Post Holiday Update! A Christmas Card Craft and a Detox Side Dish: Roasted Winter Salad

Happy New Year! Well technically happy January 4th but close enough! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Ours was fabulous, full of family and joy and FOOD. My parents and sister came to town to spend Christmas with us and having them here along with Robert’s whole family was really a special treat!

They got to experience some of the fun Christmas traditions we do with Robert’s family like his mom’s fun Christmas Eve Birthday Lunch where everyone wears Santa hats.

And the most beautiful Christmas day dinner hosted by our Aunt Vanessa.

V's Table

Her place settings included a special ornament for everyone which was so creative and thoughtful!

After being told at my 36 week Dr’s appointment the Friday before Christmas that I was already 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced and that they wouldn’t be surprised if the baby came within the week…we are still waiting and not much appears to have changed :/

On the bright side, it did cause us to hurry up and get all of our baby gear assembled and hospital bags (half way) packed. So we are “ready”, and now we wait…and wait…and wait. Luckily I have found plenty of ‘nesting’ activities to keep me busy. Besides the usual laundering and cleaning, I put all of our Christmas decor away and completed an easy Christmas card craft!

Card Tree
My card tree

I LOVE getting Christmas cards from family and friends, especially photo cards! I also hate the thought of tossing them out post holiday, it seems like such a waste! So a few years ago I came up with this idea to save my cards…just in case I ever get extra nostalgic and want to flip through them all (which I do every year!).

All you need for this craft is a hole punch and a set of loose leaf rings. I bought mine in a pack from Michaels but I’m sure you can find them at Staples or on Amazon.

Rings

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A Thanksgiving Shower and Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Happy bi-week! I think that’s a football term for an off-week which is pretty much what this week is right? The week between Thanksgiving and December. AKA time to shop til you drop, get all of your Christmas decorations up and get so sick of leftover turkey sandwiches that you vow not to eat it again for another year, or at least until Christmas.

For once my family avoided turkey overload and didn’t eat a single leftover. Why you may ask?

Ren

This guy….

My parents and sister both own small dogs and therefore aren’t accustomed to “counter surfing”. Unfortunately for Renly, his efforts proved to be for naught and he didn’t actually consume any leftover turkey either.

Robert, Renly and I traveled to Tennessee for Thanksgiving this year. My grandparents were also attending and it was our last trip before baby (hallelujah because riding in the car for long periods of time is getting less comfortable for me by the day). After we ate our Thanksgiving meal at my parents house we went over to a friends home to visit and have dessert. Upon returning we discovered that my mother had inadvertently left the lid off of the tupper-wear container she had put the leftover turkey in. She also left it sitting too close to the edge of the counter. The tupper-wear container was now flipped over onto the ground and pushed into the corner of the cabinets. I didn’t take a picture at the time but it looked something like this…

Turkey Tupperware

My theory is that Renly, at the urging of the little dogs no doubt, flipped the open container onto the floor with his head and it landed perfectly upside down, with all of the turkey still trapped inside. They then probably all took turns pushing it around the floor, trying to get to the meat inside until they pushed it into the corner and it became stuck.

Turkey that has been used to sweep the kitchen floor isn’t high on my list of things I’m willing to consume so thus, no leftover turkey for any of us…or the dogs, although it is likely that my father the notorious dog feeder snuck them some without my knowledge.

The rest of our Thanksgiving was lovely; we did lots of relaxing, watched a few movies, I got all of my Christmas shopping done (hooray), spent wonderful time with family and friends

and to cap it all off my sister threw me an adorable baby shower!

Gifts

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Super Simple Salsa Crudo

Happy Thursday! How about an easy recipe?

salsa crudo

I’m back in the swing of things after a great week away for spring break. I spent a long weekend in DC visiting my best friend Caite (more on that in my next post!), a few days at home with my mother and sister who came for an all too brief visit and finished it off with a fun final weekend at the annual RBC Heritage golf tournament here in Hilton Head. It certainly wasn’t the most relaxing spring break I’ve ever had, but all the friends and family were well worth the lack of sleep (and lack of warm, sunny weather…hurry up summer!).

It was so fun re-living my trip to Italy and re-capping those posts and going through those old pictures got me pretty excited for our next big trip… Thailand!!

Thailand
I snapped this photo of the plane magazine on the way to our honeymoon

Our tickets are officially booked and we are headed across the globe in June! I am 100%  ecstatic, Robert is probably more like 70% excited, 30% a nervous wreck who doesn’t know what to expect, but he’s getting there 🙂

elephants
We are spending a day here…and I’m so excited I could wet my pants

Since Robert couldn’t take as long as we had planned away from work, my sister is going to join us. She and I are leaving ahead of him and coming home a little after him which should work out great. Our rough itinerary is Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Tao, Koh Samui, but more on that later. I’ll take a brief break from the trip talk and get to the kitchen talk. This salsa crud0 recipe is super simple and dresses up everything from eggs to grilled meats!

ingredients

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Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Rush, rush, rush, rush. That has been the theme of my life over the past few weeks as we try to cram everything in before the holidays.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been lots of fun rushing. There have been dinners to attend, holiday parties to celebrate, gift exchanges with friends and plenty of shopping and present wrapping. But on top of all those fun holiday extras we’ve still had to keep up with the normal hustle and bustle of every day life. You know, like work and laundry and dinner. The less fun stuff.

Hollowed Zucchini

The television played in the background as I cooked dinner the other night and Robert stopped in his tracks to stare at a Dominoes commercial. “Maybe we should just order pizza” he said.

Helpful Husband Hint: When your wife has been standing at the stove for an hour making you a home cooked meal, it really isn’t the best time to suggest ordering a pizza.

I glared at him over my bubbling pot and he quickly back tracked “I mean it would just be quick and easy and then you wouldn’t have to cook!”. Thankfully, once we sat down to eat, he raved over my enchilada casserole and forgot all about the pizza. Smart man.

filling

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Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Ren in chair

This is the face of a dog who doesn’t really like to pee in the cold and would rather cuddle upside down in daddy’s chair.

Ren face

This is also the face of a dog that could care less that he isn’t supposed to be in said chair. “Busted! But look how cute I am mom!” – Renly

Winter came to South Carolina this week, whether or not it’s actually here to stay remains to be seen. It has not been abnormal to have the temperature fluctuate from 40-70 from one day to the next this year. For now, I’m happy to finally be able to wear sweaters and boots without sweating…whether or not that attitude will last also remains to be seen.

Marinara

One undeniable winter positive is the fact that I can now make as many stews, roasts and “hearty” dishes as my little heart desires. One of my first orders of business is this delicious roasted vegetable lasagna.

Finished Lasagna

Last year was the first Christmas I spent with Robert’s family and although it was wonderful, nearly everyone got the stomach bug leading up to the holiday. Since no one felt well enough to cook, his aunt’s sweet best friend brought over some delicious vegetable lasagnas for our Christmas Eve meal. They were warm and cheesy and full of healthy veggies so of course everyone was instantly cured!

Ricotta Egg

Ok, so maybe they weren’t miracle medicinal lasagnas, but they sure were yummy and since I magically avoided the bug, I helped myself to seconds and thirds 🙂

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