My Favorite Things: Stocking Stuffers!

Today I'm linking back up with EliseKatie, April, and Zelle to discuss stocking stuffers!  To be honest, we don't do too many stocking stuffers.  Every year, the poor husband gets stuck with beef jerky and M & Ms.  Sometimes I throw in some socks and boxers just to mix it up. And that is pretty much all of his Christmas gifts. I'm hoping that I can get some good ideas from this series, because I definitely need them!

Some fun picks that I have used in the past include...

1. Quirky ornaments that fit the person's interests.  For example, I saw this little coffee mug ornament at Starbucks the other day, and I think it would be so cute to give with a Starbucks gift card.
2. Specialty food items - Even though I do this a lot, I really do think that buying a special treat that the person would not buy on his or her own, is always nice.
3. Maybe it's just me, but I love cute stationery and office supplies.
4. Little luxuries like fancy lotions, candles, nail polish a nice pair of gloves, etc. I think they are always thoughtful picks.  This little tray is so cute!
What are your favorite little picks?

A Quick Hostess Gift Idea for Thanksgiving

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Mine was spent cloistered away at a conference for these past four days, so I'm really thankful for this short week.  We're traveling to my parents' house for Thanksgiving, and my brother and sister-in-law are hosting.  Even though we're bringing a few dishes over to complete the meal, I thought it would be fun to bring them a little gift.

While doing a little grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, I saw a wreath and picked one up for my brother and SIL.  I'm hoping to tie a ribbon around it, so that it can look somewhat like this. I thought it would be a nice little gift for the holidays.
 Trader Joe's also had little rosemary plants, which I think are always lovely.  They make a room smell so good; I really want to have one in our apartment during the holidays.
I think you can also never go wrong with flowers or wine, but these were just two things that would be just as easy to pick up while doing your Thanksgiving grocery shopping. What are your Thanksgiving plans?  I feel that if you are hosting or traveling, each has different challenges and joys!

My Favorite Things Blog Link Up: My Christmas List!

I must say that nothing gets me out of a blogging slump like the thought of the holidays!  I know it is materialistic, but I always enjoy thinking about what to gift everyone. Today I'm participating in this link up with EliseKatie, April, and Zelle!
This week is my Christmas  wish list, so I thought I would share a few things I have my eye on.  Actually, when my sister and I were shopping she bought me some gifts, so she is already done Christmas shopping for me.  First are the Sugar Paper calendars and planners.
While we were shopping we also found these Calvin Klein votives.  They smell really great, and I love the little polka dots.
The husband seemed really excited about this blog post topic, so I thought I'd share a few other things.  I think this vase from West Elm is really cute.
My sister gave me this candle a few Christmases ago, and I really love the way it smells.  I find it very calming.

I also feel that my hat and gloves could use some updating.  My brother and sister-in-law gave me a really cute set two years ago, but it's starting to look a little worse for the wear and I lost my hat.  This one from Old Navy seems cute.
So those are my wish list items!  What are you hoping for this Christmas? 

Weekend Recap

We had a very low key weekend, which was absolutely perfect because these next two weekends will busier than usual.  I also felt that I hadn't had time to catch up on everything (aka, when I've been cleaning up the apartment, I just throw things in our two closets, under the bed or in drawers).  There are still some spaces to go through, but I finally tackled the bedroom closet.  Even though I donated a whole four things to Goodwill, I'm still glad that things are a little more organized and I finally put away my summer clothes.  With a smidge more closet space, I decided to check out the Loft's 40% off sale, and bought this dress.
 I love shift dresses, and I am very excited about the red color.  I've never owned a red dress before, and I think it will be especially fun for the holidays. The husband is getting his Christmas shopping done early!

I also ordered a few Christmas cards.  I had a coupon for Tiny Prints, so I ordered these.
I thought seriously about both of these cards too, but they were foil stamped so a little pricier.
 How was your weekend? I'm sure it was more riveting than mine!

Five for Friday!

I've definitely been uninspired lately, which is why the blogging has slowed down, but here is my five for Friday attempt!

1. The husband and I just started watching The Blacklist.  While it's over the top and some things are unrealistic, I still really enjoy the show.
2. During my lunch break, I've really been trying to step away from my desk and go on a short walk.  Even though it is getting colder, I love looking at the leaves!
3.  I have given up diet soda!  I'm not sure it it is a permanent change yet, but I've officially gone three weeks without it.  I've taken up drinking one cup of coffee a day instead, and I actually enjoy that ritual.
4. Thanksgiving will be here in just a few short weeks!  I can't wait to see my family, and I'm looking forward to some pumpkin pie!
5. I may have already started listening to a little Christmas music.  I was interested in trying out this Downton Abbey streaming!

I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend, because the next few weeks will be busy.  What's on your agenda?

Five for Friday: Already thinking about Christmas Gifts!

Can I confess that I'm already thinking about Christmas?   Part of my job at work is to help plan our holiday party, and I've been busy working on that lately, so that may be part of the reason.  But another big part is that retailers seem to have put out their holiday wares out. This past weekend I got to see my sister (yay!), and we went shopping.  Even though we weren't planning on it, we ended up getting some great Christmas gifts. It was a great time to shop because we just happened to run into perfect gifts, but the stores weren't too crazy yet (probably because it's insanely earlier to start thinking about the holidays). I didn't feel bad shopping so early because I made sure to get gift receipts, so no one is stuck with an unwanted gift. Plus, if I change my mind and end up seeing something better I can always return it, but the things I got last weekend I'm really excited about giving!

We found these gloves for my sister-in-law at TJ Maxx.  We checked with my brother, and he confirmed that she would like them, so we think we have a winner.  We were the crazy people taking photos of different options at the jewelry counter and then texting them to him.
 I saw Ina Garten's newest cookbook, which I've heard good things about.  One of my good friends really likes her, and I've given her a lot of Ina's books over the years (and I know she really enjoys them), so it seems like almost a tradition that I should get this for her.
I was also the crazy candle lady with these Woodwick candles.  They smell great and my sister's boyfriend likes them, so I picked up one for him and one for my mom.
Perhaps what I'm most excited about is this ornament we found for the husband's grandma.  She went to Ireland in September and toured the Waterford factory, so I really think she will like this.
We also went to the the Gap Outlet, and I found these baby clothes for my friend's new baby.  I'm hoping I can pair this with a donation to his college fund, but at least this is a fun start.
I love the little dog print!
He's not crawling yet, but I thought it was so cute.
Is anybody else doing any early holiday shopping?  I really wasn't planning to, but we kept finding such great things!  To the husband's chagrin, it was one of the most successful shopping trips I've had in awhile.

10 Years!

Ten years ago today something very special happened to me; the husband and I decided to start dating!  Last night we were reminiscing and looking through some old photos, and we came to the conclusion that we have never been terribly photogenic, but I thought I'd share this one taken at the location of our first date, a Thai restaurant.  Of course tonight, we will be celebrating at our favorite Thai place close to our apartment.   Even though a lot has changed in these past ten years, I'm glad that we have moved closer to each other through it all.