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Day 41: Snow Pants

These are what are called “snow pants.” My sister coined the term many years ago to denote her favorite pajama pants that had snow flakes on them. We decided that they are actually able to conjure snow whenever we wear our designated snow pants! Yes, I know that these have pink snow flakes, but hey. I’m wearing them this week! I want to get that snow day on Friday that the news is talking about! Better safe than sorry! 😉

Brrr!! We’ve been in one of the longest cold snaps here in Georgia that I can remember. It’s been so miserable- cold, windy, and dry. Even inside my apartment, it seems I just can’t get it warm enough (without jacking the heat up to 80 which doesn’t seem economically wise!) So, I had casually mentioned to my dad before Christmas that I should get one of those space heaters for myself. Well, guess what Santa brought me! It’s loud (only drawback!) but it heats up so quickly! I have it positioned to blow directly on me while I sit on the sofa. Between this and my electric blanket, I have no reason to go out into the cold!!

Isn’t it so sad?? Here’s my poor little tree post-Christmas. 😦 It got really dry after my trip to Virginia, despite having plenty of water, so I decided to go ahead and take it down this weekend instead of waiting till after January 6th. It actually went pretty quickly, especially since I hadn’t put up too many ornaments. I think I got them all off, too! It’s sleeping out on my balcony tonight. I haven’t decided where I want to get rid of it. I would like to recycle it somewhere, but I don’t have any way to take it to a recycling center. I could drag it to the apartment complex trash dump, but I feel guilty doing that! There is the mini-forest behind my building on the other side of the parking lot, though……. No one would notice, right?

While visiting my brother, niece and sister-in-law this week, she made a great enchilada casserole for lunch one day. Well, taking inspiration from that meal, I came up with this similar recipe for dinner tonight! I’m calling it Mexican Lasagna because it’s layered like lasagna but with Mexican style ingredients. I used a round glass pan that is just slightly larger than a tortilla. I greased it with olive oil and put some salsa on the bottom of the pan. I sautéed about 1/2 cup of corn, 1/2 a large red onion and 1/2 orange bell pepper both diced, till soft. I added about a teaspoon of chopped jalapeño from a can, approximately 2/3 of a can of black beans (rinsed), and salted to taste. For the layers, I did salsa on bottom, corn tortilla, sauté mixture, more salsa, several fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves and shredded habañero cheddar cheese! I made 3 layers and cooked it in a 400 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes (until the cheese had browned on top).

It was delicious!! I will definitely be making this more often. It was such an easy casserole to put together, too. I’m already excited for leftovers tomorrow (it made about 2 perfect servings!) Side note: I may have put slightly too much jalapeño, because it was quite spicy. However, it really depends on your taste and mood!

After the ball/peach dropped for the new year, we all went outside Cathy’s building down to the tennis courts to set off firecrackers and sparklers!! It was a blast (no pun intended! :P) I especially liked the sparklers. I didn’t realize we could buy those here in Georgia! I may have to start including them on future celebrations more often!  Here is Mandy doing tricks with hers. I am pleased at how this turned out for a hand-held shot! Happy New Year!

We went over to Cathy’s place for New Year’s Eve. It was a casual and relaxed party. We all brought over food and alcohol to share, which was nice (I brought brownies!) Midnight seemed to come pretty quickly. Cathy was super-prepared with glow stick necklaces and bracelets for everyone. We turned off the lights, had our glasses of champagne ready, and got our glow sticks glowing! I think it was a perfect touch to the mood of the evening. 🙂

Look! Santa is climbing up the Eiffel Tower! This is one of my favorite ornaments. My mom and dad gave it to me one year from Christmas (not sure if it was actually 1995 or not). It’s cute isn’t it? When thinking of what I definitely want to take with me to England once I move, this and other special ornaments I’ve been given are already on the list!