Christmas Photo Challenge Recap #3

It's here! Christmas is here! It seems impossible how quickly December has flown by, but alas, tomorrow we celebrate Jesus's birth and get to check out all the goodies Santa has left beneath our tree.

Before doing so, there's one last #2015ChristmasMoments recap to get in the books. Here are Challenge recaps One and Two. Let's take a look at the third and final recap:

Day 17 - Clothing
Day 18 - Inspiration
Day 19 - Happiness
Day 20 - Movie
Day 21 - Keepsake
Day 22 - Favorite
Day 23 - Gathering
Day 24 - Cookies
And that wraps up a successful #2015ChristmasMoments photo challenge! Be sure to follow me, desireemacke, on InstaGram for all sorts of IG goodness. A big thanks to Stephanie for creating the challenge and daily prompts. I had a blast with each one, and trying to put fun interpretations on each. Merry Christmas, friends!


Candy Cane Lane & Chill

With just two days till Christmas we are packing in every last bit of holiday fun.

Last night we made our annual trip to Candy Cane Lane - a neighborhood where almost every house strings lights and decorates. It's house after house, block after block of Christmas cheer. And, it's a big deal. A chain of cars snakes its way through the streets, and hundreds of people take foot and walk the neighborhood. 
The pigs were among Marcus' favorite display. It certainly wasn't mine top pick, but whatever. 
Of course no phone photo - or any photo, for that matter - does the lights justice. But I pinky swear it's a sight to behold. 

The festivities for the week didn't stop there. This morning we headed to Queen Mary's Chill. We went a couple years ago with friends, and I thought it would be something Marcus would love. 
The ice tubing slide? Smash hit. 
After a few times down the slide I figured a trip through the Ice Kingdom would be as successful, as it was complete with an ice slide. Well, the Ice Kingdom is kept at a frigid 7°, and Marcus was not at all a fan of the cold. We were in and out in record time, and right back to tubing. That's not to say I didn't snap a few photos of all the icy awesomeness. 

The theme was A Christmas Carol. I wish we could have spent just a little more time with each ice display. Maybe next year... 

And just like that we are wrapping up our Bucket list and counting down the hours till Santa comes, and more importantly, the celebration of Christ's birth.


The Nutcracker

As much as this time of year is magical, it is also busy. And tiring. And if we're being honest, a *smidge* stressful.

When the opportunity to see The Moscow Great Russian Nutcracker presented itself I knew it would be the perfect chance for some time to step away from the craziness the holidays inevitably bring. 

After Scott politely declined to join me I quickly made a lady date of it with my good friend, Barb. 

We started with a perfectly trendy lunch in L.A.'s Koreatown. Beer Belly had the best selection of microbrews, and their duck fat fries that were simply scrumptious. 
Post lunch we made our way to our seats in the historic Wiltern Theater. 
The Nutcracker has always been a favorite of mine, and I was so excited to see the classic without worrying about kids or my mountainous to-do list. 
I didn't take any photos of the performance for a few reasons: rude, prohibited, and I just wanted to soak it all up without worrying about getting the perfect shot. But, trust me when I say it was outstanding. The Moscow Ballet left us captivated, entertained, and in awe of dancers beauty, poise and grace. For a few fleeting hours we were transported to a world filled with the iconic Tchaikovsky score, mighty mice, dancing gingerbread men, and of course, the nutcracker prince.

Here's a quick clip of one of my favorite parts of the show.
Our little lady date to see the Christmas classic was just what I needed to come up for air from all the holiday hustle and bustle. 
If you have a chance to see The Nutcracker I say, go! Make it a lady date, make it a mommy and me tradition, wrangle your husband or significant other (if you can), just don't miss it. It's entirely too good to pass up. There are still a few shows left on the tour, to see if your city is one of those on the list click here. If this year is a no-go be sure to mark you calendar for next season - I know it's already on mine. 
This weekend's Nutcracker escape also meant one more item crossed off the Winter Bucket List!
Bake a holiday treat here & here
Christmas Book Advent
Decorate the tree
Drink hot chocolate
Go caroling
Play in the snow
Ride a holiday train
See a holiday parade
See a harbor holiday parade
See a tree lighting
See The Nutcracker
Visit from Elf of the Shelf, Teu
Visit Santa
Zoo Lights
Just a few more and we will have completed our Winter list!

