‘Twas Days Before Christmas


And here we are, less than a week away from the big day! I wanted to stop in and share a few snapshots of my home all decked out for the holidays. I’d had big plans for decorating this year, then life got busy. But I did get to make my trip out to the tree lot at the beginning of December and pick up this beauty. I love it all gussied up! I’ve slowly been building up my collection of vintage glass ornaments because I just love them so much – so colorful and each unique. The tree will live inside until January and then end up being chopped up for use in the garden and our compost.

Anyway, thank you for reading my blog in 2014 – it is amazing to me that people are reading it! I do appreciate it. And I can’t wait for 2015! I’ve got big plans – projects to share, recipes, and of course lots to do with the garden! Happy holidays!


Gifts For The Home Bartender

I really enjoy having a glass of red wine or a delicious cocktail in the winter time (don’t get me wrong, I drink in the summer too). And especially during the holiday season – enjoying time with friends and family, taking some time off of work, celebrating the last year. I was never a big drinker in my younger days – at high school shindigs I was the one who enjoyed sitting in the corner and laughing at other people drinking (usually excessively) and during my college days I preferred doing basically the same thing. How fun was I?! Anyhow, then somewhere along the line I started to appreciate the art of a good cocktail and the quality of a decent wine and I am forever changed. I especially love pretty vintage glassware and all the lovely accessories that go along with them. So I decided to put together a few of my favorite home bartender gifts of the season!


1. Cocktail bitters – Old Faithful Shop $14.95 – For those bittersweet cocktails!

2. Carat glassware – West Elm $24/set of four – I actually ordered myself a set of these because I just love the vintage feel of them!

3. Hex coasters – West Elm $24/set of four – I just love these! If I didn’t already own multiple sets of coasters…

4. The Drunken Botanist – Amazon $15.99 – I bought this book about a year ago and it is full of great recipes and information. Plus, it’s so pretty that you’ll want to leave it out in the open for your guests to oogle and demand drinks from!

5. Grenadine – Old Faithful Shop $21.95 – I love a good Shirley Temple! This is great for your guests who do not indulge in the drink.

6. Brass bottle openers – Mjolk $50.00 – These are a bit out of my price range but I do love the simplicity of them, and I also love brass.

7. Dillon’s spirits – Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers $19.95+ – I first saw Dillion’s in my local liquor store and the lovely packaging caught my eye! They are also a Canadian distiller.

8. Ice cube tray – Williams-Sonoma $29.95 – I’ve had my eye on this tray for a couple of years but I just haven’t splurged yet (I will someday!) – isn’t it such much prettier than a plastic or silicon tray?!

9. Walnut muddler – Williams-Sonoma $24.95 – Perfect for making those basil mojitios we love so much around my house!

This brings my 2014 holiday gift guides to a close – cheers!

As with all of my gift guides, the items are carefully selected by myself and all opinions are my own. I am not receiving compensation for any of these products – I just love them!

Gifts For Coffee & Tea Addicts

My house is divided when it comes to morning beverage of choice. My husband loves his coffee and I love my tea. Tea is a must for me and I drink it all day from the time I wake up until my evening cuppa. And I’m very particular about the tea I drink (I imagine most tea-enthusiasts are the same way) – I have a cupboard in my kitchen dedicated just to tea and tea accessories (I will admit there is actually some accessory spillage to other areas of the kitchen, it’s that out of control). So in honor of my fellow tea drinkers (and coffee drinkers), I put together a few gift ideas that are sure to win you some points this holiday season:


1. Hario drip pot $69.95 – Crate & Barrel – Even though I am a coffee hater, I would love to use this for tea and I really like the idea of a reusable filter for the finer teas like rooibos.

2. Cream & gold tea cup & saucer $24.00 – Anthropologie – I have a huge thing for vintage teacups & saucers (you know how I mentioned above that I have an entire cupboard dedicated to tea & tea accessories? Yeah, I have another for my vintage china, including tons of teacups & saucers). Although this one is not vintage, it reminds me of some in my collection. Perfect for afternoon tea!

3. Brass tea strainer $15.00 – Purl Soho – I have one of these and it is so beautiful. The brass also gets a really nice patina on it after awhile making it age beautifully.

4. Sencha green tea $19.00 – Bellocq – I’m a huge green tea snob and I’ve only found a few that I really, really love. Bellocq sells one of them and my other favorite is Smith Teamaker from Portland.

5. Japanese porcelain mug $35.42 – Kaufmann Merchantile – I love the simplicity of this mug and I can totally picture myself in a wool blanket cocoon by a wood burning fire drinking hot tea from this mug.

6. Theo chocolate holiday pack $20.00 – Duchess Bakeshop – Dark chocolate is such a pleasure of mine and this holiday themed pack looks to die for!

Now I really want to go drink a pot of tea in/on/around a pile of blankets and/or cats.

As with all of my gift guides, the items are carefully selected by myself and all opinions are my own. I am not receiving compensation for any of these products – I just love them!

