proctor mountain

christmas-time checklist

I am one of many, many Detwilers. My family has always “traveled well,” and it takes a lot to keep us apart during the holidays. There’s a chance that we’ll have a total of 36 aunts, uncles, cousins, baby cousins, in-laws, friends, and significant others around during the holidays this year. I love my family more than anything, and I can’t wait to see them, but preparation for a busy holiday season is a must. Whether you’re one of 36 or one of four, here are my tips for making the most of the holidays and keeping your cool.

1. a christmas tree: search for one yourself, browse the Christmas tree lot, or go the environmental route and use a faux tree. The sight of a decked out christmas tree literally brings tears to my eyes. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 ft. or 12 — make the effort, and warm your home with a tree.

the view from our christmas tree trek

the view from our christmas tree trek

trimming the tree

trimming the tree

finished product

finished product

my mom's signature giant tree

my mom’s signature giant tree

2. the christmas song: whether it’s the best Pandora station ever (I recommend Mariah Carey Christmas or using any of the below songs) or a hand-selected playlist, set the mood with an easy music go to. Some of my all-time favorites are:

  • “All I Want for Christmas is You” – Mariah Carey
  • “The Christmas Song” – Dave Matthews Band
  • “Santa Baby” – Marilyn Monroe
  • “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” – Michael Bublé
  • “Mistletoe” – Colbie Caillet
  • “So This is Christmas” – John Lennon
  • “Mary and Joseph” – Dave Barnes

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3. an ugly sweater: whether it’s from the local thrift shop, a Target purchase (like mine), or a borderline inappropriate Christmas onesie (another item I’m proud to own), get in the holiday spirit and get over yourself…just wear one. Make an occasion to wear one if you don’t have one. Everyone has more fun in a stupid hat or outfit — it’s science.

an awesome Target sweater that I fully plan on wearing

an awesome Target sweater that I fully plan on wearing

inappropriate JCREW onesie (complete with a butt flap) made classier with a blazer...and antlers

inappropriate JCREW onesie (complete with a butt flap) made classier with a blazer…and antlers

4. whiskey, wine and bubbly: however you choose to wet your whistle, make sure it’s readily available. invest in a couple decent bottles of wine or prosecco as a host/hostess gift, and be prepared for when the party lands back at your place.

one of my favorite reasonable bottles

one of my favorite reasonable bottles

add pomegranate arils to your prosecco for a pop of color and refreshing flavor

add pomegranate arils to your prosecco for a pop of color and refreshing flavor

5. me time: although you’ll surely have a packed social calendar, sometimes the best thing to do is to do your own thing. Take a nap, go for a walk, or spend some one on one time with your significant other. It will rejuvenate you and make the next time your see your friends and family that much better.

walks with the pups feed the soul

walks with the pups feed the soul

6. reservations and caterers: no. more. dishes. Holidays are all about home cooking, but be realistic sometimes. Be sure to download Venmo to avoid those awkward splitting the check moments and be sure to tip your server well. if all else fails, put out a contribution jar (bonus points if it’s pretty). we’re all in this together, and we’re all broke after christmas shopping. act accordingly.

catering from the haven will come to the rescue on the 26th

catering from the haven will come to the rescue on the 26th

7. go-to recipes: that being said, there’s nothing like being at home with your tree and a fire in the fire place. I suggest easy, cozy recipes like tortilla soup (remember, you can freeze the broth and add chicken the night-of), dry ribs, and fondue (stay tuned for my mom’s incredible recipe).

fondue for four post coming soon

fondue for four post coming soon

8. a workout class: more “me” time and license to have another glass (or three) and another handful of that homemade chex mix — just go! I plan to frequent ToughLOVE as often as possible, and I’m sure Taylor will stick to her Crossfit routine.

don't be afraid to go on a hike either!

don’t be afraid to go on a hike either!

9. an easy christmas cookie: just use the mix if you’re pressed for time. It’s ok. Claim them as homemade. Spruce them up and make them the talk of the party by using a simple glaze in place of frosting (powdered sugar and milk) and then sprinkling crushed candy canes on top.

