december daily {no. 19} : 2 cups, snuggle up.

Today's advent calendar activity: "Check out a favorite Christmas movie and snuggle up with 2 cups of hot chocolate." Lucky us, I used up the last few scoops of our Ghiradelli cocoa mix and popped in Love Actually...the perfect combination for the perfect occasion. That movie gives me nothing but warm fuzzies. From the "All You Need is Love" cover at the wedding in the beginning to the little octopus boy at the Christmas pageant at the end. Such a classic. A true chic flick, yet it melts even the manliest of hearts. {Jeff loves this movie too!}


tree trimming tutorial

For anyone needing a quick handmade gift, or just a little crafting inspiration, I thought I'd share the skinny on how to make this sweet+simple song birdie ornament. This ornament is super simple to make, so I hope I'm not insulting anyone's intelligence by deconstructing it step by step! :) Sharing a little Christmas joy+ joining in the tree trimming fun here:

Step 1. Assemble supplies:
*glitter (I chose to use Martha Stewart glitter in smoky quartz)
*thin ribbon or baker's twine
*glue brush
*chipboard (a fancy word for dense cardboard. but seriously, just cereal box thickness will do.)
*vintage sheet music (mine is ripped from a destroyed old hymn book. for a new-school alternative you might also use scrapbooking paper or xeroxed music, stained with tea or distressing inks)
*small hole punch (oopsies! forgot to add in pic!)
*waxed paper (optional for tidy crafters!)
*birdie template (below: just click to enlarge and print page)

Step 2: Print + cut out template above. Trace onto chipboard and trim your 3 pieces:
Step 3. Paint both wings some good old fashioned Elmer's, douse with glitter. Shake and let dry.Step 4. Rinse paint brush, whip open your decoupage, and cover one side of bird. Tear pieces of music haphazardly, place over bird shape, and coat with more decoupage. Allow to dry. Repeat coat if desired.Step 5. Trim paper around bird's edges. Flip bird (no pun intended!) and repeat decoupage process on reverse. Step 6: Adhere wings to both sides. Use Elmer's, tacky glue, or anything strong you've got.Step 7: Punch hole, loop with ribbon, and you're ready to fly. Go trim that tree!

december daily {no. 18} : receive

Today I squealed with delight when I came home to find Chelle's gorgeous D.B. swap package at my door. It might as well be Christmas morning. I absolutely ADORE these handmade banners she sells on etsy. I've been jonesing for one for quite some time...Until today when this ''Be Merry" beauty came in the mail! I couldn't decide where to hang it, but right now I'm loving the way it looks in my bright sunny window. {P.S. She has free shipping on items in her darling etsy shop 'til tomorrow. Buy yourself a merry little banner too!!}And if the banner goodness wasn't enough...Out of the rest of the package spilled a beautiful handmade card, felt mitten tags {or maybe ornaments!?}, delicious homemade almond roca, scrapbooking lovliness galore, ribbons, and {chuckles} the same Martha mag I sent her for inspiration! Talk about great taste. Chelle and I could be two peas in a pod. And I must be the luckiest girl under the sun to be blessed with such beauties and friendship. Thanks so much, Chelle! I can't wait to assemble a little chipboard scrapbook of wonderful Christmas memories.

december daily {no. 17} : merriment

Yesterday Jeff and I both had the day off--free to run about the city, free of responsibility. We had a tasty lunch out and hit the Asian Art Museum with our friends Eric & Kirsten in the afternoon. Then back home to get all gussied up for the date of the year: Jeff's sister Heather gave us tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera! {Thanks Heather! We had the best time!!} It was an early Christmas gift, since it's just showing in S.F. through the first week of the year and we weren't sure we'd be able to catch a show after Christmas. Before the show, we had a fabulous dinner at swanky Houston's. (Silly, because Jeff works there, but I love the food, love the rock-star service, and love the discount!!) From there, we caught the adorable F Car to get to the theater district. Although not the quickest, these street cars are definitely the coolest way to get around. The city has a collection of vintagey cars from around the world, each painted different colors. They're unusually neat and clean inside and have darling little wreaths on their fronts at Christmastime! So unbelievably charming. We made it to the Orpheum with just 30 seconds to spare before the show began (phew!). And I can't speak highly enough of the performance. Amazing. Seriously, the best night ever.

