Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nordstrom Sale Finds



So, what'd you all get for Christmas?! Anything fun? If you got some moolah, then you're in luck because there's the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale going on right now. Here are all my favorite items on sale:

Men:


Women:


Home & Accessories:




I've mentioned this before, but the only brand of lipstick I wear is Mac. It's long lasting, tastes great and has amazing (endless!) color options! This lipstick 4 pack is on sale now and they're the perfect size to fit in your purse or clutch. The hot pink color is one of my favorites!

Happy sale shopping!
xoxo



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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday Flower Arrangement Centerpiece



I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend full of Christmas celebrations! Our first married Christmas was so much fun; my heart is full. My husband went all out on my stocking, which had me feeling extra special :) I can't believe this is the last week of 2016. We've experienced deep heartache and great joy this year, all for which we are thankful for.

As we approach New Years Eve & Day, I thought it'd be fun to share a floral arrangement, incase you're hosting parties and need centerpiece ideas. I got all these flowers at Whole Foods, one of my favorite places to grab blooms.

Peonies, hydrangea, seeded eucalyptus, and tulips.

I always tape the vessel off into quadrants so that the flowers have some support to stand up against.

Start with the greenery!


Then place your larger florals first.

I filled in with peonies, then finished off with my white tulips.


Tips:
- Make the grid with scotch or floral tape before starting!
- Cut stems at an angle so they can best soak up all the water they need.
- Clean the flowers, meaning remove all leaves and excess buds below the water line, so that bacteria doesn't grow and poison the water.
- Don't pack the flowers in tightly in a perfectly round shape. To get that whimsical feel, place some blooms in at angles and let some stems stay longer than others, offering it height.

If you'd like to see me do a holiday arrangement in action, check out the video below from a few years ago. I still use the same arranging principles!


Hope this helps for your next centerpiece making adventure!
xoxo


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PS! This is the top I wore on Christmas Eve and it's almost sold out, so I thought I'd let you know! I'm in an XS, because it's a billowy blouse. My boots are also on sale. I suggest you order up a half size, as they run small. My mom and I both have them and we love them! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!


Our Christmas cards from Minted

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." -- Romans 15:13

Christmas is almost here! The waiting is nearly over. This season of advent, the coming of Christ, is often masked by trees, decorations, bows, presents, holiday tunes, consumerism, lights, and the hustle & bustle. Those things are lovely, helping us to celebrate the season in a festive way. Yet underneath it all, Christmas is really simple. God sent his son to earth to be born as a baby to an unassuming, humble woman. Yet little did she know, God had big plans for her life. She would bear the Christ child. He was born in a lowly manger, also an unassuming place for the King of Kings to be born. But that's just it; God used unexpected people and places to accomplish His purposes. Jesus was born, he lived on earth and experienced pain, suffering, and joy, then died an unspeakable death on the cross to save us. He did that for you. And me. By his life and his death, we can be reconciled to God. This is why we can be filled with such JOY this weekend; because our Savior was born and trusting in Him fills us with great hope.

I want to remember these simple truths this weekend, instead of being swept up in the pressures the season brings. Cook this, gift that, be on time to a million things, look a certain way, act a certain way, keep your house looking perfect for gatherings, give the perfect gifts. Less of that, friends and instead, more joy, more realness, more grace and mercy towards others, more serving, more compassion, more vulnerability, more family, more giving, more LOVE. More presence instead of presents. That's my hope. I'll end with one of my favorite quotes from Ann Voskamp's Christmas book, The Greatest Gift.

"You are most prepared for Christmas when you are done trying to make your performance into the gift and instead revel in His presence as the Gift."

So here's to your Christmas weekend; family, good food, gifts that remind us of the Gift, traditions, and mostly, reveling in His presence. My prayer is that you would feel the nearness of God this Christmas.

Merry Christmas from the us to you!
xoxo

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

In the Kitchen: Sugar Cookie Recipe





Do you guys have any traditions you do each year at the holidays? It could be making the same recipe every year, going to cut down your tree, looking at Christmas lights as a family, or opening pajamas on Christmas Eve. We did a lot of those I just mentioned! In fact, I still get a pair of PJs from my mom and dad every year (and they still say "from Santa" on the box!) One of my most memorable traditions was making sugar cookies with my grandma. Though we mostly did this when I was really young, perhaps through high school, I still think about it each year and remember my grandma telling me to "be careful not to eat much cookie dough, or else you'll get a stomach ache!" Sugar cookies are a simple and sweet dessert-- just how I like it! Here's the recipe we've always used:

Old Fashion Butter Sugar Cookies

Sift together:
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt​

Cream:
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3/4 c. sugar

Add 1 egg to creamed mixture until incorporated
Add 2 Tbs cream or milk
Add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture until the dough begins to come together. (Don't over beat)  Divide in half and shape into a round disk (approximately 3/4" thick)  Wrap in syran wrap.

Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to slightly less than 1/4" thick.

Use your favorite cookie cutter and place cutout onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle with colored sugar (unless you plan to frost the cookies) and bake at 400 degrees for about 6 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

***

If you want a few other recipes, here are two I shared last year! Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss & White Chocolate Macadamia-- delicious!!

Happy baking!!
xoxo

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

California Christmas Recap



Last week we took off to California to spend a few days with my parents (and Hope, of course!) I think that might be the toughest part about marriage-- deciding where you're going to be on what holidays and, in general, being away from my family. I miss them dearly, so this was a wonderful time together. We went to the San Francisco Zoo one day, saw the new movie La La Land (AMAZING!!!) and celebrated Christmas another day. It truly felt like Christmas morning! My mom always makes her delicious egg casserole and cinnamon coffee cake, so she did just that for us. After breakfast, we went to church together, then came back to open some gifts. Here are some pictures from our time!








Later that night, our extended family came over so we could visit with them, too! My parent's home looks so beautiful at Christmas. Here's a peek:














Andddd one more of Hope, because #icanteven

So thankful for a wonderful time with my fam! I hope you all are enjoying your week with your loved ones. And for those who are feeling a sense of loss or walking through hard things, please know I'm praying for you. I want to acknowledge this can be a really tough part of the year. May you feel the nearness and presence of God.

xoxo
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Monday, December 19, 2016

New Years Eve Entertaining Style




Hover & click on the images to shop!


I can't believe we're about to ring in the new year! I know, I know...we haven't even gotten through Christmas yet, but I had to share some super fun entertaining pieces I found for New Years Eve! For those of you who are hosting a party, here are some items you just might need. These festive paper plates are the cutest...especially paired with these napkins! Ringing in 2017 with a toast? The confetti stemless flutes are perfect.

If you're attending a NYE party, perhaps you want to arrive with a gift for the host. This adorable wine bag would be perfect to house a yummy bottle of wine!


Here are a few other things I found!



Haven't found a NYE dress yet? I'm drooling over these:


Accessories:




Happy Wednesday!
xoxo


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