Happy New Year! Hope the first four days of 2017 have been good for you.
Here's what we've been up to these past couple of weeks ...
I'll start with Eddie's annual holiday portrait. He was cute and co-operative for his photo shoot, however, try as I might, I can never get him to smile for the camera!
(If you'd like to see his portraits from previous years, here they are : 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011)
I had some hard copies printed up at West Camera and made some greeting cards ...
Nick and I celebrated Christmas eve with a snack of baked brie and homemade cranberry sauce that I'd made that afternoon, and shared a bottle of champagne.
I saw a discussion online recently about how, once you're married you no longer get gifts for one another. There were statements along the lines of, "I just buy what I want and we pretend it's from him". I can understand how and why this might happen, but contrary to that notion, we love finding presents for each another ...
↑ I was very curious to see what Eddie got me. ↑
Here are a few things from Nick ...
↑ Tickets to see The Book of Mormon at the Princess of Wales Theatre in March. That was a completely unexpected surprise and I can't wait to go! I've heard it's a great show. ↑
↑ An assortment of Body Shop goodies, scented with mango. ↑
↑ A pair of malachite and sterling silver dangly earrings. ↑
↑ Oh, and if we're wondering what the cat got me, it was this suitably printed teapot cosy. Good choice, Eddie! ↑
↑ I got him this shopping bag. He loves it and has been in it pretty well non-stop since Christmas. ↑
At first, we had it on the chair, until the other day we we heard a rumple, a thump and a scamper, after he'd shifted inside it, and the whole works fell to the floor. No injuries were sustained, but now the bag is sitting on level ground, and as I type, I see a little furry head peeking out of the top of it.
Christmas morning was a relaxed affair, as we had it easy this year, with my sister and brother-in-law hosting dinner for family and friends.
Here's the new mug I got for Nick. Recently, we finally got rid of a bunch of ugly promotional mugs we had cluttering our cupboard, vowing that we only live once, and might as well drink our coffee and tea from nice mugs that feel good when you're holding them. As a result, Nick ended up having coffee in many the floral print mug because we didn't have any big ones with a more manly look. I must say that it was a challenge finding a good quality, large sized mug with a masculine look, so I was happy to find this one at HomeSense. Too bad it was the only one left, because I would have liked to get him a couple.
We took public transit over to my sister and brother-in-law's place, armed with wine, crackers and a heaping bowl of something my family loves, this Olive and Cream Cheese Spread.
↑ My sister ... She is one cool customer under pressure, creating a spectacular meal for 11 with apparent ease. ↑
↑ Nick was looking suave in a red turtleneck shirt my mother got him a previous Christmas. ↑
↑ We got to meet our newly adopted nephew cat, Frankie, for the first time. He's a friendly beauty, indeed. Evidently, he's a fan of Christmas. ↑
↑ A well deserved sit-down after everyone but us had left. We four sang carols with my brother-in-law accompanying on guitar. ↑
↑ On the streetcar home, this cheerful fellow requested his picture be taken ↑
Now we'll skip to New Year's. We'd fully intended to go out dancing on New Year's Eve, however, after waking up drowsy from a pre-party nap and looking out the window to see the miserable cold drizzle beyond, we decided to scrap going out. We had a beer and toasted midnight, as we listened to the cheering and fireworks our on the streets and watched the CN Tower flash wildly with an enthusiastic light show.
New Year's Day offered beautiful sunny weather, so after a brunch of omelet and toast, we headed out for a walk. We went to Trinity Bellwoods Park, which we nearly had to ourselves. It was lovely.
↑ Queen Street West ↑
Nick spent the afternoon cooking up a large batch of tomato sauce from scratch, puréeing it in our new Vitamix that I got last month when Julie and I went on the Marilyn Denis show (written about here). We are quickly figuring out why people love the Vitamix Blenders so much ... the food you puree in them really does come out more delicious. Something about using it intensifies the flavours of your ingredients, which is why they warn you about using less garlic and onions that you'd normally use. Nick's sauce turned out very nicely. He put it in jars and froze them.
With that done, he got on to making our celebratory New Year's Dinner, which was beef with a green peppercorn sauce, served with mushrooms, rice and peas. We were also planning to have some of the traditional Christmas pudding that he'd made earlier in the season, with rum butter, but we decided to save that for another time.
And, of course, there was more champagne. (Well, I call it champagne but it's not technically so, as we don't get much of the real stuff here in Canada. But we will soon, once our new trade agreement with Europe kicks in.)
And that about wraps up our holiday season. If you celebrated, I hope yours was spent doing exactly what you love doing!
Thanks for reading,
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