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.


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!



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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


The cute couple!


David and Susan


Sara, Neal, Baylor, and Piper


The guys enjoying a chat and a beverage before dinner.


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


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.


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


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



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


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


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?


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!


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


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.


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!


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.


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!


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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!



I loved the blue and color combination on this tree.



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


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


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!


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.


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


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


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


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!


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


Our stockings to each other.


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


Mason is a fan too!


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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!


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


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.


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!


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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s