Friday Things

Christmas Eve morning 2013

1. Christmas Eve morningโ€ฆ Einstein and Duke were on their best behavior; I told them that Santa was watching ๐Ÿ™‚

2. A few snapshots from our Christmas Eve this week; we had such a wonderful time celebrating our first married Christmas!


3.ย I never take nearly enough photos at holidays; I always have my camera ready, but totally forget about it once we start the festivities! It happened on Thanksgiving, and again at Christmas. Any tips for getting some good candid photos without having a camera up to your face all night?

4. It’s become tradition on Christmas Eve to eat dinner, clear the table, then make white chocolate steamers to sip while we sit around the living room and exchange gifts. It gives us a chance to digest before diving into dessert, and oh my gosh, these drinks are so good!

White Chocolate Steamers

If you haven’t tried this yet, you need to come up with whatever excuse is necessary to make it immediately. SO.GOOD.

5. Last week, I tried chocolate-covered bacon for the very first time. I was completely unimpressed. I love bacon and I love chocolate, but the two together didn’t really add much to either flavor. Have you tried it? What did you think?

6. My Chief Culinary Consultant saw this on Facebook awhile agoโ€ฆ so, so incredibly true!

Booths forever...

7. I don’t know how I forgot to talk about the Homeland finale last week. I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t caught up yet, but OH.MY.GOD. I’m still stunned. I’m also infuriated that I have to wait 9 months for it to start again!

8. About six weeks ago, my 80-year-old grandma began texting. I was stunned when I left message for my grandparents one afternoon and that evening, my phone lit up and it said I had a text from my grandmother. She has had a cell phone for awhile, but only ever used it when away from home and absolutely necessary. I thought for sure when I opened the text that it would be a bunch of jumbled letters due to her hitting some wrong buttons. Nope! It was a real message, responding to the voicemail I had left on their answering machine! She has since texted me a handful of times, and has even sent me pictures. I’m so proud!

Texting with Grandma

9. With New Year’s just around the corner, have you made any resolutions for 2014? I haven’t sat down and made a list, but one of my biggest priorities for next year is making homemade versions of store-bought “staples” – ketchup, mustard, body cream, lip balm, etc. I’m excited to try some new things!

10. TGIF! Here’s to a year of healthy, well-behaved pups ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas Eve morning 2013


28 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Diane W. on December 27, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Ketchup? What kind of Pittsburgh girl snubs Heinz for homemade? ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on December 27, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Love that your Grandma is texting. Awesome!
    I love making condiments. From mustard to peanut sauce to balsamic reduction, homemade is always best. And I am a huge condiment fan, as in I need double or triple of whatever amount most people may use, so for me, it’s a big money saver, too ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to see what you make!


  3. Pieliekamais on December 27, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I’m thinking about making a separate New Year’s resolutions list just for the kitchen. Nr.1 would be to start using my cast iron pan (heavy and afraid to ruin it).
    I tried making lingonberry ketchup this year and it’s kept amazingly.


  4. Auntiepatch on December 27, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Duke and Einstein are so cute! I lost my Einstein at Halloween due to throat cancer. I miss him so much. Give your babies a hug from me!


  5. Janice on December 27, 2013 at 4:04 am

    The final picture of the puppies is too cute….Whatever you are doing to capture their undivided attention…just love it!!


  6. Wendy on December 27, 2013 at 5:14 am

    First, those dogs are the cutest things ever! Second, I would love to try the White Chocolate Steamers but not quite the right time of year as I live in Oz. I did try the link for the white chocolate and found I could order it through Amazon but not sure about the special vodka, maybe just the regular stuff would be OK? Re: Homeland…I am not believing the ending, that’s all I’m going to say and I hope we don’t have to wait 9 months for the next season…love that show. Can’t wait for Revenge to return also. It is so good now that we get those shows fast-tracked from the US to Oz! Hmmm…chocolate covered bacon??? Seriously? I am Canadian and love my pancakes with bacon and maple syrup just like anyone else with taste buds but that is going too far. Resolutions? lose weight of course but how when I love food so much?!?!? I’m so glad I found your blog when looking for a new recipe for Hot Fudge Sauce. Happy New Year!


  7. Always Wright on December 27, 2013 at 7:45 am

    That is the most precious photo of the side view of the pups! Enjoy and have a happy new year!!!


  8. Nicole L on December 27, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Homemade ketchup has been a flop here, but I’m excited to see if you fine a recipe that works! I’d suggests whipping up some shae butter lotions, they are super easy and great on your skin.


  9. Maria D. on December 27, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I agree that Duke and Einstein are just too cute!

    Your grandma is proof that you are never too old to learn things:) Sounds like you had a great holiday …..I too forget to take pictures all of the time….sigh


  10. Robby on December 27, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Chocolate covered bacon… did not do it for me. Glad to hear I’m not the only one that felt it was a waste of good chocolate and yummy bacon. On to the next flavor sensation, I guess.


