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Life + Loving Lately…Party Edition (with a giveaway!)

Hellllooo! It’s 72 degrees in Charlotte…on December 15…and it’s AMAZING. I mean, it’s a little weird to be getting ready for Christmas in flip flops and tank tops but I’ll take it. Apparently, we can thank a strong El Nino year for the 60 and 70 degree days that we’ve been enjoying all month. My favorite weather man says that we’ll pay for it come the official start of winter when it’s foretasted to be wetter than normal with some snow events. Still, totally worth the trade off right now.

Here’s a little slice of life (nod to my friend Brittany) post for you today as well as a few things I’m loving and a giveaway. Keep reading! πŸ˜‰


I have been spending so much time on all things studio for the past few weeks (part of the reason that things have been quieter than normal around here). December-February are nuts in the hot yoga world and my life has been consumed by putting together holiday promotions, ordering apparel, sending e-mail newsletters, relaunching our cafe menu, planning for workshops and our upcoming teacher training and oh yeah…teaching.

Silk Almond Nog

I’m currently loving having this back in my fridge again and made a holiday-themed bowl of banana egg white oatmeal using this in place of regular almond milk on Sunday morning for breakfast. It’s so good.

Sugar cookie shake with recipe

While we’re taking holiday-themed breakfast ideas, how about this Sugar Cookie Shake from Premier Protein? I love the idea of adding almond flour to a smoothie. I’m going to have to give this one a try! (And I’ll definitely add the sprinkles.)


Loving holiday-themed flowers in my home. I’m not usually a bouquet of roses kinda girl but these were just too lovely to leave behind and they feel so festive.


Loving hosting a birthday party for my fiance and having a house full of friends.

Party Set Up

He looked at me like I was crazy when I said I wanted to invite 70+ people over to our cozy home but I knew with the holiday season preventing some from coming and the warm weather allowing the party to spill onto the back deck that all would be okay. We ended up with around 45 people and it was such a fun evening. Here’s my food spread. Cheese plate, kale pesto and beet hummus, kale pesto and cranberry chicken salad and a Texas caviar dip.

Party Apps

And on the other side of the table…pimento cheese and pepper jelly phyllo cups (recipe), kale chips, fresh veggies and an incredible layered hummus dip that my friend Rajul was so sweet to contribute (along with the cheeses and the Texas caviar dip…gotta love those friends that refuse your refusal for help and save the day. She’s the best.)

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Chai spiced sugar cookies (made these for the third time in 2 weeks…addictive), red velvet cupcakes and a peanut butter cheesecake that one of our students baked. These were the surviving cupcakes after Zoey’s counter surfing episode. Update on Zoey: after two full days of tummy distress, she’s back to normal. I called the vet and they got a good chuckle out of the story and said she’d be fine, especially since the wrappers were paper. I’d like to think she’s learned her lesson but I 100% trust she’d do it again given the opportunity. Oh puppies.


It was such a wonderful evening that left my heart feeling full. We have such amazing friends here in Charlotte and I’m very grateful to for the connection. I really enjoy hosting and entertaining and I’m so happy that we’re in a house now that has such a great flow for it. I can’t wait to keep filling our home with friends and family.

ALDI cheese and chocolate

And staying on the food topic for a minute, I went to ALDI recently and stocked up on tons of pantry and fridge favorites as well as a few things for the party. This is just a small sampling of what I bought but clearly, I had the cheese and chocolate food group down. ALDI has some great seasonal specialty items right now so I’m giving away a $50 gift certificate to one lucky winner so you can go try them out yourself. It’s a quick giveaway…it will close at midnight EST on Wednesday, December 16 so get to commenting for your chance to win!

Any favorite holiday breakfasts?

What’s your favorite thing to bake during the holidays?

Do you enjoy entertaining?

This post is part of my ongoing partnerships with Premier Protein and ALDI.

{ 164 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Ericka Spivey December 15, 2015, 5:53 pm

    I love cinnamon waffles on Christmas morning. I don’t entertain much at home because I grew up on the home where everyone came for holidays. I love baking my grandmothers 7 up pound cake

  • 2
    Amanda Baker December 15, 2015, 6:02 pm

    I’ve already made a couple batches of my favorite soft gingersnap cookies for the holidays. They’re so good! I have to admit, I like them with coffee in the morning. So that might be my favorite baked good and my favorite holiday breakfast all in one πŸ˜‰

    • 3
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:15 pm

      No judgement here on gingersnaps for breakfast. πŸ™‚

  • 4
    Shannon December 15, 2015, 6:15 pm

    On New Years Day my neighbor makes homemade donuts and we all converge for a late morning snack!
    This year I’m planning on breaking out the homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning πŸ™‚

  • 5
    Mary H. December 15, 2015, 6:18 pm

    I love to make french toast casserole for Christmas breakfast.

  • 6
    ali December 15, 2015, 6:22 pm

    love entertaining. just had a housewarming party open house for our new home!

