December 30, 2011

Friend Friday - New Year's Resolutions

Friend Friday
The Fashion Beauty Friend Friday group was created by Katy over at Modly ChicFor the first and third week of each month Katy puts together a set of questions and on Friday if you want to participate, you answer them on your blog and link back up at Modly ChicOn the other weeks, FBFF will be doing a Visual Friend Friday.


This week since we're talking about our New Year's resolutions.

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I can't say I'm all that big on New Year's resolutions. I'm too obsessive. I'll put pressure on myself, then if it doesn't go exactly how I want I'll be way too hard on myself about it. That's a pretty boring answer, though. Let me think. Ok, since I have the Nook now I'll try to read more.
Yep. Still boring.




If you're interested in FBFF, go to Modly Chic for more information then e-mail Katy if you want to join the group.

December 29, 2011

What I'm Wearing...

Shirt - Old Navy, Jeans - Old Navy, Scarf - Paula Bianco, Boots - BCBGeneration,  Bracelet - Chan Luu, Earrings - House of Harlow, Nail Polish - Essie Mint Candy Apple

You know how Tuesday's post was pictures before all the Christmases? Well, this is after. That's why I'm strategically standing in the only square of space in the living room not completely covered. What? There's stuff behind me and beside me? Oh trust me. It's much, much, much, much worse everywhere else. I can't put things up immediately or I'll forget about them and never see them again. I mean, that happens to me enough already so can you imagine if I just put things up immediately? Me either. So I'll live with this madness a little longer then find homes for everything. Maybe. I need a nap first.

December 28, 2011

What will be we'll be...

Well are you such a dreamer?
Put yourself in my shoes
Careful what you wish for love 


I heard this song the other day on TV. I reached to grab my iPhone to Shazam it, but Jared had his new iPad in hand so he was able to find it first. Less than a minute later I'd bought it on iTunes and was listening to it happily on repeat. Technology amazes me. Now I just to find a way for it to not be so simple to spend money by tapping on my iPhone, or the iPad, or the Nook, or the Macbook...

December 27, 2011

What I'm Wearing...

Tunic - Old Navy, Jeans - Old Navy,  Cardigan - Express, Shoes - Missoni for Target, Bracelet - Chan Luu, Earrings -Melinda Maria, Nail Polish - Essie Mint Candy Apple

I wish I had something clever to say, but I'm too exhausted to come up with anything. This was... I can't remember what night it was, but it's before the Christmas Madness really started. Thursday? Friday? Who knows. Who knows what day it is now?
No, seriously. I need an answer to that one because I have no idea. 

December 26, 2011

Still Christmas?

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What? Aren't you still celebrating? Still going strong over here! Jared has to go back to work tomorrow, but there will still be more Christmases. 
Is it the same in your house?

December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!
I know it's not actually Christmas yet, but by the time I post again it will have been, and we're definitely in the middle of all things Christmas around here. Hope you are, too - and that you're getting a minute or two to enjoy it :)

December 22, 2011

Christmas (Fake) Baking

I know what you're thinking... I don't cook. So I certainly have no business baking, where you have to be precise about measurements and... and... know stuff about cooking. Yeah. Anyway, don't worry. If you've seen my pictures on Instagram, you know I'm a fan of the Christmas Fake Baking. What's that you say? It's where you make stuff without ever actually making anything:
Chocolate dipped Oreos. Just like it sounds - Oreo, dip it in melted chocolate, add sprinkles. Easy enough. 
Milk and white chocolate dipped pretzel rods. Seriously, just melt some chocolate and start dipping stuff in it. Easiest thing ever. I've done regular pretzels in the past, but I thought these looked better. Plus it's easier since you have something to hold on to where as with regular pretzels, you're digging it out of the chocolate and making a big mess. That could just be me, though. 
Carrie's Peppermint Bark.  This was actually the 2nd round of this. The 1st time the bark would never harden. Turns out you shouldn't add milk to chocolate to make it melt faster. (What? It was clumping. Milk sounded logical to me.) I can screw up even the easiest sounding tasks in the kitchen. Whatever, the 2nd round worked! 
Between bloggers and Pinterest I've seen a million gorgeous, homemade snowflake cookies. I don't know how to do that. I rolled out already made dough (pretty thin so the cookies wouldn't get too puffy), used the snowflake cookie cutter, let them cool, spread white icing on them then decorated with the little pearls. I'm sure plenty of people would tell me I could make cookie dough and icing from scratch but 1) you must not have been paying attention to how easily I screw things up in the kitchen 2) why would I do that when Pillsbury and Betty Crocker make it for me and do such a nice job?

