Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts

Christmas in the Bahamas

Sometimes you have to love Facebook memories. Today a photo popped up reminding me that 6 years ago I was in the Bahamas. It was a beautiful photo of the ocean and blue skies. It had me thinking about how great it was to spend a week on a tropical island so close to Christmas.

We (my brother and roommate at the time) were in Nassau. It never dawned on me when we booked the trip that we would be there a week before Christmas. I was so excited to see the island all decked out for the holidays. The tree above had all kinds of shells as ornaments. It was super pretty with the pink building in the background.

We spend our days exploring the island and getting to know the locals. The weather was chilly for the locals (only 60 degrees on some days), but that didn't keep us northerners from swimming in the ocean and running around in only cardigans to keep warm.

The scenery was breathtaking, and the rum was a plenty. We took one guided tour of the island which provided all you could drink rum punch. It was pretty amazing. As you see in the above picture, Bacardi was pretty big there..

The island was pretty busy, and the shopping was insane. I am convinced if you couldn't find it on this island, it doesn't exist. The main shopping area of Nassau, which is conveniently located down by where the cruise ships come in, range from small boutiques, to high end stores. Everyone was Christmas shopping while we were there and it was so hard to navigate through the sidewalks.

 We only went down to the main shopping areas 2 days of the 7 we were there. It was so overwhelming. We instead stayed on our own private beach (we stayed at a small place that wasn't as resorty and enjoyed the beach to ourselves most days).

Having the opportunity to spend a week away before Christmas on an island who was also deep in the holiday spirit was amazing. I really enjoyed having that opportunity and I recommend everyone to do it at least once.

I sure do miss waking up to this every morning.. We had a balcony and it was glorious.

 Have you ever spend the holidays in a tropical setting? What about in a place opposite than you currently live? IE saw snow for the first time?

Let me know below!

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Christmas Gift Guide for the Newly Weds

The holidays are upon us and one thing that always seems to stress everyone out is gift giving. It's not because we don't like to shop, it's because we never quite know what to get the ones we love. Today I wanted to focus on a gift guide for newly weds. I myself am a newly wed and this will be my first Christmas as a Mrs.

After the wedding is all said and done, we look around our homes and realize we will need some things Whether we didn't get everything we put on our wedding registry, or we simply didn't think about all of the practical things we would actually need.

The list is meant to be fun and useful. If you're shopping for a newly wed, or you're a newly wed yourself, I hope this list finds you well.

Newly Weds Gift Guide

This list at first may look confusing, but let me explain why I chose all of these items.

  • Measuring cups: For starters these are really festive and have really cute writing on them. We both enjoy cooking, so having measuring cups are really important and often forgotten as a gift idea.
  • Mr. and Mrs. stemless wine glasses: These are just for fun. No one really NEEDS these but they are fun to break out on special occasions. 
  • Fluffy bath robes: Have a romantic night at home and slip into a comfy plush bath robe. They are perfect for cold nights or when you just want to hang out on the couch all day together.
  •  Canisters: I am actually really sad I didn't put these on my registry. We have so many different things we could use these for, both in the kitchen and out. Maybe Santa will get the hint. ;)
  • Eye mask and ear plugs: Ladies (and gentlemen).. I don't know about you, but my hubby snores and loves to stay up reading his kindle. The honeymoon is over real fast when you aren't getting enough sleep. Black out those lights and noises early on. Your body will thank you.
  • Cooking utensils: This bamboo set is beautiful. Having spatulas and slatted spoons are real essentials in the kitchen. You miss them when they are missing. 
  • Kitchen scale: I cannot tell you how many recipes I have made that asked me to measure out something by weight. This is especially helpful when you are watching your portions. Get one. It's a game changer. 
  • Point and shoot Camera: Yes I know, we all have cellphones with camera's, but it's fun to go on little adventures with your significant other and snap photos along the way. They are pretty compact and can fit easily into pockets. Capture all your moments together.
  • Gift Cards: Sometimes people just enjoy purchasing their own gifts. Many people find this option a cop out gift, but really, sometimes this is really what someone wants. Besides you can use gift cards for so many things. I show you in this post. Check it out. 
  • Weekend bag:  It's nice to have a bag to be wisked away for a weekend with. It's purpose is to hold clothes for each of you for 2 days. It really comes in handy if it's hard to get away often but you take many weekend trips through the year. 
What would you add to this list? Anything you really needed but didn't get and hoped for as a Christmas gift from loved ones? Share below!

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Merry Christmas

Shopping for others is my nemesis!

I hate shopping. Yeah I said it. I am a girl, and I hate to shop. This makes shopping for Christmas gifts like a strategic war game that I will never win. I get a few ideas for the couple of people I actually buy for and then talk myself into all the reasons why no one will like them. No, Dad will HATE this Roku for the TV and Mom is going to roll her eyes at that pair of slippers that I thought she'd love.


I hype myself up for a trip to the mall. "It's going to be great! My list has awesome ideas on it and I'm gonna get in and get out with all those fab gifts!" Fast forward an hour later. I am walking around aimlessly through the mall trying to decide if I should go into Best Buy or Target. I window shop and "oooohhh and ahhhh" over some of the items, but still can't bring myself to go in and purchase anything. What's wrong with me?

Maybe it's because I have a problem with parting with my money. I have been training myself over the past 2 years to think before I splurge. There is no need to buy on impulse and I have gotten really good at researching the best prices. I usually find all of the gifts I want to buy on a good deal. Maybe this is why I hate to shop. It reminds me that I need to save and can't go crazy just because it is the holidays.

