christmas, family, happy, holiday, holidays, home, italian, joeywaffles, kansas city, love, taylor swift, xmas

Wednesday is the new Monday

Christmas 2014

So my holiday 4 day weekend was busy and fun and went by too fast! Don’t they all though? I spent it shopping, Christmas tree decorating, removing bathroom floor tile, playing Tetris Attack with JoeyWaffles, and just enjoying time at home, I missed posting my Monday Must Haves but since it’s my blog, this week it’s going to be on Wednesday. Bear with me the next few weeks because life is crazy around the holidays. I have to finish shopping, find shoes for my company holiday party, clean the house, make Christmas cookies, get end of the year stuff done at work and so on and so on. Blogging is such a great outlet to relax, be inspired, and reflect. I love my cozy office so maybe I’ll end up writing more.

Now on to the Must Have’s!

When I was younger, we had a lot of Christmas traditions that I sadly no longer do but really loved. We always drove out to the boonies to a tree farm to pick and cut our own tree. We would get dessert at the same local spot and then get to play video games at this crazy arcade. I always spent my $5 on the crane/claw machines and had to wait patiently for my brother to go through his which took forever. We would read from the bible, ever year a different gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and light the advent wreathe. We also took the ubiquitous holiday family photo in front of the tree, although the year we had the chicken Betsy and the dogs was rather memorable.
So while I no longer have those traditions, there are still a bunch that are going strong and are what Christmas means to me. I have added a few others the older I get so read and enjoy!

Christmas Crime Scene Tape: When we were little and always wanted to peek at the tree, my Dad came up with the idea that the Elves would block off the tree and if we crossed it, we wouldn’t get the gifts. That wasn’t really the point, it was really how funny the signs were and still are to this day. There is usually a theme and now with FB my Dad has all year to collect photos and embarrass us. The youngest person gets to cut the tape, or ribbon if we can’t find any. Then we race to the stockings and Christmas can begin!
The Santa Claus: This is my favorite Christmas movie, I actually love all three in the series. They are funny and silly and sweet and I love Tim Allen. When JoeyWaffles and I were first hanging out and it was Christmas and I mentioned how much I loved them, he downloaded all three and watched the first one with me one night all cuddled up. The fact that I had mentioned it in passing and he remembered and surprised me was one of the million reasons I fell in love with him. There is nothing better then watching this while cuddling with him and all the animals, the soft lights of the Christmas tree, and a soft blanket on us. This is probably our first Christmas tradition so I really cherish it.
MiMi’s Peanut Butter Balls and Grandma Fern’s Brownies: When my great Grandmothers were alive, they each made a signature amazing desert and my Aunt has kept the tradition alive. Mimi’s PB balls are the best frozen and there is s special gold tin they have to come in. They are the perfect size and go so fast. You have to make sure to hide some so they don’t run out! Grandma Fern’s brownies are probably my favorite desert ever and I look forward to these all year. Paleo be damned, these are worth a few days at the gym.
Traveling: Christmas has always been huge in my family, much like many people. I have so much family that it had to be precisely scheduled when I was younger. My older brother and I celebrated Christmas Eve morning with my two Dads, then headed over to my Mom to open gifts with her and my stepdad and then we headed over to my Italian grandparents to celebrate with cousins, aunts, uncles, and more. We would go home around 11 or 12, sleep for a few hours and then drive to the airport, get on an early morning flight to Kansas City, MO for my paternal grandparents, aunt, and other family. We did this until one day in my mid 20’s I had enough of the missing or delayed flights and being stuck in airports and now we go to Missouri the weekend before Christmas.  Plus without going to Kansas City, I would miss out on the one meal a year my Grandma cooks, a delicious roast with mushrooms and bacon, patrician potatoes, Rhodes rolls, green beans and corn casserole.  
Pop Christmas Albums/All Christmas music: Mariah. N’Sync. BSB, 98 degrees, Hanson. I love em all and need my fix of their holiday albums. Taylor Swift and Josh Groban too. Plus 93.9FM in Chicago plays all holiday music from November ’til Christmas and I don’t change my radio. You can’t leave out Bing, Frank, and all the originals. Favorite Christmas song? “Baby it’s cold outside”
Italian Christmas Eve: My Mom’s family is Catholic so we don’t eat meat on Christmas Eve and instead have pasta, homemade cheese pizza, and seafood. Food is a big part of our culture, the making, eating, the family recipes, the warmth it is to be in a kitchen. Some years we’ve had eel, calamari salad, mussels, and more. The stuffed artichokes my Aunt Laurie makes are out of this world and what’s being Italian without some wine?We eat my Aunt Diane’s special chocolate chip cookies. Our Christmas’s are loud, full of laughter, smiles, the most wonderful smells coming out of the kitchen, and of love. It’s cheesy but I’ve always been so proud to be Italian and of my heritage and of the strong people who came before me.
What are your favorite holiday traditions? What is your favorite holiday movie or song?
Check out Kristen’s post on balance and the traditions she and her husband keep!
Bella and Dante in their holiday wear
Advertisements
benefit, benefit makeup, cosmetics, deals, fashion, happy, holidays, joey waffles, monday, monday must have's, must have's, wish list, xmas

