With Christmas a few days away, I wanted to squeeze in one more Noteworthy post this year. Today I’m doing some holiday baking for tomorrow’s blog post, but I’ve been hoarding some links I wanted to share. You know the drill… click through for inspiring articles, things I’m loving, updates, a recent coffee debate between Emmett & myself, and more!
I’m hoping for lots of snow this week. It’s actually supposed to snow here today, but like the rest of the world- a white, snowy Christmas is what I’m hoping for later this week! This is one of the few times of the year, Emmett & I have away from work, so we always plan some good ski days. I’m looking forward to getting outside, being active, and taking in some scenic winter views!
Does everyone have their Christmas meal planned? Are your gifts wrapped? Are you all ready?! This year, it’s just Emmett & I, but we’re happy to be together and make the most of it… even if it is just the two of us. Our plan is to open gifts, make dinner, and have a cozy day at home with the dogs! I’m honestly really looking forward to it.
Interested to know the four home materials people searched for most this year, according to Houzz? Check out this article! I’m truthfully not surprised. I noticed all four this year.
For the New Year, it will probably be more of the same… the two of us staying cozy at home. Typically we have house guests and attend parties every year, so it’s going to be strange ringing in the new year more quietly. I’m going to make a special dinner and plan something fun we can do at home! I’m not sure what exactly that looks like yet, but I’ll figure it out. Do you have NYE plans? I’m truly looking forward to moving into a new chapter, setting new goals, and am definitely looking forward to renewed creative energy that comes with the start of another year. I think quiet and cozy might be exactly what I need to close out 2020. I have some big dreams and exciting things for the year ahead!
When traveling is a thing again… here are 18 of the most anticipated high-design hotels that are opening in 2021. I just added a BUNCH to my must-visit list… Life House Chattanooga and NoMad London were at the top of my list.
Emmett is trying to convince me to swap my beloved Barista Express espresso machine for the Nespresso we got for our office. He likes the convenience of pods, while I like a true, artisan coffee each morning with freshly ground beans (latte, americano, cappuccino, etc… the possibilities are endless). We’re currently a (coffee) house divided… the reason for the coffee images throughout this post. For the sake of the budget, I think we’ll keep what we have at home and the office. No switcharoos happening over here, and I refuse to part with my Breville. Do you drink coffee every morning? If so, what is your means of making it?
I’m skipping my last five purchases this month, because they’re all Christmas gifts for Emmett and I don’t want to spoil his surprises! If I remember, I’ll include them in my January Noteworthy post though.
Do we agree that these home trends are going to be huge in 2021? Some I’m on board with and could totally see, while others I thought, “aren’t we already noticing that?” or “I’m not so sure.” It will be interesting to see what 2021 actually brings in terms of interiors and design! Obviously we’ll talk about it here.
This article made me chuckle because this has definitely been us this year! We invested in the smoker gun, added some new glassware to our collection, and are hoping to have an incredible renovated home bar in our basement media area someday. We’ve had our fair share of homemade craft cocktails this year, and I’m really not mad about it. We even discovered “The Gibson” cocktail while watching The Queen’s Gambit, and decided we obviously need to claim this as our house cocktail.
While we’re on the food & drink subject, I thought of another recipe I want to make before the year ends… Jocelyn’s eggnog french toast. This looks next level delicious and perfect for the holidays!
You know what renovation I’m really looking forward to finishing in 2021?! Our dining room… AND my home office. I guess that’s two that I’m excited about both right now. I photographed my first tablescape on our vintage dining table, and it got me all kinds of excited for our dining space.
I’ll keep this post short and sweet, because guess what is coming to the blog tomorrow?! The annual Cookie Swap! Kyla is organizing it this year, but I’m still showing up with an awesome cookie recipe tomorrow. I can’t wait to share it with you- just in time for Christmas. I’m baking as we speak and our house smells amazing. I hope you’re all having a lovely holiday week. Happy Tuesday!
BriannaDecember 22, 2020 at 5:00 am
I used to live the ritual of preparing a cup of really good coffee in the morning. Now I’m team Whatever Gets Caffeine in Me The Fastest 😆
The trends article was really interesting — I’m excited to see what 2021 has in store!
SarahDecember 23, 2020 at 10:04 am
Haha, I totally get that Brianna! I’m also excited to see what 2021 has in store for design :)
BrendaDecember 22, 2020 at 5:35 am
Part of the joy of coffee is the ritual of creating it. I’ve never been able to use the pods without being horrified by the waste. Also, the hot water dripping through the plastic makes me queasy.
