*Update : Winner of the Nespresso package is Katie A!  I completely relate with her story about being someplace new and reaching out to new neighbors to help make your new house feel like home.    Katie - I hope you your new Nespresso helps to you make some new cozy moments and memories in your new home.

Here is here story :

"We are in a new city and neighborhood this year, having moved only a month ago. We are far from family and friends so that can make the holidays really, really difficult. My four year old daughter came to me one day and told me that she "wanted to do something nice for the neighbors." I have no idea where this came from other than her sweet little soul! I gave it some thought and after perusing your store one day, I proposed to her that we spend some time making some nice holiday treats together that we could package up with your wonderful labels and bags. We had a ball doing this and then my daughter put on a Santa hat and got on her tricycle with the packages in the back and we went around to our new neighbors to say hello and Merry Christmas. To be honest, it was a little bit out of my comfort zone, but it ended up just being a joy to do and I think I learned a lesson from my little daughter. In our times, people keep more to themselves than they ever did. And making some effort, and putting some love out there can really make a difference! I hope we can make this a permanent tradition because it made us feel so good to do it."

Good Morning.

This morning I am taking a little break from the holiday rush and enjoying some time to slow down as I reflect on our weekend.  It was Emma's birthday - my baby is two.  I have to admit these are some of my favorite moments - a quiet morning looking through photos of our sweet girl as I upload.

This morning is even a little more special, because instead of my normal cup of coffee, I'm sipping on a beautiful, frothy cappuccino from our very own Nespresso machine.  Christmas came a little to our house when this package arrived on our doorstep Thursday afternoon.  I've had a Pixie and Aeroccino on my wish list for three years now, since our honeymoon in Italy.  

Its arrival was perfectly timed, because we had family coming in to stay with us for Emma's birthday and there is nothing treating your guests to a luxurious cappuccino in the morning to make your home feel cozy and warm on a winter morning.

We had the best weekend centered around all of Emma's favorite things.  I did my best to keep it as low-key and easy as possible, all while doing all we could to thrill and delight our little girl.  When we're entertaining, I like to keep the decorations really simple and tasteful - and try to make everything myself.  I had clear balloons filled with silver glitter, and tied snowflakes on the streamers. It took all of 5 minutes and completely delighted Emma when she came down stairs in the morning to floating snowflakes filling the living room... the "pixie dust" (glittered) wrapping paper didn't hurt either.

This is one of my favorite moments - Emma's waiting (patiently?) for her birthday breakfast cinnamon rolls to bake.

I can't wait to share the rest of the photos from our weekend of cookie decorating with Emma's cousins, a horse-drawn carriage ride to see Christmas lights, a visit to the Aquarium (her favorite place - My Fishies, she always exclaims), a big family dinner, a children's holiday party at a local domestic violence center with our church, and a cozy dinner at home with just the three of us.  I know typical toddler birthday party weekends usually sound a little different, but I always like to think more about what I thought Emma would truly enjoy, rather than doing what people expect you to (or what everyone else does) - especially for entertaining.  I loved every minute of our special weekend with our little girl - and I loved how much she loved it, too!

Now comes the fun part : What is your favorite way to entertaining during the holidays - in a tasteful, not so typical way?  Share your idea or personal story about a creative way you like to entertain tastefully in the comments section below and you'll get the chance to win a Nespresso Pixie Aluminum ($229) and Aeroccino ($99).

I'll select a winner from the comments later this week.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and I can't wait to share my new favorite things with one of you!


This post is sponsored by Nespresso.