Shrek Boots

Even though I’m a lovable larger lady, I try to keep up with the latest fashion trends, because nobody likes feeling like a frump, and I refuse to believe that a little (or a lot of)  extra body weight means I need to dress in muumuus and potato sacks. Part of keeping up with fashion trends meant scoring a pair of sweet faux leather calf-length boots for Christmas. It took me a long time to get used to “skinny jeans”, and I still kinda feel like a tomato teetering on a pair of toothpicks when I wear them, but in the name of fashion – I’ll try it. After I adjusted to skinny jeans in a plus sized body, I decided to take it one step further and go for the long and lean boot look that I see everyone wearing.

Even though I love my new boots, part of me couldn’t help but feel like Shrek as I caught my reflection in the gleaming glass doors at work. My legs just looked so stout and stubby – like two ham hocks stuffed into a pair of equestrian boots. I don’t even have particularly heavy legs, in fact, my long legs have always been a source of pride for me, as they are decidedly svelte compared to my round upper body. It’s probably just my own insecurities as I get used to wearing something that’s a little more “Los Angeles” and a little less “Sweatpants and cat hair”.

I wanted to look long and lean and trendy, like Prince Charming does. I still love my new boots, and I know I’ll get used to them, but they feel so fashion-forward that part of me feels a little bit backward.  Do you ever have a hard time feeling trendy? Is it something that you rock with total confidence, or do you have to ease into a new look like I do?

Shrek or Stylin'?

 

 

 

 

A merry merry christmas

Hello everyone! Hope you had a fantastic Christmas (if ya celebrate). Matt and I celebrated Santa’s arrival by heading up to Petaluma, a little town north of San Francisco where both sets of parents live.

We woke up bright and early at 8 AM at Matt’s parents to open gifts. Santa generously gifted us with a beautiful Cuisinart juicer… which we’ve already used to make fresh orange juice, and my favorite, apple pear juice. This will be making frequent guest appearances on the blog in the next couple of weeks! Matt’s dad surprised Shirley, my mother in law, with a month long cruise to Tahiti and Fiji to kick off their retirement next year! Here she is after she opened up her gift – a mini cruise ship!

So cute!

After gifts at the Currans, we headed over to the Lofgrens to celebrate Christmas there, too. My dad made bacon egg cups – bacon cooked in a muffin pan, filled with a whole egg and baked with cheese on top. It was a protein-packed, heart attack of a breakfast – and an enjoyable one, at that. Here’s the recipe!

 After breakfast we opened gifts from the Lofgrens, and we scored all sorts of great things like a pair of calf-high boots, an adorable olive oil and vinegar cruet, underwear and cute sweaters. Everybody spoiled us – as they do every year – and despite the mountain of new stuff we got, I was reminded all day about the generosity and love that’s so abundant on both sides of our families. We are truly, truly lucky!

PRESENTS!

After gift opening was complete, we (the kids) saw the Muppets at the $3 theatre (WOCKA WOCKA!) and then we headed back to the Currans’ house for an amazing dinner of prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, creamed corn and potato wedges. I made a pecan pie for dessert, and we also had some of my mom’s homemade fudge and kolacky, a Czech jam cookie. Matt’s dad is also quite the cook and I consider it a huge bonus that I married into such a food-loving family – now I’m surrounded by foodies on either side!

After dinner we headed back to the Lofgrens’ house where we had to play the annual game of Monopoly. The game started off slow for me, and I was bored within five minutes, assuming I’d be monopoly-less and broke after my second turn around the board. However… I scored $1200 from the free parking kitty, and before I knew it, I was rollin’ high – and claimed the official title of REIGNING MONOPOLY CHAMPION.

I woke up the next day with a raging stomach ache thanks to my celebratory feasting, and then it was back on the road to return to Los Angeles. I had a vacation day from work today but tomorrow it’s back to the grind. This was a wonderful Christmas holiday with both of our families, and now, with a few days left of work until the new year, I’m beginning to reflect on 2011 and think about small changes I can make in 2012. I hope you had a wonderful holiday, too – what was your favorite memory?

 

 

 

Ornament Swap

Our petite Christmas tree with laser-eyed Leo

Hi everybody! This year I was excited to participate in my first ever “blogger ornament swap”! Laura over at Luckiest in Love was kind enough to host this, and all the bloggers who signed up were matched with other bloggers around the country. I was matched with the lovely Mandy in Milwaukee at Making the Pieces Fit – and here’s what I got from her!

She did a great job researching because one of the ornaments she sent was this adorable jingle bell kitty! It looks just like Mr. Leo too, with the orange tabby stripes. Isn’t it darling?

Darling Jingle Bell Kitty Ornament

She also got me this super cute ginger bread lady resting on a little baking sheet! I don’t know if you can see it, but there’s a candy cane, starlight peppermint and a little baking spoon dangling off the edge. Perfect for me and my obsession with food! :)

Gingerbread lady baker!

