Holiday Recap

Oh hi there strangers!

I've spent the last week+ doing lots of relaxing next to my Christmas tree, drinking gallons of tea, eating tons of Christmas cookies, spending time with family and wrapping my head around the notion that my baby girl will be here in about 4 weeks.


We had a truly lovely holiday and I've just been savoring some extended time away from work and any real responsibilities. My biggest concern over the last few days has been what to scrounge up for lunch in our empty fridge and where to store all of our wonderful holiday gifts.

Not a bad way to get through the day if you ask me.

Shaun and I kicked off our holiday celebrations with an intimate dinner at Dino & Harry's in Hoboken. So many pretty wreaths, twinkle lights and delicious clams, steak and sticky toffee cake. We topped off the night with some Christmas movie watching by the tree.

After our annual Christmas Eve morning breakfast (this year at the Brownstone Diner, my new fave JC spot!), we spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house with my aunts, uncles and cousins.


We ate so many different dishes, including homemade saffron rice balls (my favorite), crab cakes, shrimp, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed jalapeños and more.

I sadly had to pass on the smoked salmon this year, but soon again it will be mine! As always, it always feels like such a special evening. My mom works so hard to make everything just perfect and it was a wonderful night.

On Christmas morning, we woke up and opened gifts with my family.

We received some great gifts! Shaun got me an iPad mini, a new tea kettle, an Urban Decay palette among other things. I received lots of new, fun jewelry, makeup, books and baby outfits, all of which I cannot wait to use!

We then got dressed and headed over to Shaun's parents' house for the remainder of Christmas Day. It was another fun and food-filled day with aunts, uncles and cousins! This was followed by the day after Christmas at their house as well for party part II!


I ate my body weight in holiday goodies and am pretty sure I put a few extra pounds on Baby H in the process! We are all hoping for a nice, chubby baby so I guess I'm doing my part to make that happen ;)

By the weekend, Shaun and I were just totally spent. I had one more holiday celebration...Leszer Christmas! This is an annual Christmas in the City date with my sisters and our best friends. We saw the tree at Rockefellar Center followed by a delicious dinner at Carmine's. And yes, my almost 9 month pregnant self made it on the subways, through the crowds, and home in one piece.

And that's how I spent the last week! Now I'm looking forward to quietly ringing in the new year this evening and returning to some sense of normalcy later this week. I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and have a safe New Year's Eve!

 

 

 

Five Things Friday

Well hello! Today is my last day of work for the year and I couldn't be more excited for the week ahead. I officially have about a week and a half off from work and it is a much needed break. I feel as though I've been over-the-top crazy busy for the last...6 months+?! And I'm ready for a few days of relaxation and savoring of the holidays.

With that in mind, today I'm bringing you the 5 things I'm most excited for between now and the end of the year.

 

{Our holiday date night}

Shaun and I love to take one night right before Christmas to just have a quiet celebratory date night. We usually pick a nice steakhouse that's illuminated with bright lights and Christmas wreaths. Though we love Edward's in Jersey City for this special occasion, sadly it is still closed following Hurricane Sandy. So instead, we are trying a different spot in Hoboken this evening!

 

 

{Our Christmas Eve breakfast}

It's a Cannon tradition and I am excited that we are going to a new spot this year - the Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory in Jersey City (!!) Shaun and I had gone here for breakfast a few weeks ago and after raving about it to my pancake-loving Dad, it was decided that Christmas Eve breakfast it shall be.

 

{Finishing the nursery}

I've gone on and on about how hard we're working on it and even shared a moodboard. I'm hoping to have it 90% complete by January 1.

 

{Relaxing with a mug of tea, a plate of cookies, some Christmas movies and my feet up}

In front of the Christmas tree, of course.

 

{Savoring family time}

I'm excited for time with my husband, my parents, sisters, extended family and in-laws. I wish I could just press a slow down button, but since I cannot, I plan to just soak up all the time I can!

 

I'm going to try and pop in one more time before Christmas, but in case time gets away from me...I hope that you all have a wonderful, safe, family & cookie-filled holiday!

xo,

Rachel

 

What are your five things this week?

What do you have on your list to do before 2013 strikes?

Holiday Survey

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?

Coooookies!

 

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!

click image for source

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!