Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas in a Cup! Plus our tree.

Hi, everyone! After FINALLY getting over a cold that clung on for more than a week, I have a lot of energy and my motivation has kicked into high gear. I feel great, especially after having been a hot mess of lethargy and exhaustion. How does this energy boost manifest, you ask? Allow me to share:
  • I have been much more adventurous in the kitchen this week, even trying my hand at a few of my own inventions. If I'm feeling lazy or lackluster, I will revert to old standby dinners or need tons of inspiration from Pinterest or favorite Food Network chefs. But this week, look out! I have been creating so many things that I actually have a back log of recipes to blog about. I feel so accomplished!
  • I have actually styled my hair for work more than two days in a row. This, by any standard, is a small miracle. In a normal week, I rock one of two hairstyles: either I blow dry it straight after a morning shower, or it goes in a bun. However, this week I straightened my hair on Monday, blow-dried it on Tuesday, and curled it today! I am pretty proud of myself for not going to work looking like a hobo.
  • I. went. to. the. gym. Yes, me, the person who complains constantly about how much I hate going. I had so much pent up energy after work (who the hell says that?!) that I drove myself to the gym and reacquainted myself with the old elliptical machine--she and I go way back. In fact, I am going again tonight. Who am I and what have I done with the real Danni?!
  • Last, but certainly not least, I am 100% in Christmas mode. I listen to Christmas music constantly, I am decorating the house, making Christmas presents (oh shit, I only have 2 weeks left to make those....shot of nervous energy!), and whipping up some delightful holiday treats.
Here's a picture of what I call our budget tree. I only spent $10 total on this bad boy:


Mr. J's grandfather gave us this lovely little artificial tree because he hates it, haha. I spent the $10 on gold ornaments. I used yellow ribbon and craft rope stuff to trim around the tree, as well as bows I made out of gold ribbon trim. There are also two red handmade ornaments on the tree from my best friend and her baby girl! Too cute! Sidenote--Here's a few things you learn about me from this photo: I obviously don't care if the curtain is snagged on the tree; there are two lonely little presents beneath the tree because I am way more into wrapping gifts than Mr. J; yup, that's Mickey and Minnie Mouse chillin in the chair. What about it?

I also want to share an easy holiday drink!

White Hot Chocolate, Two Ways

1. In a small saucepan, heat 3 cups of low fat milk until steam begins to rise. Keep it at that temperature for about five minutes. When it first steams, stir in: 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp. almond extract, the seeds and pod of 2 vanilla beans. Then, stir in 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips.

This makes two servings.



2. In a small saucepan, heat 2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and 1 cup of low fat milk until steam begins to rise. Keep it at that temperature for about five minutes. When it first steams, stir in: 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and the seeds and pod of 1 vanilla bean. Then, stir in 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips.

This makes two servings.

 Enjoy! xo