A Simple Holiday Tip, PAM Cooking Spray and $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

A Simple Holiday Tip, PAM Cooking Spray and $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

My daughter Anna (age 5) on Christmas Eve 2002, getting ready to participate in a Nativity re-enactment. 

I am going to admit a little something to you today.

Sometimes I get a big fat pit in the bottom of my stomach when I can see another Christmas season rolling into view. It’s not that I don’t love holiday cheer. I do! I really do! But sometimes I assign myself a few too many holiday projects of wonder, and by the time the jolly day arrives I am down right exhausted, frazzled and full of grinch-itus.

One year, when my oldest three kids were just tiny I decided to tackle several DIY projects as gifts. On my to do list where…1) Re-finish and paint a wooded doll house as a gift for my then 4-year-old daughter Anna, complete with homemade curtains, linens, bed spreads, and some doll clothes. 2) Sew matching robes and pillow cases for all my kids. 3) Make homemade caramel, fudge and toffee for all of my neighbors. 4) Make heaping plates of Cinnamon Rolls for all of my siblings and their families (I have 12, including both sides!). 5) Cross stitch a beautiful Christmas Stocking for my then 8 month old daughter Emily.

Needless to say, it was too much! What was I thinking!  To top it all off, several days before Christmas MyHandsomeHusband got super sick with the flu, and wasn’t able to help me finish up the doll house, deliver goodies to neighbors, or any of the many other tasks of Christmas. With three small children to care for, the doll house half done, none of my presents wrapped, and zero plates of Cinnamon Rolls complete… I showed up at our extended families Christmas Eve party pretty worn out, and frustrated. Fortunately for me, my sweet brother and sister came home with me that night and helped me finish up the doll house and wrap all of the presents. (What would a girl like me do without brothers and sisters!)

I’ve learned a few things since then.  The most important being…keep it simple. Sometimes we women try to complicate life by making things Super Spectacular and Grand, and then feel “less than” when we can’t make it all happen. Did you know my 8 months old daughter had no idea her cross stitched stocking didn’t get hung that year! Crazy, right. 🙂 The doll house we worked hard on ended up being used by Anna to hang her frilly dress ups on. Now that I have driven this motherhood train for 16 years, when I see Christmas on the horizon and I feel that familiar pit in my stomach…I remind myself to simmer down, girl. I don’t want to get so caught up in all of the rush, that I forget to enjoy the simple, fabulous things the holidays can capture. I love snuggling with my kids next to the Christmas tree while we read a story.  I love the beautiful lights shining through the snow. I love hearing MyHandsomeHusband play Christmas songs on the piano. I love the generosity that appears in so many. Keeping my Holiday plans simple, really allows me to enjoy it all so much more.

That is my advice to you.

Plain and simple.

pam cooking spray

Those of you have read my blog for a while, know that cooking spray is pretty much my best friend. I don’t know that I have ever written a recipe post with out typing the words “cooking spray” at least once within it. Truly, I couldn’t function in the kitchen without it. Not only do I use it to coat the bottom of baking dishes and pans, but I often spray it all over my hands when I am working with bread/roll dough. I also spray it on my rolling-pin, and on my counter top to help when I’m rolling out cookies.

PAM Cooking Spray is especially fabulous and works so much better than the generic brands. Did you know that it leaves up to 99% less residue than bargain brands, and has zero calories? Isn’t that great! PAM Cooking Spray is a simple, fabulous way to add ease to your holiday cooking and baking. I highly recommend it.

Below, there are links to 4 fabulous recipes from my archives that are SIMPLE to put together, but taste fabulous and will make any Holiday Breakfast or Brunch a breeze to put together. Pam Cooking Spray plays a big part in all of them. Enjoy!

resized at 9 the one

Cinnamon Roll Cake

This Cinnamon Roll Cake has all the flavors of Cinnamon Rolls…without all of the work. 🙂

IMG_0417Easy Overnight Sticky Buns

These babies can be put together the night before you need them.

Breakfast Casserole Breakfast Casserole with Potatoes, Ham, Eggs and Cheese

This savory casserole can also be made the night before you need it.


Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast with Strawberries

I am going to sound like a broken record here…but this fabulous recipe is made the night before as well.

Here’s to a super, fabulously simple holiday season, guys. 🙂 My best wishes to all of you and yours.

PC240007My daughters Anna (age 6) and Emily (18 months) and many cousins, on Christmas Eve 2003

PS…PAM Cooking Spray and BlogHer would like to give one of you wonderful readers $100 Visa Gift Card! Super nice of them, right?! To enter all you need to do is leave a comment below telling me how you keep your Christmas season simple.

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/20/13 – 12/29/13.

Be sure to visit the PAM Cooking Spray page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!


Post a comment!


  1. 1
    Nicole Larsen
    December 29, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I split the cooking with the in laws which makes our holiday season a TON easier!

  2. 2
    Nicole Larsen
    December 29, 2013 at 11:01 am

  3. 3
    Amy Orvin
    December 29, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I keep my Christmas season simple by shopping early to avoid the crowd and only inviting several people.

