Christmas 2.0

My in-laws aren’t able to make it to our home for Christmas due to health concerns so we agreed to have a 2nd celebration in January with the whole family.2015/01/img_4135.jpgMy kids have only been to their paternal grandparent’s house a few times so each time we visit it seems entirely new to them. My mother in law keeps a large stash of toys on hand for the grandkids and they had a blast exploring the toy bin.

It was also a lot of fun to dress up in Christmas outfits once again.2015/01/img_4143.jpg

2015/01/img_4136.jpgAs you can see, someone likes to choose their own shoes.

There is a large play structure in the backyard constructed specifically for the grandkids and I think this was probably my kids first time playing on it. 2015/01/img_4140.jpgChristmas at my in-laws has, in the past, been a bit of a scene. In the past few years we have all agreed to scale back on the gift giving and concentrate on being together. My kids were able to see all their cousins on that side of the family and they had an absolute blast with them.

I’m already seeing the impact of my One Little Word® CLEAN. I went into this family gathering with no expectation or grudges or anything and we had a fabulous time. At the end of the meal I helped out by CLEANing off the dining table. In years past my mother in law has requested we not do that but this year I felt a need to do it. Speaking with her on the phone today she thanked me and sounded genuinely grateful about it (rather than annoyed). After such a large family gathering I know the toll that takes on her emotionally and knew she wouldn’t be up for doing any heavy cleaning.

It was a truly wonderful celebration and I am grateful to have such a large family to celebrate holidays with.

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eMeals: Day 1

Finally got the Groupon deal to eMeals and signed up right away. Tonight was our very first eMeals dinner! I was a bit nervous using spices and ingredients I am not familiar with but the whole thing could not have been easier.

Of course my plating skills leave something to be desired but here you have it…

Spicy Lemon Chicken with a side made of couscous, baby spinach, pine nuts, garlic, goat cheese and lemon juice.

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Review of the meal: The chicken breasts I cooked were extremely large and while they did get cooked perfectly, they were so large that the flavor did not penetrate much past the skin. Next time I would use boneless chicken breasts perhaps. I must admit I was nervous about the couscous side dish but ended up LOVING it. The lemon juice gave it a zing and the pine nuts gave it a crunch. Very good.

Try it out if you think you’ll like it, the Groupon goes until April 10th I believe.