One of my favorite things about this year was the expansion of Bubby and Bean to include a small team. (You can read more about each team member here.) It's been such a great experience to get to work together with some really incredible women, all of whom have helped make this blog better than ever before. Paige's home posts are consistently full of the most gorgeous collections of decor, furniture, and DIY projects, put together with the eye of an exceptionally talented Interior Designer. Sara's recipes are beyond delicious (and always with insightful tips on how to prepare them for the little ones as well!), and her wine-themed pieces, which are interesting, educational, and visually lovely, are so clearly written by a wine country expert. Morgan's beauty posts, which always include items that she's personally tried, are my go-to resources when I'm looking for new cosmetics or beauty products, and her help as a consultant when choosing beauty products for my round-up posts here has been major. Kari's continued work as my assistant (for those who don't know, she was the long-time customer service and fulfillment manager at my clothing company) has been invaluable, and her spirit and enthusiasm continue to be contagious. These girls have been such an asset, and because of them, I'm more excited than ever before to see what the new year brings here at Bubby and Bean.
I thought it would be fun to all come together as a team for a special holiday post, and share some of our favorites this season: our holiday wish list items, our holiday food picks, our top Christmas movies, our favorite things about the season, and our plans for the holidays this year. We loved putting this together for you guys and hope that you enjoy reading it!
TOP TWO HOLIDAY WISH LIST ITEMS
PAIGE - I'm eyeballing the Nikon D3300 (#1) which has been a consistently great price on Amazon. I also want a simple silver necklace to wear everyday, like this (#4).
SARA - A Passion Planner (#9) and new Hunter Wellies (#6).
MORGAN - I'm just going to be honest here and say it: I like gift cards. Target (#10), F21, H&M... They're practical and appreciated. I'd also love some Bordella eyeshadow from Urban Decay (#2).
KARI - I'm not one to have much on my list. This year I have one simple (a Zooka iPad speaker, #7) and one splurge (a cashmere cardigan, #3).
MELISSA - My large suitcase is almost ten years old and falling apart, and I really need a new one to check when I travel. I've come across several gorgeous models that are super easy on the eyes but (in my opinion) way too expensive for something that's going to get beat up on a baggage carousel. So I'd be all about a classic black Swiss Army piece, or this cute (and on sale!) Orla Kiely roller (#5). I'd also love a gift card to a local spa (#8). Getting to spend an hour away for a pedicure or facial is a rare and much appreciated luxury.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY FOODS
MORGAN - Bacon. Christmas morning mimosas. Shrimpies. Bacon. Stuffed French toast. Ham. Ginger cookies. Bacon. Ham. Also, ham.
MELISSA - Mashed potatoes! They may not technically qualify as a 'holiday food,' but I'm sticking with my answer. I also love soy 'egg' nog, and stuffed french toast, which is a Christmas morning tradition in our family. So many delicious calories packed in every bite. Oh, and mimosas. Obviously mimosas.
SARA - My Mom's Maple Twist Coffee Cake. She only makes it for Christmas morning and now, whenever we visit as a special treat!
PAIGE - PIE. Any pie. With a side of cookies.
KARI - Anything pumpkin or gingerbread. I love it all!
FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE
KARI - Planes Trains and Automobiles, Home Alone, Rudolph, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (the original, LOVE that yeti).
MORGAN - Easy. It's A Wonderful Life.
PAIGE - It's a tie between Santa Claus is Comin' to Town and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. My sister and I watched both of them every year as kids so they've kind of melded into one movie for me. The stories are still great as an adult, and I find it really charming to watch stop motion animation because hardly anyone does that anymore.
MELISSA - It's A Wonderful Life, always and forever. The original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is definitely my spirit animal though, so that comes in a close second.
SARA - White Christmas. I love everything about it.
FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE HOLIDAY SEASON
SARA - I LOVE everything about the holidays. Cinnamon scented candles, seeing the tree decorated with all my childhood ornaments, my Great Aunt's framed holiday art (which my husband Ralph despises when I leave up for months after), all the parties, all the food, and watching my favorite holiday movies by the light of the tree. My daughter Piper just turned 1 this year, so I can't wait for her to start picking up on how much joy mommy gets out of all her silly traditions.
