Friday, December 6, 2013

It's On! Update: Go Me!!

Hello, everyone! How are you? I decided, since we had a snow day today (yay!!) that I would sit down tonight and give you an update on my Happy List. I've gotten quite a few done! I'm still working on some of the "bigger" projects and have big plans for the next few weeks and Christmas break! I am proud of myself for crossing so many of these off my list! Some of the bigger ones I haven't actually crossed off yet, I have started working on. I'm just not ready to cross them off yet! I still have some more that I would like to get done before I show you all what I've been up to! But for now, here's how things have been going...

Sorry for the length of this one! If you're not familiar with my Happy List, you can check out my original post here. And no Five Minute Friday today. This post was a long one. You can read last week's Five Minute Friday here.

(The numbers on my list with no comments are happy items that I'm still working on!)

My Happy List

1. Visit the Contemporary Art Center to actually see the museum!

2. Take Bjorn hat shopping at Batsaks downtown for a new hat! 

3. Practice taking pictures with my new camera
(Washington Park, Eden Park, city views) I practiced at the zoo!

Bjorn and I went to the zoo for our anniversary. I took my camera with me. We took our time walking around, and I took some pictures. I didn't worry about what people thought of my standing around taking a million pictures in the same place. I was practicing! Who cares? 
(I'm sure no one thought that, by the way, just a little OCD to overcome.) Here are a few pics from the day:

4. Go to Wine Tasting with Rachie and Bjorn

5. Take Rufus, my dog, on more walks--carry Thor (my chihuahua--not a big walker)

6. Finish decorating and organizing my upstairs loft

Even though this one is not checked off, I have gotten started! It's a work in progress. My reading area is almost finished. I moved my Goodwill desk up for my make-up vanity, bought two new bookshelves for all my books, and started donating old books and magazines. I'm excited to work on this some more over break!

7. Try a new restaurant in Over the Rhine It wasn't OTR, but I'm counting it!

Last week, my friend Amy and I went out to dinner to catch up. We hadn't been out in a long time, and it was so great to see her! We planned to go to Nectar, but they were closed when we got there. Instead, we ended up finding an amazing crepe and gelato restaurant! It was heavenly! It's called Buona Terra. We both had crepes for dinner. I had the Thanksgiving crepe with turkey, thanksgiving seasoning, corn hash, and veggies inside. It was delish. Amy had a chicken pesto crepe (chicken, parmesean, pesto, and tomato). And then, of course, we both had to try their gelato! It was just staring us in the face the whole time we ate! I tried the earl grey tea gelato. Oh, it was divine. my had chai tea and caramel. They were also delicious! I had a bite :) It was a such fun night with a great friend. Too bad we didn't take a picture! Next time, for sure!!

Thanksgiving Turkey Crepe


Here's a link to Buona Terra's Facebook page. You can view their menu here.
Here's a link to Buona Terra's Instagram page with amazing pictures of their eats!

8. Do something fun for our 3rd wedding anniversary! We went to the zoo, vintage shopping, and watched movies!

My amazing anniversary present painted by Dug McUgly! I LOVE it!
 You can check out his art shop on Etsy here

To read about my anniversary adventures, you can click here

9. Take time to enjoy the little things See below

Visiting with Loved Ones

I got to hang out with some of my favorite people over Thanksgiving break. Here Rachie and I had a fun dinner night with our cousins at Chuy's in Kenwood. Me, Emily, Heather, Sarah, and Rachael. Emily, me and Rachael hope to come visit you, Abby, Carter, Brian, and new baby soon!!!! Love and miss you!

I also got to visit my amazing friend Beth who I miss dearly this year. I don't get to see her as often as I would like to. We have so much in common, it's not funny! I'm so glad that I met her at work a few years ago! I went over to her house, we ate sushi, cupcakes, talked, and played with Baby Dean! It was so fabulous to see her, little Dean, and Ryan over Thanksgiving!! Love you guys!

Beth and Dean. Look at that cutie! Love you my friend!

Just Hanging Out

I've been loving hanging around with Bjorn and the puppies and watching movies, reading, and just relaxing. It's been fun! So far we've watched movies like we used to. We've watched one at least every weekend and we even watched one or two on a school night a few times (oh my!). Here are a few movies we've seen:

  1. Monster's University: super cute and funny!
  2. Admission: I LOVED this movie. Tina Fey and Paul Rudd are brilliant together!
  3. Kick Ass 2: I liked it better than the first!
  4. Jack Reacher: I was surprised by how much I liked this one! It sucked me in!
  5. Here Comes the Boom: Again, surprised that I would like a movie where Kevin James plays a teacher turned MMA fighter. Really funny, though!
  6. The Hangover Part III: Not my fav
  7. We're the Millers: Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis are so funny! Pleasantly surprised by this one!

