Staycation Mode

I'm in serious staycation mode and apparently that means no blogging.  My last day of work was December 22nd and I don't go back until January 5th.

So what have I been doing?

Tis the season for cute ankle boots // Aldo
Spending a crap ton of money which WILL happen even if you buy nothing else if you buy your husband an iPad.  There was a spa visit and dinners out.  I have this habit of deciding I need things after Thanksgiving which is the same time I also need to by things for other people.  It was all fun and games until I saw my credit card balance.  I paid my credit card off and will start fresh with being more conservative in January.
A photo posted by Cece (@pinksunshine94) on
Reading as many books as I can.  The library and very specifically, that library transports me to my broke single years when I lived alone in my condo and spent hours and hours reading alone in my cozy little studio.  The library was free and I had a lot of free time on my hands so I was there every single month combing the stacks for something new.  I hadn't been in so long that I had a $4.00 fine from 2010.  Good thing they don't charge interest or send you to collections.  Incidentally, 2010 is when life got very busy for me.  MJ came home from an 11 month deployment, we bought a house and got married.  Then I discovered DVR and it was all over after that.  Life gets so busy that I may or may not make library trips a regular thing but this staycation was the perfect time to go back.  Hopefully I'll do more reading in 2015.  I missed it!

Watching Married at First Sight.  With the help of experts three arranged marriages are set up and the couples meet on their wedding day when they walk down the aisle.  Crazy right?  But so fascinating.  I stumbled upon this on my Direct TV app, recorded all the episodes and finished most of it in two days.  It's a really interesting reality show that actually seems real and not full of wanna be actresses that signed up for the free vacations.  Each episode has really interesting insight about making a marriage work and it's a pretty interesting social experiment to watch unfold.  Jason and Courtney are my favorite couple.  They are so cute!!

Finding my motivation for working out.  Any motivation I was still hanging onto left me in the dust about last month.  I fought it, but once the holidays hit and it started to get chilly it was gone and I decided that was okay.   If I work out I work out and if I don't...well, clearly life goes on.  I am fitting in as many morning yoga classes as I can at the gym and we will see what happens in the new year.

Enjoying quality time with MJ.  He worked only one more day than me so last week was a staycation for both of us.  On Christmas Eve Eve we wasted $26 bucks on this Winter Wonderland holiday event downtown that was pretty much worthless unless you had a gaggle of kids.  At least we got to see a Reindeer.  I don't even care because it was one of those warm balmy nights (yes, in December) that I can't get enough of.  We strolled around downtown on a Tuesday-which felt strange, until we found a place to eat with outdoor seating and drink specials.  Wasted money or not it was a fun night.  Playstation was down for two wonderful days which was great for me and our quality time but not so great for a man who is addicted to Destiny.

Wearing lots of pajamas with my fuzzy flowered 10 year old grandma robe.  I eat breakfast, run errands and/or work out and then jump into my jammies for the rest of the night.  We made it until after Christmas without the heat.  Which is also the day I thought it was Friday and showed up 24 hours late for yoga on Saturday morning.  I walked right out when I realized I was the only idiot there with a yoga mat and did a yoga DVD at home.  We always have a contest to see who can last the longest without heat and for the second time in a row he broke first.  It's not that I don't get as cold as him it's just that I am more willing to suffer if it will save money.

Cleansing my closet.  It was time and I was finally ready.  I told MJ that I will probably be wearing these same clothes for the next twenty years.  I think I did pretty good, but I still have a lot of clothes and I'm not into shopping for sport anymore so I don't expect my wardrobe to change that much in the near future.  I'll still buy things when needed but I can't add much ESPECIALLY if I'm not willing to part with anything else.  I'm going to make a concerted effort to wear every single thing I own over the next year and if I STILL have things I haven't worn I will re evaluate next year.

Organizing my iPhotos.  After five years my MacBook finally died but not before it was reset to factory settings and wiped in a last ditch effort to save it.  Nothing was not backed up in the time capsule as it was supposed to be.  I got a new one six months ago but, I lost all documents.  MJ was able to recover what I think is most of my pics but they are all just randomly thrown in there with no rhyme or reason.  It's a big project I've been putting off for months

Christmas was different this year being that it was just the two of us but it was still good.  I got everything I wanted plus a few extra's that MJ surprised me with.  That afternoon we went to the movies to see Exodus, which was really good.  See it.  So good!!  Then we went straight to dinner and spent a quiet evening at home.  We intend to do the same for New Year's Eve minus the movie.

I have one more glorious week that remains before it's time to go back to work and I'm going to enjoy it.  Now, to catch up on some blog reading.

