Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Griffith family!
I hope you ya'll have had a wonderful holiday.... we certainly have! Alex and I went on a mini-vacation to New York City (pictures to come) last week, celebrated Christmas Eve in Memphis with his family, and celebrate Christmas Day in Kennett with my family. We are so so so blessed beyond belief and have had a phenomenal first Christmas together.
That being said, Alex unfortunately has to work on Monday, so he had to head back to Memphis today. I am staying in Kennett for a few more days to catch up on some much-needed family time!
Now, on to a fabulous 2011.... :)


Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Gathering!

Well, I successfully put on my first large party last night! And I must say, I LOVED IT!!!!!!! We have had many small dinner parties and bbq's, but this was different. And better.
Alex and I decided several weeks ago to host our first annual "Christmas Gathering" at our house. We had 25-30 guests attend the party, and had oh-so-much fun! We have a small house and I desperately wish we had more seating for our guests, but the fact of the matter is that we don't, and we just deal with it the best we can! Hey, we're newlyweds here guys! :)
I worked all week on cleaning, decorating the house, baking, and cooking. It all paid off!

The menu:
Hot onion souffle
Bacon cheddar dip
Buffalo chicken dip
Fruit tray and yummy fruit dip
Honeybaked ham
Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing
Chocolate Velvet cake with cream cheese butter pecan icing
Oreo Truffles
Peanut Butter Truffles
Strawberry Truffles
Holiday Margaritas
Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Overall, it was a great evening with great friends!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day 13

Day 13: Favorite Cookie Recipe

Well, I'm not really a cookie person. So I'm going to give my favorite recipe that contains cookies. TRUFFLES!!

I have used both Oreos and Nutter Butters for these, but my favorite are Oreos.

1. Crush up a full container of Oreos (not Double Stuf) in the zip lock baggie
2.Put the crumbs of cookies in your food procressor
3. Mix this with a softened block of cream cheese
4. Roll into small balls and place on cookie sheet
5. Put in freezer for a couple of hours
6. Melt almond bark coating of your choice--- my favorite is vanilla/white chocolate for Oreo truffles
7. Remove balls from freezer and stab with toothpick
8. Dip in melted chocolate and place on wax paper


Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Twelve

Day 12: Show us your decorations (indoor/outdoor)

This really doesn't look like many decorations, but it looks good in our small starter home! We also have another regular-sized Christmas tree, but I did not get a picture of that one. And we have a Santa cookie jar and a few Christmas platters in the kitchen that aren't shown in the pictures!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Eleven

Day 11: New Year Resolutions

I have the reputation of not being very good at keeping New Year's Resolutions. I usually have good intentions, but it never works out. Last year, my New Year's Resolution was to work out and diet very regularly in order to look "perfect" for our June wedding. I stuck to it and was diehard about working out, and maintained a 1200 calorie a day diet. That being said, the wedding is history and so is my swimsuit figure. I now cook not-so-healthy food, have a full time job, have a husband who often has to work long hours, and a dog to tend to. This makes it not to easy to hang out at the gym for 2 hours a day like I could in Fayetteville.
Sooooooo, my New Year's Resolution, for the 2nd year in a row, will be to get back into the gym and back away from the table. It's not that I'm severely overweight or that most people can even tell I've gained more than 5 or 10 pounds. But, I know that I have gained a few pounds and know that I feel better when I'm in better shape, so I'm going to do my best to get back to that! Wish me luck, as I am very busy and not used to squeezing in a trip to the gym everyday!


12 Days of Christmas- Day Ten

Day 10: Favorite Christmas Songs/Caroles

Another easy one! I actually have two favorites, though.
1. I'll Be Home for Christmas
2. Oh Holy Night

These are not up for debate. These will always be my favorites. I'm getting sad just typing this knowing that I'm going to miss Oh Holy Night at my church's Christmas Eve service this year. But, Alex and I are on the hunt for a good service to attend here!


Friday, December 10, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Nine

Day 9: Favorite Holiday recipe

Well, every Thanksgiving and Christmas my grandmother makes me jello. Not just any jello. Cherry jello with cherries, pineapple, and grapes in it and marshmallows in it. It is my favorite holiday recipe by a long shot.

