Friday Things

Christmas 2012

1. Please remind me next year not to wait until the week before Christmas to start my shopping! I never do this, and I have no idea how the month totally got away from me, but I bought my first present on Monday (online) and didn’t step foot in a store until Tuesday. This is not a good strategy for someone who thrives on being organized. I keep feeling like I’m forgetting things. Back to the boring spreadsheet and lots of planning next year!

2. I may be way behind on this, but I just discovered a new-to-me iPhone app that I love and had to share in case you’re living under the same rock I am. The app is called Cuptakes – they have a huge variety of wallpapers and backgrounds for your phone, and they also sell iPhone cases on their website. I just decked out my phone with some lovely Christmas backgrounds. I love it! Definitely check it out!

3. I’ve mentioned a few times about how I’ve been learning to play hockey on Sunday nights. Well, last Sunday was the last session for this “season” and we had our first full-ice, 5-on-5 scrimmage. My mom and my Chief Culinary Consultant came to watch (yay for having a cheering section!), and my CCC snapped some great photos. As I’ve promised, below is a photo of me in all of my gear, on the ice:


4. In the blink of an eye, the world changed dramatically since I wrote my last Friday Things post a mere seven days ago. After such a heart-wrenching tragedy, it’s often difficult to find good in the news, but as the days passed after the shooting in CT, stories began to emerge of people doing extraordinary things to help. One mission that caught my attention and hit close to home (thanks to Einstein) was the Comfort Dog Ministry. The group is run by the Lutheran Church Charities, and they have 15 Golden Retrievers “on staff” that they bring to nursing homes, rehabilitation facilitates, schools, and many other places. They were asked to bring the dogs to Newtown, CT to spend time with the children there and be a soothing, calming presence. I am in no way affiliated with the group, but I do plan on supporting them and wanted to share them with you since this is a time of year that many people are looking to give back. I’ve seen first-hand, thanks to my grandma’s time with Einstein, how a loving, intuitive dog can bring a calming peace to an individual.

5. I got a huge kick out of this December 21st cartoon seeing as how today is December 21st:

December 21st

6. If you’re looking for a last-minute gift idea, check out these two awesome (make-at-home) ideas I came across this week: Christmas Pop Bottle Gift Set and Ice Cream Care Package. Both are such fun ideas, and I’m going to keep them in mind for next year!

7. Einstein, my little reindeer! He got freshly groomed yesterday (which he was not in this photo), so he’s definitely ready for Santa!


8. This commercial is for a local restaurant chain in Pittsburgh; it ran all the time when I was a kid during the holidays and has always made my heart happy. I actually saw it for the first time in years last night while watching TV! It put a big smile on my face and gave me the warm fuzzies 🙂

9. The weather folks here are calling for a semi-significant snow fall between today and tomorrow. Which means we could end up with anywhere from an inch to a foot, given how forecasts go around these parts. Unfortunately, I still have some last-minute gifts to buy before our family Christmas celebrations begin on Sunday. I always want it to snow, but just this one time, I wish it were delayed by like two days. I guess if it means a white Christmas, I’ll make it work 🙂

10. TGIF! I hope you and your favorite furry buddy have a fabulous long holiday weekend! 🙂

Oh, Christmas tree...


40 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Jeannie on December 21, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Aww…so cute! Have a Merry Christmas!


  2. Kate on December 21, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Einstein is adorable! He is certainly resting as he gazes at the tree. Enjoy your downtime when you get it!!


  3. Erin F. on December 21, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Just wanted to let you know that it always puts a smile on my face to see pics of your Einstein! What a cutie! Great name, also!! Reminds me of my mom’s old dog, Sebastian (a Goldie- the best!) who I still miss like crazy.


    • Michelle on December 21st, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      I love the name Sebastian for a doggie!


  4. Anita at Hungry Couple on December 21, 2012 at 1:45 am

    I read about the comfort dogs coming to CT and it touched me as well. I have a King Charles Spaniel and that breed is frequently used to “visit” nursing homes. There’s one in my neighborhood and when she and I go walking, we sometimes pass some of the old folks sitting outside with their nurses. The expression on their faces is usually pretty miserable until they see my little Hadley. Suddenly they smile and, despite walkers and canes and wheelchairs, ask if they can pet her. Sure! She loves people. Have a wonderful holiday!


  5. Averie @ Averie Cooks on December 21, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Einstein is too cute!
    And Cuptakes – I too was under the rock. Thanks for releasing me 🙂


  6. Stephanie on December 21, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Love the pictures – thanks for the links for DIY gifts, love it 😉 Happy Holidays! It’s always good to read you 😉


  7. Coleens Recipes on December 21, 2012 at 4:09 am

    What a bright and cheery post!! I absolutely LOVE that last photo of your dog on the couch next to the tree. That is Christmas card perfect!!! Merry Christmas!!!!!!!


  8. Always Wright on December 21, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Love your little stories and recipes! What a beautiful dog!!! He reminds me of Charlotte who posed the same way on the sofa. So glad he is enjoying the pretty Christmas tree!


  9. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on December 21, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Einstein is too cute! Every time you post a pic of him, I want to get myself a golden retriever!


    • Michelle on December 21st, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      You should totally get a Golden Retriever! They are the best! 🙂


  10. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on December 21, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I love when you dress up Einstein! He is so adorable!!!! What a great post! Love ya in the hockey uniform! 🙂

    Have a great weekend!!!


