Perspectives of a Lady, Gentleman & Dane

holidays Archive

Hannah Sheflyand

I promise this will be the last post specifically about our holidays until the end of the year when it comes around again, however there was so much that happened and I would love to share the stories and photos (we forgot our camera so unfortunately these are all iPhone photos)…

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We had an amazing weekend in Alexandria, VA over Christmas visiting Brian’s family. His sister lives in a beautiful old colonial house and in a great neighborhood near many little shops. When we were in California, Brian enjoyed playing around with acrobatics so for Christmas he got a unicycle and some juggling balls to get him started. Luckily the weather was amazing and we had many opportunities to hang out and play. Everyone was super generous with gifts which was unnecessary but a great way to spend Christmas morning followed by a lot of delicious food.

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Brian’s sister was due to have a baby Christmas day but the days passed and no baby, so we spent a lot of time just walking around, reading and, at the end, making gingerbread cookies. Instead of going with the traditional cookies we played around with zombie cookies 🙂

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And then the little beautiful Lillian Marie was born on December 27th… and we headed home for a day to repack and then off again for New Years celebrations!

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I surprised Brian by flying us into Charleston, SC and spending a few days fattening ourselves up on good food and southern hospitality. We spent two days in downtown Charleston where we had a beautiful New Years dinner at McCradys, some time relaxing and some time shopping, followed by more and more food.

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One afternoon we decided to take a short drive to the Charleston Tea Plantation. Big fun fact, this is the only major tea farm in all of North America, the next closest one is Guatemala. The whole place is not very big, there is only 4 workers in the whole plantation and a few in the store but the place pumps out lots of tea on a daily basis. Another fun fact, tea plants, Camillia sinensis, naturally produce chemicals that keep bugs and weeds away which means this whole plantation is maintained without herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. We had a fun time taking a tour around the shop and then through the whole plantation. Brian was especially interested in the custom made machine that was designed so one person can drive and collect the tea leaves all in one go. I was very happy to bring home lots of yummy tea and spend a wonderful warm afternoon with Brian 🙂

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We then headed off to the Middleton Plantation. We have visited the plantation before and I really loved the gardens and found out they have an inn just a short trail walk from the plantation gardens.

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I am so happy that we decided to stay here! There are not enough words to explain just how beautiful and relaxing our weekend away ended up being. Our room was rustic with a big fireplace, which was Brian’s favorite part because he got to play with fire each evening, and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Ashley River. Each morning we would wake up and had the opportunity to walk through the whole plantation before it was even open to the public. We also had time to play with all the farm animals ranging from horses and pigs to chickens and goats.  We both agreed that the best part was walking around the property and under the old oak trees covered in spanish moss (the blue speck on the last photo is me under a 300 year old oak tree).

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The biggest news by far & for our trip… Brian and I are thrilled to announce that we are ENGAGED! Brian surprised me by asking me to marry him on New Years eve. We were able to celebrate the New Year and a new Engagement. It was a magical and giddy evening and weekend. We are already going crazy with wedding planning, my love for lists has finally paid off… but mainly we have been enthralled with calling each other Fiance and talking about all our future plans together.

(I don’t want this blog to become filled with wedding posts so I think instead I will just do a monthly update for those interested… but I am very open to ideas. What do you think?)

How were your holidays? Any stories to share?

Charlie The Dane

I just wanted to also chime in and wish everyone a great holiday season. While Hannah & Brian are away I get to spend my time in upstate New York in a winter wonderland. I am super excited to be up here because it’s almost always snowing and I love love love playing in the snow!

I wanted to share my new favorite video with everyone before you dig in to your own big holiday dinners.

I watched it about a hundred times cracking up over the moody teenage golden, the pittie who stole the other dogs food and especially the growling dogs under the mistletoe 🙂 What did you think of the video? Did you know all the dogs featured in the video are from an animal shelter?

I don’t know if you are aware but I came to Hannah through an adoption, she was not my original owner. As I got older I got too big and too much work for my previous owner and he decided to give me away, I got lucky to find a new parent with time and energy to spend on me. I want to stress the importance of not giving a puppy as a holiday gift. Getting a dog should be a very thought out process with many conversations on not only how cute the puppy will be when you first get him/her but also what will happen down the line when the puppy is grown up, full of energy and sometimes even getting into trouble. However, if you do decide to get a dog, consider adoption, you can end up with someone as awesome and cute as me!

