Highlights from Christmas 2013

I hope you all had a bitchin holiday and were able to enjoy some time off of work. Eric and I made the wise decision to take the whole week off and not once did we regret it (until Sunday night, that is, when I got back-to-work heartburn).

What we learned this past week: one could easily make a hobby of staying in bed till 11am, while watching The Getaway and/or Income Property and eating Christmas cookies for breakfast.

Since I'm sure our holiday was no different from yours- lots of driving and family visits and drinking alcohol in the closet- I'll save you the stories.

Here are some photo highlights from our Christmas 2013.

The Cherry Jewel Cookies (I think this may be their last year...)

My top secret Christmas Cut-Outs

At the company Christmas party, pretending to model with vintage airplanes

Company holiday luncheon

Three generations preparing the Christmas oysters

The Christmas tradition: eating an oyster before any gifts are opened 

Eric and his mom

Biscuit showing off one of her new gifts

My brother kicking my mom out

My sister found out that one of the local high schools was offering a fundraiser for the school band: private holiday performances IN YOUR OWN HOME. These guys were polite and friendly and really did a great job. Needless to say, my teenage niece was foaming at the mouth as soon as they arrived. Needless to say, so was I. (For HER, obviously.

A REAL LIFE nativity scene (these kids and goats are hard core)

Happy Holidays from everyone at the TILTE house!

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Holiday Blogging: Ain't Nobody Got Time for That

If you're anything like me, you're being worn to a pulp by the holiday season. From the late nights at the office, to Christmas shopping, to hosting/attending holiday gatherings, to trying harder than ever to act like a normal human being, it's just a crazy busy time.

Since I've been majorly lagging in the blog department for oh, I don't know, the past 12 months, I figured now would be a good time to get a post out.

Here's what our holidays look like so far...

"Holiday antlers"

The first flocked Christmas tree for both Eric and myself. It's crazy and we love it. When I was a kid, I thought these were so fancy and "real" looking because they had snow. My mom never got one though, probably because they look like a Christmas tree covered in snow worms.  

I was in a pinch for a cookie exchange at work and decided to make these Betty Crocker Hot Cocoa brownies. Which turned out to be a big freaking mistake because they were all mushy and sticky and ended up looking like an archeological dig site when I tried cutting them into servings. Really, they would have been impossible to serve. I even tried making one into a cake pop type of deal, by forming into a ball and rolling in sprinkles. The result was something akin to a litter-box-treat and I immediately raged out. I ended up throwing the whole thing in the trash. 

On the much more impressive side, I learned how to make these perfectly buttery and flakey Danish cookies called Kringlers. 
FROM SCRATCH. So goooood.

Pearl's new nutcracker 

The mantle decorations. Hard to see, but the Jesus and Mary hologram image is in full effect in this one.

I probably won't be blogging again until after the new year, unless a Bethlehem miracle takes place. Until then- pour yourself a glass of something good and say hello to Clark W. Griswold for me. 

Happy holidays!

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Thanksgiving 2013

Highlights from the holiday weekend...

This past weekend, while we were driving in the car, Pearl asked if we have an Elf on the Shelf at our house. She had just seen one at her cousin's house and also has one at her mom's house.

Her question reminded me of a parody version that Eric and I had seen recently at TJ Maxx, called Dwarf in the Drawer. I told Pearl how there are helpers hiding everywhere to catch you when you're bad, including Elf on the Shelf and Dwarf in the Drawer.

By this point, I was all over this "secret helper" thing and couldn't stop myself. I told her that she's always being watched- even when she's in the car...

...by Monk in the Trunk.

I told her how Elf and Dwarf and Monk all work for Santa and God and they report back to them when kids are naughty. She asked what Monk in the Trunk looked like. Eric joined in and described a baldish man with hair around the sides, wearing a brown robe, natch. You know, traditional Monk stylings.

She thought it sounded creepy, but I'm planning my retirement on this cash cow.


Do you ever watch way too much of a television show marathon that the next day you can't stop thinking about the people on the island show and you find yourself wondering how they're doing and feeling bad for the woman who was told she has endometriosis, but then happy for her when she miraculously finds out she's pregnant, but then immediately feel sorry for yourself because that kind of hocus pocus bullshit magic only happens to other people or in fake ass television show marathons? Is Sun's baby Jin's? -Or is it the English teacher's? Why isn't everyone fighting to live in the hatch? Charlie's teeth are distracting me.

I watched LOST all day yesterday. I didn't get off the couch once, except to install a hair donut and make myself look "presentable." FYI: the inventors of the hair donut need to have a disclaimer on their product that lets all the people know you will have a floppy donut after laying on the couch for seven hours straight.


Here are some photos from our Thanksgiving.

A pumpkin cheesecake from Trader Joe's

The BEST onion dip that's ever existed (and that I'm now addicted to, thanks to my in-laws)  

This caramel apple upside-down cake is the worth far more than the $6.99 we paid for at Whole Foods. I'd definitely pay at least $9.50. Actually, the outer crust of crispy, buttery caramel is worth the $9.50 just by itself. Really, it's REALLY good. Eric and I polished off the leftovers with coffee for breakfast.

Brownie bites that Pearl basically made on her own.  

My homemade sweet potato casserole (this recipe) was a hit! Growing up, I was never a fan of sweet potatoes. But this recipe turned me, forever. Thanks to my in-laws for this one too.

This Food Network recipe for cranberry sauce was something I tried on a whim and was very happy with. Again, I'm not usually a fan of the holiday cranberry stuff because it all seems overly sugary and brightly colored in a non-edible way. This recipe was super easy and smelled/tasted like holidays. I plan on making it again next year for sure, but I think I'll use a little less juice so it thickens up quicker. 

The dinner spread, complete with my signature burnt rolls. 

Paper table covers and paper placemats, courtesy of the Christmas section at Target. (Cloth was not budget approved.) The clean up was much easier. 

If this meal were a movie, it would be Gone in 60 Seconds 

This is where the magic happens: the dessert table. Cranberry fluff, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, brownie bites, caramel apple upside-down cake, and ice cream.

Mom, lookin' good in the neighborhood! 

Note: I made sure to omit the shots where the exhaustion had arrived and my face was settled into Droopy Dog mode.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

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