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you're like, really pretty

LOVING LATELY & A MOMENT VOLUME 26

Believe me I am just as surprised as you are that this is going out Christmas morning!


So amid all the other 'Merry Christmas' messages you're seeing in your inbox, sometimes triggering comparison (usually somewhere on the spectrum from 'I must be doing it wrong' to 'omg, I am christmassing SO HARD this year..and dying'), I wanted to go a different route and just remind you of this:


You're like, really doing a great job. Wherever you are, whoever you are with, whatever is happening around you...you are. Don't feel compelled to finish that sentence with any qualifiers. Simply, you are.


Also, you're like, really pretty. (Obviously)

LOVING LATELY

I have been ALL IN on my cozy Christmas mornings. I thought the fact that my to do list was next to nothing would really freak me out at the start of each day, but it's been so oddly satisfying!


I don't get to see my husband all that much in these last crazy 6 weeks of the year, so I cherish the quiet mornings when we are up together alone and everything is peaceful.


Usually we go down to the gym, but on this frigid day we stayed in. He got up to pour some more coffee and the dogs surrounded me. This truly is the life.


Sorry, no links in this week's Loving Lately! What you see here is basically the reward for all the hard shit I've been working on letting go of for the past few years. Truly I wish I could link it.

A MOMENT

Nothing noteworthy. Just a moment I had one night sitting by the fire and listening to the dogs snore.

WHAT'S NEW IN THE KITCHEN

Cookies, cookies, and more cookies.


Maybe this should be titled, 'What's Old in the Kitchen.' But this is probably the last go-round of cookies in the kitchen, so I went for it.


I know this is so basic and predictable, but adding to our cookie boxes was all I wanted to do this week. Plus we've hosted kids at our house all week, and thanks to the storm that rolled in, we now have a pretty sizable group of people joining us for Christmas Day, so I want to be well stocked!


I made these, these and one more batch of giant chocolate chip (that recipe is linked lower in the blog).

Oh and last minute I also made these, but added marshmallows and an upside down kiss to some. I'm calling them S'mores Blossoms! A few I left plain and others were coated with Cocoa Bar in a Jar Iced Oatmeal Cookie....so dreamy!


In case you need a look at everything, I took tons of pictures for you!

These avalanche cookies are the sneaky favorites that no one thinks they will like...do you know what they are made of??

THOUGHTS IN PICTURES

Last minute shopping and let me just say, I think the snow makes me want to buy MORE.

Well played Kendra Scott. You know how to set the mood with unlimited cups of 'drinking chocolate.'

Monday morning we stopped at a Madison institution, Bagels Forever, to pick up some breakfast for Elle's classroom party.

Hot chocolate, bagels + cream cheese and a mug exchange made for the most perfect celebration.

Getting to be a room parent this year has been the most incredible gift. I've done it every year since I've had a kid in school, so I almost took this year off. So glad I didn't.

FINALLY figuring out polpettes. At first glance they seem like meatballs, but flattened to look like mini burgers. The other critical differences are the diced, cooked potatoes and very short list of other flavor makers (no garlic or onion - crazy for me!), plus lack of red sauce when serving. Developed by a true recipe master (who goes by 'Nonna'), and now a staple in my kitchen. They pair with everything!

Deer energy tends to show up when we need tenderness most. They've been very close lately.

The rink project got some love this week before the temperatures dropped!

It took a long time to freeze and it was hard waiting. Like three nights of bitterly cold temperatures.

But now that the temperatures (and snow!) fell and school is out, we've got some skating to do.

Left this delightful ice cream cake outside because I had no room in the freezer and it was just a bit too enticing to our neighbors dog! Would you scrape off the top and refrost like it never happened? Uhhh me neither.

We went to two Christmas concerts this week. This little number (Reindeer On The Roof) from the third graders stole the show.

New favorite sweater from Summersault. Currently 40% off - you may be able to stack my code as well - KATIECJS10

While delivering Christmas cookies, we met this sweet baby. I am not really into designer dogs, but oh my goodness the 'Cavapoo' sure is hard to resist. Anna immediately went in search of ways to make us say yes.

One batch of these giant cookies makes 2 dozen that are the size of my palm. Thanks Lillie for the recipe.

Good morning snow day Thursday. Bring on the wind and blizzard conditions. We are staying home this holiday so I'm welcoming the wild weather.

It helps that this is my view.

Negative 30 degree wind chills and they want me to keep opening the door.

I'm super awkward about receiving gifts (I feel so exposed). But receiving cards? That is my favorite part of the holiday. Thank you if you sent one to us!

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I am signing off on this blog post Christmas Eve morning, so no holiday photos to share just yet. Our tradition on this special day is my favorite. Years ago when the girls were little I filled the day as best I could, but always struggled because so many of our regular spots were closed and let's face it; when you are alone with little ones and nothing to do, this day is L O N G. I was sad for a lot of Christmas Eves.


Then, several years ago we began a new tradition that we call 'Sisters' Christmas.' It changes a bit every year (we've done movies, minute to win it games, gingerbread house competitions and more) but we always go out for a meal and do a gift exchange...just the girls and me. It's possibly better than Christmas Day itself because we get to enjoy all the excitement our traditions, but still anticipate the evening with Dad, and even more, 'main event' the next day.


I hope you're enjoying all the snuggly comforts of the holiday but if you're not, that's ok too. Sometimes at this point we are frustrated or absolutely over it for any number of reasons. If that's you this year, you're absolutely not alone.


Either way, don't forget that you're doing a really great job. And you should have some cookies. Not because it's Christmas. But because food is love, happiness, celebration and meant to be enjoyed. No matter what. Oh and because people often forget, here's a little reminder: it's ok to eat when you are emotional! No matter how you are feeling you still deserve to eat.


See you in the new year, friends! Thanks for reading and being with me for TWENTY SIX emails this year!

Warmly, Katie


P.S. Those cinnamon rolls above? I knew you were wondering. Literally the best I've ever eaten. More thanks to Lillie, recipe found here. MAKE THEM! G E T I N T O U C H Communicate & Connect katie@empowernutritioncoach.com @katiecrokus

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