December 2023 Favorites

Happy New Year! One of my goals for 2024 is to blog more consistently, which means recapping my monthly favorites in a more timely manner. I honestly hoped to publish this post and my 2023 recap before the new year, but I got tied up with watching more Christmas movies and reflecting and journaling about 2023. But getting my December 2023 Favorites post up the first week of the very next month is a HUGE accomplishment based on how behind I was with my monthly favorites for most of 2023 (and honestly 2022 as well!).

December 2023 was such a sweet month to end the year with, but it went by way too quickly. Here are my December 2023 Favorites:

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Southern Tide Bath and Hand Towels

During Southern Tide’s Cyber Week Sale, they had 30% off and free shipping site-wide. I had been needing to replace some bath and hand towels that were getting raggedy. While browsing on Southern Tide’s website, I saw that their bath and hand towel weren’t nearly as expensive as I would have thought, even at full price. The additional 30% off and no shipping charges made them even more reasonable. Honestly, I don’t think I paid any more than I have for Target bath towels in the past. I bought a Southern Tide bath towel in a light tan and in a coral, pink, & white striped pattern. I bought two hand towels in sand.

Southern Tide Performance Striped Bath Towel Southern Tide Hand Towel

Since sand will go with any bathroom color scheme I may have in the future, I thought this was a great option. Then the coral, pink, & white striped bath towel perfectly matches the shower curtain I’ve had for years. I love these colors and don’t plan to replace my shower curtain anytime soon, so I went ahead and bought it! These Southern Tide towels are great quality, and they are supposed to hold up well through many washings. I think I will have these for awhile!

Southern Tide Clemson Long-Sleeved T-Shirt

This Southern Tide Clemson Long-Sleeved T-Shirt was already on sale, and the extra 30% off sweetened the deal! I didn’t have any orange long-sleeved Clemson tees, so this was a great addition to my collection. It also comes in purple, and is still on sale and still available in most sizes in both colors. I love how soft and comfy it is too.

Southern Tide Long-Sleeved Clemson T-shirt Southern Tide Long-Sleeved Clemson T-Shirt

Southern Tide UNC T-Shirt

During the Southern Tide sale I also got a short-sleeved UNC T-shirt that was an additional 30% off an already reduced price. I love that the back design of this shirt is like a custom license plate.

Southern Tide UNC T-Shirt Southern Tide UNC T-Shirt

American Girl 90’s New Year’s Eve Outfit

I had some American Girl rewards money that was about to expire, and they were doing 20% off during Cyber Week. So I ordered Isabel’s New Year’s Eve Outfit from the 90’s twins historical collection for my American Girl of Today doll who is actually from the 90’s! Apparently American Girl actually sold this outfit as part of the American Girl of Today collection in the late 90’s, shortly after I had already aged out. I think it’s so cute. It was the perfect thing to display my American Girl of Today doll (aka the OG 90’s American Girl) in during the holiday season.

American Girl Isabel 90's New Year's Eve Outfit

Sidenote: While I like this outfit, the “tights with sandals” look definitely needs to stay in the 90’s.

Draper James Jennifer Nightshirt

Another Cyber Week purchase was this Draper James Jennifer Nightshirt that was already on sale, and I got an additional percentage off thanks to the promotion! Draper James is one of my go-to’s for pajamas-they are so soft and comfortable. This is the first non-flannel long-sleeved nightshirt from Draper James I’ve gotten. It’s still in the sale section of their website and available in all sizes!

Draper James Jennifer Nightshirt in Blue Aster Floral

Carolina Inn Holiday Tea

The second weekend in December I went to the Carolina Inn’s holiday tea with three of my best friends. I’ve done their standard afternoon tea a few times, but I had previously one done their holiday tea once before. And that one time was nine years ago! Like their normal afternoon tea, Carolina Inn holiday tea includes a pot of tea in flavor of choice for each person, scones, savory snacks, and sweet treats. The holiday tea also includes a glass of champagne or a mimosa and a plate of Christmas cookies. The sweet treats have a festive theme as well.

