Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

I've got a lot in my life to be thankful for this year. For good health, a good job, my family, a new husband, great friends and a great church family, I'm truly grateful. I have been greatly blessed.

 This time of year tends to put things into perspective and I find this holiday a great way to kick off what could be a crazy season of stress and materialism. It is my hope that you will take time over the next few days to dwell on what you are thankful for. I guarantee you will find at least one thing you can be thankful for this year...even if it's been a crummy one.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fun Thankgiving Posts & Links
Thoughts on a Southern Thankgiving (by me!) | 12 Turkey-Themed Works of Art | This is one of my dream Halloween costumes | 10 Perfect Gifs for Every Moment of Thanksgiving | Five Genius Thanksgiving Leftover Hacks (the last one is my fave!!) | Turkey Snapchat Challenge! | Supermarket turkeys vs. their wild infograph

Monday, November 24, 2014

AMA Fashion Best and Worst Dressed

The American Music Awards were last night and as usual, I've picked out some of my best and worst fashions for this post. Enjoy! All images (via).

Julianne Hough
I love this color and cut on her. The neckline detail is very interesting and she styled it perfectly by going with minimal jewelry and toned-down hair/makeup.

Jhene Aiko
I really liked this unique dress texture. The cut is classic but the texture and color are fresh and new. Also, I LOVE the statement necklace. (surprised??)

Kate Beckinsale
YES! I'm not usually a fan of all white ensembles like this but Kate is KILLING it. 

Kendall Jenner
I call her the normal one. Her sister is weird. This look works. It's interesting but not over the top. 

Selena Gomez
This is a backless dress done right! Some people might think this look is too old for Selena, but I think it's gorgeous and elevates her to a Hollywood elite status rather than Disney channel alum.


Heidi Klum
Oh Heidi, Heidi, Heidi. The skirt is too short...the pink glittery band-aids were weirdly placed and the shoes? Prom circa 2002. This was just a bad, dated, overachieving look. 

Frankie Grande
What the? A painted shirt? Cotton candy pink skinny jeans and black high top shoes? I can't...I have...I'm done.

Jennifer Lopez
Haven't we seen this before? Hasn't she already done some crazy low cut, scantily clad outfit for an awards show? Props to her for getting her abs back post-children, but this revealing dress coupled with her ridiculous angry look aren't working for me.

Taylor Schilling
Aww, Taylor. I actually don't hate the dress so much but the hair and makeup are horrid. Ladies of the caucasian race, it's very difficult to pull of a nude lip anyway, but if your lip color is more than one shade lighter than your natural lip color it makes you look sick. Plus her hair just looks like she scrunched it with some gel and left the house. Sigh.

Those are my best and worst picks. Do you agree or disagree?

Linking Up!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

10 Things I Would Rather Do Than Go Black Friday Shopping

Let me start off saying that I love shopping. But I'm much more of an online shopping fiend than a brick & mortar shopaholic. I consider myself a "black diamond" online shopper. (Did anyone get my skiing reference? I once tried a blue trail while skiing and scared myself so much that I decided to stick to green from then on out.) However, I am quite experienced when it comes to the world of virtual shopping.

However, I absolutely detest the idea of shopping (at an actual mall or store) on Black Friday. Masses of people, small spaces, loud get the picture. My nerves (and nervous stomach) simply can't handle that. The idea of going to an outlet mall on Black Friday actually raises my blood pressure a little.

So while a lot of you will be getting up extra early next Friday to score some great deals, here are 10 things I'd rather be doing than shopping on Black Friday...

(me at the thought of being at a mall next Friday) via

1. Reading
Duh. I've read some really good books lately and I just downloaded a bunch of new ones on my Kindle. I've been keeping track of how many books I've read this calendar year and my total is up to 29 so far. However, I'm entering into "reading season" since it's getting darker earlier and cold outside, so I expect that number to increase exponentially by the end of the year.

2. Baking
I love to bake. I don't get a chance to do it as much as I'd like...but staying in on Black Friday is a great excuse to get a head start on my Christmas baking.

3. Hiking/Nature Walk
I live fairly close to a few state parks and greenways so if the weather is nice, I would enjoy getting out in nature for walk or hike.

