We went to our first holiday party this weekend and it got me quite into the holiday spirit. I also enjoyed the festively stocked bar that was full of holiday spirits so I’m moving a little slower than usual today. But sitting by the fireplace, holiday tunes playing, while looking at my twinkly Christmas tree — that’s a pretty lovely place to be recovering from seasonal celebrations! Sharing a little holiday edition of my download — with entertaining and DIY ideas, stocking stuffers, some holiday looks, and a few books I’m reading now! Holiday Things. Things are feeling festive around here over the past few weeks! In case you missed it, be sure to check out the hot cocoa bar ideas and easy Christmas cocktail recipe I shared on instagram, DIY Marshmallow snowmen to make with kids and use as cupcake toppers, and a holiday cookie grazing plate hack! And don’t forget to check out my gifts guides for some last minute shopping — see my picks for men, women, and kids (and fun holiday picks for the home!). If you’re looking for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner ideas — flip open a copy of my cookbook for the Christmas Eve chapter menu; it’s full of easy dishes that you can prep ahead so you’re spending more time with family and less time in the kitchen.

Toddler Stocking Stuffers. This is the first year I’m doing a proper stocking for Jane, and since stockings were always one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning, I’ve had a lot of fun putting it together for her. My mom always put new toothbrushes and socks in our stockings, so I’m carrying on the tradition with some Paw Patrol toothbrushes and Peppa the Pig Socks. I also put in a few practical items like Paw Patrol bandaids and  a new water cup (it looks like a mini-yeti travel mug!). And for some fun, I added in a new Peppa the Pig Astronaut book, Paw Patrol stickers, and some funny reindeer antlers to wear with her Christmas pajamas (the funny Christmas sunglasses would be cute too!)

Holiday Outfits. My annual tradition is looking at the calendar and realizing I have 3-5 holiday parties in the next week two weeks and nothing to wear to them, then panicking and heading to the store to battle crowds for an outfit I don’t really love. This year I made a pact not to repeat my mistakes, and find one outfit I loved and wear it to every.darn.party. So if you see me at a Christmas fete this month, you can bet I’m wearing a cozy embellished black sweater, some tartan dress pants (they have a hidden elastic waistband, bring on the cheese and wine!), and a new pair of black wedge heels that I can wear for 8 hours without moaning and groaning about my uncomfortable feet. It is truly a Christmas miracle. And any moment during the next few weeks that I’m not at a holiday party, you will find me living in my cozy Lake Pajamas — bliss!

I applied the same plan to Jane’s wardrobe, and made sure we had a few pieces that were cozy and comfortable since we road-trip a bit around the holidays to see family. She’s been wearing this fuzzy snowman sweatshirt on repeat and it’s very festive! For Christmas day and holiday parties, I found a washable Christmas dress with a playful nutcracker print on it (a steal from Amazon!).

Reading List. I’m so close to my goal of 30 books by the end of 2019! I read Enlightenment of Bees entirely on my flight to and from Cincinnati a few weeks ago — it was a really sweet story about a girl who thinks she has her life all figured out and suddenly everything gets turned upside down and she has to find a new path, the journey to find it takes her to some unexpected places around the world. I’m almost done with Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls, and while I can’t speak to the ending yet, I’m definitely wrapped up her glamorous cast of characters. I love how each of her books are so different from one another. I’m eager to wrap it up though because I have a few books on my list I want to get to before the end of the year — Meg and Jo, a modern adaptation of Little Women, a cozy little winter romance in We Met in December, and my sister lent me City Bakers Guide to Country Living and said it was a very cute read. I need to block some reading time to tackle this stack!