Friday, December 19, 2014

Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons

I'll be honest I don't use my DSLR near as much I should. I'll be the first to admit I didn't take near as good of care of it as I should have when I first got it, but even minus that detail it's a super basic Canon Rebel XS that they don't even make anymore. Which is why I would love Santa to bring me a Canon T5i ;).

Anyways, despite the less than ideal camera, and even more less than idea lighting situation I wanted to share my Christmas tree! Growing up I always had live trees. So now that I have my own place there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to get a my first live tree of my own. While I would have loved to go all out when it came to decorating my tree I accepted the fact that ornament and decoration collections are made over years not days.

After Dylan and I picked out the perfect tree from a tree lot run by a local Boy Scout chapter, I headed to Big Lots to pick out the essential tree decorations. I know there's a big debate on the colored lights vs. white lights for your tree, and I am fully on team colored lights. I picked up some traditional ornaments and some deco-mesh, and well this is what we got:

I must admit, I couldn't be happier about how it turned out! It was so much fun to decorate our first (of many to come) Christmas tree together. Except since it's at my apartment I might have played the "my tree" card a few times when I was being particular how it was decorated, however Dylan put up with my antics. He was even sweet and bought 3 special ornaments- a L for me, a snowflake with 2014 to celebrate our first Christmas together, and a pup (which sadly didn't mean I was getting one this year) for exciting things in the future.

As for the wrapping, it's all from Hobby Lobby. I definitely take after my mother in my love for pretty wrapping paper and bows! Actually after looking at this tree there's no doubt in my mind that I am my mother's daughter, and I see nothing wrong with that!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Favorite Winter Nail Colors with Essie

I did a very similar post to this last year when I was interning with Bluetique, but lately I've fallen in love with some more polish colors. Not much has changed from when I said that I’m not one to paint my nail unless it’s a darker color. Like I said, the one exception to the rule would be the amazing metallic gold below. I've gone through two bottles, and it's great any time of the year! 

Clock wise from the top: Jiggle Hi-Jiggle Low, Forever Yummy, Style Economics, Smokin' Hot, Wicked, Carry On, After School Boy Blazer, Under the Twilight. 

Tip: when using dark colors make sure you use a base coat, or your nails will end up stained. 

Which colors are your go-to in the winter?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Music Moment || Andy Grammar

I've always really liked Andy Grammar. His songs are always super catchy and never fail to put me in a good mood. I first heard "Honey, I'm Good" on Spotify. I shared it with Dylan, and immediately we couldn't stop listening to it.

The other day he sent me a link to the music video which is super cute, so naturally I had to share it with you all:

Tell me that isn't the cutest thing ever...especially the older couples!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Musings

I'm super lucky enough to get Dec. 24-Jan. 4 off from work. Although, it makes for a uber crazy week leading up to the time off (especially since my boss will be out the 22nd & 23rd). Unfortunately,  I'm sure I'll be drained at the end of the day and in no mood to put together posts for the next day. However, all that time off will give me plenty of time to focus on the blog! Hopefully meaning I can direct the sails to head in a somewhat a new direction for the new year!

In short- this will probably be a pretty brief Monday Musings, and more than likely so will be most of my posts this week.

  • The Cats took down the Tarheels Saturday, and I'm sure you all know I was over the moon about the win. Despite the victory, the game was a little glum. The day before the game news that one of my favorite players, Alex Poythress, tore his ACL. However, one of the most amazing things to witness was how is teammates (current and former) rallied up around him. This is picture explains it all:
I mean how could you not love this team?

  • As of today I have everyone but my dad checked off the list of Christmas presents to buy for. How about you? Still looking for ideas? Check out my gift guides for the Life of the Party, Music Lover, Hostess,  Guys On Your List and Best Friend! But jump on it, it's getting close to the last days to order to get mail on time.
  • I'm heading to Nashville for New Year's Eve! Dylan and I will be going down on the 30th to see a Predators game, and then staying down there for NYE festivities. We got an Airbnb pretty close to downtown. It's my first time using Airbnb, so I'm pretty excited to see how it all works out! I also can't wait to share all the fun stuff we do during our little get away. Well, as much stuff as you can do in 48 hours!
  • Speaking of NYE, did you check out my post with all sorts of cute outfit ideas for the evening from ASOS? 
  • I went to the eye doctor last week and found out my eyesight has only gotten worse- YAY. While that sucks, it means I can justify new glasses frames! I'm definitely thinking it's time to get a pair of Warby Parker frames. I've heard nothing, but great things about the company. Their at home try-on program is pretty darn great, but I plan on hitting up Imogene + Willie while in Nashville since they carry the full collection. Here are some frames I have my eye on:

