+ On Monday evening, we trekked up to Ogden for their Christmas Village (which is where these photos hail from). As you can see, the girls loved it. It's basically a bunch of glorified tuff sheds with Christmas scenes inside. They're at kid level, and it really is some kind of magic for small people. On opening night, there's a light parade and Santa arrives. We're told that night is pretty awesome. We didn't take make it to the opening night and while the girls had a good time this year, we probably won't do it next year. For those of you Northern Salt Lakers, I'd say give it a go. A short drive would make it worth it. The long drive...eh. (There's also a tiny train for kids to ride, tons of twinkling lights everywhere, and (bad) hot chocolate and (store bought) cookies being sold for charity. Santa also has a tuff shed, wherein he visits with kids every evening for a few hours.)
+ So anyone looking for a really great way to spend money? Go to jane.com. You can thank me later. After you're broke from buying really great gifts and super cute infinity scarves. And great chunky necklaces. Maybe some perfect cardigans? Good luck ever escaping jane.com. Every morning, I wake up with nervous anticipation about all the things I won't buy. (I can never pull the trigger when it comes down to it. Although I did snag a few cute gifts. Think personalized puzzles for the girls.)
+ These pumpkin banana muffins (well, bread...but I always make them in muffin form). I use brown rice flour, so I can only imagine how delicious the real deal is. Oh. my. These muffins have changed my life. Basically the perfect muffin.
+ I feel like if I were a recording artist, I'd never do a holiday album. Because good night nurse, everything has been done. Yesterday. But Kelly Clarkson pulled out a few gems in her new Christmas album. I'm a country gal at heart, so I'm partial to a little vowel abuse in my music choices from time to time. I really love her Silent Night trio, sung with Reba McEntire (her now step-mother in law!) and Trisha Yearwood. Three beautiful, slightly twangy voices that blend uncannily.
+ So ya'll heard about our snow storm? I just want to mention that we were among the residents in that ONE NEIGHBORHOOD THE NEWS REPORTED ON, WHERE THE PLOWS FORGOT US. It was super fun. To be stranded. On the one night of the year I care about. (Opening night for the Festival of Trees.) Tears were shed. No lie. I'm usually pretty Lorelai Gilmore about snow. It sparkles, it melts, we cope. But not on that night. That night I hated snow with a deep and abiding passion. I'm still not totally over it.
+ I haven't run for months. I don't miss it one speck. How's that for blatant blaspheme?! She who ran - on average - thirty miles a week for a decade just woke up one day and said, uh uh. No more. I just really don't like it anymore. Instead I huck giant, heavy cast iron kettlebells around every morning. You want some stress relief? Have a little rage to work out? Try tossing a kettlebell around for 40 minutes. You'll sweat your brains out and get some serious therapy in.
+ Speaking of working out, try any of Fitness Blender's workouts. They're free, they're awesome, and they're basically all I use now. I use the advanced kettlebell and almost all the core work outs, but they have everything from pilates to barre to spinning to HIIT. They have no musical track, which I love as well. If I want music, I just put something on of my choosing. I usually just go silent though. Either way, I'm not stuck with that awkward bouncy typical workout jangle garbage.
+ Hershey's Peppermint Bark Bells. I do Fitness Blender workouts so I can eat these by the BAG FULL. Why don't you buy me another bag while you're at it.
+ So a month or so ago, Annabelle's preschool went on a field trip to a pediatric dentist. It was a darling set up, and they told the kids all about "sugar bugs" and that you must brush them out of your teeth or they'll eat your teeth and probably steal your toys. What they didn't know was Annabelle takes you at your word. Your exact word. So now she believes sugar bugs will most definitely eat her from the inside out. So she brushes her teeth every time she eats. Anything. And if she falls asleep before brushing her teeth, she wakes up at some ridiculous hour whimpering for me, and "Can I brush my teeth? The sugar bugs!" So now we have clean teeth with early onset paranoia.