2018 Christmas Gifts

Gifts I Got for Christmas 2018

As you might recall, I shared what I got for Christmas this time last year and I really enjoyed creating the post!  So, I decided to share my Christmas gifts this year, too.

Like I said a year ago, I do this to share my gratitude for the wonderful people who gave me these. Hopefully, it will inspire a few gifts for you to get for loved ones, too. Spread the love!

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see our disclosure for more information!

Clothes & Accessories


If you read my Blogmas post about Christmas traditions, you’ll know about our annual Christmas Eve jammies! This year’s featured some adorable llamas–matching for me, Rachel, and Mom! Mom got the sleep shirt while Rachel and I got the top/pants set in the same design.

llama pajamas

Fuzzy socks

Something you should know about me if you don’t already: I’m nearly always cold!  The past few months, cold feet have been a particular annoyance (don’t tell my future husband!). So, I’ve been wearing fuzzy socks as much as possible.  These were a great trio to add to my collection!

Llama keychain

If you haven’t caught on yet: Hi, I’m Jules. I adore llamas (also, alpacas). That being said, this little fuzzball (in my favourite colour) was a perfect gift!

llama keychain


While my mom doesn’t actively sell Paparazzi jewellery any longer, she still purchases some from time to time.  When she gave me this necklace, she prefaced it with “I thought of you when I saw this because it seems very Victorian.” She isn’t wrong and I love it! The green stones are the perfect touch.

victorian-style necklace


Wet n Wild

Having gotten much more into makeup this year (thanks, RachhLoves, I entirely blame you for my obsession–in the best way possible!), one of the top items on my Christmas list this year was this holiday zodiac-themed set from Wet n Wild. I’m a Scorpio (and a very stereotypical Scorpio more often than not!) and I knew the gorgeous blue-toned shades in the Water set would go beautifully with my eyes. I’d already fallen in love with the lip shades, so this was a must-have!

Mom was wonderful enough to find me the set!  And, soon enough, our local Walmart had the whole series (all four elements) on sale. I picked up the others to use as some goal incentives for 2019–I can’t have them until I’ve paid off a certain amount of my credit cards!–and as a gift for my sister who, despite being a fellow Scorpio, was mildly obsessed with the Fire set.

If you follow us on Twitter or Instagram, you might have seen that I’m on a bit of a search regarding that Fire set. Ours came with a smashed compact mirror which, the bad juju notwithstanding, was so disappointing to my sister.  I contacted Walmart and Wet n Wild, who each told me to contact the other, so no luck there.  So, if you or someone you know has the Fire set and would be willing to part with the compact to make a sad teenager’s day, I’d be eternally grateful!

I also got a few other makeup goodies from my mom and my grandparents! I’m especially excited to test out the blush–I had some bad experiences with blush years ago (the colours I had were all wrong for me and looked horrid!), so I haven’t tested it out in years. I’m excited to play with it once again!

wetnwild water

Haircare tools

Another thoughtful gift from my grandparents was this stunning champagne/rose gold set of brushes and other haircare tools. The colour is absolutely perfect and I was desperately in need of a new brush!

haircare & makeup gifts



I work in transcription when I’m not blogging or writing, and all those hours with $10 Walmart headphones pressed to my ears weren’t doing me any favours, neither for my consistent migraines or my ability to work in anything but absolute silence.  Mom found an amazing deal on some Beats headphones* and it has made such a difference!

beats headphones


You might remember me mentioning several times that I’ve been preparing a Youtube channel for For the Sake of Good Taste. It’s definitely been pushed to the backburner over time, but it’s definitely something I hope to incorporate at least a bit in 2019 (perhaps videos once a month or so?).  With that in mind, Mom picked up this webcam* that I’d had on my wishlist and actually forgotten about!

This is going to get its first use with an interview I’m doing soon on the poetry side of my life (learn more about my writing at my writing site, if you’re interested!).  From there, I’m hoping to get a space together to start vlogging! I’d love any tips you’d like to share so feel free to reach out in the comments or on social media if you’ve got any experience or tips for new vloggers!

HP Sprocket*

This was definitely the most surprising of my gifts! I’m in quite a few bullet journalling groups on Facebook and the HP sprocket (and similar products) are constantly appearing as favourite items. I’ve always thought they were neat, but I never in a million years thought I would have one of my own. Between the relatively high price point (at least for my personal budget) and needing to buy paper going forward, I had resigned myself to never testing out instant prints in my bujo.