No Holiday Party For You

We didn't go to the holiday party this year. I'm still not sure how I feel about this although I guess I'm okay with it considering I gave up my campaign to go on Wednesday.  I don't even know why I was still trying to get MJ to go at that time when I never had any idea what I was going to wear in the first place.

We ALWAYS go to the company holiday party. Mine is an employee only lunch during the day for my department but his is a THING and we haven't missed one since he started working there.  That's four years of holiday parties and I have documentation for all of them; 2010 here, 2011 here, 2013 here, and 2014 here.  You know you've been blogging a long time when you have to use the search function on your blog to find your own posts.  Normally the party is on a Saturday, there is a cheesy band and we get a hotel room for the night wherever they are having it, but this year they decided to make it a happy hour thing. Two years ago they moved it to January which actually worked out really well and this year they moved it back to December.  On a Friday.  At 4:30pm.  Ugh.  I find it difficult to pass up free drinks and a meal but there is something about a holiday party in December that feels really exhausting when all I can think about is making it to Christmas break.  It finally got cold, it was supposed to rain, I'd have had to get off work early and I figured I wouldn't feel like bothering anyway so I said, "If you don't want to go, we aren't going.  I'm over it."

That Friday we ate carne asada tacos for dinner out of paper containers, drank Bud Light and watched a movie.  The weird thing is that he can't even tell me why he didn't want to go.  He was actually on the committee this year and all he could say is that he wasn't feeling it.
What he was feeling, the second he heard about it was a co-worker's birthday party.  For the last two years this guy has thrown a big birthday bash that we couldn't go to but he had no intention of missing it this year.  And when I think about it, by the time I was one glass of wine in I thought it was a holiday party.  It was downtown so we had to pay for parking just like usual.  There was an open bar on the balcony.  There was a nice little spread of finger foods and snacks.  I'm still wondering what he did with all the furniture.  All of it was removed so there was plenty of space for dancing.  There was a nice sound system playing hit songs from this decade.  I even got to see a ton of music videos on the synchronized TV that I would have never otherwise seen since I still haven't figured out where all the music videos have gone.  That alone was so entertaining I spent the first hour of the party saying things like, "So that's who sings this song."  It was the same crowd too.  The co-worker friends that I see at every company holiday party, dodge ball, and kick ball game of year's past, were there.  And so was MJ.  I'll hang out with that guy almost anywhere; including the ER
I think it's safe to say that we had fun.

No, it wasn't THE holiday party, but it's not too hard to convince myself that it was actually better.  I didn't have to feel like a fool dancing to a cover band on an empty dance floor.   I didn't have to shop for a dress or figure out which one I was going to recycle.  There were Costco wraps and chocolate chip cookies which I love and the house wine was a sweet white moscato.  Drink tickets at the company holiday party NEVER include moscato.  Also, I'm not so sure I would have survived going out two nights in a row.  We are on a two party night per year average right now.  Our last one was Las Vegas in August so I figure we will be due for another around June.

The only thing missing was the raffle prizes and we never win those anyway. 

Empty Fridge and Mutant Carrots

It's time for a confessions post.

I confess that I don't understand the elf on the shelf thing.  Is it just this really skinny elf that you take pictures of in different places?  If so why?

 I confess that we have a missing TV remote that we have both stopped looking for.  The last one that went missing turned up after about a month so I imagine this one will too.

I confess that I was almost late to work one day because I couldn't figure out if the stripes on my dress were white or off white.  I didn't know which leggings to wear!!  Inside they looked off white but when I went outside they looked white.  I grabbed the white leggings and took them to work with me because I couldn't make up my mind and I had to get out of there.  

Our sad empty refrigerator
I confess that we've been eating out a lot!!  And when I say eating out I really mean picking up food and bringing it home.  It's usually Subway on Wednesday's and Santana's on Friday but last week I had Subway three nights in a row.  We literally ate out Monday through Saturday.  We stick to healthier options (unless we go with pizza which is only occasionally) but our sodium count definitely goes up.  I was solid for four weeks.  I cooked every Sunday and then I quit.  I stepped up to the plate and made Chili this week.  I know.  ME?  Santana's is on the menu for tonight and we'll see what happens next week.

I confess that I recorded and watched four episodes of Prison Wives Club.  It's so bad.  In my defense, the DVR has been empty for months and I was desperate for something to watch.  I used to be able to count on House Hunters for something new but even that is done.  Over Thanksgiving break I decided to get hooked on Red Band Society since it was on Hulu.  The show is really good.  There is nothing trashy about it-my only confession on it is that I watched nine episodes in two days.  There are so many good shows I'm not watching but I really, really try not to get involved with too many.  It becomes difficult to keep up with and I end up feeling bad about myself when I spend too much time in front of the TV.  There are still a few shows left that we watch together, but most of what I watch on my own is out of season so for the time being I have NOTHING.  This is a really good time to get into some books. 

