It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (minus the snow)

The air is getting colder, the heater is on a regular schedule, and it never seems like there’s enough time in the day to accomplish anything (well, it always seems to feel that way, regardless of the season). We lit the fireplace for the first time this autumn, clearly signifying the beginning of the holidays. To be honest, time has flown by all too quick– on Thanksgiving, I woke up and to me, it felt like just another day until the ovens turned on and the mad rush to make Thanksgiving dinner began.

Last weekend we got our fresh-cut Christmas tree. My parents have considered just buying a fake one, but every year I insist on driving to the tree place up the street. I think I’ve persuaded them to keep doing so until I go to college- then *maybe* they can buy an artificial one. I just love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree.

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Finals are in 2 weeks (ugh) and it’s been hard to get into the Christmas spirit. School ends just a few days before Christmas Eve, which frustrates me– by the time we’re done studying, done with exams, there are only a couple days before Christmas and then it’s over. There’s hardly enough time to go ice skating, gift shopping, etc.

Despite school’s interference with holiday joy, I’m trying my best to enjoy the season anyways. Sometimes when I’m working late, I’ll cozy up with my AP World History book and a cup of Ghirardelli hot chocolate. That stuff is amazing. It’s so rich that I can hardly finish an entire cup without feeling the need to drink a cup of milk to compensate for the intense chocolate-y goodness. We decorated our Christmas tree yesterday, and I must say, it is beginning to feel like the holiday season.

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It’s a gorgeous tree. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. We’ve collected so many ornaments over the years; whenever we pull one out of the tissue paper, the “remember this?!” ‘s always start a story. Decorating the tree has been a post-Thanksgiving tradition for as long as I can remember.

Another reminder of the season is the major drop in temperatures. This week we’re experiencing below freezing temperatures. The low tonight is 28 degrees.

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This Christmas, it’s my goal to slightly put aside the school stress and focus on the bigger picture: it’s a joyful time that comes only once a year; why waste it by focusing too much on school, which already gains my attention for 10 months out of the year. I also refuse to fall into the ever increasing consumerism mindset that Black Friday sales and “holiday specials” magnify.

I hope everyone enjoys the holidays with their friends and family. What are some Christmas traditions you have?

PS: Expect more recipes soon!

Happy (Belated) Mother’s Day! (And Happy 1st Post?)

Don’t worry, I remembered it yesterday- just didn’t have enough time to blog about my day. We enjoyed a nice day up in San Francisco and the weather was BEAUTIFUL.

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View from China Beach.

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China Beach.

Gorgeous, right? I wish I could spend more time up there- great weather (I love the fog), plenty of amazing food and an abundance of cultures all meshed together.

We started the day off in the upper Mission area and tried out a restaurant called Grub. Reasonable prices, bottomless Mimosas (Mom loved that!) and quality dishes. I had the Pulled Pork Sandwich that came with a side of french fries (they listed them as “pomme frittes”, but whatever- I’m not really into the whole fancy shmancy names for average foods).

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A few of my friends are vegetarians and honestly I don’t understand how they can cope without meat… I mean, who could resist that ^^ ? They’re missing out big time. (But I guess that means there’s more for me!) 😉

We walked around the Mission for a while afterwards and stumbled upon a few cute shops. This one building was very charming on the first floor… But wow. The second level gave us all the creeps. There was definitely an eerie feeling to the peeling paint and huge level filled with old furniture. Looks like the set of the next cheesy horror film…

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Just so you know, I really have no tolerance for horror films- gory movies aren’t my thing.

Anyways, after the “haunted” building, we went to Russian Hill in search of coffee. I had the best fro-yo of my life at this tiny place called Loving Cup. I can’t even begin how to describe how they make it. You pick from a list of toppings and they like, blend it in. The coffee is amazing too (or so I heard). Although it’s fairly expensive ($4.75 for a medium fro-yo), I’d say it was worth every. single. penny. 🙂 I have a picture, but it’s pretty bad because I took it after I had already indulged. But if you can get past the crappy photo quality, please just imagine: decadent, creamy, rich (my stomach thought it was ice cream) and flavorful.

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This photo embarrasses me. It really doesn’t do the yogurt any justice. Oh well.

Anyways, hopefully we’ll be going to the city more often because summer is just around the corner! I can’t wait to get through finals and be freeeeeeee. 🙂

I’ll be sharing a recipe I made for Mother’s Day sometime this week!

~ Sydney ~