Friday, December 30, 2011

What Are You Doing For New Years?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Will You Be In Our Wedding?

Daniel and I asked our friends to be bridesmaids and groomsmen last week. We wanted to be original and have some fun with how we asked them so we dicided to invite everyone on a top-secret adventure. 

--"Thursday 7:00, come alone and ware warm clothes!"

We meet at my house, ate dinner and then loaded into the Winnebago and drove to the docks in Newport. Our friend Ethan offered us his Duffy boat and Captain skills for the night (Thanks Eth-man)!

After we all settled-in, Dan and I asked everyone to be in our wedding and handed little gifts to each friend. Daniel made custom beer mugs with a hilarious picture on them. And I made bridesmaid boxes!

I found pine boxes at Michaels; painted them and filled them with pictures, my favorite tea, chocolate kisses and a personal letter. I was so jazzed that Papyrus had cute little bridal cards that fit inside each box.

Dan and I made these beer mugs for his groomsmen. We sent a photoshopped picture to Mouse Graphics and they made us special stickers that we placed on each mug -- you can even put them in the dishwasher! Too cool.

 The wedding party
*missing 3*
The Lovely Lyssa, Amazing Alex and my Big Brother Brandin

Boarding the Duffy

 Cheers! To all you lovelies.

Goof Balls
My 2 Maids of Honor!
Mo- Far Left
Shan- Middle
I love these girls.

Danny and I are so excited for all the planning, parties and fun in the months to come. We love you guys and we are so thankful for each one of you!

To all you wonderful interwebbers...if you would like to get to know Danny and me, here's our story and pictures from the past.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bonjour Happiness

I just started reading Bonjour Happiness by Jamie Cat Callan. As a young girl, Callan was fascinated by her French Grandmother. Callen captures the secrets of her grand-mères classic style and how she took joy in simple, everyday pleasures. Callen shares lessons on how to age gracefully, enjoy life and how to celebrate being an elegant woman. She reminds us that we too can acquire this joie de vivre.
Hmmmm I'm excited to see where this goes.

Here are a few sneak-peek-lessons from Bonjour Happiness.
Edited version of Shannon Ables Review at Simply Luxurious Life

*Break the connection between spending money and happiness by finding experiences that bring you joy, but do not cost a thing

*Fill your home with fresh flowers and original art

*Learn to survive on your own

*Learn a new language

*Reject the fast and efficient and instead choose something that takes a little more time and delays gratification, ultimately creating more satisfaction.

*Don’t share everything about your personal life– maintain your mystery

*Try to ride your bike or walk everywhere

*Do not seek approval from othes in life. Do what you think is best and be proud of your actions

*Keep the dining room table clutter free even when not using it

*Pay attention to your posture

*Buy local

*Plant herbs

*Consider staying away from the kitchen between meals

*Practice the art of conversation by complimenting both men and women

*Wear good lingerie all the time.

*Buy one bra for every three panties

*Pair quality basics with unusual finds

Hilarious: Trader Joe's Song

I love TJ's! Danny and I get our groceries here every other week! I am obsessed with their Castello Cheese, Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Vanilla Cream Yogurt.

This is too funny. A man named Carl wrote a song about Trader Joe's, it's hil-ar-i-ous!

Found via Cup of Jo by Carlsfinefilms.^

Easy Chocolate and Coffee Fudge with Vanilla Salt

This recipe by Citrus and Candy looks divine!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Baci by Perugina: Finest Italian Chocolates

I got a box of Baci! They are so good! And each chocolate comes with a little love note in Italian, English, Spanish, French and German.
I've eaten 4 so are my love quotes

"Love has made me live love ardently." - G. Stampa
"Oh truly love me! Oh murmur words of fire!" - J. keats
"Lovers can live on kisses and water." - Proverbio
"You will always be beautiful to me and I will always be true to you." - Cira de Pers

Baci – A kiss from the heart of Italy. Silky dark chocolate enrobes a heart of gianduia (a luscious creamy blend of milk chocolate and ground hazelnuts) dotted with chopped hazelnuts and crowned with a whole hazelnut. Each confection is hugged with a love note and is wrapped in Baci’s signature silver and blue foil.

