Oh, Christmas Tree

This November marked 3 years with our home and I can’t believe it. Time has gone by so quickly! Each year, we’ve layered our Christmas decorations – especially our ornament collection – and added a little here and there.

When we first bought our home, I couldn’t wait to dress it up in holiday trimmings and have all our friends and family gather with us.



Each year, I add to our Christmas ornament collection by a few (dozen…don’t tell on me). I’ve been aspiring to dress our tree the way my mom did hers every year – completely dripping with an eclectic mix of ornaments.

When Al and I travel, we’ve begun a tradition of collecting an ornament from our trip. It’s a fun way to remember our adventures without filling our home with unnecessary things. I could sit and stare at our tree for hours – it’s really my absolute favorite feature of our holiday decorations.



Holiday Gifting: The Gentlemen

I can’t even tell you how much fun I have picking out gifts for Hubby. Al doesn’t really buy himself much throughout the year, and if he does it’s more related to a hobby, like a new golf club or new kicks for the gym. Christmas is my time to shower him with love, and some things I know he’ll really appreciate, but would never buy for himself.

One gift not on this list that was a huge hit from last year was two nights in Washington DC and dinner at our favorite restaurant. I picked a weekend, booked a hotel, and made a reservation for us – it was the perfect, thoughtful gift, and something I knew we would both really enjoy. It would go perfectly in the duffel bag below!

No. 1 A sharp looking fleece // No. 2 A leather watch, because he has a dressy steel one, but he neeeeds a casual leather watch! // No. 3 The Nest thermostat, which he received last year and LOVES – big hit! // No. 4 Bose noise cancelling (wireless) headphones // No. 5 A beer making kit – who doesn’t love a new hobby?! // No. 6 For his nicest of bourbons (Pair with a nice bottle of his favorite liquor for a brother or father or father in law gift!) // No. 7 A duffel bag – for a quick weekend getaway // No. 8 A more fashionable pair of sunglasses – don’t ask 😉

Holiday Gifting: The Hostess

There is an etiquette saying, “always ring the door with your elbow.” I love this sentiment, especially around the holidays – it’s meant to say that you should always go to a friend or family’s home with your arms full.

Bringing hostesses a little something for themselves is one of my favorite gifting opportunities. It’s a way to show how grateful you are to that person for having you in their home and for the gift of their time. It doesn’t have to be a big or expensive gesture, and often something you love is the perfect gift – they’ll think of you whenever they see it!

No. 1 Potholder set // No. 2 Pretty gold bluetooth speaker // No. 3 Pine scented dish soap & lotion // No. 4 Sweet little honeypot // No. 5 Rewined candles – champagne is THE BEST scent // No. 6 Rosemary trees – Trader Joe’s has them! // No. 7 A beautiful ornament – my FAVORITE gift to receive // No. 8 A light box // No. 9 Gold mixing bowl set // No. 10 Your favorite home made cookies in a pretty jar

Holiday Gifting: The Ladies

We’re kicking off our gifting week with gifts for the ladies! From big to small, there are so many great gifts for women to really make them feel special, which is always my goal in gifting to the women in my life. I think these ideas are perfect for everyone from your mom to your best friend to your wifey.

If you’re like me and not that into gifting cash for the holidays, I have two simple tips when thinking about gifts for the ladies (which really works for everyone):

  1. Think about what she’s really into (does she love to get her hair blown out, go for manicures, take photos, cook?)
  2. What would she probably not buy for herself, but still love to receive?

No. 1 A luxe bag in a neutral color to be worn year round // No. 2 Gloves with an extra special detail, like a sweet bow // No. 3 A beautiful pot for her kitchen // No. 4 The fresh sugar lip suite – I love these, want to try them all, but just can never bring myself to buy them for me // No. 5 A beautifully designed aromatherapy diffuser // No. 6 Fun and trendy earrings in a seasonal color // No. 7 Treats from Sugarfina // No. 8 Cozy slippers in a neutral color to go with all her favorite pj’s


it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas

especially now that we’ve hit the 21st and the world has not ended, we can march our way towards christmas. that means (vegan) egg nog, yummy cookies, fun gift-giving and family. oh, and of course christmas sweaters.

here are some cheeky sweaters especially perfect in the weekend leading up to christmas! do you rock a christmas sweater annually?

cheeky christmas sweaters

christmas wrapping inspiration

it’s that time of year again! i do hope that you’ve already finished you’re shopping and you’re on to wrapping all the gifts for the lovelies in your life. here’s a little dose of wrapping inspiration to get your creative juices flowing!

remember, you don’t have to go with cliche wrapping paper. you can go fun colors, funky, classic, simple, rustic – whatever your heart desires! i personally opted for lots of gold and silver this year. what about you?

i | ii | iii | iv | v | vi




living in: christmas vacation

in my family, we have a tradition of watching national lampoon’s christmas vacation every weekend from thanksgiving until christmas. then it goes away for the next year, only to resurface at the following thanksgiving. most of us can quote the majority of the movie. it might be a sickness.http://coedmagazine.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/national-lampoons-christmas-vacation1.jpg?w=600&h=350

anyway, want to live in christmas vacation like the rest of my family? here’s how:

1. a christmas tree. a full one that is far too big for the room. (full of sap, of course!)
2. a hat with ear warmers when you have to leave your trailer to go to the bathroom ’cause the shitter’s full.
3. jelly of the month club (no pool for you!)
4. a santa hat. essential when the squirrel jumps out of the tree at your face, runs through the house, prompting your brother’s (or your brother-in-law’s) dog to run through the house and destroy everything.
5. lights. to cover your whole house. oh, and be sure to knock out the neighborhood electricity while you’re at it AND steal the electricity from your next door neighbor.
6. a moose mug. for egg nog. duh.

7. a tree scented candle. just in case the sap from your over full tree (see #1) isn’t filling your home with christmasy goodness.

living in: christmas vacation


8. oh and some rope for when your brother kidnaps your boss (because he gave you the jelly of the month club and not cash for a pool)

12 days of Christmas (gifts)

we love gifting over here at herlongwayhome – we’d much rather give than receive. we think it’s fun to figure out something that is just right that we know our friend, cousin, aunt, boyfriend, husband, mom will love.

so if you’re still struggling to find the right gift, check out our picks for her this christmas:

12 days of christmas gifts


1. Ghost Chair | 2. SPECIMEN BOXES, $42 | 3. doodles pen necklace, $45 | 4. Zip leather gloves , $98 | 5. altru harmony interior fragrance oil, $65 | 6. LITTLE DICTIONARY OF FASHION , $20 | 7.L’Occitane Invigorating Verbena Set, $37 | 8. Figuier Candle, $60 |
9. Too Faced Glamour To Go 2 Pocket Palette, $20 | 10. Apple iPod shuffle , $45 | 11. Dogeared Circle Necklace , $65 | 12. a shining light, $48