The Big Day

This year I was kind (I know I know, it was about time!) and didn’t wake anyone up until 6:30 am. For whatever reason, its always harder to get my mom and brother’s up than my sister and dad, but I managed (haha).

This year (since all us “kids” are adults in our 20’s) we each purchased one gift for each person in our family. Can I just tell you!?? It was SO cool to see how much love and effort went into finding and preparing the gifts. It was a truly great Christmas!!

Here are a few favorites:

Gift #1: A Sterling Silver Reminder


Isn’t this a beautiful necklace??! I don’t know where my parents purchased it, but it sums up my outlook on life and I am in LOVE.

Yesterday I spent sometime in the Emerald City (downtown Seattle area) with my family  and was struck by a blind man crossing the street without a seeing eye dog! To me he was a fine example of having the courage to push forward and live life.

For whatever reason, his example reminded me of this necklace. No matter where we are on our roller-coaster of life, there truly are “so many reasons to be happy.”

#2 – Watch For Travel


This simple but beautiful watch was given as a Christmas gift from a dear friend. She wanted to make sure I knew the time regardless of where in the world my travels took me! The hands glow-in-the-dark and the white band allows it to look great with basically anything I wear!!

#3 – The Perfect Gift for my Mountain-Loving-Soul!


For all you outdoors men and women this is a beauty!! It purifies 100 gallons of water (most can only filter 1/4 to 1/3 of this much water) on one filter and can be used as a simple straw, attached to a bottle (preferably a flexible one) or even a water bladder!! While this filter isn’t fine enough to filter out viruses it will filter 99.999% of bacteria and protozoa. If water is coming from a generally “clean” source, this type of filter is usually sufficient.

Quick Note: One of the most common protozoan infections around the world, occurs by direct contact with  Giardia lamblia which is responsible for Giardiasis, or as it has been coined “traveler’s diarrhea.” If you are out of water on a hike and think melting some snow, or taking water from a beautiful clear stream is safe… well you are likely putting yourself at risk for Giardiasis as well as other infections – so get a good filter!!! This one was purchased on Amazon.

Gift #4: The Gift of Beautiful Skin


I know you’ve heard me say this before buut…is stuff is AMAZING!!! Right now I have very sensitive dry skin (winter and I aren’t the best of friends), and these two products are working great. The Ultra Facial Cream is one of Kiehl’s top selling products and while I do enjoy the face cream, my favorite product out of these two, is the TONER!!! It’s silky and feels like I am pouring an emollient liquid straight into my skin – it’s sooo hydrating! I love it!! The moisturizer I like, but the toner I love.

I’m going to be real, these products do cost a bit (the toner is about $17 and the moisturizer $27) but they will last you 6+ months, AND Kiehl’s has great sales on their website – like RIGHT NOW. Check it out and let us know what you think!!

Kiehls Website

#4 – An AMAZING Gluten Free Cookbook


Great title right??! They have a recipe in here (pg. 298) for a gingerbread CAKE! Hello, that sounds divine!! Love this!

What were your favorite memories/ gifts from this Christmas??! Anything you love and can’t live without? If so I’d love to hear about them!

Best wishes for your lovely day,

Ashley M.


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