"homemade" (mostly) Idaho candy cane crush cookies

“homemade” (mostly) Idaho candy cane crush cookies

10. a dvr filled with christmas movies: while I can (and do) watch Elf all year round, I love finishing off the night with The Santa Clause or having Christmas Vacation on in the background. I already have all of the above, plus Home Alone and The Grinch saved in my DVR, and I couldn’t be prouder.

elf

an incredible etsy pillow ft. an elf quote, a gift from Erica

an incredible etsy pillow ft. an elf quote, a gift from Erica

11. a last-minute gift supply: you probably forgot someone. I do it every year. Make sure to buy a couple extra of a crowd-pleaser — whether it’s a bottle of wine, a scarf, or your favorite beauty product — to have waiting in the wings as a last minute option.

go local for great last minute go toe

go local for great last minute go to

12. an aero bed and some extra blankets: I can think of at least one night when we may have 8 people sleeping in my “3 bedroom” home. Make sure your blankets and sheets are fresh and borrow an aero bed if necessary.

I have a feeling that our guest room will get the most use it's ever had this Christmas!

I have a feeling that our guest room will get the most use it’s ever had this Christmas!

13. an Rx supply: make ginger tea in bulk, stock up on emergen-c, buy out the fresh juice at the grocery store, and opt for the kale salad…I even finally caved and bought one of those saline nasal cleanse bottles, and I have to say, (though gross) it’s amazing. With the upcoming inevitable binge eating and drinking, do your best to counteract the damage and beat back the colds.

ginger tea

14. fuzzy and shiny things:  ’tis the season to sparkle and shine and be cozy. bust out those giant earrings, glitzy tops and cashmere sweaters. here are a few of my favorite pieces for my holiday wardrobe.

my favorite gems and jewels from jcrew, urban outfitters, banana republic and a local boutique

my favorite gems and jewels from jcrew, urban outfitters, banana republic and a local boutique

holiday statement necklaces from jcrew and banana republic

holiday statement necklaces from jcrew and banana republic

festive tops from anthropologie, nordstrom rack, and nordstrom (ella moss)

festive tops from anthropologie, nordstrom rack, and nordstrom (ella moss)

15. be present. not presents like gifts. be thankful. look around you at all the beautiful people that make your life whole, and be present in each moment. these moments and memories are the most precious gift possible — take it from someone who knows the void left when they end or are ticking away. we are all fortunate to be alive, well, and surrounded by natural beauty and golden hearts. count your blessings, be kind and remember to breathe.

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cheers krista

brass blossom

double weekend love it — rain, nesting and beyoncé

As if September could smell October, it starting raining right on cue this week. While I’ve been known to have freak outs about incessant rain in Eugene (in my defense, it was still pouring in June…beautiful Eugene springs must be a myth), I have to say I love it when it rains here. It’s cozy, our dry climate needs it, and it gives me the excuse to make things like pumpkin muffins and chicken pot pie…and maybe start drinking wine a little earlier…Here’s what I’ve been loving the last two weeks:

1. A new home. I took a little hiatus from the blog because I’ve been moving into a new house. The house is everything I’ve ever wanted and more, and as much as chase likes to remind me that “we’re not birds,” I can’t help but use the term nesting. It’s been so fun to bargain hunt, find furniture, and slowly make the place our own. A huge thank you to Steve, Ingri, and many other friends and family members for helping us get settled! It was dark and rainy when I took these photos, but here’s a peak at some of our progress:

cozy fireplace

cozy fireplace

new dining room table with a bench from Cost Plus World Market

new dining room table with a bench from Cost Plus World Market

our living room with a bargain rug (TJ Max) and chairs (Target), and chase's favorite feature after the garage — a wood burning stove

our living room with a bargain rug (TJ Max) and chairs (Target), and chase’s favorite feature after the garage — a wood burning stove

a cow hair and braided velvet pillow from Pier 1

a cow hair and braided velvet pillow from Pier 1

a new glass top for our coffee table, which was a gift from Ingri

a new glass top for our coffee table, which was a gift from Ingri

our new "wall mount" from Huck and Paddle, a local interior boutique

our new “wall mount” from Huck and Paddle, a local interior boutique

a glimpse at the yard — we love being able to let the dogs out and not worry

a glimpse at the yard — we love being able to let the dogs out and not worry

the second bathroom

the second bathroom

2. Succulent friends. The highlight of going to Twin Falls (a horrible, horrible place)? Finding some succulents at Home Depot! These four little plants caught my eye, and I was thrilled to take them home. I found them some fancy new pots at Bellissimo Gardens, and I can’t wait to watch them grow! They freshen up any home.

four new succulents

four new succulents

little succulents

little succulents

bright green succulent

bright green succulent

the new pot transfer

3. Bey and Jay. A friend passed this on to me while I was at work, and it instantly brightened my day. I’ve often mused that I would only want to be super rich if I was Jay-Z and Beyoncé rich…because they’re just so damn amazing and it seems like most extreme wealth comes at the cost of corruption. This video everything — it’s personal, intimate, and Beyonce’s American flag get-up is just too much, in the best way possible.

