Brian and I had brunch at Livingston’s Diner last Saturday. There’s very few places in town that serve corned beef hash and that’s one thing that I really like about Livingston’s. They’re also known for their delicious cinnamon rolls. They don’t skimp on the icing either.
The one thing that isn’t pictured is my hot chocolate with whipped cream. The hot chocolate itself was just okay but the whipped cream was amazing. They make it themselves so it’s “real” whipped cream. It’s the most delicious whipped cream I’ve had in a while. It was so good that I was tempted to ask for a cupful of it. Seriously.
Livingston’s Diner has been and will always be one of my favorite places to eat breakfast; hands down. If I’m going to be bad and eat unhealthy food, I’m going to Livingston’s.
What the girls did…
What the guys did…
Everyone got to do what they wanted to do on Black Friday. Everyone wins.
Brian’s parents who normally host Thanksgiving moved to Oklahoma during the week of Thanksgiving so we ended up hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year. Neither Brian nor I really cook so we went the easy route and ordered our holiday dinner from Fresh Market. It was a good move because the meal was delicious!
We had both ham and turkey, whipped potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn soufflé, green beans, cranberry relish, and yeast rolls. Chad made scalloped potatoes and deviled eggs. Mom made lumpia. Brian made chocolate cobbler and we didn’t burn them this time. LOL. Everything was really good but the corn soufflé was clearly the star of the show. I’m not much into corn bread, but the corn soufflé was sweet and cake-like. I’m never eating corn bread ever again. Corn soufflé all the way. LOL.
Oh, and Brian’s mom left her buffet servers so after reheating everything in the oven we use the buffet servers to keep them warm. It worked out perfect. I’m thinking we may use these again come Christmas time. Speaking of, time to start planning the menu but, knowing us, we’ll probably just end up going through Fresh Market again.
We finally got a chance to catch up with our buys pals, the Dills, last week. We met Jay, Becca, Addi, and Mama Dill for a late lunch at Red Robin.
It was a real treat seeing Addi. We played a few rounds of Go Fish.
She is such a cutie. Oh, and we are both hooked on the freckled lemonade. LOL.
It’s been a few years since Brian and I have eaten at Red Robbin. It’s just not conducive to dieting. I mean, how can you resist the bottomless fries and the free refills on freckled lemonade. I can never get out of there without consuming at least a few thousand calories.
We were finally able to give Jay and Becca their housewarming present which we’d had for several weeks but hadn’t been able to give to them because we couldn’t find a good time to get together. Anyway, it ended up doubling as a birthday present. I joked that if we waited just a few more weeks it could be their Christmas present as well. LOL. Yup. Just in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a cheapskate. Not quite as bad as bad as the people on the Extreme Cheapskates TV show on TLC but I do have some miserly ways.
My super awesome husband helped me assemble and decorate our new Christmas tree. That’s after I registered my new tree on the NationalTree.com of course.
Here’s what the new tree looked like before we added trimmings. Brian and I agreed that this is the most beautiful Christmas tree we have ever owned. I searched everywhere for a 9-foot tall, slim tree that’s got character. I finally found one that I liked at HomeDecorators.com. I never knew about that store until my search for the perfect Christmas tree began. Now I’m hooked.
Anyway, I love that my new tree already has pinecones and berries and has a snowy look to it because then I don’t have to buy as many ornaments.
This is a photo of Brian trying to figure out if there’s enough room between the top of the tree and the ceiling for my new Kurt Adler 20-Light gold rattan star tree topper. It’s a $30 tree topper that I got on Amazon for just $14. I love, love, love Amazon!
This is our tree after we added some ornaments. I found rattan stars that match my tree topper perfectly at Pier 1. I only got 10 of them and now wish that I would have gotten some more. Brian and I decided that it’s probably for the best as we wanted to keep this tree minimalistic.
Here’s a closer look at our tree.
The balls are not really ornaments. They are rattan vine glitter sphere decorations (also from Pier 1). Most people put them in a bowl or basket. The burlap eucalyptus leaf branches are another one of my improvisations. I think most of the time you’ll see these in tall vases. I had a vision of a natural-looking, woodsy, minimalist Christmas tree and I thought these decorations, though not really sold as Christmas tree ornaments, would look great in my tree.
The rest of my vision involved a burlap Christmas tree skirt and burlap ribbon. The tree skirt was perfect except for a small gash. I can’t tell if I got a defective item or if Brian damaged it while he was trying to open the package. He has this thing about using his knife to open packages and he’s not always the most gentle with it. I don’t ever return stuff so I guess I’m keeping it. I’m not happy about the tear, though.
As far as the ribbon, well, I miscalculated and ran out. I thought 10 yards would be enough. Wrong. I ordered some more ribbon, which should arrive in a couple of days because I caved and signed up for Amazon Prime. As much as I order from Amazon, you’d think I’d have a Prime membership already. I’m too cheap for that, though. I usually just take advantage of the free super saver shipping. However, running out of burlap ribbon in the middle of trimming the tree constituted an emergency. LOL.
