Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas Day

Ahh, I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday of the year. It might even be my favorite day of the year — even more than my birthday!

In my family, Christmas traditionally starts with the children (okay, now it’s “children”) opening their stockings first, before the adults (“adults”) are allowed into the room.

Tradition has sort of been thrown out the window, now that I awaken early with the “adults” and my brother still sleeps in until nearly noon like a teenager (he’s in his twenties). Nonetheless, we still start with our stockings. Our parents are just there with us now. And they open their stockings, too.

Before we got to anything else, post-stocking ritual, we all needed caffeine…

…and breakfast. And not just any breakfast. No, it was time for our traditional coffee cake.


…AKA the most unhealthy cake in the world. Last year, we tried a healthy version. This year, everyone else vetoed it. No big deal. We had fruit, too.

That makes it healthier, right?

Frankly, I agreed with them. I just took a small piece and paired it with a healthy serving of berries.

Don’t worry. The family still made a significant dent.

Keep in mind — there are only five of us.

Soon, it was time for the most anticipated part of the morning: the presents under the tree!

The family did not hold back. In no time at all, we went from this…

…to this…

…to this…

… to this.

What a bunch of slobs.

A highlight of the gifts?

My brother got me a WHOLE CASE OF PUMKING!

Best. Brother. EVER. Am I right??

Other “highlights?”

Oh, just some “Superstar” fuzzy PJ pants and a Hello Kitty t-shirt that says “Being this cute is exhausting!”

… I don’t want to talk about it.

I do, however, feel like talking about how much I love this picture of my siblings and me.

Love them. Love that we lined up in height order… again.

We spent the afternoon being lazy, watching a movie, and playing games.

My favorite, however, was…

Bananagrams!!! (AKA my new favorite game.)

I won the first round…

… but my family didn’t like that very much. And my family plays dirty. So, while I wasn’t looking, they switched the tiles around before the next round so that I got almost entirely consonants.

You know what they say about Karma, though? Check out my brother’s tiles.

He got what he deserved!

Wine helped the games (and my dad) be quite silly and fun.

Before we knew it, it was Christmas dinner time. No, we did not dress up. None of us even showered. Why do you ask?

We did, however, dress the table up. Someone had to look fancy.

Isn’t that pretty? My mom is amazing.

Those Christmas plates have been around for as long as I can remember.

Christmas was a wonderful day full of lots of love with my favorite people in the world.

But, all too soon, it was over.

How were your Christmases? I miss hearing from you guys!

5 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Christmas Eve

In my family, Christmas Eve is as much as a holiday as Christmas itself is.

It’s also arguably one of my busiest days of the year. Case in point: I made an effort, that morning, to capture photos of all of our Christmas decorations. It looks like this is the only one I got.

20111225-092612.jpg

Whoops.

Thank goodness for coffee, right?

20111225-092649.jpg

My last Christmas cup of the year! I love these cups. I got my regular holiday drink — a grande soy latte with one pump of peppermint. I’ll miss those.

So, why did I need all of that caffeine? My family had lots and lots of last-minute Christmas shopping to do. 🙂

20111225-092701.jpg

This year, we actually finished early because we’d gotten a lot of shopping done the day before — something new for us!

Good thing, because it let us start our cocktail drinking early. 😉

This year, our drink of choice was orange vodka with fresh-squeeze orange juice and orange slices.

20111225-093024.jpg

Heavenly. 🙂

And they allowed for lots of family affection.

I mean, that’s what alcohol is the holidays are for, right?20111225-093045.jpg

We spent our evening with my Dad’s side of the family for dinner, for which my mom made her traditional and amazing lasagna. This was my first year as a vegetarian, which means it was my first year having just the vegetable lasagna. I felt in no way, shape or form deprived. 🙂

After my dad’s family left, we started a new tradition: decorating the tree on Christmas Eve! This is something we usually have done weeks ahead of time, but now that we’re all around the world, my mom waited for us to do it.

That way, we each get to hang “our” ornaments. This is one of mine:

20111225-093100.jpg

And then, it was bedtime! The stockings were hung with care…

20111225-092438.jpg

… and from there, it was time to simply anticipate Christmas. 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Blog Posts, Uncategorized

Christmas Eve Eve

Hi, guys! Remember me? Kaitlin? With Honey?

