Showing posts with label Christmas 2014. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas 2014. Show all posts

November 4, 2015

7 Things You Can Do Now to Get Ready for Christmas

Christmas is coming! The more we plan for the expenses that occur during December, I believe the more we can truly enjoy the season. Here are ten things you can do in the next few weeks to ensure your Christmas is restful, enjoyable and frugal!
1. Determine what type of Christmas you want this year. This will help you make every other decision as you prepare for the season — both how you budget your money and how you spend your time.

December 25, 2014

Exciting News

Merry Christmas to me
because I'm a BIG BROTHER to be

It's an exciting Christmas for our family as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and will be adding another munchkin to our family. God has blessed us so much and I'm very thankful for each and everyone of you who support my blog. Thank you for being part of this journey with me! 

Merry Christmas! 

xo, Anna

December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

(Isaiah 9: 6-7)

Christmas celebrates one of the most wonderful occasions in the world - the birth of Jesus. It's a joyous time for the young and old alike. Every year I see our consumer-driven society be overtaken by greed and jealousy. Instead of "Merry Christmas" we hear "Happy Holidays" and people even take offense to displays of nativity scenes and the mentioning of Jesus's name. It saddens me to know what kind of world my son is growing up in, but it doesn't change the fact that Christmas is a reason for celebration. Jesus was born on this day to save this world from sin and I'm so glad to know that He's my Savior. 

I hope you take some time this Christmas to reflect on the true meaning of the season. Enjoying the moment, spending time with family, being grateful for everything we have and thanking God for the life we don't deserve is what it's all about. Have a great celebration and wonderful time! 
Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2014

Why We Don't Have an Elf on The Shelf

I may rain on your parade. You may not agree with me. This isn't about right or wrong but about what we chose to do as a family and why. You may even stop following me after this post but this is somethings that's been on my mind for a while. It has been bothering and eating me up and because I'm very opinionated and vocal about what I think.

I do not like the Elf on The Shelf idea and we don't have one in our house,

At first when I saw the idea take the Facebook posts by storm I though it would be fun to do when Jonathan gets a little bigger. But I could not justify buying the thing, making sure to move it from place to place every day,  make up the whole thing which is surrounded by a bigger lie - it's all about Santa, presents and being good or bad just to get stuff.

First it seems like a lot of work for a silly and almost cruel character who messes up a lot of things (which we parents have to clean up), doesn't obey rules (but expects children to follow), spies on the children (horrible telltale) and wants you to work for your gifts (you have to be good enough to receive presents).

The message of Christmas is that Jesus came to this earth and gave us the biggest gift of all. We don't have to work for the gift. All we have to do is accept Him.

The elf idea promotes the persona of santa and makes children believe that he will end up knowing everything they do. While including santa into holiday celebration is not horrible, it takes away from the character of God who actually knows everything and see everything. But you don't have to be afraid of Him because He will not take the gifts away just because you misbehave.

It also justifies mischief while promoting fear. Maybe it doesn't seem very obvious but the elf is constantly looking over you, checking on your every deed to make sure you are 'good enough'. Some kids don't care about the elf but some maybe afraid that they can never measure up to the standard for good boys and girls. That's completely opposite of what Jesus teaches us.

Last children have so much trust for the adults in their lives so when we make up lies and fake characters, they believe it as truth (up to the age of 10). When we include santa, elf and other cartoon-like characters and make them real, we blur the lines between fantasy and reality. So after we tell them how the elf works they believe that it's true. Then we go on and teach them the Christmas story in the Sunday school, they sing Christmas carols believing that it's true also. When the time comes to tell them that santa, rudolf and the elf are not real they are confused. Maybe that Jesus character is not real either?

Christmas is about Jesus not about any other name.

We treat the characters of santa, the elf and others as any persona from a cartoon. Yes it's there. Yes some people make it a part of their celebration. There are songs about them but the holiday is not about them.

Santa doesn't bring presents. Parents love their children and give them the gifts, doesn't matter how bad or good behaved they are. We love them unconditionally.

Elf on the Shelf is not going to spy on you or tell on you. He isn't much more than any other cartoon character (if they happen to see it at someone's house). They don't have to be afraid of anything or ever be good enough to receive things. God loves them unconditionally.

That's the message of Christmas and that's what I want my children to remember. The love, the joy and merry spirit of the season without any ill-behaved, mass-produced, popular character which no one will even remember in a few years when they will come with something new to sell.

They won't miss out on Christmas tradition because we will make our own, doing kind things for our neighbors and loving each other. They won't be spoiled with presents for being good or robbed of them for misbehaving because we love them no matter what. They will play and get mischievous without being afraid of being told on.

And they will have a great Christmas.
Hope you will too!

December 18, 2014

7 Thoughtful Things to Do This Christmas Season


I love to receive gifts. I love to give gifts. But more than anything I like thoughtful gifts that speak volumes without saying a word. Those are the gifts I tend to remember and cherish for a long time, while I will probably forget where that wallet came from. 
The consumer driver industry tells me to make more gift guides and include everyone including your pet. But I want to share with you  ways to give this Christmas season that will cost you close to nothing, except your time.

1. Bake Cookies. You can gather family together for this occasion and enjoy the whole process together. Who wouldn't like to enjoy a warm chocolate chip cookie in a lovely company? Or you can bake different types of cookies and give them as gifts in pretty tins or bags. You can also throw a cookie-exchange party and enjoy everyone's creations, while you only have to bake one. 

