Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Adorable Christmas PJs

Whether you say puh-JOHM-uhs or puh-JAM-uhs, getting and receiving these at Christmas seems to be the norm. I know a lot of families that give pajamas as a gift every single year. I usually always manage to get some form of pajamas (by the way, I pronounce it like puh-JOHM-uhs) when the Christmas holiday rolls around.

Luckily, retailers understand the necessity of a good pair of Christmas pjs and have started carrying some of the most adorable prints for adult and kid alike! Some of my favorites are below.

Holiday Stripe Pajamas for the Whole Family
Here are some matching pjs for the whole family (cat and dog included!) if you're into that kind of thing. Shop
These little girl pjs are so cute!!

Y'all know I'm a flamingo fan. So flamingos with ear muffs and leg warmer pajamas? YES!!
For your man. Everyone needs some Christmas Vacation pajamas.

As Michael Scott would say, these are for "Classy Christmas".

I love this nordic/fair isle pattern look! I wish they made these in adult sizes. :)
 Does your family give Christmas pajamas?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Company Christmas Parties

This past Friday was M's company Christmas party and mine was the Friday before. I'm going to recap the highlights of each party below.

It's worth noting that we both wore the same outfits for the parties (like the last year) because I wanted to get my money's worth out of my dress. :) 

My company Christmas party was at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It was a cool night and there was a photo booth! 

(Some of my coworkers and me at the party.)

My company party is a bit less formal as far as the schedule goes and they have heavy appetizers set up buffet style. There really isn't any sort of "program" but they have a DJ and dancing as well. 

M's party is more scheduled with a cocktail hour, program/awards portion, sit down dinner, entertainment and then a live band and dance floor. Every year, M's company goes all out! This year was no different...

The entertainment this year was Cirque du Soleil! It was the show Cirque Dreams and it was really awesome! I've seen another Cirque show before and this didn't disappoint! M's party was in a different city about an hour from where we live so we got a hotel room and made a mini-getaway out of it. 

We both reflect on the good and bad parts of both and it would be awesome if we could combine certain parts of both parties...but we like having a bit of variety in them both. 

Now that both of our company parties are over...we have family parties to attend! 

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Splurge vs. Steal: Holiday Look

I've been kind of in a one-sided love affair with leather(ish) leggings. It's one-sided because I realize that leather pants (or really leather anything on the bottom half of me) doesn't love me back. But that's okay, I can admire from afar, right?

One of these outfits costs around $1570 and the other around $180. Can you guess which is the "splurge" and which is the "steal"?

If you guessed that the steal was the one on the're correct!

I love this look for a holiday party or get-together...or even just a nice dinner. The leggings with same colored pointy-toed shoes elongate the legs and the fun sequin tank and bright blazer add a touch of festive color.

How'd you do? Did you guess correctly?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Mantle Ideas

I love my mantle this year, but I'm always aspiring for something even better. This year I wanted to incorporate my snowman luminary thingys but next year in a (hopefully) larger house I'll have more display room. Here are some great holiday mantle ideas.

Soft Palette Christmas Mantel
nesting instincts: colorful mantle
pretty mantle
{Christmas Home Tour} Burlap and velvet stockings, Barnwood framed chalkboard, and glitter nativity. #Christmas #holidaycraft #DIYHoliday
Hipster Holiday. Love this for holiday decor. I just saw Hollis on the new morning show Home and Family :) and she has some fab ideas...I had to check out her pinterest! I have a fireplace like this...where do I find trees like these, need to look into it.
Elegant Homes Decorated For Christmas | ... decorations elegant interior theme christmas bedroom decorating ideas
All via Pinterest. Do you normally decorate your mantle or is it more functional?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Four Fun Facts

After yesterday's rehashing of my high school days, I figured y'all would DEFINITELY want another weird, yet slightly pathetic personal post today...right? (I might need a biscuit to sop up that sarcasm.)

I was tagged by Kali in her Four Fun Facts post and like Kelly, I'm a sucker for lists. :) Here we go!

4 Fun Facts
Four names that people call me other than my real name
  1. Apes

  2. Liz (or Lizard) - by my parents only

  3. Aprilanne (all one word) - by family

  4. Lirpa (my name backwards) - friends

Four jobs I've had
  1. Hostess/To-Go Server at Chili's Bar & Grill (I worked there and STILL love that restaurant!)

  2. Assistant Public Relations Coordinator at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

  3. Worship Arts Assistant at a church

  4. Digital Communications for an Accounting Firm (still here!)

Four movies I've watched more than once
  1. Stepbrothers

  2. Pride & Prejudice

  3. Legally Blonde

  4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Four books I'd recommend
  1. Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen

  2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot

  3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling

  4. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

Four places I've lived
  1. Columbia, SC

  2. Charlotte, NC

  3. Wilmington, NC

  4. Fort Mill, SC

Four places I've visited
  1. Ocho Rios, Jamaica

  2. San Juan, Puerto Rico

  3. Chicago, IL

  4. San Antonio, TX

Four places I'd rather be right now
  1. Home

  2. Not at work

  3. Charleston, SC

  4. Home or Not at Work

Four things I don't eat
  1. Celery

  2. Seafood

  3. Lettuce

  4. Asparagus

Four of my favorite foods
  1. Macaroni & Cheese

  2. Mexican food

  3. Japanese Hibachi chicken

  4. Chocolate

Four TV shows I watch
  1. Reign

  2. The Mindy Project

  3. New Girl

  4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Four things I'm looking forward to this year
  1. Christmas!!

