Christmasy Things


December 23, 2014

Some Christmas things around our house! This 'Downton Abbey' marmalade is going to my mother. (silly friends, don't worry about me, I also got this jam for myself.)

Fairytale gingerbread house advent calender for my daughter, but really, I got it for myself.

Also got the sparkle pillow for myself.

Julia and I made exactly 3 pomanders before deciding our oranges were too squishy and that the cloves were hurting our fingers.

Bought this pom pom garland for myself as well (I really did get things for others) and Andrew says it looks like a cat toy. Now I think it looks like a cat toy. I think he's ruined Christmas.

This is a magazine from last year. Never made anything from it! But I like to look at it all the same.

My daughter asked me the other day, why is there a present under the tree that says "To Mama, From Mama"?? Um, ok apparently I like myself A LOT at Christmas time. But seriously, who else is going to know I wanted a tiny Christmas marzipan cake from Crabtree & Evelyn? WHO?? (I got a scorching Cyber Monday deal on it!)

When Julia called Andrew down to show him that I was now labeling gifts to myself and putting them under the tree, I laughed and clapped and announced "Oh I hope I got myself something DELIGHTFUL!"

And that was the most fun we had pre-Christmas because then all three of us got super sick with a super cold and it really put a damper on pre-Christmas festivities. But now we're better, and I'm listening to Christmas music and I'm done with my photo sessions for the year, and I have an exciting 10 loads of laundry to do before the holiday. I will eat sugar cookies while I fold laundry and try not to get too many crumbs on the clean clothes.

This holiday season has been kinda crazeeeeee. I can't WAIT for Christmas to be over so that I can enjoy Christmas. :)

(no friday post this week but I'll pop in before New Years to say hello ~ xo and Mele Kalikimaka to all of you lovelies!)

Cool Stuff I Like


December 19, 2014

I did it again! Honest to goodness plumb forgot to add my 'cool stuff i like' lettering to my photo. See? My mind just doesn't want to go there anymore! Got an extra lengthy list for you today, because there was an extra amount of awesome out there this week-before-Christmas. I could have added tons more. Friends, let's discuss online purchasing for a moment. I do pretty much 99.9% of my shopping online. I did a ton of it this year on Cyber Monday. But anyhoo, several things I ordered came.....and I didn't realize (or hadn't carefully checked) that they were GIANT sized. 2 things for Andrew, well let's just say I hope he likes what I got, because there are enormous quantities of it! And something came for Julia that I thought would be small and wee and cute, and well, it is the opposite of wee. It is super jumbo sized. I'm really not sure how I was so far off the mark in terms of quantity and size. Oh well, live and learn.....

Oh wow, I love this idea for gift wrapping.

Best of IKEA - holiday.  ~ via Design Sponge

I'm totally tired of my sugar cookie recipe. So I'm going to try this one!

Christmas games. 

The Vampire Slayer Ramen Express. And if that doesn't make you feel festive, I wash my hands of you.

Holiday crafts. 

The best old movies for families. 

Darling. Love all of this Christmas house, and especially her words and sentiments in the post.

Animals destroying Christmas. Hurray!

Some Scandi homes decorated for the holidays. 

I found it! This chocolate-orange bread pudding is going to be my Christmas Day Dinner dessert.

Cool Book of the Week: a lovely Awesome & Helpful reader, backed up by another pal, suggested I check out the book 'Winterfrost'  by Michelle Houts. So I did. I looked it up, read the story description, and I didn't even hit pause, or the check-the-library button - I went straight to 'PLACE ORDER' and I'm kind of wondering if I need to arm wrestle my child when it arrives, so that I can read it first. It's a wintery tale set in Denmark, about a girl who finds out the hard way what occurs when her family forgets to put out the traditional bowl of Christmas porridge for nisse, little elf creatures who are supposed to guard a family and their farm animals. I'm sooooooo excited!

Have a lovely weekend! It's finally holiday baking time for us. Sugar cookies and gingerbread, my Christmas-time warriors. Don't forget that getting through the holidays is like, a BATTLE, and one needs to be armed with gingerbread.


Big Pig and the Lost Elf


December 17, 2014

Let me tell you about one of the the cutest books that you ever will see. 'Big Pig and the Lost Elf' is a new Christmas classic that needs to be in your rotation every holiday season.

I've been longing for my pals over at Raven Mad Studios to get this book in my hands! And it's here! This gloriously fun, charming AND delightful little gem is finally here!