I confess that we had a fruit fly infestation.  We have no idea how it started but one day there were just a few of these tiny little gnat like flies and each day there were more and more.   MJ googled it and made a trap to kill them off but it took a few weeks for the last one to finally disappear.  I haven't seen one in a few days so hopefully we are in the clear.

I confess that I take pictures of my mutant carrots before I eat them because they are just so bizarre looking.  It's funny because when I show my mom she wants to know if I ate it.  Of course I did!  It only looks funny; but they taste like any other carrot.  I guess it was some kind of factory malfunction but they deserve to be treated normally just like all the other carrots.  Right?

Well, it's been a long week and it's raining right now but I'm not going to complain like I usually do because our state is in the middle of a serious drought.  We need this, so I have to get over myself.

Wicked Good Date and a Wicked Bad One

When we were in New York we were interested in seeing Wicked but saw Kinky Boots instead so when Wicked came to town for eight weeks we were all over it.  I thought tickets were expensive just because it was New York but unfortunately I think theater in general is expensive.  We got really good seats though and it was a really good show.  I grew up knowing about Dorothy and Toto with their gang of friends off to see the wizard but new nothing about who got smashed under the house, the background of the Tin Man, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and how Glenda and the Wicked Witch of the West came to be.  Turns out the wicked witch was not wicked at all; just misunderstood.
It was my first date with that cute little Louis that required documentation.  There is a neat story behind it too that I will share later.
We planned it so we could go to the play and then have dinner at Fleming's downtown.  I have no sense of direction but when MJ said it was on the opposite side so we should drive I looked it up.  I tend to believe there isn't any place I can't walk to and I didn't want to give up the parking we had already paid for.  It was only .7 miles.  We walked a million miles in New York and I was wearing my comfy flat knee high boots.  Definitely walkable, and then we got to stop for cheap drinks along the way.  I got this $40 off coupon from my AmEx card which may or may not even cover an entree depending on what you get, but a discount is a discount.  I'd never been and it sounded like a great idea to add it onto our date.  After having eaten so much chicken over the last year I crave juicy steak's more then I ever have before.  I got the filet and it did not disappoint.  MJ got a filet with crab and caviar on top.  Eww.  The steaks were juicy and full of flavor, the garlic flavor of the mashed potatoes was perfect and the bread was hot and crusty.  Fine (very expensive) dining is kind of overrated in my book.  I don't need a $40 steak but if I get one it better be good; And it was.   Forgive me for a second while I swoon over my husband.  I didn't get a picture of him so you will have to believe me when I say he looked so cute!  He was freshly shaved which I love because it brings out his baby face.  He refused to wear slacks or dress shoes but he wore a nice button up.  It was a wicked good date.
How does he manage to look cute at a time like this?  Cute but gross!! And hey, they won  the championship so he'd say it was worth it.
Sunday's date however was terrible.  It was very poorly planned or should I say not planned at all and the ambiance was terrible.  I met my grungy blood spattered husband at the emergency room where he promptly devoured a foot long subway sandwich plus cookie while we waited for hours in butt numbing chairs amongst a crowd of injured and/or potentially contagious people.  Fun, I tell ya.  I got the dreaded text message that Mr. Accident Prone had done it again and I needed to find an urgent care.  He got hurt in his last (of three) flag football games and when you get hurt after 5pm on the weekends the only option is the ER.  He hadn't eaten all day and they told him it was a 90 minute wait so I plucked my pajama clad body off the couch, threw on some sweats and made a Subway stop before meeting him there.  He got there at 6:30pm, I got there at 7:30pm, he got called back at 9:45pm and we were out of there around 10:45pm with seven stitches in his head.  He's quite the trooper.  He actually went back into the game after he busted his head, didn't even flinch when the needle went in and was up by 4:30am for work today.

It's going to be a long Monday.

It wasn't an ideal way to spend a Sunday evening but I wouldn't have had it any other way.  I would have felt like crap sitting at home while he starved alone for hours with a busted head.  Being married means that sometimes you just gotta step up to the plate and choose the inconvenient option.  When he thanked me and told me what a good wife I was it made the whole ordeal more then worth it. 

Thanksgiving in a Box

That whole cooking thing. Well, we decided not to do that this year.  I realize that some people love to cook and believe that Thanksgiving is not the same without a ton of home cooked food that you worked really long and hard to prepare.  I am not one of those people.

