Christmas Cocktails

We have been known to concoct a cocktail or two, but I didn’t really have any ideas for Christmas drinks. That is, until I logged onto Pinterest. Holy smokes. There are some great ones out there!

I rounded up some of the best ones for you – if these don’t get you in the holiday spirit, then I don’t know what will!

Cranberry Ginger Moscow Mule (courtesy of Beard & Bonnet) – click HERE for recipe. Does this not look amazing? I love any version of the Moscow Mule!

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{photo c/o Beard & Bonnet}

Blackberry Bramble (courtesy of The Whole Smiths) – click HERE for recipe. Being a Whole 30 advocate (not quite as much at holiday time of course! Ha!), I love Michelle’s recipes and can’t wait to try this refined sugar-free cocktail – for any of you that are strictly Paleo, this one’s for you. And blackberries are a nice alternative to cranberry cocktails if you’re not a fan of the tart berry. Continue reading “Christmas Cocktails”

Little known facts

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Here are some random tidbits you may or may not know about me:

I am obsessed with all things pumpkin – obviously.  I’ve made it known before how I much adore Fall.

And then there’s Christmastime – I live for this time of year.  I surprisingly don’t get super crazy about decorating or gift-giving, but just seeing the holiday through the eyes of my kiddos – there’s nothing like it.

I worked for a television show for 5 years prior to having kids.  When I worked in TV, I finally understood what it was like to have a career that didn’t feel like “work.”  Prior to that, I was in the financial industry. Continue reading “Little known facts”

You know you’re not in the Midwest anymore…

I’ve been living in Southern California for nearly a decade now, and the things I used to think were weird have slowly but surely become the norm for me.  The differences between the two are definitely more apparent in the Winter months and at Christmastime.

You know you’re not in the Midwest anymore when…

  • You’re freezing cold and bundled up with a scarf shivering in the car when you notice the outside temp is only 55.  I remember 65 degrees was shorts weather growing up.  How am I such a baby now?
  • Christmas day consists of bike riding and kids playing with all their new toys outdoors.  In shorts.
  • The occasional Winter rain is cause for celebration at first and followed by staying in for 2 to 3 days with “nothing to do” – poor us.  In reality, I actually enjoy the rain because it’s a nice change, but I don’t think I could do it with kids for an entire season.
  • Christmas festivities include the holiday boat parade of lights in one of the harbors.  Beautiful.
  • When you look at the weather app on your phone, it’s a steady high of 72 week after week…after week.
  • You’re on the phone with family and mention a scheduled beach bonfire is cancelled due to the temperature being a high of 66…and they think it’s cancelled because 66 is too hot.
  • The local news keeps showing ‘severe’ weather alerts because there is a 30% chance of precipitation.

You can laugh, but it really does feel cold when it’s Winter time here (mostly in the mornings and evenings).  Yes, I’ve become one of ‘them’ but a day doesn’t go by that I don’t feel grateful for where I live!!

A few photos from Christmas Day last year!

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Here’s to hoping for another warm and sunny California Christmas this year.  Right now the forecast calls for a high of 70 on Thursday…I’ll take it!

It’s Christmastime…

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(Nest of Posies printable available here)

Christmastime is more than upon us.  My absolute favorite time of year and I hate that it’s already going so fast…even though the season really just began!  We have now been three times to the carousel and train at the mall…let me clarify – three times in five days.  I just can’t get enough of the kids and their excitement over holiday fun.  This is something I always looked forward to – seeing Christmas through the eyes of my children.  It really is a priceless experience.  As I saw those smiles light up their faces on the carousel, thoughts of the entire year flashed by in an instant.  Thoughts of three months ago spending time in the hospital with them both – I’m just so thankful for health.  So, so thankful.

I have been enjoying seeing my son soak in the moments as his first “real” Christmas where he knows what is going on.  His curiosity in why we are decorating a tree in our living room.   And his excitement at the polar express choo choo we have by our tree.  He enjoys pointing out “Sana” and “No-Men” and relishes in the reindeer feet of his Christmas PJs.  As I said, I love their excitement.  I also enjoy the holiday parties, the lights everywhere, the peppermint mochas.  The Michael Buble Christmas music, the cards in the mail each day, candy canes and other holiday treats.

And then I let my mind think about early January and the letdown I will inevitably feel as the holiday season comes to an end.  I hate that my mind goes there!  Live in the moment and stop thinking about what is ahead.

I guess as they say, all good things must come to an end.  We wouldn’t know the downs without the ups, right?  Coming off of a hard season of sickness and challenges that felt never-ending, I am feeling a sense of newness and anticipation of what’s around the corner.  The New Year always brings a clean slate and with it, loads of optimism.  The kids are getting older, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  With that comes a little more freedom and maybe, just maybe, less exhaustion?  I can dream, right!?

As the year comes to a close, I am in awe of the wonderful friends and support system I have in my community and the closeness and love of my husband and other family members.  I’m grateful to God for not only this season, but for this life.

I pray that your holiday season is merry and bright, filled with joy and hope.  I’ll leave you with this beautiful Christmas version of Hallelujah – I have been listening to it nonstop.

Merry, merry Christmastime.