Something to do with those Christmas Lights

Putting up Christmas decorations is such a bummer.  I dread it before I even put them out in November! Here’s an idea to keep a touch of Christmas around all year.

Remember that pink and teal Christmas tree?  I just couldn’t let myself put it away entirely.  So I did this:

Pink Bathroom Lights

It’s just one string of pink lights around my bathroom mirror.  I may get tired of it in a few months, but for now, I think it’s pretty awesome.  The lights give just enough light to see what you need but still take a relaxing shower.  Take that, Rubbermaid boxes that get to spend the next eleven months with my Christmas decorations.

M&M Chickpea Cookies

m&m cookies

I guess these chickpea cookies are like my signature dessert.  You can make them a hundred different ways.  These were inspired by the holiday clearance rack at Wal-Mart.  Who can turn down a 50% off bag of holiday baking M&M’s? … Continue reading

Rolling the Final Credits on Christmas

Colorful Post-Christmas Mess

This will make you feel better about whether or not your “house is a mess.”  When I am at home, everything has to be where it belongs or I can’t function.  On vacation, all bets are off.  The only plus is that a lot of my stuff is in bright colors so the mess becomes its own decoration. Bleh, bleh, bleh…it’s a wreck and starting to drive me mess

Fun with (ridiculous and grammatically disastrous) Signs

I have a few fun photos from Anderson adventures today.  First, I’ve been working out at Gold’s Gym since I’ve been here.  During my first visit, I walked quickly out of the women’s locker room and thought I saw something odd on a sign, but then I thought there was no way it really said that.  Today, I saw it again.  I was right.  I really says that.

no boys in the girls bathroom

…and that’s not to mention lack of apostrophe! Also, just noticed the creation of the gigantic word “lockerroom.”  I guess that extra space would have just taken too much out of them.

Next, this little sign caught my eye at the mall.  Lynna stole the apostrophe from the bathroom sign, I guess.

luxuries' by lynna

One Last Christmas Dinner

On a serious note, I finished up my Christmas festivities tonight with a trip to my Aunt Johnnye’s house.  She’s a phenomenal cook.  As she was making final preparations, she pulled out a recipe handwritten by my great grandmother who was known around town for her fantastic cooking.  This is the recipe for her dressing which I will try to post soon.  There are no fruits or vegetables in this one!

dressing recipeMy great grandmother passed away when I was in the second grade, but I remember her cooking.  Actually, the thing I remember most about staying at her house was that she would let me use the microwave all by myself.  I thought I was a big thing for that.  Apparently, she had a cooking problem that I share–she didn’t like following recipes.  She cooked with a lot of “ish” measurements and “hmmm, I think I’ll throw in this.”  Love.

Once again, my family sat around the table to share stories, laugh, and eat.  I wish I could say I cooked this goodness, but I didn’t.

prime rib

The food was fantastic and made me a little sad at the thought of the little awkward time period after Christmas when the glitter and ho-ho-ho is still on the mind.  Eventually things return to normal, but Christmas is nearly over.  I’m starting to work on my list of things I want/need to do as the new year begins.  I don’t typically do resolutions; I just make a list of things I’d like to be able to say I tried by the end of the next year.  It helps with the post-Christmas transition period.  So, what do you do as Christmas ends avoid to that cheer hangover?  Please leave a comment!

Christmas Night and The Fursdy after Christmas

Christmas Night

Recovering from cold that kept me under the weather throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (I mean, I took a two hour nap!), I finally slept enough last night to make me feel like a normal person today. Despite the sickness, I enjoyed all the time with my family yesterday.  Last night, we went to see the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie, Wolf on Wall Street.  It was interesting.  Definitely not a “family film,” but definitely an interesting story.


I’m feeling a little hypocritical writing a blog about eating healthy and fruits and vegetables and what not.  While I have tried to limit the Christmas sweets, the more hearty (a.k.a greasy) foods have been around a lot.  There was that breakfast casserole and then…there was popcorn.

movie popcorn

In my normal life, I would have completely avoided the concessions counter.  But it was CHRISTMAS! And I was hungry.  And my brother was paying.  I would have been a fool to say no.  Instead, I just told myself that I would only eat a little.  Yeah, ok.

The Fursdy After Christmas

Typically the day after Christmas is kind of a downer for me, but today was quite nice.  I spent the morning with some coffee and a sort-of peanut butter banana piece of wheat toast.  Basically, I followed the recipe for the waffle, but I used a piece of whole wheat toast.  It was a nice change.

