Posted in Blogmas

Merry Christmas

It’s Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, and thank you for joining me for Blogmas! I have no idea if anyone will be reading blogs on Christmas day.

Today is a day to spend with family, so I hope you’re doing that today.

Christmas means a lot of different things to different people, and I love that. To me, it’s about being around the people I love. It’s eating together. It’s love, laughter. It’s happiness and joy.

And I knew things were going to be different this year, but I didn’t realize how different until the day came. I’m glad I will be at work instead of home alone today.

Last night I tried to spend Christmas Eve with my boyfriend’s family. It was awkward and uncomfortable. Mainly because everyone had already left by the time I got to the house.

When It comes to my boyfriend and his family, I feel like I’m always inviting myself over. His parents were falling asleep but didn’t want to go to bed because someone was at the house, and I just was like, gee, thanks, that’s not awkward at all. Which then is embarrassing because I’m there, and I don’t know how to say, “Hey, I know I forced my presence on all of you, and now it’s awkward, and I want to leave.”

I never learn, and I never listen. My mom has told me a thousand times if you aren’t invited, don’t ask to go. And I still ask to go. I want to spend time with them, but they don’t consider me family. And my boyfriend says it’s because I’m never over, but when I am over, there’s no conversation, or it’s late. They want to go to bed and not play hostesses to the little girl without a family.

Last night, I just wanted my family, and I didn’t get it. I just wanted to sing carols and have warm hugs and have fun. I miss even the simplest things like watching a movie, eating, or decorating our house special.

My mom was sick this year, so she didn’t miss out on people not visiting. She was more grateful she could rest and not have to get out of bed and play host. It’s not COVID; it’s just the flu. Around this time of year, either I, my mom, or my dad end up sick without fail. This year it’s my mom’s turn.

Just some silly little videos of what my Christmas used to be.

Posted in Blogmas, Food and Beverage

All about tamales

Happy Christmas Eve! 

Today has been a whirl and it’s not even noon yet. 

The only Christmas tradition I seem to always and I mean always find time to do is make tamales. Last night I stayed at my friend’s house helping make tamales and while we finished the assembly pretty early, the actual steaming of the tamales took forever. I left at 12:30 but we still had two pots steaming.

This year we were smart and did not bother to count how many we made. We were too lazy and had too many specialty ones we had to make. Cheese with no jalapeños for the kiddos, cheese with extra spicy salsa and jalapeños for my friend’s father in law. Speaking of her father in law, this man has a gift to never be around when we are making the tamales but always arrives exactly as the first batch is ready to be eaten.  

I personally love helping to make the food because I feel I learn something new each year. Two years ago I made tamales on my own and learned how long to steam them. Last year was the first time I made tamales with banana leaves instead of corn husk, so I learned how to wrap them and tie them. This year I learned to make the masa from scratch. 

My mom used to make her own masa when I was a kid but I never paid attention. As an adult I’ve only used premade masa that can be found from a Mexican market. This year I decided to learn to make masa. I figured it was simple enough.  


-1 1/3 cups lard or solid vegetable shortening, or butter.

-1 1/2 teaspoons salt (omit if masa mixture contains salt)

-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (omit if masa mixture contains baking powder)

-4 cups freshly ground masa harina flour for tamales (34 to 36 ounces) and add 2-4 cups chicken broth (or 2 1/4 cups warm water.)

To prepare the dough:

-Combine masa for tamale, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add broth or water.

-Mix with your fingers to make soft moist dough. In a bowl beat the lard until it gets fluffy, add the masa and beat until the dough has a spongy texture. Taste for flavor and salt and water, if necessary.

Posted in Blogmas

The Places I go to see Christmas Lights

Just a few days to Christmas

My holiday spirit was a little crushed when I learned I would be working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My family celebrates on the 24th, which is common for most Hispanics. So working Christmas Eve at first really hurt me. Also because normally by this time of the year I have made my own ornaments, made champurrado, started getting the things to help make tamales and preparing for the new year because of work I’m missing it.

I always wanted my life to be like a hallmark or lifetime movie. And while I am currently the overworked woman with a full time job that seems constantly to take away time spent with family, where is my knight in shining armor to help me remember what I’m missing? Because it seems to me my job is also getting in the way of my relationship. I no longer have a comfortable work-life balance. 

I’ve been trying to not be a Grinch and actually my friends helped me with that. My friend gifted me with homemade ornaments. Not only are they handmade ornaments, they are Harry Potter themed. She painted the Hufflepuff crest for me. I can’t begin to explain how much I love it.

I’m still super upset I won’t be going to see Christmas lights with the family. 

So I decided to share with you some of my absolutely favorite places to go look at lights. And all the places I missed this year. 

