Twenty Five Days of Christmas Fun

So it’s Baby’s first Christmas so of course, despite the craziness, I had to make it the most memorable Christmas ever – not just for him but for Hubs and I – since we don’t get another “first Christmas with a baby.”

I saw something similar over on pinterest I believe (of course I did) so I was inspired (or should I say pin-spired) to create my own list.

25 days of Christmas

Here are my 25 things I want to do between now and Christmas….

1. Buy and decorate  a tree
2. Add lights to the balcony
3. Take a Christmas photo of Ethan in holiday pj’s (inspiration)
4. Get nice family pictures
5. Send Christmas cards
6. Take Ethan to national christmas tree
7. Go ice skating
8. Decorate our mantel for xmas
9. Buy new and/or matching pj’s for christmas
10. Attend a cookie swap (I’m actually going to two!)
11. Have a Christmas-y crafty date with Liz
12. Buy Ethan’s first ornament
13. Watch Love Actually
14. Watch A Very Charlie Brown Christmas
15. Take Ethan to visit Santa
16. See Church Street in Burlington lit up at night
17. Go to a Christmas tree lighting
18. See Lights on the Bay
19. Drink mulled wine
20. Go to an Ornament Swap
21. Donate to Toys for Tots
22. Make New Years Eve plans
23. Attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve
24. Buy an Elf on the Shelf (and take photos accordingly!)
25. Document all of the above for Ethan’s memory book!
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? 

MNO: Crafty Night In

Grab a bottle of Boordy and sit right down.

Recently a gal pal of mine and I had a crafty night in. Well technically we had two. We’re not the craftiest of the bunch so this shouldn’t be surprising to those who know us. I’m pretty sure after we were a couple in, we were in no shape to handling hot glue guns so really, it was probably for the best that this was a two part endeavor.

The first night (also known as the first fail) was a Saturday and there were three of us. And we were going to get around to making autumny wreaths, really we were. Instead, we sat around being Chatty Cathy’s enjoying wine and beer to our delight. One pal had to go so Liz and I watched You’ve Got Mail – because what else do you do when you have full control of the tivo for the night and aren’t in any shape to be creative and crafty?

This was earlier this month when hubs had Drill and was post baby’s bedtime.

First of all, any night sitting around a table with a couple of awesome gal pals and a bottle of wine will always be a great night. That’s just a fact of life.

Far fetched from the wanna-be table dancing days of my twenties, but everyone evolves.

Second of all, making autumny wreathes is super easy. And should be done with wine. But watch out for hot glue guns. We finally got around to it on a Thursday night.

autumny wreath DIY

What you need: 

A grapevine wreath ($5 at Michaels)
Burlap ($10 for a large roll)
Fake Autumny flowers and leaves ($1-3/bunch at Michaels)

Total spent: $20 for two wreaths ($10/wreath)

I wrapped the burlap around 1/4 of the wreath, and then stuck in and glued the flowers to the other 1/4 of the wreath.

I think they turned out really great. We put on a fun movie (Admissions with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd – a bit more serious than I was anticipating!) had a touch of booze (Liz with the beer, me with the wine) and had a grand ole time!

Here’s the finished product hung up!



During the storm…

I don’t know what you all do during a massive hurricane but us New Englanders (well, Marylanders now. Former New Englanders) aren’t equipped for this kind of crap. I know it’s just some wind and rain but that’s a LOT of wind and a LOT of rain. Also, I learned…hurricanes are kind of boring.

Since Adam volunteered to go down to the Armory yesterday, I’ve been on my own and will be for the foreseeable future – or at least likely through the week as we have no idea when he’ll be released then he has drill weekend Friday through Sunday. Thankfully my mom and sister are coming down this weekend so I won’t be ENTIRELY by myself.

So yesterday after he left…. I cleaned. A lot. And alternated watching the news and a Sex and the City marathon. Because that never gets old.










The kitchen, dining area, livingroom, bathroom, and spare room/nursery are all spotless and ready to be mom approved.

I still have to work on in the bedroom – but I’ll get there. Eventually (maybe tonight or tomorrow).

Since I got to work this morning and was promptly sent home (see, I don’t text and drive. Especially not in hurricanes) I’ve been chilling, watching Dawson’s Creek, updating the blog, and being a curmudgeon on twitter…well kind of.

And I baked.

I was going to make muffins also but this was easier and I just kind of got lazy after the cupcakes.

