A Merry Time

by Jenn (eating bender) on November 29, 2012

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…with an Arizona twist!

I suppose it’s more of a California or Florida twist, since palm trees don’t grow naturally here, but let’s just go with it. :) I am loving all the Christmas decor being put up around the city right now!

Also on the list of things to love…

Has anyone tried these Starbucks VIA Peppermint Mocha drinks? You basically make it like you would a glass of hot chocolate, with a mug of steaming hot milk. I have to say, it tastes incredibly close to the real deal. They are a bit pricey ($7.99 for six packets at Target), but much cheaper than the $4+ I would spend at an actual Starbucks for one drink. I’m excited to enjoy them throughout the season! Now I just need a reusable red cup.

Another thing making me feel rather merry lately is Breaking Dawn: Part Two.

I know some of you may be rolling your eyes, but my history with the book series goes way back to the beginning of this blog. Funnily enough, Papa Bender is the one who told me that it even existed. He called me at college one night and said something about a woman named Stephenie who had written some book about vampires that was getting pretty big and had been turned into a movie – plus, she happened to live in Phoenix. The rest is history.

I’ve ooh-ed and ahh-ed with many a fellow blogger over Edward, Bella and Jacob, so it was bittersweet for me to see this movie. I admit I cried at the end – it wasn’t the blubbering that came with the last Harry Potter film, but something about A Thousand Years by Christina Perri just melts me and brings on the nostalgia. I won’t give anything away, but I loved the way they did the ending.

If you’ve seen the movie and are interested in reading Stephenie Meyer’s perspective of the ending – she played a major role in the way it turned out – check out the November 26 entry on her website.

Last but not least is the most exciting “merry” adventure of the past week: a visit from the nieces pieces! Caroline and Kelly were in town last week visiting Cara’s family for Thanksgiving, and stayed a few extra days to hang out with us.

Between smiles for the camera and cereal snack breaks, we had plenty of laughs.

On Friday afternoon, the girls came over to the Bender home with Cara, Jim and Cara’s parents for some Mama and Papa Bender pizza, which was as delicious as ever. When we weren’t gobbling it up by the slice, we played some golf…

…went swimming (Caroline the Lionhearted was ready to jump in with normal clothes on!)…

…threw some rocks in a bucket (one of the favorite games of the day)…

…and had some fun adventures with Baby Bender at the park (Eric was so sweet with the girls – he is awesome with little kids, which is always so cool to watch as his big sis).

We washed the fun down with a glass of Mama Bender’s Peppermint-Eggnog Punch. It was the first of the season and tasted great! Can’t wait to have more as we count the days until Christmas.

We had such a great time with everyone and were so grateful for the visit! It’s amazing how much the girls have grown since last Thanksgiving. They are at a really fun age (although honestly, every “age” has been a blast with all three of our nieces) and we love them so much!

Hope everyone has a great Thursday!

Have you seen Breaking Dawn: Part Two? What’s making you “merry” this week?


1 Erica November 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

I’m totally picking up those vias. Delish! The nieces are SO cute! I cannot believe how big they’re getting. They grow like weeds. Tell your mama I’m coming over for punch 😉
Erica recently posted..Thanksgiving WeekendMy Profile

2 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:46 am

Yay! Let me know if you try them. I can’t believe how much the nieces have grown, either. Time is flying! You’re all welcome for punch anytime. :)

3 Melissa @TryingtoHeal November 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

Ah, what a fun time with your nieces! They are so stink’n adorable!

And my Mom says she needs to meet your Mom for that punch. She’ll bring some banana bread to swap. HAHAHA
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4 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:48 am

Haha my mom would love your mom’s banana bread! Come visit! 😉

5 Karla November 29, 2012 at 11:02 am

What a beautiful Christmas in Arizona photo! I love the holidays–the greatest time of the year! Will your blog snow with the new design? That’s when I always knew it was almost time for Christmas. :)

It looks like you had a lovely family get-together! Your nieces are adorable x10 and you and Bobby look like you are so awesome with them.

