Meet my good friend Taylor Bennett. We've been friends for years, but lately we've become even closer. Taylor works as the stylist for the magazine, Bayou Life, that I photograph for. He's incredibly talented and an absolute pleasure to work alongside. Of course I would ask him to do a 12 Days of Christmas for me! He still talks about the "original" Christmas DIY I did YEEEAAARS ago(he was basically a baby!)
Also, you may think Taylor is making up this mess about having all the candles lit and creating a mood in your home every day. NOPE. He's the real deal. This is his real life! Thanks Taylor! I'll be making a big pot of this soon!
SLoooooooW Down + Wassail
When I think about the holidays, a warm and fuzzy feeling wells up inside of me.
The glow of the Christmas tree, the smell of freshly baked gingerbread cookies filling the house, brown paper packages tied up with string and allllll the cheesy Hallmark movies that make me question why I haven’t moved to the North Pole yet. It’s my absolute favorite time of year.
The next thought that comes to mind is the busyness of the season. There are presents to buy/wrap/deliver, the house to decorate, crafts to be crafted, holiday parties to attend and school programs just to name a few.
If we’re being completely honest, it can quickly become overwhelming. Unfortunately I can’t take things off of my/your to do list, but I can tell you one thing I’ve done that has changed my life during this busy season.
Waking up early. (I know, I know...)
I love waking up before the sun rises over downtown, when the trees glow lights up my living room. I start the day by making my favorite holiday wassail. (Recipe below) I light candles throughout the house and turn on my holiday playlist before I get nestled into my favorite chair with a chunky throw and a good book. I take time to slow down, enjoy my surroundings, and become centered before I head off to client meetings or a day of Christmas shopping.
You can find my Spotify playlist here:
It’s cheesy. Don’t you dare judge. Ha!
Also, do yourself a favor and make this holiday wassail. You’ll be drinking it all season long!
4 cups apple cider or juice
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
(*I threw the rosemary and cranberries in there for a pretty picture...you can leave those out!)
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. This should make about 6 cups.
Also, it will have you’re house smelling like holiday magic in no time!