What’s Up Wednesday: December Edition

WUWYou guys, I’m so excited because I’m finally at my computer for a WUW!  The last two months I haven’t been near a computer (yea!) during WUW weeks.

So without further ado, I’ll be answering the following questions.  Questions

What I’m eating this week…

Oh my goodness!  I’ve been eating all the treats!  My birthday was on the 14th, so I’ve been eating sweets to celebrate. 🙂

I made some Christmas Crunch, which is a childhood recipe from my BFF’s mom (and promptly forgot to take a picture before it was gone).

Christmas Crunch:
3 Cups of Cap’n Crunch cereal
2 Cups of unsalted peanuts
2 Cups of Pretzel sticks (broken in half)
1 Pkg. of Almond Bark or White Chocolate
Red Hots are optional (Mama J added this to the recipe)
Mix dry ingredients.  Melt Almond Bark & pour over dry ingredients & mix well.  Spoon onto wax paper & let set until hard.  If you choose to add Red Hots, sprinkle them on top while the mixture is still wet.

What I’m reminiscing about…

Our work Holiday party was last week & the theme was Ugly Sweater.  I’m so proud of mine!  I made it from a plain, black sweatshirt, although I did not win the contest.  Y’all, I learned how to sew buttons; it lit up too!Ugly Sweater

What I’m loving…

I’m loving this season of Vanderpump Rules…it’s so bad, but so good!  VPR

What I’ve been up to…

I have been so busy this holiday season that I don’t feel like I’ve really gotten to enjoy it.  I’ve been extremely busy working, babysitting, traveling to & from my cousin’s wedding & associated events, birthday festivities, etc.  Here, there, & everywhere!

What I’m dreading…

I’m dreading taking down my Christmas decorations, but mostly because I’m lazy.

What I’m watching & reading…

I’m watching all Hallmark all the time, plus a little Bravo here & there.  Hallmark

I’m currently reading The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan, so far so good.  You know I love my romance novels!The Hot SHot

What I’m listening to…

I’m listening to a mixture of Christmas music, checkout my playlists.

Holly Jolly Holiday

Merry & Bright

Christmas Vacation

Bells Are Ringing

Snow Globe Season

Fa La La La-lidays

Warm & Cozy

Under the Mistletoe

Also, I’m obsessed with all the Crooked Media podcasts!

What I’m wearing…

I just ordered these super cute, super soft sweaters.  I love them!

What I’m doing this weekend…

This weekend I’m driving to my mom’s house for the holidays.  Georgetown or bust!

What I’m looking forward to next month…

Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to making my New Year’s Resolution & sticking to it.  I’m hoping to finally kick my Dr Pepper habit.

What else is new…

Not much else is going on.

Playlist: Under the Mistletoe

This is the final playlist of the Holiday season…tear.  You may recognize some of the songs as repeats, which I tried really hard to avoid, but these are different versions.  christmas-6

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Listen here: Under the Mistletoe

The Only Gift – *NSYNC

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love

Snow – Seth MacFarlane

White Christmas – The Drifters

Run Run Rudolph – Kelly Clarkson

Mistletoe & Wine – Cliff Richard

Let It Be Christmas – Alan Jackson

Happy Holiday – She & Him

Jingle Bells – Alvin & The Chipmunks

(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays – Perry Como

Caroling, Caroling – Nat King Cole

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Jackson 5

Frosty the Snowman – The Ronettes

Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

Carol Of The Bells – US Air Force Band & Singing Sergeants

Santa Claus Got Stuck (In My Chimney) – Ella Fitzgerald

Please Come Home For Christmas – Eagles

We Need A Little Christmas – Angela Lansbury

What Christmas Means To Me – Stevie Wonder

Silent Night, Holy Night – Julie Andrews

Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Let’s Start the New Year Right – Bing Crosby

I hope y’all enjoyed these playlists as much as I have.  Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy lives to check out my blog each week!

Have a safe & happy New Year.

Kiss Hug,

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It’s the Most Wonderful time of the Year!

It’s finally here…my long awaited, often promised post about Christmas decor!  I have a few hard & fast rules that I try to abide.  I’m most specific about wrapped presents, but we’ll get to that later.

Here are some tips & tricks that guide my decorating:

  1. I think it’s super cool, but expensive, to replace all your normal decor with holiday decor.  But, if you can afford it -go for it!  However, if you’re like me & on a budget – just replace a few key components with festive holiday gear.  I’m also a fan of homemade decor if you’re crafty.
  2. Find your one symbolic holiday item & go nuts!  I have a few: snowflakes, moose/reindeer/antlers, Christmas trees, & gingerbread everything.
  3. I’m a really big fan of being extra generous in any way I can this time of year.  I really try to pruchase locally made gifts or to make something myself.  I also really like to buy gifts from charities or that give back to charity, or both when you can find it!
  4. Okay, my biggest pet peeve – wrapped gifts!  Unless it’s alcohol or a super unusual shape, do NOT put the gift in a bag.  Your wrapped gifts should have crisp edges with a handmade bow (no store bought bows in my house).  If you can’t figure out how to make a bow – Google it – by a roll of pompoms & simply wrap it around the gift a few times.  Yarn is also a super inexpensive & charming alternative to a store bought bow.  Super festive, cute, & easy!
  5. I love outdoor lights, but struggle to put them up myself…shortness & laziness are big factors.  Just make sure the lights are straight.  No inflatables in the yard, please!
  6. One of my weird Casey-isms is that I am very strict about acceptable colors during the season.  Green, red, white, silver, & gold are the only colors I allow.  Very traditional.  Also anything plaid doesn’t hurt my feelings. 🙂
  7. Last but not least, all decorating should be done while listening to Christmas music or having a Hallmark movie on the TV.

Here are some pictures of my house.

The stocking in my chair is from my childhood.  Mama J tried to get rid of it when I went off to college; it was quickly saved from a certain purgatory, & now I put it out at my home even though I don’t have a fireplace.  We have another fun tradition in my family…my birthday is on December 14th, so for my birthday every year I get a Christmas ornament for my tree. 🙂  This year was a copper mama moose with her silver baby; my mom got it at The Escape in Georgetown.

This year Mama J & I will be heading to my Dad’s side of the family for Christmas Day lunch.  Then on Monday, we’ll head over to my mom’s side of the family for Christmas brunch.  Our gift exchange theme this year is “something recommended to you.”

What about y’all?  Do you have anything fun planned?

Next week will be the last Holiday playlist of the year…whah, whah.

Kiss Hug,

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Playlist: Warm & Cozy

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For this next playlist, I want you to imagine that you are on a winter vacation.  It’s cold & snowing outside, so you decide to stay in.  Warm, & snuggled in by the fire.  Perhaps you’re sipping on mulled wine or hot chocolate, whatever your pleasure.  Then you click on this playlist.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll also be reading a book or doing a jigsaw puzzle.

Christmas Makes Me Cry – Kacey musgraves

Moonlight In Vermont – Seth MacFarlane

2000 Miles – Pretenders

Petit Papa Noel – Josh Groban

Trains And Winter Rains – Enya

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard

Old Time Christmas – Randy Travis

You’re All I Want For Christmas – Caro Emerald & Brook Benton

Never Do a Tango With an Eskimo – Alma Cogan

Hard Candy Christmas – Cyndi Lauper

25th December – Everything But The Girl

Father Christmas – The Kinks

When A Child Is Born – Johnny Mathis

Honky Tonk Christmas – Alan Jackson

Ding Dong! Merrily on High – Choir of Clare College, Cambridge

Dear Mister Santa Claus – Hank Jones

Wish You a Merry Christmas – Kim Weston

Merry Christmas (Wherever You Are) – George Strait

Poppa Santa Claus – Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters

Ole Santa – Dinah Washington

Christmas Here With You – Four Tops & Aretha Franklin

Next week will be the last Christmas playlist; I’ll post it earlier than the norm so you can it enjoy all week long before NYE.

Wishing you peace, joy, and all the best the holiday has to offer.
May this incredible time of giving and spending time with family bring you joy that lasts throughout the year.

Kiss Hug,

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Playlist: Fa La La La-lidays

Y’all this week has been so busy, but in the best way!  Tuesday, I played BINGO at my local Whole Foods with my friend Brigitte.  The BINGO is free, but you have to pay for any food or booze.  img_4017

Wednesday was my birthday – the big 33; I met Mama J half-way between Georgetown (where she lives) & The Woodlands (where I live), in a cute little town called Brenham.  That’s where Bluebell Ice Cream is made!  They have a super cute historic downtown square with cafes, shops, & the works.  We had lunch at a cafe called the Funky Art Cafe.  I had a very funky club sandwich – it had grated cheddar cheese, y’all.  Tell me how this makes sense?!?!  On my way back home, I stopped in Chappell Hill at a store called True Blue Home – I love this store so much & one of my favorite designers, Holly Mathis, helped setup this shop.

Once back in The Woodlands, I had dinner with my sweet friends Amy & Maureen – they spoiled me majorly!  We went to a local staple – Republic Grille.  I had an awesome meal of  chicken with goat cheese & sun dried tomatoes with a  lemon cream sauce.   Good company, good food, & good wine!img_4028

As per usual, I dug into the mashed potatoes before taking a picture.  It was so, so good – I couldn’t wait!

Yesterday (Thursday), we had our work holiday party at Texas de Brazil in City Centre.  The Cabernet was awesome!!!  However, I cannot eat this way easily.  This is the type of place where you get your sides form a buffet, & they bring meat to you & cut your piece table side.  The food is fantastic, but it is so rushed.  I can’t eat like that.  I take my time, & graze more often than not.  Never the less, the party was fun – Ugly Sweater is always an easy theme.  The after party, at Yard House, was more casual.  I tried my first Snake Bite – so delicious!  Guinness & Angry Orchard Cider! IMG_4033.JPG

This weekend I’ll be babysitting, house, sitting, & dog sitting – with a couple brunches thrown into the mix. 🙂

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Anyways – on to the real reason you’re reading this blog post, my 6th playlist of the season!  Listen here: Fa La La La-lidays

Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen

Deck the Halls Boogie! – Asleep At The Wheel

White Winter Hymnal – Kina Grannis

It Must Be Christmas – Chris Young

I Never Knew The Meaning Of Christmas – *NSYNC

Present Without A Bow – Kacey Musgraves & Leon Bridges

The Holly and the Ivy – Little Elves Choir

Feels Like Christmas – Straight No Chaser with Jana Kramer

Song for a Winter’s Night – Sarah McLachlan

Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea

Lonely This Christmas – Mud

At Christmas – Kylie Minogue

Deck The Halls – R.E.M.

I Only Want You for Christmas – Alan Jackson

The Secret of Christmas – Ella Fitzgerald

Step Into Christmas – Elton John

Past Three O’Clock – Steve Wariner

I Wanna Kiss You So – Girls Aloud

Little Christmas Tree – Michael Jackson

Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – Alvin & The Chipmunks

I hope you all have a marvelous weekend!

Kiss Hug,

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Playlist: Snow Globe Season

Okay y’all, I’m sure you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the fifth installment of one of my Christmas Playlists. 😉

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Without further ado…

You can listen here: Snow Globe Season

Miracles – Coldplay

Merry Christmas Darling – Christina Perri

Must Be Christmas – Band of Merrymakers

It’s Christmas Time Again – Backstreet Boys

All My Christmases – Jillian Edwards

Mistletoe – Justin Bieber

A New York Christmas – Rob Thomas

Ribbons and Bows – Kacey Musgraves

Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens

Come Thou Fount – Penny and Sparrow

Man With The Bag – Jessie J

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Dan + Shay

Under the Weather – Chris Young

I Like A Sleighride – Peggy Lee

Merry Texas Christmas Y’all – Asleep At The Wheel

Under My Tree – *NSYNC

Huron Carol – Sarah McLachlan

Mele Kalikimaka – Jake Owen

Warm In December – Seth MacFarlane

Cool Yule – Bette Midler

I hope you all enjoy listening to these lists as much as I enjoy making them.

Kiss Hug,

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Playlist: Bells Are Ringing

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Okay y’all, now that Thanksgiving is officially over…most people consider December 1st the official day you may start listening to Christmas music.  As you know, I listen on July 25th (Christmas in July) & November 1st is my official start date for the Christmas season.

This is the 4th playlist in our lineup for the festive holiday season.  I hope you enjoy!

Listen Here: Bells Are Ringing

Jingle Bells – Jimmy Buffett

Oh Santa! – Mariah Carey

Fairytale of New York – Bob Schneider

Winter Dreams – Kelly Clarkson

Merry Christmas, Here’s to Many More – Reliant K

When Christmas Comes to Town – Polar Express

Christmas Don’t Be Late – Kacey Musgraves

A Marshmallow World – She & Him

Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys

Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen

Hoping For Snow – The Vamps

Wonderful Christmastime – The Shins

Winter Things – Ariana Grande

Frosty the Snowman – The Ronettes

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – *NSYNC

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Pentatonix

Happy Holidays – Megan Trainor

Cuddle Up – Catey Shaw

A Mad Russian’s Christmas – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – Christina Perri

Let me know in the comments if you have any specific requests.

Kiss Hug,

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Playlist: Christmas Vacation

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all are enjoying time with your loved ones & remembered to wear your stretchy pants.  Thanksgiving is all about family, green bean casserole, mulled wine, & games!  This year our Thanksgiving is a little smaller as one cousin now lives in Hawaii with her husband, & one of my other cousins is in Phoenix this year with his wife & 3 kiddos.

So, I waited as long as I could, but I have to confess that I did put up Christmas decorations.  I like to rationalize that I did it the week of Thanksgiving because I was off from work & I went out of town on Wednesday.  The truth is that I got a new tree this year from QVC that has over 60 light settings & I wanted to play with them.  🙂

Anyways, this is the third week of Christmas playlists & I hope you all are enjoying them as much as I am.

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Listen here: Christmas Vacation

Christmas In The Sand – Colbie Caillat

Candy Cane Christmas – Darius Rucker

Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Dave Barnes

Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) – Elvis Presley & LeAnn Rimes

We Need A Little Christmas – Glee Cast

Merry Christmas Strait to You – George Strait

Drummer Boy – Justin Bieber & Busta Rhymes

Christmas Island – Kristin Chenoweth

Silver Bells – Lady Antebellum

Do You Hear What I Hear – Martina McBride

You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch – Nashville Cast

My Favorite Things – The Supremes

Christmas Wish – She & Him

Holiday Made For Two – Dave Barnes

Merry Christmas, Baby – The Beach Boys

Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song) – Meiko

Christmastime In Tinseltown – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

The Happy Elf – Harry Connick Jr.

Christmas Coming Home – Lennon & Maisy

Peace – Norah Jones

The First Noel – Weezer

I hope you enjoy this time with your friends & family, & get some great Black Friday deals!

Kiss Hug,

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Playlist: Merry & Bright

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Y’all, I am am so excited merry & bright!  See what I did there?  Last weekend I went to the annual Nutcracker Market in Houston.  It is utter chaos with women shopping like mad & their men tailgating out in the parking lot until they’re needed to do the heavy lifting.  It’s a genius plan if you think about it.  This year I went on the last day, instead of the first day, & was so excited because some booths were making deals.  I’m always on the hunt for a reasonably priced Christmas tree skirt & this year I found the perfect red tartan plaid skirt at a booth called The Royal Standard.  It was 50% off, so of course I had to take a second look to determine if it was worth the discounted price – definitely worthy the $20 I paid!

Between the Nutcracker Market & the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies (cannot. stop. watching.), I am having such a hard time restraining myself from decorating for the holiday.  I settle for creating holiday inspired playlists instead, so without further ado – I present to you the second playlist of the season.

Listen here: Merry & Bright

All My Bells Are Ringing – Lenka

Christmas Lights – Coldplay

Santa Baby – Colbie Caillat

All I Want IS You (This Christmas) – *NSYNC

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – George Strait

Grown-Up Christmas List – Amy Grant

Christmas Tonight – Dave Barnes with Hillary Scott

O Come O Come Emmanuel – The Civil Wars

Please Come Home for Christmas (Bells Will Be Ringing) – Kelly Clarkson

Sleigh Ride – Air Supply

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Darius Rucker

What Child Is This – Martina McBride

Blue Christmas – Lady ANtebellum

The Christmas Waltz – She & Him

Somewhere in My Memory – John Williams

Ave Maria – Rachael Lampa

The Christmas Song – Sheryl Crow

Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses

Winter Song – Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson

All Alone on Christmas – Darlene Love

Auld Lang Syne – James Taylor

I hope you enjoy this playlist as much as I do.

Kiss Hug,

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Playlist: Holly Jolly Holiday

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You guys, I’m obsessed with this time of year.  I love it!  The weather turns cooler, I get to wear boots with the fur (not really, but kinda), people get nicer, at least before the election results…I could go on & on.  Did I mention scarves?

I made this playlist back a few years ago & it remains at the top of my rotation.  I actually made CDs of this playlist for family & friends’ gifts.  So, here is a gift for your ears from me to you.  Enjoy!

Listen here: Holly Jolly Holiday

Carol of the Bells – Deana Carter

Last Christmas – Wham!

O Holy Night – Martina McBride

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Carly Simon

Silent Night – Nashville Cast

Jingle Bell Rock – Billy Gilman

Winter Wonderland – Connie Francis

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Jewel

Go Tell It on the Mountain – Big Daddy Weave

River – Sarah McLachlan

Little Town – Amy Grant

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Michael Buble

A Holly Jolly Christmas – Alan Jackson

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Glee Cast

What Christmas Means to Me – Hanson

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – She & Him

All I Want for Christmas Is You – Lady Antebellum

Warm & Fuzzy – Billy Gilman

White Christmas – Sheryl Crow

Only Thing I Ever Get for Christmas – Justin Bieber

Christmas Time Is Here – Diana Krall

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve – Idina Menzel

Kiss Me at Midnight – *NSYNC

Hope you enjoy this playlist.  I’ll post another next week. 🙂

Kiss Hug,

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