Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Prep

The other day I decided to rent some Christmas movies. Love Actually was recommended repeatedly. When I went to the shelf I found this in its spot.
And sure enough...I found it here.
Guess where I found this movie.....
Turns out Die Hard is NOT a Christmas movie. Case closed. Incidentally, the movie was checked out. My husband insists that is because it IS Christmastime and it is IS a Christmas movie.
Saturday my niece came over to hangout. We made several batches of goodies for her freezer. I decided to focus on breakfast items this time. Who doesn't love breakfast anytime of the day, right?  And that might come in handy if baby gets her days/nights reversed :)

We were super focused and I apologize for only taking a couple pictures (bad blogger!) as we worked. I also don't have the recipe links with me and wanted to get this posted. I will edit it later tonight with the recipes links I am missing (please come back if you want them).

We made a ham and veggie strata. It was super simple to assemble. I was intrigued by using croutons as the bread component. Once assembled simply package for the freezer. When ready to use, thaw in fridge overnight and bake in the morning.
We made this Taco Sweet Potato and Spinach Egg Bake. The sweet potato is shredded into the egg mixture. You bake this recipe and then store in the freezer to be reheated when ready to eat it. My husband was excited that it looked super cheesy, until he learned the sweet potato truth :(  I had a piece for breakfast this morning - it was tasty and I am glad I only used half the taco seasoning. Full disclosure - I had it with a side of chocolate chip is Christmas week.
We also made a batch of pumpkin/cranberry muffins.  They are made with applesauce and Greek yogurt. They smelled so good while they were cooking. They were good, but a little plain. I would have liked more cranberries. Unfortunately, there was a cranberry shopping debacle. I had gone to the store early Saturday morning to avoid the rush. By the time we were making the muffins in the afternoon, I realized I had "lost" the cranberries I bought. Turns out I left a whoe bag of stuff at Walmart :(  We made due with the cranberries I had on hand. (And I retrieved the "lost" items later that evening.)

We also made French Toast Casserole. I didn't take any pictures because we were so distracted by how delicious it smelled while we were assembling. Cinnamon, I love you!  I wanted to keep one of the containers for myself, but I didn't. I will have to wait until my niece reviews it for me or make a batch for dinner tonight.

We wrote instructions with a Sharpie on the pans' cardboard lids, then put the pans in freezer bags.  (Thank you Mary for that tip.) Seven meals plus muffins...a good afternoon's work.

After our meal prep frenzy we took a little walk. We were hoping to get her labor moving. I went walking with my sister on the days both of her younger children were born. My labor charms didn't work this time.
I think she looks great for nine months pregnant. And those are the longest legs ever!
Another adorable inflatable.

Ornament collection continued....

I love these cinnamon ornaments. They are made with cinnamon and applesauce. I've made them a couple of times over the years. This one is several years old and still smells like the day we made it.
Millie's first Christmas ornament. And is that Hermie I see in the background? "I want to be a dentist!"
The bell is one of my grandma's ornaments. I bought the arrow a couple of years ago to remind me that my Eagle Scout husband is a member of Order of the Arrow. And who doesn't need a pink bulldog in a stocking??
I bought this guy years ago at a craft show. A local high school has an enormous craft show every December to benefit their band program.
My niece made this "stick guy for a us." He is about a foot tall and always has to be one of the last ones on the tree.
I have three of these little guys - different colors and animals. I bought them at a Hispanic festival about 15 years ago.
I made several of these snowflakes during my beading phase. Every time I get them out I want to start beading again.
Another pipe cleaner creation. The traditional Christmas Bunny :)
This little windmill honors my Dutch heritage...there are a pair of little wooden shoes somewhere on the tree too - wait maybe they are on the other tree.
My sister gave me this little toy dachshund.  The crystal in the back is from a chandelier.
Another beaded snowflake.
My niece and I found this one at a yard sale for 5 cents. Somebody put way more than 5 cents of work into it.
I made this cinnamon ornament about 20 years ago...and yes it still smells delicious.
I bought this ornament on a fun vacation to Lexington Kentucky about 10 years ago. I took my niece who was 11 at the was the perfect horse crazy girl vacay :)  My MIL loves the Secretariat movie and covets this ornament every year. I want to buy her one, but they are $50+ on eBay...and I am a bit too selfish to give her mine :(
What can you say about a singing Kermie?? 
I bought this ornament about 20 years ago - one of my first.  My oldest sister sold Avon for awhile.  They had such cute Christmas ornaments and this one remains a favorite. 
Tomorrow is our 5th Annual Cookie Frenzy. We invite family over to make all sorts of cookies. I also need to decide on dishes for our 3 Christmas get togethers.  There is a serious grocery list to be made and executed tonight. I better get busy on those decisions. What is left on your before Christmas to-do list?


  1. Oh man, I am suffering severe tree envy. Right now we have seven shatter proof ornaments on the top three branches of the tree because the boys decided to play hockey with the ones they could reach. Someday all of my fun ornaments will come out!

  2. That is so nice of you to do that much food prep! She'll definitely appreciate having those on hand.

  3. Merry Christmas!!! Love the ornaments!