National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day!

pbjellytime3In honor of today being National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, I’m sharing some amazing and unique PB&J variations from around the interwebs. Enjoy!

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Getting Into the Holiday Spirit

Under the Oaks : Getting Into the Holiday Spirit

Growing up in the Midwest the first indicator of the holidays was snow. Moving to the South I had to retrain my brain and genuinely push myself into the holiday spirit, and while it snows every once in a while in the City of Oaks, we usually only see a dusting or two post-Christmas. This year I started feeling the excitement of the holidays in early November which indicates that if you are a Northerner moving South, it will take you approximately 6 years to retrain your internal holiday spirit barometer.

Whether you grew up in the North, South, China, or Japan I have what I like to refer to as an “ingredient” list of activities that I like to perform to push me into the holiday spirit. Let’s face it, sometimes you just need a little nudge towards the candy canes and carols, and sometimes you feel the need to conceal your early excitement (I felt the desire for a tree in late October). To really get into the mood you need to approach the holidays with all 5 of your senses, so without further ado … Continue reading

Have a festive week.

Cosmopolitan Champagne Cocktail

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Christmas week is upon us! This year has felt much more festive to me than the past few years. I think that mostly has to do with this being mine and JZ’s first ¬†Christmas as husband and wife even though we’ve spent the last handful of years together. We have briefly talked about what traditions we should start and what traditions we’d like to begin again from our childhood. This year we will be in our house for Christmas, as we were last year. Since the beginning of the month we have watched some great classics, like A Charlie Brown Christmas, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and some new favorites, like Elf and Four Christmases. On the cue is still It’s a Wonderful Life (that was only on once this year. Can you believe that?!) and, my favorite, Meet Me In St. Louis (aka the movie Louise gives to Carrie in SATC The Movie). ¬†On Christmas Eve, we will be heading to one of my sisters’ houses for dinner with some friends and family. We’ve been doing this for a few years now. This year for Christmas Day, my other sister has invited us over. The rest of our siblings usually do their own thing so since we were given a gift certificate for a free large ham, I figured we could share! Aside from the ham, this Cosmopolitan Champagne Cocktail will be my contribution to the festivities. I am so excited to make it since Cosmos are (of course) one of my favorite cocktails and because everything gets better with champagne.

After the holidays, I’ll be heading north to Upstate New York to visit my mom and gramma until the 3oth. JZ has to work all week so I’ll be going with my sister and three of my nephews. Should be an awesome time and I’m actually excited to see some snow for the holidays!

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To help you all have a festive week we thought we’d suggest some festively fun things to do.

You’ll probably want to make some cookies and like I told a friend this week, when they are made with love they are calorie free {20 of the BEST Christmas Cookies}. While making cookies you could be listening to any of these Top 100 Christmas Songs, or if you live in Raleigh you can listen to Mix 101.5 where they play Christmas music non-stop from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Eventually you’ll want to nestle up with a delicious holiday beverage of your choice (suggestions: Top 10 Christmas Holiday Drinks) and watch a flick. My personal favorite is the 24 hours of A Christmas Story on TBS, but I’ll be indulging in many of these 30 Best Christmas Films as well.

How will you be celebrating this week?