserole city

And – ooh, lookie there! – some fruits and veggies, too!.

fruits and veggies 

I also made our traditional cold Christmas punch with cranberry juice, ginger ale, pineapple juice and almond extract as well as some hot spiced apple cider.

We all used to exchange names to get gifts for each other, but now that my cousins are all having kids, we just do gifts for the little ones and my grandmother. 

kids opening presentskids opening presents

However, Mom and I missed our gift-giving so much that we started a new tradition – Yankee Swap/White Elephant.  We had a blast, so I hope we play it next year, too!

gag gifts

gag gifts

After all the gifts were given, the kids wanted to see the kittens.

kids and kittens

kids and kittens

Poor kittens.

So now that the tour is over…time to get back on track for realz?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas #1

We’re hosting our BIG family Christmas this weekend, and the past week has been filled with preparations for that, hence my MIA-ness.  I’ve been making cute time-consuming stuff like this:

pretzel rods

(icky cell phone flash)

 Christmas tree cake truffles

I did take a break on Monday to go to Riverbanks Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas with Mom.

Lights Before Christmas 2010

Here’s what I looked like last year at the same event:

Lights Before Christmas 2009

I was wearing my function-over-fashion coat this year, but I can tell a difference!

Zoo Lights Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights Zoo Lights

After freezing our tuchuses off at the zoo, we headed over to Gervais & Vine to take advantage of a recent Groupon deal.  I didn’t take in my camera, but after a couple of tapas plates we got dessert (I know, I know) and I had to take a picture with my phone.Peppermint cheesecake and sweet potato cheesecake 

Peppermint cheesecake and sweet potato cheesecake.  Whaaaaat?  The peppermint was surprisingly light and almost mousse-like, and the sweet potato was sweet and spicy, but not as much as a pumpkin cheesecake might be. 

And because I know a few of you are only checking back for kitten pictures, here they are.

the babies

They had their first round of shots yesterday and spent the rest of the day napping with my teddy bear.  Poor babies.

To those who celebrate it, have you had any Christmas parties yet?  What kinds of things are you taking to holiday get-togethers?  I can’t wait to do a recap of this weekend on Sunday!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Sorry, y'all...I know this is lame, but this is just a test post to see if I can blog from my phone. Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Now let's see if I can insert a picture...

Edit: multiple pictures?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cold weather running

I went running on Wednesday (and am going again today!) for the first time since the weather warranted bundling up.  I prepared by wearing:

  • my fleece jacket with zip-up pockets so my iPod wouldn’t bounce out like my phone did that one time
  • long pants
  • a fleece headband with little ear flaps

I, however, forgot:

  • gloves

My fingers got all cold and Crypt-Keeper-esque to the point that even brushing them up against something hurt.  Duly noted.  Shall’nt forget thine gloves again.

Since I was sidelined by shin splints during the winter last year, I’m ignorant about how to prepare for cold-weather running.  What wardrobe allowances do you have to make for running in cold weather (tights? some super-special fleece?)?  What other running gadgets (Spi Belt? water bottle with handle?) have made your runs easier? (Furthermore, can you write/read “runs” without thinking of poop?  Because I can’t.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blogger Gift Exchange

I’m a little late in passing along the word because I’m a little late to the party myself, but here’s an opportunity to swap gifts with blog friends!
  • Tina at Faith, Fitness Fun is organizing a blogger gift exchange. You’ve got a couple more days to sign up!
  • I earlier said that I was too late to tell you guys about Then Heather Said’s handmade ornament exchange, but I was wrong.  TODAY is the last day to sign up.  Sorry again, y’all.  smile_embaressed  Now go sign up!
Know of any other Blogger Secret Santa projects or gift swaps?