Merry Christmas!

It’s been a whirlwind holiday season around here!

We celebrated Christmas with our Wisconsin families last week.  My day job doesn’t allow for a lot of overlap in time off so I had to take the week before Christmas off. This ended up working out reasonably well since my sister-in-law was in a play just outside Chicago that was closing on the 17th so we were able to leave Wesley with the grandparents and take a trip done with Matt’s family to see the show.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that on our way to Wisconsin we managed to take almost the most Wisconsin Christmas photo ever.  We stopped a Culvers for a baby feeding break and they had Santa visiting too.  I had been a little disappointed that we hadn’t gotten a picture of Wesley with Santa and suddenly I had my chance!  And not only was Santa there, but also Scoopy (who I did not even realize was thing). I really should have grabbed Wesley’s Packer onsie out of the car, but I dropped the ball a little bit there.

After that we had Christmas with Matt’s immediate family.  Christmas with his extended family. Christmas with my mom, step-dad, and sister + family. Finally Christmas with my dad, step-mom, and sister + family. We were also able to sneak in an evening with one of my aunts, uncle, and a cousin so they could hang out with Wesley for a little bit. We opted to drive back to MN on Christmas Eve so we could have our own mini family Christmas and some decompression time.

Because we had been gone for a week we weren’t really coming back to any food.  No problem, there’s a Thai place down the street.  Surely they’d be open and we could grab some take out.  Nope.  They were closed for the entire week. Luckily our favorite Himalayan restaurant was still open so we had a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner of tikka masala, matar paneer, and momos. I am all for making this an annual tradition. Thankfully Target was also still open so we were able to pick up a few things for Christmas Day too.*

Today we just had a couple presents from each other to open, and couple things that had been mailed to us, but it was pretty low-key. We slept in, made some tea and coffee, and chilled out with some Christmas cookies my nephew packaged up for us. Cookies for breakfast are totally acceptable on Christmas.

Now we just have unpack, do laundry, clean, and prep for our annual New Years Eve party. “Party” is probably too grandiose a term since most people leave by 10 or so.  What can I say, we’re old and boring… but we have food, booze, and good company.

These photos of our Christmas decor are also carefully cropped to hide the door that’s currently being painted in our entryway.  At -2 it’s far too cold to be working on the porch, so we moved it inside so we could finally get it finished.

And yes, despite the fact that Matt and I didn’t get Wesley anything for Christmas (besides a 529 Plan contribution) the kiddo was still quite spoiled.  Thankfully a lot of what he got were books and clothes, which you can never have too many of! He also got some pretty awesome toys that he will soon be growing into (and mom and dad are very thankful we didn’t get inundated and that all the things with batteries also have off/mute switches).

Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Happy December!

Does anyone else refuse to start Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving and then rapidly panic when they realize ohshit I only have 3 weeks to get this all done because I need to budget time for shipping and wrapping and WHY IN GODS NAME DID WE AGREE TO DO CHRISTMAS A WEEK EARLY THIS YEAR? Or is it just me?

So here we are, December 1st.  You have 23 more days to shop, so here’s a little inspiration for you.  Bonus: everything is under $100 and most things are under $50.

For the one who loves to entertain.  Serving dishes and table accents are awesome options.

Tiered Dessert Trays // Metal Tea Tray // Appetizer Plates // Carafe // Apron // Napkin Rings

For the one who always keeps a well-stocked bar, think about about some fun items to add and extra bit of class.

Slate Coasters // Bar Tool Set // Footed Moscow Mule Mug // Wine Rack // Martini Picks //Pineapple Ice Bucket

We’re not all people-persons, so for the one who needs her me-time candles, throws, and comfy pj’s are great ways to cozy it up at home.

Wireless Speaker // Punjammies // Fancy Candle // Tea/Coffee Cup // Cozy Throw // Diffuser

For the one who loves to pamper herself, fancy bath items are a great way to make your home feel more like a spa.

Lush Gift Set // Clay Mask + Mixing bowl // RosemaryMint Oil // Olive Oil Body Scrub // Soap Roses // Eye Mask

For that friend who likes to work in a good dose of whimsy.

Llama Tea Towel // Fun Socks // Quirky T-Shirt // Solar System Necklace // Flamingo Mug // Pompom-Ear Hat // Dino Planter

Know a Yankee who feels more British than the Queen? Help them get set for a full English breakfast or high tea.  A bit of whimsy doesn’t hurt either.

British Invasion canvas print // Pimm’s liqueur // Tiered Dessert Tray // Toast Rack // Tea Cozy // Tea (some of my favs are the Mojitea, Dozy Girl, Enchanted Narnia, and the  Strawberry Lemonade is wonderful iced!)

PS The Tea Source is another amazing place to get tea.  Plus, if you’re in the Twin Cities they’re local!

Merry Christmas from Flat-Pack & Vintage

Whoo-hoo! It’s almost Christmas!  I’ve been busy with holiday stuffs so I’m behind on house stuffs, but here’s some fun stuffs for your holiday weekend.

DIY 2016 Dumpster Fire Ornament.  Daaang this year was rough.  Not only was it possibly the crappiest election year ever, but amazing people were dying left and right.  I may be making one of these…

Did you know Kentucky Christmas is a thing in Japan?  I didn’t, but their commercials are kind of amazing.


