Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas: A Few of My Favorite Things

My husbands parent's surprised us with one of our favorite photos from the wedding printed on metal!

My aunt made these adorable little gumdrop trees for us.

How cute is this wine bottle sweater - and look, it comes with a matching hat too!

A set of festive wine glasses from my sister in law.

Cute cookbook holder that I desperately needed because 2 of my favorite cookbooks are soft cover and they are impossible to keep open.

Candy Cane Martini Tea Light Holder

Philosophy Snow Angel Gift Set, Spa Gift Certificate, Hand Made Coasters, Moisturing Beauty Bar.

Part of mine and my husband's gift was our trip to New York a few weeks ago but we needed something to put under the tree too. My husband totally surprised me with a gift certificate to go ice skating. I've been trying to get him to go with me for years now with no success so it came as a complete surprise that this year he is willing to give it a go! He also got me a remote car starter which will be great for this time of year. No more scraping the car off when it's 0 degrees outside.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Traditions - Italian Style

I can't believe it's been almost a full week since I've posted! I took a little break to enjoy the holidays but now I'm back and I've got a bunch of posts planned out for my lovely readers. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We spent Christmas Eve with my H's side of the family and had the traditional seafood dinner (I don't eat seafood, so I ate pasta), opened our Pollyanna presents, and enjoyed an assortment of desserts, and lots of wine. We spent Christmas Day with my family feasting on Chicken Marsala, Rice Balls, Pasta, tons of different cookies, and Cannoli Cupcakes.
My great grandmother always made strouffles and I looked forward to having them every Christmas for as long as I can remember. My mom and I have kept the tradition alive since she passed away. It took us a few tries but we finally perfected the recpie and they taste just like my great grandma's. For those of you who are not familiar with strouffles (aka Italian Honey Balls), they are little deep fried dough balls that are covered in (cooked) honey and sprinkled with nonpareils. 
Baci Perugina
Another Christmas tradition for our family (again, for as long as I can remember) is Baci's. They are so delicious and they come with little love messages or quotes inside each Baci.

Italian / Sicilian Rice Balls (photo via)
This recipe was handed down to our family from very close friends of the family who were (right off the boat) from Sicily. The traditional Sicilian way of making riceballs is the fill the center with meat but you can also fill the middle with mozzarella cheese. We usually have the cheese rice balls on Christmas Eve (because you can't eat meat) and save the meat rice balls for Christmas Day. I learned how to make them this year with my grandma, we spent an entire day in the kitchen making several batches.

As you can all imagine, I have been feasting all week and I will definitely need to make a New Year's resolution to hit the gym. hard.
What kind of traditions do you have in your family?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DIY Ornaments Inspired by Pinterest

I've been pretty busy knocking out projects that I've pinned on Pinterest. Here are a few of the ornaments that I've made so far:
Wedding Invitation Ornament
Inspiration Here

Wine Cork Ornament
Inspiration Here

Stashing Through the Snow
Inspiration Here

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Christmas Time in the City

We took a trip to the city this weekend to see it in all it's glory. There's no place like NYC at Christmas time. The beautiful lights, the sound of Christmas music surrounding you, the tree at Rockefeller Plaza, the overall vibe that you get in New York at this time of year is so magical. My husband, both brothers, and their girlfriends went and we covered a lot of ground all in one day.
Radio City Music Hall NYC

Tree inside the World Trade Center Shops

Rockefeller Plaza

The Famous Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Plaza

We took a walk around this park (near the World Trade Center).
It was so beautiful and if you look off into the distance you will see the Statue of Liberty.

Statue of Liberty off in the distance

One of the new towers (under construction)

The other tower (still under construction)

We went bowling at this really cool bowling alley near Times Square called Bowlmor. None of us had gone bowling in years and we forgot how much fun it is. For lunch we had a "dirty water hot dog" from a hot dog stand. I don't care what anyone says, they are delicious. I couldn't pass up my favorite street vendor either- Nuts 4 Nuts, especially with that sweet smell that fills the air. I got the cashews and my husband got sugar coated coconut chunks, both of which were scrumptious.
We ate a delicious dinner at Robert Emmetts (also near Times Square). It took us forever to find a place to eat because there was such a long wait everywhere we went. We ended our night at a comedy club called Ha! None of us had ever been to a comedy club before so it was a new experience. We sat in the front and got picked on a bit but it was all in good fun and we had a great time. I'm such a planner when it comes to everything in life but we didn't plan a thing out for this trip, we were totally spontaneous and just went with the flow of things and everything turned out amazing.

