A Tiffany Surprise

Last Tuesday Ian and I had a lovely Valentine’s Day complete with delicious salmon and chocolate-covered strawberries. We exchanged sweet gifts and just enjoyed a relaxing evening in.

So you can imagine my surprise when last Friday I received a few little blue boxes:

Bravo, Ian. I never saw it coming! He bought me a lovely set of rose gold and diamond jewelry which are the most breathtaking pieces I have ever seen. My first pieces of Tiffany jewelry and I can’t help but be incredibly impressed with the craftsmanship of each piece (and those lovely blue boxes).

Gentlemen, if you ever want to truly surprise a girl, give her a gift when she least expects it.

And for those of you who are still awaiting your first little blue box, I hope you receive yours very soon!

Ashley

Reindeer Treats

Originally I had planned to make these for my co-workers and I am so glad I made my Festive Cupcakes instead because making this in large quantities is exhausting! But I just had to make these for Ian’s family.

To make Reindeer Treats:

Make a batch of “Muddy Buddies” (otherwise known as “Puppy Chow”) according to the recipe on the back of a Chex Cereal box. Wash out a mason jar and fill with the mix. Tie a festive ribbon around the lid and add a tag saying “Reindeer Treats”.  I think they turned out pretty cute but I wish I had made more so I could have given some to my family too! But be sure to learn from my mistake and make the mix in small batches. Otherwise you’ll wind up with a floor covered in reindeer treats.

Ashley

P.s. Sorry for the blurry photos, Santa didn’t bring me a tripod this Christmas…

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

The Most Wonderful Time of Year

Generally, I don’t need any assistance getting in the spirit of the holidays but I will say that this year has been full of more cheer than usual. All of the lights here in Chicago are beautiful! We went to see the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights last weekend and they were spectacular – especially after a large glass of mulled wine. I couldn’t believe how many lights the zoo put up and I loved that you could sit on Santa’s lap in the Lion house. And it seems that every time I go online I find something else to boost my holiday spirit.

But we all have things that really put us in the spirit of the holidays. Here are a few things that always put a jolly smile on my face:

1. Chic Holiday Cards. Aren’t these Kate Spade cards fun? She always has quirky, colorful and nondenominational cards for everyone on your list.

2. William Sonoma Peppermint Bark. It isn’t Christmas without this quintessential peppermint bark. I’ve tried other kinds, I even have the Dove Peppermint Bark bites in a jar on my desk, but this is the best. It has the perfect balance of white chocolate and peppermint to balance the milk chocolate.

3. Fun ornaments. I have a little glass sushi roll ornament and also some fun childhood characters hanging on my tree. But when I saw these bows from Pier One I couldn’t help myself – I decked out our entire tree in these. They are actually a sturdy metal and the glitter doesn’t easily rub off so I figured I would get to use these ornaments for years.

4. Evergreen Candles. I love love love the smell of evergreen trees and around the holidays I light tons of these everywhere. It helps create the right atmosphere and compensate for the fake tree… And this year I have become obsessed with Bath and Body Works’ Merry Mistletoe candle which is a slightly more sophisticated evergreen.

5. Potato Pancakes. Is an explanation really necessary?

What things put you in the holiday spirit?

Ashley

P.s. I always enjoy putting up my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree on my desk at work too:

It isn’t the most professional desk ornamentation but it’s perfect for the holidays!