Sartorial Saturday–Christmas in July

Merry Christmas (in July)!

Who doesn’t love the idea of Christmas in July? When it’s hot outside, there’s nothing better than staying cool in the air conditioning, watching a Christmas movie, and thinking of all of the joys of the season. All right, fine…a little part of my brain is always thinking about Christmastime. But I indulge it a bit more in July, because it brightens up these hot summer days! So while I was thinking about Christmas, I came up with a new Pinup Girl Clothing outfit I wanted to try, featuring the Bella ornament print skirt I got last year, and a mint Sabrina top. I think it’s a great retro color palette!

An Erstwilder holly brooch, Elizabeth Taylor hoop earrings, and a necklace and glitter Duchess bangles from Splendette are the perfect Christmas accessories:

It’s such a fun look!

I’m really looking forward to wearing this “for real” in December!

Sartorial Saturday–Festive Fashion

The 12 Days of Christmas are officially over, but I’m here with one last look at all of my festive fashions from this season!

Last year, I focused mainly on red & green and blue & white outfits, with one Christmas print thrown in. This time around, I’m focusing on one Christmas print, the gorgeous ornament border print Bella skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing, and all of the different ways I styled it.

I went with solids on top…white, black, and red:

I also wore stripes…pink & white, black & white, and red & white:

Of course I accessorized. I focused on my festive Splendette stacks last week, so here’s the rest…beautiful necklaces and always my Christmas tree brooch!

I have had so much fun wearing this print…I’m going to have to find a few ways to sneak it into my wardrobe before next Christmas!

Sartorial Saturday–Splendette Christmas Stacks

As silly as it might sound, one of the most exciting things that happened for me this year was learning that Splendette was going to make Duchess Bangles that could actually fit over my hand without me having to break my thumb. I’ve had so much fun incorporating various stacks into my outfits all year long, but the most fun has been making different Christmas stacks with all the green, red, silver, and gold bangles I have. The glitter bangles have been an especially fun and sparkly addition to many of my outfits!

I’m hoping that Splendette will add more Duchess Bangles to their collection in 2018…I will never get tired of mixing and matching, but I will also not complain about having more colors or styles to work with!

A Markel Family Christmas

Our traditional Markel Family Christmas was a three-day affair this year!

Because Christmas Day fell on a Monday, our church schedules were a little complicated this time around. There wasn’t a large enough break at home on Christmas Eve for our traditional “pick out dinner,” so I decided we’d have it a day early. But before we got to that, our day Saturday started in a most pleasant fashion…the first snow of the season, and Christmas Crunch for breakfast!

And then the best dinner of the year. I love how it’s always a little bit the same as the previous year’s feast, and a little bit different! This year, in addition to the standard summer sausage and crackers, cheeses, buffalo Chex mix, and sausage squares, we also had Greek spirals from Trader Joe’s, meatballs, Rotel dip and jalapeño popper dip (both served with festive red and green tortilla chips), deviled eggs, pizza rolls, mozzarella sticks, Ranch dip with assorted veggies, and Dino Nuggets. As always, there was way too much food, which is how we like it, because we can enjoy the leftovers for several days!

As it turned out, we were fortunate that Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday, because if it hadn’t, we wouldn’t have been able to attend our regular church at all. Even though it was still technically Advent, I wore my new Pinup Girl Clothing ornament print skirt:

The children’s blue Christmas outfits fit right in with Advent 4 (and the snow falling outside!), though, and I was able to get our annual pictures at our church…including one where Bunny insisted on giving her youngest sister bunny ears!

After lunch and a little downtime at home, it was time to drive into St. Louis so Ryan and the four oldest children could sing in their respective choirs. I wore my standard Christmas Eve dress, but I added some Splendette bangles to give a more retro look:

Of course I had to get another picture of the Fab Five:

Bunny sang the first verse of “Once in Royal David’s City” solo, and she did an amazing job!

I always love hearing the children sing Stille Nacht:

Back home for even more pictures:

And Jesus’ birthday cake:

And everyone opened their one Christmas Eve gift…new Christmas jammies!

After stuffing the stockings, Ryan and I played Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries, as we always do…and I was once again a poor sport when I won, repeating last year’s victory lap around the kitchen table. For what it’s worth, I did apologize for my bad behavior.

A last look to make sure everything was ready before bed:

We were up extra early this morning, to make sure there was time to open the stockings before driving back into the city. For some reason, I rarely get pictures of the boys that early in the morning…it may have something to do with the fact that they’re always annoyed with me for waking them!

We also managed to find time for our traditional Christmas morning cherry coffee cake:

I had to wear my ornament print skirt again, because it’s so gorgeous, but at least I styled it a little bit differently this time!

I’m a sucker for pictures of the Fab Five!

