Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 2015

Whoa, today is the last day of 2015!  So much has happened to us this year, as tends to happen every year it seems.  While a lot of bloggers are writing about their year in review, we've been so busy eating and socializing our way through December that I feel compelled to play catch up before looking back at the whole year!

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Spotted Brown Mouse (a.k.a. SBM), Jules' archrival-slash-BFF still lives.  He often hides under the dry sink or the stove.




My mother turned 60!  We had the quietest birthday celebration at my house in our PJs, with a simple dinner and Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies for dessert.  Dana's recipe is awesome!  I highly recommend this dessert if you're looking for low sugar, high protein blast of chocolate.  These babies are only 140 calories, 9g of sugar and 5 g of protein per 'muffin'.  If you've never had a black bean brownie, the answer is no, you cannot taste one hint of black bean despite it being the dominant ingredient.  Pretty cray.


We celebrated Thanksgiving at my parents-in-law's house with lots of friends and family.







A lot of delicious and skillfully prepared food was served...




I, of course, brought the Apple Spiced Coffee Cake I wrote about last month.

And we played pass the baby... :)



Andy and I have been actively upping our meals to incorporate a lot of vegetables and salads in between feasts.  Check out my post on How to Boil an Egg for this yummy inspired, dressing-free salad.  


My snacks for work have gotten a little too elaborate.  Plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds, pecans, walnuts and honey :)


Still, I have FOMO on holiday foods so I tried Stollen this year (thanks but no thanks!) and picked up this pack of Apricot Rugelach, which I would be happy eating ALL. DAY. LONG.  Nomnomnom...


Now that we have a house and are married 'adults' we are starting a tradition with some of my family to host an early Christmas celebration at our house.  The second week in December, my mother, sisters and their kids are invited to our house to kick off the holiday season together.  Not only are the kids thrilled that they get to give and receive presents early, but we love seeing each other and spending time together off-holiday, where party hopping tends to occur.  Christmas Eve and Christmas were no rush for us this year and I think we're on to something...



The kids' cousin Jules was not interested in getting in the group picture but proudly poised by his cat grass gift from his Grandma :)


We had our first baby shower!  Our family is way too generous.  I'm the youngest of the "first round" cousins on my family's side and the last to have kids so I think everyone is pretty excited!  I'll add more photos when I get them - I was not the photographer at this party as you can imagine.  Though I did get a close up of Bob the Cat, she was way too cute.


And the baby shower cake was way too good.  Light and fluffy, oh yes.


Jules and I have been sharing the spot in front of the fire as the weather has started to get colder.


Nathan got a toupée.


We were pretty good about incorporating light meals for dinner between holiday gatherings.  We recently baked a spaghetti squash, sautéed some vegetables then topped it off with a delicious Rao's marinara and parmesan cheese.  This is one of my favorite meals but I only ever make it once a year because cutting a raw squash is so treacherous (Andy had to step in for this one).  Let me know if you want me to post our 'recipe' it is pretty simple and oh so worth it.  (Plus, one squash was about three meals for two.  Cook once, eat thrice.  Yessss.)


Jules is in heaven with all the online shopping we've done this month.


With our new holiday celebration schedule, we were able to have a quiet morning at home on Christmas morning... (as seen on my instagram @charlielbl - follow me if you aren't already!)


And a quiet evening at home on Christmas night.  We made this Whole Roasted Chicken, called Weeknight Roast Chicken.  This was my first time making a whole chicken and it was magical.  Really easy, SO flavorful and this recipe is now in serious rotation.  While this recipe is definitely worth it's own blog post, nom nom paleo already did an amazing job of step-by-step instructions so it isn't worth me re-creating instructions for you.  It IS worth you clicking on this link and checking it out for yourself.  Trust me on this one.


And last but not least...we finally bought a bed!  There are so many good sales right now and we couldn't pass up this beauty from West Elm.  I've actually not had an actual bed as an adult.  Now we feel like we're living in luxury.  When I get out of bed in the morning, I'm basically already standing up.  That might not sound like much of a luxury to some of you but since my legs can't bend farther than you see in this photo without doing a 'ladylike' spread eagle, it is a luxury and I'm so thankful for it ;)

{30 weeks}

This is kind of long-winded story but I'll tell you how we end up with this bed if you care to read on.  We previously had been sleeping on our box spring + mattress on the floor.  When we started discussing nursery plans in November (...set up your nursery while you're feeling good during 2nd trimester and all that jazz that goes out the window...) we decided to replace the carpet in our baby boy's room.

Which led to us replacing the carpet in our master bedroom as well...
Which led to us ripping out the crappy built-ins in our walk in closets...
Which led to us to repaint the closet walls and ceilings...
Replace the dim light fixtures...
Then buy a new bed since putting our mattress on our shiny new floors looked and felt ridiculous...
Which led to the decision for a King size bed and mattress since me + the bump + the million pillows leaves zero room for Andy...
Which led to new sheets...

Which leaves the nursery pretty empty but with shiny new wood floors!

So January it is.  We'll get to furnishing the baby's room in January (and then I'll tell you all about it!)

Thank you so much for reading!!!!  Have a SAFE NYE!!!!  Happy 2016!!!

Xo - Charlie

1 comment:

  1. Love the rugelach! Your December seemed so festive and fun - can't wait for the full year recap!

    Will definitely be trying that roast chicken recipe. I actually have a spaghetti squash sitting in my fridge at the moment - your preparation looks like it may be worth a spin.

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