Carolina Inn Holiday Tea Carolina Inn Holiday Tea Spread

Everything was so delicious, and we enjoyed looking at the gorgeous Christmas decorations at Carolina Inn while we were there. Carolina Inn did the same “Favorite Things” theme for their Christmas decorations that they did last year. I definitely want to make holiday tea at Carolina Inn a more frequent Christmas decoration.

Carolina Inn 2023 Lobby Christmas Decorations

Christmas Movie Marathon

I watched lots of Christmas movies all through December, both beloved classics and new ones. But the highlight was when my best friend came for the weekend and we binge watched Christmas movies! Home Alone 2, Christmas with the Kranks, and A Charlie Brown Christmas were a few of the classics we watched. Then new movies we watched included Santa Summit (a Hallmark movie so cheesy it was good) and Family Switch (the new Netflix Christmas movie with Jennifer Garner). We also watched a couple of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies that my best friend had never seen before, A Nutcracker Christmas and Christmas Detour.

Christmas Movie Marathon

Ice Skating at Red Hat Amphitheater

Last December I went to Red Hat Amphitheater with some friends and people-watched while others ice skated on the outdoor rink. But since I tried ice skating for the first time back in February 2023, I was ready to actually ice skate at Red Hat this holiday season.

A few days prior to the trip to Red Hat Amphitheater, I went to the Sportsplex in Hillsborough to practice one more time on an indoor rink, since it had been months since my first ice skating outing. I’m really glad I got this extra practice in to regain some muscle memory. Ice skating on the seasonal outdoor rink at Red Hat is definitely harder and more chaotic, due to it being more crowded and the ice being rougher.

My friend rented one of the igloos at Red Hat Amphitheater, which included hot chocolate and snacks. It was cute and cozy, but I spent most of the time on the ice!

Ice Skating at Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, NC

Carolina Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Seeing Carolina Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker was a highlight of the 2023 holiday season. I’ve seen The Nutcracker many times, but this was my first time seeing a large professional production! Years ago I saw a semi-professional production with a live orchestra. However, it didn’t have as many professional dancers as Carolina Ballet’s performance. Most of the times I’ve seen The Nutcracker it’s been a local dance studio’s version, which is still always a treat. But there’s simply something extra special about seeing a full-scale professional performance with a live orchestra! As beautiful as the dancing is, I’ve always loved The Nutcracker music as well! So seeing The Nutcracker with a live symphony orchestra is like seeing two performances in one.

Carolina Ballet The Nutcracker 2023

My absolute favorite part of The Nutcracker is Waltz of the Snowflakes at the end of Act I. I’m not a huge crier, but this dance never fails to make me tear up because it’s so beautiful! And Carolina Ballet’s rendition of it was extra spectacular! I think I will have to make seeing Carolina Ballet’s The Nutcracker an annual tradition!

Carolina Ballet The Nutcracker 2023

Seeing Santa Cow

One of my favorite Christmas traditions that brings out my inner child is seeing Santa Cow at Chick-fil-a. When I learned that a Chick-fil-a about 20 minutes away from me was hosting a Santa Cow breakfast one Saturday morning, I shamelessly drove there for a photo opp. Elf cow was there too!

Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cake Ice Cream

A couple years ago when the Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cake ice cream debuted, I wasn’t able to find it at the Walmart near me. I seldom go to Walmart, but one day I needed to go there for something. While there, I spotted the Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cake ice cream and grabbed a couple pints. It was a fun surprise to find it. To be honest, I had kind of forgotten about it. It’s delicious, but quite rich. So a small serving is very satisfying!

Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cake Ice Cream

Christmas 2023

I enjoyed several relaxing days with my family over Christmas. We watched Christmas movies, had our traditional Christmas Eve finger food dinner, Christmas morning breakfast casserole and mimosas, watched the Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade, and had a delicious Christmas dinner. It was fun getting to spend time with Clove and Paprika too. I gave them this Lamb Chop toy with catnip. They were completely disinterested at first, but then realized they love it!

Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade 40th Anniversary Christmas Morning Mimosa



Clove hanging out on the Lilly Pulitzer blanket I gave my mom for Christmas several years ago.

Chick-fil-a Peppermint Chip Frosted Coffee

Chick-fil-a Frosted Coffee is one of my favorite treats during the warmer months, but I typically don’t get it during the fall and winter. But when I saw that they added a Peppermint Chip Frosted Coffee to their seasonal menu, I had to give it a try!

