Sarah’s Christmas Traditions

Everyone has their own traditions that they use to celebrate the Holidays with…you know, those things that make the Holidays special and unique to you and your family. I thought I’d share a few of mine, but I also want to hear about yours!

  1. Gas Station Lotto: I’m not sure how this game started, but I assume it was a way to keep my sister and I occupied and away from presents…Anyway, the entire family loads up and heads to a gas station in our small town, we each buy $10 worth of scratch off tickets. Then, we scratch those off and use the winnings at the next gas station. We do this until there is one person left with $$$ and that person is the winner! (Yes, this may be a little weird and/or a little white trash, but it’s oh so fun!)
  2. Christmas Presents: Christmas Eve vs. Christmas Day? We’re Christmas Eve people…
  3. Homemade Chile and Tamales: Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner.
  4. Steak: Our “not so traditional” Christmas day lunch! (We’re not really turkey and dressing people.)
  5. Stockings: Of course, Santa Claus comes and fills our stockings to open Christmas morning!

Comfy Christmas Clothes

I have picked out my outfit for Christmas day and it’s definitely on the comfy side. Dressy where it counts but able to eat multiple meals throughout the day and still recover comfortably.

  1. Mossimo Layering Pullover, Target
  2. Multi Colored Stone Stretch Bracelet, Charlotte Russe
  3. Corral Python Cross Boots, Langston’s
  4. Stretch Leggings, Old Navy

What do you wear for your Christmas festivities? Are you uncomfortable all day and dressed up or comfy yet fashionable?

Manly Stocking Stuffers

So I gave y’all some ideas for Girly Stocking Stuffers yesterday.  Here’s my version of the dude edition.

  1. Lotto Tickets-What man would not get excited about the possibility of winning a ton of money?!
  2. iPod Shuffle, Apple-These are only $49!
  3. Hanes Crew Socks, Amazon-Men are always losing socks. They will always need more.
  4. J&D’s Bacon Salt, Amazon-I love the tagline on this… “Everything should taste like bacon”.
  5. iTunes Gift Card, Amazon-Music! Books! Whichever!
  6. Penguin Mints, Think Geek-Caffeinated mints for those late night work crunches.
  7. Magwear Magnetic Wristband, Uncommon Goods-I gave these a few years ago and they were a huge hit!

Gleeking Out

50% of Tipsy Society loves Glee and I know you know several Gleeks in your life and I am positive they would love any of these for a Christmas gift, so GET ON IT.

  1. Macys, Glee Top
  2. Etsy, Gold Star Necklace
  3. Macys, Glee Logo Tee
  4. Amazon, The Complete First Season
  5. Amazon, Glee Christmas
  6. Etsy, Glee Ornament

Holiday Treats: Sarah Style

I’m not a sweet person, so I don’t bake…ever…but there are a couple of things my Mom makes for the Holidays that I can’t seem to get enough of! Here are her fab recipes:

Ham Dip (not pictured)

I know this isn’t a “sweet treat”, but this stuff is literally to die for so I had to share it…seriously, this dip was recently been called “best dip ever” by a guy that had it for the first time over Thanksgiving!

2 packages cream cheese
1/2 cup onion
4 oz Danish ham
1 small can diced black olives
1 tsp sour cream
1 tbls miracle whip (or mayo)

Soften cream cheese, add diced onion,  diced ham, black olives, sour cream, and miracle whip.  Mix well.

No Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa
1 stick oleo (parkay)
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 cups quick oats

Cook sugar, milk, cocoa, and oleo.  Being to boil.  Cook 1 minute after it boils.  Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and oats.  Drop by spoon full on wax paper.

Pumpkin Bread

(This has been a true pregnancy craving here VERY recently.)

31/2 cups flour (sifted)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups of pumpkin ( I use 1 can)
1 cup salad oil
2/3 cup water

Mix all dry ingredients, make a well and pour all liquid ingredients in to the well.  Mix well and until thoroughly blended.  Bake 1 hour or until done at 350 degrees.  

Recipe makes three 1 pound loaves!

Holiday Treats: AK Style

We thought we’d do a little series on what each of us routinely makes or has made for us (ha!) at the holidays in the form of treats.  I mean these are items that, if not made, would mean it just isn’t Christmas.

First up: Fantasy Fudge.  This is the marshmallow creme type of fudge. I could literally eat the entire pan.

Fantasy Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 12-oz. (340 g) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 7-oz. (198 g) jar Kraft Marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, margarine and milk in heavy 2-1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full rolling bail, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate till melted. Add marshmallow creme, nuts & vanilla beat till blended. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Let cool and cut into 1-inch squares. Eat entire pan.

recipe courtesy of Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar.  picture courtesy of

Next is Leche Quemada, which is a cinnamon candy that is similar in texture to a praline.  I have never made this on my own because it’s actually pretty tough to make (lots of arm breaking stirring), so generally my mom and I will make this together and take turns with the stirring.  Then when it’s time to drop these on wax paper it definitely takes two to get them out before the mixture hardens up.  But OH SO WORTH IT.  Again, I could make myself sick from these.

