Friday, January 27, 2012

Our Earth

Have you guys seen the new high definition images taken of our earth? They are amazing! I love that you can see the beautiful, turquoise water around Florida. There are more pictures here, if you'd like to see.

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm sick, again.

I've caught another cold - yuck! I stayed home from work today to rest up and, hopefully, get better. I drank lots of tea and water with orange slices, read books and blogs, and watched old episodes of This American Life on my laptop.

Cold aside, I had a very pleasant weekend spent with family and friends (and it snowed!). Dave hosted another wine tasting. This month we tried five different Champagnes and sparkling wines and Dave treated us to a pear tart and caviar. We also hosted both families on Sunday night for a much-delayed Secret Santa gift exchange. I have to admit that it was kind of fun to receive Christmas gifts in late January.

I hope your week got off to a good start. Happy Chinese New Year!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Spending Break

Dave and I decided to take a break from spending money during the month of January. I was buying so many gifts and extra goodies during November and December that when January hit I didn't feel like I could stop. Spending money had sort of become a habit. So, we decided on a spending hiatus to help break the buying habit and to recover from all of our holiday purchases.

Of course we are allowed to pay our bills, buy food, and necessary household items (like paper towels and toothpaste), but books, clothes, plants, and decorative items are all off limits for now. At the beginning of the month, I found myself keeping a growing mental list of things that I wanted to buy on February 1st. Gradually, I settled into the new routine, and now enjoy deleting all of those store promotions that fill my inbox daily. I'm also feeling a bit more creative with the clothes and decor that I already own. Since I can't buy any new items, I'm forced to rework things that I already own.

I am kind of excited to see how low my credit card bill is in February...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Three-day Weekend Wrap-up

My office was closed yesterday, so I enjoyed a relaxing three-day weekend (long weekends are the best!).

On Saturday morning I went to yoga and then Dave and I headed over to my parent's house to celebrate my mom's birthday. My dad ordered a delicious cake to celebrate - vanilla cake with raspberry filling. Yum! Dave and I hung out at home on Sunday. I drank tea, read magazines, and took a nap. Relaxing days always feel like such a treat.

Last night, I made beef and carrot ragu in my slow cooker for dinner. Dave and I gobbled it down and then watched Sunday night's episode of Downton Abbey. Are you watching Downton? I'm obsessed.

Food pictures: appetizing or gross-looking? I can never decide...
Have a good (short) week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Flowers

Aren't fresh flowers during the winter months the best? I came home to a house full of colorful flowers on Monday night.  Dave picked up a few bunches during the day, put them in vases, and then placed them throughout the house. It was a lovely surprise and made a mundane Monday feel special!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

My weekend began with homemade pizza enjoyed with Dave on the couch. I was exhausted after my first full week back at work and needed a relaxing evening at home. On Saturday, Dave took down our Christmas tree while I was at yoga and whisked it away for recycling. We spent the rest of the day packing away ornaments and decorations and cleaning up pine needles. I felt a bit melancholy as I packed everything away, so I was glad that Bekah was up visiting her family and was around to join us for dinner. I'm happy to report that the curried chicken stew tasted great! Dave mixed up kumquat mojitos and Bekah brought a lovely cheesecake for dessert.

Fresh kumquats are a nice way to make summery mojitos work for January.
Dave and I drove into Doylestown for brunch (I had the best blueberry pecan pancakes!) and a walk around town on Sunday. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and then attended a dinner given by the wine shop where Dave works. Several of his co-workers are also in our wine club so it was fun to catch up with everyone.

I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Resolutions

I love to make resolutions on New Year's Day. In the past, I've stuck with one resolution that is practical and achievable. This year, I thought I'd try something a bit different and make a new resolution each month. I really want to focus on having a healthy year that includes healthy eating, regular exercise for Dave and me, managing stress, and sleeping well. During the month of January, I'm going to make an effort to use my slow cooker more often. January is perfect for hearty, warm meals that fill the house with savory smells all day long. I'm going to dig my slow cooker out of the closet this weekend to make curried chicken stew. I'll keep you posted on my progress. :)