Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas! {2015}

Ahhh, these last few days have been so nice and I'm sad to see them end. I'm going to do a huge photo dump starting with my brother's birthday which was on the 23rd because it always feels like the beginning of the holiday festivities. 

We had dinner over at Biaggi's to celebrate. I got eggplant parmesan and a glass of lambrusco which is my favorite wine ever and I can never find it on menus so I was thrilled to be able to order a glass.  

He's so cute :)

We came back to the house to open gifts and have some pie & ice cream. It was a nice, chill evening before the craziness of the holiday started up. 

Christmas Eve started out by going to Dinkel's Bakery with my brother and Dad. It's a Christmas tradition we have with my Dad (my sister couldn't be with us this year because she had to work) and it never disappoints. We always grab some German stolen and some pastries to eat while we're there. I also grabbed a German butter cake to bring with me to Sammy's house for Christmas Eve dinner later that night. 

The streets in Lakeview were decorated so beautifully I had to snap a few photos. It's my new favorite neighborhood outside of the Loop. 

We went to the Brauhaus for lunch since German food for lunch after Dinkel's is tradition.

I got potato pancakes and a side of spatzel because it's my favorite German dish. Brauhaus' spatzel does not disappoint. 


I had to get the Haufbrau pale lager as well because it's ma fav. 

More gorgeous homes. Loved them.

After lunch we walked over to Gene's Sausage Shop & Delicatessen so I could grab some ingredients for the antipasto platter I was bringing by Sammy's house for dinner. It's such a unique deli and grocery store. I wish I had more time to walk around. I also grabbed some German chocolate to add to a grab bag gift I was putting together. They had so much variety!

I came home and got myself and everything I was bringing over to Sammy's before heading over to his house a little early to help out. Here's what the table looked like before all the family came over. 

Sammy's family served the 7 fishes which is an Italian tradition and it's a delicious tradition at that. This meal is right up my alley because even though I don't eat meat I do eat seafood, so there was so much for me to eat! She also served pasta with vodka sauce, stuffed mushrooms, green beans, potatoes, and lemon chicken. 

Sammy's grandmothers {and mom} make a ton of cookies for every occasion ever haha so this is a little sneak at what we had for dessert. There was also my butter cake, pretzel jello salad, oreo balls, and birthday cake!


Here's what Sammy's parent's tree looked like! We were also celebrating Sammy's dad's 50th birthday that night {hence the balloons}!

We spent the night eating, celebrating, and catching up. I loved being able to see Sammy's brother & SIL and his cousins we don't always see {except we were missing a few unfortunately}. After everyone left we exchanged gifts with Sammy's parents and brother and SIL. They got me two lovely sweaters from Old Navy 'cause they know how much I love it there haha and the illustrated version of Home Alone which I was thrilled to get {and made my brother and sister listen to as I read it to them out loud later that night ;) }. His parents got me leggings from Coldwater Creek {which are without a doubt the greatest leggings ever}, a beautiful top for work, gold bar earrings {to match a necklace I have}, cute boot socks, and a Michael Kors ring his mom has and I had said I liked. They totally spoiled me. 

All the siblings got Sammy's Dad Black Sabbath tickets for his 50th birthday and his mom got him a trip to Philly to see all the Rocky destinations since he's a HUGE Rocky fan {and obv Ozzy fan haha} so for Christmas Sammy and I got them a gift certificate to have dinner while in Philly. We also got his mom perfume. And we got his brother and SIL a gift certificate to a brewery downtown so they could have a date night!

A little Christmas morning selfie {in my Mickey Christmas pjs}!

Here is our gorgeous tree at my momma's!

My 22 year old brother set cookies out for Santa ;) & someone propped himself up on the couch to watch the gifts being open.


My siblings kept making fun of me for how nerdy my gifts were. I kept trying to deny it but in retrospect I realize it was kind of nerdy to get a hole puncher specific to my planner. And mostly books. I just love it though :) I'm so giddy over my Anne of Green Gables collection {mini series and all!}.

We had such a nice Christmas morning. My grandma slept over the night before and was with us to open gifts. I gave her a ring for her wedding ring finger {because her original wedding ring hasn't fit in years and she wears a different one on that finger} with my grandpa's actual signature engraved into it. She absolutely loved it and it was a really touching moment for the two of us. 

We all cooked breakfast together and sat down with a glass of champagne and had a lazy morning eating and laughing. 


I love taking pictures of our Christmas table in the daylight.

Our tree ready for round two!

I finally got around to using the cranberry wine I bought on the bachelorette trip I went on in September. I mixed it with some prosecco and sat down to read some Anne of Green Gables. 


We sat down to dinner a little later. My mom made ham, pasta, cheesy cauliflower with crunchy onions on top, vegetable casserole with breadcrumbs on top, and baked potatoes. I obviously ate all the starches. ;)


I made a ton of peanut butter blossoms and ate almost all of them myself. SO proud. We also had some mini strudel, leftover cakes from other holiday parties, and a huge platter of cookies Sammy brought over when he stopped by later in the evening. 


My Dad stopped by as well and we spent the evening watching home movies, talking, and then finishing the evening by watching The Andy Griffith Christmas episode. 

I also couldn't stop taking pictures of the Christmas tree! Or eating the damn peanut butter blossoms. 


Although the holiday seemed to include a lot of relaxing it was also filled with a lot of running around and errands leaving me relatively exhausted come the 26th. I've spent the last few days in pajamas, binge watching The Office, and eating way too many leftovers. I'm getting excited for our NYE plans downtown and starting to goal plan for the new year. 

There's nothing like a beautiful holiday to prove all the magic that surrounds your life. I'm so, so grateful for everything I've been given in this life. I hope everyone had a beautiful holiday and some relaxing days afterward. On to the new year...


  1. Your Christmas looks like so much fun! I love that photo of your dog watching all the present opening action! I kept scrolling and every food item looks more delicious than the last, I think the eggplant part looks the best. Although it all looks so good!! I also spy Anne of Green Gables! :)

    1. Hehe he's so cute :) And yes, there's never a shortage of food haha. & yes, you do! I got the book collection and the first two parts of the mini series. Hoping to get the last dvd from my Dad ;) otherwise I'm ordering it for myself!

  2. I didn't think your gifts looked nerdy at all! I was especially into the hole puncher and Anne of Green Gables is where it's at. Merry Christmas

    1. Hehe thanks! Anne is my girl!
      Merry Christmas to you as well! xo