Baby Girl Nursery

Baby Girl Nursery
Baby Girl Nursery

Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List
Summer Bucket List

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Drugstore Beauty
Drugstore Beauty

Long Weekend + Exciting Announcement!

Happy Monday, friends! 

Hope you're feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after a long Thanksgiving weekend.  I unfortunately came down with ANOTHER head cold/sinus infection and it's been pretty brutal.  My holiday weekend was spent with my good friends Kleenex, cough drops and hot showers ;) but tis the season for these things I guess!  


On Thanksgiving morning, we packed our bags (and the chocolate pie) and headed up to my families for a delicious feast with just our immediate family which was really nice.  The food was ahhmazing and Brady even got his own bowl this year of turkey, mashed potatoes, a roll and applesauce - he was in heaven!  That afternoon I could already feel the scratchy throat coming on so we called it a very early night in hopes of getting up and going Black Friday shopping in the morning.

Unnnntil I didn't sleep the entire night, boo.  The stuffy nose and coughs kept me up (and probably everyone else in the house, sorry about that guys) so my family headed out the next morning to shop without me.  Nick was also out of the house about 3am to head up north to go hunting with his dad and that began my weekend on the couch. So thankful for my family for letting me crash until Sunday and doing everything from taking my dog out to delivering me meds to making me mac and cheese.  Not quite the weekend I had pictured, but it happens and I'll be getting a flu shot this week so fingers crossed it's the last sickness of the season!


Last night we put up some of our Christmas decor and it's got me all in the festive mood.  Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of December?!  And what better way to ring the most wonderful month of the year in than with a holiday link up?  Sara, Pinky and I are so excited to bring you... Countdown to Christmas!  Join us every Tuesday through the holiday season to talk about all things Christmas.  You can post about anything you want - recipes, decor, traditions, wish lists, anything!  Just link up with us and spread the cheer :)

Can't wait to see all of your posts tomorrow + I hope you had wonderful Thanksgivings!


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Thanksgiving Thankfulness


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it's got me feeling pretty reflective.  I honestly wish I paid this much attention to my blessings every day of the year, but I'm so glad we that we do have one day set aside to bring us all back to reality and focus on what's really important - and to eat some great food :)  From the big stuff to the little things, here's what I'm thankful for today and every day...

+ My faith, having my mom's Bible with all of her hand written notes, and a finding church here in town that we are enjoying.

+ The health of all of our family and friends.  

+ Brady boy - the sweetest dog I know.  Oh, and the fact that he's seemed to finally stop swallowing socks ;)

+ Netflix.  Duh.

+ The gooey grilled cheese that I'm currently eating for lunch and the sunlight streaming in the windows.

+ Having a warm, safe roof over our heads.

+ Getting to spend the next 4 days at home with my family.

+ My dad being happy and having found the best possible person for him to spend his life with.  Something that I wished for for so long.

+ The Junior League - I've met so many awesome ladies and have gotten to take part in some fun volunteer opportunities since joining.

+ Our neighborhoods Fed Ex man who is the world's nicest person.  He waves to our house and says hi to Brady  with the biggest smile on his face every single day that he drives by.

+ Living in the United States of America and all of our freedoms that we too often take for granted.

+ Going to sleep tucked into our flannel sheets each night.

+ My new Michael Buble Christmas CD - the best!

+ The fact that in less than 24 hours I'll be eating all of the chocolate pie :)

+ Marriage - getting to hang out with your best friend every day is the most amazing thing in the world.

+ Closets full of coats, hats, gloves and scarves to keep us warm.

And of course- you guys!  My blogging buddies.  Hope you all have the most wonderful, safe, happy Thanksgiving and that you eat as much as you possibly can.  I plan on checking back in on Friday with some of my Black Friday goodies + sales so I'll see ya then! :)

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Hostess With The Mostest

Tis the season for hosting and attending holiday parties -- starting with the big one this Thursday!  I always like to show up with a little something and so I've rounded up a few great ideas that are all under $40.  Wine and flowers are always guaranteed hits as well and are super easy to grab at the grocery store.  Although I say skip the flowers for the holidays and bring over one of these little Christmas trees instead - so flippin cute!  

