Christmas Eve eve

This morning I took holiday gifts to my nephew, his Mom and Dad. Seeing his tiny little eyes light up when I walked in the door with a bag full of gifts, my heart just exploded. I don’t have kids, but I love my little nephew with everything I am. Seeing Christmas through the eyes of a little one is really magical. You see, Christmas isn’t really all about the gifts and presents. It’s about spending time with those your love. And yes I do love giving him gifts, but I think I already mentioned how Oprah helped me out with that one. Each year he gets something he wants, something he needs, something he can wear and something he can read.

So this morning I decided he should open his book present, so that we could read it on Christmas. So we opened the Charlie Brown Christmas book, and read it together. That time together, snuggled on the couch, was worth more than any money could buy.

There will be many gifts under many trees this holiday season, but which ones will we really remember? The time with family and friends, that’s what is really important this time of year.

Yesterday my mom and I made cookies and fudge, wrapped presents, and decorated the tree. We spent time together, we ordered Chinese food, it was perfect. No gift is better than that. Time with her was all I wanted, and it was wonderful.

So if I may make a suggestion, don’t  buy all the stuff. People don’t need stuff, they need YOU. Just show up, that’s what people really want. I don’t need any more socks, trust me! I’d much rather have dinner with a friend, time with my nephew. So, because it’s Christmas, let’s remember to give our time, not just things. Happy Christmas.


When in doubt, Oprah

Let me say first and foremost, I love Oprah. Have always, and will always, admire her for her strength, courage, zest for life, passion, compassion, and honesty. She is a badass lady and we should all aspire to be badass babes! But I digress….

Let’s talk about gift giving. It can be tricky this time of year to decide who you will be buying (or making) gifts for. Immediate family only? Extended family? Which friends or acquaintances? Work folks? It can get tricky, and quickly! One thing you obviously need to consider is you budget. Maybe you can afford to spend money on everyone you have ever met, that’s up to you. I think I’ll save that breakdown for another post.

Today I want to talk about, holiday shopping for kids. I don’t have kids, but I am an aunt, and I take my job very seriously! He is one of the great joys of my life. So for holidays, I always want to spoil him! But how much is too much? Or how little is too little? So I always fall back on something Oprah said, many moons ago.

For holidays, I get my nephew: Something he wants, something he needs, something he can wear, and something he can read. This has gotten me through all holiday seasons since he was born. And it’s really fantastic when you think about it! Perhaps you can only afford to get them one thing this year, that is completely reasonable! However, I squirrel money away all year so that I can do my holiday shopping. If I’m careful in my planning, I can get him 4 things without hurting my budget.

Something he wants 

My squishy boy is really into Paw Patrol, so I am thinking I will get him something from the franchise. Perhaps a stuffy or a puzzle?

Something he needs

For this one I ask his parents. Wipes, socks, a backpack. Whatever they deem he NEEDS, I get. He will like it no matter what it is (oh the joy of two year olds!) an his parents will get something taken off their shopping list. Win win!

Something he can wear

For this category I usually go with PJ’s because, darn kids are adorable in jammies! But this year, I found an adorable puffer vest at a consignment shop that will look adorable on him! In a year or so. Hah, it’s too big for him! But I know his parents will agree that it’s a fabulous vest, and they will hang it in the closet until the time is right! It may not be perfect today, but it will be perfect one day!

Something he can read

This one may be my favorite, as I love reading with him. He has a lot of books, but because we read together often, I know what he has and what he doesn’t have. I plan to go to the library book sale to see if I can find some gems. Children’s books can be so expensive, and they don’t have a very long shelf life (hah! a book pun!) So I would rather get him books at less than full price.

I love this time of year, and having a little boy to celebrate with is really special to me. I don’t have children of my own, but I spend a lot of time with my two and a half year old nephew, and this time of year is simply magical. He is at such a great age for all the fun things!

What are you doing for the little ones in your life this holiday season?

Fall expenses (so far…)

Fall is typically a fairly expensive time of year for me. (Lots of birthdays, Halloween, cooler weather accessories…..) Though I always try to do my best, sometimes life just gets away from me. Here are some things I spent money on over the past few months (and how I feel about it)

IMG_20171104_145727_714.jpgBaby gift. My beautiful friend Sarah is having a baby next month and we recently celebrated her baby shower. It was a lovely afternoon spent with friends and family where we all ate a little too much and imbibed just enough. I will never regret a baby gift for someone I love so this was money well spent! (And I can’t post what I bought here just in case she reads this! Hi Sarah!)


Dog sweater. Meet Jethro. My perpetually chilly velvet hippo (pit bull). He is freaking adorable, lovable, and cold. He has a really short coat and literally zero percent body fat so he needs a sweater! I will not for a second regret keeping this sweet boy comfortable. He came from a terrible background and I promised I would always take care of him. So that’s exactly what I am doing! And a $9 on sale at Target fit the bill perfectly! (I have since ordered him another sweater, custom made so hopefully it will fit better as unfortunately this one was a little stretchy!)


A day at the pumpkin patch. I believe I purchased some locally made cheese, two tiny pumpkins, an a few pounds of local apples and pears. Oh and a coffee. Absolutely worth it. My bestie’s sister Katie was in town, and her husband Geoff able to take the day off work. So the five of us headed off for a foggy morning at the pumpkin patch. It was perfect. Lizzi was having a good morning and felt up to wandering the field looking at pumpkins, and Wayne (the wee one) had a great time picking out his pumpkins! Going to the farm and spending time as a family (I have included myself in their family) is always worth it to me. We had a fantastic time and were able to forget about a few things for a couple of hours.

IMG_20171029_121633_047.jpg I spent all of $4 on this skirt so I could be the Unipiper for Halloween this year. My friend Brian (left) is the actual Unipiper and I thought he would get a kick out of me dressing as him for Halloween. Fun fact, he thought it was great! He even let me borrow his Darth Vader mask and I posed with his unicycle. I am confident I would have killed myself, and possibly everyone else, had I actually tried riding it. So, posing with it had to suffice.

The list of things I am less than thrilled to have spent money on (and because I’m not pleased with myself, I will not include photos!)

-checked bag fee (my company reimburses me for this but still, gah!)

-unnecessary holiday decorations

-Jethro’s first sweater (I was happy about it at the time but when I discovered how ill-fitted it was I became disenfranchised with it. oh well)

-frilly spending at Target (you know what I mean. Socks, nail polish. A couple of little things that totaled maybe $15 but still! I did not need to spend that money!)

Overall I’d say I’m doing pretty well so far this fall. I like everyone have a harder time holding onto my money this time of year. Parties and gatherings and holidays just snatch it right out of my pocket! Some of it is totally worth it (baby showers galore!)