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!

Halloween (and Fall) Decor Round-up


Isn’t Pinterest fantastic?  And doesn’t it make you feel completely inferior?  Yeah…  Not everyone has endless time on their hands for crafting and that’s ok. I’ve compiled a list of  (mostly) simple projects you can use to decorate your home for Halloween and fall without losing your mind. Pick a couple depending your crafting ambition and you’ll still probably be more decked out than your neighbors. While a few of these are more involved, most can be accomplished with scissors, glue, and paint.

Decorate with Silhouettes





How About Orange

You can cut out a bunch while binge-watching Netflix.  Win, right?


Rock Your Entry

Create Craft Love

Have some big branches from yard cleanup?  Hang on to them, add some fake ravens and voila!  If you don’t have branches this scale you could wedge smaller ones in planters to give them a little more height (and distract from the plants that are dying off with the frost)

Endlessly Inspired

Don’t have any planters?  You can make some with cheap jack-o-lantern pails and stone effect spray paint (or go wild with any color you want, but I like the muted and vaguely creepy look for Halloween myself)

Lil Luna

So yeah, I linked to another round-up, but there are tons of options for Halloween/Fall door wreaths.


Mood Lighting

The Kim Six Fix

Ok, so these are for decorative jars, but the effect would be pretty cool for on candle holders too, right?

Crafty Nest

Or use a small pumpkin for a candle holder and drill that puppy.

Harry Potter Party Ideas

Have a little extra time (and are a Harry Potter fan)? You can DIY a floating candle ceiling!  More work than some glue and a coat of paint, but spectacular! You can also nix the night sky and keep the backdrop solid black.

Tablescape it

Four Front Doors

Dollar store skeleton + dish + candle holder + paint = awesomely creepy dish.  You can use it for party treats or candles, either way it make a big statement on your table.

Flamingo Toes

Ok, these are also a little more work but how cool are they??? One or two would still make a big impact if you don’t have time for a whole cluster and most of the supplies can be found easily on the cheap.

The 36 Avenue

Spooky village anyone?  They found the Christmas village pieces at the dollar store and then just painted them black.

Think a Little More Fall

Halloween Decorations are all fine and good, but want if you want to feel fall festive for more than a couple weeks?  I try and use mostly things that are generally seasonal rather than holiday-specific (and then bring in a few holiday-specific items as needed).  For fall these barely need tutorials–a cluster of gourds and mini pumpkins, sprays of branches and (fake) fall leaves, groups of cozy candles.  But if you’re ambitious you can step it up a bit too.

Decor Envy

Add a little bling with a garland of fake leaves and glitter paint.


Stack pumpkins or gourds in vases for more sophistication. So Simple there’s not even a tutorial needed.

My Hearts Desire

Toss some corn (beans, split peas, etc) into the base of your candle holders for some added color and texture.