Archive for Holidays

Aaand We’re Back!

Hello, friends!

For the last two weeks, while I’ve been on vacay from work, I opted to just relax.  2013 was a wonderful year that seemed to just fly by.  When you’re constantly running around, you can forget how nice it is to just lounge around and catch up on movies you’ve wanted to see and eat banana bread.

I’m glad to have entered 2014 feeling refreshed and energized!

Winter Break | http://www.popcornonthestove.com

Joe and I had a wonderful Christmas Eve at his parents’ house and wonderful Christmas day at my parents’ house.  Both were filled with a whole lot of family and an overabundance of delicious food… though neither of these photos really illustrate that.  Probably because I was so busy stuffing my face and spending time with family we don’t get to see all the time.

Winter Break | http://www.popcornonthestove.com

Winter Break | http://www.popcornonthestove.com

For New Year’s Eve, Joe and I have continued our tradition of having a nice dinner at home and relaxing while we wait for the ball to drop.  This year, we feasted on stuffed mushrooms, stuffed shells (with tofu and basil instead of cheese), and chocolate covered popcorn.  We may have gone overboard on the chocolate… but it was totally worth it :)

Winter Break | http://www.popcornonthestove.com

By the time the snow storm hit on Friday, we were a little stir-crazy.  After all, I had painted seven plaster buildings for our village and we had watched what felt like every movie on Netflix.

Winter Break | http://www.popcornonthestove.com

Rather than stay cooped up for our final days, we opted to go for a nice long walk and spend some time at the Staten Island Zoo.  It’s something we’ve always talked about doing so it was nice to finally check that off our list.  It isn’t a large zoo by any means, but there are plenty of animals to check out.  Plus, most of the exhibits are indoors so it’s was a welcomed break from the cold.

A perk of going after a snow storm is that it was basically empty.  That meant we had the whole place to ourselves and could really linger where we wanted (like with the bald eagles, an overly friendly puffer fish, and the Galapagos tortoises).

Winter Break | http://www.popcornonthestove.com

All in all, it was a wonderful vacation and a perfect way to start the new year!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, too!  Were you able to relax like us or did you use the holidays to travel?

Posted in Christmas, Fun, Holidays, Seasonal | 1 Comment

Wishing You A….

Popcorn on the Stove | http://www.popcornonthestove.com

Posted in Christmas, Holidays, Seasonal | 1 Comment

Holiday Gift Ideas: Him

These gifts are certainly geared towards Joe (I like to think I know him pretty well), but I feel like they’re great starting points for anyone.

Popcorn on the Stove | http://www.popcornonthestove.com

ONEShoe Shine Kit from West Elm | $12.95
Maybe it’s because my uncle owned a shoe repair shop, but I’ve always felt that you should take care of your shoes – especially when you’ve got a really nice leather pair.  After all, shoes can really make or break an outfit.  A shoe shine kit (either this or one you DIY) would be an awesome gift for any guy in your life.

TWOClarks’ Cs Drv Moc Plaid | $44.99
Cozy slippers?  Definitely one of the best gifts you can give during these cold months!  These are my favorite right now because they’re fleece lined (ie. warm) but also look nice enough that you could wear them out if you needed to run a quick errand.  The rubber soles would keep them from getting ruined.

THREEGame of Thrones Winter Is Coming Heat Sensitive Mug | $17.99
Game of Thrones will be back in Spring of 2014, but if you know a fan who just can’t wait, perhaps this will hold them over.  There are plenty of mugs (and other drinkware) available on the HBO site, but I included the House of Stark since that’s Joe’s favorite).  If your guy doesn’t like Game of Thrones (seriously?), you can also go for Doctor Who, Dexter, or Community.

FOURRichmond Toiletry Case from Pottery Barn | $39.50
Ladies have make up cases and bags, so why shouldn’t guys have a case for their stuff?  This is a practical gift because not only will it keep all of their things together, but it’ll be easy to pack if they’ve got to travel (either for business or for an impromptu weekend away).

