Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a good holiday!

We had a good, but busy week. We had friends over Sunday night for Yule dinner and presents. Then on Christmas Eve my parents came into town to visit for a few days. Michael smoked some chicken and I made a really delicious Brussels Sprout dish for dinner. (Cut sprouts in half, season with olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped shallots, red pepper flakes, bake for 15 minutes then top with cubes of brie cheese and chopped walnuts, bake for another 15 minutes. So good!)

This year was particularly fun. Logan understood Christmas a lot more and was SO excited! We left out milk and cookies for Santa and first thing Christmas morning, Logan walked past all the presents and went to inspect the milk and cookies to see if Santa ate them. 😉

Logan got lots of cool stuff from everyone. He got a Star Wars cape from his Auntie Rachel. 🙂 Lots of dinosaur stuff. Coloring books from us. And headphones from Santa for his very first plane ride next month!

He got Frozen PJs on Christmas Eve and LOVED them and wore them all day on Christmas.

I got some nice goodies! A tray for my jacuzzi tub (and a bathtub pillow!!)– I can’t wait to use it! My brother got me some keto chocolate and much needed new swim goggles. Michael got me a wireless charger for my phone for work. It was a really nice day.

Christmas Day was low key. Logan and I took a nap. He played with his new toys and watched movies with Grandpa. Stevie was loving all the attention. Then Michael’s family came over in the afternoon for Christmas #2 and dinner.

Lots of good food! For dinner we made a spiral ham and Michael’s mac n’ cheese. Michael’s sister made green bean casserole, deviled eggs and her famous beef and green bean appetizers. There were tons of munchies.

It was a full table!

All the food turned out great. There was tons of it, too. Leftovers for days.

More presents. Logan got a bunch of new PJs, clothes, underwear and new shoes (which were probably his favorite present!).

Christmas cookies made by Michael’s sister (she makes the best cookies!). It was chaotic but fun having a full house.

The day after Christmas we had breakfast and then my parents headed to the beach for a few days before going home to Seattle. Michael and Logan went to Michael’s mom’s house to set up some technology they got for Christmas. I went to the gym and then after-Christmas shopping.

The rest of the day was pretty low-key. Cleaning and then preparing for another dinner party with Michael’s childhood friends. This time it was chicken enchiladas (from the leftover smoked chicken) and leftover Mac n’ cheese. It was a fun night but I am so ready to have a few relaxing days this weekend!

Happy holidays!

Holiday Traditions

The tradition used to be that my parents would drive from Seattle to Portland on Christmas morning to see me on their way to somewhere sunny. The three of us (and then eventually Michael joined us) would go to The Heathman for brunch on Christmas morning. This is a photo from brunch two years ago:


I don’t know why we dropped the ball this year but somehow no one got around to calling The Heathman to make reservations and they were full. I found somewhere new to try this year. First thing on Christmas morning,  Michael and I slept in a little bit and then we opened presents. Michael most definitely spoiled me this year in a big way!

A Canon Rebel XS DSLR! A fancy, grown-up camera that I can hopefully learn how to use to take better pictures. What an amazing gift!

My parents arrived and the four of us drove to NW Portland to go to Gracie’s. I’d never been to this restaurant before. It’s in the Hotel de Luxe:  “a contemporary tribute to the Golden Era of Hollywood filmmaking that tastefully balances art deco and art moderne styles for a mix of timeless sophistication and serene comfort.”

We all LOVED this place! The restaurant was gorgeous, quiet and the food was amazing. It was unanimous that Gracie’s would be our new Christmas Brunch restaurant. We all liked it better than the Heathman. For breakfast I ordered the most decadent thing on the menu: Bread Pudding French toast. It came with bananas and toasted pecans with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

The French toast was crunchy but like bread pudding on the inside too. It was the richest, most amazing French toast I’ve ever tried.

Michael go the Huevos Rancheros and I had a bite. His breakfast was amazing too! Everything was delicious. But the French Toast was by far the show stopper.

After brunch we opened gifts back at the house. My parents got me the Hood to Coast DVD and I made them watch some of the highlights. 🙂 They hit the road for their beach vacation and Michael and I went to his Mom’s house for their family traditions. Here is the rest of the evening in pictures:

Dinner was a delicious roast, perfect mashed potatoes and green beans. Michael’s sister made a bok choy salad that was delicious (I hope to get the recipe soon).

Aw! Cute Christmas ornaments, complete with ones from Michael’s childhood. Adorable. 🙂

I indulged a little bit but I think all in all I lived pretty balanced during the holidays. I ate some treats, ate some healthy food and got in some fun fitness! B+ this year!

QUESTION: How did you do for the holidays? Regrets? Ready for a detox?