Friday, December 6, 2013

Travel Ornaments

Before I begin, I'd like to send a HUGE congrats to TWO of my best friends who are getting married!

Jenn and Justin just got engaged a week ago. Justin proposed at Thanksgiving dinner with their families. These two are such an awesome couple and so fun to be around; we are already stoked about their wedding! Congrats, Jenn and Justin!

Isn't this the world's best picture? Jenn, Justin, and another of my bridesmaids, Fay, who is also getting married next year! 

Fay and David got engaged over the summer. I met both of them (actually, I met David first when we were both tour guides in college) at UCLA, and Fay and I have been pen pals and close friends ever since she moved to Maryland for law school after we graduated. This adorable couple lives in DC now, and I'm finally going to visit them in January! Their wedding at UCLA (on campus! how cool is that?) will be in July of next year. Hooray for weddings!

Alright, back to business...

Since I don't really have a set work schedule, my days really vary, even week to week. This week I subbed Monday and Tuesday and worked at the store Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I had yesterday off from both jobs, and since I took care of all my errands on Wednesday, I took a more relaxed approach to yesterday's adventures. (I call my daily activities "adventures" because they almost always turn out to be somehow ridiculous and/or dangerous.)

Yesterday morning I used leftover batter from Wednesday's breakfast to make my favorite waffles before sending Terry off to work. Wednesday I also chopped up ingredients for our new favorite Italian chopped salad, and Terry got leftovers for lunch (lucky guy--I seriously considered making him PB & J and stealing the salad leftovers for myself, but I guess I was feeling generous). For my own lunch, I whipped up some tuna salad and created lettuce wraps, which turned out to be one of my better ideas this week. Deeeelicious!

I also baked two batches of muffins yesterday and sampled one of each: carrot-applesauce muffins (Lisa's recipe) and, inspired by those, carrot-pumpkin muffins (I just replaced the applesauce with canned pumpkin). Both were fantastic! I wish I had walnuts on hand, because I think the nutty crunch would be awesome in either muffin. Next time.

And we finally got our Christmas tree! We went to the same lot as last year (minus Jenn, sadly--we just cannot seem to get our schedules to align!) and found ourselves a gem. Of course, it's not as big as my brother's tree (theirs is 12 feet tall), but we made it work, I think. Last night was all about Christmas music and decorating! We collect ornaments from wherever we travel and love to open them up each year to reminisce about the places we've been and the places we'll go.

Here are this year's ornaments (starting top left and working clockwise in a spiral):

  • Monkey bell ornament from Salzburg
  • Purple ornament from Prague--um, remember when I never blogged about Prague? Oh, well. It was fun. I was tired the entire time. The end. 
  • Actual cow bell from Switzerland (not an ornament, but we make it work)
  • Lighthouse from St. Augustine
  • Hawaiian doll from Maui
  • Steam Whistle Brewery bottle opener, which we turned into an ornament when we couldn't find one from Toronto
  • Ball ornament from Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Cheesy airport ornament from Turks & Caicos (hey, you gotta do what you gotta do)

Yowza, we traveled to a LOT of new places this year! Next year's travels may be a bit more limited, since I'll be pregnant half the year and we'll be adjusting to life with a newborn for the second half. But we still hope to continue pursuing our goal of traveling as much as possible (and introducing our kids to travel, too!). We'll just see how it all works out as we start this new journey!


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