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Saturday, December 25, 2010

he came like the winter snow

Merry Christmas everyone.

Today, I'll simply post the words to a beautiful song I've been singing a lot lately.
"Winter Snow" by Chris Tomlin and Audrey Assad

Could've come like a mighty storm
With all the strength of a hurricane
You could've come like a forest fire
With the power of heaven in Your flame

But You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

You could've swept in like a tidal wave
Or an ocean to ravish our hearts
You could have come through like a roaring flood
To wipe away the things we've scarred

But You came like a winter snow
(Yes, You did)
You were quiet
You were soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Oh, no, Your voice wasn't in a bush burning
No, Your voice wasn't in a rushing wind
It was still
It was small
It was hidden

You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Thursday, December 23, 2010

merry christmas!

This will probably be my last post before Christmas, so to all of my readers (yes, both of you!) I wish you a wonderful, magical and merry Christmas...

Full of joy, laughter, friends, family and even cute pups like this!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

visions of shoe-gurplums in my head

First off, I know you got the clever and brilliant allusion to the Nutcracker in the title of today's post, right? After all, it is only 3 days until Christmas. So, along those same lines, I was inspired by shoes today. I do love shoes. I've been affectionately called the Imelda Marcos of my time. So, I thought I'd post some pictures of some fabulous shoes I stumbled across at Zappos.com this morning. Note: Some of these are absolutely extravagant and would probably never find a home in my closet...but a girl can dream, right?

First, a slight "pop" of color.
 Then, your everyday sturdy shoes.
 Next would be a special occasion (read: holiday) shoe.
 And...um...another one.
And who doesn't need a nice pair of animal print flats? Size 8.5 please!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

top 5 tuesday: favorite christmas songs

As the last Top 5 Tuesday post before Christmas, I thought I'd combine two of my favorite things (Christmas and music) in today's subject. And let me tell you, it was HARD to pick just 5!!! Obviously, these are MY favorites, so you may agree or disagree. I'd love to know what yours may be so leave me a comment with some of your fave songs too!

Here they are, in random order:

1. O Come, O Come Emmanuel. This is probably my most favorite religious Christmas song. It's beautiful, haunting and hopeful all at the same time.
"Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!"

2. White Christmas. I love this movie and this song so much. It's iconic and sentimental and includes wishes for much more than just a white christmas for everyone!
"May your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be white."

3. Silent Night. It's so beautiful and calm and sweet. I have two instrumental versions of this song, one by Los Lonely Boys and the other by Mannheim Steamroller and both of them bring tears to my eyes when I hear them.

4. O Holy Night. I think many people like this one as well. It's a beautiful story of how Christ's birth meant hope, love and redemption for mankind. On the night of Jesus' birth, the world was changed forever.
"Long lay the world in sin and error pining, 'til He appeared and the soul felt its worth."

5. Carol of the Bells. I love how this song is stirring and lifting. Even if you don't know the words to the song, the movement of the song itself gets my heart pounding. There is a precious version of this song that I've looked all over for that is barnyard animals singing it and then it ends with a baby crying. If you know who sings it, I'd love to know!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

hat-tastic

I've only recently become a hat person. But I normally just rock a baseball cap or straw hat in the summer at the beach or on the lake. After seeing a few ladies wearing super-cute winter knit hats, (including my friend Amie who seems to always look cute in them) I've decided to give it a try. And by "giving it a try", I literally mean trying on my sister's crochet brimmed toboggan hat. I really loved it and the way it looked. Although I wouldn't suggest wearing it unless you plan on having your hair be visible underneath. (note, this works well with short hair too...as long as it's visible) I found that if you wear it without showing any hair, it can come across as masculine. Well, as least it did for me. Here are some beauties I found on Etsy. Enjoy and happy hatting!




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

top 5 tuesday: best Christmas gifts I've received

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today, so for this week's Top 5 post, I'll write about the best Christmas gifts I've ever received. Perhaps today's post will encourage you to reminisce about your own favorites...

