New Traditions

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This year, the Husband and I are trying to create new traditions.   New city, new way of celebrating the holidays.


This was actually the Husband’s idea – he suggested we go to a tree farm to cut our own tree instead of just buying one from the store.


I found a place called Pentland Tree Farm in South Carolina.  The website said dogs were allowed so Maggie and James tagged along.


Mom came too! She’s visiting for the weekend.


The tree cutting down process involved carefully studying the samples of the different types of trees on the farm.  We could choose from:


  • Carolina Sapphire Cypress
  • Fraser Fir
  • Leyland Cypress
  • Red Cedar
  • Virginia Pine
  • White Pine


Then, you take this huge saw (which I did NOT want to hold for long because I was pretty sure I would saw off a finger or slice Maggie’s head open):



Then, we tramped through the fields of tree crop and selected our favorite.


I felt like a vegetarian hunter. 🙂




So much more fun than buying my tree at the grocery store!  It was a 3 hour process, but it was such a nice way to spend the afternoon.


We came home and decorated, of course!


I love it!


I cannot resist typing… It’s starting to look a lot like CHRISTMAS. 🙂


Pre-tree hunt lunch of melted cheese on toast, leftover corn casserole, and apple (the other half went to the Husband out of niceness).


Thanksgiving leftovers really taste better than day-of! 


And dinner was cooked by the Husband while the mom and I put on lights.  He gets so creative in the kitchen sometimes!


In the bowl:


  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Garlic pasta sauce
  • Faux meatballs
  • Pecans and cashews
  • Black Beans
  • Grilled green pepper
  • Parsley


Guess what we’re watching?  Love Actually!   My mom has never seen it… and that simply must be changed.  And we’re making Dough Balls for dessert.


I hope you are having a nice beginning to the holiday season, however you celebrate it, too!  😉



  • Becca November 26, 2010, 9:11 pm

    Love Actually must be the girls’ movie of choice for the day after Thanksgiving. My friend and I watched that today while we baked!

  • sarah November 26, 2010, 9:17 pm

    I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a person cut a tree wearing flats…hehe. I think it is great! It looks beautiful! How are the dogs with tree and water? I tried “pine cone” tea yesterday and it tastes like what I think tree water would taste like!

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 9:38 am

      they keep trying to sit under it. 🙂 puppies for christmas!

  • Bronwyn Coyne November 26, 2010, 9:17 pm

    I love cutting down a Christmas tree! My family and I have been doing that for years. So fun. Hmmmm dough balls. 😀

  • Georgie @ Georgie Goes Healthy November 26, 2010, 9:18 pm

    Ah your Christmas tree is up! I am so jealous. My roommates and I are living in an apartment on our own for the first time ever so I hope we get a tree! Love Actually is such a good movie – I have seen it many times but I think it is time that I buy it myself. We are watching the newest Disney A Christmas Carol (which I have never seen). I LOVE the Christmas season!

  • Clare November 26, 2010, 9:20 pm

    I JUST watched Love Actually. Might be one of my favourites ever. Your tree is gorgeous.

  • KatieTX November 26, 2010, 9:26 pm

    I love the movie Love Actually! BUT I wouldn’t want to watch it with my mother…you know certain parts of the movie are a bit scandalous..

    • Jen November 27, 2010, 10:19 am

      I thought the same thing – with those “movie/porn” stars – too bad because the movie is so endearing otherwise…

  • Shari November 26, 2010, 9:36 pm

    Your tree looks beautiful! It must be so much fun to decorate one 🙂

  • Charlie November 26, 2010, 9:39 pm

    I actually didn’t know there were places where you can cut your own tree! My grandparents live in the country so they just cut one near their house ;).

  • Halley (Blunder Construction) November 26, 2010, 9:45 pm

    Oh my goodness, I bet your house smells amazing! Well, actually there are some trees that don’t give off the pine smell- but I hope yours does. I can’t wait to set up the tree, and I need to pull out the Christmas music 🙂

  • Alyssa November 26, 2010, 9:58 pm

    I love that movie!

