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  • Archive for the ‘Memes’ Category

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    Every evening we venture out to the garden to see which strawberries have ripened enough to pick. I usually get an idea of what we need to get when I go through the garden at lunchtime, so when dinner is over and Forest is ready, we get a bowl (or sometimes a plant container) to hold our berry haul. Last night Forest picked out the biggest and ripest of the bunch and chowed down on it, leaving just a little bit of the tip when he was done. This kid eats his berries backwards, from the stem side first!

    Once strawberry season is over it will be snap pea season, bean season, tomato season, and onward throughout the summer. Which means picking something in the garden most nights from here on out!

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    santaforest
    Remember when he was just a baby???

    Thu. | Dec. 22 – I Love … December #AMonthofFaves2016 – Favorite holiday festivities, favorite ornaments, home decor, places to go, holiday drinks, holiday eats, holiday themed reads

    I have a love/hate relationship with December. It’s the darkest month, it’s cold, it’s busy—but for all of that, it is a time to huddle up in the evenings and a time to think over the previous year and ponder the coming year. My kind of December involves mostly wearing pants of some kind but also short-sleeved shirts; a temperature that’s mild with maybe a couple of cooler nights here and there. I actually prefer it to be overcast on Christmas if it isn’t going to be snowing (snow is only when I’m in DFW, elsewhere—Houston or Florida—it is/was never the case) because overcast and a slightly cool temperature makes the day cozier and more fitting for lounging around all day in pyjamas and stuffing ourselves with food. Otherwise 50s at night and 60s or 70s in the day is my ideal December weather.

    Holiday festivities are becoming more fun as Forest is now becoming a kid who can understand it all so I am working to incorporate some more traditions. We bought a Christmas tree once or twice when lived in Melbourne, FL back in 2002-2004 but we never bought one again until 2014 and we had Forest. There are several Christmas tree farms in the greater Houston area and one is just a few miles from our house. Our custom for 2014 and 2015 was to go and cut down our own from the farm but this year the weekends were wonky with bad weather the first weekend in December and a trip out of town the second weekend. Leaving it any later wouldn’t have been nearly as nice to enjoy the tree for the holidays. So, this year Chris bought one from Lowe’s and that’s what we had for the year.

    My mom is the holiday treat maker in the family and usually busts out a variety of waist expanding goodies: puppy chow, toffee, cookies (sometimes), caramel, peanut butter balls (sometimes), are among her usual baked treats at Christmas. This year I made cut-out sugar cookies with Forest and we had a lot of fun! He likes Play-Doh and I think he was under the impression it was kind of like that but he didn’t quite use the cookie cutters all that well so it was mostly a watch-mom-do-it affair. It was fun, though!

    As for other foodstuffs at the holidays Christmas always seems to be the holiday for finger foods with maybe a main dish of ham and a few sides. I’m thinking of doing something similar this year—have the ham and a bunch of little finger foods. I’m a fan of the ham and mustard crescent roll pinwheels, sausage and cheese balls, Rotel dip, and maybe some King’s Hawaiian bread paired with the ham. There might need to be a veggie in there.

    As for what our house looks like this year, we keep the Christmas tree upstairs in the family room/play room because that’s where we have the space so most of the decorations are upstairs. Chris bought fake greenery and lights for the staircase and that makes it look a little more decorated downstairs. I keep a few other decorations downstairs but for the most part it is pretty sparse downstairs. One of these years we will get our act together and put some lights up on the fence out by the right-of-way and maybe do something down on the dock over the pond.

    I did a little digging in my archives and found this post from 2009 with some thoughts about Christmas at that point in my life. 2009 seems like yesterday but it’s now 7 years ago.

    How about you? What are some traditions or favorites for December and the holidays that you have?

