Friends, here we go. A week from today is Christmas will be over! I saw a funny meme yesterday asking how Christmas can be next week when it feels like December started two days ago. Crazy, right!?!
Even though the time is flying by, I have to say I don’t feel that stressed this year. I’ve let go of things like a family Christmas card (which kills me because I love receiving cards from others) and baking lots of Christmas cookies. I’m so lucky to have a mom and sister who bake enough for the rest of us!
And I think most of my shopping is done, too. Each year, we ask our kids to give us a list with a few things they would like and that helps so much. Then I try to surprise them with at least one thing they weren’t expecting. And this year, we decided to head to Notre Dame’s bowl game in Phoenix on New Year’s Day which is the best Christmas gift of all for me–to have my crew all together in a sunny place. The older they get, the more these experiences are the best present we can give to them. I’m pretty crazy about them, too!
Knowing that everyone is in different places of their holiday prep, here is the Sunday edition of my Friday Five–plus a few more–for this week.
- A fun read: I’m a firm believer that my mood depends on the things that I’m taking in. Whether it be what’s on TV, or the podcasts I’m listening to, or the books I’m reading. It’s all about keeping it light and bright these days and this cute book, The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss, is sweet, harmless fun. I’m just about finished with it and I’ll be putting it outside in my Little Library. (The Christmas books I put out there earlier this month have been a hit!)
- Red lipstick: The cure to any stress I swear is a good red lipstick. It makes everything better! This year, my favorite shade is Grenadine from Ilia Beauty. It’s a universal red that looks terrific on everybody and this formula is super moisturizing. I’m also linking the story I wrote last year about my favorite red lipsticks. It still holds true.
- Some leather pants: Yep, that’s me saying leather pants. I took a giant leap out of my comfort zone and bought the best faux leather jeans from J. McLaughlin. They’re the same cut as their high-waisted Hastings jeans I talked about over the summer and loved. They are super stretchy and flattering in all of the right places. These faux leather jeans come in black and brown and I would recommend sizing up from your normal size. I’m typically a size 6 or 8 in J. McLaughlin’s pants and I bought the faux leather version in a 10 and they fit like a glove. It looks like the sizes are limited online, but definitely check in store. You’ll thank me later!
- Gift ideas for your boys: Probably the most requested gift idea I’ve had this season has been for teenage boys. To my shock and surprise, all my boys asked for was clothes. It appears that the layered look is very trendy among the 18-20 year olds. Hoodies and “shackets” are definitely the rage and it looks like Chuck Taylor high-tops are making a comeback. Here are some links to things I ordered for them like this, this, and this. And, knowing that shipping windows are now super tight, if you’re local–please check out Smith’s Men’s Store. Their clothing selection for young men is the best I’ve seen in store anywhere. It skews nicer, but our boys need some nice clothes, too! I also just love the staff. You literally walk in there and they show you what you need. The best!
- Fun idea for a college kiddo: A few years ago, my friend Colleen told me how she was buying her then college-age niece a travel duffle as a graduation gift. I thought this was a genius idea, thinking of all the adventures a new college graduate has in front of them. With this in mind, I think the rolling suitcases from Mark + Graham are a terrific idea this Christmas. I have one that I’ve had for years and I love it. They do have some mixed reviews about their durability, but I’ve been so happy with mine. In fact, the first one I bought from them had a zipper issue and they replaced it, no questions asked. Definitely worth a look and they are on sale right now! (And don’t ask me how I know, but I received one three days after I ordered it!)
- My one Christmas cookie recipe: So far, I’ve made one cookie this season, but my family doesn’t seem to care. Here’s the recipe and keep in mind you can switch out the Hershey Hugs and Mint M&Ms for the Candy Cane Kisses and Milk Chocolate M&Ms. Whatever is left at the store will work!
- Cute hair: It has been well-documented here on my blog that I can’t do my own hair to save my life! So whenever I have an event or pictures for a story I’m working on, the sweet stylists at Le Blowout Bar in Lake Forest help me out. I feel so much better about everything if I know my hair looks good. I love this team of mother and daughters who keep us all looking our best. And they have the most inspiring story of how the emigrated to America. They are a terrific small local business to support!
- A new planner: I just got my new planner this week. I love this one from Day Designer. It has just enough space for me to keep track of all I need to.
Good luck this week! We’ve got this!