I found these two items, “Wintermint Balsam” hand soap and a room & linen spray, at Whole Foods in Portland. They are all-natural and smell like a mixture of wintergreen and fir trees. I keep both in my powder room during the holidays for a seasonal touch. Rangeley Balsam is a small and lovely little company based in the mountain town of Rangeley, Maine. If you’re not a fan of mint, they make several different balsam blends.
Dr. Hauschka Translucent Makeup feels more like moisturizer, but with a small amount of coverage. I then dust Laura Mercier Loose Powder on top to keep me from getting too shiny. My holy grail winter blush is Mineral Fusion’s Pale, which ironically, keeps me from looking overly pasty in the winter. It is the perfect blush color that isn’t too orange or too pink for pale skin– just right. The RMS Living Luminizer is a touch of shimmer on my upper cheekbones, inner eye corners and cupid’s bow. I curl my lashes and apply a layer of Tarte Gifted Mascara. On my lips, I moisturize with Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm (smells like honey– heavenly!) and top it off with Ilia’s Tinted Lip Conditioner in Arabian Knights. This look works equally well for work or a holiday party if you add a bit of eyeshadow and liner to take it from day to night– this trio (not pictured) is perfect if you want to glam it up a bit.
I heard a quote from Mother Teresa recently, “Do small things with great love,” which resonated with me. It doesn’t take a monumental act or loads of money to make a difference. This time of year I think it’s good to take a step back and think about how we can spread joy and love this season through small acts of kindness.
Feed the birds. When it gets really frigid out, those little birdies need lots of energy to stay warm. Putting out a birdfeeder is a kindhearted gesture, and your family will enjoy watching it too.
Bake holiday treats for folks at your workplace.
Spend a Saturday volunteering for your favorite cause, whether it’s at the soup kitchen, animal shelter, or church.
Pay for the drink of the stranger behind you in the coffee line. I guarantee it will make their day.
Bring a healthy, homemade dinner to a lonely relative or friend and spend the evening catching up. If you live far away, then pick up the phone when you have a free 15 minutes to say hello.
Shovel or plow the snow from your elderly neighbor’s driveway.
Surprise your Secret Santa with an above-average, thoughtful gift at the office. I did this last year and I never revealed my identity, but it was so great to see how touched she was by the present.
If you have guests coming for the holidays, put extra care into your guest room with a dish of chocolate truffles, a scented candle, or little luxurious toiletries in the bathroom.
Spend some quality time with your pet giving them your undivided attention with playtime, some treats, a walk, or cuddling. They will love it and you will too.
Ask someone how they’re doing and actually care. It’s amazing how often we just say these things in passing just as small talk. I’m very guilty of this in my day-to-day life and I want to take the time to have more meaningful conversations.
One of the best things about living in Maine is that we have a plenitude of balsam fir Christmas trees. I cringe at the the thought of a plastic tree that will never, ever biodegrade. Plus, there’s nothing more fun than picking out a tree and bringing it home to fill your house with the smell of the forest. This year my husband and I went to Broadway Gardens to pick out a tree. They had loads of options, from the littlest trees to big ones that you’d need a cathedral ceiling to accommodate. We finished off the trip with a swing by Little Bigs for a pot pie and a sweet treat.
A little clip from my favorite Christmas movie, White Christmas. Love.
The fun thing about snow in December is that it’s powdery and fluffy, and I’m not tired of it yet. By January when it’s 5 degrees Fahrenheit and the snow is heavy, wet and impairs my ability to get to work, I’m ready for spring. But in December when the holidays are approaching, snow feels exciting and festive.
Sweet Pea doesn’t know what to make of the snow. But as a part-Maine Coon, she has a thick coat that puffs up like a little bird in the wintertime.
I’ve heard many people raving about Neom Luxury Organics candles, including one of my faves, essiebutton. So, ’tis the season, I finally caved and got one from my new go-to online apothecary, Beauty Habit.
Friends, this candle is amazing. Truly lives up to the hype. First of all, it’s made with natural wax and pure essential oils. And second, it is Christmassy as all get out. The golden packaging adds a little pizzazz to my holiday decor, and the scent is warm and happy. Here’s what it says on the box, since it’s so poetic: “Whether it’s a crisp, winter morning walk, a cozy evening by the first, or the freshly baked smell of Christmas cake, our Christmas fragrance collection will fill your home with the festive scents we all know and love…packed with warming spices and soothing fruit notes, for when it’s snowy outside and you need a little Christmas cheer inside. Accompany with mulled wine and rich chocolate truffles for optimum pleasure.” Isn’t that description magical? It truly gets me in the holiday spirit. Since I don’t have a fireplace in my home, a festive candle is the next best thing. My personal favorite holiday decorations are the ones that are simple and natural with just a little sparkle, and Neom fits the description perfectly.
If you don’t want to shell out the extra money, the Way out Wax’s Cozy Home candle is similar, but without the citrus notes.