  • 7
    Brittany December 15, 2015, 6:31 pm

    I love making sugar cookies with royal icing – it’s the only time of the year I get motivated to drag the Kitchen-Aid out!

    • 8
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:14 pm

      Haha! It’s like my most prized possession! πŸ™‚

  • 9
    Megan December 15, 2015, 6:32 pm

    I like baking a whole bunch of cookies for Christmas, but this year I’ve been running like crazy for the past several weeks and my dad passed away last month so my heart hasn’t been in it. I might pull a few recipes out and do some this weekend because I know once I start, I’ll be happy!

    • 10
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:14 pm

      I am SO sorry to hear about your dad. Sending you love. Holidays without loved ones are so hard.

  • 11
    Jess @ Tinder District December 15, 2015, 6:34 pm

    Favorite holiday breakfast will forever be cinnamon rolls (straight from the can… no shame!). I’m also still on a quest to make a beautiful bΓ»che de noΓ«l!

    • 12
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:13 pm

      Girl, the canned ones are good!

  • 13
    Kim@fitsique December 15, 2015, 6:41 pm

    Nothing says Christmas morning like a short stack of homemade pancakes!!! Unfortunately I have to work this year so Ill try to keep the tradition alive and make my self some pancakes beforehand!

    • 14
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:13 pm

      Oh no! What do you do that you have to work on Christmas?

  • 15
    Anna December 15, 2015, 6:47 pm

    I love French toast on Christmas morning! The smell of it baking wakes you right up in the morning! And I can get all the ingredients for it at Aldi’s! Love that!

  • 16
    Andrea P December 15, 2015, 6:51 pm

    I love hosting and just had Christmas party last Friday! My family always does a breakfast pizza and some cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.

    • 17
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:13 pm

      Yum! What’s the breakfast pizza?

  • 18
    Sarah December 15, 2015, 7:01 pm

    I love making cinnamon rolls or a French toast casserole for Christmas morning!

  • 19
    elizabeth December 15, 2015, 7:02 pm

    Do you have a recipe link for the Chai spiced sugar cookies?

    • 20
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:12 pm

      Working on it! πŸ˜‰ (along with the chicken parm…ahhh!)

      • 21
        elizabeth December 16, 2015, 4:26 pm

        Thank you Jen!

  • 22
    Audrey Mills December 15, 2015, 7:09 pm

    I love entertaining but just had a baby, so it’s not in the cards for us to host any holiday parties this year.

    • 23
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:11 pm

      But how exciting! Congrats! πŸ™‚

  • 24
    Alaina December 15, 2015, 7:11 pm

    I love Aldi! I’m planning on making a lemon blueberry pound cake for a dinner with my parents and a French toast bake for brunch with my in-laws.

    And I second the question about the recipe for the chai spiced cookies! I want to make those for my Christmas cookie this year. πŸ™‚

    • 25
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:04 pm

      On the Chai recipe. I promise.

  • 26
    Hilary December 15, 2015, 7:12 pm

    My family has always made cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, so even though they won’t be around this year we are following the tradition and making some cinnamon rolls and I can’t wait!

    • 27
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:04 pm

      YUM! The best!

  • 28
    Ellen S December 15, 2015, 7:20 pm

    I love making sugar cookies and then decorating them. It was something I always did as a kid with my mom!

  • 29
    Cindy December 15, 2015, 7:25 pm

    Love all your inspiration to cook and entertain at home. I would love the gift to ALDI!

  • 30
    John Mark December 15, 2015, 7:34 pm

    Love, love, love Aldi!

  • 31
    Georgina December 15, 2015, 7:45 pm

    My family doesn’t have any holiday breakfast traditions…but we do always start on the mimosa’s early on! Haha. I’m not much of an entertainer now but its something I’ve always looked forward to when I grow up & have a house of my own (I’m 23 now and still say “when I grow up…” when does that officially happen?!)

    • 32
      Jen DeCurtins December 15, 2015, 8:02 pm

      you have at least until you hit 30 πŸ˜‰

  • 33
    tara December 15, 2015, 7:55 pm

    I won 3 gallons of maple syrup and am still figuring out what else to make besides the usual pancakes etc. I could use it for inspiration!

  • 35
    Rachel December 15, 2015, 8:02 pm

    I make a fun skillet chocolate chip cookie and monkey bread for Christmas with the family. Not so healthy, but oh so tasty!

  • 36
    paige c December 15, 2015, 8:15 pm

    I love baked french toast over the holiday for breakfast!

  • 37
    Ali December 15, 2015, 8:22 pm

    We always have a homemade quiche, cinnamon rolls, and coffee with baileys Christmas morning πŸ™‚ Love all the holiday baking traditions! Everything looks wonderful!

  • 38
    Kristen December 15, 2015, 8:23 pm

    I made Brussels sprouts salad last weekend !