Only the adult choir (of which Ryan, Turkey, and more recently, Bunny, are members) was scheduled to sing, but some of the children were also recruited to fill out the soprano section. “See in Yonder Manger Low” was my very favorite piece they sang!

After church, we even managed to find time to get a picture of the whole family!

After lunch, we opened presents. I am so thankful that everyone was thrilled with their gifts!

The aftermath was…something:

I spent what felt like an eternity in the kitchen preparing our very festive meal. The dinner table was a little low-key this year, but it still looked nice:

We had a very nice spread this year. The star of the meal was new for me…Beef Wellington. I think I did a pretty good job! We also had two kinds of potatoes (mashed and roast), two vegetables (carrots and Brussel sprouts), a shrimp ring, cherry Jell-O and dinner rolls…it was delicious!

And for dessert, an Oreo truffle Christmas tree!

This Christmas season has seemed especially hectic, and the last three days were no exception. But we had a lot of fun, and hopefully made some happy memories in the process, so all the work was worth it!

Sartorial Saturday–Ornamented

I tried to resist, but I guess there was really no doubt that I was going to buy the new Pinup Girl Clothing Bella skirt in ornament print, with artwork by Terry Runyan. Just look at it…it’s gorgeous in its mid-century fabulousness!

Accessories were no problem, and I didn’t even have to buy anything new (although, if I ever found a brooch that matched one of the ornaments, I’m sure I’d add it to my collection!). My Splendette stack includes some beautiful glitter bangles in red and green, and I even have a matching red necklace. Of course I’m always looking for a reason to wear my favorite brooch, which is the perfect touch to finish off the outfit!

For a touch of whimsy, the Christmas lights necklace Ryan bought for me last weekend is a nice addition, too!

This is definitely my favorite Christmas-themed piece of clothing. I love the print on the skirt I purchased from The Oblong Box Shop last year, but the fit isn’t awesome, and I don’t love the material it’s made of. This skirt, however, check all the boxes, and I adore it!

This might be an over-the-top look for some people, but as the Christmas Queen, I think it’s just right! I’m looking forward to pairing it with some other tops throughout the month, including solid red, and both pink & white and red & white stripes! I’ll be looking festive all Christmas long!

Christmas 2016

It’s hard to believe that another Christmas Eve and Day have come and gone already!

As always, our celebration started yesterday, with my favorite meal of the whole year…the “pick out dinner.” We had summer sausage, cheese, and crackers, jalapeno popper and buffalo chicken dips, sausage squares, deviled eggs, toasted ravioli, mozzarella sticks, cheese squares, buffalo chex mix, and pizza bagels. Oh, and the chef’s favorite sour beer:

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Then it was time to get ready for church. I wore my traditional Christmas Eve dress and brooch. I’ve featured the brooch here a lot, but I’ve been wearing this same dress every Christmas Eve for at least five years, and I’m pretty sure it’s never appeared here before!

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As they did last year, “The Bigs” sang for Hope Lutheran church in St. Louis’s Christmas Eve Divine Service.

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After we got home, I took lots of pictures:

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And we had Jesus’ birthday cake, and lit all of the candles on the Advent wreath:

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Everyone always opens one present on Christmas Eve. Ryan and I both got slippers, and the children each got a new pair of Christmas jammies:

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Ryan and I also always play Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries on Christmas Eve. The final score was 162 to 131…I’ll let you guess who won!

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After the children went to bed, I made sure everything was ready for the morning.

They always get to open their stockings before Christmas Day church:

I really love our very delicious tradition of cherry coffee cake for breakfast on Christmas morning!

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Another Christmas church service means another Christmas outfit (with a new brooch) for me!

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This year, all four of “The Bigs” served as acolytes. This was Turkey’s first opportunity to be crucifer…he was very excited (and a little nervous)! Bunny was the book bearer, which seemed fitting, and Moose and Ladybug both served as torch bearers.

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I always have to get another picture (or eight) after church:

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When we got home, we had a quick lunch, and then we listened to Ryan read the Christmas story. Chickadee still loves acting it out with our Little People nativity:

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And then there was a flurry of gift opening!

This Christmas has been a little different, but it was still a wonderful weekend to celebrate our Savior’s birth, and spend time together as a family! Merry Christmas!

Christmas Fashion Wrap-Up

This year, more than ever before, I’ve had a lot of fun planning Christmas-inspired outfits. I’ve shared a lot of them over the last month…here’s a wrap-up of all of my Christmas fashion.

I finally got to wear several red and green outfits I had been saving (because I knew they’d look too Christmas-y at any other time of the year):

I also put together two monochromatic outfits in Christmas green and red:

I wore my Christmas tree skirt as much as possible:

And I also got a lot of use out of my blue and white harlequin skirt (which I’m looking forward to continuing to wear all winter!):

I even have two brooches appropriate for the season:

Christmas and fashion are two of my favorite things, as is evidenced by how much I write about each on my blog. I’m glad I found a way to put the two together!