place holder posts,  Tis the Season

Whoosh! It’s Christmas already.

Whoosh! It's Christmas

This happens every year. I close my eyes in August and I wake up in December, buried under a pile of holiday stress. But I love the holidays so I’m blindly swimming through it with a big fat smile plastered on my harried face. Bring on the fussy decorations and cheery music. I love it all.


Especially everything pink. I think pink is my official color of Christmas this year. Remember when I thought buying a pink tree was a risky decision? Eight years later it is still my favorite thing to set up. And speaking of setting up, our usual faux Christmas tree bit the dust this year and we made the scandalous decision to buy a fresh one. Oh, it smells so good.

Us with Norman, the tree

Meanwhile I am desperately researching the pros and cons of fake vs. real so I can debate my eco-friendly friends. It’s a lively discussion.

In other news right before Thanksgiving Bug and I went out to the sticks to hang out with my family AND go to Oak Glen to get apples.

Apples in the sticks

Of course we stopped at Snowline to get mini apple cider doughnuts piping hot off the conveyer belt. We discovered them last year and now it’s tradition. They are sooooo good!

I am so sadly off my healthy-eating journey right now. I have lofty plans of working out every day and eating kale regularly but at every turn I find some meaningful treat that I cannot pass up. And have I been getting up early to work out or walk the dogs in the rain? Nope. It is a losing battle. I’m hoping come spring I somehow shed this habit.


And speaking of eating, I cooked a perfect turkey again! I brag because I used to be such mediocre cook. Yes, I’m getting better as the years go by but every time I don’t ruin Thanksgiving I feel like I should get a trophy or something.  I think next year I will stop bragging. It was nice to have family over and Payam finished the great piano bench! I will have to do a whole post on it with proper pictures that I do not have right now.woosh-its-christmas-6

You know what time it is? The annual Christmas photo time. We are so basic. But now that I’ve started this tradition it’s not like I can stop. This year my friend Clio took the pictures and they turned out great against all odds. She’s a great photographer but we had so much going against us this year.

We drove all the way to LA to take them (she lives there) and somehow took opposite directions than the ones she gave us. Neither of us knew that the park had two separate entrances so we spent about an hour trying to find each other with spotty cell coverage. It was horrible. We ran out of daylight AND we almost ran out of gas. It was highly stressful.

But Clio is a professional and she went ahead and shot us in the fuzzy after-golden-hour light and guess what? They turned out pretty good! I’m not sharing our favorite shots yet because I’m saving them for the Christmas card.


In other news November is our official anniversary month so Payam took me on this crazy adventure to Neotropolis, a Blade Runner-themed experience. It was silly but also super cool because I love surprise adventures AND I love historical buildings. The bar was located down a dark alley in the back of a pizza restaurant that used to be an old bank building. It was like walking into the future and back in time. We explored the boiler room and some secret passageways that were used as vaults for the bank and for smuggling alcohol during the prohibition. There were even bullet holes in the wall from when the police busted a speak-easy that was set up down there.


Can you see the hastily-done victory rolls in my hair? I was trying. It wasn’t properly done but I think it’s sort of is reminiscent of Rachel. Anyway, I had a great time. I love to dress up!

I shall try to get back here and write more holiday snippet stories but who am I kidding, I’ll probably see you after New Years. Which, by the way, we are NOT having a NYE party this year. I know?!! So unlike me. But I’m taking a year off to save money. I had dreams of renting a cabin instead but it looks like that isn’t going to happen either. It’s okay. Not spending money is sometimes almost as exciting as spending money.

Hope your holidays are going well!


  • Kate

    Oh you look so beautiful! That first pic of you holding the plant is bomb.

    Have a great time at Christmas and hope you can share more pics. I have a girl crush on you.

  • Kuky

    Now I must go look up fake vs real trees. I’ve never given it much thought. I just assumed more trees in the world and less plastic was a good thing. Of course there is the con of price. But for us it isn’t about any of those. We always get a real tree. It’s a tradition for us and we make lovely memories Sometimes we go to a family farm. Sometimes we go to a church tree lot. But it’s always wonderful seeing how excited the kids are as we walk among the trees drinking hot chocolate. Then we get to enjoy the fresh smell in the house.

  • Cathy

    Wow, the first couple of paragraphs could have been written by me! Pink, Christmas already!, healthy eating journey gone off the rails (that’s what January is for!) You all look beautiful, happy and having fun and that’s what the holidays are about so yay you. We opted for a fake tree this year for cost reasons but I will miss the pine scent! Also, what Maddie said. I confess to having checked for new posts this past week :) Merry Christmas!

  • Colleen

    I freaking LOVE not spending money at this time of year especially. And I freaking LOVE returning things. So awesome, the thrill of the purchase and the thrill of the return. ?

  • Anna

    I write from Switzerland, Zürich. I read your blog sometimes and it’s always a pleasure to see your ideas for Christmas decorations. I personally don’t like pink but in your house, close to window, is magical! Have a nice and maybe not stressful holiday times.
    And as we say here: guten rutsch ins neue jahr (official language of Zürich) Buon anno, in my mother tongue ;-)

  • Lynne Hood

    I’m with Maddie, please post again before Christmas. See how demanding your far, flung, worldwide fans are. I love seeing your daily updates on I.G. too. I’ve been so bad at updating recently. As soon as work picks up I slack off on social media.

    I love, love your pink, sparkly tree. If I wasn’t having to live on a budget (barn renovations are expensive and I’m seriously worried that paying for health insurance might be in the near future for U.K. citizens, since the most recent election), I’d buy one too. A wee one as the London flat has NOOO space, but it would be pink n sparkly and make me happy. Sometimes you just need to splurge!

    We have two live pines trees at the farm, about three foot high, they live in pots outside at the farm and usually one of them comes to London each Christmas season. Originally they were bought as very, wee trees from the Indian grocery shop round the corner – they sell everything. Hence no fun Christmas tree trimming for me yet. I think I will be decorating one of them on the 21st when I’m back the farm and double up as a shortest day/ pagan celebration.

    Enjoy all the Christmas merriment :)

    P.s. Anna I don’t I know if you read the comments but I’ve just returned form teaching in Zurich. I loved the city and its people, what a beautiful place you live in.

    • Anna

      Hi Lynne, I’ve read your comment only today. Yes, Zürich is fantastic, I fell in love with the city (and my husband) 14 years ago and I’m still in love with. It’s wonderful to speak 3 different languages in one day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.