PAIGE - This is going to make me sound like a total goober, but just I like the magic of the season. You get to celebrate with your family and friends, stores are decorated, Christmas lights are everywhere... And if we're lucky enough to get a dusting of snow for a white Christmas, that makes it even better. Sure, it can be stressful with the gift-buying and party-hosting, but at the end of the day there's a lot to enjoy.
KARI - For me one of the best parts of the holidays, as cheesy as it sounds, is the music. I'm a total geek when it comes to Christmas music. I try to hold off listening until December 1st, but honestly, Thanksgiving is fair game to start, much to my family's dismay. I also love the lights, smells and feel of the winter air. I love it all, and especially being with my family and friends to finish out the year.
MORGAN - Family. Knowing that I get to spend a few intimate days with them makes the craziness of the season all worth it. I love my family more than anything in this world.
MELISSA - I love most everything about Christmas. It's my absolute favorite time of the year, which says a lot, because I truly hold no hatred in my heart except for that which I feel for the evil season known as winter. If I had to pick one favorite part though, it would be spending time with my family and celebrating via our quirky holiday traditions. I'll also confess that I secretly love the hustle and bustle - the week before when my businesses slow down, I love running around and doing last minute holiday errands with Christmas music blaring in my car. It energizes me and makes me even more excited about Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
HOLIDAY PLANS THIS YEAR
PAIGE - We're spending the actual Christmas holiday with my parents, and then both taking several days off of work to sit around like blobs until January. I can't wait.
KARI - This year we will have a quiet actual Christmas, just the 4 of us, but will be hopping a plane to glorious Mexico 2 days later. We meet my parents there every year (thanks Mom and Dad if you are reading), and this marks our 10th year in a row of doing this trip. This year we are trying something new and making our home for the week in a beautiful fishing village called Sayulita, on the Pacific Coast about 30 miles N of Puerto Vallarta. Check it out!
MELISSA - There are a lot of 'firsts' involved in our plans this year, and I'm stoked. This will be Essley's first Christmas, and she's the only kid in the family (aside from Robbie's brother's kids, who sadly won't be here). Judging by our collective excitement, I'm pretty sure that she's going to be our shining holiday star. I can't wait. Robbie's parents are also coming into town for the first time and staying through the New Year. This will also the first time in many, many years that Robbie and I won't be hosting everyone for Christmas eve and morning. Instead, Robbie, his parents, Essley, my sister and her husband, my mom, stepdad, and I will all be spending those two nights at my mom's/stepdad's, who have a whole lot more room than we do. Then on Christmas night, we'll all have dinner at my dad's/stepmom's. Essley's first birthday (what??) is the 28th, and on the 27th, we're throwing a party for her. Then Robbie leaves on the 28th to prepare for the band's 5-show (yikes!) New Year's run in Atlanta. I'll be joining him down there for the 31st and the 1st (my birthday). There's lots going on and I wouldn't have it any other way.
SARA - Since this will be Piper's first official Christmas (she was just a blob last year), we are having a really low key holiday. I love having family and friends over for Christmas Eve brunch and I'll prepare a great spread with the following; berry salad with citrus & mint, braised lamb sliders with pickled onions, quiche lorraine, asparagus, leek and Gruyere quiche, and a lemon glazed poundcake. I'll also do a great champagne bar with the set-up for 10-12 champagne cocktails. It's my "go to" menu every year. After the crowd leaves, we will have a quiet night in and celebrate Christmas morning with just the three of us. Christmas Day is all about making all of my favorites recipes that my mom has passed down. Ham, mac & cheese, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, roasted brussels sprouts, and sugar cream pie. I will inevitably attempt to make my mom's Maple Twist Coffee Cake, but it never comes out quite right. The day will be filled with nothing but holiday movies and lounging in our jammies!
MORGAN - Family, bacon, mimosas, family, sleep, bacon, family, sleep.
We'd love to hear what your holiday favorites (and plans for this year) are as well, so please share in the comments! And from all of us - Melissa, Paige, Sara, Morgan, and Kari - Happiest Holidays!
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