Friday Favorites

by tessa8m on December 23, 2011

in Friday Favorites

Good Morning and yay for it being Christmas Eve Eve!

Being home and on break has been pretty glorious so far. Nothing out of the extraordinary, it’s just… nice :) No other way to describe it really. I am surrounded by my mom, grandparents and brother (other brother and wife Christine are coming later today), baking/cooking when I want to, exercising at any time of the day, and just ya know, hanging out!

Can’t ask for a better last few days in my opinion… well unless it was about 76 degrees and sunny :) But really, I need to stop my damn belly aching!

Since it’s Friday, a few days before Christmas, and it’s the holiday season, I am looking forward to doing a more “up beat” post today! It’s time for current Friday Favorites and I have a whole slue of rather random pictures, food, and information to share :)

Let’s get to it!

1) When I was shopping with my mom the other day at the Paper Store, I saw these “flavor straws” at the checkout and felt strongly compelled to buy them.

A very wise choice indeed! I tried this later that day in a cup of vanilla soy milk and it made the milk have a slight chocolate taste when it was sucked through the straw!

2) Speaking of chocolaty/sugar/fake goodness, remember when I was talking about my absolute favorite sugary cereals a few days ago? Well someone mentioned Reeses Puffs in the comments and again, I felt the strong inclination to eat some asap.

And yes, these were as delicious and sugar-filled as I remember… I was certainly not disappointed at this wonderful peanut butter/chocolate combo.

3) As I have alluded to a number of times, I have been a baking fiend these last few days. The other day I stumbled upon this recipe, and decided to recreate it myself!

The cookies did turn out rather well, and it was a fun challenge to take on. I created a basic sugar cookie recipe and then separated the dough into two equal parts. Like the directions said, I colored one half of the dough with green food coloring and added an extra bit of vanilla extract, refrigerated for 3 hours, and then rolled together!

I had a whole bunch of left over sprinkles from the lame gingerbread man creation I did for an RA program a few days before break, so I used the rest to roll the dough in and add even more festive flair.

I cut the dough into 1/4 inch pieces, baked in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes and was rewarded with a rather fun and whimsical cookie!

These really were not hard, just a bit time-consuming, as you had to let the dough chill for at least 2 hours. But worth it in my opinion… try these out!

4) Yesterday I spent the day with my grandparents, mom and brother and we were out and about completing various holiday errands. Honestly, it was such a fun time!

  • We were all squashed into one car- which was a rather interesting site as we are all at least 5’10″ and taller
  •  Navigating to Costco was a quite an experience because we all knew where it was… but we all had opinions on what the best way of getting there was. Bickering, a bit of arguing and laughter ensued the whole trip.
  • Costco is always a fantastic time because of the overwhelming size of there and free samples of course! Mmm mini red velvet cupcakes… yes please.
  • My brother was in desperate need of shoes so we stopped at Nordstrum Rack…aka shoe mecca for rather large feet people such as myself and the broski.

I was lucky enough to snag a new pair of kicks for myself… and on sale too!

I love em :)

Oh and I saw these Toms… but these might just be even a bit too Barbie for me. Although let’s admit here, they are pretty awesome.

It was just “nice” being out with my family and knowing that I am not being judged by the ones that love me. Having disordered eating has left me to have a very skewed view of myself (duh), so I constantly feel as I am being “looked” at and judged by others. Around my family, this is just not the case. I do want to chat more about this another time… but not now, as I am staying more upbeat and I am not in the mood to write a 3 hour post about that haha

5) While on a family outing, it’s always a good idea to attempt photos together when you are squashed in the back… you might get some winners!

Weee bonding time :)

6) The present situation this year is great. For Christmas 2011 my family decided to do a “Secret Santa” style gift-giving this year.. meaning that yes, only one present per person! If you had asked me to do this about 5 years ago (or err as early as last year) I would have said NAY, as I truly love to GIVE gifts to everyone, but also receive them too (yep, just being honest).

