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christmas number two

Happy Christmas week!

I got up yesterday feeling like Christmas was already over, and I had to remind myself that there is still almost a week of fun still to go:)

On Sunday we went to my mom and step-dad’s.  Saturday night I had done so much baking and cooking…I was worn out by the time we got there!  We still had such a great time though.  There really is nothing like going home for the holidays, you know?

My mom had already cooked a full Christmas dinner on Saturday for the other side of their family, and she worked so hard to cook one for us as well.

And especially once I added the dishes I brought, there definitely was not a lack of food.  It was great!

vegan broccoli casserole – I liked it, but no one else did.  I’d call that a successful failure I suppose:)

vegan garlic knots that were amazing (in my humble opinion of course:)

vegan pumpkin brownie pie - I made this at Thanksgiving, but this time I made it in pie form and loved it just as much!!

and gingerbread cookies!  I made one for each person with a little hint on it:)

haha

and my plate at dinner – I couldn’t resist a little bit of mom’s mashed potatoes.  Other than that I filled my plate with all vegan delicious food, and I honestly didn’t miss a thing- vegan broccoli casserole, pumpkin seed salad, vegan garlic bread, and quinoa pilaf.

I’ll be posting recipes and more pics of everything I made in the coming week!

It wasn’t just about the food though of course.  We had a great time just hanging out, listening to music, and of course opening gifts!

Olive and her Christmas present from her Aunt Cristen:)

I’m so thankful to have been able to enjoy another Christmas with my family – now we still have 2 more to go as we head down to south Texas this week!  This morning I am running around like a crazy person trying to get Christmas cards mailed out, Outbox client gifts finished up, gifts taken to my tutoring students (I made them gingerbread cookies as well:), laundry done and everything packed!  It will indeed be a miracle if we make it out of here by our estimated leave time of 3pm, but we’re sure as heck going to try!

Tonight we’re headed to my Grandpa and Grandma’s to see them for a little bit and give them their gifts.  It is always sad for me when I’m not at my Grandma’s house on Christmas, but I am also really looking forward to seeing our McCoy side grandma’s.  We’re spending the night at my mom’s tonight and then heading out Wednesday morning!

I’ll see you guys tomorrow!

Hope you’re all having a great week!

p.s. Sorry if this post seems a little……high strung.  That’s kind of me right now:)

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christmas number one

Well, I have to say that McCoy family Christmas weekend was an epic success.

We started the weekend off strong on Friday night when my mother-in-law announced that there would be intermittent BINGO going on all weekend – with prizes to boot!  At random moments one of my parents-in-law would make the call “it’s BINGO time!” at which point we’d all gather round for a chance to win.

This is my mother-in-law completely in her element – bingo by her side

and a grab bag of prizes just within reach:)  love it!

Saturday morning we got up first thing and got to cookin’!  It has become a yearly tradition for us to make meals for older folks in the church and then take them with us as we go caroling from house to house.

This year we made bean soup, corn bread and banana bread.  The phrase “how many McCoys does it take to _____” was thrown out a lot throughout the morning:)

Another important event on Saturday was the celebration of my MIL’s birthday! So so thankful for her:)

the original mccoy family:)

After a couple hours of visiting and caroling, we headed back to the house to get dinner ready.  I am the only vegetarian in the family, so many times I will either just eat the sides that are made or I’ll roast up a batch of veggies.  I went with the latter this weekend, and even threw in some potatoes and edamame.  Protein, check! Carbs, check! Veggies, check, check!

I coated them with a mix of olive oil and random seasonings.  Unfortunately I went a little heavy on the red pepper, but other than that they were pretty good!