Here is the making of the above video which also goes into detail about the company’s work with shelter animals:

Thank you for reading and watching and I hope everyone has as an exciting time, as I am right now, over the holidays!

Both of Us

Since we are going away for Christmas and New Years this will probably be the last post for the year.

We just wanted to say thank you to every one who has been continuously following our posts and helping us along on this new journey in the blog world. We hope everyone enjoys their holidays whether it is with family, friends or on your own.

If you are in a blog reading mood here are a few past posts to check out…

Music: Some Blues, Some Country (more here, here, here & here), Some Indie (more here, here & here), and Rock (more here, here, here & here).

Apartment Life: Closets, Cleaning, Plants & Flowers

Trips Away: Vermont, Woodstock, Boston & Italy

Pets: Tattoos, Jackets, Hiking, Photos & Emergency Kits.

Recipes: Pie, Soup, Cinnamon Rolls & Cookies.

Gifts & Gadgets: Kitchen Gear, Bikes, Bacon, Dogs, & Sailing!

And of course if you are still missing some gifts take a look at our different Gift Guides.

We will be back to posting after the New Year!

Hannah Sheflyand

How was your weekend? Are you ready for this crazy week ahead? We tried our best to get as much rest as possible since we will be going away for Christmas and then away again for New Years.

I have really been enjoying moody soulful songs lately and of course this song always come to mind when I want to listen to that type of music. It is somehow the perfect mix of depressing yet sexy. I also feels it works great on any holiday music list you might have.

What is your favorite kind of music to listen to during the holidays? I have also been listening a lot to She & Him’s new album, Classics, and their Christmas album, A Very She & Him Christmas. I would highly recommend them if you need to add to your holiday playlist.

What are your plans for the week?

Hannah Sheflyand

Last weekend we were running around Ventura, CA with family. We had an amazing time and I wish we could go back again very soon. However the weekend activities and the flying back and forth definitely exhausted us and I am happy that we will be spending this weekend mostly lounging around. Saturday is our anniversary but since its so close to the holidays we are staying in and just relaxing.

I am hoping that with some energy I will cut out a few hours from the weekend and gets my hands deep into some flour and sugar and have some fun in the kitchen.

There are so many great ideas floating around the blog world but below are a few of my favorites right now that I want to give a try with:

Gluten Free Snowballs

Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Sticky Buns

Chocolate PB Cookies

Peppermint Marshmallows

Chocolate Tart

PB Balls

Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

What are your plans for the weekend? Any baking or kitchen time in the works?

Here are also a few recipes that I have posted before: Cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bars, pumpkin pie and cookies!

Hannah Sheflyand

With all the holiday craziness going around, especially since we are in and out of town the next few weeks, I find it really important to not forget that the apartment needs to somehow stay clean through it all.

We have a very small space which starts looking messy and dirty with just a few things out of place. I find it important to keep some rules in the apartment to keep everything looking clean.

  1. Shoes off! No matter what.
  2. Roomba runs daily (weekends it gets a break) and gets cleaned daily.
  3. Follow my daily/monthly cleaning list.
  4. Every morning, anything out of place we find a place.

Shoes- Charlie brings in a lot of dirt just from her daily walks (probably would be a little ridiculous to have her wear booties) and I cant control that. However the dirt Brian and I, or any of our guests, bring in can be somewhat controlled by not wearing our shoes inside.

Roomba– Before we got a Roomba I was vacuuming almost daily to keep the dog hair from spreading everywhere. Now I just have the Roomba programmed to run on a daily basis and it is one very big thing that I do not need to think about anymore. Life (& time) saver for any pet owner!

Cleaning List- I know many who group a few hours every week or so and do all the cleaning in one go. I can’t do that, I do not have the patience or usually a time gap for that. Instead I made myself a cleaning list with different tasks for different days and as long as I stick closely to that, the apartment stays clean.

The list is nothing fancy but it hangs on the fridge where it is unforgettable.

The list is nothing fancy but it hangs on the fridge where it is always reminding us of the tasks for the day.

Morning Walk Through- Just as it sounds, every morning before I leave for the day I walk through and if any thing is out of place I put it back. Just a few minutes a day and it keeps the clutter at bay.

I have to admit that we still fall behind once in a while and Brian and I decide whether it is better to find a few hours where we can do a deep cleaning together or we hire a cleaning lady for the day.

What do you do to keep your home clean? Do you work on it by yourself or do you have others help?