Gifts for Someone Special

Every year my husband and I have the same conversation that goes something like this:

Me: “So what do you want for Christmas?”
Him: “A good wife.”
Me: “Good luck with that. What do you really want?”
Him: “I don’t know. Nothing. You?”
Me: “I don’t know. Nothing.”
Him: “Okay, it’s settled. We’re getting nothing.”

Which inevitably turns into something. I’m sure that most couples have a similar conversation. Trying to find something meaningful is like pulling teeth – you’re probably at the age where you don’t really need anything because you have everything. But I usually look at it as an opportunity to buy something nice that the person would not normally splurge on for themselves. This year we have actually agreed to stick with the nothing gift as we’re going to put the money we would normally spend towards buying new appliances (how exciting! Can you detect the sarcasm?). Regardless, I thought it would be fun to put together the things that I would love to receive from my special man or things that I would love to treat him with:


1. Mast Brothers Chocolate $11.95 , Old Faithful Shop – We love good quality chocolate in our house, especially dark chocolate. Mast Brothers has some unbelievably good chocolate and the packaging is amazing (I’m a sucker for great packaging).

2. Mushroom foraging knife and case $75.00, Mjolk – My husband and I joined our local Mycological Society this last year and really enjoyed going out to forage for morel mushrooms in the spring. We’ve often joked about getting the special mushroom foraging knife and I think this is the perfect time of year to splurge on it.

3. Cedarwood soap $9.95 , Old Faithful Shop – We love tree scented artisan soaps (that sounds comical), but don’t buy them very often because they are usually pretty pricey. A few bars of this would be great in a stocking.

4. Leather & brass keychain $55.00 , Makr – Classy and functional. My favorite part of these key chains (or any leather & brass keychain) is the way that they age – they really do only get better in time and will last forever.

5. Wings & Horns Robe $150.00 , Ace Hotel Store – My husband loves Wings & Horns and fell in love with this robe when we stayed at the Ace Portland a few years ago. These robes really are the most comfortable things ever.

6. Horse Cuff $80.00 , Steven Alan – I’ve been coveting this bracelet for awhile now, it’s so simple and pretty. And horses.

7. Bath Soaks $34.00, Fig & Yarrow – I’m a big supporter of natural beauty products and these look wonderful, plus the packaging is so attractive.

8. Earrings $118.00, Leif Shop – I love the combination of black stones and gold, it is so simple and classy but with a little sophisticated goth thrown in. I’ll take a pair of these, please!

What are some of your gift ideas for that special someone? I’d love to hear them. Maybe you don’t exchange gifts – tell me about what you do instead!

As with all of my gift guides, the items are carefully selected by myself and all opinions are my own. I am not receiving compensation for any of these products – I just love them!

Gifts For Kids

Many people don’t know this about me, but I actually started off my adult life training to be a preschool teacher. That’s right – the awkward-around-children person actually wanted to spend every day around the tiny humans. And then I realized that wasn’t my path in life (for various reasons, but mainly because those people who take care of your kids make less money than the folks serving you at Starbucks). Regardless of my career path and contrary to popular belief, I do like kids. I think they’re weird and funny and generally honest (unless they’re lying, but you can usually tell and it’s usually hilarious). Anyhow, one of the best parts of gift giving to kids is the endless possibilities of adorable things you can buy for them. It was pretty hard for me not to make this whole gift guide cat-themed, but I somehow got through it only including one cat item.


1. Books are one of my favorite items to gift kids. I loved books as a kid and I could probably even recite a few of them. I especially like books for younger kids because it is an activity that they can do with their parents. I chose “Manners Can Be Fun” because it looks like a total passive-aggressive approach and no one likes a rude kid (luckily all the kids in my life are well mannered, most likely because they already own this book).

2. Tin duck on a bike wind-up toy $14.98 – Tin Toy Arcade. I love vintage replica tin toys – they are so neat and remind me of the toys we played with when we visited Grandma & Grandpa’s house.

3. Arborist Onesie $32.00 – Drake General Store. So adorable! I know so many people who have the tradition of getting pajamas on Christmas Eve. THIS ALSO COMES IN ADULT SIZE! You could get matching onesies for the whole family!

4. Paper Puppets $34.93 – Furze Chan. I just love these! Build a cardboard puppet stage and let the imagination run wild!

5. Wooden Dog $40.75 – Friendly Toys. I love wooden toys and you can personalize this one with any name you want. This one reminds me of the plastic version everyone born in the 80’s had with the flapping ears.

6. Veggie Rattles $20.00 – Anthropologie. I’m dying from cuteness overload here.

7. Cat Dolls $34.00 – My Sweet Muffin. These are so adorable in a weird sort of way, I especially love their neckerchiefs!

If you’re on the prowl for non-material objects to give to a kid this Christmas, consider an annual pass to your local science centre or museum (I loved the museum as a kid – mainly the taxidermy section. Yes, I was always weird), a coupon book of IOUs (For example “IOU one trip to the ice cream shop” or “IOU one movie night”), or if your kid is an animal lover, make a donation to your local shelter to sponsor an animal and create some art for your sponsored animal’s crate.

As with all of my gift guides, the items are carefully selected by myself and all opinions are my own. I am not receiving compensation for any of these products – I just love them!