It struck me yesterday as I was going trough the mail that I had only gotten one Christmas card so far this year.  In years past I’ve even made my Christmas cards from scratch.  I always had a picture of Hannah and Joe on the inside, sometimes the dog would cooperate.  I stopped sending cards after Hannah graduated from high school.

Maybe because of e-cards and the cost of stamps, Christmas cards are just dwindling.  Do you still send out cards?  How many have you gotten so far?

I left my camera on my desk when I walked out yesterday, so my phone and google images will have to save the day.  My un-photographed breakfast was a slice of Tony’s pumpkin corn bread, a scrambled egg white and chopped deli ham.

My back was kind of hurting yesterday.  I picked up a laundry basket in the basement yesterday morning and I felt a twinge.  I only managed to walk for 30 minutes on the treadmill.  I’ve since taken ibuprofen and it seems to be okay now.

workout skinny christmas challenge

Last year when I first made my Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, the very day Mara read that post she made it that night!  So when she left me this comment on Monday, I couldn’t wait to try this!

So, I have a homework assignment for you. This week, go to Hunan Beijing. Get an order of hot and spicy chicken dumplings.
You’re welcome.


Mara and I actually met through our blogs – a few years ago we discovered that I worked with a woman – and Mara worked with her sister!  She lives near my office, works near my house, and we need to get together more often!

I ordered the hot and spicy chicken dumplings.  They came in a broth like spicy sauce.  Sadly, I forgot to mention to onions, but they were green onions and they floated on the top.  I then had a side order of szechwan green beans and 1/2 a cup of white rice on the bottom.  Google images helped me here – this is kind of what the wontons looked like, except they were about the size of a quarter.

spicy wonton

From my phone:


Holy cow, was this amazeballs.  FLAVORFUL spicy was the theme of this lunch.  The wontons were tender, packed with chicken and veggies and the spicy green beans were still crisp tender.  Love!  Thanks Mara!!  Michelle, you should check this place out – its on Barrington Road in Hoffman Estates.

And while I waited for the food, I enjoyed all the snowmen the restaurant displayed!


For dinner I had chicken thighs to cook, or pork chops.  I asked Tony which one he felt like and he said he didn’t care.  So fried chicken thighs it was!  Except mine was buffalo chicken.  I had a scoop of rice and leftover green beans from lunch.  At least I got two veggies in today!

snowman 002

snowman 004

Sadly though, I undercooked them slightly and they had to go back in the fryer.  Normally not a big deal, but I had already taken my insulin and it was already doing its magic, but I wasn’t meeting it with food intake.  After dinner I had to sweep and mop the kitchen floor.  All of a sudden I started sweating, and it being December, washing the kitchen floor I shouldn’t be breaking a sweat!

Yep, I checked my blood sugar and it was 48.  Rats.  So I had a mini butterfingers leftover from Halloween and had some of my Chicago Mix popcorn to bring it back up.  I have tweaked my Chicago Mix popcorn and after several attempts, we have the best combination.  I plan on sending that out as my signature homemade gift to our families.  I’ll post the recipe over the weekend – that’s going to be my big baking weekend and I plan on getting the packages out on Monday. Open-mouthed smile

Oh, and in case you need a last minute gift idea, how about this?


Tony saw it online yesterday.  I just can’t wrap my brain around it – it looks so alien, and I just imagine the kid being claustrophobic as his Mom is trying to put this thing over his head!  So crazy! 

Off to jump in the shower and get ready for work – make it a great day!