1. Pony Surprise. This was one of those "trendy" toys of the early 90s. It was a plush animal (it came as a Kitty, Puppy, Pony, Bunny or Cub) whose stomach could be opened (it was a velcro-closure) and it had baby animals inside the belly. The surprise was you didn't know if there'd be 3 or 4 or 5 and what sex(es) they were. I had a pink Pony surprise and she had 3 baby ponies inside...2 boys and a girl. It was such a great gift, however anatomically and biologically incorrect it was. I still remember the song! "Surprise, surprise, it's Pony Surprise! A mommy one with babies inside. There can be 3 or 4 or 5!!!" Maybe you remember this?




2. Teepee. We have this on camera when my sisters and I woke up on Christmas morning to a full-sized Native American teepee set up in our living room! It was huge and so exciting! I wonder what happened to that thing...

3. Puppy Backpack. Strangely enough, another of my top 5 gifts has to do with animals and trends. This one came a little later (think 6th or 7th grade) and it was a plush animal that was also a backpack/purse. I even posted a picture of what it looked like. Mine was a dalmatian dog purse.




4. Ring. Last year my parents gave me a beautiful diamond circle ring. I was absolutely stunned that I got it because it was completely unexpected. However, it definitely made for a top 5 gift.

5. Baby Doll Stroller. This one came from my mom's memory. She said all my sister and I talked about one year was a stroller for our baby dolls. That's all we wanted and what we asked everyone for that year. So, on Christmas morning when it finally showed up, I'm sure we were both thrilled!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

rainy day baking project

Today, it's rainy and cold outside. Also, I'm home sick with a sinusy-laryngitisy mix. So, I decided to make the best of the day and experiment with a new cookie recipe. I've made a cake mix cookie before but because it also called for cream cheese, eggs, butter and additional sugar, it didn't seem any different than a normal cookie recipe. I stumbled across this one online and decided to try it!

Cake Mix Cookies

1 box of 18.25 oz cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Devil's Food)
2 eggs
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Note that this is different than the directions on the cake mix box. That is intentional.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all three ingredients until dough is thoroughly mixed. Form into balls about teaspoon size and set onto a foil-lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.

The beauty of this recipe is it's versatility! You can use yellow cake mix and chocolate chips or red velvet cake mix and add white chocolate chips. For today, I added peanut butter chips and mini-chocolate chips to a devil's food cake mix. The results? Amazing!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

color my moment: peacock blue

This is a color I'm so crazy about right now. Peacock blue. It can be found in so many shades from teal to royal AND my favorite kind of pearl is the Peacock Pearl. :)







Friday, December 10, 2010

for the dogs

Today, I'm inspired by these adorable dog portraits that I saw on Etsy. They can be found on Etsy or here.
Even if you don't have your own furry friend to love, you can do so here!






Wednesday, December 8, 2010

fear and loathing

I admit that I loathe Poinsettias. I don't know why, exactly, but I know that I've just always not liked them. I also know that as a child my parents warned me from an early age that Poinsettias were poisonous. I think that started a fear which just turned into an intense dislike for them. Now, as an adult, I understand that Poinsettias are dangerous when you EAT THEM. However, as a child, I did not understand this and would go out of my way to avoid even breathing around a Poinsettia for fear of being poisoned. This also brings up another point of WHY my parents would actually warn me about them. Did I make it a habit of eating things I wasn't supposed to? Hmmm.

So, because I don't care for Poinsettias, I've never used them in my Christmas/Holiday home decorating. To be quite honest, I've not really ever seen them used in a cool, unique or modern way when it comes to decorating. But I came across these recently and thought I might give them a chance.




What's your take on these traditional holiday plants?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

top 5 tuesday: christmas gift sites

I've mentioned before that I enjoy giving the perfect gifts and sometimes the stores just don't have "exactly" what I need for that perfect present...whether it be random and hilarious or sweet and sentimental. So, today's Top 5 is the top five websites I use (and love) for not only Christmas gifts but birthdays and other occasions. [Note: Many of them are offering free shipping deals for the holidays!]

1. Perpetual Kid. This site is for those people in your life with a unique and unorthodox sense of humor. Don't believe me? Try looking up Baconnaise, cupcake shower cap and dog pencil sharpener.

2. Modcloth. Aside from the cute vintage clothes (which can be a tad pricey), this site has great home/bath/office stuff that anyone will appreciate. From peapod salt and pepper shakers to Matryoshka measuring cups.

