Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Our stockings have been hung by the chimney kitchen with care, and our tree has been trimmed.  We've probably had more christmas cookies and egg nog, than any family should, and by some miracle I even was able to get the presents wrapped before Christmas Eve this year.  We've been to the nutcracker, and are anxiously waiting for our ride on the Polar Express later in the week.  The boys and I have seen pretty much every Christmas movie ever made... twice.  In short, we are READY for Christmas!  The boys are certainly excited for their presents, but it seems that the real draw this year is the idea of Santa being in our house.  The LM is still a believer and I have to say, nothing melts my heart more.  Tomorrow night my sister and her fiancĂ© are joining us for our traditional cioppino dinner, followed by what is sure to be an intense game of Cards Against Humanity. Not exactly a traditional night before Christmas, but I pretty much live for games of any kind, so this is the best present I could get this year!!  Below is a little peek of what life has been like around here the past few weeks if you'd like to see what we've been up to. 

Last year we got a little carried away and got too big of a tree, so this year I inadvertently went to the other extreme and got one on the smaller side.  At first it was, "oh no" but we all have decided that we actually like the little guy, and it sure is nice not to have to move all the furniture around.  Small trees for the win!

To keep in line with our toned down Christmas, I kept the decorations minimal as well.  This little corner makes me very happy!

The boys, getting in the spirit. Buddy the Elf has nothing on them!

We baked these with my sister on Saturday, I'm embarrassed to say how few are left!  If frosting was a food group, my kids definitely are getting their daily intake.

The Elf of the Shelf has again been the highlight of the Month.  I don't really get that elaborate, but the boys don't seem to care.  Brady is definitely going to be missed once Christmas is over!

After a year long unintentional hiatus, the wii has made a reappearance.  This, I'm not mad at.  Not one bit. 

Also READING!!!! is big right now.  We are so, so close to this kid choosing to read versus doing anything else.  I'm so excited for him, I really can't think of a better gift!  Here he is is proudly showing off his first finished chapter book. 

Oh, and movies.  Lately, on Sunday's the boys and I have been hitting the movies, and it's been a blast.  Our theater serves beer (yay) and has those big comfy seats, so really it's not hard to convince me to go.  Last week we saw Big Hero 6 and it was surprisingly really, really good.  I definitely recommend seeing it with or without kids!

All of this excitement has led to some incredibly exhausted boys.  For the past few weeks, at least three times a week, they will either pass out or beg to go to bed before 6:30.  My husband and I have pretty much been doing cartwheels having the entire evening to ourselves, and will probably shed a tear when this ends!

 These guys.  Most of the time they drive me nuts, but I can't imagine life without them.  I'm a very lucky girl, and in the New Year I'm determined to focus more on that than anything else. 

So that's what we've been up to!  The boys are out of school until the 5th, and since no one really reads blogs this time of year anyway, I think I will follow suit and take some time away from here.  In 2015, I really want to make more time for this blog, and think hard about where I would like for it to go.  Thank you all for sharing another year with me, and I wish you the merriest of holidays, and a happy, happy New Year!

Weekend Links

Friday, December 19, 2014


It's Friday which means only one thing around here... no more school for 18 more days!  Eek.  Part of me is psyched, because this means no more mornings rushing, yelling, rushing, driving, rushing... but then the other part of me is saying, "no more school for 18 days ?!?!?!?!"  Luckily, we have something planned almost every day, so hopefully I can keep these wild animals I call children busy, and I'm most looking forward getting in some time just having no where to go.  To kick things off this weekend my sister is hanging with us, and after I take the LM skating we are making christmas cookies. On Sunday, we are going with friends to see the Urban Nutcracker.  Have you been? I'm actually really excited!  Whatever your plans, I hope you have a great one, and for those of you traveling, be safe!

Here are a few fun links from around the web, for those long delays, and lazy mornings! xx

I LOVE this DIY moroccan wedding blanket inspired tree skirt. So simple and elegant, I'm absolutely filing this one away for my "one day" grown up tree.

A powerful lesson about privilege.

This is such a sweet idea, and as the mother of a boy who cannot live without his lovie more than 10 feet away, one that I'm sure is very appreciated.

Do you all take multigenerational vacations?  Lately, our parents from both sides have been joining us on our Costa trips, and it has been so fun.  The boys love it, and it is so nice to spend time with them away from our usual frantic runaround life, and to get some time away from the boys while traveling.  

How Julia Childs roasts a turkey... just in time for Christmas dinner.

A great article about the secret language of teen girls on Instagram.  Man, I really hope I can keep my kids away from social media forever for another decade.

Turns out your adult siblings may in fact be the key to a long and healthy life.  I find this to ring so true.  My sister who lives near me is such an integral part of our little family, and for the past 25 years, our relationship has consistently been the strongest of any in my life.

Half of couples aren't actually divorcing.  This one surprised me!

The best of the best featured in this year's Boston Home.

