smp christmas tunes

Are your halls decked and presents wrapped? It’s about this time I try to focus on the Peace on Earth part of the season with a cup of cocoa and a favorite Christmas movie enjoyed in the glow of the Christmas tree. So I’m hoping to up the merriment factor with this week’s playlist. Nothing quite gets you in the spirit like some old classics combined with new favorites. (And yes, you’re likely at your max for Mariah’s popular Christmas song, but it just felt wrong to leave it out. The first few bars get me in the Christmas spirit like no other.)

Speaking of Christmas spirit, I had the chance to join my brother, sister-in-law and adorable nephews for a day of fun in Disneyland. There’s nothing quite like seeing the joy on little faces as they run around, go on rides and wave hello to their favorite characters.

family christmas disneyland 2013



thanksgiving brunch menu

Thanksgiving is going non-traditional for my family. We’re switching up the typical celebration and I can’t be more excited. Sometimes, like rules, traditions are made to be broken. Having never been very tied to having the same meal each year, and since I am hosting for the first time, I decided to declare brunch as the official 2013 Thanksgiving family meal. In telling friends and coworkers about this, I had expected some strange looks from traditional sticklers. Yet everyone, including my family thankfully, seems to be charmed by the idea.

So, the menu will include classic brunch items with a bit of a Thanksgiving twist. Or at least enough of a Thanksgiving twist that would distinguish it from any other brunch.

+ Brioche French Toast with Brown Sugar-Cranberry Sauce
+ Country Fried Regular and Sweet Potatoes
+ Egg Dish
+ Sliced Turkey Breast
+ Fruit Salad
+ Mimosas and Pomosas

family thanksgiving 2012

I’m also very excited to host my nephews this year, because they are the cutest little guys on the planet. It’s an undisputed fact, if the above photo from Thanksgiving last year doesn’t prove that enough. They do come from a great gene pool, as the above photo also proves. No offense to the rest of my family invited over for brunch, but I’m trying to earn some major Auntie Em points in making sure the nephews have a good time. If they want ice cream for brunch and puppies to take home, all they have to do is ask. :)



L | Oysters are delicious. Who knew? All of you? Well, it was my first and they were tasty!
R | That afternoon was another first for me: flying a kite!

When people ask what you’ve been up to lately and nothing is really different, what do you say? It’s one of those times that I feel like I’m running to do the next thing and then the next in a good mix of work and play, but a it’s a bit of a whirlwind nonetheless. The brightest moments are snuggling on the couch with the husby and keeping with my newfound weekend tradition meeting new blogging friends (hi Lauren and Mere!). This weekend we are headed to a friend’s wedding and I can’t wait. What are your weekend plans?


L | My work team had a field trip to Facebook and it ended with a trip to their sweet shop. Yum!
R | San Francisco is great, isn’t it?


L | Excited to be back in the bocce ball lanes for the winery league.
R | Here are my nephews coloring. Look at the chubby hands and concentration! :)






I’m interrupting the blog silence with some quick pics from this morning’s excursion. My parents and I had the day off from work and decided to head over to San Francisco for some breaky (pronounced breck-y a.k.a. breakfast) and some casual cruisin. It was great to be together with no agenda and no deadline, exploring the city close to home and our hearts. Starting at the embarcadero, we drove up to Fort Point at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, down Lombard Street and around Treasure Island before heading home again. It’s fun to play tourist every once in a while, especially on such a beautiful day.

As a side note, you may have gotten to know my friend Jillian through my blog posts. We’ve known each other since middle school and she is very dear to me. The last week or so has been particularly tough for her, as she bravely shared on her blog. If you have a chance, please stop by and show her some love and support. I know it would mean a lot to her. (P.S. Aren’t blogging friends the best? They always know how to lift a girl’s spirits on down days. Love you guys!)

Back to enjoying my freedom in the sun. Happy (Good) Friday, everyone!