about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Christmas 2013 (No, Really!).

Yep, I’m really doing it.  Almost a month late and I’m going to recap Christmas.  Feels totally ridiculous and self-indulgent, but we had so much fun and I have captured every holiday season on here since 2009!  I can’t possibly miss this one.

I’ve also been in a major posting lull because I’ve felt so backlogged and behind.  I’m going to do a quick catch-up on a few fun things so that I can finally move forward in real-time!

Starting with – snow!!  We have had exactly one hour of snow this year.  We woke up to a blanket of white, with the promise of rain to start melting it in the early morning.  I woke Cullen up and he ran to the window and just stared in amazement.  We threw on coats and boots right on top of pajamas and headed outside before breakfast. 

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Cullen has only ever really seen snow one other time before, so this was understandably very exciting.  Also exciting that adorable toddler rain boots can double as snow boots in the winter!

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We ran around for an hour – tasting, throwing, snow-balling, and freezing. 

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And within just an hour of waking up, the rain started and the snow began to melt.  It was gone as quick as it came, but man was it fun.  Maybe we’ll get one more snow day before the season is over?

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That night – family arrived from Ohio and Indiana!

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We spent five glorious days with my mom, her fiancé, and my little sister.  We did a good mix of exploring around the city, doing fun seasonal things like Zoo Lights, and just hanging around the house enjoying the company. 

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Grandma taught Cullen how to bake sugar cookies…

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And when they were ready we all decorated them together at the kitchen table.  Cullen spent the whole time picking the sprinkles off the cookies and eating them. 

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We ate lots of yummy home cooked meals and sat around talking and playing board games at night – one of my favorite things to do during the holidays!  During one of our mornings, we loaded our whole crew up and headed down to Seattle Center to go to the top of the Space Needle!

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My mom and Jim really wanted to go up, and clearly Cullen is always down to visit his favorite Seattle spot.  It started out cloudy and grey and then suddenly the sun came out!  It was fun to point out all the Seattle landmarks and spots that we visit from way up high.

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And the highlight was Cullen’s visit with SPACE NEEDLE SANTA!  This is definitely going on our yearly holiday must-do list.  He was in a rocket ship and Cullen was super impressed.  Hilarious!

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On Christmas Eve we had a low key day at home with obligatory posted family holiday photos.  Mom, Jim, and Cullen…

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My favorite Seattle crew.  :)

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Mom and Sarah – looking adorable as always…

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Check out smiley Graham! 

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Last but not least, me and my favorite girl. 

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We had a yummy Xmas Eve dinner of roasted broccoli and onions…

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A delicious Field Roast loaf, courtesy of my friend Lacey!

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Roasted tri-color carrots…

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And a giant bowl of mashed potatoes with vegan gravy.  So delicious!

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Christmas morning we were up (too) early, as little people were eager to get downstairs.  We came down and quickly got to work preparing our breakfast spread.

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I made Ashley’s gingerbread donuts – just as delicious as last time!

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Casey’s famous scrambled eggs…

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And an enormous fruit salad – my favorite.

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Cullen was super overwhelmed with all the food, family, and festivities.  Naturally, he wanted to open and play with each toy as he unwrapped them. 

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It was also Graham’s FIRST Christmas, and as expected he was a perfect angel.  So adorable!

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It took a loooooooong time to get through the gifts, and by the end Cullen was so overwhelmed he started refusing them – ha!  We barely even got him anything, and I’m glad we didn’t buy more. 

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He got a pair of new pajamas, two puzzles, a basketball hoop, and a pair of shoes.  Pretty boring stuff from mom and dad!  The puzzles were a hit.

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He is completely obsessed with his Super Why floor puzzle.  We do it at least once a day!

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During presents, Graham either hung out in someone’s lap or rocked in his Rock-A-Roo (fun post and giveaway for one coming up soon!). 

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We ended up stretching presents out all throughout the day, and even stashed some away for future rainy days.  Note that he got several new jerseys from family members, and insisted on wearing all of them.  Twenty five is definitely the favorite, and he begs to wear it every single day.  (Go Seahawks!)

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The hoops was a hit, and I like that we got a small one that can be stashed away on the back of the door if we need to consolidate space.  At some point we’ll probably get a bigger one for the backyard, but this more compact version is great for now. 

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Mimi and Grandpa got him this awesome shopping cart to go with his kitchen, and I think by the end of the day we all looked a bit like Mr. Monkey. 