While we enjoyed dinner, little Miss Olive enjoyed chewing on her new favorite toy given to her by her grandparents:)

And then it was time for gifts.  My mother-in-law completely goes over the top with the gifts – she and my father-in-law do so much for us.  It’s seriously outrageous.  We had a great time – I love getting to watch people open gifts…so fun.  And opening some myself wasn’t bad either I suppose:)

Unfortunately my mother-in-law had a bit of hard time this weekend because on Thursday night she was rooting around in her closet for something and a five pound dumbbell fell and landed on two of her toes.  I felt so bad for her…I think she was in more pain than she would let on…but of course it didn’t stop her from serving all of us all weekend.  It’s just who she is:)  I hope I can be as sweet and selfless as she is when I have children someday.

All in all it was a great Christmas with the family.  It’s kind of nice to have one Christmas done, but still have almost two weeks of Christmas fun to go…I like it!

Merry Christmas from us! Jon, Candice and Olive

Olive refused to look at the camera.  I think she was a little bitter about the sweater.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Stay tuned tomorrow for round three of the perfect vegan sugar cookie + a discount offered from one of the coolest online boutique stores around!

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happy day

Happy Birthday to the best sister in the world…

taken 3 years ago in Thailand: my sister and I on her birthday with two of our favorite Thai friends, P’Dew and P’Nong

Love you!

Also, happy 2 year vegetarian birthday to me!

Getting better all the time:)

(go here if you’re interested in hearing more about why I eat the way I do)

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yesterday, i drank tea

Hi!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty great – it’s really hard to not have a good weekend during this time of year methinks.  I know it’s not the happiest time of year for everyone out there, which makes me so sad.  This year I’m really trying to be thankful in every moment. One of the best moments was Saturday night, when the husband and I cruised around OKC looking at Christmas lights.  There’s an area of town where the houses are huge and breathtaking, and every year it seems they have a competition to see who can put up the most extravagant lights!

The husband and I spent much of Saturday out and about, finishing up our Christmas shopping for the McCoy side of our family.  We do a small Christmas with this side a couple of weeks early, and it’s this weekend.  I can’t believe it’s almost already here!  I’m so excited – and I’m even more excited now that we got our shopping done…nothing like waiting ’till the last minute.  We actually still have to pick up one more thing this week, but otherwise the next few days will be about wrapping, baking and packing.  I’m looking very forward to two of these.

While we were shopping, we got distracted for a little bit in the Teavana store.  Have you been to one?  I’m loving tea more and more everyday lately, and I’ve been eying several different loose leaf teapots for awhile now.  I finally splurged and got one!  I’m feeling a tinge bad about spending money on myself right before Christmas, but I’m happy that I’ll have my favorite loose leaf tea to drink throughout the holidays!  In my defense I probably wouldn’t have bought it for myself had the husband not insisted…but that’s neither here nor there I suppose.  I do have a pretty sweet husband though:) just sayin.

So yesterday, I drank tea.  And a lot of it.

Here’s she is!  Well, most of her anyway.  This is what she looks like all ready to be filled with water and popped in the microwave.

After removing her from the microwave – she now has the tea sieve (not sure if that’s what you call it?) back in


prepare one teaspoon of tea

and dump it in

now we wait

and wait

and wait

and now the best part – we pour!

I’m obsessed with this little teapot, so expect to see a lot of it!  The coolest part is that you can steep the same tea leaves up to 3 times within a 24 hour period – when you consider that, the price isn’t bad at all!

Aside from drinking tea, upon my dear husband’s initiation, we also cleaned out our long overdue fridge.  The kind of clean out where you remove every last thing, take out the shelves and scrub.  It wasn’t pretty.  I think it’s one of the worst jobs, but also one of the most rewarding.  Afterwards, I finally went to the store and stocked up on food for this week – I got lots of stuff for juicing (organic carrots, tomatoes, beets, kale, apples, cucumbers, bell pepper) as well as ingredients for Vegetarian chili and homemade vegan cornbread. But not just for us.

