Hey Hey! It’s Friday!

I’m not ready for Friday…. I’m still mentally on Wednesday! But it has been an action packed few weeks! Can we catch up a little?

1. Since I neglected to say hi last Friday (still in a Thanksgiving food coma), I’ll just quickly say we had a lovely, but fast Thanksgiving. We drove up to my in laws on Wednesday, and drove back home Friday night. We all had obligations over the weekend, so Thanksgiving was cut short. But it was a delightful time!

I taught Elizabeth how to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade!

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Cup of Tea

And she managed to see Santa – he waved at her.

Santa says hi on the Cup of Tea blog

We also went to the aquarium, which Elizabeth loves!

Visiting the Aquarium on Cup of Tea

2. My big goal Sunday was to get the outdoor lights done. So I picked up some new lights (do you know how hard it is to find plain, white lights?) and got to work during nap time. I got one half of the house done when I ran out of lights. I used up 260 feet! So I quickly rearranged.

Dusk fell, and the lights kicked on. And I hated them. I don’t even have a picture to show you… they were LED cool white lights, so they looked blue.

So Monday I spent the day taken the LED lights down and putting regular white lights up instead. I was so glad to get it done, and it looks spiffy!

3. I mentioned Wednesday that I wasn’t feeling particularly festive or ready for Christmas… I tried to help that with two things. First, I wrote a post about my favorite Christmas Traditions! Head on over there and let me know what your favorite traditions are.

Second, Elizabeth and I headed out to the yard to snip various greenery. I had a little DIY decorating project I wanted to tackle. We had a nice time rolling her car through the yard!

Cruising the yard for greenery on the Cup of Tea blog

4. Wednesday evening was so nice that we decided to head out on a neighborhood walk to look at the lights. We had a great time! And Elizabeth had fun pointing out the moon every step of the way.

5. Yesterday my goal was to get the tree up, and I managed to do that! Elizabeth just loves sitting at the base of the tree and staring up at the lights. Thankfully, I have a healthy supply of plastic ornaments, which I placed within her grasp. 🙂

*I just noticed that in every picture, Elizabeth looks bored… ha! Hope that doesn’t sum up her week!

So this weekend I’m pushing to get all the rest of the house decorated, and then get those storage bins and boxes put away. I can do it!!!

Hope you had a nice week, and have fun or relaxing plans for the weekend. Let me know what you’ll be up to down in the comments below!

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 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png  photo FFaves_zps6c1a013e.pngTHE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Christmas Traditions – Cup of Tea style

Christmas Traditions with the Cup of Tea blog

So yesterday I admitted I wasn’t really feeling all that festive… Christmas just zipped up on me so fast. We barely finished Halloween, people.

I thought I would give myself a kick in the pants and have a chat about my favorite Christmas Traditions!

You’re welcome to join in too! Leave your answers to the questions in the comments below, or, if you’re a fellow blogger, feel free to write your own post. Seriously, if we were face to face, drinking a hot drink, I’d ask you all of these. I love hearing what traditions others have!

1. Favorite Christmas movie?

griswold-family-christmas

source

I watch the same Christmas movies every. single. year. (Including 2 versions of A Christmas Carol) But my favorite is Christmas Vacation (you know you start giggling when you know Cousin Eddie is about to appear).

That’s followed closely by A Christmas Story. A Christmas Story was filmed just a few blocks away from my Grandparents in Cleveland, and it’s always been a running gag in my family that Ralphie and Randy are the spitting image, in looks and personality, to my dad and his younger brother when they were kids.

2. Favorite Christmas song?

All of them. (Is that acceptable?) I love all the old classics sung by Bing, Perry, or Frank. But my favorites are traditional carols and hymns. Favorite carol is the “Coventry Carol”. Favorite Christmas hymns are “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (if the whole congregation is singing) and “In the Bleak Midwinter”.

So, like 3 songs… totally not an excessive answer.

And I know basically all of Handel’s Messiah, and regularly sing all parts. I’m pretty awesome here in my house. Elizabeth claps.

3. When do you open presents?

Always Christmas day, and always first thing in the morning. And always listening to Mannheim Steamroller.

Although in recent years, I’ve learned to be flexible, in case husband is working, which is just a fact of life when you’re married to someone that owns a white coat.

4. What do you normally eat on Christmas day?

We don’t have a traditional meal right now. But when I was growing up with was basically a repeat of Thanksgiving – turkey and all.  Breakfast was always a buffet of quick breads and cookies. Breakfast of champions.

