Monthly Musings: December 2023
Hello, sweet friends! Happy Sunday and happy December!! I can’t believe how far into the festive season we are already! Are you soaking it all up and reveling in the (metaphorical) warmth of the festive season? I hope you are! December’s arrival took me completely by shock this year – literally, how!? when?! – but I’m doing my darndest to embrace all the cozy Christmas things! Last weekend, we put on some good ole fashioned Christmas tunes from the ’50s and decorated the house together; it looks so lovely all dressed up & sparkly! This weekend, we kickstarted our holiday gift shopping and I had my festive manicure appointment! Shopping is the literal bane of my life, but I’m glad to finally have started the process. ANYWAYS, enough of that! I’m here to share our Monthly Musings: December 2023 post! Shall we?
Wait! In case you’re curious: festive red with a splodge of silver glitter across the top of each nail for a lil something extra. I’m obsessed!
Our monthly musings for December ’23 are below. Unsurprisingly, there is more than a little wedding talk involved. Look, I need to get it all out of my system, then we can move on to other things…. eventually. There’s also all of the usual MM suspects: travel talk, movies, book chatter, and a recipe round-up. Please, read on, and enjoy. While you do, me and
Fiancé Husband will be here, trying to decide what movie to curl up on the couch to.
On Thursday November 2nd, a drizzly autumnal day, we got legally married at the registry office in Dublin. We had the last slot of the day, 4pm, and it was just us together with our immediate family members. The ceremony lasted maybe 13-minutes – coincidentally, the same length of time my heels lasted before my Vans won out – and was beautifully simple; no music or readings, a homemade micro-bouquet, baby’s breath clipped into my hair, and our vows declared in front of a smattering of quietly crying family members. After the deed was done and the obligatory photos were taken, we all headed into Mary’s Bar & Hardware, where we enjoyed pints and WOWBURGER for dinner. It was exactly the low-key, casual event we’d hoped & dreamed it would be. Absolute perfection ❤️
Exactly one week after the above, on Thursday November 9th, we had our bigger wedding celebration with our extended families, our closest friends + loved ones. Honestly, it was such an amazing day, filled with so much happiness and love – sorry for the corny-ness, but it’s true! I felt like I was walking around on a cloud all day, and it absolutely wouldn’t have happened that way without our amazing families. My sister blew everyone away with her FANTASTIC ceremony script, my mom hand-crafted not only all of the decorations for our ceremony space, but also the most adorable light-up umbrellas, and my dad a) kept me calm and steady as we walked down the aisle together, and b) had me openly – and apparently, open-mouthed – sobbing/laughing all the way through his father-of-the-bride speech. I don’t know where I’d be without them ❤️
Families aside, our bridesmaids and groomsmen were the best cheerleading team I could’ve hoped for; even though we see them all the time, it was so fun hanging out with them at our wedding! Our photographer was absolutely amazing; melding into the background to capture candid shots, and having no issues plodding into the mud/rain with us for our intimate photos under the most stunning weeping beech tree. The food was the best I’ve had at any wedding we’ve been to (biased perhaps, but still true). Our DJ was phenomenal; the dancefloor was packed all night long & even the most steadfast non-dancers were tempted up at one stage or another. All in all, it was better than I ever thought it could be ❤️
The very following day, Friday November 10th, we had a Day 2 party. Eager to keep things casual after the big bash the night before, we reserved a space in The Harbour Bar (Lonely Planet’s Best Bar in the World, 2010 😉 ) and enjoyed an evening of drinks and finger food. We wanted to have a Day 2 for two reasons. One: a lot of our wedding guests had travelled from abroad to be there with us, so we really wanted to soak up as much time with them as possible. Two: in case you missed the memo – weddings are expensive! Having a Day 2 allowed us to celebrate with our wider circle of friends without breaking the bank. Win win! And that, my friends, is the end of the wedding recap – at least for now. I reserve the right to share a more detailed post in the future – a hee!
After all that, we jetted off on our week long Italian mini-moon! Let me tell you: it was absolutely wonderful! We hit up Bologna, Ravenna, & Modena, and it was exactly what we needed! Plate after plate of mouthwateringly delicious food, and many a fantastic glass of vino rosso. We took it super easy & chill, and basically spent the entire week reminiscing and laughing over the wedding. It was so lovely! Don’t worry, a few mini-moon travel guides will be hitting the blog in the near future for anyone wanting to follow in our food-steps 😉
PS, for my eagle-eyed followers: yes, we had planned to make a day-trip to San Marino from Ravenna. However, in the spirit of keeping things easy, we decided to skip it. And yes, we made the exact same decision last year when we got engaged in Bologna. Will the tiny country evade me forever? Gah!
Related: we’ve booked our honeymoon to Japan for the end of January! We officially have our flights – with Lufthansa, stopping over in Frankfurt en route and Munich on the return leg – and we’ve booked our accommodations!! We’ll be there for 12 days, and we’re basing ourselves in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka – but we’re hoping to do at least one day trip elsewhere! I cannot believe that we’re actually going to Asia! A whole new continent! Eeeep! *squeals excitedly*
Travel related: back in October, Husband and I enjoyed an impromptu night in the little town of Ballina, Co. Mayo. We initially had plans to stay overnight in the area while collecting our (dried) wedding bouquets/boutonnieres from our amazing florist – but nothing major/fancy. However! When we were gifted a Blue Book Voucher as an early wedding gift, we figured we may as well make a proper night of it, and stayed in the beautiful Belleek Castle Hotel. Our room had a very swish four poster bed – complete with drapes! – and it was so fun getting a little break away together before the wedding madness truly took over. Side note: our wedding flowers – my bouquet, pictured above – were the bomb diggity! So colourful, wild and whimsical – they were perfect!
Okay, what have you been watching lately? Naturally, we’re in the midst of watching alllll the Christmas movies. We’ve already hit Elf, Die Hard, Klaus, LA Confidential, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. An impressive feat, considering we’re only 10-days into December, no? On the non-Christmas front, we recently watched Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. and loved it! It’s so fun and realistic! Also, late to the party on this one, but we finally watched Barbie last night – I thought it was fab! Maybe it was the pre-movie margarita Husband whipped up, but I laughed the whole way through! How about you?
I’ve been slacking on the book front lately, I’m sorry to say. There was just no time for reading coming up to the wedding, and when there was, I reached for an old friend: Harry Potter. I’ve been working my way through the series, and I’m just about to tuck back into the final book now. Honestly, rereading them never gets old! I laugh and cry as if reading them for the very first time. Wild! Have you been reading anything good lately? My sister has been telling me good things about Yellowface.
Can I tempt you with some festive baking ideas? A forever favourite: the Christmas Cookie Box. I whipped these up a few years back and my friends still ask for one every year. Another fave: Kladdkaka. Per Husband’s request, I’ll be whipping up a Kladdkaka for him to bring home as his Christmas Day dessert, it’s so delicious! There’s also: these ridiculously moreish Cinnamon Sugared Almonds, this fancy-yet-totally-approachable Orange & Almond Cake with Cranberry Glaze, or this Ultimate Chocolate Biscuit Cake, which is honestly the best we’ve ever tried. I myself am feeling tempted into making the latter for my upcoming Christmas Date Night with the besties!
Okay friends, there we have it, our Monthly Musings: December 2023 post! I hope you and your loved ones have the most fantastic Christmas and New Year’s! Let’s chat in January?
All my love,