Holiday Updates 🎄🎁🎉🍾 & Holiday Traditions


Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with family/friends and celebrated the New Year in style! Isn’t it just crazy how fast the holidays come and go…and now it’s 2018. I still can’t get over where 2017 went, am I right?!

As usual, we traveled a lot over the holidays, hence my mini-break from the blog. Back to work today (UGH)…I’m struggling.

Here’s a quick recap of our holidays:

12.22-12.25.17 We were up in the Bay Area (San Carlos to be exact) to celebrate with my family.❤ Emma and Dash were lucky enough to get a fresh groom just in time for Christmas. Don’t they look great?!

Claudia, our groomer always does she a great job on them. She’s so incredibly sweet and even squeezed them in before the holidays just because she loves them so much! ❤ Awww thank you Claudia!

Later on Saturday 12/23 we saw the San Francisco Nutcracker (more about this later) and then spent Christmas Eve together as a family (the six of us — mom, dad, Ari, Brian & Tof). During the day on Christmas Eve, we spent it just hanging out, meal prepping and enjoying time walking all the dogs. Before dinner, we took a very crowded stroll down Eucalyptus Street in San Carlos to look at all the lights (more about this later in this post). Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner consisted of ham, Grammi’s potatoes, sauerkraut and plenty of mulled wine. For dessert we ate a bunch of Christmas cookies and then opened presents from my parents…you guessed it PJ’s for Christmas Eve. Love that tradition. ❤ Here are a few pictures from all of our activities and celebrations.

SF Nutcracker with my parents 12.23.17

A few from Christmas Eve 12.24.17

Somehow missed getting pictures with my Dad, Ari and Brian Christmas Eve.


Christmas morning mimosas, breakfast, presents from our Secret Santas and one big group photo!

After breakfast, we sadly got back in the car and headed to Santa Barbara. We wanted to be able to do a little something to celebrate our own Christmas before heading down to Huntington Beach to celebrate with Tof’s mom.

We got back to SB in the evening, had dinner and then opened our presents from each other. It was a long day, but a so very good one! ❤

Our 1st Christmas in SB ❤

12.26-12.28.17 Christmas celebrations continued with Tof’s mom, Sherry in Huntington Beach. Sadly, we managed to somehow not take any pictures of the three of us. Ha Ha Ha. I’m sure we have some pictures of all the dogs, but none of us during our Christmas celebration. We had a really nice day hanging out, eating a delicious steak dinner and then opening more presents. Following our Christmas celebration, we helped Sherry put away all of her decorations (she has a ton) and just relaxed.

I didn’t take these pictures, but the HB Pier and Pacific City sure do look festive!

We ended up not going down to San Diego to see our niblings…we were just too tired from all the traveling and wanted to get back home to relax. I’m sure we’ll see them soon though.

12.31-1.1.18 LAST day of 2017 & NYE

We spent the last day of the year outside with our pups at a fabulous dog park (Paws Park) in Buellton and then at Kalyra. This outdoor park was incredible and I can’t wait to go back. Here are some great photos from our awesome day!

This year for NYE, we opted for a low-key evening. In the past we’ve gone to this pretty wild and fun parties, but this year we just really wanted to relax. We also didn’t really know where we were going to be (Bay Area or HB/SD) so we just didn’t make plans. If I’m being honest, it was actually AWESOME!

For dinner, we went to TAP Thai which was really tasty! Different from our go-to Lers Ros in SF. After dinner, we headed home and just hung out while also watching come of the “Rockin’ New Years Eve” show with Ryan Seacrest. We thoroughly enjoyed both Britney Spears and Mariah Carey’s big comeback! Where’s my hot ta at?!?! 😉

1.1.18 Happy New Year!

We rang in the new year by exploring the Botanic Gardens with the pups. They of course had an absolute blast! I think the last time I was at the Botanic Gardens was when I was a kid and my sister was little. If I recall, she had a major screaming fit ha ha ha. It was a super nice day and I’m so glad we got outside!

So that’s a wrap of all our holiday celebrations!

Since things have been a little hectic this month, we ended up doing a lot of our holiday traditions right at the end. Here’s a recap of some of our holiday traditions:

San Francisco Nutcrackernutcracker-logo-large

Tis the season…SF Nutcracker time! This marks our 7th year going and I’m so glad we made it happen. Once we decided to move to SB last December my first thought was what will we do about the nutcracker. So happy Tof wanted to keep our tradition going. This really is one of my favorite holiday traditions! You can read about our previous visits here: 2016201520142013. Sadly, no blog posts from 2012 or 2011.