Art genuis Randy Briley, the creator behind 'Big Pigs and Sock Dances' has made an even charming-er story, if that was even possible. A little elf has lost his way. And it's up to Big Pig to help him out. Because he's decided that's what he's a-gonna do this particular holiday season - BE A HELPER.

(at the outset, oh so sadly, the barn yard animals do not want Big Pig's "help", which is kind of like when your 2 year old toddler offers to "help" - it's assistance you're better off without.)

But hey happy day, an elf falls out of the sky! Big Pig vows to help his new friend make his way back to Santa.

They look everywhere for the North Pole.

Everyyyyyyyywherrrrrre. Elf and Big Pig look in London, the desert, outer space, and the South Pole, to name just a few spots to which they venture.

(Neither one of them has a particularly keen sense of direction, it turns out.)

They finally make it to the correct Pole.

Big Pig is named an honorary elf, and he and his new BFF make a Christmas vow to spend every holiday henceforth, together.

My friends. Let's chat about this. This fun, funny, whimsical, and happy story is told in a rhyming structure that's so cleverly done - color me impressed when you've got an author who finds fun rhymes for 'offended' and 'kerplop', and does it in such a way that school aged kids will be entertained right alongside their preschooler or kindergarten aged siblings.

Another nice thing (besides the art, besides the story) is that it's a light and not-too-big paperback, that I'm planning on stockpiling and handing out when I need a little gift or something to take to a holiday book exchange. Next year, every kiddo I give gifts to is getting one of these babies.

And if you want to keep tabs on everything magical that Randy Briley comes up with, check out his website and Facebook page!

(I'd say the normal jazz about how the creators sent me this book to review, and that all opinions are my own, but really what happened was that when I got wind that this story was in the works, I got in touch with them and begged for this book! So...yeah.)

Little Treats


December 15, 2014

Hello sweet friends! A quick pop-in today. With a gift suggestion, for you or for someone you like! If you have a Trader Joe's nearby (I haz a big sad for you if you don'ts), have you seen these big, beautiful tins of amaretti?

Truth - I bought them for the tin. I'm going to use it as a cookie tin when they're all gone. But what's fun about this biz is that the amaretti are handful sized and soft, as opposed to the crunchy kind, which I was more familiar with. I think I'm going to buy another tin for my step-dad, he loves his treats! Aren't they so FESTIVE looking? The flavors are chocolate, raspberry, coffee, and chocolate rum.

Really, those whole presentation of the treats within the gorgeous box is quite fancy and fantastic, if you ask me, which nobody did, but that's why I have this blog - so I can expound upon whatever I want, whether anybody wants to know or not. If you're wondering whether all that power has gone to my head, you'd be totally right. (I'd like to remind you, lest you think I've gone extra special round the bend, that I'm really a fairly wee blog and I'm really not power mad. It's just that December has melted my brain. Hurray for Christmas zombies!)

Bottom line - this would make someone an awesome present, if you're freaking out about certain people and what to get them. I'm trying to be Very Helpful.

Cool Stuff I Like


December 12, 2014

Happy Friday! Ok friends, believe it or not, but this is only....maybe #5 of camera phone photos I've ever taken? And Hello Kitty on the left, as you can see, is totally not intentionally out of focus, but oh well. Onto the blog it goes! Can I tell you, I feel like I'm re-learning how to drive or something - this business of learning to take decent camera phone pictures? I'm SO not used to the process at all. I'm determined to practice and figure it out.

Let's partake of some internet holiday cheer, shall we?

Old fashioned Christmas candy.

Totally bought Downton Abbey Christmas Preserves for myself to put under the tree.

DARLING Christmas ornaments!

Best thing I read all week.

Look what Danzel did on her porch!

This is mindblowing. 

How to hide your Christmas presents.

Adorable folksy gift giving guide.

Lickable wallpaper.

Apartment Therapy's take on new holiday decorating ideas.  

Totally making these neon garlands for my tree next year. Next Christmas, I'm changing how I do my tree in a big way.

Cool Book of the Week: 'The Night Before Christmas', illustrated by the great Roger Duvoisin. Saw this a couple weeks ago and flipped my lid. You should see this! It's tall and narrow, and gorgeously done in Duvoisin's signature cool style. I had no idea the artist behind 'The Happy Lion' and 'Petunia' had also done a version of the classic Christmas poem, newly reissued this fall.

Have a lovely weekend! Hopefully (I'm writing this on Wednesday) I won't have been blown away in a big wind storm we're supposed to have in the next day or so! Last time our region had a big wind storm in December, some people were without power the week before Christmas and even through Christmas, I think. And it was super cold. At least right now, it's pretty warm. So if I'm silent next Monday, it's because there's no power!


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