So, since no one wants to read a play-by-play of everything I've done for the past two weeks, how about some (long) bullet points instead?
Burgers at The Shack - Five Napkin Burger, onion strings, and Cooter Jack Burger | Bauer demonstrating how we lounge in this house | Being ridiculous with a bow on Christmas | Christmas Eve breakfast at Pecan Creek Grill
- I saw American Hustle and while I wanted to like it, I just didn't. Maybe upon second viewing, I would like it more. It's one of those movies that once you know the ending, looking for clues the second time around could make it much better. Jennifer Lawrence's character was great, though.
- Went to my 45th restaurant on the Top 100 in Houston - The Shack Burgers. They opened up a new toll road near my house that is free until February, so it made travel to this part of town really easy. The atmosphere of this place was really cool - it was a series of open-air buildings with a fire pit and probably an area for kids to play. It would probably be great to go to on a pretty spring day, but Andrew and I decided to go on a whim in the middle of a rain storm that blew in a cool front, so we were cold the whole time. The beer list was extensive, and the burgers went beyond the normal offerings. We will definitely go again, but it wasn't so OMG amazing that it will be in the regular rotation due to how out of the way it is.
- Since we travelled on Christmas day, we started our own tradition on Christmas Eve. We opened our stockings on Christmas Eve Eve before bed and then got up Christmas Eve morning and exchanged gifts. Then we went to our favorite breakfast place. It was a fun way to celebrate just the two of us and even if we aren't traveling next year, I would love to keep Christmas Eve Breakfast a tradition!
- Santa was very good to me. A "this is what I got" post doesn't seem interesting to me, but I do want to brag about the creativity of my family. My mom's family (about 20 of us this year) draws names, but those of us who want to usually give a small gift to each couple or individual. Andrew and I made Mexican Chocolate Marshmallows, which were a huge hit. My aunt, who is the craftiest person I know, embossed covers for purse-sized calendars that are completely gorgeous and even made gift bags to put them in (I didn't realize they were homemade at first - they were perfect!). She also gave each couple a handmade ornament. My cousin and her husband are both artists; they made, fired, and glazed pots for each couple and put a tiny cactus from clippings off of their plants in each. Another cousin's wife got glass ball ornaments and wrote each family's last name on them with each person in the house's name and filled them with feathers. It was so simple yet so thoughtful. I need to up my homemade gift game for next year for sure.
The ornament from my aunt | Pot and Plant | Homemade bag with calendar (forgot to take a pic of the other ornament, oops).
- If you follow me via social media, then you already know that I spent the holidays with Andrew's family in Delaware and New York City. Our visit was interesting, to say the least. I think that can all go in its own post.
- We came back home on New Year's Eve. For the first year ever, I wanted to do things but I was tired and the cat missed us so much. Seriously, he didn't leave our sides and was so snuggly and cute. Also, he was terrified of the fireworks sounds. There were a few drunk driving deaths reported in Houston the next morning, so as lame as I felt, it was way better to be safe at home then out on the roads with the crazies!
- Through work, I got to know a woman who hosts a huge New Year's Day Open House every year. I have heard about this and was thrilled to be invited. Her home is in a beautiful neighborhood and our Honda was out of place next to the Bentley at the valet stand (yeah, valet stand in the driveway...). There was a professional photographer taking pics as you walked in and giving them to you as you left (ours was awful), a strolling magician, tarot card reader, caricature artist, life-sized puppets, a band, a coffee bar with latte art, and of course a bar. The food was amazing too: crab claws, a risotto station, bananas foster, qual, ribs, baked potatoes.... it was unlike anything I have ever seen! There was even a party favor of two Godiva chocolates as we walked out. Basically, I think I should rethink my life choices because I would love to host a party like that (and invite all my blog friends, obviously).
- I went to see The Wolf of Wall Street, which I loved! I normally hate long movies, but this one kept me entertained the entire time. The scene at the country club? I'm still laughing. Leo deserves an Oscar nomination for this one!
So, that was it in a nutshell. Going back to work today is going to be rough. Wish me luck!