Archive | Holidays RSS feed for this section

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

22 Sep

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

Last year I wrote about how much I love fall! 

This year, I am even more excited for fall since we’ll be having a fall baby and I get to spend a portion of fall and pretty much all of winter spending lots of time in comfy clothes AT HOME taking care of the little one. It is going to make the holidays so much more special! I also normally hate that the days start getting shorter, but for some reason it doesn’t seem so bad when you don’t have to go and come home from work when it is still dark out!

In preparation for being either very pregnant or in impending labor for most of this fall, I got an early start on all of my fall decorating! The minute the calendar turned over to September 1st, I made The Hubs take down all of my fall decorations. Lucky for me, The Hubs loves fall as much as I do so it didn’t take much hand twisting for him to help a pregnant wife out!

I ended up getting a few more decorations for this fall since these decorations (at least most of them) get to stay up September through November.  I also bought myself a new Pumpkin scented candle that will last me all season. I do need to go get myself some Cinnamon scented tea lights to replenish my supply, as I’ve been lighting candles pretty much every night recently!  

I’m all ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and everything in between!

Our fall mantle! 

New Fall Wreath and Fall Colored Flowers

Fall Table

The Hubs’s FAVORITE decoration that follows us from room to room!

Happy Halloween in the Powder Room (I also have Thanksgiving towels to switch out when the time comes!)


Are you ready for fall???


Happy Holidays!

24 Dec

Hope you all have a fabulous holiday weekend! We’ll be spending Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with The Hubs’s family, which is each families tradition. (Works out great for splitting time!)

I’ll be around next week with some catch up #Weverb11 posts and maybe a few other things. Most bloggers are taking next week off, but I’m hoping to use the week to do MORE blogging! hehe 🙂 Plus I know some of you will be like me and by dying with all your favorite bloggers taking a hiatus!

See you next week! 🙂

Favorite Holiday Ornaments

20 Dec

I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite holiday ornaments that adorn our tree.

The Hubs was very methodical in the ornaments he chose to put on the tree this year. He wanted the majority of them to have some meaning to us and our nuclear family. This meant as few hand me down ornaments as possible.

Here are a few of my favorites that made the cut!

Our Wedding Favor Ornaments

The Hubs made over a hundred of these ornaments in the weeks before our wedding so that we could hand them out at as favors. They turned out soooo cute and were a real hit with our guests. It is so fun to go to friends’ and families’ house and see our ornament on their tree. Every Christmas, they remember us while they are decorating! It was an awesome idea! 🙂 And two years later, they still look great!

Favorite Childhood Ornament

I LOVED this ornament when I was a kid. Not sure why. It was just one my parents got for me, but I always remember it being one of the most special. I think it may have been because it was sparkly, but who knows.

As The Hubs was putting the ornaments on the tree, he noticed that we both had bear ornaments from 1988. He decided to put them together on the tree! Aren’t they cute!

Favorite Vacation Spot Ornament

We have a tradition of buying at least one ornament while we are traveling to remember the various vacation spots we have gone on. We have quite a few from Monterey, since we go there on vacation quite a bit, but this sparkly sand dollar one is my favorite! When it catches the light, it is sooo pretty!
Favorite Nostalgic Ornament 

I bought this Cal Poly Alumni ornament when I graduated from Cal Poly in 2004. It became even more special when I reconnected with The Hubs, who also graduated from Cal Poly. Now it reminds us both of our college days and the place where in the end we found each other again!
What are your favorite holiday ornaments? Do you only put ornaments on your tree that are especially meaningful?

Holiday Stress

2 Dec
Image Source: Carolyn Anderson, MD

It’s no secret that the holidays are one of the most stressful times of the year. And as much as I love them, the stress can be a bit much for me.