As always, the SF Nutcracker is so much fun and a really beautiful production. This year my parents joined us and we had a blast! I can’t even remember the last time I saw it with either of them. As you know, I love going to the ballet and this is the perfect production to get you in the spirit of the holidays. I needed some holiday spirit this year. The War Memorial Opera House was all decked out in lights and holiday trimmings again and couldn’t have looked better. So glad we were able to see The Nutcracker this year even though we live in SB; such a treat!

Each year, we hold true to our tradition in every part of the way. Dinner is always at our favorite Thai place, Lers Ros. Both of my parents approved and really enjoyed the food. So glad they did because it’s too good of a place to say no too.

One of the best things about going up to the city during the holidays is all of the LIGHTS! I really miss SF and seeing all the lights on a more regular basis. City Hall always looks so magical in red and green lights, but sadly this year year it was just blue. Maybe it’s because Ed Lee recently died? Not sure. Either way, City Hall still looked really pretty.

Here are a few pictures from an awesome night out with my parents!

Next tradition: Holiday Lights

Since I was a little kid, I have always loved looking at Christmas lights. It christmas tree lightsbecame a tradition in my family growing up and now I’m doing it with my own little family schnauzers included! You can read all about our Christmas light viewing parties from 20162014 and 2013. No post from 2015 because I had a terrible cold and had to cancel our little party.

This year we got off track with seeing lights in SB because of the fires (I know they seem to be ruining everything, right?!). We’ve barely had a chance to drive around Goleta/Santa Barbara to look at lights let alone get together with any friends for a viewing party. BUT, we did get to look at all the crazy lights on Eucalyptus Street in San Carlos Christmas Eve. When I was younger this was a long standing tradition. I haven’t seen the lights down Eucalyptus in a while since we were going to Willow Glen for the last few years, so this was a real treat!



One of my goals/DREAMS sill is to someday live on a street that goes ALL OUT with Christmas lights. Still not sure the hubby is 100% convinced yet, but I’m working on it. If you haven’t ever seen the Christmas lights on Eucalyptus, I highly recommend it! It’s always so fun putting on your coats, gloves and hats and taking a stroll with some hot chocolate and the pups of course to see all the lights!

Since we went Christmas Eve, it was pretty crowded. We opted to leave our pups at home, but Ari and Brian brought their dogs Muddy and Hazel along for our stroll. They did such a great job with all the people and kinds. A lot of people had the same idea as us…so fun seeing so many people out enjoying the awesome lights!

Some of the awesome houses

Great pictures of us all

Some great decorations

Well that wraps up our holiday traditions for this year. I didn’t get a chance to bake any cookies this year, my sister we able to cover that 🙂 . Looking forward to having things be little more settled next year. Hope you all had wonderful celebrations and were able to make some new traditions too! All best for 2018 too!!




Merry Christmas Eve! 🎄🎄


Hope you enjoy time with friends, family and loved ones today/tonight. I have so many found memories of Christmas Eve as little kid…everything is just so magical this time of year! Really looking forward to spending time with my family and getting more into the holiday spirit! It’s going to be a wonderful day all around.

❤ 🎄🎅🎁🎄❤

I also wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas tomorrow and truly hope you have a wonderful celebration. I’ll be back here in a few days to blog about all of our holiday festivities!



Holiday Decorations 🎄🎄

Happy Wednesday friends! Today I thought I would share some of our holiday decorations. I hate to say this, but sadly we have been really distracted by the Thomas Fire…honestly it just doesn’t really feel like Christmas. Sad I know. 😦

This year we were super excited to be in our new place and to put up lights on the outside of our house. But with the fires, we just haven’t been able to get out there and do it. The air quality has been so unhealthy that you have to stay indoors and if outside, you must wear a mask. So this year, lights are not going up outside (#bummer), just on the inside. Don’t worry, we still got a TREE and managed to put our declarations up. Our house is definitely looking more festive despite how we are feeling. Ha Ha Ha


This year we got our tree at Lane Farms. Such a cute place. Because of the fires (are you tired of hearing that yet?), we were literally the only ones looking at trees, masks and all. I think they stayed open just for us.

Since our new place has really tall ceilings, we opted for a 7-8ft tree. This is our biggest tree yet! Here are a few pictures of the whole process; getting the tree off the car, getting the tree into the house, putting lights on and getting it decorated.

Here are a few other festive decorations that we have around the house. I love all our Christmas stuff and look forward to growing our collection. This year it’s been fun finding new places to put all our stuff and making little Christmas “areas” around the house.

