Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ringing in 2011

New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.    ~Mark Twain

Wow, my friends, what a year it has been! Tomorrow we say farewell to 2010 and ring in 2011. It’s been quite a year for us to say the least.

The Good: Our new house, our daughter starting kindergarten;
The Bad: My mom’s illness and the after-effects;
The Ugly: The economy, politics, celebrities behaving badly, etc.

But, I am determined to see 2011 as a glass-half-full-year- red or white, whatever you prefer - and I pray for good health and happiness in the new year. The fact that my mom is returning to teaching part-time in January already has things off to a great start! And, my brother and his wife are expecting a baby in March, so another awesome event in which to look forward!

So, dear friends, how will you ring in 2011? Any special traditions, such as clanging the pots and pans at midnight? A champagne toast? Black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day? By the way, if you’re looking to start a new tradition for New Year’s Day, consider making a batch of Hoppin’ John. Mmm, good!

We’ll be ringing in the new year at a dinner dance with friends and then spending the weekend taking down the Christmas decorations. Sad to see them go, but it’s time to clear the clutter and get ready for the New Year. As far as New Year's Resolutions, I bought a new pair of trail shoes today and have already put them to work on the treadmill. I hope to bump up my exercise regimen over the next year, eat healthier and have a more positive outlook. What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2011?

Thank you for such a wonderful year. I value your comments, insight and support that you provide every day. I may not always respond directly to each of your comments, but please know that I appreciate them so very much. It means the world to me that you read my daily ramblings and find it worthwhile to visit often.

I wish you and yours the happiest of New Year's! Talk to you in 2011!
Image courtesy of Google and recipe from Garden & Gun

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cool Post-Christmas Find

I finally took the plunge and purchased a pair of boots that all of the cool kids are wearing. No, not UGGs. But, a similar boot from L.L. Bean, the "Wicked Good Shearling Boots - Cable Knit style." The name reminds me of the Saturday Night Live skit where Rachel Dratch and Jimmy Fallon played kids from Boston who always used the term "Wicked." Not a popular slang term in these parts, but I digress.

The boots were on sale in the catalog we received yesterday. Then, when I logged on to L.L. Bean's website, they were $30 less than the catalog sale price. Plus, I had a $10 gift card. SCORE! (I must have locked into a special online deal yesterday, though, because when I went to L.L. Bean's site today, the boot was back to its original sale price. A sign that I clearly was meant to purchase these boots at the moment I did. :)

So, these warm and fuzzy numbers will hopefully arrive on my doorstep soon. Just in time for the weather to bump up to 60 degrees this weekend. But, hey, there is still plenty of winter left and I imagine these boots will be keeping me toasty-warm over the next few months.

Any post-Christmas sales that you've taken advantage of? Good deals? Share!
Image courtesy of L.L. Bean

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

My husband rocks. What did he give me for Christmas that elicited shrieks of excitement?

This vintage LP...

...which held tickets to the U2 concert in Nashville in July. My all-time favorite band. A weekend get-away with Hubby. How excited am I???

Today is Boxing Day and we'll be joining family and friends for brunch later this morning. More celebrations and time with family. Good times!

Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas!
Image courtesy of

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas One and All

The kids have been watching a variety of Christmas programs over the last several days. Everything from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" and "Elf" to "A Christmas Carol" and "The Polar Express." But, one of my favorites is "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

I was in the kitchen while they were watching this classic and I heard my favorite scene, delivered by sweet Linus. This always gets to me and it's a wonderful reminder of why we celebrate this sacred season.

Dear friends, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May your holidays be safe, happy and healthy. I'll be taking a break to enjoy this blessed season with my family. I look forward to returning in a few days and reading about how you celebrated the holidays. Thank you for your support over the last year, your thoughtful comments and words of good cheer. Each and every one of you are such a blessing to me.

Merry Christmas!
Image courtesy of ABC, via YouTube

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Last year, we started a tradition of giving the kids Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. I had heard of other people doing it - including many of my blogger friends - so we decided to pick up the practice in our home.  Christmas Eve, before we leave for Mass, the kids will again open packages featuring their new pajamas. (They certainly need new PJs - what the heck are these kids doing by getting so big?)