SarahDecember 23, 2020 at 10:02 am
I agree, Brenda! I love the ritual of making coffee :) There’s something about freshly ground beans and playing barista that I really enjoy. Happy Holidays!
PeggiDecember 22, 2020 at 5:45 am
Good morning, friend! How I wish we were expecting snow right now. We’ve had a little warming trend, so that means our yard is a mudfest! Not my favorite. We are such homebodies that I’ve joked more than once this year that our plans haven’t been impacted by the pandemic. Christmas and New Years are always a party of two. (That’s our house division; if I had my way, it would be soiree central!) On coffee, however, we are in complete accord! Nothing but fresh ground pour over for us. Although we have been eyeing your Breville for a fancy upgrade. Sorry, Emmett, pods are for convenience spaces like offices. Are color, texture and vintage really trends? I’m in! Also very in favor of the craft cocktail. We don’t have a designated bar, but I often covet the special spaces in publications. (I may even have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them!) I bet you’ve got some seriously swanky plans for your future bar situation! But first, dining room and office! Your beautiful vintage dining set needs a fitting backdrop! And the hardest-working woman I know deserves a proper office! Bring on the new year and all its possibilities! (After a relaxing holiday break!) I’ll be back tomorrow for cookies!!💜
SarahDecember 23, 2020 at 9:57 am
Good morning! I’m wishing for snow, too! Our yard is also a mud fest… which equals muddy paws. I’m sure you can relate. Ugh! I miss the holiday soirees and parties, too. You are doing it right with the coffee- freshly ground pour over sounds amazing. I totally agree, pods are for convenience spaces like offices. We’re keeping the Breville (sorry Emmett)! I’m fully on board with pretty home bars. Ours is currently in the basement kitchen cabinets, which is not very pretty- but at least we have storage space for it. Ha! I can’t wait for a pretty home office someday. It’s going to be a complete dream! Hope you’re having a great day so far. xox
MelissaDecember 22, 2020 at 6:49 am
Ah travel, won’t that be something to look forward to! We love Chattanooga and usually visit several times a year. I’ve been thru the old space pre-reno It was such a cool space even then. Can’t wait to see what it looks like now.
The great coffee debate. While our routine isn’t as fancy as yours we did have to find a compromise at our house. When we merged houses I was team percolator and he was team Keurig. We use the keurig during the week for convenience (and yes I’m horrified by the waste) and the percolator on the weekend when we can linger and enjoy a whole pot.
SarahDecember 23, 2020 at 9:51 am
It really will be something! I’m looking forward to the day we can schedule trips and fly. Haha! I love your coffee compromise- that sounds like the perfect way to make everyone happy :)
ColleenDecember 22, 2020 at 7:52 am
We are pretty much Christmas ready at our house for the first time ever! It’s so strange and nice to be ahead of the Christmas rush and be on top of things. I’m normally running around like crazy, totally exhausted and struggling to get everything completed for the holidays. Not this year and it’s kinda wonderful 😉
I am missing much of the festivities of Christmas though. The holiday parties, getting together with friends, and our annual Christmas traditions.
Regarding your coffee dilemma, I don’t understand why you can’t have both your amazing cappuccino machine and a Nespresso? I personally love drip coffee in the morning but love my Nespresso in the aft with a sweet pick me up treat ( like your Grandmas sugar cookies)
All the pods are recyclable and Nespresso makes it so easy for returning them to their facility. I think having both is a win, win 😜 Why not? Haha!
Happy Baking! And I hope you get to taste some yummy treats this afternoon 😋 Cheers!
SarahDecember 23, 2020 at 9:50 am
YAY!! I love hearing that, Colleen! Way to go :) I’m also missing our regular Christmas festivities- especially the holiday parties with friends. That’s my thoughts exactly, on our coffee dilemma. Haha! We’re keeping both! Emmett is crazy for wanting two Nespressos (one at home and one at the office). I feel like we have the best of both worlds. I hope you’re having the happiest holiday week! xox
LaurenDecember 22, 2020 at 8:37 am
Ahhhh, nothing like a noteworthy post to grace the morning views! I’m currently sitting with my brewed cup of pod (it’s quick, easy, and quiet for my 5:30 wake up), gazing at the sunrise. We are still enjoying exceptionally cool weather (and wind🧐🤨), but still no rain. The views however are amazing!! Side note for those of you who cringe at pod waste: pods are actually recyclable. Most people don’t know that, and most people also don’t want to lessen the convenience factor by having to rinse out grounds to do so. However, if you have a home garden and already play around with composting, chuck the grounds into your compost bin, rinse the pod, and recycle it. 😃
For the love of travel!!! There’s not a single hotel in that article I wouldn’t visit! Hopefully we’ll see some wanderlust in 2021…even if it is later in the year.
