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Christmas Time is Here!

Ok, well not quite yet.  But, Christmas is my favorite time of year.  I absolutely love shopping for friends and family, wrapping gifts and seeing all the pretty little packages pile up under the tree.  When I was sixteen, I got one of my first jobs gift-wrapping at Soolip in West Hollywood, the paper Mecca in Los Angeles.

I know that, while I grow pointy elf ears every year around November 1st, the holiday season can be overwhelming for some.   That’s why we will be posting tips and tricks for managing your holiday shopping and events, as well as weekly gift suggestions.

My Gal Friday will also be here, providing on-call elves through December 24th to make your family’s Christmas magical.

Christmas Anxiety Hitting Yet?

Of course, we’re always here to help you shop, decorate, party-plan, send cards & gifts and talk you off the ledge during holiday rush hour at the mall. But, in case you’re still wringing your hands, here is a stress reduction bedtime routine to use during the holidays and throughout the year:

Put on relaxing classical music, light your favorite candle and run a steamy bubble bath. Turn the bathroom lights off and just soak for 20 minutes. Breathe deeply through your nose and soak up all of the therapeutic aromas. My winning combination is: relax with the classics (don’t judge), Diptyque’s tubereuse candle, and lavender mineral bath soak by c. Booth. Towel off, put on flannel pajamas and boil water for tea. Don’t go for anything too exotic or pungent – try lightly steeped lavender chamomile (steep for 4-5 minutes before removing the tea bag). Crawl into bed with your journal and do five minutes of stream of consciousness writing. Put your pen to the paper and start. Don’t reread. Don’t edit. Just write. Don’t plan. Don’t create to-do lists, save that for your morning coffee. This is not productive time, this is wind down time. After five minutes of venting, put your pen down and pick up Swann’s Way for some leisurely, sleepy reading.

 

 

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day! Not Feelin’ the Green Eggs and Ham? How about Green Pancakes?!

Forgot to pick up green bagels for your Irish honey-bunny? Last minute fix: put five drops of green food coloring into your pancake batter – for an extra cute touch, pull out your cookie cutters and pick a couple (we chose hearts) to create fun shapes! Instructions:

1. Prepare batter and frying pan as you normally would (follow the instructions on your pancake mix box and melt a tablespoon of butter on the pan)
2. Butter your cookie cutters the way you’d butter a cookie sheet
3. Place your cookie cutters on the prepped frying pan
4. Drop spoonfuls of batter into your cookie cutters
4. Wait for the pancake batter to start to bubble, carefully remove the cookie cutters with an oven-mitt (they will be hot!)
5. Flip the pancakes
6. Remove from pan when lightly browned on both sides
7. Serve and enjoy your Saint Paddy’s Day!