Leche Quemada

12 oz. cans evaporated milk
2 12 oz. cans water
5 cups sugar
6 cinnamon sticks

Mix the first three (3) ingredients together in a large pot until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cinnamon sticks and place over low heat. For a creamier consistency start with a low heat and gradually raise to a medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture boils. Boil until candy reaches soft ball stage (234-240 degrees). As candy reaches soft ball stage it will need to be watched carefully and stirred. At this stage you should also remove the cinnamon sticks. Remove from heat and beat until candy around the edge of the pan begins to lose it’s gloss. Quickly drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper. A pecan half may be added if desired.

recipe courtesy of my great aunt. picture courtesy of

My final treat is Wedding Ring Cookies or Rosquitas. These are also sorta time consuming, but oh so yummy.  The picture shows crescents but we make them into rings. They are very light cookies and again you can eat about eleventh billion.


1/2 c water
2 3″ cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
1/4 t. anise seed
4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. baking powder
1/2 c. lightly salted butter or margarine, at room temperature
1/2 c. vegetable shortening at room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar
About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a small saucepan bring water, cinnamon and anise to a simmer over moderate heat. Let simmer 12 to 15 minutes, until 1/4 cup liquid remains. Let cool and then strain; discard seeds and cinnamon. Sift flour with salt and baking powder. In a large bowl beat butter with shortening and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy. Add flour mixture 1 cup at a time, alternating with the cooled, spiced water. Mix to a smooth, stiff dough. (If dough is not quite pliable enough to shape, work in 2 or 3 tablespoons water.)

To shape cookies: Take 1/4 teaspoon of the dough and roll into small, rope-like strips in the palm of your hand. Then twist the strips around your little finger and fasten ends. Place rings of dough about 1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake cookies 7 – 10 minutes, until lightly browned on bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Put confectioners’ sugar in a paper bag, add a batch of the cookies and shake to coat. Tip them into a strainer to remove excess sugar.

recipe courtesy of Grace Whitt by way of Redbook Magazine. picture courtesy of

So what do you make each year?

Holiday Gift Guides: Gamers

Have someone in your life who is glued to the games?  I live with a couple of them, and I must say, there is a never a shortage of ideas for things to buy.  A few of these were specific suggestions from Ben, some I just thought would be a really neat.

  1. Eat Sleep Game – I bought a very similar shirt for Ben one year and he loved.
  2. Gaming Keyboard
  3. Harmony One Remote – to help facilitate all the gaming.
  4. Gaming Headset – this just says badass.
  5. Rock Band 3 Bundle
  6. Super Mario 2 Galaxy Wii
  7. Gran Turismo 5 PS3
  8. Call of Duty Black Ops – if any gamer doesn’t already have this game, its a must.

Holiday Gift Guides: Experience Gifts

I’m a huge fan of giving the gift of a class or experience.  It’s probably not the first thing you think of but they are a huge hit and so fun.  Here’s some ideas:

  1. One year my mom got my dad a new fancy schmancy camera, so I got him a class on how to use that camera.  Give the gift of a photography class.
  2. My husband loves to cook, last year I had a local chef come to our house to teach him how to make a classic french meal.  Give a private or group cooking class!
  3. How bout skydiving!  If you are willing to do a tandem jump you don’t have to be there for some 8 hour class to learn how to jump on your own.
  4. Knitting/Crocheting/Sewing classes…last year I got a sewing machine and also got a “Get to Know your Sewing Machine” class.  It was awesome.  I’m hoping this year I’ll relearn crocheting.
  5. Guitar Lessons was a gift my dad gave my mom one year.
  6. Wine Tasting! Learn more about wine and get a little Tipsy at the same time!

Do you give these types of gifts? If so, what have you given? I’d love to hear!!

Photos courtesy of Amazon,,,

Holiday Gift Guides: The Parentals

If you are like me, you struggle every year with what to get your parents for Christmas.  Generally I can get by with finding something for my mom, but for my dad–that’s a tough one.  As I went on the hunt I found some pretty cool things….granted, some of these are out of my price range but they may not be out of yours so I thought I’d pass them along!

  1. Frontgate, Amplified Phone with Answering System-check out the HUGE numbers and the PHOTO speed dials!
  2. Old Navy, Cable Knit Cocoon Cardigan
  3. American Apparel, Circle Scarf
  4. Sur La Table, Moistly Grilled Cast Iron Grill Humidifier
  5. Amazon, Vacuum Seal Marinizer System
  6. Williams-Sonoma, Monogrammed Forged Steak Brand
  7. Crate and Barrel, Pixie Candleholder
  8. Sundance, Mason Jar Snowglobe
  9. Crate and Barrel, Fiesta At Rick’s Cookbook by Rick Bayless
  10. Sur La Table, Jura Cup Warmer-OMG this is so cool!
  11. The Home Depot, Wireless Rain Gauge
  12. The Home Depot, Ames Water Genie

Holiday Gift Guides: Outdoorsy

All of the men in my life are outdoorsy, which actually makes it VERY hard to buy for them. (A little knows fact, most outdoorsy men are EXTREMELY picky when it comes to their belongings.) Here are some ideas for the outdoorsman in your life:

  1. Cabela’s GORE-TEX® Trailhead Jacket
  2. NRA Silhouette AR500 Steel Targets
  3. Case Yellow-handled knife
  4. Cabela’s ATV/UTV Hitch Haul™
  5. Carhartt Duck Bib Overall
  6. LED Maglite 3D Handheld Flashlight
  7. Craftsman 17600 19.2-volt C3 Cordless Reciprocating Saw