Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.
Ask anyone in my family and they’ll tell you I’m the most nostalgic of the bunch. I love to remember and revisit. This year we have a few new decor pieces that remember and revisit both the high points of our year, as well as high points from my past. And since the big camera was out to capture a certain amazing dessert I’m STILL obsessing over, you get real-deal pics. It’s a blog miracle!
Hands down, the best part of our year was our anniversary trip to Hawaii. My family has a tradition of collecting ornaments from trips and it’s one I’ve happily adopted for us. If you search for “Hawaii ornaments” you’re going to get a lot of hula-ing Santas and sunsets painted on sea shells. Not really our style, but we did hit gold with this Oahu highway sign.
It’s so perfect since our condo was on Ala Moana Boulevard on Waikiki and we hiked Diamond Head. I was SO BUMMED to learn its matching Maui ornament (that also featured the place where we stayed) is (forever?) out of stock. Ugh. Sad trombone.
But, I still love the one we have. Especially it’s glittery edges that shimmer in the tree’s lights.
We also nabbed this sparkly sea turtle since it was the highlight of the highlight. We are still enamored with our chance encounter with these guys on the beach.
4. Penguin Paradise
You might remember a very special visit by my sister and her family a few months ago. Another big highlight from our year. Since Lily, Tim, Joe and I got to feed the penguins together, I thought it would be fun to have matching ornaments commemorating the fun.
This tiny penguin playing a horn totally fit the bill, so now we both have one on our tree. He’s in good company with my favorite ornament of all time, near the top of the tree.
3. Doughnut Dreams
Great minds think alike. That’s typical when it comes to me and my sister; we’re almost always on the same wave length. She was already on her ornament game when I sent off our matching penguins. But she totally knocked my socks off with his handmade Judy Doughnut, complete with orangey-pink frosting.
EXACTLY like the ones Lily and I made together while they were here. Melted my heart. What a sweet (literally!) reminder.
2. My Angels
2015 wasn’t a walk in the park, by any means, despite these highlights. I lost two wonderful men in my life. After Gramps died, my friend Bobbie–who knows me so very well–gave me the most perfect gift. A metal ornament with special photos honoring our time together. I was blown away.
Christmas, we agree, is the best time for remembering those we’ve lost. So I made two more ornaments for Pops and Uncle Dick and now my tree is covered with special moments I can relive each holiday season. Can you hear my heart about to burst? The seams are splitting as I type.
Each one has color photos on the front with their names, while the back has black and white photos with their dates. I am absolutely in love with them. I miss seeing their faces, but this is a wonderful way for me to see them every day.
Here’s Uncle Dickie‘s:
And here’s Pops‘:
All the hearts, all the memories. Thank you so much, Bobbie, for starting a new tradition.
1. Cut(ters) to the Heart
Making sugar cookies is the #1 holiday memory from my childhood. You can click here to see all of the photographic proof of our obsession, along with the dang-good recipe, but one thing that really made it special was the cookie cutters. They are Hallmark cutters from the late 70s and early 80s. What one would now call “vintage.” You’d be hard-pressed to find an old photo of us making cookies without them being there.
Like in this Halloween example.
My mom still has her set that gets pulled out every year and I know my siblings and I would each love to eventually own them and continue using them every holiday. So, I’ve taken matters into my own hands and–with the help of ebay–created my own matching set.
I had my mom take pictures of the cutters she has and hit up in the interwebs to find exact matches. And I had so much fun doing it.
Eventually I want to have them sitting in my kitchen in glass jars like these, but until the snow melts and I can get to Target, I’m using a glass mixing bowl I already have.
I love my new centerpiece and the flood of memories that wash over me when I see (and smell) it.
Plus, they’re all ready for me whenever I’m ready to make my own set of cookies.
For someone whose holiday is hijacked by NCAA bowl games, this is just one sweet and special way to bring my hometown holiday to me. (I also recreated our Halloween cutters, so stay tuned for October 2016! Ha!)
Are your decorations up? What new traditions are you starting this year?