Live Well: Holiday Hustle

Image via Vmac + cheese

Well, we made it! It's Friday and I couldn't be happier. We're now officially at six workdays left on my countdown clock to Christmas in Austin - it's amazing how time flies by.

While all I want to do this weekend is curl up next to our Christmas tree in our cozy apartment, my to-do list just isn't going to let that happen. My company's Christmas party is tonight (so exciting!) and then we have a weekend full of Christmas shopping / present finalization to do. The weekend will be busy, but all of that will be well worth it once it's time to board our plane a week from today!

I know all of you guys will be hustling and bustling around town this weekend, but I hope for your sake (and for mine, too) that we all get a few quiet moments to read a book, go on a walk, or watch a Christmas movie. This time of year it's so easy to get swept up in all there is to do, that we often have to force ourselves to stop, slow down, and enjoy the smaller things about the season. Amid all my to-dos this weekend I'm hoping to buy some flowers like the gorgeous ones above and take a walk around our neighborhood. What are you looking forward to? I'd love to know.

Have a great weekend!

Live Well: Signs of the Season

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My husband and I live in a tiny apartment. About 700 square feet tiny. The only room in the entire place where you can close off from the rest of the apartment is the bathroom. As a result, there's not a lot of real estate available inside for putting up Christmas decorations. But we always try to make the most of it.

As I said on Monday, when we got back from our trip to Texas on Sunday evening the first thing my husband and I did was walk around the corner to the local Christmas tree lot. There we picked out a six-foot beauty of a tree that we literally carried back to our apartment (it's become a yearly tradition). We then proceeded to decorate it with our little hodge-podge of ornaments. It's not the most stylish tree around, but in my eyes it's perfect.

I think the most fun I ever had shopping was picking out the ornaments for our tree. Back in 2011, my husband and I took advantage of the couple hundred dollars of Crate&Barrel gift cards that we'd gotten as wedding presents and raided their ornament section. Picking from their array of unique ornaments was so much fun - I don't think we got any two ornaments that are the same. We got pretty painted glass ornaments, stuffed owls, a miniature reindeer, and a few Santas. While it was terrifying to carry two bags of glass ornaments home (seriously - it was 30 minutes of terror), I don't think I'll ever forget that day. If you've never gone ornament shopping you are missing out!

So, here are a few signs of the Christmas season around my household. Spending every night and every morning looking at our gorgeous tree is one of the things that's making me very happy this month, and I thought I should share some of the wealth :)

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Thank you all so much for your kind words on yesterday's post! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one feeling snowed under this holiday season (excuse the bad pun). Having you guys in my life is what makes me happiest of all - there's really no better stress reliever than being surrounded by people you love, is there?

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Live Well: Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. There is something so delicious (literally and figuratively) about the countdown to Christmas Day, made all the better by dinner in the dining room, lots of pie, opening presents from siblings (an Ashcroft family tradition!), and ending the evening at church singing Silent Night, Holy Night. I've been trying to take time to enjoy all the little things that have made the past week at home so special, the things that will undoubtedly make Christmas Eve that much better. A few of them are below.

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Stockings hung by the chimney with care.

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The Ashcroft family Christmas countdown calendar. Don't judge - I know it looks like some of the hideous stuff your grandmother has hanging in her house. It's been with us since childhood, though, so it's here to stay! Also, because I am up at 2:15AM writing this post, I am going to go down and move the mouse to the 24th...beating my brother to the punch :)

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Lots of beautiful gifts.

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Eating the most delicious cookies in the world.

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Texas skies.

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Dogs. Lots of dogs.

I hope you're enjoying the best day of the year as much as I am. Merry Christmas Eve!