Maybe it's because I take after my dad. He shops every year on Christmas Eve. I find that procrastinating makes everything more stressful, but hey! I still get the good presents. Right? Nothing more festive then rushing around the mall on Christmas Eve with all the other last minute shoppers. Enough to raise the blood pressure and possibly start on that grey hair.

Maybe it's because I think to much about what everyone is going to buy me. Will Jamie get me a gift card? How much is Rob going to spend? Where is Mom going to shop for me? I need to purchase something as equally cool as they buy me. Oh darn if only I knew what they all bought. It would make this so much easier!

Maybe it's because I dislike the cold. No matter how bundled up I get, I still feel like I could freeze when I step foot outdoors. Snow is pretty but it deters me from wanting to go out and shop for people. Ice makes driving a load of fun. Can't I live in Florida? My gift shopping mood may change.

Maybe because I insist on making all of my Christmas Cards. I can't give a gift without a card! Oh look there is only 2 weeks til Christmas and I STILL haven't come up with a theme for this years card. Maybe I can buy some instead. No NO, I will make them. I always make them. Maybe if I make no cards, I won't have to buy gifts. NO that makes you a bad person. Okay I will get out my paper and glitter.

So there you have it. Christmas shopping is my nemesis. I always come through in the end but man do I make it hard on myself. How about you? Do you have any issues with shopping? What plans do you set up to get it done?


Birthday Traditions

It's that time of year again. Mixed and intertwined in the holidays is my birthday. Last week I told the story of my birth and how hard it can be sharing a birthday with New Years Eve. If it's not New Years its Christmas that is pushing its way into my festivities. There is ALWAYS a party but it is never really for me. I go to parties and people are ready to party and quickly wish me a happy birthday and then it's over. That's where my mom comes in. She always goes out of her way to make me feel special on my birthday.

My mom works for a company that owns a fancy restaurant in the area. Every year she gets $50 to eat at the restaurant as a holiday gift. Since I've moved away we created a new tradition: she saves the gift for the whole year and we go to a fancy lunch for my birthday. Something I always look forward to. This year is a little different, however. My other half is planning something super special and we will be away (Its a surprise on where we are going!). I decided this weekend to go and visit home, and my mom was ready to celebrate my birthday, even if it is a few weeks early!

The restaurant is located on a beautiful lake and has some stunning views throughout the year. They decorate it all up for the holidays making it festive and inviting.

Me and my mom splurged and had some festive drinks to start our celebration. My mom had the "Snowball" and I had the "Festive Spiced Sangria". So yummy!

Next came out appetizer. A crab dip in a pretzel bowl. It was so creamy and delicious! With sides of crackers and breadsticks, this was the perfect start to the lunch,

Next came our yummy lunch. We both went with the grilled tuna sandwich with a side of crispy fries. It was so good and filling, I could only finish half of my sandwich. I finished up my drink and was a happy little person with a full belly. 

What a wonderful weekend I  had, spending it with family and a birthday celebration. How do you celebrate your birthday? Any special traditions?

Getting crafty with gift giving

I have always thought of myself as a crafty do it your-selfer. I can navigate myself through the craft stores like its nobodies business and if there is a sale on sparkly things, its all over! Once Pinterest was born, it became even more evident that I could make stuff and have it come out well. There have been numerous projects I have taken on and surprisingly succeeded at. No Pinterest fails yet...

So over the weekend I decided to get all my crafting stuff out. We are only a few days into August and I am already starting to think about Christmas presents. Yes I said the "C' word. I craft my way right through the holidays using my ninja crafting skills. Homemade gifts to me are more personal and tend to get more use. I find it more successful to make something for my friends and family rather than trying to pester them into telling me what they really want.

Do you do like receiving homemade gifts?

This year I wanted to get started early because I have SO many great ideas. I need to plan out my ideas in order to get them all done in time for the holidays. Homemade gifts can sometimes take some time, but that's the magic of the gift. Seeing the person fall in love with something you made for them. Something you put your time and energy into just for them. If that is not a gift, I don't know what is.

Everyone has a skill. Whether you realize it or not, you probably can do something that your friends can't. Use this to your advantage when thinking about gifts. Just in case you can't think of something right off the bat, here are so ideas for gifts using different skills..

*Are you crafty? I'm sure you own some scrap booking paper and modge podge. Use these items to make coasters! There are so many variations to them online. Find one you like and get to it!

*Do you like to bake?: Who doesn't like food around the holidays? Whether you decided to bake cookies or throw together one of those cute little jars with all the ingredients, its sure to be a hit with everyone on your list.

*Are you an artist?: Do you paint or draw? You could always frame some of your prints and give them as gifts. People love art, but a lot of time won't spend the money on it. Pay attention to your friends when you show them your latest master piece. They may be hinting they want something for their living room. Instant gift idea!

*Do you like to take photos? Same concept from above. People love stuff with great images, but not everyone  has the eye for a really great shot. Use your photos to make personalized gifts.

*Can you knit or crochet? Make scarves!  These a great gifts for the holidays and people love them! You can personalize these into colors you know the recipients will love.

 Now those are just a few ideas. There are so many options. Search Pinterest and you will have more ideas than you have time for. Spend some time looking and planning and you will have yourself some great homemade gifts come Christmas time!

Do you make homemade gifts? What do you like to make? Tell me below!

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