Christmas, New Year’s, and Tons of Cats

Wow, I really haven’t had the motivation to blog lately, but here we are! I’m going to dive in with a succinct recap of the holidays, featuring lots and lots (and lots) of cats. Spoiler: We had 6 cats at my house on NYE.

The night before Christmas Eve, I made my pumpkin gingerbread, and enjoyed that with wine while watching Home Alone 2 (we watched the original last year).

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I started Christmas Eve with a festive spin class, of entirely Christmas songs.


On Christmas Eve night, my whole family went to Benihana’s per our tradition. I just got beer, a salad, and their amazing fried rice, and then stole bites of my family’s food.

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Before we knew it, it was Jackson’s first Christmas!

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Kitten’s first stocking!

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^This was after I caught him looking extremely guilty with a little tree in his mouth.

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For breakfast, we had gingerbread (for me)/croissants (my parents), plus scrambled eggs and turkey bacon.

After breakfast, my mom and I headed to the bay to take Chloe for a little Christmas walk.


Around lunchtime, my sister, her husband, and their two kitties came over (5 cats total in the house!)


We ate an easy lunch of soup, and then opened presents.

My sister made us all homemade gelato! Mine was salted caramel.

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^This was my present to my sis! Lava and Ash, her kitties!

My sister and I were tasked with cooking Christmas dinner, which is a first for us. We poured champagne with pomegranate juice, and mulled wine to sip on while we cooked.

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My sister made homemade pasta, pumpkin soup, and brussels sprouts. I made cranberry sauce (with maple syrup) and cranberry citrus relish, and then ended up sort of roasted a turkey. I wanted to buy some slices from Whole Foods like we did a few years ago, but when I went on Christmas Eve, they didn’t have that. So I ended up buying a whole (pre-cooked) Diestel turkey. Apparently I looked clueless enough at the store, and the store worker was super helpful and told me how to heat it up: 350 for 1.5 hours, with the first .5 hour covered. It came out super well (and we had a ton of leftovers which were enjoyed all week).

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My sister’s husband is Jewish, and the two of them have perfected the latke. These are lemon truffle latkes with homemade apple sauce that my aunt sent us!


Highlights from between the two holidays:


Leftover turkey-cranberry opened faced sandwiches with laughing cow.

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AMAZING turkey and rice soup. My mom made turkey broth from the carcass, and the flavor was incredible. Served with Brazilian cheese balls.

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Beer flight during the Alamo bowl. This was a fun flight because we picked out the individual beers from Trader Joe’s, so it was all good things! Sadly the game didn’t go as planned…


For our football food, we did BBQ turkey sweet potato nachos. Roasted sweet potato slices topped with BBQ sauce, 2% Mexican cheese, leftover turkey, and green onions.

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I made my weirdo salad with leftover roasted turkey instead of deli turkey and it was insanely good.


Friday night, my parents and I finally made it out to the local brewery. They have a beer called “Beer Kitty,” so naturally I had to get that.


They also had food trucks out. I had a kale salad with chicken, and french fries.


On the way home, we stopped for frozen yogurt. I had chocolate mint and  eggnog. Both were super good!



Saturday, I actually worked all day at the vet. It was good to be back, and we had lots of kitties that day—my favorite! I went out for dinner and beer with coworkers after as well. When I got home, it was madness. My family was gone, and my sister’s 2 kitties were staying with us as well. I got home to 5 kitties! Thankfully they all got along, and there were kitties EVERYWHERE!

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^All 5 in one shot!

My NYE consisted of a spin class, lots and lots of cat time, Jackson’s first kitten playdate at my friend’s house, then my friend bring her kitten to my house to make it 6 cats, and finally game night at a different friend’s house while our kitties played. The rest of the post will be exclusively cat pictures! I got a new phone, so the cat pictures are higher quality and I have more memory to store them! Happy New Year!

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On Order and Blogging

Hello again! I’m currently enjoying my only day off in 8 days-to be fair, it’s because I’m traveling later this week, but it’s nice to get a chance to relax for a little bit!

I was just thinking about one of the things I like the most about blogging-the order. I’m naturally a person who likes neatness and order-not to say that I always succeed in the neatness and order, but I thrive off the routine and feel better when things are organized.

I definitely have a habit of grazing on food throughout the day, but I would love having all my food organized and captured in one place-I think this is what I liked so much about blogging, especially day to day.

Another thing-I feel like I actually enjoy things that happen in my life more when blogging because it gives me a chance to reflect on them and put the memories down and make them into something tangible.

So-today I’ll go through a couple of days of nearly complete meals, and talk about some life stuff.