  11. Wendy on December 21, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Thanks for all your posts! You look great in your hockey duds! I volunteer at a local animal shelter and take dogs to he nursing homes. They have such a wonderful effect on the people that it warms my heart every time! Merry Christmas to you, Einstein and your consultant!


  12. LJ Dubois on December 21, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Michelle. Brown-Eyed Baker is my absolute favorite blog !! Love your recipes and your stories and your pix! Have a wonderful holiday season and thanks for filling my email inbox with so much happiness every day. *__*



  13. Dawn McPherson on December 21, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Michelle~ you are so Bad —! in that hockey uniform. You go girl!
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas xo


  14. Desiree on December 21, 2012 at 9:08 am

    What a lovely post. I must say, you warmed my heart this morning. Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Desiree


  15. Rodzilla on December 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

    playing D? Tuck those skate tongues!
    Careful with that PGH snow, I can’t say I miss it and Merry Christmas!


  16. Joy from Yesterfood on December 21, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Your Christmas photography (reindeer, Einstein on couch) is just stunning. Happy sigh. Merry Christmas! 🙂


  17. Mary W. on December 21, 2012 at 9:16 am

    A caption for the Reindeer Einstein picture..”I love my people but this is almost too much!”
    PS I would love to learn to play hockey! I think I might have to live somewhere other than Brownsville, Texas though.


  18. Mary Ann on December 21, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you’ve featured this month… and the last picture is great!


  19. Gail Hebert on December 21, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I just love your Dog! So adorable. Merry Christmas!


  20. Lori on December 21, 2012 at 9:49 am

    You look absolutely adorable in your hockey gear. My husband and both sons played hockey and now they are USA ice hockey officials. Tonight my husband and son are doing a game at the New York Rangers practice facility. Mike Richter and Doug Messier (Mark’s dad) have a team that is going to be playing internationally soon and this is one of their last games in the States. Should be fun…I am going to watch and be the photographer. Have a wonderful Merry Christmas and I will be back tomorrow to see what you’ve posted for the week in review!


  21. Dana on December 21, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Love your Christmas tree and ornament photos! What settings are you using on your camera to take them? I’m a DSLR newbie and still learning the ropes. Hoping to get Photoshop Elements for Christmas, too, so bump up my pictures a notch!
    Hope you get your shopping done in time…being stuck at at home can be a bear. I still have a few grocery items to get for Christmas Day and we’ve been trapped inside by Draco for two days and unable to leave before that because of strep!
    Merry Christmas!


    • Michelle on December 21st, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Dana, I actually just bought a new camera, and my boyfriend snapped a ton of photos of ornaments on the tree when I first got it set up, so that’s actually his photo! I just checked the settings on the photo, here they are:

      Lens: 35mm 1.4
      Aperture Priority
      Focal Length: 2.8
      ISO: Set to auto, fired at 800


      • Dana on December 21st, 2012 at 1:02 pm

        Wow, you are QUICK, Michelle! I tried those settings right away with my camera and pictures were great. So excited! Thanks so much!


  22. Susan Sunde on December 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Your fur-baby is so beautiful.


  23. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet on December 21, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Wow! I knew you are a huge fan of hockey but I didn’t know you actually get on the ice! Einstein looks adorable!!!!


    • Michelle on December 21st, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      I just started learning to play back in October; I’m having so much fun!


  24. Beth on December 21, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I read about the Comfort Dog Ministry too and thought it was so wonderful that they could travel to bring comfort to that poor town.

    My pup does the same thing by the Christmas tree! He loves the lights!


  25. Ashley on December 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Love your hockey pic!! That’s too cool!


  26. Dubaimom on December 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing the Eat ‘n’ Park commercial. That has always been my favourite commercial during the Christmas season. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen it. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and the best New Year.


  27. kimathungryhealthygirl on December 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I absolutely love that last pic! Cuptakes is great!


  28. Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up on December 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Your pup is sooo adorable… Ugh! I can’t take it!! 🙂


  29. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on December 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    You look AWESOME in all that hockey gear. Makes me want to learn how to play!
    Also, I’ve heard of puppies being brought to colleges before as a stress reliever for students during finals week. They really do bring such a great joy! What an wonderful organization 🙂


  30. Jillian_R on December 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Your dog Einstein is adorable! I just want to squeeze him. You are correct about how loving, intuitive dogs can bring a calming peace to an individual, even when they don’t even know they need it. I hope you will have a happy holiday and a merry Christmas!


  31. Krystle(Baking Beauty) on December 21, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    You’re golden is gorgeous!!
    I’m from Pittsburgh too, really cool I’ve never known another blogger from around here!


  32. Janice on December 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Your puppy is soooo cute!!

    May you and yours have a merry and blessed Christmas!!


  33. Patty on December 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Me encanta tu blog, tus postres quedan deliciosos, me parece increible que a una mujer le interese aprender un juego tan rudo y que solo lo practican los hombres, pero bien por ti.Te envio un abrazo FELIZ NAVIDAD y otro para EINSTEIN que luce divino.


  34. LB on December 23, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Oh, I miss Eat n park!


  35. Kimberly on December 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Not sure if you speak Spanish and I see a comment above that’s in Spanish, so I figured I’d go ahead and translate it for ya real quick! She said “I love your blog, your desserts are delicious! It’s incredible that a woman is interested in a sport that’s so (brutal, crude, rude?…not sure of the actual translation for that word) and that only men play, good for you. I send you a hug and a merry Christmas and another for Einstein, who looks (shines) beautifully!


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