What's Up Wednesday :: December 2016

It's the last Wednesday of the month, that means it's time for our What's Up Wednesday Link Up!

Link up with  me, Sheaffer & Shay the LAST Wednesday of each month so we can read about What's Up with YOU!
Because of the holidays, we are doing this month a week early :)

Here we go!
What We’re Eating this week..... 
Monday: Homemade Spaghetti
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef {Recipe HERE}

Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Dinner Out
Friday: Out to dinner for Christmas Eve Eve
Saturday: Christmas Eve....Homemade Lasanga {Recipe HERE}
I am making Monkey Bread for Christmas morning

Monkey Bread (Recipe HERE)

Christmas Dinner...Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese, Mashed Potatoes and Brussles Spouts with Bacon Cranberry {Recipe HERE}
Dessert on Christmas is Peppermint Ice Cream Cake {Recipe HERE}
 More treats that I am making this week:
(There are tons since it is Christmas Week & we have lots of goodies to make & giveaway!)

Candy Cane Kisses {Recipe HERE}

Peanut Butter Blossoms {Recipe HERE}

 Ritzies {Recipe HERE
 Christmas Sprinkle Sugar Cookies {HERE}
 Christmas Monster Cookies {Recipe HERE}
So excited about all the baking that we are doing this week!

What I'm Reminiscing about.....
Last Christmas when we surprised the kids with a trampoline on Christmas morning!
 The big Santa gift we got our kids was a family size trampoline...we knew it would take 2-3 hours to set up, so my older sister came over at 10pm on Christmas Eve to help us set it up. It was so fun!
This is the trampoline we got & it has been awesome for the past year!

 What I'm loving.....
Lash Boost!!!!

Incredible before and after pics continue to roll in. Yes, it works! Yes, you will be amazed! 

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What We've been up to.....
 We have been busy, busy, busy with fun Christmas activities & parties.
This past weekend we went to 8 parties in a 72 hour period.
I loved it :)
We had our court party...
 One of the parties we went to was on Saturday & it was our friends annual Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation Themed party.
So funny!

Larson family Christmas was also this past weekend.

It was my 15th Larson family Christmas. I married into an awesome family.

We love playing games, especially Tripoley.  Such a fun game!
What I'm Dreading.....
 Wrapping Christmas presents. I am a little behind on that & have a lot to do before the weekend.
There are 2 people in the world. Those who love wrapping Christmas presents and those who do not.
I am under the "do not love" category.

Although, I do have a tip for wrapping presents for kids. I did this last year & I am doing it again this year....
 I don't put tags on the presents, I just pick one wrapping paper per kid. Then on Christmas morning I tell them which wrapping paper is theirs :)

What I'm Working On.....
Besides wrapping presents.....I just finished working on a new printable for Reindeer food that I posted on Monday:

You can download it on THIS post and get the recipe for Reindeer Food (White Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn)

What I'm Excited About.....
I just love Christmas Eve & Christmas Day and all the fun traditions we have (you can read about some of them HERE  )
This time of year is just so magical & exciting to me.
I love it all.

What I'm Watching........
Hallmark Christmas by the glow of Christmas lights...pretty much every night.
 Here is some of my DVR:
I think I have watched over 15 Hallmark movies in the past 3 weeks. I have no shame :) 

What I'm Reading.....
Sadly, I have not finished 1 book in December.
I blame this on my Hallmark Christmas movie addiction.
I normally read 4-5 books a month, but why read when you can watch cheesy Christmas movies? ;)
Once December 26th hits I will stop watching Christmas movies & I have plans to read some of the books that have been collecting dust on my nightstand for the past month.
We are heading to Tahoe at the end of the month, so I know I will have lots of reading time once we are there.
I stated reading THIS at the end of November, so hope to pick it back up next week!
Secrets of a Charmed Life

I miss reading & am excited to have some down time next week!