  • Haleigh November 26, 2010, 10:03 pm

    My husband and I are trying to make new traditions in Charlotte too 🙂 I can’t wait to start decorating the apartment! It will be our first Christmas together in the US.

  • Wei-Wei November 26, 2010, 10:09 pm

    That sounds like a perfect way to spend the afternoon! I’d love my own Christmas tree in the house… 😀

  • Diana November 26, 2010, 10:10 pm

    I’ve picked my own veggies, strawberries, blueberries, apples, and peaches from farms. But, I’ve never picked my own tree! How cool! Looks like you guys picked a winner. 🙂

    Yay for more dough balls!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing November 26, 2010, 10:11 pm

    Must make those dough balls SOON!!!!!

    Sounds like a perfect way to begin the holidays 🙂 I can’t WAIT to put our tree up!

  • 'Dee November 26, 2010, 10:13 pm

    My favorite picture in this post is the one where your husband is holding Maggie … because I can only imagine how freaked out the little girl was getting to lead up to that point! Too cute.

    PS – love the yellow coat with red flats!

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 9:37 am

      She was very scurred!!

  • Kristen November 26, 2010, 10:15 pm

    I watched Love Actually tonight as well. I need to watch it at least once(perhaps more) per Christmas season. I love it.

  • Krystina (Basil & Wine) November 26, 2010, 10:16 pm

    Wow, your tree is gorgeous! Sounds like such a fun day. 😀

  • Sana November 26, 2010, 10:19 pm

    What a fun idea! I love love the pic of the husband on the tree!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life November 26, 2010, 10:21 pm

    At least they provided your saw, unlike in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 🙂

    I have an artifical tree and actually downgraded to a 4′ this year but my parents just cut a huge Fraser Fur down on Wednesday night. Which kind of tree did you pick? It looks like a White Pine (my sister always gets that kind).

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 9:37 am

      I think it was a Leyland. They all looked so pretty; it was hard to choose!

  • Camille November 26, 2010, 10:24 pm

    That looks like so much fun!
    We are definitely wanting to cut down our own tree this year. I have never done it before either!

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete November 26, 2010, 10:38 pm

    I LOVE Love Actually. Every time it is on, the hubs and I watch it. And yes, he actually watches it with me!

    I love cutting down our own tree!! I love the fact that you guys did it too. We feel more like it is “our” tree when I cut it down myself! Enjoy your mom. 😉

  • laura November 26, 2010, 10:39 pm

    beautiful tree!
    the fam and i are going out into the woods to get one tomorrow!
    & the coat looks stunning 🙂

  • Stephanie November 26, 2010, 10:40 pm

    we’re putting our tree up tomorrow and i’m so excited!!! i already snuck out some little decorations tonight including the candles in the windows – they are my favorite!

  • Erica November 26, 2010, 10:50 pm

    I love your coat!!! That has to be the best black Friday purchase ever!!!

    I wish I could cut down my own tree! Looks like fun!

    The bf and I always watch love actually on Christmas eve, love that movie!!!

  • Ashley November 26, 2010, 10:53 pm

    I’ve never had a real Christmas tree. Only the plastic kind. This is a really cool idea. Your coat is so cute!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal November 26, 2010, 11:14 pm

    What a fun new tradition!! lol you do NOT look thrilled to be holding that saw 🙂
    I can’t believe you already have presents under your tree! We are putting our tree up tomorrow 🙂

  • maria @ Chasing the Now November 26, 2010, 11:16 pm

    Love the idea of a real tree, but not sure I’d want to cut it down myself! 🙂

  • Leah @ Why Deprive? November 26, 2010, 11:30 pm

    I love the idea of cutting down your own tree! Ive always thought it would be so much fun.

