christmas traditions

I'm the first to admit that I am a bit holiday-obsessed.  Holiday-season is my favorite time of year.  Since I met Ted, this season has stretched to start as early as October 8th (our anniversary) instead of October 31st.  Anniversary, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, my birthday, Easter.  Yep--half of the year, I'm pretty stoked on holidays, and I like it that way.  My favorite thing about holidays are the traditions.  Christmas has the most traditions, thus making it my #1 holiday.

Friends Christmas Brunch
Since 2009, my friends and I have had an annual brunch, hosted by me and Erin.  The past two years we've had it at Erin's lovely home she shares with her sister.  (Aren't we grown-up or what?)  After last year's latke success (I made them for the first time after being inspired by Ted's), we have kept the new tradition alive this year.  I was especially proud of my fancy spinach & feta latkes.  It is such a lovely time catching up with old friends.  I feel very lucky we can all get together during the holidays.

Christmas Eve
We go to mass at our church or my grandma's church, depending on the year.  This year we went to our little pink church (yeah, it's pink).  Afterwards we head over to my aunt's house to have a delicious meal, complete with homemade eggnog and a big rice-crispie wreath studded with M&M's.  We do a white elephant game with $10 gift cards, which is always funny.  This year I had to choose first, which is the worst number, but I ended up with Starbucks, so all is well.  When we open the presents, the kids all open one at the same time, and the adults open their secret santa gifts.  This year my relatives were super sweet and generous and gave me pounds for my upcoming London adventure.  I'm so grateful for their support in everything I do, especially when I'm the oddball in the family who went out-of-state for college and am now going abroad for five months.

Christmas Day
When my dad has to work on Christmas day, we wake up super early to open presents so he can leave for work around 7 or so.  Later in the day we go visit him at the fire station, where A Christmas Story is on loop.  Luckily, this year we had him all day!  Once he got home from work around 8, we opened presents and stockings.  Everyone got what they wanted.  Me--lots of stuff for London (including a new camera!), cute new additions to my room, and an REI giftcard (Portland has officially had an influence on me, because this was very exciting).  Kendal--One Direction tickets.  Enough said.  Izzy--a new bed.  My parents--they didn't get much for each other this year because they're coming to visit me in London, but they did love the personalized cutting board I gave them!

It was weird this year, because due to my stressful semester and not arriving home until two days before Christmas, I didn't make any of my gifts this year.  It's probably the first year I've done this.  However, I still had just as much fun finding the perfect gifts that showed my family how appreciative I am of their love and support.  I also enjoyed being able to support independent artists during the holiday season.

For Christmas brunch, we usually have quiche or blueberry french toast.  This year was the french toast with some chicken sausages.  We always have almond champagne and sparkling cider.  Throughout the day, I also have a good time breaking into the multiple homemade treats lying around from my mom's students.  There's also the tamales my mom orders from a local lady each year...

And then we watch Christmas movies in our pjs.  All day.  Throw in a nap or two, and you have the perfect Christmas day.
Second Christmas
The Hatos family never celebrates Christmas on the right day, and we are proud of it.  We divide all the gifts and then take turns opening our gifts.  Kendal and I alternate, because we are the kiddos.  I got so many lovely gifts, including more things to bring along to London, some traveling money, and cute accessories (like the cookie cutter necklace and red "London Calling" bangle seen above).  We end the epic gift-opening with find-the-pickle-ornament and an elf scavenger hunt!  Another hunt that happens is for the nativity scene's baby Jesus.  Every year, my dad hides it for my grandma to find.  Add in a delicious brunch spread out on matching Christmas Waechtersbach dishes complete with egg casserole, grits, cinnamon rolls, and pralines, and you have one magical day.  A funny thing happened this year was that my grandma bought this beautiful Christmas tree butter and when we went to go eat, it was slouching over, sadly melting in the Arizona sun streaming through the window.  That's a desert Christmas for you!

Other traditions we have during the holidays:  Christmas dress shopping (mine got good use at the theater Christmas party, Ted's and my Christmas date, The Nutcracker, Christmas brunch, and Christmas Eve) and The Nutcracker.

It was a beautiful Christmas.  I feel so fortunate to have such loving family and friends who make the holidays so special.  The holidays are just as magical as they were when I was a little one--maybe even more magical, because I get to start my own traditions with my friends and Ted.  Hope you had just as lovely a time and I wish you and yours a Happy New Year!

