Category Archives: holiday

Beginning to look a lot like…

the Holidays (to not be religiously-biased) 

…even though the high will be 80 degrees on Christmas morning…

So, for my homemade gifts, I’ve decided against giving out the “Almond Joy” granola because I tasted it and it tasted… burnt. No one wants that, no matter how bad they were this year!!! I woke up yesterday morning on a mission: better granola, & something else homemade. What, may you ask? How very trendy of me to make biscotti!!! I looked up some recipes from V’con and other cookbooks and sort of varied it to my liking. I came out with my own, OrangePop variation! It’s fabulous, if I do say so myself! Healthy + Vegan + Delicious = a winning combination! 

For my 1st trick, I present…. GRANOLA:

dsc040171

^ this was the best, yet! I added nuts and dried fruit but I added the sliced almonds during the last 5 or so minutes because that’s where I got, um, *burned* last batch! Good move, me!

I packaged them like this, afterall:

dsc04023 with a little tag with the ingredients, added later. I used mostly organic ingredients from my health-food store (aka work) so people will know they’re adding wholesome goodness to their innards! 

I also made a ginger-sunflower seed version that was great, too!!!

I shall post these recipes, okay?!

For my next trick, I reveal… BISCOTTI:

dsc04014

dsc04015

and I packaged them all differently, like this:

dsc04022 I gave one to my uncle and he didn’t want to choose one because he didn’t want me to waste the “gourmet wrap job” on lil’-ol’-him! HA, it’s wax paper… and ribbon

* I will post the recipe, because it was original when it was finished, and not exactly from any book or recipe I looked up! *

Anywho, amongst all the baking and the house smelling ab-so-lutely divine, I also baked up a cake because my grandparents came over for dinner to see the house all decorated purrty for the holidays. It was a suuuper-easy recipe my mom had, so I whipped it up real quick. It was a lemon bundt cake with a cinnamon-sugar swirl. Here’s it in the making:

dsc04018

…and the final product:

dsc04021

^ Do you see what I see? A lil’ bit of me, OP looming in the background?!

mmMmmMmm… orange soda

One of these days I’m going to post a photo of the BEST part of our Christmas decorations. I’ll reveal that later. But now, here was our dining atmosphere last night:

dsc04025

HAPPY & HEALTHY HOLIDAYS 😀

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under family, grub, holiday, optimism, winter

Tree-huggin’ Christmas gift

Last night, I went home to find a package from my friend Bama filled with goodies like Clif and Kashi bars, Sport beans, a funny Christmas card and Chris Carmichael’s book Food for Fitness to “Eat Right to Train Right” because I’d love to run more and even compete again, but want to make sure I have my bases covered, as far as good sport nutrition! THANKS BAMA- you’re GRRRR-REAT!

Last night I felt like baking. With all these awesome bloggers making cookies and other yummy treats this time of year, even though I’m getting sweets, I still want to contribute. i thought about something original. Then, I thought something homemade and totally OrangePop-ish would be the best! Soooo, I came out with 2 varieties of…

GRANOLA!

While The Santa Claus was on TV, I just sort of looked up recipes, and then played around and made my own anyway. My 1st attempt I tried a variation of “Almond Joy” except later I realized I should have added cocoa powder for the chocolate part…oh, well!

granola 1

granola 2

The 2nd one, I added more dried fruit and nuts and… wow, even more of a winner!

granola 3

I put them in granola tubs tubs.

I know there’s a niftier idea than plastic baggies to give them in (I still want to make more varieties, but I was getting sleepy!) **Any suggestions??** They’re very much welcomed!

Would you believe that they contain no oil? It’s true. I may post the recipe I used, if they’re hits, or if I get an influx of requests.

…until then, THERE’S ONLY A FEW MORE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT ‘TIL CHRISTMAS! EVERYONE BE HAPPY AND LOVING 😀 and especially, show it if you feel it!

5 Comments

Filed under grub, holiday, movies, optimism, shopping, winter

FREE, ME!!

I slept in, mondo… when I woke up, I put out the FLAME!!! Okay, I was watching the news on TV this morning when I woke up (okay, afternoon) when I saw it: smell like a burger! For $3.99 you can smell like a flame-broiled Burger King ham-boogie. Nice. They also referenced the SuperBowl commercial from McDonald’s where a man mistakenly puts a wrapper in the dryer and his wife’s clothes smells like beef and he is turned on… see it on YouTube here, with Miss OP:

Okay, onto the good stuff…

I finally finished my semester!!!!