Well, Mom listened to my thoughts on this more than I had. She found a great deal on the 2-in-1 sprocket*, which actually takes photos as well! I haven’t played around with all of its features yet, but I have printed out some cute photos of Fitz because priorities.



Harry Potter stationery & wand pen

One of my best friends, Monica, goes to visit her sister in Ireland regularly (one of these days I’ll follow her!).  On a recent trip, she picked up this gorgeous Harry Potter stationery and wand pen for me for Christmas!  I’ve already told her that we *will* be writing letters now.

harry potter stationery

Dot grid journals

Back to my bullet journal obsession, Mom got me two of my favourite dot grid journals from Michael’s, which should keep me going bujo-wise for at least half this year!

Stay tuned for a look at my 2019 bullet journal next week! 

dot grid journals


I adore Papermate flair pens* and these were the perfect addition to my collection!  Apparently my parents’ dog agrees, though . . . if you look closely, two of the caps have been attacked!

papermate flair

Recollections Creative Year Planner Books

While I keep lots (and lots and lots) of collections in my bullet journal, there are a few things that I’d love to have a pre-set layout for (and maybe transition into my bullet journal eventually).  These little booklets are perfect!  I’ve already been making huge strides towards my 2019 goals (posts on those coming soon!) with the Goals book!  In total, I got the menu planning*, goals*, important info, and bucket list books.

recollections creative year


In probably the most touching of my individual Christmas gifts, Mom had some letterhead made for my brand-new literary magazine, Nightingale & Sparrow, which I’m thrilled to say has taken off beautifully so far! I haven’t decided just yet as to what I’ll be using this for, but I can’t even tell you how much it means to me that she thought to do this.

nightingale & sparrow letterhead

Bullet Journal Organiser

While we’re already on a sappy note, I’ve got to share this organiser that Mom put together for me.  I’ve been saying for ages that I need to find a better organisation system for my bullet journal supplies. While this won’t hold all of my goodies, it’s absolutely perfect for holding my most-used items!  She included my bullet journal supplies, letterhead, and other goodies in this with a note reminding me to follow my dreams.  I’m tearing up again just writing this!

bullet journal organiser
Of course, it’s storing some other Christmas goodies in this photo while I work on my bujo!



For weeks, my sister has been pointing to a Harry Potter-wrapped package under the tree and reminding me that it’s the gift she’s picked out especially for me. It turns out that that packaged housed this lovely vegan cookbook*!  I’m looking forward to playing around with some of these recipes!

Whiskey in a Teacup

I’m a huge fan of Reese Witherspoon (to the point that I’ve written a micropoem titled “In which I am played by Reese Witherspoon,” which will hopefully be published soon!). This book* has been on my TBR since months before its release.  Once I get caught up on some of the pieces I’m reviewing & blurbing, this is next up!

whiskey in a teacup - reese witherspoon

Bonnies Crew Anthology

While not technically a Christmas gift, I won a giveaway for a copy of this lovely little poetry anthology. It arrived just before Christmas, so I think it still counts!


Kuchi Kopi blanket

Like last year, I got a few Bob’s Burgers gifts!  This hooded Kuchi Kopi blanket* is a personal favourite–he’s my favourite character from the show!

kuchi kopi blanket
I had the flu while finishing up photos for this post, so no selfies with Kuchi Kopi just yet–keep an eye on Instagram for some future shots!

Sheep finger puppet

My friend B is going to school back in England and sent me this adorable finger puppet of a sheep. While we were both living there, she got used to me getting excited each time we came across a field of sheep (which was, thankfully, quite often). This was the perfect reminder!

Burger pillow*

Mom loved the irony of buying this for her vegan daughter. But, I could definitely replicate it as a vegan burger!  It’s also the perfect amount of fluffy.

burger pillow - fitz
Fitz agrees.


Another gift from my wonderful friend B! This personalised wand is meant to be a reminder of my being “badass.” She knows about my struggles with mental health, so this was, again, a perfect gift!

Fish ornament

Back to the earlier topic of Christmas traditions, this was the first year that we received a special ornament as part of our Christmas Eve gift. My sister, a lifelong proponent of Chinese food, got a little soy sauce bottle, while I got this beautiful goldfish! Mom and I have referred to each other as “fishy” for years now, so it was the perfect touch.

