A Holiday Gift Wrap Idea, Cozy Winter Faux Fur Throws & Tips for Traveling with Pets … on Today’s Weekend Meanderings

Today on Weekend Meanderings, a holiday gift wrap idea, cozy winter throws, a great shop for coastal decor and tips for traveling with pets.

Happy weekend, friends!

It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.

Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.

Front porch decorated for Christmas.

It was another busy week around here.

Seriously, is there any other kind?

Our tree is decorated!


I hesitate to post a full photo.

It may be the most terribly decorated tree in the history of the world.

But it’s done and when it’s dark and the lights are on it sparkles and shines as well as any tree.

We also had Christmas lights put up on the outside of the house.

A first for Snowberry.

Shingled house with Christmas lights.

When I say ‘had put up’ I mean we paid someone to do it.

No shame here.

We also had our area rugs cleaned which was long overdue.

As well as our sectional sofa which I’ll talk more about later.

My Better-Late-Than-Never Holiday Gift Ideas went out.

Christmas wreath on front door with white bow.

And Kim and I hosted another Live which you can watch here.

Wow, I’m feeling pretty good about myself.

So on that note, are you ready?

Let’s go!



Is your shopping done? Are you ready to start wrapping? This is how I wrapped our gifts this year and I already had all the components. I bet you have the makings of something similar in your gift wrap stash.

Holiday gift wrap.

Plain brown paper is a great thing to have on hand and I love it for wrapping gifts. I also had this 5″ wide burlap ribbon. Why or when I acquired it, I haven’t a clue. The 1″ antique gold velvet ribbon is left over from decorating the library for Christmas. I also used it to tie bows on our tree. The 5/8″ blue velvet ribbon is left over from last year. The dried orange slices are also left over from decorating the library and I used them for garnish in my Cara Cara Winter Spritz.

For gift tags I’m using these. I wish I’d ordered these. A sprig of real or faux greenery would be nice as well.



On our Live this week we talked about favorite local shops and someone asked what is a favorite shop for coastal decor. Great timing because I planned to share Cailini Coastal today. Cailini Coastal is not a local shop … it’s an online shop. And as far as I can tell, does not have a brick and mortar presence. But … coastal is coastal.

Shelves decorated in coastal style.

Cailini Coastal

Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home once told me that a touch of coastal decor is perfectly fine here at Snowberry. We’re near the coast … if I hop in the car I can see the Bay in a short 10-15 minutes. The key to what she said is ‘a touch.’ And I think most of us can get away with that. Here are a few of my favorite things from Cailini Coastal … that are a touch coastal but appropriate in any home.


Cailini Coastal is new to me, introduced by Alli of TCB Style. She recommended it as a source for the blue and white Christmas tree platter I shared in my Christmas in the Library post. It was sold out but I was able to find it here. Anyway, once on the site I couldn’t believe my eyes … how did I not know about this coastal shopping nirvana?! Good thing I know about it now, and just in case you didn’t, now you do.



Jim and I adopted our first dog, Sasha, shortly after setting up house together. This was a terrible idea and I don’t recommend it. Jim traveled, I worked a full-time … and all I can say is thank goodness for doggie daycare. It saved us in the first few year’s of Sashie’s life. Raising Sasha, a black lab, was a process of learning as we went … mostly we messed up but Sasha (best dog ever) was patient and eventually got us trained. By the time she left us, at the too-young age of 12, we had finally got the hang of it. Fast forward 20+ years and we now have two little dogs, Pippa and Maggie. Small dogs can be quite different from bigger dogs. And once again, we had to put the training wheels on while the girls showed us the ropes. One area where we had a lot to learn was how to travel (I’m talking road trip travel) with dogs. I think we’ve mastered it and these are a few things I recommend to make road tripping with dogs a little easier. On you and them.

Black lab with toy in her mouth.

Our beloved Sasha.

Car seats are essential for small and medium sized dogs so they can see out. And also feel safe and protected. These are the car seats we use. The fleece slipcover comes off easily to toss in the wash.


It’s hard enough to get myself packed for trips, and then come the dogs. We had a duffle we used for their food, water, toys, treats, bully sticks, poop bags, harnesses, leashes, travel bowls … and all the other paraphernalia required to keep a pet happy. I just ordered this pet travel kit. It arrived yesterday, and it’s going to make our upcoming road trip even more smooth and organized.


