November 26, 2011

Christmas Cards

Its that time of year again...

The minute the turkey is cleared from the table and I come out of my food coma, I go into full speed Christmas mode! This year I braved the crazy midnight Black Friday shopping rush {never again} and after 2 hours of that madness I made myself a vow to finish the rest of my holiday shopping online. Thank God for Cyber Monday!

This is also the time of year I try to organize my thoughts and ideas for our Christmas cards! Its always tricky - in my opinion - to find a mix between cute and classic. Especially when we don't have kids or some big long brag letter to include with our cards. But thankfully there are wonderful websites like Tiny Prints that let me customize a card to fit our needs. My goal: a pretty card with a simple greeting and a recent photo for Nana to display on her fridge. I usually opt for a single photo, flat card. Its a simple, fun way to wish our friends and family a happy holiday from our little family without being too over the top.

When we first got married, I chose a more classic card and included a wedding photo. Last year, I picked something a little more contemporary and used a photo of us with our kitty girl. This year, I want to choose something a little more relaxed. A little more fun. Something not so red-and-green-and-Christmasy. Here are some Tiny Prints designs I've got my eye on...
Click for Design

Click for Design

Click for Design

Click for Design
Each of these designs jumped out at me as being unique and different enough to stand out from the dozens of other Christmas cards people will be opening over the course of the next month or so. As if narrowing the card design down wasn't hard enough with so many cute and creative options -- now I've got to narrow down the picture(s) we'll use!

Here is my best Christmas card ordering tip for newly(ish)weds: limit the input you get from hubbs. My usual game plan:

Narrow the card designs down to 3. 
Narrow the photos you want to use down to 4. 
"Personalize" each card design with your photo and names... 
and then and only then show the {limited} options to your husband! 

Works like a charm. And if you pair the best picture of him with your favorite design, he'll be more likely to go with the card of your choice! Magic, I tell you.

Have you picked your holiday cards yet? If not, head on over to Tiny Prints!

November 22, 2011


What I'm learning today about pies...

Making the crusts? Not so hard.
Making the fillings? Seriously easy.
Making them PRETTY?

.....seriously SO stinkin hard! Ugh. The crusts look awesome before they bake. Then somewhere along the way, they collapse into a lopsided mess!

Here's to hoping they taste better than they look. At least there will be no denying that these suckers are homemade ;) thanks Sheila for pointing out that the "special" crusts make my pies "endearing" and "charming" haha.

2 down (Pecan and Pumpkin!), 1 to go (Apple)!
Crust on its way into the oven...
...Crust on its way out. Womp womp.

November 20, 2011


"Last Thanksgiving my pastor said that gratitude reduces stress and other weeds in our minds and hearts. It's a weed killer inside the heart. If your heart is full of gratitude, then no room exists for despair, anxiety or hatred... A thankful heart is fertile ground for stability of soul, without the weedy emotional traumas of life."
- Edna Ellison -

I read this passage in my Bible study book last week and was blown away by the perfect timing of that chapter. Its so easy to dwell on the stress in our lives. To focus on the busyness of school and work and family responsibilities. 
And its so easy to forget all the things you really are thankful for when there are still so many things you're wanting to have... and to do... and to work toward.
Thanksgiving only technically comes around once a year. But I'm hoping to work on being thankful all year long. And showing it more, too. Because really... there is just so much to be thankful for!
Amid the hectic preparation that this wonderful holiday brings with it - the shopping, the cooking, the hosting, the cleaning, the visitors, the entertaining - I'm going to do my best to focus on the blessings in my life and to really truly be thankful. Deep down in my little heart. For all of it.
I hope your week is filled with gratitude
And your Thanksgiving table is surrounded by love!
...And of course, really really good food :)

November 18, 2011

Friday Favorites: Thanksgiving Edition

So, we decided this week that we will not be making the trek back to Ohio for Thanksgiving.

{Insert: Mild Panic Attack}

Apparently husb has a couple practicals/lab exams the following week and doesn't think its worth spending 20 hours in the car just to spend 3 days with our families, when he'd have to study during that short little visit anyway. I don't blame him... its such a short "break" and he doesn't need the added stress of traveling and cramming in visits with a million family members right before finals.

