This past weekend was, while less eventful, still full and honestly really fun and relaxing. Friday evening Shari and I drove around a couple of neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. I finally found this one house I had seen last year from behind that I wanted to find and I can say, it was pretty neat. Lots of people have really stepped up their Christmas light decorating game this year. Also, what’s up with all the little lit up animals? It looks like it might be a Target thing because I’m finding a few on ebay for over $100 each. Dang, ya’ll spend a lot of money on Christmas decorations you don’t even see yourself. Well, I at least enjoyed them so that’s something I suppose. Shari and I saw a really fun Pirate Santa blow up and a rainbow Christmas tree blow up which were both fun to slowly drive by. We’re going to attempt to drive around the neighborhood near my apartment this upcoming Wednesday to get a few more Christmas lights in.

Saturday I tried out a new cinnamon roll recipe that at first sight I thought would not turn out but ended up being really delicious. Trust the process I suppose. With that said, it’s hard to do when you live in a higher altitude in a dryer climate than where the recipe originated. I have like 4 cinnamon roll recipes so hopefully this year I can whittle it down to one or two and really perfect those. Shari and I ran errands in the afternoon and then went to our friend, Alyssa’s home for dinner. She made us vegan fried rice and even included Just Egg in the dish. I couldn’t believe it and I felt so incredibly honored and loved. I really enjoyed chatting with Alyssa and looking over her truly gorgeous Christmas tree. That woman knows how to decorate. She’s got some cool ornaments too.

Sunday was spent mostly at home, relaxing. Shari helped me make vegan strawberry bread, vegan milano cookies, and vegan beer cheese. It was a baking day, that’s for sure. The strawberry bread turned out pretty good but it was a little undermixed and a little over moist, so some notes were added to the recipe and I’ll try it again some other time. It was such a huge relief that the bread came out decent. I had avoided baking it for almost 3 years because I wasn’t sure it would be as good vegan. But you know what, it is! It is just as delicious and will be even better when I make the tweaks. I felt so incredibly happy as I took that first bite and the flavors of my childhood filled my mouth. I’m so pleased.

The milanos didn’t turn out as good as I was hoping though, and so that recipe has been removed from my spreadsheet. They were ok, but the cookies were just too hard (even though they weren’t over done at all). Everyone at the cookie exchange Sunday afternoon was a good sport about it and was so encouraging to me, I’ve got a great group of friends. At least they liked the beer cheese dip. I kept hearing people say how tasty it was so I’ll keep that recipe for sure.

The cookie exchange happened Sunday afternoon at my friend, Stephanie’s home and it was a real blast. Stephanie and her girlfriend, Molly, had their basement filled with stuff they were getting rid of and the rest of us brought our thrift store items so we had a little market going which was pretty awesome. I brought more than I left with, which I’m ok with! I took home a really cute squirrel print that fits me so well. Stephanie and Molly also got me an adorable hot pink t-rex plant holder with an air plant in it as a gift. Just out of the blue. Stephanie said she thought of me as soon as she saw it so she had to get it. I feel so incredibly loved. I tear up thinking about how privileged and lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in my life. I can only hope that I treat them with as much love as they treat me. I also need to get better at gift giving. It is NOT one of my love languages and honestly I’m not very skilled in it at all. Looking for and giving gifts causes me to feel stress. What if the person doesn’t like it or want it? What if I get the wrong thing? Perhaps I need to let those questions go and have more fun with it. Cause all of my friends are just great at it. I mean it, they’re all so freaking good at giving me gifts that I love and enjoy. Blows my mind.

This week is going to be very busy but all good things – two movie nights, dinner with Shari, prep night, and then off to Cheyenne again we go for Christmas. These are the days where it’s really important to have some self care, however that looks for each of you. I hope you’re finding the joy of the holidays while also getting some good sleep for yourself! ❤

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