Happy Friday and Happy December 1st!
The holiday season is HERE and our days feel extra full with so much going on!
This week we tackled a ton of house projects. From electricians, to plumbers, to pool crew, to the handyman, we’ve had a million things going on at the house over the past few days and while it always excites me to knock projects out, it’s been a little wild managing it all while also trying to get our home decorated, get kids to practices, and get work done during my busiest season of the year!
My work rhythm has also been a bit wild lately as I am working more than usual to get ahead. Same for Matt. Over the next few weeks we will be traveling with Thomas for a series of eye surgeries. So both of us are working double time right now in preparation for turning on our OOO reply. More to come on that (possibly in a newsletter if I can make it happen)!
In other news, this week I got to chaperone Thomas’s field trip to the Schiele Museum! It was really fun and it always means SO much to him. I love getting to know his classmates and I’m savoring this stage where he still really wants me to be around, holds my hand, and gives me a million hugs no matter how many friends are looking.
Let’s see. What else?
Matt and I have been busy decorating for our first Christmas in our new home! I underestimated how much work decorating all new spaces would be! We didn’t have many decorations to begin with — we tossed most things during our move as they were too worn to go through the effort of packing! And most of the things we do have are just slightly too small, too short, or not enough. So I have literally been to Hobby Lobby FOUR times, Home Depot, Trader Joe’s, and 2 Lowes locations for Christmas-related decor! This weekend I’m hoping to wrap up all the unfinished projects and then share! I am so excited to see them coming to life and am ready to have everything DONE so we can enjoy it!
Lastly, if you missed it, recently on the blog I shared My Tips for Hosting a Girls Christmas Gift Exchange, all of my 2023 Holiday Gift Guides in one place, a recap of our Thanksgiving, a delicious Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal that is perfect for serving a crowd if you’re looking for a Christmas morning (make-ahead) breakfast idea, and a festive Christmas Moscow Mule.
Alright, let’s get down to this weeks best sellers.
Top 5 Reader Favorites This Week
- Acrylic Frames: These are the frames I use to display all of our holiday cards throughout the years. It’s one of my favorite decorated spaces in our home and I love passing through and catching a glimpse of baby Thomas and baby Caroline.
- Amazon Pullover Sweater: I am so glad you all loved this sweater as much as me! The quality is SO good, the ribbed knit material is soft and thick, and I love the design! I have seen suuuuuper similar sweaters on lots of sites lately for double the price. This one is available in lots of colors and patterns (including some cute stripes)! I’m wearing the solid camel color.
- Christmas Beaded Bracelet Stack: The 4th of July version of this stack was one of my best sellers over summer and it sold out! The Christmas stack is SO cute. I picked up a set for Caroline as she is really into festive accessories right now!
- The Game: I am absolutely HOOKED on this game! You can play with 1-5 players so it’s my new go-to game when Matt isn’t up for playing something (I can play games all day every day). The average playtime is 15’ish minutes and while it’s easy to learn it’s challenging to win!
- Taylor Swift Stickers: STILL IN THE TOP 5! From the Gift Guide for Tween Girls! If your Tween is a Swiftie, odds are strong she’ll want to decorate her water bottles, notebooks, corkboard and more with these stickers!
1. Our Holiday Card
This weekend I’m hoping to finishing stuffing, sealing, stamping and mailing out our holiday cards! I am really looking forward to checking this project off the list and getting my desk back to normal (currently it’s a Christmas card work station)!
2. Holiday Outfit
I officially have my holiday outfit to wear for all the festive things this season!
First up, this chic party top. The sheer black sleeves are so fun and I love that I haven’t seen this top it in a million different stores already. I’m planning to wear it with the gold skirt to a few events, but have also already dressed it down with jeans for a date night look too. Runs true to size.
The lightweight skirt features a beautiful metallic pleated design that is so flattering and festive. And it’s available in 3 colors. It fits true to size, but does not have any give, so if you’re on the fence, size up. I’m wearing an XS, but could probably have gone with a small.
I wanted to re-share this game from my Thanksgiving post because it’s the perfect game to play over the holidays if you’re hosting friends or family. The game is extremely straightforward and simple so there is no learning curve at all — just toss the dice on the table and do what they say. We played with dollar bills which made it even more exciting. Highly recommend clearing your dining table after dinner and throwing these dice around!
4. Wrapping Paper Reminder
This is your reminder to scoop up your Christmas wrapping paper now, especially if your tradition is a special Santa paper or if you wrap each family member’s gifts in a different paper. I always find really pretty paper at Home Goods, but grabbed this year’s paper from Hobby Lobby since I’ve been spending so much time there lately.
5. My Favorite Appetizer Ever: Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
I wanted to share one of our family’s favorite appetizers of all time — bacon wrapped water chestnuts! My grandma used to serve these at EVERY gathering and they would disappear so fast! My mom then took over making them for every gathering. And now I make them too — with a little twist. I dredge my bacon through brown sugar to give it a little sweetness.
You only need a few ingredients:
- WHOLE water chestnuts
- Brown sugar (optional)
Cut your bacon in half and drag each piece through some brown sugar. Then roll a piece of bacon around a water chestnut and secure it with a toothpick. Place a cooling rack into a rimmed baking sheet and arrange the bacon wrapped water chestnuts on top. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (or until bacon is crispy). And devour!