Truth be told - I'm actually kind of excited we'll be spending Thanksgiving in Atlanta. Is that terrible? It will be a much more relaxed day (and weekend). And we'll be in the company of wonderful friends, so I don't think I'll miss the family together-ness all that much. Not to mention, I was put in charge of pies! Pies have always been my mom's thing, so I'm anxious to take on her usual Thanksgiving contribution solo this year :)

So this week, I've been consumed with scouring the internet for Thanksgiving recipe ideas! Naturally, my starting point was Pioneer Woman's recipe archives. Pinterest has also been a big help. Anyone shocked? No, didn't think so. Here's a few gems I came across...
PW Dreamy Apple Pie ... I've never made an apple pie. Ever. But this one is tempting me to try!

PW Perfect Pie Crust. No store-bought pies allowed at Thanksgiving. Mom's rule...

PW strikes again. Green Bean Casserole... I don't like veggies. I don't like casseroles. But this looks reallllly good.

Prettiest little Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites I ever did see! Perfect for munching on while we cook :)

Beautiful homemade Pumpkin Pie... almost too pretty to eat! Almost.

This Starbuck's Pumpkin Scones recipe would be a great Thanksgiving morning breakfast treat!
Feel free to place bets on how many of these creations will actually make an appearance on our first-ever-without-our-mommas Thanksgiving table!

P.S. Thanksgiving is this week! Did it totally sneak up on anyone else?? Hope your plans are all falling into place... feel free to share your favorite recipes if you have a must-make for me :) Happy cooking!

November 16, 2011

So What Wednesday

This "So What Wednesday" thing - where it really started, I couldn't tell ya - was introduced to me by Natalie and hers are seriously funny. Baby Chamblee + preggo momma makes for some hilarious "so what's" over on her blog. Sheila jumped on the bandwagon last week, along with a few other bloggers I love... so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I don't promise that my posts will be half as funny (or as frequent) as theirs, but this lazy little last week of class I'm currently in has left me thinking "so what" to myself enough times in the past few days to justify a post.

  • I skipped my classes Monday. And Tuesday. Its the last week... I'm over it.
  • I ate a whole 12 oz. bag of Rollos this weekend and have to get a new one before Bible Study tonight.
  • I make the bed 5 min before husb gets home sometimes just so he thinks I was being domestic all day.
  • My car didn't move parking spots for 4 days in a row... (it moved last night, reluctantly).
  • The timer on my Christmas lights is confused - they turn on at 4 p.m., 8 p.m. and sometime around midnight. We can't figure it out.
  • I'm milking my toe injury {if you know me IRL, you know what I mean... blog-only friends, I'll spare you the details} so I don't have to work out. 10 days later.
  • I spend hours a day on looking at puppies. Husb said we aren't adopting one, but I just can't. let it. go. He could cave at any moment. Gotta be prepared!
That was fun :) What are you so-what-ing this week??

November 15, 2011

Fall in our Little Home

Now that I've started putting up Christmas decorations, I suppose its about time I got around to showing you the fall decor we've been enjoying around our little abode for the past couple of months, eh?

The first thing to get an overhaul: pillows. The easiest, most inexpensive seasonal change to make in my opinion. I already had the red throw pillows, so I stocked up on a few purple ones (Target & Home Goods) to bring in some jewel toned accents. By keeping the rest of the room pretty neutral, I can change up the accents every few months without too much of a headache - I've done greens, browns, reds, yellows, and now purples. I'm still loving the red/purple combo so I'm going to see if I can weave in my Christmas decor without swapping out the purple pillows.

All of the green/brown decor got booted into the office/guest room. We hardly ever use this extra room but its still fun to change the scenery in there every now and then. And don't worry, only 4 of those 8 throw pillows are on display now ;)

For a living room centerpiece I repurposed a hurricane and place mat I already had, tossed in my collection of wine corks and some purple toned {and amazing smelling} potpourri. Easy and simple!

I updated the pictures of my sweet baby cousins. Put out a vase of red glass beads and white hydrangea's on a beaded autumn placement. And hung the ribbon wreath I made at GNI last fall.
Last but not least, I brought out all of my favorite fall scented candles! Pumpkin. Spice. And my personal fave, "Cran Slam." I have no idea why these Beanswax candles were discontinued. Its a crime, I tell ya! Thankfully I still come across these amazing soy candles every now and then at Home Goods or TJ and I scoop them up. All of them... This one is my personal fave! Or at least tied for the #1 spot with "The Great Pumpkin" - also to die for.

Sadly, half of these decorations have already been put back in the closet(s) for next fall because I got ants in my pants last week and started decorating for Christmas already! Since we don't spend Christmas in Atlanta (1 week to FL, 2 weeks to OH is this year's itinerary) I wanted to start getting some Christmas-y things out to enjoy for a few weeks before we head out of town.

A little early you say? Never ;)

On a related note... if you want your house to really be filled with the scents/tastes of fall, make these Pumpkin Pie Cookies. And add mini chocolate chips! So. Good.