On the home trends topic, some of them we’re already seeing, and others I find myself going 🧐🧐. Haha! I do have to say I welcome less neutral spaces. I wonder if that’s because people who aren’t usually home with their kids all day are finally noticing how dysfunctional tons of white can be? 😆😆 I once responded to a question bar in someone’s stories asking how she kept her walls so fingerprint free. Her response was “touch up paint”. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Lol.
I’m all for the Gibson! One of the most classic cocktails; paired with homemade cocktail onions??? I’m drooling. I’ve dreamed up so many different options for a home bar in our house, and one day I’ll bring one to fruition. I can’t wait to see what you and Emmett come up with for the basement; I already know it’s going to have some amazing countertops!
Hallelujah Kyla!! So excited for the cookie swap! I’ve been spending so much time in the kitchen this week, and the juice has definitely been worth the squeeze to try out some fun new recipes. The tomato soup tortellini was a huge hit last night and one I’ll definitely be making again! If you decide to use your instant pot like I did, use your sauté function on normal, and drop it down to low for the simmering portion of the recipe, and only for about 3 minutes. Set your pressure to normal (not high), and pressurize for no more than 4 minutes (any more will burn the cream). Use the quick release method and viola! Also, bypass the keep warm function. The flour in the recipe will thicken too much. If you’re in soup mode to get you through the winter chill, head over to @halfbakedharvest and find her instant pot Zuppa Toscana recipe- seriously amazing!! I made it on Monday night and had multiple requests to make it again this week! It was super easy and delicious!
I’ll be back in the kitchen today prepping my quiches for Christmas morning, and baking cookies for the neighbors’ gifts. The gifts are all wrapped, so now it’s just down to cooking and cleaning-two of my favorite home activities! Have a lovely day friends!
SarahDecember 23, 2020 at 9:43 am
That sounds perfect, Lauren! We’ve been recycling the pods at our office, and I know you can also use them for seed starts (since we’re on the gardening / composting subject) and repurpose them in other ways. I am SO ready to travel. I hope that 2021 will allow for more of that, even if it is later in the year. I miss adventures, pretty hotels, and exploring new cities. I’m with you on welcoming less neutral spaces. I’m ready for rooms that have more character. This year I felt like a lot of my feed looked the same. I like having a kitchen that is recognizably mine… and I think that translates to rooms, too! Color is probably the biggest part of that. Yay Kyla for saving the cookie swap (even if I baked at the last possible minute yesterday, haha)! I’m so glad you’ve been able to spend some fun time in your kitchen. I can’t wait to try the soup tomorrow night. I’m adding the Zuppa Toscana recipe to my list, too. Thanks for sharing! Hope you’re wrapping up your to-do list and are able to enjoy all the Christmas festivities, Lauren! Have an awesome day! xox
Danna FDecember 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm
Sarah, I had a dear friend over today & she had to know what candle I was burning. I showed her your Woodland candle and all about your new online store. Maybe I need to buy several and keep as gifts! Yes, I should!
Enjoy your noteworthy posts. I was very curious about the home trends that will be popular in 2021. Also want to check out the high design hotels opening next year. Need something to dream about and maybe even visit. We are drinking more this year…understandably so. There are a few couples we know who have made their formal living rooms into bar lounge areas with bar, chairs, etc. I must say, I like the idea now that our kiddos are out of the house.
I still have gift wrapping to complete and lots of cleaning to do but ready to have my kids here and all the traditional food and madness for 2 days. Wishing I was a baker like most of my friends but will enjoy their specialities and look forward to yours and the others during the cookie exchange.
Have a great Tuesday!