  • Have you seen the two holiday commercials below? As for Glade, probably not my go-to candle brand, but um an amazing song. And Apple, you stole my heart a long time ago, plus this commercial warms your heart in all the right ways. But come-on, there had to be a better song to choose from...

Hope you have a fantastic start to your week!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Creamy Potato Soup

Not sure if you saw this Instagram post Tuesday, but we (Dylan & I) made homemade Creamy Bacon Potato Soup. Like I said in the caption, I was feeling pretty accomplished: 

Sweater- old (similar), Shirt- old (new version) , JeansBooties
I discovered this recipe on Pinterest. It comes from Red Apron Girl. It was so good, and pretty easy! Here's the recipe:


  • 1 lb bacon. chopped and cooked (we cooked the bacon in the oven while the potatoes were boiling)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces (about ¼ inch pieces) (We used yukon gold)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • ½ cup half and half (can use heavy cream)
  • green onions
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot until fork tender
  2. While potatoes are boiling, saute onion for about 8 minutes. Add garlic and continue to saute for a couple more minutes
  3. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add in 1 cup chicken broth while scraping side of pan.
  5. Add in remaining chicken broth and simmer.
  6. Add cheese into soup until melted.
  7. Once potatoes are done,drain and rough mash with potato masher.
  8. Add potatoes to cheese and soup mixture.
  9. Add half and half and salt and pepper to taste
  10. Let cook for about 5 minutes.
  11. Serve and top with bacon, green onions, and grated cheese
Dylan loves the Food Network, and I pin a lot of recipes on Pinterest. So we try to cook at least 2-4 nights a week. 

Although, I'll be honest we're horrible at planning ahead for meals. Therefore we go to the grocery 2-4 nights a week as well (thank god we both live uber close to multiple grocery stores). If you've had a long day at work it's super hard to motivate yourself to want to go get everything then cook it all, especially because we don't end up eating until 8 if we're attempting a more tricky recipe. 

But I will admit I do enjoy spending time with him in the kitchen, we usually turn on music and act like total goofballs. It's kind of a weird, super slightly cheesy, bonding moment. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gift Guide || Life of the Party

You know how in my gift guide for the hostess I described this person as "she is always the person to have people over for a drink, or she was more than eager to host Friendsgiving/The Tacky Sweater Party/New Years Eve"? 

Well let's just say the person that today's gift guide is  for that someone who is always down for a drink, or she was the first person to respond 'yes' when it comes to attending Friendsgiving/The Tacky Sweater Party/New Years Eve plans. She is always a blast on Saturday night, tends to be a bit of a hot mess on Sunday morning, and you love her nonetheless. If you can't think of this person in your group of friends chances are its you, and hey there's nothing wrong with that!
Keep Calm & Party On Multi Bottle OpenerLet's Unwind Tea Towels | All that Glitters Gia | Straight Up & Liquid Courage Shot Glasses | Trust Me You Can Dance Pillow | Antler Corkscrew | Beer Card Party Game | Pace Yourself Cocktail Napkins | Santa's Little Helper Flask | Tequila is Not My Friend Terry | Outdoorsy Someecards Pint Glass | Overdressed and Overserved Koozie |  Cards Against Humanity | kate spade new york Set of 4 Silver Street Coasters

It's funny because when I originally came up with this idea for specific gift guide all I could come up with at first was koozies and a hangover kit (which ironically didn't even make the final cut). But once I found a few of the items more and more ideas kept coming to me! 


New Year's Style Inspiration

I know we're not even to Christmas yet, but if you're like me, it doesn't stop you from trying to pick out a great New Year's Eve Outfit. Which is why I was pretty stoked when I got an email from Asos announcing up to 70% off New Year Gear! Check out my picks:

All these items are on sale, but there are so many other great options for regular price as well like these tops (1, 2, 3) or these dresses (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)!