But since I'm now an avid baker, my recipe box has expanded greatly! I'm really into making elaborate cakes lately (that don't turn out so elaborate, but taste good!). This holiday season I'm making a chocolate velvet cake with cream cheese butter pecan icing. I'll let ya know how it turns out! :)


Thursday, December 9, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Eight

Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays

This year, my least favorite thing about the holidays is that many of my family traditions are coming to a screeching halt. Being a newlywed this year means that Alex and I are not only beginning our own holiday traditions in our new home in Memphis, but also that we are sharing our time over the holidays between mine and Alex's families. Although I am upset about this now, I know that in a few years we will have many of our own traditions that I look forward to sharing with Alex and our future kiddos. :) I just take traditions pretty seriously and don't like alot of change around the holidays. Plus, I don't get to see my family all that often and have always looked forward to having a couple of weeks with them at the holidays.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Seven

Day 7: Holiday Craft/DIY (If you don't make anything, what do you WISH you could make?)

Welllll..... this has changed over the past few years as I have gotten older. But, my grandmother and I used to make cotton christmas ornaments every year. It was our little tradition, and to this day they are still some of my favorite ornaments. My hometown is literally cotton country, and my family owns and farms lots of cotton so it really means alot to us. Last year I had a Christmas shower with my friends from home, and my grandmother (Mops) made me a ton of cotton ornaments for my own tree in Memphis. Love it!
We also used to make macaroni angel ornaments, but these are much more time consuming and just don't last from year to year so we trickled this traditional craft out a few years ago.
These days, I am not home with my mom and Mops nearly as much to make holiday crafts with them and I don't have kids of my own to make crafts with yet. So, my holiday crafts tend to revolve around food! I am a sucker for truffles and make them every year during the holidays. They usually don't turn out as pretty as I would like, but boy do they taste good! And let's be honest, that's all that really matters! :)

I will do my best to post a picture of my cotton ornaments sometime after I finish this blogger challenge. It's a little crazy at work right now-- holiday parties, christmas pageants, etc. :)


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Six

Day 6: Gift ideas (what do YOU want? We all have family/friends reading our let them know!)

Wellllll...... if I have any long lost super rich family members that I don't know about reading this, I would LOVE to have a 2011 Infiniti GX in black. Is that too much to ask!? :)
But in all seriousness, I've had an extremely hard time coming up with a gift that I really really want this year. My mom has practically begged me to find some other things and I just can't! Usually I'm that kid with 100 things on my list! The only explanation I can come up with is that I am perfectly content with my life and am so happy to have what I already have! I have everything I need: the most amazing husband ever, great family and in-laws, great job, a nice house and car, and the best puppy you could possibly ask for!
I would, however, love for someone to surprise me with a box of Queen Anne milk chocolate covered cherries! (or the black Infiniti GX is still an option!)


Monday, December 6, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Five

Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special

Oh this is an easy one: CHRISTMAS VACATION!
"Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?"

Love love love this movie so much! I watch it at least 5 or 6 times every holiday season, but I think last year I may have reached 12 times? Yeah, I love it that much.
I also love Home Alone 1 and 2 and will never outgrow them, but Christmas Vacation will forever be Number 1 in my heart!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Four

Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season

Well this is really my first year to have a big girl job and buy for both mine and Alex's family, and so far so good.
Alex has 3 other siblings who are all still in college, so for them we draw names. This helps a ton with both budget and sanity, because it is hard trying to figure out what the perfect gift for all of them is!
For my family, Alex, and his parents, I started early thinking of gift ideas for them. I bought as much as possible early when they were on sale. It really helps on our budget to spread out the spending on gifts over the course of several months rather then jumble it all in December! We are also going to New York the week before Christmas, so we are saving as much as possible for this fun trip!
Obviously I'm not a pro at budgeting for the holidays, but I'm doing my best! I can't wait to see others suggestions to become even better at this for years to come.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Three

Day 3: Most meaningful gift/best gift you've received

Probably the most meaningful gift I've ever received was diamond earrings that belonged to my great grandmother. I received this gift a few Christmases ago and wear them every single day. I love family history and inherited items such as these earrings, so these were a perfect gift for me.
Last year, a bit before Christmas time, I was given a sapphire brooch that belonged to my great grandmother and several diamonds from a watch that belonged to my great aunt. I decided to have a ring made out of the stones, and I get SO many compliments on it. It really is a beautiful ring, but more than that, it has so much meaning and history behind it.
So, those are my two most meaningful gifts. I'm sure there's something that's slipped my mind that was a fabulous gift, and if I think of it I'll come back and add it to the list. Gifts with meaning are always sure to make me smile!