Another thing we learned the hard way is to bring their beds. Our dogs are small, and we have these donut beds all over the house. A set in the bedroom, office and great room. And we have a set for travel. It makes them feel at home in hotel rooms or wherever we’re staying.


Dog sitting in chair on outdoor restaurant.

Bella enjoying brunch at Four Seasons, Santa Barbara

Along the same lines, bring blankets. Some restaurants won’t allow small dogs to sit in your lap or in a chair and insist they sit on the ground. Quel horreur! I always have our dog’s blankets in the car to place on the ground should they encounter such an indignity. This is a great tip for non-lap dogs too. I hate when I see dogs laying on cold, rough cement … and, yes, I judge their parents. We’ve been using these soft 30 x 30 baby blankets for Maggie and Pippa since they were babies. Our local pet store sold them. To make life easier we have several sets … one for their nighttime beds, and one for their car seats so we can grab them easily for restaurant dining. Most of the time we place the blanket in an extra chair and our dogs take a nap while we eat.

I keep their travel bowls handy so we can easily offer them water during rest stops. I bring refillable water bottles. Our dogs tend not to eat on the road. Or I should say tend not to eat their own food. They’ll happily have a bite of whatever we’re eating. Which brings me to my last tip.

Did you know that In ‘n Out Burger offers dog patties? They do. They’re unseasoned. We always order one for the girls … they share.



Keeping our white sectional sofa cushions clean is an ongoing challenge. Two dogs and a cat don’t help, neither do two humans who have been known to spill. We had our areas rugs and sofa professionally cleaned this week. I’ve been using inexpensive ivory quilts to cover the bottom cushions, but thought it would be nice to use something cozier for these cold winter months. Yes, it gets cold here. This week we had overnight temps in the 30’s. Drew Tuma, one of our local meteorologists said, “30’s in California feels colder than any polar vortex on the east coast and you can’t tell me differently.” Well said, Drew. Well said.

After seeing so many Instagram and Pinterest photos of faux fur throws tossed over furniture, I wondered if I could find one long enough for our sectional. Turns out I can, and did. West Elm makes these oversized (60″ x 80″) faux fur throws … they arrived conveniently the day before the sofa cleaning and yesterday I tucked them into the lower cushions.

Faux Fur Throw on sofa cushion against throw pillows.

Pippa and Maggie give them two thumbs up. They come in standard (40″ x 60″) size too.



This week my friend, Suzanne of Crazy Blonde Life, shared a wonderful idea for holiday parties. A French Fry Bar! Genius. Read her full post here. And if you aren’t already following her on Instagram you’ll find her here. She has amazing style.

Crazy Blonde Life French Fry Bar.


So there you have it, this weekend’s meanderings.

Let’s visit Kim and Elizabeth to see what’s they’re sharing.



Odds & Socks ~

Set your DVR, this British treasure will share her ultimate Christmas on PBS this Monday night.

Niece Sammi sent me snaps of her daughter Mae after her class Christmas choral performance.

Mae is five.

Older brothers Wyatt and Beau brought her flowers.


And, that’s a wrap on my Weekend Meanderings for this year.

Thank you for embracing our weekend shenanigans.

For reading, commenting, sharing the blog with your friends.

And also for your emails full of fun thoughts and suggestions.

Christmas Cactus on a bench.

I’m appreciative and grateful for your support.

And I’ll be back with Kim and Elizabeth on January 7th.

Front porch decorated for the holidays.

Until then, I wish you and your family the most magical holiday season.

Christmas, Hanukkah, everything you’re celebrating.

I hope it’s merry and bright.

Little faux trees wrapped in burlap on brick step.

If you missed last weekend’s meanderings, you can catch up here.

And follow along for more fun on Instagram and Pinterest.

Front porch decorated for Christmas.

Cheers from Snowberry!


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  • The Happiest of Holidays to you and your family (pups and kitty included)…. On a side note, I bet your tree is just gorgeous. We’re always too hard on ourselves.

