I mentioned awhile back that I wanted to do a post about some of the awesome gifts people have given me in the last year, and I’m FINALLY getting around to it. I’ve had these photos on my camera for ages but my technologically challenged self didn’t know how to get them off my camera and onto my laptop. Oops.
Before I get to the gifts, here’s a picture of our Christmas tree!
It’s obviously pretty dorky, but I thought it was cute in a Charlie Brown kind of way :) Unfortunately, it turns out Norfolk Pine is poisonous to cats so after we temporarily depressed Kirsi, this saw the light of day for all of two minutes – just long enough to arrange the gifts and snap a picture. What a bummer! Luckily the pine isn’t fatal and she recovered within a day of us removing the tree… very scary though! I’ve definitely learned my lesson about researching houseplants when you have a pet.
Instead of photographing every single thing, one day I just decided to pull out (almost) everything and put it on my kitchen table.
Look at all those goodies! I can’t believe how thoughtful my friends are family were when it came to gifts. I feel so incredibly lucky and spoiled rotten! As my Finnish friends will notice, there’s quite a bit of Iittala stuff there… My house gets more Finnish all the time!
With all this awesome new Finnish stuff, it’s basically impossible to pick a favorite. This is one of three gorgeous Iittala vases I got. This one in particular is from Kurt and the other two are from my mom and Don (as well as three small decorative dishes that Kurt just LOVES to use for his keys and loose change, haha). And everything in these photos is resting on my Marimekko tablecloth that I got from my mom for Thanksmas. I can’t believe how much having this tablecloth transformed the look and feel of my kitchen! It feels much more like my own now. My mom certainly knows what I like! Thanks Momma and Don :) (and Kurt, hehe)
I also got an Amazon gift card from my mom- and dad-in-law, and Kurt’s sister gave us one that Kurt kindly said I could claim all of :) So I pooled them to get even MORE Finnish stuff – yeah, I know I’m a little obsessed. So these are the two pieces I bought with the gift cards! I love the oak serving platter – it’s so unorthodox. And the clear serving platter just looks so classic to me! I didn’t have one before now and I think a beautiful glass plate is a must-have for any kitchen, so I’m really thrilled that I was able to get my hands on these! Thanks in-laws :)
This was probably one of the biggest surprises – my dear friend Nanna sent me toooons of salmiakki (salt licorice) for my birthday! You can imagine my face when I got a package from Finland ;) There was also some great gum in there but Kurt loved it as much as I did so it’s already gone. I guess I should have rationed it better! But I’m saving all of these guys for a special occasion… I use the hard candies in particular to make my own salt licorice vodka (it’s delicious, I promise)! Thank you Nanna :)
These pens were also from Kurt and I’m totally in love with them. They make note-taking so much more fun and a good pen set always comes in handy. Plus, they come in a case that rolls up so I can take them anywhere. At first Kurt was surprised I’d want something like these, but I use them almost daily!
More than anything else, this past year has been the year of the kitchen. And frankly, I wouldn’t mind if every year were that way! My MIL got me a bunch of awesome things I’d been wanting/needing for my birthday and I use them all the time… I’ve been making my immersion blender work very hard lately with all the soup I’ve been cooking! She also got me a mandoline, which is basically a miracle worker, an excellent strainer that’s great for making soup stock, and a couple of cookbooks (one of which got me inspired to return to trying to make as much as possible from scratch). My mom and Don got me a beautiful dutch oven (which I don’t use nearly as often as I should, but I’m working on it!) and some new frying pans which kicked the tuchus of my last set – I’m convinced that I can’t make anything stick to them! It’s so fun to get new tools that make cooking an even more enjoyable experience.
I also finally have new reading material! Kurt got me several books that I really wanted so I finally have the motivation to sit down and read again, which is always a good thing. I was a voracious reader as a little kid but, like many of my peers, I stopped having time for pleasure reading in college and just got out of the habit. I read the news everyday but there’s something so satisfying about curling up with a mug of tea and a good book. Now if only I could get Kurt to pick up a book… :)
There are also some things not pictured… I’m sure I forgot some kitchen stuff. I got a pair of earrings from my bff Riss that I LOVE. Sometimes I think she knows my style better than I do because I probably would not have picked them up for myself, but they’re absolutely perfect. Also not pictured is a Christmas Village that my dad built for me! It’s something we always said we’d do but never got around to… I don’t mind the wait :) It was a really sweet and thoughtful gift. Thanks Dad!! And if there’s anything else I forgot to put in the picture… I’m sorry!!! Getting so many awesome things that you can’t keep track of them all is a nice problem to have!
I’m just so incredibly grateful for everything and everyone in my life. It’s funny how much something like a book or a mandoline slicer can make me feel loved! So a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who spoils me with gifts, love, your company, kind thoughts… Having wonderful people in my life is the best gift. I’m spoiled rotten!