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Christmas Instagrams

2 Jan

Here are a few instagrams from our holiday festivities.  Jonathan and I had such a wonderful time celebrating Christmas with each other in Corvallis as well as with our fabulous families in Washington.  And, one of our favorite parts about visiting our families is getting to see all our sweet nieces and nephews!

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The above and below photos are of our Christmas tree in Corvallis.  What can I say, I LOVE wrapping presents and decorating for Christmas!

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This year, we decided to spend Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas day with Jonathan’s.  I am happy to say, it ended up working out great!  We had so much fun spending the day relaxing with my family and putting together this epic puzzle!

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The above photo is the beautiful Christmas table Jonathan’s mom put together for the family!  It was amazing!

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Above is sweet baby Hallie and below is my cute niece, Elsie, who turns 1 today!  Happy Birthday Elsie!

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We spent New Years Eve in Corvallis with some good friends, and we had a wonderful time!  I made this party hat for the festivities!   And, the below picture is of our fabulous friend, Edie, and her super cute New Years costume!

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We had such a wonderful vacation visiting family and friends!  I miss them already!  But, it also feels good to be home.  I am ready to start working hard toward my goals this year, and I am looking forward to starting up school again!

Happy New Years!

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Sugar Cookie Recipe

21 Dec

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Good morning friends!  And, happy Friday!  Can you believe it is almost Christmas?!  To celebrate, I have a very yummy Christmas cookie recipe for you today.  I thought it would be fun to put a little twist on the Christmas classic, sugar cookies. My secret ingredient is dark chocolate peppermint bark!  I adapted a recipe from Real Simple which you can find here.  Here is the recipe for you to enjoy!
 
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Ingredients for Sugar Cookies
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
 
Instructions for Sugar Cookies
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
 
Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth.  Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla.  Reduce mixer speed to low.
 
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and add it slowly to the butter mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff).  Shape into a flat 1-inch-thick disk.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.  The scraps can be combined and rolled out again.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown.  Watch the cookies closely because I found the second and third batch baked faster and you might want to take them out sooner.  Cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring to cooling racks. 
 
Ingredients for Frosting
2 cups of powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons of milk (I used 2%)
Food coloring
Trader Joes Peppermint Bark for Baking
 
Instructions for Frosting
This is a rough estimate for how much of the frosting ingredients you will need.  It is best to pour the desired amount of powdered sugar in a bowl and then slowly add milk.  Pour in about half the milk and then stir the mixture.  If the consistency is still too thick, pour in a little more milk.  Once you have the consistency right, add the desired colors of food coloring.  I chose to do hot pink because I am obsessed with the color AND to get a good red color you have to use a lot of red food coloring, and I don’t like having too much food coloring in the frosting.
 
Once the cookies are cooled, use a spoon to lightly cover the cookies with frosting.  Don’t try to cover the entire cookie or the frosting will just run off the sides.  Once the cookies are frosted, sprinkle the peppermint bark over the top of the cookies.  And, voila!  So tasty!
 
*Note:  If you are just baking for a couple people, cutting the recipe in half is a great amount.  
 
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Holiday Photo Inspiration

20 Dec

Happy Thursday!  Inspired by Pinterest, I thought I would post a few holiday photos that have inspired me this holiday season. Enjoy!

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Photo Source: Camille Styles

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Photo Source: Afinidades Eletivas

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Photo Source: Designlovefest

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Photo Source: Odessa May Society

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Photo Source: Kinfolk Magazine

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Photo Source: Kinfolk Magazine

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Photo Source: Design Mom

Look For Less

18 Dec

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Good morning!  I woke up to snow outside my window this morning!  So magical!  Now it really feels like Christmas!

Today I wanted to do another budget fashion post for you.  For this post, I picked out a popular fashion trend and found were you can get the look for less.  I chose the beautiful “Peplum Dress” because it is so elegant and fun.  The price tag on this dress can be quite expensive, but I found a really cute version of this dress at Target for much less!  This dress would be great for a fun Christmas party or a Christmas Eve service.

You can see the Alice + Olivia dress here and the Target dress here.

Access my Holiday Party Playlist

17 Dec

Hi friends!  Happy Monday!  We are quickly approaching Christmas, and I am getting so excited!  We did a bunch of Christmas shopping over the weekend.  It felt really good to start checking off things from our Christmas to do list.

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Do you remember my Holiday Party Playlist I made for you last week?  Well, I decided to make a playlist on Spotify for you so you could access it yourself!  Hooray!  That is another thing you can mark off your list if you haven’t already made a playlist for all your holiday parties.  Just click this link Christmas Playlist and it will take you to my playlist.  Enjoy!

Gift Wrapping with Kraft Paper Two Ways

14 Dec

Happy Friday!  I am so happy it is almost the weekend!  It has been a busy week so I am excited to do a little relaxing and go on a date with my fabulous husband!

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Today I have a basic DIY for you!  I thought I would share with you my favorite gift wrapping tricks.  First and foremost, my favorite way to wrap gifts is with brown kraft paper.  It is a must craft item I keep in my house at all times.  I love it because you can make all your gifts look different depending on how you want to accent the kraft paper.  Below I have showed you two ways I love to wrap my gifts with kraft paper.  There are millions of other great ways to wrap presents, but these are just a couple of fun examples!

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Vintage Tags:  All you will need for this is kraft paper, a fun type of twine and vintage tags.  For mine, I used red and white striped twine, and I wrapped it around the gift three times.  Then, I tied a bow with the tag attached to the twine.

Painted Letter:  For this gift you will need kraft paper, paint, a paint brush and a stencil of the letter of your choice.  I securely placed the letter stencil on the top of the wrapped gift, and then painted the inside of the stencil red.  I also accented the red letter with a little bit of gold paint.  Voila!

What is your favorite gift wrapping tips?

Gift Guide: Kids Clothing

13 Dec

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Hello!  I have a fun kids clothing gift guide for you.  I stumbled upon this cute online clothing store awhile back and I have been dying to share it with you!  Their kids (and baby) clothing is SO cute and fun!  The store is called Noe + Zoe and comes from Berlin, Germany.  You can find there online shop here as well as the United States online store that carries their clothing here.  I love there bright colors and beautiful stripes!  I have a collected a few items from there shop that I am in love with so that you can see some of what they offer.

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1. Neon Pink Coat 2. The cutest Striped Pants 3. Striped Hat 4. Loop Scarf

Photo Source here

Holiday Party Playlist

10 Dec

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Happy Monday friends!  How was your weekend?  We were home this weekend!  It was so nice to catch up on life after being out of town so much lately!  The weekend was filled with lots of Christmas shopping and wrapping presents.  I seriously love wrapping presents!  It is so fun to wrap  gifts with beautiful paper and ribbon.  Does anyone else feel that way or am I alone in this department?

Today I have created a fun holiday party playlist for you.  It is a compilation of some of my favorite Christmas songs.  I have been listening to Christmas music non-stop lately so I thought I would give out my recommendations of some great music for the holidays.  Some of the music is nostalgic from my childhood while others are classics.  Enjoy!

DIY Christmas Tree Garland

7 Dec

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Hello friends!  I have another fun DIY for you today!  Remember the post awhile back where I showed you how to make a fun pom pom garland for a party?  Well, here is another fun use for the pom pom garland – Christmas tree garland!  Use the instructions here to create the garland and then just stream it up around your tree.  I used bright red poms with white thread for my Christmas tree garland.  I was so happy with how it turned out I decided not to even hang ornaments!  Here are a few more pictures of how our tree turned out.  Enjoy!

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Happy Friday friends!