Coastal Christmas Decorations

Christmas is in full swing in our home! Decorating for our Coastal Christmas theme was fun, easy, and little sandy. We’re spending our last Christmas in our small San Diego apartment and wanted to capitalize on the smaller canvas for our beachy theme.

Collecting the materials to bring the vision to life was fairly easy. No – I didn’t go to the beach. Real seashells and starfish are an important part of the ocean ecosystem. Instead, I opted for ordering manufactured replicas from Oriental Trading or shopping in person at Michaels.

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7 Must-See Christmas Movies

Okay – first, I have to be honest. I watch Christmas movies all year round. Sometimes I need the upbeat, heartwarming storylines and a good singalong. Fa la la la – don’t be a Scrooge! However, every year, there are seven movies I absolutely, positively must watch to get into the holiday spirit.

  1. White Christmas – Bing Crosby is Christmas. You could never convince me otherwise.
  2. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – Usually, I’m a purist when it comes to films and remakes, but the 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street is so much better than the original.
  3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – For this purpose, I’m combing the cartoon and the live action films. I can never watch one without the other and both make me laugh.
  4. The Year Without a Santa Claus – Heat Miser and Cold Miser bring the family drama and their songs are so catchy!
  5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Speaking of family drama, Clark Griswold is the most insane father on the planet (and a huge insurance liability).
  6. The Muppet Christmas Carol – This movie is pure nostalgia for me. I remember watching The Muppet Christmas Carol on VHS as a kid and rewinding it over and over to sing along to my favorite songs.
  7. It Happened on 5th Ave – I watched this movie for the first time over the summer and it skyrocketed to the top of my favorite Christmas movies list. It’s full of humor and hijinx but ends on a note that drew a tear to my eye. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must! Get on it! Psst… if you buy via this link, you’ll get 3 other really amazing classic Christmas movies.

What holiday movies land in your top 7? 

A Coastal Christmas

It’s the holiday season and that means… another Christmas theme!

In honor of our last holiday in San Diego, we’re going all out for a very Coastal Christmas. Get ready for lots of twine, seashells, mermaid wishes and starfish kisses! This year’s decorations will be giving you serious summertime vibes with a Christmas twist.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram (@anthropojenic) to follow all of the beachy fun. Or you could just enter your email address in the box to the right under “Stay Updated”. (Your email address will never be used for anything other than post updates – Scout’s Honor!)

Shop Small Saturday

Today is Shop Small Saturday. Stop by your locally owned stores to put funds directly into your community.

If shopping online is more your speed, did you know I have an Etsy shop? Shop my handmade stationery, home decor, and cross stitch patterns from the comfort of your own home.

Visit my Etsy shop here or at any time by clicking the “Shop” tab at the top of every blog page and my Facebook page.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!

7 Things I’m Grateful For

The holiday season always brings about a wave of reflection, nostalgia, and gratitude. While I firmly believe we should embrace and celebrate gratitude all year long, I can’t help but soak up the spirit of the season. So a quick list for your Sunday afternoon, here are 7 things I’m grateful for…

  1. My Wonderful Husband – Deployments are hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a giant liar. My husband has been gone almost 6 months and through it all, he has been amazing. Small things like emailing me once a day – even if he can only write a few sentences, sending me flowers when things get stressful, and even mailing me handwritten letters made all the difference. He will be home soon and I can’t wait to give him a big ol’ hug.
  2. Our Faithful Companion – Jax has been such a wonderful addition to our family and has become the best companion. With my husband gone, he certainly has taken on the role of man of the house, investigating every strange noise and protecting me from perceived threats by sitting on my chest. He is a cuddly love who occasionally drives me absolutely bonkers but I couldn’t be more grateful to have him as a part of our life.
  3. Health – If you follow me on Instagram, you are very aware that I do my best to stay fit and eat well. I try not to take for granted that this is the only body I get for this life and therefore, I should take care of it. Yes, that does mean I occasionally I have a bean and cheese burrito – but happiness is part of health, right?
  4. Adventures – This year has been full of adventures, including races, Hawaii, and lots of Disney Days. We have been fortunate enough to be in a position to enjoy life to the fullest this year and are thankful to have wonderful friends to enjoy all these adventures with. Speaking of…
  5. Friends and Family – My husband and I have so much love in our life. I don’t know how we could have gotten through this year without the love and support of our family and friends. From the wedding through helping us plan to move back to Arizona, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in our lives.
  6. San Diego – As our time in San Diego comes to a close, I can’t help but think about how amazing this city has been for us. We have really grown as a couple here, met amazing people, and had phenomenal adventures (I think Hank is still recovering from the All-Star Game). I now fully understand why people love it here so much and this is definitely a love affair that will last a lifetime.
  7. Being an American – I don’t want to get super heavy for my last one but this is something I’ve thought a lot about lately. Regardless of politics, I’m very grateful this is the country I belong to. As I watch the news, I become painfully aware that I truly am fortunate to be here. Now, don’t get me wrong, “it could be worse” is never an excuse for complacency and I will continue to fight for those things that I believe in. But I’m taking a moment to reflect on the fact that because I’m an American, I have the freedom to believe what I believe and fight for what I think is worthy of a fight. That’s something truly to be thankful for.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday week. Take time to hug your family and friends a little tighter. Remember to shop small businesses on Saturday (have you seen my Etsy shop?) More than anything, be thankful.