SarahDecember 23, 2020 at 9:31 am
Awww, I love hearing that! Thanks so much for sharing with her, Danna! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. We’re looking forward to traveling again as well. I miss having trips to look forward to! We have so many flight miles that didn’t get used this year, and I’m looking forward to putting them to good use. I’ve really enjoyed sampling cocktails and new liquors this year. I can definitely get on board with the home bar trend. I also have wrapping to finish and cooking to do, but I’m nearly finished with work things and can check out and begin crossing things off my list :) Enjoy having your kids and family home! It’s going to be a great Christmas! xox
StacyDecember 23, 2020 at 9:36 am
Love these check in posts, especially now that connecting with friends and family feels so difficult sometimes. I appreciate the little updates so much more right now :)
I have a Nespresso machine and I LOOOOVE it! I have a couple of other ways to make coffee (a cold brew pitcher, a Chemex) but I use the Nespresso machine the most. And as some others mentioned above, the Nespresso pods ARE recyclable. I’ve heard a lot of arguments about waste in reference to the Keurig-style pods, but I wonder if that’s because they tend to be made of the “wrong” type of plastic? The Nespresso pods are all aluminum, even if you buy non-Nespresso branded ones – at least all of the other brands I’ve tried have been. I worked in a coffee shop when I was young and I’m sure I’d appreciate owning a machine like the one you have at home, I just know myself and I’m certain I’d use it less (and buy coffee out more). I’m just not one of those people who can make themselves get up any earlier in the morning than I absolutely have to, even if it is for a few more minutes of self care and great coffee!
The last couple of gifts I was waiting on arrived yesterday afternoon, so I have two more items to wrap and then I’ll be done! Today I’m planning to clean and do a little bit of pre-prep for my Christmas dinner (trimming green beans, shredding cheese, that sort of thing). Tomorrow will be actual prep – making the cheese sauce for my mac and cheese, prepping biscuit dough to stash in the freezer and bake fresh on Friday. Almost everything on my menu this year is either no prep or something I can get at least half done ahead of time, and since I have some extra time this week I’m working on spacing it out a bit. It’ll just be my parents and siblings this year, so it won’t be a huge meal, but 2020 life is hard so I’m doing as much as possible to keep from stressing myself out.
Hopefully you get some snow this week! Your house looks so beautiful with a fresh blanket :) I’m actually super excited about the weather here – I’m in central Florida and we don’t typically get consistent cold until true winter (Jan-Feb), so for the last handful of years it’s been WARM on Christmas. Like 80s warm. Even as a lifelong Floridian it makes me kind of sad. BUT! We’re expecting a cold front to come through tomorrow afternoon, so the forecast for Friday is 50s/30s and I am SO SO looking forward to a cold(er) Christmas! I’m thinking I’ll be up early to make those cinnamon knots for Christmas breakfast – did you end up getting a chance to try them yet? I’ve been dreaming about them since you posted that recipe!
I hope you and Emmett have a fabulous Christmas, and I am so looking forward to the guest room reveal next week!
SarahDecember 23, 2020 at 10:16 am
I agree, Stacy! These posts are fun for me too- thank YOU for taking the time to message and share as well :) The Nespresso maker really is awesome and I think it produces great coffee- I just like the ritual of using my Breville. I feel like we have the best of both worlds now! So far this week, I’ve had 3 nespressos and 4 from my big coffee maker. Ha! We also recycle the pods. I definitely prefer those to the Keurig kind. Cheers to wrapping up our Christmas tasks and enjoying the season! I also have a couple more gifts to wrap, then I’m finished (aside from cooking in the kitchen). I also like prepping food in advance. It definitely makes things less stressful the day of, and I feel like I can actually enjoy the holiday. I’m crossing my fingers for fresh snow! I can’t imagine what an 80 degree Christmas would feel like- I’m crossing my fingers you get your cold front. That would be amazing! I’m also making the cinnamon knots for Christmas morning. I’m going to tackle those in the kitchen tmrw. I’ll share how they turn out :) I hope you also have a Merry Christmas!! xox
Michele M.January 9, 2021 at 4:48 pm
I had a big Keurig, then a mini one – bleh – not a fan of pod coffee in the least: too weak, brews too fast, big big waste imho. I am all about the French press. I think it is the easier and best for me. And the grounds go in the compost when done. No plastic. No waste. Deep, rich yummy coffee……..stick to your guns if you love your machine. : – )
Great post about trends. I stop watching trends a long time ago and just do my own thing. Too much color isn’t my thing, and stark white isn’t either. I like earthy warm neutralish tones.
I think your home and tastes are awesome. I am visiting from Karianne’s Thistlekeeping post.
SarahJanuary 11, 2021 at 8:58 am
We usually take our french press along if we’re road tripping or camping… otherwise, I really love our Barista express. Sticking to that :) I think you have the right attitude about trends- do what you love in your home. I’m so happy you made your way over here. I’ll have to pop over to Karianne’s post and thank her :)