A Few of My Favorite Things: Scents

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I’m a huge fan of scents. Every summer, my sister and I hit up our favorite essential oils booth at the ren faire and create our own perfume blends. It’s a lot of fun, though it can be a little overwhelming as there are hundreds of scents.

But some of my favorite creations are:

PMS Blend: Dark Vanilla, Chocolate, and Clove

Bonfire: Dark Vanilla, Firewood, Clove, and Butterscotch

Honeywood: Egyptian Musk, Honey, Clove, and Firewood

Into the Woods: Butter Pecan, Bourbon Vanilla, Clove, and Oakmoss

There are other smells I really love that are more environmental than wearable.

Baking Bread

Bonfires

Lilacs

Wood Violets

Autumn Leaves

The air before a thunder storm.

New mown hay. (even though it makes me sneeze)

BABY!!!

I got to hold Jessica’s sweet, sweet baby on Saturday, aaaaannnnnnnddddddd I got to hold my brand new niece, Romina Rose, today! They’re both delicious. And look, she likes snuggling with her aunt already. Okay, I’m pretty sure she just liked my boobs, but whatevs. I’m cuddly.

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Be sure to check out the other blogger’s posts to see what their favorite scents are.

Jess

Gwen

 

A Few of My Favorite Things: People I Follow on Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr

Okay, so I love me some social media. It’s a nice brain break – you know, as long as I don’t get sucked into the vortex. And I’ve met some really great people on social media who’ve also turned out to be great friends. Looking especially at you, Kellie St. James.

Today we’re doing a run down of our favorite people to follow on Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Other than platforms, these are in no particular order.

We’ll start with Tumblr because it makes me happy.

ChezAmanda, Life-Is-Labyrinthine, Osytercakes, Assassinregrets, SweetRoar, and Emma Seas -They all have tons of great content – gorgeous photos, cute animals, lots of social issues plus ChezAmanda knows my X-Files and Gillian Anderson feels.

Elena Johansen and Megan Cutler  – Lots of great writing stuff with these two and other awesome content.

Mighty Viper, Jenny Trout, and Jess Jarman – Hilarity, fandoms, writing stuff social issues.

Mistress Pendragon and Journyers-Scrapbook  – Arthurian awesomeness and more.

Basic Mom – Hilarity and often NSFW or children or anyone, really.

Yarn Addiction – OMG the knitting. And the yarn.

Pinterest is where I go for visual therapy.  Some of my favorite pinners and boards – again, in no particular order.

Niamh Daly

Wendy Boffo

Deanna Pavay

Adele Zavada

Magic Forest Home Decor

Fairy Tale

Once Upon a Fairy Tale

Gypsy Wagons

My Style Pinboard

Here Be Dragons

A World of Whimsy and War

~In The Woods~

Vintage Clothing, Costumes and More

Here Be Magic

Knitting

And here are a few of my favorite people on Twitter in no particular order – as usual.

@AlexKourvo

@Jenny_Trout #GODDAMNITTROUT

@jessjarman

@Charlotte_Stein

@chez_amanda

@merlinslaugh

@fluxcapacitory

@rhyllbiest

@Tamsin_Frost

@volcat

Check out the other blogger’s lists of faves by clicking their names.

Jess

Gwen

Jessica

A Few of My Favorite Things: Holidays

If I had to pick my favorite holiday, it’s got to be Halloween. It, conveniently, happens during my favorite time of the year, too. I love making costumes and dressing up. And, of course, there’s the candy. Even more than the candy, I love roasted pumpkin seeds–and not those weird ones you can buy. Those are just all kinds of wrong.

As long as it’s not too cold, I love handing out candy and seeing the neighborhood kids in their costumes. It’s fun seeing what they come up with. My friend’s six-year old daughter, Freyja, decided that she wants to be Elton John this year. I can’t even begin to tell you how delightful I find that.

I’m kind of bummed that my kids and former daycare are too too big for trick-or-treating. But since costuming is my favorite part, here are a few of them I’ve made over the years.

