25 Days of Blogging Christmas Challenge (Fill-Ins!)

It’s no secret at this point that I LOVE Christmastime. I love decorating and Christmas music and holiday foods and family time and holiday shopping. BUT, the time after Christmas is always quite a let-down. Suddenly it’s time to switch gears from fun, holiday cheer to gloomy January, diets and taxes!

Anyway, throughout the month of December, there were a few days of the Peanut Butter Jenny 25 Days of Blogging Christmas Challenge that I missed for one reason or another and tonight, I am going to cover the rest of those, juuuust in case the curiosity was killing you. 😉

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*Ehem.*

Day 12: Wrapping paper or gift bags? This is a no-brainer. Wrapping paper. In fact, the more, the merrier. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without tape and bows and paper to rip to shreds on your way to discovering your new treasures! (Although in a pinch, I do understand the convince of gift bags.)

Day 13: Favorite Christmas book? I am not entirely sure that I have any favorite “Christmas” books. I read a ton, but I can’t come up with one! Instead, I will share with you the strangest christmas book in all of Bookland:  Santa’s Snow Cat. Yes, this is a children’s book, (Don’t judge. I babysit a lot!) but it is a WEIRD one. It also includes words such as “despondent”. I am ALL for introducing kids to challenging books, challenging words, and interesting concepts from a young age (I definitely think that is what gets kids hooked on reading early on!), but this one is just plain nutty. Also, I’m not crazy about cats.

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(in case there was any question, this image is from Amazon.com. 😛 )

Day 14: Real or artificial tree? Real. Puh-lease.

Day 15: The best gift you’ve given. This would probably be the time I searched high and low for a special, extra-padded, extra-comfortable shoulder strap for my sister’s laptop case. I was on a MISSION and ended up finding the perfect thing online that I ordered JUST in the nick of time to receive it by Christmas. I was quite proud of myself. (This probably isn’t the “best” gift I’ve given, but for some reason it sticks out in my memory.)

Day 16: Hardest person to buy for. Anyone who says they “don’t want anything.” Also, guys are INFINITELY harder to buy for than girls any day of the week. No competition.

Day 17: Post a picture of an old Christmas card. Um. Uhhhh…. Next?

Day 18: When do you open gifts? First thing in the morning. When I was younger, this meant about 5:00 in the morning. Now, it’s whenever everyone wakes up. For the past seven years, Christmas morning for me has meant the first day of my break from work so since then, I haven’t been in too much of a hurry. Although, regardless of how old I get, the thrill of Christmas morning never seems to dissipate even if I do wake up a tad bit later.

Day 19: Favorite stocking stuffer. I love random trinkets and toys. Also nail polish. Also candy.

Day 20: Favorite Christmas meal. Christmas dinner. Especially if it involves eggplant parmesan. Or breakfast. Especially if it involves some warm, homemade treat fresh from the oven.

Day 21: Do you travel for the holidays? Not really! I love being home for Christmas.

Day 22: Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate. With marshmallows and a candy cane.

Day 23: Your plans for Christmas 2012. Christmas 2012 involved a day of holiday festivities with the family.

Day 24: Favorite Christmas eve tradition. This has changed over the years, I used to adore my Christmas Eve “sleepovers” with my sister as I waited anxiously for Santa. I also used to love getting a new pair of pajamas every Christmas Eve. Now, having my sister and her husband arrive for the holidays is a new favorite Christmas Eve “tradition”.

Thanks for reading! See you all tomorrow.

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Electronics Paranoia

This is one of those things that I know is the epitome of “first world problems.” (Pretty much any problem related to electronics or smartphones or anything like that would fit into that category, right?) But let’s talk nuttiness.

One month before graduation, the laptop that I had used for all four years of college crashed. It didn’t just crash, it self-destructed. It wouldn’t turn on at all. Immediately, I panicked and tried everything in my own repertoire that I thought could possibly bring it back to life.

All of my pictures, essays, songs were gone. I was a fool and didn’t have ANYTHING backed up. (Granted, many things I had e-mailed to myself and most of the pictures were still saved on various memory cards, but things like photo booth pictures were gone. And many of the less-important writing things that I had done were trapped in cyberspace forever.

I couldn’t believe it. With one month left, everything was gone. At the time, I was in the middle of a major research project for a class. It was ALMOST done and if I hand’t been required to upload periodic updates to an online panel, I would have lost all of that too. (At which point I probably would have just dropped out of college.)

Anyway, ever since then I have been EXTREMELY sheepish about ANY electronic change whatsoever. Whether it’s backing things up or plugging my phone in or really even just LOOKING at one of those items. Stressful. Stressful. Stressful.

Tonight, I was able to coerce myself into plugging my phone in and downloading my photos to the computer. The camera roll was starting to act a little on the slow side which was making me quite nervous so it was time.

