Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas Week Update

ornament(Here’s a photo from a few years ago when I made these game pieces into ornaments)
How is Christmas THIS WEEK? Where did December go? Where did November go? I’ve felt like a crazy person for the last month because we’ve been so busy, and I don’t always deal well with being busy. We’ve had long days at work, parties to go to, parties to plan, events to volunteer at, babies to visit, goodies to bake, movies to watch, etc.
-Speaking of movies to watch, we saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens twice during opening weekend! We went opening night, and then again on Saturday. Both viewing experiences were great!! Go see it now!!
-This weekend was freezing, but my weather app tells me it’ll be 86 on Christmas Day. Booooooooooo. #floridalife
-Ray isn’t feeling well, which honestly isn’t a surprise since we’re ALWAYS sick during Christmas. I’m still feeling ok, but pounding vitamin c, water, and attempting to get some sleep.
– Per usual, I JUST started making a diy Christmas present. If it turns out well, I’ll post pictures next week!

How’s your week been?

SeaWorld Birthday Trip

IMG_5323This past Saturday, Ray and I went to SeaWorld to celebrate his 35th birthday (which was actually yesterday). Neither of us had been to SeaWorld since we were children, so we weren’t really sure what the expect. BUT Ray LOVES marine life and I love cheesy shows so we weren’t too worried.
We left our house around 6:30am Saturday morning and arrived at SeaWorld when they opened at 9:00am. We didn’t wait in many lines, the day was extremely relaxed, and we were able to catch 4 animal shows.
1. Ray was able to pet the stingrays twice. It was his favorite thing from the whole day.
2. The dolphin and bird show was soooo great! I love dolphins!!! Unfortunately (and fortunately), since trainers are no longer allowed to be in the water with killer whales, those shows were a little lackluster.
3. While we didn’t see anyone get attacked by a killer whale, we did see a man get attacked by a squirrel!!! SeaWorld Squirrels do not play. The man acted like he was going to give the squirrel popcorn and then pulled away.
4. SeaWorld has the sweetest Christmas village area set up. Lots of Christmas lights, festive music, hot chocolate + hot toddies, smores, elves, etc.
5. We rode 2 scary roller coasters, the manta and the kraken. The manta has you in the “prone position”, where you’re basically on your stomach most of the ride. It was a little nerve racking, but really fun. The kraken is the largest roller coaster I’ve ever been one, and honestly I’m still in disbelief I actually rode it. It was terrifying, but if you like roller coasters this is the ride for you! It had several loops and seemed really long.
6. Penguins! Guys, the penguins were so adorable (except when I saw one projectile doo doo onto his friend)!!! The only line we waited in all day was for the penguins, and it was only about 25 minutes.
Here are a few snapshots from the day:IMG_5269IMG_5316IMG_5318IMG_5322IMG_5290IMG_5317IMG_5327We tried to get a few snapshots together, but as you can see we didn’t succeed in getting very many. Maybe next time!

Lemon Pie Chex Mix

lemon chex 2lemon chex 1

A childhood birthday party staple in my life was puppy chow. It’s also sometimes referred to as muddie buddies. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s Chex cereal coated with chocolate and peanut butter, and covered with powdered sugar. It’s 100% unhealthy and 100% delicious.
Last week I made an adult version of puppy chow. Don’t worry, it’s still 100% delicious (and unhealthy). I was invited to a Young Living Essential Oil class and wanted to bring a dessert that incorporated one of the oils. I chose lemon because I knew I would have leftovers and Ray LOVES lemon flavored desserts.lemon chex 3Here’s what I used:
9 C Rice Chex cereal
1 1/2 C white chocolate chips (on the real, you could also use almond bark and I think the consistency would be nicer and easier to work with)
1/4 C butter
1 lemon
8 drops Young Living lemon essential oil (you could also use lemon extract)
2 C powdered sugar
3 C Golden Grahams
Melt white chocolate and butter together and add to a large bowl. Squeeze juice from lemon and add to melted chocolate. Add lemon essential oil to melted chocolate. Add Chex to chocolate mixture and coat all the cereal. Transfer cereal to large ziplock bags and add powdered sugar. Shake bags until cereal is completely coated with sugar. Place cereal bags in the refrigerator to cool. When you’re ready to serve pour cereal in a glass bowl and stir in Golden Grahams! 
Pro tip – DO NOT USE GENERIC CHEX. Twice I’ve made chex treats and made the mistake of buying generic chex. They just don’t hold up the way the original does.

These are are super delicious! They wont disappoint!

2015 Christmas Tree

tree 4tree 7You can learn a lot about a person by their Christmas tree. There are fancy trees, country trees, silly trees. Trees that reflect a person’s interests and hobbies. Tall trees, fluffy trees – you get the idea. For example, my parent’s tree is decked out in colored lights and filled with handmade ornaments by me and my sister, ornament gifts from family and friends, and ornament representation of our hobbies throughout the years – bicycles, ballerinas, etc.
The first year we were married Ray and I bought a real tree. It was small, sweet, and smelled amazing. However, it was expensive, messy, and dried out relatively quickly. The following year we had Black Cat and decided to go with a small artificial table top tree. That tree worked well for the last few years, but we still wanted something a little bigger.  A few weeks ago we were looking at trees and saw a 6.5 white beauty that we both really liked! The price was great so we got it!
I love the look of white Christmas trees. They have a vintage feel (which is definitely us) and the ornaments really stand out. Most of our ornaments are either from childhood, handmade, or vintage. Here are some of my favorites!tree 2tree 1tree 6tree 3tree 5tree 8Our tree isn’t perfectly curated and it doesn’t belong in a magazine… but I’ve never loved a Christmas tree more!

Caramel Apple Sangria

cocktail 1cocktail 3This year for Friendsgiving, Ray and I decided to offer a fall/winter inspired cocktail. We knew we could go one of two ways. Apple based or cranberry based. This year we went with apple.cocktail 2We knew we wanted to make it in large batches to accommodate for the crowd. We chose a simple, but delicious Caramel Apple Sangria recipe.
Here’s what you need:
1 gallon Apple Cider or Apple Juice
1 large bottle Pinot Grigio
3/4 bottle Caramel Vodka
chopped apples for garnish
Mix, refrigerate, and serve!
Pro Tip – We used two different types of apples, red delicious and pink lady because that’s what we had on hand. The pink lady apples definitely help up better than the red delicious, which got a little mushy. I suggest using extra crisp apples like pink lady or gala.

We served this cocktail in a a medium sized glass drink dispenser. It was a big hit at Friendsgiving this year, but I think it would also be appropriate for a Christmas party!