Monday, January 6, 2014

Catching Up

First Monday of the year: Back to a normal blogging schedule! Since I'm not teaching full time this year, I'm starting to realize that I actually prefer a bit more structure in my days. Lovely as it is to sleep in a bit, take my time in the mornings, extend my workouts, I think I'm much more productive when I have a tighter schedule because it doesn't allow me to procrastinate. Does anyone else experience the same thing? Anyway, I'm going to try to tighten up my own schedule. Hopefully I can manage to wake up with Terry, work out right away, and then carry out whatever chores and errands I need to accomplish that day. (I say "hopefully" because I'm trying to be a little more relaxed and less Type-A now that I have a little person in my belly.)

Today was not an awesome example of tightening up the ol' schedule. I went to sleep much later than usual, thanks to working on my 2013 in Review post, so when Terry woke up at 5:30 I just rolled over and went back to sleep. But eventually, Scout convinced me rather rudely that I should get up to feed him, so I got my tush in gear and whipped up some blueberry pancakes. (I used my Buttermilk Pancakes recipe and added frozen blueberries to the batter.)

A delicious start to the first Monday of 2014!

I also got to drink tea out of my new mug, a gift from my mom. I love it so much!

Today I'm not subbing, but I am working at the store for a few hours this evening, so I won't be back to write later tonight. Instead, I thought I'd share a few highlights from the last few days.

Before we left for northern California the other day, we used up some leftover ham to make croque monsieur sandwiches. The recipe was surprisingly simple and not nearly as indulgent as I expected.

I also whipped up a batch of oatmeal cranberry white chocolate chip cookies. The recipe I liked best (least amount of sugar, simple ingredients) was actually from Oceanspray. They've been a hit!

Our trip to the Bay Area was a blast also. It was much shorter than our Thanksgiving trip, but it somehow felt less hectic. We dropped off all our Christmas decorations at our storage locker, took a long walk with my dad, and went out to dinner before staying the night at my parents' apartment. The next morning Terry and I went for a jog/walk and then enjoyed my mom's famous breakfast casserole. We all went to the movies (Saving Mr. Banks--good not great), and then we headed up to my brother and Ashley's house for our belated Christmas celebration.

The puppies were excited for our gift!

Some highlights from the night:

  • Mom always says it'll be a "light Christmas" but then inevitably goes overboard buying us gifts, which I think just means she can't help but be generous. We're all totally spoiled.
  • Last year, Chris wrapped our gifts super obnoxiously (boxes within boxes, and multiple layers of duct tape). This year, to get him back, we sent him on one of our scavenger hunts all over the house.
  • Dad grilled lamb, and Terry and I contributed with our favorite grilled veggie kabobs
  • Mom suggested a cake for Ashley's January 5 birthday, so I found a super simple recipe online. Let's just say it was a hit--we could not stop talking about how delicious it was! So easy, one bowl, and perfectly moist. Here's the recipe. You should make it for the next special occasion (or Tuesday) in your house.
Before leaving on Saturday, Mom and I went shopping for some more maternity clothes!


We had a blast, but Terry and I had to head back on Saturday because we had tickets to the UCLA-U$C basketball game! We joined our friends Katie, Corey, their baby Ainsley, Heidi, and Ed for the game, shopped at the store, and grabbed some lunch. It was such a fun day!

Bump's first visit to campus!

Terry and I walked to campus for the game and stopped on the way home for the ingredients for one of our new favorite super easy meals: Daily Garnish's Crunchy Sesame Vegetable Noodle Salad. It took less than 30 minutes to make, and we essentially doubled the recipe, so we have plenty of leftovers for lunches this week. (Note: TJs was out of cabbage, so I subbed their broccoli slaw with carrots, and it worked perfectly.)

Terry also made me a fancy mocktail: sparkling apple and sparkling pomegranate, perfect for the end of the weekend!

And I think we're all caught up! Scout's begging for some attention (I could have sworn we adopted a cat, not a dog), so I'm off to play a few rounds of fetch and get some laundry done. Happy Monday to you!


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