putting up the Christmas tree

For as long as I can remember—on some random day during those last couple of weeks before Christmas—my dad would announce to the family that it was about time “we take down the Christmas decorations from the attic.”  

I don’t know if it was the smell of leftover pine from the Christmas before.  Or the warm, cozy mugs of Swiss Miss hot chocolates (with those fluffy white marshmallows!) that my mom handed us.  Or the rolling sounds of Bing Crosby looming over the radio.  Whatever it was, this day—this unpacking, sorting and decorating—was almost as exciting as Christmas morning itself. 

I’m not that little girl anymore.  But I can still feel that same excitement and curiousity, just as I did on those nights of helping my dad take down all of our Christmas memories and decorations from the attic.  Peeling back an oversized Toys “r” Us bag to reveal an array of collected ornaments.  Putting garland around the stairways.  Laughing and giggling and just having fun.  

I love Christmas.  I love big bags of unique ornaments.  I love laughing and being silly and listening to Bing Crosby.  

(I love Charlie Brown and funny looking snowmen!)

Know what else I love?

Eating breakfast in front of the Christmas tree.  To be continued…

Question: What is one of your favorite holiday memories?

‘3’ vs. ‘6’

My alarm clock seemed extra loud this morning.  Loud and extra, extra, extra obnoxious.

It woke me with a jolt, as I literally made a flying leap through the air in order to shut the alarm off.  Somehow I even managed to hit the off button while air-borne.  I thought this was pretty cool until I realized that I had flung myself further than I actually needed to, resulting in a loud thud as my head hit the wall.  Whomp.

Apparently, it’s Thursday, because after my initial daze, I simply laughed.  :mrgreen:  If it was Monday, there may have been (very) different consequences. 😉

Thursdays are usually my strength training slash yoga day.  But a walk sounded so appealing, that I just ate my breakfast and went.  I think it’s the unusual warm weather that’s making me want to spend extra time outdoors.  It is the official first full day of fall, after all.  The chilly weather will be permanently here before we know it.

Breakfast: whole wheat bagel with almond butter and a banana

A big ol’ fresh salad for lunch!  Complete with all my favorite mix-ins…

  • mesculin greens
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)
  • black olives, sliced
  • olive oil
  • feta cheese

Yogurt In A Jar!

I layered some orange slices on the bottom, plopped on some plain yogurt, and sandwiched the yogurt in with a sliced kiwi.  The fruit juices dispersed throughout the yogurt, creating a naturally sweetened morning snack.

There was also an apple and some whole wheat bunny crackers to accompany the salad. 😀

There was a recent research article done, looking at whether “grazing” throughout the day (in this case, referring to 6 mini meals) or eating 3 square meals a day was more beneficial in controlling appetite.  The study revealed that the 3 square meals was actually more beneficial in the long run than the grazing method. 

However, that being said, I would have to look at more of the details in the study.  Personally, I find that having a morning and an afternoon snack keeps hunger at bay and prevents any gorging at the next meal.  Especially when the snacks involve a good source of protein and some fiber.  And flavor.  Which is equally important. 😉

But really, keeping blood sugar levels stable can make all the difference in how you feel by the end of the day.  Eating every 3-4 hrs. is an important aspect of any healthy diet.  

Afternoon Snack: Raisin bran with milk

I’ve been making a lot of appetizers these past few days.

There’s something about having a lil’ something to tease the palate before the main meal.

Tonight I had a ramekin filled with homemade Onion Soup (recipe to follow.)  The onions cook down, down, down.  Into a state of absolute, caramelized bliss.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It also makes the perfect appetizer soup.

But before you think I’m getting too snooty or that I might possibly have too much time on my hands, you should know that Onion Soup is possibly the easiest soup you will ever make.  You should also know that my main entree did not revolve around filet mignon or leg of lamb. 😉

Yes.  It is totally okay to precede your dinner with a bowl of Onion Soup, winning you looks of admiration across the table.  (Nobody has to know that it took you a mere 30 minutes from start to finish.)

And it’s totally okay to call a bowl of “un”overnight oats your dinner.   Absolutely a-okay.

“Un”overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • cinnamon, nutmeg
  • mixed, lightly salted nuts

I added in a side of steamed broccoli to squeak in some greens as well. 😉

I can’t believe that I actually have a day off tomorrow!  It’s been go, go, go lately.  Constantly.  I am so looking forward to having a day to just catch up.  Especially since I have a busy (but fun!) weekend planned.

Question: Do you tend to eat 3 square meals a day or do you aim for more of a 6 meal a day approach?  What works better for you and why?

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Onion Soup
taken from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbok (and tweaked just a lil’)

  • 2 T. butter
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 4 c. hot water
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • black pepper
  1. Melt butter in a kettle or Dutch oven.  Add onions and salt and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add mustard and thyme; stir and cover.  Cook on low for about 15 more minutes.
  3. Add hot water, soy sauce and pepper.  Simmer at least 10 more minutes.
  4. ENJOY! 😀