Our Christmas holiday began with a 4 1/2 hour drive out of Chicago across the state of Michigan to the homes of our families. Mike worked the previous night so the majority of the driving was up to me. Fortunately, it did not result in an 11 hour-car-turned-off-on-the-highway fiasco such as we encountered two years previous, but remained uneventful.

After arriving at Mike's parents, with intentions of Mike adding a few hours nap to his 2ish hours of poor sleep in the car, we barely had time to run to the grocery store and change out of jeans and hoodies before the rest of Mike's family arrived. Mike never got his nap. But he did get a 5 hour energy and trooper that he is stayed awake for about 30 hours minus the snooze in the car. I would be a total bitch, but he always manages to keep going. He'll do anything to spend time with his family. After a traditional ham dinner, gifts, dessert, wine, a few heartfelt conversations and rounds of pool we were whipped.

After a blissful sleep in until just shy of eleven, Mike and I woke up, made dessert for the days festivities and lounged around drinking tea and eating homemade waffles. We hopped back in the car to my parents house where we toasted with mimosas, wrapped gifts and drove together to my brother Eric and his wife Kate's house. We ate our weight in appetizers, ate a "traditional" Italian Christmas meal: Lasagna, and opened gifts, all while laughing and enjoying this occasion where we were all together.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas too.


Feeling Crafty

So, I'm not the craftiest girl in the world. I never got into scrapbooking and I'm not particularly adept at crocheting, but I saw this collar at the pet store and knew I could make it (or something like it) myself.

Since I spent the better part of Tuesday making tissue pom pom gift toppers, I figured I might as well keep the crafty streak going and attempt a poinsettia flower collar for Olive. And since she's not one for clothes, this was a perfect way to give her a fun, festive look. I found a simple tutorial here, and adapted it to fit my needs.

I went to hobby lobby and picked up four sheets of felt (4 for a 1$). Then I gathered my supplies: Fabric scissors, fabric glue, red thread and a button of choice.

I grabbed a scrap piece of paper and hand drew a red petal to use as a stencil, then traced four petals onto the felt.

Repeat the step above until 8 petals are traced and cut them out.

I then hand drew another stencil and traced and cut out two large leaves out of green felt

I then cut out a small 1"x1" square as the base to attach the flowers.

So, I know I'm missing a few steps here (sorry, I'm new to this). I glued the petals in place in a the pattern below then rotated the flower and glued the next level in place so that alternating layers were stacked atop of one another.

I ended up with two layers of petals, followed by two layers of smaller petals. Then glued the leaves to the bottom of the red square base. I then sewed a button in place to hold the leaves together a little more securely.

Voila. Now I just need to attach it to her collar and she'll be ready for Christmas.


Stocking Stuffers

Check out these last minute ideas for stocking stuffers:



Gift Guide: Her

Last, but certainly not least, the Gift Guide for the ladies. I had fun putting this one together and thinking about all the sweet little gifts that I would like and I think other ladies would like as well.

Isn't this Figs & Ginger Love Birds Necklace sweet?

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream for dry winter skin

Caldrea Balsam and Figleaf Holiday Candle. A holiday candle that doesn't make you want to eat a plate full of cookies.

L'Occitane Verbena Sachet. A sweet smelling surprise for your dresser or closet.

Adagio Tea of the Month Club, for the tea drinker who likes a little variety.

And to store those teas a Birch look tea tin, made of "Momi-gami " paper. Teavana

Don't forget to check out Gifts Guides for pups, babes, kids, and your man. Happy gift giving.


Gift Guide: Him

Because guys can often be difficult to buy for, I perused the web for some fun gift ideas. So instead of getting your guy a watch he doesn't wear (Mike) or a shirt that you think he would look good in, check out the list below for some inspiration.

Leatherman Multi Tool. Because what guy doesn't need all this in his pocket:

Needlenose Pliers
Straight Knife
Wire Cutters
Hard-Wire Cutters
Extra-Small Screwdriver
Small Screwdriver
Med/Lrg Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Lanyard Attachment
Can/Bottle Opener
Corkscrew with Assist

The toughest iPhone case around. Otterbox.

Rituals Organic Shaving Kit. Because I refuse to let Mike grow a mustache.

Paracord Survival Strap turns into 16 ft of paracord rope for use in emergencies

Zombie Survival Guide. Just in case.

Don't miss the other holiday gift guides including pups, babies, and kids. Plus, check back tomorrow for the Gift Guide for Her


Happy Weekend

Hello friends, I hope you enjoyed your weekend. My weekend consisted of a dinner party with friends on Friday and my final clinicals of the semester on Satuday and Sunday. What's everyone else up to this weekend? Are you finishing your Christmas shopping? We finished our Christmas shopping on Thursday, snuck in between finals and grocery shopping and house cleaning. Is anyone else finishing their Christmas shoppping or holiday decorating. Leave a comment below and let me know about your last minute holiday preparations.


Gift Guide: Kids

Back with another gift guide, this time for the kids:

Play Farmer's Market with Melissa & Doug Food Groups

I'm never without my reusable water bottle, get the kids in on it too with this Sigg "Flutter Flirt" Little Kids Aluminum Water Bottle

Mike is crazy about tie tees, I bet he would love this Fat Tie Long Sleeve Tee

Loving this sweet and simple Shirin Pleated Sleeve Dress

I couldn't decide on just one...ClementineArt Gift Set

Don't forget to check out gifts for pups and babies, and stay tuned for gifts for him and her


Meal Plan

Mushroom Enchiladas
Maple Glazed Salmon with Sweet Potato Fries
Black Bean and Lentil Chili
Margherita Pizza
Found out how ten meals lasts about three weeks by perusing my pantry
Click on the picture or link to view image sources.

Gift Guide: Babies

When it comes to baby gear, I love a nice mix of vintage and modern. I'm not really into overly cutesy baby gear and instead prefer the more classic styles. So, I've rounded up some sweet vintagey modern baby gear for your gift giving pleasure:

Isn't this Little Sapling Little Owl Teether the sweetest?

No caption needed for this adorable Vintage Super Hero Cap

Robeez Soft Soles Lollipop Monster
(approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association)

Help keep winter sniffles at bay with this Crane Elephant Cool Mist Humidifier

This Aden + Anais Star Bright Sleeping Bag is great for keeping little one's warm and safe (approved by the CJ foundation for SIDS)

Babies love contrasting colors and this simple black, gray and red mobile is perfect
Swallow Mobile

Don't forget to check out gifts for your pooch, and stay tuned for gift guides for kids, him and her...

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