Tidy Mom

Holiday Connections….with Kristen Doyle {Dine and Dish}

Kristen Doyle

Dine and Dish

Kristen is the very talented voice behind Dine and Dish.  Where she shares her passions for her family, cooking, entertaining, photography, reading, and shopping.  It’s no wonder we’ve just “clicked” as online friends and I was BEYOND thrilled when we got to meet in Napa with Bush’s Beans in October.   Her photography grabbed my attention at first click, but Kristen is even more inspiring and compassionate in person.  On her blog she shares her authentic self and is always striving to become the best mom, wife, friend and woman she can be.


Me and Kristen at The Culinary Institute of America

TidyMom: Do you have a special dish you always make for Christmas?

Kristen: Since my parents retired and moved down to South Texas, I have been the lucky one to host my big family for our Christmas holiday get together. I love having everyone over and a full house! I would say that I am most known for the rolls that I make. They are a lot like the ones my mom would make every holiday. This is the recipe I use Country White Bread or Dinner Rolls

TidyMom: When does your family put up your Christmas tree?

Kristen: The day after Thanksgiving is our time to put the Christmas tree up. I am one of those annoying people who starts listening to Christmas music the 1st day of November though. I love Christmas music and could listen to it all year long!

TidyMom: With 4 young kids in the house, has your oldest yet asked the dreaded “is Santa real” question yet? If so how did you handle it or how to do plan to answer it?

Kristen: Santa is real? Isn’t he? (and no… that hasn’t come up, and when it does I’m going to act like he’s nuts 🙂 )

TidyMom: Do you wrap Santa gifts?

Kristen: Yes and no. Santa leaves out the big presents but he does wrap the smaller ones.

TidyMom: What is the most romantic gift you have ever received or gave?

Kristen: Romantic? LOL – you don’t know my husband, do you?

TidyMom: What is your favorite part about the holidays? or favorite Holiday tradition?

Kristen: There are a couple of traditions that I really love. One is our annual Gingerbread Man hunt (this link goes to my old blog, but tells the story The Gingerbread Man Hunt)  Basically, we make gingerbread cookies and somehow every year, at least one gets away. We spend several hours hunting for the missing gingerbread man! TM: I LOVE this!!

My other favorite tradition is we spend one Saturday night as a family looking around the city at Christmas lights. We start the evening off with a Skyscraper Milkshake from a local restaurant called Winstead’s. We then all pile in the van, turn on the Christmas music and start driving. Each kid gets to take turns saying what direction we’ll go… left, right, straight. We end up at different spots all over Kansas City and have such a blast seeing the different light displays. This is one of those “magical” nights for me. I look forward to it each and every year.

We also get to open up one present Christmas Eve and it is always PJ’s for everyone to wear that night. TMWe do that too!!! lol

TidyMom: Do you send out Christmas cards? and if so, do you make them or send something special?

Kristen: Yes… I do send out Christmas cards, but it is usually just a card with a family picture or picture of my kids!

TidyMom: Do you have any special food memories from Christmases past?

Kristen: I can’t think of Christmas without thinking of my Grandma and her cream pies. I miss my grandparents so much.

TidyMom: Do you leave out cookies for Santa?

Kristen: We leave out Cinnamon Rolls for Santa and then enjoy them for breakfast as a family Christmas morning as well! (This Cinnabon Cinnamon roll recipe is our favorite and what Santa gets every year! Again, the link is to my old blog, but the recipe is fantastic! Cinnamon Rolls TM: YUM!

TidyMom: What color scheme or “style” do you use to decorate for the Holidays?

Kristen: I am a minimalist when it comes to decorating for Christmas. I just don’t like a lot of extra trinkets around the house to dust and take care of, and with a baby in the house, it is just easier right now to keep the holiday decorating to a minimum. Our tree is a hodgepodge of ornaments from when my husband and I were growing up and from present day. It’s a colorful site to be seen 🙂

We do host a Christmas party with friends every year and I truly enjoy decorating the table for the event. That is one time where I go all out with decorating! TM: OMG those little hats are TOO cute!

TidyMom: Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Kristen: Shopping. I am one of those people who can’t seem to just buy presents for other people. I always end up bringing things home for myself as well!  TM: ok, so I do that too! haha

Thanks so much for sharing your family and  your holidays with us Kristen!!

Thanks to Julie of Lee Lou Blogs for making the cute Holiday Connections button for me, with design elements from Cathe Holden of Home Grown Logos.

more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+


  1. I wanna go to Kristen’s house for Christmas, don’t you?

  2. i’m with Amy – add me to the invite list for Christmas at Kristen’s! GREAT INTERVIEW CHERYL!!

  3. Double yum on the cinnamon rolls and TOO cute little Santa hats! Love it!

  4. Cinnamon rolls for Santa?!? I think I may break into Kristen’s house on Christmas Eve!!!

  5. Thanks so much for having me!

  6. What a fun interview! Could Kristen and her family be any cuter? Nope, I don’t think so!

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  10. Lovely lady, beautiful family and wonderful interview. We open one gift on Christmas Eve and drive around and look at all the lights too. I’ve never done a gingerbread hunt however and I have to say that I think it is the cutest of traditions! I really should start that with my grand-kids.

  11. I am hoping she has a post on those Santa hats!!!!!!!!!!! They are adorable! Great interview! I am, ahem, a bit older than you girls but STILL LOOOOOVE going out to see the Christmas lights! It still makes me giddy as a kid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!! XO, Pinky

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  17. Kristen, so nice to learn more about you. Your photography had me a long time ago, now your recipes do too!

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  22. This is such a cute post & it is always fun to learn more about my friends! Love Kristen 🙂

  23. Great interview! I love Kristen and her blog and now I have every reason to like you both more!

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  27. Greta interview!! I’m headed to Kristen’s hose for Christmas. Meet y’all there.

  28. Such wonderful ideas. Your children are precious. Love the pictures from the back. Great tip for someone like me who has a teenager who can’t make a serious face. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

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