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Weekending – The Last Before Christmas

Can you believe Christmas is on Friday?!?! What???? Even though this Christmas season started early for me this year, since we basically decorated the whole house the first week of November….I still feel like it went by way too fast and we didn’t do everything I wanted to do. Glad we still have a few more days left to fit some more in!

Jerry got out some ingredients to make sugar cookies Friday morning, so that was settled. After a crazy day of work, Zoe and I got to making our dough for sugar cookies. (It has to sit overnight.) I shared this recipe yesterday in a post because a lot of people messaged me saying they didn’t have a go to recipe of their own and I feel like you definitely need one! I have been making this one with my mom since I was little.

Saturday around noon, my mom and sister came over and we had an driveway Christmas visit. My sister brought the boys, and it was nice to see everyone all at once. It is the first and only time we were all together this whole year. I hate that it had to be outside and social distanced, but it was better than nothing at all. I cannot stress how over all of this I am. But now is the time more than ever to be diligent in our safety practices, as cases are out of control.

It was actually a gorgeous day, be it a little chilly. Zoe enjoyed playing with her presents outside while the rest of us chatted. After they left, we came in to ice and decorate the cookies.

Saturday night we settled in for the SEC Championship game. It was the most entertaining game we watched all year. Florida really hung in there, but we pulled out the big W.

Sunday it was cool and rainy, so we spent most of the day inside. I deep cleaned the bathrooms that were in desperate need. It is crazy that even though we are home all the time, I have less time to do household chores than I did before. How is that?

We ordered enough Tazikis to last us for lunch and dinner. After cooking breakfast, it was nice to not have to worry about meals the rest of the day. Why is so much of my time spent around meal planning, cooking and doing dishes??? It is a job in itself, and I experience major burn out from it all and want to throw in the towel often these days. I am hoping to get some new motivation in the near year.

My mom got Zoe this box of paints. The colors are absolutely gorgeous!!! They are non-toxic and washable, and so many colors to chose from. Some metallic, glitter, neon. So fun! Definitely great to pull out on a rainy day. I need to pick a few of Zoe’s pictures to frame in my office.

Most of they day, we just hung around playing with her new toys that she got from my mom and sister. We made peanut butter snowballs last night. I will be sharing the recipe tomorrow. They are one of my favorites, and always a crowd pleaser.

My fabfitfun box also arrived this past week. They gave me a code that I shared on Instagram for $15 of your first box. If you are interested, shoot me a message and I will send my code. Mac was impressed that his sweatshirt matched the pretty box.

I know the next few days are just going to fly right on by, and before we know it Christmas will be over and it will be time to take down all the décor and focus on the new year. I am trying to not have any expectations going into 2021. I don’t think that the calendar changing over on January 1st is going to magically restore anything that this year has done. I think it is going to be another unprecedented year. I truly hope that it will start to change for the better, but we have a long way to go. Have compassion and be extra understanding with others right now. We are all going through a lot. Be respectful of how others are handling the holidays and know that we are all feeling isolated and lonely to some extent. I know I tend to be depressed after Christmas in a normal year, I am not sure how I will feel next week at this time when it is all said and done. Normally we would be getting ready to go to Gatlinburg to spend the week with Chris’s family, and we obviously aren’t doing that this year. I hate it. It is another tradition and fun thing that we are going to miss out on this year. We all just need to keep focusing on the little every day joys. I have been taking it one day at a time, and I continue to do such to stay sane.

If you are taking a break this week to spend time with your families, I wish you a very merry Christmas!


The Best Sugar Cookies

Making sugar cookies with my mom is one of my favorite memories growing up. She had found the best recipe in an old cookbook, and we stuck with them every year. I get requests for the cookies from anyone who has ever had them, and I thought it would be good to share them here. After hearing from a lot of you, many don’t have a go to sugar cookie recipe and you should!!!

