Thursday, December 24, 2015

{Merry Christmas!}

Wishing each & everyone of you a very Merry Christmas filled with love, family & all the JOY of the season!

Monday, December 21, 2015

{The Most Wonderful Week of The Year}

Y'all - I look forward to this week all year long...it's the most wonderful week of the year!  Of course, it would be much better if it were about 30 degrees colder - a high of near 80, 100% humidity & rain all week is NOT my idea of Christmas weather, but what good is complaining going to do?  Flip flops & t-shirts instead of boots & sweaters it is! =)

Last Tuesday, the ladies at work had a girl's night...3 hours of margaritas, Mexican food  & LOTS of laughs.  Fun times for sure.  Love these ladies!
 
Friday, they surprised me with a Christmas gift & it's my favorite present so far...a selfie stick!!  I am super pumped & can't wait to use it.  I have been wanting one forever!! We still have to practice a little more so we don't get the stick in the picture...but not bad for our first attempt! =)
Saturday I was up early & in College Station by 9am to finish my Christmas shopping.  Surprisingly it wasn't too crazy & the best part - I AM DONE!!  I still have a little wrapping to do, but that's the easy part.  Gift buying stresses me big time because I never know what to get anyone.  But, I will admit, this year - I only had to buy a few gifts & it makes me sad to see an empty tree.  My friends & I decided not to exchange gifts & we decided against exchanging gifts at my grandma's as well. Sounded like a good idea at the time.  Here's to having a full tree of presents next year!  I did make one "Merry Christmas to me" purchase...an overnight bag from Sam's of all places.  It's Tiffany blue & navy and I just couldn't pass it up.  2016 will definitely involve travel of some sort...so it will be perfect!

Sunday was our church Christmas program...Morgan was Mary & Mason was the innkeeper.  It's always a little chaotic, but always super cute.
After lunch with my mom & dad, I made one more trip to Wal-Mart for a few last minute things.  I went Saturday night & bought all of  my groceries so no more stores for me until after Christmas!  3 more days of work & then I am on vacation for 11 days!!  Whoop!  Whoop!  Now if I can just get Nola to sleep in past 6am a few days, we will be in good shape.  Speaking of Nola - obviously this weekend wore her out.  I found her sleeping on the bed around 7:30 last night & besides getting up to potty once, she was out for the rest of the night.
 
The rest of the week consists of celebrating my dad's birthday, making a few holiday goodies, wrapping presents & watching as many Hallmark Christmas movies as I can.  I'm getting a little sad just thinking about all this coming to an end, but I know we will blink & it will be this time of year again.  In the mean time - I am going to soak up & enjoy every second of this week!

Monday, December 14, 2015

{1st Annual Cookie Exchange Party}

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a great weekend.  It rained here most of the day Saturday & Sunday, but at least it's finally a tad cooler.  Near 90 temps in December was for the birds!  I was told we were supposed to have a  cold, wet winter.  Well, somebody lied!

On Sunday I hosted my first cookie exchange party for the neighborhood ladies.  I love hosting parties, especially during the holidays.  I waited too long to set a date so only 7 ladies were able to make it, but we had great time.  I provided light snacks & wine, and everyone brought 4 dozen cookies each.  Whenever I host a party, I am so worried about people being bored & not having anything to "do", but before we knew it - 2 hours had passed!  We got to know everyone a little better, swapped house stories & just enjoyed great conversation.  Sonya brought her famous homemade eggnog so I tried it for the first time...and it was actually good!  I think the whole "it contains raw eggs" was a mental thing that kept me from always trying it.  =)
I bought everyone a cute little Christmas tin to put their cookies in so we just went around the table & got about 1/2 a dozen of each person's cookies.  In the end, everyone left with a nice variety of yummy goodies! 
Around 7:00, some of us decided to head to Los Cabos for supper & then we called it a night.  I am very fortunate to be surrounded by such awesome neighbors who are now friends.  And I love how we range in age from 20's - 70's, married to single, kids to no kids...and we all get along so well!  

In the end, I think the party turned out great.  I hope everyone had a good time & there was already talk of what we can do next year...thinking tacky Christmas sweaters might be worn & we might do a "favorite things" party instead of cookies.  My goal in 2016 is to open my home more to friends & family...can't wait to see what's in store!


Friday, December 11, 2015

{Friday Favorites}

It's Friday!  It's Friday!  Thank goodness...it's been a long week.  Today I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals to share my Friday Favorites!

1.  I cannot believe I forgot to blog about this last month, but we celebrated Nola's 1st birthday!  Because she was a shelter puppy, I will never know her actual birthday - the vet could only make an educated guess.  So, November 3rd it is! =)  We will also celebrate her adoption day in February.  We have a cute little pet shop downtown so I got her a cupcake & cookie.  She accidentally got too close to the candle {bad dog mama moment} so once that happened, she wanted nothing to do with it anymore.  I finally had to bribe her with ice cream to get one picture in her party hat {homemade vanilla ice cream is her absolute favorite thing in the whole wide world}.
 
2. Tuesday night was the Blue Bell Christmas Party!  We did a scaled back version this year, but it was nice to spend the evening with good friends, good food & good fellowship.  It's been a rough year, but things are looking up...so it was nice to have something to celebrate.  These folks right here are definitely some of my favorites!!
3. My 2 new purchases this week!  I have a "memory tree" that I put up every year at Christmas.  It contains Christmas ornaments from all my travels or special events in my life & this year I added an Old World yellow lab in honor of Nola!  I'm also loving my new sign I found at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $14.99!  It goes perfect above my kitchen sink window.
 
