Since my mom lives with us, keeping the whole household on the same calendar was beginning to become a bit tricky. Who would be home when for dinner, who had an appointment, when did the kiddos need to be watched, etc. So last month I made a calendar to post on our fridge that we could all add items to and everyone would be able to get an idea of how the month was going to be.
Today, I'm sharing our December calendar after quite a few requests from Instagram. Just click on the picture below to download. If you have any problems, just leave a comment and I'll work on it...
I am a reformed cranberry sauce lover. You see, shamefully, I admit that for years and years I loved the canned cranberry crap stuff, much to the dismay of my mother. As I've gotten older, and cooking - especially whole cooking - has become a hobby and love of mine, things have changed.
I perused about no less than 10 different cranberry sauce recipes this year online, and decided to mix bits and pieces of all of them and I've created my best cranberry sauce yet.
4 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light, pick your poison - I use dark)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider (not juice, but cider - I used honeycrisp cider)
1 small orange or cutie - juice and grated peel
1/3 large lemon - juice and grated peel
Bring the brown sugar, water and cider to a boil.
While heating, add rind and juice of both citruses.
Add in cranberries.
Cook for about 15 minutes, or until desired consistency (I tend to cook mine on a lower heat for longer, to get a thick sauce).
Today? Welp, today I'm 33. I actually don't mind getting older... at this moment.
So today I'm going to celebrate with my family - first off, a trip to the Math Alive! Exhibit at the Perot Museum, followed by lunch with the U. Then, tonight, my parents and our little fam of four are hitting up my favorite local restaurant for a (very) early dinner - as is the norm when you have two small children who are in bed by 7pm.
And the rest of the week I hope to fill with adventure, celebration, good food and good times with our friends and family.
Oh - and next week it's our annual first of December trip! We're headed to Cali to visit family, take some holiday photos and, most excitingly, DISNEYLAND!
So - I'll catch you all on the flip side. In a week, or two, once our lives have calmed a bit.
Which means, no driving for drop-off or pick-up for me today! I'm still in my jams drinking coffee (letting the U watch Ellie) while I type this. It's like a mini vacation for this SAHM.
MISS - Holiday Giving
We opted to adopt a family from an organization this year, and the list was... interesting. Some items on there are things that I consider major treats in my life and won't even buy myself, or my kids. I've emailed them in hopes that similar alternatives can be purchased. Made of money, we are not, but we have enough wiggle room to be able to give a little to those who are less fortunate. But when you're asking me for a $50 makeup item? I don't know what to think.
Here's to hoping that next week I can turn this one around into a HIT.
HIT - Thanksgiving week!
Which also means, my birthday week, my favorite holiday meal and we're going to the Arboretum to see their 12 Days of Christmas exhibit all lit up in the evening. Then we'll be decorating the house and putting up our tree in our new-to-us holiday tradition of "tequila, tamales and tree trimming!"
Oh, sure, it's been almost a month and a half since my mom and I took our girls' trip to NYC. But I want to write this post for posterity, if anything. I want to look back in four or five years to see where we went, like I did this past time when I revisited my old blog post.
Side note: I've been blogging for far too long.
This trip was a gift from my mom, so we ate at some nice places. Please keep that in mind when you look at pricing...
Since we knew that we were going to have a big dinner that evening, my mom and I split a panini and a salad. And some wine. Had to kick off the trip right. The atmosphere was good, our waitress was super personal and it was fun to walk off our little wine buzz in the shops after our lunch.
We did the chef's menu and it was insane. In a good way. But by the last three courses (there were 10 total, I think?) we could barely find room to fit it in our bellies. And they courses just got better and better - except for the dessert. Dessert was pretty gross, in my opinion. Probably fitting for the cuisine, but just not my cup of tea.
Mom and I went to the Chelsea Market on a recommendation from my friend here in Dallas. It was awesome - tons of great little shops and various markets with all kinds of foods. Since we love to cook, it was probably one of the highlights of the trip, after the 9/11 Museum. This restaurant is owned and connected to the most impressive seafood market that I've ever been to (which isn't many, but still). We had a platter of cold seafood that we selected, followed by a split lobster roll and, of course, wine. Sit at the bar, if you can. It makes for a fun atmosphere.
Our last dinner - it was super chilly outside and this restaurant was everything you want in NYC. Paned windows, great atmosphere, decor for the Fall. The food was fantastic (we ordered the night's specials) and nothing disappointed. I would go here again in a heartbeat. This one was recommended to me by nearly everyone I asked for recs from.
This was also another fan favorite when I asked for restaurant recs. The portions were huge, the place was packed, which made it a bit cozy, but it hit the spot right before I hopped on a plane to head home. Definitely make a reservation for this one - I did for a Friday morning and thank goodness, because the line was out of the door.
It was truly a whirlwind trip, so there wasn't much time to do a lot. We ate, visited the Chelsea Market (which was so awesome), toured the 9/11 Museum (seriously, you must do this, and don't be embarrassed to join the old folks on a tour - I did and I learned so much that you'd never know by just walking through it alone... but prepare yourself for the emotions. so. many. emotions.), and, of course, shopping.
We stayed at the Warwick Hotel, which is small, clean, has a good bar for cocktails and is in a great location. A block away from shopping on 5th, quick walk to Rockefeller, and a block from Central Park.
I have pictures, but none of them that I'm actually in. Just scenery and tons of museum pics.
It was a great trip - and nice to get away from the kiddos for a couple of days, but I was so ready to see them after 48 hours that I hopped on an earlier flight to get home to my family. If anyone had told me ten years ago that I'd leave NYC early to get back to Texas? I would have laughed in their face.
I can't wait to go back again with my mom... and hopefully have Ellie in tow for our first girls' trip as a trio!