Jan 162018
 

Hi friends! Thank you so much for the kind words after my 2018 goals and blogging update post – it’s so nice to know you guys are behind me no matter what my blogging schedule looks like moving forward. 🙂 For now, I wanted to pop in to share a super fun 3-day weekend that we had in Philly. I didn’t take a ton of photos because I wasn’t sure if I was going to post about it, but here I am on Monday evening with an urge to share, so I’m going for it!

Friday

On Friday evening, Fabio and I had a date night! Fabio’s on an international networking group at his job, and they’re planning a cool event to celebrate the Winter Olympics in a couple of weeks. They’re planning to serve Korean food at the event, and Fabio recently got to sample food from a couple of local Korean restaurants so he could help decide what to have at the event. He and his team wound up going with food from a place called Seoul Spice, and after he raved about it to me I made him promise to take me there for dinner. 🙂 We didn’t have plans for Friday evening, so a date night at the Korean spot was in order!

Seoul Spice is actually located in our old neighborhood of NoMa, and when we arrived we realized it was a fast-casual spot! Ha! I guess we should have looked it up ahead of time. Oh well – it was still a fun date night even it was more casual that we realized. Plus the food was SO delicious!

I went with the “Klassic” bowl with purple rice, and everything was so delicious. I definitely recommend this place if you’re in the area!

Saturday

Saturday morning began nice and slow. While I took Jack on a long walk, Fabio was busy at home making us lattes and arepas (basically Colombian corn pancakes, but not sweet at all). I made some soft-scrambled eggs to go with the arepas, and we enjoyed a delicious late breakfast.

After that, we got ourselves ready to head up to Philly! Our friend Jake turned 30 this weekend, and his fiance Greg threw a surprise party for him on Saturday night. Jake and Greg were both in Fabio’s fraternity in college, so many of his fraternity brothers were coming into town for it too. I couldn’t wait to see everyone!

We hit some traffic as soon as we arrived in Pennsylvania, but all things considered, we had a pretty easy drive up.

We arrived in Philly around 2 p.m., and then spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with our friends watching the Eagles playoff game at a bar near our hotel. Then at 8 p.m. we headed to the party, and the birthday boy (and his friend who was also turning 30) entered the room as we all yelled “Surprise!”

I think it’s safe to say Jake and his friend were surprised – they literally yelled, “Is all this for us?!”

Success! The party itself was so much fun, and Greg did a great job coordinating every detail. I miss these guys!

After the party, Fabio and I went out to another bar with his best friend, Hayden, and we spent the night dancing just like old times. So fun!

Sunday

On Sunday morning we had brunch plans with my good friend (and sorority sister/bridesmaid) Kristen, and her fiance Mark. We went to Girard Bruncherie to eat, and it was so, so delicious. Highly recommend this spot!

While we were there, Mark casually mentioned that next weekend they had plans to attend the Philadelphia Home Show, and we joked that we should drive back up to go with them. Then he said that the home show was also in town that weekend and that he happened to have two extra tickets to go. We then found ourselves making plans to go to the home show after brunch. Who knew we’d wind up doing something so random, impulsive, and adult?!

We wound up spending the next couple of hours walking around the Philly Home Show with Kristen and Mark as we checked out lots of different home renovation booths. It was super helpful to see different materials in person, especially since we’re meeting with the kitchen contractor later this week to start making real plans. We looked at cabinets, countertops, flooring options, hardware, and more, all with two of our favorite people by our sides. Yep, it was random, but so fun!

We said goodbye to Kristen and Mark around 3 p.m., and got home around 5:30 p.m., at which point Fabio offered to make chicken parm for dinner. What a treat! It was really cold out too, so we enjoyed a cozy fire at home while we ate.

Oh yes, and those are Fabio’s famous mozzarella sticks on the side. 🙂

After dinner, we stayed up way too late watching our current favorite Netflix show, The Travellers. Has anyone else been watching that one? We also recently watched Peaky Blinders and Godless, all of which have been amazing. Netflix is killing it with their original series lately!