  4. 4
    Amy Orvin
    December 29, 2013 at 11:26 am

    • 5
      February 7, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Do you have more great aretilcs like this one?

  5. 6
    Thomas Murphy
    December 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I do all my shopping online so I don’t have to go to the stores.

    • 7
      February 7, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      (: ?????:????? ????? (?????!)???? ??????? ???? ??? ???? ??? ??? : ???? That s an error.The requested URL was not found on this serevr. That s all we know.!?? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ?

  6. 8
    Thomas Murphy
    December 29, 2013 at 11:52 am

  7. 9
    Tabathia B
    December 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I start cooking big casseroles a day early and desserts also

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  8. 10
    Tabathia B
    December 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    • 11
      February 7, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Nice read, I just passed this onto a frneid who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

    • 12
      February 8, 2014 at 2:41 am

      If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite eepahonrs, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  9. 13
    Anna Pry
    December 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I try to finish all holiday tasks a week before Christmas so I can enjoy the holiday week pryfamily5@gmail.com

  10. 14
    December 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    prepare as much as possible ahead of time.

  11. 15
    Beverly Metcalf
    December 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I like to get all I can prepared ahead of time. The desserts I make and freeze some of them several days ahead. Thanks for having this contest.

  12. 16
    Janice Cooper
    December 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Prepare and plan ahead of time. I like to keep a list of what I need and who and what to shop for. I also like to look online for sales.

  13. 17
    Janice Cooper
    December 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm

  14. 18
    Veronica Garrett
    December 29, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I plan a menu and stick to it. I have a simple menu but it has all of the holiday favorites on it.

  15. 19
    Terry Cross
    December 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I do as much as possible ahead of time and don’t overdo things

  16. 20
    Terry Cross
    December 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

  17. 21
    December 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I make a list of what I want to do and plan what days to do them, I also make sure to not over plan

  18. 22
    Sarah Hirsch
    December 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    i keep the holiday season simple by remembering that it is about spending time with family, and the rest is not as important

  19. 23
    Stefanie Gladden
    December 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    we try not to go overboard with gifts and decorations, and try to do everything together so things aren’t so hard & we don’t want to be too stressed out over the holidays!

  20. 24
    Stefanie Gladden
    December 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm

  21. 25
    Hollie Jahnke
    December 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    We try to plan ahead by getting most of our shopping done before the crowds!

  22. 26
    susan smoaks
    December 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    i keep the Christmas season simple by not taking on too many responsibilities and saying no when my schedule is full.

  23. 27
    December 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I have found that cookie baking isn’t a chore if you get together with a few others and do it as a “party”.

  24. 28
    Terri Egelund
    December 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    The Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast with Strawberries looks amazing. That would be a great Christmas breakfast to make with my grandchildren.

  25. 29
    Susan Ladd
    December 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I start my Christmas shopping the year before and that way I hope is all done long before Christmas. Thanks for this awesome sweep and have a Happy New Year 🙂

  26. 30
    December 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Planning ahead!!

  27. 31
    December 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm

  28. 32
    Joanna Allison
    December 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I keep it simple by shopping online.

  29. 33
    Sarah L
    December 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Do as much as you can beforehand to make it easy on yourself.
    Thanks for the contest.

  30. 34
    December 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I try not to stick to easy things to make

  31. 35
    December 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    do things ahead of time

  32. 36
    Sarah L
    December 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    • 37
      February 8, 2014 at 3:17 am

      F*ckin’ awesome isseus here. I am very happy to look your article. Thank you so much and i am looking ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  33. 38
    Kenny F
    December 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I keep my Christmas season simple by shopping early

    • 39
      February 7, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      I think you can find anything (games apps) you want. ALL FOR FREE!android.pandaapp.comgo to the doonwlad page and you can find everything you need?Hope you like it? Was this answer helpful?

  34. 40
    Kenny F
    December 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm

  35. 41
    Linda G.
    December 29, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I get my shopping down early and get my food list for the holidays organized ahead and make sure I have everything I need ahead of time

  36. 42
    December 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    We head to a tiny island in the Bahamas for the week of Christmas. Nothing more simple than that!

  37. 43
    Deborah Wellenstein
    December 29, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    For Christmas Eve, we go out to dinner!

  38. 44
    December 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    We make a plan and stick to it.

  39. 45
    December 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I keep it simple by not trying to do too much by myself 🙂 I let the kids help with whatever I’m doing and have the rest of the family pitch in too (especially with food!) 🙂

  40. 46
    December 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm

  41. 47
    December 31, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Friends and family cooperate so no one has to do so much

  42. 48
    January 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I think it stays simple when you focus on doing everything together.

    • 49
      February 7, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      I saw your link on I saw your link on the Huffington Post page Yours is much better! I like the use of you tinlakg to camera it gives it a more personal touch. One? thing I’m trying to get into for my work is green screen video techniques. Maybe you could use this to superimpose you tinlakg about the house over photographs of the different rooms? Pointing out the uses or features the room has? Just a thought hope this was ok to message you about! Was this answer helpful?

  43. 50
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  45. 52
    March 3, 2014 at 9:52 am

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  47. 54
    August 26, 2019 at 12:15 am

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