10. Read more Whoopy!!

I've read quite a few books since school started. This school year, I've been reading a lot of young adult and teen fiction, but that's okay! I've just been really into those kinds of books lately. One of my favorites that I recently read was Serafina's Promise. It is an excellent young adult fiction book written in verse. It takes place in Haiti, giving readers a look at what life is like living with the uncertainty of earthquakes and extreme flooding overtaking your home, the place you love. It's about Serafina and her family, how she longs to go to school, and how her family is struggling to make ends meet in the midst of tragedy. It is such an amazing book with an amazing cultural perspective. If you need something fast, interesting, and heartfelt to read, pick this one up! One of my new favorites!

To read a review of Serafina's Promise, click here.

11. Keep writing (poems, my book, blogging) On a roll!

12. Keep enjoying my students They're so cute!

13. Figure out a new plan for my migraines And maybe another?

This one may deserve its own blog post. It's a lot to explain. I'm still doing well, but there have been a few hiccups along the way.

14. Do a craft

15. Start my art journal In the process

16. Try a new recipe every week + use my crockpot at least once!! I used my crockpot 4 times! Yep, 4!!! And I tried a new recipe each week. Here are the crockpot recipes I tried:

I made two recipes from my Finding My Everyday Happy Pinterest Board on Pinterest: chipotle apple turkey chili and beer chicken. Both were delicious!

Beer Chicken

I also made Greek chicken with chicken thighs, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and basil, salt and pepper, a little chicken stock, garlic power, sliced onion, and some white wine. We made this twice. Cooked on low for 8 hours. Yum-yum.

17. Bake more  I have tried a few, fun new desserts!!

I made three new desserts--two, of which, required baking, and I have one lined up to make this weekend (eggnog cupcakes)! 

Dessert #1: Buttermilk Pie

Growing up, my grandma always made egg custard pie. It was one of me and my sister's favorites! It was definitely Rachael's!! She could eat the whole pie when she was a tiny little twelve year old! We had to run to claim our piece before Rachie got to it! My grandma started making two pies, just so Rachael could have her own to eat for the week, so everyone could get a piece!

I saw this recipe for buttermilk pie and had to try it. Sometimes custard pie can be a little sweet for me, so I thought the buttermilk in this recipe would cut a little bit of the sweetness. It did! I also put in a little less sugar than was called for in the recipe. It was so yummy, I made it twice! You can find the recipe on my Pinterest Board "Finding My Everyday Happy."

Dessert #2: Cherry Cheesecake Shooters from the Pioneer Woman

These were super easy. The cheesecake was creamy and sweet. The graham crackers added a nice crunch, and the cherries added a bit of tartness. The small serving size is a perfect amount. We put ours in wine glasses. I also used canned cherry pie filling to save a step and not have to cook the frozen cherries. So easy!

Littles said, "Can I have some, Mom?"

Bjorn was so excited that I made dessert!

The second night we made Cherry Cheesecake Shooters!

Dessert #3: Homemade Bread Pudding

I decided to make my own bread pudding. My dad always made bread pudding when I was younger, and I got Bjorn into liking it when we got our house! I didn't have the recipe readily available, so this one was off the top of my head with what I had in the pantry! Not like my dad's, but it was DELICIOUS!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. We made individual bread puddings, since there are only two of us. We had some         
    Pepperidge Farm Gingerbread flavored bread in the cabinet. It's a holiday special I found       at Target. I used the last nine slices and tore them up into small pieces. Then I set them         aside. (These slices of bread are relatively smaller than an average bread slice.)

3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk 1 1/4 cup low-fat eggnog, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp           vanilla, 1/8 tsp salt,  1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.  (I forgot to take a picture of           this step!)

4. Place the bread pieces in the liquid and duck them underneath the liquid, making sure that
    all parts of the bread are covered with the eggnog mixture. Let this sit for ten minutes.

   There should be more bread here, but I, again, forgot to take a picture until I started              step #5!

4. While the pieces of bread are soaking, grease six, small ramekins with butter. I think mine     are 6 oz. ramekins. 

5. Spoon the bread mixture into the ramekins up to the inside rim. The bread will look very

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes. I baked mine in a gas oven for 30 minutes and then checked             them. I ended up using the whole 35 minutes. This is how they turn out:

They are delicious! Not too sweet and the gingerbread and eggnog taste wonderful together! 

18. Hang up all the artwork I haven't "gotten around to yet"

So there is how I have been doing on my happy list! I'm really proud of myself! Look for me finishing this list up and adding some new things soon! I hope you had great snow day (for my teacher friends) and a lovely start to the weekend for everyone else!

Love and happiness <3 Holly

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