30 December 2011

christmas loot

It would appear Santa is a follower of my blog and/or Pinterest, because just about everything I got was mentioned on one or both places!  Sneaky, sneaky...

Super Soft blanket from Orvis.  The hubs is now obsessed with this blanket.  He said {and I quote} that it revolutionizes the way he sleeps.  Hyperbole aside, it is very snuggly.

Pheasants Afield needlepoint pillow from Orvis.  I've been lusting after this pillow for years, so my mom finally gave in and bought it for me.  It's going to look fab on our bed.

Southern Living Our Best Christmas Recipes cookbook.  This was the big surprise for me.  My mom has had this cookbook for years {since it was published in 1994} and every year I attempt to steal it from her.  It has some INCREDIBLE recipes in it, and most of them can't be found on the Southern Living/My Recipes websites.  She found a copy on Amazon for me so her copy would be safe.  I love it!

center point touch gloves from echo.  Soft and warm and iPhone friendly.  Enough said.

Nixon The Time Teller watch.  I've been wanting a big, gold watch for awhile now, but the Michael Kors version is a little too "done" for my taste.  This one is just perfect.

The Pioneer Woman Food from my Frontier cookbook.  My sister pre-ordered this for me and I can't wait until it arrives {sadly not until March.}  I met Ree at a book signing for her first cookbook.  I'm hoping I'll have the opportunity to have this one autographed too!

J.Crew schoolboy blazer.  I have wanted this for years and could never bring myself to buy it.  Thanks, hubs.
Disclaimer: This was purchased before I found out about J.Crew's horrible practices related to wool.  You can find out more here at Danielle's blog.  Since her post, I've signed the petition and made a promise to myself not to purchase anything from J.Crew until they end this ridiculous cruelty.

Knee-high Double Buckle Boots.  Technically not from Santa, I ordered these with Christmas money.  At 50% off, they were quite the steal. 

Amazon Kindle Fire.  I was so jealous of everyone on our flight home from St. Lucia with an eReader.  Now I have one of my own!  The hard part? Picking out a gorgeous Graphic Image cover to go with it!

Santa was incredibly generous this year, and I am feeling like a very lucky girl!

Now come on and spill...tell me what you got!  I love to see people open gifts, so this will be like a virtual Christmas with bloggy friends.

29 December 2011

Our Honeymoon: Preview

Prepare yourselves for picture overload!

This time 2 weeks ago we were about halfway through our wonderful honeymoon in St. Lucia. I am still daydreaming about the perfect weather, beautiful crystal-blue water, and the unbelievable sunsets!

We did a lot of this

A lot of this
the hubs is much less grumpy than he appears in this picture, i promise

And a lot of this.

We stayed at the East Winds Inn, and we could not have been more thrilled with our choice. This place was just so "us". {Not sure what that says about us since we were the only non-British guests there!}. East Winds is NOT for you if you need to be waited on hand and foot and have showy displays of luxury. You won't find Bulgari bath products or beach butlers or opulent decor. What you will find is simple luxury and what they describe as "timeless seaside elegance." The staff was friendly and attentive, the scenery was unparalleled, and the food...oh WOW, the food. We absolutely loved this place and are already planning our return trip with my parents!

I took SO many pictures, all of the highest iPhone quality {we're still trying to pull the trigger on a digital camera purchase} so I'll bedividing our honeymoon into several posts. {Don't worry, I won't post ALL of the pictures!}

Until tomorrow...

28 December 2011

what's cooking wednesday

I'm back from a *wonderful* Christmas with my family.  We certainly enjoyed our first Christmas as newlyweds...perhaps a bit too much!  There was lots of overindulging in, among other things, cookies, cakes, and Chinese food {a Christmas Eve tradition in my family} and my pants were feeling way too tight this morning.

For dinner last night, all we wanted was something light, fresh, cool, and crunchy.  Basically, the opposite of everything we've gorged on for the past week.  So I whipped up a homemade version of CPK's Miso Shrimp Salad.

Sorry I don't have a picture of my own to share.  We were starving, so we started eating out of the bowl as soon as it was ready.

1 bag of coleslaw mix
1 bag of shredded red cabage
1 package of steam-in-bag edamame
1 avocado, diced
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
8-12oz. frozen salad shrimp, thawed
Sliced radishes, to taste
Shredded carrots
Diced cucumber
Chopped cilantro
Miso dressing {I used Organicville Miso Ginger vinaigrette}
Wonton strips {I used Fresh Gourmet Wasabi Ranch Wonton Strips}

Then all you have to do is dump everything into a big salad bowl, toss, and enjoy.  Easy peasy and SO refreshing!  This recipe makes a ton of salad, but the good news is that it hold up beautifully in the fridge.  I had leftovers for lunch today and it wasn't soggy at all. {Except for the wonton strips, so I added an extra handful of fresh ones}.

Bon appetit!

25 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 25

the kneeling santa

My favorite ornament of all.  It always makes me a bit emotional when we hang it.  Such a beautiful expression of what the season is truly about.

Merry Christmas to you, my wonderful readers!

24 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 24

Oh, you better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
 I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is comin' to town!

The beau and I are hitting the road this morning and headed to my childhood home to spend Christmas with my family.  Safe travels to all of you who are on the road as well.