Friday, December 3, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day Two

I'm going to be perfectly honest and say that I despise Black Friday. Call me crazy, call me a scrooge, whatever. I just don't get into it. Maybe someday when I have children who are wanting crazy expensive items for Christmas I will get into it, but not right now.
It's not the crowds that bother me. It's the traffic. I have a severe case of road rage, and I do not enjoy being bumper to bumper who couldn't drive correctly on a lazy Sunday, let alone on the busiest day of the year.
I honestly feel like people go a bit crazy on Black Friday. They lose all manners, will push anyone and everyone out of the way, drive like crazy, and basically have no sense for that one day. I saw on the news that women were literally camping out for a solid week leading up to black Friday. Who misses out on a week with their husbands, children, and family only to try and save a few bucks!? Makes no sense to me!
To sum my two cents up, my holiday shopping tips would simply be to get gift ideas early, have in mind what you are looking for before hitting the shops, and try to do most of your shopping on a weekday. Any weekday is MUCH better than on Saturdays, plus the store clerks are much more friendly and helpful due to less stress on those days! Also for your own sake and sanity, do not wait until the week of Christmas!
Happy December 3rd!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

12 days of Christmas- Day One

I got this blog challenge from Chelsea Jewell and thought it was super cute! I've never done anything like this and thought it would be fun, so here goes nothing!
Here's the schedule:
Day 1: Christmas/Holiday traditions
Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks
Day 3: Most meaningful gift/best gift you've received
Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season
Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special
Day 6: Gift ideas (what do YOU want? We all have family/friends reading our let them know!)
Day 7: Holiday Craft/DIY (If you don't make anything, what do you WISH you could make?)
Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays
Day 9: Favorite Holiday recipe
Day 10: Favorite Christmas Songs/Caroles
Day 11: New Year Resolutions
Day 12: Show us your decorations (indoor/outdoor)
Day 13: Favorite Cookie Recipe
Day 14: Oprah's Favorite Things: What item(s) would you want if you were in the audience?

Day One: Christmas/Holiday Traditions
Well, this is a tough one for me to write about. Any other year I would be fine, but this year everything is changing (and I'm a little sad about it) so I'm writing about my childhood traditions.
For the past 22 years, my family has had our Christmas dinner at my grandparents' house on Christmas Eve. Then we watch "Christmas in Kennett", which is a TV special filmed in my small town and shows different holiday parties, plays, families, etc. Christmas in Kennett is a big deal to me. At 11:00 PM, we all go to the Christmas Eve service at church. This service is my absolute favorite. It's a candlelit, intimate service and I always see people that I have not seen in a long time. This is what I love and miss about living in a small town.
The grandkids then go and spend the night at my grandparents' house. That's right, I have spent the night at their house for the past 22 Christmas Eve's, and Santa has found me down there every year!
On Christmas morning, our parents come back to my grandparents and we all open gifts, then have Christmas Breakfast.
That's our Christmas (up until this year), and I LOVE it!
It's also become a tradition for all of the girls in my family to pile into my Mops' (grandma) suburban and ride around to look at Christmas lights on Christmas night. Fun fun! Another perk of living in a small town: you know where everyone lives and who puts up christmas lights!

Like I said, this year things will be completely different. Alex and I have become our own family and wanting to start our own traditions, while also wanting to continue some traditions from my family and some from his family. It's never an easy task to combine two families, especially when they don't live in the same town, but we are doing our best and quite frankly, I think we are doing a fabulous job!

Happy December, ya'll!
--- KPG