Happiness is home.
I love my house. I love it even more when it has Christmas decorations in it; the glow and glitter of the season make everything better, period.
Although I've been shopping since October, and listening to Christmas music since November, I did wait to put up the Christmas decor until the day after Thanksgiving. Things are looking pretty similar to last year around the house, with the addition of a few new trinkets--some of which I purchased at local shops in town.
Here's the first ornament that made it on the tree this year. Believe it or not, this is first Cards ornament I've ever had--I know, I'm as shocked as you are. As passionate a UofL fan as I am, it was high time my tree reflected as much. I thought about leaving it as the only ornament on the tree, but then I was like, "It needs more glitter."
Do y'all remember these Hallmark family trees?
Well, I've had one for years and as I've (slowly but surely) been redecorating my bedroom, I decided it was time to let this baby go. But I saved the little frames and updated the photos with little black & white prints of my fam. They look precious on the tree!
A few months ago, I was shopping at one of my favorite local stores, The Urban Farmhouse Market, and found this gem.
Basically I love anything with a fleur-de-lis on it, so when I saw it, I knew that this jar had to be mine. I've used it to hold candy, as well as little plastic lemons to brighten up my counter. I found the assorted miniature (sparkly of course) ornaments at Wal-mart to dress it up for Christmas.
If you've never been to The Urban Farmhouse Market, go immediately! They have the cutest decor, jewelry, stationary and more.
Speaking of shopping local, I'd like to give a shout-out to Katie & Kevin of Bourbon Built. If you love Louisville and/or bourbon, you'll love their unique shirts, prints, and bourbon-inspired gifts. I recently purchased this shirt via their website and it has quickly become my favorite thing to wear.
You can also purchase their merchandise locally at Gifthorse and Tribe. Seriously, people, softest. Shirt. Ever. And locally made to boot!
I wrapped up my Christmas shopping this past weekend at Why Louisville, a local gift boutique in the heart of the Highlands neighborhood. As their website says, they "specialize in locally designed shirts and accessories, books and magazines, gifts and cards, and general curiosities."
I had way too much fun in there and could have spent all day checking out their merchandise. The Why Louisville gifts that my lucky friends and family members will be receiving this Christmas could not have been found anywhere else.
If you're in the market for restaurant gift cards for your friends & family this season, let me suggest The Irish Rover, Cafe Lou Lou, and Boom Bozz. Yum! Local restaurants rule.
I'd also like to give some props to Carmichael's Bookstore. Not only are they Louisville's oldest independent bookstore, but they also have the best customer service of any bookstore I've ever visited. Whenever I need a book, I call Carmichael's. If they don't have the book I want, they will order it and usually have it ready for me to pick up the next day. They also gift wrap books for free!
This past weekend, my family went to my mom's hometown, LaSalle, Illinois, to celebrate Christmas. I ended up getting my aunt's and Grandma's gifts from a local Louisville boutique, Rabbit in the Moon. I also gave my uncle, a beer aficionado, a pack of locally brewed beer.
Although we were there to exchange gifts and visit, no trip to LaSalle would be complete without going to our favorite local shop in town, Old Glory. I'm pretty sure my pictures don't begin to do it justice, but trust me when I say that this is one of the most beautifully decorated stores I have ever seen! In every corner there is so much to meet the eye that I always have to take multiple trips around the store to even scratch the surface.
The purple room, also known as my favorite room.
I managed to behave and only buy 4 ornaments (yes, only 4), along with a beautiful star garland. Since I can't live in the store, it's nice to be able to take a few pieces of it home with me.
On another note, we discovered that the clerk at Old Glory has a son who lives and attends school in Louisville--at the University of Louisville, mind you. It really is a small world, you guys.
So if you're ever on a road trip to say, Chicago, I suggest taking a detour and checking out this beautiful boutique.
The best thing about shopping locally is that you're sure to find gifts that are unique, whether they're gifts for you or for someone else. I'm happy to say that many of my gifts for others were purchased locally this year.
Keep it fa la la la la la la local, this Christmas y'all.