A Lovely Little Christmas

15 January 2016

I know it's the middle of January, but I wanted to share a little about my Christmas! We chose a simple kraft wrapping paper theme. I found it a bit boring at first, but luckily I had a metallic gold ink pad which I used with an eraser and added dots to our gifts, I ended up loving the end result! It's easy to dress up kraft paper with bows and ribbon, it looks elegant and the paper is so much cheaper than buying wrapping paper with designs. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that our decorations are still up, I need to stop being lazy and get everything put away. 

Always Anchors is pretty busy from August through December, so I try to start my shopping early to avoid getting too overwhelmed during the holiday season. I was quite happy with the gifts I was able to give to my family. I started early so I was able to put a lot of thought into each one. Some of my favorite gifts were a Pebble watch and a handmade leather messenger bag that I got for Luke. He wanted both for a while, and I know both gifts will be used for a long time. The messenger bag is from an Etsy shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, called Benny Bee Leather. Their products are great quality, the shop owner is friendly, and the packaging and shipping time was phenomenal! I'm so happy with that purchase.

Benny Bee Leather messenger bag, this is their photo of the bag I got Luke, $236

Luke and I surprised my mom with a trip to the UK! We bought her a suitcase, and inside the suitcase we wrapped 3 separate numbered gifts for her to open. In the first package there were books for her to read while we travel, the second was a passport holder wallet, and in the third was an England and Scotland travel book. We then wrapped up the suitcase, so when she opened it she knew she was going on a trip, but she didn't know where we were going until opening package number 3. My mom hasn't taken a "real" vacation since 2004, she works 50+ hour weeks without ever taking off, and she's never been abroad. I can't wait until she sees how beautiful it is over there. I've been to England twice, once when I was 18, I went by myself to visit my best friend Naomi in Sheffield who I met online when I was 15. The second time was in 2012, Luke and I went and stayed with Naomi again in London that time, and I was able to meet some of my oldest email group friends. I've never been to Scotland, so I'm excited about that. We're going in April, and we're still in the planning stages. We're most likely going to start in London, and I was thinking of doing a couple of days over near Bath and The Cotswolds. From there we're going to Sheffield to visit Naomi, her boyfriend, and their new baby! We'll probably take some day trips to the Peak District, visiting abbeys and some castles. After Sheffield we'll head up to Scotland where we'll spend some time in Edinburgh and then end our trip in Glasgow where we'll meet Pete and Ayden of Little Blog of Horrors! I met Pete on Tumblr about 7 years ago back when Tumblr was a pretty close-knit community. I remember getting calls from him in the middle of the night just asking me to say words because of my accent, so it'll be nice to finally meet him in person after all of these years! Ayden is one of my favorite bloggers, be sure to check out her blog. If you have any suggestions about where we should travel, and what we should see in the UK, I'm totally open to suggestions! We don't have anything set in stone yet so any advice is appreciated. 

I've always wanted to give a personalized gift, and since I was able to shop early this year I ordered a personalized necklace for my Grandmother. She loves her grandkids, so I ordered a name necklace that lists all of her grandchildren's names from a shop called Southern Imprint on Etsy. I was a little skeptical that the shop owner would be able to fit all of our names (my grandmom has 5 children, and I'm the only one of her grandchildren that's an only child) but I was more than happy with the necklace when it arrived! I've caught my Grandmom wearing it even when she's in her pajamas, so I know she loves it. The quality is great and the shipping was fast! Not to mention the price was more than fair for a personalized item. 

Southern Imprint personalized necklace, $32

I received so many items from Luke and my family that I loved so much, more than I could have ever asked for. I'm stocked with Lush bath bombs, a new planner which is keeping my life on track, lots of wonderful items for my office, beautiful clothes, and more. Luke got me the cutest little Stitch of Whimsy bat for Christmas! Sara Leigh is the founder (and maker!) of Stitch of Whimsy, she makes the cutest little felt  faux taxidermy creatures. I'm totally in love with my new little Whimsy, and I only need one more to fill up the wall in my office now. I'm thinking an owl for my next one, but they're all so cute I just can't decide! Sara sells out quickly at craft fairs, so be sure to check out her Instagram @stitchofwhimsy to look through all of her previous creatures, you won't regret it! Luke also got me the cutest little handmade ring dish, personalized with our initials. Sharing the shelf with my new ring dish is a little air plant holder from my mom, which was a wonderful surprise. My grandpop passed away when I was 15, and he was one of my closest friends. I'm planning on writing a blog post about him soon, he was just an amazing man that I'm so proud to have known. He collected air plants so whenever I glance over at them I think of him, but not that I needed it since I think of him regularly anyway. My office needed some plants that are easy to care for, so they're perfect. 

Stitch of Whimsy Bat, $75+ // Air plants & holder, Amazon // Modern Mud personalized ring dish, $54

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! Is it just me, or does the season come and go quicker than ever? I'm always a little bummed when January comes around, but I know the next holiday season will be back again in no time. I wish you all a wonderful 2016!