OMG. We've been wrapping gifts wrong our entire lives! This video is a game changer.

I love William Sonoma and much as the next girl, but some of the things they sell really are ridiculous. This hater's guide to the catalog always cracks me up!  Really, why do they sell so many tiny things?  How much storage do you need to house them the rest of the year?  So many questions!

I HAD to send this spoof to my girlfriends. So, so funny... and true!

You guys,  watch this and then peel your jaw off the floor. Seriously.

What you learn in your 40's. Bring it on!

This made me laugh out loud and is so right on!!!  So. many. layers!

Great advice on how to email a busy person.  Taking notes here.

Lastly, what your face is trying to tell you.  Mine says STOP EATING SUGAR.  I think it's going to have to do better than that.

The Turtleneck.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

 What are your feelings on turtlenecks?  I used to loathe them.  Like hate with a capitol H.  I would leave the house wearing one, and by the time I got to drop off I would be pulling at my neck like I was being strangled.  I don't know, I just found them to be so suffocating, and even the thought of having something skin tight around my neck made me claustrophobic.  

A few weeks back I saw a girl wearing this vest/ turtleneck hybrid over a flannel shirt, and I picked one up for myself.  Ever since, I have been wearing it  Seriously.  Over gym clothes, over sweaters, over other turtlenecks, and even for a recent girls night out, over a button down with leather pants.  I swear, on these colder days, I almost feel naked without something on my neck now.  As much as I try to remember, I always seem to leave my scarfs at home, and I've been really enjoying not freezing all day long (novel concept I know.)  Of course, I'm now obsessed and have been scouring sales on the net to add to my modest collection.  Below are a few of my favorites.  




Am I crazy, are turtlenecks really just so chic, or I have I finally been brainwashed by the crazy New England Winters? 

P.S. Bonus points will always go for the girl with the hair tucked IN to the turtleneck. 

P.P.S. Same goes for a necklace over, see second to the last image. 

YM Gift Guide 2014: For The Home.

Friday, December 12, 2014

After taking a quick glance at my list of favorite house and home gifts to give this year, I finally accepted that yes, I am most definitely am drawn to things that are 1) navy, 2) gold/ brass, and 3) leather.  As much as I try to find things in other color palettes, I always seem to go back to these three things, and you know what?  This suits me just fine.  I'm a girl who knows what I like, and everything on this list I like... I like a lot.  For those of you out there looking for a little something to spruce up your home this holiday season, here are a few of my favorite things.  The beauty of buying for the home this time of year, is that you can get your every day items for a song.  It's what I like to call the real magic of the season!

No spoiler here, since she already knows, this is what I'm getting my sister this year.  I've seen this amazing bar cart on pretty much every blog out there, but it was only when I picked it up that I realized just how awesome it is.  Made of brass and wood, it's stylish, functional, and impressively sturdy.  Cheers to that! ($130)

I am obsessed with this gold basket.  Like, I want one in every room.  I could see using this for holding blankets, towels, toys, even as a waste basket in the bathroom or office. So, so good. ($20)

Brass + Planter, is there anything more I need to say? ($50-65)

This is my favorite candle on the planet.  Initially, I bought one for our guest room, but very quickly decided that I needed to see it every day, and put it out front and center in our living room.  It smells incredible, and is large enough to use as a planter when it burns down.  You know I'm all over that. ($88 with 25% off with code GIVEGLAM)

These coasters are on the tip top of my wish list right now.  So simple, and so beautiful. Oh, and they are also navy. Sold! ($48)

Even though these sheets are technically made for kids, we have them in our guest room, and I get so many compliments on them.  The gold dots add just the right amount of whimsy, and these would be great for a holiday inspired room paired with a red plaid throw. (From $79)

The one and only thing I wish we had in our home is a fireplace.  Mark my words, if we do ever move, that is going to be on the top of my list.  For those of you who are lucky enough to have one, I'm loving this personalized canvas/ leather bag for storing wood by the fire.  ($99)

This leather magazine rack is so elegant and would be great for those of you who live with a magazine hoarder, and may also sometimes exhibit hoarder tendencies as referenced by her extensive Cookie collection that will forever live with her shoes.  I'm not naming any names here. ;) ($138)

The single greatest item we have ever bought for our home was the Nespresso machine I gifted myself last year.  We use it multiple times a day, and it still works as good as it did the day we took her out of the box.  While aesthetically I wasn't sold on this one, I took my salesperson's advice that this was the easiest and best machine they have.  Almond milk lattes are my jam, and with one push of a button, and about 1 minute of waiting, I have the most perfect one in my hand while running out the door for school.  The milk can stay in the container which is refrigerated, and then the whole piece can be put in the dishwasher.  Never ever having to wait in line at Starbucks again... game changer. ($399 with 100 dollar club credit)

I absolutely love every single piece from Heather Taylor, but if I had to choose, this pillow is my favorite.  Simple and beautiful, exactly what I want my home to be.  Her tablecloths are equally as awesome. ($112)

Just when I thought I couldn't get any more Navy in to my home, a girlfriend of mine turned me on to this new line available at Macy's.  Love, love, love.  (Prices vary)

Finally, how great is this copper tray which comes with free monogramming?  So great for those holiday parties, this also would make a great gift for those on your list who love to entertain.  I'm filing this one away for future wedding gifts! ($175)

Sadly, this is the end of the gift guides this year.  I hope you found them helpful, I also have a great time making them! Happy Friday!