While I understand that the planning, buying and stress of gathering and giving presents is a tradition, we were simply not up for it this year, and decided on Secret Santa style. It’s actually been really lovely just getting gifts for one person, knowing they are going to enjoy it, and that’s that! It will take some getting used to this year, but it’s nice to change things up. And again, knowing I don’t have to go go anywhere near a mall has been fantastic :)

7) Finally, our Christmas tree is up and sure as heck is decorated to death!

A pretty good lookin one if you ask me… we like to make the tree look epic :) My mom and I chose the tree, she did the lights and beads, while I did most of the ornaments… but Gram and Ma helped finish with me at the end.

This is my very favorite ornament… they are my baby shoes from when I was christened at 3 months. Aww :)

I always HAVE to put this ornament on myself, and near the end too… no ryhme or reason, just one of those traditions.

There you are friends and a very happy Friday to you all :)

-If you are planning to celebrate this weekend, are you all ready to go? I am this year because of the Secret Santa idea we are trying. Usually on Christmas Eve Eve I am scrambling for last minute gifts, driving around town, facing crowds/traffic…

-What is the gift-giving tradition in your family? Would you be alright with changing it up?

-Has anyone else ever seen those flavor straws before, or have I just been living under a rock? Oh and speaking of artificial food, Reeses Puffs…yay or nay?!

-What is the most challenging, difficult or time-consuming food you have ever cooked or baked? The cookies were up there for me… I know not that hard, but I tend to mess up things like that!

-Do you have a special ornament, or one in particular that has a story behind it?

-A question to everyone, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, what are your plans for the weekend?

Since I will be with family and doing the holiday thanggg the next few days, I won’t be posting/commenting for a bit or as much as I usually do. I think this is for obvious reasons, and I don’t want to be too stressed or feel “compelled” to post when there are lots of festivities to partake in :) I hope you understand!

Have a nice Friday everyone, and Happy Holidays!!

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{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Khushboo December 23, 2011 at 5:05 am

Woahh I need some of that Reese’s cereal in my house..why have I never tried it! I am going to go ahead and assume I would be a big fan of it! Also The resemblance between you and your mom is uncanny- both gorgeous :)!

Those cookies look delicious- what’s Christmas without sugar cookies! I’m sure risotto is not the MOST time-consuming thing I’ve cooked but it’s the only one that comes to mind right now: all that standing around and stirring is no joke!

We might do an elaborate “Christmas” meal on Sunday as my whole immediate family will be together which doesn’t happen often- I’m excited :)!

Merry Christmas Eve :)!
Khushboo recently posted..You know it’s the holidays when…


2 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 10:02 am

Oh I am sure you would loveeee them…try them as soon as you can :)
Have a lovely weekend!


3 Colleen December 23, 2011 at 6:11 am

My family is coming in town today and I (once again) am doing all the cooking. Yay! Tonight’s meal will be spinach and roastchickenpox per stuffed chicken breasts with my sweet potato casserole, bacon wrapped green beans, corn casserole, salad, and some sugar free/fat free desserts!! We will head out of town to my husbands family’s Xmas late Sat pm and I’m in charge of desserts again.
Manicotti is probably one of the most time consuming thing I’ve ever prepared/cooked. Stuffing those shells was tough. I couldn’t evrn eat the final product—lactose intolerant. I make all desserts from scratch and some of those have been fairly complex i love the challenge Your cookies were beautiful!!
I’ve never seen those straws, nor have I had Reese’s cereal. Again, being lactose I never eat cereal. I’m glad you gave yourself permission to eat it!
I hope you continue to enjoy your family filled holiday and Eat yummy food sans guilt! Merry Christmas!!


4 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

Manicotti does sound intense! I am impressed Colleen :) Next year you should make something difficult that you can enjoy too!


5 Lyn @ FueledBySalad December 23, 2011 at 6:44 am

Those sugar cookies look so pretty! So many colours. :D I’m loving your new shoes – Nike’s my go-to brand for sports apparel (and even sometimes apparel in general!). And, since they’re right there: OOOH SHINY TOMS! I’ve got a pair in a colour called ‘pewter’. Not shiny though.

The weekend! Tomorrow we’re cooking up a feast of sorts, and I’ll be making sweet potato wedges, a spinach/chicken/walnut salad, a spiced millet/raisin/seed pilaf AND black bean brownies. Not gonna tell the family what’s in the brownies! ;)
Lyn @ FueledBySalad recently posted..An eventful weekend and savory oatmeal.