Monday Must Have-5 weekends til Christmas!

Since it’s only 5 weekends away, I thought it would be fun to post my Christmas Wish List. My Dad still asks my brother and I for them so I have to start thinking about what I want. My brothers hasn’t changed much from when we were kids, the newest video game system and this year’s was no different, the Playstation 4. My list is definitely more practical than when I was little but I also buy myself the fun stuff now instead of relying on my parents. So here we go!

Monday Must Have’s Christmas Edition

North Face Winter Jacket-BlackWhen I was heaver I had the typical North Face that everyone has but I had to buy it in a Men’s XL which was pretty mortifying even though no one could tell. I always felt bad knowing that, so when I lost the weight and the jacket was huge on me, it was a huge victory. I’ve had a nice coat for the last two years but it’s time for a change. Something classy, something warm and functional with the Polar Vortex that’s sure to happen again. This coat looks great on everyone and I am totally copying my friend Carly, who has this and looks amazing in it.
Benefit Cosmetics Gift Card or productsBesides the advent calendar I’ve previously mentioned, I pretty much want anything else that’s from Benefit. I love their products: Big Easy, Hello Flawless, Gimme Brow, Brow Zings, They’re Real, and on and on and on. Benefit is my favorite make up brand and I am almost out a lot of my products so it’s gonna be a great time to fill up. The products last a long time without getting gross so it’s a great for the wallet as well!
Erin Condren Life Planner with this photoI’ve ordered a planner before and I love it. It’s fun to use and I love that you can make it personal. Picking a photo from my instagram, I get to enjoy keeping track of all my shit with stickers and color coded pens. I love being organized and this is a great and useful way to keep myself together. A little pricey but if you still like hand writing things and not using your phone or a tablet, this is a great way to go. 
Hunter Boot Welly SocksFirst off, if you don’t own Hunters and you live anywhere with snow or heavy rains, stop reading and run to Nordstrom’s and grab a pair. They are AMAZING. Your feet will absolutely not get dry but I will warn, even with Wellies, your toes can get cold. I has a glossy black pair and grey cable knit socks and want a few more for outfit choices. If you want to wear hunters with leggings to work, these really class them up and are comfy. Long term for $140, these are a great investment.
This or this funny notepad from PapyrusAnother great way to stay organized and they’re pretty funny. These are going to be great for work and they make me laugh out loud.
Lifefactory 16 oz Classic Cap bottle (pink)Because I’m trying to stay away from bottled water and the big bad BPA’s and because it’s super cute. It’s never bad to stay hydrated and be fashionable at the same time.

Fleece Lined Leggings from WalgreensLast year I wanted a pair of fleece lined leggings but wasn’t sure what direction to go or where to start. One day I was in line at Walgreen’s and saw 2 pairs for $10 and took a chance. I have never looked back. This is a STEAL. These pants are one sized fit all, comfy, the perfect thickness, and they look great. They havent’ ripped or gotten nubby ad they keep my really really insulated and warm. Grab a pair!

This weekend I had the new Starbucks cranberry bliss bar and it was so delicious. JoeyWaffles and I had dinner at Sushi Station, I did some laundry and visited a psychic. I wore adorable leg warmers and meal prepped for the week. Most importantly I got to catch up with a dear friend Kristen. I had a wonderful time seeing her, meeting Bacci her adorable Chi mix and learning about Essential Oils. It was a great party and I looked forward to seeing more of her! I also got to play a lot of Tetris Attack with JoeyWaffles and hang out with the pups and relax. All I need now is a fireplace
What are you asking for this Christmas? Hannukah? Anything special you really want? Or are you excited to buy gifts and enjoy the gift of giving?