Tuesday, December 01, 2009

December Begins

I'm giving away a few of the new Trader Joe's Belgian Chocolates as gifts this Christmas. Just $5 a box, and you get 25 lovely chocolates. I of course had to sample several to make sure they were delicious enough to give away!

This is the beginning of the most festive month of the year. Ahead are long, dark, cold nights, sprinkled with a liberal amount of parties, celebrations, events, guests, family and tasty shared meals. I'm looking forward to nights spent reading books in front of my fireplace, crafting, throwing a party or two, and going home to a family Christmas.

What are you looking forward to especially this month?


- Pay bills, rent/mortgage

- Look over your list of upcoming birthdays this month. Write cards and mail now - it will get busier this month and you may forget later on. Order flowers, and send gifts if you're planning to.

- Make room on your calendar for at LEAST one night *every* week where you can stay home in your pajamas, de-stress, and spend time with family or your significant other. At home, not running around busily to events or errands. Guard this time fiercely for yourself.

- If you use an Advent calendar or Advent house, time to get them out and stock them with small treats!

- Have you planned your holiday party yet, if you're throwing one? Your potential guests likely already have every weekend evening booked for the next month. Better send out a save-the-date or invitation immediately if you are hosting a holiday party this year.

- Do you need to make any doctor, dentist, vet, haircut or salon appointments for the next busy 4 weeks? Any appointments you can put off until next month, to keep December saner?

- Check inventory of firewood, starter logs, matches, and candles (if needed and if you have a wood fireplace)

- Bundle up and go for a quick, brisk walk if you didn't get any exercise this weekend. (If you went shopping at the mall, you probably DID get exercise already!) You can always treat yourself to a hot bath or extra long shower when you get back to warm back up.

- Make menu plans and create grocery list for the week

Red Jewel Ornaments, at Z Gallerie

TODAY'S PROJECT: Holiday Preparation

Do whatever you need to do to prepare for whatever holidays you celebrate. Start planning your cooking for Hanukkah; or go Christmas shopping; write holiday cards; decorate the house; put up lights; bake goodies; decorate a gingerbread house with your kids or nieces/nephews. Need to pick out your Christmas tree?

Today I'm putting on Christmas music, wrapping gifts, and getting out my Christmas decorations. I put up my outdoor lights this weekend, and today I'm putting lights in my windows.

Tonight I'm emailing some friends and family members to make sure I have their current addresses and information for my address book. That way I'll have everything ready as I mail out my Christmas cards.

Tidings Stocking, from Crate & Barrel

I'm trying to decide if it's time to put Christmas stockings up in front of the fireplace. The problem is I already have some chocolates in each stocking, and I use my fireplace very often.. I think you can see where I'm going with this!

Here is a "guide to gracious and glamorous living." Recent posts have showcased mineral lamps, nursery decor, bamboo, and decorative planters. The blogger is based in Washington, DC, so shares info from that area on sample sales and sales at local shops.



This Flickr photostream belongs to a professional baker who creates lovely things for parties and events. There are all sorts of fun things to look through here, from Warhammer cupcakes to sushi mini cakes, Easter cupcakes, Halloween bat cupcakes, snowglobe Christmas cookies, and owl-and-bird cupcakes. A feast for the eyes!



Allowing Pasta to Drink to its Fill (NY Times)

Holiday Cookie Workshop (Bon Appetit)

The Latest Entrepreneurial Fantasy is Selling Cupcakes (NY Times)

25 Days of Christmas Cookies (Epicurious)

33 Gorgeous Holiday Wreaths (Martha Stewart)

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