Wednesday, November 5, 2014

10 Favorite Fall and Holiday Activities

So today's prompt for the November Blogathon was supposed to be to write about a favorite fall or holiday tradition. I am the kind of girl that just really likes to do sentimental, meaningful things. Because of this, I have listed 10 of my favorites. Some are traditions, most are just favorite activities that happen to be tied to a season.

Seeing the Leaves-the only view as beautiful as when all the leaves turn is when all the leaves are at their peak of green.

Shooting/Hunting-fall means hunting seasons in my family. Not so much for me since I now don't have residency in the state I live, but I make up for it by shooting every year. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

Watching Sports-the weeks leading up to the start of the NBA season are a joyful time in the Lee household. And this year I was invited into the exclusive Lee fantasy sports league, so lets see how much I still don't know.

Thanksgiving Games-one year my mom realized that after eating Thanksgiving dinner nobody wants to move. We would all spread throughout the house, reading a book, taking a nap, watching a movie, or whatever else we felt like and just hang out. So now, we all help put everything away as fast as we can and sit around the table to play games. Still sitting, most of the time still snacking, but we love the time we get to spend together.

Breathing the Cold Air-call me crazy, but it is a big deal to me when I step out of my house and feel the freezing air for the first time. I love it. It brings back so many emotions and memories. Talk to me in a month and I probably won't love it as much.

November/December Movies-the movies that want to win an award start coming out soon. I love it. Don't get me wrong, I love a good blockbuster as much as anyone, but a good smart, critically acclaimed movie brings me joy. I like to end a movie feeling how I do after a good book, like I have been told an amazing story that I can get invested in. And yes, we already have our tickets to an advanced showing of Interstellar at the IMAX. Thursday cannot come fast enough.

Reading-Thanksgiving and Christmas break from school mean I set a goal to see how many books I can read. Last year I reread the final few Harry Potter books. The year before I cried over The Book Thief. We will see what happens this year.

Running Indoors-eventually it gets too cold and icy to run outside anymore so we head to the gym to use the treadmills. Those first few days are amazing, I feel like I can run forever! Then spring comes and we transition back to outdoor running and I remember that treadmills make it so much easier. But man, that first week is motivating.

Getting Together with Friends: shifting to indoor activities means people start to socialize more intimately. I love having people over for dinner, going to an event, going to dinner, all those things that happen around the holidays when people feel sentimental.

Celebrating with Brett-both our birthdays and our anniversary fall between September and December. I like that all these events are spread pretty evenly over the time, especially when you throw in holidays, but I also like that it breeds four whole months of gratitude for each other.

So there it is, my list of 10 reasons why I love fall and the holidays. What are some of the things you would put on your list? Let me know, I am always open to adding great traditions and activities to my lists.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Favorite Fall Recipe

I have to admit, it was hard for me to come up with a favorite fall recipe for today's November Blogathon post. I thought about going with something warm and hearty, like soup or a roast, but instead decided to go for a more transitional season dish.

image and recipe via
Zucchini, Black Bean, Rice Bake

I love this dish because I can still use some of the summer produce left over and that I don't want to let go of, but mixing it with the rice and black beans makes it warm and filling. I do make two changes away from this original recipe. First, I really like using fresh tomatoes. I think the tomatoes taste better, and they also don't take over the taste of the other ingredients. Since I don't use the juice from the can I usually have to throw in 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra water as well as put in some Italian seasoning (and whatever other spices I feel like that day).  The second change I make is adding chicken to make it a main dish. I still use the same large pan, but before putting in the zucchini and bell pepper I cook up some chicken pieces with some simple lemon pepper. Then just add everything in like the instructions say.

Check out the recipe here!

Monday, November 3, 2014

30 Facts About Me

  1.  I’m a twenty-something college student
  2. I’m also married, and have been for the last three years
  3. I’m a Mormon
  4. After this semester, I just have my student teaching left before I graduate
  5. I love reading
  6. Historical Fiction novels are my favorite
  7. I am soooo done with dystopian novels right now
  8. I love the outdoors-that means anything
  9. I come from a hunting family, and yes, we start young
  10. I grew up in a small town and loved it
  11. Each time I have moved, the town has gotten larger, and I still love it
  12. Sometime in the next 6 months or so we will move to a city at least the size of Seattle, so that’s a big shift from where I started
  13. I like being tall, and even though I am already taller than most girls at 5’8”, my husband is 6’4” so I still get to wear tall heels, which is great
  14. I like laughing and have a different laugh for each situation
  15. I am a huge nerd, about multiple things
  16. I like cooking for fun, I find it relaxing, but not the dishes afterward
  17. I am fiercely loyal and sometimes turn into a mamma bear when I feel like I need to come to the defense of someone I care about
  18. If given the opportunity, I can eat my weight’s worth of a few things, like chips & salsa, mashed potatoes, kettle popcorn, and my mother-in-law’s peanut butter rice Krispy treats.
  19. I am actually home sick right now, so that isn’t fun.
  20. Brett and I love watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Each time we go to a new city we try to go to a DDD restaurant
  21. History fascinates me. I love learning the larger story and seeing how events lead to each other. I love it.
  22. Genetics has given me a ridiculously high cholesterol level, so now I get to exercise a ton, and eat like a rabbit
  23. I really like getting to exercise a ton, and I have gotten to the point where I have started to enjoy eating like a rabbit
  24. During the past 3 years I have learned a seemingly infinite number of NBA facts, and now get (almost) as emotionally invested in a game as Brett does.
  25. I crochet like an old lady. But I like it. So do my younger sisters.
  26. In fact, I learned how to knit, crochet, and sew from a young age from my grandmas and mother. Knitting is the only one I don’t do anymore
  27. My birthday is Christmas Day, so that is pretty awkward.
  28. I have never died my hair. The older I get, the darker it gets, and every year I think I am going to try something, but I don’t.
  29. I am the oldest child, married to the 5th of 6 kids, so I get to see how much fun it is when all the children in a family are adults. I am so excited for that to happen with my own siblings.
  30. I love fall and winter. Sweater weather is better weather!