Our 2014 Holiday Cards

Dec 15, 2014


I was on the fence about holiday cards for a few years. It made sense to me why families with young children would send out cards (a "look how much our kids have grown!" kind of thing), but other than that it seemed a bit braggy and vain to me. 

Now, I've decided that there's a sad lack of snail mail in the world and, at least once a year, we should all do something to make up for that. I'm talking about the good kind of snail mail that you're happy to see sticking out from all the flyers and typical junk in your mailbox. That feel-good kind of mail that you're excited to rip open in the driveway before you make it back to the house. Holiday cards are just that kind of mail. 

Plus, let's be honest, it's another excuse to shop for pretty things on Minted

The only complaint I had with our holiday cards last year was the thickness of the paper. I made the mistake of ordering the cards on photo paper which instantly started to curl around the edges. This year, I went with Minted's Premium 100% Recycled Paper and loved the way they turned out! No curling edges. 

I gave their free recipient addressing a whirl as well, mostly because I just couldn't pass up that festive "Deliver To:" stamp. I simply entered the addresses into an online address book on Minted and they did the rest for me. The envelopes arrived ready to stamp and drop in the mail. Easy peasy. 

The hardest part for me was choosing a design. They're all so pretty! I finally settled on the Instant Film Holiday Postcard. As with all of their cards, there are several customization options. You can include more photos on the back or even a cute design. I chose to keep it blank so I could write a short note on the back of some of the cards. That plus the thickness of the card gave it a great postcard feel that I loved.

I'm so pleased with how they turned out, I even sat one on the mantel with our other holiday cards. Now that is braggy and vain.

*The felt garland is from Minted as well. Be forewarned, it's hard to just put one thing in your cart!

**This post is sponsored by Minted, but all opinions are my own. Links above are affiliate links, so if you click through and purchase your holiday cards, I will receive a small commission. Happy shopping! 

What I'm Reading, Vol. Thirty-Two

The Secret Life of Passwords (via The New York Times)
Several years ago, I began asking my friends and family to tell me their passwords. I had come to believe that these tiny personalized codes get a bum rap. Yes, I understand why passwords are universally despised: the strains they put on our memory, the endless demand to update them, their sheer number. I hate them, too. But there is more to passwords than their annoyance. In our authorship of them, in the fact that we construct them so we (and only we) will remember them, they take on secret lives. Many of our passwords are suffused with pathos, mischief, sometimes even poetry. Often they have rich back stories. A motivational mantra, a swipe at the boss, a hidden shrine to a lost love, an inside joke with ourselves, a defining emotional scar -- these keepsake passwords, as I cam to call them, are like tchotchkes of our inner lives. They derive from anything: Scripture, horoscopes, nicknames, lyrics, book passages. Like a tattoo on a private part of the body, they tend to be intimate, compact and expressive.

The Walking Cure: Talking to Cheryl Strayed About What Made 'Wild' Work (via Vulture)
I read Wild when it was first published, and I have been watching its ascent with surprise ever since. People love to read about outdoor extremis and debacle, but books about nature in which nothing goes terribly wrong do not normally attract millions of fans. Moreover, there is a kernal of genuine radicalism in Wild  - and radicalism, by definition, does not appeal to the mainstream. Outside of slave narratives and horror fiction, adult American literature contains very few accounts of a woman alone in the woods. Yet Wild is the story of a woman who voluntarily takes leave of society and sustains herself outdoors, without the protection of a man, or, for that matter, of mankind. It is the story of a woman who does something physically demanding day after day, of her own free will, and succeeds at it. It is the story of a working-class woman and her mind - of what Strayed thought about in the three months she spent almost entirely alone. And it is a story that ends happily in the near-total absence of that conventional prerequisite for happy endings, romantic love.