4. Decorating
Even though I've already decorated most of the inside of my home, I've not touched the outside yet. I would spend some of Black Friday putting lights and decorations up outside.

5. Cleaning
Yes, I said cleaning. I loathe Black Friday shopping that much. I would even rather be doing my least favorite household chores (bathrooms and kitchens) than go shopping that day. In case you were interested, vacuuming is my favorite chore.

6. Organizing
I love to organize. I think my kitchen pantry will be in dire need of some organization next week.

7. Online shopping
The love of shopping is a part of my biological make up. I've inherited this trait from my mother and my grandmothers...but I also inherited my anxiousness around crowds of people  from my the best of both worlds is online shopping.

8. Binge watching Netflix - watch Christmas movies
Between Netflix and Hulu, I can watch new favorite shows and re-watch old faves (I'm looking at you GCB) all day with little interruptions. Also, since the rest of the world considers this the official start to the Christmas season, I would watch some of my favorite Christmas movies like White Christmas, Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Four Christmases and Home Alone.

9. Wrapping Christmas presents
I already have a few wrapped but hopefully by that time I'll have a few more that need to be wrapped. :)

10. Pet someone's cat
I'm highly allergic to the feline kind. But I would still rather risk allergies and pet one than go Black Friday shopping.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Office Parties - Dress Dos and Don'ts

'Tis the season! Well, the season for office/work parties, that is. Almost as soon as Thanksgiving is over, office holiday parties start to take over everyone's December calendars.

It's also the season for education on what IS and ISN'T appropriate to wear to an office party. Below is a quick guide to help you understand some of the fashion do's and fashion don'ts when it comes to partying it up with your coworkers. Many offices have holiday parties that are cocktail or dressy attire. These guidelines apply to those. (If you are one of the awesome offices that has a tacky Christmas sweater party...I'm 100% jealous!)

Sequins/Glitter: It's the holidays, so why not? However, I would encourage doing a more subtle or neutral color if doing a dress that is completely covered in sequins. Red glitter is gorgeous, but it might be a bit much if you're covered from neck to knee in it. :)

Mesh/Cut-Outs: Mesh/sheer fabrics are okay depending on where they are. I love the look of mesh shoulders/sleeves on a dress. It's festive but still classy. Mesh or cut-outs anywhere else are fashion don'ts. People should not see your cleavage, chest, abdomen or most of your back. Leave the cut-outs for the club.

Low/Plunging Necklines: These are fashion don'ts. (well, they are always a fashion don't in my book, but I am a bit more prudish than most.) Low necklines are fine for other situations...but not for office parties. (and definitely not for brunches with your grandmother either!)

Strapless: On the rare occasion that an office party is black-tie, a strapless dress is appropriate. (because usually that means it's more like a prom dress or gown) For cocktail attire, I think it's better to have straps or sleeves. Now, I am very partial to sleeves myself, but I think strappy dresses are perfectly appropriate too. Sleeveless and sleeves = okay. Strapless = probably will make you look either overdressed or underdressed depending on the actual outfit. I would venture as far as saying one shoulder looks also fall into a strapless category. Not so much for work parties.

Cliche Christmas colors: I love wearing red during the holidays. I love wearing green all the time. Wearing red and green together to your holiday party will probably make you look like you belong in the movie Elf. Avoid, avoid, avoid!

The most important thing to remember when selecting your office party outfit is that just because it doesn't look like work and it doesn't smell like work doesn't mean it isn't really work. You might not actually be working but you are with the people who see you working almost every day. Anything outlandish, overly revealing or inappropriate might change how your coworkers (and/or boss and supervisors) view you.

Now, ladies, don't get your panties in a wad. I'm not saying that your coworkers judge your professionalism based on your looks...but I am saying that if your looks don't compliment your professionalism it could change their opinion. Also, your behavior at these "after work functions" can also influence someone's opinion of you as well. So, if you get the outfit right but are falling over yourself sloppy drunk in front of your boss...that's not going to fare well either.

Just remember to keep it classy, fun and festive.