  • 39
    AER December 15, 2015, 8:25 pm

    I love making Egg Nog French toast during the holidays- it’s a once a year type of food, but so so tasty!

  • 40
    Donna December 15, 2015, 8:26 pm

    I’m not big on entertaining but I love making homemade thin mint cookies with pure peppermint oil for friends and family for Christmas. They are so good and always a big hit!

  • 41
    Beth December 15, 2015, 8:29 pm

    Cinnamon rolls on Christmas day are such a yummy treat! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait for the chai spiced sugar cookies recipe!

  • 42
    Caroline December 15, 2015, 8:40 pm

    We make cinnamon rolls πŸ™‚

  • 43
    Kristen Y December 15, 2015, 8:40 pm

    I love making cannoli dip! My Italian family goes CRAZY for it!

  • 44
    Katie December 15, 2015, 8:45 pm

    I love, love, love Aldi! My favorite Christmas breakfast is homemade monkey bread with an enormous amount of cream cheese frosting πŸ™‚ I bake so much during the holidays; it’s a bit insane lol My husbands coworkers sure enjoy it though. I mostly stick to family cookie recipes. My husband and I are hosting Christmas at out house for the first time this year….so I’ll have to get back to you on the entertaining question hahaha!

  • 45
    Becca December 15, 2015, 8:49 pm

    love baking gingerbread biscotti!

  • 46
    Lauren December 15, 2015, 8:52 pm

    Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, love to bake peanut butter cookie cups, and yes, I do enjoy entertaining πŸ™‚

  • 47
    Jacquelyn December 15, 2015, 8:53 pm

    I so enjoy having cinnamon buns on Christmas morning. I love to entertain people and my favorite thing to make is pecan pie, a recipe that my grandmother passed down to me!!

  • 48
    Kristin P. December 15, 2015, 8:53 pm

    I love making a big breakfast casserole on Christmas morning. Along with a new to me recipe of Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole. So good!

  • 49
    April December 15, 2015, 8:55 pm

    My moms side of the family always gathers for a big breakfast on Christmas morning. It’s one of my favorite things! But we lost my grandmother last week so it will be different this year. πŸ™
    We don’t entertain much anymore, but we should get on that! Fun times. πŸ™‚

  • 50
    Michelle December 15, 2015, 9:00 pm

    I just love making cut-out sugar cookies as a Christmas treat! And, nothing beats a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, even on Christmas morning πŸ™‚

  • 51
    Lindsay December 15, 2015, 9:01 pm

    We always celebrate the holiday’s at my mom’s house. She lives out of state and doesn’t like us being in the kitchen when she is trying to cook the bird so I usually put an egg type casserole in the crock pot and I love waking up to the smell of breakfast being done on Christmas morning. I don’t think there is much better! πŸ™‚

  • 52
    Courtney D December 15, 2015, 9:04 pm

    My favorite thing to bake during the holidays is Ina Garten’s chocolate peanut butter drop cookies!

  • 53
    Bailey December 15, 2015, 9:23 pm

    Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning is a favorite in our household!

  • 54
    Caroline @ After Dinner Dance December 15, 2015, 9:25 pm

    Cinnamon rolls are a Christmas morning breakfast tradition in my family!

  • 55
    Jenny rose December 15, 2015, 9:44 pm

    I have been eating pumpkin cream cheese on a bagel for breakfast :). I will not be doing any baking but making plenty of things that don’t require baking because for me, that is when things go sideways πŸ™‚

  • 56
    Ally D. December 15, 2015, 9:47 pm

    I love entertaining and hosting now that I have my own apartment without roommates. I’m looking forward to doing some baking with a friend this weekend. I love Aldi also!

  • 57
    Sara @ Oats & Rows December 15, 2015, 9:47 pm

    I recently went to Aldi and got waaay too many cheeses. I got their Pumpkin Goat cheese that I plan on making a pasta sauce with and I can’t wait. Around the holidays, I love making anything chocolate and peppermint. My mom makes a sausage and egg casserole for Christmas morning and I look forward to it every year!

  • 58
    Emily S December 15, 2015, 9:54 pm

    LOVE aldi! I actually stopped there special last weekend on a road trip to get baking supplies for my Christmas cookie baking extravaganza this weekend!

  • 59
    kaitlyn December 15, 2015, 9:54 pm

    Those chai spiced cookies sound amazingly good! & I love finding good stuff at Aldi’s.. Would love to go there & get some of their different cheeses and meats to create a great appetizer for a holiday party!

  • 60
    Sara December 15, 2015, 9:59 pm

    We are hosting our first big party on Christmas Eve!

  • 61
    Janelle December 15, 2015, 10:41 pm

    Our tradition is a Harvey wallbanger cake! Soooo yummy and moist from the liquor added in πŸ˜‰

  • 62
    Tina December 15, 2015, 10:49 pm

    Love watching Christmas movies and eating Chinese takeout with my family after we open gifts!

