Merry Christmas


Hope you have a great one! Going to take the rest of this week off from blogging. After consistent (pretty much daily) posting since the beginning of October, I'm feeling the need for a breather. Let us eat, drink, and be merry!

We've got three Christmases to attend in the next two days--should be fun!




OH and whichever wonderful person posted this perfect 12 second clip on YouTube, thank you:


Frivolous and Indulgent Christmas List

The prices of most of these items...see above. Hey, one can dream huh?

brisky biker jacket // lululemon


a print from Gray Malin


these Steve Madden "shooties" 




some hand woven Turkish towels, like these from Loomed Nola


 Pikolinos Lagos Bootie



Deborah Ehrlich Pewter Hurricane lanterns // found at March SF



custom Jane Mount bookshelf painting



I'm not a fan of the current ceiling fans in this house. Of course they are fine, but I would love to have something crazy fancy like this one from Minka Aire


Camera Workout: Week 51 and Happy Christmas!

IMGP9791 Andrew decided to have a photo session with our new favorite ornament...I kinda love it.

Mom's arm?!? What the heck...


That drool is real 2013-12-22 15.38.57 Was cleaning out old photos and found this...real, live documentation of what my bedroom looked like in high school...oh boy 2013-12-15 15.45.49

Bracelet bowl gets a freshening up too 2013-12-22 12.29.00 Andrew caught me headstanding...working on not using the's getting there!

IMGP9774 Dog mania again.

2013-12-22 15.38.07

One of our favorite Christmas decorations...a Purdue Santa...ha! IMGP9824 Finally, how could I not include a photo with baby Graham!? unnamed

Only one week left--lots more holiday snaps to come next week. Happy Christmas all! I need to jump off here now so I can walk across the street to the parents for PRESENT OPENING!





my favorite things I love this time of year on the many gift guides and best of lists. But also, I'm a big fan of Oprah's favorite things. Ahhhh....the audience reactions never get old...they're just the best. I always loved Oprah's favorite things show come Christmas and I'm so glad she still does it. Here's her 2013 list.

I decided I would do my own list this year. These are my favorite things...I love them and use them pretty much every single day.


1. Smartwool socks Can you ever have enough of these? I love the colors and whenever I put them on, I immediately feel better about everything. Also, they are really wonderful for sliding on hardwood yoga studio floors

2. Glass water bottle by Life Factory Easy to keep clean, water tastes better, and it's pretty!

3. Spotify Do you really need me to say more than I already have about this service? Don't waste any time, just go and subscribe

4.Davines Hair Oi/Oil A little bit of a splurge, but it lasts forever so it's really not that bad. Smells crazy good and makes your hair feel wonderful

5. Smartwool Beignet Booties Again, another splurge, this time a major one. I was able to find these on clearance last year, but oh my I think they might be worth the full price. Warmest ever and they are durable enough to be worn out and about..slipper shoes...done and done.

6. Manduka eKO mat Yes of course I still love love love my Manduka Pro...but this purchase was an experiment that worked out pretty well. I keep it in my little yoga room here at the house (for when I'm too lazy to walk across the yard to the studio...shhh I know that sounds crazy!) and it is really nice. It gives a great spring/support and is very anti-grip. I also love the colors they have for this mat. 

7. Apple TV Best little box ever. Who needs cable when you've got Netflix,HBO, iTunes, and the internet? Speaking of, we started Orphan Black last night...whoa, crazypants. photo 2

8. Silpat Most of the time I see people using this for baking cookies, but I love it for anything roasted in the oven. Nothing sticks or burns and it's a dream to clean.

9. American Apparel long legwarmer These babies are super warm and very long. Great for under boots too.

10.YogaGlo Again, like Spotify, do I need to say anymore?

11. White truffle oil I don't cook with any butter, milk, or cream so my soups can sometimes lack richness.  A few drops of white truffle oil and you're good to go. Also, amazing with popcorn. Basically, it's a luxurious ingredient that is used in very small lasts awhile. I use this brand....but I'm getting a little nervous because the bottle is almost empty and Andrew isn't planning any more trips to Australia anytime soon that's for sure...Ha!

