Dec 7, 2017

The Holiday Series: Holiday Home Tour


Ahhh, take in the sight of a beautiful, sparkling Christmas tree!  Is there anything else that makes you feel quite so warm and fuzzy inside?

Decorating for the holiday season is always one of my favorite Christmas traditions, but this year is extra special!  I moved-in with my boyfriend a few months ago so we are spending our first holiday season together in our home!

It's been so much fun to decorate with someone!  We had a ton of fun visiting a Christmas tree farm and choosing the perfect evergreen while sipping hot chocolate.  Then we spent all day Saturday watching Christmas movies and decorating the tree.

Last year, I decorated in rose golds and pinks, but this year I went for a look that's a little less feminine.  Part of the fun has been choosing decorations that reflect both my boyfriend and me!



My boyfriend and I each had a few sentimental ornaments of our own to contribute to the decorations.  Plus, while we were traveling this summer, we decided to always purchase an ornament in each place we visit together.  But despite this collection of baubles, we still had lots of blank tree to be filled.  When we decided on a traditional color scheme of gold, green and red, I picked-up some ornaments at Target to finish the decorations.  I also grabbed a wrapping paper trio to fit the theme!


Bookmark and Share

Dec 4, 2017

TBB Asks: The Holidays

Happy December, y'all!  I absolutely believe that the most wonderful time of the year is here!  As I type, I'm sitting in front of my sparkling Christmas tree, sipping hot cocoa, and feeling quite festive!



My awesome blogging friends at The Blended Blog have had a fun questionnaire series running the first Monday of every month called TBB Asks.  This month we are talking everything holiday.  Join us in sharing what makes your holiday season special and link-up with us below!


1.  Real or Fake Tree? Real!  My boyfriend and I had tons of fun at the Christmas tree farm picking-out our first tree together this year.  We are looking forward for making this a tradition for many years to come.

2.  Favorite Christmas Cookie? My Grandma Marge is the queen of cookie baking and I always look forward to the goodies she bakes for the holidays.  I suppose my favorite Christmas cookie would be her traditional sugar cookies, decorated with a tasteful amount of colored sugar and not too sweet.

3.  Home on Christmas Morning or Travel?  I would prefer to be home on Christmas morning but now that my sister and I are grown-up and starting our own traditions, one group or another of us will have to travel.  This year I get to be home on Christmas morning!


4.  Clear or Colored Lights?  I actually love the different vibes that each give!  This year we decorated our home with warm white lights.

5.  Send Christmas Cards?  Yes!  This year I went with a company that I just heard about, Simply To Impress, and I love the cards we got for a great price (because Christmas cards can be ridiculously expensive)!

6.  Favorite Christmas Present Received?  This is such a hard question because I've received so many thoughtful presents over the years.  For some reason the present of my childhood that stands out the most is a little, hand-held Beauty and the Beast video game.  I loved that thing!


7.  Favorite Christmas Present Given?  Oh wow, this is even harder!  I love picking-out the perfect gift for each of my loved ones.  Last year I purchased all gifts while I was in Beijing, China.  It was really fun to think about all of my favorite people while I was on the other side of the world.

8.  Stockings or No Stockings?  Definitely stockings!  Grandma Marge also knows how to knit a mean stocking.

9.  Christmas PJ's?  Yes, please!  My family has matching plaid pajamas that we wear when we're together on Christmas morning.


10.  Favorite Christmas Carol?  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas performed by Judy Garland in the movie Meet Me In St. Louis (a must-watch Christmas movie for me)!

11.  Favorite Holiday Tradition?  Can I say all of them?  I just love this season so much and every activity that comes with it!  But hmm, if I have to pick one, I would say that it's decorating the Christmas tree and reminiscing about all of the ornaments.

12.  Early Shopper or Last Minute?  I would call myself a gradual shopper.  I start early but I don't rush.  I spread it out so I can find the perfect gift for each person.


13.  Favorite Christmas Movie or Show?  Oh lordy, the list is long.  My favorite movie of all time is Love Actually which I consider a Christmas movie.  But in terms of classics, I love Miracle on 24th Street.

