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Sometimes it seems like the weeks leading up to Christmas are actually more fun than the day itself. There is always so much to do to “get ready” gifts to be bought, lights to be strung, cookies to be baked – not to mention all of the pre-celebrating that there is to do as well. This year my mom has been in town since Thanksgiving, so we have been indulging daily in holiday themed activities and shenanigans. Here are a few of the moments I actually remembered to take pictures of.
Waiting in line at Grassroots coffee to get our first cup of holiday hot chocolate, my mom took it one step even further and added a shot of peppermint.
That’s right I am wearing flip flops; we Floridians are donning our holiday sweaters with flip flops as the thermostat hovers in the high seventies.
Not my car, but my mom used it to bring up yet again that she thinks I need to add something festive to my auto décor. Reindeer antlers perhaps, maybe a strand of lights in the back window. Sorry, mom – the answer is still no.Craft day! I had a few friends, over and we laughed, singed ourselves with glue gun, and created some pretty snazzy vases and sleighs made from candy and ribbon.
My sweet old man sleeping peacefully under the tree; he may be grumpy and needy, but I love him so very much
My mom wove faux poinsettias around the cats’ wicker basket, and it is now the place to sleep and look haughty.
The Christmas tree, the greatest cat toy ever. We now have two water bottles sitting on the coffee table to keep the tree maiming to a minimum.Not everyone is as excited about Christmas as I am. Oliver is quite over all the fun toys he isn’t allowed to play with, the rearranging of his furniture, and mommy doing things that aren’t scratching his ears or snuggling him. He has taken to sitting in the middle of whatever I am working on and glaring at me. It’s really cute.
As I’m sure you remember, I was a little anxious to dive into the Christmas-ing this year. So much so, that I cheated on Andy’s “not until Thanksgiving” rule and decided to tackle some of the DIYs on my Christmas Craft board. The first thing I made was this Tea Advent Calendar(full tutorial) for our cat sitter, who is an avid tea enthusiast. Here is how mine turned out.
As you can see, I went a more colorful route. The best thing about this particular craft was the price. Andy and I drink a lot of tea, and between gifts and what we buy ourselves, we always have a large variety of blends stashed in our pantry. I also have plenty of wrapping paper and cardboard in my crafting closet so the only thing that actually had to be purchased for this project was the clothes pins, bringing the total cost of this wreath to $2.50, which is pretty awesome. Since I loved the large wreath -so much so I had a little trouble letting go of it-, I am considering making a few smaller ones (12 days vs. 25) for a couple of the people in my office, as well as myself, maybe even one for Andy to take to work with him. Hopefully, the cooler weather will hold on, and things will be perfect for a steamy cuppa first thing in the morning or before bed.
This weekend we engaged in what is one of my favorite holiday traditions, picking out the Christmas tree. Last year, on the advice of a co-worker, we decided to go local and get our tree from the Tallahassee Nursery. It was a wonderful place, and our tree was absolutely gorgeous. This year was even better because Andy and I got to share the tree trip with my mom.
Of course we had to walk around a bit before getting down to the main event. While we Floridians don’t get to enjoy much in the way of traditional winter weather, the upside is that there are always lots of beautiful things blooming. We also discovered that the nursery had made three fuzzy acquisitions since our last visit. Tiger, Willow and Tally were brought in to help with the mouse problem; the mice however left as soon as the kitties moved in. We spent over an hour poking around the various areas at the nursery and exploring all the fun things they set up for the holiday. We even got to enjoy warm glasses of spiced cider. Before picking up our tree, we stopped by the koi pond and said hello to the pudgy little fishies. They were quite excited to see us, but I suspect they treat every one that way. While they were trying the tree to the top of our car, I saw this angel and had to walk over and take a picture. I’m not a huge Doctor Who fan, but my husband watches the show and ever since he told me about the episode with the weeping angels I have to admit that every time I see an angel statue they make me just the tiniest bit uneasy. She was pretty, but I still wouldn’t want her in my job.
As you already know, last month I attended the Maiedae Mixer. This year, the event was sponsored by Minted, and along with all of the gorgeous custom work they had at the event, they offered each of the attendees the opportunity to create their own perfect Christmas cards in exchange for a product review. Best. Deal. Ever! I had an absolute blast scrolling through all of the different options, and I spent an entire day waffling between this design and the one that I ultimately picked. I just had to go for the eye catching combo of rose gold and evergreen.
Every step of the creation process offers a variety of options, from card shape to layout, from font to envelope liner. Everything can be tweaked to create your perfect product.
Another feature that I found downright delightful was the envelope addressing. I hate having to address stack and stacks of envelopes (Andy refuses to help because my hand writing is “better”), but with a few clicks, I uploaded my address book and had envelopes that were not only addressed, but addressed with a style that complemented my beautiful cards.
All in all, I have to say that this has been one of the best online shopping experiences I have ever had. I got exactly what I wanted, and the customer service was a dream. My cards arrived carefully packed and within a couple of days from my okay on the final proof. I love my cards, I loved my shopping experience, and I will certainly be ordering from them again in the future.
*As stated the cards were provided in exchange for my product review, but the opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
Aaaaannnndddd we’re back! I know the “holidays” aren’t really over until after New Years Eve, but my house is eerily quiet and I have to go back to the office so it feels like things are at least a bit “over”. I had such a great Christmas, and I wanted to share a bit of the second part of my week with you guys. Enjoy!
Christmas Eve and Day were a blur of cooking, cleaning, laughing and visiting with family. It was absolutely wonderful to have a full house for the first time in forever. My Uncle Brian won the prize for “Best Gift” with the Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp he made for my mother. She has been wanting a larger one ever since she got her tiny side table lamp and we all agreed that this was the prettiest one we’d ever seen.
Unfortunately, half of our visitors had to head home on Friday, but Andy and I took my mom and step dad to the Tallahassee Museum… after I fortified myself with a large mug of tea in my new favorite “Cat Mom” mug, of course. It was the perfect day to be out and about: sunny, but still cool enough for walking around to be enjoyable. All of the animals were enjoying the good weather as well; we got to watch the otter frolic around in his pond and the red wolves were having a blast playing tag. Even the farm animals were walking around their pens making happy sounds.
One of the best parts of the week was the mother daughter day my mom and I planned. We kicked things off with breakfast at Liams’ with two giant bowls of coffee and orange scented doughnuts. Then came quite a bit of shopping, most of it was window shopping, but we still had a blast. After we walked around enough to feel like our feet were about to fall off, we picked the boys up for dinner out. My poor mom was so tuckered out, she fell asleep in front of the fire. Apparently, the couch wasn’t close enough so she had to make her own place to lounge.