O’ Christmas Tree

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.

On Friday night, Mal and I went to buy our Christmas tree. It wasn’t December 1st yet, so we broke another one of Mal’s holiday rules, but our evening was wide open, so we figured it was a good time to do it. Plus, we could make a whole evening of it””complete with holiday music, a fire, and wine. Hey, rules were made to be broken, right?




It didn’t take us Mal long to find the perfect tree. He was all about the Fraser Fir. Apparently, the White House has the same variety this year.


We asked one of the employees to snap our photo with the Christmas tree we picked out. He happily agreed and asked if it was our first Christmas together. We said it wasn’t and explained our tradition of taking a photo with the tree before we take it home every year (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). (Sadly, Mal didn’t wear his special Christmas tree picking sweatshirt this year.)

When we arrived home with the tree, Murphy was waiting patiently for us. He loves the Christmas tree! Remember the year he wouldn’t leave it alone and we had to create a pug barricade around it? Ha!


Time to decorate!

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Oh my gosh, Mom and Dad, you guys have soooo many pug ornaments.


I know I should be flattered, but, decorating-wise, it’s a little much, don’t you think?

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Seriously, guys. The pug stuff? It’s out of control. I’m embarrassed FOR you. 



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After we decorated the tree, Mal and I made a fire, broke open a bottle of wine, and ate a delicious dinner. I ate a couple of bowls of Cheesy Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Leeks. Yum, yum, yum!


Question of the Day

Have you got your Christmas tree yet? Which do you prefer: real or artificial? 



  1. While I was home for Thanksgiving, my family went to a local farm (turned pumpkin patch turned winery turned … this place has everything!) to cut down our tree. It’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember. However, we wait until mid-December to decorate the tree, aka when all the kids are home for the holidays. 🙂

  2. Your tree looks beautiful! (And technically you only broke Mal’s “rule” by a few hours so that’s not too bad!) My mom put up our Christmas tree last weekend and we’ve slowly been decorating the rest of the house. We’re hosting our family Christmas Eve celebration this year so we’re trying to make our house the “christmas palace.” 🙂

  3. I prefer real but we have an artificial, not sure if different in the US but they just shed so bad here! We’ll be putting it up next weekend, can’t wait, love having the house all Christmassy! That looks like one perfect tree!

  4. Hi Tina, I posted a comment on your butternut/white choc chip bar post with a question about the recipe but realized it was an older post so not sure if the comment got buried. Just thought I would put it here so it’s easier to catch 🙂 (I really want to try to bake those bars!!)

    My question –

    Hi Tina,

    I don’t normally bake with coconut flour or almond flour”¦. do you have any idea if this recipe would still turn out OK if I subbed those 2 ingredients with 1.5 cup of all-purpose or whole wheat flour instead?


      1. @Tina: haha I felt silly asking since of course there is no way you would know for sure. 🙂 I did notice that the recipe doesn’t have any butter/oil so I wasn’t sure if the natural fat in coconut and almond might’ve been accounting for that since I’ve never worked with either of those flours before. In any case I will give it a try and report back. Thanks!!

  5. So pretty! We put ours up last weekend… always the weekend after Thanksgiving. My husband isn’t really into the whole holiday thing but he likes champagne so that’s what we drink while I decorate… it’s a good excuse for us to pop the bubbly!

  6. I haven’t had a real tree since I was little but I decided that this was the year to do it because my husband isn’t much help when it comes to putting up our artificial tree – something about men’s brains and not understand how to correctly make the branches look “natural”- hah! Anyway that was the plan but at the last minute I changed my mind so that we could save the money! Oh well, maybe next year =)

  7. The tree looks great!
    My husband and I got our first Christmas tree this year and we got an artificial one. I like the idea of a real one (and props to you) but I remember it turning out terribly as a kid…bad smells after a while, needles all over, the dog eating those needles even haha

  8. I bought my very first Christmas tree today! Unfortunatley when I got it home I realized they drilled it in crooked, oh well!
    Yall did a great picking job!

  9. I would love a real Christmas tree but we do artificial for a couple reasons. My allergies would probably freak out with a real one and our climate is so warm that they dry out and don’t look pretty by Christmas morning. Boo!!

    Your tree looks great!!

  10. We have an artificial tree (no watering!), and it has lights and my ornaments on it, but no one else has put theirs on. It looks pretty sad right now. 🙁

  11. I enjoy other people’s real trees, but I like the ease of just putting up the same artificial tree every year. It’s what I grew up with, so it the lack of realness doesn’t bother me like it might others.

  12. I prefer real but have to roll with artificial here in AZ. Since it does not cool down too much, the trees don’t last as long. 🙁 One of my favorite memories growing up in Chicago was picking out the xmas tree and going home to decorate it.

    I put my tree up on Thanksgiving. I’m pretty passionate about xmas time! Haha

  13. I like real, but living on the third floor of an apartment with no elevators, I couldn’t pass up the $20 artificial tree I found at a garage sale in September. We finally got to decorate it today! 🙂
    Also, I love all the pics of Murphy, especially of the one of him peeking through your front door. He’s such a ham 😛

  14. We put up our tree this weekend as well. We currently have an artificial tree, but I much prefer real trees. There is nothing like picking out your own tree, hauling it home, and then enjoying the smell of the pine!

  15. Growing up we always had a real tree until one year my mother got an artificial one on sale. I was pretty upset for the first couple of years, but I came around in college when all I could have was a miniature artificial tree. My partner and I got our first tree together this year and he’s all about the artificial trees so that’s what we did. I’m actually really loving it!

    As a side note, I love how everyone I’ve ever met with a pug is absolutely obsessed with all things pug. It’s so adorable!

  16. Real tree all the way. We normally go with a Frasier too, but went with a spruce this year & I can’t believe how much more fragrant it is than a Frasier! Cheaper too so a win win!

  17. Re; the tree- We have a young pug almost 2. This year will be his first X-mas tree and we are getting a Frasier Fir as well from WS. Are you noticing any problems for your guy with the tree around? Is he staying away from it?

  18. Just came across this post and had to tell you that I have the same Pug Ornament set from Danbury Mint! I think I now have so many pug ornaments that I might have to do a mini-pug tree!

    Robyn (@winstonjax instagram)

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