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
    Dana Denosn
    November 20, 2013 at 7:10 am

    I love breakfast casseroles – especially when they can be assembled the night before. The Cinnamon Roll Cake is so good! Definitely give that one a try.

  2. 2
    Leigh Ann Steele
    November 20, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I try to not take on too much. My husband is a huge help too!

  3. 3
    Bethany in Boone
    November 20, 2013 at 7:11 am

    We have a very small and simple Christmas. That is how we keep the stress down.

  4. 4
    Jennifer T.
    November 20, 2013 at 7:12 am

    We have a potluck for Christmas brunch.

  5. 5
    michele mcdaniel
    November 20, 2013 at 7:14 am

    I tend to go overboard at Christmas time too. This year I am going to try not to, if it is possible. I love to give. These breakfast recipes are good. Something nice to feed to santa.

  6. 6
    Kelli B
    November 20, 2013 at 7:15 am

    I keep it simple by relaxing. Lame huh? LOL Really, I plan what I am going to make ahead of time and get in the kitchen and ENJOY myself.

  7. 7
    Marilyn L
    November 20, 2013 at 7:15 am

    We open one gift on Christmas Eve just after Christmas mass for the kids. Then when they wake up early, they get to enjoy that gift while the adults get their coffee. The official designated Santa gets to hand out gifts one at a time and we all take turns opening them. I think the kids appreciate gift giving more this way. Tou can enjoy the reactions as gifts are opened.

  8. 8
    November 20, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I absolutely LOVE your recipes. I share them with everyone! I can’t wait to try some of these easy ones!!

  9. 9
    November 20, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Mmmmmmm. These look so good. I’m gonna have to try one this weekend for my kids and me.

  10. 10
    Avery K.
    November 20, 2013 at 7:19 am

    We started taking family trips at Christmastime, which means no presents and no fighting mall crowds!

  11. 11
    April Cyr
    November 20, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I choose some books about Christmas, relating to Jesus, to read to our daughter. Then Matthew and I take turns reading these to her over December. I bake when I’m in the mood-which is often, but I don’t make any promises to attend something (other than our family Christmas). I like to keep the month focused on our gift from Heaven!

  12. 12
    Rebecca Owens
    November 20, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Keep in perspective the ‘reason for the season’ and enjoying family time.

  13. 13
    Meredith Redmon
    November 20, 2013 at 7:27 am

    I love Christmas most because,5 days before is my birthday! My parents are gone now.Siblings,kids to far away.The past few yrs. been spending holidays with new husband Chuck.We like the quiet time together.We not much on gifts for each other,just having each other is the greatest!

  14. 14
    Lana Birzer
    November 20, 2013 at 7:28 am

    I try to keep things simple by using some store bought items like pies instead of baking.

  15. 15
    Marilyn Lesniak
    November 20, 2013 at 7:30 am

  16. 16
    Brittany c
    November 20, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Delegate! We have very large family parties and everyone brings one thing.

  17. 17
    Annalee Gianfelice
    November 20, 2013 at 7:33 am

    My husband and I decided that we would give each of our children three presents for Christmas. We think about each child and what they want/need. We are able to get shopping done without stress. I also don’t do neighbor gifts…I know, scroogie of me, but I just can’t decide who NOT to give to and end up doing way too much and spending way too much money…

  18. 18
    Jen B
    November 20, 2013 at 7:33 am

    We love cinnamon roll cake here.

    We stay home all day Christmas. Just us and the kids. We focus on Jesus and what His purpose was and is.

  19. 19
    Wendi R
    November 20, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I’m making the holidays more simple by getting married in November rather than December, which was my original plan. Also, when my family has crepes on Christmas morning, they get made the night before.

  20. 20
    November 20, 2013 at 7:41 am

    I do most of my shopping online to avoid the craziness in the stores.

  21. 21
    Candice Chapman
    November 20, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Use crock pot recipes whenever possible to keep things simple. And make spending time with family the priority. Spending quality time is better than the actual gift, mists of the time!

  22. 22
    Suzie Waclawski
    November 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I too have tried to do to much now it’s all about KISS and enjoying the moment we are in our favorite holiday traditions is cookie making we love it and everyone is involved..Pam is my go to helper

  23. 23
    Christine D
    November 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I bought an easy-to-assemble, no fluffing needed, pre-set Christmas tree to keep it simple.

  24. 24
    November 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

    By doing it all early! I try to be done with most chores by the beginning of Dec. so then it’s all about baking and having fun for the rest of the month.

  25. 25
    November 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I keep it simple by saying “no” to all the unessential running around. There are some events where we honestly are not missed, and that is ok!

  26. 26
    November 20, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Preparation! I stash things I know my kids will like and need long before the season starts – I save money and am halfway done before the craziness starts. We also keep the gift giving small, simple and affordable.