12. Keen Bern Baby Bern boots Tall leather boots that feel snazzy enough to be stylish, but are durable and feel like tennis shoes? Yes.

13. Hugo & Debra Naturals Shampoo & Conditioner I tried this for the first time recently and I doubt I'll ever go back. I often don't see a lot of difference in hair depending upon the shampoo and conditioner, but this was kind of crazy. However, they did just discontinue the shampoo I'm The orange + vanilla volumizing conditioner smells like orange danish rolls and it's still available though so I'm good.

photo 3

14. Cuisinart Smart Stick Immersion Hand Blender Yeah of course I want a Vitamix. But I'm not ready to drop $400+ on a blender...especially when I'm the only one around the house that drinks smoothies. My solution? I simply put all my frozen smoothie ingredients in the tall measuring cup that comes with this hand blender & microwave for 39 seconds (why 39? Don't ask, I don't know either). Blends everything to perfect smoothie consistency and then the clean up takes less than 10 seconds. Also, you can't beat this thing for pureed soups.

15. Woodwick candles Remember back in April 2013 when I bought this candle in Tabac? Yeah, it still has about 1/4 left!!?!?!?! It's STILL GOING?!?!?! They last a lifetime and that annoying crackling sound gets less annoying as the months go by that it's still burning strong.

16. JBL Flip bluetooth speaker Super light, holds a decent charge, great sound quality, and connects to iPad & smartphone through Bluetooth. Makes DJing around the house even easier.

17. Familia Camarena Tequila Reposado My favorite tequila and maybe my favorite liquor. Ridiculously reasonably priced at just $15.99. Makes the best homemade Skinnygirl margaritas. Here's my recipe.

18. Better Homes and Gardens Flip-Tite Storage containers My Mom converted me to these. Yeah I still use my glass jars, but these are unbelievable. Creative sizes and the lids keep everything fresh, fresh, fresh.

19. PageKeeper I've been using this since I started reading chapter books when I was kid. I can remember my grandmother and mom buying up all of the stock at Hawley-Cooke (awwwww....remember Hawley-Cooke Kentuckiana natives!?!?) for stocking stuffers. I forgot about them for a long, long time until we found them again at a general store in Austin. And yes, I did buy up all their stock. The flat metal rectangle clamps onto the back of your book and the wire hooks on to the page that you're reading. As you turn the page, it automatically moves the wire...doesn't matter if you abruptly toss the book aside, you'll know where to start again.

20. Miele Onyx canister vacuum Yes, this is a major item. Big splurge, but not really. I know I've said this before, but I'm serious: MY DOGS SHED. It's one really believes me until they see it, then they look at me with a sad and confused "how do you deal with this?!?" face. When we decided to buy a "real" vacuum, I knew I wanted a Miele. I first used one when I lived with Lis and then again when living in Norway. They are amazing...blowing Dysons out of the water in my opinion. I cannot recommend this product enough if you're willing to invest in a good vacuum cleaner.


at least 30 in 2012...


downloadI'm reporting in one my 2012 resolutions: to read at least thirty books in 2012. I barely made it with thirty exactly! Still working on two, but should be finished before the new year.

While I barely made it, I still didn't read as much as I'd like and this exact same resolution is going on my list for 2013, but with a little twist.

Having a great morning so far. Drinking coffee with holiday candles & christmas trees. So excited for tonight's Christmas with my parents, Andrew, and Kaylex (bro and sil). This will include lots of chicken pot pie, cocktails, and presents. However, I did get an early present from Andrew and my Dad yesterday morning:

Pull out shelves for the pantry! I'm ecstatic, they're perfect!

Happy Holidays all!

holiday music 2012

Yep, it's that time. HOLIDAY MUSIC. (and I also thought this photo from last season accurately describes my mood this morning per last night's "not even close" election results).

Every year I love to look and see what new Christmas albums are coming out. Last year was amazing...this year? Not so much. With the exception of the indie compilation, Holidays Rule, it's pretty slim pickings out there.


