Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Red and pink, x’s and o’s, hearts, flowers, and chocolates - what’s not to love; and how could I not love this holiday when my name is in it? I was thrilled to receive 2 dozen stunning pink roses from Ryan, which I’ve spread around our home – my personal favorite arrangement is the one pictured in the photo above where I used a beautiful, silver pitcher given to me by my mother-in-law.
Here are some fun Valentine’s Day things, for your enjoyment:
- Check out today’s Google doodle; some sweet, love-themed stories…
- Songza has Valentine’s Day playlists available through their music concierge today.
- Owl Do I Love Thee? event at the Leslie Science and Nature Center.
- Know when to walk away.
- Valentine’s Day puppy kissing booth – yes!
We flew to El Paso, TX for our Christmas holiday to spend time with family. It was nice to get some sunshine and some warm weather for a change! Unfortunately, all of us were sick for some portion of the Christmas vacation, but we are all finally feeling better and on the mend. Despite our under-the-weatherness, we were able to visit some of our favorite spots and do some of our favorite things while visiting – including eating some delicious Mexican food, a visit to Old Mesilla, Whooppee Bowl antique mall, and seeing some dear friends. Tomorrow, we head back to A2 – where the forecast calls for a high of 21 and snow. I haven’t had to wear my coat, hat, or gloves since we arrived in El Paso 10 days ago, but I’ll have them ready for when we land tomorrow. Happy New Year’s Eve eve!
We’ve had quite a bit of snow this weekend; it snowed all day Saturday and it has been snowing all morning today as well. Also, I couldn’t resist putting Melody in this red sweater and reindeer ears – we didn’t leave them on long as she looked so miserable in them, just long enough to get some ridiculous photos. Perhaps the fact that she’ll have some treats in her stocking by the fireplace will make up for this brief moment of humiliation? I like to think so. Melody wishes you a most delicious Christmas and a tasty New Year!
Last night, I enjoyed a most adorable advent play performance in which our friends’ daughter, Averie, played a lamb. The kids were so cute playing the part of angels, lambs, shepherds, Joseph and Mary, etc. I can remember doing the same, when I was a little girl; I even got the lead role of Mary one year, which was a really big deal for me and included a solo performance. Not only was it fun to watch the kids sing and act out the story, but it was also so much fun for me to sing along to such familiar Christmas carols – what a nice way to add some Christmas cheer to my holiday season!
Over the weekend, we did our annual it’s-Thanksgiving-weekend-let’s-decorate-the-house-for-Christmas flurry of activity; which included 1 tree, multiple strands of lights, many ornaments, 3 stockings, 2 strands of garland, 2 wreaths, 1 mistletoe ball, and various other holiday accoutrement. I will always feel like there’s something magical about sitting in a dark room enjoying the glow of Christmas tree lights…especially if there’s a warm fire nearby.
We had a very large bowl of leftover mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce from our Thanksgiving (or, should I say, Thanksgivingukkah) feast and I like a little variety in my life so when I stumbled onto this recipe for Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes I smartly suggested to Ryan that it might be a great thing to try. What better way to celebrate the marriage of both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, after all?
Instead of using scallions, we used shallots – because that’s what we had in the fridge. And instead of using sour cream to top them with, we used our leftover homemade cranberry sauce. It was delicious! In fact, to be honest, I actually liked the potatoes better in this form than I did in their original mashed potato form…shhh…don’t tell the mashed potatoes I said that.
…for family and friends, for our dog Melody (she’s so cute it hurts), for good food, for our beautiful home, and for my amazing husband – who is a great cook, is always easy on the eyes, who lets me put my cold feet on him when I first get into bed to help warm them up, has a wonderful sense of humor, and who happily makes me lattes whenever I ask him to.
We enjoyed Thanksgiving brunch with friends and a quiet, relaxing Thanksgiving dinner at home with just Ryan, Melody, and me. Deviled eggs was the first thing we made, followed by pumpkin pie (which is a long, sad story – but it’s ok because we bought one from the store today to make up for it), bourbon whipped cream, fresh cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, gravy, and turkey. On the floor, under a blanket, by the fire is where I found myself falling asleep early in the evening, with Ryan and Melody by my side.
We served our deviled eggs on a lovely Russel Wright piece. I really love Russel Wright serving dishes; they are so simple with beautiful, muted colors – we’ve picked up a few in recent years at garage sales and resale shops. I think it made my deviled eggs look extra sexy – well, as sexy as deviled eggs can look, I suppose.
Today, Ryan made me waffles with fresh apple compote for breakfast and we took a walk to a nearby park with Melody. Later, we’ll enjoy some Thanksgiving leftovers and I’m sure to find myself by the fire, under a blanket again, likely watching some holiday movies.
I like the idea of sleeping in on the weekends, but sometimes, despite my best efforts, that doesn’t always happen – nevertheless, I take joy in the fact that I have the option if I want to. Although, it’s also nice to wake up early and get a lot done and still feel like you have the whole day ahead of you. Today we woke up earlier and got lots done; including visiting 3 different grocery stores, among other places as we ran errands, and picking up a few supplies for our Thanksgiving dinner.
As you may have heard, for the first time in 125 years, the first night of Hanukkah will overlap with Thanksgiving – making it referred to by some as “Thanksgivingukkah”. As a person who absolutely finds the term “shooties” (yes, this is a real thing and I didn’t make it up – it’s a woman’s ankle-high bootlike shoe) annoying as all get out, I actually find the term “Thanksgivingukkah” fun. Maybe it’s because I love holidays and the idea of two combined seems like an extra dose of awesome to me. We are having a more traditional Thanksgiving menu (I’ve seen some weird…I mean “interesting” menus out there, in honor of Thanksgivingukkah), but will light our Menorah in honor of Hanukkah that night as well.
I enjoyed putting together a couple of flower arrangements with rose hips and alstroemeria – which we’ll enjoy on our Thanksgivingukkah table. My mother-in-law gave us this beautiful crystal vase below so it seems extra special and appropriate for the holiday. Here’s wishing you a very happy Thanksgivingukkah!
Happy Halloween! We had a great time carving pumpkins with friends last night. Our neighborhood is a bit of a maze, we live in a cul-de-sac, and it’s supposed to rain all day today – but I’m hopeful that none of this will deter trick-or-treaters from our house. We bought lots of candy and carved 8 pumpkins, most of which are directional arrows to encourage trick-or-treaters to stop by our place tonight. I’m crossing my fingers.
I also made seasoned, toasted pumpkin seeds for the first time and I think they turned out pretty good; I don’t know why I’ve never done that before as it wasn’t too hard (just takes time to separate seeds from the pumpkin guts) – I just rinsed the seeds, patted them dry, placed them on a baking sheet, tossed them in olive oil, sprinkled Miracle Blend seasoning on top, and let them toast up in the oven (oven set to 300) until they looked/tasted done.
Have you seen today’s Halloween-themed Google doodle?