1. Nicole from Making It Lovely was our surprise guest at Chicago Mini Camp! This sequence of photos is my favorite thing ever: Nicole is all sweetly explaining something, and I am over there looking like a fool. Anyway, Nicole was a delight as always, and answered many Chicago-related questions, and others besides. 

There's a great guide on Nicole's site about what to wear to Alt. She clearly included all those dotted items just to torment me; I mentioned during my Camp Mighty talk that I was totally over dots (even though I still wear them, because I am nothing if not contradictory), and Nicole teased me relentlessly about it in Chicago. I will never live it down. Death to the dot!

PS, the above photos were taken by Helen (known to campers as Janky G.), who wrote a sweet recap post about camp.

And now, let's do some Christmas shopping, shall we?

 

2. Speaking of campers, one of my NYC girls just opened an adorable shop called Hattan Home. She has some real cute stuff, and I am certain she is sending me one of those Harry Allen piggy banks as a Christmas gift. Go, Lindsay!

3. Emily's Clementine Store has some awesome stuff for the holidays, and she is putting together the best gift guides, all of which items are available in her shop. Emily is yet ANOTHER camper, and I obviously have the best job in the world to be able to connect with all of these good people.

4. Surely you know of the great Jamie Meares, yes? She is running a Christmas sale at her shop called 12 Days of Furbish, and I suggest you get yourself over there so you don't miss any hot Furbish action. Also, she has a really good Christmas mix on Spotify. Quit being so awesome, Jamie. THANKS.

5. In Louisiana-related news, please enjoy this story about former LSU basketball player Stanley Roberts' quest for a college diploma. I'm sorry about the crying you're about to do.

6. Y'all enjoy your weekends! I'm going to maybe finally do some holiday decorating, and get ready for a super-quick last-minute trip on Monday. Be sweet, and don't get into the eggnog while I'm gone.

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Oh, hello. What's up, Internet? It's December! I just today finished up the last of my decorating projects for the year, so I'm going to take the next few weeks to wrap presents, sip wassail, and re-examine my business plan for the new year. Yay!

I'm pretty good at recaps, maybe you've heard. So now, presenting the last few weeks of my life, as illustrated by Instagram.

I attended Camp Mighty, which was both 1) mighty and 2) camp-like. It was awesome. We talked, we drank, we bonded, we life-listed, we hugged, we saw superband The Tontons, and we learned a bunch of things. Seriously, if you are able, get your ass there next year. Unless you went this year, in which case you already know it was real fabulous.

My trip to Palm Springs also included a bonus couple of days in Los Angeles with Pamela (with whom I am currently not speaking, as she has elected not to spend New Year's Eve with us and the Lowe-Huffs -- A YEARLY TRADITION, I MIGHT ADD.). We had fun times, like when we were at the Roosevelt for hamburgers, and accidentally got invited to Mindy Kaling's book party. No big deal.

While I was away, my handy/nice/dreamy husband replaced all of the screen on our porch and painted the door high-gloss red. He is so awesome I should be using expletives.

I also received some cute packages for future clients in the mail.

Like THIS. Jealous? Me too.

Thanksgiving was the next week, and we observed the sacred tradition of beer and shots at our local bar on Wednesday. If you are not hungover on Thanksgiving Day, you are probably not from the South -- EVERYONE is out late the night before. I remember one year when a friend of mine was so sick she had to skip the WHOLE THING with her family due to throwing up all day long. She is now a revered local legend.

Then it got cold and I turned 36. Wait. I mean, I turned 36 and THEN it got cold. Oh, number forty, you are too near, both in temperature and in age. PS, I hope y'all like this outfit. I picked it out just for you.

This year is the very first that we have had a real tree in our house since we moved into the place. I have gone through so many fake Christmas tree phases over the years that a live one never stood a chance. But when I spotted this semi-flocked one at a local nursery, I couldn't resist. Check out all my awesome Christmas spirit. (Fully decorated tree and living room pic to appear soon.)

A bad thing that has happened in the last two weeks is that I sustained running injury (for the first time in over 3 years, what?). It's my knee. From overuse. Why is that even A THING, y'all? Whatever. HATE. Shut up, knee.

The only prescription for this problem is rest, ice, and stretching. So I have been diligently doing all three, to the detriment of most of my frozen fruit. I ran 5 miles yesterday and everything felt ok, so I'm calling this one over for now. And if not: I WILL CUT A KNEE.

In an insane small-world turn of events, I saw The Tontons AGAIN this past weekend. A block away from my house, at a bar in my town. Not only that, but their manager and I discovered that we graduated from the same college on the same day. We all became best friends instantly, obvs. So that was pretty cool. If you ever get a chance, go see them before they blow up, which will happen soon.

I hope you have enjoyed this educational Instagram recap. Oh, also, if you have any great holiday card ideas featuring all Chaos + Hank, be putting those in the comments. We spend every year trying to top this one from 2006, and we've got nothing.