10 Things

Well that was a nice break! Hope you guys all had a lovely holiday too, whatever you celebrate. Right now I’m having trouble believing that it’s been almost two months since I sat down and took stock of what’s making me happy lately. Not that I haven’t shared what I’m grateful for, but 10 Things tends to be a more lighthearted version of that. I also can’t believe that pretty soon I’ll be using lots of white out when dating things, because I’m terrible at remembering to write the new year!
So here’s what’s bringing a smile to my face these days. Hope you’ll take a moment and share in the comments what’s doing it for you! :)

1. Hot chocolate. Preferably with mini marshmallows. Nikki and I have been making mugs (of the instant kind) regularly, especially with how cold the nights have been lately. I plan on trying this amazing-looking recipe for Crockpot Hot Chocolate that I found via Pinterest soon!

Ellingsen Photography Hot Chocolate Instagrams

2. Dollhouse. The latest TV series that I obsessively watched on Netflix. I wasn’t sure at first, but soon every episode surprised me with something I didn’t expect, and I love that. Plus the exploration of what is intrinsic to a person, what can and can’t be determined by the brain, is fascinating – even if it is for TV. Plus Eliza Dushku’s range is really impressive, and I’ve formed a teensy/giant crush on the Topher character, played by the adorable Fran Kranz. (Image source here.)

Eliza_Dushku_in_Dollhouse_Wallpaper_1_800-blog

Any recommendations of what to try now that I’ve finished it? Other fave series I’ve discovered this year include Downton Abbey, Warehouse 13 (you really have to start at the beginning to get hooked), The League and The IT Crowd.

3. Second shooting a wedding with my shutter sister Nancy. Her hubby, normally her second shooter, had a last-minute hiccup so I filled in earlier this month. It was so much fun! I’ll share some of the images from that day as soon as I can. (And see below for a photo of her being hilariously cute.)

4. This quote on photography, found here on the Inspiration Notebook blog. It’s just so…perfect.

Inspiration Notebook Life Captured Blurb Book Back Cover

5. SNICKERDOODLE MUFFINS. Need I say more? I want to hug whoever thought of this first! The recipe can be found here, and the photo below is by Maria from the Tasty Kitchen blog. I’m thinking these might just be the perfect thing for New Years’ Day.

Snickerdoodle Muffins by Maria at Two Peas and Their Pod

6. Designing Christmas cards. I did mine and helped my mom with theirs, and they turned out so cute! I used ProDPI to print and was thrilled with the results. This year I ponied up and purchased this adorable set by Jessica Rose at Volume 25. I just love her work! (It’s blank below so that I had room to sign each one personally.)

Ellingsen Photography Christmas Holiday Card 2011

7. Friends’ Christmas. Nikki and I hosted several of our closest friends last Friday night in order to eat, drink and share gifts. We had the best time! Thanks to Mindy for introducing us to Wits and Wagers, a super fun betting/guessing game.

Ellingsen Photography Friends Christmas Crazy Girls

8. Decorating the mantel. I’ve never had a real fireplace mantel before, so this was extra fun! I put mini red and gold ornaments I got at Target years ago in the hurricane jars and the string of lights (also from Target) was just the right length to go across and back. The fake tall white candles were a gift from friends. They even flicker, have a timer setting so they turn themselves off, and smell like vanilla! Oh, technology, I love you. (Sorry for the terrible iPhone shot, somehow I can’t seem to find the time to take proper photos!)

Ellingsen Photography Christmas Lights Mantel Instagram

9. Giving back. I participated in a Help Portrait event again this year, and it was amazing. So many inspiring women! And it was so cute to see these big bad Marines going all googly over the little kids. :) Plus, this group of people who always participate is so wonderful. You can read a lovely writeup about the event here. (And yes, I wear that striped shirt all. the. time.)

Faded & Blurred Help Portrait Event 2011

10. The return of Santa(s). It’s become an annual tradition for my dad and uncle to wear Santa hats while handing out gifts on Christmas Eve. Aren’t they awesome? :)

Ellingsen Photography Christmas Santa Dad and Uncle

I can’t believe it’s already all over! I’m a little sad and yet much more relaxed. ;) Do you guys have any fun plans for New Years Eve?

xo