What's your go to gift for hosts?

Pictured above: Faux Fur Wine Bag // Mi Casa, Su Casa Pillow // Metallic Porcelain Zebra Dish // Gilded Ceramic Coasters (set of 4) // Martha Stewart Appetizers Cookbook // NEST Holiday Classic Candle // You Are The Best Ceramic Mug // Decorative Tree & Bucket (only $18!) // Godinger Spirits Decanter 

PS: You can also find me over at Nikki's blog today talking about my favorite beauty trend for the holiday season! Go check it out! ;)
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First Snow


On Saturday morning, we woke up to our first major snowfall of the winter!  Technically still fall, but five inches of snow later and we've definitely moved onto winter here in Michigan.

I seriously always love the first snow of the year - I feel like a kid again.  We woke up and ran outside with Brady who loved it even more than I did.  I mean just look at that face in the last picture!  It makes me laugh every single time.  Last year he was still pretty little and didn't really 'get' the snow so we were excited to see how he reacted to it now.  Obsessed.  He had so much fun running and jumping in it and when we made him come inside, he just sat and stared out the front windows whining to go back out, ha!

It snowed allll day long, which made for the perfect day around the house.  We made pancakes and bacon for the breakfast, did some housework and cleaning up, and then spent five? six? hours on the couch watching Michigan/MSU college football dominate.  We pulled ourselves together around dinnertime to head out and check out a holiday farmers market where it was SO windy and cold that I couldn't even get my phone out to take pictures and then to grab Italian food for dinner.

After that it was back home to the couch and Netflix and our first fire of the year!


I'm not even going to tell you guys how many attempts it took to get this terrible picture.  For some reason, Brady would not sit anywhere near me so I practically had him in a choke hold while Nick was holding a treat to get him to look up.  All for a grainy, off centered, dark picture but you win some, you lose some!

Ps. I wore this scarf all weekend long - like literally, I wore it on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - and it's so warm and awesome.

Sunday was for church, errands, and the usual.  Now I'm just wrapping up my weekend on the couch, watching the American Music Awards (wondering how J. Lo does not age at all) and anxiously awaiting this caramel coat - which is on sale! - to be delivered tomorrow.  I mean, the toggles!  I can't wait!  

Hope you had fabulous weekends, too!
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Holiday Bucket List


... cause it's the most wonderful time of the year!

And also the fastest time of the year.  These next few weeks will fly by and it'll be 2016 before we know it (nuts) so I really want to be mindful of the things I want to do during the holidays.  I mean there are only 34 days til Christmas ;)  Here's what's on our agenda--

Have a sleepover in front of the fireplace
We did this last year after we painted our bedroom and it was my favorite thing ever.  Just look at this picture! Brady was so sweet and tiny! 

Christmas cookie baking day
Only the best day of the year!  I'll be sharing my four recipes I make every year next month.

Lunch at the Walnut Room in Chicago
This was a tradition we started with my family when we lived in Chicago and we're heading back to the city in a couple of weekends to continue it :)   

Pack Thanksgiving boxes with the Salvation Army
Doing this on Monday with the Junior League!

Attend a Christmas Eve church service
Probably my favorite holiday tradition.  We'll be spending Christmas with Nick's family this year so we'll have to find a church to go to on that side of the state!

Host a dinner with friends
We did this in the spring and it was so much fun that it's time to do it again.

Watch White Christmas and all of the beloved Christmas movies :)

Decorate the outside of our house
Or Nick will be doing that one...

Enjoy and really soak up the holiday season - try and not get caught up in the stress, money, time, travel nonsense.  That would probably mean NOT saving my Christmas shopping/wrapping for the week of (like usual), haha.

What's on your holiday bucket list?  We'll be getting the fun kicked off this weekend with a holiday farmers market and Christmas tree lighting on Saturday... oh, and the 6 inches of snow we're supposed to get!  Tis the season!

