Holiday Celebrations

Christmas Eve 2018 + New Blog

If I didn’t get around to writing this post on December 24th the least I can do is write it on January 24th! Not only has life been busy as usual, but most of my time spent writing these days is focused on my second blog, Pinch of Parsley! So if you’ve enjoyed reading the posts here, please come visit my new site and follow along there to keep up with the latest adventures in the kitchen of our brand new home <– there’s an entire series of posts on that new home I just casually mentioned too 🙂 Do you need a sneak peak/ preview for convincing?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now…let’s do a little time traveling back to Christmas! It came and went as fast as ever, but we had the best first Christmas in our new home we moved into in September! Our Christmas Eve was nice and quiet; we had our traditional family evening at home filled with dinner, Christmas Eve gifts, treats and holiday movies! I made candied pecans for the first time this year which is pretty dangerous, because now I know just how simple those tasty treats are to make! Hailey is 15 now (come again?), but I was so thrilled to still see that childlike excitement from her on Christmas Eve including her countdown to 7:00 when she’s allowed to open her gift; it’s so magical.


I typically have the same four components in her Christmas Eve gift every year: new PJs and slippers, something personalized, an activity for the evening and some yummy treats. Here’s the thing though – that gets more difficult the older she gets and at this point I’m just not sure she needs something else with her name on it and when it comes to the activity it feels like we have all the games, movies and coloring books out there! So I gave myself a break this year and just bought a few things I thought she’d really like. PJs and slippers are easy and this year I actually got them at American Eagle, technically Arie! The super cute pants have polar bears on them and Hailey loved the fuzzy open toed slippers! Getting them on cyber Monday deals after black Friday also made them really affordable! Rather than something personalized this year, I got her a pretty asymmetrical necklace from Stella & Dot.


These necklaces are delicately beautiful. I have a similar one that has a cross instead of an arrow and is gold instead of sterling silver. To my delight, Hailey really liked this too and appreciated something different in her box! The snacks are always pretty simple and the creme soda may just become a tradition every year, but I decided to try something new for her snack this time. The girl LOVES popcorn and I’ve seen pipcorn advertised plenty of times, including on Shark Tank, and decided it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try! We got a bag of sea salt as well as a bag of cheddar which was Hailey’s favorite. Overall review? Pretty yummy! I think the company is founded/owned by siblings which is pretty cool too. Don’t quote me on any of these loose facts, but do give pipcorn a try if you love the salty snack like us! It’s also fun to say. Pipcorn 🙂


Top 5 favorite things about Christmas day this year:

  • Hailey getting up at a remarkable 8:00 AM!
  • Christmas morning hot cocoa
  • Listening to classic music on the record player Hailey got from Santa 😉
  • Enjoying the coziest fireplace at my Grandma’s house
  • The best quality time with family

I hope y’all had a wonderful Christmas too!! If you have any fun traditions with your family or friends I’d love to hear about them! I’ll leave you with Max’s Christmas photo from 2018. See you over at Pinch of Parsley 😉



As always, thanks for reading!!

Christmas Eve 2017 + Fun Announcement

A few days ago Hailey asked if we were doing the Christmas Eve gift this year thinking she normally saw it under the tree by then. My initial reaction was so heartfelt; I love that she looks forward to this gift and that it’s become a family tradition for us. And then I was honest with her and told her my forgetfulness put me a bit behind schedule this year. Do you remember the super cute box from last year? Anyone know where I stored it after Christmas? Me either. I searched and searched for that box and was finally left with the option of buying a new one. Luckily, I went shopping at Michaels at the right time and found an adorable chest to use this year 70% off. Bonus? No wrapping needed. And when I store this one away in a safe place the day after Christmas I’ll probably find last year’s box too 🙂 Continue reading

Christmas Eve 2016

This Saturday evening will be year four of Hailey’s annual Christmas Eve gift! She may not believe in Santa anymore, but the anticipation she does still have for the holiday keeps that special magic kids bring to Christmas alive. Her gifts also still say ‘from Santa’ anyway! My Mom did this for my brother and me; it still makes it fun and puts a smile on your face when opening gifts. Hailey started her Christmas countdown with around 65 days to go so as you can imagine she is getting giddy with excitement as we head into the last few days of the countdown! Each year she is allowed to open her Christmas Eve gift after 7:00 PM that evening. It will always include Continue reading

Roasted Cranberry and Brie Crostini

You know what makes it challenging to focus and write? A puppy who has loads of energy at 8:30 PM sprinting in circles around the living room and up and down the couch you’re “relaxing” on! I’m talking about our little Max of course, the cute puppy who made his blogging debut in my Canning Homemade Salsa post. He’s already doubled in size weighing in at a whopping 6.5 pounds these days! The good news? Puppies play hard and then sleep hard so although it may have taken me twice as long to write 100 words tonight he is now snuggled on the couch ready to nap! And on that note, let’s talk about cranberries and my excitement to have them back in season! I wish I could make the cranberry season last longer, but I have gotten wiser this year thanks to my Grandma and will be Continue reading

Valentine’s Day 2016

I hope every one of you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day last weekend! It’s holidays like this I’m thankful my husband has a daughter instead of a son. I’m just taking a wild guess when I say a boy wouldn’t be as impressed with my heart shaped food and sweet love notes 🙂 As usual, my husband and I celebrated early with a Continue reading

New Years Eve 2015 + Chocolate Fondue Recipe

As you can see by my post about New Years Eve on January 11th 14th, I’m really ahead of the game this year and quickly striving towards big success when it comes to resolutions like writing more. I actually don’t make resolutions, phew! I do however hope most of my readers share the sarcasm sense of humor I simply can’t deny myself! So it’s 2016 and again we’re asking the question “where has time gone?” I’ve come to realize this Continue reading

Christmas Morning + Homemade Hot Cocoa

I almost didn’t write this post thinking I should skip ahead to a better one instead of posting stationary consisting mostly of family stories and little of actual ideas or recipes. You know, something my readers would be ‘more interested in’. What? Hit the brakes…fast!! I would love to see this blog become successful over the years, but I never want to reach that goal by straying away from my initial intent and passion that fuels each post. Then I realized some of you may still find a cute idea or tradition to adopt from our simple holiday. Tip of the day? Always  Continue reading

Christmas Eve Gift 2015

Is it Christmas Eve yet? Just kidding. I know it’s approaching all too quickly, but at the same time I’m already excited! It’s one of my favorite nights of the year with Hailey. Even if nothing special is planned, the excitement a child has on Christmas Eve is contagious and truly adds some magic to the evening. This will be our third Christmas as an ‘official’ family and the fourth year for Hailey’s Christmas Eve gift, the first tradition we started together! A Christmas Eve gift is a wonderful way to Continue reading

Valentine’s Day 2015

We had a wonderful holiday and I’m so happy Valentine’s Day is falling on the weekends right now so we get to spend it with Hailey! My husband and I celebrated on Thursday knowing the weekend festivities would be mostly focused on Hailey. We wanted to save a little money this year and my husband had the great idea of recreating some memories from our honeymoon in Jamaica at home, love it! To start, he had Continue reading

Free Printables for your Valentine’s Day Gift

You don’t have to spend a lot to give a great gift! Adding a little flair to simple gifts instantly makes them more fun; my step daughter is one who especially appreciates things like this! One good way to do this is through the use of printables! The best part? You can find free, let me repeat that, free printables for practically any occassion or holiday online! I try not to include much candy in Hailey’s Valentine’s Day gift so when I found these printables through Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: