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
    Alli C.
    November 20, 2013 at 12:41 am

    My family loves to wake up early on Christmas morning to sip coffee and homemade hot chocolate and open gifts. To keep things simple I always make the hot chocolate the night before and just reheat in the morning (so I don’t have to stir forever!) and always make a breakfast casserole or thraw-ahead danish that I can just pop into the oven so I can enjoy the Christmas morning traditions 🙂

  2. 2
    Kim B.
    November 20, 2013 at 1:20 am

    I make a breakfast casserole the night before & stick it in the oven while my boys are opening their gifts. When they’re done, breakfast is ready!

  3. 3
    November 20, 2013 at 5:49 am

    We do make ahead casseroles for breakfast

  4. 4
    November 20, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I am one that make cinnamon rolls the night before and let them rise so they big and airy. Then in the morning on Christmas Day, I make breakfast casserole which my whole family makes on my mother’s side. This a tradition I have kept no matter where we are for the holidays.Of course then we open gifts.

  5. 5
    November 20, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Make ahead breakfast and stay in our PJs as long as possible!

  6. 6
    November 20, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I keep Christmas simple by doing food prep ahead of time and doing minimal gifts. 🙂

  7. 7
    Kelly G.
    November 20, 2013 at 6:18 am

    I like to make a breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls the night before so that in the morning, all I have to do is stick everything in the oven 🙂

  8. 8
    Lisa Ropp Moody
    November 20, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Me and my three girls try to work as a unit and we make ahead as many things as possible.

  9. 9
    Kim White
    November 20, 2013 at 6:20 am

    I keep the Holidays simple like you. I just have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the simple things.

  10. 10
    Tabatha Murray
    November 20, 2013 at 6:21 am

    My family keeps it simple by making sure each household is responsible for 2 dishes to bring when we have our family dinner. That way not just one person is responsible for cooking all the food. And that gets each family member in the kitchen helping out and spending time together.

  11. 11
    November 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

    We always have presents separated and ready to dig into and breakfast done the night before. Then while we are eatinh breakfast dinner is being cooked and ready to eat when ever we want too!

  12. 12
    November 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

    I don’t keep it simple! In fact, we’re only going to be here 2 weeks in December and my family is insisting we still go all out on decorations AND take it all down before we leave down because “it’s depressing to come home to a tree when Christmas is over.” Yeah.

  13. 13
    Becky V
    November 20, 2013 at 6:23 am

    We keep it simple with breakfast casserole and bringing a dish to dinner at grandma’s!

  14. 14
    November 20, 2013 at 6:26 am

    We all pitch in to make the meal so that one person isn’t doing everything. It makes things much more simple!

  15. 15
    Charlotte Mcbride
    November 20, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Since my children are grown I don’t have to worry about breakfast. I always have a yogurt anyways. I usuall do all my prep for dinner in advance. So everything is ready to be put in the oven. Plus my children helps buy bringing different dishes.

  16. 16
    November 20, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Nice to make something over night to avoid making a lot of meals on Christmas. All of these recipes look so delicious!

  17. 17
    November 20, 2013 at 6:32 am

    TRY keeping it simple all the time, by doing as much shopping, cooking, etc. ahead of time and then have most of December to just relax and enjoy what comes our way.. My kids are grown and we have learned that every year is different and must be flexible to adjust to whatever is happening within the family at the time.

  18. 18
    Janet Hasler
    November 20, 2013 at 6:33 am

    I try to keep it simple by being super organized. I prep as much as I can a few days ahead so that we can enjoy Christmas morning.

  19. 19
    November 20, 2013 at 6:35 am

    I used to handmade tons of gifts and be exhausted and frustrated by Christmas. Now I only make a few gifts & put cinnamon rolls in the oven on Christmas morning

  20. 20
    Michelle Smith
    November 20, 2013 at 6:38 am

    The only way I keep it together during the holidays is to prioritize. My children and creating memories with them is number one, everything else doesn’t matter.

  21. 21
    Jodi Nevins
    November 20, 2013 at 6:42 am

    We have stopped exchanging so many gifts with extended family. Most can afford what they want and it relieved much stress.

  22. 22
    November 20, 2013 at 6:42 am

    I always seem to stress over making and delivering neighbor gifts. Instead of making 20 plates to then go deliver, i am hosting a cookie exchange, so all of us stressed Mommas can get together share fudge, talk, AND take a load off while also having a Girls’ Night Out!

  23. 23
    Leann Turner
    November 20, 2013 at 6:44 am

    We make monkey bread all the time but especially at the holidays it’s kinda like sticky buns

  24. 24
    jamie wilkerson
    November 20, 2013 at 6:44 am

    I have breakfast, lunch and dinner premade and ready to go into the oven, so cooking is NOT what I’m doing christmas day. We open gifts and play the whole day!