Image via
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On My Radar


It's coming, Midwest.... the snow is coming :(  Along with the freezing cold for the next six months, so not ready but there's no denying that it's coming.  Saturday and Sunday here in West Michigan are calling for a high of 35 degrees and an 80% chance of snow each day.  The only thing that makes it slightly okay is that it's finally time to bust out the cold weather gear!  Cute hats and mittens, colorful scarves and comfy coats and boots do make me happy while the weather sucks.  Here are a few of my current faves and a couple of babies on my wishlist:

+ Fleece lined leggings by Hue... that's all that needs to be said.  Plus they're on sale, even better yet!

+ I'm a big fan of Kiehls products and this Ultra Facial Cream is perfect for protecting your skin on those blustery, cold days.  Ps. I have a post coming next month about how to cure the terrible dry skin that comes with winter.

+ I wear my Hunter boots all.winter.long.  They're just so easy to slip on, especially for quickly taking the dog out or grabbing the mail.  While they aren't the warmest, I'm thinking a pair of the fleece welly socks should help with that.

+ How cute is this pompom cable knit hat?  And for that price, sold!

+ I desperately need a pair of nice gloves - these Halogen Touch Tech cashmere gloves look heavenly AND you can operate your phone with them on!  They come in tons of different colors, too.

+ Something I never thought I would say again... I want a pair of Ugg boots.  I'm loving the look of the new Kara boot: a slimmer profile and a bit of a wedge.  So. Cute.

+ I picked up this Old Navy brushed flannel scarf this week and LOVE it!  The online picture just doesn't do the bright colors justice.  It's huge and warm and for only $20, I want to get all of the colors.

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Festive Cocktails

Life is just better with a cocktail in hand, am I right?  Especially when they're festive holiday cocktails!  Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving (nine days to go, eeeek), a Christmas party or just looking for a fun drink to curl up in front of the fireplace with, Pinterest has got you covered.  I've rounded up five of the most delicious looking holiday beverages I could find - hope you enjoy!

ONE Jingle Juice: What's Christmas without a cranberry rum punch?


TWO | White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Martini:  You won't even need to serve dessert along with this cocktail!


THREE | Bourbon Spiked Hot Apple Cider: Use up the last of your cider with the warmest, coziest drink ever.


FOUR | Holiday Mule: Moscow Mules are my all time favorite drink so this one has my name written all over it!


FIVE | Winter Dreams Cocktail: A citrus-y drink with the quintessential holiday mint and cranberry garnish.


And if you're more of a wine drinker, here's a great pairing list for Thanksgiving, via Victoria McGinley!
Happy drinking ;)

  
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Weekend Snaps

Hi friends!

Hope you had a nice weekend.  Ours was good - went way too fast of course, but I'm relaxed and ready for the new week ahead.   So relaxed in fact that it's Sunday night and I'm laying on the couch, lazy and chilling and only feel like doing a recap in pictures.  Pretty crappy pictures actually... I can't figure out why they're so much blurrier (is that a word?) than normal, but like I said - lazy!  ;)

{Friday kicked off with a couple of my favorite things - Sephora shopping and Aunt Annie's pretzels!  I was able to pick up a bunch of great stuff at the sale (still going on thru tonight) and being at the mall all decorated for the holidays put me in such a festive mood.  Pair that with the fact that it was snowing outside and I may or may not have broken out the Christmas carols on the drive home!}

{And then I drove home to this poor boy that has pink eye.  I was able to get him into the vet last minute on Friday and he had the best time of his life of course (loves that place) and we've had the best time all week putting drops in his eye three times a day.  Not, ha but they're definitely helping so that's a great thing!}

{Saturday I was up bright and early to check out a holiday flea market outside of town.  If any of you are familiar with Liz Marie Blog, she hosted it and it was fabulous!  There was tons of great decor, but it was so insanely busy that I missed a lot of the good stuff and I only got there an hour after it started.  I did get a mini Christmas tree in galvanized baskets that is a-dorable.}

Not pictured:  Meeting up with my friend from college and her family for a hockey tailgate and then grabbing dinner downtown that night!  So great to see them.

{Nick is the pasta kiiiing.  On Sunday, we went grocery shopping and then he made baked ziti with meat sauce that was amazing.  I may or may not be eating leftovers right now!}

{The last highlight of the weekend - we booked our flights to Colorado in February!  So excited.  We're doing Breckenridge and then a night in Denver and it can't come soon enough.  Now to focus on NYE planning again ;)}
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Sephora VIB Sale Favorites

Happy Friday (the 13th)!

