traditions

kentucky derby party invites

tomorrow we are hosting our first (annual?) kentucky derby party. i have been working like crazy this week to get the house in order, menu planned and food prepped. i will be back next week with photos from the festivities, but in the meantime, i'd like to share the party invitations.

derbyinvite1

derbyinvite2

i printed the invitation cards on white cardstock. there was plenty of heavy kraft cardstock leftover from the wedding, so i used a piece of that as a backer, sewed a muslin pocket on with a red zig zag stitch, and inserted the cards*. a red horse stamp and strip of gingham fabric tape finished them off.

*not visible here, but when the card is completely inside the pocket, the only visible text is 'giddy up'

see you on the flip side.. i've got a big hat to wear and juleps to prep!

our tree

on sunday, matt and i drove out to a tree farm to cut down a tree for our first christmas as mr. & mrs. sullivan. mugs of coffee and a saw in hand, we browsed through countless rows of frasier firs, searching for the perfect one. after passing up trees that were too tall or too short, too fat or skinny, too bare or brown or crooked, we finally found the perfect one. with a few strokes of the saw, it was down in no time and we hauled it home.

on tuesday evening, as we sipped eggnog and watched the rockefeller center tree lighting, we strung our tree with hundreds of lights. now its aroma fills the house and it waits patiently to be trimmed.

treefarmentrance

rows of trees

farmhouse

frasier fir

trees, geese

hauling it home

the next twenty-four days

advent calendar
 
first day of advent
 
happy december the first! the time of anticipation is officially here. our new advent calendar (from this cute shop) is hung and slips of paper with festive activities are tucked into each pocket. this is a new tradition for us, but is sure to be a wonderful way to celebrate the season all month long. here are some of our favorites:

hang advent calendar and count down the days
place candles in the windows
address & mail christmas cards
set out shoes for st. nicholas (dec 5)
cut down a christmas tree & string with lights
visit 34th street & share a slice of pie at café hon
string cranberry popcorn garland
make and package treats, deliver to neighbors
take in the aromas of pine and balsam
wear pjs inside out in hopes for snow
make a merry mix of songs
sew festive pillow covers for the sofa
unpack and set up nativity scene
pick out a new ornament for our tree
hang mistletoe & kiss underneath
attend a christmas concert
sip eggnog & dance to holiday tunes
trim a mini tree for our bedroom
piece together a rustic, jolly entryway
keep warm in slippers & scarves
cuddle up for the annual showing of elf
hang wreaths & garland
fill a pretty bowl with clementines
wrap gifts in simple paper
start a morning with christmas tea & scones
donate canned goods to a food drive
get into the spirit with it's a wonderful life
take a leisurely walk around the neighborhood
sip hot chocolate by the fire
display christmas cards with clothespins on twine
pot an amaryllis and wait for its cheery bloom
hang stockings with care above the fireplace
deliver gifts to families in need
handmake paper tags for gifts
serve spaghetti hotdish & watch a christmas story
bake cookies & candies galore
bring out the wedding china for special meals
set out cookies & milk for santa (don't forget the carrots!)