2. Volunteer. There are plenty of places where they can use your help during holiday season. For example in our town it may be pregnancy center, hope house or soup kitchen. Donating your time is the most valuable resource because a lot of people get busy this time of year and those in need get overlooked the most. 

3. Babysit. During this time of year, mothers are especially busy, preparing food, buying gifts and receiving out of town guests. A mother may be overwhelmed and stressed out trying to make a perfect Christmas for her family. Don't forget to take some time and volunteer your services even for a few hours. She will appreciate it very much.

4. Visit a Nursing Home. Go to your local nursing home and visit with folks, listen to their stories and sing Christmas carols. They will be glad to see you and it will break  their monotonous routine. Just don't forget to bring cookies - older folks don't care about calories so pile them on. 

5. Give Blood. Donating blood is one of the single most selfless things you can do for others this holiday season (and the rest of the year). Just one pint of blood can save up to three lives. Not everyone is eligible to give blood, so check with your local blood center to see if you can give this generous gift.

6. Pay It Forward. Make some one's day by paying for their coffee at drive-thru or order at restaurant. They may never get a chance to thank you but will be elated at the thought of such kindness. You can even include a note that the waiter can bring to them with Merry Christmas wishes. 

7. Write a Letter. People all over the world are separated from their family during this holiday season. It can get lonely and depressing especially for troops and volunteers overseas. Write them a letter of appreciation and send a box of cookies. It may get there late but nevertheless it will make them feel closer to home. 

December 8, 2014

Holiday Cheer

sweater: J.Crew
skirt: vintage (similar 1, 23)
pumps: Jessica Simpson
belt: Target (similar)
watch: Fossil
Hello ladies! This Christmas season I've been incredibly cheerful with my dress - reds and sparkles all the way. I hope you are enjoying this advent more than any other, because there's always something to be thankful for. It's amazing how fast we forget how much we have and focus on what we want (i.e. don't have) especially during holidays. So instead of making more holiday gift guides than you can imagine, I've come up with some thoughtful gifts to share for your family and friends. Check back soon for the details!

Thanks for reading! 

xo, Anna

Christmas Make Up Three Different Ways

Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and cracked down on that Christmas list. I'm so happy I'm done with the hassle of Christmas shopping and now can enjoy the season. I also picked up a few goodies myself to make sure my make up is holiday ready. For this Christmas season, I teamed up with my friend (who's a professional make up artist) to bring you three different make up options. A lot of times I don't know how to repeat the looks because I'm not sure what products are used. Here we compiled all the products (with specific eye shadow colors) to make it's easy for you follow.


This first look is perfect for a Christmas party with sparkly outfit (like this) or with your favorite LBD. I love the pop of red in the lip and how everything else stays simple. Although winged eyeliner adds a sophisticated touch to this holiday-ready look. 

foundation: NARS (Fiji)
concealer: MAC
highlighter: MAC (Radiant Rose)
concealer: Smashbox 
setting powder: NARS
blush: NARS
contour: Anastasia Beverly Hills (banana, sand, fawn)
shadow palette: Urban Decay (booty call, suspect, snake bite)
eyeliner: Kat Von D
mascara: Lancome
eyelash curler: Shisedo
lip liner: NYX (Red)
lipstick: BITE Beauty (Pomegranate)
eye brow kit: Two Faced

The smokey eye look is my favorite because it adds drama to any outfit and hair style. Keeping everything else simple with sleeked back hair and shift dress makes the eyes pop (example). It's my favorite look!

foundationNARS (Fiji)
highlighter: MAC (Radiant Rose)
concealer (for contour): Smashbox 
setting powderNARS
contour: Anastasia Beverly Hills (banana, sand, fawn)
eyelash curlerShisedoeyeliner1Kat Von D
eye shadow: LORAC Pro  (champagne, taupe, pewter, espresso, black) 
eyeliner2: Lancome 
lip-liner: MAC
lipstickBITE Beauty (Madeira) setting spray: Urban Decay

The 'no-make-up' make up look is effortless and easy for your Christmas morning lounging when you want to look beautiful (you know you will be posting those selfies with your favorite gifts). But at the same time, you don't want to take a long time getting ready in the morning. The nude lip and minimal eyeliner is all that's needed to complete this look.

BB CreamBobbi Brown
concealerBare Minerals
blush paletteLancome (Rose Flush)
brow pencilAnastasia Beverly Hills
eyelinerStila (dark brown)

I hope you enjoyed this post and the different looks that can be incorporate into your holiday season. 
If you have any questions email me (ademko (at) gmail (dot) com) or reach out on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM. 

November 30, 2014

Favorite Things

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 

It's time to get your Christmas pajamas out, drink hot tea and read. I found this adorable children's book in Barnes and Nobles the other day and think it would be perfect for snow day snuggles. Especially for certain someone who has been giving his parents trouble at bed time. I love J.Crew pajamas and although I haven't splurged on one yet, I'm hoping I will find one under the Christmas tree this year. Also, must have cozy slippers (which are also cute). I hope you are enjoying your long weekend (don't remind me that it's almost over) and finding new and tasty ways to eat that left over turkey. 
Stay warm ladies!