14.  Favorite Holiday Beverage?  Hot cocoa with whipped cream!

15.  Cookies and Milk for Santa?  Of course!  Plus some carrots for the reindeer!

What about you?  Tell me about your holiday traditions!

SaveSave
Bookmark and Share

Nov 29, 2017

Good for You Hair Care with Maple Holistics

Hey, lovely friends!  Instead of talking style today, we're going to focus on something that is just as important in helping us to feel good about our look each and every day...our hair!

With my (sometimes crazy) curly mane, I'm constantly on the hunt for the latest and greatest in hair care.  So, when I was approached by a representative from Maple Holistics asking if I wanted to try one of their shampoo and conditioner sets, I was totally up for the experience!


I have been using Maple Holistic's Tea Tree Oil Shampoo and Conditioner for about three weeks and I'm loving the results!

Let's start with the way the products smell (does anyone else spend lots of time in the hair care aisle smelling all of the shampoos and conditioners before purchasing a set??).  I admit that I was skeptical, having not loved the smell of other tea tree oil products.  But I find the scent of the MH set to be much more subtle than others I've tried.  These products still have the earthy, clean sent of your typical tea tree oil products but is much lighter, making me a fan!

On top of the pleasant smell, this shampoo and conditioner are doing great things for my hair texture. My curls have a couple of different annoying tendencies.  When I wear them naturally, they easily get limp, heavy, and weighed down by product.  When I use my straightener to create waves, I see lots of frizz from my curls trying to escape (ha!).  I'm happy to report that Maple Holistic's Tea Tree Oil Shampoo and Conditioner smooths my frizz without weighing down my curls.  I've used these products before styling my hair curly and wavy and each style looks good!


And there are a few other great things about these products!  All of the goodies from Maple Holistics are 100% natural and cruelty free.  Your hair can look good and your conscience can rest guilt-free.  The price is also great!  You can get a set of the shampoo and conditioner for just under $20!

Even better than the great price point is Maple Holistic's Free Sample Program!  Just fill-out the form on their website and you can receive a product of your choice (including this shampoo and conditioner)!

Check-out their website and Free Sample Program and let me know which products you want to try!
SaveSaveSaveSaveSave
Bookmark and Share

Nov 21, 2017

The Holiday Series: Black Friday Shopping Outfit


Happy Last Day of School Before Thanksgiving Break, friends!  I don't know about you but this teacher is ready for some sleep-ins, delicious food and time with family!

I'm back today with round two of The Holiday Series, a multi-blogger collaboration organized by Ada.  For our first post, we featured lots of Thanksgiving style inspiration and today we're showing you some looks you could wear on your Black Friday shopping excursion!



Truth be told, I'm not a black Friday shopper.  Don't get me wrong, I love to shop!  Just not on the craziest shopping day of the year.  I would prefer to spend the morning in my pajamas, sipping coffee from the comfort of my own (or this year, my sister's) home.  Maybe I'll snag some deals on cyber Monday!

But in any case, I will be doing some holiday shopping soon and will most likely be wearing something very similar to this outfit (which I actually wore on a movie date).  For big holiday shopping trips, I try to wear something warm enough, like this cozy sweater, so that I can leave my coat in the car.  Who wants to carry a coat around all day?!  Also, comfy shoes are a must for walking around any shopping center!

What I'm Wearing:
Sweater: Local Boutique (similar, similar)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Shoes: Kids (exact)

Keep on reading for more holiday shopping ensembles!

SaveSaveSaveSave

Clockwise:



Clockwise:

Whitney: "As much as I love shopping, I am not a Black Friday shopper.  I prefer to sleep-in, eat Thanksgiving leftovers and avoid the major crowds.  I still love holiday shopping expeditions, though!  It's fun to look festive but comfort is really key for a day of walking around and carrying shopping bags!"

Linda: "In Canada we are still going full out on Black Friday but I do like dressing a little festive knowing that you are enjoying a special Holiday. Wearing my new embroidered blazer from Target with a pair of plaid pants I have owned for a few years. I will not be hitting the sales on Black Friday but I will be thinking of all my American Friends enjoying this time with their families."

