Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas 2014 Part 2

I blogged part one of our Christmas this year here.  While it was so nice to spend Christmas Eve and Day at my parents’ house, it also worked out that we got to travel to Ruston for a couple of days after Christmas to see my grandparents and other family members there. 

Before we hit the road for Louisiana, we had a little photo shoot in our Christmas pajamas.  My brother-in-law Clark just loved being our photographer… poor thing, I think we used every last bit of patience he might have had that morning!  My dad and Austin went to Dallas earlier in the day for the Heart of Dallas bowl game to see Louisiana Tech play (go dawgs!).  That left Clark all alone in the “estrogen ocean,” as he dubbed us.   

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More photos in the yard followed before we said goodbye to Mel and Clark who were heading to celebrate with Clark’s family.  One of my favorite things about being with my sisters is seeing the outfits they come up with – they always look so cute and inspire me to branch out a little.   

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We made the rainy drive to Ruston and settled in for more delicious food, family time, festivities, and games.  We always play at least a few games at Mammo and Pop’s house when we are there for Christmas.  This year we played Rummikub for hours!   

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Christmas 2014 sure was a great one!  I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store.

{Linking up with Biana for Weekending.}

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Home for Christmas

It just so happened to work out this year that we got to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my parents’ house.  There is absolutely no place I’d rather be!  We have actually never been here on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day for at least the last eleven years, so this was quite the treat.  Tomorrow we’ll head to see grandparents in Ruston, but these two days at home have been pure bliss.  Mom has everything decorated so beautifully, and I finally felt like it was Christmas time as soon as we walked through the door yesterday morning. 

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I love everyone’s cute and creative wrapping.  I especially love it all together under the tree.

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The birds on cinnamon stick bundles are always my favorite thing on Mom’s tree. 

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The dessert buffet has stayed well stocked with gingerbread, red velvet cookies, my great-grandmother’s toffee recipe that my mom has mastered, and festive sugar cookies.  And, I adore her cute drink station for a good hot drink to go with our sweet treats.

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We did heavy hors d’oeuvres for Christmas Eve dinner – one of my favorite meals ever.  Hot pimento cheese dip with pita chips, Mexican shrimp cocktail, veggies and homemade bleu cheese and Mr. B’s for dipping, marinated olives, and Polish mistakes.

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While we were getting our supper ready, we came across all of the Christmas plates we decorated growing up each year.  We all had a good laugh over some of those gems. 


We also did gifts on Christmas Eve but saved stockings for Christmas morning.  Melanie and I both got adorable tassel monogrammed bracelets from Mary Katherine.  I am literally going to wear this every day!

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The Christmas Eve supper was delicious, but Christmas morning brunch wins for best meal of the week so far – Mom’s cinnamon rolls, berry and yogurt parfaits, sausage balls, and sausage and grits quiche.  Nothing in the world can top those cinnamon rolls!  The fact that all the girls were in matching macaron pajamas all morning only made everything even better.  

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Today we’ve played Cranium, taken naps, gone on a couple of walks, and just generally enjoyed being lazy at home – my absolute favorite kind of day.  I’m so thankful for time with my family celebrating the birth of our Savior and the hope, peace, and joy we have in Him.  Merry Christmas to all! 

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!  


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! 


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!


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. 


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!

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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…


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! 


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. 


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


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!


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. 

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


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!  


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. 


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!