Goodbye December

I need to point out that I'm only trying to do a handstand in the third photo. Still unsuccessful.

For this final recap post of 2016, I'm saying goodbye to December. It's gone by too quickly if I'm honest. I haven't really been able to grasp it. December is my favorite month, in case I haven't made that obvious, or in case I haven't already mentioned it in another post. It's really been wonderful. I turned 22, and actually had a lovely birthday, which hasn't happened in years. I was able to buy my family Christmas gifts, and Christmas day was a relaxing affair. We started a new tradition this year, and it went down even better than expected. I've stayed busy, which is something I desperately need to keep my functioning. It's just been really nice, you know? I'm a little sad to see it go, but a new year will bring so many opportunities, and it's time to move on.

Thanks December. You didn't let me down.

I have a regularly scheduled Weekend Reading post going up tomorrow, so this is the last time I'm getting a bit more personal before the new year. So I want to wish you all a happy early New Year! I hope you spend the night doing something wonderful to ring in 2017.

Every Film I Watched for the First Time in 2016

It's time for the third annual list of films I watched for the first time this year. The is the good, bad, and so-bad-it's-good round up. I desperately need a shorter title and description before the 2017 list comes around. I never learn. Anyway, most of these films are pretty old, because I've rekindled my classic film addiction, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere (I'm thinking more from the 1960's in the coming year). I need to stress that not all of these films are good, and there are a number that I wouldn't recommend. Without further adieu, and in alphabetical order:

A Yank At Oxford // An American In Paris // Anastasia ('56) // Babes In Arms // Bell, Book, and Candle // Bells Are Ringing // Berlin Express // Black Mass // Breakfast At Tiffany's // Bringing Up Baby // Butterfield 8 // Come Live With Me // Dear Brigitte // Deep In My Heart // Dishonored Lady // Double Indemnity // Everybody Sing // F For Fake // First Knight // Follow The Fleet // Gentlemen Prefer Blondes // High Society // Invitation // Jane Eyre ('43) // Lili // Listen, Darling // Love In The Afternoon // Love Finds Andy Hardy // Mommie Dearest // Night Song // Once Upon A Honeymoon // Our Town // Pigskin Parade // Postcards From The Edge // Sabrina // Scarlet Street // Send Me No Flowers // Slightly Dangerous // Storm In A Teacup // Suicide Squad // The Bride Goes Wild // The Broadway Melody // The Ghost and Mrs. Muir // The Glass Bottom Boat // The Howards of Virginia // The Intern // The Lady Eve // The Last Time I Saw Paris // The Last Witch Hunter // The Light Touch // The Marrying Kind // The Strawberry Blonde // The Youngest Profession // The Women // Whiskey Tango Foxtrot // White Christmas // Young Frankenstein

What films did you see this year?

An Image For Every Month

And I'm back! I feel like I never really take a blogging break, and though I was only absent for two days (after all of Blogmas), I feel refreshed! I'm honestly happy to have my weekends back though. Of course, this is the last week of the year, so it will be full of recaps, beginning with today; an image to represent every month of 2016, be it a photo, illustration, or painting. It's kind of like what I did for my birthday post, but it's smaller, and more focused on this blog, rather than personal things. It's been a creatively full year, for sure. I'm completely pleased with how I've pushed myself creatively this year, and I can only imagine what next year will bring. I'll find out soon!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

It's only Christmas Eve as this post goes live, but the sentiment is the same. If this is your holiday, I hope you're spending it with someone you love, be it family or friends, and I hope you're having a wonderful, joyful day. I wish the same if this is not your holiday. I'm off to spend a few days with my own family. I'll be back on Tuesday.

2016 - The Year Of Too Much Wrapping Paper

I used a lot of different wrapping paper this year. This is because I forgot to include gift wrap in my budget, and I wound up using my parents' leftovers. They're lovely leftovers to be fair, but not what I'd originally planned. All of the gifts look festive though, and that's the main thing. There are only three days left until they're ripped apart! Three days! Let's all make the most of the next three days!

