Happy Holidays, Everyone!

I want to send you all my love and thanks for supporting me over the years. I wouldn’t have the strength or passion to blog if it wasn’t for your support and motivation. All of you make me feel like it’s Christmas day, every day. You have no idea how much it means to me. I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday celebration surrounded by the ones you love, while making memories that last forever. For the ones who didn’t make it home to be with their family, my thoughts and prayers go out to you.

Wishing you a very safe and Merry Christmas!


Everyone has traditions when it comes to the Holidays, some are very similar, and some very different. Our Christmas traditions have transposed over the years with age. But the Christmas spirit always stays the same. I wanted to invite you into my family’s Christmas and share a little bit more about our traditions.

I bet all of you fit some kind of cooking or baking into your holiday traditions. (Heating up pre-cooked dinner rolls does count) I think it takes up 60% of my time during the Holidays. I start baking for our Christmas days before. This year I made homemade pie, peanut brittle, frosted oatmeal cookies, and cinnamon rolls. I will post up the tutorials for these later.

Christmas shopping and wrapping gifts also takes up most of my time. I try to get myself in the wrapping zone and binge wrap while listening to Christmas music or watching Christmas movies. My first present looks perfect with bows, nicely cut paper, and even taped sides. By my fifth gift, everything is chaotic! The tape gets twisted, the paper is wrinkly, I forget the bows, my handwriting turns to slop, and I patch pieces together when I measure the paper wrong. Those gifts go to the back of the tree.


My Grandpa used to make all the pies around the Holidays, so I thought it would be nice to make my Grandma a pie to go along with her gift for Christmas. Remember when I made it last time? Well, shame on ALL of you for NOT telling me to weave the top crust. How could I have forgotten? I knew something was off but couldn’t pinpoint it. This time I didn’t forget. I still need to figure out how to make my edges prettier.


I wrapped the pie with clear wrap and added a decorative bow on top. This is a super easy gift and you can customize it for any holiday.


I’m not just saying this because it’s my mom, but my mom makes THE BEST peanut brittle. I have had so many different variations of brittle made by other people. I still think my mom’s is the best. Everyone who tries it agrees. Now, I know how she does it! She let me cook up batches with her and we got it all on video to share with you!

We put together goody trays for our friends and family. They had fresh homemade cinnamon rolls, cookies, and brittle.


We wrapped them up like the pie with clear wrap and a decorative bow.


After putting all the goody trays together, we delivered them to my grandma’s, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. The tree was for Jeremy’s mom!


After all the cooking was done, my mom and I cleaned the house and finished getting ready for the night. I was so excited because Jeremy was flying in at five. He’s been trying to finish up the Hospital before the Holidays up in Detroit. I would have flown back with him but my dad was already heading home and Grumples can’t ride in an airplane. It was nice to be home a little early to help my mom out, too.

My brother and I rocked our Christmas pajamas all day until it was time to get ready to head over to my Aunt’s Christmas party.


Finally everyone was together around seven. We all hung around the kitchen munching on Jeremy’s mom’s homemade trail mixes. I seriously need to get the recipe for these and her crackers! Talk about FUH-LAVE-UH! She made sweet and savory mixes.

I calmed down from a little with a glass of Pinot Grigio by the tree.


Finally the family was together again. I hadn’t seen my cousins in so long. It was nice having everyone together.


And this is my youngest cousin, Grace! I love her to death.


We left my aunts around nine to come home for our own little Christmas. Our family used to throw the Christmas parties, then wake up and open gifts in the morning. We now open gifts together on Christmas even with drinks and fifteen pounds of crab legs!


My dad bought Jeremy a game called “poopy head”… They both have to wear sticky caps while throwing poop (Plastic poop) at each other’s head. The one with the most poop on their head loses. The night started out pretty crazy.


I did the honor of playing Santa this year. I was the one digging under the tree and giving everyone a gift to open one at a time. I was only picked because everyone else was ready to pass out. And if I caught them yawning, I launched a gift pretty hard…


This was Grumples 3rd Christmas! My parents spoil the heck out of him. I was so impressed with his gift opening skills. After opening the first one, he was running all over the place trying to open our gifts. My favorite chew toy was the voodoo doll.


Our gift opening lasted over two hours! The room was a mess and everyone passed out. My mom and I stayed up to clean, and then joined the rest around two in the morning.

I’ll do a post this week with some of the fun gifts I received and gave for Christmas.

I was the first one up Christmas morning. This has happened since I was about five years old. I think my internal alarm clock has a special Christmas morning setting. I used to wake everyone up around six am screaming “SANTA’S BEEN HERE, SANTA’S BEEN HERE!”

I heated up a cinnamon roll for everyone to have for breakfast. I have never gone a Christmas morning without a cinnamon roll. Last year I tried to replace the cinnamon rolls with healthy pancakes but I still cracked and dove for a cinnamon roll. It just wasn’t the same.  And these are the best tasting ones in the entire world. They put Cinnabon to shame and I can thank, Jeremy’s mom, for that!

My dog is always trying to steal my food. I train him so well and then his grandparents spoil him rotten. No way was he getting a bite of my cinnamon roll…

And he’s still beggin’ I don’t let him have stuff like that, so I keep a good eye on him. My mom is known for slipping him some no-no foods. Everyone enjoyed their cinnamon rolls while watching the Christmas parade.

After the parade, we kissed each other goodbye. It was time to head over to Jeremy’s house for Christmas. As a kid we used to open gifts bright and early, and then play with our presents all day long.

We made it to Jeremy’s around eleven in the afternoon. His living room was filled with gifts, the Hawkeye tree was lit, and the aroma of Cindy’s baking filled in the air.

We all opened gifts together for about two hours. His mom always finds the coolest stuff. I can’t wait to share what I got in the post. Jeremy’s little nephew is the funniest. He got all kinds of neat toys but continued to play with the water bottles, wrapping paper, and picture frames.

Jeremy was getting a little workout session in with Jayden. He loves his uncle J!

Every year, Jeremy’s dad, makes a giant prime rib. When they cut it open it looks like a living animal. They like it all bloody and rare. It gives me the heebie jeebies. But it’s tradition!

Jeremy’s dad always makes me some kind of seafood at family dinners. I love him to death. He usually fixes me up a salmon in the smoker, but this year he chose scallops. I was afraid to try them, but had to do it for him! He told me they were good and I trusted him (Even though he eats turkey testicles, pig’s feet, and bloody meat)

One bite and I was hooked. I am a huge fan of scallops now. You can thank him for all of my upcoming recipes for scallops. He just prepared these in garlic and butter. They kind of tasted like crab legs!

I brought over a side of roasted potatoes and vegetables. It had carrots, bell pepper, carrots, redskin potatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash. It was cooked in olive oil, brown sugar, and garlic seasoning.

I helped Jeremy’s mom put together the green bean casserole and the cheesy hash brown potatoes. Jeremy’s brother, Ryan, made some homemade macaroni and cheese.

Jeremy’s sister brought over the dinner rolls. After all of the pitching in and preparation, dinner was ready! We all ate around four. It was one comforting meal.

After dinner, Jeremy and I went through his old albums and old boxes in the basement. I’m crazy impressed with his school scrapbook. I never would have guessed that he won the state math, spelling, and geography bee or had straight A’s all his life…okay maybe I did know that. He is a know-it-all. I’m still waiting for his smarts to rub off on me.

Our favorite find was his parent’s letterman jackets. We tried them on and walked upstairs to show his mom and dad. The family thought it was hilarious and loved it. If I had my blonde hair, I could have been Sandy from Grease.

We made his parents try them on after us. It was the cutest thing. I love seeing his parents happy, especially with everything they have gone through in life.

Later, we back to my house for game night and dessert. Every year my mom makes strawberry dessert. I’ll post the recipe, too.

My mom also made lasagna for her, Jeremy, and my dad, and a no-noodle, meatless lasagna for my brother and I. Jeremy and I fell asleep at eleven. Our Christmas was perfect. Now I’ll spend my time reflecting on the year and deciding on my New Year’s Resolution!

Thank you for riding along with me during the important times in my life and in yours. You guys are the best Christmas gift a blogger could ask for.

What are some of your Christmas/Holiday Traditions?!