Tonight, we're ringing in 2012 with a big fancy dinner and a quiet evening at home. We splurged on crab legs and good quality steak, and plan on paring it with a big ol wedge salad and mashed potatoes. We, like everyone else, are looking forward to the new year, and reminiscing about 2011.

There were times the year went be so slowly, and I remember sitting in my friend Kim's car on the way home from class in April talking about how long school was taking, and how it seemed it would never be over. But all of a sudden it was 4th of July and the rest of the year just sped past. It was a good year, full of schoolwork and cleaning house for showings. Full of overtime and court for Mike. Full of choices, decisions, and plans. Full of hilarity and just hanging out. Full of celebratory drinks and good food.

Cheers to 2012.


2012 Calendars

Check out these beautiful unique 2012 calendars. I especially love the mountain range one:


Merry Christmas Eve

Here's a little peak into our Christmas baking, gift giving and celebrating. Hope your holiday's a good one.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Spritz Butter Cookies

Panettone - Italian Christmas Bread

The Nutcracker

The lights of the auditorium theater

Heading home

Childhood ornaments

Brown paper packages tied up with string

Have a wonderful holiday!


Christmas Decor

My Christmas decor this year is pretty similar to last year, except this year I added a few more simple touches and we decided to forgo the tree altogether. 

The bowl and mini cake stands made a repeat appearance, as well as the kissing ball, chandelier ornaments and greeting card swag. 

I took a nod from my fall decor and filled the frames on the buffet with evergreens from my yard. 

We picked up some mini poinsettias and put them into clean white vases to hold up the stockings.

The frame ledge got some whimsical prints, that I got from a holiday gift tag printable from Eat Drink Chic.

I took inspiration from the West Elm Holiday catalog and chalk artist Dana Tanamachi for the chalkboard. I'm totally obsessed with this and was pleasantly surprised it only took about 15 minutes to do. 

How's your holiday decor this year? Over the top? Clean and simple? Red and Green? Leave a comment or link below and let me know!


Last Minute Holiday (e)Cards

I just found the perfect free app for sending stylish holiday e-cards.

Image via Redstamp.com
The app allows you to send holiday ecards and evites, photo cards, birthday cards, thank you notes, announcements. Once you choose and customize your design, you can post it to facebook, text it, email it, or print postcards.

Gift Guide: Ladies

North Face Abby Boots, better than Uggs.

Grow some fresh flowers in the winter with this Paper White Narcissus Kit

Cozy up with this striped throw
Get a winter pick me up with this Hot Toddy Kit, which includes a body scrub and bath oil.

Check out last year's gift guide for more great ideas.


Winter Solstice

A Winter Solstice Blessing

In your heartbeat
this darkest night
in the quiet
lies the pulse of peace.
We can hold hands
sync our heartsongs
the circulatory system
the life force
that begins all
ends all
sustains all
and heals all
the communion of hearts
of spirits.
All this for the price
of hushed tones
faith in the dark
and deep listening.

Gift Guide: Guys

A good pair of binoculars. An essential for the outdoorsman.

A flask for sneaking booze into the movie theater 

Classic Military Issue Peacoat - Trust me, these fit wonderfully. Get one at your local army supply store.

Eddie Bauer Slim Fit Vintage Chamois Shirt - Rugged and looks nice as well

A stylish tech accessory - Cambridge Cover in Mocha for Nook Simple Touch, Kindle,or iPad


Gift Guide: Kids

This Wooden Doctor Kit for those future doctors (or nurses!).

Create constellations on the ceiling with this Egg Lamp

Some nontoxic watercolor paint set with bamboo brush to go with the table

My favorite Christmas book - The Polar Express

Non toxic "natural as mud" Piggy Paint for little nails.

For more great ideas, check out my kids gift guide from last year.


Gift Guide: Babies

Minnetonka Infant Fringe Bootie - because they're adorable

Hand Knit Little Lady Bug Mittens with Cord - I always had these when I was little. Mittens are easy to keep track of and can stay looped inside the coat.
JJ Cole Arctic BundleMe  - Especially good for the frigid Midwest winters. They also offer less intense versions if you live somewhere that's not prone to many feet of snow.

PaciPlay - Star Bright
PaciPlay Star Bright Pacifier Clip - keep that pacifier from falling on the ground with this easy to clean accessory.

Nova Naturals - Baby's Wooden Bowl and Moon Spoon - Shatter proof and much chicer than those plastic plate and spoon combos.

Ergo Baby Organic Twill Navy Carrier - don't forget the infant insert (0-4 mo) - wonderful way to keep your baby close and cuddled - check out the benefits of babywearing here

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