On Christmas Eve, I purchased the Naked 3 palette from Ulta Beauty.  Unfortunately, one of the colors was detached from the case.  I returned it this morning with no problems at all.  Way to go, Ulta!

Naked 3

I’ve decided that Urban Decay products are the best out there.  While a little pricey, they stay put all day.  From the liquid Naked foundation to the eye shadow, it’s good all day.  I highly recommend.

Greenville, South Carolina Fun Time

After a great workout, my mom, brother, and I drove a few miles north of Anderson to Greenville which has a trendy little downtown area.  I was on the hunt for some after Christmas sales at my favorite places, but I was unsuccessful.  As a matter of fact, the Greenville Lululemon store remained true to its reputation.  It was impossible to find.  I’ve had this trouble recently, and I’ve decided it’s intentional.  Is it possible that Lulu is so proud of itself that it doesn’t want people to find it unless they know what they are looking for?  Does that even make sense?  Would you have spotted this little store tucked away on a street back from the main street?

Greenville Lululemon

In addition, the address was for 710 Main Street.  This is NOT main street.  It’s a block back.  Geez.  Both Anthropologie and Lululemon had nothing I couldn’t live without.  I’ll save my money for when they do.

After a nice dinner, my brother insisted on Marble Slab.  My metabolism isn’t cool enough for all that.  Unfair.

Marble Slab Creamery

Still, I was pretty satisfied with my Blueberry Frog Yogurt.  Please click the link.  Part of the reason I like it so much was the sarcastic humor scattered throughout the establishment.  The yogurt was good too.

Our evening ended at the mall..which is where I will leave this post.  We had to park at the back of the parking lot because there were so many people there, but this sign greeted me as I stepped out.  It should have made me happy during this hearty eating season…


Slow-Cooker Breakfast Casserole Part II

Last night, my mom and I put together the slow-cooker breakfast casserole.  It was filled with cheese, hash browns, and Christmas goodness.  My mom is a bit more of a recipe follower than I am, but I have some ideas for how to spice this thing up a bit.  It was good, but it needed a little something extra.  I hope to make a healthier version soon!  Here is what we used:

  • 1 lb. of ground sausage
  • 16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 26-ish oz. bag of hash browns
  • 1 cup milk
  • 12 eggs (If I did this again, I would use half egg whites and half whole eggs.)
  • 2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Here are the things I suggest adding:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1/2 salsa
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups spinach

Literally dump everything in a crock pot and cook for 7 hours on low.

It was a very filling brunch.  Definitely a Christmas treat!

breakfast casserole

Slow-cooker Breakfast Casserole

family eating breakfast casserole

Coens, Christmas, Coffee, Morph Suits, and a Food Scale

Today is Christmas, and I’m pretty sure my family handles this day just like everyone else; however, I doubt your parents donned morph suits this morning.  Mine did.

Morph Suits

morph suits

Either I’m still a kid, or this cold I have kept me up all night.  Part of me thinks I still have that can’t-wait-until-Christmas-morning thing.  Now, I get really excited about giving my family the gifts I picked.  Whatever it was, I slept very little last night.  I was the first one up at 5:30 a.m., so my coffee drinking started very early.  Like my students, my brother is also familiar with my affinity for coffee.  He got me a box of k-cups and a mug I picked out at Starbucks.

christmas presentDunkin' Donuts K-cups

Everyone seemed to enjoy the morning.  My dad opened a GPS antenna for his boat.  My brother and I bought my mom a food processor, and my brother got some headphones and other goodies.

parents at christmasbrother at christmasparents at christmas

Here are my favorites that I will be taking back to Myrtle Beach!  I’ve been wanting one of these monogrammed cut-outs for my front door for a while.

monogrammed door hanging

I actually have a few necklaces like this, too.  JW Gifts makes many different cut-out designs in all sizes.  Best of all, the pieces are affordable.  Visit the Etsy store here!

My brother picked out this great bag from the Thirty-one collection.  He did such great job–even had it monogrammed!

thirty-one teacher bag

Since I’ve let my guard down a little on the healthy eating front these last few weeks, this will be most helpful.  My mom found the Biggest Loser food scale at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I’m looking forward to making sure my four ounces of meat is, in fact, only four ounces!

biggest loser food scale

All the food is eaten and the presents are opened.  I’m looking forward to a Christmas run and a Christmas nap!  In the meantime, we will all sit by the fire and be thankful–and be full of eggs and cheese.