I am a family lover. I absolutely love spending time with family and eating great food and snuggling in a warm, cozy house. But sometimes, I feel that holidays become so much of a stressful hoopla that you forget to take time to relax and take in the love of your family. You're worried about the food being perfect, the décor sitting just right, someone shows up late, the other person is a jerk, the in-laws, the weather, BLAH BLAH!
So we did our own thing. Thursday (and most days) consisted of sleeping in, making breakfast and eating it in bed, and loving up on our Lola bunny. We had our Thanksgiving meal at Marie Callender's and snuck in to Old Navy (which opened at 4) while our name was on the list for dinner. I'm not a Black Friday shopper, but I did find a few things 50% off at Old Navy while we waited. My favorite is a chunky knit scarf that I wear almost every night around the house to keep cozy.
Friday evening we loaded up our bikes and brought them downtown. Austin has this huge trail around the "lake" (it's a river) on the edge of downtown and it is a popular place for exercise. We parked in my garage (my job is marked by the black arrow below if you're interested), entered the trail at the red arrow on the right, rode west to the highway, and rode back on the south side of the river. I think it was just under five miles, the weather was perfect, and we really enjoyed our little adventure.
Logically, we followed up the exercise with an ice cream trip. We tried out a funky place called Lick that is known for their unique texture and interesting flavors. The most interesting was chocolate with olive oil and sea salt. I love trying fun new things! Speaking of....
We ordered a fancy blender/processor a bit ago and it arrived over our break. We decided to put it to the highest test and make our own peanut butter. Although it was a bit of a pain to clean up afterward, it turned out great. We made a decent sized jar of peanut butter for less than $2.50. And it tastes great! I would recommend giving it a try. Since then, our blender has become a favorite for healthy smoothies and hopefully some soups, too!
Saturday evening we tried out this new "boutique roadhouse" that opened up on the main road near our place. We are pretty far south in Austin and sometimes it feels like there is nothing to do down there. Except ride our bikes around the neighborhoods... So we bucked up and checked this new place out. It is a small joint, eclectically decorated and has great outdoor space. We posted up in conjoined Adirondack chairs and enjoyed people watching in the back yard before checking out the bands inside. It was a fun little night out for us, topped off with some McD's French fries!
Other highlights of the weekend included games, decorating for Christmas, fresh tamales from a local shop, and lots of cuddles and movies. We really enjoyed our weekend and our holiday. Here's to Christmas being two weeks away and another four days to spend with my fantastic husband! We have been traveling a lot lately and I'm looking forward to more time at home with Lola, great food, and making new memories. It's almost 2015 people!