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
    December 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

    My favorite time of the year. I love finding new holiday treat recipes.

  2. 2
    December 9, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I try to get my shopping done early so I can enjoy the Holidays more!

  3. 3
    Judy Harper
    December 9, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I like to give gifts of the heart and not spend a lot of money.

  4. 4
    Anna Kuma
    December 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    We read a christmas story almost every night to keep us focused on the true meaning of christmas, and focus on giving to others or doing good deeds.

  5. 5
    December 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    By not over-scheduling and just enjoying time at home.

    chambanachik at gmail dot com

  6. 6
    December 10, 2013 at 6:26 am

    I try to get my shopping and holiday baking done early.

  7. 7
    December 11, 2013 at 12:42 am

    I keep my Christmas season simply by giving homemade gifts to family and relative. Usually one gift basket for the whole family instead of getting individual gifts to everyone. that is so much easier.
    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  8. 8
    December 11, 2013 at 12:43 am

  9. 9
    rebecca shockley
    December 11, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Try hard as it may be, but not to stress or worry about finance’s. Enjoy seeing and being with family!!!

  10. 10
    rebecca shockley
    December 11, 2013 at 12:49 am

  11. 11
    December 11, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I keep things simple and in perspective during the holidays by creating multiple lists! Lists are my life-saver around the holidays and keep me sane. Praying helps, too. 🙂

  12. 12
    Wild Orchid
    December 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    My favorite tip is to do as much prep work in advance, such as chopping veggies in bulk, so they are ready to use.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  13. 13
    Wild Orchid
    December 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm


  14. 14
    December 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    List for my husband – Day 1 through Day 23
    1) find Chrismas lights

  15. 15
    December 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Make a list for my husband Day 1) Bring down Christmas lights & check for burnt bulbs Day 2) replace bulbs as needed. Be sure and kiss him under the mistletoe for all his help. Santa says so.

  16. 16
    December 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I just started cooking when my daughter started eating non-pureed food. I’m excited to try a crockpot breakfast idea for Christmas Morning. That way, I don’t have to do it Christmas Morning 🙂 The recipe calls for Pam and says not to bother even making it without it or it’ll be a big mess. Here is my pin of the recipe that calls for Pam : http://www.pinterest.com/pin/266416134180668221/ Thank you Pam, for making my Christmas a little easier 😀

    • 17
      February 8, 2014 at 2:10 am

      Ryan Proctor – I wish I could have spent some time getting phrtogoaphy lessons from you! All the colors are vivid and the lighting is awesome, I don’t know how you do it! These blog entries are great, looking forward to seeing more Tina! Take care

  17. 18
    Tina M
    December 19, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    i make a list and shop early

  18. 19
    Tina M
    December 19, 2013 at 8:40 pm

  19. 20
    Wanda McHenry
    December 22, 2013 at 1:42 am

    We keep it simple by focusing on the true meaning of Christmas.

  20. 21
    December 22, 2013 at 1:42 am

    I keep it simple by concentrating on activities – tree trimming, gift making and visiting with friends & family instead of shopping & non stop eating.

  21. 22
    Wanda McHenry
    December 22, 2013 at 1:43 am

  22. 23
    Hanadia Roby
    December 22, 2013 at 7:13 am

    She is soo adorable! That angel costume is tres magnifique!

  23. 24
    December 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Hmm simple for me this holiday season is no gifts! We are all saving up to take a trip together instead!

  24. 25
    Mindy Merenghi
    December 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I don’t center the Holiday around buying/shopping.

  25. 26
    December 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    • 27
      February 8, 2014 at 7:01 am

      Ohhh….the big chenille snwmeon are SUPER fun! What a lovely show, Jana! I think the li’l red plaid lunchbox is pretty nifty too! (I have the thermos & a big round cooler!) Merry Christmastime!: )Julie M.

  26. 28
    December 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    To keep the holiday simple I do less. I enjoy the moments and the downtime from work. I have chosen my favorites and things that mean the most and those are the ONLY things I do. Must haves are pumpkin pies, my ceramic tree (good memories), watching It’s a wonderful life and naps.

  27. 29
    December 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm

  28. 30
    December 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I try to make a lot of goodies ahead of time and freeze them for our parties.

  29. 31
    Rebecca Graham
    December 25, 2013 at 12:46 am

    I shop early and bake ahead of time.

  30. 32
    December 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm

  31. 33
    Debbie B
    December 26, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    plan ahead and make sure you have all of your ingredients before you get started!

  32. 34
    Debbie B
    December 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm

  33. 35
    December 27, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I actually do not celebrate Christmas, so that is really simple! LOL Seriously though, my family DOES celebrate it but we keep it simple by only buying one gift for each of the children in the family and none of the adults.

  34. 36
    December 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

  35. 37
    maria cantu
    December 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    We do one gift each.

  36. 38
    December 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I just try to keep the food I make simple and not stress out too much over everything.

  37. 39
    December 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I keep it simple by remembering what really matters – love, family, friends and hope.

  38. 40
    December 27, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    There are just two of us so we keep everything simple 🙂

  39. 41
    Cynthia C
    December 28, 2013 at 6:25 am

    My kids are grown, so it’s easier to keep things simple. I have cut down on the cooking and baking and we only give gifts to the small children in the family.

  40. 42
    Cynthia C
    December 28, 2013 at 6:27 am

  41. 43
    Lisa V.
    December 28, 2013 at 7:21 am

    For a big holiday meal, I like to prepare everything the night before and throw in the crock pot and let that do the cooking all day. When it comes to using Pam, when I make spaghetti, I’ll spray some Pam in the water while boiling the spaghetti so the noodles don’t stick together

  42. 44
    December 28, 2013 at 9:08 am

    A lot of times the holidays are too stressful trying to outdo in presents etc. My husband and I do basic baking and love to give our own homemade gifts. We spend the day together and enjoy each others company.

  43. 45
    Kim H
    December 28, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I try to prep ahead. Sometimes even the day before! ky_grandma40@yahoo.com

  44. 46
    December 28, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I get my shopping done early.

  45. 47
    Shannon Baas
    December 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I buy in advance.

  46. 48
    Cindy Merrill
    December 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I make sure my hubby and I get some time together ALONE for at least a few hours; this reduces stress and makes the holidays more fun for the whole family.

  47. 49
    Erica Best
    December 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    i make a small simple meal this year

  48. 50
    Erica Best
    December 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm

  49. 51
    Theron Willis
    December 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I give out money to my two daughters in lieu of surprise gifts.

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