    Tue. | Dec. 20 – 5 Must Haves for Winter Survival – shout out your favorite brand or stores or favorite items

    • Lotion: I don’t know about you but my hands are super sensitive to winter’s dry air, even here in humid SE Texas. I have two lotions that I alternate between at home, one is a homemade concoction that my mom made based on a recipe I sent her that uses coconut oil, cocoa butter, and essential oil, and the other is a run-of-the-mill scented variety from Bath and Body Works. I use the latter in the mornings before work and the former at night and whenever my hands are extra dry. I’m not a fan of a lot of ‘lotions’ and prefer the body butter types because they are more moisturizing but I’m trying to use what I have on hand for the most part. It takes me forever to use bath products.
    • Long socks: I am a fan of knee high socks under my pants in the winter. It’s just an extra layer of warmth and it makes you feel a little cozy even if you are going to work. If I’m feeling fun I wear funky socks that are colored or even the toe socks. My funky socks need to be replenished, though, because I’ve worn them so much they are getting holes.
    • Outdoor Research Earband: I bought this almost two years ago for outdoor activities when it is cold (or when it is 60* and windy, because sensitive ears) and I love, love, love it. Keeps my ears from hurting and adds warmth at the same time.
    • Fleece: I brought out the big leather jacket on Monday but that’s because it was in the 20s that morning and I was going to a business event and didn’t think layering two fleece jackets would be appropriate. I rotate between two fleece jackets: one I got a few Christmases ago from my parents that is more of an around the house/yard work/office fleece and my other fleece I wore on the AT/FT and keep it mostly for hiking and camping unless the other fleece is stuck in the wash.
    • Herbal tea: Hot tea is only a winter drink, usually, for me and it is always nice to have a sip of something warm in the afternoon or evening that isn’t caffeinated.

    Wed. | Dec. 21 – Keep It! 5 Purchases That Were Totally Worth It #IRegretNothing #AMonthofFaves 2016 – what did you buy this year – big or small – that you love, bought more of, got your monies worth

    • Avalon Organics Intense Defense Vitamin C Renewel Cream: I’ve never found a night face cream that I liked and hadn’t tried one in awhile but I think I’ve found the one I like in this one.
    • Lemonade by Beyonce: I buy just a few CDs every year and this one made the cut. Excellent lyrics, excellent music, excellent everything.
    • Cheap pens: I can’t even tell you what kind of pens they are but they are ‘fancy’ and from Dollar General. I like them because the ink comes out liquid-like, they write well, and last a long time.
    • The Florida Trail by Sandra Friend and John Keatley: A little pricey because it was published by their small press, Watula Press, however it was worth the investment. This was a beautiful book covering the Florida Trail and its history and it is a little piece of my other home.
    • Dark Chocolate Cocoa KIND Breakfast bars and Nature’s Bakery Brownie Bars: The first is a wonderful breakfast bar or snack and the second is a great afternoon snack when you want a little chocolate.

    Thu. | Dec. 15 – 5 Fave “New to Me” Author Discoveries or Audiobook Narrations This Year #AMonthofFaves2016

    I read a lot of new authors this year but I think Roxane Gay goes down as an author to follow from here on out. Bad Feminist was my first book of hers to read and I suspect not my last. She has another non-fiction book and several fiction books out, including the soon to be released Difficult Women. I think Roxane will be on my to-read list for years to come.

    Mon. | Dec. 19 – Reading Outside My Comfort Zone #AMonthofFaves2016 – Surprise Find(s) This Year

    At one point this year I was looking for an easy read and downloaded a light romance novel Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts. I’ve read romance here and there over the years and at one point really liked them but I think I’ve become a bit of a book snob in later years. Or maybe it was just this book, but I couldn’t muster up the energy to finish it before it was due back into Overdrive. It isn’t that I necessarily dislike romance novels but maybe I need something with more substance? Also, this one was kind of dated; lots of references to early 00s culture which probably didn’t help. I’m not eschewing romance novels but I think I’ll be pickier about them in the future.

    Audiobooks themselves were outside my comfort zone and will definitely be on my radar to imbibe in more next year. I don’t think I strayed too far outside my normal reading range this year.

    Throw me something that isn’t non-fiction, historical fiction, or the hottest new release that I should check out!

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