Friday Things


1. Our Thanksgiving last week was just wonderful. We loved having a houseful of people, and all of the food turned out fantastic. I’d say that our first holiday was a rousing success!

2. My Chief Culinary Consultant and I went out on Black Friday and bought our very first Christmas tree!! It’s an enormous 9-foot Alpine tree with 1,500 lights, and we just love it. There’s nothing like sitting in the glow of Christmas lights, am I right?


3. This little guy is being neutered today, so fingers crossed that everything goes A-OK. I’m sure he’ll be up and biting everything in sight in no time 😉


4. He and Einstein are working on sharing… Einstein will take possession of a toy, hang it out of his mouth, and allow Duke to chew on the end. These two kill me!


5. Have you started any Christmas baking yet? What are you making? My mom and I made a list off the top of our heads and had well over 10 items, and I’ve already thought of at least 5 more things that I need to add to the list. I can never get enough of Christmas goodies!

6. I ordered this Kate Spade mug for myself this week, thanks to seeing it featured on RecipeGirl’s latest post. Seriously, how awesome is this?!


7. I have not been playing nearly enough Christmas music yet; I need to remedy that. I also need to get some Christmas movies on my TV. What are your favorites? I love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, Rudolph, the Muppet Christmas… I could sit all day curled up in a blanket with an endless supply of hot chocolate and marshmallows and watch Christmas movies on an endless loop.

8. I have gone off the deep-end and decided to go on an all fruits/veggies/brown rice/lean protein eating plan for 21 days. That means cutting out refined sugar, flour, processed anything, caffeine, etc. I chose to do it after feeling like crap for a couple of months now and needing to jumpstart myself into better eating habits. I thought the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas would be a good time to do it, plus I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I’m still sampling one piece of everything that comes out of my kitchen, but aside from that, I have been doing well since Monday. I’m withholding judgement until I see how things go, but I’ll definitely let you know how it turns out!

9. We’re right in the middle of the annual 12 Days of Giveaways, so be sure to check BEB each week day for a new giveaway! Right now, you can enter to win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System or Fiestaware Baking Bowl and Prep Bowl Sets. Get your entries in!

10. TGIF! I think we’ll be seeing a lot of puppy snuggles this weekend!


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52 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Laura on December 6, 2013 at 12:34 am

    HA! I’ve been feeling icky lately, too, and I also just decided to do the cut-the-crap diet. But then I realized that I eat a lot of the refined garbage as part of my holiday festivities. So this morning, I decided to just be conscious of what I’m eating for now and then I’ll go full steam ahead after Christmas. I hope you have better luck with your eating better plan than I!!!


  2. Patricia on December 6, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Favorite Christmas cookie is . I’m also trying to cut down on refined stuff – very hard to do! Good luck to you.


  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on December 6, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Great job on wanting to clean up your diet. As a dessert blogger, I can relate. I do a 3 or 4 day juice cleanse every 3 mos or so, and many days, I just have juice up until dinner, and it’s a vegan dinner. I honestly feel better when I eat a mostly plant diet, but gosh, I do love warm cookies, too :) Balancing act. Keep us posted and good for you!

    And my kitty is almost the exact age as your puppy and she needs to get fixed soon too. I hope Duke does well!


  4. Pieliekamais on December 6, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Hope everything goes well for Duke today!
    The only thing I’m sure I’ll bake is saffron muffins with raisins.


  5. Shelly on December 6, 2013 at 6:09 am

    I just started following you on Pinterest yesterday. I love the puppy pictures and your recipes are wonderful.
    Thank you


  6. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on December 6, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Ahhh the babies are just so cute!!!! My dogs play together, but they don’t sleep together, wish they did! :) Your Christmas tree is gorgeous! I went out on Black Friday to get a X-mas tree from Target, not a huge one, just a basic, thin 7 foot one for my front room, since we have a huge tree for our back room. When we got to Target, they were sold out on every tree!!! So we are going tonight!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  7. peachlady on December 6, 2013 at 6:39 am

    favorite cookie…do i have to pick one? Anything with chocolate! :)
    I need to work on my diet but I don’t i have the will power right now.


  8. Becca on December 6, 2013 at 7:24 am

    My favorite Christmas cookie is definitely a family holiday tradition. My grandmother used to make them and now my mom makes them. It sounds weird but they are fruitcake cookies..we call them rocks. They are super moist and filled with bits of pecans, candied cherries and pineapple. It wouldn’t be Christmas without them!


