Chili, blogs and cookies. Two of the three are not good for my diet.

Good grief.  I guess the holiday season is here.  Seriously, it’s pretty insane the amount of food and fellowship I’ve already been exposed to over the last week, and that I’ve exposed my twitter and facebookverse to as well.  Allow me to go on the record and officially apologize to all my dieting friends for the plethora of food photos I’ve sent into the interwebs this week…I’m sorry.  I will try to do better, especially since I’ve been liking fitting into those old jeans recently, thank you very much. 

Not that I’m complaining.  Far from it.  From the virtual interactions of new friends and blogs to explore on Arkansas Women Bloggers (still time to register, ladies, if you haven’t already – they are doing giveaways) to the 1st Annual Walton Arts Center Staff Chili Cookoff to the 5th Annual Cookiefest with my gals Jennifer and Lisa, it’s been a week full of festivities, and more are on the way. 

I didn’t win the Chili Cookoff, but I think it’s worth a bit of applause that I even entered, considering that I’ve made chili twice in my life, including this time (we don’t count the gallons upon gallons of chili I made while working at my family’s deli, since that was done via a very precise recipe that allowed for no mistakes, and was also done under my mom’s watchful eye).  And not that I’m biased (well, ok, I am) but my chili rocked. 

And then, Cookiefest.  Ah, Cookiefest.  Probably one of the best 1/2 dozen days in my year, when I get to hang out with two amazing friends and bake.  And bake.  And eat.  And bake some more.  In an effort not to break my “no eating in the evening” rule (which was obviously on hiatus during Cookiefest), I won’t list the cookies we made.  I’ll just give you the stats, and an image that pretty much sums it all up.

70.5 dozen cookies made (that’s 846 cookies)
2lbs of puppy chow made
17 different varietals of cookie

Yep, those are Cookie Monster T-shirts.  Our names are on the backs.  This is the real deal, friends.  🙂

We tried a new schedule this year, one that allowed us to gather in the morning, shop at leisure (with a little stop at a local holiday market where I dropped a cool $50 just like that), bake, eat and watch Wisconsin win a slot in the Rose Bowl, sleep, then wake and bake some more.  Much, much better than working a full day in the office and THEN commencing.  Why didn’t we think of that 4 years ago? 

In completely unrelated news, I nearly made a total ass of myself at the local Walgreens today when I stopped by to pick up some photos I needed to get developed (I know, right? How old school!  It was a disposable camera that I took on the Colorado River portion of my vacation this past summer.  More on that later).  My photos weren’t there.  I was just starting to get huffy with the clerks when I realized I was at the wrong Walgreens.  Ugh.  In my defense, they both were on the northwest corners of the same main street through town, but still.  How mortifying.

But after many apologies and a quick exit, I prevailed and eventually got my photos, and what a treat they were.  Just a few shots from the first day of the Grand Colorado Adventure, but they took me back to the peace, beauty and stunning landscapes that another Jennifer and I used to feed our souls for a few days.  It’s official, folks.  I have the travel bug.  I want to go places.  Lots of places.  Immediately.  Too bad about the whole work thing.  Such a shame I have to do it in order to feed this travel habit I’m cultivating. 

Another bonus of these photos is a gentle reminder that the days of tank tops will come again. I love fall/winter clothing with it’s boots, blazers and, for Yanks like me, fleece jackets, but they often lull you into a false sense of body comfort. It’s good to remember how very hard it was for me to allow myself to be photographed wearing a top like the one I’m wearing at left, and how very much I want to be able to wear whatever sleeveless shirt catches my eye next summer.  So after a weekend of definite indulgence, it’s time to get back on the horse. 

Luckily I have a lot of people who need gifts/thanks for their support over the past year.  Thus, let the next phase begin:  Cookiefeast, where I share the love…and the calories…of Cookiefest with the world. 

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