6 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 10:18 am

hahahaha I literally LOL when you mentioned about the black beans in the brownies… I am sure they won’t know :)


7 Jessy (squeezetheday) December 23, 2011 at 6:57 am

I love that idea of presents! Honestly, I know everyone says ”I prefer giving presents than give them” blabla, but I prefer getting them – not because I wouldn’t want to give, but because I never know what to give!
My father and I just put up our tree and we’re having a family dinner on Saturday, with all my brothers and families. I can’t wait! Ahh, I’m so upbeat because of holidays! :D


8 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I hope you have a delightful holiday Jessy!


9 Christina @ The Athletarian December 23, 2011 at 7:12 am

Your cookies look so FUN!! I love the sprinkles you put on the outside. They definitely made the cookies! I have never seen flavour straws but like you, I would have snagged them FOR SURE if they were staring me in the face like that! Holy cow, they look delicious! Reese are a huge YAY. Anything PB and chocolate wins in my books. I ate that cereal like crazy when I was younger and if I had it in the house now I would totally do the same!

I hope you have a fabulous weekend! I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy every minute of it and eat as you please! ‘Tis the season ;)
Christina @ The Athletarian recently posted..this Santa spins!


10 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I am so glad you appreciate it as much as I do :) Nom nommm love Reeses cups :)


11 X December 23, 2011 at 7:41 am

There’s a lot I’d like to say, but too tiring to even say it.

So, I think the secret-santa thing is better to do.

And you might like this recipe I found a couple days ago:


12 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Thank you for this recipe! Gingerbread are among my favorite kind of clif bar!


13 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health December 23, 2011 at 7:41 am

I LOVE your tree! And yay for new shoes..those are really cute! I am thankfully all ready for Christmas. I had to be because of all the things I have to go to this weekend haha. And omg I now want some reese’s puffs…those things are amazing! Although, is it just me or does this happen to anyone else- when I eat cereal like that it always hurts the roof of my mouth after a while haha. I’ve got lots of holiday plans for the weekend- Christmas with Chris’s mom tonight, Christmas eve with my mom’s family, and Christmas day with my fam! Hope you have an amazing holiday weekend Tessa :D
Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..Blogger Meetup and Bamboo Bottle Review


14 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Hhahaha it does happen to me too! And with Cap’n Crunch especially!


15 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes December 23, 2011 at 7:55 am

Those cookies sound and look so cool! Must try :)
Lauren @ What Lauren Likes recently posted..I might be a genius- WIAW and waffles


16 Alexandra December 23, 2011 at 8:03 am

Those cookies look fabulous and I’m in love with your tree!! :) Family time is the best time, eh? Oh man, we MUST be on the same wavelength of you went to Costco yesterday, I can’t wait to get my hands on those samples!
Oh and woooooooo for toms, too!! Aren’t they so freakin comfy?!?!
Happy Christmas eve eve!
Alexandra recently posted..Bizarre-dom


17 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Ha oh yes they are!! The sparkly was a bit over the top for me!


18 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count December 23, 2011 at 8:30 am

The cookies are so pretty and such a different color for Christmas…Love them! The tree looks wonderful and I Love the christening shoe ornament, what a wonderful idea! I have 2 nieces about to have babies…I’m going to suggest that to them! It looks and sounds like you’re having a great visit home, Tessa. Looking forward to hearing more adventures! Merry Christmas to you and all your Family!
Fran@ Broken Cookies Don’t Count recently posted..Christmas Eve~~Eve…


19 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Oh let me know if they like the suggestion! It’s such a special idea


20 Sarah - Feeeding Brain and Body December 23, 2011 at 8:47 am

Those swirly cookies look awesome! That sounds like a great time you had at costco and the mall. I can see the similarity between you and your mom! That’s a good thing by the way, I wish me and my mom shared some sort of similarity! Merry Christmas Eve Eve!
Sarah – Feeeding Brain and Body recently posted..These are a Few of my Favourite Things


21 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Awww what a nice compliment… and for my mom too :) Have a great holiday Sarah!


