tuesday things I howsweeteats.com

1. Let’s be honest. Are you even remotely surprised that those are my Christmas ornaments?

2. This raspberry ginger ice cream float. I can’t even.

3. Huge news: I have been doing so many crafts. Like real, legit crafts. I’m going to tell you about them this week. I’m still convinced I’ve been abducted by aliens.

4. My obsession with winter white has spiraled out of control. I want everything in my life to be winter white. Everything.

5. Over the weekend I actually convinced Eddie to come to yoga with me. This has been like two years in the making. Or should I say… begging. I think he actually loved it? Afterwards, he was in a yoga coma. Like one of those classes that is so good that you are unable to even form a sentence afterwards. Blown away.

6. We put up our tree over the weekend and I was thinking… I’d like to try a real tree. Maybe. I could possibly be allergic since I have seasonal allergies, but I don’t think I am. My only other issue is that it would only last three weeks or so? Thoughts? Okay but the thing is – I have a MAJOR fear. Aren’t there like bugs and animals inside the trees? Like what if they are still inside the tree once it’s in your house, Clark Griswold style? I realize I’m completely ignorant but I’m also seriously asking. Where do the bugs go?

7. My brother introduced me to this terrible but fantastic app called Quiz Up. On Friday night I’m pretty sure that five of us sat around and played each other in trivia for over an hour. This is what our world has become. At least I’m learning things with it? (Like excellent trivia concerning boy bands, snacking and 1990s movies.)

8. Homeland. What.the.heck. Why does Carrie have to be so mean and horrible? Is it because she isn’t taking her meds due to her current situation? I just have no idea how they are going to wrap up this storyline that I am SO SICK OF in two more episodes. Dude. WRAP IT UP.

9. Speaking on TV, I totally adore this tribute that Steve Buscemi (who (whom?) I love love love) gives to the late James Gandolfini. Gah.

10. My level of shock hit an all-time high when I started noticing the absolutely disgusting amount of emails I received over the weekend about black Friday sales. I’m not even subscribed to THAT many places (you know, just the necessities, like Kate Spade, Overstock, Sephora) and within an hour of clearing my inbox, I would have 26 new retail emails. I mean, really?

11. I’m having a very difficult time with it getting dark around 4PM. Food blogger’s worst nightmare. See also: first world problem.

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71 Responses to “Tuesday Things.”

  1. #
    Sara Gelder — December 3, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

    Where do you yoga?


    • Jessica — December 3rd, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

      yoga flow!


  2. #
    Haley — December 3, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

    Just looked up the Quiz Up app and I am maybe a little too excited about it. Yikes.


    • Nicole — December 3rd, 2013 @ 8:42 pm

      Why can’t I find this?! It is an iphone only app? Neeeeeeed.


  3. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion — December 3, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

    I’m with you on number 11. My husband doesn’t understand why I don’t take pictures after dark… Hello natural light!


  4. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — December 3, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

    The 4pm Darkness Descending is killing me slowly. Four more months of this ISH? I can’t even deal. I’m 1.37 seconds away from going to Home Depot to get a Halogen light set up and mocking up a sheet difusser. Gawd I sound like such a snot.


    • Jessica — December 3rd, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

      well i think after Dec 21st it gets a leeeettle better, day by day, right?? i hope.


  5. #
    Danielle Cococcia — December 3, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

    Re the xmas trees–the bugs stick to the sap on the trunk of the tree so they can’t crawl off.

    (Just kidding, I don’t really know where they go but have always had real trees and have never seen a bug!)


    • Daria — December 3rd, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

      That’s funny!


  6. #
    Erica — December 3, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

    True story: one time we got a Christmas tree and there was a cricket in it…..The noise from the cricket drove Frank SO crazy that he knocked the Christmas tree over


  7. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — December 3, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    We have always had a real tree and never had issues with little critters. I love it because of the smell alone!


    • Jessica — December 3rd, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

      that’s one of the reasons i want one – the scent!


  8. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — December 3, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

    As for #11, I have basically given up trying to take even half decent pictures. It’s just not possible.


  9. #
    Samantha — December 3, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

    Real trees are the only way to go! They smell like Christmas. We actually went and cut our own tree this year and did not spot a squirrel, bug, or bear. Start out small and get yourself a tiny tree then you can get bigger year after year, before you know it you’ll have a 7ft beauty in your house!


  10. #
    Stacy — December 3, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

    I…do not know where the bugs go? But growing up we had a real tree every year and we never had any issues with bugs.

