Holiday Hooplas!

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” 
- Oprah Winfrey

Hello LOVIES! I have missed you all! Did you have a nice Christmas and New Years? I can't believe how fast it went!  I look forward to, and anticipate this time of year for so long and then it flies by in the blink of an eye. Sad! However, there is something refreshing about starting anew.  In fact, I just found this blog, 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home, and I'm really excited about giving it a whirl.  I just completed Day 1 and already feel so "accomplished."  We'll see how long this lasts...wink, wink.

Anyways, I digress (as usual)! I'd love to fill you in on my Christmas break! The Saturday before Christmas we spent with my husband's siblings.  It was so fun watching Wake and his cousin MJ play together.  They are only 3 weeks apart in age, which makes for a lot of fun! They don't get the idea of Christmas quite yet, so the shiny bows were their real excitement! Thanks to my friend, and Wednesday Wishlist partner in crime Annie, the adults had some delicious libations; The Poinsettia ;-). And my SIL made Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies over ice cream!!! 
Then that Sunday we had the 6th annual E/T dinner party (which I discussed in detail here). We had a delicious meal and wonderful evening catching up and reminiscing!
Bright and early Christmas morning we were up and over to Milly & Pap Pap's.  I made my favorite Cheese Souffle (recipe found here) with cinnamon rolls and mimosas.  And Wake's favorite toy was a red Radio Flyer from M & P! Whether we rolled him around the room or the outside he was ALL smiles! Christmas afternoon was quite perfect! We had a Christmas movie marathon (A Christmas Story, The Grinch, The Holiday, etc...) and did personal homemade pizzas; not traditional but delicious!
 The day after Christmas I took Wake on his first trip on an airplane. We were very sad to say goodbye to daddy, but excited to get to Detroit and spend time with my side of the fam.   He did wonderfully...never cried once and ended up falling asleep in my arms while descending into Detroit. Go figure! On our first full day there a couple of us decided to go bowling.  Wake chilled on his Uncle Michael's lap while I got beat (honestly) by my oldest niece Olivia! Then we came back home and I made wreath cookies (recipe can be found here) with my two nieces while W napped.

On Saturday the entire family on my mother's side (Wakeland) got together for Christmas dinner.  The menu was insane (see below) and it was so great for Wake to meet everyone.  The table was set beautifully and we also did a fun white elephant ornament exchange. My cousin's sweet baby Harper got an ornament with Wake's pic on it and she really liked it; it was super cute! Plus, all of TT's (The Wakeland family Matriarch) grandchildren (minus Joe - sad face!) AND great grandchildren were there so we had to take a family pic. 

The dinner was amazing (beef tenderloin, baked mashed potatoes, pomegranate fruit salad, blue cheese lettuce wedges, homemade rolls, etc...) but there were a few items that particularly stood out to me and I'd like to share them with you.  First was the drink my Uncle was pouring, and next were some exceptional apps...

Pomegranate Martini:
2 1/4 cups  pomegranate juice
2 1/4 cups  vodka
1 cup  lime juice
3/4 cup  Cointreau, or Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons  sugar, preferably superfine bar sugar, plus more for the rims
Strips of  lime zest, for garnish
1. Mix pomegranate juice, vodka, lime juice, Cointreau (or Grand Marnier), ginger juice and sugar in a large pitcher.
2. For each drink, fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice, add 1/2 cup mix, and shake until the shaker turns frosty and cold. Dip the rim of a martini (or highball) glass into water and then in sugar (to "sugar the rim"). Strain the drink into the martini glass (or over fresh ice in the highball glass). Garnish with a twist of lime zest, if desired.

Boozy Sparkling Cranberries

Homemade Krystal Burgers 

Is your mouth watering yet? I can't believe I still had room for dinner! 

It was sad to leave my Michigan family, but Wake and I were both anxious to get home and see daddy! Plus, we had NYE to look forward to.  Wake spent the night with Milly and Pap Pap so that Joe and I could have a nice night out with our friends.  A large group of us met up at our club for dinner, and then had a little party in the lounge afterwards to ring in the New Year.  I'm not sure if it was the extra dirty martinis OR poinsettias I decided to drink, but we had the best time playing Heads Up! Have y'all ever heard of it/played it?  It's an app designed by Ellen DeGeneres...get it for your next gathering!

So those were the hi-lights of my Holiday...went by in a flash!  Hope you all had a fun and blessed time with your friends and family! 

~ See you soon ~

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