I didn't take as many pictures as I would have like to because we were so busy enjoying the city but I wish I had more. I also realized that I need to invest in a new camera because this one isn't quite cutting it anymore. And so the search is on... If you have any suggestions for a new camera drop me a line.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DIY Wine Cork Board / Key Holder

We've had this key holder forever. My grandfather got it for us when we first moved in together and that was seven and a half years ago! The top of the unit was a clock but it hasn't worked for years now. I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. It has sentimental value and there's something about it that I just really like. I decided that in order to keep it, I would need to revamp it. So I sanded it, gave it a fresh coat of paint, glued on some wine corks (where the clock used to be), and added a ribbon to the top. I can't believe how perfect the corks fit- it's like they were meant to be there. This piece now has even more sentimental value because all of those corks are saved from special occassions. I should've taken "before" pictures but I really wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. Now that I think of it, you can see what it looked like before in this post of my kitchen tour.

Do you save wine corks too?
What have you done with your corks?

Monday, December 12, 2011

OOTD NOTD & More Xmas Decorations

Black Glitter Sweater -Wet Seal
Black Jeans -Express
Scarf -Pac Sun
Gold Glitter Flats -Charlotte Russe
 I did some more Christmas shopping yesterday and this is what I wore- something simple, comfortable, and warm! I never wear my hair up but I decided to try my new hair doughnut to make one of those big buns and I loved my hair so I kept it up. The hair doughnut does take some getting used to and it is pretty difficult to use when you have a lot of layers like I do but the end result is gorgeous.
Nina Ultra Pro -Never Glum Plum (I added white to the bottle and mixed it to lighten the color up a bit)
Wet n' Wild Wild Shine -Kaleidoscope
Ring- Lia Sophia

I picked up this pretty sparkly greenery at Michaels and added it to a vase that we used at our wedding.
I love using things from our wedding as decor in our home, it's such a nice reminder of the day.

I also picked up this adorable 16'' tree at Michaels along with the ornaments and butterfly topper.
I have been looking for ornaments like these vintage looking ones (they are light pink, light green, and silver) so I was so happy to find them. I decided to make a girly tree for my desk.

I also picked up stocking at Target. There wasn't much left so I went with the classic red and white style. I also picked up these foam glitter initials. They will have to do for now. I wanted wooden letters to hang off of the stockings but I couldn't find any that were the right size.
It's a good thing that I went to Target before Michael's yesterday because I was going to buy all of the stuff to make this ornament. I saw it here on Pinterest and I knew I had to have one because I loooveee pearls but I found one at Target and picked it up for only $3.50!
I don't know what my problem is this year but I just can't stop buying Christmas decorations and decorating! I need to stop.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DIY Pearl Necklace & OOTD

I've had this single long strand of pearls laying around for a while now. I used to double it up and wear it as a long necklace but I'm not a huge fan of long necklaces anymore so it hasn't gotten any love in a while. I decided to make it into a shorter, multi-strand necklace after seeing this tutorial on P.S I Made This. It was ridicuously easy. I just folded the necklace in half and tied a ribbon to each side and then tied them together in a bow. You could even add a broach to it to dress it up a bit.

Pink Sweater- Old Navy (old)
Jeans- Abercrombie & Fitch
Leopard Flats- Charlotte Russe
Bracelet- Forever 21 (as seen here)

I've had this sweater forever but I just recently rediscovered it and I realized something- I need more pink in my closet! I have been buying so much black, white, gray, and blue lately. I need to switch it up and add some bright colors to my wardrobe. I loved this sweater so much that -I'm afraid to admit this but-I bought it in four, yes you read that right 4 different colors (red, eggplant, pink, and teal)! Have you ever loved a piece of clothing so much that you bought more than one? Or am I the only crazy person that does this? 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Decorating Part 2: The Tree

I can't believe I found these adorable bow ornaments at the Dollar Tree!

Our first ornament from 2005. Our first Christmas was in 2003.

Vintage Mistletoe (that was my grandmother's)

We added some twinkling white lights to one of the windows upstairs.
It looks so pretty; I want to keep them up all year long!

Here's what it looks like behind the curtain.

And finally, here's the outside. We used (the new LED version of) the old fashioned Christmas bulbs.
I don't know why it came out slanted so sorry about that.
The old fashioned looking bulbs are from Target. 

I love these garland lights, they're so bright and colorful. They really make a statement.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Decorating Part 1

Centerpiece on our dining room table

Girly Christmas Spray

Pink & Gold Wreath (that I made)


Wreath on front door
-I'm hoping to make one of those ornament wreaths, so it may be replaced.

Wreath on back door

Part 2 will include our tree, living room decorations and the outside lights that we put up today.