22 Dorsa @ Running Thoughts December 23, 2011 at 9:24 am

Those Toms are awesome :)

I love costco samples, I live for them. no joke.

I made those cookies earlier this week too! :) I ran out of sprinkles tho, so mine were just plain swirl cookies :) but they were delish!
Dorsa @ Running Thoughts recently posted..Christmas At Mamma’s House


23 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Aren’t they fun to make! Ha yes indeed :)


24 Lisa @ Healthful Sense December 23, 2011 at 9:25 am

I’ve got to get to a Nordstroms rack. I can never find pants that are long enough… unless I want to spend 150+ dollars at Express for a couple pairs of jeans. Love being tall but not shopping for clothes that fit me =) It would be hard to do a secret santa style Christmas… I like seeing lots of presents under the tree. It makes me feel like a kid =)
Lisa @ Healthful Sense recently posted..5 Things Friday & Date Sweetened Greek Yogurt Smoothie


25 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Oh yes, seeing the presents under the tree is always such a nice thing! Changing it up for one year, who knows if we will do it again!


26 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries December 23, 2011 at 10:06 am

i’m loving every single one of your “friday favorites”! the chocolate milk straw (how cool!), the Reese’s Puffs (definitely one of my favorite cereals!), the shoes (very cute!), the cookies (love ‘em!), your family adventures… love it all girl! i’m so happy you’ve been able to have a nice time relaxing and taking in all of the holiday fun with your family.
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Christmas Snail Mail


27 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Have a great weekend Ashley… enjoy your holiday :)


28 Junia @ Mis Pensamientos December 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

oooo those flavored straws sound like so much fun!!! ahhhh i have a weakness for yummy cereal and milk~ my favorite growing up. i’ve been thinking about getting a pair of TOMS, so many ppl wear them! have a wonderful eve to Christmas eve! :)
Junia @ Mis Pensamientos recently posted..Tahini Salad


29 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm

They are great, and so comfortable!


30 Allie December 23, 2011 at 10:55 am

I love the candid pictures in the back of the car… everyone looks so happy :)

Looks like you have been making some awesome treats, as usual!

Allie recently posted..Recent eats


31 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie December 23, 2011 at 11:12 am

I love love love those Toms! I was seriously considering asking for them for Christmas!

I’m glad you’re having such a good time with your family! I definitely think that’s the best part of Christmas, though the presents are a bonus of course. I’ve never had a Christmas with my extended family but I’ve always wanted to, even if it was a bit chaotic!
Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie recently posted..Oh We Need a Little Christmas [Inspiration]


32 Kellie December 23, 2011 at 11:15 am

I love that you are allowing yourself some “artificial” foods. My nutritionist has me eating two challenge meals a week (think greasy quesadillas) as well as some kind of Christmas treat each day like candy, egg nog, cookies. At first I was terrified (ok, still am), but I actually ate store bought artificial cookies and am so proud of myself. Is ED happy, no way, I already feel huge, but at least I did it. Every bite we take of something that makes us uncomfortable makes ED a little less powerful.


33 X December 23, 2011 at 7:59 pm

When I was in a hospital before, all they had was crap-hospital food (i.e. “artificial). I HAD to have dessert at pretty much every meal (chocolate cake, brownies) plus meals like pizza and mac n’cheese , etc that were really really “mcdonalds” type meals….

so you definitely can eat a lot of desserts Kellie. Do not feel bad about it. \keep indulging! (p.s…you are so lucky to have a good trustworthy nutritionist).

(my problem is that I overeat this stuff..I think I’m rebelling from my previous rigidity….it scares me because others have such esteemed control…plus I have a lot of digestive issues and I’m only making it worse :(


34 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm

This is really helpful for me to hear Kellie, thank you for sharing this. I need to get better with being okay with splurges and it’s helpful to know that others are working toward it too


35 Anna @ The Guiltless Life December 23, 2011 at 11:29 am

Yay for new Christmas traditions! It’s been 5 years now since my family started doing Secret Santa gifts and we love it!

