… friday five …

photo : www.craftlovely.com

  with all the past gift guide blogging, i'm exhausted!  i intend on spending the upcoming weekend finishing christmas shopping for my family and then enjoying our holiday traditions.  one tradition includes gathering in my mom's kitchen and baking cookies.  i can recall doing this ever since i was a little girl with my sisters, mom, grandmother, and my cousins.  it's one of my fondest memories :)

i'm certain we'll be baking chocolate chip cookies.  how can you not at christmas time?! i'd like to try this recipe.  it's the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the New York Times and claims to be the BEST chocolate chip recipe of all time.  pretty hefty claim.  only one way to find out! here's a slightly different version of chocolate chip cookies.  jessica of how sweet eats has this recipe for brown butter oatmeal chunk cookies.  yum!

this year, i'd like to attempt baking these "peanut better balls".  angela of ohsheglows created this recipe and it looks ahhh-mazing.  it's a re-vamped holiday treat which she's made to be "healthier" and lighter.  it's also vegan and gluten-free. and... what's better than chocolate and peanut butter together?!  in my opinion, nothing!  another fun christmas "cookie" recipe for homemade peppermint patties via mel's kitchen cafe.

speaking of traditions,  there's nothing better than sitting by the fire, sipping hot chocolate, and listening to christmas carols.  so comfy, so cozy!  here's an awesome list of christmas tunes to rock out to and put you in the holiday spirit.
you must try this nutella hot chocolate recipe via clara at clara persis blog.  it sounds to die for!  and, while we're at it, this recipe for nutella stuffed brown butter & sea salt chocolate chip cookies will definitely help to meet the nutella quota for the year. and, lastly, peppermint chocolate spoons?!  why have i never thought of it before?!?! it seems like an absolute must for stirring in hot chocolate.

traveling over the holidays?  here are a few essential items to pack to look put together and ready to celebrate!  go for dressy casual with this skirtthis sweater, and these boots.  be sure to layer on an infinity scarf which an absolute must this season.  here's a cute one from jcrew and on sale, too!  find every color available here for an infinity scarf.  or, glam it up with a pair of faux leather pants found here, here, and here and an oversized sweater found here, herehere, and here.   if you really want to sparkle and shine, wear this top! this brocade top has a cool festive look, too!  stack on these rings and this NARS nail polish is the perfect red for your nails.  i'm loving the weekend bag featured above.

i'm hoping to be able to start a holiday tradition of taking a picture of my littles in front of the christmas tree. i say hoping because they never seem to sit still long enough for me to capture a sweet moment.  with high hopes of being able to snap a pic, i'm going to read up on how to take pictures in front of a christmas tree here.

lastly, i'll be taking a blogging break over the next two weeks.  if you like what you see & read, please show me some love!   sign up now (found to the left of the blog page) to get chanes of love in your email or follow on google+ or bloglovin.  

i wish everyone a happy & healthy holiday season and a happy new year.  be present with those around you & cherish the time with your loved ones!  ENJOY! see you in 2014! 

Love, Tara