Christmas. New Years. My favorite.

November was pretty great, as well. Here’s a snapshot of what happened:

  • Dinner with the husband’s family on Thanksgiving Day was lovely. I made an apple pie.
  • We didn’t roast a whole turkey. I was bummed! No good sales post-Thanksgiving, so it wasn’t worth it. Maybe around Christmas we’ll get lucky?
  • I made burritos! And Chicken Tortilla Soup. And stromboli. But no potato soup or chicken and biscuits. Next month?
  • I ran a few times! Better than nothing, right?
  • I bought a few Christmas presents. We’re headed out shopping on Sunday afternoon, so maybe we can knock out a few more then.
  • Piano lesson marketing is going quite well, actually. I have a couple of new gigs thanks to the letters I sent out!


  • Decorate a Christmas tree. Our first Christmas tree! And my first live Christmas tree since I moved out of my parents’ house. This is big.
  • Make some goodies! I want to try to make my own almond paste and then make some yummy Christmas treats with it. Also, keep cooking and crossing things off the list. Things like potato soup, chicken and biscuits, and chicken pot pie.
  • Keep moving. And moving. And moving. Run some. Swim some. Go to at least one yoga class.
  • Avoid last minute Christmas presents. At all costs.
  • Enjoy a lovely Christmas week of changed routine, time off of work, and the opportunity to hang out with family and friends. Let’s knock off some of the things on our igloo list, shall we?
  • Piano lesson marketing! Push for new students to start in January by placing ads a couple of places and refreshing the ads I’ve placed already (ahem…criagslist).

I wanna know: What are you up to this month? Anything special and out of the ordinary?

November recap

I have this theory that time goes faster when you look back than when you’re looking ahead. You know? Look back a month, and you wonder where it went. Look forward a month, and you think it’s never going to come. Am I the only one? I say this because I was convinced that Thanksgiving would never come. I was so excited, and time seemed to drag. And now, here we are, decidedly after Thanksgiving, and rocketing ourselves toward Christmas, with a snowstorm to prove it.

  • I didn’t get to all of the cooking I meant to, but I did a fair amount!
  • I attempted homemade noodles. They were pretty much a fail. I’ll try again soon. Promise!
  • I didn’t soak beans. I’m going to finish up my canned stash before I soak. But I will!
  • I swam as much as I could, especially when I first got my cast off. It was such a great feeling to get into the pool and MOVE. And then I got a sinus infection. That ate up the rest of the month, and I just didn’t feel like getting in a cold pool.
  • I stuck to my budget, and even came out a couple hundred dollars ahead. Let’s hear a three cheers for having a side hustle or two and watching my outflow like crazy.
  • I just bought my 2012 planner. I’m such a dork, because it makes me so happy. I can’t wait for January 1 when I can start using it!
  • I made homemade laundry soap, and have decided that I love it.
  • WALKING! I can walk. Friends, it’s the best.
  • And the best part of November…I had an awesome Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends. I couldn’t have asked for better.

Happy last day of November, everyone!

Christmas in Chicago

“Christmas in Chicago, that’s my kind of Christmas!” We painted the town red (and green?) this week! I was a bit concerned before heading into the city that I would end up spending a fortune. After all, it’s Christmas. Things are going to be expensive.

We started off my trip with A Christmas Carol at the Goodman. Quintessential Chicago Christmas. Check this out to see how you can see theatre shows for free. Free! We did it 🙂

The next night, we went to dinner at Tank Sushi in Lincoln Square. Thanks to a groupon, we got $40 of sushi for $20. Score! If you’re traveling to a new city, I highly recommend checking out the groupons for the area to which you’re headed. Deals like that aren’t uncommon, so you can try unique restaurants, eat some great food, and watch your budget while you’re at it. It’s a win-win!

>>>And that’s how you take a dark photo and still blog it: brighten it up, turn it black and white, and add a film grain. haha<<<

For our $20 voucher (plus tax and tip: $16), we got a side of edamame, a side of scallops, and three different kinds of maki rolls. So good. But too dark for good pictures. Lame.

After dinner, we headed downtown to Symphony Hall to see the Chicago Symphony’s Christmas concert. Because Cara is a student, she got us student rate tickets. They were free! That was a nice surprise!

Nosebleed seats! 6 floors up to the gallery, absolute back row. It still sounded great, even if the view wasn’t so spectacular.

After the concert, we headed to Garrett Popcorn, since I’ve never been. There’s a reason that everyone makes a big deal about this popcorn, people. It’s the best caramel corn that I have ever had the delight to put in my mouth.

First bite. I approve!

On the way to the train station, we stopped to see the Macy’s windows. Each year, Macy’s (formerly Marshall Fields) does a new Christmas installation. This year, it was made completely of paper. It was great. There were so many people, and (as always) it was so dark, so I don’t have photogs to prove it. You’ll just have to take my word for it. And know that you need to stop and see it if you’re ever in Chicago around Christmas.

Then, we headed back to Lincoln Square to see a movie. Cara had a coupon for one free ticket, so we only had to buy one for the two of us. Win! Movie for 2= $8.

So, the spending recap:

  • A Christmas Carol: free!
  • Tank Sushi: $36
  • Chicago Symphony: free!
  • Garrett Popcorn: $6
  • Movie: $8

So…grand total here is $50 for two people, for two nights out on the town. Win! Double win!

P.S. Merry Christmas, all!

I wanna know: When (if you do) do you celebrate Christmas? On Christmas day? Christmas Eve? Another time?