  • 63
    Sarah @ BucketListTummy December 15, 2015, 10:50 pm

    I do love hosting people – food definitely brings people together and nothing like hosting a house of wonderfulness. My favorite Christmas breakfast is a baked french toast casserole!

  • 64
    Angela December 15, 2015, 11:02 pm

    I love a cup of tea and bowl of oatmeal in the morning. I’ve been adding apple cider to both lately.

  • 65
    Linda @ The Fitty December 15, 2015, 11:33 pm

    May I just say that you look so fit and amazing? Your arms are goals! πŸ™‚

  • 66
    Kiara Martilla December 16, 2015, 12:08 am

    This winter has been CRAZY! It’s been in the 40’s up in Minnesota as well and usually we are below zero by now at least a few times..
    Anyways to the important question – recipe for the chai sugar cookies please?!

  • 67
    Allison December 16, 2015, 6:50 am

    My friends and I love cooking and entertaining so we have a monthly potluck where we rotate who hosts πŸ™‚
    Ps can you share your kale pesto recipes?

  • 68
    Jenn December 16, 2015, 6:52 am

    I love to bake mini poundcakes which I give away as gifts!

  • 69
    Kristen L. December 16, 2015, 7:10 am

    My husband makes an awesome
    Breakfast pizza on holiday mornings. I always look forward to it!

  • 70
    misty December 16, 2015, 7:17 am

    I love Aldis! We bought stuff for a cheese plate for our Thanksgiving dinner…I went back and bought more of the cranberry goat cheese log because it was so good! I also bought all of my baking stuff there for baking this past weekend. Aldi makes entertaining much more affordable. πŸ™‚

  • 71
    Christine December 16, 2015, 7:32 am

    I love to bake sugar cookies just like my mom used to. Thx for the beautiful blog!

  • 72
    Catherine December 16, 2015, 7:45 am

    I love entertaining! Whenever my mom has parties or friends over, she goes all out with the food and decorations. I threw my first Christmas party this year for some friends at college and loved making and setting out all the food on festive dishes, preparing my apartment, and hosting everyone! It was so much fun and went well for a first-time host!

  • 73
    DJ December 16, 2015, 7:46 am

    I love to bake pecan pie, peach cobbler, and make fudge during the holidays. My whole family takes part in the baking. We make a huge day of it. It’s always fun and we get the chance to spend more time together.

  • 74
    Michelle December 16, 2015, 7:47 am

    I love any brunch foods during the holidays and anytime of the year. I used to love entertaining but now I have two little ones and I feel overwhelmed just thinking about having to cook for a crowd (that just means more cleaning and dishes). If I was going to bake something, it would be oatmeal raisin cookies- they’re so fool-proof.

  • 75
    Amelia December 16, 2015, 7:52 am

    We usually have homemade cinnamon rolls or an orange glazed pull apart bread on Christmas morning while opening stockings. During the holidays, I love baking a variety of cookies to bring to coworkers and friends. And I love entertaining – it’s so much fun to prepare a spread of food and to have an apartment full of friends/family.

  • 76
    Tracy December 16, 2015, 8:07 am

    We have a big breakfast on Christmas morning and I always make homemade cinnamon rolls and some other kind of sweet roll. It is my favorite meal of the year.

  • 77
    Zoe December 16, 2015, 8:08 am

    One of my favorite holiday breakfasts is my grandmother’s german stollen recipe that my aunt now makes and ships to every family member. It is buttery and flaky, and perfect warmed up. This bread instantly gives me warm feelings and makes me think of my family. I love to get people together and entertain. Standing around with great food and drinks is amazing. My favorite thing to bake during the holiday is probably scones of any kind. I love the slight challenge, and it’s not something I get to eat often so the reward is great!

  • 78
    Lori December 16, 2015, 8:11 am

    We are starting new traditions and a huge Christmas breakfast is one that we have carried on for a few years and will for many to come!

  • 79
    Caroline December 16, 2015, 8:12 am

    Christmas morning we have gourmet breakfast sausages and pastries and my dad makes the best fluffy scrambled eggs. We don’t have a big Christmas lunch or dinner so we go all out for breakfast!

  • 80
    Teri | a foodie stays fit December 16, 2015, 8:15 am

    I’d love a chance to try out Aldi – I’ve only been there once years ago and never really think to go there! You have some great finds!

  • 81
    Lauren R December 16, 2015, 8:33 am

    My favorite holiday breakfast is cinnamon roll french toast casserole!

  • 82
    Heidi H. December 16, 2015, 8:45 am

    I love making sugar cookies every year! It’s a tradition to cut them out and decorate the weekend before Christmas.

  • 83
    Lisa December 16, 2015, 8:46 am

    It’s not cold out in Charlotte so I’m still rocking overnight oats for breakfast. I will switch over to egg and cheese sandwiches at some point when it gets chillier. My favorite product from Aldi is actually their Senor Rico’s rice pudding. It comes in one large single serve containter for 99 cents. You should try it!