I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the results. Taking shortcuts with things like this equals less stress but you still get somewhat homemade goodies sitting around in your kitchen. If cooking isn't your strong suit, it's a pretty perfect compromise!  It makes entertaining pretty easy, too. When we had both families over on Sunday we had a lot of these sitting out!

December 21, 2011

What I'm Loving...

Has the holiday madness started in your house yet? Ours is starting to kick up. My sister is in town, Jared is off work, and I'm trying to watch Christmas Vacation as many times as possible. Let's be honest - that last part has been going on ever since Thanksgiving was over.
Here's what I'm loving:


Starbucks Caramel BrulĂ©e Latte
White Peppermint Mochas will always be my first love when it comes to the holiday drinks, but the caramel brulee latte is coming in at a very close second. So delicious!


Slatkin & Co. Twisted Peppermint
This isn't just a traditional peppermint scent, there's vanilla mixed in (I guess that's the twist?). Anyway, it softens the scent and I'm regretting that I didn't buy more.


Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 2
I have to admit I probably love the first Glee Christmas album a little more, but this is pretty good. It has "River", which should definitely show up on more Christmas albums.


Meiko - Maybe Next Year
And I took his heart
I tore it apart
I left him outside in the cold
Another reason to like the Hotel Cafe Christmas album. Definitely not a traditional song to be on a Christmas album. That's probably why I love it.


Ok, so that's What I'm Loving right now! What about you?

December 20, 2011

What I'm Wearing...

Shirt - Gap, Jacket - Gap, Jeans - Old Navy, Shoes - Tory Burch, Necklace - Limited, Earrings - Limited
This is what I wore Sunday night when we had both families over, but since it also happens to work for Collette's "Bloggers Rock the Colors of Christmas" I knew I had to post it today. Now, Collette chose the colors red, green, white, gold, silver and blue, and said to pick the color of your choice. 
You know I don't do well with decisions. Since the shirt is green (greenish-blue, actually) I guess that should be the chosen color. But the pendant on my necklace is red, and my nail polish is blue.
Oh well. I love the outfit and think it works pretty well :)

December 19, 2011

Early Christmas Present...


I'm not big on collecting things, but the past few years Jared has given me a couple of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments in my stocking and I completely love them all. They're always so adorable! This year he gave me 2 Snoopy ornaments - the one pictured above (go to the link to see the video of what the ornament does), and Snoopy Claus. You're probably wondering why I already have them if they're this year's ornaments. After last year, I asked Jared if he bought me anything Christmas-y for Christmas if I could have it early so I wouldn't have to wait a year to use it. I'm impatient like that. Plus, it was nice to already have it on the 2nd tree when both families were over last night so everyone could enjoy it. Ok fine, that's a stretch. But it was nice for me...
Do you collect anything?

December 16, 2011

Friend Friday - Christmas

Friend Friday
The Fashion Beauty Friend Friday group was created by Katy over at Modly ChicFor the first and third week of each month Katy puts together a set of questions and on Friday if you want to participate, you answer them on your blog and link back up at Modly ChicOn the other weeks, FBFF will be doing a Visual Friend Friday.

This week we're answering questions about Christmas and holiday traditions.


"Family is family. Whether it's the one you start out with, the one you end up with, or the family you gain along the way. Which makes every day - December 16th."
- Modern Family 


Did anyone see the Christmas episode of Modern Family? I loved it - as usual. I figured the quote was appropriate since today happens to be December 16th, or Express Christmas :) Ok, now the questions!