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Corwin Captain Kitty and Castle

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Corwin - Blue

Corwin - Eeyore

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Killian dragon costume

cinderelly

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Killian HP mydress

Ninja Killian, Pirate Corwin and IDK

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So…what’s your favorite holiday? Click on Jessica, GwenKellie, Kris, and Paige’s names to find out theirs. I feel like Jessica might celebrate Shark Week like it’s a holiday…

A Few of My Favorite Things: Quotes

It time for another favorite things post – this month it’s quotes. I adore quotes. Seriously love them. These are just a few of my favorites that are frequently used in daily life – some for writing, some for not-writing.

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“In this parade of stupid and dumb, I am the one twirling the flaming baton.” – Loralei Gilmore The Gilmore Girls

“Can you vague that up for me?”  – Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“Not my circus. Not my monkeys.” – Polish Proverb

“Trust the story.” – Neil Gaiman

“Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn

“Don’t forget – no one else sees the world quite the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories you have to tell.” – Charles deLint

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” – Peggy O’Mara

“My hope is to leave the world a little bit better than when I got here.” – Jim Henson

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they ell us dragons can be beaten.” – G.K. Chesterton

“A lot parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves.” – Banksy

“You are the best kind of fucked up.” – Jenny Lawson

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”  – W.B. Yeats

“I am and will always be the optimist, the hoper of far flung hopes and the dreamer of improbably dreams.” – The Doctor Doctor Who

“You have no power over me.” – Sarah  Labyrinth

“He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn’t occur singularly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.” – Neil Gaiman Neverwhere

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” – Maya Angelou

“Isn’t this enough? Just this world? Just this beautiful, complex, wonderfully unfathomable, natural world? How does it so fail to hold our attention that we have to diminish it with the invention of cheap, man-made Myths and Monsters?” Tim Minchin Storm

“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edge of the print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.” – Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale

“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” Linda Wooten

“The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math.” – Unknown

What are some of your favorite quotes? Share! Also, click the names below to see what quotes the other Wednesday Random bloggers are fond of.

Jess

Jessica

Kellie

Kayleigh

Gwen

Kris

Paige

 

 

A Few of My Favorite Things: Beauty Products

It’s time for another favorite things post. And this month? Beauty products!  Okay, I admit, I’m constantly looking for the Holy Grail of mascara and hair conditioner. It’s an unending battle. Oh, and also the perfect scent. But I’ll share a few of my favorites with you.  Also, I apologize for all the wonky spacing with the pictures and stuff.

First up? Hair. I have stupid, baby fine hair that refuses grow much past my shoulders. It used to be pin straight, but once I had my second kid, I suddenly got all kinds of body and wave. Well, not in this one stubborn spot up front, but that’s what barrettes are for.

But here are my favorite hair products for fine, easily damaged hair.

The It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask gets used once a week. It helps restore elasticity and shine to my crabby, crabby hair. The Designline Olive Oil shampoo and conditioner are an every day or every other day thing depending on how often my hair needs to be washed. The It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner happens every time my hair gets washed. It does wonders to keep my hair from getting frizzy and breaking.

BP hair mask

BP olive oil

 

BP leave in

 

 

 

 

 

Next up, it’s my favorite skincare products.

Premiere face was and day lotion. It’s pricey. But holy crap, my face loves this stuff. It really helps with my rosacea and it doesn’t make my face weirdly greasy like a lot of lotions do.

BP facewash BP - PmDayComplexNormalDry2

 

BP - witch hazel

Witch Hazel. Yep. Plain old Witch Hazel. It’s the best astringent on the planet. I use it before I go to bed and when I wake up. Sometimes I use it in the middle of the day if my face feels icky. It’s also great on skin irritations, bug bites and sunburns.  And speaking of sunburns…

I avoid them at all costs, because I’m a pasty girl. I don’t tan, I just fry and then fry some more. So, I’m all about the SPF Vampire. This is what I use until they make a higher one. (Yes, I know it’s not supposed to be any more effective than 50, but whatever. I burn like a mofo, and I’ve got skin cancer on both sides of my family. I’ll take ALL the SPF, thanks!

