Three Reasons Why You Need to Start a Holiday Savings Account

Hi friends! This is my weekly “I work for a bank” lecture (just kidding, it’s the first and hopefully last). OPEN A DANG SAVINGS ACCOUNT FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS. Sorry to shout, but this is important.


All of this was purchased worry-free

  1. It’s easy. Look. I know not everyone has a ton (or any) extra money to save. Believe me, I get it. But hear me out: if you’re going to buy gifts anyway, that money’s got to come from somewhere. So why suffer during the most joyous time of the year when you could have some extra cash socked away with which to purchase all your tidings? Even if it’s just $5 a month…okay, that’s only $60, but it’s a start! In all seriousness, for the price of a single coffee each week, you’ve practically quadrupled that monthly five dollar investment.
  2. It eliminates stress. Here’s my own personal example: until a few years ago, I didn’t really plan for the holidays. I’d typically just charge Christmas gifts and spend the first half of the year paying off credit cards. It was so stressful! Every time I’d purchase a gift, it was like a little part of me died. Giving gifts is one of my very favorite things, so something had to give. I decided to put $100 each month in a dedicated holiday savings account, and my life has been better ever since.
  3. It makes fun life events…well, more fun. Listen, I know $100/month might seem excessive: that comes out to a whopping $1,200 come December. And it may be excessive for you, depending on the amount of people you buy for and the types of gifts you exchange. However! I also allocate some of these funds to buy things such as holiday decor, baking supplies, and gifts for other holidays throughout the year. The amount saved is less important than the fact that funds are being earmarked for the holidays, but if I have any left over I can just roll it over into my general savings (or save up for a spectacular gift for someone the next year).

That’s it! Now come Christmas each year, I’m legitimately stress-free. It’s wonderful. I can enjoy all the eggnog and merriment and what have you ’til the reindeer come home.

Oh, and do I ever.

Ho ho ho, and happy saving!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has finally arrived! Since we got most of our celebrating in over the past couple of weekends, tonight will be spent on the couch, handing out candy (assuming any kids show up – our track record has been pretty hit or miss, despite my efforts of supplying full-sized candy bars each year).

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Speaking of candy, what’s your favorite Halloween treat? I always liked a solid mix of fruity candy and chocolate (although when push comes to shove, chocolate reigns supreme 100% of the time in my book). My all-time favorite is the humble Milky Way bar, which people talk a lot of smack on (“it’s like a Snicker’s, only worse.” “Booo-ring!”), but I think there’s something to be said about its smooth, creamy simplicity – take your gross peanuts and kick rocks, Snickers! Also, your nougat is inferior. Yeah, I said it.

Ahem, anyway…I think if I was to choose a top 5, it would go as follows:

  1. Milky Way
  2. Twix
  3. Sour Patch Kids (although the Halloween size is admittedly pathetic)
  4. Skittles
  5. Reese’s pumpkin (I’ll also take a full size cup in a pinch)

As a small disclaimer, I’d like to clarify that if Reese’s Fastbreak wasn’t impossible to find (and possibly discontinued?!!) it would take number one EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Best candy bar ever to exist. The nougat is PERFECT, the texture is exquisite, and the salty, slightly grainy peanut butter complements the whole thing like a dream. It’s frankly tragic that this miracle of a treat isn’t more celebrated.

Welp…that was a lot of candy bar talk from someone who claims to not really even like candy bars (I eat MAYBE 2 full candy bars a year, but don’t worry – the amount of random candy and chocolate I eat in other forms more than makes up for my lack of bar consumption). I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween, and gorge yourselves appropriately!

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, friends! Jeff and I have a Halloween bash to attend Saturday evening – we’re going as Bob and Linda Belcher from Bob’s Burgers 🙂 In honor of Halloween quickly approaching (actually, I feel like it should’ve come and gone already…I feel like it’s been “almost Halloween” for about a month now), I thought I’d share a few of my past costumes:

Umm, just a quick disclaimer: I typically fall somewhere between “lazy” and “complete buzzkill” when it comes to Halloween and don’t usually put much, if any, effort into my costume. Okay, moving on…


Wednesday Addams…This one wins the award for “Best costume compiled entirely of clothes that were already in my closet and thrown together in 5 minutes.”

Ah, the chicken suit: one of my all-time favorites. Points off for sweaty face, as well as difficulty breathing, seeing, and eating.


EXTREMELY lazy “cat” – this one wins the award for “WORST costume compiled entirely of clothes that were already in my closet and thrown together in 5 minutes.” To be fair, I believe this happened when I was already at a friend’s house and they sprung a Halloween bar crawl on me last second…the cat ears happened to be in my car, so  I went with it.


