Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Merry Christmas 2012

Hope you all are having an amazing Christmas Day!

That is… If you are up already…

We got up at 5:30 this morning to open gifts.

“Why” you may ask?

Well, we just love Christmas, and we couldn’t wait!

Do you know what else can’t wait?

The winner for the Happy Herbivore Abroad Giveaway.


So, without further ado, the winner is:

Happy-Herbivore-Abroad-Giveaway-WinnerEntry #22, Kaitlin @ A Taste of Bulmer!

Note: If the winner does not respond back with their full name and a viable shipping address within one week, then I will randomly pick another winner, of which the same rules apply.


I’ll probably be back tomorrow with a WIAW and a recap of today’s events.

But, until then, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

An “Early Bird Gets the Worm” Kind of Christmas (MIMM)

You know the saying “Early Bird Gets the Worm”?

Ya, well, I didn’t understand that phrase when I was younger because I’m not a fisherman. It wasn’t until I saw an advertisement for a Kohl’s clothing sale ad that the metaphor finally clicked (oh… so sad).

This Christmas has been kind of an Early Bird-type holiday though.

I’ve already received so many wonderful gifts that I’m going to mention them all in this post. That way when Christmas actually rolls around I won’t be bombarded with pictures, words, and such things.

First things first, the white elephant gift exchange that took place amongst my movie-watching group of friends before we left for break:

I gave away arguably THE best gift of the night in my opinion.

Pikachu and Eevee plushies!!

But… I forgot to take a picture. Sorry.

And in turn I got THE ______ gift of the…. (Well, I’ll just let you fill in the rest)

I was lucky enough to receive… A Jonas Brothers DVD.


Lucky Lucky Duck.

Then I received two more presents.

One was a card from my Grandma:



And the other was a gift from one of my mom’s students:


The next party that I went to was on Saturday morning. Friday night my friends went caroling, but my younger brother was playing up on Varsity for a basketball tournament and I couldn’t miss it. He scored a 3-pointer!


Before going to the party; however, I found out that some had brought gifts. Thanks for telling me guys.

So, I woke up at 6:00 Saturday morning and left the house at 7:30 to drive into Wal-Mart for some quick shopping. It helps that I went in with a list of a few things that each of my friends would like. And 30 minutes later I was walking out of the store with gifts for all five of them.

In total I spent an average of 6 dollars on each. I actually took pictures so you could see what I bought and what they looked like when they were all wrapped up:


I finally got to the party around 9:30 when everyone was just waking up and moving into the dining room for breakfast. We chatted for a good hour and a half. (Actually, they ate, and I did most of the talking. Ha.)

Then we all parted ways. I left with two awesome homemade Christmas presents. My friends are so talented!

From my jewelry-making friend I got these earrings that actually match a key necklace that she gave me a few years ago:


From my crocheting friend I got a white snowflake Christmas ornament decorated with glitter:


It fits perfectly amongst all of the other homemade ornaments on our Christmas tree.



I’m going to use this post for Healthy Diva Eat’s Marvelous in My Christmas Eve Monday link-up. My “Early Bird” Christmas has been marvelous so far, and I think the “real deal” tonight and tomorrow will be even better.

I didn’t get to make any Christmas cookies this year like I wanted, but I do have two recipes to share with you all. First is a trifle that I did this past week for a Christmas party at my mom’s school, and second is a cookie recipe that I actually made and posted on my previous blog last year. (Due to my stomach problems, I am not able to eat either of these recipes, but I have in good conscious that both taste amazing).

First and foremost…

Red Velvet Cake Trifle

Allergen-Free Options in Notes



  • 1 baked red velvet cake mix made according to the instructions
  • 2 boxes of chocolate pudding made according to the instructions
  • 2 containers of cool whip
  • Andes peppermint crunch (optional)


  1. Cube the red velvet cake and make on layer in the bottom of your trifle pan.
  2. Mix the chocolate pudding with 1 container of cool whip. Pour a layer of that on top of the red velvet cake layer.
  3. Continue with those same layers until you are a few inches from the top (you will probably have leftovers of the ingredients).
  4. Then fill the empty portion with cool whip.

*If choosing to use the Andes peppermint crunch, sprinkle them in the middle of your layers, and then on top of the cool whip


Substitution notes:

To make this gluten-free, use a gluten-free red velvet cake recipe and gluten-free brands of chocolate pudding and whipped cream. To make egg-free, replace the eggs in the cake mix with fruit puree, Greek yogurt or chia eggs. To make dairy-free, buy or make a dairy-free velvet cake, make a dairy-free pudding recipe, and make a dairy-free whipped cream recipe. As for nuts, you just need to ensure that each portion is made in a nut-free facility. Here are a few links to recipes that you can use to make this allergy-free:

Coconut Whipped Cream from Oh She Glows (Dairy, Egg, Nut and Gluten-Free)

Allergen-Free Red Velvet Cake from Cybele Pascale (Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame)

Soy-Free Vegan Chocolate Pudding (also Egg and Nut-Free)

And now for one of my favorite Christmas cookies ever, lightened up, just for you:

Healthy Mexican Wedding Cookies

*Also known as Snowball Cookies*

Gluten-free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan (Nut-Free substitution below recipe)



  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp dairy-free milk (almond or rice milk)
  • 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (other nuts like pecans or almonds would work fine too)*


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine canola oil, milk, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the flour and mix well.
  4. Stir in the walnuts and use your fingers to make sure they are evenly distributed.
  5. Then make 16 small balls out of the dough and place on a sprayed or nonstick cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 9 to 13 minutes.
  7. Let cool for at least 3 minutes, then roll in the remaining 3 Tbsp of powdered sugar.

Substitution notes:

You can use any nut in place of the walnuts. If there is a nut allergy, ground up seeds may work, but I cannot guarantee the outcome.



Tomorrow is Christmas! It is said every year, but I still can’t believe that Christmas has come so fast. Tonight I’m working in my church’s nursery with my mom, and then after my dad and brother are saving us seats for the 7:00 Christmas Eve service. There were 6 (I think) services to choose from, but this one had a good pastor, some folk singers, and a candle lighting portion!

For those of you who have not yet entered into my Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook giveaway, today is your last chance! It ends tonight and I will be posting the winner sometime tomorrow.

Until then… Merry Christmas!


What “Early Bird” Christmas presents have you gotten so far this year?

What is Marvelous in your Monday?

Do you have anyone in your life that you have to make allergy-free treats for?