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Nail polish! I used love wearing nail polish, but a run in with a cadaver wearing the same shade I had on, put me off it for a good twenty years or so. But thanks to my niece and Jenny Trout, I love it again. I’m particularly fond of Zoya. They’re vegan-friendly and free of five of the worst toxins like formaldehyde,  formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, and dibutyl phthalate. I have no idea what most of those are, but they sound shitty, so if I can avoid breathing them in, I’m down with that. Plus they have over 300 colors!  Here are a few of my favorites. Ki, Autumn, Edyta, Freja, Louise, Natty and Nimue.  Oh yeah, I’m also a huge fan of there base and top coats (Anchor and Armor, respectively) and Opi’s Rapid Dry Spray.

Zoya_Nail_Polish__Ki_450 ZOYA_POLISH_AUTUMN_450Zoya_Nail_Polish__Edyta_450Zoya_Nail_Polish__Freja_450Art of Beauty Zoya_Nail_Polish__Nimue_450928439.ZP_694_Louise_Bottle_ x400x400

BP OPI spray

 

Oh what else…  Makeup! That’s what!

There are a few Holy Grail items I’m still seeking. One is an eye shadow to replace my beloved Twig that Origins discontinued. It was the most perfect shade of taupe that ever existed. For now, I’ll just wander through the wastelands of Ulta and Sephora with the last of the Twig trying to find a suitable replacement.

But anyway, here are some products I love. Now, I don’t wear make up all the time. Hell, I *maybe* wear it twice a month – unless I’m at a conference. But, I like what I have to work and work well for my skin. Here are a few things I refuse to be without.

Eyeshadow primer is huge for me otherwise I wear it right off and it gets that awful creased look halfway through the day. I really like Shadow Worx by Coastal Scents. It’s super light and not the least little bit greasy.

Like practically everyone else in the world, I don’t get enough sleep. I also have allergies. A lot of allergies. So my undereye circles are pretty spectacular. For consealer, I really like Smashbox. It’s got great coverage without looking cakey. I’m not huge on foundation, but I like the Purminerals Powder Foundation. It’s lightweight, it blends easily and it doesn’t make me feel or look like I’m wearing a mask. And for mascara, I adore Benefit’s They’re Real! It’s fantastic stuff. The lovely @LilyElement and author, @AnyaBreton  Twitter timeline and the even better Nailed at Night beauty blog recommended it to me and @LilyElement sent me a sample because she’s amazing. I’m seriously in love with this mascara. If I wasn’t such a damn slacker, I would have taken a picture of how great it works. But…I am a slacker.

Coastal+Scents+Shadow+Worx+Eye+Shadow+Primer+Matte+Review consealerpur-minerals-4-in-1-powder BP - mascara

And lastly, scents. I love perfumes made from essential oils. I can’t wear commercial perfumes. There’s something wonky with my skin’s chemistry that just messes with the chemicals in commercial stuff making it smell positively foul. But I’m all good with essential oils.

Acorns and Alchemy creates some of my very favorites!  And every year, my sister and I go to the Michigan Renaissance Festival and create our own scents. Mine usually involve some combination of honey, dark vanilla, clove, oak moss, or nutmeg. But here are a few from Acorns and Alchemy that I’m fond of.

All Hallows Eve gypsy caravan

 

Okay, now that you probably know more than you ever wanted to know about my favorite beauty products, go check out the other bloggers and see what they like!

Jess

Jessica

Gwen

Paige

Jen

Kellie

Kris

A Few of My Favorite Things: Seasons

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it’s time for another installment of A Few of my Favorite Things – and this month it’s all about seasons.

One of the things I love most about Michigan is that we get to experience all four seasons. (Sometimes all in the same day.) I actually enjoy all of the seasons despite my vocal, and often incessant bitching about the bleak endlessness of winter, I don’t actually hate-hate it. I just sort of hate it after New Year’s Day. And I’m not crazy about horribly humid summer days that make you feel like you’re breathing through a straw covered by a wet paper towel. That’s not great either. But, below are my faves along with the pictures I’ve taken over the last year or so.

