This felted acorn garland has a cozy, homemade, yet rustic feel. I love the fact that the designer combined super soft merino wool with actual acorn caps! This would look charming strung on your tree or simply hung on the wall. Felted acorn ornaments are also available.
Etsy Seller: Delica
This crocheted leaf necklace—with its soft grey leaves and red flower brooch—is both cozy and feminine. You could spiff up any outfit by simply adding this unique necklace, and the removable brooch adds a nice festive touch.
As if this polar bear ornament wasn’t adorable enough in the first place, he’s also wearing a sweater to up the cuteness factor. Each handmade polar bear is personalized with an initial embroidered on his sweater, and there are several lovely sweater colour options to choose from. This ursine decoration would be a sweet addition to anyone’s Christmas tree.
Raymond has been quite the little traveller during his downtime this year. We’ve already told you about his adventures in Ventura, Portland, Orlando, and San Francisco, but he also travelled to places outside of the United States. Any guesses on where he went?
When I told Raymond that I was going to Tokyo, Japan to visit a friend from university, he begged me to let him tag along. And how could I say no to his sweet reindeer face? Japan is one of my favourite countries, so I was excited for Raymond to experience it, too.
Raymond taking in Tokyo from our balcony in Setagaya
If you’ve been reading about Raymond’s escapades and if you know me at all, you know that we both love to experience new and different foods, especially when travelling. For me, trying out local cuisine is one of the best parts of travelling! Finding vegetarian dishes in Japan can be a little tricky, but we definitely found plenty to make our bellies happy
One Japanese dish I love is miso soup, and I was delighted with this giant, hot bowl that I had at Misogen. Full of okra, mushrooms, greens, and tofu skin, this soup really hit the spot for lunch. The steamed rice served with umeboshi [pickled plum] was an excellent accompaniment.
About to chow down at Misogen
When we decided that we wanted to try a new food, monjayaki, we headed over to Monja Street in Tsukishima where there are literally dozens of monjayaki restaurants to choose from. Monjayaki is pan-fried batter filled with chopped veggies and/or meat. It’s sort of a runnier version of one of my absolute favourite Japanese dishes, okonomiyaki [savoury pancake]. For both of these, you usually cook the food on a grill right at your table. However, with monjayaki, you eat it directly off the grill using a wee spatula.
Raymond and our natto monjayaki
Where else in the world do you think Raymond went this year? Stayed tuned to find out!
Peppermint is such a refreshing scent, so I love the idea of this candy cane soap. I’m sure it smells fab and would really wake you up in the morning. And not only is this soap pretty, it’s made with the good stuff, such as olive, palm, coconut, canola, and castor oils, as well as shea butter.
When I was searching for a pair of candy cane earrings and came across these earrings, I was tickled pink! The candy cane by itself is a fun classic, but I just love the addition of the gingerbread man who looks like he decided to hitch a ride on the earring. Not only are these earrings cute, but they are also handmade with polymer clay.
Iceland is one of my favourite countries on this planet; it is just so unique and gorgeous. So I have a weakness for most anything Icelandic, such as these cozy woolen socks. These lovely socks are handmade with 100% pure Icelandic wool, which will keep your tootsies super warm.
With its luscious textures and pop of red berries, this square succulent wreath is quite striking. I fell in love as soon as I saw it! You can hang the wreath on your door or lay it on your table as a floral centrepiece. Either way, this wreath will be a gorgeous conversation-starter.
In the early summer, I went to San Francisco, California for a conference, and Raymond was thrilled when I asked him to tag along on my trip. While there I was pretty busy with the conference, but we did manage to fit in some sightseeing.
The weather was quite lovely during our visit, so during a free afternoon, Raymond and I went on a long walk to soak in the sunshine and the breeze. We enjoyed wandering about, but we did have a destination in mind: Ghirardelli Square. Raymond and I both LOVE chocolate, so we knew we had to go there
Sunshine & chocolate—this was an excellent day
As soon as we walked in the door at the Ghirardelli shop, an employee handed us a piece of chocolate. Now that’s customer service Since that wasn’t enough chocolate for us, Raymond and I shared a homemade chocolate-dipped waffle cone filled with Ghirardelli chocolate ice cream. In a word: YUM! It was absolutely decadent and delicious. Raymond gave it four hooves up.
A perfectly decadent and delicious treat
After enjoying our ice cream, Raymond and I ambled down a pier where we gazed out at the sea and had our hair and fur tousled by the occasionally wild breeze from the Bay.
Enjoying the breeze from the Bay
While we were relaxing on the pier, I pointed to an island out in the Bay and informed Raymond that it was Alcatraz Island, which is where folks who were permanently on the Naughty List used to go.
Raymond looking out at Alcatraz
As the sun started to set, Raymond and I decided to make our way over to Fisherman’s Wharf. Raymond and I are both vegetarians, so we weren’t interested in buying or eating any seafood, but we still wanted to look around. This was an excellent decision because while walking around, our noses came across the fantastic smell of sourdough from Boudin Bakery. As we strolled back to the hotel, we shared an amazingly fresh sourdough roll. It was a tasty finish to our nice afternoon.
No fish, please, but we’ll take some sourdough!
Oh my, I LOVE the simple elegance of these reindeer paws Christmas cards. Reminiscent of reindeer paw prints in freshly fallen snow, these cards would be perfect for any Christmas or winter greeting.