Holiday Traditions You Can’t Live Without

I am sure all of you get to December and you start asking those around you if certain traditions will still be going on this year. It could be the annual neighborhood party, decorating the Christmas tree on December 1st, re-enacting the nativity, or reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve; each of us has certain traditions that we like to keep.

What are your traditions?

Some of my Christmas traditions have morphed as I’ve gotten older. They have been adapted for different situations such as nieces/nephews, living oversea, or celebrating away from home. Here are some of my traditions that I like and want to keep around for years to come.

  1. Baking holiday goodies to take to all of the people who I love (not necessarily caroling; I can’t sing). This year I would like to try this recipe by Creative Home Cooking. 
  2. Having appetizers for dinner on either Christmas Eve or Christmas depending on which day works better for the traditional Christmas dinner. This year I am going to make this recipe from Lemon Tree Dwelling. 
  3. Opening one present on Christmas Eve with it usually being new pajamas or a book. If you guys have never order pajamas from Pajamagram, you have been missing out. 
  4. Turning off all of the lights in the house except for the Christmas lights and basking in their peaceful glow. I think this is one of the best things about December. Love this image from The Curious Bumblebee.
  5. Watching at least one sappy holiday Hallmark movie so I can roll my eyes and laugh with my girlfriends about. I mean no disrespect to Hallmark. I actually think it is great that they create movies that everyone can sit down and watch without being worried about something being inappropriate. At the same time, some of the endings make me roll my eyes and laugh out loud. This year I don’t have the Hallmark channel so I am making do with Netflix. I have managed to watch A Christmas Prince and the quota has been met for the year. Enjoy watching it!

Where Do I Go In Search of . . .

It is that time of year again when the whole world goes on a shopping spree. I am like everyone else and I find myself seduced by all the sales, the atmosphere and the genuine desire to let people know how much I love and value them in my life. I am not on a soapbox about the dos and don’ts of holiday buying and giving—I will leave that with each of you to decide but I decided that I would share a couple of ideas on where to go in search of that perfect gift for someone.

  1. Unique Gifts at Uncommon Goods: If you haven’t already spent time on this website, then you have been missing out. I know that I am in need of ones of these.
  2. Local Handmade Gifts at Scoutmob: The best thing about this site is that you can find local artisans and support your community. I love this clock! 
  3. Soft, Organic and Beautifully Made Clothing at Garnet Hill: This website is going to make you want to buy everything. For instance, I really need this. 
  4. Home Décor and Furniture at One Kings Lane: What I love the most about this website is the look books where you can really formulate a design plan for your house.
  5. A Little Something for Everyone in Every Price Range at Target: Yes, I love Target and if you have never spent time on their website you really should. The stores don’t hold half of the stuff they sell and there is always something for everyone on your list. Just so everyone knows, I love these plates!  

Products I Love

I decided it was time again to share a few more products that I use and love. Let me know if you have ever used any of them and if you like them as much as I do!

  1. Forever Living Products: I have been using their line of products most of my life. I am going to guess at least 35 years if not longer. As a kid, I used to hate it when my mother would make me drink their Forever Living Aloe Vera Gel (yes, it is a drink) but I would beg for the Aloe Vera Gelly every time I ended up with a sunburn. To this day I keep 2 products constantly on hand; the Gelly and Aloe Vera Veterinary Formula. 
  2. DoTerra Essential Oils: I know everyone seems to be on this bandwagon right now and I am also very aware that there are many places to get your essential oils from but I get mine from DoTerra. If you aren’t sure about essential oils or how to use them; start with lavender and work from there building your supply and skill.
  3. FutureBiotics: This is one brand that actually sells you what the label says. Everything I have ever used from them has been wonderful. My most favorite is ThinkFast. It really can help me accomplish what I need to during the day without caffeine.  
  4. Aveda Beautifying Oil: I have loved this product for years. It can be used for just about anything but I use it at night. Wash your face and then use 2 drops as an overnight moisturizer. 
  5. Ancient Nutrition: This one is relatively new in my life but so far I love it! I can’t have soy protein powder and I am not a huge fan of whey or pea protein. This powder has a great taste and no after taste which is wonderful! It also mixes really well with other items. 

Honorable Mention:

Maple Holistics: My sister has needed to use shampoo with tea tree oil in it for years. Because of cost she hasn’t been using tea tree oil based shampoo for a couple of years now. I told her about Maple Holistics and gave her a bottle for use. She has been using it for 3 weeks now, is only about a 1/3 of the way through the bottle and is ecstatic that her scalp feels great again! If you want to give it a try or try another one of their products click on this link. Enjoy!

 

 

Vancouver Washington

The first time I lived in Portland I never once crossed the river to explore the neighboring city of Vancouver, Washington. I never really felt the need to. Portland had more than enough to keep me busy. Now that I am back to stay in the area; it is a different story.

In some ways I am blessed to live in Portland but work in Vancouver and because I try to avoid as much traffic as possible; I find myself hanging around in Washington and exploring.

So here are 5 of my new favorites haunts in Vancouver.

  1. Frontier Public House. This was a recommendation by my hairstylist and I am glad she shared! 
  2. Speaking of my hairstylist . . . I love the salon I frequent! Way to offer excellent service Vata Salon!
  3. In an effort to stay cool this summer during the MANY 100+ degree days, I discovered this local gem–Moulton Falls. 
  4. I love my many options of farmer markets in the northwest but I love the lazy summer feeling of the Vancouver Farmers Market. 
  5. If you need to travel to Seattle, you should consider taking the train and avoiding the traffic and if you are going to avoid the traffic and the parking fees, you should take the train from Vancouver instead of Portland. But before you park and catch the train at the Vancouver Station, make sure you grab a bagel to eat from Sunrise Bagel Bakery.