The Newport Beach Boat Parade

This year’s theme was “Jingle On the Waves.” I always like going on opening day. They have live entertainment, people put up booths and sell random items. It’s always fun and festive. I was super excited to hear the parade was back. I would have loved to go last year but it was canceled. I think some people still showed up but I didn’t risk it. 

Enchanted: Forest of Lights

Descanso Gardens are absolutely beautiful in the daytime. But at night, with what feels like a thousand lights it is simply magical. They are sold out until the 23 and are closed the 24th and 25th. I’ll be getting tickets for January. 

Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo

It’s a cul de sac where the majority of the houses have their Christmas lights. It’s so cute. You can either drive down or walk. I prefer to walk so I can take pictures. Before the pandemic people used to sell hot chocolate,popcorn and other treats in front of their houses. There was one house that sold these warm nuts that were covered in sweet stuff. I wanna say they were almonds or pecans but I don’t remember. 

Naples Canal christmas lights 

Along the Naples Canal there are houses and they are all decorated. It’s actually near where the Newport Beach boat parade is. That’s how I found out about it two years ago but I haven’t been back since. I recommend going on a weekday when it’s less crowded. It’s so relaxing but it gets really cold because you’re right by the water.

Posted in Blogmas, Food and Beverage

Squash -Cheesy Casserole Bake

My mom likes to talk about my grandfather and how he used to cook a lot and her absolute favorite recipe was a squash casserole. She hates that she never got the actual recipe for the casserole.

I don’t know why but when I hear the word casserole I automatically think 1950’s, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and some random ingredient that doesn’t belong in a casserole dish.

There was a lot of trail and error and I remember my mom trying to find a version that reminded her of what her dad made. A few weeks ago my mom was going through some of my grandfathers boxes and pictures and found an old faded recipe. After all this time we found the original recipe and of course I had to share.


  • 3 eggs – separated 
  •  1lb, crooked yellow squash 
  •  1 lb. zucchini 
  • 8 to 10 slices bacon fried & crumbled
  • 1 to 1& 1/2 cups of sour cream
  •  2tbls of flour
  • about 1 cup bread crumbs
  •  2 to 3 tbs butter melted
  • 1 to 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1/2 white onion


  1. Slice squash and zucchini into 1/8″ to 1/4″ pieces
  2. Mince your onion.
  3. Add your squash zucchini and onion into a pot of slightly salted water. Boil until al-dente. Drain thoroughly. 
  4. Separate the eggs 
  5. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside.
  6. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, flour, and egg yolks, mix well, and FOLD the egg whites. The egg whites add air & volume to the batter.
  7. Preheat oven to 375.
  8. In a casserole dish, make a layer of squash and zucchini top with egg batter, shredded cheese, and crumbled bacon
  9. Repeat squash, batter, bacon & cheese layers, ending with the bread crumbs last.
  10. Put in the oven, about 15 to 20 mins.

Watch casserole, so it doesn’t burn. Let it cool & cut it into squares

Im very excited to make this version of the recipe myself since every new year my mom would make a version of this.

the recipe we’ve used for the past few years is almost completely different looking at them side by side.


  • 2 – 3 medium zucchini about 2 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons butter or a mix of butter and olive oil
  • 1 medium onion peeled and diced
  • 1 cup baked ham cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and prepare a large pie plate (10-12″) with cooking spray.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove alternating strips of zucchini peel. Cut the squash into 1/4″ or thinner pieces. Use a mandoline for best results.
  • Heat butter in a large skillet or dutch oven and saute the onions until they soften and begin to change color.
  • Add the zucchini slices, baked ham, and fresh thyme. Stir to coat in the butter and distribute the onions. Cook briefly to warm through. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the zucchini mixture to the prepared pie plate, avoid transferring any liquid that may have accumulated.
  • Pour the eggs over the zucchini and use a spoon to open up space in the mix to allow the eggs to spread.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then top with the shredded cheese. Bake for another 10 – 15 minutes or until the eggs are set, and the top is golden brown.
  • The zucchini will release more liquid as it bakes. Allow the pie to stand for at least 15 minutes before cutting it into 8 pieces.
Posted in Blogmas

Christmas Shopping and a Miracle too

I am back!!!

I had a few things to deal with and a few things my brain still can’t process, but I’m back. 

I’m genuinely feeling a lot better, and it might be because I got most of my Christmas shopping done. Or because I decided to spend a little money on myself. I’m a big fan of treating yourself.

I found a MrCoffee Iced Coffee Maker on sale and finally bought it. I have wanted one for years. I also got myself an early birthday gift while getting everyone’s Christmas gifts. Future Eryn is in for a treat. I say this because even though I knowingly fully purchased something, I usually forget what I buy or when I’m supposed to do something. Except I don’t think that’s possible this year. Since it’s not only a gift for myself but also my family. 