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It was a wonderful holiday and we felt so lucky that our family traveled so far to come spend it with us.  As always it went by way too quickly.  Thanks for indulging me on this totally absurd late trip down memory lane – it was fun to look back through the pictures!  Next up, I’ll fill you in on our fun New Years adventures and then I should be all caught up.  Wishful thinking!

Getting Into The Spirit.

The holidays are in full swing here at our house, and have been for a few weeks now – but I’m just now realizing I haven’t actually shared any of that yet.  Holiday posts are some of my absolute favorites to re-read years later (second only to vacation posts).  We got our tree pretty early this year (the 3rd!), which has been fun for maximizing festivities.

I’ve been so looking forward to this Christmas, since Halloween was such a booming success this year.  Cullen’s first Christmas he was right around Graham’s age – way too small to have any idea what was going on.  And last year he was kind of into it, but not really much of a participant.  But I had high hopes for this year!

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I talked up the Christmas tree for weeks ahead of time, and he loved spotting them out the car windows or whenever we were out shopping.  I told him over and over again that once we got ours, he’d get to put the star on top.  Cue excitement.

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He patiently waited for me to do the many, many strands of lights, and circled me around the tree like a shark.  Of course part of my holiday vision was this lazy Sunday afternoon where we listened to Christmas music and all wore festive but not-too-matchy outfits and it all made for the perfect family photoshoot.  The important stuff, right?

So naturally, it ended up being Thursday night at 7pm in horrible lighting, and my son was wearing a ragged, stained white onesie.  Tis the season of my current state of life, friends.

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I did the first half of the work with the lights and garland, and then I fed and cuddled Graham while Casey and Cullen did all the ornaments.  Casey started by asking Cullen where each one should go, but he just wanted to put all of them on top of each other in the exact same spot – ha!

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He loved pulling each one out of the box, and it was fun to see him get excited about some of my old ornaments from circa 1986. 

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Ragged, old onesie or not, it was a really fun family evening and that was all that I really wanted.

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So when I was growing up we always made a big thing of putting the tree topper on – in our house it was an angel that my mom had hand-sewn.  Ours is a gold star from Target, but hey – whatever.  So getting to put the tree topper on was a big deal, especially in a family of multiple kids.

So of course I made a big deal of Cullen finally being old enough to help me do it.  Although he has participated in years past…


Are you ready for this year’s most ridiculous tree-topping fail?  We got all excited and ready to go…

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Reached out…

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And then realized that the stool was way too far away and the toddler was waaaaay too heavy to hold out that far.  I almost dropped him into the tree!!

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So I moved the stool in and went for it again…

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Double fail.  Poor kid just wanted to put the star on top!

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So we called in the big leagues.  Success!

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Here is the rest of our décor this year.  Our mantle is lined with twinkly lights and adorable holiday cards, and four (!) stockings are hung with care.  Happy that our stockings were still in stock this year so we could get a matching one for little G!

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Some ornaments, holiday candles, and a little Santa friend on our sofa table.

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And my usual hurricanes full of ornaments across the dining room table.  Simple but pretty.

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Our decorated tree in all her glory.  I have called this empty corner of the living room the “Christmas tree corner” since we moved in way back in May, and it’s so fun to watch it come to be.  It is also really fun to decorate our new house because we love it here so much, and it’s nice to finally be able to picture ourselves living here many Chistmas-es to come. 

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(Gratuitous baby-sleeping-in-front-of-ornaments photo)

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Mistletoe.  Always.

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And finally, the advent calendar!  This was a gift from when Cullen was born, and I knew he’d be old enough to do it this year.  He is really into moving the Santa every day, but I made the mistake of telling him that we’d open all the presents once Santa reached the 25.  So despite moving him to the correct number each morning, you can guess where Santa mysteriously ends up by the end of each day…

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And last but certainly not least – the annual Santa photo.  I didn’t go the year Cullen was a baby, but we did go last year and he was scared and cried.  I had a feeling he was going to love it this year, but you never know for sure.  I talked it up big time, and he didn’t miss a beat.  He marched in there and jumped straight onto Santa’s lap before I could even take his coat off.  I was so proud, since he can actually be somewhat hesitant and shy around new people.

We didn’t get a good picture – Cullen looks confused and Graham looks insane – but the smile on Cullen’s face through the ten minutes in there was well worth my $23.  He chatted up Santa, showed him the Bert figurine he carried in, and told him all about the basketball hoop he hopes to get this year.  Such a sweet thing to watch!  And bonus points to Graham for not crying a single tear.

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So that’s how we’ve been celebrating so far this year!  My family arrives tomorrow, and the real celebrations kick in then.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

PS – Fun stuff over on Babble today!

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