Monday

We had talked about meeting up with our friend Jason for a FlyWheel class on Monday, but instead Fabio and I decided to have a lazy day at home. We slept in, we watched more Netflix, I took a nap, and then I did other important stuff like meal-planning and grocery shopping to prep for the week ahead. We currently have another fire in the fireplace, and Fabio’s making me dinner again. Woohoo! I could get used to this.

This week ahead should be a busy one – work is pretty busy right now and we are planning to get started with kitchen plans, which I’m getting SO excited for. I’m sure I’ll be sharing some updates about that soon!

Question of the day: Have you ever had a surprise party planned for you?

My best friend Bianca planned one for me when I turned 15. It was at my own house and I was STILL shocked!!

 Posted by on January 16, 2018
Jan 112018
 

Hello there! Happy Thursday! Today I’m popping in to share some thoughts and goals for 2018, and share a blogging update with you.

I’m not the kind of person who makes official New Year’s resolutions (except for the year I vowed to start flossing my teeth every day, which is a habit I’ve continued with years later), but I do like to take the opportunity of the new year to evaluate what’s going on in my life and think about where I want to focus my energy. Here are some of the things I’m going to work toward this year!

 

Life

This year Fabio and I have two big things planned: 1) to redo the kitchen and 2) to travel to Spain and Portugal over the summer. These aren’t goals necessarily, but they are events on our calendar that will require considerable planning when it comes to both our finances and logistics.

Kitchen renovations are slated to start in the next month or two (we just started interviewing potential contractors!) and we’re realizing that the cost will be a bit more than we had originally saved for. (As you may remember, Fabio’s super into managing our finances, and he’s we’ve decided we’d like to pay for everything in full vs. taking out a loan.)

That means we’re going to have to hold the purse strings a bit tighter, and aside from a ski trip we already committed to, we’re planning to use the month of February as a “no spending” month. This means we will cook at home instead of eating out, and try to avoid spending money over the weekends. It’s only for a few weeks and we generally like doing that stuff anyway (i.e., we like cooking), so hopefully it will be doable and will help us get where we need to be financially for the kitchen. If not, we always have our back-up savings accounts, though we’d rather not have to tap into those. Fingers crossed!

Of course a project like this takes a lot of planning coordination too, which I’m having fun with in my free time. 😊 Here are some of the inspo pictures, as well as what we’re dealing with now. Yikes.

(Sorry I don’t have sources for these – I’ve had them saved on my phone for a while!)

Pretty, right? I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

I’m also starting to plan for our Eurotrip later this year, and I’m sure we’ll start looking at flights soon. Yay!

This year will also be super busy with weddings – I think we have 8 on the calendar so far – so I’m noting that here as something else that’s on my mind for the year ahead. Yep, we’re really going to need to watch our finances in 2018. Eek.

*And for anyone wondering/if my grandma reads this, no, there is no baby planned for 2018! There’s plenty of time for that in the next few years or so. 😉*

 

Work

Work is still going really well, and I love my coworkers and the work that I do on a day-to-day basis. I feel fulfilled by my job and I don’t wake up in the morning and dread going into the office (which is something I think a lot of people experience, and something I’ve experienced before).

That being said, I do have some personal goals I want to work on to help me progress in my career, including becoming a more creative writer. Over the last year and a half or so that I’ve been at my current job, I’ve noticed that I’m pretty decent at long-form writing (talking points, press releases, emails, newsletters, etc.) but writing shorter, pithy content (like ad copy or catchy headlines) is harder for me. So, in addition to focusing on advancing my career, working with my team, etc., I want to make more of an effort to take some classes or trainings on the side to improve this skillset. I’ve already flagged a few courses on Lynda.com for creative writing and marketing strategy, and now I just have to make the time to do them!

 

Health

When it comes to health and fitness this year, I actually don’t have too many goals. Mostly I’m just excited to be back in a routine after the holidays, and I’m enjoying the feeling of filling my body with good-for-me foods and getting my sweat on. I know I gained a couple of pounds in December – likely due to the 1,000 cookies I ate and #allthecheese – but I’m not worried about losing it; I know my weight will even back out after a couple of weeks back in my routine.

