Merry Christmas Y’all!

The season of Yankee swaps, ugly sweaters and SantaCon is upon us. Yesterday I went to a “boozy holiday brunch” hosted by my friend Caroline. And like all good Texas girls, Caroline and her roommate MC made us all feel welcome in their home with good food, tasty drinks and lots of laughter.

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Their apartment is a rare find in NYC – a hidden gem in the West Village. I’ve walked by their apartment many times and never noticed this cute little door that leads back to their own private outdoor space!


Their house was warm and cozy with candles and holly all around the apartment.

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And their tree, while small, was a beautiful site to see!

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And of course, no Texas home would be compete without some antlers. And these Texas ladies have found a way to put them to use!

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My favorite part of the gathering was hearing about different family holiday traditions. From Tamales on Christmas Eve — a tradition started by a family from Texas who used to run a ranch and would receive homemade tamales from their staff – to a feast of the seven fishes, an Italian-American tradition. At the party, we had the opportunity to partake in a family tradition from Caroline’s childhood with her mom’s famous Milk Punch.

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Mike Punch: by Shelley Page
1 cup chilled coffee
4 cups whole milk
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (softened)
Blend together and top with whipped cream.
Grate nutmeg on top.
Serves 10
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*And if you are feeling more naughty than nice, you can add some bourbon to the bowl!

Thank you so much to Caroline and MC for opening up their wonderful home and sharing some traditions with this New England gal.


Friday Afternoon Round Up

This little girl is amazing.

Matt’s addition to this week’s round up

An amazing picture by an amazing person (go Jabali!)

Wonderful Christmas surprise!

I’m so glad my husband doesn’t post my old school photos online.

Evil did not win (tissues needed)

As soon as I saw this, I went here to see her reaction

Some great advice. Take a few minutes and read through some of these.

Ant Farm


When I was younger I asked for an ant farm for my birthday. I was actually pretty surprised when I got it. I was a child who would watch Saturday morning cartoons and be mesmerized by all of the items in the commercials. I would go through catalogs circling items I wanted, but never expected to received: a pottery wheel, a cotton candy machine and countless arts and crafts kits. So, when I received the ant farm, I was psyched.

The only thing better than the ant farm, was ordering the actual ants and receiving them in the mail. They arrived in a padded envelope in a tiny plastic tube (thinking back, I wonder how many of those cracked in transit…) and you dumped them  the special sand and they got to work. Within weeks you would see tunnels being dug, and more and more ants began to appear in the case. It was definitely a cool learning experience.


So when I saw this video today, I thought it was amazing.


Santa, I hope you are reading this because I would like to add this to my Christmas list.

The Sing Off

Nick, it has been far too long.

The Sing-Off

I don’t know how I got through the last two years without you.

(yes, I realize I am a day late here, but Matt insisted that I wait for him to watch it and his was indisposed last night.)

We are only 15 minutes into it and I’m already dancing around our apartment presenting like I am part of the show.

O Christmas Tree







After surviving hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, Matt and I immediately switched into Christmas mode. On Saturday we went out and bought our first real Christmas tree together. This was always a magical experience for me as a child. About a week after Thanksgiving, my family would drive over to Clark’s Farm and walk through the maze of Christmas trees searching for the best one. Christmas music would be playing over the speakers, Christmas lights were strung around the farm and more often than not, there would be snow on the ground. Once we picked out the tree, we would strap it to the top of the car and drive it home. My dad would string on old fashioned colored lights before we went to town adding ornaments, each of which held special significance to us. It was definitely one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. So, when Matt and I decided to ditch our fake tree for a real one, I wanted to recreate my childhood experience.

Although Hoboken is a lot less intense than NYC, it is still pretty urban. There aren’t farms to buy your tree and sadly, there is no snow. We went to Home Depot to get some lights and Matt convinced me to look at their trees. We walked over to the trees, which were located on the second level of a parking garage, not quite the magical experience I was looking for. The trees were all bundled up so it was hard to tell which one was “the best” but after a few tries, we picked out one that we thought would be good.





As we waited in line, I began to question our purchase. Standing in the cement parking garage, with a tree that I couldn’t fully see, I came to conclusion that I just couldn’t do it. I told Matt to put the tree back and we left. I know– sort of a bratty move. But this was going to be our first tree and I wanted the experience to be more memorable. I mean, really… we were in a parking garage!

We drove up the street to a local nursery that had a hand painted sign out front that said “Fresh Christmas Trees for your Home.” I knew we would provide a good home for a tree so in we pulled. Immediately I knew I made the right decision. There were lights strung up, Christmas music playing and the trees were all unwrapped so you could get a good look at them. The man helping us made sure we got a great tree — he wouldn’t let us take home something we didn’t love. It was a great experience — well worth the increased price we had to pay as compared to Home Depot (right Matt?)! We even got to take photos of ourselves as elves before we paid!






Matt lugged the tree into our apartment, definitely a sight to see since our tree is probably 11 feet tall!


And, just like his father, he couldnt’ wait to start vacuuming up the needles once the tree was standing!


Since our ceilings are 15′ high, we knew we wanted a big tree – I just had no idea how fat it was until we got it inside!


Getting the lights on the tree proved to be a challenging task, especially for someone with a slight obsessiveness. Matt finally made me stop fidgeting with the lights and poured me a glass of eggnog to enjoy in front of the tree.



We still need to add some ornaments and a tree skirt but the tree is looking good and our apartment smells wonderful. Here’s to the magic of Christmas!