December 9, 2013


Lately I have been sick!  Over Thanksgiving I had an ear infection/swimmers ear which lasted a solid week and a half.  No fun.  I ended up having to go to urgent care ON Thanksgiving because my ear was bothering me so much.  Luckily they gave me some ear drops (which are horrible to use) and after about a week of taking them it cleared up.  Right after I stopped the dropped though I was hit with a cold/sinus something.  I'm in the midst of it right now and I hope it'll clear up before the middle of this week when ALL my coworkers come into town for a team meeting and company Christmas party.
Due to my various sickness I have been sending a lot of time on the couch ... with the cat, who enjoys being wrapped up in a blanket like a cat burrito.

My newest obsession has of late has been creating nice place settings!  Over the past couple of weeks I have purchased three sets of napkin ring holders, cloth napkins and place mats!  I love setting the table when people come over for dinner, using candles and making everyone 'oooh' and 'ahhh' over how nice the table looks.  My favorite napkin ring holders though are definitely the moose ones; they go so well with the napkins and place mats!

New napkin rings, place mats and cloth napkins!

The table is ready for company!
This past weekend I made Shepard's pie!  But not just any Shepard's pie, I used the recipe from America's Test kitchen which is more complicated but also completely delicious!  It was also the perfect hearty meal to have while decorating the house for Christmas.
Shepard's Pie!
We also set up the tree this weekend!  We are still working with a fake one (one day when we have hard wood floors we'll get a real tree) but it still looks awesome.  This year we chose to do white lights with a couple of pink/purple strands mixed in.  With all the ornaments it looks great!
Christmas tree 2013!
The Christmas decorating continued with a wreath from Hewitt's!  There is a nail right between the two front windows of the house that was just begging for a wreath - so we made it happen!
The house is looking festive!

And through all this - decorating, cooking, running errands and being sick on the couch - the cat slept, he has such a hard life.


December 2, 2013

Another Thanksgiving in New York

This year was another Thanksgiving spent in New York!  And even though it was a good one it wasn't without its drama.  Two Sundays before Thanksgiving the oven decided to blow up!  And by blow up I mean the heating element in the oven blew and caused the burners to stop working.  And even though we were able to get 3 of the 4 burns to work again it was time for a new oven.  The old oven had been in the house for at least 15 years and even though we knew it would need to be replaced eventually we weren't expecting it replace it quite so soon!  So needless to say, we went oven shopping and it was delivered the Tuesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.  What we didn't expect to have to do though is remove a vent that was necessary for the old oven AND use a circular and jig saw to cut about 1/4 inches off either end of the counter!  You read that right - we had to saw the counter tops to make the oven fit.  It was stressful and nerve racking (especially given that neither one of us had ever really sawed anything before, let alone counter tops) but in the end it all worked out and we now have a brand-spanking new oven!
So pretty!  And cooks like a dream!

Thanksgiving morning I ran the Bethlehem Turkey Trot for the second year in a row!  You can read about the race here.  It was FREEZING but a really great race.

Me and a turkey!

For Thanksgiving we were slatted to cook for 10 people (including ourselves).  Everyone was arriving around 3 PM which gave us plenty of time after the race to cook, clean and set the table.  We actually ended up doing a lot of the baking and prep work on Wednesday - we both took off work and got to making good use of the new open.

This year's Thanksgiving menu included: dry-brined Turkey roasted in a convection oven, garlic Parmesan mashed potatoes, hard cider infused gravy, apple/sausage/walnut stuffing, corn casserole, green bean casserole, homemade cranberry sauce, waldorf salad, rolls, homemade pumpkin bread and cranberry bread and my Great Aunt Pete's cheese ball for appetizers.  For dessert we had a pumpkin pie and Boston cream pie!  I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the meal because I was too busy eating - but everything was delicious!

Table set up!  Notice my awesome new chevron napkin ring holders.

Beautifully roasted turkey!

Overall it was another great Thanksgiving - everyone left full and happy.  It was also great to have a 5-day stay-cation from work.  Friday I braved the crowds and headed to the mall (dun, dun, dun!) - more on that later!

December 1, 2013

Turkey Trot 2013

Thanksgiving morning I ran the Bethlehem Turkey Trot for the second year in a row!  (Two years makes it a tradition right?)  The difference between this year and last was that this year it was FREEZING!  Literally, it was about 24 degrees but felt like 8 degrees, especially when you were in the shade.  The night before be headed down to the local middle school to pick up the race t-shirts and donate food (the race benefited the local food pantry); the event also had fireworks and even though it had rained/snowed the majority of the day the fireworks went off without a hitch!  The next morning we left the house around 8:30 AM and walked down to the middle school for the 9 AM race start.  Given how cold it was I made sure to layer up - I wore my longest running tights, a long sleeve compression shirt, workout t-shirt and then another long sleeve running shirt (with thumb holes) as well as a hat and gloves.  I also wore a jacket and scarf but Adam held on to that after the start of the race.
Pre-race coldness!

Waiting for the race to the begin; and I found a turkey!
Getting ready to run!  Still freezing.

At around 9:10 AM the horn blew and we were off!  The 5K race took you on a tour of suburban/old town Delmar; through a lot of residential neighborhoods and then back to the middle school.  Overall I felt GREAT running this race!  Despite the cold it was a really good race - I kept on track and ran about 10:30/11 minute miles and finished the race in 34 minutes flat!  Not too shabby for this being my first race since the summer and the first time I've run a 5K distance in a while (since I've been boot camping instead).

After the trot I walked back to the house and helped Adam prep and cook our Thanksgiving dinner!  More on that later!