Month of Cheer

Thursday, December 19, 2013

(I have had this post sitting in drafts for over a week, and was just waiting to include pictures before I posted. Needless to say, I was so proud of myself for getting one done in a timely manner! Flash forward to now... Still no pictures, still not posted. So I guess I'll just add on... ::sigh::)

It's hard to believe it's already a solid week into December. I say this every month, but seriously - I can't believe it's December!! We brought in the month of cheer with plenty of.... well, cheer.

The first committee meeting of Taste of the Nation Atlanta 2014 was held on Thursday (Dec 5), and we took the opportunity to send off our fearless leader with treats (including champagne in a can - why wasn't I aware of this amazing invention?). We will definitely miss Allison - she has been amazing on so many levels!

Turns out I have a handful of personal hours to use before the end of the year, so I decided to cash them in and take off Friday (Dec 6) and the next Friday (Dec 13). Of course, I still spent the morning working, but with minimal distractions (which is always productive). That evening, we celebrated Dominica and Erik's new digs in Woodstock. The apartment is so cute, and we christened it with lots (and lots) of celebratory drinks.

Funny/Typical story of the evening... Alysa was in a meeting earlier in the day and her foot fell asleep. When she stood up to leave she fell right over and sprained her ankle really bad. And when she was tired in high school, she would always come up to us and say "Hold my leg." Apparently it helped her not be tired (?). Anyway, we all found it hilarious that she really needed us to hold her leg on Friday. (As soon as I typed that out, I realized how dumb that story is. Whatever, keeping it anyway!)

Adam worked that Saturday, so I spent the morning lounging on the couch and running some holiday errands. I should have planned better, because my mom, dad and Mitch (along with 7 of his Auburn buddies) were in town for the SEC Championship down at the Georgia Dome. The group of them headed down to tailgate before the game, and I wish I had joined. I mean, mostly I just wish I was there to witness mom breaking and entering...

On Saturday night, we decided to check out a bar that's right up the street from our house - 120 Tavern. Oh my gosh, it was so fun! They had an amazing southern rock band, and us girls instantly became groupies. (Not really, but we did jump on stage when they invited us... duh.)

These pictures really make me laugh.... kudos to Adam and Evan for putting up with us!

Yep, that's me playing the drums.

With Thanksgiving so late this year, I felt like we were way behind on decorating for Christmas. However, I refuse to bring out any Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving, and that's something I will not budge on. So Sunday (Dec 8) it was off to Pike Nursery to pick out this year's tree.

This year they had some massive trees... for a cool $200. They make Adam look like shorty!

We picked our tree pretty quick compared to years past. I always like to weigh all my options before committing. Maybe it's because we found the perfect tree so quick this year, and maybe it had something to do with the weather being disgusting - but we were in and out pretty fast!

To be festive while we were decorating the tree, I decided to bake cookies. (And by bake, I mean I bought the "Break and Bake" version that took me all of 30 seconds to prepare.) Either way, they were yummy and made our house smell cheerful!

(Drum roll, please.) I give you... the 2013 Baker Christmas tree! Look how adorable Ruthie is. She must know Santa is watching.

I feel like that was a climactic way to end this blog post, but our weekend fun didn't actually end there. My parents invited us to go see Craig Shoemaker at the Punchline Comedy Club, and since neither one of us had been to a comedy club we were down for the adventure. OH.MY.GOSH. I literally have never laughed so hard in my life. I really thought I was going to throw up at one point because I couldn't catch my breath.

He somehow spotted me in the audience and coined me the baby of the group. Calling me out as "88" (the year I was born) the whole evening. Nice audience interaction there, Craig. Needless to say, I had to grab him for a photo op after. If you ever get a chance, check him out. Adam and I have decided we're going to a comedy club every weekend now. We had such a great time!! Who doesn't love a good laugh sesh?

(And so begins the add on...)

Friday night we were happy to help Caitlin celebrate her graduation from Kennesaw State University. Hooty hoo - congrats!