Shelbee: "For Black Friday shopping at the mall, I must be warm and comfortable for waiting in outside lines.  But I also must wear enough layers to shed if I get too hot.  I chose a lightweight hoodie, stretchy jeggings, and flat boots for lots of walking.  I layered up with a leather jacket, hat, scarf, and gloves. Minimal jewelry to prevent snagging...just earrings and my wedding ring.  Let's go shopping! "

Kellyann: "This is an outfit I'd wear if I was actually going shopping on Black Friday.  A crossbody bag is a necessity for me so my hands are free to shop! I want to be comfortable so I chose skinny jeans, a lightweight plaid shirt, and a v-neck sweater to keep me warm.  Knowing my Florida climate as I do, the sweater will come off by noon!  Right now I'm only planning on shopping online.  I want to spend as much time as possible with my boys and soak up all that I have to be thankful for."

Jennie: "I rarely actually go to any stores on Black Friday and stick to shopping on my laptop, but this year I may actually visit our local outlet mall and catch some sales. A lightweight jacket, hat, and boots will keep me warm and comfortable throughout the day without extra bulk."

Chrissy: "Black Friday has always been a fun shopping adventure to me. I can recall standing in crazy lines for Bath & Body Works candles and Air Freshner plug-ins.  On official Black Friday you’ll find me traveling on the road back to GA with hubby and boys."

Lee: "This year on Black Friday instead of running around spending money and buying things we don't need I am going to volunteer.  I am apart of a local service league which holds an event called Christmas House which gives underprivileged children a new coat, 2 toys, and 2 new books for Christmas (or whatever holiday they celebrate).  In order to have the items to offer we work with other companies to raise money or get donations.  This year to get books we have partnered with Barnes and Noble (New Hope Commons Durham NC).  As part of our partnership we will 'man' the gift wrapping table.  So my black Friday will be spent wrapping gifts for shoppers at Barnes and Noble while spreading the word about Christmas House.  Head to my blog to learn more."

Kristin: "Since I live in Germany, Black Friday isn't as big of an occasion as it is in the States. This year I'm going to be shopping online so I can still get in on all of the sales! I'm always looking for great deals on expensive winter items like boots, coats, and cashmere."

Kimberly: "I would wear something comfortable and dress in layers so I can take things off if its crowded or the stores are hot.  A lightweight/loose top, vest and scarf would complete my look."

Ada: "This year on Black Friday I will be working and give or take I am going to be out and about for 12 hours straight so a comfy and warm outfit with black skinny jeans - still work-appropriate - a black long-sleeve wool tee and one of my long and cozy chenille cardigans will be what I will wear. I chose burgundy desert booties for comfort and a wool-blend blanket scarf to keep warm. My workplace is doing the "Simply Give" event this year on Black Friday. I will be doing a food-drive for families in need and after that a mittens+socks drive+deliver. Between all the driving and being in an out of my car, I wanted a layered look. I think my 'Fall Uniform' is also perfect for shopping on Black Friday since layers are a must.

Lizzie: "On Black Friday, I like to wake up super early to take my siblings on a shopping spree in our PJ's. We have a lot of fun picking out presents for our family and making memories along the way."

Monica: "Oh Black Friday, so many people get up so early to go shopping and I think it's become its own holiday as well.  I like to be lazy Thanksgiving weekend and I'm not one of those people who wakes up early.  I worked in retail for about 10 years, so I like to sleep in and take my time shopping.  I usually can't find anything on Black Friday besides certain electronics.  So my plans are to sleep in, and relax until I'm ready to shop."

Michelle: "This outfit is totally ready for some Black Friday shopping. If you plan to shop online, then you will be cozy in this pullover and comfy leggings & if you plan to head out to stores, sneakers & a cross body bag are a must for a full day of shopping! Either way, go get those deals!"


Save
Bookmark and Share

Nov 8, 2017

The Holiday Series: Thanksgiving Day Outfit


Can we really be kicking-off the holiday season?!  I truly believe that this is the most wonderful time of year and I really enjoy holiday style.  For these reasons, I was super excited when Ada of Elegance and Mommyhood invited me to be a part of The Holiday Series.  Over the course of six posts, a group of bloggers will be sharing:
Thanksgiving Day Outfits
Black Friday Shopping Outfits
Holiday Home Tours
Holiday Wedding Outfits
Christmas Outfits
New Years' Eve Outfits
So get ready for some fun, holiday inspiration!