1. I went on a run this morning with Crossfit. It was so fun-I actually felt pretty good, and it’s my favorite trail!

2. I finally went to the farmer’s market today and it was glorious. I stocked up on figs. YUM.

3. I’m in 2 slow pitch softball leagues. One league finished last week, and we won the championship! It was quite the stressful game, but a big rally at the end secured us the victory. In my other softball league, I got to play in the all star game (like I did 2 years ago) and it was awesome as well! I got the chance to make some plays and had a big hit. Playoffs for that league just started and unfortunately we lost our first game-but it’s double elimination!

4. I like reading old blog posts. I miss writing like that and I feel like my posts have kind of gone downhill-partly because I’m always catching up, I kind of breeze by the interesting details.

5. Not to brag, but I think my puppy is the prettiest Aussie on the Internet.


So here we go!

Pre-workout: part of a BoBo’s Oat bar. I freaking love these.

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Breakfast-Siggi’s 4% vanilla+figs. I’m currently obsessed with summer fruit. I really liked the 4% too! It was smooth and not super sweet. I also like the smaller size because I can never finish a big yogurt.


Lunch-my typical salad (minus the bar-my picture from this day wasn’t as pretty). My salad is chicken, goat cheese, date, nectarine, and champagne vinaigrette. Plus some Mary’s crackers. I have this most days of the week.


Dinner: Quesadilla on a gluten free spinach tortilla-stuffed with mozzarella, broccoli, corn, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Plus carrots and guac.


Dessert: Cinnamon pie. My mom made this once a few years ago after watching a Psych episode featuring cinnamon pie. It’s a custard based pie.


I love this picture because you can see Charlie sneaking around the background!

And here is a second day of food (Saturday):

I started work at 7am, so no workout, and no cooking!

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Stonyfield blueberry fruit on the bottom yogurt, a banana with sunflower seed butter, and some more oat bar.



Same old, same old. Salad+crackers.



Dinner: Chipotle! I’ve only been a handful of times for some reason, and I met up with a friend there so I was looking forward to it all week! I got a salad with chicken, and of course guacamole!


For dessert back home, I think I had some chocolate, and maybe either a granola bar or ice cream?

Since Chipotle was next to Petsmart, we made a trip in. My friend recently got 2 adorable kittens, and with all the babies (kittens+puppy), we pretty much always need supplies! Here are her kittens:


(Picture shamelessly stolen from my friend’s Snapchat.)

My puppy Chloe is…difficult. She’s really high energy, really smart, and very nippy. We constantly are on the lookout for new, interesting toys-anything to keep her amused! I got the green light from my mom to get anything that might keep her occupied. Needless to say, I ended up with an armful of squeaky and adorable dog toys.


I felt like quite the crazy puppy lady walking around the store with all that!

So far, the new toys have been a hit though!


What kinds of toys keep your dogs amused?



Last Post from This Side of the Mississippi

Happy Friday! I’m currently at the airport waiting to board my flight to DC! I’m not sure what my schedule or WiFi will be like for the next couple of days, so I wanted to take the chance to recap some things now. First things first. I wanted to visit the Kitten Nursery I worked at last summer before I left, so of course I have to share adorable kitten pictures. IMG_8145 IMG_8146 IMG_8147IMG_8149IMG_8151IMG_8155IMG_8156IMG_8159   I’ve been trying to eat mostly whole foods lately, so here’s some things from the past couple of days. IMG_8161   An egg and lower sugar raspberry jam made by my aunt. Lunch out with my sister-I started with a giant cappuccino which I couldn’t finish! (But you better believe I drank all the milk foam!) IMG_8163

For the main course, my mom and I split a gouda arepa (corn based) and a salad with chicken, avocado, and gouda. IMG_8164 IMG_8165   And as my last dinner at home, I had one of my favorites-grilled chicken and peach salad with goat cheese. On the side was some whole grain bread rolled in sunflower seeds. IMG_8172   And then lunch this morning pre-airport was simple-2 eggs, half an avocado, cheese and crackers, and some English peas (unpictured). IMG_8173 IMG_8174 IMG_8175   Today, I went to my last home Crossfit, got a couple of episodes of Scandal loaded up on my computer to get in the mood, and said goodbye to my kitty. IMG_8178 IMG_8179   I’m going to miss him! Catch you all from the other side of the country!

MIMM-Celebrating the Holidays

Happy Monday! Thanks to Katie for hosting this MARVELOUS link up every week!



I have a lot to tell you guys about! But first-who’s enjoying the holidays?? I know I am! 

Saturday morning began with a nice long run. I did 10 miles- I can’t remember the last time I did a long run! It was nice to run back by the bay.


It was surprising to see the hill I run by that was brown all summer be green!

