Random Monday Ramblings and Alyssa’s Crispy Critter Poll

Greetings, friends! How are you today? My weekend was busy, nice, relaxing and fun all at the same time. Matt’s parents just came back from a month-long cruise to Polynesia (I KNOW! Color me jealous) and this weekend they came to our place fresh off their cruise ship. We got to see pictures of Tahiti and had a yummy lunch and dinner trading vacation stories. It got me even more excited for my upcoming trek to Thailand! Woot woot! I don’t have a “topic” for tonight’s post, so here’s a bunch of randomness:

Same jacket, one month!

1) I did an excellent job with cardio this week, clocking in four hour-long cardio sessions. This is the good stuff, because I’ve felt relaxed, calm and healthy all week. I guess exercise does give ya that feel-good feelin’, huh? Another thing I noticed is that even though the scale might be slow to show it, I feel like my hips are starting to poke out more – always a sure sign I’m toning and losing weight (the fat melts, the curves appear!)

If I fits, I sits.

2) I love working from home. Since this is the month of gratitude, I’ll say I love having a job that allows me to work from home and have office-mates like this fur-ball, who has decided an overflowing letter tray is a great place to nap.

California Chicken Salad

3) Look at this gorgeous salad. This is from the California Chicken Cafe and can easily be two meals. A scoop of feta cheese, half an avocado and boneless skinless chicken breast chunks let me get my omegas, proteins and healthy fats in. And it’s so tasty! I get it with the fat-free Italian dressing for extra calorie-cutting. Deeeelicccious!

4) I am starting to plan out our itinerary of things to do in Thailand. One of these things, I have decided, will be eating a bug. Which bug I should eat? I will film this for your viewing pleasure. Consider it my Christmas gift to you – a disgusting video from your favorite blogger. I have no idea why I feel like I HAVE to eat a bug, but for some reason I feel like it’s part of an exotic Asian adventure. Choose which bug you’d like to see me choke down!

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Talk to you tomorrow!

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?