I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's Day, as our family celebrates one more new beginning!
*Image from Martha Stewart
As some of you may know, one of my good friend's from college asked me to be the matron of honor at her wedding which will take place this summer. Given my love of shopping and with the Christmas fesivities over, I decided to take advantage of my day off to browse a few stores. While I didn't end up buying too much, my trip to TJ Maxx proved quite eventful. At TJ Maxx I spent a few minutes browsing and I found the perfect invitations for my friend's shower that I'll be throwing this summer. While it is very early, I couldn't resist buying these. Yellow is a really pretty color, but it isn't very popular in invitation colors.
She's chosen yellow and navy blue as her color scheme, so I think the invites will look great and all I have to do is print the wording in navy blue. I love the yellow polka dot lining on the envelope. Since the invites are technically wedding invites, the set also comes with reply cards. I'm thinking of using the reply cards (which have a yellow polka dot border!) for recipe cards or a door prize activity for the guests.
When trying to think of activities for today, I realized there are so many wonderful pieces of literature related to Christmas time, besides the Christmas Story. For instance, "The Night Before Christmas," "A Christmas Carol," "Twelfth Night," Milton's "On Christ's Nativity", "The Gift of the Magi" and one I just recently read with my class "A Christmas Memory" by Capote. I've been reading a few of these with my students, and they really get me in the Christmas spirit. I hope that everyone's breaks are starting soon and that you get a chance to rejoice in the season!
*Image from Real Simple
Christmas Outfits by lwyat1oz featuring cashmere tops
Today is a lazy day, so I thought I'd get a head start on throwing a few outfits in my bag for the Christmas holidays. I know they're nice and simple, but I love the Christmas colors. I don't own a lot of red and green, so I supplemented the colors with some neutrals.
I ended picking up a candle for seven dollars for part of a friend's birthday gift in January, but otherwise, my friend and I left Anthropologie unscathed. Although, I was tempted by these little alphabet ornaments. I think they are really cute to put on top of present's, and personalize the gift a little bit more. Fortunately for me, the initials I wanted were sold out, so I didn't fall completely off the bandwagon.
*All images from Anthropologie's Website
Tomorrow, two of our friends are going to come visit, and we'll celebrate Christmas with them. Then, I have just three days of school, and it'll be time to celebrate Christmas with our families.
On today's snow day, I was going to attempt to make peppermint bark. I was inspired by this blog post from the Preppy Wedding. It's really easy, so I figured, why not? I went to the store, bought the ingredients, got home and realized I'd purchased fruit flavored candy canes. How in the world does one manage to buy that flavor in a sea of mint? I found a way, that's for sure.
Anyways, it's snowing pretty hard, and I don't think my beetle really can make another trip. So that gives me time to think about all of the crafts I've failed at...and then I'm going to clean the apartment. In no particular order, I have tried and failed at the following:
1. Knitting (I can make a scarf, but that's it, and it definitely looks homemade)
2. Cross-stitch and needlepoint (I didn't get very far at needlepoint. Cross-stitch I can do, but again, what I make no one in their right mind would want)
3. Scrapbooking (I'm not necessarily bad at scrapbooking, but with Shutterfly's existence, why bother?)
4. Glass etching. This is my latest endeavor, and it most definitely crashed and burned. I cheaped out and bought the wrong stencils, and you definitely need to be precise with the etching cream.
I'm also bad at decorating (although I love looking at home decorating magazines) and don't really cook. I'm decidedly not a domestic diva. Despite all these disappointments, I still find myself browsing Martha Stewart's webpage today. At least you can say that my failures certainly aren't for lack of trying. So, maybe I'll get around to making that peppermint bark after all!
*Image from craftzine.com
My students are also wrapping up the semester. Our high school is on a semester schedule, so I will be getting new students in a few weeks. The change can sometimes make things more intense, but it's also really nice. Even though others' lives aren't dominated by a semester schedule, I always feel like we get a new start with the new year.
In other news, the weather has been freezing! My diesel bug hasn't been very happy about the weather, and a little light has popped on. It showed up last week when it was cold too, and I'm hoping it will go away and warm up. The cold makes me so lazy. When I get home, I just want to curl up under a blanket and not do anything. I'm hoping that this afternoon I'll have enough warmth to tidy our apartment up, and maybe run by the grocery store to pick up bread and milk.
