Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas Eve! I'm spending the day wrapping gifts and making these cinnamon rolls for tomorrow morning! We will be back next week with a wrap-up of 2015. Peace, love and good tidings to you and yours.

I wish it was snowing here (its raining, of course) so I'm imagining myself in a wintery wonderland like the snowy Seattle of the past in the above photo.

90's holiday nostalgia 

Are you finished wrapping yet? Check out this Japanese speed wrapping technique.

Celebrity holiday cards

A version of Polar Express to be appreciated by anyone who's ever taken a New York subway.

The Obama's holiday playlist

Incase you need it, creative gingerbread men ideas.

Christmasy podcast

Exciting News!

Patrick and I are expecting a BABY GIRL at the end of May! I'll be 17 weeks along tomorrow and am finally starting to shake the first trimester nausea. This is why you haven't heard much from me this fall! Definitely looking forward to sharing more about my pregnancy and our new baby girl here on the blog.

Merry Christmas!!!

PS. My pregnancy announcement with Myles... and full term!

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday!! I have a big weekend ahead -- we are having our annual college reunion sleepover at Jenny's house, celebrating Christmas with Patrick's family, and of course, celebrating Jenny's birthday!!! Hope you have a lovely and festive weekend.

A few links to kick us off:

I borrowed a selfie stick for the holidays, got to get my selfie game on!

Who wants to make me eggnog waffles?

This made me laugh, Hipster Santa.

Incredible photos from 2015.

I NEED to try this chocolate invention from Japan.

Easy, delicious cocktails, and yummy nails too.

Autocorrect hates you.

Alarming report on how shrimp get to our tables.

Best movies of 2015, which did you like? I'm dying to see "Brooklyn."


Christmas This Year!

The Christmas season has been so fun this year with a toddler. Last year Myles was only one and a half and didn't really grasp much of what was going on. I actually skipped even having a tree because I didn't want to be a referee all month trying to get him not to touch it.

This year everything is new and exciting for him as he discovers the season! He is obsessed with our Christmas tree, pointing out all the ornaments to people who come by and telling everyone at school about how tall it is. He was fascinated that we got it home by strapping it to the top of our car.  We went to Zoo Lights for Rory's birthday and Mylo loved meeting the Reindeer and riding the carrousel with Daddy and Pa. He got to meet Santa, who happened to be our friend Colin all dressed up, and was all smiles and eagerness. It's so sweet to watch.

We are headed over to the snow in Eastern Washington for Christmas and I'm really looking forward to watching him discover sledding!!

I'm also looking forward to taking pictures of all his cousins in their Christmas pajamas! He and Rory will be matching in Hanna Anderson PJ's and the Hillis cousins (above at Thanksgiving, JD, Kenedee, Mylo and Jae) are all coordinated as well. SO fun!

'Tis the Season!

Watch This: The Man in the High Castle

I spent last weekend catching up on work while binging "The Man in the High Castle". SUCH an interesting show! It takes place in an alternate 1962, one in which the Allies lost World War II. Half of the U.S. is a Nazi territory, the other Japanese. I don't want to say much more, it's one of those shows where it's better know less going into it and let everything unfold as you watch.

I will say, wardrobe and set design did an amazing job creating this alternate United States that was stunted in the 1940's.

All 10 episodes of the first season are available to stream on Amazon Prime. Enjoy!

Christmases Past

I just came across this! Our Christmas card photo from 2008- one of the two years in which we actually sent out Christmas cards. So very long ago. I remember wanting to be one of those people who sent out Christmas cards every year, and had holiday traditions, so someday I could say "I've made this fudge every Christmas for the last 50 years!. Well, that hasn't really happened. Since we've been married, we've spent Christmas at our house, Jason's parents and my parents. We spent one Christmas in a Mexican airport. For our first Christmas, we went out to a snow covered Christmas tree farm and chopped down our own tree! This was last year's version of that Instead of being the little old lady deep rooted traditions of fudge or cookies, I'll be the little old lady saying, "Remember that Christmas we spent eating Cinnabon at the airport?" And I think I like that. 