How adorable that your christening shoes are an ornament on the tree – my mom was never quite so sentimental about keeping stuff so I have barely any baby stuff of mine lying around! Though in my baby book there is the tiny bracelet they put on me in hospital when I was born, so cute!

Those sugar cookies look amazing – love the sprinkles addition, look at you go baker!
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36 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile December 23, 2011 at 11:36 am

Sounds like such an awesome time!!! :D Those straws AND cookies look AMAZING!
My mom and brother are actually celebrating Christmas tonight because we go to my dads tomorrow and my bro leaves Christmas morning. So I made some truffles yesterday, and I’m cooking ALL day today! I’m ready :D
We usually get one or two presents every year. Getting older means more expensive, meaningful gifts or just money for necessities! I’d rather get things I need or really, truly want, than a bunch of little gifts I don’t need. My brother and I always split a gift for my mom and one for my dad.
I’ve been living under a rock too if that’s the case!! I used to LOVE reeses puffs. I haven’t had them in FOREVER though. They would be an awesome dessert or treat!
I’m not really sure the most difficult. Maybe a recipe that I tried to cook. I’m a better baker than I am a chef.
I have a bunch of old ornaments. It’s fun to reminisce while putting them up.
My plans for the weekend are church and dinner tonight, long run tomorrow morning, dinner and presents at my dads tomorrow, then having a chill, relaxing day eating leftovers and doing whatever I want with my mom on Sunday, then visiting my grandma the next day.
I hope you have THE BEST Christmas ever. Enjoy yourself girl!! <3


37 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Phew you are a traveling and baking fool girl :) Nice job, I am so proud :)
I hope your long run went well… and you enjoy the rest of your festivities! Love ya lady


38 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake December 23, 2011 at 11:51 am

I’ve seen cookie recipes similar to the ones you made! Yours look like they turned out great!
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..Holiday Fashion


39 Brittany December 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

Ohmuhhgaah where do I begin..

A. Those straws..I need. Enough said about that.
B. I used to go CRAZY for those Reeces puffs. I was never a big cereal eater but I would OWN that box when I was younger.
C. Those cookies are adorable..and CUPCAKE samples at Costco!!? WINNNNN!!
D. I am in love with your new Tom’ effing cute!! I need a pair..NEED!
E. GORGEOUS family and tree!!

I love ya pretty lady!!
Brittany recently posted..If It Tastes Good..Eat It Twice


40 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Aww Brittany thanks girl! I actually didn’t buy the Toms to blingy for me :)


41 Paulina (One Smile Ahead) December 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm

It’s so nice to hear you’ve been feeling great! I think being around close family always has that positive effect on us :] Those cookies look incredible! I absolutely love how festive and cute they are. I need to get to baking something of my own today! Happy holidays! :]
Paulina (One Smile Ahead) recently posted..De-stress


42 Stephanie December 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm

This post made my cheeks hurt from smiling. So much happy and so much sugar! Yeah…I pretty much love Reeses cereal. They look kind of gross, but they taste absolutely beautiful. Your tree is so pretty! Aaaaah, I can’t wait for Christmas.
Stephanie recently posted..A Bit of Housekeeping and a Reader Grab Bag


43 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Hhaha aww so nice Stephanie thank you :)


44 Liz @ Southern Charm December 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Ahh I did a similar post as you :) I was in need of a light and fluffy post :)

Love love love the kicks you got! I have a pair and I am absolutely obsessed with them!

And Reese’s cereal?! We are meant to be friends! haha. It’s one of my absolute favorites!

This weekend, we will do Christmas Eve with the immediate family and them Christmas day with the extended family. I live close to my parents, but I think they are excited I’m sleeping over Christmas Eve night!
Liz @ Southern Charm recently posted..Friday Favorites.


45 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Hehehe yes a light and fluffy post is a nice change
Have a great weekend girl!


46 Kat December 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm

those cookies are beautiful!! I do that with my sugar cookie dough, except I turn mine into candy canes :)
You and your family are seriously so beautiful! I hope you guys have a wonderful holiday together.
And Im so jealous of BOTH your shoes! So dang cute
Kat recently posted..Fear of the holidays


47 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Ooo I bet those looks perttyyyy :)


48 Mattie @ Comfy and Confident December 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Your Christmas tree looks just like my families, packed with ornaments and lights. That is the only way to do it. Merry Christmas and enjoy your time with your family! I can not wait to see mine tomorrow!


