Christmas Returns

All of the Christmas decorations are still up. We’re slacking!

But we did make some Christmas returns, so the day hasn’t been a complete waste.

At around 11 a.m., we took Sadie on a three-mile hike for her morning exercise.

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She’s was lovin’ life and the 60-degree weather. It was chilly enough that she wasn’t panting, but cool enough that she had that extra pep in her step and ran all over the trails like a goober.

Post-hike, we came home and showered which was eventful. I have to shower with a plastic bag tied around my left hand to keep my glued-up pinky out of water, so soaping the bod is an adventure. Ryan helped me wash my hair on Saturday, but let’s just say I’ll probably be sportin’ some greasy hair for the next week or so.


Once we were clean, we ate a quick lunch of New Year’s Day dinner leftovers.

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I actually liked the black-eyed peas even more after that sat in the fridge for a day. They were extra salty and flavorful.

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We then headed out to do some Christmas present returns.

I requested a Starbucks run since Ryan and I both received Starbucks gift cards for Christmas from our mothers. Sweet!

I ordered a grande peppermint mocha and complimented the barista on the best peppermint mocha I’ve ever had from Starbucks. She did an awesome job and it was extra foamy!

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With a burst of caffeine, we hit up a few stores to exchange and return gifts.

First up was Barnes & Nobel where we went to return a cookbook Ryan bought for me. It was a gorgeous cookbook, but the recipes were crazy detailed and called for a bunch of obscure ingredients, so Ryan understood when I explained that I loved it (the photography was incredible!), but that I would likely never use it.

Gotta love all the diet books out for the new year!

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We returned the cookbook and nabbed the second book in The Maze Runner series, The Scorch Trials.

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We ended up finishing The Maze Runner last night and can’t wait to begin book number two in the series. I know I said it yesterday, but you’ll love these books if you’re a Hunger Games fanatic. (For my fellow readers, I’ll do a full review of The Maze Runner series once we finish all three books.)

Our second errand took us to Gander Mountain, which deeply excited Ryan. Outdoor equipment galore!

While there, I just about peed my pants when a rogue mannequin arm scared the crap out of me!

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Ryan obviously found this hilarious.

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After a pit stop at the grocery store to stock up on a week’s worth of food, we’re finally back home and ready to tackle the Christmas décor!

Sadly I don’t think our half-lit mini Christmas tree will see another Christmas.

I plan to listen to Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas CD one final time as we pack everything up, so that should make the process a little less depressing!


  1. Whitney says

    I sliced my finger open last summer trying to get the pit out of an avocado. Instead of cleaving the pit, I cleaved my finger! My husband had to wash my hair for days…that’s love right there 😉


  2. says

    LOL at the pic of the arm on the ground and the one of Ryan! This post’s title deceived me because I thought it would be about Christmas itself somehow returning/making a comeback haha. And those leftovers do look EXTRA good! I love food that’s just as good/better left over.


  3. says

    I’m currently procrastinating my Christmas decorations too. It’s so sad! I have a friend who takes all of hers down on the night of the 25th…like whoa!

    I can’t listen to anymore Christmas music…I want to but it hurts my heart. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.


  4. says

    we took down Christmas decor this morning. i was a little sad to see it all come down, but after it was all put away, i felt so relieved! it was nice to have everything back to normal and know that life will slow down a bit these next few months.


  5. Liz says

    Having read both the Hunger Games trilogy and the Maze Runner trilogy, I think you’d be extremely into the Gone series by Michael Grant. Same kind of dystopian concept: teenagers thrown into a horrible world and have to figure out how to survive. I DEVOURED the first four books and cannot wait for the last two to come out.


  6. says

    Ah love your long black running tights! I’ve been looking for a good pair since I’ve been back, but they seem kinda hard to find in Florida. Where do you buy yours?


  7. says

    haha the random arm is hilarious! And I’m glad you mentioned the Maze Runner- I just put it on hold at the library. I finished The Host by Stephenie Meyer yesterday and am already in withdrawal lol so I’m looking forward to something new


  8. says

    I just finished the 3rd Maze Runner book. Loved them. Other good YA dystopia I’ve read: Matched, Birthmarked, and Uglies, all the first book in a series. And Divergent…which I think you may have already reviewed on here? Yeah, I’m a nerd 😉


  9. Emily says

    best cookbook ever:

    Better homes and Gardens. I got it for christmas. I am a college student so I need recopies to be simple, yet delicious. This book is perfect! And it has lots of tips like for entertaining and with wines and cheeses, also how to set a table for 3 different occasions.

    you won’t be disappointed!