How lame am I for not taking pics? I even made a point of dashing back into our apartment to grab my camera on the way out, just to capture all of the fun. Lo and behold, we've all been there, I was greeted with a dead battery situation. So am hoping that my borrowed flickr pic by photomato will suffice for the wonders of today's experience.


december daily {no. 16} : city sidewalks

This afternoon I hopped down to Union Square to pick up my very last few Christmas gifts. That's right. All done! And had I not been near-finishing, I think I might have had a panic attack in all of the commercial holiday hub-bub. It gets completely out of control, don't you think? Instead, I had a delightful time meandering about, admiring the big city sidewalks dressed in holiday style. The lights are fabulous! But the front of Williams-Sonoma is my very favorite sight to behold. Makes you want to cozy in and buy a few red + green Kitchenaid mixers, or maybe just savor a sample of their exquisite peppermint bark.
Here's a little California Christmas tree for those of you drowning in snow and subzero wind chills! Wish you were here. But don't be too jealous...It was a damp, blustery 41 degrees here today and I actually thought about wearing mittens. It's kinda cute when San Franciscans complain about the cold.
For once, I picked up a slew of beautiful baubles at Anthropologie without actually spending a pretty penny. Believe it: the sales are phenomenous! Half the store is on sale, which makes everything extra tempting, now that it's so suddenly within reach. I was like a kid in a candy store. This place steals my heart.
And perhaps the most splendid sight of all: the 5 story tree in the windows of Neiman Marcus (Or, as my dad would say, Needless Markups). Definitely the most festive view from my bus-stop. Home to nibble on Christmas cookies and sip hot chocolate!


december daily {no. 15} : christmas card

Last week Jeff and I picked the clearest, sunniest morning to head to Chrissy Field in order to snap some Christmas card-worthy photos. Admittedly+ironically, I the blogger am too lazy to write a letter this year, so these pics will have to speak 1,000+ words about our year. The letter would simply read something like this: Here we are. Living in San Francisco. The weather is amazing. All is well & we've got a bright, clear future...And a tiny, growing mini Mr. Wish you were here. Christmas Blessings. XO J & J.And today, I am curled up at home finishing a few Christmas to-dos. Made the final dash to the post office today to mail everyone's gifts. Waiting in the atrocious line was not so bad after all...The woman behind me in line tapped me on the shoulder and said "I have those same pants. I love them." I spun around and found a slightly more pregnant girl to compare notes with. We gabbed like we'd known each other forever and even discovered that we were wearing the same un-Maternity shirts from Target. Random! I am loving the fact that pregnancy is such a conversation piece. I never thought I'd be making friends at such unlikely places as the post office!


december daily {no. 14} : comfy cozy are we

Comfy cozy are we.

Loving the look of our newly-rearranged living room! It's perfect for adoring the lights of our fresh+sweetly trimmed tree. Suddenly, this little apartment of ours is feeling more homey than ever before.

Perfect for today's advent calendar activity: "Snuggle in front of the tree...for a festive Sunday afternoon nap."


december daily {no. 13} : swap

I do believe it is safe to reveal the contents of my Happy Handmade Christmas Swap package! This big bubbly envelope should have arrived at my dear Chelle's door yesterday or today. I loved participating in this swap. It's so fun to share a little crafting cheer...And receive someone else's gorgeous goods in return! My little package included:
*12 stamped tags
*6 festive Christmastime magnets
*4 brown paper gift bags (decorated with cutesy scrapbook paper)
*2 handmade ornaments
*and 1 Martha mag for endless inspiration.


december daily {no. 12} : wrap

Wrapping day, jiggity jig! The culmination of Christmas giving...Picking out papers, tucking with tissues, taping neat edges, bundling with ribbons. This is by far my favorite bit of crazy Christmas prep!


december daily {no. 11} : wish

What's on your wishlist?

inspired: precious pull toys

Did anyone see this handmade holiday gift yesterday on the Martha show? These a*dorable little children's pull toys. The talented Katie Steuernagle makes these beauties out of paper mache+clay in her garage! I am itching to see her come home from New York and update her etsy shop, matsutake. But if you're ambitious enough to try making your own, Martha posts the template + tutorial here.

december daily {no. 10} : sweets

Christmas cookie baking by day.
Christmas cookie indulgence by night.