I'll be sporting my flannel reindeer lounge pants I got last year at Old Navy. They're comfortable and no need to buy another set of PJs for me. I'm certainly not growing like the kids - nor have I grown in other ways, thank God. :) Although, if I were to get new PJs, I'd love a pair of these Vinyard Vines lounge pants. Cute and comfy!

Another tradition we've continued this year is "Elf on a Shelf." Last year, our Elf, Jack, was a gift we received just a couple of weeks before Christmas. This year, Jack made his first appearance on Dec. 1 and each day, Hubby and I have to find a new hiding space for him.
If you're not familiar with Elf on a Shelf, he's a special elf doll who stays with your family until Christmas, and each morning he appears in a different place, watching what's going on and reporting back to Santa each night. (A friend of ours said this is a bit creepy. Yeah, kinda). The kids have to seek him out each morning; it's a fun little activity for them leading up to the holidays. Meanwhile, for parents, it's another thing to try to remember each evening, as you relocate Jack to his new place. Add the fact that last year, Mommy thought it would be a good idea to leave a little note each morning from Jack to the kids, putting more work into the process. Yeah, that was a tad bit insane on my part. But, the kids love it and so that makes it worth while. Except on those mornings when we realize we didn't move Jack from the night before, nor did we write a note, so some creative scurrying has to take place behind the scenes to continue the magical facade. Sigh.

So, dear friends, what are some Christmas traditions in your home? Cookie-making? Caroling? I would love to hear about it!
Images from Vineyard Vines and Elf on a Shelf

P.S. - Please keep my Little Guy in your prayers. He was up late last night sick to his stomach and is feeling pretty lousy. (It wasn't pretty - let's just say I was washing my hair at 10 p.m.) Fingers crossed that this is just a 24-hour bug and he's much better by Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Vacation - Good Times

Happiness is sipping one of these,

while sitting like this,

...knowing that you're on Christmas vacation for the next several days.

Later this afternoon I have to take Little Guy to the dentist, so I'm getting some rest in before that adventure. :)

How do you like to spend your mornings while on Christmas vacation?
Images courtesty of Starbucks and verypink

Monday, December 20, 2010

Glass Art

This is a blown-glass ornament I made at a local glass art studio last week.

One of the great things about where we live is that there is a thriving arts scene, both visual and performing. An art form that Hubby and I both love is art glass. When he was in college, he studied under Stephen Rolfe Powell, a renowned glass artist who creates the most amazing glass pieces and is a master teacher. He has produced many accomplished students, several of whom have gone on to teaching glass work at a number of universities around the country.

"Winking Tangy Orb" by artist and Centre college professor Stephen Rolfe Powell

We're very fortunate to have two excellent glass blowing facilities in Louisville: Glassworks and Flame Run. Both studios create and sell gorgeous works of art and there are opportunities for the public to not only watch the artists in action, but to participate during special times of the year, such as the Christmas holidays.

An artist at work at Flame Run Glass Studio

Last week, a group of us went to Flame Run for their "Blow Your Own Ornament" sessions. Each of us picked out the colors we wanted to incorporate into our ornaments, then worked with one of the artists in creating the piece. You actually blow into a device while they instruct you as to how heavy or light you should blow in forming the ornament. Obviously, it's more the artist doing the work, but it's fun to be part of the process in creating a special ornament for your tree.

Glassworks, meanwhile, hosts these events beyond just Christmas. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, you can blow your own beer mug; for Valentine's Day, a heart; for Halloween, a pumpkin; and on and on. Each studio also offers classes on glass blowing.

So, if you're ever in the area, perhaps plan a visit to one of our glass art studios. Or, if you have one in your city, be sure to stop by and watch the artists at work. It's spellbinding. And always consider glass art as a gift. Some of the pieces are very affordable, from bowls to jewelry, they make great gifts and conversation pieces.
Images courtesy of Glassworks, Flame Run Gallery and Stephen Rolfe Powell

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Goode is Good


Thought I'd start the weekend off with some eye-candy for my girlfriends: Matthew Goode. Sigh.