Disclaimer: I received complimentary tickets to The Moscow Ballet Great Russian Nutcracker through USFamilyGuide.com in exchange for a review. However, as always, all opinions are my own. 


M & J Monday

Here comes Santa Clause! Here comes Santa Clause! Right down Santa Clause Lane!

Marcus has had his fair share of Santa sightings this year. And, while Julia was there for each and everyone of them, she slept through a majority. Our last two Santa visits I may or may not have disturbed her slumber so I could get a shot with both kids with the Jolly Old Elf.
This was our last Santa stop, and also included our first ever Christmas caroling experience.
I love this picture for so many reasons.
Marcus had seen Santa so many times I'm fairly certain he was 100% over it by this point.
Julia - sweet little lady - this is the best Santa fail I could get of her this year: a slightly pouted lip and watery eyes. Maybe next year she'll produce that classic screaming shot I not-so-secretly love.
I was so desperate for a picture of both kids with Santa that I made a trip to see the mall Santa. I'm actually pretty pleased with how they turned out. I had to wake Julia from her slumber, and she had exactly zero idea of what the hell was going on. We were smart to get to the mall on a weekday, right as the mall opened. We were the first in line and Marcus was able to have a small chat with Santa without being rushed.
My favorite Santa stop - The Santa Train! I was so bummed that Julia slept through this one. He's my favorite Santa, and though the pictures are taken at night - thus making it difficult to photograph well - I just love the stage and display. I also love how apprehensive Marcus looks.
Santa surprised all the kids at Marcus' school and stopped in after their Christmas program. Santa was in a gymnasium, so the lighting was not at all awesome. But, the kids were so excited to see the Man in the Red Suit.
Our first Santa visit - The Zoo Lights - and I mentioned before, the pictures with Santa came with insanely inflated prices, so I shamelessly screenshot and bootlegged this photo. 
And that's a wrap on visits with Santa this year!

Linking up with Jenny, Larueen, Liz, Sara, Stephanie and Courtney for Visits with Santa.


The Holiday Fun Edition

Another fun, festive week is in the books, so let's get right to the highlights.

1. The Cube! 
Last Friday Marcus and I had a morning date with Elizabeth and Mason. The boys had a blast, particularly in the Hot Wheels exhibit. 
While we were there an annual pass may have been purchased as a Christmas gift.

2. Santa Train!
Checking another item off our Winter Bucket List... The evening after our Cube fun we met up again with Elizabeth and her crew for our annual trip to ride the Santa Train, and of course, see Santa!
Naturally, Julia slept through the entire thing. I was hoping both kids would have a moment with Santa, but no dice. I'm waiting to share our Santa pics for next week. Instead, I'll share a couple shots of the light displays we saw while on the train. 
The photos don't do the lights any justice. 

3. Preschool Christmas Program!
Marcus had his preschool Christmas program this week. Oh my gosh, it was hilarious. 
Marcus sang all the songs but had zero interest in doing any of the choreographed moves. 
As you can see, he's in the front row and doing none of the moves.
I loved the performance and laughed my way through it. I don't think performing arts will be Marcus' forte as he gets older.

Santa also made an appearance at the school, but again, I'm saving that to share next week. 
I'll end it right there, as we have more fun lined up for this coming weekend and following week (think Nutcracker Ballet, touring neighborhood lights, caroling, and a morning of ice tubing and ice sledding).
Have a great weekend!


Christmas Photo Challenge Recap #2

Things are trucking right along this month, and I've surprisingly managed to keep up with the #2015ChristmasMoments challenge. Here's my week in review.

Day 9 - Family
Day 10 - Tree
Day 11 - Secret
Day 12 - Elf
Day 13 - Green
Day 14 - Sparkle
Day 15 - Messes
Day 16 - Stockings
That wraps up this week!
This coming weeks prompts are:
Day 17 - Clothing
Day 18 - Inspiration
Day 19 - Happiness
Day 20 - Movie
Day 21 - Keepsake
Day 22 - Favorite
Day 23 - Gathering
Day 24 - Cookies
Follow me on InstaGram (desireemacke) for all the photo challenge fun!