YM 2014 Gift Guide: For Him

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers... I always feel like they are the hardest people to shop for each year.   Most of the men in my life either want nothing, or instead they want something super precise.  For years, my father bought his own gifts from all of us, usually for a specific sport he was in to, and when it came to my husband, I would grab him a few things that I thought he would love, only to end up returning 90% of them because I somehow missed the mark.  Over time I fell like I've gotten a little more tuned in to what each of them like, and for the past few years I have to say I've done pretty well with the acceptance/ return ratio.   For those of you who are still looking for the perfect gift for the man in your life, here are a few ideas to help you finish off your list.  Most of these are things my husband loves so if your man is having you send these back... blame him ;).

For the bearded man in your life, a little oil to help him keep his fur nice and soft. ($15-25 ) The bonus is that it makes him smell like he just got done chopping wood in the forest.  (Um, yeah, my husband is never allowed to shave his beard.  Ever.)  Funny enough there is a new phrase out there for all these men who are looking a little more "outdoorsy" these days.  Enter the lumbersexual. Le swoon

Beer seems to be back, and in a big way.  I feel like every day there is a new craft brewery popping up on every corner, and as my closest friends know, I much prefer a cold beer, to any other alcoholic beverage there is. The key word is cold, and let me tell you, my husband and I take this very seriously.  We have a little ritual around here of having one beer a night, and we are constantly remind each other to put them in the freezer right around the time the boys go to bed. When one of us forgets (me) it becomes the sigh heard around the neighborhood.  These little ice cubes which keep your beverage cold from beginning to end would be the perfect gift for the beer drinker in your life. ($25 for two). I think we both need to make sure we ask Santa for these this year. 

I got my husband this flannel, which comes with a built in down layer, for his birthday this year, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't taken it off since.  Seriously, I have to sneak it away to wash it.  He is constantly raving about how it is just the most perfect layer on cold days, and great on warmer days on it's own.  It's stylish enough that I let him wear it out to dinner (I mean, it does go with the beard) but also comfortable for just lounging around the house.  ($170)

This iPad stand is absolutely perfect for the techie man on your list.  A perfect fusion of function and form,  great for home or office. ($50)

I absolutely love these buffalo check pajamas, which are perfect for pretty much any man on your list.  I'm pretty sure this is just about the last thing they would buy for themselves, but you know they will wear them every day.  Bonus points go to those who can snap a picture with multiple generations wearing them on Christmas or New Years day. ($50 with 30% off with code GIVETHIS)

Both the LM and my husband are obsessed with these socks by Stance. They come in just about as many patterns and colors as you can image, and add just a little something to whatever they are wearing that day.  I prefer the super wild ones, but they make more conservative ones as well.  Made of super soft material, these would make a great stocking stuffer. ($12)

This one is a no brainer for me, since all the men in my life are surfers, but I have to admit I too love this bi-monthly, reader supported magazine.  This would be great for any of the adventurers on your list, and the covers are always so stunning, you won't even mind when he leaves them all around the house. (Please tell me that my husband isn't the only one who does this?) ($15 for single issue, $66 for a subscription)

I know, I know, I include a T-shirt from one of my favorite stores, Saturdays NYC, on my list every year, but I just can't help it... they are just so cool. Every time I'm in the city, I pick up one for my husband, and they are always the ones he loves the most.  This year I'm loving this cool print which would be great under a flannel, a blazer, or on its own. ($40)

I feel like every man needs a great pair of slippers, and these hard soled ones can actually be worn out of the house on the morning dog walk or coffee/paper run.  Again, something he probably wouldn't buy for himself, but you know he will love. ($110)

This is what my husband is getting this year, and let me tell you, the kid could not be more excited. For any surfers in your life, this is pretty much the coolest gift you can give.  It's basically a fit bit for the ocean, telling the user everything they need to know from their session.  Things like how many waves they caught, how long they rode, how many miles they paddled, and it hooks up to an iPhone to give more specific details and even a GPS tracker of all the waves they rode.  Forget the iWatch, this is where it's at. ($400)

Finally, for the man on your list who loves raunchy comedy, this series from Comedy Central is pretty much the funniest thing we've ever seen.  Seriously, I've never laughed so hard.  Seasons 1-3 are available on DVD or streaming, and trust me, he will love it.  Caution, this is some R-rated material, just be ready. ($15)