Fueled on Bailey’s

It finally feels like Christmas at the RAN household. I woke up in a fabulous mood yesterday because the husband and I had big plans to transform our everyday casa in to a winter wonderland!

But first, I headed to the gym to get my workout in. I made it to a Saturday morning yoga class which I loved! It was in the upstairs room of my gym, which is very nice for a yoga class – mirrors, wood floors, space heaters (which I parked my mat right next to,) and big open windows. It was a wonderful class, and Christy, the instructor did a wonderful job. I’ll be going to more of her classes for sure. I planned on doing cardio afterwards, but after 10 minutes on the elliptical, I was just too excited to start decorating!

Fa La La La La

First we needed our decorating fuel:


Coffee + Baileys = holidays. Enough said.


I enjoyed a nice, big mug. Thoroughly 😉

Then Shane started on getting out the Christmas tree:



While Niko hid behind my feet:


She’s such a scaredy cat dog :-p

Per tradition, we put on the first “New home” ornament together:


And then went on all the other ornaments. Each year, the husband and I get each other a secret ornament for the tree, and our first year of having a tree, he got me this gem of an ornament:


Cracks me up every time 😀



And we put up everything while listening blasting Christmas music, obviously. 😉

Substitute This!

We worked up quite an appetite, and Shane asked me to make him a turkey sandwich with mayo and cheese. However, it’d been a loooong time since I’ve used mayo, and when I opened the jar, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m notorious for starting to make something according to a recipe, only to realize mid-way through that I don’t have one of the ingredients. Well, obviously  I can’t just give up and quit trying. So the only solution is to substitute something else for that missing ingredient! Through all of my many, many times of this happening, I’ve had some recipes turn out phenomenally, and some not so much, but it has taught me one thing: how to be creative and use substitutes – ya gotta work with what you’ve got!

Like using laughing cow cheese wedges as a mock-mayo spread:


IMG_2361IMG_2362IMG_2363And having your husband eat the entire thing thinking there was mayo on his sandwich. I had yet another Hugh Jass salad. I didn’t have to substitute annnnything but hummus for more hummus 😀

Or like wanting a bowl of cookie dough ice cream, and only having vanilla in the fridge. Why not make some cookie dough balls (or just snake one from the fridge if they’re like crack to you, as they are me, and you must have them on hand at all times,) toss in the ‘nilla ice cream:


crumble, mix, and you’ve got cookie dough ice cream! Sometimes you just have to work with what you have on hand, I tell ya.

And although we are now decorated for Christmas, and that it’s only three days shy of December, I was very surprised when I took the recycling out to find that wearing a short sleeved t-shirt because I didn’t feel like grabbing a coat wasn’t a stupid mistake! It was almost 60º outside! I immediately called my friend, Heidi, and suggested we take our BFF doggies out for a walk on the trail.

IMG_2376 Immediately after I snapped this picture, Niko totally did a snarl-face at BFF, Alfi. Bully.


IMG_2377 IMG_2378 And about 10 seconds after this picture, I turned around to find Niko covered in burrs. Poor thing. She had them on all four paws and even behind her ear in a matter of seconds! Picking them out one by one took about 10 minutes, but after a bit, she was burr-free.

IMG_2379 We walked about a mile and a half down, and then headed the same distance back.


It was a very nice, brisk, walk and I’m glad we were able to make it out!

It was dark by the time I drove back to the house, and Shane and I were ready to Wii it out. Hrm. That sounds weird. We decided to play some Wii. There 🙂

Snacks:IMG_2381 Rhubarb whine I’d forgotten about:

IMG_2382 We played Cookin’ Mama for a good hour:

IMG_2383 IMG_2384

Until eventually we got hungry ourselves, and I transformed the game into a reality and became the Cookin’ Mama.

His and Hers Deconstructed Lasagna

There were a few things that inspired me to make this dish.