  • 84
    Laurie December 16, 2015, 8:56 am

    During the holidays, especially Christmas morning, my family and I enjoy any form of strata. It’s been a traditional Christmas breakfast in my family for many years and I try to create different combinations/versions of it every year.
    My favorite item to bake during the holidays is a salted caramel snicker doodle cookie…DELISH!
    I adore entertaining during all seasons in my life, but birthdays and Christmas are my favorite times to celebrate with loved ones.

  • 85
    Layla December 16, 2015, 9:06 am

    I keep saying I need to check out Aldi’s. My favorite Christmas morning breakfast is homemade cinnamon rolls.

  • 86
    Cortney December 16, 2015, 9:13 am

    When I was little I use to spend the night at my grandmas on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning we would all wake up to a table beautifully decorated for breakfast which included Dutch Babies! I haven’t had one in years…thinking I may have to whip some up…although I not sure they will be nearly as good as my grandmas!

    PS – There is an Aldi Store that opened near me & would love to check it out! Especially since it seems you have score some good buys there! πŸ™‚

  • 87
    Terra Jackson December 16, 2015, 9:13 am

    I love to make candy and cookies at Christmas. Candy making is a tradition at our house.

  • 88
    Autumn December 16, 2015, 9:17 am

    My mom used to make THE BEST cinnamon pull apart on Christmas morning. I actually don’t bake, Im more of a regular cook, and finally, we always host a New Years Eve party so our group can get together without the frustration of making New Years Eve plans out. And my sister and brother in law, and whoever else, can bring their kids and everyone can join in the fun! πŸ™‚

  • 89
    Joy December 16, 2015, 9:18 am

    My sister-in-law makes some great hash browns for holiday breakfast and I always look forward to them! She also makes homemade cinnamon rolls and I have to have a taste of those as well. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  • 90
    Abby December 16, 2015, 9:22 am

    I love to bake 1000 things all at once during the holidays, but if I had to pick one, it’d be peanut blossoms. Or perfectly decorated sugar cookies. Aldi is where I do grocery shopping! Gotta love a store that supports the college budget πŸ˜‰

  • 91
    kelly December 16, 2015, 9:25 am

    I love to bake classic chocolate chip cookies this time of year. Nothing beats them!

  • 92
    Jill December 16, 2015, 9:29 am

    My friends and I are really big on potlucks throughout the holidays leading up to Christmas, and I bring cannoli dip every time. It’s always a HUGE hit and so easy! Takes 5 minutes and you can make it right in the same container/bowl you’re serving it in. I’ve been making it for years.

    Recipe: http://www.onelovelylife.com/cannoli-dip/

  • 93
    Debbie December 16, 2015, 9:29 am

    We love making all kinds of cookie plates to bring to our neighbors to spread the love.

  • 94
    Jessica December 16, 2015, 9:32 am

    i dont typically bake much, but i make LOTS of cookies and candies for the holiday with my mom – we made 3 kinds of fudge (PB, chocolate, and hot chocolate), peanut blossoms, buckeyes, english toffee (which is my great-grandmother’s recipe), strawberry candy (there is a conspiracy in TN keeping me from buying red sugar) and raspberry meringue kisses! my birthday is the 23, so typically there is some cake-eating involved on christmas day, but im looking forward to my apple-pear-gruyere pie during dinner that day!

  • 95
    Maddie F. December 16, 2015, 9:35 am

    Basic chocolate chip cookies are the only treat I bake during the holidays!

  • 96
    Jackie December 16, 2015, 9:36 am

    I’ve got some baking scheduled for this weekend, hoping I can squeeze in a few of my favorite cookie recipes! The past few years have just been too crazy around Christmad time to get to bake, but I have a recipe for mini Linzer Tarts that I can’t wait to try

  • 97
    Caitlin December 16, 2015, 9:39 am

    Every Christmas morning, my mom always makes a delicious egg and sausage strata paired with a fruit salad and homemade bagels. I am looking forward to having it soon!!

  • 98
    Laura December 16, 2015, 9:46 am

    I make tons of biscotti this time of year. A perfect treat that ships well to all of my loved ones!

  • 99
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt December 16, 2015, 9:47 am

    I came back from Hawaii and it’s so warm, even in the mountains!! So awesome. Looks like a great party too!

  • 100
    Melissa H December 16, 2015, 9:48 am

    Favorite holiday breakfast is cinnamon rolls! Mmm can practically smell them now.. πŸ™‚

  • 101
    Audrey December 16, 2015, 9:55 am

    Officially obsessed with Aldi’s!

    My fiance is a chef so “we” end up baking different kinds of bread and cookies as our contribution to family get-togethers. I generally end up being his sous chef and drinking wine whenever we are in the kitchen together πŸ™‚ Fine by me!! Though I have tried many of your recipes and he has been impressed with my skills so thank you for that!

