Welcome to “Moments” here on JoyFoodSunshine. At the end of every month I share a recap of all the shenanigans that went down in crazy town (i.e. my life in a nutshell).  So here it is for December 2016

Recipe love:

Here are a few must-share recipes from the month of December from my favorite spots around the web!

Healthy Gingerbread Muffins from Ambitious Kitchen {so beautiful}!

Chestnut Sheet Cake with Dulce De Leche Cream from The Vintage Mixer {had the privilege of eating this and oh my WORD}!

Paleo Almond Butter Chocolate Fudge from The Paleo Running Momma {I would eat it ALL}!

Biscoff Cookie Butter Rolls with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting from The Sweet and Simple Kitchen {say that 10 times fast, or just stare at all the gorgeous pictures}!

Grain-Free Gingerbread Pancakes from Kumquat {The prettiest pancakes I ever did see}!

Life with my tribe:

Real Life 

Ok so if you follow me on Instagram you might already know this story….however if you don’t…I had an epic mommy moment this month that I need to share with you all!  One day I was homeschooling the kids in the basement when we heard a sound upstairs. Bethany exclaimed, “Daddy’s home!!!” Which I knew wasn’t likely because it was 10:30 in the morning and he has this thing called a job! 😉 Well, I waited and listened for a few more minutes and it absolutely sounded like someone was walking around upstairs.

I had this feeling that we were probably not in imminent danger, so I didn’t want to call the police. However, I wasn’t convinced enough to do nothing about it. So, in a calm and orderly manner, I told the kids we were going to go on a fun adventure…and we proceeded to climb out of the basement window and up the ladder to safety. I called Ritch and he came home to check it out {he works like 5 minutes from home most days}! Turns out…our washing machine was trying to rob us!!! LOL! Thankfully it was a gorgeous day…a few cold toes were the only damage done {well and of course my slightly hurt pride}!

I have never ever done something like that before. But my mommy senses were tickling and I felt like I had to listen to them. I’m so grateful I have a husband who jumps at the chance to protect his family {even from the washing machine} and joyfully comes to check on me when I need him without hesitation. {swoon}!


It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! We’ve had so much fun in december celebrating the birth of Christ! Here are a few highlights!

My neighbor hosted an insanely awesome gingerbread decorating party where she homemade every single one of the 40 houses! Gabe was just about to dive into his here….

Lots {and LOTS} of cookies were baked and consumed in my household this month!

We went to Thanksgiving Point and enjoyed the Luminaria display! The lights were absolutely breathtaking!

And of course Christmas Eve! We always go to church and then out to dinner {Chinese food….Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra…}! 😉 Then we come home and have some cookies and hop into our Christmas PJs. The kids go to bed, and then Ritch and I set out all the stockings and gifts and watch a Christmas movie! One of my favorite days of the year!

Then of course comes Christmas morning! We try really hard to make Christmas about Christ and not about presents. It’s really hard when grandparents aren’t on the same page, but we have found some ways around that. We don’t do Santa, but our kids still have a magical time.

My absolute favorite was when Bethany and Gabe would watch another family member open the gifts they bought for them. Gabe was so stinkin’ cute. He ran over to me with the present he bought for me in his hand. Then he told me to close my eyes as he opened the gift. Once all the paper was gone, he told me to open my eyes to see what it was. It was the cutest ever! <3

We had an amazing white Christmas…so naturally we had to play in the snow! I love these little snow bunnies!

For real, all this kid does is eat the snow. Super glad our neighbors don’t have dogs. Also, see daddy in the background digging an epic snow tunnel that we all fit through. 😉

And my sweet little Naomi just had a ball! I could just kiss that sweet face all day long!

A few of my favorite things…

The North Face Metropolis Parka 2

Ok people I take being warm very {very} seriously. A few years ago I invested in this coat and I have been grateful for it every. single. day. No joke…one of my favorite parts about winter is taking this baby out of storage and putting it on for the first time! I love the black color because it still looks brand new after years of wear. I am never cold when I have this on!

Vitamix Ascent Blender

My friends at Vitamix sent me their new blender to test out and review. I really love it! I have always been a physical buttons & switches type of person, so the touch screen scared me a bit! However….the screen is so incredibly responsive it’s amazing! I also L-O-V-E the timer feature! It times as you blend on your own or counts down the time when you choose a program. This blender is super powerful yet still as quiet as the 750!

The only thing I would say is that I like the container of my 750 Prfoessional Series blender better because the top is flexible making it easier to maneuver the tamper. But I have been blending with the A3500 for months now and love it!

Well that’s all she wrote! I’d love to hear a highlight from your December! What are you looking forward to in January?

If you want to stay connected or you make something from JoyFoodSunshine I would love to see your creations! #joyfoodsunshine

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