What I'm Listening to.....
Christmas music playing in our house 24-7
These are my top 3 favorite Christmas albums:

Jessica Simpson (HERE)

Mariah Carey (HERE)

Michael Buble (HERE)

What I'm Wearing.....
We are in boots, jeans & layers season here in California!
Here are 3 items I have on repeat lately:
This jacket:

 I like it because it comes in Tall...I have the Tall x-small and the arms are long enough!
It's on sale 40% off HERE

I am also wearing booties almost everyday!
 These are my 2 favorite booties: 


I also have them in this color:
THIS sweater....I have it in 2 colors and I am tempted to get another one since they are on major sale.

It is some of the softest cashmere & not itchy!
 It comes in over 10 colors!

What I’m doing this weekend.....
I saw this....it is so perfect :)

What I'm Looking Forward to next month.....
Going to Lake Tahoe and enjoying the snow!
I LOVE Tahoe and I really love snow...so excited!

What else is new.....
We got this Roomba from my inlaws this past weekend. Our neighbors have one & love it, so we asked for one.
We used it yesterday for the first time and it is AWESOME!!!!

Question of the month is:
What is your favorite memory from 2016?
This is a hard one to answer!!!
2016 has been such a fun year & I can't narrow it down to just 1 favorite memory, so here are 3 of my favorites.
Going to Colorado with Kevin for my college soccer reunion
 You can see the full post HERE

Going to Las Vegas for the Rodan + Fields convention which included going to the Chainsmokers concert. It was an EPIC weekend.
You can see the full Vegas post HERE

 My 3rd favorite memory is probably one of our trips to Tahoe. This year, Luke turned 4 and he is SUCH an easygoing kid. Now that he is a little bit older, taking trips is so much easier. This summer when we went to Tahoe, we did a day at Sand Harbor Beach and it was such a fun day.
 It was a great memory because the kids had so much fun & didn't want to leave the beach and it was fun to discover a new beach in a place that we visit all the time :)


Also,  a reminder that I am placing a bulk order of Rodan + Fields Eye Cream!

I know that some of you missed out on my last bulk order, so I am going to place ANOTHER bulk order next week!
I started using the eye cream right after Luke was born and WOW, it got rid of the bags under my eyes that I had from lack of sleep with a newborn. 

Our  Multi-Function Eye Cream combines powerful peptides to minimize the appearance of crow’s-feet, helps reduce the appearance of both puffiness and dark under eye circles while special optical diffusers noticeably brighten the eye area.
Ophthalmologist tested, this formula is ideal for maintaining the delicate skin around the eyes.  

This brave consultant only used the eye cream on one eye for 3 weeks!
It's less puffy & she doesn't have bags under that eye!

For my bulk order, you can get it with my discount and it will only cost you $60 and I will cover your tax & shipping!
One jar lasts me at least 4-5 months.
Let me know if you want to order one! Leave a comment with your email or email me: melissa_larson17@yahoo.com

If you are new to my blog, thanks for stopping by!
Feel free to follow along! 
You can find me on Bloglovin, Facebook & Instagram

Can't wait to read about What's up with all of YOU!


Our favorite Christmas Traditions & Recipes

Can you believe that Christmas is in less than 5 days?!?!
We are still in school until Thursday!!!!
Since it's Christmas week, I wanted to share some of our favorite Christmas traditions & recipes!

Here we go.....


Growing up, one of my favorite traditions was going to the Santa Cruz mountains to cut down our Christmas tree. We have only done that a couple of times since we have had our own kids (mainly because of the California drought causing dry Christmas trees) this is a tradition I hope to start back up...maybe next year :)

Another tradition I had as a kid & that we also do with our kids is to go to San Francisco during December. My sister has a work Christmas party for families & they rent out the Embarcadero Ice Skating rink. It's so fun....I love SF during Christmas.
Another tradition that we started doing about 6-7 years ago is when we head to San Francisco during the holidays we bring our blessing bags to hand out to the homeless. This is one of my girls favorite things to do. I am so proud of them & how brave they are when giving the blessing bags to the homeless.
I highly encourage you to make these bags....they truly bless people!
Here is what I put in each one:
You can read the full post about them {HERE}
This is one of my very favorite Christmas traditions.