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

First off...yes, I know it's early. And yes, I know Thanksgiving hasn't happened yet.

I don't care.

This weekend was begging to be used to decorate the house because of frigidly cold temps outside. Thanksgiving is late this year, so by the time I would get around to decorate after Tgiving, there are only 3 weeks until Christmas. But...all of say...I love Christmas. And I chose to decorate my house on November 15, 2014 because...this has been a tough last couple of months in my personal life and I'm ready for my Christmas cheer to overfloweth.

For all the haters, feel free to wait until December 1st or whenever. You do, you boo.

Anywho, I decorated the inside of my place this weekend. Just a couple of Christmas moments and none of it is really over the top. But it makes me so happy to turn the lights on that tree and just look at them.

He loves to pose. :)

Our tree is mostly bright and colorful ornaments with turquoise ribbon and a turquoise bow on top. 

This is my new favorite candle from Bath & Body Works. It literally smells just like Christmas with a hint of a Christmas tree scent. (but not over the top balsam scent like some of those candles...those are little much)

Our little mantle during the day...

And this is it with the Christmas trees lit up. The blue looks very weird and glowy's not QUITE that bright but my camera phone seemed to think it was. :)

One of my new favorite things is to just change out the pillow covers on my throw pillows instead of buying new ones. I don't know why I didn't think of this's cheaper and it takes up less storage room. These are a little wrinkly since they just came from the package I bought them in, but hopefully after sitting for a couple more days they will look a little better. The blue ones are actually just can't tell from this picture.

I used my trifle bowl I got as a wedding gift to bring some color to the dining room table. 

When do you normally decorate for Christmas or do you even decorate at all?

Linking up with Meg!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Happy Thursday and happy weekend eve. We're nearly through with the are some fun things to help get you through today. 

Ain't even gonna lie. via

Navy and leopard are my neutrals. via

Bioluminescent phytoplankton washes up in the ocean off the coast of Maldives, giving it this amazing starry night appearance. via

Have you ever had Cookie Mush? No? Make a plan to try this sometime. It's one of the easiest and most delicious dessert recipes I've made. photo via

We are getting closer and closer to Christmas. This makes me long for lights and snow and Christmas cheer. We are putting up our tree this weekend. No judgement. via

Link Fun
Dogs Who Look Like Other Things | Cats Who Look Like Other Things  | There's this guy named Mario that takes music videos and strips out the music then adds ridiculous sound effects. The result? Something as amazing as this. The original music video is just weird...but without the song behind it and with these sound effects? It's both hilarious and disturbing at the same time. | Do you love funny mascots? Jaxson deVille (Jacksonville Jaguars mascot) recently was stalking a pigeon that was on the field. I love this video so much. I think because he also just randomly rolls on the field. | Speaking of mascot fails. Number 17...literally I laughed for about 10 min. straight.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


“We remember those who were called upon to give all a person can give, and we remember those who were prepared to make that sacrifice if it were demanded of them in the line of duty, though it never was. Most of all, we remember the devotion and gallantry with which all of them ennobled their nation as they became champions of a noble cause.” - Ronald Reagan

On Veteran's Day we honor all the brave men and women who served our country. We are grateful for their service, for their devotion to country and to a cause that is so dear to us...freedom. Because of their selfless service, we live free. We honor all of those that have or are currently serving in the military.

On a personal note, my own life has been greatly impacted by veterans. In my own family are veterans that have served in WWII, Korea, Desert Storm, Operation Iraqui Freedom and the War in Afghanistan. I have countless friends (in addition to family) that served this nation in both war time and peace time. For their service I'm grateful.

We are all thankful.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lateness: A Not-So-Popular Opinion

I recently read an article on Facebook but talked about lateness and how being late was essentially rude and disrespectful.

As unpopular as it to say, I have to agree with the author's point. Lateness also just happens to be one of those things that really bothers me...more so in my professional life than in my personal life. One of my very best friends has what I call chronic late syndrome and it doesn't bother me as much with her, for example, as it does at work when people are late. The factor that sets apart work lateness from life lateness is obviously the fact that you are getting paid to be late, which is unacceptable to me. 

