Friday, December 19, 2014

Five on Friday: Vol. 44

Happy Friday to you and to the lovely hostesses of Five on Friday - A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness!  

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ONE: Christmas #1

We celebrated with my in-laws last weekend when they came up to Dallas to visit us and our new house.  It was so fun showing them all we’ve done in the house and our new neighborhood!  After opening presents, we went on a walk and ended up at our neighborhood park.  I love love love this park – it has the best swings, a duck pond, and a playground.  I see many more trips there in our future!

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Wall Visit

TWO: New Beauty Products! 

When we were in Austin for Thanksgiving, Austin’s cousin, Nina, did my make up one night before dinner.  I loooved it and wish she could do it every single day!  She and Casey (my SIL) recommended some new products for me to try, and last weekend we made a trip to Ulta for me to purchase some.  Loving everything so far – maybe I can get my act together and do a more detailed post soon! 

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Casey has been singing the praises of Benefit’s “They’re Real” mascara for a while, and she gifted me some for Christmas.  So far I’m loving it.  My in-laws also gave me the Naked Basics palette, which is also amazing.

THREE: The Shrimp Cocktail Surprise

My FIL Buddy makes a mean cocktail sauce, and he just so happened to find out recently that shrimp cocktail is my favorite appetizer of all time.  When my in-laws were here last weekend, they brought a mysterious cooler and instructions not to open it.  It turned out to be holding a ton of boiled shrimp and the famous cocktail sauce!  We had no problem finishing off all of the shrimp before dinner on Saturday – so delicious!

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FOUR: Snowflake the Classroom Elf

My mom is doing elf on a shelf with her third grade class, and she posts a picture of their elf, Snowflake, each morning on Instagram.  I have loved watching Snowflake’s adventures this December!  Today is the last day of fun for Snowflake this year – here are some of my favorite things he’s done:

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FIVE: That’s a Wrap

I’m nearing the end of my wrapping this season, and I adore this green and gold ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby.  I need to make some tags for my family’s gifts this weekend, and then we’ll be all set for our Christmas travels! 

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Can’t believe next week at this time Christmas will have come and gone!  Merry Friday before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas in the New House

I’m excited to link up with some of my favorite gals in blog land today for the final round of their Holiday Link Up series.  Thanks Lisa, Katie, Cait, and Annie!

Holiday Link Up

Probably my favorite Christmas tradition that Austin and I have established is getting a new Old World Christmas ornament each year that we’ve been married.  We actually got the first ornament, a wedding cake ornament, as a gift from one of the stores where we registered for our wedding. 

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Year two was our first year as A&M season ticket holders, and we stumbled upon a perfect ornament at the bookstore on campus.  Then, year three, we took an amazing vacation to Charleston and knew we wanted to commemorate that with a pretty pineapple ornament.  This year, a house was the only option since we’ve just bought and moved in to our first home!

Christmas Decor

We put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I just adore sitting in the living room in the mornings or evenings and having it all lit up.  I’d love to get more mercury glass, gold, green, and blue ornaments for next year’s tree, but I’m enjoying the change this year of significantly less red than my tree has had in the past.  I couldn’t get rid of every bit of red – I do have some on a side table…

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Austin’s parents came to Dallas last weekend to celebrate an early Christmas.  I was a major slacker and wrapped all of their gifts in the wee hours of Friday morning before they arrived.  I still need to finish wrapping gifts for my family – that is at the top of my list this week! 

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The last thing I wanted to share today is probably one of my favorite areas in the new house – I think I’ve even posted a picture of the bulletin board my mom and I made before.  Now that it is covered in Christmas cards I love it even more!   It has filled in even more and is completely covered since I snapped this picture. 

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And finally, our 2014 Christmas card which doubles as a moving announcement:

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I realize the washi tape takes away from the cuteness just a bit, but I’m not sharing my address with the world wide web :)

Merry Christmas!  Can’t wait to check out all of the festive posts today!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekending: The Christmas Parties Begin

The December party circuit is officially here for us, as I’m sure it is for most people right around this time!  Backing up just a bit, we had a relaxing rest of last weekend in Austin after Thanksgiving before coming back to Dallas and getting our house decorated for Christmas.  Yes, we are those rare people that wait until after Thanksgiving these days! 

Loved having brunch in Austin at Russell’s before we left town – always good to catch up with our friends there!