Hannah Sheflyand

My family never celebrated Christmas because we are Jewish, but we would put up a tree because we would get a visit from Santa Claus on New Years and also because my family did not want me and my sister to feel left out when it came to enjoying the holiday spirit. The one rule was that we could not put up the tree until after Christmas 🙂

Brian however does celebrate Christmas so we have been doing things a littler differently the last few years. Since we do not want to completely ignore the other persons holiday, we celebrate both, I give Brian his big gift on Christmas and I get my big gift on New Years, this way we stay respectful to our family traditions.

When it comes to when we will put up the Christmas tree we have not had much issue yet because we do not have the space for a big tree in our tiny studio. Instead I bought a little shrub to put on our windowsill which brings a little holiday spirit into the apartment without taking up any extra unavailable space…

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I hope that by next year we will be already moved down south and will have a slightly bigger space to work with; Brian and I can start a holiday Christmas tree trimming tradition filled with calm music and lots of hot chocolate and holiday spirit.

What do you do for the holidays? Is a tree put up or do you end up spending the holidays elsewhere where a tree in the house is not useful? I’d love to hear any of the traditions you follow that we should think of starting since I am fairly new to it all.

I have been enviously looking at all the beautifully decorated christmas trees and trying to decide how I would decorate mine if I could this year and also grab some inspiration for the hopefully big tree we will have next year.

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10-christmas-staycation-tree-1214-lgn Read more…

Hannah Sheflyand

By the time you read this, hopefully, Brian and I will be laying out in the wonderful warmth in southern California! We decided to go for a quick weekend visit to see some of my close family out in Ventura, CA and get away from this constantly cold winter weather.

I hope you have had a chance to finish off your gift lists but if not I have some great ideas up for him, her, family, dogs or friends!

However if that is not enough, I thought it would be helpful for me to list some of my favorite gift guides that I have found around the web, take a look and let me know what you think:

Say Yes!

Hither & Tither

A Cup of Jo

Reading My Tea Leaves

Lark & Linen

Dinner: A Love Story

Have a great weekend!

Hannah Sheflyand

A few of my close friends have had life changes this year, such as a new apartment, a new job or a new partner, but mostly a lot of moving so I hope you can understand that a lot of the gifts below are focused on atmosphere and decor, but with a lot of fun and love thrown in:

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Beer & Food Prints, $44, this etsy find is a steal for 6 prints that would go perfect in any 20 or 30 something yr olds kitchen, and it has all the basic food groups covered!

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I Hate Perfume Home Sprays, $55, just the thought of having the smell of “fir tree,” “russian tea” or “summer kitchen” at your fingertips sounds delicious especially when working out the kinks in a new place.

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Zingerman’s Make Your Own Flavor Gelato, $175, speaking of deliciousness, this company lets you make up your own ice cream flavors and sends 10-12oz canisters, this will hold over your friend for a while 🙂

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Best American Essays 2014, $11, an amazing bundle of writing that I enjoy reading every year and then passing on to friends. A must read… (there is also different versions with short stories, science, mystery, & travel).

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Bespoke Box Subscription, $90-270, The ultimate man gift is this subscription. Instead of getting a bunch of random things mailed to him each month, the company picks a specific theme every month, such as the one pictured above labeled Churchill, and then the subscriber can choose whether to get the box or skip until the next one. Brilliant! (For a female friend Birchbox is pretty fantastic)

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Animal Print Shop Photographs, $25-950, I love love love this company. They have the most adorable photos of animals, I can see how they would be cute in a kids nursery, but I find the wild animals would be perfect in any ones bedroom!

Greenery Meerkat, $40, I can understand how it would seem a little weird to  give a plant as a gift, but throw in a perfectly curated garden with a meerkat and how can anyone resist?

Greenery Meerkat, $40, I can understand how it would seem a little weird to give a plant as a gift, but throw in a perfectly curated garden with a meerkat and how can anyone resist?

Illuminated Dog Leash, $25, to add some extra style and cheer to any dog loving friends who  have to walk in the cold in the middle of the night with their pooch.

Illuminated Dog Leash, $25, to add some extra style and cheer to any dog loving friends who have to walk in the cold in the middle of the night with their pooch.

Brooklyn Slate Cheese Board, $42, everyone has been raving about this and I wish I had the room in my kitchen for it too. I think paired with a few pieces of cheese this can be a very thoughtful gift.

