Christmas in January

Though it took me a good two weeks, our Christmas decorations were taken down before Florida weather started to creep back up into the ’70s.

However, even without a tree and twinkling lights, I just cannot seem to escape the Christmas spirit. Look what arrived in the mail today:

Christmas Stockings!

I orderd these embroidered stockings from Pottery Barn for me and Ryan after Christmas when they went on sale.

Our 2010 Stockings

Since Christmas 2010 will be our first official Christmas as a married couple, I figured we needed matching stockings, right? Oh Lord, I’m gonna be that kind of wife, aren’t I? 😉

After putting away the stockings, Ryan and I took Sadie on a walk around the lake. It was a little cloudy outside, but the temperature was great! I love being able to wear a t-shirt and comfy pants and not feel cold or hot. Us Floridians have to take advantage of weather like this, because it’ll be hotter than the sun in no time.

Once we got home, Ryan left for a soccer game (I hope they win!), and Sadie and I got to work making dinner. As always, when I’m on my own I crave breakfast for dinner, so that’s exactly what I had.

As part of Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker program I received a coupon for a free carton of Eggland’s Best eggs, so I had a full carton of eggs callin’ my name in the fridge.

Eggies

Apparently these eggs have a lot more vitamins than other eggs. I couldn’t taste all those extra vitamins (which is probably a good thing), but I could taste deliciousness. I love dippy eggs!

Breakfast Fo' Dinn-ah

In addition to my two dippy eggs, I filled my plate with a slice of Canadian bacon, veggies and a toasted whole wheat Arnold sandwich thin.

Red Onion, Mushrooms, Squash

I used 3/4 of the sandwich thin to soak up the egg yolks and saved the left over quarter to make a mini-dessert.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Dessert

I topped the remaining 1/4 thin with chocolate PB2 and chocolate chips. (Another handful or two of chocolate chips may or may not have made it into my mouth as well. 😉 )

I bet I could eat breakfast for dinner five days out of the week and love it! Maybe that’ll be a fun little foodie experiment for the future…

Hooray for Friday tomorrow!

Christmas Cheers

Christmas was full of family, love, presents and food!

Family Christmas Tree

 I love opening gifts but I really  love watching my family open the presents I picked out for them. It’s so fun to see the reactions I’ve been anticipating for months (and in some cases days).

After a big breakfast of monkey bread and cheese puff cassserole (think egg, cheese, ham and bread), we opened all of our gifts. I received wonderful presents from my family! They did a great job. 🙂

Then my family loaded into the car and headed off to Ryan’s mom’s house for Christmas lunch and a gift exchange with his family.

The food was amazing! Ryan’s grandma used to own a restaurant called The Coffee Cup and his grandmother and mom are excellent cooks. I loaded up my plate with lots of yummy food.

My Christmas Lunch Plate

I prepared a squash recipe and my mom made green beans with almonds to bring to the party.

For dessert I enjoyed a piece of Italian eggnog cheesecake that went unphotographed. In fact, the majority of my meals went undocumented yesterday. Woops!

After lunch, we opened presents. I received wonderful gift from Ryan’s family including a beautiful fleece jacket, scarf and bedazzeled earphones for my iPod.

Me and Ryan on Christmas

Christmas Kisses

Around 3:30, we headed home where my cousin Ricky and his girlfriend Abby were waiting.

It was great to see them! We enjoyed a yummy dinner of potroast, potatoes, carrots and macaroni and cheese before watching Christmas Vacation. Great movie!

I’ll be back soon with more updates from today! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and are enjoying special time with loved ones.

Thank you for all the wonderful Christmas wishes yesterday. I always read all of your comments and emails and am touched by each and every one. Gosh, I just love you all! 😀

Dress Hunt Continues

The hunt for my wedding dress continued today.

After a quick 50 minute run with Sadie (she’s the best running partner), I wolfed down a bowl of Flax-Z-Snax vanilla almond hot cereal with pumpkin, cinnamon and whipped cream.

Whipped Cream Makes Anything Better!

If you’re a germ-a-phobe, you should probably avoid the whipped cream can at my house. We’ve been known to spray the sweet and creamy deliciousness straight into our mouths.

After my quickie meal, my sister snapped a pic of my outfit. It’s nothin’ special, but I had to send it to Ali to accompany the questions I answered for my interview on her awesome blog which will be debuting soon. 🙂 I always love looking at her outfits because she has the cutest clothes. 

Pic for FoodFitnessFashion.com

Following the picture-taking shenanigans,  my mom, sister and I headed off to The Dressing Room in St. Pete to try on some more wedding gowns.

I didn’t find the one there, but I did see a dress that was so gorgeous. It was completely lace, but with a little flava-flav. I have another appointment to try on dresses (mostly Maggie Sottero gowns – yay!) on Saturday. This will be my fourth attempt at finding the perfect dress. Goodness!

If you’re married, how many times did you try on gowns before you found the one?

This finding a wedding dress business is tough! I don’t think I’m the type of person that will just have that “ah ha!” moment. I like to sit on big decisions… let ’em marinate a bit before truly committing. I hope I find a gorgeous dress eventually!

Now we’re off to church before dinner.

The rest of the night will consist of baking Christmas cookies and heading out on the boat to look at Christmas lights! We’ll also be opening our annual Christmas pajamas. I can’t wait!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! 😀

It’s Christmas Eve!

Way to state the obvious, huh?

I don’t care… I’m SO excited!!!