But, my favorite season is autumn. I love the cooler temps, and sweater weather, the changing leaves, the weird, almost painfully blue color the sky gets on those super sunny, clear days, and the way that the leaves look bright and sharp enough to cut through the sky. Or the way the sun shines through the leaves and everything just looks not quite grounded in reality. Or is that just me?

weird light1 Merlin's Place grapes oak leaves maple leave leaf moon

Second favorite season is spring. I love the smell of wet earth, and green growing things, and rain on the wind and flowers blooming – especially the lilacs – they’re my favorites –  and everything coming back to life, and crazy, vivid sunrises, and thunderstorms – oh my god, the thunderstorms. I love them so.

sunrise flowers Lilacs Angry Bird Crabby Baby Birds

Third favorite season is summer. I love being home with the kids, and spending days by the lake, and sitting in the shade and swinging in my hammock swing, and listening to the waves, and the thunderstorms – love the freaking thunderstorms. Not a fan of humidity or sweating, though.

Lake Superior Grand Marais Milkweed and Bumble

Which I guess brings us to winter. I like the quiet stillness of winter at night. I like to be snug in my house watching the snow and drinking tea – just as long as I don’t have to go outside and drive in it.

winter house

What’s you favorite? And don’t forget to check out the other Wednesday Random bloggers’ posts and see what season is their favorite.

Jess

Jessica

Gwen

Paige

Kris

 

 

A Few of My Favorite Things: Websites

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, so it’s time for another collections of our favorite things, and this time, we’re looking at websites.

I know what you’re thinking. We’re writers, surely we don’t have time to dink around on the interwebz. No…of course we don’t. But you know…if I did…these would be my favorite websites.

Hyperbole and a Half – She hasn’t updated in forever, but Allie Brosh is still one of the funniest people on the internet and even rereading her posts will reduce me to tears of laughter. Which, face it,  we all need once in a while. I need it often.

The Oatmeal – I also adore Matthew Inman. He’s hilarious and also incredibly thought provoking.

Trout Nation – Jenny Trout lists her website as “You One Stop Procrastination Shop” – that is entirely true. Like Inman’s in addition to being hilarious, it’s also thought provoking.

The Bloggess – More hilarity. Though I’m wildly behind on her blog.

Acorns and Alchemy – This is my friend’s site. She makes amazing, organic essential oil blends, scrubs, soaks, etc.

Ravelry – my go-to place for all kinds of awesome knitting patterns, advice, etc. I’m GranolaGirlKnits on there if you’re a fellow knitter.

Tumblr – my brain vacation spot.

Etsy – I hate shopping, but I love shopping on Etsy. A.) I don’t have to leave my house. B.) They have things here that are so much cooler than I ever see anywhere else.

Pinterest – This is my like my internet therapy. Jenny Trout says she can always predict my state of my mental health by looking at what I’ve pinned recently. She’s not wrong…

Amazon – Yes, I know some people think they’re the devil. And I understand the reasoning behind that, but this is the place that means I don’t have to shop in real stores. Because I loathe shopping. And real stores. And being around people I don’t know. And shopping carts with the wonky wheel. It’s bad enough that I have to grocery shop. I don’t want to do other shopping. Ever. Unless I’m at a Ren Faire. I’ll shop there all damn day. But actual stores? No.

Check out the other bloggers favorite sites by clicking on their names below.

Jess

Jessica

Kellie

Gwen

Kris

A Few of My Favorite Things: Villains

Oh, how I love villains. Love them. They’re often the most delightful and most interesting characters. I know I’m going to have a hard time limiting this list,  but I’ll try not to let it get too out of control!

In no particular order, as usual, I love…

Hades from Hercules. I absolutely adore James Woods in this role. He was hilarious. His delivery was perfect. I just  wish he’d had a song. But he does have this:  “Well, they’re just fine. You know, a little dark, a little gloomy. And, as always, hey, full of dead people. What are you gonna do?” And this: “Meg, my little flower, my little bird, my little *nut*-Meg. What exactly happened here? I thought you were gonna persuade the river guardian to join my team for the uprising and here I am sort of… river-guardian-less.”