FIVEFlannel PJ Pants from Old Navy | $14.00
Pajama pants are always a safe gift.  I always love a good flannel print, but I also love something a bit more fun, too (like these).  Either way, you can’t go wrong.

SIXMen’s Cresta Hiking Socks (Wool) from L.L. Bean | $22.95
Socks are always a good stocking stuffer.  You can go for Dress Socks, casual/fun socks, or athletic socks.  Since Joe loves to hike and camp with friends and these would definitely keep him warm once the temperature drops, but I also sort of love the idea of getting him funny socks (most likely with penguins on them).

SEVENEye Glass Holder from UnCommon Goods | $18.00
These are a fun gift.  Not only will they look great on a nightstand or at a desk, but they’re incredibly practical.  No more hunting for your glasses!

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Posted in Christmas, Gifts, Seasonal | 1 Comment

Consider the Halls Decked

I can’t believe it’s taken me until the week before Christmas to share our apartment with you all!  This weekend, Joe and I were able to not only get our real Christmas tree but finally finish decorating the apartment.  Pretty successful, if you ask me.  Now we’re just working on soaking in all the Christmas cheer we can.

Out of all the apartments we’ve lived in, this has easily become my favorite.  Quite possibly because it does Christmas oh-so-well.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

The first thing Joe did when we returned from Paris was add lights around the windows.  It wasn’t until this week that we added the candles (both the candles and candle holders are from IKEA).  We like the look of both the lights and the candle, but next year may just go with the candle.  Or maybe we’ll do both again because we just love Christmas lights.

PS – the red ribbon tying the curtains back was totally Joe’s idea.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

There is now a strand of lights on our radiator.  Originally, I just hid the lights behind the radiator but, like I said, I like having Christmas lights. No point in hiding them.

I hope this starts a trend of people decorating their radiators.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Since we’re still mantle-less, our stockings are back up on our card catalogs.  It’s a nice pop of color in that corner of the room.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

On top of the card catalog is the beginning of a little Christmas village.  Both of our families have little villages so it’s something we hoped to have.  Unfortunately, these villages are never cheap – unless you go to Michael’s about 1.5 weeks before Christmas!  These were all 70% off so we only paid $1.49 each.  I haven’t decided if I want to paint them for next year or keep them white so for now, they’ll stay as-is.  I’ll also need to figure out some faux snow for displaying these (sadly, some left over fabric had to do the job).

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Since we now use our Expedit bookshelf as a TV stand, there was less room to play with this year.  I opted not to rearrange the shelves because 1) I like the books organized by color and 2) you can’t really see the lower shelves from the couch, making it a waste of ornaments.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

We still have our penguins on one side (with our snow owl and some fun red flowers) but the other side is definitely busier.  The lamp (as well as the lamp on the card catalog) has been filled with holly.  In front of that is my beloved nutcracker and the snowmen an old friend made for me.  There are also two pups kissing (and they are too cute not to display).

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

The bookshelves on the right of the expedit are fully decorated as well.  We’ve got Santa climbing the ladder with his elves, the blind mice kind of exploring the shelves, and a slew of other Christmas (like red flowers or an apothecary jar filled with ‘snow’ and berries).

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Our second bookcase was moved to storage and replaced with our real Christmas tree! It’s a whopping 4 feet tall and we couldn’t love it more.  After getting a series of very large trees (and the last one almost killing me via allergies), Joe and I decided to get a much smaller tree.  After all, it would have been incredibly difficult to carry a tree taller than this up the stairs since we’re on the second floor.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

This little fella is definitely our favorite tree yet… and I’m not just saying that because I say that about every tree… or because it’s got a penguin theme.  This is the first tree that we really have up front and center instead of the corner behind us.  It’s also a very plush tree so we didn’t have to over load it with ornaments.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Other small touches around the apartment include the pillow cases I made last year.  We’ve got them showing the gingerbread men, but we can always flip them to the stripes if the mood strikes us.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

I also added two hurricanes and a white runner to our dining table.  The first hurricane has a ton of cinnamon-scented pine cones while the second is filled with epsom salt and silver ornaments.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

To accommodate for having two trees, Joe and I needed to do some furniture rearranging.  This of course happened late Saturday afternoon – early evening, as is our usual style.  We finally took the desk out of the closet and brought it into the dining nook.  I guess I can start referring to it as a study or office now, huh?

