Archive | December, 2011

Holiday Questions

22 Dec

25 Questions: Holiday Style

  • Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Hot Chocolate! I don’t think I can honestly say I’ve ever even had eggnog

  • Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Never wrapped and not under the tree! In our house each kid gets  a  “spot” and santa puts all the presents in your “spot”

  • Colored lights on tree/house or white?

I feel like we have always had colored lights but I think white lights on the tree are really pretty.

  • Do you hang mistletoe?

Nope! My grandma does though

  • When do you hang your decorations up?

Depends on when we get around to it. My mom decorates my house at home but since I’ve been living in apartments I don’t really decorate that much. We put up lights in our apartment last week..

  • What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

My grandma makes homemade speghetti and meatballs for christmas eve each year! It is the only meal I think that is really our traditional Christmas meal

  • Favorite holiday memory as a child?

We always used to read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” as a big group at my grandma’s house Christmas Eve and then when my cousins stopped coming my dad would read it to us before we went to sleep.

  • What is on your Christmas wish list?

Main things were a vera bradley backpack and a food processor. I also wanted gloves and more workout pants.

  • Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve?

Nope not usually. I get to open presents from my boyfriend today!

  • How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

I don’t have a tree at my apartment but my parents have a ton of ornaments and lights for ours at home.

  • Snow? Love it or dread it?

I love it! It doesn’t feel like Christmas without snow. Now that I usually have to travel to go home though I don’t mind if there isn’t because driving in snow sucks

  • Real tree or fake tree?

Always REAL!

  • Do you remember your favorite gift?

Hmm I can’t think of one particular favorite. Last year I got a TV- that was awesome. When I was little I got a big doll house that I loved.

  • What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?

For sure hanging out with my family. We get to see my mom and dad’s families including most of our cousins and aunts and uncles. It’s so nice that everyone is able to travel to get together every year

  • What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Peppermint Bark!

  • What is your favorite tradition?

Waking up Christmas morning and lining up according to age. Youngest goes first and then we slowly walk down stairs and see all of our presents

  • What tops your tree?

I’m pretty sure my parents have an angel

  • Do you prefer giving or receiving?

Both? I had a really fun time this year picking out gifts and can’t wait to give them all out! But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I liked receiving them as well.

  • What is your favorite Christmas song?

Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas Is You

  • Candy canes, yuck or yum?


  • Favorite Christmas movie?

A Christmas Story. I love that its on 24/7 Christmas Day

  • What do you leave for Santa?

Milk and Cookies. Santa used to be so sneaky and leave crumbs and a half drank glass

  • Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?

Yep- we are usually told a set time that we can’t wake my parents up before. Now that we are older everyone likes to sleep in but then the whole family (all 7 of us!) get up together. My dad gets the video camera and tapes up walking down the stairs and seeing our presents (or at least he did when we were younger). Then we open presents from each other and my parents get their gifts. The past few years my mom made an awesome breakfast after and we used all our fancy Christmas dishe

  • Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

This year I did most my shopping on-line.. I haven’t been to the mall for presents in a long time!

  • Christmas letter or Christmas card?

Christmas card- but usually it turns into a “Holiday Card” since we never get it sent out by Christmas.


What is your favorite Christmas tradition?


Almost There

21 Dec

There are so many things that I am just “Almost There” with.

The Jenny Challenge. I have run 88 miles – only 12 more to go! My plan is to have it done by Friday (the 23rd) which will mean I ran 100 miles in 30 days! Oh how my legs hurt.

The work week. Only three days to go! As of Friday at 3 pm I am done working until Jan 4th. This week long vacation in Florida is going to be so so nice.

Christmas shopping. I have one more present to get and then I am finally done! I got a ton of my shopping done right after Thanksgiving but this past week I kept finding more and more presents I needed to get. I ended up getting 24 different people presents this year- thats insane!

Ahh almost almost almost there!

At least someone isn’t in a hurry for this week to end.

I’m going to miss this lil guy when I’m in Florida!

How are you dealing with the anticipation of Christmas?

Chicken Tortellini Soup

16 Dec

I can’t complain about the weather in Chicago so far. It has actually been decent for December. Only one day of snow and it was in the 40’s all week.

Yet yesterday I went running outside- in shorts. Did you know that those lake winds are no joke? It might have been 45 out but I was chilled to the bone.

When decided what to make for dinner last night..I remembered that chilled to the bone feeling. So I made the best cold weather food I could think of..soup!

Chicken Tortellini Soup

  • 2 large chicken breasts (cooked and shredded/cubed)
  • 2 large chopped carrots
  • 2 large stalks of chopped celery
  • 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 8 oz cooked tortellini
  • 1 TSP oregano
  • Pepper and Garlic Salt to taste

Bring the chicken broth, chicken, carrots, celery and spices to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes and then add tortellini 5-10 minutes before serving.

