Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Neverending Holiday Break of 2017-18

My friends, I've been to my office twice since Dec. 21. Between my work's generous and lengthy holiday break and a bonafide blizzard, I barely remember what it's like to wear clothes that aren't pajamas! Not complaining, mind you, but just marveling at the craziness of it. Here are some snapshots from the past few weeks.

For Christmas, I enjoyed time in my hometown with my dear friends at our 18th holiday gathering in a row!! LudaChristmas is a cherished tradition and I look forward to it all year. 

The single greatest picture Sarah and I have ever taken, brought to you by vampy lips and strategic fake eyelashes. I used this really great NYX Lip Suede in Cherry Skies, a deep wine color.

We spent Christmas Eve at my dad's house (regretfully I barely took any pics!) and Christmas at my mom's, where she straight up freaked out over the Mother Ginger Nutcracker ornament I gave her. This is the level of excitement I want from everyone when I get them a gift this random. LOL.

We killed at least 40 minutes playing with Christmas Snapchat filters. What was life like before Snapchat filters?

We'd barely returned home before I hopped in the car and trekked back north to spend a fun day museum-hopping and complaining about the cold in D.C. with my beloved college friend Mark. We popped into the Hirshhorn Museum and poked through the Ai WeiWei exhibition, but my actual favorite thing we saw was Arthur Jafa's video piece, "Love is the Message, the Message is Death." We also wandered around the National Portrait Gallery and saw some stirring silhouettes by Kara Walker.

I spent the next morning poking around IKEA (reveal of what I got later this week!) and then bounced around the house practicing my hand-lettering and watching The Crown, and then obsessively Wikipediaing everything I saw in The Crown.

Then, no sooner did I return to work than we got a bonafide blizzard, dropping 11 inches that haven't really melted yet!

It's certainly lovely, and I am obsessed with how bright our house becomes with the beautiful sunlight bouncing off the snow. But yes, I am ready to actually get back to life — especially the gym, because as you can see, I've been eating whatever I want for three weeks:

A chronicle of delicious things we've made and consumed in the past two weeks, clockwise:
  1. Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies: I used boxed brownie mix, but followed Deb's instructions for the peanut butter portion here on Smitten Kitchen
  2. Chicken Tortilla Soup: I made a big batch right before the storm came and this yielded about 4 servings. 
  3. Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie: Sean sent me this silly Facebook video recipe as a request for New Year's Eve and I guess because I really do love him, I watched the video approximately 20 times and figured it out. Only one tricky thing I noticed: I had to double the amount of puff pastry to have enough rolls for my pie plate. 
  4. Plated's Steak with Smoked Paprika Compound Butter and Roasted Winter Root Vegetables: Holy moly this was scrumptious. We're still loving our Plated subscription, one of the luxuries I'd be loathe to give up because it gives us so many good ideas, is relatively healthy-ish and taught my husband how to cook! I love it. 
How are you spending your winter break? I'm hoping to create a lot more art worth sharing, catch up on Oscar movies and get back to exercising. 

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