YIPPEEE!!! YOW!!! HURRAY!!! ZIP-ZIP-ZIPPERRR!!! WEEE!!! So, I’ll happily be blogging more until I start mid-January (the 12th or so?). I’ll be working (*grumble*), relaxing, and doing other unforeseen things in my future. Unfortunately, either of my sisters will NOT be home for Christmas. It’s gonna be weird. And sad. Me lovez ‘da sistah’s!

So, yesterday. As soon as I woke up, I went for a brisk walk around to wake up and energize me! It was so nice out and great for my mind. When I got home, I put on a pot of coffee and made some oats for brain-food. oats

^ I had Target’s Pumpkin Spice coffee (I mix the grounds with generic/cheaper variety with the yummy stuff to make it last longer. I also add cinnamon to the filter!); the oats are: ~1/3 (+) c. Bob’s Red Mill 5-grain hot cereal, chopped apple, ~1 T. Skippy Natural Chunky PB, cinnamon, a splash of soymilk, and brown sugar. MmMmMmmmmm…

So, then Government Exam. Yow!

Then, the gym for some cardio… gotta get the heart pumpin’!

I have to tell you something. My uncle has been looking for a job for a while now. He’s a real estate appraiser, but work is hard to find right now with that… so he’s also been a black-jack dealer! Cool! Anyway, he wants to work at a big casino around here, but until he can be transfered here, he has to work at another location, a few hours away. He also has a cat (Milo!) and a dog (Bella, who is also Jasper’s sister!!!!), so I am staying at his house to watch his “brats” (or “kids”- they’re both! HA!).

It’s been pretty fun. Man, Bella is FULL OF ENERGY, ALL! THE! TIME! And Milo was barely seen, until a couple of weeks ago. Aww, he likes me! Because I feed him, probably. He’s a one-minded animal! Let me introduce you to them- Milo:

Milo

Bella: (actually sleeping?!)

dsc03970

It’s a mini-Jasper

So, since I told you that, I’m staying at his house. I’ve moved in my stuff, OP’ed his kitchen, I get my own room and Bella snuggles with me at night. BUT, his shower-head is like a drizzle… so I went home after the gym to shower. And, my fab Paris-sister is still home (she can’t get a flight back, uh-oh!), so we went to Publix to get sammiches. I love their hoagie-bread! 

dsc03997

^ Mine was a veggie with spicy mustard, Provolone cheese, S+P, and all the veggies, except black olives. EEK! (green pepper, banana peppers, tomatoes, onions & pickles… I think that’s all!)

Then, work. It wasn’t too bad. I got paid, but since I went to Paris the last weekend I’ve worked, it was a small paycheck. I’ve only been working Thursdays & Saturdays (and some Sundays) during school, so over break, I’ll probably pick up some more hour$!  It was slooowwww though!

Afterward, I decided I needed a fun lil’ zing to celebrate the end of my semester! I was by myself and tired, so I found this baby in my uncle’s fridge and saw a little recipe on the back, so I improvised. My version of cookies & milk, no?!

cookies & milk

hmmm, I’m not a big drinker, and this tasted in NO WAY like alcohol, which I loved… but I drank it so quickly, and limited it to just one cup. I heated some soymilk and mixed it that way. Great! While watching Jim Carey’s version of The Grinch, it was a little nice to have no agenda!

So, then I slept in until, late. I woke up at 8:30, but have NOTHING TO DO, so I rolled over and kept sleeping. It was strange for me, since I’ve been a morning person these days, but I stayed up late (for me!) and had a lil’ drinky-drinky! 

Have a great start to your weekend, loves! Any plans?! Holiday shopping done? I’m allllllmost there. Just something else for my mom & Paris-sis. Hopefully I can navigate the crowds, but since I already have gift-ideas for them, it shouldn’t be too bad!

I work Sat. & Sun. then not again until next Sat! ENJOY!

2 Comments

Filed under dogs, family, grub, holiday, movies, school, shopping, work

Jet-setting…

Off to Paris for the weekend with my sister

 

Oh, how glam am I?! I’ll be sure to take beautiful, abundant photos for your viewing pleasure! Take care, wee-wee, hgu-hgu, aur-vuaw (you know what I mean)!