        A) after shopping at Target on Friday, it looked like the Black Friday crowds had deconstructed the store

        B) While having a Top Chef marathon the other day, I saw an episode involving deconstructed dishes and it looked super cool

        C) There was conveniently a recipe for it in Clean Eating mag this month

I took the recipe from CE, and adapted it into his and hers dishes. Mine had some Morning Star ground crumbles, and his, beef, obviously.


Some rigatoni, spinach, ricotta cheese, and some other deliciousness later:


Notice the Christmas Coasters? Eh? Eh?? 🙂 This meal was amazing! There was definitely enough for leftovers, which is fine, because I have to go to a friend’s Pampered Chef party tonight and Shane will be on his own for dinner. The combination of the cheese plus the veggies – especially the eggplant almost knocked my head off.

Well my friends, the last day of the weekend is here. Le sigh. Even though I was sick the better part of it, staying home from work one and a half days made it seem even longer! The majority of the afternoon today will be spent on studying for my ACE exam, and preparing myself by getting a few little things out of the way work-wise. But first, it’s off to meet a friend at the gym, and inevitably Starbuckies!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Sunday, and has recovered from all the Thanksgiving festivities by now! I really enjoyed reading all about your delicious meals and fun time with family 😀


15 Responses

  1. I love putting up the tree, this will be me and bf’s first tree together. I enjoy walking my dog too, exercise for the both of us!

  2. I couldn’t agree more about Baileys + coffee!!

    Your home is beautiful, especially all decorated!!

    Your pictures are great! And pup, aww! Poor thing in burrs!

  3. Your tree is beautiful! I hope Niko and Clarabelle leave it alone all season:-)

    We have the outside lights up but nothing inside yet. Our church was all decked out this morning though, and that always gets me in the real mood.

    Thanksgiving left-overs are FINALLY dwindling, and we are probably going to Fiesta for supper tonight. Dec. 1 is my son’s b’day, and he’s just like his dad for loving Mexican food.

  4. I love Laughing Cow in sandwiches. It’s quite tasty!

  5. What a fun Christmas decorating day!!! It always gets me in a good mood to get all of the holiday decorations out and up.

    Wow, that trail looks amazing! What a great place for a walk or run. I definitely wish I had one of those near me.


  6. I’ve actually never tried Bailey’s and I think I need to change that ASAP. It definitely sounds like my kinda drink 😉

  7. Your house looks so cozy and Christmasy.. I love it!! And the his and hers lasagna is a cute idea 🙂 Never tried rhubard wine though.. that sounds like it might be tangy. Happy Sunday!

  8. I love your tradition of giving each other an ornament. That is so neat. Each year you can look back and remember that holiday season 🙂

    It was crazy warm yesterday! Wouldn’t it be great if the entire winter was like that?! 🙂

  9. Wow – your tree and christmas decorations look amazing! oooh and the lasagne looks delicious 🙂

  10. Pretty much this:
    Coffee + Baileys = holidays. Enough said.

    Is all I need to be happy.

    I also just made vegan creme de menthe bars. If you llike baileys and flavored liquors, what i just posted may be right up your alley.

    Thanks again for the ACE/CPT info, you’re awesome 🙂
    Now go study up for your test!!!!!

  11. Your Christmas tree looks beautiful. I love how the whole house seems to transform once you put up the tree!

    Also, I have yet to try Baileys and coffee, but it sounds like something I need to get in on STAT!!!

  12. I do the exact same thing for recipes. I am notorious for making at least one substitution to every single recipe that I make.

  13. so much amazingness in this post! i love your decorations and that owl ornament rules. i LOVE owls. and i laughed that you put an H in wine 😉 annnd niko=love. umm what else? oh yeah! i put LCL on a turkey sandwich last tuesday.. SO GOOD! i love to substitute ingredients. hope you enjoy your week paige! xoxoxo

  14. Your tree looks so pretty! I just love your house.

    That’s awesome that Shane ate the whole sammie without knowing that there wasn’t mayo on it. I love laughing cow cheese!

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