FV - Hades

Hans Gruber from Die Hard (my second favorite Christmas movie)  I think this was my first experience with Alan Rickman, and I was in deep and abiding love with him. Hans will always be one of my favorite characters. He’s just so delightfully evil, his delivery is spot on and his dialogue is perfect. One of my favorites being, “Mr. Takagi, I could talk about industrialization and men’s fashion all day, but I’m afraid work must intrude.”

FV - Hans Gruber

And while I’m evangelizing about Alan Rickman, I give you the Sheriff of Nottingham. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is the worst movie. Just the absolute worst. But oh, how I love Rickman’s character. He’s campy, ridiculous and way over the top as illustrated here: “That’s it, then! Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas!” But I love him for it. And he was literally the ONLY good part of that movie.

FV sheriff of nottingham

Richard Wilkins, the Mayor of Sunnydale from Buffy is one of my all time, favorite villains ever. He’s a demon who’s been alive since sometime in the 1800s when he sold his soul for immortality. He’s just delightful – this squeaky clean (appearing) politician – sort of the consummate respectable Republican – who’s secretly plotting the end of the world and eating babies on the side. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the mayor.

“I’ve made certain deals to get where I am today. This demon requires his tribute, You see, that’s what separates me from other politicians, Mr. Trick…I keep my campaign promises.”

(upon eating some mystical spider) ” My god, what a feeling. The power of these creatures… It suffuses my being. I can feel the changes begin. My organs shifting, merging, making ready for the Ascension. Plus, these babies are high in fiber and what’s the fun of becoming an immortal demon if you’re not regular, am I right? “

And my all time favorite mayor quote happens after Faith says, “Thanks, Sugar Daddy.” And the mayor responds:

“Now, Faith, I don’t find that sort of thing amusing. I’m a family man. Now, let’s kill your little friend.”

That will never not delight me.

FV - The Mayor

Jareth the Goblin King from Labyrinth. Look, I know he’s from the 1980s, steals babies and tries manipulate and probably seduce teenage girls, but I love him anyway. David. Bowie. 1980s David Bowie.

” I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.”

“Everything! Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations. Isn’t that generous?”

FV - Jareth

Loki. Dear lord, Loki. How do I love him? Tim Hiddleston plays him brilliantly. In fact, I can’t even imagine him played by everyone else. THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN, UNIVERSE. NEVER.

“I am Loki of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose.”

“I am the monster parents tell their children about at night.”

“Lightning is but a flicker of light, punctuated on all sides by darkness.”

“In the end, you will always kneel.”

K.

FV - Loki

Crowley – The current King of Hell from Supernatural. He’s fairly unassuming looking, wickedly funny and intelligent, delightfully self-centered and power hungry. I adore him.

“‘Submit or die’? What are you, French”

“Location, location, location. I’m a developer. Purgatory is vast, underutilized, and Hell-adjacent, and I want it.”

“This isn’t Wall Street, this is Hell. We have integrity.”

“What on earth could you possibly need now, Viggo? I’ve given you every torture instrument known to man – short of a Neil Diamond album.”

“You’re lying to Sam like he’s your wife, which kind of makes me your mistress.”

“It may look like bean-counting to you, it may lack a certain adolescent flair, but my way… works! You think you can control Hell with chaos alone, without the support of those who are still loyal to me?! Your way will backfire. You. Will. Burn.”

FV - Crowley

So, those are just some of my favorite villains. Who are some of yours? Click the names below to see what villains the other bloggers love.

Jess

Jessica

Gwen

Kris

A Few of My Favorite Things – Superheroes

This week the Wednesday Randomness topic is favorite superheroes. Let’s see how this goes. Oh, and click on the names of the other bloggers below to see their favorite superheros.

I decided to do favorite female superheroes, because that’s what kinda mood I’m in. So, without further ado, some of my favorite superheroes – and as usual, they’re in no particular order.