I’m not sure if I’ll run any races this year or not; I’m just planning to go where my body and my plans takes me. For now I’m still loving Orange Theory, bootcamps, spin, and yoga, plus some very short runs with Jack when it’s not negative degrees outside.

I did recently make an appointment with my PCP for a physical since it’s been a couple of years since I’ve had one. Preventive care is so important!

 

Blog & An Update

As you can see, I have quite a few goals for 2018. Unfortunately, none of them revolve around growing the blog. You know, I started this blog back in 2012 and back then it was so exciting and something I couldn’t wait to do when I got home from work. I had all these ideas and all this passion to get my message out there to the world, and I just don’t feel that spark anymore.

I think a big part of the shift has been because of my career – when I started CET I was right out of college and doing unfulfilling work like compiling media monitoring reports and taking minutes during client calls. I needed the blog as my outlet to make a small difference in the world. And now, 6 years later, I have a job where I actually do get to write about important health topics and I do get to share them with the world.

Working in a health-focused nonprofit where I get to coordinate campaigns like “Get Fit Don’t Sit Day” and “National Healthy Lunch Day” has filled that void that I had before. Work is also much more stressful, and sitting down to stare at the computer for an extra hour at the end of the day isn’t something I enjoy much anymore. I’ve come to realize that unwinding at home with my family – and unplugging – is something I enjoy much more.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I rarely share my food or my fitness on the blog anymore, and while part of that is because I’ve finally found a routine that works for me and there’s only so many pictures of cottage cheese and blueberries that a person would ever be interested in seeing, a bigger part of it is because I don’t feel called to share that stuff all the time anymore.

I still enjoy sharing what I’m up to on the weekends, and I’m sure I’ll still post about food and fitness every now and then, but here’s my plan for blogging in 2018: I’m freeing myself from the pressure to post. I’m taking away that obligation that I set for myself. I want to shift my feeling of “I have to blog” to “I get to blog.”

If I want to post, I will. If I had a really fun weekend or took a really awesome class and I feel excited to sit down at the computer and share about it, then I will. I won’t worry about what day it is, I’ll just post it. And on the other hand, if I feel like I don’t have anything particularly interesting to share or the thought of looking at a computer screen for one more minute makes me want to tear my eyeballs out, then I won’t. Simple.

I know this will be a change and I’ll probably lose a lot of readers, but I feel like it’s something that’s been a long-time coming for me. There are so many blogs out there these days that share content much better than mine, and no one likes reading content from a burnt-out blogger anyway. I can always reevaluate this plan a little later on in 2018 and see how I’m doing, but for now, I think this is the way I need to go.

I hope you all can understand my thinking behind this change, and that you’ll be there for me when I do decide to drop in with a post, be it twice a week, once a week, or once a month.

And, if you’re missing hearing from me, you can always catch me over on Instagram @ChelseaEatsTreats.

Over and out!

Question of the day: What are some of your goals for 2018? Do you make actual resolutions? What do you think of the shift in the blogging schedule?

 Posted by on January 11, 2018
Jan 052018
 

Hi friends! Today I’m back with the very last recap of our beautiful wedding. Man, it sure took me a while to get through all of these, didn’t it? Today’s post will recap the most fun part of the wedding: the dancing! As usual, here are my vendor notes:

  • DJ: Crow Entertainment (we worked with CJ, and he was SO great! He got everyone’s names right, and we had some tough ones! Plus his playlist was fantastic!)
  • Photography: Lauren Nievod (I’ve already raved about her a ton of times – 100% recommend)
  • Venue: Wye River Conference Center (amazing Eastern Shore/riverfront hotel with beautiful grounds. Can only be booked by groups, meaning our guests took up the whole thing)

If you missed any past recaps you can find them here.

And now, let’s jump right in!

For our first song, I wanted to start off with something to honor my grandparents, who have been married for 63 years! I had talked to my DJ about this ahead of time, and he asked all the married couples to head out onto the dance floor for a special dance.

It was crazy to see a bunch of our friends on the dance floor – we’ve been to so many weddings in the last few years that we actually have a lot of married friends now!

