Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gift Guide - Christmas Eve Pajamas

Every year on Christmas Eve we could open one gift.  That gift was always a new pair of cozy pajamas for everyone to sleep in and then wear the next morning as we opened our gifts.  Here are a few of my favorite PJ's this season in keeping with this family tradition......

J Crew
Restoration Hardware Child & Baby



Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Decor Favorites from Around the Web

 Mark and Graham

Pottery Barn

Restoration Hardware

Crate and Barrel

Ballard Designs
Christmas time is always my favorite season of the year.  I put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving and leave it up until New Year's Day.   I love taking out the decorations you haven't seen in a whole year and going down memory lane as you unwrap each one and figure out where to place them throughout the house.  My husband and I started the tradition of buying a Christmas ornament when we go on special vacations.  It is a great way to remember those trips and special memories that you don't think of very often.   Another tradition that I would like to start is making homemade food gifts for family.  (My caveat is that this does not include fruit cake,  I cannot stand fruit cake:)  One of my favorite memories as a child around Christmas was when we would receive the big care package of my Grandma's homemade treats.  They lived states away and we didn't always get to see them every Christmas, but knowing she took the time to make all of those cookies, and candies and hand wrap them up for all of our family was such a nice feeling that she was with us in spirit during that time of year.  This weekend I am going to try out a Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe and see how it goes.  If it's not a disaster, I will share it here next week:) 

Do you guys have any traditions that you have started or carried over from your family?

 Have a wonderful weekend and stay warm!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Notes to Self

" I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

 - Maya Angelou

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sometimes it really is the little things......

View from Whidbey Island, WA

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."

- Judy Garland

This past weekend, my husband and I had the chance to get away to one of the nearby islands for just a night.  We were using a gift certificate to an Inn that we had received as a thoughtful wedding gift almost a year ago and of course had been too busy to use thus far.  We have both been their before and had a great weekend, but there was something about this trip that was different for me.
It may have just come at the exact right time in my life, but there was something about being in this small, quiet town where there is one movie theater, and one restaurant that stays open until a whopping 10 PM, that made me realize it is so easy to get caught up in the noise of life on a daily basis to where you are on autopilot and numb to being alive.  Worrying about finances, work, and busy schedules while trying to forge ahead towards the next goal (be it in a career or your personal life) can become so all consuming that you can really lose touch with yourself. 
I have always been a firm believer that it really is the little things that make life worthwhile, but I am also guilty of speeding through life so quickly that I miss the little things most of the time.  Getting out of the city and visiting a place with less distractions gave me a chance to just "be" instead of "do" for a change. 
I sometimes feel envious of the successful bloggers that I follow because based on their blog content it seems like their lives must be full of these special little things on a daily basis.  For me it's an escape to look at their blogs each morning while I drink my first cup of coffee at my stuffy desk job and I find myself longing for a life where I had time to make homemade cupcakes and monogram my own mouse pad with glitter, etc.  It sounds ridiculous just writing it, but I think in reality, these women are running businesses and its not all as glamorous as it seems, or at least I selfishly hope;)  I do think we can learn from what these ideas represent.  It is so important to find ways to incorporate little things just for yourself that can realistically fit into your schedule, but that gives you that inner peace of having focused on the little things just a bit each day or each week.   For me it's all about trying to be a well rounded person and feel like my life has balance.    
I have made a pact with myself that for the next 6 months, I am going to make a concerted effort to focus on incorporating these things into my routine.   Here is my list for October:
  1. Joined new gym - take fun group classes and work with a personal trainer 2 x a week
  2. Read a classic book - starting with "A Room With a View" by E.M. Forster
  3. Make fun meals on Sunday afternoon that make lunches and dinners during the week feel more special
I hope these little things will help make me the first-rate version of myself.
What types of things do you guys do that help break up the day to day routine?