I'm often astounded that people can saunter into meetings up to 10 minutes late sometimes while everyone else is waiting on them. Even if people aren't waiting on that particular person, coming in late is a distraction. If you have a meeting at 11 AM and you walk in at 11 AM you're late, to me. But even walking in at the exact time is not nearly as rude as walking in at 11:03 AM. 

Here's a meaningful quote from the article which I will link to afterwards, "Me? Am I ever late? Sure, sometimes. That’s inevitable even with the best intentions. But I never plan to be late. I never ‘let time slide’ because my stuff is more important than yours. I am not talking about the odd occasion of lateness. I am talking about people who are routinely late. In fact, never on time. You know who I am talking about!"
I may be sharing another unpopular opinion but I'm interested to hear what people think about this and if lateness is still something that's considered rude in our day and time. Perhaps my opinion is more old-fashioned than forward thinking? 

Click here to view the original article.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Oh it has been so long since I've done a Things I Love Thursday post. I hope this brings you a little bit of happiness today.


Do you love Top Gear? Apparently, Jesus made an appearance on Top Gear.
This is the absolute best Halloween costume idea ever!
Kind of obsessed with this cardigan. I love the zippers and piping!
Christmas tree in color order. An OCD christmas tree!
It's never too early for Christmas, right? It's a colorful gradient tree!!
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
I'm gonna need to make this ASAP.

Digby Van Winkle, go follow him on Instagram.

Marriage on Instagram vs. Marriage in Real Life | 150 Dollar Store Organizing Ideas | 30 Dogs Sleeping Awkwardly | The Most Useless Life Hacks Ever | Follow Digby Van Winkle on Instagram OR Facebook. You will not be disappointed. | My mama used to call this homemade potpourri...but I call it a po' man's Scentsy. | Puffer vest + statement necklace + tulle skirt = awesomeness | How to dye an Ikea pillow cover with Sharpies

Happy Thursday!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekend Recap & HAILoween 2014

This past weekend was a great one. It was chill and low-key...exactly how I like it. Highlights are below.

Friday (Halloween)

M and I got all geared up to hand out Halloween candy to our neighbor kids and we sat out on our front porch to hand it out. (So the kids wouldn't ring the doorbell and terrorize Hewitt.) We handed out candy for about an hour or so and then we heard some thunder. We were due for storms later in the evening so we just figured the thunder was far off.

This was me just before we handed out candy. A little apprehensive since I'd heard that our neighborhood usually gets a LOT of kids.
About 5 minutes later, we heard what we thought were big gusts of wind picking up...and then this happened.

Yes, my friends. That is hail. It was insane! I've never seen that much hail fall in a matter of minutes. As soon as it started hailing (no rain...just pea-sized hail) people were running to find cover. We had people in our front foyer and under our front porch awning trying to escape the onslaught of hail. There were Elsas and Olafs scattering everywhere! The picture of the hail above is what fell in about 5 minutes. After the hail, a huge wind and rain storm came through...which pretty much ended the Halloween experience in our area for the rest of the night.
The storm system that moved in on Friday night brought freezing temps, hard rain and big wind gusts for most of the day on Saturday. So, I decided to make some homemade chili...and some homemade chocolate chip cookies. There's something about being stuck inside from bad weather that brings out the urge to bake. The rain stopped early evening but the cold is still around. I did get out to take Hewitt on a walk and discovered that the hail had brought down a lot of the leaves from the trees in my neighborhood. The sidewalks were littered with colored leaves and they were so pretty! I just had to snap a picture. :)

The rest of the evening was spent watching this random show I started (AND REALLY LIKE SO FAR) on Netflix called Reign. It's about Mary, Queen of Scots. It doesn't have the greatest reviews on IMDB but it's mostly because people are griping that it isn't historically accurate. Who cares? It's a good plot! Have you seen the show Reign?
After church, M cooked lunch and we just vegged out on the couch watching football and more Reign (for me). Everyone was sleepy in our house...even Hewitt.
Since our bodies are adjusting back to EST, we both were in bed around 9pm. Yes, we're old. HAHA!
I hope your weekend was as relaxing as mine was.