Holiday Jams

There is something about babes in holiday jammies that gives me all the warm and fuzzy feels. But, it's not just any old holiday that does it for me. It's specifically Christmas pajamas. When it comes to this time of year I can't say no to all the footed, festive goodness.

And, this year? With two kiddos? Oh my gosh, the attempts to coordinate are too fun.

Let's take a look at the threads the kiddos are donning this year. 
Marcus || similar
Julia || Pajamas * bow
Marcus || Pajamas
Julia || Pajamas * bow
Marcus || Pajamas
Julia || Pajamas * bow
And because Marcus has some jams from last year that still fit and clearly deserve some attention...
Pajamas - similar
Linking up with some fabulous ladies for the annual Pajama Party! 


Fix #2

I wanted to dedicate today to a holiday home tour, but honestly, there's not a whole lot to show. We live in a townhome which leaves little space to store all the decor I wish we could have. Maybe someday I'll have space to store and decorate. Plus, aside from our tree (which I already posted last week), the only other notable thing I'd want to share are our stockings - but that's coming up in a few days on InstaGram (follow me: desireemacke if you want to see my mother's amazing sewing talents).

Anywhoooo... My second Stitch Fix arrived this week! So, let's discuss.
I specifically asked for cardigans, a more fitted jean, and dresses. Julia's baptism is next month and I desperately need something appropriate for the occasion, as well as suitable for winter weather (she's being baptized in Kansas City - surely it will be chilly).

Alrighty - the clothes!

My stylist, Alex, did an outstanding job keeping my notes in mind.

Items one and two:
Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jean
Carly Graphic Print Cardigan
The jeans. I don't know how they do it at SF, but I'm smitten. I pretty much need these in my life. They fit like a freaking dream. The color is a dark wash - which I'm partial to, and I love the little bit of distress. I like the taper and how versatile these could be. I threw on a pair of Toms, and thought they went quite nicely.

The cardi. I so desperately wanted to love this, but it was just so, so. I felt it was a little bulky and didn't do a whole lot for my figure. Plus, it was super heavy, and I just know it would get little wear while we are living in Los Angeles.

Jeans - KEEP
Cardi - RETURN

Item three:
Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan
I kept the same jeans on - because, WINNER, but this time chose to play up the look a bit. I threw on some sparkles and the slub cardigan. I loved the pockets and the fit, as well how light weight it was. It would certainly get lots of wear here in LA. However, I already have three black cardigans and I just couldn't see adding another to the closet.

Again - the jeans! And, I thought the booties were the cutest with these.

Slub Knit Cardi: RETURN

Item four:
Marlow Printed Dress
This dress. When I saw it in the box I was a little apprehensive. It's not a color or print that I have in my closet, like, at all.  I was pleasantly surprised when I put it on. It's super comfortable, the sleeves are long, and I liked how fun it was. However, it kind of reminded me of a dress I you might see in the movie American Hustle. And, I wasn't thrilled with how it flattered (or lack of flattering) my figure.

Marlow Dress: RETURN

Item five:
Ivey Dress
The color! The style! The cinching on the side! Yes. While it's fairly form fitting, and I will have to keep my posture in check while wearing this, I'm pretty sure this is the winner for Julia's baptism. I'm clearly going to need a sweater, or blazer, or something to keep my upper half from freezing, but I like how this one flatters me in all the places I'm currently super self conscious about.

Ivey Dress: KEEP

And there you have it. Fix number two. While I thought/hoped/dreamed it would be the unicorn of fixes, it was close but not quite there.

Are you a Stitch Fixer? No? *gasp* Do you want to be? *heads nod* Use my referral link to get started!

Ok - time for your thoughts. Did you like the pieces? Did I keep the right ones? Send the right ones back?


M & J Monday

You know Dasher and Dancer
and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid
and Donner and Blizten.
But do you recall
the most famous reindeer of all?
Side note: Ever try to wrangle up two reindeer and try to get them to look and smile at the same time? It takes a Christmas miracle to get open eyes and smiles to happen. 
Happy Monday!