holiday traditions

i can’t believe thanksgiving is 9 days away. i feel like it was just the fourth of july. and then all of a sudden it was halloween. and now we’re quickly approaching thanksgiving which really feels like the start of the holidays for me. and i don’t hate it.

for as long as i can remember i’ve always looked forward to the holiday season. between the cold weather and [hopefully] snow covered ground, the music, the food, the parties, the decorations and smells, and overall gushy feeling of “i love my friends and family” i can’t decide what i like the best.


growing up, we always spent thanksgiving with our amazing friends, bob & betsy, at their house in the mountains. after piling everything into the car, making sure i have plenty of snacks and going to the bathroom just one more time, we hit the road headed for silverthorne. it could never be ‘thanksgiving in the mountains’ without starting the weekend at the outlets. the rest of the holiday is filled with hiking or snowshoeing, watching football [otherwise known as occasionally yelling at the tv], board games [here are some of our favorites…], endless bottles of wine, devouring books, and making great memories with loved ones.

christmas eve we spent in the mountains. after skiing all day we ate my great grandpa’s famous pasta dinner and headed back to the mountain for the torchlight parade [which i might add is a totally random event.] it’s filled with christmas music, a big bonfire and the ski patrol team skiing down the mountain with flares followed by santa. we would drive back to denver that night to spend christmas day at home. after coffee, we opened stockings and gifts and hopefully finished with the scavenger hunt by the time dinner came. christmas day might be my least favorite day of the whole holidays because it signaled an end of the seasons for me – any ideas on how to continue the spirit??


unfortunately, days in colorado are behind me and i’ve been forced to make new traditions. being part of the medical field has it’s ups and downs – healthcare never sleeps so thankfully i’ll always be able to find another job as an RN, but that also means i’ll be forced to work some holidays and as a new(ish) nurse i usually get to work the holidays no one else wants to work. this year, i’ll be working thanksgiving and new years and will have the entire christmas holiday off which is the first time in four years! we’ll bring some food into work and celebrate together as co-workers – gorging on leftover turkey sandwiches thanksgiving and popping sparkling apple cider to ring in the new year.


since i’ve started in the big girl world i’ve adopted a couple traditions specifically for myself – some big, some not so big, but all equally putting me in the holiday spirit:

watching the holiday at LEAST twice // making christmas cookies with my sister // going to a show at the flynn // reading this blog post // decorating the house [or over decorating as some would say…] // blasting christmas music at all times // cutting down my own christmas tree

anything i should add into my mix?


stealing this amazing quote from a cup of jo follower:

Ashley Sawyer says: “I grew up in foster care, and thus haven’t had a lot of family traditions to rely on throughout my life. During my sophomore year of college, however, my best friend and I randomly spent Christmas Eve together. What started out as an evening spent eating snacks and exchanging a few haphazard gifts has now grown to become an all-out event that we both treasure. At thirty two years old, we’ve spent the last thirteen Christmas Eves together. We have a fancy dinner, a big tree, decorations and lots hugs. We’ve endured failed recipes as amateur cooks, the ending of relationships, graduate school and pets – it’s what I suspect many people experience with their brothers and sisters. I live a great life now and am so lucky. Creating this tradition with my best friend taught me that family and love is truly what you make of it. And, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?”


what are your favorite traditions to get into the spirit?

IMG_1594

REALLY wishing i still lived in denver so i could order one of these beauties for my front door. i went to high school with the owner – check her out! and if you order one, let me know so i can live vicariously through you!