Like in years past, I’m blown away at my friends’ and family’s talents at giving the perfect gift.  What Christmas gifts were your favourite to give or to get this year?

2018 Christmas Gifts

Blogmas Roundup

Blogmas Roundup (Blogmas 2018, Day Twenty-Five)

If you’ve been following us through the past 25 days of Blogmas, you’ve seen an awful lot of Christmas-y content.  But, if you’re a Christmas enthusiast like so many, it’s likely still not enough!  That’s why I’ve put together our final Blogmas post for 2018–the 2018 Blogmas Roundup!


I’ve been keeping track of some of my favourite bloggers who’ve participated in Blogmas this year to prepare some of my favourite pieces.  You’ve now got double the posts to keep you entertained and in the Christmas spirit!

12 Days of Letter Writing with More Love Letters, Life with Faith

This is such an amazing idea that I hadn’t heard of before reading Faith’s post!  I love writing letters (I actually correspond with a few friends almost exclusively through letter writing!), so this was a perfect idea.

Unique Gift Guide, Leslie Leon

I think we all have that person who doesn’t fit into any neat category for a traditional gift guide.  This gift guide is full of unique gift ideas that could be perfect for that exact person!

Handmade Gifts – Cross-Stitched Bookmarks, Kay at Home

I haven’t done much of it in ages, but I used to love cross stitch!  Kay’s post might just have inspired me to pick up a new batch of supplies and try it again in the new year!

Christmas traditions, Insecure Housewife

I shared my own Christmas traditions this Blogmas, so it was so neat to see Sarah’s family’s traditions!

Dog Gift Ideas, Phigella

I may or may not buy more gifts for the furry/feathered/scaly friends in my life than for the real people.  Whoops?

50 Bookish Questions, Bookish and Bright

I loved reading through Alysha’s answers to these questions, and I may have to take her up on her open tag . . . stay tuned in 2019!

Top 5 Ways to Make Christmas Decorating Easier, Grap a Cuppa

This post has some excellent tips!  My personal favourite?  The all-important advice:  “Fairy lights make everything better!”

50 Things that Make Me Happy, The Longest Road to Walk

I’m all for celebrating the things that make you happy!

Check out our list of little things to make you happy! 

Christmas Party Look, SophaaRambles

This look is absolutely stunning and the perfect Christmas party look!

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: a Christmas treat, Novel Library

Can you believe that I majored in English, yet haven’t read this series?

The Festive Christmas Book Tag, Jenniely

I’ve been doing so much writing and reading as of late that book tags are especially thrilling!

Why A #FoodBankAdvent can help this Christmas, Broke Girl In The City

I’m a big believer in helping others as much as possible, and this is the season of giving, after all!

Blog Posts To Get You In The Mood For Christmas, twentysixotwo

A blog post in a list of blog posts which leads to more blog posts? Yes, please!

Favourite Books of Christmas, Bailey Leah

Remember way back at the beginning of Blogmas when I was looking for Christmas-y book/story recommendations?  This would have been perfect!  I’m definitely keeping this one on hand for next Christmas!

Why I Celebrate Christmas, A Rosie World

This was definitely one of the most unique Blogmas posts I’ve come across this year and I absolutely love it.  Such a lovely perspective on something I don’t think many people think much about!

Festive Pinterest and Instagram Board, Lifeofemmax

I didn’t realise how badly I needed this level of festivity in my life until I found this post!

6 Travel Ornaments, Girl on The Fly

These ornaments are so adorable!  Perfect for your favourite traveller!

How to Say Merry Christmas in the Different Languages, Wandering Waffles

This is another lovely piece that I haven’t seen elsewhere!

A Look at Blogmas Past, Repressing the Crazy

Another super unique post that I was excited to see–I love the idea of incorporating past Blogmas concepts in those to come!

Harry Potter Scenes I Wish Were In The Movies Part One, Charleigh Writes

I still can’t decide if I really consider Harry Potter to count as Christmas films, but I love this take on a Blogmas post!  We all have our favourite scenes that didn’t make the cut in the movies and it’s always neat to see what others think.

Check out some of my favourite holiday films!

Non-Traditional Christmas Desserts, Unseen Beauty

I love to see non-traditional takes on holiday celebrations!

Baking Christmas Dog Treats, The Little Wise Owl

Again, we can’t forget about our furry friends this Christmas!

