Archive | December, 2015

Christmas Survey!

23 Dec

I can’t believe Christmas is only two sleeps away! I’m doing as many Christmassy (not a word – I know) things as possible and I’m feeling quite festive this week as well. There is a Christmas survey going around the blog world and once I saw Sarah do it today, I knew I had to participate as well!

Christmas at alex's house

Eggnog or hot chocolate?

I was strictly a hot chocolate girl, until this year when I purchased some vanilla egg nog on a whim and added some homemade kahlua that we received as a Hanukkah gift and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, hot chocolate is still my jam.

Christmas hot cocoa

Multi-color tree lights or white?

Multi-color! I know my girl Natasha will disagree with me on this one, but I think that multi-colored lights are the prettiest and that is what I’ve always grown up with so I’m sticking to it ๐Ÿ™‚

Christmas lights

Do you hang mistletoe?

No. I’ve always meant to, but I don’t remember actually ever seeing while I’m out and about shopping.

When do you decorate for Christmas?

I start immediately on Black Friday and it unfolds from there. We usually don’t get our tree until the following weekend but it seemed like everyone was in a hurry to get the holiday season underway this year so we just went with that and got ours right after Thanksgiving as well.

Christmas Decor 2015

Christmas decor 2015 2

What is your favorite holiday dish?

I would definitely have to say it would be my Grandma’s homemade steak sandwiches that we have for dinner on Christmas Eve. They are amazing! And my Mom’s Bloody Mary’s on Christmas morning. I can’t really choose.

christmas 2014 bloody selfie

Last year’s Bloody Mary! Can’t wait to enjoy one this year

Favorite holiday memory?

I don’t know if I can pick a specific holiday memory but I always find it fun to take our annual Christmas card picture at my Grandma’s house. It’s such an attempt at organized chaos, and Dan was able to be in the picture this year (benefits of getting hitched!).

Whatโ€™s on your Christmas wish list?

Since we just got married and got a ton of wonderful wedding presents, I didn’t have a lot on my list this year. I did develop more of an interest in makeup this year so I’ve asked for some of that as well as gift cards. I also would really love a FitBit but we shall see what Santa brings!

Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?

I am a purist about this as Dan and I always wait until Christmas morning. We do open a few gifts that are given to us at my Godmother’s house but besides that, it’s always Christmas morning.

How do you decorate your tree?

We have multi-colored lights and an assortment of ornaments that I have picked up over the last few years and some really fun ones that my Mom has gotten us, such as a margarita and a cruise ship.

Christmas tree2

Snow: love it or hate it?

I love love love it! I wish it wasn’t so warm this year (it’s supposed to be almost 70 degrees tomorrow!) and I’m hoping we get a lot of snow in January and February.

Real or fake tree?

Real. This is not a negotiable topic with me, just ask my father. ๐Ÿ™‚

Favorite holiday tradition?

It would have to be a tie between our annual Christmas party and going to look at the amazing lights on Felt Road in South Windsor. Our party is always SO much fun and this year was no exception, mainly due to a certain someone’s grab bag gift which had everyone practically rolling on the floor in laughter. The lights on Felt Road are insane and I encourage everyone who is local to check them out!

Christmas party 2015

Felt Road lights

Favorite Christmas carol?

This is an impossible question to say the least. My Spotify Christmas playlist that I made has 70 songs on it so I’m not sure I can choose one. I am a huge fan of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” specifically Carrie Underwood’s rendition.

Favorite Christmas movie?

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, I’m totally obsessed.

Christmas morning tradition?

Dan and I usually set an alarm to get an early start on our busy day. We open presents here and then head to my parent’s house to open gifts there and enjoy our bloody mary’s. We then head to my Grandma’s house for lunch and then to Dan’s parents house after that.

Do you write Christmas cards?

YES! This year was fun because we used one of our wedding photos and I also included a picture of Billi and Bella.

I hope you guys have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed filling it out. It was probably one of my favorite posts to write because I just love Christmas that much. If I don’t get a chance to check in tomorrow, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

 

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Vinted Wine Bar & All of the Shopping

18 Dec

Is it really possible that Christmas is a week from today? I’m having a hard time believing that and I’m definitely soaking up as much Christmas fun as I possibly can these next seven days!

Last Saturday, Dan and I attended another blogger event hosted by the lovely Kat and A Little Bird Told Me. This event started at Vinted Wine Bar in West Hartford. We had never been to Vinted before but we had heard about it from friends and it definitely lived up to the hype!

Vinted Wine Bar

Vinted is a cozy wine bar which would be a perfect place to catch up with some girlfriends over cocktails and food. We started off with a glass of Pinot Grigio which was very light and refreshing on such an unseasonably warm December afternoon.

Vinted Pinot Grigio

I can honestly let the food speak for itself, as the Beet salad with Prosciutto, Federal Risotto Balls, Forest Mushroom Quesadilla, and the Honey BBQ chicken sliders were absolutely amazing. My favorite was definitely the Federal Risotto Ball as it was accompanied by truffle butter and clearly truffle anything wins over my heart (and palate).

Vinted Beet Salad

vinted risotto balls

Vinted Quesadilla

Vinted slider

We were also joined by the lovely Elyse Ryan who designs the gorgeous Elyse Ryan Jewelry. She was so kind and gifted us each with a bracelet of our own. This particular bracelet was created by Easter Seal students and the proceeds go to charity.

Elyse Ryan Bracelet

Nelson Salon & Spa also stopped by to provide us ladies with some complimentary makeup demonstrations. They also did a raffle for a $350 makeover at the salon, and guess who won that?! ME! I’m very excited to visit the salon and be pampered in the very near future.