  11. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate on December 27, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Ha! That will be the day when my grandma starts texting and she is only 70 something. She has a hard enough time using her cell phone period. And don’t even try to explain the internet to her. I showed her my blog one day but I don’t think she understood.


  12. Jourdan on December 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Try Vosges Mo’s Milk chocolate bacon bar. It will change your mind and inspire you to find ways to incorporate chocolate and bacon into other recipes (bacon choc chip cookies?). Straight bacon dipped in chocolate though? Meh! Gorgeous pups btw! Happy Holidays!


  13. Beth on December 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Chocolate covered bacon is awesome! The key is to use thick cut bacon (super crispy) & high end chocolate. Yummy! Although not a food staple, I discovered homemade sugar scrubs this year. Much cheaper than the ones you buy in the store & super easy to make.


  14. Sues on December 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Who would ever choose a table over a booth?? Haha! I can’t wait to make my resolutions ๐Ÿ™‚


  15. Kerry @ Kerry Cooks on December 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Everyone knows booths are superior in every way! Hope Einstein and Duke had a merry christmas!


  16. Emily @ Life on Food on December 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I have no words for Homeland. Completely agree with the whole nine months. I don’t know how I will be able to wait. I am the most inpatient person.


  17. Elisa on December 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Omg. 2 things. You take THE BEST pictures of the dogs! And I can’t take it that your grandmother texted you. So awesome! Happy and healthy 2014!!!


    • Michelle on December 27th, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks Elisa! Although, I can’t take all of the credit, both of the pictures of the dogs in today’s post were taken by my husband ๐Ÿ™‚


  18. Devona on December 27, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I love that your Gram used text! I felt that same pride when I got my first e-mail from my Grandma! Once she started, she couldn’t stop ๐Ÿ™‚ I was also disappointed in the Chocolate Bacon…and I tried Bacon Popcorn-PASS!
    Love your pups, mine behaves very well…especially if a possible treat is involved..haha! Love your blog…Happy New Year!


  19. Tresa on December 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I am not sure this would work 100% for you..but at the holidays when a lot of family is getting together…I go to Walmart or Target, and purchase a large pack of the disposable cameras…lay them all around the house so anyone, can pick one up..take a few shots..and whenever you have time..take the cameras to be developed…you will be amazed…at what you get to see…or did NOT see! Have done this at weddings also!


  20. Charlene on December 28, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Looking forward to all your exciting 2014 recipes!! Well it’s your fault I got hubby a Golden for Christmas. I have been showing him pics of your babies and he was on the fence about getting a third one so I pushed him off the fence. Murphy is a great addition to our home although I am not sure Sammy and Chelsea share the sentiment. Have a Happy New Year and love your blog!


  21. Val in MN on December 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Hubby and I are on low sodium diets, and I need to learn to make homemade condiments as well. Hubby says the “no salt added” ketchup tastes too sweet.


  22. Alicia on December 28, 2013 at 11:56 am

    As far as pictures go…I don’t know what kind of camera you have, but if it allows, use the interval timer on the camera to capture days like Christmas. Right before, set up the camera on a tripod, switch to manual (if you don’t use it already), and switch to manual focus. This requires a lovable model to sit for you so you can focus on the area you’ll be capturing pics from. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Oh, and make sure your aperture is small enough that you’re guaranteed an in focus picture. Focus on the person (or puppy :)) and take a couple trial pics to make sure you’re good to go. Then, when you want to go join the festivities set it to the interval you choose (i.e. 30 seconds) for the amount of time you want it to take pictures (i.e. 30 min) and you’ll have in focus pics of your holiday!! ๐Ÿ˜€ I personally don’t have this feature on my camera (upgrading this year :)), so I haven’t actually tried it. However, I’ve seen the results of others using this feature…and it’s fantastic! Also, I know that at least Canon makes a remote or trigger that can be hooked up to cameras like mine, so even if the camera doesn’t have the capability, you can still purchase a trigger and get your pictures. Hope this helps, and Merry late Christmas! Your furry children are adorable! ๐Ÿ˜€


    • Michelle on December 29th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      This is an awesome idea, I never thought of it, thank you! My camera can do the intervals, and I have a remote as well.


  23. Cristina on December 28, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Have you ever shared a pic of your CCC??


  24. Samantha on December 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Love “Friday Things”, it’s always nice to get to know a blogger on a more personal level. Why don’t you ever put a picture of you and your husband though?


  25. Monica on December 30, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Here’s a link to some fun and helpful Christmas photography tips: I’ve learned a lot from this site. By the way–my kids and I have enjoyed watching Duke “grow up” in his pictures every week! Happy New Year!


  26. Meaghan on January 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I love that your Gram signs her texts as if she were sending you a card or letter. My dad does the same thing with both texts and facebook comments =)


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