London calling

London is calling and she is saying, "How the bloody hell are you going to fit all of that in your suitcase?!" 

To which I reply, "It's going to take many more episodes of Gilmore Girls to answer that question." 

I'm moving to London for four months. That is a thing that is happening. In like, nine days.


It is getting too real. I need to go to sleep right now or my mind (or my suitcase) just might explode. 

holidate 2013

The night finals were over, Ted and I went on our annual Christmas date.  Ted is Jewish, but he loves playing along with my Christmas festivities, and I love that I can add Hanukkah to my list of holidays to celebrate.  I mean, latkes are kind of the best thing ever...  We've spent three Christmases together now and have made it a tradition to go get lasagna at Piazza Italia.  This started our first Christmas when I was craving lasagna like no other and we looked online to find a good place to go for our Christmas date.  When we got to the restaurant, it was all decked out for Christmas and wonderful.  Since then, we have gone back to split lasagna and another pasta and it's become one of my favorite, most delicious traditions.  This year we had to wait about forty minutes for a table, so we walked around and took outfit pictures (to be posted soon) and then got some coffee and festive cake pops to hold us over and warm us up.

After a delicious meal and excited conversation about our upcoming travels, we drove to Peacock Lane for the first time and got out to walk up and down the street.  It was so sweet.  The houses are from the 20's, fit for a fairytale, and all decorated for Christmas.  Basically, I want to live there.  

It was a lovely way to end what was honestly the worst semester we've both experienced.  So thankful it's over now and I'm home to celebrate Christmas with my family, with London only two weeks away.

today i am thankful for... my parents

Today is their anniversary and that's a happy thing!  I was fortunate to be at their wedding 13 years ago as a tiny flower girl.  I am a lucky girl.  And yeah, they are young and sometimes more hip than me.  Can't wait to see them NEXT WEDNESDAY.  Like, wow.  Just need to finish a five-foot self-portrait, read a few plays, write an essay, and take a biology exam before then...  No biggie.  (Nervous laughter.)

today i am thankful for...chocolate

Tonight after our last Little Big Burger until next fall (crying forever), Ted, our friend Alex, and I went into the newly opened The Meadow, featuring a large collection of chocolate, salts, and bitters in its small space.  We passed it last weekend and it's been on my mind since, so I was delighted to stop in tonight.  It was just as lovely as I imagined it would be (sliding ladder over shelves of chocolate included).  I never wanted to leave.  But alas, we had too.  Thankfully I had two small Woodblock chocolate bars (made here in Portland!) in stow to ease the pain. I tried a bit of the Ecuador tonight and it was lovely.  I'm excited to try the Salt & Nibs as well, although I think I might save that one for finals week.  Hearing the guy describe the flavors made me want to learn more about chocolate.  It's just one of those happy things in life, you know?  Maybe my dream craft shop should have a small chocolate selection...

today i am thankful for...middle school favorites

Tonight is one of those classic Kaylie nights where I bypass a fun college party and instead opt to stay home and be semi-productive by reading blogs, watching the latest Emma Approved, finishing a homework assignment, and listening to The Killers and Interpol.  Sorry, I hope that wasn't too overwhelming to read.  Things get a little crazy around here...

There's something so comforting and nostalgic about these bands to me.  The Killers were my first band love (Hot Fuss was the first CD I ever purchased and it remains to this day my favorite album ever) and Interpol's Antics got me through that weird transition from elementary school to middle school.  Yes, I was way cooler in middle school than I am now.  I realize that.  But middle school was the weirdest ever, so I won't get too sentimental.  I'm thinking The Strokes are up next...

today i am thankful for...kendal goose

This little lady is not so little anymore (okay, well, she's still pretty petite).  My sister turned 12 today and even though she gets annoyed when I try to cuddle and hug her, I love her so much.

today i am thankful for...portland

Tonight Ted and I went to Boxer Ramen in Union Way, and although the ramen wasn't our favorite, the self-contained shopping center it was in reminded me how cool Portland is (as if I needed reminding).  We even stumbled into Danner, which was hosting a small party of hip Portlanders, complete with a "rock & roll-country" band called the something Billys and whiskey-tasting.  I'm not cool enough to live here, but maybe someday.

today i am thankful for...impending holidays

I'm unbelievably happy to be going home for Thanksgiving.  I also have to admit that I'm starting my Christmas prep, which I think is totally necessary at this point, especially since I will be getting home a couple days before Christmas and need to have a game plan and crafting schedule.