I happened to catch the film "Leap Year" on HBO the other night featuring Mr. Goode opposite Amy Adams. While it was very formulaic, it was a cute film. I loved the fact that it was set in Ireland and that I had actually been to many of the places featured in the film.  

I've long had crushes on several British actors, from Hugh Grant and Jude Law to Clive Owen and the latest, Mr. Goode. I have to say, the Brits can turn them out. As can Scotland, home of Gerard Butler, as well as Ireland, thank you Emerald Isle for Jonathan Rhys Meyers (and Bono). Who is your favorite actor from Across the Pond?

So, while I'm not offering a Christmas entry today, it's always good to take a diversion from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and just look at something pretty. ;)
Images courtesy of and imnotobsessed

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thinking of Jane

As many of us know, Blogland can be a very caring and supportive community. So, dear friends, I ask that you lend your thoughts and prayers to a great blogger, Jane, from My Pear Tree House. I've enjoyed her blog for a while now and she's often been one to leave a nice message on my blog as well. Jane is facing the battle of her life and I ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Jane lives in Melbourne, Australia and at this rate, she may have people praying for her from all corners of the globe. I like the thought of that.

So, this Christmas season, while we're spending time with family and friends, and spreading good cheer, take a moment to say a prayer for those who are really struggling right now.

And, Jane, just so you know, we're behind you.
Image from Epilogue

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Decor and Ice at the Door

Well, the kids are home from school yet again. This time around, ice and sleet hit the region, so the roads are pretty darn slick. The kids are watching "Curious George" while Hubby and I work on our respective laptops. Ain't technology grand?

So, while at home, I've taken some shots of random holiday items, including our tree. Please excuse the quality - these were taken with my phone.

I bought this pillow at one of the Christmas craft fairs I attended this season. I think it fits my kids well, considering the antics of late.

The other night, we stopped by our favorite Irish restaurant (where Hubby and and I first met) for some pub grub with the kids. 

This little elf was a tad to full of energy, not able to sit still and actually fell out of the booth. Friends asured me that that wasn't the first time that has happened at the pub. :)

Meanwhile, this little elf had difficulty keeping her voice at a normal level, clearly out of excitement over eating out and anticipation of the holidays. I'm pretty sure there is no button on this child to turn down the volume. It's set on full throttle. Needless to say, these kids are wired for sound heading into the holidays.

Back to holiday decor, I purchased these coasters at the same craft fair. I had them out for our holiday get-together last Saturday. I like them - kinda fun.

Finally, we have a print that was given to us by a good friend, Doreen. Doreen is great graphic designer that Hubby and I have worked on projects and her twin sister, Jeaneen, is a local artist. The sisters have collaborated on artwork for the Kentucky Derby Festival and St. James Art Fair and the posters always look amazing. Last year, Jeaneen released a Santa print that was very popular in this area. Doreen gave it to us a housewarming gift. This guy is the latest additon to our house and we are displaying him with Christmas pride!

If you're home with the kiddos for a snow/ice day, hang in there. Hopefully we'll get the free-and-clear for them to return tomorrow. Although, in our case, Miss E. only has a half-day on Friday and is then out for Christmas vacation. So, not much else to wrap-up at this point, at least for kindergarteners. And, if you don't have snow and ice, count yourself lucky as you count your days down to the holidays.

Take it easy, folks. The weekend is almost upon us.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

West Coast Preppy?

This time of year, our mailbox is overloaded with catalogs, coupon books and notices of the last-minute deals for Christmas. Often times, I end up tossing the lot into the recycling bin, but today, one of the pieces caught my attention. It was from a clothing and accessories company called johnnie-O, touting its line as "West Coast Prep." Of course the word "prep" caught my eye, so I opened the mailer and learned that it's a clothing company, specializing in sports attire, featuring its signature surfer guy and surf board icon.

Hmm. West Coast Prep. Is that possible? The company is based in L.A. and is the brainchild of John O'Donnell, a Chicago native who eventually migrated west. And, he's the brother of actor Chris O'Donnell. So, considering that I had a big crush on Chris O'Donnell in the early 90s, I decided to peruse the johnnie-O website. Hey, whatever it takes to get my attention - they had me at "Chris."

