Monthly Archives: December 2014

Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corns, and Syrup

Happy Tuesday! I’m over here trying to figure out where December went. I feel like I was just stuffing my word hole with mashed potatoes and turkey, and now it’s already time to start stuffing it with toffee and fudge.

And yes, my holiday excitement is 90% about food. My neighbor brought us over a tray of Christmas goodies on Saturday, and I was like, “Oh, I’ll just try one of each item and send the rest to work with Dave.” And then I bit into a Reese’s-stuffed peanut butter cookie and turned into Joey Tribbiani.

JoeyShareFood

I’m guessing I consumed about a week’s worth of sugar over the weekend, and I am not even exaggerating. You know how some bloggers are all, “I ate cookies for breakfast, tee hee” because they crumbled up a chocolate chip cookie Quest bar on top of their gluten free overnight oats? This is not that. I ate a snickerdoodle cookie with a side of fudge for breakfast today. But I followed it up with a multivitamin and fish oil pills (and the fudge had walnuts in it), so I’m pretty sure that cancels it out.

Not helping the situation is the fact that I haven’t been working out as much as I like to. I’m still getting used to my longer commute, and even though I leave the office at the end of the day all pumped for my workout, by the time I get home I’m all

Homer gif

However, when I do buck up the energy to exercise, I’ve been loving the HIIT routines on FitnessBlender. They’re pretty tough (especially if you choose level 4 or 5), but you can get a killer workout in just 30 minutes. Two of my current faves are the Active/Static Bodyweight Bootcamp and the Butt/Abs Tabata. Doing these types of workouts just three times a week has somehow kept me from growing out of my pants over the last month, which is actually pretty impressive considering the amount of candy and seasonal beer/cider that I’ve crammed down my gullet.

Etna Brewery Taphouse

Via Instagram Again, I’m not exaggerating. But in my defense, a new taphouse just opened in town and I have to do my part to support the local economy.

Anyway. Tomorrow I head down to my parents’ house, where I’ll get to see my sister and adorable nephews and have fun enjoying all of our family Christmas traditions. I’m excited, but it will also be a bit bittersweet, as this will be the last Christmas in my childhood home. My parents are moving to Hawaii early next year, and my emotions have been ranging from slightly sad to YESSS FREE PLACE TO STAY IN HAWAII. Speaking of which, now’s the time to buy stock in Hawaiian Tropics, you guys – it’s going to take truckloads of tanning lotion to keep my pasty Irish skin from blinding the good people of Honolulu.

And on that note, it’s time to wrap this up. The chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen aren’t going to eat themselves.

Bambi Got Lucky

So, I almost hit a deer yesterday morning on my way to work. FUN RURAL LIVING FACT: it’s usually better to hit the stupid deer than to swerve, so I closed my eyes (much smart! very safety!), braked as much as I could without locking up, and managed to stop mere inches from its derpy little deer face looking at me like, “What is even happening right now?”

It was not unlike this.

It was not unlike this.

As I careened toward the little guy, the only thought going through my head was, “NOOOO NOT MY PRETTY NEW CAR!” I’m sure there are a number of more appropriate thoughts I could have been having. Like maybe, “Please don’t let it come through the windshield and break my face,” or, “I really don’t want to kill a cute furry animal today.”

Whatever, I’m shallow.

I’m pretty lucky that I’ve lived in the country for seven years now and haven’t hit any large animals, although plenty of squirrels, birds, skunks, raccoons, and even a rogue hedgehog have all made the fatal mistake of running in front of my tires. One time, I was doing about 80 mph on the freeway when a bird hit my roof rack, ricocheted off at lightning speed, and cracked the windshield of the car behind me. Apparently I am a monster, because instead of feeling bad for the little dude I was like, “Hey! Real-life Angry Birds!”

In other news, I’ve managed to wrap all of my gifts except for one, which is slowly making its way over from Poland. If it doesn’t get here before the 24th as promised, I’m going to have to look up some nasty Polish words to leave on a certain Etsy shop’s comment section.

