Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Busy Busy Bee!

I am so amazed at how busy life can get!  These past few weeks (months) have been crazy!  And all last week was just a terrible time at school, two away games, and a play :)  When I actually get a moment to myself, I am trying to fit in a workout or get some much needed sleep!  I have still been managing to try and make some exciting plans for the weekend - I managed a little fun this weekend - but most of it was lesson planning, sleeping, cleaning and attending a first birthday party :)  I am just excited for the upcoming Christmas break to make up some of my posts, try some new baking ideas for my "quest bars", and to relax and have lots of fun!

We spent the end of Thanksgiving break decorating the house - Christmas trees, ornaments, the Nativity, stockings, lights, snowmen and Santas!  I love Christmas, but I am not always excited to decorate!  Our house looks super cute though and I am loving all the lights!  My cat has been enjoying the tree, as well - he loves laying on the tree skirt and attempting to take a bite out of the ornaments!

Mine and my sisters stockings!  And a little one for Jat!

 My grandma (my mom's mom) painted this Nativity set - I just love it!

On Wednesday, my one free night, my mom's car was smoking, so we drove it over to the mechanic (about 10 minutes before he closed) and he had to keep the car overnight.  Unfortunately, I did not follow her in my car :(  But, my sister's boyfriend picked us up and as a thank you we stopped at Humble Wine Bar - the best placed for wood-grill fired pizzas!   
Cheese board - Humboldt Fog, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Beemster Gouda XO with honey, fig jam, nuts, housemade crackers & baguette 

Flatbread with Herbed Ricotta

Shrimp Neapolitan-Style Pizza - roasted garlic, calabrian chiles, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil

I also received my winnings last week from Snapea Crisps from Harvest Snaps!  I love Snapea Crisps so much!  All I had to do was click on this snowglobe until I won and it did not take very many clicks :)  I also recieved the new Holiday Snaps in Salted Caramel!!

Best crunchy snack ever!

I haven't tried yet - kind of nervous!

I really enjoyed these - but, I can only eat so many at one time

I love this sweet and salty combination as school snack!

On Thursday evening, I went to dinner and a show with my mom, dad, sister, and Kevin.  We saw A Christmas Story at PlayHouse Square - PlayHouse Square teamed with CSU to give students the opportunity to see the play for $20!  (I think the cheapest tickets are $55, but for the two showings tomorrow - 12/12/13 10:30AM or 7:30PM, you can see the show with half-priced tickets using the promo code: RADIO!!)  

We stopped for dinner at Cowell & Hubbard - a delicious Zack Bruell restaurant just a few steps from Playhouse Square
Kevin and my sister

Dad and Mom

My mom and I 

Salad du Jour

Soup du Jour - tomato basil soup 

 Stuffed Cabbage - seitan, brown rice, pickled raisins and tomato sauce 

 Goat Cheese Ravioli - tomato broth and pine nuts

 Smoked Tofu - cilantro and Southwest spiced broth

Thai Seafood Soup - cilantro, shrimp, scallop dumplings and shiitake mushrooms

Everything there is amazing!  I tried everyones entree :)  My favorite item was the stuffed cabbage - I was surprised my dad ordered this, but very happy and jealous he did!  I am definitely getting this the next time.  The goat cheese ravioli was also amazing and very filling - just one giant piece of ravioli!  And they are very accommodating to patrons attending shows are Playhouse Square - we were out in an hour and still had amazing service!  At Cowell & Hubbard, your glass never gets empty and your bread plate never goes bare.  We did not feel rushed and definitely enjoyed the atmosphere!  

Playhouse Square is simply amazing!  Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center outside of New York and they are celebrating their 90th anniversary!  And during the holidays - there is a Festival of Trees outside of the Allen Theatre.  The trees are beautiful and are all decorated by corporations or organizations.  I loved all of the trees and wish I could live there!  I went a little crazy with pictures!
I love purple!  This tree would be awesome in my classroom!

Love the sock monkey tree!

The beautiful ceiling in the Allen!

 A Christmas Story, the play, was awesome!  It was humorous and very entertaining!  I wondered how they were going to work in the narrator and it was much better than I could imagine!  I do not want to give it away, so go see it!  I would definitely go again and will be making this part of our Christmas tradition :)  All of the important and funny parts were in the play (except for the Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra), but I still loved every minute of it!  There is a nice 15 minute intermission to run to the bathroom and buy a snack (delicious soft pretzels!) and every seat is great!
The iconic Leg Lamp!

 rockin the bunny suit - in the lobby 

Found free pretzels after the play!

On the way home we drove through Public Square to see the beautiful lights from the weekend before!

On Sunday, we attended CircleFest at Wade Oval Circle in University Circle!  CircleFest included free admission to all of the museums, Western Reserve Historical Society, The Botanical Gardens, Judson Manor and a few other places.  Each place was offering everything from free hot chocolate and cookies, to Christmas entertainment, crafts and pop-up holiday shops.  There is also free ice skating ($3.00 skate rental fee) as part of Wade Oval Winter until March 9, 2014.  We went to the MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art (we have never been there) to make some Christmas cards and enjoy the art

 I love the views from the museum - I could live here!

Ashley adding some artwork to the large mobile

A large, hanging mobile 

I saw this amazing article (read it here) in The Plain Dealer!  I will be going to Pittsburgh in a few weeks and I cannot wait to check out everything in this article!  There is a great European-inspired Holiday Market in Market Square and I cannot wait to enjoy all of the Christmas inspired activities and food!  There is ice skating and local, handmade goods and pastries.  I also cannot wait to see some family!

Well, I hope you all have been enjoying your holidays and have had more time to relax and enjoy them than I've had! 

I am so looking forward to this weekend!  I have a game Friday night, barre Saturday morning, shopping at two holiday pop-up markets, and Kalahari with a great group of people Saturday night!  And hoping to relax and maybe ice skate Sunday!  

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