2013 | for the love of design
hey 2012, i liked you.
you were the first time i’ve ever lived all by myself.
you were a new blog design and a rebrand that feels exactly like me.
you whisked both my siblings off to create new and exciting chapters in their lives.
you were a new way of looking at my health (love you, juicer).
you had me traveling to new places.
you were taking risks – like going on dates with people i’d never met before.
you were the year i caved and got an iphone…and a twitter account.
you were rediscovering my love for live music.
you were finally learning how to curl my hair.

2012 was, more than ever, a year of personal growth and discovery. i took the last week off of blogging to get down to the very core of my hopes and desires for this next year. i’ve never been one for making new years “resolutions” that i know will not be kept, so i have decided that 2013 is going to instead be a year full of intention and action. my personal life, professional life and this blog of mine are all going to take on a bit of a new direction.

2013 is reaching out to others and loving in a big way.
it’s creating, creating, creating.
it’s going after exactly what i want.
it’s becoming wiser, gentler, more patient, more inspired, and more self aware.
it’s experiencing real joy in the smallest of details in daily life.

do you have specific intentions for the new year? i hope you were all able to bring in 2013 in style! i am so looking forward to connecting with you throughout the next year.

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10 things about the holidays | for the love of design

my 10 favorite things about the holidays

1. christmas baking – iced sugar cookies were my family’s main christmas baking tradition ever since i can remember. it was an all day event of rolling out the dough, cutting the cookies, icing santa’s white beard and adding blue sugar to his happy little eyes. the sugar cookies were great for setting out for santa, but the three of us kids are all grown now and felt the need for a bit of variety in our christmas baking these past few years. this year we made vegan snickerdoodle pumpkin bread (my favorite), apple streusel bread, pecan tassies, and buckeyes.

2. doing nothing – i love the calmness of christmas day. sitting at the breakfast table for hours with a cup of coffee while the fire is going and the tree is lit – there’s really nothing better.

3. the christmas dog – my dog, chip, has a big love of opening presents. my parents put up their tree the week after thanksgiving each year and every morning until christmas he races down the stairs and goes straight for the tree to see if santa has brought him a gift. his childlike joy is so great and infectious throughout the christmas season; it’s one of the most special aspects of christmas for everyone in my family.

4. christmas eve appetizers – last year we decided to move our big, traditional meal to christmas day so that we could do something quick and easy in between church and opening presents. so appetizers it is! i may or may not have made a meal off of spinach dip and wine last night…

5. stockings – my mom hand-sewed all of our stockings when we were young. they’re beautiful and one of my favorite parts about my parent’s decorated home each year. stocking stuffers are also one of my favorite parts of christmas morning. hello, new mascara!

10 things about the holidays | for the love of design
6. road trips – most of my family lives in texas, so we usually spend the week after christmas down there. i love getting to celebrate christmas twice, once in each city!

7. the christmas puzzle – for something to do while the men in our family watch football, we start a new puzzle every year with thousands of pieces. some are wayyy more into it than others, but it’s something fun that everyone can contribute to even if it’s just one piece!

8. old christmas vhs tapes – my parents taped several christmas specials for us when we were little and to this day i’m not sure if i love watching them because of the actual movies or the commercials in between. a few of my favorites: nestle, 7up, mcdonalds, coca cola,and jell-o. pure MAGIC.

9. kansas city – i love my city at christmas time. the ice skating rink opens up at crown center, the plaza lights are turned on, a christmas carol plays at the repertory theatre, it gets downright chilly and we all cross our fingers for a white christmas.

10. candlelight service – it’s my favorite service each year. at the very end of the christmas eve sermon, the lights are turned off in the sanctuary and one by one we help light each other’s candles and watch the room fill up with light as we sing silent night. it’s truly magical every single year.

10 things about the holidays | for the love of design
i’ll be taking the rest of the week off to spend time with family. wishing you and yours a very merry christmas! see you in the new year, my friends.

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art social | for the love of design

Hey friends! Erin from artsocial here. I’m SO excited to share with you my 10 very favorite things about the holidays… let’s jump right in, shall we?

1. Christmas trees: the wonderful piney smell, the soft glow of the lights at night, the gifts that slowly accumulate underneath it – Christmas trees are the best.

2. Hot chocolate: peppermint hot chocolate is my all-time holiday fave… oh. so. good. However, this lavender hot chocolate recipe popped up on Pinterest a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to try it.

3. Sledding: it’s a family tradition, it’s awesome… nuff said.

4. The prezzies: giving, receiving – all of it is magical. Etsy has been my favorite place to find gifts this year… this shop has the cutest little gifts and ornaments.

art social | for the love of design

5. Baking cookies: it’s the season for treats, so baking cookies is a must. A must, I tell you. Maybe if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll try making these this year…

6. Snow: Living in Colorado means I definitely feel the seasons change. Basically after (and sometimes before) Halloween, it could snow at any moment. I always keep my fingers crossed for a white Christmas.