1 Comment

Filed under holiday, optimism, travel

Thankful and Giving! (and getting)

What a wonderful day I had on Thanksgiving! TG

^ Here I am with Mr. & Mrs. OrangePop… those who birthed me! I love them a lot and am very fortunate to have such loving and supportive parents! I have 2 older sisters who, unfortunately, weren’t able to make it. My sister who is away working at a ski resort went to a church and had a free dinner with the old people who sponsored it!!! How cute! My other sister had her traditional meal the night before and she ate leftovers (which, I think, is one of the best parts of the food-part of the holiday!) that day and lounged, watched the parade (where she actually went to see it in NY last year!). She came home the next day and we’ve been hanging out, when I’m not at work

cake

^ My Vegan with a Vengeance cake! The Ginger-Macadamia Nut-Coconut-Carrot Cake was a total hit!

Quorn Quorn Turk’y Roast– I loved it! Even the biggest meat-eater tried it and agreed it tasted just like turkey and admitted to even liking it! Yay! It’s not vegan, but I’m not. I rubbed it with olive oil and Italian seasoning and then baked it wrapped in tin-foil! Delish!

 sweet taters Sweet Potato Casserole– my favorite side, which became more like the center. Plenty of walnuts, brown sugar and goodness in this baby!

My Black Friday started at 6am, when my mom and I went to Target (oh, love) and saw people LEAVING when we got there… whatttt?! Ludicrous! It’s not that I just needed anything or was looking for something in particular, but this gal loves a good deal, so I was on the hunt… I also loved that it marked the beginning of the holiday season so it was fun listening to the first bit of holiday music on the way there, while it was still dark. I got a sweater-ish top, a pair of black high-tops, Werther’s hard candies, and gum. Woo, big-spender. Then, we went to Michael’s where I got 2 types of yarn (I can crochet!) and some stationary. Then, Old Navy, where I bought two T-shirts. All on sale. Because I’m thrifty like that!

Today, we (my parents, oldest sis & I) went to get our Christmas tree! Beforehand, we stopped and got coffee and bagels, then skipped along to the tree-tent.  We’ve been debating whether or not to get a small tree and put it on a table, like we did last year when Jasper was a very curious pup; or to get a regular-sized tree and risk him eating the ornaments off the bottom, try to drink the tree’s water, or something else spontaneous and odd… in the end, we decided on a tall tree! The very 1st one we looked at was the one we got! It’s just beautiful and it fills the house with a comforting, lovely smell! Live trees are just the way to go! I’ll show you a picture once all the ornaments go up, but for now:

TuckerJasper

 

*Tucker & Jasper taking turns playing Santa!

As we decorated, we, of course, listened to holiday tunes. What’s your favorite song of the season?! I love (I think it’s Paul McCartney?) the song that goes, “Simply- having- a wonderful Christmastime!” It’s so happy and fun! Traditionally speaking, I love “Silent Night” (sad and lovely, because it reminds me of my Grandma) and “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” especially by Bing Crosby!

 

I hope everyone had a fantastic, loving Thanksgiving, like I did! 

Oh, another school week begins, sooo make it a great one!

XOXO~Gossip Girl Miss OP

6 Comments

Filed under dogs, errands, grub, holiday, movies, optimism, school, shopping, Uncategorized

November is almost over?

…it sure is!
I’ve celebrated 5 months of employment at my job! Ha, very monumentous… I am happy to still have a job with the way things seem to be now. Although, the price of gas yesterday, I saw as low as $1.79!!! I had school on Monday & Tuesday, but am off the rest of the time for a little break
I started seeing the Christmas tree tents being filled with trees the other day, too! It is always a tradition for us to get our tree the day after Thanksgiving… which is today. So, HAPPY THANKSGIVING, ya’ll!!! I am blogging to you straight from my couch, as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is starting. Oh, Miley C. and David A. are headliners. What youth this country has!
Last night we had 2 of my aunts and an uncle over for dinner. And some little boy hung out with us… who?! Let me show you:

Jassy

Jassi’per!

Afterward we went out by the pool and had a fire in our fire pit and made s’mores! Let me tell you: it was cooooollldddd! My mom made the best soup in a large pot- plenty for seconds and leftovers! We call it “Garlicky Spicy Tortellini Soup.” It’s super easy, warming, filling, a little spicy, and GOOD! Basic ingredients: (We don’t even use a recipe anymore because it’s this easy. Just stock the ingredients and add as much or as little as you like!) 
  • Package or 2 of Tortellini (we used dry Barilla tortellini, probably the Cheese & Garlic kind, but any would be great! (spinach, 3-cheese, etc.)
  • Large can of stewed tomatoes, cut up
  • 2 cans of tomatoes with green chilies
  • Bag of fresh spinach, rinsed and drained
  • GARLIC!!!!! Few cloves… or bulbs. Ha, no, but this is essential to making the soup that much better (doesn’t garlic just do that to everything?!)

