Happy first full week of December, everyone! Can we talk about the fact that there are only 18 days until Christmas? Okay, don’t kick into panic mode… there’s still plenty of time for everything! I’ll be sharing yummy recipes, gift guides, and some tips and tricks during the next few weeks so that you can keep yourself sane during this holiday season! My husband and I wasted no time transitioning our home for Christmas (this year we picked up our Christmas tree and decorated it the weekend before Thanksgiving) and our refrigerator is stocked with our favorites: Peppermint Mocha and eggnog! ‘Tis the season, right? Okay, guys… grab your hot cocoa and let’s get down to it! Have a wonderful weekend, friends!
– Favorite Christmas Tree Lot: Speaking of Christmas trees, every year that my husband and I have been together we have sourced ours from City Peoples Garden Store in the Seattle neighborhood of Madison Park.
They always have an amazing selection of Noble, Douglas, Grand, Nordmann and Fraser fir varieties in a wide range of sizes to fit any space. City Peoples also offers festive strands of garland and beautiful wreaths to help bring the holiday spirit to your home.
The wreaths can be purchased pre-decorated or you can pop in to their little workshop and choose your own decorations! They have a large collection of festive items to choose from and talented “elves” to make your wreath dreams come true.
City Peoples Garden Store is celebrating thirty years of serving the Seattle area — it’s basically an institution! My husband actually worked in their tree lot one holiday season a little over a decade ago while he was in college… needless to say, our City Peoples loyalty runs deep. That having been said, even if we didn’t have that history with CP, we honestly can’t imagine going anywhere else for our gardening needs.
They sell the most beautiful, healthy plants and premium products/tools, but their real value lies in their knowledge and passion for all things gardening. When you ask questions, the employees are always happy to give advice and share their expertise (which has been really helpful to me as a gardening novice). The store also periodically offers seasonal workshops if you’re interested in educational gardening classes. I highly recommend shopping local to support City Peoples Garden Store if you are in the market for holiday greenery (and beyond!) in Seattle.
– A Holiday Treat: Christina Tosi has done it again with her cult following at Milk Bar… she’s made a tasty seasonal cake that’s available for shipping!
This Peppermint Bark Cake is six inches in diameter and made with layers of chocolate malt cake, peppermint frosting, chocolate fudge and chocolate crumbs – all topped off with a candy cane! I’m pretty tempted to order one for our holiday party at the office…
– New Clothing Brand: While I adore fashion, I don’t fancy myself an expert in the area so I often steer clear of making posts about clothing style… but this company is too good not to share with you guys. My new favorite clothing brand has just launched their holiday collection and I honestly want to own it all!!!
I discovered Sézane through the internet last year in search of the perfect pair of ATK boots. (Which were actually so popular that they brought them back again this year!! WANT. NEED.) I love Sézane’s quintessentially French aesthetic: elegant and mature, but not fussy – modern and stylish while remaining classic – and feminine, but not too girly. I truly find their style to be the perfect balance. It’s exactly what I have been looking for as a 30-something because, frankly, it sometimes feels a little weird to still be shopping at stores like Abercrombie & Fitch.
I can’t recommend Sézane enough. The fabrics and materials that they use for their pieces are such great quality and the finished products are so well-made that I am confident that my purchases are going to last a very long time. If you are lucky enough to live near New York City, you can pop into their only United States store [currently] to see for yourself! If you happen to live in or are visiting Europe, they have a handful of stores sprinkled around (in London, Paris and Aix-En-Provence) if you’d like to give them a visit. I will warn you that Sézane’s product batches are fairly small, so if you find an item that you love, don’t hesitate to buy it! I have learned from experience that you will regret it if you don’t (I missed the Abby boots in Camel AGAIN 😭).
Everything runs TTS – I buy my normal size and they fit perfectly! I will admit that the brand is a little on the pricier side, but I would so much rather have just a few high-quality pieces than a closet stuffed full of cheap fast-fashion items; think of them as an investment in your wardrobe! 😉
I also recently discovered that Sézane has an amazing men’s clothing line called Octobre Editions! This would be a great place to find some items for the guys in your life… the brand has even put together a guide to help you find the perfect gift(s) this holiday season!
– Netflix Original Holiday Movie: If you’ve run out of Hallmark holiday movies, Netflix just put out a holiday movie of their own called “The Princess Switch”. While it’s not going to win an Emmy, it’s a fun and festive story. I haven’t seen Vanessa Hudgens in anything since her role in “High School Musical”, but I thoroughly enjoyed the cute storyline and her performance. Two thumbs up from me!
– Starbucks Seasonal Beverages: It seems that Starbucks creates at least one new flavored beverage for each holiday season and 2018 is no exception. Seasonal fan-favorites Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brûlée have returned with a new friend: Toasted White Chocolate Mocha.
According to Starbucks the white chocolate sauce is “subtly caramelized” to add a little flavor dimension that’s supposed to make you feel as though you’re sitting in front of a roaring fire… what’s more festive than that?? Other seasonal flavors from years past have also made an appearance which include: Chestnut Praline Latte, Eggnog Latte, and Gingerbread Latte.
If you’re not really into coffee, Starbucks is also offering ways to “upgrade” your Hot Chocolate! The Classic is always delicious, but ordering the Peppermint, Salted Caramel, or Snickerdoodle versions would be a fun, festive twist.
I’ll definitely be giving Toasted White Chocolate Mocha a try now that Pumpkin Spice is officially out of season – what about you?
Oh! And last, but not least: on Tuesday, December 4th, Seattle was finally awarded an NHL franchise!!! This means that we’re getting a hockey team, so we have that (and choosing a team name) to look forward to for the 2021-22 hockey season!
Is it too late to ask Santa for season tickets…? Asking for a friend.