No holiday party is complete without: If it's a company party, they should all be like the ones on The Office. I doubt they are, but in my head that's true. And this is why I'm sad Jared's company doesn't have a Christmas party. I'm probably the only person in the world who wishes for something like that.
My favorite Christmas song/album: Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. Seriously. I used to play it constantly when I was little kid. Pretty sure that drove my family crazy, but isn't that what Christmas is all about?
My favorite seasonal recipe: My Mom's Christmas brunch. Sausage and biscuit roll, cheese and garlic grit casserole, quiche - good stuff.
The perfect New Year's Eve outfit includes: Sequins. Sparkle. Lots of jewelry. Champagne.
At the parties, I'll be drinking: See previous question.
Eggnog, good or bad? No one in either of our families makes it.
Did you ever take pictures on Santa's lap at the mall?

Yep.
Gingerbread Latte or Peppermint Mocha: White peppermint mocha, please.
Worst gift I ever got: Nothing I can think of. I was a very lucky kid and always got what I asked for, minus the year I tried to be tricky and asked Santa for a puppy and didn't tell my parents. So that didn't show up.
Best gift I ever received: A lot of things stick out from when I was little. The year I got my first Cabbage Patch Doll, all the Barbie stuff - house, Corvette, Barbie and the Rockers (someone better remember this stuff).
My family has this weird tradition: My family plays Showdown Yahtzee on Christmas Eve. I'm not sure how this started, but it has to happen now.
My best bargain find for a gift this year: I can't talk about what I've bought people this year! I'm not sure who all is reading this...
If I could only buy all my gifts from one place, I'd shop at: Despite how long it's taken this year, I'd still say Amazon. I can knock out so much shopping at one time.
Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman: Rudolph.
My favorite holiday memory: Waking up on Christmas morning. My parents had to make a rule that we couldn't get up or wake them up before 5am. I don't know what time we woke them up at to necessitate that rule.
My favorite Christmas movie: Christmas Vacation
The best part about holiday decorations is: Decorating the trees! I love pulling out all the ornaments and getting to go through them.
Rip off the wrapping paper or neatly pull off the tape: Rip it off!
Miracle on 34th Street or It's a Wonderful Life: We used to watch the remake of Miracle on 34th Street when I was little, and I always watch It's a Wonderful Life on TV as an adult. So... both I guess.
It doesn't feel like the holiday season until: I can listen to Christmas music 24/7. Except I guess that's really, like, the beginning of November now - so that, plus Thanksgiving being over.
All I want for Christmas is: like I keep saying, I want to be able to remember to slow down and enjoy everything. So far I'd say it's going pretty well. 




If you're interested in FBFF, go to Modly Chic for more information then e-mail Katy if you want to join the group.

December 15, 2011

What I'm Wearing...

Sweater - J. Crew, Cami - American Eagle, Jeans - Old Navy, Boots - Chinese Laundry
I don't get to wear these boots nearly as much as I'd like. I don't have a good reason for this at all, so I'm going to make an effort to change that. Call it an early New Year's resolution. I think one thing is for certain here - I have my priorities in line. Still need to work on wrapping presents. I suppose that should be pretty high on the priority list at this point...

December 14, 2011

What I'm Loving...

If the fall makes me think I can cook (I can't), Christmas-time makes me think I can bake (I can't). My version of baking is buying something already made, dipping it in chocolate, and dumping red and green sprinkles on it. You'd be surprised how many things you can do that with...
Here's what I'm loving:


Yankee Candle Sparkling Cinnamon
I can't count how many years I've bought Sparkling Cinnamon candles and tarts from Yankee. It's the perfect spicy blend, and cinnamon is just a great winter smell so you can keep using it a couple of months after Christmas.


A Very She & Him Christmas
Love Zooey Deschanel. Love She & Him. Great, kinda quirky Christmas album and I'm happy it's now in my collection!


Butter London - Big Smoke
When I bought this I was worried I'd purchased a dupe for my beloved Essie Midnight Cami, but it's not. This is a gorgeous royal true, not a deep navy like Midnight Cami. I paired it with Zoya Trixie on the "accent" nail and I'm in love with the combo.


