by Nilsa on December 13, 2013

Some of you (and by you, I mean Lisa, Nora, ahem!) like doing a Friday Five. And since I somehow managed to skip posting yesterday, I’m here to surprise you with my own Friday Five!

1) The celebrations of my 40th birthday did not stop over the weekend. This week, as standard protocol, I got to have my first mammogram. They say it hurts. I’m not sure who they are, but I’m quite certain they don’t get regular pap smears. Not that pap smears really hurt, either. But, there’s a difference between being uncomfortable and hurting. The mammogram didn’t hurt. But, I didn’t realize you had to hold your breath for each image. Had I known that, I would’ve done a little cardiac training ahead of time, because it was much harder than I thought it would be.

2) It’s ridiculously cold in Chicago this week. Yesterday, I woke up to a -3°F reading on my phone. It was so cold, the dog peed AND pooped in front of our building (she NEVER does that) and was surprised I still planned on walking her and further surprised (or pissed) that I wouldn’t take the shortcut home through the alley – as if we’ve ever even walked through the alley. Needless to say, serving hot cocoa for breakfast was not out of order. In fact, Gavin welcomed it with open arms.

Hot Cocoa

3) When it gets this cold out, I tend towards wanting to make (and eat) chili! But, I’m pretty sure I’d get sick of it if I ate it more than once a week. That’s why I was so very excited to find a chicken skillet tamale pie, which I made earlier this week. It’s definitely a stick to your ribs kind of meal and the poblano peppers give it a nice warm, not over the top kick. I would also be remiss if I didn’t include the portion sizes (HUGE – it’s made in a 12″ skillet and serves 6 – even Sweets was stuffed after a serving!) and the nutritional facts (less than 400 calories per serving). The only downside is it took about 90 minutes from prep to table, which is on the way-to-much-time side of weeknight meals. Going forward, I think I will make the filling ahead of time, which means I can probably finish off the meal in about 30 minutes. Yummmmmm!

Chicken skillet tamale pie

4) When I planned a Thanksgiving cookie activity, I didn’t realize how much fun it’d be. In fact, I thought the kids might moderately enjoy it for 3.82 minutes, but didn’t even consider the fun factor for the adults. As it turned out, it was the perfect activity to set up in the kitchen – allowing everyone to participate and serving as the backdrop to some engaging conversation. So, when a couple girlfriends asked to get together this coming weekend, I decided to invite them, their partners and kids to our place. We can all decorate Christmas cookies, eat a little lunch and enjoy what’s sure to be some hilarious and lively conversation.

5) I’m pretty excited about our other plans this weekend, too. For our family, 2013 was the year of Italia! In trying to keep up the momentum from the trip, we decided to give family some Italy-themed gifts for the holidays. After a successful trial run of making biscotti a few weeks ago, I will make it again (hopefully this weekend) to share with friends and family in the coming weeks. Additionally, we’re going to a winter pageant at one of the local theaters followed by dinner with my nieces and their mama. And finally, we have plans with two of Gavin’s former teachers, which tickles me just as much as it tickles him.

Are you looking forward to anything in particular this weekend? Do you have any favorite DIY activities around the holidays? What’s your favorite cold weather meal? 

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly December 13, 2013

So funny- I just did Five on Friday today too and I don’t normally do it either but I had lots of random thoughts in my head :) It sounds like you have a great weekend ahead! My weekend filled up kind of quickly so I’m currently wondering what, if anything, I can cut to make it more relaxing ha ha


Lisa of Lisa's Yarns December 13, 2013

I would love the recipe for that tamale pie as it looks delicious! And I am all about meals that are filling and yield a lot of leftovers!

The cookie decorating activity sounds so fun! My favorite holiday activity was hosting a gingerbread decorating party. The last couple of years I had my friends bring their kids along which really make it even more fun. Unfortunately due to my move, we had to break this tradition this year which gives me a case of the sads. We were going to try to set up a google hang-out and do it together online but with my travel schedule for work, it just didn’t work out. :( Hopefully next year!

My favorite cold weather meal is definitely chili. I have been making a good vegetarian one this fall that is really easy and good.


kapgar December 13, 2013

Is a Friday Five just five random facts that you write up or does someone determine a theme for you? I might try but need clarification.


lisacng December 13, 2013

Yes, pap smears suck. I do NOOOOOT like that forceps. Do not do not do not. Internal exams. Nope. The upside about having a planned C-section is my OB GYN said she didn’t have to do an exam when I got really close to the due date. But can’t someone tell the nurse this so that I don’t have to get changed into a paper gown???

Making cookies is on my list of things to do. But since I committed to making photo gifts, I’m focusing on trying to get those done first.

Oh, I have some Christmas shopping to do on Saturday. I wanna go drive-through a light display before Christmas too. And we still have to get and decorate a tree. Gosh there’s not enough time between now and Dec 25! Aaaaand, J’s last day at preschool is the 20th and I want to make cookies for all the kids but prolly won’t have time! Any suggestions on easy farewell gifts for the kids & teachers?


Ris December 13, 2013

Oooh we make a lot of chili this time of year :) And yeah, every time someone (esp guys) complain about pain, I’m like “You have no idea what it’s like to be a woman.” And I haven’t even been through childbirth!


rosie December 13, 2013

Happy big 4-0 Nilsa!!! And I can’t wait to read about your Italy trip!


nora December 13, 2013

And here I didn’t get to my Friday Five. Darnit. I’ll have to pick up the slack next week :)

My favorite cold night dinner is taco soup with cornbread on the side. It makes oodles of leftovers which I’m a fan of and it warms my soul and stomach!

This weekend… well we will see what the weather does. I don’t have any crazy over the top plans apart from some Christmas shopping and probably should give a little cleaning attention to my house. It’s been neglected. Happy Weekend!


Mommyproof December 13, 2013

Love that you’re baking biscotti — such a neat idea! Bringing a little bit of Italia home with you. :)


Ally December 13, 2013

I just wrote a sort of random post but should have done a Friday Five! Maybe next week :)

I love chicken tortilla soup when it’s cold. And hot chocolate.

And yeah for your birthday! My husband’s 40th is next year, so I am beginning to brainstorm now :) Hope your weekend is wonderful!


Becky December 14, 2013

Ah Friday five – love it! (Still counts if I’m reading it on Saturday, right?) So glad you had such a fabulous birthday celebration – and that picture of Gavin is fabulous!


Amber December 16, 2013

I love that you guys are giving Italy themed gifts to your family and friends! That’s a great idea! We made two batches of homemade wine this fall so we are giving out bottles of wine like it’s nobody’s business. haha!


Marie December 17, 2013

I don’t get who these people are who say mammograms hurt either. They clearly have never experienced things that actually hurt in their entire lives. I’ve had two done so far (not even 40 yet – this is not a good thing) and neither experience hurt.

It’s just way too cold to be outside. I think we all need to hibernate until some warm weather comes along. And by warm I mean about 40F.


Mel Heth December 24, 2013

I had to stop reading after the -3° part… kidding. :) I love that you made biscotti for people. Keep riding that Italy wave! I loved your Christmas card so much. Although we’re past the weekend, I was looking forward to it marking the arrival of Mr. W for 2 whole weeks. Although now that he’s here, he’s whipping everything around the house into a chaotic frenzy!


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