There are clothes for women, men and kids. The polos, ball caps and Susie-fit Ts have a nice look to them. Although, there are some items that are a bit too Hollywood for my taste (I'll pass on the Mac Daddy Hat, thanks).

The mailer featured a collage of photos of real customers wearing the clothes - very Vinyeard Vines. The website also features some photos of folks sporting the caps at the Derby, which is always cool in my book.

The website also includes images of celebrities wearing the clothes, both on screen and on the street, like Giada De Laurentiis, below. Again, hmm.

I think I prefer Vineyard Vines, Southern Proper or Collared Greens, but props to johnnie-O for putting a West Coast twist on the preppy clothing market.
Images courtesy of johnnie-O 

Have a Blingy Christmas and a Sparkly New Year

Going to a fancy holiday party or New Year's Eve affair in the coming weeks? How about sporting these killer heels from kate spade. Nothing like a blingy pair of shoes to top off an outfit.

Rumor has it these shoes are on sale at Bergdorf Goodman, although even on sale, they're probably still out of my price range. Oh, well. With the snow and 10 degree temperatures we've been having, I'll only be sporting boots anyway. :)
Image courtesy of kate spade facebook page

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Blast and Winning Entry

It's a snow day here, the kids are out and I'll be working from home (if I can ever login to the network - I'll be calling IT soon). We're just a few days shy of Christmas break, so hopefully they can return tomorrow and take part in all of the fun holiday activities leading up to their Christmas vacation.

I am so excited about the news I received last night. I won the PVE Design giveaway from Domestic Ease. Yea!! I have long been an admirer of Patricia's work and I was so hoping to win an opportunity for her to do a personal illustration for us. I can't wait to get more details. So many in Blogland are familiar with her work, but in case you aren't, be sure to check out her website, as well as her fabulous blog.

She's also well-known for design work she's done from J. McLaughlin and those illustrations are always fabulous.

Thanks to Domestic Ease and to you, PVE. I'm looking forward to working with you!

For those of you who have been hit by this snow storm, try to stay warm and if you don't have to be out on the roads, stay home. It's rough out there. Happy Monday, y'all!
All images from pve Design and J. McLaughlin

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Latest Rant

Sorry I’ve been MIA the last couple of days. Work and life in general have been crazy as we prepare for time off during the holidays and wrap up things before year-end.

So, I’m back and I feel like I need to end this week on my soapbox, addressing some things that have been in the news of late. (It’s a bit long, so hang in with me here if you can.)

You may be aware of the protests and outrage in England right now over college tuition increasing three times the current rate. Last night, protestors attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and Camilla, throwing eggs, shaking the car and breaking a window. The Prince and the Duchess were not hurt, but it made for a scary moment.

The, protestors also set the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square on fire. So, wrong. So very wrong.

I understand that this is a huge change for students in the U.K. (and for my blogger friends in the U.K., please don’t take offense to this). I get that. But, they’re complaining about the fact that tuition is going up to $14,000 next year after there has been a long-time cap on tuition rates (something we have not experienced here; increases are the norm). When NPR did a story about this topic the other day, a representative from the student group leading these protests said that with these increases, England will have the most expensive tuition costs in the world. Um, hello? Been to the United States lately?

Sorry, dude, but it’s the United States which has the highest tuition rates in the world. Not that this is anything to shout from the mountain tops, but at least get your facts straight. For instance, tuition at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. is $53,380; Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. is $53,660; Columbia University in New York City is $54,385; and Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., is a whopping $57,556 per year.

Even at my alma mater, the University of Kentucky - a public university where tuition is well below that of a private school - tuition is much more than the proposal in the U.K.

I had student loans to pay back after I graduated. I got a job, I worked on paying my loans and finally, I paid them off, like many other college grads do in this country. That’s just how it is. I know this is difficult to do during tough economic times, when jobs may be hard to find.