    (ps I am not a home and gardens rep lol this sounds like I am)


  10. Lea says

    Hey Julie, I live in Hawaii and have been reading your blog forever and I’ve always noticed Ryan wears an Outrigger Canoe Club t-shirt quite often. Just curious how he came upon them since it’s a club only on Oahu- it’s one of my favorite spots to hang! Love your blog btw!


  11. Nicole G says

    I was wondering if you ended up getting your Lulu Stride Jacket for Christmas! Great color too!!

    Also wanted to ask, do you and Ryan take turns reading out loud to each other? My husband and I only read one book together, but he felt funny reading aloud and I had to read us the whole thing! Silly dude! I am reading The Help on the Kindle Fire my hubby got me for Christmas. I really love everything about books so I never wanted and eReader but I really do love it!!


  12. Shelly @ I Can Do It! says

    My Christmas tree is still up as well. I had big plans to take it down today, but I don’t think I’m ready quite yet. Good job on tackling yours!


  13. Chelsea @ Go Chelsea Go! says

    I need to check out the Maze Runner series–I love dystopian novels! I went through the Hunger Games series in less than a week, but I was SO disappointed with the last book!


  14. Christina says

    Just started reading your blog. It’s great! After my knee surgery, I used dry shampoo. It comes in an aerosol can and works well to get rid of that greasy hair look when you can’t actually shampoo.


  15. says

    Julie – when you walk Sadie at the parks.. do you leash her?
    At our local park so many people walk their dogs off leashes, but there is so many animals around (squirrels, deer, etc) … that I don’t see how their owners wouldn’t worry they’d take off and chase one just as a natural instinct!


    • says

      we usually let her roam off leash on our hikes b/c she naturally doesn’t ever go more than 30 feet or so from us (vizslas are called “velcro dogs” b/c they always stay close to their owners). she’s taken off after wild turkeys and deer before, but comes back really fast when she gets too far from us. we’ll leash her up when we get close to water though b/c of gators.


  16. Tiffany says

    A hike sounds like so much fun!!

    By the way, did you watch the Rose parade? or is that a California tradition only…

    Have a great day 🙂


  17. Ellen says

    I’m currently reading the Hunger Games and am so in love with them! I’m definitely going to look into reading The Maze Runner series. And I hate taking down the Christmas decorations, never fun,


  18. says

    Oh man now I really want a peppermint mocha! Those things are fabulous. I totally would have freaked out if I saw that mannequin arm haha. I just may have to start reading that series…I LOVE The Hunger Games! I also recently read a book called Shatter Me (by Tahereh Mafi)- it was amazing! It’s supposed to be the first book in a trilogy but sadly the second book won’t come out til next year. I definitely recommend it though!


  19. Emly Teal says

    Slightly off topic but I LOVE your beige-ish boots. Where did you get them? I have been searching for a pair exactly like yours.


  20. says

    Sounds like a productive day to me! Out of curiosity, what was the cookbook you returned? I love looking at cookbooks, but I am guilty of typically not making anything out of them and just checking out the pictures! My favorite cookbook is just the classic Betty Crocker!


  21. Julie says

    I just ordered The Maze Runner — pretty excited!

    For non-greasy hair, I highly recommend “Pssssst” it’s an Instant Spray Shampoo that you just spray in and takes out the oil/grease because it has a lot of powder in it to absorb it … Only don’t spray too much or you’re hair will turn white but just wipe it off then 🙂 Learned from experience! I use it when necessary or sick 🙂 You can find it at your local pharmacy most likely.

    I also have been eating Egg Sandwiches for breakfast like you normally do and the jelly does MAGIC! I used to use just cheese (soy cheese) and an egg but the jelly makes it awesome! Thanks for the tip!


  22. Jill says

    Wow, Ryan reads too? That is so neat.