Jess & Erick

 

Megan & JR

Grae & Dan and Rebecca & Richard

Plus some family members too!

After everyone danced for a little while, the DJ would ask the couples to sit down based on how long they’ve been married. He started with “sit down if you’ve only been married for an hour.” Ha! Guess that’s us.

Then he continued counting down different amounts of time until only my grandparents were left on the dance floor!

I thought this was a really fun way to celebrate their marriage, and it got everyone’s attention on the dance floor. 🙂

Yay, Grandma and Grandpa!

After that, the boys headed out to make a toast at the bar…

…and the ladies hit the dance floor!

I was so happy with how the reception went as a whole; we had given our DJ a list of songs that we definitely wanted him to play and a few to steer clear of. He totally listened to our suggestions and added a few selections of his own. Everything was a hit!

As for the dance floor itself, it was totally packed during the whole wedding! Many of the venue’s employees told us the next day that they’d never seen a wedding there where every single guest was up and dancing. What can I say, our friends and family like to dance!

One good thing about being under the tent was that when the dance floor got too crowded, people just danced on the grass either by the tables or outside the tent. Of course my mom and stepdad did some of this since they need a lot of room when they dance. 🙂

A couple other guests danced out there too!

There were also different pockets of people on the dancefloor – I guess because of where their tables were set up and what part of the dance floor was closest to them – so I made sure to move around the floor so I danced with every group a few times. Fabio and I didn’t really do the whole go from table to table greeting people thing (we didn’t spend much time on dinner and didn’t think we would have time to visit everyone), so instead we mingled on the dance floor instead. I think that’s more our style anyway. 🙂

Here are the bridesmaids/my friends!

And this amazing selfie that Fabio’s friends got!

(Also with our Snapchat filter!)

We also danced with my family/family friends! (How cute is my grandma – my mom’s mom – dancing with Fabio’s dad?)

Plus Aunt CC and me, of course.

And my sister danced with Fabio’s dad!

And you probably recognize these guys, though they’re usually in sweaty gym clothes when I post their pictures: Anne and Kathleen!

Fabio’s family was really fun to dance with too, and they got up to some crazy dance moves.

For example, check out this photo sequence with Fabio’s Tia Clara. She’s always a hoot, and these pictures continue to crack me up.

Yes, that’s Fabio crawling between her legs. Ha!

Fabio’s family are all really good dancers, and I made sure to do some salsa dancing with them too. I specifically remember singing to Despacito with Fabio’s Colombian cousin in this picture. 🙂

I’ve gotten really close with Fabio’s cousins over the last couple of years, and now I feel like they’re truly my cousins too! I love this one with his (my!) cousin Maria Clara. <3

And then, of course, I did plenty of dancing with my husband too!

 

These two pictures sum us up perfectly. I love them!

 

Yayyy!

Before we knew it, our time was up and it was time to leave the tent for the after party.

When planning out our timeline for the day, I knew I wanted to do a bouquet toss but didn’t want to use up valuable reception time on it. Instead, I did a more casual bouquet toss in the grass outside the tent as everyone was leaving. My cousin Yasi caught it!

(I also wound up throwing a smaller bouquet that was used on the dessert table so I could save mine. It worked out great!)

After that, we all hopped on the venue’s shuttle for the after party! We held it in one of the houses on the property, and it had a really cool atrium ceiling and balcony by the upstairs rooms. My dad brought a sound system/light machine from home, which made the space really fun! Fabio and I climbed up on the balcony to thank everyone for coming, and then the party kicked off!

(We had another Snapchat filter for the after party!)

It was so fun spending more time with our guests, and I was happy to see that our family joined us for the party as well. 🙂

I had debated changing into another outfit, but I decided that I spent so much money on my dress that I wanted to keep it on for as long as possible!

We ordered something like 30 pizzas for the after party (this is just one stack), and somehow they ALL got eaten by the end of the night. Crazy!

We had purchased alcohol from Costco ahead of time, which made everything really easy. It seemed like everyone had an absolute blast – I know I did!

Jack came to the after party too, and goodness only knows how much pizza he ate. Everyone kept telling me that they fed him some – LOL!

