Miscellaneous, Recipes


It’s no secret, I LOVE to shop, and the most amazing deals are always to be had during the holiday season.  This year I am determined to get all of my shopping done early on in December, so that I can enjoy the holiday with my family.  Every year there are those that I have a million ideas for and then there are those (like my father) who are IMPOSSIBLE.  And of course, in between all of the family and friends, I pick myself a few items, as well.  How can you not, especially this year, when most stores are already offering 50% off and free shipping?!?  With the girls spending some extra special time with their grandparents this weekend, I am in for a day long shopping trip…by MYSELF!  Yes, you read that right, folks!  No kids crawling under the dressing room door (at least, not my own) or shrieking in the middle of stores while trying to pull all the clothes they can off of the hangers.  It sounds like pure bliss.

I’m planning on hitting up Nordstrom for these blanket scarves, 

Express For Long Sleeve Tops And Sweaters Like This One,

Marled Lace Up Back Circle Hem Sweater; 50% off right now!

and Loft (because I love it ALL!), and if I have time (and it’s not crazy busy), Sephora for new eye makeup.  The majority of my shopping for others is already done, but if you are still searching for the perfect gift, maybe sharing some of the presents I have hidden throughout our house will inspire you!  For McKenna, her top Santa request is a Hatchimal (I am probably going to regret letting ‘Santa’ purchase this) and right now, the twin version of this are on sale on Target for $52.99!  (Hatchimal Twins).  Emerson is OBSESSED with groceries and taking all of the cans out of the lazy susan in our kitchen, so she is getting her own play kitchen, also from Target (it’s my happy place, obvs, and right now most toys there are BOGO 50% off!)  The hubs wants a rowing machine, which I plan on ordering, but am still trying to coordinate how it will get into the basement, due to the weight of it!  Some items I am hoping for on the big day are these special editions from TIME magazine on mindfulness, and other interesting topics, boot socks or the mock ones (can you HAVE enough?) like these from Amazon!

When the shopping is done, we can enjoy all of the traditions we have from our childhoods, as well as new ones we are creating with our girls.  Some of our favorite things to do during the year is a baking bonanza, which typically takes place over one gluten free flour weekend!  This annual madness includes my most requested goodies: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies,

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies (very much in the spirit of The Grinch)

Hershey kiss cookies,

Add sparkly sprinkles to make a holiday version!
The stuff dreams are made of!

my husband’s favorite, (I follow the recipe, but replace the saltines with gluten free crackers) which he affectionately dubbed Christmas Crack,

We also make everyone some hot chocolate and take the girls out to look at Christmas lights all over Columbus on the evening of the last day of school.  We play Christmas music as we ride, and McKenna looks forward to this every year, though Eme usually falls asleep in the first 20 minutes.

As we wrap our gifts throughout December, my family has always had the tradition of putting names in the ‘from’ category that are either a hint at the gift itself, or an inside joke, etc.  It’s fun trying to figure out what the gift could be!  Sadly, we get far too many gifts from the Browns’ front office staff each year!

Finally, on Christmas Eve, we get all dressed up for church services and dinner, and typically I beg (because I am a child at heart with ZERO patience) to let everyone open one gift before we head off to bed.  This year, I can’t wait to have McKenna open this super accessory called a Mermaid Bracelet that changes colors, depending on which direction you brush the sequins.

These beauties are only $14.99 and come in an array of colors.
I’m tempted to pick one up for myself!

However you are spending your time throughout the holidays, I hope it’s fabulous, relaxing, and memorable (in a good way!).  What are the traditions you love the most, or recipes, for that matter?  I would love for you to share them in the comments!