Our current tree-topper is a star from the dollar store which is a little too dinky for our new tree, and also doesn’t seem to fit the floofy top spike of the tree,  I love the modern-ness of this Himmeli-Style one!  I think it’s made my holiday to-do list too!

Here’s a roundup of the cookies we made this year. Even though it’s probably too late for cookie-baking for most of you, you may want to file these recipes for next year.

Gingerbread cut-outs (I use orange zest instead of lemon)

Apple-Cranberry-Walnut Rugelach

Mint-Chocolate Fudge (I just top it with the mint layer and don’t marbleize it, laziness FTW)

Self-Frosting Anise cookies

Sugar Cookie Cut-outs (ok, didn’t actually make these this year, but I usually do)


Wishing you a very merry whatever-holiday-you-celebrate!


Operation Cookie 2015

I really enjoy baking, but with just the 2 of us I don’t do a lot of it.  Until Christmas, then I damn near kill myself churning out cookies for friends, family, co-workers, and once a cookie exchange.*

After a near melt-down last year I decided to scale back this year and did 3 different kinds of cookies: sugar, gingerbread, and rugelach.  For the sugar cookies I made a double batch and frosted 1/2 with peppermint cream so it was really like 4 kinds of cookies since I cheat like that.

Let’s start with the sugar cookies.  I like soft, buttery cookies that hold their shape well because, cutouts.  How often do you get to make cutout cookies during the year?

Cut-out Sugar Cookies

I’ve made them with double the vanilla and no almond extract too–yum!

I also used this Peppermint Frosting on 1/2 of them (and dipped them in crushed peppermint puffs–not quite a buttermint, but softer than a candy cane).  I think I ended up doubling the mint extract in the frosting too (just add it to personal preference).

Matt has informed me that the gingerbread recipe I found a couple years ago is the best damn gingerbread cookie ever, and I can’t get this guy to get excited about anything. “Oh my god, isn’t this paint color PERFECT?” “It’s fine.”  “Holy shit, this rug is positively divine!” “It’s fine.”**  Heck, I couldn’t even get a reaction out of him when I insisted on flipping the fridge door hinge to massively improve functionality in our kitchen.  Actually, not true, his reaction was a vehement “You better not change your mind because I never want to do that again.”  But my gingerbread cookies? “The best.” Assuming you like soft, spicy gingerbread. They also hold their shape really nicely too!

The Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies

The only change I make is to swap the lemon zest for orange zest.  Ah-maz-ing.

And finally the rugelach.  Never heard of rugelach?  I never had either before stumbling across this recipe.  It’s a very Jewish cookie so not being Jewish I apparently had been missing out for years.  Now I make it for Christmas.  I’m all-inclusive like that. The apple-cranberry-walnut is fabulous, but you can stuff them with whatever you want.  Chocolate pistachio?  Apricot?  There’s a Jewish deli*** not too far from us and they have every flavor under the sun.

Apple-Cranberry-Walnut Rugelach

I double the dough, but not the filling since it make tons of filling.  They’re a little putzy to roll up since the dough is quite sticky so it helps to roll them out on parchment then you use the parchment to help roll them into spirals.

Sorry, I don’t actually have any pictures… but it’s Christmas Eve and I’ve had a lot of other shit to do. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!  We’re taking the weekend off to cram in 4 family Christmases in 3 days, but when we get back BATHROOM REVEAL!


*Never again.  Unless there are 5 people, tops, involved.

**People have tried to explain to me that not everyone gets super-hyped over a perfect paint color, spends days trying to pick out the perfect drawer pull, or even makes you STOP THE CAR NOW to investigate a promising piece of furniture on the side of road.  I don’t entirely buy it and given that you’re reading a design blog I don’t think you do either.

***If you’re ever in St Paul get thee to Cecil’s Deli. Then head to Minneapolis to go to Emily’s Lebanese Deli.  Oh and get breakfast at Patisserie 46 in South Minneapolis.  And if you’re feeling fancy go back to St Paul for dinner at Heartland.  Then head to Izzy’s to get some ice cream for dessert.  And if you can take it do a Juicy Lucy taste testing between the Nook (or Shamrocks), The Blue Door, Matt’s, and the 5-8 Club.  Yeah, this is why we put up with the snow.

Christmas Roundup: Metallic + Mod

I’m not usually a glitter and sparkles kind of girl, but the winter holidays  have started to bring out my blingier side big time. Maybe because it’s the upper Midwest so all is gray, frigid, and depressing for a solid 5 months, sometime longer.  Sparkles are kind of like sunshine, right?

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten


You might have noticed it’s a little Target heavy…that’s mostly because Target’s Christmas decor selection this year is ah-maz-ing! I could have put half their frickin store on this list! I tried to mix in some other sparkly finds so I wasn’t completely playing favorites (especially since I don’t actually have any affiliation with these companies).  That tree topper from Michaels may be making my wishlish… I just don’t know if trust our cats not to break it… There are also tons of places to find awesome shiny ornaments like IKEA, CB2, more CB2, Overstock, Wayfair, or if you’re plagued with curious kitties (or dogs, or kids) the dollar store is usually a giant glitter bomb.

I’m also kind of in love with white trees at the moment.  Not flocked trees so much, but the solid white ones.  I’m a scrooge who actually hates real trees (they shed, you have to remember to water them, they’re pokey, and you have to light them… ugh).  Give me a pre-lit fake tree any day!  I love the white ones because they’re not trying to pretend to be real, they’re just trying to be glamorous (and often winning at it).