Christmas Songs that Don’t Make Sense, The Girl In The Red Rubber Boots

This is such a cute post idea!  And there are some fantastic points regarding these songs, too.

Christmas Eve Wrapping, Some Pretty Thing

I came upon this sweet post just after finishing some last-minute wrapping on Christmas Eve, so it couldn’t have been more perfect!

Tips for Christmas Shopping, The Bookish Brunette

You can never have too many shopping tips!

Blogmas Roundup

Have you read any of the posts featured in our Blogmas roundup or was another one your favourite?  Be sure to let us know your top picks for Blogmas 2018!

Happy Blogmas

My Favourite Christmas Ornaments

My Favourite Christmas Ornaments (Blogmas 2018, Day Twenty-Four)

If you’ve read my post of holiday traditions, you’ll know that Christmas ornaments have recently become a pretty touching gift for my sister and I each Christmas Eve.  Even though this is a brand-new tradition, I’m so excited!  Still, we’ve collected plenty of wonderful ornaments over the years, the best of which (in my opinion), I’ll share with you today.

A small number of mine decided to disappear just before Christmas, so I wasn’t able to snap a photo of them for this post–I’ll be sure to add them after the fact once they’ve been recovered!

I’ve found some similar ornaments on Amazon for you to browse, too! Most of the exact ornaments are too old to find easily, but I’ve tried to keep the theme the same, at the very least.

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see our disclosure for more information!


You’ll notice a few of these distinctive stuffed ornaments–we got them around the same time because they were simply too cute!  I got this one in honour of Elf and Mr. Narwhal’s classic line:  “Bye, Buddy . . . hope you find your dad!”

narwhal ornament

Elf Mr. Narwhal Ornament*

Coffee Cup

If you’ve been around the blog a while, you know I’m a bit of a coffee fiend.  So this adorable little cup is perfect!

coffee cup ornament

Happiness is a Cup of Coffee Ornament*

George the Beagle

This one has quite the story behind it!  When I was little, I’d yet to have a dog of my own.  But, I’d recently read a book that featured a “pocket beagle” and I was vaguely obsessed.

After all these year’s I’ve finally done some research and found out this was Animal Ark’s Beagle in a Backpack!* I’m now on a mission to either find my old copy somewhere in my parents’ house or pick one up to reread . . . because sometimes you want to read childhood books all over again! 

But I digress.  I was hooked on the idea of these tiny dogs and came across these ornaments, where you could pick your dog’s breed and name.  I somehow convinced Mom  that I needed a beagle ornament to compensate for my lack of real dog and I named him George, after my grandfather.  I guess, to my ten-year-old mind, it was a logical progression since I didn’t want to have children to name after family?    Whatever the case, George the Beagle now hangs happily from the family Christmas tree.

Customizable Dog Ornament*


The Loch Ness monster is always a good idea, but especially so when she’s wearing a Santa hat!

nessie ornament

The Loch Ness Monster Believes In You Ornament*

Polar Bear

For some reason, this friendly little bear ornament never wants to face front.  So, we see an awful lot of “bear butt.”

polar bear ornament

Polar Bear Butt Ornament*


Again, if you’ve read my post on Christmas traditions, this one may ring a bell (I am so, so sorry for that pun but I had to).  This bell sparks all of the Polar Express quotes.  We’ve got a few other bell ornaments, but this one in particular forces the references.

polar express bell ornament

Polar Express Bell Ornament*

Teeny Tiny Harry

I got this one from a blogger secret Santa back in 2016, I think!  Cathleen did such an amazing job in finding me the perfect present and teeny tiny Harry was definitely a favourite.

Harry Potter Ornament*


This is one of our most unusual ornaments, but it’s a favourite nevertheless.  This was another stuffed ornament we picked up int hat group, solely because it reminded me of FilmCow’s “John McCain and his Vegetable Friends.”  Strange, but true!  It’s also a pretty cool nod to my veganism, if I do say so myself.

carrot ornament

Carrot Ornament*


I’ve definitely been on a bird kick throughout 2018, so unearthing this little guy in our box of decorations was a great moment!  I put him as close to the top of the tree as possible, so the bird could be the “star” of the show!

bird clip ornament

Sparkly Clip-On Birds*

Santa’s Countdown

Mom got this as a gift from a coworker years ago and he’s one of our favourite pieces of Christmas.  Plus, he keeps us on track to keep our other countdowns up-to-date!