  9. Maxine on December 6, 2013 at 7:24 am

    The “Muppets Christmas” is so fun to watch every year. Do you like any of the classic Christmas movies? I absolutely love “Christmas in Connecticut” and “Remember the Night” soooo romantic and all about the holidays. My favorite holiday cookie would have to be sugar cookies frosted with all that colorful icing, yum! Kudos on eating super healthy for 21 days, you’ll be glad you did it when it’s over. I think the hardest part is removing sugar from the diet. The photo of Einstein “sharing” his toy with Duke is the best–so adorable, I like knowing Einstein has such a sweet pal around. You guys seem like incredible pet-parents. Good Luck with Duke at the vet!


  10. Sandra on December 6, 2013 at 7:27 am

    I’m all for that eating plan but trying it right now wouldn’t work. After the first of the year I’m all in! Hope Duke bounces back quickly and the puppy pics are adorable.


  11. Sharon on December 6, 2013 at 7:55 am

    My favorite cookie is almond flavored spritz with a light brown butter drizzle. A very close second choice is Mexican wedding balls.
    I really enjoy your dogs and their kind BFF ways. The picture of them sharing the toy made me smile. Best wishes on your dieting. Sounds so very natural.


  12. Caroline on December 6, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I love getting out the cookie press & making festive shaped spritzers


  13. Claudia McRay on December 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Good luck to Duke!
    My favorite Christmas Cookie is Snickerdoodles.


  14. Donna Ingalls on December 6, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Hope all goes well for Duke today. Your dogs are so adorable


  15. Monica on December 6, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Good luck to Duke today :-)
    My favorite Christmas movie is The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law….I have to watch it every year….guess I’ll do that today!!!!


  16. Donna Ingalls on December 6, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Good for you on the clean diet. I cut out fried foods and increased my water intake. Really feel so much better.


  17. Denise P. on December 6, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Love your pups. I have a Golden as well. They are the best dogs. Good luck to Duke today.


  18. VIVIAN on December 6, 2013 at 9:43 am

    I love reading your blog. I always look forward to it. especially your pics of Duke and Einstein!


  19. Marie @ Little Kitchie on December 6, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Ah I love that mug! Going to have to order one for myself now too! :)


  20. Diana on December 6, 2013 at 9:57 am

    If you need some Christmas music – I like groove shark on the net or you can stream in a radio station … they are playing Christmas music the whole month :)


  21. Shelby on December 6, 2013 at 10:05 am

    My favorite cookie is molasses. I always enjoy your Friday Things post. Your tree is lovely. We still use our very first star on top of our tree that we bought 50 years ago.
    Who knew? It’s been a great year celebrating! Time passes so quickly! Enjoy!


  22. Paula on December 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

    The new tree is wonderful. Best wishes for Duke, hoping all goes well. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. (P.S. Christmas Movies…I love The Christmas Shoes (made for TV movie))


  23. Charlette on December 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I have to say I changed my eating habits and found it somewhat easy. But and I mean but if you need that little something do it! I find if I don’t I crave it more. I also don’t buy the things that I cannot eat. If they are not in the house well I am safe!!! Good luck!


  24. Miss Nancy Pants on December 6, 2013 at 10:45 am your Friday Things posts! ..such sweet photos of the doggies! xo


  25. Beckie on December 6, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I grew up in Hammond, Indiana so a Christmas Story is my favorite movie. Hammond is the hometown of Jean Shepard, it was changed to Hohman in the book and movie. Flick owned a bar in town called, what else? Flick’s Tavern and a friend of mine from high school lived in the house where Flick grew up. My sisters went to Warren G. Harding and we lived a few blocks away from Cleveland Street. Needless to say, the actual house looks nothing like the one from the movie.


  26. Patricia on December 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I love frosted sugar cookies!!


  27. Sarah Gardner on December 6, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Hey Michelle! Have you heard of the Paleo diet? I’m big into Crossfit, and lots of Crossfitters do the Paleo diet hardcore. It’s basically what you’re talking about doing (no processed stuff, no refined sugar, lean meats, tons of fruits/veggies)…the only difference is no grains/breads or dairy. That’s the hardest part for me, so I allow myself brown rice and Greek yogurt. Other than that, it’s really helped me lean and tone up, and has helped me feel better! That’s hard to do during the Holidays, so stay strong lady! Love those precious puppy pics! =)


    • Michelle on December 9th, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Hi Sarah, I have heard of the Paleo diet, but it’s not something that I could adhere to long-term. I’m all for more fruits and vegetables, but I couldn’t go without dairy permanently.


  28. Carol Hanson on December 6, 2013 at 11:10 am

    walnut butter balls are my favorite Christmas cookie. I have a set of fiestaware dinner plates and would love the bowls. good luck at the vets. love your pics of the doggies!!


