51: week in review

December 24, 2023


baby beatrice christmas 2023 - M Loves M @marmar

Merry Christmas Eve, friends! I’m both happy and sad that the day is here. Was it just me or did December fly right by? I feel like we should have one more week before Christmas. As I mentioned last week, this year has been much more low-pressure and we’ve been keeping things simple around here. Thankfully the majority of my shopping was done in November, and because we only do one gift for the kids, plus stockings, I don’t have too much last-minute wrapping to do. I’ll chat a little bit about some of our traditions below that help to make this season feel special.


I plan to share the meals I made the previous week, with links if possible, as some inspiration for your own menu planning. 

MONDAY- Prime Rib Roast and French Bistro Salad- We had a special early Christmas meal with my mother-in-law before she headed to San Diego. The sauce for the roast was so yummy, but the French bistro salad was the winner for me. I could eat that salad every day! Unfortunately, I can’t find the recipe online (it’s from this cookbook) but it’s thinly-sliced radicchio and endive lettuces with blue cheese and candied pecans.

TUESDAY- Oven Pork Ribs and Mac and Cheese– These ribs were so good, and the homemade bbq sauce was even better. The mac and cheese was started overnight which made it extra creamy and delicious because the noodles soaked up the cream.

WEDNESDAY- Meatball Subs- Our goal was to use up some freezer leftovers this week. Pulled the extra meatballs out, topped with marinara and mozzarella, and baked on a hoagie roll.

THURSDAY- Sausage, Fennel and White Bean Soup– pulled this out of our freezer and it was just as good as when we had it the first time!

FRIDAY- Fish Tacos with Slaw- not the most seasonal but we used up the mahi mahi in the freezer, and the rest of a bag of frozen mango for the salsa.

SATURDAY- Sweet Potato Pierogis- another freezer meal I had stashed away. We loved this dish so much! It’s from this cookbook.

SUNDAY- Potato Soup and Garlic and Herb Bread Wreath– I love the idea of a simple Christmas Eve supper, a shepherd’s meal of potato soup and bread. This potato soup recipe is our favorite (printing the recipe as I type so I always have it), and the herb bread looks festive and delicious.

browned butter rice crispy treats with peanut butter chocolate ganache - M Loves M @marmar cinnamon spiced shortbread ina garten recipe - M Loves M @marmar

In previous years, I’ve gone all out with the cookies but this year I had to limit myself. I made these cinnamon-spiced star shortbread cookies because it was a fun activity with my littles who love to make cut-out cookies. I also made browned butter rice crispy treats with a chocolate peanut butter ganache that I am trying not to devour. It’s a recipe from my favorite dessert cookbook.


I’m getting ready to put together a capsule wardrobe for our trip. I am so not a minimalist though, so already I’m debating bringing both these ballet flats: black and silver. Yes, almost the same style, but so different! I’m bringing these black jeans and this new sweater I got.


I listed a ton on my Poshmark this week! If you order before Tuesday afternoon I can send it out to you ASAP, otherwise, my shop will be closed until the end of January. But if you do order, message me on the app saying you’re a reader, and I’ll throw in a free beauty product!!

Everlane– Up to 60% so many great pieces. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the quality on Everlane clothes is so good for their price point!


We wrapped up our Christmas Study on Thursday. While we didn’t do all the crafts (maybe next year), it was such a rich curriculum and we all enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to revisiting it next year!

Some of our Christmas traditions include reading about the birth of Jesus in Luke on Christmas morning, making a coffee cake that was Matthew’s great grandma’s recipe, exchanging sibling gifts, doing acts of service with The Giving Manger, making cookies, watching White Christmas and the old Frosty the Snowman cartoon, having our shepherd’s meal on the 24th and a more special dinner on the 25th with candles. This time of year is so special, especially with little kids. I would love to hear about any special things you do with your families or something you did when you were a child.

It’s been a very low-pressure cooking week because of the help from some freezer meals. It’s made me realize that during this busy season of life, I greatly appreciate an easy dinner. While I love to cook, sometimes it’s hard to keep Beatrice busy during that time of day. Next year I’m going to try to find more simple, make-ahead meals and, if I can, I’m going to make a double batch that I can freeze for a later date. The key will be not forgetting about it in the freezer so I think I’ll immediately add the meal to a future date on my phone calendar. That way, I’ll see it’s there and can prep thawing it in time.

Usually, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is one where I love to catch up on life, get organized, and just take things slow. This year, however, we’re getting ready to visit family in California so it’s going to be a little more hectic. We’re so looking forward to seeing family though and getting some sunshine! Sadly, Christmas will probably have to come down before we leave but at least we have our trip to look forward to. January can feel like a longer month so having this trip will boost our spirits for sure, and it will shorten our cold-weather winter!

I ordered a planner last week and it came so quickly! I have really missed having a planner this past year and after being targeted with an ad for Papier, I couldn’t resist. I got this print but there are lots of cute and stylish options. I have a code too for $10 off if you’re interested. You can use this link and/or code MARAFERREIRA

charlotte mason homeschool style- M Loves M @marmar homeschool room- M Loves M @marmar christmas tree sourdough scoring - M Loves M @marmar

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Christmas! May you never forget that God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to us, our gift and our hope. I pray you feel His great love for you always, but especially on Christmas.