Christmas 2019 To-Do List


Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year, no doubt about it. It’s filled with so much magic, anticipation, festivity, and childlike wonder. I am definitely one of those people who can’t get enough of any and everything Christmas, and it’s officially the Christmas season now! I have this things with season to-do lists, as you well know by now, and this Christmas is no exception (see past lists from 2018, 20172015, 2014, 2013)! It’s now my fifth Christmastime in Raleigh, and I’ve acquired a few favorite activities to add to our bucket list – and a few new ones to check off, too!

  • send out our Christmas cards (featuring pictures from our Grand Canyon trip!)
  • volunteer several times throughout the month
  • Duke Chapel for their annual Christmas chorale concert + sing-a-long
  • watch Home Alone while eating a cheese pizza and drinking Coke (a la Kevin McCallister)
  • go see the Nutcracker, a beloved annual tradition
  • host a Christmas movie + Christmas cookie party (and bake lots of Christmas cookies + watch lots of Christmas movies all month long)
  • get a Christmas tree for our house and decorate both the inside and outside of our home (I couldn’t be more excited about this!!)
  • go to Rob’s real estate firm’s office Christmas party
  • enjoy a quiet date night at home with the Christmas tree lit + egg nog
  • learn how to make our families’ special fudge recipe from Rob’s mom
  • celebrate at our church’s Christmas party
  • host a Christmas cocktail party and/or brunch
  • go to the Holiday Market at the Carolina Inn, followed by a trip to Fearrington Village
  • explore new-to-us Christmas festivities in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill
  • double date night at the Haymaker’s fabulous Christmas pop-up bar
  • celebrate this year + look forward to 2020 with a fancy at-home date night with Rob
  • find meaningful ways to give at Christmas
  • have lots of fun spending Christmas in Ohio with family!
  • joyfully + meaningfully celebrate Christ’s birth, the true reason for the season

If you’re local and have any favorite events or festivities you love, be sure to let me know! I’m always on the hunt for Christmas activities to enjoy around town.

Do you have any favorite Christmas traditions? I’d love to hear what’s especially meaningful for you!

Small Business Saturday


In this special season of giving (and giving thanks!) and spending, I would be remiss to not share more about Small Business Saturday, which occurs on Saturday, November 28th. With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday (my favorite of all of these!), I wanted to share more about Small Business Saturday, some of my favorite smaller businesses (many of them owned and run by dear friends of mine in the creative industry!), and ways that you can support small businesses – financially and otherwise. I cannot explain just how important it is to support small businesses, the talented, brave, hard working, incredible people who own and/or run them, and the missions and hearts behind these businesses!

There are so many incredible small businesses that I adore, and I think it’s so vital to support them — especially this weekend with Small Business Saturday! Supporting and encouraging fellow creatives, women-empowered businesses, local makers and doers, and smaller shops is so important, and I know many of these ladies and gents firsthand… which means I know the heart, hustle, attention, and love that is poured into each and every customer, sale, and item that is created. As a fellow small business owner, I know exactly how exhilarating, rewarding, and encouraging it is when someone chooses to invest in me — and I hope we can all do the same, especially this weekend!

Here are a few of my trusted shops that have some amazing sales going on, and be sure to check them out as you do some holiday shopping!

Lindsay Letters

Ivy + Linen Design

Cultivate What Matters

Emily Ley

Simply Jessica Marie

Oatmeal Lace

All She Wrote Notes

Marigold and Grey

Happy Tines

Emily Jeffords

Meredith Mejerle

Carolina Dandy

And, as always, there are so many equally important and vital ways to support small businesses (and friends who own or work for small businesses) without having to spend a penny! I repeat, all of these are free (!) and most can be done without having to move from the couch!

  • tell your friend or a small business owner that you are proud of them and that they’re doing a great job
  • like or follow their business pages
  • comment on their posts
  • share their posts (social media or blog)
  • refer or share the business with a friend (or a dozen!) who think they made love those products or services (personal referrals are far and away the most common way for me to book weddings, and it absolutely means the world!)
  • if you’ve bought a product or used their services, write a review on as many platforms as you can
  • tag friends in a post or forward it to them
  • give them a shout out or compliment them
  • ask them how their business is going or if there is anything you might be able to do for them

Simple, right?! I cannot stress just how much it means to myself and to each and every business owner I know when our businesses are supported! I’m pretty darn positive every one of us does a happy dance every.single.time someone books with us or purchases something of ours. It truly means everything to see our businesses, our work and creativity, our livelihood, and our dreams supported! A million heartfelt thanks in advance.