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Almost Back to Reality

What a great holiday! I love this season — the smells, the joy, the family — I love all of it! This was definitely one of those seasons that I just enjoyed being with those that I love the most.
Tuesday afternoon I packed up the pooch and the presents and headed westward to my mom’s. My mom’s house felt like a revolving door because right after I arrived I headed back out to Magnolia’s for my friend Erin’s 27th birthday. We had drinks at the bar and then we went into a private room for dinner. Here’s the birthday girl:
In attempts to save some holiday cash, and also because I just wasn’t that hungry and I often find ordering appetizers to be just what the doctor ordered, I got the Chilled Seared Rare Ahi Tuna. It was served with a corn and avocado relish. It was perfect! Others ordered apps and then full steak dinners, but I just knew that holiday eats were upon me, so this was the way to go.

After dinner I went back to my mom’s and fell right to sleep. Christmas Eve morning I came down to this gorgeous tree my mom had been working on all night (and we agreed to have a low key Christmas).
My sister and I ran holiday errands throughout the morning — note to everyone. If you have time to shop on Christmas Eve, do it. The stores offer the same deals that happen the day after Christmas, but it is much less crowded!
On our way back we stopped at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe and split half a Thai Chicken Wrap. The peanut sesame dressing on this wrap really made the sandwich.
In my mom’s family, it’s been tradition as the grandchildren (there are 19 of us) have gotten older that we go out to dinner on Christmas Eve. This year, we went to the Idylwood Grill. It was so nice to be amongst all my family! Here is my mom, sister and me.
We had preselected what we wanted before we arrived. We had the option of shrimp/scallop fettucini, steak, tilapia, roasted chicken and salmon. I chose the steak, thinking it would be a plain filet with mixed veggies and mashed potatoes. This was a steak covered with a brown creamy sauce and oniony potatoes. It was like something you got in a cafeteria line. What a disappointment because I typically love everything at this restaurant! I ate about 1/4 of that photo. Sorry for the quality — had to do it quickly with loads of uncles questioning around me 🙂
After dinner we went to Christmas Eve mass and came home to wrap some presents. Christmas morning I woke up with a little fruit salad and coffee whilst waiting for my college-aged sister to wake up.
When she woke up, we opened stockings and had some slices of this German bread. Yum!
It is also tradition for us to have Eggs Benedict for brunch on Christmas Day. Go figure that all the groceries were out of Hollandaise Sauce. So we had half an english muffin with Canadian Bacon and a Poached Egg. Not as exciting without the Hollandaise, but definitely fewer the calories.
After all the presents and eats, these two were tuckered out:
Later that afternoon we headed to my dad’s for a visit, and then to my uncle’s for an open house dinner. I unfortunately didn’t get any shots, but I had lots of Spinach Dip and Veggies, a little ham, some hash brown potatoes and some shrimp cocktail. Yum!
Around 9:00, the fiance came back home from NY and we exchanged gifts. We had set a $50 cap as we’re about to have this wedding in a few months and will be soon buying one another wedding bands, but he did not listen. He got me a BRAND NEW CAMERA for BLOGGING! I love it! The picture quality is amazing! What a good gift giver he is!
After many sessions of Rock Band — the fiance’s brother gave it to him — we hit the hay.
We slept in yesterday and headed to Starbuck’s for coffee and breakfast. I got a Spinach Feta Wrap.

The fiance’s parents gave us money toward a new living room chair for Christmas, so we checked out a few furniture places in the area, but nothing was the right thing. We have loads of time to look though.

We then headed out to my mom’s for our real Christmas dinner. Look at her beautiful holiday dining table.

And the salad. Strawberries, Oranges, Onions, Tomatoes, Lettuce and a Strawberry Vinagrette Dressing.

And a beautiful London Broil that had marinated in an Onion/Red Pepper Marinade. So good!

And here’s my plate, but the lighting was off as we ate by candlelight, so forgive the blur. I also had some au gratin potatoes on the side. Such a filling, yet light meal.

And for dessert everyone else had flan, but I had a Christmas Sugar Cookie and a Strawberry. Perfect ending!

My sister is coming to look at bridesmaid dresses with me today and then we have friends in town from San Francisco tonight. Gotta love spending time with friends and family! I hope you all have had a wonderful season!

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