I am going to share my frosting recipe with you as well, because honestly, it is what makes these the BEST cookies to most people. But honestly, if frosting isn’t your thing…these taste great alone or just with few sprinkles.

What You Need

2/3 cup Butter Flavor Crisco

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

What You Do

-Cream butter flavor Crisco, sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg.

-Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix into creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. (I always leave it over night.)

-Heat oven at 375 degrees.

-Roll half the dough at a time to about 1/9 inch thickness on floured surface. Cut in desired shapes. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugar and decors or leave plain to frost when cool.

-Bake at 375 degrees about 7 to 9 minutes. Cool slightly. remove to cooling rack.

The BEST Creamy Vanilla Frosting

This recipe makes A LOT of frosting. I usually make half a batch, but if you are going to double the cookie recipe or use it for something else, this would make enough for that.

What You Need

1/2 cup Butter Flavor Crisco

4 cups confectioners sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

What You Do

Combine ingredients in bowl at low speed of electric mixer until well blended. Scrape bowl. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

If you are going to color the icing, you can mix it in now.



Friday Favorites

It is hard to believe that this is the last weekend before Christmas!!! Work was insane all this week, so I never got to share our weekend shenanigans last week, or post anything I had planned. Pretty much the story of my life this entire year.

This weekend, we plan to do all the Christmas things. We are going to bake cookies (I will share our favorite recipe next week, including the icing), watch some Christmas movies we haven’t gotten to yet, wear our mommy and me matching jammies, read Christmas books, see my sister for a little bit, and do some more Christmas crafts.

Favorite Moments: The weather was gorgeous last Friday and Sunday. We spent every moment we could outside, knowing it might be one of the last for a little while.

We did our gingerbread village last Sunday. It was a lot of fun having several houses to decorate, but we always run into the problem of them caving in while we are doing them. I think next year I am going to purchase the already built one and just roll with it.

And of course our elf has been up to his own shenanigans each night. Luckily, he hasn’t made any more messes since the snowpocolypse of 2020 in our kitchen.

Favorite Purchases: My favorite sweatshirt came out in two new colors this week. A dusty rose and powder blue. I grabbed up a dusty rose for myself, and ordered one for my mom to put with her Christmas stuff. Of course, the package in lost in transit now….but I own enough of these sweatshirts to know I love them and have several colors in them.

I have been using the Colleen Rothschild conditioner/hair mask for several months now, and I absolutely love it! I have a really good hair routine down now, finally. I think that this has played a big part in how soft and healthy it feels/looks now. She has a tis the season sale, so now is the time to grab it! Her hand cream is also amazing. It smells so good and is not greasy at all.

Favorite Recipe: I need to really sit down and get some new meal plans in the works again. I have been in a food rut the last few weeks, feeling very uninspired. This Christmas salad looks so good! f

Favorite Kid Activity: How cute are these toilet paper snowmen??? Definitely making these this weekend!

Favorite Funnies:


The Real MVPs of 2020

Obviously, healthcare workers, poll workers, grocery store employees/other essential workers and delivery services (FedEx, UPS, USPS) win the award for the real MVP. This is more a fun, trivial list.

Shipt, Instacart, Uber Eats, TrussvilleToGo – Until the last month, we used Shipt (Target and Publix) and Instacart (Aldi) for all of our grocery needs. We had few instances where an item was missing, expired, not the right thing. Overall it was a wonderful service and I highly recommend. And then we have our local food delivery service and Uber Eats for all the restaurants around here. Some of our local places never did offer curbside, or have done away with it, so these services have been great for that.

Curbside – After about 8 months of using delivery services…those fees and tips add up and make the grocery bill ridiculously expensive. Most stores have mastered the curbside pick up option, and that is what we do now. I hope curbside is something that sticks around after the pandemic. I really love that other retail stores like Best Buy, Lowe’s and Michaels have been offering curbside as well. There is nothing I hate more than walking around Lowe’s, so to have them find the stuff for me and bring it to my car is priceless!