  27. 27
    kate mccown
    November 20, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Sounds wonderful

  28. 28
    November 20, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I keep it simple by doing the gift shopping in advance–I’m almost all done!

  29. 29
    November 20, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I adore your recipes! A lot of them have become staples in our home!!!

    • 30
      February 7, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Whats up very nice web site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds aoditidnallya1KI am satisfied to find numerous useful information here within the put up, we’d like develop more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  30. 31
    Lori H
    November 20, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Umm, raising hand here – Guilty!!! I am determined to scale back & enjoy the upcoming holiday season.

  31. 32
    Katrina M.
    November 20, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Everyone in the family gets a box of their favorite cereal for Christmas. Then we have a bowl of that for breakfast so I don’t have to work in the kitchen rather than enjoy being with the family. I make a breakfast casserole that we have for a brunch with sliced oranges.

  32. 33
    Amie Ashby
    November 20, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Great dessert!

  33. 34
    November 20, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I love Pam! I’m like you and tend to overcommit. I have all these great plans but not enough time to do them. I’m really making an effort this year to not do too much. One thing I’ve always done that helps is try to get all the gifts out of the way on Black Friday. It’s a tradition that my mom and go every year and we love the chaos!

  34. 35
    Lisa C
    November 20, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I start planning early in October for Christmas. I try to do easy, fun things that I know my family will love to do. Plus I cook everything that can be cooked ahead to make Christmas an easy “cooking” day for me

  35. 36
    Amanda Lee
    November 20, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I can’t wait to try the cinnamon roll cake! My son was just asking for something like this on Sunday. Of coarse I will be using Pam Coking Spray!

  36. 37
    Maria Mitchell
    November 20, 2013 at 8:03 am

    We don’t do lavish gifts or outrageous decorating for Christmas. We do go out as a family and look at other people’s Christmas lights! 😉 We also don’t plan a lot of activities or a big meal. We usually gather at my relative’s house for a dinner of Christmas lasagna.

  37. 38
    November 20, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I have a BIG order to fill this year and I know by starting NOW, I should be halfway there by Thanksgiving. Cookies are started, gifts are almost finished and I am thinking about putting up my tree this weekend. All I need is the Green Bay Packers to start winning and the weather to hold out a few more weeks so I can finish everything. Love, the joy my 4 grandkids bring. …I just wish my husband of 32 years, who passed on Christmas 2000, was here to share in the joy. Miss him “bunches”.

  38. 39
    Maria Mitchell
    November 20, 2013 at 8:06 am

  39. 40
    Michelle W
    November 20, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Four years ago this month I had major surgery. Nothing helps you put things in perspective than the inability to do all the running around that goes with the season.

    That cinnamon roll cake is calling my name. Might have to do a test run over Thanksgiving.

  40. 41
    Teresa Briggs
    November 20, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I keep it simple by……completing most of my shopping online, I bake early before the whole world is tried of treats. I make a simple dinner with most of YOUR make ahead dishes, Like the mash potatoes and the overnight roles.
    I love Christmas because it is the one day I get to see all of my children’s faces light up with wonder.

  41. 42
    Lori D
    November 20, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I try to start my shopping early in the year so that the stress doesn’t build up around the Holiday season.

  42. 43
    Angela Harrison
    November 20, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I love baking how I make it easier by going to a cookie swap.

  43. 44
    Heather H
    November 20, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Try not to go overboard on the gifts. Love to stay home all day on Christmas.

  44. 45
    November 20, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Getting the shopping out of the way early has really helped relieve my holiday stress.

    • 46
      February 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      I think the calendar is FANTASTIC! This is my first time visinitg your blog, and the calendar really caught my eye – I’d definitely buy one. Love your work =)

  45. 47
    November 20, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Shopping online with coupon codes saves me so much time (and money) that frees up time for cooking, decorating and enjoying the season.

  46. 48
    Crystal webb
    November 20, 2013 at 8:21 am

    My family enjoys breakfast casseroles on Christmas morning and some great snacks throughout the morning usually we eat our big meal around 3 pm so the tasty snacks help hold us over! 🙂 merry Christmas!

  47. 49
    stacy shultz
    November 20, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Cinnamon roll looks so wonderful!!!

    • 50
      February 7, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      and 2KJ,Great post!We think the main reason of rmenmbereece day is that you should think about the peopole who have been in the war.In 2Js today we watched a video of the world war 1 when we watched the video we were also listening to music the music that was beeing played was a song called waltzing matilda.Your Friends,Amelie and Hannah

  48. 51
    November 20, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I would give up everything but the Turkey for that “Cinnamon Roll Cake” at the top . Oh Yum

  49. 52
    November 20, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Saving the Breakfast Casserole Recipe for Thanksgiving morning. Love easy make ahead breakfasts for holidays mornings…and Love all your recipes!

  50. 53
    November 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Just being with family

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