Happy Friday!!! Fall is officially here; meaning the holidays will be here before we know it! This is my absolute favorite time of the year, especially now that we are living in beautiful North Carolina. And, my girls are 3 and 2 so they are finally learning just how awesome the holidays and all the traditions that come with them are. I cannot wait to celebrate with my little family this year!
So, in light of the upcoming holidays, I thought it would be fun to back away from the freelancing/blogging/crazy-life-I-lead posts and share a more lighthearted post on how I plan to get in the holiday spirit this year.
How I Get in the Holiday Spirit
I decorate…in early September
There was one year I decorated for fall on August 15. I just can’t help myself. Fall decor is my favorite! I’m contemplating leaving it up year round…if I only I could convince John, haha. But that’s always the first step – decorating. I don’t go overboard, surprisingly. I try to tastefully decorate the house by adding wreaths to the front door and above our fireplace, putting pumpkins and mums on the mantel and on the shelving in the main room, and having a holiday tablerunner that I got from Kohls. I also buy candles like there’s no tomorrow. But for some reason I “save” them for a special occasion to burn them. Am I the only one that does that?! I’m trying to burn them more often but I just hate to see them go (even though I have tons…). My favorite candles are Bath & Body Works and Yankee Candles. At Kohl’s, you can save $12 off a Yankee candle with a purchase of $40 or more with this link below:
$12 Off your Yankee Candle simply home Scenterpiece purchase of $40 or more with code YANKEE. 10/13-10/25
I bake cookies and breads
So far this season, I’ve made two batches of my favorite cookies in the entire world: White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. I brought some to work, gave some to John to bring to work, and brought some to the girls’ daycare. Everyone raved about them. I love that they have no eggs, so you’re free to eat as much batter as you want! I also love to bake breads in the fall. My favorites are banana bread, pumpkin bread and zucchini bread. Mmmm. This weekend I’m making Swig cookies that were recommended by a friend! I’ve never had them, and they’re not exactly “fall,” but they’re a cookie so I’m in! For more holiday baking ideas, follow me on Pinterest!
I go on drives looking at people’s front porches
Is that weird? One of my favorite things about living in North Carolina is how awesome all the neighborhoods are. Beautiful brick homes, hills, trees everywhere, and everyone seems to love to get into the holiday spirit. Right now in my neighborhood, almost all the houses are decked out for fall and Halloween. Pumpkins on porches, scarecrows and ghosts in the yard, giant spiders and wreaths on front doors. I love it! My neighborhood is pretty awesome right now, if I don’t say so myself, but that doesn’t stop me from driving through other neighborhoods to scope out what they have going on. Come December, you can bet my family and I will be going on drives just about every night looking at Christmas lights with hot cocoa in hand.
I watch holiday-themed movies
Every Friday, John and I have an at-home date night after the girls go to bed. In October, we kick it up a notch by having “pumpkin beer and scary movie” Friday nights. Super fun – we pick a pumpkin beer and watch a scary movie. Last Friday, we watched Dark Places (by the writer of Gone Girl…I liked Gone Girl MUCH better) and this Friday I’m trying to convince John to watch Halloween! We’ll see, haha. The girls have been watching Curious George Halloween and some other kiddie Halloween shows. Once Halloween is over, we’ll start watching Thanksgiving and Christmas movies.
I eat and drink everything pumpkin
…and I’m not the least bit ashamed. I’ve been drinking pumpkin coffee with homemade pumpkin creamer for a solid month now, I made pumpkin cookies, which I mentioned above, I’ve purchased a few loaves of pumpkin bread from The Fresh Market, the girls and I made pumpkin pancakes last weekend for breakfast, and I went a little crazy at Trader Joe’s last weekend purchasing and sampling everything pumpkin (they have SO much pumpkin stuff). Luckily I LOVE pumpkin, but I’d probably eat and drink it during this time of year even if I wasn’t a fan hahaha.
I spend tons of time with my family
As much as I love the decorations, the food, the movies and the weather, what I love most about this season is the constant reminder that family is what matters in life. There is no better way to embrace the holiday season than by being with the ones you love the most. Take some time off of work, snuggle up with your spouse and watch a movie, give your kids your undivided attention all weekend long, give your parents a call, and do something kind for both a stranger and someone you love. Family trumps all; and the holiday season serves as a constant reminder of this.
If you are hoping to simplify this holiday season and really savor what the season has to offer, I have something to share with you. One of my best blogging friends, Christina from Embracing Simple, is releasing her first course on November 27 titled Savor the Holidays. She has poured her heart and soul into this 21-day mini course. I for one cannot wait to take the course so I can appreciate and simplify this holiday season. Not only will the course be extremely valuable, but I’m certain it will be another way for me to get into the holiday spirit.
From now through November 16, the course is available for pre-order for just $7.50. You guys, that’s about the price of a lunch. On November 17, the price will increase to $9.50 (still a steal, in my opinion). The course runs from November 27 through December 17. With your purchase, you’ll also receive a PDF of the course with all 21 lessons to refer back to at any time. AND – you can invite a friend to the class FOR FREE! This truly is a great deal, and I hope you’ll Savor the Holidays with me and Christina this season!