Playing catch-up [Days 10-13]

Yikes, life happened and I forgot about this for a couple days, so let’s play catch-up.

Day 10: Favorite Holiday Scent

I inherited my passion for candles from my mom. It’s not just because of the lovely scent they give your space(s) but also for the soft glow of the flame when they’re burning. It’s especially nice during this time of year to have a candle burning; it makes everything seem really cozy and warm.

Oh wait, it’s mid-December and it’s been in the 60s for a week. Right.

At this very moment, I’m thisclose to being done with a Signature Soy candle from Target called Sleigh Ride [coconut, vanilla, lemon, Sandalwood, and Amber]; it’s not super Christmas-y, but it’s a light, fresh scent. They blended the scents together nicely because it doesn’t smell overtly like any one note.

A couple weeks ago, I went a little nuts on the Bath and Body Works site and bought a few [eight] candles. The reason I was on there in the first place was to get my mom some lotion for Christmas as she loves the Mad About You scent. Then I realized that 3-wick candles were on sale for $12 (normally $20). Jackpot.

If you’re curious, here’s a line-up of the scents I purchased. Really, only the top two are Christmas-y; some are more for New Year’s and other celebrations (Black Tie smells like men’s cologne!), and others are for any day, any season.


L to R, T to B:

  • Tis the Season [The rich, fruity scent of red apples, green pine & golden cider captures the joy of the season]
  • Cozy Cabin [Escape to a rustic cabin with a welcoming blend of frosted vanilla, sage, and golden glowing woods]
  • Cheers [Raise a glass with family and friends to notes of red fruit and mulled apples layered over rare saffron spice]
  • Black Tie [Your perfect date to any holiday party – green sage, sandalwood, and Tonka bean]
  • Champagne Toast [Pop, clink, and sparkle with an effervescent blend of champagne, juicy nectarine, and blackcurrant]
  • Italy Espresso Cafe [Immerse yourself in Italy’s coffee culture with an impressive blend of rich Italian roasted coffee beans and the perfect dash of vanilla cream]
  • Fresh Water & Sea Salt [Refresh a room with the clean fragrance of crisp water notes, sea salt crystals, and a bright hint of citrus]
  • Sundrenched Vineyards [A full-bodied blend of rich fruit, white wine grapes, and oak recalls an unforgettable day at a family-run vineyard in Sonoma]

Day 11: Favorite Christmas Tradition

When I was a kid: getting presents.

Now: Giving presents and watching people open them.

Day 12: Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags?

I don’t care. Do people really care about this?

Day 13: Favorite Christmas Book?

At first, I read this and thought, “Are there such things as Christmas books, and do people actually have a favorite?” I dug deep into my memory and realized, “YES, and I have one!”

When I was in first grade, my teacher read us a book that intrigued me so much that I made it my mission (and my mom’s mission, of course) to find and obtain my own copy. We went to so many stores searching and asking about it that I don’t even remember where we actually ended up getting it from. I’m not certain if I even have it anymore, similar to my Christmas decorations. I’m really hoping it’s in storage, but if it’s not I will definitely be buying it in the future. You know, for our kids because they’ll be sure to love it.

The book is called The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Alan Ahlberg. It’s got letters you can pull out of envelopes and read. When I was younger, among other things, I wanted to be a post office delivery person. I loved sorting and organizing things, and mail excited me because back then, whenever I received it, there was always something good inside.

Wedding Update: Bridal Shower #1

This past weekend I was so blessed and honored by the beautiful bridal shower hosted by my future mother- and sister-in-law.

The day went off without a hitch. To start, the weather was absolutely amazing; leaving the house and being greeted by the sunshine was fantastic.

Pre-shower sunshine

Not only that, but the restaurant, the food, the staff, and of course all of the wonderful ladies that attended made for a perfect shower.

We arrived at The Country House in Stony Brook and everything was decorated beautifully. We had the largest of the 4 dining rooms and as we entered the room, a large punch bowl greeted us. It was filled with a champagne and fruit juice mix with blackberries and strawberry pieces floating in it. I immediately took a glass and was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t too bubbly but also wasn’t too juicy; I ended up having 3 glasses without feeling any effects, so it wasn’t strong.

Each table was set featuring lavender napkins and centered with a bouquet of flowers. I chose a seat more towards the middle of the room so that I could mingle with everyone instead of being set apart from them all. Mrs. Harrigan bought a huge balloon featuring wedding bells to tie to my chair, making it known who the bride-to-be was.

Big Bride Balloon

I met so many women that I had only heard stories about and sent save-the-dates to, so it was great finally putting faces to names. Meeting some of Mrs. Harrigan’s work friends was fun because I’ve heard hilarious work stories featuring them.

Once everyone had shown up, the staff served us salad to start before bringing out the entrees – a choice of chicken marsala or salmon with risotto. I went for the salmon and it was divine.

After the main course, they brought out the coffee, tea, and cake. This cake. Oh my goodness was it delicious. It was a vanilla cake with a chocolate mousse filling and buttercream frosting. The actual cake part was so moist (ugh, I hate that word), and the frosting was so soft. And to top it off, there was a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Let me tell you, it was Heaven on a plate.


Once all the place settings were cleared, it was time for presents. It was great because the staff members of the restaurant were at the ready so whenever I was finished opening a present they would come over and take it to another spot in the restaurant. This way I wasn’t accumulating a pile of stuff around me and it made the process of loading up the cars easier.

I could not believe just how many presents were filling up the present table. I (and Tom, by default) was way too spoiled, but I’m so excited about everything I (we) received. Thank you all so much for your kind and entertaining company, loving support, and well wishes.

As people left, they were reminded to take a favor, these adorable little mason jars wrapped with burlap and lace and filled with jelly beans. My sister-in-law found it on Pinterest – she finds the best stuff on there.

Tom went out to lunch with his friends and his dad while us ladies were at the shower, so they came at the end of the party to help with loading the cars and to mingle a bit with those who were still around.


I have my second bridal shower in 2 weekends upstate where I will get to see my friends and family from home! I am beyond excited to see everyone and have a fun-filled (and hopefully cake-filled!) weekend.

As time continues to wind down and August 16 draws closer, I get more and more excited to be marrying my best friend and (officially) becoming part of the Harrigan family. I love you all and thank you for everything.