December 24, 2014

cozy nights

On the 12th day of blogmas!
Merry Christmas Eve! Today was all things that Christmas Eve with family should be. I've enjoyed our traditions these past few days, and I am so looking forward to all of the festivities and excitement tomorrow. Tonight I am enjoying a dinner out with family and attending the Christmas Eve service at church. I'm wearing my new PJs and staying up late watching Elf with my family. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and thank you for keeping up with blogmas this year!

Since Christmas is on a Thursday this year, I included this throwback picture from Christmas about 15 years ago :)

December 23, 2014

life lately

On the 11th day of blogmas!


December 22, 2014

homemade marshmallows

On the 10th day of blogmas!
I've always wanted to try making my own marshmallows. I had this vision in my head of a giant snowflake-shaped marshmallow floating in my hot chocolate. So I dug up an old Cupcakes and Cashmere post about homemade marshmallows and followed it to this recipe.

I ended up using about 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract instead of the 1 tsp extract & bean called for in the recipe. This recipe made a lot of "batter" and filled a 9x13 dish perfectly. My marshmallows were about 1 inch thick. Also, cooking spray will be your best friend if you ever try this recipe. Definitely have some on hand before starting. I used a snowflake cookie cutter with a bit of cooking spray to cut shapes and then switched to a knife to cut cubes when I ran out of room. I immediately made a cup of hot chocolate and put them to the test. They were good! For some extra Christmasness in my hot chocolate, I like to drop in one of these peppermint bark squares while it's still super hot. It adds the perfect hint of flavor.


December 21, 2014

christmas apparel

On the 9th day of blogmas!
I love a good christmas-themed sweater, and I've collected a few new items this year. Not all sweaters, but i'm loving them and wearing them way too much this month. The sweater in the top picture is from Kohl's. But my favorite thing to do is go to Target the day after Christmas and clean out the whole place. Everything is super cheap and there is a lot left in store. I got all of my apartment decorations this way and 4 pairs of themed socks like the ones below!


December 20, 2014

ruby do

On the 8th day of blogmas!

This year I thought I would try something other than the normal Chrismas red polish for the holidays. I went with this really pretty deep berry/wine color. I'm loving it! It's just what I was looking for to change up my usually Christmas colors. And of course, the glitter accents are coming soon :)

December 19, 2014

rolo pretzel delights

On the 7th day of blogmas!
I'm addicted to these treats. Since someone always brings them to our holiday party, they mean Christmastime to me and I just can't stop eating them. Here is the link to the recipe. I suggest leaving them in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Any longer and you will have a chocolatey mess. These are perfect if you need something quick and easy to take to a holiday party! The perfect combination of salty & sweet.


December 17, 2014

life lately

On the 5th day of blogmas!
what i've been up to lately and christmasing all over the place

December 16, 2014

diy mason jar luminaries

On the 4th day of blogmas!
I love candles and string lights around the holidays, and these mason jar luminaries are the perfect addition to my Christmas lighting obsession. The jars have a really pretty snow/ice effect that looks really cool with the light shining through! They are great in mismatched groups of 3 as a centerpiece or side table decor. I think they would also be perfect as driveway, sidewalk, or porch lighting to light a path for guests (or santa).

I used clean mason jars, mod podge, and epsom salt. I usually save the mason jars from cooking with pasta sauce so I didn't need to spend money on new ones! First, I poured a little mod podge into the jar and used a small foam brush (i only had a giant one so i cut it to a custom size) to coat the inside. Make sure you are brushing a thin layer and there are no globs. Before the mod podge dries, pour a few spoon fulls of the epson salt into the jar. Rotate until the entire inside is coated with salt. Don't forget to turn it upside-down and give it a few shakes over a plate to get rid of excess salt. Once the luminaries are dry, drop in a tea light candle and enjoy the lighting!
and yes one light is brighter than the other. that one tea light had a very weak flame haha

December 15, 2014

baking party

On the 3rd day of blogmas!
We hosted our first annual Baking Day with extended family a couple weeks ago! We preselected 6 recipes of Christmas treats that everyone wanted to make. They all pitched in to help bring the ingredients and extra supplies. This really helped to make all of the baking happen smoothly. We spent the day visiting, listening to Christmas music, eating the treats, wearing ugly christmas sweaters, and even some crafting! Everyone went home with a take-home box filled with Christmas cookies and treats.