Last year I mentioned that my mom started collecting these ADORABLE Hallmark maxresdefaultMusical Snowmen and now we do too (proudly since 2010)! Each year, Hallmark comes out with a new musical snowman. Here is this years. So cute right?! Gosh, I just LOVE them! This website seems to have a bunch of the old ones so you can get the idea of what they look liked over the years. Found the perfect spot for our growing collection!

Thanks for taking a peek into our decorated house. Normally I love the way our home feels during Christmas, but this year it just feels off. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been making the best of it, but this year just feels different. It’s probably because of all the fires. They’ve been the biggest distraction and have made for a much more stressful month. We are still trying to enjoy all the twinkling lights, festive decorations and making our house as cozy as possible.





Happy Halloween!! 🎃👻🍭🎃👻🍭


Today is the day. It’s finally my FAVORITE holiday of the year!




This is the first Halloween with my new office at UCSB. They seem to get pretty into it, but only a few people decorated their offices. Our theme was classic Halloween. Love it! We had lots of witches (including me), cats and a variety of other characters. We also had a potluck at lunch so that was fun.


Still really missing my old coworkers from SJSU…we did Halloween BIG! Can’t wait to see how their themed costumes turn out this year. Love and miss you guys!


Now for some pictures with my handsome hubby! Chris went as a Ghostbuster (classic and perfect) and I was a witch.


Enjoy a spooky night with friends, family, ghosts and goblins! Be safe and have lots of FUN! We plan on passing out lots of candy, eating pizza and enjoying a scary movie or two!

See you tomorrow for the start of November. How can that be?!?! Can’t believe my favorite month and holiday are coming to a close….still time to enjoy a little more!

Xo 🎃 👻

Happy Halloween Eve! 🎃👻🎃👻

 🎃 👻 🎃 👻 HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVE!!!!  🎃 👻 🎃 👻 

Tomorrow is my FAVORITE  holiday of the year…H A L L O W E E N ! 

I look forward to October and especially Halloween every year. We’ve been celebrating and getting ready all month. So excited my favorite time of year is finally here!

Wishing you all a spooktacular Halloween Eve. See you tomorrow for HALLOWEEN.

Xo 🎃🎃


Halloween Decorations 🎃

Happy Sunday!

Last weekend we went to the pumpkin patch, so last night we carved our pumpkins! I think they turned out really great. The pumpkins were super fresh and easy to gut/carve. Love that we always get pumpkins for Emma & Dash. Too bad they can’t help with the carving he he he.


This is the first year decorating for Halloween in our new place! Waaaahooooo🎃🎃. It was a little hard getting started, but once we got going, we got it all up in no time! We also seem to have MORE places to put Halloween stuff = EVEN BETTER! Halloween is EVERYWHERE in our house. Here are a few pictures.


This is my FAVORITE display for the year! Hubby built this table and boy has it come in handy.


Our Jack-O-Lanterns set up ion the porch.

Don’t forget to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown tonight on ABC 8:00PM/7:00PM C.


Getting more and more excited for Halloween!!! Have a great rest of your evening.

Xo 🎃🎃

Friday Favorites: Halloween Addition 🎃

🎃 TGIF! 🎃

These are my exact thoughts today especially since it has been an incredibly looooooooooong week at work., ugh. Made it, just barely. Trying to find some excitement though because it’s the Friday before Halloween and as you know, I LOVE Halloween.

Last year I did a “Friday Favorites” on the blog and it was fun. This year I just got too darn busy so this is going to be a pretty brief post. Sorry!

My favorite things about Halloween:

  1. Halloween costumes
  2. Candy
  3. Pumpkin Carving
  4. Halloween Decorations
  5. Scary Movies/Halloween Movies
  6. Scary Books
  7. Halloween Parties
  8. Haunted Houses/Disneyland at Halloween
  9. Visiting the Pumpkin Patch
  10. Sending/getting Halloween cards and packages


This weekend we are going to try and cram all of our last Halloween “must do’s” in! It’s going to be tricky because I’ve gotten myself pretty busy haha. I recently joined the Santa Barbara Junior League, and this weekend we have one of our biggest events; Rummage. I’m volunteering tonight and working the event all day Saturday from 7-4pm. We are also going to try and get to Disneyland one last time before the Halloween decorations are gone. In addition, we need to carving pumpkins, roast pumpkin seeds and watch Season 2 of Stranger Things! This is A LOT, but we are going to try and do it all!

If you want to look at more of my Halloween obsession, check out my Pinterest board! I also found a great Halloween Candy Wine paring list! Check it out. Ok, that’s all I have the energy for today. Hope you enjoyed this brief post.

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have a spooky weekend and enjoy some pre-Halloween festivities! See you next more for so much Halloween fun!