  25. 25
    November 20, 2013 at 6:46 am

    I do Christmas shopping well in advance and get my oldest to wrap all the presents (except her own)

  26. 26
    Susan Falcetta
    November 20, 2013 at 6:47 am

    I make a baked french toast with stale Italian Bread, heavy cream, butter, currants, raspberries, and love 🙂

  27. 27
    November 20, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Since I’m single, Christmas is pretty simple. I limit myself to one project and then bum dinner off of someone else 🙂

  28. 28
    November 20, 2013 at 6:48 am

    My family has a big Christmas day breakfast potluck and I bring overnight French toast so all I have to do is put it in the oven that morning.

  29. 29
    November 20, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I just keep everything low key, I only put up a few decorations and just enjoy the time with my baby.

  30. 30
    Jacquie Davis
    November 20, 2013 at 6:50 am

    I’m looking forward to spending quiet time at home with just my two children. Grazing all weekend on a variety of yummy foods.

  31. 31
    November 20, 2013 at 6:50 am

    I just enjoy spending time with my family, I’ve never been one for projects and my husband does most of the decorating.

  32. 32
    November 20, 2013 at 6:52 am

    When we stay home for Christmas instead of homemade cinnamon rolls we use Rhodes cinnamon rolls. Christmas eve we have nachos. 3 gifts + santa and our children trade gifts. Also if we are going out of town and I have to order gifts the gifts get sent to our destination.

  33. 33
    Sheree S.
    November 20, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Love Pam spray! Cooking is so much easier with Pam…. And the dishes afterwards are a cinch

  34. 34
    Stefanie Ecuyer
    November 20, 2013 at 6:54 am

    I use my stepmom’s recipe for a make-ahead breakfast casserole. Just pop it in the oven before the kids come down the stairs on Christmas morning and after the presents are all opened, batteries installed, breakfast is ready. Of course, I use Pam so that none of the deliciousness sticks to the dish.

  35. 35
    Christina Wedding
    November 20, 2013 at 6:55 am

    I look forward to cooking, crafting, & spending time with my family! Happy Holidays!

  36. 36
    Celeste B.
    November 20, 2013 at 6:58 am

    We stay home on Christmas day and relax rather than having to run around to a bunch of different places.

  37. 37
    November 20, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I try to keep the holidays simple by calendaring everything (from preparing Christmas cards to wrapping all the gifts) way before December hits. I also continually remind myself that my family’s time together is what is most important and I say no to things that will get in the way of quality family time.

  38. 38
    Karla Martinez-Garci
    November 20, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I love Christmas Morning as we have made that day for us -my little family of three. Christmas eve is at mom’s, Thanksgiving with inlaws, etc. I prepare food ahead and keep everything in the freezer. Ham and quiches go in the oven as soon as we wake up, the same with frozen rolls. We do presents, brunch and then watch movies all day. I love it. It gets so busy with sooo many gatherings, so I have fallen in love with Christmas Day.

  39. 39
    November 20, 2013 at 7:00 am

    I enjoy going to church and being with my kids. I am a single Mom, and it has only been the three of us since my parents died in 1998. I am truly blessed to have them in my life!

  40. 40
    November 20, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Nice recipes! Shared the link on my page for my followers.

  41. 41
    Natalie Winnett
    November 20, 2013 at 7:01 am

    To help keep the holidays simple…. I hire a housecleaner!

  42. 42
    Diane Russo
    November 20, 2013 at 7:05 am

    I clicked on the Official Rules link to find out how to enter if you don’t have a blog, the link denied access

  43. 43
    Tasha N.
    November 20, 2013 at 7:06 am

    I love to make homemade goodies for all my friends and neighbors, but I try to limit it to things that I would normally make so I have a good routine without much stress.

  44. 44
    November 20, 2013 at 7:06 am

    I will be making the cinnamon roll cake for breakfast on Christmas morning.

  45. 45
    Stefanie Ecuyer
    November 20, 2013 at 7:06 am

  46. 46
    Angel Skelton
    November 20, 2013 at 7:08 am

    CROCKPOT! That is the way to have a great and simple Christmas morning! Thanks for the contest! I was wondering what I was going to cook this weekend since I had company coming up to visit…..your cinnamon coffee cake!

  47. 47
    Tasha N.
    November 20, 2013 at 7:08 am

  48. 48
    November 20, 2013 at 7:08 am

    We keep the Christmas holiday simple by doing activities and gifts centered on the Savior. Listening to music, going to see the lights, baking yummy treats….being together as a young family with 3 small children and making memories/traditions….I just love the holidays!

  49. 49
    November 20, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I keep it simple by preparing everything with my little girl the night before. It gives us a tradition to keep, and definitely more bonding time for us two. 🙂

  50. 50
    November 20, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I try to get all my gift shopping done before December so I can just relax amid all the sales and frantic shopping. 🙂

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