Next up, I am quite excited because I have come up with a couple of (what I think are) very good New Year’s resolutions for myself. I won’t share the specifics just yet, but they are things actually came to me kind of randomly after a LOT of thinking about and consideration of OTHER things. I will tell you that it has absolutely nothing to do fitness or losing weight! (For once!)

Tomorrow morning I’ll be headed to the gym bright and early. Then I have some random, last-minute Christmas shopping to finish up before work!

Now, I know that I have missed several days for various reasons, but let’s pick up the Christmas challenge right here at Day 20: What is your favorite Christmas meal? Eggplant parmesan is definitely my favorite Christmas meal. My mom makes EXCELLENT (eggcellent?! HA.) eggplant parmesan and we always seem to enjoy it at Christmas!

I hope you have a fantastic Friday! Apparently, western New York will be seeing its first “shovel-able snow” tomorrow and Saturday. I LOVE snow at Christmas. In fact, in recent years, this is the only time that I care to see snow on the ground, but even more than a white Christmas, I want safe holiday travels for everyone who will be on the move!

I will see y’all tomorrow!

25 Days of Christmas!

It’s December 1st! That means the wait is OVER!

ABC-Family-25-Days-Of-Christmas

I don’t watch much TV at all, but I love, love, love my Christmas specials. It’s like Christmas every night of the month! (Last week, I was babysitting and insistent on watching the Charlie Brown special. Their mother told me to put it on “for the girls,” but I’m pretty positive that she actually suggested that for my benefit.–though the kids loved it too!) 😉

I also recently discovered that there is a soundtrack for the abc family 25 Days of Christmas. I also have some money remaining on an iTunes gift card. Hmmmmmmm.

In addition to abc family beginning their holiday fun (which actually started a week ago in the “Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas), today was also an extra special day because I got my advent calendar from my mom! (Hey, you’re never too old to enjoy some holiday fun!!)

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My mom has been making me an advent calendar on the first day of December since I was a little girl and I still look forward to it every year! It’s extra fun since she picks out my favorite treats and I get to pick one each day to enjoy in a tasty little countdown to Christmas day! (I always save the larger, more decadent ones for the days closest to Christmas. 😉 Otherwise, it’s also great for rationing. No binge-eating this candy, that just won’t work!

Today did not involve a trip to the gym, nor a workout of any variety, for that matter. In penance, I will (try to) force myself to wake up in time to hit up the dreadmill before my early shift at work tomorrow. We will see how that goes for me.

I am currently trying to figure out which race I want to aim for in 2013. Katie and I had discussed running the Boilermaker 15k which is in July, and I think that would be a lot of fun. It would also be a great prequel to my first half marathon, since it is a tad shorter (9.3 miles). I had also planned to do another 5k this month, but I am back to (nearly) square root one with running. 😦 I love the idea of having something intensely cardio to focus my workout plans around. I have never felt as good about myself or the way I looked as I did when I was “training” for my 5k this summer! I know I had originally said that I was planning to focus on mostly strength training for the rest of this year, BUT once I decided to ax BodyPump, I figured I should pick a new goal! I think for now, I will work on building up a good running base which I DEFINITELY do not have right now. (I TOLD MYSELF I WOULDN’T LOSE IT AFTER THE 5k, but so much for that!)

In other news, today’s meals were relatively uneventful. Breakfast consisted of my new “jag” (oatmeal with a spoonful ‘o peanut butter) while brunch (/ an earlyish pre-work lunch) was a few potato pancakes, made by my mother. At work, I had one of my very favorite protein products:

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I LOVE these bars. Typically, I am not a fan of protein bars. I usually find them to taste a little like sawdust. Or chemicals that I’d rather not eat, but these are delicious! 20 grams of protein PLUS a tasty, mint-chocoaltey flavor = good in my book.

More Christmas Fun Stuff!

Now, one more note of Christmas fun! I have also decided to participate in a 25 Days of Blogging Christmas challenge that I discovered on the Peanut Butter Jenny blog! (Check it out, it’s lots of fun!) I have added the cute little button on the righthand side, but here’s the scoop. Each day from now until Christmas, she has one Christmas-related “thing” to mention in blog posts! You all know how much I LOVE Christmas and this was just too cute to not participate in. PLUS, I discovered it today which is perfect because I’m usually about two weeks behind when I find fun stuff like this! 🙂

Today’s prompt is: Your Favorite Christmas Movie.

Mine is definitely the Polar Express.

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This movie is gorgeous to watch, the music is beautiful and the premise is so, so cute. Ironically, the book totally bummed me out when I was a kid, but I love the movie! (Along with essentially every other Christmas movie ever made, EVER.)

I think that’s all she wrote for today, folks. So much CHRISTMAS in so little time!!!!!! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow!