Christmas Vacation Traditions

Christmas vacation has officially started and we couldn’t be happier!  All weekend we lazed around and cooked and ate and ate some more! I’ve already gained 5 pounds, but we’ll attack that in the new year.  For now, it’s all about relaxing and enjoying the holidays, our family, our home, the food and this very first Christmas with baby Jordan!  She turned 10 months on Sunday and is walking!!! Bananas! It’s the cutest thing to see such a tiny baby taking all those steps and going wherever she wants to! Until she goes where you don’t want her to! ?
Last night, we took our annual ride to see Christmas lights in our pajamas.  It’s one of my favorite holiday traditions and we always drive over to Houston’s River Oaks area where the mansions are all decked out and so very gorgeous!  Dad only wore the pajama top, but he still gets credit for that!
It’s gotten super cold here lately, so we definitely bundled up!
I did some Stories on IG, but only got a couple of pictures.  Every time I took a pic, I thought it just didn’t compare to seeing it in real life!  It’s truly just a stunning sight and so magical in person!
So, let’s get to some of the cooking and baking that always happens around here this time of year!  I made our first ‘naked cake’ for our 1st Annual All-Girls Favorite Things party and it was a hit.  It was also incredibly easy since I just used two boxed cake mixes (divided into three cake pans) and icing that comes in a jar.  The key is how to ice it to make it look ‘naked’.  I found this tutorial by The Bearfoot Baker extremely helpful and I didn’t have a turntable, so I didn’t use that.  I garnished ours with fresh cranberries and rosemary for a festive look.
Santa Hats are next on my list.  These are little cheesecake bites you make with an Oreo cookie crust with a strawberry on top and whip cream.  I’ve used this recipe by Cooking Classy, but if you don’t want to make your cheesecake from scratch, just buy a premade one and cut it out with a round cookie cutter.  To make them look more like Santa hats, ideally the round shape would be the same size as the strawberry.  A dusting of powdered sugar makes it look like it snowed!
And to transport them to our Bunco $10 Favorite Things party, I put them in a cupcake pan.
The ‘Favorite Thing’ I brought this year was herb scissors and made it special with a cute gift tag and rosemary clipping.
Who doesn’t love hot cocoa during the holidays?! Extra whip cream please!  I swear by this powdered mix for quick, easy hot cocoa that tastes delicious!  I heat my milk in the microwave for 2 minutes then add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the powdered cocoa and stir.  Top with whip cream and enjoy while watching a movie or wrapping your presents!
I’ve been watching too much Holiday Baking Championship lately, and one thing they made was Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars.  Of course I went searching for a recipe and found this one by Chocolate Covered Katie.  It was good, but mostly tasted like peanut butter, so I ended up adding more chocolate chips at the end.
We always enjoy baked French Toast on Christmas morning, but we went ahead and made it over the weekend too.  This recipe by Lilluna is so good!  I didn’t get a picture of mine, so here is her photo of how it looks!
It’s not all sweets, our cold front prompted me to make a hot, homemade lentil soup.  It’s a crockpot recipe (love those!) and it’s so good with crusty bread!
On Friday night, we went to our good friends’ annual White Elephant party.  They’ve been hosting it for something like 10-15 years and it was so funny in the worst way!  My husband got a cat pajama onsie that zipped up and had paws and a tail!  Just ridiculous and when he put it on at home to snap a pic to send to our friends, I thought I was gonna pee my pants I laughed so hard!
Skinny Jeans (25)  $88, $57.90 | Similar Black Pumps 45% off
 
Only 6 more sleeps until Christmas!!  If you still need gifts (yiiiiikes!!!!), check out these ideas.  Thankfully, you can still get rush shipping to get your presents here before Christmas!

I admit to a few, ‘one for you, one for me!’ but that’s part of the fun! Hope you have a great week, Friends!
-M
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6 Comments

  1. December 19, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    The lights were amazing! And, Jordan is starting to look so much like big brother James. Both have that same precious smile with a bit of mischief.

  2. December 19, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    You did a great job on your cake! Looks fab! I'm going to check out that breakfast bake ASAP, too! Merry Xmas to you and your family!

  3. December 20, 2016 / 2:32 am

    You look gorgeous in that fur vest outfit!! and I'm going to need a pic of J in the onesie…as well as, that gorgeous naked cake!!!

  4. December 20, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    Have you ever tried the Sipping Chocolate from Trader Joe's? The best hot chocolate ever. It's a seasonal item so I always buy about 10 cans to have on hand all year.

  5. December 20, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    It's 9am and you're making me hungry! We are going to need to see a pic of your hubby's awesome white elephant gift 😉

    Lettinginthelightblog.com

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