    One of our dogs cannot help but get in the trash. She’s too small to counter surf but I know she would if she could reach it. After a couple upset tummy incidents (and a lot of steam cleaning) we now just keep the trash outside. Last time she ate corn husks and gave us quite scare. Looking for an impossible-to-get-into trash can to put on the registry!

    • 102
      JennyV December 16, 2015, 12:10 pm

      A wine drinking sous chef? Now that is a fun start to Christmas!!

      • 103
        Audrey December 16, 2015, 12:40 pm

        Hahaha right?? Things get a little crazy when we make homemade pasta so that usually calls for Bourbon πŸ˜‰

  • 104
    stacey December 16, 2015, 10:13 am

    no traditions. I love to bake but hate having it around the house.

  • 105
    Hannah December 16, 2015, 10:26 am

    I love entertaining! I have a huge family, so I grew up having parties and holidays at our house for 40+; it brings me so much joy!

  • 106
    Christin December 16, 2015, 10:31 am

    I love holiday entertaining but it can get really expensive! It’s a good reminder to check out Aldi when shopping for things like that – there’s one so close to my house but I never go! Happy birthday to your fiancΓ©e!!

  • 107
    Christina December 16, 2015, 11:00 am

    For as long as I can remember, my family has made Eggs Benedict on Christmas morning. I continue that tradition with my own little family now!

  • 108
    Claire December 16, 2015, 11:02 am

    I love entertaining, too. It warms my heart!

  • 109
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine December 16, 2015, 11:14 am

    (Not entering), but Christmas morning we always used to have bagels and doughnuts growing up! Seriously the best πŸ˜‰
    And I’m so proud of all the new cookie baking I did this year (which I’ve never done for the holidays!)

  • 110
    Katie December 16, 2015, 11:32 am

    We always have monkey bread for holiday breakfasts – such a treat! And yes, the selection at ALDI right now is incredible. I have to stop myself from going all the time because I don’t NEED anything!

  • 111
    Mary December 16, 2015, 11:56 am

    I love how those chocolates from Aldi’s aren’t too high in sugar and are the perfect size for a post dinner treat!

  • 112
    Emily December 16, 2015, 12:11 pm

    My favorite meal of the year is Christmas morning brunch. All the family gathers at my parents house (where I grew up) and we enjoy sausage balls (the favorite!), banana bread, grits casserole, and mimosas.

  • 113
    Julie December 16, 2015, 12:13 pm

    I looooove cinnamon buns on Christmas morning, though this year we’re going to try a French toast casserole instead. Basically, anything sweet and indulgent!

  • 114
    Suzi December 16, 2015, 12:23 pm

    My favorite appetizer for Christmas Eve is shrimp cocktail. I know its simple. But I never have it throughout the year and when it comes to Christmas I CAN NOT STOP eating them!

  • 115
    Suzi December 16, 2015, 12:25 pm

    Shrimp Cocktail – I know, boring. But I never have it throughout the year. So, on Christmas I CAN NOT STOP eating them! YUM!!!

  • 116
    Nikki December 16, 2015, 12:43 pm

    I don’t break anymore but my grandma used to make homemade bread , rolls and cinnamon rolls at the holidays for presents. They were the best ever and I still remember the smell

  • 117
    jen December 16, 2015, 12:49 pm

    growing up, my parents would wake me up before dawn on new year’s morning to go see the sunrise on the beach… these days, i try to continue that tradition, but with cinnamon rolls, which i only make during the holidays!

  • 118
    Abbie December 16, 2015, 12:51 pm

    My favorite breakfast is monkey bread – so good, but so easy and delicious! As for desserts – I love Publix apple pie. Not homemade, but oh so yummy! I do like to entertain, but I tend to get stressed out a bit preparing πŸ™‚

  • 119
    Mami2jcn December 16, 2015, 12:55 pm

    We love Cinnamon Rolls!

  • 120
    Patti December 16, 2015, 1:19 pm

    No specific breakfasts for me, but I love holiday baking. As you saw on my snapchat I love peanut butter blossoms and ginger snaps!

    • 121
      Jen DeCurtins December 16, 2015, 4:35 pm

      YES! YUM! πŸ™‚

  • 122
    Laura B. December 16, 2015, 1:24 pm

    We recently moved too and love having people over now that we have more space! Favorite holiday breakfast is cinnamon rolls and bacon! Favorite things to bake during the holidays are plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies, oreo, red velvet, and peanut butter truffles, and bark!

  • 123
    Stacy S December 16, 2015, 2:15 pm

    My favorite holiday breakfast is definitely French toast casserole or any egg potato sausage bake!

