Melissa Kaylene: December 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Best Memories of 2015

This year has flown by SO quickly! It always amazes me now that I'm well into adulthood just how fast each year flies by. It makes me want ensure that my kids have as many wonderful childhood memories as possible. 

Last year I reflected back on the year and did a round up of my favorite moments, and I wanted to go back and do the same thing this year and some of my personal best memories. It was hard for me to narrow it down because I have many fond memories with my children, but mostly I wanted to highlight things that I wrote and shared with on here. 

In no particular order:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Our Christmas

Our Christmas // Melissa Kaylene

Last weekend turned out wonderful around here. We’ve literally had three days of no schedules or agendas, where we were able to lounge around in sweatpants, eat too many holiday treats, and play board games while watching TV

Pulling Off a Christmas Feast at the Last Minute

pulling off a Christmas Feast at the last minute

Pulling Off a Christmas Feast at the Last Minute
Maybe plans fell through and now you’re sitting with your head in your hands, praying for a Christmas miracle. If you just found out you’re in charge of this year’s Christmas feast—for whatever reason—don’t panic. Okay, panic a little! Is it out of your system? Good. Now it’s time to get down to business. Contrary to what you’re probably thinking, it is actually possible to pull off a delicious feast with limited time—it just takes a bit of foresight and a lot of patience. Follow these tips and throw a dinner party your loved ones will enjoy to the fullest this Yuletide season.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

4 Ways to Share Joy

4 ways to share joy

I have to admit, even though Christmas is a couple of days away, I haven’t felt very joyous lately. It’s not like I’m that I’m not happy or excited to make cookies and watch my children open their gifts, but I think my mood is just coming from a combination of things: extra holiday stress; a brain that doesn’t slow down; and a self-derived pity party for myself because we won’t be celebrating the holidays with any extended family this year. Add in all of the Pacific Northwest rain and gloomy weather and it just puts a little extra damper on things.

Even though I’ve been personally feeling the holiday blues a little bit lately, there have been a few things that have really lifted my spirits - and they might surprise you.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Last Minute Holiday Necessities to Have in Your House for Guests

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Last minute Holiday necessities to have in your house for guests #holidaynecessities #ad

Can you believe that Christmas is just a few short days away? This year we aren’t having any guests over and it will just be the five of us here, however in year’s past we’ve had friends and family stay with us over the holidays, and even though I’m going to have a house full of hustle and bustle this year, I’m going to appreciate the time spent together with just us and the kids.

If you are going to have a house full of guests this next week, you are probably in full preparation mode, making sure the pantry is stocked and towels are washed. I think that it doesn’t take a lot to make guests happy, you just a few holiday necessities that can be easily created and purchased. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to stock up this next week:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

It's More Than a Holiday Program

More than a holiday program

Metal chairs fill the gymnasium floor. Handmade paintings, decorations, and ornaments line the walls and stage. Lights and additional risers have been brought out. Programs are all printed on festive colored paper.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Living Locally: Shrek the Musical

Shrek the Musical Review

A couple of weekends ago I took the family up to the Northwest Children’s Theater in Portland to see Shrek the Musical. I occasionally contribute online as a reviewer for a local parent magazine and website, The PDX Kids Calendar, and they sent me to the show to check it out for their viewers.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Make a Charcuterie Platter

I’ll admit, up until a few years ago I wasn’t familiar with the word charcuterie. After I began blogging I began receiving invitations to food events and slowly I began learning more terms as I had the opportunity to try new foods that I probably never would have attempted to prepare myself or order off of a menu.

I have always loved the art of food, and enjoy learning new things. Charcuterie was a term that I learned quickly and have loved since. Charcuterie refers to smoked, cured, or cooked meats, all of which are traditional methods of preservation. Place them all on a platter and you are in heaven.

Monday, December 7, 2015

White Peppermint Ice Cream Cake

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Bakeinthefun #CollectiveBias

This last weekend was...kind of crazy. The kids have been rather short tempered and tried my patience at times. I’m not sure if it’s just a change in the weather (gloomy days outside), anticipation of all of the holiday activities, or what, but I knew somehow, someway, I needed to get them to change. We went and picked out our tree - that didn’t help. We got two children to agree on a tree, the other didn’t like it. We went and watched a tree lighting ceremony in our small town, and barely made it in time because they played around at dinner time. I was exhausted.

Finally, I turned up the Christmas music, and gave up. I brought out the dessert I made for this weekend anyways: a Joyous white peppermint ice cream cake made with Pillsbury™ Funfetti® cake with vanilla ice cream with crushed M&M's® White Peppermint candies . I figured, if you can’t beat them, join them, right? Sometimes it’s just better to get through the rough times by celebrating life anyways. I tried to sit back and focus on my blessings, rather than my frustrations.

Friday, December 4, 2015

White Chocolate Coconut Nutter Butter Snowmen

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NuttyForTheHolidays  #CollectiveBias
White Chocolate Nutter Butter Snowmen #NuttyForTheHolidays AD

Yesterday I had multiple events (again) that I was invited to attend. This time of the year is just so much fun - and incredibly busy.

We got done watching a wild middle school basketball game at 5pm and I was supposed to head off in one direction while Wayne took the kids to Noah’s wrestling practice.

But I changed my mind.

Instead, I took the girls, drove home, finished cooking tacos for dinner and sat down and decorated cookies with them, and not just any cookie: Nutter Butter cookies.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Living Locally: Beauty and the Beast

beauty and the beast on tour at the Keller Auditorium #broadwayinportland

This year I fell in love with Broadway performances. From Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, I LOVE LUCY live on stage, The Phantom ofthe Opera, Wicked (and more!) there has always been something so magical about them, and each time I go and see a performance I am blown away at the quality of the orchestra, singing, dancing, and the sets. It’s simply the best.