He was definitely the hit of the party. 🙂

Overall it was the perfect way to end our night and was just SO much fun.

We finally stumbled back to our room at around 3:30 a.m. Oof! What a long day.

I think everyone was hurting a bit in the morning, and our friend sent us this picture on her way to meeting for breakfast. Ha!

Yep, it was a fun wedding and after party, that’s for sure.

We had a really nice breakfast the next morning under the tent, and then around noon we all said our goodbyes and Fabio and I headed off to Thailand! But you already know that part of the story. 🙂

Aaaand that concludes the blog recap of our amazing wedding! Everything just went so perfectly – you always hear that things won’t go according to plan but we just got so, so, so lucky with the weather and the venue and our vendors and everything. I remember we both had humungous grins the whole drive home, and we couldn’t stop saying how lucky we were. <3

Question of the day: Do you like when weddings have traditional elements like the bouquet toss and garter toss, or would you rather spend more time dancing?

 Posted by on January 5, 2018
Jan 042018
 

Helloooo there! How’s your first week of 2018 going? Mine is going pretty well, though it’s *SO* cold in D.C. this week. Brr!

Anyway, I’m back today with another recap of my holiday break! After Christmas, Fabio and I both had to work for a couple of days and then after work on December 27th, we drove up to Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s mountain house in Otis, Massachusetts. I was able to duck out of work about 15 minutes early and Fabio picked me up right from the office, so we made it up north in record time! We usually don’t arrive until 2 a.m., but this time we arrived around 12:30. Woohoo!

I had to snap this picture as I headed upstairs to put my stuff down – isn’t it just SO cozy?

We had a bunch of friends come up with us for the weekend, including one of my besties from high school (Hana), one of my sorority sisters (Britt), and two of Fabio’s friends (Jason and Bryan). We love spending time at CC and Steve’s place, and we were excited to share it with our friends!

Of course when we arrived, CC spoiled us with a gigantic spread of goodies.

We had some gigantic shrimp (seriously, they were SO big and tasty), chicken sausages, cheese, cookies, caprese skewers, and more.

CC really outdid herself! (Especially since it was the middle of the night…)

Steve, of course, poured us some delicious cocktails upon arrival, and we all settled on the couch to play What Do You Meme. Have you guys played this game? It’s similar to Cards Against Humanity and is really fun! Eventually Hana and I fell asleep on CC and Steve’s huge comfy couch, but the boys stayed up until 6 a.m. playing games. Oof!

Thursday, Dec. 28

We woke up to some brutally cold weather on Thursday, so after a delicious breakfast we all bundled up in tons of layers so we could head out to the slopes.

Also I clearly needed to charge my phone – LOL!

CC and Steve live next to two different mountains – one is kind of small and just five minutes from the house, and the other is a bit bigger but about 30 minutes away. On Thursday we tackled the smaller one, Otis Ridge.

I’m not a very good skier, and I like to go really slowly and stay in control. I did ok with my skiing on Thursday, but I went down the mountain at an embarrassingly slow speed. But, I only fell once, which was a heck of a lot better than last year! My friends were all a lot better at skiing than I was, and they lapped me a few times on the mountain. Oh well, I did my best!

When we ladies were mostly done skiing, we grabbed some soup in the lodge while Fabio and Steve completed a few last runs. Then it was back home to sit by the fire! Ahhh!

We all showered (the hot shower felt *amazing*) and then changed into warm PJs. We spent the next few hours sipping cocktails and eating snacks until it was time for dinner!

We wound up having two kinds of lasagna (veggie and meat) and a delicious salad that Hana brought.

Plus cheesecake, brownies, cookies, and bars for dessert! #allthetreats

Dinner was also a TON of fun – maybe my favorite part of the whole trip – and we went around the table saying what our last meals would be and which celebrities we would invite to a dinner party. Everyone in this group is really outgoing, so the atmosphere was just a lot of fun. The delicious wine didn’t hurt either. 🙂

After dinner, we played Speak Out, another new-to-me game where one person wears a ridiculous mouthpiece and tries to talk, while everyone else guesses what they’re saying. Ha!

