Friday, December 9, 2016

December Wishlist

The same amount of time as every other month and this one always flies by.  So many things to fit into this joyful season.  Our wish list of things to do this month is always longer than the rest - how can you not love this time of the year??  

We're a decent bit into December and we've already done a bunch of the classic things we love - get the house decorated (inside & out), have some Christmas shopping dates (we aren't done with shopping - but getting close!), watch all of the christmas movies, enjoy the tree all lit up, moving the advent calendar day to day, 

  • Christmas Lights Night:  We love packing Stella up, sipping hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music and driving through the neighborhoods to look at all the displays finishing up at a big display that a local park does.
  • Hosting:  It's our last Christmas in this house and while I can't wait for our first one in the new house, I still want to host a few times here - a few different friends nights, Christmas Eve Eve dinner with family, and big family football night.
  • The Nutcracker:  We started this last year and are hoping to make it a tradition each year.  I was in the Nutcracker growing up so after many years of not seeing it, we finally went last year, saw some of the Christmas city sights and had a nice dinner - same itinerary is set for this year.
  • Stella's Santa Photo: It's stupid, it's not needed but I love it.  This is the second year we took Stella to get a picture on Santa's lap and it's always quite the experience.
  • Wrapping: It's not for everyone but I love wrapping up all the gifts - I try to start early so it's still fun and not rushed.  We set up a little wrapping station, I pick out a theme each year (the container store has the best paper!) and pick out my ribbon for the bows.
  • Bowl Games: We have a family bowl pool with about 20 or so of us filling out a bracket for the college football bowl games.  This year Penn State is in the "grandaddy of them all" and we're headed to Pasadena to see them play in the Rose Bowl! 
  • Another City: I love seeing all the decorations and am always wanting to visit another city in December - with all there is to do this month, we rarely travel but usually make it up to NYC for a night, which we're hoping to fit in! If not, we'll take in the California decorations!
  • Lazy 26th: One of my favorite things is having a lazy, stay in pj's all day, look back at your gifts, watch movies, eat a good warm meal kind of day on the 26th.  After all the chaos it's nice for a quiet day and we always plan just that the day after Christmas.  
  • Everything Else: Baking cookies (I've picked one Friday with no plans to get some early baking in!), a carriage ride, final shopping - no matter how early I shop, I always end up in the mall that final week it seems, angel tree gifts, Christmas movies night, sending Christmas cards (already checked off the list!)

I'm definitely most excited for the main event - I'm in charge of Christmas Eve breakfast - a crockpot casserole and cinnamon rolls (this recipe is so easy and requires no yeast!) dinner at our favorite restaurant then walking over to church on Christmas Eve, time spent opening presents under the tree with our favorite Christmas brunch after and a big family party with everyone that night to finish off the day. 

If you're still in need of gifts to give checkout my full Christmas gift guide here, splurge vs save gift chide here, stocking gift guide here and gifts for the home/hostess here.

What are you most looking forward to this month? xx

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holiday Home & Hostess Gifts

If it's gold, it makes a good gift.  

Bringing an easy appetizer, making cookies or even picking up something pre baked (I do a lot!), bottle of wine, etc. makes for the best and easiest hostess gifts.  Something like an ornament or the  and an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne inside (or the champagne glass set) can all be fun too if you need something more.  

For actual gift giving, everything below works great too - pairing the cocktail shaker with the bar set and a drink of choice is a perfect gift.  Adding book in with the pineapple book ends makes another easy gift too.  The cravings cheese board with cheese for the the holiday is something you can't go wrong with.  Putting a little coffee or Starbucks gift card into the coffee mug makes an easy gift - especially for a coworker!

Happy shopping! xx 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Goodies with Tiny Prints

'Tis the season for Christmas goodies.  Tiny Prints has the best selection of not only Christmas cards but other stationary and goodies as well.  I scrolled through all the options for cards multiple times because it was so hard to pick from all the great choices.  I loved that theres also holiday stationary, ornaments and personalized wrapping paper! 
Tiny Prints always has great deals and speedy shipping - my order came in less than a week which left plenty of time for getting my cards in the mail - we stuffed and sealed them last night and off they go in the mail today.
A sneak at our card for this year... 

Personalized holiday wrapping paper?  Sold! As everyone knows, I love anything personalized and I love picking out my Christmas wrapping paper theme each year - I usually go with a similar theme to the wrapping that I picked out below - and of course Stella wanted to help wrap.

We always pick a day to take not only a Christmas card photo but our family photos for that year.  I love that Tiny Prints offers personalized ornaments so now we have our Christmas card in ornament form to hang on the tree for years to come - We'll definitely be doing this each year from now on.

Personalized stationary is always a must to me.  I love having these holiday themed items - the notepad is perfect for making lists of all we want to get in this season (or leaving Derek reminders!) and the notecards will be perfect to drop in with cookies to deliver to family and friends.  I love that both sets match too! These make great gifts or stocking stuffers too...

I was most impressed with the Christmas card selection - so many cards to pick from, different envelope designs and you can just type in your address list so they come ready to be stuffed and dropped into the mailbox - so easy! We just dropped ours in the mail today so I've got some sneak peeks below; if you want to see which we picked, you can take a peek here.

My pajamas set is old but you can find similar sets here and here.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Home Tour

For once we had a quiet weekend in December - it was great! We watched Penn State win the Big Ten Championship (!!!), made a trip to the Christmas tree lot, picked up our angel tree names at church, had a Christmas shopping day date and watched plenty of Christmas movies. 

Now, onto our Christmas decor.  When our house is decorated for Christmas, it's my favorite time to be home.  We wanted a few new items this year but are holding off until our first Christmas in the new house next year - we also got rid of some of our old ones and kept things simple and classic this year.

I love displaying our Christmas cards from years past - they are always such fun to look back on and make for an easy decoration - for now I have them on the bookshelf but next year I'd like to do an accent table full of them.  

I don't think I'll ever get sick of holiday tartan.  Our breakfast knock has an easy and classic feel and the placemats can easily transition into January.

It's nice to have our holiday glasses out for easy access - we can only use them for a month so I like to get as much use out of them as we can.

Our dining room is where we get our gold and neutral decorations in.  It's also where I "store" our Spode Christmas set for the season.  It dresses up the table by adding an extra holiday touch and the dishes are right there for us to grab before dinner.  This is also our "reindeer" room - plenty of them throughout the room.

I'm excited to have a fireplace next year to hang our stockings but for now this little nook will do.  We love turning out the lights at night to watch a movie and have just the lights on the two little trees by the door and the big tree on.

We only decorate the first floor but we do throw up a couple decoration items at the bar since that's where we do a good bit of hosting.  My favorite items are our family Christmas drink recipe that's framed and our pictures with Santa - one with Stella and one our first year married.

Thanks for stopping by! xx