I know I live in California, and going to Disney shouldn’t be all that crazy exciting, except it is. I love Disney, and it’s been years since I’ve been to Disneyland. This is also my boyfriend’s first time going to Disneyland. 

Aside from the trip, I don’t even count this as a gift. I had a hard time this year picking out gifts for my nieces. I spend so much on them throughout the year. By the time Christmas comes, they already have abundant toys and clothes. 

It always takes me a while to finally decide what I want to get. Because I always want my gifts to be the best. I know it’s mostly me overthinking, but I just want things to be perfect. Luckily this year will be a little easier; everyone is getting the same gift from me- a tracking number. 

I also got a Christmas miracle.  

I will appreciate it more than any physical gift. My biological father and I have never had a relationship. I’ve mentioned how he wasn’t there for most of my life a few times. I’ve been through all the stages with this. As a child, I was sad about it; as a teen, angry, and after living with him, I decided I couldn’t be mad or upset about something that would never change. I accepted he wasn’t going to be in my life.

 He’s been trying to make more effort in the last few years, and I was very hesitant to let him in my life. Mainly because we didn’t see eye to eye on a few things about my life. All I’ve wanted from him lately is to acknowledge that I’m not a child. I’m an adult and a hard-working one at that. 

I don’t know what changed, but he called me a few days ago. He apologized for many things, and while the call was awkward and uncomfortable, it meant a lot to me. 

Posted in Blogmas, Food and Beverage

Stone Cookies

Some random day this week I woke up at two in the morning, in a panic. My mind waited until I was dead asleep to remind me, I still had to come up with a recipe for a dessert to take to my office Christmas party.

So I had the grand idea to make a Harry Potter recipe.

I should start by saying I haven’t read the books in a while, and it was 2 in the morning. I decided I wanted to make stone cookies. It was just a random Hagrid recipe. And since I don’t have the best memory, I decided to Google it.

I googled harry potter stone cookies and billions of harry potter cookies but nothing about hagrid making cookies.

So I try again. I’m smarter this time; I google hagrid rock cookies and find dozens of recipes for rock cakes. But I’m looking for cookies, not cake or scones or biscuits. At this point, I have 100% convinced myself Hagrid made cookies, and it is just one of those tiny little forgotten details that only people who read the books would know, like Winky.

Turns out I was wrong. When I finally go to get my quote from the book. Turns out they were rock cakes. And rock cakes are a very common British recipe. A traditional rock cake is a scone-biscuit baked good. Which makes way more sense why I was seeing people make scones.

So please enjoy my Stone Cookie recipe.

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups choco rocks

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in flour, cocoa, soda, and salt. Stir in choco rocks. Drop by rounded Tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set, but the centers are still puffy. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

I like the imperfect look of the cookies and I just imagine they look like something Hagrid would make.

Posted in Blogmas

My Favorite Holiday Movies

I think because stores and radio stations start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween, I don’t get into the jolly holly mood until I watch a Christmas movie.

The holiday just doesn’t feel complete without watching movies. I watch Harry Potter at Christmas, but they don’t have the same comfort as traditional holiday movies. 

Here’s a list of my favorite holiday movies in no particular order. 

  • The Shop Around The Corner 

I love romantic fluff and meet-cute moments. It’s a charming 1940s romance. A man and woman unknowingly exchange letters with each other while working in the same shop.

  • Babes in Toyland (1961 version)

Annette Funicello is adorable. I love the outfits, the songs. It is a little dated for some people, but it did come out in the 60s.

  • The Santa Clause

Tim Allen as Santa, need I say more?

  • Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas

I think there should be a retelling of every classic short story with Disney characters. The gift of the magi with Mickey and Minnie is super cute.

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Where are you, Christmas? It is a bop and is on all of my Christmas playlists.

  • Narnia The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I always watched this in Sunday school and never understood that we watched it because it’s a Christian allegory. I just thought it was a Christmas movie.

  • A Year without a Santa Claus

Mrs. Claus is the absolute best character. Santa decides he wants to stop being Santa because he doesn’t feel people believe in him anymore. Also, I’m glad it’s getting more recognition from TikTok.

  • Noelle

It’s a Disney plus original, and it’s super cute. The story follows brother and sister Nick and Noelle’s first Christmas after their father passed away. 

  • A Christmas Carol (1999)

Patrick Stewart is iconic. This version is a little different from the other versions. It is a made for tv movie, and it focuses more on the man at the center of the tale. 

  • Santa Clause is Coming to Town.

A good Santa origin story. I don’t know what I love more about the movie the 1970s stop-motion, Fred Astaire, the cheesy/overly 70s moments. Put one foot in front of the other is the cutest song.

