Merry & Bright // Christmas 2017

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday weekend! It was one of our very best, and I’m so very grateful.

Thursday

Even though I was unable to fully participate in the secret sister Santa exchange, I did receive this adorable, fun bag. I’m very appreciative to whoever sent it! It holds my next book, Intuitive Eating, so well. We also bought this waffle maker on Amazon with a gift card and my Chase credit card points. So it went from retail of $50 to $19.95!

 

Friday

I was craving a classic bowl of cereal on Friday, so I had TJ’s Mango O’s with ground flax, frozen wild blueberries, pb, and milk.

4D0250AA-BB3E-455E-9C3C-2EF238EB0F6B

Jax loves his “present”! He is obsessed with boxes. Sweet baby.

E99FD056-7BCD-49C9-86EA-F780E55AD533

One of my super sweet coworkers surprised me with a Starbucks gift card! I treated myself to an herbal peach tea latte with honey that afternoon, which was very enjoyable.

6BA46987-6E3D-4E76-B4E6-E893C94DCFE9

Lunch included organic mixed greens, leftover steamed seasoned vegetables from Aldi, organic canned cannellini beans, sardines, Havarti, and a KIND maple cinnamon protein granola bar. It’s one of their new products.

0E38EEC3-A1C0-419B-A793-3061E1A3B0F8

That evening Matt and I went over to Kaci and Drew’s for a super fun tacky Christmas sweater party. Our awesome gang included her mother- and father-in-law, sister- and brother-in-law, and her niece and nephew.

B9C13621-2FFC-42ED-B48B-AAC3A933F67F

Twinkies! She got her sweater at Planet Exchange, and I love it!

74B6A194-8243-4665-9E98-4094831A9CE0

Matt’s EPIC sweater!! We got it on sale at Kroger. My favorite.

7D7D8847-F29A-4DBA-8B60-2ADFD56ABBD3

The cute couple!

4EFB0288-FE4A-42C1-9508-D4707734C6C8

David and Susan

A916025A-A51D-4E9F-BB46-76422B76C94B

Sara, Neal, Baylor, and Piper

9AD61CBE-A949-43B3-90F9-EA54A7B41049

The guys enjoying a chat and a beverage before dinner.

F08CE89C-7125-483E-BB3D-10DA61159899

Kaci and Drew made an incredible chicken and rice soup, and Susan made cornbread. It was perfect.

26145CDC-3E77-4CFD-9DDC-1042F475BA53

I can never help myself. SnapChat Christmas/winter filters.

Love him! He knows how to be goofy and have fun. That headband is hilarious. It bounces around and lights up too.

I made Alexis’ pumpkin gingerbread that was loved by all! I only made two changes: GF for Matt, and I used real butter because we don’t keep vegan butter on hand. Otherwise, I stuck to the recipe.

2F8EFD92-3872-4919-9B4D-57E5B0CD66CC

Kaci bought this fun ugly sweater cookie kit from TJ’s. Here was my masterpiece.

7802BE3E-A5B2-45FB-913C-B02728F97E7B

She was sweet and snapped this shortly before we headed back home.

749730C4-5338-4261-8606-9C203FA0E77C

Saturday

I had plans to visit Awaken Coffee Shop, so I noshed on half a banana with pb and cinnamon.

C212D583-D889-414F-A372-ADDB3BD5A4A3

Matt made seasoned over easy eggs on top of cheesy hash browns and steamed spinach plus half a toasted gingerbread slice.

93D1CDD9-3A38-4861-8528-57ABE9F86D8E

It was a really rainy, ugly day, but that wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying it! Awaken has an adorable Christmas tree with these fun coffee ornaments.

I had my eye on trying “The Mean Grinch”: matcha green tea latte with peppermint and two shots of espresso. I got it half caf, and it was the perfect amount of caffeine for me. Isn’t it gorgeous?

99F5878E-AE36-4B05-B6C1-A9F460375ECA

I also enjoyed a house made biscuit with chipotle cream cheese. I ate every. last. crumb. If you’re local, then hurry down there and try one!

C63EC3F8-EE55-4C90-8BCD-3DDCF396CEE7

I had a fabulous time at the nail salon. The tech was super sweet, and I loved the color I chose!

A4D8AB69-9A83-4989-B481-366BF86CE528

After shopping at Target, I enjoyed this salad and Lindt dark chocolate truffle in the car.

