December is for Holiday Cheer!

Good Afternoon (although it looks a whole lot like evening here)!

I have been a super busy girl the past few days with family, school, friends, and all that stuff but I wanted to catch you up with a few photos!

Blurry, but 5 of my 6 best girls before our 5 Year High School Reunion! It was a great night and so fun to see so many friendly faces πŸ™‚

My favorite aunt/godmother turned 60! Isn’t she so fabulous for her age? I made the cake, too! Devil’s Food cake mix with pureed apple pie filling substituted for the oil and water (still used the eggs). For the frosting I made a vegan buttercream a la “How It All Vegan!” I have never had a room full of people so impressed by vegan baking in my life…the cake has now disappeared thank you very much πŸ™‚

I was at Home Goods twice in 24 hours! One of the times it was with Eric who is now fully into apartment decorating!! Can’t wait to show all of your our finished product πŸ™‚

Eating Thanksgiving leftovers! Sauteed brussels sprouts with apricots and nutmeg plus some butternut squash.

The Christmas Tree is up! Since we have a faux-tree (fireman father’s really don’t approve of the real thing) we are able to put it up right after Thanksgiving and keep it all the way through New Years! I love our cute little tree and how all the decorations tell a story πŸ™‚

Eric and I got all cute (I think we’re going to try to do something holiday-ish each holiday) and got to constructing:

Yayy gingerbread house!! Not nearly as good as the picture on the target box, but we were proud. Please note the gaping hole in the roof where the gum balls (which were pictured there on the box) fell in. We found them last night when we began eating it πŸ™‚ What.. we didn’t want it to sit for so long it didn’t taste good!

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A wanted to make a note today that it’s World Aids Day and I am wearing red in remembrance of all those who have died of the disease and all those living with HIV/AIDs. My older cousin, Ricky, died of AIDs after receiving an HIV+ blood transfusion back in the 70’s. Although that is not a fear still today, it still brings the issue very close to home and to my heart. Hopefully you find a way today to pause and think of those who have lived with or died from this disease.

On a brighter note, as December begins, and as winter is rapidly approaching, I wanted to make myself a few December goals to keep me motivated this month. I have a history of really getting bummed out by the winter months and my goal for this year is to find something each month to get excited for and these goals are definitely a way to do that, so here we go!

1. Finish out the semester strong.

I have a tendency to loose steam after the Thanksgiving break and start to get a little off track with my school work. This semester’s three finals are all group presentations so I am really hoping to stay on top of all of them and give them my all. I have prioritized the work and am staying organized in hopes to accomplish this goal.

2. Finish Christmas shopping in the next two weeks.

This one is definitely feasible. I have a list of all of my people to buy for and am pretty sure I know what I am getting almost all of them (with the exception of Eric’s parents…need present ideas for boyfriend’s parents). Eric and I are forgoing presents this year to save up for a getaway in the spring…more on that later.

3. Keep working out a regular thing, including one or two outdoor runs/walks weekly.

My stress level this time of year can get a little out of hand, but exercising is the best way for me stay on top of it. I have really grown to love my Monday and Wednesday Group Power sessions at the gym (body pump type class). I have also been alternating my cardio between treadmill runs, outdoor runs, and either the spin bike or stair master. I’d like to also get a weekly yoga session or two back in my life.

4. Meditate

This practice has fallen to the wayside and must come back (thinking of taking a 10-15 session after this post). It will be back!

5. Breathe and relax

Take time to sit, enjoy, laugh, relax, read, smile, love. I want this December to be a joyous one and I am going to make it my goal not to let stress and worry damper the Holiday Season!

6. Cook, bake, and spread the Christmas Cheer

Plans are already in the works for a few cookie and dessert deliveries including a visit to my old job to see people and spread the Holiday lovin’.

There you have it! My December wish list πŸ™‚ What are your goals for this month and the holiday season?

Have a great night everyone!

lots of love,

Em


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