49 lindsay December 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

i miss my mom’s sugar cookies. We eat pavolva here instead. I’ll have to share the recipe.
Ornaments are so special aren’t they? Enjoy that family time and I’m praying for a good nourishing holiday.
lindsay recently posted..Fitness Friday: Traveler’s Circuit


50 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Oh yes please share the recipe! I have always wanted to try making it


51 Kristen @ notsodomesticated December 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm

This post made me so happy to read! Glad you’re having such a good time with your family! And I am quite impressed with your cookie-making skills! They look so complicated!

One of the more complicated things I ever made was a birthday cake for my MIL. It was two layers, and it was a little tricky to assemble … especially when the parchment paper got stuck under the cake. Oops! My hubby had to use a little knife from a tool kit to help cut around the cake so you couldn’t see the parchment haha! So embarrassing! ;)

Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..An easy side dish and a blogger meet-up!


52 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Thank you Kristin! And that does sound tricky, and like you said… especially when the paper gets stuck! How scary, I would have started to have a melt down lol


53 Jessica @ rerunrunning December 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Oh my gosh! I love your Toms and Nikes!!!! So cute. Why are shies the best thing ever?! I also totally want to try those swirl cookies! Cool! And finally, I need to find me some Reeses puffs now. I haven’t had a bowl in at least a week… Far too long. ;)
Jessica @ rerunrunning recently posted..Guam Time (=bed time)


54 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Haha they really are wonderful! I didn’t buy the Toms though, a bit too “bling” for me :)


55 Hollie@lolzthatswim December 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Oh my gosh those cookies are fantastic. I might have to make the man some of these…He’ll think I’m some sort of pro or something. I do like those Toms, but maybe that is because I like Nikki Minaj (okay obessed) who bases her look on barbie. Who knows lolz.
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56 Chelsea @ The Nut Butter Runner December 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Whoa, I love those Toms! I looooove shoes. Those swirly cookies look awesome too! Can I come to your house and borrow your tree? It’s BEAUTIFUL! Have a great holiday and enjoy the time with your family!!
Chelsea @ The Nut Butter Runner recently posted..Happy Friday!


57 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Hhaha you sure can Chelsea :)


58 Amy Lauren December 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I’ve seen those straws! At the weirdest place too (you think it would be at a candy store or grocery store, but no)… OLD NAVY! I didn’t buy them but I really wanted to and I may go back and get some after the holidays are over and I feel like venturing near a mall~

I wish we had a Nordstrom rack here. My friend has one where she lives, in Richmond Va., and she loves it. We don’t have the regular store here either. All we have is Belk (staple of the south, every mall and little town has one).

Your tree is pretty much amazing especially the baby shoe ornaments! I buy ornaments when we travel or go somewhere new so we have a lot that have stories, I also have ornaments that were given to me from my mom and grandma… actually most of our ornaments have stories, I think. We’re definitely not ones for plain ornament balls or anything like that, I can say that.
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59 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Haha wow that is an odd place to see them! Get them, they are pretty darn tasty… and weird lol
It is the best that they have stories about them


60 Alaina December 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I am very excited to be with the family this year! All of my gifts are bought, wrapped and ready to go. I just have some baking to do and have to put together a veggie platter.

I don’t really have a special ornament. I like them all. :-)
Alaina recently posted..On My Christmas List


61 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Have a great weekend Alaina :D


62 Sarah December 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I love traditions. They make the holidays special.
Christmas Eve is actually my birthday! And we go to midnight mass every year as per my request =)
Christmas morning we’ll all open gifts and then mom and i will spend most of the afternoon baking/cooking Christmas dinner!
Sarah recently posted..Knock Knock.. anyone home??