Life has been an absolute whirlwind lately. There was that whole new job thing, for one. I was at the job until 5:30 on Thursday and then basically immediately hopped on a plane to fly home overnight and arrive in Connecticut at 6:30 on December 23 (AKA Christmas Eve Eve, for those of you as obsessed with the holiday as I am.

To my delight, I arrived to see this:

20111225-092420.jpg

20111225-092356.jpg

My sister made and left that for me. Is she the best or what?

Anyway, I hadn’t been able to sleep much on the plane, so I went and napped for a few hours. But then, I woke up to this:

20111225-092637.jpg

AKA my favorite and go-to East Coast breakfast.

Oh, and I also woke up to this (even better):

20111225-092341.jpg

My dogs AND my little brother? I was a happy camper.

20111225-092621.jpg

20111225-092451.jpg

I think the dogs were, too. 🙂 … Except when we locked out of the new (essentially) “no-no room.”

20111225-092511.jpg

20111225-093013.jpg

They got over it. 🙂

Anyway, some of us still needed to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, so I went along for the ride. We hurried back, however, as my mom had planned for a family cocktail hour that evening to precede our nice dinner out.

We made drinks out of Frangelico, Kahlua, Vodka and splashes of milk.

20111225-092502.jpg

It’s nice having a sister who’s been a bartender before. 🙂

20111225-092526.jpg

20111225-092914.jpg

Soon, we went out to dinner at a nice new restaurant in town. It was tons of fun.

20111225-092709.jpg

Family cheers:

20111225-092926.jpg

… And soon, it was Christmas Eve. 🙂

2 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Free Cookies! (Holiday Gift Giveaway)

Did that get your attention?

I thought it might. And that’s good, because I want to keep it for this whole post. There’s lots of information here, plus a GIVEAWAY at the bottom, plus a COUPON CODE for everyone else who doesn’t win!

Anyway, these free cookies. They’re free cookies to make — very easily — at your convenience.

Or, if you’re in the giving mood since it’s the holiday season and all, at someone else’s convenience. Good thing, too, because it is seriously a perfect holiday gift.

Allow me to explain.

You see, there’s this really cool company called The Mason Jar Cookie Company, which allows you to create your own custom cookies.

You get to choose a base (out of four options) and three add-ins (out of thirty!), and all of a sudden you have a “recipe” for  your own custom cookies. And you get to name your blend, too!

Then, in the mail, you get this attractive tube.

Which you open to find this:

And then you dig down a bit, and you find your custom cookie mix, carefully layered inside a mason jar.

It even comes with custom nutritional statistics and baking instructions!

Which brings me to the next part — baking it!

All you need to provide is the butter,  egg and vanilla.

And then it comes together so quickly, it’s ridiculous.

In just a few minutes, you have delicious cookies right out of the oven, with basically no work at all.

Super easy clean-up, too.


Oh, and even better? You can re-order your mix (or get your friends to order your exact mix) easily with your custom code!

(Note: That’s not my code, nor was this my mix — I just got their recommended blend.)

Anyway, here are the two best parts:

1. I get to do a GIVEAWAY!

You have until Thursday, December 8th at 12PM (noon) PST to enter.

Here’s how you can enter:

(Up to two entries by doing each of the below.)

  • One entry for commenting here with what your mix will be.
  • One entry for tweeting about it (and also copying me, @honeykaitlin and The Mason Jar Cookie Company, @masonjarcookie) and linking to this post.

2. All of you get to benefit from this — not just the winner! — because ALL of you can use the coupon code TENOFF to get 10% off your order.

It’s the perfect holiday gift for the person who has everything… or the person who just loves cookies! And especially the person who loves cookies but is hopeless in the kitchen. 🙂

Enter and order away! Let me know if you order one, too. 🙂

28 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

HAPPY November!

I’m not going to lie to you.

October was not my favorite month.

First, I was sick.

Being sick meant I had to postpone my surgery.

I’m pretty sure I got sick in the first place because I was so anxious about the surgery, so I guess I had it coming.

Then, I actually got surgery.

It went pretty well, but I think we can all agree that I found it, at times, both painful …

…and frustrating.

Granted, I kept powering through (and still am!), but recovering from an injury is nothing I’d consider in any way easy.

And don’t think it escaped me that I’m just about a year out from when all of this business started (I’m pretty sure I can now pinpoint that day — in November, though — as the day I tore my meniscus).

And then, when you take into account that I took a few emotional hits on the personal end of things (no need to get into that business on here), I think you can understand that I just kind of feel that October… well, October just kind of sucked the big one.

