it’s a wonderful life

it's a wonderful life

good day, my friends. i don’t know about you, but getting back into the swing of things after a lovely 5 day christmas and family filled weekend is the worst. i hope you had a wonderful holiday week; i had truly the best Christmas ever. though the excitement level slightly decreases as i get older, the amount that i enjoy it only seems to grow. perhaps it’s because i’ve learned that, “maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store; maybe, Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”  and it’s more about spending time with the people you love and care about. and making memories. and continuing traditions. and just being so grateful for everything you already have.

that’s what my Christmas was full of. we spent Christmas Eve at my parents and celebrated that night at grandma dahl’s with almost all of the dahl cousins. it’s neat to see how much joy it brings my grandma to sit and just watch the madness that is our family. to have her kids, her grandkids, and her great-grandkids… knowing that she made it all possible. what an incredible feeling. something i hope to experience one day with [b] + #starksthepup – because he is going to be the pup that lives forever.

Christmas day is a day that has remained virtually unchanged for as long as i can remember. we have the same breakfast, the same routine, the same dinner, everything. we dahl’s like our consistency and tradition. as we were taking our annual stocking picture my mom said, alright one with just my kids since it’s emma’s last Christmas as a Dahl. woah, shit just got real. i will always be a Dahl, but when i wake up next year on Christmas morning i will be a Bica. and that’s kind of cray.

[b] + #starksthepup and i headed back that evening to celebrate our first Christmas in the new house and watching my favorite Christmas movie; Santa Claus is Coming to Town. we sipped wine and cuddled with the pup and i couldn’t have imagined a better ending to a more perfect day.

i hope that you all had merry and bright holidays; and i pray that your monday’s be short and your coffee be strong. xo
it's a wonderful lifeit's a wonderful lifeit's a wonderful lifeit's a wonderful lifeit's a wonderful life it's a wonderful lifeit's a wonderful life

it's a wonderful lifeit's a wonderful life


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a christmas tradition // 6 years of dad and emma day

a christmas tradition // 6 years of dad and emma daya christmas tradition // 6 years of dad and emma day

i adore traditions. i love my family. so, when you combine them and throw in the christmas season + bloody mary’s and you’ve got yourself a helluva good time. now let’s rewind 6 years. it’s 2009. i’m 19 20 (math is hard in the morning. thanks for the help, [b]). a junior at Concordia st paul. and my daddy decides to come up on a friday morning for some father-daughter time. we head to downtown mpls; grab some breakfast; head to barnes & noble to get my daddy a calendar and since it’s the holidays we decide to check out the 8th floor of macy’s (which is another thing that hasn’t changed at all in 6 years if you’re keeping track). we wander across the street to the IDS center after being drawn in by a huge gorgeous and festive christmas tree. we find a Starbucks and sit and people watch while enjoying our coffee and treats. and with that, dad and emma day was created.

a lot has changed in 6 years; the conversations have gone from the stresses of finals and preparing to graduate college and start in the “real world”… to how my job is going and life after college… to wondering when i’ll meet someone and what he’ll be like… to about this guy i met on match.com… wondering when that guy will pop the question… and now to about the wedding with that guy and being a grown up and kids. and how one day we’ll have to bring my bratty kids with. i mean they probably will just be sassy, not bratty… just saying.

it’s truly one of my most treasured times; especially during the holidays. being the only girl, it’s no secret that i’m “daddy’s little princess” and no matter how old i get that will remain true. i’m so thankful for my daddy and these memories we get to make together. i can’t wait to continue this tradition on and on for many, many years to come.

here’s a look at dad and emma day through the years…

(maybe i should get my dad a new winter coat for christmas) :)

a christmas tradition // 6 years of dad and emma day

a christmas tradition // 6 years of dad and emma day

a christmas tradition // 6 years of dad and emma day

a christmas tradition // 6 years of dad and emma day

a christmas tradition // 6 years of dad and emma day

a christmas tradition // 6 years of dad and emma day


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minneapolis holiday market

tis the season // the minneapolis holiday market

minneapolis holiday marketminneapolis holiday marketminneapolis holiday marketminneapolis holiday marketminneapolis holiday market

minneapolis holiday marketminneapolis holiday marketminneapolis holiday market

alright minnesota, it’s time to settle down and remember to be nice. after 22 years the Holidazzle Parade is no more and the Holidazzle Village and Minneapolis Holiday Market has taken its place as the new annual tradition. after reading many harsh and extreme reviews, i felt that i needed to add my own and shine some positive christmas cheer to this new addition to the holidays in minneapolis.

