Every year my mother-in-law asks what we as a family would like for Christmas. And every year I send her an email with a few items under each family member’s name. I always feel a bit awkward asking for things for myself but I’m always thankful that I do because you know what? Getting something that you specifically want is AWESOME – way better than a random gift card or something that you know you’ll be re-gifting in the near future.

When I saw the rather large box wrapped under the tree and it had MY name on it, I knew what it was – and I smiled.


And then when I opened a gift bag and saw the iTunes gift card in there, my smile got even bigger.

THEN, when I unwrapped the present from my sister-in-law and saw this


I knew my year was going to start off with a YUMMY bang.

Couple all of that with the first gift I received from my mom when she arrived last weekend (even though her being here was a gift all to myself!)


and yes, the end of the year will be filled with new meals and new tunes!

Now I need a little help from YOU.

Since I rarely spend more than  a few minutes in the car at one time (thanks to living in a smaller town), I also don’t know what is on the radio these days. I really like music. No, I really LOVE music. Yet when I try to go shopping at iTunes I get overwhelmed pretty quickly because I really have no idea what is “new” out there and I don’t have a lot of time to just browse through things.

If there’s a few catchy tunes that you

  • love working out to,
  • that you like listening to with your kids,
  • that you enjoy rocking out to when there’s no one else at home, or
  • that you think is the coolest song you’ve heard in a long time

then how about putting some suggestions in the comments or emailing me?

In return, I will be more diligent about posting the recipes I try out from my new cookbooks.

Oh – and another favorite surprise gift that I had no idea I would like as much as I do are these



I have no idea what they’re called (they are Japanese) and I have no idea how to get more (yet), but they will definitely be on my Christmas list next year!

Happy Christmas!