December 7, 2015

Things I Love About December ?

tumblr_nfvympBTTS1rig7vyo1_500

Ah December. How I love thee. There’s a magic in the air all month long, that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the holidays and it’s a beautiful time to be alive. No matter what’s going on, December is always a good time to stop and reflect on the positives (anytime is a good time, but December is especially apt). So why do I kove December so much? Let me count the ways:

01) Baby It’s Cold Outside
I may be a California girl and wnjoy my warm weather, but I love cold weather too. Well, for the most part ;) I love wearing long sleeves, finding cute and warm gloves, breaking out the scarves and enjoying the brisk winds as I walk home. I may not want to stay out in that weather longer than I have to, but I enjoy it while I’m out. And, coming home to a warm house after a day out in the cold is pure bliss.

02) Cozy Nights (and Days)
There is nothing better than flipping on the heat, pulling on some warm clothes l, lighting some scented candles and cuddling into the sofa with a soft blanket, a cup of hot coffee/chai/cocoa and a good book/movie.

03) Fragrance In The Air
December has a scent. Or rather, a series of scents. December is made up of pine and cranberry, cinnamon and nutmeg, brown sugar and chocolate. And walking through the neighborhoods when all of the scents mingle together? Heavenly.

04) Holidays!
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule or something else or a combination of several, December is a holiday month and I love the holidays. I may hate the rudeness of people in stores (hey, I work retail. You always see the worst in people when you work retail) leading up to them, but I love the holidays. I enjoy lighting my Hanukkah candles every night for 8 nights and singing the Hanukkah blessings and I enjoy decorating the tree and stringing up lights.

05) Wrapping Up
I am a sucker for gift wrap. I love wrapping presents and I love the bright colors of the papers, the crinkly tissue papers, snowy winter scenes on boxes and bags, curling ribbons, all of it. I even love when gift tags get stuck to me and I have to play “Is There A Tag On My Ass This Time.” You know what I’m talking about.

06) Reflections and Reminiscing
With the end of the year, December is always a good time to reflect upon ourselves and reminisce over the events of the last year. I try not to make resolutions because I believe you should constantly be changing and trying new things throughout the year and not stick to a list you made on one night. But resolutions or not, definitely perfect time to start thinking of those changes.

07) Musical Inspirations
I think it’s been pretty evident on my blog that I love music (and yes, I’m already putting together a new winter playlist) and December is no exception. While I’m not huge on most Christmas songs, I enjoy some, such as Carol of the Bells. But I always have a December playlist, ready for the days closer to Christmas that include some Christmas hits I love as well as songs about the upcoming winter.

08) Traditions
Traditions are very important to me. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have much family left but just because they are gone or the few members I have aren’t local, doesn’t mean that I can’t follow traditions. And for me, one Christmas Eve tradition is to enjoy some caviar with butter crackers and a glass of champagne while watching a holiday movie. And it’s a tradition I follow every year, either with friends or alone, in honor of my family.

What do you love about December? I’d love to hear/see your list so let me know in a comment!

October 22, 2015

Thankful.

thankful

Sometimes we take the good in our lives for granted and when things go bad, sometimes it’s hard to see that good. I know that when life gets hard, like it’s been at work for me, I make myself remember the things I have and all that I am thankful for so I can remember why I deal with the crap, for lack of a better word. And while American Thanksgiving may still be over a month away, and Canadian Thanksgiving may be behind us, it’s never a bad time to count your blessings and think about what you are thankful for.