santa countdown ornament

Countdown to Christmas Ornament (the same one we have!)*

Sock Monkey

You might not know this, but I went through a period in which I was absolutely obsessed with sock monkeys. I still have quite the collection!  While I’m working on cutting back and giving some of my actual sock monkeys a new home, this little guy is definitely staying to add a little extra joy to the Christmas tree.

sock monkey ornament

Gingerbread Sock Monkey Ornament*

The Christmas Pickle

One more Christmas tradition!  While he isn’t hiding in the tree just yet, the Christmas Pickle deserves another shoutout.

Traditional Christmas Pickle*

My Favourite Christmas Ornaments

What are your favourite Christmas ornaments?

Happy Blogmas

Christmas Decor Tour

Christmas Decor Tour (Blogmas 2018, Day Twenty-Three)

My mom has a slight obsession with Christmas decorations.  As in, there are 9 trees set up throughout the house as of my first draft of this post.  Over the years, I’ve chosen a few favourite Christmas decorations, which I’ve chosen to showcase in today’s Christmas decor tour!

Our collective taste is pretty eclectic, but somehow it all seems to work out in the end.


I’m lucky enough to work from home, so I get to enjoy the indoor decorations more often than not!

Charlie Brown Tree

This year, while home for the holidays, I’ve hit the Christmas decoration jackpot.  Mom’s allowed Fitz and I to have the Charlie Brown tree all to ourselves!

Charlie Brown Tree
Please excuse Fitz’s treats in the background!

Reindeer Countdown

I get strangely excited when I get to change the reindeer’s number each day!

Reindeer countdown

Christmas lights

Throughout the house, fairy lights are one of my favourite decorations, all year long, really!  But it’s especially true come Christmastime, when they’re out in full force.  My favourite this year are these tiny green battery-operated lights decorating the Charlie Brown tree and the shelf around it.

O Holy Night sign

Another minor detail, but I absolutely love this tiny sign hung up in the living room.

O holy night sign


Probably the most functional of our holiday decor!  While they aren’t hung by the chimney with care, I love the annual setup of the stocking along the stairs.



Joy Light

Mom picked up this tiny “Joy” sign to add to my personal holiday display and I love it!

joy light

Tiny tree

Amidst the many, many Christmas trees in and around the house (and my Charlie Brown tree!), this tiny tree stands out as yet another favourite.  Can a fake tree have personality? Because this one certainly seems to.  I insist that he needs a teeny tiny Santa hat, but Mom disagrees.

tiny christmas tree

Holiday cards

For years now, Mom has taken to displaying the cards we receive each year on a string of garland.  It adds such a lovely personal touch to the decorations!

Christmas Cards garland

(Literal) Sleigh Bells

The last of my personal decorations, Fitz loves this little sleigh of bells!

sleigh bells


To be entirely honest, I don’t spend too much time outside this time of year.  My health has enough issues without standing in below freezing temperatures for any amount of time! But, I do still have a few favourites from the outside Christmas decor.

Carl the Dinosaur

Or, Bob, depending on the day you’ve asked.  This light-up dinosaur is one of my all-time favourite Christmas decorations!

Carl the Dinosaur


This star is gorgeous and so festive! “A star, a star dancing in the night . . . . “

Christmas star


Unlike most of these, this little guy hangs out in the back yard.  But look at that face!

Penguin decor

Christmas Elephant

This holly jolly elephant also goes by Bob at least some of the time.

Christmas elephant

Parkway Holiday Duck

This one isn’t a part of our family’s decorations, but it’s a family favourite nevertheless.  Each year, the local borough decorates the town’s parkway with a variety of lit-up decorations.  One of them is this festive duck! Mom has long since declared him to be the best of the decorations–he’s even got his own Facebook “place!”

Parkway Holiday Duck

Tiny Reindeer

We’ve had the classic light-up reindeer for as long as I can remember, but we got this miniature one a few years back and I fell in love!  In my opinion, he’s the most important of the decorations.  Yet, he’s somehow not gone out this season!  I would have done so if myself if I had any idea where my family had put him last year.  But I had to mention him regardless!  #justicefortinyreindeer

Christmas Decor Tour

What are your favourite Christmas decorations?