    Also, my parents put our tree up on or before 12/18 (my grandpa’s birthday) and always left it up until 1/14 (my mom’s birthday) (I know, we are a self-centered people), which is a full four weeks, so I think you could go Thanksgiving weekend to Christmas with no problems. We’ve never had a problem keeping a tree alive as long as it was watered.


  11. #
    cindy — December 3, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

    I love those ornaments! and I have not put up a single Christmas decoration, which is a huge-weird thing for me. We even have a fake tree that I love! Even though picking out a tree as a kid at the tree farm was always fun, one year I touched the base of the tree…you know, rummaging through the gifts, and came away with SLUGS ALL OVER MY HAND. Inside my house. True story. I have nightmares about it. Also, I am afraid a real tree will catch on fire and burn my house down and myself, my husband, and my dogs alive. Morbid, I know.


  12. #
    katie — December 3, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

    We live in Colorado and have Christmas tree cutting parties. I’ve done it for the past 25+ years and have NEVER seen or heard a bug or animal in one. So much fun! Highly recommend. :-)


  13. #
    Nicole — December 3, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

    I live in the midwest and we bought our first real tree last year. Once you cut it down they set in in this device that shakes the tree like crazy so all the loose needles and potential creatures will fall out. Not sure if that’s commonplace, but it certainly made me feel better about the bug situation :-)


  14. #
    Dominique @ Eat, Pray, Lift — December 3, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    Oh, you should go for the real tree!! They’ve lasted up to 6 weeks for us, so long as you make sure to get a healthy tree (we cut ours fresh) and keep it watered every day or even 2x-3x daily as needed.
    And you can get rid of the bugs by spraying your tree down with the hose when you bring it home then leaving it outside to dry for a day or two.

    Do iiiiittttt!!!!


  15. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — December 3, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    I always had a fake tree growing up so when my husband suggested a real tree, I was all like, “Do people even use real trees anymore?!” I’m soo glad he convinced me, I LOVE having a real one now, we have a Douglas Fur and it is so so pretty and soft and smells soo good, AND no bugs or birds or anything Griswold Christmas tree scary..


  16. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — December 3, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

    You have to get a real tree! It makes the whole house smell like pine. My family has always gotten real trees (sometimes from actual farms, usually just from out in front of the grocery store or Home Depot though… #noshame) and I don’t remember ever encountering bugs! No allergies either!

    Your winter white Pinterest board is seriously magical. I want to live in it!


  17. #
    Amanda — December 3, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

    I’m not sure whether I should tell you this because I really love live trees, but about 5 years ago when my husband (then not my husband) was living with friends, they went to cut down their own tree. They then set it up in the living room and went to bed. A BAT flew out of the tree, up the stairs, and into my husbands bedroom. It was flapping around his head and he woke up, terrified, in the middle of the night. Since telling that story to 1 million people, we have heard of squirrels, spiders, etc. So it can happen! Now we do a thorough check/shake of the tree before bringing it in :)


  18. #
    Vicki @ WITK — December 3, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

    I grew up with real trees and don’t think we ever had bugs hitch a ride. I think they were all dead from the freezing Buffalo temps prior to coming inside! I miss the pine tree smell and love walking by the tree stand near our apartment!


  19. #
    Secord — December 3, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

    Never had a real Christmas tree?! You haven’t lived!! Your whole house will smell of wonderful Christmassness!! So amazing and so wonderful! It requires a little more clean up, but soooo worth it, as a real tree enthusiast for 27 years and strong, you definitely need it in your life!
    I would consider divorce if I had a husband who was allergic! Kidding!….ish!


  20. #
    Megan @Yumology — December 3, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

    WORD on the dark at 4pm note.


  21. #
    Courtney — December 3, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

    I am all about the real tree, but if you don’t have one, you absolutely NEED the Thymes Frasier Fir candle in your home. Go to their website for where to buy in your area. Life changing! I light up the candle next to the tree–too much?

    Also, I adore your blog but have never commented until now. That’s how much I believe in this candle!


  22. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — December 3, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

    I love your ornaments! So pretty!


  23. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — December 3, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

    Fun fact: This one time, Steve Buscemi was on my flight from Calgary to New York. He was just hanging out at the gate with all of us regular people, waiting to board the flight. I was so freaking excited to see him, and so intrigued about what he could possibly be doing in Calgary (that’s in Alberta, Canada). However, I have an inability to approach celebrities, which I kind of kicked myself for after the fact.


