Merry Christmas to everyone that celebrates it! I hope that everyone has been having a very enjoyable holiday season, as I have been. I am currently enjoying some much needed vacation time, and prior to that, enjoyed some nice holiday festivities.

At work, we had a potluck for my department & White Elephant game. I made the most amazing mac and cheese – a recipe from Modernist Cuisine, that was given to me by one of my sister’s friends whom had come for Thanksgiving. As it was my first time making it, I felt that it was a bit on the salty side, and it may not have been quite warm enough…still, it was completely gone by the end of the lunch. Then, for the White Elephant portion…well, we were told that the theme was “As Seen On TV.” So, searching Amazon told me that this Potty Putter was one of those products, so I quickly ordered it. After hearing what others were bringing, I became a bit concerned…and reasoned that there was no way this was an “As Seen on TV” product. Thankfully, it received huge rounds of laughter, but of course, no one wanted it. (Except after the game was over, I found out that someone had asked the “winner” for it, and he gladly gave it to her).

I did buy some small gifts for my boss, colleague, and our assistant. They each got a Homegrown Monogram Mug from Anthropologie, with a Reese’s peanut butter Christmas tree & a chocolate filled candy cane.

Last weekend, I had a wonderful get together with my dearest friends from high school. This is pretty much the only time of year that all 7 of us can get together. It is just an opportunity for us to laugh, and gossip, and eat, and drink! And this year was just that much more special, because we got to meet our friend Kristi’s twin baby girls…

They are certainly teeny, and so so cute (and not too badly behaved, either)!

While we are normally pretty good at taking photos, we didn’t snap any of each other this year. Still, I wanted to put together a polyvore set of my outfit, because I felt fairly stylish…

Christmas with Friends

…Clearly I took advantage of J. Crew’s recent promotions!

Christmas Day was a bit more low-key than it normally is for us…at least, as far as preparation. There were a few less decorations, a few less courses, and definitely not as many baked goods. To go along with my mom’s usual pork roast & green beans, I made that amazing macaroni and cheese again. I was able to tweak the recipe this time, and it was not too salty and even more flavorful (and the right temperature). For dessert, my mother made a sponge cake with berry coulis (she used to make a traditional French yulelog, but we decided about 5 years ago that it was just far too rich for us). On the side, I made some peppermint mocha French macarons.

They were very yummy, though probably not the most ideal for my very hyperactive 7 year old niece, as she ate 6 ;) .

I was very, very spoiled this year for Christmas (as I always am).

From my sisters, I received my favorite French movie, La Grande Vadrouille & that Anna Sui Hairbrush – aka “the princess brush.” It is, in fact, spectacular & very princessy. I also received the frame pictured above and a heart shaped blue teacup and saucer (not pictured because I had temporarily misplaced it, but it is the same as this one) from one of my sisters.

I usually get one large gift from my parents, and had a very hard time deciding on what to ask for until the day that Anthropologie decided to mark down their Nathalie Lete plates for a day. I chose an assortment, and they are currently wrapped and sitting in storage with the exception of the one photographed above. My mother also gifted my sisters and I a blingy, drusy & hematite ring, as well as a necklace that is not pictured because I have not seen it yet. My mother has temporarily misplaced them :x . My father was also feeling generous, and gifted me a visa gift card, tucked into a humorous card (I very much want a dog, but currently have 2 misbehaving cats who enjoy marking their territory. Hence the card).

And last, but not least…I received a very, very beautiful & thoughtful gift of a pearl pendant & earrings my gentleman friend.

Unfortunately, I never pierced my ears (which, he knows), but these always seems to come in sets (plus he figured that this might be a nice way to nudge me). He and I have been through quite a bit together over the past several years, and even though I had suggested a SMALL gift exchange, he wanted to give me this beautiful gift. and the pendant made a lovely compliment to my outfit for the day (though the one in the set is a similar one to the one that I received).


Christmas Day 2012

And the reason that I had suggested a small gift exchange was because he had bought tickets for us to see a live Nutcracker performance.

We really made an occasion out of it, and started with a late afternoon trip to the art museum (I’m telling you, he is a trooper), followed by a fancy dinner, and then the show. Of course, one of the best parts is for both of us dressing up. He is very much unlike me in this way, and has a much more laid back style (my gift to him included a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-Shirt for Pete’s sake), so this was an extra treat for me.

(And all bundled up…)

The scarf was a gift from his parents. Of course, not being the photographer, I didn’t get to dictate capturing outfit details, so hey…another polyvore set!


Nutcracker Ballet

Of course, I was absolutely tickled when he kept telling me throughout the night how much he liked my handbag & that he thought it was “cool looking.” That makes me feel a little better about my bad life choice of 2011!

The entire evening was wonderful. The museum was nice, though a bit rushed. The dinner was fantastic and far, far too rich for me, but that may be because I chose foods that I knew he liked / thought he would like! And then the performance was really great as well. I was worried that he would be bored to tears by the whole thing, but he seemed to enjoy himself throughout. The music was lovely, but I was certainly entranced by the sets and costumes. I was also extremely impressed by the male dancers. As a young girl, you always ooooh and ahhhh over the spinning Sugarplum Fairy & Snow Queen, but as an adult, I certainly have a greater appreciation for the work & help that the male dancers provide them!

Last, but not least, we spent a day with my sister and her family and friends.

And since I’ve gone all Polyvore happy already, here is what I wore for the occasion:


Ice Skating

We started off grabbing lunch in time, at Star Pizza, which is in an older, cramped house in town. We’d been there once before and the pizza had been awesome. However, after the previous night’s dinner, I opted for a salad with grilled chicken.

After lunch, we headed over to Discovery Green, where the men and kids exerted lots of energy on the playground.

And then, we tried out the ice skating. Well really…that should be a loose term. There was definitely some ice skating going on, but my sister and I, simply because of genetics, lack the grace and balance required for such things. I have to applaud her though, because she was actually brave enough to let go of the side rail a little bit. Me…not so much lol. One of my poor sweet nephews fell like, 20 times…but he got right back up and kept on going.

But my niece (in the pink pants) showed the rest of us up!:

Even my gentleman friend who played ice hockey as a child ate it on the ice. Actually, he ate it while “showing me what to do.” :x

After ice skating, we had some hot chocolate, then he and I went for a walk around Restoration Hardware before grabbing dinner at an Italian restaurant that has the most amazing gnocchi ever. And finally, we decided to drive the 45 minutes south of downtown (so over an hour away from my house) to go to my sister’s to play some foosball and some poker. It’s only fair after subjecting him to some Spanish art & ballet!

I hope that everyone has enjoyed an equally wonderful holiday, and hopefully some much needed time off :) .

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2 Responses to Festivities

  1. Sounds like a wonderful holiday. I love your outfits and the pearl necklace/earrings he gave you…you are one lucky duck! Hope you have a happy New Year!

    • Thanks so much Kavita! Yes, I am very lucky (though I should probably get my ears pierced soon) :x . I hope that you have been enjoying the holidays and hope that you have a Happy New Year!

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