Now I’m just waiting – power keeps flickering. One load of laundry is done, one more to go that hopefully I can get done tomorrow morning (pending power status) – as of right now I don’t need to go to work until noon (if I have to go in) so I feel much better about all that. Hurricanes, I have learned today, make one productive.

Meanwhile, Adam’s being all high speed National Guardsman while his unit helps out the folks down in St. Mary’s County. #soproud

How do you hunker down during bad weather??


Awesome Meal of the Week

Spaghetti squash
Turkey sausage
Organic Vodka Sauce.

Fry up squash and sausage together. Top with sauce and/or parmesean cheese.

Enjoy. This may be a new favorite meal. SO. TASTY.

Your welcome. 

 This is the thank you I got for making butt tons of progress on baby room and I cleaned all the papers off our kitchen table (it was a creation of the husband).


Recipe: Nana’s Meat Sauce

There is something comforting about recipes you grew up with. Last night, I called up my step mom in hopes of getting a recipe that I grew up with – my Nana’s meat sauce. When I went up to Vermont to run my half marathon in April and celebrate my 29th birthday with family, I requested one thing…to have Nana’s meat sauce before my race. So the night before, she had it. The smell wafting through the house when I walked in the door. I have many memories of this meal – with spaghetti that my Papa and dad would slice until the spaghetti was small pieces, and would wipe up the left over sauce with white bread with butter spread thick on the top.

The trick, as I learned long ago before I taught myself to cook this, is letting the flavors simmer together.

So last night I cooked up the meat and veggies, and threw it all in the slow cooker ready to turn it on this morning.

Nana’s Meat Sauce

1lb lean ground beef
1 green pepper diced
1/2 yellow onion diced
2 cloves of garlic
Italian Seasoning
2 t sugar
1 jar marinara sauce
1/4 c. pepperoni chopped


Add onions, peppers and garlic to fry pan. Cook until onions are beginning to sweat. Add meat. Brown meat and add pepperoni – stir so meat and veggies are mixed well.

 Drain meat and veggies to remove grease. Add to slow cooker (alternative, adding to large stock pot to let simmer on the stove for 2-3 hours), mix with sauce, spices and sugar.

 Slow cook on low for 6-7:30 hours. We left it going for most of the day and it wasn’t burnt, but was a nice rich, red color when it was all done. It was delicious.

It may look a little overcooked in the corner, but I assure you, it was not.

Finally, serve over whole wheat pasta of choice – we chose spaghetti tonight. Add side of bread. Generally I’d have a side of vegetable – like green beans or squash but I had none. Wamp wamp.

Bon appetite! 


This past weekend

We started out Saturday with a short run – it was super short and super slow but it felt really good to get moving. We’re still planning on doing the Fun Run with Fleet Feet tomorrow so that should be fun!

Then we headed up Towson to stop into the new Lily store – where I wanted to buy ALL of the things.

We finally got our Furminator for the cats – OH EM GEE. Seriously we’ve taken off the equivalent of like FOUR cats of fur.

We also had a great dinner out with my old roommate and his wife at Boatyard – one of my favorites

I’m focusing on moving more this week, and I want to get started (again) on the 100 push up plan – I’ve really gotta start knocking these items off my 30 before 30 list before it’s too late!

This week I will…

Run 3 days
Do one day of yoga
Complete week 1 of 100 pushups

Also I cooked an amazing meal in my slow cooker last night – about time i busted that bad boy out – too bad I forgot pictures sorry. But take my word for it, this is delicious.

Slow Cooker Lasagna

1/2 onion chopped
1 lb sausage (I used TJ’s sweet italian chicken sausage)
28 oz Italian style tomato sauce (I used the canned stuff from TJ’s)
1 box oven ready lasagna noodles
basil, italian seasoning, oregano, garlic powder (i was out of garlic) and salt
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 pkg mozzerella cheese

1. Cook up sausage (if you have the type with the casings take out of casings to crumble) with onion for about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix 1/2 c mozzerella cheese, ricotta cheese and egg together beating until well mixed. set aside.
2. add sauce and spices. I add my spices to taste because i’m bad at measuring them. Let simmer about ten minutes.
3. add layer of sauce, noodles. breaking noodles as needed to allow to fit into slow cooker
4. top noodles with ricotta and egg mixture slathering so it’s evenly spread across the noodles. Top with mozzerella and sauce mixture. Repeat three more times.
5. Add last row of noodles top with sauce and mozzerella cheese (i add a lot. others may not so add as much cheese as you want)
6. cook on low for 4 – 6 hours or until noodles are cooked and not burnt. (i burnt mine a little on the side…whoopsy daisy)


I’ve been on a massive lasagna kick lately so now I have leftovers to last pretty much all week for lunch. Hubs is going to be all kinds of pasta’ed out but so worth it.  At least for me.