I may have also worn red and green today.  WITH PURPLE, DON'T YOU WORRY!  I also unintentionally matched my still-life drawing that we finished today (I chose the complimentary colors red and green reason), right down to my fruit-covered cardigan.  Subconsciously theme-dressing, you know, the usual...

photo//a beautiful mess

today i am thankful for...calm nights

This semester.  It's been a lot.  Tonight is a welcome change of pace from the go, go, go--I just got home from yoga, and now I am doing laundry, watching embarrassing TV online, and doing some research about possible thesis options.  Yep, that's a thing.  Since I'm going to be abroad in the Spring, and my advisor is going to be gone next Fall, we have to talk about it this Friday.  THIS FRIDAY.  I don't have to make any crazy decisions yet, but the fact that I am even thinking about my senior thesis right now is a little insane.  But for now, I am enjoying my embarrassing TV and laundry.  Later tonight when Ted gets home from the library, we are going to Bannings with friends, then ending the night with New Girl.  I even get to sleep in tomorrow since my Biology professor is doing field work in Jamaica.  Life is good.

winter is coming

It's been a cold November so far.  We're heading fast into winter.  I'm already excited for what little snow we might get this year!  In a little over two weeks, I go home.  A month from today will be the last day of classes.  In less than two months, I will be in London.  What even is life?  I'm not complaining (except about the whole I-still-have-a-month-of-school-left thing).  It's just a lot to take in.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the season of plaid, wool, and annoying colds (Ted and I were both sick this weekend).  It seems like every time it starts getting cold, I become infatuated with gray.  It's not a color I usually gravitate towards, but as winter approaches, it seems rather appropriate, especially paired with plaid.  Oh, plaid.

Plaid Dress/Urban Outfitters, Red Dress/Urban Outfitters, Coat/Old Navy, Velvet Headband/from when I was a kiddo, Schnauzer Brooch/Vintage, Belt/Thrifted, Tights/Urban Outfitters, Shoes/Born

today i am thankful dates

Especially when they remind you you're going to be in London in less than two months with one of your favorite human beings in the world.  About time!

But really, About Time is a fantastic movie.  We both loved it so much.  There's nothing better than a sweet British rom com on a cold Fall night.

today i am thankful for...safeway

Tonight Ted and I decided to go to the BRAND NEW Safeway.  It was pretty magical, and made us feel at home (since we're used to Safeway/Von's).  Also, there is an escalator for carts.  Enough said.  We planned on just grabbing something for dinner, but got so excited, we bought our groceries for the coming week.

And that's how you do Thursday night.  We're wild ones, I tell you.

today I am thankful for...cupcakes

 I'm not one to let Thanksgiving get taken over by Christmas, so I like to dedicate November to "thankful" posts. This is a few days late, but I made cupcakes the night of Halloween and it made me so incredibly happy.  Ted and I also watched Halloweentown (which we realized during the credits was actually filmed here in Oregon--we kind of geeked out) because it's the best ever.  This situation filled me with such joy.  Hope your Halloween was just as sweet!

pumpkin patching

On our way back from the coast, Ted and I stopped in McMinnevile to grab a few pumpkins to put on the porch.  A couple weeks later, I went on a school-sponsored field trip to Sauvie Island and got one more pumpkin and a tiny pumpkin chiffon pie.  Obviously.  Now I have four pumpkins of various sizes and several tiny pumpkins.  I need more. 

halloween in my room/my room in general

I couldn't help but add a little holiday spirit to my already chaotic and tiny wooden room.  It wasn't hard to add a little pizzazz after receiving Halloween packages in the mail from Amy and my grandparents!  (Some festive tea from my aunt was also crucial to harnessing my holiday spirit.)

PS-My room is weird and narrow, which makes it difficult to take pictures that have much in them, so I apologize for the massive post.


But it's colorful and mine.

sunset by the sea

What is there to say other than...

The water is so lovely.
I'm lucky to have a Ted.
Lincoln City is a sweet little place.
The more I see of Oregon, the more I love it.
Vacations are good for the soul.

//photos mostly by Ted