Winter was a little late to the party this year. The temps were in the 60s right up until Christmas, but when he showed up, he did it in style. We had to cut our trip home a bit short because of the winter storm, which was a huge bummer, but at least we ended up with enough ice and snow to keep us from feeling guilty about leaving early. Bonus--it's gorgeous!
Better late than never, right? :) Like I mentioned in my last December Daily post, I slacked a little on DD while I was home for the holidays. I'm thinking it would be doable if I hosted Christmas at our place (or if I was dedicated enough to haul a box of scrapbooking materials across an entire state...); maybe next year! Overall, I'm pretty pleased with myself for sticking with this--even if my postings weren't always punctual, my scrapping was!--and I'm a little sad that it's almost over. It has honestly inspired me to do my New Year's resolutions a bit differently this year, but more on that later. In the meantime, here's week three!
This is the yearly post that I look forward to the most--the playlist of my favorite songs of the year. Music has been such a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, and now that I'm driving more during the day for work, it's become an even larger part of my day-to-day. Needless to say, this year's list is a tad bit longer than previous ones I've made; the fact that it was a pretty darn good year for music probably doesn't hurt either (I mean, TWO Beach House albums?!). I limited myself to one song per album, which was a seriously hard decision in some cases. So here we are--my favorites from 2015:
I did really well with December Daily until the week of Christmas, when we went back home for a few days; lugging all my scrapbooking stuff along just seemed like too much of an undertaking. So catching up on last week's pages is on my to-do list today. In the meantime, here are the pages from week three (since I didn't manage to get those up either. Slacking, I tell you). Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!
Christmas Day. We're celebrating with my family in southeast Missouri, and also missing our sweet little home & fluffy babies. It's been a weird, hard, and rewarding year, but being surrounded by family always reminds me of how truly good life is. Wherever you are today, I hope you have the happiest of Christmases. <3
Wanna know a secret? As much as I love Christmas, I actually love Christmas Eve more. The anticipation makes me feel childlike and awed, and all the little details that go into the preparation--wrapping the presents, decorating the tree, hanging the stockings--just build up the excitement. If Christmas Day is about joy, Christmas Eve is about hope; it carries more mystery, more magic somehow. We're spending the day in my hometown with family, which makes that childlike feeling even easier to come by. Wherever you are on this wonderful Christmas Eve, I hope you're safe, loved, and taking in all the hope and anticipation that today brings.
It's been ages since I've created a wishlist, and I figured with Christmas around the corner, what better time to get back at it, right? Don't get me wrong--getting presents doesn't even make the top 25 list of my favorite things about Christmas, but it's fun to look & dream. It reminds me of getting the toy catalogs as a kid and carefully picking out the things I wanted to ask Santa for. So here's my dream Christmas list this year.
1. British citizenship. A girl can dream, right? ;)
3. Since my craft desk became a computer desk when we moved (our last apartment had a built-in computer desk), I'm on the hunt for a new desk/craft table. This one is simple and sizeable enough to do the job.
4. I bought a rollerball of Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black awhile ago, and it's soooo good. I feel like I have to save it for special occasions because I like it so much! Also, every time I'm in Sephora I put some on from the sample bottle. #oops
6. We've been using a hand-me-down couch from my mom since we got married, and we're well overdue for a new one. And if I'm going to dream, might as well dream big, right? This one from West Elm is so gorgeous!
Winter break is just around the corner; it starts in 2 1/2 days, to be exact....not that I'm counting or anything. I've got a crazy-long list of things I want to do with my little vacation, but I also want to sneak in some reading over the next couple of weeks. Here's a little peek at what's on my list (not pictured: the Game of Thrones books that have been sitting on my Kindle since last Christmas!).
Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott: I'm in a weird spiritual funk lately (I say "lately," I mean, "for the past few years"....) and I'm kinda done being miserable about it, and I'm just going to do something about it. What that something is, I'm not quite sure yet, but Anne is a really good place to start.
The Women of the Cousin's War by Phillipa Gregory: I started reading this one weekend when I was still taking classes, but my schoolwork picked up and I never finished it. Phillipa Gregory's fiction is sort of my guilty pleasure reading. This is her first venture into non-fiction, but I really like it so far. I'm looking forward to picking it back up.
The Discovery of King Arthur by Geoffrey Ashe: This is basically an examination of the bits of truth behind the legends of King Arthur. It's a total nerd read, and I can't defend it. :)
Anyone doing any fun reading for the holidays? I'm looking for inspiration for my 2016 reading list!
Another week of sticking with December Daily! I'm honestly so proud of myself; it seems like such a small accomplishment, but when I perpetually have a mile-long to-do list, taking time to do something fun for myself doesn't always make the cut.
I did cheat a little, and finish up Saturday's page on Sunday. We went to Liberty Memorial, Union Station & Crown Center Saturday evening; after hiking all around downtown in heeled boots, and getting all the pictures edited and formatted, making a late-night run to Walgreens just wasn't happening! Of course, life taught me a lesson about dedication, because it rained ALL DAY Sunday, which meant I got to pick up my pictures in the rain and try to get decent photos of the layouts with dreary lighting. Lesson learned.
