Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Christmas Home Tour 2020

Dec 17, 2020

My favorite post of the year is always my Christmas Home Tour! This year I added more pops of red this year than ever. I also have non-traditional decor in my foyer if that's more your speed. I love it all! 

I love these new nutcrackers to meet our holiday guests! They light up at night too. Thanks to my 12 year old son, Aidan, for taking my holiday photo this year. I think he did a great job!

Check out this top! I just got it in yesterday and it's so cute with a bow that ties in the back. It's only $12.50! 

You can see a bit of the bow under my hair. 

It wouldn't be a Christmas Home Tour without Mario! How sweet is it that his bow tie matches my top?


The foyer is always the most popular of my photos! It's the only room without traditional color this year. I added whites, blues and golds. 

The living room is the heart of the home and where we spend the most time this time of year. It's downright magical in the evening by the glow of the tree and fire. I didn't want to overwhelm the room with red since it would be too harsh with the rest of the room so I added red berries to the mostly ivory and gold tree, fireplace garland and coffee table bowl. The big punch of red is in the bow over the fireplace. It's just enough red to feel festive. 

Of course it's best lit up at night!

Mario in his Christmas sweater

I think I'm most excited about the kitchen this year. I've replaced the counter stools with these light ones. I was excited to finally have backs to hang wreaths on them. I also have my new brass and mercury glass lantern in so it has a completely different look.

I hope you enjoyed the Christmas tour! Stay tuned for the dining room post!


Christmas 2019

Dec 28, 2019

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! It came and went so fast this year. Maybe it was that I didn't put the decorations out until late this year, that the weather was warm and sunny or that we didn't go to any Christmas events. I had planned a few things, but the boys sports and our work schedules made it impossible this year. I can't say the kids wanted to go anyway! Our traditions are changing as they get older, but as long as we are all together on Christmas that's all that matters.

Christmas Eve

Gifts from Grandparents

Aidan LOVES cozy blankets. He steals every single one in the house. I don't think he could ever get enough. We were laughing this night because I slept with my baby blanket I was brought home from the hospital in until I got married. Now, I have my faux fur blanket that Aidan and Mario try to steal all the time. I guess the blanket gene is strong!

Dylan always needs golf balls. #waterholes

Laughing because I noticed right away this was rosemary.

Christmas Eve Dinner-I forgot to save this picture, but found it on my IG stories archive. Prime rib, stuffing with mushrooms and butternut squash (really good, just bad photo), potatoes and a winter salad. I tagged Half Baked Harvest and she messaged me right back! Almost all of our recipes come from her cookbooks or website so this was very exciting to me and especially my husband who does most of the cooking. He even pre-ordered her book this summer. She deserves all of the success that has come her way because all of her recipes are amazing!

Christmas Morning

Aidan is only 11 so he still gets excited about Christmas morning. He made everyone in the house wake up early. I can't say the teens were thrilled about it, but they made it downstairs.

Ryan got much needed hair gel in his stocking.

The only smile I got from Dylan was when he saw the weight lifting gloves in his stocking.

My husband bought himself golf clubs this year like every year. He sells the offending set that is obviously responsible for his bad game and buys a new set on eBay. As long as they aren't new (aka expensive) I'll continue to play along.

Finally getting on that AirPod train. No makeup and unbrushed hair as usual for me on Christmas morning.

You might notice we don't do an extravagant Christmas when it comes to gifts, actually gifts in general. My husband and I buy ourselves one thing each (or a few inexpensive items) so we have something to open with the kids, and they get only a few gifts from us. This is something I started when my kids were little. I can't say I've made the right decisions all the time as a parent, but I feel good about this one based on their attitudes about material items. They don't ask for much, want much or begrudge anyone for what they have. I suppose it's that fine line between too much and not enough that has worked, plus a whole lot of conversations. The success from school/sports and relationships with family and friends has superseded anything I could buy them or any trip I could take them on. It's so hard to decide when your kids are little what the right decision is and sometimes what is good for one family or child isn't good for another. In that spirit, take this with a grain of salt unless it resonates with you!