My family falls somewhere in the middle in terms of the dress code for Thanksgiving Day.  We like to look nice and put-together but we still want to be comfortable during and post-turkey feast.  We aren't a sweatpants bunch but you won't find us in dresses and heals either.

This year I'm opting for floral, velvet top with stretchy skinny jeans.  Velvet is so in this season and feels festive for the holidays.  The swingy, peplum style of this top will be perfect for hiding that inevitable food baby.  I also think that the colors are perfect for late fall.  And jeggings are the next best thing to sweatpants or leggings, am I right?!

This year my family and boyfriend are celebrating Turkey Day at my sister and brother-in-law's new home in Colorado.  I'm excited for good food, my favorite people and exploring a new city!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving and what does your family typically wear?  If you are looking for more inspiration, make sure to check-out the looks of the other bloggers participating in The Holiday Series.





Read on to see everyone's Thanksgiving plans!


Michelle: "On Thanksgiving, it's all about food, family & comfort! Adding a vest to jeans & a blouse is the perfect way to make a casual outfit appropriate for Thanksgiving dinner!"

Chrissy: "Every year our family of six hops in our minivan and travels to central Illinois to celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband’s side of the family. I chose this outfit because I love the colors, as well as the reminder to be thankful."

Kristin: "Living overseas makes it hard to be home for Thanksgiving, so this year my husband and I will attend a casual Friendsgiving. This red flannel has been in my closet FOREVER and I love it for Thanksgiving because it's as traditionally 'fall' as you can get!"

Shelbee: "This year for Thanksgiving, we are joining our best friends at their house and decided we might want to dress up just for the fun of dressing up.  I chose a black knit long sleeve dress with lots of stretch to accommodate for food intake.  My favorite red paisley blazer to add some color and tall black boots with a modest heel.  A statement necklace completes the outfit.  Comfortable, chic, and fun!"

Monica: "Hey y'all!  The Thanksgiving holiday will be here sooner than we think!  I wanted to show one of the many outfits that I'll be choosing from on Thanksgiving.  Over the past few years I've loved the whole casual vibes for Thanksgiving.  I also make sure to find outfit that will hide the food baby I'll have after eating on Thanksgiving!  Since the fiance and I go to two different places on Thanksgiving we eat double.  With that being said, I love this top because the sleeves are such a statement that no one will be looking at your stomach.  Plus, it's a super cute top.  The pants are really comfy and have stretch to them, so you won't have to worry about your pants not being able to expand, these will expand with you lol.  Check out more looks like this one on my blog Jersey Girl, Texan Heart.  As always, thank you to Ada for hosting this awesome collab!​"

Linda: " I love dressing up but I always need to be comfortable enough to serve and get everything ready for our guests. This Old Navy Tunic is a fav that can be dressed up or down at will.  With fun leggings and OTK boots I am fall appropriate.  Adding the pearls seemed to dress it up slightly."

Lee: "Hi, I’m Lee and my blog is Wine & Couture.  This year I am hosting, for the first time, Thanksgiving Dinner at my home.  I am excited to decorate and have family over to share good food with."

Kellyann: "Our Thanksgiving plans include dinner with our family.  We usually eat outside and don't expect cold weather so this dress and booties are perfect!"

Ada: "My Thanksgiving plans are laid-back. Some of my family members work till the afternoon. But we will get together, have a bigger meal than usual, talk, drink coffee and love on each-other. I chose a semi-dressy outfit this year consisting of a thick, brick-red skirt (it has the cutest pockets) with a forest green+navy plaid shirt and some fun sparkly white booties to glam it up. Also, I chose a long coatigan (cardigan sweater) as a topper."

Whitney: "This year I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my family and boyfriend at my sister's new home in Colorado Springs.  I usually want to be comfortable (obviously) but a little bit dressed-up and festive, so this year I'm wearing an on trend velvet top in fall colors."

Jennie: "We are looking forward to having our four sons, daughter-in-law, and dogs together under one roof again for Thanksgiving! My autumnal colored shift dress is not only stylish with its bell sleeves, but also works well with leggings for a comfortable look that will disquise my holiday food baby!"

