It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go;
Take a look in the five and ten glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in ev’ry store
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door.

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Mal and I don’t have a single free weekend during the month of December, so we decided to get our Christmas on today.

First order of business: finding pinecones in the woods!

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Spend money on pinecones? No, thanks. We’d much rather get them for free in nature.

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Plus, looking for pinecones in the woods is a great time for Murphy. Mal and I called him “Adventure Pug” this afternoon because he was all over the place, running around and exploring every nook and cranny of the forest. Murphy had a blast.

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Mal and I also snagged some greens for our fireplace mantel.

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Back at home, we turned on the holiday tunes (on Pandora) and poured ourselves a couple of glasses of eggnog.

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Let the decorating begin!

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So pretty! Our mantel display looks so much better than last year’s!

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Nature-inspired centerpiece:

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Once we finished decorating, it was time to get our Christmas tree.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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Mal and I got a kick out of the $0.69 pinecones! Save you money! Find them for free in the woods!

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Mal found the perfect Christmas tree like he does every year. His special Christmas-tree-shopping-sweatshirt must bring him good luck!

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As soon as we got home, we took the tree inside, turned on the Christmas music once again, and started to decorate.

Tree stand? Check.

Tree skirt? Check.

Lights? Check.

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Twenty-five pug ornaments? Check.

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Ornaments with amazing memories attached to them? Check.

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Christmas tree 2011!!!

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Of course, we needed an M & m photo in front of the tree. It took us a few tries to get it right!

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Tonight’s dinner was a big salad topped with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and balsamic vinegar.

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And mashed potatoes + sweet potatoes on the side.

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After dinner, I satisfied my sweet tooth with a few “Christmas Character” sugar cookies. I’d much rather bake homemade sugar cookies, but sometimes the pre-packaged ones are good too. Honestly, I don’t discriminate when it comes to cookies!

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Mal and I are relaxing on the couch and watching a movie tonight.

Good night, friends!



  1. you guys decorate your place so quickly and you don’t waste time, what a productive day.

    It feels like summer here in Southern California, high 80s temperature. I just feel wrong shopping for my Christmas tree in my shorts and tank top. I’ll have to wait for a colder day to go buy our tree

  2. Lovely! Keep an eye on your pinecones, though…. a friend of mine collected pinecones and put them in a big vase last year. A few days later she realized bugs were crawling all over the vase and table! They must have been burrowed up inside the pinecones.

    1. @Laura: Yes!! Keep an eye on them! This has happened to a lot of people I know (including myself before I knew better). I believe you are supposed to microwave the pinecones to kill the bugs. Gross, but that’s what you get with free pinecones.

  3. I just posted that we got our tree this weekend because we too don’t have a free weekend until Christmas. Someone told me it won’t last but I’m staying hopeful I can keep it alive until the end of next month.

  4. We usually decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving and didn’t this year. I keep reading all these posts and wish we had had the time. I never knew people actually paid for pine cones. I agree that it’s completely unnecessary.

  5. Hi Tina. LOVE this festive post!!!! You and Mal sure are in the spirit of the season already. I LOVE opening boxes with our ornaments every year, this is going to sound hokey, but it’s like rediscovering “old friends”. Those pug ornaments are fantastic!!! $0.69 EACH for the pine cones????? EACH???? Crazy! (and not only is gathering them yourself more economical, it’s so fun!!) Have a good week!!!

  6. You are going to love your Keurig machine! I’m brewing a cup of decafe right now. If you get a frother and some coffee syrup, it’ will taste just like starbucks! That was the best Christmas gift I think I ever gotten. I love all your Christmas decorations, it’s so pretty. I just started putting mine up. Have a great evening!

  7. Your decorations look great! I love decorating for the holidays! I have the same “it’s a wonderful life” sign! 🙂

  8. This is so lovely! It makes me excited to finally have my own house and family to prepare for Christmas with! The pug ornaments are too cute 🙂

  9. Decorating for Christmas is so much fun. It’s as if I forget about all the ornaments and decorations every year as I pull them out of the bins I store them in (while listening to Christmas music of course). I am such a dork!

  10. I got some free pinecones the other day too! I’m planning to spray paint some- some for the tree, some for the mantle. I LOVE Christmas!

  11. What a great idea to pick up your own pinecones and greens. Living in the city, I sometimes forget that buying them isn’t the only option. 🙂

    Your mantel looks wonderful!

  12. It’s so much more fun when you can find things in nature to decorate your home with rather than plastic fake trimmings. A lot of my friends have fake trees on Christmas and to me, that is just sinful. The aroma of the pineneedles is the most simple way to set the holiday mood in yoru home. Okay, so vacuuming up all the fallen needles is a pain in the a**. But having a real tree is wayy better then a fake one. And looking at how you decorated your home, I now know that bringing in other parts of nature to put around can look festive and elegant. Great job on decorating cost-effectively!

  13. Yessss decorations! I just got back to my college today after Thanksgiving break and walked into my suite to find that one of my suitemates had decked it out with Christmas decorations. I’m talking lights, wreaths, and even a holiday train set on the ground. Deck the [residence] halls? Haha

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