Another thing we do is take turns opening presents instead of everyone tearing into them all at once. The youngest opens one present and everyone watches so we can see what he got, his reaction, get a photo and have him thank the person. Then we go to the next youngest and keep circling back until the presents are all open. I prefer it this way to see what everyone gets, their reactions and I also like to have the opportunity to say thank you. 

On our way out the door Christmas evening to spend with my husband's side of the family. Mario got a new red bow tie collar that I think looks so handsome on him. I also never showed you a picture of our front door in the Christmas Home Tour. The light is only good in the morning (brightened way up here) so I never got a photo. I planted real mini Christmas trees in the pots this year instead of poinsettias. I just love the look!

We usually pop fireworks with the boys, heat up the spa and make s'mores on the fire pit in the backyard on New Year's Eve. This year we're headed to the beach house in Galveston! It didn't rent for the weekend so we decided to head down there with family. Of course we get a VRBO inquiry right after we make the decision. Oh well, it will be worth it!

Last Minute Amazon Gifts: My Favorite Purchases

Dec 17, 2019

I can't believe Christmas is next week! I am mostly finished, but I still have a few gifts left to buy. At this point they are either going to be from Amazon to take advantage of free Prime two day shipping, or I have to go to a store. I would much rather shop while drinking coffee in my pjs! I decided to round up my favorite purchases from Amazon with reviews if you are still looking for ideas. Many of these are beauty products. Instead of just giving them as stocking stuffers, consider making a beauty box with several of them for the women in your life. 

1. Keurig Cappuccino, Latte and Coffee Maker-This is what we have at the beach house. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the lattes and cappuccinos turned out. I've found Keurig coffee to be too weak in the past, but the cappuccino/latte option solves that problem by making it stronger. It also has a built-in frother that's so easy to use. 

2. Ninja Foodi-We use ours almost daily. Many of our recipes call for an instant pot and we had always wanted to try an air fryer. This is an air fryer, pressure cooker/instant pot, and slow cooker in one so I decided to try it. The kids love the air fryer option for really crispy chicken tenders, buffalo wings and fries. It's so easy they even make it themselves. I really like the sear option. Have you noticed that slow cookers turn food into mush that ends up tasting the same no matter if it's chicken or beef? The sear option before you turn on the slow cooker prevents that from happening. 

3. Lavish Lash-This isn't my first attempt at a lash serum. I spent about $100 for Neulash because beauty bloggers were raving about it. I saw a little improvement, but my lashes grew in uneven and started falling out if I skipped even a day of using it. I decided to try Lavish Lash because of the reviews and it's under $30. I noticed they were about 30% longer within two weeks. My husband even commented on it so I knew it was working. However, they didn't grow much more after that and did not increase in volume so you won't get the eyelash extension look. Of course I think everyone has a different experience with lash serums. Some of the reviewers photos are really dramatic. 

4. Eyebrow/Face Shavers-This would be a great stocking stuffer. I bought these because reviewers were saying it helps remove dead skin for a smoother complexion. I did not really notice a difference, but I do like that it removes the peach fuzz you can only see in bright light. 

5. Mellanni Sheets-I've seen these on gift guides everywhere and the price can't be beat. I have to admit I was not impressed when I first opened the package because they seemed so thin. However, after sleeping on them I realized they really are comfortable and have held up great after so many washes. They don't get nearly as wrinkled as my more expensive sheets either. I ended up ordering a second set for me and bought my oldest son a set too. 

6. Echo Show-We loved our dot so much for turning on the speakers in our house, setting timers in the kitchen, adding to the grocery store list, getting the weather and the kids asking Alexa random questions. Aidan asks Alexa to bark like a dog "to send Mario over the edge." Now, it has a video function! We bought one for our kitchen to pull up recipes online instead of using our phones. You can also stream videos. Lately, I've been asking Alexa to play Christmas music of course. It would also be a great bedside clock, but we use our display for rotating family photos instead. 