Anyway, stay tuned because I’ll be taking a picture of the completed tree as soon as the additional burlap arrives. Check back soon.
Jenni celebrated her birthday at John Barleycorn’s last week. It was a subdued birthday party. We just hung out and played some Scrabble. It was the first time I’d ever played Scrabble at a bar before. I don’t generally hang out at bars, but if they offered Scrabble I’d probably visit more frequently. LOL.
Brian’s parents treated us to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse on Sunday night. It actually should have been the other way around but they insisted.
Brian and I had never been to Longhorn before. This was our first trip. They were off to a rocky start when they asked us to wait to be seated when there were several vacant tables throughout the restaurant. I’m not sure what was going on there.
We had some of their pretzels with the beer infused cheese dip while we waited for our entrees. It was pretty good. What I liked most about them is that they were super salty so I didn’t need to salt them.
I can’t remember what this salad is called. It had apple chips and bacon and a tangy dressing. It was decent, but I don’t think Brian liked it.
I took a picture of the bread because I take pictures of everything, specially if it’s a restaurant that I’ve never tried before.
We should have stopped at the salads. Alas, eating healthy was not meant to be.
Brian and I decided to keep the calories and cost down by sharing an entree.
He had the filet and the baked potato while I had the lobster and shrimp mac and cheese portion of the entree. I had a bite Brian’s steak which I thought was good, but he was unimpressed.
The food was just okay over all. If we’d been there before, I don’t think I would have picked it. It’s just not the kind of restaurant that I would go out of my way to dine at. I do think it’s better than Outback, but I wouldn’t eat at Outback either. LOL.
At least our server Damian was great. He was friendly and attentive. His service elevated our dining experience. If we ever go back, I’m asking for his section.
One of the dinners Donna made while she and David were staying with us was beef stew. She made a ton so we had plenty of leftovers. I was starving after I got home from my Sunday morning workout with Val so I rummaged through the fridge and decided to heat up some of the left over beef stew. While I was rummaging through the fridge I also found our leftover shrimp so I went ahead and tossed it in there. Voila! Leftover stew. It was actually really good. I wouldn’t mind having it again.
Saturday was busier than usual. Started out with my last Saturday Zumba class of the year at Evergreen Recreation Center. After that it was off to Chipotle for a quick lunch before our dental appointment.
We arrived at the dental office early hoping that they could get us in earlier than our scheduled appointment. No such luck. Instead we ended up going to Pier 1 to pass the time. But it worked out because I got to pick up some new Christmas decorations.
Lucky for us the dentist was running on schedule so we were both able to get out of there shortly after two o’clock, which meant I was able to make it to the Zumbathon at Bishop Carroll High School on time. That was a lot of fun.
After that Brian and I had to shower and get ready quickly so we could head to Cheddar’s and put our group on the waiting list. They don’t take reservations or call ahead. They are strictly first come, first served. The hostess I spoke with on the phone on Friday night was pretty adamant about that. LOL.
We had to wait at the bar for our table because of the 40-minute wait. And, Cheddar’s isn’t able to accommodate large groups so we were actually seated in three different booths. Thankfully, the booths were pretty close to one another so at least we weren’t in opposite sides of the restaurant.
I took some pictures while we were waiting because that’s what I do.
I had two of these yummy concoctions that night.
Booth number one…
Booth number two…
Cheddar’s does pretty well for a restaurant that just serves okay food. I think the one thing they’ve got going for them is their proximity to the movie theater. I bet they do extremely well whenever there’s a big movie out.
Their croissants are pretty good too. Brian and I always order some when we’re there. So there is that. The food prices are pretty reasonable also so you can’t really go wrong there. It’s an easy choice for a pre-movie dinner. I just wouldn’t recommend them for large groups like ours. We had a total of 17 people that night at the restaurant, with 16 going to the movie.
The movie was great. I definitely felt my two Maui margaritas during a couple of parts, but I managed to stay awake.
I think everyone enjoyed the movie and had a great time. Thanks to Andrea and Carla for hatching the plan to go to the movies together.
We’ll definitely need to do this again soon!
There’s a bonus card hidden inside the lid.
I think that is the best part really. It only came with 20 new cards and they’re not as good as the cards from the original game and the first three expansions. I mean, they’re about boxes. Blech. However, the web site advertises that I can use the big box as a bludgeon. So that’s something. Though I haven’t tried it — yet.
Speaking of games, Brian and I learned a new game yesterday. It’s called Nertz. It’s the party game of choice at Brian’s work Christmas party, which we’ve missed for the last couple of years because it always falls on the same night as my work Christmas party and we always end up going to mine. This year we are fortunate that the two Christmas parties are on separate weekends so we can finally attend. Anyway, we just learned about the game yesterday so we’ve been practicing. We’re not very competitive. Can you tell?
Oh, Brian wanted me to point out that he won every single round we played tonight. I think it’s his Brian pills. He has an unfair advantage. Lucky for me, we’re playing on the same team come the night of the Christmas party. We’re taking this baby down!