Okay, let’s get one thing out of the way before we dive into this delightful stew of holiday fun, shall we?
I am done apologizing for not being a good blogger anymore.
And by good I mean consistent, obviously.
I’ve come to terms with the fact, that, much like my children, the blog has grown up.
And while my work certainly isn’t done, it’s just not tended to as much, and that has to be okay.
Because if I go down the rabbit hole of feeling guilty for not doing something — no matter that it is something that is purely for fun — we’ll be here all day … and day drinking may or may not be the result.
For the past five years I’ve shared my Holiday favorites with you — everything from the candles and carols I love to the recipe for the best homemade toffee you’ll EVER eat (and that will make you the talk of whatever function you bring it to, which let’s face it, is really the goal, amiright?). Many of you may also remember the annual Santa’s Little Helpers posts … or if you tried any of the delicious cocktail concoctions, you don’t.
After five years of holiday favorites, though, ya’ll, I’m a little tapped out. It’s tough to come up with new, original favorites, especially since every year I eat the same favorite things, listen to same favorite things, buy the same favorite things, and naturally, drink the same favorite things.
I’m a creature of holiday habit, and I love it.
But I have come up with a few new things this year that, while maybe not all holiday-ish, can certainly be enjoyed, gifted, or consumed. Grab a mug of your favorite, warm daytime drink (mine is coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer, but I’m not judging), put some Nat King Cole on Spotify (check), and let’s go ho ho…
Pepperidge Farm MINT Brussels
*pauses to go get
one two to dunk in coffee while writing.
I remember these cookies from years ago, but until a friend shared that they were back didn’t even realize they were missing. But now that I remember what I’ve been missing, I’m making up for lost years without them by EATING THEM WITH AND FOR ALL MEALS. (*If that paragraph did not make sense I blame the sugar high I am currently experiencing.)
They’re basically like eating a light, crispy chocolate mint.
Heavy on the chocolate, easy on the cookie.
In the past week I’ve bought three bags at Target, which may or may not be a direct correlation to the number of pounds I’ve
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
I cannot even begin to describe how much I adore this new Amazon Prime series, but of course, I’ll try.
Is it because of the ridiculous talent and equally ridiculous adorableness of its star, Rachel Brosnahan?
Is it because the show is fresh and something that is totally original and unique in this TV time of zombies and murder and hospitals and courtrooms?
Is it because the writing is sharp, clever, and brilliant in that “what did she just say?!?” kind of way that will remind you a bit of Gilmore Girls because it’s written (and created by) the same talented couple that wrote (and created) GG?
Yes (which makes me loving it a no brainer).
Is it because besides the amazing, hopefully award-winning performance of Brosnahan, the cast includes the fabulousness of Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle, Alex Borstein, and Kevin Pollack?
OMG yes. And every one of them is brilliant.
(Have I overused that word??)
If you don’t have Amazon Prime (which is a crime in and of itself because FREE TWO DAY SHIPPING and oh yeah, YOU NEVER HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR HOUSE TO GET ANYTHING EVER AGAIN) — this show is the perfect reason to finally bite the prime bullet and get it.
The only negative?
There are only eight episodes and we’ve watched them all. (Yes, we’ve. Even my husband — who was not a Gilmore Girls fan — loves it.) And if that’s not a sad enough story, since it’s an Amazon Prime show it most likely won’t return until next fall.
It’s okay. I plan to watch it all over again anyway.
Old Navy thermal sleep pants
I’ll go ahead and say it, I consider myself an expert in the field of sleep pants.
I love pjs, but I’m also super picky about my pjs.
I’m tall(ish) — 5’8″ — and finding sleep pants that are long enough, especially after being washed and dried hundreds of times, is key.
I like my sleep pants to skim the floor, and as soon as they don’t, they get gifted to my 5’7″ daughters.
Old Navy has darling, inexpensive flannel sleep pants THAT ALWAYS SHRINK so I can’t buy them for myself. But this year I discovered these thermal leggings there that have a few key features that make me love them:
- they’re fitted at the ankle so they don’t ride up when you sleep and bunch up around your knees and cause you to kick at your covers frantically trying to get your damn pj pants down at 2 a.m. which scares the hell out of the cat and your husband.
- they’re stretchy, so when you take them out of the wash just pull on the legs a bit before tossing in the dryer to keep the length long enough — or even make them longer! — or you can easily stretch them in direct correlation to how many mint Brussels you have eaten.
- they’re light. Even though it’s already soul-searing cold here in MPLS I can’t stand to sleep hot (which could also be my hormones, but that’s another story).
- THEY’RE LIKE $13 RIGHT NOW.
Sure, the darling Old Navy flannel pj pants are only like $4 right now, but if don’t be fooled by the photo that says the model is 5’10 and wearing a size small.
For nice, long pj pants? My favorite are these:
Any pjs by Little Blue House. They’re darling, the pants are long enough even after washings, and they also have great pj shorts (which I love in the summer) and some cute nightshirts (which I love year round).
Blue Q socks
I’ve loved these socks for years and may or may have slipped a pair in my own stocking a time or two (the ones above are some of my favorites). They’re the perfect weight to wear under boots (unless, of course, it’s 10 EFFING degrees below zero) and even though no one else might know what they say, you do, and somehow that makes your day a little better.
Blue Q also has other great products I’m sure you’ve seen at your favorite tchotchke store, but you can also check out their fun website. Right now you get over $30 of free stuff if you order over $15.
I love the fun hand sanitizers. They make awesome stocking stuffers for all the people in your life who like to touch their genitals.
These socks make getting socks for Christmas a good thing!
This is the pair I already bought to slip in my stocking this year:
Wrapping up the list are a few of the favorite things I’ve either gifted or received in the past, in case you’re still stuck for a gift or two.
A gift for you, obviously.
Homemedics foot massager
Minnetonka Moccasin slippers
Essential oil diffuser (any kind)
Proctor Silex rice cooker
Tombow Dual Brush pens (great for coloring books AND for hand lettering <– check out my lettering Instagram page!)
The Giving Keys necklaces
And SON OF A NUTCRACKER! There won’t be a new Santa’s Little Helpers post this year (there’s only so much cocktail concocting I can handle, ya’ll), so don’t forget to check out the past Santa’s Little Helper cocktail recipes right HERE.
Trust me, you’ll thank me.
And check out past Holiday themed blog posts while you’re still sitting here (I know you want to avoid getting back to real life). There’s posts with great recipes, more favorites, and a few heartfelt thoughts thrown in, too.
Speaking of which, I just had to search for this post because now that I’m done with my mint Brussels, it’s time for some toffee.
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