Nelson Salon and Spa

Once lunch was over, we all headed out to do some shopping. Our first stop was the Ooh La La Boutique which is an adorable little shop located right across the street from Vinted. It is filled with all kinds of unique pieces and I ended up purchasing a sparkly statement piece which I have already received several compliments on.

Ooh lala

Our last stop of the day was at West Elm, which is a furniture and home decor shop. Now, since we don’t have a house just yet, I was able to keep myself under control and I only purchased a small gift for a friend but once we find a house, I assure you that I will be back here to splurge on all kinds of fabulous decor.

west elm

Also present at West Elm was the delicious and decadent Nora Cupcake. I enjoyed a mini chocolate cupcake, because why just go shopping when you can have chocolate too?

Nora

It was a wonderful event and such a festive way to spend a Saturday. I can’t wait for the next one! I hope you all have a great weekend filled with wine, shopping, and all the cupcakes!

Five Things Friday: Feeling Festive

11 Dec

Happy Friday! Happy two weeks until Christmas! Happy all the things! As you can see, I am in a great mood and super excited about the upcoming holiday. More holiday plans are on the agenda for this weekend, including what should be a fabulous blogger event in West Hartford and celebrating Hanukkah with Dan’s family in Rhode Island on Sunday. I’m feeling quite random today (possibly due to too much coffee) so I will share a few bits and pieces with you guys today.

I attended a wonderful event this past Wednesday evening with Natasha in Wallingford at The Confetti Bar. It was a holiday candle-making event put on by Northeast Nutmeg. It was BYOB and snacks and such a fun time, especially since I was able to make one of my favorite things, a Christmas candle! Thank you so much to Vinny and Erin for hosting such a great event!

the confetti bar

northeast nutmeg candles

natasha and I

candles cooling

candle done

Our meals have been all over the place this week due to many holiday plans and just simply not wanting to cook most nights. We did enjoy some beef stew which I made in our crock pot on Sunday for a few nights. Also, after the event on Wednesday, Natasha and I shared a couple of apps at The Library Wine Bar & Bistro. The restaurant is owned by Gouveia Vineyard and was honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever dined in and I can’t wait to go back!

beef stew

library wine bar

library apps

I have been listening to Christmas music non-stop, at work, in the car, and at home. I am especially loving anything by Straight No Chaser, particularly their rendition of the ’12 Days of Christmas’.

straight no chaser

Hanukkah in Rhode Island this Sunday should be an absolute blast. I love hanging with Dan’s family, drinking way too much wine, and enjoying yummy homemade food.

hanukkah

There have been so many fun and festive things going on at work this week. We had a catered lunch on Tuesday which was delicious and on Wednesday, all of the managers made cookies and desserts and provided us with hot cocoa as well. Today we have a pot luck to celebrate the end of a contest that has been going on for the past month. I definitely find that the days go by much faster when we have fun things going on!

work hot cocoa

That’s all for today! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with so much laughter and love!

Five Things Friday: The Week in Review

4 Dec

Happy Friday, once again! I found that some parts of this week went by super slow, while other days were over before I knew it. I’m trying to enjoy every single moment of this holiday season as it is my favorite time of year, and I think everyone can agree it always goes by way too fast. I figured I would use my five things today to provide a little recap of my week.

Monday:

Due to a lot of cleaning, meal-prepping, and just prepping for the week in general, I started off the week feeling very on top of everything and totally ready. I came home from work, completed a new-to-me video, Jillian Michael’s Killer Arms and Back, and had a delicious dinner with the hubby. On a side note, I will say that I absolutely loved this new video from Jillian and I highly recommend it, not just to work out the arms and back because it definitely provided a full body work out (aka I was sore as heck the next day). Our dinner consisted of a power bowl including apple chicken sausage, brussels, and brown rice, all drizzled with some Frank’s sweet chili sauce. SO good!

Power bowl

Tuesday:

Still feeling quite on top of things for the week, I came home from work and completed Jillian’s Killer Abs video which I also love (weird, I know). Dan had a fire department meeting so he prepared these delicious eggplant pizzas from Kalyn’s Kitchen. It was our first time cooking with eggplant and we definitely enjoyed it! I have already pinned a bunch more eggplant related recipes. I also enjoyed a green smoothie made with spinach, frozen peaches, raspberries, and blackberries which was delicious. I spent the rest of the evening in front of our Christmas tree watching Real Housewives and catching up on some blog reading.

eggplant pizzas

green smoothie

Wednesday:

Randomly on Wednesday morning, I decided it was time to beef up my Spotify Christmas playlist that I had made last year. I added about forty more songs that I love and spent the entire day at work listening. Can you say Christmas obsessed? I think so. For dinner we had a good ol’ standby of chicken & avocado quesadillas made with our favorite quesadilla maker (thanks Mom and Dad!) after I completed level two of Jillian’s 30 Day Shred. I will say that I was not feeling so hot as I had a major headache but I somehow powered through that workout and felt better because of it.

quesadillas

Thursday:

I had all intentions of coming home from work, having a salad from Subway and getting some things done around the apartment. I did have that salad from Subway and it was so delicious! However, earlier that afternoon I had received a text from Natasha to attend Wethersfield’s tree lighting/holiday kickoff so I ended up meeting up with her, Alex, Alexandra and her sisters and did a little shopping and walking around there. We ended the evening with dinner for them/a bowl of chili and glass of wine for me at Birch Hill Tavern. I’m so glad I ended up going out!

subway salad

birch hill chili

Friday:ย 

I’m working from home today and I woke up early to tackle a chilly two mile walk around town, ending with a skinny peppermint mocha from Starbucks. After work, I am hoping to grab some grinders from Nardelli’s for dinner and relax in front of the tree with a Christmas movie before we head out with our friends.

morning walk

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend doing all kinds of festive things!