christmas magic Here we are again in the midst of the winter holiday season. I find myself trying to figure out what I want these holidays to be for me. As someone with zero religious inclinations it’s sometimes hard to reconcile a holiday based around something without meaning to me with my desire to celebrate. I realize that christmas is hardly a religious holiday at this point for most so what does it matter? It seems like the time to make our own traditions.

I really enjoy giving handmade gifts and sending out cards. It’s nice to have a reason to take some time to show people you care about that you’re thinking of them. So much so that I may have a tendency to come up with a few too many projects for myself to make. How fast can my little hands sew and knit before it’s too late to give something to someone? Of course, with something handmade, there’s always the worry that someone won’t like the gift at all. It’s feels more personal when it’s something you’ve taken time to put together than something you’ve selected for purchase (though that can be an equally difficult and time consuming task).

Shawn and I have never had a christmas tree since we’ve been together, even though I love trees, mainly because I always talk us out of buying one. One year we found the the most sad and scrawny fake tree but the store refused to sell it to us, because it was the floor model. I still wish we had that tree. It was perfect. This year I didn’t even want to put up or decorations. I can’t say why exactly, but the thought of having to put them away again later in the month seemed like too much. We lucked out this year and my mother let us borrow her aluminum tree and it’s quite lovely and the cats haven’t tried to eat it yet so I’m happy about that.

I love festivities and when things feel special. I had so much fun making a yule log last year. I’d like to make a gingerbread house this year. Though it’s just managed to get a bit chilly here in Los Angeles, it never has the same celebratory feel as other colder states. I’ve been watching snowy movies to make it feel more like winter here.

What are your traditions? What are your favorite things to do to celebrate during the winter months?

season’s greetings

vegan yule log

Wishing everyone a joyous holiday season filled with many delicious treats.

xo Alix

special delivery

A few weeks ago, this lovely Bunny organized a gift exchange for any bloggers/twitterers who were so inclined to participate. I jumped at the chance to join in and give something to one of the internet folk who I chat with on a regular basis. I was excited to give a gift to someone I admired or perhaps find someone new out there on the web to appreciate. Everything was chosen at random, but I have to say, I got really lucky. While I was extra enthused about the giving aspect, I didn’t think too much about the receiving half. Until last a few nights ago.

On Monday night, in the midst of busying myself with last minute pre-holiday things, the doorbell rang. When I opened it, much to my surprise, there stood Becca with a gift in hand. Strangely, I immediately knew who she was and was filled with happiness and excitement. Just by chance, my gift giver is my sort of neighbor.

On top of meeting someone with a blog I admire, I got a really adorable gift. How cute are these owl pot holders? LOVE THEM.

Then yesterday, I saw this post from Liz about the gift I sent her as my part of the exchange. So much happiness.

As a girl, who’s always been a little shy and introverted in real life, it brings me so much gladness to have found people on the the internet to relate to. I am thankful that I am able to connect with people out there who inspire me and have been able to turn that into genuine friendships. I know it sounds pretty sappy but I feel like many of the writers of blogs that I read and readers of this blog are my dear friends, even if we’ve never met.

So thanks for being here, you all really mean the world to me.

Halloween Pumpkin Mantel

Generally speaking when it comes to Halloween decorations, I lean more towards the actual scary than the cute. On the other hand, I love pumpkins and I knew for our mantel I wanted a ton of pumpkins.

I bought a handful of fake pumpkins from the craft store (they never go rotten!) and went to town. I thought I’d stick with a black and white theme and at first I was tempted to make them pretty with patterned stencils, but was inspired to paint cute faces on them when we found a light up pumpkin at a Halloween store. We turned that one into a makeshift light putting it on an antique tripod.

Of course with the black and white theme, I was able to incorporate the ghosties I made.

Look at that happy pumpkin face! They were all painted with acrylic paint we had laying around the house. Pretty simple and pretty fast.

This is the just the beginnings of our decor. We have some more creepy awesome stuff that I’ll share over the next weeks. Not to mention that next weekend is our horror movie marathon and all the treats and decorations that go along with it. Can’t wait!

memorial day weekend in photos

buffalo chicken salad
Hope everyone had a lovely long weekend. It was nice to have an extra day for things. We had zero plans for the holidays but still went to a few bbqs and watched a few movies which was nice. And I did a lot of laundry. Yep.

In keeping with the theme of the weekend of not doing too much, I didn’t quite finish the posts I had planned, but I do have a bunch of lovely photos to make up for it.
preparing tomatoes
corn & avocado salad
portobello burger
important camera discussion
ipad games
kid approved