Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Holidays in the Desert

Last year my parents started the tradition of spending the holidays in Arizona. I'm not usually one to stick to traditions, but this is one tradition I can definitely get on board with. There's something so relaxing about spending Christmas in the desert. There doesn't seem to be that holiday madness that there is back on the East Coast in New Jersey. The weather is mild, and therefore more enjoyable (although, I have to admit, it did rain ONCE during the two weeks I was there. Actually, it's the first time I've EVER seen it rain in Arizona, and I've been going there on vacation for years and years.)

It was a low-key holiday, mostly centered around food, of course (just the way I like it). I mean, if you can't indulge in your favorite foods once a year, when can you?!

I thought I'd share some photos of the great company I had, the delicious food I ate, and the general festiveness. ;-)

My favorite cupcakes in Scottsdale......Sprinkles!!!
I decided to try one of their holiday flavors: Triple Cinnamon.
It tasted just like a Snickerdoodle cookie!
But, I think their Red Velvet is still my favorite ;-)

Now, on to the Christmas Eve Appetizer Spread!

Tuna "Lollipops"
Fresh tuna marinated in sunflower oil with ginger & soy sauce.
Garnished with sesame seeds and chives.


Tropical Ceviche w/ Mango & Pineapple!

Pepperoni Bread with Mozzarella, Pecorino, and Fresh Garlic & Basil

Everything was so delicious! I could probably eat this kind of dinner full of appetizers once a week. ;-)
Time to go to sleep and wake up for Christmas day!

Christmas morning...
Presents time!

Yay! My very first Lush Bath Bombs & Bubble Bars!
Already tried a few of them and went back to the store for more.
Wish we had Lush in Argentina...
I'm thinking about doing a review on each of the bombs/bars after I use them...thoughts?

Probably my most used Christmas gift...
I took this backpack with me EVERYWHERE over vacation!

Mom & Dad

The "kids" in our Santa hats!

Christmas French Toast
French Toast made from a base of Panettone,
with some other delicious flavors added in.

Margaritas, puzzles and Christmas lights.
I was on a margarita kick over the holidays and found myself
ordering them pretty much everywhere I went. 

Ahh, shrimp cocktail.
Maybe it's a thing of the 90s, but for me it never gets old!

Sitting down for Christmas dinner. :-D

Unwinding by the outdoor fireplace after a lovely holiday...

What holiday traditions (old or new) do you celebrate in your family?


  1. This looks so wonderful! Although Greg and Carolyn's shirts are terrifying! Please send me the recipe for the pepperoni bread; it will fit in perfectly with my new years resolution to eat more bread and cheese.

    1. We were going for cute cat couple, but that obviously was a flop! haha

    2. You know, I don't normally make New Year's Resolutions, but the "more bread & cheese" resolution sounds like a fabulous idea! Count me in!


    That dining room... I mean, we don't even have a dining room (much less a table) but I feel like even people with dining rooms would be envious.

    1. Jacqui, I'm still waiting to get a REAL cat before I can even think about a cat t-shirt. I've already informed Tomas that in the future, when the time is right, I expect an animal in a box (ideally a kitten from the street) for a birthday or Christmas present.

      And about the dining room...the kitchen is even better! Tomas and I were cooking at every opportunity...it's amazing how much more fun cooking is when you're not using a 2x4 city kitchen haha

  3. Adorable pictures! All of the food and family and festivities look wonderfully cozy.

    1. Thanks, Christina! The holidays were exactly that: wonderfully cozy! Just the way I like them. :-)

  4. That looks all soooo tasty, especially the tuna! I'm a huge fan of fresh tuna, especially with soya sauce and sesame. You all look so happy and relaxed, I am sure you had a great holiday and it seems an amazing tradition to me.
    hugs, Sarah

    1. I love fresh tuna, too! And since it's basically impossible to come by here, we didn't hesitate to add that to our Christmas Eve menu. And, on New Year's Eve, Tomas made some delicious Mexican food which I will be sharing some photos of soon!

  5. totally had a shrimp cocktail at my NYE party. always a hit.

  6. I think I could have made a meal off the tuna pops and guacamole alone. Mmmm. Your backpack looks great! That's a really good gift. Enjoy those Lush products too!


    1. Oh, same! I'm sure I could eat those fresh tuna pops and guacamole several days a week if they were available to me. Actually, just had some guacamole for lunch :-)
      The backpack is so useful, too! I always use a backpack, but it's on the sportier side, so this is great for something a little more dressed up.

  7. I love your posts about your trips to the US 'cause I always spot something new or different. Plus, these pictures are particularly adorable, everyone in your family seem so nice and kind :) And omg the food! Everything looks so yummy, I've never heard about that tropical ceviche and I loved the idea!!
    I'm so glad you had wonderful Holidays, Chrystin! Those are moments to treasure :)


    1. I'm glad I can always show you something new and/or different from my trips to the US! Everything about our holiday vacation was wonderful!

      The tropical ceviche was actually an invention by my husband. It was a refreshing take on the classic ceviche. He also put some coconut milk in there, which added even more to the tropical flavor! xx

  8. It all looks so tasty! And that backpack is adorable! :)

    1. SO TASTY. Every year after the holidays, I think we return back to Buenos Aires a few (or several) pounds heavier haha


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