I am so flippin' excited for today because it kicks off the Sephora VIB sale and I am ready to do some damage!  I know blogland has been bombarded with these posts all week, but I love them because I could talk makeup recommendations all day long so I hope you don't mind one more!  This 20% off everything sale only comes around twice a year so it's the best time to stock up on beauty goodies.  The best part about the annual fall sale is that the holiday gift sets are included, which are my fave way to try new products.  

Here's what I've got on my (mile long) wishlist...


Sephora Collection Brush Set: I'm in desperate need of new brushes anyway, but how could one possibly turn these down?  Rose gold AND leopard?!  Yessss.  An awesome price for 5 brushes you'll use all of the time.


Butter London Glitz & Glam Nail Collection:  Confession - I've never tried a Butter London polish before!  Now is the time with these super cute colors.
First Aid Beauty Peace, Joy & FAB Kit: My skin has been on the fritz lately with breaking out so I'm thinking I need to mix things up.  I've heard great reviews about the FAB line and this set includes their top 5 best selling products.  I'm also considering this Fresh Skincare Heroes set... what do you guys prefer?  First Aid Beauty or Fresh products?
Tata Harper Glow On Demand:  I've been dying to try Tata Harper products and didn't even realize Sephora carried them, thank you to Nina for the heads up!  Their products can be quite pricey so trying them out in this sample kit before shelling out the big bucks is definitely the way to go.  Most excited about this one!
The Dry Bar Four Pack:  Another line I've never tried before and can't wait to get my hands on.  This 4 piece set includes a dry shampoo, hairspray, shine mist and texturizer.  All in travel sizes - yes please!


BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfecter:  I've had this BECCA x Jaclyn Hill highlighter on my wishlist for a while, so when I saw that there was a kit that ALSO includes a liquid illuminator for half of the price, I was sold.  Of course it's half of the size as well, but it's a great way to try it out and make sure I like it.

I'll also be restocking some of my favorite products: bronzer, concealer, Clarisonic brush heads (this is a great time to buy a Clarisonic if you don't have one yet!), brow brush and mascara.  

Tell me what you're picking up from the sale!  
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Travel Thursday: 3 NYE Vacation Choices

I can't believe it's taken me so long to get back to this post!  Thank you to everyone who provided so much awesome advice and great suggestions on my last Travel Thursday post, all about cruising (see that here).  

A little back story in case you missed that initial postI thought I'd completely plan three different NYE trips, present them to Nick and he could pick his favorite.  It just seems like a fun way to get him involved in planning (which he isn't really a fan of) and choosing what to do, but I still get to do all of the work.  Which, I must say, I like doing!  I think half of the fun in going on a vacation is the planning/anticipation of it.  It's just a fun way to spice things up a bit.

SO!  Finally our three vacation choices!  We still haven't decided on one yet, but considering we're only 50 days away from New Years Eve, we will be booking something soon.  Yay! :)


ONE | Cruise
Royal Caribbean has a couple options that would be perfect for us.  One is a 4 night Bahamas cruise that would leave from Port Canaveral and hit Coco Cay, Nassau and have one day at sea.  It leaves on New Years Eve so I was thinking we could fly down to Orlando maybe a day early and spend it at Disney or something - always trying to work Disney into any trip I can ;)  I think this might be our best option as it's been a LONG time since either of us cruised and starting with a shorter one might be better.

The other cruise option would be a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise leaving Port Canaveral and hitting Coco Cay, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and spending 3 days at sea.  I'm almost unsure if this would be a *bit* too long for us, with too many days at sea.  Just not sure.  It leaves the 27th and gets us home on Sunday the 3rd which would be great so we don't have to miss any work days.


TWO | California
One of my bucket list items is a Pacific Coast Highway road trip... what better time than New Years Eve?  We would start in San Francisco, spend a couple of nights, head down the coast with spending one night in Carmel or Big Sur, and then spend a couple of days in LA.  This trip surprisingly is coming out the cheapest right now which is a nice pro.  Nick has never been to California and I've only been to LA once so I'd love to explore the rest of the state.  The options are endless with everything we could do there.


