Christmas Books, Gifts, and More – 11/27/18

Happy Tuesday! We have been officially in the Christmas season since Friday. Our house is mostly decorated and I am in full on Christmas mode. I wanted to share a few Christmas favorites and ideas.


I recently read two cold weather books. I thought they were both Christmas books, but I was wrong. The were both enjoyable but I definitely recommend one before the other.

The first book is It Started with Christmas by Jenny Hale. This book reads like a Hallmark movie and I loved it. Holly McAdams takes her grandmother back to the family cabin for the first time since her grandfather passed away. She completely redid the cabin, according to her grandfather’s wishes, but her grandmother is not happy. To make matters worse, the previous renter is stuck there due to a snow storm and Holly and her grandmother have to share their sacred space. Joseph, the previous renter, is engaged and going to be married shortly. He is a wealthy New Yorker but seems to love this small town outside of Nashville, TN. As you can imagine, Holly falls for Joseph but her high school best friend turned rock star tries to convince her otherwise. This book reads just like the Hallmark movies I am watching every night. You know what’s going to happen, but it makes you happy as you read the book. I give it ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️. Go read this book, it’s a great Christmas season read! *I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

The second book is Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber. I thought this was going to be a Christmas book, but it wasn’t. The book follows Josie as her summer position in an isolated Alaskan town comes to an end. She and Palmer, a local master swordsmith, have grown quite close during her time in Ponder. On her last night, Palmer asks Josie to marry her and stay. Josie has already committed to a job back home in Seattle and isn’t sure she’s cut out for winter in Ponder, so she declines. Unfortunately she oversleeps and misses the last ferry out of town before winter. Josie and Palmer navigate the prospect of winter in Palmer, trying to go back to Seattle, and figuring out their relationship. This is a light, freezing cold beachy read. I give it ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️. If you are looking for a chilly, easy read, head to Ponder, Alaska and read this book. *I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I loved Debbie Macomber’s Christmas book Merry and Bright. I read it last year and have recommended it to friends a bunch of times. I am going to read her book, Starry Night this year. It’s another Christmas book. I’ll let you know what I think.


I love dressing for the season. I recently picked up two pairs of shoes that I highly recommend for Christmas. I am pretty late to the Toms game. I’ve tried them on, but never took the plunge. Everyone raves about how comfy they are and they are an incredibly charitable company. What’s not to love? Well, for starters, I wasn’t so sure they were flattering on me. I tried them on with different cuts of pants (cropped, skinny, ankle, boot cut) and found that they are cute with certain pants. I decided to make my first pair the glow in the dark, Sherpa lined, Christmas lights Toms. I love them. I have already worn them a few times since Thanksgiving!

The second pair of shoes was a Zulily find. I don’t usually shop on that website, but these caught my eye. They are Ellen Degeneres’ brand of flats. I was so surprised at how comfortable they are. The flats are well padded. I went up a half a size because the picture looked like they were elastic side flats and I didn’t want them to be tight. They are a smidge big, but I think my regular size would be small. I love the color and that they say “peace”. It’s a great message all year long, but especially wonderful during the Christmas season.

I love a graphic T-shirt, especially for a holiday. I am loving my Christmas shirts this year. One of my friends at work does the best job of dressing up her graphic t’s with really cute necklaces, cardigans, and bracelets. I decided to try to imitate her style today and I really liked it.

My sister sent me this shirt the other day and I love it. It is super soft and most appropriate. One of her dear friend’s sister made it. It is super soft and cozy!! You can contact here on Facebook, Allison McPherson Penuel, if you want one too. I know you do! 😉

When we got home on Monday there were a few boxes on our porch and by the time I went upstairs to change my clothes there was another stack of boxes on the porch.

I get my graphic t’s from a number of places but one of my favorite places is Jane. I love the prices, the selection, and the communication about orders. You do usually have to pay shipping per item, which can be a tough one to swallow as an Amazon Primer, but it’s not too bad. I’ve gotten Thanksgiving and Christmas t’s from Jane’s sellers.


One of my ways to keep my sanity during the busy holiday season is the Fellow Flowers Holiday Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to move your a** for 30 intentional minutes every single day. This challenge is the one that started my exercise streak 2 years ago. It is a free Facebook group that provides workout ideas, motivation, and tons of encouragement. To join, search #FFHolidayChallenge 2018 and ask to join the group. You can post in the group every day or whenever you want. There are a bunch of pictures with the day number (today is 6) and reasons why you moved your body today. Feel free to comment or email me ( if you have any questions about the challenge.

Mystery Mailers

I’ve shared mystery mailers in the past that I loved – 4th of July, Summer, Halloween – and I have another to share today. I’ve ordered all of these from Prep Obsessed. This time I have the teacher mystery mailer to show you. This one came ready to go as a great gift in this cute bag.

Inside are a bunch of teacher goodies. There are these cute globe earrings…

And these socks…

And this lanyard & ID badge/key ring…

And this Tervis mug…

And this adorable notepad, perfect for all the lists that teachers are always making.

As a teacher this would make me so happy. (Disclaimer – a heartfelt note from students and their families are my absolute favorite gift) If you are looking for a material gift to give, all these parts are pretty neat. You could even break it apart and give it to multiple teachers.

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed a little look into some Christmas thoughts from my brain. Have a great day filled with sunshine and books!

☀️ 📚 😎

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