How to Polish Silver

A few months ago, my mother-in-law gave us an old silverware set she had found while cleaning out her home. She called to ask if we wanted it and while I’ve never thought about having true silverware, it was a complete set. Why pass it up?

The set had belonged to my husband’s grandmother. Undoubtedly from a time when silver and china were staples to every wedding registry. Today, that’s not something brides and grooms prioritize for their wedding gifts. Everyday dishes and flatware? Of course. But quality, expensive dishware is rarely a priority. We were fortunate to get this beautiful William Rogers and Sons King Edward Silverplated set, which after some research, we found was made between 1936-1951 and was a very popular style of the time.

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7 Current Goals

Ah – Halloween is behind us. Thanksgiving is looming. Christmas is on the horizon. Now that the creepy decorations are safely stored away, I’m taking a moment to refocus and get a grasp on all the upcoming fun. I think it’s good to do this every once in a while – sort out my life and re-evaluate what’s important. I may not always achieve my goals, but at least I have direction.

So with the best-laid intentions, here are 7 goals I’m focusing on right now…

  1. Our Christmas Theme – I’m not ready to announce what our Christmas theme is this year, but I can say, it will be beautiful. I’ve already purchased a number of supplies to get moving on some fun decorations.
  2. Staying Physical – A few months ago, I partially slipped a disk in my lower back. Since then, exercise has been a struggle between physical limitations and fear. Later this week, I have a half marathon to tackle and from there I will focus on proper recovery and rehabilitation.
  3. Bridal Shower / Bachelorette Planning – My cousin is getting married in March and I have the honor of planning her bridal shower and bachelorette party coming up in January. November is the month of laying plans and sending out invitations.
  4. Reading for Personal and for Work – Reading is always on my list. I’d like to read at least two books for pleasure and two books related to work this month.
  5. Creating a Christmas Budget – The key to the success of every Christmas is careful planning. I create a budget and shop early. Hopefully, I can have everything ironed out by mid-November.
  6. 2018 Blogpost Plan – I’ve found I’m more consistent with writing when I have a plan. This month, I’m sitting down to map out a framework for my 2018 posts.
  7. Gratitude Journal – I know this usually comes around during the holidays and should really be done year round. But the holidays are the perfect time to kickstart this habit.

We’ll see where the next month takes me. It’s the last month of my husband’s deployment and the start of our last holiday season in San Diego. I’m grateful to have plenty to focus on to both celebrate and help pass the time before my husband is home.

7 Spooktacular Halloween Posts

Halloween is just a few days away and I’m still soaking up every ounce of spooky fun I can. Follow me on Instagram to see what seasonal shenanigans I’m up to today – @anthropojenic. Trust me… you won’t be disappointed!

If you’re still looking to get into the spirit, why not read up on one of my Halloween posts?

  1. Halloween Spellbook Scrapbook – Learn how to create your own scrapbook that doubles as a decorative spellbook.
  2. 13 Days of Halloween Countdown – We may be well into the countdown to Halloween, but you can get great deals right now on supplies to make this project for next year.
  3. 7 Favorite Halloween Movies – Nothing you gets into the spirit of Halloween like watching movies (all family-friendly, of course).
  4. Simple Paint Pen Pumpkin – Go buy a fake pumpkin on sale and make this cute decor in 15 minutes or less!
  5. 7 Favorite Halloween Decorations – Check out my favorite decorations I’ve collected over the years.
  6. Halloween Witch Cross Stitch Pattern – Hey – while you’re enjoying a marathon of Hocus Pocus on FreeForm, why not cross stitch a primitive inspired witch pattern?
  7. Pumpkin Carving Gallery – Haven’t carved your pumpkins yet? Check out my past designs and maybe you’ll get a little creative inspiration.