How was your weekend??


Face lifts

It’s almost spring around these parts. I can feel it. I felt is on Saturday morning when I was running down by the city dock and I felt it even more when I got Lily Pulitzer’s email announcing their new spring line.

But really, I couldn’t figure out what for the life of me my problem is with getting up to run in the morning.

Saturday morning, I got up sans alarm – funny how TWO drinks over four hours on Friday night had me feeling like I felt after a doozy of a night out at Our House East during college. My ole’ liver just ain’t what she used to be which is tempting for me to just cut out drinking all together since I had that hazy, just blah feeling when I get up the next morning after having even a glass of wine.

I digress, so Friday night entailed a little of this…

 {#sealteam6 happy hour @ RFD}

Saturday morning entailed a bit of this….which had me feeling oh so good. 

Still breaking in the new sneaks though this time the stiffness in my calves didn’t last as long. I did 5 minutes running at about a 9:30/mi pace with 2 minutes of walking. I finished 3.25 miles in 40 minutes but man did it feel really good and the weather was beyond perfect. I’ve really come to enjoy my long runs downtown on the weekend followed by my Naval Bagel brunch after.

Then I got my hair highlighted. Much needed. Not perfect as they were partial highlights but it looks a lot better than it did and that’s what matters. I only get this done every like… five months (the last time was over the summer) so I felt okay about spending the money on it.

After that, I went shopping and ran errands. Had a bad bad lunch at the mall that involved me sleeping through both my events of Saturday evening in hopes of quickly sleeping off the icky retaliation of my stomach. I had my bag packed (a mini bag at that!), a plan on when to leave to hit the metro and the gift in the car from my office. Instead, I ended up waking up on the sofa  when I should have been having cake and wine with one of my favorite gal pals. Instead, I was left with some wasted garlic bread that was supposed to be for the dinner I was supposed to attend and not getting to enjoy any of the fabulous looking cake. Hmmmph.

Bedroom upgrade

So I slept in, did not set an alarm, and just tried to recover from the retaliation of my stomach. I decided since I was feeling a bit better that I would take my usual cleaning/project day to a new level. Hubs and I’s bedroom has long been a place of discord – clothes everywhere, disorganized and just not a happy place. So I took about $100 out of our budget for this week and did a lil face lift. To say it looks much better is the understatement of the year. Next step is to simply upgrade the night stands to match the Ikea dresser and then we’ll have a bedroom suited for kings.

I should have taken a before shot but I’m sure you can imagine. There was nothing on the walls. Crap all over the floor and on top of the dresser and just a general haphazard mess. The bedroom should be serene and simple not a mine zone. Next weekend: Tackling the closet.

How I did it…

The mirror I picked up from Bed Bath and Beyond for $20, the picture on the wall from Target for $12 and another set of picture frames from Target for $14. The curtains are actually inspired by Young House Love – I just need to hem the edges but it’s a bath curtain from Target for $20 with the curtain rod for about $15. Total upgrade? ~$75; add on the night stands for $125 and we’ve got ourselves a $200 upgrade. I want to also start looking for a new duvet cover in like yellow or green but that can come later. I love the curtains so much I might find a similar bath curtain to make curtains for our living room! #win.

All in all, aside from my Saturday night fail, it was a super productive weekend. In the future? Weekends do not mean eating crap. Stick with good eating your insides will thank you (I’ve noticed this is common with me especially with fried foods but this time was just exceptionally bad, it happened again Sunday to a lesser extent but there’s nothing fun about feeling like you’re in one of those “gotta go gotta go gotta go right now” commercials /end TMI.  This week I’m trying to eat lots better, I’ve been slipping a little in my leniency to eat out. I need to stop that. Especially on the weekends. This week? I’m eating in and eating clean(er).

This Weeks Workouts

Monday: 3 mile run (10 mins running, 1 min walking)
45 mins elliptical
3 mile run 
yoga (and blogger book club though I’ve yet to figure out how the eff I’m going to get to Falls Church without driving in the city…)
5 mile run

How do you keep your goals in mind on the weekend?