 

 

Advertisements

christmas celebrations

now that my computer has officially dried out and turned back on (in case you didn’t see the latest instagram post, i spilled coffee all over my computer christmas eve and it’s been drying ever since) i’m back! keep your fingers crossed that it continues to work…. PLEASE!


we spent this past weekend celebrating christmas and spending some serious quality time with friends and family. my parents flew in on friday and we haven’t stopped eating/drinking/galavanting around the town since. here is a small glimpse into the past couple of days…

first stop we made was one of my mom’s all time favorite restaurants, tiny thai, a small local favorite that’s BYOB it’s a seriously  hard to beat. and their takeout is a good as the dine in – which certainly isn’t always the case!

after dinner we headed back to my house to begin our christmas eve tradition – the annual book swap.

growing up, we were always allowed to open one gift on christmas eve and 9 times out of 10, it was ususally pajamas. now that we’ve grown up a bit [who am i kidding, we haven’t grown up] we’ve tailored our tradition a bit.

a couple weeks before the holiday we draw names and pick who we buy a book for; it can be hard cover, paper back, an audiobook, e-book, or even a magazine subscription. we’ve only been doing it a couple of years but it’s one of my favorite parts of christmas.


the next morning we did the full christmas thing – stockings, coffee, mimosas, more coffee, cinnamon rolls, and gifts. fullsizeoutput_10f5

fullsizeoutput_1150
pajamas and mimosas 

we relaxed most of the morning, went for a long walk, and prepared for some dinner guests that evening. tiffany definitely takes the cake for her cheese board skills. fullsizeoutput_1146


i had to work christmas day but luckily i was able to escape at 3:30 and head home for another night of dinner guests, drinks, and laughs.

img_3229
spreading merry around the hospital

after plenty of cocktails and far too much food we busted out the game of things. it was the first time i played it and it was hysterical. keep the wine flowing and you’ll certainly have a blast. img_3233

img_3199
this was the best we could do….

fullsizeoutput_1149


yesterday we worked out, made a couple of returns and went to manchester by the sea. it was amazing. be sure to bring some tissues and show up earlier anticipated – the ENTIRE theater was full.

it was a fabulous weekend spent with amazing people and 2017 is creeping around the corner, can’t wait to see what the future holds – cheers!

t-5 days.

t-5 days.

christmas is sneaking up on us very quickly and it will seriously be here before we know it! this past weekend i had to work, but i was still able to sneak in a little holiday baking. luckily, i’m done with all my shopping after i made a few last minute purchases on chuch street this afternoon.


hard to beat church street with all the lights and we happened to catch the tail end of a sunset tonight too.0EEDDCD0-0647-4F00-921C-2E055C03108D.jpg


this year i went to a cookie party (and yes, cookie parties are a thing. i had actually never been to one, but it was a great excuse to have a couple cocktails, socialize, and feel just a litte bit more festive) i decided to make a couple different kinds of cookies but this recipe was definitely my favorite. especially with this royal icing recipe.

[about royal icing – yes it’s kind of weird that you use raw eggs, but it is seriously the best. i will most definitely not be using any old frosting from now on… i did get myself a little piping kit and a squeeze bottle which were both super helpful. i opted to use a butter knife in place of a spatula.]

the cookies are fool proof and the icing really is too. it definitely made us feel like we’re professional bakers.

we also made spritz cookies which essentially are butter, sugar, a tiny bit of flour, more butter, and sprinkles. no wonder i would always sneak them as a child….


with our tree up, lights turned on, and christmas cookies finished, it most certainly feels like the holidays around here. just missing my parents who fly in friday!!

my sister sent me a link she found on a cup of jo and directed me towards the comments section where everyone is talking about their christmas traditions. i’ll be reading that all night. with wine. and frank sinatra holiday tunes.

what are your favorite traditions? 6baf6b58-25b7-4956-9592-d770baf156bc

wednesday wears

this evening i met some co-workers for an afternoon of christmas shopping and dinner out a leunig’s. i knew i wanted to wear something cute, but comfortable and most importantly warm – the wind was frigid on church street!

this is what i decided to wear:

gap jeans // these are [embarrassingly] from my high school days – and i have ZERO idea how i still fit into them. the holes have gotten progressively bigger and soon, i dread, it’ll be time to get rid of them all together…

jcrew sweater // again, i buy a lot of my sweaters one or two sizes larger because the comfort level is to die for!

white and warren cashmere scarf // one of the first christmas gifts i ever received from ian – it’s one of my all time favorite pieces – second to my travel wrap he got me the next year 😀

jcrew jacket // i asked santa for this wool coat a couple of years ago and today it’s still one of my favorite. it’s surprisingly extra warm and can easily dress up an outfit.

