Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wrapping Presents...

...isn't the easiest to do with a ferocious kitten in the middle of it all. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hammock Pack Review: December

This is my third box from Hammock Pack. I decided not to sign up for the October or November boxes because $25 every month feels like a strain on my budget, but December and the holiday season is the best time to treat yourself, and that is what Hammock Pack is all about!

The theme of this month's box was Ski Lodge. Soft white tissue paper wrapping with a beautiful red bow that looks like a cozy sweater was a perfect choice for the wrapping for this box. I tried to tie the ribbon around Skwisgaar to make him a festive kitty, but that didn't work out so well...
The card with this month's box reads, "Skiing is one of our favorite winter activities, but relaxing in the ski lodge is a close second. As the temperature drops, nothing beats curling up next to a crackling fireplace with a steaming cup of cocoa. So cozy up with us by the fire with these wonderful winter treats. As you warm your spirits, we hope you're nice and rested for the next month's doorstep getaway." I have never been skiing, but based on what in this box, I think that I would like it!

This box included a jar of The Balm: Lavender from West 13 Bath & Body, a Minty Pattie Candy Bar from Sweet Lydia's, one Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate on a Stick from Ticket Kitchen, a full size jar of Snowdrift Body Lotion from Firebird Bath & Body, a bag of Dark Chocolate Marshmellows from 240 Sweet, and a pack of two Classic Stroopwafels from The Good Batch.

My #1 favorite item in this box so far is the Snowdrift body lotion. It smells like fresh evergreen tree mixed with vanilla and peppermint, and it was made in Baltimore! Oh yeah, and I am hoarding that hot chocolate on a stick like it is liquid gold.
How do you treat yourself during the holidays?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Celebrating the Light in the Darkness

This past weekend I took a long weekend away from Raleigh and traveled home for my cousin, Ilana's Bat Mitzvah. I flew into BWI on Thursday night, which was nice because I had an evening at home with my parents before the weekend craziness began. 

I slept so well that night that when I woke up on Friday morning, I was so confused and didn't remember where I was! The rest of the day was about relaxing and taking it easy. Mom and I caught up on Glee, had brunch and watched the Sandy Hook coverage on the news until we left for Friday night services and Ilana's Bat Mitzvah dinner in Silver Spring. 

This is the best part - when we got home Dana was waiting for us! 

On Saturday morning we all went back to Silver Spring for Ilana's Bat Mitzvah servcie where she read beautifully from the torah and get a speech about the message of Hanukkah and about bringing light to those in need when times are dark. She did a great job! We are so proud of her!

Later that evening she had her Mermaid themed (!) party in the basement of the synagogue and Dana and I were in charge of the tye-dye t-shirt station where party guest could make shirts that will be donated to a local shelter. We had so much fun! I'm so glad that I got to catch up with family and friends that I don't get to see very often.

On Sunday morning Dana and I made 2 batches of Rum Balls (one of our favorite Christmas cookies) and then we went for a walk around the neighborhood before I flew back to Raleigh to be reunited with Aaron and Skwisgaar! Burt Hummel said it best this week on Glee, "You've got to hold the people you love the most close to you, no matter what." I got to hold most of mine all in one weekend!

Even though we didn't have enough time to do everything that we wanted to get to over the weekend (hot tub, going to see Anna Karenina, watching Brave together, or having lunch at Wegman's) it was a really good weekend. 

Hope you had a good weekend too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Buddies

It has been so long since my last Wedding Wednesday post! Honestly, since we booked our venue a few months ago (seriously? We have been engaged for almost 4 moths already?!) Aaron and I have not crossed anything off of the wedding to-do lists. It's okay, we still have time, but I know that when New Years is over and 2013 arrives, it will be time to get some planning done.

Last night I met up with two of my local friends, Brittany and Kelly, who are also getting married in 2013. All of our fiances had made plans to go out for a guys night to get wings, so we ladies decided to do the same but with BBQ Chicken pizza, wedding magazines, wine, and Bride Wars.

We had a great night sharing planning details and watching Kate Hudson get attacked by Anne Hathaway. All of my bridesmaids live out-of-state, and even though they are only a phone call or Google+ Hangout away, it's so nice to have these two to get together and share wedding giddiness.