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We don’t have a whole lot in terms of Christmas decor this year – just our tree, two stockings, a wreath on the front door, and two or three decorative things scattered about.  I’d love to do a garland on our staircase one of these years, but that is not happening this year.  I need to get my act together and at least snap a few pics of the tree… our 2014 ornament should be here this week, so maybe once that finishing touch is added, the tree will be photo ready (I talked about our ornament tradition here). 

Some undocumented highlights of last week included a successful trip to Ikea, Austin’s office Christmas party (he started a new job on Monday after Thanksgiving!!), getting our Christmas cards mailed out, and slowly but surely chipping away at our long, long list of “to dos” for the house. 

Saturday night we had our Sunday school Christmas party.  I love a good Sunday school party!  We dined on delicious food, wore our tackiest sweaters, played hilarious party games, indulged in all kinds of s’mores by a gorgeous fire pit, and just to round out the fun, I may have even fallen asleep for a little cat nap on our friends’ couch once the clock struck ten.  Those that know me know this is not uncommon. 

IMG_4683Austin being a total grinch and not wearing a tacky sweater.

IMG_4689Love these girls!

Linking up for Weekending with the lovely Biana today.  Here’s to another week of festivities and to [hopefully] taking more pictures!

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Five on Friday: Vol. 43

Happy Friday after Thanksgiving to you and to the lovely hostesses of Five on Friday - A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness!  

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ONE: Thanksgiving, of course!  We had a great day yesterday in Austin celebrating with Austin’s family.  The food was delicious, and although I didn’t manage to take many pictures, we have some fun things planned for the rest of the weekend that I’ll hopefully remember to document.  My bourbon chocolate pecan pie was a hit (probably more so with Austin than with anyone else, but I do love making things he enjoys eating!), and my plate was filled to the brim with all of the usual suspects. 

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TWO: See how happy Austin and I look in the above picture?  Be glad that there is no photographic evidence of what happened on Wednesday night when we got to town, and I realized that all of my clothes for the weekend got left in Dallas…

Austin left work earlier than I did on Wednesday and was in charge of loading up the car before picking me up from work and heading out of town.  I will say that he did a great job packing us a sandwich for the trip and loading the food we were bringing as well as our luggage.  BUT, the hanging clothes I laid out Wednesday morning - aka everything other than workout clothes I planned to wear all weekend - did not make it in the car. 

There were almost tears, but I realized what a huge #firstworldproblem this is and managed to keep those at bay.  Thank goodness for Super Target.  We hit up Target late Wednesday night when we got to town and I scooped up three dresses that will get me through the weekend.  Silver lining = new clothes. 

Honestly, it was far better for this to happen when we are visiting my in-laws in Austin than my parents in their small town.  I’m fairly sure I would not have been able to go somewhere at 9:00 p.m. in the town where my parents live and find clothes to get me through the weekend.  Again, thank goodness for Super Target and in-laws who live close to one!! 

THREE: My agenda for the rest of the weekend includes addressing our Christmas cards and putting together my Christmas list.  Our Christmas cards double as a moving announcement, and I adore them!  Can’t wait to share them on the blog once they get to some special mailboxes.  Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I’m giving myself permission to really get into the Christmas spirit.    Envelope inspiration (left = faux calligraphy I did with a Sharpie for MK’s birthday card//right via). 

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FOUR: We are planning to decorate our house this weekend when we get back to Dallas, and I can’t wait!  We are making the switch to a pre-lit fake tree this year after three years of real trees from the Dallas Farmers Market.  This should expedite the tree decorating process in a major way. 

In the new house, my decorations are pretty much exclusively in the blue and/or green family.  I have neutrals, blues, and greens, and that’s it.  I got this wild hare to only decorate in blues, greens, metallics, and neutrals for Christmas, and I think this might be the last year red makes an appearance in our house.  With the move being so recent and Christmas being just days away, I’m not going to buy all new Christmas decorations this year, but next year I’m pretty dead set on eliminating the red.  Austin thinks this is totally grinch-like, but I think I will loooove it.  Am I crazy?! 

Christmas Inspiration image sources: gift/wreath/ornament

Christmas Inspiration1 image sources: collage/tree/garland

 FIVE: New favorite holiday nail polish = Essie “Plumberry”  The perfect cranberry color for my favorite part of all holiday food – cranberry relish!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Holiday Fun

Our weekend kicked off with a festive bang on Friday night at an “Ultimate Date Night” at our church with some of our best Sunday school friends. 

