Our tree topper is… what?! Blogmas day 4

December 9, 2017

Christmas season in our new little home is cozy, warm, and very special. We always have the twinkley lights on, and as I mentioned in a  previous post, this is the first year that I’ve had a real Christmas tree! Starting our “together life” meant starting a brand new Christmas ornament collection for our tree.

I didn’t like the idea of going to Target or some other store and just buying ornaments in bulk, because in my family, we tend to just get a few ornaments each year. Getting a few special ornaments rather than 40 similar ones that come in a box will always feel more magical to me. In my book it was totally fine to have a pretty bare tree this year, knowing that next year we would fill it some more. To my surprise, I learned that Dylan’s mom had collected special ornaments for Dylan each year and she very kindly gifted them to us.

So, I’m going to keep this post short and take you on a journey through our Christmas tree. These are not all of the ornaments but they’re a few of my favorite ones. Oh, and what (or shall I say WHO) is at the top of our tree? Scroll down and find out for yourself!


1988 – Dylan got this on his first Christmas, how stinking cute is that?

Dylan’s grandma bought him this ninja turtle ornament and it’s so vintage and cute, it’s kind of up there with my favorites.

Ahhh – the christmas pickle. A quasi-tradition that every household needs!

Hello Mr. Twinkley Light Snowman <3

I loooove this wooden star, so intricate and pretty!

I’m all for a change in texture when it comes to decorating, and these mittens are so cute and soft!

Gorgeous glass ornament that was hand-painted on the inside.

The three wise men, made of what I’m assuming is polymer clay. They’re so sweet, look at their little faces!!!

Last, but quite definitely the star of the show. Our tree-topper, our Doctor Who – Peter Capaldi! (p.s. We’re such big nerds when it comes to Doctor Who, and we love Capaldi. It’s fair to say that we love Tennant a tiny bit more but Capaldi is a very close runner-up!)

Christmas mental health

Lonely for the winter holidays? Read this. Blogmas day 2

December 5, 2017

lonely for the holidays

Before I say anything else, I want you to know that I feel you. I’ve been where you are before, and I know how excruciatingly hard it can be to navigate the world alone and lonely during the holidays. The media is filled with ads of happy families spending small fortunes on gifts in sparkly boxes, and opening them together by the fireplace. Scrolling through social media can also be tough, as people love to highlight idyllic moments (it’s in our nature), and build up the magic of the holidays. If there’s anything that can make you feel extra lonely, is this built up image of the perfect family during the holidays.

When I moved to the USA from Macedonia to attend University, I was aware that my parents couldn’t afford to buy me plane tickets to go home for EVERY school break. As understanding as I was, spending any holiday alone was always very tough. Personally, I was fortunate enough to stumble across an incredible local community that took me and all other international students in for the holidays. These are some of my warmest memories from college, gathering around a 20+ person thanksgiving table with friends and strangers alike, and feeling a sense of belonging.

If you’re alone this winter, here are some things you could do:

  1. Check out local community centers, churches, or universities. When I lived in London I worked at a Charity Organization called The Passage, and they hosted a beautiful Christmas dinner for so many people that had nowhere to go. I got to meet some incredible people there, that I’m still friends with to this day.
  2. Actually have a friend that’s nearby? Ask to tag along with them during the holidays, I doubt they’d say no and you’d be exposed to some fun new traditions. I’ve been lucky to have some incredible friends whose families have become my families along the way.
  3. Plan a day out. If you’re at a university, reach out to some other people staying behind and ask them if they want to come see a movie with you. If not, take yourself out to the cinema. Popcorn, candy, soda – the whole deal. You deserve a day of fun!
  4. You know that extra long book you’ve been eyeing but never have the time to get into? Pick it up and get lost in it. Books not your thing? Spend hours playing a video game, making art, or *insert your favorite hobby here*.
  5. Volunteer. I know this kind of seems counterintuitive, but volunteering is an incredible way to give back to your community. Volunteering will keep you so busy and distracted, that you won’t even have time to feel lonely. Plus, you might score a free meal, and you’ll meet some lovely and kind people along the way.
  6. Head out to a bar / pub. Whether you people-watch and or make friends with other lonely people, you’ll get to enjoy a pint along the way.
  7. Count your blessings. You might be feeling lonely, but this season will soon be over, and I’m sure you have some things to be grateful for. A roof over your head? Friends? Food? Always stay grateful.

