Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas on New Year's Eve

I'm not a huge partier, especially on days when EVERYONE ELSE is partying (overwhelming!) so I usually have some pretty chill New Year's Eves... This one was no exception! 

I had received several really awesome products to try but was so overwhelmed with school and travel that they fell by the wayside. I took the opportunity to sample a few while I was at my mom's house. 

First on the list was Stonyfield Activia Organic Yogurt. I'm a fan of Stonyfield's regular yogurts and in terms of flavor and texture, the Activia was almost identical, with added probiotic benefits. Yum!

I topped my yogurt with some Uncle Sam Original. I was first introduced to Attune Foods at the Healthy Living Summit and quickly fell in love- OH, the nutrition!

I knew I'd be attending a delicious but calorie-laden celebration later in the day, so this was the perfect breakfast!

After running a few errands my mom, sisters and I headed to my dad's house for some belated Christmas fun. 

My sister took this photo. Can you tell my dad's excited?

I love this ornament! It represents myself and my six sisters/step-sisters. There are seven of us all together. That's a lot of ladies. 

More family! Grams and aunts and uncles, oh my!

My stepmother whipped up a brunch-inspired feast!

Popular gifts included local soap...

And Spekuloos Spread from Wafels & Dinges (the original "cookie butter"- now available at TJ's).

Wow. My dad is on a roll with the ridiculous faces. From L to R- my dad (making the Randy Marsh from Southpark face), my stepmom, my sister Courtney, my grams, my sister Kieren, me, my aunt & uncle!

I did some couch snuggling the the mama-pajama (she wasn't so into it...)

And got a run for my money in the silly-face contest- my family is really good at these...

Yaaaaay grandma!

Sisters with my grams...

Sisters with the momizzle...

Later that evening I convinced my mom to bust out her cake decorating set and give me a tutorial. 

My mom used to make big fancy wedding cakes. She's pretty impressive. And she's been doing it for approximately one trillion years. Next to her mad sewing-prowess, this is my most desired skill to inherit from my mom.

We adapted a new icing recipe which turned out a bit soft, so we let it firm up in the fridge while we whipped up dinner. 

A while back Gardein sent me some coupons to try some of their products. I was PSYCHED to try them because I've heard such great things, but I couldn't find them at either of my local chain grocery stores. There are several great health food stores in Manhattan and in other parts of Brooklyn, but when you don't drive and grocery shop with an old lady cart, you only buy frozen food from places you can walk home from in a timely manner. 

Long story short- I FOUND THESE while grocery shopping near my mom's house. We picked up a few varieties and decided to whip up the Chick'n Scallopini for dinner.


These were SO simple to prepare- we just grilled them with a bit of cooking spray for 3 mins on each side and served with a mixed green, cranberry and almond salad. So simple, and so good. My mother, who has the palate of a fussy five-year old (I love you, mom), feeds my "healthy" cooking to our dogs when I'm not looking (I see you) and typically isn't amused by things that are "good for her" really enjoyed these! She said she didn't miss the meat at all and appreciated the well-proportioned seasoning. She cleared her plate! Enough said!

After we had eaten it was time to begin my tutorial! 

She showed me some borders, changing tips as necessary.

She demonstrated a few flat flowers- a fleur de lys, a sweet pea...

And then... the rose! Which my mom makes beautifully- and I suck at... Must. practice.

The best solution for sub-par frosting flowers? SMASHING THEM BETWEEN GRAHAM CRACKERS! Obvs.

I got to sample these New Morning Honey Grahams (also from Attune Foods) and really enjoyed them. I had forgotten how much I love graham crackers!

After making myself sick on icing (because naturally I ate ALL of my mistakes), it was puppy snuggle time...

The rest of New Year's Eve was spent on the couch with my mom and the pups, watching Tangled (SO CUTE) and relaxing. 

We all needed it.

*I did not pay for the products from Gardein, Stonyfield and Attune Foods. I received them as free samples. I received no other compensation for these reviews. The opinions expressed here are my own.*