10 Things I Love Sunday

Hello there. This past week has been a LOT. Our adoption trip dates have been finalized and suddenly it feels SO CLOSE. In just a FEW WEEKS we will travel to China and become a family of three. I will write an update post for you before I leave, but it’s all just too exciting! And the idea of being home in time for Christmas with little Nova … I’ve never felt luckier. I just can’t believe it’s all happening!

(The dress I’m wearing above is from here. It’s one of the only two dresses I’ve bought since I started my capsule wardrobe experiment—both for my baby showers.)

1. A 30-day gratitude challenge.

2. So many pretty downloadable prints in this Etsy shop. I love this one and this one and this one.

3. We received a lot of beautiful books as gifts for Nova … I want to do a FULL post on them soon (but I want to read them all first, and I haven’t had a chance yet). A few of my favorites so far are No Such Thing, In My Heart: A Book of Feelings and Mix It Up. Children’s books are endlessly inspiring to me!

4. I love this blanket.

5. A peg doll family kit … looks like a fun project!

6. The perfect hot toddy mugs. Paired with this gold tea tin and gold infuser, it would make an awesome gift. Not that I’m already buying gifts (jk … I am).

7. A Feliz Navidad banner.

8. I’m not sure there’s anything that could come between me and these insane shoes.

9. Just tried this Super Fruits night balm and it’s soooo nice.

10. I am making a list of holiday traditions to start with Nova this year. I would LOVE to hear any traditions you do in your family!

One last thing! I just wanted to note that our November Oui Fresh Beauty Box is already sold out!!!! Thank you! That was super fast! I will say the December box is going to be AMAZING, so sign up for the waitlist if you are interested in potentially joining next month. And to everyone signed up for a November box, I hope you LOVE it and please post photos and videos to Instagram using #ouifresh and we will repost some. xx!

Have a great Sunday! Elsie

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  • I don’t know how y’all are able to sit still knowing that you’ll soon be united with your kiddo!

    My children are all grown, each with a collection of cinnamon dough ornaments that now date back one or two decades. Our tradition was to make the dough and cut out ornaments on Dec. 1 (it takes about a week for the dough to dry), decorate them once dry, and hang them on the tree.

    To this day, there is a faint aroma of cinnamon from those ornaments, and the tradition now continues with my grandsons and little niece. I still get a little misty-eyed when we unpack the ornaments my children made. 🙂

  • One of my favorite Christmas traditions is getting to open one present on Christmas Eve and it’s always Christmas pajamas. It’s fun to go to sleep in new festive PJs in anticipation of Christmas morning! Another tradition that I’ve read about and would love to do with a family of my own someday is from Iceland. It’s called Jolabokaflod and parents give their children a book to read on Christmas Eve. It’d be so fun to cozy up on Christmas Eve in new pajamas with a good book!

  • I just started a new tradition last year for my fiance who is obsessed with Christmas! I made him an activity advent calendar, and every day we did a surprise Christmass-y activity. Some highlights- watching our favorite Christmas movies, making hard tack candy, going ice skating, seeing White Christmas at the theater, making/drinking holiday cocktails. I used bristle brush trees and wood slices.. but you could literally do anything! xoxo

  • Yes I also love the Gratitude Challange and the downloadable printables. I can totally see you with a run of cute kids books in the future ???

  • I love your Sunday favorites! A fun holiday event we enjoy is wreath making. A friend who has a small evergreen tree farm hosts and has a great seasonal potluck and the older ladies tie amazing bows from decorative ribbons ? to add to them.

  • Before the kids could read, I would wrap our gifts with our own color ribbon. This way they could see the purple ribbon, for example and know it was to me when helping hand out gifts from under the tree. We give new pjs on Xmas Eve. Santa always brings a new game as a family gift. We have an activity advent calendar every year. I plan out the month so it’s easier activities like a dance party or breakfast for dinner on school nights and the bigger things like cutting down our Xmas tree for the weekends. Since we don’t live close to my family (American in Denmark), we have special ornaments that represent my mom, dad and sister hanging on our tree, reminding us of our loved ones far away.
    We also celebrate Chinese New Year, just shortly after Xmas. When we were in China both times, we made sure to buy many different types of small gifts so we could give them one every year. (Small toys, jewelry, Chinese name stamp, cheongsam/qipao. My daughter loves the personalized necklaces I found with her Chinese nickname-Yiyi. And lots of hongbao envelopes, too!)
    We also celebrate the Moon Festival and use it to acknowledge and talk about their Chinese mothers and families, even though we might never know who they are. Super important for the kids-and us.
    Just weeks from travel and soon you’ll be united with Nova. It’s an exciting time!
    Best of luck!

  • We always read the Polar Express on Christmas Eve. We open family gift Christmas Eve and then gift from Sant on Christmas morning. I also loved driving around just to look at Christmas lights every year!

  • My forever favorite family tradition is sitting down in our pajamas on Christmas Eve night. We each open one gift and share hot chocolate, eggnog, cookies, etc. It’s so special and cozy and a lovely intimate time together before the excitement of Christmas morning. I love it equally as much now, as an adult, as I did when I was a child. xo

  • So excited for your new addition! In our house, Santa never wraps the gifts that he leaves. I promise that will prove helpful! Also, do not start the whole Elf on the Shelf thing ? It’s such a gigantic pain in the butt. I mean, for real. Just don’t.

    • Agreed. Gifts from Santa were just our stockings, and they were always small and not too expensive. I like this more now that I’m older. Otherwise, Santa is an a**hole who only bring expensive gifts to some kids while small stuff or nothing to others.