Oof. This was the year Jeff & I went as “sexy Harry Potter and Hermione.” This was the one and only time I’ve ever worn a pre-fab “sexy” costume from a Halloween store…it was pretty bad, and makes me feel shame.


Another extremely lazy offering, “Cool Cat.” This one gets a pass for youth – I think I basically just wanted to be cute at the bar. Missing here is Jeff’s TERRIBLE costume from that year (which I believe was our first Halloween together), “Rapping Paper” – clever in theory, horrifying in execution (he looked like a nightmare version of Data from Star Trek). Also absent: “Birthday Cat” – this was a last second costume I came up with upon learning we had to wear costumes to work at the restaurant I had just been hired at, so I recycled the damn cat ears and threw on a party hat to go as a “party animal.” One of my tables asked me if I was a “birthday cat” and our chef, Eric, thought it was the funniest thing he had ever heard…that nickname has stuck around to this very day (and I haven’t even worked at that restaurant in 4 years!)

Anyone else doing anything festive over the weekend? Have a great one, and don’t get too spooked!

Holiday Round-Up

This holiday season has felt bonkers, and it FLEW by. I feel like I can safely say this has been the busiest holiday season I can remember. Thankfully, I got over my grinchiness by early December and I’ve been enjoying the holiday whirlwind. I will say, though…I still don’t know that I’d say I feel particularly Christmassy…I feel happy and excited and I’ve been enjoying myself, but I don’t have that cozy, warm, nostalgic feeling that normally comes with the holiday season. I’m going to chalk it up to unseasonably warm weather (up until the past couple of days, anyway), the fact that I’ve been so busy (with both holiday and non-holiday related activities) and that Christmas really seemed to sneak up on me this year. I feel like LAST Christmas was only a few months ago! Is this how the rest of my life is going to go?? Yikes!

Anyway, I thought I’d check in and give a run-down of I’ve been up to over the past few weeks.

After a really nice Thanksgiving spent with family, we went to pick out our tree and got to work decking the halls. For the past two years, we’ve bought our tree from a pop-up lot set up by our local Lion’s Club. It may not be as festive as going to a farm to cut our own tree or as cost-effective as buying a tree from a big box store or the sketchy guys who set up outside McDonald’s with a trashcan fire and a sign that says “ALL TREES $20,” but we really like the guys who work the lot and it feels good knowing that we’re helping a good cause. As always, we set our tree up while watching Bad Santa…although this year, we also added “A Very Murray Christmas” to the mix.


I decided to branch out from all boring bulb ornaments this year, and I’m loving the results


I decided I wanted to keep my birthday pretty low-key this year, so we celebrated with a dinner at the Melting Pot (I had never been and everyone kept telling me it was worth checking out), and and evening wandering around Longwood Gardens (a local institution that has a legendary light display every Christmas). It was a really nice, relaxing weekend – everything I was hoping for after a non-stop few months.


Post dinner shot


Huge Longwood tree


Jeff and I both thought this tree was awesome with the lights all the way down to its roots…the lights even continued over to the other side of the footbridge!



Birthday celebrations continued this last weekend with a birthday/holiday dinner with a few of my closest gal pals at my favorite restaurant, Terrain. It was great to get together and spend a couple hours laughing over wine and delicious food. One of my friends was even sweet enough to MAKE me a beautiful pallet sign for our house, and I can’t wait to decide where to put it!


Obligatory latte shot from dinner


Beautiful sign!

I’m off work today and tomorrow, and I’m getting ready to embark on my yearly Christmas cookie bake-a-thon. I’m baking a whopping THIRTEEN different types of cookies this year, and aside from the usual chocolate chip and my signature butter pecan cookies, I’m trying a couple traditional Italian cookies that my grandma used to make every year, along with a couple of totally new cookies (like frosted eggnog cookies and chocolate-cherry shortbread cookies). I think Jeff and I are going to catch up on the new season of Serial while I bake (along with lots and lots of Christmas music…mainly Hanson’s “Snowed In”, natch), and then I’ll pack up our yearly care packages to some of our close friends and family, along with our neighbors and co-workers. If baking about a million cookies and listening to 10 hours’ worth of Christmas music doesn’t get me in the spirit, I don’t know what will!

We also have a meeting with our travel agent this evening to discuss our honeymoon – eeeeek! I think I might be almost more excited for our honeymoon than our actual wedding…well, maybe not. It’s a toss-up. Suffice it to say that I’m EXTREMELY excited to nail down our final plans and actually start booking!

Other than that, Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye…only 4 days! I’m pretty much all ready…I have a couple tiny things left to wrap, but other than that I’m all set.


I maybe went a liiiittle overboard with the gifts this year…also, can you tell which gifts Jeff wrapped? :-p

I hope everyone is having a very merry holiday season, and that you’re enjoying time with friends and family! Cheers!