Friday, December 18, 2020

Final What I'm Reading This Week for 2020

This will serve as #51 and #52 of What I'm Reading This Week.  Next Friday is Christmas and y'all shouldn't be on the internet, you should be enjoying the day even if it's curling up with a good book or binging crap TV.

It's been a week.  First off, my laptop decided to fry after 3 years.  (Thanks Dell.)  I asked the Mr if he knew how much we paid for it and he wasn't sure just that it was a gaming laptop because we needed the bigger video card.  We were on a time table and I was not going to trust Amazon, so I had one delivered the next day from Best Buy.  After I bought it, he found how much we paid for the last one...HALF of what I paid for this one and this one doesn't even have a number pad on it which I use daily.  How does a laptop over $1000 NOT have a number pad?  Needless to say, I opened a good bottle of white wine and the Mr only got a few swigs out of it.  

We've got an impending death in the family with a grandparent I'm not close to.  It's always weird to temper other people's expectations of what is 'expected' of you (especially in these times) vs. what you're willing to do (or not do) to appease others.  I'm just throwing this out there but please allow everyone to grieve (or not, if they choose) in their own way.  There are plenty of people who have a good relationship with someone that I do not based on how they've treated me and vice versa.  I don't begrudge anyone their relationship with someone regardless of how I feel about them but don't push your expectations on people when it comes to illness or end of life situations.  Worry about the time you have with them and let everyone else take care of themselves.  I'm not saying I've been pushed to be a certain way during this situation but I see it far too much with illness and death and it makes me very sad and sometimes angry.  "You "should" do this or that."  No, you should do what your soul is at peace with and everyone needs to worry about themselves.  If I (or anyone) regrets doing or not doing or saying something, that'll be my (your) cross to bear.  Sorry it got deep there but there's a lot of emotional history with this grandparent and if only one person who needs to hear this, you are not obligated to mourn someone who has treated you like shit just because of their relation to you.


Monday we made a recipe I've had my eye on for most of quarantine, Ina Garten's Lobster Pot Pie.  I heavily adapted it though.  I HATE anise so no fennel or Pernod.  I used a russet potato (about 10 oz), added about 1/4 cup of skim milk and used peas and carrots as well as 1/2 cup frozen corn.  I used TJ's langostinos but I think I needed 2 bags to really feel Ina "fabulous."  I didn't buy enough clam juice (only 8 oz- DERP) so I used low sodium veggie broth for the rest of the 1 1/2 cups of liquid needed.  Next time I would probably do 2 cups of clam juice and 1/2 cup of veggie broth when I pass my reading comprehension test.  I also used a random piece of puff pastry I had in the freezer for the topper instead of making her crust and just used it on top, not top and bottom which I think would be a bit much, honestly.

We really liked it and had it with a salad.  I froze the rest for another cozy couple of nights in when I don't feel like cooking.  Workout was The Work week1 Pull strength.  Jerk.

Tuesday we had a tried and true fave of homemade General Tso's chicken with cauliflower rice.

We use Iron Chef's General Tso's sauce which has become harder to find so I blow up Vitacost's website and order a bunch at once during a sale.  Workout was 21 Day Fix Real Time  Day 5: Cardio Fix.

Wednesday was seared ahi with TJ's jalapeno sauce, TJ's sweet potato gnocchi and roasted broccoli.

Workout was for 21 Day Fix's Dirty 30.

Thursday was pizza.

Workout was Tae Bo.

Now let's work into...


How to Turn Off Your Brain Before Bed, So You Can Finally Get a Good Night's Sleep  (What's that?) 

How to Deal with Constantly Feeling Overwhelmed  (Great tips to not lose your ever lovin' mind.)

Toe-Rific! Here Are a Couple of Feet Stretches You Can Use While Working From Home  (Or at work or wherever.  Go 30 seconds in for the actual stretches.)

How to make sure your pet has a stress-free holiday  (Keep the furballs zen.)

Trying to Manage Your Toxic Family? What You Need to Know  (Practice up for when you have the first big family gathering post-pandemic!)

15 Ways to Make Less Trash at the Holidays   (Good ideas but I am NOT down with not sending Christmas cards.  Christmas cards can be recycled into gift tags.  Just follow this tutorial and save money on gift tags for next year.)

10 Clever Ways to Shamelessly Regift This Holiday Season  (There is much debate about regifting and as the recipient of many a regift over the early years from my MIL, you'd think I'd be in the "no" camp.  I'm in the camp of "if I know someone will actually be thrilled with something I'm not, I throw it in as an extra."  Sometimes I won't even wrap it, I'll tell them, 'someone got me this and I can't use it but thought you might like it.  You won't hurt my feelings if you throw it away."  I never put my name on a regift I'd be embarrassed about, just donate it and thank the person for the thought and Kondo that beeotch out of your space.)

Hot Cocoa Charcuterie Boards Are a Thing, and They're Filled With Marshmallows, Cookies, and More  (Super festive idea for this coming week or to do on a random winter's day.)

This cheap holiday party hack will blow your mind  (I did the runner trick last year and LOVED it and it was the two of us!  Nothing says small needs to be boring.)

The Flavanols In Cocoa May Support Brain Health, Study Suggests  (We have our 2 squares of 72% every night.  TJ's Pound Plus FTW!)

There's A Reason You May Get Antsy During Meditation — A Psychologist Explains  ("If your mind is on fire...notice the fire, accept and move beyond the fire." - Marc Maron)

Fake Treehouse, Real Memories: Life Inside the Home Alone House  (Wonderful story for you Home Alone fans!)

The 5 Craziest Rankin/Bass Holiday TV Specials  (There's certainly nothing like them.  I love the looks of all of their puppets back in the day.  That vulture in the Shiny New Year one was FREAKY!)

The Most Common Holiday Accidents—And How to Avoid Them   (Botulism anyone?)

Is Tinsel Canceled? (Yes, I use clear tinsel (hopelessly outdated- don't care) and guess what, I've reused the same 3 boxes I bought back in 1996 ever since!!  I also gifted our old tree to my aunt before getting our new fake tree.  Take that 'eco-elves!')

42 Funny Christmas Gifts People Actually Received  (I think I've got 'em beat.  I received a pair of earrings with ear crud still attached and a plaster toucan pin with blood stains on the back.  I still wonder if the person who gave them to me (who could fully afford to buy a crappy candle or something of equal ambivalence) stripped a dead body and called it a day.)

The Joker's still getting away… How 'Jingle Bells, Batman Smells' became the ultimate holiday spoof  (Pretty neat seeing the origins)

I know Christmas is looking different for all of us this year to keep our families and friends safe.  You can still do video chats with loved ones that day to let them know you're thinking of them.  (Play a game if you both own it or these ideas.)  Maybe all agree to make an easy dish that you all can see each other enjoying to feel more connected.  I am praying that this time next year, we might have a chance to be able to enjoy our families and friends if people get with it.   This has certainly been a holiday season to remember though one I'm sure we'd all like to forget in some ways.  Make the best of it.  

We're looking forward to some Christmas cheer this weekend and soaking everything in so I'll be scarce next week.

Any plans for the weekend?

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  1. No big plans this weekend other than working...blech. I will do wrapping this afternoon when I get home for the hubs for the things that have arrived. The other stuff...well, Santa may be throwing that stuff from his sleigh at some point before the end of the year. And I have some baking to do for some delivery people but that's about it other than the usual chores.
    Have a fantastic weekend exploring all that is Christmas!!

  2. Looking forward to making the most of Christmas this year. Time has been so weird this year it almost still feels like March but here we are in the best parts of the Christmas season and I just want to enjoy every moment of it!


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