For Millennials, the End of the TV Viewing Party (via The New York Times)
The television has always been more than just an appliance. For decades, going back to the days when a single family on a block might have a color TV that the neighbors were invited in to watch, it has been a portal to a dreamscape, a status symbol, a trusted late-night companion. A decade ago, a home -- even, in many cases, a dorm room -- without a television would have seemed virtually unthinkable, like a house without a telephone. And, that, in a sense, is the point. Just as the landline went from household staple to quaint anachronism seemingly overnight during the last decade (acquiring a profoundly uncool air along the way), the television set has started to look at best like a luxury, if not an irrelevance, in the eyes of many members of the wired generation, who have moved past the "cord-cutter" stage, in which they get rid of cable, to getting rid of their TV sets entirely.

Weekend Links 12.12.14

Dec 12, 2014

Dear weekend,
Please bring lots of sleep and those last minute Christmas gifts I still need to check off my list.
Sincerely, a very sleep-deprived procrastinator

Made me laugh: What I've Learned From Blogging

Brown paper packages + vintage fabric scraps.

If you're feeling extra crafty this weekend, here are 15 holiday wreaths you can make yourself.

More power naps at work! Amen and amen.

I could go for a coloring book like this.

Love everything about this new Target collection.

Gettin' Cozy

Dec 11, 2014

Most people who know me know that I am always cold. You don't have to make ridiculous comments about "Cold hands just mean you have a warm heart." I've heard it all before and it has gotten a little old. Some people get excited about the fall and winter seasons: boots! bonfires! snow! ice skating! All I think is: cold. From October to May, I am in a constant state of chill from my feet to my nose. I'm not saying this to throw a pity party. Believe me, I've learned to live with it. It gets cold every year whether I like it or not, so unless we're going to pack our bags and move to South Miami sometime soon, I'll continue to deal with it.

I have, however, picked up a few things that make the "dealing" part a little more enjoyable. If you're a coldblooded person like me, these tips are for you:

Warm drinks. Tea, coffee, hot water; it doesn't matter. You don't even have to drink it! Just cradle that warm mug between your hands and feel the warmth sink into your bones. I have never been a coffee drinker, but I always wish I was when cold weather arrives. Over the years, though, I have discovered a few favorite stand-ins for coffee. Right now, my go-to drink is a caramel apple spice from Starbucks or hot chocolate in my new Tiny Prints mug.

Blankets, blankets, blankets. I've learned to keep blankets in almost every room in the house (except the bathroom. That would just be weird.) Not only do blankets look cute tossed over the back of an arm chair or across the foot of your bed, they are very handy to have around when you're trying to read a book or look at Instagram without shivering!

Candles. They just make a room feel warm. The cozy act of lighting a candle and then curling up with those blankets I mentioned above will warm you all over. If you haven't already, make sure you get a wooden wick candle. You get the warmth and scent of a typical candle with the added sound effects of an actual fire!

House slippers. I got a pair from Urban Outfitters a few years ago for Christmas and they always get pulled out when the weather turns cold. (They're sold out of the kind I have, but here's a cute alternative). It beats stomping around the house in shoes, but is so much cozier than just socked feet.

A big sweater. It's the modern-day house coat, but so much more stylish. An over-sized sweater is a life saver on those chilly mornings when I first roll out of bed, plus it can give you that "pulled together" look when you're in your pj's by 5pm.

These are just a few of my tips. What do you do to keep warm in the cold winter months?

A Gift Guide for Her

Dec 10, 2014

Here I am, adding to the noise and chaos, with yet another gift guide. Enjoy!

EIVOR throw // because she's always cold

Bobby pins // because she's lost all the ones you gave her last Christmas

Coalatree diamond socks // because she's always cold

The world's smallest post service // because sometimes she wants to be surprised with random gifts

Touchmate knit gloves // because she's always cold

Trouve magazine // because she appreciates good writing and beautiful images

Rainier tote // because she needs a place to carry all those old receipts and lost bobby pins

A very sincere t-shirt // because you know she doesn't mean it

Sam Edelman "Petty" boots // because she's been wanting to splurge but hasn't yet (and because she's always cold)
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