Weekend Wonderland

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Merry Tuesday, friends! I took last week off, and it really felt so nice to have a mini hiatus. I find that this time of year can be so busy, and I really want to slow it down the best I can to enjoy it to its fullest. With all the Christmas festivities, my daughter's birthday, and a first-trimester pregnancy this year, I also need to find some time to rest amidst our go-go-go schedule. So that's exactly what I did as far as blogging and social media went. But, I missed you all; I really do love my blogging family!

Since we had the loveliest weekend, I thought I would share a little snippet of it today. Friday morning, Greer and I headed out to my hometown mountains. We met my mama at my Grandmom's house for a little time together and to make some preparations for family Christmas dinner. We're approaching a year without her, and truthfully it hasn't gotten easier. Grandmom's house is certainly not the same without her there, but everything that fills the house feels like her. And it was exactly what I needed. 

We headed home later in the afternoon, grabbed dinner to bring with us on our way in, then bundled up for the local downtown parade. We almost didn't go because of the freezing temperatures, but I'm so glad we went on. Greer had the best time, and she's still recounting her favorite parts...the motorcycles, horses, big trucks, and marching bands. I just can't say it enough, but this time of year is SO much more magical with a little. She is very aware of everything going on, and her heart is in the festive spirit! It's the best! 

We woke Saturday morning to the most magical snow, and my heart could have exploded. Greer walked around the house, peering out of every window saying, "wow!" She was fascinated with it! After breakfast, we bundled up and got outside into the snow. I'm fairly certain Greer would have stayed out there all day long. Husband was a champ, running her up and down the incline in our yard. With each passing trip, she asked to go faster. Clearly, she has a need for speed. We finished up our morning in the snow with a mini snowball fight, then headed inside to warm up. Husband built a fire while Greer and I cuddled up on the couch. She munched on dry cereal and I sipped iced coffee. 

Husband treated us to grilled cheese sandwiches and hot tomato soup for lunch, before our little bit to bed. Then we made Christmas candy with my mom and sister. Saturday night came to a close with a drive-through live nativity. Greer loved it as much as we did. If you've never been to one, you must! So much magic in one day makes for holiday perfection.

Sunday we spent the day at my Grandmom's with family, celebrating the season and eating the most delicious food. I love family and big get-togethers; for me this whole day was joy-inducing. Our weekend really was amazing, and it did my heart so much good. Whether you had snow or not, I hope your weekend was just as wonderful!

And I can't forget to mention Peppermint, our very own Elf on the Shelf. Y'all, this elf is a lot of fun for adding a little extra festive to the month of December. We're not getting elaborate with Peppermint's shenanigans just yet, but I'm storing up ideas for the years to come!

Little Love Letters || Almost December Edition

Thursday, November 30, 2017

dear november,
you were good to us. thanks for a lovely thanksgiving and days filled with holiday traditions.

dear wooly pullover,
i think you would be absolute perfection for the winter months.

dear first trimester,
if i'm being honest, i really don't like you. you are so very rough on me. i'm so happy we're about to part ways.

dear christmas tree,
you make me deliriously happy with your fresh fir smell and twinkle lights. you really are lovely.

dear sneakers,
why are you sold out in my size??

dear she & him christmas station on pandora,
you get me. and you'll be playing all season long.

dear junebug,
we are already so in love with you. your big sister says your nickname so adorably.

dear christmas pajamas,
i think you're the best, most festive thing. i hope i can convince my family always that you are needed for the entire month of december.

dear iced coffee,
you're making a comeback in my life. i'm trying not to get too excited, because every day is different (see note to first trimester), but i think our future is bright.

cheers + xo's

p.s. enter this GIVEAWAY (below) for a chance to win 4 pairs of the christmas pajamas (chosen at the company's discression based on stock)! this giveaway closes at midnight on December 6 and the winner will be announced the following Friday! 

p.p.s. read more little love letters.