Happy Blogmas

Festive Holiday Scents

Holiday Scents to Make Your Home Smell Festive (Blogmas 2018, Day Seventeen)

Smell is such a powerful sense, so it’s no surprise that holiday scents can make you feel so festive so quickly!  But you don’t need to buy a candle, lotion, or holiday air freshener to get the full effect.  Whether you throw together some ingredients on the stove or diffuse some essential oils, there are so many ways to make your home smell like the holidays!

As always, be sure to be mindful of any allergies and of what scents can be used around pets!

I’ve searched the internet (mostly Pinterest!) for some of the best combinations and these are a few of my favourite holiday scents. First up, we have some diffuser blends to whip up with your favourite essential oils.  Then, I’ve compiled a few recommended “recipes” for some festive stovetop fragrances! There are quite a few of the former, largely because a lot of the stovetop recipes I found were incredibly similar.  Still, these all sound like they will smell delicious!

Essential Oils

Holiday Candy, NatureMoms

  • 2 drops wintergreen
  • 2 drops peppermint
  • 2 drops cinnamon
  • 1 drop orange

Holiday Cheer Diffuser Blend, All Things Healthful

(pin does not link to original source)

  • 1 drop clove
  • 3 drops orange
  • 2 drops cinnamon

Cranberry Orange Diffuser Blend, A Less Toxic Life

  • 3 drops grapefruit
  • 2 drops orange
  • 2 drops cinnamon
  • 1 drop nutmeg

Christmas Tree Diffuser Blend, Natural Mavens

  • 2 drops cedarwood
  • 2 drops pine
  • 1 drop cinnamon
  • 1 drop frankincense

Cider, Odds and Evans

  • 3 drops orange
  • 2–3 drops nutmeg
  • 1 drop cinnamon or clove (optional)

Three Magi, Pink Fortitude

  • 2–3 drops frankincense
  • 2–3 drops myrrh
  • 2–3 drops sandalwood

Cozy by the Fire Blend, Keeper of the Home

  • 3 drops cinnamon
  • 2 drops sweet orange
  • 1 drop clove
  • 1 drop nutmeg

Baby It’s Cold Outside, Earth 911

  • 2 drops lavender
  • 3 drops rosemary
  • 2 drops eucalyptus
  • 3 drops peppermint

Gingerbread House, The Essential Family

  • 4 drops ginger
  • 2 drops clove
  • 1 drop cinnamon

Christmas Eve, Essential Oil Obsessed

  • 3 drops Idaho balsam fir
  • 1 drop grapefruit
  • 2 drops frankincense

Immune Booster, doTERRA

  • 3 drops doTERRA On Guard
  • 3 drops Citrus Bliss

Good-bye Winter Blues, Moritz Fine Designs

  • 1 drop vetiver
  • 2 drops lavender
  • 3 drops bergamot

Winter Chai, Oil You Need

  • 3 drops wild orange
  • 1 drop cinnamon
  • 1 drop clove
  • 1 drop cardamon

Warm & Cozy Blend, Plant Therapy

  • 3 drops cinnamon leaf
  • 2 drops sweet orange
  • 1 drop clove
  • 1 drop nutmeg

Christmas Eve Diffuser Blend, Wicked Escentuals

(pin does not link to original source)

  • 5 drops pine
  • 3 drops frankincense
  • 3 drops sweet orange
  • 3 drops peppermint
  • 2 drops cinnamon
  • 2 drops Roman chamomile
  • 1 drop clove
  • 1 drop cedarwood
  • toothpick of birch tar

Snickerdoodle, The Weekend Fox

  • 3 drops stress away
  • 3 drops nutmeg
  • 2 drop cinnamon

Santa’s Workshop, The Plucky Introvert

  • 3 drops orange
  • 2 drops peppermint
  • 2 drops cyprus
  • 2 drops Christmas spirit

Other Scents

Christmas Potpourri, Half Baked Harvest

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3 tangerines, halved
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise (optional)
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 small fresh pine branch
  • 1 cup apple cider, pomegranate, or cranberry juice
  • water

A Winter Recipe, Make+Haus

  • cinnamon sticks
  • whole nutmeg berries
  • cloves
  • rosemary
  • pine needles
  • water
  • jojoba oil

Stovetop Potpourri, See Vanessa Craft

  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

Stovetop Simmer Pot, Sara Laughed

  • cranberries
  • clementine peels
  • cinnamon
  • clove

Festive Holiday Scents

What holiday scents are you using to make your home more festive this season?