3. Palmetto Moon. This one is great for girls and guys who appreciate all things Southern. Whether it be the ACC, SEC, Guy Harvey or Costa Del Mar stuff, there is something for everyone! This is where I'm most inclined to...um...pick up a little something for myself as well. :)

4. Shutterfly. This is perfect for those who have a more sentimental style. It's so easy to create a photo book or other cute gift (mug, wall hanging, etc) with a favorite picture. Think...naked baby picture of yourself on a mug for your in-laws. HA! Or, you could be more "serious" and do a photo book of you and your siblings through the years for your mom.

5. Etsy. It's a veritable wonderland of gifts. There is almost anything you could ever want on here. It's an artisans' marketplace and full of unique and creative gifts. You can type in any keywords at the top and it will search through everything on the site and give you customized results. Where else could one find a pink and orange owl knit cap?

Monday, December 6, 2010

pretty things

It's been awhile since I've done a pretty things post. And lately, I've come across lots of them. So, enjoy, and happy Monday.





Friday, December 3, 2010

fab gift idea

If you've got a family of wine lovers like I do, why not give them a personalized winey gift this year? Better Homes and Gardens is offering free Christmas Wine Bottle labels on their site.

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

LBT (little black top)

In part 2 of the LBD (LBT) series, I'll explore the many wonderful options that can be created using the simple black shirt. Much like the Little Black Dress, the little black top can be just as versatile when you choose the right accessories to go with it. So, without any further adieu, here we go!

First, we start with a basic black shirt. I have many long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve black v-necked shirts from Old Navy, Target and Gap.


If you want to do a weekend-wear look, or a casual office look, try pairing with some simple bootcut jeans and add a tote, cute flats and some pearls. Because, in the south, we roll with pearl studs.


Perhaps you'd rather step it up a bit and dress up the LBT for an evening out or a holiday party. Try adding a skirt (like this one...my new fave) with opaque tights, bright flats and a bold necklace. Shoes are from Target, skirt is from Old Navy.


Finally, if you've got a dressy affair to attend and want to take this basic black tee to the next level, I suggest pairing with a blazer, some dress pants, sparkly or metallic heels and a bright clutch. Pants, clutch and shoes from Target. Blazer from Old Navy.



A note: The basic BLACK shirt is chosen because of the versatility of the color. While I have seen this look pulled off with other solid colored shirts, I'd stick with black, because, as my mama says "Black is universal."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

LBD (or LBT or LBS)

In honor of my friend Jill, my post today will be a little more specific about the LBD or Little Black Dress.

There are a few things one should know about this LBD phenomenon...and you mustn't spread this around...but, the LBD doesn't have to be an actual LBD to have the same effect. Meaning, you don't actually have to wear a little black dress, specifically, to acheive that same festive effect for holiday parties and get togethers. I'm talking LBtop or LBsweater or even LBskirt. But for today's post, I'll deal with the dress itself.
Another point to remember is that the LBD can be worn in almost ANY situation. The accessories are what can transition it from casual, to daytime wear, to evening, to formal.
So to my friend who thinks she doesn't have an occasion that's dressy enough to warrant wearing her LBD, I scoffingly laugh and say, "Nay!". It just isn't so. You may ask, "how is that possible?". Well, my friends, here are some ideas...

Take your basic LBD sheath dress. (this one is from Overstock.com)
With the right accessories, you can make this look work for a daytime (office) party, or just another day at work. (cardi & accessories from Old Navy)


Or, if you want to step it up a bit (by adding a little sparkle), you can try something like this for a evening event that's still slightly casual. (Cardi from Old Navy, bag & shoes from Target)



Or, if you've got a big she-bang going on, do it up like this! (All accessories from Target)


A good rule of thumb that I learned from my extremely southern mother and grandmother is that while you can be overdressed, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Why not make a statement?!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

top 5 tuesday: basic party circuit staples

And so begins the Christmas/New Year party circuit. I've discovered that there are a few basic staple items that will come in handy as you make your way from gala to gala. :)

1. LBD (or top). A Little Black Dress will do wonders. It can be dressed up or dressed down. Or, for the more casual party, a black v-neck shirt can be worn with a skirt, jeans or dress pants. Dress it up or down with shoes and accessories. You can wear the same thing at every party and still look different!