    I MUST buy ham. There are no “organic” or whatever ones around me…but I have to buy it anyway. What kind did you buy? (on the label).

    I read The Maze Runner last fall and loved it. Not sure I’m committed to reading the 2nd now though (its been such a long while since I last read it and my library doesn’t get newer releases very quickly).

    I read The Violets of March after you mentioned it before. Not something I would normally read, so it was decent considering that…not my normal thing, but still a warming type of read.


  23. says

    I love that Sadie literally clings herself to you guys when you pick her up lol. I hate when I have cuts on my fingers, especially in the spaces between them. You never realize how much you use your hands until you feel every single thing that you do x10.


  24. Sara @ RunnerWife says

    Love your jacket on your hike! I have had cook books like that – I need simple and with not too many ingredients for me to actually use it. I got a simple crock pot recipe book for Christmas and love it!! Simple and perfect for busy on the go people like my hubby and I.


  25. says

    If you want to wash your hair you could get a few latex gloves (lowes) and use some medical tape to tape up the end of the glove so no water gets in – or a rubber band at the base of the glove so no water gets in.
    Gander Mountain is a pretty amazing store, if it weren’t an hour away from us I guarantee we’d spend a lot more time there (my bank acct is happy that it’s an hr away)


  26. says

    Oh man, I don’t blame you for putting off taking down Christmas decorations. Definitely a depressing process. It was super depressing for me this year, as my mom had me put most of my ornaments in a separate box so I can take them with me when I (hopefully) move out after I graduate in May. Life’s gettin’ real around here.


  27. Betsy says

    Hi Julie! If you don’t feel like buying dry shampoo, use baby powder instead! It works just as well for me. On a separate note, are you watching The Bachelor right now?? It’s the weirdest episode I’ve ever seen… Jenna is sobbing hysterically in the bathroom because some blonde girl supposedly said something mean to her that none of us ever heard. Said blonde girl is putting the moves on another girl while the rest of the ladies watch?? This is hands down the most disappointing episode ever 🙁 Everyone seems mentally unbalanced.


  28. Jen says

    Are you wearing leggings in the pic at Barnes & Noble?? Which brand do you wear? I can’t seem to find ones that aren’t either see through or totally unflattering.


  29. says

    I haven’t read the Maze Runner series yet, but I definitely need to! I love that you guys read books together. That’s so cute.
    I got all of my Christmas returns done today too. One post-holiday duty that I can cross off my list!


  30. says

    Oh you poor thing, having a glued finger can’t be fun but well done in negotiating the help of your husband in the hair care, I’m not sure mine would be brave enough to even try!


  31. Gina @ Will Run For Cupcakes says

    Number one, I love, love, love how you guys hold Sadie like she is a real child! I think it’s the cutest thing in the world.
    Two, my sister is a Halloween fanatic and she constantly has life size dummies everywhere, and although their arms aren’t falling off (yet), they scare me half to death on a regular basis!


  32. Stephanie @ Ultra Ambitious says

    Sadie is adorable! I pick up/carry my golden retriever around like that…but he’s a tad bit bigger haha 😉


  33. says

    I love that first picture of Ryan & Sadie. Her look is just perfect…it’s like ‘that’s my Dad & I’m so proud.’ 🙂 Haha! I don’t know why but I just thought it was adorable.
    & I just read above that you didn’t really like the 3rd Hunger Games either..I don’t either. I just cannot get into it like the first two. I’m stilllllll trying to get through it, but I’m only around page 60 and it’s just dragging. I really want to see how it ends though, I hear it’s really sad.


  34. says

    Try the Treseme Fresh Start products. I used them for a couple days following foot surgery (when I just didn’t care what was going on). It helped me to feel fresher despite the fact I couldn’t shower!


  35. says

    I just started the Hunger Games series yesterday and am really enjoying it so far. Glad to hear that there is another series out there like it, I’ll have to add The Maze Runner to my list of must-reads!


  36. Cate says

    Hi! I have only a few pages left of Divergent and am bummed that the next book doesn’t come out until May. So, in the meantime, I will read the Maze Runner trilogy. I just found on Amazon that there is a prequel to this coming out in August (The Kill Order). I’m not sure if you already know but I thought I’d pass along to you.



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