  • we open new pajamas on christmas eve! we’ve done this since i was a kid and now we do this with my stepchildren 🙂 they like it!

  • It’s soooo close! I’m very excited for you guys! I had a trip to Japan in 2014 and the plane ride from Toronto to Tokyo was 13 hours and it felt like an eternity, I can’t imagine how long it’ll feel knowing your baby’s waiting for you at the end (hopefully it goes in the blink of an I). As for traditions, I’m my mother’s only child and I’m 30 now but we’ve always had the tradition of decorating the tree (it’s always been a good quality faux tree that looks like a real one) about 10-15 days before Christmas day, listening to Bing Crosby’s white album (or any old school Christmas music) and we always had a stocking filled up with small goodies. As I grew older I started filling my mom’s stocking myself and we would decorate the tree with a glass of Muskat des Papes (a sweet wine “aperitif”…..we’re French Canadians btw) but that’s something to look forward to with Nova (and other kiddos) when she’s older. Now my boyfriend has two little ones and it’s our first Christmas with them so I’ve suggested to start this stocking tradition with them as well. I have a feeling I’m gonna end up going wild with those (so many options for children!).

  • We also love In My Heart! Such a great way to explore the world of feelings and help the littles learn to identify and express them! In case you haven’t seen these yet, they are also favorites in our house w/ our 22 m daughter:

    Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You: https://www.amazon.com/Wherever-You-Are-Love-Will/dp/1250017971

    Little You: https://www.amazon.com/Little-You-Richard-Van-Camp/dp/1459802489

    Neil Gaiman Chu Series: http://amzn.to/2hJEQpA

    Little Blue Truck: http://amzn.to/2y9VViy

    Is Your Mama A Llama: http://amzn.to/2zn8ESL

    Mama Do You Love Me: http://amzn.to/2j3A6yD

    Close Your Eyes: http://amzn.to/2zmjIgU

    More, More, More Said The Baby (A HUGE hit): http://amzn.to/2zzYwa1

    SO Many more great books!! Hard to go wrong, really. <3

  • I am thrilled for you that Nova will be here soon. Your best days ever are ahead of you.

    While I was pregnant, I collected children’s Christmas books. Each year I wrap them up and starting on Dec 1st he would pick one a day to unwrap and read.

    We had Santa fill the Christmas stocking and he brought one present wrapped in white paper with a red ribbon. Also Santa Mouse -look for the books, they are wonderful – would put a little gift wrapped in white with a yellow ribbon up in the top of the tree. By little gift, I mean things like a Matchbox car.

    Because I only have one kidlet, and a serious addiction to Advent calendars, he always had several.

    Be sure to drive her all around to see the Christmas lights as well. Makes for great pictures.

    I look forward to hearing about your family and what traditions you guys will come up with..

  • We always take our kids to see Santa and let them pick out one ornament for the tree each year. I write their name and the year on the bottom of their ornament. I love seeing what they choose every year – it so often reflects their current interests/obsessions.

  • First of all- the pink in that picture… omg it is so bright and fun.. Love it!
    Second- that blanket though… it is precious… !!
    and last.. Love the converse. They look super fun to add to a look.. my only problem is that sometimes converse hurt my feet.. but still- they are adorable.
    xo, Meghan | http://tanlinesanddaisies.com

  • I love the idea of the 30 day gratitude challenge!

    As to traditions, I just married into a big Norwegian family and at Christmas we have a lefse making party at my mother-in-law’s house. It’s great for me to be able to get to know my new family better (more cousins than I can count!). It’s also wonderful to learn about new how different cultures celebrate the holidays. Getting to eat all the fresh, delicious lefse isn’t bad either.
    I think incorporating Chinese traditions into your Christmas would be a lovely way to honor Nova’s heritage.

  • One holiday tradition that I still completely cherish was reading a different Christmas book every night of December before bed. My mom had a red basket that she would put all of our Christmas books in, and my sister and I could choose which one we wanted to read each night! (Some good ones: Olive the Other Reindeer, Polar Express felt particularly magical, and the Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot). On Christmas Eve, we ALWAYS read The Night Before Christmas. It just made the whole month feel special 🙂

  • Best wishes for your new holiday traditions! Also I love the blanket you linked. I’m looking for a new cozy blanket for hanging out on the couch big enough to share and a bit more budget friendly – I would love to see something like that in any gift roundups!

  • I loved Eloise At Christmas Time. It’s a really cool vintage book about an adorable and active little girl. I always read that book at Christmas and would watch Prancer the movie.

  • Someone just told me about a great tradition they do with their kids and I can’t wait to start it when I have my own. Every year each child gets one new ornament that somehow relates to their year. So you gift the ornament, with a card/note to why you picked that ornament for them that year. Every year when you go to decorate the tree, they are reminded by something special that happened each year prior. Very sweet.

  • A tradition I carried on with my family is to bake and decorate sugar, gingerbread and chocolate roll-out cookies. We invite the parents, cousins, and close friends to help decorate and of course we listen to holiday music while we’re bedazzling our cookies.

    A gift giving tradition we’ve held for over a decade now is we each get four gifts: something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. And Santa fills our stockings with fun and/or inexpensive things. (And he used to bring the “big” gift until my youngest fessed up to no believing in Santa.) I second what one other commenter said, don’t do elf on the shelf unless you’re totally committed. I can’t tell you how many times Candy (our elf) was “sick” because my husband and I kept forgetting to move her. We laugh now, but it was pretty stressful.