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday. I'm readjusting to begin back in Seattle after a bit of time in LA. It was wonderful to have a bit of sunshine, but I have to say, it does make it feel more Christmasy to me when it's cold. I'm spending the afternoon trying to keep a fire going in my fireplace (I'm terrible at it when it doesn't involve a duraflame log) catching up on work and doing some decorating. I've just broken out my favorite Christmas album.  It's a good day and I hope it is for you too. Here are some fun and informative things to take you into the weekend...

Downton Abbey with American accents is pretty hilarious.

To get in the Christmas spirit, I've been looking at Christmas-posts from the past, like that time I analyzed a childhood letter I wrote to Santa.

This really made me laugh, if you're Christmas shopping for kids, this is for you. Even if your not, it's still great. Really.

Santa variations around the world

"We can end gun violence" 

I really want to learn embroidery...It seems like a good way to relax, so I'm just gonna put this cool project here as a motivation for me to get around to it.

Cozy spaces

Following "Fargo" show runner for 2 days...super interesting.

Listen Here: Carla Morrison

If you need a break from Christmas music, I've been chilling out with Carla Morrison's newest album all week. Haven't heard of her? I just recently discovered Carla and she's a gem. Yes, the album is entirely in Spanish, but I promise her voice and emotion will get you across the language barrier. Check her out! 

Trendsend by Evereve

A photo posted by Evereve (@evereve_official) on

As you all know by now, I'm addicted to online subscription services like StitchFix, Birchbox, Trunk Club, etc.

I stopped Stitch Fix when I quit my corporate job this summer but this fall I tried out two different clothing subscription boxes, Trendsend by Evereve and Le Tote (more to come on that). I discovered Trendsend while shopping at the clothing chain Evereve in the University Village here in Seattle. Their company not only has a store but also a subscription clothing service that is similar to Stitch Fix with a few notable differences.

Like Stitch Fix, you start the service by filling out a fashion profile with your tastes, sizes and account details. Unlike Stitch Fix, Trendsend doesn't send a specific number of items and doesn't charge a fee for the box; they also don't offer a discount for keeping all of the items. Most of the clothing is higher end and a bit more expensive than what I received in Stitch Fix but it's also more commonly known brands like Paige Denim, Free People, and Michael Stars. Overall, I've been really please with the two boxes that I've received so far!

Simple Gift Idea

While in China I picked up a bunch of my favorite face masks, made in Korea where my sister lives. I've been wrapping a few of them up with some washi tape and giving them as gifts to friends after I returned from Beijing. BUT I think they'd also make a fun little holiday gift. Everyone could use a face mask in the months of dry winter skin. I love that they aren't as messy as face masks as we think of them, these are actually face shaped sheets with eye, nose and mouth holes and are fun to give out to people to try out!

PS. Here is a similar option I found on Amazon, I haven't tried them, but they seem to have great reviews. 

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday!

Hope you have some fun plans for the weekend-- we are celebrating Rory's birthday tomorrow with a trip to see the Zoo Lights and hoping to get our Christmas tree up!

Here are a few links from around the web to get us started:

These "Elf" quote cookies are pretty amazing.

Near the top of my US travel wish list.

Mulled wine, two ways.

Interesting perspective on dieting and eating healthy.

Hanna Anderson Holiday PJ's are only $20 today!

What do you think of Pantone's color(s!) of the year for 2016?

Incredible Barcelona apartment. 

(vintage xmas tree photo)

Congratulations Julie!

Yesterday, for World AIDS Day (which Teresa posted about here) Jason and I were able to join Teresa and her mom, Julie, in Los Angeles, where Julie received the Nelson Mandela Changmakers Award for her HIV/AIDS related work with the 30/30 Project. You can read more about it on the 30/30 Project Blog.

World AIDS Day 2015

This year is a very special World AIDS Day for my family and me. My mom, Julie, is the honored recipient of the Nelson Mandela Changemakers Award for her work with the 30/30 Project. I get to travel with her to LA today where she will accept the award from Kweku Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela. Pretty exciting, right??

She also wrote a thoughtful blog post with some of her reflections on World AIDS Day's past and present. It's well worth a read for those interested, and includes a throwback photo of us with Magic Johnson!

If you are interested in supporting 30/30 Project this World AIDS Day, check out this link to learn more about an amazing clinic in Kenya that we are raising funds for now.

PS. Here is where I wrote about the beginning of the 30/30 Project and what it means to my family.