Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg

Ah, the holidays. Ready or not, here they come....and I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit while remembering to breathe. The last month has been a whirlwind of general busyness. If I don't slow down and step back from the chaos, the holidays will be over before I catch my breath.

So I'm taking it SLOWLY this year. No, our tree isn't up yet nor are any decorations. In the meantime.....

Homemade hot chocolate: Mmmmmmm! I forgot that we got cocoa powder in our fabulous Penzey Spices wedding gift, but now I'm hooked. A little milk, cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla with mini marshmallows? Pure heaven. And way better than the instant powdery stuff.

Thoughtful packages: What is this huge box?
The sweetest gift ever, sent my mom. This note accompanied the box and I promptly developed a large lump in my throat while reading it:

I'll summarize for you: my mom has been collecting ornaments for every year of my life with the intentions of passing them onto me as I cross into adulthood, and have a family of my own. She decided that now was the time to give me these little treasures with so many memories attached to each year we've spent together. I'm a big girl now, I suppose, and it's time for me to make my own memories with my husband. And so, she sent every single ornament of mine.....individually gift wrapped, which just adds to the suspense.
Can you imagine how long it took her to create these little works of art?Oh, and we counted 30 packages [and I'm only 27] so there might be a few surprise non-yearly ornaments in there, too. We decided to open them as we decorate our tree and mom made me promise to tell Nate a story about each ornament. What a sentimental and amazing gift, right?

Also, look at the adorableness Keri sent me. It's pink and green, folks:)
And another package that arrived? My Old Navy paraphernalia! Here are a few of my favorite new lounge outfits. I had to cut off my head in these pictures because I cannot make a serious face while posing and I ended up looking rather deranged.
These pajama pants are SO LONG they even puddle on the ground. And my freakishly long arms? Completely covered by the extended length sleeves on my new hoodie. It's a regular miracle for my 5'10" self.
Then there is the pimp hot pink velour hoodie combined with my new yoga pants. Again, notice the length.

And the fleece lounge pants with cotton tee shirt? Comfy and without holes. I've turned over a new leaf, my friends. It's like a mini Christmas provided to myself by myself. And it feels so good to be selfish:)

Decor inspiration: Martha has done it again. My newest issue of Martha Stewart Living fired up the old creativity flame. Of course I have no idea when I'll make these crafts but it never hurts to dream.

Button ornaments. Completely adorable and seemingly easy to make.

Pimped out wrapping jobs:

Damask? Yes, please.
Candy Cane stripes? Done.

Monogrammed tags? Why didn't I think of that?

And not that we are hosting any fancy dinners, but isn't this the cutest place setting ever?I could spend hours on Martha's site because her ideas are drool-worthy. Bravo, Ms. Stewart. You rule.


  1. What a sweet gesture from your mom! That is too cute. It's hard being away from family during the holidays, so it's neat that she sent those to you.

    I have the opposite problem with clothes and have to have them all chopped off!

  2. WOW, that is such a cool gift from your mom! Were they the ornaments that you had growing up or were they all need ornaments that you have never seen? And I LOVE that one from Keri! Did she make it? I am going to go and get some ornaments today!

  3. Ok, first, I totally laughed out loud at the title of your post. And, now I have that stuck in my head.

    I like to put some Bailey's Caramel in my hot cocoa. Delish!

    What a sweet package from your mom! I love that she took the time to wrap each present.

    Someday, in my "real" house, I will have a craft room and I will spend my days wrapping presents and making cute things (like those ornaments) to my heart's delight. I can dream, right?

  4. Wow. What an amazing gift from your mom! And hellooooo wrapping paper! So sweet :) And um....the cocoa looks yummy, too!

  5. LC~they are ornaments I've seen as I grew up and I helped hang them on my parents' tree every year, too. Mom would give one to me and my brother each year as a gift. A lot of them are the Hallmark yearly ornaments they have annually with the date written on them.....always the girlie ones for me, of course. Some of the years the expensive ornaments weren't in our budget, so she chose the marked down ones....those are the best! :) I will make sure to post pics of them once they are unwrapped. I'm sure I've forgotten about some of them over the years. It's hard to remember 27 ornaments!

    And no, Keri didn't make that ornament but I think it would be easy to do. Just a little paint to a bulb and a ribbon on top.

    Sierra~a craft room = my idea of heaven, seriously!

  6. Oh my gosh, Julia, that gift from your mom is just about the sweetest, most thoughtful thing ever. Wow!! Have you opened all of them already? :) Or are you going to prolong the surprise?

    Love the new lounge outfits! I need to get some, too ... Dave's probably very sick of seeing me in the same things day after day!

  7. Every picture in this post is drool worthy. I've been obsessed with hot chocolate lately. And I love your mom's idea! Could all those wrapped presents be any cuter? I saw the ornament that Keri got you a couple of weeks ago (at Dierbergs of all places) and totally thought of you, LOL. And the comfy clothes!! How fun! I'll have to remember Old Navy for my mom...she's got the same problems you do thanks to her being so tall. If only I'd inherited that gene...

  8. your mom is too cute with her homemade packages! you and nate are going to have a great time decorating the tree with all the memories you will have to share with him!

    monogram tags? soooo cute!

  9. Your mom is too cute. I don't think I've said that enough! :)

    The black and white stack of presents was my inspiration for our gift card box that I made for the wedding.

    Y'know how guys have their own little tool shed or wood shop in the back yard? I want my own craft shack in the back yard! :p

  10. your mom is so thoughtful! I am jotting all these great ideas down in my brain for my future children. I also love her handwriting.

    Wrapping presents is one of my favorite activities (no joke) and I also cannot believe I haven't thought of monogrammed gift tags!!! Guess what I'll be doing this year!

  11. I'm new to the blog world and stumbled upon your blog, love it. I'm going to run not walk to Old Navy in search of long pajama pants and yoga pants. Like you I am tall and nothing annoys me more than putting on a pair of pants that you want to be long and they are capris! Quick question are these considered a Tall/long?

  12. Lol I got a huge lump in my throat just reading that, so I can imagine the drama for you! I love that she individually packaged them! :)

    Based on the pouty lip of one of your ON poses I can just imagine why you cut your head off lol!

  13. What a great gift from your mom! So sweet.

    That hot chocolate was pure torture to look at. Jim and I are trying to stay good with our new intense workout routine and anything yummy is off limits :(

  14. First of all, your mom just sounds like the best... all the sweet things she says and does for you. You are an incredibly lucky daughter.
    And she has gorgeous handwriting, too!!! :)

  15. I am fairly certain that I bought something similiar to your new velour pink hoodie on Saturday from Old Navy...but it was the maternity version, so it would hold my tummy in the coming winter months.

  16. OK your mother is just the SWEETEST thing ever! that is so thoughtful!

  17. What a thoughtful and meaningful gift - your Mom is the sweetest!

    (Love the Old Navy haul as well!)

  18. Just came across your blog tonight and love it.

    Hope you are enjoying the Wisconsin winter weather (I am originally from WI so I understand your pain)!

  19. Oh my gosh, I can't believe how sweet your mom is! I can see where you get your creativity and thoughtfulness.

  20. Your Mom's sweet letter def made me cry! I am such a baby!

    That was the sweetest thing ever!!!

  21. I totally have those Old Navy yoga pants!


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