  24. #
    Kyla — December 3, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

    I am all for fake trees. I’ve been scarred by real trees one too many times. Once, my boyfriend stepped back onto the saw he used to cut off the bottom and began bleeding profusely all over the ground. I’m pretty sure he needed stitches, but he refused to go to the doctor. Then there was a real tree shortage. Mind you, this was in Hawaii, and they just simply didn’t order enough trees for the entire island. So we had to get a fake tree, which I now love for many reasons. First of all, real trees are expensive! I paid $20 for my artificial tree seven years ago, and it’s still going strong. Secondly, I know it’s a pain to set up a fake tree, but it’s still shorter in the long run than going to the store, finding a tree, and then figuring out how to lug it back to your house.

    But if you are really dying for the pine scent, just buy a wreath instead. Less fuss and you’ll still get that pine smell.


  25. #
    Sarah | The Sugar Hit — December 3, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    Thanks for the shout out!!!! Love your work, as per usual, and I’m totally obsessed with Winter white, too! Except it’s mid-summer here, so it’s getting me some funny looks.


  26. #
    Natalie — December 3, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

    Where are your ornaments from? THey’re gorgeous!


    • Jessica — December 4th, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

      Michaels! Not expensive whatsoever – got them about 5 years ago.


  27. #
    Lisa — December 3, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

    We always had a real tree without problems, but then one weirdly warm winter out tree was infested with spiders! It was awful, the whole thing was webs, ugh. Now I have an artificial one.


  28. #
    Cassandra — December 3, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

    For my parents first Christmas together, my mom wanted to get a real tree. It ended up being so huge, they had to cut it apart to get it out of the house.. and inside it, they found a bird’s nest!! There were pine needles all over the house, and they were still finding needles in the car when they sold it years later!! Needless to say.. we have had a fake tree ever since!


  29. #
    Kate — December 3, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

    If where you live is snowy – bugs are pretty much frozen dead this time of year. Otherwise?? The farm we get ours from always puts them in a shake and binder to loose dead needles and I figure that shakes the bugs out. And I hate 4pm dark.


  30. #
    cait — December 3, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

    i need that ginger beer raspberry float! oh my yum!


  31. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 3, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

    The darkness by 4pm sucks. It’s a food bloggers worst nightmare and a runners. See I am not an early workout person and run late, after the stress of my day, to put an end to that, and start the evening fresh. And I run in the dark every night. In crowded places on well-lit streets and so it’s not safety concerns at 5pm I worry about. It’s that I would love to you know, see some daylight. But I use the 3 seconds of daylight for my food photography :)

    Yoga, Eddie, awesome!!!!!!! I love taking someone to yoga who’s resisted and then they end up loving it. That is so great!


  32. #
    Betty — December 3, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

    We’ve always done real trees and never had a critter problem. Also, never had a problem with the dying. We go the day after thanksgiving and take it down the day after christmas with no probs. I always keep the water up and give it an aspirin once a week or so.

    Can wait to see your mason jars! I have tons from my mom sending me home with veggies, so I need to put them to good use!


  33. #
    Meagan — December 3, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

    I think your ornaments look like cookies, or truffles! And I hate the 4pm darkness too. It’s horrible. But it’s relatively short? I think? I try to turn on the lights, drink water, and distract mysefl. lol


  34. #
    Heather — December 3, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    I discovered Quiz App this weekend too… It’s horrible. I can’t stop. Also WINTER WHITE. Can’t quit obsessing over it. Give me everything white and I’ll be a happy camper.


  35. #
    LisaG — December 3, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    You need a live tree always. Never had a critter problem.
    What kind of yoga do you practice? I just can’t get into it, but maybe i haven’t taken the right class.
    Also, what about the fitbit do you like?


    • Jessica — December 4th, 2013 @ 8:20 am

      hot vinyasa! and i have the flex – the others are probably great too, i just don’t know much about them .


  36. #
    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen — December 3, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

    Ummm, yeah. I had dinner ready at 4:30 tonight like an old person thinking I would still be able to photograph at that time. It was cloudy and dark as night! This needs to turn around quick. Also we have a real live tree every year and I’ve never had a bug or animal problem. Most places give them a good shake on a machine before they send them home with you and that removes any dead needles or bugs.