Brandi Carlile - The Heartache Can Wait
Silver bells and open fire
And songs we used to sing
One more chance to be inspired
Is what I'm offering if love is not enough
Then stay with me because
The heartache can wait 

This is why I love The Hotel Cafe Presents - Winter Song. It's such a great mix of traditional Christmas songs and amazing originals like this.


Ok, so that's What I'm Loving right now! What about you?

December 13, 2011

Gift that keeps giving...

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I'm sure everyone loves opening presents on Christmas day, but sometimes it's nice to get something as a gift that you can look forward to after Christmas - ie, a magazine subscription. (I know. Shocking I'd recommend this.) You can find something for almost everyone on your list, and usually at a pretty nice price. (Example - Vogue is $10 on Amazon right now.) 
I know there are tons of other gifts similar to this, where you can look forward to getting something every month. So what's your best idea for a gift that keeps on giving? 

December 12, 2011

What I'm Wearing...

Sweater - Gap, Jeans - Old Navy, Boots - BCBGeneration, Earrings - Express, Ring - Express, Nail polish - Butter London Big Smoke and Zoya Trixie
I figured when I uploaded these pics the most obvious thing to say would be "Look how much darker my hair is!". At my last salon appointment, I had the dark brown put back all over and just kept the hi-lites close to my face. After uploading these pictures it's pretty clear that it's not as drastic of a change as I'd though. Oh well. It's keeping my hair healthier through the winter since it's closer to it's natural color and that's what I was going for. And I get bored easily.
So this makes the most obvious thing that there is not 1 wrapped present under the tree. I'm OCD and do all the wrapping at once, so I can't wrap until I'm done shopping and everything has been delivered. I'm done shopping. And I'm done ordering. Amazon.com - I'm looking at you here. 
Deep breath. Remember the true meaning of Christmas. Go eat another sugar cookie. Rinse and repeat. 

December 9, 2011

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown...



At some point every December, the Christmas Craziness kicks in. The Christmas Craziness is the part where it stops being fun and you start getting annoyed and overwhelmed at all the things you "have" to do. This year, I decided I'd just start doing stuff earlier. The music, the "baking" (we've been over how I just melt chocolate and pour it on things since I can't cook), the Christmas movies - just enjoy it all month long instead of "saving" things for later, when life just gets busier as the month goes on. Tuesday night I was making batch of Carrie's peppermint bark, dipping Oreos in chocolate and sprinkles ("baking"), and trying to figure out how on earth to make an apple crisp (ie - make a dent in the 1/2 a bushel of apples Jared brought home - follow me on Twitter if you want to try and keep up with the random madness like 75 apples in my house). It didn't take me too long to reach my usual level of annoyance when trying to do 5 different things at once (this is why the Christmas Craziness happens). I had Charlie Brown Christmas on in the living room, and I overheard the speech Linus gives that ends with "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
Nothing like a little perspective, right? Even if does come from a cartoon character. Take it where you can get it, take a deep breath, and try and remember what Christmas is really about - because it's not the craziness. 

December 8, 2011

Little Things...



It's hasn't been a bad week by any means, just one of those blah weeks where a lot of things aren't quite going just right. Last night I noticed the new Glee album was available on iTunes and I purchased it and within about 30 seconds of the first track, I forgot about all that. Funny how the little things can make a big difference sometimes. 

What's the last little thing that made a big difference in your day?

December 7, 2011

What I'm Loving...

Anyone done with their Christmas shopping? I think I've bought everything, but now I'm waiting daily to see what UPS will bring. I buy almost everything online, but as you all know I refuse to pay for shipping - so I have to wait. And wait. And hope it gets here by the 25th. Maybe I should cough up more money for shipping...
Here's what I'm loving:


Sephora by OPI in I'm With Brad
Sephora calls this an "opaque metallic wine over dark coffee". I call it a dark reddish brown. I guess their description is catchier. Moving on. I don't normally gravitate towards red nail polishes, but this one is making me change my stance.