  • Brittany November 26, 2010, 11:38 pm

    Great movie! One of my favorites .. and your experience from the Tree Farm sounds great! I hope to find one someday when i’m settled in my own home 🙂

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 26, 2010, 11:45 pm

    Awwwe yay for setting traditions!! We don’t even use a real tree anymore. :/

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) November 26, 2010, 11:58 pm

    That sounds like such a fun tradition! My family always uses a fake tree and I miss the real ones. I agree on thanksgiving leftovers tasting better the next day. By the way I love your new jacket 🙂

  • Laura (Starloz) November 27, 2010, 12:49 am

    my parents aren’t big on christmas but when i have a family, pow, christmas explosion in my house

  • Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat November 27, 2010, 12:58 am

    The tree looks GORGEOUS! I haven’t had a live tree in years (not since I was little), but maybe next year!

  • Lorin November 27, 2010, 1:08 am

    That looks fun! The doughballs look really good too! I definitely want to make those at some point. I have one question though. I feel like today people always say to eat every 4 to 5 hours and don’t skip breakfast, but then people say to also listen to your body cues. If I did, then I wouldn’t eat breakfast till late and would probably be considered an early lunch. I guess what I am saying is that I don’t get hungry for breakfast, but I don’t want to skip it since it’s known to be good to eat breakfast. So, I guess my question is if a person should just eat when their hungry or not skip any meals, but maybe not listen to their hunger cues as much. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Love the jacket! I need to get one.

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 9:36 am

      This is an interesting question because I actually applied the philosophy to my eats for this day. I was still so full from thanksgiving so I ate a liquid breakfast because I knew I needed the calories to fuel me for shopping. But at lunch, I still wasn’t really hungry, so I had a lighter lunch. I don’t think you should ever really entirely skip meals because it throws off your metabolism. Just eat something light and small if you really aren’t hungry and wait until you are.

  • Janessa November 27, 2010, 2:12 am

    Your mom is so pretty!

  • Jolene ( November 27, 2010, 2:12 am

    I love the tree!!!! I am so excited to set ours up this weekend 🙂

  • Elise November 27, 2010, 3:42 am

    i love the tree too 🙂 i wish i could get one, but i’d probably have to put it on top of my stove for it to fit in my shoebox. and i think i need my stove more than a tree…

  • Little Bookworm November 27, 2010, 5:33 am

    The tree looks lovely!

  • Becky November 27, 2010, 5:58 am

    next year i plan on starting a new tradition with my new hubby! i’m making thanksgiving!! i’ve put it out there so now i have to follow through!

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 9:34 am

      Oh man you are brave!

  • Sarah November 27, 2010, 6:07 am

    I think it’s lovely that you’re starting new traditions. It makes holidays so much more meaningful and personal, I think. And your tree look gorgeous! (But I’d rather you than me using that saw!)

  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans November 27, 2010, 6:55 am

    We would always cut down our own tree growing up and it was always a blast!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine November 27, 2010, 7:25 am

    Ahhh I want our tree so badly!! We get a huge one every year and I love it. Best part of the holidays 🙂

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) November 27, 2010, 7:50 am

    Oh my word. That is so FUN! I’m tempted to do the same this year. 😀

    (p.s. your coat is adorable! Love the color! 😀 )

  • Lauren November 27, 2010, 8:19 am

    HAHAHA that is too funny, “I feel like a Vegetarian Hunter!” I’m going to remember that one when we cut down our tree. 😉

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 9:34 am

      I really did! Roar!

  • Jillian@ Reshape Your Life November 27, 2010, 8:21 am

    Cutting town a tree is the BEST way to get a christmas tree. We always did that growing up, it’s one of the best memories about christmas I have.

    And ya’ll picked out a PERFECT tree. 🙂 I don’t believe that there are pine tree farms in Texas… I might have to look that one up. 🙂

  • Evan Thomas November 27, 2010, 8:54 am

    Cutting down your own tree is so much fun. There’s a Christmas tree farm about 1/2 a mile from my front door(shows how much in the woods I live) and we walk there every year to pick a tree.

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 9:33 am

      Do you carry it a half a mile back to the house?