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J2U group

There may have been a dance off… and Austin and I may have won!  Yes, us Southern Baptists do dance… sometimes even at church!  I think our time on the wedding circuit is finally paying of ;)

On Saturday, we had a delish brunch at the cutest little cafe right by our house and fell even more in love with our new part of town.  I had a much-needed hair appointment, and we enjoyed the rest of the day at home.  I am convinced that our list of projects and “to-dos” for the house will never end, but we are slowly but surely making some progress!  So far homeownership has been a fun adventure, and we are loving the time we get to spend at home on the weekends.

Sunday morning we went to church as usual and then had a really encouraging meeting with some of the leadership in our Sunday school class.  My sister-in-law Casey has met us for church the past two Sundays, and we’ve gone to the contemporary service with her.  It has been a good change from the usual traditional service we attend.  We have Sunday school friends in both services, and it has been fun to mix things up a little bit. I’m so thankful for our church and our friends there! 

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On Sunday evening we went downtown with Casey to “City Lights” to see the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree.  We grabbed a bite at the downtown Campisi’s – always a favorite! 

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Hooray for a short work week and Thanksgiving just a few days away!  Linking up for Weekending with B Loved Boston on this Thanksgiving Monday. 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Five on Friday: Vol. 42

Happy Friday to you and to the lovely hostesses of Five on Friday - A.Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, and Hello Happiness!  

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one//Still loving soup, although our weather is heating up just a bit.  I tweaked Honey We’re Healthy’s recipe for lentil soup, and we’ve been eating it for a week.

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two//We have gotten two sweet housewarming gifts from our friends this week – a beautiful orchid and a pretty candle.  I love them both!   

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three//Tonight we’re attending a fun date night at our church with several other couples from our class called “A Black and White Affair.”  Everyone is wearing black and/or white.  This means a pretty basic cocktail dress for me, but Austin decided to wear his tux – any excuse :)

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four//Some Thanksgiving cooking is on the agenda this weekend, and I can’t wait to get started.  A much needed hair appointment is the only other thing I have planned.  I’d also love to tackle getting our Christmas cards addressed, some online Christmas shopping, and getting a few thank you notes out the door.  For Thanksgiving next week, I’m contributing my favorite cranberry relish, this bourbon chocolate pecan pie, corn casserole, and jezebel sauce.  I kind of can’t believe Thanksgiving is already here!  Cranberry relish is my favorite of all the Thanksgiving foods – what is yours?!

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five//Austin and I have a tradition of getting one Christmas ornament each year to represent something special about that year.  In 2011, the year we got married, it was a wedding cake.  In 2012, the first year we had season tickets to A&M games, it was an Aggie ornament.  In 2013, we took a wonderful trip to Charleston, so we got a pineapple.  All three ornaments have been Old World Christmas so far, but this year we might just have to step out of the Old World Christmas box and get this precious house ornament from this Etsy shop.  I have had it pinned for a long time, and this is the perfect year for it! 

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house ornament

Happy Friday – stay warm! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weekend and Monday Night Fun

This weekend was fun but also filled to the brim.  I’m still trying to catch up a bit, which is why this post is coming to you on Wednesday! 

Saturday morning we fixed our favorite blueberry pancakes for breakfast for the first time in the new house, and I worked on organizing our built in bookshelves (house tour coming soon-ish).  We bundled up in more layers than are even comfortable and headed to College Station around lunchtime.  My parents met us there to celebrate Mary Katherine’s birthday and go to a Pi Phi tailgate for dads. We had a little party in MK’s dorm room in before the tailgate and the ball game.

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apple cupcakes with cream cheese icing + presents and cards

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MK has had a mild obsession with edible arrangements for a long time – she got two from friends for her birthday. This was probably her best birthday ever based on that alone!

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We nearly froze to death at the game… and we lost… so it wasn’t a great night, but I’m so glad we got to see MK so close to her birthday and join in the celebration! And the entire Corps did a block-T on the field during halftime, which was a fun change from the usual band-only T.  Kyle Field is always fun – even in the frigid rain!   

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We made the long trip back to Dallas after the game and had a full Sunday at church before coming home to relax and try to be productive.  Casey joined us, and we watched the windows all day to see if the snow we were forecasted to get would ever come.  Monday morning was definitely frosty outside! 

On Monday night we had our good friends the McDonalds over for red beans and rice and mexican cornbread.  Austin got do to one of his favorite things – give a tour of the new house, and we had a great time catching up with our pals.  We attempted some self-timer pics after dinner, and there were some pretty funny outtakes that I discovered when I uploaded pictures for this post…

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And that about catches us up!  I know there are some fun holiday link-ups going on that some of my favorite bloggers are hosting – I’ve got to up my game and get on board with those next week!  See y’all on Friday for my 5.