(A family toast)

It has been a relaxing start to the New Year so far. I’ve been off work more than I’ve been there, and spent one entire day being lazy. It’s something I don’t do often – it makes me feel like I’ve wasted the day. Much to my surprise, staying in bed until 11 and eating Chinese takeout on the couch really isn’t that terrible. It was nice to have a day and some time to recharge, and get energized for all of the exciting things 2015 has in store for me.


(A great dinner with family and friends to ring in the New Year)


(Taking down Christmas // putting out  my new coffee table books)


(Out-takes from a fun shoot with Ryan)


(A relaxing evening all to myself)




(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!


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


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


(A morning spent wrapping up my Christmas presents)


(A sneak peek at our annual Christmas card photo)



(Coming home just got a little more festive)

The days start blurring together this time of year. I was trying to think back over this past week, and really couldn’t remember what was last week, and what happened this week. There don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done, and my to-do list keeps getting longer. I was able to accomplish a lot of my shopping this past week, but am looking forward to wrapping things up (quite literally) next week – stay tuned for a sneak peek at this year’s wrapping! Hope everyone has a great weekend, here’s a few things that helped me get through this hectic week.


(Enjoying a quiet night at home with a glass of eggnog)


(Group shot soaking up the sunshine)


(Santa’s little helper)


(Hunter smiling for the camera)



One of my favorite movies (like most girls) is Breakfast at Tiffany’s. While I love every single outfit she wears throughout the movie, there is one in particular that has always been my favorite. It’s towards the end of the movie, when she is in a turtleneck sweater, trousers, and loafers – that’s my favorite look (you can see it here). This sweater really doesn’t look like the one she wore at all, but anytime I see a chunky, cropped turtleneck sweater, it instantly makes me want to pull my hair back, put on some bright red lipstick, and embrace my inner Audrey.

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I wore this out to breakfast over the weekend, and despite the freezing cold gusts of wind (you can probably tell from my face in some of these pictures), the thick and oversized neck on this sweater kept me surprisingly warm. I seem to be on a bit of a black and white bender lately – but it makes it easy to accessories with festive pops of red this time of year!

Hope everyone had a great weekend, thanks for stopping by!

Photos by Ryan Sides


JOA Sweater :: Madewell Pants :: Metallic Belt (similar) :: Hobo Clutch :: Madewell Booties



(Stocking up on fresh fruits for breakfast)

Now that we’re a few days into December, it officially feels like the holiday season. I’ve gradually been doing some Christmas shopping, decorating my home, and finally went last night to get a Christmas tree. I can only imagine that means my plans for the weekend will include sitting in pajamas, snuggled up with hot cocoa, watching Christmas movies. It’s my favorite time of year, so I can’t wait to be home for the day tomorrow, and help my parents get a jump start on their decorating. Hope everyone has a great weekend!


(Hunting for the perfect Christmas tree)


(Fresh flowers + coffee to start my vacation)


(When picking up Christmas greens and peonies can happen at the same time, I’m a pretty happy girl)

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(Luna’s happy her favorite spot is back)



(My favorite girl nestled up in her new favorite blanket)

I’ve been on the vacation for the last day and a half, so as an effort to ‘unplug’ and relax, I’ll be turning in a day early this week. We are taking the family to the cabin for a pre-thanksgiving this weekend, and getting a head start on some of the Christmas decorating. After this weekend starts the busiest weeks of the year at work, so I’ll be taking the opportunity to do a whole lot of nothing but lounging by the fire, drinking coffee in my pajamas, and getting fresh mountain air. As always, you can follow along on The M.A. Times adventures through Instagram here. Hope everyone has a great weekend!


(A leisurely birthday breakfast with my sister at Herons)


(Having no shame in the fact that Taylor Swift’s new album got me through most of this week)


(His and hers online shopping)


(Handmade jewelry dishes – I’m obsessed!)



(Family breakfasts centered around a plateful of donuts are the best breakfasts)

I’m so excited the weekend is finally here – after a long, yet productive week, the beginning of this weekend means I’m only one week away from our family’s “pre-thanksgiving” escape to the cabin next week. I have a few more days of work before I’m on vacation, and then move into the official start to the holidays. This is my favorite time of year. I love the menu planning, the grocery shopping, (the slight bit of chaos and stress), as well as more than usual time spent with family and loved ones. I hope everyone has a great weekend!


(A box of chocolates from Ryan to help get me through the week)


(Some days require a bit more lunchtime shopping than others – particuraly those that I find myself in the shoe department)


(A one-eared Luna)


(The Duke Children’s Grand Prix last weekend)