Creature Comforts: December 2017

It’s the most, wonderful tiiiiiime of the year!

Man, I love Christmas!  When my husband saw the sheer amount of Christmas decorations I owned as a single person he might have paused to consider if he was willing to live with that kind of crazy.  Oh, and when he saw the amount of ornaments?!?  He might have run for the hills if I hadn’t tripped him and asked if he wanted me to cook him dinner.

Christmas decorating at my house consists usually of him bringing up the tubs from the basement or storage and then camping out on the couch with a glass of wine while I hem and haw over each decoration and layout.  He provides the music and company while he enjoys watching me totally in my decor-frenzied element.

Well, now that our decorations are done and my husband is fed (with this delightful meal), I wanted to share a few things that have caught my eye this month!

ONE//  Jen Hatmaker’s “For the Love of Food” series on her podcast

Is it just me or does it feel like eeeeverybody has podcast now???  Well, I am riding the bandwagon and now I am a new subscriber to Jen’s podcast “For the Love”.  I recently heard her series For the Love of Food and it was if the stars aligned and I joined at just the right moment, you know, for my love of food.  Not only did she interview some pretty interesting people (Aarti Sequera and Melissa D’Arabian of Food Network, Danielle Walker of Against All Grain and more), but she also had really thought provoking discussions with all of them.  I particularly loved the one with Melissa D’Arabian and her thoughts on how we have taken food to an unhealthy and unfair level as home cooks.  If you need some good listening content on road trips, check this one out.

TWO//  Advent Calendar

Do you celebrate Christmas with an advent calendar?  When we were growing up my grandmother made a beautiful needlepoint calendar with individual needlepointed ornaments to add to the tree.  I looked forward to putting together that advent calendar every year!  Now, we have a simple calendar that I bought at Target years ago and my kids are LOVING it!  Though I can’t find our Target one online anymore, here is another one that looks just as great!  If you feel like diving into the rabbit hole of advent calendars, check out this cute snowman, this pricey but gorgeous one and how fun is this beauty gift advent!  What a great gift idea!

THREE//  Christmas cookies

Soft, a little salty, and sweet pistachio linzer cookies filled with delicious raspberry jam! Christmas cookie recipe on
Photo credit

Our tradition is to wake up Christmas Eve morning and start baking cookies.  For some reason, I had it in my head that sugar cookies were what you were supposed to make, but I didn’t really think they were all that fun and my kids didn’t have the patience for cooling and detailed decorations (read: decorations that made the cookies look edible).  So, I decided I would wait until a recipe grabbed my attention and after toddler attention span was taken into account, bake those instead!  Basically I just had to scroll through anything Sally makes and run with it.  Don’t these look amazing?!?!

FOUR// “It’s Christmas, David” by David Shannon

Are you familiar with this author?  He is known for other titles like “No, David”, “David Gets in Trouble”, and “Too Many Toys.”  His illustrations are fantastically fresh and stories so funny.  My son is newly obsessed with this one and all of David’s shenanigans.  If you need something different for Christmas, try this one.

FIVE// Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge

Reading challenge banner

The last couple of years I have set a goal for reading a certain number of books through my Goodreads account.  Sometimes I follow a challenge, other times, I just make it up as I go.  My first year I set a goal for one book a month.  I’m currently a bit behind (and probably won’t make my goal this year) but am pretty happy with my titles this year.  Check back to see my favorite titles of the year.

Do you listen to any podcasts you love?  Are there Christmas cookies you MUST have at Christmas time?  Please share them in the comments!  Finally, do you set a reading goal for yourself?  What are some ways you accomplish your goals?