Mele Kalikimaka!!! It’s Christmas week! Wow, December seems like it completely flew by. How was it for you? Having fun yet?!
Every year we have a Christmas White Elephant… actually, we have two! We’ve hosted for the past four years and every year it’s been so much fun. Ever been to one?
Rules vary a little, but our rendition is attached below. Maybe you can have one next year?! It’s such a great form of fun entertainment that doesn’t cost much and everyone can enjoy.
Really, it’s wonderful to be able to get together with family and friends and celebrate the holidays. This is the last one pre-baby, so we’ll see how next year goes! Planning on having them again though, mainly due to popular demand and someone’s gotta host! As you all know, hosting parties can be a little stressful, but it’s worth it.
A simple act of kindness has the power to completely change someone’s day in every way. I know because someone (actually lots of people) have done that for me.
This time of year can be so hectic and stressful for many reasons; deadlines, visitors, financial burdens, Christmas cards (still send those?), events, concerts, lines, baking etc. etc. etc. Are you stressed yet???!!!!
At the same time, it can be so cheerful and festive! Maybe just a few Christmas songs…
Regardless of the craziness, being kind never gets old. At the times when it feels like stress is getting you close to burnout or explosion, stop. Take a deep breath (or a few) and as the GPS says, “recalculate.” Taking that extra minute to just breathe and think can make all the difference and slowdown that snowball effect of despair or blunder.
We all have issues and obstacles, but isn’t it so much better to be around people who are positive and make the changes happen instead of simply complaining about the never ending lists?
Those moments or days of bleakness can be turned 180 degrees with the simple act of someone being nice! For example, I wasn’t having a “bad” day per say; just not an exceptional one, when out of the blue I was brought over lunch from one of the restaurants to our kiosk. Someone at the mall had bought me lunch! It was unexpected, delightful and completely made me smile. That was a definite bonus to the day, if not the week because it still makes me smile and feel good. Talk about gratitude!
The simple act of people smiling at you, saying hello or holding the door makes me have a brighter day. How about you? Try it and see if it catches!
I was reading this morning that we should embrace our problems and tackle them with a positive attitude. Time is fleeting and oh so precious. I certainly don’t want to waste it on anger and frustration, even when there are frustrations all around. It’s difficult, yet possible.
Breathe. Pray. Relax. Conquer. Imua. Be kind, pass it on!
Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka!
Happy Sunday! December is here!!!! Spices, carols, lights, cocoa and friends. Yum, I love this season.
Hopefully everyone is having a wonderful day and getting to spend some quality rejuvenation or special family time. Currently, I should be getting my house cleaned and finishing up my cake and goodies for tonight, but instead I’m enjoying a little bit of blogging time before the day gets away from me. I’m really enjoying “jotting” down my random thoughts, and trust me, there are many. Random thoughts.
Back to today, tonight we’ll be having a small house full of people over for our annual Christmas White Elephant. Every year for the past four years it’s been so much fun! I can’t believe this is our fifth year in a row!!! I’m really looking forward to kicking off the holiday festivities. Mmm and hot cocoa! Goodness I love that stuff. The good ones that is. Nothing like warming you up from the inside out…on a “cold” Maui evening… Well, it does drop a few degrees at night!
What’s on the menu? Cocoa! hehe and food of course. We always have it as pupu style (appetizer finger foods). This year I’m going to try this Pesto Chicken Crescent Wreath… Hope it turns out because it looks ono (yummy). We’ll also be enjoying some Italian style pizza, yakisoba chow mein, spanikopitas, probably some sushi (so difficult to avoid when pregnant!), veggies & hummus, chips & salsa, some other “main” pupus depending on what our guests bring and some desserts.
I’ll have to share this cake recipe I’m making. It’s so simple and delicious (feedback I’ve received) that I’m making it again for a Christmas gathering tonight. It’s a TWO ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake w/ whipped cream cheese frosting that is not overpowering in any way. It tastes best chilled. So light, so easy, so yummy! I’ll attach it below with my additions per reviews I perused. Then it is a few more ingredients, but I think it does make all the difference from “okay” to “delish!”
Well, time to get back to prepping and cleaning!
Two Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake (+ ingredients I added) thanks to allrecipes.com
1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
Changes I made:
1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar added)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 quart whipping cream
Honestly, I just winged it with the frosting and it turned out tasty without being too sweet. Tip, keep the whipping cream separate and cold until ready to gently fold into the rest of the ingredients. That’s probably the “toughest” part.
Bake cake. Cool. Frost. Chill. Cut. Eat!
4 month mark of the Noccioline “Noch” aka. Peanut in Italian. Yes, we carved these. :)
YES, it’s true! First time Mama to be and my heart is so happy.
Hubby and I found out our little blessing of a surprise right before a big trip to Europe in September. What a joyous experience. Our journey was taking us through Southern & Northern Italy, Nice and France. Many prayers that we wouldn’t injure the growing bebe in our adventures. Thankfully, so far everything is going well. Talk about a relief doctor’s appointment upon our return. Phew. Only 5. short. long. months. to go!
We were fortunate enough to have both sets of parents meeting us in Tuscany, Italia to be able to share the latest news of the addition to the family. Pretty great way to meet up and start the family week that we will never forget.
We are so excited to meet our little one in April 2016. Baby is due on Daddy’s birthday, 4-8-16 (not bad birthday huh?!) and can’t wait to find out if it’s a little boy or girl! Yes, keeping it a surprise even from ourselves. So far with all that’s been happening, it’s easier to do than I originally thought! Yay!
I had NO idea how difficult “keeping it simple” with baby items it could be! Stroller shopping is worse than hiking shoe shopping and that is saying a lot. All in all, so happy and joyful that we have the opportunity to be shopping for bebe items and looking forward to cuddling with our cutie.
Okay, enough mushiness, Merry Christmas month!!!!!
I’ve been wanting to make more use of this blog page sooner, but just never got around to it. Now’s the time!
I feel an urge and need to share and help form a resource for visitors and residents alike to learn more about our beautiful island. Whether it be somewhere ono (delicous) to eat or places to see, ask away! If I don’t know, maybe someone else will share, and together we can all enjoy the most of what Maui has to offer.
Thoughts? Questions? Experiences? Share away!
After all, Maui no ka ‘oi! …Maui is the Best!
Check out Mike Neubauer Fine Art Photography for some awesome photos!
Maui’s “Vanishing Act”