After shopping at Aldi, I finally got back home and put away my purchases. I used this Modern Table Meal and jazzed it up for dinner.

A4615342-CD4E-4D5A-970A-392BCB77A93D

I added seasoned roasted vegetables along with turkey from Thanksgiving that we had frozen. It took it from three to five servings, and Matt immediately said how amazing it was after his first bite. Sure made me feel good!

6ADD2C0E-1457-4163-8D3B-4CD56AAC3ADE

Kaci, Drew, and Axl came over and surprised the babies with these awesome catnip mice for Christmas! Our dad also surprised us each with an iPhone 8 Plus! I didn’t realize I had not backed up iCloud in a looooong time, so that was a nightmare. Then trying to activate it was a challenge. So some of this post’s photos were taken with my old phone, new phone, and Matt’s phone. Whoops.

FB1CA104-FCD7-4A33-A26C-3BFC504F7F1A

Sunday // Christmas Eve

I was so excited on Sunday because I got to try out our new waffle maker. I already had a recipe on deck: Abbey’s GF high protein waffles.

I ended up with five plus one baby/silver dollar waffle rather than the eight called for, but they are perfect. Look how fluffy!

3A8B6B70-0002-40D7-BBF9-779E34E5B42B

I apologize for the lighting. We topped ours with thawed wild blueberries, maple syrup, pb, chia, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

BF217748-046E-4049-BAFA-D2CB46BAD1EC

I cleaned and had intentions of doing a Barre3 routine, but I didn’t want to drain the Wi-Fi while my phone was completing the backup. So I simply didn’t worry about it. But something to note is that it didn’t change what or how much I ate at dinner. Working out for me is something I enjoy. It’s not a chore, and it isn’t a means to “earn” my food. It shouldn’t be for anyone. We all have the right to nourish ourselves independent of our workouts.

Alright, now that I’m off my soap box. Here’s a photo we snapped before leaving to meet with his mom and step-dad for Christmas Eve dinner at Bravo Cucina.

0B07DD5A-18E2-4225-99FA-0C332479D441

I feel like we can never have too many photos because I always love looking back and reflecting. Love this of us! 🙂

8C79CEC7-02BB-4D27-B49D-814B56F63016

Matt chose their GF Bravo pasta with chicken plus a delicious salad to start.

C4F7C6AF-190B-4055-B7B6-23EF5BCF13A6

I had a chopped salad and enjoyed their grilled harissa shrimp, which included orzo, farro, arugula, zucchini, roasted red peppers, feta, a red pepper aioli, and parmesan. It was fabulous! I have leftovers for lunch today that I added spinach to as well.

0C0A8CED-8629-451F-9879-F9580489D3F2

We had coffee and their dessert trio sampler. Classic crème brulee, chocolate brulee, and seasonal peppermint brulee. Deeelicious.

DEA5AA6E-4456-42CC-842B-34EEED89C65F

Matt was a sweetheart and agreed to drive around to look at Christmas lights. There weren’t many, unfortunately, but the ones we saw were pretty!

6BEFD928-E3F4-4003-90B5-CDD4EB667994

<3

67DD9D96-A5DD-48F8-AAE1-30DDF021194D

I loved the blue and color combination on this tree.

6B4FF085-0F1B-45CB-8FDE-BB1D1A7D6889

6E65394A-59ED-4160-9BD3-E8216EC8238B

His mom gave us each a stocking to open, so we enjoyed that after getting settled at home.

644A7DFC-4F6C-43F8-86B4-859AA3F3B3D6

We both got hungry since dinner was on the early side, so we each ate a lovely snack. Intuitive eating for the win.

D171CFFE-19D2-4ACE-BECA-93C5F86B52E0

Christmas marked two years ago when we got engaged, and Mason played such a huge role! In the morning, Matt loosely tied a gift tag around his neck that read, “will you marry my dad?” Mason walked over to my pillow, and after I read it, Matt surprised me with my gorgeous ring. After what Mason has been through this year kicking cancer’s ass, we are beyond grateful he is happy, healthy, and spent another Christmas with us!

A1C23E7C-BA8D-4113-A070-4E9253D92A3B

I made us a frittata using four whole eggs and four egg yolks that were leftover from making the waffles. To that mixture I added milk, freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, and chopped roasted vegetables.

20F78DB9-CDB8-4128-8A53-10610F57C2E9

We enjoyed our slices with lightly dressed greens on the side.