7. Charger Stand for Phones-How did I not know these existed? They even have ones that charge your phone, AirPods, and watch. I didn't want that big of a station on my nightstand so this is the one I bought because I can put it behind my decor and still see it from my bed. The best part is that I don't have to find the cord and plug it in. I just plop it right on the stand and it makes a little noise to tell you it's charging. 

8. AirPods-Not earth shattering I know. My kids love them of course. I didn't give them too much thought until I realized that you can also have these on the find my iPhone app. I can't tell you how many times that's saved the kids from losing them. I finally got myself a pair because I realized I could talk on the phone hands-free. I workout, clean, do laundry, etc while talking on the phone so this makes it much easier. 

9. Silk Pillowcase-I finally bought one after hearing about less bed head and good for your skin/sleep wrinkles. I was not about to spend $100 on the Slip pillowcase without being sure it worked so I bought this brand that's also 100% mulberry silk for much less. It does help somewhat with bedhead when I don't put my hair in a bun and sleep wrinkles are decreased (not completely gone). Sleeping on your back is free and the only thing that will really work. Honestly, I just like it because it just feels so good to sleep on. A regular pillow just feels so rough now. 

10. Silk Hair Scrunchies-I wore scrunchies as a kid in the early 90s and I did not want to go back to that trend! I do have long hair that gets tangled while sleeping and I look downright crazy in the mornings. After hearing that sleeping with my hair in a bun with a silk scrunchie will help I decided to give it a try. It works! My hair looks almost as good when I take it out of the bun in morning as I did when I went to sleep. Regular hair bands don't work because they give me a headache and leave dents in my hair. I actually use them while working out too so I don't have to flat iron the dents out of my hair from regular bands afterwards. I do hide the scrunchie though by making my bun a bit bigger to overlap it. 

11. Collagen Chest Pad for Wrinkles-I don't know if the collagen is actually helping or if it's just the pad preventing the wrinkles. I do know that I have zero wrinkles on my chest when I wake up in the morning when I use this. Again, sleeping on my back would be a free way to prevent sleep wrinkles that will eventually turn permanent. Sometimes I can only get comfortable on my side and sleep wins over wrinkles. This is a must if you're a side sleeper!

12. Portable Phone Charger-Anyone have teens that live permanently on 1% battery life? I shouldn't throw stones because I've been in a situation where my phone wasn't charged any times. Anyway, this one is inexpensive, small for handbags and backpacks, and has dual ports. The kids can also charge their AirPods or even share it (won't happen, just buy another one). 

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Dec 16, 2018

It is crunch time if you are still shopping online for gifts! I have zero desire to head to any store this time of year so I made myself sit down with my computer yesterday and check off my list. Are you still shopping? Today is a great day to get it out of the way. I also noticed some sales going on that rival Black Friday deals.

Anthropolgie is offering 30% off everything!

I think this is the best sale I have ever seen from them. They are one of my favorite stores for kitchen, dining and entertaining items.

For Him

Men can be hard to shop for in my experience. I've rounded up more items than ever for them this this year. I'm really excited about the Banana Republic sale. They are offering 50% off everything except new items!

Electronics/For the Home

The Ninja Foodi is a gift I bought for my husband last month. Unfortunately, he found it and is already using it. It's a pressure cooker/instant pot, slow cooker and air fryer all in one. There are free recipe books if you have Kindle Unlimited. I included a Kindle Paperwhite again because it is still my favorite tech item besides my phone.

For Her

These are my favorite items I own or have seen in stores. The two pair of low heeled boots are the only ones I have been wearing this fall. I was able to walk around comfortably for hours in them on our trip to Charleston.

Happy Shopping!