It was a lot of fun!

Friday, December 29

The next day was another cold one, though the “feels like” temperature was only -12 this time. Ha! Twice as warm as the day before! 😉

This time we hit up the bigger mountain, Butternut!

Here’s the whole gang!

Britt & me!

And Hana & me 🙂

I liked this mountain a lot better – there was a glorified bunny slope that I went down a ton of times that helped me get more comfortable on my skis and get better at controlling my speed. Luckily, CC skis like I do (nice and slow) so we went down that mountain a lot and only went down a bigger mountain once (I was scared going down that one, and did wind up falling once).

It was so nice having her there with me to go my speed! Our friend Jason wasn’t a fan of the bigger mountain either, so he kept us company on the small mountain when he wasn’t warming up in the lodge (he also has a back injury right now so didn’t want to ski too much).

The rest of the group tackled the tougher runs! Here’s a picture Hana took (she snowboarded) of Fabio and Britt. Aren’t the surrounding mountains pretty?

Fabio even went down a black diamond, which was new for him. Go Fabio!

The mountain closed at 4 p.m., at which point we repeated our cycle of showering and changing into jammies.

So cozy!

That night we ate an assortment of random leftovers for dinner, including some challah French toast that Bryan made, soup, and leftover lasagna. Plus we just about ate our weight in cheese. ‘Tis the season!

Sunday, December 30

On Sunday morning we all had breakfast at the Otis diner (I got an omelet with veggies, cheese, and bacon) and then hit the road. The drive usually takes us about 6.5 hours, but it snowed all through Massachusetts and Connecticut, so we carefully crawled along. We didn’t get home until 7 p.m., at which point we sat on the couch and didn’t move. Ha!

Monday, December 31

Our New Years Eve day was pretty relaxing and included a lot of Netflix and couch time. In the evening, we headed over to our friend Courtney and Kevin’s apartment in Clarendon for a celebration with friends!

She had some delicious snacks set out for us and made a festive champagne cocktail.

We had a dinner reservation across the street at 8:30 at Green Pig Bistro, which was super convenient. At 8:25, we walked right over!

I’d always wanted to try Green Pig Bistro, and I thought the food was really tasty! I especially liked the cinnamon bun bread pudding, which came coated in corn flakes. Yum!

The company wasn’t bad either. 🙂 I had a GREAT time sitting next to two of my besties and catching up on life.

We got back to Courtney’s place just in time to count down and watch the ball drop!

Happy New Year!!

After the ball dropped, we changed into PJs and stayed to chat until 3 a.m. at which point Megan declared it was time to go home. Ha! She was right, as usual.

Overall it was an absolutely perfect holiday season, and I’m once again left feeling so thankful for all the people in my life who made it so fun! <3

Question of the day: Do you like big New Years celebrations or smaller, quiet ones? This one was just perfect!

 Posted by on January 4, 2018
Jan 032018
 

Hey friends! Happy 2018! I hope you all enjoyed a nice break over the holidays – I know I did! Our Christmas and New Year celebrations kept us very busy over the last week or so, and I have a couple of posts coming your way with recaps. First up is our Christmas celebration!

Friday, Dec. 22

I had off from work on Friday and spent the majority of my day in the kitchen! In the morning I baked three kinds of cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction: Classic Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, and Chewy Gingersnap Cookies (from her cookbook, but these are similar).

Since I needed these cookies to last for a few days, I packaged them up and added a piece of bread to each container, which I had heard would keep them soft longer. It wound up working great, and I ate one of the cookies last night and it was STILL soft! I’m definitely going to use this trick again.

I also made this lemon blueberry bread to bring to a Christmas Eve brunch, and it was a huge hit. It was a busy day in the kitchen!

Later in the afternoon, I sat through some brutal traffic before arriving at my mom’s house for some tree-decorating and dinner. It was so fun reminiscing over old ornaments with her, and my stepdad made some delicious potato pancakes for dinner. Yum!

After we ate, I headed over to my friend Hana’s house to decorate gingerbread houses. Hana, Bianca, Sam, and I are all best friends from high school, and every year when everyone’s home for the holidays we gather at Hana’s to decorate gingerbread houses. It’s always so much fun to catch up with the girls!

