salad with grilled chicken
One thing I've never really known how to do in my adult life is to bake a chicken breast. I understand it's incredibly basic, but I lived in fear of the undercooked chicken.
In a quest to stay on track with my health during the holiday season, I was determined to prepare some seasoned chicken I could use in salads and wraps for lunches, so I used the recipe from The Kitchn, and I was not disappointed! I used the Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning.
For Christmas dinner, neither of us felt like cooking, so we put together this picnic style dinner and spread out a blanket in the living room. The kids were so excited about it, and it took about 5 minutes to put together. Plus we had a lunch spread all ready for the rest of the week! Will definitely be pulling this out again soon.
Lately, I've been adding a full scoop of greens to my chocolate shake every morning (it's an all natural phytonutrient supplement). I've also been blending and freezing my spinach leaves into ice cube trays to use in smoothies, which is so convenient, and makes your smoothies a pretty color! Last of all, I've been cutting up veggies and serving them before dinner is ready to that the kids and I snack on them. Works like a charm!
shutterfly photo books
Each year I put together Shutterfly photo memory books recapping our entire year. This time, I realized I left the book until the very last minute, and I had one day to put it together before the 50% off coupon expired. I completed it and ordered it with 30 minutes to spare. The kids love paging through these and asking about all the pictures!
blue light glasses
I have been dying to try these for some time now. They help protect your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light from your screens. Since I'm always working on my computer at night, I decided to give these a try. I feel like my eyes are straining less when I use these! I got mine from Spektrum, but these Amazon ones are pretty similar.
Ok, so I just started bullet journaling, and I feel like I'm still playing around with it and finding my style. What I love about it is that I am using it as a planner, a calendar, a to-do list, a fitness tracker, a journal, and an editorial calendar. No planner I've found has all of that. The only downside is making sure you create your spreads ahead of time so all you have to do is fill them in.
Kendra at the Lazy Genius Collective has a great post about bullet journals that makes them seem easy and approachable.
Here is the official Bullet Journal website so you can see how the creator intended them to be used.
This is the bullet journal I am using - super affordable on Amazon. I'll be doing a post about this later in the month to show how I use mine!
- At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
- All December I was hooked on Pentatonix Christmas music. So cliche, I know. But I couldn't help it!
- Feeling a little lost on what music to listen to. Suggestions are welcome!
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. From the creator of Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino. Same snappy dialogue, a lot more cursing, so beware around the kids.
mother-daughter shopping date
Each year I take Pippa out for hot chocolate and Christmas shopping - just a girls' date to pick up last minute gifts for the boys. This year she grabbed a few dollars out of her piggy bank to buy her own presents for her dad and brothers. I helped her choose gifts from the Dollar Spot at Target, and she was so proud to hand over her money to the cahier.
Be finished the night with pink donuts and hot chocolate, and on the drive home, she sighed and said, "Mom, I love spending time with you." Yeah, I almost cried like 5 times that night.
jim gaffigan show
Justin's Christmas gift was tickets to the Jim Gaffigan Noble Ape tour in Jacksonville. Really, it was a present to both of us, and we definitely both enjoyed the show. Sure, it was a hassle to arrange for babysitters, bottles, and to bring my pump along, but it was well worth it, and it was a much-needed date night to connect.
Of course, Jim was hilarious and ended his set with a few Hot Pocket jokes. I would definitely go see him again!
christmas with the family
This was our first Christmas away from family, which was pretty tough. We are thankful for FaceTime, so we could get a small taste of home during the day!
Despite missing our families, we loved relaxing with the kids and taking our time opening presents, eating coffee cake (a tradition my family has - my dad makes brown sugar coffee cake every year to be consumed while we open presents), and playing with our new gifts. So thankful for so many blessings this Christmas - especially the one that came in a manger.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:
December was such a busy and joyful month! I can't wait to see what January has in store for us.