Tonight we’ll be stopping by our friends’ house to take them chili and cornbread.  They just had a baby last week, and I can’t wait to get my hands on that baby girl (Carissa, if you read this, don’t be freaked out:).  I debated for about 5 seconds over whether to take them a vegetarian meal, since they are not vegetarian.  But one thought about having to handle beef, and the decision was made.  I decided on chili because I think it’s a vegetarian meal that many meat eaters will love.  You can bulk it up with lots of beans, veggies, and spices, and they won’t miss a thing!

I’ll be back tonight with recipes for chili and cornbread – and hopefully some irresistible baby pics!

Are you more of a tea drinker or a coffee drinker?

How would you feel if someone brought you a meal that was vegetarian (if you’re not)?  Would that bother you?

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food, family and lots of fun

Hello!

This week has been so crazy!  Since we’ve been back home from visiting family for Thanksgiving, we’ve been so busy.  I haven’t even had a chance to recap our Thanksgiving weekend…better late than never, though.  Right?

I ended up making three different dishes to take to my family’s dinner.  I’m blessed to have grandparents who are healthy eaters, so there were several great options on the table.  I was really excited about cooking up some new recipes I’d been wanting to try, so I decided to take a few things anyway!

First up, I made this Maple Spiced Quinoa dish that Angela had posted awhile back.

This dish was delicious!  Unfortunately the picture doesn’t do it justice.  All I had to put it in was my mom’s Tupperware bowl, but i promise it tasted worlds better than it looks.  The only negative was that I kind of wished I had made a savory quinoa dish for dinner, rather than sweet.  This almost could have been eaten as a dessert!

I also made Angela’s healthy Sweet Potato Casserole. Let’s just go ahead and get something out on the table – I totally had an Angela inspired Thanksgiving dinner!  Why not, right?  Her recipes almost always amaze me, and I didn’t really have time to come up with something on my own.  Plus, I had been drooling over these recipes since she posted them several weeks ago.  What better time to try them out than on Thanksgiving?!

I totally scored big with this casserole…especially when it came to my baby cousin, Caroline.  She was a big fan:)

This casserole was competing big time too because my aunt brought a delicious sweet potato casserole.  I think it competed well, though it may not have won out in the end:(  Except with Caroline that is.

For dessert I made Pumpkin Brownie cupcakes.  Now these were a hit!

Every bit as delicious as they look and sound.  How can you beat the combination of brownie + pumpkin + cupcake?!  Seriously?  I was so happy that everyone enjoyed these, and the recipe has already been sent out to the family.  I could actually really use one of these about right now…

To top it all off, I made up a quick batch of Super Charge Me Cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.  They were awesome, as always.

My plate: vegetarian, mostly vegan and 100% delicious!

After lunch, we spent the rest of the day playing games and just hanging out.  I love holidays at my grandparent’s house – it’s so nice to just spend time together.  It doesn’t happen nearly enough.

And don’t forget family picture time!

And all the grandkids…starting at 1 year and going all the way up to 30!

My sweet grandma on her birthday.  Her actual birthday is today, but we celebrated it with her on Thursday evening after all the Thanksgiving festivities.  Happy Birthday Grandma!

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping, hanging out with my mom, step-dad and sister, decorating our Christmas tree and then celebrating yet another birthday.

We had a surprise party for my sister’s 30th, and I was in charge of lying to her all morning, getting her out of the house and then getting her back to the house in time for the party.  I don’t think she likes to be surprised very much, and she didn’t make it easy on me. I think she ended up being about 1/3 surprised.  Fun was still had by all though:)

We came back home on Saturday just in time to get ready for the Bedlam game.  The husband and I had to work in the suites taking pictures.  It was definitely the most fun game all year – even though we ended up losing in the end.

On Sunday we spent the day catching up on work and the house, and then we decorated for Christmas! One of my favorite activities of the season!  Pictures will be soon to come:)

That’s all for now!  I’m so glad to finally be caught up on everything…now it’s time to get caught up on all of your lovely blogs:)  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are having a great start to the week.  How crazy that it’s already almost December!

I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about getting back and staying on track during this chaotic season – it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it!

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