We all have tickets to go to the upcoming Forever Bridal Show in January at the NC State Fair Grounds. It is supposed to be a HUGE event with vendors from all over the state, which is good since I haven't booked any!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Favorite Hanukkah Decor & Party Ideas

I was hard at work over the weekend searching the corners of the Internet, reading archived articles from the Jew and the Carrot, and stretching my imagination to think of every possible way to decorate with gelt to put together a fresh collection of ideas for my Hanukkah Pinterest board, which has now doubled in size from last year (over 140 pins!). 
If you need some ideas for your abode or next party, this Pinboard will be your new favorite Festival of Lights resource. 

Do you feel inspired!? I do. I am saving up all of these wonderful ideas for the future when we have a bigger home to decorate and host parties in. 
Be sure to check out my currated Hanukkah board on Pinterest for even more beautiful home decor and party inspiration!
Happy Hanukkah!

Monday, December 10, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Shuffle!

Most people call it a bar crawl or a pub crawl, but if you went to OU, you know it's really called a shuffle. This weekend we celebrated our dear friend Cassie's birthday on a DTR shuffle and everyone wore pajamas! 

Aaron and I decided to be awesome/cute so we bought matching Adventure Time footie pajamas from Spencers. Aaron wore the Finn set and I wore the Jake set. They were so cozy! Most comfortable night out attire! 

We started at our friend Summer's house for pizza and pregaming then caught a free ride on the Trivia Taxi (we answered all of the questions right!) to our downtown destination. We started our shuffle at Woody’s, and then continued on to Tir Na Nog, Landmark Tavern, London Bridge Pub, The Architect, The Raleigh Times, and finally The Busy Bee Cafe.

Since we had such a large group we got some really strange looks from the non-pajama wearing regular Saturday night bar crowd, but as the night went on most people laughed and were giving us high fives.

Even though Aaron and I got split up from the rest of the group by the end of the night, we had so much fun celebrating Cassie's birthday and discovering bars that we hadn't been to yet. 

Hope you had a fun weekend too!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fresh Market

I never knew that The Fresh Market existed until I moved to North Carolina in 2010.  Since discovering the Greensboro location, it has become one of my favorite specialty food stores.

Since it is a specialty food store, it is out of our budget for our regular every week food shopping, but for a treat it's one of the best. It's definitely a store that I like to take my time strolling though, while sipping on a sample cup of coffee and looking at all of the beautiful seasonal displays. 

Here are a few photos from The Fresh Market off of Falls of Neuse from last week. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hanukkah Card Round-Up

December, how did you get here so quickly?

I have seen so many blog posts already written by bloggers who are excited for Christmas. My Bloglovin' feed is filled with posts about advent calendars, Christmas wreaths, and lists of Christmas traditions. 

Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas, but where are all of the crafty, lifestyle bloggers who get excited to make their own beeswax Hanukkah candles, whip up a batch of cake pop dreidels, or pop their DIY menorah on the mantle?

Even though Hanukkah is not really a major holiday, it is still nice to spend a little time setting the mood. I have created a list of beautiful Hanukkah cards that I found on Etsy that represent the annual traditions that we share during the festival of lights.. 

I especially like the mid-century design of card #2, it is very Jonathan Adler

2. Happy Hanukkah Letterpress Card // 1537 from Anemone Letterpress
4. 6 Pack Letterpress Hanukkah Card from Concrete Lace

Sunday, December 2, 2012

fun. at The Ritz

This past Thursday Aaron and I went to see fun. at The Ritz! We have been waiting for this show since we bought the tickets at the beginning of the summer. 

I looked up the venue before the show and saw that it received a few bad reviews on Yelp, so we we a little unsure about how it was going to be, but we were able to find a fantastic spot in the front row.

They performed every song on their new album, Some Nights, a few from their first record, Aim and Ignite, and they also played a few covers. 

Before this concert, I think the last show I went to was Flogging Molly two years ago! That is if you don't count the U2 cover band that we saw in Virginia the night before Kristin's wedding... I can't believe it had been so long! I hope that more of our favorite bands come and play local shows. 

Hey bands! Come to Raleigh so we can rock out!!!