I am so proud of this soup because I actually made up the recipe! And it was easy. The only thing I could have done better was cooked the chicken differently (I overcooked mine and it was a tad chewy). I think this would be an awesome crock pot recipe.

And because yesterday was National Cupcake Day naturally we celebrated.

Someone was a little mad he couldn’t join in on the delicious dinner. Apparently angry Charlie = barking Charlie. And a very annoyed smash.

Jenny Challenge Update: 73.5 miles- only 26.5 left and 9 days to do it!

What is your favorite soup to make? I want to try more now!

Puppy Update

15 Dec

Remember when I wrote this post and had great plans to write puppy updates every week?

Turns out that didn’t happen. Oops.

Charlie is now 5 1/2 months old and I have had him for 18 weeks. We just completed his first puppy class and he has mastered sit, stay, down, shake, high five and touch.

After a rough first two months something suddenly clicked around 3 months and Charlie got the hang of the whole potty training thing. He still has an occasional accident if we leave him out for too long- or if hes in a new house but for the most part he is doing really well.

We are finally done with all his puppy vaccinations and but Chuck has managed to keep us going back. Last week he developed a skin infection (no idea how) that required a vet visit, antibiotics, and medicated shampoo. This week he managed to hurt his tail to the point where he won’t sit down without crying. Luckily its getting better but he has been sooooo whiney this week.

Overall I feel like Charlie is a pretty good pup. He drives me crazy some times but hes a little love bug too. There is nothing better then snuggling up on the couch with him. Well until he starts whining and jumps off 5 minutes later…


Biggest Loser Season Finale #BL12

14 Dec

And the winner is…

The season finale! One of the best episodes of the whole show as you get to see all the amazing transformations all the contestants have made.

I really enjoyed how they did the finale this time around with not weighing in every individual person. I have NO idea how they still managed to make the show 2 hours without that but it seemed to go by faster.

I thought all the original red team members looked amazing. Jessica is HOT. Oh and on that note so is Patrick! I wanted him to win so bad. I knew he was going to be so cute at the end of this.

Top three contestants for the at home prize were: Vinny, Patrick and Jennifer.

Somehow Jennifer pulls out the win! She must have thought she would win Bob’s undying affection by winning. He did give her flowers though so I guess it worked. She didn’t show very much emotion at all which was disappointing you just won 100 GRAND- Smile at least!

And then came time for the finale three: Ramon, Antone and John.

Source: Google Images

They all looked amazing but you knew right away the prize was between John and Antone.

And the winner is… John! Ugh. I was #TeamAntone all the way so a little disappointed crazy John won. But hey if manages to keep it off for the next year then I will be very impressed.

And with that #BL12 is over. Apparently its only 4 weeks until the next season!

What did you think of the finale? Are you excited for just Dolvett and Bob to be the trainers next season?

Jenny Challenge Update

13 Dec

It’s amazing how much easier running gets when you

intelligent thoughts over here today folks.

There are only 12 days left until Christmas which means only 12 days left to reach 100 miles! Luckily I am at 60.8 as of today so it is looking doable.

I have done most my runs on the treadmill the past week- including a looong eight miler last Friday and 6.3 miles today. I have gotten pretty used to the treadmill now and don’t really see myself getting back outside as much now that it’s getting colder. Hey a run is a run right?

So 12 days and 39.2 miles until Christmas! Anyone else been running lately?

Time for the biggest loser season finale! See you in the morning for the recap!


Check out my new favorite headbandz- great for running!

Dessert and Drink Pairings

8 Dec


Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There’s no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On!


One of my favorite things to do in my free time is bake delicious treats. I love making cookies, cupcakes, muffins and breads. The most important thing when baking treats is making sure you are serving them correctly. When Clever Girls Collective and Duncan Hines asked me to write about my favorite dessert and drink pairings I was really excited to share them!

Now I’m not a particularly fancy person- or a fancy baker. So these pairings are what I think are delicious but I am sure any culinary artist would be ashamed of them. I don’t drink dessert wines so my drink combos are a little out there.

Some of my favorite dessert and drink combo’s are:

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk: This is a given. You are not allowed to eat warm delicious chocolate chip cookies without a big glass of milk.

Chocolate Strawberries and Mimosas: Chocolate strawberries always remind me of fancy brunches- and what is the best thing to have at a fancy brunch? A nice refreshing mimosa.

Drinks as desserts: Why not drink your dessert? Milkshakes, smoothies, mudslides, daquiries and more. If it’s hot outside there is nothing better then a nice refreshing milkshake or smoothie.

Muffins and Juice: I tend to make breakfast muffins- blueberry, banana or pumpkin. I think the best way to enjoy one of these is with a nice glass of orange juice, or perhaps some apple or grape juice. A nice well balanced and sweet breakfast.

Now that the holidays are here you can serve any of these dessert and drink combos together at your next holiday get together. Mimosas and chocolate covered strawberries Christmas morning? I vote yes Santa!

What is your favorite dessert and drink pairing?
Remember to check out Duncan Hines’ website to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.