Holidays Rule Various Artists Fun., The Civil Wars, The Head and the Heart, and Sharon Van Etten sing holiday favorites = one mega hipster Christmas album! Bring it on!

Christmas in the Sand Colbie Caillat Hahahahahahahahaha.


On This Winter's Night Lady Antebellum meh. I'll give it a whirl.

Cheers, It's Christmas Blake Shelton 2012 has been my year of country...


All I can say about these last two is. WHAT THE...

Wasn't kidding when I said slim pickings was I?!?

Oh well, there's always next year.


Wonderful Christmas

We had a fabulous Christmas weekend. Four major dinners/parties in three days...exhausting, but in a good way. Particularly tiring because I can't seem to shake this icky coughing crud.

In fact, I am writing this at 2:18 AM in the morning because I am all hopped on Mucinex-D...Many thanks to my aunt who supplied me with the last of her stash, but word to the wise: DO NOT take these in preparation for a night of restful sleep. After lying awake for a couple hours I decided to get up and Google "does Mucinex-D keep you awake?" only to  find a message board on which someone described it as an "intense stimulant, will keep you awake all night." HA!

Here are some photos from our Christmas weekend:

Me and my new easel and painting stool from Andrew's parents!

My parents' 21 year old dog Hannah...that's right I said in 21 years old, as in only 6 years younger than me.

presents in need of sorting:

This holiday was especially wonderful because for the first time in my adult life, I was able to sleep in my own bed in my own house on Christmas Eve--no travel! AMAZING.

Hope everyone had a good one!

My Not-so Grown-Up Christmas List

So I was driving home from work the other was dark, raining, and I was listening to the Michael Buble (yep, don't judge...I'm his target demographic & proud) version of one of my favorite carols, "My Grown Up Christmas List."

I love the lyrics to that carol, which got me thinking of my own Christmas wish list...which made me realize that it is not so grown up. Remember the lunchbox?


Here are five of the most frivolous, unnecessary items I want right now:

1. Zoku Quick Pop Maker

2. Frye Paige Tall Riding Boot

3.  ROOT Candle - Ginger Patchouli

4.  Bench by Sticks ( By god, I will one day own a piece of this furniture)

Elf on the Shelf when we're not looking...

So last Christmas was the first I heard of this Elf on the Shelf business. Apparently it has been a thing for awhile... I don't have children yet, but I am fairly confident that  I will never participate in completely and totally weirds me out.

Anywho, I want to give a gigantic hug to Venita Norton and her Flickr page. She has captured the Elf on the Shelf in his true habitat. These photos make me LOL...hard.

Many thanks to @CHRISTINEinLOU for sharing this!

Norwegian hearts and flags

Okay, yesterday, for the first time ever, we bought outdoor Christmas lights...We also have a baby christmas tree and I decided to try and get some decorations up 2 of being off of work with the most dreadful weather!!

In Norway, they decorate for Christmas with red hearts. While living in Stavanger, I was so thrilled with all the hearts that popped up everywhere:

Today I finished off our little baby christmas tree with some hearts of my own:

and a little more Norwegian spirit:

and somebody didn't feel like helping:

Whoa, tired...

Falling asleep typing this...long, but such a fun holiday weekend. Tons of food, drink, and laughs with great friends and family, including two Thanksgiving dinners, "light up" festival downtown, and the putting up of two Christmas trees!

Tonight was some much needed relaxation with homemade pizza, tomato soup, and SkinnyGirl margarita. Now getting in bed to start a new book. Looking forward to three days of work until Thursday!

Best $5.00 I've spent in a loooong time:

Officially the Christmas Season

Feeling very contented today. Not only did we finally get internet in the new house, but digital cable and DVR too! I know this might sound silly to most, but for us this is BIG. We haven't had channels on our TV in three years...we are still in shock.

Now that it is officially the Christmas season, I can start playing carols and decorating! This morning I am cooking for Andrew's family Thanksgiving, which is later this afternoon.

Bourbon cranberry sauce, baked spinach & Gruyere, and maple whipped sweet potatoes.