Our 2015 Thanksgiving

We rotate visiting families each Thanksgiving and Christmas, and this year it was a year to spend with my in-laws. I was so happy to hear that my sister-in-law and her family would be joining us this year from Ohio. We all met in the mountains and had a lovely time. 

On Thanksgiving Day, we had our big meal around 4:00. Before that, Ian's sister sweetly gave us some of her time and played photographer for us ... family Christmas card photo, check! (I decided to use Tinyprints again this year and will share our card once it's in the mail!)

Some photos that we aren't using, but that are just too cute... 

My two contributions to the family meal were this cute turkey cheese ball (I used this recipe for a sweet cheese ball -- love that it had diced granny smith apples in it!) and the cranberry sauce. 

This was my best batch to date of cranberry sauce! I followed the instructions on the back of the package but added my two standard add-ins (fresh orange juice and cinnamon) and also gave it a quick dash of almond extract this year. Everyone loved it!

Camille wore a jumper that my mom made her and my friend monogrammed for us. 

She loved her first Thanksgiving dinner, and even got to taste some pumpkin pie for dessert!

Friday we all needed to get out of the house and stretch our legs, so we went to the cutest park in Valle Crucis, then we all went and bought candy from the big barrels at Mast General Store. We also paid a visit to the cemetery where Ian's father is. 

Friday we took a ride on the ranger down past the horse stables and went out to Mexican for a break from turkey!

It was a great Thanksgiving, and now ... time to get that Christmas tree UP!


Tartan Love

I married a man wearing a kilt, and now I can't get enough of classic tartan plaids. Sharing some favorites today, all found on Etsy, because why not shop small this holiday season and make an Etsy seller's day when you place an order!

Tartan Love

From top to bottom:

Holiday Gift Tags from Dixie Delights: on Etsy here
I ordered these in the tartan plaid! I think they will look beautiful and classic with my plain brown kraft wrapping paper.

Tartan Ornament Pillow: on Etsy here
This is such a beautiful pillow and would look so pretty on our neutral khaki sofa.

Tartan Melamine Plate: on Etsy here
Melamine plates are great for gifting, and also really easy to transport holiday goodies to potlucks!

Tartan Monogrammed Deer Ornament: on Etsy here
These would look cute hanging on a tree or even over each family member's stocking instead of an embroidered name.

Monogrammed Tartan Infinity Scarf: on Etsy here
Santa, take note! This looks so cozy, and it's under $30!


Saturday Sip + Shop


Kate Middleton English Rose: Place a sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute. Dribble a few drops of orange bitters overtop, then pour over 1 oz. Drambuie. Slowly pour over 4 oz. chilled champagne, sparkling rosé wine or Prosecco. Add a splash of Campari and a few drops of rosewater.:

The Kate Middleton English Rose
Recipe HERE


Monogram Jewelry Tray, Personalized Jewelry Tray, Personalized Jewelry Dish, Jewelry Holder, Monogrammed Gifts

Monogrammed Jewelry Tray
Found on Etsy HERE
Great price, too -- $10.50!
You could even wrap it up in a cellophane bag 
with a pair of earrings or a lipstick 
on the tray for a cute gift under $25.


Five On Friday

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

Now that Thanksgiving has passed. here are five things that I LOVE about Christmas!

Christmas cards! Oh boy, I still need to design ours, how about you? I sure do love checking the mail daily in December, though.

Christmas card garland:

Vintage ornaments. Some of my most prized ornaments are vintage icicles that my grandparents once owned. I also picked up some colorful ornaments a few summers ago at a neighborhood estate sale. These just have such presence and charm!

vintage ornaments, white tree ...gorgeous:

Wassail with the family on Christmas morning. This is a tradition of ours and our kitchen smells so yummy because of it. Here is an easy recipe.

Slow Cooker Wassail Recipe {Mulled Cider}:

Christmas on the radio 24/7. Extra points if they play Amy Grant's Home For Christmas album. (UPDATE: holy moly, I found the album on Amazon here! It's my favorite!)

May your days be merry and bright:

Wrapping gifts. I'm one of the annoying few who actually LOVES wrapping gifts and gets way too excited about it. I'm pretty sure I am going to go with simple kraft paper (like this on Amazon) this year and use special tags and ribbon to jazz it up. I've got some tags ordered and can't wait to show them off!

Kraft paper with black white stripe ribbon then add a little holly w/ berries - Classic Christmas Wrap:

TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!


Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!

pretty fall tablescape:

Thankful for so, so much this year, including you, since you make blogging worthwhile and enjoyable for me. Cheers to a great holiday season ahead, and delicious leftovers tomorrow! 


Go Panthers!