Happy Blogmas

My Favourite Christmas Films

My Favourite Christmas Films (Blogmas 2018, Day Thirteen)

Like the music, Christmas films are one of my favourite things this time of year!   I’m pretty particular about which ones I choose to watch (much to my family’s disappointment, I can’t stand Christmas Vacation, for example!). But if I know I love a movie or might grow to love a new one, they are truly one of the highlights of the season.

Technically, a few of these are holiday TV specials, but they fit in far better with films than with my favourite TV episodes (coming soon!).

In no particular order, here are some of my favourite Christmas films to help get you into the holiday spirit!  Whether you add these to your bullet journal or pin them for later, be sure to keep them on hand for the inevitable “What Christmas movie should we watch tonight?”


While I’ve never been good at picking a top favourite Christmas film, Elf is almost nearly near the top of the list. From its outrageously quotable lines to the sheer Christmas cheer, it’s hard to go wrong with this one!

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

Admittedly, I think most of my love for this movie comes from Topper the penguin.  But, I love the soundtrack, too!

A Christmas Story

Every Christmas Eve, TBS plays A Christmas Story on repeat for 24 hours.  It’s a highlight of every single Christmas!  My grandparents have it on at their house, my parents have it on at their house, and I have no doubt that I’ll someday watch it with my family, too.

Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

Probably one of the least well-known of these movies, Nestor is another one that’s consistently near the top of my list of favourites.  I cry every single time, without fail.

In fact, I’ve actually wanted a plush Nestor for years–so, if anyone needs a last-minute gift idea for yours truly. . . .

Home Alone

Another classic in my family!  This is one of my grandmother‘s favourite movies–she watches it year-round! The first two movies are excellent, in my opinion, especially with the New York City sights in Home Alone 2.

Fun anecdote: my mom recently stumbled across this parody trailer for the fan-created Home Alone Christmas Reunion and her first question was how we would break the news to Nanny had it been real!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

ONLY the animated classic.  I know the live action version is relatively popular, but I personally cannot stand it.  The original, though, is a personal favourite.

I haven’t seen the newest animated version yet, but I’m trying to keep an open mind about it.  Between the return to animation and the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch, I’ve got relatively high hopes! Have you seen it? Let me know what you thought!

Jingle All the Way

This may actually be the only Schwarzenegger film I’ve seen! Nevertheless, it’s another favourite come Christmastime (and grossly underappreciated, in my opinion!).

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Another classic! Rudolph was my favourite as a kid and I’ve never grown out of that love.

A Merry Friggin’ Christmas

I haven’t seen this one many times and it’s pretty unlike most of the others on this list, but my adoration of Robin Williams brings it front and centre nevertheless.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Another animated special, another amazing addition to this list. If I had to guess, I’d say the music and Snoopy most draw me in–and Linus’ speech keeps me around! The Peanuts holiday specials are some of my favourite seasonal activities the year round.

The Holiday

I actually haven’t seen this one for a few years, but it’s stuck with me.  I think this year calls for a rewatch!

Frosty the Snowman

Yet another classic animation!  It’s hard to go wrong with the sub-genre thereof, really.

Love Actually

I’m not fully convinced that this belongs firmly in the category of Christmas films (and I’d watch it all year without issue), but Christmas is present enough for it to count, in my book. Plus, Alan Rickman. It’s also one of the few times that I can tolerate “All I Want for Christmas Is You!”

I also learnt recently that Olivia Olson, who plays Joanna, also voices Marceline in Adventure Time!

The Polar Express

This is one of my mom’s favourites, and despite not being a particular fan of Tom Hanks, it’s rubbed off on me!  The “Hot Chocolate” scene is so wonderfully upbeat, and “When Christmas Comes to Town” breaks my heart (in a good way!) every single time.

Deck the Halls

This one’s another ultra-contemporary film that isn’t normally my cup of tea, but it’s slowly become one of my favourites! Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito play off of one another wonderfully and Kristin Chenoweth and Kristin Davis make it even better.

Olive the Other Reindeer

This is probably one of the least well-known on this list, but I love it.  Dogs and Christmas? I’m a fan.

My Favourite Christmas Films

What are your favourite Christmas films?  Let us know in the comments!

Happy Blogmas