Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Preparing for the Holidays ~ Traveling Tote #5

Leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway!

My Traveling Tote is settling in for a long winter's night!

Most often, once the weather gets cold, my tote sits in the great room filled with throws.  I am always cold, so this is my "go to" every night as I watch TV!

In November I worked in Albany for a few days and filled my tote with my computer, magazines and a shawl...

...  after work I took a short drive up to Saratoga Springs to walk the shops in town.  My goal was to begin my Christmas shopping.  Saratoga Olive Oil Company has some fabulous oils to taste and I treated myself to a bottle of Garlic Oil....

...and next door was the Savory Pantry, where I picked up some tasty treats for Christmas hostess gifts:

We almost always celebrate my birthday during the first weekend in December. We headed out on a foggy morning:

 This year my daughter, Caitlin, planned the day and we went to Rochester to see "The Christmas Carol".

  After the play we had an early dinner at The Gate House.  

  The following day John, Mom and I celebrated my birthday by having dinner at Santangelo's and the window in our booth was decorated in a Grinch theme:

There are so many events going on in December and there are some I always like to attend. 

These are a few that have become a yearly tradition:

We went to the Erie Canal Museum to see the Gingerbread House Displays:

The Everson Museum holds the Festival of Trees, all the trees are donated to the museum and sold as a fundraiser:

We shopped for the "perfect poinsettia" at Hafner's Garden Center:

And walked around to see the perfectly decorated trees - it is truly a decorator's dream !

            We also saw Lights on the Lake in Syracuse, a drive thru winter wonderland of lights along the Lake:

My large tote carried presents for girlfriends at an annual luncheon to celebrate the holidays:

And a few days later the smaller tote held a hostess gift for breakfast with another girlfriend:

I wrapped for hours one day and my tote held all the rolls of paper:

Over three hours of wrapping!

We shopped at Wegman's for my yearly "Girlfriend's Happy Hour" which I host every December in my home:

And how can you "prepare for the holidays" without a trip to see Santa?

It's a busy time of year, but Christmas is about sharing and spending time with family and friends. It’s about creating happy memories with those you love. Many of these yearly traditions are what I look forward to and it certainly keeps my spirit alive!

I wish you a blessed holiday season. May this Christmas bring you comfort, joy, peace and happiness to last throughout the coming year!

A special treat for one of my readers:

Leave me a comment ( an email addy, too, if you don't have a blog) below for a chance to win a MacKenzie-Childs Flower Market soap dish, Balsam scented soap from the Adirondacks and a mini soap from Cape Cod, all items purchased on my recent travels with my Traveling Tote!

A winner will be picked on Dec 27th!!

Visit my other Traveling Tote friends to see how they "prepare for the holidays":
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Linda with Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss CC @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Samantha with Christabel @ Samantha Stone

To read about how the Traveling Tote Series began, go HERE

Patti @ Pandoras Box
Patti @ Pandoras Box

I live in central NY and I am a retired family and consumer science teacher. I enjoy all types of crafting, decorating and cooking


  1. Happy Birthday Patti! It looks like you had some great celebrations. I love the grinch story and would have enjoyed that booth. I think all our totes went to gingerbread displays and posed with poinsettias too! I almost asked Santa to hold my tote too, but I chickened out at the last moment! I love your photo of Santa and your new tote, too. It's really the perfect size for everyday adventures. Have a great day! Linda

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  3. Haha, Patti - perfect! - having Santa hold the bag! Well, all this going on in December and a birthday too - Happy Belated Birthday! Your adventures look so festive, but your great room...{sigh}. It's lovely. Cheers to the season and our totes in their travels. May the new year bring new adventures! Good luck to all the readers with your great giveaway.

  4. Patti, you and Miss Kenzie have been on the go! I love seeing all the special holiday events that take place in your area. How fun to see all those gingerbread houses and decorated trees. Miss Kenzie is a helpful gal! Love seeing her with Santa. I wish I had thought of a trip to Santa. Perfect! '-)
    Merry Christmas, my friend.

  5. Ha, ha, it looks like you (and the bag) have been busy! Merry Christmastime:@)

  6. Love your website and your traveling tote adventure. It was really nice to be with you during one of those adventures. You are so creative and I've enjoyed reading your past posts.

  7. Looks like you and your tote have had a fun-filled December so far! Happy Birthday!

  8. Wow! I am so fascinated by the traveling totes.... looks like a ton of fun. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Your traveling tote series, and my love of all things MacKenzie Childs, has inspired me to get my own tote in 2016 ... and let the adventures begin.

  10. I enjoy following the travels of your tote!

  11. That is one well traveled tote! I would love to see the gingerbread display. It always amazes me what people can do with a bit of icing and candies. Happy belated Birthday and thanks for the tour!

  12. Love this blog! Patti, you inspired me to get my own tote and it is so versatile. Your blog with all your trips gives many great ideas to utilize this great piece. I live on the West Coast, so I guess I could be called the West Coast McKenzie Toter. Keep those wonderful trips coming!!!

  13. Stumbled into the adventures of the traveling tote and now I'm trying to play catch up to see where you have been. What fun you have had! Look forward to following future updates. Merry Christmas.

  14. You live right near my in laws. I've been to that very same oil shop. Small world. LOVE the picture of Santa holding the bag. May this week be Merry and Bright for you.

  15. I have been enjoying your blog for a couple of years now and the traveling tote series is fantastic!! Cathy ggrtemple@aol.com

  16. very cute and very stylish. i like santa's endorsement, too. :)

  17. The traveling tote is just the cutest! Even Santa knows what's nice! I'm visiting from Sarah's and want to wish you a Merry Christmas! And of course I would be thrilled to win these goodies! (my birthday is after Christmas!) I could use a tote here in Florida! Holiday hugs, Diane

  18. Love the traveling tote! Belated Birthday greetings. What a great giveaway - thanks for the chance to win the gorgeous stuff.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.


  19. Have really enjoyed discovering and reading your blog! Happy Holidays!


  20. I loved reading your blog and your ideas!