My Favorite Christmas Traditions

I've already mentioned The Nutcracker, but I thought it would be nice to talk about some of the other traditions my family has. I'll start from the beginning. On the evening of Thanksgiving, after the meal has been had, it's time to decorate my parents' house. We listen to Christmas music and make the entire house look like a wreck with boxes on boxes everywhere, and we snack on lebkuchen (first photo). This has always been the tradition in my family. Though my brother and I are grown, my mother still insists on buying us advent calendars, and I'm certainly not complaining. It's another cute tradition, and it's free chocolate.

Though a lot of the traditions we have are old and cemented in by now, it's nice to bring in something new every once in awhile. I've been talking about getting a Christmas calendar candle for a couple years now, and this year the thought was actually followed through. I love this candle, and I think the idea is really sweet, and I'll definitely continue this new tradition from now on.

Of course, the real love for these traditions, both old and new, have more to do with the people you're celebrating with than anything. My family has grown a new generation this year, and it's been wonderful sharing these traditions with someone new. I hope she feels the same love for them in another twenty years.

2016 Christmas Illustrations

They're here, finally! I know I've been teasing about posting these for way too long, but I couldn't resist. I also took longer than usual to complete them. I've been incredibly busy this season, and didn't plan well, so I didn't draw as much as I wanted to, but I'm happy enough with these three. They're a bit messy and imperfect, but that's pretty much me this month anyway, so it's fitting. I like the imperfections. I need to note however, that all three of these look better in person. Remember that. Remember that the scanner washes them out a bit. 

Anyway, this month has gone by way too fast, and I feel like I'm trying to catch and hold it, if only to savor it for a few more peaceful moments. I hope I'll get to do that this week, and I hope you do too, if you feel so inclined. Today I'll be baking more cookies and wrapping my Christmas gifts. I'm feeling a lot less stressed today, and a lot more festive. 

Are any of you working on Christmas prep already? Let me know!

A December Progress Report

The progress report is that I let the month get away from me, and Christmas is less than a week away. It's the busiest week of the month now, and I accidentally pushed everything back, and now I've got to do everything basically? Yeah. It's all good though. Somehow it's possible to be stressed and full of festive cheer at the same time. Today I've got to bake two different types of cookies, wrap gifts, and make sure I'm totally prepared for the last week of Blogmas. The rest of the week is Christmas prep. Wow. This is a fascinating post to read, huh? Sorry about it. Enjoy these miscellaneous photos today while I finish the Christmas illustrations that will finally go up tomorrow. I hope you all have a lovely week!

The Nutcracker Appreciation

I think I talk about my love for The Nutcracker every year on this blog, so of course this year is no exception. To make a long story short; The Nutcracker ballet is one of my all time favorite things about Christmastime, and I make an effort to listen to it all season long, and catch it in person every chance I get. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to fit the ballet into my plans this December, so I thought I'd find it on YouTube, and share it here, in case anyone else wants to add a little whimsy to their Sunday. 

This particular video is from the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, December 2012. It's beautiful. Enjoy!

Edit: Set the Festive Table

This image quality is terrible, but I promise they're lovely looking pieces. You can see both sets in much better quality on my Polyvore page, or in the links underneath both sets. All of the products are linked on the individual Polyvore page (again, linked underneath both sets). I struggled way too much to get these images onto a blog post, and as I type this it's almost midnight, and your girl's gotta sleep some time. These are both lovely edits though, if I do say so myself, and it even if it may be too late to order anything online, you can try shopping in person, and let this post serve as inspiration. I hope someone will. If I were hosting Christmas this year, I certainly would. Apparently I'm pretty confident in my taste at midnight. Good to know. Who doesn't love a bit of plaid and gold though?

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend.

21 Photos From My 21st Year

I turn 22 today, and instead of getting sappy, I thought I'd share 21 of my favorite photos from my 21st year. Obviously there are others that are much too personal to share, but these will do. It's been an amazing year, and so much better than I thought it would ever be. I've undergone a lot of personal growth. This blog turned three. My niece is the main plus though, of course. I'm pretty fond of her. Thanks 21.

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