If you’re reading this and you are NOT alone for the holidays, please reach out to anyone who you think might be, and invite them over for some family festivities. Everyone can use a family this winter, even if it’s not their own.



Christmas traditions, old and new – Blogmas day 1

December 4, 2017

Hello lovely friends,

I am so happy to announce that I will be doing 12 days of blogmas! What this means, essentially – is that you will get twelve posts from me this month (which is 11 more than usual, amirite?). Not all posts will be thematically festive, but I promise you that I’ve got some good content heading your way, so make sure to sign up for emails if you want to stay on top of everything!

Now that that’s out of the way, let me get my ecstatic excitement out and say – IT’S DECEMBER WHICH IN MY BOOK IS BASICALLY A WHOLE MONTH OF CHRISTMAS! While I can appreciate the root of Christmas being a religious holiday, I myself, am not religious and for me, Christmas is a season of friends, family, charity, and finding ways to stay cozy. As some of you may know, this was the year that I tore my life from its roots and moved to the USA to get married. Dylan and I are so happy together, and now that we have our own little family, and our own home, it has been so fun merging Christmas traditions. Here are some of my favorites!

Advent Calendars 

When I was little, my family and I weren’t extremely well off with money, but one thing I remember is that we always got advent calendars and they were always the BIGGEST treat. To this day, one of my favorite parts of December is waking up, searching for the door number on my advent calendar, and popping a yummy little piece of chocolate into my mouth. I then, of course, go on to wash up, brush my teeth, and have my coffee. This is a sweet little tradition that I intend to keep forever.

P.S. I think beauty advents are gorgeous, but they’ll never feel as festive as the classic little chocolate advents!

Christmas tree

In my opinion, a Christmas tree is a must in our home. I can’t remember a year where we didn’t decorate a tree with my parents (except for these last few ones, because they now have a doggy and no kids in the house). In Macedonia we always had a fake Christmas tree that we would pull of storage every December, and go on to decorate with as many bobbles as we could fit on it. A new tradition that Dylan insisted on, was getting a REAL Christmas tree! This is my first real live Christmas tree, and aside from the pine needles everywhere, I actually like it! The smell of pine has filled our home in the best way possible and for that, I am grateful.


Christmas ornaments

Our Christmas ornaments at home rarely have any hidden meaning behind them, we just kind of got them as the years passed. Dylan’s mom on the other hand, gifted all of her kids a special ornament every year. She was kind enough to bring over all of Dylan’s ornaments, and they’ve made our tree extra homely. While some of them are really beautiful, intricate, and hand-painted glass, some of them are just plain cute. My favorite is a little sheep that Dylan got on his first birthday, as well as the gingerbread man that he got in 1993 (aka the year I was born, aka the best year ever)! We plan on keeping up with this tradition in the future.


Stockings and presents

In my home, Christmas stockings were purely for decoration, and we give each other presents on New Years instead of Christmas (in Macedonia we celebrate Christmas on January 7th, Christian Orthodox). This year we have two stockings on the wall that are actually getting filled with treats, as well as a tree FULL of Christmas presents underneath. In my family, only the kids get presents – but in Dylan’s family, everybody does! I love this tradition, as I love buying gifts for other people. I’m very excited to gift them on Christmas day!




And last but not least…

You can’t have Christmas without Terry’s Chocolate oranges (both mine and Dylan’s fav!).


What are some of your favorite winter holiday traditions? I’d love to read all about them in the comments below!