99A17FCB-70FB-426A-92BC-2C7D3E90F457

Matt broiled grapefruit for us. Sugar for him, cinnamon for me.

C9F51ED3-9046-48FD-9186-2E1D0C7620CF

I was still craving something, so we split and toasted a slice of gingerbread, which complimented my coffee wonderfully.

95CEAED9-BE90-4153-8D08-E9CAD20FEBEA

We watched a show on the history of toys, and one episode was devoted to Barbie. Holy crap there is so much controversy behind that doll!

After doing some cleaning, I did complete three 10-minute Barre3 exercises that focused on calm, stretching, and core. It was enough to make me feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I showered and finally got to wear my new Christmas pajamas!

AA952BA9-B4B4-4D59-AB60-1994EFC722F9

Matt stayed bundled up in that blanket. Cozy, comfortable, low key Christmas was the absolute best.

13BB5DAB-9477-47EA-B93A-885AE7007D0A

Our stockings to each other.

FFEB3DD7-F326-4F00-AEC9-916ED007F9A1

I promise this is the last of SnapChat filters in this post. Lol

I snacked on an apple with one half filled with pb and the other with cashew butter. Matt spoiled me and got me a Stranger Things t-shirt and hoodie!!! I’ll be wearing them on New Year’s Day when we enjoy brunch at First Watch. I’m looking forward to sharing them in that post. =D

CA0674AC-6B83-4C86-A8D4-27F55B3771FC

Mason is a fan too!

0316FEB3-51AE-487F-AB75-F6A83DD95303

I must say I was super happy with out well all of our food was over the holiday weekend. I have been wanting to make appetizers to try, so I figured a plate of them for lunch would be perfect. I roasted green top organic carrots with curry and cumin, and they were really good. Both the zucchini roll-ups and nut-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates were thanks to my Pioneer Woman cookbook. I simply added olives and roasted peppers to classic hummus that we enjoyed with smokehouse GF crackers.

97D7E9C9-46AB-476A-A284-3B4F2FF66E0E

Then it was on to building a gingerbread house! I whipped an egg white, added the powdered sugar and lemon juice, and made a thick paste.

8E81ED99-A48A-43BB-AF0D-BE2CAD9635F2

Ta da! I decided to use the last two chocolate candies to make it look like the dog had an accident. Bahaha, sorry but we’re goobs.

F995A029-1795-4658-A963-8685DD30AD20

Matt tried making it look like there was light coming through the window, but I realized it looked like an over easy egg. Lol!!

33437DEE-B26D-442B-A0DE-43878165F534

Mason wanted to check it out and wasn’t pleased we wouldn’t allow it. Look at that face!

45809F33-0CB6-46D5-86C9-3C886B278500

The babies were most definitely thrilled to have us home. I’m not sure that Matt and I have ever both stayed at the house together the entire day. It was very much needed.

We both sipped on Earl Grey and watched the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We also got to FaceTime with my parents. Technology can be a pain sometimes, but boy is it a blessing!

7CF608F0-731A-4A06-8E2A-51CDD06B802C

Matt helped me put my Eleven decal on my car. Representing my Stranger Things obsession!

9338E582-0DD4-4295-BD7E-8B8255F06CEF

Dinner was phenomenal. We made uncured glazed ham from Aldi, bakeded sweet potato fries spritzed with balsamic spray and seasoned with mango habanero mix, Pioneer Woman recipe for roasted broccolini with garlic and lemon. I’ve never sliced and roasted the garlic like that, but we both agreed it’ll be happening regularly for sure. I also made cranberry sauce for dipping. Matt added green chili siracha to his, and it balanced the sweet and spicy nicely.

1327B6F0-5BEF-4F81-80A0-6E5CE1F45E94

While watching Jim Carey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, we each enjoyed a slice of our wedding cake. It’s still good even after being frozen!

EEE8F67B-7A8E-4242-B545-B9B5B5730F08

This past weekend was just incredible. No fancy trips or big gifts, but presence > presents. I loved spending time with those I love, and I will always cherish these memories. Here’s to a great last week of 2017!

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Merry & Bright // Christmas 2017

    1. Yes, thank you sooo much for wrapping up our cake! I was just telling Matt’s mom that you’re to thank for allowing us to still enjoy it. 🙂 The babies loved their holidaze!

Leave a Reply