I sent Mandy some ornaments in return – and while I desperately searched for an ornament of her favorite things, dolphins or flip flops, I couldn’t find one so settled for a pretty silver initial ornament and a few other little sparklies. However – I had an internal debate about which initial to get her, because her Twitter name is Mandy but her full name is Amanda – so, when people call me Lyssa, I figured it’s a nick name but my true initial is still an A – so Mandy got an A. Hope that’s cool, Mandy! These are the weird things I agonize over. ;)

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas! And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, a merry day to you. Do you have a favorite ornament? You can see one of my favorites in the first picture – a little horse and carriage with our wedding photo in it that says “And they lived happily ever after – 2010″. Awwww!

 

I’m back!

Hi everybody! I’m back, at least for a short while!

I finally finished all of this….

Taking tests!

And then I finished all of this….

Writing papers!

And somewhere along the way… I finished all of this.

Amazingly beautiful sugar cookie made by the fabulous Shelley!

Ok, ok, fine – so I lied – I didn’t finish all of it, just half, with a glass of milk. YUM! The past few weeks have been among the busiest and most stressful of my entire life – but I made it through, and now it’s just a few days of a frenzied flurry of wrapping gifts, working, attending holiday parties, getting allergy shots, baking pecan pies, and driving up North to celebrate Christmas with my families.

I have a TON to tell y’all about, but it’s 11:40 at night and I’m due at work at 7:30 tomorrow morning SO… it’s gonna have to wait. However – I promise I’ll be back soon with some fun stories and an honesty check – in which I’ll face the scale (and the gym) for the first time in *muffled scream* three weeks!

What have you been up to?

*Crickets*

Hi everyone! Just wanted to pop in and say don’t be surprised if you hear crickets over here at the Double Chin Diary for the next week and a half. I’m in the heart of final exams, and this means analyzing 40 poems, writing 20 pages of research-based opinion on it, then analyzing why the Tunisian uprising didn’t get nearly as much coverage as Egypt’s, and writing 20 pages about that. Then I’ll be studying general mass communication media theory, and come Friday, December 16, I will melt into a giant puddle of goo, finally release the giant ball of stress in my shoulders, drink several glasses of wine, and return to my neglected blog.

My butt will be planted on the couch working with my study buddy....

So – wish me luck, and I apologize for the impending silence! Read this article by my friend and fellow student Julie for a great explanation of what final exams are like!

Have an AMAZING week, and check in after the 16th so we can catch up.

I’ll miss you!

 

Ugly Sweater Party

Hi Everybody, hope you had a wonderful weekend! I did! Saturday night we had a small party with friends to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. Matt and I had been wanting to celebrate with an “Ugly sweater” party for quite some time, and this event definitely did not disappoint. All of my future parties will be themed. They must be. Themes = awesome.

People started trickling in around 7 and we grabbed a quick group shot…

Quick! Take a picture before everyone's drunk!

Later in the night we had an “Ugliest Sweater Contest”… Here are our winners!

Our Prize Winners! From L to R - Sacha and Monica, third place. Daniel and Shelley, First place. Luis, Second Place.

The amount of details in these sweaters was amazing! Shelley hand sewed lights into hers, Luis’ said “Pimpin’ Aint Easy…”

Can you see that? "Pimpin' Aint Easy"

Some of our other attendees had awesome sweaters, too.. Check out the details on Emily and Matt’s! Emily also sewed on dangly Santa embellishments and created this charming vest for her husband Matt….

Matt looks thrilled about his outfit!

We had an assortment of yummy treats… like creepy Coraline-esque ranch dip snowmen with veggies….

A snowman made out of ranch dip!

And also some delicious “Jolly Jingle Juice”…. (This stuff went FAST! People love boozy punch!)

Please ignore my focused "MUST SERVE MORE ALCOHOL" face...

And if the jingle juice wasn’t enough to warm up frozen buns and hands, we had a fire bowl going outside to add some warmth to the chilly 50 degree So Cal night (go ahead and smack me, Midwesterners and East Coasters… but 50 is freezing for the sunshine city).

Roasty Toasty by the fire

The grad school gals cut loose and relaxed for a few hours, thankful for a break from looming deadlines and mass media jargon….

Smile and say "Hegemony!"

And the happy hostess enjoyed wonderful gifts from her generous guests, like this adorable drunken reindeer wine holder from Virginia…. (I named him BUZZED BLITZEN)

Buzzed Blitzen

It was a wonderful evening having fun with friends before the insanity of finals and the usual holiday stress kicks in – but this night was a great reminder of what life’s about… the good times spent laughing with your friends. Have you ever been to an Ugly Sweater party? No?! If not… We’ll have a giant one when we have a bigger house! How many holiday parties have you been to or are you invited to this season?

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!