7. Holiday parties: It’s so much fun to dress up, get sparkly, and visit with friends and family. For my holiday party uniform this year, I’m keeping it simple, but with a pop of sparkle.

8. Wrapping presents: when I was little, I’d spend hours wrapping tiny “presents” to put under my barbies’ Christmas tree… wrapping (real) presents is still one of my favorite things to do. I love these simple & creative gift-wrapping ideas.

9. Christmas lights: while people can definitely go overboard on the lights, I LOVE the simple white lights on the trees around my neighborhood. They really make it feel like Christmas.

10. Taking pictures: I don’t know about you, but I definitely take more pictures around the holidays… there are so many picture-worthy (aka instagram-worthy) moments! I love the idea of using StickyGram to turn some of my favorite ‘grams into magnets… and then giving them as gifts to everyone.

Now tell me, what are some of your favorite things about the holidays?

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finer feelings | for the love of design

10 favorite things about the holidays with monica from finer feelings

1. The parties. Whether tacky sweater, ornament exchanges, or a small family gathering, few things
get me in the Christmas spirit more than spending a night out celebrating the season.

2. Lighting candles that smell of cinnamon, evergreen, and vanilla.

3. Watching Christmas Vacation at least five times. Why’s the carpet all wet Todd?!

4. Gingerbread lattes. Need I say more?

5. Giving gift cards or extra big tips in the spirit of the holidays.

6. Emptying stockings on Christmas morning with family and a glass of champagne within reach.

7. Elvis Christmas on repeat, with a few Michael Buble tracks sprinkled in between.

8. Wrapping gifts in brown kraft paper and string.

9. The Plaza lights.

10. Ear muffs, scarves, gloves for texting, furry boots, thick socks, and puffy coats.

10 things [finer feelings] | for the love of design

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kaley cornett | for the love of design

10 favorite things about the holidays with kaley from k photo

1. The winter look – I am a sucker for apparel and I love everything about winter clothes – mostly boots, scarves, and coats. I get told that I have too many coats and boots, but you need to have a variety because there are so many different occasions that one can wear those to. One of my favorite winter coats is my jcrew camel capella wool coat that I purchased last year.

2. Holiday Drinks! For instance, peppermint mochas and soy chai latte’s. I can’t resist a hot drink. Especially a nice cup of hot cocoa. It’s my favorite!

3. Colored tights. I have really been getting into colored tights this year. American Apparel always has a great selection and so does Urban Outfitters. American Apparel also has a pair of leggings called “winter leggings” that will honestly save your life. Check them out!

4. I love going to a tree farm and picking out the perfect tree. This is a new tradition that I started this year with my boyfriend, Clay – plus I secretly love love love the smell of pine so I have to have a real tree. Also, my heart is so happy whenever I see trees strapped on top of cars. It makes me so giddy for Christmas. I think it’s very important to carry on traditions whether big or small. I can count my family traditions on one hand, so I just want to make sure I create them with the ones I love.

5. Family and close friends – more so, around a big table. I had a chance to experience this when I had dinner with the Parsons + a bunch of our friends. This was one of the best nights of my life. I loved the ambiance, the conversation, and the fact that I could take to some strangers and feel like they were family in a very short amount of time. The whole experience was enchanting. I want to keep the whole “family dinner” tradition alive whenever I have a family of my own.

6. Local, local, local. I have definitely shied away from corporate places and have enjoyed spending my time and money at local establishments. Want to try something new? Check these places out, be it for the holidays or just for fun! Some of my favorite places/shops are Westside Local, Acme Gift, Howard’s Organic Fare & Vegetable Patch, Sporting KC, Blue Dandelion, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and many more! The Pitch published their Best of KC issue weeks ago, if you have a chance, check it out!

kaley cornett | for the love of design
7. Pinecones and other christmas decor. I’m a pinecone fanatic. I think they are so festive and there’s so much that can be done with them. My favorite pinecones of the season are dipped in paint.

8. Checking out my favorite blogs to scope out holiday gift ideas, just inspiration in general. A post that caught my eye recently was one put up by the lovely, Bri Emery of designlovefest. She put up a make it – blog post about leather keychains. I think this is such a cute little gift idea. I love that leather is coming back in style and what a great little stocking stuffer or gift for a friend.

9. Ice Skating at Crown Center. Sadly, this is something I have yet to do there, but I hear about it every year. Crown Center is amazing in general! Who doesn’t like to fall in front of their loved ones? I kid. I do like the fact that you can take your significant other to do this and hold hands and stay warm together. It’s such a great date idea!

