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25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 16

2014 December 16
by Laura

[Ed note: It’s December 16th?!?!??!]

Caught this rare moment of quietude for the Big Guy at the mall last Friday.

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25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 15

2014 December 16
by Laura

Day 15: Festive government buildings are so sweet!

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25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 14

2014 December 16
by Laura

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Day 14: A Christmas concert at the National Cathedral.

25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 13

2014 December 14
by Laura

Day 13: SantaCon for a cause! Donating to hospice and children’s charities in Annapolis yesterday.

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25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 12

2014 December 14
by Laura

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Day 12: Babysitting has so many perks, one of which is catching up on my favorite Christmas book classics.

25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 11

2014 December 14
by Laura

Christmas chips and Mama Sull’s “Holsa.”

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Winter reads

2014 December 11
by Laura

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, mainly because my library card pressures me to read books before I have to return them, and the imperfect library hold system usually results in me getting six books at once. I’ve been devouring books lately, reading them in between work, on my lunch breaks, curled on the couch with Rennie. I even convinced Someone to get a library card, too, so we now read in companionable silence quite often. Recent reads:

Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell

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This was just an adorable little love story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Last Letter from Your Lover, Jojo Moyes

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She makes me ugly cry. This was a great read.

One Plus One, Jojo Moyes

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See above comments. Such a good story.

Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer

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I read this book in one day. Enjoy.

Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty

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Mint-chocolate Chex goodie bars

2014 December 11
by Laura

I asked Someone the other day what his favorite Christmas goodie was and he replied, “Oh, rice krispie treats.”

You should have seen my face.

You see, this is going to make me sound like a snob, but I’ve never made rice krispie treats before. They just…they were never really my thing. My mom never made them, I never got them at bake sales in high school. I have no fond memories of rice krispie treats.

Until now, that is. Because yesterday I made the best thing ever.

But it’s not a rice krispie treat. It’s a “Chex goodie bar.” (That’s what I’m calling it, anyway.) Rice Chex is gluten free, rice krispies are not (malted something or other is in it).

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I melted 3 tablespoons of butter in a big pot and threw in 1 bag of Jet puffed marshmallows. Then I stirred it all up until it was melty (and frankly, a frightening texture) and then I added about 5 cups of rice Chex cereal.

AND THEN….because, why would I leave it like that….

I pressed it into a parchment-lined pan and sprinkled mint chocolate chips on top. YUP.

Cut it into squares after it cools and individually wrap for the best freshness. Delicious with coffee.

More cookies to come…

Cleaning your microwave

2014 December 11
by Laura

It’s nasty. Despite using your handy-dandy (and totally amazing) microwave cover, your microwave gets filled with crap. Who knows where it’s from, but it is grimy and gross and you’re always too lazy to clean it.

Until now. The easiest, fastest way to clean a microwave ever. (There is a reason there is no BEFORE picture of my microwave, because you all would totally judge the crap out of me.)

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Take a microwave safe bowl and add about 1/2 cup of water to it. If you have a lemon, great! Squeeze some juice into the bowl and throw the lemon half in there. If you don’t, a tablespoon of lemon juice will do.

Microwave the bowl of lemon juice water for about 3 minutes, and then wait — do not open the microwave for another 5 minutes. (It helps to set the microwave to cook for 3 minutes while also setting a kitchen timer for 8 minutes).

When you open the microwave, carefully remove the bowl. Take out the plate and clean that separately. Wipe the ceiling, sides, and floor of the microwave with a dry paper towel—the dirt and grime comes right off. And don’t forget the door!

It blows my mind EVERY TIME how easily this cleans the dirt off. There is no elbow grease required! So easy. And so fresh and clean.

Happy cleaning!

25 Days of Christmas photos: Day 10

2014 December 11
by Laura

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Even a cold, rainy Rennie walk is joyful with Christmas lights.