Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There's no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On!


I like nothing more than having a big old open house holiday party. I think it's because I fondly remember going to them, or my parents having them, growing up.  My godparents always held a tree trimming party.  There was holiday caroling, which always felt like a party that just roamed on foot.  However, the older Keen and I have gotten the more we've inherited some of the family hosting duties.  Some years, when you host Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day all in a row, plus people "just stopping by" (ahem, elderly relatives), sometimes it's hard to squeeze in another gathering.

But it can't always be about family either (no offense, Mom).  I need some quality friend time, just to hang. Because that is a big part of the holidays and, frankly, just part of the life I want to live.  But our friends are in the same boat with the family duties as we are, and it got harder and harder to coordinate everyone's schedule, especially as our families grew.  So last year (I think it was last year… damn old age!) we came up with an alternative.

Instead of organizing a party, or a dinner, or some other activity event with a lot of coordinating parts to it, let's keep it mellow and have a… dessert potluck!  Da da dum!  Because everyone looks forward to dessert.  It's a win for the kids, a win for the adults.  Even my diabetic husband enjoys dessert (in moderation).  Another key element of this plan was, "relaxation!"  Basically what the invitation came down to was, "We're going to laze around and eat sugar." 

So everyone made a goodie and brought it over to share.  We were so clever, we just had to congratulate ourselves.

Several pounds later… "Ooooooh, why did you people let me do this?"

"I can't eat anymore."

"There's a ton left over. Do you want to take some home?"

"NO, I don't want to take some home!"

"You guys suck."

"We should definitely do this again."

And we are.  At least that's the plan so far and we're moving it forward to January, too.  Because after all the hectic holidays are over, the buzz fades and the winter drabs set in, you need some lazy sugar fests with your best buds to look forward to.               – with much love, wg


Decorating cookies!


And the sugar high afterward.  (They were racing chairs.)


Remember to check out Duncan Hines' website to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.