decking the halls is a serious business.


welcome to day 2 of #12daysofblogging! if you’re just joining us, you can find out more about the christmas linkup here. today’s prompt is “favorite ornament/decoration”. get inspired and spread the christmas spirit!

it’s almost impossible for me to not form some sort of sentimental attachment to my christmas decorations. i connect memories and emotions with physical objects (it’s amazing i’m not a hoarder), so while i wanted to write a moving, meaningful essay on my most beloved of all ornaments, i couldn’t pick just one. what you get instead is an annotated photo essay.

these ballerina slippers are my most treasured christmas ornament. it was my first, given to me by my darling godmother. growing up, no one else but me was allowed to hang them, unless they wanted an earful. and they must be hung so that the christmas tree lights shine on them for maximum effect.

our first creche is a hand me down. it was a gift given by my parents to our old babysitter, molly, as a souvenir from the holy land. when molly decided to enter the order of the nashville dominican sisters and became sister amelia, she gave it back to my parents. it was passed to Mister Man and i last year, and sits proudly on our table as a reminder of sister amelia, our faith, and the reason we celebrate christmas. notice the empty manger: the baby Jesus is hidden away and won’t make His appearance until december 25th.

fred the moose is a fixture on our wall year-round. but at christmastime he gets to participate in the christmas festivities. his antlers are the perfect spot for a couple of festive ornaments, and he wears them well.


and now i’m going to introduce you to someone who has more christmas spirit in her little finger than most of us do in our whole bodies. meet chelsea, one of my sponsors this month. she is a fellow midwesterner, a bride-to-be, and she’s counting down to christmas with her holiday challenge. i highly suggest you stop over to see her fabulous blog, you will be so happy you did!

I’m a “lifestyle blogger,” happily living in the middle of Iowa. it all began when I made a daring decision to move to new york city after my college graduation, ensuring I document a “major time in my life” and has grown into a space where I share DIY projects, cocktail recipes, daily happenings, and most recently the adventures of planning my destination wedding. 

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humpday happy list.

guess what time it is?? Christmas prep time! remember when i talked to you guys about traditions and nesting and all that fun stuff? well, i have been sticking to my little holiday resolution, and as of this week, i am in full-on holiday mode. Mister Man and i are getting our very first Christmas tree this weekend. i have not one, not two, but THREE cookie baking dates planned (with my mother-in-law, mom/sisters, and the santa cookie extravaganza which i shall discuss later). and i am making my first trip to michael’s today to start some holiday crafts. which may or may not end up being the death of me. but it’s the effort that counts, right? here’s to a humpday full of fledgling  holiday spirit and cozy blankets!

1) humpday decoration: letter wreath.

i have seen this project on the pinterest/blogiverse a few million dozen times, so i realize that if i make something like this, it’s making me the same as everyone else, but i also don’t trust my ability to craft an actual wreath, and i’m kind of into door hangings these days. so i figured that since i have a glue gun (somewhere…it must be somewhere, right?) i might as well use it on something that has a 64% chance of looking normal.  how cute would a ‘z’ on our door be? (i will include photos when it’s done if you all promise to be kind…)

2) humpday outfit: holiday bling.

would you guys judge me if i told you that i ordered a pair of faux leather shorts from forever21 last night? maybe even the exact ones below? because i maybe did that. and i really want to wear this outfit to every holiday party ever. i’m going to try to make that happen. (dear MM: wouldn’t i look adorable in this? p.s. i ordered some faux leather shorts last night. love you!)

holiday outfit

3) humpday coziness: this love of my life.

i own this beauty of a blankie. mama hools gifted it to all her offspring a few Christmases ago, and i would not survive my 65 degree apartment all winter without it. it’s heavy, and soft, and fuzzy, and large, and i am deeply in love with it. thank you blankie, you keep me warm when my husband is gone on work trips, and also when he is there but i am still cold.

4) humpday date night: a night in with the traveling man.

i am so excited to order pizza and make a cocktail (hendricks&gin ftw!) and just be a vegetable with that guy i’m married to. i can’t guarantee that we will be playing scrabble, it could be a mad game of wii bowling, or if he’s feeling nice and wants me to have a chance of winning a video game, we could play wii wheel of fortune. either way it gets a little competitive in the z household on date nights like this, but it’s always a lovely time.

5) humpday recipe: orange gingerbread with cream cheese frosting.

i’ve talked about the lovely blog of joy the baker before, when i made her apple skillet cake, but goodness gracious does she deserve multiple mentions. i have a lot of food blogs that i read, but there are only a couple that i actually make the recipes from. iowa girl eats is one (she is fabulous!), eatliverun is another (love the side dishes on her site), and joy is the other. her recipes are always so…i don’t know, heartwarming….pure…true home baking. i actually have a pomegranate right now, so i will probably need to make this over the weekend.

(see my past humpday happy lists here)

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