Happy New Year to you all! I’m going to be staying with my Tuesday & Friday posting schedule in 2019 too, so keep an eye out later this week for my recap of last year and goals going forward. Today’s post is about Christmas events and what I got up to during the holiday season…
Christmas Eve Eve baking @ Mom’s
One of my sisters and I went over to my mom’s house to do some holiday baking the day before Christmas Eve. We made tons of cookies and even an attempt at a gluten-free apple pie which I’ve now come to call “Shannon’s crust-to-dust gluten-free apple pie” because of the crumbly texture we managed to achieve. Next time, we’ll look up a recipe specifically for using the non-flour. Our sugar cookies got super puffy after being baked, so they didn’t retain their cut-out shapes. It was a ton of fun spending the entire day making dough, rolling out twists, and decorating everything with red & green sprinkles! Very festive…
I also was finally able to give my mom her birthday present (her bday is December 10th). I got her a big pump bottle of her favorite lotion and she loved it (:
Me, Macy, and The Cove
I tried to get a bunch of pics of Macy and also take some selfies cause Mom’s house has awesome natural lighting lol she was kind enough to take us out to dinner at the end of the day. My sister and I got the crab legs while mom opted for a Philly cheesesteak. It was delicious even if I had a hard time cracking my crabs, but Chelsea is a pro (she used to work at a seafood restaurant) so I was in good hands. A little while later in the evening we packed up our cars with cookies and headed home!
We’d all be seeing each other the next morning anyway…
Hunter stealing the spotlight at Christmas Eve brunch
My mom, sister, Justin & I all were in attendance to Samantha and Zach’s house for Christmas Eve brunch. Their dog Hunter kept everyone’s attention as he’s such a big cutie. He fell in love with Justin, giving him his paw to hold and kisses. Hunter was ecstatic about his rubber frisbee Christmas gift- he kept holding it in his mouth and throwing his head back, it was so funny!
Mimosas, mama’s gift, and group photos
We had a lovely meal together. I had scrambled eggs with blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries on the side. Justin had waffles & eggs, and we both enjoyed our traditional mimosas. After brunch was cleared away, we began opening presents. I was excited for my mom to open the gift I made for her- when I asked her a few weeks prior what she wanted for Christmas, she simply replied “time” meaning she wanted to spend more quality time with her daughters. It didn’t take me long to think of a good way to give her that. I printed out every photo on my phone that had mom with one or more of me and my sisters. Then I cut them all out and put them in an album for her, so even when we can’t get together- she can still look back at the times she spent with us. She really loved it and I’m glad there’s space in the back for future photographs. Mom had some handmade pants from Guatemala that she’d brought back for Justin & I which are so pretty. She had goody bags made up for both of us, mine included nail polish, fuzzy socks, and a mindfulness journal among other things!
I got Samantha & Zach an engraved rolling pin that makes a deer/snowflake pattern on dough. I also got Samantha a planner and some flats she requested…
The big kahuna
My sisters are the best. They gifted me this gorgeous (and huge) painting of a colorful giraffe! That’s my favorite animal if you didn’t know or couldn’t guess lol
Anxiously awaiting Christmas morning
I had a Maì Maì Christmas (;
Christmas morning @ our apartment
Justin & I got up very early to open gifts from each other. I got him a roll-out piano, crab pot with soup, a big green Buddha, gameboy tee shirt + hat, “The Great Wave” socks, Godzilla mini figures and a few other things that I’d let him have prior to Christmas (personalized shampoo and conditioner, scarf from H&M, and a Tsuki windbreaker). He really went all out for me and surprised me with a bunch of presents…
Presents from Justin
He also had given me a few things before the actual holiday, but I can’t even think of them all cause he kept saying “it’s for Christmas” lol but my L.L.Bean coats were a great gift. He was so sweet to try and get everything I’d put on my list, and even sweeter to apologize for not being able to find everything. It’s so much more than I could’ve hoped for!
Breakfast @ Dad’s
Justin was kind enough to drive us out to Fredericksburg so we could spend Christmas morning with my dad & sister. Her boyfriend was there too, so I could give them their gifts. I got her some makeup and him a thermal undershirt for work. They got us some of our favorite teas + the cutest pug and kitty tea infusers! Justin had another pet-bonding experience with my Oscar. I miss my boys so much, can’t wait to have them back in my life fully when Justin & I get our house in a few months…
New phone case from Ideal of Sweden
One of the best gifts Justin got me was a new case for my iPhone. I’d been wanting one for months and this gorgeous design from Ideal is perfect!
Justin’s family Christmas time
We stopped by Justin’s parents’ house as well to exchange presents and visit before seeing them again later that day. Justin got his younger brother the new Apple Watch which he seemed to be really excited about, so we’re hoping he’ll get a lot of use out of it. He got his dad a cool gold/wooden razor and pen. His mom got a beautiful necklace from Swarovski (my man has great taste). They of course went above and beyond with the presents for us! A comforter set from UGG? How luxurious is that?? We went to his nana’s house to end our celebrations. I love that I’ve been able to adopt this tradition that they’ve been doing forever. It’s something I look forward to every year!
One of my favorite gifts?
Is it weird that a toothbrush is in my top 5 presents I received this Christmas? Justin’s parents got us each our own Quip electric toothbrush. These things are fantastic. I’ve never been one to like using a toothbrush other than manually, but I really love the design and feel of this one!
I got my 2019 calendar in time for the New Year! It’s a kitty calendar (are you surprised?) from a YouTube channel that focuses on their 5 cats SuriNoel and funny little experiments with them. I also received an amazing surprise from Marzia (a little late, but not any less appreciated). She saw my comment on her post that the ornament I’d ordered from her site had come broken a bit, so she sent me these 2 replacements! I had no idea they were coming and it was so nice of her to send them to me as a Christmas gift (:
They’re hung on our tree now and I don’t think we’ll take it down for a while…
New “format” poll
What do you guys think of the bold headers underneath my mass picture dumps? Does it help break up the large text portion and give some level of structure to my post? I’m thinking of trying it more this year and I just wanted feedback from my readers. Let me know your opinion on it in the comments! Thanks for stopping by (: