Gift Ideas: Books + Mugs

December 10th, 2014

I had the luxury of two uninterrupted hours in a bookstore yesterday, coffee in hand, holiday music playing throughout the store. Bliss! Browsing the bookstore is one of my favorite ways to relax and seek out inspiration. This trip was also for gifts since books make wonderful presents. Here are my latest favorites.*

holiday book recommendations 2014

Sarah Style, by Sarah Richardson. Everything she touches turns to gold, Sarah is flawless in her combination of color, pattern, and style. A great resource for all who seek a stylish home!

What I Know For Sure, Oprah Winfrey. An inspirational linen bound text filled with edited, revised, and condensed pearls of wisdom from the experiences and mind of one amazing entrepreneur.

The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt. Charming and cheeky, the crayons have penned letters suggesting why their owner should use them less, more, or differently. Blue and green are exhausted, and yellow and orange are in an argument over who is the better color for the sun. A children’s book you won’t tire of reading over and over again.

The Encyclopedia of Animals, David Alderton. A detailed profile of all the animals in the kingdom from big cats to reptiles, including beautiful illustrations and photographs, this is a fascinating and informative resource for both children and adults.

Smithsonian: Great Design, Philip Wilkinson. A wonderful coffee table book and resource for anyone who appreciates good design from the Ericsson telephone to the Cadillac to the Eames chair. Beautiful images paired with text that explains the history of the design and bio of the designer. 

The Body Book, by Cameron Diaz.  A lifestyle approach to nutrition, fitness, and caring for your body, it’s down to earth and motivating from a gal who walks the walk and has a beautiful physique to show for it. Surprisingly informative too.

Animal Architecture, Ingo Arndt. An up close look at the shelters, nests, shells, and habitats created by creatures in the living world. Beautiful!

The Medal of Honor: A History of Service Above and Beyond.  A history of the military’s highest honor with stories of the bravest acts of heroism, given context with the history of wars and battles of our nation.

The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, J W Ritnzler. For the Star Wars fan, this in depth tribute (and its companions for Star Wars and Return of the Jedi) are a detailed look at the making of the films, filled with rare photos, edited scripts, anecdotes, and challenges on the set. Nostalgic for all of us who grew up with these films.

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand. A World War II story of survival, this was Matt’s favorite book he read this year. The hero survives brutality and the trials of being a prisoner of war to surviving in a raft on the open ocean, starvation, and much more.

* * *

I can’t think of anything better than a good read coupled with a hot beverage on a cold winter day, I love all of these mugs! I’ll take one of each please. :)

winter mugs

mr & mrs mugs / golden swirls / black and white stripes / 2 carat diamond ring / classic plaid / monogrammed mugs / snow leopard / somecards humor / winter birds set / ceramic sketch mugs

 

What books have you discovered this year that would make a great gift?

 

*amazon affiliate links

Memory Lane: Christmas Decorating

December 9th, 2014

This year’s Christmas decorating in our home is the definition of minimalist: there is an evergreen wreath hanging indoors for the scent, a faux tree, glitter confetti strung here and there, and a few white branches, and it’s just enough. We will get our real Christmas tree when we arrive in Las Vegas for the family reunion and we’re bringing our box of treasured ornaments so we do have that to look forward to.

We’re also taking this year off from hosting our annual Christmas party which feels somewhat strange, but all those hours not spent baking or decorating has freed up time to attend local plays, go out to dinner with friends, or take long drives just to enjoy the twinkle lights and outdoor decorations around town. It’s different, quiet, and nice.

I’m in correspondence every evening as the two Elves on the Shelf that my children adore… answering questions like “Who is your favorite reindeer?” (Comet, he is the fastest) and “What is your favorite movie?” (theirs of course) and “Are you on Instagram?” (Why yes). Forming letters in an Elf’s handwriting like y and g requires multiple swirls and it’s so hard to disguise my own writing! I can’t believe they haven’t figured it out yet so I’ll treasure their belief while it lasts. :)

This year I have no house tour to share, although I’ve been enjoying so many of my fellow bloggers lovely homes this season! I was looking through some old images from Christmases past, years when I have decorated the house for the holidays and it looked so festive all dolled up. Here’s a stroll down memory lane with trees and favorite vignettes from the past, a “recycled Christmas” if you will. :) 

2011:

poinsettias on porch

 

poinsettias and wreath kitchen window

 

flocked red and white tree

 

2012:

kate holiday entry

 

branches and bowl of ornaments

 

mirrored apothecary with stockings

 

blue and white christmas tree

 

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