5. What do you normally eat on Christmas eve? (you know it’s different than Christmas day!)

Nothing traditional for our tiny family (although maybe we’ve had Mexican the last few years). But again, growing up it alternated each year between cabbage rolls or hominy pie. Bleh. Hated it! My mom finally wised up and started doing enchiladas about 6 years ago.

During the day on Christmas Eve, my sister and I started a tradition when we were in High School of eating clementines and playing video games. Even now, I still eat the clementines.

6. Christmas PJs?

Duh. Unwrapped on Christmas eve.

7. Do you own a Christmas sweater?

No, actually. And for the first time in my adult life, I wish I did. It would be kind of fun!

8. When do you set up your Christmas tree?

Growing up, we had two trees. A real one, which wasn’t set up until a few weeks before Christmas. And a fake one, which was always set up the Sunday after Thanksgiving. My sister and I cranked up the Neil Diamond Christmas album, and slowly put it up. We loved sliding under the tree to attach the bottom branches. We were even proud of the scratches the artificial branches gave us.

Now, it’s whenever I can do it. But Neil Diamond is still involved. I mean, come on. He does mean renditions.

9. When is it appropriate to begin listening to Christmas music?

Technically, after Thanksgiving. But sometimes I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas just seems appropriate in August, especially when you’re sweating in the South.

10. Favorite childhood Christmas tradition?

My dad had my sister and I put together a Christmas Eve concert when we were little. We were taking piano lessons, and he wanted us to play a few Christmas duets and read the Christmas Story from the Bible. We moaned and complained, but did it anyway.

That Christmas Eve concert happened every year after that, and got even more sophisticated as time went on. We planned all day for it (in between eating clementines and racing cars), and even printed up programs. I even flew with my flute, across country from California to Michigan, just to contribute to that year’s concert. I definitely plan on incorporating that tradition in our little family!

Don’t forget – leave your own favorite answers in comments, or write your own blog post! Can’t wait to read what y’all do!

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Go Away Christmas. I’m Not Ready…..

Keep Calm and Merry On

 

Christmas……

I’m not ready. I’ll be honest.

I am normally the girl who’s so excited for Christmas that I start listening to Christmas music early. I usually sneak the Christmas tree up right at Thanksgiving. I typically have a head start on Christmas baking because I just want to!

But not this year.

I’m not a Scrooge! It’s just I wish I was more prepared for Christmas!

Anyone else feel like this year just went WAY too fast? I’m still, mentally, thinking it’s October. I wasn’t ready for Thanksgiving yet, and then it just zoomed by!

And I SHOULD be in a better mood! This time last year, we had a newborn. And felt like this.

Christmas 2013 for Cup of Tea

Sleepy Elizabeth on Christmas 2013 Cup of Tea

I basically got the tree up, and that was it. But I knew that Elizabeth wouldn’t really care about Christmas, since she was only 6 weeks old.

This year, she’ll love it!

So I really need to get my act in gear.

What do you do when you need to get in a festive mood? Am I the only one that needs at least another month before Christmas rolls up?

Stay tuned tomorrow for a fun Christmas Q&A! I’ll be asking y’all questions about your Christmas traditions! If I met you in person, these are the things I would be interrogating you with right now. I love to know these things about people!

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Menu Monday #30

ListCloseUp

Happy December and welcome back to the blog-ola! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I enjoyed it. We went up to my in-laws, and then was home Saturday and Sunday. In fact, Sunday felt like Monday… I’m a little thrown off!

This week’s menu has a lot of easy meals. I know this month will be absolutely jammed packed getting ready for Christmas. So I need to take at least one thing off my list, and easy, fast meals are one of those things!

For more information on how I menu plan, look at this. But if this is your first time reading a Menu Monday post, this is where I post what we’ve got on our dinner menu for the week. And, as always, I have links to as many recipes as I can reference. Some, though, are just “open a can” or “microwave that”. You know what I’m saying??

Monday:
Polenta Cakes with a Mushroom & Herb Sauce

Tuesday:
Tortilla & Black Bean Pie

Wednesday:
Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry

Thursday:
Breakfast for Dinner – Pumpkin Pancakes
(
We’ve had chocolate pumpkin pancakes, but they are decadent!
This time we’re going to try this recipe from Come Home for Comfort!)

Friday (Soup Night):
Mushroom Bourguignon
(My mom’s concoction, but this recipe is similar)

Saturday:
Spaghetti with Tomato Basil Sauce

Sunday:
Tacos

Need more ideas for dinner?  Follow my Pinterest board – it’s where I save all of my dinner ideas!

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Linking up at Menu Monday with Org Junkie