SH - Princess Leia

Princess Leia has been one of my faves ever since I was a little girl. Okay, yeah, she doesn’t have any superpowers, but she’s smart, she’s brave and she fights against tyranny. That’s pretty much awesome as far as I’m concerned.

SH - Storm

Storm, aka Ororo Munroe, is one of my favorite X-Men. Her mutant ability is weather control and she’s all about fighting for peace and equality between mutants and humans. Plus she controls the weather. If I had her power, it would be spring all ready.

SH - Katniss

Katniss Everdeen – no super powers, but she’s a damn good shot and super resourceful. While Katniss isn’t always likable, she’s almost always heroic – albeit, at times, reluctantly. She doesn’t do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do (at least not in the beginning) she does the right thing to protect the people she loves. She was thrust into a position of leadership and eventually grows to accept it.

SH - Donna Noble

Donna Noble – again, no actual super powers, but she is probably my very favorite of the Doctor’s companions. Donna is awesome for a lot of reasons. One: she’s *not* there to be all swoony over the Doctor. Two: She thinks and acts independently of the Doctor. Three: She totally saved his ass at the risk of destroying her own. Four: She’s willing to sacrifice herself for those she loves. Five: She’s snarky as fuck and also a little bitchy.

SH - Buffy

Buffy Summers – the very first person I thought of when the superheroes topic came up. Buffy does have some handy powers to help her on her way – she is The Slayer, after all. So, she’s got that whole increased, strength, speed, agility and stamina going. But she’s also clever, brave, determined, sarcastic, a snappy dresser, and willing to sacrifice herself for those she loves. (I’m seeing a theme here…)  Buffy is by no means perfect. She’s got her flaws, but I adore her. She saved the world. A lot.

SH - Buffy grave

Check out the other bloggers favorite superheroes by clinking on their names.

Jess

Gwen

Kayleigh

Kris

A Few of My Favorite Things: Holiday Traditions

I love the holidays – Christmas in particular. I’ll admit, I’m not big on going to church or anything as I’m not particularly religious, but I am a fan of Christmas carols. I’ll sing them in the car or sometimes in the house. And I love spending time with my family. And my friends. I love making and giving gifts. I even like baking cookies.

Tim Minchin sums up my feelings well in this song…

Some of my favorite traditions (in no particular order) are:

1.) Visiting my fam – especially my extended family with all my cousins and aunts and uncles. If we’re all there, it’s about 70 people under one roof. Of course, that was at last count – several babies have been born since then. It’s loud and hilarious and chaotic and I love it. I usually need a nap afterward, though. 🙂  We usually do four holiday gatherings, plus getting together with friends and the writers group. It’s…busy.

2.) Baking cookies. Every year, my sister and mom come over and we bake cookies with the kids while watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Die Hard. Those are our holiday baking movies.

3.) Making gifts. It’s usually knitting, sewing, pottery or cross stitch. I freaking love making things for people. 🙂

4.) A relatively new tradition is the creep my kid out with Weeping Angel tradition. A couple years ago I made Killian a weeping angel and wrapped it up and gave it to him as a “big deal” present. Last year, I made another one, and we decorated the tree like always – with the star. Then Corwin and I replaced the star a few days later with the Weeping Angel tree topper I’d made in secret and scared Killian again. Not sure what I’m gonna do this year…

5.) Cats in the trees. It’s not Christmas without Willow and Morrighan climbing the tree. 069

6.) Putting up the tree and other decorations. These are some of my favorites.

100_2014This Christmas castle is the last thing my Grandma made me before she died, and it’s beyond special to me.

100_2035These are the stockings I’ve cross stitched for our family and they get hung in the archway between the living room and the dining room. Each one is different. I started making the stockings because when we got married, my husband told me he’d never had a stocking as a kid. So I fixed that, and it grew from there. His was the first one I made. My skills have evolved some since then. 🙂

100_2027 - Copy100_2030 - Copy

100_2032 - CopySo that’s about it for favorite traditions. What are some of yours? Click the names below to find out the other bloggers favorites!

Jess

Gwen

Kris

Kellie