Category Archives: Family & Friends

I wrote my brother a book

Christmas with my older brother Ryan has always been interesting. Since he is the oldest and I am the youngest, he would always pick on me the most. Even now, we relentlessly bicker and tease each other. It drives my mom crazy. :)I’m not really sure how our little Christmas tradition started, but every year we always get each other a funny gift or a gift that’s hard to open.

At first we just made it really hard to open each other’s presents. I think he may have started the tradition when one year he used a whole roll of scotch tape on my present. I had to use my dad’s pocket knife to cut through all the tape! Everything is a competition, so I vowed the next year that I would get my revenge. So the following year, I put his present inside a box and wrapped it with duct tape. Then I wrapped it, put it in another box, put it in another box, and on until I had put it inside an old TV Box. It looked like it was a huge present, but it was really just a gift card. :P

A couple of years ago, he had given an old granny dress he had found at a thrift store as a gag gift. It smelled horrendous, but it was funny. He asked me if I would wear it for him, and jokingly I said that I would wear it to his wedding whenever he gets married. I had given him a St. Louis Cardinals jersey in return because he can’t stand them. I kept the dress in a bag in the corner of my closet (I’m telling you it smelled awful). When he proposed to his girlfriend, I knew immediately that I would stay true to my promise and wear the dress to his wedding. I only wore it before the ceremony for a couple of the formal pictures. I didn’t want to actually ruin any of the wedding pictures and I am too proud for other people to actually see me in it – haha!

Last year, he bought me the DVD Frozen, which he knew that I really liked when I saw it in theatres. When it was time for me to open his present, he informed me that it was in the garage. With a sense of foreboding, I found two old gallon jugs of milk he had filled with water and were now frozen solid. I could tell there was something inside of one of them. I knew that there was no way he could put a gift in there without ruining it, but he told me that I had to get it out anyways. So I took it to the sink and ran hot water over it until it all melted. Inside was a blank CD with the words Frozen written on it. We all had a good laugh and he gave me the real gift which he had hidden behind his back.

Lately I’ve been trying to not work harder, but to think smarter. As much fun as it is wrapping his gift a million times, it takes a long time and I wanted to do something different. I tried to think of the funniest gift I could give him, and Andrew had coincidentally won a coupon to Shutterfly for a free mug. He didn’t want it so he gave it to me.

At first, I browsed the site just looking for something simple or plain for myself – who doesn’t want a free mug with a cute design? But then, I saw one with hearts on it and a place to put a picture of your child or boyfriend, etc. I knew immediately that I wanted my face to be right there and I picked out a hot pink color to be obnoxious. I also stuffed candies and a gift card in it so that he would have something useful as well. It turned out awesome and he could not stop laughing when he opened it.

Mug for Ryan This year I do believe I’ve outdone myself. I stumbled upon the idea in a similar way. I recently had signed up for a Kohl’s charge card and when it came in the mail, a coupon for an 8×8 hardcover book from Shutterfly came with it. So I made a book about my brother’s undying and never ending love for me and filled it with a bunch of corny pictures of me. I included some baby pictures and some pictures of us. I cannot wait for him to open it! I’m not even going to make him go through ten different boxes to find it.

Here is just a sample of the front cover and some of the pages.

I had the book shipped to my parent’s house and my mom called me the other day letting me know that it came. She couldn’t stop giggling on the phone as she looked at the front cover.

Needless to say, I am pretty excited for Christmas. It’s going to be a funny one at our house, and I wish you all a Merry Christmas, too! :heart:

Merry Friendmas!

I threw my first Christmas Party last night! I have always loved this season, but this one has been especially difficult for myself and friends. Our studies have grown a lot harder and I feel like we have all been so focused on school that we haven’t had much time to see each other. We normally have weekly dinners together, but that fell out as the semester progressed and we got busy with exams and assignments.

So I wanted to throw a little something together to celebrate the end of finals and the end of this semester! This is particularly exciting for some of us as it’s the penultimate semester of our undergraduate careers. My finals this week were pretty brutal, but I am glad they are over and I can enjoy the company of my friends before we go our separate ways and enjoy the company of our families.

I wanted to keep the menu pretty simple since I wouldn’t have a lot of time to cook, plus it is a celebration so all I really wanted to eat was a bunch of junk food. I baked most of my cookies last weekend, partly for my enjoyment, partly for Andrew, and partly for the party so I mostly had to just throw thing in a crockpot or pull it out of the fridge!

Peanut Butter Hug Cookies
Peanut Butter Hug Cookies

The Menu


  • Toasted Ravioli, served with marinara dipping sauce
  • Rotel Dip, served with tortilla chips (and whatever else you want to dunk this glorious spicy cheese dip with)
  • Vegetable Tray, served with French onion dip and ranch
  • Little Smokies, served in KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce
  • Crackers, cheese, and summer sausage tray


  • Banana Cream Pie
  • Brownies, with green icing and sprinkles to look like Christmas Trees
  • Milk Chocolate covered pretzels
  • White Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Peanut Butter cookies, with either a Hershey’s Hug or a Reece’s Peanut Butter cup in the middle
  • Haystacks, which are butterscotch coated chow mein noodles and peanuts


  • Hot chocolate
  • Jello shots, stacked in the shape of a Christmas Tree
  • Seagram’s Wild Berry, Strawberry Daiquiri, and watermelon flavored beers
  • Various assorted vodkas, rums, juices and soda (I am no bartender)
Christmas Tree Brownies
Christmas Tree Brownies

My Outfit

Friendmas Outfit

A couple of weeks ago, I found this cute holiday skirt at Kohl’s that I just couldn’t pass up. It was originally $25 but I got it down to about $17 with some coupons that I had. I paired it with some black leggings since it’s a bit cold out and the skirt is a bit short, a black shirt, and some fuzzy polka-dot socks because my feet always get cold. If I were to have been going out, I would’ve opted for either some plain black flats or heels. I also had a green scarf to make the outfit less dark, but I ditched that because it kept getting in the way of my food, haha. Food before fashion!

The Party
We had seven friends over, which seems kind of small, but it was perfect for our tiny apartment. I’m not sure we could have fit many more. :P We ended up having waayyyy too much food. We didn’t even hardly touch the desserts I made!

We started out watching Jurassic World, though about halfway through we all got really chatty and didn’t pay much attention to the movie. It’s the booze talking. Then we did our Dirty Santa / White Elephant gift exchange. I ended up getting a cowbell. :D I keep teasing Andrew I’m going to ring it to make him come to me. :P We also gave out the presents we individually got for our friends.

We finished the night with Cards Against Humanity. Somehow earlier in the night, my grandpa’s racism came up as a topic of conversation, so I kept getting all the racist cards. My friends are terrible.

It was a really fun night. It’s something that I definitely want to continue in the future!

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