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.
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!
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?