4. A birthday celebration. With a (very) crazy work week, Taylor’s birthday celebration was the light at the end of the tunnel — it was a great night filled with fabulous company and vegetarian food (although I couldn’t help but slip a little bacon in there). Full post to come!

pretty autumn table

pretty autumn table

5. Another feel-good movie. Nothing says rainy day like a Sunday matinee. I highly recommend This is Where I Leave You, starring Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, and Rose Byrne. It’s funny, has just the right dose of melancholy, and captures the intricacies of love, loss, and family pretty perfectly. I saw it with my mom, and she loved it also.

6. The harvest festival.  I attended my first Ketchum Harvest Festival two weekends ago with Chase, his parents, and a couple friends. It was well worth the $45. We enjoyed a walk through downtown Ketchum on a beautiful fall day as we enjoyed wine and food from our favorite local restaurants including Richshaw, il Naso, the haven, Ketchum Grill, Raspberry’s, Bigwood Bread, Zinc, Cristina’s, and Globus. Needless to say, we were stuffed by the end of the night, but not too stuffed to cap it all off with some cake pops and champagne in the park. I will definitely do this again next year!

sliders from Bigwood Bread

sliders from Bigwood Bread

end of the night — clearly we'd enjoyed some wine!

end of the night — clearly we’d enjoyed some wine!

beautiful cake pop display from Sweet Crumb

beautiful cake pop display from Sweet Crumb

the boys at zinc

the boys at zinc

yummy beef pot pie

yummy beef pot pie

Pablo and Chase

Pablo and Chase

mac and cheese with all the fixings from the haven

mac and cheese with all the fixings from the haven

abbey getting a refill

abbey getting a refill

abbey excited to be at Rickshaw

abbey excited to be at Rickshaw

7. Celebrating a happy marriage. September 17 would have marked my mom and dad’s 37th wedding anniversary. Though he passed away many years ago, it was always evident to me and my brother how wonderful a marriage our mom and dad had. My mom hiked to the top of Proctor to the cairn commemorating my dad to leave some flowers, and I had a good laugh over this classic photo. I can only hope to have a marriage as solid as theirs! Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

mom at the top of Proctor

mom at the top of Proctor

a classic photo from their wedding

a classic photo from their wedding

8. Red wine and awesome people. My friend a former (sob) co-worker, Kate, invited some work friends to  a private wine tasting at Frenchman’s Gulch Winery, a package she purchased at an auction. It was so great to catch up with these amazing gals outside of work, and we shared and a lot of wine, food, and laughs. I highly recommend Frenchman’s Gulch wine — my favorite was the Ketchum Cuvée. Yum!

wine tasting at tapas at Frenchman's Gulch Winery

wine tasting at tapas at Frenchman’s Gulch Winery

9. A fancy new iPhone. I certainly don’t consider myself an “early adopter” of technology, and while I’ll have apple products for probably the rest of my life, I’m not obsessive about having the latest and greatest. Let’s just say I have zero plans to wear one of those goofy watch things. My quest for a new iPhone case for my iPhone 5 turned into “buying” a new iPhone 6. They were offering $200 if I traded in my phone, and there was only one gold one left in the store — it was fate.  I am loving it so far and haven’t had any issues with bugs or bending. Photos taken with the (inferior) iPhone 4.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6

everything is better in gold

everything is better in gold

yay!

yay!

10. A quick read. “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s a stunning, poetic memoir without an ounce of self-pity. “The Silver Star” was a great continuation of Walls’ work, and it was a very quick coming-of-age story about two sisters who take matters into their own hands when their mom doesn’t come home for a couple weeks. I highly recommend it!

the silver star

Have a great week!

cheers krista

brass blossom