Side note: Last year I tried the Chick-fil-a Peppermint Chip Milkshake for the first time and discovered liked it. I’m kind of weird about peppermint flavored ice cream. My cousins were obsessed with peppermint ice cream so we would usually have it at extended family Christmas gatherings when we were kids. Even though I like peppermint, I never understood the hype. I’ve also never been a fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream. So that’s why it took me so long to give the peppermint chip milkshake a shot.

Since I liked the peppermint chip milkshake, I knew I would like the peppermint chip frosted coffee too. And not surprisingly, it was delicious! Although I’m not sure I like the peppermint chip frosted coffee better than regular frosted coffee, it’s definitely the best way to enjoy a frosted coffee in December. Hopefully Chick-fil-a will bring it back for the 2024 Christmas season, because I will definitely order it again!

Chick-fil-a Peppermint Chip Frosted Coffee

Lilly Loves Disney Second Edition Print

The latest Lilly Loves Disney print is the same print as the original March 2022 release, but in a different color way. Instead of a light blue background, it has a navy background. There’s also some violet in this version of the print. In addition, the pink and green in this new print is less neon than that in the original.

The December 2023 Lilly Loves Disney print comes in many of the same styles as the original version as well as some new styles that the original print didn’t come in. Since I bought several items in the original Lilly Loves Disney print, I couldn’t justify paying full price for any of the new pieces. However, less than a week after the release, shopDisney included the new Lilly Loves Disney pieces in an up to 30% off sale. So I bought the Skipper Popover and the Ocean Trail shorts and saved 30% on both pieces.

I went back and forth on getting the popover in the new print, since I have the original Disney print popover. Ultimately, I decided to go for it since I wanted a piece in this print I could wear during the cooler months. And I discovered over the past year that I really love Lilly Pulitzer popovers. Also, whenever one of my Lilly Loves Disney popovers is in the laundry, I will have another clean one to wear. And the colors are different enough that it’s not the exact same top!

Lilly Loves Disney Popover in Navy Colorway December 2023 release

I’m looking forward to wearing these Lilly Loves Disney Ocean Trail Shorts when the weather gets warmer. Since this print doesn’t come in a Luxletic Skort, this is the next closest thing!

Lilly Loves Disney Ocean Trail Shorts December 2023 release

This newest Lilly Loves Disney print is currently available on shopDisney and in the Disney Parks. Fortunately, it did not sell out within 10 minutes on shopDisney like the original did! The Lilly Pulitzer store at Disney Springs should have these items sometime later in January.

Thanks so much for reading my December 2023 Favorites! I am so glad to finally be back to publishing these monthly recap posts in a timely manner. Stay tuned for my 2023 year-in-review post and 2024 goals post coming soon!

Ps. To keep in touch, you can follow me on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. In addition, I’m on Pinterest and would love for you to follow me there. I’d also love to add some extra happiness to your inbox with my e-newsletter, and you can sign up here.

-xoxo Liz

Hey Y'all!

I'm Liz- and I'm here to inspire you to embrace the simple joys in life and encourage you to be your authentic self!

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  1. Hi Liz! I found your blog on Pinterest!
    I too am a fan of the Lilly Disney prints and have many pieces in the original, light teal, print. I was a bit disappointed that the new print was the same print, just in a different color, but I suppose I will keep with tradition and buy a piece or two! I did check the Shop Disney Site and must have just missed the 30 % off sale. To be honest, I didn’t even think that the Lilly items would be included in the sale. Do you have any idea when another Shop Disney Sale will happen?
    Have a great 2024 and I look forward to reading more from you! -M

    Posted 1.20.24 Reply
    • Liz wrote:

      Hi Meranda! So glad you found my blog , and thanks so much for reading! While it would be fun for a different print altogether, it’s definitely worth it to buy a couple pieces in the new colorway! I was also surprised that the Lilly items were included in the sale. I don’t know when the next shopDisney sale will be, but I feel like they do promotions fairly often. I recommend subscribing to shopDisney emails to get the latest news on sales! -Liz

      Posted 1.20.24 Reply