There are two areas I’ve been finding especially stressful thinking about…

First, figuring out how to deal with gift giving. I love my entire family to death and I love giving and receiving presents, but as I’ve gotten older, I really would like a more structured way to exchange presents (i.e. single gift exchange, spending limit, etc.)  I know a lot of large large families do this already, but since ours isn’t super large nothing like that has been implemented yet. One family only gives a couple of gifts per family member, typically under $100 in total gift spending each (Family Size = 4 not including us). The other family goes all out and gives TONS of gifts. This makes The Hubs and I feel like we need to get an equivalent amount of gifts for them as well, typically at least $100 in spending each (Family Size = 3). I guess when you bring family size into the equation it all somewhat equals out, but the feeling that we aren’t treating everyone equally is still there. The second family requires the making of Christmas Lists as well. That’s fine as it makes it easier to buy gifts, but its intimidating when you see all the things that each person wants. My list was relatively short, as I try to only ask for things that I REALLY need. I still don’t want anyone to feel obligated to give me any of these things since really I feel like the stress placed on giving gifts to adults is overrated. If we had kids it would be a totally different story as the focus would be on them and not us. My friends and I have already decided that now that everyone is starting to have kids, we would forgo presents for each other (for b-days and X-mas) and focus on the kids. Make things so much easier!  I know I’ve talked about this issue before, but it was really bothering me again this holiday season so I had to get it off my chest!

The second area is the planning of activities (holiday or not). For whatever reason, that responsibility has fallen squarely on my shoulders. I need to coordinate with everyone to figure out who wants to go, figure out all of the details of getting there/dinner/snacks, buy the tickets, get reimbursed and make sure that in the end everyone is happy. Typically everyone helps out once I give instructions on what we should do, but coming up with all of the details all the time is exhausting. Lately it has gotten even more complicated as both my family and The Hubs’s family want to be involved, but within that some want to participate and some don’t, parents want kids who don’t want to come to come, etc. Ahhh! It get’s SOO complicated! It’s a lot to take on, especially when I feel like I’m trying to please everyone. These activities are supposed to be fun, but they end up being so much work! I wish for once I could just attend an activity and not have to think about one single thing except showing up at a designated time and place and not worry about pleasing anyone…

Do you have similar holiday stresses?
How do you deal with them?

Holiday Card Dilemma

30 Nov

So there have been tons of blog posts floating around the internet where you can win prints from Shutterfly or Tiny Prints. There are SOOO many cute ones to choose from!

Image Source: Shutterfly

Image Source: Tiny Prints

Unfortunately I haven’t won any of these said contests, so I haven’t been forced to actually purchase holiday cards.

For the last couple of years, The Hubs and I have done photo cards that we purchase at Costco. Here’s a refresher from our holiday card last year!We had just gotten The Pup, so this was the opportunity to show him off. The year before, we used a wedding picture.

This year, I’m sorta at a loss of what to do. I’m not sure that our family really wants to see pictures of our lovely mugs again this year. If we had a child or were announcing a pregnancy, neither of which apply to us, it would be much easier to figure out what to do (as evidence of almost ALL of the example cards on the web). I’ve also always wanted to do a family news update, but since nothing of exceptional importance happened to us this year, I wouldn’t have much to say. That seems to be something that more people do when they have children to brag about (and although Rusty is our child, there’s not much to say there, except he’s maybe just a little less mischievous than he was last year, sometimes!).

So right now, I’m just thinking of sending out some normal (aka boring) holiday cards, unless I get inspired or get some great ideas from one of you! So bring them on!!

What are you doing for your holiday cards this year (especially those of you sans children)? 

Do you send photo or traditional cards?

Halloween Festivities

1 Nov

This Halloween, instead of staying home and handing out candy, we decided to head over to our friends’ Bret and Lisa’s for a festive fall dinner.

Lisa and I both dressed for the occasion. She was Minnie Mouse, I was a Cal football player (albeit a sad golden bear after our very embarassing loss to UCLA this weekend!).

We set the table with some fall decorations and served up a Southwester Pumpkin Soup in seasonal pumpkin bowls with a side of cornbread. Delish!

Minnie Mouse revealing our dinner!

The doorbell rang continuously, as little ones came to get their fare. At one point there were so many Trick or Treaters that candy had to be rationed! hehe 🙂

But our favorite Trick or Treater of all??

Little Link (from the Zelda cartoon)!

 He also showed off some super new skills!

I love this little one! 🙂

The Hubs and I both thought it was an especially fun Halloween even if we weren’t out partying like crazy!

How was your Halloween??

Happy Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Hope you all are having a fantastic Valentine’s Day! I know I am!

I just got these beautiful flowers at work!

I think it is the first time I’ve ever had roses delivered to me! I love my honey!

The Hubs and I had a fancy meal of crab and roasted asparagus on Saturday, so tonight will be an easy meal of pasta leftovers and molten lava cakes for dessert. Then we’ll curl up, cuddle and watch The Bachelor!
hehe 🙂

I better get back to work so I can leave on time!!