Well hello Monday, we meet again. 

Except this Monday is really my Tuesday – so it’s the best kind of Monday! I have Friday off and this weekend is my annual Girls Weekend extravaganza! This year we are flying to Chicago to spend some time exploring Michigan Avenue (okay – shopping) and catching up on our busy lives (read – over fun cocktails). 

I can’t wait!  (You can read about other girls trips here, here, here, here, and here. Clearly we like to have fun. And we shop for shoes.)

The weekend was actually just the right amount of busy. I spent Saturday with my sister-in-law, her sister, and their aunts … a mini girls’ day right here in Buffalo enjoying the occasional shops, then heading back to my house for wine, cupcakes and LuLaRoe. There was lots of Christmas out at all the stores, which was slightly disconcerting. I refused to cave and, instead, bought a new bracelet, a retro fun pair of cheaters, and this turkey platter because I believe turkey must have its day before I go too crazy on the Christmas stuff. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Saturday night, I made THE BEST meal for a cold, damp, dreary evening – Ina Garten’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken, a new recipe for Cheesy Mushroom stuffing, and mashed potatoes. It was amazing — and if you haven’t made this chicken recipe, you need to. (The recipe calls for a whole chicken that you remove the backbone and butterful, but you don’t have to do that – just buy the parts and arrange them in the skillet. It’s easy! And a good hint on the stuffing – it calls for wild mushrooms, but just buy two or three varieties at the supermarket and mix them together. Delish!)

Monday Musings | via MyOtherMoreExcitingSelf.com

Sunday I literally did not get out of my PJs. Seriously. I can’t remember the last time I actually did that. I should’ve taken Joe to church (bad mom guilt as the confirmation requirements clock is ticking) but it was so nice to have a quiet morning to enjoy a cup of coffee and get a head start on some LuLaRoe I wanted to get ready for my Sunday night sale. I didn’t hear Joe complain. Although to be honest, I didn’t hear Joe at all until he woke up at 10:45 a.m. LOL!

Also weird for Sunday – I didn’t watch one single minute of football. I mean, the Vikings were on bye, but even so, I usually have the games on. Instead, I totally binged watched Hallmark Channel Christmas movies and loved it. In a very busy world full of stress and bad news, those Hallmark Channel movies make my heart happy.

While watching Hallmark, I also researched restaurants in downtown Chicago for our trip … I’m a total travel geek, so I sought recommendations from friends on Facebook and then put all those recommendations in an Excel spreadsheet to review further, jot any thoughts down, and email it to my sister for her feedback. After about 12 zillion texts back and forth, I’m happy to report that our Saturday night and Sunday night restaurant reservations are booked now! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Monday Musings | via MyOtherMoreExcitingSelf.com

And so here I am, back to Monday, enjoying the last of my Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting … also from the brilliant Ina Garten. You need to run (not walk) to the store to get the ingredients for these as they might quite literally be the best cupcakes I have ever tasted. The cake is so moist and flavorful and the frosting is sheer perfection.

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God bless, Ina Garten!

And with that, I bid you a Monday adieu … and I’ll be back soon with another update!

xoxo – Lara

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