Today started off with some holiday baking. I made a fresh batch of homemade peanut butter cookies for Ryan to take to his dad for Christmas.

Peanut Butter

More than one peanut butter fingers were consumed in the baking process. 😉

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

 Sadie helped me lick the beaters clean.

Beater Licker

 What a good dog. 🙂

Yummy Cookies

While the cookies were baking, I prepared a breakfast fit for the holidays: Honey Bunches of Oats French toast.

French Toast

I made the toast batter with Egg Beaters, whole wheat bread, cinnamon and sugar. I then added several handfuls of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal for extra sweetness and crunch.

Honey Bunches of Oats French Toast

Ryan enjoyed a huge plate of this breakfast!

Ryan's Plate

Happy Boy

Now that breakfast is complete, I’m ready to tackle the day!

I have lots on the agenda:

  • Workout
  • Shower
  • Blog (x 2!)
  • Appointment to try on wedding dresses
  • Take jeans to get altered
  • Last minute shopping (stocking-stuffers)
  • Grocery store
  • Prep food to cook for Ryan’s family Christmas party tomorrow
  • Wrap a few remaining presents
  • Church
  • Secret Santa exchange (via conference call)
  • Look at Christmas lights with the fam on our boat

I am most excited for the last bullet on my list.

When we first moved to Florida from Illinois in 2003, it was hard wrapping my head around warm weather when I was so used to chilly temperatures. Somehow it just didn’t feel like Christmas.

To help embrace the warm weather and make a Florida Christmas feel legit, my family started a tradition where we hop into our boat (which is decorated with Christmas lights) on Christmas Eve evening and travel up and down nearby canals looking at Christmas lights. We pop in a Christmas CD, sing, laugh and hang out and it’s my favorite part of the day.

Christmasy Boat

 Rudolph Walk

 Our family has always embraced traditions during the holidays.

What traditions do you have in your family?

When we lived in Illinois we’d always go on a Rudolph Walk on Christmas Eve. Our annual Rudolph Walk was our family hunt to see if we could catch a glimpse of Rudolph’s nose in the nearby forest. (My wonderful father would head out hours before us to put a red light bulb in the forest, way out in the distance.) Somehow we were lucky and saw him every year!

Rudolph

To prepare for the cold walk, we would layer our clothes, put on boots and snow pants and head out! I’ll never forget the walk during the first year that I didn’t think Santa was the real-deal anymore. My dad and younger sister, Leslie, led the way into the forest while my mom and I linked arms and took up the rear.

We started to tell my sister that we had to be very quiet because any noise might scare Rudolph away.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to walk quietly in snow pants, but it’s virtually impossible. The swish, swish noise is very hard to avoid. 

Leslie was set on seeing Rudolph’s nose and was committed to not making a sound. She walked with her legs stiffly apart for nearly half a mile to avoid any noise. It was hysterical and my mom and I were grunting and snorting trying not to laugh as we watched my dad try to help her balance so she wouldn’t be too loud and scare the elusive reindeer away.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and are able to enjoy some special time with loved ones.

Ridiculous or Really Awesome?

Lunch

My lunchtime wrap was a meal fit for the day after Thanksgiving.

I know it’s nearly Christmas, but since I discovered that you can make cranberry sauce in the microwave, I’m still ridin’ high on cranberry sauce love.

Today my lunch was a slightly revised version of my favorite post-Thanksgiving meal: a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce.

Yummy Cranberry Sauce

I used a Tam-x-ico’s low carb wheat wrap as my base and smothered it with a creamy Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese wedge before adding cranberry sauce and deli sliced turkey.

Turkey and Cranberry Roll Up

YUM

I had this for lunch yesterday and once again it was delicious! I’m a simple creature, apparently. 🙂

Can you eat the same foods over and over again?

Ryan can. I’m convinced he could exist on the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a year. His meals would be:

  • Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs and oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter
  • Snack: Protein bar
  • Lunch: Turkey sandwich or salad
  • Snack: Cottage cheese and yogurt
  • Snack: Protein shake
  • Dinner: Whatever random recipe I’m cravin’ 😉
  • Snack: Cottage cheese and yogurt (round two!)
  • Snack: Protein shake

Yes, that’s eight meals. He’s a growin’ boy! I like a man that can eat. Fortunately for me, Ryan likes a girl who can hold her own at the dinner table too. 😀

I can’t eat the same thing every day. I tend to overeat certain foods when I find something new I love. I be come so obsessed with my latest tasty treat that eventually it loses its luster… kinda like a new song on the radio that gets overplayed.

Rudolph Your Car

I called Ryan on my way to work today to tell him about my latest holiday discovery.

I’ve been kind of bummed this year because I purchased enough holiday decor in the past to adequately decorate our apartment. I haven’t been able to buy any fun decorations for fear that our place would look like an indoor version of the Griswold’s house.

Bling, Bling

I think it’s time to move on to decorating something else… my car!

I called Ryan the minute a gorgeous blue mini-van pulled up next to me sportin’ these bad boys:

Rudolph Car

How cool is that!?

Ryan told me I was ridiculous and would look like a 24-year-old soccer mom if I Rudolph-ed up my SUV.

I think it’s FABULOUS, and for $14.99, you can’t go wrong.

Also, good news for Ryan, I found other car costumes he can buy to sport some holiday cheer too!

Happy Holidays!

So now I gotta ask… Whose side are you on? Is this ridiculous or really awesome?