bonus! the jacket is on sale right now with code: HOLIDAY 

dolce vita booties // i found these babies at nordstrom rack in san francisco when i was visiting my older sisters. needless to say, i’ve treked across san fran and burlington in them and they have definitely gotten better with age.

fullsizeoutput_107d


tomorrow into friday are supposed to be record lows for the year – wish me luck. i plan on not leaving my house. perhaps some christmas cookie baking and wrapping of presents…?

how do you stay warm during the holidays??

the gal gift guide

today i’m going to share some gift ideas for all your best gals out there. from girlfriends, to your mom, to a great co-worker there is definitely something on this list for everyone, happy shopping!


first thing on the list this year is this gigi new york uber clutch.

what i love about it is that it’s a perfect clutch to take to dinner or a night out on the town with your girls. it also fits nicely into a bigger bag for travel and you’ll keep it close because it holds all your necessities. it can be such a statement piece – especially if you buy it in one of their haircalf styles.

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-2-19-56-pm


this maya brenner initial necklace will surely make your gal smile. it’s simple and dainty but elegant at the same time. it comes in three different colors: gold, rose gold and silver and there’s the option to add more than one initial! it’s been on my list for quite some time.

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-2-19-03-pm


i was recently at mirror mirror in vermont (a local makeup  store) and fell upon this candle. it is the ultimate best holiday candle. it smells like a freshly cut christmas tree. plus it comes in a pretty jar that can be reused when the candle is out! screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-2-18-48-pm


i stumbled up on these cool planters when i was exploring etsy the other day. they’d look great on your dresser or your desk. honestly they’d even look cool without a cactus in them, and a collection of a few would be awesome during halloween.

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-2-53-36-pm


one of my all time best friends, madeline, owns RoseAndRoyce – a small shop based out of denver. she started RoseAndRoyce a while ago as a creative outlet and over the past couple of years her shop has exploded.

any one of her amazing skulls or a sweet pair of shoes would surely be a gift to remember. she sells via etsy and a bunch of local flea markets in colorado.


be sure to check out my guy gift guide if you missed it!

wednesday wears

a day late but better late than never, right??

yesterday i bopped around town – ran to the grocery store, dry cleaner, did some christmas shopping, and finished my evening with a couple glasses of wine at the gryphon. best part about wine on wednesdays at the gryphon? they have $5 pours. and hefty ones at that.

img_3065

IMG_3056.jpg

img_3066

sweater // jcrew – bought in extra large – who likes a sweater that’s too tight?!

necklace // jcrew – years ago!

jeans // jcrew factory – again, years ago // i love jeans from here – side note: i prefer to hang dry all my jeans, they last longer!

(i swear i don’t spend all my money at jcrew)

boots // frye // these are some of my all time favorite boots. i threw some weather proofing conditioner on these bad boys and wear them all over town. they’re super comfortable, can be worn during all the season changes here in vermont and they honestly get better with every wear. throw them on your christmas list this year – you won’t regret it.

rockin’ around the christmas tree

18 more nights until christmas!!

this weekend, we went out and picked up our tree.

growing up, we always had a fake one.

disclaimer: i hate fake trees. [sorry mom. and no, i didn’t hate my childhood and i still love christmas]. and here’s why: first, they don’t smell good. second, they don’t leave pine needles all over the place, and third they don’t smell good.

so, there will be no fake trees in the house i sleep in.

we went to whites tree farm in essex to pick up our beauty. it was a gorgeous drive, it was just cold enough that it felt festive. it was christmas tree heaven out there. hundreds of trees to pick from, sleds to drag it back to your car with and hot chocolate as soon as it’s loaded onto your car.

IMG_1395


 

IMG_1394


i secretly want a totally tacky tree for my bedroom. i mean, who doesn’t want a silver christmas tree loaded with glitter and streamers?!

i’m picturing something like this…. but full size!!

christmas tree - blog
amazing-ness found here via pinterest