Thanksgiving Weekend Recap
Dec 02, 2014

How was your Thanksgiving?

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Mine was footloose & fancy free! It was just my aunt & uncle and I this Thanksgiving. We decided not to cook, but to go down to San Antonio to Hotel Contessa for Thanksgiving.

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It was so nice not having to prep food or get up early on Thanksgiving. The hotel was decorated beautifully and they had many food options…from waffles to paella to traditional Thanksgiving food.

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Although I did miss not having my Mom’s broccoli & cheese casserole (which I’ll get a Christmas!), it was good.

The weather was so nice on Thanksgiving too, so we able to enjoy a walk on the Riverwalk after lunch.

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On Thanksgiving evening, I went over to Mary Helen’s for dessert.

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And OMGGGGgggggg, I’m so glad that I did. They had pumpkin pie, apple pie, cheesecake, banana cream pie….and….

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These amazing Reese’s peanut butter cookies. I’m not sure what the secret was on these, but they are the best version of this cookie that I’ve ever had….and….

chocolate bourbon pecan pie

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie—I’m still dreaming of this pie.

On Friday, I was working, so no Black Friday shopping for me. But I did meet up with friends for dinner at Kin & Comfort (Thai food meets soul food). I had the deviled eggs, shrimp & grits, & pork belly bun. I also tried the catfish fries. My favorites were the shrimp & grifts and the catfish fries.

kin and comfort deviled eggs

shrimp and grits kin and comfort

pork belly bun

On Saturday, I put up my Christmas tree. I always have a slight pause around Christmas and think….no one is going to see these decorations other than me & I’ll be in Kansas for Christmas. But I really enjoy looking at the tree lit up at night & I never regret my decision. Well, not until January at least…

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That night, I had a date with my aunt Ann. We had dinner at El Alma & went to see Elf, the musical! Elf is one of my favorite Christmas movies. Seeing the musical was a perfect way to kick off the Christmas season! And having front row seats was pretty nice too. :)

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On Sunday, I splurged on donuts (ignore the fact that I just talked about pie…) and Haley and watched 1,000 made for TV Christmas movies. My annual TV Christmas movie post to come soon!!

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What was the best thing you ate for Thanksgiving?

Adios NaBloPoMo
Nov 30, 2014

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So ends 2014’s NaBloPoMo.

I was not as diligent as last year unfortunately. But I did manage to get a blog post up more days in November than I didn’t. Even if some of those were just picture posts.

See you next year!

Just kidding. I’m going to post in December too. Probably…maybe…hopefully…eh, we’ll see. :)

Happy Thanksgiving
Nov 27, 2014

happy thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!!

Wordless Wednesday
Nov 26, 2014

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Patatas Bravas & Tortilla Espanola from the Boca food truck in the South Austin Social food truck park.

Cinnamon Sugar Blondies
Nov 23, 2014

cinnamon sugar blondies

I recently made these cinnamon sugar blondies to take into work. I sat them at the edge of my desk and made a sign….Cinnamon Sugar Blondies, Help Yourself!

For a while, no one came. I think that no one wanted to be the first person to dig into dessert at 9 am. I stopped someone on the way to get another cup of coffee. You need this blondie to go with your coffee!! These blondies are PERFECT with coffee! They are sweet, but not overly sweet! (which is all true…a blondie with my morning coffee was wonderful)

I needed some validation. Come on, people!

Soon, people were trickling in…hey, I heard your dessert was ah-mazing! Thank you, validation!

Recipe can be found here.

Wordless Wednesday
Nov 19, 2014

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I’m already missing warm evenings outside with a beer.

Oreo Puddin’ Poke Cake
Nov 18, 2014

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This time of year is stressful. Not only do you have Thanksgiving, but the pressure is already on for Christmas. Have you decorated your house yet? Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Oh well, your type A personality neighbor has been done for months.

No pressure.

On top of that, this time of year is ripe with office potlucks and holiday parties.

Do you really want to battle pie crust for co-workers? (No offense, co-workers.) And besides, your work potluck will likely already have a pumpkin & pie pie brought to the event.

Mix it up and bring a super easy & totally yummy dessert. You’ll thank me and your co-workers will thank you.

Recipe can be found HERE.

Bloggy School
Nov 17, 2014

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What are you doing tomorrow night?

I’ll be at Bloggy School. As an on and off (more frequently off…) blogger, I’m looking for some inspiration & information to keep me on the blogging train after November.

Bloggy School will be taught by 2 of my favorite Austin bloggers: Kristin & Corrin.

I’m looking forward to learning a bit more about editorial calendars.

If you’re in the Austin area, come learn with me!

Oh Oatmeal!
Nov 16, 2014

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I missed posting on Friday & Saturday. There goes a perfect NaBloPoMo, oh well! On Friday, I had a work event followed by a friend’s birthday party. Yesterday, I woke up feeling so tired. I sadly thought…wow, I’m SO OLD if one night out makes me useless the next day.

Around 4 pm, I realized that I was really achy and my throat was scratchy. OHHHH, I have a cold!! I’ve never been so excited to have a cold, ha. I’d rather be knocked down by a cold versus just middle age.

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This time of year, I gravitate toward oatmeal for breakfast. It’s filling, so if you have a busy day and know that lunch will be far off, the oatmeal sticks to your ribs to keep you going. It’s so versatile. The add-in’s and combos are endless. It’s comforting, which was good for me while nursing my cold.

Pictured above are just some of my favorite oatmeal add-ins. (Not ALL of them together, of course.) I always add in some fruit for sweetness and some nuts for crunch.

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And it’s no secret that I love ALL things pumpkin, so in the fall, I always stir in a dollop of pumpkin into my oatmeal.

So what oatmeal variation did I have this morning? Steel cut oatmeal, flaxseed, pumpkin, peanut butter…topped with banana slices & chopped almonds & some maple syrup drizzled on top.

What’s your favorite oatmeal combo?

Books Read in 2014…so far…an update
Nov 13, 2014

I last posted a 2014 book tally back in June. At that time, I’d sadly only read 5 books. After that post, I got a library card which helped me get back on the reading train. I’m pleased with my progress.

1. This is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper
**Since posting about the book this summer, I have seen the movie too. I actually liked the movie better than the book!

2. Tender at the Bone, by Ruth Reichl

3. One More Thing, by BJ Novak

4. Where We Belong, by Emily Giffin

5. Ali in Wonderland, by Ali Wentworth

6. All the Summer Girls, Meg Donohue

7. Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
**it’s no Gone Girl, but I did like this book from Flynn as well. I also read that this book is going to possibly be made into a TV seriesd. (Side note: The Gone Girl movie is EXCELLENT, just as the book is.)

8. The Body Book, Cameron Diaz
**I lost 7 lbs since reading this book. I’ve since stalled out on my progress, but I got so much out of this book. I highlighted many passages that I’ve reread a lot.

9. Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple

10. Someday, Someday, Maybe, Lauren Graham
**What? Lorelai Gilmore wrote a book? She did. It’s not that good though.

11. The Vacationers, Emma Straub

12. Cartwheel, Jennifer Dubois

13. Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld

14. Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

15. Life Drawing, Robin Black

16. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
**Great book!!!

17. Food: A Love Story, Jim Gaffigan

18. Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham
**Sadly, it was just okay to me. I was disappointed.

I am currently working on #19, Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw.

Of the ones read so far, I recommend #2, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16, and 17.

What are you currently reading?