Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Music Mix!

In our house, it's not long into December when we have to take a break from Christmas music because there's just too many of the same songs. For a while when I was a kid, my parents would make a Christmas mix-cd every year for family and friend gifts. This year, I decided to make my very own Christmas playlist! These 8 songs are my favorites this season. They're not all new (in fact, only one of them really is), but they're ones that haven't gotten old yet in my house.

1. Jacob Marley - Ace Enders and Nik Brusseze
This is the new one. Ace Enders is from The Early November (Sean's and my top 10 favorite band) and this is the perfect blend of Christmas and non-Christmas music. 

2. Christmas Day - MxPx
This whole album is pretty good. 

3. His Favorite Christmas Story - Capital Lights
Sorry for the tears.

4. It's Christmas Again - Varsity Fanclub
Sorry for the tears again. At least this time it was accompanied with laughter, right?! 

5. Chiron Beta Prime - Jonathan Coulton
This one cracks me up.

6. Silent Night/Away In A Manger - Relient K

7. I Wish It Was Christmas Today - Julian Casablancas
This one is everything I could've hoped for. You can watch the original from SNL here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3Jcp9pNLzE&list=RDa3Jcp9pNLzE

8. We Wish You A Merry Christmas - Weezer

9. One Little Christmas Tree - Stevie Wonder
What's Christmas without a little Wonder, amiright?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Donner's Christmas Card 2016

Merry Christmas, Everyone! 

Thanks for such a wonderful year. 

Instead of sending an actual card (because reasons... you get it), here's our virtual card and year update! Yeah, I know, I've been keeping you relatively well updated here, but I'm doing it anyway! Wahoo! 

Milo was not happy to be put onto someone's lap. He wasn't scared of Santa at all, he just wanted to destroy the nearby Christmas tree. Then Santa showed him the jingle bells and Milo was happy as a clam.

This year, though, huh? It started out with Sean having 2 months of jury duty, alongside regular work (because of its length), then went into me having pneumonia for a month, and then we had a couple months off before Milo turned one! Then we took a 2 week trip to MN for a family reunion. Sean and I celebrated our 4th anniversary, went trick or treating with Milo for the first time, hosted our first Thanksgiving, and we're just about ready for an excellent Christmas. 
  • Sean is a guy whose job title does not match its description and is hard to explain. He learned how to drive a bus and fly a drone this year. He likes cars, robots, dinosaurs, and baseball.
  • Ellen started up a tee shirt company (mamaceratops.com), cleans the house on a regular basis, and keeps some pets and a kid alive. She has an gained an affinity for ancestry indexing this year and has done over 700 records to date.
  • Milo's favorite things are cars, robots, dinosaurs, and baseball (bet you can't guess whose kid he is). He knows his body parts and animals and their noises. His mess-making skills are impeccable.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ellen's Homemade Clam Chowder Recipe

Hi, friends!
I made some clam chowder last night and posted a picture of the leftovers today and had a few requests for the recipe. It was a bit of a mix between me following a recipe and me making one up. Which is how you learn how to cook, I guess. Anyway, here's my recipe!

Clam Chowder


  • Onion (diced - about a cup)
  • Celery (diced - about a cup)
  • 2-3 Potatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 16 oz half and half
  • 2 cans clams (DON'T drain the juice!)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • enough pepper 
  • 1 tsp sage 
  • small sprinkle rosemary 
  • parsley
  • bacon bits
  1. Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water, bring to boil and let the potatoes cook. Drain.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt a stick of butter. Add the onion and celery (you can also do a carrot but I didn't) and stir. Cook until the onion is lightly translucent. 
  3. Add the flour to the saucepan while stirring. Once it's well incorporated, slowly pour in the half and half while stirring. 
  4. Dump the cans of clams INCLUDING the juice, potatoes, milk, salt, pepper, and spices (you can also add whatever spices you like, those are just my go-to ones). 
  5. Bring the chowder to a simmer and let it cook for 15ish minutes, stirring regularly. 
  6. Dish up the chowder and sprinkle parsley and bacon bits over top. (You may also want to use fresh bacon and add to the chowder as it's cooking. We did not have bacon, so this is definitely an afterthought on my part.) 
This was my leftovers! I heated it up in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring at the halfway point.