i’ve been down to the holiday market twice now and had a very wonderful experience both times. the first time my dad and i went was on a tuesday afternoon. we were able to get in at the “lunch special” price of only $1.50 for both of us! it was pretty quiet since it was during the week so we were able to look around at all the vendors and enjoy the beautiful scenery. walking through the Käthe Wohlfaht tent there were tons of adorable and festive ornaments, nativity sets and nutcrackers ranging from very reasonable to expensive in price. i found an adorable little pine cone snowman that is now proudly displayed on our christmas tree. we sampled one of the german bratwurst which was a little cold but still delicious. i mean, it was 8 degrees so that fact that it wasn’t frozen was a win in my book.

i went once again this past weekend with [b] and his mom and cousin who were visiting from out-of-town. [b] and his family all grew up in new york so we were excited to show them what christmas was like in minnesota. it was a gorgeous december saturday in minnesota peaking at 32 degrees and sunny, so the place was packed! since it was the weekend they had a few blocks of nicollet avenue blocked off for a photo op with a large holidazzle float; a place to write letters to santa; live reindeer (probably on vacation from the north pole); and santa’s workshop. it was so exciting to see downtown filled with people and families all getting excited for the holidays.

i kicked myself for not remembering the tickets from when my dad and i had went, because once you buy your ticket you are set for the rest of the season. so we paid the $6 per person and headed over to get our 21+ wristbands. it was definitely packed and peavey plaza fills up quickly with tons of food and gift vendors and not to mention a carousel. but we managed to make our way around the people to look at the different vendors. there was a short wait to get our first round of beverages but nothing extreme at all; and the woman working the booth was extremely helpful in the explanation and pronunciation of Feuerzangenbowle and Glühwein aka mulled wine and spiked apple cider. they were $9 a piece but you got to keep the festive mug that they came in so i thought that was quite reasonable. (and yes, we all know they put a sticker over the old name of the Christmas Market; let’s move on and stop letting that dampen our spirits)and the contents were absolutely delicious. we found a spot to stand and enjoy and people watch. as well as ask everyone what delicious looking and smelling food they were eating. there was some jazzy live music happening and we sampled lots of baked cheese. oh my goodness amazing. 2 words. bacon cheese.

overall, i would say i had a good experience. it’s so disheartening to read all of these negative comments from people. it’s ok to be bummed that the holidazzle parade is over; but does that mean that something good couldn’t come out of it? soon enough people would start complaining that minneapolis never does anything new. was it crowded on the weekends? absolutely; but isn’t that a good thing? isn’t it great to see people participating in local activities? maybe you had to walk slowly though the crowd; or wait in line to get your Lebkuchen; but have a little patience. sure, it cost $6 to get in. oh well. my hopes are that the money made goes into making the event even better next year. could the layout be improved? for sure. but there were some areas to sneak away from the crowds and enjoy your snacks and drinks though. above everything else; it was the first year. take a breath, sip on some cocoa and stop getting your tinsel in a tangle. nothing is perfect the first time. but how neat that they brought the idea to life? think of how great it COULD be. and hopefully will be one day.

kudos to the organizers of this event. as someone who does event planning i understand how much preparation and planning and WORK goes into things like this. and i appreciate you. thank you for keeping our amazing city fresh with new activities and ideas. my christmas wish for you all is that my fellow minnesotans give you a chance and support you in making this another fantastic tradition to enjoy for years to come.

the Holidazzle Villiage and Minneapolis Holiday Market is open from 11:00AM – 9:00PM daily until Christmas Eve. (Closes at 6:00PM on Christmas Eve.) i highly encourage you go check it out and support our city. especially this weekend when the heat wave hits; hey-o 45 degrees!