  2. Buying a new house (well, in 2015)

  3. Making travel plans for next year (vacations)

  4. Holiday parties!

Four things I'm always saying
  1. "He's a good boy." (Talking about Hewitt to M)

  2. "Dead."

  3. "Oookkaaayy." (With a weird laugh)

  4. "Than ju." (When I do my Guadalupe voice and say thank you.)

Four people I tag to answer these questions
I'm doing the lame thing and tagging everyone! I'd love to see your answers! Comment with a link if you do it. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

When I Was in High School

Thanks to Steph @ Life According to Steph for the post idea!

I graduated high school in 2003. My high school was one of the 13 in my city (large metropolitan area) so it wasn't a large school by any means. (4A school amongst a sea of 4A and 5A schools all over Charlotte.) There were about 300 or so in my graduating class. I liked to think that I had a lot of friends in school. I did have close friends, but I liked to hang around different groups of people. I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activies like JROTC, The History Club, NAACP Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes amongst others. I also did a few "pageant-like" events in high school.

All of these pictures are going to be really low quality. These are iPhone photos of actual pictures. (an the only ones that I have in my house currently) The age before digital photography became the norm. :)

I was really in JROTC...which is kind of a shock to some people now when I tell them. I guess I don't really strike some as the military type? I loved JROTC and did very well in it. It afforded me the opportunity to miss class sometimes (drill meets, community events, color guards, etc.) and I got to go to interesting places. I was part of the color guard for area sporting and community events as well. I was also the female (unarmed) drill team commander. This was so much fun! I got to coordinate and choreograph drill routines for all of our unarmed exhibition drill teams. This kind of military drill is different from the other kind of drill team that waves flags at football games. This is military precision marching and step routines. I also ended up being one of two Battalion Commanders at my school. (The program was large enough to be considered a Brigade.)

Part of JROTC every year was the Military Ball where JROTC units from schools all over the city converged in one location for a prom-like dance and ceremony. My 11th grade year I was voted Military Ball Princess and my senior year, I was voted Military Ball Queen.

The other "pageant-like" thing I did in high school was the Carrousel Pageant. This was sort of like a pageant for each high school in my area. They selected a Queen and a Runner-Up. It involved the typical pageant activities like career-wear competition, interview questions, talent competition and evening gown. I didn't win Carrousel Queen, but I did come in second place as the runner up. :) My talent was singing (of course) and I sang the song "Only Hope" by Mandy Moore, popularized in the movie A Walk to Remember. This photo is me and my mom.
Other things about me in high school:
- I didn't go to any of my school's actual proms. (I went to Military Balls instead.)
- I was heavily involved in my church and church's youth group, which ultimately turned into a job at a church for about 5 years.
- I wasn't into partying/drinking/drugs and didn't even have a boyfriend in high school. I was very much your typical goody-two-shoes girl.
- I also was sort of a teacher's pet. :)
- My best friend is high school is still one of my best friends to this day. We often look back on what we wore and wrote in high school and cringe. Yes, cringe.
I often wish I could go back to high school having all of my adult knowledge and wardrobe. Kind of like Josie Grosie...but then I think, life is so different now (even just 11 years later) that I don't know how I would do. There seemed to be more innocence at that time...before cell phones were popular and technology was as big as it is now. This is before MySpace really hit it big. Before teenagers were jaded and non-plussed...but that's just old April talking. :)
Do you reminsce on your high school years? Tell me about them!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Grown Up Christmas List

First off, I know the title of my blog is a sub-par Michael Buble song, however, it very accurately describes what I give to my loved ones around the start of November each year.

In case you haven't picked up on it yet from reading my blog, I try to be very organized and I'm a big planner. I play by the rules (always) and definitely consider myself more Type A than anything else. (I think most of that explanation was a nice way of saying that I'm a control freak.) But I also know what it's like to have no clue what to get someone for Christmas. So every year since I was about...maybe 20 or so...I've given my parents a visual (and often virtual) Christmas list.

Now, I always list a lot of gift options they can choose from so there is an element of surprise...but it's a controlled surprise. (a Type A's favorite phrase) I usually always put my Christmas list in PowerPoint so that I can provide sizes, colors and links to buy, if necessary. I've caught a lot of flack over the years from friends and family when they find out that I make PowerPoint presentations for my family for my Christmas list.

I get that this seems very materialistic and greedy, but really, it's just me trying to make the most efficient use of your time and money...because you know exactly what to get me and it's exactly what I want. There's a weird feeling that you have to get over when you make a Christmas list and that is feeling guilty and greedy. The thing is...unless you have a "no gifts" family, they are going to get you why not ask for things you really want or need?

Have I received gifts that weren't on the list? Absolutely. Have I loved any of these non-list gifts? Absolutely. Have some been weird gifts? Absolutely. My family will never only get me exactly everything on the list...there are always a few wild cards thrown in there and that's okay. Bottom line, I try to make things easier for others by giving them ideas.

Do you make a Christmas wish list? How do you do it?

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