Happy Friday, friend, and welcome to the first issue of the CTL Weekly!
I’m excited about putting together this little note from me to you each week and I hope you’ll enjoy it too. And if there’s anyone you know who would be interested in what we chat about here, I’d love it if you’d forward this email to them.
Note: Creating This Life posts sometimes contain affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that our granddaughter made her appearance a little early. A little before 3 am on November 9 my phone rang and Lindsey was on the other end saying “Nothing is wrong, but my water broke and Morgan and I are at the hospital.” Because her due date was five weeks away my mom brain was screaming “Of course something is wrong!” but Lindsey was so calm that it (kind of) calmed me down too. Of course, there was no way we were going to go back to sleep and we spent the rest of the morning awaiting updates on how things were going. And at 11:58 am, twelve hours after Lindsey’s water had broken, Madeline entered the world, all 5 lbs. 3 oz of her.
Because she was early she needed to learn how to eat so she spent two weeks in the hospital learning to do that. Luckily we were still able to visit and hold her. (And can I say that the NICU was nothing like I imagined…Madeline had her own room! It was amazing.)
On the day after Thanksgiving, she was ready to go home and the three of them are settling in so well. It’s so sweet to see. And the rest of us are enjoying our new roles of grandma, grandpa, and uncle!
A Christmas Home Tour
I’m crazy about this classic Des Moines home tailor-made for the holidays. You can read about it and see all the pics here. (The little boy’s room is a fave…I’ve pinned it many times.)
Our Thanksgiving Table
With a big group coming for Thanksgiving and the excitement of Madeline’s early arrival, I took some shortcuts for Thanksgiving dinner (like store-bought mashed potatoes with a lot of half-and-half added to them!).
But setting the table is my favorite part so I wasn’t going to skip on that. I relied on a lot of old stand-bys like Trader Joe’s flowers and pears, La Rochere tumblers, mismatched estate sale silverware, individual salt and pepper shakers, vintage barley twist candlesticks, and a linen runner. There were also a few new additions: Spode Woodland salad plates (I’ve wanted these forever), rust cotton napkins, and white catering dinner plates (I love the simplicity of these and would 100% use them for every day). You can see the whole table here.
What I’m Loving
Speaking of tables, I use my bamboo flatware all the time for family dinners and holidays and I wish I had known about this set before I bought mine. I like that it only comes with three pieces per place setting so you don’t have to invest in pieces you won’t often use. We’re pretty informal so I don’t use a whole five-piece placesetting.
J. Crew Cashmere Wrap
We have a wedding coming up this weekend and I took advantage of the Black Friday sales to get this oversized Cashmere wrap from J. Crew to wear in lieu of a coat. I hope it will be the kind of classic piece that I’ll have in my closet for years. It’s still on sale for 50% off and comes in lots of colors. The red would be amazing for Christmas.
Old World Ornaments
I love how pretty glass ornaments on a Christmas tree are, and I’ve become a big fan of Old World Ornaments because they have so many to choose from. I’ve now collected quite a few, including this Scottish Santa, a boat and golf cart and shoe for Tom, and of course a stack of books. These make great gifts and Amazon carries them all.
Organic Cotton Infant Gowns
When Madeline arrived she was so tiny that none of the things the kids had bought and got at their showers fit her. I swore by infant gowns when my kids were newborns so I hopped online and ordered these organic cotton gowns in a premie size. When they arrived I was so impressed with how quality they were. I also liked this pattern and this one in blues.
More to Explore
Have you ever been to a European Christmas market? We were lucky to get to go to a couple in Germany and they’re so festive and charming. This Travel and Leisure article has a list of European-style Christmas markets in the US. Have you been to any?
I really enjoyed this profile of literary agent Felicity Blunt, who also happens to be the sister of Emily Blunt and the wife of Stanley Tucci, but she’s a star in her own right.
Remember Tumblr? Recently I ran across my favorite Tumblr account and got lost in the images. I don’t think the creator is adding to it anymore, but I bookmarked it so I could go back and visit from time to time.
This lovely essay about how to light the dark months has some helpful ideas.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
P.S. You can sign up to receive CTL Weekly in your inbox here.