Posted in Blogmas

These are a few of my favorite things

Well, now, when anything
bothers me and I’m feeling unhappy,
I just try and think of nice things.

I always love the thunder scene before Julie Andrew actually sings my favorite things.

Usually, people share their favorite products of the year. And at first, I was going to. Being an avid shopper, I realized this year I didn’t really buy many cool things that I would love to show off.

Instead, I wish to share my favorite moments of the year.

Because I had an outstanding year. I’m not going to let today, this week, or this month, no matter how bad it gets, take away from all the good that has happened this year.

I love my friends and family and all of you readers for keeping my spirits lifted when things seem down. Please enjoy these random moments of my 2021.

immersive van gogh exhibit
tough mudder 2021
voltaire concert
terrain race 2021- finish line
terrain race 2021- 8am pre race

Posted in Blogmas

Blue Christmas?

So it’s the beginning of the month, and some of my December plans have already started to fall apart.

A few days ago, my family said spending Christmas together would feel wrong since my grandmother passed away. Honestly, I wholeheartedly disagree with that statement, but what’s done is done.

I also was supposed to celebrate Christmas early with my boyfriend, just the two of us. The plan was to go on a fancy date and exchange gifts, wear matching Christmas pajamas. I had hotel and dinner reservations that have since been canceled.

If I’m being honest, I’m starting to feel like this month isn’t going to be fun or festive. And it is making me worry I will spend the holiday alone.

My family never had many holiday traditions growing up, but spending time together was always a big deal. Whether we were looking at Christmas lights, singing horribly off-key Christmas carols, or fighting, we did it as a family.

I knew this year would be different without my grandmother, but I didn’t think it meant we wouldn’t gather together at all.

I know I say I’m going to be alone, but if I don’t work, I’ll probably go to my boyfriend’s house. And while that should be ideal, it’s going to be awkward. His family dynamic is entirely different from mine. My family is loud and boisterous, and sure we are not as tight-knit as we used to be, but we still have a good relationship.

My boyfriend’s family is very awkward, and his relationships with his sisters can best be described as strained. They all act like strangers and know the bare minimum about each other. I’ve been over a handful of times, and it’s a cold environment. Until recently, one of his sisters didn’t even acknowledge my existence. But she’s an entirely different story. Family is not their priority, which confuses me as a family-oriented person.

Their strained relationships aren’t even the worst part of spending time with his family. It is the language barrier. I don’t speak Spanish, and sometimes I feel lost in the mix. I’m actually teaching myself Spanish to surprise his parents with a conversation. It’s hard sometimes to have my boyfriend translate, and many things get lost in translation.

The more I think of this Christmas, the more I miss the Christmas from my past. Grandma will not “force” me to read, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. I remember one year I was being a pain in the butt and didn’t want to read the poem. I kept saying “‘‘twas the nuzzle before christmizzle, and all through the hizzle”.

For the younger gen, about 10 years ago Snoop Dogg did a Pepsi commercial and Tumblr made it into a whole thing of its own.

I remeber thinking I was so hilarious for saying that and my grandma was ready to beat me. I still say it now and every time my mom just looks at me she rolls her eyes.

I did realize how I took spending time together for granted. Here I am an adult and I don’t see why I complained so much about reading a poem that took a few minutes. In fact, I’m going to miss doing it this year.

Sorry, this post was as cheery and bright as a blogmas post should be.

Posted in Blogmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

It’s officially December; it’s time to start singing Christmas carols off-key, making holiday treats, stressing over last-minute gifts, and… the official start of Blogmas 2021!!!

I have so much new and improved content for you all! You already know how much I love Christmas, and each year, Blogmas helps me celebrate this beautiful holiday even more!

I can’t believe Christmas is just around the corner, I haven’t yet shopped for anything, and I’ve just started getting my decorations out. I guess I’m not as on the ball as many others are out there, but I’m also not as behind as last year. 

I did have a Christmas bucket list, but some of my December plans have already started to fall apart, so I’m not sure how much of my Christmas list ill be able to do. 

Looking back, I also didn’t have much hope to check off my fall list, and then October had to prove me wrong. 

My Christmas Checklist

  • Send out Christmas Cards

I did this last year, too, and was surprised how many wanted cards. Please email if you want one, and I only have 100 this year instead of the outrageous amount I had last year.

  • Look at Christmas lights
  • Make hot chocolate from scratch 
  • Holiday baking
  • Cookie decorating
  • Harry Potter marathon
  • Make my 2021 ornament.
  • Write my letter to Santa.
  • Christmas movie marathon
  • Do a random act of kindness
  • Make a holiday craft
  • Start planning 2022 goals

If you’re joining in on blogmas, don’t forget to share your post down below so we can come by and say hi.