Sick Days

It’s a rare occasion that I get really sick. Sometimes I’ll feel slightly under the weather, and it only happens about once or twice a year. Well, today I woke up with a mean throat ache and some congestion. Not enough to totally wipe me out, but enough to keep me from attempting a commute in -4 F (-22 F with windchill) weather.

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Chilly view from my balcony.

Instead I chose to stay home with these snuggle bugs:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnd eat a hearty breakfast

2 farm eggs, chicken sausage and Paleo bread.
2 farm eggs, chicken sausage and Paleo bread.

There’s no better remedy than eggs and puppy love to nurse me back to health. In spite of the fact that now I have to get up every 4 hours to take Skye out for a potty break. It’s a struggle every time– she hates the cold– and she often ends up going in forbidden places (like the lobby). She’s adjusting to winter here and I totally feel her pain.

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This was taken even before the dip below zero degrees, but still pretty cold.

When I moved to Chicago from L.A. about 5 years ago, I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into. I didn’t have a winter jacket and I wore rain boots because I had no snow boots. I was freezing half the time and thought I’d never survive.

Then I learned it’s all about the layers, hats, gloves, scarves and, of course, a decent down jacket.

No need for expensive North Face craziness. Macy’s and other department stores have a respectable assortment of down jackets that will do just fine. I’ve had my Calvin Klein and DKNY jackets since my first winter (I purchased them as soon as I realized what I had gotten myself into). They were about a third of the price of a North Face jacket and are still going strong, and, of course, are suuuuper warm.

My Calvin Klein one kind of looks like this. Since I bought mine so long ago, it’s probably no longer for sale, but there are tons of similar styles.

My boots: the classic Sorel Tofino boots:

Gotta go all out with the shoes, but never forget a good pair of thick wool socks!

Luckily, today I get to sit around in my robe all day and not worry about winter. Until tomorrow.

Christmas week: highlights and plans

Christmas week is here! I spent the past two days holiday-partying before everyone heads out of town to spend time with their families. My “festive” holiday sweater got a lot of wear… maybe too much wear. I opted for the unflattering, Fair Isle cotton-blend sweater that was on sale at old navy:

Perhaps the best $20 I’ve ever spent. It was warm, it was comfy and it was festive in a subtle way. Brava, Old Navy! Needless to say, others thought this sweater was awesome, too:

FOT82C4At the second party, which was Elf-themed, we drank some delicious Portuguese Douro red wine and at the end of the night were bequeathed with personalized mixed-drink recipes as a parting gift:

IMG_7510It suffered a little on the way home, hence it’s crumpled appearance. Not sure when I’ll have all the ingredients listed here but it sounds fabulous.

After the party we made a dinner trip to Big Star. We got Cheladas, the queso fundido and *all* the tacos de panza (pork belly) in the place. Mmmmmmm

original_Taco_de_Panza-Edouard_Pierre_resizeOn Sunday, I went a little crazy with the baking. I needed to get rid of a can of pumpkin I had in my pantry and decided why the heck not make a paleo pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie muffins from Elana’s Pantry recipes. After using canned pumpkin against Elana’s recommendation, I ended up with slightly soggier muffins and bread, but they were still delicious. One successful modification I always do to paleo breads from Elana’s website is adding about twice as much salt as she recommends and I think it tremendously enhances the flavor. I cannot recommend her paleo bread enough. I make it literally every week, which is why I require the Costco-sized box of eggs for my baking needs at home at all times.

From Elana’s Pantry

Later, I tried making sweet potato chips using the recipe on PaleOMG, but had varying degrees of success. I seriously need to get a dehydrator, my life would be so much easier! At least I had an opportunity to use my spiralizer, so that was exciting.

Other cool things that I enjoyed this weekend:

1. Finding the softest pajamas at Target

2. Finding out that I can get cans of Thai Kitchen coconut milk at Amazon for cheaper than my local grocery store

3. Finding out that I have a new little niece:

IMG_4351Baby Leia! Cutest little black lab puppy in the world. I can’t wait to meet her when we head to Pittsburgh this week for Christmas. I am beyond stoked.