Sorry, Grandma. Language, language.  

Anyway.

That’s why the title of this post is called HAPPY November! Because I need November to be happy — and I will make SURE that is is!

It shouldn’t be hard. I love November.

It’s the month before December, which is my favorite month of the year.  That makes November my second-favorite month of the year.

It’s the month of the beginning of Christmas season, which means Christmas music (happiness!).

And, being the month before December, November is OBVIOUSLY the month of Christmas decorating (double happiness!).

…Probably in like a week, if I’m being honest.

It’s also the month of Thanksgiving!

WOOHOO!

Thanksgiving is going to be SUPER fun this year because Mark and I are hosting something called an Orphan Thanksgiving (similar to the one we attended elsewhere last year).

Finally, and perhaps most importantly for me, it’s going to be a big month of healing. I’m supposed to fully healed by mid-December, which means I’m planning on making some great strides this month.

And THAT means it’s going to be a HAPPY November.

What are you most looking forward to this month?

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog Posts

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Yesterday morning looked kind of like this, but a thousand times messier (since these were taken after everything was put together):

And that’s even after some were gone already.

You should have seen the aftermath in my apartment.

Here’s what was in each of those gifts (I’ll post recipes/ instructions – some of them don’t quite qualify as recipes – in the coming days):

Peppermint Kiss Cookies

Black and White Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

Peppermint Candy Pretzels

Christmas M&M Cookies

Peppermint Bark

I was especially proud of the Peppermint Bark.

Then, I wrapped everything up. Here’s what the bags looked like on the inside:

And on the outside:

Then, for Boss #1 (the one without a sweet tooth), I made Whole Wheat Cheddar & Chive scones. I used this recipe from Rachel, but used whole wheat pastry flour because I didn’t realize I was out of all purpose flour, cheddar instead of gruyere, and chili powder instead of paprika because I totally thought I had paprika but, clearly, was completely wrong. Anyway, it didn’t matter because the scones were still pretty awesome. Also, these were my first scones. Hooray for success!

And for Boss #2, I made a batch of Almond Bark.

This was a lot of work, but it was worth it! It required baking after work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. And wrapping on Thursday morning. Whew! The payoff, of course, was that people seemed to really like everything… and that’s what it’s all about!

Gift-giving is one of my favorite parts of the holidays and I think homemade gifts are the best.

Are you giving any homemade gifts this season? I’d love to hear about them!

4 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Tree Shopping

We got our tree last night!

We got a Douglas Fir tree, which smells beautiful and would give the whole apartment the essence of Christmas even without all of the other decorations.

Last year, when Mamito (my previous roommate) and I got our tree, the salesman told us to save the stub from the end of the trunk and make an ornament out of it. We saved it but forgot to make an ornament out of it, and she’s gone now. Sad. Anyway, I’ll at least write the year on it. Mamito, you have to come back so you can sign it!

The point, though, is that when I tried to ask the salesman this year for the stub, he looked at me like I was crazy! Does anyone else do this? I really want to know if this is actually a tradition. It’s not one that my family upheld while I was growing up.

Anyway, our apartment still isn’t entirely decorated, so I’m not going to show off all pictures yet… but I will share with you the tree before decorations. 🙂

Meet Douglas. You know, short for Douglas Fir. That’s what we named our tree.  😉

Clearly, I was all about taking pictures and letting Mark do all of the work. 🙂

So, here’s Douglas before decorations…

And you’ll have to tune in over the weekend for everything all together.

We spent the rest of the evening decorating the tree with what I thought was a Christmas movie on in the background. Did anyone else see “Everybody’s Fine”? It was really depressing! I actually didn’t finish it but I was very disappointed to see that a movie that was marketed as a Christmas movie was really anything but.

Anyway, since the night was spent doing other things, I had no idea what I was going to do for dinner and was very happy to see that Mark had made a an artichoke & white bean dip.

He’s very talented in the kitchen!

I spread that yummy goodness on a piece of toast and then topped it with a (crazy, cartoon-character-looking) fried egg and a sprinkle of parmesan, romano, salt and pepper.

This was so good, especially for something that just randomly came together. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’ll put a fried egg on just about anything!

Even though I’m not posting any real pictures of the tree yet, I’ll share this much:

Woo Christmas! 🙂

Have you put your tree up yet?

7 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts