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Time Spent Unwinding is Time Well Spent

Here’s to pushing forth into a brave new week folks! I hope the weekend was a nice and relaxing break for you. Ben and I both went back to work Friday morning (to ease back into things) but it’s full speed ahead with “back to the normal” this week.

I’m working on putting my 2014 year-end post together but thought I’d share some of the things we did during our holiday vacation. It was mostly quiet and I spent a lot of time sleeping and relaxing. Sometimes you need that.

One morning Ben got called unexpectedly into work. A glance at the clock showed it was 5:45am and out of the blue we decided to grab a quick breakfast together before Ben drove to his office. Twenty minutes later we were the first (and only) customers in our local iHop.

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It was pretty dark and we both were fairly sleepy but it’s one of my favorite moments of our break. Our waitress was super friendly and in the last year+ she’s dropped more than 200 pounds – a total inspiration! So of course I politely picked her brain a bit for any tips or tricks. I don’t usually ask people about stuff like that but she was totally open and chatty and talked to us for quite a while.

And then it was time to stuff our faces with UNHEALTHY but uber-delicious holiday pancakes.

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Ben chose the pumpkin cheesecake and I went with the white chocolate raspberry. Both are about 6 out of 5 stars on the “nom nom nom” scale.

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And a plate of eggs and hashbrowns too. I always try and eat eggs to offset all the carbs and give my meal a but more satiety.

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I could go back today. Right now. I wonder if I could convince Ben… 🙂

We enjoyed a speedy meal and then I got dropped off and Ben drove on in. Even with our breakfast, he arrived only 30 minutes later than he normally does, so it worked out perfectly!

We also engaged in some after-Christmas shopping. I had been eyeing up something – anything – to dress up my mantle. It was a hodge-podge of random stuff that never looked fashionable or put together:

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I am the world’s worst decorator! I had poked in one of those trendy Christmas shops and found some beautiful mantle pieces, but they were all over $180 each and I couldn’t justify that price for a decoration. However, they told me the day after Christmas everything would be 50% off…

So I planned our entire morning around the opening of the store. We stopped for breakfast since we had over an hour before the store was opening. We used to go to a diner that was close to Ben’s old house but since we moved, we hardly go there anymore. But the owners still remember us and always give us an extra wave or smile when we come in. The hostess is the owner’s mother and she’s from Greece – complete with amazing accent and all. When we were checking out she darted into the back and came out to give me one of the Christmas centerpieces they had from the day before. How sweet was that?

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We waved goodbye and headed over to the Christmas store. I wanted to arrive 15 minutes early so we could dash in and get our pick. However, when we arrived the parking lot was completely full and there was already people flooding in and out of the store!! Huh?

Turns out they opened at 8am that day and not 10am (and never updated their web site). I dashed in and quickly dropped the very last mantle piece into my cart. It definitely wasn’t my favorite one but we both liked it enough to get it. It really is pretty at night when the lights are all lit around it too!

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The week after Christmas I had an appointment for a facial. I found my facial lady (what do you call the person that does your facials, I know it’s not a dermatologist) on Groupon years ago and I really like her. She’s been giving me the Groupon price for facials ever since too – and Ben too. You can’t beat that. When I finished my facial appointment, she gave me a Christmas cactus. Between the flowers and the cactus, I felt such a rush of warmth and love from two very unexpected places. Isn’t it amazing how little acts of kindness can mean so much?

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We didn’t have any plans for new years at all. In fact, Ben and I were going to just hang out and maybe not even stay up till midnight. But then we got a text from some friends who were hanging out by themselves and asked if we wanted to hang out with them – so that’s how we spent new years. We ate pizza and snacks, played some board games, and BOTH of us girls fell asleep on their basement couch and needed to be woken up in time to watch a very, very sweaty Pitbull ring in the New Year on TV. (Maybe next year we’ll watch a different New Year’s countdown, ha ha!!) But overall the evening was wonderfully relaxing and yet we still got to spend it with friends. ❤

I felt very blessed this Christmas. The break from work was desperately needed and being able to have little moments made it a season to remember. I definitely am taking this sense of love into the new year with me. Sometimes that fresh sense of perspective or outlook or whatever is what you need to get rocking along in a merry way.

And because I don’t say it often enough, I’m so thankful for all of my wonderful readers. Your comments, emails, and encouragement is something I feel motivated and encouraged by. You guys are wonderful!!

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3 Responses

  1. I actually really like that mantle piece! Very festive.

    It feels so good to enter a new year with good thoughts, doesn’t it? Sort of sets the tone to get through a cold winter 😀

  2. The mantle looks beautiful. We did minimal decorations this year as we were away for Christmas. The holidays fly by way too quickly. I can’t believe they’re over and we are into 2015. Now I have to get used to writing 2015 on my checks … already had to open envelopes because I dated everything 1/2014.

  3. Your mantle looks great! The holiday season goes by so fast, especially when Thanksgiving is so late in November. But every year seems to go by faster as we get older. Now we have to deal with the January cold weather – high tomorrow will be -4 here in so. MN. Have a great day – we just got 4 inches of snow yesterday!

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