I’m actually really excited about this space now because it’s got a direction.  When we had the dining table in here, it was incredibly crowded – even with just one person at the table.  It’s kind of the perfect size for an office.  Now I want to go and buy a bunch of bookshelves for the other wall.  If we owned this place, I would be going for built ins (or, more realistically, I would’ve knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining nook).

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Our elf on the shelf is back and having fun all over the apartment.  Right now he’s on our 2nd tree, but who knows where he’ll be tomorrow!  Joe still thinks he’s creepy while I still love having him around.  I almost want to get a second, but that seems silly.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Our second tree (the faux one) is where we put up all of our sentimental ornaments.  These include the ones we’ve bought for each other, the ones we’ve picked up on vacations (like the Eiffel Tower) and the ones from our childhoods.

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

So, it took a little while to get there, but that’s what our apartment looks like right now.  I love it (the minute I get home from work, I plug the Christmas lights in) and wish we could keep the decor like this all year.  Don’t worry – we won’t be doing that… but I am already thinking about how much I can keep out for Winter :)

Christmas decor | http://www.popcornonthestove.com/

Did you just finish decorating like us?  Or have you been basking in the holiday cheer for all of December?

Posted in Christmas, Decor, Holidays, Home, Living Room, Seasonal | 7 Comments

Holiday Gift Ideas: Tech for All

While Joe and I finish decorating for Christmas (we’ll be getting – and decorating – our real tree this weekend!), I thought it would be nice to share some holiday gift ideas (just like I did last year).  First round is for anyone who loves technology… so basically everyone, I suppose…

Popcorn on the Stove | http://popcornonthestove.com/

ONERoku HD Streaming Player | $89.00
Since Joe and I don’t have cable, we really utilize our Roku.  If you’re not sure what a Roku is, it’s basically a way to stream entertainment to your television (so there’s no more hunching over a laptop to watch your favorite tv show/movie/sports game/etc.).  There are a ton of channels to choose from – some of our favorites are Netflix, Amazon Prime, PBS, and HBO Go [thanks to Joe's parents for that one] – so there’s always something to watch.  Bonus: you can also get the Roku LT Streaming Media Player for $49.99.

TWO3Doodler | $99.00
3D printers are very cool, but unless you have $2,000 – 3,000 lying around, they’re not a likely gift.  A great alternative is the 3Doodler.  It’s a pen that let’s you draw in 3D.  When you order the pen, you get 50 strands of plastic to draw with (and there are a ton of colors to choose from when you’re ready for refills).

THREEPhilips GoGEAR SoundDot MP3 Player | $14.99
An Mp3 player is a great gift for someone who enjoys working out or just loves music.  I know that an iPod shuffle is probably your first instinct, but this option is pretty great and worth noting.  The most obvious reason why is the price tag, making it perfect for a stocking stuffer.  The second is that the USB is built into the player (meaning no cords to ever worry about losing!).  This player also comes in blue or pink if this color combo doesn’t excite you.

FOURPhotojojo iPhone and Android Lens Sets | $49.00 for Classic Kit
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is constantly snapping photos with their phones (I am definitely in this group).  What better gift to give someone than a lens set for their phone?  Photojojo offers wide & macro, fisheye, telephoto, and polarizing lenses for your phone (they should work on most Android and iPhones).  You can get the kit or just an individual lens which will only run you about $20-$25.

FIVEDoctor Who – Dalek Blue Prints TV Poster | $7.69 (unframed)
These Dalek blue prints are very awesome – and I think they would be a big hit.  Blue prints of things are always cool.

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Posted in Christmas, Gifts, Seasonal | 1 Comment
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