63 Kate @ Chasing It December 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Such a FANTASTIC bunch of favorites!! it sounds like you’re having an epic time on break and hanging out with the family – and omg, that tree is definitely the epitome of EPIC. I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s beautiful!! And I saw those milk flavor straw things at the store too, but I’d already bought peppermint drink stirrers (not gonna lie, I kinda want to try them in champagne? lol) so I figured I should limit my beverage-flavoring purchases haha. also, those cookies are ADORABLE!! I totally need to try that!
Kate @ Chasing It recently posted..A Few of my Favorite Things.


64 Rach December 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Looks like you are having SUCH a great time, girl! I’m so happy for you! My sisters are arriving any minute now and I am SO excited to see them! It really is so great to be with family! :) Also, I adore the baby-shoes-turned-ornament… so precious. I love little traditions like that. :)


65 Sara @my less serious life December 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm

merry christmas tessa!

first off – those cookies are some of the most festive i have seen online (and i have seen a lot). look great!

and i am 100% jealous of your new kicks. i’ve been dying for some new gym shoes.

i hope your holiday is great!
Sara @my less serious life recently posted..merry christmas and the tale of the two-day tart


66 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Aww Sara what a great compliment :) Thank you dear
Have a lovely holiday!


67 Kristi @ Sweetly Fit December 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I’ve just been hanging out lately too and it is just awesome! Such a complete change from the last couple of months and much needed. I kind of forgot how to relax but i’m quickly getting the hang of it again. ;) Your Christmas is definitely one of the best I’ve seen. So peeeerty. Hope you and your family continue to have a great holiday together!
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68 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

You so deserve to relax girl… enjoy your time off!


69 Laura @ LauraLikesDesign December 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Oh my gosh I forgot about that Reeses cereal…I need to get some soon!
Laura @ LauraLikesDesign recently posted..Hurley on a Half Day + Recent Eats


70 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm

You really must! life-changing :D


71 Julia December 23, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Love the gliterry toms but they are a bit bling blingin for my taste lol I was recently at a store and saw those milk straws and contemplated buying them..they must be as good as they look! haha

Love this post – makes me happy that you are happy! xoxo
Julia recently posted..Merry, Merry Christmas!


72 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Ha a bit too bling for my taste too! I feel ya girl


73 Mallory @ Have Your Cake December 23, 2011 at 11:57 pm

omg! those cookies are amazing looking! you have some serious talent, girl!

and that tree is epic indeed!! love it!
Mallory @ Have Your Cake recently posted..Be Kind… to Yourself


74 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Hehe thank you Mallory :D


75 Shannon (Healthiful Balance) December 24, 2011 at 3:41 am

Flavor straws are really popular here in Germany! We have all sorts of flavors..strawberry, vanilla, chocolate..
Those swirl cookies look SO yummy! :)
Shannon (Healthiful Balance) recently posted..Locks Of Love


76 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

AHhh I need some more of those!


77 Isabelle December 24, 2011 at 8:41 am

I have those straws before, not the same brand but it does the same thing! Your tree is so pretty. I love the swirls in those cookies very festive :) This weekend is all about family…both my mum & dad’s!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas. Hope you have a lovely time with your family.
Isabelle recently posted..Christmas Eve


78 Michelle @ Blogitness December 24, 2011 at 9:59 am

Those cookies look awesome! I wish we had a Nordstrom Rack around here!
Michelle @ Blogitness recently posted..Cranberry Hootycreek Cookies


79 Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn December 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Happy Christmas Eve lovely!!
Your cookies look amazing, so lovely and festive!
I’m glad you had a wonderful family outing, being with family is the best at this time of year :-)
And your Christmas tree looks gorgeous!
Sophie @ LoveLiveAndLearn recently posted..Christmas Our Way


80 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Thank you Sophie… it took a while to decorate, but worth it!


81 Lena @Fit on the Rocks December 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Those straws look awesome! It looks like you’re having a really great time with your family. Enjoy the break that you’ve deserved and have a Merry Christmas :)
Lena @Fit on the Rocks recently posted..Day and Night


82 Lauren December 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm

REESES PUFFS! Ahh, those are my FAVORITE. Sugary goodness at it’s BEST if you ask me.

Challenging food I made.. Hmmmm. Probably a cheesecake. Those suckers are hard if you don’t want them to crack or anything. That or making pie doughs, in general, because of all the rolling and preparation.

