Home for the Holidays

One of the best things about the holidays are being with family and friends. I am so fortunate to have a loving, close-knit family and friends who are like sisters and aunts/uncles, etc. This year was a little bit different… we have a lot of big things coming up in the next year:

  • My parents put our house on the market, so this is probably the last holiday we will spend in our house -which is bittersweet. While I am happy for my parents to take the next steps into retiring, I am still a little sad because of all the amazing memories we have made there.
  • My brother is GETTING MARRIED! In June, and in Denver and I am SO excited to add another sister to our family 🙂
  • My sister is GRADUATING COLLEGE and starting pharmacy school -she has always been super smart and ambitious and I am so excited for her to start this new journey where I know she will ROCK!

So I think there will be a lot changes going on in this upcoming year! This holiday weekend was the perfect way to celebrate all of the changes, reminisce and catch up with each other. After getting home late Wednesday night, my sister and I woke up early Thursday to go to the mall and do some last minute shopping. (Yes we are crazy and we braved the crowds). Once we were done, we indulged in some pampering and my mom, sister, grandma and I went to get our nails done.

Josh got in late Thursday night and of course we had to indulge in a game of cards.

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Friday was our Christmas cookie day! Every year we make these adorable Santa Claus cookies. It’s a tradition that my mom did as a kid with her family and it has been passed on to us kids. We definitely made a mess in the kitchen, but it was so worth it! Everyone loves these cookies and how can you resist they are just so cute! Definitely a lot of work but after doing this for the past few years we have it down to a fool-proof routine.

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Christmas Eve morning we all had a big breakfast and helped my mom get ready for Christmas Eve dinner. The kitchen and dining room was a mad house -cooking and rearranging tables, chairs and making sure the place settings were perfect. Overall it turned out pretty nice – I think. My mom is always such a good host and the food did not disappoint.

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We always have our good family friends over for Christmas Eve dinner before we go to church. This year there were 12 of us so we had a big table setting which my mom did such a nice job on… one day I hope to be half the hostess she is!

Before everyone came over for dinner we did some gift exchanging (we always open 1 present on Christmas Eve) and this year we let my parents in on the tradition.

So my mom spent ALL summer working on these Santa Claus cross-stitch ornaments and they turned out so great! It was such a thoughtful and sentimental gift knowing she put in all that time and effort and I will truly cherish it.

We also decided to get my parents a wine cooler! They LOVED it! My dad has a big bar he put in our basement and my mom loves wine so this gift was perfect for them… I am actually surprised that they never had one before.

Then of course before church (and thankfully before dinner, where I stuffed my face) we took our traditional family pictures in front of the fire place. (It’s a growing joke between friends and family that you are really important if you get to take a picture in front of our fireplace).

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After the candlelight church service we came back home and our family friends also came back for some desserts and spirits (my dad always makes a special holiday drink). Then the anticipation for Christmas morning set in!

I am so grateful that our family is able to have a nice Christmas. As I have gotten older, the presents aren’t as important -but it is still nice that we are able to do nice things for each other. Before opening any presents, we always have to take our annual “sitting on the stairs” picture… it’s funny how much those pictures have change over the years (we all used to be able to fit on one step).

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One of my favorite gifts that I gave this year was a hand painted picture of our house to our parents. Since this was likely our last Christmas there, I wanted to give something to my parents to take a piece of our home with them wherever they go. This was such a beautiful painting -my friends did an amazing job from the 3 pictures that I sent her and I know my parents really appreciated it. (My mom did get a little teary eyed, which you can kind of see in the picture -sorry mom)!

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Overall we had a great day and a great weekend. I am so happy my entire family was able to make it home safely so we could all celebrate together. It’s also great to always have my grandma there too! Grandparents are such a precious gift and mine is no exception! She always makes our day just a little bit sweeter 🙂

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I hope everyone else had a healthy and happy holiday spend with lots of love, laughter and food! And cheers to a happy New Year!

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Poncho Season

There’s just something I love about bundling up when the weather gets cold. While I hate to admit that I am not very fond of winter weather, I do love styling oversized sweaters (and ponchos) to keep me a little bit warmer throughout the cold months.

My favorite thing about this poncho is that it is so versatile! The neutral colors make it super easy to style and you can either keep it neutral or do something fun by adding a pop of bright color. I chose to keep it neutral for a casual Friday afternoon in the city.

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Absolutely OBSESSED with these Kendra Scott Earrings! They are so cute -they are like studs but so much more fun and practical. I get A TON of wear out of these!

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This poncho is from earlier in the season from LOFT. I love the added fringe detail to the ends! See below for more outfit details and some of my other favorite poncho options!

Poncho: LOFT, old (similar, similar) also love this one!
Top: LOFT, old (similar for only $10!)
Jeans: Charlotte Russe, old (similar, similar)
Shoes: Vince Camuto, $150 (similar for $38)
Bag: Tory Burch, old (similar, similar)
Necklace: Kendra Scott Rayne, $80 (similar)
Earrings: Kendra Scott Rogan, (similar)
Sunglasses: Ray Ban Aviators, $150 (almost identical for $14)
Watch: Kate Spade, $225 (almost identical only $16)
Cuff: Lilly Pulitzer, $68 (similar)

An alternative to a poncho is to take an oversized blanket scarf and wear it as a poncho/wrap… I’m all about the versatility! Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

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Floral Off the Shoulder Top

Happy first day of December! Seriously, where has the time gone?? This year has been such a whirlwind (especially the last month for me). I took a short hiatus from blogging to deal with some unfortunate circumstances, but I realized that I can’t let the actions of other people affect what I do and what makes me happy. And I love blogging about affordable fashion and style trends so that is what I am going to continue to do!

So how many of you shopped on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?? Hopefully my guide was able to help you out a little bit. I feel like that weekend always sneaks up on me, but fortunately a lot of stores are extending their cyber Monday deals to cyber week! That’s where I was able to snag this gorgeous off the shoulder floral top. See outfit details below.

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Top: Nordstrom, $38 on sale! (similar, similar)
Jeans: Charlotte Russe, old (almost identical and only $49!)
Booties: Vince Camuto, sold out (similar, similar -both on sale)
Bag: Kate Spade, old (similar, similar)
Engravable Necklace: My Stella & Dot, $59
Earrings: gift (similar, similar)
Watch: Kate Spade, old (similar, similar)

P.S. you CAN wear white this winter 🙂

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