Also, if you receive a gift from me that looks like it was wrapped by Edward Scissorhands, this is why:

Are you done wrapping your gifts yet?

My Top Five Christmas Albums

Confession: I’m currently watching Love Actually for the second time this week. The thing is, viewing Christmas movies outside of the holiday season totally depresses me, so I have to get my fill of all my favorites during the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A third viewing of Christmas Vacation will probably happen this weekend, and I’m not ashamed.
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Anyway, I was watching Rick Grimes profess his secret love to Keira Knightley when I realized I totally promised a post about my favorite Christmas albums and I still haven’t written it. So here it is guys: My 5 favorite Christmas albums:

5. Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas

Sufjan Stevens Songs for Christmas

Warning: This is super hipstery. Like, you’ll probably feel like you should be listening to it on a vintage 8-track tape deck while knitting organic Alpaca hair PBR coozies for your Etsy shop. But, just like your friendly neighborhood hipster, it’s quirky and different and that can be refreshing after hearing 19 different pop versions of Jingle Bells at the grocery store.

Fave Song: Come On! Let’s Boogie to the Elf Dance!

4. Amy Grant, A Christmas Album

Amy Grant
I don’t know anybody my age who didn’t grow up with this album, and the song “Emmanuel” will forever remind me of helping my mom and grandma make my great-grandma’s sugar cookie recipe the day before Christmas Eve. And by “helping,” I mean, “writing angry poetry about the injustice of not being Taylor Hanson’s girlfriend and sneaking bites of dough while their backs were turned.”

Fave Song: Emmanuel. Duh.

3. The Carpenters, Christmas Portrait

Carpenters+Christmas+Portrait+1978
The nostalgia factor is also high with this one. One time my sister and I popped it into the CD player of her Geo Storm on our way home for Christmas break during college, and it got stuck so we had to listen to it for the entire 8-hour car ride. The fact that we did not drive off a cliff after the sixth repeat is a testament to Karen Carpenter’s soothing alto voice.

Fave Song: It’s Christmas Time

2. She & Him, A Very She & Him Christmas

She & Him

Again, HIPSTER CENTRAL, but HER VOICE.

Fave Song: Silver Bells

1. Home Alone Soundtrack

homealone

LOVE. Although whenever I listen to it, I get the sudden urge to hit somebody in the balls with a crowbar.

Fave Song: The Drifters, White Christmas

Now tell me about your favorite Christmas albums in the comments.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

So I blogged exactly three times during NaBloPoMo. That’s a pretty spectacular fail, even for me.

At least I tried, I guess?

At least I tried?

What was I doing all month instead of blogging? Working, mostly. My new job is amazing, if not a little bit intimidating (like all new jobs tend to be, really). I was also putting up a crapton of Christmas decorations, much to the chagrin of Dave, who will most likely bury my debit card like a dog in the back yard if I bring home another lighted garland. But in my defense, look how pretty!

Garland

Yes, that’s exposed drywall behind the sink. Yes, our beautiful glass mosaic backsplash tiles have been in the garage waiting to be installed for over two months. Yes, I know that I’m the worst.

Do you know who DOES appreciate my Christmas decoration addiction? Whiskers. Every night when I get home from work he sits under the tree and stares at me with his beady little cat eyes until I turn on the tree lights.

Whiskers tree

So noble, for a creature that spends half his life licking his own butthole.

And then I spend the rest of the night yelling at him for trying to chew the sequins off of my tree skirt. If you visit our house between now and Dec. 25, prepare to hear a lot of early 90s Amy Grant Christmas music interspersed with the occasional, “KNOCK IT OFF OR I’LL KILL YOU” aimed at the cat. It’s super magical.

And speaking of early 90s Amy Grant Christmas music, I’m working on a Top 10 list of my favorite Christmas albums ever. With any luck, I’ll actually get it written before next Christmas rolls around.