It’s babies’ first Hanukkah around here this week, and I’m feeling very jolly.
First of all, it’s been a week of nonstop holiday parties, both of the family-friendly and heavy-boozing varieties. Beyond that, I (mostly) honored my vow to myself to taper off my write-aholism in the last couple weeks of the year, so that I could find time for such things as braving Whole Foods on a rainy afternoon, followed by lighting a fire in the fireplace, and making homemade matzoh ball soup and latkes for my guy. That night, the first night of Hanukkah, he held a baby in each arm while I lit the candles and my heart exploded. It’s been quite a year.
Overall, I’m celebrating the abundance in my life, and I’m so very grateful to be surrounded by so much love. I hope I did something good in a past life to deserve all of it.
Of course, a few awesome new material things around holiday time are the icing… Read more…
Last holiday season, I’d just crossed the second-trimester threshold, my pregnancy was public, and I was feeling so full of joy and promise at such a festive time of the year. (That’s us at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauaii last December — I realize it doesn’t read “holidays” per se, but it’s how we do it.)
This year, help the mama-to-be in your life celebrate such a momentous and special time. From pregnancy pampering products and services, to maternity fashion, to thoughtful ideas for the baby-on-the-way, I put together my (unscientific, but real-mom tested!) list of amazing holiday gifts for pregnant ladies. Even if—or especially if—that fab lady you’re buying for is you! Read more…
Last Thanksgiving was one for the books.
Just two days before, we’d learned I was pregnant. We figured there’d be no better time to tell our families than on a day devoted to gratitude and togetherness, and on a day when both sets of parents would be in the same room.
Because I was overall so nervous and jittery while processing the news, I didn’t want any big to-do—definitely no Thanksgiving pregnancy announcement that would be destined to go viral. I just wanted my husband to share the news unceremoniously and succinctly, so that it would be out there. I’m bad at secrets, and carrying this one for even those 60 hours felt like a burden to bear!
After a few late arrivals and a bunch of flitting around the kitchen, at last everyone was sitting down on the sofa for hors d’oeuvres at my in-laws’ house, and my husband seized the moment, blurting out: “We just want to let you all know that Alice is pregnant.” Read more…
Here in Los Angeles, we don’t have many weather-related indications that summer is turning to fall, so we have to embrace the signs wherever we can find them — so basically, in Starbucks.
For me, the special sense that fall is creeping in comes with the annual flood of lifestyle writing assignments that turn my attention to the season’s decor, food, crafts, and all the other good stuff. These stories are like pumpkin spice lattes for my laptop. They make me kind of giddy. My job doesn’t suck.
Allow me to share the joy! Following is a little roundup of some of the stories I’ve written in the last couple of weeks, in which I rounded up some of the best ideas from around the Web for Thanksgiving decorations, food, crafts, flowers, tabletop, and plenty more to buy or DIY: Read more…
For Halloween today, my son is an off-the-rack skeleton from Old Navy — but that’s whatever. My daughter is a hula girl, and her costume is the point of the story: Read more…
It really takes a village, you know? To raise a child, yes, and also to throw a successful holiday party.
Our fourth annual bash was Saturday night, and of course we spent days prepping. We did our once-annual December pilgrimage to Costco, and as is typical, it was a miserable experience involving tons of eye rolling and elbow throwing. (I swear, why do people love that place? It’s downright Dante-esque.) Read more…
Squee! I just think these mason jar snow globes are the most darling things. Shout out to Michaela Noelle Designs for the fabu project idea.
Here’s what you’ll need: mason jars, masking tape, flocking or glittery spray paint, fake snow, fake trees, hot glue, and glitter if you like (I like) Read more…
Here I reveal the secret* (*totally not a secret) that I’m really not a crafty person. Not yet, anyway. Moving into our first house has been such a great source of overall inspiration and motivation to attempt some of the amazing holiday craft projects I’ve been drooling over online. And if it ever stops being 80 degrees in Los Angeles this November, mark my words: I will get to festive crafting with gusto. I feel it coming on. (Note to self for future post: “How I Became a Mad Festive Crafter in 30 Days by Starting With Really Easy Projects I Couldn’t Mess Up for Positive Reinforcement.”)
This season, I’m starting with mason jars. Here, I bring you a trio of holiday craft ideas that seem to me fool proof. And they offer a huge impact for a small craft-store investment and a few minutes worth of time. Et voila: Read more…
I’m a really big fan of Z Gallerie. In general this is because I am a more-is-more type girl, and I’m not much for subtlety. IMO, Z Gallerie is filled with things that pull off that look really stylishly and at a price point that’s accessible enough.
The retailer’s holiday products are out and they’re getting me in the mood for entertaining. In my mind, I’m going to buy all these things and set effortlessly chic tables to welcome guests while snow falls gracefully outside the window. In reality, I will probably buy the one or two items that eventually go on sale, and shower in a mild panic 15 minutes before guest arrival time after I somehow get behind on my timeline, and there will surely be no snow here in Los Angeles. But, ahem, you get the gist.
Without further ado, here are the 5 cool holiday-ish things I want from Z Gallerie right now. Read more…
I’m not a crafty person, generally. I’m not trying to make a statement about being too busy to D.I.M. or anything. It’s more just that I’m selectively lazy, and also until now I lived in a very hodgepodge home. Our rented condo in Westwood was beautiful, but its inherent mid-century vibe combined with our hand-me-down-furniture from various eras, combined with our just-merged-two-households miscellany was just too random to motivate me to add any clever home-made holiday decor to the mix.
But! We’re homeowners as of this year — a fact we appreciate with an extremely dorky level of enthusiasm daily. And that enthusiasm (coupled with some inspiring story assignments about D.I.Y. holiday decor lately) has lit a crafty little fire under me.
And I do mean a little fire. While I loved the five jack-o-lanterns and minimal pre-fab Target decor we have out front, I felt we need a little extra je ne sais quoi — at 3 p.m. on Halloween. And I had about five minutes of attention span for it. Read more…