  • 124
    Marianne December 16, 2015, 2:22 pm

    We always host Christmas Eve so am quite tired come Christmas morning when I’m being dragged out of bed by my 3 kids to see what Santa brought. So, I always make our favorite holiday french toast with apples, raisins and cinnamon that I prepare the day before and just have to pop in the oven Christmas morning…it is delish and my kids (and hubby) ask for it ever year! Merry Christmas, Jen! Love your blog and look forward to all you have to say in the new year!

  • 125
    Michelle R December 16, 2015, 2:34 pm

    This is my first christmas being married so I have two different that I love depending where we are at. Every christmas morning my mom makes the best orange cinnamon rolls and the past few years if we are at my in-laws my sister-in-law makes an awesome monkey bread! I love the holidays being with family πŸ™‚

  • 126
    erin December 16, 2015, 2:36 pm

    We make baked french toast on Christmas morning, Pioneer Woman’s Recipe is our new favorite. I use to bake a variety of cookies during the holidays but have less time these days so I stick to a few favorites like pecan sandies and jam thumbprints. Although I am totally trying the chai sugar cookies tonight!

  • 127
    Lindsay B December 16, 2015, 2:53 pm

    Love to entertain during the holidays! Comes from the great memories of my parents hosting!

  • 128
    Stephanie December 16, 2015, 3:09 pm

    Entertaining…yes! I can’t host much, since I’m in a smaller apartment…but small dinner parties (or brunch…people surprisingly LOVE it!) is SO much fun. On the plus side, my apartment is always clean because of it πŸ˜‰

  • 129
    ErikaMC December 16, 2015, 3:26 pm

    We either have an egg bake casserole with ham, cheese and broccoli on Christmas morning or egg-in-the-hole – I love both and don’t make either regularly so it’s a nice treat.

    We just had our big baking day and made peanut butter blossoms, kringla (favorite!), mini butterway cookies, cherry almond shortbread cookies, and gingersnaps.

    I do enjoy entertaining though I tend to stress myself out about the cleaning and having everything ready on time. I’ve gotten better over the years though so it’s more fun to do than not.

  • 130
    Natalie December 16, 2015, 3:33 pm

    I like to keep it simple for holiday breakfast – plain pancakes. Every year we bake penuche fudge, Andes mint cookies, and buck-eyes!

  • 131
    Cindy December 16, 2015, 4:38 pm

    Every Christmas Eve my mom and I make homemade apple and pecan pies for the next night – We only do it once a year and it’s one of my favorite traditions!

  • 132
    Jessa December 16, 2015, 5:03 pm

    Our family has always made butter cookies with chocolate stars for Christmas. It was my grandmas favorite recipe. When she passed away, we continued to make them. Each year we pull out her handwritten recipe, covered in chocolate and butter stains and get to work in the kitchen. The chocolate stars are very hard to find, but they are what make the cookie, so we search high and low each year. All of my friends and family anticipate and look forward to “Grandma Peggy’s butter cookies” each year!

  • 133
    Eric December 16, 2015, 5:15 pm

    Cinnamon/pecan waffles (regular not Belgian) or stuffed French toast are awesome holiday breakfasts!

  • 134
    Clare December 16, 2015, 5:16 pm

    We are entertaining our families on Christmas Eve and I’m making a lasagna, baked ham sandwiches, and a salad! Also I have several cookie recipes I’m really excited about trying. As for traditions, I called my mom to ask for the recipe for these amazing chocolate thumbprint cookies with mocha fudge that she always made when we were little…and she claimed to have no idea what I was talking about! LOL! Guess I’ll be experimenting!

  • 135
    Laura t. December 16, 2015, 5:41 pm

    I love baking cranberry white chocolate chip cookies!

  • 136
    Amanda S December 16, 2015, 5:44 pm

    Our family tradition has been preparing a breakfast casserole on Christmas eve and popping it in the oven on Christmas morning so we have something easy to cook and we can enjoy the morning watching our son play with his gifts from Santa and our family. Oh and of course lots of coffee drinking too:)

  • 137
    Anna O December 16, 2015, 5:48 pm

    I absolutely love baking biscotti for the holidays! My mom loves it and always requests it. Another holiday tradition is homemade chex mix! Tastes so much better than store bought!

  • 138
    Anastasia December 16, 2015, 6:03 pm

    I love entertaining! I love to bake cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. It’s so nice to have a cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee while watching my daughter open her gifts :]

  • 139
    Angie Jerde December 16, 2015, 7:54 pm

    I love Aldi! There is a brand new one that just opened right by me and I couldn’t be more excited : ) This would be so perfect to win this and then can go buy my supplies for Christmas breakfast!

  • 140
    jessica z December 16, 2015, 8:13 pm

    I love baking soft gingerbread cookies during the holidays. I love making a pumpkin french toast casserole for holidays breakfasts. I just bought my first house, so I am looking forward to hosting my first gathering!

  • 141
    Molly December 16, 2015, 8:25 pm

    No food traditions, but we always open presents with (lots) of really good coffee. Trader Joe’s Gingerbread coffee has been the coffee of choice for the last couple of years.

