putting away christmas + the wonders of target

today has been a nice, good, winter saturday. although the thermometer speaks of chilly temperatures, the sun has shone all day and the sky has maintained a perfect light-blue color. there’s still a bit of snow on the ground, leftover from a week ago

today we said goodbye to christmas. the tree was taken down and its branches have since been used for the growing bird habitat in the backyard. all the stockings and pictures and ornaments and lights were boxed away until next year. the living room feels bare and far too large without that enormous tree.

putting away christmas is always bittersweet. i’m sad to see the time of year go where everyone is a bit nicer and the world is all lit up and classic christmas songs are heard everywhere, although i do enjoy looking forward to the new year after christmas. this one was a real solid christmas, so i’m okay with moving on past it. it was a great christmas for relishing family and traditions and cozying up at home in the evenings with hot chocolate and yummy baked goodies. those always seem to be the best type of christmases.

in other news, i betook myself to the wondrous store of target today. i was in need of some public socialization after staying at home most of this week, so i deemed a target run necessary. i’m pretty sure target has almost everything. and ladies and gentlemen, the lip color obsession is back in full-force. after a significant amount of time spent in the make-up aisle, i finally waltzed out of target with these two little beauties.

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two new tubes doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you add that to the other twenty-five or so i have hanging out in my make-up drawer, mmm yeah it’s a slight problem. oh well…i’ll be shamelessly obsessive anyway.

also, there’s lots of excitement going on over here because i still get one more week of relaxation without school! one more week of staying up late watching netflix, one more week of sleeping in as late as i want to, one more week of living by my own schedule. happiness!

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my favorite things // 12-12-2013

“raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…”

this morning one of my friends asked my why that song is considered a christmas song, and i didn’t have a reply for her. any ideas?

today has been an interesting day. oddly enough, even though life didn’t quite take the turn i wanted it to take today, i feel at peace.

today i’m grateful for the happy bits that occurred throughout the day. my favorite things of today don’t consist of anything super fancy, but i’m a firm believer that it’s the little things that matter most.

things that made today lovely:

-sweet, sweet piano students who give you their handmade bracelet off of their wrist right in the middle of their lesson. a few months back, this same girl also picked flowers from her garden and gave them to me. i tell you, she has something special and wonderfully perceptive about her, because she seems to possess the ability to know exactly when someone needs reached out to the most.

-croissants with raspberry cream cheese filling at kneaders

-hot chocolate

-waterproof mascara

-parents

-curling wands and hair that holds a curl

-classical piano music. “intermezzo” by brahms is unbelievably gorgeous. listen to it or play it when your emotions are running high and it will speak to you, guaranteed.

-options. when one thing doesn’t work out, there’s always another path, and there’s a reason why that initial thing didn’t go the way you wanted it to.

nighttime thoughts

tonight i’m in a writing mood. i could probably crank out a few fairly thought-provoking essays right now if so called upon. instead, since i kinda need to try to go to sleep, here’s just a summarized version of all the random thoughts floating around in my head…

1. snow is glorious. but cold. very, very cold. (duh.)

2. my electric blanket is equally glorious.

3. the christmas season is wonderful. the hard part comes during the rest of the year. i think everyone, to a certain extent, exits december with convictions to do better in the new year and carry on the christmas spirit, it’s just difficult to keep it up. i really want to succeed at keeping christmas in my heart this year, so i’m on a mission to make it happen.

4. as i’ve mentioned before, crossroads in life are dang scary. exciting, but scary. right now i feel like i’m at the edge of a cliff, looking down but unable to see what’s below me. or maybe i’m at the bottom of a mountain, looking up? is that a more positive comparison? at any rate, it’s exciting to have such amazing possibilities right in front of me, but it’s freaking me out just a tad, not gonna lie.

5. dark nail polish (not black, just dark blue or red) has become my thing over the course of this evening after i purchased some, painted my nails, and now i feel like i could conquer the world. is this similar to my lipstick sentiments?

6. i really, really, really want to move to a big city. preferably new york city. like, right now.

a little white dusting

as i drove home last night, the world was in the process of dusting cars and sidewalks and roads with an ever-so-slight bit of snow. baby snowflakes swirled faintly through the air, pushed to and fro by the wind. it wasn’t enough for snowmen yet, or scary roads, but it was enough to give the night that peaceful, soft glow that only snowfall can give.

when i woke up this morning, that slight dusting had turned into a great white blanket, thick and heavy and cozy. i stepped outside for a bit after my pancakes and hot chocolate breakfast, the snow still lightly tumbling down, landing on my black sweatshirt, a contrast against the dark fabric.

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i pretty much adore living in the world after a snowfall – hearing the muffled rumble of cars driving by, padding gently through the white stuff, enjoying the delightful crunch from stepping in and sinking just a bit, and drinking in the little details of snow, the way it rests on bushes and leaves and trees and berries and sunflowers that grew bright not so long ago.

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i love the playland the snow creates for neighborhood kids. the snow allures and invites everyone waking up and seeing it to build forts and have snowball fights and ride in bright-colored sleds pulled behind trucks. i miss the days of attempting to make igloos and enormous snowmen and staying out all day until your nose was numb and your gloves were cold and soaked. i miss the days before getting older, before snowfall became synonymous with dangerous roads and ice and difficulty getting errands done, when it meant snow angels and adventure and playing with friends until dark instead.

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 it being a saturday where not much needed to be accomplished, today was, fortunately, an exception to that particular sentiment. these lazy moments of staying inside and not worrying about going anywhere and just letting nature do its thing – i can’t quite get enough of them.

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chilly adventures

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we pull off at a wide spot in the snowy dirt road. climbing out of the truck, the below-freezing air instantly bites at my nose and ears and arms, reminding me that i really need to put winter coat-shopping on my to-do list.

huge frost-covered pine trees tower above my head. these ones are too tall for our purposes, but that doesn’t stand in our way. fine prospects beckon a little ways away above us.

we scramble up the hill, twisting and squeezing around dead bushes and frosty branches, eyes focused on the copse of green-needled trees in the distance. we arrive and glance around, taking stock of essential qualities such as height and density and fullness. when none of the trees quite measure up, we spread out and continue scouring the hillside for the perfect specimen.

i come across a few decent ones and point them out for evaluation. everyone agrees that they’re good, but just not quite right. we continue searching, hoping to stumble upon a tree that reaches out and grabs our fancy and says ‘pick me! take me home with you! i’m the one! i’ll make your living room look outstanding and smell like the holidays!’ a tree that is majestic and full and beautiful.

we’re about to settle on one of my decent trees when someone spots another little group even farther up. we hike to the spot and there it is: a tall (but not too tall), wide tree with reaching branches and bright green needles.

this is no tree you’d pick out in any home depot garden center. it hasn’t been pruned and groomed until it’s picture-perfect and could’ve been plucked out of a storybook. yes, it has its imperfections. it’s not perfectly symmetrical, or perfectly bushy, or perfectly perfect at all, but what makes it perfect is that it’s our tree. its beauty comes from its authenticity and the experience of coming upon it.

we saw down the tree, carry it down the hillside and load it into the back of the navy-blue truck. i climb into the vehicle, eager to be out of the rough chill of the air. we pull away and slowly return to civilization, our prize hanging out the back, cheerily marked by the bright-orange handkerchief tied at the very top. we’re going back to the realm of tree lots and plastic and commercialized christmas, proudly displaying the product of our morning forest search, grateful for trucks and 4-wheel drive and wilderness and family traditions that will always be remembered.

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