Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - A Good Year

I’m very thankful that 2010 was a good year for us. Sure there were ups and downs, but the ups far outweighed the downs, and we are very thankful for that.

On January 1, I wrote down goals for 2010; here are the goals and how I did with them:
  • Continue to incorporate my 2009 goals into my life – I will continue to focus on my family and on trying to keep us all happy and healthyMy 2009 goals are still pretty much my overall life goals and things haven’t changed much.
  • Make green juice at least four times per week, preferably more often.I’m not that much into juicing at the moment, and four times per week is far too much right now. But as summer approaches, I plan on juicing more often again.
  • Take an exercise class; I have been avoiding this for far too long…I actually started taking exercise classes on a regular basis and really enjoy them.
  • Hike at least once per monthI didn’t reach this goal. But there was a stretch of a few months when I hiked quite regularly. And I even hiked a half marathon!
  • Find a better blog/life balance – I love this blog and the blogging world, but it can take up too much of my time. In the next few weeks, I will experiment with some “blogging rules” for myself…I didn’t follow any “rules” and it took me a while to “figure things out,” but I now do what feels right and don’t feel pressured to blog a certain number of times per week anymore, and I love my blog and how it fits into my life! Thank you for sticking with me through some very sporadic blogging phases…
Finally, here are some pictures from the year.
Holiday 2010 01Holiday 2010 05
Sep 10 19
March 10 18Holiday 2010 08
Holiday 2010 09Holiday 2010 07
Oct 10 21
Portrait 2Portrait 3
Thank you for being part of my life through this blog. I really love interacting with all of you via comments and e-mails. And if you are just “lurking,” I hope you’ll say “hi” sometime. But no pressure… Smile

Wishing you all a Happy & Healthy 2011!

Questions: What was a highlight of 2010? The teenager graduating from high school and going off to college was one of our highlights. I still can’t believe my “baby” is all almost grown up. What are your plans for tonight? We are going to have a quiet evening at home.

Be well,

Thursday, December 30, 2010

“Sneaking” in Greens, Blogging Gift, and Cookies

I don’t normally “hide” vegetables and “trick” people when it comes to fruits and veggies. However, I lately have been “hiding” a lot of leafy greens in my soups. Our CSA boxes are filled with leafy greens: Swiss chard, kale, different cabbages, bok choy, collard greens, mustard greens… I often use the veggies in stir fries, but my family has become a bit tired of them. In fact, the toddler has started eating around the veggies and picking them out.

So I decided to use them in another way. I add them to my big pots of vegetable soups I make at least once a week. I cook the veggies and then puree them with my immersion blender. At the end, I often add a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt. The mix of veggies and the added yogurt make the soups less “strong” and “vegetably” and everyone enjoys them. Yesterday the toddler ate two cups of soup and loved them! Not that I tricked him, but I know he wouldn’t have eaten nearly as many veggies had they been in a stir fry… Smile

Here is what was in the last pot of soup (all from our CSA box):
  • 2 large leeks
  • 1 onion
  • 6 small carrots
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard
  • 1 bunch of “other greens” (I’m actually not sure what they were…)
  • Bok choy
  • 5 small potatoes
  • 5 cups of water (the soup was quite thick, but we like it that way)
After the veggies were cooked and pureed, I added some frozen herbs (cilantro, basil, and garlic), salt, pepper, and a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt. The soup was quite thick; I think many would prefer it a bit thinner but we loved it…

Gift to Myself
Several months ago, I came across a website that lets you print your blog and turn it into a book (Blog2Print). Thanks, Kathy, for mentioning it on your blog! I looked at it briefly back then but didn’t do anything with it. However, as the holidays approached, I thought it would be nice to turn part of this blog into a book for us to look at. And so I did! It’s a gift to myself (but hubby and the toddler have very much enjoyed looking at it as well since we got it as well).

As I have mentioned many times, I’m not much of a baker. In fact, I managed not to bake a single thing during the holiday season… So hubby got desperate and decided to make cookies (which was a first for him!). He and the toddler did a great job and made snickerdoodles (which is what I had requested!).

Questions: Do you every “hide” veggies? I don’t usually think of it as “hiding” veggies, but I add lots and lots of veggies to soups and pasta sauces. They add so much flavor, and I love making meals as nutritious as possible. Did you give yourself any gifts lately? If so, what was it? Did you bake during the holidays? If so, what was your favorite? 

Be well,

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in the Park

Christmas in the Park is a San Jose tradition, but we had never been. So yesterday we checked it out. It was a fun, quick outing and some of the displays were truly amazing. However, the toddler was tired and a bit bored as there were no games to play…
I hope you are enjoying the last days of 2010!

Be well,

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Time to Reflect

The last few days have been quiet with lots of time to reflect on life and all the things we are grateful for. 2010 has been a happy and healthy year, and we are very thankful. Here are some of the things we’ve been up to:

We went on a hike when the rain took a little break.

We ate delicious crackers with goat cheese. I saw these on Kasey’s blog a while back and put them on my “make list.” They are awesome. I simply mixed some goat cheese with a little salt and pepper and lots of chives. Then I topped the crackers with shaved Parmesan cheese. It’s  such a tasty combination. Thanks Kasey for the idea!

We also had some Chinese takeout food. I think it was the first time this year we got Chinese takeout, and I really enjoyed it! Smile  I got mixed sautéed vegetables with chow main. Very tasty…

We ate Korean Rice Cake Soup at my mother-in-law’s house on Christmas morning - a delicious way to start the day.

Santa brought the toddler a couple of board games. He must have heard me complain that I was really bored with playing Candy Land several times every day… Winking smile  Now we have some variety!

We spent some time figuring out how to operate new toys…

And we rested a lot in between playing games. I think some were more comfortable than others…

Questions: What are your plans for the last days of 2010? I have some work to do to get ready for the start of the Winter Quarter on January 3, but I’m also planning to just relax a lot… Do you set goals at the beginning of a new year? Why or why not? I usually write down some goals as they tend to keep me focused on what really matters. I’ll look back at 2010 and will set some goals for 2011 in the next few days and will share some thoughts with you.

Be well,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Special Holiday Date

Hubby and I were excited to go on a date when the toddler visited one of his old “hangout places.”

First we visited one of my former students' art exhibits in a coffee shop inside a bookstore. The paintings were beautiful.

We also got some espresso (me) and a caramel macchiato (hubby).

Then I spotted Anthropologie and had to check it out… They had a great sale, and hubby thought that since I had been so nice, I deserved a new dress. Smile After being marked down more than half and another 25% discount it came to less than $50. I look forward to opening it on Christmas Day! Smile

Next stop, lunch. We ate at Gordon Biersch Brewery in Palo Alto. Since we were in a celebratory mood, we both got a beer. I got the WinterBock, and hubby got the Golden Export. We enjoyed them both!

For lunch we split a spinach salad and an appetizer platter with mini burgers, garlic fries, and chicken strips. Everything was great! I especially loved the “mustardy” dipping sauce that came with the chicken strips and dipped my fries in it.

We also got two mini dessert tasters: Chocolate Fudge Cake and Warm Apple Bread Pudding. They were both very good but very rich. So the shot glass size was perfect!

Getting to spend some uninterrupted, quality time together was wonderful. Thanks hubby for hanging out with me! You are my best friend, and I am so very, very lucky to have you!

I hope you all find time to spend some quality time with family and friends during what can be a very hectic time of the year.

Be well,