Such a cute idea to give to your sweetie. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Butter London Nail Lacquer

Yummy Mummy and Toff

Shanny got me some beautiful Butter London nail lacquers. I just love these colors! They are so pretty and the best thing it that Butter London is a 3 free company-- meaning no formaldehyde, toluene or DBP. "They believe in color, not carcinogens" I like that!

Yummy Mummy: Our ‘magic’ lacquer. This medium beige colour is simply stunning on EVERY skin colour. If you can’t decide on a lacquer, then we will for you. It’s this.

Toff: A darker, dustier, brownish variation on a rose pink. Stop to smell them. The roses, not the toffs.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

DIY: Reindeer Gift Bags

I made these cute little reindeer bags for my nanny girls school Christmas parties. We filled each reindeer with peppermints, chocolates and other fun candies! These were fun to make and less than $1 per bag including all the candy! The girls told me that the gift bags were a big hit with their classmates. I found this cute idea from Family Fun.

1.        Use a pencil to mark a brown paper bag as shown, then cut along the solid lines to create a rounded top and 2 separate teardrop ear shapes.
2.       Fold the bag along the dotted line, then hot glue an antler (cut from brown card stock) and an ear inside the fold on each side of the bag.
3.       For the eyes, (I bought googly eyes from Micheal's craft store -- much easier than cutting out your own) glue them to the bag with a hot glue gun.
4.       Glue on a red pom-pom for a nose. Let all of the glue dry before placing a small gift inside.

***If your kids are under 10 yrs. old I'd suggest doing all the gluing yourself. You can have little one help with separating and stuffing the bags with candy.***

Homemade Gingerbread Cookies

I made these gingerbread cookies last week with my nanny kids. I love this recipe, it comes out perfectly every time.
Recipe comes from Annie's Eats.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 large egg

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices to combine; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the molasses and egg until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place the cookie shapes onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Decorate as desired.

Merry Christmas Eve

Things I'm looking forward to :
Spending time with my huge family at Aunt Bonnie's house tonight.
Singing Christmas songs on the player piano.
Eating WAY too many tamales, enchiladas and Christmas goodies.
Sipping cider by the fire with my man and billions of cousins.
Giving presents, hugs n kisses
Celebrating the birth of Christ!
Warm, cozy wishes to you and all your loved ones.

Pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Old Wives Tale Tells All: Boy or Girl Pregnancy Predictor

This picture makes me crack up! Last week a bunch of us ladies got together for a Christmas tea party. My good friend Lyssa is expecting her first baby next summer and we thought it would be fun to google an old wives tale to predict whether she was having a baby boy or girl. We tried the test with more than one holder and the results were the same each time! A boy! And guess what...three days later when she got her ultrasound our prediction was true!

Congrats to Lyssa and Chase on their baby boy!

Here's how to do the test -- just for fun:
The ring test is a very common baby gender predictor. Hang your wedding band on a string of your hair, or on a string. Have someone stand over you and hold the ring directly over your belly. If the ring moves in a circle you are having a girl and if the ring sways back and forth you are having a boy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DIY: Elbow Patches

Learn how to make your own elbow patches at A Beautiful Mess.

DIY: Miniture Letters

I love this idea. I like to leave Danny little love notes here and there; hiding them in places that he'll find during his day (ex: on his steering wheel, keyboard or in a drawer). Sometimes I'll fold them into origami hearts , paper cranes or make a miniture letter such as this one.

This is also a cute idea for your can tell them that a Christmas elf, tooth fairy or leprechaun left a personal letter for them. 


Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Shopping

This is how you do it.
Christmas shopping with Shan at South Coast Plaza.
Danish pastries, sea salt caramels and hot apple cider from Champagne Bakery.

Style Inspiration