THREE | Atlantis
I've wanted to go to Atlantis since the Mary Kate & Ashley movie, ha!  I mean what could be better than a few days of lounging in the sun, eating, exploring, relaxing?  Biggest con to this is the price.  I'm thinking Atlantis is going to be one of those places that charges you a lot to do everything.  Just the hotels rooms over NYE are quite pricey and flights into Nassau are much higher than flying anywhere in the US.  But then I look at the pictures of the water and I'm sold all over again.

Optional fourth spot | Charleston
Nick has mentioned Charleston for New Years a few times over the last month.  We LOVED it when we visited for our anniversary last year, but I can't help but feel like we should go somewhere new.  And is the weather super nice at the end of December?  I'm sure it would be gorgeous to see the city decked out for the holidays and there are so many restaurants we are dying to try there... I guess it could be a contender!

So what do you guys think?  I'm so torn, I want to do them all!  If you've been to any of these places or have any suggestions/recommendations, I'd love to hear them.  

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On My Radar: Weekender Bags


I knew once I started talking about the holidays, I wasn't going to be able to stop.  They're just my favorite, I'm sorry!  Today we're talking about weekender bags because if there is one thing the holidays = it's travel.  We live about 1.5 hours away from my family and 3 hours away from Nick's family and they are 3 hours apart from each other in opposite directions (of course).  So not too far, but far enough that we don't get to spend every holiday with both families.  Since we've been married, we've split up our time: spend Thanksgiving with one, Christmas with another.  It's a bummer to not see everyone at both holidays, but I feel like if we tried to travel between the two, we wouldn't be celebrating at all, just driving.  What do you guys do with families that are spread apart?

Anyway!  Back to the bags.  With all of the traveling coming up, it's definitely a good idea to have a great weekender bag handy.  I had a Vera Bradley one for YEARS that held up so well, but just this summer switched to this monogrammed satchel from Tuckernuck that I absolutely love.  It's super well made, has a comfortable strap and fits perfectly into overhead bins if you'll be doing air travel.  I can't lie though, I really want to get this Sole Society bag, too... it's gorgeous.  Happy travels!

Tuckernuck Monogrammed Sunshine Satchel // Sole Society Cassidy Weekender
Michael Kors Signature Large Weekender // Fossil Preston Leather Weekender 
Sole Society Rowan Oversized Satchel // Vera Bradley Weekender

Image via

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Erin Condren Life Planner GIVEAWAY!

Hello ladies!  

One quick extra post today for ya... an Erin Condren Life Planner giveaway!  It's that time again to start thinking about our 2016 planners and I've teamed up with a few of my favorite blog friends to help you out with that.  Erin Condren has everything you could possibly need and one lucky person will win a customized life planner just by entering below. The giveaway will run through Monday, November 16 at midnight.  Good luck!!

Erin Condren 2016 Classic Life Planner giveaway with
  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Holiday Baking Essentials

The first holiday post.... eeek!!! It sort of feels too soon although we ARE only two weeks away from Thanksgiving. So insane. Easily one of my favorite parts of the holidays is eating - eating alllll the things. I love turkey and ham and mashed potatoes and stuffing and green bean casserole, but I really love my desserts. I'm literally counting down the days until I get to dig into my dad's chocolate pie and for my annual all day cookie baking extravaganza. Mmm. 

So in the spirit of dessert, I thought I'd round up a few of my must have baking essentials today. The only super expensive item is the infamous KitchenAid Stand Mixer which yes, is 100% worth the money. I bought a marble pastry board this spring so it'll be my first holiday season using it and I can't wait to see if it really does make a difference when rolling out dough. One thing I still need to pick up? An adorable apron. Anthropologie, here I come!  What are your favorite baking essentials?

Pictured above: White Marble Pastry Board // Alexia Cake Stand with Glass Dome // Wooden Rolling Pin // KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer // Holiday Cookie Cutters // Balloon Whisk // Stoneware Pie Dish // Glass Prep Bowls // Silver Snowflake Oven Mitt // Essential Oils Meyer Lemon Hand Set
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