It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

After our shopping trip, I made a quick and easy dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.

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  • Bake Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs following package directions
  • Cook spaghetti per package directions
  • Heat marinara sauce in microwave till warm/hot
  • Place drained pasta in bowl, top with sauce, top with meatballs
  • Serve and enjoy.

So easy! I was trying to conserve time so I could decorate our tree and we almost caved and got pizza, but decided to eat in instead. I was so glad we did!

After dinner, we got started on the tree.


We started with lights and tinsel.

My tree decorating strategy is

  • Put up tree
  • Put up lights
  • Put up tinsel
  • Put up our faves and unusual ornaments first, ensuring they get a great spot on the tree where people can really see them.
  • Fill in the tree with the standard rounds, distributing evenly

Here are some of our faves:
Our new Pottery Barn 2009 silver snowflake ornament, representing our first year in the house.
A 2008 Hallmark ornament with penguins (we love penguins!), representing our first Christmas married.
A glittery starfish ornament we purchased at the Atlantis in the Bahamas on our honeymoon.
A shabby-chic ornament I got from a blog friend.
A glittery heel, representing the shopaholic in me.
A glittery, turquoise-y snow(wo)man. I made these in 2007 – they were a fun project!
Bailey Claus made an appearance.
Ta-daaaaaaah! Christmas tree has been decorated!
Bailey was hanging out with me when I finished our tree. I cuddled up with him and we sat and enjoyed looking at our decorated tree for a bit. I couldn’t help but think how awesome it was to have our first Christmas tree in our first house and feel blessed.
More holiday decorations went up. I broke out some of my fave turquoise, holiday, kitchen towels.

A festive holly apron draped on our makeshift pantry.
A day of Christmas tree decorating wouldn’t be complete without some hot chocolate and chocolate.
I couldn’t resist trying some of these Trader Joe’s chocolate truffles. Boy were they good! I managed to only eat two of them and savored every tiny bite (I like to take itty-bitty bites of foods – especially desserts so I can really take my time enjoying them).
Quick + Healthy Hot Cocoa (adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe)

  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp agave syrup
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • whipped cream, optional (I used the Cabot version from TJ’s)


  1. Microwave water in mug for 30 seconds. Add cocoa powder to water and stir to mix (make sure cocoa powder is completely mixed in). Add agave and stir to mix.
  2. Meanwhile, (after removing water from microwave) heat milk in microwave till hot to liking, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  3. Add milk to chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Top with whipped cream.




What are your traditions for Tree Decorating?

8 thoughts on “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

  1. I just love reading your blog! The past three posts have been so sweet! My boyfriend and I are closing on a house in a week so we haven't had the opportunity to purchase a tree. I'm living vicariously! haha. Your dog is the absolute cutest! I can't get over how adorable he looks in his little coat!

  2. Beautiful decorations!

    That hot cocoa looks great. Have you also tried the sipping cocoa from TJs? I love it, but it is seasonal, so it's only available this time of year.

    Haven't see the turkey meatballs there and must try them! Are they in the frozen foods section??

  3. Looks GREAT!! I have to start Philly holiday traditions – especially with the new little furball in the house.

    As for the cocoa – I need to try that. I have two huge bottles of agave that I got at costco so I'm learning how to use it in recipes.


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