Cook everything and let simmer and add spinach last, just before serving until it shrinks like it does and mixes well. You can add red pepper flakes or S&P, but it’s not really needed.

And, VIOLA! Serve with crusty bread and lots to drink!

Today, of course, is the main event of Thanksgiving! The family is going to be eating real bird, and I’ve seen the whole Tofurkey roast with stuffing, that’s like $27.99, but it’s just me and I’m weary of the Tofurkey brand (although I DO like the lunch “meat” that’s “cranberry-stuffing” flavor. So, that’s holiday-ish!). Anyway, I LOVE Quorn chik’n, so I saw a Turk’y roast (I love how ebonic vegetarianism becomes…) with 5 servings, so I got that to try! 

I’m not a pie fan. I think I used to like it, and I want to like it, but I don’t. We’re having apple & pumpkin pies and Ginger-Macadamia Nut-Coconut Carrot Cake from Vegan with a Vengeance.  Oh-la-la, I’m excited! I’ve got that to cook up today!

We used to have lunch at my mom’s parent’s house, then dinner at my dad’s parent’s. *Phew!* That’s a lot of eating. My mom’s parent’s aren’t alive anymore and everyone’s sort of adopting their own traditions with family, so we’ve decided to give my dad’s parent’s a break since they host Christmas and invite both sides of the family and whoever can make it, comes! We might take the ol’ rascal, Jasper to the park to tire him out, since we’re having a lot of people over today and he’s not a (total) crazy man!

Have a wonderful, giving, loving Thanksgiving!

*Questions for ya:

WHAT ARE YOUR HOLIDAY TRADITIONS?!

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE PARADE (if you watched!)… and/or THE HOLIDAY?!

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?!

I hope you really think about these and really tell the people you love how you feel and take note, not just today, but everyday, for all you have and are able to do! Truly, I’m thankful for so many things I want to cry in appreciation… XOXO~ “Miss OP”

*And yes, I do plan on waking up early to shop. I have to work (changed to later, though!), and even though I rarely buy much, I love the spirit of it and the “kick-off” to the holiday season!

2 Comments

Filed under dogs, grub, holiday, optimism, shopping, work

I’m a list-maker

Wow. So, those of you who are reading this, I truly commend you for being loyal to me! Thank you! And I apologize for being so spacey with this thang.
So, what have I been up to? I’ll tell ya, in list-form…because I am a list-maker in all areas of my life.

1) Oh, Halloween! It’s my favorite holiday, in my favorite month! It just feels so… *ah!* lovely. I carved a pun’kin (mine’s the orange one on the right- see the baby fangs?! My sister’s is on the left… “Hello, Clarisse!”)

punkins

and a sub-note to this: I dressed up, so can you tell which one I am?!
costume

^ you can’t see them, but I’m wearing my favorite high-tops! I will also admit I had all of the components of this “costume” in my closet.

2) Here: the nexspeaks for itself
voted

yeah, almost a risque photo, no? Well, I looked up all the candidates running and made informed choices on the whole ballot! My 1st election– go me!
3) Playing with this rascal:
jasper

aww, Jasper, have you missed him?!

4) I’ve been workin’ it out! …and feeling spiffy! Yesterday I took my 1st cycling class. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, and a guy I know at work does it and was like, “Oh, you would be great at it, you have a cyclists’ body (huh?) and it’s such a good workout! You go at your own pace.” Okay, so I tried it… and I LOVED IT! I feel I’ll get hooked on it. I’ve been lifting weights and running and walking a lot, and eating more, too. SO, I’m hoping to gain some muscle/weight! I already have and my pants are getting tighter. Am I being a boy about liking this weight-gain?! Oh, well…

5) Food I’m digging and want to rave about:

  • Pretzel Goldfish
  • Chunky PB
  • Trailmix of all types!
  • Red bananas
  • 5-grain hot cereal
  • Apples!
  • Clif bars, Luna bars, and other on-the-go snackies
  • Black bean hummus
  • These drinks
  • Orange pop

Anyway, lots more, but I’ve gotta stop sometime… now.

I’m still working and schooling. Lovin’ life.

Keep at it, bloggers and I’ll come back, I promise!!!

1 Comment

Filed under dogs, exercise, grub, holiday, optimism, school, work