Another one I started doing last year is taping this note to my front door along with Starbucks Gift Cards.
I don't know about you, but I do 99% of my Christmas shopping online. This is what I have taped on our front door as a way to say thank you to our fed ex, ups & usps workers who are working so hard this time of year:
I posted that photo on Instagram & one of my friends texted me asking if I could email her the graphic that I made, so I decided to just make it a printable for all of you as well! 
 You can sign or write in your own last name :)
{To download, Click so the image pops up in a new window, Right Click, Then Save & Print!}

Christmas Eve Eve is another tradition we started once we had kids.
On Christmas Eve Eve (the 23rd) we go to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants and then drive around and look at Christmas lights in our town.
We have a Griswold house in our town.
 Every year it gets better and better..I can't wait to see it this year!

Christmas Eve is another fun tradition we have in our family. This is the same tradition we had when I was growing up. We go to church on Christmas Eve and then back to my parents for a Homemade Lasanga Dinner. After dinner we open up ALL our presents. Yes, I grew up opening all my presents on Christmas Eve. So, we do this with my parents now that we have kids.
Growing up, Santa did come on Christmas morning and he brought one "bigger" gift and stocking stuffers.

Of course watching Christmas movies is also a favorite tradition! Once the day after Thanksgiving hits, it is Christmas movie central. I watch TONS of Hallmark Christmas movies & you can see my Top 10 Christmas movies list HERE.

Every December my kids and I do a TON of baking. 
We bake cookies for friends, neighbors & teachers.
Here is a round up of some of my FAVORITE Christmas Cookie Recipes!
Warning......there are a ton that I am posting :)
Candy Cane Kisses {Recipe HERE}
Fudge {Recipe HERE
Ultimate Ginger Cookie {Recipe HERE
Christmas Monster Cookies {Recipe HERE}
 Christmas Sprinkle Sugar Cookies {HERE}

Snickerdoodles {Recipe HERE}
Peanut Butter Blossoms {Recipe HERE}
Here are some other fun Christmas treats we make (that aren't cookies!)
Donut Snowmen {Recipe HERE}
Donut Reindeer {Recipe HERE}
 Peppermint Ice Cream Cake {Recipe HERE}
Preztel Hugs {Recipe HERE}
 Ritzies {Recipe HERE
Christmas Tree Brownies {Recipe HERE
Cranberry Cookie Bars {Recipe HERE
Salted Caramel Brownies {HERE}
Yesterday, I posted our Reindeer Food recipe & free printable...making that will surely be a yearly tradition now!
You can see the recipe HERE 
The free printable is also on the same post!
I also like making green Christmas tree pancakes:
I just add some green food coloring in my pancake batter & make different size pancakes, then stack them like a tree. I dust powered sugar on top for "snow" and some whippped cream as the star and sprinkles as ornaments.
My kids love these!

Christmas Crafting is also one of our favorite traditions.
Here are some Christmas craft ideas:
Homemade Snow Globe Gift Card Holder
Instructions {HERE}
Christmas Cookies in a Jar (and free printable) 
Get the instructions & printable {HERE}
Holiday Peeps Smores & free printable {HERE}

We love passing out goodies & gifts to our friends during December :)
I am sure I have left off some of our Christmas traditions, but those are all some of my favorites!
Thanks Andrea for a fun link up!
What are your favorite family traditions or recipes? I can't wait to hear!

Also wanted to let you know that What's Up Wednesday is TOMORROW!!

I know we normally do it the last Wednesday of the month, but because of the holidays, we are doing it a week early this month.
As a reminder, here are the questions...feel free to answer all or some :)

Our bonus question for this month is:
What is your favorite memory from 2016?


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