There is nothing more fun than shopping for a ten year old girl!We found a pretty warm jacket from Old Navy and gloves. I also picked up some lip smackers (I remember those being a hot commodity), stickers and fun school supplies, a little pink Christmas tree, hot cocoa mugs, hot cocoa, and a teddy bear. I also found some of the ever popular shape bracelets, some clothes, and a little fleece pullover. What gifts do you remember loving when you were ten?
*Image from Old Navy
Despite my headache, I began addressing cards and getting ready to send them out. I'm pleased that I've finished them up and they are in the mail! Even though Christmas cards are a little extra work, and a lot of people don't bother sending them, I really love sending letters. I think there is nothing better than getting a little note from a loved one, and I was so happy to be able to send out such beautiful cards from our wedding day.
I mentioned that my sister and I finally got around to watching "Sex and the City 2." Besides lacking a legitimate plot and having some cultural insensitivities, the thing that really got me was the complete lack of gratefulness on the part of Carrie. She throws a fit when Mr. Big arrives home with takeout and is too tired to go out. I guess I just sympathize too much with being exhausted at the end of the day, but if I were her, I would be so excited about delicious food that I didn't have to make. Sometimes, it's just the simplest caring acts that make such a difference. I'm always amazed how just a change in my tone or a smile can change a student's reaction. I guess it's just a matter of perspective, but as we approach Christmas time, I realize just how blessed I am (even when I'm stressed)!
I was very excited to arrive home yesterday, because my Shutterfly cards that I ordered arrived, along with this cosmetics case and the personalized ornament that I ordered for a friend!
With that said, this is what I came up with for my husband's aunt. She's a really lovely person, so I wanted to make sure that she got something especially nice. I ended up buying this monogrammed cosmetics bag from Pottery Barn, and filling it up with black raspberry vanilla lotion and shower gel. I was pleasantly suprised that the bag was so big. It easily fit the lotion, gel and candle. Sometimes I feel that lotions are very generic, but at the same time, I think that they are a little indulgence. I topped the gift off with a nice candle, and am looking forward to packing it up with the other gifts for my new extended family. Are there any gifts that you've given a favorite aunt that they've especially liked? I'm still trying to figure out a nice gift for my husband's grandma.
Saturday, my sister and I ran some errands and I ended up getting some really delicious smelling candles and earrings for gifts. We also ran over to Michael's, and got materials to make her a wreath and some small ornaments to put in vases as decor. Since it was starting to snow rather heavily, we headed back home and spent our evening watching "Sex and the City 2" and "Eat, Pray, Love." I wish I could say that the movies were good, but "Sex and the City 2" was pretty abysmal, and I felt that "Eat, Pray, Love" was kind of annoying too. Nonetheless, it was fun to just hang out and enjoy being inside as the snow came down.
Sunday was a pretty lazy day. My husband and I drove back home and I ran my errands for the week and got all of my grading done. The boy watched a basketball game, and I wrapped up some more of our Christmas presents.
Amazingly enough, our Shutterfly albums all arrived (they turned out really great), so I was able to get some of our parent's gifts all finished. I'm still waiting on our Shutterfly Christmas cards, so I figured it'd be wise not to procrastinate on the wrapping. I hope everyone had a great weekend, as we are in the midst of the holiday season!
Obviously, the main event of our Christmas decor is our tree. Our apartment is already filled to the brim with furniture and the joining of all of our things, so finding a place for the Christmas tree was a bit tough. We moved a few things around though, and the tree is now situated in our living room, right next to the tv (where we both spend a fair amount of time). My ornaments that I usually use are still at my parents' house (so I'm missing a topper), but at least we have a tree with lights and a few decorations! I know our tree is a little sad; however, it's kind of just exciting to have one!
My husband's mom gave us a lovely keepsake ornament for our engagement last year, and I can't wait for us to go pick out an ornament together this year. As you can see, we have a few presents under the tree already. I've done quite a bit of buying and wrapping already, but I left a few bags of gifts at my parents' over Thanksgiving. My husbands' mom loves peace signs, so a few of her gifts are bedecked with peace sign ornaments.
In our bedroom, I put out a little tinsel Christmas tree that I got at Pier 1 a few years ago. It's a little tacky, but I love the silver and blues. I'm pretty sure my husband isn't terribly amused by it; fortunately, he tolerates my lack of taste.
The only other touches of festivity are ornaments in vases. I have them perched in whatever horizontal spaces I can find in our apartment; right now that's the top of the fridge. Even though our place is small, it's nice to take out our decorations and make our apartment a little more special this time of year. We still have a little bit more decorating to do (our stockings need to be hung!), but it's starting to look like Christmas around here.