  • I Am Thankful For my two closest girl friends, Irene and Rachel. They mean the world to me, and no matter what happens in life, I know that I can count on them. They have listened to my problems, held my hand when I’ve cried and hugged me whenever I needed it. And the three of us have become great friends. We always have a blast and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us individually and together.
  • I Am Thankful For my adorable kitten Adonis. He is the one of the sweetest kittens I’ve ever had and also super independent. I love that he comes up to me to demand snuggles or to lick my cheek and nose and yet is more than happy to spend hours by himself playing and resting in silly places. He makes me happy and his deep purr tells me I make him happy too.
  • I Am Thankful For my boyfriend C and his sister. No matter what may happen in the future between us, I’m glad that I met him because he is the first boyfriend I’ve had that has never cheated or lied or treated me badly and I love spending time with both him and his sister. Our Sunday breakfast tradition was easily the highlight of my summer.
  • I Am Thankful For my job because despite the stress and physical pain it causes, I truly enjoy what I do. I just wish that I could just concentrate on my work and not have to deal with any of the politics. I enjoy the money that it gives me and the freedom that that money gives me.
  • I Am Thankful For the Pacific Northwest and all the beauty that it holds. There is not a day that passes that I am not surprised by the sights here in the grand PNW. I thank my lucky stars for the fact that I moved here. And speaking of stars…
  • I Am Thankful For the sun, the moon and the stars for the warmth, light and protection that that give me.
  • I Am Thankful For books because there is nothing better than curling up under the covers with a great book and lovely scented candle flickering nearby.
  • I Am Thankful For chai tea because it is delicious warm or cold and helps me forget my resentment towards the fact that I can no longer have coffee. And the scent of it? Perfection. I have become addicted to the smell of cardamom and nutmeg and ginger. Delicious.
  • I Am Thankful For hot baths, especially when scented with lemon and rosemary.
  • I Am Thankful For my life, because through the good and through the bad, through the illnesses and the perfect days, this life is mine. No matter what happens, I’m thankful to be alive because each day brings a new lesson and the horrors that I have faced have made me stronger and more resilient in the end and every happy moment fulfills me and allows me to pass on those feelings to others.
  • I Am Thankful For you, my fellow bloggers and readers because you give up some of your time to read my inane ramblings and leave your wonderful comments. And I am so thankful for your words and your visits. They mean the world to me, truly.

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment and let me know!

September 25, 2015

Autumn Dreams + GIVEAWAY

It’s officially autumn, which just happens to be my absolutely favorite season! It’s funny. For over two decades, winter was my favorite season. But after leaving California and living on the East Coast, I got to truly experience autumn and discover the many beauties of this season (Southern California doesn’t really get a real autumn experience). The colors, the smells, the sights, the tastes, the activities. Oh yes. Autumn has definitely replaced winter as my favorite, though to be honest, there isn’t a season that I dislike.

hi pumpkins leaves on fire

To celebrate this new autumn in our new place (both in life and in home), my roommate Rachel and I decided to come up with an Autumn Bucket List for the two of us to try and knock out together. Even if we don’t manage to hit all the goals, we’ll have a ton of fun trying!

  1. Go to a corn maze.
  2. Carve pumpkins.
  3. Decorate for Halloween.
  4. Make a Halloween cake!
  5. Jump in a huge pile of leaves.
  6. Make candles.
  7. Have a campfire.
  8. Go on a ghost tour.
  9. Go to a haunted house.
  10. Make mushroom prints.
  11. Paint ceramics in autumn colors.
  12. Sip apple cider.
  13. Go apple picking.
  14. Tell scary stories by the fire.
  15. Go to a Halloween party.
  16. Donate to our food bank.
  17. Start a new Thanksgiving tradition.
  18. Go for a hike and collect leaves.
  19. Make a Halloween themed playlist.
  20.  Have a scary movie marathon w/ a hot chocolate bar.
  21. Listen to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – Autumn.
  22. Bake lots and lots of autumn goodies.

I actually have a whole autumn baked goods bucket list of things I’d love to bake this year that focus on autumn flavors OTHER than pumpkin spice. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin and I think the craze is … well, crazy.

What activities do you want to attempt to complete this autumn? Tell me all about it in a comment and I’d love to see your bucket list if you have one!

And now, on to the Giveaway!

Since autumn is my favorite season, I figured it would be the perfect time to do a giveaway! It’s been a long time since I’ve hosted one and have wanted to do so for awhile. So, after some thought I decided to create a “It’s a PNW Autumn!” giveaway.

IMG_20150924_164726-1

Enter today to win! Prizes are: Two cozy mysteries by Maia Chance (Fairy Tale Fatal Mysteries) the 2nd of which released this month, one travel size marshmallow pumpkin latte lotion and body spray, one Dead Sea Salt milk chocolate truffle bar (with sea salt & toffee) from Seattle Chocolates and one vanilla spiced chai & double hot chocolate from McSteven’s!

Contest runs until 10/19 (12am pst) and is open to the US/CAN only. You must be at least 18 to enter. It is a rafflecopter giveaway, which means that the winner is chosen by random. I have nothing to do with the choosing. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

c600x594

Linking up with Katie Elizabeth and Pinky!