We prepared the take-home boxes the night before. Theses were super simple and added a lot to the day! First, we found some large disposable pans with lids at the dollar store for each family to fill up with treats. I also got some small bread loaf sizes for the individuals that wanted to take some back with them. The pans were then lined with some festive tissue paper. The red and white string was purchased in the holiday wrapping section at Target and the tags were printed from this website (found on pinterest of course!). Even though we were going through the recipes and learning them as a group, I wanted to make sure that everyone went home with a hard copy of each recipe. I used this template (also found on pinterest!) to print the recipes. I'm really happy with how everything turned out!

December 14, 2014

gift guide

On the 2nd day of blogmas!
gift guide 2014 part 1
gift guide 2014 part 1

gift guide 2014 part 1

Hopefully you find this gift guide helpful if you need ideas for your friend/sister/mom/girl/etc or just need some ideas for your own wish list!
1. Oversized Plaid Scarf in Multicolored - Target, $16.99
2. Alex and Ani Initial Charm Bangle in Gold - Nordstrom, $28.00
3. 1989 (Deluxe Edition) by Taylor Swift - Target, $15.99
4. Sugar Paper 2015 Daily Planner - Target, $7.99
5. Kate Spade Glitter Bug Stacy in Rose Gold - Nordstrom, $98.00
6. NARS Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita - Sephora, $26.00
    NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl - Sephora, $25.00
7. Monogram Mug - Anthropologie, $8.00
8. Beauty Subscription box -, $30.00/3months
     Beauty Subscription box -, $10.00/month
9. Gilligan & O'Malley Flannel Pajama Set in Almond - Target, $24.99
10. Incredible Things fragrance by Taylor Swift - Kohl's
11. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham - Barnes & Noble, $17.05
12. Yes Please by Amy Poehler - Barnes & Noble, $17.65
13. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso - Barnes & Noble, $16.49
14. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Top Coat - Target, $7.99
      Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Street Flair - Target, $7.99
15. Target Gift Card - Target, $20.00
16. Mossimo Supply Co. Weekender Bag - Target, $34.99
17. LC Lauren Conrad Square Stud earrings - Kohl's, $12.00
18. Gold Arrow Ring - Etsy, $5.99

December 13, 2014

new music

Welcome to blogmas 2014! Today is the first day of the 12 days of blogmas, and I can't believe this is the 4th year! Crazy! Just like years past, the first day is all about new Christmas music. Enjoy!

Holiday Wishes - Idina Menzel
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Sam Smith
That's Christmas To Me - Pentatonix
Mistletoe - Lucy Hale
Holiday For Swing! - Seth MacFarlane
Under The Influence: Holiday Edition - Straight No Chaser
At Christmas - Sara Evans
Snowed In - Kyle Kupecky
Baby! It's Christmas - Jesse James Decker
Home For the Holidays - Darius Rucker
Christmas In New York - Renee Fleming
Baby It's Cold Outside - Idina Menzel & Michael Buble
Christmas With Nashville - Nashville Cast
When Christmas Comes - Kim Walker-Smith
I'll Be Home for Christmas - Various Artists
Text Me Merry Christmas - Straight No Chaser feat. Kristen Bell
I'll Be Home - Megan Trainor
All I Want For Christmas - Fifth Harmony
Tell Me Santa - Ariana Grande
This Christmas - Jon McLaughlin
Winter Song - Ingrid Michaelson & Sara Bareilles
The Spirit of Christmas - Michael W. Smith

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