2. Wine. As you float from party to party, it's essential to have a host/hostess gift for most events. And, if you don't want to slave over the oven to make 6 dozen sausage balls, this is the next best thing. Keep a few bottles of wine and a couple of cute wine gift bags and you have an instant, portable hostess gift.

3. Appropriate accessories. This is what can make an outfit...the right accessories. Beg or borrow stuff from friends/family so you don't have to buy new. Among essentials are a bright handbag, sparkly earrings or large cocktail ring, red beaded necklace (for more casual functions) or a beautiful cashmere scarf. Please though, don't allow anything that resembles Christmas lightbulb earrings, reindeer headbands or light-up necklaces make their way into your ensemble.

4. The day's headlines. Okay, so maybe it's not necessary to be up-to-date on that EXACT day's headlines, but you should have a pretty good grasp on what is going on in the world or locally so you can make the obligatory small talk. :)

5. Your conscience. A necessary yet sometimes forgotten staple. The holidays are times when people "let loose", so to speak. Make sure you're keeping in line with your own conscience and not doing anything you'll regret once January 2nd rolls around. That includes anything from trash talking your boss, mother-in-law, or friends, over-eating or over-drinking. Moderation is key. In just about everything...except for chocolate. But, I digress.

the most wonderful thing about giving

Often, people will say, "Oh, I don't really care about getting gifts...I just enjoy giving them." Usually, when I would hear that, I would think that those people are lying and they're really just mad that they didn't get any good gifts, so they decided to remain pretentious about giving them over getting them. Bah. Because, everyone loves getting gifts, right? I've begun to realize that there really is so much more emotion, effort and energy tied into giving gifts. Well, at least for me, anyway. You see, I spend a long time planning out what I want to get someone, searching out the best place to get it, purchasing it and finally wrapping it. So, the actual gift opening is the culmination of a long thought process and research into the recipient and their needs/wants. It's so much more than wrapping up a pair of socks and putting them under a tree. Every second of the wrapping and unwrapping process builds anticipation to when the person actually sees what you gave them...and hopefully...loves it.
As I've been lovingly wrapping Christmas gifts that I've been purchasing since October, I realized that I no longer think the way I used to about those people who say, "I don't really care about getting gifts, I just enjoy giving them". I am sincerely becoming one of those people.

Friday, November 26, 2010

inspiration vs. actuality

These days I've been getting lots of inspiration for my Christmas decorating from websites and magazines. While orange is not normally a color that I gravitate to, it's a color that is warm and matches my current decor. Plus, matching what color scheme I already have in place is essential...at least to my roommate-sister.

So, inspiration:

And here's reality. This is what my tree looks like this year...



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

top 5 tuesday: thanksgiving stuff

Thanksgiving used to not be one of my favorite holidays because I just thought of it as Christmas' less flashy and uglier cousin. Today, I really enjoy it because it's very much about food, family and thankfulness instead of worrying about gift-giving and lots of traveling like on Christmas. Because today is Thanksgiving Adam (Adam comes before Eve), I'm posting my top 5 Thanksgiving memories/foods/activities.

1. Football. This is an annual family tradition to watch the football games that are on tv. And this year, my Saints are playing the love-or-hate Dallas Cowboys, so it'll be even better!

2. Christmas Decorating. Usually, we help my parents put up their Christmas tree and decorations on this day.

3. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We usually always watch this in the morning while the food is cooking. It's fun to see some of the floats and bands that I remember watching from my childhood.

4. Christmas music. This is the day that most people agree it's acceptable to start playing Christmas music. AND, it's usually on lots of radio stations, so it stays on most of the day!!

5. Leftover Turkey Sandwiches. White bread, turkey & ketchup. Amazing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

I'm totally in love with this idea. This year, I want to reuse old Christmas cards and paper by cutting up and turning them into wreaths and ornaments. Also, I can display the new cards I get this year on a different wreath where they'll stay intact (like the first pic below). I got the idea from a Shutterfly mailer, and found a bunch of these beauties on an internet search...





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