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A Hill-Kind-Of-Christmas-Tree

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
The day after Thanksgiving we headed straight to the Christmas tree farm to find our winning Christmas tree for the season. After wrapping up, we ventured the short trip with hot cocoa in hand and Christmas tunes playing. Hunting for and cutting down our Christmas tree is one of my very traditions. And this year it was so much more fun with Greer being extra aware of everything going on! She was very vocal about which direction to head and what tree tickled her fancy. Her excitement for all of the festivities is sheer magic.

This particular morning was perfectly chilly and bright, which was great considering the unseasonal warmth we've been having on and off. Plus, I love a chance to wear a toboggan and winter coat. And there isn't anything much cuter than a bundled up baby/toddler.

We had the best time wandering the hills of the tree farm until we came across our winning tree. Husband cut it down lickety-split and we made our way back to the shop to find our keepsake ornament for the year, grab a jar of hot pepper jelly, and have our tree shaken and bundled. 

Can you even?! That little face is nothing but joy. Her daddy would run her back and forth on the worn roadway and she would bounce herself up and down while wildly clapping her hands. This was her expression the entire time. This girl is fearless and always loves a wild adventure.

She may look slightly terrified, but don't be fooled. I just couldn't catch her smiling. Her favorite part of the shop....the rocking chairs. She found a cozy spot in one and rocked away. Once we paid for our tree and husband loaded it up, we nestled back in the van for the trip home. Our tree is sweetly tucked into the front corner of our family room, and I'm soaking in the 24/7 twinkle lights and smell of fresh fir filling our home. This really is the most wonderful time of the year! 

A Holiday Coffee Tray With Starbucks®

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
This shop was compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#SavorHolidayFlavors #CollectiveBias 

Hover over the above image to shop directly from this post!

Tis the most festive time of the year! I love to find little ways to celebrate all December long, especially by bringing people together. And what better way to get into the holiday spirit than hosting a little coffee soirée? Whether it's a couples' get-together or with your best gals, this is an easy way to spread a little cheer and enjoy some quality time during the holiday season. So send out the invites, throw up the twinkle lights, and prep the perfect holiday coffee tray. With a little red, some faux snow, and Starbucks® Holiday Blend, your tray will be sure to delight. 

A S S E M B L I N G    T H E    C O F F E E    T R A Y
  1. Put down a thin layer of faux snow. I only covered a corner of the tray to keep some variance in texture.
  2. Add straws, stir sticks, candy canes, and cookie stirrers to different jars. I used two white mason jars + one coffee cup. This little differentiation is a fun way to make your coffee tray stand out.
  3. Use a fun container for your creamer, and set that out in the "snow" too.
  4. Add a faux pine tree (or other similar accent piece) to enhance the holiday feel. If you feel like it, add candy canes to the tree. 
  5. Set out your coffee cups.
  6. Lastly, add your bag of Starbucks® Holiday Blend ground coffee to the tray. Its pop of red is not only festive, but it's a fun way to tell your guests what type of coffee you're brewing. They can check out all of the information about the coffee right on the bag!

For me, it's all about the details and turning something ordinary into something a little more spectacular. Just taking it up a notch and displaying items in fun ways is an easy way to spruce up anything. For this coffee tray, I kept the season in mind and went with a red and white theme. I used the Starbucks® Holiday Blend red for inspiration and went from there! From wooden Santa coffee stirrers to a sweet cookie treat that could be used as a stirrer too, my tray came to life.

But it wouldn't be complete without the most aromatic coffee brewing in the background. We love Starbucks® Holiday Blend ground coffee, it's a favorite in our house, and it's just the right brew for this time of year. And really, the smell couldn't be lovelier. Pair it with your favorite creamers and toppings or opt for black if that's more your style!

Now settle in with your family and friends to enjoy the time together! Cheers!

You can find the 10 oz bag of Starbucks® Holiday Blend ground coffee at Walmart in the coffee aisle. Purchase three qualifying Starbucks® packaged coffee, Starbucks® K-Cup® packs, VIA® Instant, Starbucks® Syrups, or Starbucks® Cookie Straw packs products in single transaction at Walmart stores from November 1 - December 26 and receive 75 bonus stars when you upload your receipt at Starbucks-stars.com.