The first half of the run was much faster than the second-at the halfway point, my achilles tendon starting hurting quite a bit. Plus, it’s been a while since I’ve done any long distance running! I also tried salted caramel gu for the first time! It was so good! I would definitely recommend it-but it was not great for me personally-I’m not sure if it’s because my allergies have been bad lately, but I absolutely could not eat it without a coughing fit. I think I have issues with thinner goos-my normal chocolate is pretty thick and maybe not so sugary? 

Another issue I had with my run was getting too hungry. I had a slightly smaller than usual pre-run breakfast, plus I didn’t get out of the house as quickly as I had hoped, so I totally ran out of gas by the end of the run.

My post run meal was a beautiful salad with avocado and whole wheat macaroni and cheese.


Later that evening, my best friends from high school came over for our annual cookie decorating tradition.Image

I made a basic sugar cookie recipe, but this time I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for while flour. The flavor was a tiny bit different but I didn’t mind, and I definitely felt less gross after eating them.



I think we did an especially nice job decorating this year-maybe because I spent so long on my annual #1 turkey, and my friends are much more artistic than me.



One thing I want to touch on is balance. I know I’ve talked about it so much already, but I want to go a little more in depth. First of all, despite posting pictures of tons of delicious desserts, I promise I’m still eating my veggies! They just never seem to make it to the blog this time of year! Second-if you want to eat mass quantities of cookies and still feel great, long runs are awesome-my body just burned through those cookies and I woke up feeling great the next morning!

There are so many articles constantly in your face about “avoiding the holiday weight gain” and “stay healthy over the holidays.” As someone who normally gains a ton of weight between Christmas and New Year’s, I have my own set of tips for you, because for me, this year has been different. Want to avoid the holiday fluff? The best way is to just not worry about it! Don’t deprive yourself, and eat what you want to. That’s what I’m doing this year, and I haven’t gained an ounce. Why? Because if you constantly are worried about gaining weight, food will carry so much stress. I will freely admit I had a couple of sugar induced meltdowns last year-and I could barely enjoy the season! But now that I’m not trying to restrain myself from sweets? I’m finding myself eating fewer, getting more enjoyment out of them, and feeling awesome.

And you know what? When you stop trying so hard-you put less weight on your food choices. At least for me-I’ve been able to enjoy the holidays much more. I ate a ton of cookies with my friends. But I didn’t feel bad. I enjoyed the cookies and had a great times with amazing people-I wasn’t blindly eating them out of some built up craving. I enjoyed every single bite. 

And while you’re at it, try to focus on the most important things-family, cats, friends, traditions. I think many people would be surprised to find that food gets a lot less significant.

But let’s get back to friends. Check out what one of my friends gave me!




For breakfast in the morning, my mom made blueberry scones, which I paired with scrambled eggs and tea. 


We took the train up to the city, and must have all been a little tired because we missed our stop by two stops-luckily it was easy to get back on!

Either way, we all were ready for some caffeine upon arriving in San Francisco.


Visiting the shelter cats at Macy’s was a must. There were 3 that looked like Charlie!


And of course we needed a picture by the tree.


The only bad thing about running 10 miles before spending a day walking around the city and a mall? My feet hated me, and were hurting SO much. It was not good.

Lunch was a giant salad with chicken, avocado, and bleu cheese.



And a late afternoon pick me up, split between the three of us.


Since the sundae was more or less at dinner time, I only had a small serving of chili when I returned home. My mom even threw some kale in the chili-so proud of her!


In other news, the Crossfit WOD this morning was 12 days of Christmas-a different exercise for each day, and then the workout goes through as the song goes. It was brutal and much harder than I was expecting-a lot more cardio too! I didn’t end up finishing under the time cap of 32 minutes!

Then, I went straight down to my school gym to torture take my sister and her boyfriend through a weights workout. I may have mentioned this before, but my sister wants me to teach weight training to the school quidditch team in exchange for fresh green juice, so today I tested out the workout. I’m glad I tested it out because we had to make some modifications, but it was so much fun! It made me realize how knowledgable I’ve become about weight lifting. They are going to be sore tomorrow! And her boyfriend is crazy athletic-when they ran a marathon together, he wasn’t even sore the next day! So if 26.1 miles won’t do it but I can, that’s an accomplishment!

And they did deliver on their promise:


Have a great holiday everyone!

What is most important to you this time of year?


On the Ninth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

9 kittens!

As a lot of you may know, I volunteered in the kitten nursery at the local humane society over the summer. It was a seriously amazing experience, and I do think it influenced me a lot. That being said, of course I have a ton of kitten photos. I think it is fitting that 12 days of Christmas is exposing my (not so) inner cat lady, between this and yesterday’s post!

So without further ado…9 kittens!


Confession: this was my favorite litter. It was so amazing to watch them grow up!



This little guy was probably my favorite kitten.




Any other crazy cat ladies out there?