Coffee – I am exhausted all of the time now. Waking up early, working out, working my full day and having Zoe home with us 24/7 doesn’t give me any down time, or time to myself. Coffee runs deep in my blood and is the only thing that gets me through some days.

Streaming Services – I think we all appreciate having YouTube, Netflix, Prime, Disney+ and whatever else right now.

Skincare – Has anyone else really mastered their skincare this year? I have always had a skincare routine, but I never really focused on procuring products that would really work for me, and eliminating unnecessary steps. I did some research, changed a few things out back in April/May and never looked back. I think face masks, hair masks and other products have allowed us to feel lux and take care of our skin, and forget that the world around us is burning. At least for those 10-20 minutes.

Loungewear – Sweatshirts and leggings. My new uniform of life. Nothing more needs to be said here. I will say, I didn’t have a great collection of at home clothes before March. When I realized that we were going to be home for longer than 2 weeks, (LOLOLOLOLOL remember when we thought it was only 2 weeks?????) I started investing in some loungewear. I have found some fantastic new favorites, and I am sure you have too.

Outdoor Furniture and Activities – We moved in to this house just a few months before all this went down. Back in April we invested in some really nice outdoor furniture. I am so glad we did. We literally spent time on our back deck at some point every day for months. As well as corn hole, sprinklers, blow up pools, bikes, scooters, balls, outdoor playhouse, side walk chalk, wagons, soccer goals, etc. All of it has earned its keep in our garage because it has entertained us for more hours than I ever knew it would just this year alone.

Walks – I don’t know about you, but when it wasn’t as cold…I was taking daily walks. Walks in the morning alone after my workout, walks with Zoe throughout the day, a family walk in the evenings when Chris was done working. The outdoor fresh air and moving…it does things for my sanity and my soul. I haven’t been taking as many lately with the cold spell we have had come through here, and I definitely notice a difference in my mood. I have also loved Andrea’s Walk and Talk series on Instagram. I have never recorded a walk and talk myself, but I tune in to every single one of hers. Thank you for being a light, Andrea!

Books – Escaping to another land in a book outside of the pandemic has been invaluable. Shout out to Lindsay for her virtual book club, too. It is literally the only face to face adult only interaction I get outside of Chris and zoom meetings for work.

Memes – Because if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry.

2020 memes: The embodiment of this dumpster fire of a year – Film Daily
Coronavirus memes being shared in 2020 - West Virginia Press Association

Crafts and Baking – What else do we have to do on a rainy day? I have definitely invested more in crafting supplies this year. Between home schooling and just needing something to do on a rainy Saturday, it has been a great distraction! I have also tried so many new recipes this year! Remember when everyone was making banana bread and sourdough bread?? Now everyone is posting about hot chocolate bombs. They seem to labor intensive for me. Have you made them?

Christmas – This is the first year it has been acceptable to throw your tree up and start playing the holiday jams on November 1 without taking crap from everyone. Any year I believe you should do you and do whatever makes you happy and sparks joy. No one needs the negativity. But this year especially! The Christmas spirit is really helping me get through these last two months. Thanksgiving was hard not seeing family, and Christmas isn’t going to be looking much better given the rise in cases. At least Christmas movies, driving to see lights, playing elf on the shelf every night, baking cookies, shopping for gifts, etc is bringing some normalcy and joy!

What have been some of the MVPs for you in 2020??



Felt like a good currently post this morning. I also have something on my mind that I would like to vent.

One to Watch

Reading– One to Watch came available from the library last week. It was the audio version though, and I really just don’t have time to listen to a book right now. It is much easier for me to physically read one, which is so different than me pre-pandemic. I hope to get through it before it is due back.

Watching– Some of our shows have come back, so we have enjoyed catching an episode after Zoe goes to bed a few times this week. We are caught up with Good Doctor, Blue Bloods, Chicago Fire, SVU and I think we have one more episode of Greys. It is nice to have that normalcy back.