  37. #
    Amelia — December 3, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

    Embarrassing, but I have to be honest that when I saw the ornament pic I thought you made sparkly truffles. Ha! Yeah I’m sure they would hurt to bite down on…

    Yay for persuading for yoga! I’ve been pleading with Kevin to go with me to acupuncture but nope. 2 years and hasn’t budged still! Dark at 4 blows. It gets dark here at 5. Ugh, leads to me wanting to live in pjs. And yes, you need a real tree. They rock and I hate bugs too.


  38. #
    Jennifer S — December 3, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

    I started playing Quiz Up a couple of weeks ago. Haven’t gotten obsessed yet, but it’s an enjoyable little thing to play. The game I’ve been obsessed with on my phone is a game called QatQi, which is basically like Scrabble but you play by yourself. It’s awesome. I have still been enjoying Homeland, but I definitely don’t feel like the characters feel as complex as they used to. It seems like this season relies so much into tricking the audience to have a surprise effect that we don’t really get to know people as well, we just watch them react to things. It’s a little manipulative. I don’t think they balance the characters’ screen time as well this season either.


  39. #
    Tieghan — December 3, 2013 @ 11:21 pm

    The darkness by 4 is TERRIBLE!!! Every single day I am running around trying to got shots in before the sun goes behind the mountain at like 3:53. There is just not enough daylight hours to get the things I want to get done, done. Totally sucks.

    Oh and I am all about real trees! Nothing will ever beat a real tree. I love them!


  40. #
    Becky @ A Calculated Whisk — December 3, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

    I LOVE your winter white board.


  41. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — December 3, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

    Ahhhh!! I had to scroll down immediately once I read the word Homeland. I’m still one episode behind (well, that’s pretty much the status every week, but whatever).

    What type of yoga do you do? I’m horribly inflexible, but want to get into it. And you HAVE to get a real tree!! They smell so, so good. No bugs either. Although that thought freaked me out just now.


    • Jessica — December 4th, 2013 @ 8:19 am

      it’s a vinyasa flow in heated studio – definitely the only kind i really love.


  42. #
    Lyndsey — December 4, 2013 @ 4:34 am

    So, yeah, my parents used to get a real tree every year, but then the place we usually went to closed down and we had to try somewhere else. The new tree seemed nice enough, we had let it fall and I had strung the lights to it when we noticed there were one or two ladybirds in it, (sidenote: I hate ladybirds/ladybugs. Total phobia). Turns out it wasn’t just one or two, it ended up being hundreds of ladybirds that had been hiding deep in the tree and when the tree got into our warm home they all decided to come out and infest the place. It was the worst. So much bug spray was used that I actually had to go live with my grandparents for like a week. Terrible.

    So now I’m a grown up and my own house and my own artificial tree. Terrified of real trees now.


  43. #
    Allison — December 4, 2013 @ 7:18 am

    No walking dead reaction??


  44. #
    Simone — December 4, 2013 @ 9:11 am

    It being my first Christmas married, my husband and I had the tree discussion. Without too much deliberation we both decided on a fake tree. We both grew up with a fake tree and never suffered any trauma from not having a real tree.

    To me, my mindset is this: Do I want to water a tree? (Also, the water is VERY bad for pets if they accidently drink it) Do I want to clean up pine needles? Do I want the potential of sap on my carpet, floor, walls, or other things near the tree?

    Of course the pros are the smell, the fuller look, and the fact that a real live tree is in your living room.

    I did get a small Charlie Brown Christmas tree one year and there were bugs. I found most of them in the water, dead, if that is of any comfort. But I did get sap on my wall and floor and it took my paint off.

    With that said, I know people with real trees who love it and have never had any problems.


  45. #
    betty — December 4, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    totally random question, but have you talked about your favorite hair products recently? your new picture in your ‘about me’ makes me believe we have the same hair, sorta (thick/wavy) and I was wondering what you use!


    • Jessica — December 4th, 2013 @ 11:07 am

      yes! have some info about it my favorites posts but i’m still using the same things – the macadamia hair shampoo, deep repair mask (as conditioner), healing oil treatment on my ends, and the kenra blow dry spray.

      i will say though that i think your hair (only judging from instagram, haha) might be a bit thicker and wavier than mine. mine is moderately thick but only has a very slight wave. in that picture it is curled with a curling wand, hence it looking more wavy. if i want it to ever be that wavy, i have to curl it!


  46. #
    Katie — December 4, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    That winter white pin board is the most beautiful thing ever. I want to jump inside and live there.