What I'm Wearing:
Top: My Sister's Closet (exact)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Loafers: J.Crew Factory (exact)

Where I'm linking-up!





Bookmark and Share

Nov 3, 2017

Blogging Besties: All Good Things


The Blogging Besties series was the brain child of Alex @ The Cheerful Closet and Whitney @ Whitney à la Mode. It’s based on the idea of “take one, pass it on,” but passing on an element from another blogger’s outfit.

At first, it was just Alex and Whitney, ping-ponging back and forth. Then they added a link up, which I faithfully participated in. In 2015 the link up was dropped, and the series expanded to include me, Selah @ A Bibliophile’s Style and Maricel @ My Closet Catelogue, another loyal link-up participant (and one of my very best Blogging Besties).

For over 2 years now, we've gone round robin, passing on an element from the previous blogger’s outfit. It’s been a fun challenge that inspired us to be creative!

However, all good things must end, and sadly, Blogging Besties is ending today. Alex and Maricel have both decided to quit blogging, in order to pursue other endeavors. With the loss of half the participants, Whitney and I feel that it is an appropriate time to end the series.

These ladies have truly become some of my closest friends. Their prayers and encouragement helped me through an extremely difficult year, and I cannot thank them enough for that!

I've had the great pleasure of meeting Whitney in person, and I hope someday to meet Alex and Maricel face to face as well. Until then, we will keep in touch via email and Instagram.

 
Previous Editions of Blogging Besties
Bookmark and Share

Nov 1, 2017

Common Threads Challenge: Week 4

Well, friends!  We've made it to the end of the Common Threads Challenge!  I've loved this challenge but I'm also happy that it's coming to a close.  I figured-out lots more ways to remix the five pieces that I chose but I'm so ready for the freedom that comes with wearing whatever I want!

Overall I'm proud of how I did.  On top of my increased creativity in remixing, I managed to use each of my pieces just about equally:
Ankle Boots: 5 wears
Mustard Cardigan: 5 wears
Olive Skirt: 4 wears
Skinny Jeans: 5 wears
Tunic: 5 wears

I do have to admit to a few days of not complying with the challenge and these were days that I didn't change out of either pajamas, yoga pants or grubby work clothes.  I also cheated and wore my Halloween costume yesterday (picture included at the bottom of this post for good measure).

So, without further ado, here were my final outfits of the Common Threads Challenge!


October 23rd featuring my Mustard Cardigan: I had originally planned to wear this on Friday but I woke-up on Monday morning and couldn't bare the thought of what I had planned.  Luckily I work in a school where it's okay to occasionally wear jeans during the work week.


October 24th featuring my Olive Skirt: Up until this point I had been wearing basics plus cognac accessories with this skirt.  I changed things up a bit this time with grey and black accents.


October 25th featuring my Skinny Jeans: There's nothing quite like a sweatshirt and sneakers for a morning full of professional development (and the leisurely sipping of coffee instead of running around with students).


October 26th featuring my Skinny Jeans: You may remember this outfit from last weeks edition of Blogging Besties.  I knew I had to wear hot pink so my fun, new coat from Belgium was paired with they skinnies.


October 27th featuring my Ankle Boots: We had a pink-out at school to promote breast cancer awareness and research.  Luckily these boots are neutrals and worked perfectly with the top and scarf.



October 29th featuring my Tunic: I finally got to break-out the Barefoot Dreams Cardigan that I ordered from the Nordstrom sale this summer!  I felt so cozy for a day of unpacking boxes but still put together.


October 30th featuring my Olive Skirt: Please forgive the terrible photo backgrounds throughout this challenge as I've been moving and unpacking all month.  Although it was a slight relief to take mirror selfies as opposed to actual blogging pictures for the month!  And I think I saved my favorite olive skirt outfit for last.  I loved it with this grey, bell-sleeved top!



October 31st as a Social Butterfly: It wouldn't be October without a Halloween costume, right!?

And there you have it!  The conclusion to the Common Threads Challenge!  Make sure to link-up your looks below!
SaveSave
Bookmark and Share