10. Bringing everyone closer – the holiday’s always bring everybody closer. I see it every day. At Starbucks, the person in front of you in the drive-thru buying your coffee, the joy of spending your hard earned money on someone you love, seeing their face light up as they open their gifts. The holiday’s always bring a smile to my face. Gathering around the fireplace, sipping cocoa, seeing loved ones near and far – having snow ball fights, sledding – I need to make sure I have time to do all those silly things we used to do as kids.

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create like crazy | for the love of design

10 favorite things about the holidays with jordan from create like crazy

1. Going crazy with decorations! I’m never really finished adding to my Christmas decor.

2. Finding the perfect gifts for everyone on my list… and making a few!

3. Reflecting on the past year and making plans for the future .

4. Snuggling up with my mister in a big cozy blanket.

5. Getting creative with gift wrapping! I might actually be obsessed. ;)

6. Celebrating Jesus’ birth and remembering why He came.

7. Simply enjoying a good cup of coffee.

8. Eating a ridiculous amount of dessert.

9. Taking time to rest. This one is very hard for me but is SO needed.

10. And of course… spending lots of time with family and friends!

create like crazy | for the love of designcreate like crazy | for the love of design

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katelyn brooke blog | for the love of design

10 favorite things about the holidays with kate from katelyn brooke

1. Gathering with family: there’s nothing better than getting to see your family around the holidays!

2. Christmas cards: giving or receiving, it doesn’t matter- Christmas cards are one of my favorite things about the season!

3. Christmas music: I recently discovered Spotify (I know- I’m so behind!) and it’s been really awesome since I don’t have a very good collection of Christmas music on actual CDs.

4. Christmas movies: I just love Christmas movies. Some of my must-sees include It’s a Wonderful Life and Muppet Christmas Carol.

katelyn brooke blog | for the love of design

5. Christmas cookies: I love baking and decorating sugar cookies, but of course my favorite part is eating them.

6. Sitting in front of the Christmas tree: I have good memories of sneaking downstairs and sitting in front of the Christmas tree at late at night- there’s nothing more peaceful than just sitting in the glow of the tree.

7. Stockings: a lot of times my favorite gifts come in my stocking. I just love all those fun little extras!

8. Lights: I love checking out Christmas lights- there is a street near where I grow up that always has a really fun collection!

9. Shopping: I know that presents aren’t the whole point of Christmas, but I really love Christmas shopping in small doses. I love the decorations and being out with all the other shoppers it makes me feel festive!

10. Gift guides: I don’t normally put together one of these, but I sure love reading them! I especially loved the To & From gift guide this year.

katelyn brooke blog | for the love of designkatelyn brooke blog | for the love of design

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the object enthusiast | for the love of design

10 favorite things about the holidays with emily from the object enthusiast

1. Handmade is always a goal of mine. I strive for quality handmade gifts with quality handmade wrapping. Here I used an inside-out grocery sack, circles cut from an Anthropologie catalog and glued into a strip around the box, then I topped it off with a natural hemp string and a little ‘Merry Christmas’ gift tag. It feels good to give a gift that had thought put into every single aspect of it.

the object enthusiast | for the love of design

2. I believe in twinkling lights and evergreen scented candles year ’round. But they sure make things feel extra festive around the holidays, don’t they?

3. My grandmother’s homemade hot cocoa mix is a very meaningful part of my holiday. During the holidays she would always bring us a vintage Christmas tin full of her homemade cocoa mix. It was a race to get to it, because it was so good it didn’t last too long in our house. It’s delicious, and you can find the recipe for the cocoa on my blog, right here!

the object enthusiast | for the love of design

4. Pinecones are my go-to holiday decoration. They’re easy to find and they’re free! I like to scatter them about for a touch of winter in my home. My decorations are pretty minimal this year!

5. It’s A Wonderful Life and Home Alone are my two favorite holiday movies. No Christmas season is complete without snuggling up on the couch and watching these movies.

6. It is also my favorite time to pull out my flannel pj’s and wool socks! Fuzzy blankets decked in reindeer and warm snowflake socks are necessities for getting myself in the wintery Christmas mood.

7. My family is known for our sweets around Christmas. Everyone looks forward to the treats that the Reinhardt’s bring to gatherings. Chocolate covered peanut butter balls, sugar cookies, toffee, blueberry coffeecakes, and I think this year we’re even making a chocolate trifle!

8. Seeing our family and our beloved friends is another favorite of mine. No holiday is complete without spending time with the ones you love! Last Christmas my boyfriend and I parted ways and stayed with our own families. This year we’re staying together and visiting both our families, and I am beyond happy to get to spend the holiday with so many wonderful people.

9. Traditions are something that really matter to me. This is the first year I will be breaking tradition, and won’t be with my parents and sisters on Christmas morning. It’s hard to stomach, but traveling to be with the one I love feels pretty important too.

10. Live Christmas trees. My family strongly believes in a live tree each year. There is nothing better than that evergreen smell in the living room.

the object enthusiast | for the love of design

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