November 11, 2011

Friday Not-So-Favorites... and a Wreath!

This post brought to you by husband's computer. Thanks babe! Oh wait, you don't even know I'm on here watching ABC shows and blogging... xo

My MacBook went into surgery yesterday afternoon. And after a long afternoon at the Genius Bar (and a whole lot of unnecessary shopping in between appointments and phone calls with my new genius friend Brad L.) it turns out, my little computer needs to be shipped off for repairs. Sad day.

The little guy won't turn on or charge... but I'm very thankful to Brad L. because even though he didn't answer my prayers - or fulfill the fortune cookie I got while chowing on food court Chinese food while waiting - he did manage to get my computer to turn on long enough for me to back it up before sending it off. YAY! So, fingers crossed I'll have it back sometime next week. Hang with me til then while I'm world's worst blogger ;)

In hopes of not polluting husband's computer with the same junk that probably led to the demise of mine {"someday" folders, blog pictures, etc.} I'll skip Friday Favorites and leave you with a little picture tutorial of the easiest, cheapest. CUTEST Pinterest-inspired fall wreath! I made it in my jammies on Sunday afternoon while husb watched football. Excuse the phone pics...

What you'll need:
FELT (I used 3 squares) 

 Using squares of felt, cut and hot glue rosettes in whatever colors you want. I varied the sizes of mine. And I chose colors based on what I thought looked "fall-y" and what would look good against our dark brown door. Here is a tutorial if you've never done this before: CLICK!

 Start the yarn wrapping by tying it in a simple knot around the foam wreath. Wrap your yarn - any kind/color - around the wreath until its completely covered. Don't worry about imperfections, they make it prettier. I actually went back around the wreath with some random, imperfect strands to add texture because I was too careful about wrapping it perfectly. Once your wreath is completely covered (should look something like the pic above) tie a knot to end the yarn and heat up your hot glue gun.

Lay out your felt rosettes however you want them arranged on the wreath. Then, start gluing! This is what the my end result looks like hanging on our door :) So simple... but something about it just looks cozy.

Total cost: $9.

Total time: 30 min.

I love it! If you're in the market for a fun fall wreath - or are just looking for a simple craft this weekend - make one!

November 4, 2011

Friday Favorites

Woohoo! Paper was handed in last night (I felt a mixed sense of relief and nausea...). MPRE studying is going as well as can be expected. And I'm really just "woohoo-ing" because this miz week is almost OVER!

The only thing keeping me sane is reminding myself of all the fun things I have to look forward to:

- Girls Night - Monday (!!!)
- Home for Thanksgiving - 2.5 weeks
- FLORIDA - 6 weeks
- Christmassssss - 7 weeks

And hopefully we'll be squeezing in lots of other fun little things before the holidays! And lots of baby holding. I can't wait to get over and see baby Gia again :) I scheduled for my last semester of law school earlier this week -- that was a weird feeling! I'm soo ready for the home stretch. A cool internship + 2 classes should make for a stress-free 14 weeks. Can't. Wait. 

Enough about lame school. Onto some Friday Faves!
I love everything about this bathroom. Every single thing!

Make these. But make them with ROLLOS. You can thank me later ;) 

This is such great use of a small basement! A cozy, chic little cave. Would be perfect for the quaint historic house I daydream about! 

Pumpkin + Nutella mmm mmm. I MADE THIS this this week! (I get irrationally excited when I actually make things I find on Pinterest.) It is to die. *Spoiler alert: bringing a loaf to Girls Night*

Campfire cones?? Just when I thought s'mores couldn't get any better.
Despite having upwards of 700 things "pinned," I never find the time to sit down and actually make any of the great DIY ideas I file away for someday... Except for the desserts... I've probably baked half of the desserts I've pinned. Funny how that works out. But that's about to change! Let's just say that in anticipation of my school stress winding down this weekend, I have stocked up on (weeks ago) a zillion things I need to complete some Pinterest projects and finish up our fall/winter decor this weekend! Stay tuned...

Have a great weekend!

November 1, 2011

H%#! Week

So much to do. So little time.

Life will return to some semblance of normalcy after I turn in my law review comment Thursday and take (& hopefully PASS!) the MPRE on Saturday.

In the few moments this weekend/week that weren't consumed with studying and paper writing, this is what was going on in our life {according to Instagram}... I'll get back to blogging as usual next week!

Brunch on a patio. Bad kitty knocking down pics from the wall. Freshly washed berries. And meeting sweet baby Gia!!!