4. Our new neighborhood walking trails!  When they started the neighborhood, the original plans showed walking trails throughout the neighborhood.  I've been there a year now & up until this week, there was no sign of them.  I came home yesterday & they had started them.  Nola & I are super excited.  Nola's absolute favorite thing in the world to do is go walking.  You say the word "walk" & she's at the door waiting.  The street in front of the neighborhood is pretty busy so it can be dangerous now that it gets dark at 5:30.  I can't wait for the trails to be finished!
5. This view.  Every single night before bed.  I am already dreading having to take all my Christmas decor down in a few weeks.  It makes the house so "happy".  =)  I also saw this Christmas scavenger hunt...can't wait to grab a few friends, hot chocolate & drive around town one night and find all these!
Have a great weekend!  I am hosting my first cookie exchange at my house on Sunday evening for all the neighborhood ladies...can't wait!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

{Christmas Home Tour 2015}

 
Christmas is without a doubt my most favorite time of the year!  There is nothing more magical than the glow of Christmas lights at night. {this would be why I decorate the first weekend in November...I want to enjoy it as long as I can!}
 
I like to change things up & my Christmas decor is no exception.  No, I don't go out & buy all new decorations every year - I just mix & match it differently.  I have done red, black & white before but this year I combined it with buffalo check & went a little more "rustic".  I absolutely LOVE it!  I think this year is by far my favorite.  And for the record, I decided on this "theme" long before the buffalo check craze hit instagram & blogland. Just sayin. =)

Let the tour begin!
 
I kept the outside fairly simple.  I would have loved to have added lights all along the driveway & road, but no money in the decorating budget this year prevented that from happening.  There's always next year!  I purchased the white deer from a friend for $6 and moved my JOY sign that I used on my mantle last year to my front door. Gotta love Command Hooks!
 
I was a little worried that I would have to "puppy proof" my inside decorations this year, but knock on wood - Nola has yet to bother any of it.  My living room/dining room/kitchen is by far my favorite. I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.  
 
My tree.  I love, love, LOVE my tree.  I had all of the red, black & white ornaments with the exception of the reindeer.  Those are actually gift tags from the dollar spot at Target.  The tree topper was an unfinished wood star I bought at Wal-Mart for $1.25 & spray painted black.  The Happy Holidays "ribbon" is actually a craft paper banner that I cut apart.  I had a hard time finding a reasonably priced buffalo check tree skirt so the solution?  A table cloth!  I ordered it online from a restaurant supply place for less than $10!
Right off the living room is my dining room/breakfast room.  Since it's all open concept - it has to coordinate with the living room.  I purchased the runner on Etsy & the little buffalo check plates at the dollar spot in Target.  I never "set" my table, but love the special look for the holidays.
 
 
I added a few Christmas touches here & there around the kitchen.  And of course it wouldn't be complete without a mini hot chocolate bar...my niece & nephew's favorite spot when they come to visit. =)
 
 
 
 
There's a little hint of Christmas throughout the rest of the house, including the guestrooms & utility room.
 
In my guestroom/office - I have my "memory tree".  Whenever I travel or have a special event happen in my life, I try to find a glass ornament to remember the occasion by.  My newest purchase is my Old World yellow lab...in honor of Nola! =)
There you have it...the grand tour!  It makes me sad just thinking about having to take it all down in a few short weeks.  =(   But until that time comes, I'm going to sit on my couch, hot chocolate in hand - staring at my Christmas tree while watching a Hallmark Christmas movie that I've seen at least 25 times.

Merry Christmas!
 

{Monday, Monday}

Dang those weekends go by fast!  It's Monday again & we are now less than 3 weeks til Christmas...and I still don't have a single present wrapped & under my tree yet.  

Friday night, Carol, Kelly & I went downtown to the Christmas Stroll.  New this year was a "Sip, Shop, Win" event that was being held Friday & Saturday night.  You could go store to store & sample different beverages...anything from hot chocolate to wine.  Unfortunately we were late getting down there & by 8:15, most of the stores were closed {they were supposed to be open til 9:00}.  It was a little disappointing, but we still had fun.  Best part? We got to take a picture with Santa.  Be jealous everyone because the REAL Santa lives in Brenham, Texas. =)
 
Saturday morning I made a "quick" trip to Houston to do a bunch of returns. Because every place was crazy busy & the traffic was insane - my "quick" trip turned into most of the day.  Nola & I made s'mores on the stove {I was craving one!} & then crashed early.  I did conclude that in my next time, I want to be a dog.  Nola has.it.made.
 
Sunday I went to church, came home - mowed & finished putting up Christmas lights.  I stopped briefly to go downtown to take Christmas pics of Khloe & then Morgan came over to spend the evening with Nola & I.  It was a beautiful evening so we went for a walk through the neighborhood.  I love that it's kinda like country living in the city!  I ended the editing pictures while watching Hallmark movies. I had a moment last night when I realized there will be no more Hallmark Christmas movies on in a few weeks. =(  What am I going to watch?!?
Nola crashed on the couch of course.
  
Come back tomorrow because I will be linking up with a few holiday home tours!

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