  47. #
    Valerie — December 4, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    I grew up with ONLY a fake tree and so did my husband (we both lived in upstate NY), we had a fake tree for the first 18 yrs of marriage too. We moved to NC and there were so many real trees and talking to neighbors a lot of them got real trees. So one year we went to the local produce stand and got a $80 real tree. OMG I HATED IT! Every time you nudged the thing needles would fall. I would vacuum and 20 seconds later more freakin needles! No bugs or sap just the stupid needles.
    We sold the Christmas tree stand (you need to buy a stand if you get a real tree). After a few years of watching my neighbors (the day after Thanksgiving) all pile into the Suburban and then later that night come home with a tree strapped to their roof we really quizzed them.. they said they NEVER had a problem with the needles like I had, so we decided to give the choose and cut a try. OMG What a difference! For the past 2 years we have gone to the same place up in the mountains. We would get a 8-9ft tree for $75, we pick it they cut it, shake it, bail it, and tie it to our roof. This year we tried the place our neighbor goes (and have been going to for 22 yrs) it was more of an experience, hay ride up a mountain to the tree section, and they cut it and bail it and then cart it back to the car where and paid ($50 up to 7ft+$8 each additional foot) $58. Free hot chocolate, hot cider and coffee too. They didn’t shake the tree though.
    Come to find out, the trees sold at the “local” places (especially the big chain places) are sometimes cut around Halloween time and and just sit there, that is why the needles fall off so quick. Also smell must depend on species because we get Fraiser Furs (native to NC at 3000ft and above) and although they do have a pine smell it by no means makes my entire house smell.
    We’ve decided when one of our kids moves out they are getting our 9ft fake tree (with over 3 million freakin points that need fluffing every stupid year!) and we are just doing real. They are supposed to be more environmentally friendly because fake won’t decompose and most come from China. We also have place that we take our tree (that has no tinsel or flocking ) and they give the trees to the Tigers in the zoo. Free admission for every tree, so we get a tree from a neighbor and take ours and hubby and I go see the “kitties”-my kids could careless they are teenagers.


  48. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — December 4, 2013 @ 10:52 am

    Love the ornaments. I don’t think I’m going to get a tree up this year, well at lest not for Christmas (I’m sobbing as I say that) but since I have all silver, gold and burgundy, please visit anything after the first to see my Valentine Tree!

    So regarding the real tree? If they come from a tree farm they are most likely sprayed for bugs. How do I know this? Well, the year that one of those little teeny needles got stuck in my thumb and it got infected and was at least twice it’s normal size and I had to get it lanced…doc figured it was an infection from the pesticides. So no there won’t be bugs but you could lose a thumb. :)

    Valerie also hit on a good point; depending on where you get them, they might have been cut weeks prior to you buying them, so one thing that really helps is to saw off a bit at the bottom right before you put it in water. That will cut off the sap that has sealed the previous cut and allow the tree to absorb more moisture. I miss a real tree; hell this year I miss ANY tree!


  49. #
    Aimee — December 4, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    Your fear about bugs in the tree is totally legit! The last time my family had a live Christmas tree was about 25 years ago. On Christmas morning after we had opened all our gifts my little brother and I were playing with our toys around the tree. I went to get my brand spanking new White & Pink Barbie Jeep and saw it had all kinds of little black spots on it. I made my little brother look at it closer with me (there was no way in heck I was gonna look all by myself!!! & He was totally gullible so it worked out easy). The little black specks were moving. When we practically had our faces touching the Barbie jeep we saw the 8 legs…yep EIGHT LEGS! And panicked when we then noticed that the whole base of the tree was “moving”. There were THOUSANDS of spiders POURING down the trunk of the tree. Apparently, it got warm enough for a sack of spider eggs to hatch! Panic ensued! We had our Christmas Tree undecorated and tossed out into the back yard, and sprayed our entire living room in bug killer in a matter of about 60 seconds. From that day forward we vowed to never again have a real tree because the memories of the spiders was just too intense.

    We also have a good friend whose tree hatched baby Praying Mantises…. EW!


  50. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — December 4, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

    I’ve always had a real tree, no critters :) I LOVE the smell! And, yes, the needles drop, but you just dust-buster them up (kidding, I just sweep them under the tree skirt because I’m lazy).
    LOVE the ornaments! LOVE
    And I begged my husband to do yoga with me. He opted for doing my yoga DVD alone in our bedroom, once. I loved him for trying it! And he was so sore the next day, forcing him to acknowledge that it’s a real workout!


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