Sunday, December 1, 2013

Busy With The Holidays!

I have been so busy the last week and a half!  I have moved into a new and much larger classroom, family outings, Thanksgiving festivities, Christmas festivities, and lesson planning.  I feel like I haven't had time to breath.  I am happy that I found some spare time today to finish my lesson planning and share some of my experiences this past week.

Last Saturday and Sunday, I went to the Cleveland Flea - huge flea market of local food vendors, boutiques, and artists.  There are so many treasures to find, from local handmade jewelry, handmade lip balms and lotions, delicious handmade ice creams, coffees, vintage cameras, and much, much more!  I was happy to sample some vegan coconut (Saturday) and chai (Sunday) rice pudding from Piccadilly Organic Artisan Yogurt.  I sampled tons of flavors from Mason's Creamery - Salted Caramel, Gingerbread, Cleveland Whiskey Christmas Egg Nog, Peppermint Tree Bark, Hot Chocolate, Vegan Cranberry Orange Sorbet, Vegan Pecan Pie.  I bought most of the flavors :)  I also bought delicious dark chocolate caramels with smoked sea salt from Fears' Confections.  Christmas chocolates AND hot chocolate on a stick from Sweet Bean.  I found some great Christmas presents: a graffiti picture made with pen by Christopher Deighan and a pilsner glass from BlastMaster.
Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding topped with raspberries and granola - perfect for a chilly day

The ice creams I bought on Saturday - I bought Cleveland Whiskey Christmas Egg Nog and Salted Caramel on Sunday

Delicious Macaroon (Merengue Bake Shop) with gingerbread ice cream (Mason's Creamery)

Sweet Bean Candies - eggnog, gingerbread, dark chocolate peppermint and buttered rum caramel

Hot chocolate with marshmallows on a stick from Sweet Bean :)
So Delicious!!! 

I also made a tasty and healthy fall treat last Saturday - chicken apple sausage with apple butter bbq sauce and warm cinnamon apples - I love apples!!

On Saturday evening, I went to the Holiday Tree Lighting at Crocker Park with my sister and mom to watch some Christmas performances.  It was super cold and I was walking in and out of stores to stay warm.  After the last performance, we went into 87 West to warm up and grab some dinner.  I went straight for a hot green tea and my mom ordered a delicious hot chocolate :)  We each ordered an app to share.  We missed the tree lighting because it was too cold and they were taking too long, but I do have a picture of the beautiful tree now!

Fresno Pepper and Cilantro Hummus - grilled flatbread and pickled peppers

Olive Plate - Warm imported olives, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and toasted baguette

Chorizo Flatbread - sriracha aioli, roasted garlic aioli, smoked gouda, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, asiago, avocado creme fraiche 

I want this in my living room!!

Look who's home for Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving Dinner 
Green bean casserole, turkey, mashed potatoes, wild rice and apple stuffing, cranberry chutney, sweet potato casserole.

Chocolate tort and pumpkin pie

Cheese tray from the West Side Market's The Cheese Shop stand vendor - Lake Erie Creamery Chèvre and Sun-Dried Tomato Chèvre, Cranberry Stilton and Garlic Cheddar

I am so obsessed with Rising Star Coffee artwork - makes me almost wish I liked coffee :)
Click here to see some spectacular coffee art

A Christmas Story window display

Electric Harpist


Cutest reindeer ever!

Positively Cleveland - Winterfest
Our family Christmas photo!  My dad is such a trooper :)

Public Square - Winterfest
Udderly Smooth Cow - free moisturizer samples!

Tree before the lights

Christmas movies on the big screen

People and food trucks everywhere!!

Tower-sized Leg Lamp!

Christmas Window Displays for Holidays at the Higbee

Such beautiful displays!!

Ice Sculptor on East 4th - Winterfest
Creating the popular Leg Lamp - one symbol of Cleveland

An Eskimo and a sled dog

Dinner at La Strada
We sat on the open balcony and could see right into the kitchen - nice to see what goes into my food :)

Delicious butternut squash bisque topped with cranberry puree, pumpkin seeds, and toasted marshmallows - so tasty and the best thing to warm up from being outside all day!

Tower City Light Up - Winterfest

We had such a fun week and we finished up by decorating the house - I do not have all the pictures today, but here is one of my cat trying to eat the ornaments.  He will eat pretty much anything!

Well, that is my exciting week and a half - busy, but fun!  I will have more family pictures later - too hard to figure out who has what one their phones.  I will also be taking pictures of my new classroom tomorrow - I couldn't wait to get onto my break at the end of the day Tuesday and I kind of just bolted a half hour early ;)  

I am also on an eat clean and workout kick for the next two weeks - I have been slacking a little and have Kalahari coming up.  I want to tone up a bit, so I will be eating very healthy - even healthier than I have been (including a few slip ups here and there) and I have my membership at my beloved studio back and have already RSVP'd for four classes this week!  I cannot wait to share my progress.  I am also beginning my 100 daily squat challenge - possibly before and after pics, but I am not sure what to wear for those kind of pictures.. so maybe not!

Have a great week - I hope to post soon!  And now that the holiday break and moving classroom craziness is over, I will be posting WIMBW next weekend - too much activity for the past two weekends to even have time to consider a recipe :/

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