My parents house is a disaster.  When you are moving the week after Thanksgiving chances are your home is not equipped to handle cooking a Thanksgiving feast, leftovers or having guests so we knew that Thanksgiving would be at our house.  If I never make a Thanksgiving dinner in my life that will be fine with me.  I just don't have it in me to do such a thing.  MJ did it a few years ago, but was not interested in doing it again this year.

So what do we do about food, because Thanksgiving is nothing without food, or so I'm told.   Turns out, there is quite the market for this conundrum.  We aren't the only slackers who don't want to cook Thanksgiving dinner and there are plenty of places that will do it for you at an affordable price.  We decided on Fresh & Easy because they offered the best variety for sides and we love their freshly made food.  I've never eaten anything I didn't like from there and it really is Fresh and Easy.   Decisions about food are always critical for my mom but when it's Thanksgiving, it's really serious business and this was only going to work if my parents were okay with it.  There were a lot of text messages back and forth and at one point I thought we were going to have to cook but it worked out.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but when I saw that cute little box I knew everything was going to be okay.  Even though we didn't cook anything it smelled like we did and that's part of why you love it so much right?  The turkey needed almost three hours to cook and all the sides had to be warmed so we still got to use the oven.  The house smelled exactly like someone was in the kitchen all day, and someone actually was, it just wasn't us. 

After much discussion we agreed on brussel sprouts with bacon, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce for sides.  It even came with a free pumpkin pie.  MJ is currently working his way through it by himself since I don't eat pie.  He isn't even a fan of pumpkin pie and says it's pretty good.  My mom was nervous about the stuffing and yams so she made stuffing and picked up yams from Boston Market and my dad refuses to eat anything but the cheapo cranberry sauce in a can.   Throw in some dinner rolls and we had a complete Thanksgiving spread.  For dessert MJ made marble cake and peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies from scratch.  We also had ice cream but we all atE so much that it never came out of the fridge.

Thanksgiving dinner came out of a box but no one was disappointed.  Not even my mom.  It was one of the best Thanksgiving meals I've ever had.  The turkey was all breast so we didn't have to deal with all those nasty bones, everything was full of flavor and we had just enough left overs.  The best part about all of this is that no one had to slave away in the kitchen for hours the night before or the day of.  MJ picked up our food the day before Thanksgiving, made the desserts in the morning and we were chowing down by 2:00pm.  There were dishes, but not the mountain it would have been had we cooked.  Some might think a store bought Thanksgiving is sad, but I call it efficient.  Okay, and maybe a little lazy.  

The best part about the day was spending time with MJ and my parents.  We sat around, drank wine, ate, talked and watched football the entire day.  I knew it was going to be the last time I saw them for a while but it didn't hit me until they were on their way out the door.  I kept it cool while they were putting on their shoes and it wasn't until we were outside when I was giving my mom one last hug that I lost it.  We clung to each other and sobbed.  I'm a grown woman and I have always been very independent.  I don't see my parents every weekend but the idea that I can't see them every weekend or even every month if I want to makes me really sad.  She's still my mommy and not having her and dad nearby is going to take some getting used to.  After they left MJ put his arms around me so I could cry some more.  I'm crying even as I write this.  Dramatic much?  Maybe so, but I'm emotional and those are my parents.  I'm going to miss them.
A photo posted by Cece (@pinksunshine94) on
We got our tree two days after Thanksgiving which is a big deal because we get it later and later every year.  Last year I don't think we got it until the week before Christmas so I was determined that we not procrastinate.  We really have no excuse because the tree farm we use every year is right across the street.  We drive by it on our way home from work every day.  We walk to the ATM if we need cash, walk across the street to the lot and then MJ carries it home.  He remembered to bring his gardening gloves this time.  We got a really good tree.  The shape is perfect and with the decorations it looks about the same as it did last year and I love it.  The four day break lasted a really long time which was great.  I think that's what happens when you don't pack a lot into it.  The only thing we did was go to the movies to see Mockingjay.
I'm a mac and cheese girl.  I don't eat stuffing, I don't do yams, cranberry sauce or pies and if I only have one thing on Thanksgiving I'd be happy as long as it was mac and cheese.  I knew I wasn't getting it this year and that was okay because I know that someday I will eat it again.  I don't plan on this being my last meal, ever.  I know that nobody is promised tomorrow but I'm pretty sure that even if it was, the last thing I'm going to regret is that I didn't eat macaroni and cheese on November 25th.  If I was on death row and didn't get it for my last meal, that's another story.

The thing I will think about more than anything else is who I spent it with because it's just food, and people are infinitely more precious than macaroni.  I think everyone can agree on that. 

Disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored by Fresh and Easy but I wish it was.