Weird Week Between Christmas/New Year’s Recap

Hello, all. I left off around this time last week. This week has been pretty slow at work since a lot of people took off, and it was kind of slow at home, too. I guess it’s sort of nice to slow down. I always seem to be moving at such a fast pace that maybe I should try it more often.

Friday, we had our annual Ugly Sweater party. My best friend hosted this year at her new house, which is beautiful. It really inspires me to want to live in a real house, but my mind is always so torn on where I’d like to settle or travel that I am not sure if it’s for me yet. We always bring different dishes to share, and this year we had tamales, guacamole, empanadas, crackers and cheese, and homemade chocolate peanut butter cups. We did a “White Elephant” gift exchange later on and my gift included an adult coloring book, some cool liquid eyeliner, and a “drawing” book. I found those pretty cool and hope they will help me practice some mindfulness. Somehow, I managed to not take any photos at all, except for one with Sasha!

I didn’t get home around 2 a.m. I drank some Natural Vitality Calm magnesium and fell asleep.

Saturday, I woke up and had some running around to do. I decided to try and make some strawberry lemon protein muffins. They turned out pretty good, but I think I have to keep messing with the recipe. I used a vanilla protein powder and I feel like it overpowered the lemon.

After baking the muffins, I stopped by my parents’ house to pick up a late Christmas present that had been delivered for Julian and spent some time talking with them. It was kind of a mild day, so I went over to the car wash and vacuumed my car. I tried out the hand-wash car wash and I don’t think it went so well! I guess I should have just paid the same price for the automatic, but I was honestly scared to go through there. I know that sounds crazy. After, I went over to my university’s gym and did a quick workout. To avoid putting too much stress on my body, I’ve been doing ten minutes of an incline walk, ten minutes on the elliptical, and ten minutes on the bike, followed by various arm and leg exercises using lighter weights.

I decided to grab Jason’s Deli for lunch and had the wild salmon sandwich on gluten-free bread with steamed veggies. When I got back, I did a load of laundry and cleaned the whole apartment. Julian was having some friends over later. While they were there, I spent some time in my room with the new light therapy lamp Julian got me for Christmas. I watched some music videos with them and made a Beyond burger on gluten-free bread for a late dinner.

Sunday, I was up pretty early. I wasn’t feeling very good. I am never sure lately whether my thyroid is causing me to not feel well or if it the anxiety over my thyroid that sort of lingers and impacts my physical quality. Either way, it’s not very fun. I headed to Aldi and picked up a bunch of produce for the week. I got green beans, lemons, bananas, avocados, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, mixed greens, apples, broccoli, salmon, and some eggs.

Later, we decided to take a walk in the woods since it was close to 60 degrees. We headed over to an area we don’t usually go to, and it was really pretty. I’ve always loved the way the woods look in the fall, and it’s especially nice when someone in the distance is having a fire, because the air smells of crisp leaves and burning wood, and the foggy atmosphere is so nice to walk through.

When we got back, I made some of the chicken soup I’ve been making lately. I just season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, cook them for about four minutes on each side, remove them, and add onions and garlic to the same pot. Then I add diced celery and carrots and pour in organic bone broth. I put the thighs back in, add kale, bring the soup to a boil and then let it simmer for about thirty minutes. I add cannelloni or Northern beans while I shred the chicken and then add that back in. My mom and Julian really like it, and it’s pretty nutritious.

It was totally quiet and slow at work on Monday, but I figured it would be. I was able to put together a news story that I was pretty proud of. I guess some of the people in my position have recycled stories before, but I wanted to try something new and it seems like the audience was pretty receptive to it. So, I worked on that most of the day. On my lunch, I went to the local shelter to drop off a big bag of winter clothes like scarves, gloves, hats, and big sweaters. I also fill up a bag of non-perishable food once per month to take over. It’s a very small thing to do, but I know that it helps someone, and I’m inspired to start giving back even more this year.

After work, I went to the gym for a bit, but I wasn’t feeling too great so I didn’t have an extensive workout. When I got back, I ate some leftover soup for dinner. Julian and I stayed up pretty late since we didn’t have work the next morning and randomly decided to go to Wendy’s. I got a salad with grilled chicken.

The next morning was New Year’s Eve. I wasn’t really feeling up to doing anything this year, unfortunately. I am not a big New Year’s person as it is, but I wish that I at least felt well enough. Hopefully, I will continue to get stronger every day. I decided to have a slow morning and made some Tazo Wild Sweet Orange tea mixed with a strawberry-flavored CBD oil.

We spent the afternoon setting up the new herb garden Julian for me for Christmas. It will be growing basil, thyme, dill, and parsley. It has a really cool grow light and we set our other plants around it so they could get some light too, especially since it’s been kind of cold and dreary lately.

Later, I decided to make some paleo “Thin Mints.” While I wasn’t up for celebrating out somewhere, I always go to my aunt’s house for dinner on New Year’s Eve. She makes homemade pizza. It was my first time having gluten or dairy in a while. I only had a couple pieces. It didn’t seem to have any effect on me, but I’ll continue to avoid them. The cookies were made with coconut oil, coconut flour, almond flour, honey, egg, peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder. They came out really good and seriously look like actual Thin Mint cookies.

After hanging out with my family for a bit, we came home and just relaxed on the couch. I gave Julian a kiss at midnight and we wished our families a happy new year, but that was about it! Super-fun, I know.

I decided to make a New Year’s breakfast the next morning and made French toast on gluten-free bread with sliced strawberries. It actually came out tasting great. I don’t buy it a lot since it’s pretty expensive and I’m not a huge bread person, but the texture and taste were pretty good.

I folded my laundry and cleaned up in the kitchen, but I was feeling a little restless so I drove to get Julian a coffee and found that it was pretty sunny outside and decided I wanted to spend some time out there. We decided to go to two different nearby forest locations we haven’t explored much and they were both really pretty in the sunlight. We saw four deer, a sparkling body of water, and even some little streams. It was a beautiful New Year’s adventure.

When we got back, we decided to pick up Chinese food from a place across the street. This is something we’ve done on the last couple New Year’s. I got chicken with pineapple and a side of vegetables which included broccoli, snap peas, carrots, radishes, mushrooms, and onions.

The last two days have been fairly uneventful. I made homemade guacamole last night and ate it with some flounder. Lunch today was a salad of mixed greens, tomato, and cucumber, and a side of sweet potatoes and zucchini.

I am not typically the person to make New Year’s resolutions. I have nothing against them, but I do feel as though you can change or start something new at any time of year. However, since I have gone through a lot of health issues within the past three months, I have definitely become more sensitive to others’ struggles, so I would like to spend this year devoting more of my time to giving back, whether that’s through donating, my writing, or just doing research that will help me inform others. I will probably spend the weekend working out, reading, cooking, and maybe doing some organizing at home. I hope you all enjoy your Friday evenings and have a nice weekend.

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