Slatkin & Co. Winter
"A festive holiday blend of shimmering pine, orange clove, crisp bay leaf and warm winter woods." Basically - good. It just smells good, and relaxing, and like Christmas.


Over the Rhine - Nothing is Innocent
We'd wake the dead with the voices in our head
We've gotten used to ignoring the truth
We close our eyes and breathe and eat the lies
That tell us we're so much better than you
I found this via Shazam and immediately bought it off iTunes. Such a simple and gorgeous song. 


New Orleans
There are a lot of things to love about New Orleans. Hurricanes are yummy drinks. Cafe du Monde has amazing beignets. Bourbon Street is a lot of fun. What else is there? Oh yeah - The Alabama Crimson Tide will be playing in the BCS National Championship in New Orleans on January 9th! I'm so, so happy we held on to the #2 spot in the BCS and will get our rematch against LSU. Now, if about $4000 could magically appear in my bank account, maybe I could go... (Seriously. Go to StubHub and you'll see how ridiculous the ticket prices are. We're trying to figure something out.)


Ok, so that's What I'm Loving right now! What about you?

December 6, 2011

Christmas Time Is Here...

It took longer than usual (and Jared had to do most of it), but we did get all the Christmas decorations up.

August was a big help, as always.

I can never get good outdoor pictures. Oh well. The lights in the tree and the presents are new additions this year. I saw those light up presents EVERYWHERE last year so of course they were hard to find this year. Of course. 

Some of my favorite ornaments. I like buying an ornament when we go on vacation. Now if I could just always remember to do it...

The guest bedroom

Kitchen

Living room

The living room tree


Most of this was done during the height of the bronchitis debacle, meaning I was passed out on the couch most of the time. I wish I'd been feeling better since I love decorating for Christmas, but I'm very thankful Jared didn't mind doing most of the work this year (ok, he might have minded but if he did he kept that thought to himself). Oh, and I'm totally lying about August being a big help. He was asleep on the couch keeping me company and probably worrying about when I'm going to pull out his Santa outfit. Don't worry. That's coming soon enough. 

All pictures taken with my iPhone then edited in Instagram and Diptic. 

December 5, 2011

All I Want For Christmas...

Ok, so I might have thought of a few more things I want for Christmas. 

I smell this every time I see it in a department store or Sephora. I've wanted it for over a year so I think it's safe to say I really, really want it.

Throws for the living room are always needed, especially once it gets cold. A faux mink throw? Yes, please. 

Maybe you look super cute and 100% put together all the time, even when you're just hanging around the house. I don't. Bring on the VS sweats. 

Gift cards. Starbucks, Sephora, Barnes & Noble, etc. If I like to shop there, I'll like a gift card there.


Ok, so I didn't post this just as a list of things I want (although it obviously is). You can tweak this to be a pretty good idea of a gift to get almost anyone. Favorite perfume? Something for the house? Lounge wear? Gift cards? Somewhere in there you can find a gift for anyone.

See? I just did your Christmas shopping for you. You're welcome. 

December 2, 2011

Friend Friday - Christmas Wish List

Friend Friday
The Fashion Beauty Friend Friday group was created by Katy over at Modly ChicFor the first and third week of each month Katy puts together a set of questions and on Friday if you want to participate, you answer them on your blog and link back up at Modly ChicOn the other weeks, FBFF will be doing a Visual Friend Friday.


This week since we're talking about what's on our Christmas wish list.


I decided a couple of months ago I wanted an e-reader for Christmas. When it comes to technology, I'm only concerned with how it looks so Jared was put in charge of researching which one would be best for me and this is what he came up with. 


See, this is the part I was more concerned with. Getting a cute cover for it. (And I wanted to know if the Nook came in different colors. It doesn't.)

And... I haven't really come up with much else. That's a pretty nice gift, though. Maybe this whole Closet Clean Out/streamlining and simplifying my life thing is finally starting to sink in. Or maybe I'm still hopped up on all the medicine from the last week and I'm not thinking clearly. Anything is possible. What do you want for Christmas?

If you're interested in FBFF, go to Modly Chic for more information then e-mail Katy if you want to join the group.