Christmas – A celebration of traditions

Technically I’m Jewish so growing up I never celebrated Christmas. At the core, I don’t follow organized religion, but I think everyone is allowed to have faith in whatever they want. However, for the past decade or so, maybe even longer, I’ve celebrated the holiday either with Tony’s family (4 years) or one of my amazing friend’s families who take me into their own for the day. I’ve always had fond memories of the holiday because for one there is never any school or work on Christmas. Also, I there’s presents and the surprise of giving and receiving. And most of all the food is awesome. Every family that I visited does Christmas a little different and I have never been disappointed. I love Christmas food! I’m partial on Thanksgiving (not a big turkey fan) but Christmas food no matter what people cook is always delicious!

Regret nothing

And don’t worry, I still celebrate Hanukkah, but that was a while ago and I was on vacation so I missed it this year. Although sweets and latkas can be eaten daily if you ask me.

On Christmas Eve, Tony and I spent it with his nephews and family. They all wear PJs and of course I had to bring my own. There was lots of great food and of course I was too busy eating to take photos. I also don’t really post photos of other people, unless I know they’re okay with being put on the blog, so lots of photos of me you’ll get instead!

Pjs and cats

The cats were definitely plotting something against me on Christmas Eve after this photo shoot.

Coffe

We started Christmas day with a nice blend of Coffee from Tony’s nephew and wife in our new Le Creuset mugs we got for ourselves when we visited the outlet last week. Visiting the Le Creuset store made me want to get rid of all our kitchen items and transfer our house into a beautiful red stoneware and cast iron heaven. But I decided I should not break my piggy bank yet. I do have the Dutch oven thanks to Tony’s parents and I love love it.

Table

While drinking up my coffee, I set the table. Tony’s mom does all the cooking, but we host so lay out, drinks and other easy tasks we take care of.

And then it was time for what I do best:

Christmas Run

It was 16 degrees outside and no one else would bear the cold but I loved it. I ended up running on a lot of roads since the sidewalks are frozen in parts and it can get exhausting hopping and sliding around. The sun was shining and the streets were empty. It was peaceful and a nice way to sink in a few quiet moments to myself before filling up my belly with food and laughs.

Christmas Meal

Tony’s mom serves up amazing food. We started with Italian soup, followed by home made manicotti, and then the finale beef bourguignon (I dare you to try to say that 5 times).

Jack Sleeping

While everyone ate, Jack took a little nap on the couch next to us all. Our other cat Oliver was hiding.

Cat Gifts

Tony’s mom cooked some of the meats (no spices) for the cats as well, so they had a mini feast of their own all week.

Liana and Jack

The star of the night was of course Jack.

My favorite elf. We opened up some great gifts. Things for the house we really needed. Other highlights include a road ID my brother got for both me and Tony. And an amazing weekend in Vermont, including the Vermont City Marathon from Tony!

Family Photo Tony, me, his parents, sister, my brother and father

Dad and Oliver

And just like that, before I knew it, the day was over and I found my dad and our other cat Oliver, that’s always hiding upstairs and never ever comes downstairs, napping with my dad! Maybe they’re kindred spirits?

Cat Cuddle

So of course, after everyone left, and was sleeping, I cuddled with the cats as well, my first and only time I got Oliver onto the first floor. He’s very skittish!

 

Do you celebrate Christmas either with friends or family?

What’s your favorite gift that you gave or received? I gave Tony a soda stream and I’m excited cause I’ll get to use it too =).

July 4th & Bliss Spa

It’s Monday, and it’s not that I have the “Mondays” as much as long weekend is over and so is my life WAAAAAAHH! blues.

It was 95s most of the weekend and for the first time in a few years I decided to take a brake and relax.  Instead of waking up at 7AM to try to run while it was only 83 and not 93, I slept in, took 5 showers a day (sometimes 6 my current record) and play with the laser pointer and my cats.  And don’t worry, I took some videos such as the jump and the Jacko go round.  

On Wednesday, I got out of work early for the long weekend and went to Bliss Spa for a ginger wrap treatment.  (I had an expiring GiltCity voucher I needed to use).

Well first I started with a pretty great breakfast:

Guacamole!!! Of course I had to get an omelette and home fries.

Anyways back to Bliss Spa.  Its near Chinatown at the W-Hotel so gross location but swanky hotel.

The locker rooms were loaded with all the bliss products to use after your shower.

You then wait in this swanky waiting area couch with some refreshments.  I could have used some champagne too but I guess lemon ice water and their infamous brownies will have to do.

Now you might think this is torture:

But basically they lotion you up in real ginger and then foil you up to bake in the ginger.  It was nice but a little to hot for the 93 weather outside.

They have really awesome steam showers and multiple headed showers where you feel like you’re in a tropical forest.  However, I was a little hot and just took my cold shower, dosed myself in all the bliss products and moved on.

Zebra dress from Marshalls via Instagram Unvalidated 

Our July 4th started out healthy!

Okay, that was a lie, but it was FREE!  Nathan hotdog plus Italian ice, can it really ever get more American?  Malden does this free grill thing on the 4th in all it’s parks!

We searched 4 stores for a cooler but in the end all I purchased was a pair of shiny owl earrings from Old Navy.

Cajun Crawfish rolls from Stop & Shop which after I wiped down the mayo, tasted pretty good for supermarket sushi.  Anyone else ever buy impulse supermarket sushi?

Tony and I donned our red, pasty white and blue.  He refused to take a photo since he copied my outfit and instead I sneaked one in.

We went to a fabulous BBQ at a friend’s house were I was too busy eating and chatting to be a paparazzi.  Afterwards, we went to the Cambridge side of the Charles and watched what I believe is the best Fireworks show in the country!

Crackheaded smile for all!

And I know all of you had enough of instagram and vine video of fireworks.  But just in case you haven’t, here’s a taste of what Boston did! Instagram Unvalidated 
http://www.runtomunch.com/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-tinymce/addons/media/moxieplayer.swf

How was your July 4th?  See any fireworks?