23 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 23

It's an ACTUAL Milkbone that has been preserved and polished in silver.  Crazy.  I want one.

22 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 22

So dainty and beautiful and sweet.

21 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 21

I love the old-fashioned tradition of putting real candles on trees, but obviously that's kind of a fire hazard.  These lovely mercury glass candles give the same look and would be SO pretty and shimmery when they catch the tree lights!

20 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 20

Not technically an ornament, but I think it would be tres gorgeous to have the cotton boll sprays sticking out all over your tree.  Kind of gives that flocked/snowy effect, right?

Wow, wow, wow!

Hello, sweet readers! Or at least to those of you still remaining.  I haven't posted a "real" post since December 1st.  Crazy!

In addition to all of the usual Christmastime to-do's, I had a huge work event on the 8th and 9th and then I left for our HONEYMOON on the 12th!  We had the most wonderful time in St. Lucia and I can't wait to share pictures and details.  Suffice it to say, I am going to be preternaturally bronzed in all of our Christmas pictures.

Sadly, those will all have to wait until next week.  Since I was all business the first week of the month and then out of the country, it is now a mad dash to purchase and wrap all of our presents, bake a zillion Christmas cookies, and take care of all the other little details so that we can enjoy our first married Christmas together.  No posting this week for me {other than the ornaments}.  I'll be back next week, pinky swear!

I'll leave you with a peek at our first married Christmas card.

19 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 19

My mama LOVES her a dirty martini {she's partial to the ones I make using GP's recipe}.  These would be so perfect tied to the top of her gifts.

18 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 18

My grandmother started a collection of Lenox annual ornaments for me, starting with my first birthday.  I have them all on their own special tree now, and it is by far my favorite Christmas tree.  The above ornament is one of the prettiest of the bunch.

17 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 17

I mean...Best. Ornament. EVER.

16 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 16

I LOVE vintage ornaments.  Wouldn't this set be stunning on a white or flocked Christmas tree?  And they would be fabulous in an ornament wreat!

15 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 15

Target rooster glass ornament

For those of you who just die over The Bloggess.  This is Beyonce the chicken in ornament form.  I gave one to my sister-in-law, because The Bloggess is her personal hero.

14 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 14

DIY jingle bell ornament.  Photo by moi.

Super simple and added a lot to our tree {at least I think it did.}  I just bought a big plastic sleeve of jingle bells at Hobby Lobby {$4.95 for the whole thing!} and a couple of yards of navy blue ribbon.  Then I just tied the bells to random branches.

I love the way they catch the light and the bell tinkling whenever the pup brushes up against the tree!

13 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 13

Love the bright, primary colors and I think the snowshoes are just darling!

12 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 12

I picked these little dudes not only because they are lovely and sparkly, but because they are very appropriate for my mood today.  You see, as you read this, the beau and I are on a plane headed to St. Lucia for a week!

I can't wait for a few days of sunshine, rest, and drinks with little pink umbrellas in them.  Oh yeah, and some quality time with my hubby. 

Have a fabulous week, sweet readers!

11 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 11

These would be so cute tied on top of a package.

10 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 10

Not technically an ornament, but I bought several of these for an ornament swap.  My recipient is a music professor, so these are just the ticket!

09 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 9

This is such a fantastic idea.  I'm making several of these: one for our tree and one each for my parents, my in-laws, and both of my grandmothers.  Also a great idea for any newlywed couples in your life!

08 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 8

I just love this little guy!

07 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 7

Perfect for the dog lover in your life! You can order any of these ornaments in just about any breed and have your pet's name added for a sweet, custom ornament.  My favorite is the red truck!

06 December 2011

one year

One year ago today, the beau asked me to marry him.  I was in yoga pants and a crappy old tank top and doing the dishes.  No bells and whistles, just a wonderful, private moment of pure emotion and love.  And lots of happy tears.  Thank for making me the luckiest gal alive, hubby!

25 days of ornaments: day 6

I mean, how creative is this?

05 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 5

This would be SO perfect in multiples on my our tree.

04 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 4

03 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 3

02 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 2

01 December 2011

25 days of ornaments: day 1

Happy first day of December!  Can you believe it's already here?

I've found so many adorable ornaments online and in stores recently, so I thought it would be fun to post an ornament a day between now and Christmas.  I'll start with one that I bought for my own tree!

Little red wellies! Aren't they darling?!  I found them in my local Target store; they are Smith & Hawken brand.  I'm having trouble finding them on the website {surprise, surprise...something not easy about the Target website}, but I believe it were less than 5 dollars.

And here's our first married Christmas tree!

It's not quite finished yet.  It needs a topper and a few more strands of faux cranberry garland {and the garland needs to be redraped}.  Since I took this picture, I took off 6 of the matte red ornaments and added 6 crackle-finish champagne ornaments to lighten things up.  I was going for a Ralph Lauren chic look for our tree {with all of our cheesy, sentimental childhood ornaments thrown in for good measure, of course!}, inspired by these tartan colors.

With just a few last finishing touches, I think we'll have it pretty close!

I'd love for y'all to play along! Please post or let me know about any fun ornament finds you have.  I can't wait to see all the Christmas pretties out there!