  • 142
    Amy December 16, 2015, 8:38 pm

    I’ve been loving myself some Aldi lately. I stocked up on all the essentials for holiday baking…sugar, flour, butter, eggs, chocolate. The prices are just so amazing!

  • 143
    Christy December 16, 2015, 8:58 pm

    May you enjoy this very special time of the year! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your genuine care and concern for each of us. I am trying so hard to stay balanced so I’m sorry I don’t leave that many comments, but I read all of your posts and treasure every word. I do want you to know that our children do too! Merry Christmas from our family to yours. God bless you! C

  • 144
    Miriam December 16, 2015, 9:07 pm

    Christmas morning isn’t complete without my breakfast strata!

  • 145
    Anna December 16, 2015, 9:30 pm

    I love baking during the holidays! Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning is my favorite!

  • 146
    Katie M December 16, 2015, 9:49 pm

    For as long as I can remember, we have always made Cinnamon Rolls on Christmas morning. I especially love the frosting πŸ™‚

  • 147
    Melissa December 16, 2015, 9:57 pm

    Love holiday day breakfasts! we usually do an egg casserole of some sort and cinnamon rolls or coffee cake:) i love baking and entertaining too! can’t wait to make our annual holiday cookies this weekend and next!

  • 148
    Melissa December 16, 2015, 10:18 pm

    I celebrate hanukkah but homemade cinnamon rolls are one of my faves- so delicious and festive!!!

  • 149
    Tarah B December 16, 2015, 10:34 pm

    Holiday breakfast is the best! We do Christmas morning cheesy omelettes, sweet potato hash browns, turkey bacon, cinnamon rolls, and fruit salad. Ah can’t wait!

  • 150
    Natalie December 16, 2015, 10:47 pm

    Aldi is where I shope. My daughters are the best baggers!

  • 151
    Shannon December 16, 2015, 11:19 pm

    My favorite thing to bake is peanut butter cookies with a Hershey kiss! Can’t beat it πŸ™‚

  • 152
    Lauren December 16, 2015, 11:56 pm

    That cranberry white cheddar is SO GOOD!! the best cranberry cheese I’ve had. Christmas eve breakfast will be quiche, bacon, maple chicken sausage, and berries. Christmas breakfast will include my in laws sausage cheese bites they make every year.

  • 153
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West December 17, 2015, 12:04 am

    My husband and I moved out of our tiny city apartment this year, so we’ve now hosted three big parties in our larger space. I LOVE to host. But boy it can get expensive. Your food spread looks perfect! πŸ™‚

  • 154
    Jojo December 17, 2015, 8:36 am

    I love baking Christmas Cookies! Especially decorating them. My family has an annual Christmas cookie baking day. We also always make cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning πŸ™‚

  • 155
    Jen December 17, 2015, 9:35 am

    I love to bake German shortbread cookies!

  • 156
    Kendra December 17, 2015, 10:04 am

    I would love to host, but it will have to wait until we have moved out of our apartment. For some reason, I’ve been really craving peanut butter blossoms this year… but not the crunchy ones. Soft cookies all the way! πŸ™‚

  • 157
    Mandi Little December 17, 2015, 11:33 am

    omg Aldis is my fav esp around this time a year! Plus i love how affordable they are! πŸ™‚ I cant wait to get some cheese and hummus from there later today! the gift card would sure help around the holidays!

  • 158
    Linda December 17, 2015, 12:06 pm

    Party and food looks great! I’m hosting a little neighborhood gathering tomorrow night. Will have to share with you some photos!
    One of my favorite childhood memories is the Pillsbury Dough Boy Cinnamon Rolls. My sister and I used to love spreading the frosting and smelling them back. And I loved the dough boy!
    Crazy as this is, I have yet to shop at Aldi! I’m so in a groove with Whole Foods, Earthfare and TJ’s, well after looking at your posts it’s time to get over there!

  • 159
    jeanne lee December 17, 2015, 12:20 pm

    I love waffles with toppings as holiday breakfasts!

  • 160
    Stephanie December 17, 2015, 12:39 pm

    My favorite Christmas breakfast is definitely French toast casserole. I prepare it the night before and can pop it in the oven to bake while we open gifts. I also like to truly go overboard with sweets this time of year! haha

  • 161
    Leila December 17, 2015, 2:16 pm

    I’m a cinnamon roll girl! I don’t have them often so its a special treat on Christmas to make cinnamon rolls. However, I think year my family and I are going to try something different: a waffle bar!!! How fun right?!

  • 162
    Kelly December 18, 2015, 8:40 am

    I love egg bakes for Christmas morning. I am a little obsessed with baking sugar cookies over the holidays, wouldn’t be Christmas without them!

  • 163
    Julie December 18, 2015, 1:36 pm

    We love entertaining, too, & do it often. I’m a pretty big baker so most of my tried & true recipes are sweets. πŸ™‚

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