My plans this weekend are icing my knee, baking cookies, relaxing AT HOME, and seeing family. I’m a little hesitant about this because of the whole “how people view you” thing. My family hasn’t seen me for quite some time so the whispers will ensue. But enough about that!

Those sugar cookies are so christmas-y! I love ‘em!
Lauren recently posted..Home for the Holidays


83 tessa8m December 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Your weekend sounds rather nice lady… and don’t worry about your family and whispers and such.. everything will be okay love
I am going to email you back soon, after the holidays, so expect it then :)


84 Leila @ Spinach and Skittles December 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I really want to switch to Secret Santa for the hubs side of the family. He’s got 5 sisters, all but one married, and 3 of them have 2 kids each…so it can get quite costly! I think we’re going to switch to that next year.
My favorite ornament was eaten by our dog years ago! It was this awesome mini-gingerbread house made with real frosting, graham crackers and candy. I have no idea how it lasted so long without molding, must have been some sort of special coating or something. Someone hung it on the tree too low one year and the pup got to it. ‘Twas sad!
Leila @ Spinach and Skittles recently posted..Firebird Chocolate Giveaway


85 Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! December 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Looks like a fantastic weekend with family! I don’t do much around this time a year, just with the parents and sister on the ski trip! It’s super fun, but I’ve always been jealous of everyone who does all kinds of festive things.
Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! recently posted..I Prefer ‘See You Soon’


86 tessa8m December 25, 2011 at 8:24 pm

That still does sound like a great time Rachel!


87 caloricandcrazy December 24, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I’ve been wanting to try those chocolate straws! Look so delish…as well as those cookies, and red velvet cake sample ^___^

and those pics with the fam look fantastic! is that your mom on the left? you gals look sooo alike! ;)


88 Allie December 25, 2011 at 6:13 am

There’s such thing as a the Paper Store? Ohh, I have a feeling I’d love that place. And those amazing sugar cookies you made! Those are too awesome, they look professional! Although, if I had to choose between those and Reese’s cereal…ohhh, that’s a decision I hope I don’t have to make any time soon!

Have a VERY Merry Christmas my dear! Can’t wait to hear all about it when you’re back to the blogging world–but of course no rush, enjoy that family time and those holiday treats :)
Allie recently posted..The Day before Christmas


89 tessa8m December 25, 2011 at 8:24 pm

The Paper Store is a great place! So much Vera Bradley stuff… jewelry, candles, ornaments… just lots of lovely gifts and wonderful stuff
I hope you have had an awesome holiday!


90 Allie December 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

Had to look it up–they’re only in NH and MA, oh well. If I visit family in NH, I’ll have to find a cousin to drag shopping with me :)
Allie recently posted..A Christmas Conspectus

91 CJ @ December 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm

merry christmas girl! i hope you have an amazing weekend with your family and friends, and minus ED. you are beautiful and I LOVE you Toms :-)


92 sarah@spinach and spice December 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm

always know I’m reading and following your every post (creepy, i know ;) ) even if i’m not getting around to commenting as frequently.
happy holidays, and enjoy the family time!
sarah@spinach and spice recently posted..Merry Christmas!


93 tessa8m December 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Thank you Sarah :) And NOT creepy at all girl hehe


94 Nikki December 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I saw those cookies on Pinterest and really want to try them out! They are so colorful and look so yummy!!
Nikki recently posted..Santa Clause is Coming to Town!


95 Shannon ~ My Place In The Race December 26, 2011 at 1:21 am

The cookies are too cute! Merry Christmas!!
Shannon ~ My Place In The Race recently posted..The Eve Of


96 Kim @ Eat, Live, and Blog December 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I hope your christmas was wonderful Tessa! :)
Kim @ Eat, Live, and Blog recently posted..A Christmas Weekend Recap


97 Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles December 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I know exactly what you mean about being home being “nice”. I was only there for 2 days but it was lovely! I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself, and those cookies are super cute, I made something similar last year. We squeezed my whole family into mom’s boyfriend’s car on Saturday…not as roomy as I remember!
Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles recently posted..Family, Food, Fun


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