Friday, December 30, 2011

A penny saved for Christmas Day...

Yesterday, I went on one of my very regular excursions to one of my favorite places on the planet, Target.  [I had been experiencing some separation anxiety in the days following Christmas].  I wandered through the Christmas section, picking up some various 50% off wrapping accessories for next year's gifts and stumbled upon a brilliant find which led to a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself).

For those of you who don't know, I have a bit of an eccentric obsession with gingerbread decorations.  I have a wide assortment of gingerbread themed decor which appears the day after Thanksgiving, and, especially in my younger years, might stick around into February.  My love for those jolly little holiday cookies led my mother to wrap half of my gifts this year in gingerbread paper, and prompted my aunt to give me this mug (which I must admit is one of my favorite gifts of the season).

Anyway, I came up with an idea when I saw that glorious little $4.99 bank.  Why not start saving for Christmas right away?  We all have a tendency to overspend during the holiday season, so maybe this can help out a little.  My plan is to leave this bank up all year long.  When I have extra change, or even a dollar bill or two, I will drop it in the bank and raise some holiday money to support my gift giving.  Then, on December 1, I will open up the bank and see what is there.  Maybe it will be enough for a whole gift, maybe it will be enough for a roll of wrapping paper.  Either way, it will be a fun way to save some money and take some of the load off the holiday season!

Live with love,


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Count Your Blessings

December 27th.  Christmas is finished for another year.  The doom and gloom of another holiday season come and gone may be settling into all of our minds.  But what a season it has been.  I have found myself profoundly thankful this Christmas - for simple things that often times we look over.  And one resounding thought has been ringing around through my head - count your blessings.

 In one of my all time favorite holiday movies, White Christmas, Bing Crosby croons Rosemary Clooney (two of my very favorite voices) with a simple song to ease her worries.  "When you're worried, and you can't sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep, and you'll fall asleep counting your blessings."  Such a simple thought.  I hope this Christmas season has made you keenly aware of your own blessings, and if it hasn't, maybe this little lullaby will do the trick.

Live with love,

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words - Christmas

With Christmas being a only a matter of days away, here are some of my favorite holiday images and ideas that I have found on [what else] Pinterest.  Enjoy!


Sweet treats

Peppermint and Gingerbread - my two favorite things :)
Great Cupcake Idea.

Grinch Cake. On top of Mt. Crumpit.

Home Alone - Woof!

Red and Green mantle.



Cut off the bottom of your tree each year and make an ornament!

Pine cone elves.

Elf slippers. So cool.

Fear not.

Live with love,

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fear Not

"Fear not!" One of my favorite advent phrases.  You hear it over and over again in the Christmas story - when Gabriel comes to Mary, when the angel comes to Joseph in a dream, when the angels share the Good News with the shepherds.  It is a simple phrase - only two words, and yet it is said with courage.  But during this time of preparation, we tend to sweep those two words under our festive rugs.  We are consumed by the hustle and bustle of the season, running around like maniacs to find the perfect gift or tree.  Now don't get me wrong, I love the Christmas season as much as the next guy [and by "as much" I mean roughly 75 times more] - but we tend to get a little carried away.  The point I am trying to make is that if we "fear not," the Christmas season will be a more joyful, more of the way it should be.

Many times, we look for answers in the Bible.  We turn to it in times of stress, fear, grief, joy, celebration.  You name it, someone has looked.  But sometimes the answer is so simple, we almost miss it.  What if fear not is the answer to our Christmas dilemma?  That tiny little thought tells us "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself..." Matthew 6:34.  So when that countdown of shopping days starts ticking in your head, take a deep breath and fear not.

This may seem trite or insignificant, but I think if that saying was said by angels, messengers of the Lord, it can be used to remind us not to freak out if the Christmas ham is cooking a little behind schedule.  So as you brave the crowds at the mall, grocery store, or the virtual throngs on Amazon, don't forget what this season is all about.  The angel said "Fear not!" And that is just what I intend to do.

Live with love,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You're Never Fully Dressed Without at Smile

I think we all underestimate the power of a smile.  Finals week can drive college students crazy.  We've all been there, [or are right now] and could use a little uplifting.  Give someone a smile - it might change their whole mood...and you never know, it might just change yours too!

{Here are some pictures if you need a little inspiration. I hope they make you grin!}

Live with love,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hometown Glory

On the very cusp of Thanksgiving break, I find myself achingly homesick.  So, before I turn in for the night, I give you this ode to Johnson City, TN.

The best thing about home is that no matter how long you've been gone, you can always come back.  JC, I've been gone far too long - but don't worry, I'm coming for you.

Live with love,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I've Got Plenty to be Thankful For

This cold fall morning has helped me really get in the mood for the holiday that is only a week away.  To be honest, it is hard for me to believe that another Thanksgiving is already upon us - doesn't it seem like last year's Turkey Day just happened?  But at Church Street NightLife on Sunday, we did a program on gratitude.  The first part of the night began with having a few minutes to list 20 things we were thankful for.  The challenge was to think of things other than the go-to answers of family, friends, etc. and instead, to be specific.  Of course, I am so blessed to have a wonderful family, great friends, a place to live, an awesome job, the chance to go to college, and to live in this great country...but when you are supposed to come up with things to be thankful for other than these "rabbit" answers, it can be a little harder.  But here is the start of my Thankful List (in no particular order).

So many times, we take these simple little things for granted.  I know in the grand scheme of things, being thankful for jokes or crafts may seem trite - but those things really do bring me joy, so why not say thanks for them?

One of my all-time favorite movies is Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.  Bing's character has written a song for each of the holidays of the year, although, by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, he isn't feeling so thankful after all.  I'm sure we can all relate to the way he feels in this clip, but this holiday season, let's all try to find the joy in the little things in life.  Click here to see the scene, and tell somebody you love you're thankful for them today.

Live with love,

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall into Fashion

As the weather gets colder, I find myself ready for new additions to my wardrobe.  Naturally, some are only pipe dreams (poor college kid, remember?), while others actually have a shot of joining the rest of my closet.  One of my favorite places to find fashion inspiration is Pinterest, of course.  So, here are some of my absolute favorite looks for fall.  We will call it the first installation of my Christmas wish list - hey, a girl can dream.
This yellow coat. No words.
Cozy Blazer

Frye boots - zipper back.
My mom used to get me saddle oxfords at the beginning of every school year - I think it is time for a new pair .
Such a sweet, knotted neckline. Jackie O.

Teacher Look.
I don't always love tights and shorts, but I LOVE this.
Braided scarf.

The need for this chevron dress is getting out of hand.

Hunter green. Mustard yellow.

Chambray and Yellow.
Simple neutrals.
Soft sweater. I could make it work for a Vols game.
This is my kind of going-to-class look.
Such a warm and cuddly sweater.

I love horizontal stripes.

This herring bone skirt just screams "Go Vols".

One thing I love about fall fashion is how it is always influenced by nature.  The colors remind me of my East Tennessee mountains - neutrals, natural greens, warm golds, and, my favorite, orange.  I just love being wrapped in a scarf and cardigan while I sip on a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I hope everyone can find some simple joys in the fall week ahead.

Live with love,

P.S. To check out the rest of my fashion board and everything else I pin, click here.