Important Holiday Check List

Through all the holiday “hustle and bustle” (which may include a few unfortunate shattered ornaments) I always make sure to do a few things.

Here is my Stay Sane Holiday Check List:

☐ Put on your slipper socks – the ones with the sticky bottoms

☐ Watch Love Actually

☐ Check doorstep for holiday shipment from Crate and Barrel

☐ Smell the pine (unless you opted for a fake tree*)

☐ Indulge in a handful of fancy dark chocolate covered almonds, like Amie’s of The Healthy Apple (or, a flute of bubbly and light Prosecco**)

☐ Connect with your spirituality, wherever you find it

☐ Make a wish/say a prayer for someone special

☐ Dress up (break out the bow ties and Carrie Bradshaw red lips)

☐ Order the After-Dinner Coffee Cocktail

☐ Toss three ugly ornaments (hey, you can use that extra storage space)

☐ Reminisce about past holiday blunders and successes

☐ Pamper yourself (you only get the excuse for spa treatments so often; guys – I am talking to you, too)

☐ Cook a colorful meal, like pizza with red sauce, spinach greens and fresh mozzarella (you could always order it in, too – wink)

☐ Listen to at least one Alvin and The Chipmunks holiday song

☐ Burn a batch of cookies (there is plenty more dough)

☐ Get at least 8 hours of sleep

☐ And don’t forget to shower (the dishes can wait)

☐ Do all things with a loving touch

☐ Give as much as you can to the local food pantry

☐ Discover wire ribbon. Trust us. (Family tip.)

☐ Call your grandparents, if you are fortunate enough to have them

☐ Arrive on time with a semi-full stomach and a hostess gift (you never know what the party food is going to be like)

☐ Kiss under the mistletoe. A lot. If you don’t have anyone to kiss, give yourself a hug. You deserve it.

☐ Pay the bills (you are still responsible for your rent, even though you’ve spent it all already)

☐ Find new places in your downtown community where you can celebrate and shop (I buy #MadeInUSA whenever possible)

☐ Visit with friends and family, whether nearby or by Skype

☐ Forgive someone, even if it’s just in your head

☐ Did I mention, watch Love Actually?

*Long story short, Kevin and I decided not to brave the Christmas tree bugs this year. We will never again take scented candles for granted.

**La Marca is one of our favorite, which is also completely affordable. (Note: Bottle is best when shared.)

What is your #1 Holiday Stay Sane Tip?

iPod, AKA, Vixen Gets Fixed

Shopping makes me feel connected with personal expression, creativity, color and imagination. Even when I’m broke! I know a lot of ladies out there who agree with me on that (my husband doesn’t mind it either: talk about a match made in heaven.)

Last Sunday I was very concerned about my iPod (Vixen) as she seemed to be “feeling sick.” Now I consider myself pretty good at consoling babies when they’re cranking, or helping a friend through a crisis, but I don’t know where to begin with this tiny little electronic. She’s brilliant, really. She holds the power to make me dance, sing, feel sexy, run (almost unheard of for me), love, laugh and cry. So you can imagine how distraught I was at the thought that Vixen could be sick! I made an appointment at the Apple Store and took a windows-down road trip to Tampa with Kev.

Back to the shopping…I have been all over the place to outlets, the big apple, Boston. I have never seen anything like the International Plaza and Bay Street in Tampa, Florida. It is breathtaking, really. The mecca of my shopping experience. I am talking Kate Spade, Crate and Barrel, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Williams and Sonoma (and more). I was in heaven. I love vintage and boutique fashion, too, but there’s something very satisfying about being in a place chocked to the brim with all the brands you love, advertisements, the whole bit.

Thank goodness for Ashley at the Apple Store because it turns out Vixen just needed to be restored. She’s been working like a charm ever since.

Did I mention I was broke? That didn’t stop us from indulging in a delicious dinner and hitting up a fabu bar called The Pub. The beer selections are outrageous. They even had Old Speckled Hen Ale on tap…a fave of ours which we fell in love with at Baba Louie’s in the Berkshires. It is so smooth and creamy with hints of caramel and butterscotch. (On a side note, we’ll be eating pasta and butter for a week, ha ha.)

It was completely worth it. Although those killer heels from Bebe are still sitting on the shelf.

A girl can dream, right…