Did I mention one of my BFFs, Madi, moved a mile down the road? Literally a mile. Saturday night, she and Evan joined Adam and I for another night of holiday festivities. We started the evening playing cards at our house, and quickly decided Mulligan's was a must.

Mulligan's is really trying to become more of a "neighborhood bar" than a "politically incorrect biker bar" and they're doing a pretty good job! They now serve complimentary bar snacks (yes, I will take another handful from your Costco tub of cheese balls) and the owner does her best to say hello to everyone. Honestly, Friday was the most crowded I have ever seen it! I'm kind of sad because it's our bar (obviously), but I'm glad business is kicking up for them.

Word got out that I had never been to the Marietta Diner, so that was a must post-bar. GREAT idea, except when my phone fell out of my rain jacket and the screen shattered. This is my third broken screen in less than a year! Shouldn't I get a free replacement by now? Whatever.

The big story of the weekend was the epic cake Adam made Debbie for her birthday dinner on Sunday night. It took us a good part of both Saturday and Sunday to create our masterpiece, but it was definitely a masterpiece. The monster that was the Salted Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake was most definitely a labor of love, but I was so proud of myself I almost cried when it was done!

We even had to make our own caramel! And by we, I obviously mean Adam. In typical Adam fashion, he got it perfect on the first try without even using a candy thermometer. He's like a kitchen whisperer.

I handled the actual cake and the frosting - all from scratch, baby!

Anna gave me this cute candle one year and I keep forgetting about it, until Sunday! It was a sparkler, and the cutest thing ever. Dave got some pretty awesome pictures of us all freaking out when it started "sparkling".

The birthday girl with the final product! There are not many isn't anyone else I would put so much effort into a cake for - and I was so happy it turned out! (I put a lot of pressure on myself... and Adam.) Voila!

(I mean.... YES.)

Turkey Festivities

Friday, December 6, 2013

How was Thanksgiving already over a week ago? We had a great time enjoying our family and friends - our favorite part of the holiday season!

On Tuesday, we grabbed dinner with two of our great friends - Barbara and Ben. Of course, we had to introduce them to Mulligan's after dinner - which is where Ben (aka Mr. Fitness Fanatic) somehow convinced Barb and I to join him for Crossfit the next morning. (Disclaimer: The only reason we agreed was because we were promised IHOP after.)

We totally rocked the work out! And I beat Barb by 3 seconds - ha! I can see why people get addicted to Crossfit... the people are fun and the workouts are short. I figured this was an appropriate shirt to wear for the occasion. (Thanks for the caption, Ben.)

On Thanksgiving morning, the fam participated in the 11th Annual Gobble Jog in the Marietta Square. It was the coldest Thanksgiving in over a century (29 degrees - brrr!), and mom dressed for the arctic circle.

It was a chilly, but beautiful morning. So glad we got a little exercise in before we stuffed ourselves!

Just a few other participants...

That afternoon, we all went over to Meagan and Nathan's for Thanksgiving dinner. For the first time in a long time, we only attended one Thanksgiving, as my family was also invited over. We had a great day at the Causeys, and are very thankful for all of our family and friends!

How beautiful is this table setting? Meagan is so crafty - I'm jealous!

I'm especially thankful for this guy - even with his obnoxious mustache. :) 

Below are the two items I made (yes, me!). Adam made his delish fried Mac n Cheese balls.

For this, I chose Pecans, Almonds, Cashews, Pretzels and Dried Cranberries. And I made the Chipotle seasoning. They were a hit!

I thought these were a little too garlicky, but still yummy.

Post-Thanksgiving photo shoot with Ruthie. She's so cooperative...

Mitchy! He tried to bail on us Thursday night to head back to Auburn for the Iron Bowl, but we talked him into staying until Friday. (Holy, Iron Bowl!!! I know nothing about football, but that was exciting!!)

On Friday night, Adam and I went out with some new friends. Adam works with Matt, whose girlfriend is this fun chick below! We met at the Enterprise party a few weeks back, and Morgan and Matt invited us over for dinner and to go out. We're always down for new friends, and we had a great time.

And now that it's December... it means Movember is OVER! Much better.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanskgiving!