Friday Faves: December 6, 2013

We’ve finally bid adieu to what was left of Thanksgiving leftovers. I’m a fan of turkey sandwiches, salads and paninis in the days following Thanksgiving, but after a few meals of leftovers, I’m over it.

And now we’ve quickly transitioned to Christmas. We got our tree, a white pine with unbelievably soft needles, and spent the better part of Sunday getting it–and the rest of our house–decorated. It definitely looks like Christmas!

It feels like Christmas, too. Today is my company’s holiday party which is typically a good time, and if nothing else, it’s a reminder that you can count the number of work weeks left in the year on one hand. Hooray!

While I get ready to go witness some employee make a drunken fool of himself, you enjoy these links!

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It’s become an unofficial tradition to migrate to the Christkindlmarket for Glühwein after our holiday party. I’m not even a fan of Glühwein, but I love the festive feeling so I imbibe. Chicago isn’t the only city in the U.S. to feature a traditional German Christmas market.

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It wasn’t until I saw my friend Mark post something on Facebook that I learned about GivingTuesday. What a genius idea. Though, I wish I had heard about it earlier. Still, I did my good deed and donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. What really got my goat, though, were retailers still trying to squeeze a buck out of me, a la Lands’ End, who sent an email titled, “It’s Called Cyber Tuesday.” No, it’s not, and stop trying to get me to buy something.

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Good advice for over-achiever mommies. I need to remember this every day, not just at Christmastime.

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I hate to admit it, but I had the Christmas songs playing just a tad before Thanksgiving. However, we pulled out all the stops on our drive home from Pennsylvania last weekend and turned on the Sirius Christmas station. Which. Was. Terrible. Was their goal to take every awful Christmas song and make a station out of it? Because they succeeded. Needless to say, I will be making my own playlist and including some goodies like these, but also my two favorites from Band Aid (would you look at adorable, young Bono?!) and Wham.

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A drinking game for the best Christmas movie ever.

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I need to hang onto this list of top spots to dine in one of my favorite cities, Austin, Texas.

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Speaking of top dining spots, Eataly has arrived in Chicago. It has been seriously hyped up and I’m sure it’s a fabulous place (queue the “People of WalMart” for the Dean & DeLuca set pictures) but I typically shy away from places like this that attract throngs of people, so I think I’ll have to wait til the hype dies down.

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Happy weekend!

Manning’s Ice-cream

Manning's ice-creamEvery place has its “the best” ice-cream, right? In the south, it’s Blue Bell; in Boston, it’s J. P. Licks; here in Chicago, it’s Scooter’s (which is custard, not ice-cream). And in northeastern Pennsylvania, it’s Manning’s.

Manning’s has the makings of an idyllic ice-cream shop; it’s a family-owned farm and they have a small handful of stores in the Scranton, Pennsylvania area. We visit the Clarks Summit shop whenever we’re in town visiting family. It isn’t an old-timey ice-cream parlor, but a cute little cash-only mom and pop shop.

Manning's ice-creamAs you can see, the flavors are endless, as are the toppings and types of cones; I’m partial to the pretzel cone. Can’t get enough of the salty and sweet combo.

Manning's peanut butter chocolate ice-creamDespite having stuffed ourselves full at Thanksgiving, we still hand to make an obligatory stop at Manning’s on Black Friday.