Jan 11, 2015

Christmas 2014

Happy 2015! I have a lot of ideas about what I'd like to see myself posting this year (travel plans, more makeup favorites, some new kitchen items I love...), but I first want to look back into 2014 and recap Christmas.

One of the biggest perks of my job is that while I work a lot during the year, my company is really generous with vacation time during the holidays. Our office shut completely down for two weeks, which meant an extra long vacation in Virginia for me. Brandon also had some time off, so it was great to be able to spend some down time at home with the families.

I took a lot more phone photos of Christmas and made a handy little Google Story movie with those. You can check that out here. We unfortunately booked flights too late and had a layover in Dallas, which meant it was a long day of travel, but we made the best of it with a new (to us) burger joint and bigger than my head Diet Cokes. Everything really is bigger in Texas.

Anyway, we made it to Virginia!

Christmas Tree

My mom's Christmas tree is about 15 years old and while it leans a little to the left, it is filled with memorable ornaments from our childhood.

Baby photo

The cutest baby there ever was.


Our stockings are about as old as we are. In our old house, we had a fireplace to hang them, but I'm kind of partial to the garland, lights, and staircase arrangement. So cute.

Chocolate chip cookies

Christmas cookie baking commenced on Christmas Eve morning, per usual. My mom and brother did 99% of the work. I just taste tested and took photos. We each have our own talents.

Carlos and Mom

Carlos is absolutely thrilled that I documented this.

Traditional Christmas candy

Along with the cookies, we have our traditional spread of locally made Christmas candies. We purchase these from various markets around town. I've been sugar detoxing ever since.

Brandon and I split Christmas Eve and Christmas day up with both of families and though it means a bit of driving on our part, it's nice to see everyone.  I'm sure our traditions will change one day, but it works for now. My big dream is that we buy a large house in the country somewhere (cough, Colorado, cough) and host Christmas ourselves for everyone. Just call me Clarke W. Griswold.

I failed to document Christmas Eve afternoon and evening, but we had a great time visiting Brandon's family. They spoiled with me as usual with gift cards to my favorite stores (Target, Nordstrom), and his aunt made an amazing steak dinner. That evening it was back to my family for our annual Christmas Eve party that my cousin hosted.

I know Christmas is very commercialized and it's not about the gifts, but I love finding the perfect gift for someone. I was super excited about giving my mom a new vacuum and some really nice china. Brandon and I got Carlos a Nest for his house and I couldn't wait to see his face when he opened it.

Christmas morning!

Christmas presents

Mom Christmas morning

Mom and her stocking

Stocking gifts are my favorite! My mom is really a champion stocking gifter. She got me a Tide to Go pen (used 80% of the time by Brandon), hair ties (always need), Air Heads (the best candy), and this neat little sponge that removes deodorant from your clothing. I've already used this and can assure you that it works.

I also got some moccasin slippers, pajamas, garlic press, spice measuring spoons (how have I ever lived without those?!), giftcards from Target, Sephora, Nordstrom, and Banana Republic. Jayme and Emma got me this awesome Tarte advent calendar with really generous samples of all of my favorite Tarte products! I love it, even though it is going to cost me $$$ since of course I now need the full size versions of each. Their poreless primer should be named magic potion. And don't get me started on their blushes...

We traditionally have sausage on Christmas morning and since the weather was a nice 40 degrees, Carlos grilled them up for us.

Carlos grilling sausage for breakfast


My aunts and cousins came over later and we exchanged more gifts and played some games.

Christmas dinner table

Finally, we ended the day with Christmas dinner: ham, mac and cheese (a TON of it). rolls, brussels sprouts, and pumpkin pie and egg nog for dessert.

The rest of my vacation looked a little something like this:

Not too shabby, Christmas vacation. Not too shabby.


  1. SO glad you had such a nice time at home. Aren't the holidays just the best?

  2. Ahh Christmas at the Arellano's.. Looks like you had another great one! The giant bowl of macaroni and cheese... I know how good it is and I just want to dive into that bowl! Not to mention those cookies.. I'm glad you like the Tarte products! Sorry for feeding your developing makeup addiction :P (not really, makeup is fun!!)
    I wish I could've been there to share it with you guys! Hopefully next year :)


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