There have been protests by U.S. students at their respective colleges over tuition increases. But, it's not the practice to set fires in the street, destroy property, and place others in harm's way. We save that behavior for an NCAA championship. :)

I'm probably going to take some heat over this, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for this situation. It’s the norm here and we just suck it up and move on. Fight it all you want, but I doubt your efforts will restore a cap on costs. That's just the way it is.

Elizabeth Edwards (1949 to 2010)

As you know, Elizabeth Edwards died this week after a long battle with breast cancer. At times she was a controversial figure, in her ambition for her husband’s quest for the presidency and whether or not she knew about, and helped cover up, a scandal involving John Edwards. But, she also cherished her role as mother, was a successful lawyer and strategist. No one deserves to lose a child, have your husband cheat on you in a humiliatingly-public fashion, and then be stricken with cancer.

Now, it appears that the members of the crazy-town church, Westboro Baptist, which is known to protest military funerals, plans to show up at Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral on Saturday. Is there no shame? I just hope what happened to them at a recent military funeral in Oklahoma happens again. I bet the Devil can’t wait to get a hold of these people. Then again, it sounds like he already has.

Alright, thanks for putting up with my tirade this week. Let’s enjoy this holiday season and remember what it’s all about. My family and I have a full weekend of Christmas parties and activities. I’m looking forward to seeing friends old and new and enjoying time with my husband and kids. That’s what it’s all about.
Images and content courtesy of BBC News, New York Daily News, Tulsa World, CNN and Yahoo News

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Barbie Video Girl

Have you heard about the latest Barbie doll, Barbie Video Girl and the controversy surrounding it? Apparently the FBI has issued a cyber crime alert on the new doll.

Mattel's Barbie Video Girl has a video camera lens built into its necklace that can record up to 30 minutes of footage to be downloaded on a computer.

According to the Associated Press, "Officials warn that it could possibly be used to produce child pornography, but say they don't have any reported crimes. The FBI's Sacramento office issued a report with the warning on the doll last month...A Mattel spokeswoman says the FBI has confirmed no reported incidents of using the doll for criminal activity." Oh, Mattel, it's just a matter of time, now.

Hmm, interesting choice for a doll. I guess Barbie was getting a bit bored hanging out in the Dream House with Skipper and Ken, tooling around in her Corvette Power Wheels, so she needed a new hobby. Here she
is filming her new posse. Clearly, Ken has gone "all Justin Timberlake" on his bad self.

I can tell you ONE thing that WON'T be under our tree this Christmas.
Images from

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reaching a Hand into the Darkness

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. ~Dr. Seuss

During the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of gift-buying, party-hosting and at times, great frustration - and even hateful thoughts and words - if you get caught in a traffic jam during the holidays. (Seriously, there have been times I thought I would lose my religion trying to access the mall parking lot.)

But, the holidays are a good time to step back from ourselves and place the focus on those who are less fortunate and in need of our support.

When I was a child, there was always a line that my mom added to the end our prayers, and I now do this with my kids. “God bless the poor, the sick, the old and the lonely, and all the little children of the world.” It’s the prayer that I carry with me this holiday season and share with you, in considering charitable gifts during the holidays.
As you know, there are many worthy causes in your communities – the Salvation Army, United Way, an Angel Tree program, a local women and children’s shelter, an organization that helps recovering addicts – there are countless organizations that would appreciate your donations of time or treasure.

In addition to local charities, there are global organizations making a difference in the lives of others, such as Heifer International, Nothing But Nets, Unicef and many, many more. Do you have a fair trade gift store in your community? We have Just Creations, which features unique crafts, clothing, home goods, jewelry and many more items. Sales benefit artisans in third world countries. It's a great way to do some holiday shopping AND contribute to a good cause. 

I know that so many of you in Blogland have kind hearts and often lend a hand to those in need, all year long. Please share with us what you may be doing to make this holiday season a little brighter to those who may only live in darkness.
Images courtesy of wikipedia and Google and title is partial quote from Norman B. Rice

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

The snowy weather arrived this weekend, as did the arctic blast that we endured on the way to school and work this morning. Brrr!