Tonight we headed to the annual Advent song service + Christmas cookie swap at church. Carols, candles, cookies. A sweet night indeed.


december daily {no. 9} : let us adore him

Over the past year, Jeff's sweet parents have given us various pieces of the Willow Tree nativity set as gifts. I love it so much--I don't think I could ever find a set I love more! It's such a simple, humble, and beautiful reminder that Christ's coming is truly the center of Christmas. I hope it will be a little treasure that our kids love seeing and setting out at Christmastime year after year.

inspired: felt trees

Looks to me like this is the stuff iced sugar cookies and Christmas dreams are made of...Aren't these sweetly decorated felt trees absolutely darling? Just spied this tutorial on how to make your own bright+cheery felt trees here. Am making time to attempt to make my own!


december daily {no. 8} : greet

While this giant stack of Christmas cards is nowhere near the post office, I'm content that they're making bits of progress sitting atop my desk. It took'til yesterday to find the perfect sentiment to stamp inside...We're still working on a little photoshoot...And then there's the signing, sealing, stamping, sending business. Less talk, more action.

december daily {week1}

Oh how I wanted to count each day of advent with pictures this year...But once again, this month, this year is crazily slipping by! I hope you won't mind my jumping in a week late. I know it's cheating, but this post represents my December Daily {no.1-7}. Last weekend we picked out the perfect pine, hauled it home, and smothered it with decorations...And 800 lights on its modest 6' stature. I'm officially in Christmas mode. No more excuses. No more stress. Just celebrating the *JOY* of the season, one day at a time, in my happy go lucky pine-scented world.

tummy time

It's about that time again...Time for a little baby update! As you can see, this tum of ours has been making some serious progress. Thanks, in part, to Thanksgiving. I'm convinced that's when this baby grew from a barely-bump to officially obvious. Sort of fun! And I am definitely sporting mama maternity pants everywhere I go. They rock. And I recently invested in one of these little numbers to help bridge the wardrobe gap. And the tops are next to go. I'm still getting by with layered long tanks and longer, stretchy ts. Getting dressed every morning hasn't been this much of a challenge since I was 14. But I am loving it. Loving the excuse to constantly buy new clothes. :)
Although we instantly made room in our hearts for this little man, we're slowly making space in our apartment for his arrival. We just did some major rearranging to accommodate our Christmas tree + more space for this beautiful Pottery Barn crib we scored off of Craigslist. I'm so excited to set it up later this winter! I'm thinking of an aqua+chocolate brown+chartreuse scheme for the nursery. I want to keep it simple, white and bright, and fresh-looking. And we have the added challenge of making the room flow with the rest of our apartment, as baby will be inhabiting half of the craft/guest bedroom for now! I just made a quick baby registry at Target and fell head over heels for this perfect bedding. Am so excited! I can tell this sweet boy is getting excited about meeting the world too...He's been flipping+kicking up a little storm lately. Jeff still hasn't felt him yet (!!!)--so I can't even wait for that moment. Hopefully it will be soon!


easy peasy

Here's an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy homemade gift you can create this week. Just download this image (FOR FREE!) compliments of poppytalk, print, frame, wrap up for your BFF, and voila...cutest poster ever.

{thanks, casey, for sending me here to make this pretty little card!}


december, already?

It's not that I didn't see it coming ever since...Halloween. But still, I woke yesterday morning and was surprised to see my calendar flipped to December. Already. And now just 23 quick more days 'til Christmas! I am so very giddy to deck the halls, pick out the perfect tree and haul in that big green beauty. We both have Friday afternoon free, and I am counting the hours 'til decorating day! Yesterday Jeff and I did a quick morning shopping spree to catch the tail end of the big weekend sales. We're about 80% done with the shopping. Yipee! It's so much more fun to Christmas shop when you have concrete ideas and stick to the list. To sweeten my shopping day, I scored this cutesy red felt tree skirt. I wasn't about to let our tree be skirtless for yet another year. TjMax. Awesome deal. Looks totally adorable, almost handmade. ;)


I am completely smitten by this brilliant new label company, called Stuck, created by Jordan of Oh Happy Day. She makes adorable+affordable label stickers that you can customize and print on your own. Pretty nifty, huh?