I’m starting my Christmas shopping this weekend…something that always makes me feel merry!
Karla recently posted..Let’s Shop! Healthful Bites Holiday Gift Guide and Wish ListMy Profile

6 Jenn (eating bender) November 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Thanks, Karla! You are so sweet – you just reminded me that I needed to research snow falling apps that would work with the new design and I found one! It takes a while for the flakes to get down to the comments section but they are definitely up top. There might even be a Christmas lights one that I’m also going to look into. Tis the season. :)

Good luck with your Christmas shopping this weekend!

7 Lindsay November 29, 2012 at 11:45 am

Peppermint Mocha sounds so good right now

8 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:48 am

I think I may need to make another one today…

9 Kristie November 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Ah, I need some of those via packets – the closest Starbucks to me is 1 1/2 hours away so my holiday drink quota is so unfulfilled. If only they did the gingerbread latte ones :).

And for a fun holiday video (assuming you like the Muppets) – http://o.canada.com/2012/11/26/all-you-need-is-muppets-watch-cee-lo-greens-new-christmas-video/.

10 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:51 am

I saw pumpkin latte but no gingerbread – I bet those will come soon, too! And the Muppets video is AMAZING. Thank you for sharing!!

11 Cara (Twinthusiast) November 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Love the pics! Oh Twilight – I’ll prob have to wait for the DVD of that one and save my “movie time” for Les Mis with you!
Cara (Twinthusiast) recently posted..Family, Feasts, and Football: Arizona Thanksgiving Year 2My Profile

12 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:52 am

I can’t wait for Les Mis! And I think some Vias in Minnesota are definitely in order, along with trips to Starbucks for book chats. :)

13 Cara (Twinthusiast) November 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Oh and we should so get some of the Via stuff for our Christmas week in MN…of course we’ll go out for coffee too though. :)
Cara (Twinthusiast) recently posted..Family, Feasts, and Football: Arizona Thanksgiving Year 2My Profile

14 BroccoliHut November 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm

This post just made me smile–I guess we like a lot of the same things :) I still haven’t seen Breaking Dawn:Part Two, as I’m still working on convincing Seth to go with me.
You’ve definitely persuaded me to pick up some of the Via Peppermint Mocha! It sounds so tasty and comforting.

15 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

Haha! It doesn’t surprise me one bit that we like a lot of the same things. 😉 If it helps you convince Seth at all, I had Bobby go with me and he said he enjoyed it!

16 Susan November 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Ditto to what Cara said (getting VIA Peppermint Mocha and going out for coffee). I still need to see Breaking Dawn… the last movie I saw was Hunger Games w/ the ladies… haha. I’m pleased to say, though, that one of my new friends out her is a twi-hard of the most hardcore variety (e.g., hosted her own Twilight parties with favors and themed drinks), so I’m sure she’ll go with me. :)

17 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

Yay! I was thinking of you when I saw it. I still think a Harry Potter and Twilight movie marathon will be in order during a future KC trip. :)

18 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner November 30, 2012 at 9:22 am

I just saw Breaking Dawn: Part 2 on Wednesday with my sisters; I, too, loved the way they did the ending! I am ‘merry’ thinking about going out for sushi with friends tomorrow night. Happy weekend!
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19 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

Yay! I’m so glad to know someone else who can appreciate Twilight while also appreciating many other types of books. :) And I agree that the ending was so much more interesting than the book, though I suppose that since it was from Bella’s perspective in the book it would have been hard to do it that way!

20 Katie@ SkinnyMinnieMoves November 30, 2012 at 10:47 am

I think it’s funny how people that love twilight always remember where we were when we first discovered it! I was applying to graduate school and read these on the elliptical all the time!
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21 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

So true! I love your “I found Twilight” story. :)

22 Megan (Braise The Roof) November 30, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I have been craving a peppermint mocha – I usually allow myself one per season…those Via packets could be very dangerous. :) Your nieces keep getting cuter and cuter!
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23 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

They are very dangerous. I keep telling myself to space them out but it’s not working very well! Thanks for the sweet words on the nieces – I agree. :)

24 joelle (on a pink typewriter) December 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I just found your blog and I’m sooo glad I did! I’m a writer/food lover from the southwest as well. Love the typewriter, too. 😉
joelle (on a pink typewriter) recently posted..Chocolate Peanut Butter ScotchiesMy Profile

25 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

Hey Joelle! I’m so happy you found my blog – I absolutely LOVE the name of yours and can’t wait to check it out! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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