This year Bianca picked up my house for me, and when she was out shopping, she texted me asking if I wanted to join her in making a “surprise” house. Of course I said yes, and it wound up being a gingerbread castle from Frozen!

It even came with little cut-outs of the characters. So fun!

In the end, the castles came out…ok. Ha! Hana and Sam’s traditional houses came out a bit better, but Bianca and I had fun with the castles. Too bad mine fell apart on the drive home!

The gang!

Saturday, Dec. 23

Fabio and I had plans to spend Saturday with his family outside of Baltimore, and before we hit the road, we stopped for breakfast at my favorite Arlington spot, Northside Social. Their breakfast sandwiches and coffees are just the best!

We had to run a few errands on our way over, including a stop at Home Goods where we saw this awesome black lab nutcracker on skis (his tail was the nutcracker part). We sent a photo to Aunt CC and Uncle Steve saying that if it hadn’t been $300 and so difficult to transport, we would have bought it for their mountain house in the Berkshires. Ha!

They told us to save our money. 😉

After that, we arrived at Fabio’s sister Diane/her husband Alex’s house where we got to visit our favorite Christmas elf!!

Baby Michael was four months old on Christmas, and looked so festive in all his holiday gear! We spent a fun afternoon and evening just hanging out with the fam, which was nice and relaxing. I even got to feed Michael!

Cutie in his Christmas PJs!

Sunday, Dec. 24

The next day, Christmas Eve, was super busy for us! First, Alex’s family came over for a Christmas Eve brunch, and we enjoyed plenty of delicious treats. Everyone loved my lemon blueberry bread! I loved the smoked salmon and everything bagels. 🙂

Then we participated in a fun white elephant gift exchange…

…and gave baby Michael and my neice, Sofia, their gifts (they arrived late the night before).

Fabio got Michael a baseball glove and a tee-ball bat and stand, even though he’s only four months old and won’t be able to use them for a few years. Ha! What can I say, he’s excited!

And we got Sofia a fun sparkly mermaid fin! She totally loved this gift and didn’t take her “fins” off for the whole rest of the day.

In the early afternoon, we said goodbye to Fabio’s family and drove over to my grandparents’ house! This is where I’ve traditionally spent Christmas Eve, so I’m glad we were able to make it over there again this year.

When we arrived, I discovered my sister and I were twinning!

Clearly we are related. 🙂

We then headed to the living room to swap presents with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins.

We all got great gifts, and Fabio and I got money to put toward our upcoming kitchen renovation. 🙂

Then it was time to eat! I got to sit next to my sister (who changed into a new shirt that she got from my grandma…either because she was cold or because she didn’t want to match me anymore. Ha!)

Dinner included some delicious turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and rolls.

Plus TONS of dessert!

At one point my phone got hacked…

And then there was some dancing and family photos after the plates were cleared. I love this one of my sister and grandpa!

And my adorable grandparents!

Here’s my side of the fam!

After that, we headed back to my dad’s house where we watched Elf and fell asleep around midnight.

Monday, Dec. 25

We woke up on Christmas morning to lots of presents!

Even the dogs got some big bones to munch on. 🙂

And we spent the next few hours opening presents, sipping mimosas and coffee, eating breakfast, and playing with our new stuff.

A little later in the day, we watched Home Alone and then got ready to head to my mom’s house.

My mom and stepdad host a big open house on Christmas Day, and this year’s party was really fun! I didn’t manage to snag any pictures because I was busy talking the whole time, but we had a really nice day chatting with my mom and stepdad’s friends.

Eventually it was time to head home (Fabio and I both had to work on the 26th) and we crashed hard when we got back around 8 p.m. Phew! At that point there was nothing I wanted more than to just sit on my own couch and do NOTHING. It was a busy, busy Christmas! However, we left feeling so thankful that we have so many wonderful family members close by to spend time with.

Question of the day: Do you celebrate Christmas in one place or do you travel around to a few different ones?

 Posted by on January 3, 2018