    • You’re right, Deb … I should try to view my tree with less critical eyes. I actually quite like it at night! Happy Holiday’s to you … can you believe we’re about to ring in another New Year?! xo

  • Good morning Juliet!
    I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful adventure with your pups and family. Traveling with pups is no easy feat. Our first dog, Munchen had as many frequent flyer miles as I did, I took her everywhere. Now that we have 3 flying is not an option with all of them but they do love a road trip! We do everything you mentioned, their own beds, blankets, toys,food, etc. It just makes everyone happier. Sadly we do not have in and out! I would love a burger and fries for me and them.
    Your tree is beautiful as is your gift wrap. Brown paper is so versatile! I love the addition of burlap and oranges.
    A French fry bar!!! That sounds delicious! I might have to add this to my appetizer selections.
    Thank you for joining us every weekend, it has been so fun to see what you and Kim are up too every week. I love learning about California style, stores, and more from the two of you.
    Have a wonderful Christmas! I will see you on the 7th!
    xo Elizabeth

    • Elizabeth! Do you know we’ve never flown with one of our dogs. Wait, I take that back … Jim flew with our little Bella when he brought her home from Southern California. He booked first class so she’d have more room. We’re overindulgent. I can’t imagine flying with our two … but I love seeing dogs all over the airports. Wishing you the very best Christmas and I look forward to resuming our weekend fun on the 7th! Happy New Year! xo

  • There is no such thing as an ugly Christmas tree don’t you remember that from Charlie Brown?
    I think yours is beautiful a little bit you shared I want a full photo in my inbox within the next 24 hours please!,
    Merry Christmas to you Jim and the four-legged creatures and how exciting you got the sofa and the area carpets cleaned I have one area carpet at the dry cleaners I need to pick up thanks for the reminder!
    I think Laurie‘s husband designed those dog beds you use in the car I’m pulling that from the back of my brain I must check with her! my friend Patricia who used to help me with The Hen House also used those dog riser beds for the car and she love them!,
    Wish you all the best and will see you in the new year!

    • Contessa! I forgot about Charlie Brown. I’ve got some finishing touches for the tree … hopefully tonight. And I’ll send you a pic. Wishing you and the Italian … and the entire crew a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year! Looking forward to seeing my favorite Contessa in 2023! xo

  • Juliet! Great post. We have a dog car seat very like yours. Mine is covered in a fake Burberry print . Our little dog loves it so much we bring it in the house for her to use in the family room. It is also perfect to put on seats at outdoor restaurants. Keeps the dog away from the table and off the cold ground where there are often forbidden treats.

    Love that coastal shop. Will head over there now.

    Merry Christmas! Hope your road trip goes well.

    • Laurie! Bring the seats onto restaurant patios is a great idea … why didn’t I think of it! See, we’re still learning how to be good pet parents over here. The lessons never stop. Happy Holiday’s! xoxo

  • Juliet, First of all, want to say I love your tree with the tied ribbons on the branches. I hope you share more, as I want to try that next year. Seems to be the new thing and looks so pretty. At least you guys have cute white lights and they look darling on Snowberry. Max has not yet put ours up… Last weekend’s storm and he’s not been motivated. I didn’t know you can hire someone.. I should threaten him!
    I love to hear about traveling with pets as we don’t have dog, but I hope in the future. Honestly, I hate leaving Marlo, but cats just aren’t good with travel.. I agree about the faux fur throws. I have loads and they keep the monster white beast couch clean from cats, sons -and husbands. Best things ever invented. These look nice. I may need to trade mine up.
    I may be cursing you for the link to this coastal decor treasure trove! I love it all.. I agree, I think we can call ourselves coastal…Sign me up for a French Fry bar and it looks so elegant. I would like to try it with some of your cocktails.. That may be my winter break goal!
    Love doing this so much with you and Elizabeth. I am so glad we are taking a break.. Enjoy Coronado and the family!!! This is the best part of it all, and you deserve a lovely relaxing getaway!!
    Hugs my dear pal. xoxo

    • Kim! Yes, you can hire someone … who knew, right? We noticed it going on at so many neighbors, so we stopped at a few houses and asked. Apparently this is a great side business for a lot of electricians during down times. I’m booking early next year. Traveling with cats is not something I’d relish and I hate leaving Abby behind too. We have a lovely local woman who comes to look in on her twice a day. So glad to have found her. Hope you and Max mix lots of cocktails, indulge in some fries and have a wonderful time with you boys and your dad. I’m so envious of those cinnamon rolls. This year of Saturday’s has been a lot of fun. I’m glad we have a little break too, and I’m excited to get going again in January. January! This year has flown by. Merry Merry! xoxo

  • Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you all. I loved the post, we travel with our two
    schnauzers on all our road trips. In fact we have the same car seats for them ,much safer
    for everyone and they sleep easily in them. I loved the idea of the extra throws for them!
    Hadn’t thought of that one, we usually use towels, I know its certainly not as comfy or
    attractive befitting of them! Love Coronado so much enjoy the trip! So glad I
    discovered your blog this year!