Let me just preface this by saying that this was the hardest series of lists I've ever had to make in my life. I love Christmas, and narrowing down these into five selections was tough. I think nostalgia influenced a lot of my choices, but not always. I mean, the child in me really wanted to include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Mickey's Christmas Carol in my favorite movies, but Love Actually is my all-time favorite movie, period, so it had to be in there! At the same time, Frosty beat out ELF by a narrow margin, because of pure sentimentality. You can tell me how wrong I am in the comments. :)
1// Love Actually
2// A Charlie Brown Christmas
3// A Christmas Story
4// How the Grinch Stole Christmas
5// Frosty the Snowman
1// White Christmas: Bing Crosby
2// Christmas With the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, & Sammy Davis, Jr.
3// A Charlie Brown Christmas: Vince Guaraldi Trio
4// Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Gene Autry
5// Home for Christmas: N*Sync (JUDGE ME!)
1// "Christmas Time is Here" Vince Guaraldi Trio
2// "White Christmas" Bing Crosby
3// "Carol of the Bells" John Williams
4// "Here Comes Santa Claus" Gene Autry
5// "Frosty the Snowman" Jimmy Durante
What are your favorite sentimental Christmas favorites?
A couple years ago, while we were up in KC visiting family for Thanksgiving, we went to Union Station to see the Christmas decorations. Once we knew that we were moving up here, I decided to make it a KC Christmas tradition. It is just so beautiful. It's been a little hard for me to get in the Christmas spirit, since the weather has been so unseasonably warm, but we went Saturday night, and it sure did the trick.
They had the festival plaza blocked off for a special event, which broke my heart, but there was so much to see in the main hall that my disappointment didn't last long.
The last time we came to Union Station, it was the same night as the Plaza Lighting Ceremony, and Union Station was virtually deserted. In other words, it was perfect. Saturday that was not exactly the case. Needless to say we learned our lesson. Not that it wasn't beautiful and wonderful this time, but there's something special about having a grandiose old building all to yourself at night.....especially when it's all lit up for the holidays. I managed to snap a few decent photos anyway.
The photos really don't do it justice. If you're ever in KC around Christmastime, I cannot recommend this enough.
I love Christmas music. I've even been known to sneak a listen to some holiday tunes in the middle of summer. So when I set out to do a holiday playlist, I made a playlist, you guys. It's got all the classics (you want Bing? You've got Bing. And Frank, and Dean, and Jimmy, and Nat.....) and some more recent tunes as well (I see you, Civil Wars). Also, if you think I left N*Sync outta this equation, you would be dead wrong, my friend. Alright, I'll stop going on and on about this playlist and just post the darn thing already. Happy holidays!
There are a few recipes that I always associate with childhood holidays, and confetti scalloped potato casserole is one of them. I'm not sure where my mom got this recipe, or if she just made it up one night, but either way, it's a keeper. I thought I'd pass it along in time for the holidays.
1/2 cup butter
1 package frozen potatoes o'brien
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk (approx.)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Dash of pepper
1 cup Cheez'it cracker crumbs, divided
Preheat oven to 375*F. In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat and lightly sauté potatoes o'brien. Stir in soup, then pour milk in empty soup can and add to skillet. Add cheese, pepper, and 1/2 of the cracker crumbs. Pour in a shallow casserole dish (I use 9x13), and top with the remaining crumbs. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
That's it! Pretty easy (although I will admit that I had to call my mom after I got started to double check my recipe; the fact that there are no "in progress" photos shows how distracted I was! Oops. I wrote it out more clearly here, though, because I love you guys.)
Hope you enjoy! You know I'll be eating some of this come Christmas!
It took me about a full week, but I think I've found my groove with December Daily. This is my first year doing the scrapbooking challenge, and it definitely was a challenge to start! I think one of my biggest frustrations with scrapbooking in general is that I don't really have a defined style--I like a little bit of everything. I like minimalism and monochrome, but I also like a lot of glitter, embellishments, and color. As a result, my albums are usually a little bit all over the place. But this is where December Daily is actually easier in my mind--it's easier to pick and stick to a style for a month than it is for a year. I still struggled with some layouts initially, but I re-did them and I'm really happy with how it's going so far. Take a peek!
If any of you are doing December daily, leave your url in the comments; I'd love to see what you're doing!
Last weekend, Tyler and I met up with our pals Sarah & Scott, who were in town visiting Sarah's family for Thanksgiving. We spent most of Saturday running around, checking out the remaining Black Friday weekend deals and just generally enjoying each other's company. (Excuse the crappy iPhone photos--we were too busy having fun to take *real* pictures--or many pictures at all!)
I wish I could say that we spent all of our time at small, local shops, but honestly--I don't know that many local shops here yet. (Finding some favorites is on my ever-growing list of New Year's Resolutions.) We did wander down to Westport, though, to make a quick stop at a local vintage shop and my favorite little record store on earth, Mills Record Co.
Black Friday Record Store Day this year didn't have anything I was dying to have--at least not enough to fight the crowds. There were a couple things I was interested in, though, and they still had both--the Garden State soundtrack (shut up, it takes me back to college!) and a 7" Phil Collins (shut up, it's the soundtrack to my childhood). So I snagged 'em and called the trip a success.
It was a great day. Now I just have to explore KC some more so I have lots of great places to take Sarah when she visits again (or any of my other friends......ahem. *ComevisitmepleaseImissyouallsomuch*). I'm always up for suggestions!