Three years ago I could barely boil water. Determined to be a kick ass wife who not only watched football, but who could make a mean meal anytime, I taught myself how to cook. Now I write recipes, sample local eats & blog about it all!
Welcome to my world!
I've never done one of these before, but I've seen them on many a blog and always love reading them! Since there's been little to no cooking going on in my kitchen (save for some pasta with jarred sauce!), I thought this week would be a fun time to partake! So here goes...
Eggnog or hot chocolate?
Gah I love both! But I don't think I could live without hot chocolate in the winter.
Does Santa wrap presents, or just leave them under the tree?
Definitely wrapped! There is nothing more fun than opening pretty Christmas paper :) Growing up, Santa always wrapped my gifts in one paper and my sisters in their own as well.
Colored or white lights?
I love both equally! We put colored lights on our tree, but I also adore the sophistication of all white lights.
Do you hang misletoe?
We do have a little misletoe ball but usually just place it on our terrace door knob. Our ceilings are 14 ft high and so there's nowhere to hang it really. We get by without it ;)
When do you put up decorations?
Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.
What is your favorite holiday dish?
This one is SO tough because we make so many different things. I do love rice balls on Christmas Eve and spinach dip in a pumpernickel bread bowl always sings Christmas to me.
Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Baking cookies with my mom and enjoying Christmas morning all together in our pajamas.
What is on your Christmas wish list?
I don't have much this year because I'm just simply excited about our most special gift ever, arriving just after Christmas! ;)
Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?
We exchange gifts with my mom's side of the family, and then Shaun and I exchange our gifts in the wee hours of Christmas morning after midnight mass.
How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Multi-colored lights, shiny, glittery balls, and ornaments we've collected over the last bunch of years. My favorites are the ones from our travels around the world!
Snow? Love it or dread it?
I adore it! I always love getting at least one really good snowstorm per season, like the one we got the day after Christmas 2 years ago...
Real tree or fake tree?
I am happy with (and see the merits in) either one. Shaun is the one who insists on a real tree and every year since we've been married, we've gotten a great one!
Do you remember your favorite gift?
I've gotten so many amazing Christmas gifts over the years! Santa definitely went overboard in our house growing up. The best one ever, though, would have to be my Chloe, who joined us on Christmas Eve 1996, and she's still going strong.
What is the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Being with family and taking time to slow down.
What is your favorite holiday dessert?
What is your favorite tradition?
Shaun and my holiday date night on Christmas Eve Eve and breakfast on Christmas Eve with my family...a tradition that my Dad started years and years ago. He would take my sisters and me out for breakfast so that my mom could have time alone at home to prep for the evening's festivities. Now that we are older, we continue to do this but the whole family joins!
What tops your tree?
Nada. Still haven't found something that we like, so for now she is bare.
Do you prefer giving or receiving?
I love giving gifts so much! I have such a great time picking out the perfect gifts for people and sitting in front of the tree and wrapping for hours. It makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy.
What is your favorite Christmas song?
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. It simultaneously makes me happy, nostalgic and want to cry at the same time.
Candy canes: yuck or yum?
Definite yum! Especially in baked goods or peppermint bark. Oh and give me a Candy Cane Hershey Kiss any day!
Favorite Christmas movie?
I love so many, but if I had to pick one it would be Christmas Vacation!
What do you leave for Santa?
Cookies & milk, obviously!
Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
We all gather in our Christmas pj's and open gifts! This is not complete without each of us having our own plate of Christmas cookies and A Christmas Story on in the background. Stockings get opened first!
Online or in-store shopping?
I have to say - I LOVE online shopping! Especially with Amazon Prime!
Do you send Christmas cards?
Usually, but this year I just didn't get to it! Next year we will when Baby H can adorn some pretty holiday cards in all of her cuteness :)
Now it's your turn! Either take the survey or answer some of your favorite holiday questions in the comments!
I hope you've been enjoying holiday cookie week up in here. And today I'm not bringing you a new recipe, but one that I posted last year but which requires repeating again (and again!) because I just love it so much.
We discovered these gorgeous cocoa thumbprints in last year's Food Network magazine and when my cousin Veronica declared that they must be added to the list, we had a great time choosing different fillings for these pretty lil' things. I think they are the prettiest and most Christmasy of all the cookies we make. Not to mention that they are soft and cocoa-y and and all around treat! Head over to last year's post for the recipe!
Meanwhile, today I'm officially 33 weeks pregnant. Baby Girl is about the size of a pineapple this week which on one hand blows my mind and on the other, I can totally believe it. Here's my bump from last week:
Kinda large, no?
I also had a bit of a shock when I saw how round my face looks in this photo. A lot different than even my 27 week photo, which doesn't feel all that long ago!
This week, when she is moving around...she is m.o.v.i.n.g. around! No joke. It's super fun because I can actually feel which side of my stomach she is curled up on and feel (and see!) her shifting positions. At my last doctor's appointment, he noted that he thinks the baby is head down and is fairly certain that it's a little booty right in the top center of my stomach. That pretty much made me melt, thinking about her little tush wiggling around right there. He also noted that he *thinks* the baby is on track to be around 8 pounds at birth. I can't wait to compare that prediction to what she will actually be!
For the first time thus far, I am actually starting to feel mildly uncomfortable in this body (like actually uncomfortable, not just being nitpicky). My hands are starting to swell (meaning both of my rings are officialy off) and my bump feels so huge that it's really a challenge to bend down, or even lean forward to pick something up off of the coffee table while I'm lounging on the couch. Oh and getting up off of the couch is a whole other story. Thank God I have Shaun to pull me up!
Oh and remember how I raved about the American Apparel tee's being perfect for a growing bump?
I still love them for their cuteness and extreme softness like no other, but...yeah, they are barely covering me now! I do think they will be perfect for right after the baby is born though. Until then, I'll be rockin' them short and probably switching to some oversized men's tees. Sigh.
Foodwise, I'm still digging my Raisin Bran Crunch...
but aside from that, no real cravings or anything. I have enjoyed my fair share of pancakes though, especially this past weekend at the Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory in Jersey City! I dined on some oversized buttermilk pancakes with apple cinnamon topping. It was highly divine and part of our 'soak up our lasts' initiative on Sautrday morning.
We've also been making serious nursery progress, and here's another little teaser for you:
I promise when it's all done I will do a full nursery tour, but as of now, it's still got a ways to go! I'm continuing to wash baby clothes, towels and blankets which has been taking a surprising amount of time. I'm pretty sure Baby H has more clothes than I do! I also made a trip to Ikea to get some nice frames for my sweet little art prints. I can't wait to frame and hang them! Of course, no trip to Ikea is complete with out a $1 treat.
Lastly, we are doing all of our baby classes this week! Last night we had our newborn baby care class at the hospital (or as I like to call it: How Not To Kill Your Baby class) and it was very reassuring to hear about what happens right after birth and what is normal (and not normal) should anything be concerning regarding rashes, eye goop and more. We also swaddled, changed diapers and learned how to hold the baby. A lot of it felt very natural, but I think it was a good refresher for both Shaun and me!
I think that's about it for this week. I'm excited for the holidays and for right after because then we will be just about there! I get more and more excited everyday to meet my baby girl!