    • Char … we place the blankets along the back of the bed where the seat belt wraps around. And they’re just there is we need them for restaurants or something. It’s probably overkill … but I’m a helicopter dog mom. Happy Holiday’s! xo

  • Thank you for all the holiday cheer. My dog might like one of those booster beds for the car. But he’s 15 pounds. Not sure he would fit. Definitely going to try the fry party when the kids arrive. Maybe make my own variations. Who doesn’t like warm French fries. They don’t like bubbly so will have to find a suitable drink to go with it. Have a wonderful holiday and see you next year!!

    • How about martini’s and French fries?!!! I’ll bet your dog would fit … there is a small and medium size. My niece’s dog, who is a lot bigger than ours has ridden in this bed … although I think the medium size would work better. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! xo

  • When we get a new pup I am going to order one of those dog travel kits! What a great idea. A french fry bar, now that is an interesting concept! Your Sunday favorites are always packed full of fun!

  • I love this post and your humorous, humble take on life! Also, I think you should leave the lights on the outside of your house – looks great!
    Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!

  • Hi Juliet,
    I just finished watching Live Wired with Juliet and Kim. You both are so much fun. Real and down to earth.
    Your Christmas tree is probably the most beautifully decorated tree in the history of the world. The ornaments are beautiful. I think I even spotted a Peacock. Love love love Peacocks. They are gorgeous when you they spread their feathers.
    Christmas lights on the outside of the house look great. The outside house lighting service has really caught on. Ladder’s make me nervous, it makes me crazy when my husband gets up on them.
    Niece Samm’s children are precious and Maesyn is so beautiful. Love her smile holding her beautiful bouquet of pink roses.
    I’ve decided when I go to heaven I’m coming back as a fur child and you will be my mom. You and Jim are such wonderful fur parents. I so relate to it. We used to have fur children. When Romeo snd Juliet passed we said no more. I still miss our fur babies.
    I so enjoy your blog. You are a very special lady. Thank you for adding to my life.
    Happy Merry everything.

  • I have to tell you that I leave my dogs to lie on the ground with no blanket. But they are run-through-the-mud kind of dogs. Maddie is actually happy lying in the dirt. Can we still be friends???

    Love your ideas for wrapping! I am a terrible wrapper and need to have some fake presents for a photo shoot. The brown paper/velvet ribbon is right my decor alley. I also was not aware of the fabulous online coastal shop. I could probably do some serious damage there. I will check it out — after the holidays! Lastly, i think your tree looks beautiful! Have a great week!

  • Lovely post, Juliet. It is apparent that you are a perfectionist: when you aren’t happy with your tree, but MUST move on, when you recognize that packing your pets is quite a lot of effort (not to mention, packing oneself)… echoing my own thoughts! Glad it isn’t just me that doesn’t want my clean pooch sitting beneath an outdoor table with leftover debris from shoes and plates. I can’t forget taking our beloved miniature poodle to Paris with us in the late’90’s, sitting beside my feet with cigarette ashes and butts all around. Thereafter, I always brought a towel along!
    Wishing you and your family a bright and merry holiday season!

  • Your dogs have the Good Life and they deserve it. I feel sorry for dogs on the cold cement too. Chief would freeze (no fur).
    How darling are Sammi’s kids? Just beautiful!
    Chief needs that dog bed for the car…but we don’t travel that much with him here in Florida (except on an airplane back to Calif)… but we need to explore more here so I want to buy the car bed…such a good idea.

    I wanted to hire someone to put up our lights but they said it was $2000 minimum so we did our own and it’s a little sad. Oh well…perhaps next year. People here REALLY get into the holiday exterior decor. My daughter and I just ordered lights to decorate the golf cart!

    Merry Christmas to you and Jim!!

  • Juliet – you do such a great job and inspire me to be better at this. Thanks for your support and being an “on-line friend.” I consider myself lucky to have found this lovely group of CA ladies, only 8 months into my blogging life. Have a wonderful Christmas with your two fur babies and see you in January! xo

  • How dare some restaurants make your pups sit on the ground! Pippa and Maggie are adorable. The faux throws are perfect for the sofa and pets. I snagged a few from Homegoods. It protects the sofa and the pups love laying on them. No shame on paying someone to hang Christmas lights. I do as well. The thought of my Jim on the roof scares me. Hope you had a lovely Christmas. Happy New Year to you, Juliet!

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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