Hello, all. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family. Mine was okay. I didn’t feel well for some of it, but it had its good moments.
On Christmas Eve, I was up early because I knew it was going to be a beautiful day. I got up and drank an Emergen-C, took my probiotic and cod liver oil, and started some of the food prep for the dishes I’d be making later. I was going to make a broccoli salad, so I blanched the broccoli. I also sheared, boiled, and cut corn on the cobs for a salad. After cleaning and getting things ready, I had a quick lunch of spaghetti squash, broccoli, and red peppers before heading out for the afternoon.
Since it was in the mid-fifties, we headed out towards the woods. We usually go on a hike, but this time, we ended up driving through some areas we don’t normally go through and ended up seeing some new bodies of water, gorgeous mansions, and deep wooded areas.
When we got back, I lit the tree, wrapped some presents, and started to continue work on my food prep. We were going to spend Christmas Eve with Julian’s family and Christmas Day with mine. For the party at Julian’s family’s house, I made a salad out of cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, and avocado, and I dressed it in lime juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
For the party at my family’s house, I made broccoli salad. This had broccoli, red onion, sunflower seeds, turkey bacon, and a dressing made with mayo, apple cider vinegar, Stevia, and salt and pepper.
Finally, I made a mint chocolate chip pie. This one was the most time-consuming (and the least healthy!), but it was a big hit with my family. It’s made with heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, powdered sugar (Swerve has a great substitute), vanilla extract, peppermint extract, Andes mints, and an Oreo crust.
After all the food was done, I got ready. Since I haven’t been feeling well lately, I don’t seem to make as much of an effort as I used to, and I truly do miss having fun with makeup, hair, nails, and fashion, so I decided to do some Christmas nails.
Julian’s mom bought me a Christmas dress to wear. All the girls (his two sisters, cousin, and mom) had Christmas dresses for the party.
There was tons of food at the party. They had an elote dip, shredded pork, chicken, guacamole, tamales, meatballs, and more! I tried to keep my plate on the healthier side. One of the weirder things about my thyroid issue is that I seem to feel hungry all the time, even after I’ve just eaten, yet I’ve lost 20 pounds in the past 3 months! It sounds good in theory, but it really isn’t. We played some games, did a Secret Santa exchange, and everyone opened presents at midnight.
When Julian and I got back to our apartment, we exchanged presents with each other. I am pretty excited about mine. He got me a new knife set (I’ve been chopping vegetables with dollar-store knives for about two years!), a light therapy lamp (which is said to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, which my thyroid issues cause), and an indoor herb garden. He is the best! I also used the new diffuser he got me for our anniversary. This is my collection of essential oils. I have peppermint, bergamot, lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and more.
I was up early on Christmas morning, which was even more beautiful! It made it up to over 60 degrees, which is incredible for a Chicago December. I started the day by baking peanut butter chocolate chip banana protein muffins and then went to a Christmas mass. I picked up some coffee for Julian on my way back and then headed over to the wooded park area to take a mile walk and enjoy some of the weather.
When I got back, I got ready to head over to my Grandma’s. She lives about 45 minutes away. We did an earlier dinner and they had just as much (if not more) food than we had on Christmas Eve. There was pierogi, corn casserole, turkey, green beans, mushrooms and onions, my broccoli salad, a 7-layer salad, rolls, and more. I have somehow become the designated dish washer in my family, so I cleaned everything up. Later, we all exchanged presents. My cousin and his fiance made Julian and me an adorable Christmas ornament.
My family is very loving and generous, and I got lots of goodies. My brother got me some Natural Vitality Calm magnesium, Quest protein chips, lemongrass essential oil, a Target gift card, and moccasin slippers. My aunt got me some new workout leggings and sweaters, my cousin got me a buffalo plaid vest and these adorable woodland creature mugs, and my mom got me new sports bras for working out, “stress less” soaps, cocoa butter soap from Lush, and these adorable plaid pajamas!
We were there pretty much all day and I had to work the next day, so we headed home around 9. I was pretty tired and really not feeling great (thanks a lot, thyroid), but I was happy that I’d at least made it there and had some good moments. The next day, it was in the sixties again and I spent my lunch break walking and then went for two more walks after work with Julian. And I already spent my Target gift card! I did get some essentials, like laundry detergent and fabric softener, but I also got cocoa powder, Swerve, and almond flour for healthy baking, an eye mask, and some peppermint tea.
Tonight, I have a party at my best friend’s house. Since about 2008, we’ve been doing an “Ugly Sweater” party every Christmas. We make all kinds of food, do a white elephant gift exchange, and spend a lot of time catching up (especially now that everyone is older, married, has kids, starting careers, etc.), so that should be fun. I made my healthy homemade peanut butter cups and decorated them with red and green gel.
I hope everyone has a nice weekend and a safe and happy New Year.