Last Saturday night, I casually mentioned to Ian that I saw two lower-level tickets for sale to the Panthers game the following day. I still thought the ticket prices were outrageous, but he said "BUY THEM!" We already had a sitter lined up -- we originally planned to try to buy game tickets, then decided to watch the game at a bar instead since the 9-0 record had ticket prices running so high. Ultimately we decided that we wouldn't miss the money but the experience would be well worth it.

We had an awesome time and the Panthers defeated the Redskins! 10 & 0, baby, as we enter this coming week's game!


Holiday Gift Guide GAMEPLAN!

Thank you all so much for your awesome input on yesterday's question regarding holiday gift guides. What I heard overwhelmingly is -- I already know what to get my best girlfriend, keep the suggestions affordable yet unique, and focus on meaningful and really relevant gifts that I personally would purchase or have purchased. Done and done ... we haaaave a gameplan!

Green satin ribbon with black and white stripe wrapping paper for Christmas presents.. modern and classy.:

Here are the six categories I decided to highlight this year:
  + My Personal Wishlist/Favorites
  + Baby
  + Toddler (I'm splitting this up from baby up for a fun reason ... see below!)
  + The Man In Your Life
  + Parents and Inlaws
  + Colleagues/Coworkers: $10-$20 range

Being that there are going to be six shorter posts, I will break them up over the course of two or three weeks so that I can continue to post non-shopping topics. Like three ingredient appetizers and cute things my kid does ;)

Okay, I also have another fun idea up my sleeve. I would like to turn the mike over to you and hear from you via email ( if you have any suggestions to include in the above categories. When I write the gift guides, I will feature one suggestion from a reader. Maybe you gave a gift to your inlaws last year that was such a slam-dunk that you just have to share it! Also, don't be afraid to toot your own horn if you own an Etsy shop and would like me to feature something of yours for a category above. Please just let me know that it's okay to use your first name and what category/categories you have a suggestion for. And if you do have a blog or Etsy shop, I'd love to link to it.

Okay, signing off for now, but I'm way more excited than ever about holiday gift guides this year! I hope you are looking forward to seeing what I -- and some fellow readers -- plan to purchase this year!

gift wrap for kids:


Holiday Gift Guides: Question For You

Christmas inspiration...:

In the past, I have always loved holiday gift guides -- a peek into what people own and love, what they love to give, and what they plan to give this year. But I know that gift guides are all over blogs these days and they may just not be your cup of tea. So ... here's where I turn to you!

Do you enjoy holiday gift guides? What sort of topics would you be interested to see covered, if so (baby, toddler, girlfriends, gifts for guys, stocking stuffers, etc)?

What to you constitutes a GOOD and helpful gift guide?


Saturday Sip + Shop


Raspberry and ginger beer champagne cocktail:

Raspberry and Ginger Beer Cocktail
From Perpetually Hungry blog
Recipe HERE


Acrylic Monogram Tassel Key Chain

Monogram Tassel Keychain
From Etsy - coincidentally, I see they are right here in Charlotte!
Only $10.99 ... cute stocking stuffer. :)
Found HERE


Five On Friday!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

Starting off this Five on Friday before Thanksgiving to let you all know how thankful I am that you read my blog, share my blog with friends, link up with us weekly here, and send me personal emails. This is a hobby turned passion and I truly love interacting with each of you! I have met the nicest friends.

But first, I'll have to remind myself to do this. Sad to say, it didn't come naturally for me.:

Do you know about Groupon Coupons? If you are like me, the bulk of your holiday shopping is done online these days. Black Friday? You'll find me at home, not fighting the masses in a chain store. If you plan to do any shopping online, for the holidays or otherwise, there are so many ways to save money this year.

Groupon Coupons is free to use, and you just visit their site first and then link from there to your favorite retailers and get ready to reap the savings. For example, if you want to check out some of what is currently offered coupon-wise, you can check out the Groupon Coupons for LoftNeiman Marcus, Birchbox, and Babies R Us! May as well shop smartly this season, right?

Why you need patience to have money - Keep Calm and Save Money:

Last night we had our monthly supper club at my girlfriend Marla's house, and she had our plates stacked with all of these fall goodies! Honey butter, homemade bread, and Chex mix. She is too creative and sweet.

Just wanted to share with you the Pumpkin Crisp recipe that is one of my very favorites this time of year! It is from Southern Living magazine, and I blogged about it HERE. It's a great combination for any of you who like the pumpkin part of pumpkin pie and the nuts from pecan pie. And it has lots of butter in it, so you know it's good.

We started a new holiday-themed weekly music class this week and I can't WAIT to share more on it! Camille had a great time, was a total ham as usual, and was all over the place and enjoying instruments. I have so enjoyed seeing her turn into a music and instrument lover over the last few months that we've been attending music class weekly.

TGIF y'all, HAPPY THANKSGIVING, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!

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