Rainy Reflections

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It’s crazy to think we are just a couple of days away from the end of 2014. It’s been such a fast year with so many wonderful memories. This time last year, was when I decided to throw myself into blogging. I remember sitting at an eye appointment with my Poppop, realizing how much I loved this hobby, and promising myself that a year later, I would still be doing it.

I’ve had so many amazing experiences this past year and have learned so much already. I feel like I’m just at th beginning of something great, and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me. Thank you all for being a part of this journey so far, and all of your support that keeps me going. I hope everyone has a wonderful end of 2014, and embraces the possibilities 2015 has in store for us!

Photos by Ryan Sides


SHOP THE POST

Frenchi Lace Top :: H&M Skirt (similar) :: BCBG Pumps (similar) :: J.Crew Bag (old, love this one) :: Moon & Lola Necklace :: Made well Ring :: YSL ‘Rouge Voulpte’ Lipstick

My Christmas Story

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Yesterday, Cupcakes & Cashmere posted about Holiday Traditions. It was so fascinating to read about what other people do year to year that makes the holidays special and unique to them.  Whether it’s shopping sprees or Christmas dinners that are traditional, it seems like everyone has a little something they just can’t have Christmas with out. I’ve always joked that my family has so many Christmas traditions that it makes us seem a little ritualistic/crazy – but I wouldn’t change a minute of it. Here’s what my holiday will look like starting tomorrow afternoon!

Sometime Christmas Eve afternoon, I’ll load up my presents into my car, and send a text to my family saying “Santa’s sleigh is on the move,” meaning I’m headed over to my parents’ house. I’ll arrive, decorate the mantle and the table, and help cook Christmas Eve dinner. We will eat chicken parmesan, go to mass and then come home and my sister and I will take a picture under our Christmas tree (a “foot pop” is usually involved). Next, we receive our annual Christmas jammies – they are always cute, comfy, and well coordinated. Another picture under the Christmas tree follows. At this point, we all retreat to our separate rooms, and finish up any wrapping or card making we have left. My sister and I usually always fell asleep listening to our parents wrapping presents and laughing.

Christmas morning, I’m always the first one up. I’ll make sure my parents are up, then go to my sister’s room, shake her gently, an say “wake up, it’s Christmas!” She will reluctantly roll out of bed, and finish up making a card (or three). We will get all of our presents together, and sit and wait at the top of the stairs. Our parents meet us at the bottom (usually stopping us for a photo op halfway through), and then we head into our small family room for stockings.

We listen to the same Christmas CD every year, and stockings never take any less than an hour or two – it’s a little ridiculous, but always my favorite part. Next, after we finish stockings (and the overflow piles), we pause for eggs benedict for breakfast. We then move into the other living room, that has the tree and our gifts, and take turns opening until there is nothing left under the tree. Christmas is a several hour long procedure in our house, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This year, my Christmas story will be changing for the first time. My sister got married this past summer, and we will be welcoming Pat into our Christmas Traditions. I’m excited to see how our growing family adds for even more fun and love on Christmas. Some things may change, but how happy being home and around family this time of year will always stay the same.

Winter To-Do List

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I always use the changing of seasons as the beginning of a new period of time. It’s always on the first day of the season that I map out what it is I want to accomplish most. Most of the things on the list have to do with holidays or cliche season-realted things, but others are smaller tasks I have been putting off. Here is what has made it onto my list this holiday season, and what will be keeping me busy during the long, cold months ahead. (You can see my past winter to do list here).

1. Actually manage to stay awake until midnight on New Years Eve.

2. Find a way to organize my closet that I will stick to.

3. See snow (this will make the list year after year).

4. Spend a weekend with friends and family cozied up in the cabin.

5. Attempt to build (and if all else fails, buy) a coffee table.

6. Experiment with making new types of pasta from scratch.

7. Launch a new blog design (coming soon – stay tuned!).

8. Attempt to read all of the magazines I get delivered (and make some of the recipes, too).

9. Take a weekend getaway, or plan a trip for the near future.

10. Get my craft area under control so that I can get re-inspired for some home DIY projects.

*Images via Pinterest 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10

Currently

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(Love my hometown this time of year)

I can’t believe the week before Christmas is already over. I’ve said it a million times but I’ll say it again – this truly is the best time of year. I love everyone’s festive spirit, the hustle bustle, the brisk weather, and the constant get togethers with friends and family. I’m looking forward to a weekend full of fun, including a date night tonight, a gingerbread house party with my Aunt Joan tomorrow (something I haven’t gotten to do since I was a child), Christmas parties, and a day spent with my mom. It’ll be a jam packed weekend, but I can’t wait to indulge in all the festivities. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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(Sometimes I love the fact that my boyfriend is a total five year old)

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(Had several perfect nights spent by my twinkling tree this week)

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(A morning spent wrapping up my Christmas presents)

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(A sneak peek at our annual Christmas card photo)

Holiday Table Decor: Rosemary

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Just like Thanksgiving, decorating the table at Christmas time is always a big deal for me. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to plan this year, so I started scouring Pinterest for some simple, yet festive ideas. One reoccurring theme stuck in my head – incorporating rosemary into the table scape. Once I started looking into place settings, it turns out it’s actually a pretty common theme. Here are just a few images from Pinterest that I’ll be using to inspire my table this year.

**Images via 1/2/3/4/5/6/7

Holiday Champagne

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Tis the season for toasting and celebrating, and there’s no better way to do it than with a glass os of champagne. To make things a little more festive, I tried this variation, and it added a nice little pop of flavor. It was much lighter than a traditional mimosa, but a little bit more exciting and festive than a classic glass of champagne. It only takes a few ingredients, and can be made in just minutes.

Ingredients

Champagne, rosemary, splash of fresh orange juice, orange peel, orange bitters (optional)

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