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
    joseph gersch
    December 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    i keep it simple by enlisting in fmaily help with cooking

  2. 2
    joseph gersch
    December 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm

  3. 3
    Barbara M
    December 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I delegate some things to other family members to do.
    Thank you.

  4. 4
    Barbara M
    December 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm

  5. 5
    December 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    plan ahead and bake early

  6. 6
    kathy pease
    December 28, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    My kids are older and we all work together pulling together cooking and baking and it makes it so much funner with the ones you love by your side 🙂

  7. 7
    kathy pease
    December 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm

  8. 8
    Francine Anchondo
    December 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Make sure that I am organized that way we all can have downtime together :).

  9. 9
    Brendan A
    December 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I use tide pods and fabric softener! twice a week

  10. 10
    Stephanie V.
    December 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    plan and prep beforehand and remember what Christmas is really about and going to church!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  11. 11
    Lauren-Olivia Wood
    December 28, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Shop only once or twice way before the 25th.

  12. 12
    Allison Downes
    December 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I keep it simple by panning ahead and get everyone together to help.

    Thank you for the nice giveaway!


  13. 13
    Allison Downes
    December 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I tweeted:



  14. 14
    December 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I buy gifts all year so I can enjoy the holidays stress free

  15. 15
    Ellie W
    December 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I keep it simple by asking everyone to bring a side dish or dessert to Christmas dinner.

  16. 16
    Ellie W
    December 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm

  17. 17
    Mendy Dinsmore
    December 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    We don’t exchange gifts anymore. It’s easier, since our family is 40+ members. We just have a great meal and enjoy visiting and catching up with each other.

  18. 18
    Mendy Dinsmore
    December 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm

  19. 19
    Erica C.
    December 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Have all ingredients out before you start!

  20. 20
    December 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    We just have a few smaller gatherings rather than one huge one lately

  21. 21
    December 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm

  22. 22
    Stephanie Larison
    December 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    We keep it simple by going over to the in laws, no messy behinds for us. 🙂

  23. 23
    Sue Barney
    December 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I cook for both sides of our family one on Christmas night and then Christmas Day I have learned over the years to keep it simple everything doesnt have to be Made from scratch all the time I do what I have time for now, and Im much happier now and much more awake 🙂

  24. 24
    December 28, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    By not sending Christmas cards, not baking cookies and trying to only buy a few gifts person

  25. 25
    December 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm

  26. 26
    December 28, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I didn’t overspend, and we had a really simple dinner menu.

  27. 27
    December 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    We keep it simple by not exchanging gifts (just the kids), and focus on the importance of being together as a family despite our conflicting busy, sometimes hectic schedules. 🙂

  28. 28
    tina reynolds
    December 28, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    I make a list for gifts and things to do like baking and stick too it taking it a little at a time

  29. 29
    tina reynolds
    December 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm

  30. 30
    December 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I make it simple by ordering online, but I think you meant to ask about food, so I’ll say that I like having help in the kitchen.

  31. 31
    Margaret Smith
    December 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I try to do a little at a time. I also ask people who are joining us for dinner, to bring a side dish, appetizer or desert, to help out.

  32. 32
    Margaret Smith
    December 28, 2013 at 9:05 pm

  33. 33
    soha molina
    December 28, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I shop early/.

  34. 34
    soha molina
    December 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm

  35. 35
    December 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I do all my shopping online and just get the stocking stuffers in stores.

  36. 36
    December 28, 2013 at 11:31 pm

  37. 37
    Alexandra Roach
    December 29, 2013 at 1:37 am

    We do potluck!

  38. 38
    Lorayne Gothard
    December 29, 2013 at 1:45 am

    I try to keep my Christmas season simple by reminding myself, and my family, that we need to stop and remember what Christmas is truly all about. After that we try to just spend more time with each other and less on the money aspect.

  39. 39
    Lorayne Gothard
    December 29, 2013 at 1:47 am

    I tweeted about the giveaway


  40. 40
    tracey byram
    December 29, 2013 at 4:14 am

    most of my recipes contain 4 ingredients or less

  41. 41
    Victoria R.
    December 29, 2013 at 6:57 am

    The holidays are insane – I have to make a plan and force myself to stick to it – or else I’d go crazy!

  42. 42
    Victoria R.
    December 29, 2013 at 6:57 am

  43. 43
    Barb Stenby
    December 29, 2013 at 7:05 am

    By lining my pans with foil & using Pam I have a quick clean up!

  44. 44
    Barb Stenby
    December 29, 2013 at 7:07 am

  45. 45
    Candie L
    December 29, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I cheated this year. We kept it very simple and we did not wrap any presents all year. THank you

  46. 46
    December 29, 2013 at 9:24 am

  47. 47
    Karen Gonyea
    December 29, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I focus on the Holidays being about family and that seems to make all the other hustle and bustle fall away 🙂

  48. 48
    Amanda Sakovitz
    December 29, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I make quick and easy recipes

  49. 49
    Amanda Sakovitz
    December 29, 2013 at 10:24 am

  50. 50
    December 29, 2013 at 10:26 am

    We keep our Christmas simple by limiting the number of gifts we give out. We don’t give very many gifts to our kids and extended family too. We think its too easy to get wrapped up in all the gifts so we try to take the focus of that and keep it minimal.

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