I’ve always been a “save it for after Thanksgiving” gal when it comes to holiday music and shopping but like so many I’ve decided to get in the festive mood earlier than normal given the craziness of the year. With that, this month’s favorite things blog has a holiday twist to it, which hopefully puts you in the holiday spirit as well!
FAVORITE CHRISTMAS READS: The Christmas Sisters + In a Holidaze
So far this holiday season I’ve found two reads I absolutely loved and were the perfect holiday read.
Sarah Morgan is the queen of Holiday romance in my humble opinion. Her books are one thousand times better than a Hallmark movie, all the warm, fuzzy feels without the bad acting. My all time favorite so far is “The Christmas Sisters”, of which I promise is way less cheesy than the cover may suggest.
My other holiday recommendation is brand new this year and so, so, so worth the read, In a Holidaze by Christinia Lauren. It’s a holiday rom com with a little tiny bit of magic and I became 100% smitten with this book as I read it in one sitting. Ditch your Hallmark holiday rom coms and watch this instead.
FAVORITE SHOW: DASH & LILY
Speaking of holiday shows, if you’re going to watch any holiday originals, do yourself a favor and watch Dash & Lily on Netflix – it’s absolutely delightful. Based on the book, “Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares” this mini series captures the adventures of two teenagers as they meet one another through a book they pass back and forth. One hates Christmas, the other can’t get enough; and what happens next is a series of adventures throughout the magical New York City at Christmastime.
FAVORITE NEW ALBUM: A Ben Rector Christmas
Ben Rector has long been one of my favorite artists so when he announced a few weeks back he’d be dropping a Christmas album I already knew I’d love it. And it did not disappoint. From a song about Thanksgiving (how has no one else done that?!) to his take on the classics, it’s a perfect on repeat album.
FAVORITE THING TO WEAR: SWEATERS
Every year my friends and family can count on one thing always appearing on my Christmas list: sweaters. Given my wardrobe is 90% chunky knits at this point they’ve clearly done well. This year is no exception and I’ve round up a few that have made it to my wishlist:
- H&M Rib Knit Sweater
- Madewell Woodside Jacquard Pullover Sweater
- Olive Clothing Twin Pocket Grandpa Cardigan, Sage
- Mango Openwork knit sweater
- Mango Embossed contrasting knit sweater
- Mango Textured knit sweater
FAVORITE LOCAL SHOP PURCHASE: – Cozy Night In from White Spruce Market
Now more than ever shopping local is something we should all be prioritizing. White Spruce Market is one of my favorite Duluth companies with their gift boxes that source from local makers from throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. They just launched their holiday line, making holiday shopping easier than ever for everyone on your list and the one I have my eye on is the Cozy Night In box.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY DRINK: HOMEMADE MULLED WINE
The first time I ever had mulled wine was when I lived in England for a year after college. Now, I haven’t gone a Christmas season without it. I’ve been testing out my recipe all month and finally perfected it (if I do say so myself!). While I often mix it up each time, here’s the recipe I always start from:
- 1 bottle of wine (I usually use cabernet or something dryer. If you use a sweeter wine, use less sweetener.)
- 1 cup orange juice (or apple cider)
- 1-2 shots of brandy (or bourbon)
- Honey (or maple syrup) – I use just drizzle a little bit for sweetness (you can always add more later if you want it sweeter)
- 1/2 orange (cut into 3 slices)
- 6-9 cloves
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- Add 2-3 cloves to each orange slice. You can do this by sticking them directly into the orange peel.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and heat to just barely a simmer (keep from boiling to avoid boiling out the alcohol).
- Turn heat to LOW and let the ingredients brew together for 15-20 minutes.
- Then serve and enjoy – so easy!!
FAVORITE WAY TO PLAN: The White Space Co. Planner
We are just a few weeks away from a new year (!!) and I always love planning ahead with a brand new planner. A fellow photographer and instagram friend designed and launched this one and I cannot wait to start using it daily come January – I’ve already started to plan out a few things!
FAVORITE WAY TO START MY MORNING: New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp
As we spend more time at home, yet again, finding a sense of routine is still so important. Starting the day off with this grounding devotional, one that I keep coming back to again and again truly does start my day off the best way possible. There’s a short devo for every day of the year and it pairs perfectly while sipping on your morning coffee.