      • Evan Thomas November 27, 2010, 9:38 am

        Usually someone brings a jeep and we drive it home, but I think I remember carrying it back one year, which must have looked odd to the neighbors.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 27, 2010, 9:14 am

    We always used to go as a family to cut down a tree when I was a kid, but we haven’t done it recently! This makes me want to bring back that tradition!

  • Katie November 27, 2010, 9:27 am

    That looks like a really fun new tradition! Your decorated tree looks beautiful. I think my parents are putting their’s up tomorrow so I will help out.

  • Alyson @ Nourished Fitness November 27, 2010, 9:53 am

    Love that new tradition, and your tree is gorgeous!

  • Natalia - a side of simple November 27, 2010, 11:12 am

    Oh gosh, I heart Christmas so much. Thank you for getting into the spirit!!!

  • Amber K November 27, 2010, 11:33 am

    I refuse to acknowledge Chrstimas until December 1st! lol

    I realized awhile ago that I’m totally sick of Christmas if I celebrate too early.

  • zoe (and the beatles) November 27, 2010, 12:38 pm

    i want to steal that yellow coat! it’s so damn cute! you look adorable 🙂

  • Heather November 27, 2010, 12:46 pm

    Looks like a fun day outing! I decorated last night too, love this time of year. And Love Actually, my favorite movie ever!

  • Macrae November 27, 2010, 1:35 pm

    Such a pretty tree! I have a question and don’t mean to come across the wrong way. Are you and your husband Christians? Religion isn’t mentioned much on the blog but since you did get a tree I just thought I’d ask!

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 3:46 pm

      No we’re not Christian (we’re actually very spiritual though) but we’re ‘culturally’ into Christmas 🙂 It’s my favorite holiday!

      • Macrae November 27, 2010, 4:20 pm

        Thanks for replying Caitlin! I’m gald you can enjoy the tree and the love that encompasses this time of year!

  • Ali November 27, 2010, 2:09 pm

    What a beautiful tree!! We go every year to cut down our own tree and it is one of my favorite traditions to do with my family.

  • Cheryl H. November 27, 2010, 2:34 pm

    Awesome tree! Going to cut down your own Christmas tree is a great family tradition to start. My family has been doing the very same thing for 23 years to the same tree farm in Northern California(in fact, we are going tomorrow). Now the younger generation is continuing it with their families. We have about 10-12 of us that go each year and it’s a blast. We bring coffee, Kahlua, hot chocolate and snacks then we go out for pizza afterward. We are usually so tired that we decorate the tree the next day.

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 3:46 pm

      Um I want to be part of your family for kahlua

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit November 27, 2010, 3:01 pm

    So cute. You guys have a lot of ambition to go get your tree so early! 🙂

  • CarrieBeth November 27, 2010, 5:33 pm

    we’re still at my husband’s parents house for thanksgiving, but i cannot wait to get back home and decorate like you did! and bake some cookies! have fun with your mom…she’s so pretty 🙂

  • Heidi - apples under my bed November 27, 2010, 8:44 pm

    lol at the pic of your husband on the tree 🙂 your dinner looks really delicious. left-overs are so tasty!
    Heidi xo

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 27, 2010, 8:56 pm

    <3 the tree! I would love to have a real tree, but I would be sneezing up a storm!!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie November 27, 2010, 10:21 pm

    Aww! We went and picked out our tree this year too instead of buying it at the store. It’s so festive! I love Christmas. Your tree is gorgeous!

  • MommyB Knows Best November 29, 2010, 1:00 am

    Love the Tree, it’s adorable, wish I could have a real one, stupid allergies!! Even more I love new traditions. As our girls are getting older we’re making new, and fun ones too and I love it!! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and sugar cookies for breakfast…don’t tell my daughter!!

  • Tracy November 29, 2010, 8:20 am

    I love your tree! This is our last year for a fake tree. My boys are old enought now to participate in cutting down a tree. I look forward to the new traditions that we create each year with our kids.

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