A Day-After Christmas/Re-Gifting Party

My best friend and her fiance threw a day-after Christmas, re-gifting party this year on December 26th. It was a mimosa and brunch party that started at 10:30 in the morning and everyone had to re-wrap and bring the worst present they received for Christmas for a white elephant gift exchange. The food was delicious as always (she is a great cook) and the mimosas were flowing. But my favorite part of the party was the gift exchange. Our friends got some very strange gifts for Christmas this year and we had a great time unwrapping and stealing them from each other. Our friend Matt apparently didn’t get the memo and brought an unopened pound of Starbucks Christmas blend and Troy and I were lucky enough to bring it home. :) I won’t tell you what the other gift we got stuck with was…It’s best if no one ever sees it…

Some of the crazy gifts we opened.
I had to include the girls because they are always the hit of the party.
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A Christmas Hike

Since I was about 13 we have been celebrating Christmas and opening all our gifts on Christmas Eve. The last few years we have been celebrating Christmas with my husband’s family a week in advance, which leaves us without plans on Christmas Day. So this year I figured we should do something a little different. We ended up driving a few hours to Point Reyes for a beautiful 8.2 mile hike. Most of the hike was green and full of  trees and wilderness until we ended up at a beautiful overlook of the ocean. This may have to be a new tradition! Here are some photos from the trip. You can click on the images to see more detail.

What non-traditional thing did you do for Christmas this year?

Maybe Santa Isn’t For Everyone….

By the looks of these photos you’d think we were torturing this poor child. All we were hoping for was one cute photo of little Ryan sitting on Santa’s lap, but as you can see, these were the best we got. My friend brought her little guy into work last week when Santa was going to be in the lobby of our building. As soon as she set him down on the old guy’s lap the crying began. She went over a few times to console him but as soon as she walked away it started again. Maybe next year we’ll get one with a smile?

Pretty in Pink

As you all saw in my Tutu post, I made these tutus for my nieces, Haeli and Riley for Christmas. I also had decorative shirts made with their names embroidered and matching flower hair clips with rhinestones. Can you tell how much I like dressing them up?  We celebrated early this year and I couldn’t wait to put the girls in their new outfits. So we threw on their new clothes and went outside to snap a few photos. The girls were moving so fast that it was really difficult to get them in the right light for a good shot but I think they still turned out pretty cute. I plan on editing all of these photos in Photoshop soon but I couldn’t wait to post them in the meantime. Maybe I’ll do a before and after post once I’ve edited them. I’d love to take out some of the shadows, but I haven’t quite learned how to use Photoshop so it might take me a while!

I tried to take the tutu off of one of the girls because she was stepping on it, but she quickly stopped in her tracks, turned around and put her hand out for the tutu. She clearly wanted it back on because as I tied it around her again she stayed still waiting for me.

You can click on each image to get a closer look. Aren’t they adorable?

If you like the personalized  shirts you can order them from Kenyon Kreations. Check out her facebook here!

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Tutu?

My best friend found this awesome video tutorial on how to make tutus without any sewing. She has a 2 1/2 year old niece who loves dress up and wanted to make her a tutu for Christmas so I decided to join in the fun! I have twin nieces who are 14 months and would look adorable in their own homemade tutus. These were so easy (and inexpensive)  I couldn’t believe it. I made one that was ivory, pale pink, and pale green with a green satin ribbon and one that was ivory, pale pink, and periwinkle with a light blue satin ribbon. The tutus  I have photographed here are the green one I made and the one my friend made as well. Hers was so fun! It was blue, pink, purple, and white. What little girl wouldn’t LOVE to have one of these to play with? I plan on making these for every little girl I know! You can click on each image to get a better view!

Hopefully I can take some photos of the girls wearing them this weekend for next week’s blog post! Stay tuned :)

You can watch the tutorial here but all you need is tulle, scissors, ribbon and a ruler!

My Attempt At Bokeh

I love the idea of Bokeh with Christmas lights so I decided to play around a little to see what I could come up with. The shapes were the hardest for me because my house is SO dark, especially at night, which means all you can see are the lights and not the background or the tree at all. Even though those photos turned out a little strange, I still had fun getting my crafts out and creating them! At the bottom there are some photos of my best friends dog, Sydney.  My friend’s soon to be mother in law also bought her Christmas ornaments this year that look exactly like Sydney and her other dog Bailey so I just had to snap a few photos. I included them because there is a little light bokeh in the background. You can click on each image to get a closer look.

What have you done with Bokeh?

Snowflakes and Sprinkles

My favorite holiday tradition is baking and decorating sugar cookies. My mom and I have done this since I was a little girl and now the holidays just don’t feel the same without them. So, on Saturday my mom came over to make cookies and my husband even helped. He’s getting better at decorating than I am!

The snowflakes were my favorite this year, they look so pretty and festive.

These cookies aren’t only pretty, they’re yummy too! My recipe is very simple and I just make a confectioner’s sugar frosting and use a little food coloring to get the light greens, pinks, blues, and purples I want.

Sugar Cookie Recipe:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose bleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Mix together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for 2 hours.

Bake cut-out cookies for 6 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees  on a lightly greased cookie sheet (I use Pam).

Frosting- Mix together powdered sugar and milk (soy milk works as well) until you get the consistency you like. I like it thin so I can paint on the frosting and it dries quickly, but you can add more powdered sugar to make it thicker. Add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla depending on quantity and food coloring to your liking.

Holiday Cheer

Here are some of my favorite things about the Holiday season!

Soy Egg Nog. So delicious!

Snowflakes

Blue and Silver ornaments. This way I can decorate for Hanukkah and Christmas at the same time.

My absolute favorite- making sugar cookies! My next post is going to be all about this!

Laugh Smile Love

A few photographs of my nieces while we were cutting down a Christmas tree last weekend.

Follow your Heart

Laugh Smile Love

Lights

Just playing with the focus on my  Canon T3i. The photos are pretty grainy but it was so dark in my living room I’m not sure I could have avoided it.

This is our tree. I usually do an all blue and silver tree and this year I stuck to just white, silver, and clear. I love the monochromatic, simple look of it.