Listening-I found Liz Moody’s Instagram account through Whitney Simmons when she shared some of her Tik Tok recipes that I tried. I learned that she has a podcast called Healthier Together. I listened to her most recent episode on skincare with Jessica DeFino and I found it very intriguing. In the episode she talks about why hyaluronic acid isn’t good for your skin, and a few other shocking tidbits I never thought about. I am definitely going to do some research now. If you are looking for healthy recipes, Liz’s Instagram account is great!!!

Cooking-I made an oatmeal bar recipe yesterday morning, and it was amazing. Like I almost ate the whole pan throughout the day yesterday because I couldn’t stop. This is where the recipe came from. Found, again, from a Whitney Simmons video.

I also made this chicken tortilla soup last night. It was really good! Definitely add the coconut milk. It gives it this creaminess to it that really sets it apart.

Thinking-Last Friday was insane with work. Email was blowing up. We took in more jobs in that one day than we usually get in a week. I was feeling overwhelmed, especially since I had worked extra early in the week to take a few hours to spend with Zoe on her birthday and wasn’t able to.

I had mentioned being overwhelmed to my sister, who made a comment about how she doesn’t have any sympathy for me because I get to sit in the comfort of my own home in a sweatshirt and don’t have to deal with people in person like the “essentials” such as herself.

Is there anyone else out there who feels this way??? Because let me tell you, while I am so so so grateful that I have a job that allows me to WFH in a sweatshirt during all of this…it is not some easy cake walk. I have a full time job with real responsibility. Take yesterday, my team was responsible and the last say on whether a $50 million deal went through. And yes, I do it from the comforts of my a sweatshirt most days…but I am ALSO taking care of my child during this time. Basically a second full time job. And being her friend, caregiver, playmate, mother, teacher, dance instructor, basically her everything. Because Chris sits in meetings literally all day every day and cant really help me at all.

I still wake up before the ass crack of dawn, and even though I don’t have to commute to the office anymore…I still have to work out and fit in a few hours of work before Zoe wakes up. Last night I was up til almost 11pm working after she had gone to sleep. I work EVERY Saturday and Sunday for several hours, waking up early and not getting to sleep in on a weekend. Thanksgiving and Black Friday are the only two days I have had off since March. And only because I forced myself to take a break.

On top of all of that, I have mom guilt for making my daughter play independently for hours every day. Way longer than anyone her age should have to. And I have guilt in my career for not being the best I can possibly be and trying to further myself. I get my work done and on time, but it is really hard to focus some days when you are getting interrupted a hundred times to get snacks, put someone on the potty, checking to see what that noise was, listening to ridiculous shows on the ipad in the background, being asked 50 times if I am almost done and can take a break, etc.

So I want to set the record straight for people out there that think working from home is easy, and not really work. Because I promise you it is in fact not. And just because I don’t have to see people in person, doesn’t mean I don’t have to deal with people. I get snarky emails where it is hard to read the tone. I spend hours trying to track down data on the phone, talking to zoning departments, tax assessor offices, playing phone tag, etc. I have zoom calls with my team, and have to talk to market participants. So I am still “dealing with people.”

I ignored her comment, but it has eaten at me for days. This year has been hard on everyone, no matter your situation. We should have compassion for others, because you never really know what they are going through.

And there is this, which I think a lot of us have mastered…

Working-Because of what I said above, a lot of my side projects that I was really excited about this year have fallen to the back burner. Or off the stove completely. I had so many great ideas that I really want to make happen, and I just don’t have the time or energy for them. And I know you make time for what is important to you, but damn. Can someone give me a few extra hours in the week to accomplish them???

I need to come up with a plan for these things. I am indefinitely working from home for at least another year, and Zoe probably wont go back to school until the next school year…so this is life and I need to figure out a way to balance it. I think the hardest part of this year for me is feeling like I am losing myself and just barely staying afloat. Does anyone else feel that way?