Brooklyn Slate Cheese Board, $42, everyone has been raving about this and I wish I had the room in my kitchen for it too. I think paired with a few pieces of cheese this can be a very thoughtful gift.

Tattly Gold Brecelet Set, $18, who says once your old enough for real tattoos you can still wear temporary ones. I think this is a really cute set that the company offers (however the

Tattly Gold Bracelet Set, $18, who says once your old enough for real tattoos you can not wear temporary ones. I think this is a really cute set that the company offers (however the floral set & zoo crew set would be pretty awesome too).

Cards Against Humanity, $25, if you have played this game before then you can understand how its the perfect gift for any occasion. For those who have not played it, its like Apples to Apples only filled with awesome adult humor.

Cards Against Humanity, $25, if you have played this game before then you can understand how its the perfect gift for any occasion. For those who have not played it, its like Apples to Apples only filled with awesome adult humor. Also a must in any adult household, especially for those who like to entertain.

I am excited that the holidays are getting so close! Hannukah with my family is going to be celebrated next Tuesday, and from there we are just another week away from Christmas and then New Years! Yay. I am happy to say we have finally finished doing all of our holiday shopping and now get to enjoy the rest of the month a little more peacefully.

How about you? Any luck finishing your gift list?

If you haven’t already, here are a few more gift ideas for men, women, dogs and family!

Hannah Sheflyand

My family is very diverse, and so is Brian’s, so even though it is sometimes hard to find the perfect gift for each person it is always worth it. Below are a few of the items I have been considering for both Brian’s family and mine in no specific order.

Deep Rooted Wisdom, $19, this is one of the highest recommended gardening books for beginners or experts so a must in my family.

Deep Rooted Wisdom, $19, this is one of the highest recommended gardening books for beginners or experts, great for any moms or aunts.

RH Exotic Faux Fur Blanket, $249, it is animal freindly but still has the best feel when wrapped around you and a perfect way to stay warm in these cold winter days.

RH Exotic Faux Fur Blanket, $249, it is animal freindly but still has the best feel when wrapped around you and a perfect way to stay warm in these cold winter days. Perfect for just about anyone who hates the cold.

ASOS All Over Heart Tights, $15, a nice mix between cute and dressy, perfect for any siblings or cousins (another great pair are these).

ASOS All Over Heart Tights, $15, a nice mix between cute and dressy, perfect for any siblings or cousins (another great pair are these).

Penguin by Design: A cover Story 1935-2005, $15, a great book filled with the evolution of book covers over time. A great addition to any loved ones personal library.

Penguin by Design: A cover Story 1935-2005, $15, a great book filled with the evolution of book covers over time. A great addition to any loved ones personal library.

Murray's Cheese Classes, $70-100, there is a huge variety of classes to choose from all centered around cheese and offered all year round. Consider giving a gift of experience rather then an object, an experience will be with them forever.

Murray’s Cheese Classes, $70-100, there is a huge variety of classes to choose from all centered around cheese and offered all year round. Consider giving a gift of experience rather then an object, an experience will be with them forever.

Izola Flask, $24, every man should have a custom flask in their breast pocket. Does your father or uncle have one?

Izola Flask, $24, every man should have a custom flask in their breast pocket. Does your father or uncle have one?

Mountain Fresh Soaps, $30, even though some find soap to be a girly gift I think anyone who enjoys body care will enjoy this.

Mountain Fresh Soaps, $30, even though some find soap to be a girly gift I think anyone who enjoys body care will enjoy this.

Adirondack Balloon Flights, $250 per person, another great gift but a little pricier.

Adirondack Balloon Flights, $250 per person, another great gift experience but a little pricier.

Little Prince Bracelet, $83, I have many family members who share my love of the Little Prince and this is a cute reminder of all the amazing passages.

Little Prince Bracelet, $83, I have many family members who share my love of the Little Prince and this is a cute reminder of all the amazing passages.

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20×200 Snowflake Photo, $60-1200, I love this company for their ever changing collection of art and right now they have a bunch of snowflake photos that are gorgeous and can be picked in many sizes. For any family member you still cant find a perfect gift for, I bet this would fit right in.

How has holiday shopping been going for you? We have finally dwindled down all of our gifts to the point of only having a few friends and acquaintances left but it is still very stressing. I hope this guide has helped you with some more ideas for your friends and loved ones and if you still need more ideas check out the first gift guides for him, her & the puppy.