Above is a photo I snapped of our street Saturday morning. When you get a blanket of snow during the Christmas season, it really gets you in the holiday spirit. We put up the tree yesterday and Hubby put lights on the bushes in front of our house. I tried to take some photos of the house with my phone this morning, but it was too dark and the pics didn't turn out well. I'll try again in the coming days.

So, dear friends, what kind of weather are you having right now? Frosty cold? Warm and balmy?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Black Swan

So, is anyone going to see the new film “Black Swan?” Doubt I’ll go, since it’s a rare evening that Hubby and I make it to a movie theatre. Although, we do love thrillers, and “Black Swan” apparently is all that and more. Perhaps a bit too dark, mind-game movie, for me. Not sure if I’m up for something that intense right now. My mindset is more lighthearted heading into the holidays; more “Elf” than “Black Swan.”

Natalie Portman at the premiere of "Black Swan"

At the recent premiere, Natalie Portman, who stars in the film, looked amazing. I had to include photos of the dress she wore, as well as that of Rachel Weisz, who is/was (Huffington Post says they’re breaking up) married to “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky. Beautiful frocks.

Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky with his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, at the premiere of "Black Swan"

A scene from the film featuringWinona Ryder's character, a one-time ballerina star who has great disdain for the new star, played by Natalie Portman.

I understand that Winona Ryder has a bit role as well, albeit quite juicy, playing a one-time prima ballerina who was cast aside for a younger version. I think it would be great to see Winona alongside Natalie, since Winona was once the “it” girl of cinema, not so long ago. Sounds like a good role for her.

Natalie Portman during the film's rehearsal.

Mila Kunas plays Natalie's understudy in the film. I read an interview with her in which she noted that she lost 20 pounds for the role, weighing in at only 95 pounds; very much like what goes on in the world of ballet. I've had friends who danced and I've always been amazed, and perhaps horrified at times, at the grueling regimen of ballet, both what dancers do physically and psychologically to themselves. Yet, when you attend a performance and see it in person, it's one of the most beautiful art forms in existence. Hard to reconcile the world of the dancers and the art itself, isn't it?

So, dear friends, what films are you hoping to see during the holiday season? Or what recent films have you seen that you would highly recommend? Or, perhaps tell us not to waste our time on?

TGIF, kids. We finally made it.
Images from The Black Swan film site, The Huffington Post and NY Times

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santa Claus is Coming to Town...

So, what’s on your Christmas wish list this year? You know those commercials that have been airing lately, featuring the Lexus wrapped with a giant red bow, waiting to surprise a lucky someone on Christmas day? Well, guess what? That won’t be happening at my house.

Soooo, let’s discuss a more reality-based Christmas wish list. (Hubby, if you’re reading, or paying any attention to my oh-so-subtle hints at home, like “Hey, I want this!” here are some things to consider.)

And, just like me, my wish list is all over the place. :)

First, I’d love a pair of rockin’ Western boots (and if I get these puppies, perhaps I’ll even break down and buy of pair of jeggings. Or, not. We’ll see.)

I love this gray flannel bag from kate spade. Super-cute.

I’ve held off from buying the last of the “Girl” series from Stieg Larsson (it’s never been available at the library or else I would have checked it out by now), so I’m hoping Hubby, I mean, Santa, finds a copy of it for my stocking.
I am loving this Branching Cables cardigan from the Sundance Catalog. Would go perfect with my boots!
These artisan hooded mittens, also from Sundance, are fun. Plus, when it gets really cold in the winter and I’m freezing at my computer (yes, it’s like that every year where I work - my hands and nose get so very cold!), I can wear these Bob Cratchit-style mittens and stay warm.
Aveda products always make a good gift.

And, of course, one cannot forget my sustenance that gets me through each day, Starbucks. It's not only a welcome gift, but because I consider coffee a food group, I would say it's a necessity.

What's on your holiday list this year? Any special goodies, clothes or gadgets?

And, so I don't sound like a complete materialistic dolt, later this week I will be posting about worthwhile charitable organizaitons and crafts that support third-world countries that should be considered this holiday season.
Images from Lucchese, kate spade, Amazon, Sundance Catalog, Aveda and Starbucks.