  29. Jess on December 6, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I get so excited to see your doggy photos each week! :)


  30. Karla on December 6, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I love eating cake for breakfast….


  31. SaKay on December 6, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I love Peanut Blossoms and the chocolate ones rolled in powered sugar.


  32. Sarah Katherine Moore on December 6, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Good luck with the lower lobotomy! Cookies: Russian Teacakes, Spritz and though not cookies I’ll also do several kinds of fudge for gifts (I stock up on butter whenever it’s on sale and use almost all of the stash for Christmas baking and candymaking). Favorite movie and this one is for both children and grownups who still want to be children at Christmas: “The Snowman” animated movie made in 1982, has a song in it that is so lovely it’s heartbreaking “Walking in the Air” and here’s the IMDB description: Wordless (save for the song “Walking in the Air”) animated adventure about a young English boy who makes a snowman one Christmas Eve, only for it to come to life that night and take him on a magical adventure to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. It’s finally available on DVD, I actually kept an old tv w- vcr setup for years so I could still watch my old video cassette with this movie!


  33. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on December 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Our tree looks just like yours1 9 foot tall, and everything :)


  34. annie on December 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Good for you to take yourself in hand before the holidays. You will see a big difference in eating better. I was doing better, but fell off the wagon so to speak, and put back some weight, and see a big difference in energy levels and overall health. Kudos to you.

    I hope all goes well for the little guy today.I say little, but he seems to be almost the same size as Einstein!


  35. Amie on December 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Die Hard (favourite Christmas movie)
    She & Him Christmas Album (favourite Christmas music)
    And Moose Poops. (favourite cookie)


  36. Jyllzie on December 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Where did you get your tree? Looking to replace our 9.5 ft tree that we’ve had for 12 years and yours looks like a good one!

    Btw, the Duke and Einstein pics keep me coming back every week :)


    • Michelle on December 9th, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Hi Jyllzie, We got it at a place called Pool City, which is a local chain in the Pittsburgh area.


  37. Hellyweg on December 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Oh my lord, how old is Duke now? He’s so so big!


    • Michelle on December 9th, 2013 at 11:14 am

      He’s 5.5 months now! I can’t believe it!


  38. Valerie C. on December 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I love your dog photos, so beautiful!!


  39. Jessica on December 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Oh my gosh! Your puppies are PRECIOUS!! Seeing them makes me want to get a friend for my yellow lab :)


  40. libby on December 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    I love sugar cookies with sprinkles on them


  41. ida on December 6, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    i lost my dog last year after she had a seizure. seeing Einstein and Duke just warms my heart


    • Michelle on December 9th, 2013 at 11:17 am

      I am so, so sorry to hear that :( Many hugs to you!


  42. lury on December 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

    love your blog thanks for sharing


  43. Donna McMahon on December 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Favorite cookies – Jaques Torres Triple Chocolate Mudslide cookies tied with my famous Linzer Tart cookies! And Duke and Einstein are adorable! My dogs play just like that too…Einstein’s role is played by the queen Cailee (border collie mix of 6), Duke’s role is played by Rosie Posie (border collie/irish setter mix, 2 1/2) and “He of Many Names” (Australian Shepard, 11 mos . old). All of our loves are rescues and are so wonderful both with us and each other – especially when there are 2 65 lb. and a still growing 85 lb. pile of fur playing tag in the house! Oh, and He of Many Names – obviously that is not his true name, but we found out after he was home with us for 6 weeks or so that he was deaf. Made him a bit harder to train but now we can all call him what we want whenever we want!


  44. Nancy L on December 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I can’t believe Duke is almost as big as Einstein! Wow, they grow up fast! They look so cute together!


  45. Tammy O on December 8, 2013 at 12:53 am

    My favorite Christmas movie is Home Alone.My kids and I watch it !


  46. Becca @ Crumbs on December 9, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Good luck with your healthy eating plan Michelle, very admirable!


  47. Wendy on December 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Best Christmas movies or shows…the cartoon version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the cartoon Shrek The Halls and Charlie Brown’s Christmas…does that mean I’m just a big kid?


  48. Laura Dembowski on December 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I love Elf and a Charlie Brown Christmas too. I was feeling like crap awhile ago and pretty much revolutionized the way I eat. Most mornings it’s fruit and oatmeal followed by fruit for lunch. Dinner is lean protein, usually wild fish, with vegetables and more fruit. I have to have a little candy at dinner too. I sometimes eat a cookie for dessert and about once a week have a splurge breakfast. It’s easier for my body to process junk in the morning because I work it off all day.


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